You are browsing the archive for 2014 April 01.

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Senators Alexander, McConnell, Paul Introduce Legislation to Preserve Tennessee Walking Horse Tradition, Stop “Contemptible Practice” of Illegal Soring

April 1, 2014 in Politics & Elections

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate today that Alexander said would ‘preserve the century-old tradition of the Tennessee Walking Horse while ending the contemptible practice of the illegal soring of horses.’ The senators’ legislation modifies a proposal authored and introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a group that includes Tennessee’s six other Republican congressmen. Blackburn’s legislation also has the support of the American Farm Bureau, which includes both the Tennessee and Kentucky farm bureaus. The Tennessee Farm Bureau said in a letter to Alexander that the legislation would ‘allow the vast majority of horse owners, trainers and breeders and those who play by the rules to confidently participate in the horse shows.’ A competing bill, advocated by the Humane Society of the United States, has also been introduced in the Senate and House and would ban many industry-standard training and show devices, and has been described by the Performance Show Horse Association as legislation that would ‘do little more than create another layer of bureaucracy at the USDA while denying horse enthusiasts the opportunity’ to participate in competitions that are the basis of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Alexander said: ‘In baseball, if a player illegally uses steroids, you punish the player – you don’t shut down America’s national pastime. With Tennessee Walking Horse shows, when trainers, owners or riders illegally sore a horse, we should find a more effective way to punish and stop them – not shut down one of Tennessee’s most treasured traditions. The problem with the Humane Society bill is that it destroys a Tennessee tradition known around the world. Our goal is to find a way to preserve the Tennessee Walking Horse tradition and stop the cruelty to horses.’ Alexander continued, ‘When I first went to Japan in 1979 to recruit Nissan, the Tennessee Walking Horse was one of the things the Japanese knew best about our state. In fact, the emperor had his own Walking Horse because it has an enjoyable gait that makes riding a more pleasurable experience. And when the first major supplier of Nissan – Calsonic – came to Shelbyville, the company’s gift to Tennessee was Calsonic Arena, where the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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If U.S. Is Going to Have Dynasties, at Least Have Good Ones

April 1, 2014 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

Draft Bush! That’s the GOP establishment’s bold new scheme for 2016.

And people say they’re out of ideas.

“Many if not most” of 2012 nominee Mitt Romney’s biggest donors are courting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Washington Post reported Sunday; the “vast majority” would back him in a nomination fight, according to one top fundraiser. Jeb, brother and son to presidents 43 and 41, respectively, hasn’t yet made up his mind: “the decision will be based on ‘Can I do it joyfully?’”

The battle for the throne is shaping up as House Bush vs. House Clinton, and winter is coming. Oh joy.”

If he can, he’s stranger than he seems, and maybe not the sort of fellow we want to trust with nuclear weapons.

Still, Jeb seemed pretty jubilant last fall, at a Philadelphia event, where he and Hillary Clinton, the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nod in 2016, “basked in a mood of bipartisan bonhomie.” Bush was there to give his potential 2016 rival the National Constitution Center’s ”Liberty Medal.” “Hillary and I come from different political parties, and we disagree about a few things,” he joked, “but we do agree on the wisdom of the American people — especially those in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

Bundlers are loose in the realm; the battle for the throne is shaping up as House Bush vs. House Clinton, and winter is coming. Oh joy.

In America, any child “may become president, and I suppose it’s just one of the risks he takes,” two-time Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson once cracked. But we run a bigger risk of getting someone with a famous last name. Since I became aware of politics, sometime around the start of the Iranian hostage crisis, either a Bush or a Clinton has been on a major-party presidential ticket in all but the last two races; 2016 would make it eight out of ten. And consider the irony that one of the main figures standing athwart another Bush-Clinton race is Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., himself the scion of a minor political dynasty.

The Founders wisely barred the federal government from granting “titles of nobility” (though they may have been too quick to dismiss “corruption of blood” as grounds for political disqualification). Still, they recognized that “there is a natural aristocracy among men,” as Thomas Jefferson put it to John Adams in 1813, “the grounds of this are virtue and talents.”

Neither Jeb nor Hillary, one suspects, is …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Long-Sought Medical Marijuana Research

April 1, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Clinical Trial for Veterans with PTSD Has Already Obtained Approval from U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U. Arizona Institutional Review Board, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Wednesday, April 2: Veterans, Military Family Members and Supporters to Rally at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza

After 22 years of hard-fought efforts, the non-profit pharmaceutical company MAPS has finally obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for a FDA clinical trial to examine the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana. The trial would study military veterans suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet the study’s ability to receive Arizona state funding is in jeopardy due to State Senator Kimberly Yee.

March 31, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Video: The Present State of Entrepreneurship Research

April 1, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

The Murray N. Rothbard Memorial Lecture, sponsored by Hélio Beltrão. Recorded at the 2014 Austrian Economics Research Conference in Auburn, Alabama, on 21 March 2014.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Ron Paul: Aid to Ukraine Is a Bad Deal For All

April 1, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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By Ron Paul

Last week Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill approving a billion dollars in aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia. The bill will likely receive the president’s signature within days. If you think this is the last time US citizens will have their money sent to Ukraine, you should think again. This is only the beginning.

