Today's Edition


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Greece: Poll shows two sides neck and neck before referendum

Lompoc Record

"The brief but intense campaign in Greece's critical bailout referendum ends Friday, with simultaneous rallies in Athens for 'Yes' and 'No' supporters in what an opinion poll shows will be a very close race. ... Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the referendum last weekend, asking Greeks to decide whether they should accept creditor reform proposals in return for vitally needed bailout funds. He is advocating a 'No' vote on Sunday. But those proposals are no longer on the table after negotiations with European creditors broke down last weekend and Greece's bailout expired on Tuesday, meaning the country no longer has access to the rescue loans. The 'Yes' campaign says the referendum is in fact a vote on whether Greece wants to remain in the euro and in Europe. The government rejects this as scaremongering, saying a 'No' vote will put it in a better bargaining position and will not lead Greece to leave the eurozone." (07/03/15)

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Puerto Rico: Padilla blames creditors for politicians’ fiscal irresponsibility

Tuscaloosa News

"Puerto Rico's governor said Thursday that creditors are responsible for helping the U.S. island out of its economic crisis because they lent money knowing the government was running a deficit. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla also sought to clarify comments recently published in The New York Times saying he believes Puerto Rico's $72 billion public debt is unpayable." (07/02/15)

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Syria: Regime, rebel forces renew fight for Aleppo

Reuters Reuters

"Syrian government forces mounted heavy air strikes against rebel positions in and around the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, the day after a major Islamist-led offensive on areas of the city controlled by President Bashar al-Assad. Thursday's rebel attack, the most intense insurgent offensive in Aleppo in three years, aimed to build on recent advances against Assad by an array of groups including Islamic State and rebels backed by his regional foes. Aleppo, 50 km (30 miles) south of the Turkish border, was Syria's most populous city before the country's descent into civil war. It has been partitioned into areas of government and insurgent control since 2012." (07/03/15)

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Nigeria: 150 killed in Boko Haram attacks

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Nearly 150 people are reported to have been killed by suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants in attacks in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state. Eyewitnesses say the gunmen stormed the village of Kukawa near Lake Chad on Wednesday evening, killing 97 people, including women and children. On Tuesday, the militants shot dead 48 men after they had finished prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno, a resident told the BBC." (07/02/15)

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Iran: Regime gets back 13 tons of its gold

USA Today USA Today

"Iran took possession of a 13-ton hoard of gold -- worth nearly $500 million -- held up by sanctions after working out a deal on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, the country's central bank chief told Iranian media. 'A sum of 13 tons of gold that had been purchased before and was deposited in South Africa in the past two years and could not be transferred to Iran due to the sanctions ... was delivered to the Central Bank of Iran's treasury last night,' Valiollah Seif, who heads the Central Bank of Iran, said Wednesday, according to the Iranian state-owned Fars News. Seif said the transfer is evidence the talks are having some success. Fars News reported the retrieval of the gold was the result of months of hard work. That much gold is worth about $485 million based on current price per ounce." (07/02/15)

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TN: 5,000 evacuated after train derailment

NBC News NBC News

"More than 5,000 residents were evacuated after a freight train carrying a 'highly flammable and toxic gas' partly derailed and caught fire overnight just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, officials said. Ten officers were hospitalized after breathing in fumes, Blount County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Marian O'Briant told NBC News. ... The train was carrying acrylonitrile -- which authorities described as a 'highly flammable and toxic gas.' The EPA says the substance is used in the manufacture of acrylic fibers and if inhaled in high levels can cause membrane irritation, headaches, nausea and kidney irritation." (07/02/15)

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Can marijuana cure PTSD? Many veterans say yes

Raw Story Raw Story

"After steadily accumulating anecdotes about how veterans use cannabis to treat their war wounds that understanding might finally be on the way. Following years of bureaucratic hurdles, the first Food and Drug Administration-approved, randomized controlled trial on cannabis and PTSD is set to begin this summer. Many believe the study will spur increased acceptance of veterans using marijuana, a political shift that?s already led more and more states to add PTSD to their lists of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. But that key study still faces roadblocks, the latest being a VA hospital?s refusal to let one of the trial?s researchers recruit patients at its facility. It?s just one more example of the political and scientific obstacles that remain before cannabis is embraced as a viable option for soldiers." (07/02/15)

