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Jeb Bush slow jams news on ‘Tonight Show’

(HOLLYWOODREPORTER) — “Whoa, hold the telefono. I know you just got back from Miami, but I didn’t realize I was interviewing Governor Pitbull.”

Jeb Bush stopped by The Tonight Show on Tuesday night to “slow jam the news.”

The Republican presidential candidate made his first-ever late-night appearance in the Tonight Show’s signature bit, in which he spoke over R&B beats while host Jimmy Fallon threw in his signature “oh yeah” phrases and echoes.

“We’re a nation of immigrants, and I believe everyone should have the chance to achieve the American dream,” said the former Florida governor before repeating the sentence in Spanish “to translate that for all your Spanish-speaking viewers.”

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She Warned the World about Hitler

By Lawrence W. Reed

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.

Some people can smell a rat a mile away. Others don’t notice even when the odor wafts right under their noses.

Olfactory proficiency by itself doesn’t make you a hero. But if you’re among the first to pick up the scent and warn others, and then you put your political future on the line to save society, you’ve got something that makes you heroic. As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Magician’s Nephew, “What you see and hear (and smell) depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.”

Katharine Margory Ramsey combined courage and character with a great nose for rats. She had principles and the guts to stand by them.

Born of Scottish noble blood in Edinburgh in 1874, “Kitty” (as she was known to close friends) was an accomplished composer and pianist. She became the Duchess of Atholl after her husband succeeded his father as the Duke of Atholl in 1917. Author Lynne Olson, in her superb 2007 book, Troublesome Young Men (about the Tory upstarts in the 1930s who challenged their elder and leader, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain), describes her as a “diminutive woman with large, expressive blue eyes … cultured, diffident, and unworldly, with little interest in calling attention to herself.”

At the urging of her husband and former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, the Duchess stood for a seat in Parliament in 1924. She won. Only two other women had ever before been elected to the House of Commons. She became the first Conservative Party MP to hold ministerial office when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin appointed her to a junior post in education.

Who was this Scottish Cassandra who dared so publicly to question the subsidies coming their way from the government of her own party?

The men in government assumed Atholl would be quiet and do the womanly thing: whatever she was told. Even Winston Churchill snubbed her at first, telling her directly, “I find a woman’s intrusion into the House of Commons as embarrassing as if she burst into my bathroom.” Many now think of Churchill as the sage who bravely opposed Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing Hitler, but Kitty Atholl was one of those few who worked to stiffen Churchill’s spine when it was still pliable. Churchill later came to appreciate her greatly.

As her years in Parliament wore on, Atholl’s principles deepened, and her courage blossomed. In 1935, she resigned from the leadership position of whip for the Conservative Party because of what she derisively labeled the government’s “national socialist tendencies” in its domestic agenda. She was, in her own way, a precursor to Margaret Thatcher, who was just 10 years old at the time.

The first big rat to catch Atholl’s attention was ensconced in Moscow. Less than a decade after the Bolshevik revolution, the Soviet experiment had attracted naïve acolytes in the West. Reporter Lincoln Steffens famously wrote after his 1919 visit to the USSR, “I have been to the future and it works.”

One of the worst of what Lenin would term “useful idiots” was New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, who, at the height of the Stalin-induced famine in Ukraine that killed millions, denied there was a hunger problem. The Duchess of Atholl was no such fool.

In 1931, Atholl published a 200-page book titled The Conscription of a People. It was a blistering, well-documented indictment of the savage collectivization of life in the Soviet Union. Her investigations revealed that

Russia has carried through revolution on a scale which knows no parallel, and which, even after thirteen years, is as ruthless as in its early days. She has undermined marriage and is rapidly breaking up family life. She wages ceaseless war on all religion. She is responsible for the most comprehensive and continuous experiment in the nationalization of industry, banking and trade that has ever been seen.

Atholl’s book was one of the earliest and most detailed critiques of the communist regime from a high-level British official. Forced labor, the liquidation of the kulaks, mass seizures of property, an extensive secret police network, and an unprecedented diversion of resources to the military meant one thing: the Bolsheviks were a menace to their own people and a growing threat to world peace.

The Duchess decried the British government’s extension of credit to Moscow. “Can those in any country who value liberty regard such a position with equanimity?” she asked. “Are the citizens of the United Kingdom in particular to tolerate any longer the guaranteeing by taxpayers’ money of a system so utterly repugnant to British traditions?”

