RRND Email Full Text (Published)

  • LA: Legislature approves bill classifying abortion pills as “controlled dangerous substances”

    Source: SFGate

    “Two abortion-inducing drugs could soon be reclassified as controlled and dangerous substances in Louisiana under a first-of-its-kind bill that received final legislative passage Thursday and is expected to be signed into law by the governor. Supporters of the reclassification of mifepristone and misoprostol (commonly known as ‘abortion pills’) say it would protect expectant mothers from coerced abortions. Numerous doctors, meanwhile, have said it will make it harder for them to prescribe the medicines that they use for other important reproductive health care needs, and could delay treatment. Louisiana currently has a near-total abortion ban in place, applying both to surgical and medical abortions. The GOP-dominated Legislature’s push to reclassify mifepristone and misoprostol could possibly open the door for other Republican states with abortion bans that are seeking tighter restrictions on the drugs. Current Louisiana law already requires a prescription for both drugs and makes it a crime to use them to induce an abortion in most cases.” (05/23/24)


  • NH: Political consultant behind fake Biden robocalls faces $6 million fine & criminal charges

    Source: SFGate

    “A political consultant who sent artificial intelligence-generated robocalls mimicking President Joe Biden’s voice to voters ahead of New Hampshire’s presidential primary faces a $6 million fine and more than two dozen criminal charges. The Federal Communications Commission said the fine it proposed Thursday for Steven Kramer is its first involving generative AI technology. The company accused of transmitting the calls, Lingo Telecom, faces a $2 million fine, though in both cases the parties could settle or further negotiate, the FCC said. Kramer has admitted orchestrating a message that was sent to thousands of voters two days before the first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 23. The message played an AI-generated voice similar to the Democratic president’s that used his phrase ‘What a bunch of malarkey’ and falsely suggested that voting in the primary would preclude voters from casting ballots in November.” (05/23/24)


  • Nevada to start tabulating ballots earlier on Election Day for quicker results

    Source: SFGate

    “Nevada election officials can start tabulating in-person Election Day votes as they come in, rather than waiting for polls to close in an effort to get results out quicker, Democratic Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar said Wednesday. Aguilar cited state law in making the recommendation to county election officials that also include tabulating mail ballots as early voting is underway. The recommendations apply to both Nevada’s primary on June 11 and the November general election. The changes could help quell anxiety over close races in a western swing state known for razor-thin margins. The nation watched Nevada closely in 2022 for the outcome of a U.S. Senate race that was decided by less than 8,000 votes, as the final mail ballots were counted after other battleground races were settled. If county election officials adopt the recommendations, ballots will be counted throughout the day of the primary and general elections. But no results will be released until after the polls close.” (05/23/24)


  • Harvard Overrules Faculty, Stopping 13 Pro-Palestine Seniors From Graduating

    Source: Common Dreams

    “Harvard University’s board on Wednesday rejected a faculty vote to allow 13 seniors who had participated in a pro-Palestine encampment to graduate, provoking outrage from educators and students, some of whom protested outside the commencement ceremony Thursday morning. The Wednesday announcement followed competing decisions by Harvard institutions in the days leading up to graduation. On May 18, the college’s administrative board announced disciplinary actions against students (suspending five and placing more than 20 on probation) for their involvement in the on-campus encampment, which ended last week. This left the 13 seniors ineligible to graduate. Professors in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences responded on Monday by voting to amend the list of students receiving degrees to include the 13 students, effectively rejecting the administrative board’s decision. Harvard’s main governing board, known as the Corporation, had to make the final decision, which they announced in a statement on Wednesday.” (05/23/24)


  • TN: Nashville Council rejects sign for Morgan Wallen’s new bar, citing his “harmful actions”

    Source: The Tennessean

    “Morgan Wallen’s bar on Broadway is set to open this Memorial Day weekend, but a sign bearing his name won’t be joining the fabled throng of neon lights over Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway. Nashville’s council soundly rejected plans for a 20-foot sign advertising ‘Morgan Wallen’s This Bar’ Tuesday, citing the country music star’s past use of a racial slur and pending felony and misdemeanor charges over a chair thrown off another Broadway bar’s six-story rooftop in April. ‘I don’t want to see a billboard up with the name of a person who’s throwing chairs off of balconies and who is saying racial slurs,’ At-large Council member Delishia Porterfield said Tuesday. Nashville’s council rejected a proposed sign for country star Morgan Wallen’s new Broadway bar on May 21, 2024, citing Wallen’s previous conduct on Broadway and a 2021 recording of Wallen using a racial slur.
    The council voted 30-3 to deny the aerial encroachment to allow the construction and installation of the sign.” (05/22/24)


  • Biden overtime pay rule challenged by US business groups

    Source: Reuters

    “A coalition of U.S. business groups has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Biden administration rule that would extend mandatory overtime pay to 4 million workers, saying it goes too far. The groups filed a complaint in Sherman, Texas federal court late on Wednesday claiming the U.S. Department of Labor lacked the power to adopt the rule and that it would force businesses to cut jobs and limit workers’ hours. The Sherman court has two judges, one of whom in 2017 struck down a similar rule adopted by the Obama administration. The rule would require employers to pay overtime premiums to workers who earn a salary of less than $1,128 per week, or about $58,600 per year, when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The current threshold of about $35,500 per year was set by the Trump administration in a 2020 rule that advocacy groups and many Democrats have said does not cover enough workers.” (05/23/24)


