Today's Edition

News



MA: Prosecution rests, defense moves for acquittal in Tsarnaev trial

USA Today

"The defense came out swinging even before calling its first witness Monday. Just 30 minutes after the prosecution rested, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's team filed a motion asking for acquittal on all 30 counts. 'The government has failed to introduce evidence sufficient to establish each essential element of the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt,' the motion said. Tsarnaev, 21, is charged in the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon attack that left three people dead and more than 260 injured. He faces 30 counts, including 17 that could carry the death penalty." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/oqoh2be

-----


Prosecutors: Undercover agents pocketed Bitcoin while investigating Silk Road

New York Daily News

"Two crooked former federal agents stole bitcoins during their investigation of the online drug bazaar Silk Road, the Department of Justice charged Monday. Drug Enforcement Agency special agent Carl Force, 46, sold information to Ross Ulbricht -- the convicted operator of the now-shuttered site -- while simultaneously investigating him while working undercover, prosecutors said. Force, of Baltimore, also ordered a Silk Road customer's account frozen and transferred the person’s funds to his own personal account, prosecutors said. Former U.S. Secret Service special agent Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, meanwhile, transferred more than $800,000 in bitcoins that he gained control of during the investigation to his own account, the Department of Justice said in a release." [editor's note: So the complaint seems to be that these two thugs raked off a little bit of their gangs' much larger thefts? - TLK] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/nlcmsmm

-----


SCOTUS affirms 9th Circuit: “First Amendment? Fuhgeddaboudit!”

Newsweek

"In a move sure to anger some on the political right, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal to a 9th Circuit court's ruling that school administrators in Morgan Hill, California, did not violate three students' constitutional rights by telling them to remove clothing bearing American flag images during a school-sanctioned celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The administrators feared the patriotic American imagery could incite ethnic violence. The court's decision not to hear the appeal means that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals's decision stands." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/qxu9u9e

-----


Teen libertarian is parlaying YouTube videos into role as face of Brazil’s anti-left protests

US News & World Report

"Microphone in hand and standing atop the sound truck, the raspy-voiced protest leader jabbed his finger into the air shouting for the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, igniting wild cheers from the crowd below him. 'What Lula and Dilma have done shouldn't just result in their being banned from politics. It should result in them being in jail!' Kim Kataguiri yelled, denouncing Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva."


http://tinyurl.com/o4wydjp

-----


Gaza in ruins; money, cement and leadership scarce

Christian Science Monitor

"Standing atop the rooftops of Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, one would hardly know that more than half a year has passed since last summer’s war. Whole blocks still lie flattened, a chaotic landscape of concrete chunks and twisted iron rods. Bright clotheslines hang along the pockmarked walls of homes that look unlivable. Even in the areas that have been cleared, the bulldozed plots look like missing teeth amid the densely packed urban grid, with no signs of rebuilding. That bodes ill for this coastal territory of 1.8 million Palestinians, where more than 2,000 people were killed in the third war between Israel and Hamas in recent years." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/nz343jg

-----


Australia: Personal details of G20 pols leaked by mistake

RTT News

"In an email error by an employee of Australian immigration department, personal details of government heads visiting the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane last November were mailed to organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament, according to news reports. Some of the leaders whose personal details were compromised include US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and British Prime Minister David Cameron." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/p7g553p

-----


Study finds equality between sexes at moment of conception

San Francisco Chronicle

"Every year, slightly more boy babies than girl babies are born worldwide. But back when sperm meets egg, the two sexes are conceived in equal numbers, a new study suggests. That contradicts the idea found in many textbooks and scientific articles that males are in the majority at conception, researchers said. And it implies more females than males die before birth, resulting in the excess of male births, says Steven Orzack, a study author." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/oyg84wy

-----


South African comic to replace Stewart on The Daily Show

BBC News [UK state media]

