Today's Edition


| Commentary

US charges Iraqi woman with crime committed in Iraq

Boston Herald

"The wife of a senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year has been charged in federal court with holding American Kayla Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker's death, the Justice Department says. Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, admitted after her capture last May that she and her husband kept Mueller captive along with several other young female hostages, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case. ... The criminal complaint, filed by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, charges Umm Sayyaf with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terror organization, resulting in death." [editor's note: I wonder when the New York State Patrol will start setting up speed traps on Germany's autobahn, and when New Jersey's gaming commission will start issuing citations to Monte Carlo's casinos for operating without permits? - TLK] (02/09/16)

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France: Regulators order Facebook to stop tracking non-users


"Yet more privacy problems for Facebook in Europe. Now the French data protection authority, the CNIL, has issued the company with a formal notice to get its house in order and comply with European data protection law or face possible referral to the CNIL’s select committee which could then choose to pursue a sanction against the company. ... action follows a lawsuit brought against Facebook by the Belgian data protection authority last summer, which was also concerned with how it tracks non-users. The Belgian legal action led to the threat of daily fines for Facebook if it did not amend the operation of its tracking cookies -- which it subsequently did, switching to requiring users to log in to view pages on the site." [editor's note: Hey, I wonder if the GOVERNMENTS involved could be persuaded to stop tracking non-users of THEIR "services?" - TLK] (02/09/16)

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MO: Senate debates repealing death penalty

Springfield News-Leader

"The Republican-led Missouri Senate for the first time in years debated a bill to repeal the state's death penalty, though the measure is unlikely to advance. A bipartisan group of lawmakers to implored their colleagues Monday to end capital punishment. Missouri has executed 18 killers in the last two years." (02/09/16)

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CT: Man who served 20 years for murder he didn’t commit awarded $6 million

ABC News ABC News

"A man who served more than 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit has been awarded $6 million by the state of Connecticut. Miguel Roman was released from prison in 2008 after DNA tests pointed to another man in the 1988 slaying of a 17-year-old girl in Hartford. ... Roman was sentenced to prison for 60 years after a jury convicted him in 1990 of the killing of Carmen Lopez. Roman is now 59." (02/09/16)

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FL: Man accused of tossing gator into Wendy’s drive-thru window


"Gator wasn't on the menu but one did make an appearance inside a Wendy's just east of Loxahatchee in Royal Palm Beach [Florida]. And it wasn't by choice. ... FWC officials say 23-year-old Joshua James pulled up for his order and after a server handed over a drink and turned around James reached into the back of his truck and tossed the 3-and-a-half foot gator through the drive-thru window. ... James faces charges of aggravated assault and unlawful possession and transportation of an alligator." (02/08/16)

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Canada to end airstrikes against Islamic State

Wheeling News-Register

"Canada's prime minister on Monday announced that the country will end airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq by Feb. 22, saying that 'the people terrorized by ISIL every day don't need our vengeance, they need our help.' Justin Trudeau, following up on campaign promises he made last year, also announced that the government will expand efforts to train local forces and rebuild the war-torn region." (02/08/16)

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Hong Kong: Activists, police clash over holiday food stalls

ABC News

"Hong Kong's Lunar New Year celebration has descended into chaotic scenes as protesters and police clashed over a street market selling fish balls and other local holiday delicacies. Activists angered over authorities' attempts to crack down on the food hawkers in a crowded Kowloon neighborhood held running battles with police into the early morning hours of Tuesday." (02/08/16)

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Haiti: Martelly steps down, sparking doubts about successor

United Press International United Press International

"Haitian President Michel Martelly stepped down from his position, completing his term but leaving the impoverished country without a successor. Martelly, 54, handed over his symbolic presidential sash Sunday to the leader of the National Assembly and said in a farewell speech to the nation, 'I am at the end of my mandate.' He said he regretted presidential elections were deferred during his five-year administration. His term was regarded as autocratic and he was accused of living a lavish and corrupt lifestyle." (02/08/16)

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UN report: Syria regime “exterminating detainees”

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"The Syrian government has carried out a state policy of extermination against thousands of detainees, UN human rights investigators say. They accuse President Bashar al-Assad's regime of crimes against humanity, in a report for the UN Human Rights Council. The study says both loyalist and anti-government forces have committed possible war crimes. Many detainees were tortured, some were beaten to death, and others died from lack of food, water, or medical care." (02/08/16)

