Today's Edition


Egypt: Parliamentary polls delayed after court ruling

The Daily Mail [UK]

"Egypt's electoral commission said Sunday it is preparing a new timetable for parliamentary polls, delaying the March 21 vote after a court ruled parts of the election law unconstitutional. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered that the law be redrafted within a month and asked that 'legal measures be undertaken to avoid delaying' the election, his office said. The constitutional court ruled that sections of the law on the division of electoral districts were unconstitutional." (03/01/15)


Obama would veto bill to give Congress say on Iran deal

The Guardian

"Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the US and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday. ... The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would require the submission to Congress the text of any agreement within five days of concluding a final deal with Iran. The bill would also prohibit Obama from suspending or waiving sanctions on Iran passed by Congress for 60 days after a deal." (02/28/15)


FCC gang votes 3-2 to seize control of Internet

Washington Post

"The Federal Communications Commission approved strict new rules for Internet providers Thursday in a historic vote that represents the government's most aggressive attempt to make sure the Web remains a level playing field [sic]. The rules would dramatically expand the agency's oversight of the country's high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. They were adopted by a 3-to-2 margin with only the commission's Republican members voting against them." [editor's note: This is a declaration of war on freedom of speech. It's them or us - TLK] (02/26/15)


Bangladesh: Atheist US blogger hacked to death

Yahoo! News

"Machete-wielding assailants hacked to death a blogger in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers who support free thinking values in the Muslim-majority nation. ... Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, and his wife and fellow blogger, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked on Thursday while returning from a book fair. Ahmed was seriously injured. Police retrieved two machetes from the site, but have not yet identified any suspects. They said they were investigating the involvement of Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamist extremist group based in Bangladesh that claimed responsibility on Friday for the murder." (02/27/15)


Investigators find 32,000 emails in IRS probe

Danville Register & Bee

"Investigators say they have recovered 32,000 emails related to a former IRS official at the heart of the agency's tea party scandal. But they don't know if any of them are new. The emails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. Last June, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner's emails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011." (02/26/15)


US Senate panel greenlights Lynch for Attorney General

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Loretta Lynch won approval from a key Senate committee Thursday to serve as the nation's next attorney general, as divided Republicans clashed over her support for President Barack Obama's immigration policies. The 12 to 8 vote in the Judiciary Committee sent Lynch's nomination to the full Senate. Three Republicans joined all committee Democrats in voting 'yes.'" (02/26/15)


Turkey: Former police chief detained over journalist’s killing

Idaho Press-Tribune

"Turkey's state-run news agency says a former police intelligence chief has been detained as part of an investigation into negligence by officials in the 2007 murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist. Anadolu Agency says Ramazan Akyurek was detained Thursday in Ankara for the death of Hrant Dink." (02/26/15)


Germany: Parliament votes to extend Greek bailout

RTE News [Ireland]

"The German parliament has voted to extend the Greek bailout for another four months. A total of 542 members of the Bundestag voted in favour of the proposal with 32 against and 13 abstentions. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble earlier urged his country's politicians to approve the bailout extension, saying it was no easy decision but necessary." (02/27/15)


Spain: Government to deport 34 members of violent street gangs

Idaho Press-Tribune

"Spain says it plans to deport 34 top members of violent Latin American street gangs operating in the Spanish capital. The Interior Ministry delegate for Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, said the expulsions aim to prevent gangs like the Netas or the Latin Kings from getting a foothold in the city. In a statement, Cifuentes said the 34 belong to five gangs. Details of their nationalities were not available." (02/26/15)


VA: Legislature agrees to compensate victims of forced, state-sponsored sterilizations

Greenfield Daily Reporter

"Lewis Reynolds didn't understand what had been done to him when he was 13. Years later, after getting married, the Lynchburg man discovered he couldn't father children. The reason: He had been sterilized by the state. Reynolds was among more than 7,000 Virginians involuntarily sterilized between 1924 and 1979 under the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act. Advocates for the surviving victims won a three-year fight Thursday when the Virginia General Assembly budgeted $400,000 to compensate them at the rate of $25,000 each." (02/26/15)


