Today's Edition


| Commentary

Report: Stone Age Britons imported wheat

Raw Story Raw Story

"Stone Age Britons imported wheat about 8,000 years ago in a surprising sign of sophistication for primitive hunter-gatherers long viewed as isolated from European agriculture, a study showed on Thursday. British scientists found traces of wheat DNA in a Stone Age site off the south coast of England near the Isle of Wight, giving an unexpected sign of contact between ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers who eventually replaced them. The wheat DNA was dated to 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years before Stone Age people in mainland Britain started growing cereals and 400 years before farming reached what is now northern Germany or France, they wrote in the journal Science." (02/26/15)

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Canada: Court upholds requiring oath to Queen for citizenship

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Canada's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to remove the country's citizenship oath, which requires applicants to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. The appeal was launched by three permanent residents who wanted to obtain citizenship but not want to pledge allegiance to the royal family. Native-born Canadians do not have to take any oath. The plaintiffs say the vow violates religious and conscientious beliefs. " (02/26/15)

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Germany: Lesson from neo-Nazi battles in fighting homegrown jihadis

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"This summer, Thomas Mücke managed a coup: he dissuaded a young German from joining the Islamic State. The teenager, a Kurd whose family is originally from Turkey but now living in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, had landed in prison after committing a petty crime. Angry, confined, and looking to lash out, he 'had pretty much given up with life and was ready to pack his bag' for Syria, Mr. Mücke says. But Mücke, a street worker and head of the Berlin-based Violence Prevention Network (VPN) in Berlin, challenged the aspiring jihadi. Did he know that Islamic State fought against Kurds? No, the boy didn’t. In fact, he had no idea about his religion. It was a prison inmate that gave him the idea to go to Syria." (02/26/15)

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Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Nearly six years after the Great Recession, a clear majority of American families say they feel unprepared for a financial emergency. The Pew Charitable Trusts' poll of 7,000 U.S. households finds that 57 percent don't consider themselves ready for a sudden financial setback, 55 percent say they break even or spend more than they make each month, and a third have no savings. 'Despite a steady economic recovery, many Americans continue to feel vulnerable,' says Erin Currier, director of Pew's financial security and mobility project." (02/26/15)

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Ukraine begins artillery withdrawal, recognizing truce is holding

Reuters Reuters

"Ukrainian troops towed artillery away from the front line in [Donetsk People's Republic] on Thursday, a move that amounted to recognizing that a ceasefire meant to take effect on Feb. 15 was holding at last. The military showed reporters seven or eight guns being towed away from the front at the village of Paraskoviyvka north of the [invaders'] stronghold of Artemivsk. Earlier, Reuters journalists saw a larger convoy of 30-40 vehicles also towing guns away from the front on a highway." (02/26/15)

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Farmers eye drones as key to future of agriculture

Fox News Fox News

"The drone could be ready to take its place alongside the tractor and combine harvester, as the next indispensable piece of farming equipment. The Federal Aviation Administration recently released new rules governing the use of drones, and farmers, who see drones as a way to get a birds-eye view of their fields and monitor crops, to precisely deliver fertilizer and pesticides were watching carefully. Commercial use of drones is still widely banned in the U.S., but many farmers are using them over their property anyway, daring federal regulators to put a stop to it. An eye in the sky can help a farmer know what his or her crops need, and what might be afflicting them." (02/26/15)

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MO: State Auditor Thomas Schweich dead in apparent suicide


"Thomas Schweich, the 54-year-old state auditor who'd just won a second term while running unopposed in 2014, was pronounced deceased from a single gunshot wound, possibly self-infliction, according to a Clayton Police Department press release. Detectives are conducting an investigation and an autopsy is pending, authorities said. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Schweich's wife, who was in another room, heard him making phone calls -- and then a gunshot. It happened just hours after Schweich had requested interviews with the Post-Dispatch and The Associated Press at his home." (02/26/15)

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Nigeria: Explosions kill at least 34

