RRND Email Full Text (Published)

  • MN: Supreme Court defers ruling on Minneapolis police

    Source: US News & World Report

    “The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling Thursday in the fight over a ballot question about the future of policing in Minneapolis, but it didn’t settle the bigger question of whether the public will get to vote on the issue. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s ruling lifted a small part of a lower court’s order that rejected the ballot language approved by the City Council, saying that elections officials don’t have to include notes with ballots instructing people not to vote on the question and that any votes won’t be counted. The order didn’t address the main issue in dispute: whether voters will get to decide on a proposed charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety that ‘could include’police officers ‘if necessary.'” (09/16/21)

    https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-09-16/minnesota-supreme-court-defers-ruling-on-minneapolis-police

  • Small agency, big job: Biden tasks OSHA with vaccine mandate

    Source: Napa Valley Register

    “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t make many headlines. Charged with keeping America’s workplaces safe, it usually busies itself with tasks such as setting and enforcing standards for goggles, hardhats and ladders. But President Joe Biden this month threw the tiny Labor Department agency into the raging national debate over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The president directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free. The assignment is sure to test an understaffed agency that has struggled to defend its authority in court. And the legal challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandate will be unrelenting: Republican governors and others call it an egregious example of government overreach. [editor’s note: Now let’s see if he moves that new IRS subsidy to OSHA – SAT] (09/16/21)

    https://napavalleyregister.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/small-agency-big-job-biden-tasks-osha-with-vaccine-mandate/article_352c6d8a-2407-501d-841a-8c7158c82e71.html

  • US unemployment claims rise after hitting pandemic low

    Source: Seattle Times

    “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits moved up last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low, a sign that worsening COVID infections may have slightly increased layoffs. Applications for jobless aid rose from 312,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. Jobless claims, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily for two months as many employers, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their employees. Two weeks ago, jobless claims reached their lowest level since March 2020.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/us-unemployment-claims-rise-after-hitting-pandemic-low/

  • Haley on Milley’s phone calls: “You have the back of your president,” not the country

    Source: Fox News

    “Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said on ‘America’s Newsroom’ Thursday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has a lot of questions to answer at a Sept. 28 Senate hearing. ‘You don’t have the back of the Chinese, you have the back of your president,’ said Haley, reacting to reports Milley called Chinese officials at the end of the Trump administration. Haley said during her time in the Trump administration she observed that ‘there were multiple members of the administration that thought they knew better than the president. That’s a very dangerous thing!’ The former South Carolina governor pointed out that although it is not unusual for countries like China and Russia to call, the question lies with why Trump would have been left out of the loop.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/nikki-haley-mark-milley-china-calls

  • Australia: Regime plans to build nuclear sub fleet with US, UK regime assistance; French regime whines

    Source: Time

    “Australia is joining a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the U.S. and U.K. that will allow it to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, sparking a rift with France at a time when the Biden administration is pushing allies to counter Chinese assertiveness. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the security partnership in a virtual meeting on Wednesday. France said the move halted a 2016 deal with French military shipbuilder Naval Group to build up to 12 submarines, a project that had blown out to an estimated A$90 billion ($66 billion). … In a press briefing, Morrison defended the decision and said he understands it’s disappointing for France. Touting a ‘forever partnership’ with the U.S. and U.K., he said would take as many as 18 months to work out details of the agreement before work on the subs begins.” (09/16/21)

    https://time.com/6098600/australia-nuclear-submarines-china/

  • NH: Court rejects truck driver’s appeal in crash that killed seven motorcyclists

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    “The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal for a bail hearing for a truck driver who’s been in jail since he was charged with causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in 2019. Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 25, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, is scheduled to face trial on Nov. 29 on multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence and reckless conduct stemming from the crash that happened in Randolph on June 21, 2019. He pleaded not guilty. The victims, members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Court-rejects-truck-driver-s-appeal-in-crash-that-16464025.php

  • Fourth Circuit: US regime can do whatever it wants in secret

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

    “A US federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of mass interception and searching of US citizens’ international internet communications. The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, said in its lawsuit that the NSA’s so-called ‘Upstream’ surveillance programme captures some of its international communications and is a violation of the US Constitution’s First Amendment free-speech rights and its Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. In a divided ruling on Wednesday, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the lawsuit must be dismissed after the government invoked the ‘state secrets privilege,’ which meant that a full exploration of the issue in a court would damage national security.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/16/us-court-dismisses-years-long-nsa-lawsuit-citing-state-secrets

  • Southwest Airlines pays staff extra to get jabbed

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “Southwest Airlines has become the latest big US airline to try to cajole workers into getting vaccinated as infection rates [sic] surge across the US. It said it would pay a bonus to staff who got jabbed, but also stop sick pay for unvaccinated workers who had to quarantine with Covid. It said it was unrelated to Joe Biden’s upcoming vaccine mandate for firms, but it plans to comply with the order. Delta, American and United Airlines have all made similar moves recently. In a memo to workers, Southwest said those who submit proof of vaccination to the company by 15 November would get 16 hours of extra pay.” [editor’s note: At least they are offering incentives rather than firing anyone who says no – SAT] (09/16/21)