UK: Leaked document reveals attempt to recruit North Korean spy

Knoxville Times

"British spy agency MI6 wanted to recruit a North Korean asset with the help of South Africa to collect top-secret information on the secretive communist country's nuclear programme, according to a series of leaked diplomatic cables. The spy agency offered a potential asset a 'long term clandestine relationship in return for payment' but never heard back from him after a first meeting to discuss the possibility of working for MI6 also known as Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)." (02/26/15)


Report: Stone Age Britons imported wheat

Raw Story

"Stone Age Britons imported wheat about 8,000 years ago in a surprising sign of sophistication for primitive hunter-gatherers long viewed as isolated from European agriculture, a study showed on Thursday. British scientists found traces of wheat DNA in a Stone Age site off the south coast of England near the Isle of Wight, giving an unexpected sign of contact between ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers who eventually replaced them. The wheat DNA was dated to 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years before Stone Age people in mainland Britain started growing cereals and 400 years before farming reached what is now northern Germany or France, they wrote in the journal Science." (02/26/15)


Canada: Court upholds requiring oath to Queen for citizenship

BBC News [UK state media]

"Canada's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to remove the country's citizenship oath, which requires applicants to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. The appeal was launched by three permanent residents who wanted to obtain citizenship but not want to pledge allegiance to the royal family. Native-born Canadians do not have to take any oath. The plaintiffs say the vow violates religious and conscientious beliefs. " (02/26/15)


Germany: Lesson from neo-Nazi battles in fighting homegrown jihadis

Christian Science Monitor

"This summer, Thomas Mücke managed a coup: he dissuaded a young German from joining the Islamic State. The teenager, a Kurd whose family is originally from Turkey but now living in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, had landed in prison after committing a petty crime. Angry, confined, and looking to lash out, he 'had pretty much given up with life and was ready to pack his bag' for Syria, Mr. Mücke says. But Mücke, a street worker and head of the Berlin-based Violence Prevention Network (VPN) in Berlin, challenged the aspiring jihadi. Did he know that Islamic State fought against Kurds? No, the boy didn’t. In fact, he had no idea about his religion. It was a prison inmate that gave him the idea to go to Syria." (02/26/15)


Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

San Francisco Chronicle

"Nearly six years after the Great Recession, a clear majority of American families say they feel unprepared for a financial emergency. The Pew Charitable Trusts' poll of 7,000 U.S. households finds that 57 percent don't consider themselves ready for a sudden financial setback, 55 percent say they break even or spend more than they make each month, and a third have no savings. 'Despite a steady economic recovery, many Americans continue to feel vulnerable,' says Erin Currier, director of Pew's financial security and mobility project." (02/26/15)


Ukraine begins artillery withdrawal, recognizing truce is holding


"Ukrainian troops towed artillery away from the front line in [Donetsk People's Republic] on Thursday, a move that amounted to recognizing that a ceasefire meant to take effect on Feb. 15 was holding at last. The military showed reporters seven or eight guns being towed away from the front at the village of Paraskoviyvka north of the [invaders'] stronghold of Artemivsk. Earlier, Reuters journalists saw a larger convoy of 30-40 vehicles also towing guns away from the front on a highway." (02/26/15)


Farmers eye drones as key to future of agriculture

Fox News

"The drone could be ready to take its place alongside the tractor and combine harvester, as the next indispensable piece of farming equipment. The Federal Aviation Administration recently released new rules governing the use of drones, and farmers, who see drones as a way to get a birds-eye view of their fields and monitor crops, to precisely deliver fertilizer and pesticides were watching carefully. Commercial use of drones is still widely banned in the U.S., but many farmers are using them over their property anyway, daring federal regulators to put a stop to it. An eye in the sky can help a farmer know what his or her crops need, and what might be afflicting them." (02/26/15)


