Commentary

Also recall the executive formerly known as Prince

April 26, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"The executive formerly known as Prince deserves as much acclaim as the artist. While hits like 'Little Red Corvette' will be his lasting legacy, his high-profile battles against the music and technology establishment also presaged an era where the recording industry ceded power to musicians. Prince experimented as much with the business as he did in the studio. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, he churned out nearly 40 albums before dying at age 57 on Thursday. Since his 1978 debut 'For You,' Prince has sold more than 100 million records. He owed his start to an A&R music system that nurtured up-and-coming talents. Throughout his career, however, Prince fought to retain control over his compositions, image and even his name. The unusual pushback brought a greater balance to the business/artist dynamic well before the digital era eroded the influence of the musical-industrial complex." (04/25/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/04/21/also-recall-the-executive-formerly-known-as-prince  

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Get ready to ditch the SAT and ACT

April 26, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Robert Holland  

"Decades from now, education historians may observe Common Core (CC) provoked a wave of activism that resulted in decentralizing U.S. education. That was not what the power elites intended when they concocted standards and assessments intended to apply to all students, teachers, and schools. Their objective was centralization. But their arrogance has activated a hornets' nest of angry parents intent on reclaiming control over their children's schooling. The revolt is going beyond the widespread opt-outs from federally mandated Common Core-linked testing. Behind the scenes, hard work is proceeding on long-dreamed-of alternatives to the College Board's century-old dominance of college-entrance testing." (04/25/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/04/get-ready-to-ditch-the-sat-and-act/  

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Mattis declines Herculean task

April 26, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"It looks like the Mattis bubble is bursting. That was probably inevitable, but it is still a bad sign. As discontent has mounted among Republicans, some have been suggesting that the party could draft an outsider as its nominee at the convention in Cleveland this summer. Some have been calling for famed (retired) Marine General James Mattis to run. Unhappiness with the idea of a Donald Trump nomination has even, according to Tim Mak in the Daily Beast, led a group of wealthy Republican donors to consider drafting Mattis to run as a third-party candidate if Trump gets the nomination. The idea isn’t that Mattis could win the nomination, but that he might win enough states to throw the election into the House of Representatives, which is what happens if no candidate gets an outright majority of the Electoral College." (04/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/04/25/james-mattis-bubble-bursting-third-party-candidate-elections-2016-column/83492328  

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Porn prohibitionists declare public health crisis

April 26, 2016
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Logan Glitterbomb  

"Last week, Governor Gary R. Herbert signed a resolution which declared porn a public health crisis in the state of Utah. This latest authoritarian move by anti-porn moralists has been defended by Utah state Senator Todd Weiler who said, 'This isn't just a religious moral issue. Some people want to make this about sex education; no boy or girl needs to see those images to learn how families are created.' And while we may agree that porn is not meant as a form of sex education, Sen. Weiler makes it clear by his statement that his views are indeed clouded by his religious views which see sex only as a way to create families." (04/25/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/44717  

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Trump’s makeover will fail

April 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"If Donald Trump’s political campaign ever gets re-told as an appropriately cheesy biopic, this current moment will be the crucial makeover scene, where the flawed hero finds a mentor who gives him a new polish needed to win. It’s easy to imagine how the scene would play out in an inspirational movie: The Trump campaign is in chaos as they realize he might not get a majority of delegates and his crude antics might alienate so many in the party as to hand over a contested convention to Senator Ted Cruz. As defeat looms, Trump turns to a grizzled political veteran in the form of Paul Manafort, who schools the roughhewn candidate on the necessity of being tactful. The refurbished Trump then goes on to win the Republican nomination and the general election. ... But the idea that Trump could reinvent himself mid-campaign has always been implausible." (04/22/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/132950/trumps-makeover-will-fail  

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The art of the jungle

April 25, 2016
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen  

"Sometimes a movie should be approached from the perspective of its artistry more than its philosophy or its storyline. The new Jungle Book is one of those films." (04/24/16)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1544  

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It’s not that Trump is unstoppable, but Republicans incapable

