Today's Edition


NY: Hatchet-wielding man killed after attacking NYPD officers


"A New York City police officer is in critical condition and another is stable after a man with a hatchet attacked four officers on the street in Queens, New York on Thursday, officials said. The other officers then opened fire on the man, killing him and accidentally striking a nearby woman, who was later treated for non-life threatening injuries. ... olice sources told NBC News that the attacker had been tentatively identified as Zale Thompson, a 32-year-old man with a Facebook page containing images of what appears to be a Muslim warrior and prayers. However, authorities have found no links to extremist literature or jihadi groups at this time." (10/23/14)


China launches experimental moon orbiter

Newnan Times-Herald

"China has launched an experimental spacecraft to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. The eight-day program begun Friday is a test run for a 2017 mission that aims to have a Chinese spaceship land on the moon, retrieve samples and return to Earth. That would make burgeoning space power China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a mission." (10/24/14)


Nigeria: Boko Haram “abducts more women and girls”

BBC News [UK state media]

"Dozens of women and girls from two villages in Nigeria's north-eastern Adamawa state have been abducted by suspected militants, residents say. The abductions have not been confirmed by the authorities, but residents say they took place a day after the military announced it had agreed a ceasefire with the Boko Haram group. The government hopes the Islamist group will free more than 200 girls seized in April as part of negotiations. Boko Haram has not confirmed the truce." (10/23/14)


NYC: Doctor tests positive for Ebola

The Hill

"A New York City doctor who recently treated Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the disease, according to multiple reports. The man is identified in reports as Craig Spencer, who previously worked for Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. He arrived at Bellevue Hospital earlier Thursday with a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, and city health officials began tracking down his contact even before the diagnosis was confirmed. The diagnosis raises extra concerns because Spencer reportedly used the subway and went to a bowling alley on Wednesday night." (10/23/14)


SC: House Speaker pleads guilty on six counts, resigns

USA Today

"South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell pleaded guilty Thursday to misconduct in office charges and agreed to immediately resign, ending his run as one of the state's most powerful politicians. Harrell pleaded guilty to six counts of misconduct during a hearing at the Richland County Judicial Center. As part of the plea agreement, he was sentenced to six years in prison, which was suspended, and instead given three years of probation with a $30,000 fine. He must reimburse the state $93,958, the amount the state says he took from a campaign account for personal use." [editor's note: No, the article doesn't mention his partisan affiliation -- he's a Republican - TLK]


Mexico: Governor steps aside over disappearances

ABC News

"The governor of Guerrero state announced Thursday that he's stepping aside while an investigation continues nearly a month after 43 students disappeared and six people were killed in an attack that has implicated local police and politicians in the city of Iguala. Gov. Angel Aguirre Rivero said he is putting his duties on hold and will let the state's lawmakers decide who should lead the southern Mexico state." (10/23/14)


IL: Chicago reporter quits, claims governor candidate influenced paper


"A veteran Illinois political reporter quit his job at the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday and accused the newspaper of bowing to pressure from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner by removing him from the campaign beat. Dave McKinney, a 19-year veteran of the paper who covered the state capital, said in his resignation letter that the paper reassigned him after the Rauner campaign accused him of a conflict of interest, which he denies." (10/23/14)


UT: State Supreme Court lifts same-sex adoption ban

Salt Lake Tribune

"The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a stay which had barred from completion four pending adoptions of children by their same-sex parents. The action clears the way for the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates that list the same-sex parents as the children’s legal parents. It will also restart countless other adoptions that were left in limbo by Utah’s contention that the cases should be on hold until it was clear that gay marriage would be legal in the Beehive state." (10/23/14)


Indiana residents: “My house is not for sale”

Fox News

"Indiana residents are fighting to save their homes as their local government weighs a sweeping plan to demolish them to make way for new development, in a case critics are calling a 'poster child' for the abuse of eminent-domain powers. Charlestown, IN, Mayor Bob Hall announced his plans earlier this year to demolish more than 350 homes in the city’s Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. The mayor contends the neighborhood is 'blighted,' and therefore the city is eligible for state money to buy out the homeowners and tear down their houses. His office argues the houses, originally bought by the Army in 1940, were meant to be temporary. But the 'temporary' houses remain very much occupied. And many residents are not interested in selling them, at least not for what the government might offer. According to the Institute for Justice, a national group that is aiding residents in their case, the state fund Hall wants to tap offers residents just $6,000 for their houses." (10/23/14)


