Todd Krainin on the Truth About War

The United State’s involvement in the
Middle East looks nothing like the understated, bloodless snapshots
provided by daily newspapers. Todd Krainin takes ReasonTV into
a harrowing work of anti-mythology about 21st century combat,
Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/todd-krainin-on-the-truth-about-war
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Youth in Revolt Against Obama! 54% of Millennials Now Disapprove of Him!

According to the latest Quinnipiac Poll, 54
percent of folks ages 18 to 29 disapprove of the job Barack Obama
is doing. In March 2009, fully 60 percent approved of the
guy.

I’ve got a new piece up at The Daily Beast that argues
Obama has lost the kiddos not in spite of his policies but because
of them. Here’s a snippet:

Back in 2008, Barack Obama seemed like the coolest cat to hit
the national scene in a long time, almost scientifically engineered
to appeal to idealistic young Americans. He was the perfect
combination of a dream dad and an older brother who could run you
ragged up and down the basketball court, wink and nod about smoking
dope, and hip you to some older but still cool music, you know? In
2008, the Pravda of youth culture,Rolling
Stone
, slathered the future president with praise for being so
with it that he even knew how to use…an iPod. We were all pretty
sure that his eventual Republican challenger, John McCain, had
stopped listening to music when Rudy Vallee went electric or
Stephen Foster released his Chris Gaines record or something, but
there Obama was, listening to Bob Dylan, Yo-Yo Ma, Sheryl Crow, and
even Jay-Z. “I have pretty eclectic tastes,” Obama told Rolling
Stone. He even went on to invoke “Maggie’s
Farm
,” Dylan’s classic song of generational defiance and opting
out. “It speaks to me as I listen to some of the political
rhetoric,” explained.

Yeah, well, it’s all over now baby blue. Like Bush before him –
and in many wars, even worse than Bush before him – Obama has
personified the failure of leaders to speak plainly, honestly and
directly and to enact simple, effective, financially responsible
policies that speak to Americans’ hopes and dreams. The great
political continuity in the 21st century is one of
transpartisan failure and the continuing flight from party
affiliation by more and more Americans.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/youth-in-revolt-against-obama-54-of-mill
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New High: 56 Percent Say it is Not Govt’s Job to Ensure Americans Have Healthcare

Just 5 years ago
Gallup found
only 28 percent of Americans thought government
did not have the responsibility to “make sure all Americans have
healthcare coverage.” However, today Gallup finds the highest
number since it began asking the question—56 percent—say government
does not have a responsibility to ensure all American have
healthcare coverage. Even a majority (55 percent) of Independents
say government does not have this responsibility. 

Source:
Gallup

Throughout much of the 2000s, a solid majority of Americans
believed it was government’s job to ensure all Americans have
healthcare coverage, hitting a high in 2006 when 69 percent agreed
while 28 percent said it was not government’s responsibility.
However, after 2006, Gallup measured a steady decline among those
who believed government should ensure healthcare for all.

By the time Congress began debating remaking the American health
care system in 2009, Americans were evenly split and remained so
until 2011.

However, once actual implementation of the Affordable Care
Act/Obamacare got underway, the public for the first time since
Gallup began asking the question diverged against government’s role
in health care. Between 2011 and 2013 the share of Americans who
believe it is not government’s job to ensure healthcare coverage
increased +10 points from 46 to 56 percent.

Not only the glitch-ridden roll out of the healthcare law
explains this results, but partisanship also. In 2000, only a slim
majority (53 percent) of Republicans believed government should
not be responsible for healthcare coverage and 42 percent
believe it did. Just 13 short years later, while also losing most
of Congress and the presidency, 86 percent of Republicans say its
not government job to ensure healthcare coverage and 12 percent say
it is. These are roughly 30-point swings in roughly a decade.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/new-high-56-percent-of-americans-say-pro
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A.M. Links: Obama and Obamacare Increasingly Unpopular, Rand Paul Plans Trip to Detroit, Documents Reveal NSA’s Justification For Metadata Collection

  • President Obama’s relationship with congresssional Democrats
    has
    soured unprecedentedly
    since the botched Obamacare rollout. New
    polling shows public opinion of the president and his healthcare
    law
    have hit new lows
    . An Obamacare official said that 40 percent
    of IT systems supporting the federal exchange
    still need to be built
    .
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who previously opposed a taxpayer
    bailout for Detroit, will travel to there next month to
    offer his fix
    for the struggling city.
  • Newly released documents show that the NSA used the
    legal precedence
    of sobriety checkpoints and mandatory drug
    testing to justify collecting metadata.
  • Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico
    struck down
    a proposed late-term abortion ban by a wide
    margin.
  • Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin
    was executed
    this morning after the U.S. Supreme Court
    r
    ejected
    his final requests for a stay.
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
    refuses to back down
    on Iran’s nuclear rights.