"South African comedian Trevor Noah is to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, the New York Times reports. The 31-year-old made his debut as a contributor to the nightly satirical show last December. His first appearance took aim at racial tensions in the US, saying: 'I never thought I'd be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa.' Stewart announced in January he would be stepping down. He has hosted the influential comedy show for 16 years." (03/30/15)


http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32114257

-----


SCOTUS rejects Obamacare “death panel” challenge

Reuters

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law that took aim at a bureaucratic board labeled by some Republicans as a 'death panel' because it was designed to cut Medicare costs. The high court left intact a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out the lawsuit. The court’s action in an unsigned order was a victory for Obama administration, which has faced a barrage of legal challenges to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. The court is currently weighing a separate case challenging health insurance subsidies that are key to Obamacare’s implementation. A ruling is due by the end of June." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/nuwsd5j

-----


Obama to make first visit to Kenya as president

Fox News

"President Obama will make his first trip as president to Kenya, the country of his father's birth. The White House says Obama will visit Kenya in July for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which brings together business leaders, international organizations and governments. This will be the first time the summit takes place in sub-Saharan Africa. Obama visited Kenya as a U.S. senator, but never as president. During a trip to other African countries last year, he said he was likely to visit Kenya before leaving the White House." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/pq83n5s

-----


IN: GOP lawmakers pledge to clarify religious freedom bill

Raw Story

"Republican lawmakers in Indiana pledged on Monday to clarify a religious freedom bill that was slammed by businesses and activists for sending a message of discrimination against gays after it was passed last week. Companies ranging from pharmaceuticals to retailers said the law ... was bad for business, because it sent a discriminatory message. (San Francisco and Seattle have banned official city employee travel to Indiana.) At a news conference, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and state Senate President Pro Tem David Long said the law was not intended to discriminate against anyone, and that it sets a legal standard allowing people of all faiths to bring religious freedom claims." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/omrgzlm

-----


France: UMP gains vs. Socialists in local elections

BBC News [UK state media]

"The UMP, led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, boosted the councils it controls from 40 to 67 in the vote. President Francois Hollande's Socialists and other leftists won 34 councils -- down from 61 previously. Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front (FN) won at least 60 seats but failed to get control of any council. The elections are seen as a key test of public opinion ahead of the 2017 presidential election." (03/30/15)


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32114520

-----


Syria: Islamist rebels deal blow to Assad with capture of Idlib

Bloomberg

"The capture of the Syrian city of Idlib by Islamist rebels may undermine President Bashar al-Assad's claim to have the upper hand in the country’s civil war and stir unrest among his supporters, analysts said. Rebels headed by fighters from a local al-Qaeda affiliate seized the northwestern city on Saturday after a four-day offensive, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict. It's the second province to fall to Islamist rebels, more than two years after Islamic State captured Raqqa and turned the northern city into the capital of its self-declared caliphate." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/opgvgpd

-----


Japan: Navy puts carrier into service to defend East China Sea

Knoxville Times

"The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces' have put into service the largest Japanese warship since WWII, making additional manpower and carrying capacity available for island defense and disaster relief. The 248m Izumo, dubbed 'a helicopter carrier destroyer,' is 25% longer than Japan's Hyuga-class destroyers and has a larger crew by 90 people, taking its total compliment to 470." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/o7udtno

-----


Talks intensify on Iran’s nuclear future as deadline looms

CNN

"Nuclear talks intensified Sunday between world powers and Iran, but key sticking points remained unresolved as the countries tried to reach a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program ahead of a Tuesday deadline. ... U.S. officials and Western diplomats described the negotiations as tough and intense, which was expected as the talks reached the endgame. They said the contours of a deal are becoming clearer, but they were unsure it could be reached. Two core issues are still unresolved: 1) Limits on Iranian research and development on advanced nuclear technology in the end years of the deal; and 2) The pace of lifting United Nations sanctions." (03/30/15)


http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/29/world/iran-nuclear-talks/

-----


Bangladesh: Second blogger hacked to death

Brisbane Times [Australia]

"A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation. Washikur Rahman, a secular blogger, was attacked by young religious students on a busy street in the centre of Dhaka on Monday morning, a police official said. ... The killing comes just weeks after US secular blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death while returning with his wife from a book fair in Dhaka." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/qasxbwb