Official: Escalation likely if Iran doesn’t bow and scrape to DC energetically enough


"The alternatives to an international accord preventing Iran from [producing the nuclear weapons that US intelligence agencies say they aren't trying to produce] are 'quite terrible,' the chief U.S. negotiator in talks with Iran said. Even so, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said today, the U.S. won’t accept 'a bad deal or even a half-bad deal' to avoid failure. Sherman said in Washington that she can’t predict the outcome of the negotiations as they head toward a Nov. 24 deadline with six nations and Iran still jockeying over constraints on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities and the terms for lifting economic sanctions." (10/23/14)


Report: Google partners with Oxford U on AI efforts

Raw Story

"Google Inc is expanding its artificial intelligence initiative, hiring more than half a dozen leading academics and experts in the field and announcing a partnership with Oxford University to 'accelerate' its efforts. Google will make a 'substantial contribution' to establish a research partnership with Oxford’s computer science and engineering departments, the company said on Thursday regarding its work to develop the intelligence of machines and software, often to emulate human-like intelligence. Google did not provide any financial details about the partnership, saying only in a post on its blog that it will include a program of student internships and a series of joint lectures and workshops 'to share knowledge and expertise.'" (10/23/14)


North Korea: US must apologize to free detainees

Northwest Indiana Times

"The United States government must make a formal apology to secure the freedom of two Americans who remain imprisoned in North Korea after the release this week of Jeffrey Fowle, North Korean legal experts said Thursday. Although North Korea released Fowle, getting Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae out of prison will likely require an official statement of apology and formal request for their release from Washington, according to the two North Korean law experts who spoke to The Associated Press." (10/23/14)


WA: Seattle pols send threats to medical pot shops

San Francisco Chronicle

"The city of Seattle is warning its more than 300 medical marijuana businesses that their days could be numbered. Officials this week have sent letters to 330 medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries reminding them they need to either shut down or be licensed by the state by next summer. The problem is that the Legislature hasn't yet created a licensing system to allow sales of medical marijuana. How to regulate pot for medical use is expected to be a hot topic when lawmakers go back into session in January. Officials fear the unregulated cannabis is competing with Washington's new, highly taxed recreational market." [editor's note: Well, duh! Anything they don't have their regulatory clutches on is bound to be cheaper, even on the black market - SAT] (10/23/14)


Belgium: EU reaches deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Biloxi Sun Herald

"European Leaders agreed early Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 28-nation bloc to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The deal was aimed at countering climate change and setting an example for the rest of the world ahead of key international climate negotiations next year." (10/23/14)


North Korea: Is Fowle’s release a bid to end isolation?

Christian Science Monitor

"The release by the North Korean regime of US citizen Jeffrey Fowle appears to be at least a minimal move toward some kind of engagement by young leader Kim Jong-un. The context of Mr. Fowle’s release is both the terrific isolation in which North Korea finds itself, and the lack of desire in Washington to deal with the prickly regime, analysts say. As with most things involving the Kim family it is unknown how consequential the release of Fowle actually is." (10/23/14)


Leahy: Being a politician for 48 years qualifies me to run every ISP in the country


"U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Thursday pressed large Internet providers to pledge that they will not strike deals that may help some websites load faster than others or give similar 'fast lanes' to affiliated services. ... In his letters, similar to one sent to Comcast Corp on Monday, Leahy asked the leading Internet service providers (ISPs) to formally commit to no so-called 'paid prioritization' deals in which content companies could pay Internet providers to ensure smooth and fast delivery of their traffic." [editor's note: Leahy graduated law school in 1964 and was a "private practice" lawyer for two years before going into government (quickly ascending to the US Senate, where he's parked his ass since 1974). Apparently he believes this qualifies him to serve as de facto CEO of every Internet provider in the country - TLK] (10/23/14)