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Explosions in Nigeria's north central city of Jos and the northeastern town of Biu over the past two days have killed at least 34 people, witnesses said Thursday. Residents say at least 15 people were killed in two bomb explosions at a bus station and motor park in the city of Jos. ... Another resident Mark Lipdo told AP the first explosion went off at a bus stop near a university. The second bomb detonated near a motor park, he said. On Wednesday, a suicide bombing in the northeast Nigerian town of Biu killed about 19 people and injured 17." (02/26/15)

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Astronaut safe after helmet leak on NASA spacewalk

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"Expedition 42 Commander Barry 'Butch' Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts successfully completed the second of three planned spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) today, but another helmet leak has caused concern. ... During repressurization Virts' helmet developed a minor leak with some water detected. It brought back memories of astronaut Luca Parmitano, whose helmet frighteningly filled with water, nearly drowning him, during a spacewalk which had to be cut short, back in July 2013." (02/26/15)

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US Senate panel greenlights Lynch for Attorney General

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Loretta Lynch won approval from a key Senate committee Thursday to serve as the nation's next attorney general, as divided Republicans clashed over her support for President Barack Obama's immigration policies. The 12 to 8 vote in the Judiciary Committee sent Lynch's nomination to the full Senate. Three Republicans joined all committee Democrats in voting 'yes.'" (02/26/15)

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Germany: Life sentence for nurse who killed patients

ABC News ABC News

"A German court sentenced a male nurse to life in prison on Thursday for killing patients with overdoses of heart medication that he confessed to administering because he enjoyed trying to revive them. The Oldenburg regional court found the 38-year-old guilty of charges including two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and another of serious bodily harm, court spokesman Daniel Moennich said. ... The defendant said during the trial that he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in some 90 patients because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them. He said 30 patients died, and expressed remorse for his actions." (02/26/15)

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Argentina: Judge dismisses cover-up charges against Fernandez

PanAm Post

"An Argentinean federal judge has dismissed the case against President Cristina Kirchner [Fernandez] that accused her of shielding Iranian officials allegedly involved in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Judge Daniel Rafecas ruled on Thursday, February 26, that the evidence in the criminal complaint filed by Prosecutor Alberto Nisman does not meet the 'minimal standard' to open a formal investigation into the president. The decision comes almost two weeks after Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita said he would advance Nisman's case against Kirchner. Nisman was found dead in his apartment just hours before he was scheduled to present his evidence to Congress, and the circumstances of his death have yet to be determined." (02/26/15)

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Jerusalem: Church building torched in apparent hate crime

The Daily Mail [UK]

"Suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a Greek Orthodox seminary building in Jerusalem early Thursday, police said, 24 hours after a mosque was torched in the West Bank. The vandals torched an annexe of the seminary near the walls of the Old City and scrawled 'graffiti insulting Jesus,' police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, describing it as a 'nationalist' attack. ... Following a police request, a gag order has been imposed on all details of the investigation which will remain in force until March 4. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the attack as 'deplorable' and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice. On Wednesday, a mosque near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank was set alight and anti-Arab slogans in Hebrew sprayed on a nearby wall." (02/26/15)

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Venezuela: Protests continue as teen shot by police is buried

Irish Times [Ireland]

"Sporadic protests flared in different parts of Venezuela on Wednesday, a day after a policeman shot dead a teenager during a demonstration against president Nicolas Maduro's government in the volatile city of San Cristobal. The worst unrest was again in San Cristobal, where distraught relatives of 14-year-old Kluibert Roa held a wake and funeral following his killing on Tuesday. Witnesses said dozens of masked protesters faced off with security forces in streets blocked with rubbish and tires, and two police motorcycles were burned in the Andean city, a centre of last year's anti-Maduro protests and violence that killed 43 people." (02/26/15)

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UK: Jimmy Savile report finds widespread sex abuse with impunity

