Why Rome’s Best Emperor Shunned Government Schools

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W Reed

“The great classical scholar Edith Hamilton noted that the ancient Greeks frowned upon their Roman counterparts in regards to education. The former adopted public (government) schooling while the Romans left education to the family in the home. The snooty Greeks thought Romans were backward and unsophisticated. The Romans, of course, conquered the Greeks. For most of the five centuries of the Republic, Romans were schooled at home where virtues of honor, character, and citizenship were emphasized. Not until the Republic’s last century or so did anything resembling government schooling emerge. Moreover, it was never so centralized, universal, and mandatory as it is in our society today. The English academic and cleric Teresa Morgan, in a 2020 paper titled ‘Assessment in Roman Education,’ writes, ‘In no stage of its history did Rome ever legally require its people to be educated on any level.'” (12/07/23)


Amazon tests grocery subscription service for Prime members

Source: CNBC

“Amazon is piloting a new grocery subscription for members of its Prime program, the company said Thursday, marking the latest recalibration of its online supermarket offerings. Members of the company’s Prime program will have the option to pay $9.99 per month to get unlimited grocery delivery from Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh on orders more than $35. They’ll also have access to 30-minute pickup on orders of any size. To start, the service is rolling out in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; and Columbus, Ohio. … In 2021, the company introduced a $10 service fee for Whole Foods delivery orders to Prime members. Prior to the fee changes earlier this year, the company offered free Amazon Fresh grocery delivery on orders above $35 at no extra cost for Prime members.” [editor’s note: In other words, now they want me to pay extra for what used to be included. That’s not “new,” it’s just a price hike – TLK] (12/07/23)


Biden regime asserts power to seize drug patents in move to slash high prices

Source: CNBC

“The Biden administration on Thursday opened the door to seizing the patents of certain costly medications from drugmakers in a new push to slash high drug prices and promote more pharmaceutical competition. The administration unveiled a framework outlining the factors federal agencies should consider in deciding whether to use a controversial policy, known as march-in rights, to take patents for drugs developed with taxpayer funds and share them with other pharmaceutical companies if the public cannot ‘reasonably’ access the medications. Doing so could lead to the development of lower-priced generic alternatives, which could cut into key drug companies’ profits and reduce costs for patients. For the first time, officials can now factor in a medication’s price in deciding to break a patent.” [editor’s note: Taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to this in the first place, but if they do, the product should be unpatentable and in the public domain – TLK] (12/07/23)


On the Death of Henry Kissinger

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by James C Wilson

“On November 29th, 2023, Henry Kissinger died at the age of 100. The internet rejoices. For years, Kissinger had been a living embodiment of evil that would just not die, in the realm of online discourse. But at last, the reaper finally got him. Of course, all the celebration of this man’s death overlooks one obvious fact. By all measurable standards, Kissinger, a career war criminal and routine accessory to mass murder, won. He was able to live comfortably to an age decades older than average, as the last surviving member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet. He was constantly praised and esteemed by the American political class, far away from the countless deaths and destruction he oversaw.” (12/07/23)


Israel’s War Against Gaza Should Not Be America’s War

Source: TomDispatch
by Andrew Bacevich

“One way of understanding the ongoing bloodbath pitting Israel against Hamas is to see it as just the latest chapter in an existential struggle dating back to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948. While the appalling scope, destructiveness, and duration of the fighting in Gaza may outstrip previous episodes, this latest go-around serves chiefly to reaffirm the remarkable intractability of the underlying Arab-Israeli conflict. Although the shape of that war has changed over time, certain constants remain. Neither side, for instance, seems capable of achieving its ultimate political goals through violence. And each side adamantly refuses to concede to the core demands of its adversary. In truth, while the actual fighting may ebb and flow, pause and resume, the Holy Land has become the site of what is effectively permanent conflict.” (12/07/23)


Google launches Gemini, its most-advanced AI model yet, as it races to compete with ChatGPT

Source: CNN Business

“Google on Wednesday launched its most ambitious effort yet to compete in the rapidly growing field of generative artificial intelligence, launching an AI model known as Gemini that’s designed to compete with the likes of OpenAI’s GPT models and supercharge everything from Google’s consumer apps to Android smartphones. The scope of Google’s ambitions were reflected in the company’s announcement, which introduced Gemini as the company’s ‘largest and most capable AI model’ and declared a ‘Gemini era’ that foresees the tech giant’s model being used in every setting, from big companies to consumer devices such as the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Unlike existing AI models that typically deal with only one type of user prompt, such as exclusively images or text, Gemini was built to be ‘multimodal,’ Google said. This means it accepts inputs that include multiple types of media, combining text, images, audio, video and programming code.” (12/07/23)


Trump’s “similar acts” unveiled before his election interference trial

Source: The Hill
by James D Zirin

“[O]n Tuesday, Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a formal paper in court affording Trump with notice of any similar crimes, wrongs or other bad acts he may have committed that are not part of the indictment, but which the government wants to offer into evidence at trial. Decisions about whether such ‘similar acts’ can be presented to a jury is left to the discretion of the trial judge, and these decisions aren’t reversible unless the judge abuses her discretion. … Smith said he will present evidence about Trump historically resorting to threats, racist attacks against his opponents, stifling internal dissent, promoting election interference and stopping the counting of votes.” (12/07/23)