Today's Edition


UN announces “government of national unity” for divided Libya

ABC News

"The U.N. envoy for Libya has announced a national unity government for Libya after months of difficult talks between the north African country's two rival governments. Bernardino Leon told a press conference late Thursday that the names of candidates for the national unity government have been decided." (10/08/15)


US House: McCarthy withdraws from Speaker race, vote postponed

Fox News

"House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the front-runner to replace John Boehner, stunned his Republican colleagues on Thursday by withdrawing from the race -- a decision that will postpone the vote for speaker. ... It's unclear what specifically made McCarthy change his mind and drop out. The shocking decision came shortly after House Republicans met to select their nominee for speaker. McCarthy was running against Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., before he dropped out." (10/08/15)


NATO leaves door open for troops to remain in Afghanistan

Akron Beacon Journal

"NATO is leaving the door open for a larger security force in Afghanistan than initially planned after 2016, but officials said Thursday the alliance is waiting for the U.S. to announce its decision, which could come as soon as next week. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he discussed the issue with a number of NATO allies Thursday and asked them 'to remain flexible' and consider making adjustments to their troop levels and posture in Afghanistan. He said a number of them indicated a willingness to change their plans." (10/08/15)


Study: Government workers make 78% more than private sector

Fox News

"Employees for the federal government earn far more than their counterparts in the private sector, according to a new study by the Cato Institute. Federal workers’ pay and benefits were 78 percent higher than private employees, who earned an average of $52,688 less than public sector workers last year. The study found that federal government workers earned an average of $84,153 in 2014, compared to the private sector’s average of $56,350. Cato based its findings on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). But when adding in benefits pay for federal workers, the difference becomes more dramatic. Federal employees made $119,934 in total compensation last year, while private sector workers earned $67,246, a difference of over $52,000, or 78 percent." [editor's note: Wanna know why? If not for public employees unions, Big Labor would be essentially dead! - SAT] (10/08/15)


CA: Spencer Stone, hero in French train attack, is stabbed in Sacramento

Los Angeles Times

"Spencer Stone, one of three Americans hailed as heroes for stopping a suspected terror attack on a French train in August, was stabbed Wednesday night in the Sacramento area and is in stable condition, Air Force officials said. The Sacramento Police Department on Thursday morning declined to identify Stone as the victim, but described a stabbing incident that occurred around 12:46 a.m. in an area of downtown Sacramento with a number of nightclubs nearby. ... Sacramento police also have said alcohol appeared to be involved." (10/08/15)


Italian prosecutor: Convicted US diplomat held in Portugal

Akron Beacon Journal

"A top Italian anti-terrorism prosecutor says an ex-U.S. diplomat convicted of the CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric has been detained in Portugal. Armando Spataro told The Associated Press that Sabrina De Sousa was arrested at Lisbon Airport Monday. She was released from custody on Wednesday but her passport was seized pending a court decision on whether to turn her over to Italy to serve her six-year sentence." (10/08/15)


Guinea: Political clashes in capital kill one, injure 12

Albany Democrat-Herald

"Clashes in Guinea's capital between opposition supporters and those of the ruling party have left at least a dozen people injured. A hospital worker says one person has been killed. Demonstrators from Cellou Dalein Diallo's Union for the Democratic Forces of Guinea party took to the streets of Conakry on Thursday, burning vehicles and shops." (10/08/15)


TX: Austin pols propose, crowds oppose, protectionist measures for cab monopolists vs. Uber, Lyft


"Fearing regulation changes to transportation networking companies (TNCs) in Austin, more than 24,000 Austinites have signed a petition through Uber, opposing new proposals. On Wednesday, the city of Austin's Mobility Committee approved new rules and regulations they want to put in place for TNCs like Uber and Lyft. In two 3-1 votes, the committee approved imposing an annual fee for ride sharing services and fingerprinting drivers." (10/08/15)


NY: Undercover cop “used excessive force” in Blake arrest

BBC News [UK state media]

"The police officer who mistakenly arrested former tennis star James Blake will face an excessive force charge. Last month, police forced the former tennis star to the ground after mistaking him for a fraud suspect. Mr Blake's complaint that officers used unnecessary force was upheld by New York's independent agency that deals with police misconduct. This decision opens the door for an administrative trial that could result in disciplinary action or termination. The two officers were seen on video grabbing Blake by the arm and shoving him to the ground." (10/08/15)


