Friday, June 23, 2017

Linfield College YAL harassed, investigated

Students launch libertarian club at small Oregon college and get harassed, investigated, condemned - The College Fix - Max Diamond:

June 21, 2017 - "All they wanted to do was promote free speech and intellectual diversity. Instead ... their efforts were stifled and stymied through fear and intimidation, administrative power, and student hysteria at their small school in McMinnville, Ore.

"The liberty-loving students say they faced repeated and intense backlash from some professors and students after launching their club this past spring — mostly notably their event with controversial Professor Jordan Peterson was canceled by campus leaders. Peterson is the University of Toronto psychologist recently famous for his opposition to the requirement of made-up gender pronouns.

"The student group was also investigated for circulating a 'free speech ball' on which someone drew Pepe the Frog, the unofficial alt-right mascot. After an investigation, during which YAL leaders were called in and interrogated, the student who drew the image was forced to write a conciliatory essay.

"Another of their events, a screening of The Red Pill, a documentary on men’s rights activists and critical of the contemporary feminist movement, drew even more ire from campus leaders, with one even likening the libertarian students’ events to terrorism recruitment....

"The Linfield Advisory Committee on Diversity then held a free speech forum for the whole campus the Monday after the free speech ball [which] turned into three and half hours of 90 students and professors interrogating and slandering members of Young Americans for Liberty.... English Professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt alleged that YAL is 'funded by conservative dark money' and 'funded by alt-right white supremacists'....

"[T]he Associated Students of Linfield College, citing Peterson’s 'violation of Linfield’s harassment policy' and Peterson’s lack of punctuality in turning in an application – it was a day late – canceled the talk.... Nonetheless, the show went on. Peterson and YAL rented space at the Evergreen Aviation Center Museum grounds and, according to Smith, about 400 fans showed up, and more than 300 people watched it on livestream....

"Professor Dutt-Ballerstadt, in an op-ed in the Linfield Review, rhetorically suggested the YAL events “promote racism, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, misogyny, rape culture, violence against women and a disregard for disabled individuals on our campus'.... Associate Dean of Faculty Dawn Nowacki wrote: 'Overt white supremacism, misogyny, and hatred of LGBTQTI people have not been strongly expressed in the events organized by the Young Americans for Liberty. In fact, these efforts are a lot more subtle. Just as becoming a terrorist is a gradual, step by step process, people do not become part of the alt right overnight. These events represent a kind of soft recruitment into more extremist ideas.'"

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

This year's evil libertarian: James M. Buchanan

Book Review: 'Democracy In Chains,' By Nancy MacLean : NPR - Genevieve Valentine:

June 18, 2017 - "[E]conomist James Buchanan — an early herald of libertarianism — began to cultivate a group of like-minded thinkers with the goal of changing government.... This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains....

"Buchanan headed a group of radical thinkers (he told his allies 'conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential'), who worked to centralize power in states like Virginia.... As MacLean lays out in their own words, these men developed a strategy of misinformation and lying about outcomes until they had enough power that the public couldn't retaliate against policies libertarians knew were destructive."

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James M. Buchanan, Economic Scholar, Dies at 93 - New York Times - Robert D. McFadden:

January 9, 2013 -  "James M. Buchanan, a scholar and author whose analyses of economic and political decision-making won the 1986 Nobel in economic sciences ... was a leading proponent of public choice theory, which assumes that politicians and government officials, like everyone else, are motivated by self-interest — getting re-elected or gaining more power — and do not necessarily act in the public interest.

"He argued that their actions could be analyzed, and even predicted, by applying the tools of economics to political science in ways that yield insights into the tendencies of governments to grow, increase spending, borrow money, run large deficits and let regulations proliferate....

"Buchanan contended that the pursuit of self-interest by modern politicians often led to harmful public results. Courting voters at election time, for example, legislators will approve tax cuts and spending increases for projects and entitlements favored by the electorate. This combination can lead to ever-rising deficits, public debt burdens and increasingly large governments to conduct the public’s business.

"In lectures, articles and more than 30 books, Dr. Buchanan amplified on the theory of public choice and argued for smaller government, lower deficits and fewer regulations — a spectrum of policy objectives that were ascendant in the 1980s conservative agenda of President Ronald Reagan.

"Over the years since Dr. Buchanan won the Nobel, much of what he predicted has played out. Government is bigger than ever. Tax revenue has fallen far short of public programs’ needs. Public and private borrowing has become a way of life. Politicians still act in their own interests while espousing the public good, and national deficits have soared into the trillions."

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Medical cannabis legalized in Mexico

Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana | Leafly - Lisa Rough:

June 19, 2017 -  "A decree issued by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today confirmed that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use after overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress.

"Peña Nieto was once a vehement opponent of cannabis legalization, but has since called for a re-examination of global drug policy after a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. 'So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,' Peña Nieto told the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions in April 2016. 'We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.'

"Last year, Peña Nieto even went so far as to introduce a measure that would allow Mexican citizens to possess up to an ounce of cannabis without repercussions, but the bill stalled in Congress"

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chase Foundation gives $800K/year to libertarian policy network

Chasing Free Enterprise: An Investor Gives Steadily for Libertarian Think Tanks — Inside Philanthropy - Ade Adeniji:

June 20, 2017 - "The Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation's motto is 'free minds, free markets.' Among its trustees is Derwood S. Chase, Jr., who steers Chase Investment Counsel Corporation in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Chase, who graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a Harvard MBA, also sits on the board of the right-leaning Fraser Institute in Vancouver, Canada, which starts to paint a picture of the type of organizations that Chase is interested in.

