Tag Archives: freedom

Ron Paul Lashes Out At WaPo’s Witch Hunt: "Expect Such …

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Washington Post Peddles Tarring of Ron Paul Institute as Russian Propaganda, via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

The Washington Post has a history of misrepresenting Ron Pauls views. Last year the supposed newspaper of record ran a feature article by David A. Fahrenthold in which Fahrenthold grossly mischaracterized Paul as an advocate for calamity, oppression, and poverty the opposite of the goals Paul routinely expresses and, indeed, expressed clearly in a speech at the event upon which Fahrentholds article purported to report. Such fraudulent attacks on the prominent advocate for liberty and a noninterventionist foreign policy fall in line with the newspapers agenda. As Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob G. Hornberger put it in a February editorial, the Posts agenda is guided by the interventionist mindset that undergirds the mainstream media.

On Thursday, the Post published a new article by Craig Timberg complaining of a flood of so-called fake news supported by a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, To advance this conclusion, Timberg points to PropOrNot, an organization of anonymous individuals formed this year, as having identified more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season. Look on the PropOrNot list. There is the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperitys (RPI) website RonPaulInstitute.org listed among websites termed Russian propaganda outlets.

What you will not find on the PropOrNot website is any particularized analysis of why the RPI website, or any website for that matter, is included on the list. Instead, you will see only sweeping generalizations from an anonymous organization. The very popular website drudgereport.com even makes the list. While listed websites span the gamut of political ideas, they tend to share in common an independence from the mainstream media.

Timbergs article can be seen as yet another big media attempt to shift the blame for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clintons loss of the presidential election away from Clinton, her campaign, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that undermined Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) challenge to Clinton in the Democratic primary.

The article may also be seen as another step in the effort to deter people from looking to alternative sources of information by labeling those information sources as traitorous or near-traitorous.

At the same time, the article may be seen as playing a role in the ongoing push to increase tensions between the United States and Russia a result that benefits people, including those involved in the military-industrial complex, who profit from the growth of US national security activity in America and overseas.

This is not the first time Ron Paul and his institute has been attacked for sounding pro-Russian or anti-American. Such attacks have been advanced even by self-proclaimed libertarians.

Expect that such attacks will continue. They are an effort to tar Paul and his institute so people will close themselves off from information Paul and RPI provide each day in furtherance of the institutes mission to continue and expand Pauls lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. While peace and liberty will benefit most people, powerful interests seek to prevent the realization of these objectives. Indeed, expect attacks against RPI to escalate as the institute continues to reach growing numbers of people with its educational effort

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On Censorship – The New Yorker

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:20 am

No writer ever really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation, and censorship is anti-creation, negative energy, uncreation, the bringing into being of non-being, or, to use Tom Stoppards description of death, the absence of presence. Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it. And writers want to talk about how much they get paid, and they want to gossip about other writers and how much they get paid, and they want to complain about critics and publishers, and gripe about politicians, and they want to talk about what they love, the writers they love, the stories and even sentences that have meant something to them, and, finally, they want to talk about their own ideas and their own stories. Their things. The British humorist Paul Jennings, in his brilliant essay on Resistentialism, a spoof of Existentialism, proposed that the world was divided into two categories, Thing and No-Thing, and suggested that between these two is waged a never-ending war. If writing is Thing, then censorship is No-Thing, and, as King Lear told Cordelia, Nothing will came of nothing, or, as Mr. Jennings would have revised Shakespeare, No-Thing will come of No-Thing. Think again.

Consider, if you will, the air. Here it is, all around us, plentiful, freely available, and broadly breathable. And yes, I know, its not perfectly clean or perfectly pure, but here it nevertheless is, plenty of it, enough for all of us and lots to spare. When breathable air is available so freely and in such quantity, it would be redundant to demand that breathable air be freely provided to all, in sufficient quantity for the needs of all. What you have, you can easily take for granted, and ignore. Theres just no need to make a fuss about it. You breathe the freely available, broadly breathable air, and you get on with your day. The air is not a subject. It is not something that most of us want to discuss.

Imagine, now, that somewhere up there you might find a giant set of faucets, and that the air we breathe flows from those faucets, hot air and cold air and tepid air from some celestial mixer-unit. And imagine that an entity up there, not known to us, or perhaps even known to us, begins on a certain day to turn off the faucets one by one, so that slowly we begin to notice that the available air, still breathable, still free, is thinning. The time comes when we find that we are breathing more heavily, perhaps even gasping for air. By this time, many of us would have begun to protest, to condemn the reduction in the air supply, and to argue loudly for the right to freely available, broadly breathable air. Scarcity, you could say, creates demand.

Liberty is the air we breathe, and we live in a part of the world where, imperfect as the supply is, it is, nevertheless, freely available, at least to those of us who arent black youngsters wearing hoodies in Miami, and broadly breathable, unless, of course, were women in red states trying to make free choices about our own bodies. Imperfectly free, imperfectly breathable, but when it is breathable and free we dont need to make a song and dance about it. We take it for granted and get on with our day. And at night, as we fall asleep, we assume we will be free tomorrow, because we were free today.

The creative act requires not only freedom but also this assumption of freedom. If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today. If he is afraid of the consequences of his choice of subject or of his manner of treatment of it, then his choices will not be determined by his talent, but by fear. If we are not confident of our freedom, then we are not free.

And, even worse than that, when censorship intrudes on art, it becomes the subject; the art becomes censored art, and that is how the world sees and understands it. The censor labels the work immoral, or blasphemous, or pornographic, or controversial, and those words are forever hung like albatrosses around the necks of those cursed mariners, the censored works. The attack on the work does more than define the work; in a sense, for the general public, it becomes the work. For every reader of Lady Chatterleys Lover or Tropic of Capricorn, every viewer of Last Tango in Paris or A Clockwork Orange, there will be ten, a hundred, a thousand people who know those works as excessively filthy, or excessively violent, or both.

The assumption of guilt replaces the assumption of innocence. Why did that Indian Muslim artist have to paint that Hindu goddess in the nude? Couldnt he have respected her modesty? Why did that Russian writer have his hero fall in love with a nymphet? Couldnt he have chosen a legally acceptable age? Why did that British playwright depict a sexual assault in a Sikh temple, a gurdwara? Couldnt the same assault have been removed from holy ground? Why are artists so troublesome? Cant they just offer us beauty, morality, and a damn good story? Why do artists think, if they behave in this way, that we should be on their side? And the people all said sit down, sit down youre rocking the boat / And the devil will drag you under, with a soul so heavy youll never float / Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down / Youre rocking the boat.

At its most effective, the censors lie actually succeeds in replacing the artists truth. That which is censored is thought to have deserved censorship. Boat-rocking is deplored.

Nor is this only so in the world of art. The Ministry of Truth in present-day China has successfully persuaded a very large part of the Chinese public that the heroes of Tiananmen Square were actually villains bent on the destruction of the nation. This is the final victory of the censor: When people, even people who know they are routinely lied to, cease to be able to imagine what is really the case.

