Commentary

The good scandal

May 23, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"The controversy over whatever might have happened at the Veterans Health Administration, particularly the V.A. facility in Phoenix, is going to get some elevated attention now that President Obama came out before the press to address it. If there has to be an administration scandal, this is a good one to have. Let me explain what I mean. The most important reason is that there is actually a problem at the V.A., or more correctly a series of problems, that need to be solved." (05/22/14)

http://prospect.org/article/good-scandal  

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Accountability in currency

May 23, 2014
posted by

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Elizabeth Kibby  

"Imagine a world without a regulated currency, in which the legal system has no part in the flow of the people’s money. A world where individuals are responsible for their own purchases, transactions, and consequences. What would it be like? Could this world and its inhabitants exist, thrive, and function peacefully and cooperatively?" (05/22/14)

http://dailyanarchist.com/2014/05/22/accountability-in-currency  

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The deal that never died

May 23, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Theo Anderson  

"The New Deal is responsible for such a large share of the nation's infrastructure that it is, in some ways, a victim of its own success—pervasive but invisible. Its most famous legacy, Social Security, transformed life for the elderly in the United States—a landmark achievement in itself. But the New Deal also transformed life for the entire nation in ways that we now take for granted. Its programs built thousands of roads, bridges and buildings that are still in use, created and improved a vast number of public parks and utilities, and initiated a flowering of public art." [editor's note: And fostered a culture of dependency & political constituencies that have helped to destroy the "America" we once revered - SAT] (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/palb4ut  

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Eight jury nullification objections rebutted

May 23, 2014
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Steve Silverman  

"When Paul Butler was a prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he observed that 'there was rarely nullification in crimes with victims; jurors voted 'not guilty' in those cases because they had reasonable doubt about the government’s evidence, often because they didn’t believe the police.' This tendency among jury nullification critics to conflate reasonable doubt acquittals with nullification confuses the issue. It also sets juries against an impossible standard of perfection that we don’t expect from any other players in the criminal justice system." (05/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qyvfyox  

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Not horsing around

May 23, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"[C]itizens of Utah are upset that the number of wild horses now being rounded up by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is too few to protect the environment. In response, the BLM explains that its budget is too tight to justify spending additional sums to round up more horses. An easy solution is available: politicians can simply declare that additional expenditures on horse round-ups are worthwhile. After all, President Obama teaches us that government can make additional expenditures by businesses on employing low-skilled workers worthwhile simply by raising the minimum wage (that is, by government declaring that all low-skilled workers are now worth whatever wage government declares these workers to be worth)." (05/22/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/05/not-horsing-around.html  

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Another week of government lawlessness

May 23, 2014
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Tenth Amendment Center
by Andrew P. Napolitano  

"What if the federal government is shameless? What if it personifies the adage of do as I say and not as I do? What if it does the very things it prosecutes others for doing? What if it has written laws and enacted procedures so that it can spy and kill, while it charges others with doing just that?" (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oo4o2vl  

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Our world of persecution and intolerance

May 23, 2014
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"The 21st century is supposed to be a time of liberal enlightenment. But the reality looks very different. Instead of a world of mutual understanding and tolerance, people around the globe face spreading violence and human rights abuses. Religious persecution continues to rise. The latest report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom documents the worst manifestations of this attack on the most basic liberty of conscience." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ppmtbb7  

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Cartels and subsidies in Canadian agriculture

May 23, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Predrag Rajsic  

"Canada, a federal state consisting of 13 federal units -- ten provinces and three territories -- has a relatively long history of agricultural policy. While sometimes similar to American agricultural policies, there are key differences with Canadian agriculture that may help illustrate the economic costs of intervention in differing economies." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qyz6fbl  

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Frak! Has your mother sold her mangle?

