When word surfaced from Politico last Sunday of sexual harassment allegations against presidential contender Herman Cain dating back to the late 1990s, questions naturally arose as to the source of the leak. The fingers have pointed in a number of directions, most notably to two of Cain’s Republican rivals, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And in the midst of questions of who is responsible for the breaking story, another female National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee has levied allegations against Cain, as have others not employed by the association. On Sunday, Politico broke the story that during Cain’s 1996-99 stint as president and CEO of the NRA, he had been accused of sexual harassment by two different women. According to Politico, the two women ultimately left the NRA with financial settlements and signed agreements not to disclose any details regarding their departure. Politico reported today that one of the women received $45,000 (Cain had said she received three to six months of pay), while the other woman received $35,000 — equivalent to a year's worth of pay — according to a New York Times story earlier this week. Cain’s campaign chief of staff Mark Block flatly accused Perry’s campaign of being the source behind the leaked information. In a town-hall meeting Wednesday night, Cain stated, “We’ve been able to trace it back to the Perry campaign that stirred this up in order to discredit me, my campaign, and slow us down.”
Students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) evidently learned the hard way that speech is no longer free, at least not on their campus. After receiving permission from the school, on September 22 four students groups  — SHSU Lovers of Liberty, Bearkat Democrats, Sam Houston Democratic Socialists, and College Republicans — had  erected a "free speech wall" in protest against SHSU’s new social media policy. The four groups also garnered 130 signatures on a petition indicating that “they never want the Social Media Policy and Procedures Manual” to go into effect. According to the school's policy, the letters “SHSU” and all similar terms have been trademarked, and therefore any student organizations seeking to use those terms in their online identities must join a speech-restrictive “Official Community,” which gives the university the authority to approve any member group’s “official profile images/avatars” and to edit and/or delete its social media content. If a group refuses to adhere to this policy, it may not use the terms trademarked by SHSU. On this wall students expressed a vast array of philosophies and dispositions — ranging from “Legalize Weed” and “My boyfriend is a liar!” to “If you make less than $200,000, Republicans don’t care about you." Only when Professor Joe Kirk discovered that “F*** Obama” had been written on the wall, did he take action against any of those posting messages.
NATO forces and Libyan rebels associated with the National Transitional Council are being investigated for alleged war crimes committed during the Western-backed overthrow of strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court told the United Nations. A probe of crimes attributed to forces loyal to the late despot is also ongoing. “There are allegations of crimes committed by NATO forces, allegations of crimes committed by NTC-related forces, including the alleged detention of civilians suspected to be mercenaries and the alleged killing of detained combatants, as well as allegations of additional crimes committed by pro-Gadhafi forces,” ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the UN Security Council in New York on November 2. “These allegations will be examined impartially and independently by the Office [sic].” The self-styled world prosecutor did not offer details about what war crimes Western forces may have committed, but the well-documented slaughter of dozens of civilians in the town of Zlitan is thought to be on the list. Alliance targeting of crucial non-military infrastructure including a television station accused of spreading propaganda and key water facilities will also likely be among the accusations being investigated.
Sexual corruption in the Catholic priesthood goes even deeper than anyone thought. Yet while the scandal of homosexual priests molesting teenage boys has nearly bankrupted some parishes in the United States, the sexual perversion in Germany is making the German bishops a mint. LifeSiteNews.com reported early this week that the German episcopacy is peddling pornography and satanism through a major publisher it owns. Even worse, the bishops can’t claim they didn’t know what the publisher sells. Concerned lay persons have been trying to stop it for at least a decade. 100-percent Ownership According to LifeSite, the German bishops are 100-percent owners of the second largest publisher in German, Weltbuild. Reported LifeSite: It is wholly owned by the German bishops and has a $1.7 billion annual turnover. Its 2,500 porn titles (with covers too sexually explicit to reproduce) include perverse sexual fantasy of every type. WELTBILD also sells books promoting Satanism, the occult, esoterism, and anti-Christian atheist propaganda. And that isn’t the only perversion the bishops are peddling. They also own 50 percent of another bookseller that publishes pornographic novels.
A July 21, 2010 memo by John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology and Peter Orzag, director of the Office of Management and the Budget, said that $450 billion, or about three percent of the nation’s GDP, would be spent by public and private sources for research and development with a priority on “solar energy, next-generation biofuels, and sustainable green buildings and building retrofit technologies.” Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Cybercast News Service (CNS) obtained a copy of the memo, which was directed to all executive branch heads of departments and agencies in developing budget priorities. The communication also demands that “understanding, adapting to and mitigating the impacts of global climate change” be a budget priority, as well as insisting that agencies should prioritize research for measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions. Support, within coordinated interagency investments in the U.S. Global Change Research Program, an integrated and continuing National Climate Assessment of climate change science, impacts, vulnerabilities, and response strategies, including mitigation and adaptation.… Agencies should pursue transformational solutions to the Nation’s practical challenges, and budget submission should therefore explain how agencies will support long-term, visionary thinkers proposing high-risk, high-return (or "potentially transformative") research.
