Today's Edition


| Commentary

CA: Rock legends to play US “mega-festival”

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan have been confirmed for the line-up of a US 'mega-festival' this October. Called Desert Trip, the three-day event will take place at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California -- the site of the Coachella music festival. Tickets start at $200 per day, rising to $1,599 for a three-day pass for the area near the stage. The Who, Roger Waters and Neil Young are also on the bill. Performances will start after sunset, with each artist playing a full set. Rumours about the show began to circulate last month, after the first weekend of Coachella." [editor's note: Can I get a discount for agreeing to sit through the William Campbell set? - TLK] (05/03/16)

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Obama to name Stonewall first national monument for gay rights

ABC News

"New York's iconic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement took root, will become the first national monument honoring the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. under a proposal President Barack Obama is preparing to approve. Designating the small swath of land will mark a major act of national recognition for gay rights advocates and their struggles over the last half-century. Since the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village, the U.S. has enacted anti-discrimination protections, allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide." (05/03/16)

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Feds spend $36 million on LGBT anti-smoking ads

Fox News Fox News

"The Food and Drug Administration is using young lesbians, drag queens, and transgender individuals in a $36 million advertising campaign to encourage the LGBT community to quit smoking. The government launched the 'This Free Life' campaign Monday, which encourages young people to 'find their own truth' and not smoke cigarettes. 'This Free Life is a campaign that proudly celebrates the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community,” the campaign’s website states. 'We wave our colors high and seek to improve LGBT people’s health by encouraging tobacco-free lifestyles. We focus on tobacco because of the damage it is causing in our community,' according to the website, which was funded by the FDA." (05/03/16)

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NJ: Christie vetoes equal pay bill for being “very business unfriendly”

Raw Story Raw Story

"Gov. Chris Christie on Monday vetoed a bill barring gender-based pay discrimination, saying it would go beyond federal standards and make New Jersey 'very business unfriendly.' While emphasizing his support for equal pay protections, the Republican governor criticized where the legislation 'departs significantly from well-established law.' In his message for a conditional veto, Christie said there is 'no reason for our law to go beyond the Lilly Ledbetter Act,' the federal equal pay legislation." (05/03/16)

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More economic data leaking to markets

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute

"A new ECB white paper has found evidence that many major market-moving data releases in the US are leaked in advance of their official publication, allowing some investors to profit from trading stocks and Treasury securities when those data are released. Included among the data releases studied are two from the Federal Reserve Board, on industrial production and consumer credit." (05/03/16)

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Turkey: Kurdish lawmakers threaten to set up autonomous parliament


"Turkish Kurdish lawmakers threatened to set up an autonomous parliament after lawmakers took action to put dozens of their colleagues on trial. A parliamentary committee agreed late Monday to lift the legal immunity of legislators from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, including co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas, on charges of supporting the armed Kurdish separatist group PKK. Demirtas said lawmakers from his HDP party wouldn't agree to be tried in government courts. 'This parliament is not your property and we will teach you that, if the people wish, they can establish more than one parliament,' he told the legislature on Tuesday." (05/03/16)

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DC: Police release video of Muslim woman being assaulted by alleged Trump supporter


"The Metropolitan Police Department released video of a Muslim woman being attacked outside of a Starbucks in Northwest, Washington on April 21. The attack was caught on camera by the establishment's surveillance cameras. According to the Council on Islamic-Relations (CAIR), a Muslim woman -- who is African American -- was wearing a hijab, sitting outside of a Starbucks when approached, then attacked by another woman said to be a Donald Trump supporter." (05/02/16)

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Jury awards $55 million in Johnson & Johnson cancer suit

Artesia Daily Press

"For the second time in three months, a St. Louis jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a huge award over claims that its talcum powder causes cancer. The jury deliberated eight hours Monday before ordering the company to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on years of talcum powder use. In February, another St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder and other talcum products. ... Jim Onder, attorney for the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, said researchers began linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer in the 1970s, and he said internal Johnson & Johnson documents showed that the company was aware of those studies." ()5/03/16)

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North Korea: Kim Jong Un issues temporary ban on weddings and funerals for “security”

Fox News Fox News

"Kim Jong Un is now playing the role of wedding spoiler. The North Korean dictator banned all weddings – and funerals -- for the coming week as the reclusive country gears up to anoint him as their official leader at the first Workers' Party of Korea Congress in 36 years .... Thousands of delegates and security forces from across North Korea are expected to travel to Pyongyang to pay their respects to Kim during the Congress, which starts on May 6 and is expected to last several days." (05/02/16)

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Doubts follow Wright’s claims of Bitcoin invention

Deutsche Welle [Germany]

"Following waves made by Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright saying on Monday that bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto was his alter-ego, doubts on the validity of his claim have emerged from prominent corners of the cryptography community. 'There's no way you can conclusively prove that you are the creator of bitcoin,' said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a crypto-currency think tank in Washington DC .... But the camp of believers has its own share of prominent names, like Gavin Andresen, chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation. Andresen said Wright convinced him 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that the Australian was indeed Nakamoto, as the two met privately in London." [editor's note: Andresen seems (to me, anyway) best positioned to judge the claim - TLK (05/03/16)

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France threatens “no” to US-EU trade zone, amid new tensions

The Washington Post Washington Post

"France is threatening to reject a huge free trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union, saying it's too friendly to U.S. business and probably doomed. Signs of trouble are dogging the creation of a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a U.S.-EU free trade zone encompassing half the world economy. President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that France 'will never accept' challenges to its farming and culture in exchange for better access to U.S. markets. ... European officials appear to be toughening their rhetoric after Greenpeace leaked large amounts of confidential negotiating documents that suggest the EU is coming under U.S. pressure to weaken consumer protections in key sectors." (05/03/16)

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SIngapore: Eight Bangladeshis arrested on terror allegations


"Singapore has arrested eight Bangladeshi immigrants in the past month for allegedly planning terrorist attacks in their home country, officials from the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs said on Tuesday. The suspects were all employed in the marine or construction industries and have been detained under the city-state’s Internal Security Act, according to Channel News Asia. One of the men, 31-year-old Rahman Mizanur, had reportedly set up a group called Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB) a month ago, whose aim was to violently depose the Bangladeshi government and establish an ISIS-affiliated caliphate there." (05/03/16)

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Former FBI agent admits to re-stealing money stolen in drug probes to buy cars and plastic surgery

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times

"Nearly two weeks before he was to go on trial, a former FBI agent pleaded guilty Monday to stealing [from the FBI] more than $136,000 in cash that had been [originally stolen by him for the FBI] during drug investigations. Former special agent Scott M. Bowman admitted to using the cash to fund a lavish spending spree on items including plastic surgery and cars. The plea deal draws to a close a case that has led prosecutors to drop criminal charges against more than a dozen defendants in a case Bowman had investigated." (05/03/16)

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US Marine Corps may have misidentified man in iconic Iwo Jima flag photo

New York Daily News

"The Marine Corps may have made a little oopsie with one of the most iconic photos in American history. The Marines are investigating whether it incorrectly identified one of the men seen in 'Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,' the legendary World War II photo. The photo probe comes more than a year after two historians -- one an amateur -- went public with their theory that the history behind the photo was partially wrong. ... The two claimed the man believed to be John Bradley was actually Harold Henry Schultz,a private first class from Detroit who died. Bradley -- the last surviving man said to be in the photo -- died in 1994, and Schultz died the next year." (05/03/16)

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Judge orders woman to unlock iPhone with her fingerprint


"It's still not perfectly clear whether or not law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint, but an LA court isn't waiting to find out: for the first time in a federal case, a judge has ordered a person to unlock her smartphone using her digits. The FBI obtained a warrant requiring that identity theft suspect Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan unlock her iPhone through Touch ID just 45 minutes after her arrest. While it's not certain what the FBI was looking for, Bkhchadzhyan eventually pleaded no contest to the charge." [hat tip -- Matthew Kuraja] (05/01/16)

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Spain misses deadline for new government, June election set

ABC News ABC News

"Spain has missed the deadline for its politicians to form a new government following inconclusive elections held Dec. 20 so King Felipe VI must now dissolve parliament before a new election on June 26. Since no political party had enough support to form a government and all parties failed to reach coalition agreements by midnight Monday — the deadline — the stage is set for an unprecedented repeat of general elections, six months after the previous ballot ended Spain's two-party system." (05/02/16)

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WA: SCOTUS rejects challenge to Seattle minimum wage law

Reuters Reuters

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by business groups to Seattle's law raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, a move echoed by other locales, in a case focusing on how the ordinance affected local franchises like McDonald's. The Seattle law's supporters hailed the court's action, which left intact a lower court ruling backing the measure, as a defeat for 'the big business lobby' that has taken aim at minimum wage hikes." (05/02/16)

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Three Earth-like planets orbiting nearby star could have life, water

Detroit Free Press

"Our science fiction dreams of Martians may never come true, but three earth-like planets discovered orbiting a nearby star have potential life and water, astronomers announced Monday. The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are similar to those of Earth and Venus, and hold the best promise yet for the search for life outside the solar system. All three planets may have regions with temperatures that are within a range suitable for sustaining liquid water and life, according to the report published Monday in the British journal Nature." (05/02/16)

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OR: First-ever legal cannabis farm permits issued

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth

"Eight lucky Oregon pot farmers got a ticket to the green rush over the weekend when – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission handed them each one of the state’s first permits to grow legal cannabis. The growers are now licensed to plant anywhere from a large house to a huge warehouse’s-worth of cannabis, as a combination of indoor and outdoor growing. According to the OLCC release, the licensees include: New Breed Seed of Lane County; Far Out Farms, Tillamook County; Preston Greene, Washington County; Smokey Mountain Farm, Washington County; Terra Mater, Clackamas County; Pacific Wonderland Craft Cannabis, Clackamas County; Southern Oregon Cannabis Company, Jackson County; and Loved Buds, Josephine County. Oregon legalize cannabis in 2014, and collected $6.84 million in cannabis sales taxes between January and April 20 this year on $27 million in sales -- money that would otherwise be in the state’s vast cannabis black market." (05/02/16)

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Flaws in Samsung’s “smart home” let hackers unlock doors and set off fire alarms


"The security research community has been loudly warning for years that the so-called Internet of Things -- and particularly networked home appliances -- would introduce a deluge of new hackable vulnerabilities into everyday objects. Now one group of researchers at the University of Michigan and Microsoft have published what they call the first in-depth security analysis of one such 'smart home' platform that allows anyone to control their home appliances from light bulbs to locks with a PC or smartphone. They discovered they could pull off disturbing tricks over the internet, from triggering a smoke detector at will to planting a 'backdoor' PIN code in a digital lock that offers silent access to your home, all of which they plan to present at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy later this month." (05/02/16)

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| News

Should you be punished for breaking a law you didn’t know existed?

by Bonnie Kristian

"Many crime laws are pretty obvious. Murder? Clearly illegal. Burglary? Common sense would suggest the same. Fraud, larceny, assault? It doesn’t take any special legal knowledge to figure out you’re going to be in trouble if you do this stuff. But what about transporting water chestnut plants across state lines? What about receiving a shipment of lobsters packed in clear plastic? Or faking a sick day at work? Or unknowingly linking to a site which hosts extremist views? Or getting lost in a blizzard on federal land? Or what about selling loose cigarettes?" (05/03/16)

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Sixteen reasons why Venezuela is on the brink of collapse

PanAm Post PanAm Post
by Pedro Garcia Otero

"[O]verall, the current crisis has two main explanations. One is the country's nefarious dependence on oil, which creates a population used to dependence, not real productivity. The second is that a political elite that has greatly enriched itself has not allowed general poverty to diminish. Politicians continue to exploit and plunder the country's wealth -- in particular its oil wealth -- knowing that, if they lose power, they will be brought to trial both locally and internationally. The following are 16 reasons why Venezuela is dangerously close to economic catastrophe." (05/02/16)

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Why so many political journalists don’t get politics

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

"If there’s a real third way in American politics ... we learned a lot about what it would look like over the past year. The successes of the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns have revealed large cross-ideological constituencies that are hostile to existing free trade regimes and suspicious of American military adventurism. They have additionally served as reminders that universal benefit programs, like Medicare and Social Security, are overwhelmingly popular, even as they inspire controversy on Capitol Hill. Neither Trump nor Sanders, nor Hillary Clinton for that matter, wants to cut them. Sanders wants to expand them, and only conservative ideologues (who are losing badly this cycle) want to roll them back meaningfully." (05/03/16)

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Why activists today should still care about the Church Committee report

In These Times In These Times
by Branko Marcetic

"Today, if you go on Twitter, you can find the NSA tweeting about its commitment to recycling, or the CIA joking about still not knowing the whereabouts of Tupac. Why are these once-sinister and little-known spy agencies so eager to put on a friendly face for us? The answer can be traced back to the Church Committee of 1975-76, which forever changed the way Americans looked at the intelligence agencies meant to serve them. Last week marked 40 years since the final report of the Church Committee was released to the public. Set up in January 1975 in the wake of Watergate, and shortly after investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed the CIA’s role in not only undermining foreign governments but in spying on U.S. citizens, the Committee spent 16 months trawling through classified and unclassified documents and grilling hundreds of counterintelligence officers, CIA directors, FBI higher-ups and other officials in order to shine a light on the scope of the intelligence community’s abuses over the previous decades. The result was an unprecedented public spotlight on the shadowy world of American intelligence that forever altered the public’s perception of the United States’ various intelligence agencies." (05/03/16)

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Evil is weak

Paul Rosenberg Freeman's Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

"From television, politicians, and endless 'authorities,' we learn that evil is pre-eminent. God may be supremely powerful, but he's powerful somewhere far away; Satan is powerful here. We can slide into evil with ease, but being good is difficult. Western man is convinced that darkness is stronger than light, whether he defines it in religious terms or secular terms. The fear-sellers, we must admit, have won the day. This primacy of fear and darkness is necessary to authority of course; without it, how would we be driven into their arms? So, when someone comes along and calls evil a weakling, we think they're a bit crazy, and maybe we worry that the devil might notice and chop them down." (05/03/16)

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Too much of a good thing

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Once upon a time, over-indulgence was considered a sin, a vice. Not so much, nowadays. Somewhere along the line, the idea that a little of a good thing was good, that general abundance is good, but that there can be too much of a good thing for any particular person ... this latter common sense idea got lost." (05/03/16)

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Trump’s trade wall will make Americans poorer

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Simon Lester

"The Donald wants to build a literal wall across the U.S. border with Mexico, which would be as offensive as it is ineffective. Just as bad is the figurative wall he advocates for cross-border trade and investment flows: He wants trade to stop trade coming into the United States and investment going out, through high tariffs on imports and penalties for U.S. companies who decide to operate abroad. Whether Trump could achieve any of these goals as president is unclear. But what is clear is that if he could, his 'de-globalization' and 're-nationalization' of the world economy would make everyone worse off." (05/03/16)

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Two heroes off to prison

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Chad Nelson

"What a sick world we live in where Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, two individuals so passionate about the lives of the earth’s most vulnerable, must fight for their own lives for having the courage to act on their convictions. But in a world where justice has become a scarce commodity, should we be surprised when counter-terrorists like Buddenberg and Kissane are labeled terrorists? Buddenberg will soon begin a two year prison sentence after accepting a plea deal, rather than face trial, over conspiracy charges brought under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). Kissane also accepted a plea deal, and will be sentenced in June." (05/03/16)

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Trump: Crazy candidate has sensible foreign policy views

Ivan Eland Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

"Despite Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's reality show candidacy, his recent foreign policy speech put forth a realistic view of the world and a largely credible foreign policy to deal with it. Continuing his poke at the political establishment, the maverick candidate proposed a viable alternative to the bi-partisan foreign policy consensus, which uses unneeded and profligate military interventions overseas as the primary U.S. foreign policy tool." [editor's note: If "realistic" and "credible" mean "hash of mutually exclusive pandering bullet points," I agree - TLK] (05/02/16)

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The Texas grid and US national security

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by David Grantham

"Texas is the only state with a self-contained electric grid. An EMP attack that renders the grid inoperable will have devastating consequences for the country's defense posture, according to NCPA Senior Fellow David Grantham. Utilities and the Texas government need to come together to protect the grid." [summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (05/03/16)

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Why Hillary may be doomed to repeat Obama Presidency

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"Barack Obama's presidency, we can all agree, has been anything but easy. It's full of real, even monumental accomplishments, but for every victory there has been a defeat, for every moment of triumph a long stretch of frustration. And because Obama's remarkable 2008 campaign was so inspiring, accompanied by so much hope and belief in transformation, the long hard slog of governing has been particularly painful for liberals. That pain has been the engine driving the Bernie Sanders campaign forward, as many on the left have, somewhat ironically, come to believe that the promise of Obama's presidency could be fulfilled by a 74-year-old Jewish socialist possessing a fraction of Obama's charisma and political skill. But if you think the Obama years were frustrating, just you wait for the Hillary Clinton presidency." (05/02/16)

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Should courts get to define religion?

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Michael O'Loughlin

"Property-tax battles are rarely sexy. But a case now in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, about whether the 21 religious brothers and sisters who run the Shrine of Our Lady of LaSalette in Attleboro should have to pay taxes, could have huge repercussions. The Court's decision will be an important part of the ongoing debate in America about who defines religious practice -- believers or bureaucrats -- and whether religion itself should be afforded a special place under the law." (05/03/16)

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Brexit and the lessons of American federalism

Doug Bandow The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow

"Today, the British people face a similar dilemma to that which divided Federalists and Anti-Federalists debating the U.S. Constitution. Unity enlarges an economic market and creates a stronger state to resist foreign dangers. But unity also creates domestic threats against liberty and community. At its worst an engorged state absorbs all beneath it. In America the Federalists were better organized and made the more effective public case. In retrospect the Anti-Federalists appear to have been more correct in their predictions of the ultimate impact on Americans' lives and liberties. This lesson, not President Obama's preferences, is what the British should take from the U.S. when considering how to vote on the EU." (05/03/16)

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The true scope of taking by the state

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

"Landlords (or wannabe landlords) have been abused by the 'state' (usually municipalities or counties acting as municipalities) for a very long time, as more and more regulations are imposed upon them AND as existing regulations are interpreted more and more broadly. That is important to keep in mind. A regulation usually has to be presented to the public and adopted by a process which allows for public feedback and which makes the victims at least aware of what is coming down the pike. Changing the way a regulation is interpreted, on the other hand, can be done at the sole discretion of (often) a single bureaucrat or elected official, with no warning." (05/03/16)

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Electoral votes matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Doug Johnson Hatlem

"Now that Clinton is the presumptive nominee, it's time to breathlessly note that Clinton has been up in 50 straight national polls. 50! But electoral votes matter most, right? And we now have a critical mass of state level polling that may give some people pause at a contested Democratic convention. Electoral maps of the United States using standard methods for judging what is possible show Sanders beating Trump without question while Trump remains competitive with Clinton. Most importantly, for seventeen possible swing or purple states, Sanders is polling better than Clinton in fifteen of them. The other two, Nevada and Arkansas, do not yet have polling." (05/03/16)

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Happy Earth Day: How to use capitalism to bring us abundant, cheap and emission-free energy

The Cobden Centre
by Ralph Benko

"One of the loudest and most fruitless political disputes in Washington has been about climate change. If you're even vaguely concerned about climate change, take note: The political climate itself may be changing. Capitalism to the rescue!" (05/03/16)

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Light, metal, shadow: The freedom of welding

Strike The Root
by Alex R Knight III

"I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such freight arrived, I crossed that geographical (and imaginary political) boundary east into New Hampshire to go to work repairing and maintaining those rail cars -- some of which, in a small percentage of cases -- dated back to the 1960s or 1970s, though rarely do railroad cars last that long. Coupled with the almost endless battery of federal regulations the entire railroad industry is subjected to, after about 30 years of service, on average, most rail cars are relegated to scrap iron." (05/03/16)

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Asset forfeiture and the income tax

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Tate Fegley

"While you are likely still recovering from Tax Day, don't be lulled into thinking that the pain is over. Your property is never fully safe from government confiscation. One of the few areas of innovation in which the state excels is how to extract ever more wealth from the productive class, and one of the fastest growing sources of revenue for insatiable governments is civil asset forfeiture (CAF)." (05/03/16)

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The Jason Stapleton Program, 05/02/16

The Jason Stapleton Program

"I'm going to warn you that this is going to be a difficult episode for those of you with delicate sensibilities. I've been frustrated over the last few weeks because I’ve realized that most of the blowback I get from my positions come not from progressives or conservatives but rather from libertarians." [various formats] (05/02/16)

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Cop Block Radio, episode 116

Cop Block Cop Block

"This week on Copblock Radio our hosts were myself (Severin Freeman) from Lehigh Valley Copblock, Rick Gonzalez of Allentown Copblock, Matt Taylor of Carbon County Copblock and Brian Sumner of Cop Block Fresno." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/03/16)

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Free Talk Live, 05/02/16

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live

"Bitcoin's Secret Creator Revealed? :: Backing and Bitcoin :: Torn Between Currencies :: Govts Promoting Tourism :: James in AZ :: More About Craig Wright Claiming to Be Satoshi Nakamoto :: Bitcoin Mining :: Satoshi's Identity Doesn't Matter :: Block Size Debate :: No Power, No Bitcoin :: Business Bitcoin Outreach :: Open Source Licenses :: Non Aggression Principle." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/02/16)

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Freedom Works / Paul Molloy Show, 05/02/16

Freedom Works / Paul Molloy Show

"Alicia Dern, Libertarian candidate for vice presidency." [various formats] (05/02/16)

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How I became a libertarian and an Austrian economist

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

"I suppose I can date my interest in both libertarianism and Austrian Economics from the day I was born. The doctor grabbed me by my little feet, turned me upside down and spanked my tiny bottom. I began to cry out. That is when I realized the fundamental axiom that, 'man acts.' In addition, I appreciated that what the doctor had done was in violation of the 'non-aggression' principle. The rest is history. Well ... maybe not quite." (05/02/16)

1 Comment »

I’m so fed up, I’m suing the TSA

Iain Murray Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Iain Murray

"Earlier this year, I bit the bullet and obtained TSA PreCheck as part of the Global Entry package that the security folks offer frequent international travelers. Global Entry really speeds up re-entry into the United States, and I'm really happy with it. PreCheck is supposed to expedite your travel through the security processes at domestic airports and give you 'a better air travel experience.' Last week, traveling to Dallas for an excellent Institute for Justice conference on occupational licensing, I was randomly selected at Dulles Airport to go through additional screening, which meant I had to go through one of the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners in any event. I hate those, and avoiding them is one of the reasons I applied for PreCheck in the first place (the alternative is an intrusive pat down)." (05/02/16)

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Drafting women means equality in slavery

Ron Paul Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

"Sadly, some opponents of the warfare state, including some libertarians, support the draft on the grounds that a draft would cause a mass uprising against the warfare state. Proponents of this view point to the draft's role in galvanizing opposition to the Vietnam War. This argument ignores that fact that it took several years and the deaths of thousands of American draftees for the anti-Vietnam War movement to succeed. A variation on this argument is that drafting women will cause an antiwar backlash as Americans recoil form the idea of forcing mothers into combat. But does anyone think the government would draft mothers with young children? Reinstating the draft will not diminish the war party's influence as long as the people continue to believe the war propaganda fed to them by the military-industrial complex's media echo chamber." (05/02/16)

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Venezuela engages witchcraft
by Tim Slagle

"Facing an economic crisis, Venezuela is throwing everything at the wall, in the hopes that something sticks. When a ship is about to sink, everybody races for the lifeboats. When a Government starts to sink, they employ various versions of witchcraft. Printing money is a popular one. Unfortunately, that starts leading to runaway inflation, and the government has to print even more. Rinse, Repeat. There are classic photos of wheelbarrows of cash being taken to market in pre-WWII Germany to buy a loaf of bread. For about twenty five bucks you can get a Trillion Dollar Bill from Zimbabwe." (05/02/16)

1 Comment »

Uber for banks is here and it’s throwing regulators for a loop

David Henderson Foundation for Economic Education
by David R Henderson

"SoFi doesn't take deposits, so it's FDIC-free. The firm isn't a bank, at least in that sense of the word. Instead, SoFi raises money for its loans, most recently $1 billion from SoftBank and the hedge fund Third Point, in exchange for about a quarter of the company. SoFi uses this expanded balance sheet to make loans and then securitize many of them to sell them off to investors so it can make more loans. Yes, this sounds like what was happening before the subprime meltdown. But with a highly tuned algorithm and a carefully selected book of loans, instead of the 'No Doc' free-for-all that caused the financial crisis." (05/02/16)

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Statism involves using force

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"Statist North Carolina Republican senator Richard Burr, together with statist California Democrat senator Dianne Feinstein, are conspiring to make a law that would force tech companies to assist law enforcement agencies in breaking into encrypted electronic devices belonging to suspected criminals or terrorists. You see, the hallmark of statism is using force to accomplish political ends and statists aren't the least bit shy about doing so by violating the United States Constitution. Privacy advocates are criticizing the measure as a grave threat to consumer privacy, and it surely is all of that, but it is also a grave threat to the constitutional rights of business owners." (05/02/16)

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Dear Indiana: You’re not getting killed on trade

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Scott Lincicome

"Trump will spend the next several days cruising around the Hoosier State reciting his usual stump speech about the devastating effects of free trade on the state's manufacturing sector and economy more broadly -- a problem Trump alone (of course) can fix through tariffs and 'better trade deals.' Proof of this devastation once again comes from Trump’s angry references to the now-infamous video showing Carrier management informing some Indiana employees they were moving some production, and production jobs, to Mexico. A simple glance at the facts, however, reveals the Carrier anecdote to utterly unrepresentative of the economic situation in Indiana. Indeed, there may be no state in the country that, at least on paper, should be less amenable to Trump's doomsday message about trade and American manufacturing." (05/02/16)

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The drug war is state-sanctioned murder

Cop Block Cop Block
by Lorelei McFly

"[T]hird article in a series on how the 'War on Drugs' is state-sanctioned theft, rape, murder, and class warfare." (05/02/16)

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What abortion has to do with the minimum wage

The Nation The Nation
by Zoe Carpenter

"What does abortion have to do with the minimum wage? Both are in the news, with ongoing fallout from the Planned Parenthood sting videos and attacks on abortion access continuing at the state level, while political candidates are centering wages, equal pay, and other issues of economic security in their campaigns. But these discussions are mostly happening separately, overlooking the ways in which access to reproductive healthcare is inextricably tied up in a woman’s ability to support herself and her family financially.  We know, for instance, that two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women, and that the low wage floor leaves many below the poverty level. We also know that women have a greater chance of escaping poverty, or avoiding it in the first place,  if they’re able to control when and if to have children." (05/02/16)

1 Comment »

Cheating cops destroy a man; courts now victimizing him further

Jim Babka Downsize DC
by Jim Babka

"Two Joliet cops stopped a car for turning without signaling in the early hours of March 18, 2011. The car's owner, Elijah Manuel, was in the passenger seat. One of the cops pulled him out of the car and forced him to the ground, shouting 'You remember me: I got you now you fucking nigger.' Four more cops arrived. They searched the car, ripping up the floor mats and slashing the steering wheel. Manuel was also searched and cuffed. They found a bottle of vitamins and field tested them. They were not drugs. The cops lied about the results, saying the pills tested positive for ecstasy. They arrested Manuel. The vitamins failed another drug test at the station. Instead of releasing Manuel, the police further falsified their report." (05/02/16)

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How fracking funds the radical right

The New Republic The New Republic
by Audrea Lim

"Harold Hamm, as Gary Sernovitz describes him in The Green and the Black, is a quintessential rags-to-riches American success story. The shack-raised Hamm 'talked like a hick' and also repaired cars and pumped gas before becoming an Oklahoma oilman, with decades of successes and failures that amounted to a fairly unextraordinary career. Then horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') technology arrived. This could unlock the vast oil and gas reserves throughout America that were trapped beneath impermeable shale rocks -- in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian, and Marcellus regions -- and that had long ago been written off by industry as inaccessible, second-rate. In fact, by the twenty-first century, all the onshore reserves in the lower 48 were thought to be near tapped out. But within less than a decade, the 'shale revolution' (fracking boom) transformed the U.S. into the world’s leading producer of oil and gas." (05/02/16)

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Quite so, let’s blow up the Town and Country Planning Acts

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

"Our problems are caused by the current regulation of who may build what where. The solution to our problems is thus to change who may build what and where. [A]nd given that the only time that market did solve this problem it was by being allowed to build where people actually wanted to live then that should be the system we return to. Other countries have much this system and do not have problems with their housing." (05/02/16)

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Who cares who invented Bitcoin?

Reuters Reuters
by Richard Beales

"It really shouldn’t matter who conceived of bitcoin. There’s historical curiosity, of course, and a legacy of sorts for the way in which one or more people showed vision and coding smarts to create the cryptocurrency and related technology, particularly the blockchain ledger. It’s all now supposed to have a life of its own, however. If it didn’t, it would defeat the purpose. ... Bitcoin as a currency gets its appeal because of a pre-defined and limited supply which gives it immunity from the whims of virtual monetary policymakers, unlike government-issued fiat money. And blockchain technology allows the majority of bitcoin users to decide upon the accuracy of a ledger of past transactions, a method of near-instant trade confirmation that’s viewed as foolproof and tamper-proof. That is of great interest to banks and others in the financial industry." (05/02/16)

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To repeat my self

The Libertarian Enterprise The Libertarian Enterprise
by AX Perez

"One of the greatest victories for gay rights, and women's rights for that matter, was Heller et alia v. District of Columbia. ... For those of you who don't want to bother to look this up or remember the case, one of the original plaintiffs was a homosexual who wished to go heeled to defend himself from 'gay bashers' (as in bash in gay people's heads with baseball bats). Homosexuals have the absolute right to defend themselves from assault and forcible oppression, which requires that they have the right to arm themselves in self-defense. One of the pretexts for passing the 14th Amendment was to overturn state laws denying ex-slaves and other Black people the right to arm themselves in self defense. Black People have the absolute right to defend themselves from assault and forcible oppression, which requires that they have the right to arm themselves in self-defense." (05/01/16)

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Why Indiana matters

USA Today USA Today
by Randy E Barnett

"When I was growing up just across the border from Hammond, Indiana, I never imagined that the fate of the U.S. and its Constitution would one day be in the hands of Indiana voters. Yet, tomorrow a relative handful of Hoosier Republicans can determine the future of the country while millions like me sit and watch what they do. Indiana matters so much because we have a 'republican' rather than a 'democratic' Constitution. A democratic constitution views 'We the People' as a group, so a 'democratic constitution' is needed to create a government that allows the 'will of the people' to prevail. And the 'people’s will' must be the desires of the majority, not everyone." (05/02/16)

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 652

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show

"Donald Trump's April 2016 speech before the Center for the National Interest has sparked discussion, controversy, and debate. Was it really a call for an America First foreign policy? Scott Horton walks through it with us." [various formats] (05/02/16)

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A much better option

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"[E]ven if some option is indeed the best available, it should be understood correctly. Myths about it ought to be exposed. People should realistically understand that option's limitations rather than romantically cling to the belief that that option possesses splendid features that, in fact, it doesn't possess. A slice of cheesecake might be my tastiest option for desert, but I would suffer in the long run were I to convince myself that eating cheesecake is also a means of losing weight. Second, for most its uses today majoritarian representative democratic decision-making in fact is not our best option." (05/02/16)

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Hillary Clinton’s balancing act

Our Future
by Bill Scher

"In The New Republic today I explore how Hillary Clinton could campaign when there are two disparate camps of voters she will be compelled to pursue: Bernie Sanders voters on her left, and anti-Donald Trump Republicans on her right. Sanders voters are anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership and anti-interventionist. But the Republicans fleeing Trump are pro-free trade and hawkish. It’s possible Clinton can lean right, and still win over the Bernie vote because she’s preferable to Trump. It’s possible Clinton can double down on progressive populism, and still pick off Republicans because she’s preferable to Trump. So this is not necessarily a question of how she has to do to win, but how she wants to govern." (05/02/16)

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FBI chooses secrecy over locking up criminals

Jenna McLaughlin The Intercept
by Jenna McLaughlin

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation's refusal to discuss even the broad strokes of some of its secret investigative methods, such as implanting malware and tracking cellphones with Stingrays, is backfiring -- if the goal is to actually enforce the law. In the most recent example, the FBI may be forced to drop its case against a Washington State school administrator charged with possessing child porn because it doesn't want to tell the court or the defense how it got its evidence -- even in the judge's chambers." (05/02/16)

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Ted Cruz’s “Lucifer” problem

Susan J Douglas In These Times
by Susan J Douglas

"He’s 'a carnival barker' with 'no qualifications,' says Rep. Peter King [R-NY]. 'Lucifer in the flesh' and a 'jackass,' says former Speaker John Boehner. A 'wacko bird,' adds Sen. John McCain. 'If you killed [him] on the floor of the Senate,' quipped Sen. Lindsey Graham, 'and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.' Upon meeting him freshman week at college, a classmate 'loathed him within the hour.' And in January, his college roommate tweeted, 'Getting emails blaming me for not smothering Ted Cruz in his sleep in 1988. What kind of monster do you think I am? A really prescient one?' It’s a real feat that Donald Trump is making the most hated man in the Senate seem an acceptable candidate by comparison." (05/02/16)

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Monopoly and empire: Ancient China’s Debate on Salt and Iron
by Anthony Comegna

"Responding to popular calls for lower taxes, Han rulers gradually lowered duties and in their place erected a series of state commodities monopolies. The architects of the new monopoly system erected dozens of iron foundries and salt mines outfitted with the latest technological wonders. Emperors later expanded the system to monopolize copper, bronze, all money production, and elements of the liquor trade. Prices soared alongside government revenues, prompting popular outrage and reformist desires to abolish the monopolies. In 81BC, sixty Confucian 'learned men' convened to debate the Court faction over the wisdom of standing policy. The subsequently-published Debate on Salt and Iron contains valuable ancient commentaries on the hidden costs of Empire, including the health of popular ethics ..." (05/02/16)

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How Brexit could help all of Europe

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ferghane Azihari

"The United Kingdom (UK) is about to hold a referendum on June 23rd on whether it should leave or remain within the European Union (EU). Once unthinkable, the 'Brexit' is becoming more and more plausible. It is seen by the mainstream media as a factor of uncertainty in Europe. For its critics, Brexit would lead to increasing nationalism and protectionism. Nevertheless, those same critics forget the European Union is not a free-trade area. On the contrary, Brexit could open new perspectives for the old continent, not by bringing more protectionism but by bringing more competition between governments." (05/02/16)

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Donald Trump’s policy feast of incoherence

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman

"The reviews of Donald Trump's grand foray into foreign policy agreed on one thing, which is that Trump can't even agree with himself. His Wednesday speech was an exercise in self-contradiction, a feast of incoherence, a walk up the down escalator. He pledges to be the best of friends but threatens to abandon alliances. He wants America to shun nation building but create stability. He plans to spend more money but waste less. He vows to be consistent but unpredictable. He intends to restore respect, even as people around the world lower their opinion of America a bit more every day he remains in the race. How does Trump reconcile his incompatible promises and implausible visions? He doesn't, and he's never tried. Inconsistency is not a defect in the product; it is the product." (05/02/16)

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Seeds of Liberty Podcast, episode 59: Harriet Tubman irony on Federal Reserve Note trash

Peaceful Anarchism Peaceful Anarchism

"Please enjoy this recent episode of the Seeds of Liberty Podcast. This week we had Merrick and Jonathan, from the RadicaLogic Podcast sitting in for Dave. Herein we discussed the distraction of Harriet Tubman on the $20, the constant devaluation of currency, the Colorado town where the police force quit, Fisher Pricing your message, being neutered by the State, the Cell 411 app, Canadian police protecting and serving the shit out of a friend of the show, dealing with home invaders, the fake war on cops, and more!" [MP3] (05/01/16)

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