Today's Edition

News



VA: Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

San Francisco Chronicle

"Camel cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. is snuffing out smoking in its offices and buildings. The nation's second-biggest tobacco company informed employees Wednesday that beginning next year, the use of traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes will no longer be permitted at employee desks or offices, conference rooms, hallways and elevators. Lighting up already is prohibited on factory floors and in cafeterias and fitness centers. The no-smoking policy will go into effect once Reynolds builds indoor smoking areas for those still wanting to light up indoors, spokesman David Howard said." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/qhq272a

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NY: New mayor, same old story; still marijuana arrest capital

Christian Science Monitor

"New York City has long been called the 'marijuana arrest capital of the world.' Under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the nation’s largest city has maintained that reputation, continuing its aggressive campaign against those found possessing even the most trace amounts of the drug. In fact, Mayor de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton have even outdone the previous administration, surpassing the marijuana possession arrest totals nearly every month this year compared with last, according to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance released Monday." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/kfvqd7a

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South Korea takes down “Christmas tree” border tower

BBC News [UK state media]

"South Korea has taken down a tower at its border with North Korea, which has in the past been decorated as a Christmas tree by Christian groups. The 60 foot tower has previously been covered in colourful lights at Christmas and topped with a cross. The North, which is officially atheist, saw this as religious and political propaganda and threatened to shell it. Its removal comes a week after senior military officials from the two Koreas met for the first time in seven years." (10/22/14)


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29718662

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UK: Man found guilty after faking two-year coma to avoid court

ABC News

"A British man pleaded guilty this week to stealing 40,000 pounds from an elderly neighbor and pretending to be in a coma for two years to avoid charges, authorities said. Alan Knight pleaded guilty after being charged with multiple counts of theft and making a false representation for gain .... Knight was arrested in 2012 for the alleged theft, a South Wales Police spokesman said. ... Knight delayed going to court by claiming to be a quadriplegic who had periodic seizures that left him in a comatose-state, police said. Since authorities were unable to get Knight in court, his trial was delayed until this week, police said. However, an investigation revealed that Knight had been faking his symptoms, police said." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/mhv2o3n

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Jerusalem: Terrorist murders baby at train station

Houston Chronicle

"A[n Arab] motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people in what police called a terror attack. The girl and her parents, who were injured in the attack, were U.S. citizens, according to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The violence came after months of tensions between [Palestinian] Jews and Palestinian[ Arab]s in east Jerusalem -- the section of the city the Palestinian[ Arab]s demand as their future capital." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/m8v3gtd

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FL: South Miami commissioners propose to split state

CNN

"Miami-area lawmakers are proposing adding a 51st star to the American flag.
City of South Miami commissioners have approved a resolution that calls for splitting Florida in half. The resolution outlines a new state, made up of 24 counties in the southern part of the peninsula." [editor's note: The resolution seems to be about rising sea levels, but I'm not sure how drawing new state borders is supposed to change that; maybe they're planning to make the southern half of the state a monarchy, with Canute on the throne or something - TLK] (10/22/14)


http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/us/south-florida-secession-new-state/

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Jury convicts ex-Blackwater guards in Iraq murders; appeals expected

Los Angeles Times

"A federal jury Wednesday convicted four former Blackwater security guards who had been charged with killing 14 Iraqis in Baghdad seven years ago in a shooting that became a symbol of U.S. treatment of Iraqi civilians. After nearly 30 days of deliberation, the jury in found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards -- Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard -- were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. ... Prosecutors said the shootings, in which 37 people were killed or injured, were unprovoked, the result of trigger-happy civilian security guards nervous about intelligence reports that a white Kia carrying a car bomb was circulating in the city looking for a target." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nxlr6jq

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Ebola theater: US imposes travel restrictions

Guardian [UK]

"The Obama administration has announced America’s first Ebola-related travel restrictions, forcing passengers originating from affected countries in west Africa to fly via US airports with screening procedures in place. The limited move comes after days of mounting political pressure to introduce outright travel bans on such passengers entering the US, but will instead make sure all recent travellers to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea are subject to basic tests for fever and face questioning on possible exposure to the disease." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/pum2zg9