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58588334

  • Bulgaria: Interim regime sworn in until November election

    Source: ABC News

    “Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Thursday reappointed a retired general as interim prime minister to lead a new caretaker government until the next early election is held in November. The Balkan country, which is the European Union’s poorest member, is gearing up for its third parliamentary election of the year after deep divisions between the parties in parliament prevented them from finding common ground for a coalition government. Radev presented the new caretaker Cabinet, which will have to organize snap parliamentary and regular presidential elections on Nov. 14th. It’s the first time that a caretaker government enters power after a previous caretaker Cabinet.” (09/16/21)

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/bulgaria-interim-government-sworn-november-election-80053425

  • White House doubles down on fight for extra funding for IRS gang

    Source: Fox News

    “The Biden administration defended its plan to increase funding for the IRS by nearly $80 billion, arguing in a memo to congressional Democrats the additional money could help the agency crack down on wealthy tax dodgers and recover billions in lost revenue. ‘President Biden’s plan will give the IRS the resources and information it needs to increase enforcement against the highest income tax cheats, while protecting Americans earning less than $400,000 per year,’ the White House said. The memo comes after House Democrats on Monday released a draft of proposed tax increases, including providing the IRS with an extra $78 billion in funding for enforcement measures. But the White House also wants to give the agency more power over the next decade to crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and corporations — a move that has prompted a swish backlash from Republicans.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/white-house-fight-extra-irs-funding

  • Report: US gang members abducted migrants 209,000 times in August

    Source: CBS News

    “U.S. authorities stationed along the southern border stopped migrants nearly 209,000 times in August, as unlawful entries slowed down slightly after reaching a 21-year high during the previous month, according to government data released Wednesday. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics show that unauthorized migration to the U.S.-Mexico border remained at an extremely high level toward the end of the summer, when migrant apprehensions have historically dropped due to the heat. … The number of migrants and asylum-seekers coming from beyond Central America and Mexico also jumped in August, making up 29% of total [abductions].” (09/16/21)

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-authorities-southern-border-stopped-migrants-209000-times-in-august/

  • Sanders: “No Excuse” for Any Democrat to Oppose Lowering Drug Prices

    Source: Common Dreams

    “After three House Democrats voted against a key plank of their party’s plan to lower prescription drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that Congress must ensure the provision is included in the final budget reconciliation package despite objections from conservative lawmakers. Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said he understands that ‘the pharmaceutical industry owns the Republican Party and that no Republican voted for this bill, but there is no excuse for every Democrat not supporting it. … Congress must demand that Medicare negotiate prices with this extremely greedy and powerful industry.'” [editor’s note: Of course, unless he is also willing to strip back the power of the FDA, CDC and other federal barriers to innovation, this is the usual blustering bullshit – SAT] (09/16/21)

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/16/sanders-says-theres-no-excuse-any-democrat-oppose-lowering-drug-prices

  • Guam: Barber shop owner shoots intruder

    Source: Guam Daily Post

    “An early morning shooting in Dededo has sent one man to the hospital with a possible gun shot wound. Guam Police Department officers responded to David’s Barber Shop in Dededo …. The Guam Daily Post spoke with [shop owner David] Cadaviz hours after the incident occurred. He said a man broke into his barbershop earlier that morning. The shop owner and his wife live behind the shop. The sound of glass shattering woke them up. … Cadaviz retrieved a gun from his home, and confronted the alleged intruder who was already making his way to their living quarters. … Cadaviz said the alleged suspect made a move as though he was going to hit him. He told The Guam Daily Post that he thought the alleged intruder had a weapon. Cadaviz said at that moment, ‘I shot him.'” (09/15/21)

    https://www.postguam.com/news/barbershop-owner-shoots-intruder-gpd-investigates/article_735e1ed4-15b5-11ec-bf4f-3325ee66b55c.html

  • SpaceX launches its first private crewed mission to space

    Source: The Verge

    “SpaceX launched four private citizens to space on Wednesday, kicking off the first-ever crewed mission to orbit without any professional astronauts on board. Dubbed Inspiration4 …. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on time at 8:02PM ET from the company’s 39A launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, soaring from Florida’s east coast under clear night skies. Inside the capsule is billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, a trained pilot and founder of payment-processing firm Shift4 Payments, and three others he picked and paid for to ride with him: Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant and cancer survivor; Christopher Sembroski, a data engineer at Lockheed Martin; and Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate. … the capsule won’t dock to the space station. It’s poised to spend roughly three days orbiting Earth at a higher altitude, some 360 miles above ground — the farthest human spaceflight since the last NASA space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble telescope in 2009.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/15/22675793/spacex-inspiration4-launch-first-all-civilian-private-crew

  • ICC authorizes full investigation into Duterte’s deadly drugs war

    Source: Axios

    “The International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized on Wednesday an official investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Tens of thousands of people may have been killed in police drug operations in the Philippines since 2016, a United Nations report found last year. … Officials reiterated on Thursday that Duterte wouldn’t cooperate because the Philippines was no longer a member of the ICC. Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told local media that the government ‘will not let in any ICC member to collect information and evidence here in the Philippines,’ per AFP.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.axios.com/icc-authorizes-investigation-duterte-drug-war-philippines-7ea0eaa3-d21b-4645-a37b-6e306e4446d3.html

  • US Olympic gymnasts slam Nassar investigation, allege FBI “turned a blind eye” & falsified report