Sometimes great, banned works defy the censors description and impose themselves on the worldUlysses, Lolita, the Arabian Nights. Sometimes great and brave artists defy the censors to create marvellous literature underground, as in the case of the samizdat literature of the Soviet Union, or to make subtle films that dodge the edge of the censors knife, as in the case of much contemporary Iranian and some Chinese cinema. You will even find people who will give you the argument that censorship is good for artists because it challenges their imagination. This is like arguing that if you cut a mans arms off you can praise him for learning to write with a pen held between his teeth. Censorship is not good for art, and it is even worse for artists themselves. The work of Ai Weiwei survives; the artist himself has an increasingly difficult life. The poet Ovid was banished to the Black Sea by a displeased Augustus Caesar, and spent the rest of his life in a little hellhole called Tomis, but the poetry of Ovid has outlived the Roman Empire. The poet Mandelstam died in one of Stalins labor camps, but the poetry of Mandelstam has outlived the Soviet Union. The poet Lorca was murdered in Spain, by Generalissimo Francos goons, but the poetry of Lorca has outlived the fascistic Falange. So perhaps we can argue that art is stronger than the censor, and perhaps it often is. Artists, however, are vulnerable.

In England last week, English PEN protested that the London Book Fair had invited only a bunch of official, State-approved writers from China while the voices of at least thirty-five writers jailed by the regime, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and the political dissident and poet Zhu Yufu, remained silent and ignored. In the United States, every year, religious zealots try to ban writers as disparate as Kurt Vonnegut and J. K. Rowling, an obvious advocate of sorcery and the black arts; to say nothing of poor, God-bothered Charles Darwin, against whom the advocates of intelligent design continue to march. I once wrote, and it still feels true, that the attacks on the theory of evolution in parts of the United States themselves go some way to disproving the theory, demonstrating that natural selection doesnt always work, or at least not in the Kansas area, and that human beings are capable of evolving backward, too, towards the Missing Link.

Even more serious is the growing acceptance of the dont-rock-the-boat response to those artists who do rock it, the growing agreement that censorship can be justified when certain interest groups, or genders, or faiths declare themselves affronted by a piece of work. Great art, or, lets just say, more modestly, original art is never created in the safe middle ground, but always at the edge. Originality is dangerous. It challenges, questions, overturns assumptions, unsettles moral codes, disrespects sacred cows or other such entities. It can be shocking, or ugly, or, to use the catch-all term so beloved of the tabloid press, controversial. And if we believe in liberty, if we want the air we breathe to remain plentiful and breathable, this is the art whose right to exist we must not only defend, but celebrate. Art is not entertainment. At its very best, its a revolution.

This piece is drawn from the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture given by Rushdie, on May 6th, as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.

Illustration by Matthew Hollister.

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Carnival Freedom | Freedom Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Carnival Freedom offers some of the latest and greatest features across our fleet. As you explore the ship, youll find food options galore. Feast your eyes on dining rooms Posh and Chic, and look to Freedom Restaurant on Lido Deck for mouth-watering Guy Fieri burgers at Guys Burger Joint, plus the greatest tacos and burritos this side of the pier at BlueIguana Cantina.

For every great food spot, there’s a great place to enjoy drinks, too, from the toe-tapping Scotts Piano Bar to the always-hoppin 70s Dance Club. New libation hotspots include Alchemy Bar (cocktail magic central) and SKYBOX Sports Bar (the 50-yard-line of fun). An outdoor, seaside bar is practically a cruise ship requirement, and everyones favorite is here whether its the RedFrog Rum Bar or BlueIguana Tequila Bar. (Or hey, both!) The rum bar’s older brother, RedFrog Pub, features drinks, live music and traditional pub games. Topping off adult-time is the one-and-(adult)-only Serenity Retreat, where total relaxation is not only encouraged, but pretty much required.

If youre a kid, Carnival Freedom means youre in for a treat. Not only will you find new friends at one of three youth spaces like the all-new Camp Ocean but you can splash around with them in one of our many pools, speed down the Twister Waterslide, or once you dry off, challenge them to a round of mini-golf. Oh, and adults dont get jealous; your inner kid gets to do all this stuff too!

Up on stage is Playlist Productions, featuring songs you know and dance moves youll soon be using. And for a chance to get up on stage yourself, theres Hasbro, The Game Show, where kids of all ages even you, grandma compete in larger-than-life Hasbro games come to life!

And for the cherry on top its actually called Cherry On Top. Its the spot for something special, whether that somethings a little something sweet or simply a little something to sweeten a special occasion.

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Carnival Freedom | Freedom Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Education …

Posted: at 9:56 pm

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently signed an executive order forbidding Maryland public schools from beginning classes before Labor Day. Governor Hogans executive order benefits businesses in Marylands coastal areas that lose school-aged summer employees and business from Maryland families when schools start in August. However, as Governor Hogans critics have pointed out, some Maryland school districts, as well as Maryland schoolchildren, benefit from an earlier start to the school year.

Governor Hogans executive order is the latest example of how centralized government control of education leaves many students behind. A centrally planned education system can no more meet the unique needs of every child than a centrally planned economic system can meet the unique needs of every worker and consumer.

Centralizing education at the state or, worse, federal level inevitably leads to political conflicts over issues ranging from whether students should be allowed to pray on school grounds, to what should be the curriculum, to what food should be served in the cafeteria, to who should be allowed to use which bathroom.

The centralization and politicization of education is rooted in the idea that education is a right that must be provided by the government, instead of a good that individuals should obtain in the market. Separating school from state would empower parents to find an education system that meets the needs of their children instead of using the political process to force their idea of a good education on all children.

While many politicians praise local and parental control of education, the fact is both major parties embrace federal control of education. The two sides only differ on the details. Liberals who oppose the testing mandates of No Child Left Behind enthusiastically backed President Clintons national testing proposals. They also back the Obama administrations expansion of federal interference in the classroom via Common Core.

Similarly, conservatives who (correctly) not just opposed Clintons initiatives but called for the abolition of the Department of Education enthusiastically supported No Child Left Behind. Even most conservatives who oppose Common Core, federal bathroom and cafeteria mandates, and other federal education policies, support reforming, instead of eliminating, the Department of Education.

Politicians will not voluntarily relinquish control over education to parents. Therefore, parents and other concerned citizens should take a page from the UK and work to Ed-Exit government-controlled education. Parents and other concerned citizens should pressure Congress to finally shut down the Department of Education and return the money to American families. They also must pressure state governments and local school boards to reject federal mandates, even if it means forgoing federal funding.

Parents should also explore education alternatives, such as private, charter, and religious schools, as well as homeschooling. Homeschooling is the ultimate form of Ed-Exit. Homeschooling parents have the freedom to shape every aspect of education from the curriculum to the length of the school day to what their children have for lunch to who can and cannot use the bathroom to fit their child’s unique needs.