US court: Yoga sequence cannot be copyrighted

Raw Story

"A US appeals court ruled against a celebrity yogi on Thursday, finding that he is not entitled to copyright protection for a sequence of 26 yoga poses and two breathing exercises that he developed. Bikram Choudhury published a book in 1979 with descriptions, photographs and drawings of the yoga sequence, which is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius). Choudhury sued two individuals who took his training course and then founded their own business, instructing the same yoga technique. In its ruling on Thursday that affirmed a lower court decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said copyright protects the expression of an idea through words and pictures but not the idea itself." (10/08/15)


OR: First week of legal pot sales takes in $11 million

Smell the Truth

"Recreational sales of marijuana were impressive in Oregon’s first week selling recreational marijuana, making over an estimated $11 million. The Oregon Retail Cannabis Association estimates there were sales of $3.5 million on October 1 alone -- the first day that legal recreational sale of cannabis was allowed, reports KGW Portland. 'We’re seeing about 500 people a day,' said dispensary owner Jeff Johnson to KGW. Oregon has already far outmatched first-week figures from legal states Colorado (which capped off at $5 million) and Washington state, which took a full two months to sell its first $2 million." [editor's note: Gee I wonder why? Maybe because Oregon has not (yet) made this a cash-cow for its government? - SAT] (10/08/15)


IL: Former Chicago Public Schools chief to plead guilty to bribery scheme

Chicago Tribune

"Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett plans to plead guilty to charges she steered no-bid contracts worth more than $23 million to an education consulting firm where she once worked in return for promises of hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks, other perks and a job, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday. ... The 23-count indictment alleges that almost immediately after Mayor Rahm Emanuel installed her as public schools chief in 2012, Byrd-Bennett began scheming with Gary Solomon and Thomas Vranas, co-owners of SUPES Academy, to secure the contracts to train principals and school administrators." (10/08/15)


Kickstarter becoming the new emergency donation hotline

Christian Science Monitor

"As streams of refugees fleeing violence in Syria continue to mount arduous crossings to reach safe borders, American tech companies have increasingly taken up the mantle of providing aid through donations, food, and supplies. Responding to a call from President Obama, who has said that Americans have a 'moral responsibility' to help families who are forced from their homes, companies such as Kickstarter, Twitter, and the food delivery service Instacart unveiled partnerships with traditional relief agencies on Tuesday." (10/08/15)


Scientists discover why elephants rarely get cancer

USA Today

"Cancer is a disease of aging, and elephants can live up to 70 years. Over the course of a life that long, elephants grow a lot, burgeoning from 200-pound babies to 12,000-pound giants. All that growth involves cell division, a process that provides opportunities for potentially lethal genetic mistakes. Yet cancer is relatively rare in elephants. Fewer than 5% of elephant deaths in captivity are related to cancer. A new study suggests a possible reason why: Elephants have 20 times as many copies of a key cancer-fighting gene as humans." (10/08/15)


US jobless claims fall to lowest in almost 42 years

City AM [UK]

"The (albeit brief) US jobs market scare is over. The number of people in the US filing for jobless benefits has hit its lowest proportion of the labour force since records began in 1948, quelling fears that the US labour had slowed. Figures last month from the US Bureau of Labour showed the number of jobs added to the economy in September was only 142,000, way below economists' estimates of 201,000. It led to speculation that the Federal Reserve may delay its first interest rate rise from record lows until further into 2016. Initial jobless claims fell to 263,000 last week, the US Department of Labour said this afternoon." (10/08/15)


Assange says he, Snowden and Dotcom are all victims of “lawfare”

Latin American Herald Tribune [Venezuela]

"Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said like him, ex-CIA analyst Edward Snowden and German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, are victims of a "lawfare" declared by the United States. In statements to Radio New Zealand from the Ecuador Embassy in London -- where he has been given political asylum -- Assange said it was 'quite interesting' both Snowden and Dotcom were accused in Alexandra in the U.S. state of Virginia. 'That jurisdiction is simply picked because it has the highest density of government employees. It's 5km from the centre of Washington DC, it has the CIA, Department of Homeland Security, the IRS ... within the jury catchment area,' he said. According to Assange, Alexandra prosecutors were involved in 'pushing US law into more than 67 different jurisdictions,' something he explained as 'lawfare' in order to get "access to territory by pushing your laws into another territory instead of your military." (10/08/15)