  • China holds military drills around Taiwan as “strong punishment”

    Source: BBC News [UK State Media]

    “China has started two days of military exercises around Taiwan, with its military calling them ‘strong punishment’ for the self-ruled island’s ‘separatist acts’. The drills come three days after the inauguration of President William Lai, who called on China to stop threatening the island and accept the existence of its democracy. China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control, but the island sees itself as distinct. Taiwan’s defence ministry condemned the Chinese drills as ‘irrational provocations’. Taipei dispatched naval, air, and ground forces ‘to defend the [island’s] sovereignty’, its defence ministry said. Thursday’s drills for the first time simulated a full-scale attack, Taiwanese military experts said, rather than an economic blockade. The exercises took place all around the main island, and for the first time also targeted the Taipei-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin which lie close to the Chinese coast, according to maps released by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).” (05/23/24)


  • SpaceX launches Starlink satellites in second mission of day

    Source: United Press International

    “SpaceX launched another 23 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit on Wednesday, the same day the space company launched a group of U.S. spy satellites from California. Falcon 9 lifted off one minute behind schedule, at 10:36 p.m. EDT, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.” (05/23/24)


  • UK: Complaint alleges politicians’ complicity in Israeli war crimes

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

    “A new criminal complaint has been submitted to the Metropolitan Police alleging potential British government officials’ complicity in aiding and abetting the intentional starvation of Palestinians. It supplements an existing complaint issued in January by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), arguing that UK politicians are criminally liable for their involvement in alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. The new complaint, submitted by the ICJP on May 17, names 22 individuals, including five senior UK government ministers. … The complaint argues that five British government ministers are complicit in alleged Israeli war crimes by aiding and abetting, through military support and moral encouragement.” (05/23/24)


  • OH: Norfolk Southern to pay $310m over East Palestine derailment and toxic fire

    Source: BBC News [UK State Media]

    “The firm at the heart of a Ohio train derailment and chemical spill is to pay $310m (£243m) in a settlement to the US government. Norfolk Southern will pay $235m to cover the cost of cleaning up contaminated air, water and soil in East Palestine. The February 2023 derailment led to a fire that burned through hazardous cargo. Toxic fumes killed thousands of animals and forced many residents to flee. In April, Norfolk Southern reached a separate $600m class-action settlement with residents of the town. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and justice department sued Norfolk Southern less than two months after the derailment took place last year. The lawsuit sought penalties and injunctive relief ‘for the unlawful discharge of pollutants, oil and hazardous substances’ under the US Clean Water Act. The settlement, announced by the justice department on Thursday, requires Norfolk Southern to pay for long-term environmental monitoring, mental health services for residents and take steps to improve rail safety.” (05/23/24)


  • CA: Iconic filming location for cult movie turned to rubble

    Source: SFGate

    “A 131-year-old warehouse that provided the backdrop for one of the most misunderstood films in horror movie history is undergoing demolition in Northern California. Up until 2022, fans of the ‘Halloween’ franchise could easily recognize the exterior of the Loleta Creamery, an old milk-bottling plant that stood in for the sinister Silver Shamrock Novelties factory in the third installment of the series, ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’. But that December, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Humboldt County, rattling the already crumbling building and leaving its roof partially collapsed. The writing was on the wall — and the loose bricks were falling into the right of way on Loleta Drive, making for a public health and safety hazard, per one staff report. Bulldozers began reducing the landmark to a pile of rubble earlier this month. When they’re done, it’s not clear how much of the building, if any, will remain.” (05/23/24)


  • US regime plans antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster parent Live Nation

    Source: Axios

    “The Department of Justice and a group of U.S. state attorneys general on Thursday plan to sue ticketing giant Live Nation on antitrust grounds, a source familiar with the DOJ’s plans told Axios. The outcome of the legal battle with one of the largest ticketing and live events companies in the U.S. could fundamentally upend the industry. The DOJ plans to announce in a mid-day press conference on Thursday that it is suing Live Nation alongside several states for illegally abusing its monopoly power in live ticketing through its 2010 acquisition of Ticketmaster.” (05/23/24)


  • Over Serb opposition, UN approves resolution to commemorate 1995 Srebrenica genocide annually

    Source: SFGate

    “The United Nations approved a resolution Thursday establishing an annual day to commemorate the 1995 genocide of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs, a move vehemently opposed by Serbs who fear it will brand them all as ‘genocidal’ supporters of the mass killing. The vote in the 193-member General Assembly was 84-19 with 68 nations abstaining, a reflection of concerns among many countries about the impact of the vote on reconciliation efforts in deeply divided Bosnia. Supporters had hoped for 100 ‘yes’ votes. Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who voted against the resolution, told the assembly the combined abstentions and “no” votes — 87 — was more than the 84 votes in favor. It is also noteworthy that 22 countries skipped the meeting and didn’t vote, some reportedly because of the dispute over the commemoration. The resolution designates July 11 as the ‘International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica’, to be observed annually starting in two months.” (05/23/24)


  • Tunisia: Court sentences TV pundits to prison for critical political commentary

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “A Tunis court on Wednesday handed one-year sentences to two TV hosts for ‘spreading false news’ and ‘defaming others’ after they had made critical comments online and in the media, a court spokesman said. Broadcaster Borhen Bssais and political commentator Mourad Zeghidi were arrested earlier this month under Decree 54, a 2022 law which critics have said is being used to stifle political dissent.” (05/22/24)


  • Haley says she will vote for disgraced former president, calls senile incumbent “a catastrophe”

    Source: Politico

    “Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she will vote for Donald Trump, despite maintaining he has ‘not been perfect’ on many policies. During an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington, her first public speaking event since exiting the presidential race in March, Haley said her priorities as a voter are supporting a president who would back America’s allies and hold its enemies accountable, who would secure the border, support ‘capitalism and freedom,’ and who would lower the national debt. ‘Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I’ve made that clear many, many times,’ Haley said. ‘But Biden has been a catastrophe.'” (05/22/24)


  • A note from the publisher

    Hey, everyone …

    I’m leaving for Washington, DC this morning, to attend the 2024 Libertarian National Convention over Memorial Day weekend. If you’re there too, say hi!

