Today's Edition


| Commentary

Yemen: Saudi-led airstrikes hit six cities

Killeen Daily Herald

"Attempts to ease fighting in Yemen appeared to falter Thursday, as Shiite rebels [sic] pressed an offensive in the south and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition intensified its airstrikes less than two days after it said it was scaling back the campaign. All sides have declared their willingness to enter talks, but none has taken any steps to end the conflict that has killed more than 1,000 people." (04/23/15)

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White House: Two hostages accidentally killed in drone strike

USA Today

"President Obama expressed 'grief and condolences' Thursday for a drone strike against suspected terrorists that accidentally killed two hostages. Obama said he took full responsibility for the operation and apologized to the families of the hostages. 'I profoundly regret what happened,' he said. The two Western hostages -- one American, one Italian -- were killed during a drone strike this year that targeted members of al-Qaeda, the White House said." [editor's note: By "taking full responsibility," I assume he doesn't mean turning himself in, confessing, and pleading guilty to multiple counts of terrorism and murder. He just means he's saying the words "I take full responsibility" - TLK] (04/23/15)

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Petraeus gets probation for giving information to lover; Manning still in prison for giving information to the American people

New York Daily News

"Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an extramarital affair with his biographer, was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation plus a $100,000 fine for giving her classified material while she was working on the book." (04/23/15)

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US Senate confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

The Washington Post Washington Post

"Loretta E. Lynch's long wait to become U.S. attorney general ended Thursday, with the Senate voting to confirm the veteran New York prosecutor's nomination five months after President Obama submitted it to Congress. Ten Republicans joined the Senate's 44 Democrats and two independents in supporting Lynch’s confirmation, a margin slightly wider than expected ahead of the vote." (04/23/15)

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China issues new warning over North Korean nuke production

Fox News Fox News

"Chinese nuclear experts reportedly warned the U.S. earlier this year that North Korea's nuclear arsenal is larger than previously estimated, creating a heightened security threat to the U.S. and its East Asian allies. The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that by Beijing's estimate, North Korea may already have manufactured 20 nuclear warheads and is capable of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double that amount by next year. U.S. experts have previously estimated that North Korea has between 10 and 16 nuclear weapons." (04/23/15)

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Indonesia: Foreign diplomats summoned to Nusakambangan ahead of planned state killings

Jakarta Post [Indonesia]

"The government has summoned foreign embassy officials to the prison island where nine convicted foreign drug smugglers and one Indonesian are due to be [killed by state employees]. Diplomats confirmed to the BBC that they had been told to go to Nusakambangan prison island on Saturday. The request could suggest the [premeditated killings], which include the two Australian ringleaders of the Bali Nine heroin-smuggling gang, are imminent." (04/24/15)

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Italy: Police seek 18 terror suspects, two former bin Laden guards

Fox News Fox News

"Italian police said Friday they were making arrests of 18 alleged Islamic extremists, including two purported body guards for Usama bin Laden, who allegedly staged attacks in Pakistan and sought to topple the Pakistani government. Anti-terror police in Sardinia said they were executing arrest warrants for 18 suspects. Police said some were responsible for 'numerous bloody acts of terrorism in Pakistan,' including the deadly October 2009 explosion in a Peshawar market that killed more than 100 people." (04/24/15)

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South Africa: Poverty fueling xenophobic flames

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"On a recent afternoon in the factory-lined Johannesburg suburb of Actonville, a small crowd of men sit huddled over cups of umqombothi, a frothy traditional beer, and describe their homes. The roofs leak, they say, and the toilets overflow. As many as 10 of them squeeze into a single cramped bedroom, sometimes without even a mattress. Behind them sits a sprawling encampment of overcrowded residence halls originally built by the apartheid government to house migrant black laborers brought here to power the city’s gold mines and factories. Today, the brick structures slump with decay, windows gap-toothed and rats scrambling over the garbage piled in the passageways between buildings." (04/23/15)

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Columbia student alleges gender bias after rape claim tossed

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"A Columbia University student sued the school Thursday, saying it failed to protect him against harassment when a female student went public with claims he raped her after school and law enforcement authorities rejected her case. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Paul Nungesser, a German citizen who said onetime friend Emma Sulkowicz has repeatedly and publicly called him a 'serial rapist,' resulting in national and international media attention. Defendants include the school, its board of trustees, President Lee C. Bollinger and Professor Jon Kessler. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages." (04/23/15)

