Commentary

Americans’ fading love of freedom

July 21, 2014
posted by

James Bovard JimBovard.com
by Jim Bovard  

"Today’s Americans demonstrate little of their forefathers’ passion for freedom. How many college students would happily permit the government to copy all their email and computer hard drives in return for unlimited free music downloads? How many Wal-Mart gift certificates would it require for a typical citizen to forfeit all his Fourth Amendment rights, entitling government agents to search his car, house and himself whenever they chose without a warrant? How many McDonald’s gift certificates would it take to sway a person to pledge never to publicly criticize the president? How many senior citizens would agree to support the ruling party in perpetuity in return for a 20 percent boost in their Social Security benefits? Many Americans are more comfortable rattling a tin cup for more benefits than in standing up and denouncing political abuses." (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m5xxyjr  

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Interview: Stephan Kinsella

July 21, 2014
posted by

The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile  

Kinsella: "In my view, the bleeding heart types are by and large barely libertarian, and promote horrible and statist ideas, such as a basic guaranteed income, an insane proposal that most libertarians for the last fifty years could have instantly recognized as a socialistic and unjustified positive right. By contrast, the anarchist left-libertarians are by and large great. That said, I personally think the best and most consistent approach to libertarianism is Misesian-Rothbardian-Hoppean anarcho-libertarianism, sometimes called anarcho-capitalism." (07/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9ek5s7  

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Tolerating government not a virtue

July 21, 2014
posted by

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal  

"Tolerance is sold to us as some sort of virtue when it’s nothing of the sort. It’s simply putting up with something, or someone, you hate. I don’t want or need any government, but how much could I tolerate?" (07/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lh6lg7z  

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The Argument from Conscience

July 21, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Instead of harping on utilitarians' moral weakness, the Argument from Conscience begins by singling out the most morally exemplary utilitarians. Take Bill Dickens. I've known Bill for almost a quarter-century. In all these years, I have repeatedly witnessed him spontaneously take unpleasant actions out of a sense of moral duty. I have never witnessed him treat another person badly. Ever. While Bill Dickens is a man of conscience, he's also officially a utilitarian or near-utilitarian. How could his extreme scrupulousness possibly discredit his utilitarian philosophy Simple. Like every other utilitarian, his behavior is wildly at odds with utilitarianism's demands." (07/21/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/07/the_argument_fr_1.html  

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Obama says he ended the “war on drugs.” Don’t believe him

July 21, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Jonathan Blanks  

"The Obama administration says it wants to de-stigmatize drug addiction. But no matter how hard it tries, it’s virtually impossible to de-stigmatize behavior that is still a crime. And the administration is doing little to actually de-stigmatize drug use. Despite their supposed adherence to 'evidence-based practices,' officials steadfastly refuse to consider legalization or decriminalization, even though the evidence unambiguously shows drug prohibition has been a disaster." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2uf8ka  

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The triumph of dubious death penalty appeals

July 21, 2014
posted by

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

"A (all bow) federal judge has ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional because the state's 'dysfunctional administration' has meted out the punishment to more than 900 murderers, but imposed it on 'only 13' since 1972. That's too arbitrary, wrote U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney of Santa Ana. ... It doesn't bother Carney that Death Row inmates' lawyers have created that preposterous sentence -- remote possibility of death -- by slowing the wheels of justice with dubious time-sucking appeals. If appellate attorneys think delays are too painful for their clients, maybe they should curb their appeals." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qhavr4n  

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War, peace and Murray Rothbard

July 21, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman  

"Murray's subject was war between nation-states -- governments -- but he believed that interstate warfare could not be understood without focusing first on individuals and the violent conflicts between them. After all, governments are groups of individuals that have their status as governments in virtue of their specific relationship to their subject populations. There is no independently existing entity called 'the state.'" (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/plylk7b  

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Guilty until proven innocent: A frightening proposal from down under

July 21, 2014
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by John Engle  

"The Labour Party, the main opposition political party in New Zealand, made headlines last week when it announced its proposed policy for trying people accused of rape. According to the party’s justice spokesman, Andrew Little, the party is proposing that the burden of proof be reversed in rape trials. In other words, people accused of rape would have to prove their innocence. It is quite astonishing that any mainstream party in a Western democracy could actually entertain the idea of eliminating, even in one instance, the presumption of innocence." (07/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvldvzy  

