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[VIDEO] Is Jonah Goldberg Turning Into a Libertarian? It Sure Sounds Like It

The Suicide of the West author explains his anti-Trumpism, evolution on culture-war issues, and growing attraction to libertarianism.

In his new book, Suicide of the West, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg talks of what he calls “the Miracle”—the immense and ongoing increase in human wealth, health, freedom, and longevity ushered in during the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

At turns sounding like Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and economist Deirdre McCloskey, Goldberg writes, “In a free market, money corrodes caste and class and lubricates social interaction. Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it.”

As his book’s title suggests, Goldberg isn’t worried the world is running out of resources. He’s troubled by our unwillingness to defend, support, and improve customs, laws, and institutions that he believes are crucial to human flourishing.

“Decline is a choice,” he writes, not a foregone conclusion. While he lays most of the blame for our current problems on a Romantic left emanating from Rousseau, he doesn’t stint on the responsibility of his own tribe of conservative fear-mongers and reactionaries. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] ‘Don’t Be a Sucker’: Post-WW2 Anti-Fascist Educational Film, 1947


‘If you’re a lawyer arguing against free speech at the Supreme Court, be prepared to lose’

Free Speech Wins (Again) at the Supreme Court

David French writes:

… Given existing First Amendment jurisprudence, there would have been a constitutional earthquake if SCOTUS hadn’t ruled for Tam. The Court has long held that the Constitution protects all but the narrowest categories of speech. Yet time and again, governments (including colleges) have tried to regulate “offensive” speech. Time and again, SCOTUS has defended free expression. Today was no exception. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito noted that the Patent and Trademark Office was essentially arguing that “the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.” His response was decisive:

[A]s we have explained, that idea strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

Quick, someone alert the snowflakes shouting down speeches on campus or rushing stages in New York. There is no constitutional exception for so-called “hate speech.”

Indeed, governments are under an obligation to protect controversial expression. Every justice agrees.  The ruling is worth celebrating, but when law and culture diverge, culture tends to win. The law protects free speech as strongly as it ever has. The culture, however … (read more)

Source: National Review

In two First Amendment rulings released this week, the justices argue they’re saving would-be censors from themselves.

reports: The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two notable victories for free-speech advocates on Monday as it nears the end of its current term. The two First Amendment cases came to the Court from starkly different circumstances, but the justices emphasized a similar theme in both rulings: Beware what the free-speech restrictions of today could be used to justify tomorrow.

In the first case, Matal v. Tam, the Court sided with an Asian-American rock band in Oregon named The Slants in a dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The PTO had denied band member Simon Tam’s application to register the group’s name as a trademark, citing a provision in federal law that prohibits the office from recognizing those that “disparage” or “bring … into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Ted Cruz vs Bernie Sanders Debate the Future of Obamacare 

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[VIDEO] Freedom 101 

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A video crash-up covering the political landscape of the 1960’s, featuring MLK, RFK, JFK, Malcom X, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater.


[VIDEO] Is America an Imperialist, White-Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy? 

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Gender scholars like bell hooks argue that American is an imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. Is she right? The Factual Feminist responds.  Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Andrew Breitbart Explains Cultural Marxism 

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REWIND: ‘Maybe it was a Bad Idea to Concentrate So Much Power in the Oval Office in the First Place’

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If the next president can turn out to be a tyrant, then ‘tyrant-proofing the presidency’ is our most pressing political task.

Gene Healy writes: The prospect of Donald Trump as president is only slightly less ridiculous than the idea of Charlie Sheen with nukes—and possibly more frightening. And yet, it looks as though the verbally incontinent celebreality billionaire has a one in three chance of being elected come Tuesday.

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Terrifying, yes, but fear can be useful. In this case, it ought to concentrate the mind wonderfully: if someone so manifestly unfit, so transparently likely to abuse power, can come within striking distance of the presidency, then maybe it was a bad idea to concentrate so much power in the Oval Office in the first place.

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“A broad majority of Americans—far more than will end up voting for Trump—distrust Hillary Clinton, the second most reviled candidate in the history of polling. Are they wrong to worry about her having the power to ‘unilaterally change this country to its core’? Should anyone have that kind of power?”

