Tedenski izbor

Today the French celebrate the 226th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the date usually recognized as the beginning of the French Revolution. What should libertarians (or classical liberals) think of the French Revolution?

The Chinese premier Zhou Enlai is famously (but apparently inaccurately) quoted as saying, “It is too soon to tell.” I like to draw on the wisdom of another mid-20th-century thinker, Henny Youngman, who when asked “How’s your wife?” answered, “Compared to what?” Compared to the American Revolution, the French Revolution is very disappointing to libertarians. Compared to the Russian Revolution, it looks pretty good. And it also looks good, at least in the long view, compared to the ancien regime that preceded it.

The French Revolution and Modern Liberty – David Boaz, Cato at Liberty

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Če nam ekonomija ne more napovedati, kaj se bo zgodilo, zakaj pa je potem sploh dobra?
“Ekonomija je dobra za modrost, ampak modrost bolj grobe vrste. Ekonomija daje grobe nasvete. Denimo na ravni makroekonomije, da ni dobro ustvariti takšnega poslovnega okolja, kjer bo vse nepredvidljivo. Ali pa da ne sprejemajmo delovnih zakonov, zaradi katerih je za mlade nemogoče, da bi dobili službo neverjetno, koliko ljudem to še zmeraj ni jasno. Tako pa po vsej Evropi zakoni, ki ščitijo starejše, onemogočajo mlajše. A ne nazadnje so starejši tisti, ki hodijo na volitve, mladi pa ne. Francoski klasični ekonomist Frédéric Bastiat je govoril o vidnem in o nevidnem. Naloga nas ekonomistov je, da ljudi opozarjamo na nevidno. Žal pa obstaja veliko ekonomistov, ki ekonomije ne poznajo prav dobro.”

***

We have evolved a political debate where essentially nationalistic concerns have been hiding behind the gentler cloak of egalitarianism. To clear up this confusion, one recommendation would be to preface all discussions of inequality with a reminder that global inequality has been falling and that, in this regard, the world is headed in a fundamentally better direction.

Income Inequality is Not Rising Globally, It’s Falling. – Tyler Cowen, The New York Times

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The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.

Greece Today, America Tomorrow? – Ron Paul, The Ron Paul Institute

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V Atenah sem že peti dan in priznam, še zmeraj nisem našel ta trenutek najbolj razvpitega mitološkega bitja – “lenega Grka”.

Dnevnik iz Aten: Mitološko bitje – leni Grk – Jure Stojan, Večer

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Poverty-Porn is the tactic of media and charities that uses sympathy as a catalyst for monetary gain, exploiting the poor and uneducated, to showcase desperate conditions for an emotional response. And while the tactic may be effective at heightening profits—by misrepresenting an entire continent as slum—the fate of an entire continent is stamped with pity. What this means is that outside of Africa, Africans are expected to look up.

Africans are fighting media poverty-porn by tweeting beautiful images of their real lives – Tyler Fyfe, The Plaid Zebra

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Interest rates that once were high and promised stable, good future returns tumble down and stop very close to the zero mark. The rate of inflation, which is being used to show how much more expensive daily life will be in the future, is at the moment even higher than average bank account interest rates. In Germany in February 2015 the average inflation rate was 2,2 %, while interest rates were only a measly 0,8 %. This basically means that your bank money is not going generate enough returns to compensate for the rising costs of living.

How the EU punishes savers – Fabian Sauter, European Students for Liberty

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Those who love liberty and economic growth and opportunity have been for many years seeking private solutions to get around the abuses by government of its monopoly money. The most promising technology for the individual to free himself from the government monetary shackles has been the development of bitcoin, which allows largely anonymous transactions from peer to peer, without going through the banking system. Those in government hate the idea of bitcoin and its newer competitors because it largely destroys their global power to monitor and extract tribute from transfers of goods and services, and wealth.

Immutable money – Richard W. Rahn, The Washington Times

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Interestingly, Mussolini found much of John Maynard Keynes’seconomic theories consistent with fascism, writing: “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud.”