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NASA discovers mysterious dark spots on Pluto

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"New color photos of the dwarf planet Pluto were released Wednesday afternoon by NASA’s New Horizons mission. The photos reveal a series of dark spots about 300 miles in diameter, something scientists have not seen before. The mission found the two sides of the planet are distinct from each other; one face is smooth, while the other holds peculiar spots. The dark spots appear to be at the base of the planet in the photos, which is a result of Pluto’s tilt; if the planet were aright, the spots would appear to be in the middle of the planet. ‘It's a real puzzle; we don't know what the spots are, and we can't wait to find out,’ said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder in a press release from the mission." (07/02/15)

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Cuba: Internet Luddites open Wi-Fi hotspots across country

Reuters Reuters

"Cuba has opened 35 Wi-Fi access points nationwide, offering unprecedented online access in a country that until now has restricted use of the Internet to an elite few. Before the Wi-Fi signals became available on Wednesday, broadband Internet access had been limited to largely to desktops at state Internet parlors and pricey hotels. 'It was high time for Cuba to be able to connect. Everyone has the right to Internet,' said Alejandro Costa, who used the Wi-Fi on Thursday. The service was available to those who had previously established an account with state telecoms monopoly Etecsa. Whether because of a lack of investment or concerns about the flow of information in a Communist state that monopolizes the media, Cuba has lagged behind in Internet usage. Only 3.4 percent of Cuban homes have either intranet or Internet access, according to a U.N. agency." (07/02/15)

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OR: State launches program to tax drivers by the mile

Fox News Fox News

"David Hastings is a rare American. This long-time hybrid car owner from Oregon wants to pay higher taxes for roads and bridges and says the current 30 cents per gallon state gas tax barely affects him. 'I've been free-loading on the highways for 20 years driving electric cars or hybrid cars, getting at least 40 miles to the gallon. So I haven't been paying my share,' Hastings said. Now, Hastings will pay more thanks to OReGO -- the first pay-by-the-mile program in the U.S. Oregon’s Department of Transportation has been working on it for 15 years as a way to eventually replace the gas tax, which has been flat due to an influx of high mileage vehicles and people driving less." [editor's note: Of course, I guess it has never occurred to the good people of Oregon to consider ... oh, I dunno, toll roads? Been working wonders for Maine (and a few other states) for decades, and all they did to simplify it was allow you to track the usage in your car - SAT] (07/02/15)

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Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said. 'The single most important step for polar bear conservation is decisive action to address Arctic warming,' the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a draft recovery plan, part of the process after the agency listed the species as threatened in 2008. 'Short of action that effectively addresses the primary cause of diminishing sea ice, it is unlikely that polar bears will be recovered.' Halting Arctic warming will require a global commitment, said Jenifer Kohout, the Fish and Wildlife Service's regional program manager and a co-chair of the polar bear recovery team." (07/02/15)

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Colombia: Two bombings wound eight people in capital

ABC News ABC News

"An explosive device went off in the financial district of Colombia's capital Thursday and wounded seven people, while a second blast in another part in Bogota injured an eighth person, authorities said. Health officials said none of the wounded suffered serious injuries." (07/02/15)

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Egypt: Regime troops hit militant positions in Sinai, killing 23

Westfield Republican

"The Egyptian military pounded Islamic militant positions and killed 23 extremists in dawn raids in Sinai on Thursday, a day after an unprecedented assault by Islamic State-linked extremists in the restive peninsula that undermined government efforts to stem an insurgency in the area despite a two-year crackdown. The fighting -- the bloodiest in the Sinai Peninsula in decades -- heightened tensions across Egypt following the assassination this week of the country's chief prosecutor in a car bombing in Cairo." (07/02/15)