    Because I am in travel mode, fair warning: Friday’s edition will be “web-only,” it probably won’t be “FIREHOSE FRIDAY” in size, and there MAY not be an email notification (that’s dependent on things like whether the hotel’s wifi works, etc.). You can always find the day’s feed at:


    If anyone wants to help defray my expenses (and those of Steve, who’s attending FreedomFest soon), we always appreciate your support via:


    Have a great weekend, and we’ll be back to normal (or something like normal) on Tuesday.

    Yours in liberty,
    Tom Knapp
    Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

  • US House passes crypto bill despite whining from SEC

    Source: Reuters

    “The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that aims to create a new legal framework for digital currencies, despite an unusual warning from the U.S. securities regulator it could create new financial risks. The Republican-sponsored Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act passed in a bipartisan 279-136 vote. It is not clear if the Senate will take up the measure. The bill’s supporters in the U.S. Congress argue that the bill will provide regulatory clarity and help promote the industry’s growth. … SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement that the bill ‘would create new regulatory gaps and undermine decades of precedent regarding the oversight of investment contracts, putting investors and capital markets at immeasurable risk.’ The bill was backed by crypto supporters and industry organizations who have long viewed Gensler’s SEC as an impediment to the wider adoption of digital assets.” (05/23/24)


  • New Caledonia: Macron says French occupation troops will stay “as long as necessary” to re-establish imperial control

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

    “French President Emmanuel Macron has said French soldiers will remain in New Caledonia ‘as long as necessary’ after more than a week of unrest triggered by French plans to change electoral rules in the Pacific island territory. Macron arrived in New Caledonia’s capital Noumea on Thursday, amid continuing protests over voting reforms the Indigenous Kanak people say would dilute their vote and undermine their struggle for independence. … About 3,000 soldiers have been sent from Paris since the violence began and could stay until the Olympic Games in Paris, which begin on July 26, Macron said. Six people, including three young Kanaks, have been killed and about 280 people arrested since the protests broke out and a state of emergency was declared.” (05/23/24)


  • Mexico: Nine killed in stage collapse at campaign event

    Source: USA Today

    “A stage collapsed at a Mexican election campaign rally on Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring dozens as high winds tore apart the large, concert-style structure, scattering politicians and attendees. Around 50 people were injured at the rally for the Citizens’ Movement party in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia, the state’s governor, said on social media. … Jorge Alvarez Maynez, the presidential candidate for the centrist Citizens’ Movement party, said a gust of wind caused the stage to collapse at the event in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia, a wealthy enclave near the industrial hub of Monterrey.” (05/23/24)


  • UK: Sunak calls snap general election for July

    Source: Semafor

    “In an unexpected move, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a July 4 general election. The announcement comes as his Conservative party, which has trailed Labour in the polls for months, remains 20 points behind in the polls. … Under UK law, Sunak was required to hold a vote by January 2025 but has been cagey about timing, with most political analysts expecting an October or November date. The snap decision comes on the heels of a promising Wednesday inflation report that showed inflation dropping to 2.3% — its lowest level in nearly three years, and close to the Bank of England’s target — which had been one of the prime minister’s top priorities.” (05/22/24)


  • Study: Daily Marijuana Use Outpaces Daily Drinking in the US

    Source: US News & World Report

    “Daily and near-daily marijuana use is now more common than similar levels of drinking in the U.S., according to an analysis of national survey data over four decades. Alcohol is still more widely used, but 2022 was the first time this intensive level of marijuana use overtook high-frequency drinking, said the study’s author, Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. ‘A good 40% of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use,’ Caulkins said. The research, based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, was published Wednesday in the journal Addiction.” (05/22/24)


  • Amazon plans to give Alexa an AI overhaul — and a monthly subscription price

    Source: CNBC

    “Amazon is upgrading its decade-old Alexa voice assistant with generative artificial intelligence and plans to charge a monthly subscription fee to offset the cost of the technology, according to people with knowledge of Amazon’s plans. … Amazon’s subscription for Alexa will not be included in the $139-per-year Prime offering, and Amazon has not yet nailed down the price point, one source said. Amazon declined to comment on its plans for Alexa. … The development of new AI chatbots in recent months has increased the pressure internally on a division that was once seen as a darling of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, according to the sources — but has been subject to strict profit imperatives since his departure.” (05/22/24)