This $1 billion for Ukraine is a rip-off for the America taxpayer, but it is also a bad deal for Ukrainians. Not a single needy Ukrainian will see a penny of this money, as it will be used to bail out international banks who hold Ukrainian government debt. According to the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-designed plan for Ukraine, life is about to get much more difficult for average Ukrainians. The government will freeze some wage increases, significantly raise taxes, and increase energy prices by a considerable margin.

But the bankers will get paid and the IMF will get control over the Ukrainian economy.

The bill also authorizes more US taxpayer money for government-funded “democracy promotion” NGOs, and more money to broadcast US government propaganda into Ukraine via Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. It also includes some saber-rattling, directing the US Secretary of State to “provide enhanced security cooperation with Central and Eastern European NATO member states.”

The US has been “promoting democracy” in Ukraine for more than ten years now, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good. Recently a democratically-elected government was overthrown by violent protestors. That is the opposite of democracy, where governments are changed by free and fair elections. What is shocking is that the US government and its NGOs were on the side of the protestors! If we really cared about democracy we would not have taken either side, as it is none of our business.

Washington does not want to talk about its own actions that led to the coup, instead focusing on attacking the Russian reaction to US-instigated unrest next door to them. So the new bill passed by Congress will expand sanctions against Russia for its role in backing a referendum in Crimea, where most of the population voted to join Russia. The US, which has participated in the forced change of borders in Serbia and elsewhere, suddenly declares that international borders cannot be challenged in Ukraine.

Those of us who are less than gung-ho about sanctions, manipulating elections, and sending our troops overseas are criticized …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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What to Expect From Janet Yellen

April 1, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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Writes Patrick Barron in today’s Mises Daily:

Now, Yellen may preside over a gradual “tapering” of the unprecedented “quantitative easing” program begun under Bernanke. But this does not mean that she is different. Remember, that program was unprecedented; everyone knew at its beginning that it could not continue forever. Whoever occupies the Fed chairmanship would have to end that program at some point — we hope…

The Fed has painted itself into a corner. There is no way that the nation can avoid either a recession or the collapse of the value of the dollar. We should prefer the recession, then insist on an end to monetary expansion, regardless of the howls from the politicians that the government cannot continue its many programs otherwise. At the core this is a political problem. Only a radical change in the mindset of government can end the monetary madness.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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An Economic Interpretation of the Crimean Secession/Annexation

April 1, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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As with the Venetian secession, regions of larger states often secede because they resent being taxed to subsidize other regions of the country. Less often is the case that a region leaves one nation state because it can get more and better subsidies in another nation states. According to Jason Ditz at antiwar.com, however, this is a big factor in Crimea’s decision to leave Ukraine for Russia. And if Ditz’s assertions about Crimea’s poverty and economic dependence are right, we might also extrapolate that Crimea’s poverty could be a reason that true independence was not on the table.

While not quite the same, this phenomenon might be compared to situations in which client states bolt one sphere of influence to join another. The US understands this as well as anyone, since it spends many billions annually in cash or in-kind gifts to cultivate close ties with a variety of brutal dictatorships like those found in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

But on the Crimean question, Ditz writes:

I love a good argument too, but I think the Crimea situation is less about race, nationalism and the East-West divide than it is economics.

Crimea is dirt poor, even by Ukranian standards, and was intensely dependent on government aid. The regime change brought about a lot of philosophical shifts in government, but the big change from the Crimean perspective was economic in that:

a) Ukraine’s struggling economy is heading further into the ditch, with EU trade ties likely not to make a major difference for years and the loss of Russia trade ties likely to be a quick impact.

b) The IMF bailout came amid intense conditions of austerity, which means Crimea’s subsidies were likely to be on the chopping block .

Whatever else one may say about Russia’s economy, it’s got a lot of money from oil and gas exports, and they were in a position to not only replace the aid Ukraine had been giving Crimea, but to increase it considerably. I’d say you can’t buy that kind of loyalty, but you clearly can.

Interviews on the streets with Crimeans told similar stories, of local retirees expecting their pensions to go from $100 a month under Ukraine to $500 a month under Russia. Similar pay hikes were expected for soldiers who transferred to the Russian military, and they played a big role in the sheer size of the defections.

From Russia’s perspective, it’s also a pretty straightforward …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Medical Marijuana Dropped from State Budget, Leaving Patients to Suffer

April 1, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

While Assembly Included Compassionate Care Act in Budget Proposal, the Senate and Governor Failed to Act

Advocates: To Alleviate Patient Suffering in New York, State Senate Must Immediately Bring Compassionate Care Act to Floor for a Vote

Albany – On Saturday, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Co-Presidents Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein announced that they had reach a budget agreement, but the deal excluded the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. The Assembly had included the proposal as part of their one-house budget bill, but the Senate and Governor refused to include the bill in the final budget.

March 31, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY