Commentary

The Fed’s psyche

July 24, 2016
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"I've seen a number of other people also refer to the Fed's fear of another 1994, when there was a bond market 'bloodbath.' This got me thinking about the Fed's delicate 'psyche,' which is so susceptible to indelible marks. What horrors occurred in 1994, as a result of the bond bloodbath? And where would I look for the evidence? The obvious place to look is in the inflation and unemployment data, which are the two variables that the Fed is instructed to stabilize. Presumably something really, really bad happened to the economy in 1994, and left an indelible market on the Fed. So let's take a look at the inflation and unemployment data, before and after January 1994 ..." (07/23/16)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/07/the_feds_psyche.html  

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Is Hillary Clinton a progressive? Not if she chooses Tim Kaine

July 24, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Jodi Jacobson  

"During the 2016 presidential campaign, former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton has frequently claimed to be a progressive, though she often adds the unnecessary and bewildering caveat that she’s a 'progressive who likes to get things done.' ... One of the first signals of whether Clinton actually believes in a progressive agenda will be her choice of running mate. Reports are that Sen. Tim Kaine, former Virginia governor, is the top choice. The selection of Kaine would be the first signal that Clinton intends to seek progressive votes but ignore progressive values and goals, likely at her peril, and ours." [UPDATE: On Friday night, Hillary Clinton announced that she had in fact selected Virginia senator Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate.] [editor's note: What's fascinating is the range of reaction -- This site and other progressive ones hate it; USA Today thinks it was "inspired"; Reuters wonders if it gets her the "Catholic vote" (Faux Snooze might be still laughing too hard to comment - SAT] (07/22/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19315/is-clinton-a-progressive-not-if-she-chooses-tim-kaine  

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How Obama abandoned the American ethos of justice

July 24, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff  

"When speaking about the war on terror, President Obama frequently invokes a biblical sense of justice that flows from the execution of a judgment through brute force rather than the rule of law. 'Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served,' Obama said in 2014 after ISIS murdered American Steven Sotloff. It is the sense of justice described in The Battle Hymn of the Republic as a 'righteous sentence' meted out with a 'terrible swift sword.' Which may be acceptable rhetoric when used to rally public support in wartime, but is dangerous to democracy when used to govern a civil society." (07/22/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-obama-abandoned-american-ethos-justice  

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Beware the phoney defenders of free speech

July 24, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Tom Slater  

"The news this week that perma-tanned provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned indefinitely from Twitter is yet another grim reminder of the plague of censorship today. But not just because another out-there individual -- in this case, a self-proclaimed Dangerous Faggot, wont to fume about the 'cancer' of feminism and the threat of Syrian 'rapefugees' -- has been silenced. But also because Yiannopoulos and his horde of pimpled 'alt-right' acolytes now seem to be part of the problem. In the fallout from Milo's suspension we've seen that he and other right-wing warriors against PC are not so much puncturing the PC bubble as inflating it." (07/22/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/beware-the-phoney-defenders-of-free-speech-alt-right-milo-yiannopoulos/  

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Good news, America! Trump, Clinton too old for second term

July 24, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Michael Medved  

"Many Americans feel desperately dissatisfied with their choices in this presidential campaign, but they may take some comfort in the thought that serious health issues could yet sideline one, or both, of the major party contenders. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has released comprehensive medical records to address serious concerns about the physical condition of these two aging Boomers. If the 70-year-old Trump wins in November, he’ll become the oldest individual ever to assume the nation’s highest office. If Clinton prevails in November, she’ll be 69 for her January inauguration -- the second oldest in history and just several months younger than Ronald Reagan when he took office. In contrast to other recent contenders who ran for office at an advanced age, these two have treated their health histories with a conspicuous lack of transparency." (07/21/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/21/trump-hillary-age-health-records-medved-column/87285390  

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How Glass-Steagall’s return would shatter America’s hometown banks

