Commentary

Is Putin being lured into a trap?

April 15, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Mike Whitney  

"Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup’s leaders. Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country. Putin’s main interest in Ukraine is commercial." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nplp22q  

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Who are the poor going to ask for restitution?

April 15, 2014
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Valdenor Junior  

"Last Friday (04/11), a piece of land property in Rio’s suburbia was reinstated to telecom giant Oi. The area was known as 'favela da Telerj' and had been occupied by 5,000 people, mostly from Mandela, Manguinhos, and Jacarezinho favelas, who built improvised homes there. There were serious confrontations with the Military Police in the enforcement of the court order of disoccupation and even an O Globo newspaper reporter, who was following the acts of the police, was arrested. This is the same Rio de Janeiro where thousands of families had their homes expropriated to open up space for the FIFA World Cup 2014 developments." (04/15/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/26424  

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Stick it to the tax man: Adopt user fees

April 15, 2014
posted by

The Canal
by Nicholas Zaiac  

"By moving toward a model of user fees, the government has less leeway to expand in size and scope than in a system where taxes pay for all services. Those who pay such fees have strong incentives to ensure that the money is being spent wisely. Moreover, by keeping a larger share of revenues locked into specific projects, the government cannot use the funds for new projects and programs at its own discretion. Even better, moving more programs to user fee models can help prove that certain areas of the economy traditionally provided by government, such as parks, canals, and airports, can be provided by the private sector. Not everything is easy to charge user fees for, but for any area where fees are viable, they should absolutely be implemented as a substitute or supplement for tax dollars." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwnqffn  

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The importance of Tiebout effects

April 15, 2014
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"Think about what Tiebout really means: that people differ in their desires, differ in the trade offs they're willing to make. We all thus potter about looking for that set of circumstances that best suit us. It can be the trivial of making sure when young and dating that we live near the good booze and a decent supply of potentially willing sexual partners, moving out to calmer climes when we have chosen (or been chosen to) settle down, through to the ability of the self-appointed righteous to cluster together to congratulate themselves on their righteousness." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nyqq96y  

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Prevent voter fraud

April 15, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Mike Luckovich  

Cartoon. (04/15/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/prevent-voter-fraud/  

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Deputizing everyone isn’t producing results against terrorism, but officials keep trying

April 15, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy Cato Institute
by Gene Healy  

"We’ve had more than 10 years’ experience with 'if you see something, say something,' and the results are nothing to write home about. The brainchild of a now-defunct ad agency, the campaign started in New York City, with posters urging straphangers to phone in tips. By 2008, the Metropolitan Transit Authority was running ads boasting that 'last year, 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.' Campaign-inspired calls had resulted in 18 arrests over two years, none terrorism-related." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k6jphdo  

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Ukraine, Venezuela and Chile

April 15, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"In 1970, Salvador Allende, a self-avowed socialist-communist, was elected president in a three-way race in Chile. His election caused U.S. President Richard Nixon and the entire U.S. national-security state to go ballistic. Based on Allende’s record, they knew that he would never play a submissive and compliant role within the U.S. Empire. Concluding that Allende was a threat to U.S. 'national security,' Nixon and the national-security state apparatus, which had come into existence after World War II to wage a Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, initiated plans to oust Allende from office and replace him with a pro-U.S. dictator who would play an appropriate role within the Empire." (04/15/14)

http://fff.org/2014/04/15/ukraine-venezuela-and-chile/  

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Jesus lived in a police state

April 15, 2014
posted by

John W. Whitehead LewRockwell.com
by John W. Whitehead  

"Just as police states have arisen throughout history, there have also been individuals or groups of individuals who have risen up to challenge the injustices of their age. Nazi Germany had its Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The gulags of the Soviet Union were challenged by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Martin Luther King Jr. went head-to-head with America over racial segregation. And then there was Jesus Christ, an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day -- namely, the Roman Empire -- but provided a blueprint for civil disobedience that would be followed by those who came after him." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ldrowof  

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Tax Day: What kind of “civilization” are we paying for?

