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Opening Pandora’s Box: Facebook To Brief Congress On What Happened

With its stock crashing, the future of Facebook as an advertising platform has been called into question by marketers, lawmakers and privacy activists following Monday’s “revelations” that its data on 50 million users was harvested and used by a political ad firm in 2016. Which is ironic because it has been if not known, then certainly argued for years that Facebook is nothing more than a surveillance company, something Edward Snowden pointed out just this past Monday, with the only question whether or not US spy agencies are also involved in Facebook’s user monitoring. In any case, the pressure on Facebook only escalated on Tuesday as countless US and foreign regulators and politicians demanded Facebook explain what happened. And, in hopes of quieting down the scandal which has cost the company tens of billions in market cap, the social network has agreed to brief House Judiciary Committee members as soon as Wednesday on the use of personal data of millions of users, Bloomberg reported citing to a congressional official familiar with the discussions.
Democrats on the committee are demanding that Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, schedule a hearing on revelations that the company Cambridge Analytica exploited information from millions…


HB 708 – Civil air patrol

March 20, 2018 Bill description: HB 708 would prohibit private employers from discriminating against or penalizing employees who are volunteering for the civil air patrol. Rating: -1 Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention

war on drugs

Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish For, President Trump

In his first 2020 re-election campaign appearance in New Hampshire, US president Donald Trump addressed some of his typical bombast to the so-called “opioid crisis.” “If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers,” said Trump, “we’re wasting our time. That toughness includes the death penalty.” An odd take, considering that one of Trump’s few … Continue reading Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish For, President Trump → …

big government

Bloomberg: FTC to Investigate Facebook over Cambridge Analytica Claims

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh by Breitbart News20 Mar 20180 20 Mar, 201820 Mar, 2018 David McLaughlin writes in Bloomberg that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Facebook’s actions in allegedly granting Cambridge Analytica access to its users’ data during the 2016 election. From Bloomberg: Facebook Inc. is under investigation by a U.S. privacy watchdog


Should America retire the penny and the nickel?

I am agnostic on this question, but Jay L. Zagorsky presents the case for no: First of all, the Mint creates coins in response to demand, and demand for small-denomination coins is soaring. Over the past decade, the Mint roughly doubled the number of pennies and nickels it shipped. Both coins enjoy widespread popular support […]
The post Should America retire the penny and the nickel? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION. …

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Federal Reserve

New Wyoming Legal Tender Law Treats Gold and Silver as Money; Foundation to Undermine the Federal Reserve

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Mar. 19, 2018) – Last week, a bill that defines gold and silver specie as legal tender and eliminates all taxes levied on it became law. This paves the way for Wyoming residents to use gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundation step for the people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly… …


Problems With Pigouvian Taxes

Pigouvian taxes are taxes meant to help markets and prices better account for certain externalities that wouldn’t otherwise be priced in.  A good example is that to the extent one thinks that CO2 is having a deleterious effect on the environment, a carbon tax would be a pigouvian tax.  This brief note at Cato discusses […] …


Lift the Cuban Embargo

NEWS FLASH: The Ron Paul Institute and The Future of Freedom Foundation are co-hosting a conference on U.S. foreign policy in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 pm. Speakers: Ron Paul, Dan McAdams, Richard Ebeling, and Jacob Hornberger. Details here. *** Why does the U.S. government insist on maintaining its half-century old economic


Austin’s 4th Blast Shows ‘Significant Change’ in ‘Serial Bomber’s’ Strategy, Say Police

Police in Austin, Texas, reported that the city’s fourth bomb in less than a month shows similarities to the previous blasts but indicates a “significant change” in the “serial bomber’s” tactics and level of sophistication. Sunday night’s device appears to have been detonated by a tripwire when two young men walked nearby. Austin Interim Police

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Monday Morning Matrix Meme: The State Protects Itself More than You

It is often suggested that governments have police and armies primarily to protect the people. And, while there might be some motive of self-preservation involved, as a whole, the government functions as a selfless servant of the public. That is…Related StoriesDo you Believe in Natural Rights or Might-Makes-Right?Jordan Peterson, Free Speech, and Missing the Bigger PointCan the Federal Government Ban Anything? …


Pompeo and Changing U.S. Policy Toward China

Doug Bandow U.S. foreign policy is changing. With the selection of CIA
Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of
state, President Donald Trump appears to be taking charge of his
foreign policy. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis remain counsels of caution on many issues, but
the former’s tenure could be short, and the latter might
choose to exit if his advice has increasingly less effect.
Secretary Tillerson’s departure reflected both personality
and substance. He and the president never established personal
rapport. Last fall the secretary was reported to have called the
president a “moron,” which suggested a relationship
irreparably sundered. Moreover, the two disagreed on many, if not
most policy issues: negotiation with North Korea, nuclear agreement
with Iran, the dispute between Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirates
and Qatar, Russia, climate change, and free trade.
The outcome is likely to result in several course corrections,
mostly in a more confrontational and hawkish direction. China in
particular is more likely to become…


Austin Rocked By Fourth Explosion In Less Than Two Weeks, Two Seriously Injured

Police in southwest Austin responded Sunday night to the fourth explosion in less than two weeks, hours after authorities issued a direct appeal for whoever has been planting a series of bombs to stop. Two men in their 20’s were hospitalized with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries according to Austin Travis County EMS. Authorities cleared a backpack in the area right after the incident. Investigators including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) responded to the scene, as over 500 federal agents have been dispatched to assist in the investigation.
At the scene of a reported explosion in southwest Travis County. We know two men were hurt. Police are keeping us streets away from the scene, which is on Dawn Song Drive. pic.twitter.com/55jN27XKrn
— Pattrik Perez KVUE (@PattrikPerez) March 19, 2018
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley urged residents to remain in their homes “until we’ve had a chance to deem this neighborhood safe,” which will be “at minimum until daylight.” Residents are warned not to touch or go near anything that looks like a package. 
Initial Statement from Chief Manley regarding explosion https://t.co/CCydXhmQ8e
— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 19, 2018

Eliza May said she was watching a TV show in her home…


The Market Ticker – Cambridge Analytica: So What?

Wow man, it’s a huge scandal when someone grabs data without explicit permission from users for one purpose, but when Zuckerpig does it all is ok.The employee, Chris Wylie, told Britain’s Channel 4 that Cambridge used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories. Wylie added that the data was obtained from an app developed by an academic that vacuumed up data from Facebook users who agreed to fill…

foreign policy

Righter Than Right

“I like it. A lot of good things,” said Donald Trump, describing libertarianism in late 2015. I’m skeptical if President Trump, then or now, could give even a basic definition of the liberty philosophy. But despite that ignorance, I believe Trump has paved the way to make the Republican Party more libertarian. At a cursory […]Righter Than Right was first posted on March 19, 2018 at 12:51 am. …


The Quizzical Case of UNC’s “Buy Local” Resolution

State governments have long favored giving preferential treatment to businesses in the state. North Carolina, for instance, has a general policy that favors local companies for state purchases. Now, in a perplexing move, University of North Carolina system is exploring a similar measure. At a December meeting, the Board of Governors discussed a “buy local”

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