Today's Edition


| Commentary

LPR: Invading Ukrainian troops lose ground

euronews [EU]

"Ukraine’s military pulled back its forces from defending a checkpoint near Luhansk on Monday in the latest retreat for Kyiv-backed troops. Locals had taken shelter in cellars while the fighting raged. Ukraine soldiers said the [Lugansk People's Republic troops] had Russian support. The strategic port city of Mariupol appears to be a[n LPR] target after intense fighting in the area. Some believe Russia wants to establish a supply corridor for Crimea." (09/02/14)

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Iraq: Suicide blast kills 37

Times of Malta [Malta]

"Thirty-seven people were killed today when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed Humvee military vehicle into a construction site, used by the army and police, according to two police officers and a medical official. The blast killed 22 security personnel and 15 civilians, the medical and police sources said." (09/02/14)

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Obama notifies Congress on new round of Iraq airstrikes

Miami Herald

"The White House said Monday that its latest round of airstrikes in Iraq are 'consistent' with prior military missions the White House has authorized to date in Iraq -- 'to protect U.S. personnel and facilities and to address the humanitarian situation on the ground.' In his latest War Powers Resolution sent to Congress, President Barack Obama said he had authorized U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to the town of Amirli, where thousands of Shia Turkomen have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by the Islamic State." (09/01/14)

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UK: Cameron asks Parliament for expansion of security theater permissions

National Post [Canada]

"Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having travelled abroad to fight with terrorist groups. Speaking to parliament, Cameron said his government is also working on plans to block such suspected British jihadi fighters from re-entering the U.K. The power to monitor such suspects who are already in Britain would also be strengthened." (09/01/14)

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Hong Kong: Protesters clash with police over election rules

Los Angeles Times

"Protesters clashed with Hong Kong police Monday at a heated news conference about limits imposed by mainland Chinese authorities on the territory’s 2017 election. Demonstrators have promised a wave of civil disobedience in the semi-autonomous Chinese region .... Mainland authorities had agreed to let Hong Kongers directly elect their leader in 2017; currently, the chief executive is selected by a 1,200-member committee. But on Sunday, Li [Fei]’s committee ruled that only two or three candidates will be allowed to run and all must be endorsed by more than half of a nominating committee aligned with Beijing’s interests." (09/01/14)

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Germany: Court bans Uber

ABC News

"A court has barred ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in the popular app's fight with taxi drivers worldwide. Frankfurt state court spokesman Arne Hasse said Tuesday the decision that Uber can't offer its services without a specific permit under German transport laws applies nationwide. The injunction applies pending a full hearing of a suit brought against Uber by Taxi Deutschland, a German cab association that also offers its own taxi-ordering app." (09/02/14)

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Spain: Parents face extradition for removing child from UK for medical treatment

BBC News [UK state media]

"The parents of Ashya King are being held in police custody after they refused to consent to their extradition to the UK .... An international search was launched after the couple took the five-year-old, who has a brain tumour, from hospital in Southampton .... Ashya's brother, Naveed King, said his parents ensured Ashya had the same resources available to him as in hospital when they took him to Spain. Mr King said in an earlier video posted that the family wanted to seek proton beam therapy for Ashya -- a cancer treatment that the NHS would not provide." (09/01/14)

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Pakistan: I’m not leaving, PM tells army chief

International News Network [Pakistan]

"As protests in Islamabad seemingly slip out of the government’s control, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif’s met at the PM House on Monday to discuss the political crisis. According to sources, the embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif informed army chief General Raheel Sharif that he will not resign in the wake of protests by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)." (09/02/14)

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Peru: Police display record 7.7-ton cocaine haul

ABC News

"Peruvian police displayed in a Lima airport police hangar on Monday what officials called the largest cocaine haul ever in the Andean nation, 7.7 metric tons (8.5 tons). Seized in a raid last week, the drugs were flown to the capital Monday and unloaded in boxes from an Antonov police transport plane by officers wearing white jackets and surgical masks." (09/01/14)

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Cuba: Regime cracks down on goods in travelers’ luggage

Gainesville Sun

"Cubans braced Monday for a clampdown on the flow of car tires, flat-screen televisions, blue jeans and shampoo in the bags of travelers who haul eye-popping amounts of foreign-bought merchandise to an island where consumer goods are frequently shoddy, scarce and expensive. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Cuban-Americans fly to and from the island each year thanks to the easing of travel restrictions by the U.S. and Cuban governments over the last five years." (09/01/14)