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Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills three, wounds 14

Reuters Reuters

"At least three people were killed and 14 wounded on Monday when a suicide bomber attacked a bus filled with Afghan army personnel in northern Afghanistan, officials said. The blast occurred just before 8 a.m. in Dehdadi district, not far from the Balkh provincial capital of Mazar-i-Sharif, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense. ... The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement released online." (02/08/16)

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VT: Dozens get inked with free Sanders tat

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Fans of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are wearing their support for him on their sleeves -- and on their rib cages, calves, necks and backs. Several dozen people have flocked to Aartistic Tattoo in Montpelier, Vermont, to get a free tattoo of the senator, complete with his unkempt hair and thick-rimmed glasses. The Burlington Free Press reports that the promotion began a week ago. Tattoo artist Chad Fay says it will run as long as Sanders does. Tattoo artist Jessica Andrew tells the newspaper she inked Sanders' image on eight people in two days. Fay says he's done at least 15 tattoos of Sanders in the past week." [editor's note: This would seem to take bumperstickers and buttons a bit too far, and a lot harder to scrape off later - SAT] (02/08/16)

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China: Gays say life has changed much for the better

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"A rising tide of public tolerance for gay people in China is beginning to erode official prejudice, activists here say. Last month, for the first time, a Chinese court agreed to hear a case brought by a gay couple against a government agency that had refused to register them as married. In another landmark decision late last year, government film censors approved for public release a joint Sino-French film featuring two homosexual men in romantic lead roles -- the first time such subject matter had passed official scrutiny." (02/08/16)

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Germany, Turkey vow diplomatic effort to end Aleppo violence

Wheeling News-Register

"As tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing violence massed at Turkey's border, Turkish and German leaders pledged Monday to redouble diplomatic efforts to end the fighting around the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo and prevent more refugees making their way into Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, that she was 'not just appalled but horrified' by the suffering caused by the bombing in Syria, primarily by Russia." (02/09/16)

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Pro-choice group cries foul over Doritos commercial “ultrasound”

Fox News Fox News

"A pro-choice group kicked off a corn chip controversy Sunday night when it mocked a Doritos commercial as being 'anti-choice' for using the 'tactic of humanizing fetuses.' Some viewers laughed, while others were a little put off by the 'Ultrasound' ad, which showed a fictitious fetus kicking around in the womb as its oblivious and expectant father munched on Doritos. But few took the advertisement as seriously as NARAL Pro-Choice America, which tweeted '#NotBuyingIt -- that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50.' The tweet (part of a barrage criticizing various aspects of Super Bowl commercials seen as sexist or anti-choice) received 348 retweets and 325 favorites." [editor's note: I am pro-choice and thought it was hilarious, as did a variety of people at the Super Bowl party I attended; NARAL needs to get a clue - SAT] (02/08/16)

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The “War on Terror” has cost US taxpayers $1.7 trillion


"According to data compiled by the Mercatus Center citing the Congressional Research Service, the cost of global 'War on Terror' operations (including both Afghanistan and Iraq) since 2001 had reached about $1.6 trillion by FY2014. When war funding approved by Congress for FY2015 is taken into account, the total reaches $1.7 trillion." (02/03/16)

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Saudi offer to send troops to Syria comes with uncertainty

Tuscaloosa News

"Saudi Arabia's offer to send troops to fight Islamic State in Syria is as much about the kingdom's growing determination to flex its military might as it is about answering U.S. calls for more help from its allies in the Middle East. A Saudi deployment runs the potentially explosive risk of confrontation between one of the Arab world's most powerful militaries and forces keeping Syrian President Bashar Assad in power." (02/08/16)

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War games in Middle East could prepare UK for “potential” Russian war

Russia Today [Russian state media]

"The British Army is to deploy 1,600 troops in Jordan to take part in war games which could be preparation for a potential 'confrontation' between Russia and NATO member countries in Eastern Europe, the Daily Telegraph has reported, citing sources. Army sources told the paper that the exercise, which will simulate an Iraq invasion for the first time in over a decade, is not a prelude to sending ground troops to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL), rather Exercise Shamal Storm could be seen as a practice routine to fight off any potential Russian invasion of Ukraine or Eastern Europe." (02/08/16)

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Clinton has, controls transcripts of speeches she’s been dodgy about releasing