April 25, 2016
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Ted Cruz and John Kasich had finally decided to join forces and work to prevent Donald Trump from reaching a majority of delegates before the convention. On Sunday evening, each campaign released a statement saying the two campaigns will strategically deploy resources to prevent splitting the anti-Trump vote. This is in large part to avoid Kasich dragging down Cruz in Indiana, letting Trump secure a plurality and reaping the 30 delegates which go to the overall winner, as well as many of the 27 delegates determined at the congressional district level. A big Indiana win for Trump would put an outright majority of delegates bound to Trump on the first ballot within his grasp." (04/25/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160425/its-not-that-trump-is-unstoppable-its-that-republicans-are-incapable  

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Tax Freedom Day

April 25, 2016
posted by

William F Shughart II Independent Institute
by William Shughart  

"According to the Tax Foundation, 'Tax Freedom Day' this year falls on April 24th -- six days after 2015's personal income tax returns were due (on the 18th if you forgot to file). April 24 marks the day on which the average American will have earned enough income to pay his or her total local, state and federal tax bill, which includes payroll taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, property taxes, corporate income taxes and and taxes on individual incomes. The total bill amounts to $4.9 trillion, of which $3.6 trillion goes to Uncle Sam. Since Americans now spend a bit more than $4 trillion on food, clothing and shelter every year, local, state and federal taxes represent the single largest drain on the typical family's budget." (04/24/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/04/24/tax-freedom-day-2016/  

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Saudi Arabia is a good ally? Get real

April 25, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford  

"President Obama's awkward recent visit to Saudi Arabia reopened debate over whether the Kingdom is a good U.S. ally or not. Certainly, there is no shortage of commentators arguing in favor of a stronger U.S.-Saudi partnership, calling for Obama to reassure the Saudis and arguing that the alliance is vital to U.S. national security. Unfortunately, such arguments ignore the many problems in the relationship, which has become extremely fraught." (04/25/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/saudi-arabia-good-ally-get-real  

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We need separation of bathroom and state

April 25, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Roy Cordato  

"The saga of the so-called Charlotte bathroom ordinance -- and the state of North Carolina's response to it -- has taken on a life of its own. At the national level leftists are accusing North Carolina of bigotry while, in the name of tolerance, a growing list of performers and businesses are boycotting the state. Unfortunately, what has gotten lost in all the rhetoric surrounding this issue is the truth about both the original Charlotte law and the state's response to it." (04/25/16)

https://mises.org/blog/we-need-separation-bathroom-and-state  

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Our grievances fuel political demagogues

April 25, 2016
posted by

Barry Brownstein Foundation for Economic Education
by Barry Brownstein  

"Hatreds expressed in a mass movement, Hoffer observes, stem from our sense of personal failure when we don’t cultivate our talents. The hatreds of mass movements, he explains, 'are an expression of a desperate effort to suppress an awareness of our inadequacy, worthlessness, guilt and other shortcomings of the self.' There is an alternative to living life with a sense of inadequacy. Ralph Waldo Emerson advised putting our heart into work." (04/25/16)

https://fee.org/articles/our-grievances-fuel-political-demagogues/  

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“Complete and total destruction of the Republican Party”: Former Reagan official Bruce Bartlett on why he backs Trump

April 25, 2016
posted by

Salon
by Simon Maloy  

"Regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump, his ascendance as the frontrunner for the Republican Party's 2016 presidential nomination signals major changes within the GOP. Large segments of the Republican Party and the conservative movement have arrayed themselves in opposition to Trump to ward off the political reckoning his candidacy threatens, but there are some people who want Trump to win precisely because his nomination would inflict much-needed violence upon the Republican Party as it currently exists. Bruce Bartlett, a former official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and a longtime critic of the GOP's increasingly conservative politics, sees Trump as both a product of the Republican Party’s decline and a potential catalyst for its eventual reclamation." (04/25/16)

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/25/complete_and_total_destruction_of_the_republican_party_former_reagan_official_bruce_bartlett_on_why_he_backs_trump/  

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Shakespeare’s dead and I don’t feel so good myself

April 25, 2016
posted by

The American Spectator
by David Catron  

"'A man may see how this world goes with no eyes,' as the Bard put it. The leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is an advocate of government-run health care, a proponent of massive tax increases, and hadn't heard of the nuclear triad until questioned about it during a debate. The probable Democratic nominee is, as William Safire famously put it, 'a congenital liar' whose tenure as Secretary of State produced a spate of scandal and skulduggery that would have made Richard III blush. How this world goes, in other words, is straight to Hell in a hand basket. Exaggeration? Think about it. Next January, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be endowed with more power over world affairs than any Roman emperor enjoyed. Shakespeare, dead 400 years last Saturday, described the inevitable evolution of such power into a 'universal wolf.'" (04/25/16)

http://spectator.org/articles/66117/shakespeare%E2%80%99s-dead-and-i-don%E2%80%99t-feel-so-good-myself  

