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CROSS: Democratic Libya or “Scumbag Woodstock?”

Courtesy of Nick Gillespie at Reason.com:

The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake reports that Libya, the site of an American-enabled kinetic-action-lead-from-behind-super-duper NATO triumph that somehow led to U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens being croaked by really irate YouTube consumers, is now packed with more domestic terrorists than your neighborhood Tea Party HQ:

In the nearly 20 months since the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks, al Qaeda operatives and allied terrorists have flocked to Libya, making the fragile North African country a hub for those seeking to wage jihad from north Africa, current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials tell The Daily Beast.

Not only does al Qaeda host Ansar al-Sharia, one of the militias responsible for the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But U.S. intelligence now assesses that leaders from at least three regional al Qaeda affiliates—al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and members of the organization of Al-Mulathameen Brigade loyal to Algerian terrorist, Mokhtar BelMokhtar—have all established havens in the lawless regions of Libya outside the control of the central government.

One U.S. military contractor working on counter-terrorism in Africa summed up the situation in Libya today as simply, “Scumbag Woodstock.” The country has attracted that star-studded roster of notorious terrorists and fanatics seeking to wage war on the West.

The piece provides additional insight on how the events in Benghazi reveal the abysmal lack of a sound foreign policy.  You can read the whole thing here.

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CROSS: Environmentalism’s Zero-Sum Game

The Wall Street Journal published a piece by Caleb Rossiter titled, “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change.”  The author, a self-admitted leftist, concedes that today’s environmental movement is no longer concerned with global warming…er…climate change, but rather de-industrialization at any cost.  He notes the substantial role electricity and fossil fuels have played in making life on Earth happier, longer, and healthier, but the author also reveals the inherent contempt for humanity within the environmental movement.  In this regard, Rossiter could not have picked a better title for the piece…

Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.

But that is the opposite of what’s desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.

You can read the whole thing here.

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CROSS: Obamacare Bailout To Help Democrats in Congressional Elections

Ah, your tax dollars at work.

From the LA Times, Federal funds earmarked to offset Affordable Care Act insurer losses:

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

[...]

The stakes are high for President Obama and the healthcare law.

Although more than 8 million people signed up for health coverage under the law, exceeding expectations, insurance companies in several states have been eyeing significant rate increases for next year amid concerns that their new customers are older and sicker than anticipated.

Insurers around the country have started to file proposed 2015 premiums, just as the midterm campaigns are heating up. Obamacare, as the law is often called, remains a top campaign issue, and big premium increases in states with tightly contested races could prove politically disastrous for Democrats.

[...]

To stabilize this new system, the law set up a complex system of funds, including one known as the Temporary Risk Corridors Program, that collect money from insurers and transfer it from companies with healthier, less expensive consumers to those with sicker, more costly consumers.

[...]

Pressure is most acute on insurers in states where healthy consumers were allowed to remain in old plans that are not sold on the new online marketplaces, an option Obama offered to states amid a political firestorm over plan cancellations last year. The president had promised people would be able to stick with their plans.

The renewal temporarily solved a political problem for the White House, but created a new one. Maintaining these old plans kept many healthy consumers out of the marketplaces, making the pool of new customers less healthy and therefore potentially more expensive for insurers, according to experts.

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DOLLAR: Leonard Peikoff Live at OCON 2014

From OCON 2014:

We’re proud to announce that our surprise event at OCON 2014 is a Q&A with Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir. On Monday, June 30, Dr. Peikoff will take questions exclusively on one of Ayn Rand’s lesser-known works. Which of Rand’s writings will Dr. Peikoff speak about? You’ll have to wait to find out! After the Q&A, Dr. Peikoff will be available to sign copies of his books

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DOLLAR: “Do some people have a right to be supported by others?”

Don Watkins demonstrates the importance of writing the right question in Voices for Reason – How To End the Welfare State With One Simple Question:

In a recent debate on the welfare state, I was asked whether I thought it was important to help others. That, I said, was not the right question. In a free society, people help others all the time — parents help children, neighbors help neighbors, private charities help orphans.

The question you need to ask when you’re thinking about the welfare state is not, “Should I help others?” It’s, “Do some people have a right to be supported by others? Are they entitled to turn other people into their servants? Is their need, regardless of its source, a claim on other people’s time, effort, and property?”