Sacramento Bee

"Hillary Clinton, who faces mounting pressure to release transcripts of her paid speeches, routinely demanded that a stenographer be present at her events so she could maintain a record of what she said. At least four of Clinton's contracts include a clause stating a transcript would be produced for Clinton and that the former secretary of state would own them and control their release, according to contracts obtained by McClatchy. ... In response to a question about whether she would release transcripts Thursday during the fifth and final debate before voting begins in New Hampshire, Clinton said, 'I will look into it. I don't know the status, but I will certainly look into it.' 'I don't think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,' top Clinton adviser Joel Benenson told reporters Friday. And on Sunday, she said she would release the transcripts -- if everyone who has ever given a paid speech also did." (02/08/16)

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Migrants drown as boats capsize near Greece

Deutsche Welle [Germany]

"More than twenty migrants died on Monday when two boats sank between the Turkish and Greek coasts. Both were headed for the island of Lesbos, only a few miles from Turkey's Edremit coastal district and the town of Dikili, from where they set sail. The death toll ranged from 22 to 33 dead as both governments worked to determine the exact number of casualties. Several people were rescued by a fisherman and by the Turkish coast guard, which told the press it had deployed more boats and helicopters to search for around 13 passengers who remained unaccounted for." (02/08/16)

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White House seeks $1.8 billion to fight Zika virus

The Hill The Hill

"The White House is seeking $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus, hoping to halt the spread of the relatively unknown disease. The mosquito-borne virus, which was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, has infected 51 people in the United States, as of last Friday. While the virus causes mild symptoms in adults, it has been linked to birth defects in newborns as well as the paralyzing condition Guillain Barré syndrome in adults." (02/08/16)

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| News

Lesser evil voting and Hillary Clinton’s war on the poor

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ben Burgis

"I voted for Jill Stein in 2012, and I'll do so again as a matter of course if Hillary is nominated in 2016. I'm cautiously optimistic that a non-trivial fraction of those currently Feeling the Bern may do the same, just as a spillover effect from Ron Paul's liberatarian-ish Presidential campaign in 2012 seems to have contributed to the unprecedented million votes received by Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson in the 2012 general election. I would argue that breaking the stranglehold of the two-party 'duopoly' on American politics is clearly in the interests of working people -- not to mention the interests of all the people in the third world who live in fear of American bombs. As OACW union leader Tony Mazzocchi was fond of saying, 'The bosses have two parties. We need one of our own.'" (02/09/16)

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The research pirates of the Dark Web

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Kaveh Waddell

"There's a battle raging over whether academic research should be free, and it's overflowing into the dark web. Most modern scholarly work remains locked behind paywalls, and unless your computer is on the network of a university with an expensive subscription, you have to pay a fee, often around 30 dollars, to access each paper. Many scholars say this system makes publishers rich -- Elsevier, a company that controls access to more than 2,000 journals, has a market capitalization about equal to that of Delta Airlines -- but does not benefit the academics that conducted the research, or the public at large. Others worry that free academic journals would have a hard time upholding the rigorous standards and peer reviews that the most prestigious paid journals are famous for." (02/09/16)

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Interview with Dr. Benn Steil

Cobden Centre
by Max Rangeley

"Dr. Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also the founding editor of International Finance, a top scholarly economics journal, and lead writer of the Council's Geo-Graphics economics blog. Prior to his joining the Council in 1999, he was director of the International Economics Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London." (02/09/16)

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Free Talk Live, 02/08/16

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live

"The Silk Road Case :: Lower Receivers :: Corrupt Silk Road Secret Service Agent Busted Attempting Escape from US One Day Prior to Prison Sentence :: Silk Road Moderator Sentenced to Time Served :: Could Ketamine Treat Depression :: Liberty Forum :: Why are drugs illegal? :: MDMA, Psilocybin, Nicotine :: Ron Paul Says Ted Cruz Less Libertarian than Sanders :: Prophetic Vision :: Driving While High :: NJ Ralph for Trump :: Still Voting for Rand?" [Flash audio or MP3] (02/08/16)

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The Libertarian Angle, 02/09/16: History of economic thought, part 4

Future of Freedom Foundation Future of Freedom Foundation

"In this segment, Richard Ebeling and Jacob Hornberger discuss the rise of the Austrian school of economic thought and its contributions." [Flash video] (02/09/16)

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ObamaCare’s Robin Hood scheme and the socioeconomics of health

