RRND Email Full Text (Published)

  • South Africa: Police investigate nightclub deaths

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “South African authorities are investigating the deaths of at least 22 young people in a nightclub. The victims were found strewn across floors and tables the Enyobeni Tavern in the coastal town of East London. The bodies were taken to mortuaries, where post-mortem examinations (including toxicology tests) will seek to establish a cause of death. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his ‘deepest condolences’ to families of the victims. ‘This tragedy is made even more grave by its occurrence during Youth Month — a time during which w e… advocate and advance opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation,’ he said in a tweet. Oscar Mabuyane, premier of East Cape Province where the tragedy happened, did not give possible reasons for the deaths, but condemned the ‘unlimited consumption of liquor.'” (06/26/22)


  • Ecuador: Opposition lawmakers push to remove president after protests

    Source: Reuters

    “A group of opposition lawmakers in Ecuador are pushing for the removal of conservative President Guillermo Lasso after nearly two weeks of mass protests led by indigenous groups demanding lower fuel and food prices, though other legislators say they will not back his ouster. The sometimes-violent demonstrations, which began on June 13, have led to at least six civilian deaths and featured multiple attacks on security forces. The protests have worsened Lasso’s already-adversarial relationship with the national assembly, whose lawmakers have blocked his major economic proposals as he has struggled to contain rising violence he blames on drug gangs.” (06/24/22)


  • MSNBC snowflake whines about Biden’s continued opposition to court packing

    Source: Common Dreams

    “President Joe Biden was rebuked Saturday for doubling down on his opposition to expanding the U.S. Supreme Court even after its deeply unpopular right-wing majority spent the past week ending the constitutional right to abortion care, weakening gun restrictions, undermining the separation of church and state, and eroding hard-won civil rights, with more attacks on equality and federal regulatory power expected. ‘That is something that the president does not agree with,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters when asked about the possibility of court expansion. ‘That is not something that he wants to do.’ MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan called the president’s lack of urgency ‘ridiculous,’ ‘infuriating’ and ‘inexplicable.’ ‘What does Biden ‘agree’ with doing?’ Hasan asked on social media. ‘What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?'” (06/26/22)


  • SD: Bar abortion pills, but don’t punish women for them, says idiot pol

    Source: SFGate

    “South Dakota’s Republican governor pledged on Sunday to bar mail-order abortion pills but said women should not face prosecution for seeking them. In apparent defiance of legal guidance by the Justice Department after the Supreme Court last week stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, Kristi Noem indicated in national television interviews that she would put in place a plan approved by state lawmakers to restrict the pills. The majority ruling Friday by the court’s conservative justices triggered abortion bans in South Dakota and elsewhere. But Noem said doctors, not their patients, would likely be prosecuted for knowing violations of what would be one of the strictest laws on abortion pills in the United States. ‘I don’t believe women should ever be prosecuted,’ she said. ‘I don’t believe there should be any punishment for women, ever, that are in a crisis situation or have an unplanned pregnancy.'” (06/26/22)


  • RI: Off-duty cop suspended for allegedly acting like cop at abortion protest

    Source: CBS News

    “A Rhode Island police officer accused of punching a woman at an abortion protest while he was off-duty was suspended from his job with pay Saturday while the Providence Police Department conducts a criminal investigation into his actions. Democratic state Senate candidate Jennifer Rourke, the chairwoman of the Rhode Island Political Cooperative, on Saturday morning tweeted video of the alleged assault. ‘I’m a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent — a police officer — violently attacked me. This is what it is to be a [b]lack woman running for office. I won’t give up,’ she wrote.” (06/25/22)


  • NY: NYC prosecutors flee in droves over not getting to do whatever the hell they want anymore

    Source: Fox News

    “Hundreds of prosecutors in New York City are quitting the district attorneys’ offices amid controversial criminal justice reforms. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office this year has hemorrhaged 65 assistant district attorneys, which is about 12% of the staff. Bragg released a memo on his third day in office, ordering prosecutors not to seek prison sentences for a number of crimes and to downgrade charges — including for robberies and commercial burglaries. Manhattan’s situation mirrors that of Brooklyn, where 67 prosecutors (approximately 13%) have resigned from DA Eric Gonzalez’s office as of June 17, with three more leaving last Thursday alone, according to the New York Post. In 2020, 84 resigned, and 94 left office in 2021. Fifty-nine prosecutors have quit in the Bronx beginning this year through May.” (06/26/22)


