LAND Commentary

Civil disobedience: King versus Huemer

April 15, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Martin Luther King's 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' defends an odd position: You may morally break an unjust law IF you make no effort to evade the legal punishment for the unjust law you break. The obvious question: If the law is unjust, doesn't consenting to punishment simply compound the injustice?" (04/15/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/04/civil_disobedie_1.html  

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Women and guns, women and freedom

April 9, 2014
posted by

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
by Claire Wolfe  

"But I fear that a lot of the new women who are buying guns, taking training, and enjoying the skills and thrills of shooting sports haven't (yet) grasped the bigger implications of their choices. That is, they still have a ways to go before they understand that guns don't merely protect people; they potentially protect freedom. Without greater understanding of history, of the principles of liberty, and of the Bill of Rights, many of these women may go no farther than they already have." (04/06/14)

http://jpfo.org/articles-assd04/women-and-guns-women-and-freedom.htm  

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Hounding of Eich: New cover for dark money defenders

April 8, 2014
posted by

The New Republic
by Alec MacGillis  

"As if there weren’t enough reasons for liberals to have misgivings about the hounding of a Silicon Valley executive over his $1,000 check to an anti-same sex marriage campaign, there’s also this: the episode is giving cover to those fighting to keep secret the vast sums of dark money flowing into American politics. When the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission last week eliminated overall limits on how much wealthy donors could contribute to candidates, parties and political action committees in a given campaign cycle, supporters of the decision rationalized that it would be better for democratic accountability because these contributions would be public." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oloaq5e  

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Get thee behind me, Satan … but first, write a check

April 7, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"After the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision Wednesday that threw out a cap on the total amount wealthy donors can give to federal candidates in an election season, Democrats and self-proclaimed do-gooders cried foul at the prospect of more big money tainting Washington politics. ... Stop, please. The Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org estimates that GOP biggie Sheldon Adelson and his wife bulldozed $93 million into conservative super PACS in 2012. Does anyone inside the Beltway really believe that special interests have been holding back and now that they can give $5,200 to more than nine candidates, the big money is really going to roll out?" (04/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m9stw7t  

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Review — Kairos: A Proposal to Restore Federalism to the United States

April 7, 2014
posted by

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe  

"Laird Minor, a good guy and a member of the Living Freedom Commentariat, has just published a new book. It’s called Kairos: A Proposal to Restore Federalism to the United States.Okay, I hear the keyboards of the anarchists and cynics charging up now. I suspect I’m even hearing the sound of a few claws being sharpened out there. I suspect Laird’s expecting that." (04/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ngz44bg  

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The Internet is tolerant. Don’t agree? Keep out

April 4, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, gave $1,000 to Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure passed by a majority of California voters to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court voided the measure, but the hate campaign against its supporters lives on. There's a Twitter campaign to force Eich to step down." [editor's note: Umm, update ... he did; her points are still valid, though -- and I did NOT stop using their browser, which is still superior to pretty much anything else out there - SAT] (04/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ll27v9y  

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McCutcheon: Should the rich speak louder?

April 4, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jeffrey Rosen  

"On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down its most important decision on campaign finance reform since Citizens United. The decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, seemed to divide along familiar ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion for five conservatives, and Justice Stephen Breyer writing the dissent for the four liberals. What really divided the court, however, wasn’t partisan politics pitting Republicans against Democrats but two conflicting views of the First Amendment." [editor's note: As usual, an ill-fated attempt at controlling oligarchy behavior, rather than limiting the effects of its power - SAT] (04/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/laf3cuy  

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Liberty: Rooted in rights

April 1, 2014
posted by

Strike the Root
by Jim Davies  

"Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said 'Rule me, please!'" (03/31/14)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/liberty-rooted-in-rights  

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Premature executions

March 31, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Christopher Brauchli  