  • Chad: Prime Minister Masra resigns after disputed vote winner confirmed

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

    “Chadian Prime Minister Succes Masra says he has handed in his resignation, weeks after his defeat to military government chief Mahamat Idriss Deby in the presidential election. Masra – a staunch opponent of the military government, which seized power in April 2021 – was appointed prime minister of the transitional government in January, four months before the election, in a move to appease the opposition. … Deby won the May 6 presidential election with 61 percent of the votes, according to final results. Masra, also 40 and once a fierce Deby opponent, won 18.5 percent of the votes but contested the results. He claimed victory in the election, which his party called a ‘masquerade’ and international rights groups had said would be neither credible nor fair. The Constitutional Council later confirmed Deby as the winner, and Masra acknowledged its ruling, saying there were no other legal means to contest the results.” (05/22/24)


  • UK: Man facing charge for helping Hong Kong’s spy agency found dead

    Source: Politico

    ‘A man charged in the U.K. with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service has died, police confirmed Tuesday. Matthew Trickett, 37, was found dead Sunday in Grenfell Park, Maidenhead following a report from a member of the public. Emergency treatment took place but Trickett was pronounced dead at the scene. In a statement, Thames Valley Police said: ‘An investigation is ongoing into the death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.’ … Trickett was a Home Office immigration officer who previously served as a Royal Marine for six years and directed a security firm called MTR Consultancy. He was charged earlier this month with assisting a foreign intelligence service and foreign interference under the U.K.’s new National Security Act. Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, were also charged.” (05/22/24)


  • TX: Families of Uvalde victims reach $2 million settlement with city

    Source: BBC News [UK State Media]

    “Families of children killed and injured in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas mass shooting have announced a $2m (£1.57m) settlement with the city, days before the anniversary of the massacre. Nineteen children and two teachers were shot when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, with police taking more than an hour to stop him. Multiple lawsuits were filed against Uvalde’s police and local officials over what the Justice Department has described as a chaotic and disorganized response.
    The $2m going to families of the 17 children killed and two who survived ‘demonstrates compassion and respect’ without plunging the small city of Uvalde into bankruptcy, their attorney, Josh Koskoff, said. ‘The last thing that they would want to do is inflict financial hardship on their friends and neighbours,’ he told a news conference on Wednesday. ‘There’s not enough money in this city,’ he added.” (05/22/24)


  • Trump is hardly libertarian. But neither is today’s Libertarian Party.

    Source: Washington Post
    by Peter Goettler

    “We know by now that Donald Trump likes nothing better than stepping onto a stage, hearing his name chanted by an adoring crowd, and flashing his familiar thumbs-up sign. This week, the former president will do just that under the bright lights at the Libertarian National Convention in D.C. It will be the first time in U.S. history that a presidential candidate of a rival party will address the convention of a party that is presumably gathering to nominate its own candidate. And this strange turn of events has many libertarians scratching their heads. With a razor-thin electoral college contest in the offing this November, it’s clear that any play for incremental support is worth Trump’s effort and could make the difference. But what’s in it for the National Libertarian Party? The answer, unfortunately, reveals the truth about today’s party: It’s hardly libertarian anymore.” (05/23/24)


  • Making it easier to make things in America

    Source: Orange County Register
    by Veronique de Rugy

    “With more tariffs on electric vehicles and an election featuring two pro-tariff presidential candidates on the way, the debate about how best to support and strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector is back. Some argue, mistakenly, that the key to protecting American industries and manufacturing jobs is a set of tariffs on industrial imports. This approach is ultimately counterproductive. There are better ways to help American manufacturing, not the least of which is to remove regulatory barriers and reform the tax code.” (05/3/24)


  • Drug-War Obtuseness in Mexico

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “In the final debate between Mexico’s two leading presidential candidates, Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez, before the June 2 election, both candidates vied with each other as to which one would be a stronger drug warrior. Both of them vowed to smash the violent drug cartels that dominate Mexican society. It would be difficult to find a better example of obtuseness than that. Following the lead (and perhaps the orders) of the U.S. government, Mexico has been waging the war on drugs for decades. The result has been a slow-motion destruction of the country by the violence that comes with drug cartels.” (05/23/24)


  • The Protection Racket

    Source: Underthrow
    by Max Borders

    “From proto-states, to states, to empires… shitty game theory and path dependence created our sorry condition.” (05/23/24)


  • If You Can’t Even Elect A Candidate Who’ll End A Genocide, How Real Is Your “Democracy”?

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “The Biden administration has reportedly approved of an Israeli assault on Rafah, the last slightly safe city in the Gaza Strip, and is openly preparing to work with Congress to punish the International Criminal Court for seeking arrest warrants of Israeli officials for war crimes. Biden is a monster who belongs in a cell at The Hague. I talk about Biden’s criminality a lot, but I should probably clarify that I don’t do so because I believe Trump or even Kennedy would be acting any kinder toward the people of Gaza if they were president. All three of the arguably viable US presidential candidates are virulent Zionists who have all made it clear that they would back Israel’s genocidal atrocities with adamant fervor. A lot of fuss gets made over the west’s brand of democracy. Wars of aggression have been waged under the banner of spreading it throughout the world and allowing the people to control what their government will do.” (05/23/24)


  • Biden’s Black Lies Matter

    Source: Town Hall
    by Larry Elder

    “President Joe Biden delivered a commencement speech at Morehouse College, an all-male, historically black school in Atlanta. The America into which these graduating students now enter, according to Biden, reeks of ‘systemic racism’ and ‘the poison of white supremacy’. ‘What is democracy if Black men are being killed in the street?’ Biden asked. ‘If Black men are being killed on the streets, we bear witness. For me, that means to call out the poison of white supremacy, to root out systemic racism. I stood up for George — with George Floyd’s family to help create a country where you don’t need to have that talk with your son or grandson as they get pulled over.’ Where do we start? George Floyd, a career criminal, was full of fentanyl and resisted arrest. There’s no evidence Floyd’s treatment had anything to do with his race.” (05/23/24)


  • If Democracy Dies, So What?

