Today's Edition


| Commentary

Syria: Rebels launch offensive against government-held Idlib

The Washington Post Washington Post

"Syrian rebels launched an offensive Tuesday against a major government-held city in the country's northwest, shelling the outskirts and warning residents to remain indoors. The operation's target is Idlib, a city of about 165,000 and the capital of the province of the same name. Rebels have controlled countryside and towns across the province since 2012, but President Bashar al-Assad's forces have held Idlib city." (03/24/15)

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Greece: Regime risks running out of cash by April 20

Reuters Reuters

"Greece risks running out of cash by April 20 unless it secures fresh aid, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, leaving it little time to convince skeptical creditors it is committed to economic reform. After talks with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the past week, Athens said it will present a package of reforms to its euro zone partners by Monday in the hope of unlocking aid and avoiding a messy default. 'It will be done at the latest by Monday,' government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told Mega TV." (03/24/15)

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India: Supreme Court strikes down parts of draconian Internet censorship law

Times of India [India]

"In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Tuesday fortified the right to freedom of speech and liberty by striking down as 'unconstitutional' Section 66A of Information Technology Act, which police had used indiscriminately to arrest persons for posting criticism of government and political leaders. ... As a result of the verdict, which brings the law in line with the times where internet-based social media is used by citizens to air their views freely, all cases slapped till date against citizens under Section 66A of the Act will be closed and police cannot arrest anyone under this section in future. However, the cases may continue if the police had invoked other sections of IPC along with 66A against the arrested person." (03/25/15)

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Afghanistan: Indigenous terrorists kill 13, US terrorists kill nine

Iron Mountain Daily News

"Gunmen in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 13 people during a midnight assault Tuesday on a highway as a suspected U.S. drone strike near Pakistan killed at least nine militants, authorities said. ... gunmen opened fire on three separate vehicles in the attack, including a bus traveling from Kabul and heading to Ghazni province, said Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. ... Meanwhile, two intelligence officials in Pakistan said the suspected U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province killed at least nine [alleged] militants with the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Islam." (03/24/15)

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Egypt: Three regime troops killed in Sinai attack

Fairfield Citizen

"Suspected Islamic militants killed two Egyptian soldiers and a police conscript in attacks in the restive northeastern Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, security officials said. In the first attack, a roadside bomb struck a passing armored vehicle, killing the two troops. ... Separately, in the peninsula city of el-Arish, a young conscript was shot to death in a drive-by shooting by suspected militants Tuesday, the officials said." (03/24/15)

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South Sudan: Lawmakers extend president’s term by three years

Watertown Public Opinion

"Lawmakers in South Sudan on Tuesday voted to extend the tenure of President Salva Kiir by three years, a move the government had said was necessary for stability amid an ongoing rebellion led by a former deputy president. The measure, passed by more than two-thirds of the legislators on Tuesday, also extends the tenure of the legislature, lawmaker Thomas Kundu, who heads parliament's information committee, told The Associated Press." (03/24/15)

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Homeland Security big-wig accused of improper influence

Beloit Daily News

"The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department improperly intervened on behalf of foreign investors seeking U.S. visas in three cases involving prominent Democrats, including a company run by the youngest brother of likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the agency's inspector general said Tuesday. Investigators said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas helped efforts to secure the visas in ways that created the appearance of favoritism and special access and caused resentment among career government employees, managers and lawyers." (03/24/15)

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Canada: Regime to conduct airstrikes against Islamic State group in Syria

Omaha World

"Canada is expanding its military mission against the Islamic State group to include airstrikes on targets in Syria, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday. Harper told Parliament that he will not seek 'the express consent' of the President Bashar Assad government for the airstrikes, but will work closely with allies who have been carrying out such airstrikes against IS over Syria in recent months." (03/24/15)

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GA: Lawmakers close to allowing limited use of medical marijuana

Raw Story Raw Story

"Georgia lawmakers are poised to legalize a non-smoking form of medical marijuana for patients with seizure disorders and other conditions under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday. A version of the bill was previously approved by the state House of Representatives, which is expected to sign off on minor changes made by the Senate. The Georgia legislation would allow patients with diseases including cancer and multiple sclerosis to use a non-intoxicating oil derived from the marijuana plant, a strain commonly known as 'Charlotte’s Web.' Patients or their caregivers would first be required to obtain a registration card from the state Department of Public Health. Their physician also must certify that they are being treated for one of the medical conditions covered by the bill. " (03/24/15)