US Senate sends massive “defense” bill to Obama

Sharon Herald

"Congress on Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a sweeping $612 billion defense [sic] policy bill that he has threatened to veto over an ongoing battle between Democrats and Republicans about government spending. The Senate voted to approve the measure 70 to 27. If Obama vetoes the defense bill, it would be only the fifth time that has happened in the past half-century. The bipartisan measure has become law every year for more than 50 years. The House passed the bill last week, 269 to 151, with enough Democratic votes to sustain a presidential veto. Obama says he'll veto it because while it contains all the money he requested, he doesn't like the way Congress did it. The bill increases defense spending by padding a separate war-fighting account with an extra $38 billion. Congress didn't increase money for domestic agencies too as the president wants." (10/08/15)


EU ministers to step up deportations in bid to deter refugees

The Guardian [UK]

"EU governments are to attempt to come up with a battery of policies aimed at sealing off 'Fortress Europe' from unwanted migrants and stepping up the speed and volume of deportations for refused asylum seekers. According to 10 pages of draft decisions prepared for the session on Thursday, the European institutions and national governments are to make a show of deporting refused asylum seekers in what looks like a vain attempt to try to discourage others from making the journey." (10/08/15)


Lew to Congress: Raise the debt limit, and don’t you dare put any conditions on it


"Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Congress to act soon to raise the debt limit .... some conservative Republicans have said they cannot support a debt limit increase unless certain issues are addressed, such as a plan to sharply reduce government spending. Lew told NPR: 'We've made it clear that we are not going to let the debt ceiling be used as a way to extract commitments that otherwise would be unacceptable.'" (10/08/15)


Supporters of corporate welfare slush fund move to bypass GOP foes

Washington Post

"The federal Export-Import Bank is showing some signs of life. More than three months after it expired, House Democrats and Republican backers have united to revive the charter of the small federal agency that helps U.S. companies sell their products overseas, by underwriting financing to foreign customers. The coalition is teaming up to bypass opposition from the tea party and top GOP leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the favorite to become the new Speaker. In a rarely used congressional maneuver, supporters are gathering signatures on a so-called 'discharge petition' that would allow them to force a House vote on legislation." (10/07/15)



Switching sides in the “war on terrorism”
by Justin Raimondo

"So the enemy is no longer the jhadists -- the ones who took down the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon -- it's now the Russians, and the secular Syrian government, along with Iran and Hezbollah. What the story cited above doesn't tell you is that the US-backed rebels of the Free Syrian Army ('Suquor al-Ghab') are allied with the al-Nusra Front -- the 'official' al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. So a 'war on terrorism' that began with an attack by al Qaeda on American territory, one which struck at the very heart of Manhattan, has ended up arming the very people who murdered 3,000 people that fateful autumn morning." (10/09/15)


Why we must fight for free speech for people we loathe

by Brendan O'Neill

"At last people are taking seriously a freedom that spiked has been championing since we were founded, which we describe as 'the foundational freedom upon which every other right we enjoy is built.' But on another level there's a serious problem with this supposed backlash against censorship, something that ought to make all true free speechers feel uncomfortable. Which is this: for the most part, and certainly in all the recent flashpoint cases mentioned above, people are only defending free speech for people they like. In fact, their new interest in freedom of speech was kindled only when a colleague, comrade or mate of theirs faced censorship. They aren't defending freedom of speech; they're defending friends' speech." (10/08/15)


Gun control and the chimera of perfect security

The Daily Bell
by Shane Smith

"It is a reality that life in any environment will bring with it some risk. This includes the occasional mad bomber or mass shooter who takes out a crowd of people. Yet after tragedies like the one in Oregon, a chorus of voices rise exclaiming a solution to the problem of mass murder, and it always requires granting more power to government and a restriction of liberty for the citizen. Authoritarians plead with the public to finally have a 'sane conversation' about gun control, or a 'civilized' discussion about American 'gun culture.' Stephen Colbert opened his show the other night with just such. We want someone to blame when things go bad." (10/08/15)


Me versus me

J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J Neil Schulman

"I'm the author of twelve books, articles, essays, poetry, and screenwriting. I've written, produced, and directed two feature-length movies. I've blogged, commented, Facebooked, texted and tweeted, starting in small print publications, later in computer network chats and bulletin boards, and still later when the World Wide Web took over channeling messages. These days, contrary to the predictions of science fiction, full voice and live video two-way communications are widely available yet paradoxically more people than ever communicate in short-burst texts like the old telegrams. My point is I've been communicating to audiences small and wide for my entire professional life, going back to the early 1970s, and there's a well-preserved record of my opinions. I've been on both sides of several major issues, depending on the time." (10/08/15)


