Ukraine war: Kyslytsya accuses Russians of “well-planned false-flag operation” vs. Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, has accused Russia of a ‘a well-planned false-flag operation’ endangering the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, as the two countries traded accusations at the UN security council over alleged attacks on Europe’s largest nuclear power station. The Zaporizhzia nuclear power plant reportedly suffered at least three direct strikes on 7 April and another drone attack at the plant’s nearby training centre on 9 April. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, said, without attributing blame, that the ‘reckless’ attacks had put the world ‘dangerously close to a nuclear accident.'” (04/16/24)

What Leaving Abortion Up to the States Really Means

Source: Reason
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

“A funny thing happens when you leave abortion access up to each state: Voters start to show politicians how they actually feel. The loudest and most persistent voices are no longer the ones most able to influence policy. And — perhaps surprisingly to some — this has resulted in a wave of successful pro-choice ballot initiatives. Since the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, the abortion rights side has come out on top every time the matter has been up for a vote on state ballots (even in states such as Kansas, Ohio, and Kentucky). It looks like the great protector of abortion access might be direct democracy.” (04/15/24)

NY: Jury selection begins in disgraced former president’s porn star hush money trial

Source: CBS News

“The first criminal trial of a former president in U.S. history officially got underway Monday in a crowded Manhattan courtroom, where prosecutors and defense attorneys began the arduous task of seating a 12-person jury in the case of The People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump. Flanked by his attorneys in room 1530 of the Manhattan Criminal Court, Trump was seated at a table where countless defendants before him have appeared. Monday’s proceedings started with lawyers for both sides arguing over several aspects of the case, including what evidence should be admissible and what questions should be asked of potential jurors. … Trump is charged with 34 state counts of falsifying business records related to a ‘hush money’ payment his attorney made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.” (04/15/24)

Immigration: A Libertarian Argument

Source: David Friedman’s Substack
by David Friedman

“The traditional libertarian position, the position I argued for in my first book (Chapter 14), is support for open borders. That was also the traditional American policy. For the first century of the country’s history anyone who could get here was welcome to come. Limits on Chinese immigration and on immigrants carrying contagious diseases were imposed in the late nineteenth century but broader restrictions only came in in the nineteen-twenties and did not, at the time, apply to immigrants from other parts of the New World. Murray Rothbard switched his position from opposing restrictions on immigration to supporting them as part of his adoption of a paleolibertarian [sic] strategy of alliance with the right, joined by Hans Hoppe and others.” [editor’s note: Paleoconservatism is not libertarian, “paleo” or otherwise. When you abandon the principle, you’re not longer entitled to the term – TLK] (04/14/24)

Georgia: Lawmakers brawl as Parliament considers “foreign agent” bill

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

“Lawmakers in Georgia have come to blows inside parliament as ruling party legislators appeared likely to advance a bill on ‘foreign agents’ that has been criticised by Western countries and has caused protests at home as ‘pro-Russia.’ Footage broadcast on Georgian television showed Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party’s parliamentary faction and a driving force behind the bill, being punched in the face on Monday by opposition MP Aleko Elisashvili while speaking before the legislative body. Tensions in parliament have bubbled up in recent years as the ruling party and the opposition have debated whether to deepen relations with the West or reconnect the former Soviet republic with Russia.” (04/15/24)

End the Drug War in Oregon, Both State and Federal

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Throughout history, people have ingested mind-altering substances. But simply because there is a social problem with drug addiction doesn’t mean that the government should be addressing it. Shouldn’t we have learned that with alcohol Prohibition? In the 1950s, countless housewives were addicted to barbiturates. Does that mean that they should have been prosecuted and jailed? Of course not. The problem of drug addiction belongs in private rehabilitation centers, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, not in the state’s criminal-justice system.” (04/15/24)

Tesla Laying Off More Than 10% of Its Workers: “It Must Be Done”

Source: The Daily Beast

“Tesla is going to lay off over more than 10 percent of its global workforce, CEO Elon Musk told staff in an internal memo Monday, as the world’s largest automaker battles declining sales and a grinding price war for electric vehicles. The company had 140,473 employees as of December 2023, according to its latest annual report, meaning the cuts will affect at least 14,000 roles worldwide. Musk told workers that Tesla had expanded rapidly in recent years, leading to ‘duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas.'” (04/15/24)

More Wealth-Tax Madness

Source: The Dispatch
by Kevin D Williamson

“To get a feel for what a 4 percent wealth tax would mean, consider that the real (meaning inflation-adjusted) long-term return on the U.S. stock market is around 7.5 percent. Taking that as a useful approximation, a 4 percent wealth tax would reduce the return on capital invested in the most common way by more than half. Those with $50 million or more in assets didn’t get that way by being bad with money (except maybe Donald Trump), and you can be sure that their investing behavior would change in response to such a tax. … There are businesses with $100 million in assets that do not make $2 million a year at all, much less $2 million to spare. Never mind that the income produced by those assets is already taxed …” (04/15/24)

NM: Rust armourer sentenced to 18 months for Halyna Hutchins’s death

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie set weapons handler who loaded a gun for actor Alec Baldwin before it fired and killed a cinematographer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. The armourer, 26, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March. She was found not guilty of a second charge — tampering with evidence — over the 2021 shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust. The sentence Gutierrez-Reed received is the maximum possible. Mr Baldwin, 65, also faces a manslaughter trial in July. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.” (04/15/24)