Quotes on Crony Capitalism

"Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek described the price system as an information-transmission mechanism. The interplay of producers and consumers establishes prices that reflect relative valuations of goods and services. Subsidies distort prices and lead to misallocation of resources (judged by the preferences of consumers and the opportunity costs of producers). Prices no longer convey true values but distorted ones.

Hayek's mentor, Ludwig von Mises, predicted in the 1930s that communism would eventually fail because it did not rely on prices to allocate resources. He predicted that the wrong goods would be produced: too many of some, too few of others. He was proven correct.

In the U.S today, we are moving away from reliance on honest pricing. The federal government controls 90% of housing finance. Policies to encourage home ownership remain on the books, and more have been added. Fed policies of low interest rates result in capital being misallocated across time. Low interest rates particularly impact housing because a home is a pre-eminent long-lived asset whose value is enhanced by low interest rates.

Distorted prices and interest rates no longer serve as accurate indicators of the relative importance of goods. Crony capitalism ensures the special access of protected firms and industries to capital. Businesses that stumble in the process of doing what is politically favored are bailed out. That leads to moral hazard and more bailouts in the future. And those losing money may be enabled to hide it by accounting chicanery.

If we want to restore our economic freedom and recover the wonderfully productive free market, we must restore truth-telling on markets. That means the end to price-distorting subsidies, which include artificially low interest rates. No one admits to preferring crony capitalism, but an expansive regulatory state undergirds it in practice."

Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr.
The Wall Street Journal
April 20, 2010
Library Topic

"In recent years Washington has attracted more lobbyists and firms with an interest in the health-care overhaul and financial regulations signed into law by President Barack Obama, according to local business leaders.

'Wall Street has moved to K Street,' said Barbara Lang, president and chief executive officer of the DC Chamber of Commerce, referring to the Washington street that’s home to prominent lobbying firms. 'Those two industries clearly have grown in our city.'"

Frank Bass
Timothy R. Homan
October 19, 2011
Library Topic

Biden laid it on pretty thick for Serious Materials: 'This is a story of how a new economy predicated on innovation and efficiency is not only helping us today but inspiring a better tomorrow.'

Serious doesn't just have the vice president in his corner. It's got President Obama himself.

Company board member Paul Holland had the rare of honor of introducing Obama at a 'green energy' event. Obama then said: 'Serious Materials just reopened ... a manufacturing plant outside of Pittsburgh. These workers will now have a new mission: producing some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world.'

How many companies get endorsed by the president of the United States?

When the CEO said that opening his factory wouldn't have been possible without the Obama administration, he may have known something we didn't. Last month, Obama announced a new set of tax credits for so-called green companies. One window company was on the list: Serious Materials. This must be one very special company.

But wait, it gets even more interesting.

On my Fox Business Network show on 'crony capitalism', I displayed a picture of administration officials and so-called 'energy leaders' taken at the U.S. Department of Energy. Standing front and center was Cathy Zoi, who oversees $16.8 billion in stimulus funds, much of it for weatherization programs that benefit Serious.

The interesting twist is that Zoi happens to be the wife of Robin Roy, who happens to be vice president of 'policy' at Serious Windows.

Of all the window companies in America, maybe it's a coincidence that the one which gets presidential and vice presidential attention and a special tax credit is one whose company executives give thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign and where the policy officer spends nights at home with the Energy Department's weatherization boss.

Or maybe not."

John Stossel
Real Clear Politics
February 3, 2010
Library Topic

"But, in recent years, some financiers have chosen to live in a government-backed featherbed. Their platform seems to be socialism for tycoons and capitalism for the rest of us. They’re not evil at all. But when the system allows you more than your fair share, it’s human to grab. That’s what explains featherbedding by both unions and tycoons, and both are impediments to a well-functioning market economy."

Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
Library Topic

"Perhaps the most disturbing revelations come from Schweizer’s investigation into the Obama Energy Department and its infamous 'green energy' loan guarantee and grant programs, a program Schweizer calls 'the greatest — and most expensive — example of crony capitalism in American history.' The scandal surrounding Solyndra — the now-bankrupt, Obama-connected solar power company that received a federally guaranteed loan of $573 million — is well known. But Solyndra, Schweizer says, is only the tip of the iceberg.

According to his research, at least 10 members of President Obama’s campaign finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting tax dollars from these programs. One chart in the book details how the 10 finance committee members collectively raised $457,834, and were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.4 billion — quite a return on their investment."

Marc A. Thiessen
The Washington Post
November 14, 2011
Library Topic

"It is hard to argue that the current economic malaise was in any way produced by anything resembling pure capitalism. But it is fairly easy to conclude that interventionism was, in fact, the culprit.

First, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long (2001 — 2006) and pumped excess money and credit into the economy. Second, numerous quasi-governmental agencies (Freddie and Fanny) encouraged excessive mortgage lending and home ownership out of all relationship to sound financial practices. Third, much of the under-capitalized and over-leveraged banking industry collapsed when (federal) credit dried up and housing prices turned downward. And fourth, the federal government taxpayer and international lenders (mostly China) funded the trillion-dollar government 'stimulus' plan and the bailout of inefficient business organizations that should have been allowed to go belly-up.

The political class would have us believe that capitalist greed caused the recession and that political regulators need more power. Not so.

What we actually require are constraints on monetary growth, more competitive markets, balanced budgets and less output-restricting regulation. But first and foremost, before we spend and regulate further, we require an informed media and an enlightened public that can distinguish real capitalism from phony, crony capitalism."

Dominick T. Armentano
Hartford Business Journal Online
May 31, 2010
Library Topic

"When the government hands out other people’s money to crony capitalists promising 'green' jobs, does this magically turn them into effective innovators? How are experimental technologies based on ideological fantasies supposed to achieve commercial sustainability by being rushed to market for purely political considerations? How does crippling the evolution of proven energy businesses through capricious regulations and endless environmental reviews make our energy future more secure, our economy more robust, or high paying jobs more plentiful?

As voters weigh the competing narratives of where our country went wrong and how to get it back on track, will they gain sufficient clarity to deliver a watershed election or will we face four more years of political dysfunction? If the latter, how long can we stay on autopilot careening downhill before we face an ugly crackup? If the former, where will the leadership come from to deliver the hope we were promised four years ago—and the prosperity we created for ourselves 30 years ago, the last time the American people realized that hyperactive government is the problem and not the solution?"

Library Topic

"Unequal wealth can be a just result of free and fair exchange, where talented Americans reap rewards from providing goods and services their fellow citizens greatly value -- as in the case of Steve Jobs--in which case, there's no injustice to remedy.

Or it can be the result of "predation by political elites," in which case, it's the predation that should be tackled directly, Wilkinson argues, so 'the fire is the problem, not the alarm.'

That the hometown of the political class has passed the home of the creative class in wealth and influence is genuine cause for alarm. Washington, D.C. is the capital of Crony Capitalism -- and it's only growing richer. That inequality is worth worrying about."

Gene Healy
The DC Examiner
October 24, 2011
Library Topic

"But money spent on political lobbying is like an all-pay auction. Businesses don’t get their money back if the ball doesn’t bounce their way. The common example used in public choice is bidding a $1 bill. Let’s pretend the auctioneer is the government and businesses the bidders. Business A bids .25 cents and will profit .75 cents. Business B raises the bid to .50 cents and stands to win .50 cents. Business C bids .75 cents and gains a quarter. Business A and B are both out .25 and .50 cents, respectively. They could each bid a dollar to at least break even. If they do that, Business C will be out .75 and could end up bidding $1.25 – then they’d only be out a quarter. And the game continues. And who knows what policy the government will actually choose to implement. It goes from a game of scheming for benefit to minimizing losses with the consumers losing the most.

Of course the reason the government has to intervene in the first place is that these projects are too expensive to compete otherwise. Any profitable endeavor won’t need the taxpayers’ help. When the government picks winners and losers, Americans lose as taxpayers and consumers, paying for pricier electricity."