Jim Bovard talks with Peter Boyles on KNUS Denver

"Denver KNUS host Peter Boyles and I had another rattlin' good chat today about the continuing cover-up of 9/11. Boyles has made himself an expert on the details of the Saudi involvement and is doing a great job of hammering this issue week after week." [Flash audio or MP3] (10/08/15)


How Trump reflects America’s obsession with “winners” and “losers”

by Neal Gabler

"One surprising film that captured the national zeitgeist recently was a sly thriller called The Gift. It burrows into the national psyche to address America’s current obsession with 'winners' and 'losers' and the unfairness in how power is distributed. Everywhere you look -- from political campaigns, both Democratic and Republican, focused on the haves and have-nots, to much of the Internet -- people are upset. They are angry that they are being bullied by folks who have more power (and sometimes lots more money) than they have. You feel a tension in America now between 'us' and 'them.' This is not about the usual suspects of polarization: conservatives and liberals. It is 'us' and those myriad groups that the public feels have disempowered them. Bullying isn’t just an issue for children any more. It is an issue (perhaps the issue) for everyone." (10/08/15)


Fifty years of socialized art and culture

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

"Overshadowed by the fiftieth anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. ... The Endowments together have distributed more than $11 billion through more than 200,000 individual grants over the course of 50 years. But according to NEH chair William Adams, it's 'not just about the money.' It 'means something' when the state chooses to support arts and culture ..." (10/08/15)


Why the US owns the rise of Islamic State and the Syria disaster

by Gareth Porter

"Pundits and politicians are already looking for a convenient explanation for the twin Middle East disasters of the rise of Islamic State and the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. The genuine answer is politically unpalatable, because the primary cause of both calamities is U.S. war and covert operations in the Middle East, followed by the abdication of U.S. power and responsibility for Syria policy to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies." (10/08/15)


How Amazon made me place 2,419 orders

Foundation for Economic Education
by Barry Brownstein

"The last time I called customer service at Amazon, I was greeted by a cheerful employee who said, 'Thank you for being a loyal Amazon customer. You have placed 2,419 orders with Amazon. How can I help you?' My jaw dropped: 2,419 orders? I have been shopping at Amazon since 1997, but who knew then how Amazon would change our shopping habits? My initial orders were for books, but Amazon anticipated that I and other consumers would be open to shopping for others things, too. Over the years, I've also bought televisions, computers, electric shavers, printer ink, shoes, food, and many other items from Amazon." (10/08/15)


The ugly charter school scandal Arne Duncan is leaving behind

Our Future Blog
by Jeff Bryant

"Arne Duncan’s surprise announcement to leave his post as secretary of education in December is making headlines and driving lots of commentary, but an important story lost in the media clutter happened three days before he gave notice. On that day, Duncan rattled the education policy world with news of a controversial grant of $249 million ($157 million the first year) to the charter school industry. This announcement was controversial because, as The Washington Post reports, an audit by his department’s own inspector general found 'that the agency has done a poor job of overseeing federal dollars sent to charter schools.'” (10/08/15)


Why the US should stop bombing people

Downsize DC
by Perry Willis and Jim Babka

"If we killed enemies who invaded our homeland, many would recognize that we were merely defending ourselves against aggression. But things are far less clear when we meddle in foreign disputes. And things become even more complicated when guerrilla combatants are mixed in with the civilian populace. This is the case in all the places where we're currently dropping bombs." (10/08/15)


The gender wage gap — a myth that (still) just won’t die

Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

"As a female economist, I can appreciate working in a predominantly male field. I can appreciate equality. But I can also appreciate rotten statistics, bad incentives, and arguments that hold as much water as a slotted spoon. The new law in California will do nothing to increase women's wages and may in fact harm female workers. Why? As an employer, would you want to take the risk of hiring more women, only to be questioned and accused of gender discrimination every time you pay a man more than a woman?" (10/08/15)


Yearning for Biden reveals gender bias [sic] against Clinton

The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

"You’d think we’d be past this by now—the endless discussion of whether Hillary Clinton has the stuff it will take to win the presidential election, whether she has the stuff to govern, whether she has the stuff to make you like her. But we’re not. And it has little to do with her ties to Wall Street, or her email server or marriage to a certain former president. It’s because she’s a woman. How else to explain the yearning in some quarters for Vice President Joe Biden to enter the race? In his last two attempts to win the Democratic presidential nomination, he proved himself to be a pretty terrible candidate. In fact, he withdrew from the 2008 nomination race after tanking in the Iowa caucuses, some six months before Clinton folded her tent." [editor's note: Playing the "gender card"? Cheap shot, Ms. Stan! Hillary's authoritarianism has been in plain view for decades, and is plenty capable of scaring off most folks - SAT] (10/07/15)