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UN: Attacks on Iraq’s Yazidis may constitute attempted genocide

Deutsche Welle [Germany]

"The campaign against the Yazidis by the 'Islamic State' (IS) could constitute attempted genocide, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said on Tuesday. 'The evidence strongly indicates an attempt to commit genocide,' Simonovic said after meetings with some 30 people -- officials and displaced people in Irbil, Baghdad and Dohuk -- during the week-long visit. Hundreds of Yazidis are believed to have been killed when IS swept across northern and western Iraq in August. Many fled to Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq, while some 7,000 are believed to have stayed behind and converted to the harsh interpretation of Islam promoted by IS." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/msxhq7m

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Mexico: Rights agency says army executed 15 of 22

ABC News

"Soldiers executed at least 12 and probably 15 people at a warehouse in southern Mexico last summer, the government Human Rights Commission said Tuesday in a sweeping indictment of attempts by the military and civilian prosecutors to cover up the crimes. The commission's report exposed the constantly changing government versions of the killings and the brutality with which they were carried out, and could spell the end of prosecutors' efforts to first deny the killings, and then blame them on three rogue soldiers." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nyendoo

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Pakistan: Afghan shell kills Bajaur tribesman

The Nation [Pakistan]

"A tribesman was killed and two others injured when mortar shells fired from Kunar province of Afghanistan hit a border village of Pakistan’s Nawagi tehsil in Bajaur Agency on Tuesday morning. Officials of the political administration confirmed the incident that two mortar shells fired by unidentified militants from across the border landed in remote area of Babara Charmang, 43 kilometers north west of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur Agency." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/md2r8hy

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WHO: Ebola serum for Africa within weeks

BBC News [UK state media]

"Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization. Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015. The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people. Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone." (10/21/14)


http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29707393

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Syria: Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

Baton Rouge Advocate

"Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking advantage of the U.S.-led coalition's war against the Islamic State group to pursue a withering air and ground campaign against more mainstream rebels elsewhere in the country, trying to recapture areas considered more crucial to the survival of his government. As U.S. and allied jets swoop freely over towns and cities under control of extremists in northern Syria, the Syrian army has scaled back its air activity over areas of IS control, doing as little as possible there to avoid confrontation." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/m97xspv

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CO: Udall lead fades in Senate race

Christian Science Monitor

"One of the most watched elections in the country right now wasn't originally supposed to be competitive. The outcome of the race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, could end up determining which party controls the Senate. Senator Udall's early leads in the polls have dwindled until, in the past month, nearly every poll has showed Representative Gardner holding a slim lead." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nyo2bk9

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Russia: Moscow airport bosses blamed for French oil chief’s crash

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]

"Russian investigators have accused senior airport officials of criminal negligence over a plane crash at a Moscow airport that killed the head of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, whose private jet hit a snowplough on takeoff. Several executives would be suspended, the investigators said of the accident which also killed three crew members. They added that the driver of the snow-clearing machine was drunk on the job -- a claim disputed by his lawyer." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/m9yabmf

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FBI probing if three American teens detained in Germany attempted to join ISIS

Fox News

"The FBI says it is investigating the possibility that three American teenage girls were attempting to join the Islamic State in Syria when they were detained in Germany. A law enforcement source told Fox News Tuesday that the girls are home in Colorado after they were tracked down in Frankfurt. The three girls are all under the age of 18 and are not expected to face charges." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/oeuaau4

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PA: Corbett, grandstanding, signs law intended to shut up Mumia

Philly.com

"Just a few feet from the site where Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was [allegedly] gunned down by Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1981, Gov. Corbett on Tuesday signed into law a bill that would aim to [change his ebbing political fortunes by satisfying the powerful police lobby]. ... Maureen Faulkner said Abu-Jamal's continued media presence makes it hard for her to move on from her husband's murder. ... The law allows victims of a crime to seek an injunction against 'conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.'" (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/o7nlggf

