Commentary

Easy Pentagon savings

March 23, 2015
posted by

Downsize DC Downsize DC
by various signatory organizations  

"Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members, As you prepare the Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2016, the undersigned groups appreciate your consideration of the following options for savings to comply with caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Bringing the Fiscal Year 2016 budget in line with the caps will help the Department of Defense avoid sequestration and save valuable resources in an era of budgetary constraint. We recommend that in implementing these options, Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for Fiscal Year 2016 be budgeted at no more than the president's requested amount of $50.9 billion." (03/20/15)

https://downsizedc.org/blog/easy-pentagon-savings  

No Comments »

Reckoning with the new auto recall bill

March 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Rachel M. Cohen  

"Some 46 million vehicles nationwide (nearly one in five on the road today) have a recalled, but unrepaired, safety issue. That’s because drivers, along with auto dealers and rental companies, have no legal obligation to fix safety recalls -- a gaping regulatory loophole that puts millions at risk. For years lawmakers have more or less ignored the issue, until earlier this month, when Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey introduced the Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives (RECALL) Act. The bill would require car owners to comply with all pending safety recalls in order to re-register their vehicles with the DMV, a commonsense approach that would make roads safer." (03/19/15)

http://prospect.org/article/reckoning-new-auto-recall-bill  

No Comments »

How to get eaten by bears

March 23, 2015
posted by

Strict Liberalism
by Rocco  

"Comedian and actor, Dominic Frisby, is likely much funnier than Goldilocks was, and certainly knows more about Bitcoin than she did. A few years ago he wrote a book called 'Life after the State,' wherein he set out a vision of a more perfect world. One where -- despite his promising title -- the state has not disappeared altogether, but it is much, much smaller than at present. In short, Frisby tells us about a world where the state has become just right: government is neither too big nor too small; taxation is neither too high nor too low; regulations are neither too light nor too heavy. This 'Goldilocks libertarianism' is indeed charming stuff, which is why there are always writers writing about it and always readers reading about it. But just how much has to be just right in order for the state to be just right?" (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lf8wwy9  

No Comments »

The need for care with “thoughtcrime”

March 22, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Hanni Fakhoury and Jamie Williams  

"The district court judge threw out the jury's conspiracy verdict in an 118-page ruling, stating 'the nearly yearlong kidnapping conspiracy alleged by the government is one in which no one was ever kidnapped, no attempted kidnapping ever took place, and no real-world, non-Internet-based steps were ever taken to kidnap anyone.' But the government has appealed the reversal of the conspiracy conviction, so we've filed another amicus brief in support of Valle, arguing that the trial court got it right. The court ultimately believed -- and we agree -- that finding Valle guilty of conspiracy based on his online statements would hold him guilty of thoughtcrime (or 'crimethink' in Newspeak)." (03/20/15)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/03/need-care-thoughtcrime  

No Comments »

Peak idiocy — Obama suggests making voting mandatory

March 22, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"Of all the idiotic things Obama has muttered during his almost inconceivably painful 6 years as President, the following may take the cake. It's as if he's just completely given up. Back to the golf course man, please. ... Of course it's the first time anyone's shared the idea publicly, because it's so fucking stupid." (03/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/krqjgax  

No Comments »

Social Security reversal in MD Senate race: Six lessons for Democrats

March 22, 2015
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future Blog
by Richard Eskow  

"Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, is running for the Senate seat currently occupied by Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski. He is also running from his record -- as a supporter of the 'Simpson-Bowles' plan to cut Social Security and top tax rates, a once-favored economic agenda among Washington insiders and some wealthy private interests. That’s a smart move, but Rep. Van Hollen has more ground to cover." [editor's note: As they seek to raise the FICA "ceiling" they should consider putting a "floor" on the bottom of it - SAT] (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2uc53e  

No Comments »

The “natural interest rate” is always positive and cannot be negative

March 22, 2015
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Thorsten Polleit  

"Time-preference is always and everywhere positive, and so is the originary interest rate. This is, first and foremost, what common sense would tell us. If the originary interest rate was near-zero, it means that you prefer two apples available in, say, 1,000 years over one apple available today. A truly zero originary interest rate implies that the actor's planning horizon or 'period of provision' is infinitely long, which is another way of saying that he would never act at all but would continually push the attainment of his goals into the future." (03/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ms65dpj  

No Comments »

Freedom Feens Radio, 03/21/15

March 22, 2015
posted by

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens
by  

"Ben Stone the Bad Quaker and Michael W. Dean drop Part Eleven in their 36-part series, 'Adopting and Adapting the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service of Alcoholics Anonymous to treating the disease of Statism, the disease of clinging to bad ideas, and the disease of clinging to bad people.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (03/21/15)

http://www.freedomfeens.com/2015/03/21/step-11-in-statists-anonymous/  

No Comments »