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Mexico: Army ordered troops to “kill criminals”

Uniontown Herald-Standard

"A human rights group said Thursday that military documents show high-ranking officers had given Mexican soldiers standing orders to kill criminals ahead of an army mass slaying of suspected cartel members after they surrendered. The documents, shared with The Associated Press by the Miguel Agustin Pro human rights center, appear to be the first evidence that soldiers involved in the alleged execution killing of at least 12 civilians on June 30, 2014, could argue they were following orders." (07.02/15)

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Mali: Attack on UN convoy kills six peacekeepers, wounds 5

Uniontown Herald-Standard

"Gunmen ambushed a U.N. convoy in conflict-wracked northern Mali on Thursday killing six peacekeepers and wounding five others, the U.N. said. All the victims were from Burkina Faso. The U.N. mission in this west African nation has the highest number of casualties of the world body's 16 far-flung peacekeeping operations." (07/02/15)

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Webb announces White House campaign

Grand Forks Herald

"Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb launched a long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, promising to fight the political influence of big-money interests and bring a new approach to solving problems. ... Webb, a decorated war hero who served in the Vietnam War and as Secretary of the Navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan, is known for his outspoken critiques of U.S. foreign policy and military strategy, and his support for American troops serving overseas." (07/02/15)

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Pakistan: Troop train falls into canal, 12 dead

Bloomington Pantagraph

"At least four cars of a train being used to transport Pakistani soldiers fell into a canal because of a bridge collapse in the eastern Punjab province on Thursday, killing at least twelve soldiers, officials said. The military said the train derailed while crossing the Chanawan canal near the city of Gujranwalal. It said commandos, divers and other rescuers had retrieved 80 passengers, five of whom had been wounded." (07/02/15)

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Afghanistan: Death sentences overturned in mob killing of woman

New York Post New York Post

"An Afghan court has overturned the death sentences for four men convicted of taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine, a judge said Thursday. Three of the men convicted of the murder of Farkhunda Malikzada in March were instead given 20-year sentences, and the fourth was sentenced to 10 years, said Appeals Court Judge Abdul Nasir Murid. ...the court acquitted the peddler at the shrine who allegedly incited the mob by falsely accusing Malikzada of burning a Quran." (07/02/15)

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Rosetta spots massive sinkholes on Comet 67P

Wired News

"The Rosetta spacecraft has discovered a series of enormous pits on the comet it's closely observing that resemble sinkholes here on Earth. Images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by the orbiter have revealed several steep-sided pits in its surface, with the biggest measuring around a massive 200 metres wide by 200 metres deep." (07/02/15)

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States, BP reach $18.7 billion settlement over oil spill

CBS News CBS News

"Officials in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana announced an $18.7 billion settlement with BP on Thursday that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act [bribes] after millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf. Individual states also were pursuing litigation. Most of those penalties were to be distributed among the states for environmental and economic restoration projects along the Gulf Coast." (07/02/15)

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UN declares emergency as 31 die in Yemen fighting

Dawn [Pakistan]

"Rebel [sic] fire on a residential district of Yemen's second city Aden killed more than 30 civilians Wednesday, as the United Nations (UN) declared its highest level humanitarian emergency in the war-torn country. Meanwhile in the central city of Taez, pro-government [sic] forces launched a manhunt for 1,200 escaped prisoners, including Al Qaeda members, allegedly freed by retreating rebel forces." [editor's note: The Houthi "rebels" have been in charge in Yemen for some time; the "pro-government" forces are loyal to a government that has been overthrown and operates in exile. So keep in mind that most media coverage reverses the meanings of those terms in order to conform to the US/Saudi propaganda line - TLK] (07/01/15)

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Egypt: Scores killed as militants attack troops in Sinai

