Commentary

Johnny Rocket Launch Pad Special #5

December 4, 2016
posted by

Johnny Rocket Launch Pad
by  

"This week we feature Johnny Rocket's interview from the Alex MercedCast. Alex Merced asks Johnny about the Libertarian Party, what he thinks of Fidel Castro's death, and the future of the Launch Pad! Also in this special we dig out our interview with businessman, and investor, Peter Schiff! It's a special episode packed with a punch of property rights, permissions, and principles!" [various formats] (12/03/16)

http://jrlp.podbean.com/e/johnny-rocket-launch-pad-special-5-interview-w-johnny-rocket-on-the-alexmercedcast-bonus-interview-peter-schiff/  

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Do not take payment in politeness

December 4, 2016
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy  

"[I] often do things, like writing or editing, for people whom I respect and toward whom I feel an emotional connection. Arguably, I am not being paid in 'the wind of words' but by the satisfaction I feel in helping a friend. I entirely agree when it comes to providing work for free to people with whom I have no special emotional connection. I have learned to draw a very hard line with libertarians who expect writers to produce articles for the good of the movement or because the writers should believe in the idea enough to starve themselves to death. By the same logic a libertarian doctor should treat libertarian patients for free but no one ever suggests such parallels." (12/03/16)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.7544  

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Free Thoughts Podcast, 12/02/16

December 4, 2016
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by  

"Johan Norberg joins Trevor this week to talk about the notion of progress and gives us all a few reasons to look forward to the future." [various formats] (12/02/16)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/progress-ten-reasons-look-forward-future  

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Pipeline politics is local

December 4, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"[F]racking and pipelines are both, for all intents and purposes, creatures of the state. The fossil fuel industries operate on 'public' lands which the state first engrossed (the U.S. government, under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase and Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, inherited the land titles of the Spanish, French and Mexican governments), and then preferentially opened to extractive corporations. Their fuels are transported on pipelines built on stolen land, legally protected from most liability for spills, and protected by regulatory preemption from all the other forms of harm they're responsible for. If you call yourself a libertarian and claim to support any pipeline project, you are a liar and an enemy of human freedom." (12/02/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/47093  

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Manna from heaven

December 4, 2016
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Scott Robinson  

"When we talk of economics, we often do it by means of labels and mantras. Discussing economic subjects in this way means that we do not fully discuss them; we just use words and phrases that suggest preconceived notions. I think this is because economics is predominantly political, and 'political' is another way of saying 'snake oil sales.' One mantra that I often hear is people's invocation of a Robin Hood morality, the morality of robbing Peter to pay Paul: Robin Hood cared for the poor downtrodden (Paul) with the wealth he stole from the fat cats (Peter). What is ignored about this fairy tale is that Peter is the lord of the land who uses his governmental authority to confiscate the property of Paul, the peasants. Robin is a hero because he fights the totalitarian government of Peter to return confiscated wealth to oppressed taxpayers." (12/04/16)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1634  

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The “buy America” Trump test

December 4, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Republicans in Congress are pushing to strip 'Buy America' provisions from a bill to help fix the country’s water systems. Republican President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on government help for American manufacturing and jobs. So this is an early test: Will Trump step up and tell House Republicans to keep 'Buy America' in the bill, or will he continue to follow the Wall Street/Big Corporate/billionaire agenda his transition has indicated is coming? The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) usually passes every two years. This one authorizes 25 critical Army Corps projects in 17 states. Of particular note, 'The bill also responds to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, by providing emergency assistance to Flint and other similar communities across the country facing drinking water contamination.' The WRDA bill had been held up (obstructed) over Republican objections to things like helping boost jobs under President Obama, helping Flint, and infrastructure spending generally. It eventually passed both houses of Congress but with different versions. Now it is held up again in the House as Speaker Ryan tries to strip provisions requiring the purchase of American-made materials like iron and steel from American manufacturers." (12/03/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161202/the-buy-america-trump-test  

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In the Tank, episode 66

December 4, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"Host Donny Kendal is going lone wolf in episode #66 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today's podcast features work from the Cato Institute, the Mises Institute, and the Heartland Institute." [various formats] (12/02/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/12/tank-ep66-federal-reserve-inflation-donald-trumps-treasury-secretary-pick/  

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In support of secession, part 2

December 4, 2016
posted by

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton  

"Now that we've seen how common secession has been and is (in Part 1), and how many people and places are seeking to do that, let's ask the question, why is this a good idea? And also, why should YOU consider secession?" (12/02/16)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=10140  

