Commentary

Trump is a vanity project run amok

August 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Paul Brandus  

"The dust of history takes many years to settle, but if he loses in November, here is how Donald Trump will likely be remembered 50 or 100 years from now. He’ll be seen by historians as a vanity project run amok; an outlier nominee, an old man with a lifelong flair for hucksterism and unparalleled conceit. Dropped into a vat of bubbling economic and cultural uncertainty and stirred by ratings-starved television executives, the result was a noxious stew that sickened much of the country. He’ll be remembered as having less in common with earlier Republican nominees who fell short, like John McCain and Bob Dole (war heroes who devoted themselves to a lifetime of public service) than with flat-out eccentrics who wormed their way into the system." (08/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/22/trump-donald-legacy-fame-reality-tv-entertainment-republican-history-column/89082144  

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Millennials love free markets, but don’t understand them

August 25, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Brittany Hunter  

"In a recent Reason-Rupe Survey, 58 percent of Americans ages 18–24 said they viewed socialism favorably. However, when asked if they favored a free market economy or a government-managed economy, 64 percent of Millennials said they favored the free market. How is it possible for Millennials to favor both a socialist government and a capitalist economy? The answer is simple, Millennials simply do not understand what either of these words really mean, especially capitalism." [editor's note: Sort of like how Mises Institute writers simply do not understand that "capitalism" and "free markets" are mutually exclusive concepts? - TLK] (08/25/16)

http://mises.org/blog/millennials-love-free-markets-dont-understand-them  

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Obama goes nuclear

August 25, 2016
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Daniel R DePetris  

"President Obama is preparing to cement his legacy with several big changes in U.S. nuclear-weapons policy -- and he's willing to go around the GOP-controlled Congress to do it. 'Top administration officials,' according to Josh Rogin of the Washington Post, 'briefed lawmakers and congressional staffers ... about President Obama’s decision to push for ... U.N. action this September, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.' 'U.N. action' could include a Security Council resolution calling for more states to ratify the CTBT, and for the treaty's current signatories to meet their commitments. The problem is that the administration has chosen yet again to circumvent the legislative branch." (08/25/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/obama-goes-nuclear/  

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Election Demons

August 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ani Kokobobo  

"As a professor of Russian literature, I’ve come to realize that it’s never a good sign when real life resembles a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with its riotous rhetoric and steady stream of scandals, calls to mind Dostoevsky’s most political novel, Demons

https://newrepublic.com/article/136237/election-demons  

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Venezuela’s new firing squad

August 25, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Socialism has failed, again, and in doing so demonstrates something more than economic shortcomings. As the late President Ford warned, 'A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have.' The Venezuelan people have the right to recall the president enshrined in their constitution, a particularly popular right at present ... but the Maduro dictatorship refuses to take prompt, lawful action to facilitate the recall. Not to mention unjustly arresting citizens circulating the recall petition or telling high government ministers to fire any government worker who signs." (08/25/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/08/25/venezuelas-new-firing-squad/  

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Long live the Night Tube

August 25, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Ella Whelan  

"After what seems like a lifetime since it was initially announced, the Night Tube is finally here. From now on, the Central and Victoria lines will run on Friday and Saturday nights, ferrying central-London partygoers back home to the suburbs. And more lines will be added soon. ... But what's the point of a Night Tube if there is nobody around to ride it? Though this is a big step towards a truly 24-hour London, there are various factors -- from panics about binge drinking and sexual assault to local-council clampdowns on clubs and bars -- that are standing in the way of the Night Tube being a success. Worse still, this culture of risk-aversion and puritanism is teaching young people to fear the night, rather than embrace it." (08/25/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/long-live-the-night-tube-london/  

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Another stupid capitalist propaganda meme

August 25, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"[C]apitalism -- in the sense of the actual historic system of political economy that succeeded feudalism five or six hundred years ago -- had its origins in massive robbery and enclosure of most of the earth's land and mineral resources, and continues to get the overwhelming bulk of its profits from rents on state-enforced monopolies, entry barriers, enclosures and subsidies. The present system, both in its origins and its present structure, in no way even remotely approximates a free market. It is a system of massive state subsidies and massive state-enforced monopolies, all in defense of enormous concentrations of stolen property and continuing guaranteed returns on that stolen property. So St Onge and those of their ilk are left with one of two options. Either 1) All that robbery and continued state-enabled wealth extraction is an essential prerequisite of economic progress; or 2) There has been a reduction in poverty DESPITE the capitalist extraction framework, from all the productivity it DIDN'T manage to enclose and rob." (08/25/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/46069  

