The problem with Brazil (and it’s not socialism)

Source: Notes on Liberty
by Bruno Goncalves Rosi

“One of my favorite interpretation of Brazil comes from Sergio Buarque de Holanda. According to Holanda, the problem with Brazil is that Brazilians are cordial. What he means by that is this: using Weber’s models of authority, he identified that Brazilians were never able to support a Legal-Rational authority. Vargas was seen as ‘a father.’ not a president. The country is seen as a big family. Lula used a very similar vocabulary and tried to reenact Vargas’[s] populism. … To be sure, Brazil has many features of a modern liberal state. Since late 18th century Portugal tried to copy these from more advanced nations, especially England. Brazil followed suit. But you can’t have the accidents without the substance.” (04/19/18)

Much ado about robots

Source: Cato Unbound
by Ryan Calo

“Lured by the law’s recognition of rights in corporations, animals, lands, and ships, I too have imagined grafting people rights onto machines. At first blush, it looks plausible enough. We can give speech rights to robots, why not citizenship? The questions, pulled apart and isolated, appear tantalizingly solvable. Perhaps if an artificial intelligence built in 2050 ran for president we could waive the Constitutional requirement that it wait until 2085. … Why would we devote vast international resources to these questions at this particular point in history? Artificial intelligence is somewhere between a century and infinity away from approximating all aspects of human cognition. Meanwhile, robots are killing people on the road and from the air, and algorithms are making more and more decisions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have, I would argue, an enormous opportunity to manage the social impacts of the transformative technology of our time. Let us not squander this opportunity by debating whether a twenty-first century marionette can get married.” (04/19/198)

Submarine at center of South America Nazi conspiracy theories finally found — in Denmark

Source: Newsweek

“A missing World War Two U-boat — which has long been rumored to have carried Nazi leaders to South America as the Third Reich collapsed — has been found off the coast of Denmark. The U-3523 submarine, a cutting-edge vessel developed at the very end of the war, was discovered at a depth of around 400 feet, 10 nautical miles north of the Danish Coast, by researchers at Sea War Museum Jutland. The submarine was one of Nazi Germany’s Type XXI U-boats, which could stay underwater for longer and travel further than their predecessors. … German forces in Denmark had surrendered the day before, meaning the submarine was likely not on combat patrol but instead on the run, the research team said. There were even suggestions, based on a declassified CIA document, that Adolf Hitler had used the submarine to escape. Disappointingly for conspiracy theory enthusiasts, the team that found the wreck says there is no evidence it was carrying Nazi leaders or loot, and they believe the submarine was actually fleeing to Norway when it was sunk, not South America.” (04/19/18)

Why does the Queen have to persuade the Commonwealth into free trade?

Source: Continental Telegraph
by Tim Worstall

“One of the great puzzlements to economists is why people have to be persuaded into the benefits of free trade. OK, sure, all are aware that politicians suffer from incentives different from those of normal people, perhaps even of human beings. But even then the puzzlement remains, the benefits of such free trade are so great that it really is, in those economic terms, a complete no brainer. Even if you really were that stationary bandit of Mancur Olson’s structure, you’re able to farm more out of a richer population, trade makes people richer, so the dictator should also be a free trader. The only economist who disagrees with this is Peter Navarro. That means it’s always a bit difficult to understand why people have to be persuaded into it, as The Queen’s being asked to do …” (04/19/18)

Emmanuel Macron: The warmongering voice in Trump’s ear

Source: The American Conservative
by Bill Wirtz

“Even with all the political grandstanding in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Paris, war isn’t popular. Macron, Merkel, Trump, Juncker: the political personnel involved, or potentially involved, in this scenario never ran on platforms of military intervention. If Hillary Clinton were president of the United States, the choices might have been different. However, none of the current leaders can pretend that they are working with a consenting base when they advocate for military strikes. This includes Macron. The speech that the French president gave in Strasbourg was war propaganda in the sense of the term. War propaganda needs to be built up over time in order to acquire the consent of those asked to pay for the war. Fortunately Macron is being countered by voices of reason on both left and right that urge caution in the face of hasty conclusions that could once again prove devastating for the Middle East.” (04/19/18)

Study: Cursing is the most common way Americans deal with frustrations

Source: US News & World Report

“A majority of Americans let fly their first curse word each day before eating lunch, and 1 in 4 say their first expletive before breakfast. A survey by 9Round Kickbox Fitness of 2,000 Americans examined what causes Americans stress and frustration and how they deal with it. The study found the most common way people deal with their frustration is cursing, with the average American saying their first curse word by 10:54 a.m.” [editor’s note: No sh*t? – TLK] (04/19/18)

The LAVA Flow, episode 88

Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“Secession is in the news and is a hot topic right now in a couple of places. I’ll tell you all about it here. Also, What’s in the News with stories on voluntary charity, forced allergies, violent cop facing justice, cops dismissed, and UN child brainwashing. And, finally a Muh Roads segment on a man who is building a road to his business by himself, without seeking permission from the government.” [various formats] (04/19/18)

Trump and the attorney-client privilege

Source: Fox News

“The attorney-client privilege protects from scrutiny or revelation the confidential communications of a client to his lawyer that are integral to the lawyer’s legal work for the client. The privilege does not apply to casual conversations between client and lawyer or if the lawyer is doing nonlegal work or if the client is committing a crime, a fraud, a tort or a regulatory violation and is consulting the lawyer about that. Now we have a very perilous situation for the president. Records of whatever work Michael Cohen has been doing for him in the past 10 years will soon be in the custody of federal prosecutors who expect it to be evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the president himself.” (04/19/18)

Republicans are running out of excuses for Trump

Source: The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done his best to throw cold water on a bipartisan bill that would effectively block President Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. McConnell told Fox News that he ‘will not’ bring the bill to the floor, and that even if the Senate managed to pass it, he sees no reason why Trump would sign it. All that makes the bill look like an awfully lost cause. But for those backing the legislation, its actual passage may be beside the point. As the White House spins out of control, the bill is important both as a measure of growing public pressure on Republicans and as a signal that Congress is prepared to defend the rule of law.” (04/19/18)

Finland: Regime dropping Universal Basic Income test

Source: Fox Business

“Finland is ending a test program that provides guaranteed income to unemployed citizens, according to new reports. Universal basic income is a modern welfare scheme through which citizens are granted a consistent, livable income from the government, without condition. Finland adopted its program in 2017, giving 2000 randomly selected, unemployed citizens about $670 each month for two years. That money is not taxed by the government. While the program gained global notoriety as economies across the globe grapple with changing labor force trends, members of Finland’s welfare bureau have reportedly said the country’s government will not continue with the program in its current form.” (04/19/18)