-----


Future workforce: Hand-sized 3D-printed robotic ants

Raw Story

"With their new line of BionicANTs, the staff at Esslingen am Neckar-based automation company Festo have combined complex control algorithms, sensors, and wireless control systems to create 3D printed ants that Gizmodo claims 'scuttle around much like the real thing.' These aren't tiny robots, either; each of them is approximately the same size as a human hand, according to New Scientist. They feature a body made from plastic and have a stereo camera in the head of each ant's head that allow it to determine its location and to identify different objects that could be seized using gripping devices located beneath its chin." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/oxgoug8

-----


UN chief Ban K-Moon holds Baghdad talks

Daily Mail [UK]

"United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Baghdad on Monday for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials. ... Ban flew in from Egypt, where he attended an Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh dominated by Saudi-led military action against Yemen's Huthi Shiite rebels. He is expected to travel on to Kuwait for a meeting of international donors on Tuesday called to address a massive funding gap in the response to the conflict in Syria." (03/30/15)


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3017608/UN-chief-Ban-Ki-moon-arrives-Baghdad-talks.html

-----


Uzbekistan’s election sees turnout at 91 percent

Roanoke Times World

"Uzbekistan's election commission said 91 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday's presidential election, where victory by longtime authoritarian leader Islam Karimov is a foregone conclusion. The 77-year-old Karimov has led the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since the late 1980s and ruthlessly quashed all opposition to his rule." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/p9g4ctn

-----


IN: Pence says religious freedom law “not about discrimination”

Fox News

"Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Sunday that a new state law that attempts to protect long-standing religious freedoms 'is not about discrimination' and that he and other state lawmakers do not intend to change the legislation. Pence, a Republican, said the legislation that he signed last week prohibits Indiana laws that 'substantially burden' a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of 'person' includes religious institutions, businesses and associations, which is being interpreted as allowing a cake maker, for example, to legally refuse an order for a wedding cake for a gay couple." [editor's note: I've been biting my tongue about this topic for months - SAT] (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/o68s7kp

-----



Commentary



Are House Republicans wrong on health reform?

National Center for Policy Analysis
by John R Graham

"The fallout from last week's House vote to bind our children and grandchildren further into debt servitude to bail out an unreformed Medicare continues, says NCPA senior fellow John R. Graham. Before the vote, Chris Jacobs of America Next (Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's think tank) warned Medicare could not survive reform if the so-called 'doc fix' passed. Writing after the unfortunate vote, Jacobs explains House Republicans have actually moved left of Obama on Medigap reform ..." (03/30/15)


http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25503

-----


Campaign to refuse student debt about to kick into overdrive

The Nation Blog
by Michelle Chen

"This week in Washington, DC, anti-debt campaigners are unapologetically demanding full 'debt abolition,' arguing that not only should defrauded students not owe a cent, they deserve a full refund. The Occupy-inspired Debt Collective has escalated its challenge to the Department of Education (DOE) by invoking an obscure legal mechanism to petition against their federal loan obligations, known as Defense to Repayment. If you haven’t heard of DTR, that might be because Washington hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to publicize this." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/nrlmwcd

-----


We’re rather confused about these anti-discrimination laws

Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

"No, not about the idea that people shouldn't discriminate except where it is rational to do so. If that's the way that people want to be then so be it. Rather, we’re confused about the fact that people keep calling for laws on this basis. Note that this nothing at all to do with things like Jim Crow: that was a series of laws to force people to discriminate. Or, if you prefer, it's everything to do with Jim Crow: for as Gary Becker pointed out the reason for those laws was the thought that in the absence of them then people would not discriminate in the manner that the racists thought everyone should." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/na6jond

-----


When do official documents belong to the public?

The Atlantic
by Elizabeth Yale

"Hillary Clinton's use of a private email address and server to conduct government business as secretary of state attracted widespread criticism. Yet the uproar that has greeted this revelation is only the latest in a long line of such controversies. For centuries, debate has flared around state officials' use of new record-keeping technologies, or new applications of old technologies. Do official documents belong to the public or are they the private property of the government employees who produce them? Is the government itself a public trust, or a collection of petty fiefdoms, each waging information warfare against the others? Technologies change, as do the answers to these questions, but the pursuit of political ends through the control of archives persists." [editor's note: It seems pretty simple to me. These folks CLAIM to be working "for the public." Therefore, their work product belongs to "the public" - TLK] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/oczgl6l

-----


Is James Baker too realist for the Republican Party?