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Report: Comcast plans to drop Time Warner Cable merger

Reuters Reuters

"Comcast Corp's board was meeting late on Thursday to finalize plans to abandon its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc, according to a person directly familiar with the matter. A formal announcement is expected as early as Friday, the person added, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Comcast and Time Warner Cable declined to comment. The news came a day after officials of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two largest U.S. cable companies, met with reviewers at the Justice Department, which is considering whether the deal would harm competition, and the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering whether the deal was in public interest." (04/23/15)

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FDA study: Cigars just as dangerous as cigarettes

Raw Story Raw Story

"Cigar smoking in the United States has doubled in the past decade from 6.2 billion cigars in 2000 to over 13.7 billion in 2011. At the same time, cigarette use has dropped by 30 percent. Hopefully, it’s not because Americans think they’re protecting their health by switching from cigarettes to cigars. A recent study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that smoking cigars is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking and leads to just as many fatal conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one large cigar usually contains around one-half ounce of aged, fermented tobacco. That much tobacco is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes." (04/23/15)

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Germany: Government acknowledges “shortcomings” at spy agency

Fort Dodge Messenger

"The German government acknowledged 'shortcomings' at the country's foreign intelligence agency Thursday, following allegations that it may have helped the United States spy on Europeans. German weekly Der Spiegel reported on its website Thursday that the Federal Intelligence Agency for years monitored telecoms traffic using filters provided by the U.S. National Security Agency." (04/23/15)

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Argentina: Former spy master has fled country amid threats

Greenfield Daily Reporter

"Argentina's most famous spy master has fled the country due to threats on his life and is not complying with a summons ordering him to testify Thursday in connection with the investigation into a 1994 terror bombing, his lawyer said. Antonio Stiuso fears for his safety, his lawyer, Santiago Blanco Bermudez, told The Associated Press during an interview Wednesday evening." (04/23/15)

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Chechen leader to men: Fire on unauthorized federal troops

Parkersburg News and Sentinel

"In defiance of those in Moscow eager to curb his powers, Chechnya's strongman leader told his security forces to open fire on Russian federal troops if they tried to operate in the region without his approval. Russian law enforcement agencies have been increasingly dismayed by the growing ambitions of Ramzan Kadyrov, who in exchange for the relative calm he has installed in Chechnya after two separatist wars has been allowed to maintain his own feared security forces." (04/23/15)

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Haiti: Martelly registers for Senate run

ABC News

"The wife of Haitian President Michel Martelly registered on Thursday to run for the Senate in her first attempt at elected office in the impoverished Caribbean country. First lady Sophia Martelly filed the required documents to compete in a crowded field for one of 20 open seats in the Aug. 9 election, representing the party created by her husband. She would represent a Senate district that includes the capital." (04/23/15)

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Iranian warships arrive at strategic strait off Yemen coast

Middle East Eye [UK]

"Two Iranian warships reached the Gulf of Aden just off the coast of Yemen on Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia said Iran had 'absolutely no role to play' in the impoverished country. Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported that two warships had arrived at the Gulf of Aden, a strategic waterway that connects the Persian Gulf with Egypt's Suez Canal and is thought to carry some 3.4 million barrels of oil daily. ... On Monday, days after the Iranian navy announced a deployment to the Gulf of Aden, the US Navy said that its aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was on its way to the region, escorted by the USS Normandy, a guided missile destroyer." (04/22/15)

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Senate Republicans move to extend unconstitutional/illegal NSA spying powers

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times

"Senate Republicans have launched the opening salvo in a battle over government surveillance powers, introducing a bill to preserve intact the National Security Agency’s authority to store and search domestic telephone records. ... Legal [sic] authority for the program, contained in Section 215 of the Patriot Act, is set to expire June 1. That has set off a race between lawmakers who want to preserve the government's surveillance powers and those who want to rein them in. In an unusual procedural move, the GOP measure to extend the NSA's so-called 'bulk collection' of phone records was not considered by any Senate committee. Instead, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), backed by the Intelligence Committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), moved about 10 p.m. Tuesday to ask the full Senate to reauthorize Section 215 without changes." (04/22/15) congress-20150422-story.html

