Material girl

January 29, 2015
Foundation for Economic Education
by Sarah Skwire   Sarah Skwire

"The fastest way to drive economists crazy (after asking them what to do with your retirement savings) is to suggest that homo economicus is, or should be, anything other than a fiction. Max U is a useful construct for equations, but he would make a rotten neighbor. As the main character of a novel, however, he -- or rather she -- makes for some seriously entertaining reading. Anita Loos's 1925 runaway bestseller Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the story of Lorelei Lee, and it's possibly the single greatest literary depiction of a homo economicus." (01/29/15)  

Lebanon: Israel, Hezbollah exchange attacks; two soldiers dead

January 29, 2015
USA Today    

"Israel fired a counterattack into Lebanon on Wednesday and promised more after a Hezbollah rocket strike killed two Israeli soldiers in the sharpest escalation between the two foes since their war in 2006. ... Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group, said the attack was carried out by the 'heroic martyrs of Quneitra' in apparent retaliation for an Israeli airstrike on the Golan Heights that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general Jan. 18. Israel said that strike targeted combatants plotting an attack on Israel." (01/28/15)  

Border surveillance follies

January 29, 2015
Cato Institute
by Patrick G Eddington   Cato Institute

"For more than a decade, the Department of Homeland Security has employed some of the same kinds of drones used by our military. The ostensible purpose of having unarmed Predator drones was to give U.S. Customs and Border Protection additional aerial surveillance capabilities along the Southern border. Homeland Security officials argued the drones were cost-effective and needed. As a cost-savings measure, the Obama administration proposed major cuts to the DHS drone program in 2010, but House Appropriations Committee leaders, who supported the program and felt the expansion should continue, shot that proposal down. They should’ve thought through that decision far more carefully." (01/28/15)  

Greece, eurozone creditors gear up for clash over bailout

January 29, 2015
Fort Dodge Messenger    

"Greece's new radical left government has shot the first salvo in what is expected to be a tough clash with fellow eurozone countries over budget cuts that Athens says are choking the life out of its economy. The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday it would ignore key budget commitments and reforms previous administrations had promised in exchange for rescue loans from fellow eurozone countries." (01/28/15)  

North Korea may be restarting nuke plant: US institute

January 29, 2015
Connecticut Post    

"North Korea may be attempting to restart its main nuclear bomb fuel reactor after a five-month shutdown, a U.S. research institute said Thursday. If true, the finding, which is based on recent commercial satellite imagery, will be an added worry for the United States and the North's neighbors at a time of increasing animosity over recent U.S. sanctions against the North and Pyongyang's fury about a U.N. push to punish its alleged human rights abuses." (01/28/15)  

The American Sniper was no hero

January 29, 2015
Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman   Sheldon Richman

"Despite what some people think, hero is not a synonym for competent government-hired killer. If Clint Eastwood's record-breaking movie, American Sniper, launches a frank public conversation about war and heroism, the great director will have performed a badly needed service for the country and the world. This is neither a movie review nor a review of the late Chris Kyle's autobiographical book on which the movie is based. My interest is in the popular evaluation of Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, a title he earned through four tours in Iraq." (01/28/15)  

Chile: Lawmakers approve same-sex civil unions

January 29, 2015
ABC News     ABC News

"Chilean lawmakers gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill that recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples. The legislation now goes to President Michelle Bachelet, who is expected to sign it. Government spokesman Alvaro Elizalde welcomed the bill's passage as 'a breakthrough that we are proud of as a government.'" (01/28/15)  

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