Death in Ankara

December 21, 2016
by Justin Raimondo   Justin Raimondo

"If you think the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, the same day terrorist attack in Berlin, and the announcement the next day of an agreement by Russia, Turkey, and Iran to end the Syrian civil war are all a monumental coincidence, then you haven't been paying attention." (12/21/16)  

Pacific island of Sao Tome breaks ties with Taiwan

December 21, 2016
Business Insider    

"Taiwan says the Pacific island nation of Sao Tome and Principe has broken their diplomatic ties. Just 21 countries and governments now have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Most of the world and the United Nations do not formally recognize Taiwan as a condition of maintaining relations with Beijing, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory." (12/21/16)  

Is civilian control of the military in jeopardy?

December 21, 2016
The American Conservative
by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos   Kelley B Vlahos

"One could argue that many elements of the movie's plot are present today: a military infrastructure bred and fed on decades of war is suddenly threatened by a peacetime posture, defense cuts, and a deal with a rival power that's unpopular with many in the ranks. In the movie, one general, played forbiddingly by Burt Lancaster, believes it is his duty to right the wrongs of the civilian leadership (a peace deal with the Russians) and, thanks to the size and autonomy lavished upon the post-WWII military-industrial complex, can marshal the makings of an elaborate coup right under the noses of official Washington. Getting from real-world Trump to celluloid Seven Days is, of course, a fun exercise in hyperbole. But critics say that movies like that exist for a reason -- the nation was founded on the healthy fear that unbalanced power in the hands of the military could eventually lead to dictatorship, that the military as an institution is not wired for democratic policymaking, governing, or statecraft. Its coding, rather, is to defend, deter, or kill." (12/21/16)  

John Deere really doesn’t want you to own that tractor

December 21, 2016
Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Kit Walsh   Electronic Frontier Foundation

"John Deere is at it again, trying to strip customers of the right to open up and repair their own property. In the new License Agreement for John Deere Embedded Software, customers are forbidden to exercise their repair rights or to even look at the software running the tractor or the signals it generates. ... The new License Agreement is John Deere's attempt to write its own private law. It's perfectly legal under copyright law to repair your own equipment, reverse engineer its software, and tinker with it to meet your needs. But where your rights interfere with manufacturers' ability to extract the most possible value from you, documents like the License Agreement are the go-to method for them to make your rights disappear." (12/20/16)  

Hydrocarbon elites post-Trump

December 21, 2016
Niskanen Center
by Dennis McConaghy  

"The elites of the hydrocarbon industry, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron, have endorsed carbon pricing -- or planned for its promulgation -- as the world seeks to reduce the risks from climate change. With the incoming Trump administration, which strongly proclaims its intent to be a friend to the energy extraction business, the time is right for the hydrocarbon elites to put their notional support into practice. For all of their publicly stated support, hydrocarbon elites have been slow to demonstrate to policymakers what they think carbon pricing ought to look like -- in the United States, or elsewhere." (12/21/16)  

Whack the bob

December 21, 2016
Common Sense
by Paul Jacob   Paul Jacob

he dominant progressive-left paradigm has proven itself incapable of dealing with the challenges of the present age -- most being caused by their own policies. Worse yet, those on the vanguard left have become moral scolds and petty language tyrants. Yes, political correctness is one of the big offenders, here. So, of course there's a backlash. But, turnabout being fair play, if the move to the 'right' goes too far -- as it probably will -- we can expect another swing leftward. Isn't it time to give that pendulum bob a whack, to initiate something like an equilibrium position? Many of today's problems are caused by partisans trying to force their kind of change down others' throats. There is an alternative: limit government, setting it to just a few tasks, letting society evolve naturally, without forced central planning." (12/21/16)  

Christmas isn’t the capitalist wet dream

December 21, 2016
The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo   Aria DiMezzo

"I've seen a lot of posts and articles in the past few days from libertarians and other capitalists that suggest that Xmas is some kind of Uber Capitalist Celebration, like it's just this zenith of capitalist ideas and a wonderful, grand thing. In the interest of religious friends, I want to draw a distinction between Xmas and Christmas, because I'm not sure they're the same thing. Christmas is a holiday about love, family, and friendship -- regardless of where it may have its roots. Xmas is a holiday tied to Black Friday and is directly at odds with family and friendship because of this." (12/21/16)  

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