The Socialist Economics of Italian Fascism – Lawrence K. Samuels, Library of Economics and Liberty

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Since the post-World War II era, movement conservatives have focused so much on an intrusive state that they have overlooked the other side of the coin. Early twentieth-century Catholic thinkers such as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc clearly recognized the danger to mediating institutions such as the church and the family posed by the intrusions of both the state and vast impersonal corporations.

Corporate America: A Friend of the Family? – Gillis Harp, Crisis Magazine

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Until the Second World War, Russia had never really managed to dominate the area behind the Carpathian Mountains. Thus aside from the Cold War period it is difficult to find much in common among the Visegrad nations in their historical experience with Russia. Clearly the S4 format, with its common Habsburgian past, could serve as a potential integrating factor, especially taking into account that Austria has long ago ceased to be an imperial power.

What Makes the Visegrad Group so Geopolitically Fragile? – Adam Klus, New Eastern Europe

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Mnogi bi sicer trdili, da je Slovenija še premalo centralizirana, saj v njej deluje nepregledno število občin, ki upravljajo z denarjem in območjem brez kakršnekoli kontrole. To, da imajo občine v Sloveniji pri marsičem daleč prevelika pooblastila – predvsem na področju prostorske politike –, je jasno. Vendar je reševanje tega problema s še večjo državno centralizacijo popolnoma napačen pristop. Dejstvo je namreč, da sta trenutna oblika in funkcija občin ravno posledica centralizacije.

Živeti tam nekje – Miha Kosovel, Novi glas

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Danes vsako omenjanje razlik med posamezniki, narodi, rasami, kulturami velja za politično nekorektno. V bistvu gre za hinavščino, kamufliranje resničnosti, siromašenje jezika in s tem tudi misli. Zakaj beseda belec ni žaljiva, črnec pa je? Črnec, ki ga v ZDA imenujejo z menda politično nevtralno besedo Afroameričan, ni zato nič manj črn in segregiran. Da je paradoks še večji, ima za mnoge beseda Afroameričan isti pomen kot črnec.

Teror politične korektnosti – Jožica Grgič, Delo

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Es sind nicht viele Studenten, die den Mut aufbringen, das zu hinterfragen, was ihre Dozenten als herrschende Lehre vorsetzen, wo eigentlich Freiheit der Lehre herrschen soll. Nicht nur an der TU Berlin auch an anderen Universitäten wollen Lehrkräfte ihren Studenten Gendern als Doktrin verordnen.

Studenten dürfen nicht zum Gendern gezwungen werden – Die Freie Welt

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Ko mi danes kak anketar natrosi, da so študentje in izobraženci večinoma levo (beri: neo-marksistično) usmerjeni, ter namiguje, da je leva opcija tista prava, že zato, ker ima intelektualce na svoji strani, se kot kak balkanski čiča namrdnem in rečem: „Ima pametnih, ima glupih, a ima i intelektualaca.“

Marksizem ali razkošje, da me ni (več) zraven – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Professional race hustlers have no incentive to see our current civil war end. They see in this shooting only an opportunity to escalate their demands.

Now there are rumblings of demands that statues of Robert E. Lee and other Southern leaders be destroyed — and if that is done, it will only lead to new demands, perhaps to destroy the Jefferson Memorial because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. And if that is done, no doubt there will be demands that the city of Washington be renamed, for the same reason.

Is the Civil War Over? – Thomas Sowell, The New American

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Barks created a wealth of economic lessons through fables that are still enjoyed around the globe today.

(…)

Donald and the rest of the country quit their jobs and set off to “see the world.” Meanwhile, Scrooge and the boys continue to labor on their farm. With no one else working and nothing being produced, Donald and the rest of the world come straggling back. Scrooge is happy to feed them — at new market prices. Eggs are a million dollars apiece, cabbage is two million, and ham is a bargain at a cool trillion. With each purchase, the money from Scrooge’s corn crib trickles back and he becomes, yet again, the richest duck in the world.

