“The issue should not be government. It should not be unlimited and unalloyed idolatry of personal property, which is the path that the libertarian movement has gone down,” says David Brin, a science fiction writer and self-identified “heretical libertarian.”
Brin sat down with Reason.tv’s Tim Cavanaugh to discuss his recent critiques of the libertarian movement, which he believes is being pushed in the wrong direction by dogmatic followers of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard.
“Libertarians need to be reminded that, across 6,000 years, the greatest enemy of free enterprise, of market enterprise, innovation, creative competition… have always been oligarch,” says Brin.
Brin also discussed the themes of his prescient book, The Transparent Society, which, among other things, predicted a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center before it happened. The interview wraps up with a discussion of the ethics of Brin’s Uplift series, which imagines a future in which humans have enhanced the minds and bodies of dolphins and made them equal citizens of society.
From the Slate:
President Obama’s campaign has a new one-word slogan: “Forward.”
Unveiled in a seven-minute video that the president’s reelection team is using to kick-off the general election, the new slogan replaces its 2008 predecessor, “Change.” It also comes after the president’s team has experimented with such less-than-pithy slogans like “Win The Future.”
The video previews much of what is expected to be the president’s 2012 pitch to voters. It begins by reminding Americans of the dire state of the U.S. economy when Obama took office in early 2009, and then goes on to tout the president’s first-term accomplishments, including the end of the Iraq War and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, as well as Wall Street and credit card reforms, and the auto bailout.
In Massachusetts, a growing controversy surrounding Elizabeth Warren as the Harvard Professor gives conflicting statements over the last 72 hours over whether or not she used her self-described Native American heritage to advance her legal career. After telling the media on Friday that she did not “recall” ever having cited her “minority” background – while simultaneously being unable to offer any proof of such heritage – new information emerged over the weekend calling that statement into very serious doubt….Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes last night, This weekend, the blog the Volokh Conspiracy has posted on finding Warren listed in the Association of American Law Schools directory of law teachers under the “minority” index for three years she was at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990s, just prior to going to Harvard. The AALS directory for the 1986-87 book explains that professors were listed as minorities if they were “educators who stated they were members of a minority group.”
- The Boston Globe has this lead this morning…..US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren – who said Friday she didn’t realize Harvard Law School had been promoting her as a Native American faculty member in the 1990s – was listed as a minority professor in American law school directories for nine years before she landed at Harvard, documents show. The Association of American Law Schools desk book, a directory of law professors from participating schools, includes Warren among the minority law professors listed, beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1995. The years include time she spent teaching at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania, before she joined the faculty at Harvard Law. The listings were based on professors reporting that they were members of a minority group, the directory says.
- Meanwhile the Boston Herald has this headline – Scott Brown calls on Warren camp to ‘come clean’ — Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.
- Politico’s James Hohmann astutely notes in Morning Score – FACT OF LIFE: This could hurt Warren with the white working class in South Boston, especially if new information comes out to suggest that she used her heritage to get a leg up.
- From National Review – “Dances With Hogwash” – and from the American Thinker – “Elizabeth Warren, poster girl for liberal hypocrisy”
- Finally, Boston Herald Howie Carr writes, The fact is, you can’t get much lower than being accused of being a fake Indian. It puts you in the same category as that pony-tailed fraud from the University of Colorado, Ward Churchill. You remember, the fake Indian who said all the people murdered in the World Trade Center on 9/11 were “little Eichmanns.” Now she claims she doesn’t “recall” if she played the race card when she applied for her big-wampum $350,000-a-year job at Harvard Law. You see, it was so many moons — I mean years, ago. Sounds like a lot of bull — Sitting Bull.
In Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun reports after her campaign ruthlessly attacked Dean Heller as anti-woman, embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley admits that line of attack against Heller is not true. Heller’s vote [for the VAWA] didn’t fit into Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley’s full-throated campaign efforts to paint Heller — whom Berkley is challenging for the Senate in November — as “anti-woman.” … But Heller spent the week striking a fairly woman-sympathetic tone — and reminding voters that in the midst of the Berkley campaign’s effort to paint him as misogynistic, Berkley admitted to reporters that she really didn’t think Heller was anti-woman. “Violence in all forms is unacceptable, but in this place, it is particularly horrifying,” Heller said on the Senate floor last week, adding that “women and children often feel powerless to escape abusive or dangerous situations, which too often end in tragedy,” and calling statistics about violence against women in Nevada “sickening and unacceptable.”
- Meanwhile, Ray Hager at the Reno-Gazette Journal writes that Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid is visibly nervous about some of the ethical questions surrounding Rep. Berkley. Harry Reid is a perk on my job. Sometimes, not often, I get to interview the U.S. Senate majority leader. The most recent came a few weeks ago on the “Nevada Newsmakers” TV show. Reid revealed a notable quirk that helps him get through interviews: He’ll sometimes chuckle at questions he really doesn’t like. During the interview, host Sam Shad asked Reid about U.S. Rep. Shelly Berkley’s dealings with Las Vegas Sands poo-bah Sheldon Aldelson that date back to the 1990s. Boss Reid didn’t seem to like it. It came on the heels of a question posed to him about Berkley’s ability to win her U.S. Senate race against Dean Heller, R-Carson City, when she is facing a U.S. House ethics review and possible full investigation. Reid handled the first Berkley question. Reid’s reaction to the second, however, was to smile, then chuckle.
