The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper

Volume XIII, Issue #3,099
Monday, December 29th, 2014
442 email subscribers


In the News:

0) Publisher’s Note
1) Officials: No sign of AirAsia Flight QZ8501; likely at “bottom of the sea”
2) Hundreds await rescue from crippled ferry in Adriatic Sea
3) Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 11
4) US, NATO put on dog and pony show, pretend to end war in Afghanistan
5) US oil climbs above $55 a barrel on renewed Libyan tensions
6) Algeria: Minister calls for OPEC to cut production
7) Japan: Cabinet clears “stimulus” boondoggle
8) Iraq: Iranian senior commander killed
9) Malaria killing thousands more than Ebola in West Africa
10) Boko Haram militants stage attacks in northern Cameroon
11) AZ: Prosecutors bungle case against Arpaio deputies
12) NASA: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot “just a sunburn”
13) NY/NJ: Governors veto Port Authority reform bill
14) PA: Alleged intruder fatally shot by homeowner
15) Idiot pol watch: Graham threatens to defund UN if it takes US position on Palestinian statehood
16) CA: Chemicals’ phaseout a “success story” for wildlife
17) Croatians vote for new president
18) Sri Lanka: Main Muslim party quits government, supports opposition ahead of election
19) Somalia: Islamist with $3 million US bounty surrenders
20) Documents: NSA analysts spied on spouses, girlfriends

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) 2014: The good, the bad, and the ugly
22) Law-and-order Leninism
23) You can watch The Interview — now what?
24) Are there vulgar left-libertarians?
25) Sex, spice and small-town Texas justice
26) An interview on The Interview
27) When it comes to police, order trumps law
28) A lesson from Europe: Relax about immigration
29) The “great” divide
30) The thin blue line
31) Colbert exposed dangers of hyperbolic, divisive & inflammatory punditry
32) Merry Christmas!
33) Maricopa County “criminal justice”: The irony never stops
34) So how’s the economy doing this year?
35) Randians versus Rothbardians
36) Homecare worker protections thwarted in court
37) We can show that conscription is economically inefficient
38) Stories vs. numbers
39) Eggsanity
40) States redistributing wealth! Where’s the Republican outrage?
41) What’s in a cliche?
42) Can’t tell the difference between welfare and donations?
43) Dominant state, submissive populace
44) Everything Voluntary Podcast, 12/24/14
45) Wall Street’s Merry Christmas, new year still up for grabs
46) Making low-skilled workers illegal
47) The detached state
48) Immigration as political theater
49) Signs of life …
50) Carly Fiorina, deadbeat presidential candidate
51) America’s toxic Middle East allies
52) Libertarianism and social cooperation
53) Rand Paul raises banner
54) Web encryption gets stronger and more widespread: 2014 in review
55) NSA drops Christmas Eve surprise
56) Another torture report and still no prosecutions
57) Film review — Nullification: The Rightful Remedy
58) The market’s gift: Low clothing prices
59) A dangerous moment with promise
60) Heartland Daily Podcast, 12/24/14


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Publisher’s Note


Dear readers,

Over the years, RRND has pursued a number of publication avenues. We’re on the web (also including “latest 5” news and commentary at ISIL under the Freedom News Daily brand). We’re in your email inbox. (there’s an ISIL Freedom News Daily brand of that as well at Google Groups). You can find us on Facebook and via Twitter.

Starting today, we’ll also be publishing the daily edition each morning at Liberty.me. The freedom movement’s social network seems like a natural home for the freedom movement’s daily newspaper. Check it out!

As 2014 winds down, I’d like to thank all of you who have financially supported us in the past or will do so in the future, and encourage those of you who haven’t to do so now.

We’ve reliably provided the freedom movement with its daily news and commentary roundup for 12 years now under the RRND label, and for 11 years before that at FND and Libernet.  Our pricing model is “pay us what you think it’s worth,” and I’m asking you to return value for value right now while you’re thinking about it. We don’t eat much, but we gotta eat … and producing these daily editions does entail a daily investment of time and labor from the five of us on the prediction of some financial return on that investment.