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Ben Bradlee, 1921-2014

Washington Post

"Benjamin C. Bradlee, who presided over The Washington Post newsroom for 26 years and guided The Post’s transformation into one of the world’s leading newspapers, died Oct. 21 at his home in Washington of natural causes. He was 93. ... The most compelling story of Bradlee’s tenure, almost certainly the one of greatest consequence, was Watergate, a political scandal touched off by The Post’s reporting that ended in the only resignation of a president in U.S. history." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/mt26eju

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Report: US visa program for crime victims is hit-or-miss

Reuters

"The U visa program was created by Congress to help police and prosecutors build trust with immigrant communities. But national data analyzed by Reuters, along with dozens of interviews with police, prosecutors, lawyers and immigrants across the country, show that for undocumented immigrants ... who seek a U visa by helping the police, the chances of gaining a legal toehold in the United States are largely a matter of geography." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/kpudtfm

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Egypt: Court sets January 1 appeal date for Al Jazeera journalists

euronews [EU]

"An Egyptian court has set January 1 as the date for an appeals hearing for the three Al Jazeera journalists serving jail time in Egypt, the network said on Tuesday. The journalists were convicted in July on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation in a verdict that was widely condemned internationally. The three, who all denied the charge of working with the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, are Australian Peter Greste and Canadian-Egyptian national Mohamed Fahmy, Cairo bureau chief of Al Jazeera English." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nwh4bel

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Commentary



Land of the free — 1 in 3 Americans are on file with the FBI in the US police state

Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"The sickening transformation of these United States into an authoritarian police state with an incarceration rate that would make Joseph Stalin blush, has been a key theme of my writing since well before the launch of Liberty Blitzkrieg. One of the posts that shocked and disturbed readers most, was published a little over a year ago titled: American Police Make an Arrest Every 2 Seconds in 2012. In the event you never read it, I suggest taking a look before tackling the rest of this piece." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/kfpd6kn

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My tiny cosmopolitan apartment

Foundation for Economic Education
by Joseph S. Diedrich

"I live in a studio apartment, so my kitchen is my living room is my bedroom. The other day, I was staring out my sole window when something startled me. (And it wasn't the subwoofer two floors up.) It was my coffee. While sipping from my mug, I glanced at the bag of beans. It read, 'Origin: Ethiopia.' Next, I read the text on the bottom of my laptop: 'Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.' I looked down at my necktie: 'Bruno Piatelli. Roma.' This little exercise became a game. From what other far-off places did my stuff come?" (10/22/14)


http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/my-tiny-cosmopolitan-apartment

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Does democracy let “the poor” dominate?

Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"Hong Kong’s leader/chief executive Leung Chun-ying slammed pro-democracy protesters, saying that democracy would allow the poor too much of a voice. Leung said that a Chinese-style government appointed from the top allows for more business-friendly policies. I suspect Leung’s comments echo the view of elites worldwide. This week The New York Times reported on Leung’s comments, writing, 'Mr. Leung’s blunt remarks reflect a widely held view among the Hong Kong elite that the general public cannot be trusted to govern the city well.'” [editor's note: When "demoncrazy" (my term) is allowed to run unchecked (with no zone of sovereignty around peaceful individuals), it's a curse, not a blessing. However, in this case, Leung is full of the usual crap - SAT] (10/22/14)


http://ourfuture.org/20141022/does-democracy-let-the-poor-dominate

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Strange value of gold in a world that demands it

The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile

"A recent CNBC article tells us that 'gold is sending wacky signals.' ... Why? Because of a strange, emergent 'correlation' that gold is now exhibiting with the recently rising dollar and bonds." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/khh32he

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Council’s new bill to boost smoking

Heartland Institute
by Jeff Stier

"New York City was the first major city to ban vaping, the use of e-cigarettes, wherever cigarette smoking is banned. Cities around the country have followed suit. As a result, smokers who are trying to quit are forced to take their e-cigarettes outside together with the smokers. Now the council may go further and ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Councilman Costa Constantinides' bill, introduced this month, would be a blow to smokers who want a less harmful alternative that actually tastes good." (10/22/14)


http://blog.heartland.org/2014/10/councils-new-bill-to-boost-smoking/

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Did the Bush tax rebates actually work?