The American Conservative
by W James Antle III

"In politics, compliments to old men and favors for family friends can get you in trouble. When Jeb Bush named James Baker an 'adviser' on foreign policy, there was likely no more substance to it than when Trent Lott made a boneheaded tribute to Strom Thurmond's segregationist 1948 presidential campaign on the South Carolinian's 100th birthday. It was a tribute, like thanking your high school drama teacher while accepting an Academy award. If anything, Bush's public record suggests he has even less in common with Baker's foreign policy than Lott did with Thurmond's views of the civil-rights movement." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/qyxr3tx

-----


Poll: Putin only slightly more imminent threat than Obama

Reuters
by Peter Van Buren

"People in the United States feel under threat, both from beyond our borders and within them. When asked about both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was a pretty darn close call: 20 percent saw Putin as an imminent threat compared to 18 percent who said the same about Obama. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll asked more than 3,000 Americans what they see as some of the biggest threats to themselves and the country. You can slice and dice the information in literally hundreds of different ways here. ... I think it’s safe to say that a national security expert might not agree with the public’s choices." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/pt2cwwz

-----


Why is the Fed punishing my parents?

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Shawn Ritenour

"In September 1993, President Bill Clinton reassured his radio audience that 'if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll be rewarded with a good life for yourself and a better chance for your children.' Picking up that theme over eighteen years later, President Barack Obama affirmed that 'Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same.' The trouble is neither the government nor the financial system backed by the Federal Reserve rewards people like my parents, who have worked hard and played by the rules their entire lives, only to have their savings wither away." (03/30/15)


http://mises.org/library/why-fed-punishing-my-parents

-----


Getting it

The Libertarian Enterprise
by AX Perez

"Many Conservatives and Libertarians have expressed concern about a need to arm themselves to resist a tyrannical Government. We view many homicides by police as an attempt to force the American people to surrender their freedom by intimidation. If anyone should get Black distrust of the Gendarmery it's us. The thing is violent crime, including the murder of police, has been in a two decade long decline. The only category of killing that went up in 2013 was justifiable homicide by police." (03/29/15)


http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle815-20150329-04.html

-----


Freedom Feens Radio, 03/30/15

Freedom Feens Radio
by

"Derrick J. and Dan Greene wax poetic on the numerous ways freedom is increasing every day, despite the state. Among them are cars, fire prevention, Internet, cookies, FeenPhone, Craigslist/Ebay, apps/smartphones, audio, money, media, emergency protection, and education. There are a bunch more, but that's all we had time for in one show." [Flash audio or MP3] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/pym4ma2

-----


Indiana needs to balance gay, religious rights

USA Today
by Stephen Prothero

"After Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a state religious liberty bill last Thursday, liberals lined up to ravage this 'anti-gay' legislation as a 'license to discriminate.' ... I support gay marriage. I support anti-discrimination laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens. But I also support religious liberty. These commitments sometimes conflict. But it is a sad day when there is so little support for the liberties of U.S. citizens, especially among liberals who should be their staunchest defenders." [editor's note: Finally, someone addressing the other side of this no-win situation - SAT] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/pmjdt37

-----


Fossil fuels will save the world (really)

Mises Canada
by Matt Ridley

"The environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: (1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; (2) that alternative sources of energy will price them out of the marketplace; and (3) that we cannot afford the climate consequences of burning them. These days, not one of the three arguments is looking very healthy. In fact, a more realistic assessment of our energy and environmental situation suggests that, for decades to come, we will continue to rely overwhelmingly on the fossil fuels that have contributed so dramatically to the world’s prosperity and progress." (03/30/15)


http://mises.ca/posts/articles/fossil-fuels-will-save-the-world-really/

-----


Commanding controversy

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Is 'Thou shalt create controversy' one of politicians' Ten Commandments? Is 'Thou shalt pass a law to solve every problem' their eleventh?" (03/30/15)


http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/03/30/21551/

-----


What’s behind the fashion for banning?