There are a number of ways to support RRND. You can find most of them here …


… and the newest way is via the “tip jar” at the top of our Liberty.me edition.

We look forward to our 13th (or 24th, depending on where prefer to count from) year with all of you and wish all of you a happy, healthy and profitable 2015!

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

In the News


Officials: No sign of AirAsia Flight QZ8501; likely at “bottom of the sea”

CNN CNN “A second day in the search for a missing AirAsia plane proved fruitless Monday, with Indonesia’s top rescue official saying the commercial jet probably crashed into the sea. ‘Our early conjecture is that the plane is in the bottom of the sea,’ Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency, told reporters, saying the view was based on the plane’s flight track and last known coordinates. But searchers still don’t know exactly where the aircraft is, he said, and may need help from other countries for an underwater search.” (12/29/14)



Hundreds await rescue from crippled ferry in Adriatic Sea

Fox News Fox News “Dozens of ferry passengers in the Adriatic Sea remained stranded and adrift between the coasts of Italy and Albania Monday morning, one day after a fire crippled the vessel. Meanwhile, Italian and Greek military and coast guard rescue crews battled gale-force winds and massive waves as helicopters plucked small groups of people and whisked them to safety aboard any of ten mercantile ships waiting nearby. One person has died in the risky rescue operations and at least two others have been injured.” (12/29/14)



Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 11

Reuters Reuters “A suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded 23 others when he detonated explosives in a crowd of Shi’ite pilgrims walking north of Baghdad to the shrine city of Samarra, police and medical officials said. The Shi’ite faithful had stopped at a tent serving pilgrims in Taji on Baghdad province’s northern edge, the officials said.” (12/29/14)



US, NATO put on dog and pony show, pretend to end war in Afghanistan

CBS News CBS News “The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan on Sunday with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains as ferocious and deadly as at any time since the 2001 invasion that unseated the Taliban regime following the Sept. 11 attacks. The symbolic ceremony marked the end of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, which will transition to a supporting role with 13,500 soldiers, most of them American, starting Jan. 1. Gen. John Campbell, commander of ISAF, rolled up and sheathed the green and white ISAF flag and unfurled the flag of the new international mission, called Resolute Support.” (12/28/14)



US oil climbs above $55 a barrel on renewed Libyan tensions

Reuters Reuters “U.S. crude rose more than $1 in early Asian trade on Monday, reversing a fall in the previous session as escalating clashes in Libya threatened oil exports and supply disruptions from the OPEC member. … Forces loyal to Libya’s recognized government launched air strikes on the western city of Misrata on Sunday in apparent retaliation against a missile attack last week which started a fire at Es Sider, one of the OPEC producer’s largest export terminals. More than 800,000 barrels of crude — at least two days production — was destroyed by the fire which continued to engulf three storage tanks, the National Oil Corporation said on Sunday.” (12/29/14)



Algeria: Minister calls for OPEC to cut production

Biloxi Sun Herald “Algeria’s oil minister on Sunday called on OPEC to cut production and raise the price of oil, which has plunged dramatically in the last six months. The call by Youcef Yousfi to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Algeria is a member, comes as the country is struggling to deal with a halving of oil prices from $120 barrel to $60 a barrel.” (12/28/14)



Japan: Cabinet clears “stimulus” boondoggle

Sacramento Bee “Japan’s Cabinet approved 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) in fresh stimulus Saturday for the ailing economy, pledging to get growth back on track and restore the country’s precarious public finances. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is wrapping up his second year in office hard-pressed to salvage a recovery that fizzled into recession after a sales tax hike in April.” (12/28/14)



Iraq: Iranian senior commander killed

Boston Herald “A senior commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has been killed during a battle against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq, the Guard said Sunday. Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi was ‘martyred while performing his advisory mission to confront ISIS terrorists in Samarra,’ said a statement posted on the Guard’s website.” (12/28/14)



