Saturday, March 25, 2017

In the news, Wednesday, March 15, 2017


MAR 14      INDEX      MAR 16

Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
Some sources may require subscription.


from Asia Times Online

Economic nationalism isn’t a Dutch thing
Support for far-right candidate Geert Wilders is a protest, not an anti-globalization revolution

Dark shadows of Chinese Exclusion Act in Muslim ban
A racist policy set down nearly 135 years ago by US Congress haunts President’s bar on migrants, says American-Chinese academic Mae Ngai


from Bloomberg

Trump to Seek Spinoff of U.S. Air-Traffic Control From FAA
President Donald Trump is backing a controversial effort to place the U.S. air-traffic system under control of a nonprofit corporation as part of his budget plan.


from Breitbart

Exclusive — Rand Paul: Let’s ‘Smash’ Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite ‘to Smithereens’
Look, I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy. You have to be. I try to stay positive. I try to keep thinking maybe, maybe someday CONGRESS will remember the vision of our Founding Fathers … and that those we elect will represent us, not the special interests.


from CNN

An Oxford comma changed this court case completely
If you have ever doubted the importance of the humble Oxford comma, let this supremely persnickety Maine labor dispute set you straight.


from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

CBO Takeaway: Full Repeal Would Insure More People than ObamaCare-Lite
A new Congressional Budget Office report projecting the effects of the House Republican leadership’s American Health Care Act weakens the case for the bill’s ObamaCare-lite approach, and strengthens the case for full repeal. The CBO projected that completely repealing ObamaCare, without a replacement, would increase the uninsured by 23 million people. The agency projects that the non-repeal approach would increase the uninsured by even more than that.


from Forbes

5 Caesar Facts To Be Aware Of On The Ides Of March
It is March 15, a day known in antiquity as the Ides of March. From 44 BCE onward, it would also be remembered as the day that Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated.


from The Guardian (UK)
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Calls for ibuprofen sale restrictions after study finds cardiac arrest risk
Over-the-counter drug linked to 31% increased cardiac arrest risk, with the figure rising to 50% for diclofenac, says research. “The findings are a stark reminder that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not harmless," says Prof Gunnar Gislason of the University of Copenhagen.


from The Heritage Foundation
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Why Trump’s Visit to Andrew Jackson’s Grave Matters
On Wednesday, Andrew Jackson’s 250th birthday, President Donald Trump is scheduled to lay a wreath on the seventh president’s grave. He will be the first president since Ronald Reagan to visit Jackson’s home in Nashville, Tennessee. While a seemingly small gesture to a president who had been quickly fading in the minds of Americans, Trump’s visit is an important piece of symbolism for a man who ran under the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Far too often in modern America, we are quick to point out the faults of our history, mock the “hypocrisy” of our forefathers, and abandon old heroes. Jackson has become a prime target of attack, a faded legend into whom we pour all of our nation’s early sins. Jackson’s election proved to Americans that We the People truly controlled the nation’s destiny, not an elite in a far-off powerful city.

Justice Clarence Thomas Questions Congress’ Power to Regulate Business Abroad
Justice Clarence Thomas recently pushed back on Congress' expansive view of its regulatory reach. In a recent opinion, in which he dissented from the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a case, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that Congress’ power to regulate international commerce may be broad, but not as broad as some lawmakers and judges would have it. In his dissenting opinion in Damion St. Patrick Baston v. United States, Thomas stated that he is interested in having the court address the limits of Congress’ power to regulate the world economy, and provided new language with which to scrutinize statutes that purport to do just that, such as the Lacey Act. Americans who run afoul of the Lacey Act and other U.S. laws that regulate foreign commerce may find a useful guidepost in Thomas’ dissenting opinion in Baston.

House Leadership’s Health Bill Is Not What Republicans Promised. We Can Do Better.
If there's one thing we Republicans have promised voters since 2010, it's that we will fully repeal Obamacare. This is a defining moment in our own rendezvous with destiny, and we owe it to the American people to get it right.