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Warren 2014 more important than Warren 2016

July 21, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Over at Politico Magazine today, I analyzed the meaning of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s busy 2014 schedule, stumping and raising money for a wide range of Democratic candidates on the ballot this November. Many speculate this has something to do with 2016, but she has repeatedly and emphatically denied any presidential bid. Instead, people should pay attention to what she is saying on policy matters, how she is saying it, which candidates are following her lead, and gauging how well her message works on the trail. She is pioneering an 'us-versus-them' argument that fingers 'Wall Street' as the obstacle to progressive reform, an approach that’s subtly different from what President Obama is delivering on the stump." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmou66p  

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Rising demand hits static supply: What shall we do?

July 21, 2014
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"So here’s a little puzzler. Imagine that we had some good or service that was in limited supply. And that then demand for that good or service rose. What could or should we do to deal with this problem? For obviously some of those who desire that good or service are going to be disappointed given that we cannot increase supply. The obvious logical answer is that we should increase the price of that good or service. Then we get the Mail ..." (07/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/jwsujdt  

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Ray McGovern on The Scott Horton Show

July 21, 2014
posted by

Ray McGovern The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer turned political activist, discusses who might be responsible for the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/18/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/07/18/071814-ray-mcgovern/  

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Dear Mr. Murdoch: Save yourself 80 billion bucks

July 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"The first time Rupert Murdoch tried to acquire Warner, Ronald Reagan was completing his first term as president, the Bell System break-up was nearly finished, and the first Macintosh had just gone on sale. Murdoch’s aim was to construct an entertainment-information conglomerate on top of his existing newspaper properties. When Warner (or Warner Communications, as the parent company was called then) spurned his 1984 offer, he promptly went on to purchase 20th Century Fox as his bedrock and from that base built an international company that includes a American broadcast network, 28 terrestrial U.S. television stations, several satellite broadcasting entities, a profusion of cable television channels, an immensely profitable news network, and more." (07/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nbcckk8  

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Moral responsibility & the Israel-Palestinian conflict

July 21, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"As Israel begins a ground invasion of Gaza in which hundreds of civilians will almost certainly be killed and the endless misery of the people who live there will only intensify, we haven't actually seen much debate about the subject here in the U.S. There's plenty of news about it, but unlike most issues, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one we don't actually argue about much. There aren't dueling op-eds in every paper the way there are when even a country Americans care far less about, like Ukraine, works its way into our attention." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2qdohv  

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Cliches of Progressivism #14 — healthcare is a right

July 21, 2014
posted by

Max Borders Foundation for Economic Education
by Max Borders  

"Healthcare is important. People get sick and injured. As compassionate human beings, we should do what we can, within reason, to see that people are treated -- especially when they don’t have the means to get treatment themselves. We can build and support charity hospitals. We can volunteer for free clinics. We can take sensible policy measures that will reduce the costs of and increase access to medical goods and services. But we cannot pretend that healthcare is a right." (07/18/14)

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/14-healthcare-is-a-right  

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Thomas Paine vs. Edmund Burke, part 11

July 21, 2014
posted by

George H. Smith Libertarianism.org
by George H. Smith  

"The first thing to understand about Paine’s welfare scheme, as presented in Part Two of Rights of Man, is that it was part of a broader plan for a drastic reduction of taxes by the English government. Paine estimated that current (1792) taxes in England totaled around 17 million pounds per annum. Most of this was spent on privileged governmental elites and a bloated military, whereas the expenses for 'a sufficient peace establishment for all the honest purposes of government' would only amount to around 1.5 million pounds. Paine understood that in most cases 'when taxes are once laid on, they are never taken off.'" (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nafscd5  

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Is cheap, public Internet possible?