Parents interested in providing their children with a quality education emphasizing the ideas of liberty should try out my homeschooling curriculum. The curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes courses in personal finance and public speaking. The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never puts ideological indoctrination ahead of education.

Parents interested in Ed-Exiting from government-run schools can learn more about my curriculum at ronpaulcurriculum.com.

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Libertarianism (metaphysics) – Wikipedia

Posted: at 9:55 pm

Libertarianism is one of the main philosophical positions related to the problems of free will and determinism, which are part of the larger domain of metaphysics.[1] In particular, libertarianism, which is an incompatibilist position,[2][3] argues that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe and that agents have free will, and that, therefore, determinism is false.[4] Although compatibilism, the view that determinism and free will are in fact compatible, is the most popular position on free will amongst professional philosophers,[5] metaphysical libertarianism is discussed, though not necessarily endorsed, by several philosophers, such as Peter van Inwagen, Robert Kane, Robert Nozick,[6]Carl Ginet, Harry Frankfurt, E.J. Lowe, Alfred Mele, Roderick Chisholm, Daniel Dennett,[7] and Galen Strawson.[8]

The first recorded use of the term “libertarianism” was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to “necessitarian” (or determinist) views.[9][10]

Metaphysical libertarianism is one philosophical view point under that of incompatibilism. Libertarianism holds onto a concept of free will that requires the agent to be able to take more than one possible course of action under a given set of circumstances.

Accounts of libertarianism subdivide into non-physical theories and physical or naturalistic theories. Non-physical theories hold that the events in the brain that lead to the performance of actions do not have an entirely physical explanation, and consequently the world is not closed under physics. Such interactionist dualists believe that some non-physical mind, will, or soul overrides physical causality.

Explanations of libertarianism that do not involve dispensing with physicalism require physical indeterminism, such as probabilistic subatomic particle behavior a theory unknown to many of the early writers on free will. Physical determinism, under the assumption of physicalism, implies there is only one possible future and is therefore not compatible with libertarian free will. Some libertarian explanations involve invoking panpsychism, the theory that a quality of mind is associated with all particles, and pervades the entire universe, in both animate and inanimate entities. Other approaches do not require free will to be a fundamental constituent of the universe; ordinary randomness is appealed to as supplying the “elbow room” believed to be necessary by libertarians.

Free volition is regarded as a particular kind of complex, high-level process with an element of indeterminism. An example of this kind of approach has been developed by Robert Kane,[11] where he hypothesises that,

In each case, the indeterminism is functioning as a hindrance or obstacle to her realizing one of her purposesa hindrance or obstacle in the form of resistance within her will which has to be overcome by effort.

At the time C. S. Lewis wrote Miracles,[12]quantum mechanics (and physical indeterminism) was only in the initial stages of acceptance, but still Lewis stated the logical possibility that, if the physical world was proved to be indeterministic, this would provide an entry (interaction) point into the traditionally viewed closed system, where a scientifically described physically probable/improbable event could be philosophically described as an action of a non-physical entity on physical reality. He states, however, that none of the arguments in his book will rely on this.[citation needed]

Nozick puts forward an indeterministic theory of free will in Philosophical Explanations.[6]

When human beings become agents through reflexive self-awareness, they express their agency by having reasons for acting, to which they assign weights. Choosing the dimensions of one’s identity is a special case, in which the assigning of weight to a dimension is partly self-constitutive. But all acting for reasons is constitutive of the self in a broader sense, namely, by its shaping one’s character and personality in a manner analogous to the shaping that law undergoes through the precedent set by earlier court decisions. Just as a judge does not merely apply the law but to some degree makes it through judicial discretion, so too a person does not merely discover weights but assigns them; one not only weighs reasons but also weights them. Set in train is a process of building a framework for future decisions that we are tentatively committed to.

The lifelong process of self-definition in this broader sense is construed indeterministically by Nozick. The weighting is “up to us” in the sense that it is undetermined by antecedent causal factors, even though subsequent action is fully caused by the reasons one has accepted. He compares assigning weights in this deterministic sense to “the currently orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics”, following von Neumann in understanding a quantum mechanical system as in a superposition or probability mixture of states, which changes continuously in accordance with quantum mechanical equations of motion and discontinuously via measurement or observation that “collapses the wave packet” from a superposition to a particular state. Analogously, a person before decision has reasons without fixed weights: he is in a superposition of weights. The process of decision reduces the superposition to a particular state that causes action.

Kane is one of the leading contemporary philosophers on free will.[13][14][verification needed] Advocating what is termed within philosophical circles “libertarian freedom”, Kane argues that “(1) the existence of alternative possibilities (or the agent’s power to do otherwise) is a necessary condition for acting freely, and that (2) determinism is not compatible with alternative possibilities (it precludes the power to do otherwise)”.[15] It is important to note that the crux of Kane’s position is grounded not in a defense of alternative possibilities (AP) but in the notion of what Kane refers to as ultimate responsibility (UR). Thus, AP is a necessary but insufficient criterion for free will.[citation needed] It is necessary that there be (metaphysically) real alternatives for our actions, but that is not enough; our actions could be random without being in our control. The control is found in “ultimate responsibility”.

Ultimate responsibility entails that agents must be the ultimate creators (or originators) and sustainers of their own ends and purposes. There must be more than one way for a person’s life to turn out (AP). More importantly, whichever way it turns out must be based in the person’s willing actions. As Kane defines it,

UR: An agent is ultimately responsible for some (event or state) E’s occurring only if (R) the agent is personally responsible for E’s occurring in a sense which entails that something the agent voluntarily (or willingly) did or omitted either was, or causally contributed to, E’s occurrence and made a difference to whether or not E occurred; and (U) for every X and Y (where X and Y represent occurrences of events and/or states) if the agent is personally responsible for X and if Y is an arche (sufficient condition, cause or motive) for X, then the agent must also be personally responsible for Y.

In short, “an agent must be responsible for anything that is a sufficient reason (condition, cause or motive) for the action’s occurring.”[16]

What allows for ultimacy of creation in Kane’s picture are what he refers to as “self-forming actions” or SFAs those moments of indecision during which people experience conflicting wills. These SFAs are the undetermined, regress-stopping voluntary actions or refraining in the life histories of agents that are required for UR. UR does not require that every act done of our own free will be undetermined and thus that, for every act or choice, we could have done otherwise; it requires only that certain of our choices and actions be undetermined (and thus that we could have done otherwise), namely SFAs. These form our character or nature; they inform our future choices, reasons and motivations in action. If a person has had the opportunity to make a character-forming decision (SFA), they are responsible for the actions that are a result of their character.

Randolph Clarke objects that Kane’s depiction of free will is not truly libertarian but rather a form of compatibilism.[citation needed] The objection asserts that although the outcome of an SFA is not determined, one’s history up to the event is; so the fact that an SFA will occur is also determined. The outcome of the SFA is based on chance,[citation needed] and from that point on one’s life is determined. This kind of freedom, says Clarke, is no different than the kind of freedom argued for by compatibilists, who assert that even though our actions are determined, they are free because they are in accordance with our own wills, much like the outcome of an SFA.[citation needed]

Kane responds that the difference between causal indeterminism and compatibilism is “ultimate control the originative control exercised by agents when it is ‘up to them’ which of a set of possible choices or actions will now occur, and up to no one and nothing else over which the agents themselves do not also have control”.[17] UR assures that the sufficient conditions for one’s actions do not lie before one’s own birth.