With another “helicopter” scenario, we see the inflationary effects of a massive injection of money. We also get a glimpse into many aspects of wealth — how it is created, how it is maintained, and what happens when we redistribute in ways that are not related to market performance. Barks knew he was creating a morality tale of capitalism, admitting, “I’m sure the lesson I preached in this story of easy riches will get me in a cell in a Siberian gulag someday.”

Lessons from the Richest Duck in the World – Robert Anthony Peters, the Freeman

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Tedenski izbor

Like Alexis de Tocqueville, Hayek is more quoted than read. Despite being on the short list of leading intellectual heroes for the American right, few conservatives or libertarians are all that familiar with his actual views on classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. Instead, as Thompson notes in his post, the rhetoric of the right reveals that we are more influenced by Ayn Rand than Hayek.

(…)

Today, the common enemy is liberalism and the fusionism occurs not between disparate groups butwithin an individual. People who would laugh at the absurdity of a “Christian Muslim” seem not to recognize the similar incongruity between being a follower of Christ and an acolyte of Ayn Rand.

Has Modern Conservatism Become a Cult? – Joe Carter, First Things

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Crucially, given worries about investment and political instability, “In countries where inequality was generally thought to be high, more people supported government redistribution. But demand for redistribution bore no relation to the actual level of inequality.”

There’s too much in the paper to cover in one blogpost, but the results are extremely clear: people’s perceptions of inequality are really, really inaccurate – that holds globally and in all but a handful of Scandinavian countries.

(…)

Redistributive policies that reduce actual inequality are costly, and because actual inequality is barely related to perceptions of inequality they may do little to make the country more stable or market-friendly. If these are important problems, we can only solve them by making people feel less unequal – not by making them less unequal in fact. In short: even if people’s perceptions of inequality matter, the reality does not.

 The case against caring about inequality at all – Sam Bowman, Adam Smith Institute

***

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Tedenski izbor

branje7

Problem “Grosupeljčanov” je, da so v manjšini. Čeprav bo del desne politične javnosti to razumel kot krivico, je vendarle jasno, da bo na naslednjih volitvah — zaradi nesposobnosti vlade morda predčasnih — spet zmagal Nejanez Nejanša. Kdorkoli že bo nasledil Cerarja kot vodilni politik levice in glavni izzivalec predsednika SDS.
Zato je tudi vlada v senci, ki so si jo zamislili v največji opozicijski stranki SDS, projekt, obsojen na volilni poraz — košarica Nove Slovenije pa razumljiva.Če bi hotela desnica resno ogroziti večno vladavino levice, bi projekt morala zastaviti širše. Povabiti bi morala neodvisne strokovnjake, nekdanje mladoekonomiste in zdrava jedra Državljanske liste in SLS in tako zasesti kar največji prostor na desni sredini. Šele tako bi volilcem ponudili nekaj novega, ne samo že videnega in doživetega v letih 2004 in 2011.

Če niso chemtrailsi, je pa Janša – Domen Uršič, FokusPokus

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Tedenski izbor

branjevka

Everybody who is on the Internet is subject to insult, trolling, hating and cruelty. Most of these online assaults are dominance plays. They are attempts by the insulter to assert his or her own superior status through displays of gratuitous cruelty toward a target.

(…)

Clearly, the best way to respond is to step out of the game.

(…)

Historically, we reserve special admiration for those who can quiet the self even in the heat of conflict. Abraham Lincoln was caught in the middle of a horrific civil war. It would have been natural for him to live with his instincts aflame — filled with indignation toward those who started the war, enmity toward those who killed his men and who would end up killing him. But his second inaugural is a masterpiece of rising above the natural urge toward animosity and instead adopting an elevated stance.

Conflict and Ego – David Brooks, The New York Times

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Tehnologija nam je omogočila, da stojimo sredi dvorane zrcal in povsod vidimo samo sebe. V resnici pa nas internetni algoritmi delajo osamljene in nevarne, ker večajo naš narcisizem s tem, da odstranijo ves svet, ki ni kot mi. Okrepijo lastnosti, ki jih imamo. In ker se v osami in anonimnosti interneta prej pokažejo slabe lastnosti, okrepijo njih.

