PND Commentary

In praise of passive foreign policy

May 15, 2015
posted by

Cory Massimino Students For Liberty
by Cory Massimino  

"The Principle of Passivity especially applies to foreign policy. Libertarians generally favor a foreign policy of non-interventionism because when the government tries to intervene in other countries' affairs, it is very prone to knowledge and incentive problems and so is very unlikely to achieve a positive outcome. Not only is there little reason to think a government half way across the world has the knowledge necessary to solve other countries' problems, there is little reason to think governments have any incentive to solve the problems since they are are so often prone to special interests and political favoritism." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qywkqen  

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Work is life, but that’s a good thing

May 15, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Laura Vanderkam  

"If you're graduating this spring, you can take bets with your classmates over when the speaker will extol you to "follow your passion." You may also be tempted to ignore this cliché. After all, new grads average five figures in student loans. That road less traveled by needs to lead to serious cash. But the good news is that the economy is evolving in ways that make this advice more practical than your graduation speaker realizes. The key is recognizing two things. First, work and life aren't separate; a career is ideally a way to profitably live out your interests. And second, you don't just want to follow your passion; you also want to rally other people to follow your passion. Doing so is how you will get to do what you love for the rest of your life." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p5g3ky8  

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Spain: As Podemos rises, will feminism rise with it?

May 15, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Becquer Seguin  

"On May 20, 2011, a group of women made their way up the scaffolding that covered one of the facades of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza. A huge L’Oreal ad featuring the Spanish actress Paz Vega cloaked the scaffolding from top to bottom. Barely recognizable anymore, protesters of the indignados movement had transformed the ad into a collage of posters proclaiming 'No Nos Representan!' (They Don’t Represent Us!) and 'Democracia Real YA!' (Real Democracy NOW!). The group of women quickly reached the top and unveiled their new banner piece by piece. 'The.' The crowd began to cheer. 'Revolution.' The crowd bubbled with excitement and cheered even more. 'Will Be.' The cheers continued and became wilder. 'Feminist.' Dead silence." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pmohbzp  

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Don’t ask, don’t tell, get hired

May 15, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Joel Gillin  

"On Monday, 27 senators asked President Barack Obama to take executive action to ban federal agencies and contractors from asking about applicants’ criminal histories until later in the hiring process. Colloquially, the movement is known as “Ban the Box,” a phrase that was the rallying cry of formerly incarcerated organizers. The letter—whose signatories are all Democrats except for the independent presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders—reflects growing support for the campaign to reduce employment barriers for the estimated twelve to 14 million ex-offenders of working age.

http://tinyurl.com/nsvbk4p  

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The trials of Hannah Arendt

May 15, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Corey Robin  

"Events have the last word. Journalists report them, historians contextualize them, and philosophers interpret them. But whether war or revolution, assassination or inauguration, deeds and their doers routinely escape the grasp of their chroniclers. Even in the works of the greatest analysts (Hobbes on the English Civil War, Marx on the Paris Commune) events have a way of evading their command. Sometimes, however, a writer does get the last word. ... Hannah Arendt’s five articles on the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann by the state of Israel appeared in The New Yorker in February and March 1963. They were published as Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil later that year. The book immediately set off a controversy that a half-century later shows no signs of abating." (05/13/15)

http://www.thenation.com/article/207217/trials-hannah-arendt  

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Iron curtains: New dividing lines no better than the old ones

May 15, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Yuliya Komska  

"As political metaphors go, 'iron curtain' (first used to describe an actual partition in a theater) has gotten a good run. It’s been in circulation for 200 years. But since Winston Churchill co-opted the term to describe the Soviet bloc’s borders, the metaphor has been as divisive as the physical borders it describes. In the Cold War, the term reinforced black-and-white bloc mentalities: The enemy typically belonged behind the Iron Curtain, and its morally superior antagonist in front of it. Today, a quarter-century after its fall, 'iron curtain' is back as a metaphor, according to an array of Western news outlets, including the Independent, Newsweek and the public radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. In the past month, these outlets have dusted off the term to charge Eastern European countries with sealing their borders, Cold War-style." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q4gnh9f  

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The progressive challenge

May 15, 2015
posted by

Our Future Blog
by Robert Borosage  

"On a sunlit lawn in front of the nation’s Capitol yesterday, an impressive array of progressive legislators, union and civil rights leaders and public scholars lined up to sign onto New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 'Progressive Agenda,' a brief platform on income inequality. De Blasio plans to add thousands more signatures while calling on candidates in both parties to join. De Blasio’s bold initiative is not alone. In April, National People’s Alliance, USAction, the Alliance for a Just Society and the Campaign for America’s Future released the Populism 2015 Platform, promising to take it across the country. The Center for Community Change joined with civil rights and progressive groups to launch Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All. The Economic Policy Institute released its agenda on Raising Wages.