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon Herrick

"Obamacare is a bad deal for most people by design. Most individuals have few health concerns. For instance, about half the population spends less than $500 annually on medical care. For a decade prior to the ACA I often heard liberal public health advocates chant the imbecilic phrase, 'health coverage won't be affordable until everyone has coverage.' What they meant by that was if insurers were required to cover money-losing customers at rates that did not reflect their costs, new regulations would have to force healthier individuals to purchase coverage that was overpriced compared to their health costs. Thus, at its core Obamacare is a wealth redistribution scheme." (02/08/16)

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Policy science kills

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

"The climate-change debate has many people wondering whether we should really turn over public policy -- which deals with fundamental matters of human freedom -- to a state-appointed scientific establishment. Must moral imperatives give way to the judgment of technical experts in the natural sciences? Should we trust their authority? Their power? There is a real history here to consult. The integration of government policy and scientific establishments has reinforced bad science and yielded ghastly policies. There's no better case study than the use of eugenics: the science, so called, of breeding a better race of human beings." (02/08/16)

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Imprisoning the messenger

Mary Theroux Independent Institute
by Mary Theroux

"Those behind the prosecution of the Planned Parenthood/StemExpress sting videographers might be surprised by the stunning parallels with an earlier case: that of pioneering investigative journalist William T. Stead, imprisoned for exposing the horrors of human trafficking of girls into forced prostitution more than 130 years ago." (02/08/16)

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Dangerous speech: Would the founders be considered domestic extremists today?

John W. Whitehead Tenth Amendment Center
by John W Whitehead

"Not only has free speech become a four-letter word -- profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places -- but in more and more cases, the government deems free speech to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal. The U.S. government has become particularly intolerant of speech that challenges the government's power, reveals the government's corruption, exposes the government's lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government's many injustices." (02/08/16)

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How ex-Communists shaped American conservatism

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Sam Tanenhaus

"A paradox of 20th-century American politics is that its most sustained ideological movement, modern conservatism, was the brainchild of ex-Communists who had been disillusioned by the crimes of the Soviet revolution or caught on the wrong side of factional disputes. Estranged and unhappy, they went in search of a new god and helped create it -- in the mirror image, it has often seemed, of the one that failed them the first time." (for publication 03/16)

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The Bob Zadek Show, 02/07/16: How do you remember the American Revolution?

Bob Zadek The Bob Zadek Show

"Andrew M. Schocket, Professor of History and American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, wants his students and readers to think more clearly about our collective 'memory' of the American Revolution." [various formats] (02/07/16)

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The candidate of Republican nostalgia

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson

"John Kasich begins his town hall gatherings in New Hampshire with a trip down memory lane. On a sparkling Super Bowl Sunday, at his 101st town hall, he came before jam-packed auditorium at a Nashua Community College and made a point of countering the doom-and-gloom jeremiads of his Republican rivals by summoning remembrances of past glories. He told of how he sat alongside his parents and watched men walk on the moon; how as a kid he met Ronald Reagan and, better still, Jimmy Stewart (after whose manner, minus the stammer, he somewhat models his own); how Reagan and Tip O’Neill relaxed over drinks and saved Social Security; how the Berlin Wall came down thanks to Reagan’s resoluteness. Into this flow of world historic moments, he weaves an account of his own career, taking credit for the federal budget surpluses of the late 1990s (he was then chair of the House Budget Committee) and for balancing the budget while creating jobs in Ohio." (02/08/16)

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Free trade and labor market displacement

Notes On Liberty
by Vincent Geloso

"Nobody said that free trade was 'costless' to adapt to. I do economic history. I see cases of industries being protected for decades. Protectionism not only raise prices, but it changes relative prices between different inputs. It incites the adoption of an artificially profitable production method. It is profitable to do so, but it is by no means the most efficient approach. It was made profitable only by the artifice of regulation and duties. Once you eliminate that artifice by removing the barriers, you still have 'time to build' problem and a need to change production methods. That takes time. However, governments are very good at making sure this takes more time than needed ..." (02/08/16)


The Tom Woods Show, episode 588: Tom and Lew discuss the New Hampshire debate

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show

"Lew Rockwell joins me for another debate analysis! The second-place slot is fluid in New Hampshire right now, so this debate could prove crucial." [various formats] (02/08/16)

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Rewriting the progressive playbook