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Punishing the messenger: Israel’s war on NGOs takes a worrying turn

August 25, 2016
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Ramzy Baroud  

"Israel is, no doubt, feeling embattled. Its carefully carved brand -- that it is an oasis of democracy in an arid authoritarian desert -- is now full of holes. Its occupation, wars and siege in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and the dissemination of images and information about such conduct throughout the Internet and social media platforms is making it impossible for Israel to sustain its official hasbara. Thus, the angry backlash. The Israeli Knesset has been busy passing laws and proposing bills aimed at restricting the work of its own rights groups, or any independent civil society organization that seems, in any way, critical of the government and sympathetic towards the Palestinians." (08/25/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/ramzy-baroud/2016/08/24/punishing-messenger-israels-war-ngos-takes-worrying-turn/  

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A “House of Cards” in Nicaragua

August 25, 2016
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute
by Paul J Bonicelli, PhD  

"When Nicaragua is in the news, it is usually bad news, and so it is once again as it descends into another dynastic dictatorship. The man currently building the latest family-run state is the incumbent president Daniel Ortega, although apparently the irony is lost on him since he led a socialist revolution 40 years ago to overthrow the previous dynasty. The history of Nicaragua is a cycle that runs from dictatorship to democracy and back to dictatorship again; a hope and change story that is now ending very badly. There are heroes of liberal democracy, Nicaraguans from all socio-economic classes who understand the value of democratic capitalism and want to be free, and they deserve our praise and pity, for they have suffered the cruelest fate of having put their country on the right track only to see it return to the road to serfdom." (08/24/16)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/08/24/house-cards%E2%80%99-nicaragua  

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41 straight years of trade deficits yet America still stands strong

August 25, 2016
posted by

Daniel J Ikenson Cato Institute
by Daniel J Ikenson  

"There has been no shortage of hand-wringing about the U.S. trade deficit over the years. Since the 1980s, scolds have been warning about the unsustainability of running trade deficits and the perils that would follow. Today, the heirs of that perspective consider trade balance or a trade surplus to be the objective of trade policy -- and trade deficits proof that the United States is losing at trade. This misguided belief that the trade account is a scoreboard measuring the success or failure of trade policy explains much of the public's skepticism about trade and trade agreements, lends plausibility to Trumptastic claims that the United States is routinely outsmarted by shrewder foreign trade negotiators, and provides cover for the same, recycled protectionist arguments that have persisted without merit for centuries." (08/24/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/41-straight-years-trade-deficits-yet-america-still-stands-strong  

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Postcard from the End of America: Fort Indiantown Gap, PA

August 25, 2016
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Linh Dinh  

"It's remarkable that I've been friends with Giang for nearly four decades. We've spent but a year in the same state and, frankly, have little in common. Giang studied computer science, business administration, and engineering technology. He makes more in a year than I do in ten. He drinks Bud Lite and recycles corny metaphors and analogies. A director of marketing, Giang actually told me, 'I can sell a freezer to an Eskimo.' Driving from California last week, Giang stayed at my sweltering apartment for two nights. Since he had never been to Philly, I took Giang to a decent cheesesteak joint, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell. ... What my friend really wanted to see was Fort Indiantown Gap. In 1975, Giang stayed there as an 11-year-old refugee. The same age, I was at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas." (08/25/16)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/linh-dinh/postcard-end-america-2/  

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How can a libertarian say that? (On incompetent voters and competent market agents)

August 25, 2016
posted by

Jason Brennan Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  

"Roughly 35% of my published work responds to problems of voter ignorance and irrationality. I sometimes get pushback from both libertarians and non-libertarians that goes roughly as follows: 'Wait, so you think average people aren't competent to rule? How can you, a self-described bleeding heart libertarian, say that? Aren't you libertarians committed to the view that people are smart and can run their own lives? That they don't need government to run their lives for them? How can you say that they're smart in the market but dumb at politics? Isn't that a contradictory view of human nature?'" (08/24/16)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/08/can-libertarian-say-incompetent-voters-competent-market-agents/  