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SCOTUS makes it easier to sue the US government

Reuters Reuters

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for people to sue the federal government by ruling in favor of plaintiffs in two separate cases including one involving a Hong Kong woman who was strip-searched while in immigration detention in Oregon. On a 5-4 vote deciding both cases, the justices ruled that court deadlines for filing certain lawsuits can be extended if plaintiffs have good reasons for the delay. President Barack Obama's administration had asked the court to impose a strict deadline for such lawsuits under a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act." (04/22/15)

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Turkey: Regime continues tantrum over calling genocide genocide, recalls Austria ambassador

Macon Telegraph

"Turkey said Wednesday it is recalling its ambassador to Austria after parties represented in parliament signed a declaration recognizing the massacre of Armenians a century ago as genocide. The six parties signed a declaration on Tuesday and held a minute of silence in memory of the victims. 'Due to the historic responsibility -- the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was allied with the Osman Empire during World War I -- it is our responsibility to recognize the terrible events as genocide and to condemn them,' the declaration stated." (04/22/15)

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IRS: “ObamaCare” caused us to hang up on eight million taxpayers


"The IRS' overloaded phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers this filing season as the agency cut millions of dollars from taxpayer services to help pay to enforce President Barack Obama's health law. For those who weren't disconnected, only 40 percent actually got through to a person. And many of those people had to wait on hold for more than 30 minutes, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Wednesday. ... 'Customer service, both on the phone and in person has been far worse than anyone would want,' Koskinen told the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. 'It's simply a matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide service at our walk-in sites as a result of cuts to our budget.'" (04/22/15)

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Graham, McCain call for wahhhhhhmbulance over Paul “lapdog” remark


"The Senate's Two Amigos are firing back at Rand Paul's 'lapdog' diss. Paul, the 2016 GOP presidential contender who's tussled with Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain over foreign policy, took aim at the hawkish duo this week by charging that they are 'lapdogs' for President Barack Obama's policies abroad. On Wednesday, Graham -- considering a 2016 bid of his own -- dismissed the Kentucky Republican's criticism and said Paul would have the 'worst chance of anybody to make a case against Obama’s foreign policy.' ... Meanwhile, McCain said an anonymous Obama administration official has compared him and Graham to Doberman Pinschers -- rather than lapdogs." [editor's note: I have to agree that Graham and McCain aren't "lapdogs." More like rabid Chihuahuas - TLK] (04/22/15)

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Video of US Marshal stealing, destroying woman’s phone prompts call for federal probe

USA Today USA Today

"Cellphone video of a U.S. marshal rushing a woman filming police activity in metro Los Angeles, grabbing her cellphone, throwing it to the ground and kicking it has gone viral, prompting a U.S. congresswoman to take action. U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., said in a statement that she was 'alarmed and upset' at the video of the incident between a law enforcement officer and resident Beatriz Paez and has called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. ... The incident erupted after Paez, out for a Sunday stroll in South Gate, Los Angeles County, spotted police rounding up an outlaw gang and began recording, the Los Angeles Times reported. At first, two officers tried to block Paez's view, the Times reported. The marshal then rushed Paez and grabbed the phone." (04/23/15)

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Authorities seize wrong Mexican girl for forced return to US

Watertown Public Opinion

"A 14-year-old Mexican girl who was taken by authorities and sent screaming to live in the United States was returned home Wednesday after DNA tests showed she is not the daughter of the Houston woman who claimed her. The case of Alondra Luna Nunez drew international attention after a video of the distraught girl being forced into a police vehicle last week circulated in media and on social networks." (04/22/15)

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Model for original “Rosie the Riveter” painting dies at 92

New York Post New York Post

"Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic 1943 Rosie the Riveter painting that symbolized the millions of American women who went to work on the home front during World War II, has died. She was 92. Keefe died Tuesday in Simsbury, Connecticut, after a brief illness, said her daughter, Mary Ellen Keefe. Keefe grew up in Arlington, Vermont, where she met Rockwell -- who lived in West Arlington -- and posed for his painting when she was a 19-year-old telephone operator." (04/23/15)

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Japan: Drone found on roof of prime minister’s office