Redding Record Searchlight

"Islamic State-linked militants struck Egyptian army outposts in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday in a coordinated wave of suicide bombings and battles that underlined the government's failure to stem an insurgency despite a two-year crackdown. Security officials said dozens of troops were killed, along with nearly 100 attackers. The restive territory's deadliest fighting in decades followed the assassination of Egypt's chief prosecutor and a vow by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to step up the legal battle against Islamic militants." (07/01/15)

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WikiLeaks claims NSA targeted German ministers beyond Merkel

Killeen Daily Herald

"WikiLeaks published a list of German phone numbers Wednesday that it claimed showed the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on senior German officials beyond Chancellor Angela Merkel. Reports two years ago that Merkel's phone had been targeted by the NSA prompted diplomatic friction between Berlin and Washington, but German prosecutors recently dropped their probe into the case citing lack of concrete evidence." (07/01/15)

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CA: FBI investigating attacks on Bay area Internet cables

United Press International United Press International

"The Federal Bureau of Investigations is investigating an attack on fiber optics lines that has caused widespread disruptions in Internet service in California's Bay area and as far north as Seattle. The string of attacks span a year, including one early Tuesday. ... The FBI said there has been at least 11 occurrences of damage to fiber optics cables in the Bay Area and beyond, dating back to July 6, 2014." (07/01/15)

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Episcopalians vote to allow same-sex weddings in churches

USA Today USA Today

"Days after the U.S. Supreme Court granted constitutional protection to gay marriage, Episcopalians gave their blessing Wednesday to church weddings for same-sex couples. The denomination's landmark vote, at the Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City, came 12 years after the church made history by electing its first openly gay bishop. Same-sex weddings will be allowed after Nov. 1. But in a compromise with conservatives, clergy can refuse to perform same-sex services and bishops can prohibit the ceremonies in their diocese, The Washington Post reports." (07/01/15)

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| News

Liberty, sovereignty, and US foreign policy

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"As we celebrate Independence Day, honoring the American colonists' successful fight to be free of the British crown and establish their own sovereign state, it is instructive to note that the US is, today, the greatest enemy of sovereignty on earth. When the British surrendered at Yorktown, the redcoat band played 'The World Turned Upside Down,' in recognition of the overthrow of the Old Order and the inauguration of the New. As we enter the Bizarro World of the twenty-first century, however, one notes with a mixture of sadness and outrage that things have been turned on their heads once again, and the Old Order is back with a vengeance." (07/03/15)

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“Tax incentives”: Cut! That’s a wrap!

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

"Re-combobulating state policy to spur 'economic development' is a losing game. Every time a rent-seeking industry comes along demanding that taxpayers build them a sports stadium, kick back a portion of highly hypothetical 'money we're causing to come here' or cut them special slack on taxes, the eventual outcome turns out to be an economic wash at best. Native residents and long-established, home-grown businesses pick up the tab for legislators' mistakes. The only real gains come in the form of fancy lunches and campaign contributions for those legislators." (07/02/15)

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Theft, enforced with death threats

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal

"If there isn't an individual I can point to and say 'He was killed strictly because he didn't pay a tax,' does that mean 'taxes' are not enforced by the threat of death? Of course not. The penalty for violating any 'law' is always death, even if it no one has (yet) been murdered for violating each and every 'law' there is. But that's simply because most people submit before it gets to the point of murder. Make no mistake, bullies calling themselves 'government' will keep escalating the violence until you comply or die." (07/02/15)

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Free Talk Live, 07/02/15

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live

"9% Tax on NetFlix :: What is so great about cities? :: Ako Yusuf :: 35% of Americans would move out of the US :: Immigration :: Public Schools :: New Zealand bans internet trolling :: Theism vs Atheism :: Home Schools." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/02/15)

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In some US churches, guns are the answer to a prayer

Reuters Reuters
by staff

"The Sunday service was winding down, but before it ended, Bishop Ira Combs led the congregation of 300 at the Greater Bible Way Temple in prayer. The shootings that killed nine people in a Charleston church could not happen here, he reassured his flock. 'If they had security, the assailant would not have been able to reload,' Combs declared. 'All of us here are not going to turn the other cheek while you shoot us.' As he preached, Combs was flanked by a man on each side of the pulpit, each armed with handguns beneath their suit coats. Other members of the church’s security team were scattered among the crowd. Congregants did not know who was armed and who was not -- an undercover approach that is part of the security plan. 'We aren’t looking to engage people in violence, but we are going to practice law enforcement,' Combs told Reuters before the service." (07/02/15)