MO: State Auditor Thomas Schweich dead in apparent suicide


"Thomas Schweich, the 54-year-old state auditor who'd just won a second term while running unopposed in 2014, was pronounced deceased from a single gunshot wound, possibly self-infliction, according to a Clayton Police Department press release. Detectives are conducting an investigation and an autopsy is pending, authorities said. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Schweich's wife, who was in another room, heard him making phone calls -- and then a gunshot. It happened just hours after Schweich had requested interviews with the Post-Dispatch and The Associated Press at his home." (02/26/15)


Nigeria: Explosions kill at least 34

San Francisco Chronicle

"Explosions in Nigeria's north central city of Jos and the northeastern town of Biu over the past two days have killed at least 34 people, witnesses said Thursday. Residents say at least 15 people were killed in two bomb explosions at a bus station and motor park in the city of Jos. ... Another resident Mark Lipdo told AP the first explosion went off at a bus stop near a university. The second bomb detonated near a motor park, he said. On Wednesday, a suicide bombing in the northeast Nigerian town of Biu killed about 19 people and injured 17." (02/26/15)


Astronaut safe after helmet leak on NASA spacewalk

Christian Science Monitor

"Expedition 42 Commander Barry 'Butch' Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts successfully completed the second of three planned spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) today, but another helmet leak has caused concern. ... During repressurization Virts' helmet developed a minor leak with some water detected. It brought back memories of astronaut Luca Parmitano, whose helmet frighteningly filled with water, nearly drowning him, during a spacewalk which had to be cut short, back in July 2013." (02/26/15)



Contracts for contracts (for contracts)

Strict Liberalism
by Rocco

"Men will not keep their contracts in the absence of government; they will cheat and rob one another. So men establish government to play its 'crucial' role. But there is no contract between government and the people which would force the government to do this; and even if there were one, who would enforce it? If contracts must be enforced by a government, we would need a meta-government to enforce the one between government and the people. And a meta-meta-government to enforce the one between the meta-government and the government and the people. And a meta-meta-meta-government ..." (02/27/15)


Free Talk Live, 02/28/15

Free Talk Live

"Domestic Black Site Disappearing People :: Bad Apples Rising to the Top :: More On Homan Square, Black Site :: Dodging Traffic Ticket :: Muslim Day in Oklahoma :: Sharia Law :: Libertarians Supporting Muslims :: The Parasitic State :: Net Neutrality :: Circumcision :: Eesolution Vs Bill :: Drunk Guy :: Internet Incentives :: Protesting the Black Site :: EFF Changing Tune on Net Neutrality? :: Black Site Beatings." [Flash audio or MP3] (02/28/15)


Not everyone at Emory got Salman Rushdie’s important message about free speech

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Susan Kruth

"Acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie spoke to students at Emory University last week about what it means to defend freedom of speech and why students must vigilantly do so. Though his plea was well-argued and powerful, it didn't reach all Emory community members -- particularly not whoever destroyed a display set up by student group Emory Students for Justice in Palestine (ESJP) Sunday night and Monday morning." (02/26/15)


Defense firms expect increased spending from Republicans as Republicans decry increased spending

The Intercept
by Lee Fang

"Despite campaign rhetoric promising a smaller government, defense contractors are confident that the new Republican congressional majority will boost spending on their industry. ... For voters promised a leaner federal budget, certain areas, such as food stamps, are already in the crosshairs of legislators. But for the nation's cyberspying companies and military contractors, 'some measure of relief,' is on the way. That's how George Pedersen, the chief executive of ManTech International Corp., a defense contractor that works closely with the National Security Agency, described the expected boost in military spending during a call with investors last week." (02/27/15)


Freedom Feens, 02/28/15

Freedom Feens

"Ben Stone the Bad Quaker and Michael W. Dean drop Part Nine in their 36-part series, 'Adopting and Adapting the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service of Alcoholics Anonymous to treating the disease of Statism, the disease of clinging to bad ideas, and the disease of clinging to bad people.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (02/28/15)


