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body camera, police, abuse, civil rights, obstruction, brutality

Public Record

Police departments nationwide have begun to outfit their on-duty officers with body cameras. These small recording devices make great sense, so we can better judge police encounters. And it turns out that not only do police behave better when wearing body cameras, so do the citizens with whom they interact.*






Venezuela, socialism, free markets, capitalism, poverty, celebrities, freedom, repression, starvation

Of Salt and Socialism

Nearly 75 percent of Venezuelans have lost 19 pounds or more in 2016. “People have become so desperate,” the Miami Herald reported recently, “that they are butchering and eating flamingos.” While acknowledging the problem, TeleSUR, a television network based in Venezuela and funded by governments including Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and






Netherlands, Dutch, election, Geert Wilders, counting coup, party, parties, political, Freedom Party

Dutch Election Oddities

There were many strange forces at play in the Netherlands’ elections on Wednesday. In my report, I concentrated on the biggest story, the possibility that Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party might take a huge number of parliamentary seats — though I quoted The Atlantic’s coverage predicting a narrow loss to Mark






healthcare, Trumpcare, Obamacare, medicine, costs, regulations, Medicaid, single payer

DumpCare

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan insists that his “TrumpCare” plan to replace ObamaCare will decrease medical insurance rates. Others argue that his American Health Care Act will increase those rates. Likewise, he expects it to reduce strain on federal budgets; others deny this outright. The “coverage” issue is just






Donald Trump, Trump, diet, fat, stress, weight loss

The Weight of Politics

Folks sure go crazy over diets. And that’s without the insanity of politics à la mode. Consider the new Trump Diet — actually, several of them. Actress Lena Dunham pledged to move to Canada if Donald Trump won last November. Instead, she stayed to offer a new weight loss scheme.






CalExit, secede, secession, California, divide, partition, self determination

Adios, California?

Californians account for more than one of every ten Americans. For now. Three years ago, an initiative sought to split the mega-state up. Had that measure succeeded, the U.S. Congress would have decided whether to permit the Golden State to become six separate states — with ten more U.S. Senators.






Freedom’s Friends

Yesterday marked a solemn anniversary. Seventy-four years ago — on Feb. 22, 1943 — three German students at the University of Munich were tried for treason by the Nazis, convicted and then executed via the guillotine, all in one day. Days earlier, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie had been






Romania, no-confidence vote, Bucharest, democracy, protest, corruption

The Confidence Game

Romania’s parliament has confidence in . . . itself. Sorta. A parliamentary no-confidence vote failed, despite 161 lawmakers voting for the resolution and only eight voting with the government. Confused? The no-confidence measure failed because the Social Democrats, controlling nearly two-thirds of the 465 seats in parliament, abstained on the






Berkeley, Milo, violence, speech, politics, photos, comment, analysis

The Silence of Violence

“The Free Speech Movement is dead.” So said the Berkeley College Republicans after violence Wednesday night forced cancelation of a sold-out speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, the Greek-born British author, now a senior editor at Breitbart News. The reference, of course, is to the University of California’s history as a haven






EPA, environment, pollution, climate change, Trump

Sledgehammer to a Bureaucracy

The media hysterically pushes the line that the new Trump administration is so much “in chaos” it even frightens seasoned (salt-and-pepper?) heads in the Republican Party. But perhaps folks at the Environmental Protection Agency have more reason to panic. “It looks like the EPA will be the agency hardest hit






democracy, freedom, ranking, The Economist, pure democracy, republic

Deplorable Distrust?

The United States is no longer a “full-fledged democracy.” According to a New York Post story, our union is, instead, a “flawed democracy.” Hmmm. Where to begin? Despite the article’s featured photo of President Trump, the downgrading of America’s democratic status occurred prior to the billionaire’s swearing-in. Technically, of course,






Donald Trump, president, landslide, election, votes, popular, electoral college

Trumping Popular Vote?

A friend, who loves to talk football, sometimes boasts that his team “crushed” the other team, gaining more yards and rolling up more first downs, before dejectedly acknowledging that his team didn’t score as many points as its opponent. They lost. When a Democrat gloats that Donald Trump lost the






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