  • CO: Pregnancy center fire investigated as arson

    Source: The Hill

    “Colorado police and the FBI are investigating a fire at a pregnancy center early Saturday morning as arson after finding graffiti and threatening messages scrawled on the Denver-area building. The fire broke out at Life Choices in the city of Longmont around 3:17 a.m., police wrote in a Facebook post. The facility ‘sustained fire and heavy smoke damage’ but no injuries were reported. The fire came hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case precedent that had established abortion as a constitutional right. … Photos submitted by Longmont Public Safety showed the pregnancy center was vandalized with black paint in several areas. One message on the side of the building read: ‘if abortions aren’t safe neither are you,’ while another written on the sidewalk read: ‘BANS OFF OUR BODIES.'” (06/26/22)


  • UK: Regime joins ban on imports of Russian gold

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “The UK, US, Canada and Japan will ban imports of Russian gold in an effort to hit Moscow’s ability to fund the war in Ukraine. The UK PM said the move would ‘strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine’. Gold exports were worth £12.6bn ($15.4bn) to Russia in 2021, and the UK says their importance has increased since the invasion as oligarchs rush to buy bullion to avoid sanctions. It comes as the G7 group of the world’s richest nations meet in Germany. US President Biden suggested the other G7 nations (Germany, France and Italy) would also join the ban. ‘Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,’ he said in a tweet.” (06/26/22)


  • France: Macron asks Borne to propose new government

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to propose a new ‘government of action’ that will be named in early July, according to an interview with AFP. … Macron, who spoke to Borne on Saturday, announced that he had instructed her next week to sound out the political groups in the National Assembly on a number of issues. They included their possible participation in a government, their position on a vote of confidence in Borne herself on July 5, and also on the vote on the state budget next autumn. … [Macron’s] centrist alliance finished Sunday’s parliamentary elections 44 seats short of an overall majority in the National Assembly, as a new left-wing coalition and the far right made major gains.” (06/25/22)


  • NASA Forced To Scrap Planned 2022 Launch of Psyche Asteroid Mission

    Source: SciTechDaily

    “NASA announced on Friday, June 24, 2022, that the Psyche asteroid mission, the agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid, will not make its planned 2022 launch attempt. Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft’s flight software and testing equipment, NASA lacks sufficient time to complete the testing required ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs additional time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight. … The mission’s 2022 launch period, which ran from August 1 through October 11, would have allowed the spacecraft to arrive at the asteroid Psyche in 2026. There are possible launch periods in both 2023 and 2024, but the relative orbital positions of Psyche and Earth mean the spacecraft would not arrive at the asteroid until 2029 and 2030, respectively.” (06/25/22)


  • Court halts FDA’s “protect oncologists’ jobs from Juul” order

    Source: The Guardian [UK]

    “Juul can continue to sell its electronic cigarettes, at least for now, after a federal appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked a government ban. Juul filed an emergency motion earlier Friday, seeking the temporary hold while it appeals the sales ban. The e-cigarette maker had asked the court to pause what it called an ‘extraordinary and unlawful action’ by the Food and Drug Administration that would have required it to immediately halt its business. The FDA said on Thursday that Juul must stop selling its vaping device and its tobacco and menthol flavored cartridges. … A three-judge panel of the US circuit court of appeals granted Juul’s request for a hold while the court reviews the case.” (06/24/22)


  • Breaking: SCOTUS overturns Roe

    Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    “The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. … The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.” (06/24/22)


  • SCOTUS strikes down unconstitutional New York victim disarmament scheme

    Source: Rolling Stone

    “The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a provision of New York state’s concealed-carry licensing system, ruling that the state’s laws imposing limits on who could carry concealed weapons in public was unconstitutional. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen centers around a 1913 New York law outlining the requirements for carrying a concealed gun in public. In order to be granted a license, someone must either prove that there is a specific ‘proper cause,’ or else have a job that makes them a target, like a judge. The Supreme Court ruled the law is unconstitutional 6-3, along ideological lines.” (06/23/22)


  • UK: Tory chair quits after by-election defeats, piling pressure on Johnson

    Source: Politico

    “Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden resigned early Friday morning after his party suffered spectacular losses in two U.K. parliamentary by-elections, heaping pressure on Boris Johnson’s already weakened leadership. Labour regained the northern English constituency of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, where a 12.7 percentage point swing saw candidate Simon Lightwood win 48 percent of the vote. The Liberal Democrats defeated the Tories for the third time in 12 months, with candidate Richard Foord elected in the Devon seat of Tiverton and Honiton, in south-western England, with a 30 percent swing. … The result in Tiverton represents the biggest swing away from a governing party in British political history, and will further stoke Tory fears that the so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal has triggered a collapse in support for Johnson in the traditional Tory shires.” (06/24/22)