In These Times In These Times
by Joel Bleifuss

"Wisconsin, that one-time bastion of progressivism, is now a policy laboratory of the American Right. Since 2011, Republicans have used their lock on the governorship and the legislature to pass right-to-work legislation, gut environmental protections and dumb down a once-vaunted education system. In 2015, the state’s GOP-dominated Supreme Court squelched a criminal inquiry into the scheme that made this possible -- specifically, how at least $9.1 million in dark money from the Wisconsin Club for Growth corrupted the recall elections of six GOP state senators in 2011 and Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. The untold millions the Koch brothers and friends funneled into Wisconsin is only part of the story. Badger state Republicans have also outsmarted their Democratic opponents. Wisconsin progressives (and indeed, their counterparts nationwide) suffer from a 'strategy gap,' says Robert Kraig." (02/08/16)

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 02/08/16

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute

"In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Tim Bishop, a partner in the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Practice at MayerBrown LLP, who is serving as counsel for the American Farm Bureau Federation, joins Host H. Sterling Burnett to discuss new EPA regulations that give it authority over land that is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed." [various formats] (02/08/16)

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Three reasons to be worried about the economy

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Yonathan Amselem

"On January 12, America's central planner-in-chief gave his State of the Union address. The president promised nothing less than to feed the hungry, create jobs, shape the earth's climate, and make everyone a college graduate. There's nothing new here, though. ... Despite our leader's unwavering confidence in America's fortunes, a quick peak under the hood reveals a pretty grim state of American commerce." (02/08/16)

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Russia having success in hybrid war against Germany

Reuters Reuters
by Lucian Kim

"The attack came in the form of a Saturday evening newscast from Moscow. It would take days before the German government realized what was happening, but by that time the damage was already done. Germany’s sizable Russian-speaking community (made up of migrants from the former Soviet Union) was up in arms about a report that refugees from the Middle East had gang-raped a 13-year-old Russian girl in Berlin -- and that the local police was covering up the crime. Until recently, Germany had largely been spared the wrath of Russia’s state propaganda machine." (02/07/16)

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People prefer neo-traditional buildings

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Ben Southwood

"It seems obvious to me -- and I think to most people -- that housing built since the 1930s is by and large much less attractive than housing built before. But if this is true, and if we are much richer now than we were in the 1930s and before, then why would we build, buy and live in housing we don't like? We have some sort of market in housing; surely if we really all preferred traditional housing styles we'd just buy it." (02/08/16)

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Women who don’t support Hillary Clinton are probably going to hell

The American Specator
by Emily Zanotti

"Last week, there was a Hill story about an organized pressure campaign on Elizabeth Warren, designed to shame her into openly supporting Hillary Clinton rather than the person who fits better with her New England socialist lifestyle, Bernie Sanders. This week, there's word that Clinton surrogate Madeleine Albreight has damned Bernie's feminist legions to Hell for their gender apostasy, openly declaring that they'll be chewed alive by Satan himself in the 11th circle if they don't wise up and get on the Clinton bus." (02/08/16)

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Inequality vs. democracy: Ten facts about the 1 percent

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"Economic inequality inspired Occupy Wall Street, a movement that in a few short months transformed our political discourse with the concept of the '1 percent' and the '99 percent.' Today the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders is altering the political landscape with a call to reduce inequality. Why does this theme resonate with so many voters? How does it intersect with other issues like social justice, national security and the environment? Is inequality irreversible? ... What follows are 10 facts about the 1 percent – but they’re not just statistics. They’re a paint-by-numbers picture of an economy, and a democracy, in urgent need of change." (02/08/16)

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It’s almost over for Hillary: This election is a mass insurrection against a rigged system

by Bill Curry

"Democrats are deeply loyal to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who didn't so much reconcile their party's conflicts as engross them within their protean personalities. Hillary accuses Sanders of disloyalty to them and to the modern party they held together. When Sanders suggested that some progressive groups might be part of the establishment, she ripped into him, denying there even is such a thing. There is, of course. Its main components were once grass-roots movements that traded independence for access and are now Washington lobbies with grass-roots mailing lists. They were better off when they played harder to get." (02/08/16)

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New Hampshire: Where Hillary Clinton’s campaign lost its way