Ello says hello to $5.5 million, legally vows not to advertise


"Ello, the fledgling social network that has vowed not to run advertising, doubled down on that sentiment on Thursday by making itself a Public Benefit Corporation and putting the sentiment in its charter. A PBC's charter can't be changed even if the company is bought and investors can't force the company to do something that goes against its charter. ... The structure change coincides with $5.5 million in Series A funding from Foundry Group, Bullet Time Ventures and FreshTracks Capital." (10/23/14)


Pakistan: Twelve killed in Baluchistan attacks

Belfast Telegraph [occupied Ireland]

"Attacks in Pakistan's troubled south-western province of Baluchistan, including an assault on the country's beleaguered minority Shiites Muslims and a suicide bombing targeting a pro-Taliban cleric, have killed 12 people on Thursday. ... The Taliban have been waging a war against the state there in a bid to topple the government and impose their harsh brand of Islamic law, and have killed thousands of Pakistanis over the last decade. Baluchistan is home to Baluch separatist and nationalist groups that have been fighting for autonomy and a greater share of revenues from the region's natural resources." (10/23/14)


“Honey Boo Boo”’ in limbo after sex offender report

Fox News

"The future of TLC's hit reality series 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' is up in the air after reports surfaced that June Shannon, aka 'Mama June,' is dating a convicted sex offender who served time for child molestation. TMZ reports that Shannon has rekindled her romance with Mark McDaniel, who reportedly went to jail for molesting a child in Shannon’s family when they were dating years earlier. ... 'TLC is not in production on 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,'' a rep for the network said. 'We are very concerned about this new information and are reassessing the future of the series.'" (10/23/14)


CA: Prisons to end racial segregation

San Francisco Examiner

"California officials agreed Wednesday to end a policy in which it segregated prison inmates after riots based on their race as a way to prevent further violence. Officers have frequently locked inmates in their cells based on which races were involved in the riot, even if individual inmates of that race were not directly implicated. The agreement to end the practice is spelled out in a 21-page settlement involving a lawsuit first filed in 2008. The agreement says future lockdowns may not be imposed or lifted based on race or ethnicity." (10/23/14)



The drug war doesn’t work abroad either
by Lucy Steigerwald

"This is the unimpeachable rule of the war on drugs: Money goes in, and somehow the worst people benefit, and the drug trade soldiers on and on. Afghanistan is the world’s largest source of opium, and the sales of it have helped charming folks like the Taliban purchase weapons and other things most nice people would rather they didn’t possess. According to Stars and Stripes, when U.S. and NATO troops exit the country in a few months, they will leave behind 500,000 acres of poppies. This is a 36 percent increase since 2013. The amount of poppies has in fact been increasing since the U.S. invasion 13 years ago this month." (10/23/14)


Democracy is neither freedom nor prosperity

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

"What is democracy? It’s simply a political system by which people are selected for public office. That’s all. Its primary benefit is that it enables people to change regimes peacefully -- that is, without the need for a violent revolution. It guarantees neither freedom nor prosperity." (10/23/14)


The singular Henry George: Insights and influence
by David S. D'Amato

"A committed advocate of free trade and a narrowly tailored, limited government, George was a genuine and principled libertarian, energetically opposing government interventions in the economy such as, for example, subsidized railroads. Yet given today’s political vernacular, George’s distinctive thought may seem to present a kind of paradox. To the extent that most Americans now wrongly associate support for free enterprise and limited government with the defense of big business, George’s economic populism, his backing of labor and hostility toward powerful monopolies may seem an odd fit with his essentially libertarian philosophy." (10/22/14)


Crime is down, but Americans are convinced it’s rising

by Jesse Walker

"Three social scientists at Chapman University have just released a revealing report on American fears. Among other interesting bits of data, it informs us that the item in its survey that Americans fear most is walking alone at night, that people who watch true-crime TV are more likely to be afraid of the future, and that 15.9 percent of the country is at least somewhat scared of clowns. Also, Americans are prone to thinking crime rates are getting worse even when they're actually improving." (10/23/14)