Galen Strawson holds that there is a fundamental sense in which free will is impossible, whether determinism is true or not. He argues for this position with what he calls his “basic argument”, which aims to show that no-one is ever ultimately morally responsible for their actions, and hence that no one has free will in the sense that usually concerns us.

In his book defending compatibilism, Freedom Evolves, Daniel Dennett spends a chapter criticising Kane’s theory.[7] Kane believes freedom is based on certain rare and exceptional events, which he calls self-forming actions or SFA’s. Dennett notes that there is no guarantee such an event will occur in an individual’s life. If it does not, the individual does not in fact have free will at all, according to Kane. Yet they will seem the same as anyone else. Dennett finds an essentially indetectable notion of free will to be incredible.

Frankfurt counterexamples[18] (also known as Frankfurt cases or Frankfurt-style cases) were presented by philosopher Harry Frankfurt in 1969 as counterexamples to the “principle of alternative possibilities” or PAP, which holds that an agent is morally responsible for an action only if they have the option of free will (i.e. they could have done otherwise).

The principle of alternate possibilities forms part of an influential argument for the incompatibility of responsibility and causal determinism, as detailed below:

Traditionally, compatibilists (defenders of the compatibility of moral responsibility and determinism, like Alfred Ayer and Walter Terence Stace) try to reject premise two, arguing that, properly understood, free will is not incompatible with determinism. According to the traditional analysis of free will, an agent is free to do otherwise when they would have done otherwise had they wanted to do otherwise.[19] Agents may possess free will, according to the conditional analysis, even if determinism is true.

From the PAP definition “a person is morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise”,[20] Frankfurt infers that a person is not morally responsible for what they have done if they could not have done otherwise a point with which he takes issue: our theoretical ability to do otherwise, he says, does not necessarily make it possible for us to do otherwise.

Frankfurt’s examples are significant because they suggest an alternative way to defend compatibilism, in particular by rejecting the first premise of the argument. According to this view, responsibility is compatible with determinism because responsibility does not require the freedom to do otherwise.

Frankfurt’s examples involve agents who are intuitively responsible for their behavior even though they lack the freedom to act otherwise. Here is a typical case:

Donald is a Democrat and is likely to vote for the Democrats; in fact, only in one particular circumstance will he not: that is, if he thinks about the prospects of immediate American defeat in Iraq just prior to voting. Ms. White, a representative of the Democratic Party, wants to ensure that Donald votes Democratic, so she secretly plants a device in Donald’s head that, if activated, will force him to vote Democratic. Not wishing to reveal her presence unnecessarily, Ms White plans to activate the device only if Donald thinks about the Iraq War prior to voting. As things happen, Donald does not think about the Democrats’ promise to ensure defeat in Iraq prior to voting, so Ms White thus sees no reason to activate the device, and Donald votes Democratic of his own accord. Apparently, Donald is responsible for voting Democratic in spite of the fact that, owing to Ms. White’s device, he lacks freedom to do otherwise.

If Frankfurt is correct in suggesting both that Donald is morally responsible for voting Democratic and that he is not free to do otherwise, moral responsibility, in general, does not require that an agent have the freedom to do otherwise (that is, the principle of alternate possibilities is false). Thus, even if causal determinism is true, and even if determinism removes the freedom to do otherwise, there is no reason to doubt that people can still be morally responsible for their behavior.

Having rebutted the principle of alternate possibilities, Frankfurt suggests that it be revised to take into account the fallacy of the notion that coercion precludes an agent from moral responsibility. It must be only because of coercion that the agent acts as they do. The best definition, by his reckoning, is this: “[A] person is not morally responsible for what they have done if they did it only because they could not have done otherwise.”[21]

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I – Wikipedia

Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

Atlas Shrugged: Part I is a 2011 American political science fiction drama film directed by Paul Johansson. An adaptation of part of Ayn Rand’s controversial 1957 novel of the same name, the film is the first in a trilogy encompassing the entire book. After various treatments and proposals floundered for nearly 40 years,[4] investor John Aglialoro initiated production in June 2010. The film was directed by Paul Johansson and stars Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank Rearden.

The film begins the story of Atlas Shrugged, set in a dystopian United States where John Galt leads innovators, from industrialists to artists, in a capital strike, “stopping the motor of the world” to reassert the importance of the free use of one’s mind and of laissez-faire capitalism.[5]

A sequel film, Atlas Shrugged: Part II was released on October 12, 2012. The third part in the series, Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? was released on September 12, 2014.[6]

It is 2016 and the United States is in a sustained economic depression. Industrial disasters, resource shortages, and gasoline at $37/gallon have made railroads the primary mode of transportation, but even they are in disrepair. After a major accident on the Rio Norte line of the Taggart Transcontinental railroad, CEO James Taggart shirks responsibility. His sister Dagny Taggart, Vice-President in Charge of Operation, defies him by replacing the aging track with new rails made of Rearden Metal, which is claimed to be lighter yet stronger than steel. Dagny meets with its inventor, Hank Rearden, and they negotiate a deal they both admit serves their respective self-interests.

Politician Wesley Mouchnominally Rearden’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C.is part of a crowd that views heads of industry as persons who must be broken or tamed. James Taggart uses political influence to ensure that Taggart Transcontinental is designated the exclusive railroad for the state of Colorado. Dagny is confronted by Ellis Wyatt, a Colorado oil man angry to be forced to do business with Taggart Transcontinental. Dagny promises him that he will get the service he needs. Dagny encounters former lover Francisco d’Anconia, who presents a faade of a playboy grown bored with the pursuit of money. He reveals that a series of copper mines he built are worthless, costing his investors (including the Taggart railroad) millions.

Rearden lives in a magnificent home with a wife and a brother who are happy to live off his effort, though they overtly disrespect it. Rearden’s anniversary gift to his wife Lillian is a bracelet made from the first batch of Rearden Metal, but she considers it a garish symbol of Hank’s egotism. At a dinner party, Dagny dares Lillian to exchange it for Dagny’s diamond necklace, which she does.

As Dagny and Rearden rebuild the Rio Norte line, talented people quit their jobs and refuse all inducements to stay. Meanwhile, Dr. Robert Stadler of the State Science Institute puts out a report implying that Rearden Metal is dangerous. Taggart Transcontinental stock plummets because of its use of Rearden Metal, and Dagny leaves Taggart Transcontinental temporarily and forms her own company to finish the Rio Norte line. She renames it the John Galt Line, in defiance of the phrase “Who is John Galt?”which has come to stand for any question to which it is pointless to seek an answer.

