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The smart against the dumb: The new Cold War

November 23, 2014
Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  
Posted in Commentary

"This story is emblematic of something I've noticed seems increasingly common in the 21st century -- political movements that appear exceedingly stupid. Before exploring this idea, let me concede that the second half of the 20th century had many similar examples. Idi Amin in Uganda, the anti-intellectualism of the Khmer Rouge and indeed to a lesser extent the entire Chinese Cultural Revolution. And let's not even talk about the first half. That's why I italicized 'seems.' Nonetheless, something about the 21st century seems radically different from the period of my youth (the 1960s and 1970s.)" (11/22/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/11/the_smart_again.html  

Patient, heal thyself: Why Congress should repeal the medicine cabinet tax on over-the-counter drugs

November 23, 2014
National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon M. Herrick  
Posted in Commentary

"Over-the-counter (OTC) nonprescription medications comprise only about 1 percent of health care spending. Yet nearly 80 percent of the time when Americans have a health ailment, they first reach for a nonprescription drug. Americans spend an estimated $36 billion annually on nonprescription drugs -- most were originally prescription drugs. Nonprescription drugs could be even cheaper, but one of the funding mechanisms for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) amounted to a substantial tax increase on OTC drugs. Moreover, many states charge sales taxes on nonprescription drugs. The new Congress is expected to consider legislation to repeal some of the taxes imposed by the ACA. The tax on OTC drugs is one they should consider repealing." (11/21/14)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st362  

Life is hard now: It’s worse once you’re a real helot

November 23, 2014
Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  
Posted in Commentary

"For those who bother to watch the news, all the usual suspects are aflutter at the latest nonsense issued by the First Flatulence in the Offal Office concerning the false premise of illegal immigration. Much ado about nothing and I want to offer advance condolences to every illegal who becomes an authentic branded tax cattle of the US when they get their citizenship and legal status." (11/22/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3731  

NASA offering contracts to encourage asteroid mining

November 23, 2014
Morning Ticker    
Posted in News

"Although Science has gotten us so far, mankind has always been looking to explore new methods of improving our lives. With resources being used up at an increasing rate, two independent organizations are looking to retrieve resources from space. One example is asteroid mining. Recently, a probe had successfully landed on a comet, this brought up the possibility of mining asteroids for funding future projects and profit. NASA is offering contracts to two organizations known as Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources who intend to pursue asteroid mining." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/jvto3df  

The anarchist case against cannabis legalization

November 23, 2014
Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by MK Lords  
Posted in Commentary

"Marijuana is wonderful at best, and harmless at worst. Making this plant illegal has led to an increase in violence from government agencies and cartels, and people in every state are realizing what a mistake criminalization has been. In the recent midterm elections legislation passed legalizing the plant on various levels. Florida, where I live, narrowly missed the 60% supermajority needed to add a medical marijuana amendment to the state constitution. Many were disappointed and irritated, blaming young people for not turning out to vote on this very important measure. As one of those non voting 'youths' (albeit narrowly), I feel that the ire of pro-legalization voters is undeserved. You see, legalization is a trap." (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kxkvsv4  

Google, Cisco give in to extortion by “Rockstar” patent troll gang

November 23, 2014
PC Magazine    
Posted in News

"The patent-holding Rockstar Consortium jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, and others reached a settlement earlier this month with Google and Cisco over their patent litigation. Rockstar was formed several years ago as a non-product making, patent-holding entity. In 2011, the consortium successfully outbid Google and others for wireless and cellphone patents in Nortel's intellectual property portfolio, then proceeded to launch IP infringement lawsuits against a number of companies. Along with Apple and Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony are part of the joint venture. ... Terms of the Google settlement were not disclosed, but the Journal reported that Cisco's payout will be $188 million." (11/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgd9s87  

Highly advanced backdoor trojan cased high-profile targets for years

November 23, 2014
Ars Technica Ars Technica    
Posted in News

"Researchers have unearthed highly advanced malware they believe was developed by a wealthy nation-state to spy on a wide range of international targets in diverse industries, including hospitality, energy, airline, and research. Backdoor Regin, as researchers at security firm Symantec are referring to the trojan, bears some resemblance to previously discovered state-sponsored malware, including the espionage trojans known as Flame and Duqu, as well as Stuxnet, the computer worm and trojan that was programmed to disrupt Iran's nuclear program. Regin likely required months or years to be completed and contains dozens of individual modules that allowed its operators to tailor the malware to individual targets." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kns2tww  

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