On Garron Helm and the right to utter abuse

The Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

"As a national socialist, Garron Helm stands in a different ideological community from ours. This has no bearing on our duty to defend his right to express his opinions in any way that does not amount to a common law assault as this would once have been defined. No amount of abuse, regardless of how offended the recipient claims to be, should be a matter for the criminal law." (10/23/14)


Figuring out life and friendship

The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy

"In analyzing friendship, Aristotle displays immense respect for the average person. He rejects Plato's contention that understanding virtue requires a special grounding in metaphysics and science. In Aristotle's view, the average man can fully understand both virtue and the role it plays in enriching daily life. Aristotle starts by defining friendship. It is a situation in which people are well disposed toward each other. But more than this, each person is also aware of the dynamic." (10/23/14)


We want you

by Timothy J Taylor

"Democrats and Republicans think that we are slaves. They want you. Prominent authoritarian figures from both statist political parties are beating the statist drum once again for government imposed national service." (10/24/14)


The stealth campaign to buy America’s courts

The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter

"Cole County, Missouri, seems an unlikely place for a national Republican group to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a small county of 75,000, and its leadership is solidly red, with few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Pat Joyce, a Democrat who’s held her seat on the country circuit court for two decades. Until a few weeks ago, with $17,000 on hand and her opponent nearly $13,000 in debt, her chances of serving another term seemed good. That financial advantage vanished abruptly in mid-October when the Republican State Leadership Committee stepped in with $200,000 to save Republican Brian Stumpe. Half of that money went directly to his campaign. The rest went to the RSLC’s local political action committee, which ran a tie-dye hued ad that accused Joyce of being a 'groovy' ally of 'radical environmentalists.'" (10/23/14)


The sharing economy’s “first strike”

In These Times
by Rebecca Burns

"Silicon Valley types often wax lyrical about the way that the app-based 'sharing economy' disrupts existing business models and create new forms of social relations. When tech magnates extol 'disruption,' of course, they likely aren’t talking about the sort caused by labor actions. But on October 22, tech-giant Uber got a taste of its own disruptive medicine when drivers in at least five cities who work on the ridesharing platform turned off their apps and stopped picking up passengers, in protest of what they say are unjust working conditions and a dwindling share in the company’s profits. Some drivers are calling this action the first strike in the 'sharing economy,' a sector known for its aversion to labor organizing." (10/23/14)


Are placebos ethical?

Independent Institute
by John C. Goodman

"The power of placebos to heal has long been recognized. Thomas Jefferson wrote about it. So did Benjamin Franklin. Debate over the ethics of placebos also has a long history -- roughly 170 years. But there has been no resolution. Doctors are still in disagreement about whether it is ethical to proscribe a placebo without the patient's consent. Of course if the patient knows the therapy is a placebo, much of its effectiveness is lost. But there is also disagreement about the meaning of the word 'consent.'" (10/21/14)


Understanding “quid pro quo”

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Gary M. Galles

"Quid pro quo is a phrase that has similarly evolved from offering clarity to producing confusion. It originally meant 'something for something.' That offered a useful distinction between voluntary market arrangements, in which people were induced to cooperate by being offered adequate compensation, and government arrangements (or robbery), in which such inducements need not be offered. However, the usage of quid pro quo has evolved to typically mean an exchange of equally valuable goods or services. In the process, it has muddied the distinction between voluntary and involuntary arrangements." (10/23/14)


Ched Evans and the silencing of debate

by Luke Gittos

"The point about the Evans case is that while it is partly a discussion of redemption and responsibility, it is also a discussion about what should and should not be said when discussing rape. The reason the Evans case is so contested is that rape campaigners think that there shouldn’t really be a debate at all. While speaking about murder or manslaughter is unlikely to get too many people’s backs up, the rape campaigning lobby makes debating the issues around rape a fight in itself. Anyone caught questioning the official narrative can face the outrage of campaigners." (10/23/14)