Tuscaloosa News

"Japanese authorities said they were investigating after a small drone laced with traces of radiation was found Wednesday on the roof of the prime minister's office, sparking concerns about drones and their possible use for terrorist attacks. No injuries or damage were reported from the incident, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Indonesia to attend an Asian-African conference." (04/22/15)

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| News

America’s not ready for Hillary

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

"[I]t's not financial hijinks, tall tales about Bosnian sniper fire, shrugging deflections of responsibility for American deaths in Benghazi, or even her Nixonian, and undeniably criminal, actions in controlling, concealing and destroying official emails as Secretary of State that sound the death knell for her presidential aspirations. The real problem is that nobody seems to be able to think of any good reason why she should be elected president. Even among those Americans who are okay with politicians running their lives, there's no great stampede on to let THIS politician run their lives. Maybe that's because she so clearly relishes the idea." (04/23/15)

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Rand Paul, hawk or dove?

W. James Antle III The American Conservative
by W James Antle III

"Since his election to the Senate in 2010 it's barely been an exaggeration to say that the Republican foreign-policy debate has been Rand Paul versus everyone else. While he has some likeminded colleagues, especially in the House, he is the single figure most associated with a break from the GOP's Bush-Cheney national-security legacy. The debate was kicked off by his father, former Texas congressman and two-time GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. Many hoped that the son would expand the electoral base for what his father started. In the early stages of his own 2016 presidential campaign, however, Rand Paul has edged closer to the Republican foreign-policy consensus." (04/23/15)

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The Clintons, crony capitalism, and American foreign policy

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"The income stream of the Clinton Foundation, which includes many millions of dollars from foreign governments and individuals with close links to foreign governments, has created a firestorm of controversy. A forthcoming book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by Peter Schweizer, contends that, during her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton granted favors and concessions to governments that were generous in their donations to the Foundation that bears her name." (04/24/15)

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The real victim of “rape culture?” Free speech

spiked spiked
by Jamie Palmer

"In November last year, anti-rape activists at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, erupted in outrage when it was announced that libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy had been invited to take part in a debate about sexual violence. McElroy, as it happens, was herself the victim of a rape so violent it left her with permanently impaired vision. But she has since incurred the wrath of those who claim to speak for rape victims by vehemently disputing the existence of what radical feminists call 'rape culture.' Rape culture, McElroy has written, is 'a lie [which] has been successful in spite of reality' and is now being used to justify an illiberal and sinister attack on due process. Whether one agrees with this view or not, it ought to be obvious that transparent debate of this issue is not only legitimate, but vital. McElroy's activist opponents disagreed. The very expression of opinions like hers, they insisted, constitutes an intolerable threat to student safety. This dismal scenario is now being re-run following an invitation extended by Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians (OCRL) to feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers." (04/23/15)

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Greece on the razor’s edge

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Richard Parker

"The morning after Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza coalition won the Greek elections in late January, an old friend called from Athens. He’d been a senior figure in the Papandreou government that had struggled for nearly two years to stave off the collapse of the Greek economy, so he knew firsthand just how deadly the chalice now about to be passed to Tsipras was. He also knew Tsipras personally (Greece is a small country) as well as Yanis Varoufakis and other key figures who would be appointed to the new government. And he clearly understood what Tsipras aimed to do to quickly and decisively break 'the golden shackles' that had bound Greeks in a crushing web of debt: face down the creditors." (04/22/15)

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The Clinton scandal rabbithole

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Goldberg

"The phrase 'Clinton rules' has two very distinct meanings. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s enemies use it to mean that the couple flout rules that apply to everyone else. In the early years of the blogosphere, however, liberals used 'Clinton rules' as shorthand for the way journalists regularly abandoned ordinary standards of evidence to breathlessly pursue Clinton pseudo-scandals, often cooked up by right-wing operatives. As the Daily Howler wrote in 2007, 'Under 'the Clinton rules of journalism,' you can say any goddamn thing you want -- as long as you say it about the Clintons.'" (04/23/15)

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When cronies play cop

USA Today USA Today
by staff

"Police and sheriff's departments all over the country use civilian volunteers to bolster their forces, usually allowing them to wear badges and uniforms and sometimes authorizing them to carry guns. If best practices are followed, this can be a smart way for cash-strapped departments to stretch their resources or to vet potential full-time hires. Every once in a while, however, things go bad. Seldom do they go as bad as they did in Tulsa on April 2." (04/22/15)