The rats in Moscow were alarmed at Atholl’s denunciations. Who was this Scottish Cassandra who dared so publicly to question the subsidies coming their way from the government of her own party? (In The Fall of Troy by Quintus Smyrnaeus, Cassandra desperately tried to warn the Trojan people about the peril of a certain large wooden horse.)

After 1933, Atholl’s wrath turned against the rats in Berlin. When she read Hitler’s Mein Kampf in 1935, she entertained no illusions about where he was headed. “Never can a modern statesman have made so startlingly clear to his reader his ambitions,” she noted. She was now on her way to becoming, in Olson’s words, “the boldest Tory rebel of all.”

Even more vigorously than Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain kowtowed to the Nazi dictator. Those “troublesome young men” in his Conservative Party — such as Churchill, Antony Eden, and Harold McMillan — formed an opposition to appeasement, but at first they focused exclusively on Hitler. They sought to placate Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain. Atholl saw all fascist dictators the same way she saw all communist dictators: as evil men not to be trusted, let alone subsidized. She was a constant thorn in the side of men in power who wanted to cut deals with unsavory thugs of any stripe.

In September 1938, the infamous Munich conference gave Hitler a green light to forcibly incorporate the Sudetenland (a Czech region along the border with Germany) into the Third Reich. The hopelessly naïve Chamberlain famously waved the agreement on the tarmac on returning to London. “Peace in our time,” he declared. War seemed to be averted. As much of the world breathed a sigh of relief, Atholl was strongly advised by her husband and others to endorse the Munich accord. She not only refused to do so; she wrote and widely distributed a pamphlet that castigated it.

The prime minister reacted furiously. He strong-armed the local Conservative Party officials in Scotland to select a new candidate for Parliament to replace Atholl, who then resigned from the party and announced she would run as an Independent in the special by-election set for December 1938. The country’s attention was riveted on the fierce campaign that ensued. The prime minister saw to it that Atholl’s opponent received showers of cash and endorsements.

Cowed by Chamberlain, the male anti-appeasement MPs of the party wouldn’t go to Scotland to campaign for the Duchess. Churchill first accepted and then, under pressure, rescinded his approval of an invitation to speak on her behalf. As reported in Olson’s book, he at least sent a letter of endorsement that she distributed before the voting. Churchill wrote,

You are no doubt opposed by many Conservatives as loyal and patriotic as yourself, but the fact remains that outside our island, your defeat at this moment would be relished by the enemies of Britain and of freedom in every part of the world. It would be widely accepted as another sign that Great Britain … no longer has the spirit and willpower to confront the tyrannies and cruel persecutions which have darkened this age.

She lost by a heartbreakingly slim margin. Chamberlain was delighted, but after all the pressure and resources he had brought to bear against her, the verdict was no ringing endorsement of his appeasement policy. When Hitler invaded Poland less than nine months later, Kitty Atholl was vindicated. A humiliated Chamberlain sulked through the remaining few months of his tenure. Out of government, Atholl spent the war years working mightily to relieve the awful conditions of European refugees. She died in 1960 at age 85.

Katharine Atholl had smelled danger and said so, years before the elite of her own political party mustered similar courage. How different might history have been if there were more people like her?

For further information, see:

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Wish

By Rebecca Aronson

I want to lie down like a tiny birch canoe,
sewn with red thread, afloat in the street
in the rushing aftermath

of a good spring rain. To curl in the y of a desert willow
at sundown when its pink blossoms
are a thousand distant lanterns strung

among the branches. At night
I prop my sleeping body like a shield.
I fly myself like a volley of arrows

toward the glowing eye of sleep’s center.
I circle its edges, closing in. I call sleep’s name
into closets and empty drawers and listen for its echo.

I want to lay my body into the palm
of my love’s hand and diminish there,
a chip of ice. I want sleep to vanish me

in its secret chamber, its magician’s hat,
where I’ll lie curled in the dark
like an unhatched bird, dreaming as my egg tooth sharpens.

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How Moms Both Challenge and Confirm Standard Economic Theory

By Sarah Skwire

Last winter, I was getting ready to put insulating plastic on all of my windows to keep the cold out. I quizzed my Facebook friends to see if they could use the economic way of thinking to predict which room’s windows I would insulate first. They had some good suggestions. Maybe the coldest room? Maybe the kitchen, because it gets the most use? Maybe the room with the largest windows?

They were all wrong, and they were wrong because I don’t really do economics. I do momonomics. Momonomics is the particular kind of economic thinking engaged in by parents. (All parents use momonomics, even dads. I just think momonomics sounds better than parentonomics.) If you practice momonomics, you know that the windows that get covered in plastic first are the ones in the kids’ rooms, because you can do that in the half an hour the kids are spending watching Phineas and Ferb and then get the rest done while they’re in bed and not in the way. Also, the children are tiny and cold, and you feel sorry for them.

