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Burma
Oct 20 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by Los Angeles Times
For years, the government of Myanmar has treated its Rohingya Muslim people as intruders — an impoverished minority among a Buddhist majority, considered illegal immigrants, restricted in where they can live and work. The United Nations considers them one of the most persecuted groups in the world. Even as Myanmar has liberalized its political system, moving from military rule to democracy, the government has declined to ease its treatment of the Rohingya despite constant urging to do so by the human rights community and U.S. officials.
Editor's Comments:
I don't think that is such a bad idea. If Muslims can't accept the government where they chose to live, too bad. bbm
Nobel Peace Prize
Oct 14 2014 - The Desert Sun by TRUDY RUBIN
The Nobel committee finally got the Peace Prize right in 2014.
Editor's Comments:
It's too bad that the committee screwed up in the past and made the Peace Prize so shabby. Think Obama, Carter and Arafat. bbm
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News / Government
Liberty
Oct 14 2014 - Ludwig von Mises Institute by David Gordon
Recently the classical liberal legal scholar Richard Epstein criticized “hard–core libertarians.” These extremists want to keep out of “foreign entanglements.” If, as the extremists propose, we act only when there is a direct threat to the United States, “it may be too late.” We should strike immediately against the “forces of death and destruction” such as ISIS. We must spread liberty throughout the world in general, and the Middle East in particular.
Editor's Comments:
How one defends one's property and self ends up being an unanswered question. Just how much force in response to some violation of liberty cannot be answered by the victim. That unfortunately is the (single) reason to have government. bbm
Oct 19 2014 - Foundation for Economic Education by Lawrence W. Reed
A few months ago, I walked into a restaurant in Naples, Fla., and said, “A nonsmoking table for two, please.” The greeter replied, “No problem. All restaurants in Florida are nonsmoking by law. Follow me.”
Editor's Comments:
Well no, not quite right. Somebody's smoke is a violation of another's liberty. There must be a compromise either voluntarily or some entity must decide on a compromise. bbm
Personal Responsibility
Oct 16 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
After the disappointments of the Bush years and the Obama years, many Americans aren't sure where next to turn. Faith in Congress has collapsed. Faith in bureaucrats is nonexistent. Yet, the crises keep on coming.
Editor's Comments:
Why the impasse? On the one hand, Americans have lost confidence in the power of government to solve our largest problems. On the other, they've lost confidence in the idea that there's anything more powerful than government. If we can't count on Washington to control the malevolent forces that dwarf us all, what — or who — can we count on?" The Orange County paper used to be conservative. This is so stupid. Who can we count on? OURSELVES. Well, they finally get around to saying that but why moan the inability of government? Just get rid of it. bb
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News / Government / Politics / Leaders and Politicians
President Obama
Oct 20 2014 - The Desert Sun by TRUDY RUBIN
Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama's foreign policy while the president is still in the White House.
Editor's Comments:
Obama will never listen. bbm
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News / Government / Politics / Elections / Election 2014
Congress 2014
Oct 16 2014 - The Dallas Morning News by CARL P. LEUBSDORF
If you’re confused by the plethora of polls purporting to measure the key 2014 midterm Senate and House races, you’re not alone. You’d probably do better by ignoring the numbers and reviewing midterm election history.
Editor's Comments:
The likeliest result is more of the partisan gridlock that has marked the four years since Republicans regained the House." The one common factor is that Obama is in the White House. So who should you blame for gridlock? Simple. bb
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News / Government / Politics / Elections / Election 2016
Campaign for President
Oct 14 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by RUTH MARCUS
The 2008 campaign was the first time a woman was a serious presidential contender, so it was not surprising that gender was an uncomfortable, tiptoe–y subject. The male candidates weren't sure–footed in dealing with it — recall Barack Obama's "you're likable enough, Hillary" and the debate discussion about the color of her jacket.
Editor's Comments:
Who gives a damn. She's a Democrat and that is all you need to know. bbm
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News / Economics
Economics
Oct 19 2014 - The New York Times by Paul Krugman
In the Middle Ages, the call for a crusade to conquer the Holy Land was met with cries of “Deus vult!” — God wills it. But did the crusaders really know what God wanted? Given how the venture turned out, apparently not.