    Source: Fox News

    “Olympic champions, heroes to young women and girls across the nation for their athletic achievements, on Wednesday served as champions for survivors of sexual abuse as they demanded accountability for those who enabled Larry Nassar, who abused them and dozens of others for years. Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, alongside fellow gymnast Maggie Nichols, recounted their experiences before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the wake of a Justice Department Inspector General’s report that revealed how the FBI failed to act on their complaints. As a result, they said, Nassar (who once served as a doctor for USA Gymnastics) was able to continue his pattern of abuse against young women and girls.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-gymnasts-biles-maroney-raisman-nichols-nassar-investigation-fbi-testimony

  • Pope Francis: Abortion is murder, but US bishops should not be political

    Source: Reuters

    “Pope Francis said on Wednesday that abortion is ‘murder,’ even soon after conception, but appeared to criticise some U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with U.S. President Joe Biden’s pro-choice position in a political rather than pastoral way. On the flight returning from Slovakia, Francis was asked for his opinion about the debate within the U.S. Bishops Conference, about whether Biden, who is Catholic, should be denied communion because of his support for a woman’s right to choose even though he is personally against abortion. … The pope said bishops should deal with the problem in a pastoral instead of a political way. ‘A pastor knows what to do at any moment but if he leaves the pastoral process of the Church he immediately becomes a politician,’ Francis said.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/pope-says-abortion-is-murder-us-bishops-should-not-be-political-2021-09-15/

  • UN withdraws Gabonese peacekeepers from Central African Republic after sex abuse claims

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “The United Nations has decided to withdraw some 450 Gabonese peacekeepers from the Central African Republic (CAR) over allegations of sexual abuse, Gabon’s defence ministry announced Wednesday. ‘In recent weeks, exceptionally serious acts that go against military ethics and the honour of the armed forces, committed by certain elements in the Gabonese battalions … have been reported,’ the ministry said in a statement sent to AFP. … One of the world’s poorest countries, CAR has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960. It currently suffers from the aftermath of a brutal civil conflict that erupted in 2013 after a coup against then president Francois Bozize. MINUSCA was deployed by the UN in April 2014 to try to end the conflict pitting the Seleka coalition of armed groups that overthrew Bozize against militias supporting him.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20210915-un-withdraws-gabon-peacekeepers-from-car-after-sex-abuse-claims

  • UK: Johnson demotes foreign minister in cabinet reshuffle

    Source: The Indian Express [India]

    “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demoted his foreign secretary on Wednesday in a major reshuffle, removing his more under-fire colleagues to refocus the government on raising living standards after COVID-19. … A source in Johnson’s office said the British leader would be appointing ministers ‘with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.'” (09/15/21)

    https://indianexpress.com/article/world/british-pm-boris-johnson-demotes-foreign-minister-in-major-reshuffle-7511143/

  • Casino stocks nosedive amid worries over Macao licensing news

    Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

    “Stock prices of Las Vegas-based gaming companies with operations in Macao plummeted Tuesday as the market reacted to new travel restrictions imposed by the government and news about future casino licensing. Shares for Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell $11.23, or 10.9 percent, to $92.25 a share in volume more than eight times the daily average. … Las Vegas Sands Corp. shares were down $4.18, or 9.8 percent …. MGM Resorts International, which has a controlling interest in a partnership in Macao, saw its stock drop $1.69, 3.9 percent, to $41.41 a share in volume just above the daily average.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/casinos-gaming/casino-stocks-nosedive-amid-worries-over-macao-licensing-news-2440627/

  • CA: Nearly 3,000 Blue Line Gang Members Seek Exemptions To Vaccine Mandate

    Source: CBS Los Angeles

    “Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that the department will wait for instructions from city officials after it was reported that thousands of LAPD employees plan to use religious or medical exemptions for the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. … According to an internal memo sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti from the personnel department, 2,651 Los Angeles Police Department employees intend to seek religious exemptions and 368 plan to seek medical exemptions for the mandate requiring all city employees to get vaccinated. … As of Tuesday, just over 54% of department personnel, or 6,573 employees, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Moore said.” (09/15/21)

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/09/15/lapd-employees-vaccine-exemptions/

  • Hong Kong: Beijing quisling court sentences Tiananmen vigil political prisoners

    Source: Los Angeles Times

    “Nine Hong Kong activists and former lawmakers Wednesday were handed jail sentences of up to 10 months over their roles in last year’s banned candlelight vigil commemorating China’s 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. The nine are part of a group of 12 defendants who pleaded guilty earlier this month to participating in last year’s vigil, normally an annual event that is the only public commemoration on Chinese soil of the 1989 massacre in Beijing. Three other people were given suspended sentences. They were all charged with taking part in an unauthorized assembly, with seven of them facing an additional charge of inciting others to take part in the event.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-09-15/hong-kong-activists-jailed-tiananmen-massacre-vigil

  • NYC: Doordash sues regime over rights to customer data

    Source: Seattle Times

    “DoorDash is suing New York City over a new law that requires delivery companies to share customer data with restaurants. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, is the latest in a string of legal tussles between the delivery companies and local governments, reflecting unease over the phenomenal growth of delivery and its impact on restaurants. Last week, DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats sued New York over a separate bill that caps the fees delivery companies can charge to restaurants. DoorDash and Grubhub are also suing San Francisco over fee caps adopted there. In its new lawsuit, DoorDash says an ordinance passed by the New York City Council in late July is unconstitutional and violates customer privacy.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/doordash-sues-new-york-city-over-rights-to-customer-data/

  • Federal judge denies Trump’s request to stop E. Jean Carroll lawsuit from moving forward

    Source: CNN

    “A federal judge overseeing columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump has denied Trump’s request to stop the case from moving forward as they await an appeals court decision. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday entered a minute entry on the court docket indicating that he was denying Trump’s request for a ‘stay’ of his ruling last year, which rejected Trump’s effort to substitute the Justice Department as the defendant — a move that would essentially kill the lawsuit. … Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. Trump has denied the claims, saying Carroll wasn’t his type and that she fabricated the allegation to boost sales of her book. Carroll sued Trump for defamation.” [editor’s note: Trump is no longer president and the allegation relates to a time when he was not president. No place for DOJ there now, if there ever was – TLK] (09/15/21)

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/15/politics/e-jean-carroll-trump-lawsuit/index.html

  • Catalonia: Spanish prime minister visits for talks to resolve occupation crisis

    Source: ABC News

    “Spain’s prime minister and Catalonia’s leader met Wednesday to restart negotiations in hopes of finding a solution to the ongoing political crisis caused by the region’s [secession from Spain]. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is sitting down with [Catalan] president Pere Aragones at the seat of the Catalan government in downtown Barcelona. … The talks come with 7.5 million Catalans entrenched into two roughly equal camps. Polls and election results over the past five years consistently show that half of Catalonia wants to [return to] Spain, while the other half wants to [end the Spanish occupation and preserve Catalan independence].” (09/15/21)

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/spain-restarts-talks-resolve-catalan-secession-crisis-80034075


  • The Kremlin’s vote riggers are getting creative — and desperate

    Source: Washington Post
    by Vladimir Kara-Murza

    “Voters in St. Petersburg’s central district during Russia’s parliamentary election this weekend may be forgiven for doubting their eyesight. Staring at them from the official list of candidates, among others, will be three people with the same name and nearly identical appearance. All three are balding men with gray beards, and all are named Boris Vishnevsky. Only one of them is real, though — and that would be the deputy leader of Yabloko, Russia’s last genuine opposition party that retains ballot access. … the Kremlin’s spin doctors ‘created’ two additional Vishnevskys to dilute his vote by finding two people, legally changing their names, photoshopping their images and placing them on the ballot. … Vishnevsky is in a privileged category, though — at least he actually made it onto the ballot, one of only a handful of prominent Putin opponents to do so.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/16/kremlins-vote-riggers-are-getting-creative-desperate/

  • Twilight’s Last Gleaming

    Source: Freedom Files
    by Andrew P Napolitano

    “It was scandalous and infuriating to hear President Joseph R. Biden argue last week that his so-called vaccine mandates somehow have nothing to do with freedom or personal choice. In saying that, he has rejected our history, our values and the Constitution he swore to uphold. He made his ignorant statement while outlining his plan to have the Department of Labor issue emergency regulations requiring every employer in America of 100 or more persons to compel all its employees to receive a vaccine against COVID-19, or the employer will be fined. He claims the authority to issue these orders under the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA. Though it has been around for 51 years, OSHA is profoundly unconstitutional, as it purports to authorize federal bureaucrats to regulate private workplace property unavailable to the public.” (09/16/21)

    http://www.judgenap.com/post/twilights-last-gleaming

  • We Need a National Rite of Passage That Doesn’t Include War

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Robert C Koehler

    “A recent New York Times op-ed was perhaps the strangest, most awkward and tentative defense of the military-industrial complex (excuse me, the experiment in democracy called America) I’ve ever encountered, and begs to be addressed. The writer, Andrew Exum, was an Army Ranger who had deployments in the early 2000s to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and a decade later served for several years as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy. The point he is making amounts to this: The last twenty years of war have been a disaster, with our pullout from Afghanistan sealing history’s final judgment: We lost. And we deserved to lose. But what a crushing blow to the men and women who served with courage, indeed, who sacrificed their lives for their country.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/16/we-need-national-rite-passage-doesnt-include-war

  • Is Ashli Babbit’s Killer Guilty of Murder? part 2

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “Based on what [Capitol Police lieutenant Michael] Byrd said in the interview, there is no doubt that prior to shooting Ashli Babbit, he was afraid, very afraid. Near the end of the interview, he acknowledged that fact: ‘I was very afraid. There is nothing wrong with being afraid.’ … There is one big problem, however: Under the law, being afraid does not justify the use of deadly force against another person. Placing the highest value on the sanctity of human life, the law required Byrd to reasonably believe that Ashli Babbit posed a significant danger of serious bodily injury or death to Byrd or someone else. … Was it reasonable for Byrd to believe that?” (09/16/21)

    https://www.fff.org/2021/09/16/is-ashli-babbits-killer-guilty-of-murder-part-2/

  • Looking for Responsible Realism on China

    Source: Eunomia
    by Daniel Larison

    Ross Douthat sums up the thesis of Elbridge Colby’s book, Strategy of Denial: ‘Only China threatens American interests in a profound way, through a consolidation of economic power in Asia that imperils our prosperity and a military defeat that could shatter our alliance system. Therefore American policy should be organized to deny Beijing regional hegemony and deter any military adventurism — first and foremost through a stronger commitment to defending the island of Taiwan.’ Douthat describes this as a ‘realist’s book,’ and in some respects that may be true, but it is hard to ignore how dangerously oblivious to certain realities China hawks like Colby are. … advocates of a ‘stronger commitment’ to Taiwan tend to ignore the danger of nuclear escalation that comes with such a commitment. They don’t seem to take seriously how much more important Taiwan is to China than it is to us.” (09/16/21)

    https://daniellarison.substack.com/p/looking-for-responsible-realism-on

  • Australia Continues Its Plunge Into Authoritarianism And Military Brinkmanship

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “Australia has joined the US and UK in an ‘enhanced trilateral security partnership’ called AUKUS with the unspoken-yet-obvious goal of coordinating escalations against China. … This deal will replace a planned $90 billion program to obtain twelve submarines designed by France, an obnoxious expenditure either way when a quarter of Australians are struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic that is four times more likely to kill Australians who are struggling financially. This is just the latest in Canberra’s continually expanding policy of feeding vast fortunes into Washington’s standoff with Beijing at the expense of its own people.” (09/16/21)

