Commentary

Social Security isn’t going away — but it is going to get worse

February 2, 2015
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner  

"Seventy-five years ago, Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont received the first American Social Security check. Ida, who lived to be 100, ultimately collected $22,888 in benefits. Because she had paid only $24.75 in Social Security taxes, the national retirement program turned out to be a very good deal for her. Unfortunately, it's not such a good deal for today's young workers. Thirty year olds now will be lucky to receive a 1.5 percent return on what they pay into the system, far below what they could earn from investing that money privately. In fact, many will die before they get back what they paid in, let alone collect any extra return." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfyur4z  

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The best defense (for the welfare state) is an expensive offense

February 2, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp Center for a Stateless Society
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Anyone who doesn't live under a rock (or whose rock gets bombed periodically) knows that the US government spends more on its military than any other nation-state. A useful way of understanding how MUCH more: If the US 'defense' budget was cut by 90%, it would remain the first or second largest military spender in the world (depending on fluctuations in China's military expenditures). That 90% -- and then some -- is the single largest welfare entitlement program in the US government's budget, even omitting 'emergency supplementals' for the military misadventure of the week and military spending snuck into other budget lines." (01/31/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35430  

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Flag on the word play

February 2, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by John Cole  

Cartoon. (01/30/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/flag-on-the-word-play/  

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Anarcho-lobbyists confront Concord

February 2, 2015
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"For quite some time, Keene activists have been visiting the legislative office building in Concord, NH to attend committee hearings and testify before them. I never much cared for this form of activism. I saw it as begging the State for permission. A deed no dignified anarchist should lower himself to. Then I found out that I could open carry my revolver there." (01/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/plq8bo3  

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Our Armed forces should defend Britain, not promote Liberal neo-colonial interventionism

February 2, 2015
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Robert Henderson  

"The shaping of our armed forces to implement the Blair Doctrine rather than British needs is already well under way. This is exemplified by recent equipment proposals which, at massive cost, lumber Britain with weapons which are not needed. Two giant aircraft carriers have already been ordered at a current estimated cost of £13 billion and a new 'mini-tank' which can be lifted to foreign fields by air is proposed at another £6 billion (Sunday Telegraph London 5 Oct 2003). In addition to these vast equipment projects, Britain is committed to providing a rapid-response force for 'international emergencies' and is being gradually and secretly lured into an EU defence force. The effect of this reshaping of our armed forces is to starve them of the means to defend Britain." (01/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ns6573e  

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“Sons of Liberty”: A review

February 2, 2015
posted by

The Daily Bell
by Nelson Hultberg  

"The History channel's new miniseries, 'Sons of Liberty,' will anger the purists and the prudes. But it will delight the swashbuckler in the rest of us. It is a big, bodacious screening with superb production values that covers the lead-up years to the American Revolution, 1765-1775. Yes, certain liberties are taken with some of the facts and events. The main characters are glamorized. But the essential theme of America's birth is kept intact: we as a nation were spawned by a band of rebels made up of assorted firebrands, smugglers, and philosophers all coalescing together under the rubric of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man." [editor's note: Paine's Rights of Man wasn't published until eight years after the American revolution ended and was far more influential in France and England than in the US. Even his Common Sense wasn't published until six months into the revolution; it made the case for independence, but it didn't spark the fight - TLK] (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n5oaz8u  

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American corruption is exceptional, too

February 2, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Terry Golway  

"He was hardly a household name, and he owed his authority to the votes of a few thousand people on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. But for more than two decades, Sheldon Silver was one of the most powerful people in New York politics. He held up budgets, cut deals, blocked projects he didn’t like and doled out public dollars with little accountability. Governors came and went, but Silver seemingly was speaker of the New York State Assembly for life -- beyond the reach of good-government critics, investigative journalists and ethics watchdogs. Until last week. On Jan. 22, Silver was arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted and brought before a judge, accused of an array of corruption charges." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kgratwg  

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The fall of liberty and human dignity in American Sniper

February 2, 2015
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by Sam Staley  

"Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper's homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, Libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical 'war movie.' In fact, I would argue it's not a war movie at all: it's a character study of the corrupting influence of systemic violence on idealism, especially when that violence is socially and politically justified, and even when those ideals are noble by most conventional measures. Herein lies the lesson (and threat) to liberty, and I believe this theme is told masterfully through the story of Chris Kyle under the direction of Clint Eastwood." (01/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mebunf3  

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The other American revolution: Cops as armed Leninists

February 1, 2015
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"Here and now, the police authorities in the US pose a similar threat to individual liberty that the British military regulars did in North America before 1775. The 'redcoats' are now bluecoats. These are the Jacobin vanguard and the Communard revolutionaries in new garb. When some of the National Socialists held their heads in shame at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin to proclaim that 'orders were orders' did not necessarily absolve the dishonor of what they had visited on their countrymen; this same notion is the instant response by any serving cop in America." (01/29/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3802  

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The reason for hyperinflation-phobia

February 1, 2015
posted by

Mises Canada
by Doug French  

"The New York Times can be forgiven for blaming the empty shelves in Caracas to the plunge in oil. However, a raging hyperinflation cleared the cupboards before the price of oil was cut in half. William Neuman's front page story illustrates what the NYT does best, making economic tragedies personal." (01/01/15)

http://mises.ca/posts/blog/the-reason-for-hyperinflation-phobia/  

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The zeitgeist of no zeitgeist

February 1, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Barry Schwabsky  

"From the 1940s through the early ’60s, the Museum of Modern Art mounted a series of group shows that offered many viewers their first glimpse of some of the most vital new American painting and sculpture of the day. Curated by Dorothy C. Miller, the exhibitions never claimed to capture the zeitgeist, but rather to do nothing more than display new art worth considering. Even the titles of the shows were modest: 'Sixteen Americans,' 'Twelve Americans' and so on. As Miller explained in 1959, 'Differences rather than similarities in point of view, as well as in age, experience and fame, have been emphasized in these exhibitions at the Museum…bringing together distinct and widely varying personalities.'" (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pk8atqw  

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NYPD launches plan to deal with protests — arm police with long rifles, machine guns and extra protective gear

February 1, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"The morphing of 'terrorism' and 'domestic dissent' into an all encompassing and convenient category known as 'domestic terrorists' or 'domestic extremists' has been a long time coming. It has always been my contention, and continues to be, that the oligarchs who have funneled all of the wealth to themselves since the 2008 banker bailouts know exactly what they are doing. They also know that it will eventually result in severe domestic unrest during the next cyclical downturn. As such, the agenda has been to utilize the entirety of the intelligence-industrial-military complex created by the 'war on terror' against the domestic population once it recognizes how badly it has been looted." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mlxujvr  

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Book Review: Saving Congress from Itself

February 1, 2015
posted by

TJ Martinell Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell  

"When it comes to solutions on how to fix the current political dilemmas in America, there are plenty out there to choose. The trouble with them starts when assessing their practicality and realistic outlook on the situation. In his book Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States and Empowering the People, former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley offers his own remedy: The elimination of federal grants." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lamw6p2  

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The minimum wage ravages inner-city Chicago

February 1, 2015
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Although your reporter seems unaware of the fact, your report 'Weak hiring rate persists for teens' (Feb. 1) offers strong and direct evidence for three of the worst consequences that economists have long warned result from minimum-wage legislation." (02/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l27s6ac  

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Katherine Hawkins on The Scott Horton Show

February 1, 2015
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Katherine Hawkins, the National Security Fellow at OpenTheGovernment.org, discusses the lies hidden inside the Senate report on CIA torture; the Office of Legal Council's memos authorizing the program; and the CIA's lies to the credulous Department of Justice." [Flash audio or MP3] (01/30/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/01/30/13015-katherine-hawkins/  

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Does domestic violence really increase on Super Bowl Sunday?

