Today's Edition


| Commentary

Gaza: Fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

USA Today

"Clashes continued unabated between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas fighters in the Gaza strip Thursday, with the prospect of a truce before Eid al-Fitr -- Muslims' most important holiday -- increasingly unlikely. Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade amid U.S. efforts to reach a cease-fire. ... 'We will not accept any initiative that does not lift the blockade on our people and that does not respect their sacrifices,' said Hamas leader haled Meshaal at a news conference in Qatar on Wednesday. 'We will not accept anything but the end of the siege.'" (07/24/14)

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Nigeria: Dozens killed in twin blasts

Los Angeles Times

"Twin blasts in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna on Wednesday -- both reportedly assassination attempts against prominent figures, killed at least 82 people. No one claimed responsibility for the blasts, but the first attack targeted the convoy of a cleric who has often criticized the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. ... a second blast in a busy part of Kaduna killed about 50 people. It was apparently aimed at opposition politician Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader who was a runner-up in the 2011 elections, according to his son, Musa, who spoke to Reuters from the scene." (07/23/14)

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Somalia: Islamists gun down protest singer turned politician


"A veteran Somali protest singer who had become a member of parliament was shot dead in central Mogadishu on Wednesday by Islamist gunmen who blocked her car and sprayed it with bullets. Saado Ali Warsame was one of fewer than 30 women lawmakers in the 275-seat parliament, MPs said. Believed to be in her 70s, she was renowned for songs that landed her in jail when she challenged the former dictator Siad Barre before he was toppled in 1991 and Somalia plunged into conflict." (07/23/14)

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Iraq: 60 killed in attack on prisoner convoy

Fox News

"Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, setting off a gun battle with troops in which 52 prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, officials said. ... The dawn attack began with militants firing mortar rounds on Iraqi army bases in the town of Taji, where suspects were being held on terrorism charges, prompting officials to evacuate the facilities, fearing a jailbreak. As the convoy traveled through a remote area, roadside bombs went off and militants opened fire." (07/24/14)

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Afghanistan: Eight killed in attacks

The Daily Star [Lebanon]

"Two foreign aid workers with an international Christian organization were shot dead Thursday in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, a regional official said. ... In a separate incident, explosives attached to a motorbike went off in the northern province of Takhar, killing six civilians and wounding 28 people, the interior ministry said." (07/24/14)

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Argentina: Kirchner says government will not default

ABC News

"Argentina's president said Wednesday that her country will not go into default because it has been paying debts to bondholders on time. The government is in negotiations to resolve a dispute with creditors over $1.5 billion in unpaid debts that could lead Argentina to its second default in 13 years." (07/23/14)

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CO: Judge strikes down marriage apartheid, stays ruling

Bennington Banner

"A federal judge in Denver declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional Wednesday, but he temporarily put the ruling on hold to give the state until next month to seek an appeal. Judge Raymond P. Moore's ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed July 1 by six gay couples who asked the court for an injunction ordering that the state's ban no longer be enforced." (07/23/14)

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Central African Republic: Rebels sign cease-fire

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Representatives of the Muslim and Christian factions battling in Central African Republic signed a cease-fire agreement on Wednesday in neighboring Republic of Congo. The ceremony was carried live on the Republic of Congo's state television. The signing on Wednesday comes after heavy pressure from regional mediators and only one day after the Seleka Muslim rebels failed to show up for the second day of talks." (07/23/14)

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Gunmaker Beretta moving from Maryland to Tennessee

Raw Story

"Gunmaker Beretta USA Corp is moving its manufacturing business from Maryland to Tennessee because of Maryland’s strict new firearms law, the company said. The Italian-owned company will shut down its manufacturing plant at Accokeek, Maryland, and move to a new one it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The $45 million Gallatin site is scheduled to open in 2015. Beretta said on Tuesday it was concerned that during debate on the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 the Maryland Senate had voted to bar the company from being able to manufacture, store or import firearms, as it had done since 1977." (07/23/14)

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Report: Social Security spent $300 million on “IT boondoggle”

Fox News

"Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency. In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm. Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can't say when it will be completed or how much it will cost." (07/23/14)

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Study: Uninformed consumers waste money on name brands

BBC News [UK state media]