April 15, 2014
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"April 15 seems to be a holiday of sorts for progressives, who inevitably trot out Oliver Wendell Holmes’s quote about taxes being 'the price we pay for civilization,' and reminding us of all the great stuff -- roads, schools, etc. -- that they pay for. But on closer examination, tax day really isn’t a very good choice for progressive holiday." (04/13/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/26351  

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Ranchers and empire in the American west

April 15, 2014
posted by

Ryan McMaken Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken  

"The militarized siege of a cattle ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada has drawn national attention as dozens of federal agents, armed with machine guns, sniper rifles, helicopters, and more, have descended on the ranch to seize cattle, people, and generally show everyone who’s boss. The conservative press has framed the story in a variety of ways, casting the story both as matter of outright federal seizure of private land, and as an absurd environmental crusade to save a tortoise from extinction. The reality looks to be a little murkier, however, as is often the case when dealing with land ownership in the American West." (04/14/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6723/Ranchers-and-Empire-in-the-American-West  

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Stephen Colbert: Libertarian or conservative-baiter?

April 15, 2014
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"Stephen Colbert, the current comedic occupant of 'The Colbert Report,' has officially been anointed by CBS as the Chosen One to sit upon the 'Late Night' throne once Sir David Letterman relinquishes the reins of his reign next year. While some have described the move as 'replacing one liberal with another' libertarians are renewing their quest for an answer to the question, 'Is Stephen Colbert a libertarian?' To find out, one could simply ask Colbert himself ..." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qaz8r8r  

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Russia in Crimea — not “Munich 1938″ yet again

April 15, 2014
posted by

Ivan Eland Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland  

"Western hysteria surrounding Russia’s seizing of Crimea is rooted in a larger problem with U.S. foreign policy -- 'the Munich 1938 syndrome.' Ever since British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain allowed Adolf Hitler to take over German-speaking portions of Czechoslovakia at a Munich meeting in 1938, appeasement has gone out of favor as a traditional, respectable tool in foreign policy. ... However, a good case can be made that the now-vilified Chamberlain saved Britain’s bacon during World War II and that, despite his pledge to the contrary, Winston Churchill was the one who sold the British Empire down the river, even forfeiting Britain’s standing as a world power. " (04/14/14)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=4961  

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Will Obama & Kerry play high cards against Israeli hardliners?

April 15, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"The deadline, supposedly April 29, for a deal of some kind between Israel and the Palestinians (what Secretary of State John Kerry calls a 'framework agreement') is close, and although the talks appeared to have fallen apart earlier this month, the two sides held what The Wall Street Journal calls 'a rare meeting without U.S. mediator Martin Indyk present' on Sunday. It isn’t clear what the meeting means, and it may be too late for any deal to be reached by the end of April, but at least Kerry is putting the blame for the roadblocks where it belongs: on Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ms8xlzr  

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Dawning of Age of Anthropocene

April 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Jessica Stites  

"Scientists have been clanging the alarm about human-caused climate change, trying to bring around the 33 percent of Americans who don’t believe the earth is warming and the 18 percent of believers in global warming who think the process is 'natural.' ... For more than a decade, geologists have been debating whether to officially declare the existence of a new epoch, the 'Anthropocene,' to acknowledge that humans are radically reshaping the earth’s surface." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo3hn9r  

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Election in India, world’s biggest democracy

April 15, 2014
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jayant Bhandari  

"The biggest democracy in the world has started an electioneering process for the next federal government. This massive exercise runs from April 7 to May 12. Euphoria has swept the nation. Foreign Institutional Investors (FILs) are extremely optimistic about India’s future. The Indian stock market has reached its highest ever level. Comparing India's low growth rate with China's high one, many experts believe that in democracies, growth must be slow -- but steady -- and eventually very strong. Is India’s moment of very strong growth arriving?" (04/14/14)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1237  

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Poof! Israelis & Palestinians head for the brink

April 15, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"On the El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wandered into the economy section looking for an aide, or perhaps just too tense after a long week in America to sit still. Lieberman wore the uncertain smile of a man in strange territory who doesn't know where he's going. The young muscular guy sitting next to me, wearing a dark jacket and a shirt open at the collar, the uniform of muscular men who accompany Israeli ministers, constituted an immediate warning against buttonholing his boss. He did mention, however, that no one in the foreign minister's party had slept in the past week." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mxkw6cw  