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Robert Ivie

    “The Biden campaign has made the 2024 general election into a referendum on democracy. So far, however, the electoral choice between authoritarianism and democracy has not registered among voters as a determining factor. The Times/Siena poll in May indicates that only 2% of registered voters identify the state of democracy as a main factor in their choice of a candidate for the presidency, and only 5% list it as their most important issue. That’s bleak, whichever way you look at it. Maybe the situation is not quite so bad? The March Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates, for instance, that 23% of the American public consider political extremism or threats to democracy the most important problem facing the US (36% of Democrats, 25% of independents, and 11% of Republicans). Of course, incompatible definitions of democracy, extremism, and threats held by voters of different political persuasions would reduce even further these relatively small numbers of voters who might support Biden to defend democracy from autocracy.” [editor’s note: ASs usual this delusional pundit thinks the Bidenocracy is not an autocracy – SAT] (05/23/24)


  • Trump Mar-a-Lago lethal force claim is just stupid

    Source: Fox News Forum
    by Andrew McCarthy

    “Having been at the Trump trial in Manhattan for the last couple of days, I cannot say I’m surprised at former president Trump’s inane claim that President Biden authorized the use of lethal force in connection with the FBI’s execution of a court-authorized search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The claim is political red meat for conspiracy theorists. A search warrant is not a day at the circus (something I can’t say about days spent at the trial). Most are executed without incident; many are not. All of them involve a probable-cause finding that incriminating evidence will be recovered on the premises — which usually are associated with people suspected of crimes. Many of those crimes, though by no means all of them, are violent. Virtually all of them involve situations in which law-enforcement officials have concluded that if evidence is not seized, it might be destroyed or manipulated (in cases of nonviolent crimes involving generally law-abiding people who exhibit cooperation with police and prosecutors, the government usually secures evidence by means less intrusive than a compulsory search).” (05/23/24)


  • Dr. King’s Words on Vietnam Still Ring True for Gaza

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Andrew Moss

    “As Israeli troops continue their assault in Rafah, increasing the death toll and displacing – yet again – hundreds of thousands of Gazans, there’s much to be learned from recalling Dr. Martin Luther King’s visionary words on Vietnam 57 years ago. Breaking his silence on a war that by then had claimed over 20,000 American and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese lives, King declared that the war in Vietnam was swallowing ‘men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube.’ It was blocking, he said, whatever progress the nation had been making toward economic and racial justice. Moreover, any hopes for a genuine multiracial democracy were being cruelly undercut by a war that drew disproportionately on poor American youth.” (05/23/24)


  • Is Colorado Really the “Clean Energy” Leader It Claims to Be?

    Source: American Prospect
    by Jennifer Oldham

    “Oil and gas companies claim their production in Colorado is among the cleanest and least polluting hydrocarbons in the country, if not the world. Are they right? The assertion (from a fact sheet by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry trade group) has legs. PDC Energy, an oil and gas firm recently purchased by Chevron Corp., cited it in an application to drill hundreds of wells, which was approved by regulators in late 2022. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and his Republican rival Joe O’Dea repeated it in televised debates during their 2022 campaign. And the U.S. Bureau of Land Management referenced it in a 2023 federal supplemental environmental impact statement. Fossil fuel advocates leaned into it in the spring to justify why Colorado legislators should kill a bill that would have phased out fossil fuel drilling.” (05/23/24)


  • The Rages of Equivalence: The ICC Prosecutor, Israel and Hamas

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Binoy Kampmark

    “The legal world was abuzz. The diplomatic channels of various countries raged and fizzed. It had been rumoured that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with his cabinet colleagues, had been bracing themselves for a stinging intervention from the International Criminal Court, a body they give no credence or respect to. Then came the words from the Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim A.A. Khan on May 20, announcing that arrest warrants were being sought in the context of the Israel-Hamas War, benignly described as the ‘Situation in Palestine,’ under the Rome Statute.” (05/23/24)


  • An interesting implication of happiness economics

    Source: Adam Smith Institute
    by Tim Worstall

    “Happiness economics is that idea that we shouldn’t prioritise mere economic growth, or GDP, but should instead decide to run policy by whatever makes people happier, or even happiest. That this is already incorporated into standard free market economics — everyone gets to build their own path to utility maximisation — gets lost by the ideologues. But, you know, let’s take the initial claim — happiness is what should run policy — and see where that takes us.” (05/23/24)


  • Vindication at the Gym

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “In July 2020, police in Bellmawr, New Jersey arrested Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, owners of Atilis Gym, for resisting tyranny. A few months earlier, they had defied lockdown orders imposed by the administration of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy by reopening their business. Smith contended that the lockdown mandates were unconstitutional and especially harmed small businesses. … Now, in May 2024, almost four years later, all charges and summonses have been dismissed. But the gym has not recovered the $269,000 in fines and court costs it’s had to pay out.” (05/23/24)


  • Europeans Finally Spend More on the Military — To Keep US Entangled

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Doug Bandow

    “The next administration must be firm about ending European cheap-riding in the face of the continent’s protests.” (05/23/24)