Krugman on Amazon

by Alberto Mingardi

"Amazon is a shop: a gigantic, beautiful, incredibly developed shop -- but a shop. Shopkeepers retain the right of deciding what should be on the shop's shelves. They make deals with different suppliers, and can thus be convinced in promoting with more energy this rather than that particular brand of a given good. Should the government interfere? Perhaps if we're talking about the only shop in town -- which is something Amazon, no matter how big, definitely is not. Amazon's 'market power' is the result of consumers choosing to buy from Amazon .... Paul Krugman has a different opinion. He acknowledges that 'Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers' but, if 'it has systematically kept prices low,' it was just 'to reinforce its dominance.' Stupid you, world customers, who fall into the trap." (10/22/14)


Cutting foreign aid: Smart and safe

Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton

"Neoconservative (and leading Rand Paul critic) Jennifer Rubin's latest attack on Senator Paul centers on Senator Paul's proposal to end foreign aid. Most of her article is filled with the same old cliches supporters of a constitutional foreign policy are used to hearing: foreign aid is 'small' part of the federal budget (as if that somehow justifies not cutting it), and that cutting foreign aid will somehow weaken our defenses. But this part of her article really struck me ..." (10/22/14)


Andrew Cockburn on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show

"Andrew Cockburn, author of Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, discusses his article 'Flying Blind: The U.S. air-power lobby, botched bombing missions, and bootless combat.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (10/22/14)


Supreme Court shirks responsibility in avoiding Sixth Amendment case

Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro

"Jones, a constitutional criminal procedure case, was the court’s latest big 'decision not to decide.' The issue there was whether a defendant can be sentenced for conduct of which he was acquitted, based on facts that the judge determined. (Read that sentence again; I’m not making this up.)" (10/22/14)


Barack Obama, the veto-less president

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"If the Republicans take over the Senate in this year's election, as now looks likely, one thing seems certain: President Obama will be issuing a lot of vetoes in the next two years. Or maybe not over the whole two years, but certainly at first. With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 2006, there would be an initial spasm of pointless legislating, as they set about to fulfill the promises they've made over the course of Obama's presidency: repealing the Affordable Care Act, slashing environmental protections, cutting taxes, establishing 'the Reagan' as the new currency to replace the dollar, and so on." (10/23/14)


The challenges of defending your child’s mind from propaganda

Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad

"Let's face it, your child’s mind is fertile ground for oligarchs, corrupt politicians and any other thieving member of the so-called 'ruling elite' who aim to enslave the masses both mentally and monetarily. Unfortunately, the propaganda that comes from the government and our largest corporations is perceived as being absolute truth by most people. If you’re like me, at one point in time you had to wake up to it all and accept that you had been completely brainwashed for the first few decades for your life." (10/23/14)


American policing and the coming civil war

Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

"Here is a snapshot of the future: the present vector of violence by the police state will increase and they will start pushing the wrong folks the wrong way or more significantly the tens of thousands of woman and children ravaged by frightened cops will have male relatives who discover a pair and decide to remedy the dishonor visited on their family by the cold institution of restitution of blood. Frein is simply a symptom of a broader future trend." (10/22/14)


The least important election of your lifetime

Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Fred L. Smith, Jr.

"The November midterm elections are around the corner and as usual, the airwaves are filled with frenzied appeals to vote for one candidate or another and reminding us of the unusual importance of this particular election -- the latest 'most important' election in a long list that already includes almost every national election in recent history. Pardon me if I tune it all out. The truth is that this upcoming midterm election, for all of the breathtaking amounts of cash being poured into it, will likely change very little in Washington." (10/22/14)


Robots may spell “Control-Alt-Delete” for workers

by Andy Mukherjee

"Human beings can never run out of work. Adam Smith held that cheery view, and so far he has been proved right. But can the invisible hand match up to the robotic arm? About 47 percent of existing U.S. jobs are at risk from computerisation, according to an Oxford University study published last year. If wage incomes were to disappear in a short time, the results could be cataclysmic for prosperity and peace. From steam engine to the Internet, technological progress has been an expansionary force. Smith’s conviction that workers will benefit from technological change has been a clear winner over the idea that work is finite. Though old jobs have vanished, new and better ones have been created. The massive and rapid rise of robots could challenge this happy state." (10/23/14)