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AR: Senate panel backs “conscience protection” measure

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"An effort to prevent Arkansas government from infringing on someone's religious beliefs was revived Tuesday, with a state Senate panel advancing a bill that critics have called a thinly veiled endorsement of discrimination against gays and lesbians. The legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee would ban state and local government from taking action that would burden someone's religious beliefs unless a 'compelling governmental interest' is proven. The bill, if enacted, would strengthen any case of a person suing the government if that person could prove their religious beliefs were infringed upon. The Senate could take up the bill as soon as Wednesday." (03/24/15)

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Yemen: Shiite rebels fire on protesters killing six

ABC News ABC News

"Shiite rebels fired bullets and tear gas Tuesday to disperse thousands of protesters demanding they withdraw from a southwestern province, killing six demonstrators, wounding scores more and escalating tensions in a country on the verge of civil war. The rebels, known as Houthis, seized the capital Sanaa in September and have been advancing south alongside forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh." (03/24/15)

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TX: Woman accused of trying to firebomb pro-life group

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"An Austin woman is accused of throwing a burning bottle at an anti-abortion group praying outside of Planned Parenthood Monday evening. Melanie Maria Toney, 52, is jailed on a felony charge of aggravated assault. No bail has been set. An arrest affidavit states that members of Texas Alliance for Life were praying near the South Austin facility when a woman in an SUV tossed a 'flaming item' out of the window." (03/24/15)

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CA: ballot proposal on killing gay people triggers backlash

Fox News Fox News

"A shocking California ballot proposal that calls for gays and lesbians to be “put to death by bullets to the head” is triggering a widespread backlash for the author -- while also raising questions about the state's unique and sometimes-troublesome ballot initiative process. Orange County lawyer Matthew Gregory McLaughlin filed the 'Sodomite Suppression Act' late last month with the state attorney general's office. The initiative, which purports to give residents the authority to act as executioners, contains incendiary language that already is being called outright hate speech." [editor's note: The Golden State continues to battle with the Sunshiners for the cray-cray title - SAT] (03/24/15)

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Israeli spying on Iran nuclear talks might have backfired

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"The shocking part of reports Tuesday that Israel spied on American diplomats involved in the nuclear negotiations with Iran was not that friends spy on friends. That’s very old news to both intelligence experts and United States officials. Indeed, the US learned of the Israeli spying as a result of its own spying on Israel. Rather, it’s the lengths to which the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went in its attempts to influence Congress to kill an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. Mr. Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer essentially treated Congress as home turf, with their aggressive actions suggesting that they appeared to think of Washington as their domestic political landscape." (03/24/15)

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Monsanto lashes out at cancer agency’s finding on glyphosate

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Monsanto took the offensive Tuesday against the International Agency for Research on Cancer, days after the organization declared that glyphosate may be a carcinogen. During a conference call with reporters, the declaration was attacked by Monsanto executives and a group that included agriculture industry officials and researchers. ... Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer Brett Begemann said the development was not expected to have an impact on sales. But the company is clearly worried about how the 'probable carcinogen' declaration will play out in social media, even if it runs counter to the findings of most scientific studies on the herbicide. 'It has the potential to confuse,' Begemann said. 'Consumers often stumble across this misinformation when they are simply looking for facts.'" [editor's note: I have no idea whether or not the substance is carcinogenic, but Monsanto whining about "misinformation" given its horrific record of malicious/frivolous patent litigation is a comedy gold mine - TLK] (03/24/15)

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Libya: Islamic State claims Benghazi suicide bombing

euronews [EU]

"Islamic State militants claimed a suicide bombing that killed seven people at an army checkpoint in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday and triggered retaliatory air strikes by army forces. In a separate incident in Libya’s second-largest city, where army forces are fighting Islamist militants, a rocket hit a residential building, killing a 17-year old girl and another person, medics said." (03/25/15)

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US officials: Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border

Reuters Reuters

"Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, raising the risk that the Middle East's top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict. The buildup follows a southward advance by Iranian-backed Houthi Shi'ite militants who took control of the capital Sanaa in September and seized the central city of Taiz at the weekend as they move closer to the new southern base of U.S.-supported President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi." (03/24/15)

