During this last weekend of November 11 to 13, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair took place at the Hynes Convention Center. As an antiquarian book collector, I always go to these fairs because I love books, particularly old books, and the dealers who exhibit at this fair usually bring the best they have to offer. And considering the prices being asked, you would think they were selling jewels. And in a sense they are. If you want to purchase a Shakespeare First Folio, be prepared to shell out over a million dollars. But no First Folio was for sale at this fair. First Folios are usually sold at Sotheby auctions where millionaire collectors or great academic institutions buy the most valuable books being offered. That books should acquire such incredible value is a demonstration of the free-market at work. So far, there is no government agency that regulates the sale of antiquarian books. The dealers regulate themselves with a rather strict code of ethics. By the way, not all old books increase in value. Some are not worth anything, or very little at best. Value is created by how much people are willing to pay for an item. The books that increase in value are signed first editions by noted authors, books of historical importance, and beautiful editions of great studies. Several years ago I was able to get an original 1798 copy of Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy from a British bookseller for $100. It would undoubtedly cost much more today.
When a group of students at a California high school elected to wear patriotic American-flag T-shirts to school on Cinco de Mayo (May 5), a Mexican holiday, they were told by their principal to turn their shirts inside out so as not to offend the school’s Hispanic students. The students took their case to court; however, last week a U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco ruled that the school was well within its rights to make the students hide the U.S. flags on their T-shirts. Three students appeared at Live Oak High School at the Morgan Hill Unified School District on May 5, 2010 wearing T-shirts adorned with the American flag. Assistant principal Miguel Rodriguez asked the students to either remove their shirts or turn them inside out. When the students refused to comply, Rodriguez ordered them to principal Nick Boden’s office. After discussing the subject with the students for well over an hour, the principal sent them home for the day. The Blaze reports, “The Rutherford Institute and the Thomas More Law Center teamed up to represent the students and their families.” “This is nothing more than political correctness,” declared John Whitehead, president of Rutherford. “If these kinds of decisions are upheld, they will destroy our First Amendment rights.”
Having been pulled from an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, a film which features ants crawling on a crucifix and a man stitching his mouth together will go on display as part of a larger homosexual exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, New York. The nation’s second largest art museum, CNSNews.com reported last week, will feature A Fire In My Belly, a film by David Wojnarowicz, a homosexual producer who unsurprisingly died of AIDS, within an exhibit titled “Hide and Seek.” “Hide and Seek” appeared at the Smithsonian at last year, subsidized by federal tax dollars, but the museum pulled the film after GOP elected officials complained. Now the Brooklyn Museum, also funded by state, federal, and city tax dollars, will show the film.
American taxpayers are sending over $100 million per year to a bloated international bureaucracy that has morphed into a “cartel enforcer” for welfare-state politicians seeking to prevent tax competition, according to a new study. Entitled "Cartelizing Taxes: Understanding the OECD's Campaign Against 'Harmful Tax Competition,'” the paper examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and its increasingly fierce campaign to “cartelize” global taxes. And the picture that emerges is troubling to say the least, according to experts. Competition between nations for jobs, capital, and business has served to restrain big government and harmful policies for centuries. If one regime raised taxes too much, companies and workers could simply move to another jurisdiction. But now, with massive U.S. taxpayer subsidies representing about a quarter of the bureaucracy’s budget, the OECD is working feverishly to end tax competition, according to the paper. And the schemes are designed to benefit high-tax welfare states determined to stem the flight of businesses and capital to more business-friendly environments.
The objectivity of judges is an essential component of the American constitutional system. When Elena Kagan was Solicitor General of the United States, she and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe had e-mail exchanges, which were obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act, that suggest that she could not be impartial in ruling on Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because she has taken a position for the bill. Tribe is a "liberal" professor who has written in the New York Times in defense of ObamaCare, has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court, and was working for the Obama administration's Department of Justice at the time of the e-mail exchange. The Media Research Council and Judicial Watch filed the Freedom of Information Act request on May 25, 2010, which was before Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings for a position on the Supreme Court. That e-mail correspondence makes it clear that then-Solicitor General Kagan and Tribe had contacted each other about ObamaCare as early as March 21, 2010 and that Kagan likely has been a cheerleader for ObamaCare. The e-mails' title refers to the upcoming vote on ObamaCare and says, "Fingers and toes crossed today." In the e-mails Kagan says about the probable passage of ObamaCare: "I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing." The e-mail correspondence trail, which was finally released on November 10, 2011, after the Department of Justice had been sued in federal district court for the District of Columbia on November 23, 2010, a year before the documents were released, shows more than just an e-mail trail between Kagan and Tribe.