  • The Digital Mirror of Narcissus

    Source: Quillette
    by Timandra Harkness

    “The fastest growing area of the tech market, pre-pandemic, was smart speakers, devices such as Amazon’s Alexa that we install in our homes to listen out for our requests, play us music, or answer our questions, like attentive servants. The timesaving, effort-reducing qualities of this all-pervasive technology led some people to talk about ‘Digital Athens.’ Like the citizens of that first democracy, freed to practise politics and philosophy by the labour of slaves, they argue that we will be free to dedicate ourselves to higher things while AI takes on the chores of everyday life. But I think our world of ubiquitous technology is more like digital Wolf Hall. Your house is full of servants, but who are they really working for?” (05/23/24)


  • How the Fed Helped Create the China Bubble — and Bust

    Source: Cobden Centre
    by Brendan Brown

    “The salvo from Washington as it unleashes the Green War with China leaves no doubt about the perilous state of Sino-US relations, and, incidentally, about Bidenomics. Yet, the remnant of a strong monetary link between the two countries brakes the journey into an intensified cold war between the two countries. Monetary realities mean the brewing cold war will likely occur in a more winding fashion than the headlines suggest. Take as a key illustration the near 15-percent fall in the yuan’s real effective exchange rate since China’s real estate bubble finally burst in 2021-2. This is reassuring in one important sense. It tells us that the Chinese currency is playing to the same music of previous great crashes in once ‘star bubble economies.'” (05/23/24)


  • A Theoretical “Case Against Education”

    Source: Astral Codex Ten
    by Scott Alexander

    “There’s been renewed debate around Bryan Caplan’s The Case Against Education recently, so I want to discuss one way I think about this question. Education isn’t just about facts. But it’s partly about facts. Facts are easy to measure, and they’re a useful signpost for deeper understanding. If someone has never heard of Chaucer, Dickens, Melville, Twain, or Joyce, they probably haven’t learned to appreciate great literature. If someone can’t identify Washington, Lincoln, or either Roosevelt, they probably don’t understand the ebb and flow of American history. So what facts does the average American know?” (05/23/24)


  • Murder Porn

    Source: The Dispatch
    by Nick Cataggio

    “On Tuesday, a federal judge unsealed a number of filings in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified material case against Trump. There was real news buried in the trove: Allegedly, four separate documents clearly marked ‘classified’ were found in Trump’s own bedroom at Mar-a-Lago, raising the question of how they could have escaped his notice amid his assurances to the FBI that he’d turned over everything. To MAGA die-hards, though, that wasn’t the newsy revelation in the filings. The newsy revelation was that the FBI was prepared to murder Donald Trump. Julie Kelly, a well-known MAGA true believer, was mortified by the fact that the operations order for the search warrant served on Mar-a-Lago in 2022 authorized the feds to ‘use deadly force when necessary.’ … In a matter of hours, populists had transformed Kelly’s misreading — and that’s what it was, as we’ll see — into an honest-to-goodness assassination plot against Trump.” (05/22/24)


  • Nikki Haley Surrendered, But Not Her Voters

    Source: The Atlantic
    by David Frum

    “The views of Nikki Haley Republicans — pro-Ukraine, pro-Israel, pro-market — reflect all those things that Republicans used to think in that bygone era when Reagans and Bushes and Romneys roamed the earth. But few feel any emotional bond to Haley. If she gives a Ted Kennedy style ‘dream shall never die’ speech at the Republican convention in Milwaukee this summer, they won’t tear up. They’ll wonder what the hell she imagines she’s talking about. Most of her supporters voted for Haley as a way to stop Trump. Haley’s announcement today that she intends to vote for Trump won’t raise their opinion of him, it will only lower their opinion of her. … Pollsters suggest that about two-thirds of Haley voters preferred Biden to Trump. Do the math, and that’s two-thirds of one-fifth of all Republicans. That’s not a lot of people in total. But it may be more than the margin of national victory in 2024.” (05/22/24)


  • Consulting Firms Have Stumbled Into a Geopolitical Minefield

    Source: Foreign Policy
    by Henry Farrell & Abraham Newman

    “Earlier this year, McKinsey executives found themselves in serious political trouble. The Financial Times reported that their China branch had boasted in 2019 of its economic advice to the Chinese central government, while a McKinsey-led think tank prepared a book which advised China to ‘deepen cooperation between business and the military and push foreign companies out of sensitive industries.’ McKinsey, which had previously gotten media attention for promoting China’s Belt and Road initiative, responded with a statement saying that China’s central government had never to its knowledge been a client, and stressing its ’75 year history of supporting the US government.’ But the damage was done …. Once, information brokers like McKinsey could advise governments and share data across national borders with little controversy. Now, they are being forced to make hard choices — and not just by U.S. politicians.” (05/22/24)


  • Constant Killing: The Pentagon’s .00035% Problem

    Source: TomDispatch
    by Nick Turse

    “There are constants in this world — occurrences you can count on. Sunrises and sunsets. The tides. That, day by day, people will be born and others will die. Some of them will die in peace, but others, of course, in violence and agony. For hundreds of years, the U.S. military has been killing people. It’s been a constant of our history. Another constant has been American military personnel killing civilians, whether Native Americans, Filipinos, Nicaraguans, Haitians, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, and on and on. And there’s something else that’s gone along with those killings: a lack of accountability for them. Late last month, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its congressionally mandated annual accounting of civilian casualties caused by U.S. military operations globally. The report is due every May 1st and, in the latest case, the Pentagon even beat that deadline by a week. There was only one small problem: it was the 2022 report.” (05/23/24)