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LA: US judge blocks enforcement of new abortion law

Kansas City Star

"A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge's order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics in the state or only those at three clinics whose lawsuit challenges the measure. U.S. District Judge John deGravelles wrote that authorities cannot enforce the law until he holds a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remains in court." (09/01/14)

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Africa: Regional pols reject Lesotho PM’s request for troops to put him back in power

BBC News [UK state media]

"Regional leaders have rejected calls by Lesotho's exiled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane for the immediate deployment of troops to help restore order in his country, an official has told the BBC. Instead, an observer team would be urgently sent to Lesotho, she said. Mr Thabane fled to South Africa on Saturday, claiming the military had staged a coup -- a charge it denied." (09/01/14)

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US trained Alaskans as secret “stay-behind agents”

Seattle Times

"Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950." (09/01/14)

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US drone terrorists strike in Somalia

Washington Post

"The U.S. military carried out a counterterrorism strike Monday against leaders of the militant group al-Shabab in Somalia, Pentagon officials said, although it was unclear whether the operation was successful. Journalists in Somalia reported that suspected U.S. drones fired missiles near the port city of Barawe, a stronghold for al-Shabab. In a rare acknowledgment of its clandestine military activities in Somalia, the Pentagon said it had conducted a counterterrorism operation there but gave no details." (09/01/14)

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China struggles with “left behind” children from one-child policy

Raw Story

"Yes, it is just a simple stuffed toy. But put it into a child’s arms and watch as he pretends to feed it, talks to it, even crowns it as a monarch. First, it gives him security; then it allows him to role-play and develop social skills. Chinese authorities hope tips like these, included in a book for parents and nursery teachers, will help to stem mental health problems among the country’s young. While budgets for child and adolescent mental health services are being frozen or cut in the UK, China is seeking to expand provision, promote psychotherapeutic approaches and adopt preventative measures." (08/31/14)

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CA: Brown appeals judge’s ruling that struck down teacher tenure

Fox News

"California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is appealing a recent state judge’s ruling that ends tenure and other union protections for public school teachers. The appeal was filed late Friday and argues that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rulf Treu’s final ruling lacks detail and fails to provide the legal basis for his decision. Treu issued the final ruling Thursday, after tentatively ruling in June that tenure protections for California teachers violate the state constitution, depriving some of the state's 6.2 million students of a quality education, specifically minorities and those from low-income families." (08/31/14)

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NM: Behind the gavel of America’s busiest judge

Christian Science Monitor

"Less than an hour into one of his regular morning dockets, federal district Judge Robert Brack has already sentenced 14 felons, or roughly one-sixth the number of people the average federal judge sentences in an entire year. The 15th defendant of the morning, Jamie Peña-Flores, stands before the judge shackled at the ankles, wrists, and waist." (08/31/14)

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Germany: Eurosceptic party AfD wins Saxony state seats

BBC News [UK state media]

"Germany's newest party, the Eurosceptic 'Alternative for Germany' (AfD), has won its first seats in the state parliament of Saxony, according to preliminary results. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats won the vote with 39.5% according to exit polls. The AfD, which says it is anti-euro (the currency), rather than anti-Europe, won around 9.6% of the vote. Eurosceptic parties made large gains in the European elections in May." (08/31/14)

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WA: Barista stand owner faces prostitution charge

San Francisco Chronicle

"The owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts, according to local prosecutors. Snohomish County prosecutors charged Carmela Panico, a 52-year-old former nude dancer, with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she operated drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle." (08/31/14)

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CA: Toy weapons can’t look like real ones if bill passes


"The California State Senate gave final legislative approval on Thursday to a bill that would require certain replica guns to be painted bright colors or made transparent to prevent police from confusing toy guns for real weapons. The bill, which passed the Democratic-led chamber by 22-12, was introduced by Democratic state Senator Kevin De Leon after Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies fatally shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez Cruz in October after mistaking an imitation pellet rifle for the real thing. The bill now requires the signature of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown." (08/29/14)

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“Russian invasion” of seceded Ukraine areas prompts UN emergency meeting

ABC News

"Ukraine’s president today declared that a 'Russian invasion' of his country was underway and the United Nations' Security Council called an emergency session to discuss the latest crisis involving allegations of Russia's overt support for [the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics]. Rebel forces have also opened up a new front in the conflict in [Donetsk People's Republic]. Heavy fighting was reported in the [Donetsk People's Republic] near the town of Novoazovsk. The UN Security Council met today and expressed outrage, although it said it couldn't verify the reports." (08/29/14)

