You are browsing the archive for 2014 September 17.

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Sen. Paul Questions Secretary Kerry on ISIS Strategy

September 17, 2014 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today questioned Secretary of State John Kerry at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing regarding the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS. A video of the exchange can be found below.
SEN. PAUL QUESTIONS SEC. KERRY ON ISIS STRATEGY

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Source: RAND PAUL

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New Book on Austrian Economics and Organization

September 17, 2014 in Economics

By Per Bylund

A new book on Austrian economics that targets economic organization has been published at Palgrave Macmillan. Edited by Guinevere Nell, it features a number of papers in favor as well as critical of Austrian economics and what Austrians have to say about organizing and organization. In a sense, the book invites to a discussion on “post-Austrian” economics by, as is also the sub title, “reaching beyond free market boundaries.”

This book is the first in a two-volume series on where Austrian economics may be, can be, and perhaps should be headed. The second volume,

Here’s the table of contents:

PART I: ORDER AND EFFICIENCY IN FREE MARKETS
1. Improving Spontaneous Orders; Randall Holcombe
2. The Problem of Unemployment When Markets Clear; Daniel Kuehn
PART II: THE FIRM IN THE ECONOMY
3. The Corporate Planned Economy; Kevin Carson
4. The Firm and the Authority Relation; Per Bylund
PART III: FREEDOM, CONTRACTS, AND THE STATE
5. Contract, Freedom, and Flourishing; Gus DiZerega
6. On the Perceived Legitimacy of the State; Edward Stringham and Caleb J. Miles
PART IV: AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS AND MARKET SOCIALISM
7. Beyond Market Socialism; Andrew Cumbers
8. A Post-Austrian Market Socialism; Guinevere Nell

The book can be purchased as hardcover, e-book, and pdf directly from Palgrave Macmillan or e.g. Amazon.com.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Joey Rothbard

September 17, 2014 in Economics

By David Gordon

Today would have been the eighty-sixth birthday of JoAnn Rothbard, the beloved wife of Murray Rothbard for forty-two years. In the dedication to America’s Great Depression, he called her “the indispensable framework,”and anyone who knew them could have no doubt why he said this. Murray discussed all his ideas with her, and she was a gifted historian in her own right–I recall in particular an excellent talk she gave on Lincoln’s economic policies.

She was totally devoted to Murray, and she regarded it as a principal task to shield him from those who tried to exploit him. She had hilarious stories about some of these people. During the 1979 convention of Libertarian Party at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, someone took the occasion to get Murray to speak at her supper club.  She said to me, “Do you know what she paid him? Zip.” Once you were her friend, though, you were her friend for life.

She had an amazing number of stories about people she had known. No one kept up with people as much as she did; and, as she once said to me, “There ‘s a lot I know that I don’t tell anyone.” The memory of her that is clearest in my mind is the kind look in her eyes. This stays with me, “in thinking of the days that are no more.”

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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How One Twitter User Tracked Down Philadelphia Hate Crime Suspects All Through Social Media

September 17, 2014 in Blogs

By Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet

“This won’t be tolerated. Not in our town, not anywhere.”

Last week, a gay couple was walking in the Center City district of Philadelphia when they were approached by a group of about a dozen men and women—all white, well-dressed, and in their early 20s.

“What is this your fucking boyfriend?” said a man in the group.

“Yes this is my fucking boyfriend,” replied the 26-year-old man in the relationship.

That’s when the group started pummeling the couple, some yelling gay slurs, the couple told CBS 3 Eyewitness News. Police arrived on the scene afterward and took the two men to the hospital. Officers told the couple that so much blood was on the sidewalk, they thought someone had been shot. The 26-year-old man was left with a swollen black eye and a bruised face. His 28-year-old boyfriend suffered several fractured facial bones, and his jaw will have to be wired shut for eight weeks.

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia police posted a surveillance video of the suspects of the hate crime. This is where anonymous Twitter user FanSince09 comes in.

FanSince09 saw an image posted by a Twitter user named Greg Bennett that compares the people in the surveillance video to a picture of that group in a restaurant:

 

FanSince09 retweeted that photo, asking if anyone can identify the restaurant where the photo was taken. He then confirmed that it was a restaurant named La Viola. FanSince09 then began using Facebook to search who checked into La Viola on the night of the incident and identified the suspects. He then called the cops, who gave him a Twitter shout out:

 

Murray added, however, that no arrests have been made and detectives still have a lot of work to do.

Twitter …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Adrian Peterson And What Our Fathers Did to Us

September 17, 2014 in Blogs

By Jeb Lund, The Guardian

You can never move on from toxic discipline.

There are many possible reactions to reports that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beat two of his children. To return to the NFL’s obsession of ethics via optics, you could wonder why his teammates were dismissed from the Vikings after they were arrested, while until Wednesday morning Peterson was expected to play. You could even wonder why the Minnesota governor would call for Peterson’s suspension after, just a year ago, posing for a picture with a Vikings team owner who had been fined $85m for fraud for actions a judge labeled criminal racketeering.