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What free speech doesn’t give you the right to say

December 4, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Aaron Kheifets  

"Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of our society, and it is absolutely a principle worth defending to one's dying breath. Unfortunately, complete assholes are also a cornerstone of our society, and will definitely be here until our dying breaths. And when the latter gets hold of the former, they invoke it improperly and indiscriminately, like a toddler with a new word or a monkey with a shotgun. As Reddit announced plans to crack down on its 'most toxic' users, Facebook started to cull fake news from its advertising networks, and Google looked to cut ad revenue to the same, the reaction was predictable. 'Censorship!' 'What about our freedom?' 'It's almost as if the internet isn't a safe haven for disinformation and hate speech anymore!' Does that mean the internet is abandoning our much-beloved free speech? Fuck no! It just means that the standards for free speech people use on the internet are finally catching up to all other forms of human interaction. But for the users bewildered as to why they're getting squelched in these forums, I'd like to offer two points." (12/03/16)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/no-free-speech-not-under-attack.-being-a2A2Ahole-is./  

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Elect the Electoral College for real

December 4, 2016
posted by

Independent Country
by James Leroy Wilson  

"Every Presidential election year, there's a call to get rid of the electoral college. Supporters of Hillary Clinton this year can point to her winning the popular vote by 2 million votes over the presumptive winner, Donald Trump. I'm loath to suggest a fix to something I'm opposed to in principle. I think America would be great if the federal government, including the Presidency, was abolished completely. It's like taxes. Taxation is theft. Immoral. But if there are to be taxes, there are ways I'd prefer they're raised. Electing the President is similar. There are some ways that are less bad than others. And I think 'we' should choose the Presidency the same a bill becomes a law." (12/03/16)

http://independentcountry.blogspot.com/2016/12/elect-electoral-college-for-real.html  

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Free Talk Live, 12/03/16

December 4, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Art Bell Suing Michael Savage :: Libeling Public Personalities :: Jesse Ventura vs Chris Kyle :: Streisand Effect :: Proving Damages? :: More Speech :: Art Bell Flaky :: Actual Malice :: Market Radio Content Regulation :: Crazy Teen Framed for Stealing? :: Things Not Right Shouldn't Necessarily Be Illegal :: Robert vs James :: James Threatens to Sue." [Flash audio or MP3] (12/03/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-12-03  

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Five reasons Obama will be viewed as one of the worst presidents of all time

December 4, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by John Hawkins  

"Compiling a list of reasons why Barack Obama is a terrible president seems like a project for a book rather than a column. However, when we start looking at the catastrophic mistakes he’s made that may reverberate for years to come, it’s clear that he’s been a disaster for America on a scale that few other Presidents can match. Just look at his record. 1) Nearly Doubling The National Debt: Let’s see, what was it that Barack Obama said about our debt back in 2008 when he was trying to convince Americans to vote him into office?" (12/03/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2016/12/03/5-reasons-barack-obama-will-be-viewed-as-one-of-the-worst-presidents-of-all-time-n2254303  

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LGBT lives are better than ever, yet the culture war grows louder

December 2, 2016
posted by

Scott Shackford Reason
by Scott Shackford  

"[W]hat I'm seeing from pieces like this bizarre one from BuzzFeed, and from things like a gay politician's attempt to promote a boycott of a beer company owner for supporting Trump, is an inability to accept a norm that we live side-by-side in a world with significant ideological diversity, and an inability to place an emphasis on policy-making over signaling and culture war judging. Debate over DeVos'[s] actual anti-gay background and how that might or might not affect federal education policy (libertarian disclaimer: we shouldn't even have a federal education policy) shouldn't be fighting for attention with the church habits of a couple of televised home renovators. I've said repeatedly while watching this election play out that one of the primary attitudes driving the culture of these campaigns has been the desire to punish one's foe. ... Self-segregation and social punishment seem to be the order of the day as the left and the right drift further and further apart culturally, even as policy differences seem less pronounced than they used to be." (12/01/16)

http://reason.com/blog/2016/12/01/lgbt-lives-are-better-than-ever-yet-the  

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Is flag burning protected speech?