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Alcohol bans won’t put dent in campus sexual assault

August 25, 2016
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by Sam Staley  

"Students at Stanford University will be greeted with a ban on hard liquor this fall, all in an effort to control irresponsible behavior among its students and, in part, to address campus sexual assault. Alcohol bans are unlikely to have much of an effect on campus sexual assault and, in fact, might make matters worse. The core of the sexual assault problem on college campuses is one of character, not errant drinking or drug abuse, and prohibition will make it harder, not easier, to address this problem." (08/24/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/08/24/alcohol-bans-wont-reduce-campus-sexual-assault-significantly/  

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Free Talk Live, 08/24/16

August 25, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Live from NH Hempfest day 1 of 4." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/24/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-08-24  

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On feeling the Johnson

August 25, 2016
posted by

Steve Trinward Steemit
by Steve Trinward  

"As a longtime, fairly hardcore libertarian, this year I have felt like I'm stuck between Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand, I am supposed to be horrified that once again the Libertarian Party has picked an ex-Republican (and this time, another one as his running mate) to represent to the public what libertarianism means. On the other hand, I feel like promoting this ticket to my progressive friends, as a clear alternative to the presumed 'choice' between a neocon warmonger and a raving-lunatic crony corporatist! (I also expect to be accused of attempting to 'polish a turd' -- a metaphor all too familiar to my fellow songwriters. Oh well ... !)" (08/24/16)

https://steemit.com/libertarian/@wordmaker7/on-feeling-the-johnson  

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Travel advice for the Islamo-fraidycat set

August 25, 2016
posted by

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs -- Muslim head scarves -- they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren't. The plane eventually took off, but presumably the incident cast a pall over the Dharas family's holiday, as well as throwing the other passengers' travel plans at least a little off-kilter. This is far from the first reported incident of its kind. It's probably far from the last. But it COULD be the last if those suffering from constant, crippling fear of sudden violent death at the hands of terrorists read this and follow a few simple rule of the (so to speak) road." (08/24/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7287  

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A political safari through the wilds of Washington DC

August 25, 2016
posted by

Garry Reed HubPages
by Garry Reed  

"Welcome to the Political Safari, folks. My name is Able S. Kordt and I will be conducting this expedition into the national preserve known as the District of Columbia, a zoological garden set aside for the country's lower order of vertebrates. There are many bizarre creatures one can spot here in just a relatively small area. The best place to see a large variety of life forms is here in this natural-looking manmade habitat. Today we will be observing them during feeding time as they gather at their favorite watering hole." (08/23/16)

http://hubpages.com/politics/A-political-safari-through-the-wilds-of-Washington-DC  

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America’s communist program

August 25, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Why hasn't Zubaydah come to trial? After all, isn't that what the Pentagon's 'judicial' system is supposed to be -- an alternative to the judicial system established by the Constitution? Isn't 14 years a sufficient amount of time to give a person a trial? The reason he hasn't been provided a trial in 14 years is because the Pentagon and the CIA don't want to give him a trial. Equally important, they know that none of the other three branches, including the judicial branch, wields the power to force them to give him a trial. What they've done to Zubaydah is no different from how the North Korean communists treat people who they consider are threats to the national security of North Korea. Don’t forget, after all, that North Korea is a national-security state too, just like the United States became to fight the Cold War." (08/24/16)

http://fff.org/2016/08/24/americas-communist-judicial-system/  

3 Comments »

Statists run amok in France

August 25, 2016
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"There are laws on the books that beg to be flouted. Yes, I hated, for example, the mindless Drug Wars from the beginning and defied the statists without any sense of guilt. Thankfully I never got caught. Many did, however, and too many of them had their lives ruined without mercy. It wasn't so much the drugs that caused the damage; it was the government thugs who trapped them in their nets. It seems that the statists have learned nothing from the days of liquor prohibition when the American people flouted the laws en mass. Today the French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits -- burqinis -- from its beaches." (08/24/16)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2016/08/statists-run-amok-in-france.html  

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Will America finally stop privatizing [sic] everything?

