Monday, January 25, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Radical Capitalist 29: Why the Left & Right (and some Libertarians) Hate Bankers 01/16 by The Yaron Brook Show | Politics Podcasts
Radical Capitalist 29: Why the Left & Right (and some Libertarians) Hate Bankers 01/16 by The Yaron Brook Show | Politics Podcasts: Every week The Yaron Brook Show reviews significant headlines that impact freedom in various forms. Commenting from a philosophical view that man's greatest value is self, the Show brings unique perspective to the conversation, always ending the show with a positive sense of life. Want to connect with Yaron? Tweet Yaron @YaronBrook or follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ybrook.
Friday, January 15, 2016
An interesting analogy
You've been on vacation for two weeks, you come home, and your basement is infested with raccoons. Hundreds of rabid, messy, mean raccoons have overtaken your basement. You want them gone immediately so you hire a guy. A pro.
You don't care if the guy smells of BO, you need those raccoons gone pronto and he's the guy to do it! You don't care if the guy swears, you don't care if he's an alcoholic, you don't care how many times he's been married, you don't care if he voted for Obama, you don't care if he has a visible plumber's crack...you simply want those raccoons gone! You want your problem fixed! He's the guy. He's the best. Period.
That's why Trump has captured the attention of America. Yes, he's a bit of an ass, yes, he shows a tendency to be an egomaniac, but you don't care.
The country is a mess because politicians suck, the Republican Party is two-faced & gutless, illegals are everywhere. You want it all fixed!
You don't care that Trump is crude, you don't care that he insults people, you don't care that he had been friendly with Hillary, you don't care that he has changed positions often, you don't care that he's been married 3 times, you don't care that he fights with Megyn Kelly and Rosie O'Donnell, you don't care that he doesn't know the name of some Muslin terrorist...our country is weak, bankrupt, our enemies are making fun of us, we are being invaded by illegals, we are becoming a nation of victims where every Tom, Ricardo and Hamid is a special group with special rights to a point where we don’t even recognize the country we were born and raised in; “AND WE JUST WANT IT FIXED!!”
Mr. Trump is the only guy who seems to understand what the people want.
You're sick of politicians, sick of the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and sick of illegals. You just want this thing fixed.
Trump may not be a saint, but doesn’t have lobbyist money holding him hostage, he doesn’t have political correctness restraining him, all you know is that he has been very successful, a good negotiator, he has built a lot of things, and he's also not a politician, he's not a cowardly politician. And he says he'll fix it.
You don't care if the guy has really bad hair.
You just want those raccoons gone.
Out of your house.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Saturday, January 9, 2016
|Criminal Justice and Policing Reform|
Jacob Sullum. “Miami Cops Kept Businessman’s Cash Long After They Knew It Was Legitimate.” Reason.
This article highlights the case of a businessman, Luis Felipe Ospina Garrido, buying cellphones in Miami to sell in Columbia. This operation involved travelling with large amounts of cash, and Garrido had 100,000 euros seized by Miami customs agents in 2012 under suspicion that it was related to the drug trade. After the prosecutor declined to file charges and it became obvious the money was legitimate, the Miami-Dade Police Department decided to keep the funds anyway under asset forfeiture laws. It took Garrido nine months to contest the seizure and get his money back “during which time his business went under and he was forced to lay off his employees.” Florida’s forfeiture laws have received a D+ in a report from the Institute for Justice, leading to a push for legislation that would require a conviction before the police could keep seized property. This would prevent people who are merely under suspicion of committing a crime from having their property taken unjustly, as happened to Garrido.
|Cronyism and Corporate Welfare|
Lance Turner. "Southworth Products to Expand Manila Plant, Add 35 Jobs." Arkansas Business.
Turner reports on the expansion of Southwork Products Corporation in Arkansas, which makes ergonomic material handling equipment and is headquartered in Maine. After shifting some production to Arkansas back in 1979, Southwork now conducts all of its manufacturing at its Arkansas facility and will be spending $935,000 to add two new assembly lines and 35 jobs. Despite the company’s success and ability to expand without assistance, Turner notes that Southwork’s efforts have qualified it for a series of economic incentives including “an income tax credit based on payroll of new jobs; sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and equipment associated with the expansion; and a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant for expansion of the existing manufacturing facility, which is owned by the City of Manila.” Additionally, the Mississippi County Economic Development Area is “putting another $350,000 Community Development Block Grant toward the facility's expansion.” Instead of skewing the playing field in favor of a particular company, governments should end corporate welfare and provide equal opportunity for all businesses.
|U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy|
Patrick Buchanan. “Saudi Recklessness Exposes Our Own.” The American Conservative.