Nicolas Loris
The Foundry
The Heritage Foundation
November 19, 2009
Library Topic
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Commentary or Blog Post

"In the world of security clearances for access to classified information, the term 'reciprocity' is used to indicate that one executive branch agency should ordinarily recognize and accept a security clearance that has been granted by another executive branch agency."

"Imagine Dodger Stadium full of loud and whooping fans cheering on, not baseball, but your weekly stoning and flogging of adulterers, thieves and other errant citizens of southern California.

This is America under Islamic law, or Shari'a, a system that everyone should fear. Or so, Alan Kornman, director of the United American Committee (UAC) thinks. He continues to fundraise for a...

"Scores of family planning clinics in at least 12 states have received letters containing anthrax threats, according to officials of feminist and abortion-rights organizations.

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said more than 200 clinics and advocacy organizations received letters Thursday delivered in Federal Express envelopes. Envelopes that were opened...

"Sometimes it isn't necessary to quote facts and figures about government debt, unemployment and the trade deficit in order to convey how badly America is decaying. The truth is that millions of Americans can watch America rotting right in front of their eyes by stepping out on their front porches. Record numbers of homes have been foreclosed on and in some of the most run down cities as...

"Natural disasters across the globe have made 2011 the costliest on record in terms of property damage, and that's just six months in, according to a report released Tuesday by a leading insurer that tracks disasters.

Moreover, that record builds on a trend of recent costly years — which means more expensive insurance for consumers over the long haul.

The first six months saw $...

"In 2010, about 92 percent of those cases involved criminals trying to steal money over the internet, but this year everything changed.

The first signs emerged in December 2010, when activists with the online collective Anonymous called for digital sit-ins — known as distributed denial of service attacks — on the websites of companies that had refused to process payments for Wikileaks....

"The United States is undertaking the largest transformation of air traffic control ever attempted. Known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, it is a multi-billion-dollar technology modernization effort that will make air travel safer, more flexible and more efficient. As the system gets better, its capacity will grow and the demand for different types of air...

"The plot also called for hijacking and blowing up 12 airliners in Southeast Asia, but al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden scrapped that part of the plan because it was too difficult to coordinate operations on two continents.

Bin Laden scaled back the plot in the United States to the four planes that were eventually used in the attack."

"Experts say that concentrated cyber-attacks have the ability to cripple a nation's ability to defend itself and destroy its economy and national wealth. Here is a list of some large recent cyber attacks."

"A federal judge in Michigan has declined to dismiss an ex-Marine's lawsuit that insurance giant AIG is using tax dollars to promote Islamic Sharia law and charities that may be funneling money to terrorist organizations. Just when you thought the government's massive bailout of AIG couldn't get more complicated or controversial. The facts of the case 'raise a...

"They emerged from 1960s radical chic to become America's most wanted fugitives. John Patterson on the Weather Underground, urban terrorists who never killed anyone - except themselves."

"CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report card every 4 years on the state of America's infrastructure. The last one in 2009 was not good at all. The overall grade was a 'D.'"

"While the Beltway’s budget debate hits a bump in the road, Main Street is looking more cracked, chipped and decrepit than ever. America’s 4 million miles of open roads and highways— which would wrap more than 160 times the around the world -- is crumbling. The American Society of Civil Engineers' 2009 infrastructure study gave America’s roads a 'D-' grade.

And with state and local...

"Free markets depend on truth telling. Prices must reflect the valuations of consumers; interest rates must be reliable guides to entrepreneurs allocating capital across time; and a firm's accounts must reflect the true value of the business. Rather than truth telling, we are becoming an economy of liars. The cause is straightforward: crony capitalism."

"In Q2 2009, total debt outstanding in the United States — financial plus nonfinancial debt — amounted to 373.4% of GDP. At the start of 1952, the debt-to-GDP ratio stood at only 130%. In fact, in the last decades the rise in total debt has increasingly outpaced nominal income — a development which gained momentum after the erosion of the last vestiges of the...

"Hacktivists are continuing their mission to take on politicians causing the collapse of constitutional rights in America, with operatives from the online collective Anonymous keeping up a campaign against the signers of controversial legislation."

"New documentary 'We Are Legion' puts an actual human face on Anonymous, the hacktivist group whose members usually are seen wearing Guy Fawkes masks — if they are seen at all.

Considering Anonymous’ retaliatory acts against websites run by the Department of Justice and the entertainment industry just last week in response to the government takedown of file-sharing site Megaupload, 'We...

"Just minutes after the U.S. Department of Justice repossessed the domains of Megaupload, Megavideo, Megaporn and a collection of other popular filesharing sites, the hacker collective Anonymous got to work on a few takedowns of its own."

"Haraldur Sigurdsson is the Indiana Jones of natural disasters, and what he’s telling me scares me to death.

Sigurdsson, an emeritus professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, has discovered a lost Indonesian village buried by the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption, studied evidence of huge eruptions in polar ice, in jungles, and in the deep sea using submarines,...

"The old Echo Theater on the courthouse square in Laurens, S.C., is now dubbed the World Famous Redneck Shoppe. It's crammed with racist memorabilia, from cheap Confederate flag flip-flops and bikinis, to T-shirts that announce, 'Ain't Racist, Just Never Met a Nigger I Liked.' The shop's operator, John Howard, boasts that he's been a 'member of the Ku Klux Klan for 40-some years.'


"Today, without much fanfare, US debt to GDP hit 101% with the latest issuance of $32 billion in 2 Year Bonds. If the moment when this ratio went from double to triple digits is still fresh in readers minds, is because it is: total debt hit and surpassed the most recently revised Q4 GDP on January 30, or just three weeks ago. Said otherwise, it has taken the US 21 days to add a full percentage...

In this piece, Jennifer Roback Morse extends the idea of the welfare state to areas such as social security. Morse contends that the rise of social security has caused parents to neglect the raising of their children, which in turn causes their children to neglect them in their old age. This pattern results in the breakdown of the family by furthering reliance on...

The Obama administration is facing cross-party calls for an independent investigation into a spate of recent intelligence leaks about its secret war against al-Qaeda and efforts to disable Iran's nuclear programme using computer viruses.

Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

"Many window-making companies struggle because of the recession's effect on home building. But one little window company, Serious Materials, is 'booming,' says Fortune. 'On a roll,' according to Inc. magazine, which put Serious' CEO on its cover, with a story titled: 'How to Build a Great Company'.

The Minnesota Freedom Foundation tells me that this same little window company also gets...

"The biggest solar storm in five years is battering our planet right now, and may cause disruptions to satellites, power grids and communications networks over the next 24 hours, space weather experts say.

Two strong solar flares erupted from the surface of the sun late Tuesday (March 6), blasting a wave of plasma and charged particles toward Earth. After speeding through space at 4...

"Big banks are bad for free markets. Far from being engines of free enterprise, they are conducive to what might be called 'crony capitalism,' 'corporatism,' or, in Jonah Goldberg’s provocative phrase, 'liberal fascism.' There is a free-market case for breaking up large financial institutions: that our big banks are the product, not of economics, but of politics.

There’s a long debate...

"Very high rates of family breakdown in the United States are subtracting from what very large numbers of students are learning in school—besides holding them back in many other ways.

This in turn is damaging the country economically, by making us less hospitable to innovation while also leaving millions of Americans less competitive in an increasingly demanding worldwide marketplace....

"When it comes to infrastructure, President Obama faces a tricky balancing act. On one side he needs to invest in the kind of infrastructure that the nation needs to remain competitive and put us on the path to a low-carbon future. On the other he has to operate in a constrained fiscal environment with programs that are in fundamental need of reform.

With that as a backdrop the...

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), headquartered in Washington, is perhaps the best-known and most controversial Muslim organization in North America. CAIR presents itself as an advocate for Muslims' civil rights and the spokesman for American Muslims. 'We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,' says its communications director, Ibrahim Hooper. ... Its official mission—'to enhance...