But all those are abstractions – the NFL as hypocrisy, as undiluted power masquerading as moral strength, the normative state of the NFL at this point. Instead, if, like me, you are about to become a parent soon, and if, like me, you were disciplined physically as a child, you look at Adrian Peterson – the man who says “I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child” – and you wonder the same thing:

Will I become that?

For a lot of people, the answer is clearly: It wouldn’t matter if I did. Click any Facebook post on the Peterson story, any tweet by a major publication on the topic, any newspaper’s comments section – hell, you could probably wait a couple minutes and read the comments here – and you will find someone saying: My daddy whooped the hell out of me, and I turned out fine.

From a smartassed standpoint, it’s easy to note that many of the people who claim to have turned out fine look or sound pretty clearly the opposite of fine. That such people unintentionally embody the antithesis of “fine” – that they remain unaware of embodying the emotions therein – makes their not-fineness double the distance between them and whatever passes for fine. And while that’s often true, it’s also a kind of cheap joke.

The pernicious, toxic and inescapable lifelong effect of being disciplined physically – either to the point of abuse, or to the point that the distinction between acceptable and …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why Is the Right-Wing So Shocked that Miss America Worked with Planned Parenthood?

September 17, 2014 in Blogs

By Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

Conservative sites are flipping out, but the pageant has a long pro-choice history.

If you thought her less than mind-blowing performance of “Happy” had Miss America fans in a snit, wait till they find out where Kira Kazantsev used to work.

The newly crowned beauty queen has opponents of reproductive choice up in arms this week over revelations that her résumé includes a stint with Planned Parenthood. LifeNews’ Steven Ertelt fumed Monday, “The woman representing the nation as the new Miss America interned for the very organization that has killed millions of Americans in abortions.” Other conservative sites have also quickly found themselves up in arms over Kazantsev’s past – Truth Revolt gasps that “Our new Miss America once interned for Planned Parenthood and she displays it proudly for all the world to see,” while Live Action News notes that “The new Miss America is an abortion supporter who worked for Planned Parenthood” and lists “her job duties at the company that snuffs out of the lives of young baby girls.” Right on cue, the outrage has now spilled over onto social media, with various patriotic Americans declaring sentiments like, “She should’ve been disqualified for Miss America.” Because the only choice for Miss America is an anti-choice Miss America.

In her LinkedIn profile, Kazantsev mentions a three-month internship with a Hempstead branch of the organization last year. She says she “Assisted delivery of programs in local public schools, teaching children about mutual respect & self-esteem” and “Conducted research on Planned Parenthood Education.” Sounds like baby killing to me! More damningly still, she’s also interned for Kirsten Gillibrand, who notoriously holds the public position that “a woman’s medical decisions should always be made between her, her family, and her doctor – not by politicians.” And as an intern for Solidarity Strategies, Kazantsev worked on political campaigns including that of pro-choice congresswoman Annie Kuster. 

For the record, Kazantsev hasn’t exactly been out there knocking on doors for NARAL. She’s simply associated herself with organizations and political campaigns that align themselves with women’s health and reproductive autonomy, which does not in fact put …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why the Pentagon Should Care about Scotland's Referendum

September 17, 2014 in Economics

By Emma Ashford

Emma Ashford

As Scottish voters contemplate whether to withdraw from their 307-year-long union with the rest of the United Kingdom on Sept. 18, U.S. policymakers have their own problem to ponder: What will be the ramifications and potential costs of Scottish independence for U.S. foreign and security policy?

To citizens of a country that celebrates its independence from Britain every July 4, there’s nothing threatening about Scottish independence. But policymakers are worried. And they should be. Scottish independence places the United States at risk of losing its key partner in global affairs, leaving the foreign policy and military capability of the remainder of the United Kingdom (let’s call it: the “RUK”) in chaos in the short-term and diminished in the long-term. In addition, the loss of Scotland as a maintenance port for America’s nuclear submarines poses both logistical and strategic issues for Washington.

The United Kingdom has played a strong and supportive role in U.S. foreign policy since World War II. During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, British soldiers constituted the second-largest contingent of troops, comprising over 18,000 of the 23,000 non-U.S. troops involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The United States and United Kingdom also have strong military and intelligence cooperation — particularly on issues relating to terrorism — and share between them the Trident nuclear submarine arsenal. Britain also continues to be one of the largest non-U.S. military spenders within NATO, contributing around 2.5 to 3 percent of GDP each year, a level matched only by France, Greece, and Estonia.

Scottish independence could be a disaster for U.S. foreign policy from Syria to the Arctic Circle.”

If the Scots secede, the United Kingdom would lose at least 8 percent of its population and tax base, as well as the majority of Britain’s current oil and natural gas revenue, valued at between $4.7-9.5 billion each year. Although less likely, the possibility that an independent Scotland will repudiate its share of Britain’s debt also risks leaving the RUK with a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than at present, increasing borrowing costs. Finally, the transaction costs of the independence process would also impose significant strains on the RUK’s budget, as government agencies are reorganized, and new procedures implemented.