With the discovery of huge oil fields off the coast of Brazil in the fall of 2007 came estimates of just what impact they would have on Brazil’s already booming economy. Prior to the discovery of “pre-salt” reserves estimated to be the size of Florida and in excess of 120 billion barrels, Brazil’s economy was already considered to be the 7th largest in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the CIA. But as the resources are developed, to many observers Brazil is a cinch to take over 6th place by replacing Great Britain in the size of its economy. It’s economy in 2004 was one-third that of Great Britain’s but by 2007 it had grown to half. With the great recession costing the United Kingdom 20 percent of its GDP between 2007 and 2010, and Brazil’s continuing to grow apace by nearly 52 percent, the IMF now estimates that Brazil will take over 6th place by the end of this year. The technological challenges facing Petrobas, Brazil’s main oil producer, are immense. In order to reach the oil, it will have to drill through four miles of ocean and rocks and a thick layer of salt. And then retrieving it and turning it into a profitable revenue stream will be the next challenge. Brazil’s politicians are already calling it “the pot of gold at the bottom of the ocean” and are considering how the revenues might be used to further the government’s endless list of priorities.
The ideologies and demographics of the Occupy Wall Street movement have been obscured by disorganization and media rhetoric, but emerging surveys and analyses are attempting to decipher the defining attributes of the rooted crowds in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park and in other cities across the country. Who are these protesters? What are their political ideologies? Are they educated? Do they have jobs? In a poll conducted by Costas Panagopoulos, a political science professor at Fordham University in New York, a team of 15 researchers ventured out to survey 301 New York protesters to find the answers to these questions. "We’ve had a lot of speculation about who these people are," the professor commented, adding, "Some of what we found reinforced what many already believed, and some results were surprising." In the survey, Panagopoulos and his team focused on characteristics relating to the movement’s demographics and political beliefs to better understand the catchy, but somewhat esoteric, signs and slogans that have painted the media headlines over the past several weeks. The poll, sponsored by Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, found that New York’s OWS movement is 68 percent white and 61 percent male. While 28 percent of the protesters are unemployed, most are college graduates and 22 percent hold advanced college degrees. Of those who are currently employed, 30 percent claim to work full-time and 18 percent work part-time.
The September 15 report from the National Petroleum Council expressed surprise at how much has changed just since their “Hard Truths” report of 2007 that domestic energy development was falling behind escalating demand.  The “Hard Truths” report stated that although “the world is not running out of energy resources … there are accumulating risks to continuing expansion of oil and natural gas production … [which] create significant challenges to meeting projected total energy demand.” As a result, the concept of “Energy Independence” is “not realistic in the foreseeable future” and therefore “the United States must moderate the growing demand for energy.” In NPC’s letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu introducing the latest study, chairman James Hackett said Extraordinary events have affected energy markets in the years since the NPC reported on the “Hard Truths” about energy in 2007. That study concluded that the world would need increased energy efficiency and all economic forms of energy supply. This is still true today, but since then, significant technology advances have unlocked abundant natural gas and oil resources. These greatly expanded resources have already benefited our country economically. Increased supplies of natural gas have resulted in lower prices and helped revitalize many U.S. industries.
The days of tax-free Internet shopping may soon be coming to an abrupt end, if two Republican senators have their way.  Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee are currently preparing to introduce new legislation that would allow states to force Amazon.com and other out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes. Their bill has the backing of several key corporate retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy, Home Depot, and other companies that are currently required to collect sales taxes. At issue is whether online retailers should have to collect sales taxes in states where they’re making sales. Currently, online shoppers are supposed to report purchases for tax purposes but usually don’t. "It's time to close the online sales tax loophole," says Jason Brewer, a vice president at the Retail Industry Leaders Association in Arlington, Va., which represents big box stores. "Amazon and companies like it are no longer fledgling startups." The Republican-led legislative effort has a clear precedent in legislation introduced by Senate Democrats last year. The so-called Main Street Fairness Act of 2010 was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and called for taxes on online purchases, under the presumption that local retail outfits are placed at a comparative disadvantage to online retailers due to discrepancies in taxation. The justification for these measures is a reprise of arguments that state tax collectors have made for at least a decade: they claim that Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Blue Nile, and other online retailers that don't always collect taxes are unreasonably depriving states of revenue, and that they enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over local retailers that must collect taxes, according to CNET’s Declan McCullagh.
I have noticed that there are some on the libertarian right who appear to consider themselves kindred spirits with those who have spent the last few weeks “occupying” Wall Street and other cities throughout America and beyond. This is disheartening, for what it reveals is that those who should presumably know better than all others how best to nurture and strengthen liberty are, in actuality, as ignorant of its true character as its greatest enemies. Note, I do not suggest that the libertarian’s professions of love for liberty are insincere. Quite the contrary, for it is most likely his fanaticism for his beloved that imperils the latter. It is the libertarian’s zeal for liberty that corrupts his intellect. Like the hyper-jealous husband whose obsession with his wife renders him either forgetful of or oblivious to the real nature of marital love, so the libertarian is similarly forgetful of or oblivious to the real nature of liberty.  Bear in mind that the libertarianism that is the object of my critique is not the only school of thought so-called. “Libertarianism” is a term invariably associated today with a particular cast of mind. But there is another, older political philosophic orientation that, though of a fundamentally different kind, is no less deserving of the name.
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