Malaria killing thousands more than Ebola in West Africa

Greensboro News-Record “West Africa’s fight to contain Ebola has hampered the campaign against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that is claiming many thousands more lives than the dreaded virus. In Gueckedou, near the village where Ebola first started killing people in Guinea’s tropical southern forests a year ago, doctors say they have had to stop pricking fingers to do blood tests for malaria.” (12/28/14)



Boko Haram militants stage attacks in northern Cameroon

euronews [EU] “Some 1,000 suspected Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria attacked five towns in northern Cameroon over the weekend and briefly occupied a military camp on Sunday before being removed by the air force, an army spokesman said. The heavily armed group attacked the military camp in Achigachia near the Nigerian border at around 4 a.m. Following an intense battle, the army abandoned the camp, Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck told Reuters by phone. ‘After that, the head of state ordered the air force to carry out strikes. With the bombardment, the fighters were forced to decamp from Achigachia,’ Badjeck said.” (12/28/14)



AZ: Prosecutors bungle case against Arpaio deputies

Fox Latino “The disappearance of a key wiretap document in an Arizona corruption case has led prosecutors to seek the dismissal of charges against three former sheriff’s officers accused of helping a cartel-connected heroin smuggling ring. The request to dismiss charges against the former employees of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office came after it was recently discovered that a wiretap application that must be completed to get electronic surveillance was never actually filed.” [editor’s note: I can’t help but wonder if a technicality was found to dismiss the charges before one of them ratted out someone (cough … Joe … cough) higher up the ladder (or because one of them threatened to) – TLK] (12/25/14)



NASA: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot “just a sunburn”

Raw Story Raw Story “The Great Red Spot on Jupiter (the persistent high-pressure ‘anticyclone’ that was first observed by Gian Domenico Cassini in 1665) is likely only red because of what scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are calling a ‘sunburn.’ There have been competing theories as to why the Great Red Spot has its color. NASA scientist Kevin Baines said that one theory is that ‘the spot’s red color is due to upwelling chemicals formed deep beneath the visible cloud layers.’ But, he added, ‘[i]f red material were being transported from below, it should be present at other altitudes as well, which would make the red spot redder still.'” (12/28/14)



NY/NJ: Governors veto Port Authority reform bill

Fox News Fox News “The governors of New York and New Jersey jointly vetoed legislation Saturday aimed at overhauling the Port Authority and proposed instead a series of reforms they said would go further in bringing accountability to the agency. The bill was designed to clean up an agency long known for dysfunction and scandals, including most recently the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that ensnarled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. It had the unanimous support of the New York and New Jersey legislatures.” (12/28/14)



PA: Alleged intruder fatally shot by homeowner

CBS News CBS Philly “Authorities in western Pennsylvania say they’re investigating an apparent home invasion that ended with the death of the alleged intruder. The Washington County coroner says a homeowner fatally shot 37-year-old Emanuel Ladson after he broke into the house through a window early Saturday. Coroner Tim Warco says the California Borough homeowner confronted Ladson in the kitchen and fired once, hitting him in the chest.” (12/27/14)



Idiot pol watch: Graham threatens to defund UN if it takes US position on Palestinian statehood

Times of Israel [Israel] “Visiting US Senator Lindsey Graham threatened Saturday to withhold US funding from the UN, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the Palestinian Authority, a day after a senior Palestinian official said the PA will push for a UN vote on the Palestinian statehood bid by Monday. … Graham, as chairman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the incoming Senate’s Appropriations Committee, will wield considerable power in foreign policy.” [editor’s note: I’m all for de-funding the UN, but this is among the dumbest possible things to do it over. The US position — and the Israeli position — has been “two-state solution” for decades. Can’t have a “two-state solution” without two states (I personally favor a “no-state solution”). And by the way, since when is Israel a US state and since when does Graham represent it in the US Senate? I could have sworn he was from South Carolina – TLK] (12/27/14)