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US: Core consumer prices increase more than projected

Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune

"The cost of living excluding food and fuel rose more than forecast in February, reflecting broad-based gains that helped keep a floor under inflation. The so-called core consumer-price index climbed 0.2 percent for a second month, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent increase. Prices overall also climbed 0.2 percent, the first advance in four months, as fuel costs stabilized." (03/24/15)

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Survey: Many doctors don’t tell patients they have Alzheimer’s


"It's hard to believe in today's era of transparency in modern medicine, but there's a diagnosis that doctors still try to keep from their patients. In a surprising new survey of patients who were asked about their interactions with their doctors, 45% of people whose doctors treated them for Alzheimer.s never told these patients that they had the degenerative brain disorder. ... The main reasons for the intentional omission? Fear of causing emotional distress in their patients and the lack of time and resources to fully explain what the diagnosis means. This was true of both primary care doctors as well as neurology specialists who have more expertise in brain-related disorders." (03/24/15)

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France: German plane crashes in Alps with 150 on board

ABC News ABC News

"An Airbus operated by Germanwings crashed today in a remote part of the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, including two babies, the airline confirmed. French President Francois Hollande said there are 'apparently no survivors.' The passenger jet, an Airbus A320, crashed in the French Alps region near the town of Digne as it traveled from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, Hollande said." (03/24/15)

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Report: Israel spied on Iran nuke talks

Times of India [India]

"Israel has spied on Iran's nuclear talks with the United States and other major powers, Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Israel quickly dismissed the report as 'not true,' and denied spying on the United States. The Journal report, quoting current and former US officials, said the operation was designed to infiltrate the talks and help build a case against the emerging terms of a deal. Besides eavesdropping, Israel obtained information from confidential US briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials told the Journal. It added that more than the espionage, what irked the White House was the fact that Israel shared inside information with American legislators in a bid to sap support for a deal intended to limit Iran's nuclear program." (03/24/15)

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US broadband group sues versus FCC gang’s Internet power grab

Reuters Reuters

"A U.S. trade group representing broadband providers on Monday appealed in court the Federal Communications Commission's recently approved net neutrality rules, marking the first of several anticipated legal challenges. U.S. Telecom has filed the lawsuit against the FCC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has in the past twice rejected the FCC's net neutrality regulations. The group argues the new rules are 'arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion' and violate various laws, regulations and rulemaking procedures." (03/23/15)

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Clinton’s private email network linked to other government officials

The Daily Caller

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hid her government activities from the public by using her private email network to communicate with her aides via their private, non-government email addresses. During the Benghazi crisis, her secret private-to-private email network bypassed government openness and record-keeping laws. The discovery of her secret network contradicts her March claim that copies of nearly all her official emails existed on other public officials' government email records." (03/23/15)

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Iraq: Baghdad bombings kill 19; wound 36

Akron Beacon Journal

"Multiple bombings in the Iraqi capital killed at least 19 people and wounded 36, as Iraqi forces continued preparing for a large-scale operation to recapture the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State group. The deadliest bombing struck a busy commercial street Monday in the Habibiya section of Baghdad’s Sadr City, killing at least nine people and wounding 22, officials said." (03/23/15)

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Yemen: Hadi calls for Gulf military, UN action

Iron Mountin Daily News

"Yemen's embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has asked Gulf countries to intervene militarily against Shiite rebels who have seized the capital and are advancing toward his new base in the south, his foreign minister told Saudi media Monday. Riad Yassin said Hadi has also asked the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone so that the rebels, known as Houthis, cannot use the airports they seized. He accused the rebels of being a proxy of Shiite Iran, charges they deny." (03/23/15)

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| News

Don’t look, Ethel! (Really — just don’t look)

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

"First, credit where credit is due: Charlotte, North Carolina police haven't arrested Gerard Leeper for standing naked in the doorway of his home in the city's Cardinal Glen neighborhood. Yet. Why? Because it's not illegal to go naked on one's own property in Charlotte. Yet. So, good call, Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD. According to the Charlotte Observer, however, the CMPD is 'trying to build a case against' Leeper and 'will likely approach the legislature to recommend a stronger indecent exposure law.'" (03/24/15)

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Becoming “a thing apart” is the story of government

