RRND Email Full Text

  • SCOTUS considers Harvard case on race in college admissions

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    “With abortion and guns already on the agenda, the conservative [sic] -dominated Supreme Court is considering adding a third blockbuster issue: whether to ban consideration of race in college admissions. The justices could say as soon as Monday whether they will hear an appeal claiming that Harvard discriminates against Asian American applicants, in a case that could have nationwide repercussions. The case would not be argued until the fall or winter. ‘It would be a big deal because of the nature of college admissions across the country and because of the stakes of having this issue before the Supreme Court,’ said Gregory Garre, who twice defended the University of Texas’ admissions program before the justices.” (06/13/21)


  • TN: Son shoots intruder at Memphis home, police say

    Source: Fox 13 News

    “According to a police affidavit, 19-year-old Kevin Mitchell jumped over a family’s back fence on Kirby Brooks Drive. The mother said she rushed to get her son and daughter and found Mitchell coming over the fence. The family said that Mitchell then made eye-contact with them and pulled out a gun, pointing it at the mother and her children. That’s when the son pulled out a gun of his own and, reportedly in fear for his mother’s life, shot Mitchell, police said. Mitchell took off running and hoped into a black car before speeding away, according to the affidavit. Soon after, Methodist Le Bonheur reported a man with gunshot wounds to his arms, stomach and butt coming into the hospital, according to police.” (06/12/21)


  • Exodus of election officials raises concerns of partisanship

    Source: US News & World Report

    “There is no shortage of job openings for local election officials in Michigan. It’s the same in Pennsylvania. Wisconsin, too. After facing threats and intimidation during the 2020 presidential election and its aftermath, and now the potential of new punishments in certain states, county officials who run elections are quitting or retiring early. The once quiet job of election administration has become a political minefield thanks to the baseless claims of widespread fraud that continue to be pushed by many in the Republican Party. The exits raise a pressing question: Who will take these jobs? Barb Byrum, clerk of Ingham County, Michigan, has an idea. ‘These conspiracy theorists are in it for the long haul. They’re in it to completely crumble our republic, and they’re looking at these election administrator positions,’ said Byrum, a Democrat.” (06/13/21)


  • AOC: “Elephant in the Room” Is Senate Dems Blocking Their Own Party’s Agenda

    Source: Common Dreams

    “New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave voice Sunday to the growing frustration among progressives due to Democratic Senators who have become the clear obstructionists in enacting the bold agenda they promised U.S. voters in last year’s election. Following a morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Ocasio-Cortez said Democrats ‘have an obligation to do the most we can for working people, civil right, and the planet with the power people have entrusted us,’ and stressed during her television appearance that her side of the aisle should bend no further to the demands of a minority Republican Party that has a demonstrated history of acting in bad faith while making clear that defeating progress on key issues like infrastructure, healthcare, climate action, and pro-democracy reforms is its top priority.” (06/13/21)


  • Ice shelf protecting Antarctic glacier is breaking up faster

    Source: Norwalk Hour

    “A critical Antarctic glacier is looking more vulnerable as satellite images show the ice shelf that blocks it from collapsing into the sea is breaking up much faster than before and spawning huge icebergs, a new study says. The Pine Island Glacier’s ice shelf loss accelerated in 2017, causing scientists to worry that with climate change the glacier’s collapse could happen quicker than the many centuries predicted. The floating ice shelf acts like a cork in a bottle for the fast-melting glacier and prevents its much larger ice mass from flowing into the ocean. That ice shelf has retreated by 12 miles (20 kilometers) between 2017 and 2020, according to a study in Friday’s Science Advances.” (06/12/21)


  • Putin: Russian regime prepared to extradite accused cyber criminals to US on reciprocal basis

    Source: CNN

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his nation is prepared to extradite cyber criminals to the United States on a reciprocal basis, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Sunday. According to TASS, Putin told state TV channel Rossiya-1 that both Russia and the US must ‘assume equal commitments,’ adding that ‘Russia will naturally do that but only if the other side, in this case the United States, agrees to the same and will also extradite corresponding criminals to the Russian Federation.’ Putin’s remarks come ahead of a June 16 summit with US President Joe Biden in Geneva.” (06/13/21)