From the American Thinker:
No novelist could concoct a believable character to match Elizabeth Warren, the strategist behind the scarily-powerful and unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Democratic candidate for Senate. Professor Warren (she is a professor at Harvard Law School) cannot bear close scrutiny without revealing multi-layered hypocrisy and self-serving behavior. Oh, and a tendency to make herself look worse by taking far too long to confirm embarrassing truths, and looking like a weasel.
Warren is outraising incumbent Scott Brown, and is ahead in the polls. But Massachusetts voters have not yet savored the character of Warren, which embodies many local prejudices against Harvard types, the rich liberals who look down on everybody else. I hope that she continues to be herself and let voters get a sense of who she really is.
Fortunately for connoisseurs of liberal double standards, Howie Carr, Boston Herald columnist and talk radio host, is chronicling Warren’s campaign. The entire column is a gem, but here is an excerpt:
It’s turning out that she’s not quite the working-class heroine her worshipers in the limousine-liberal crowd thought she was.
Last week, news broke that Harvard Law had cited Warren as a minority hire – a Native American – when it was under criticism for lack of faculty diversity in 1996. Asked Friday for proof of her Indian ancestry, Warren’s said it’s part of her family “lore.”
She also said she couldn’t “recall” if she’d ever claimed minority status when applying for a job and that she’d never known of Harvard’s 1996 boast until Friday. When Brown’s campaign demanded that Warren apologize for taking part in a “diversity sham,” she said her campaign is searching for “evidence” of her Native American lineage.
When the campaign began, The Boston Globe saluted Warren for her “rise from poverty” as a child in Oklahoma City. Since then, as the truth has trickled out, the narrative has evolved. Goodbye poverty, hello to “the jagged edge of the middle class.”
We’ve learned that, by 1965, Elizabeth’s family had three cars, including a white MG that the hard-scrabble Native American drove daily to her tony high school. Still, the Globe insisted, the MG was “beat up.”
Last Friday, she released four years of tax returns. Over those four years, Warren and her husband, another Harvard Law prof, averaged $300,000 more than Sen. Brown and his spouse, a TV anchor. In 2009, the Warrens made $981,000 vs. the Browns’ $249,000.
I’m proud to announce the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake in the race for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Jeff Flake is one of the strongest conservative leaders in Congress and he needs our help to win this important election.
When it comes to fighting wasteful Washington spending and parochial politics, nobody has done more to advance the cause of freedom than Jeff Flake. Nobody.
Jeff Flake has fought a lonely battle against earmarks for years, even when it meant standing up to members of his own party who refused to stop pork barrel spending. Without his leadership, House Republicans would not have adopted the earmark moratorium last year.
Jeff Flake has also authored legislation to devolve the federal highway program back to the states where it belongs. His plan would empower states to build more roads with less money by removing union wage mandates and unnecessary federal red tape.
We’ve always thought Jeff Flake was an outstanding candidate, but he didn’t need our help … until now.
Flake is locked in a heated primary battle with Wil Cardon, a multi-millionaire who has told reporters that he “won’t be outspent” in this election.
Not only does Wil Cardon oppose the effort to remove earmarks from Congress, but he has actually promised to bring pork projects back to Arizona. Cardon also served on an executive committee of a campaign that fought to pass an $8 billion state sales tax increase.
And just recently, Wil Cardon directly attacked your freedom to engage in the political process. He called for a ban on campaign spending by citizen groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund. He says you should be silenced and that your constitutional right to make your voice heard should be taken away.
This is why we must act now to level the financial playing field.
Jeff Flake is the clear choice in this election and polls indicate that he has a real shot at winning both the primary and general elections. But the one thing that could stand in his way is the lack of resources to get his winning message to voters. His opponent has already spent over $4 million of his own money and he could spend much more.
But with your help, Jeff Flake will win this important race and take his fight for freedom to the U.S. Senate.
Please make a contribution to Jeff Flake’s campaign today. Designate your contribution to his campaign and we’ll pay for processing and handling so he receives 100% of your donation.
Together, we can send another fighter to the U.S. Senate who will help save this country’s future.
United States Senator
Chairman, Senate Conservatives Fund
It’s pretty clear to most Americans that Washington is broken and spending money well beyond the country’s means. In fact, Sunday marked three years since the U.S. Senate last passed a budget. Getting the fiscal house in order clearly isn’t their top priority. But just how bad is the country’s spending and debt crisis? Heritage has the answer in its newly released 2012 Edition of the Federal Budget in Pictures.