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Iceland: Volcano red alert after small eruption

NBC News

"Iceland raised its alert warning level to maximum on Friday after what it called a small eruption in the Bardarbunga volcano system but said there was no sign of ash that could affect air travel in Europe. Reykjavik's Meteorological Office said that a fissure eruption began in a lava field north of the Vatnajokull glacier, which covers part of Bardarbunga system, just after midnight local time. The risk of an ash cloud is highest in case of a sub-glacial eruption." (08/29/14)

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Fiji: Military says 43 soldiers captured in Golan Heights

Lincoln Journal Star

"Fiji's military has confirmed that 43 of its soldiers, working as U.N. peacekeepers, have been captured by a militant group on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Fijian Commander Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said Friday the soldiers are alive and unharmed. He said talks between the U.N. and the unidentified rebel group had begun and negotiations would be pursued further at daybreak." (08/28/14)

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UN: Ebola cases could eventually reach 20,000

Fox News

"The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could infect over 20,000 people and spread to more countries, the U.N. health agency said on Thursday, warning that an international effort costing almost half a billion dollars is needed to overcome the outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced a $490 million strategic plan to contain the epidemic over the next nine months, saying it was based on a projection that the virus could spread to 10 further countries beyond the four now affected -- Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria." (08/28/14)

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“A Message in Blood”: ISIS beheads Kurdish man in warning against backing US

Times of India [India]

"ISIS has released a video apparently showing the beheading of a Kurdish man in Iraq as a warning to Kurds fighting the group in the country. The video, entitled 'A Message in Blood,' was posted online hours after another video purporting to show the mass execution of up to 250 Syrian soldiers in the desert. ... fighters warn others will face the same fate should Kurdish leaders choose to continue an alliance with the US." (08/29/14)

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| News

A free society must give up empire

Robert P. Murphy
by Robert P. Murphy

"If Americans want a free society at home, then they must convince the U.S. government to give up its global empire. The militarized police recently on display in Ferguson was no freak coincidence: Antiwar activists and other civil libertarians have been warning for decades that an aggressive US foreign policy would eventually destroy domestic liberties. Americans can’t ask their government to subjugate foreigners with bombs but bow to their own wishes at the ballot box." (08/30/14)

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The “lost” lie

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"It’s been several months now since IRS stooges testified under oath at congressional hearings that Lois Lerner’s infamous emails were 'lost' when her computer crashed. You know -- all those pesky documents which would prove once and for all the nature and extent of her criminal wrongdoing in the matter of IRS targeting of conservative political groups to deny them tax exempt status. But we know that when government agents testify under oath they’re too often lying under oath." (09/02/14)

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Class theory, part 1: Modern conservative class analysis

Anthony Gregory Future of Freedom Foundation
by Anthony Gregory

"Nowhere has the class analysis implicitly embraced by the Tea Party been more explicitly described than in the work of Angelo Codevilla, whose American Spectator article 'America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution' explicitly pits the minority ruling class against the majority 'country class.' Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wrote the introduction to Codevilla’s book that expanded on this theme, The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do about It (Beaufort Books 2010). In it Limbaugh calls the Tea Party 'the modern equivalent of our founding revolutionaries ... [who] need a political mechanism in order to revolt against and replace the ruling class.'" (08/29/14)

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Same as it ever was: Slavery and the state

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

"So I often read the writings and scribblings of the nineteenth century abolitionists in America and come away confused by the lack of taking their sophisticated arguments about the ownership of other humans to the obvious conclusion. While they fought mightily against chattel slavery, they tend to give a Gallic shrug to taxation and regulation slavery or not even address the implication of their introspection. The harnessing of individual time, resources and volition in the fields in perpetuity with the deed to their lives held by the plantation owner certainly puts a finer point to slavery but the more 'civilized' variations on human ownership in modern nation-states begs the questions." (08/28/14)

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Obama has no Middle East strategy? Good!

US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
by Ron Paul

"A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope." (09/02/14)

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The upright and locked position

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"Last Sunday, United Airlines diverted a Newark-to-Denver flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after two passengers got into an argument. It started when a 47-year-old man used a device called the Knee Defender to prevent the 48-year-old woman in front of him from reclining her seat. According to the Associated Press, a flight attendant told the male passenger that United does not allow the bracket-like gadget. He refused to remove it. The female passenger then threw water at the male passenger, which probably didn’t thrill the passengers seated next to him (He was in the middle seat.). The airliner’s crew decided to arrive in Denver with two fewer passengers." (08/29/14)

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Inequality and the USA: A nation in denial?