The Pope and Kim Davis: Another religious fiction

by Timothy J Taylor

"Sounds pretty impressive right? The Pontiff is interested in poor little nobody, Kim Davis, and her religious liberty cause against homosexuals. That's why he invited her to Washington for a private audience so that he could encourage her not to give up; to stay strong as it were. There's one big problem though: It didn't happen. It's a fraud; just another religious fiction in the mind of Kim Davis and her attorney." (10/08/15)


Heartland Daily Podcast, 10/08/15

Heartland Institute

"In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we listen in as Research Fellow Heather Kays appears on the 'Freedom Works Show' on Tantalk1340 in Florida with host Paul Molloy. Kays was on to talk about the various education related issues that are taking place around the country." [various formats] (10/08/15)


Why the TPP won’t work for workers

The Nation
by Michelle Chen

"The signatories of the Trans-Pacific Partnership just announced that they have inked the final agreement, ending years of secret negotiations and back-room corporate deal making. And still, the full text, which will set trade rules for roughly 40 percent of global commerce in a dozen Pacific Rim countries, remains a secret, even as the accord hurtles toward Congress for an accelerated vote. But those who want evidence of the impact TPP may have on a huge chunk of the world’s workforce can look no further than how an existing free trade accord, based on the same model, is managing labor relations between Peru, a TPP signatory, and the United States. The US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement’s (PTPA) supposedly state-of-the-art labor grievance process is just starting to be tested in a landmark case involving an odd bedfellowship of multinational megabrands, US and Peruvian labor activists, and federal labor authorities." (10/07/15)


Carly Fiorina’s war on math

by Gary Legum

"It started with Mark Halperin, looking disappointed that Fiorina hadn't flown to 30 Rock in a helicopter and offered him a ride, asking her if she would pledge to submit a balanced budget in her first term. Now, this is a deeply silly question for lots of reasons, but it's pretty easy for a Republican presidential candidate to answer. Just say you have a plan to lower the deficit by cutting spending while also cutting taxes to unleash the engine of American capitalism, which will result in so many dollar bills raining down on the Treasury, it will look like a Waka Floka Flame concert. The budget deficit will magically start dropping, and someday, maybe by the end of a second term, voila! A balanced budget. Instead, Fiorina said this: 'Yes, and I think one of the keys to submitting a balanced budget ... is starting by knowing where the money is being spent ... Where I would start is to submit a plan for zero based budgeting ..." [editor's note: The author's argument is that the federal government is just too big to expect the poor beset bureaucrats to justify all their expenditures every year, and that therefore we MUST assume that they'll always spend more next year than they did this year, and anything else is insane. In fact, this is damn near the only thing Fiorina has said so far that makes any sense at all - TLK] (10/08/15)


The Kafka codes for medical care

USA Today
by Marc Siegel

"Not to complain, but the world we doctors inhabit is looking more and more like it was designed by Franz Kafka. The road to successful treatments and cures is cluttered with expanding red tape: courses to take, certifications to achieve, endless electronic record keeping that takes the place of patient contact, and now, a chokehold list of insurance billing codes that has been expanded from less than 15,000 disease/health issue entries to 68,000. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, is a cumbersome mess that is supposedly designed for flexibility and precision. But with more than 100 choices for diabetes alone, (affects the retina versus the kidneys versus the heart, versus the nervous system, glucose controlled, uncontrolled, etc.), I must spend more time than ever in front of a computer screen, trying to decide what accurately describes my patient. If I don’t get it exactly right, I might not be paid." (10/07/15)


Yes, a strong dollar matters; but why?

by Scott Sumner

"I do think that the strong US dollar is having a moderate deflationary impact on the global economy. But I have some doubts about the mechanisms described in this article. I doubt that if it matters very much that imports are priced in dollars, or that the US dollar is 'a means of trade payment, store of value and a reserve asset for the world.' Nor does it matter that global NGDP is falling by around 3% in dollar terms, as workers in other countries are not paid in dollars. Europe will grow this year, despite sharply lower NGDP measured in dollar terms." (10/08/15)