"The question is, what is the highest court in the land? The uninformed will immediately respond that it is the United States Supreme Court and the next highest, in the legal hierarchy, the Federal Courts of Appeal. People answering in that fashion can be forgiven for their answers since they are merely reflecting conventional wisdom. In fact, however, the highest court in the land is the Missouri Supreme Court. It has repeatedly shown itself to be above the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts when it comes to death penalty cases over which, most people, including the federal courts themselves, thought they had the final word." (03/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/28/premature-executions/  

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The “perks” of NSA surveillance

March 26, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow  

Cartoon. (03/25/14)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/178987/perks-nsa-surveillance  

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Chilling effect, next steps, final steps, hope

March 25, 2014
posted by

Popehat
by Clark Bianco  

"The system is unreformable. It has more guns than the good guys (at least now). But if discontent grows and enough people start to stop talking about 'our government' and start talking 'your [ illegitimate ] government,' at some point even the hard men look out at the swelling crowd, realize that they are on the wrong side of history, and go home. Or at least we can hope." (03/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owmwqtn  

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“Insanity” is now gun control—Are you nuts?

March 17, 2014
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise
by Alan Korwin  

"This -- the slippery mental-health database entries as a gun-ban tool is a battleground for our rights we have not recognized yet. The quiet 'reasonable' drumbeat to find and lockup the crazies is not getting softer. Everyone is afraid to speak out against mental health -- and the priesthood of head doctors running that crazy carnival. Eventually, the propagandists who are already attacking everything about gun ownership will slip into the obvious -- the very desire to even own a gun is practically proof that you must be nuts. What sane person would want to own a killing machine, right?" (03/17/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle762-20140316-03.html  

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The new Inquisition

March 17, 2014
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Psychology can be fooled into incarcerating individuals who are perfectly sane, as it once did with Nellie Bly, a courageous reporter investigating conditions in a New York mental asylum late in the 19th century. Nor have its powers of diagnosis much improved since then. On the other hand, if, like Ezra Pound or Frances Farmer (look them up), you hold opinions contrary to those the government wants you to hold -- especially today on global warming, gun ownership, race relations, or the meaning and significance of the U.S. Constitution -- it will more than question your sanity, it will lock you up and tear it to bits." (03/16/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle762-20140316-02.html  

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Torturing Senator Feinstein’s CIA torture study

March 14, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein 'reluctantly' accused the CIA on Tuesday of spying on her committee. The CIA should be very afraid. DiFi has stood out as Langley's fiercest Democratic defender. Now she threatens to become the agency's biggest nightmare. Edward Snowden accused Feinstein of hypocrisy for protesting when spooks spy on Congress, not regular folk. Others hailed her for courageously standing up to CIA thuggery. Me? I cannot fathom why the CIA would pick this fight, although that doesn't mean Feinstein's wrong." (03/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qakoa5t  

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The Snowden testimony

March 11, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"The case of Edward Snowden is an object study about why whistleblowers have mountains to climb when it comes to revealing abuses within a system. Last Friday, Snowden detailed a series of answers to submitted questions from the European Parliament outlining what those mountains were." (03/10/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/10/the-snowden-testimony/  

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Last rural abortion clinics in Texas shut down

March 7, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux  

"Since November, the last abortion clinics in East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, some of the poorest and most remote parts of the state, have been hanging on by their fingernails. The two clinics, both outposts of a network of abortion providers called Whole Woman’s Health, stayed open with slimmed-down staffs while their owner, Amy Hagstrom Miller, struggled to comply with the first chunk of HB2, ... which requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Today, after weeks of failed negotiations with nearby hospitals, Hagstrom Miller announced that both clinics are closing their doors. The clinics in Beaumont, about an hour east of Houston, and McAllen, just north of the Mexico border, were the last rural abortion providers left in Texas. " (03/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mw656un  

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Richmond and eminent domain

March 6, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch
by Ellen Brown  

"Gayle McLaughlin, the bold mayor of Richmond, California, has gone where no woman dared go before, threatening to take underwater mortgages by eminent domain from Wall Street banks and renegotiate them on behalf of beleaguered homeowners. A member of the Green Party, which takes no corporate campaign money, she proved her mettle standing up to Chevron, which dominates the Richmond landscape. But the banks have signaled that if Richmond or another city tries the eminent domain gambit, they will rush to court seeking an injunction. Their grounds: an unconstitutional taking of private property and breach of contract." (03/05/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/richmond-and-eminent-domaine/  