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Why Jeb Bush’s super PAC plan is potentially illegal

Reuters Reuters
by Fred Wertheimer

"Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is preparing to push the role of the individual-candidate super PAC to new, brazen heights. The Bush campaign is reportedly planning to reverse the role of Bush’s campaign committee and the 'independent' super PAC supporting him -- so that the super PAC would essentially become Bush’s campaign committee. The reason for this audacious move is simple: super PACs can be funded with unlimited donations, while a candidate’s campaign is limited to contributions of $2,700 per donor per election. A relatively small number of millionaires and billionaires could pay for Bush’s race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The only problem is that the Bush scheme, as reported, would be illegal." (04/23/15)

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Proof that conservatives actually hate markets

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"Conservatives are supposedly all about markets. Markets should decide, not voters. But when it comes to the law of supply and demand for government debt, they go blind. ... Here is the argument. There is a huge demand for U.S. government bonds. There is so much demand that interest rates are exceptionally low. You almost have to pay the government to hold your money. Remember the 'law of supply and demand'? When there is a huge market demand for something, isn’t that supposed to mean that more of that thing should be produced? Shouldn’t government be supplying more bonds?" [editor's note: The stupid ... it HURTS! - TLK] (04/22/15)

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Our anger, ourselves

In These Times In These Times
by Sady Doyle

"Relatively late in She's Beautiful When She's Angry, Mary Dore’s documentary of Second Wave feminism, one woman makes a revealing statement: At the time they were organizing, neither she nor any of the radical women she worked with knew much about the history of the suffragettes. The women of the Second Wave were building a movement with no understanding of who had won them the right to vote." (04/23/15)

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Freedom and the omnipotent power to assassinate

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"As a kid growing up, did you ever think you'd live under a government that had the omnipotent power to assassinate you and every other American citizen? If you heard about some communist regime or other totalitarian government wielding the omnipotent power to assassinate its own citizens, you wouldn't be surprised. But I'll bet that the vast majority of Americans never thought they would end up living under a governmental structure that had that sort of power over the citizenry." (04/23/15)

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The FBI used to have integrity. Now agents lie, cheat, and break the law.

Andrew P. Napolitano Reason
by Andrew P Napolitano

"Does the FBI manifest fidelity, bravery, and integrity, or does it cut constitutional corners in order to incriminate? Can the FBI cut the cable television lines to your house and then show up pretending to be the cable guy and install listening devices? Can FBI agents and technicians testify falsely and cause the innocent to be convicted, incarcerated and, in some cases, executed?" (04/23/15)

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Truncating your utilitarian analysis

Gene Callahan La Bocca della Verita
by Gene Callahan

"We should not want to treat human babies as a commodity whether or not we 'gain utils' by doing so. But that is not the only problem with Abby Hall's 'analysis' of the issue. She also severely truncates her utilitarian analysis. First of all, she treats the number of 'unwanted' babies as being unmoved by a legal market for children. Coming from a crew of people who can never stop telling us that 'incentives matter,' this is a rather shocking omission. Of course, once they know they can legally get a new car or a trip around the world for the infant that is whining at 3 A.M. and keeping them up, a lot more mothers are going to 'realize' that they don't want their babies. In fact, it won't take long before poor mothers see that they have years of good-paying work ahead of them, becoming pregnant again and again." (04/23/15)

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Disquieting developments

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Gary Jason

"My father served in the Army Signal Corps, under General Patton, and participated in the liberation of one of the Nazi concentration camps. He and his fellow Signal Corpsmen photographed what he saw. As a young boy I found some of those grisly photos tucked away in the garage. They left an impression on me that lasts to this day -- to this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day, to be exact, when I decided to take some time to discuss the current state of anti-Semitism." (04/22/15)

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Let’s clear up the liberal mess
by Edwin van de Haar