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

"Every August, for most of the last four decades, top central bankers from around the world have been making their way to the Wyoming mountain resort of Jackson Hole for an invitation-only blue-ribbon economic symposium. This year’s Jackson Hole hobnob, once again hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, last week attracted the usual assortment of central bankers, finance ministers, and influential business journalists. But this year’s gathering also attracted something else: protesters." (08/29/14)

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The Ron Paul endorsement buying scandal is a reminder of the inherent evil of politics

Liberty Chat
by Kevin Boyd

"While morally, I don’t exactly have a problem with political campaigns blantantly paying off politicians and celebrities for their endorsement because to be honest I don’t trust these people to begin with. Having said that though, what somebody in the Paul campaign did is illegal and they should’ve known better." (08/29/14)

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The left’s ridiculous Burger King freakout

Reason Reason
by David Harsanyi

"Burger King plans to merge with Canuck coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons and base the company's headquarters in Canada, where it will enjoy the kind of reasonable corporate tax structure that Democrats continue to obstruct here in the United States. And the move has provoked a fresh round of moral panic, faux patriotism, and confusion." (08/29/14)

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Why we’re so blase about global warming

by Jack Shafer

"If you don’t regard global warming as a serious problem, your company is growing. According to the survey jockeys at Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who think global warming is 'very serious' or 'somewhat serious' has declined since 2006 (from 79 percent to 65 percent). While a firm majority still considers global warming to be very or somewhat serious, the numbers show that public alarm over the topic has receded over a period during which the scientific, journalistic, and political consensus on the topic has surged the other way. Over the same 8-year period, fewer respondents agree that the earth is warming and fewer agree that human activity causes warming." (08/29/14)

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State-provided security ridiculous

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal

"People claim government must provide security -- by which they usually mean police and military -- because security is much too important to leave to the market to provide (which they confuse with leaving it to chance), or to do without. Yet, nothing is more important than air. Being so vital, shouldn’t we let government inspect, bottle, and ration air to make certain we all get our safe and clean fair share? We’d pay higher taxes for that, right?" (08/28/14)

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Defeat ISIS by letting Syria loose

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow

"Obama administration officials proclaim that the Islamic State’s isolated experiment in 7th century Islam to pose a dire threat to America. After promising to strictly limit the military mission in Iraq, the president is preparing to expand the war to Syria, where the administration is working to overthrow the Assad government -- which now blocks Islamic control over the entire country. Instead, the administration should encourage other nations, starting with Syria, to kill ISIS radicals." (08/27/14)

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Jorge Luis Borges: Argentina’s misunderstood anarchist

The Canal The Canal
by Adam Dubove

"Borges was a true citizen of the world, a cosmopolitan, and a unique figure in the world of literature. Capable with the pen, he created alternative realities and memorable characters. His unique political philosophy, however, set him apart from other artists of his era. Borges defined himself as a Spencerian anarchist, one who does not believe in the state but in the individual." (09/01/14)

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Social laws, part 5

George H. Smith
by George H. Smith

"'[S]ociety is more than the sum of individuals of which it is composed.' So wrote an ardent defender of sociology in 1922. Seven years later the same theoretician expressed his disagreement with those who challenged 'sociology's right to exist.' Contrary to its many critics, sociology is able to justify theorems that 'have the character of scientific laws.' The laws of sociology are 'causal propositions. 'They express that which necessarily must always happen as far as the conditions they assume are given.' It may surprise some libertarian readers to learn that these comments were written by Ludwig von Mises, a methodological individualist and staunch critic of positivism." (08/29/14)

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Fools seeking more foolishness

The Price of Liberty
by Bradley Harrington

"When choosing to make a journey, it is clear to all of us that a game-plan would be required: Maps, reference points and an overall course of action. When it comes to our political journeys, however, such attention to detail seems to fly out the window -- and what we end up with is the results of last Tuesday’s Wyoming primary elections." (08/30/14)

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Obama’s “catastrophic defeat” in Ukraine

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Mike Whitney

"Barack Obama has pushed Ukraine to the brink of political, economic and social collapse. Now he wants to blame Russia for the damage he’s done. It’s absurd. Moscow is in no way responsible for Ukraine’s descent into anarchy. That’s all Washington’s doing, just as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria were Washington’s doing. If you want to blame someone, blame Obama." (08/29/14)