It’s no secret that the “most powerful office in the world” grew even more powerful in the Bush-Obama years. Both presidents stretched the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force into a wholesale delegation of congressional war powers broad enough to underwrite open-ended, globe-spanning war. Bush began—and Obama continued—the host of secret dragnet surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden—and others we’re still largely the dark about. And lately, on the home front, Obama has used the power of the pen to rewrite broad swathes of American law and spend billions of dollars Congress never appropriated.

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America’s center-left papers of record have lately begun to notice that the vast powers recent presidents have forged would be available to Trump as well. The New York Times’s Carl Hulse writes that Obama’s assertion of a presidential power of the purse could have ”huge consequences for our constitutional democracy…. How would lawmakers react if a willful new chief executive, unable to win money from Congress for a wall on the Mexican border, simply shifted $7 billion from another account and built it anyway?”

[Read the full story here, at Cato @ Liberty]

And a month ago, the Washington Post kicked off a series of half a dozen editorials warning what would befall the republic should Trump ascend to Real Ultimate Power: “A President Trump could, unilaterally, change this country to its core,” the Post’s editorialists argued, and the other branches won’t be able to stop him: “in the U.S. System, the scope for executive action is, as we will lay out in a series of editorials next week, astonishingly broad.”

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It was nice to see the Post editorial board, which had called Obama’s recess-appointments gambit “a justifiable power grab,” evince some concern about potential abuses of executive power. Through five more editorials, they’d go on to observe that a President Trump could, among other abuses: “launch wars”; “take the oil”; “assassinate foreigners who opposed him”; issue a secret legal opinion overturning the torture ban; “launch surveillance programs targeting foreigners without informing Congress”; pull out of NAFTA, start a trade war, and “destroy the world economy.” An imposing parade of horribles, all leading up to the limpest of takeaways: “the nation should not subject itself to such a risk.” In other words, don’t vote for Trump. OK, then: Problem solved?

I don’t disagree with the Post’s argument that Trump represents a unique threat to what remains of constitutional government. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Every High School Principal Should Say This

If every high school principal said this, it would change students’ lives and would change America. So what exactly should every high school principal say? Dennis Prager explains.

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Fight For Your Right!

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[VIDEO] Deirdre McCloskey: What are the Biggest Misunderstandings about Capitalism? 

What are the biggest misunderstandings about capitalism? Deirdre McCloskey, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, argues that contrary to common belief, it’s not the amount of capital that has been amassed which sets the last two centuries apart, but rather the explosion of innovation—which in turn has made the capital investment worth it.

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[VIDEO] Exit Politics 

We have a voice, yet Americans are led to believe we must support this façade of lies and force we know as politics.
The political process doesn’t move our world forward. We advance through technology and the pursuit of our vision for a better life. Let us embrace our voice, let us exit.


James Bowman on the Eternal Inaccuracy of the Socialist-Invented Word ‘Capitalism’

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Like life, markets will generally find a way to survive. Socialism can harass and suppress what it calls capitalism—now, often just by calling it capitalism—but it can never replace it.

James Bowman writes: They’re demonstrating in Seattle about “capitalism” again. Young people, presumably of the hip variety now famed for supporting Bernie Sanders, rioted there on May Day.

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“You’ve got to wonder how, for all those centuries, nobody realized that they were either oppressed or oppressing merely by marrying and having children—just as it never occurred to either employers or employees that they were part of a system, whether called ‘capitalism’ or something else, until patently self-interested socialist theorists came up with a rival system that, they said, would solve all their problems.”

The Seattle Times reported nine arrests and several injuries to police, including one officer who was bitten. Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institutenoting that a recent survey found 51 percent of young people, aged 18–29 described themselves as not supporting capitalism, wondered if the c-word “really isn’t the right word for the free enterprise system, the deep magic that has made America the richest, most powerful nation on Earth.”

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“The system should rather be called ‘technological and institutional betterment at a frenetic pace, tested by unforced exchange among all the parties involved.’ Or ‘fantastically successful liberalism, in the old European sense, applied to trade and politics, as it was applied also to science and music and painting in literature.’ The simplest version is ‘trade-tested progress.’”