You can’t judge a film by its title

Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

"You might expect a film about organized crime and bearing the title A Most Violent Year to be filled with bloody, sadistic mayhem, a la Martin Scorsese's The Departed. You would be wrong, however, as I was. Yes, there is violence in this story about a heating oil supplier who wants to run his business without paying for protection, without acknowledging mob-determined territorial monopolies, and without engaging in corruption. But it's a believable kind of violence, without guns blazing, cars crashing, and hands being smashed by hammers -- the kind that is more likely to exist in real life when an honest businessman tries to compete with a dishonest cartel." (02/28/15)


Net Neutrality

The Cagle Post
by Rick McKee

Cartoon. (02/26/15)


ISIS and the national security scam

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"[T]hink of the British colonists living in America in 1776. They didn't think too much of empires either, including the British Empire, which they were living under as British citizens when they decided rid the New World of the British Empire. Not surprisingly, their government considered them to be terrorists because they were killing British troops with the aim of ousting the British Empire from America. So, that's what the fight with ISIS is all about: It's not over whether Muslims or the Koran are good or bad, but rather over the 'authority' of the U.S. Empire to bring death and destruction to Middle East countries in the name of bringing them 'freedom' versus those in the Middle East who say: Stop your death and destruction and get out of our part of the world and go home." (02/27/15)


A suicide in Brooklyn

William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

"Maraschino cherry mogul Arthur Mondella put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger on February 24. He was 57. New York City's medical examiners will no doubt rule his death a suicide. But Mondella was really the latest victim of a multi-billion dollar industry: Drug prohibition. ... Mondella ran a second business behind the scenes. As with his cherry business, he provided a desired product to willing customers, leaving both parties better off than before the exchange. Unfortunately for him, that second business ran afoul of a set of evil laws maintained well past their 'okay, that didn't work' dates for the purpose of keeping government bureaucrats and 'non-profit' executives employed." (02/26/15)


What is social justice?

The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy

"It is increasingly difficult to read news stories or listen to broadcasts without encountering the term 'social justice.' But what does it mean? The term's definition is fluid but it generally refers to the forced distribution of 'privileges' across society with an emphasis on providing wealth and opportunity to classes of people who are considered to be disadvantaged. The institutions of society, from government to private business, are tasked with providing equal access to such benefits of life as health care. The individuals of society are judged and granted benefits based on their income, the color of their skin, their gender or other factors by which they are defined into a category of 'advantaged' or 'disadvantaged.'" (02/26/15)


FCC Nazis

by Timothy J Taylor

"Do you think that George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America's founders ever imagined for a second that the Congress and the President of the United States they created with our Constitution would someday begin to delegate their important legislative powers to obscure government agencies, boards, commissions and other bureaucratic entities substantially beyond accountability to the American people? Not for a second did any of them ever imagine such a government nightmare. Yet today by far most of the nation’s laws, rules and regulations are promulgated and decreed by fiat from the whims of legions of faceless unelected bureaucrats who have virtual dictatorial powers over our everyday lives." (02/27/15)


Citizenfour is a real life “John Galt”

J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J Neil Schulman

"What makes Edward Snowden come across as a fictional character is that he as an individual -- with no institutional backing -- took unilateral action with global consequences and justifed his actions on moral grounds. In real life when this happens it's usually a terrorist -- a bomber, assassin, or violent psychopath -- pitting his moral claims against a society he sees as wrong. But Edward Snowden is not a nut job, rather a sane and reasonable man who found himself with an unique opportunity to act against grand institutional criminality that he saw could not be corrected within an existing institutional framework. That makes Edward Snowden the rarest of real-life characters: a noble and effective revolutionary." (02/26/15)


Gitmo comes to Chicago
by Lucy Steigerwald

"The place is called Homan Square. Reportedly, lawyers are not allowed, and arrests are basically off books, meaning suspects disappear into a blackhole of bureaucracy for however long they're held. If you can't find your client, but they were taken away by police, that's where they are likely to be. Suspects are denied lawyers for 12-24 hours. Kids as young as 15 have been taken there. One death has been reported, and numerous beatings. Ackerman relates the story of a NATO protester who was shackled for 17 hours, and not permitted to call a lawyer. Other attorneys claim similar stories of lost clients, and being barred from seeing them at Homan Square. MRAPs are reportedly parked outside the building. This sounds terrifying -- especially paired with, say, the Chicago police commander who tortured 100 suspects, and got away with it for decades, before finally serving four years in prison. But is this unique?" (02/26/15)