  • FDA orders Juul to quit threatening oncologists’ job security

    Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    “U.S. federal health officials on Thursday ordered Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the national market, the latest blow to the embattled company widely blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping. The action is part of a sweeping effort by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays. The FDA said Juul must stop selling its vaping device and its tobacco- and menthol-flavoured cartridges. Those already on the market must be removed. Consumers aren’t restricted from having or using Juul’s products, the agency said.” (06/23/22)


  • European Parliament overwhelmingly approves EU candidacy status for Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia

    Source: Independent [UK]

    “The European Parliament has approved EU candidacy status for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in a convincing vote on Thursday. In total, 529 votes were made in support of the resolution to defer the status on the three countries, while 45 votes were made against the proposal. A further 14 politicians abstained. Thursday morning’s vote comes four months after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Although it shows the widespread support for the countries’ bids to enter the EU waiting room, the ultimate decision rests with European leaders.” (06/23/22)


  • Gaetz,Brooks, Gohmert among lawmakers who asked for pardons from disgraced former president, January 6 hearing told

    Source: Independent [UK]

    “Representatives Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert and Scott Perry were among the Republican members of Congress who asked President Donald Trump to insulate them from future prosecutions by granting them presidential pardons in the days immediately following the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January last year. Their names were revealed by the House January 6 select committee hearing on Thursday that focused on Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure the Department of Justice to assist in his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden. Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger, the Republican select committee member who led the hearing, suggested that seeking pardons implied that his colleagues may have at least suspected they may later face prosecution.” (06/23/22)


  • Mexico: Central bank hikes prime lending rate to 7.75%

    Source: ABC News

    “Stung by stubbornly high inflation, Mexico’s Central Bank announced Thursday that it made a thre-quarter-point increase in its prime interest rate, to boost it to 7.75%. The Banco de Mexico said in the announcement that domestic inflation hit an annualized rate of 7.88% in the first half of June, and it doesn’t expect to achieve its 3% inflation rate target until the second half of 2024. The bank said global inflation continues to grow and the rate hike may not be the last increase.” (06/23/22)


  • US Senate passes victim disarmament bill

    Source: CNN

    “The Senate on Thursday night passed a bipartisan bill to [support] gun violence that amounts to the first major federal [victim disarmament] legislation in decades. The final vote was 65 to 33 with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in the country. The bill will next go to the House for a vote before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The bipartisan gun deal includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” (06/24/22)


  • Biden plans LGBTQ student protections as part of Title IX

    Source: Orange County Register

    “The rights of LGBTQ students would become enshrined in federal law and victims of campus sexual assault would gain new protections under new rules proposed by the Biden administration on Thursday. The proposal, announced on the 50th anniversary of the Title IX women’s rights law, is intended to replace a set of controversial rules issued during the Trump administration by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. President Joe Biden’s education secretary, Miguel Cardona, said that even though there have been significant strides toward gender equality, discrimination and sexual violence persist. … For the first time, the rules would formally protect LGBTQ students under Title IX. Nothing in the 1972 law explicitly addresses the topic, but the new proposal would clarify that the law applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” (06/23/22)


  • FBI raids homes, issues subpoenas in probe of disgraced former president’s fake elector scam

    Source: Independent [UK]

    “Federal agents issued new subpoenas regarding the January 6 riot at the US Capitol and raided the homes of two people involved in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election, The Washington Post reported. The FBI confirmed to The Post that it conducted authorised law enforcement activity at the home of Brad Carver, who allegedly signed a document to be a Trump elector, as well as Thomas Lane, who worked on Trump’s effort to overturn the election in Arizona and New Mexico. Other would-be participants in former president Donald Trump’s scheme to send an alternate slate of electors to overturn the 2020 presidential election received subpoenas.” (06/23/22)


  • Iraq: Parliament swears in new members after dozens walk out

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

    “Iraq’s parliament swore in dozens of new legislators on Thursday, replacing 73 who were loyal to powerful Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr and strengthening the power of rival Iran-backed Shia factions in the assembly. Iraq was plunged deeper into political crises on June 12 when 73 legislators from al-Sadr’s bloc, then the biggest in parliament, quit en masse in a bid to break a logjam over the establishment of a new government. The legislature had already been in turmoil since October’s general election, amid intense negotiations between political factions that failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Following the mass resignation, the seats defaulted to candidates with the second highest number of votes during October’s polls.” (06/23/22)


  • Prosecutors recommend Ghislaine Maxwell be sentenced to 30 to 55 years

    Source: CNN

    “Federal prosecutors asked a judge in a court filing Wednesday to sentence Ghislaine Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison for sex trafficking a minor and other charges related to a sprawling conspiracy to abuse young girls with the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. … Last week, Maxwell’s lawyers asked a judge to sentence her to between 4.25 and 5.25 years in prison, saying her difficult childhood made her vulnerable to Epstein and that she shouldn’t face a harsh sentence because of his actions.” (06/23/22)


