US Judge Rejects Bankman-Fried’s Bail Modification Request

Source: CoinDesk

“A federal judge rejected a joint request to modify Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions to allow him to use certain messaging tools. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the Southern District of New York, said the motion is ‘denied without prejudice’ until a hearing on Thursday. An attorney for the former FTX exchange CEO requested on Monday that he be allowed to use certain unencrypted messaging applications, as well as WhatsApp with the use of monitoring software.” (02/07/23)

Joe Biden as Priest-King

Source: The Dispatch
by Kevin D Williamson

“The American presidency has grown more ritualistic over the years in ways great and small. In his role as commander in chief (the title is imperator in Latin, producing emperor in English) the president has taken on more martial splendor, giving military salutes as though he were a uniformed officer, in contradiction of traditional etiquette, and increasingly accompanied by military displays of one kind or another. … Washington has gone title-crazy, with people referring in the most ridiculous way to ‘Leader McConnell’ and ‘Leader Jeffries,’ while men and women decades out of office continue to insist on being referred to as ‘Governor X’ or ‘Ambassador X’ or ‘Mr. Speaker,’ or ‘Secretary X’ as though these were lifelong titles of nobility rather than temporary job titles held by certain public servants. … We have built a sad little ersatz nobility without the, you know, nobility.” (02/07/23)

“Slavery by Parliament” Sparked American Revolution

by James Bovard

“African-American slavery was a profound injustice, and we should not downplay that abhorrent part of our nation’s past. But the 1619 Project is riddled with errors that have been debunked across the ideological spectrum by economic historian Phil Magness (who has done the best debunking), Professor Gordon Wood, the World Socialist Web Site, and many other respectable critics. The 1619 Project’s most harebrained idea is that the American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery. This notion is impossible to reconcile with the fact that the conflict erupted in northern colonies with few slaves. The 1619 storyline could not have passed the laugh test unless many Americans were clueless on the British brutality that sparked the war.” (02/07/23)

War Fever

Source: The Nation
by Eric Foner

“With the exception of the Second World War, every military conflict in which the United States has taken part has generated an anti-war movement. During the American Revolution, numerous Loyalists preferred British rule to a war for independence. New Englanders opposed the War of 1812; most Whigs denounced the Mexican-American War launched by the Democratic president James K. Polk; and both the Union and the Confederacy were internally divided during the Civil War. More recently, the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan split the country. At the same time, wars often create an atmosphere of hyper-patriotism, leading to the equation of dissent with treason and to the severe treatment of critics. … by far the most extreme wartime violations of civil liberties (with the major exception of Japanese American internment during the Second World War) took place during World War I.” (02/07/23)

Be Grateful that First Responders and Teachers Earn Far Lower Incomes Than Sports Stars and Hollywood Actors

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Donald J Boudreaux

“A few years ago, I was scolded by an email correspondent for my alleged indifference to the fact that first responders and teachers are paid far less than are Hollywood stars and professional athletes. My correspondent insisted that ‘[r]eal people know it’s wrong and dangerous that men playing games get paid so much more than men and women who save lives and educate our children.’ The danger that my correspondent perceived in this situation is that, in her words, ‘This low pay will one day leave us with not enough teachers and paramedics.’ … This sentiment doesn’t reflect people’s correct understanding of a defective economy, but their incorrect understanding of a successful economy. It also reflects a failure of economists to better teach basic economics to the general public.” (02/07/23)

UK: Sunak shuffles cabinet to bolster pledges on economy

Source: Reuters

“British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reshuffled his cabinet on Tuesday, breaking up two departments to better suit his pledges to spur the economy, reduce energy prices and turn around his party’s fortunes before an election expected next year. Sunak created a new energy security and net zero department, led by former business minister Grant Shapps, and three other departments, with one focusing on science and innovation, a personal passion for the British leader. … The timing surprised some in Sunak’s party. But after he fired his party chairman over his tax affairs and with an investigation into bullying allegations against his deputy prime minister Dominic Raab ongoing, several lawmakers said Sunak might be seizing a chance to stamp his mark.” (02/07/23)

Sales Tax Is Still Theft

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Ron Paul

“A group of House Republicans is supporting legislation that would replace federal income, payroll, estate, and gift taxes with a 30 percent national sales tax. The bill also eliminates the Internal Revenue Service, giving states the responsibility to collect the sales tax and send the revenue to DC. This deputizing of states to act as federal tax collectors violates the principles of federalism, especially since the plan forces states that have chosen not to make their residents pay sales taxes create a mechanism for collecting sales tax. A 30 percent sales tax on all goods with no exceptions and no deductions will increase taxes imposed on millions of Americans.” (02/07/23)

Ukraine and Belarus Are Fighting the Same War

Source: Foreign Policy
by Eric S Edelman, Vlad Kobets, & David J Kramer

“Rumors abound that Russia is planning a new wave of offensives in Ukraine. According to public sources and Ukrainian intelligence assessments, these may include another attempt to push its forces into Ukraine from the north, from Belarus. … this prospect should remind Western decision-makers that they cannot ignore Belarus in their calculations about the war in Ukraine — and that the conflict will continue to have consequences outside its borders. … A Ukrainian victory would also benefit the people of Belarus, who have for 29 years lived under Aleksandr Lukashenko, often referred to as the ‘last dictator in Europe,’ and whose political livelihood is dependent on Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Russian defeat in Ukraine would weaken Putin significantly enough that he can no longer bail out his fellow dictator — and could embolden Belarusians to try their hand at removing Lukashenko once more.” (02/07/23)