More Cow Bell: Swiss Town Bars Entry Of Cow Bell Critic

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.19.08 AM 1We have previously discussed the move to drop the use of the large cow bells that is part of the Swiss identity. Now local citizens in the canton of Aargau have moved to deny a passport to Nancy Holten, 42, because of her advocacy on behalf of the Swiss cows. It turns out that citizens and towns can object to the issuance of passports in Switzerland.

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New York Judge Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreTwitter LogoNew York State Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe has dismissed the defamation case against against President-elect Donald Trump brought by political strategist and TV pundit Cheryl Jacobus. Trump slammed Jacobus during the campaign and said that she “begged him for a job” at one time. Jaffe, however, held that such tweets are manifestly opinion and not facts for the purposes of defamation law. It is perhaps fitting that the first major ruling related to Trump would be over the character of tweets. If upheld, this could be a major new rule. As if on cue, Trump make more headlines today in the wake of the decision on Twitter with a tweet attacking the intelligence agencies saying “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?” That is clearly opinion and hyperbole but the scope of Jaffe’s decision certainly adds a layer of protection not just for Trump but other regular tweeters.

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“I’m With You”: David Brock Pledges Allegiance To Sanders

images-1David Brock is nothing if not morally and politically flexible. He started as a conservative muckraker who was widely denounced for his unrelenting attacks on Hillary Clinton. He then announced a change of heart and became an attack dog for Hillary — becoming extremely wealthy as the head of shadowy Clinton PAC that investigated and attacked any Democrat or Republican who stood against her. In this election, Clinton was attacked for her association with Brock who was viewed as reaching a new level of sleazy and vicious work. You may recall Bernie Sanders denouncing Clinton for her continued alliance with Brock and use of his controversial PAC organizations. Sanders referred to Brock as simple “scum” but Clinton refused to denounce Brock or to discourage Democrats from working with or contributing to his PACs. As we discussed, it turns out that even Clinton aides were disgusted by Clinton’s refusal to cut off Brock or to denounce his work. In the latest batch of Wikileaks, Neera Tanden, the President of Center for American Progress, allegedly emailed John Podesta that “I hope Hillary truly understands now how batshit crazy David Brock is.”

Now Brock is ready for his next transformation. After leading attacks on Sanders, Brock has apologized in a public letter that he was wrong and now wants an alliance with Sanders as his attack dog. It brings to mind Sam Houston’s description of a contemporary of having “every quality of a dog except loyalty.” In a statement that is enough to force most politicians into a fetal position, Brock has written to Sanders to say “I’m with you.” The effort to play the Prodigal Son is likely to be lost on Sanders. After all the original Prodigal Son did not first try to kill the father, burn his farm to the ground and poison his livestock.

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Better Red Than Dead: Chinese Professor Fired After Criticizing Mao In Commentary

130px-Mao_Zedong_portraitimagesThe Chinese communist regime reminded the world of its unwavering fear of independent thought and analysis for any kind. The latest victim is Deng Xiaochao, 62, an art professor at Shandong Jianzhu University in central China who was fired for a commentary that criticizing Chairman Mao Zedong. Of course, Mao has been dead for 40 years and he was a brutal, moronic dictator. However, this is this 123rd birthday and various people in China still revere a man who killed millions directly in the cultural revolution or indirectly through idiotic policies of centralized planning and controls. One of the best things that ever happened to China was the passing of Mao on September 9, 1976 but many still believe the decades of propaganda on the founder of Communist China,

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Texas Legislator Seeks To Get Rid Of No-Fault Divorces and To Delay The Finalization Of Divorces

thumb_wedding_rings2465Matt Krause is a deeply religious man who feels that people too easily divorce. That is clearly understandable view and probably speaks well of his own marriage. However, Krause is also a Texas state representative and wants to make that decision more difficult for his neighbors. He has introduced bills that should more divorces more expensive and more time-consuming and thus more difficult for couples to secure. This is a point where libertarians and some conservatives part ways. As someone with strong libertarian tendencies, I recoil at the government enforcing moral codes on a couples in making it difficult for them to divorce after they have made that difficult decision within her marriage or families. He would specifically bar no-fault divorces to protect the sanctity of marriage.

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Missouri Congressman Calls For Criminal Charges Against California Congressman In Removal Of Painting Depicting Police As Pigs

wm-_lacy_clay_official_photo_2009hshotthumbThere is an interesting controversy brewing on Capitol Hill where Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., wants California Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Ca) criminally charged after Hunter took down a painting by one of Clay’s constituents that contains insulting images of police as pigs and other animals. The question is what the crime might be in such a circumstance since the painting was not damaged. It is analogous to the recent controversy at the University of Pennsylvania where students pulled down a portrait of William Shakespeare and replaced it with a portrait of a black feminist author. The painting (as in this case) was brought undamaged to the office. Of course, this is the removal of art from a Capitol building.

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English Government Proposes New Rating System For Universities

220px-Houses.of.parliament.overall.arpThere is a highly disturbing measure under consideration in Parliament this month. The government has proposed a new ratings system where students would give popularity (or unpopularity) rankings of schools. The Higher Education and Research Bill advocated by Universities Minister Jo Johnson has made it to a legislative committee. The proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) imposes the system on universities which will be awarded gold, silver or bronze medals on the basis of a range of factors including student satisfaction, teaching excellence and preparation for the world of work. It is an effort to move beyond just ranking universities by their research excellence. Many academics have denounced the TEF as an obvious effort to coerce universities into yielding to demands from students on curriculum and other issues. The system would add new pressures on schools to yield to demands of students on curriculum and policies. It is turning over higher education to a type of academic social media where  quality is based on your number of “likes.” If students “like” Laurette University more than Oxford, does that make Laurette the better school?

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