February 1, 2015
posted by

The New Republic
by Alice Robb  

"In the 1990s, reporters began circulating a chilling statistic: Super Bowl Sunday was the most dangerous day of the year for women in abusive relationships. Riled up watching the violence onscreen and often under the influence of alcohol, male football fans were said to unleash their aggression on their partners, leading to a spike in women’s calls to crisis hotlines and visits to the ER. ... Recent events have done little to dispel the idea that there’s a link between football and domestic violence, but this particular stat isn’t substantiated. In fact, the idea that Super Bowl Sunday has the highest rate of domestic violence of all the days in the year was debunked long ago." (02/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ox7clk2  

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Liberal media suddenly very interested in Scott Walker

February 1, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Can the media make Scott Walker the Next Big Thing in Republican presidential politics? With Mitt Romney announcing today that he's breaking my heart by not running, the race is in need of a new storyline. And in the wake of a good performance at the Iowa Freedom Summit -- which I submit is the excuse for, but not the cause of, the sudden interest in Walker -- he's everywhere in the political media." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p3om4ua  

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Everything Voluntary Podcast, 01/30/15

February 1, 2015
posted by

Everything Voluntary Everything Voluntary
by  

"Episode 048 is a conversation on the recent blockbuster 'Interstellar' and its allegorical value. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the Grimm's Fairy Tales are also briefly touched on. And Skyler encourages Phil to start a podcast on the allegories found in popular media." [Flash audio or MP3] (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mnr9bpy  

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The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 01/31/15

February 1, 2015
posted by

The KN@PP Stir KN@PPSTER
by  

"In this episode: AMA answers on professional wrestling, my reading/writing influences, my historical interests, where I'd like to eat, and Nietzsche. Also, muh $$$." [Flash audio or MP3] (01/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/keaszfd  

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Astonishing life, astonishing performance

February 1, 2015
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen  

"If you, too, are looking for clues to Hawking's elusive equation, The Theory of Everything isn't the place to look. Although it does contain a few brief and basic conversations about Hawking's research along the lines of 'quantum theory governs subatomic particles; relativity governs the planets,' the film decidedly is not about physics. Instead, it is an intensely personal film about how a family copes with the day-to-day emotional and physical trauma caused by a debilitating disease. And yet, it's not about that either." (01/30/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1366  

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Observations Podcast, 01/30/15

February 1, 2015
posted by

QandO Podcast QandO
by  

"Social justice warriors. How damaged are they as human beings?" [MP3] (01/30/15)

http://www.qando.net/podcast/Observations20150130.mp3  

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US escalation in Ukraine is illegitimate and will make matters worse

February 1, 2015
posted by

Michael S. Rozeff LewRockwell.com
by Michael S Rozeff  

"Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at Brookings, writes 'The West, including the United States, needs to get serious about assisting Ukraine if it does not wish to see the situation deteriorate further. That means committing real money now to aid Ukraine's defense.' He's dead wrong. No matter who is in the right or wrong in Ukraine, the U.S. shouldn't intervene further. It shouldn't have intervened in the first place." (01/31/15)

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/01/michael-s-rozeff/us-escalation/  

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California’s “cruel and unusal” prisons

February 1, 2015
posted by

Reason Reason
by Zach Weismueller  

"In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California's treatment of its state prison population violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on 'cruel and unusual punishment,' and ordered the state to reduce prison overcrowding. But even with liberal Democrats running the state, it has taken court orders and direct voter referendums to ameliorate the problem. Why? Part of the blame lies with the close ties between the party and organized labor." (02/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/31/californias-cruel-and-unusual  

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Weeding out the rational basis of criminal law

February 1, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Josie Appleton  

"In Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, a cart or horse could be prosecuted for killing a man. In the Middle Ages, insects were put on trial for their destruction of crops. With the development of notions of legal responsibility, however, dumb objects and animals ceased to be held responsible for harm they unwittingly inflicted. But now the UK government has rolled back the wisdom of centuries and has started using criminal powers for the punishing of invasive vegetation." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/klk6z6r  

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Cliches of Progressivism #42 — “Jesus Christ was a progressive because he advocated income redistribution to help the poor”

February 1, 2015
posted by

Lawrence W. Reed Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W Reed  

"You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate the deceit in this canard. You can be a person of any faith or no faith at all. You just have to appreciate facts." (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/puc4fn9  

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