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My new private community …

Gene Callahan La Bocca Della Verita
by Gene Callahan

"I just bought a small house in a private community in the Poconos that I am fixing up to either sell or rent. The experience with the community government has been interesting. First of all, the idea that because I bought in the community I explicitly agreed to all its rules no more true or false than if I had bought a house in an ordinary 'statist' town." (08/29/14)

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The Apocalyptic Renaissance

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Scott Thomas Outlar

"Not long ago I was struck by a Revelation. While considering the Dire State of Affairs our world currently resides in, and why it is that things have reached such strange proportions of mass insanity, I realized that most people don’t truly want freedom. They are comfortable in the slave/master relationship. This is why it has proven to be so difficult throughout the ages to form a society based on individual rights and responsibilities." (08/30/14)

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Hoaxes, hype and hysteria

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"While Americans were barbecuing over the Labor Day weekend, the Usual Suspects were busy cooking up new wars, from Iraq to Ukraine. While this is nothing new -- after all, evil never sleeps -- one thing I did notice: the stunning lack of imagination on their part. It was, in effect, the equivalent of a bunch of summer reruns: tired formulaic retreads that weren’t all that convincing in the first place." (09/01/14)

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Distributive justice, wet rain

EconLog EconLog
by Anthony de Jasay

"Since we do not recognise dry rain, we would not choose to talk of 'wet rain' when we mean rain. Embellishing it with 'wet' would ring the alarm bell of logic telling us loudly and clearly that something has gone wrong. The exact nature of the wrong is made clearer in examples that are less obviously absurd. People talk solemnly of 'impartial justice,' as if 'partial justice' were not a contradiction in terms. Treating it implicitly as a notion that is not non sensical permits the demagogue selectively to accept or reject outcomes of the judicial process to promote his political agenda." (08/14)

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NetCompetition’s FCC comments — don’t preempt state muni broadband laws

Scott Cleland Heartland Institute
by Scott Cleland

"There are two core reasons the FCC should not try to preempt State muni-broadband laws. 1. The Supreme Court has already indicated it would be unconstitutional. 2. It would be anti-competitive, the opposite of the FCC’s statutory purpose and legal mandate." (08/29/14)

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Market Basket: Should we cheer the “benevolent boss?”

In These Times
by Julia Wong

"Lots of executives may claim to think of their employees as family. But it’s the rare boss who actually treats his workers as well as his blood relatives. The 25,000 employees of Market Basket, a chain of 71 New England grocery stores, see company president Arthur T. Demoulas as that boss. At least, that’s the story one gets from the press coverage of the bitter power struggle and chain-wide strike that has been front-page news in New England all summer. Ousted in June, Demoulas regained control of the company this week in what’s being hailed as a victory for workers. But is it?" (08/30/14)

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Philip Giraldi on The Scott Horton Show

Philip Giraldi The Scott Horton Show

"Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the US government’s attempt to squash a lawsuit against the non-profit group United Against Nuclear Iran, funded by billionaire Thomas Kaplan, which is vigorously trying to torpedo a deal on Iran’s nuclear program." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/28/14)

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QandO Podcast, 08/28/14

QandO Podcast QandO

"Michael defends piracy and Dale loses hope." [MP3] (08/28/14)

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Oklahoma: Losing federal waiver, winning back rightful control over education

Vicki Alger Independent Institute
by Vicki Alger

"By this school year all American students were supposed to be proficient in reading and math according to the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the latest iteration of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). By 2011 it was clear that no state was even close, so the US Department of Education made states an offer far too many thought they couldn’t refuse ..." (08/29/14)

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Science as salvation?

The Nation
by Michael Saler

"Whether or not scientists are from Mars and humanists from Venus, the 'two cultures' debate about the arts and sciences has never been down to earth. For decades we’ve endured schematic sparring between straw men: humanists claim that scientists are reductive, scientists find humanists reactionary. ... Marcelo Gleiser, a physicist with strong ties to the humanities, is alarmed by the hubristic stance of his discipline and the backlash it is liable to provoke. He has written The Island of Knowledge as 'a much needed self-analysis in a time when scientific speculation and arrogance are rampant.... I am attempting to protect science from attacks on its intellectual integrity.'" (08/29/14)

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Privateers and the sinister threat posed by “patent trolls”