With details of classroom ban at Reed unclear, student speech will be chilled

March 22, 2015
posted by

Susan Kruth Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Susan Kruth  

"Jeremiah True, a student at Reed College in Portland, has reported that he was banned from his Humanities 110 classroom by Professor Pancho Savery because of statements he made about rape culture that made others in the class uncomfortable. In particular, True said he challenged the controversial statistic that one in five college women are victims of attempted or completed sexual assault. Accounts of True's classroom expression and behavior differ among those speaking to the press. But to FIRE's knowledge, no one has challenged the legitimacy of an email that Savery allegedly sent to True, excerpts of which True has published. Without clarification from Reed, FIRE believes this email could substantially chill student expression on campus." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kkunpu2  

No Comments »

Green light for red light cameras

March 22, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David Roberts  

"This nation's appetite for technology is insatiable, and an unprecedented era of innovation has revolutionized how we live in less than a generation. From the smart phone and Wi-Fi in the tech world, to the mapping of the human genome and life-saving drugs in the medical world, these advances help us to live better, and longer, lives. So it's puzzling when a life-saving technology arrives, is proven to effective but then has the plug pulled on it without justification. Such is the case today with red-light safety cameras in communities across the nation. From Florida to Illinois, and Ohio to Texas, legislators and activists have been attacking these devices armed with hyperbole and fed by misinformed generalizations. The facts have been left on the cutting-room floor." [editor's note: This writer obviously has no awareness of the abuse of these cameras by local lawdogs seeking to pad the municipal coffers, which has civil libertarians up in arms everywhere - SAT] (03/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n94zrne  

No Comments »

Does burning your money make you poor?

March 22, 2015
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Does burning your money make you poor? Almost everyone responds, 'Obviously.' And in a sense, it is obvious. If you take all your money and burn it, you'll be hungry and homeless as a result. QED. In another sense, though, burning money might not change a thing. How so? Suppose if you don't burn your money, you flush it down the toilet instead. Empirical researchers who look will detect zero effect of burning money on your standard of living. Why? Because your Plan B is just as impoverishing as your Plan A." (03/20/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/03/does_burning_yo.html  

No Comments »

Why the ethanol mandate is terrible policy

March 22, 2015
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Josiah Neeley  

"It used to be that the federal government subsidized the production of ethanol the old fashioned way: with cash. For every gallon of ethanol blended into gasoline, blenders received a 'tax credit' ranging around half a dollar. Foreign imports of ethanol were also subject to a 54-cent tariff. Both of these programs were allowed to lapse at the end of 2011. Still on the books, however, is the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. Like the ethanol tax credit, the RFS came as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the Energy Policy Act also extended daylight saving time, so it has a lot to answer for). The RFS mandates a minimum number of gallons of different types of ethanol that must be blended into U.S. gasoline each year. The minimum amount is set to rise over time, and blenders are subject to fines if they do not comply. From the point of view of ethanol producers, tax credits are nice but it's the mandate that brings home the bacon." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lf78ote  

No Comments »

Coming out of the closet has done more for gay rights than the Supreme Court ever can

March 22, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Casey Given  

"In 2013, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made headlines for offering surprising comments reflecting on the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. 'That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,' the renown liberal justice told an audience at the University of Chicago Law School. 'My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.' Quickly thereafter, pundits speculated what Ginsburg's comments would mean for the then-forthcoming rulings on California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban." (03/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n3jx3y5  

No Comments »

Everybody’s always wrong: Thoughts on TEOTWAWKI scenarios

March 22, 2015
posted by

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe  

"Economists have a special talent for being wrong; they're right up there with psychics for how egregious they can be. (And just like psychics, they like to edit themselves after the fact to show how 'right' they were. The guy who got 9 out of 10 predictions wrong will put up advertising banners touting the one he got sort of semi-correct.) But that's another story. Today the 'everybody's always wrong' topic is TEOTWAWKI." (03/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ms6oq66  

No Comments »

Feeling Clint Eastwood’s disgust

March 22, 2015
posted by

Reason Reason
by Kurt Loder  

"Whatever Clint Eastwood's exact politics may be -- kind of libertarian? sort of conservative? -- his hit movie, American Sniper, waves no flags for America's involvement in the Iraq war. In a film inspired by the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, said to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, Eastwood marshals deep feelings about the moral and physical destruction of war, and he flashes anger toward the higher-ups who guide young warriors to their doom. He doesn't flinch from showing us the full ugliness of combat -- American forces violently invading an Iraqi home, a vicious jihadi taking a power drill to a helpless civilian -- but this is in no way an old-school Hollywood war movie. Eastwood never exults in the brutal action, and throughout the film we can feel his disgust." (for publication 04/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/21/feeling-clint-eastwoods-disgus  

No Comments »

Cliches of Progressivism #49 — “People love Robin Hood story because he took from the rich to give to the poor”

March 22, 2015
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by BK Marcus  

"A carriage is brought to a halt on the road to Nottingham. The nobles within peek past the curtains to see bandits on all sides. They scan the grimy faces of the hostile woodsman to see if they can recognize that famous outlaw, that protector and avenger of the poor and downtrodden, that paragon of armed social justice, that singular personification of class conflict: Robin Hood. Generations have grown up with a heroic ideal of robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. Robin Hood's hawk-eyed archery and fierce swordplay make him popular with kids, and his social conscience endears him to their parents. Only those who are particularly wary of an apparently 'progressive' message in the legend take exception." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/njvc25q  