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Zev Chafets

"I’d be willing to put a few dollars on the proposition that, when the history of the 2016 presidential race is written, the past week in New Hampshire will go down as the place where the Clinton campaign lost its way. Bernie Sanders didn’t do her in. She did it herself, with two unforced errors. The first error was her transparently false attempt to recast herself as a bank-busting progressive. This gave rise to a very public airing of a very inconvenient fact: After leaving the State Department, Hillary got rich selling her services to the highest bidder. ... Hillary’s second mistake in New Hampshire was boasting that she gets things done. This invites the public to focus on her record and opens a door that leads to an empty trophy room." [editor's note: A concise summary of what she has NOT done in her many career stops, as well as some of horrific things she has supported - SAT] (02/08/16)

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Only a barbaric nation drafts its mothers and daughters into combat

National Review
by the editors

"The most disappointing moment of Saturday night's debate came when Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio each embraced the idea that women should register with the selective service, making it possible for America to draft women into ground combat. The argument for registration is based on the new Pentagon policy opening up all combat jobs to women." [editor's note: Only a barbaric state drafts ANYONE, period - TLK] (02/09/16)

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The rise and fall of Rand Paul

USA Today USA Today
by James R. Carroll

"On Jan. 5, 2011, the day Rand Paul was sworn in as a United States senator, he already was a star. Well-wishers crowded a hallway and reception room in the U.S. Capitol. Journalists were everywhere. In fact, the Kentucky Republican already had been on network television that morning, broadening his already expanding national image as a new figure in American politics. I was the Washington correspondent for The Courier-Journal of Louisville, so Paul’s arrival in the Senate that January day was the start of my regular exposure to him -- and the beginning of a years-long chronicle of a man in a hurry to make his mark." (02/08/16)

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Why Google can’t criticize EU much for ruling it dominant and anticompetitive

Scott Cleland Heartland Institute
by Scott Cleland

"In the next several weeks, expect the EC's Competition Directorate to decide that Google is in fact dominant with >90% share of Internet search in Europe and that Google has abused its search dominance by biasing its own Shopping service over competitors. It also could formally charge Google for abuse of its search dominance in contractually tying Google Search and other search-driven apps like Maps, YouTube, etc. to Android to extend its search dominance to mobile search and to the operating system market where Android now owns >80% share. In taking a most extreme and ultimately indefensible legal and PR position, that the EU antitrust case is 'wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics,' Google has painted itself into a corner, PR-wise and politically, much more than many appreciate." (02/08/16)

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Cruz makes play for libertarian voters. Is anybody game?

David Boaz Cato Institute
by David Boaz

"Cruz is now lowering the volume on social issues and trying to sound like Rand Paul. CNN reports, 'Gone Wednesday morning was the vow to investigate Planned Parenthood. In was [Rand Paul's] punchline about the White House tapping your cell phone.' He's talking about the Fourth Amendment, eminent domain, and auditing the Federal Reserve. He's downplaying the social issues that he emphasized in Iowa. (Maybe he'll bring them back next week in South Carolina.) But will libertarians buy it?" (02/08/16)

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The awful state of Republican foreign policy debate

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

"Daniel DePetris said last week that Paul's exit from the race would hurt the quality of the foreign policy debate in the primaries .... The treatment of foreign policy and national security issues on Saturday in the eighth Republican debate showed just how true this is. Whether it was Cruz's insistence on defending his ignorant carpet bombing rhetoric, Trump's promise to bring 'a lot worse' than waterboarding back into use on detainees, or Bush and Rubio's silly belief that a Sunni Arab army can be conjured up to fight ISIS in Syria, virtually everything that the candidates said about foreign policy was either irresponsible or delusional or both." (02/08/16)

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The curse and failure of identity politics

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Vincent Emanuele

"I think we've all had enough of the bullshit: identity politics has been a curse to leftist movements in the U.S. for far too long. How could anyone argue otherwise? During the Obama years, leftists were chastised for their critiques, with many, including myself, being accused of racism. Racism, really? I've spent the last ten years of my life dedicated to progressive social movements, yet I'm a racist because I think that Barack Obama is an imperialist scumbag? Piss off ... Today, the same is happening in the context of Hillary Clinton's run for U.S. President. Any and all critiques of Hillary are deemed 'sexist' by HRC's bootlickers." (02/08/16)

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Section 1332, where are you?