  • Cambodian catches world’s largest recorded freshwater fish

    Source: SFGate

    “The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a giant stingray, has been caught in the Mekong River in Cambodia, according to scientists from the Southeast Asian nation and the United States. The stingray, captured on June 13, measured almost 4 meters (13 feet) from snout to tail and weighed slightly under 300 kilograms (660 pounds), according to a statement Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. research project. The previous record for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong giant catfish, discovered in Thailand in 2005, the group said. The stingray was snagged by a local fisherman south of Stung Treng in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a nearby team of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong project, which has publicized its conservation work in communities along the river.” (06/23/22)


  • Cosby to appeal civil ruling on US$500k teenage sex assault case

    Source: South China Morning Post [Hong Kong]

    “Entertainer Bill Cosby will appeal the civil verdict that saw him ordered to pay US$500,000 to a woman he allegedly sexually assaulted almost five decades ago, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The man once known as ‘America’s Dad’ has been accused of predatory behaviour by dozens of women in allegations that stretch back decades. But after a sole criminal conviction was overturned on a technicality, Tuesday’s civil ruling by a jury in California was the only legal finding of culpability. … A two-week civil trial had heard how Cosby had met [Judy] Huth and her then-17-year-old friend on a film set in the mid-1970s. He was said to have plied them with alcohol and taken them to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion where he molested Huth, who was 16 at the time.” (06/23/22)


  • Les Climate Lockdowns

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “It’s hot outside. In southern France, very hot. Obviously (?), then, regional governments there are justified in prohibiting various outdoor activities. Following the pandemic-lockdown model, it is apparently now acceptable to annul the rights of French citizens if some persons may be hurt by the heat. Once again, adults are being treated as if not responsible for making their own judgments about personal risks.” (06/24/22)


  • Biden Needs to Get Out of the Defensive Crouch on Venezuela

    Source: Eunomia
    by Daniel Larison

    “There is something deeply wrong with our foreign policy when the hardline and wildly unrepresentative views of a relatively small number of voters in one state can effectively dictate our policy towards a country of more than 30 million people. Broad U.S. sanctions in Venezuela are predictably very unpopular there because they have made the already bad conditions in the country much worse while further entrenching Maduro. Granting significant sanctions relief would primarily benefit ordinary people that have been forced to bear the burden of these sanctions for years. There is also an obvious American interest right now in bringing more oil back on the market and allowing Venezuela to export to the United States once again. Both Americans and Venezuelans stand to benefit from sanctions relief.” (06/24/22)


  • Why Studying Economics Instills Gratitude

    Source: Independent Institute
    by Caleb S Fuller

    “At least since Thomas Carlyle’s infamous put-down of economics as the ‘dismal science’ (for economists having the temerity to oppose slavery), it has been popular to disparage economics as a discipline that fosters depression on the one hand and narrow self-interest on the other. Perhaps the two are linked, says the critic. My own experience with economics has been quite contrary to these allegations. Studying economics instilled in me a profound sense of gratitude. When you’re grateful for something, you are appreciative of benefits you have received, says the Oxford English Dictionary.” (06/24/22)


  • Getting Real About the Post-“Roe” World

    Source: The American Prospect
    by Scott Lemieux

    “The Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The ending of the 49-year period in which a woman had a federally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability was inevitable as soon as Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court. But while denial about the outcome is now functionally impossible, complacency about what overruling Roe means remains a potentially dangerous problem. Fighting the coming onslaught of the coercive policing of women’s bodies requires being clear-eyed about what will happen when Roe is overruled, some of which is indeed already happening. Complacency about what a post-Roe world will look like has long been something of a cottage industry among pundits and commenters, predominantly from affluent men in blue-state urban areas who are least likely to be directly affected by the abrogation of reproductive rights.” (06/24/22)


  • Get Ready for the Post-Roe Sex Police!

    Source: Reason
    by Nick Gillespie

    “The equation of abortion with murder may be ahistorical (more on that in a moment), but now that Roe has been overturned, such a belief has profound implications for the people living in the 26 states that are likely to ban most, if not all, abortions. If life does indeed begin at conception, then the state has an affirmative duty to protect all zygotes (fertilized eggs), blastocysts (week-old zygotes), and embryos (zygotes implanted on the uterine wall). From a libertarian perspective, the implications of such a shift are staggering. This is a recipe not for limited government but for one that must, in the name of protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, surveil and track all acts of potential procreation.” (06/24/22)