"Liberalism as a political idea has become far too complicated. It appears there are as many liberalisms as there are liberals. To name just a few: libertarianism, classical liberalism, bleeding heart liberalism, economic liberalism, political liberalism, social liberalism, high liberalism, minarchism, objectivism, anarcho-capitalism, and of course neoliberalism. In international relations theory you can also find neoliberal institutionalism, liberal internationalism or embedded liberalism, while no doubt additional liberalisms can be found in other academic subjects. Clearly this all amounts to an incomprehensible liberal mess, which needs to be sorted out." (04/22/15)

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Refuse ground war with Islamic State

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner

"Conservative calls for more muscular intervention to destroy Islamic State have grown louder and will only grow more frequent as the 2016 campaign heats up. Although the American public has identified the Islamic militant group as a critical threat and wants something done, another U.S. ground war is the wrong answer. War is unnecessary and would be disastrously costly and counterproductive." (04/23/15)

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Policing the police

The Cagle Post
by Nate Beeler

Cartoon. (04/22/15)

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How The Guardian milked Edward Snowden’s story
by Julian Assange

"The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man (Guardian/Faber & Faber, 2014) by Luke Harding is a hack job in the purest sense of the term. Pieced together from secondary sources and written with minimal additional research to be the first to market, the book's thrifty origins are hard to miss." (04/22/15)

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Markets get around silly regulations

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Ben Southwood

"Advocates of free markets often bemoan all the regulation that firms are subjected to under modern neoliberalism. One thing they forget is that this is a sign that capitalism has won, not that it has lost! The debate now is about restraining or editing or improving capitalism, and never about overthrowing it. All the major officially anti-capitalist countries are gone or anti-capitalist only by name and not by nature. But another thing you often see them overlook is how markets work their way around regulations and can effectively neuter them." (04/23/15)

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 04/23/15

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Budget & Tax News Jesse Hathaway talks with TechFreedom president and founder Berin Szoka. Hathaway and Szoka discuss activists' next target: your cell phone data plan." [Flash video] (04/23/15)

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A new, freer sector

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Wyoming just made it legal for farmers to sell directly to local customers, in such venues as farmers' markets -- without government inspection and conformity to the usual, clunky set of regulations that apply when selling to other businesses for resale. The bill, recently signed into law by the governor, also allows neighbors to sell homemade foods to one another informally and at special community events like bake sales. An obvious win for freedom." (04/23/15)

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State regulation and the Necessary and Proper Clause

TJ Martinell Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell

"The Necessary and Proper Clause in the Constitution is commonly used to justify unconstitutional federal authority, and William Baude at the University of Chicago Law School believes a stricter interpretation of the clause is in order -- albeit the feds still get to decide the interpretation." (04/23/15)

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An idea for better transit in Missouri: Raise fares

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Joseph E Miller

"Public transportation in Missouri's major cities is heavily subsidized; taxpayers cover more than 80 percent of total costs in Saint Louis and Kansas City. The main culprits of these subsidies are high costs and low utilization. For example, most bus routes in Saint Louis roll around the city nearly empty. But a contributing factor to this problem is fares, which remain inexpensive in both cities." (04/22/15)

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Tax myths conservatives believe

Reformed Libertarian
by Brian Jacobson

"I think there are many times on this site when we are just preaching to the choir or yelling down an echo chamber. I am hoping, or at least guessing, that (at least) some people may be surprised by some of this, especially since these are usually part of the conservative schtick. Here are three conservative myths about taxes ..." (04/22/15)

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GOP establishment queen Mitch McConnell introduces Patriot Act reauthorization with zero NSA reforms

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"McConnell is amongst the most freedom hating, constitution trampling Republican members in the Senate, sharing this distinction with John McCain and Lindsey Graham. What makes McConnell far more dangerous is his position as Senate Majority Leader." (04/22/15)

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Poverty, child rearing, and government incentives

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Adam Vass Gal

"Many people benefit from cultural attitudes handed down from parents, but for many others, making financial progress may take a completely different mindset than that of one's parents. Hard work is a significant part of the equation and cannot be taken for granted. Still, there are many other life choices that need to be made in order for hard work to be effective. Hard work is important, but when closely examined, changing a person’s thought processes and culture appears to be the more difficult hurdle in leaving generational poverty behind." (04/23/15)

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How to tell the difference between a right and a privilege