Whether you’re interested in learning how fast federal spending is growing, how big the tax burden is, what debt will look like in the future, and how soon entitlement spending will implode, Heritage has the answer in easy-to-understand charts. Here’s a taste of just some of the information Federal Budget in Pictures offers:
Each American’s Share of Publicly Held Debt Is Skyrocketing
As Washington continues to spend dramatically more than it can afford, every American will be on the hook for increasing levels of debt. Without reining in spending, the amount of debt per citizen will skyrocket. In 1970, each American’s share of publicly held debt was $6,435. Today, it’s $36,267. Where will it be in 2036? Click here to see the astounding facts for yourself.
What if Families Handled Finances Like the Federal Government Does?
In 2010, median family income was $51,360. If a typical family followed the federal government’s lead, it would spend $73,319 and put 30 cents of every dollar spent on a credit card. This family would have racked up $325,781 in credit card debt–like a mortgage, only without the house. What credit card company would continue lending money to this family? All those numbers can be hard to visualize, so see for yourself what it looks like in one of our latest charts.
Obamacare’s Barrage of Tax Hikes
Do you know about all the tax hikes that Obamacare imposes? They’re not coming all at once, and the cost gets higher each year, totaling more than $500 billion over 10 years. Obamacare’s higher tax rates on income and investment will slow economic growth, leaving hardworking American families and businesses worse off. A particularly harmful new payroll tax on investment income goes into effect in January 2013. It’s time you saw what all these taxes look like and how much they will cost. Check it out in our Obamacare tax hike chart.
Discretionary Spending Cuts Alone Will Not Balance the Budget
How bad is America’s entitlements crisis? (That includes spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other mandatory programs, plus interest.) The fact is, annual spending on entitlement programs is massive compared to other federal spending priorities. Cutting discretionary spending is necessary, but cuts to foreign aid alone or pulling out of Afghanistan will not close the deficit. Entitlement programs must be reformed. But to really understand how big entitlement spending is compared to other programs, you’ve got to see the comparison in this chart.
Those are just four examples of the kind of visual information we offer in our latest Federal Budget in Pictures. But there are dozens of others showing how the debt is on track to fuel an economic crisis, how defense spending would plummet under President Obama’s budget, how Heritage’s New Flat Tax simplifies the tax system, and how entitlement spending will nearly double by 2050.
It’s one thing to say that America faces a fiscal crisis. It’s another thing for Congress and the president to do something about it. So if you really want to understand the problem, take a look at Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures. Today’s fiscal crisis is not a pretty sight, and ignoring it will make matters far worse.
Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org.
As rumors continue to run rampant about the alleged Apple HDTV set, now there’s a tantalizing clue about programming Apple might use to entice people to buy and watch such a device.
Reuters found out Apple is currently in negotiations with Epix, a studio-backed company that streams relatively new content from major studios Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount.
Hey, isn’t this how Netflix gets a lot of its best and newest movies and such for streaming? It sure is, and it’s costing that company $200 million to do so, in an agreement that expires as soon as September of this year. More
Polar Bear Mother With Cub
Photograph by Norbert Rosing
Dutiful mothers, female polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs, which stay with her for more than two years until they can hunt and survive on their own.
Polar Bear Sleeps Soundly
Photograph by Flip Nicklin
A sleeping polar bear looks adorable, but beware! With no natural enemies, polar bears are at the top of the Arctic food chain. They are fearless, and will readily attack humans.
Polar Bear Cub Resting With Its Mother
Photograph by Flip Nicklin
In winter, female polar bears give birth to two cubs in an igloo-like den, which insulates the mother and babies against the brutal winds and frigid Arctic temperatures outside.
It’s college-selection season—a difficult time made even harder because the average cost of a four-year institution has climbed to more than $21,000 annually. Along with the usual queries about majors, dorms and dining halls, it’s worth asking some more subversive questions: What’s college for? And is it still worth it?
At first glance, the answers seem obvious. College is about exposure to new kinds of knowledge, classic literature and a bevy of scientific facts. Plus, there’s a lasting payoff: According to the Census Bureau, full-time workers with bachelor’s degrees earn, on average, $20,000 more per year than those with just high-school diplomas. This helps to explain why college remains a largely unquestioned advantage, an investment with a massive payoff.
And yet, a growing chorus is saying all is not well in higher education. Although American universities continue to set application records, many critics say that student-debt levels are becoming unsustainable, having recently passed the $1 trillion mark. More than four million students, or nearly 15% of borrowers, are in default on their loans.
What’s worse, there’s disturbing evidence that many colleges are failing to effectively educate their students. According to a controversial recent study, led by the sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa and summarized in their book “Academically Adrift,” nearly half of all undergraduates fail to demonstrate significant improvements in critical thinking or writing skills during their first two years in college. Even more dismal, particular kinds of knowledge are largely forgotten shortly after the final exam.
Drs. Arum and Roksa say that college has become a leisure activity, with the typical undergraduate spending 40 hours a week socializing and 13 hours studying. In many large lecture halls, attendance rarely exceeds 55%. More