Killeen Daily Herald

"Two new reports into widespread sex abuse by the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile have found that victims' complaints about his activities were ignored. The reports released Thursday showed an extensive pattern of abuse by Savile at numerous National Health Service hospitals where the celebrity broadcaster was given wide access to patients, even though he was known by some staff to be a sexual predator. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament that Savile's celebrity status allowed him to get away with hideous sex crimes." (02/26/15)

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Breaking: FCC gang votes 3-2 to seize control of Internet

Breaking News Washington Post

"The Federal Communications Commission approved strict new rules for Internet providers Thursday in a historic vote that represents the government's most aggressive attempt to make sure the Web remains a level playing field [sic]. The rules would dramatically expand the agency's oversight of the country's high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. They were adopted by a 3-to-2 margin with only the commission's Republican members voting against them." [editor's note: This is a declaration of war on freedom of speech. It's them or us - TLK] (02/26/15)

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Black hole 12 billion times more massive than the sun is discovered

The Guardian [UK]

"A monster black hole powering 'the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe' has been discovered that is 12bn times more massive than the sun, scientists have revealed. The extraordinary object is at the centre of a quasar -- an intensely powerful galactic radiation source -- with a million billion times the sun's energy output. ... The new object, named SDSS J0100+2802, is 12.8bn light years from Earth and was formed just 900m years after the Big Bang that gave birth to the universe. Astronomers cannot explain how such an enormous black hole could have formed so early in cosmic history, soon after the first stars and galaxies emerged." (02/25/15)

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MA: Tsarnaev’s lawyers seek indictment dismissal

WHDH 7 News

"Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have asked a judge to dismiss the indictment against their client, arguing that the way jury selection was conducted violates the Constitution. Lawyers on Thursday filed a motion saying the jury selection process violated Tsarnaev's right to have a jury that represents a 'fair cross section of the community.'" (02/26/15)

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DC legalizes pot despite threats from Congress

ABC News ABC News

"The District of Columbia defied threats from Congress and moved forward Thursday with legalizing possession of marijuana after a voter-approved initiative. Despite last-minute maneuvers by Republican leaders in Congress and threats that city leaders could face prison time, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city was implementing marijuana legalization as approved by voters. The new law took effect at 12:01 a.m." (02/26/15)

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Security theater: Three held in NY, Florida for planning to leave US, join Islamic State

Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Three men were arrested Wednesday on charges of plotting to help the Islamic State group wage war against the United States, and federal officials said one of them spoke of shooting President Barack Obama or planting a bomb on Coney Island. Akhror Saidakhmetov was arrested at Kennedy Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul on his way to Syria .... Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev had a ticket to travel to Istanbul next month and was arrested in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors said. The two were held without bail after a brief court appearance. A third defendant, Abror Habibov, is accused of helping fund Saidakhmetov's efforts to join the Islamic State group after Saidakhmetov's mother took away his passport to try to prevent him from traveling. Habibov was ordered held without bail in Florida." (02/25/15)

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DPR: Ceasefire appears to take hold

euronews [EU]

"A ceasefire in [Donetsk People's Republic] looks like it's finally taking hold, two weeks after the Minsk agreement was signed. Despite refusing to proceed with a military withdrawal until [DPR forces] ceased fire, officials in Kiev have now acknowledged that the frontline is much quieter. Ukrainian commander Victor Sherdluh is waiting for the order to pullback heavy weapons. ... At Donetsk airport which [DPR forces recaptured from invading Ukrainian troops] last month, captured Ukrainian troops have been retrieving bodies of fellow soldiers killed in the fighting. One [DPR] commander said many more bodies were buried under the collapsed terminal building. 'If Ukrainian forces do not attack us, we will remove these bodies and give them to their mothers to bury them. These guys were fighting here, I do not know what for. It was according to the order of their president. They respected that order. So all of us are military and we have to respect our enemy,' said Mikhail Tolstykh." (02/26/15)

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WI: Senate passes anti-union law amid mass protests