GOP Story Hour

The Cagle Post
by Randall Enos

Cartoon. (10/22/14)


Live like you’re free

Foundation for Economic Education
by Matt Gilliland

"People are, in most ways, freer than they have ever been in the history of the world. Throughout most of history, outright chattel slavery (not just of minorities, but even within ethnic groups) has been commonplace. De facto ownership of wives existed in almost every society until a century ago. Less than a hundred years ago, it was fairly uncommon for most people to travel more than a few dozen miles from their place of birth within their lifetime. And even a decade ago in the 'freest nation in the world,' it was unthinkable outside of a few progressive areas of the country for homosexual couples to hold hands in public." (10/23/14)


For liberty, against medical marijuana

Students For Liberty
by Kelly Kidwell

"If our goal is to end the Drug War, we must legalize all substances, with marijuana leading the way. Legalizing marijuana for medical use does not pave the way for legalization of other drugs. While arguing for medical weed is easy, arguing for medical cocaine or medical heroin is much more difficult. Medical marijuana is a distraction, not a step in the right direction." (10/22/14)


Iowa TV station refuses to run “cuts kill” ad

Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"The country has been subjected to weeks of ebola fear/terror/panic/propaganda going out over the airwaves (and from one network in particular) just in time to drive fear into the election. Now a group has put together an election ad making the case that the country would have less to worry about if we hadn’t been stampeded (also by fear) into austerity budget cuts. ... A new ad has been produced by the Agenda Project Action Fund. It is titled 'Republican Cuts Kill Part II: Joni Ernst Wants to Cut.' The ad makes the case that Republicans forced cuts to the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which reduced the capabilities of these programs to contain a deadly virus like ebola." [editor's note: Since those agencies have been basically inept in most previous "health crises" ... - SAT] (10/232/14)


Northern Ireland does something very stupid about prostitution

Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

"Trafficking and exploitation are already illegal: making voluntary transactions between consenting adults illegal will not make their incidence any less. Far from it, driving currently legal activity underground will produce more of those already illegal activities rather than less. At the grander level this is horribly illiberal: the touchstone of any possible liberal society being that consenting adults, when their activities do not harm any non-consenting people, animals or things, get to do what they want. A society that decides to regulate adult sexual activity is not and cannot be described as liberal. It can be anything from Puritan to authoritarian but liberal it cannot be." (10/23/14)


A matter of princely pull

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith

"Michael Bloomberg, the former dictatorial mayor of New York City, is a billionaire who uses his money as a weapon to limit people's life-choices. Frankly, I think the guy needs some serious couch-time. He has lately singled out the state of Colorado for New York-style gun laws, and has spent millions to accomplish that. The laws were passed, but to his utter chagrin and smoldering fury, the people of Colorado don't want to be disarmed, and have recalled or otherwise rendered inert his three key agents in the legislature who pressed the gun laws. Sixty of our sixty-two county sheriffs have refused to enforce them. Poor little billionaire." (10/19/14)


No Ebola panic despite media hysteria

Heartland Institute
by Alan Caruba

"One man has died of Ebola in the U.S. and he came here from Liberia. Two of the nurses that tended him are in intensive care and likely to survive. A third was thought to be infected, but wasn’t. That news has been sufficient to keep most Americans calm as the media has done its best to exploit Ebola-related news. The public absorbed the facts and came to their own conclusion." (10/23/14)


What will it take to grow GDP? Part 2

Hawaii Reporter
by Tom Yamachika

"Last week we suggested that we look at growing our state’s economic position by concentrating on areas of our economy that we can control, like our tax rates. We examined the business tax climate rating the national Tax Foundation gave our state, and reviewed the areas where Hawaii received good ratings, namely corporate income tax, sales tax, and property taxes. Hawaii really got zinged in the areas of individual income tax and unemployment tax. Perhaps these two areas present the best opportunities to change the perception of our state as, well, something other than tax heaven This week we’ll look at individual income tax where the study placed us at #35." (10/22/14)


This ain’t laissez-faire

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Newsweek calls drug-war violence in Long Island 'a harrowing example of free-market, laissez-faire capitalism.' To this, Cato Institute’s David Boaz objects that 'the competition between the local Crips and Bloods [is described] in terms not usually seen in articles about, say, Apple and Microsoft or Ford and Toyota.' Under a truly free market, the rights of buyers and sellers to peaceably trade are legally protected from theft and violence, and their contracts defended from fraud. Black markets, on the other hand, are made up of illegal exchanges, actively prohibited trade." (10/23/14)


But if it saves just one life!