The factor that makes momonomics different from other economic ways of thinking is that children are the primary binding constraint.

The factor, in other words, that makes momonomics different from other economic ways of thinking is that children are the primary binding constraint. Here’s an example of what I mean.

Economics says that all goods have substitutes, but momonomics knows this is nonsense. Momonomics says that sometimes you’re going to have to turn the car around and drive two hours back to the hotel where you stayed last night in order to rescue one very special doll from the hotel laundry. (Thanks, btw, Mom and Dad. I still have her.) Economics says that a blanket may have a substitute, but momonomics says that the blanket does not. Sometimes demand curves are vertical, and price is infinite.

Economics takes preferences as given and explains why actors behave the way they do. Momonomics knows that preferences are mysterious and behavior cannot be explained, especially when the actor is under three feet tall. In fact, the job of the momonomist is often to restructure given preference sets and to alter behavior. We want you to eat your vegetables first, even if they don’t taste as good as tater tots.

Sometimes momonomics helps to reveal hidden economic secrets. We all know economics values efficiency. So some people might think that because the gas station is between the office and the day care, you should stop for gas on the way to pick the kids up. Momonomics knows this doesn’t make sense if the kids go out of their minds if they aren’t picked up at their usual time, and they really like to help put gas in the car. So momonomics schedules that trip in a way that makes momonomic sense and that, once the constraints are fully understood, makes better economic sense as well.

Economics thinks expressed preferences are important, but often mysterious. People want strawberry Pop-Tarts after natural disasters because they do. It’s not particularly important why. Momonomics can help unpack those preferences, reminding us that strawberry Pop-Tarts are a kid-friendly food that provide a burst of energy and a comforting familiarity; also, they don’t require any cooking, and they don’t make a mess.

Just as frequently as momonomics challenges economic theory, momonomics helps to confirm the practical applicability of economic thinking.

Economics reminds us that we live in an environment of scarcity. Momonomics agrees and says that because your sister finished the cinnamon Life cereal, you have to have peanut butter Cheerios for breakfast.

Economics reminds us that, just like every other resource, time is subject to scarcity constraints. Momonomics agrees, and wouldn’t sell you the hours between kid bedtime and grown-up bedtime for a gold nugget.

Economics knows that because time is a resource, sometimes the order in which you use other resources matters. Momonomics agrees. That’s why we’re having salad for dinner tonight, and frozen peas at the end of the week. And take a banana for a snack while you’re at it — they’re starting to get brown.

Economics knows that capital is heterogeneous. So does momonomics. That’s why if you don’t take the banana today, there will be banana bread tomorrow.

And when it comes time to slice up and share that banana bread, momonomics agrees with economics. You cut it up, but your brother gets to pick his slice first. (Momonomics comports to some degree with Rawlsian political philosophy). And don’t forget to wrap the leftovers in foil.

There’s a more serious point behind all this silliness. People who don’t know any technical economics use economic and momonomic ways of thinking every day to make decisions, both large and small. Lenore Skenazy is doing an excellent job of demonstrating the good things that can happen when moms start thinking about risk and uncertainty the way that economists do. And economists in classrooms everywhere are using momonomics examples to clarify arcane principles and connect economics to their students’ lives.

We would all make better decisions if moms thought more about economics and economists thought more about moms.

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Supreme Court rejects binational-marriage plea

(U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday against strengthening marriage rights for binational couples who wish to live together in the United States.

Justices found in Kerry v. Din that naturalized U.S. citizen Fauzia Din cannot force greater explanation about or overturn in court the rejection of her Afghan husband Kanishka Berashk’s visa application.

The couple married in 2006. A year later, Din became an American citizen and Berashk requested a U.S. visa to join her. But his prior work in the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan apparently derailed the plan.

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HUD spends big bucks on worker relocations

Moving

Housing and Urban Development employees have generous relocation benefits, thanks to taxpayers.

Taxpayers have shelled out about $2.9 million to pay the relocation costs of 125 Housing and Urban Development workers since 2013, a Politico analysis found.

And that’s just a little more than half of what HUD set aside for relocation expenses for workers during that time frame.

Politico, via a Freedom of Information Act request, discovered the agency reserved $5.5 million for the relocation costs of its employees – including money for storage, airline tickets and even home sales’ offsets so transferring workers wouldn’t lose money on mortgages they held that were worth more than market values.

