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What the New York Times Piece Gets Wrong About Libertarians

by Christopher Blakeley

We are not animals

    While not stooping to the level of Salon or MSNBC demagoguery, the article titled “Has the Libertarian Moment Finally Arrived?” in this week in the New York Times Magazine suffers from the same problem most outlets have when attempting to discuss libertarians. The authors consistently act as if libertarians are lions in some political zoo; too wild to be roaming free but compelling enough to keep them in cages, stare at them and embellish stories about their reality. Where there are broad areas of agreement with Americans, such as the drug prohibition or gay marriage, authors often hide behind the guise of political realities. In doing so, they undercut their goals by failing to find reasonable areas of common ground, creating a fusionism of progressivism and neoconservativism that dominates the American political landscape. 


Capitalism, Technology and Honesty Are What Can Save Detroit                                                                                         by Christopher Blakeley


    The Motor City hasn’t been traditionally known as a hub for new and innovative technologies. After the Great Recession of 2009, both the federal and local governments attempted to revitalize the auto industry, but a perfect storm of union demands, lack of capital, and competition from foreign car makers has made the American auto industry a questionable investment.  But there are people who are making an investment in both the people and the city of Detroit, and the fast paced world of technology is where the money is going. 


The Eastern Market Proves that Free Markets Are What Detroit Needs                                                                                 by Christopher Blakeley


    Detroit’s Eastern Market, the largest open air farmers’ market in the US, was the clearest example of Detroit’s vibrant culture during my time in the Motor City. The market has over 150 businesses, and hosts around 45,000 people from all over the Detroit metro area. People of all colors, ages and backgrounds were swimming around in a pool of fresh baked desserts, speciality jams and butters, and using their businesses to bring the city of Detroit back from the brink. The examples of success I found in the market can provide a pathway to prosperity for the city as a whole, and create a better community through the creation of small businesses. 


In a City with Broken Government, the Private Sector Keeps Us Safe                                                                                        by Christopher Blakeley


    Detroit is known as the murder capital of the world, the Motor City, and most recently as the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Failures in both the public and private sector are a problem, but the city will never recover unless it can change the perceived culture of fear and violence. While finding the money for more law enforcement is difficult while under bankruptcy, there are many private sector initiatives that are going a long way to making the Motor City a safer place. These initiatives are a huge draw for for businesses and families, which is the only thing that will allow Detroit to rise from the ashes of Chapter 9. But luckily for the city of Detroit, the private sector has stepped up and changed the dynamic of safety in the city. 


Detroit: Adventures in a Bankrupt City - Day Three               by Christopher Blakeley


Detroit: Adventures In A Bankrupt City - Day Two

by Christopher Blakeley


Detroit: Adventures In A Bankrupt City - Day One

by Christopher Blakeley


Angela Merkel: As Good For Americans As Edward Snowden?

by Christopher Blakeley

    It’s been a good week for Germany. Their performance in the World Cup was been masterful, almost brutal at times. But on Friday, Germany expelled the CIA’s top officer in Berlin from the country. The Germans have a problematic history of state-run intelligence, and being spied on by your “friends” doesn’t sit well culturally. The fallout from Edward Snowden’s documents was damaging enough, but if actions like double agents on German soil continue, America could lose an ally in the Eurozone. The White House should address the issue head on; this is the perfect time for the Obama administration to make an argument that these programs are problematic for national security. Nothing steps up the action in Washington like a national security concern, and what PM Merkel did may be a benefit to Americans and their privacy.


How do you solve a problem like Israel?

By Christopher Blakeley


    In the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound Of Music, there is a fun little song sung by nuns describing Maria (Julie Andrews), as less than pious. As a member of the clergy, her shenanigans with the Von Trapp family aren’t be perceived well by those who wear a habit. America is in a position much like the nuns. A sovereign nation we protected and infused with our own principles of democracy, law and order has begun to spin off in ways that many Americans are no longer comfortable with. So, how do you solve a problem like Israel?


 Kevin McCarthy Was Next In Line, Which Means Nothing Changes 

by Christopher Blakeley

    Cantor’s loss, and subsequent replacement by former House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, is more of an example of a consolidation of power for the government. Rep. McCarthy suffers from a similar problem of conservative dementia.