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The truth behind Tax Day

April 15, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Robin Claremont  

"If you groan about Tax Day, you’re certainly not alone. But what if Tax Day was something we could be proud of as members of a democracy? Would you feel differently about paying taxes if you knew they were going to support public services that you, your family, and your community rely on: such as public safety, roads and bridges, schools, healthcare, social services, and national parks? Millions of Americans file their federal income tax returns on April 15 each year with no idea what the government actually does with all that money." [editor's note: Anyone who likes what the chart attached to this article shows should just admit it -- you LOVE when the beatings increase! - SAT] (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mjxhdsp  

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How I imagine an anarchist defense agency

April 15, 2014
posted by

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Seth King  

"This article is not for pacifists. I do have great respect for pacifists and would enjoy reading articles similar to this one outlining strategies and tactics for anarchist pacifist defense agencies. Sadly, I’ve come across very few, if any, that employed outside of the cage thinking. Maybe I’ll write one myself one of these days. Also, this article is not concerned about the basics of why private defense agencies are needed or why they would not turn into governments themselves. This article is strictly about the nuts and bolts and assumes that the reader is already on board with the philosophy." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pd3bg9f  

No Comments »

Post Rwanda: Investing in atrocity prevention

April 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Pam Omidyar  

"In the 20 years since the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its terrible spillover into the Congo, it has been clear that the global community remains ill-equipped to address such human-made catastrophic tragedies. While many have worked to heal Rwanda, crises of unfathomable mass violence have continued to unfold in places like Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Syria. In each case, the international community has failed to live up to a global commitment to prevention, protection and accountability for mass crimes. War and mass violence not only halts development, it reverses it." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lbr85aa  

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Everyone on our streets is part of the problem

April 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"I know that pedestrian deaths are up in San Francisco. I give the benefit of the doubt to the pedestrians, who, after all, paid a heavy price for being on the same street as large cars. But I don't know that all the pedestrians were blameless. I have seen pedestrians move out from between two parked cars and step into traffic. I have seen pedestrians try to cross four lanes of traffic at mid-block. I have seen them talking on phones and thus rendered oblivious to their surroundings. Sometimes a driver is just an innocent bystander. Sometimes the result is tragedy. Too, there are drivers who seem unaware of the weight and power of their machines. Driving is so easy and often so quiet that it lulls them into a false sense of security." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mbhrnea  

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The Paycheck Fairness Act is the wrong solution

April 15, 2014
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Rebecca Schieber  

"On April 9, the United States Senate failed to move forward The Paycheck Fairness Act for a third time. The Act would change the language of the Equal Pay Act and disallow employers to use 'factors other than sex' to deny women fair pay. The GOP voted as bloc against what Democrats called an obvious choice. The conclusion? The Republican Party STILL hates women. As a Republican woman who allegedly hates myself, I want to highlight the rash and colorful language (spattered with untrue numbers) that the Democratic Party uses to claim they support us, the American women." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ot5azlh  

No Comments »

Let a thousand home businesses bloom

April 15, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy Foundation for Economic Education
by Wendy McElroy  

"Imagine you’re out of work. But you’ve got capital in your talents, your home, and your family and friends. You might try to start a microbusiness at home to earn a little extra income and make ends meet. That is, unless you live in certain U.S. states." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mnuzxfg  

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Another phony budget debate

April 15, 2014
posted by

US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) Campaign for Liberty
by Ron Paul  

"Anyone watching last week’s debate over the Republican budget resolution would have experienced deja vu, as the debate bore a depressing similarity to those of previous years. Once again, the Republicans claimed their budget would cut spending in a responsible manner, while Democratic opponents claimed the plan’s spending cuts would shred the safety net and leave vital programs unfunded. Of course, neither claim is true." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nm2mlw2  

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Who owns the Bundy Ranch?

April 15, 2014
posted by

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

"Sometimes there is just no way to fix a past wrong. What are you going to do? Obsess over it and hate everyone and everything until perfection is achieved? As I have said multiple times in the past, at some point you just have to wipe the slate clean and forgive past offenses and say 'Never again!' That, or you'll never have any peace." (04/14/14)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2014/04/who-owns-bundy-ranch.html  

No Comments »

Encouraging news about honeybee health

April 15, 2014
posted by

OpenMarket.org
by Angela Logomasini  

"After hives suffered considerable losses in some places in Europe, the EU took a knee jerk response by banning a class of pesticides that makes food production more affordable. Ironically, the ban is supposed to ensure agricultural productivity by protecting these pollinators, but elimination of crop protection products may undermine food production, and it’s not likely to solve colony collapse disorder." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q5hpg8r  

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