Editor's Comments:
As if the market is a body. bbm
The economy
Oct 16 2014 - The New York Times by Paul Krugman
How Righteousness Killed the World Economy
Editor's Comments:
Crazy: "So the policy response to a crisis of excessive debt has, in effect, been a demand that debtors pay off their debts in full. What does history say about that strategy? That’s easy: It doesn’t work." Stiff the poor lender. What a great policy. This guy gets dumber with age. bbm
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News / Economics / International Economies
Russia
Oct 17 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by Thomas L. Friedman
Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil war under way pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other? One can't say for sure whether the American–Saudi oil alliance is deliberate or a coincidence of interests, but, if it is explicit, then clearly we're trying to do to President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exactly what the Americans and Saudis did to the last leaders of the Soviet Union: Pump them to death — bankrupt them by bringing down the price of oil to levels below what both Moscow and Tehran need to finance their budgets.
Editor's Comments:
Pretty good article except for the last paragraph. "If only we could do tax reform, and replace payroll and corporate taxes with a carbon tax, we'd have a formula for resiliency and success far better than any of our adversaries." Replacing one tax with another is simple foolishness. Getting rid of those taxes would increase our economies and put us even further ahead of Russia's and Iran's. bbm
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News / Economics / Government Economics
Federal Reserve issues
Oct 22 2014 - Ludwig von Mises Institute by Frank Shostak
Economists at the Federal Reserve have devised a new indicator, which they hold will enable US central bank policymakers to get better information regarding the state of the labor market. The metric is labeled as the Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI).
Editor's Comments:
An interesting thought here: Government work should not count as productive work in my WIP analysis. bbm
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News / Economics / Labor
Gender pay differences
Oct 16 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by CATHERINE RAMPELL
Don't ask. Just trust that the system will reward you for your compliance.
Editor's Comments:
If she is that dumb, it is no wonder she is paid less. Real data show there is no pay gap and in fact with the same experience, women make more than women. bbm
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News / Economics / Labor / Minimum Wage
Minimum wage realities
Oct 19 2014 - Economic Policy Institute. by David Cooper
More than five years have passed since the federal minimum wage was raised to its current level of $7.25 per hour. Over that time, the value of a minimum–wage income has fallen nearly 10 percent due to rising prices. Yet this decline is small in comparison to the drop in value of the minimum wage over the past four decades. After rising in line with economy–wide productivity in the three decades following its inception in 1938, the federal minimum wage has been raised so inadequately and so infrequently since the late 1960s that today’s minimum–wage workers make roughly 25 percent less in inflation–adjusted terms than their counterparts 45 years ago. Indeed, a full–time, full–year minimum–wage worker with one child is paid so little that income from her paycheck alone leaves her below the federal poverty line.1
Editor's Comments:
No it wouldn't. It will just lift the scale of everyone, making pay inflationary. It's net pay after expenses that counts. bbm
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News / Environment / Global Warming
The Global Warming Hoax?
Oct 19 2014 - In These Times by Naomi Klein
To avoid catastrophe, we must seize corporate polluters’ wealth. And to do that, we must change everything.
Editor's Comments:
Too bad the models don't work. bbm
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News / Violence / Violence-Axis of Evil / Iran
Iran's nuclear programs
Oct 15 2014 - AEI Ideas by Danielle Pletka
Talks continue this week between the P5+1 (the permanent five members of the Security Council and Germany) and Iran over the latter’s illegal nuclear weapons program. On the whole, however, the straws in the proverbial wind are blowing toward an extension of the talks that were only supposed to last for six months, at most, a year. This week when Cathy Ashton, John Kerry and Javad Zarif renew their beautiful friendship, the pressure will probably be off. After all, the Iranians have already let it be known that they are OK with an extension of talks while they continue to work on their program without interference from… anyone. Here’s what to look for this week, and why:
Editor's Comments:
They say Obama is smart. If he is trying to forestall Iran's nuclear program, he is dumber than dirt. If he wants Islam to succeed, then he is smart as a whip. bbm
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News / Violence / Violence-Extremist Muslims
Our Own Hundred Years? War
Oct 18 2014 - Times Dispatch
At the end of September, two adjacent columns on the New York Times website pointed toward an inescapable conclusion, expressed in the last two sentences of the second column, which we will get to in a moment.