Drugačno mnenje je šok. V svetu, ki je ves kot jaz, nenadoma zagledamo košček nejaza in srd je strahoten, treba ga je odstraniti, takoj! Grožnje in trolanje postajajo norma. Sodobna komunikacija ni več pogovor, marveč je postala eksorcizem.

Dvorana zrcal – Miha Mazzini, Siol.net

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There’s much to the view of Punxsutawney as purgatory: Connors goes to his own version of hell, but since he’s not evil it turns out to be purgatory, from which he is released by shedding his selfishness and committing to acts of love.

(…)

Ultimately, the story is one of redemption, so it should surprise no one that it speaks to those in search of the same. But there is also a secular, even conservative, point to be made here. Connors’s metamorphosis contradicts almost everything postmodernity teaches. He doesn’t find paradise or liberation by becoming more “authentic,” by acting on his whims and urges and listening to his inner voices. That behavior is soul-killing. He does exactly the opposite: He learns to appreciate the crowd, the community, even the bourgeois hicks and their values. He determines to make himself better by reading poetry and the classics and by learning to sculpt ice and make music, and most of all by shedding his ironic detachment from the world.

A Movie for All Time. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Growdhog Day Scores – Jonah Goldberg, National Review

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For conservatism is about national identity. It is only in the context of a first-person plural that the questions – economic questions included – make sense, or open themselves to democratic argument.

Such was the idea that Edmund Burke tried to spell out 200 years ago. (…) Political wisdom, Burke argued, is not contained in a single head. It does not reside in the plans and schemes of the political class, and can never be reduced to a system. It resides in the social organism as a whole, in the myriad small compromises, in the local negotiations and trusts, through which people adjust to the presence of their neighbours and co-operate in safeguarding what they share. People must be free to associate, to form “little platoons”, to dispose of their labour, their property and their affections, according to their own desires and needs.

But no freedom is absolute, and all must be qualified for the common good. Until subject to a rule of law, freedom is merely “the dust and powder of individuality”. But a rule of law requires a shared allegiance, by which people entrust their collective destiny to sovereign institutions that can speak and decide in their name. This shared allegiance is not, as Rousseau and others argued, a contract among the living. It is a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead

(…)

In other matters, too, it is not the economic cost that concerns the conservative voter but the nation and our attachment to it. Not understanding this, the government has embarked on a politically disastrous environmental programme. For two centuries the English countryside has been an icon of national identity and the loved reminder of our island home. Yet the government is bent on littering the hills with wind turbines and the valleys with high speed railways. Conservative voters tend to believe that the “climate change” agenda has been foisted upon us by an unaccountable lobby of politicised intellectuals. But the government has yet to agree with them, and meanwhile is prepared to sacrifice the landscape if that helps to keep the lobbyists quiet.

Identity, family, marriage: our core conservative values have been betrayed – Roger Scruton, The Guardian

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I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.

(…)

The definition of marriage should have nothing to do with lessening emotional suffering within the homosexual community. If the Supreme Court were able to make rulings to affect feelings, racism would have ended fifty years ago. Nor is this issue primarily about the florist, the baker, or the candlestick-maker, though the very real impact on those private citizens is well-publicized. The Supreme Court has no business involving itself in romance or interpersonal relationships. I hope very much that your ruling in June will be devoid of any such consideration.

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from a Child of a Loving Gay Parent – Katy Faust, Public Discourse

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Tedenski izbor

reading-hipster

Ali, dragi levičarji, razumete perverzijo, ki se dogaja na Mladini? Ta tednik ni proti privatizaciji, ker sovraži Janšo, ni proti privatizaciji zato, ker so partizani umirali za našo svobodo in slovenski jezik, niti ni proti privatizaciji, ker ne prenese kapitalizma, proti je zaradi tega, ker je proti njihov lastnik, politično upravljani zmazek, imenovan NLB! S tega vidika je enačba Mladina = politično upravljana NLB = interesne skupine, ki so penetrirale v vlado, najlepši model za opisovanje motivov Mladine.