This article highlights how U.S. interests are being compromised by key Middle Eastern allies. Buchanan argues that Saudi Arabia deliberately provoked Iran in the hope of creating a rift between Iran and the U.S. and ultimately undermining the nuclear deal. Similarly, the Saudi intervention in Yemen, for which the Saudis conscripted American support, drove back the Houthis who were fighting Al Qaeda, thus allowing terrorists to establish themselves in the south of the country. Buchanan also notes how Turkey, another U.S. ally, nearly provoked a military conflict with Russia by shooting down a Russian jet. As a NATO member, the U.S. could have easily been drawn into that war once it started. Although they possess a powerful military, Turkey has not sealed the Syrian border which would keep ISIS contained, though he argues its army has the capabilities. Instead, they have chosen to target the Kurds, one of the few forces successfully battling against ISIS. Buchanan notes that all these allies serve their own interests first and foremost. As a result, he argues, it is important to examine whether U.S. interests are best served by continuing to maintain security commitments to these nations.
|Technology and Innovation|
Glyn Moody. “Dutch Government: Encryption Good, Backdoors Bad.”Ars Technica.
On January 4th, the Dutch government released a statement detailing its official policy position regarding encryption. As the title indicates, the Dutch government does not intend to restrict encryption and does not favor mandatory backdoors from private companies. Moody highlights the clear articulation by the Dutch government of the competing considerations in favor of and against secure encryption. The policy statement emphasizes such economic and security benefits as “confidentiality and integrity of information” and defense against espionage and cybercrime. Moreover, the statement notes the importance of privacy and integrity of information to “fundamental rights and freedoms.” On the other hand, the Dutch government acknowledges the countervailing consideration that these same benefits can serve to help criminals avoid detection and undermine national security. Nonetheless, the Dutch government comes down against mandatory backdoors, highlighting how there is currently no way to construct backdoors without compromising the security of the encrypted information more generally. Importantly, Moody notes that the Dutch government maintains that it could change its policy in the future, but for now it is proceeding forward with its public support of secure encryption. The competing issues surrounding the use of secure encryption versus the ability of government access to sensitive information are each significant. Nonetheless, the Dutch Government has taken a measured approach to ensure the economic and security benefits that flow from encryption continue to do so.
Editorial Board. “Of Slavery and Swastikas.” The Economist.
This piece examines the recent events and protests at the University of Missouri. A number of incidents on or near campus sparked protests including a hunger-strike by one student and a boycott by the university’s football team who deemed the incidents as evidence of institutional racism. Following these protests, the president of the university was replaced along with a majority of the school’s administrators. The protests also created a backlash as some state legislators attempted to advance legislation that could strip scholarships from protesting athletes and counter-protestors accused the protestors of being intolerant of free speech. Chuck Henson, the university’s interim vice-president for inclusion, diversity and equity stated, “…the First Amendment does not give people a free pass to go round saying hateful things” – a point of view the author(s) of this article appear to sympathize with. While college administrators may desire that their campuses are civil and that students are harmonious with one another, it is troubling that a campus administrator would hold such restrictive views on free speech.
Michael Barone. “No, Economist, the First Amendment does give people 'a free pass to go round saying hateful things.'” Washington Examiner.
Michael Barone sharply criticizes the Economist piece above, noting that in fact “the First Amendment does give people a free pass to go round saying things that other people may consider hateful.” In response to the Economist article favorably highlighting the viewpoint that speech considered hateful is not protected by the First Amendment, Barone calls into question the author(s)’ understanding of the First Amendment altogether: “The Economist's writers and editors are mostly citizens of the United Kingdom, which doesn't have a First Amendment, but as members of the press — and employees of a publication which has more readers in the United States than in Britain — they ought to be aware of American First Amendment law.” Innocuous, non-controversial speech rarely faces calls for censorship, meaning that it is precisely speech that some view as controversial, uncomfortable, and sometimes hateful that needs protection. The students engaged in protest are as equally covered by the First Amendment as their detractors; it is this equal protection that ensures an open debate and the opportunity for intellectual growth.
|Contributors: Austen Bannan, Enea Gjoza, Eric Alston, Rick Barton|
Editor: Alison Acosta Fraser and Austen Bannan
Friday, January 8, 2016
|Criminal Justice and Policing Reform|
Gordon Evans. “WSW: Is Criminal Justice Reform Smart Politics?”WMUK.
While not always the case in the past, Evans highlights perspectives from U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris, who observes that there is now broad public support for criminal justice reform and “recognition that the ‘system is broken.’” Citing recent bi-partisan reforms in Michigan that address civil asset forfeiture and progress on other reforms, Harris’ assertion is already being validated at the state level. However, believing many more changes are required, Harris is optimistic that “criminal justice reform is the one area which will see progress this year at the federal level.”
|Cronyism and Corporate Welfare|
Jim Brunner. “Boeing Must Disclose Tax-Break Savings, State Department of Revenue Rules.” The Seattle Times.