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/09/16/australia-continues-its-plunge-into-authoritarianism-and-military-brinkmanship/

  • Shakespeare Helps Us Understand Rome’s Descent into Empire

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by David Gordon

    “Paul Cantor will probably be best known to readers of the Mises page for his pioneering use of Austrian economics in literary criticism, and many will also be aware of his brilliant studies of popular culture. (For the former topic, see my review.) He is also one of the world’s leading Shakespeare critics, and his principal theme in this area is Shakespeare as a political thinker, a theme that proves as illuminating as it might at first appear surprising. … Cantor argues that in Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra, the plays discussed in Shakespeare’s Rome, Shakespeare presents a profound account of the transition from Republic to Empire.” (09/16/21)

    https://mises.org/wire/shakespeare-helps-us-understand-romes-descent-empire

  • Why Are There Zero Republican Mega-Cities?

    Source: EconLog
    by Bryan Caplan

    “Zero cities with over one million people currently have Republican mayors. From the standpoint of the textbook Median Voter Model, this is awfully puzzling. Even if urbanites are extremely left-wing, you would expect urban Republicans to move sharply left to accommodate them. Once they do so, the standard prediction is that Republicans will win half the time. But plainly they don’t. One possibility is that Republican politicians are too stubbornly ideological to moderate. But the idea that virtually no one in the Republican Party is power-hungry enough to tell urban voters what they want to hear is deeply implausible. The better explanation, as I’ve explained before, is that urban voters have party preferences as well as policy preferences. They don’t just want left-wing [sic] policies; they want left-wing [sic] policies delivered by the Democrats.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.econlib.org/why-are-there-zero-republican-mega-cities/

  • The Callous Zealots of Prohibition and Their Successors

    Source: The American Spectator
    by Shmuel Klatzkin

    “One of the immediate effects of the shutdown of legal booze was the scramble to obtain alcohol in whatever illegal way it could be had. … The government had already anticipated that people would try to divert the industrial alcohol to the glasses of now-criminal tipplers. The government therefore decreed that industrial alcohol had to be laced with chemicals that made it foul tasting and even poisonous. … Deciding that causing thousands of deaths was fine as long as the result was less drinking, and since dead men — or women — don’t drink, the bureaucrats pushed things forward. … The callous zealots of Prohibition may have been reincarnated in the mandatory vaxxers of the current Administration. They give no indication that they find any problem in causing millions of people to lose their jobs if they continue to make their own decisions about whether or not to vaccinate.” (09/16/21)

    https://spectator.org/the-callous-zealots-of-prohibition-and-their-successors/

  • Mark Milley is a danger to the country, and Congress doesn’t seem to care

    Source: Fox News Forum
    by Tucker Carlson

    “Yesterday we learned that Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a danger to the country. That was not totally surprising. We already knew he was a reckless nutcase. In June, in the middle of a televised congressional hearing, Milley leveled a racial attack against more than half of this country. Milley told Congress that something called [w]hite rage was a national crisis. He never proved it or even defined the term and yet still he kept his job, which says as much about Congress as it does about him. Then in July, we learned that Milley had suggested the U.S. military was willing to use violence against Donald Trump, who was then the sitting president. ‘We’re the guys with guns,’ he told fellow officers. Still, Congress did nothing.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-mark-milley-is-a-danger-to-the-country-and-congress-doesnt-seem-to-care

  • America on the Dole

    Source: Reason
    by Peter Suderman

    “After Congress passed the American Recovery Plan, Joe Biden’s $2 trillion economic relief legislation, the president proposed roughly $4 trillion in further spending. The American Jobs Plan, also known as the president’s infrastructure proposal, accounted for about half of that money. The rest was included in the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion package that the Biden administration described as a set of ‘investments and tax credits for American families and children over ten years.’ In other words, it was a welfare bill, and quite an ambitious one. The plan would put most working-age American households on the dole, even when the economy is strong and the country is not in crisis.” (for publication 10/21)

    https://reason.com/2021/09/16/america-on-the-dole/

  • Top US Generals Blatantly Lied About Afghanistan and Iraq Wars To Advance Their Careers

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Paul Antonopoulos

    “According to the Pentagon’s annual reports on military justice, there have been more than 1.3 million cases of discipline in the US military since 2001, mostly relating to the so-called ‘War on Terror.’ But as The Intercept highlighted, the generals who misled Congress and the American public about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not only avoided repercussions after conducting a disinformation campaign for 20 years, but were instead rewarded for their deceivingly positive assessments.” (09/16/21)

    https://original.antiwar.com/paul_antonopoulos/2021/09/15/top-us-generals-blatantly-lied-about-afghanistan-and-iraq-wars-to-advance-their-careers/

  • Can American Politics Allow for Long-Run Investment?

