California student killed in Paris terror attacks

(Los Angeles Times) A Cal State Long Beach student was among those killed in the Paris terrorist attacks, according to the university.

Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old design student from the El Monte area, was part of an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design. She was dining with fellow Cal State Long Beach students at a Paris restaurant Friday night when she was killed, the university’s president said. The 16 other students studying in France have been reported safe.

On Saturday, Gonzalez’s friends expressed their sorrow over her death.

“Yesterday I lost the most important person in my life,” wrote Gonzalez’s boyfriend, Tim Mraz, on Instagram. “She was my best friend and she will always be my angel forever. I am lost for words. My prayers are with her family. Such a bright soul and the sweetest girl with a smile on her face.”

Americans buying tons of gold

(CNN/Money) This summer’s market mayhem caused Americans to buy gold bars and coins at levels unseen since the financial crisis.

When people are scared about the economy and financial markets, they rush to gold. Boy, were they worried in recent months.

U.S. demand for gold bars and coins surged 207% during the third quarter, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.

When the Power of Love Replaced the Love of Power

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.


Westminster Abbey, nearly a thousand years old, is my favorite stop in London, which I’ve visited so many times now that I’ve lost count. Each time I walk through the main entrance, my eyes are drawn immediately to the left because of the imposing statue of a man I deeply admire: William Ewart Gladstone, a devoted friend of both British and American liberty and the greatest of all British prime ministers.

Today, the name Gladstone adorns towns, parks, schools, and many buildings all across both Great Britain and the United States — and deservedly so. The principles that he eloquently defended are perhaps best expressed in this excerpt from a speech he delivered in Scotland in 1879:

There should be a sympathy with freedom, a desire to give it scope, founded not upon visionary ideas, but upon the long experience of many generations within the shores of this happy isle — that in freedom you lay the firmest foundations both of loyalty and order; the firmest foundations for the development of individual character; and the best provision for the happiness of the nation at large.

The Grand Old Man of Classical Liberalism

The son of Scottish parents, Gladstone could speak Greek, Latin, Italian, and French as well as English, and he read 20,000 books in his lifetime. Biographer Philip Magnus wrote that “at the time of his death he was … the most venerated and influential statesman in the world.” Another biographer and House of Lords member, Roy Jenkins, declared…

Neo-Nazi’s efforts to create all-white enclaves thwarted

(MSN) Plans by a neo-Nazi to turn two south-central Nebraska towns into all-white hamlets ran off the rails last week after residents joined forces to sabotage the effort.

Craig Cobb had purchased property in the towns of Red Cloud and Inavale in a Webster County sheriff’s sale in September and also inquired about property in two nearby north-central Kansas towns. He told The Kansas City Star that he planned to sell the property at deep discounts to young white couples.

The action was part of an effort called Pioneer Little Europe, a strategy to create communities where white nationalists live in close proximity to businesses that offer cultural facilities and services.

We’re Still Haunted by the Labor Theory of Value

Why are so many students convinced that they should receive better grades for the papers they’ve spent so much time writing? It’s not a belief about the quality of those papers; it’s a belief about the hours and hours spent working on them.

This fundamental misunderstanding about the value of labor is at the center of the Marxist critique of capitalism.

The Center of Everything

For thousands of years, humans were sure that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it. With the advent of systematic inquiry, scientists had to develop more and more complex explanations for why their observations of the universe did not fit with that hypothesis. When Copernicus and others offered an alternative explanation that was able to explain the observed facts, and did so more clearly and concisely, the heliocentric model triumphed. The Copernican revolution changed science forever.

There is a similar story in economics. For hundreds of years, many economists believed that the value of a good depended on the cost of producing it. In particular, many subscribed to the labor theory of value, which argued that a good’s value derived from the amount of work that went into making it.

Much like the geocentric view of the universe, the labor theory of value had some superficial plausibility, as it does often seem that goods that involve more labor have more value. However, much like the story in astronomy, the theory got increasingly complicated as it tried to explain away some obvious objections. Starting in the 1870s, economics had its own version of the Copernican revolution as the subjective theory of value became the preferred explanation for the value of goods and services.

Today, the labor theory of value has only a minuscule number of adherents among professional economists, but it remains all too common in other academic disciplines when they discuss economic issues, as well as a…

Sheriffs livid over Obama’s massive felon release

(Image: Southern California Public Radio)

(Photo: Southern California Public Radio)

America’s lawmen are livid with President Obama over his administration’s decision to release thousands of federal inmates.