Al Jazeera Al Jazeera America

"The Wisconsin state Senate on Wednesday night narrowly approved a proposal to make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work [sic] state in the nation, as thousands of demonstrators protested the measure at the state capitol. The Republican-led state Senate was expected to approve the bill, which would prohibit requiring private sector workers to join or financially support unions, and move it to the state Assembly, where Republicans also hold a majority." (02/26/15)

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Afghanistan: Suicide attack on Turkish embassy car in Kabul kills one

Reuters Reuters

"A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into a Turkish embassy car in the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing at least one person inside, the ministry of interior said. The explosion struck in the heart of the heavily fortified diplomatic quarter, close to the German, Iranian and Turkish embassies, rattling windows and putting embassy staff on high alert." (02/26/15)

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France: Al-Jazeera journalists held over Paris drone

Business Standard [India]

"Three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested in Paris after flying a drone from a park on the edge of the city, a judicial source said. ... The arrests were made Wednesday after multiple drone sightings over the French capital for the past two nights, although there was no immediate suggestion that the arrested journalists were linked to the earlier incidents, The Local reported. ... Flying drones over the French capital is banned by law, and the latest sightings come at a time of heightened vigilance following last month's jihadi attacks on the office of satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' which left at least 17 people dead." (02/26/15)

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GA: Regime postpones planned state killing due to weather

United Press International

"The planned execution of Georgia's only female death row inmate, Kelly Renee Gissendaner, was delayed Wednesday due to an impending winter storm. The Georgia Department of Corrections confirmed it postponed the execution until Monday just hours before Gissendaner was originally scheduled to die. ... Gissendaner was sentenced to death in 1998 for plotting the 1997 slaying of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. Her former lover, Gregory Owen, was sentenced to life in prison with chance of parole after 25 years for stabbing to death Douglas Gissendaner." (02/25/15)

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| News

The great LA gambit

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Michael Rathbone

"The battle for the L.A. market is joined! According to NBCSanDiego, the Chargers are working with the Oakland Raiders. Their goal: a new stadium in the L.A. area (Carson, California, to be precise). Of course, their home cities can talk them out of it, for the right price. It's not shocking that teams other than the Rams might want to move to Los Angeles. L.A. is the country's second largest media market, and with that comes a lot of TV money. However, still color me skeptical about the whole thing. I think (and I'm not alone) this is more of a ruse for the Chargers and the Raiders to extract sweetheart stadium deals from their home cities." (02/26/15)

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Herd immunity to violence

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"There may be more than one reason why gun violence has plummeted over the past two decades. But one must be this: as Americans have accumulated more guns per capita than ever before, as more households possess guns than ever, the 'celerity of punishment' (that old Benthamite term for swiftness of bad repercussions) has increased, nudging the marginally criminal to choose to commit fewer violent crimes. Making society safer. ... It's herd immunity, only to violence." (02/26/15)

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Fast Track explained in seven words

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"All the talk about 'trade' deals might seem complicated, with all the 'TPP' and 'TPA' and 'FTA' and 'TTIP' floating around. It doesn’t have to be difficult, though. ... TPP is the largest 'trade' deal in history. It is being negotiated in secret. It is immense, complex and written in international legalese. But fast track means Congress has to pass it within 90 days of the public seeing it for the first time. This is not enough time to read it, understand it, analyze all the pieces of it, consider all of the ramifications and explain all of that to people." (02/26/15)

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Thoughts on left libertarianism

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Paul Marks

[editor's note: This piece is too poorly written to excerpt/quote for meaning. Indeed, the word "thoughts" in the title seems to be some kind of joke. It's fractally incoherent, i.e. any particular part of it is as precisely incoherent as the piece as a whole. But let it never be said that I deny opponents of "left-libertarianism" (also known as "libertarianism") a soapbox. Their inability to use it well is their problem - TLK] (02/26/15)

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Spanking is always unnecessary, part 3: Hurting themselves or others