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The $2.9 million in 2013 figures out to about $23,000 in moving costs per person, Politico said.

“When the taxpayers look at this they see the dysfunction of the federal government in very stark relief,” said Leslie Paige, the vice president of policy for Citizens Against Government Waste, in Politico.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro is generally regarded as a rising Democratic Party star, and potential vice presidential running mate for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. He actually refused a $14,000 relocation subsidy by HUD for himself, calling it too generous.

“I said, ‘I don’t need that,’” Castro said to Politico at the time, in reference to HUD’s money offer to only “hold our stuff for one or two nights somewhere.”

Still, Republicans have been targeting HUD’s annual $50 billion budget for cuts, fueled in part by various taxpayer watchdog reports.

“When you look at some real estate expenses, you have to question how these are justified,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Politico reported. “In the constrained fiscal climate created by the budget caps, every agency must evaluate their spending decisions.”

 

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Fake black activist’s ‘hate crime’ cases suspended

(Gateway Pundit) Spokane police suspended all reported hate crimes against fake black activists Rachel Dolezal on Friday. Investigators said the controversial letters did not have a post office stamp or barcode and therefore were most likely placed into the box by someone with a key.

It’s time to cut through the left’s nonsense on race relations and race politics: “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession.”

Rachel Dolezal said she was disappointed the investigation did not produce any arrests.

She told KXLY News, “As a mother of two black sons I would never terrorize my children.”

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Huge sections of California sinking due to drought

(Curbed) California’s epic statewide drought has lead to mandatory water restrictions and a new state pastime, droughtshaming, but less-discussed is the fact that the drought is SINKING THE STATE.

The Center for Investigative Reporting looked into just how bad the sinking has gotten and found that there’s not a lot being done to monitor the phenomenon at a statewide level, and equally little money being put toward studying it, despite the fact that it’s causing infrastructural problems across California and will continue to do so. CIR also found that key elements for studying the dangerously accelerated sinking of the state aren’t accessible to scientists because “California allows agriculture businesses to keep crucial parts of their operations secret.”

The cause of the sinking is known, and it’s happened in California before. Once, it was even as bad as geologists think it might be now. Back then, it took more than $1 billion just to repair some of the damage.

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Nanoaggressions: Testing the Limits of Libertarian Legal Doctrine

By Robert P. Murphy

Arthur Firstenberg sued his neighbor over a WiFi connection. Firstenberg asked for more than $1 million in damages due to the radiation emanating from his neighbor’s wireless router, dimmer switches, and other devices that we take for granted nowadays.

Free-market economist Steven Landsburg argues that Firstenberg’s case shows the weakness in the standard libertarian approach to property rights, but he confesses that he doesn’t have a fully satisfactory legal doctrine to suggest instead.

Landsburg is fighting a straw man. Libertarians have nothing to fear from the Firstenberg case.

First of all, Murray Rothbard himself showed the proper way to dismiss such lawsuits, as we’ll see shortly. But even if judges adopted Firstenberg’s “absurd” views — namely, that he had the right to be free from photons from outsiders on his own property — the members of a free market community could quickly bargain around this (apparent) absurdity and reach a sensible outcome.

Reductio ad straw man

Here is Landsburg’s analysis:

This case is about as good as it gets if you’re looking for a reductio ad absurdum to libertarian dogma about the absolute right to control one’s own body. If we accepted that dogma, Mr. Firstenberg would have an excellent case. More than one economist has tried to refute the libertarian position by concocting hypothetical lawsuits over “penetration by photons”. Thanks to Mr. Firstenberg, we no longer have to resort to the hypothetical.

Landsburg is no doubt alluding to David Friedman, who — with his training in physics — has come up with clever thought experiments to show the limits of conventional libertarian legal analysis. For example, in “Natural Rights + ?” Friedman writes,

One problem with the version of libertarianism exemplified by Rand, Rothbard, and their followers is its lack of any logical foundation sufficient to persuade the unbeliever of its strong claims…. And another is that, taken literally, it sometimes gives the wrong answer: I cannot turn on the lights in my house without prior permission from every landowner whose ability to see them demonstrates that my photons are trespassing on his property.

Both Landsburg and Friedman are recoiling against (what they perceive to be) a dogmatic libertarianism in the approach to property rights. The primary work in this tradition is The Ethics of Liberty, in which Rothbard starts from first principles and deduces at least the broad outline of what the law code would look like in a free society. Beyond other possible objections to this approach, Landsburg and Friedman think it self-evidently leads to “the wrong answer” on what we might deem a nanoaggression — namely, sending a physically harmless amount of photons onto another person’s property.