  • Switzerland: Voters reject key climate change measures

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “Switzerland’s policy on fighting climate change has been thrown into doubt after voters rejected key measures in a popular vote. A referendum saw voters narrowly reject the government’s plans for a car fuel levy and a tax on air tickets. The measures were designed to help Switzerland meet targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Many voters appear to have worried about the impact on the economy as the country tries to recover from Covid-19. Opponents also pointed out that Switzerland is responsible for only 0.1% of global emissions, and expressed doubts that such policies would help the environment. The vote, under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, went 51% against, 49% in favour.” (06/13/21)


  • Algeria: Islamist party makes early victory claim in election

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    “A moderate Islamist party claimed victory Sunday in Algeria’s legislative election even though results were not expected for several more days. Less than 24 hours after polls closed in the North African country, the head of the Movement for a Peaceful Society said the party ‘leads results in the majority of wilayas (regions) and overseas.’ Party chief Abderrazak Makri also denounced alleged fraud attempts ‘to change the results.’ The party did not provide the basis for its victory claim. The turnout for Saturday’s parliamentary election was dismal, with less than a third of the 24 million eligible voters casting ballots, according to the chief of Algeria’s electoral authority said late Saturday. The low participation reflected disinterest, longstanding opposition in the Berber region and a boycott by the pro-democracy movement that forced the country’s longtime president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to resign in 2019.” (06/13/21)


  • Blue Origin auctions seat on first spaceflight with Jeff Bezos for $28 million

    Source: CNBC

    “Jeff Bezos’[s] space venture Blue Origin auctioned off a seat on its upcoming first crewed spaceflight on Saturday for $28 million. The winning bidder, whose name wasn’t released, will fly to the edge of space with the Amazon founder and his brother Mark on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket scheduled to launch on July 20. The company said it will reveal the name of the auction winner in the coming weeks. Bidding opened at $4.8 million but surpassed $20 million within the first few minutes of the auction. The auction’s proceeds will be donated to Blue Origin’s education-focused nonprofit Club for the Future, which supports kids interested in future STEM careers.” (06/12/21)


  • Nigeria: Regime thugs attack protesters with chemical weapons

    Source: Reuters

    “Police fired tear gas and detained several demonstrators in the Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja on Saturday during protests over the country’s worsening security situation, Reuters witnesses said. Anger over mass kidnappings-for-ransom, a decade-long Islamist insurgency and a crackdown on protesters in Lagos last October has fueled demands for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to do more to tackle violence and insecurity. There was a heavy police presence in the country’s two major cities as several hundred people gathered to protest on Democracy Day, which marks Nigeria’s move to civilian rule more than 20 years ago. Reuters witnesses in Lagos and Abuja saw police shooting their guns into the air and firing tear gas into the crowds to disperse the demonstrators, who held placards and chanted ‘Buhari must go.'” (06/12/21)


  • McDonald’s hit by data breach

    Source: CBS News

    “McDonald’s has become the latest company to be hit by a data breach after unauthorized activity on its network exposed the personal data of some customers in South Korea and Taiwan. The fast-food giant said Friday that it quickly identified and contained the incident and that a thorough investigation was done. … McDonald’s said its investigation determined that only South Korea and Taiwan had customer personal data accessed, and that they would be taking steps to notify regulators and also the customers who may be impacted. No customer payment information was exposed.” (06/11/21)


  • Saudi Arabia: Regime Says Hajj to Be Limited to 60,000 in Kingdom

    Source: US News & World Report

    “Saudi Arabia announced Saturday this year’s hajj pilgrimage will be limited to no more than 60,000 people, all of them from within the kingdom, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The announcement by the kingdom comes after it ran an incredibly pared-down pilgrimage last year over the virus, but still allowed a small number of the faithful to take part in the annual ceremony. A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted the kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry making the announcement. It said this year’s hajj, which will begin in mid-July, will be limited to those ages 18 to 65. Those taking part must be vaccinated as well, the ministry said.” (06/12/21)