The libertarian [sic] delusion

The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

"The stubborn appeal of the libertarian idea persists, despite mountains of evidence that the free market is neither efficient, nor fair, nor free from periodic catastrophe. In an Adam Smith world, the interplay of supply and demand yields a price that signals producers what to make and investors where to put their capital. The more that government interferes with this sublime discipline, the more bureaucrats deflect the market from its true path. But in the world where we actually live, markets do not produce the 'right' price. There are many small examples of this failure, but also three immense ones that should have discredited the libertarian [sic] premise by now." [editor's note: I added the [sic]s since this writer has basically NO clue what that word means - SAT] (02/26/15)


On attacking ISIS

Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Kevin Vallier

"Libertarians are rightly skeptical of military interventions. A simple reason is that military interventions tend to do more harm than good. This simple reason was enough to justify opposition to the war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was horrible, but the prospects of instability and civil war were always high. And, indeed, intervention in Iraq did more harm than good. At least one hundred thousand Iraqis are dead, and the government that replaced Saddam is unstable and fractious, unable to maintain basic territorial integrity in certain areas. And now ISIS runs much of Iraq. So when people suggest military intervention against ISIS, we have good reason to be skeptical. But I think we have less reason than usual." (02/26/15)


Screwed by seniors

by Veronique de Rugy

"Remember Occupy Wall Street, when thousands across the country took to the streets, sleeping in tents to protest the ultra-rich 1 percent? The occupiers' frustration was real, but their ire was misdirected. They should have launched an Occupy the AARP movement instead. Government policies that transfer cash from the relatively young and poor to the relatively old and wealthy are the real scandal." (for publication 03/15)


Emanuel’s corrupt governance has finally caught up with him

In These Times
by Rick Perlstein

"On Tuesday, Chicagoans voted themselves a reprieve. With 45.4 percent of the vote, Mayor Rahm Emanuel ended the first round of his first reelection bid almost five points below what he needed to avoid a runoff election in April -- and three points below his performance in the last major pre-election poll. 'Mayor 1%' will face second-place finisher Jesus 'Chuy' García, the soft-spoken, compassionate Cook County board member who proclaimed himself with a Chicagoan lilt the 'neighborhood guy' -- who over-performed the poll." (02/25/15)


The national security state’s ISIS racket

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"The official enemy de jour that has everyone all riled up and scared is ISIS. If U.S. forces don't bomb ISIS, the argument goes, ISIS will take over Iraq, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Europe, and Asia, and Latin America, and then the United States. If the bombs don't fall on ISIS, before long Americans will be speaking Arabic and their children will be studying the Koran in America's government schools. It's all just one great big racket -- a racket based on 'national security,' a term that isn't even found in the Constitution and that doesn't even have an objective meaning." (02/26/15)


Why does the FBI have to manufacture its own plots if terrorism and ISIS are such grave threats?

The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald

"The FBI and major media outlets yesterday trumpeted the agency's latest counterterrorism triumph: the arrest of three Brooklyn men, ages 19 to 30, on charges of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS (photo of joint FBI/NYPD press conference, above). As my colleague Murtaza Hussain ably documents, 'it appears that none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant.' One of the frightening terrorist villains told the FBI informant that, beyond having no money, he had encountered a significant problem in following through on the FBI's plot: his mom had taken away his passport. Noting the bizarre and unhinged ranting of one of the suspects, Hussain noted on Twitter that this case 'sounds like another victory for the FBI over the mentally ill.' In this regard, this latest arrest appears to be quite similar to the overwhelming majority of terrorism arrests the FBI has proudly touted over the last decade." (02/26/15)