    Source: The American Prospect
    by Lee Harris

    “Maurizio Cattaneo is exasperated. A chemical engineer, Cattaneo patented a filter for virus harvesting that helps scale up the production of viral vector vaccines, like those used to prevent COVID-19. Right now, business is booming. But instead of inking new deals for his virus filter supply company, Cattaneo has just had to tell a dozen clients to wait six months. Cattaneo usually orders $10,000 worth of membranes for his startup, Artemis Biosystems, but his ordinary supplier now won’t fill an order under $300,000. Finding a contractor who can fit a special casing around the membrane is even trickier, though he thinks he could find a work-around, given enough cash. But he can’t find a line of credit, he told the Prospect.” (09/16/21)

    https://prospect.org/economy/can-american-politics-allow-for-long-run-investment/

  • Party Like It’s Versailles

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “It takes a certain amount of gall to parade before the plebes, maskless while they are masked — though we are told the celebs masked up once the red carpet parade was over. To pretend to be ‘with the people’ and somehow against the rich while hobnobbing with the super-wealthy is one thing, but twirling and smiling and showing off while the lowly servants are not even allowed to show their faces … undermines that whole ‘tax the rich’ theme. … All this echoes Marie Antoinette — had she ever possessed the temerity to parade about as Jean-Paul Marat.” (09/16/21)

    https://thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/16/party-like-its-versailles/

  • Quantum Vibe, 09/16/21

    Source: Big Head Press
    by Scott Bieser

    Cartoon. (09/16/21)

    https://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=2270

  • Bitcoin the Messiah: El Salvador Goes Crypto

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Binoy Kampmark

    “The response to the introduction has been fairly predictable. Bond prices have fallen and bitcoin’s value has fluctuated. The naysayers suggest that the general adoption by residents will be small, fearing the currency’s volatility. Protestors fear that the cryptocurrency will simply enable further corrupt practices to take place. The converse may also be true: given Latin America’s long history of fiscal instability, banking collapses, and failed economic advisors, bitcoin promises an unorthodox form of insulation from shock.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/16/bitcoin-the-messiah-el-salvador-goes-crypto/

  • Norm Macdonald: Blunt-Force Truth

    Source: Town Hall
    by Chris Stigall

    “It’s hard to figure out why we sometimes internalize the deaths of people we never knew personally. Maybe it forces an awareness of our own mortality we often try to ignore. Maybe it signifies the end of an era that gave you inspiration or happiness. In the case of comedian Norm Macdonald, his death hit me hard and I know precisely why. Another voice of truth is gone. I’ve had the privilege over the years of interviewing great comics who come through town to promote their shows. It’s always a particular thrill when those comics happen to be people I grew up watching and appreciating stylistically. The late 80s and 90s-era Saturday Night Live cast are those people to me.” (09/16/21)

    https://townhall.com/columnists/chrisstigall/2021/09/16/norm-macdonald-bluntforce-truth-n2595977

  • It’s Time For Diplomacy With Afghanistan

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Doug Bandow

    “There is a new government in Kabul. The U.S. should acknowledge reality and talk to Afghanistan’s rulers. The Taliban will never be a friend of America, but the movement need not remain at war with the U.S.” (09/16/21)

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/its-time-for-diplomacy-with-afghanistan/

  • Atheists and the Unborn

    Source: Independent Institute
    by K Lloyd Billingsley

    “In his recent Beacon blog post ‘Abortion Extremities,’ Graham H. Walker cites three tests for human life in the womb: living or dead tissue, human or non-human, and a distinct DNA fingerprint. As he notes, the pre-born entity also has a separate brain, nerve, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, respiratory, musculoskeletal, immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. These empirical tests do not exhaust the arguments for the preservation of the pre-born. The late Christopher Hitchens, an orthodox atheist and author of God is Not Great, argued that life begins at conception because there is no other place where it can begin.” (09/15/21)

    https://blog.independent.org/2021/09/15/atheists-and-the-unborn/

  • Filibuster Now Only Thing Standing In Way of Voting Rights [sic]

    Source: In These Times
    by Jessica Corbett

    “As Senate Democrats on Tuesday announced a compromise voting rights bill backed by the entire caucus, advocates of election reform were quick to press Sen. Joe Manchin (who was part of the negotiations after opposing a previous broader proposal) to drop his resistance to reforming or abolishing the filibuster. The new Freedom to Vote Act retains parts of the House-approved For the People Act, which Manchin (D‑W.Va.) refused to co-sponsor and Senate Republicans repeatedly blocked this summer – elevating calls to change the chamber’s rules to advance the agenda of Democrats, who have the narrowest possible majority with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking tie votes. Manchin is a vocal opponent of killing the filibuster and continues to make a case for bipartisanship, even as the GOP actively works against his party and President Joe Biden’s policy priorities.” [editor’s note: This “coup” continues, while the other committee still claims there was one in January – SAT] (09/16/21)

    https://inthesetimes.com/article/filibuster-voting-rights-freedom-vote-act-manchin-biden

  • Does the Hancock Amendment Have an Achilles Heel?