May 23, 2014
posted by

Sarah Skwire Foundation for Economic Education
by Sarah Skwire  

"I was all ready to write a column about Anthony Trollope, Francis Hodgson Burnett, and women’s property rights, when Brighton, Michigan, decided to start enforcing $200 fines against people who swear in public. This was such a perfect demonstration of the extension of Skwire’s First Law from politicians to those who enforce the laws enacted by politicians that I had to shelve my original plans and devote this week’s column to the question of cussing." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oy6oxfs  

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San Francisco, haul up your golden drawbridge

May 23, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"San Francisco, open your Golden Gate / You'll let nobody wait outside your door. Those are the lyrics of the city's signature song, but now somebody should call Rewrite. Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted to bar nonresidents' cars from the crooked part of Lombard Street on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between June 21 and July 13. Last year, the agency banned tour buses from driving by the iconic Painted Ladies on Alamo Square. Thanks to well-heeled city residents who can afford to live in these world-famous properties, San Francisco is hoisting a Golden Drawbridge." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/njozx59  

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Rand Paul and Marco Rubio’s worst nightmare: Trapped between crazy GOP base and actual reality

May 23, 2014
posted by

Salon
by Paul Rosenberg  

"Last week, 2016 speculation/news was dominated by Karl Rove’s possibly botched smear attack on Hillary Clinton. But the real 2016 news was just how badly three prominent Republican aspirants were doing: the once dominant Chris Christie, who’s arguably just seen the last three nails in his coffin; Marco Rubio, whose high-profile global warming denialism seems to have come at just the wrong time; and Rand Paul, with his one-step-forward, two-steps-back move on voter ID laws." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q664rgd  

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Punishment first, trial later or never

May 22, 2014
posted by

OpenMarket.org
by Hans Bader  

"Imagine if you could be expelled from your dorm, or a class, just because someone accused you of something -- even if the accusation was so weak or thinly-grounded that it never even led to a disciplinary hearing against you, or the complainant was unwilling to even let you have the opportunity to clear your name. Such 'interim measures' by colleges seem to be what the Education Department recently required of Tufts University in Massachusetts, as a condition of settling a Title IX investigation against it after it found a student not guilty of sexually assaulting a classmate who denied those charges, after he convinced it that the complainant was not credible and had clearly lied about her medical history." (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/osu2edj  

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Piketty on inequality

May 22, 2014
posted by

Randall Holcombe Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe  

"When one looks at the remarkable accomplishments of capitalism, an economic system that is roughly 250 years old, among its top accomplishments is how much it has done to improve the standards of living of average citizens and the working class. The rich have always been very comfortable, and capitalism has brought a level of comfort to working-class people today that would have been unimaginable to even the most well-off people a century and a half ago. Why should average citizens be concerned about the wealth of the very well-off if the system that makes them well-off produces prosperity for everyone? Evidence suggests that most people are not that concerned." (05/21/14)

http://blog.independent.org/2014/05/21/piketty-on-inequality/  

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Decrying Ukraine “fascists,” Putin allies With Europe’s far right

May 22, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"Vladimir Putin may or may not have blinked on Ukraine. His promise, thrice made, to withdraw Russian troops along the border has yet to be carried out, it appears, but the Russians seems resigned to the idea that Ukraine will hold its presidential election this Sunday, May 25. And the pro-Russian separatists who’ve declared various 'people’s republics' here and there in Ukraine’s east are losing steam. ... But, please, Mr. Putin, stop with the talk about Ukraine being run by 'Nazis' and 'fascists' -- at least as long as you’re in league with actual pro-fascist parties in Europe." (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m9yy2t2  

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All about Blackshades

May 22, 2014
posted by

Mother Jones
by Dana Liebelson  

"Here's why you might want to update your anti-virus software, or, if you're prone to dancing around your room naked, at least put a piece of tape over your webcam." (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oekg5ns  

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Specialty drugs and pharmacies

May 22, 2014
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon M. Herrick  

"Patients benefit enormously from safe and effective drug therapies. Highly advanced specialty drugs and biological agents are increasingly used to treat rare diseases and disorders for which there were no treatments only a few years ago. Advanced drug therapies are very expensive, and often require special handling and extensive patient monitoring. Yet, many states have enacted regulations and ill-conceived public policies that force health plans to utilize drug providers who are unqualified to administer these exacting therapies. " (05/22/14)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st355  

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Barack Obama is a king, not a president

May 22, 2014
posted by

Fox News Forum
by FH Buckley  

"Today President Obama is a controversial figure, but let me offer my prediction about the judgment of history. I think he’ll be remembered as the most consequential American president since George Washington. Washington was the 'indispensable man' because he returned to civilian life when he might have crowned himself king. For his part, Obama will be remembered as the person who assumed king-like powers as president." [editor's note: Been calling him "the emperor" for years; a "king" is at least somewhat bound by a Parliament! - SAT] (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o67bhna  

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Krugman on VA health care as a model for reform