I hope it will not sound immodest in me if I mention that this is what I have been saying for years. As I wrote back in June of 2002, “capitalism” is simply the socialist word for life. You can tell because even under socialism there is still capitalism, in the form of the black market.

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Like life, markets will generally find a way to survive. Socialism can harass and suppress what it calls capitalism—now, often just by calling it capitalism—but it can never replace it. 514B+AoYlbL._SL250_

[Order Deirdre McCloskey’s book “Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World” from Amazon.com]

You can’t replace an organic growth of human enterprise and ingenuity with a merely theoretical system designed by intellectuals to transform fallen humanity into a perfect society.

Mr Pethokoukis’s point is to promote Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World, by Deirdre McCloskey….(read more)

Source: thenewcriterion.com

 


Tacitus: ‘The More Corrupt the State, the More Numerous the Laws’

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CATO: Happy Bill of Rights Day!

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Today: 224th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Ethan Kasnett, an 8th grade student at the Lab School in Washington, DC, views the original constitution. (Brendan Smialowski/GETTY IMAGES)


The Tradition of Civil Disobedience


[PHOTO] Statue of Liberty & One World Trade

Source: punditfromanotherplanet.com


Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People (1830), Louvre-Lens, Paris

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Source: Eugène Delacroix


R.I.P. Fred Thompson, 1942-2015

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Collective Responsibility

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[VIDEO] The Philosophy of Liberty is Based on the Principle of Self-Ownership

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Freedom Tower, Sept 11, 2015

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Americans Have More than They Realize

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Chelsea German writes: According to Gallup, more Americans think of themselves as “have-nots” today than at any point since Gallup began posing the question almost thirty years ago, while fewer Americans see themselves as “haves.” (Please see Emily Ekins’s earlier post for an in-depth analysis from a different angle). But do Americans actually have less in 2015 than in 1988? Let’s dig into the data to see whether Americans might have more than they realize.

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2015 is the first year when Americans spent more money dining out than they spent on groceries. Let’s examine why that might be. In 2015, U.S. GDP per person (adjusted for inflation) reached an all-time high. At the same time that average personal wealth is rising, many necessities like food are going down in price. As a result, spending on the basics takes up a smaller and smaller share of an American’s personal disposable income—dropping from 39% in 1988 to 32% in 2013. This means that Americans have more money left at the end of the day, which they can then choose to save, invest, or spend on luxuries like dining out.

Not only are Americans wealthier on average, but they are also working less. The average American worker in 2015 works 30 fewer hours in a year than her counterpart in 1988, and yet is almost $18,000 dollars richer in real terms.

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HumanProgress.org advisory board member Mark Perry recently pointed out that today’s young Americans may actually be the luckiest generation in history, based on what they can buy with earnings from a summer job….(read more)

Source: Cato @ Liberty


‘Previous Swarms of Immigrants Came over Fleeing Communism, Despising it, Cherishing Freedom and Openness’

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“America is not chiefly about a place. Our physical location is happenstance. It is not about blood or soil. It is not about race. America is an idea — and ideal.”

editor-commen-deskThough the original subject is a critique of Ann Coulter’s misguided attack on Nikki Haley’s Americanism, the argument within the argument — Ace’s passionate monologue about immigration history — stands on its own, as a solid defense of American ideals, and it’s worth capturing in its entirety.

Ace writes:

America is not chiefly about a place. Our physical location is happenstance. It is not about blood or soil. It is not about race. America is an idea — and ideal.

The reason America is in decline is because far too many born-and-raised Americans do not understand America…

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Ace continues:

…I oppose our current nearly-open-borders immigration scam for a lot of reasons, but a major reason is this: The current temperament of the world is anti-assimilationist and anti-American.

Previous waves of immigrants came in during periods where it was widely believed that assimilation was good, because America itself was good. Now foreign immigrants are being taught — as native-born Americans are being taught — that America is shameful and needs to be rejected, torn down, and even, as one anti-American, communist-sympathizing foreign critic said, “fundamentally transformed.”*

“Previous waves of immigrants came in during periods where it was widely believed that assimilation was good, because America itself was good.”