"His Chase Foundation of Virginia was established in the mid-1990s, and in recent years has given in the neighborhood of $700,000 to $800,000 annually to a number of libertarian or conservative policy organizations across the country and north of the border.

"Besides the Reason Foundation and Fraser Institute, Chase, via his foundation, has also backed Acton Institute in Michigan, a think tank whose mission is 'to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.' The outfit is named after English Historian Lord John Acton, behind the well-known dictum 'power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'

"Chase has also supported places like the Atlas Network, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy in Ohio, Cascade Policy Institute in Portland, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Goodman Institute for Public Policy in Miami, Institute for Energy Research, Manhattan Institute for Public Policy, and Montreal Economic Institute....

"As we've reported in the past, such giving has allowed the right to scale up a comprehensive policy infrastructure to influence policy at all levels of government."

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Libertarian support surges after Bernier’s loss (video)

Staying true to liberty: Libertarian Party sees surge in support after Bernier’s loss - The Rebel - Holly Nicholas:

June 18, 2017 - "Maxime Bernier was the most libertarian candidate in the CPC leadership race, which is partly why after his unsuccessful bid, the Libertarian Party of Canada adopted his freedom friendly policies and offered him the leadership position in their party ... so it’s not surprising that the Libertarians are now seeing a surge in support.

"Watch to see my in depth interview with the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, Trevor Schmidt. We discuss Bernier’s loss ... and what it will mean for the CPC if they don’t adopt at least some of his liberty-oriented policies too....

"Bernier captured a lot of votes in the race so it will be interesting to see if he goes on to have a significant influence on CPC policy and also to see what kind of role he’ll play in the party under Andrew Scheer’s leadership.

"Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party of Canada continues to want the government to get out of our lives.... They advocate for less government, lower taxes and more freedom and you can find more information about them at

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rachel Carson's DDT ban killed millions

Millions Died Thanks to the Mother of Environmentalism - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world - Paul A. Ofit :

June 17, 2017 - "On Jan. 24, 2017, PBS aired a two-hour special on Rachel Carson, the mother of the environmental movement....  Unfortunately, the PBS documentary neglected to mention that in her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, Carson had made one critical mistake – and it cost millions of people their lives....

"According to Carson, children suffered sudden death, aplastic anemia, birth defects, liver disease, chromosomal abnormalities, and leukemia – all caused by DDT. And women suffered infertility and uterine cancer.... Carson made it clear that she wasn’t talking about something that might happen – she was talking about something that had happened.....

"In May 1963, Rachel Carson appeared before the Department of Commerce and asked for a 'Pesticide Commission' to regulate the untethered use of DDT. Ten years later, Carson’s “Pesticide Commission” became the Environmental Protection Agency, which immediately banned DDT....

"Although DDT soon became synonymous with poison, the pesticide was an effective weapon in the fight against an infection that has killed – and continues to kill – more people than any other: malaria....

"Since the mid 1970s, when DDT was eliminated from global eradication efforts, tens of millions of people have died from malaria unnecessarily: most have been children less than five years old. While it was reasonable to have banned DDT for agricultural use, it was unreasonable to have eliminated it from public health use.

"Environmentalists have argued that when it came to DDT, it was pick your poison. If DDT was banned, more people would die from malaria. But if DDT wasn’t banned, people would suffer and die from a variety of other diseases, not the least of which was cancer. However, studies in Europe, Canada, and the United States have since shown that DDT didn’t cause the human diseases Carson had claimed.

"Indeed, the only type of cancer that had increased in the United States during the DDT era was lung cancer, which was caused by cigarette smoking. DDT was arguably one of the safer insect repellents ever invented – far safer than many of the pesticides that have taken its place....

"In 2006, the World Health Organization reinstated DDT as part of its effort to eradicate malaria. But not before millions of people had died needlessly from the disease."

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

How regulation doubles infrastructure costs

Get those shovels in the ground - faster to rebuild our infrastructure: George F. Will |

June 12, 2017 - "Because the inaccurately named Center for American Progress has chosen to defend the impediments that government places in its own path regarding public works, it has done [Philip K.] Howard the favor of rekindling interest in something he wrote in 2015....

"In September 2015, Howard, founder and chair of the reform advocacy group Common Good, published a paper 'Two Years Not Ten Years: Redesigning Infrastructure Approvals.'

"In it, he argued that
America could modernize its infrastructure, at half the cost, while dramatically enhancing environmental benefits, with a two-year approval process. Our analysis shows that a six-year delay in starting construction on public projects costs the nation over $3.7 trillion, including the costs of prolonged inefficiencies and unnecessary pollution.

This is more than double the $1.7 trillion needed through the end of this decade to modernize America's infrastructure.
"The nation that built the Empire State Building in 410 days during the Depression and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime recently took nine years just for the permitting of a San Diego desalination plant.

"Five years and 20,000 pages of environmental assessments and permitting and regulatory materials were consumed before beginning to raise the roadway on New Jersey's Bayonne Bridge, a project with, as Howard says, 'virtually no environmental impact (it uses existing foundations and right-of-way).' Fourteen years were devoted to the environmental review for dredging the Port of Savannah....

"In 2011, shippers using the inland waterway system of canals, dams and locks endured delays amounting to 25 years. In 2012, the Treasury Department estimated that traffic congestion wasted 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline annually. Diverting freight to trucks because of insufficient railway capacity quadruples fuel consumption....

"Twenty months after Howard published his article, the CAP's response shows how far we have defined efficiency down: It celebrates the fact that federal environmental statements average only 4.6 years.

"Actually, that would be bad enough if such reviews were all or even most of the problem. Actually, there are other kinds of reviews and other layers of government involved, as with the Bayonne Bridge – 47 permits from 19 federal, state and local agencies."

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