CA: Chemicals’ phaseout a “success story” for wildlife

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle “Ten years after government regulations forced an industry phaseout of once common but toxic flame retardants, a new study of San Francisco Bay has shown a steep decline in the presence of the chemicals in the bay’s wildlife. A decade ago, the chemicals known as PBDEs were recorded in the bay at higher pollution levels than anywhere else in the world, but state and federal curbs that began in California in 2003 have averted a hazard that could have damaged bay birds, shellfish and fish for years to come, the study researchers said. ‘This is quite a success story,’ said Rebecca Sutton, the study’s lead author and senior scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, which tracks chemicals in the bay.” (12/28/14)



Croatians vote for new president

BBC News BBC News [UK state media] “Croatians are electing a new president, with the poll seen as a test for the main political parties. The incumbent, Ivo Josipovic, is one of four candidates. He was nominated by the governing coalition. The other three are Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, from the main opposition party, right-winger Milan Kujundzic and activist Ivan Vilibor Sincic. The president has a largely ceremonial role, but has a say in foreign policy and is head of the army. Croatia is the newest member of the European Union, joining in July last year.” (12/27/14)



Sri Lanka: Main Muslim party quits government, supports opposition ahead of election

ABC Online [Australia] “Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party has quit the government and pledged support to the opposition, in a move seen as the biggest setback yet to president Mahinda Rajapakse’s re-election bid. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem also announced his own resignation as justice minister and said he would now work for the victory of the opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, in the January 8 election. Mr Hakeem said his party left the government because of festering differences over a 2010 law which lifted the two-term limit on the presidency and gave Mr Rajapakse wide powers over the police, the judiciary and the civil service.” (12/29/14)



Somalia: Islamist with $3 million US bounty surrenders

The Washington Post Washington Post “A leader with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, who the United States offered $3 million for his capture [sic], surrendered in Somalia, a Somali intelligence official said Saturday. Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police in the Gedo region, said the intelligence officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.” (12/28/14)



Everybody Has An Opinion


The federal government created police militarization. That’s why it shouldn’t solve it.

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Brandon R Davis “In the wake of two grand juries failing to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, there have been waves of protest throughout the United States calling for Department of Justice to bring federal charges against the cops in question for civil rights violations. It’s understandable that many protesters would turn to Washington to rectify what they see as racial injustice. After all, the federal government played a major role historically in ending slavery and Jim Crow. However since the 1960s, Washington’s played the exact opposite role; nudging state and local governments towards tyrannical policies like police militarization that have been on display over the past few months. Protesters should beware of what they’re calling for.” (12/27/14)



Crazy is as crazy does

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Joe Bastardi “Read this Washington Post piece from November on the idea that global warming (what happened to climate change?) is driving ‘crazy’ winters. It’s a testimony to a lot of nonsense going on in our nation today, where people have little ability to remember the past and understand that history is what got us where we are today. Let’s look at last winter. As ‘crazy’ as it was, the fact is that Weatherbell.com, my company, forecasted it well in advance by looking at the winters of 1917-191 [sic] and 1993-1994 — before global warming was ‘driving crazy winters.’” (12/28/14)



We are not, cannot, and should not be equals

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell “I have two male roommates. One slightly older than me, the other slightly younger, but for our purposes we could just as easily assume we’re the same age. One is slightly taller, one is slightly shorter, but again, we could just as easily say we were the same height. I’m from New York, one roommate is from Nevada, the other from Wisconsin, but again for our purposes we may as well have been raised in the same house. Screw it, let’s just pretend the three of us are identical triplets. We’re still not equals.” (12/29/14)



Tech workers chafe at India’s neoliberal ascent

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Chen “As India approaches the new year with great expectations for becoming the pre-eminent ’emerging economy,’ something unexpected has emerged at a flagship factory. An angry labor dispute at a tech factory near Chennai on Monday has erupted with scores of arrests—and the rising superpower’s neoliberal dream now heads into 2015 with a rude awakening. The workers at the Special Economic Zone are frustrated by harsh recent cutbacks at Foxconn, a Taiwanese-owned electronics supplier for Nokia and other brands. ” (12/29/14)



