1. 1. “If a man is struck down by a heart attack in the street, Americans will care for him whether or not he has insurance. If we find that he has spent his money on other things rather than insurance, we may be angry but we will not deny him services - even if that means more prudent citizens end up paying the tab. A mandate on individuals recognizes this implicit contract. Society does feel a moral obligation to insure that its citizens do not suffer from the unavailability of health care. But on the other hand, each household has the obligation, to the extent it is able, to avoid placing demands on society by protecting itself.”

    2. “[T]o allow people to go without health insurance, and then when they do fall ill expect someone else to pay the tab for their treatment is a de facto mandate on providers and taxpayers. Romney proposes to take that option off the table, leaving only two choices: Either buy insurance or pay for your own care. Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.”

    3. “Requiring everyone to buy government-specified health insurance, whether they need it or not, is an unacceptable violation of personal liberty. It is a way of taxing healthy people without calling it a tax. Since that is an irresistible temptation to politicians, the list of required benefits would be certain to keep expanding.”

    1. The Heritage Foundation, 1989. [Source]
    2. The Heritage Foundation, 2006. [Source]
    3. The Heritage Foundation, 2009. [Source]

    I wonder what happened that made them change their mind?

  2. Sam Jackson on Obama, Republicans and Civil Disobedience

    1. PLAYBOY: With your and your wife’s militant revolutionary background, how political are you today, especially having told Ebony magazine in 2012 that you wanted President Obama to “get scary”?
    2. JACKSON: He got a little heated about the kids getting killed in Newtown and about the gun law. He’s still a safe dude. But with those Republicans, we’re now in a situation where even if he said, “I want to give you motherfuckers a raise,” they’d go, “Fuck you! We don’t want a raise!” I don’t know how we fix this bullshit. How do we fix the fact that politicians aren’t trying to serve the people, they’re just trying to serve their party and their closed ideals? How do we find a way to say, “You motherfuckers are fired because you’re not doing shit about taking care of the country”? If Hillary Clinton decides to run, she’s going to kick their fucking asses, and those motherfuckers would rather see the country go down in flames than let the times change. But as I tell my daughter, there was a time we would be in the streets about this shit.
    3. PLAYBOY: You mean instead of signing petitions on Facebook and Twitter?
    4. JACKSON: You need to have your physical body out there in the streets and let these people—and the rest of the world—know. When our antiwar movement led the world, it was because people could see us in the streets, see our faces, hear the protest music. You can’t do that shit blogging in a room. I can’t see you on your keyboard. I can’t see you sitting there in the dark. Things happen when people get out in the street.
  3. Objectivism is to philosophy as SpaghettiOs are to Italian cuisine.

  4. The should just rename whylibertarian “white guys quoting Rush lyrics”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love screaming along “closer to the HEEEEAAAAARRRRTT” as much as the next person… I just don’t think it’s a solid base for a coherent political philosophy.

  5. Just a reminder: the anti-war movement is, was, and probably always will be led by those of us on the Left.

    No matter which strain we happen to be a part of or what other differences of opinion we may have, one of the unifying factors of the broader Left has been a general antipathy towards war, albeit in varying degrees (i.e. moderates tend to be a bit more fluid on this issue, while radicals are pretty consistently anti-war).

    But now that the threat of military action in Syria looms over us, we’re supposed to act like all these Republicans have had their road to Damascus moment and seen the error of their warmongering ways?

    Bullshit. The GOP opposition to the war is cynical and politically-motivated. They just don’t want to admit that they agree with Obama, because they’re afraid of the racist, reactionary Tea Party monster they unleashed a few years ago. If Romney were president, we would have already bombed Syria by now and probably had some ground troops as well (after all, it is Iran’s route to the sea).

    Oh, and before you even say it… I don’t want to hear that “well, I’m actually a libertarian” bullshit, either. Remember how prominent libertarians like John Hospers, Randy Barnett, and Brink Lindsey came up with convoluted reasons why nation-building in Iraq was actually a great idea and totally concordant with libertarian ideals? Remember how Ron Paul voted to authorize the war in Afghanistan? Libertarians talk a good game, but they’re hardly ever there when you need them.

    At the end of the day, I guess it comes down to this: how much credit do you give someone for doing the right thing for the wrong reasons?

  6.  GUNS IN PARKINGS LOTS. Allows people with handgun carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

     SCHOOL SECURITY. Allows school districts to let people with police training to be armed in schools.

     MENINGITIS/PROOF OF IMMUNIZATION. Requires incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof they have gotten meningitis shots.

     UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Cuts a weekly $15-per-child allowance that was going to Tennesseans drawing unemployment benefits.

