The ‘Happy Planet Index’ Ranks Venezuela, Albania, and Cuba Far Higher than the United States

Written by Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Rankings can be very useful tools, assuming the methodology is reasonable and the authors use robust data. I’ve cited many of them.

Obama wins coveted Hugo Chavez endorsement

Hugo Chavez

And yes, the title is meant to be funny. Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, recently said some nice things about President Barack Obama and took some shots at this opponent, Mitt Romney:

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has signaled a preference in the U.S. presidential campaign by comparing Mitt Romney to his own challenger.

Chavez, who is up for re-election a month before U.S. President Barack Obama, has in recent weeks expressed a clear preference for the man currently in the White House.

In a campaign speech Saturday night, Chavez equated the agenda of his challenger, Henrique Capriles, with that of Romney, saying both men represent the callously selfish capitalist elite.
“I believe the person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney, because it’s the extreme right-wing agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.

“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said, referring to Obama as “a good guy.”

Van Jones clarifies remarks about libertarians

As I noted last week, Van Jones recently made some disparaging, ill-formed comments about libertarians, calling us bigots and anti-gay. But in an interview on Friday on The Alyona Show, Jones attempted to clarify his remarks , saying now that the comments were not directed at all libertarians, rather those that associate with the “far-right” (relevant section of the interview is at the 12:50 mark):

Like I said last week, libertarians aren’t racists or bigots. There are certainly libertarians that tend to focus their activism on fiscal issues, which at times puts them close to conservatives. However, the libertarian philosophy also places emphasis on social tolerances, including support for immigration and personal liberty (ie. allowing someone to marry who they want).

The criticism of libertarians in this manner is odd given that it’s coming from someone that once identified himself as a communist, a collectivist political philosophy and economic system that has claimed the lives of millions of innocent people. Should I lump Jones into the same category as Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin? If I were to use his “overly broad generalization” of libertarians in the same manner, maybe I should.

Van Jones doesn’t know libertarianism

At an Occupy Wall Street rally last weekend, Van Jones, a self-described communist and former Obama Administration official, slammed libertarians, claiming that we areall are anti-immigrant and anti-gay:

In a venomous speech this weekend, notorious ex-Obama aid Van Jones went on a hate-filled rant against “cheap patriotism” and “libertarians,” calling out his free-market opponents as “anti-immigrant, bigots.”

Jones was introduced by actor and Obama activist Edward Norton, who likened the disgraced former Green Jobs Czar to the Dali Lama.

“When I was on a panel once with [Jones] and the Dali Lama it was a toss up as to who was wiser, Van or the Lama” Norton mused.

Jones began his speech by citing his six months of work in the White House before launching into a tirade against the “so-called Libertarians.”

In citing the Libertarian principle of economic liberty, Jones stated “They’ve taken their despicable ideology and used it a wrecking ball, that they have painted red, white and blue, to smash down every good thing in America.”

Jones continued, “They say they’re Patriots but they hate everybody in America who looks like us.  They say they love America but they hate the people, the brown folk, the gays, the lesbians, the people with piercings, ya know ya’ll.”

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