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Andrew McCarthy makes the case that the 10:00 PM phone call on September 11 last year between Hillary Clinton and President Obama may be the conversation that led to the bogus story of an anti-Muslim video setting off "demonstrations" in Benghazi that led to the deaths of Americans.
There is good reason to believe that while Americans were still fighting for their lives in Benghazi, while no military efforts were being made to rescue them, and while those desperately trying to rescue them were being told to stand down, the president was busy shaping the "blame the video" narrative to which his administration clung in the aftermath.
The tax system really should be the fairest, flattest, most efficient method of funding the government, dispersing the burden as evenly and widely as possible. It shouldn’t provide new, surreptitious methods for the government to exercise power over us. And the tax burden should be clearly understood by every American, not hidden with quick-and-painless paycheck deductions everyone forgets about, or concealed behind impenetrable layers of pass-through corporate taxation. No citizen of the United States fully understands his tax burden at the moment, and of course the government feels no compulsion to limit its spending to anywhere near the amount of revenue it takes in.
If we don’t understand these vital attributes of government, how can we truly exercise our electoral freedom by casting fully informed votes? Our political rhetoric is filled with talk of “choice.” Choice is only meaningful in the presence of accurate information about costs, benefits, and consequences. That’s why business entities can be sued for fraud – when they lie to attract customers, those customers are not freely choosing to engage in commerce with them. There are no more thoroughly defrauded “customers” on Earth than U.S. taxpayers, who actually were referred to as customers by Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller during House Ways and Means Committee hearings last Friday.
A flat tax or the Fair Tax would strip Washington of powers that invite political abuse. Perhaps now is the time for Congress to seriously consider real tax reform.
Researchers at Princeton and Johns Hopkins Universities used a standard 3-D printer to create bionic ears with auditory powers far beyond the natural human endowment. The technique lets scientists mimic the structural complexity of the ear while achieving a wider range of audible frequencies through the embedded electronics.
The technology that can redefine what is "public" and link the digital and physical worlds is here. Right now, Google Glass, which places a small computer screen above one eye and has a built in motion sensor, camera and microphones, acts like an extension of a person's Smartphone. It lets the user take photos and record videos by touching the side of the device or speaking commands aloud, as well as allowing them to give Web users access to the device's camera so they can "see" what the wearer is looking at.
People can also use Glass to make phone calls, access Google's Web search, get turn-by-turn navigation information and receive text messages on the screen, as well as send texts using their voice.
The device isn't widely available, but Google plans to publicly launch it next year.
While such technology still faces numerous hurdles, the capability to use it for purposes once relegated to science fiction have already been proven in a real-world context, most recently by Carnegie Mellon University researchers in 2011.
By combining public information from social networks and facial-recognition technology, the researchers used a webcam on a college campus to identify people by name, and then—by using information from their social-network profiles—also predict sensitive personal data, such as hobbies and Social Security numbers.
Mr. Lee says the device would also be a "lousy" way to spy on people because the wearer must face whatever it is they are recording. The device's small screen lights up when it is taking a photo or recording a video using the camera, allowing people near the wearer to know that it is on.
In 2004, Congress passed the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act, which prohibits photographing a naked person without his or her explicit permission in a gym, dressing room, or other places that one expects "a reasonable expectation of privacy." (Violators face fines of up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison.) Yet a decade later, camera-phones have become an accepted and relatively uncontroversial part of modern culture.
North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into the sea off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula on Saturday, once again stirring tensions that had appeared to ease in the wake of a recent series of bellicose statements directed at South Korea and the U.S.
In a short briefing, South Korea's defense ministry said Saturday that North Korea had fired two guided missiles into waters off the Korean peninsula in the morning, followed by a third missile in the afternoon.
"In our judgement, the missiles are short-range guided missiles, not mid-range missiles such as the Musudan," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. "South Korea's military is on high alert to prepare for any hostile acts from the North following the guided-missile launch today."
The Musudan has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, meaning it could hit Japan and possibly the U.S.
The ministry didn't elaborate further.
Analysts say the missiles appear to have been surface-to-ship missiles and were likely intended not only as a protest against the joint South Korean-U.S. military drills in the East Sea earlier this week, but also as a political gambit aimed ultimately at drawing a dialogue offer from the U.S.
Shin Jong-dae, professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said the launches were more likely a means of drawing attention from the international community than a test launch.
"North Korea is an expert at crisis diplomacy or crisis marketing," Mr. Shin said.
In 2012, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Al Franken, D-Minn., and five other Democrats signed a letter demanding the IRS target conservative groups or face legislation forcing them to do so.
The letter says in part:
We write to ask the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as “social welfare” organizations. These groups receive tax and other advantages under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter, “IRC” or the “Code”), but some of them also are engaged in a substantial amount of political campaign activity. As you know, we sent a letter last month expressing concerns about the 501(c)(4) issue; an investigation this week by the New York Times has uncovered new, specific problems on how c)4)s conduct business. We wanted to address those new concerns in this letter.
IRS regulations have long maintained that political campaign activity by a 501(c)(4) entity must not be the “primary purpose” of the organization. These regulations are intended to implement the statute, which requires that such organizations be operated exclusively for the public welfare. But we think the existing IRS regulations run afoul of the law since they only require social welfare activities to be the ‘primary purpose’ of a nonprofit when the Code says this must be its ‘exclusive’ purpose. In recent years, this daylight between the law and the IRS regulations has been exploited by groups devoted chiefly to political election activities who operate behind a facade of charity work.
The letter closes with this:
“The IRS should already possess the authority to issue immediate guidance on this matter. We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities. But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes.”
In other words, target conservatives OR ELSE.
We’ve now seen the results. Conservatives have been harassed and intimidated into silence while others have been forced to disclose unbelievably ridiculous information.
Minnesota lost 11,400 jobs in April. The biggest job losses were in trade, transportation and utilities.
Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development says the cold, snowy April slowed hiring in seasonally sensitive sectors including construction, leisure and hospitality, and local government. Steve Hine, director of the state's labor market information office, says the federal budget sequestration cuts may have played a role, too.
Researchers discovered political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength. According to their research, Men's upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to the research.
The principal investigators - psychological scientists Michael Bang Petersen, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California in the U.S., believe that the link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in response to our early ancestral environments and continue to influence behaviour today.
In the days of our early ancestors, decisions about the distribution of resources were not made in courthouses or legislative offices, but through shows of strength.
With this in mind, Professor Petersen and Professor Sznycer hypothesised that upper-body strength - a proxy for the ability to physically defend or acquire resources - would predict men's opinions about the redistribution of wealth.
The researchers collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status, and support for economic redistribution from hundreds of people in the United States, Argentina and Denmark.
Didn’t Winston Churchill once say, "If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain." Maybe these “psychological scientists” need to modify the assumptions on which their “research” was based.