A new law forces Rearden to sell most of his businesses, but he retains Rearden Steel for the sake of his metal and to finish the John Galt Line. Despite strong government and union opposition to Rearden Metal, Dagny and Rearden complete the line ahead of schedule and successfully test it on a record-setting run to Wyatt’s oil fields in Colorado. At the home of Wyatt, now a close friend, Dagny and Rearden celebrate the success of the line. As Dagny and Rearden continue their celebration into the night by fulfilling their growing sexual attraction, the shadowy figure responsible for the disappearances of prominent people visits Wyatt with an offer for a better society based on personal achievement.

The next morning, Dagny and Rearden begin investigating an abandoned prototype of an advanced motor that could revolutionize the world. They realize the genius of the motor’s creator and try to track him down. Dagny finds Dr. Hugh Akston, working as a cook at a diner, but he is not willing to reveal the identity of the inventor; Akston knows whom Dagny is seeking and says she will never find him, though he may find her.

Another new law limits rail freight and levies a special tax on Colorado. It is the final straw for Ellis Wyatt. When Dagny hears that Wyatt’s oil fields are on fire, she rushes to his home but finds a handwritten sign that reads, “I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It’s yours.”

Wyatt declares in an answering machine message that he is “on strike”.

In 1972, Albert S. Ruddy approached Rand to produce a cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. Rand agreed that Ruddy could focus on the love story. “That’s all it ever was,” Rand said.[9][10][11] Rand insisted on having final script approval, which Ruddy refused to give her, thus preventing a deal. In 1978, Henry and Michael Jaffe negotiated a deal for an eight-hour Atlas Shrugged television miniseries on NBC. Jaffe hired screenwriter Stirling Silliphant to adapt the novel and he obtained approval from Rand on the final script. However, in 1979, with Fred Silverman’s rise as president of NBC, the project was scrapped.[12]

Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one third of it finished. She left her estate, including the film rights to Atlas Shrugged, to her student Leonard Peikoff, who sold an option to Michael Jaffe and Ed Snider. Peikoff would not approve the script they wrote and the deal fell through. In 1992, investor John Aglialoro bought an option to produce the film, paying Peikoff over $1 million for full creative control.[12]

In 1999, under John Aglialoro’s sponsorship, Albert Ruddy negotiated a deal with Turner Network Television for a four-hour miniseries, but the project was killed after the AOL Time Warner merger. After the TNT deal fell through, Howard and Karen Baldwin, while running Phillip Anschutz’s Crusader Entertainment, obtained the rights. The Baldwins left Crusader, taking the rights to Atlas Shrugged with them, and formed Baldwin Entertainment Group in 2004. Michael Burns of Lions Gate Entertainment approached the Baldwins to fund and distribute Atlas Shrugged.[12] A two-part draft screenplay written by James V. Hart[13] was re-written into a 127page screenplay by Randall Wallace, with Vadim Perelman expected to direct.[14] Potential cast members for this production had included Angelina Jolie,[15]Charlize Theron,[16]Julia Roberts,[16] and Anne Hathaway.[16] Between 2009 and 2010, however, these deals came apart, including studio backing from Lions Gate, and therefore none of the stars mentioned above appear in the final film. Also, Wallace did not do the screenplay, and Perelman did not direct.[1][17] Aglialoro says producers have spent “something in the $20 million range” on the project over the last 18 years.[2]

In May 2010, Brian Patrick O’Toole and Aglialoro wrote a screenplay, intent on filming in June 2010. While initial rumors claimed that the films would have a “timeless” settingthe producers say Rand envisioned the story as occurring “the day after tomorrow”[18]the released film is set in late 2016. The writers were mindful of the desire of some fans for fidelity to the novel,[18] but gave some characters, such as Eddie Willers, short shrift and omitted others, such as the composer Richard Halley. The film is styled as a mystery, with black-and-white freeze frames as each innovator goes “missing”. However, Galt appears and speaks in the film, solving the mystery more clearly than in the first third of the novel.

Though director Johansson had been reported as playing the pivotal role of John Galt, he made it clear in an interview that with regard to who is John Galt in the film, the answer was, “Not me.”[7] He explained that his portrayal of the character would be limited to the first film as a silhouetted figure wearing a trenchcoat and fedora,[8] suggesting that another actor will be cast as Galt for the subsequent parts of the trilogy.

Though Stephen Polk was initially set to direct,[19] he was replaced by Paul Johansson nine days before filming was scheduled to begin. With the 18-year-long option to the films rights set to expire on June 15, 2010, producers Harmon Kaslow and Aglialoro began principal photography on June 13, 2010, thus allowing Aglialoro to retain the motion picture rights. Shooting took five weeks, and he says that the total production cost of the movie came in on a budget around US$10 million,[20] though Box Office Mojo lists the production cost as $20 million.[3]

Elia Cmiral composed the score for the film.[21] Peter Debruge wrote in Variety that “More ambitious sound design and score, rather than the low-key filler from composer Elia Cmiral and music supervisor Steve Weisberg, might have significantly boosted the pic’s limited scale.”[22]

In a lot of ways, this project reflects the ethos of the Tea Party. You had both Republicans and Democrats who felt rejected by the establishment, and the same process is going to happen with Atlas Shrugged: We’re going to build a constituency of people who believe in limited government and individual liberty.

The film had a very low marketing budget and was not marketed in conventional methods.[24] Prior to the film’s release on the politically symbolic date of Tax Day, the project was promoted throughout the Tea Party movement and affiliated organizations such as FreedomWorks.[23] The National Journal reported that FreedomWorks, the Tea Party-allied group headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, (R-Texas), had been trying to get the movie opened in more theaters.[23] FreedomWorks also helped unveil the Atlas Shrugged movie trailer at the February 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference.[23] Additionally, it was reported that Tea Party groups across the country were plugging the movie trailer on their websites and Facebook pages.[23] Release of the movie was also covered and promoted by Fox News TV personalities John Stossel and Sean Hannity.[25][26]

The U.S. release of Atlas Shrugged: Part I opened on 300 screens on April 15, 2011, and made US$1,676,917 in its opening weekend, finishing in 14th place overall.[27] Producers announced expansion to 423 theaters several days after release and promised 1,000 theaters by the end of April,[28] but the release peaked at 465 screens. Ticket sales dropped off significantly in its second week of release, despite the addition of 165 screens; after six weeks, the film was showing on only 32 screens and total ticket sales had not crossed the $5 million mark, recouping less than a quarter of the production budget.[29]

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on November 8, 2011 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[30] More than 100,000 DVD inserts were recalled within days due to the jacket’s philosophically incorrect description of “Ayn Rand’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice”.[31] As of April, 2013, 247,044 DVDs had been sold, grossing $3,433,445.[32]

The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 11% based on 47 reviews, with an average score of 3.6 out of 10. The site’s consensus was: “Passionate ideologues may find it compelling, but most filmgoers will find this low-budget adaptation of the Ayn Rand bestseller decidedly lacking.”[33]Metacritic gives the film a “generally unfavorable” rating of 28%, as determined by averaging 19 professional reviews.[34] Some commentators noted differences in film critics’ reactions from audience members’ reactions; from the latter group, the film received high scores even before the film was released.[35][36][37]

Let’s say you know the novel, you agree with Ayn Rand, you’re an objectivist or a libertarian, and you’ve been waiting eagerly for this movie. Man, are you going to get a letdown. It’s not enough that a movie agree with you, in however an incoherent and murky fashion. It would help if it were like, you know, entertaining?