Skyler J Collins Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

"It might seem logical to cause a child pain in order to teach him what pain feels like, so that he'll refrain from hurting himself or others. Unfortunately, when a caretaker intentionally hurts his child, he's doing far more than teaching him what pain feels like, as well as ignoring the alternatives to teaching him to be safe and to keep his hands to himself. I'll explore both scenarios to see why spanking is unnecessary." (02/26/15)

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Grievance school

National Review
by Steven F Hayward

"The silliest campus incidents usually don't originate from faculty in traditional or science-based fields. Instead, they come disproportionately from explicitly politicized 'studies' disciplines, activist-oriented 'centers,' or disciplines with less rigorous intellectual content, such as creative writing and communications. (The most recent example of this is the professor of communications at the University of Michigan who wrote the now-famous 'It's OK to Hate Republicans' article for In These Times.) Boulder has a women-and-gender-studies program that proudly advertised its rough equivalent of Ward Churchill, an 'activist-in-residence' who is a community organizer without academic credentials of any kind." (02/26/15)

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Should Dems demand Debbie Wasserman Schultz step down?

The New Republic The New Republic
by Danny Vinik

"Even if you were only casually following the news last week, you probably heard about Rudy Giuliani saying that President Barack Obama is not a patriot and doesn't love his country. You probably also heard about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sidestepping a question about Obama's religion. But you may have missed a report that Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, allegedly offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a key donor retracted critical comments about her." (02/25/15)

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The NSA escapes scrutiny

Philip Giraldi The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

"With Republicans now ruling Congress, any momentum for surveillance state reform has been lost." (02/26/15)

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The Net Neutrality scam

Ryan McMaken Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken

"Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn't exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don't interfere with people's access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask: Who is being denied access to the web?" (02/26/15)

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What terrorists are really angry about

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by John Mueller

"We will not know for some time exactly why three men who were arrested on Wednesday in the United States wanted to join ISIS in Syria. But what we do know is that it has become common, even routine, to argue that there exists a process by which potential terrorists become 'radicalized.' The concept, which has become something of a buzzword, suggests that the central motivation for terrorist violence is ideological. However, Islamist terrorists in the West have generally been set off not so much by anything theoretical but rather by intense outrage at American and Israeli actions in the Middle East and by a burning desire to seek revenge, to get back, to defend, and/or to make a violent statement expressing their hostility to what they see as a war on Islam." (02/26/15)

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What you should know about Walmart’s raise

Michelle Chen The Nation
by Michelle Chen

"Remember when Walmart got panned for running a Thanksgiving food drive for its own employees -- overlooking the irony of demonstrating noblesse oblige by asking customers to subsidize the workers the company itself impoverished? The retail giant took a more strategic approach last week when rolling out its latest do-gooder scheme: raising its base wage incrementally to $10 an hour. The move was widely praised even by labor groups -- for lifting wages slightly closer to ... well, what it should have been paying workers all along." [editor's note: She has a piece of this story right at least - SAT] (02/25/15)

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Imprisoning immigrants: What the ACLU’s doing about it

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

"It's easy to believe that private prisons are part of the problem. The government is the customer, and one of the main services the government is buying is (im)plausible deniability. If government prisons abuse immigrants, government officials might get in trouble. If companies hired by the government abuse immigrants, government officials can feign shock, cancel the contract, hire a different company, and resume oppression as usual. Farcical, but it works. In any case, though, poor prison conditions are not the fundamental problem. The abuse that overshadows all others is imprisonment for breaking unjust laws. Preventing foreigners from coming here to better their lives through honest toil is wrong." (02/26/15)

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Jordan Smith on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show

"Jordan Smith, an award-winning investigative journalist with The Intercept, discusses Rodney Reed's stay of execution in Texas as evidence of his innocence mounts -- even though the state is still eager to kill him." [Flash audio or MP3] (02/25/15)

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Is ISIS going to invade Europe from Libya?