Knuckle draggers are us, er, we

The American Spectator
by Debra J Saunders

"The smart folk at Grammarly -- an online grammar checker -- examined Facebook posts written by supporters of the 2016 presidential candidates in a savvy bid to garner free press. It helped that the grammar site's findings confirmed the left's most treasured conceit -- that liberals are more learned than conservatives. Specifically, the study found that supporters of GOP candidates made more grammatical errors than supporters of Democrats, who also displayed a richer vocabulary. Oh, joy, I thought, once again Republicans are the knuckle draggers. I'm with the stoopid party." (10/08/15)


Frankfurt’s “On Inequality”: How much is enough?
by Jason Kuznicki

"I think the more attentive sort of libertarians are likely to object to three things from this short book in particular: (1) the great importance Frankfurt assigns to utility thresholds; (2) the denial of a necessarily declining marginal utility of money; and (3) the very fuzzy analysis of what an economist would call a wealth effect in the determination of what counts as sufficient wealth." (10/08/15)


The menace of egalitarianism

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr.

"A sharp Martian visiting Earth would make two observations about the United States -- one true, the other only superficially so. On the basis of its ceaseless exercises in self-congratulation, the US appears to him to be a place where free thought is encouraged, and in which man makes war against all the fetters on his mind that reactionary forces had once placed there. That is the superficial truth. The real truth, which our Martian would discover after watching how Americans actually behave, is that the range of opinions that citizens may entertain is rather more narrow than it at first appears. There are, he will soon discover, certain ideas and positions all Americans are supposed to believe in and salute. Near the top of the list is equality, an idea for which we are never given a precise definition, but to which everyone is expected to genuflect." (10/08/15)


A guest worker programme for Syria’s women

Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

"I have previously written that we should let Syrians come to work in Britain through a guest worker scheme, arguing that the effects for natives are unlikely to be very bad, and I suspect may well be positive. But how might such a scheme work? ... Britain's agriculture sector is growing less quickly, and shows less of an obvious need for new workers. But we do have a problem with high childcare costs and, perhaps relatedly, low native fertility rates leading to an older population. So I suggest we set up a guest worker programme for Syrians to come and work in the childcare sector here." (10/08/15)


Exploring the left, part 1: Rad Frosh

Students For Liberty
by Leo Plumer

"Like most millennial, libertarian-leaning students, I'm acutely familiar with the frustrating attempts by left-wing activists on campus to stifle personal and academic freedom in the name of social justice. I'm used to arguing with them at tabling or when we invite speakers, or in the comments section of The McGill Daily. I've both vociferated against this worldview, then come to adopt large chunks of it. Nonetheless, there has always been a sense of fruitlessness and confusion when it came to my engagements with the radical Left." (10/08/15)


Ben Carson and the politics of fantasy

by Steve Chapman

"Carson has never had to face a homicidal maniac training a gun barrel on him, but he has no doubt that if he did, he would respond with courage and resolve. Maybe he would. Maybe the 18 people shot last week simply lacked his unflinching nerve in the face of death. Maybe if he had been there, he would have saved them. More likely, though, is that he's living on a different planet. Evidence abounds that Carson maintains only intermittent contact with reality. He resembles Lewis Carroll's White Queen, who told Alice, 'Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'" (10/08/15)


Raising taxes and truth

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Sheila Weinberg wants to raise your taxes. So fervent is her money-lust that she even threatens to run for president, and only half-jokingly, on that single issue. More surprising: I would enthusiastically vote for her. What gives? Well, Weinberg isn't demanding a tax increase or a spending cut, per se -- just one and/or the other until accounts are balanced." (10/08/15)


The natural right to self-defense
by Andrew P Napolitano

"While the FBI continued to analyze the emails Hillary Clinton thought she deleted and her advisers pressed her to hire a Republican criminal defense attorney in Washington, a madman used a lawfully purchased handgun to kill a professor and eight students at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. Looking to change the subject away from her emails, Clinton was quick to pounce. She who has ripped into Republicans for seeking political gain from the four American deaths in Benghazi, Libya, now seeks her own political gain from the dozens of murdered children and young adults in Newtown, Connecticut, and Roseburg." (10/08/15)


Federalist #13: The expense of disunion

Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

"Federalist #13 is the shortest, and probably the most straight-forward essay in the series to this point. In Federalist #12, Alexander Hamilton argues that the taxing powers delegated to the general government under the Constitution would solve the revenue problem then facing the United States. In Federalist #13, Hamilton takes up the other side of the economic equation -- government expenses." (10/07/15)