Here’s a 14 Year Old Girl’s Analysis of Animal Farm Everyone Should Read

by Christopher Blakeley, from PolicyMic.com 

Krystal Ball Animal Farm

    

    Sometimes kids just put everything into a better perspective, and that's exactly what the 14-year-old home schooled child who plunked down this document on her father's desk did. He suggested she read George Orwell's Animal Farm, telling her it was a parable about how "governments rise to power and how that power can be abused." Turns out she agreed, and gave us this lucid critique. Let's hope she tackles 1984 next!


Cameron Bay HIV is Cause For Reflection, But Not Deeper Regulation of Porn Industry

by Christopher Blakeley, from PolicyMic.com 

Cameron Bay

HIV-infected porn actors Cameron Bay and Rod Daily recently made an emotional case that condoms should be industry-mandated in adult films. (Last month, both actors tested HIV-positive, prompting a porn moratorium.) It's evidence that the industry is highly effective in self-regulation. 

    The recent self-imposed moratorium on the adult film industry has been lifted, allowing for production to resume now that proper testing has been done. While the challenge to prevent infection is a worldwide concern, the challenge is far greater in an industry whose primary function is filming depictions of sex. The adult film industry has been one of the most successful examples of non-governmental regulation. Through the years private initiatives have been far more effective at creating a safer and healthier work environment than the government. The government could learn something from porn, as their successes can make other potentially unhealthy industries like prostitution far safer.


Why Glenn Beck’s Argument for Marriage Equality is the Best One Yet 

by Christopher Blakeley, from PolicyMic.com

    One of the most powerful conservative voices in America is speaking out against the Russian government's unjust treatment of LGBTindividuals. Television and radio host Glenn Beck, often deridedby the left, said that he stands with GLAAD against Russia's "hetero-fascism."Beck's statements attack the core of the gay rights issue that state-sanctioned relationships that receive economic and social privilege inevitably are discriminatory. But understanding Beck's stance on gay rights may help provide the best route to permanent equality for all types of couples and families. 


New Sports Post: How Bad Will It Be? The 2013 Jets Season Preview

by Tom O'Boyle 


    We’ve seen the Power Rankings, settled the quarterback controversy (for now), and moved on from the Fireman Ed era. The question now becomes, exactly how much of a trainwreck will 2013 be for the Jets?


New Politics Post: This Tiny Island Just Became A Police State

by Christopher Blakeley


    New Zealand passed a law last Thursday enabling broader surveillance of its citizens, expandingthe previous focus on foreign targets to encompass domestic “terrorism and organized crime” as well. While the law predates the Snowden revelations, what it shows us is equally as startling. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), who like the NSA doesn’t care if it abuses its power, will join the ranks of other agencies that violate the stated values in their countries' constitutions and legal documents. The United States has historically been a driving force for political freedom, but in the past decades, it has helped create a framework for a modern police state that strikes at the core of people’s cultural fears. Citizens all over the world should reject the notions that these policies are necessary, and realize that they are simply incremental steps towards an expanding Orwellian existence. 


New Politics Post: Young and Uninsured? Obamacare Won't Help You, and Here's Why  

by Christopher Blakeley

Obamacare meme uninsured

    A recent memo by the Congressional Research Service highlighted how Obamacare has missed over half of its implementation deadlines. The haphazard nature of its implementation is not the only reason to be concerned. It is priced too high, and its mandates are too expensive for the uninsured. Even with subsidies, the impending law won’t accomplish its goal of lowering costs and helping the uninsured get better care. There are empirically proven ways we can drive costs down and provide better care, but it requires moving from the inflationary fee-for-service model we currently have to an alternative distribution system. When it all adds up, this is a solution that Obamacare cannot provide, no matter how many delays and subsidies get sutured onto its limping husk. 


New Politics Post: The Simple Statistics That Prove Obama's War on Drugs Remains Racist 

by Christopher Blakeley

Obama Drug War Racist Meme

    CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta came out in favor of medical marijuana recently. While the science that Gupta claims to have originally missed has been around for years, it’s nice to see someone whose career is grounded in facts to come to this conclusion. President Obama could learn something from Dr. Gupta; it should be easy since he has already shown a penchant for "evolving" when public opinion gets in the way of his previously stated positions. The president would do both himself and America a service by continuing to evolve on federal drug policy towards state’s rights to regulate narcotics and reclassification of drugs on the federal level. This move towards a more moral and rational policy will help us end an economic burden that unfairly affects minorities and destroys their families for generations.


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