  • On Biden’s New China Tariffs, History Provides Good Reasons for Almost Everyone to Worry

    Source: The Dispatch
    by Scott Lincicome

    “As you’ve surely seen by now (including here in Capitolism), President Joe Biden announced a slew of new tariffs last week on ‘strategic’ Chinese imports as part of the federal government’s mandated review of the tariffs that then-President Donald Trump put in place in 2018 and 2019. As my Cato colleague Clark Packard and several others noted shortly after Biden’s announcement, the tariffs raise a host of practical, legal, political, and geopolitical issues that we’ll mostly ignore for today. Instead, we’re going to examine the tariffs’ economic implications and why the history of U.S. trade policy — both distant and recent—should give American consumers, workers, exporters, environmentalists, and even China hawks reasons to worry.” (05/22/24)


  • A Third Modi Term Will Test the United States of India

    Source: The UnPopulist
    by Debasish Roy Chowdhury

    “As India is going through a scorching election season in peak summer, the battle for its tropical states in the south is heating up more than usual this time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a third term, has been trying extra hard to make inroads into this area, a largely unconquered frontier for his Hindu nationalist ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which dominates in northern India but has limited presence in the south. … A lot rides on how he fares — a lot more than just the result of this election, which is due in about two weeks: It will determine the fate of India’s secular republic and test the resilience of its diverse federation already squirming in Modi’s centralizing grasp. Both are at a tipping point in this election, raising the risk of political turmoil and instability in coming months and years.” (05/22/24)


  • Asymmetric Idiocy

    Source: Consent Factory, Inc.
    by CJ Hopkins

    “I miss the 1970s sometimes. … I miss the clarity, and the honesty, of that era. Maybe you’re too young to remember, but, back in the day, you didn’t get all this hemming and hawing and weaseling about murdering civilians. The terrorists, and the revolutionaries who supported them, were not ashamed of murdering civilians. The Revolution demanded that they murder civilians. Murdering civilians was one of the fundamental strategies of the Revolution. The way this strategy works is simple. What you do is, you murder a bunch of civilians, in order to provoke your adversary into massively over-retaliating against you and committing all kinds of war crimes and atrocities, like the USA did in Iraq twenty years ago, like the IDF is now doing in Gaza.” (05/22/24)


  • The Moral Gulf Between Liberals and Populists

    Source: Liberal Currents
    by Alan Kahan

    “The moral neutralism of late twentieth-century liberalism did not prevent, indeed probably helped incite, the rise of populism. If the thin gruel of neutral liberalism had not left large numbers of people hungry for something thicker, we would not be faced with today’s situation. Thin liberalisms are weak liberalisms. Simply restating, a little bit louder or better, the neutralist mantras of late twentieth-century liberalism will not help. If populists did not listen to Moses and the prophets of thin liberalism, e.g. Rawls, Nozick, and the earlier End of Ideology movement, why will they listen to their acolytes today?” (05/22/24)


  • From COVID-19 to campus protests: How the police state muzzles free speech

    Source: Orange County Register
    by John Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

    “The police state does not want citizens who know their rights. Nor does the police state want citizens prepared to exercise those rights. This year’s graduates are a prime example of this master class in compliance. Their time in college has been set against a backdrop of crackdowns, lockdowns and permacrises ranging from the government’s authoritarian COVID-19 tactics to its more recent militant response to campus protests.” (05/22/24)


  • Why Nashville’s crime rate has fallen

    Source: The Pamphleteer
    by Davis Hunt

    “Back in February, MNPD began Operation 72, an initiative dedicated to investigating car thefts in Nashville. Since its inception, every police precinct has enlisted detectives from their respective field intelligence teams to focus on ‘recovering stolen vehicles, identifying thieves, and advancing any other criminal investigations that may be associated with the stolen vehicles’, according to MNPD Public Affairs Director Don Aaron. The director attributed the downward trend of Nashville’s crime rate to this precision policing method, noting that since February, it has resulted in ‘the recovery of 238 stolen or carjacked vehicles and 101 firearms’. Additionally, he says, ‘421 arrests have been made on more than 800 felony charges and nearly 700 misdemeanor offenses’. Indeed, there were 259 fewer cars stolen between March and May this year compared to the same timeframe last year; similarly, the amount of guns stolen from vehicles has fallen by 35 percent.” (05/23/24)


  • What Do They Think Politics Is?

    Source: EconTalk
    by Pierre Lemieux

    “In reality, bribes, solicited or offered, are the bread and butter of politicians. They promise political goodies in return for one form of support or another, or they respond to interest groups’ support with favorable interventions. These deals represent the political form of economic exchange, which is why public choice theorists speak of the ‘political market.’ Joe Biden openly seeks the support of trade union apparatchiks and members in return for ‘worker-centric’ policies. Perhaps Donald Trump is just more transparent. And he plays the game on the side of different special interests — although, as any populist worth his salt, he also tries to bribe workers with tariffs imposed on consumers and on importing businesses.” (05/22/24)