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Nick Ford

"Voltairine de Cleyre, the 19th and 20th century anarchist without adjectives, stated in her essay, 'Anarchism and American Traditions' that, '... the nature of government is to become a thing apart, an institution existing for its own sake, preying upon the people, and teaching whatever will tend to keep it secure in its seat.' If the time of political governance has reached its apex in the 21st century, then someone should tell me what this apex actually looks like. Because one might figure that transparency would be involved with any good liberal democracy. Unfortunately for such dreamers, Obama has had other plans in mind." (03/24/15)

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Espionage, treason, and the congressional fifth column

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"The spectacle of virtually the entire Senate GOP caucus mobilizing in support of a foreign power in order to drag us into war with Iran has certainly been instructive. Not since the Federalist party plotted with the British during the War of 1812 has an American fifth column been so open about their treason. But isn't the 't'-word a bit hyperbolic? After all, don't all Americans, even the worst warmongers among us, have the right to free speech? Those members of Congress were merely expressing their opinion -- right? Not so fast ..." (03/25/15)

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What happened to liberty?

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"What happened to liberty? It's slowly slipping away. Today the United States government -- in spite of the Declaration of Independence -- in spite of the Constitution -- in spite of the Bill of Rights -- has adopted the attitude that we all owe it affirmative obligations, the kind of obligations that a servant owes its master. Whether it be forced conscription into military service, compulsory education, mandatory reporting our income every year, purchasing ObamaCare, (the list goes on and on), it is now perfectly clear that in the United States of America the government claims we belong to it. Now the President of the United States is calling for mandatory voting." (03/24/15)

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A felon for a Facebook post: The abduction of Matthew Townsend

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg

"Matthew Townsend was made an offender for using a sidewalk without a police officer's permission, and then accused of a felony for publishing a Facebook post about the incident. 'Apparently, holding a protest sign, or condemning government abuse on Facebook, is enough to make somebody a terrorist now,' Matthew wearily observes. A small, wiry man with a luxuriant beard and a contemplative demeanor, Matthew is gainfully employed in Meridian, Idaho as a cook. That is to say, he feeds people, rather than feeding upon them. His abductor, Officer Richard Brockbank of the Meridian Police Department, makes neither butter, nor shoes, nor poetry; instead, he makes 'offenders' out of people who have done no injury to anybody." (03/23/15)

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Republicans responsible for Netanyahu now

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

"The collusive relationship between House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu runs famously deep, into the well of Congress. They are aligned by shared interests in augmenting Netanyahu’s political fortunes, improving the Republican Party’s electoral viability, and sabotaging the Obama administration’s efforts to secure a multilateral agreement foreclosing an Iranian nuclear weapon for at least a decade. So it's extremely conspicuous when one offers anything less than fulsome praise for the other, which is basically what happened when Boehner learned that Israelis had spied on the Iran negotiations, and passed information thus gleaned to members of Congress, in hopes of sinking the nuclear deal." (03/24/15)

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What if we had public churching?

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Let's assume that for the past 100 years, the United States has had a system of public churching, modeled on the public-schooling system that America has had for more than a century. Under the public-churching system, there would be mandatory church-attendance laws that would require parents, on pain of fine and imprisonment, to send their children into the public-church system every Sunday for one hour. The purpose of the law would be to ensure that children receive a basic minimum of religious education in order to ensure that everyone grows up to become a virtuous citizen with strong moral and ethical values." (03/24/15)

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Libertarian strategy in a non-ideal world

kevinvallier Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Kevin Vallier

"Libertarians have spent a lot of time arguing about altitudes. The market anarchy arguments largely claim that Mt. Market Anarchy is very tall, the highest peak in all the Land of Justice. But libertarians have a very poor theory of the terrain, not to mention the theory of illuminating it. Libertarians deeply disagree about strategy choice, about who to ally with, about which policies will push us towards liberty and which will get us stuck. This only compounds the worry that the cost of Mt. Market Anarchy isn't worth paying. Because libertarians disagree so much, we're bound to get in a fight on the long road ahead and die of dysentery or something. Should libertarians vote or not? Should they vote for the Libertarian Party? Or the GOP? Or should they vote Democrat? Should they support small secession movements, sea-steading, or what? Are conservatives friends of ours? Are progressives?" (03/23/15)

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When Internet Explorer ruled the world

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

"Microsoft announced this month that it was finally taking Internet Explorer out behind the woodshed, officially ending its two decade reign as the king (and then later the court jester) of web browsers. The main focus of media coverage has been how IE was outcompeted by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome -- not to mention mobile apps that are rapidly overtaking traditional computer programs as a share of Internet browsing. But once upon a time, Internet Explorer ruled the World Wide Web." (03/24/15)

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Washington must live within its means

USA Today USA Today
by US Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)

"Last week, Congress began the monumental task of confronting our nation's chronic overspending and exploding debt, which threaten each and every American. Make no mistake, our fiscal outlook is grim and has been ignored for far too long. But we have a profound moral responsibility to help taxpayers see the true picture of our country's finances. Republicans are proposing a responsible plan that balances the budget in 10 years with no new tax hikes, protects our most vulnerable citizens, strengthens our national defense, and improves economic growth and opportunity for hardworking families." (03/23/15)

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Legislate against Big Brother

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Patrick G Eddington

"Nearly two years after Edward Snowden's sensational revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs targeting the communications of Americans, Congress has yet to pass legislation to end those programs. Two House lawmakers have just offered a bill to do just that." (03/24/15)

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Reich on the alleged horrors of an economic cornucopia

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"In what is a prime candidate for the most economically mistaken essay ever penned, Robert Reich calls a future in which technology makes ever-more high-quality goods and services widely available at virtually zero cost 'horrifying' ('In Our Horrifying Future, Very Few People Will Have Work or Make Money,' March 17). Where to start? Perhaps with the fact that the history of such Luddite fear-mongering is as long (at least 200 years) as its batting record is low (.000%)." (03/23/15)

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The importance of being frivolous — how to inject our message into art

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Mustela nivalis

"For serious reasons, we libertarians need to lighten up. We need to develop a way to express ourselves through art. Sean Gabb's talk to the other LA, posted here recently, is well worth watching and listening to. In it, he presents the case for developing and propagating a libertarian narrative through cultural means. This is necessary, he says, in order to counter the dominating narrative of the ruling class, of the goodness of multiculturalism and enforced integration, and of all sorts of other leftist/tyrannical hobby horses." (03/24/15)

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Nuclear Anarchism part 4: An epilogue of objections

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Foo Quuxman

"When I wrote parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Nuclear Anarchism series I expected to receive many comments informing me that I was an idiot for even considering the concept of privately owned nuclear devices. Now that the arguing has died down, this fourth part will address the common objections raised by those responses, as well as any interesting or thoughtful ones." (03/24/15)

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7 reasons why the 99 Percent keeps losing

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

"Our current political situation is unprecedented. The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics. If anything, the right keeps gaining and the wealthy keep pulling away. How can this possibly be? Let me suggest seven reasons." [editor's note: A-a-and he's off! Blaming it all on "the war on government" and "the failure of laissez-faire economics and deregulation" (as if either of these had actually existed); good for at least a chuckle with your morning coffee - SAT] (03/24/15)

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Uncle Joe’s squandered opportunity in Central America

The Canal The Canal
by Elena Toledo

"US Vice President Joe Biden is fast becoming Latin America's new best friend: touring multiple countries and spearheading a number of trade agreements, he's helped move the conversation beyond drug policy and dubious military assistance. Nevertheless, vestiges of the old relationship remain." (03/23/15)

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Status report: States tell feds to pound sand

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Michael Boldin

"Even though the ATF has, at least temporarily, backed down on a proposed M855 ammo ban, gun rights advocates should be alarmed. More of this should be expected moving forward, that is, more gun control no matter who you elect to Congress. In Arizona, however, a bill that would effectively block in practice any additional restrictions on the natural right to keep and bear arms has already passed the state Senate by a 17-12 vote, and is due for further consideration in the state House in the near future. A similar bill passed the Montana legislature and is going to Gov. Steve Bullock's desk, and another in Tennessee is up for a do-or-die vote in committee this week."

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The Article V path

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"U.S. Term Limits currently backs an amendment that would originate in Congress to limit House members to three two-year terms and senators to two six-year terms. Just in case congressmen don’t get around to passing such an amendment, though, USTL has also endorsed the Article V path to term limits being promoted by Citizens for Self-Governance. Article V of the Constitution authorizes states to call a constitutional convention if two thirds of them apply." [editor's note: Kind of a strange cause, term limits; after all, we already have them -- any politician's time in office can be limited by non-re-election! - TLK] (03/24/15)

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Is the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission acting illegally?

