Commentary

The levee gonna break — debt, demographics, productivity and financialization

May 23, 2016
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd  

"The absolute level of debt is another factor which is impeding economic potential. Whilst credit creation in the private sector has been choked by continuous regulatory tightening of leverage rules for financial institutions, the capital requirements for investing in “risk-free” assets – ie. Bankrolling the state – has remained unchanged. Meanwhile the reduction of official interest rates to below the level of inflation has enabled governments around the world to dramatically expand deficit financing." (05/23/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/05/the-levee-gonna-break-debt-demographics-productivity-and-financialization/  

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Airport lines and the TSA

May 23, 2016
posted by

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman  

"This summer, air travel is for people who expect to go to hell and want to know what it will be like. Security lines have reached epic lengths in many airports. Thousands of travelers have missed flights. And the Transportation Security Administration now advises passengers to arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights -- and three in some places. The agency in charge of aviation security has become a major problem. That's odd, because it was supposed to be a solution. Nearly 15 years after it was created, it's a case study of how firm, well-intentioned government intervention can produce an exploding cigar." (05/23/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/05/23/airport-lines-and-the-tsa-your-governmen  

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Free Talk Live, 05/22/16

May 23, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Supermajority of American Indians Not Bothered by Washington Redskins :: New Mexico :: TX Cop Blocker Dumps Thousands of Pennies in Courthouse :: Indoctrinated Millenials and Science :: Jury Trials in Texas :: Market Protection and Alternatives to Police :: Cantwell :: Clintons Stealing :: More about Cell 411." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/22/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-05-22  

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Words you should never utter: “Federal bathroom policy”

May 23, 2016
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey  

"Last week, the Obama administration issued bathroom directives to all public schools in the United States. Today, I eagerly await White House direction on how to wipe my butt. I challenge anybody to reconcile presidential bathroom directives with Madison’s words in Federalist #45." (05/22/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/05/22/words-you-should-never-utter-federal-bathroom-policy/  

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The high price of security theater

May 23, 2016
posted by

James Bovard Reason
by James Bovard  

"That fact that the war on terror has been expensive will surprise no one. Since 2001, the U.S. government has laid out mind-boggling sums to keep the homeland safe from violent extremists. There was the $30 billion raise for the FBI that didn't see 9/11 coming and $70 billion for the bureaucrats who have consistently failed to keep our airports safe. Add in more than $200 billion for a new Cabinet-level department to coordinate all of this activity and half a trillion for mass surveillance, plus the incredible costs of a decade and a half of military action abroad, and the total comes to a whopping $4 trillion. Where did all that money go?" (for publication 06/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/05/22/the-4-trillion-war-on-terror  

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Blocking a highway is not protected speech

May 23, 2016
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"A news article in the Christian Science Monitor last week was headlined: AZ: Inspired by Trump, new state law redefines free speech. Naturally, as a lifelong devotee of the First Amendment, I was curious to find out exactly what this was all about. ... The headline implied that Donald Trump somehow manipulated the Arizona legislature into passing a law redefining the meaning of free speech. Of course, if that were true, such a law would be unconstitutional. But (as is too often the case with the news media) the editor who wrote that headline was only demonstrating his ignorance of First Amendment law. Instead of redefining the meaning of free speech, the new Arizona law would penalize those attempting to deny others their First Amendment rights." (05/22/16)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2016/05/blocking-highway-is-not-protected-speech.html  

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Revisiting the Great Conspiracy: Who really runs the world?

May 23, 2016
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"Over the years many individuals and groups like theologians, philosophers, conspiracy theorists, Marxists, International Communists, Occupy Wall Street, and an array of libertarian thinkers have stepped forward to explain who really controls the world. The answer, according to findings published back in a 2011 New Scientist article based on a study 'by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich,' is a 'capitalist network' of transnational corporations (TNCs). They were 'the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power.'" (05/20/16)

http://www.examiner.com/article/revisiting-the-great-conspiracy-who-really-runs-the-world-1  