"A new study, writes Harvard behavioral economics Prof Cass Sunstein, shows that 'the more informed you are, the more likely you are to choose store brands.' Tilburg University Prof Bart Bronnenberg analysed data from more than 77 million shopping trips from 2004-2011, matching the items purchased with the consumers' occupations. For example, pharmacists were more likely to choose store brands of headache meds over national brands, and chefs often selected non-name-brands of salt and sugar compared with non-chefs." (07/23/14)

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Western wildfires burn through firefighting budgets

Christian Science Monitor

"As 26 major wildfires currently rage across the American West (8 of them in Oregon and Washington) they’re rapidly burning through firefighting budgets as well. As a result, experts warn, firefighting agencies such as the US Forest Service and the US Department of the Interior have to raid other fire-related programs -- forest management and fire preparedness, for example -- to battle the blazes. The reasons for this are multiple and complicated." (07/23/14)

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MT: Senator blames PTSD for plagiarizing thesis

San Francisco Chronicle

"Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder. The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Democrat's 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China." (07/23/14)

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Widen: Companies must be stopped from moving offshore


"Immediate government action is needed to stop U.S. corporations from avoiding federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas through deals known as inversions, the head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee said on Tuesday. Nine inversion deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are being considered. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was done 32 years ago. Washington is increasingly concerned about this. 'Let's work together to immediately cool down the inversion fever ... The inversion loophole needs to be plugged now,' said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, finance committee chairman, at a hearing." (07/22/14)

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CA: Resident fatally shoots alleged intruder

Long Beach Post

"Detectives believe the woman fatally shot on Tuesday night in Bixby Knolls may have been committing a crime inside a resident's home before the shooting occurred. According to Deputy Chief David Hendricks, a man returned to his home to find the woman inside. 'What we believe happened at this time was the resident came home and possibly interrupted a crime in progress,' Hendricks said. 'At some time, there was a shooting that took place and the suspect of the original crime, the woman, is deceased.'" (07/23/14)

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MA: House debates bill for suppression of abortion clinic protests

Greenfield Daily Reporter

"The Massachusetts House has begun debating a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics. The bill would let police disperse groups substantially impeding access to abortion clinics. ... The Senate approved by the bill last week. The bill is a response to a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established protest-free 35-foot 'buffer zones' around abortion clinic entrances." (07/23/14)

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AZ: Inmate takes two hours to succumb to state’s killers-for-hire

ABC News

"A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died, his lawyers said .... U.S. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started. ... States [including Arizona] have refused to reveal details such as which pharmacies are supplying lethal injection drugs and who is administering them, because of concerns over harassment." (07/23/14)

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DPR: Two Ukrainian military jets shot down

Washington Post

"Two Ukrainian warplanes were shot down Wednesday over [Donetsk People's Republic] in the same vicinity as a Malaysian airliner that was downed last week, Ukrainian officials and rebels said. ... Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying fresh firepower to [DPR forces] over the porous border in recent days, even as international attention has focused on a possible Russian role in the attack on Flight 17." (07/23/14)

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OR: Marijuana legalization measure makes November ballot


"A citizen-led petition to place legalization of recreational marijuana on the November ballot in Oregon obtained enough signatures, making the Beaver State the next place pot could be legally sold, bought and consumed. More than 88,500 people signed the petition, enough to place the initiative before voters on November 4. If passed, Oregon would become the third state to legalize pot after Colorado and Washington to allow recreational use of marijuana. Another 21 states, including Oregon, allow the use of medicinal marijuana." (07/23/14)

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NY: Ex-CEO sentenced to prison for stealing $9 million from anti-poverty charity

Daily Mail [UK]

"The politically connected former CEO of a prominent New York City charity was sentenced to prison Wednesday for helping to steal more than $9 million from the anti-poverty organization. William Rapfogel, who once headed the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, will serve a term of 40 months to 10 years in a case that rattled New York's political circles. Authorities linked the decades-long theft to campaign contributions, and both the charity and Rapfogel himself have deep political ties." (07/23/14)

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UN’s Pillay: “Strong possibility” of war crimes in Gaza, Israel

Deutsche Welle [Germany]

"Israel's airstrikes and military actions in the Gaza Strip could amount to war crimes, the UN's high commissioner for human rights said in Geneva on Wednesday. Navi Pillay cited cases of Israeli airstrikes or shelling hitting houses and hospitals in Gaza. ... The indiscriminate nature of Hamas rocket fire, Pillay said, also clearly went against principles of distinction and precaution when identifying military targets. (07/23/14)