As a result, Scottish independence would severely impact the capabilities of the RUK to act as a partner on foreign and defense issues. the RUK is expected to retain a U.N. Security Council seat …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Paying the Health-Care Piper

September 17, 2014 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

Last week roughly 250,000 Virginians began receiving notices that their health insurance was being canceled because it failed to meet all the mandates and other regulatory requirements of Obamacare. They are likely to be just the first in a new wave of Americans who are being thrown off their current insurance plan — even if they like it, to recall President Obama’s now inoperative promise.

You will recall that last fall, roughly 6 million Americans were kicked off their insurance because their plans failed to offer a lengthy-enough maternity stay, didn’t provide sufficient drug and alcohol rehabilitation benefits, or otherwise fell short of the insurance that federal bureaucrats thought that they should have. Of course, all but roughly 1 million eventually found other insurance, although in many cases the new insurance was more expensive or no longer covered their preferred doctors and hospitals.

In response to the public outcry, President Obama unilaterally decided to allow people with non-Obamacare-compliant insurance to keep their plans for an extra year, provided that both their state insurance commissioner and their insurance company agreed to go along. This past March, the president extended to 2017 the time that Americans would have to bring their insurance plans into compliance with Obamacare or lose them.

However, 22 states, including New York, California, and Virginia, chose not to go along with the extension, meaning residents with non-compliant plans lost their coverage and were forced to enroll in new Obamacare plans. The exceptions were those who were able to renew their non-compliant plans prior to the effective start date for Obamacare, October 1 of last year. Unfortunately, those plans are now again coming up for renewal, meaning they are no longer compliant. Hence, 250,000 Virginians, and perhaps millions more Americans in other states, are out of luck.

Obamacare’s mandates are coming due for millions of Americans.”

It should be noted that, as with previous cancellations, those Americans who lose their plans because of Obamacare will most likely find new insurance. But a new study from the National Center for Public Policy Research found that, on average, Obamacare plans were worse than the plans they replaced, in terms of both providers covered and cost-sharing.

The study compared plans sold on the individual market in 2013, prior to Obamacare, with plans sold through Obamacare exchanges in ten major metropolitan areas. In general, Obamacare plans had more restrictive networks and required …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Obama Administration's Member-less Coalition against the Islamic State: What Good Are Allies Anyway?

September 17, 2014 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

President Barack Obama launched a war which he won’t call a war. He is fighting the Islamic State with a coalition without members. What, one wonders, are allies for?

Washington collects allies like most people collect Facebook friends. The more the merrier. It doesn’t matter if the new “friends” enhance America’s security. It doesn’t even matter if they increase the risk of conflict for the U.S. Washington wants more allies.

The strongest fans of “more is better” believe the U.S. can never do enough for its helpless dependents around the globe. Earlier this year former Sen. Joseph Lieberman complained that the U.S. hadn’t “supported our natural allies,” had “sent a message of uncertainty” making some of them “more anxious” and “infuriating” others. Indeed, these nations “no longer have confidence that we will protect them.” Uh, so what? Why aren’t they defending themselves?

Columnist Michael Barone argued that “The U.S. is abandoning friends.” Foreign Policy’s Kori Schake claimed that the administration is “making America’s allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush.” The U.S. “is always frustrating to deal with,” but “the president’s supreme indifference” makes the problem worse, she added. Not, however, bad enough for these countries to put in a bit more effort and take over their own defense.

Most striking is how little America’s allies do for the U.S. In the main, their view is that Washington’s job is to defend them. Their job is to be defended by Washington. The idea that America might expect something else in return is considered to be, well, churlish.

For seven decades Washington faced down a nuclear-armed power — the Soviet Union and then Russia — to protect the Europeans. Until 2001 the Europeans did essentially nothing for the U.S. They routinely refused to increase their military outlays; they built a natural gas pipeline to their presumed enemy, the U.S.S.R. The Europeans also interfered with other American objectives, such as ousting communist governments in Cuba and Nicaragua, and refused to allow overflight for U.S. planes to strike Libya, for instance. The Europeans were not necessarily wrong in the positions that they took, but they weren’t very good allies — for the U.S., at least.

To their credit, several of the European states contributed to America’s efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither invading the latter nor attempting to build a democratic central government in the former made policy sense, but some Europeans actually sacrificed on behalf …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women

September 17, 2014 in Economics

Approximately 80 percent of garment factory workers in Bangladesh are female, and available data suggest that around 15 percent of women nationwide between the ages of 16 and 30 work in the garment industry. New research from Rachel Heath and A. Mushfiq Mobarak documents the effects of the remarkable growth of this sector in Bangladesh on the lives of Bangladeshi women. Heath and Mobarak find that access to factory jobs significantly lowers the risk of early marriage and childbirth for girls in Bangladesh, and this is due to both girls postponing marriage to work in factories and to girls staying in school at earlier ages.

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Source: CATO HEADLINES