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CROSS: Earth Day Founder Was Into Composting…People

From NBC News:

Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

A self-proclaimed environmental activist, Einhorn made a name for himself among ecological groups during the 1960s and ’70s by taking on the role of a tie-dye-wearing ecological guru and Philadelphia’s head hippie. With his long beard and gap-toothed smile, Einhorn — who nicknamed himself “Unicorn” because his German-Jewish last name translates to “one horn”  —advocated flower power, peace and free love to his fellow students at the University of Pennsylvania. He also claimed to have helped found Earth Day.

But the charismatic spokesman who helped bring awareness to environmental issues [2]and preached against the Vietnam War — and any violence — had a secret dark side. When his girlfriend of five years, Helen “Holly” Maddux, moved to New York and broke up with him, Einhorn threatened that he would throw her left-behind personal belongings onto the street if she didn’t come back to pick them up.

[...]

Although Einhorn was only the master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day event, he maintains that Earth Day was his idea and that he’s responsible for launching it. Understandably, Earth Day’s organizers have distanced themselves from his name, citing Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist and former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator who died in 2005, as Earth Day’s official founder and organizer. [Remy Melina, Earth Day leader killed, composted girlfriend - LiveScience | NBC News]

 

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CROSS: Government Bully versus the Clive Bundy Small Fry

Bundy and the Rule of Law | National Review Online

Cliven Bundy is in the wrong. He is nevertheless a sympathetic figure, and the concerns raised by the standoff in Nevada transcend the illegality of his conduct.

[...]

Lincoln’s speech [addressing Congress on July 4, 1861, Lincoln defended his suspension of the writ] does justify law-breaking in extraordinary circumstances. I’d construe his argument as follows: Even if what I have done is unlawful, it was necessary because it was done for the higher purpose of preserving the system that protects our liberties—under dire circumstances where violating the law was more faithful to the Constitution than obeying it would have been.

[...]

The underlying assumption of our belief in the rule of law is that we are talking about law in the American tradition: provisions that obligate everyone equally and that are enforced dispassionately by a chief executive who takes seriously the constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. The rule of law is not the whim of a man who himself serially violates the laws he finds inconvenient and who, under a distortion of the “prosecutorial discretion” doctrine, gives a pass to his favored constituencies while punishing his opposition. The rule of law is the orderly foundation of our free society; when it devolves into a vexatious process by which ideologues wielding power undertake to tame those whose activities they disfavor, it is not the rule of law anymore.

The legitimacy of law and our commitment to uphold it hinge on our sense that the law and its execution are just. As John Hinderaker points out, concerns about the desert tortoise—the predicate for taking lawful action against Nevada ranchers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—turn out to be pretextual. The ideologues who run the government only want to enforce the ESA against a disfavored class, the ranchers.If you’re a well-connected Democrat who needs similar land for a solar project, the Obama administration will not only refrain from enforcing the ESA against you; it will transport the tortoises to the ranchers’ location in order to manufacture a better pretext for using the law to harass the ranchers.

When law becomes a politicized weapon rather than a reflection of society’s shared principles, one can no longer expect it to be revered in a manner befitting “political religion.” And when the officials trusted to execute law faithfully violate laws regularly, they lose their presumption of legitimacy. Much of the public is not going to see the Feds versus Bundy as the Law versus the Outlaw; we are more apt to see it as the Bully versus the Small Fry.

 

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CROSS: Left Wing Protestor Promotes Violence Over Thinking

Google Bus Protest Organizer: “We’ll Take It to Their Homes” | Re/code

After blocking a Google bus and protesting outside the company’s head of e-discovery in San Francisco’s Mission district this morning – but before rallying 300 people in a planned protest outside the sites of attempted evictions — organizer Fred Sherburn-Zimmer sat down at Borderlands Cafe for a cinnamon roll.

Sherburn-Zimmer — who works at the Housing Rights Committee, is a member of the Heart of the City art and politics collective and regularly speaks at the rallies she organizes — said the past couple of weeks marked a turning point.

“You’re going to see fewer Google bus protests,” she said. “We’ll be doing other actions. We’ll be more targeted. We’ll take it to [housing speculators'] offices. We’ll take it to their homes. There are times when we’ll physically blockade people inside a building [if the sheriff is coming to evict tenants].”

Will there be violence?

“I can’t predict where the movement will go, but we’ll do whatever tenants need to do to win,” she said.