Kako kazino kapitalizem hrani Mladino – Kizo, Portal Plus

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Oblast govori o reševanju krize, hkrati pa zaradi socialnega miru marginalizira in v tujino izganja sodobnemu svetu najbolje prilagojen del prebivalstva.

Namesto da smo “mladi” in naivno čakamo, da se “postaramo” – ali pa pristanemo na izgon možganov – se že enkrat opredelimo in politično organizirajmo kot generacija. In sporočimo – dovolj, tudi mi si zaslužimo enake priložnosti. Zaslužimo in izboriti si moramo generacijsko neodvisnost; torej sposobnost sprejemanja lastnih odločitev kot posledice vsaj približne premoženjske neodvisnosti. Naša moralna odgovornost v prvi vrsti ni in ne sme biti do staršev in starih staršev, ampak do lastnih partnerjev in – morda ravno zaradi katastrofalne socialne situacije nerojenih in zato povsem neupoštevanih – otrok. Socialna država je super; ampak veljati mora v istih ključnih točkah za vse, ali pa je ni.

Odj**ite že s temi mladimi – Davor Hafnar, Torek ob petih

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Tedenski izbor

portrait-of-edmond-maitre-the-reader

Če je pomembno le število znakov, naštempljane ure, potem bodo uredniki hitro ugotovili, da so v idealni deželi: člankov jim še brati ni treba, kaj šele komentirati in se komu zameriti. Tudi novinarji se bodo hitro prilagodili. Kdor odda raziskan in temeljito pripravljen članek, je idiot – mar bi skopiral nekje od nekod, izpolnil normo glede znakov, poštempljal odmerjeno število ur, od tega pol na kavici s predstavnikom lastnika, kjer bi se mu prilizoval.

(…)

Omeniti moram še element novinarskega dela, ki pa je zunaj poklica in del nezavednih družbenih pravil: jamranje, pasivnost, letargija, fatalizem. Tudi če objavite še tako raziskano in šokantno novico, recimo lopovščino kakega politika, bodo ljudje le zavzdihnili “Takle mamo” in to bo to. Politik seveda ne bo odstopil, le zameril bo.

Skratka, javno mnenje, ki bi moralo biti največji zaveznik novinarstva, pri nas ne obstaja.

Obstaja le javno jamranje. To pa se lahko najbolj naslaja ravno pri zgodbah o lačnih čistilkah in tako je krog sklenjen.

Mučno potovanje v nepomembnost – Miha Mazzini, Planet Siol

 

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Mariboru je šlo slabo že takrat, ko se je še zdelo, da gre Sloveniji dobro. Poudarjam: zdelo! Danes je vsakomur jasno, da se kriza v Sloveniji ni začela 15. septembra 2008 z bankrotom Lehman Brothersov. To nas je kvečjemu pahnilo v spiralo, na katero pa že prej nismo bili pripravljeni.

Razlogi za slovensko zavoženost so starejši. Če bi bili pametnejši, bi jih videli v Mariboru. Namesto da bi v njihovih težavah videli resne, splošne, vseslovenske napake – ekonomske, politične, socialne, kulturne napake, celo zmote -, smo videli zanemarljive probleme lokalnih ljudi, ki da se ne znajdejo in pričakujejo pomoč drugih.

Maribor je bil vseh teh dvajset in več let ogledalo Slovenije, ki nam je kazalo prihodnost. Našo skupno prihodnost. Mi pa smo gledali stran.

(…)

Nihče ni v Mariboru videl splošnih slovenskih problemov. Ne ti ne jaz, ne profesorji ne komentatorji in ne politiki – ne Kučan ne Drnovšek, ne vsi tisti vmes med njunimi časi in današnjim Cerarjem.