The article reveals that the state of Washington’s Department of Revenue has reversed its interpretation of a 2013 tax-break transparency law. Brunner explains that the 2013 law requires “tax savings claimed by individual businesses to be made public for any new or expanded tax break passed by lawmakers.” In the case of Boeing, aerospace tax incentives approved in 2003 and set to expire in 2024 were extended in 2013 to last until 2040. Since the expansion of the deal would have technically started in 2025, Boeing and other aerospace recipients were receiving an exemption from the reporting requirement. The Seattle Times appealed the interpretation, leading the state agency to reconsider it. According to Brunner, Boeing’s “tax incentive package has been estimated as the largest ever granted by a state, worth $8.7 billion over 16 years.” The 2013 law gives Washington taxpayers better transparency on the amount of savings some businesses enjoy from preferential tax treatments, with the Department of Revenue's reversal on the aerospace credits ensuring that the largest recipients of state incentives must comply as well.
|U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy|
Patrick Tucker. "How to Tell the Difference Between a Nuclear Bomb Test and an Earthquake." Defense One.
North Korea recently tested what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb, a weapon “potentially hundreds of times” more powerful than the nuclear weapons it has already tested. To determine whether this was in fact a successful weapons test or "North Korea was just trying to claim credit for an earthquake," the United States Geological Survey investigated the available data. According to their preliminary findings, the seismological impact of the event was similar to a previous test of a 10 kiloton weapon, which is no more than a third of the strength of the smallest hydrogen bomb. Although there are a number of factors that could impact the accuracy of that assessment, including the depth of the blast and fact that the data was gathered from seismometers outside of North Korea itself, Tucker notes “the White House has said that the test likely was not of a hydrogen bomb.” If U.S. governmental observations are accurate, this suggests North Korea is unlikely to have made the major strides in its nuclear capabilities that would arise from the development of a hydrogen bomb.
|Technology and Innovation|
Kathryn Nave. “Space Mining Will Take a Giant Leap in 2016.” Wired.
Nave makes the prediction that nascent space tech industries will see significant growth and development in the coming year, beginning by describing Moon Express, a private space mining company. Moon Express’ co-founder and chairman sees significant opportunity beneath the moon’s relatively untrodden surface. Both rare-earth minerals and a fission fuel predicted to become an important energy resource exist on the moon in abundance, and Moon Express hopes to capitalize on the opportunity they present. The article continues by noting several other companies whose express purpose is prospecting for resources in space. The funding and incentive prizes for this type of frontier exploration are quite significant, and are provided by executives from such well-known companies as Google and Virgin. Oddly enough, some of the resource exploration is focused on something that is not rare, at least on our planet: water. It costs well over $100 million just to get a ton of water into space yet will be a critical resource both for future astronauts as well as planetary mining equipment itself. Nave notes how this type of exploration has only recently become possible through technological advancements that have come from the private sector. Will Moon Express hit its projected target of the early 2020s for asteroid mineral extraction? Only time will tell. What is certain is that private sector space initiatives are increasingly driving major innovation in the space sector, bringing the final frontier one step closer to our reach.
Lionel. “Cyberbullying Laws: Free Speech Kryptonite.” RT.
Lionel discusses the rise in governmental actions to address cyberbullying. As a prosecutor who has dealt with related issues, he believes that “threatening” speech has limits but “bullying is speech that should be protected.” To him, while behaviors like cyberbullying “can certainly wreak havoc on the developing and sensitive sensibilities of youth in particular, lead to deep-seated psychological and devastating emotional disrepair (up to and including suicide in some advanced cases) and are to be discouraged at all cost, the potential for violations of free speech protections in particular, are as grave and certain.” Lionel further notes, “Absent threats of immediate bodily harm, words that offend or“intimidate” involve the potential for misapplication.” By focusing so much attention on the “subjective reaction of the recipient and not on the right of the declarant and certainly not his intent,” Lionel warns readers that governmental efforts to ramp up censorship on cyberbullying threaten to stifle open dialogue and free speech broadly.
|Contributors: Andrew Baxter, Carine Martinez-Gouhier, Enea Gjoza, Eric Alston, Austen Bannan|
Editors: Alison Acosta Fraser and Austen Bannan
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Saturday, December 5, 2015
The first job of the President should be to secure our borders and fix broken refugee and visa systems to stop terrorists.
This President has utterly failed at the job.
I have led, and proposed measures to fix the problems.
But as I led, Marco Rubio has gone the other way, preferring open borders, broken systems and siding with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.
If you want policies that keep us safe and keep us free, please make a contribution to my campaign today.
Yesterday I introduced my SECURE bill as an amendment in the Senate, to protect our borders and resources.
Marco Rubio voted no.
During his Gang of 8 bill, I proposed the toughest border security/refugee-visa reform measures in my Trust but Verify Amendment.
Marco Rubio voted against my border security and refugee/visa reform measures then too, leaving us less safe.
And as far back as the FL legislature, Marco Rubio opposed toughening reporting requirements at Florida colleges for those on student visas.
This is nothing new, it is a pattern through his entire career.
I want to secure our borders, fix our broken systems. Marco Rubio opposes.
National security requires it. And it should be a test for the next President.
Support real border security and halt to refugee/visas.
For years on this important national security test, I have led, and Marco Rubio has failed.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Monday, November 30, 2015
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Thursday, November 26, 2015