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film only one star, calling it “the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault.”[1] Columnist Cathy Young of The Boston Globe gave the film a negative review.[38]Chicago Tribune published a predominantly negative review, arguing that the film lacks Rand’s philosophical theme, while at the same time saying “the actors, none of them big names, are well-suited to the roles. The story has drive, color and mystery. It looks good on the screen.”[39] In the New York Post, Kyle Smith gave the film a mostly negative review, grading it at 2.5/4 stars, criticizing its “stilted dialogue and stern, unironic hectoring” and calling it “stiff in the joints”, but also adding that it “nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.”[40]

Reviews in the conservative press were more mixed. American economist Mark Skousen praised the film, writing in Human Events, “The script is true to the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s novel.”[41]The Weekly Standard senior editor Fred Barnes noted that the film “gets Rand’s point across forcefully without too much pounding”, that it is “fast-paced” when compared with the original novel’s 1200-page length, and that it is “at least as relevant today as it was when the novel was published in 1957.”[42]Jack Hunter, contributing editor to The American Conservative, wrote, “If you ask the average film critic about the new movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged they will tell you it is a horrible movie. If you ask the average conservative or libertarian they will tell you it is a great movie. Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see.”[43] In the National Post, Peter Foster credited the movie for the daunting job of fidelity to the novel, wryly suggested a plot rewrite along the lines of comparable current events, and concluded, “if it sinks without trace, its backers should at least be proud that they lost their own money.”[44]

The poor critical reception of Atlas Shrugged: Part I initially made Aglialoro reconsider his plans for the rest of the trilogy.[45] In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said he was continuing with plans to produce Part II and Part III for release on April 15 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[46] In a later interview with The Boston Globe, Aglialoro was ambivalent: “I learned something long ago playing poker. If you think you’re beat[en], don’t go all in. If Part 1 makes [enough of] a return to support Part 2, I’ll do it. Other than that, I’ll throw the hand in.”[47]

In July 2011, Aglialoro planned to start production of Atlas Shrugged: Part II in September, with its release timed to coincide with the 2012 U.S. elections.[48] In October 2011, producer Harmon Kaslow stated that he hoped filming for Part II would begin in early 2012, “with hopes of previewing it around the time of the nominating conventions”. Kaslow anticipated that the film, which would encompass the second third of Atlas Shrugged, would “probably be 30 to 40 minutes longer than the first movie.” Kaslow also stated his intent that Part II would have a bigger production budget, as well as a larger advertising budget.[49]

On February 2, 2012, Kaslow and Aglialoro, the producers of Atlas Shrugged: Part II, announced a start date for principal photography in April 2012 with a release date of October 12, 2012.[50] Joining the production team was Duncan Scott, who, in 1986, was responsible for creating a new, re-edited version with English subtitles of the 1942 Italian film adaptation of We the Living. The first film’s entire cast was replaced for the sequel.

The sequel film, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, was released on October 12, 2012.[51] Critics gave the film a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews.[52] One reviewer gave the film a “D” rating,[53] while another reviewer gave the film a “1” rating (of 4).[54] In naming Part II to its list of 2012’s worst films, The A.V. Club said “The irony of Part II’s mere existence is rich enough: The free market is a religion for Rand acolytes, and it emphatically rejected Part I.”[55]

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I – Wikipedia

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Slovakia (Slovak Republic) Fiscal Freedom | Economic …

