How Penn Jillette Became a Libertarian

I started thinking that one really good definition of government is that government is supposed to have a monopoly on force. The government is the guys with the guns, and we are the people who tell the government what they can do. So in my morality, I shouldn’t be able to tell anyone to do something with a gun that I wouldn’t do myself.

Now I want to add here that I am incompetent and I am a coward, so this is all theoretical, what I’m about to say — but if you asked me: Would I use a gun to stop a murder? Yeah! Would I use a gun to stop a rape? Yeah! Would I use the threat of a gun to stop a robbery? Yeah, I think you kind of have to. Would I use a gun to protect our country and our way of life? Yeah!

Would I use a gun to build a library? No!

Read the rest at: How Penn Jillette Became a Libertarian | Foundation for Economic Education

Remaking Men’s Clothes for Women’s Bodies

Growing up in South Carolina, Mary Going hated the clothing her parents made her wear. They wanted girly skirts and dresses; she wanted anything boyish, settling for baggy shirts and cutoffs. As she got older, her desire for masculine items grew. She avoided corporate jobs in order to escape wearing dresses and pantyhose.

After becoming a parent with her partner, Martha, she’d find herself staring at her closet before the kids’ recitals, miserably contemplating her options. “Every time I had to dress up, it was like a panic attack,” Going says. “I would wait until the last minute, hate everything I had to wear, and end up wearing something that felt bad.”

When she and Martha married in 2008, Going knew something had to change. She commissioned a custom suit, and while expensive (it cost more than a month’s rent), she was stunned by how confident she felt in it.

Once she realized it was possible to eliminate her fear of getting dressed, she knew she wanted others to experience that feeling. So, she took her business school background and began to develop a line of men’s clothing designed for women’s bodies. In 2012, she created a Kickstarter campaign to launch Saint Harridan (reclaiming a term for an “angry and unpleasant woman”), with the goal of producing luxurious men’s suits for women and trans men. The response was overwhelming: The brand hit its $87,000 goal in just eight days.

Since then, the Oakland-based company has flourished. Saint Harridan has transformed into an online clothing store selling not just custom suits and shirts, but also American-made, ready-to-wear classics like vests and waistcoats. The Saint Harridan folks have become experts at the tricky task of tweaking masculine silhouettes to fit women’s bodies…

Source: Saint Harridan Womens Suits Trans Men – Custom Fit

CIA Waterboarded Wrong Man 83 Times in 1 Month | Drudge Retort

None of the allegations against Abu Zubaydeh turned out to be true. In 2009, the U.S. government quietly withdrew its many allegations against Zubaydah. That didn’t stop the CIA from torturing him for years. Rebecca Gordon of The Nation writes about Zubaydeh, who was the first post-9/11 prisoner to be waterboarded and used prominently by the Bush Administration to justify enhanced interrogation programs. Despite the U.S. government changing its mind about charging Zubaydah as a central figure in al-Qaeda’s attack on America, he still remains, as far as we know, in solitary detention in Guantanamo, Gordon writes. “Yet notorious as he once was, he’s been forgotten by all but his lawyers and a few tenacious reporters.”

Source: CIA Waterboarded Wrong Man 83 Times in 1 Month | Drudge Retort

Petition: Investigate the Pentagon for Intentionally Misleading the Public About Sexual Assault Cases!

New reports have exposed that the Pentagon misled Congress with bogus data to block reform of their handling of sexual assault cases. (6214 signatures on petition)

Sign to demand an investigation: petition: Investigate the Pentagon for Intentionally Misleading the Public About Sexual Assault Cases!

Venezuela Tries to Fight Fire with Gasoline

From Objetivismo.org, a Spanish-language site inspired by Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

Rough translation of the first three paragraphs:

Lack of basic food.  Lack of toilet paper.  Shortages of water and medcine.  Huge lines in supermarkets.  Entire neighborhoods without light.  People stealing water from pools, public buildings, and tanker trucks.  This is just a hint of the misery destroying the Venezuelan people.

The cause?  17 years of populist socialism started by Hugo Chávez and continued by Nicolás Maduro; the violation of individual rights of its citizens which has turned Venezuela into one of the most repressed countries in the world, on the level of Cuba and North Korea.

The solution to Venezuela’s problems – the only solution – is to reduce government intervention into its citizens’ lives, liberalize economic activity, and privatize basic industries.  Escaping a hole so deep will take time, but that is the only way out.

If you don’t read Spanish, use Bing Translator to get a rough gist of the rest:

Falta de comida básica. Falta de papel higiénico. Escasez de agua y medicamentos. Enormes filas en supermercados. Vecindarios enteros sin luz. Gente robando agua de piscinas, edificios públicos y camiones cisterna. Es sólo un esbozo de la miseria que asola al pueblo venezolano.