August 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"Is this the beginning of the end of the three-decade-long project of privatizing public functions? Ronald Reagan started us down the privatization path in the 1980s, championing the myth that private enterprise is always and forever more efficient than the government. Last week’s Justice Department decision to not renew 13 contracts with companies managing incarceration facilities for the Bureau of Prisons (and phase out of all federal private prisons over time) has cracked that foundation, perhaps irreparably. Thirteen contracts may seem like too small a disruption to threaten the entire private corrections industry and its $629 million in annual profits. But DOJ’s repudiation has already spurred demands to close other privatized facilities." [editor's note: Like far too many "progressive" pundits, this one confuses cartelization with favored corporate interests with "privatization" - SAT] (08/24/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136256/will-america-finally-stop-privatizing-everything  

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A mandateless election

August 25, 2016
posted by

Michael D. Tanner National Review
by Michael D Tanner  

"Less than half of both Trump and Clinton voters say that they 'strongly support' their candidate. Overall, 57 percent of voters say that they are dissatisfied with both candidates, including 31 percent who are 'very dissatisfied.' Only 13 percent report that they are 'very satisfied' with their choice. Since, barring a Gary Johnson upset or intervention by the Sweet Meteor of Death, one of them will have to win, millions of Americans will be voting for someone they don’t think should be president. In fact, half of all those voting for Clinton and 55 percent of those voting for Trump say that they are actually voting against the other candidate rather than for their choice. That's not exactly what one would call a mandate." (08/24/16)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439276/mandate-govern-will-either-candidate-have-it  

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Mises destroys socialism, again and again

August 25, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Jonathan Newman  

"We need Mises now more than ever. The Federal Reserve is weighing which month to increase their target rate by a quarter of a percentage point, sending the media into a flurry whenever Janet Yellen so much as sneezes. As millions of US voters fall behind a self-avowed socialist, Venezuela's socialist experiment is crashing and burning: Coca-Cola has shut down operations, toilet paper is a luxury item, power outages are regular, and violence and looting are on the rise. This is a prime opportunity to show others the prescience of Mises." (08/24/16)

https://mises.org/library/mises-destroys-socialism-again-and-again  

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The difference between Mr. Chakrabortty and us on foreign aid

August 25, 2016
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"Aditya Chakrabortty tells us that it's very important indeed that the UK continue to shift 0.7% of GDP overseas as foreign aid .... We agree entirely that aiding the poor in becoming rich is a moral imperative. We also agree that there's much that we can do to aid in this process. However, we are with Peter Bauer here, in that foreign aid is all too often taking money from poor people in rich countries to give it to rich people in poor countries." (08/24/16)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/the-difference-between-mr-chakrabortty-and-us-on-foreign-aid  

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The foreign invasion of American politics

August 25, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"As one of my Twitter followers put it so succinctly: 'Globalization: Where leaders from any country get to pick US Presidents.' As the Clinton campaign's Robby Mook tears a page out of Joe McCarthy's book and smears Donald Trump as being 'Putin's puppet,' the irony is that this election has seen foreign interference in American politics to an unprecedented degree -- on Hillary's behalf. In the past, foreign actors tried to hide such activities, rightly thinking that they might encounter resentment -- or even legal consequences -- for trying to meddle in affairs that are none of their damned business. Not anymore." (08/24/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/08/23/foreign-invasion-american-politics/  

1 Comment »

Public option would fix health insurance marketplace [sic]

August 25, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Scott Lemieux  

"Last week's announcement by Aetna that it would stop selling health insurance in 11 of the 15 states where it offers coverage through public exchanges is not a death blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it’s certainly not good news for President Obama’s signature health-care law. Aetna maintained it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars on the health law’s marketplaces, and the company is one of more than a dozen major insurers that have announced plans to bail out of the exchanges. The failure of the marketplaces to generate robust competition, as Obama had predicted, should focus liberal attention on what many on the left now regard as a major policy objective: establishing a public option for the health insurance exchanges." [editor's note: Only if the word "fix" being used as you would when neutering a pet; also note the oxymoronic "health insurance marketplace" - SAT] (08/24/16)

http://prospect.org/article/public-option-would-fix-health-insurance-marketplace  

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