While Congress continues to plan for hundreds of billions in cuts and states are closing parks and educational programs, we continue to gush billions on three wars. This fiscal year alone the cost of just Afghanistan will be $113 billion. Just this year. Just for Afghanistan.
There was a refreshing moment of truthful clarity last week from Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal during an interview on “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS.” Prince Talal admitted that the Saudis want to lower oil prices to avoid moves toward other energy sources and away from oil. It is the same principle upon which drug dealers offer cut-rate narcotics to keep the addiction going for their customers.
Tiffany Startz, 22, is facing has been charged in a bizarre case after she punched a rapper on a dare last September in Joliet, Illinois — killing John “Fatboy” Powell. It is a modern version of the case of Harry Houdini who reportedly died after a college student punched him repeatedly in the stomach to test his claim of being able to withstand blows. As discussed below, the student was never charged. Startz, however, is facing reckless conduct and battery charges stemming from the incident at a garage party.
A British author Alan Shadrake, 76, is the latest victim of a worldwide trend of attacks on free speech. Shadrake wrote a book entitled Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore’s Justice in the Dock detailing the inequities and unfairness of the Singapore justice system. The response of Singapore’s courts was to convict Shadrake and throw him in jail for contempt. The abusive case should be a rallying point for civil libertarians around the world, not to mention any Singaporeans who value free speech and the rule of law. The Singapore government compounded the abuse by banning the book.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) has sent a letter challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s signing the Patriot Act with an autopen. I discussed this issue on CNN where I explained that, while this is not a good practice, it would likely be upheld under long-standing precedent going back to the 1600s. While obviously the autopen post-dated such precedent, the idea of signing by direction or surrogate is not new.