Immigrants are no longer being encouraged to give up their old hatreds — their old, unsettled wars — carried over from their former countries. Now they’re being taught that Tribal Identity is the only true identity, and that any adopted identity, such as Americanism, is a sham propagated by, most likely, Jews.

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“Immigrants are no longer being encouraged to give up their old hatreds — their old, unsettled wars — carried over from their former countries.”

Nor are they being encouraged to give up the political biases they suffered under in their home countries, chiefly socialism and authoritarianism. Strong Men on White Horses increasing the Chocolate Rations out of their undying love for the people.

Previous swarms of immigrants came over fleeing communism, despising it, cherishing freedom and openness and a government that kept out of their way.

[Order Daniel R. Ernst’s book “Tocqueville’s Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940” from Amazon.com]

Is that what the current immigrants want, in the main? The Democrat Party– long covertly agitating for socialism, now overtly doing so — sure seems to think the new immigrants will vote more socialist governments into power, because they’re sure salivating at those new fundamentally-transforming votes. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Monty Python And The Holy Grail: ‘Help Help I’m Being Repressed’

Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Shut up!
Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
Bloody peasant!


JFK On Israel

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‘Paris Est Charlie’: L’arc de Triomphe Tonight

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WEAPONIZED: Cartoonist Francisco J. Olea (Chile) for #CharlieHebdo


SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD


Quotes: PJ & JFK Sandwich

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David Boaz: Things to Be Thankful For

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David Boazblog_rev4 writes: Not long ago a journalist asked me what freedoms we take for granted in America. Now, I spend most of my time sounding the alarm about the freedoms we’re losing. But this was a good opportunity to step back and consider how America is different from much of world history — and why immigrants still flock here.

If we ask how life in the United States is different from life in most of the history of the world — and still  different from much of the world — a few key elements come to mind.liberty

[Check out David Boaz‘s book “The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties” at Amazon]

Rule of law. Perhaps the greatest achievement in history is the subordination of power to law. That is, in modern America we have created structures that limit and control the arbitrary power of government. No longer can one man — a king, a priest, a communist party boss — take another person’s life or property at the ruler’s whim. Citizens can go about their business, generally confident that they won’t be dragged off the streets to disappear forever, and confident that their hard-earned property won’t be confiscated without warning. We may take the rule of law for granted, but immigrants from China, Haiti, Syria, and other parts of the world know how rare it is.

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Equality. For most of history people were firmly assigned to a particular status — clergy, nobility, and peasants. Kings and lords and serfs. Brahmans, other castes, and untouchables in India. If your father was a noble or a peasant, so would you be. The American Revolution swept away such distinctions. In America all men were created equal. Thomas Jefferson declared “that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” In America some people may be smarter, richer, stronger, or more beautiful than others, but “I’m as good as you” is our national creed. We are all citizens, equal before the law, free to rise as far as our talents will take us.

Equality for women. Throughout much of history women were the property of their fathers or their husbands. They were often barred from owning property, testifying in court, signing contracts, or participating in government. Equality for women took longer than equality for men, but today in America and other civilized parts of the world women have the same legal rights as men. Read the rest of this entry »


Freedom and Plenty for All

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Ellis Island, Past and Present: Tracing the First Steps of Millions to America

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Ellis Island, past and present: Tracing the first steps of millions to America.

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Milton Friedman on Equality

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[VIDEO] Ayaan Hirsi Ali Speaks at Yale

Womens-rights activist and Islamic critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at Yale University earlier this week, at the invitation of the university’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program for an event titled “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.” Ryan Lovelace covers the event for NRO

 


Unafraid: New York City Skyline

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Hope in the Shadows

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Mosquitos vs. Capitalism

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Will: Progressives are Wrong About the Essence of the Constitution

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 writes: In a 2006 interviewSupreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitutionis “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

Now the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s “The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty” is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.

The argument is between conservatives who say U.S. politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.

Read the rest of this entry »