“These people are dangerous and must be stopped. Will the police uphold law & order? Or—misinterpreting the First Amendment—will they allow mob violence? What will it take to make sure they protect people who are under attack? We need to discuss and debate it like civilized people. Threats and intimidation tactics must be stopped, and everyone should recognize that anyone who employs those tactics is thereby removed from the discussion.” — J. Crawford

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DOLLAR: Rob Lowe wants “the government out of almost everything.”

Rob Lowe on the Problems With Being Pretty – NYTimes.com

You’ve compared loyalty to a political party to recreational drug use. You’ve been sober for several years now, so what did you mean by that? I find them both highly overrated. Each day another state makes it O.K. for my 18-year-old — any 18-year-old — to go and buy pot like he’s buying a Pepsi-Cola, and so let’s face it: In the United States, recreational drug use is sort of acceptable. Belonging to one party is acceptable. But my days of just ticking the party box are long over. I judge the candidates for who they are.

So what do you believe? My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.

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DOLLAR: Today’s Johnny Carson

Jimmy Fallon’s Surprising Centrist Style – The Daily Beast

From slow jamming the news with Obama to playing musical instruments with Palin, Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show has become the late night destination for red and blue alike.

[...]

When Jimmy Fallon took over six weeks ago, the fear was he would join the chorus and pick a side—one that skews younger and more liberal—thereby closing the only avenue conservative politicians trust to appear on in the late night realm. But Fallon and those advising him are far too savvy and smart for that line of thinking. The new Tonight Show host—who has gotten off to as good a start as anyone could have imagined—has embraced the Johnny Carson mantra of being an equal opportunity offender in an effort to not potentially alienate half his audience.

[...] what Jimmy Fallon has accomplished in terms of political perception is nothing short of amazing: Being embraced by members of both parties as a non-political, non-partisan host who can make even the most polarizing politician appealing—funny, in some cases—even to his or her biggest detractors.

In the nasty world of Letterman/Stewart/Colbert — Jimmy Fallon, like Johnny Carson, is a class act.

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CROSS: Left Motivated by Totalitarian Power

Daniel Greenfield commenting on the Mozilla (makers of the Firefox browser) CEO who was fired in The Left Isn’t Pro-Gay — It’s Pro-Power | FrontPage Magazine:

The left does not care about gay marriage. In most left-wing regimes, homosexuality was persecuted. It was illegal in the USSR. Gay men were locked up in Cuba and are still targeted in China. Nicolas Maduro, the current hero of the left, openly uses homophobic language without any criticism from his Western admirers. It goes without saying that homosexuality is criminalized throughout the Muslim world.

Engels viewed homosexuality as a perversion born out of the bourgeois way of life that would be eliminated under socialism. The Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States stated that homosexuality “is a product of the decay of capitalism” and vowed that once the revolution took place, a “struggle will be waged to eliminate it and reform homosexuals.”

The left’s shift on this issue, as on many issues, was purely tactical. The left’s leading lights were racists who jumped into civil rights. They were sexists who became feminists. They were advocates for the working class who despised the idea of working for a living.

The culture war does not emerge from the left’s deeply held beliefs. Its leaders could care less about the things that they pretend to care about. It emerges instead from the need to maintain a constant state of domestic conflict.

[...]

Every gang needs to hurt and terrorize people in order to feel its power. [...] The purpose of these purges is not to make the country more tolerant, but to make it more afraid. The message of the Eich purge is not, “accept gay marriage,” it’s “don’t question us.” As many have pointed out, Eich had the same view of gay marriage at the time he made that donation as Obama and Hillary.[...]

The left is a totalitarian movement that inverts everything it touches. It fights against poverty by making more men poor. It helps black people by keeping them down, and it promotes tolerance through displays of intolerance. Its endgame is simply raw power. It wants as much of it as it can get its hands on.

[...]

The left constantly takes stands, but it believes in nothing. Like all totalitarian movements, it worships at the feet of the bronze bull of power. It believes in the virtue of its outrage, the might of its rhetoric and the pleasure of trampling an enemy underfoot. Every one of its beliefs are baseless and expendable in the name of its true god of power.

The right has sold its moral birthright in the hopes of being tolerated by a movement with no morals or beliefs except in the virtue of its own intolerance. It strategically embraces the left’s ideas and hopes that this process will eventually lead to a truce.

It can’t and it won’t.

The left does not hate the right because of gay marriage. It does not hate the right because it thinks that the right is racist, sexist, transphobic, semaphoric or plasmatic. It hates the right because it is not of the left. The right stands in the way of its absolute power. These two things are enough to be hated.

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