"For Ron Paul to run as an independent," Fox News Channel's Juan Williams wrote back on November 4, "could be the biggest, most consequential third party candidacy in American history. Yes, one that is even bigger than Ross Perot’s candidacy was in the 90s." Persistent talk about a Ron Paul third party candidacy by some may be an attempt to sabotage Dr. Paul's GOP candidacy and enable establishment candidates who support banking bailouts and irresponsible foreign military intervention to win the nomination. Paul has stated he won't run an independent race for the presidency. But serious analysis of the 2012 presidential race indicates that a major independent challenge is all but certain this year without an anti-bailout candidate such as Paul winning the GOP nomination. Indeed, a significant third party candidacy need not be headlined by Ron Paul. Plenty of third party candidate possibilities dot the political horizon, each of whom could draw 5-15 percent of the popular vote (or more) and a significant percentage of conservative and independent voters. More on those possible candidates later. But first, let's outline a few basic facts about the 2012 presidential election.
“It’s about jobs,” said then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in February 2010. “In its life [healthcare reform] will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately.” Tell that to the roughly 1,000 employees of Stryker Corporation who will be losing their jobs as a direct result of a medical-device fee included in ObamaCare. According to a Reuters report, on November 10 the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based maker of replacement hips and surgical devices announced that it would be “implement[ing] focused workforce reductions of approximately 5% of its global workforce and other restructuring activities that are anticipated to reduce annual pre-tax operating costs by over $100 million beginning in 2013.” Stryker specifically stated that these actions are being undertaken “to provide efficiencies and realign resources in advance of the new Medical Device Excise Tax scheduled to begin in 2013” and otherwise to strengthen its position in a difficult economic climate. The Medical Device Excise Tax, which was estimated to generate $20 billion in revenue for the federal government, is a 2.3-percent tax on the total revenues of a company manufacturing medical devices. Since the tax “will be levied … regardless of whether a company generates a profit,” DailyMarkets.com’s Mark Perry observes, “many companies will owe more in taxes than they generate from their operations. The result will be devastating to innovation, patient care and job creation.”
It was inevitable the connection would be made. When Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky was arrested on November 4, after years of allegedly molesting boys with the knowledge of superiors who didn’t stop him, everyone knew what was coming. It wouldn’t be long before the media brought up the Catholic Church and its tribulations with homosexual molesters. Sure enough, as Newsbusters reported on Friday, NBC and the New York Times obliged, linking the two scandals.
In an opinion streaked with black marks of redaction, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the release order previously entered for Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif. Latif is a Yemeni national currently imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In a Summary of Evidence memo prepared by the government, Latif is accused of first, being “an al Qaida fighter; and second, having engaged in hostilities against Americans in Afghanistan." The ruling by a divided D.C. Court of Appeals reversed an order entered in July 2010 by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. wherein the Obama Administration was ordered to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith." In his decision, Judge Kennedy wrote that the government of the United States failed to present sufficient evidence that Latif was a member of al-Qaeda or any affiliated group. Upon successfully achieving the release of his client via a writ of habeas corpus, Latif's attorney, David Remes, said, "This is a mentally disturbed man who has said from the beginning that he went to Afghanistan seeking medical care because he was too poor to pay for it. Finally, a court has recognized that he's been telling the truth, and ordered his release."
The Federal Trade Commission reportedly forwarded a settlement offer last week to social media behemoth Facebook. The FTC began investigating Facebook over claims that the latter was violating the privacy of millions of users by changing the default value of several privacy settings without providing prior notice to subscribers. According to published accounts of the content of the proposed settlement agreement, Facebook would agree to obtain advance, express consent from users before sharing any material that was posted prior to the new guidelines.