December 2, 2016
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Antiwar.com
by Andrew P Napolitano  

"Before the Supreme Court ruled that burning your own flag in public is lawful, federal law and numerous state laws had made it criminal to do so. In analyzing those laws before it declared them to be unconstitutional, the Court looked at the original public understanding of those laws and concluded that they were intended not as fire safety regulations -- the same statutes permitted other public fires -- but rather as prophylactics intended to coerce reverence for the American flag by criminalizing the burning of privately owned pieces of cloth that were recognizable as American flags. That is where the former statutes ran into trouble. Had they banned all public fires in given locations, for public safety sake, they probably would have withstood a constitutional challenge. But since these statutes were intended to suppress the ideas manifested by the public flag burning, by making the public expression of those ideas criminal, the statutes ran afoul of the First Amendment." (12/01/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/andrew-p-napolitano/2016/11/30/flag-burning-protected-speech/  

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Wrong on crime

December 2, 2016
posted by

Cato Unbound Cato Unbound
by Marie Gottschalk  

"The fiscal argument for penal reform obscured the reality that successful decarceration will likely cost more money, not less, at least over the short and medium term. People reentering society after prison need significant educational, vocational, housing, health, and economic support to ensure that the communities they are returning to are not further destabilized by waves of former prisoners. If we are serious about alternatives to incarceration, then community-based mental health and substance abuse programs will need major cash infusions." (12/01/16)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2016/12/01/marie-gottschalk/wrong-crime  

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OSU’s foreign policy blowback

December 2, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by  

"Those who keep hoping that gun control will protect them from terrorist retaliation for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East had their hopes dashed last week at Ohio State University. That's because the lack of gun didn't stop Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born Ohio State student, from intentionally driving a car into pedestrians and then slashing people with a butcher knife. This is what all too many Americans just don't yet get -- that local, state, and federal government officials cannot keep everyone safe all the time from the threat of terrorist retaliation for the U.S. national-security state's continued interventionsim in the Middle East and Afghanistan." (12/01/16)

http://www.fff.org/2016/12/01/osus-foreign-policy-blowback/  

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Taking control

December 2, 2016
posted by

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton  

"What is needed, as Mama points out, is NOT for Trump or his appointees to take control of the FedGov and therefore 'save' Americans from the mess, but for US -- individually -- to take control of our OWN lives. To take the control BACK from the FedGov, the state governments -- yes, and even the local governments, and assume the control for ourselves: the responsibility for making our own decisions and living by the results of those decisions: our actions. NOT the actions of a billionaire in DC or New York, and NOT the actions of 535 people in Congress, NOR eight (or nine) Nazgul in robes, nor of nearly uncountable bureaucrats, but rather, each of us." (12/01/16)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=10244  

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Jamie Raskin has a fierce, funny message for dispirited Democrats

December 2, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Graham Vyse  

"On Wednesday, House Democrats doubled down on the same old, same old, voting for Nancy Pelosi and a leadership team with an average age of 76 -- a group that, for all its virtues, doesn’t exactly offer a fresh message to inspire the left. But on Wednesday night in the D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, a vibrant new left-wing voice in the House made himself heard—with exactly the message that Democrats across the country sorely need. 'The resistance begins right here and the revival begins tonight,' said Representative-elect Jamie Raskin, whipping up the crowd at a rally he called 'the first true-blue, overflow Democratic revival meeting of 2016.' The curly-haired 53-year-old representative-elect is already a household name in Silver Spring." (12/01/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139092/jamie-raskin-fierce-funny-message-dispirited-democrats  

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The terrifying lessons of the Philippines’ vigilante president

December 2, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by Peter Apps  

"Every morning in the Philippines, a handful of bodies are found littering the streets. Their faces are often covered in black plastic tape. Sometimes there are signs of torture. Usually, they have been shot in the head. Few bother police; they are usually suspected of being responsible. No one, frankly, should be surprised that it is happening. The country’s democratically elected leader, after all, was elected promising to do just this, cracking down on what he has described as a 'drug menace' in the country. If one world leader exemplifies some of the more alarming trends taking place in politics this decade, it is Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. His election and the policies he has pursued since entering office represent a comprehensive rejection of decades, if not centuries, of hard-won moves toward respect for human rights and the rule of law." (12/01/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-duterte-philippines-commentary-idUSKBN13Q4RD  

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Signs of a creepy government conspiracy at Standing Rock

December 2, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Robert Evans & Tamlin Magee  