Get Reason.com and Reason 24/7
content 
widgets for your
websites.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter,
and don’t forget to
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up
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A.M. Links: Obama and Obamacare Increasingly Unpopular, Rand Paul Plans Trip to Detroit, Documents Reveal NSA's Justification For Metadata Collection

  • President Obama’s relationship with congresssional Democrats
    has
    soured unprecedentedly
    since the botched Obamacare rollout. New
    polling shows public opinion of the president and his healthcare
    law
    have hit new lows
    . An Obamacare official said that 40 percent
    of IT systems supporting the federal exchange
    still need to be built
    .
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who previously opposed a taxpayer
    bailout for Detroit, will travel to there next month to
    offer his fix
    for the struggling city.
  • Newly released documents show that the NSA used the
    legal precedence
    of sobriety checkpoints and mandatory drug
    testing to justify collecting metadata.
  • Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico
    struck down
    a proposed late-term abortion ban by a wide
    margin.
  • Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin
    was executed
    this morning after the U.S. Supreme Court
    r
    ejected
    his final requests for a stay.
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
    refuses to back down
    on Iran’s nuclear rights.

Get Reason.com and Reason 24/7
content 
widgets for your
websites.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter,
and don’t forget to
 sign
up
 for Reason’s daily updates for more
content.

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Ronald Bailey on the Third Era of Climate Change: Loss and Damage

DegrowthThe annual U.N. climate change
meetings are always all about money. The 19th Conference
of the Parties (COP-19) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) in Warsaw is no exception. The latest ploy by poor
countries to guilt money out of rich country governments is to
claim that it’s far too late to mitigate or adapt to climate
change, it’s now compensation time for loss and damage already
occurring from climate change. Reason Science
Correspondent Ronald Bailey looks into the claims and how much
money may be involved.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/ronald-bailey-on-the-third-era-of-climat
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French Government Deploys Devilishly Clever Plan To Piss Off Everybody in the Country

François HollandeFrance’s economy has completely
stalled—actually, it’s
shrinking
—as a result of the country’s burdensome taxes and
regulations. The French people are furious and
organizing
against
high taxes
, prompting bureaucrats to issue panicked predictions
of imminent revolt. And with a population scrambling to make a
living or seek a little pleasure in which to temporarily forget
their woes, lawmakers propose to criminalize prostitution and drive
the trade underground. It’s devilishly clever scheme, if only
because it’s hard to see any sane endgame to the political
leadership’s moves. Well…Maybe there isn’t one.

Deutsche Welle
reports
:

France has repeatedly failed to meet EU deficit rules under
which fresh borrowing must not exceed three percent of GDP. This
year, it’s expected to log a four percent deficit – despite tax
hikes. As of 2015, public spending is to be cut in order to meet
the three percent deficit target. S&P, however, has severe
doubts about France being able to live up to its promise.

Growth, too, is sluggish, hampered by many companies’ weak
competitiveness, Uterwedde says. “Firms quite often produce rather
low-key products – a Renault Twingo, for example, instead of a
luxury car. With products like these, the cost pressures on markets
are enormous.” …

Unemployment in France stands at a record: just below 11
percent. Standard & Poor’s believes it will stay above 10
percent until 2016. “Youth joblessness is twice as high,” Frederic
Schaeffer said. “And that’s why most political measures are focused
on that.

Not surprisingly, Standard & Poor’s
downgraded France’s credit ratig a notch
, on fears that the
country is losing the ability to pay its bills.

As usual, the French government responds to its troubles
balancing the books by trying to milk the population just a little
bit more—a move against which
even the European Union warned
. The French, as a result, are
feeling a little…drained. And angry.

Bloomberg
reports
, “Hollande’s Socialist administration faces protests
over taxes and burdensome regulation not just from business
leaders, as you might expect, but also from farmers, shopkeepers,
teachers, truck drivers and soccer players.”

And they’re not small or localized protests. A
supposedly secret Ministry of the Interior report made its way to
La Figaro newspaper. The Irish Times
rounds it up for us English-speakers
:

The monthly reports are usually couched in careful, and
sanitised language, which makes the blatant warning to the interior
minister and president all the more alarming. “The legitimacy of
tax” is now widely questioned, it notes. “This mix of latent
discontent and resignation erupts through sudden bouts of anger,
almost spontaneous, and not within structured social
movements.”

The publication of excerpts of the report yesterday coincides
with the rise of at least a dozen protest movements, many with
animal names including chicks, turkeys, bees, sheep, dodos and
storks. There are also red, green and orange bonnets, and “the
sacrificed”, who oppose a scheduled VAT increase next January
1st.

“Taxation has become the principal engine of opposition to the
government,” the report says. It speaks of the “painful” climate in
France, of “a feeling of deep despondency that prevents people
hoping for a better future”. This is fertile ground for “a possible
social explosion,” the prefects warn, quoting the slogan of an
artisans and building workers union: “Watch out; it’s going to
blow.”