"Four men in California have been arrested for 'plotting' to join the Taliban and kill Americans overseas, but like many of the conspiracies foiled by federal officials, these terrorists were far from completing any missions."

This article discusses the possibility of the resurrection of the ancient muslim Caliphate, whose aim would be to bring the world under Islamic dominion. Raymond Ibrahim states clearly that if the West desires to avoid this possibility it must act now, while it has the upper hand and before it is too late to act. While he says this is the only option, he also realizes the West has no way to...

"Canadian Islamists who have been trying to bring in Sharia into Canada, so far without success, have now chosen another route - Islamic banking.

According to Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, 'In 2003, we saw Islamists trying to sneak Sharia into Canada through the backdoor of Family Law and under the cover of Multiculturalism. Now, they seem to be taking a...

"The office of Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, sends along this chart, showing that 'America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece,' as well as Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain."

"Muslims are rising up against tyranny throughout the Arab world. They have ousted autocrats, consistently called for democracy, and inspired people from Beijing to Madison to rally for justice.

And yet, for some here in the homeland, Muslims are still the problem. Consider two campaigns recently launched from Washington, DC. The first is the upcoming Homeland Security Committee hearing...

"High profile bankruptcies, plunging sales, and canceled acquisitions are raising questions of whether alternative energy can fulfill its promise as the next great growth industry for Massachusetts and the nation.

Struggling with dwindling subsidies, a weak economy, and fierce competition from China, the US alternative energy industry appears to be entering a period of consolidation...

"A recent report from the software security firm McAfee has raised awareness about the potential for hacking of vital information about governments and businesses."

"The Federal Aviation Administration is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar upgrade of the nation's air traffic control system. The new system is called the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen. It will be highly automated. It will rely on GPS instead of radar to locate planes, and it is designed to allow air traffic controllers and pilots to pack more planes, helicopters...

Remember the East Asia crisis? When the US Treasury and its IMF allies blamed that region's problems on crony capitalism, lack of transparency, and poor corporate governance?

To put it another way, this is a chance to save capitalism from crony capitalists.

"Insider trading is illegal — except for members of Congress. A Wall Street executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected...

"It’s all the current fashion to dump on 'capitalism.'

It was the greedy free market, supposedly, that created both the housing bubble and the housing bust and led, inevitably, to the 'great recession.' Capitalism, according to most liberal pundits (and even Alan Greenspan in a bad mood), is an inherently risky and unstable system that requires government regulation to correct its flaws...

"Would a farmer who put out a trough of slop be surprised if it attracted a bunch of pigs? Then why are activists who promote enlarging the size and scope of government shocked when one program after another is hijacked by corporations that find it easier to seek favors in Washington than customers in the marketplace? And, knowing that such corruption is inevitable, why do mainstream media...

"Of the nation’s 85,000 dams, more than 4,400 are considered susceptible to failure, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. But repairing all those dams would cost billions of dollars, and it is far from clear who would provide all the money in a recessionary era."

"As Congress debates how to meet the nation’s long-term transportation needs, decaying roads, bridges, railroads and transit systems are costing the United States $129 billion a year, according to a report issued Wednesday by a professional group whose members are responsible for designing and building such infrastructure.

Complex calculations done for the American Society of Civil...

"While there are national and local emergency plans in place, making the big picture response look satisfactory, experts say it's likely that most Americans themselves are not prepared to handle emergencies.

Indeed, many state and federal government organizations have their own set of challenges. A survey released Monday by the American Medical Association suggested many state health...

U.S. environmental groups have grown from to more than 4,000 tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations in the last decade. As nationally or internationally organized groups, environmentalists can become radical.

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.


"Why is Islamism a threat to democracy? Because, according to its interpretations, sharia regulates every aspect of an individual’s life; moreover, because it is considered God’s law, no compromises are possible. The holistic nature of Islamist ideology makes it fundamentally incompatible with the self-criticism and exercise of free will necessary for human beings to form truly liberal and...

Writing about the group following a murder in Texas, the Houston Chronicle states, "The Brotherhood is one of the largest of 12 known prison gangs in the state system, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson said. Officials keep track of membership but don’t release numbers to discourage gangs from competing with each other."

"Over the weekend, a draft of a cybersecurity executive order was shown to members of the press. Leaked reports of secretive decision making are what the U.S. gets when the President decides to ignore the democratic process and implement rules by executive fiat. The U.S. also gets policies that are often incomplete and poorly thought out.

Reports indicate that the executive order will...

"Within a few years, that flying object overhead might not be a bird or a plane, but an unmanned aircraft. Drones, perhaps best known for their combat missions in Afghanistan, are increasingly looking to share room in U.S. skies with passenger planes. And that's prompting safety concerns."

"Federal Aviation Administration officials gathered Friday to promote new flight and navigational technologies that reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions while also decreasing passenger delays.

FAA officials at San Francisco International Airport watched the arrival of a blue-tailed Boeing 777 Airways New Zealand flight from Auckland to showcase airplanes controlled and monitored...

"As the fastest growing global super-power, China commands attention by all the super-powers and especially by the middle powers all over the world. Pundits ask whether Islamic Banking, which China looks upon favorably, will be a new challenge to Wall Street. Islamic banking will not pose a quantitative challenge in terms of nominal assets during our lifetime, but it has the potential to...

"Supplying money, Hayek argued from 1976 until his death in 1992, is best left to private banks competing against each other for deposits. Entrusting government with monopoly control over the single most important good in a market economy -- money -- is a recipe for catastrophe."

"The FBI has opened an investigation into who disclosed information about a classified U.S. cyberattack program aimed at Iran's nuclear facilities, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The investigation follows publication last week of details of the cyber-sabotage program, including the use of a computer worm called Stuxnet, which Iran has acknowledged it found in its...

Jim Harper examines the H.R. 6975 Bill which passed before Congress and declares his belief that it is completely unnecessary. He writes, "It’s embarassing that a strong, free country like ours would even consider an idea like this," in regards to its requirements that an alien must declare he/she will not attempt to establish Sharia Law in the United States.

"The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in America has brought with it a wave of largely-unsubstantiated suggestions from conservative media commentators and politicians that America is at risk of falling under the sway of Sharia law. ...

The outcry over Sharia law has been tied in large part to the controversy around the Islamic cultural center two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11...

"A widespread and unusually resilient computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime, The Associated Press has learned.

The Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department Web sites were all down at varying points over the holiday weekend...

In this article, Mr. Anthony illustrates how the surveillance powers granted under the Patriot Act have been used to circumvent traditional warrant procedure--even when the suspect had no real connection to terrorism. He argues that FISA and the Patriot Act run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. 

"You’ve heard it from government officials high and low, from your local municipality to the president of the United States: America’s infrastructure needs a reboot.

But while the nation is captivated by smart power grids and improved water mains and larger airports and wider highways and deeper sewers and more efficient waste management — all vital systems to modern living, no doubt...

"Days after a mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, Texas, details of the gunman's life have captivated millions looking for motives behind Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage.

As military psychiatrist trained to counsel troops returning from combat, Hasan's personal history has sparked many theories about why he turned on the very people he was employed to counsel...

"Three California men excited at the prospect of training in Afghanistan to become terrorists prepared, authorities say, by simulating combat with paintball rifles, wiping their Facebook profiles of any Islamic references and concocting cover stories."

"The price of gasoline is expected to hit a record high of around NIS 7.99 per liter at midnight on Thursday, on the back of a sharp rise in global oil prices amid tensions over Iran.

Politicians, business leaders and consumer groups all weighed in on the debate Tuesday on how to reduce prices, ahead of the Energy and Water Ministry’s announcement of the maximum price gasoline stations...

Arthur B. Laffer is an American supply-side economist. He served as a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board between 1981 and 1989. He is best known for the Laffer Curve, a curve illustrating that increases in the rate of taxation do not necessarily increase tax revenue....