The Zelman Partisans
by Sheila Stokes-Begley

"How many times have we heard the plaintive cry from the anti-gun crowd? More gun/people control is needed to save just one life. You can tell how much life matters to the anti-gun crowd when the call for 'SWATing' of innocent open carry citizens is suggested and celebrated. Even when it results in the death of two innocent people. One of who died of a heart attack after watching another innocent man be gunned down by the police. And Mommies Demanding Atrocities celebrated their death. Yep, if it saves just one life. Whine on. And people take Mommies Demanding Atrocities seriously. SERIOUSLY? Why?" (10/23/14)


The feds are dangerous but they can be stopped

Tenth Amendment Center

Video. [Flash video] (10/22/14)


Is Obama stalling until Republicans can bury the CIA torture report?

The Intercept
by Dan Froomkin

"Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee sent a 480-page executive summary of its extensive report on the CIA’s abuse of detainees to the White House for declassification more than six months ago. In August, the White House, working closely with the CIA, sent back redactions that Feinstein and other Senate Democrats said rendered the summary unintelligible and unsupported. Since then, the wrangling has continued behind closed doors, with projected release dates repeatedly falling by the wayside. ... Human-rights lawyer Scott Horton, who interviewed a wide range of intelligence and administration officials for his upcoming book, 'Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Foreign Policy,' told The Intercept that the White House and the CIA are hoping a Republican Senate will, in their words, 'put an end to this nonsense.'" (10/23/14)


Why pro-war pundits are always wrong

by Charles Davis

"There is no shortage of men and women -- but mostly men, typically white -- willing to write 800- to 1,000-word editorials on the need for Decisive Action or Continued Resolve in Whereverthehellistan. Some of these people are historians, some are journalists, but all have attained material success in the field of arguing about war without ever once having to go through the trouble of being right. It is a full-time profession where it undeniably pays to be wrong and speak to power only what power wants to hear, with American advocates of mass killing from El Salvador to Iraq some of the last in their homeland to earn a living wage. Damning the individuals is good, wholesome fun, but the problem is the systemic reward." (10/23/14)


The antimilitarist libertarian tradition

Future of Freedom Foundation/

"FFF vice-president Sheldon Richman’s monthly webinar at" [Flash video] (10/23/14)


Bipartisan corporate welfare

Cato Institute
by Michael D. Tanner

"The conventional wisdom says that corporate welfare is the exclusive province of Republicans, always eager to do the bidding of their corporate donors. And, indeed, there are far too many examples of Republicans confusing 'free markets' with 'good for business.' Still, there are more than enough examples to show that corporate welfare is a bipartisan sin." (10/22/14)


How Paul Krugman learned to stop worrying and love income inequality

Center for a Stateless Society
by Joel Schlosberg and Thomas L. Knapp

"Amazon's existence lowers book prices for readers in multifarious ways, from selection competition to electronic editions to its online marketplace for used copies. Yet Amazon has simultaneously diminished the cost for anyone to publish and sell books and earn money. By offering an alternative to the genuine near-monopoly of capital-intensive big publishers, Amazon distributes those lower prices and that new revenue more evenly among readers and authors. Hachette and Krugman know they can’t turn back the clock that produced Amazon’s burgeoning marketplaces, preferring to benefit from them, but are convinced Amazon owes them a walled garden, sparing them price competition with the rabble. They want Amazon to preserve their income inequality at the expense of its customers." (10/22/14)


Review: Hoppe’s “Immigration and Libertarianism”

Bad Quaker Dot Com

"Ben Stone reviews the article 'Immigration And Libertarianism' by Hans-Hermann Hoppe." [Flash audio or MP3] (10/21/14)