    Source: Show-Me Institute
    by Elias Tsapelas

    “For more than four decades, Missouri’s Hancock Amendment has played a role in protecting taxpayers from an ever-growing government. But actions by our state’s legislature over the past year have exposed what could be a potentially crippling weakness of the amendment. Last week, I wrote about Missouri’s impending gas tax hike and the multiple questions it raises about the Hancock Amendment. At this point, we know the state’s gas tax will be going up on October 1, but we don’t know when or how the law’s compliance with the Hancock Amendment will be determined.” (09/15/21)

    https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/budget-and-spending/does-the-hancock-amendment-have-an-achilles-heel/

  • It’s Weird to Not Want Anarchy

    Source: Everything Voluntary
    by Isaac Morehouse

    “Everyone feels comfortable saying they want a world where nobody dies from cancer. Many people donate to and work towards that world. Nobody wants a world with murder, rape, famine, poverty, or infant death. Everyone openly says as much, and works towards that world. No one says, ‘I want some rape in the world,’ or, ‘I want a world where some children get murdered sometimes.’ That would be weird. It’s also weird to not want anarchy. It’s weird to not desire a world where no one initiates violence against peaceful people. It’s weird to not want a world where interactions are voluntary, and violence is only used in self-defense. Whether or not it’s achievable, you’d think, just like an end to cancer or poverty, people would at least want to achieve it.” (09/15/21)

    https://everything-voluntary.com/its-weird-to-not-want-anarchy

  • The Irrepressible Myths of Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Bob Fiedler

    “This month’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson did not overrule Roe v. Wade or make any kind of decision on the scope of the right to abortion. But the Court did refuse to issue a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of S.B. 8. There have been too many examples of both social conservative supporters of this bill and liberal detractors horribly misinterpreting and misapplying law, and using legally nonsensical arguments like getting angry with the Supreme Court because they expected the Court to do something they have no constitutional power to do.” (09/16/21)

    https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-irrepressible-myths-of-whole-womens-health-v-jackson/

  • Words Mean Things, and the “Treason” Talk is Tiresome

    Source: Garrison Center
    by Thomas L Knapp

    “Since about the time that Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, the word “treason” has become one of the most over-used — and more importantly MIS-used — words in the English language. Not just by his opponents, who broke out the t-word every time they tried to blame Hillary Clinton’s loss on alleged collusion with THEM RUSSIANS!, but by Trump himself …. I like words. Words are useful, because they mean things. When I say I want a banana, I’m asking for a piece of fruit rather than for, say, a Tesla Model 3 or tickets to the Allman Family Revival show in Sarasota. That’s handy. It keeps me from ending up with too many Teslas and concert tickets. When it comes to the word ‘treason,’ we have a clear and unambiguous definition, right there in  Article III of the US Constitution …” (09/15/21)

    https://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/16294

  • Can Biden’s Vaccination Rule for Private Employers Survive Judicial Scrutiny?

    Source: Reason
    by Jacob Sullum

    “Ordinarily, it takes years for OSHA to finalize new regulations. But the approach Biden has chosen, an ’emergency temporary standard’ (ETS), allows OSHA to bypass the usual rule-making process: It can issue a rule that takes effect immediately without advance notice, public comment, or hearings. Although the ETS option is undeniably convenient, it requires a special justification. OSHA must ‘determine’ that its ETS is ‘necessary’ to protect employees from a ‘grave danger’ caused by ‘new hazards’ or by ‘exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful.’ Those assessments are subject to judicial review, and OSHA’s track record in defending emergency standards suggests why it rarely takes this route. Six of the nine emergency standards that OSHA issued between 1971 and 1983 were challenged in court, and those challenges were partly or fully successful in all but one case.” (09/15/21)

    https://reason.com/2021/09/15/can-bidens-vaccination-rule-for-private-employers-survive-judicial-scrutiny/

  • How Weed Legalization Represents Pan-Secessionist Success

    Source: Attack The System
    by Keith Preston

    “[T]he drug war reached a certain level and leveled off during the George W. Bush regime as the focus of the police state suddenly became the war on terrorism following 9/11. The drug war wasn’t abandoned at this point but it ceased to continue to escalate and largely remained static. What seems to have happened since is that a combination of generational and cultural change, combined with the effects of long-term weed legalization activism, caused a shift regarding weed about ten years ago, where all of a sudden marijuana laws started falling or at least being rolled back at the state and local level. … all of this was done in direct defiance of the federal government, which has largely acquiesced in what amounts to a pan-secessionist action by 40 percent of jurisdictions in the US and its territories.” (09/15/21)

    https://attackthesystem.com/2021/09/15/how-weed-legalization-represents-pan-secessionist-success/

  • Intelligence Contract Funneled to Pro-War Think Tank Establishment

    Source: The Intercept
    by Lee Fang

    “In 2018, when the government awarded a massive $769 million contract to Alion Science and Technology, a defense contractor, the company promised that the money would go to ‘cutting edge’ intelligence and technological solutions ‘that directly support the warfighter.’ … But part of the money embedded in that contract also flowed to the nation’s foremost hawkish think tanks, which routinely advocate for higher Pentagon budgets and a greater projection of America’s military force. … The arrangement of a defense contractor sharing a military-focused contract with think tanks provides a small window into the larger world of Defense Department funding of the most prominent voices in the military policy establishment. The public-facing descriptions of military contracts to think tanks are almost always vague; sometimes they are totally opaque.” (09/15/21)

    https://theintercept.com/2021/09/15/pentagon-funding-think-tanks/

  • How Much Should We Worry About the Inflation Surge?

