Commentary

For such a rich guy, Donald Trump looks kind of sad

July 30, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Dan Hill  

"I expected disgust (and its first cousin, contempt) to be the most frequent emotions on Donald Trump’s mug as he announced his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. After all, disgust would make perfect sense. It’s an emotion in keeping with Trump’s repeated comments about the current state of America as something that smells and tastes bad -- if not literally, then at least metaphorically. But what caught me by surprise was how often sadness appears on Trump’s face. For a guy who’s as rich as he is, it’s striking how being a winner in the 'pursuit of happiness' doesn’t seem to factor into Trump’s emotional profile." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/olqcy94  

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Pain economies

July 30, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Looking for a new doctor, a colleague of mine called his friend's primary care clinic, and was told, 'We are taking all patients except pain management cases.' He was thankful his health issues were not pain-related. After reading Leslie Kendall Dye's Salon piece, 'But what if I actually need my painkillers?' you will easily understand: America doesn't make it easy for those who must fight constant pain." (07/29/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/07/29/pain-economies/  

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Dealing with the cops

July 29, 2015
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Everyone has to do some serious soul-searching when it comes to dealing with the cops. This is especially true for African-Americans, given that police departments seem to have attracted a disproportionate share of racial bigots to that line of work. But it’s also true for everyone else, given that the police have effectively been given a license to kill citizens with impunity." (07/29/15)

http://fff.org/2015/07/29/dealing-cops/  

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Iran hawks and preventive war

July 29, 2015
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"Iran isn't being 'allowed' to get a nuclear weapon. Even when all the additional restrictions imposed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are lifted, Iran will still be a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and will still be bound by its commitments under that treaty not to build nuclear weapons. Even if Iran opted to pull out of the treaty and build a few nuclear weapons at some point in the future, that would not lead to a nuclear war with Israel. No Iranian government would be insane enough to start a war that would certainly result in the destruction of their country." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qc8x5ew  

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Optimistic libertarians are delusional and/or lying

July 29, 2015
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"It might feel really good to hear people tell you that Bitcoin will, at any moment now, rid us all of State oppression. It probably brings joy to many to hear that all we need to do for freedom is live peacefully, and make babies. This or that candidate will change things, the system is on the verge of collapse, this or that website, movie, project, or event is going to revolutionize the world. Love is the answer, liberty is inevitable, freedom is a state of mind, a list of pithy catchphrases and slogans too long for me to list without vomiting. Unfortunately, the reality is far grimmer than any of these senseless memes would lead the listener to believe. The fact of the matter is, the struggle for liberty is a contest. One which we can lose. One which we may, in all reality, have already lost." (07/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pnctlkv  

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Sweatshops make poor people better off

July 29, 2015
posted by

Sam Bowman Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman  

"Sweatshops are awful places to work. But they are often less awful than sweatshop workers' alternatives. This is the basic argument in defence of sweatshops. The question should always be, 'Compared to what?'" (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7yyxbj  

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Did Obama downplay Malaysia slavery to grease trade deal?

July 29, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

“Cheap labor is the whole point of our corporate-rigged, NAFTA-style trade agreements. Companies get to move jobs, factories, even entire industries out of the U.S. to countries where people are exploited, the environment is not protected and 'costs' like human safety are kept low. But even so ... tolerating slavery? Flat-out slavery? Really? Unfortunately, it looks like that’s what is happening with fast-track trade promotion authority, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Obama administration." (07/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pj6y2sg  

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Five facts to help you bring down ObamaCare

July 29, 2015
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Michael Boldin  

"So you want to end Obamacare, but are wondering what you can actually do about it today. You're not alone. Should you wait for another Supreme Court opinion, support 'repeal and replace,' or hope an all-new Congress and President will do it for you in 2017? Look, don’t kid yourself. None of these are going get the job done. But for people who support the Founders' Constitution and personal liberty, there still is hope, as long as these strategies are quickly abandoned." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qyt73xv  

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Pope Francis and economic populism

July 29, 2015
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Samuel Gregg  

"Francis is no stranger to populist movements. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had to deal with the Kirchners in Argentina and did not enjoy good relations with a Peronist government that severely injured a nation that's already the 20th century's byword for economic self-immolation. That said, some expressions used by Pope Francis in Bolivia last week at the second World Meeting of Popular Movements not only echoed particular themes emphasized by Latin American populists but also shared some of their misdiagnosis of the region's problems." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppqt8d3  