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Socialism is forever

May 23, 2016
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith  

"Back in the 'bad' old days, before we unbelievably sicced a communist President on ourselves, we might well have done something assertive and shooty to liberate the poor folks of Venezuela, just as we rescued those of Grenada from the our new friends, the nasty old Cubans. I expect that about now, a pack of Cub Scouts could probably outfight the Venezuelan Army, busy as it is, stealing people's chickens. They do have lots of oil, down there. But we don't do horrible stuff like that any more, do we? So, I suppose that it's up to the Venezuelans to save themselves, before they start acquiring a taste for long pig, as they seem to have in the socialist punkocracy of South Korea. Like I said, how stupid do you have to be? For once, I have no course of political action to recommend." (05/22/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle873-20160522-02.html  

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The fatal flaw

May 23, 2016
posted by

Laurence M. Vance Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance  

"The presidential primary season is in full swing. Current and former Democratic and Republican candidates alike have put forward various tax-reform proposals. Some of their proposals were officially unveiled at a press conference; others were unofficially presented in campaign speeches or during one of the debates. Some rehash old proposals, others recommend something entirely new. But whether Democratic, Republican, official, unofficial, old, or new -- all suffer from the same fatal flaw." (05/20/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-fatal-flaw/  

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Larry Summers gets this right: We need an “infrastructure decade”

May 23, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Here we are in 'Infrastructure Week' and here we are with a new argument for a massive infrastructure investment project -- worldwide. Last week Peter Coy wrote at Bloomberg, in 'How to Pull the World Economy Out of Its Rut,' about economist Larry Summers’ argument that we need massive public investment. Coy writes that Summers has been 'jetting around the world' trying to convince central bankers 'to reach out to the governments they work for ... and insist on strong fiscal stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending and the like.' (i.e. 'Public investment.') The case for this is very, very strong." [editor's note: Among the proposals for how to spend the "peace dividend" from ending wars, this ranks fairly low on my "hate it" list - SAT] (05/20/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160520/very-important-larry-summers-is-exactly-right-for-infrastructure-week  

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A harsh blow to small businesses

May 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Juanita Duggan  

"The Labor Department’s change to the overtime rule is a harsh blow to millions of small businesses and their employees. According to NFIB research, approximately 44% of small businesses would be affected. The department claims that 4.2 million workers could potentially benefit from the change. That’s not consistent with the department’s own analysis. In fact, buried within the regulation, the department projects that many workers won’t receive any additional pay and that others will lose pay." (05/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/19/overtime-national-federation-of-independent-business-editorials-debates/84621270  

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Not Bernie Sanders’s job to unify the Democratic Party

May 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Alex Shephard  

"Team Bernie and Team Hillary are at war. The two sides have skirmished throughout the election, but the chaotic Nevada Democratic Convention in Las Vegas last weekend has prompted a bloodbath that (if the pundits are to be believed) could tear the party apart and hand the presidency to Donald Trump. ... The Clinton and Sanders camps are, in the usual schoolyard fashion, pointing fingers at each other. The truth is, both sides are to blame. But the onus is on Clinton, not Sanders, to turn down the temperature. If she intends to unify the party, now is the time to prove she can do it—that’s her burden as the frontrunner and likely nominee." (05/20/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133642/its-not-bernie-sanderss-job-unify-democratic-party  

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Elizabeth Warren takes on the “gig economy”

May 23, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"The Democratic Party hasn’t quite figured out how to take on the rapid rise of the 'gig economy.' Hillary Clinton said last summer that companies like Uber and AirBnB created 'exciting opportunities,' but also 'rais[ed] hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.' She was immediately attacked by Republicans, but also by David Plouffe, once a top Obama aide and now employed by Uber, who said it was an 'overblown reaction.' ...  The gig economy has not otherwise been an enormous issue on the campaign trail, and legislators in Congress haven’t attempted to address it in any comprehensive way. But Thursday in Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren waded into the debate with a lengthy policy speech at the annual New America conference in which she said it’s time to 'rethink the basic bargain for workers who produce much of the value in this economy.'" (05/20/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/elizabeth-warren-takes-on-the-gig-economy  

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Social Justice Warriors are assholes