July 24, 2016
posted by

John Berlau Competitive Enterprise Institute
by John Berlau  

"Set against the Main Street backdrop of Cleveland, the drafters of the Republican convention platform pledged support for a banking rule signed into law by Democratic icon Franklin D. Roosevelt. The GOP platform commendably calls for repeal of many regulations, including provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, which smothers community banks and credit unions with red tape, at an estimated cost -- according to Meghan Milloy of the American Action Forum -- of $114 per U.S. resident. But then the platform inexplicably urges 'reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment.' Did Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders sneak onto the Republican platform committee?" (07/22/16)

https://cei.org/content/how-glass-steagalls-return-would-shatter-americas-hometown-banks  

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Free market helps economy grow

July 24, 2016
posted by

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal  

"How's the economy treating you? Unless you have a job where people are forced to pay for your services whether they want them or not, things could probably be better. You may have many ideas that could bring in money by offering products and services to people. You just need the chance. The main limiting factor is often the roadblocks to economic growth erected by government -- things like permits, licenses, taxes, and all the other laws and regulations that seem to exist for no reason but to destroy the economy, one entrepreneur at a time." (07/21/16)

http://www.cnjonline.com/2016/07/21/mcmanigal-free-market-helps-economy-grow/  

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Unicorns, mermaids, politicians, and “free”

July 24, 2016
posted by

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

"'Free' may be the most popular word in the English language. It's at least as popular as 'unicorn' and 'mermaid' (two other words for things that don't exist in real life). Everything that's real costs something. When we talk about making something 'free,' what we're really talking about is shifting those costs, either to other payers or to some different method of pricing or payment." (07/22/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/6839  

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What’s taking Little Rock back to its segregated past?

July 24, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Stories about historic efforts to address racial segregation in American public education often start with Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. But the story of Little Rock and segregation badly needs updating. Central High became one of the first practical tests of principles established in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruling that overturned racially separate public schools. When nine black students showed up for opening day of the historically all-white school, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called in the National Guard to prevent them from entering. President Dwight Eisenhower responded by calling in federal troops to escort the students into the school, and Faubus eventually backed down." (07/22/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160722/whats-taking-little-rock-back-to-its-segregated-past  

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Decisive Brexit referendum: What happens next? Part 4

July 24, 2016
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by Kevin Dowd  

"The Brexit vote was never just about whether the Brits would reject rule from Brussels. The real issues were much broader and felt across the whole EU -- an arrogant and undemocratic elite, its disastrous economic policies and an increasing gap between haves and have-nots, the first being the cause of the second and the second the cause of the third. To paraphrase what one disillusioned British voter told The Guardian: if you've got money, you vote in; if you ain't got no money, you vote out. In this context, I would like to quote two poignant open letters from European friends that were sent out just before the UK referendum." (07/23/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/07/23/decisive-brexit-referendum-what-happens-next-part-4-the-eu-enters-its-endgame/  

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Venezuela vs. Ecuador (Chavismo vs. Chavismo dollarized)

July 24, 2016
posted by

Steve H. Hanke Learn Liberty
by Steve Hanke  

"With the arrival of President Hugo Chavez in 1999, Venezuela embraced Chavismo, a form of Andean socialism. In 2013, Chavez met the Grim Reaper and Nicolas Maduro assumed Chavez'[s] mantle. Chavismo has not been confined to Venezuela, however. A form of it has been adopted by Rafael Correa -- a leftist economist who became president of a dollarized Ecuador in 2007. Even though the broad outlines of their economic models are the same, the performance of Venezuela and Ecuador are in stark contrast with one another." (07/22/16)

http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/venezuela-vs-ecuador-chavismo-vs-chavismo-dollarized/  

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“Assault weapon” bans are really about political censorship

July 24, 2016
posted by

TJ Martinell Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell  

"When gun grabbers call for a ban on 'assault weapons' they aren't trying to restrict a weapon. They are trying to censor subversive political artwork. They'd prefer banning all guns if practical, but the current political climate forces them to go after weapons that elicit enough negative emotions that they don't have explain why they should be banned. It's easy to dismiss these visceral reactions to 'assault weapons' as ignorance, irrational fear or political indoctrination." (07/23/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/07/23/assault-weapon-bans-are-really-about-political-censorship/  