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Trump magic turns GOP elephant into a cricket

USA Today USA Today
by Ruben Navarette

"If Republicans don't grow a spine and speak out against Donald Trump's nativist sideshow, the GOP should change its mascot to the cricket. With just two exceptions -- one that did more harm than good, and one that was too cute by half -- that's all we're hearing from other GOP presidential candidates regarding Trump's diatribes against Mexican migrants as the dregs of society. Crickets. According to Trump, those who migrate from Mexico to the United States are 'people that have lots of problems' who are 'bringing drugs' and 'bringing crime' and are often 'rapists.' Univision, NBC-Universal, Macy's and other companies have cut ties with Trump over the comments." (07/02/153)

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Federal contractors should disclose campaign spending

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"We the People do not know how much money federal contractors are spending to bribe influence our Congress. What does that say about the transparency and integrity of our pay-to-play political system? For Independence Day President Obama should help Congress become independent of bribes campaign contributions from federal contractors. Thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions, federal contractors can give unlimited amounts to “dark money” groups that influence elections with smear ads, etc. In March, more than 50 organizations sent a letter asking President Obama to require federal contractors to disclose their spending on brib -- err, political campaigns. Obviously, the public should know if and how much federal contractors are influencing those who decide what to spend on federal contracts." [editor's note: Once more this "progressive" pundit says something that any "libertarian" should applaud - SAT] (07/02/15)

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A spy’s guide to protecting whistleblowers

In These Times In These Times
by Brandon Smith

"A smiling woman I don’t know greets me by first name. The conference room has been swept for surveillance devices, she explains, and everyone who enters will get a brief pat-down. With three other journalists and a computer security expert, I am about to begin a two-day training in pre-electronic spycraft. Our instructors: two military police veterans. The goal: Learn how to protect people who risk their jobs or freedom to share information with the public -- aka whistleblowers. After we all get settled in, class starts." (07/02/15)

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Is there a human right to kill?

The Nation The Nation
by Nicola Perugini & Neve Gordon

"On a cool spring day in May 2012, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) met in McCormick Place, Chicago. The 28 heads of state comprising the military alliance had come to the Windy City to discuss the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, among other strategic matters. Nearly a decade before, in August 2003, NATO had assumed control of the International Security Assistance Force, a coalition of more than 30 countries that had sent soldiers to occupy the most troubled regions in Afghanistan. Not long before the Chicago summit, President Barack Obama had publicly declared that the United States would begin pulling out its troops from Afghanistan and that a complete withdrawal would be achieved by 2014. NATO was therefore set to decide on the details of a potential exit strategy." (07/02/15)

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Observations on cultural war and mob insanity

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

"Our cultural cold war is about to boil into open conflict, thanks to last week’s Supreme Court decisions. Some of us think we're ready, but we're not. I'm not saying we’re going to be shooting each other by next Tuesday or even next year. Just that the last remaining bridge between the old culture of America and the new culture of elite America got blown to smithereens." (07/01/15)

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The true cost of the war on terror

Philip Giraldi The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

"The bone of contention in defining terrorism concerns where to draw the line in terms of the use of violence in furtherance of a political objective. In practice, it is generally accepted that state players who employ violence do so within a social framework that confers legitimacy, while non-state players who use political violence are ipso facto terrorists, or at least susceptible to being tagged with that label, which confers upon them both illegitimacy and a particularly abhorrent criminality. But some on the receiving end of such a Manichean distinction object, noting that the laws defining terror are themselves drawn up by the governments and international organizations, which inevitably give themselves immunity in terms of their own potential liability." (07/02/15)

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Should a billionaire tell you what to do?