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Bodies of Malaysia jet victims leave Ukraine

Detroit News

"Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine Wednesday, bringing some consolation to grieving relatives who still must wait for positive identifications and answers about who caused the disaster. The Dutch government declared a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arrival of the first bodies in the afternoon. The crash on Thursday killed all 298 people -- most of them Dutch citizens -- aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17." (07/23/14)

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China: Parts of city sealed for bubonic plague

ABC News

"Parts of a northern Chinese city have been quarantined after state media said a man there died of bubonic plague. China's official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday that 151 people were under observation in the city of Yumen in Gansu province after authorities determined they had come in contact with a man who died of the plague July 16. Investigators believe the man contracted the bacterial infection after contact with a marmot, Xinhua said." (07/23/14)

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Iraq: At least 21 dead in checkpoint car bombing

Iron Mountain Daily News

"A suicide driver rammed his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint in the Iraqi capital killing 21 people, including more than a dozen civilians en route to a Shiite shrine in the final days of the Islamic holy month. At least 13 people killed in the attack were civilians, according to police and hospital officials. At least 35 people were wounded -- more than half of them civilians." (07/22/14)

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Afghanistan: Six suicide bombers blown up by own explosives

The Peninsula Online [Qatar]

"At least six suicide bombers were killed in a premature explosion in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement Wednesday that the incident took place in Pul-e-Alam, the provincial capital of Logar province. The MoI said the suicide bombers were looking to transport the suicide bombing vests in Pul-e-Alam city when the incident took place, according to the Afghavn (Khaama Press)." (07/23/14)

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| News

Parasite panic

by Timothy J Taylor

"Have you ever spotted a fat, juicy, satisfied blood sucking tick firmly attached to your dog, and pulled it off with a pair of tweezers watching its legs flailing about wildly before you dispatched it? That's what parasites do when you suddenly deprive them of their hosts. They panic. And that's just what the alarmed parasitical politicians in Washington are doing today as they rush to decide what to do about America's corporate 'hosts' that are fed up with over taxation and are moving overseas to avoid it." (07/24/14)

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“Economic patriotism”: The last refuge of a tax scoundrel

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Joel Schlosberg and Thomas L. Knapp

"It is true that the corporate-state alliance has been strained by the panoply of neoliberal economic policies. But 'globalization' requires doing away with borders only very selectively, when it suits corporate purposes. The American superstate and its international 'trade partners' are more than willing to ignore borders when corporations benefit by moving goods from low-cost labor centers to high-profit sales centers. But that same state and those same partners consider borders of paramount importance when it comes to capturing the tax revenue that pays for all the perks their corporate symbiotes depend on for their continued existence." (07/23/14)

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Americans say country is “more divided.” Maybe it’s not divided enough.

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille

"About two-thirds of Americans say the country is more politically divided than it was four years ago, with blame going equally to the president and Congress. Fortunately, our countrymen have a plan for addressing these divisions: they plan to vote this November, presumably to enact their vision of the good life into law and stuff it down the throats of the folks on the other side of the divide." (07/23/14)

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What rights do we have?

Tibor R. Machan The Daily Bell
by Tibor R. Machan

"As Locke and quite a few others before him -- in what is called the Natural Law tradition of ethics and politics -- maintained, our basic rights are supposed to be natural and thus not created or granted (as privileges would be) by people, including governments. Governments or lawmakers are themselves supposed to be bound by these rights to conduct their administrative and other duties without violating them." (07/23/14)

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No, Millennials are not all libertarians

The Nation
by Alex Holt

"I was 9 years old when President Clinton was impeached. I distinctly remember the news anchor’s discomfort when he tried to explain that he was interrupting regular programming to begin coverage of the Senate’s consideration of perjury charges. When I asked my dad what the president had done and why everyone was mad at him, he told me that Clinton had 'kissed another woman,' and married people weren’t supposed to do that. To me, it didn’t seem like a big enough deal to warrant canceling Saturday morning cartoons. A few years later, I watched the Supreme Court pick our president after we learned just how poorly a ballot could be designed." (07/23/14)

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DC forgets about the debt

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D. Tanner

"Although it is expected to top $17.6 trillion by August 1, the national debt has dropped out of the headlines recently. Out of sight may indeed mean out of mind, especially in Washington, but that hardly means the problem has gone away -- as a new report from the Congressional Budget Office makes clear." (07/23/14)