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The Trump campaign: A pre-mortem

July 24, 2016
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jon Harrison  

"The Trump campaign went into the Republican convention virtually tied with Hillary Clinton in most national polls. Whether the show in Cleveland helped or hurt Trump will be known in coming days, but poll numbers in July mean nothing for November. And in November Trump will go down, possibly in a landslide. To this point Trump has shown an almost magical ability to overcome obstacles (many of them self-generated) that would have destroyed any other candidate for the presidency. On the road to Cleveland he vanquished no fewer than 16 rivals, including some of the biggest names in the GOP. Yet it seems clear that he has no more chance of stopping Hillary than Merlin had of stopping King Arthur's marriage to Guinevere." (07/23/16)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1580  

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Free Talk Live, 07/23/16

July 24, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Hillary Clinton Leaked Emails Hit Internet :: Pollster Call Excludes Libertarians :: Iraqi Dinar and Investing :: Bayonet :: Blind Reading :: Clueless ATF :: DNC Doing Naughty Things With Media :: Gary Johnson :: Cruz and Trump :: Wasted Vote Syndrome :: Pro Life Mark :: Libertarian Frustrations :: NH Liberty Movement :: Misrepresenting Libertarianism." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/23/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-07-23  

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Free Thoughts Podcast, 07/22/16

July 24, 2016
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by  

"Jonathan Rauch joins us for a discussion on the current political landscape in America. Why are we seeing so many renegade political actors these days?" [various formats] (07/22/16)

http://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/how-american-politics-went-insane  

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Turkey and the war on Afghanistan

July 24, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Glenn Greenwald asks a provocative question: Would Turkey be justified in assassinating or kidnapping a Turkish citizen named Fethullah Gulen, who resides in Pennsylvania. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Gulen of being a terrorist who helped orchestrate the recent military coup attempt in Turkey. What causes Greenwald to ask such a question? The situation is strikingly similar to the events leading up the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, a brutal occupation that has taken the lives of countless Afghan citizens and that continues to this day, 15 years later." (07/22/16)

http://fff.org/2016/07/22/turkey-war-afghanistan/  

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How police handle violence in countries where officers don’t carry guns

July 24, 2016
posted by

Collective Evolution
by Alexa Erickson  

"Confrontation, sporadic violence, and arrests during protests continue to follow the surge of racially biased shooting in the United States. People are angry, confused, and above all, terrified of law enforcement. They have lost faith and trust in the justice system of a nation which prides itself on racial equality. ... This year alone, 569 people have been killed by US police. Many of the circumstances have proven these killings to be unjustified, and many others have made media headlines for their clear racial profiling." (07/15/16)

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/07/15/how-police-handle-violence-in-countries-where-officers-dont-carry-guns/  

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The hollow men

July 22, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Jeffrey Goldberg  

"The neediness of politicians has always fascinated me; the pathological desire for relevance; the plasticity of belief in the service of self-aggrandizement; the depths plumbed in order to stave off insignificance, which can be as frightening as non-existence itself. One of my favorite politicians, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is almost morbidly needy. His desire for attention made him into a brilliant retailer, mainly of himself, but also of his ideas, and intermittently, of his state. His neediness made him greatly entertaining. But it also caused him to betray his own principles. I recognize that it took millions of Republican primary voters to bring America to this frightening moment, a moment in which a preposterous grifter of authoritarian bent whose mental health is the subject of pervasive and anxious speculation, has become a major-party nominee for president. But it was men like Christie who were indispensable in the creation of this moment. Donald J. Trump could have been stopped." (07/21/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/the-hollow-men/492320/  

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Nero fiddles, Twitter burns

July 22, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"When Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, a blogger for the conservative news website Breitbart.com who used the Twitter handle Nero, Yiannopoulos reacted with characteristic modesty. He told The New York Times the ban launched 'the beginning of the end for Twitter.' Oddly, Yiannopouolos may be right. In February, the social media platform announced its 'Trust and Safety Committee.' With Orwellian overtones, CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, 'Twitter stands for freedom of expression, speaking truth to power, and empowering dialogue. That starts with safety.' The San Francisco startup invites all comers to post their thoughts by name or anonymously. The more outrageous the tweets, the more attention they attract. Unbowed, Twitter HQ gets all sanctimonious when trolls get nasty." (07/21/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/21/nero-fiddles-twitter-burns-n2195531  

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Who’s the boss?