"During the American wind industry's annual convention this week, two of the boldest proposals for the future of renewable industry didn’t involve bigger or better turbines. They're instead focusing on the comparatively unsexy issue of America’s creaking electricity grid. The Internet giant Google and an upstart New Mexico-based company called Tres Amigas want to transform the way power gets...

"The defenders of free markets are often viewed as apologists for big business. Regulation of business is seen as necessary to the welfare of the public to prevent exploitation by selfish business people. Such a view would be hard to square with reality, with history both recent and distant.

In reality, business often welcomes regulation and openly lobbies for it. Business often doesn't...

"The 'partnership of government and business' is a new term for an old, old condition. We often fail to realize that the point of much of Big Government is precisely to set up such 'partnerships,' for the benefit of both government and business, or rather, of certain business firms and groups that happen to be in political favor.

We all know, for example, that 'mercantilism,' the...

With declining literacy numbers on the rise, many are wondering just what colleges are teaching young people. This piece admits that college professors assign far less reading than they should, but those in higher education also point out that the poor quality of...

The politically-connected win. Existing job-holders and companies lose. Home electric bills go up. Power also costs more for companies, making it more expensive to go into business or to stay in business.

"Two weeks before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security penned its controversial report warning against 'right-wing extremists' in the United States, it generated a memo defining dozens of additional groups – animal rights activists, black separatists, tax protesters, even worshippers of the Norse god Odin – as potential 'threats.'

Though the 'Domestic Extremism Lexicon' was...

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) announced on Thursday a new partnership with Simon Property Group to bring the 'If You See Something, Say Something' public awareness campaign to more American shopping malls."

"An innocuous-looking memory stick, no longer than a couple of fingernails, came into the hands of a Guardian reporter earlier this year. The device is so small it will hang easily on a keyring. But its contents will send shockwaves through the world's chancelleries and deliver what one official described as 'an epic blow' to US diplomacy.

The 1.6 gigabytes of text files on the memory...

"Mark Twain famously wrote, 'There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.' Peter Schweizer's new book, 'Throw Them All Out,' reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)

Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I...

"There's widespread agreement the national debt is a problem.  And since voters have picked up on the issue, you're going to be hearing more about it from Republicans and Democrats in Washington, who last week began the annual circus known as 'the budget process.'"

Commenting on statistics from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy survey, George Leef notes how low literacy standards actually are. According to Leef, the basic literacy skills of high school students are falling and even college fails to help much in...

"Following revelations that Hemingway was an enthusiastic wartime recruit to the KGB, it's a good moment to check your security clearance. You are strongly advised to co-operate with the following questions."

"A botnet which experts believe sent out 18% of the world's spam email has been shut down, a security firm said.

Grum's control servers were mainly based in Panama, Russia and Ukraine.

Security company FireEye and spam-tracking service SpamHaus worked with local internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down the illegal network.

A botnet is a network of computers that has...

"Given the opportunity to clarify existing law and confirm that American citizens are not subject to indefinite military detention at the order of the president — Congress punted.

After a debate in which key members seriously contemplated empowering the president to 'Gitmo-ize' Americans suspected of terrorist activity, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 leaves the question...

Allan Meltzer is widely considered to be one of the world's foremost experts on the development and applications of monetary policy. He served on the Council of Economic Advisors for both Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. Mr. Meltzer is currently working at Carnegie Mellon University's...

"The threat to intellectual property is very real. Even the most motivated, committed and enthusiastic staff can and will make mistakes that may result in significant data loss. By investing in appropriate technology solutions coupled with regular staff training and awareness sessions to mitigate your inside threat, you are taking proactive steps that should see this problem significantly...

"After seeing spending double over a decade, U.S. intelligence agencies are bracing for about $25 billion in budget cuts over the next 10 years that top officials said will increase security risks."

"The House and Senate intelligence committees announced plans Wednesday to draft new laws against leaks of classified information, adding to an uproar on Capitol Hill over a series of recent stories that revealed details of terrorism threats and CIA programs.

Citing 'the accelerating pace of such disclosures,' the two committees said in a joint statement that they planned to 'act...

"The Senate failed Thursday to pass legislation to protect the U.S. electrical grid, water supplies and other critical industries from cyberattack and electronic espionage despite dire warnings from top national security officials about the potential for devastating assaults on American computer networks."

"The recent flow of funds data released by the Fed shows that a level of private debt continues to soar. For instance, home mortgages as a percentage of disposable income rose to 97.9% in Q2 from 97% in the quarter before. The non-financial debt-to-nominal-GDP ratio stood at a record 2.1 in Q2 the same figure as in the previous quarter.


"Back in June, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a new Web hub called Spy Files, which promises to be an invaluable resource for those of us who make a point of watching the watchers. Probably the most interesting document available on the site at launch was a thorough state by state survey of law enforcement surveillance of protected political and...

"We have no financial reserve for such an inevitability. California, among the likeliest of locations for the blow, is effectively bankrupt with little capacity for shared sacrifice or any sort of rebuilding effort of the sort that would be required if the luck that has held off the 'Big One' runs out in the next decade.

This is a sobering reality, but one that Congress and state...

"The Islamic Jihad Union—also known as al-Djihad al-Islami, Dzhamaat Modzhakhedov, and the Islamic Jihad Group of Uzbekistan, among other names—is an extremist organization that splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the early 2000s. It adheres to an anti-Western ideology, opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan, and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on...

"The chairman of the Jewish Defense League and a member of the extremist organization are accused of a bombing scheme aimed at the office of an Arab-American congressman and a prominent Los Angeles mosque."

Let us support the courageous Muslims who, often at great personal risk, are campaigning against religious extremism.

"'Beltway Earnings Make U.S. Capital Richer Than Silicon Valley.' According to the latest Census figures, Washington, D.C. is now the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States.

That's good news for local property values, but I can't say it fills me with hometown pride. After all, Silicon Valley's wealth was earned -- just rewards voluntarily given for producing innovations that...

According to Thomas Bertonneau, college professors around the country are finally waking up to the fact that students often avoid assignments which involve specific literacy standards. Bertonneau believes this is because our culture is increasingly drifting...

According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport.

"An Obama administration strategy for building contacts in Muslim communities is taking heat from the left and the right, amid increasing concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism.

Under the program, which extends one begun under President George W. Bush, U.S. law-enforcement officials meet frequently with Muslim groups to discuss their concerns about discrimination. The hope is that...

"Main Street remains suspicious of government plans to buy distressed mortgage assets. Leading politicians and newspaper editorials are struggling to explain how the financial bailout will help Main Street. They see that the challenge is to get the American people to come around.

In fact, it is the elites who are badly misguided. The reality is that the Paulson plan is nothing more than...

"Cybercriminals have opened a new front in their battle to infect computers with malware - PC production lines.

Several new computers have been found carrying malware installed in the factory, suggests a Microsoft study."

"A federal jury in Massachusetts convicted Tarek Mehanna on four terror-related charges and three charges of lying to authorities.

Prosecutors said the 24-year-old Mehanna and two friends conspired to go to Yemen so they could receive training at a terrorist camp with the intention of going to Iraq to fight against U.S. soldiers there. Prosecutors said when they couldn't find a camp,...

"Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit permission to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware with the potential for targeting millions of innocent people. Codenamed 'Operation b70,' this legal action and technical disruption proceeded from a Microsoft study which found that cybercriminals infiltrate...

"A customer in Shenzhen, China, took a brand new laptop out of its box and booted it up for the first time. But as the screen lit up, the computer began taking on a life of its own. The machine, triggered by a virus hidden in its hard drive, began searching across the Internet for another computer.

The laptop, supposedly in pristine, super-fast, direct-from-the-factory condition, had...

"Green energy investments are coming from every direction. Whether it is the stimulus package or the cap and trade bills proposed in Congress, the government is eager to invest taxpayer dollars in renewable energy technology. As Americans become desensitized to the copious amounts of money the government is spending, clean energy investments are growing from millions to billions. And companies...

"The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though....

"US President Barack Obama is full of 'angst' over a 'haemorrhage' of leaks of sensitive intelligence from government officials, the director of US national intelligence said on Wednesday."