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Breaking through power: Historic civil mobilization now

April 25, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ralph Nader  

"Ever wonder why Presidential and Congressional election campaigns fail to meaningfully connect with civil society? Candidate rhetoric is designed to attract voters and campaign contributions. Candidates go out of their way to ingratiate themselves to their corporate paymasters, whose monetized minds want nothing to do with the civil society. Civil society leaders at the national and local levels and their nonprofit citizen groups form the bedrock of democracy. These civic leaders have significant expertise and experience and are meticulous and precise in their written and oral presentations. They do not traffic in false statements that are unfortunately routine for many candidates for federal office. And unlike most major party candidates who receive round-the-clock coverage for every campaign utterance, the civic stalwarts are too often left on the sidelines by the media during the campaign season." (04/25/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/25/breaking-through-power-historic-civil-mobilization-now/  

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Perhaps the 1% improve poor peoples’ health?

April 25, 2016
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"A rather interesting little finding from over The Pond concerning the connection between inequality and the health of the population. Over here we've had Michael Marmot insisting for decades that health inequality is to be explained by economic inequality. And Wilkinson and Pickett have been shouting that they are not just connected but economic inequality is the direct cause of ill health for all. At which point we get the American study into health and inequality and we find something a little different ..." (04/25/16)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/perhaps-the-1-improve-poor-peoples-health  

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Who was it who initiated the wrongful use of “force, fear and violence” in Bunkerville?

April 25, 2016
posted by

Vin Suprynowicz Vin Suprynowicz
by Vin Suprynowicz  

"In a criminal complaint filed Feb. 11, federal prosecutors charge Nevada rancher Cliven D. Bundy with 'assault on a federal law enforcement officer,' 'conspiracy to commit an offense against the united states,' 'obstruction of the administration of justice,' and 'use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence' in the standoff at his ranch east of Las Vegas, two years back. ... All very interesting, given that I never saw Cliven Bundy carrying a firearm, either during the federal siege or at any other time I’ve visited his ranch. I wonder at what hospital the 'assaulted' federal troops were treated. Oh, wait: Not one of the federals, many dressed in full combat gear with M-16 rifles, were injured or even inconvenienced." (04/25/16)

http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=3035  

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Does adding “genderqueer” to the dictionary make it “real?”

April 25, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Emma Green  

"Last week, Merriam-Webster added a handful of new words to its unabridged dictionary as part of a routine update. Although April’s additions weren't all related to sexuality and gender, a number of them might have been pulled from a Women and Gender Studies textbook: transphobia, nonbinary, cis, cisgender, genderqueer, gender reassignment, gender-fluid. The word Mx., an honorific sometimes preferred in lieu of Mr. or Mrs., also made the list. What's distinctive about these words -- more so than some of this year's other entries, such as Bitcoin and cold case -- is that they describe somewhat controversial ideas about the essential nature of gender and sexuality." (04/25/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/04/genderqueer-cisgender-transphobia-merriam-webster/479406/  

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Two tales of tragedy

April 25, 2016
posted by

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton  

"How do we respond to tragedy? The WaPo recently reported on two very untimely and unfortunate deaths. The first was in Florida, but involved a Michigan family, as the WaPo reported. Preparing to hold a memorial service for the patriarch of the family, a six year old girl was pulled out to sea: her father responded and saved her but died himself in the riptide. The other occurred in Philadelphia, in one of the worse neighborhoods in that evil-ridden city. A four-year-old girl was accidentally shot in her face and killed by her father as he was cleaning his pistol, according to the WaPo. Both are horrible tragedies. Two families have been torn apart. There are many similarities. But it is interesting noting the reaction of the WaPo and others to these tragedies." (04/25/16)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=8917  

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Tubman versus Jackson on the $20 bill