Thomas Jefferson on the misuse of the commerce and general welfare clauses

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Thomas Jefferson”Take together the decisions of the federal court, the doctrines of the President, and the misconstructions of the constitutional compact acted on by the legislature of the federal branch, and it is but too evident, that the three ruling branches of that department are in combination to strip their colleagues, the State authorities, of the powers reserved by them, and to exercise themselves all functions foreign and domestic.” (written in 1825, posted 12/28/14)



Broken countries policing

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Matt Peppe “Despite being disproven as a strategy for reducing crime, the broken windows policing theory is still utilized in New York and throughout in the United States to crack down on disorder and nonviolent crime. To think that harsh enforcement of this type of ‘crime’ would prevent serious crime like homicide and assault is patently absurd on its face. If you want to rid society of the most serious crimes, you should be enforcing the most serious crimes, like aggressive war. Call it broken countries policing.” (12/29/14)



Bring the sacrificial lambs in Korea home now

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger “Today, there are thousands of American troops stationed in Korea, many of whom are stationed near the demilitarized zone at the border between North Korea and South Korea. The reason for those U.S. troops in South Korea? To guarantee that in the event of the outbreak of war between the North and South, the United States will be automatically involved in the war. In such an invasion, it is a certainty that U.S. troops would be killed. That’s the idea. They are considered sacrificial lambs to guarantee that the United States would be in the war, without the necessity of debating or discussing the issue here at home.” (12/29/14)



What we learned about NSA spying in 2014 — and what we’re fighting to expose in 2015

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nadia Kayyali and Mark Rumold “After a banner year for shedding light on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs in 2013, the pace of disclosures in 2014 — both from whistleblowers and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits — slowed significantly. But that’s not because all the secrets of NSA surveillance have been revealed.” (12/28/14)



Building a culture of liberty, part 2: Parenting

Skyler J Collins Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins “Parenting science in the realm of attachment theory posits that our ability to empathize with others begins its development in infancy. Mother/baby eye contact and bonding is the first step. From there, breastfeeding, babywearing, and cosleeping continue the process. Empathy is important if we are to experience the plight of others. Feeling moral outrage toward the violation of the rights of others is as important for the desire to secure their rights as it is our own. Following attachment parenting practices is the first step toward building a culture of liberty.” (12/29/14)



Common-sense canine

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob “Persistence. That’s the lesson of an animal rescue shown in a video of unknown provenance, most likely recorded in Southeast Asia, that appeared on the Internet toward the end of 2014. As the video opens, we see that a small tawny-haired, yelping dog had somehow fallen into a well. Rescuers are lowering a rope into the water. The pooch has only one way to escape — by grabbing the rope with her teeth. Which she does. Nine out of ten times, though, she can’t hold on long enough for a rescuer to grab her and pull her out. She keeps dropping back into the water. Discouraging. But the tenth time proves the charm.” (12/29/14)



The year police abuse went mainstream

Free Press Publications
by Darryl W Perry “It’s time again to look at a year gone by, though unlike years past where I attempt to summarize the year, I will instead look at what I consider to be the story of the year. It’s not easy picking a top story for the entire year, in fact the top story of 2014 isn’t just 1 story, it’s an entire genre of news stories: Police Abuse.” [text, Flash audio and MP3] (12/28/14)



Castro brothers and 11 presidents

The Cagle Post
by Rainer HachfeldCartoon. (12/27/14)



The literary genius of George Orwell’s 1984

Liberty Chat
by Jacobus Paine “Great literature does more than touch the audience with its brilliant mechanics and style. It also reaches out to higher ground, touching the audience with truth and thematic richness. That’s why George Orwell’s 1984 is great literature. Its literary style depends on unadorned and simple picture-painting. Its themes of freedom and authoritarianism resonate with us those of us who live beyond the 20th century and those who lived around that time.” (12/26/14)



Viva Obama!