"Barack Obama has strongly denied the White House is responsible for a 'cascade of leaks' about secret operations that have prompted accusations that American lives have been endangered for political gain.

Obama said he will 'root out' those responsible for revelations in the press about a joint US-Israeli assault on Iran's nuclear programme using a computer virus known as Stuxnet, the...

"Taking a step back from the emotional response of environmental devastation, let’s take a look at offshore drilling more broadly: How much oil do we currently produce from offshore drilling, and how much might we potentially recover? What’s the status of the moratorium banning offshore drilling in various areas? What are the environmental risks? And perhaps most importantly, what is the...

"Hackers who appear to be based in China have conducted a 'coordinated, covert and targeted' campaign of cyber espionage against major Western energy firms, according to a report expected to be issued Thursday by cybersecurity firm McAfee Inc."

"Last week, a Siberian hydroelectric dam failed when an explosion rocked the site’s turbine room, killing dozens and taking 6,000 megawatts of electricity offline.

While the tragedy’s ultimate causes are unclear, Russian media has been questioning the state of the aging Soviet-made infrastructure. Dams are getting older in the United States, too. The average age of America’s 80,000 dams...

"As 'Occupy Wall Street' continues to grow globally, many wonder what is causing the movement in the first place and what the outcome will be. The naming of the movement, related to Wall Street where it all started, does not do justice to the real issues. Yes, the original protests started with dissatisfaction at lavish bonuses and salaries in the financial sector, when seemingly little...

"America’s financial situation is unsustainable. In 2009 the federal government spent $3.5 trillion but collected only $2.1 trillion in revenue. The result was a $1.4 trillion deficit, up from $458 billion in 2008. That’s 10 percent of gross domestic product, a level unseen since World War II. Worse, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that we’ll be drowning in red ink for the...

"President Obama signs on from France after Congress passes the bill. Opposition to the government powers in the terrorist surveillance law brings together conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats."

This article notes that while temperatures have been rising in recent decades, air pollution levels have been declining, thus suggesting that the impact on air pollution from global warming might not be as catastrophic as some predict.

"The world has entered a new era of catastrophes. Economic losses from hurricanes, earthquakes and resulting tsunamis, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters increased from $528 billion (1981-1990) to more than $1.2 trillion over the period 2001-2010. The 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami in Japan this past spring caused hundreds of billions of dollars of direct and indirect costs. It...

"President Barack Obama strongly denied Friday that his administration deliberately leaked classified national security information.

Obama responded to a mounting controversy over two blockbuster stories in the New York Times, both of which divulged highly sensitive details about his national security policies. One story focused on Obama's so-called 'kill list.' Another looked at his...

"The Kaloko dam in Hawaii stood 116 years – until last year when it collapsed after heavy rains, killing seven.

Potential disaster was averted in April in Hollis, N.H., when a dozen families were evacuated and engineers made a controlled breach of an old pond dam to keep it from failing.

Such incidents are warning signs that many of the nation's more than 87,000 dams are in need...

A calm has descended over the federal government’s initiatives in energy amid the furor over health insurance legislation.

"Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) has pledged to block a Bush administration proposal being steamrolled through Congress to grant the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve sweeping new powers. Slowing things down would allow Congress to debate the issue fully before approving measures that could put taxpayers on the hook for billions in debt incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government...

"Sauerland, the Saar Land in English, is located in mid West Germany in the South Eastern part of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

On 09/04/2007 the German authorities arrested and uncovered an Islamic terror network that was plotting a series of terror attacks in Germany and in the middle of their last preparation to commit a massive car bombs attack on Ramstein military...

"A secret FBI report, obtained by ABC News, identifies 22 domestic terror organizations as the current subjects of 338 active FBI field investigations.

The Aryan Nations, and other white supremacist groups, are cited in the report for hate crimes, fire bombings, threats via mail, as well as robberies and murders. The National Alliance, one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the...

Scully tackles the tricky subject of the exclusionary rule--the concept that evidence obtained through an unreasonable search and seizure cannot be used against a defendant. He argues that the exclusionary rule runs counter to the idea of justice. Justice, Matthew tells us, is punishing the guilty and exonerating the innocent.


"When some American pundits call sharia, 'a growing threat to the United States,' Muslim Americans wonder what in the world are they talking about. [S]haria is overwhelmingly concerned with personal religious observance, not with constitutions and laws. All observant Muslims practice sharia. Defining sharia as a threat, therefore, is the same thing as saying that all observant Muslims are a...

"Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented, 'Muslims dominate the political and law enforcement process in Dearborn. It seems that police were more interested in placating the Mayor and Muslims than obeying our Constitution. Sharia law makes it a crime to preach the Gospel to Muslims. This is a classic example of stealth Jihad being waged right here in America. And it...

Volokh, a UCLA law professor, argues that it is acceptable for private contracts to require sharia-based dispute resolution. He states that the United States law has long provided for parties to turn to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration, including on the basis of secular or religious laws that some might consider unfair.

Nezar Hamze describes the misconception many Americans have concerning Islam and Sharia Law. He details reasons for why it is not a threat. He says politicians are only painting Sharia Law in a negative light to use as a campaign strategy for upcoming elections.

Cinnamon Stillwell describes the recent trend towards marginalizing radical Islamists. She mentions the growing trend by leading radical Islamist apologist John Esposito towards calling these radicals, merely "moderates." She concludes by saying, "Britain can serve as a cautionary tale for the West. Scholars who downplay the threats to democratic societies posed by the encroachments of Sharia...

"On October 28, 2009, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, an African American Muslim, was killed in a shootout with agents of the FBI in Detroit. The dead man was one of twelve individuals sought for firearms violations and conspiracy to engage in theft and fraud. But they were also members of a little-known Islamist network dedicated to the establishment, through violence if necessary, of an enclave on U....

In the eyes of Mitch Pearlstein, social welfare programs have done a lot of good, but they are also responsible for tearing down families. Pearlstein continues by declaring that when welfare programs break up the family, they also further the level of crime in our nation. The article infers that states could save tax money on crime by reducing tax spending on...

"SOPA and PIPA may have been put on hold -- thanks to possibly the most contentious uproar seen on Capitol Hill and in the tech world ever -- but other legislation was introduced this week to combat online piracy."

"This Wednesday, there will be a new reference point for the state of infrastructure in the United States—the American Society of Civil Engineers will release a report card, grading America's dams, bridges, roads and schools. The previous ASCE report card, issued in 2005, gave the country a grade of D, and called for $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the country. This year, expect the...

"The Hoover Dam, one of the world's great engineering feats, is marred by roads with traffic so jammed along the Nevada-Arizona border that it tells a different story about the political will to maintain 21st century infrastructure.

The road leading to the dam cannot accommodate the torrent of tourists and spills them into the overwhelmed little town of Boulder City. Nevada lawmakers...

As the title suggests, an alarming amount of the D.C. population struggles with literacy skills. The article notes that "[a]dults are considered functionally illiterate if they have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out...

"As if Hurricane Sandy's blackouts weren't worrisome enough, a new federal study warns the U.S. power grid is also vulnerable to terrorist attack. Yet it says fixing the problem won't be easy."

"The New York Times revealed today in a major news article that the well-known Stuxnet malware attack on the Iranian nuclear program was, in fact, an American operation. Most experts had felt that was the most logical conclusion, but it had never been confirmed. The Times report is based on interviews with anonymous sources 'because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it...

"The Obama administration already undermined the rule of law by ignoring bankruptcy law to give Chrysler to the United Auto Workers union. Now they are again rewarding union workers at the expense of average Americans.

Sacrificing the rule of law and economic freedom to big labor...

"Fears of an April Fools' Day attack by the so-called 'Conficker' worm – fears that were confirmed this week when 700 computers at the University of Utah were attacked – raised the profile of the potential for cyber-criminals to enter networks and siphon off private information."

"The U.S. Justice Department on Monday blocked Texas from enforcing a law that requires voters to show state-issued photo identification at the polls, saying it would disproportionately affect Hispanics."

"No one can predict what bridge, levee or water main will fail next. But some problems are widely known, and work is long overdue. As PM's new special report makes starkly clear, we need to begin rebuilding the nation's infrastructure somewhere. Here are 10 great places to start."

"The Obama administration’s game plan for passing their financial regulatory reform plan is clear: ignore the details of their bill, demonize Wall Street, and cast conservatives as the pawns of big bankers. But as Politico reports today, there’s a complication in their battle plan: 'The Democratic Party is closer to corporate...

Ebeling, the former president of Foundation for Economic Education, compares the current economic crisis to the Great Depression. He examines the monetary policies leading up to both crises, the thinking of the monetarists and Keynesians, as well as the results of those policies.

Here's an excerpt:...

"The landscape of America, at last count, is dotted with 79,272 large dams. Most of them safely deliver bountiful benefits - trillions of gallons of water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use, plus flood control, recreation, hydroelectric power, and navigation.

That's the good news.

Here, in my opinion, is the bad news: Disaster lurks in thousands of those dams.


When a luxury housing development in Washington was torched, it seemed an open and shut case. The Earth Liberation Front was to blame. But was it? Does it even exist? And why is the Bush government intent on casting 'eco-terrorists' as public enemy number one?

"With the recent rate hike, the mainstream press obediently parrots the macroeconomic analysis offered by our friendly central planners at the Federal Reserve. The average citizen knows that he or she is not nearly smart enough to understand the complex interrelationships of various price indices, yield curves, consumer confidence, and so forth—that’s Greenspan’s...

"If you are not vitally concerned about the possibility of radical Muslims infiltrating the U.S. government and establishing a Taliban-style theocracy, then you are not a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. In addition to talking about tax policy and Afghanistan, Republican candidates have also felt the need to speak out against the menace of 'sharia.'" Amy Sullivan goes on to say...

"A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or...

"The American electric grid is an engineering marvel, arguably the single largest and most complex machine in the world. It's also 40 years old and so rickety that power interruptions and blackouts cost the economy some $150 billion a year. The idea of building a connected 'smart' grid that can route power intelligently is beyond daunting, no matter how much stimulus money gets thrown at it....

"A group calling itself Lulz Security embarked on a nihilistic hacking spree against high-profile corporations and government agencies. Yesterday morning, it was boasting of its latest coup – bringing down the websites of the Brazilian government and the president – an action marked with a Twitter message beginning 'TANGO DOWN.'"

"Milton Friedman once said that there is 'nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.' I would add to this: there is nothing so permanent as a war on terror. Ask the British or the Israelis or any other government which has decided to wage a similar war.

The 2001 signing of the PATRIOT Act marked the beginning of a 'temporary' and unofficial state of emergency for the...

This article describes illiteracy as a key component many unsuspecting doctors overlook when dealing with medical problems. According to Dr. Marcus, illiteracy problems cause so much shame and embarrassment that patients avoid telling their doctors and often experience...

"I've just gotten around to reading Orin Kerr's fine paper 'Applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet: A General Approach.' Like most everything he writes on the topic of technology and privacy, it is thoughtful and worth reading. Here, from the abstract, are the main conclusions:

'First, the traditional physical distinction...

"The Weathermen formed as a radical offshoot of the 1960s student activist group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). A manifesto, which circulated around a June 1969 SDS convention, took its title from Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues.' 'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,' it read, and thus became known as the Weatherman statement. While SDS promoted...

In this piece, James Payne extends the negative effects of the welfare state to government's role in the realm of adoption. According to Payne, government management of the adoption system not only inhibits loving families from adopting children, it also encourages unloving families to adopt through the offer of welfare subsidies. Payne believes that offering...

In this piece, Vedran Vuk subtly asks readers to consider what non-wealthy people did before the advent of welfare. According to Vuk, families stuck together and worked hard to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. Vuk believes that the arrival of the welfare state changed all of this and served to destroy families and their sense of duty, honor, and character...

"An American citizen from an upscale suburb here was convicted on Tuesday of conspiring to support Al Qaeda and of other terrorism charges.

Federal prosecutors told the jury that Tarek Mehanna, 29, of Sudbury, traveled to Yemen in 2004 to train as a terrorist with the goal of attacking American soldiers in Iraq. Mr. Mehanna, a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and...

"USCYBERCOM is responsible for planning, coordinating, integrating, synchronizing, and directing activities to operate and defend the Department of Defense information networks and when directed, conducts full-spectrum military cyberspace operations (in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations) in order to ensure U.S. and allied freedom of action in cyberspace, while denying the...

"The United States is still 'operating the most advanced economy in the world with 1960s and 70s [electrical] technology,' said Amin. Failing to modernize the grid, he said, will threaten the U.S. position as an economic super power.

Millions remember the historic August 2003 blackout, when overgrown trees on powerlines triggered an outage that cascaded across an overloaded regional...

"One of the more extreme government abuses of the post-9/11 era targets U.S. citizens re-entering their own country, and it has received far too little attention. With no oversight or legal framework whatsoever, the Department of Homeland Security routinely singles out individuals who are suspected of no crimes, detains them and questions them at the airport, often for hours, when they return...

"China almost certainly would mount a cyberattack on the U.S. in the event of a conflict, and the U.S. has no clear policy to determine how to respond appropriately, a congressional advisory panel is set to warn on Thursday."

"U.S. intelligence spending in the past year fell to $75.4 billion, the second straight year of decline since such budgets reached their highest level in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to figures released today."

"The U.S. is pursuing a wide-ranging, high-tech campaign against Iran's nuclear program that includes the cybersabotage project known as Stuxnet, which was developed by the Central Intelligence Agency in conjunction with Idaho National Laboratory, the Israeli government, and other U.S. agencies, according to people familiar with the efforts.

The covert CIA effort also includes...

"In the past year, a group of conservative pundits and analysts have identified Sharia, or Islamic religious law, as a growing threat to the United States. These pundits and analysts argue that the steady adoption of Sharia’s tenets is a strategy extremists are using to transform the United States into an Islamic state."

"A US hacker who sold access to thousands of hijacked home computers has been jailed for 30 months."

"Laws requiring voters to show identification at the polls have been around since 1970, but they are becoming more numerous and stringent. Once a voter registration card or utility bill sufficed. Now a growing number of laws require voters to show picture IDs."

"We now have an extraordinary situation that reveals the impunity with which political elites commit the most egregious crimes, as well as the special privileges to which they explicitly believe they — and they alone — are entitled. That a large bipartisan cast of Washington officials got caught being paid substantial sums of money by an Iranian dissident group that is legally designated by...

"Industrial espionage is an attempt to gain access to information about a company’s plans, products, clients or trade secrets. In most cases, such conduct, especially when it involves accessing trade secrets is illegal. Sometimes rival companies will search through public records in order to make guesses about a company’s actions. However, when the search goes from the public to the private,...

"When complicated issues like the debt suddenly become national news controversies, sometimes the tendency is to emphasize the drama of the story rather than explain the basics of the issue. What is the debt? Why is it growing? Should we be terribly concerned about it? And how would we fix it if we had to? Martin Baily answers those questions in the interview...

A federal grand jury in Eugene, Oregon, has indicted 11 people on charges that they committed acts of domestic terrorism on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front.

President Obama and the Banking Committee Chairman, Chris Dodd, introduced 27 new regulations for the banking industry. The new regulations are based on the notion that the financial meltdown of 2008 was due to de-regulation of the banking industry.

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has awarded defense contractor ATK with an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement for .40 caliber hollow point ammunition. According to an official ATK press release, U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over a five-year period."

Climate change plays a role here: as sea levels rose, Tuvalu's groundwater became increasingly saline and undrinkable, leaving the island dependent on rainwater.

"Anonymous, understood to be a loose-knit group of internet activists, tweeted: 'We are glad to tell you that mastercard.com is down and it's confirmed.'

Another message read: 'There are some things WikiLeaks can't do. For everything else, there's Operation Payback.'"

"America's power grid today resembles the country's canal system of the 19th Century. A marvel of engineering for its time, the canal system eventually could not keep pace with the growing demands of transcontinental transportation.

More than 150 years later, America's infrastructure is again changing in ways that its designers never anticipated. Distributed and intermittent electricity...

"In post-Occupy America, it's often hard to know whether new citizen protest laws signal the end of free speech or a mere tweak of the machine. That looks to be the case with the new anti-protest bill that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly two weeks ago and was signed into law by the president soon thereafter. On its face, the new legislation doesn't change a whole lot. Yet...

Chart or Graph

"Most of the 77 million post-World War II baby boomers (representing one-fourth of the U.S. population) are still working, but some are beginning to retire. As boomers retire, federal spending for Social Security and especially Medicare, given rapidly rising health care costs, will grow dramatically."

This chart by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow, Veronique de Rugy, compiles data from the United States Treasury to illustrate our nation’s total commitments – even if no new participants ever enroll in Medicare or Social Security.

This graph clearly shows that even if the US debt to GDP ratio is lower than it was at some previous point in history—the MAGNITUDE of the change is worth ... serious attention. Since the 1980s, the effects of a shift toward a dominant Keynesian view of economic policy are clear.

"Major credit cards, gaming platforms, governments, banks and news organizations have all been the victims of cyber attacks."

"The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines."

The chart compares average wages of workers in the U.S. private sector and workers in the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. In recent years, the average wage in the Fed’s regional banks has soared, reaching $84,054 in 2009, or 67 percent greater than the private sector average wage of $50,462.

America's per capita debt is worse than any of the European nations which are currently in economic turmoil.

The rapid growth in technology coupled with the expanding amount of information on the Internet has opened the floodgates for cyber-criminals.

This timeline depicts all of the terrorist attacks on American soil that have resulted in one or more deaths.

A chart comparing the Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation for 2010 to the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International.

Despite efforts to curb this threat through increasing regulation and laws over the Internet, more and more people are affected by cyber-crime every day.

This chart graphs total welfare spending from 1950 to 2008.

This chart depicts the current annual funding, annual funding needed to maintain conditions, and needed annual funding to improve conditions of urban roads, highways and bridges (in billions).

This infographic offers a look at some of the most startling facts and numbers on the problem of identity theft.

"Since when is a 2% annual rise in prices stable? Here is a chart that shows what I mean."

This chart shows the monthly total borrowed by the government from the Fed from 1989 to 2008 in light of several bailout efforts.

The most popular company in which members of Congress were invested in 2010 was General Electric, a company that spent more than $39 million on federal lobbying that year and ranked as the No. 3 top spender on lobbying.

Overall, Muslim Americans are fairly traditional in their religious beliefs.

Allowing Islam Sharia law to be recognized in courts in the United States, as potentially superseding Constitutional and democratically-based law.

"While office theft by employees has been a problem since the invention of the office, it seems during times of economic uncertainty office theft rises substantially."

A Gallup Poll showing various countries and their opinions on what role Sharia Law should take in legislation.

"Table 1.1 from the 2009 report records data on GDP, unemployment, and interest rates."

In a survey on economic and national security concerns, researchers questioned Moms and individuals in the Gen-Y age range about their views on "homegrown jihadist terrorists. A jihadist is a Muslim involved in a holy war of destruction targeted against those who do not share their religious beliefs."

These charts show the reactions and opinions of Moms and Gen-Y individuals on the compatibility of Islamic Sharia law with the American court system.

A U.S. Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood was formed and has been in operation since the 1960s. Although the Brotherhood insists it is a peaceful organization that opposes the use of terrorism in order to further their objectives, a number of terrorist analysts argue that this organization is a breeding ground for jihadi and terrorist ideologies.

Survey participants were asked the following question: "Thinking now about the Muslim Brotherhood in respect to the United States. Do you agree or disagree that the Muslim Brotherhood should be permitted to operate or set up a branch for their organization within the United States?"

After reading this description of the Muslim Brotherhood, do you think the United States should agree to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood when negotiating with other countries where they have a strong political presence?"

Here's another look at the number of terror incidents on U.S. soil over a 5 year period.

The FBI gives us a look at the number of terrorist attacks between 1980 and 2005 within specific regions.

There were 318 terrorist incidents in the United States between 1980 and 2005, including 24 after 2001.

This chart lists the major U.S. cities with the highest percentage of poor roads.

"[T]he value of the dollar remained extremely stable for 150 years, then The Fed was created in order to 'stabilize the value of the dollar' and the result has been a 95% devaluation of the dollar in less than 100 years following its creation."

Here is the annual percent change of inflation (CPI) in the Untied States from 1774 to 2007, which I graphed in my previous post, but this time I added historical events to the graph: Wars, Banking Panics, Pegging Paper Money to the Gold and Silver Standard, Establishment of the Federal Reserve and the US Mint.

"The surveys asked women whether welfare reforms made them: (1) think more seriously about getting married and (2) want to postpone or stop having children."

The interactive graphic above shows the overall debt levels for a wide range of countries, based on data supplied by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Analysis Report White Paper

"We must realise that the Sharia is not just a legal system but also a way of life by which Muslim fundamentalists seek to regulate and control their entire religious, social, political, economic, and cultural actions, interactions and reactions even with non-Muslims."

"Although the [Fourth] Amendment’s text appears straightforward, the legal community has long debated precisely what that text means."

A genealogy of the radical ideas that underline al-Qaeda’s justification for violence shows that the development of jihadi thought over the past several decades is characterized by the erosion of critical constraints used to limit warfare and violence in classical Islam.

Shariah in Islam has functioned historically through schools of Islamic law, or madhahib. Traditional Shariah is based on a recognised canon, some significant elements of which have been translated and published in English.

"Landlords and tenants are not usually on the same side in the courtroom. But in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a group of tenants are standing up for their property rights and supporting their landlord against the City's inspection policy. It's a case with far-reaching implications that should concern every American."

Environmental terrorism adds a new dimension to terrorism scares, identifying the target as a natural resource or environmental feature. At a time when populations all over the world are increasing, the existing resource base is being stretched to provide for more people, and is being consumed at a faster rate.

"Americans are gloomy about their economy’s ability to produce. Are they right to be? We look at two areas of concern, transport infrastructure and innovation."

"Ecclesiastical law has long been accepted as a form of civil arbitration in Western Democracies. The result of ecclesiastical trials is legally binding and enforceable. Nevertheless, the dangers associated with legal ecclesiastical rulings became manifest when Islamic groups pushed for the recognition of Sharia as a doctrine of arbitration."

"As the smoke clears in New York and Kabul, one blind spot still blocks the Western lens in the war against terror. There remains no official definition of 'terrorism.' The need for such a definition was affirmed by representatives of over 150 countries at a UN conference held in October 2001 on 'What is Terrorism?'"

"The Western legal system bases it[s] value system upon Judo-Christian values which emphasi[ze] the individual while Islam strongly advocates community. The very topic of this paper must attempt to deal with two completely different systems. Most from the West are familiar with their system, thus this paper will first attempt to help the reader understand Shariah."

Scientific debate continues regarding the extent to which human activities contribute to global warming and what the potential impact on the environment might be.

"This article presents a composite price index covering the period since 1750 which can be used for analyses of consumer price inflation, or the purchasing power of the pound, over long periods of time."

"Recent weather events such as deadly heat waves and devastating floods have sparked popular interest in understanding the role of global warming in driving extreme weather. These events are part of a new pattern of more extreme weather across the globe, shaped in part by human-induced climate change.

"Assorted 'cyber attacks' have attracted much attention in the past few months. One headline in this genre recently proclaimed 'Anonymous Declares War on Orlando.' This is wrong on so many levels that it almost defies analysis."