  • US Regime Begins Shifting Afghan Combat Operations Outside Country

    Source: US News & World Report

    “The U.S. military has already begun conducting combat operations and surveillance in Afghanistan from outside the country’s borders, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Thursday, as the troop withdrawal continues. But Austin declined to specifically address whether the U.S. will provide combat air support to the Afghan forces to prevent them or their major cities from being overrun by the Taliban after the pullout is complete. Austin said he would not ‘speculate on potential actions’ but noted that once troops are fully withdrawn from Afghanistan it will be very difficult to provide such support to the Afghans. … Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that already the ‘vast majority’ of MQ-9 Reaper drone missions are being flown from locations outside Afghanistan.” (06/10/21)


  • EU Commission asks Polish regime not to question primacy of EU law

    Source: Metro

    “The European Commission has asked Poland not to question the primacy of European Union law over national legislation, because it is the fundamental principle of the 27-nation bloc, a Commission spokesman said on Thursday. The Commission, which is the guardian of EU treaties, sent a letter to the Polish government on Wednesday asking Warsaw to withdraw a motion filed by the Polish prime minister with Poland’s constitutional court seeking a ruling on whether the Polish constitution or EU treaties are more important. … The executive Commission’s letter follows the start of a Commission legal procedure against Germany on Wednesday, aimed at forcing Berlin to assert the primacy of European law over national court decisions after Germany’s highest court challenged a judgement by the EU’s top court.” (06/10/21)


  • House Democrats whine after Omar notes similarities between US, Israeli regimes and Hamas

    Source: USA Today

    “A group of House lawmakers is criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for comparing the human rights records of the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban — a rare public rebuke against a fellow Democrat. ‘Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,’ Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider and 11 other Democrats wrote in a joint statement issued late Wednesday. ‘Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.’ … The group was reacting to a tweet Omar posted Monday. ‘We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,’ she tweeted. ‘We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.'” (06/10/21)


  • Iranian regime mum on destination of two warships in Atlantic Ocean as US regime throws around threats

    Source: The Hill

    “Iran announced publicly for the first time Thursday that it is sending two warships into the Atlantic Ocean but remained mum on where exactly the two vessels are headed. Iranian state media reported that the destroyer Sahand and the intelligence-gathering vessel Makran had arrived in the Atlantic in a move Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari told Iranian journalists showed the country’s power. … Reports have suggested that the two vessels could be bound for Venezuela and might even be transporting weapons to the country, a move that Washington would likely consider to be highly provocative. Politico reported Wednesday that the U.S. is pressing Venezuela and Cuba to turn away the two warships, warning that measures would be taken to prevent a threat to Washington’s Western Hemisphere allies.” (06/10/21)


  • TX: Abbott announces plan to re-start Trump’s “border wall” boondoggle

    Source: The Hill

    “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday announced plans to build a wall on the southern border while at a summit to discuss border security [sic] in Del Rio, Texas. ‘I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall,’ Abbott said, according to KTVT. Abbott also announced other border security [sic] measures, including the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Border and Homeland Security and $1 billion allocated toward border security [sic]. During the summit, Abbott blamed the Biden administration for the influx of migrants traveling into Texas.” [editor’s note: The wall project isn’t about any kind of “security” except job security for grandstanding politicians like Abbott. It’s just an expensive and ugly form of virtue signaling to his authoritarian supporters – TLK] (06/10/21)


  • Third member of US FDA advisory panel resigns over Alzheimer’s drug approval

    Source: Fox Business

    “A third member of a panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has resigned in protest over the agency’s decision to approve Biogen Inc’s Alzheimer’s disease treatment despite the committee’s recommendation against doing so. Aaron Kesselheim, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School who had served on the FDA’s advisory committee for nervous system drugs since 2015, told Reuters on Thursday he was stepping down from the panel. … On Tuesday, a member of the advisory group who voted against the approval, Washington University neurologist Dr. Joel Perlmutter, resigned from the committee, citing the FDA’s approval of Aduhelm. Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. David Knopman said he resigned on Wednesday. The 11-member committee voted nearly unanimously in November that Biogen’s drug should not be approved, citing inconclusive evidence that the drug was effective.” (06/11/21)


