Category Archives: Opinion

In disasters' wake, public school system DeVos attacks prove essential

Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

A favorite talking point of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is to say that conversations about education should not be about 'systems and buildings' but about 'individual students.' It’s a skillfully crafted soundbite designed to cast schools as oppressive bureaucracies that limit the education opportunities available to children and families. It also differentiates schools from other essential public infrastructure such as fire and police protection, sanitation, and roads. … But before DeVos casually dismisses the need to dispense with public education institutions across the country, she should look at the vital role schools and educators have played in responding to the string of devastating natural disasters that hit America this year." (10/21/17)

Why is Richard Spencer a thing?

Source: spiked
by Tom Slater

"'Flattering.' That’s what white identitarian sadsack Richard Spencer had to say about Florida governor Rick Scott’s decision to declare a state of emergency ahead of Spencer’s talk at the University of Florida yesterday. The move, which basically just allowed for more cops to flood the streets, left the alt-right leader feeling smug. He was on a par with 'hurricanes and invading armies and zombie apocalypses,' he smirked. The scene was insane. Police were wearing riot gear, and running airport-style security, which was so tight a veteran wasn’t allowed entry because they feared his cane might be used as a weapon. The whole thing cost Florida $600,000. And for what? A ‘few dozen’ of his followers showed up, outnumbered by hundreds of demonstrators. Though Charlottesville was no doubt weighing on minds, this was a bizarre overreaction." (10/20/17)

Asking the wrong question

Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

"A few days ago I spent some seven hours attending a meeting of the San Jose City Council. I was there to speak against a proposed gun control law, but there were other interesting things in the meeting. One of them was a discussion of the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative, a ballot measure proposed by developers who want to build 910 units of housing on land currently zoned for industrial use, an idea to which the Mayor is opposed. His argument is that, despite the references to affordable housing, seniors, and veterans, what the plan actually proposes is a gated community for wealthy residents. He may, for all I know, be correct. It does not follow that building it will not make more affordable housing available for the non-wealthy." (10/20/17)

Torturer-in-Chief turned savior of freedom?

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by James Bovard

"Former President George W. Bush gave a speech yesterday implicitly slamming President Donald Trump for dragging down democracy. Bush told political cronies and other attendees: 'We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment.' He assured listeners that freedom 'should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.' Bush invoked the 'high ideals' of our nation, declaring, 'We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution.' After the speech, much of the media exalted Bush as if he were the second coming of George Washington. Twitter showcased the spiel with an unusual summary in its 'trending tweets' lineup — 'George W. Bush gve a powerful speech on democracy, freedom, and American values.' If Bush had never been president, it would be easier to understand the adulation. But Bush was one of the most disastrous, authoritarian presidents in modern American history." (10/20/17)

Clinton Foundation scandal continues

Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

"When Hillary Clinton agreed to be Secretary of State during President Obama's first term, she promised her distance from the Clinton Foundation. The foundation also agreed to limit foreign donations. Both agreements were for good reasons. Foreign officials and governments were big donors to the Clintons' family foundation, and there were concerns in the Obama administration about conflicts of interest between the foundation and Hillary Clinton's work at Secretary of State. But over the past year, evidence has emerged that both Clinton and the foundation failed to live up to those promises. Clinton and her top officials continued to have a cozy relationship with the foundation throughout her tenure at State, and evidence strongly suggest that Clinton was granting access and favors to major Clinton Foundation donors. In addition, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of donations from foreign governments while Hillary was at State, including one that violated an ethics agreement it had with the Obama administration." (10/21/17)

If someone chooses to archate

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

"One of the most common objections to a free society is that some won't go along with the principles. Some people will choose to be bad guys. When this objection is brought up, the objector seems to believe no one has ever pointed this out before, and that this is the final nail in the coffin. That's dumb. Yes, in a free society there will be thieves, murderers, rapists, con men, and every type of bad guy you might run across here and now. The only difference is that they won't be justified by a badge, a title, or a 'job.'" (10/21/17)

Republicans for all

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

"Last month, self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released his Medicare for All plan. Said Sanders, 'Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program.' A few months earlier, Sanders released his College for All plan. … Republicans in and out of Congress are unanimously opposed to both of Sanders’s plans, as are conservative talk-show hosts, bloggers, pundits, and think tanks. But why? Considering what they currently support, one would think that Republicans would be for Medicare for All, College for All, and all similar proposals." (10/20/17)

The Republicans' hidden motive

Source: Liberty Unbound
by Wayland Hunter

"If you’re a Washington Republican, you’re free to campaign against Obamacare or endorse schemes to reduce the deficit or bewail government regulation, so long as such advocacy is without prospect of success; the rubes back home may care, but the people you dine with in Washington don’t. They think it’s just the price of doing business. Your staff doesn’t care, either; they majored in Poli Sci like everyone else. The question is whether you care. Maybe you did at some time. But now you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, because now you have the chance to do something with your political ideas. You have the chance to end all these government programs you’ve been promising to end. But you just can’t bring yourself to do it." (10/20/17)

The troops do not die for their country

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"U.S. troops who have been killed in Niger, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam, Korea, or other faraway places did not die to defend the rights and freedoms of the American people. That’s a lie, a lie that unfortunately is deeply embedded all across American society, including in churches. There is a simple reason that it’s a lie: No one over there is invading the United States and trying to take away our rights and freedoms. Nonetheless, the lie persists, especially within the minds of the troops, who are indoctrinated into believing the lie starting with the first few days of boot camp. It’s not the only lie associated with the deaths of U.S. soldiers in foreign countries. Another lie is the one that says that U.S. soldiers who get killed over there have died for their country." (10/19/17)

A political realignment is necessary — the real struggle is liberty vs. authoritarianism

Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"Until the American public ceases bickering amongst itself along Democratic and Republican or 'left' vs. 'right' lines, we’ll continue to be divided and conquered by authoritarians who wield tremendous power throughout both sides of the traditional political spectrum. This isn’t to say there aren’t real, meaningful differences between those who classify themselves on the 'left' or the 'right,' but it is to say there’s a much bigger battle afoot and nothing’s going to get better until we frame the new political reality for what it is. The most significant, existential struggle at play in these modern United States is a battle between Liberty and Authoritarianism, and it’s extremely important you know where you stand." (10/19/17)