Freedom Feens, 02/26/15

Freedom Feens

"Davi Barker and Michael W. Dean have a laid-back yet spirited show about Libertarians Against Humanity, and hacking 'MUH ROADS!'" [Flash audio or MP3] (02/26/15)


The great LA gambit

Show-Me Institute
by Michael Rathbone

"The battle for the L.A. market is joined! According to NBCSanDiego, the Chargers are working with the Oakland Raiders. Their goal: a new stadium in the L.A. area (Carson, California, to be precise). Of course, their home cities can talk them out of it, for the right price. It's not shocking that teams other than the Rams might want to move to Los Angeles. L.A. is the country's second largest media market, and with that comes a lot of TV money. However, still color me skeptical about the whole thing. I think (and I'm not alone) this is more of a ruse for the Chargers and the Raiders to extract sweetheart stadium deals from their home cities." (02/26/15)


Herd immunity to violence

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"There may be more than one reason why gun violence has plummeted over the past two decades. But one must be this: as Americans have accumulated more guns per capita than ever before, as more households possess guns than ever, the 'celerity of punishment' (that old Benthamite term for swiftness of bad repercussions) has increased, nudging the marginally criminal to choose to commit fewer violent crimes. Making society safer. ... It's herd immunity, only to violence." (02/26/15)


Fast Track explained in seven words

Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"All the talk about 'trade' deals might seem complicated, with all the 'TPP' and 'TPA' and 'FTA' and 'TTIP' floating around. It doesn’t have to be difficult, though. ... TPP is the largest 'trade' deal in history. It is being negotiated in secret. It is immense, complex and written in international legalese. But fast track means Congress has to pass it within 90 days of the public seeing it for the first time. This is not enough time to read it, understand it, analyze all the pieces of it, consider all of the ramifications and explain all of that to people." (02/26/15)


Thoughts on left libertarianism

Libertarian Alliance
by Paul Marks

[editor's note: This piece is too poorly written to excerpt/quote for meaning. Indeed, the word "thoughts" in the title seems to be some kind of joke. It's fractally incoherent, i.e. any particular part of it is as precisely incoherent as the piece as a whole. But let it never be said that I deny opponents of "left-libertarianism" (also known as "libertarianism") a soapbox. Their inability to use it well is their problem - TLK] (02/26/15)


Spanking is always unnecessary, part 3: Hurting themselves or others

Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

"It might seem logical to cause a child pain in order to teach him what pain feels like, so that he'll refrain from hurting himself or others. Unfortunately, when a caretaker intentionally hurts his child, he's doing far more than teaching him what pain feels like, as well as ignoring the alternatives to teaching him to be safe and to keep his hands to himself. I'll explore both scenarios to see why spanking is unnecessary." (02/26/15)


Grievance school

National Review
by Steven F Hayward

"The silliest campus incidents usually don't originate from faculty in traditional or science-based fields. Instead, they come disproportionately from explicitly politicized 'studies' disciplines, activist-oriented 'centers,' or disciplines with less rigorous intellectual content, such as creative writing and communications. (The most recent example of this is the professor of communications at the University of Michigan who wrote the now-famous 'It's OK to Hate Republicans' article for In These Times.) Boulder has a women-and-gender-studies program that proudly advertised its rough equivalent of Ward Churchill, an 'activist-in-residence' who is a community organizer without academic credentials of any kind." (02/26/15)


Should Dems demand Debbie Wasserman Schultz step down?

The New Republic
by Danny Vinik

"Even if you were only casually following the news last week, you probably heard about Rudy Giuliani saying that President Barack Obama is not a patriot and doesn't love his country. You probably also heard about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sidestepping a question about Obama's religion. But you may have missed a report that Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, allegedly offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a key donor retracted critical comments about her." (02/25/15)


The NSA escapes scrutiny

The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

"With Republicans now ruling Congress, any momentum for surveillance state reform has been lost." (02/26/15)


The Net Neutrality scam

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken

"Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn't exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don't interfere with people's access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask: Who is being denied access to the web?" (02/26/15)