¿La causa? Los 17 años de socialismo populista iniciado por Hugo Chávez y continuado por Nicolás Maduro; la violación de los derechos individuales de sus ciudadanos que ha convertido a Venezuela en uno de los países más reprimidos del mundo, al nivel de Cuba y Corea del Norte.

La solución a los problemas de Venezuela – la única solución – es reducir la intervención del gobierno en las vidas de sus ciudadanos, liberar la actividad económica, y privatizar las industrias básicas. Salir de un agujero tan profundo llevará tiempo, pero ese es el camino.

Source: VenezuelaObjetivismo.org

Be Kind to Animals Week!

 

Kind Ways to Celebrate
Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue
Help animals find a second chance at happiness by adopting from your local shelter or rescue group. Tips to find the animal companion that’s right for you and develop a bond that will last a lifetime can be found here.
Take care of your pet
Pets need you to help keep them healthy and safe. Keep your animal’s vaccinations up-to-date. Make sure he’s wearing proper identification. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. Know what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.
Appreciate wildlife
Create an inviting space in your yard and garden for butterflies, hummingbirds and other creatures. If wildlife comes too close to home, look for ways to coexist or to protect your property humanely, check out our Dos and Don’ts.
Report animal abuse
Animal cruelty and abuse is not only tragic for animals, but also an indicator that other forms of abuse. If you see something that looks suspicious – don’t hesitate, let someone know. Read our Tips reporting animal abuse.

Take the Kindness 100 Pledge

I believe in kindness and compassion for all animals, and that all animals are entitled to humane treatment.

I will celebrate 100 years of “Be Kind to Animals Week®” all year round by:
Buying humanely raised products
I will seek out eggs, meat, and dairy products that are humanely raised, such as American Humane CertifiedTM products, helping to ensure the welfare of 10 billion farm animals.

Protecting wild animals
I will learn about conservation efforts, and teach my family about wild animals and the need to protect them by visiting parks, accredited zoos, and aquariums.

Protecting Animal Actors
I will look for films featuring American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” end credit, ensuring the safety of hundreds of thousands of animal stars each year.

Adopting from an Animal shelter
If I choose to adopt or rescue a pet, I will do so from an animal shelter, saving the life of one of the 6-8 million animals who end up abandoned each year.

http://www.kindness100.org

Spanish Activists Deported from Morocco, Mozambique, and others

From El País.

Rough translation of the first paragraph:

 

When a group of armed agents detained and handcuffed her during a protest against sexual abuse in schools; when they let her go just to go look for her at home every week; and when they interrogated and retained her for hours “without telling me what I was accused of”; the Spaniard Eva Anadón, 34 years old, just thought the Mozambique police wanted to intimidate her.

At first, it never even occurred to this woman from Aragón, Spain  that, after four years fighting with different NGOs for women’s rights, it would end in an airplane headed to the Barajas airport in Madrid without even being able to pack her bags.  “They kicked me out with total impunity”, she relates, indignant, a few days now having past since her expulsion on March 31.  “The government wanted to put out a message to all of civil society: don’t protest.”

If you don’t read Spanish, use Bing Translate and get a rough gist of the rest:

Cuando un grupo de agentes armados la esposó y detuvo durante una protesta contra los abusos sexuales en las escuelas; cuando la soltaron para, a la semana, ir a buscarla a casa; y cuando la interrogaron y retuvieron durante horas “sin decirme de qué se me acusaba”; la española Eva Anadón, de 34 años, solo pensaba que la policía mozambiqueña quería intimidarla. En un principio, a esta aragonesa no se le pasó por la cabeza que, tras cuatro años en el país luchando con diferentes ONG por los derechos de la mujer, acabaría en un avión rumbo al aeropuerto madrileño de Barajas sin ni siquiera poder hacer las maletas. “Me echaron con una impunidad absoluta”, relata indignada, pasados ya unos días desde su expulsión el 31 de marzo. “El Gobierno quiso lanzar así un mensaje a toda la sociedad civil: que no protestasen”, añade de inmediato.

Source: Deportaciones de españoles: Expulsar a los incómodos | España | EL PAÍS

Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is celebrated each year on April 30.  This day was created as a way to raise awareness for thousands of pets that are waiting for (and needing) adoption from the shelters.

Celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day by sharing pictures of your adopted pet on Social Media using #AdoptAShelterPetDay.

 

Sanders backs Obama “kill list,” troops to Syria | Counter Information

Towards the end of a town hall meeting in Philadelphia broadcast last Monday night over MSNBC, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his support for the Obama administration’s program of assassination by drone-fired missiles and its steady build-up of US troop strength in Syria and Iraq.

These statements underscore the unity across the bourgeois political spectrum, among all the presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, in favor of stepped-up military intervention in the Middle East, including the use of drones that have killed thousands of civilians.

Source: Sanders backs Obama “kill list,” troops to Syria | Counter Information

Related: Bernie is a Fascist

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