April 25, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Amidst the tempest produced among politicians and the mainstream press over the Obama administration's decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, no one bothers to ask some very simple questions: Why does the $20 bill say: 'Federal Reserve Note' on it? Doesn't the term 'note' connote a promissory note, which entails a promise to pay something? What exactly is the $20 'Federal Reserve Note' promising to pay? How and when is the promise fulfilled? When does the note come due? Can holders of the $20 bill demand to be paid now? If not, when? The answers to those questions are rooted in the monetary system that was originally established for the United States under the U.S. Constitution and in the abandonment of that system during the Franklin Roosevelt administration." (04/25/16)

http://fff.org/2016/04/25/tubman-versus-jackson-20-bill/  

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Bailed — before bailout

April 25, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Last Wednesday, UnitedHealthcare Group Incorporated (UNH) announced that it will drop coverage of plans under Obamacare in all but a few states by 2017. The market signaled a thumb’s up: UNH stock prices shot up over 2 percent. The company, described in the news, somewhat vaguely, as the country’s largest insurer, is sending us a signal: the Affordable Health Care Act and its 'Obamacare?' Not affordable." (04/25/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/04/25/bailed-before-bailout/  

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The Puritan recrudescence

April 25, 2016
posted by

The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill  

"It's probably almost impossible for anyone under the age of 30 or so to conceive of how different the United States I grew up in was from the US of today. That's true in many ways and on many levels, but for right now I just want to look at one of them: the way Americans have lost so many of the gains made in the so-called Sexual Revolution, and returned to a Puritanism more vicious and repressive than we've experienced in centuries. Because while it's absolutely true that sexual variation is recognized and tolerated to a much greater degree than it has been for most of this country's history, it is equally true that the moralists and censors now have far more terrifying tools of surveillance and a greater capacity to inflict violence than those possessed by any of their spiritual ancestors since the Dawn of Man." (04/22/16)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/the-puritan-recrudescence/  

1 Comment »

Gun maker not proximate cause

April 25, 2016
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Naturally, the loved ones of [the Sandy Hook] victims want justice. Lanza committed suicide when the police arrived at the murder scene. That was their justice. No trial was necessary. The murderer is dead. But now the loved ones want money and Adam Lanza had no money. His mother, who purchased the gun legally, but neglected to keep it away from her demented son, had no money either, and Lanza murdered her too, albeit with a different gun. The gun maker has money. The gun maker has deep pockets. There are lawyers out there who are willing to bring suit against entities with money and deep pockets even if those entities are not liable for the wrong because their conduct was not a proximate legal cause of the deaths." (04/24/16)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2016/04/gun-maker-not-proximate-cause.html  

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Obama vs. Britain’s “isolationists”

April 25, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"American interventionism isn't just sending in the Marines -- more often it's sending in the President. The 'bully pulpit' has worldwide resonance, and President Obama recently used it to urge the British to reject 'isolationism' and stay in the EU. As usual with the White House -- and not just this one -- the little lecture was accompanied by a threat: if the Brits abjured his advice, and that of British Prime Minister David Cameron, they would be put 'at the back of the queue' when it comes to signing trade deals with the US. This is nonsense, as London mayor Boris Johnson pointed out: the European Union's routinely protectionist stance would actually made it harder rather than easier to negotiate any kind of trade deal. But Obama, undeterred by the furious reaction to his intervention in the debate, continued his assault on British 'isolationism' the next day ..." (04/25/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/04/24/obama-vs-britains-isolationists/  

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Saudigate: What did George Bush know and when did he know it?

April 25, 2016
posted by

Downsize DC Downsize DC
by Perry Willis and Jim Babka  

"Those of a certain age will remember that Watergate was the scandal that toppled Richard Nixon. Almost every scandal since then has been called something-gate. Some of you may also remember the question that was asked during the Watergate scandal -- 'What did the president know, and when did he know it?' Well, it's too late for us to topple George W. Bush as president. But we may yet be able to topple something more important ... Our so-called government's current pro-terror foreign policy." (04/22/16)

https://downsizedc.org/blog/saudigate-what-did-george-bush-know-and-when-did-he-know-it  

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The US might be better off cutting ties with Saudi Arabia

April 25, 2016
posted by

Emma Ashford Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford  

"When President Barack Obama visited the Gulf this week to meet with leaders from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the big question on many people's minds was whether he could successfully repair fraying relationships with allies he has publicly referred to as 'free-riders.' That was the wrong question. Instead, the President's visit offered a chance to consider whether we should be repairing these ties, and whether our continuing support for Saudi Arabia's increasingly assertive, destabilizing foreign policy is actually good for U.S. interests." (04/22/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/us-might-be-better-cutting-ties-saudi-arabia  

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