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Hillary’s Sister Souljah moment

Our Future
by Robert Borosage

"The 2016 election is two-and-one-half years off, but already Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is getting pummeled. Her book tour, designed to provide soft interviews burnishing her record as secretary of state, has been plagued by missteps. She’s criticized for having no 'big idea,' for being out of touch after earning enough in the last year to be part of the .001 percent, even for underwhelming book sales. Her foreign policy hawkishness has stirred the embers of progressive doubts. Worse, she seems on the wrong side of the divide between the Wall Street and the Warren (after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, darling of progressives) wings of the Democratic party. The adversarial press seems a lot more 'ready for Hillary' than Hillary is for the fray." (07/23/14)

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John Blundell, 1952-2014

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"I learned last night, from an e-mail sent by Walter Grinder, that John died earlier in the day yesterday. As I read Walter’s e-mail, a deep sadness descended upon me (as, I know, it descended upon many others) -- sadness not only for John's wife Christine and their two sons, Miles and James, but for John's many friends who will never again enjoy his charm, good humor, and dry wit. And sadness, too, for the liberal cause. John was that rare person who combined extraordinary organizational, managerial, and fund-raising skills with a profound knowledge of -- and devotion to the principles of -- classical liberalism and libertarianism." (07/23/14)

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Nationalize the Ivy League

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann

"Higher education in the United States is the scapegoat of first resort for the country's lagging indicators of prosperity, individual achievement and civilizational excellence. The American university had it coming. It has pillaged the pedagogy of the liberal-arts tradition in favor of corporatized research, trustee courtiership and legacy big-donor admissions. And contrary to the myth that a degree from an elite college is a port of entry to access the American good life, higher learning accelerates the scourge of economic inequality. For all the resources and pious rhetoric showered on the American university as an engine of opportunity and upward mobility, the numbers tell a different story." (07/23/14)

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Israel, looking for hope in a sea of bad faith & despair

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"If you don't have mixed feelings about what's going on in Gaza, there's something seriously wrong with you. As Gershom Gorenberg says in his piece today, in a war, both sides can be wrong, and that's the case now. So how do we find a way to think and talk about this conflict when our natural impulse is to take a side?" (07/23/14)

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What if democracy is a fraud?

Andrew P. Napolitano
by Andrew P. Napolitano

"What if you were allowed to vote only because it didn’t make a difference? What if no matter how you voted the elites always got their way? What if the concept of one person/one vote was just a fiction created by the government to induce your compliance?" (07/24/14)

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$18 billion in job training = lots of trained unemployed people

by Peter Van Buren

"President Barack Obama told Americans in his July 19 weekly address that every worker deserves to know that 'if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.' A nice sentiment -- and politically safe. It’s just the wrong answer. Those 'better jobs' don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. In 2007, then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, WI, location of the oldest operating General Motors plant in America." (07/23/14)

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Surge to the border: Crisis or reunion?

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

"Why isn't Mexico doing more to deter unaccompanied minors from Central America from traversing Mexico to cross the U.S./Mexico border? If this is a humanitarian crisis, then shouldn't Mexico be taking in its neighbors? Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade met with The Chronicle Editorial Board on Tuesday, so I had a chance to ask him." (07/23/14)

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The perpetual crises of the welfare-warfare state

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

"It's fascinating to see people get all bent out of shape over the latest immigration crisis. I mean, what planet have they been living on? It's as though they're shocked -- just shocked -- that another immigration crisis would befall our nation. And then they go into extreme fits of anger, anxiety, angst, and depression over the crisis. I don't get it. We libertarians have been pointing out that crises are an inherent part of the welfare-warfare state apparatuses ever since such apparatuses were made a part of America's governmental system in the 1930s and 1940s. Haven't people been listening?" (07/23/14)

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Dazed and confused

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Casey Given

"Since March, no fewer than four major studies on millennials' political attitudes have been published, prompting media confusion about young people's seemingly contradictory attitudes about the role of government. Headlines like 'Millennials' Political Views Don't Make Any Sense' and 'This Poll Proves That Millennials Have Totally Incoherent Political Views' graced popular websites like The Atlantic and Vox. Such headlines should be expected considering the Herculean task at hand. Aggregating the political beliefs of a group as numerous and multifarious as an entire generation is so difficult it can seem like a fool's errand." (07/22/14)