http://ourfuture.org/20150513/the-progressive-challenge  

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Jason Ditz on The Scott Horton Show

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Jason Ditz, news editor for Antiwar.com, discusses the top headlines of the day on Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Israel and ISIS." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/13/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/05/13/51315-jason-ditz/  

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Jeb foreign policy

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Steve Sack  

Cartoon. (05/13/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/05/jeb-foreign-policy/  

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The humanist’s paradox

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Erik Larson  

"As one might expect, pundits and technologists talk about the 'AI revolution' in the most glowing terms, equating advances in computer tech with advances in humanity: standards of living, access to knowledge, and a spate of emerging systems and applications ranging from improved hearing and vision aids for the impaired, to the cheaper manufacture of goods, to better recommendations from Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, and others. Artificial Intelligence is a measuring rod for progress, scientifically, technologically, and even socially. But technological progress cuts both ways. Not surprisingly, the excitement about a coming artificial intelligence has inspired worrisome and cautionary commentary about the potential downside." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qeyhy6d  

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Eight problems with Amnesty’s report on Aleppo Syria

May 14, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Rick Sterling  

"International customary law does not allow for supplying arms to 'vetted' or 'approved' insurgents. Yet one of the Amnesty recommendations to the international community is that 'If considering supplying arms to non-state armed groups in Syria, first carry out a rigorous human rights risk assessment and establish a robust monitoring process ...' ... The implication is that it's permissible to kill soldiers, police, government and security people in Syria if you avoid killing civilians. Would it be similarly permissible for Canada and Mexico to train and arm insurgents to come to the U.S. to kill soldiers, police and anyone else defending the security apparatus?" (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kab697f  

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Secrecy benefited the national security state in the JFK assassination

May 14, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Immediately after the assassination [of President John F. Kennedy], a shroud of secrecy was placed over it and its aftermath. Moreover, when the Warren Commission conducted its investigation several months later, many of its proceedings were held in secret, and many records and documents were ordered sealed for 75 years. The high-level, long-term secrecy surrounding the Kennedy assassination worked to the benefit of the national-security state apparatus." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ngh26gu  

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The loneliness of Sy Hersh

May 14, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Ten years ago, Sy Hersh was a widely celebrated journalist, considered one of the best at digging up the dark secrets behind the official stories of our various wars. Now, with his alternate history of the killing of Osama bin Laden, Hersh has 'gone off the rails' and is 'lost in a wilderness of mirrors' [as claimed by Max Fisher at Vox and Politico's Jack Shafer, respectively]. What happened? It could be that the longtime New Yorker reporter has lost it. But possibly, maybe, a teeny tiny factor might be that there's a Democrat in the White House -- a combination of liberal reluctance to criticize President Barack Obama with conservative reluctance to criticize the military." (05/12/15)

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121771/loneliness-sy-hersh  

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If I was a member of Congress: Letter To President on Fast Track/TPP

May 14, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson  

"What happened in the Senate Tuesday shows why the corporations are fighting so hard to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A legislative body jumped in and interfered with corporate plans. The nerve of those people! Try to see it from the point of view of the giant, multinational corporations and billionaires. What do we need these 'countries' and their governments for? The corporate world looks at Tuesday’s successful blockage of fast track authority and says, 'See, this is exactly what we are trying to get away from with TPP. These democracies act on public whims, their politicians are always keeping their ear to the ground for whatever the public fancies, and at any time they are liable to turn against the best corporate plans ... We have to put a stop to this meddling.'" (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pgdanpu  

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Common sense, not obstruction

May 14, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)  

"Democrats want trade, and we want more of it. But like the majority of Americans, we want fair trade, not trade agreements that shutter American manufacturing facilities and ship jobs overseas. This week, Democrats who both support and oppose giving the president fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) joined together to ensure that if the Senate fast-tracks more trade deals, we'll also take care of workers and industries who could be left behind." (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6l5bpz  

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Why public silence greets government success

May 14, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Jonathan Cohn  

"Last October, Obama administration officials, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Americans to remain calm as Ebola first appeared in the United States. One person had died from the disease in an American hospital, while new diagnoses had appeared in both Dallas and New York City. But with each new case, critics became louder and more angry -- not just at the president, who was resisting calls for travel bans and mandatory quarantines, but at the whole government apparatus, which seemed unable to stop a potentially catastrophic epidemic." (05/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lo6m9tv  

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Why radicals like Bernie Sanders should run as Dems, not indies

May 14, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Jacob Swenson-Lengyel  