July 21, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by David Sirota  

"The business lobby often demands that government get out of the way of private corporations, so that competition can flourish and high-quality services can be efficiently delivered to as many consumers as possible. Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with corporate forces demanding the government squelch competition and halt the expansion of those high-quality services. Whether and how federal officials act may ultimately shape the future of America’s information economy. The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where officials at the city’s public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p6sqr8z  

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The ideology of totalitarian humanism

July 21, 2014
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Keith Preston  

"Many on the alternative Right are inclined to refer to PC as 'cultural Marxism.' In some ways, this is an apt metaphor, as the PC ideology bears a resemblance to the reductionist concept of class antagonism that orthodox Marxism advances. ... However, PC could in some ways be compared with totalitarianism from the other end of the political spectrum." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q5jznc3  

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A painful silence from New York’s progressive congressmen on drone killings

July 21, 2014
posted by

Come Home America Come Home America
by staff  

"A bill currently pending in Congress would require the administration to come clean about the killings it is carrying out with drones around the world. ... But some members of Congress have been slow to get on board. Notably absent are the members of the Progressive Caucus from New York State ..." (07/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oqeng2y  

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Meet the billionaire funders of the anti-diplomacy lobby

July 21, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Eli Clifton  

"My colleague Ali Gharib and I just published an article in The Nation in which we explore how hawkish, deep-pocketed organizations hold disproportionate influence in shaping the discussion about Iran-policy on Capitol Hill. These groups, in no small part due to their outsize budgets, shape sanctions legislation, dominate witness lists at congressional hearings, and help lead the opposition to the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwaapau  

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QandO Podcast, 07/18/14

July 20, 2014
posted by

QandO Podcast QandO
by  

"Michael, and Dale talk about The Malaysian Airlines tragedy, Obama, and aggressive policing." [various formats] (07/18/14)

http://www.qando.net/?p=16967  

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Techno-libertarianism: Building the case for separation of technology and state

July 20, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Clyde Wayne Crews  

"I like to think it makes sense that libertarianism -- or classical liberal ideas -- would resonate in places like Silicon Valley; that techies could and should make a powerful, united case for 'Separation of Technology and State.' Alas, many are capital-D Democrats. Of course, libertarians tend to see Democrats vs. Republicans as a battle between the leopards and the ocelots: they’re both cats with spots. Nonetheless, libertarians and classical liberals appear to be finding a foothold in Silicon Valley." (07/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/phppzza  

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Protectionism

July 20, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Protectionism is government intimidation unleashed against consumers to oblige them to buy products that they prefer not to buy. Protectionism is force that enriches the politically powerful at the expense of the politically impotent. Protectionism is business people capturing rents from receiving special favors from the state rather than earning profits from giving good service to the public. Protectionism is the myth that money belongs not to consumers who earned it peacefully but to suppliers who steal it coercively." (07/17/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/07/protectionism.html  

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Yglesias on the gold standard

July 20, 2014
posted by

Steven Horwitz Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Steve Horwitz  

"Yglesias points out that unless every country goes to a gold standard, you won’t get the benefits of stable exchange rates. And he does have a point here, but that’s all the more reason to convince those other countries to move to some sort of commodity standard as well! Notice too that this is not a way in which gold makes things worse – it just doesn’t make something better. So if gold has other advantages, this point is a wash with the status quo." (07/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lmxhema  

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We’re from the government and we’re here to screw up your health care

July 20, 2014
posted by

Campaign For Liberty Campaign for Liberty
by Norm Singleton  

"Obamacare is not the only way the Congress authorizes federal bureaucrats to drive up the cost of health care. Congress also passes feel good laws authorizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose regulations on doctors. For example, the FDA issued a new 'guidance' in response to a new law giving the agency new authority to regulate compounding." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjaxx5f  

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New York launches BitLicense proposal — how bad is it?

July 20, 2014
posted by

A Lightning War for Liberty
by Michael Krieger  

"The power vested in Ben Lawsky as the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York goes against everything I believe in. Rather than decentralized decision making, he wields an enormous amount of centralized power, which could ultimately affect billions of people. I don’t think anyone should ever wield this kind of authority. However, this isn’t his fault, it is simply the destructive paradigm under which we live. While I do not accept this paradigm and am willing to dedicate much of my time and effort toward moving us into a decentralized, globally interconnected, peer-to-peer world, we are not there yet." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/od5a7gv  

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