Posted: November 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

Indicators Fiscal Freedom for Albania Fiscal Freedom for Algeria Fiscal Freedom for Angola Fiscal Freedom for Argentina Fiscal Freedom for Armenia Fiscal Freedom for Australia Fiscal Freedom for Austria Fiscal Freedom for Azerbaijan Fiscal Freedom for Bahamas Fiscal Freedom for Bahrain Fiscal Freedom for Bangladesh Fiscal Freedom for Barbados Fiscal Freedom for Belarus Fiscal Freedom for Belgium Fiscal Freedom for Belize Fiscal Freedom for Benin Fiscal Freedom for Bhutan Fiscal Freedom for Bolivia Fiscal Freedom for Bosnia and Herzegovina Fiscal Freedom for Botswana Fiscal Freedom for Brazil Fiscal Freedom for Brunei Darussalam Fiscal Freedom for Bulgaria Fiscal Freedom for Burkina Faso Fiscal Freedom for Burundi Fiscal Freedom for Cambodia Fiscal Freedom for Cameroon Fiscal Freedom for Canada Fiscal Freedom for Cape Verde Fiscal Freedom for Central African Republic Fiscal Freedom for Chad Fiscal Freedom for Chile Fiscal Freedom for China Fiscal Freedom for Colombia Fiscal Freedom for Comoros Fiscal Freedom for Congo Fiscal Freedom for Congo, Republic of Fiscal Freedom for Costa Rica Fiscal Freedom for Croatia Fiscal Freedom for Cuba Fiscal Freedom for Cyprus Fiscal Freedom for Czech Republic Fiscal Freedom for Denmark Fiscal Freedom for Djibouti Fiscal Freedom for Dominica Fiscal Freedom for Dominican Republic Fiscal Freedom for Ecuador Fiscal Freedom for Egypt Fiscal Freedom for El Salvador Fiscal Freedom for Equatorial Guinea Fiscal Freedom for Eritrea Fiscal Freedom for Estonia Fiscal Freedom for Ethiopia Fiscal Freedom for Fiji Fiscal Freedom for Finland Fiscal Freedom for France Fiscal Freedom for Gabon Fiscal Freedom for Gambia Fiscal Freedom for Georgia Fiscal Freedom for Germany Fiscal Freedom for Ghana Fiscal Freedom for Greece Fiscal Freedom for Guatemala Fiscal Freedom for Guinea Fiscal Freedom for Guinea Bissau Fiscal Freedom for Guyana Fiscal Freedom for Haiti Fiscal Freedom for Honduras Fiscal Freedom for Hong Kong Fiscal Freedom for Hungary Fiscal Freedom for Iceland Fiscal Freedom for India Fiscal Freedom for Indonesia Fiscal Freedom for Iran Fiscal Freedom for Ireland Fiscal Freedom for Israel Fiscal Freedom for Italy Fiscal Freedom for Ivory Coast Fiscal Freedom for Jamaica Fiscal Freedom for Japan Fiscal Freedom for Jordan Fiscal Freedom for Kazakhstan Fiscal Freedom for Kenya Fiscal Freedom for Kiribati Fiscal Freedom for Korea Fiscal Freedom for Kosovo Fiscal Freedom for Kuwait Fiscal Freedom for Kyrgyzstan Fiscal Freedom for Laos Fiscal Freedom for Latvia Fiscal Freedom for Lebanon Fiscal Freedom for Lesotho Fiscal Freedom for Liberia Fiscal Freedom for Lithuania Fiscal Freedom for Luxembourg Fiscal Freedom for Macau Fiscal Freedom for Macedonia Fiscal Freedom for Madagascar Fiscal Freedom for Malawi Fiscal Freedom for Malaysia Fiscal Freedom for Maldives Fiscal Freedom for Mali Fiscal Freedom for Malta Fiscal Freedom for Mauritania Fiscal Freedom for Mauritius Fiscal Freedom for Mexico Fiscal Freedom for Micronesia Fiscal Freedom for Moldova Fiscal Freedom for Mongolia Fiscal Freedom for Montenegro Fiscal Freedom for Morocco Fiscal Freedom for Mozambique Fiscal Freedom for Myanmar Fiscal Freedom for Namibia Fiscal Freedom for Nepal Fiscal Freedom for Netherlands Fiscal Freedom for New Zealand Fiscal Freedom for Nicaragua Fiscal Freedom for Niger Fiscal Freedom for Nigeria Fiscal Freedom for North Korea Fiscal Freedom for Norway Fiscal Freedom for Oman Fiscal Freedom for Pakistan Fiscal Freedom for Panama Fiscal Freedom for Papua New Guinea Fiscal Freedom for Paraguay Fiscal Freedom for Peru Fiscal Freedom for Philippines Fiscal Freedom for Poland Fiscal Freedom for Portugal Fiscal Freedom for Qatar Fiscal Freedom for Romania Fiscal Freedom for Russia Fiscal Freedom for Rwanda Fiscal Freedom for Saint Lucia Fiscal Freedom for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Fiscal Freedom for Samoa Fiscal Freedom for Sao Tome and Principe Fiscal Freedom for Saudi Arabia Fiscal Freedom for Senegal Fiscal Freedom for Serbia Fiscal Freedom for Seychelles Fiscal Freedom for Sierra Leone Fiscal Freedom for Singapore Fiscal Freedom for Slovakia Fiscal Freedom for Slovenia Fiscal Freedom for Solomon Islands Fiscal Freedom for South Africa Fiscal Freedom for Spain Fiscal Freedom for Sri Lanka Fiscal Freedom for Suriname Fiscal Freedom for Swaziland Fiscal Freedom for Sweden Fiscal Freedom for Switzerland Fiscal Freedom for Taiwan Fiscal Freedom for Tajikistan Fiscal Freedom for Tanzania Fiscal Freedom for Thailand Fiscal Freedom for Timor Leste (East Timor) Fiscal Freedom for Togo Fiscal Freedom for Tonga Fiscal Freedom for Trinidad and Tobago Fiscal Freedom for Tunisia Fiscal Freedom for Turkey Fiscal Freedom for Turkmenistan Fiscal Freedom for Uganda Fiscal Freedom for Ukraine Fiscal Freedom for United Arab Emirates Fiscal Freedom for United Kingdom Fiscal Freedom for United States Fiscal Freedom for Uruguay Fiscal Freedom for Uzbekistan Fiscal Freedom for Vanuatu Fiscal Freedom for Venezuela Fiscal Freedom for Vietnam Fiscal Freedom for Zambia Fiscal Freedom for Zimbabwe

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NSA Can Access More Phone Data Than Ever – ABC News

Posted: October 25, 2016 at 7:35 am

One of the reforms designed to rein in the surveillance authorities of the National Security Agency has perhaps inadvertently solved a technical problem for the spy outfit and granted it potential access to much more data than before, a former top official told ABC News.

Before the signing of the USA Freedom Act in June 2015, one of the NSA’s most controversial programs was the mass collection of telephonic metadata from millions of Americans the information about calls, including the telephone numbers involved, the time and the duration but not the calls’ content under a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act’s Section 215. From this large “haystack,” as officials have called it, NSA analysts could get approval to run queries on specific numbers purportedly linked to international terrorism investigations.

The problem for the NSA was that the haystack was only about 30 percent as big as it should’ve been; the NSA database was missing a lot of data. As The Washington Post reported in 2014, the agency was not getting information from all wireless carriers and it also couldn’t handle the deluge of data that was coming in.

On the technical side, Chris Inglis, who served as the NSA’s deputy director until January 2014, recently told ABC News that when major telecommunications companies previously handed over customer records, the NSA “just didn’t ingest all of it.”

“[NSA officials] were trying to make sure they were doing it exactly right,” he said, meaning making sure that the data was being pulled in according to existing privacy policies. The metadata also came in various forms from the different companies, so the NSA had to reformat much of it before loading it into a searchable database.

Both hurdles meant that the NSA couldn’t keep up, and of all the metadata the agency wanted to be available for specific searches internally, only about a third of it actually was.

But then the USA Freedom Act was signed into law, and now Inglis said, all that is “somebody else’s problem.”

The USA Freedom Act ended the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata but charged the telecommunications companies with keeping the data on hand. The NSA and other U.S. government agencies now must request information about specific phone numbers or other identifying elements from the telecommunications companies after going through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and arguing that there is a “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the number is associated with international terrorism.

As a result, the NSA no longer has to worry about keeping up its own database and, according to Inglis, the percentage of available records has shot up from 30 percent to virtually 100. Rather than one internal, incomplete database, the NSA can now query any of several complete ones.

The new system “guarantees that the NSA can have access to all of it,” Inglis said.

NSA general counsel Glenn Gerstell made a brief reference to the increased capacity in a post for the Lawfare blog in January after terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

“Largely overlooked in the debate that has ensued in the wake of recent attacks is the fact that under the new arrangement, our national security professionals will have access to a greater volume of call records subject to query in a way that is consistent with our regard for civil liberties,” he wrote.

Mark Rumold, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News he doesn’t have much of a problem with the NSA’s wider access to telephone data, since now the agency has to go through a “legitimate” system with “procedural protections” before jumping into the databases.

“Their ability to obtain records has broadened, but by all accounts, they’re collecting a far narrower pool of data than they were initially,” he said, referring to returns on specific searches. “They can use a type of legal process with a broader spectrum of providers than earlier. To me, that isn’t like a strike against it. That’s almost something in favor of it, because we’ve gone through this public process, we’ve had this debate, and this is where we settled on the scope of the authority we were going to give them.”

Rumold said he’s still concerned about the NSA’s ability to get information on phone numbers linked to a number in question up to two “hops” away but he said the USA Freedom Act “remains a step in the right direction.”

The trade-off of the new system, according to Inglis, is in the efficiency of the searches. Whereas in the past the NSA could instantaneously run approved searches of its database, now the agency must approach each telecommunications company to ask about a number and then wait for a response.

