America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
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“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

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Sorry, New York Times: Science Doesn’t Have a Liberal Bias Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, February 05 2015
What exactly would it take to make this a crisis for liberals?

It was probably inevitable that the New York Times — which long ago became the most intellectually lazy significant publication in America — would go there. After this week’s controversy regarding parents who abstained from giving their kids the measles vaccine, a pair of Times reporters — Jeremy W. Peters and Richard Perez-Pena — wrote an ostensibly serious news story that began like this:

“The politics of medicine, morality and free will have collided in an emotional debate over vaccines and the government’s place in requiring them, posing a challenge for Republicans who find themselves in the familiar but uncomfortable position of reconciling modern science with the skepticism of their core conservative voters.”

Wait, what? How did this become about conservatives?

Sure, the issue jumped to the top of the news cycle because a couple of prominent Republican politicians, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, raised questions about how much discretion parents should have in deciding about their children’s vaccinations…but the bigger cultural issues here are taking place on the left.

After all, some of the biggest epicenters of anti-vaccine fervor are in wealthy liberal communities like California’s Marin County and one of the most visible spokesman for the cause is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. What exactly would it take to make this a crisis for liberals?

Democrats have spent the past decade and a half so enamored of the idea that they’re the Party of Science that they haven’t seemed to notice the deeply anti-empirical impulses that have taken hold amongst their own grassroots.

The common thread at work is an unchallenged assumption that anything that’s “natural” must be beneficial, an example of what’s known as the appeal to nature fallacy. That mindset has driven everything from the growing appeal of organic food to widespread opposition to genetically-modified crops to the resistance to vaccines. What do each of these trends have in common? There’s no scientific evidence to support their supposed virtues.

It’s no surprise that the liberal press hasn’t quite been able to wrap their head around the implications. After all, they’ve spent the last decade and a half embracing the idea that “reality has a liberal bias” and accusing Republicans of an “epistemic closure” that prevents them from dealing with the real world. How could they be the ones who have wrapped both arms around superstition?

If you inspect the record, though, it’s really not all that surprising. Think the Left can’t hang on to its beliefs even when all the evidence is pointing in a different direction? Consider this exchange between Barack Obama and Charlie Gibson back during the 2008 elections:

GIBSON: All right. You have…said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, "I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton," which was 28 percent. It's now 15 percent. That's almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.

But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

So Barack Obama — the liberal Spock, the philosopher king — would raise taxes even if they had the net effect of taking more money away from private citizens and reducing government revenue?

That definition of “fairness” sounds a lot like Winston Churchill’s definition of socialism: “the equal sharing of miseries.”

If George W. Bush had responded to that kind of empirical rebuke with such a thoughtless non sequitur, he’d still be getting killed for it today. Barack Obama? Since the press takes his erudition as a given, this one gets swept under the rug.

Look, both political parties are filled with people who are only too happy to turn a blind eye to evidence that might threaten their core beliefs. That’s a natural human tendency. Liberals don’t deserve special blame for succumbing to this weakness — they deserve special blame for carrying on as if they’re genetically immune to it.

Republicans and Democrats both have weaknesses when it comes to science. The Left ought to be big enough to admit that. After all…they’re supposed to be empiricists.

Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Never before has a speech extolling America's virtues and the marvels or the nation's heroes played to such poor -- and completely dishonest -- reviews.At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America -- its Founders, its ideals and freedom, its capacity for self-renewal, its astonishing variety of geniuses, adventurers…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Has Covid-19 significantly changed your family's typical July 4th weekend activities or are they essentially the same as in previous years?