  • Peru: Prosecutor requests prison for Fujimori

    Source: CNN

    “The lead prosecutor in an ongoing Peruvian corruption case urged a judge Thursday to send presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori back to preventive prison in connection with an ongoing corruption case, even as votes continue to be tallied. Fujimori has dismissed the request as absurd. ‘The prosecutor knows where I live, I’m not going to flee,’ she said. She currently trails Pedro Castillo, a high school teacher who has never held public office, in a knife-edge race to be the next president of Peru. … [Prosecutor Jose Domingo] Perez accused Fujimori of breaching ‘the rule of conduct’ that prohibits her from communicating with case witnesses. During a press conference Wednesday, Keiko Fujimori was seen with Miguel Torres, an Odebrecht case witness, according to Andina. Torres was introduced as the lawyer and spokesman for Fujimori’s party, Fuerza Popular.” (06/10/21)


  • TN: Kid Rock addresses use of homophobic slur … by using it again in a tweet

    Source: Fox News

    “Kid Rock took to Twitter to double down on his controversial use of a homophobic slur during a recent concert appearance. The outspoken rocker, 50, caught backlash after he took the stage inside the FishLipz Bar and Grill in Smithville, Tenn. and mocked onlookers who dared to record his set. The ‘Biker Boyz’ actor reportedly shouted ‘f—k your iPhone’ before using the other ‘f’ word to deride his crowd. ‘You f—ing f—–s with your iPhones out!!!’ he yelled, according to footage obtained by TMZ. On Wednesday, the performer, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, went on Twitter to address the situation, where he remained unapologetic in his use of the slur. However, he did distance himself from his ‘Kid Rock’ persona a bit by sharing a quote on behalf of ‘Bob Ritchie.'” (06/10/21)


  • I had measles and don’t need a vaccine to protect me. What if I’ve had COVID?

    Source: Fox News Forum
    by Dr. Marc Siegel

    “My office manager had COVID three months ago and has thus far refrained from taking the COVID vaccine. I continue to encourage it though I do believe she is still protected by natural immunity. The question is for how long? I was born just before the measles shot became available, and I, like most children my age, suffered through a bout of measles. Luckily, I didn’t develop pneumonia or brain swelling, I did just fine. And science has determined that my immunity from measles now is lifelong, hence I don’t need a measles shot. I also had chicken pox, which means I don’t need a varicella vaccine, though I am at greater risk for getting a severe case of shingles (recurrence of the virus that causes chicken pox which is harbored in my nerves) than if I had received the vaccine.” (06/11/21)


  • American Classical Liberals Suck

    Source: Notes On Liberty
    by Edwin van de Haar

    “This week Kevin Vallier published a new entry on neoliberalism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Neoliberalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). It is a well-written, well-researched piece. However, it is also symbolic for the greatest deficiency of American classical liberals: they are unable or unwilling to defend the name, or label if you like, of the ideas they are associated with. Given the influence of American academia and thinks tanks on the rest of the world this is especially important. It has happened before, and it is happening now. It sucks.” (06/12/21)


  • The Regulatory Capture Of The FDA

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Maxim Jacobs

    “This week, three members of an 11 member FDA advisory committee of experts resigned in protest over the FDA’s approval of Aduhelm (aducanumab) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. These resignations are extremely unusual, but in this case, understandable. Aduhelm was approved by the agency despite the fact that both pivotal trials were stopped early because they were judged to be futile, the FDA’s own statistical reviewer did not support approval, and the FDA advisory committee reviewing the application voted it down overwhelmingly. Additionally, in a survey conducted by Endpoint News, whose readership is heavily weighted to biopharmaceutical industry staffers and executives, over 80 percent consider the approval to be a bad idea. So, how did Aduhelm’s June 7 approval happen? Two words: regulatory capture.” (06/12/21)


  • How to Tax Multinational Corporations

    Source: The American Prospect
    by Reuven Avi-Yonah

    “The finance ministers of the world’s seven richest economies reached a groundbreaking agreement last week, promising a new era in which harmful tax competition is replaced by tax cooperation that benefits all the countries involved. It would impose a uniform minimum tax of 15 percent on all multinationals, over 90 percent of which are from G7 countries. If these countries impose a uniform tax of 15 percent on their multinationals, no competitive disadvantage can ensue, because all the competitors will be subject to the same rate. The Biden administration should receive full credit for brokering this deal. It was responsible for breaking through the impasse resulting from the Trump administration’s refusal to engage in any cooperative endeavor on tax policy. Moreover, the deal eliminates the dispute about taxation of the large U.S. tech companies, which will now be subject to the same 15 percent tax as everybody else.” (06/11/21)