spiked
by Frank Furedi

"Once upon a time, it was left to tinpot dictators, ecclesiastical zealots, illiberal judges or scary inquisitors to proclaim a ban, to demand that some publication or custom or subversive phrase be outlawed. In the twenty-first century, however, calls for banning stuff have come down to Earth: now, literally anyone with access to the internet can demand a ban, and many do." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/qy3lbj5

-----


Big-bank bad guys bully democracy … and blow it

Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"For so-called 'masters of the universe,' Wall Street executives sure seem touchy about criticism. It seems they don’t like being painted as the bad guys. But if they don’t like being criticized, why do so many of them keep behaving like B-movie villains? That’s exactly what executives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America looked like after an article appeared last week detailing their coordinated attempt to intimidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA] and other Democrats who want to fix the mess on Wall Street. They’ve cheated customers and defrauded investors. Now they want to use our legalized system of campaign-cash corruption to protect themselves from the very government which rescued them." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/o3tr64p

-----


Lower oil prices: Dark cloud or silver lining?

Foundation for Economic Education
by Tyler Watts and Nicholas Curott

"The plummeting price of oil is great news -- not just for drivers, but for all consumers. So why are some economists so intent on seeing cheaper goods as bad news?" (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/oh9plmx

-----


On #boycottIndiana, atheism, and religious freedom

ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell

"If I went to lunch with one of my gay friends, and the restaurant owner somehow realized my friend was gay, and kicked him out for this, I would be outraged. Same if the owner put a sign out that said 'No gays allowed' or something to that effect. On a personal level, I would not like this and I would no longer do business with that establishment. ... If some activists in the neighborhood got together and went to the city council to threaten government force for this discrimination, I would then be tasked with the unpleasant duty of defending the business owner’s property rights. I would be driven to do so by the same detest for irrationality that made me walk out of the restaurant in the first place." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/o536uzx

-----


Sending out subsidies until the cows come home

Show-Me Institute
by Michael Rathbone

"Missouri has a long history of spending on items of dubious merit. That’s why my stomach shouldn't curdle when the legislature approves spending on something that seems udderly ridiculous. Yet still it does. Last week, the legislature approved the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act, which, among other things, would provide up to 70 percent reimbursement to dairy farmers who pay their federal Margin Protection Program insurance premiums. The total estimated cost to Missouri taxpayers is between $2 million and $5 million a year. That's a lot of moolah." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/o39h3p5

-----


The Afghan quagmire. When will it end?

Reason
by Steve Chapman

"It was George W. Bush's war, but 75 percent of the U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan have died under Obama." (03/30/15)


http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/30/afghan-gratitude-american-folly

-----


The right to discriminate against Ellen Pao

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Silicon Valley executive Ellen Pao is licking her wounds after a jury ruled against her last week in her gender-discrimination suit against former employer Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers. Pao had accused the firm of not promoting her because she's a woman. The jury ruled against her by finding, as a factual determination, that she was not the victim of gender discrimination. But the obvious question arises: Why should such a case even have to reach a jury to determine the factual validity of Pao's allegations? Why shouldn't the firm have the right to discriminate against her for whatever reason it wants, including the fact that she is a woman?" (03/30/15)


http://fff.org/2015/03/30/right-discriminate-ellen-pao/

-----


Free Thoughts Podcast, 03/30/15

Libertarianism.org
by

"Matt Zwolinski joins us to talk about libertarianism and pollution. What does it mean for libertarians to treat pollution as a violation of property rights?" [MP3] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/osfgdz4

-----


Terrorism, violence, and the culture of madness

CounterPunch
by Henry A Giroux

"George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society casts a dark shadow over the United States. The consequences can be seen clearly in the ongoing and ruthless assault on the social state, workers, unions, higher education, students, poor minorities and any vestige of the social contract. Free market policies, values, and practices with their emphasis on the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of social protections, and the deregulation of economic activity now shape practically every commanding political and economic institution in the United States." [editor's note: Wow ... usually an author takes more than half a paragraph to get everything completely backward. This guy must be a pro - TLK] (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ohq4twz