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Best amicus brief ever

March 6, 2014
posted by

Above the Law
by David Lat  

"Today we bring you an amicus brief that will make you laugh out loud -- which shouldn’t be surprising, given that it’s being submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a leading humorist .... On Friday, the Cato Institute submitted an amicus brief on behalf of itself and one of its fellows, legendary political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, in the case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. The case involves a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that makes it a crime to 'disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false.'" (03/03/14)

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/03/best-amicus-brief-ever/  

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Down Dixie way

March 5, 2014
posted by

Fred Reed Fred On Everything
by Fred Reed  

"There was a wildness to the South, a sense that anything could happen. It didn’t feel controlled. Maybe it wasn’t obvious. People talked soft and slow like the Good Lord intended, instead of honking through their noses the way they do in Brooklyn, and they were polite and friendly. You didn’t want to lean on them, though. That wasn’t a good idea." (03/03/14)

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Dixie.shtml  

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Worth their salt

March 3, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Jane Slaughter  

"Bosses hate a salt -- a pro-union worker who’s taken a job with the intent to organize. A few unions are recruiting salts these days, usually young people who apply for low-wage jobs in retail, hospitality, or logistics. But unions are reluctant to talk about salting, not wanting to alert management to look out for suspicious characters. In this article every worker will use a pseudonym and their situations will be disguised." (03/02/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/28/organizers-worth-their-salt/  

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What if Americans demanded the ouster of this government?

February 28, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by David Lindorff  

"Now let’s compare those fine, high-minded scoldings and warnings -- and remember, we’re talking about three countries where the protesters have been seeking the overthrow of their existing governments, not just for reforms in the system, and protesters, particularly in Ukraine and Venezuela, who have themselves resorted to violence and especially to property damage -- to how our own government these days responds to peaceful public protest." (02/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwu77se  

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The auction block comes to Colorado

February 25, 2014
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Our concern, here, is not so much with the religious or free speech aspects of the First Amendment, as with the Thirteenth Amendment. It isn't really that surprising: underneath the skin of every 'progressive,' there is a would-be plantation-owner and slave-keeper, struggling to get out. Democrats have a long, sick history of always supporting involuntary servitude of one kind or another. It's why they're all such fans of victim disarmament -- you can't have slaves running around the plantation toting guns, now, can you?" (02/24/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle759-20140223-02.html  

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NSA concedes: Parody T-shirts that use NSA’s name and logo aren’t illegal

February 25, 2014
posted by

The Volokh Conspiracy
by Eugene Volokh  

"I wrote about this incident last fall, and now the National Security Agency has folded (as has the Department of Homeland Security with regard to a similar controversy), thanks to the work of Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, who represented the designers. Here is the letter the NSA agreed to send Zazzle ..." (02/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3ffesd  

2 Comments »

The surveillance of WikiLeaks

February 24, 2014
posted by

Wikileaks CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"If only we could say it was the first time. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have become the bread and butter of a good many staff in the National Security Agency and their British equivalent, GCQH. The outfit is also providing rich fare for a range of agencies keen to mark out WikiLeaks in some capacity as an illegal organisation. The effort has so far failed because the implications -- at least for now -- are simply too terrifying, especially for those with even a shade of interest in publishing and reporting. Criminalise WikiLeaks, and you criminalise us all." (02/22/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/the-surveillance-of-wikileaks/  

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Amazon’s collaboration with the CIA

February 21, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Normon Solomon  

"As the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon wants a benevolent image to encourage trust from customers. Obtaining vast quantities of their personal information has been central to the firm’s business model. But Amazon is diversifying -- and a few months ago the company signed a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to provide 'cloud computing” services.'" (02/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mgc6vky  

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