In his January post Gerstell acknowledged concerns that the new approach could be “too cumbersome to be effective” and said the NSA will report to Congress on how the arrangement is working. A representative for the NSA declined to tell ABC News if any problems have been encountered so far, and Rumold noted there has been no public evidence of any issues.

Inglis said he isn’t terribly concerned if the searches are a little slower. It’s a small price to pay, he said, for what he called an “additional safeguard” that could increase the public’s confidence in what the NSA is and how it operates.

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Freedom of Speech Essay – 2160 Words – StudyMode

Posted: October 15, 2016 at 5:23 am

Freedom of Speech

With varying opinions and beliefs, our society needs to have unlimited freedom to speak about any and everything that concerns us in order to continually improve our society. Those free speech variables would be speech that creates a positive, and not negative, scenario in both long-terms and short-terms. Dictionary.com defines Freedom of Speech as, the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc. Freedom of speech is also known as free speech or freedom of expression. Freedom of speech is also known as freedom of expression because a persons beliefs and thoughts can also be expressed in other ways other than speech. These ways could be art, writings, songs, and other forms of expression. If speaking freely and expressing ourselves freely is supposed to be without any consequence, then why are there constant law suits and consequences for people who do. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression should be exactly what they mean. Although most people believe that they can speak about anything without there being consequences, this is very untrue. One of those spoken things that have consequences is speaking about the president in such a negative way that it sends red flags about your intentions. Because of the high terrorist alerts, people have to limit what they say about bombs, 9/11, and anything they may say out of anger about our government or country. In the documentary called Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore spoke of a man who went to his gym and had a conversation with some of his gym buddies in a joking way. He made a joke about George W. Bush bombing us in oil profits. The next morning the FBI was at his front door because someone had reported what he freely spoke. Although the statements might have been derogatory, they were still his opinion, and he had a right to say whatever he wanted to about the president. In the past seven years there have been laws made that have obstructed our freedom of speech, and our right to privacy. Many of us have paused in the recent years when having a conversation because we are afraid that we are eavesdropped on. Even the eavesdropping would not be a problem if it were not for fear that there would be some legal action taken because of what you say. As mentioned in TalkLeft about the awkwardness in our current day conversations, We stop suddenly, momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and our words are subtly altered. This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. And it’s our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives. Because of tighter security and defense by the United States there have been visible and invisible changes to the meaning of freedom of speech and expression. One wrong word or thing could lead to a disastrous consequence.

Another topic that has been limited for a long period of time is religion. Speaking about religion in certain places is severely frowned upon. One of those places is schools. Since I could remember, schools have always had a rule that certain things could not be spoken of related to religion. If they were, that person could receive consequences. As a young child I could never understand why students and staff members could not openly express their love for God. I also thought that prayer was not permitted in schools when they are. Prayers are permitted in school, but not in classrooms during class time. Also wearing religious symbols or clothing is banned in schools. If we are free to speak our thoughts and feelings, then how are we banned to do these things? It is like saying that we are free to speak whatever we want, but we may not say anything. In the article A…

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Should there be restrictions on freedom of speech? | Debate.org

Posted: at 5:23 am

People have a right to say what ever they want to say. No one has the right to stop them. You may not like some of the opinions people voice, or the words that they use, but this is absolutely no reason to have the government trample people’s natural rights.

Arresting those protesting on private “no trespassing” property is not a denial of free speech. I really get irked about that kind of misrepresentation and people crying over first amendment rights. Death threats are not a form of free speech. They are a threat. Calling a soldier that has never done anything but served his country in good faith a “baby killer” is defamation of character. You say that to someone that is being tried or investigated, that is a gray area. You say that to someone that has been convicted it is free speech. Protest that the government should give amnesty to illegals? It’s an opinion, and free speech as long as you don’t do it on my private property.

It’s when freedom of speech isn’t freedom of speech that the problem arises. “Hate Speech” is freedom of speech to the extent that the language used does not incite or encourage violence or violation of the law. There is a huge difference in toting a sign that says “No more (fill in the blank) and “Yes, send us more dead (fill in the blank)”. One shows your lack of tolerance and opinion that there should be no more whatever. The second shows distinct encouragement for the acceptance of violence against the group being protested.

Freedom of speech is NOT the ability to say whatever you feel like when you feel like it where you feel like it. Yelling BOMB in a theater is not freedom of speech. Advertising or protesting you wish someone dead or are looking forward to seeing a group of people dead is not freedom of speech. Reporting that gets people killed is not freedom of speech. Profanity & Sexual suggestions are not free speech.

When the government censors certain “unallowable” opnions, and at the same times pretends to protect “freedom of speech”, it is essentially saying “you are free to say whatever you want, as long as you don’t say this.” This is the same principle that exists in even the most totalitarian societies; saying that that society has “free speech” becomes meaningless.

Freedom of speech helps the world to change. Without this kind of expression, the world wouldn’t be aware of all the problems we have, and wouldn’t help to change them. For example, with the Charlie Hebdo problem going around, the world and France got aware of the problem of religion, as well as malala or nelson mandela. Those kind of person broke the limit of speech and it helped to change life positively.

Freedom of speech is not the same as promoting violence. Freedom of speech is not violating the law, promoting violence or ‘waiting (fill in blank) dead’. Everyone has a right to voice their opinions and believes. If the government takes away that right, then that is the starting point for being able to neglect other human rights.

In the United States, where I live, we allow citizens to be free from government interference for speaking. This is one of our cherished rights, so much so that it’s the very first amendment to our Constitution. However, this right does not extend to private businesses or individuals, who are free to penalize you all they want for saying stupid, damaging, or inflammatory things. This is a public-private balance that is appropriate, and additional restrictions are not required.

I disagree with a lot of people on a lot things either being religion, politics, hate speech, and so on they should not be silenced. They have just as much of a right, to say what they believe. That’s we have the right to free speech. Just because I don’t like or agree means it should be restricted. This also goes into if you say what you mean freely, you’re going to have to deal with the backlash. The thing is free speech either get’s people on your side and look smart, or have everyone hate you.

Free speech is the corner stone of a free society. All ideas must be heard no matter how crazy and all ideas must be criticized. If we start burning books because we find them offensive; it means anyone can shout down dissent by saying they are offended. Tell me this when has an idea which is exempt from criticism been good. It is important that we realize that saying this can be censorship should never be used to combat bad ideas. If our ideology is so much better then the person we wish to censor; we should have no such problem debunking there theories; because even if we believe that the person we want censored is a complete monster. Denying anyone there basic human rights turns us into monsters.

It’s people’s freedom. Most of us living in America take for granted this privilege. Corrupt countries have taken away this privilege, and that’s why they won’t change. A person’s voice can be the difference of life and death for a person, so that’s why I think it’s necessary. Two words

I don’t think so that there should be restriction because what is going in the mind of an individual we don’t know, if he suffering from any deficiency and he speaks so that the thing on which we can secure him we can at-least guide. There should b freedom of speech.

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Should there be restrictions on freedom of speech? | Debate.org

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