EconLog
by Scott Sumner

"I'm very dubious of all this. When the payroll tax cut was rescinded at the beginning of 2013, Keynesians predicted that growth would slow -- especially since lots of other austerity measures were imposed at the same time. In fact, economic growth (2012:Q4 to 2013:Q4) nearly doubled over the previous 12 months. That was due to monetary offset. The Bush tax cuts were also ineffective, for two reasons." (10/22/14)


http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/did_the_bush_ta_1.html

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Can student credit unions solve college affordability problem?

The Nation
by Helene Barthelemy

"In the past two years, Columbia University students have attempted to remedy the vexing problem of college affordability with an old but largely untried idea: a student credit union. Credit unions form 'the cooperatively owned alternative to traditional banks' in which profits go to providing better rates and lower fees for the credit union’s clients. Recipients of capital become shareholders in the institution and participate in its decisions." [editor's note: It could be one answer; it's sure made my life easier! - SAT] (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nhaoht2

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Obama appointee supports individual rights

Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

"I've been critical of the Obama administration in the past, so it’s nice to find something positive to say. This article says that President Obama's new acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, 'supports decriminalizing cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, ecstasy and all dangerous drugs, including marijuana.' It's nice to see that someone in government supports individuals' rights to make their own choices, rather than having the government tell them how they have to live their lives." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/ppfvpfz

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Rights

The Libertarian Enterprise
by Tyrone Johnson

"What are rights? Where do they come from? There are a few schools of thought about this idea. One view, and the one to which I subscribe, says that rights are intrinsic to human beings by their very nature. In this view, phrases like 'unalienable rights' refer to the fact that human rights are part of humanity. Someone can prevent your exercise of your rights through some unjust procedure, but the rights remain your rights. Another school of thought about rights is the view that rights come from God." (10/19/14)


http://ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle793-20141019-03.html

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The neo-scramble for Africa

In These Times
by Salim Muwakkil

"In the new race for Africa, the United States staked its position in early August, when President Obama convened four dozen African heads of state for the first-ever U.S.-African Leaders Summit. The three-day gathering was the most direct expression of the United States’ growing concern with China’s deepening influence on the continent. According to the Brookings Institution, China overtook the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009 and has been widening the margin ever since. China’s not acting out of altruism, of course. It has developed an insatiable appetite for Africa’s mineral and petroleum resources." (10/22/14)


http://inthesetimes.com/article/17244/obama_africa_summit

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World War I in our minds: A historical view

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by T. Hunt Tooley

"The fiftieth anniversary of the First World War in 1964 felt nothing like the current centennial observances. It is worth asking what has changed." (10/22/14)


http://mises.org/daily/6933/World-War-I-in-Our-Minds-A-Historical-View

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Chile: Resist Europe’s police-state response to terrorism

The Canal
by Laurie Blair

"In the United Kingdom as in Spain, the wave of anti-terror activity began with governing socialist parties, arguably under more pressure than conservatives to prove their tough-talk credentials. Likewise, the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet is now feeling the heat. For a time, it seemed as though the president would resist: she appealed for calm in the wake of the attacks, and qualified the attacks as 'isolated.' But the interior minister’s return from Spain has seen those in power largely meet in the middle with their conservative counterparts. They are offering greater surveillance, expanded use of prosecution-immune undercover police, pretrial detention, and a wider definition of terrorism." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/kdolupl

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Epistemology by democratic fiat? A reply to Gonazales-Ricoy

Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

"Some beliefs are justified; some are not. If a scientist forms a belief on the basis of careful reasoning and the examination of overwhelming evidence for that belief, she is justified in that belief. If a person forms a belief on this basis of wishful thinking, she is unjustified. Epistemologists try to formulate theories that explain and systematize what makes some beliefs justified and what makes other beliefs unjustified. As of now, there is no one epistemological theory that all experts accept. However, this is not because there is great controversy over which particular beliefs are justified or not." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/px87dar

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Krugman and Amazon and antitrust

Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"Amazon’s capacity to create or to amplify buzz for a book did not descend upon it by happenstance, like rain falling from the sky upon a pedestrian unprepared with an umbrella or raincoat. The very buzz that Amazon generates for books is a product of Amazon’s own entrepreneurial efforts -- its creativity, its risk-taking, its investments, its skill at staying on top of the modern retailing world, its success at building enormous trust with consumers over the past couple of decades. Krugman, while conceding Amazon’s entrepreneurial greatness, nevertheless treats the capacity to create that buzz as something that somehow belongs, not to Amazon, but to the public -- or to any book publisher who believes that it is being mistreated by Amazon." (10/22/14)


http://cafehayek.com/2014/10/krugman-and-amazon-and-antitrust.html

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The Groundhog Day ban

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Sometimes the only way to make your point is to keep repeating yourself. So it is when explaining why the law requires educational institutions that receive federal funding, like Ward Melville High School, to allow clubs such as the one formed by 17-year-old student John Raney in 2013. Students United in Faith meets to discuss faith and to plan charitable endeavors. Last year, Ward Melville officials sought to ban the club because of its religious character, but retreated after getting a letter from the Liberty Institute (dedicated to 'restoring religious liberty in America'). Near the beginning of this academic year, the school again moved to ban the club. Again, Liberty Institute intervened, threatening a lawsuit. Again, the school backed off." (10/22/14)


http://thisiscommonsense.com/2014/10/22/the-groundhog-day-ban/

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The Rare Report, 10/22/14

The Rare Report
by

"In this episode of The Rare Report ... Should churches be for to perform same sex marriages? Can libertarians do a better job of spreading their message? Third parties never win -- does there need to be a Libertarian Party?" [Flash audio or MP3] (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/q3h6bo3

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The Ebola response: American stupidity at its finest

CounterPunch
by Charles R. Larson

"Ebola is the ideal focal point for anger against the president, because few Americans know anything about the history of the disease and most know even less about the African continent, with its varied and enormously different 54 countries. They’re not interested. They’re more interested in computer games, TV, and other forms of entertainment, because that is all they really want: to be entertained. Well, ignoring Africa has brought Ebola to our shores, though I doubt that this will be the wake-up call epidemiologists hope for. Once it is contained months from now, Americans will forget all about the pandemic until the next one ravages the world. In the meantime, what we’re observing is American stupidity at its finest." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nr6765g

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Blackwater founder remains free and rich while his former employees go down on murder charges

The Intercept
by Jeremy Scahill

"A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007. ... Just as with the systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, it is only the low level foot-soldiers of Blackwater that are being held accountable. [Blackwater founder Erik] Prince and other top Blackwater executives continue to reap profits from the mercenary and private intelligence industries." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/n8u5p3s

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How the local police state is caused by the federal government

Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell

"With the sight of cops in Ferguson, Missouri and Boston resembling totalitarian warriors out of a stereotypical dystopian novel, many Americans have become alarmed at the apparent transition of law enforcement to a role as an occupation force. They also wonder where the police got the money to pay for it." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/mfkjjgb

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Greens licking their lips over carbon tax revenues

Institute for Energy Research
by Robert P. Murphy

"If the mainstream economists who think a carbon tax will be set 'optimally' are naive, the handful of conservatives who favor it for supply-side reasons are truly delusional. As Eberhard and other progressives make perfectly clear, they have no intention of engaging in a 'tax swap' deal. If they did, there would be no issue about the stream of revenue; the offset in other taxes would simply be adjusted." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/pmzm2s5

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You can legally busk in NYC’s subways, but a cop might arrest you anyway

Reason
by Zenon Evans

"Can you legally busk in New York City's subways? Yes. Do you need a permit? No. Will these facts stop a police officer from arresting you for busking without a permit? Take a guess." (10/22/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nmzdjwr