Editor's Comments:
We don't need Iran's help. bbm
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News / Medical
Ebola
Oct 21 2014 - News With Views by Frosty Wooldridge
Continuing to allow airplane flights into America loaded with people streaming out of Ebola–ravaged Africa must be about the dumbest act that Congress, the Center for Disease Control and Barack Obama could possibly perpetrate on the American people.
Editor's Comments:
We are just inviting trouble by allowing flights from Ebola–infected countries into the U.S. What is Obama's agenda anyway? I shudder to think that it is intentional that he allow us to be exposed unnecessarily. My stepdaughter is an ER doctor in L.A. Governor Brown recently mandated that her hospital and one other Kaiser facility in the area be designated as Ebola centers. Just wonderful! js
Oct 14 2014 - Forbes.com by John Villasenor
On October 12, officials in Texas announced that a “health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the Ebola patient hospitalized there has tested positive for Ebola.” According to Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, the health system that includes Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the transmission occurred despite the use of “full CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] precautions,” including “gown, glove, mask and shield.”
Editor's Comments:
First, it means avoiding assumptions that the problem lies with the health workers and not the protocol for using protective gear." Absolutely. bb
Oct 17 2014 - usatoday.com by Scott Gottlieb
The emergence of a third case of Ebola in Dallas shows us that the deadly infection, while less transmissible than viruses such as the flu, is still highly contagious.
Editor's Comments:
Gottlieb is a good thinker but he is way off on this one. What we need is to limit the FDA to safety issues. Let the public and the medical profession, as in doctors, decide whether a drug is effective. bbm
Oct 20 2014 - The Dallas Morning News by Joe Nocera
Et tu, CDC?
Editor's Comments:
No different than any other government agency. Most employees don't go home at night worrying about what they might have done wrong, until it is too late. That's government for you. bbm
Oct 14 2014 - Times Union, Albany NY by Dr. Philip M. Rosoff
The family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the man in Dallas who died last week from Ebola infection, is alleging racial bias in his treatment. They note it took eight days to get an investigational medicine while other patients received experimental therapies sooner.
Editor's Comments:
Stupid: "There are good reasons why we test investigational drugs in people using the gold standard of randomized clinical trials that are statistically sound. This is the best method we have for establishing whether drugs are both safe and perform as they are intended. Most experimental drugs are failures, and this is often discovered during human studies." Yes, we should do limited testing for safety but not for efficacy. While the FDA is screwing around with years of tests for efficacy, people are dying. Let the efficacy tests be done on the people. They may still die but at least they had a chance which they don't today. bbm
Flu
Oct 16 2014 - The Dallas Morning News by RUTH MARCUS
If you are worried about contracting Ebola, I have two suggestions. First, stop. Second, get a flu shot.
Editor's Comments:
The downsides of flu shots could be worse than the flu. bbm
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Business
Amazon.com
Oct 22 2014 - The New York Times by Paul Krugman
Amazon.com, the giant online retailer, has too much power, and it uses that power in ways that hurt America.
Editor's Comments:
So explain the argument, Krugman. I don't want to hear that you think Amazon is bad. You have no credibility. So what is the exact argument? bbm
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Lifestyle / Race Relations
Black issues
Oct 19 2014 - Economic Policy Institute. by Richard Rothstein
Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles

In August 2014, a Ferguson, Missouri, policeman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. Michael Brown’s death and the resulting protests and racial tension brought considerable attention to that town. Observers who had not been looking closely at our evolving demographic patterns were surprised to see ghetto conditions we had come to associate with inner cities now duplicated in a formerly white suburban community: racially segregated neighborhoods with high poverty and unemployment, poor student achievement in overwhelmingly black schools, oppressive policing, abandoned homes, and community powerlessness.
Editor's Comments:
It might be government policies but not the ones suggested in this article. Welfare is the big elephant in the room. It takes away responsibility from the individual. bbm
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