Changes to federal sentencing rules by the U.S. Sentencing Commission allowed 6,112 felons to be released Nov. 1. The Wall Street Journal estimated Oct. 6 that as many 46,000 inmates may be freed in total.

Local sheriffs say Obama assurances that only nonviolent drug offenders are being released is a giant ruse.

“There’s no transition here, there’s no safety net. This is the biggest sham they are trying to sell the American people,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu of Arizona’s Pinal County on Wednesday, Fox News reported. “On average these criminals have been in federal prison for nine years – you don’t have to be a sheriff to realize that a felon after nine years in jail isn’t going to be adding value to the community. A third are illegals and felons, so they can’t work. What do we think they are going to do?”

This infallible argument for armed self-defense presents real stories of Americans fighting back against criminals – and surviving because they were armed. “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense In A Violent Age” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if concealed carry can actually save and protect.

The Obama administration says its prisoner release, coupled with “ban the box” executive orders allowing ex-convicts to delay the period of time before they tell federal hiring personnel and federal contractors of their criminal history, will funnel them into productive jobs.

Obama

Sheriff Harold Eavenson of Rockwall County, Texas, said Monday he does not trust Obama.

“If [the Obama administration is] not capable of making honest and prudent decisions in securing our borders, how can we trust them to make the right decision on the release of prisoners who may return to a life of crime?” Sheriff Eavenson said, Fox reported. “For them to tell me or tell citizens that they’re going to do a good job and these inmates are non-violent, when in many instances drug crimes, drug purchasing, drug trafficking are related to other, violent crimes – I’d be amazed if the 6,000 … being released are non-violent.”

Texas is being asked to absorb 597 inmates into its communities.

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Jonathan Thompson, the executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association, told Fox the broader concern among the 3,000 sheriffs he represents is the feeling Obama released federal inmates without a strategy.

“I think it’s a larger feeling of unease related to a lack of a plan as it relates to criminal justice, criminal reform and criminal release and I think that’s what you’re really sensing here,” Thompson said. “There are many sheriffs feeling as though the administration will go through the motions of asking the questions but really not care what the opinion or expert advice of law enforcement is.”

Thompson has federal statistics to buttress his concerns: The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports recidivism rates at 68 percent within three years and 77 percent within five years, Breitbart News reported Nov. 2. Its sole mission is to, “collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.”

Kevin Ring, director of strategic initiatives at Families Against Mandatory Minimums, countered the sheriffs’ concerns on Wednesday, telling the network, “Tens of thousands of inmates leave federal and state prisons every week and so there is no reason to be particularly worried about this group. Anyone who says otherwise is appealing to the public’s worst fears.”

Marvel’s Mightiest Muslim

Last year, the crew at Marvel Comics rebooted Ms. Marvel — formerly a scantily clad blonde superheroine — as a teenaged Desi Muslim high school girl living in Jersey City. Reboots of old, familiar characters are always complicated, and they are all the more so when the reboot seems suspiciously like politically correct pandering.

But Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, is a huge hit. And she’s not a hit because she’s some kind of mouthpiece for popular pieties. She’s a hit because she’s a great character, a believable teenager, and — in the style of the best superheroes — a symbol that lets us rethink our own identities while we watch her learn to balance hers.

Always, she is equally a teenager, a Muslim, and a superhero.

When Kamala’s story begins, she is the mildly rebellious 16-year-old daughter of parents who have immigrated to America from Pakistan. While she chafes at some of their restrictions, she is a “good kid” — a girl who may sneak out to a party, but who spits out alcoholic punch when someone tricks her into trying it. On her way home from the forbidden party, Kamala is caught in a strange chemical mist that gives her visions of her favorite superheroes — Ironman, Captain America, and her idol, Captain Marvel, the superheroine formerly known as Ms. Marvel. (If you’re picturing the guy who says, “SHAZAM!” and turns into the Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, that’s a hero from another comic book company. Marvel Comics has a different history using the same name.)

The dream avatar of Captain Marvel asks her, “Who do you want to be?”

Kamala replies, “I want to be you.”

Captain Marvel promises her “the kind of total reboot most people only dream about.”

When Kamala wakes, she has transformed into the 1970s-style Ms. Marvel — blond hair, skimpy costume, thigh-high boots, and all. As she morphs uncont…