The First Amendment is under serious assault in order to stifle anti-Israel boycotts

Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

"Assaults on freedom speech can be found in many aspects of American life these days, but one specific area that isn’t getting the attention it deserves relates to boycotts against Israel. Increasingly, we’re seeing various regional governments requiring citizens to agree to what essentially amounts to a loyalty pledge to a foreign government in order to participate in or receive government services." (10/20/17)

In disasters' wake, public school system DeVos attacks prove essential

Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

A favorite talking point of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is to say that conversations about education should not be about 'systems and buildings' but about 'individual students.' It’s a skillfully crafted soundbite designed to cast schools as oppressive bureaucracies that limit the education opportunities available to children and families. It also differentiates schools from other essential public infrastructure such as fire and police protection, sanitation, and roads. … But before DeVos casually dismisses the need to dispense with public education institutions across the country, she should look at the vital role schools and educators have played in responding to the string of devastating natural disasters that hit America this year." (10/21/17)

Dog bites man: Pompeo makes his usual idiotic comments on WikiLeaks, Assange takes his usual notice of the fact that Pompeo is an idiot

Source: International Business Times

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has clashed with CIA director Mike Pompeo after the high-ranking US official said he was 'working to take down' the whistleblowing website. Speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit this week (19 October), Pompeo likened the anti-secrecy website to other examples of what he has dubbed 'non-state intelligence services' — comparing it to Hezbollah, Isis and Al-Qaeda. … After the director's speech, Assange, from his personal Twitter account, hit back: 'WikiLeaks = ISIS. The CIA hasn't just jumped the shark here — it has gone into orbit." (10/20/17)

Cato Daily Podcast, 10/20/17

Source: Cato Institute

"What does Alexis de Tocqueville have to offer Americans today? James Poulos explains in his new book, The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves." [various formats] (10/20/17)

Why is Richard Spencer a thing?

Source: spiked
by Tom Slater

"'Flattering.' That’s what white identitarian sadsack Richard Spencer had to say about Florida governor Rick Scott’s decision to declare a state of emergency ahead of Spencer’s talk at the University of Florida yesterday. The move, which basically just allowed for more cops to flood the streets, left the alt-right leader feeling smug. He was on a par with 'hurricanes and invading armies and zombie apocalypses,' he smirked. The scene was insane. Police were wearing riot gear, and running airport-style security, which was so tight a veteran wasn’t allowed entry because they feared his cane might be used as a weapon. The whole thing cost Florida $600,000. And for what? A ‘few dozen’ of his followers showed up, outnumbered by hundreds of demonstrators. Though Charlottesville was no doubt weighing on minds, this was a bizarre overreaction." (10/20/17)

Project Loon brings limited Internet access to Puerto Rico

Source: CNet News

"Alphabet, Google's parent company, is hoping its high-flying internet balloons can help the people of Puerto Rico, about a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall. On Friday, the search giant announced some balloons from its Project Loon program had been deployed over Puerto Rico, in an effort to provide people with limited internet access. That will allow for basic activities like sending texts or accessing information online for some people with LTE-enabled phones. … Loon was developed at X, formerly called Google X. The lab is responsible for the search giant's most audacious projects, or "moonshots," including self-driving cars and smart contact lenses with glucose readers for diabetics." (10/20/17)

Asking the wrong question

Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

"A few days ago I spent some seven hours attending a meeting of the San Jose City Council. I was there to speak against a proposed gun control law, but there were other interesting things in the meeting. One of them was a discussion of the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative, a ballot measure proposed by developers who want to build 910 units of housing on land currently zoned for industrial use, an idea to which the Mayor is opposed. His argument is that, despite the references to affordable housing, seniors, and veterans, what the plan actually proposes is a gated community for wealthy residents. He may, for all I know, be correct. It does not follow that building it will not make more affordable housing available for the non-wealthy." (10/20/17)

Russia: Defense Ministry likens US bombing of Raqqa to Word War Two Dresden

Source: Daily Mail [UK]

"Russia on Sunday accused the US-led coalition in Syria of having flattened Raqa with a Dresden-like bombing campaign and masking the destruction with a rush of humanitarian aid. In a statement, the defence ministry said that Raqa — the capital of the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed caliphate — 'inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, razed to the ground by Anglo-American bombings.' US-backed Kurdish-led forces last week recaptured Raqa, the capital of IS's self-proclaimed caliphate and its last major stronghold in Syria. US officials hailed the event, led by President Donald Trump who, using another acronym for IS, said 'the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.'" (10/22/17)

The Tom Woods Show, episode 1023

Source: The Tom Woods Show

"Today’s episode focuses in on three major episodes in American labor history: Haymarket, Homestead, and the Pullman strike. These are generally related with a predictable bias, which this episode challenges." [editor's note: Some interesting history, but an unfortunate start with the usual paleoconservative treatment of "organized labor" as a shibboleth used to "explain" why labor should be treated unlike any other exchanged commodity in a market – TLK] (10/20/17)

Torturer-in-Chief turned savior of freedom?

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by James Bovard

"Former President George W. Bush gave a speech yesterday implicitly slamming President Donald Trump for dragging down democracy. Bush told political cronies and other attendees: 'We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment.' He assured listeners that freedom 'should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.' Bush invoked the 'high ideals' of our nation, declaring, 'We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution.' After the speech, much of the media exalted Bush as if he were the second coming of George Washington. Twitter showcased the spiel with an unusual summary in its 'trending tweets' lineup — 'George W. Bush gve a powerful speech on democracy, freedom, and American values.' If Bush had never been president, it would be easier to understand the adulation. But Bush was one of the most disastrous, authoritarian presidents in modern American history." (10/20/17)