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

"At a hearing on SB 351, which would create state regulations on ridesharing companies, the bill's sponsor warned that existing taxicab regulatory bodies in the state, especially the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC), may be violating federal law. The source of this trouble is a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In the case, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the FTC claimed the North Carolina dental board violated federal antitrust laws in its attempt to eliminate market competitors, even though the board was empowered by the state to regulate dentistry. Prior to this case, it was assumed that state-created professional boards and regulatory bodies were immune from antitrust law. But in their decision, the Supreme Court held that this is not always the case." (03/23/15)

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Against the criminal justice system, part 5: Escaping prison forever

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Jason Byas

"Earlier in this series, I argued that punishment, prisons, and criminal law are inherently unjust, and that a purely restitution-focused system of tort law would be a suitable replacement. Even those who end up agreeing may still wonder what practical impact this theoretical framework has on how we actually think about law and politics in the real world. Addressing that question will be the focus of this final installment." (03/24/15)

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Koch network takes on Export-Import Bank

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"In an interesting juxtaposition from Monday’s New York Times, a Times article explains a Times op-ed. The op-ed calls for killing the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), because it helps American companies compete globally. The news story reports that the anti-government Koch brothers network is behind the campaign." [editor's note: At least Mr. Johnson gets the label correctly, unlike most "progressives" who are just shocked ... shocked when they see Charles or David backing something on the civil liberties front - SAT] (03/24/15)

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GodZille vs media

The Cagle Post
by Zapiro

Cartoon. (03/23/15)

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Supreme Court considers Texas license plate case that could threaten free speech on campus

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Catherine Sevcenko

"In spite of the emotional appeal of banning offensive symbols, it is important to consider the wider, unintended consequences of a decision allowing Texas to censor the image of the Confederate flag, however repugnant some may find it. Specifically, discourse on public colleges and universities is likely to suffer if the justices decide that specialty license plates are a form of government speech and that Texas may, therefore, censor license plate messages with which it does not want to associate. The connection between specialty license plates and college campuses may not be readily apparent, but every day colleges and universities creatively abuse their authority over student and faculty activities to stifle speech they do not like." (03/24/15)

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Hillary, outside the box

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

"I have a cat named Strider. He's a handsome fellow, some variation on a Russian Blue, reasonably bright, extremely clean, a game fighter, and highly affectionate when it suits him. There's just this one small problem ... He uses a catbox to pee in, thank heavens, but when it comes to the other, he leaves his deposit beside it, a few inches away, scratching industriously, if ineffectually, at the hardwood floor and nearby wall. The smell of course, is horrific, and spreads throughout our little house at supersonic speeds. It appears that Strider was taken from his mother too soon, before she could teach him to cover up properly. I confess, I don't know anything at all about Hillary Clinton's mother, but it's apparent that she made the same kind of mistake, bringing up her daughter." (03/22/15)

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Facebook reveals its master plan — control all news flow

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"Let me try to address this the best I can from several different angles. First off, what's the big picture plan here? As the number two ranked website in the world with 1.4 billion users, Facebook itself is already something like an alternative internet where a disturbing number of individuals spend a disproportionate amount of their time. The only thing that seems to make many of its users click away is content hosted on other people's websites linked to from Facebook users. Other than this outside content, many FB users might never leave the site. While this is scary to someone like me, to Facebook it is an abomination. The company doesn't want people to leave their site ever -- for any reason. Hence the aggressive push to carry outside news content, and create a better positioned alternative web centrally controlled by it. This is a huge power play move." (03/24/15)

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Goldilocks zone for oil prices is gone for good

Reuters Reuters
by Richard Heinberg

"Five years ago, I wrote an article for Reuters titled 'Goldilocks and the Three Fuels.' In it, I discussed what I call the Goldilocks price zone for oil, natural gas and coal, a zone in which prices are 'just right": high enough to reward producers, but low enough to entice consumers. Ever since the start of the fossil-fuel era, such a zone has existed. Sometimes price boundaries were transgressed on the upside, sometimes on the downside, but it was always possible to revert to the zone. But now, the Goldilocks zone for oil has ceased to exist. This will have staggering consequences throughout the economy for the foreseeable future." (03/24/15)