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Public servants

Liberty Unbound
by Stephen Cox

"I've been listening to talk about 'public service' all my life, but hearing Obama called a public servant made the concept seem even stranger than it had before. Who, besides government employees, especially politicians, is associated with 'service?' Who 'serves' other people? Well, for instance, people in restaurants; they serve the public. They're even called 'servers.' So what, if anything, do a politician and a waiter or a waitress -- a public servant and a servant of the public -- have in common? That's the question I asked myself, and one question led to others." (10/21/14)


http://libertyunbound.com/node/1321

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Libertarianism’s untroubling aristocracy of self-control

Libertarianism.org
by Pamela J. Stubbart

"All prospective political orders, by their existence and maintenance, would create advantages for some people (as compared to the baseline of no state having been formed at all, or the baseline of some pre-existing state). Indeed, that is a main point of having a state at all: systematically conferring benefits (construed broadly) that are justly due to citizens. It is a mistake to think that any state is or could be 'neutral,' in the sense of benefiting everyone literally equally. Rather, we use a normatively-loaded conception of 'fairness' to evaluate whether any possible set of benefits and burdens to citizens is distributed equitably. That being said, consider the claim that a libertarian system (i.e. one created by a government significantly smaller and/or less active in most citizens’s individual, properly private lives) would generate a 'self-control aristocracy.'" (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/ndqtkrg

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The American Dream is still possible, just not in the US

The Daily Bell
by Ron Holland

"I fear many Americans who don't travel internationally might have become somewhat immune to the intrusive, arbitrary nature of today's American government and its institutions. Here in Canada, law enforcement is almost always professional and courteous and even the bureaucrats are friendly and helpful, which simply amazes me. So to my American family, friends and business associates, I want you to know it is still possible to achieve the American Dream of a simple life with opportunity for wealth creation, fun, freedom and good times without an overly intrusive, threatening government ... just not in the United States." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/mtqgk9x

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School doesn’t have to suck when you teach your own kids

Reason
by JD Tuccille

"Fortunately, my son is now homeschooled -- or, technically, attends a private online school. He uses online lessons and offline texts and workbooks to learn, coached by his mother and me. The lessons are means to an end; he takes them as needed, and can take as much or little time as necessary, until he demonstrates his mastery of a topic in a unit assessment test. Then he moves on. Find your vocabulary set a breeze? Then skip the review lessons. Stumped by long division? Then spend a few hours working it out." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/pmxjt7k

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Untruthy bureaucrats will administer The Truth

Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"America's pathologically untruthful government, as revealed by Edward Snowden and other courageous truthtellers, has decided to appoint itself the guardian of 'the truth.' In doing this remember that government asks permission from no one and answers only to the criminal ruling class that runs it. A taxpayer-funded government bureaucracy called the National Science Foundation, which as you'll see is sounding more like Ayn Rand's State Science Institute in Atlas Shrugged, has already slopped nearly 1 Million of our dollars into a project called 'Truthy' designed to 'collect and analyze your Twitter data.' Why? That answer is full of vague, trendy, politically correct socially responsible definitions that can mean anything the State Science Institute wants them to mean." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/pc2xzyw

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Trolling is a free speech issue and always has been

spiked
by Tom Slater

"The sight of a politician deciding what should and shouldn't have a 'place' on social media, and empowering the courts and the police to intervene accordingly, has rightfully sparked concern among commentators and free-speech campaigners. Emma Carr, deputy director of the civil-liberties group Big Brother Watch, warned that 'these new amendments, and potentially laws, could stifle freedom of speech online.' In the Daily Mail, Dominic Lawson was even more forthright: '[T]o ask the police to keep up with every troll on the exponentially expanding internet is to wish for a publicly funded security organisation more akin to that of the People's Republic of China, or the late unlamented East German Stasi.'" (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/lostc8w

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Sauce for the goose

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith

"Throughout its history, American culture, otherwise a shining beacon of individual liberty, has suppressed the freedom of certain minority groups, among them, homosexuals. Unbelievable physical brutality and evil, repressive, unjust laws characterized this period. In the latter part of the twentieth century, and the early part of the twenty-first, that highly regrettable situation has been turned on its head. In Denver, a baker is being persecuted by authorities for refusing to violate his religious principles by making a wedding cake for two males." (10/19/14)


http://ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle793-20141019-02.html