John R. Graham Independent Institute
by John R Graham

"People are starting to get excited about another Obamacare work-around: The section 1332 waiver. This refers to a section of Obamacare that allows states great flexibility in how they deliver Obamacare within their borders. The curious thing about section 1332 waivers is that they can only be issued as of January 1, 2017. Why? Why not allow states to get section 1332 waivers as of October 2010, when Obamacare's first regulations took effect? Or January 2014, when the gushers of tax credits began to flow through the exchanges? Who knows? Maybe the administration just thought they needed a few years for the cement around Obamacare to solidify." (02/08/16)

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Mandatory depression is screening is a depressing thought

Ron Paul Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

"The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans." (02/08/16)

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Peace is the keystone of liberty

Dan Sanchez
by Dan Sanchez

"The anti-war movement desperately needs libertarian leadership. And the libertarian movement urgently needs to be strongly anti-war. So in this essay I will offer some chief reasons for every libertarian to be 100% non-interventionist and actively engaged in the cause of peace." (02/08/16)

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Healthy economic growth is our missing ingredient

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman

"This year's Republican presidential race has generated an unusual number of unusually bad ideas -- Donald Trump on Muslims, Ted Cruz on carpet bombing, Marco Rubio on male footwear. It has also has produced one of the best: Jeb Bush's 4 percent plan. No, that wasn't his desired share of the vote in the Iowa caucus, where he got less than 3 percent. It's his goal for annual economic growth, which he argues would 'restore the opportunity for every American to rise and achieve earned success.'" (02/08/16)

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Hillary Clinton, double agent?

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton rails against a 'political system hijacked by billionaires and special interests.' Billionaire George Soros just wrote a $6 million check to a pro-Hillary SuperPAC. 'Our democracy should work for everyone,' states, 'not just the wealthy and well-connected.' Last week, we discovered Mrs. Clinton was paid a whopping $675,000 by Goldman Sachs, the politically-connected Wall Street investment firm, for three speeches after she left the State Department. Nice work if you can get it." (02/08/16)

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Joseph Schumpeter the “father” of capitalist “creative destruction”

Richard M. Ebeling Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

"Today is Austrian-born economist, Joseph A. Schumpeter's, birthday. Born on February 8, 1883, he died on January 8, 1950. Schumpeter is famous as a leading 20th century formulator of the notion of the entrepreneur as dynamic innovator of change, and also as a master of the history of economic ideas." (02/08/16)

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A new Cold War?

by Tara McCormack

"Now, it may well be the case that Russia has given money to Front National or Golden Dawn or UKIP or Jeremy Corbyn for all we know. After all, funding other nations' opposition parties has always been bread-and-butter work for foreign powers, including the US secret service -- it funnelled money into the so-called Colour Revolutions and armed groups in Ukraine and the Middle East. I've no doubt Russia does it, too. However, the idea that Putin is behind the current refugee crisis and the longer-term political problems in the Eurozone is simply ludicrous. Not even the flimsiest understanding of the history of the past decade could support such a proposition." (02/08/16)

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Opposing the plutocracy means opposing the warfare state

Gary Chartier Center for a Stateless Society
by Gary Chartier

"[Bernie] Sanders isn't a hawk. He opposed the invasion of Iraq and interventions in Libya and Syria. But he's not a consistent non-interventionist or opponent of the national security state. He favored the invasion of Afghanistan. He's even said he favors prosecuting courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden. And he's missed out on an obvious opportunity to challenge the warmongers precisely as a way of reducing economic inequity. The war-making budget, totaling in the vicinity of $1 trillion (when Pentagon allocations are combined with interest payments and appropriations for military-related activities in other departments), is a huge source of revenue for the wealthy and well connected." (02/07/16)

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When in Rome: “Criminal consequences” for Assange’s tormentors?

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

"Prior to this ruling, Assange's persecutors might have been able to plausibly claim legal uncertainty as an extenuating circumstance. That defense is no longer available. Assange's continued confinement after the ruling constitutes the knowing and intentional commission of several prosecutable war crimes." (02/06/16)

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Justice, not amnesty, for “illegal immigrants”

Sheldon Richman Free Association
by Sheldon Richman

"It speaks volumes that the dirtiest word in the Republican and conservative lexicon is amnesty. At a minimum, it exposes as a flagrant lie the claim that Republicans and conservatives want to expand liberty and limit government power. One cannot consistently praise the principle, central to the supposedly beloved Declaration of Independence, that 'all men [that is, persons, not only Americans] are created equal' while also demanding that the government control some people's freedom to move. One also cannot claim to be a champion of liberty and limited power while calling for measures to prevent people without papers from finding work or making a home in the United States." (02/05/16)

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Don’t make women register for the draft. Just end draft registration for everyone.

