Other countries are trying to thwart NSA spying.

Found at Blacklisted News:

Many countries are planning to create their own communications infrastructures to bypass the U.S. altogether.  For example, economic powerhouse Germany is rolling out a system that would keep all data within Germany’s national borders.

Can anyone blame them?

The U.S. is trying to not only protect U.S. businesses, but also keep the NSA’s hand in the cookie jar by arguing (wait for it…) that closing borders to the NSA would violate trade law.

Oh, that should work.

 

If the first 10 amendments to the Constitution went before today’s voters, how would they fare?

Not so well, according to political humorist P.J. O’rourke, who asks, “Who Really Actually Wants This Bill of Rights?” (“Really Actually?” Channeling his Valley Girl voice?)  He goes through each one and closes with this gem:

Alexander Hamilton was the Founding Father most in favor of a strong central government. And we’ve certainly got that. But Hamilton argued against a Bill of Rights, for fear it would make the central government too strong.

In Federalist Paper No. 84, Hamilton said the Constitution was “merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation.” He contended that a Bill of Rights “would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted.” He asked, “why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” He warned against “a Constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns.” And we’ve certainly got that.

Indeed.  Read the whole thing. (Above emphasis mine.)

Top 10 Reasons Libertarians Aren’t Nice To You

From Christopher Cantwell, self-declared anarchist, atheist, asshole: I wouldn’t write this, because I simply have different ideas about the subject. Nonetheless, it’s kind of a fun/snarky read.

Why hasn’t democracy saved us from inequality?

From The Washington Post, a stimulating article on Thomas Piketty’s ”Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” Some of the comments are particularly good. A couple questions (and answers):

Are we really a democracy? No.

Is equality achievable? Sure. Read Harrison Bergeron, a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. We wouldn’t like it, folks.

Quote of the day

While we worry about what’s happening here in the U.S. (in our slide toward a more intrusive government managing our lives), note this from Samizdata.net:

To me, (Britain) now seems a strange, immoral place. For example, I read articles in The Guardian and The Times this week about the abolition of inherited wealth.The Economist also recently wrote about it. It did not even occur to any of these columnists that they were talking about the property of others. They did not create it. They did not inherit it. They have no just claim to it. Yet they have no moral concerns about proposing its seizure.

The comments are also pretty good. An example:

The point of this, of course, from the socialist point of view is not to achieve “fairness” or solve “poverty” – it’s to enhance the state’s power. Without independent sources of wealth, any initiative, commercial or otherwise, that requires any kind of capital – even as little as £100,000 – must pass through the political process. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

Andrew Sullivan—The Hounding Of A Heretic

On Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s recent resignation over his support of California’s Prop 8 (back in 2008), from Andrew Sullivan’s, The Dish:

The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Yep, total compliance is expected and required, or you will be punished.

Then there is this excellent analysis of our culture war by Richard Fernandez.

UPDATE: Sullivan doesn’t back off:

A civil rights movement without toleration is not a civil rights movement; it is a cultural campaign to expunge and destroy its opponents.

 

“Climate Change And The Need To Suppress Dissent”

From Manhattan Contrarian, an excellent summary of the current state of affairs on “climate change.” (Hasn’t it always changed?) Francis Menton’s money quote:

Well, I think it’s a pretty good principle of life that those seeking to suppress the other side of the argument have a good sense that in a fair debate they are going to lose.

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