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Keith Boyfield

"Many in Britain may not be familiar with the term 'patent privateering' -- but that may all be about to change. British courts are apparently being targeted in a forum-shopping exercise by global monopolists, who are using this technique to reduce competition and innovation in the hi-tech sector. This new menace to the workings of efficient markets is rapidly gripping the global hi-tech sector and it threatens to stifle innovation, raise prices and constrain choice for consumers not just in Britain but across the globe." (08/29/14)

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What James Earl Foley’s murder says about the US

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

"Given that the Islamic State subjected American citizen James Foley to physical abuse, waterboarding, and extra-judicial execution, U.S. officials and American interventionists, including those in the mainstream media, are describing the Islamic State as savage and barbaric. But wait a minute! When the U.S. government was doing those same things, weren’t U.S. officials and American interventionists saying that such actions weren’t any big deal?" (08/29/14)

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Petro-dollar era is officially over as Gazprom begins sales in Yuan and Rouble

Finance Examiner
by Kenneth Schortgen, Jr.

"In a new announcement from the Russian business media source, Kommersant, Gazprom has conducted the first sale of oil in a currency other than the dollar, and will henceforth open their purchase window to accept both Roubles and Yuan for the exchange of oil and gas products. ... The days of the dollar remaining the global reserve currency took a sharp hit today, and the ramifications of Russia's new move for selling oil in both Roubles and Yuan are just beginning." [hat tip -- SB] (08/27/14)

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Cliches of progressivism #20 — Government can be a compassionate alternative to the harshness of the marketplace

Lawrence W. Reed Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W. Reed

"In every election campaign, we hear the word 'compassion' at least a thousand times. One political party supposedly has it, the other one doesn’t. Big government programs are evidence of compassion; cutting back government is a sign of cold-hearted meanness. By their misuse of the term for partisan advantage, partisans and ideologues have thoroughly muddied up the real meaning of the word." (08/29/14)

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Still Nader after all these years

The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

"For many Democrats who came of age after 2000, Ralph Nader is a crank who cost Al Gore the presidency. But Nader deserves a more honored place in the progressive pantheon. Over the years, Nader has understood the stranglehold of corporate power on democracy as well as anyone, and throughout his career he has creatively organized counterweights. In the heyday of postwar reform, the 1960s and 1970s, Nader-inspired groups prodded and energized Congressional allies to enact one piece of pro-consumer legislation after another. ... Since then, Nader has been a prophet, often without honor in his own coalition." [editor's note: A surprisingly unbiased (even says nice things about Cato) analysis of Nader's effect on the political game - SAT] (08/29/14)

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Poverty capitalism in 2014 — introducing private probation companies

A Lightning War for Liberty
by Michael Krieger

"Naturally, a society that embraces private prisons would also embrace the privatization of all sorts of other things that have no business being privatized due to perverse incentives. One such example with which I was unfamiliar until today are private probation companies. These companies are seemingly vested with the power to threaten jail in order to collect payments. Additionally, constitutionally protected rights that were previously free are now being charged to those mired in the 'justice' system." (08/28/14)

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Bad Quaker Podcast, 08/29/14

Bad Quaker Dot Com

"Part 2 of 2, Ki returns to the podcast to discuss the sin of voting, blasphemous 'law makers,' how minimum wages create drug problems, and agorism." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/29/14)

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The myth of the unchanging value of gold

Joseph T. Salerno Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Joseph T. Salerno

"According to mainstream economics textbooks, one of the primary functions of money is to measure the value of goods and services exchanged on the market. A typical statement of this view is given by Frederic Mishkin in his textbook on money and banking. '[M]oney ... is used to measure value in the economy,' he claims. 'We measure the value of goods and services in terms of money, just as we measure weight in terms of pounds and distance in terms of miles.' When money is conceived as a measure of value, the policy implication is that one of the primary objectives of the central bank should be to maintain a stable price level." (08/29/14)

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Contra Krugman, Europe shows benefit of lean government

Robert P. Murphy Mises Canada
by Robert P. Murphy

"The great thing about Paul Krugman is that you just need to let him tie the rhetorical noose with which he hangs himself. The funniest example is when he asked a group of Canadians in a live forum whether they liked their government health care, and it blew up in his face. Another good one was when I showed (in the final section of this article) the failure of two of Krugman’s empirical 'tests' of the Keynesian demand-side explanation. In the current post, I’ll show once again that Krugman’s own choices -- this time regarding 'austerity' in Europe -- –illustrate the bankruptcy (both figuratively and literally) of Keynesian fiscal analysis." (08/29/14)

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