And this is the moment that the French government
proposes to impose penalties on johns, prompting anger from
prostitutes, organized through their union, STRASS, customers, and
celebrities who worry that the country’s famed sexual tolerance is
under assault.

Foreign Policy‘s Hanna Kozlowska
rounds up the breadth of anger
as ministers set out to
effectively blue-ball an entire nation.

The prostitutes have found many allies in their fight against
the legislation, which currently only has the support of 20 percent
of the country. The French entertainment industry has never shied
away from l’amour physique — after all, what is a French
film without some nudity? — and now they’ve come to the aid of sex
workers. On Saturday, 70 French celebrities, including the actress
Catherine Deneuve, who portrayed a prostitute in classic film
“Belle de Jour,” published a petition in which they argued the law
would only force the industry underground.

“Without supporting or promoting prostitution, we reject the
penalization of those who prostitute themselves and those who seek
their services,” the crème de la crème of the French entertainment
industry argued in the petition, whose signatories also included
the singers Charles Aznavour and Antoine and the director Claude
Lelouch.

The French stars distanced themselves, however, from an earlier
petition that protested the same law and which sparked
outrage.  In a controversial October statement, “343
bastards,” who “regarding prostitution, (are) believers,
practitioners or agnostics” wrote that “everyone has the right to
freely sell their charms — and even to like doing so,” and that
they “do not want lawmakers to adopt rules governing our desires
and pleasures.”

Hollande and company’s machinations are brilliant, if by
“brilliant,” you mean welding down the regulator on a pressure
cooker and turning up the heat, just to see what happens.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/french-government-deploys-devilishly-cle
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Jacob Sullum on Life Sentences for Nonviolent Offenders

Nine years ago,
Ronald Washington swiped two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot
Locker in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the shirts were on sale
for $45 each, they were officially priced at $60, putting their
combined value above $100. The difference between the discounted
price and the list price was the difference between a misdemeanor
punishable by no more than six months in jail and a felony that
triggered a life sentence.

Washington is one of the prisoners profiled in a new
report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on
nonviolent offenders serving sentences of life without parole.
There were at least 3,278 such prisoners in the U.S. at the end of
2012. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says that astonishing number
reflects decades of tough-on-crime policies unconstrained by
justice, wisdom, or compassion.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/jacob-sullum-on-life-sentences-for-nonvi
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Brickbat: He Might Bring a Toy Knife, Too

New Haven,
Connecticut, police have charged Angelo Appi, Jr. with breach of
the peace for criticizing
security
 at his daughter’s school. Appi apparently doesn’t
believe that officials are taking his concerns seriously and posted
on Facebook “Maybe I have to walk in with a toy gun just to prove a
point.” Police say the remark alarmed many parents.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/brickbat-he-might-bring-a-toy-knife-too
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The Constitutional Right to Conscript a Wedding Photographer

Elaine Huguenin, a
New Mexico photographer, wants
the Supreme Court to hear her challenge to a state
anti-discrimination law that compels her to shoot gay weddings even
though she finds them morally objectionable. Huguenin, who faced a
discrimination complaint after turning away a lesbian couple,
argues that the law violates her First Amendment right to freedom
of speech by forcing her to endorse a message with which she
disagrees: that gay marriages should be celebrated. In a
column
about the case, New York Times legal writer
Adam Liptak claims “there are constitutional values on both sides
of the case: the couple’s right to equal treatment and Ms.
Huguenin’s right to free speech.” But the Constitution guarantees
equal treatment by the government, not by private
individuals or organizations. The 14th Amendment cannot justify
requiring photographers to treat all couples equally any more than
the First Amendment can justify requiring publishers to treat all
authors equally. By erroneously suggesting that deciding Huguenin’s
case means choosing between competing “constitutional values,”
Liptak lends cover to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in
this case is arguing that Huguenin’s civil liberties should be
overridden by a principle that cannot be found in the Bill of
Rights:

I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil
Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing
free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.

Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices.
Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said,
and Ms. Huguenin acted from “heartfelt convictions.”

But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than
the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said,
explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New
Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.

“This is a business,” Ms. Melling said. “At the end of the day,
it sells services for photographing weddings. This is like putting
up a sign that says ‘Heterosexual Couples Only.’ “

Wouldn’t someone who posted such a sign be exercising his
constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of
association? The ACLU may not like the message, but that
consideration has never stopped the organization from defending the
constitutional rights of Nazis and Klansmen. If it cannot bring
itself to stand up for Huguenin’s rights, it should at least have
the decency to sit this one out.

Scott Shackford discusses earlier stages of the case
here
 and
here
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/19/the-constitutional-right-to-conscript-a
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