  • How the (Much Maligned) Mongol Horde Helped Create Russian Civilization

    Source: Quillette
    by Marie Favereau

    “If the great nomadic regime born from the Mongol expansion of the 13th century were projected on today’s maps, it would stretch across a region occupied by Ukraine, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Russia, including Tatarstan and Crimea. The history of this Horde is therefore a shared legacy. That legacy does not belong exclusively to the national narratives of any of these nation-states, narratives centered on linguistic, ethnic, and religious communities that had very different experiences with the Horde and today invest those experiences with a range of meanings. As a result, the historiography of the Horde has tended to depend very much on the standpoint of the historian. Where nationalisms solidified in opposition to Mongol rule, historians have told one kind of story; where nationalisms presume continuity with the Mongol past, historians have told another kind of story.” (06/11/21)


  • Wall Street Giants Want to Be Your Landlord — Data Show Megabanks Are Buying up All the US Real Estate

    Source: Bitcoin.com
    by Jamie Redman

    “Homebuyers in the United States have found difficulties acquiring single-family homes after the year-long business shutdowns and lockdowns that followed Covid-19. It seems there’s a new wave of homebuyers in the U.S. real estate market, with buyers stemming from hedge funds, pension funds, clearinghouses, and financial services companies. The weight of real estate property under the U.S. banking system’s wings today has analysts and economists very concerned about the next financial crisis.” (06/11/21)


  • “America Is Back” … But to What?

    Source: Town Hall
    by Michael Reagan

    “After stopping in England he’ll summit with European leaders in Brussels and then move on to his mano-a-mano meet-up with Vladimir Putin in Geneva. I pray to God he does a great job, but I worry Putin will eat Joe alive. Historically, left-wing dictatorships like Russia, China and North Korea have done that to our leaders when they go visiting overseas. When they make deals with us, left-wing countries like to play the geopolitical version of Rodney King’s famous plea ‘Can we just all get along?’ But as we’ve proven time and time again, the answer is always no. We can’t get along with leftists overseas — or at home.” [editor’s note: In what universe is the Putin regime “leftist?” – TLK] (06/12/21)


  • Pushing back on the “Indo-Pacific” cliche

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by Daniel Larison

    “The U.S. aspiration to create a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ is an exercise in dangerous overstretch that will strain an already overburdened Navy and distract from America’s core security commitments in East Asia at a time when U.S. strategy in East Asia needs to be more focused and less ambitious to secure U.S. and allied interests.” (06/11/21)


  • Leftists’ Perverse View of Capitalism

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “A recent article at Aljazeera by the noted leftist commentator Belen Fernandez exemplifies the perverse mindset that leftists have toward what they call ‘capitalism.’ … Fernandez attributes the massive violence in Mexico to the U.S. government’s war on drugs. So far, so good. She is right on that count. There is no doubt that the drug war has decimated Mexico, in the process killing hundreds of thousands of people and destroying the liberty and security of the Mexican people. The same applies, of course, to other Latin American nations. But then Fernandez goes off the rails. She says that the drug war is part and parcel of America’s ‘capitalist’ system, which, she says, ‘thrives on the proliferation of strife in general and the marketing of superficial non-solutions to problems.'” (06/11/21)


  • Militarized Police: A Consequence of the War on Drugs

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Abigail R Hall

    “All wars have casualties. The war on drugs is no exception. From the impoverished farmers in Afghanistan who faced the choice of defying either the Taliban or the U.S. military, to those who will die in federal prison for non-violent drug offenses, many have been caught in the crossfire. The war on drugs has impacted a myriad of domestic institutions within the United States. Nowhere is this more apparent than in analyzing the evolution of U.S. domestic policing. Historically, laws within the United States have attempted to separate the functions of domestic police from those of the military. … While events throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century opened the door that separated police and military, the war on drugs blew that door off its hinges.” (06/11/21)


  • A Crucial Global Step to Achieve “Freedom From War”

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Peter Langille

    “Humanity’s urgent trillion-dollar question is what will stop war and violent conflict? Aside from vast human suffering and death, with ever-higher risks in war, people and the planet just can’t afford more. Now, the cost of preparing for more war at $2-trillion annually is dwarfed by the damage caused, with the Global Peace Index reporting the economic impact of violence at $14.5-trillion annually. That’s a yearly burden of nearly $2000 on everyone, everywhere. No, neither cost is sustainable; those resources are urgently needed for our climate, health, and social emergencies. The future — if there is to be one — will depend on far deeper cooperation occurring within the next few years. Yet it seems unlikely that war will end simply from opposition, protest or just more calls for cuts.” (06/12/21)


  • Bureaucracy as Constituency

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by James R Harrigan & Antony Davies

    “The federal government employs almost two million civilians. For perspective, that’s over 25 percent more employees than Walmart, which is otherwise the country’s largest employer. Those who occupy the federal bureaucracy benefit from bigger government because the larger the government, the more power and funding flow to those in this unelected and largely unchecked ‘branch’ of government. That the federal bureaucracy has become a constituency of sorts isn’t surprising. What is surprising (and dangerous) is that it has become a weaponized constituency.” (06/11/21)


  • With Reverse Repos, The Fed Is Now Trying to Clean up Its Own Mess

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Doug French

    “This spring Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes asked Fed chair Jerome Powell, ‘And you believe the system, because of the oversight of the Fed, has the wherewithal to stand a significant shock to the markets?’ After pointing out that the markets survived a 25 percent drop in GDP and the loss of 30 million jobs last covid spring, Powell admitted that ‘some parts of the financial system had to be bailed out again. These were really, though, nonbank places like money market funds and things like that, where we had to step in again and provide liquidity.’ Money market funds (MMF) are what most investors consider cash. How could anything go wrong with cash? One wonders why the Fed would be forced to provide liquidity to shore up liquidity. Truth be known, it’s not cash and not all that liquid.” (06/12/21)


  • The World Loves Free Speech — Except When They’re Offended

    Source: Reason
    by JD Tuccille

    “Freedom of expression wins strong endorsements around the world when people are asked, say researchers, so why have protections for speech consistently slipped for over a decade? Part of the problem is that many of those surveyed embrace a convenient attitude toward the issue: they support protections for speech of which they approve, but not of speech that offends them. Unfortunately, a right you’re willing to extend only to yourself and your allies is no right at all and leaves freedom available only to those who wield power.” (06/11/21)


  • Koch Money and Double Standards

    Source: 200-Proof Liberals
    by Jason Brennan

    “The Koch Foundation advocates a libertarian or classical liberal ideology. … They are not interested in advancing Marxism, Keynesian economics, orthodox Rawlsianism, or left-liberalism. Since many academics dislike the libertarian point of view, they conclude that Koch funding is bad, and then rationalize a number of bad arguments to this effect. But what’s intriguing about this is how they do not apply similar standards to their own sources of funding. For instance, Wake Forest also hosts a number of left-wing, progressive research institutes — e.g., the Pro Humanitae Institute and Anna Julia Cooper Center — which receive funding from various left-wing foundations and sources. … The faculty at Wake Forest have not caused a stink about these groups. UnKoch My Campus has not demanded these centers be subject to the same scrutiny as the Eudaimonia Institute.” (06/11/21)


  • Is Inflation Finally Here?

    Source: Heartland Institute
    by Daniel Sutter

    “The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) exceeded 4% in April for the first time since 2008. Many economists have been predicting inflation following a 25% increase in the money supply in spring 2020. Has inflation finally arrived?” (06/11/21)


  • Salt losing its savor and more problems

    Source: The Price of Liberty
    by Nathan Barton

    “It is clear that the American salt — the love of liberty and the fight against imperialism and tyranny — was losing its savor as far back as 1898. That was when the professional criminal class in DC (that is, Congress) decided NOT to really liberate the last Spanish colonies in the Americas and Pacific, but instead use them to build an American Empire. The hypocrisy of Wilson in defending and then seeking to preserve the old empires, directly or indirectly, in 1918 was even worse.” (06/11/21)


  • Surveillance Going Postal — USPS’s Ever Growing Spy Role Expands to Internet Traffic