Downsize DC Downsize DC
by James Wilson

"Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is lobbying Congress to ban online gambling. His lobbyists are pressing for a vote before the congressional, summer recess. Adelson is looking to cluster this law into an unrelated bill and sneak it through. The One Subject at a Time Act would stop that kind of activity." (07/01/15)

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Freedom Feens Radio, 07/02/15

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens Radio

"Full-moon Feens Davi Barker, Hugo González, Lousander Feen, Nick Hazelton, and Diana Davison give you economics lessons that don't suck and life lessons that rock." [various formats] (07/02/15)

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The Fed shouldn’t reason from a quantity change

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner

"I often see Fed officials claiming that the fall in unemployment means that they need to raise interest rates. Sometimes this is based on 'Phillips Curve' thinking---the (false) idea that inflation is caused by a booming economy. In fact, the relationship between economic growth and inflation depends on the nature of the shock hitting the economy. A positive supply shock causes growth and lower inflation, while a positive demand shock causes growth and higher inflation. Only in the latter case does growth require the Fed to raise interest rates." (07/02/15)

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Here’s how Africa can fix hunger without “help” from Monsanto

Mother Jones
by Tom Philpott

"Imagine if Monsanto announced the debut of a genetically engineered superfood -- a vegetable rich in protein and essential vitamins and minerals, perfectly adapted to Africa's soils and changing climate. There'd be howls of protest, no doubt, from anti-GMO activists. But also great adulation -- possibly a World Food Prize -- along with stern lectures about how anti-science romanticism must not impede heroic corporate efforts to 'feed the world.' Thing is, such superfoods exist in Africa. They exist thanks not to the genius and beneficence of a foreign company, but rather through millennia of interactions between Africa's farmers and its landscape." (07/01/15)

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The key to prosperity in Greece

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Libertarians, of course, do not profess to have answers to the many woes produced by statism. That certainly includes the many economic problems produced by Greece's welfare-state, regulated-economy way of life. But there are solid libertarian principles that the Greeks could adopt if they wish to build the foundation of a dynamic and prosperous society. Here are those principles ..." (07/02/15)

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Shame on Pride for trying to ban UKIP

spiked spiked
by George Harrison

"Until last week, the criterion for being proud of your sexuality was as follows: be proud of your sexuality. Now it seems that Pride London, the organisation behind last weekend's LGBT march in central London, is keen to enforce a further requirement: you must not be a UKIP supporter. Following a complaint from some activists that it wouldn't be appropriate for the UKIP LGBT wing to join the parade, organisers decided to forbid Kippers from attending due to 'safety reasons' -- a key weapon in the censor's arsenal today." (07/02/15)

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Celebrate the gay marriage ruling today, but what of tomorrow?

Voices of Liberty
by Gary Kittilsen

"Two years ago when the Supreme Court shot down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), I celebrated along with the Libertarian Party. We celebrated because the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has no place in the institution of marriage. The word marriage is never mentioned in the Constitution, not one time. I put the entire Constitution in an Excel sheet and did a lookup for the word marriage, and it's not in there, which according to the 10th Amendment makes this a states issues." (07/02/15)

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Bridging the sanctity of marriage and marriage equality

Everything Voluntary Everything Voluntary
by Kenny Kelly

"If marriage is sacred, then the sanctity of marriage can only be respected if it only involves the legally-consenting adult partners being married. May it be a man and woman, two men, two women, multiple partners, or what have you. By getting government involved, one is violating the sanctity of marriage. If equality is the goal of the other side, then the marriage license mandates must likewise be opposed. Without such laws there would be no government to ban marriage or to beg for permission thereof." (07/02/15)

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 07/02/15

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Research Fellow Isaac Orr speaks with Holly Bellmund. Bellmund is president of Proppant Today LLC, a media, research and consulting company providing best-in-industry thought leadership into proppants and its effect within the unconventional oil and gas industries. Bellmund joins Orr dive into the workings of proppants and their uses in fracking." [Flash video] (07/02/15)