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Battle against the union blob

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith
by Sophie Sandor

"It is not surprising that teaching unions are objecting to the proposed 2% pay rise for England's top teachers. Unions have long protested against performance-based pay for teachers and now they pose another barrier to the School Teachers Review Body. In the STRB's latest submission to the government, highlighted is the need for a wages increase to encourage the desired competition in the teaching profession."" (03/24/15)

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Are the police a scarce resource? The Keynesian police state

Reformed Libertarian
by Brian Jacobson

"Certainly all agree that police and law enforcement provide a service, but are they a scarce resource that must follow the laws of economic calculation? Do police services suffer the ill effects of a State monopoly? Or does their sheer benevolence to 'protect and serve' guard them? Does their lack of drive for efficiency and increased profit margins actually enhance their innate goodness?" (03/24/15)

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My letter to the NY Times re: Time for an editorial board reassessment

Mises Canada
by Patrick Barron

"Dear Sirs: Mr. Soble (and your editorial board, I'm sure) can't seem to make up his mind whether Japan should spend its way to prosperity or adopt policies that will return it to the savings culture that financed its post WWII economic miracle. Mr. Soble comes very close to breaking with what I am sure is NY Times policy and Keynesian dogma that increasing aggregate demand will do the trick. Japanese households spend every last yen as it is, and the government's debt to GDP is the highest in the industrialized world. So just where will this increased demand originate?" (03/23/15)

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Is the War on Drugs a war on kids?

Voices of Liberty
by Matthew Ensor

"When most people think of the War on Drugs, they think of drug cartels, violent gang shootouts, and boatloads of cocaine. It isn't very often that you think of 11 year-old middle school students. But in a nation where use of substances is criminalized and turned into a moral dogma, even our children get caught in the crossfire." (03/23/15)

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Free love: Victoria Woodhull

David S. D'Amato
by David S D'Amato

"When the feminist lightning rod Victoria Woodhull (nre Claflin) is remembered at all, it is usually for being the first wom[a]n ever to run for President of the United States, her candidacy in the election of 1872 coming at a time when women were still legally barred from even casting a vote. ... Woodhull's campaign assumed principled libertarian positions on issues such as the freedom of the press and even free and open trade; in Woodhull's time, it was still quite possible to be a left wing radical in good standing and an enthusiast of market economics as an anti-monopolistic pathway to liberation for the working class." (03/23/15)

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Is the US back in the coup business?

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Patrick J Buchanan

"Though 'Bibi' Netanyahu won re-election last week, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will still look into whether the State Department financed a clandestine effort to defeat him. Reportedly, State funneled $350,000 to an American NGO called OneVoice, which has an Israeli subsidiary, Victory 15, that collaborated with U.S. operatives to bring Bibi down. If we are now secretly pumping cash into the free elections of friendly countries, to dump leaders President Obama dislikes, Americans have a right to know why we are using Cold War tactics against democracies." (03/24/15)

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Judge Napolitano on self-ownership and “national defense”

David Gordon Ludwig von Mises Institute
by David Gordon

"Readers of Judge Napolitano's outstanding book will at once be struck by its unusual title. What is the 'suicide pact' referred to there? The phrase occurs in a famous dissenting opinion by Justice Robert Jackson. In Terminiello v. Chicago (1949), the Supreme Court held that the city of Chicago had wrongly restricted the free speech of an incendiary speaker. The claim that doing so was needed to preserve public order did not suffice, the Court maintained. Jackson disagreed, warning that 'there is a danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.' It is precisely this thesis that Judge Napolitano takes as his principal task in this book to oppose." (03/24/15)

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Get ready for the third intifada

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by John Wight

"Bibi's re-election makes the prospect of a third intifada more likely than ever. And when it does come it would take a surfeit of optimism to believe that it won't be as widely supported among the Palestinians as the First Intifada (1987-1991) or as violent as the Second Intifada (2000-2005)." (03/24/15)

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Philip Giraldi on The Scott Horton Show

Philip Giraldi The Scott Horton Show

"Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer and Executive Director of The Council for the National Interest, discusses the schizophrenic US policy in Iraq and Syria; and why the media doesn't confront John McCain, David Petraeus, and other hawkish commentators on their nonsensical claims." [Flash audio or MP3] (03/23/15)

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