  • Echo of Innovation: How Voice AI Is Becoming the Voice of Tomorrow

    Source: RealClearPolitics
    by Jason Martell

    “Throughout human history, groundbreaking technologies have emerged as the defining voice of their generation, reshaping communication and, in turn, the political landscape. … Today, we find ourselves on the threshold of another transformative era with Voice AI. Artificial intelligence is poised to become the defining voice for future generations – a voice that is not human but that of a machine. Voice AI promises to further democratize information flow and engage individuals in political discourse in unprecedented ways. By providing personalized, human-like communication, Voice AI streamlines complex political issues for better understanding, engagement, and ultimately persuasion, making it a pivotal tool in the hands of savvy campaigners. Voice AI could be as influential and ubiquitous as the smartphone is today, shaping public opinion and participation in democratic processes across the globe.” (05/22/24)


  • Hunter Biden hounded by truth & justice, only has his repeated lies to blame

    Source: New York Post
    by Miranda Devine

    “Hunter Biden was hit with a double whammy Wednesday. First, a new filing by the prosecution in his upcoming gun-felony trial in Delaware poured scorn on Hunter’s legal team’s bizarrely persistent denial that his laptop and its contents are ­authentic. Refusing to concede the laptop is his and pretending it might have been stolen by ‘Russians’ or ‘hacked’ by Rudy Giuliani has long been Hunter’s mantra, but special counsel David Weiss and his deputies Derek Hines and Leo Wise demolished the tall tales in a brutal memo, one of 13 lodged with the court Wednesday. ‘The defendant’s theory about the laptop is a conspiracy theory with no supporting evidence,’ said the filing signed by Weiss. Hunter’s ‘laptop is real (it will be introduced as a trial exhibit) and it contains significant evidence of the defendant’s guilt.'” (05/22/24)


  • Biden Was Right on the Economic Harm of Tariffs — in 2019

    Source: Foundation for Economic Education
    by Jon Miltimore

    “Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden ripped then-President Donald Trump in 2019 for his trade policies with China, which Biden said were hurting farmers and small-business owners. In particular, Biden singled out Trump’s tariffs on goods produced in China, which had provoked retaliatory trade regulations from Beijing. ‘President Trump may think he’s being tough on China. All that he’s delivered as a consequence of that is American farmers, manufacturers, and consumers losing and paying more,’ Biden said, speaking at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. ‘His economic decision-making is so shortsighted and as shortsighted as the rest of his foreign policy.’ Biden wasn’t wrong. Trump’s tariffs were harmful. … Fast-forward five years, however, and Biden isn’t just embracing Trump’s trade policies. He’s putting them into overdrive.” (05/22/24)


  • It’s Time for Over‐​the‐​Counter Ozempic

    Source: Cato Institute
    by Charles Silver, Jeffrey A Singer, & Michael F Cannon

    “The new insulin‐​stimulating weight‐​loss drugs semaglutide and tirzepatide appear impressive. Studies suggest they help people shed pounds, reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, and may even treat kidney problems, HIV‐​related liver disease, alcoholism, and other maladies. It is easy to see why semaglutide was the top‐​selling drug in the United States in 2023 ($38.6 billion in sales), with tirzepatide coming in eighth ($13.2 billion). Affordability is a problem, though. Novo Nordisk markets semaglutide as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus. Eli Lilly markets tirzepatide as Mounjaro and Zepbound. Each company charges about $1,000 per monthly dose. … To make these medicines widely available without breaking the bank, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should do what it already does with some insulin products: Let consumers buy them ‘over the counter’ (OTC). That is, without a prescription.” (05/22/24)


  • Salman Rushdie’s lonely crusade against Islamism

    Source: spiked
    by Daniel Ben-Ami

    “Salman Rushdie has done the rarest of things. He has made a public pronouncement on Gaza, while remembering to think first. The author has, by his own account, argued for a Palestinian state since the 1980s. Nevertheless, in a new interview, he says that if one were to be created immediately, it ‘would be run by Hamas, and that would make it a Taliban-like state.’ In other words, it would be a totalitarian, Islamist dictatorship. Rushdie deserves a hearing here. He has decades of bitter, personal experience of the fanatical intolerance at the heart of Islamism.” (05/22/24)


  • What Really Happened: Lockdown until Vaccination

    Source: Brownstone Institute
    by Jeffrey A Tucker

    “Four years later, many people are investigating how our lives were completely upended by a pandemic response. Over my time on the case, I’ve heard countless theories. It was Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Finance, the Green New Deal, the CCP, Depopulation, Get Trump, Mail-In Ballots, and so on. There is evidence to back them all. The problem with having so many pieces of evidence and so many theories is that people can too easily get thrown off track, going on wild goose chases. It’s too much to follow through consistently, and this allows the perpetrators to hide their deeds. ” (05/22/24)


  • Americans who kindly disagree

    Source: Christian Science Monitor
    by staff

    “One measure of the health of American democracy is The Lugar Center’s Bipartisan Index. Each year, it counts the number of bills in Congress sponsored by lawmakers from both parties. The most recent survey shows a modest gain last year. Such numerical tracking, however, does not capture something else: the tone of disagreement in dealing with big issues. Outside Washington, that tone is often less strident, even respectful. ‘We can disagree and stand firm for our beliefs and principles, but we should never forget the dignity of the other human being,’ Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, said last year. ‘Civility is not a weakness.’ That conviction is the basis of an initiative for civic renewal by the National Governors Association called Disagree Better. It seeks to restore an ideal that cordial disagreement is a source of unity rather than of division.” [editor’s note: Another group they could have mentioned is Better Angels – SAT] (05/22/24)