  • The Attack on Juul Is a Scandal

    Source: Brownstone Institute
    by Ryan Lau

    “They say that the progression of history leads to the demise, legal or social, of increasingly docile objects and undertakings. Cars without seatbelts. Firearm possession without jumping through some know-it-all’s hoops. The cliff you used to jump off into the lake as a kid that now has a foreboding, if not heavily graffitied, barbed wire fence keeping out kids who dare to seek a good time. Leaving your door unlocked. Working 40 hours a week, if you live in the wrong country. The bubble-wrapping of society is underway, but this morning, the FDA skipped a step in an odd fashion, moving to ban … the healthier alternative to smoking?” (06/24/22)


  • This Is Something

    Source: The Pamphleteer
    by Davis Hunt

    “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do it. Such is the mandate of the US government best expressed by the recent piece of gun legislation that garnered Republican support and made it through the Senate yesterday. The Executive and Legislative branches are both hostage to the ‘do something, anything’ attitude. Fortunately, the courts are not, and the two recent rulings from the Supreme Court make this distinction clear. You probably know by now, but just before I hit send on this newsletter, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a monumental decision ending the constitutional right to abortion. Just the day before, the court ruled that NYC’s onerous concealed carry limitations violated the Second Amendment.” (06/24/22)


  • Parents Should Govern Their Kids’ Education

    Source: Free Association
    by Sheldon Richman

    “Simply put, any government involvement in education infringes the liberty not only of parents but also of nonparent taxpayers, who are forced to support the government’s schools. And let’s be specific: government involvement violates freedom of conscience and not just material property rights. Even before the dawn of wokeness, many taxpayers disliked how the government schools taught even unobjectionable subjects. The case against government schooling is bolstered by the well-known fact that coercive monopolies are inherently bad deals.” (06/24/22)


  • Why did Biden take so long to reverse Trump’s landmine rule?

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by Daniel Larison

    “This week, the Biden administration reversed Trump-era rules on the production and use of anti-personnel landmines in a belated fulfillment of a campaign pledge to return to the earlier restrictions put in place by President Obama in 2014. The decision to bring the United States closer to the international consensus on the prohibition of landmines was the result of a slow, lengthy policy review process initiated in the first weeks of Biden’s presidency. Unlike some other Biden administration reviews including the review of sanctions policy, this one delivered a meaningful change. … It remains puzzling that it took his administration almost 17 months to do something that they could have done more than a year ago.” (06/24/22)


  • America’s Lapdog Britain Moves to Extradite Julian Assange

    Source: The Nation
    by Peter Oborne

    “Let’s imagine that a foreign dissident was being prosecuted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on espionage charges. Let’s further suppose that his true offense was bring to light war crimes committed by the Russian armed forces …. Let’s suppose that President Putin was pressuring the United Kingdom to extradite the dissident to Russia to face trial on charges that could condemn that dissident to spend the rest of his life in a Russian maximum security prison. There would be outrage in Britain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson would make a statement on the floor of the House of Commons declaring that he would never bow to Russian pressure. Powerful editorials in every British paper would denounce Putin, while setting out Britain’s respect for international law. Yet Julian Assange in virtually in every respect faces identical circumstances to the fictitious Russian dissident I described above.” (06/24/22)


  • Imperial Narrative Control Has Five Distinct Elements

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “All of our world’s worst problems are created by the powerful. The powerful will keep creating those problems until ordinary people use their superior numbers to make them stop. Ordinary people don’t use their superior numbers to stop the powerful because the powerful are continuously manipulating people’s understanding of what’s going on. Humans are storytelling creatures. If you can control the stories humans are telling themselves about the world, you control the humans, and you control the world. Mental narrative plays a hugely prominent role in human experience; if you’ve ever tried to still your mind in meditation you know exactly what I’m talking about. Babbling thought stories dominate our experience of reality. It makes sense then that if you can influence those stories, you’re effectively influencing someone’s experience of reality.” (06/24/22)


  • The Tragedy of the Unwanted Child: What Ancient Cultures Did Before Abortion

    Source: Quillette
    by Rob Brooks

    “Many self-declared ‘pro-lifers’ consider the termination of a pregnancy the moral equivalent of taking a newborn life. Their strategies, including the endless debates over when a fetus becomes viable, seek to blur distinctions between aborting a fetus and killing a newborn child. So much so that few on the pro-choice side welcome discussion about the relationship between abortion and infanticide. I argue here that an understanding of that relationship — drawing on evidence from centuries of history and millennia of evolution — leads to the conclusion that abortion is the most humane alternative to infanticide, adding to the case for safe, legal, accessible abortion for women who need it.” (06/24/22)


  • Government Intervention Is Fueling Food Shortages

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Daniel Lacalle

    “Many have read that there is a food crisis looming and there are significant concerns about grain shortages. The main reason for this possible crisis is the Ukraine invasion. However, this is not the full picture. Many countries around the world have a large deficit of cereal, which is essential to feed livestock. The main culprit is rising government intervention, which has made costs soar even in periods of low energy prices and an unsustainable level of restrictions that has made it impossible for farmers to continue planting and producing grain.” (06/24/22)