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by SH Chambers”The plenipotentiary president.” (12/28/14)



2014: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo “The new year brings with it opportunities for peace as well as war clouds darkening the horizon: a rising awareness of the costs of war on the part of the public as well as an increasing war hysteria on the part of our political elites. Which can only mean one thing: 2015, like its predecessor, will consist of the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly.” (12/29/14)



Law-and-order Leninism

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg “Both sides agree that nobody needs to worry about getting hurt as long as they render immediate and unqualified submission to the police. They also agree that individuals have the right to resist when they are being abused and their lives threatened by the police. They can embrace these mutually exclusive propositions because of a third point on which they tacitly agree: The duty to submit, and the right to resist, depend entirely on the identity of the person or people on the receiving end of state-licensed abuse. Both sides agree with Vladimir Lenin’s dictum that in politics the basic question is ‘Who does what to Whom.’ They have also embraced Lenin’s formula for ‘scientific dictatorship’ — ‘Power without limit, resting directly on force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules.'” (12/27/14)



You can watch The Interview — now what?

J. Neil Schulman J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J Neil Schulman “The Interview was not the first movie offensive to someone with a megaphone or a fondness for mayhem and it won’t be the last. It shouldn’t take the wagging finger of Your Hardly Humble Correspondent — much less Obama or Clooney — to convince a corporation not to back off due to threats from bullies such as Internet hackers or their own legal team. The next ‘Putin’s Punishers’ who threaten terrorism because of the pending theatrical release of Pussy Riot 2: Mayhem in Moscow can be ignored by the simple expedient of treating movie-goers as adults.” (12/27/14)



Are there vulgar left-libertarians?

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER @ Liberty.me
by Thomas L Knapp “Normally when we think of ‘vulgar libertarians’ we think of left-libertarians saying ‘hey … all these wonderful things may look wonderful, but remember that things happened the way they actually did, not in some fairy tale free market universe; things would look very different absent the omnipresence of the state. Probably even better, but definitely different.’ But when thinking about ‘vulgar libertarianism,’ it occurs to me that there’s a left-libertarian version of the same phenomenon.” (12/28/14)



Sex, spice and small-town Texas justice

Reason Reason
by Anthony L Fisher”Why did the government go after The Purple Zone? The DEA says the raid was one in a series of nationwide enforcement actions carried out that day with the goal of taking down purveyors of synthetic drugs who funnel their proceeds to Middle Eastern terrorists. It also says that Lipsen was a prime suspect. But as a Jew and avid supporter of Israel, she hardly fits the profile of an Islamic terrorism financier. A more likely reason: Brewster County District Attorney Rod Ponton is Lipsen’s jilted ex-lover, and has been carrying out a personal vendetta against her for the past few years. He prompted federal law enforcement agents to pursue a groundless and expensive crusade against her smoke shop, turning life for Lipsen and her family into a living hell.” (for publication 01/15)



An interview on The Interview

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed Garry Reed interviews J. Neil Schulman about The Interview. “[Q:] How would you have responded if it was your movie being threatened? [A:] If it was just me in the crosshairs I would have gone ahead with the movie’s distribution. But a corporation is subject to the matrix of law in which it operates and has to make what is generally regarded as ‘responsible’ decisions accordingly. Management is both answerable to stockholders and legal authority. Corporate inability to make moral stands is a fundamental flaw in the current legal landscape. But if Sony management had gotten out in front of this problem instead of being passive aggressive they could have preserved the profit viability of this movie better than the last-minute independent theater and online release and made themselves less vulnerable to public criticism.” (12/28/14)