    Source: Independent Institute
    by Jonathan Hofer

    “On April 21, investigative reporter Jana Winters broke the news that the United States Postal service was running a ‘covert operations program’ that was monitoring American’s social media. She found that the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) was trawling posts and online activity pertaining to a number of planned protests as part of a ‘World Wide Rally for Freedom and Democracy.’ … Postal services and government surveillance have historically gone together like peanut butter and jelly. The practice of having a ‘cabinet noir’ (black room) in French post offices to intercept messages was so ubiquitous under King Louis XIII that the term ‘cabinet noir’ has become a term for surveillance hubs among privacy activists.” (06/11/21)


  • Legal Fiction

    Source: The Honest Courtesan
    by Maggie McNeill

    “I disagree that legal minors ‘cannot’ consent to sex. Our society doesn’t allow them to consent due to the possible consequences. It does, however, allow them to consent to some other things due to the potential consequences being (correctly or incorrectly) perceived as acceptable. … There is no magical moment of ‘Shazam!’ at which teens are mystically imbued with the ability to consent, but there are various arbitrary legal lines at which society recognizes their consent to various things as valid.” (06/10/21)


  • The Case of Colonialism: Secession for Thee, But Not for Me

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Ryan McMaken

    “From the late 1940s through the 1970s, across Africa and Asia — and even in Europe, as in the case of Malta — dozens of colonial territories declared independence through referenda and other strategies. Throughout these processes of decolonization, much of the international community — including the United States — was supportive. Following the Second World War, the United States explicitly supported decolonization efforts, and was often quick to recognize the new countries’ sovereignty and establish diplomatic relations. The U.S. frequently supported these acts of secession because, it was said, it was morally imperative so as to respect the rights of ‘self-determination’ denied to the world’s colonized territories. Yet, when secession is suggested in other contexts, today’s regimes are far less enthusiastic and generally condemn the very idea of secession.” (06/11/21)


  • Wuhan Lab Leak: It’s Not a “Theory”

    Source: Garrison Center
    by Thomas L Knapp

    “Was SARS-COV-2 — the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic — created (or at least weaponized by being made transmissible to and between humans) in a Chinese research lab? Was it then leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from that lab into the human population? It’s impossible to overstate the explosive potential of a provable ‘yes’ answer to those two questions. Seventeen months into the news cycle surrounding those questions (they were first publicly hinted at in a tweet on January 5, 2020), they’re still putting off lots of heat and very little light. And that’s likely to remain the case, because the ‘Wuhan Lab Leak theory’ is not a theory. A theory has to be objectively testable such that if it’s false it can be PROVEN false. Otherwise, it’s just a hypothesis.” (06/10/21)


  • We Made The Rainbow Boring

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Matt Purple

    “[H]ow did diversity become so boring? How did one of the most interesting facts of life — that we’re all different, that humanity comes in many shades and variations — end up as the kind of H.R. PowerPoint seminar that everyone at the company sleeps through? One reason is that [critical race theory] by design is meant to conceal. The objects of wokeness — an allegiance to identity groups, a modern racial hierarchy …. are so radical as to be non-starters for much of the country. Many of these assumptions are also racist in and of themselves, which risks driving people away (warning about the dangers of ‘white culture’ sounds an awful lot like the sort of bigoted pseudo-social science we’ve all been conditioned to reject). Wokeness gets around this by cloaking itself in jargon. It hides its audacity behind terms that sound at once both harmless and indecipherable.” (06/11/21)


  • Poverty Is A Weapon Of The Powerful

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “Learn enough about what’s happening in the world and you realize that most people in your society have worldviews that are completely and utterly wrong. This can seem bold, perhaps even arrogant, but if most people weren’t deluded about the world, the world wouldn’t be so fucked. And it’s not that people are dumb; intelligence has little to do with it. Some of the most intelligent people on earth promote the same deluded worldviews as everyone else. The problem isn’t intellect, it’s manipulation, and anyone can be manipulated no matter how smart they are. This mass-scale manipulation is the result of wealthy people buying up narrative influence in the form of media, political influence, think tanks, lobbying, NGOs, etc, in conjunction with the mass-scale manipulations of the powerful government agencies which are allied with them.” (06/10/21)


  • The Fed’s Digital Dollar Would Be “Nightmareville” for Privacy

    Source: Reason
    by Ella Lubell

    “The U.S. government is thinking about creating an electronic currency backed directly by the dollar, an idea dubbed the ‘digital dollar’ or ‘Fedcoin.’ Such a step could severely damage trust in the dollar and risk Americans’ privacy. … Competitive private sector organizations have at least some incentive to prioritize privacy, as we’ve seen in the cryptocurrency market. The federal government has little such incentive.” (06/10/21)


  • Could an Invisible Military Laser Steal Your Privacy?

