Catalonia: Police stop second attack after 13 killed in Barcelona

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Spanish police say they have killed five people in the town of Cambrils to stop a second attempted van attack after an earlier one in Barcelona. The attackers were wearing explosive belts, police said. Thirteen people died and dozens were injured when a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas area on Thursday afternoon. The driver of the [v]an fled and is still at large. Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it was a 'jihadist attack.' The authorities are now linking the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils with an explosion at a house on Wednesday evening in the town of Alcanar that left one person dead." (08/18/17)

Five ways the Charlottesville marches backfired

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

"It's a rule of social and political movements that they cannot fully control the outcome of their efforts. Actions cause reactions, many of them unanticipated and certainly unintended. This is because no group, no matter how powerful, can control the human minds of others not part of their cause. This is why so many movements driven by a revolt ethos and revolutionary intentions have created so many unforeseen messes that are often the opposite of their stated aims. So it is with the 'Unite the Right' (alt-right, fascist, white supremacist, revanchist, Nazi, and so on) marchers who descended on the peaceful Virginia town of Charlottesville in August. … Donald Trump and many others like to say that there were 'good people' marching too, but this ignores the entire title of the rally." (08/17/17)

Why we terminated Daily Stormer

Source: Cloudflare
by Matthew Prince

"Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We've stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We've taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare's services ever again. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology. … Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it's so dangerous." (08/16/17)

Gaza: Suicide bomber kills Hamas guard in rare attack on Egyptian border

Source: United Press International

"A Hamas security guard died Thursday when a suicide bomb was detonated as two men approached the Gaza-Egypt border, a government spokesman said. Hamas, the Lebanese paramilitary organization regarded by many countries as a terrorist organization, is involved in security along the border at the request of the Egyptian government. The explosion occurred early Thursday as the suicide bomber, identified only as a Palestinian, and another person were arrested by Hamas forces near the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt." (08/17/17)


by Brad

"With Facebook and Twitter banning or vanishing offensive accounts, Google manipulating search results, Youtube 'demonetizing' videos they don't like, and now domain name registrar GoDaddy unregistering web sites they disapprove of, those of us who reject PC groupthink desperately need an alternative. Fortunately, we may have one: ZeroNet. I was lucky to attend a ZeroNet presentation recently at a Linux Users Group; here's a summary of what I learned." (08/17/17)

Tax reform, part 4: Corporate tax reform

Source: Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

"The United States has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. While both the Obama administration and Trump administration have criticized American companies for moving operations off-shore, and considered a variety of policies for punishing them if they do. A better approach would be to design policies that make it attractive for all corporations to locate their operations in the United States. One way to do that would be to lower the corporate tax rate." (08/17/17)

Uber wins US court appeal to push price-fixing case to arbitration

Source: US News & World Report

"Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday won a victory in its effort to keep unhappy customers from suing in court, persuading a federal appeals court to send a Connecticut passenger's price-fixing case against the ride-service company into arbitration. Overturning a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Uber and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick properly notified customers in online user agreements that disputes should be arbitrated. By a 3-0 vote, the appeals court also said the Connecticut passenger, Spencer Meyer, could not sue Uber in court despite claiming he never agreed to waive that right. … Meyer accused Uber and Kalanick of conspiring with drivers, whose earnings are shared with Uber, to charge 'surge pricing' fares during peak demand periods. He claimed he never saw a hyperlink to Uber's arbitration requirement when he used his smartphone to sign up. Internet users often agree to such terms and conditions through 'clickwrap' agreements by checking an 'I agree' box, or 'browsewrap' agreements where terms are posted via hyperlinks." (08/17/17)

Why hate speech is always protected

Source: Fox News
by Andrew P Napolitano

"The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to encourage open, wide, robust debate about the policies of the government and the people who run it. It would be antithetical to that purpose for the government itself to decide what speech is acceptable and what is not in public discourse. What about hate speech? The remedy for it is not to silence or censor it, because we need to know from whence it comes. The remedy is more speech — speech to challenge the hatred, speech to educate the haters, speech to expose their moral vacuity." (08/17/17)

Chaos in Charlottesville: No one gave peace a chance, including the police

Source: CounterPunch
by John W Whitehead

"Let's be clear about one thing: no one — not the armed, violent, militant protesters nor the police — gave peace a chance during the August 12 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va. What should have been an exercise in free speech quickly became a brawl. It's not about who threw the first punch or the first smoke bomb. It's not about which faction outshouted the other, or which side perpetrated more violence, or even which group can claim to be the greater victim. One young woman is dead because of the hate, violence, intolerance, racism and partisanship that is tearing this country apart, and it has to stop. Lawful, peaceful, nonviolent First Amendment activity did not kill Heather Heyer." (08/17/17)

Anonymous publishes GOP legislators' private numbers in bid to push for Trump's impeachment

Source: Chicago Tribune

"A group affiliated with the online activist group known as Anonymous on Thursday posted what it says are the private cellphone numbers and email addresses for 22 Republican members of Congress in a bid to push for President Donald Trump's impeachment, reigniting the use of hacked information in U.S. political battles. Rob Pfeiffer, chief editor of online publication The Anon Journal, told The Washington Post Thursday morning that the move was spurred by Trump's contentious reaction to violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend. The president set off a furor after he made it clear he had no intention of backing down from his claims that 'both sides' were to blame for the mayhem that left one woman dead and dozens of others injured." (08/17/17)