spiked spiked
by Henry Williams

"In a nutshell, no. So stop the scaremongering." (02/26/15)

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The national health IT czar does not need a big budget hike

John R. Graham National Center for Policy Analysis
by John R Graham

"One overlooked 'ask' in the President's 2015 budget was a 25 percent hike in the budget of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC). Admittedly, it is a small amount of money, $75 million. Nevertheless, it is a 25 percent hike in a budget that should be reduced." (02/25/15)

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Political science, part 5: Net Neutrality

Liberale et Libertaire Liberale et Libertaire
by dL

"Heuristically, there is no such thing as 'net neutrality' ... there hasn't been since the 1988 Morris Worm. Without heuristic filtering by the tiered network providers, the public internet would be practically unusable. It would certainly be unreliable. The Administrative State implementation of 'net neutrality' presages the end of civilian control of the internet, the fossilization of corporate monopoly over the 'last mile' and the formalization of a surveillance regime against 'unauthorized traffic' (read: IP). The Administrative State enforcement of a 'public network' will invite the same censorship that the government imposes over that other decreed thing: 'the public airwaves,' even though that thing doesn't even really exist anymore." (02/26/15)

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What if the government fears freedom?

Andrew P. Napolitano
by Andrew P Napolitano

"What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn't like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?" (02/26/15)

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A riot broke out and no one was surprised

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Ryan Calhoun

"Many liberal reformists object to rioting as a legitimate tactic of effecting positive change. They cite, as all anti-revolutionaries do, crackdowns on prison life and the possible negative response of outsiders. However, prison riots have historically proven a very useful tool in achieving the demands of malcontent prisoners or at least giving voice to the voiceless." (02/26/15)

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The god of the machine

The Price of Liberty
by Bradley Harrington

"Most of the time, in discussions of political issues, I pick up little more than the same pre-conceived platitudes one can find in any public school classroom. Once in a great while, however, I hear something that jars me right down to the soles of my boots. 'Brad, we need to talk,' William 'Ben' Bennett phoned me the other day. Ben and his wife, Kim, own the Korean House Restaurant on the southeast corner of Snyder Avenue and Pershing Boulevard, and I've known and respected them for years. So, I paid Ben a visit. 'What's up?' I asked. He pushed a bright orange piece of paper across the table at me. 'That came in the mail a couple of days ago,' he said. An invoice from the Health Dept: 'Routine Inspection, $90.00; Late Fee, $25.00; Total Due, $115.00.'" (02/26/15)

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Who do you trust?

Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap

"One of the great frustrations for those who are paying attention is family and friends who don't. I realize THE RULERS have the glitzy media on their team and the smoothest liars money can buy as spokesmen, but for goodness sakes, we have family, friends and community. How can they compete? Ah yes, bread and circuses. Crap! Their bread may be GMO, HFC garbage, but the taste buds don't seem to notice while the circus plays on and watered-down beer flows. How can the victims not see it?" (02/25/15)

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A pretext for cyber COINTELPRO?

by Eric Draitser

"In its ever expanding war against Syria, now under the broader pretext of 'fighting ISIS,' the US Government has employed a variety of tactics. From arming terrorists whom it dishonestly labels 'moderates,' to encouraging Turkey and Jordan to host jihadi training centers, to the CIA working with the Muslim Brotherhood to funnel weapons and fighters into Syria, the US and its allies have demonstrated the multi-faceted approach they're taking to fighting ISIS, extremism, and the Syrian Government. The war, once believed to be relegated solely to Syria and Iraq, has now been broadened to a regional, and indeed, a global war with no geographical boundaries or time limits. And now, the Obama administration has announced that its war will also be waged in cyberspace. " (02/26/15)

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Uniting constitutional protection for economic and social liberties, part 1: Substantive due process and unenumerated rights