May 22, 2016
posted by

Strike The Root
by Paul Bonneau  

"For all the carping about SJWs now being against free speech and for political correctness, a perfectly free society would probably have a lot of SJW activity. When there is no government to regulate society and define its norms, social disapproval will expand to fill the role. So this latest bit of it (outside the government interventions) is hardly unexpected. We experienced weak social disapproval for quite a while and got used to that, but it seems to be back with a vengeance lately. Oh, well .... One thing that social disapproval violates, if not NAP, is MYOB (minding your own business). Just because social disapproval is permissible in a free society, does not mean one is not an asshole for wielding that tool. Yes, sad to say, there still will be assholes in Libertarian Paradise." (05/20/16)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/social-justice-warriors-are-assholes  

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Guilt and association?

May 22, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"A few days ago, the Barna Group released the results of its latest poll, asking 'Americans whether capitalism or socialism align better with the teachings of Jesus,' explains The Hollywood Reporter. The results are that 'socialism won 24 percent compared to 14 percent, with the rest answering 'neither' or 'not sure.'' And what about the year's big race? 'When asked which presidential candidate's policies aligned closest to the teachings of Jesus, Sanders was on top with 21 percent, compared to 9 percent for Hillary Clinton and 6 percent for Donald Trump.'" (05/20/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/05/20/guilt-and-association/  

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TSA: Long lines and disasters

May 22, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"The Transportation Security Administration is a perennial punching bag for air travelers, members of Congress, and municipal officials from coast to coast. However, the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 en route to Cairo from Paris puts the ongoing furor over the long waits at TSA security checkpoints into a different perspective. 'The [TSA’s] priority is security, it is not ease of travel,' says Juliette Kayyem, a former Homeland Security assistant secretary and currently an emergency management and national security lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. ... Kayyem spoke with The American Prospect about the TSA and U.S. air travel in the wake of the EgyptAir disaster." (05/20/16)

prospect.org/article/long-lines-and-disasaters-tsa-time-troubles  

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The KN@PP Stir Podcast, episode 80: Just say no to William Weld!

May 22, 2016
posted by

The KN@PP Stir KN@PPSTER
by  

"In this episode: Hello, I Must Be Going; Thanks for Asking! (Why I bother with the Libertarian Party); Just Say No to William Weld!; See You in Orlando!" [Flash audio or MP3] (05/22/16)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-knpp-stir-podcast-episode-80-just.html  

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The Tenth Amendment: Lost in the shuffle?

May 22, 2016
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Seth Delconte  

"An April 2016 YouGov online poll of one thousand random respondents asked, among other questions, 'Which Amendment to the Constitution do you think is the most important?' Only 4 percent of respondents across all demographics picked the Tenth Amendment, while most respondents thought the First Amendment was most important (41 percent), followed by an answer of 'Not Sure' (16 percent). The Second Amendment took 15 percent, followed by the Ninth (ensures that the list of protected rights in the Constitution cannot be used to deny other rights) with ten percent. The Fourth Amendment came in just ahead of the Tenth, at 5 percent. Thomas Jefferson called the Tenth Amendment the cornerstone of the Constitution." (05/20/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/05/20/the-tenth-amendment-lost-in-the-shuffle/  

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Bernie Sanders goes after big banks — in theory

May 22, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"On Wednesday, Bernie Sanders had lunch at the Chieftain, a cozy pub near the San Francisco Chronicle. In days gone by, it served as a lunch spot for parched journalists. Earlier, Sanders had addressed a rally in San Jose; he had another scheduled in Vallejo, California, that night. When he exited the Chieftain by a back door onto Howard Street, passers-by shouted out his name. A man who hailed Sanders as his 'hero' asked the Democratic presidential hopeful to pose for a photo. There were more selfies with more fans who could not believe their luck in stumbling upon a potential president. No jacket, no tie, two pens in his shirt pocket, Sanders took his time heading toward the motorcade." (05/22/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/22/bernie-sanders-goes-after-big-banks--in-theory-n2166455  

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The NRA should have endorsed Gary Johnson instead of Donald Trump