What terrorists are really angry about

Cato Institute
by John Mueller

"We will not know for some time exactly why three men who were arrested on Wednesday in the United States wanted to join ISIS in Syria. But what we do know is that it has become common, even routine, to argue that there exists a process by which potential terrorists become 'radicalized.' The concept, which has become something of a buzzword, suggests that the central motivation for terrorist violence is ideological. However, Islamist terrorists in the West have generally been set off not so much by anything theoretical but rather by intense outrage at American and Israeli actions in the Middle East and by a burning desire to seek revenge, to get back, to defend, and/or to make a violent statement expressing their hostility to what they see as a war on Islam." (02/26/15)


What you should know about Walmart’s raise

The Nation
by Michelle Chen

"Remember when Walmart got panned for running a Thanksgiving food drive for its own employees -- overlooking the irony of demonstrating noblesse oblige by asking customers to subsidize the workers the company itself impoverished? The retail giant took a more strategic approach last week when rolling out its latest do-gooder scheme: raising its base wage incrementally to $10 an hour. The move was widely praised even by labor groups -- for lifting wages slightly closer to ... well, what it should have been paying workers all along." [editor's note: She has a piece of this story right at least - SAT] (02/25/15)


Imprisoning immigrants: What the ACLU’s doing about it

by Bryan Caplan

"It's easy to believe that private prisons are part of the problem. The government is the customer, and one of the main services the government is buying is (im)plausible deniability. If government prisons abuse immigrants, government officials might get in trouble. If companies hired by the government abuse immigrants, government officials can feign shock, cancel the contract, hire a different company, and resume oppression as usual. Farcical, but it works. In any case, though, poor prison conditions are not the fundamental problem. The abuse that overshadows all others is imprisonment for breaking unjust laws. Preventing foreigners from coming here to better their lives through honest toil is wrong." (02/26/15)


Jordan Smith on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show

"Jordan Smith, an award-winning investigative journalist with The Intercept, discusses Rodney Reed's stay of execution in Texas as evidence of his innocence mounts -- even though the state is still eager to kill him." [Flash audio or MP3] (02/25/15)


Is ISIS going to invade Europe from Libya?

by Henry Williams

"In a nutshell, no. So stop the scaremongering." (02/26/15)


The national health IT czar does not need a big budget hike

National Center for Policy Analysis
by John R Graham

"One overlooked 'ask' in the President's 2015 budget was a 25 percent hike in the budget of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC). Admittedly, it is a small amount of money, $75 million. Nevertheless, it is a 25 percent hike in a budget that should be reduced." (02/25/15)


Political science, part 5: Net Neutrality

Liberale et Libertaire
by dL

"Heuristically, there is no such thing as 'net neutrality' ... there hasn't been since the 1988 Morris Worm. Without heuristic filtering by the tiered network providers, the public internet would be practically unusable. It would certainly be unreliable. The Administrative State implementation of 'net neutrality' presages the end of civilian control of the internet, the fossilization of corporate monopoly over the 'last mile' and the formalization of a surveillance regime against 'unauthorized traffic' (read: IP). The Administrative State enforcement of a 'public network' will invite the same censorship that the government imposes over that other decreed thing: 'the public airwaves,' even though that thing doesn't even really exist anymore." (02/26/15)


What if the government fears freedom?
by Andrew P Napolitano

"What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn't like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?" (02/26/15)


A riot broke out and no one was surprised

Center for a Stateless Society
by Ryan Calhoun

"Many liberal reformists object to rioting as a legitimate tactic of effecting positive change. They cite, as all anti-revolutionaries do, crackdowns on prison life and the possible negative response of outsiders. However, prison riots have historically proven a very useful tool in achieving the demands of malcontent prisoners or at least giving voice to the voiceless." (02/26/15)


The god of the machine

The Price of Liberty
by Bradley Harrington

"Most of the time, in discussions of political issues, I pick up little more than the same pre-conceived platitudes one can find in any public school classroom. Once in a great while, however, I hear something that jars me right down to the soles of my boots. 'Brad, we need to talk,' William 'Ben' Bennett phoned me the other day. Ben and his wife, Kim, own the Korean House Restaurant on the southeast corner of Snyder Avenue and Pershing Boulevard, and I've known and respected them for years. So, I paid Ben a visit. 'What's up?' I asked. He pushed a bright orange piece of paper across the table at me. 'That came in the mail a couple of days ago,' he said. An invoice from the Health Dept: 'Routine Inspection, $90.00; Late Fee, $25.00; Total Due, $115.00.'" (02/26/15)


Who do you trust?

Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap

"One of the great frustrations for those who are paying attention is family and friends who don't. I realize THE RULERS have the glitzy media on their team and the smoothest liars money can buy as spokesmen, but for goodness sakes, we have family, friends and community. How can they compete? Ah yes, bread and circuses. Crap! Their bread may be GMO, HFC garbage, but the taste buds don't seem to notice while the circus plays on and watered-down beer flows. How can the victims not see it?" (02/25/15)


A pretext for cyber COINTELPRO?

by Eric Draitser

"In its ever expanding war against Syria, now under the broader pretext of 'fighting ISIS,' the US Government has employed a variety of tactics. From arming terrorists whom it dishonestly labels 'moderates,' to encouraging Turkey and Jordan to host jihadi training centers, to the CIA working with the Muslim Brotherhood to funnel weapons and fighters into Syria, the US and its allies have demonstrated the multi-faceted approach they're taking to fighting ISIS, extremism, and the Syrian Government. The war, once believed to be relegated solely to Syria and Iraq, has now been broadened to a regional, and indeed, a global war with no geographical boundaries or time limits. And now, the Obama administration has announced that its war will also be waged in cyberspace. " (02/26/15)


Uniting constitutional protection for economic and social liberties, part 1: Substantive due process and unenumerated rights

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Steven Horwitz

"We libertarians like to distinguish ourselves from our friends on the Right and Left by the fact that we care equally about both economic liberties and social/civil liberties. For libertarians the right to engage in contract and exchange with other consenting adults is just as important as the right to engage in speech and sex with other consenting adults. Other civil liberties, such as the right to bear arms or to buy, sell, and ingest various chemical substances are outgrowths of the rights to contract and the right to engage in 'anything that's peaceful' (i.e., that does not cause harm to innocent others). Libertarians see economic and civil liberties as inextricably entwined in just that freedom to engage in anything that's peaceful. Yet these two types of liberties are not only separated in the political philosophies of contemporary liberals and conservatives, they are deeply bifurcated in the way that the Supreme Court has come to think about the constitutional status of those rights." (02/26/15)


Heartland Daily Podcast, 02/25/15

Heartland Institute

"Heather Kays speaks with Associate Director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, Neal Mccluskey, about a recent Cato forum which focused on limited political ideologies presented in U.S. Colleges. Their conversation questions if and how academic centers can introduce additional perspectives to academia." [Flash video] (02/25/15)


Net Neutrality is the end of free speech

Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"[Fight For The Future] thinks that putting politicians in charge of the Internet will save it from the big corporations. What they clearly don't understand is that the politicians and the corporatists are members of the same gang of criminals. They want to control everything for their mutual benefit, not for the benefit of 'the people.' In this case the Internet isn't even broken and yet ill-informed do-gooders want to hand it over to unelected bureaucrats who will control it under laws written by the very corporate lobbyists that the FFTF thinks it is saving everyone from." (02/25/15)


Social conservatives are the worst thing to happen to libertarianism

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

"Ron Paul provided libertarians a potential political strategy. The idea was simple, overwhelm the Republican Party with libertarians and use it to spread libertarian ideals. Although I know I will receive protests from libertarians still participating in Republican politics I feel safe in saying that this strategy has not only failed but has backfired miserably. By associating libertarianism and Republican politics the gateway (to Hell) was opened for social conservatives to filter into libertarian groups. While social conservatives have always been involved in libertarianism I don't believe it was to the extent that they are now. Furthermore the public association of libertarianism and the Republican Party wasn't there." (02/25/15)


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