-----


Book review: The Age of Cryptocurrency

Heartland Institute
by Jay Lehr

"Bitcoin is digital money for a digital age and although often associated in the public mind with instability, wild fluctuations and illicit dealings it could yet be poised to launch an economic revolution. Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, two long time Wall Street Journal business reporters attempt to cut through the hype and demystify crytocurrency, detailing its origins, its functions, where it could go and what it could do in their book The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order. Much of the book is clearly brilliant, well written and wonderfully informative. Other portions can only make your eyes glaze over if you are not a a true computer geek." (03/30/15)


http://tinyurl.com/q63dw7v

-----


Mandatory voting vs. consent of the governed

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

"Over the last half-century, voting in American elections has become easier and easier. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited racial discrimination in registration and voting. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 ('Motor Voter') made registration easy and convenient, available at any government office. Many states have loosened their absentee voting rules and some are moving to 'vote by mail' systems eliminating the need to schlep down to a physical polling place and wait in line. Yet only 37% of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2014 mid-terms. Maybe the majority of Americans who don't vote are trying to tell Obama and his fellow politicians something." (03/29/15)


http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/809

-----


Drawing the line

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

"Among those who think about such things, one popular theory has it that rights are miraculously conferred upon human beings by the same supernatural entity Who created us to begin with, that they mostly consist of His permission to do whatever He approves of our doing, and come with a long list attached of things He doesn't approve of, called sins. It's easy to discern which list the sins are on: they're more fun. Another, more recent theory holds that rights are granted to us by our fellow human beings (mutually, as we grant their rights to them) and may, over time, be added to, or even taken away by popular vote, or even strong social encouragement or disapproval." (03/29/15)


http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle815-20150329-02.html

-----


The real axis of evil

Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

"In Bibi's fantastic formulation, both the West and the East are aligned with Iran in an 'axis of evil' -- to utilize Bush speechwriter David Frum's phrase -- against the Jewish state. After pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into Israel, after granting them unconditional diplomatic and military support for many years, after endless reiterations by US politicians -- including Barack Obama -- of America's undying allegiance to Israel's security -- this is what we get. We're part of the 'axis of evil,' along with Iran, Syria, and North Korea! That is where years of kowtowing to Tel Aviv have gotten us. Since we’re on the subject of alliances, however, let's talk about who and what Israel has aligned itself with." (03/30/15)


http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/03/29/the-real-axis-of-evil

-----


“Safe spaces”

Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal

"In thinking about my post about judgmental people, I also consider the notion of 'safe spaces.' I will say I find the concept ridiculous, crippling, and childish. No one offers anarchists a 'safe space' away from depictions of The State, or even away from actually being physically and financially violated by statists and their harmful and unnecessary 'laws.'" (03/29/15)


http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2015/03/safe-spaces.html

-----


“Libertarians” for ethnic cleansing

Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"Usually when right-libertarians defend gentrification, they do so by framing it as an entirely spontaneous free market phenomenon, and minimizing or ignoring the state's role in promoting it. That's bad enough. But we don't usually expect them to come out explicitly in favor of direct state intervention to evict poor people for the sake of promoting business interests. Walter Block doesn't do things by halves, though ..." (03/29/15)


http://c4ss.org/content/36897

-----


Enriching CEOs, endangering cancer patients

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

"Peasants with pitchforks don’t normally wear lab coats and hold medical degrees. Hagop Kantarjian does. Kantarjian currently chairs the leukemia department at the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one of America’s top oncology facilities. But the CEOs at America’s pharmaceutical giants these days only see pitchforks when they see Dr. Kantarjian. For good reason: The good doctor is threatening their cash cow. He’s just launched an online petition drive that’s protesting the unconscionably high prices drug makers charge for cancer drugs." (03/27/15)


http://tinyurl.com/pbakhhz

-----


“Consequences”: Unpublished review of unpublished book

Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"Having never written a book review before, this review is based on How to write a book review in 10 Easy Steps from eNotes. Step one -- Don't read the book. Got it. See ya later." (03/29/15)


http://www.examiner.com/article/consequences-unpublished-review-of-unpublished-book