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The Tom Woods Show, 07/29/15

July 29, 2015
posted by

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show
by  

"Mainstream economists see 'monopoly power' everywhere -- even when a breakfast cereal company differentiates its product via advertising. It's crazy. In today's episode we discuss the mainstream view of monopoly, as well as so-called perfect competition and monopolistic competition. You'll be begging for some Mises and Rothbard by the time we're done." [various formats] (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofuzaze  

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Freedom Feens Radio, 07/29/15

July 29, 2015
posted by

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens Radio
by  

"MK Lords and James Babb discuss Man Sharing Jury Nullification Information Arrested in Denver and more." [various formats] (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oeshwlp  

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Interview: Zephyr Teachout on getting big money out of politics

July 29, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Justin Miller  

"In 2014, the campaign finance reform activist and Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig launched Mayday PAC -- the PAC to end super PACs. The group raised about $11 million and targeted support for candidates who were committed to reforming the role of money in politics. ... On Monday, it was announced that law professor and progressive firebrand Zephyr Teachout will be taking over the reins as Mayday plots its strategy for a 2016 election that will likely unleash an unprecedented amount of money." [editor's note: I still chuckle every time someone misses this point so completely; big money will always rule politics, until politics no longer controls peaceful, voluntary behavior - SAT] (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pnsp8qq  

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Man criminally charged for fixing the roads

July 29, 2015
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"The roads are the purview of the state. Some claim this is because transportation infrastructure is so complex that the market couldn't handle it. Of course this claim is bullshit. But the fact remains that the state will use its capacity for violence against anybody who tries to involve themselves in transportation infrastructure improvements. A Massachusetts selectman got sick of the road repair teams not fixing the faded crosswalks in his town. Instead of impotently pounding his fist on a desk he actually decided to go out and fix the crosswalks himself. Now he's facing criminal charges because, even though he's an agent of the state, he didn't respect the bureaucracy ..." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfpxv6q  

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Seeds of Liberty Podcast, 07/29/15

July 29, 2015
posted by

Peaceful Anarchism
by  

"This week, for our 20th episode, we were joined by Lou Feen, one of the co-hosts of the Freedom Feens radio show and podcast. Herein we discuss how Ron Paul didn't bring people to liberty, the awakening that was happening without Paul's help ... [etc.]" [MP3] (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nsa6zrh  

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The red herring of digital backdoors and key escrow encryption

July 29, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Bill Blunden  

"While many scientists and researchers -- your author included -- insist that key escrow is a ridiculous zombie idea, it's important to recognize what's being left out of the aforementioned discussion. Pay attention and you may detect a telltale whiff of public relations tradecraft in the air. Specifically, notice how the debate over back doors is almost entirely focused on back doors implemented through cryptographic technology. This subtle misdirection shifts the conversation away from a different sort of back door currently being leveraged on a global scale. That would be back doors that are built upon zero-day exploits." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q89h5bl  

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A newfangled nanny state?

July 29, 2015
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Gene Koprowski  

"The Conservative Party of the U.K. -- the Tories, Winston Churchill's political bloc back in the day -- is giving new meaning to the old pejorative 'the nanny state' when it comes to health care policy. A report in the Daily Mail, republished in the Conservative Home daily, the newsletter of the Conservative Party, indicates that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron has floated a plan that would force the obese to lose weight, or lose their disability benefits." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ovlb39u  

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There’s something about Bernie

July 29, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Molly Ball  

"There's no way this man could be president, right? Just look at him: rumpled and scowling, bald pate topped by an entropic nimbus of white hair. Just listen to him: ranting, in his gravelly Brooklyn accent, about socialism. Socialism! And yet here we are: In the biggest surprise of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, this thoroughly implausible man, Bernie Sanders, is a sensation." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qavcyvz  

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Laying the foundations

July 29, 2015
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Sean Corrigan  

"As the Yellen Fed inches painfully towards taking its first 'data-dependent' steps to raise rates (albeit with the promise that such a process will follow the disastrous, well signposted creep upward which enabled so much damage to be wrought after the Tech Bust), the evidence mounts as to just how belated any such action will be. Take housing, for instance." (07/29/15)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2015/07/laying-the-foundations/  

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Truth, illusion and free speech online