Some laws just need to go, and both Canada and Great Britain are showing why. This week, Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced plans to remove “zombie laws”—unconstitutional, outdated, or otherwise unnecessary sections of law—from Canada’s Criminal Code. Great Britain is pursuing similar ongoing review of its criminal code. Americans face the same messy pileup of federal criminal laws, and Congress should follow our allies’ lead and consider implementing some clear, pragmatic “spring cleaning” solutions. These laws could make any good faith citizen into a felon. They serve no good purpose and need to go.

Jeff Sessions’ Speech to Law Enforcement Signals Tough Approach to Violent Crime
Violent crime rates have surged in the last two years, and police are less willing to proactively engage with potential criminals. Sessions touched on the elephant in the room—understood all too well by the law enforcement community but often by very few others: the crisis in morale affecting our nation’s police officers.


from The Living Church

Jesus’ Childhood Home?
Could ancient remains of a courtyard-style house in Nazareth be where Jesus grew up? There is “no good reason” to doubt it, says archaeologist Ken Dark of the University of Reading. “At the very least, it is a hugely important historical finding from the imperial Roman era,” he says.

BBC Loses Production Rights
Critics have claimed for some time that religion on the BBC is being systematically marginalized. BBC Studios has now lost the production rights to Songs of Praise, which has appeared on BBC One on early Sunday evenings since 1961. The Rt. Rev. Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, has warned this could be “another nail in the coffin of the religious literacy of the nation.” The BBC lost out under a new competitive process required by the government.


from Mises Institute
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

What Economists Are Not—And Shouldn’t Try to Be
A NBER working paper published this month purports to show how economists, who now undertake more and more policy work, should see their job in terms very similar to plumbers. The history of economic thought is littered with figures of speech that have betrayed the truth of economic laws. Economists should not “design the tap” or “lay the pipes” of economic policies. The market doesn’t need “economist-plumbers” (or “economist-scientists,” for that matter) any more than it needs government intervention in the first place. 


from Rare America
[Information from this site may not be vetted.]

John McCain says Rand Paul is “now working for Vladimir Putin”
Sen. John McCain supports making the Balkan country of Montenegro part of NATO. Current senate legislation to make this happen continues to be blocked by McCain’s fellow Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee.


from The Spokesman-Review


from Sputnik
(Russian government-supported propaganda channel)

US Marines' New Chopper to Be More Expensive Than F-35 Disaster
The US Marines’ King Stallion will not only be the world’s priciest helicopter but also it is poised be acquired at a higher per-unit cost than the US Air Force’s insanely expensive F-35A. Both aerial vehicles share at least one other characteristic, aside from their absurdly high cost and regular poor performance, as they are both manufactured by Lockheed Martin or subsidiary Sikorsky, which Lockheed acquired in 2015. The King Stallion CH-53K carries a current unit sticker-price of $95 million. The Pentagon’s 10th bulk order of F-35s brought those jets into service for approximately $94.6 million apiece.

90% of Mosul Retaken from Daesh - Police Chief
On Tuesday the chief of Iraq’s Federal Police force announced that 90 percent of central Mosul’s Old City had been retaken by security forces, signaling the reclamation of a highly-desired area in the fight against Daesh.

Germany Considering Fines For Social Media Sites that Don’t Remove Hate Speech
The German Justice Minister has proposed harsher punishments on social-media platforms that drag their feet in removing hate speech and ‘fake news,’ The plan is meant to improve protection against abuse and defamation online, with fines as high as 50-million euros ($53 million).

Obama Administration Halted $1B Arms Sale to Taiwan Before Exiting Office
Despite the approval of both the Departments of Defense and of State to send a $1-billion weapons package to boost Taiwan’s border defenses along the controversial Taiwan Strait, the deal was quietly blocked during the lame duck period of the Obama administration, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Ancient Humans Created the Sahara Desert, Says Archaeologist
A new paper authored by archeologists with Seoul National University has suggested that the Sahara Desert, once green and wet, dried out as a result of the actions of ancient peoples. The spread of agriculture depleted the Sahara’s plant life and caused the region’s the shift to a desert biome, the paper claims. Scientists have long known that, until fairly recently, the massive Sahara Desert was once verdant and teeming with life, until some 6,000 years ago, when rains ended and the desert became as it is today.


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