-----


Reid always played party line

USA Today
by Ross K. Baker

"Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid did not invent political polarization but he was uniquely suited to thrive in the atmosphere of the take-no-prisoners, cut-and-thrust politics that prevails when a broad ideological gap separates the two parties in Congress. If George S. Patton (truculent and profane) was the field commander best suited to conducting the ground war in Western Europe in World War II, the Nevada senator (tough and taciturn) was tailor-made for the contested terrain of the U.S. Senate in the first decade of the 21st century." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ojdardc

-----


Life out on the political fringe

Reason
by Peter Bagge

Comic. (for publication 04/15)


http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/29/life-out-on-the-political-fringe

-----


The power of state indoctrination

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Conservatives just don't get it. They complain about Common Core, saying that the federal government shouldn't be involved in education. Fair enough. No problem with that position. But the problem with conservatives is that while they want to get the federal government out of education, they steadfastly want state and local governments to continue 'educating' children." (03/27/15)


http://fff.org/2015/03/27/power-state-indoctrination/

-----


Nobody and everybody

The Price of Liberty
by Mama Liberty

"More and more I'm hearing less and less from people who used to be serious about freedom, especially freedom from the bogus 'authority' of non-voluntary government. More and more of what I read in the forums and blogs tells me that these people are tired of the fight, burned out in their efforts to communicate. They either give up the fight or just go silent." (03/28/15)


http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=7078

-----


Internet outrage machine finally ready for Hillary

The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve

"In four tweets on Wednesday afternoon, New York Times reporter Amy Chozick revealed the existence of the HRC Super Volunteers, which promised in an email to journalists to call out sexism in press coverage of Clinton’s likely presidential campaign. Inexcusable sexist words include 'polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, overconfident,' as well as 'secretive' and 'will do anything to win, represents the past, out of touch.' There was instant outrage. But the thing is, HRC Super Volunteers doesn’t seem to be much more than an email address. It’s based on a private Facebook group with a different name. Its Twitter account is an imposter." (03/29/15)


http://tinyurl.com/qa3uoxp

-----


The Harper government’s Bill C-51 and the politics of fear

Students For Liberty
by Chance ME Davies

"In the aftermath of the Ottawa shooting last October, I wrote an article on how the emerging Islamophobia is a threat to our country's multiculturalism and could lead to the infringement of civil liberties. This shooting has no doubt sent the country into a state of polarization regarding whether liberty or security should triumph as a response to the tragedy. One side views liberty as indispensable in the aftermath of the shooting and therefore vouches to maintain an adherence to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The other side views the event as a failure in the security of Canadians and therefore vouches to ramp up the powers of the government to combat the fears of future threats. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada have opted for the latter response ..." (03/27/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ptbsuvs

-----


All wet

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"In unhampered markets, sudden and big drops in supply tend to cause sudden and big rises in prices. People economize without being forced. If you must pay more for orange juice because of frozen crops, you either buy less juice or buy less of something else (if orange juice is your favorite thing). But the shelves don’t go bare. The worse supply problems are, the higher the prices, the more customers economize, the more producers produce. So when there’s a local drought, what will a water company do (as opposed to an overweening water authority)? Charge more." (03/27/15)


http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/03/27/all-wet/

-----


Higher minimum wage leaves working poor without childcare

Independent Institute
by Mary Theroux

"'Panic' may help sell newspapers, but those who have to keep their doors open deal more in Cold Hard Facts: Revenues < Expenses = Bankruptcy So when its main expense (labor) increases by more than 36% overnight (from $9 to $12.25 per hour), Cold Hard Facts say: Increase Revenues or Decrease Expenses." (03/27/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ozrssyo

-----


Why High Speed 3 won’t create a “northern powerhouse”

Richard Wellings
by Richard Wellings

"Reductions in transport costs lower the cost of exchange, which in turn boosts trade and brings higher productivity through specialisation, economies of scale and so on. They also enable the development of agglomerations, clusters of activity that may further increase productivity and output. For example, thicker labour markets may lead to the better matching of workers to jobs and increased firm density may lead to greater knowledge sharing and to increased specialisation in supply chains. Thus, in theory, better transport links could improve the economic performance of the North by enabling its businesses to make better use of its human capital." (03/28/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ph4fd39

-----


A national security strategy Reagan would love

Reuters
by Lawrence Korb

"President Barack Obama’s national security policies are being sharply criticized by Republicans and even undermined by members of the GOP foreign-policy establishment. They insist Obama should significantly increase defense spending and respond more forcefully to threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin in eastern Ukraine, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and China in the Pacific. ... Yet Obama’s strategic patience on national security continues a pattern set by the most successful Republican foreign-policy presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush." (03/25/15)


http://tinyurl.com/px7zpbx

-----


What’s new since 1982?

EconLog
by Scott Sumner

"When I moved to Boston in 1982, no one talked about the declining share of national income going to labor. Or increasing income inequality. Now these are the hottest topics in economics. Much of the discussion seems to implicitly suggest that there is some sort of 'mystery' to be explained. Perhaps corporations are getting better at lobbying in Washington. Or maybe there is cultural change that makes CEOs bolder in demanding high pay. I find those sorts of explanations to be unsatisfactory. Too vague. Let's go back to my move to Boston." (03/28/15)


http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/03/whats_new_since.html

-----


We gonna Walker and don’t look back

Unqualified Offerings
by Jim Henley

"Now Scott Walker tells us, via Jessie Opoien, he's qualified to be commander-in-chief (of the armed forces, remember that part) because he was -- no, is -- an Eagle Scout. This is not as good as the 'stood up to 100,000 protesters' answer we discussed a few days ago, but it's not so bad. As Thoreau shrewdly indicated in comments downblog, Walker is running for president of Nixonland. The Eagle Scout is his 'good, republican-cloth coat;' the protesters his dangerous, radical hippies. The playbook is intact and complete. The mawkish bits are necessary -- viz. Ted Cruz and country music. But just as bad reviews are usually more fun to read than good reviews, the anathemas are more stirring to the faithful than the blessings." (03/28/15)


http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2015/03/28/18501

-----


Worse than zero: The American tax burden exceeds one hundred percent

Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

"The French aren’t the only ones to achieve a 100 percent tax rate, they’re just more blunt about it. So I want to destroy a myth, I want to show you through sheer numbers and data that the state in America has a tax rate that exceeds 100% to which the normal American having had a proper government education will insist that is impossible." (03/28/15)


http://zerogov.com/?p=3943

-----


The democratic cycle

Adam Smith Institute
by Dr Madsen Pirie

"Just as the business cycle seems to punctuate times of economic growth with periods of stagnation or recession, so there appears to be a political cycle in democratic countries, a cycle that features times of economic consolidation and progress with those of profligacy, deficit and debt." (03/28/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ozw3qsj

-----


Some economics of “price gouging”

Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"Basic supply-and-demand analysis explains quite well the observed pattern of price changes (prices rise sharply when a natural disaster strikes as demand rises and, at the same time, supply falls; and then prices eventually fall back to their pre-disaster levels as demand and supply both return to their pre-disaster levels). The most popular alternative explanation -- one heard repeatedly from the media, pundits, politicians, and, in general, people who are economically uninformed -- is that the rise in prices is caused by greed (implying -- although one never hears it said -- that the subsequent fall in prices is caused by altruism)." (03/27/15)


http://cafehayek.com/2015/03/some-economics-of-price-gouging.html

-----


The right to privacy or the right to piracy?

National Center for Policy Analysis
by Megan Simons

"Standardized tests like the SAT go to great lengths to keep the playing field level for students across the nation. Students sign agreements to refrain from discussing questions with each other, parents, friend or teachers; adults monitor the classroom and halls for discussion during the tests; phones are turned off and placed at the front of the room. Yet over the past few years, testing companies have been taking it one step further: testing companies have begun monitoring students’ social media accounts looking for test question leaks. In addition to the testing companies themselves, a whole industry has popped up whose express intent is to collect vast quantities of data on students’ attitudes, activities, habits and schedule." (02/26/15)


http://tinyurl.com/ossczfp

-----



Audio and Video