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Freedom: The Greatest Military Strategy

Why did The Nazis avoid invading The Swiss? What made General Patton a greater war commander than Hitler? Why have the world’s greatest superpowers of the late 20th Century failed in securing control of the Middle East?

All these questions have the same answer and it is this same answer I give to people who inquire into the issue of national defense in a free society. The answer is that decentralized military forces are generally stronger, more resilient, more agile, and more adaptable than centralized military forces.

Lessons from the Swiss

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Ethereum Is Poised to Become the Global Blockchain of Choice

As competition amongst businesses in many industries stiffens, blockchain technology is likely to become even more in-demand in the years to come. While there are many competing blockchain programs out there, with the backing of the EEA by so many high profile companies, it stands to reason that Ethereum could become the go-to as more businesses seek to incorporate the technology.

Source: futurism.com

Kidnapping Victim Reveals How a Facebook Video Helped Her Escape Car Trunk

Way to think through the problem… good job kid.

Nursing student Brittany Diggs has spoken out about being kidnapped, explaining how she managed to escape from the trunk of her car after being taken as she walked to her apartment. “I remember seeing a video on Facebook” about how to find a trunk’s release latch, she told the “Today” show. “So I got the bright idea to use my insulin pump light.”

Source: yahoo.com news

Trump budget “repellent” and D.O.A.?

Of course, budget cuts are needed, these don’t sound too bad… for a start.

Look forward to hearing more numbers and the debates.

In the long run, I am not sure any of it will actually amount to much considering the way Trump has handled health care repeal, which is now health care “reform.”

And while the “conservatives” that voted for him should be hopping mad about it, we don’t seem to hear too much resistance on accepting the current plan.

Or is there and we aren’t hearing about it?

Only the outline of Trump’s budget was released last week, the so-called “skinny budget” that new presidents present to outline their spending priorities. The line-by-line budget dealing with taxes and entitlements is due in May. Congress will spend all summer arguing about it. If history is any guide, very few of the skinny budget’s numbers will be adopted. Already senators are declaring parts of it “dead on arrival.”

Source: stltoday.com

Leftists Understand Economics When it Suits Them

What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

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Chicago’s Top Cop Keeps Pushing for Unpopular Gun Law

“Unfortunately politics rears its ugly head.”

Yep, that’ll happen.

Johnson’s point, that implementation would create a “mental culture to not pick up a gun,” may or may not prove to be true. Regardless, it doesn’t diminish the fact that repeat violent gun offenders should be taken off the streets; the longer, the better. Unfortunately politics rears its ugly head.

Source: bearingarms.com

Gun control: Remington plant lays off 120 as gun makers report declining sales

Case in point is top American arms maker Remington Outdoor Co., which earlier this month laid off 120 workers at one of its plants in upstate New York. Trump’s victory, which has likely eased anxiety over stronger gun laws, has impacted the company’s handgun sales, the WSJ reported. Industry sales declines at the moment is “a dynamic from which Remington is not immune,” a company spokeswoman said.

Source: RT America

Cobalt Advantage Reloading System (CARS) “Beta” Program

If you have never seen the Cobalt Kinetics rifles (https://cobaltkinetics.com), you are in for a visual treat.

While not into the flashy, I am very appreciative of the technology that is going into producing these functional works of art, and the sport that drives it.

Cobalt Kinetics seems to be transforming and combining the best features of the old with the contemporary technology, materials, and manufacturing processes of today, which places their rifle in the price range of the average enthusiast.

Will they hold up in a fight? I don’t know, so some stress testing to find out how much punishment they can take in comparison to a regular AR would be in order.

However, they look solid so the results may surprise the skeptical.

And there is more to be pleased with.

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Dooming Illinois?

Illinois Might Be Doomed to Financial Collapse

Once of the reasons that tax increases in Washington are such a bad idea (and one of the reasons why a value-added tax is an especially bad idea) is that the prospect of additional tax revenue kills any possibility of genuine entitlement reform. Simply stated, politicians won’t do the heavy lifting of fixing those programs if they think can use a tax hike to prop up the current system for a few more years.

However, if we don’t fix the entitlements, the United States faces a very grim fiscal future regardless of new revenue because the burden of government spending will be expanding faster than the growth of the private economy.

Indeed, tax hikes presumably will accelerate the problems by weakening economic performance, creating an even bigger gap between the growth of government spending and the growth of productive output. Sort of a double violation of my Golden Rule.

Tax Payers Are Escaping

Well, the same thing is happening in Illinois.

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Following Watson and blockchain, quantum computing to deliver next powerful set of services on IBM Cloud platform

Yorktown Heights, N.Y. – 06 Mar 2017: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems. “IBM Q” quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform. While technologies that currently run on classical computers, such as Watson, can help find patterns and insights buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen because the data doesn’t exist and the possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by classical computers.

IBM also announced today:

  • The release of a new API (Application Program Interface) for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics.

Source: IBM

BREAKING: WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 Shows How CIA Spies on Your TV, Phone, PC, Mac, and More

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors. These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

Source: thefreethoughtproject.com

Uber Uses Maneuver Theory (finding the gaps and exploiting them) to Subvert Trolls

Greyball: Uber’s Super Cool App to Subvert Trolls

What can a company do about trolls who use their technology to hurt the company and other consumers? It’s a tough problem for a technology company like Uber because anyone can download the app and summon a car and get picked up. Some of these accounts, inevitably, will belong to bad actors who are up to no good.

Reputation data for individual users are fantastic, but there’s still the problem that users can make new accounts. What can you do?

Several years ago, reveals the New York Times, Uber had a fantastic idea. For a suspected malevolent troll who used the service, the company dropped an extra layer on their smartphone application. The passenger would call a car, someone would answer the query, but then the ride would be canceled. This happened repeatedly. The beauty of this strategy is that the person doesn’t know it is happening and the process discourages the creation of new user accounts.

It’s not blackballing. It’s about being “greyballed,” which is the name of the application.

Peacefully Blocking Bureaucrats

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Bitcoin competing with Gold?

One Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than an Ounce of Gold

Editorial note: the relationship between the Bitcoin price and gold is interesting as a symbol of Bitcoin’s market success, and the broader success of cryptocurrency general, but has no greater structural significance. Moreover, the market capitalization of the gold market is vastly higher. Even so, given the widespread perception of gold as a safe haven, this event could have implications for the future of Bitcoin and similar digital assets.

One bitcoin has now, at least briefly, been worth more than one ounce of gold, hitting $1239.9 at the bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, while an ounce of gold was priced at $1238.67. The last time a single bitcoin might have been worth more than an ounce of gold happened in November 2013, more than three years ago. Having taken place based on Mt. Gox pricing models, possibly manipulated due to internal Mt. Gox trading bot(s), the legitimacy of bitcoin’s first dance with gold parity faces continued scrutiny. Regardless, the price of gold in bitcoin terms is now trading at an all-time low.Bitcoin increased more than 125% over the course of 2016.

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Kansas student activist group “warns” foreign embassies about campus carry law

I hope out of the 160 foreign embassies she wrote she included the 107 countries that have higher homicide rates and tighter gun control than the United states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

“Meaning many international students at Kansas universities would be surrounded by firearms without the legal right to also carry one — making it potentially even more dangerous for these students,” she wrote. “Considering the shooting of two Indian men who were presumed to be ‘Middle Eastern’ by a white supremacist in Olathe, Kansas last week, international students, especially those from certain countries or regions, are at a greater risk of being the victims of deadly violence once this campus carry law goes into effect.”

Source: guns.com

UPDATED: France had more casualties from mass public shootings in 2015 than the US suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (532 to 527)

Not shocked…

Yet, despite the impression that President Obama has been creating, France suffered more casualties (murders and injuries) from mass public shootings in 2015 than the US has suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (Updated 532 to 527 in Tables below).  Note that these numbers don’t adjust for the fact that the US has 5 times the population of France.  The per capita rate of casualties in France is thus 8.19 per million and for the US it is 1.65 — France’s per capita rate of casualties is thus 4.97 times higher than the rate in the US.

Source: UPDATED: Crime Prevention Research Center

A Reignited War on Weed Will Harm The American Economy

The Last Thing America Needs Is a Reignited War on Weed – FEE

The marijuana legalization movement has been holding its breath, waiting to see how President Donald Trump will address the issue.

Public opinion and state law have leaned heavily in favor of decriminalizing the controversial cannabis plant over the last several years, signaling the inevitable downfall of the government’s war on drugs.

However, as numerous state victories gave advocates hope that the end of prohibition was near, the unexpected election of Donald Trump threw the legalization movement a curveball no one was anticipating.

Legalized marijuana is projected to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020.

While the future of marijuana in America is still unclear at the moment, if Trump wants to keep his campaign promises of job creation and financial growth, he should strongly consider the economic benefits of marijuana legalization.

The Future is Green

As a presidential nominee, Trump spent much of his campaign promising national job growth. Reaching out to the blue collar working class, Trump promised to bring jobs back to American manufacturing.

However, if Trump is serious about fostering an environment of economic prosperity and job creation, he may want to set his sights on the burgeoning marijuana industry instead.

According to a recent report released by New Frontier Data, the marijuana industry is projected to create more than a quarter of a million new American jobs by the year 2020.

By the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own projections, the legalized cannabis industry is expected to outpace growth in any other sector over the next few years, including American manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing jobs are expected to decrease by 814,000 over the next seven years.

Additionally, the marijuana industry is currently estimated to be worth about $7.2 billion. Given its current success and expected trajectory, the entire industry is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent annually.

Likewise, the New Frontier Data’s report estimates that the medicinal market alone will increase its worth from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion by the year 2020.

Of the 25 states that have decriminalized cannabis in some capacity, seven of those states have allowed for its recreational use. As a result, the recreational industry is also expected to increase its worth from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion by 2020.

While these projections are bound to have positive effects on the national economy and create a plethora of new American jobs, the estimates will never come to fruition if the Trump Administration decides to backtrack on the progress made thus far.

Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana

Had Hillary Clinton won on election night, as many had expected, it is highly unlikely that the war on drugs would have suddenly come to a screeching halt.

Not only is Clinton’s own track record on the matter weak, but her husband also contributed greatly to the perpetuation of the problem.

Former President Bill Clinton helped escalate the war on drugs through his support of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and other policies that were prevalent during the “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and 1990s.

However, Mrs. Clinton’s terrible track record on the issue does nothing to excuse Donald Trump, should he make the same mistake.

 “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

While Trump is not a strict ideologue by any means, he has unfortunately chosen to surround himself with advisors and cabinet appointees who have struck fear into the hearts of advocates of marijuana policy reform.

Trump’s decision to nominate Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General only heightened this paranoia among his critics.

Sessions has been a longtime supporter of civil asset forfeiture, which essentially incentivizes law enforcement to use the drug war as a pretext for stealing property from anyone merely suspected of drug-related activity.

As if Session’s support for highway robbery weren’t bad enough, he has also gone on the record making outlandishly biased statements including, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Since Sessions has the legal authority to impose federal drug laws on the states, this comment is quite concerning, to say the least.

While Trump’s own comments on the matter have been somewhat neutral, Press Secretary Sean Spicer added fuel to the fire last week when he hinted that the White House might soon begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.

Under the direction of former Attorney General Eric Holder, the federal government agreed to more or less “look the other way” when states made the decision to legalize cannabis. This policy has allowed states like Colorado to add over $1 billion worth of revenue to their local economy and create new jobs for its residents.

Just a few days ago, Sessions publicly recommitted himself to the drug war by saying:

“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot. I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”

Ironically, the war on drugs, which Sessions adamantly supports, is responsible for that increase in potency, as economist Mark Thornton has demonstrated.

According to “the Iron Law of Prohibition,” when substances are prohibited, black market providers are incentivized to increase potency because more potent forms take up less storage space, are easier to transport, and sell for more money. This is considered necessary to mitigate the risk of being caught and incarcerated.

Session’s Reefer Madness-inspired statement is absolutely frightening considering his position of authority as Attorney General of the United States of America.

The White House might actually begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.

But in the spirit of maintaining optimism, there is still reason to hope that Trump’s alleged commitment to economic growth will overpower the draconian beliefs held by some of his cabinet appointees.

The Economic Savior

Trump was elected as the “no nonsense” businessman who was going to fix our national economy and create jobs for the American people. As America’s “economic savior,” his supporters firmly believed he was the candidate who would restore prosperity to the middle class. This is the promise that ultimately got him elected to the highest office in the land.

Since assuming office, he has shocked the public by actually fulfilling most of his campaign promises— which has been both slightly encouraging and downright terrifying.

While there can be no defense of his love for protectionist policies, he has still maintained his support for a free market economic system.

If this is true and he is as committed to economic reform as he claims to be, then perhaps the economic repercussions of marijuana legalization can change his mind, or at least drown out the backward influence of his advisors.


Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE. Brittany studied political science at Utah Valley University with a minor in Constitutional studies.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Billionaire Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son plans to invest in singularity

Insightful and a first mover…

Billionaire Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son revealed Monday (Feb. 27) at Mobile World Congress his plan to invest in singularity. “In next 30 years [the singularity] will become a reality,” he said, Tech Crunch reports.

“If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he said. “There will be many kinds. Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, 2 legs, 4 legs, 100 legs,” referring to robots. “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry — to aggregate the cash, to invest.”

“Son said his personal conviction in the looming rise of billions of superintelligent robots both explains his acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM last year, and his subsequent plan to establish the world’s biggest VC fund,” noted TechCrunch — a new $100BN fund called the Softbank Vision Fund, announced last October

Source: kurzweilai.net

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