     FOOD TAX. Lowers the sales tax on groceries from 5.25 percent to 5 percent.

     COLLEGE-RELIGIOUS GROUPS. Bars public universities and colleges from implementing nondiscrimination policies for student groups.

     SCHOOLS/HOME. Allows home school students to participate in extracurricular athletics if certain standards are met.

     HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS/ASSAULT. Increases fine imposed on a person who assaults a health care provider while that person is performing his or her duty.

     CHARTER SCHOOLS. Revises various provisions regarding public charter schools.

     DUI-INTERLOCK. Applies Tennessee’s ignition interlock law to more drunken drivers.

     RETIRED TEACHERS-EDUCATION. Allows retired teachers’ children who are under 24 years of age to receive a 25 percent discount at any public higher education institution.

     CHILD CUSTODY. Requires a parent to notify a child’s other parent before relocating more than 50 miles away, rather than 100 miles away.

     DISABLED PERSONS. Enacts “Lynn’s Law,” which defines abuse or neglect of an adult to include knowingly abandoning or failing to provide additional planned transportation for the adult in certain situations.

     HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Establishes a human trafficking task force.

     SEARCH/SEIZURE. Bans most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones in Tennessee.

  7. The Supreme Court has ruled DOMA unconstitutional, y’all!

  8. So a bunch of (mostly) old, white dudes are opposed to the idea of equal voting rights… who could have guessed?

  9. U.S. intelligence agents have been hacking computer networks around the world for years, apparently targeting fat data pipes that push immense amounts of data around the Internet, NSA leaker Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday.
    Among some 61,000 reported targets of the National Security Agency, Snowden said, are thousands of computers in China — which U.S. officials have increasingly criticized as the source of thousands of attacks on U.S. military and commercial networks. China has denied such attacks.

    NSA hacks China, leaker Snowden claims - CNN.com

    Snowden just jumped the shark.  It’s commendable to let Americans know that they’ve been lied to by their leaders with respect to domestic surveillance.  It’s something closer to treason to let a foreign power know our government has breaking into their computer systems.  I suspect Snowden thinks that these revelations will help him avoid extradition—that the Chinese government will protect him in gratitude for these disclosures.  But if his goal was to change American domestic policy, he’s just made that change far less likely.  A good portion of the American public was with him; now they won’t be.  I find this incredibly sad.  And I feel bad for Snowden, because he’s made a huge miscalculation that’s going to haunt him for the rest of his life.

    (via jeffmiller)

    I think Jeff has the right of it. I can respect the whistleblower who releases specific information in a targeted manner. As that looks less and less targeted, he looks less and less like the whistleblower and more and more like the guy who should never have been given a security clearance.

    (via squashed)

    By revealing state secrets in regard to oversees spying operations, Snowden has really muddied the waters here, confusing two separate issues:

    1. Should the NSA be able to constantly and indiscriminately spy on American citizens without regard to our fourth and fifth amendment rights because we are in a state of perpetual “war”?
    2. Should we have any sort of national security and intelligence-gathering apparatus at all?

    I, like many Americans, believe that the answer to the first question is an obvious “No.” The right to privacy is one of the most fundamental rights we have and should not be suspended because of the threat of terrorism. There are other ways we can gather information to prevent future attacks that don’t violate our constitutional rights and which are equally effective (One issue I think that gets lost in this debate is just how ineffective this massive data-gathering technique is— having more data points isn’t necessarily a good thing— sometimes it’s just more noise to have to sift through)

    The second question is a bit trickier. The lefty in me sees the idealistic appeal of completely dismantling the entire military/intelligence complex, but I can’t really buy into that wholeheartedly, because I do believe in national sovereignty. I believe in the idea of America (though not our imperialist tendencies), and I believe that it is often necessary to engage in the “Great Game” of international espionage in order to preserve American sovereignty.

    Maybe I’m short-sighted and selfish, but I don’t really have a problem with the gov’t spying on Chinese hackers who are trying to steal weapons blueprints. And I think most Americans probably feel the same way. If Snowden really wants to promote privacy rights, he needs to keep his focus narrow.

  10. 15:03 10th Jun 2013

    Notes: 3569

    Reblogged from samuraifuckingfrog

    Tags: politics

    My generation got a cheap college education when we were young, and we’re getting good retirement benefits now that we’re old. Pretty nice. But now we’re turning around and telling today’s twentysomethings that they should pay through the nose for college, keep paying taxes for our retirements, and oh by the way, when it comes time for you to retire your benefits are going to have to be cut. So sorry. And all this despite the fact that the country is richer than it was 50 years ago, and will be richer still 50 years from now.

    But at least today’s kids don’t have to worry about being drafted. That’s something, I suppose.