Steven Horwitz Future of Freedom Foundation
by Steven Horwitz

"We libertarians like to distinguish ourselves from our friends on the Right and Left by the fact that we care equally about both economic liberties and social/civil liberties. For libertarians the right to engage in contract and exchange with other consenting adults is just as important as the right to engage in speech and sex with other consenting adults. Other civil liberties, such as the right to bear arms or to buy, sell, and ingest various chemical substances are outgrowths of the rights to contract and the right to engage in 'anything that's peaceful' (i.e., that does not cause harm to innocent others). Libertarians see economic and civil liberties as inextricably entwined in just that freedom to engage in anything that's peaceful. Yet these two types of liberties are not only separated in the political philosophies of contemporary liberals and conservatives, they are deeply bifurcated in the way that the Supreme Court has come to think about the constitutional status of those rights." (02/26/15)

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 02/25/15

Heartland Institute

"Heather Kays speaks with Associate Director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, Neal Mccluskey, about a recent Cato forum which focused on limited political ideologies presented in U.S. Colleges. Their conversation questions if and how academic centers can introduce additional perspectives to academia." [Flash video] (02/25/15)

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Net Neutrality is the end of free speech

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"[Fight For The Future] thinks that putting politicians in charge of the Internet will save it from the big corporations. What they clearly don't understand is that the politicians and the corporatists are members of the same gang of criminals. They want to control everything for their mutual benefit, not for the benefit of 'the people.' In this case the Internet isn't even broken and yet ill-informed do-gooders want to hand it over to unelected bureaucrats who will control it under laws written by the very corporate lobbyists that the FFTF thinks it is saving everyone from." (02/25/15)

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Social conservatives are the worst thing to happen to libertarianism

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

"Ron Paul provided libertarians a potential political strategy. The idea was simple, overwhelm the Republican Party with libertarians and use it to spread libertarian ideals. Although I know I will receive protests from libertarians still participating in Republican politics I feel safe in saying that this strategy has not only failed but has backfired miserably. By associating libertarianism and Republican politics the gateway (to Hell) was opened for social conservatives to filter into libertarian groups. While social conservatives have always been involved in libertarianism I don't believe it was to the extent that they are now. Furthermore the public association of libertarianism and the Republican Party wasn't there." (02/25/15)

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Free Talk Live, 02/25/15

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live

"Conspiracy Theories and Chemtrails :: Adverse Possession :: Circumcision :: Flags :: US Reps Threaten DC Mayor Over Pot :: DHS Shutdown Coming? :: Ron Paul Interrupted at SFL Conference :: Buying Children :: Ron Paul Newsletters :: Violence Inherent in the System :: Definition of Libertarianism." [Flash audio or MP3] (02/25/15)

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One last chance to save the Internet … from the FCC

Reuters Reuters
by Ev Ehrlich

"As the Federal Communications Commission readies new net-neutrality rules this week, congressional Democrats face a choice: Should they work with the Republicans who control Congress to help pass new rules, or should they stay on the sidelines and leave the matter to a volatile regulatory process, subject to possible undoing in the courts? I disagree with neutrality: the idea that everything on the Internet should travel at the same speed, whether it’s the remote monitoring of a cardiac device or a video of a cat. But both critics and advocates of neutrality would likely agree that a new law is the best way to set new policy -- not regulatory decrees." (02/25/15)

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Domestic fear is the price of empire

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

"If you find no other argument against American intervention abroad persuasive, how about this one? When the U.S. government invades and occupies other countries, or when it underwrites other governments' invasions or oppression, the people in the victimized societies become angry enough to want and even to exact revenge -- against Americans. Is the American empire worth that price?" (02/25/15)

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This is just wrong in so freakin’ many ways.

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

"You ask for federal regulation? You support federal regulation? Then you're shocked, simply shocked! when you get federal regulation -- and it turns out it benefits the feds more than you? Oh, you pooo widdle baby! Such a surprise! Who could possibly have predicted that? Oh wait ... anybody who's been standing on the outside watching could have predicted that. Heck, we could have predicted it even before there was such a thing as the Internet to regulate. Because that's just the way it works." (02/25/15)

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To end police brutality, we need to end the police

The Nation The Nation
by Mychal Denzel Smith

"I don't want anyone in this room to mistake me for an objective or impartial journalist moderator. I have marched with, organized with, and written about everyone on this stage. I feel as much a part of the movement as I do a reporter of it. I have an agenda: we need to abolish the pillars of white supremacy and I think the police is one of those." [From Smith's introduction to a panel he moderated; video is at the link] (02/25/15)

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I don’t love America either, Rudy

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Chad Nelson

"When Rudy Giuliani declares that someone doesn't love America, he defines America like most other hyperstatists -- America as a political entity. The America that you can literally point to on a map, and whose borders have grown in proportion to the American military state's aggression and brutality. The America Giuliani loves is the one made up of, first and foremost, its government, which Giuliani and his fellow American exceptionalists claim have 'allowed' for the greatest freedom and prosperity in mankind's history. Giuliani and his ilk love the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, the court system which Giuliani once worked the levers of, and all the American state's arbitrarily drawn political sub-entities (states and cities) -- one of which he ruled with an iron fist for many years. Love of America, for Giuliani, means love of its political infrastructure." (02/25/15)

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Xenophobia not welcome in Panama

The Canal The Canal
by Elisa Vasquez

"Several things about Panama worry me, but nothing like the inflamed debate nowadays about immigrants and the role of foreign residents in the country. Nationalist and populist legislators' rants have been rightfully called xenophobic in local media, and have become dangerous fodder for economic and social conflicts. Panama's National Assembly is currently studying Bill 62, which modifies portions of the National Migration Service law. It would do away with the Crisol de Razas program (Melting Pot of Races), which allows for the legalization of unauthorized immigrants who have resided in the country for over a year or overstayed their permitted entry." (02/25/15)

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Rodney Reed will not die next week — but Texas still wants to kill him

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jordan Smith

"Nine days before Rodney Reed was scheduled to die in Texas for a crime he swears he didn't commit, the state's highest criminal court issued a stay of execution. The order came down late Monday afternoon, in response to an appeal citing new and compelling scientific evidence that challenges the state's timeline of events in the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, which sent Reed to death row. ... because the new scientific evidence 'eviscerates' the state's theory of the crime, Benjet argues, it also invalidates the lower-court judge's opinion that further DNA testing would be irrelevant. ... The state counters that DNA testing is unnecessary and, in a separate brief filed Monday, that the real goal by Reed's defense is to 'unreasonably delay' his execution." (02/25/15)

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After the Bitcoin gold rush

The New Republic The New Republic
by Nathan Schneider

"The search for riches in the ground has motivated some of history's most extravagant endeavors. It has inspired explorers, enslaved populations, and put opera houses in dusty mountain towns. But when the boom ends, the miners themselves have often been left in the lurch. They handle the raw material, turn it from hard earth to something potentially of value. Fabulous wealth comes to only a few, who rarely hold onto it long enough to be considered lucky. The search for bitcoins is little different." (02/24/15)

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Progressives: Pretty great night in Chicago’s elections

In These Times In These Times
by Yana Kunichoff

"The anti-machine fervor that pushed Rahm Emanuel into a run-off with Chuy García on Tuesday night was also felt in several key aldermanic races around the city. Three staunch Emanuel allies in City Council are now facing run-offs against independent candidates who also happen to be Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members. Social studies teacher Tim Meegan scraped into a run-off with Deb Mell, a member of one of the city’s most entrenched political families. This was the first aldermanic election for Mell, who was appointed by Emanuel to succeed her father, Dick Mell, in the seat when he retired in 2013. Deb Mell (who was strongly supported in the race by the Emanuel-affiliated super PAC Chicago Forward) received 49. 7 percent of the vote. Meegan received 34.5 percent, while a third candidate, Annisa Wanat, received 15.8%." (02/25/15)

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