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Finally: Legit Libertarian criticism from mainstream media

Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"Gerson and libertarians are right that government benefits when so-called 'legalize and tax' libertarians work together. Government always spends more than it collects, which sets up an endless cycle of taxing, collecting, overspending and searching for yet new taxes ... Making every victimless activity legal but taxable may be a goal of government but not of libertarians." (07/23/14)

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A qualified defense of goldbuggery and some related observations on the regressive effects of inflation

Steven Horwitz Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Steve Horwitz

"With currency and deposits redeemable in gold, customers and other banks can take any excess balances of such liabilities to the issuer for gold. Should any bank produce more money than its customers wish to hold, those customers will either bring it back to the bank directly for redemption or they will spend it, where it will most likely end up in the possession of a different bank. The other bank will not want to hold stocks of a competitor’s money. Instead, it will prefer to redeem it for gold or reserves at the bank directly or at a clearinghouse, either of which will impose a cost on the competitor by taking away the gold or reserves it needs to create loans. This process of 'adverse clearings' ensures that if any bank creates too much money, it will pay an economic price for it in the form of reduced reserves." (07/23/14)

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Has the Affordable Care Act slowed the growth of health care spending?

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Thomas R. Saving and Zijun Wang

"For years, health care spending has outpaced economic growth. However, in 2012, health care spending as a share of the economy declined slightly for the second year in a row, based on official government statistics released at the outset of 2014. This news was greeted in some quarters as evidence that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was beginning to bend the cost curve downward. But do these reports actually indicate that the ACA is curbing health care growth, relative to the growth of the rest of the economy? In fact, the recent slowing of health care expenditures is one of several similar slowdowns. Further, data for 2013 and the first part of 2014 indicate that the trend is already reversing and health care expenditures are rising." (07/23/14)

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The secret government rulebook for labeling you a terrorist

The Intercept
by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux

"The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither 'concrete facts' nor 'irrefutable evidence' to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept." (07/23/14)

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Let’s not pay our debts because … “I choose Argentina”

The Canal
by Belen Marty

"I was taught that when someone asks to borrow money, it must be returned. Right? Is there anything different going on if the borrower is the state and not an individual?" [editor's note: Yes, there are two differences. The first difference is that the only way the state can pay back the money is to steal it. The second difference is that the lender knows this. If you want the loans you make repaid, don't knowingly loan to criminals. If you knowingly loan to criminals, don't whine afterward when the criminals act like criminals to your injury rather than to your profit - TLK] (07/23/14)

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How to start reforming the Federal Reserve right now

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Brendan Brown

"An essential component of monetary reform should be setting interest rates free. This means no more official pegging or guidance of short-term interest rates and no attempt to manipulate in various ways long-term interest rates. Markets can do a better job of discovering the neutral rates of interest (across different maturities) and positioning market rates at any time relative to these so as to guide the economy along an equilibrium path than any set of well-informed and even well-meaning Fed officials. This is all on the big assumption that the reformers can design a monetary system around a suitable firmly placed pivot." (07/23/14)

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A light goes on in my head — “immigration”

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

"Government -- the State -- can own no property or anything else, since it possesses nothing it did not either steal or 'buy' with stolen money, and thieves don't own the stolen property they possess. Government has zero 'authority' to control who you let on your property. So, 'immigration' is a non-issue. You either trespass or you don't. I am against trespassing. I am also against government pretending it has authority over other people's property (which is theft)." (07/23/14)

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Everything Voluntary Podcast, 07/23/14

Everything Voluntary Everything Voluntary

"Episode 031 is the third part of the on-going Economics 101 mini-series, on the topics of production, consumption, and exchange." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/23/14)

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Are Iran sanctions costing you a job?

Jim Babka Downsize DC
by Jim Babka

"Your sanctions on Iran make it harder for American families to feed themselves. NIAC reports that sanctions cost the American economy $100 billion and over 600,000 lost jobs between 2008 and 2012! And for WHAT? There's no clear evidence Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon. Your own intelligence agencies said so." (07/23/14)

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To protect (and create) American jobs, we need less government

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

"Why is the bipartisan contingent concerned about the cheap Korean steel dumping? American job loss. ... They are diagnosing a real problem -- foreign countries dump all kinds of oft-subsidized products here. But they are prescribing the wrong long term solution. To truly fix this -- for the world and forever -- we need less government. Both here and abroad." (07/23/14)

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Ten questions for D. Brian Burghart, founder of Fatal Encounters

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

"I was intrigued when I ran across D. Brian Burghart on the web. He is the editor/publisher of the Reno News & Review, a dual-master’s student and journalism instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno. He started Fatal Encounters,, which went live on Feb. 27, 2014, to create a crowd-sourced, objective and comprehensive database of people killed during interactions with police and the circumstances surrounding the killing." (07/22/14)

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USDA deploys a zealot

The Hill
by Lloyd Billingsley

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has selected 'green' food activist Angie Tagtow as executive director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), says Tagtow will “do great things” but Americans have reason to wonder. As CNPP boss Tagtow will oversee the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), but unlike all others in that position she has not earned a PhD. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Iowa State. Though soft on qualifications, Tagtow is fully on board with USDA mission creep." (07/22/14)

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Will Grigg on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show

"Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses the police killing of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, who dared to assert his self-ownership to an NYPD officer after breaking up a fight." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/22/14)

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Canvas fingerprinting and evercookies: Something new to beware of

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

"You may have been hearing about it since yesterday: the new way of profiling your computer (and, with enough other data, you) without leaving either traditional cookies or flash cookies on your system. Those cookies you can get rid of. The new 'evercookie' you can't even see -- although your own system created it on orders from a site or sites you visited. The underlying technique is 'canvas fingerprinting.' Here's some not-too-geeky info on how it works." (07/23/14)

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MH17: Our generation’s Franz Ferdinand moment?

spiked spiked
by Frank Furedi

"Earlier this year, Christopher Clark, author of The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, said: 'Looking at the current crisis in Crimea, there is only one sleepwalker -- Vladimir Putin.' Clark's use of the term 'sleepwalkers' is a reference to the thoughtless manner in which political leaders of the early twentieth century took decisions that unleashed a chain of events culminating in the First World War. Sadly, Clark is wrong to say Putin is the only sleepwalker today. Sleepwalkers are also haunting the chancelleries and foreign offices of Western capitals." (07/23/14)

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Masses for nitwits

Cagle Post
by Mike Luckovich

Cartoon. (07/22/14)

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Reasons libertarians should be skeptical of Uber politics

Skeptical Libertarian
by Marc Scribner

"Don’t get me wrong, friends of freedom. I love Uber. I use Uber at least once a week. I sympathize with the company being forced to take on entrenched, decades-old taxicab cartels and their captured regulators in order to offer an innovative new service to consumers. Their competition in this stagnant, politically managed market is very much appreciated. But I have noticed two troubling trends: one, Uber's present lobbying strategy is decidedly not one advocating for free markets; and two, many libertarians seem unaware of the first trend and are supporting Uber's political strategy, rather than simply welcoming the improved service offered by the company and its competitors." (07/23/14)

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Federal court throws out subsidies: What happens now?

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Sam Kazman

"Nine in ten people who enrolled in insurance plans during the law first open enrollment period received subsidies to lower the cost of care, paying an average $69 for out-of pocket for premiums, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Subsidies area available for those making up to 400% of the federal poverty level in 2014, which was about $94,000 for a family of four and $45,000 for individuals. More than five million people enrolled on the federal exchange. These tax credits are available on both state and federal exchanges, but in Tuesday’s 2-1 Halbig vs. Burwell ruling, the federal exchange subsidies were not legal." (07/22/14)

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Is Medicaid crowd-out the only effect of ObamaCare?

John R. Graham Independent Institute
by John R. Graham

"Medicaid 'crowd-out' is the hypothesis that enrolling more people in Medicaid will cause some people to drop private coverage in favor of Medicaid. The rate of crowding out may reach 60 percent. Now, courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we have evidence that the entire effect of Obamacare so far is to crowd out private coverage." (07/23/14)

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The real isolationists

Come Home America Come Home America
by Chad Nelson

"If we’re being precise with our language and defining it properly, then isolationism ought to be the goal of any person who understands the routine and predictable fallibility of government. It is a philosophy grounded in historical fact, one based on a multitude of experiences which all point to the extremely limited ability of governments to accomplish their ends. Real isolationism thus seeks not the walling off of America from the rest of the world and its problems, but instead, to isolate only the American government from inserting itself into those problems, thereby creating a bigger shitstorm than already exists. But those who create the political lexicon today have turned the term on its head in Orwellian fashion." (07/23/14)

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