May 22, 2016
posted by

A Libertarian Future
by J Wilson  

"Records are important. Whether they are records in government or in private life they offer the best way to predict future behavior. You can’t make a legitimate endorsement without looking at the record of the person applying. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the National Rifle Association has done with its shameful partisan endorsement of Donald Trump. They ignored the record of the man who has repeatedly called for gun control throughout his life. Even up against Hillary Clinton that endorsement never should have been made. The NRA should have endorsed Gary Johnson instead of Donald Trump." (05/22/16)

https://alibertarianfuture.com/guns/nra-should-have-endorsed-gary-johnson-instead-of-donald-trump/  

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Expanding the school monopoly one toddler at a time

May 22, 2016
posted by

Vicki Alger Independent Institute
by Vicki Alger  

"A few years back House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was insisting that we have a childcare 'crisis,' which, of course, only government can fix. President Obama has repeatedly insisted universal preschool critical [sic] for long-term economic prosperity. And, Hillary Clinton has vowed to advance Obama's 'Preschool for All' by doubling Head Start Funding, which is currently $8.6 billion. The ineffectiveness of government-run preschool is well documented. Moreover, the programs hailed by preschool proponents have serious flaws. ... A closer look at Mayor de Blasio's 'Pre-K for All' plan, however, reveals the true agenda behind the push for universal preschool." (05/20/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/05/20/expanding-the-schooling-monopoly-one-toddler-at-a-time/  

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Parallels between Israel and 1930s Germany

May 22, 2016
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Uri Avnery  

"There is a strict moral commandment in Israel: nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is unique. It happened to us, the Jews, because we are unique. (Religious Jews would add: 'Because God has chosen us'.) I have broken this commandment. Just before Golan was born, I published (in Hebrew) a book called 'The Swastika,' in which I recounted my childhood memories and tried to draw conclusions from them. It was on the eve of the Eichmann trial, and I was shocked by the lack of knowledge about the Nazi era among young Israelis then. My book did not deal with the Holocaust, which took place when I was already living in Palestine, but with a question which troubled me throughout the years, and even today: how could it happen that Germany, perhaps the most cultured nation on earth at the time, the homeland of Goethe, Beethoven and Kant, could democratically elect a raving psychopath like Adolf Hitler as its leader?" (05/21/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2016/05/20/parallels-israel-1930s-germany/  

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Learning the limits of American military power

May 22, 2016
posted by

Christopher A Preble Cato Institute
by Christopher A Preble  

"The DC foreign-policy establishment has a cure for what ails the Greater Middle East: more U.S. intervention. More (illegal) support for the Egyptian regime. An open-ended U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan. More advisers for the Iraqi government in Baghdad. More bombs and missiles for the Saudis. More air strikes and special ops troops to take on ISIS, perhaps with a full-scale ground offensive not far behind. This interventionist impulse is not new." (05/21/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/learning-limits-american-military-power  

1 Comment »

Tax havens: A legitimate defense against greedy politicos

May 22, 2016
posted by

PanAm Post PanAm Post
by Luis Guillermo Velez  

"Why can't tax evasion be a legitimate form of self defense? In some countries and circumstances, it is. Despite what politicians want us to believe, tax havens exist because some countries have been turned into tax hellholes by officials bent on 'social justice' and 'income redistribution.' Sometimes, those same politicians top the list of 'offshore' account holders trying to evade taxes." (05/21/16)

https://panampost.com/editor/2016/05/21/tax-havens-legitimate-defense-greedy-politicians/  

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Google’s omnipresent tracking much harder to leave than an ISP for privacy

May 22, 2016
posted by

Scott Cleland Heartland Institute
by Scott Cleland  

"A famous 2009 Google Blog post boasted that: 'Google is not the Hotel California -- you can check out any time you like and you CAN, in fact, leave!' Since Google chose that apt metaphor, and boasted about how easy Google makes it to 'check out' your private data and 'leave' to a competitor, let's test if you can ever 'in fact leave' Google-Eye's pervasively invasive online surveillance --— from a privacy perspective." (05/21/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/05/googles-omnipresent-tracking-much-harder-to-leave-than-an-isp-for-privacy/  

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