May 22, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P. Murphy  

"I sometimes fancy myself as a sophisticated economist who knows what’s up, wise to all the hijinx and mayhem flowing out of DC. But nope, I am still a little bunny cowering in the corner. Yesterday I actually hesitated before relating the VA hospital scandal to ObamaCare and socialized medicine more broadly, wondering if that was somehow taking a cheap shot. But thanks to Chris Rossini’s wonderful find, we can see that nope–not a cheap shot at all." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o26ycnu  

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Everything Voluntary Podcast, 05/22/14

May 22, 2014
posted by

Everything Voluntary Everything Voluntary
by  

"Episode 022 is a conversation on tolerance, intolerance, and strategic considerations on increasing intolerance toward statism and bad parenting practices." [Flash audio or MP3]

http://tinyurl.com/q84pzwh  

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China’s ascent in world transport

May 22, 2014
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Wendell Cox  

"After years of closing the gap with the United States, China built enough freeways in 2013 to amass the greatest length of freeways in the world. Between 2003 and 2013, China expanded its national expressway system, with interstate (motorway in Europe) standard roadways from 30,000 to 105,000 kilometers (18,000 to 65,000 miles). This compares to the 101,000 kilometers (63,000 miles) in the United States in 2012. China’s freeway system is also longer than that of the European Union, which was 70,000 kilometers in 2010 (43,000 miles) and Japan (8,000 kilometers or 5,000 miles) as is indicated in Figure 1 (Note 1). The ascent of China is evident across the spectrum of transport data, both passenger and freight." (05/22/14)

http://blog.heartland.org/2014/05/chinas-ascent-in-world-transport/  

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Nigeria and Chad: What could possibly go wrong?

May 22, 2014
posted by

Come Home America Come Home America
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"It looks like a fairly minor goodwill gesture, and of course all decent human beings want to see the girls returned safely home. But there’s more to it than that. Even this minimal US presence in Chad and Nigeria benefits Boko Haram and damages both Nigeria and the US (as well as possibly fomenting rebellion in Chad)." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pdsb8cy  

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Kudos to President Correa

May 22, 2014
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"Good for Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa for kicking USAID out of his country. If only every nation in the world would do that. While part of USAID’s activities ostensibly relate to helping 'the poor,' that’s just a cover to disguise the real mission of the agency: to act in tandem with the CIA to engage in political activity designed to effect regime change in foreign countries. To Correa’s credit, USAID is not the only U.S. agency he’s evicted from Ecuador. He’s also kicked the DEA out of the country. Moreover, he forced the Pentagon to close down one of its imperialist bases in Ecuador and depart the country." (05/22/14)

http://fff.org/2014/05/22/kudos-to-president-correa/  

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America’s electronic police state

May 22, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy Foundation for Economic Education
by Wendy McElroy  

"The modern surveillance state is referred to as an electronic police state because it uses technology to monitor people in order to detect and punish dissent. The authorities exert social control through spying, harsh law enforcement, and by regulating 'privileges' such as the ability to travel. But all of this starts with surveillance." (05/21/14)

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/americas-electronic-police-state  

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Good news vs. “pessimism porn”

May 22, 2014
posted by

John Stossel Fox News Forum
by John Stossel  

"Are you worried about the future? It's hard not to be. If you watch the news, you mostly see violence, disasters, danger. Some in my business call it 'fear porn' or 'pessimism porn.' People like the stuff; it makes them feel alive and informed. Of course, it's our job to tell you about problems. If a plane crashes -- or disappears -- that's news. The fact that millions of planes arrive safely is a miracle, but it's not news. So we soak in disasters -- and warnings about the next one: bird flu, global warming, potential terrorism. I won Emmys hyping risks but stopped winning them when I wised up and started reporting on the overhyping of risks. My colleagues didn't like that as much." (05/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qznx6pw  

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Flagmania in Pennsylvania

May 22, 2014
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"American flag worshippers in Pennsylvania are in a state of furious apoplexy over a man among them who last week had the temerity to exercise his First Amendment freedom of speech right to desecrate their sacred symbol of government Authority! Joshuaa Brubaker spray painted a political message on his own flag and then hung it upside down outside his own private home. So the cops are charging him with a crime. Now he’s facing misdemeanor charges for desecration and insults to the American flag -- the flag that belongs to him." (05/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pwtz5ot  

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