India: Tax thugs raid newspaper that took on Modi over pandemic

Source: CNN Business

“Tax authorities in India raided several offices of one of the world’s biggest-selling newspapers on Thursday, a move journalists and leading opposition politicians described as an attack on press freedom. The newspaper, Dainik Bhaskar, said that tax inspectors visited its offices in the capital New Delhi and the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the early morning. The paper shocked India with its reporting of dead bodies in the river Ganges during the brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic this spring. It criticized authorities for under-reporting Covid-19 deaths and challenged state officials and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over their handling of the crisis. … A spokesperson for the Central Board of Direct Taxes did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. But several top opposition politicians said that the paper was being punished for publishing critical reports about Modi’s handling of the second wave.” (07/22/21)

The Chimera of Immigration Reform

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“America’s immigration-control system is based on the socialist principle of central planning. Government planners are expected to study the demand for labor in rural America (and everywhere else) and then determine how many immigrants are needed to match up with that demand. Additionally, the planners are expected to evaluate the educational background, the credentials and skills of each immigrant, and the ages of the immigrants to make certain that supply equals demand. It simply cannot be done. There is no way for central planners, no matter how brilliant they might be, to perform such an impossible task, especially given ever-changing market conditions.” (07/22/21)

Free Speech and Private Property

Source: From the Freedom Files
by Andrew P Napolitano

“Former President Donald J. Trump recently filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Miami against the Big Tech companies that have denied him a platform. He has targeted Twitter and Facebook, whose media platforms he had used with spectacular success before and during his presidency to advance his ideas and to attack his opponents. … The platforms that Trump has sued are indisputably private. Thus, they … are free to invite whomever they wish and to exclude whomever they wish. Trump’s lawyers know this, as it is deeply rooted and well established in our history, law and values. … To get around this private property obstacle, Trump’s lawyers have employed a rarely used tool called state action. This doctrine can impose upon a private property owner the same restraints as those imposed upon the government when the government and the private property owner are in a symbiotic relationship.” (07/22/21)

The phoniness of opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Paul R Pillar

“One of the true goals of opponents of the JCPOA, dating from the agreement’s earliest days, was to oppose any significant accomplishment by the Democratic president Barack Obama. This brand of hyperpartisanship lives on, as openly acknowledged by the Republican leadership in opposing accomplishments by the Democratic president Joe Biden. Another of the goals also has little to do with what Iran actually does — the goal of treating Iran forever as a bete noire on which almost everything bad in the Middle East can be blamed. This objective exemplifies how hardliners in different countries play off each other to their mutual political benefit. It is why American hardliners welcomed, usually tacitly but sometimes even explicitly, the election of Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency.” (07/22/21)

Belarus: Lukashenko vows to continue raids on NGOs, media outlets

Source: WAVY News 10

“The longtime leader of Belarus vowed Thursday to continue a crackdown on civil society activists he regards as ‘bandits and foreign agents.’ President Alexander Lukashenko chided officials in his administration for allowing the operation of non-governmental organizations that he called ‘harmful to the state.’ ‘A mopping-up operation is going on,’ Lukashenko said. ‘Do you think it’s easy? There are thousands of our people working for them, and their brains are distorted and brainwashed with foreign money.’ Belarusian authorities have ramped up raids and arrests of independent journalists and civil society activists in recent weeks. The Viasna human rights center said the country’s law enforcement agencies have conducted more than 200 searches of offices and apartments of journalists and activists so far this month. The center said authorities detained 11 activists Thursday.” (07/22/21)

Libertarianism: A Fifty-Year Personal Retrospective

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Mark Thornton

“This retrospective, covering half a century, is a personal history of modern libertarianism. It provides some historical perspective on the growth of libertarianism and its impact on society, especially for those who were born into an existing libertarian movement, including political and academic paths. As outsiders, Austrians and libertarians can expect more than their share of difficult times and roadblocks, although that situation has improved over time. It also shows the limitations of the political path to liberty and the importance of the Austrian view that society changes via emphasis on sound economic science, its practicality, and its subsequent impact on ideology. Finally, it conveys the importance of solving practical problems and puzzles via the thin, radical version of libertarianism.” (07/22/21)

US Senate braces for debt ceiling fight

Source: The Hill

“Republicans are digging in on the federal debt limit, warning Democrats that it will be up to them to avoid a default as President Biden pushes for trillions more in spending. GOP senators are taking a firm line as Democrats plot a path for their $3.5 trillion spending measure, which the party plans to pass with budget reconciliation rules that will prevent the GOP from blocking it with a filibuster. Given those plans, GOP senators say they won’t lift a finger to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling. [US Senator John Thune (R-SD) said] that if Democrats are going to use a go-it-alone approach to push through a sweeping spending package, which is expected to include other priorities like immigration reform, then Republicans believe ‘the debt limit can ride on it and they can own it all.'” (07/22/21)