"The demonstration at Standing Rock, North Dakota is the largest gathering of indigenous people in modern American history. Over 280 tribes and thousands of non-native volunteers have gathered to protect the Sioux's ancestral water supply, which they believe will be poisoned when the North Dakota Access Pipeline inevitably leaks. Most of the coverage you've seen has probably come in the form of Twitter and Facebook rage-screaming in all-caps gibberish, or it looks like this: '... hundreds clash with police over Dakota Access Pipeline.' That vague title leaves a lot open to interpretation. And if the internet has taught us anything, it's that interpretation is not the average person's strong suit ... or even their medium suit, for that matter. 'Clash' suggests an equal meeting of force, and that's really not the case when one side has military hardware and the backing of a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and the other side ... well, doesn't. " (12/01/16)

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2418-the-standing-rock-hacks-cracked-unravels-real-conspiracy.html  

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A cabinet for the deep-pocket ages

December 1, 2016
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"People holding personal fortunes worth over $5 million this year make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the world’s adult population. People worth over $5 million may also this year make up nearly 100 percent of the picks Donald Trump chooses for his cabinet and inner circle. President-elect Trump’s choices for top slots so far include at least two billionaires, two former Wall Street executives at Goldman Sachs, and assorted other mega-millionaire heirs and corporate honchos. Donald Trump, notes the Washington Post, 'is assembling the richest administration in modern American history.' The Trump choice for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, holds all by himself ten times more personal wealth than the entire cabinet George W. Bush appointed back in 2001." (12/01/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161201/a-cabinet-for-the-deep-pocket-ages  

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The legal marijuana middle ground

December 1, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Beau Kilmer  

"With more than 65 million people living in states that have passed marijuana legalization, and a Gallup poll showing that 60% of the country supports legalizing marijuana use, national legalization may seem inevitable. ... California was the first state to allow medical marijuana, starting nearly 20 years ago. Its approach was extremely loose; over time it became easy for essentially any adult to obtain a medical recommendation, and dispensaries abounded. ... There are many ways to legalize marijuana supply besides the for-profit approach. I understand why some may be worried about creating an industry that will likely be incentivized to lobby against regulation and taxation to maximize profits. And if the marijuana businesses end up following the lead of alcohol companies, they will work hard to create and maintain heavy users, since they account for the vast majority of sales." [editor's note: A good analysis of the variances between limited "legal" cartels and decriminalization - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/11/30/marijuana-legalize-states-medical-recreational-column/94553192  

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The indefensible Electoral College

December 1, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Scott Lemieux  

"When someone as manifestly unfit for office as Donald Trump can be elected president of the United States, it represents a collective institutional failure. But it is important to keep one crucial fact front and center: The American electorate did not choose him. By the time the vote counting is finished in California, Hillary Clinton will have received roughly 2.5 million more votes than Trump. This is a larger margin than Richard Nixon in 1968 or JFK in 1960 had achieved. The people’s choice did not become president because an indefensible anachronism malfunctioned for the second time in less than two decades. The lessons of this should be clear. In the long term, the Electoral College must be eliminated or circumvented; in the short term, the fact that Donald Trump was not the choice of the American people needs to be front and center to the progressive opposition to his administration." [editor's note: Another whine from the "progressive" front, ignoring the incompetence of "their own" troops and the unfit nature of "their own" candidate(s) - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://prospect.org/article/indefensible-electoral-college  

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Freer immigration does not lead to bigger government

December 1, 2016
posted by

The Libertarian Republic The Libertarian Republic
by Josh Guckert  

"The election of Donald Trump leads many libertarians to fear for the future of the American immigration system. This is because libertarians consistently support immigration. Nearly all metrics support the libertarian position. For this reason, only fear-mongering remains for those who oppose the peaceful travel of individuals." (12/01/16)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/freer-immigration-lead-bigger-government/  

1 Comment »

The starvation of Yemen continues

December 1, 2016
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"The starvation of Yemen's civilian population is one of the greatest man-made disasters of this century, and it has been brought about in large part by U.S.-backed clients as they pursue a senseless and atrocious war against one of the world's poorest countries. When the starvation of Yemen occasionally receives some decent coverage, there is barely any mention of the responsibility of the Saudi-led coalition and its Western patrons for helping to create these horrible conditions. The coalition and its Western backers, including the U.S., are not the only ones responsible, but they bear the largest responsibility because they are the ones that have been blockading the country and devastating its infrastructure and ports with bombs, and they were the ones that escalated and prolonged the war for all this time." (12/01/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-starvation-of-yemen-continues-2/  

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