Obama still does a good imitation of Bush

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

"We really should be used to this by now. After almost six years in office, President Obama is far more like George W. Bush in national-security matters than he led the American people to believe." (10/22/14)


Hollow justice and courts of order in an age of government-sanctioned tyranny
by John W. Whitehead

"Justice in America makes less sense with each passing day. A Michigan couple that has been raising chickens in their backyard as a source of healthy food for their family could get up to 90 days in jail for violating a local ban on backyard hens. A Kentucky prison guard who was charged with 25 counts of sexual abuse against female inmates, trafficking controlled substances, and 50 counts of official misconduct walks away with no jail time and seven years’ probation. A 53-year-old Virginia man is facing 20 years in jail for kidnapping, despite the fact that key evidence shows him to be innocent and his accuser a liar, yet the courts claim they’re unable to do anything about it. Meanwhile, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent refusal to hear the case of Jones v. U.S.,judges can now punish individuals for crimes of which they may never have been convicted or even charged." (10/23/14)


Saunders’s one-stop election shop

San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"Jerry Brown's going to win his second bid for re-election -- and that's OK. Given the state's blueness, Dao Gov is probably the best governor the state can get. Still, it's not a bad idea to send Brown a message that voters don't want him to turn too far to the left by voting for Republican Neel Kashkari. Below I include a column on the one debate between Brown and Kashkari, and a column about Brown's sense of loyalty, such as it is." [editor's note: Some of this is just conservative GOPism, but Ms. Saunders deserves a hearing for the bulk of her pro-liberty work (and there are no libertarians in the mix now anyway, thanks to the "top two" law!) - SAT] (10/22/14)


Robul Hoque: Sentenced for a thought crime

by Rossa Minogue

"Until this week, Amazon's decision to put racism warnings on old episodes of Tom and Jerry looked like it would be the frontrunner for the most absurd cartoon-related overreaction of the year. Not anymore. That position has been stolen by the UK courts' decision to give a nine-month suspended prison sentence to Robul Hoque, a 39-year-old man from Middlesbrough, for possession of Japanese-style manga images and anime cartoons." (10/22/14)


Obama learning LBJ lesson: Guns or butter, not both

by Robert Dallek

"President Barack Obama has lost his hold on a majority of Americans, according to recent polls. Though more than two years remain in his term, the popular appeal that propelled him to win the 2008 and 2012 elections may be beyond recovery. It is sadly reminiscent of what President Lyndon B. Johnson experienced in the mid-1960s after winning the 1964 presidential election by one of the largest landslides in U.S. history. This is not to suggest that history is repeating itself. There are too many differences between Johnson and Obama (both the men and their presidencies) to argue that. Yet, as Mark Twain said, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." [editor's note: Despite the fawning over both tyrants, and the atrocities they perpetrated, this is a fairly good analysis of their similarities - SAT] (10/22/14)


Why liberals love (and trust) NPR

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"The Pew Research Center has one of its ginormous studies out today, this one about polarization and media use, and as usual it's full of interesting stuff. I want to make a point about news in general and NPR in particular, and then after that, for those who care about these things, I have a methodological point to make about how we measure ideology. One of the distinct things about the Pew results is that conservatives love, love, love Fox News, while no single news outlet has the same kind of near-universal use among liberals. ... But the really interesting difference emerges when they ask which sources people trust" [editor's note: I wake up to NPR, catch up on it while driving, and avoid ALL TV news (except Stewart & Colbert, for chuckles) - SAT] (10/22/14)


Let’s get back to robbing Peter: The welfare state and demographic decline

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Dylan Pahman

"Convincing NGOs that their Malthusian policies are doing more harm than good may be difficult enough. Convincing the young, educated, and heavily in debt in developed countries that they need to have more children to pay for benefits that we may not be able to afford when they need them is harder still. It has become increasingly more difficult to convince them even to get married. In light of this, some would blame Millennials, and perhaps that is not always unmerited. But such sentiment could just as easily be seen as blaming the victims. Devalued educations, high debt, and high underemployment make up the inheritance they have received. A bit of pessimism about their future prospects is understandable." (10/22/14)


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