Washington throws a pity party for federal censors finally being investigated

Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ is the pious masthead motto The Washington Post adopted in the Trump era. But in the Biden era, the Post sees censorship as the salvation of self-government. Censorship requires secrecy to work its magic, though. Folks get ornery about wearing a government blindfold, the same way malcontents yelped about wearing face masks. Republican congressmen and activist groups are shamelessly yanking at the curtain hiding the censorship-industrial complex. Washington Post readers were invited Tuesday to a 1,700-word pity party for federal censorship contractors. Federal agencies have launched crusades in recent years to suppress ‘disinformation’ on the Internet. They mostly rely on ‘censorship by surrogate’ because the First Amendment’s freedom-of-speech provision makes it legally dicey to directly muzzle Americans. And fearing legal trouble from the feds if they didn’t cooperate, social-media companies kowtowed to the surrogates.” (06/08/23)


How I Learned to Relax and Love the AI-pocalypse

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The genie is out of the bottle, folks. AI is a thing. It’s going to remain a thing. It’s going to keep getting better and faster …. If the US government tries to ‘regulate’ it, its advancement won’t stop. … Don’t believe me? Consider nuclear weapons. The US government  successfully tested its first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. The Soviet Union tested its first such weapon barely four years later on August 29, 1949. At least nine regimes now have nukes. Which are a lot more difficult and expensive to build than AI large language models. I’m an optimist. I see no particular reason to believe that the coming super-AIs will automatically dislike people, or want to do us harm, and even current-level AI is happy (if it has, or ever will have, “emotions” as such) to help us out in many ways.” (06/08/23)


Market Urbanism: Another Panacea

Source: Bet On It
by SolarxPvP

“The primary problem with current cities is that they are extremely car-centric. We don’t realize this because it’s just everyday life and we assume that cars make transportation easier and more convenient, but this is false. Car-centric designs are so bad that they make driving worse. The Netherlands, the model country on the YouTube channel, is one of the best places to drive in the world despite its walkable urban design …. Remember this fact: cities and their infrastructure are government funded and planned. The car-centric model was developed because the government mass-funded roads to be built for cars; and the government, as it does for everything, has terrible incentives. So it did not do this because it was more efficient to be car-centric and respond to market demand but because of public choice incentives.” (06/08/23)


Paul Krugman’s World War II is a Propagandistic Fairy Tale

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“In his June 6 New York Times column commemorating the 79th anniversary of the D-Day landing, Paul Krugman manages to regurgitate nearly every self-serving Western cliche about World War II. According to Krugman, ‘World War II was one of the few wars that was clearly a fight of good against evil.’ It is safe to assume that the vast majority of Americans would agree with him, but his description is wildly inaccurate. Unlike some analysts who confer sainthood on the Allied powers, Krugman at least concedes that ‘the good guys were by no means entirely good.’ … Strangely, though, he ignores the crucial point that the presence of the World War II Grand Alliance’s third member — Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union — makes a mockery of the notion that the war was a clean, existential struggle between good and evil.” (06/08/23)


State Secrets Undermine Due Process

Source: Judge Napolitano

“In a public courtroom of the United States of America, in which a high-level criminal case is being tried, the prosecutors are permitted to press a buzzer on their table in the midst of argument to the court by defense counsel. The buzzer cuts off the courtroom’s public address system, and then the judge silences the defendant’s lawyer. This happens whenever the prosecutor thinks defense counsel is about to reveal a state secret. The use of this Soviet-style system to disrupt defense counsel in the middle of a sentence is a hallmark of proceedings at the military trials at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is also profoundly unconstitutional.” (06/08/23)


Biden and Trump Could Both Lose in 2024

Source: Wall Street Journal
by Karl Rove

“For political junkies, there can never be too many polls. But some numbers are more durable and important indicators than others. In the recent deluge of 2024-related surveys (nine last month and 12 the month before) many observers are jumping to conclusions that, while not unreasonable, might not pan out when voters start casting their ballots next year. Commentators got a reality dose last month from the Washington Post’s chief political correspondent, Dan Balz. He detailed how state polls can ‘often shift dramatically,’ citing the Des Moines Register’s respected Iowa Poll. It showed that late movement resulted in upset victories in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Hawkeye State Republican caucuses.” [editor’s note: Normally I would avoid Rove’s rantings; this time he is on the mark – SAT] (06/08/23)


What if Your Child Was Trans?

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by James C Wilson

“I have for years been an advocate of trans rights. This includes the rights of trans youth and their parents, with the guidance of their doctors, to pursue whatever health care they see fit. I see this freedom as life-saving. That said, I am from a rather conservative background, in which many people I know disagree with this stance. Anyone who has been involved in the libertarian movement over the last decade inevitably knows people with deeply transphobic and reactionary beliefs. As such, I inevitably get questions, often accusatory, about how I would deal with having a child with gender dysphoria. … I’d like to take the opportunity to answer these questions by discussing what I would do and what I would not do.” (06/08/23)


Nord Stream revelations should chasten Ukraine dam “hot takes”

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

“This week’s bombshell news that the CIA knew of Ukraine’s plans to sabotage the Nord Stream pipeline three months before it blew up hasn’t given pause to some Western political leaders and commentators who are already suggesting that Russia might be behind the Kakhovka Dam explosion in Ukraine on Tuesday. … The lack of information, which has been a constant throughout this war, should temper the impulse to let emotional or political considerations lead us to conclusions. But that seems to be what is happening again, even though we know, from the Nord Stream sabotage example, that all may not be what it seems right now, and taking a step back from the hot takes might be what’s best for the situation. That is not ‘Putin apologia’ but good sense.” (06/08/23)


A truth verdict against state-backed Rambos

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by staff

“A deceitful tactic in modern conflicts — a government’s secret use of Rambo-style proxy militias to harm civilians and thus avoid accountability — just received a major setback. A United Nations court in The Hague issued a final verdict last week confirming that two former security officials in Serbia helped set up ‘special’ combat teams in the 1990s that killed thousands of non-Serbs during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia. The verdict — which took 20 years of legal proceedings — ‘leaves no doubt about the involvement of Serbia’s police and security services in the wartime atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is something that Serbia’s authorities continue to deny to this day,’ concluded Amnesty International. The two former officials, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, were given sentences of 15 years by the court, known as the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.” (06/07/23)


Governments Don’t Like (Poorer) Crime Victims

Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“Not every consumer wants to buy a luxury car at the cost of foregoing more of other things. We should would also expect poor consumers, ceteris paribus, to buy more bottom-of-the-line Kias and Hyundais. For idealistic lovers of government power, it might (and should) be puzzling why the government of New York City and of other municipal governments in America are suing the manufacturer of these cars because they are more often stolen …. Thieves are attracted to these inexpensive cars’ less efficient anti-theft features (which, the company says, still comply with federal regulations). The victimized owners may end up paying more in insurance, but it’s their own business and risk — just as it is for those who prefer not to buy a more solid, safer, and more expensive Mercedes.” (06/08/23)