When it comes to police, order trumps law

Reuters Reuters
by Allen Steinberg “Police misconduct has ignited a political firestorm in New York and many other cities across the nation, not seen in quite some time. Relations between the public and the police are fraught with tension, mistrust and violence. Many are outraged. Politicians and the media are posturing and promising reform. The police are angry, feeling besieged. It is all pretty ugly — and thanks to modern media it appears that things are worse than ever before. We can now watch video of people being killed. Protests can be organized, recorded and broadcast instantly. Guns make deadly confrontations easier to provoke.” (12/24/14)



A lesson from Europe: Relax about immigration

The Canal The Canal
by Laurie Blair “Many in the United States have rightly criticized the increased militarization of the US-Mexican border. Notwithstanding a dip in 2014, migrant deaths along the frontier have spiked since 2000, with 445 dying in 2013. But where are the critics of Europe’s migration policy, which led to 3000 dying at sea trying to reach European shores in 2014 alone? In a previous post, I argued that Latin America should steer clear of Europe’s approach to counter-terrorism. In the same way, the United States could learn much from Europe on how not to respond to illegal immigration.” (12/24/14)



The “great” divide

Kent McManigal Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal “As so many have noticed, there is a Great Divide in America — and I don’t mean the Rocky Mountains. It’s a divide between individuals who see themselves as part of a particular group and those who see themselves as part of a different group. But, the ‘Great’ divide isn’t the divisions that we are encouraged to see. It isn’t between ‘Black’ or ‘White’ or Hispanic. Not between ‘immigrant’ and ‘citizen.’ Not even between ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative.’ Nope. It’s strictly between liberty and State.” (12/28/14)



The thin blue line

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Sheila Stokes-Begley “We are beginning to see what I fear is the start of something that will evolve into something really, really ugly. The erosion of the ‘Thin Blue Line.’ There are some people that support the law enforcement community no matter what. I am not one of those. I think people like the officer (Kevin Dupre) from Cleburne Texas that called these dogs over to him by making kissing noises and then killed them need to rot in hell. I truly hope there is a special place in hell for people like him. Just so I’m clear on how I feel about this piece of scum.” (12/27/14)



Colbert exposed dangers of hyperbolic, divisive & inflammatory punditry

Raw Story Raw Story
by Sophia A. McClennen “If you were following politics over the last few election cycles, you were most likely getting some of your information from satire. In fact, research has shown that in today’s political climate, satire has become one of the most influential sources of public discourse in our nation — especially for younger voters. … A number of comedians have played a significant role in advancing the centrality of satire in public discourse today, but I would argue that Stephen Colbert might well have been one of the most important of all. This is why the end of his show, The Colbert Report, marks a turning point in our nation’s political satire. What will the show’s legacy be? And what’s next?” (12/22/14)



Merry Christmas!

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor “While I haven’t believed in anything supernatural or paranormal since I was seven-years-old, including baby Jesus and his virgin birth, still that doesn’t give me license to ruin Christmas time for the majority of the American people who do. Yes, I’m atheist but that fact doesn’t preclude me from wishing others Merry Christmas! And I don’t mind friendly people wishing me the same.” (12/28/14)



Maricopa County “criminal justice”: The irony never stops

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson “Folks, just add music and you couldn’t have a better farce of the state’s so-called ‘criminal justice’ system. A dirtbag sheriff suppressing evidence that might have prevented a grand jury from indicting the son of his political enemy, a defendant uncovering the suppressed evidence and avoiding a railroad job only because he belongs to a privileged political class and has the economic means to afford a competent defense, and the same dirtbag sheriff expressing outrage over dogs suffering the same treatment he gives his own human jail inmates — most of them never tried for any crime — on a daily basis.” (12/28/14)



So how’s the economy doing this year?