"Senator Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, is running for president. Even more ambitiously, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he wants to lead 'a political revolution in this country.' And he’s doing it as a Democrat. In the wake of his announcement, some on the pragmatic left rushed to make the socialist safe for mass consumption. 'Bernie Sanders is not Bukharin or Trotsky,' Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi assured readers, while Thor Benson took to the New Republic to demand the media stop calling Sanders a socialist (he’s a democratic socialist). The Huffington Post’s Jonathan Cohn went even further. Sanders 'isn’t actually that far to the left,' Cohn said, and ultimately, 'the label doesn’t mean a whole lot anyway.' While the pragmatists were busy rounding off Sanders politically sharper edges, some on the radical left dismissed Sanders as a sellout." (05/13/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17948/bernie_sanders_democrats  

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Could Fast Track ultimately destroy Dodd-Frank?

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"Senator Elizabeth Warren opened up a new battle in the war against the Obama administration’s trade policy last week, when she charged that the fast-track trade authority now being considered by Congress could ultimately allow a Republican president to gut many of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. This provoked a heated response from the White House and its allies, who not only disputed Warren’s claim but bizarrely (and under the cover of anonymity) suggested she was just trying to juice up the Draft Warren presidential movement. So who’s right? This is an important question to litigate, as the Senate prepares to vote on fast-track authority Tuesday. The short answer: Warren." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k43sj8s  

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Dumb and dumber

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by John Darkow  

Cartoon. (05/13/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/05/dumb-and-dumber/  

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Toward a new lexicon of liberty

May 13, 2015
posted by

David S. D'Amato Center for a Stateless Society
by David S D'Amato  

"As the Reason Foundation’s Emily Ekins wrote back in February, 'A recent Reason-Rupe poll asked Americans to rate their favorability towards capitalism, socialism, a free market economy, and a government managed economy.' Quite unsurprisingly, of these choices, Americans most favored free markets, with almost 7 out of 10 respondents reporting a positive opinion of a free market economy. Capitalism was not held in such high regard, significantly lower with 55% of respondents reporting a positive view. Opinions of a government managed economy were lowest at 30%, and 36% of those polled had a positive view of socialism. The results of this poll are interesting and have important, far-reaching implications for those of us concerned with spreading the message of human freedom." (05/13/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/37668  

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The ethical demise of the American Psychological Association

May 13, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Geoff Gray  

"The conscience of the American Psychological Association (APA) is slowly dying as it facilitates torture, cheats its own members, and hussles junk science boondoggles to the defense industry. But the APA wasn't always this way. Founded in the late 19th century by the intellectual giant William James and others, it had a proud history of advancing the science of psychology, defending the rights of those served by psychology, and promoting the interests of its members." (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mbwhghr  

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Seymour Hersh on The Scott Horton Show

May 13, 2015
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author, discusses his article 'The Killing of Osama bin Laden,' detailing the Obama administration's lies about the 2011 assassination of bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/12/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/05/12/51215-seymour-hersh/  

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It’s a conspiracy! How to discredit Seymour Hersh

May 13, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Greg Grandin  

"Max Fisher, now at Vox, learned well during his apprenticeship under Marty Peretz at The New Republic. This week, he was among the first to try to smear Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, which argued that pretty much everything we were told about the killing of Osama bin Laden was a lie. Most importantly, Hersh’s report questions the claim that Washington learned of OBL’s whereabouts thanks to torture -- a claim popularized in the film Zero Dark Thirty. There’s a standard boilerplate now when it comes to going after Hersh, and all Fisher, in 'The Many Problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory,' did was fill out the form." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qafo4vw  

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America doesn’t need another “Contract With America,” not even a liberal one

May 13, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Bill de Blasio says he wants to do what Newt Gingrich did in 1994, but for progressives. Maybe he should stop saying that. The New York mayor, joined by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and economist Joseph Stiglitz, rolled out his Progressive Agenda in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday; it's a 13-point plan calling for a higher minimum wage, universal pre-kindergarten, and higher taxes on the wealthy. De Blasio has explicitly compared it to Gingrich’s 1994 'Contract with America,' a set of legislative proposals often credited with helping Republicans win a majority in Congress for the first time in 40 years in those midterm elections, and which gave them the appearance of a sweeping national mandate for specific conservative legislation." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofuffrg  

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Women as the loyal opposition

May 13, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Long ago, when I began writing newspaper columns, a wise editor advised me that a column is about one thing. I am about to violate that rule. This piece is about three different things (which are connected if you look hard). One is a 25th anniversary; the second is some Mother's Day musings; the third is the latest in a string of losses for the left, namely the trouncing of the British Labour Party in Thursday's election. Let me explain." (05/12/15)

http://prospect.org/article/women-loyal-opposition  

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