    Source: Niskanen Center
    by Ed Dolan

    “On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showing that its headline rate of inflation remained over 5 percent for the third straight month. Pundits in the conservative media have been raising the alarm about inflation for most of this year. They see 5 percent as shockingly high. We are in for a rerun of the inflationary 1970s, they warn. Only austerity can save us! Stop the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar spending madness before it is too late! Are these warnings justified? A closer look at the numbers suggests they are not.” [editor’s note: The year-over-year change in food prices suggests that inflation is at more like 30% – TLK] (09/15/21)

    https://www.niskanencenter.org/how-much-should-we-worry-about-the-inflation-surge/

  • Uncle Sam’s Hamartia = Your Early Death

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Robert E Wright

    “Since the New Deal, it has been in the best interest of the U.S. government for Americans to drop dead the day before they start to collect Social Security or other entitlements. They will have contributed all they could to the role that Uncle Sam forced them into and exeunt stage left on cue, having given the performance of their lives as Ophelia in Hamlet. In the Shakespearean tragedy that America has become, the hero’s hamartia (fatal flaw) is trying to do too much, to achieve several ultimately incompatible goals. … the government should recuse itself from regulating healthcare at all, or get out of the life annuity game (Social Security). The two are incompatible and that explains why government agencies spend billions funding ways to kill you, or bleeding your wallet when you get sick, but precious little on how to keep you well.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.aier.org/article/uncle-sams-hamartia-your-early-death/

  • An Evil Rationalization on Afghanistan

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “One of the arguments that interventionists, including many U.S. military veterans, use to rationalize the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan is that U.S. forces were fighting to bring ‘freedom, democracy, and women’s rights’ to the country. In fact, the Pentagon even coined the term ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ as one of the ways to justify the invasion and occupation of the country. Even though the effort failed, the argument goes, interventionists, including veterans, should nonetheless feel good about their ‘service’ to both America and Afghanistan. There is a problem with this rationale and justification, however. The problem is that it is evil to the core.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.fff.org/2021/09/15/an-evil-rationalization-on-afghanistan/

  • If $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” bill fails, it’s bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden

    Source: The Hill
    by Joe Concha

    “If anyone needs a big win right now, it’s the embattled 46th president. President Biden’s poll numbers are horrifying, with support among independents in the low-to-mid 30s and even Democrats starting to express buyer’s remorse, with more than 1-in-5 in a recent Zogby poll saying they regret voting for Biden. And from a messaging perspective, there is no issue to which to pivot in an effort to change narratives and news cycles. … Biden is in desperate need of a big win. So, enter the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, which includes $1.2 trillion for actual infrastructure — roads, bridges, trains, clean water, power grids, internet access, etc. — and another $2.5 trillion for things that have nothing to do with roads, bridges, trains, water, power grids, etc.” (09/15/21)

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/572176-if-35-trillion-infrastructure-bill-fails-its-bye-bye-for-an-increasingly

  • The Non-Debate on Taxes

    Source: National Review
    by Kevin D Williamson

    “[O]ur contemporary Republicans and Democrats are not opposite poles of the political planet but a binary star system, both orbiting the same point: the pursuit of money, power, and status. They are, in fact, so fundamentally similar that without the cultural cues that are today the main means of political communication, it would be impossible to tell them apart. Consider the apparatchik of the moment, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and her big night at the Met Gala. To say that it was in bad taste to wear a white dress emblazoned with the words ‘Tax the Rich’ to a party with a $30,000 cover charge misses the point — the New York Democrat was in costume …. The issue isn’t raising revenue for federal programs. The issue is that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looks good in white — it is her color, as you can tell from her many white dresses, her white Tesla, and her white neighbors.” (09/15/21)

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/09/the-non-debate-on-taxes/

  • The Colluder-in-Chief

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “When government pressures private companies to censor people, the government is itself acting to censor people. That the Biden administration is acting to censor unapproved discussion of COVID-19 isn’t a guess. It has publicly urged social-media companies to prohibit ‘misinformation.’ … The Liberty Justice Center is now suing the administration and firms like Facebook and Twitter for violating the First Amendment rights of people like Justin Hart, a plaintiff in the case. Hart is a data analyst who questions the effectiveness of requiring children to wear masks in school. For his fielding and repeating those questions, he was booted from social media accounts.”

    https://thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/15/the-colluder-in-chief-2/

  • What They Really Mean When They Say “Do the Right Thing”

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Casey Carlisle

    “As a senior in high school, I ran for class president with ‘Do the right thing’ as my campaign slogan. Though I realized years ago how utterly pretentious that message is, I’m often reminded that it’s good politics, which proves the point that politics is poison. To vote for someone else is to ‘do the wrong thing,’ and you don’t want to be a bad person, do you? It’s a sinister trick that comes in many phrases — all of which are highly effective in duping the majority — yet democracy is still deified.” (09/15/21)

    https://mises.org/wire/what-they-really-mean-when-they-say-do-right-thing

  • COVID-19: Shall We Rush to Get the Biden Jab?

    Source: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
    by staff

    “If you are not already in the half of Americans who are fully vaccinated, President Biden’s speech on mandates gives the vaccination decision a new urgency. The timing, just prior to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 — and just after our chaotic exit from Afghanistan — is interesting. As Biden said, ‘this is not about freedom or personal choice.’ Many of our freedoms were already crushed under the rubble of the World Trade Center. Will the rest be lost in the war against a virus?” (09/15/21)

    https://aapsonline.org/covid-19-shall-we-rush-to-get-the-biden-jab/