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Valin Posted Today, 02:54 PM
Valin Posted Today, 02:52 PM
January 27, 2015
On Jan. 9, the government of Saudi Arabia publicly whipped a liberal Muslim writer, Raif Badawi, flogging him 50 times outside a mosque in Jeddah. It was the first installment of the 1,000 lashes to which Badawi had been sentenced — in addition to 10 years in prison and a fine of more than $250,000 — for the crime of “insulting Islam” on his former website, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum.
Then, in a powerful demonstration of genuine solidarity, they offered to share personally in his flogging.
“If your government will not remit the punishment of Raif Badawi, we respectfully ask that you permit each of us to take 100 of the lashes that would be given to him,” they wrote. “We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured.”
The signatories are as intellectually distinguished as they are religiously and politically diverse. They include Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former ambassador to the Vatican; Zuhdi Jasser, a physician and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Robert George, a notable public scholar and professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University; and Eric Schwartz, a former assistant secretary of state who is now dean of the University of Minnesota’s school of public affairs. Another commissioner, Daniel I. Mark, is a political scientist at Villanova University; Hannah Rosenthal is president of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation; and Katrina Lantos Swett, the commission chairman, heads an international human-rights foundation.
NCTexan Posted Today, 02:35 PM
Watch Obama Refer to Himself 118 Times in Three Minutes
Cyber_Liberty Posted Today, 02:32 PM
Valin Posted Today, 02:12 PM
Jan 28 2015
President Obama has launched an initiative to focus more pressure on occupational licensing at state and local levels. The Administration’s new budget plan includes $15 million dollars set aside for states to investigate whether their licensing laws are good policy. As Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine argues, that budget item is “numerically trivial but philosophically important”:
Chait is right. According to the Economist, in 1950s only 5 percent of the workforce needed state licenses to work. Today, 35 percent do. Wages rise on average 18 percent for workers in fields that require licenses, but others lose out. This is a classic blue model regulation, in which guilds inflate wages by restricting competition through government regulation.
We are glad to see the Obama Administration start to address this barrier to economic growth and entrepreneurship, and its willingness to do so raises an important point about the blue model. The blue model debate often has partisan overtones, with Democrats cast as the protectors of the union of government and business that persisted throughout the 20th century and Republicans as its challengers. Depending on which aspect of the blue model system is at issue, however, it can have critics and defenders on both sides of the aisle. That poses unique challenges to really moving past it, but it also means you can see occasional moments of bipartisan opposition like the kind that appears to be coalescing around cutting through licensing restrictions. More of this, please.
Valin Posted Today, 12:58 PM
In this episode of the Breakout with Newt Gingrich podcast, Newt interviews the inventor of the Tankchair, Brad Soden. Brad personifies a “pioneer of the future,” with an invention that has already improved the lives of veterans and others, including Brad’s wife, who was the first recipient of a Tankchair. The Tankchair is exactly what it sounds like: a modified wheelchair that uses a continuous track instead of traditional wheels, allowing its user to move at greater speeds over uneven terrain. Brad is also helping a number of veterans who have been injured overseas by building and customizing Tankchairs that allow them to maintain an active and independent lifestyle alongside their families without having to worry about the restrictions of a conventional wheelchair.
For more information on Tankchair, visit http://www.tankchair.com/
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