Maribor je veliki poraz slovenskega ekonomskega in političnega modela. Sram nas je lahko.

Maribor je Slovenija : samo bolj fejst nor – Marko Crnkovič, Primorske novice

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V Sloveniji se je plačna enakost povečala, ugotavlja urad za makroekonomske analize in razvoj. Kot so pojasnili, so se plače nižje izobraženih v krizi najbolj zvišale (nominalno za več kot 16 odstotkov), plače višje izobraženih pa so se znižale.

(…)

Res se je enakost torej povečala, a na žalost tako, da smo vsi revnejši.

Čedalje bolj enaki, čedalje bolj revni – Rok Pikon, Finance

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Zelo nizek obisk /kinodvoran/ po Sloveniji pomeni, da se, ne glede na to, da smo praktično v vseh večjih mestih v zadnjih desetih letih dobili kinosredišča (te imajo Koper, Kranj, Ljubljana, Celje, Novo mesto, Maribor in Murska Sobota), vseeno srečujemo z nekakšno deurbanizacijo mladega resnejšega aktivnega prebivalstva, ki kulturne vsebine preprosto vse manj spremlja na tak način, da se odpravi od doma. (…) Če (in kako) mladi filmske vsebine spremljajo doma, pa je že drugo, morda malce bolj filozofsko vprašanje.

Nadaljnji strahovit padec kinooobiska v letošnjem letu kaže, da je erozija resnejšega filmskega občinstva vse večja in večja in da je ta ostala relativno čvrsta zgolj še v jasno določenih nišah filmske kulture, ki jo recimo v Ljubljani tvorita Kinodvor in Liffe.

V zgolj dvanajstih letih se je Slovenija iz dežele, kjer je film, tudi slovenski (v obdobju 1998–2003), relativno dobro cvetel, spremenila v urbano puščavo iz poapokaliptičnih filmov, kjer se mladi ljudje najraje zadržujejo doma, od koder jih sem ter tja spravijo zgolj še razvpiti filmi. Ti seveda niso sinonim za mestno življenje, kjer naj bi se rojevale družbene pobude in nove ideje.

Slovenija, dežela brez mestnega življenja? – Samo Rugelj, Planet Siol

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Homosexual marriage is primarily a creation of the judiciary, a fact which is especially evident right now as the lower federal courts go about using the United States Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision to nullify the marriage laws of state after state.

In this essay, we deal with the decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 and a federal district court in California in 2010 holding man-and-woman marriage deficient and, indeed, unconstitutional. But how and on what basis did they do that? There were no written laws, constitutions, or case precedents in either state or federal constitutional law to which to refer. Marriage had existed in the form of a relationship of a man and a woman with a primary purpose of procreation for all human history. Before the homosexual rights movement, no one had ever thought to sue marriage. Marriage was not considered to be a subject for “equal protection” analysis in either state or federal constitutional law. It was not a civil rights issue, much less an “issue.”

The Courts Invent Homosexual Marriage – Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

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The book contains numerous examples to illustrate the deleterious effect boycotts have upon academic freedom. We’re told of authors who refuse to have their books translated into Hebrew, Israeli academics pulled from the editorial boards of journals, PhD students prevented from taking up scholarships, as well as many more mundane examples of academics not being able to speak at conferences or take part in collaborative research projects.

The Boycott-Israel Brigade Undermines the University – Joanna Williams, Spiked

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Pero el problema es que la palabra liberal la quiere todo el mundo. Todos son liberales y conservadores, o socialistas a fuer de liberal. Es una palabra manipulada por todo el mundo. Por eso los que de verdad somos liberales tenemos que tener clara una cosa: si eres liberal tienes que serlo en todas las manifestaciones. La palabra liberalismo no solamente habla de libertades, también de liberación. El liberalismo habla de que el ser humano no puede estar oprimido por los poderes financieros, ni por el poder de los medios de comunicación, ni por el eclesiástico. En este mundo la tendencia a la concentración de poder es tremenda. Este es el problema del liberalismo y tarda uno mucho en entenderlo.