July 22, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"This week, Republicans have chosen Donald Trump to be their standard-bearer. Next week, Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. But the only candidate on your ballot to take the U.S. Term Limits pledge is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian." (07/21/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/07/21/29773/  

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Abolish the Department of Education

July 22, 2016
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy Future of Freedom Foundation
by Wendy McElroy  

"The Department of Education (DOE) is one of the most destructive federal agencies because it attempts to control the flow of ideas and information by controlling public schools, including higher education. If a school does not comply, then it gets no federal money. Educators who rebel outright, such as home-schooling parents, are reined in by an ever-tightening net of regulations. Defining people's thoughts and beliefs is the ultimate form of social control." (07/21/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/abolish-department-education/  

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Parental responsibility and the Internet

July 22, 2016
posted by

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal  

"My eight year-old daughter loves the internet. While I see how much it is helping her learn so many things, and increasing her reading ability enormously, I know there are dangers. I have to watch and make sure she doesn't give out personal information, or her location. And have explained why it isn't something I want her to do. I ask her to let me know if anyone gets 'too interested' in her -- although her interaction seems to be limited (so far) to posting comments on Youtube videos. ... I know it is my responsibility to watch out and protect her. I see some parents who seem to resent that necessity, and fall back on 'parental blocking' and such, but it's a job I willingly take on." (07/21/16)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2016/07/parental-responsibility-and-internet.html  

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Unaccountable police unions endanger minorities and everyone else

July 22, 2016
posted by

Shikha Dalmia Reason
by Shikha Dalmia  

"Over the last two weeks, the nation has weathered two horrific retaliatory slayings of police officers, first in Dallas and then in Baton Rouge. In his funeral oration for the slain Dallas officers, President Obama lamented many reasons for the rising 'cycle of violence' between law enforcement and minority communities: Poverty, unemployment, underinvestment in schools, lack of rehab programs, easy availability of guns, and more. Meanwhile, after the Baton Rouge ambush, Donald Trump yet again blamed the breakdown of 'law and order' in inner cities. Surely there is at least some truth to all of this. But there's another critical reform to America's criminal justice system that is little talked about, but very important: Hidebound police unions that block elementary transparency and public accountability at every level." (07/21/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/07/21/unaccountable-police-unions-endanger-min  

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Clinton must go bold (and go left) for VP

July 22, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Word is that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will announce her vice presidential choice on Friday, and rumors that she’s going with a 'safe' pick should worry Democrats. In this political climate, a search for “safety” could put her candidacy in serious danger. The GOP chose Mike Pence as its vice presidential nominee in part because his extremist views will reassure the Republican base. Pence is also a seasoned politician whose nomination is meant to reassure voters who worry that presidential nominee Donald Trump has no experience in statecraft or governance." [editor's note: And neither does Hillary, but ... gee, seems like someone running does ... - SAT] (07/20/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160720/why-clinton-must-go-bold-and-go-left-for-vp  

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Turkey’s elected dictator

July 22, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Alon Ben-Meir  

"Even before the failed military coup, Turkey's President Erdogan governed like a dictator who had the last word on all state matters. The botched coup was nothing but, as he put it, 'a gift from God' to purge what is left of Turkey's democracy and cleanse the army and judiciary in order to ensure the total subordination of all institutions to his whims. For Erdogan, being elected was akin to being granted a license to trample and dismantle all democratic tenets to consolidate his powers and promote his Islamic agenda. As a shrewd and highly skilled politician, Erdogan painted the coup as an assault on democracy, which was supported by a chorus of Western powers, knowing full well that Turkey under Erdogan is anything but a democracy." (07/21/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Turkey-s-Elected-Dictator-by-Alon-Ben-Meir-Dictator_Turkish-President-Recep-Erdogan-160721-533.html  

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