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Spare me the sermon, Houston

San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J Saunders

"If you believe Houston Mayor Annise Parker, then you have to believe that when lawyers for her city subpoenaed five local pastors and demanded their sermons, the episode represented an unfortunate instance of lawyer overreach, with no intent to harass or intimidate the opposition. This story begins in May when the Houston City Council passed by an 11-to-6 vote an equal rights ordinance that banned discrimination based on sex, race and national origin -- as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. Some local church leaders objected. They petitioned to put a measure on the ballot to repeal the ordinance." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/nh6856p

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Weird Al Franken

CounterPunch
by William Blum

"I receive a continuous stream of emails from 'progressive' organizations asking me to vote for Senator Franken or contribute to his re-election campaign this November, and I don’t even live in Minnesota. Even if I could vote for him, I wouldn’t. No one who was a supporter of the war in Iraq will get my vote unless they unequivocally renounce that support. And I don’t mean renounce it like Hillary Clinton’s nonsense about not having known enough." (10/21/14)


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/21/weird-al-franken/

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Curbing Obama power grabs

Heartland Institute
by Paul Driessen

"The courts and Senate provide no checks and balances. Could a Republican Senate help?" [editor's note: The answer is "probably not, and if so only briefly until there's a Republican president, after which it will be back to business as usual" - TLK] (10/21/14)


http://blog.heartland.org/2014/10/curbing-obama-power-grabs/

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What do Obamacare and the war on ISIS have in common?

Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton

"The Obama Administration has not been honest with the American people about the costs of either." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/mz8l3rn

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Standard myth

Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"Paul Krugman’s allegation that Amazon has harmful monopsony power misses many a mark, not least of which is Mr. Krugman's mistaken account of John. D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil as a monopoly that 'had too much power' ('Amazon's Monopsony Is Not O.K.,' Oct. 20). Serious students of Standard's practices during the late 19th and early 20th centuries understand that complaints against that company came overwhelmingly from other refiners who couldn't match Standard’s great efficiencies. Yet no complaints came from consumers. Standard made them overwhelmingly better off -- which is compelling evidence that Standard did not have monopoly power." (10/21/14)


http://cafehayek.com/2014/10/standard-myth.html

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Mitch McConnell will say anything for a ham

The Nation
by Lee Fang

"In an election that could propel Senator Mitch McConnell to become Senate majority leader (a position that would give him wide sway over climate change policy, including influence over the Environmental Protection Agency) the Kentucky politician declined to respond to a question earlier this month about whether he believes climate change is a real problem. 'I’m not a scientist,' McConnell responded in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board. But earlier in his career, when McConnell played a pivotal role on behalf of the tobacco industry against increasing government regulation and taxes, the Republican leader believed he had enough scientific knowledge to question public-health officials." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/pjrhlxd

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Gene Healy on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show
by

"Gene Healy, a vice president at the Cato Institute, discusses his article 'The Forever-War President: Obama’s 'Transformational' War Powers Legacy.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (10/20/14)


http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/10/20/102014-gene-healy/

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In ancapistan, if you have no property, you have no rights

La Bocca della Verita
by Gene Callahan

"Ancaps often declare, 'All rights are property rights.' I was thinking about this the other day, in the context of running into libertarians online who insisted that libertarianism supports 'the freedom of movement,' and realized that this principle actually entails that people without property have no rights at all, let alone any right to 'freedom of movement.'" (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/p68jl83

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Is Medicaid-associated overuse of emergency departments just a surge?