[Težava je, da si besedo liberalizem želijo prisvojiti vsi. Vsi so liberalci in konservativci ali pa so socialisti, ker so liberalci. Gre za besedo, ki jo vsi manipulirajo. Zato nam mora resničnim liberalcem biti jasno nekaj: če si liberalec, moraš biti liberalec v vseh pogledih. Beseda liberalizem ne govori le o svoboščinah, temveč tudi o osvoboditvi. Liberalizem pravi, da človek ne sme biti zatiran niti s strani finančnih moči niti s strani medijskih moči niti strani moči cerkvenih institucij. V našem svetu obstaja grozljiva koncentracija moči. To je problem, s katerim se sooča liberalizem, in zelo zamuja z njegovim dojemanjem.]

Antonio Garrigues Walker: “El auge de Podemos es absoluta y radicalmente lógico y positivo” – Guillermo de Haro & Álvaro Corazón Rural, Jot Down Magazine

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The full horror of the CIA interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in the long-awaited Senate report released on Tuesday.

While parts of the programme had been known – and much more will never be revealed – the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch.

Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.

Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.

The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.

Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings – Dominic Rushe & al, The Guardian

***

Torture is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless, and demonstrating the truth of both statements will make clear how completely bankrupt its defenders’ arguments really are. Proving that torture achieves nothing except the cruel degradation of human beings takes away the only argument its defenders have left. It would obviously be better if no one were willing to offer a defense for something as abhorrent as torture, but we know very well that quite a few people are prepared to do that so long as they can dress up what they’re defending in euphemisms and false claims about its efficacy. The point of insisting on torture’s uselessness is to strip away the remaining falsehoods that its defenders use to conceal the ugly reality of what they are defending.

Torture Is Wrong and Useless – Daniel Larison, The American Conservative

***

There is, however, another prism through which to examine these grim stories: the use of excessive violence by the state (see article). It, too, has complex origins, but quite a lot of them may be susceptible to reform. In many cases Americans simply do not realise how capricious and violent their law-enforcement system is compared with those of other rich countries. It could be changed in ways that would make America safer, and fairer to both blacks and whites.

Bits of America’s criminal-justice system are exemplary—New York’s cops pioneered data-driven policing, for instance—but overall the country is an outlier for all the wrong reasons. It jails nearly 1% of its adult population, more than five times the rich-country average. A black American man has, by one estimate, a one in three chance of spending time behind bars. Sentences are harsh. Some American states impose life without parole for persistent but non-violent offenders; no other rich nation does. America’s police are motivated to be rapacious: laws allow them to seize assets they merely suspect are linked to a crime and then spend the proceeds on equipment. And, while other nations have focused on community policing, some American police have become paramilitary, equipping themselves with grenade launchers and armoured cars. The number of raids by heavily armed SWAT teams has risen from 3,000 a year in 1980 to 50,000 today, by one estimate.

Above all, American law enforcement is unusually lethal: even the partial numbers show that the police shot and killed at least 458 people last year. By comparison, those in England and Wales shot and killed no one.

America’s Police on Trial – The Economist

 ***

Votre ouvrage, en rendant Foucault compatible avec le néolibéralisme, risque de faire grincer un paquet de dents!