I have two lines of response to the Landsburg/Friedman critique. First, I am not certain that the “absolutist” approach to property rights does entail the absurdities that they claim. Rothbard dealt with exactly this problem in “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution.” Here is his solution:

Consider the case of radio waves, which is a crossing of other people’s boundaries that is invisible and insensible in every way to the property owner. We are all bombarded by radio waves that cross our properties without our knowledge or consent. Are they invasive and should they therefore be illegal, now that we have scientific devices to detect such waves? Are we then to outlaw all radio transmission? And if not, why not?

The reason why not is that these boundary crossings do not interfere with anyone’s exclusive possession, use or enjoyment of their property. They are invisible, cannot be detected by man’s senses, and do no harm. They are therefore not really invasions of property, for we must refine our concept of invasion to mean not just boundary crossing, but boundary crossings that in some way interfere with the owner’s use or enjoyment of this property. What counts is whether the senses of the property owner are interfered with.

But suppose it is later discovered that radio waves are harmful, that they cause cancer or some other illness? Then they would be interfering with the use of the property in one’s person and should be illegal and enjoined, provided of course that this proof of harm and the causal connection between the specific invaders and specific victims are established beyond a reasonable doubt. (emphasis added)

I hasten to add that Rothbard’s analysis was not ad hoc, a desperate attempt to rescue his system from the corner into which he had painted himself. No, before bringing up radio waves, Rothbard had developed the principles of strict liability, strict causality, the burden of proof, procedural rules, and the crucial distinction between trespass and a nuisance. Moreover, Rothbard quoted from legal scholars throughout his discussion; this was not mere armchair pontificating.

Living with absolutism

Let’s move on to my second line of defense. Suppose that Rothbard misunderstood the implications of his own approach, and that Landsburg/Friedman are right. Specifically, suppose that judges who adopt a strict property rights framework would have to agree that people have the absolute right to be free from photons emitted from others. When an odd fellow like Arthur Firstenberg sues his neighbor, the judge can’t simply dismiss the case as being silly.

Then what? Landsburg and Friedman seem to think they’ve proven their point, but let’s push it. What happens in such a world? Does everyone commit suicide to avoid going to prison?

No, that’s not what would happen. Firstenberg would (by stipulation) get the judge to issue an injunction against his neighbor; she would have to stop emitting photons onto Firstenberg’s property. One problem right away is this: it is physically impossible for her to comply with the injunction, and even if the sheriff comes and puts her in jail, shucks, she is still (however weakly) “invading” Firstenberg’s property — for example, by exerting a slight gravitational force on his couch — because her body has mass. Even if the authorities give her the electric chair, her dead body will invade poor Firstenberg’s property. (Plus, the electrocution itself would send even more electromagnetic radiation his way; the guy can’t catch a break.)

There’s another twist. If her lawyer is clever, Firstenberg’s neighbor will file a countersuit, pointing out that he is invading her property with all of his photons. I don’t know what the legal precedent is, but I could imagine an “absolute property rights” judge ruling that you can’t use the power of law to stop someone from committing an invasion that you yourself are constantly reciprocating.

The real solution to these silly brainteasers is that people would come to contractual agreements to avoid such messes. In the modern world, few people ever stumble upon truly virgin territory that they must homestead. On the contrary, just about everyone rents an apartment or buys land from a previous owner. The builders of a new housing development, or the owners of a new apartment high rise, could have clauses in their agreements explaining the rules that the new buyers or tenants must endorse. Right now, in the real world, people buying a new house may have to agree to the rules of a homeowners association, which sets limits, for example, on how loud they can play music at 2:00 a.m., or whether people in the development are allowed to put political campaign signs on their front lawns. To impose such rules isn’t to limit property rights; it merely clarifies exactly which rights the new buyers obtain with their purchase.

Why we need legal theory

Human interactions will always be messy and unpredictable, which is why we will always need judges to issue opinions on particular conflicts. However, it is still worthwhile for legal theorists to write treatises and essays advocating particular philosophies that judges may wish to adopt when making their decisions.

Contrary to the claims of Landsburg and Friedman, modern physics doesn’t provide obstacles to the application of strict property rights. Rothbard dealt with the problem of harmless nuisance in his famous legal essay, and the market process itself would contract around any remaining bottlenecks.

To suppose that WiFi connections could cripple a free society is a bit like a socialist worrying that free labor markets might lead to starvation: What if nobody wants to be a farmer?