July 29, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Irene Ogrizek  

"As a technology writer, Moosa has a surprisingly limited perspective: the level of freedom that exists on the internet right now allows individuals to create sites they can tailor to their liking. They can moderate comments, kick rabble-rousers out or invite them in. But, clearly, that's not the political point: the Toronto Twitter trial is really about controlling others, about tipping the balance of transgressions and consequences in favour of one group -- one that happens to be exquisitely sensitive." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qepj8y4  

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The changing price of oil relative to gold

July 29, 2015
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by R David Ranson  

"It is true that a shift in supply or demand will change prices in any market; however, not all market-price movements are necessarily due to a change in market supply or demand -- especially in the case of prices for commodities as highly political as crude oil. Longer term trends in the price of oil also reflect cumulative changes in the purchasing power of the dollar. Looking at oil prices relative to gold prices instead of U.S. dollars takes account of the long-term decline in the value of the dollar and allows us to recognize more clearly the effect of supply, demand and public-policy factors that influence the price of petroleum, says senior fellow R. David Ranson of the National Center for Policy Analysis." [executive summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (07/29/15)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25897  

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Rand Paul: Fraud, failure, liar

July 29, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"So Rand Paul is now repeating AIPAC's dishonest talking points. This is reminiscent of the same sort of propaganda that led the US to invade Iraq: 'factoids' ripped out of context and promulgated by the Bush administration and its pet neoconservative pundits to create an entirely false picture of an Iraq that was seeking nuclear weapons. In short, the Rand Paul that we were all hoping for -- someone who would stand up to the War Party and refute their propaganda -- is no more, if he ever existed in the first place. Instead of refuting the lies he's joining in the telling of them -- and in doing so, he's crossed the Rubicon as far as libertarians and all those who oppose war with Iran are concerned." (07/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qdqvskh  

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War isn’t actually pointless

July 29, 2015
posted by

Paul Rosenberg Freeman's Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg  

"For the ruler, war has a clear and compelling purpose: it gets rid of competitors. States fight. That is as accurate as any statement of history that can be found. It was true 6,000 years ago and it is true now. Conflict is part of the core nature of states; they compete like animals over limited territories. Thus, war serves them. Individuals can fight too, of course, but ask yourself this: Among the 200 or so human beings who live closest to you, how many fistfights have you seen over the last few years? On the other hand, among the 200 or so states on this planet, several dozen have had wars over the last few years. Doesn't that say something about the nature of states versus the nature of individuals?" (07/28/15)

http://www.freemansperspective.com/war-isnt-actually-pointless/  

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Entire check system is flawed

July 29, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Erich Pratt  

"FBI Director James Comey recently said a flaw in the gun background check system allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he allegedly used to kill nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C. But the fact is, the entire background check system is flawed. Not only is it unconstitutional -- and disarming many law-abiding citizens -- it’s failing to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and is not keeping people safe." (07/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pql7jo7  

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Obama buys false Iran narrative

July 29, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by Gareth Porter  

"The administration's determination to be just as alarmist about Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions as its opponents creates a U.S. political discourse on the Iran nuclear issue built around two dueling narratives that disagree about the effect of the agreement but have one politically crucial common denominator: they both hold it as beyond debate that Iran cannot be trusted because it wants nuclear weapons; and the only question is whether and for how long that Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be held off without war. ... The administration's determination to be just as alarmist about Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions as its opponents creates a U.S. political discourse on the Iran nuclear issue built around two dueling narratives that disagree about the effect of the agreement but have one politically crucial common denominator: they both hold it as beyond debate that Iran cannot be trusted because it wants nuclear weapons; and the only question is whether and for how long that Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be held off without war." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p857yns  

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Hey, overpriced minimum wage workers, your robot replacement has already been hired

July 29, 2015
posted by

JD Tuccille Disloyal Opposition
by JD Tuccille  

"Los Angeles is the latest municipality where politicians are considering buying votes by mandating a $15 per hour minimum wage. That's actually a ban on workers taking jobs for $12 or $14 per hour, but it sounds compassionate when reduced to slogans and finger-wagging at 'greedy' businesses. New York is poised to implement $15 per hour as the minimum wage for fast food workers state-wide. And Vice President Joe Biden is among the pols calling for a federal minimum wage hike -- to $12 per hour, in his case (not that he himself is worth that much).
But you know what? Businesses are way ahead of them. I took my son to Chili's for lunch today. On the table was one of the 45,000 Ziosk tablets (it may be more by now) the company had in place over a year ago. The widgets let you order drinks and desserts and pay your bill without flagging down a server." (07/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nt88egv  

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