The lottery is not a tax on the poor

Reformed Libertarian
by C Jay Engel

"The common saying is that the lottery is a tax on the poor. I think this is an unhealthy way of looking at the lottery. I don't believe people -- especially the poor, who should be saving their money -- should play the lottery and indeed should recognize it as a dangerous and addicting form of gambling. But this does not mean it is a tax." (10/07/15)


Abandoning vs. living in place

The American Conservative
by Gracy Olmstead

"Nostalgia shouldn't keep us from facing the inevitable: if a place is falling apart economically, at an economic dead-end, it is sometimes alright to move on. It has to be -- we want our children to be able to make a living. Additionally, we shouldn't hold our children back from pursuing their vocation or dreams. Using negative measures like guilt-tripping to hold them in place will only make them more discontent. While we can hope that they eventually find their way home (if home is still there), sometimes we have to first let them go. Some of the biggest advocates for place such as Wendell Berry had to leave their homeland first, before they were able to return and cultivate an ethos and dream around the idea of 'staying put.'" (10/08/15)


Why is the US aiding and enabling Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen?

by Michael Horton

"The humanitarian crisis in Yemen rivals the crisis in Syria. After six months of war and the imposition of a naval blockade designed to starve the country into submission, 90% of Yemen's population of more than 24 million are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. ... The US, along with the UK, is providing intelligence and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its partners. Both countries are also supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons. The US is equipping the Saudis with internationally banned cluster munitions which now litter large swaths of the Yemeni countryside where they will kill and maim for years to come." (10/08/15)


Hillary Clinton tempts progressives to embrace Cheneyism

The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

"Of course, Hillary Clinton has big policy disagreements with Dick Cheney. But as a United States senator, she joined him in favoring an Authorization for Use of Military Force that significantly expanded executive power; an outside-the-U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay; a preemptive war against Iraq; the Patriot Act, with its many civil-liberties abrogations; an expansive program of extra-legal, warrantless surveillance on tens of millions of innocent Americans; and the use of lethal drone strikes over civilian populations in Pakistan and Yemen. Hillary Clinton would almost certainly pull the levers of power in some of the same ways as Dick Cheney, perhaps relying on the same John Yoo and David Addington memos. She believes in 'asking what she can get away with rather than what would look best,' [Matthew] Yglesias writes." (10/08/15)


Never-ending US hypocrisy on Cuba

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"[L]ets acknowledge the obvious: the U.S. government's embargo is an infringement on the fundamental, God-given rights of freedom of travel and freedom of trade of the American people. As such, it is in no different in principle from the socialist system in Cuba, which controls the economic activities of the Cuban people. What moral standing does Pritzker and other U.S. officials have to complain about a socialist economic system in Cuba when they endorse socialist-type controls over economic activity here at home?" (10/08/15)


Make dispute resolution part of your agreements

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

"Every business contract you'll read has a dispute resolution point but a lot of agreements for non-business groups lack them. A dispute resolution point is one that explains how a dispute amongst members will be resolved when they arises (and one will arise). Usually this take the form of a few individuals, either from within or outside of the group, respected by members of the agreement being appointed official dispute resolvers." (10/07/15)


The rising price of generic drugs

National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon M Herrick

"Intense competition usually holds generic drug prices in check. Oddly, during the past few years many generic drugs that have been on the market for decades have suddenly become expensive. In 2014, the price of more than one-fourth of generic drugs rose 10 percent to 100 percent or more." (10/08/15)


War Party’s new line: Vladimir Putin is why we can’t have nice things

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

"Remember the good old days? The US and the Soviet Union constantly staring each other down? Mutual Assured Destruction? Perpetual brushfire and proxy wars punctuated by deadly and disastrous conflicts like Korea and Vietnam? They're baaaaaaack ..." (10/07/15)


The US bombed a hospital, whoops
by Lucy Steigerwald

"It helps when defenders of US policy can act like the aggrieved party in these incidents. Rutgers political science professor Ross K. Baker demonstrates this sycophantic attitude in a recent USA Today piece about the deeply offensive, somehow vaguely anti-semitic audacity of MSF doctors in calling the attack on their hospital 'a war crime.' You can argue the accuracy of that term, and whether the attack is likely to constitute such a thing based on precedent and legal interpretation. But Baker has gone so far beyond that kind of pragmatic questioning. A war crime, he suggests, is something that Hitler or at least someone in the SS does. It is not something the US does." (10/08/15)