  • A Gas Holiday Might Be Popular, But It’s Unlikely To Do Much To Lower Inflation

    Source: FiveThirtyEight
    by Monica Potts & Zoha Qamar

    “Earlier this week President Biden asked Congress to temporarily suspend collection of federal gas and diesel taxes for three months as a way to relieve pressure on Americans as national gas prices rise to $5 a gallon. If the price keeps going up, it could top highs not seen since the summer of 2008. High gas prices are also helping to drive overall inflation, which reached 8.6 percent as of May. It’s no surprise, then, that Biden is responding to pressure to do something — anything — about gas prices. … That said, some experts worry that a gas holiday could make inflation worse by increasing demand, and it would need to be approved by Congress regardless.” (06/24/22)


  • Why Trump Must be Indicted

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Mitchell Zimmerman

    “The bipartisan congressional commission investigating the January 6 coup attempt has found strong evidence that Donald Trump is a criminal. As the hearings reveal, the former president illegally plotted to stay in office after the American people voted to boot him out. Now he must be indicted.” (06/24/22)


  • The Real Stakes of Taiwan

    Source: Foreign Policy
    by Howard W French

    “Chinese President Xi Jinping has made little secret of his determination to assert direct control over the island in a reasonably near, if deliberately unspecified, future. He has clearly stated that the Taiwan question cannot be put off indefinitely, which all but amounts to staking his place in history on the subordination of Taipei to Beijing. And the next five years bring with them a calendar logic that is hard to ignore. For China, the year 2027 will be the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, just as it would likely mark the conclusion of Xi’s expected third five-year term in power. All of this creates the impression that all parties involved are stumbling blindly toward conflict.” (06/24/22)


  • It’s Okay To Like Electric Vehicles

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Michael Fumento

    “Conservatives tend to dislike electric vehicles, or E.V.s. There are pretty good reasons for that. For one, environmentalists love them and usually environmentalists are wrong. If only all decision-making were so easy. Another is that we’re, well, conservative. Internal combustion (I.C.) vehicles are not ‘broken’ by our standards (viz., most of us don’t care about ‘carbon footprints’ since, at some or several levels, we’re skeptical about anthropogenic global warming) so why fix them? … To be sure, environmentalists and E.V. supporters generally want you to believe they are superior in many important respects today. Were that true, why the subsidies and mandates? Ipso facto, on the whole E.V.s of today are inferior. But that will change, and for some purposes, they’re already ahead of I.C. cars.” (06/24/22)


  • The Final Freedom

    Source: Bet On It
    by Bryan Caplan

    “I’ve long been puzzled by libertarian reverence for ‘the rule of law.’ Why should friends of freedom care about the laws passed by the foolish and evil people who habitually rule over us? We should instead stubbornly put justice before the law. … What about the conventional view that you should follow unjust laws while striving with all your might to change them? This is an absurdly demanding standard. The vast majority of humans couldn’t change a single law with a lifetime of maximum effort. The same goes, of course, for the Kingian view that if you break an unjust law, you should publicly accept the punishment. If that’s your only option, your least bad option is just knuckling under to the oppression of the world. What’s the alternative? Being a righteous scofflaw.” (06/23/22)


  • Happy “Holiday,” Motorists! Well, Maybe Not So Much.

    Source: Garrison Center
    by Thomas L Knapp

    “On June 22, by popular demand, US president Joe Biden asked Congress to pass a three month ‘holiday’ on collection of the federal gasoline tax. With prices hovering at around $5 per gallon, Americans want something done. I’m all for it. I hate taxes, and I’m all for tax cuts, in any amount, for any length of time. Yay, Biden! But before breaking into a collective happy dance over the “holiday” proposal and how great it’s going to be for our wallets, let’s look at some numbers. … a ‘holiday’ on collection of the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax would save each of us a whopping $1.47 per week. Don’t spend it all in one place. And don’t expect to not pay for it on the inflationary back end.” (06/23/22)


  • Slippery Slopes Exist: The Case of No-Fly Lists

    Source: EconLog
    by Pierre Lemieux

    “I don’t know wherefrom the strange idea comes that a slippery-slope argument is a kind of logical fallacy. It is an institutional or political-economy concept, not a logical one. Slippery slopes occurs in social affairs, and a contribution of economics is precisely to help determine when the logic of institutions — that is, of individual incentives under certain social arrangements — lead to results inconsistent with officially-proclaimed or idealistic intentions; that is, when slippery slopes are likely. No-fly lists were and remain a slippery accident waiting to happen. We should know. The Patriot Act that has been used to go after suspected drug sellers and to spy on ordinary Americans. The RICO Act has been invoked to prosecute people with no mafia connections whatsoever. Anti-tobacco laws now serve to regulate vaping which does not involve tobacco. And so forth.” (06/23/22)


  • How Should Courts Evaluate Gun Regulations After Bruen?

    Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
    by Eugene Volokh

    “There’s much to be said and debated about the N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen opinions, and who got it right. But for now, I want to turn to the practical question: What does Bruen mean for gun laws going forward? Here is my very tentative summary of what appears to me on first read, based on Justice Thomas’s majority opinion (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) plus a bit from Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence, joined by Chief Justice Roberts …” (06/23/22)


  • The inconvenient truth about COVID-19 relief scandals

    Source: Orange County Register
    by Veronique de Rugy

    “Raise your hand if you’re surprised that the trillions of dollars spent on COVID-19 relief gave way to billions of dollars in government waste, fraud and abuses. I’m not, but based on recent reporting, you might think this type of carelessness with taxpayers’ money has never before happened. Sadly, such waste and fraud are normal byproducts of most government programs.” (06/23/22)


  • “Green” Means “Poor”

    Source: Freeman’s Perspective
    by Paul Rosenberg

    “Those of us who aren’t mainlining TV and Facebook have a fairly clear understanding that the rulership of the West is in trouble: their debts are far beyond payable, while the global East and South are starting to pull away. Having only two primary options — system collapse or reduced standards of living — they are opting for the second. The great challenge facing rulership, then, is to make their flocks accept being poorer … to get used to being poor. And to make that happen, they’re promoting a new religion, which we can simply call Green.” (06/23/22)


  • The Ghost of Watergate Is Haunting Capitol Hill

    Source: The New Republic
    by Walter Shapiro

    “It is an iron law of political scandal: Inevitably, there are echoes of Watergate. But at Thursday’s fifth hearing of the January 6 committee, the Watergate echoes reverberated so loudly that they were like shouted words bouncing off the walls of a canyon. Begin with the event that would have gone down in history as the Sunday Night Massacre. The most powerful story of the hearing was former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue’s account of an Oval Office meeting late in the day on Sunday, January 3, 2021. … President Donald Trump’s assumption was that the meeting would ratify his choice of Jeffrey Clark … as the new acting attorney general. … Trump was told by Donoghue, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Steve Engel, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, that they would all resign in protest if Clark were named.” (06/23/22)


  • Putin: Face of the Future or Final Gasp of the Past?

    Source: TomDispatch
    by John Feffer

    “In its attempt to swallow Ukraine whole, Russia has so far managed to bite off only the eastern Donbas region and a portion of its southern coast. The rest of the country remains independent, with its capital Kyiv intact. No one knows how this meal will end. Ukraine is eager to force Russia to disgorge what it’s already devoured, while the still-peckish invader clearly has no interest in leaving the table. This might seem like an ordinary territorial dispute between predator and prey. Ukraine’s central location between east and west, however, turns it into a potentially world-historical conflict like the Battle of Tours when the Christian Franks turned back the surging Ummayad army of Muslims in 732 AD or the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 1975. The pivotal nature of the current war seems obvious. Ukraine has for some time wanted to join western institutions like the European Union.” (06/23/22)


  • The Choice in School Choice

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state programs which help parents pay for private schooling may not discriminate against parents who want to send their kids to a religious school. The court relied on its 2020 ruling that state programs subsidizing private schooling ‘cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.’ … Proponents of keeping kids trapped in public schools are in an uproar over the court’s decision. But it only stands to reason that school choice programs must permit choice.” (06/23/22)


  • The Staggering Hypocrisy of the War on Nicotine

    Source: Commentary
    by Noah Rothman

    “This week, the FDA proposed a new rule that ‘would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain finished tobacco products.’ In theory, reducing the addictive chemical in cigarettes will make the product less habit-forming. But that would also reduce the satisfaction (and the longevity of that effect) experienced by people who do smoke. The perverse practical effect of this rule will be to compel smokers to smoke more, thereby ensuring that they have more exposure to the harmful tars and particulates in smoke than they otherwise would. Pile atop this harebrained scheme an effort to limit nicotine alternatives to those prescribed by a pharmacist, and it seems clear that the ultimate effect of these regulatory efforts will be to force consumers to engage in even more self-destructive behaviors.” (06/23/22)


  • Crossroads or fork in the road — dead ends ahead?