Voices of Liberty
by AJ Oatsvall

"A privilege is a special entitlement granted to a restricted group or person, either by birth or on a conditional basis, and can be revoked. By contrast, a right is irrevocable and inherently held by all human beings. It is self-evident and universal under the laws of nature. Though there is such a thing as legal rights, the focus of this discussion will be upon natural rights, that is, those rights which are inalienable." (04/22/15)

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Dice loaded against public in Canada’s copyright term extension

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm

"The announcement of the Canadian Government's plan to extend copyright terms for sound recordings came as a surprise when it was released in Canada's federal budget yesterday. The smooth stage management of the announcement has to be admired, accompanied as it was by pre-prepared soundbites from Canada's music A-list extolling the benefits of this handout. In fact, with all the drama and glamor of the announcement, all that was missing was any prior public consultation or debate that could give the government an actual mandate to make this sweeping change to Canadian law." (04/22/15)

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Hillary the hawk

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Charles Davis and Medea Benjamin

"Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for 'everyday Americans.' As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of 'everyday' people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there's no reason to believe she'd be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush's war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away." (04/23/15)

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Hats off to voluntary and peaceful exchange

Sarah Skwire Foundation for Economic Education
by Sarah Skwire

"Economists mostly talk about Dr. Seuss in order to complain about The Lorax and its lack of appreciation for commerce, the tragedy of the commons, the importance of private property, and what Hayek called 'The Non Sequitur of the 'Dependence Effect.'' But as is so often the case, I think economists just might be reading the wrong stuff. My seven-year-old daughter Penny and I recently read The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins to each other." (04/23/15)

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The flag delusion

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"Only in a deluded mind can a symbol assume greater importance than the reality. This is especially true when it comes to deluded minds and the American Flag. A symbol of freedom is more important to these folks than freedom. Their symbol of freedom requires protection but freedom does not. Consider the pitiful case of Michelle Manhart, a U.S. military veteran who thinks she has the right to confiscate an American flag belonging to someone else if they are desecrating it." (04/23/15)

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Earth Day: 22 ways to think about the climate change debate

Max Borders Foundation for Economic Education
by Max Borders

"Trying to point out the problems of the Climate Orthodoxy to its adherents is like trying to talk the Archbishop of Canterbury into questioning the existence of God. In that green temple, many climatologists and climate activists have become one in the same: fueled both by government grants and zealous fervor. But the debate must go on, even as the atmosphere for dialogue gets increasingly polluted. The sacralization of climate is being used as a great loophole in the rule of law, an apology for bad science (and even worse economics), and an excuse to do anything and everything to have and keep power." (04/22/15)

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Battlefield America: The war on the American people

John W. Whitehead
by John W Whitehead

"Whether or not the government plans to impose some form of martial law in the future remains to be seen, but there can be no denying that we're being accustomed to life in a military state. The malls may be open for business, the baseball stadiums may be packed, and the news anchors may be twittering nonsense about the latest celebrity foofa, but those are just distractions from what is really taking place: the transformation of America into a war zone. Trust me, if it looks like a battlefield (armored tanks on the streets, militarized police in metro stations, surveillance cameras everywhere), sounds like a battlefield (SWAT team raids nightly, sound cannons to break up large assemblies of citizens), and acts like a battlefield (police shooting first and asking questions later, intimidation tactics, and involuntary detentions), it's a battlefield." (04/22/15)

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A politician speaks a (partial) truth

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Claire Wolfe

"Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is running for president of Poland but from a tiny minority party, told a TV interviewer that if every Jew had had a gun before World War II the Holocaust would never have happened. (H/T CB for the heads-up) Well, we know that already, don't we? But it's apparently so startling to the Times of Israel that they have to go out of their way to try to prejudice readers against him and his positions twice in one tiny article." (04/22/15)

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Enlightenment and endarkenment

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Neil Lock

"[W]hen I try to list the primary characteristics of bottom up thinking, I find myself coming up with many Enlightenment values; or, otherwise said, liberal values. For example: Reason and the pursuit of science. Toleration and a focus on the individual. The idea that society exists for the individual, not the individual for society. The idea that human beings are naturally good. Freedom of thought and action. Natural rights and human dignity. Government for the benefit of the governed. Moral equality and the rule of law. A desire for progress, and rational optimism for the future. The primary characteristics of top down thinking, on the other hand, are very much opposed to these Enlightenment values." (04/22/15)

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