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What happened to the midwives? (Hint: Government)

Abigail Hall Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

"In 1900, nearly all births occurred outside a hospital according to the CDC. By 1970, the number of out-of-hospital births fell to one percent. So what happened to home births and midwives? The most straightforward argument is that, as medical technology improved, midwives were replaced by more qualified, safer doctors. But that may not be all to the story. In fact, like so many other stories told on this blog and elsewhere, the disappearance of the midwife from childbirth appears to be the product of special interest groups and regulatory capture." (07/02/15)

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The other danger of a “Grexit”

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

"Greece's economic turmoil will come to a head this Sunday when Greeks vote in a referendum on whether to accept EU bailout funds. The expectation that Greece will leave the eurozone and default on its IMF loans has led to a run on Greek banks, the imposition of capital controls and volatile financial markets. But while these financial woes are roiling Greece and destabilizing Europe's economic order, the security implications of a potential 'Grexit' could be at least as ominous as the financial ones." (07/02/15)

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The pushers

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"When I was a teenager, my mom attended nursing school and became very interested in nutrition. This had consequences. She stopped buying sugary cereals, for instance. Well! We could not supinely accept this. My younger brother hid Cap'n Crunch and other stuff like that under his bed; and when we wanted a bedtime snack, we'd find him and barter on the black market. I cite those halcyon days of determined resistance as a relatively benign example of adults regulating kids." (07/02/15)

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The euro crisis

The Cobden Centre
by Alasdair MacLeod

"Last weekend it became clear that Greece is heading for both a default on its government debt and also a failure of its banking system. With the benefit of hindsight it appears that the Greek government was unwilling to pretend that it was solvent and extend its financial support as if it was. The other Eurozone finance ministers and the troika were not prepared to accept this reality. There is no immediate benefit from debating why. What matters now are the economic and financial consequences, which are basically two: the Eurozone's banking system is very fragile and cannot absorb any sovereign default shocks easily, and the ECB itself now needs refinancing." (07/02/15)

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Avert your eyes and hold your nose

Debra J. Saunders The American Spectator
by Debra J Saunders

"Downtown San Francisco feels like a large public toilet without enough janitors. More than once this year, I've seen men drop their pants in public places -- including at Fifth and Market -- to leave a smelly mess on the sidewalk. You can walk for blocks and never escape the stench of stale urine. At lunchtime, I see street people passed out on high-traffic sidewalks, and I am afraid to walk around them. The homeless have been a problem in San Francisco for as far back as anyone remembers, but to me it seems this year is the worst. There's a sense among people who work downtown that City Hall doesn't care about cleaning up San Francisco's Summer of Muck." (07/02/15)

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The Tom Woods Show, 07/01/15

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show

"If there's been a more prolific libertarian journalist of the past 30 years than James Bovard, I don't know who it is. Today we talk about Jim's life and the various federal agencies he's exposed over the years. Not to be missed!" [various formats] (07/01/15)

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Study shows US police far more concerned about “anti-government” domestic extremists than al Qaeda

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"Since September 11, 2001, the frightened and emotionally pliable American public has gullibly relinquished its civil liberties and free heritage in order to allow the U.S. government to wage unaccountable and unconstitutional war again Al-Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorism across the world. Many of us have warned for years, that preemptively giving up freedoms to protect freedom could only make sense to a propagandized, ignorant public completely clueless of human history." (07/01/15)

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Former DEA thug pleads guilty to stealing Bitcoin during Silk Road railroading

United Press International United Press International

"A former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he stole $200,000 in digital currency and tried to sell law enforcement secrets while investigating the online drug marketplace Silk Road. Carl M. Force, 46, was the lead undercover agent with direct contact to Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who went by the moniker 'Dread Pirate Roberts.' The Justice Department said Force, who went under the aliases 'Nob' and 'French Maid' during the investigation, offered to sell Ulbricht fake drivers' licenses and law enforcement secrets about the government's Silk Road investigation in exchange for more than $200,000 in digital currency called bitcoins. He deposited the currency into his personal account." [editor's note: Well, now. This version is INTERESTING! If he actually delivered the stuff he sold, he didn't "steal" the Bitcoin. He just earned it in ways his government masters disapproved of ... - TLK] (07/02/15)