Independent Institute
by John R. Graham

"Research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research suggests that rising Medicaid dependency does not result in a secular increase in use of hospitals’ emergency departments. Rather, the jump in ED use is just pent-up demand being satisfied, and drops off. This is the conclusion of a study that examined ED visits by California patients newly enrolled in a government program similar to Medicaid, called the Low Income Health Program (LIHP). This suggests different consequences to Medicaid expansion than the Oregon Medicaid experiment showed ..." (10/20/14)


http://tinyurl.com/lg4hapt

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How economics helps us understand: Airline practices

EconLog
by Art Carden

"The world is a pretty complex and mesmerizing place, and people (and firms) do a lot of things that are, at first glance, hard to understand. Consider airlines. I've heard on numerous occasions complaints about how major carriers board their planes inefficiently: by using alternative loading and unloading schemes, they can turn flights around more quickly and earn more money by operating more flights. And to be sure, turnaround time is important. However, it isn't everything." (10/20/14)


http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/how_economics_h.html

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Pulling the plug on corporate personhood

In These Times
by Rob Richie

"American democracy is reaching a breaking point, from failed winner-take-all voting rules to blatant attempts to suppress voter turnout. The rising torrent of campaign spending by the 1% has triggered particular outrage. Activists leapt into action after the Supreme Court’s January 2010 Citizens United decision, which not only overturned a century of precedent that barred corporate money in American elections, but also enshrined corporations as non-human entities that have the same constitutional rights as people. Since Citizens United and other court rulings limit what can be done by statute, amending the constitution to overturn these rulings has become a major focus of activists." [editor's note: As usual, focusing on amending the constitution only guarantees nothing gets done on this for many years - SAT] (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/o7sslsz

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Three rival forms of liberty: Federalism, property and liberation

Libertarianism.org
by Adam Gurri

"Liberty is something that every American believes is his birthright. We're the 'land of the free;' our capital is the 'capital of the free world.' Libertarians make the very idea of liberty central to their ideology, their tribe, their identity -- it's right in the name, after all. But what exactly liberty consists of is a hotly-debated subject." (10/20/14)


http://tinyurl.com/q7ygao6

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We have no idea if universal preschool actually helps kids

Cato Institute
by David J. Armor

In political campaigns around the country, at least one proposal enjoys bipartisan support: expanding early childhood education. In gubernatorial races in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Michigan and Georgia, both the Democratic and Republican candidates support expanding government provision of 'high-quality' pre-kindergarten education. And why wouldn’t they? A raft of recent studies claim major benefits for children who start school early. The problem is, most of the studies that show benefits have major research design flaws, one of which is an inability to demonstrate long-term gains. And the few top-quality studies out there reveal few, if any, lasting benefits." (10/21/14)


http://tinyurl.com/oqu58l8

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Leslie Gelb is right

Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

"Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, is the veritable embodiment of the Establishment inside-the-Beltway policy wonk. A former Pentagon official, and diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, he is by no means an anti-interventionist: Gelb fully supported the Iraq war. Yet he was honest enough to admit not only the total failure of that fateful enterprise but also his dubious reasons for initially endorsing it ..." (10/22/14)


http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/10/21/leslie-gelb-is-right/

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The future of farming and rise of biotechnology

National Center for Policy Analysis
by David Weisser

"There are natural limits to the productivity increases that can be obtained with conventional farming. Scientifically advanced biotechnology could greatly benefit the world’s growing population, but governments have placed severe regulatory restrictions on the use of such technology. The most controversial aspect of biotechnology is the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to increase crop yields per acre and to improve the nutritional quality of the food produced. Restrictions on the development and cultivation of biotech crops have slowed global progress in conquering hunger. Through advanced research and new farming methods, global hunger could be reduced." (10/21/14)


http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib152

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Kasich begins ritual of self-flagellation

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"At Holy Cross-Immaculata church in Cincinnati, there's a Good Friday tradition called 'Praying the Steps,' in which parishioners slowly climb the 85 steps up to the church, saying a prayer on each step. It may take a while to get to the top, but that's the entire point of the exercise—the time and effort it takes is a symbol of one's devotion. Keep that in mind for a moment as we talk about that state's governor, John Kasich, and his complicated feelings about the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Governor Kasich went through a ritual that has grown no less absurd for being so familiar." (10/21/24)


http://tinyurl.com/ldss7dc

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Can’t quit Saudi Arabia

The Cagle Post
by Cameron Cardow

Cartoon. (10/20/14)


http://www.cagle.com/2014/10/cant-quit-saudi-arabia/

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