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner “Paul Krugman says that the reduction in long-term unemployment has been rather disappointing. This is important, because 2014 was a sort of ‘natural test’ of the hypothesis that the extended unemployment insurance program led to higher unemployment. The program ended at the beginning of 2014, although it wasn’t clear until the spring that the program would not be renewed, with workers being given back benefits missed in early 2014. So it wasn’t a perfect natural experiment.” (12/27/14)



Randians versus Rothbardians

Robert P. Murphy Mises Canada
by Robert P Murphy “It’s easy and often entertaining to take potshots at leftist progressives who want the federal government to run health care (sorry Canadians), or at right-wing neoconservatives who want the federal government to run the world (sorry Americans). But the truly interesting debate is between minarchism and anarcho-capitalism. If we want to put thinkers to these ideas, we can pit Ayn Rand versus Murray Rothbard. Both are stridently ‘free market,’ but Rothbard thought the market could produce even law, police, and military defense, whereas Rand was an advocate of a ‘nightwatchman State.’ She thought that by definition, the system of property rights and their enforcement couldn’t be something bought and sold on the market itself.” (12/22/14)



Homecare worker protections thwarted in court

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Chen “The front line of today’s labor struggles isn’t the factory floor but the kitchen table: many of the most vocal labor campaigns came from the home healthcare workers who support people with disabilities and seniors. These professional carers have joined in the ‘Fight for 15’ protests, led union organizing campaigns and scored a major win in Washington with an expansion of federal labor protections to home healthcare jobs. But the movement for labor rights at home got thwarted in court this week. A federal judge ruled against the pending regulation, deciding that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority when the Department of Labor extended minimum wage and overtime standards to homecare workers hired for by private agencies.” (12/26/14)



We can show that conscription is economically inefficient

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall “Quite apart from the fact that conscription is vile in and of itself, it’s the creation of slavery to the state, we’ve good evidence that it’s economically irrational as well.” (12/27/14)



Stories vs. numbers

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Helen Dale “In recent years, there’s been a lot of debate about why there aren’t more libertarian women. Pamela Stubbart argued, effectively, that there’s something funny about libertarians. Sharon Presley, in response, argued that libertarians are a bit funny when it comes to women. What both arguments miss is that there are fewer women of every political persuasion. Even Australia — with its regime of compulsory voting and fines — gets fewer women to the polls to vote, and when they do vote, they tend to vote more conservatively (in the Burkean sense; conservatism in the Westminster tradition is quite unlike conservatism in the United States). That means we’ve all been asking the wrong question. It isn’t ‘where are the libertarian women?’ but ‘where are the political women?'” (12/26/14)




Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap “The People’s Republic of Left Coast again shows its special genius. Leading the way to our brave new world, the voters have agreed to implement The Humane Society‘s dream chicken-ranching beautification scheme (humane to non-human animals, that is). Part 1, as encoded into law by voter initiative, all chicken ranches in California had their operations dictated to be nice to the birds raised therein. Well, as nice as the law-writers could mandate with an edict comprehensible to the voting public (a rather low common denominator to be sure). Part 2 came from the legislature in response to chicken rancher pressure. All eggs imported into California must come from facilities equally handicapped by egalitarian humane standards. As a result, mass-volume factory-farm eggs cost as much as organic and free-range niche-market eggs in California grocery stores. This, of course, makes the comfortable middle-class and above feel real good. However those with empty pockets and empty stomachs are not quite so thrilled.” (12/24/14)



States redistributing wealth! Where’s the Republican outrage?

David Sirota In These Times
by David Sirota “In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was lambasted for supposedly endorsing policies of wealth redistribution. The Right feared that under an Obama presidency, Washington would use federal power to take money from some Americans and give it to others. Yet, only a few years later, the most explicit examples of such redistribution are happening in the states, and often at the urging of Republicans. The most illustrative example began in 2012, when Kansas’ Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a landmark bill that delivered big tax cuts to high-income earners and businesses.” (12/26/14)



What’s in a cliche?

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Stephen Cox “People who live in white houses shouldn’t throw words. Or something like that. For a long time this column has been harping on the idea, or fact, that President Obama is a terrible speaker and writer. I have suggested that his style might improve if he tried reading books.” (12/24/14)




Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Mary Lou Seymour
Steve Trinward
Brad Spangler