No Comments »

Punishment’s purpose: How humans became hardwired for justice

March 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Morris B. Hoffman  

"One of the positive things about the media frenzy over cases like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Aurora Theater shooting is that these types of cases remind us there are profound mysteries of the human condition that we usually tune out during our everyday lives: What is the nature of good and evil? When are we responsible for our actions and when should we be excused? Why do we blame and punish, and when do we forgive? These questions are no longer the exclusive domain of religion, law, psychiatry, or philosophy." [editor's note: Nor is the discussion of punishment vs. rehabilitation, which should concern any enlightened society - SAT] (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l4xuvwx  

No Comments »

Hawks are winning the military budget wars

March 22, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Benjamin H Friedman  

"Running the congressional budget process for the first time since 2005, Republicans must navigate their divisions on military spending. The outcome thus far is militarism badly disguised as fiscal restraint. On one side are the military hawks. ... This wing, especially its senatorial variety, is prone to work with hawkish Democrats to raise military spending, which, in practice means raising other domestic spending and taxes. On the other side are budget hawks, who believe that military spending is spending." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pn63xys  

No Comments »

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 03/21/15

March 22, 2015
posted by

The KN@PP Stir KN@PPSTER
by  

"In this episode: Thanks for Asking! -- Q&A on Q&A (not a typo), religion and web site advertising; Google v. Antiwar.com; Maybe I should just be done with Google?" [Flash audio or MP3] (03/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lkqb9dz  

No Comments »

Spanking is always unnecessary, part 6: Divine mandate

March 22, 2015
posted by

Skyler J Collins Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins  

"Many religious people, Christian and not, consider the practice of spanking to be divinely mandated. They'll quote scriptures or popular religious leaders in the attempt to support that belief. If you believe without a doubt that spanking is required by your god, then you likely won't care what I have to say. That's fine; feel free to skip to the end. For everyone else, perhaps we can shed some perspective on things." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lcyj3eg  

No Comments »

How the death tax squeezes small business out of the market

March 22, 2015
posted by

The Libertarian Republic The Libertarian Republic
by Geoffrey Ingersoll  

"It's better to die in the dead of Winter if you’re a small business owner in the air conditioning repair industry. An off-season death means you'll have a smaller inventory, which means the government will have to settle for a smaller percentage of your property when you die, and your family will have a better chance of keeping the company. That's the bizarre reality for many members of HARDI, a trade association composed of about 500 heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration distributors." (03/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/krmn54h  

No Comments »

Right-to-Work [sic] nation?

March 22, 2015
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Gary Jason  

"With the action in Wisconsin, half the states in the union now give liberty to workers to belong or refuse to belong to unions." [editor's note: Actually, every worker in every state has and always has had that liberty. What "right to work" does is force companies to accommodate, and unions to provide services to, freeloaders - TLK] (03/20/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1387  

No Comments »

Discrimination so good it has to be mandated by law

March 22, 2015
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"The state is the worst discriminator of them all. While there are a lot of horrible bigoted assholes in the world they lack one thing the state has: the power to force others to discriminate. I can choose not to associate with a single bigoted asshole but if I refuse to discriminate in the manner decreed by the state I can face fines and/or be locked in a cage for years. Politicians in Florida have introduced legislation that would mandate discrimination but that state certainly doesn't have a monopoly on such shenanigans. The French Parliament has introduced legislation that would require modeling agencies to discriminate against women who are deemed too thin by the arbitrary definitions of the state ..." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kbhslot  

No Comments »

You Don’t Own Me

March 22, 2015
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Timothy Sandefur  

"Lesley Sue Goldstein, who died in February at age 68, was only 17 when her third hit record was released. She'd had her first success, using the stage name Lesley Gore, only a year earlier, with the vapid love pop single 'It's My Party,' a teen melodrama about an evening ruined by her boyfriend's infidelity. ... 'It's My Party' was so successful that it warranted a sequel, 'Judy's Turn to Cry,' recorded less than a week after the release of the previous song. In it, Lesley celebrates her tomcat's return in lyrics both sadistic and masochistic. ... This tone of craven pride at being chief of Johnny's harem is nowhere to be found in Gore's third success. Released as a single in December, 1963, and on her 1964 album, Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts, the song 'You Don't Own Me' is a pronouncement of independence that puts away such childish things." (03/19/15)

http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/you-dont-own-me  

No Comments »

The D&G protest: Direct action or a two-minute hate?

March 22, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Tom Slater  

"The response to D&G-gate was sadly typical of modern gay-rights campaigners. Having fought tooth-and-nail to have a place in the conversation, to seize the right to speak their minds, organise politically and live their lives as they see fit, they are now trying to use the censorious methods of the old establishment in order to shore up these progressive gains. With Christian bakers in Northern Ireland being hauled before equalities courts for refusing to bake a gay-friendly cake, to top CEOs being hounded out of jobs for opposing gay marriages, gay-friendly progressives are fast asserting themselves as the gatekeepers of all debate on gay issues." (03/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n67so2s  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors