Daily Caller – Ending Drug War Violence in Colombia

28 Jan

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Legalize Cocaine: The Real Way To End Drug War Violence In Colombia

Why does the United States insist on exporting violence to developing countries? Is it because our politicians pay little price for the human toll exacted by our failed social policies? Some 5.5 million American consumers seem determined to satisfy their appetite for cocaine regardless of the law, according to the 2014 UN World Drug Report. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of our 535 Members of Congress continue to believe they can end that market by doubling down on a war on drugs that includes sending heavy weapons and billions of dollars to client governments—many of them corrupt—to kill the people working to meet that demand.

Human Rights Watch estimates that 200,000 Colombians have died in drug war related violence. 60,000 have died in Mexico in the last eight years alone, a transit country our policies have transformed into a war zone. Perhaps the carnage could be justified if the four decades long war on drugs was working to protect Americans from the folly of their own consumption choices. But there is no evidence for this. Year after year we fill our jails, Colombians fill their graves, and nothing seems to change. America’s entrenched duopoly political system seems hell-bent on continuing—and even escalating—this failed war.

Thankfully, some of its victims are beginning to take matters into their own hands, seeking to opt out of the battle. ¡Verdad! (Spanish for “truth”) is a coalition of Colombian citizens working together to end the violence created by the drug war in Colombia. I had a chance to interview its soft-spoken founder, Daniel Raisbeck, at the recent 2015 Antigua Forum in Guatemala. (You can listen to the interview on YouTube here or download it from iTunes here.)

To read the rest of the column, click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – From the Antigua Forum

25 Jan

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The Antigua Forum

January 24, 2015

Wayne Leighton, Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Executive Director of the Antigua Forum, takes a break from his yearly conference to discuss the founding of UFM and the beginnings of this global activist/scholar conclave. The mission of both institutions is to train future generations to promote a free and ethical society.

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¡Verdad! Ending Drug Violence and Colombian Prohibition

January 24, 2015

Daniel Raisbeck, Director Archivo Historico at Universidad del Rosario and founder of ¡Verdad!, discusses his Colombian heritage and what led him to organizing a coalition of citizens to end drug war violence. To Raisbeck, Colombia has come a long way from Pablo Escobar’s “bullets or money” culture and there are now opportunities for peacefully ending drug prohibition and its accompanying violence.

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RealClear Radio Hour – The Perils of Putinism

18 Jan

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Putin’s Circus

January 17, 2015

Peter Pomerantsev, British TV producer and author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, describes Vladimir Putin’s artistic approach to propaganda and authoritarian rule. From Putin’s immediate takeover of television and scripting of news to corporate raids and the “war” with America that originally existed only in Russian news, Pomerantsev depicts a Russian twilight zone.

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Putin’s Poisonous Presidency

January 17, 2015

Garry Kasparov, global human rights activist, former world chess champion, Chairman of the United Civil Front, and part of The Other Russia coalition, speaks out against Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian rule. Kasparov discusses the global implications of Putin’s poisonous presidency and America’s lack of leadership in response.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Minimum Wage Politics

12 Jan

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The Politics of the Minimum Wage

January 10, 2015

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, weighs in on the minimum wage debate, the ill-effect on low skilled workers, and unions’ growing involvement in minimum wage politics in the fast food industry.

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RealClear Radio Hour – What Caused the 2007-08 Meltdown?

11 Jan

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Political Cover-up of the Financial Crisis

January 10, 2015

Peter Wallison, American Enterprise Institute scholar and author of Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again, debunks the narrative blaming the 2007-2008 financial crisis on deregulation, and explains why affordable housing policies and subprime loan incentives drove Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into insolvency, taking the rest of the financial industry down with them.

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Daily Caller – What Will Happen After The Latest Keynesian Bubble Bursts?

6 Jan

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Two conflicting narratives are dueling for the people’s favor trying to influence the direction in which our democracy swings next.

The prevailing narrative — promoted by incumbent politicians, government bureaucrats, finance industry insiders, and the mainstream media — can be summed up by its time-tested theme song: Happy days are here again! Bold action by our leaders, so the story goes, rescued the global financial system from the ravages of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, a meltdown caused by capitalist greed and foolhardy deregulation. The corporate bailouts were absolutely necessary to save bank depositors, defrauded homeowners, and unionized auto workers — and have been repaid to boot, demonstrating their soundness.

Further evidence that the Keynesian medicine of monetary expansion and fiscal stimulus worked is that the stock market is at an all time high, economic growth topped 5 percent last quarter, and unemployment is back down under 6 percent. Banks are sounder than ever thanks to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which spawned thousands of pages of new regulations designed to make sure what happened before never happens again. And inflation is so tame that central bankers must drive it higher in order to save us from the deflationary monster. All good citizens need to do is place their trust with the experts who run our economy, then go out and spend, spend, spend to boost aggregate demand.

The opposing narrative, consigned to the realm of conspiracy theorists and libertarian cranks, is that the Keynesian money-printing orgy has merely papered over the latest in a long string of financial industry debacles. Rather than brining lasting prosperity, this has planted the seeds for a subsequent crisis that will be worse than the last, which itself was worse than the one before that, namely the Savings and Loan meltdown of the late 1980s and early 90s. The soaring stock market is not based on growing economic strength but is, rather, a reflection of an unsustainable asset bubble.

This true state of affairs is obscured because government unemployment and GDP statistics have become politically-driven fabrications. And our too-big-to-fail banks remain vulnerable to a collapse in liquidity when the hyper-hypothecation chains supporting the $600 trillion derivatives pyramid snap under the next black swan event.

To read the rest of the column click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – A Visit to the Bear’s Lair

5 Jan

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A Bear in a Bull Market

January 3, 2015

Martin Hutchinson, former international merchant banker, author of Alchemists of Loss and the weekly column The Bear’s Lair, gives a global financial rundown. Hutchinson predicts Japan’s repeated failures to spend its way out of debt will provide a lesson that will be heeded by Greece and the entire EU. He also cautions against the expansive growth of regulation in the U.S.

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