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British tribunal flip-flops on wrongful surveillance of Amnesty International

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jenna McLaughlin

"A British tribunal in charge of investigating public abuse of surveillance admitted on Wednesday that the U.K. government's spy agency illegally retained communications it swept up from Amnesty International, the largest human rights group in the world. The revelation, disclosed in a curt email, is particularly shocking given that just last week the Investigatory Powers Tribunal issued a determination declaring that that Amnesty was not the subject of illegal spying." (07/01/15)

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Hillary’s secret war

Andrew P. Napolitano Reason
by Andrew P Napolitano

"[Marc] Turi sold hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of arms to the government of Qatar, which then, at the request of American government officials, were sold, bartered, or given to rebel groups in Libya and Syria. Some of the groups that received the arms were on the U.S. terror list. Thus, the same State and Treasury Departments that licensed the sales also prohibited them. How could that be? That's where Clinton's secret State Department and her secret war come in. Because Clinton used her husband's computer server for all of her email traffic while she was the secretary of state, a violation of three federal laws, few in the State Department outside her inner circle knew what she was up to. Now we know." (07/02/15)

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Is polygamy on the right side of history?

National Review
by Charles CW Cooke

"It should by now be abundantly clear that the laziest cases against the inevitability of polygamy are starting to push up the daisies. Before Justice Kennedy decided to appoint himself the nation's most cherished arbiter of dark magic and inscrutable liberty, it was sufficient for the champions of matrimonial transformation to wave their hands and to cast their inquisitors as madmen. 'Nobody is talking about multiple marriage,' they would scoff. 'And even if they were, the people wouldn't stand for it.' Today, in the first week of the Age of Substantive Due Process, neither of these rejoinders will fly. It is not just that we are now moving with such speed that what 'nobody is talking about' yesterday becomes our deafening conversation by the next -- although, increasingly, we are -- it is that what the majority wants has been set aside. Had the Supreme Court elected to find a narrow right to gay marriage within the Constitution's text, the 'polygamy couldn't happen brigade' might have a leg to stand on. It didn't. They don't." (07/01/15)

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The Ron Paul un-revolution

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jayant Bhandari

"Politics is a virus that implants in the brain the top-down approach to social change. A real change can only happen from the bottom up. The thinking of the politically minded is not based on principles but on political organization. It is doomed to fail. Did Ron not see this?" (07/01/15)

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A most radical libertarian book

Laurence M. Vance Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

Review of Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion, by Thomas E. Woods Jr.: "Real Dissent is Woods's most radical and most libertarian book. It is also a unique book, since it is a compilation of 54 of his articles published during the period from March 27, 2003, to June 30, 2014. In addition to the foreword by Ron Paul, a brief but important preface and introduction precede the book." (07/02/15)

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Is there anything left to celebrate about the Egyptian revolution?

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Alessandra Bajec

"This 30 June anniversary wasn't an occasion to celebrate the mass protests that led to the ouster of President Morsi. Not just because Egypt's top prosecutor was killed in a bomb attack in Cairo a day earlier. There was little for Egyptians to celebrate except -- for many -- the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power." (07/02/15)

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Primitive accumulation: The process that keeps giving, and giving …

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"In mid-May, an FBI document was published by the Guardian revealing that the FBI has been monitoring the Tar Sands Blockade as a national security threat, given that 'Keystone pipeline, as part of the oil and natural gas industry, is vital to the security and economy of the United States.' You might think that a model of economic growth based on corporate-state collusion might be a matter for legitimate political debate. But not to the U.S. government, which operates as executive committee for that corporate system of power; for them the structure of the system is a done deal, and anyone who takes the wrong side on the political debate is a potential threat to 'national security.'" (07/02/15)

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