    Source: The Price of Liberty
    by Nathan Barton

    “The constant meme, mainstream or alternative media, seems to be that 2022 is all about major changes — both those which happened in the first half of the year (almost over) or will supposedly happen. Now, astute (and the few ‘woke’) readers will condemn TPOL for using ‘dead end’ in the title. (Have you noticed the ‘dead end’ signs are being replaced by ‘no outlet’ because ‘dead end’ is politically incorrect and encourages suicide?) But all the choices the States have this year seem to lead, if not to death, certainly a whole lot of destruction.” (06/23/22)


  • People Don’t Think Hard Enough About What Nuclear War Is, And What It Would Mean

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “There’s a John Mearsheimer video clip from 2016 that’s going viral on Twitter right now, as old John Mearsheimer clips tend to do in the year 2022 when his predictions that western actions would lead to the destruction of Ukraine are coming horrifyingly true. In response to a question about what the worst US foreign policy disaster has been, Mearsheimer agreed with a fellow panelist that at that moment Iraq looked like the worst, but said he believed US policy on Ukraine would prove much worse in coming years. He spoke of the fact that Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons, and that it’s entirely possible those weapons will be used if Russia feels threatened.” (06/23/22)


  • Vindicating the Luddites

    Source: Center for a Stateless Society
    by Dawie Coetzee

    “The historical Luddites were not technophobes. They were instead technical experts in their field, intimately familiar with the technology of their industry. Their programme of destructive protest was not indiscriminate but specifically targeted those enterprises which most flagrantly exploited cheap labour. It was driven not by philosophical objections to ‘progress’ in the abstract: the Luddites did not oppose what we today call ‘technological unemployment’ but the imposition of an entirely new regime of economic relations through the capitalists’ manipulation of technology.” (06/23/22)


  • Bad Explanations for Inflation

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Alexander William Salter

    “While decomposing inflation into its constituent parts is empirically tricky, its essence is simple. Inflation results from too much money chasing too few goods. Milton Friedman popularized this rule of thumb. Its combination of intelligibility and explanatory power explains why it’s still widely used. But not everyone got the memo. Politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, and Very Online[TM] academics are looking hard for other causes. Let’s consider some bad explanations for inflation.” (06/23/22)


  • Kids Can Learn Without Instruction

    Source: Reason
    by Lenore Skenazy

    “Don’t show this to your kids, because they might cry. But guess how much time children in ‘traditional societies’ — indigenous groups pretty much off the grid — spend in direct instruction, the way American kids do in school? About 90 seconds a day. … Kids in traditional societies spend plenty of time playing, away from the adults. But they are also often among the grown-ups, watching what they do, eavesdropping, and helping out.” (06/23/22)


  • Workers & Public Services Should Not Be the Victims of Inflation

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Irene Ovonji-Odida

    “Rampant inflation is a reminder that there are more and more of the working poor in the world’s public services. Yet governments have the means to finance quality public services: the richest people and the multinationals must be made to contribute. The phrase ‘the summer of discontent’ has begun to appear in the British press, a direct reference to the ‘winter of discontent’ and the social movements that shook the country in 1978 and 1979. More than 40,000 railroad and London Underground workers have gone on a series of 24-hour strikes to denounce the deterioration of their purchasing power in the face of 10% inflation and to demand wage increases. In the wake of this movement, nurses, as well as telecommunications, postal, and airport workers have announced their intention to do the same. The education sector is expected to follow suit as schools, libraries, and municipal swimming pools face budget cuts.” (06/23/22)


  • Security and Privacy Tips for People Seeking An Abortion

    Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
    by Daly Barnett

    “Given the shifting state of the law, people seeking an abortion, or any kind of reproductive healthcare that might end with the termination of a pregnancy, may need to pay close attention to their digital privacy and security. We’ve previously covered how those involved in the abortion access movement can keep themselves and their communities safe. We’ve also laid out a principled guide for platforms to respect user privacy and rights to bodily autonomy. This post is a guide specifically for anyone seeking an abortion and worried about their digital privacy. There is a lot of crossover with the tips outlined in the previously mentioned guides; many tips bear repeating.” (06/23/22)


  • Human rights have done nothing to defend our freedoms

    Source: spiked
    by Luke Gittos

    The UK government has published legislation which will abolish the Human Rights Act and introduce a new British Bill of Rights. It follows a controversial intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg last week, which effectively prevented the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda, scuppering one of the key planks in the government’s migration policy. … Predictably, the reaction to this has been hysterical. One commentator claims that in scrapping the Human Rights Act the Ministry of Justice ‘has taken a hatchet to the single most powerful rights tool this country has ever had.’ Other critics have branded the plan to scrap the Human Rights Act as ‘racist.’ Supporters of the Human Rights Act believe that it is responsible for maintaining our freedom from tyranny. They claim that, without it, we would be subject to the arbitrary whims of an authoritarian government.” (06/23/22)