    Source: Quillette
    by Art Keller

    “Face recognition is still not on most Westerners’ list of top 100 issues to worry about. And it should be. Even Google, years before it quietly axed the motto, ‘Don’t Be Evil,’ opted out of face recognition tech. Then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt explained it was the only tech Google had built and then decided not to use because it could be used ‘in a very bad way.’ … face recognition chills First Amendment free speech, and as used by many police departments, outright violates Fourth Amendment rights on unreasonable search, and 14th Amendment rights on due process.” (06/10/21)


  • Abolishing Police and Abolishing Militaries

    Source: OpEdNews
    by David Swanson

    “Outside of anti-prison and antiracist activism, one is hard-pressed to find any advocate for anything good under the sun who mentions war abolition even in passing. Prison-abolition has a similar problem. Opponents of sexual violence tend not to oppose the prisons in which a huge percentage of sexual assaults happen, just as opponents of environmental and climate destruction tend not to oppose the militaries that do so much of it (to take two examples of dozens for each of these two abolitionist movements). Police and war abolition have a lot more in common, however, than the reluctance of well-funded respectable reform movements to support them.” (06/10/21)


  • Recommendations for Private Sponsorship Design in an Expanded Community Sponsorship System

    Source: Niskanen Center
    by staff

    “In the aftermath of World War II, the global community recognized its failure to protect victims of persecution and made a powerful commitment to protect the rights of refugees. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, the United States’[s] renewed leadership on refugee protection is a welcome and necessary commitment to revitalizing the Refugee Convention’s humanitarian spirit and sense of shared responsibility for supporting the rights, dignity, and security of all people. After four years of devastating retreat on refugee protection, the United States’[s] commitment to not only restoring this critical lifeline but also innovating the U.S. refugee program through community sponsorship is a promising roadmap for foundational change and hope.” (06/10/21)


  • Drinking the Koolaid

    Source: The Price of Liberty
    by Nathan Barton

    “According to recent reports, finally after 15 months a ‘majority’ of Americans think that we can go back to life as normal after the Pandemic Panic. Specifically, that we do NOT need to stay home as much as possible and minimize contact with others. But apparently there is a big exception. Supposedly, 71% of people who self-identify as Democrats — 71%! — believe that we must continue to stay at home as much as possible, for fear of getting or giving COVID-19 to others. In other words, we must maintain our siege mentality — this cowering and simpering obedience to authority who is both looking out for our best interests and doing the will of the people. Clearly, the majority of Americans are deluded and unwilling to believe the science.” (06/10/21)


  • Kamala Harris and the Same Old Immigration Nonsense

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “Vice-President Kamala Harris got jeered in Guatemala, and deservedly so, after telling the Guatemalan people, ‘Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.’ At the same time, the Biden administration is promising $4 billion in foreign aid to the Guatemalan government. Apparently the idea is that by bribing Guatemalan officials with lots of U.S. taxpayer money, the Guatemalan government will crack down and prevent Guatemalans from leaving the country and heading north. At the very least, we can see one important thing — that Democrats and liberals are as fervent believers in immigration controls as Republicans and conservatives.” (06/10/21)


  • “Progressive” Debate: Should Biden Reappoint Jerome Powell?

    Source: The American Prospect
    by David Dayen, Dean Baker, Max Moran & Tracey Lewis

    “Analysts expect gross domestic product to grow by 10 percent in the second quarter of this year, with the economy filling the entire chasm created in the pandemic by the end of June. For 2021, the expectation is for the fastest economic growth since the 1980s. Though jobs may not come all the way back until next year, the relatively rapid recovery is a remarkable achievement for the U.S., due in no small part to strong fiscal policy that carried on well beyond the initial response. But we also must credit the Federal Reserve for doggedly sticking to a zero-interest-rate strategy, and holding firm to that commitment to make the job market as favorable as possible for workers.” [editor’s note: Although this “debate” is clearly slanted in its intentions, it may hold info of value to libertarians as well – SAT] (06/10/21)