The unregulated industry of …

Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"The term 'largely unregulated' is meant to imply 'dangerous for consumers or users -- dangerous to their persons or to their purses or to both.' This term is frequently prefixed to the name of an industry whose participants have yet to be saddled with, bridled by, or (in some cases) spurred on artificially by government-issued diktats and government-mandated oversight by bureaucrats. Calling an industry 'unregulated' (or 'largely unregulated') suggests that something is amiss -- that the owners of firms in such an industry can pretty much do whatever the hell they damn well please. The victims of this alleged freedom from regulation are, of course, consumers and workers in the industry. Not to worry, though: government regulators will set things aright with their diktats and oversight." (10/07/15)


And coming up on the left, Bernie Sanders

Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

"Hillary Clinton continues to stumble, her leading opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, is having quite a run. Sanders continues to lead Clinton in New Hampshire, is running close in Iowa, raised nearly as much money as Clinton during the last quarter, and attracts Trump-like crowds at his events. And, if Joe Biden jumps in, splitting the Democratic establishment vote, he could become an even bigger threat to Hillary's coronation. Maybe, then, it is time to take Bernie, as his campaign posters style him, seriously." (10/07/15)


Obama, Syria hawks, and foreign policy “mumbo-jumbo”

The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

"Bret Stephens probably thought he was landing a major blow with this criticism: '[Obama's] preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they're warmongers. If Hillary Clinton thinks a no-fly zone is a good idea, she's playing politics: 'There is obviously a difference,' the president tut-tutted about his former secretary of state's position, 'between running for president and being president.'' Obama's Syria policy is undoubtedly a mess, but not for any of the reasons Stephens gives. These examples are reminders that his hawkish critics really don't have anything credible to offer as an alternative." (10/07/15)


Massacre in Kunduz exposes bankruptcy of Obama’s national-security policy

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss

"The aerial destruction that rained down on a hospital complex run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, a provincial capital in northeast Afghanistan, on October 3 puts an exclamation point on the story of America’s 14 years of warfare in that Central Asian country. At least 22 people were killed, among them doctors, other medical personnel, and patients, including three children, and dozens were wounded in the attack. Beyond the obvious, immediate implications of this massacre -- which serves as a reminder that for all of those 14 years, the United States has engaged in a brutal, mismanaged and ill-conceived war—more broadly the ruins of the Kunduz hospital are a symbol of America’s unfortunate reliance on air power, including drone strikes and bombers, to combat a host of insurgent groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere in Africa." (10/07/15)


The NSA and EFF agree on one thing: How the NSA’s Internet spying works

Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mark Rumold

"Much has changed in the nearly ten years since we launched our first lawsuit challenging the NSA's illegal surveillance of millions of Americans' Internet communications. Over time, the defendants in the cases have changed; the legal 'authority' the government has invoked to justify the program has changed; and the public's knowledge and understanding of the programs has increased remarkably. But, nearly a decade in, one thing has stayed remarkably constant: the relevant facts. The NSA, with the help of the nation's largest telecommunications firms, like AT&T, has tapped the nation's Internet backbone, searching and sifting through vast amounts of innocent Americans' Internet communications." (10/07/15)


The Tom Woods Show, 10/07/15

The Tom Woods Show

"The economy may be more competitive than ever, but entrepreneurs also have more resources and opportunities than ever. Business coach Tom Schwab and I talk about what today's entrepreneur needs to do: provide massive value, even before people buy. Sales and success follow from that. Non-entrepreneurs, this episode is for you, too!" [various formats] (10/07/15)


Heartland Daily Podcast, 10/07/15

Heartland Institute

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Heartland Science Director Jay Lehr joins managing editor of Environment & Climate News to discuss the incestuous relationship between the EPA and radical environmental groups." [various formats] (10/07/15)


The limits of the sharing economy

by Edward Hadas

"The Catholic Church and the United Nations sometimes sound like idle dreamers. But Pope Francis’ concern for “the well-being of individuals and of peoples”, as he put it to the U.S. Congress last month, is actually quite practical. So are the 69 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Both target the area where economics and finance have so far failed. For anyone who thinks all people deserve the same opportunities, the state of the world is scandalous. One-fifth of the global population suffers from hunger and malnutrition. Larger portions lack clean water, have little education and live in the midst of toxic levels of pollution. The components of prosperity are well enough understood to end all of these global-scale tragedies. But people just don’t think globally. Resources, products, ideas and human beings move more or less freely around the world, but economic solidarity still doesn’t." (10/07/15)


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