J’espère ! C’est un peu le but du livre. Je voulais clairement rompre avec l’image bien trop consensuelle d’un Foucault en opposition complète avec le néolibéralisme sur la fin de sa vie. De ce point de vue, je pense que les interprétations traditionnelles de ces derniers travaux sont erronées, ou évitent du moins une partie du problème. Il est devenu aujourd’hui une sorte de figure intouchable dans une partie de la gauche radicale. Les critiques à son encontre sont pour le moins timides. Cet aveuglement est d’autant plus étonnant que j’ai moi même été surpris de l’indulgence dont fait part Foucault vis-à-vis du néolibéralisme lorsque je me suis plongé dans les textes. Ce n’est pas uniquement son cours aux Collège France qui pose question (Naissance de la biopolitique) mais de nombreux articles et interviews, qui sont pourtant accessibles. Foucault était très attiré par le libéralisme économique : il voyait dans celui-ci la possibilité d’une forme de gouvernementalité beaucoup moins normative et autoritaire que la gauche socialiste et communiste qu’il trouvait totalement dépassée. Il percevait notamment dans le néolibéralisme une politique « beaucoup moins bureaucratique » et « beaucoup moins disciplinariste » que celle proposée par l’État social d’après guerre. Il semble imaginer un néolibéralisme qui ne projetterait pas ses modèles anthropologiques sur les individus et leur offrirait une autonomie plus grande face à l’État.

Peut-on critiquer Foucault? – Daniel Zamora, Ballast

***

Slovenija je bila že pred letošnjim letom na nehvaležnem prvem mestu držav po številu sodb ESČP na število prebivalstva z ugotovljenim kršitvami Evropske konvencije. Zdi se, da je v iztekajočem se letu svoj položaj le še utrdila. Statistični podatki so več kot alarmantni, zaradi česar zahtevajo skrbno ter resno obravnavo. Dosegli so že takšno stopnjo resnosti, da jih nosilci državnih oblasti ne morejo več kar tako pometati pod preprogo, če jim je seveda kaj mar za izboljšanje stanja na področju varovanja človekovih pravic.

Najprej se bo potrebno vprašati zakaj smo dosegli tolikšno število obsodilnih sodb Evropskega sodišča in zakaj se varovanje človekovih pravic prav nič ne izboljšuje. Več kot očitno je, da težave nastajajo ne le zaradi pomanjkljivega znanja o Evropski konvenciji, ampak morda tudi zaradi premajhnega zavedanja resnosti problema. Odsotnost resnega obravnavanja takšnih sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav izhaja iz vseh vej oblasti v Sloveniji, pa tudi od organov, ki naj bi delovali na področju varovanja človekovih pravic. Denimo, letno poročilourada Varuhinje človekovih pravic za leto 2013 obravnava le posamezna drevesa – navaja denimo le dve sodbi Evropskega sodišča zoper Slovenijo, ne vidi pa celotnega gozda, torej sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav slovenske države, prvič, pri uresničevanju Evropske konvencije, in drugič, pri izvrševanju sodb Evropskega sodišča v slovenskem pravnem redu.

Tristo – Jernej Letnar Černič, Ius Info

***

Po raziskavah zgodovinarjev, ki se ukvarjajo z genocidom nad Romi, je bilo med drugo svetovno vojno v Evropi pobitih okrog pol milijona Romov in Sintov. Nekateri raziskovalci to številko sicer močno povečujejo. Romi so bili, tako kot Judje, žrtev genocida, ki so ga izvajali nacisti in ga strokovno imenujemo porrajmos. Heinrich Himmler je namreč sredi novembra 1943 tudi uradno izenačil položaj Romov z žalostno usodo evropskih Judov.
(…)
Omenjene poboje, ki so jih zakrivili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja, moramo prišteti med vojne zločine nad Romi. Resda ni šlo za genocid, saj slovenske partizanske oblasti niso nikoli ukazale njihovega načrtnega ubijanja. Ampak, ali to spremeni dejstvo, da so več kot polovico vsega romskega prebivalstva v t. i. Ljubljanski pokrajini med drugo svetovno vojno pobili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja?

Sprenevedanje po slovensko – Renato Podbersič ml., Časnik

 

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Most protesters said Thursday morning that they had returned to the camp not to resist the clearance, but to witness what they called the beginning of another era in a long-term democratic movement.

“This is definitely not the end of the movement,” lawmaker Leong told TIME just hours before his arrest. “With this awakening of the Hong Kong people, we have sown the seeds for the next wave of the democratization movement.”

Hong Kong’s Main Democracy Protest Camp Falls With Leading Protest Figures Arrested – Elizabeth Barber, Time