Christopher A Preble Cato Institute
by Christopher A Preble

"Top military brass made headlines this week when they called for expanding the Selective Service System -- as close as we come, these days, to a draft registry -- to include women. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Army chief of staff, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, both framed the issue as a matter of fairness: All eligible U.S. citizens should be included, Neller said, 'Now that the restrictions that exempted women from [combat jobs] don't exist.' But a better idea than requiring women to register is to do away with Selective Service altogether, for women and men. When it comes to the draft, or any lingering vestige of it, it's time for Congress to end it, not mend it." (02/05/16)

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The great candidate debate shows: Walking the fed carpet

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"The presidential candidate debate After-Shows sound like something you would hear on Entertainment Tonight or Extra or Access Hollywood. They're like B List pundits commenting on the designer duds worn by the celebrities posturing in front of the cameras at the endlessly self-indulgent award shows. Critiquing the debate shows has become more like recapping the Oscars or the Grammys, except the presidential pretenders aren't walking the red carpet." (02/07/16)

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Rubio only looks foolish when he tries to out-trump Trump

USA Today USA Today
by Raul Reyes

"On Wednesday, President Obama made history, visiting an American mosque for the first time during his presidency. Appearing at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the president described U.S. Muslims as part of 'one American family.' Although he received a warm welcome from those in attendance, the president reserved part of his message for non-Muslims, when he cautioned against bigotry. 'And so if we’re serious about freedom of religion -- and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country -- we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,' he said. Obama’s visit drew front-page coverage on newspapers from New York to London to the Middle East." [editor's note: Yep, the rest of the time MR just looks psychotic - SAT] (02/05/16)

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A frolic in Fort Collins

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

"Last week, the 66-year-old gravity furnace in our otherwise cozy little 1949 tract home failed us and apparently can't be repaired for lack of parts. It was like a relative dying. We found some nice folks to eject the old warp-core and install a new, technologically superior model without destroying us financially, and piggyback central air-conditioning on it so I don't have to take my usual summer 'sabbatical' any more (I can't think when it gets much above 85 degrees). A humidifier will save my wonderful collection of musical instruments (mostly guitars) until I've recovered from my 2014 stroke (I get microscopically better every day) and I can play them again. I will play them again." (02/07/16)

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Enormous, humongous December; record yearly trade deficit

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"The U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday that the December goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $43.4 billion. Imports were up, exports were down. The cause was a 'stronger' dollar, decreased demand around the world thanks to 'austerity' policies that take money out of economies, and, of course, our job-killing 'free trade' policies. The 2015 goods and services deficit added up to $531.5 billion. This was $23.2 billion (4.6 percent) more than 2014. The goods and services trade deficit with China was a record $365.7 billion in 2015. That represents a billion dollars worth of jobs shipped to China every single day for a year." (02/06/16)

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Danger ahead

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"I've been critical of Sen. Rand Paul's presidential campaign for waffling on the libertarian anti-interventionist position on foreign policy: however, he never gave an inch on the surveillance issue. With him out of the race, we hear only the Orwellian nonsense emanating from people like Ted Cruz, who now says he supported Rand's legislation to roll back Big Brother because he wants more surveillance. And of course the others, including Hillary Clinton, are just as bad. Bernie Sanders stands alone in opposing the National Security Agency's spying on the American people, but he has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination, let alone the White House, and will eventually be endorsing Mrs. Clinton -- whose record on civil liberties and Internet freedom is appalling. These two issues -- war and civil liberties -- are inextricably linked: the more we invade the world, the more our rulers will demand the authority to police the home front, in the name of 'defending' the country. It's a dynamic that will continue to roll on, and that signals danger ahead." (02/07/16)

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You’re libertarian or you’re not

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal

"Libertarianism is filled with wolves in sheep's clothing. People with anti-liberty ideals, when they share some pro-liberty ideals with libertarians, believe we share all their ideals. We don't. In fact, their anti-liberty 'values' are disgusting. I know there are also those who claim to be 'conservative' or 'liberal' who can't meet the minimum measure to fit the bill. Regardless of where you stand, I'm sure you can relate to the problem of wolves in sheep's clothing among any group." (02/04/16)

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