"On April 8, a front page article was published in the Wall Street Journal on the dangers posed by cyberspies to the U.S. electrical grid. According to senior intelligence officers who spoke with the Journal, 'Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system.'"

This report looks at the impact of the Federal Reserve's money supply increases on the price of oil.

"Using encrypted Internet telephony as an example, this Article proposes a change to the NSA's internal guidelines that would prevent dissemination of information gained through the frustration of the reasonable privacy expectations of protected persons unless exigent circumstances or serious threats to national security were presented."

Daniel Solove addresses the issue of privacy in the Information Age. He claims the court has reverted to the discredited Olmstead Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

"Some things a person does owe to himself–intangibles like respect, integrity, responsibility. 'This above all, to thine own self be true.' But such duties to self are not a debt in the usual sense of a repayable loan or obligation."

"Homegrown terrorists are making headlines — most recently in Bandera County, where the sheriff’s office issued a warning to citizens last month after the shooting death of an officer and in Hempstead, where a man awaits trial after attempting to aid al-Qaeda."

"The seemingly intractable conflict between energy needs and environmental concerns, as exemplified by the recent series of pipeline bombings in northeastern British Columbia, has served to highlight the need for strategic thinking about this emerging threat."

"At the command of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, I have often written about the need for students to understand why they are Americans — so they can act as informed citizens."

This piece features a debate between two legal scholars on the issue of whether or not such laws as the "Protect America Act of 2007" violate the Fourth Amendment rights of individuals.

In this report, the Center for Responsive Politics details the pervasiveness of former lobbyists working in some of the most powerful staff positions in the 111th and 112th Congresses.

"Although piracy of software on personal computers (PC) declined in many countries in 2007, fast growing PC markets in some of the world’s highest piracy nations caused overall numbers to worsen—a trend that is expected to continue. Moreover, dollar losses from piracy rose by $8 billion to nearly $48 billion."

Some argue that personal retirement accounts would be a mistake and that the government instead should set up its own investment fund to help finance future benefit payments.

"This paper explores the possibility of the U.S. experiencing a debt crisis in the medium run, meaning somewhere between 2015 and 2035. It is impossible to state precisely the trigger point for a crisis. At best, we can make guesses about some of the key parameters."

"We are not talking about military tribunals of Guantanamo prisoners - we are talking about contractor security clearance hearings at the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA)."

"As the new year begins, al-Shabaab, a terror group fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia, has served notice that it intends to play an increasingly prominent role in international jihad."

"As global warming causes hot summer days to get hotter, concentrations of an air pollutant called ozone increase—forming lung-damaging pollution commonly known as smog."

This piece offers a fascinating look into the correlations between welfare and destructive childhood behaviors. According to the authors, studies have shown that children on welfare will earn less as adults, obtain lower levels of education, struggle with anger and hyperactivity, and in general, follow in the footsteps of their welfare-dependent parents.

After beginning her paper with various statistics on American literacy rates, Jeanne Allen discusses several ways in which literacy problems are dealt with. Allen advises the public to avoid increasing school spending and federal involvement, while also encouraging a "back-to-basics" approach in the public schools.

Sweet describes numerous problems various types of illiteracy pose for the nation, suggesting that the lack of phonics in schools is at the root of the problem. He traces the history of various reading methods and their effectiveness and concludes by determining that a return to phonics instruction is the best defense against illiteracy in America.

"States' systems must be brought into the 21st century to be more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient."

On the basis of current evidence, it is difficult to sustain the notion that climate change is the greatest threat to public health or the environment today. But what about the future?

"In the last two years, a remarkable amount of disturbing news has been published concerning global warming, largely concentrating on melting of polar ice, tropical storms and hurricanes, and mass extinctions."

This piece provides an interesting look into a decade in which the welfare state was growing, but was definitely not as massive as it is today. Mary Jo Bane examines whether or not the increasing influence of welfare was detrimental to society and the family.

"Christianity and Islam share much common ground. Both trace their roots to Abraham. Both believe in prophecy, God's messengers (apostles), revelation, scripture, the resurrection of dead, and the centrality of religious community."

John L. Esposito and John. O. Voll discuss the various opinions and viewpoints about Islam and democracy from a Muslim perspective. They point out different facets to be considered and ultimately conclude that there can be such a thing as Islamic democracy.

"Whether Islamic values are compatible with the institutions of free societies is relevant most importantly for the future of Muslim countries. Yet it is also of immense practical relevance for the West, which has received substantial numbers of immigrants from Muslim countries. How should the West deal with them?"

"Sharia, or Islamic law, influences the legal code in most Muslim countries. A movement to allow sharia to govern personal status law, a set of regulations that pertain to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and custody, is even expanding into the West."

"The general public and many academics have several preconceived notions about Islamic Law. One such notion is that Islamic judges are bound by ancient and outdated rules of fixed punishments for all crimes. This paper explores that idea and looks at other myths in an attempt to present Islamic Law from a non-biased view of Sharia Law."

"In Mayfield v. United States, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken (District of Oregon) held that parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which were altered by the USA Patriot Act in 2001, are unconstitutional."

"If property is liberty’s other half, privacy is its guardian. The right to privacy is essential to the preservation of freedom for the simplest of reasons. If no one knows what I do, when I do it, and with whom I do it, no one can possibly interfere with it."

"The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world."

"The Obama administration takes a more realistic approach in including nuclear energy along with other non-carbon emitting sources in its 'Clean Energy Standard.' To understand why this is the case, we first need to review a few of the often overlooked, but important subtleties of electrical power generation."

Researchers have found extreme and destructive rainfall events were more common in many parts of the world during the Little Ice Age than they have been subsequently, contradicting the forecasts of the IPCC.

"That sad experience should be raising red flags in the United States, where the unsustainable longer-run trajectory of the US public finances is now suggesting the real risk of either a destructive burst of inflation or an outright government debt default."

"The recent Supreme Court decision in Marshall V. Barlow offers businesses a Fourth Amendment shield against warrantless inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Although hailed by some business spokesmen as a great victory, the decision is unlikely to have much effect on OSHA enforcement."

One provision in the PATRIOT Act decreases the oversight the FBI needs for issuing National Security Letters. These letters require ISPs to provide information on their clients to the government. Patrick Garlinger explains why current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence fails to protect information hosted by a third party.

"So what is this ideology we label Islamic-Fascism? What are its sources, theories, aims, and who are its proponents? The answers to many of these questions can be found in a collection of violent Islamic thought called Qutbism."

"American infrastructure is in trouble, from collapsed bridges to leaking dams. In a yearlong investigation, Popular Mechanics uncovered the fresh ideas, smart engineering and new technology we need to fix it. Here's the plan."

"Our nation’s economy and our quality of life require a highway and roadway system that provides a safe, reliable, efficient, and comfortable driving environment. Although highway fatalities and traffic-related injuries declined in 2007, the drop is most likely attributable to people driving less."

"In February 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams suggested in a speech at the Royal Courts of Justice in London that British Muslims who would like to avail themselves of Islamic law-based arbitration courts ... should be permitted to do so."

"Extremist and potentially terroristic groups have, to some extent, infiltrated and negatively impacted on the morale and cohesiveness of individual military personnel and units."

The Senate has introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. A floor vote is expected in March or April. The Cybersecurity Act contains laudable elements—enhancement of and protection for private-sector information sharing are crucial.

A report examining past jihadists and their actions leading up to their performing jihad. The study concluded that a high adherence to Sharia within a mosque lead to a greater predispositions to violent actions and jihad.

This piece gives a thorough overview of Islamic Sharia law. According to the article, "Sharia law comes from a combination of sources including the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book), the Hadith (sayings and conduct of the prophet Muhammad) and fatwas (the rulings of Islamic scholars)."

The following report based on an 8 March 2010 Seminar on Sharia Law ... aims to provide evidence of the discriminatory nature of these courts and make recommendations for curtailing Sharia and religious tribunals on the basis that they work against and not for equality, and are incompatible with human rights.

"The facts are the facts: some judges are making decisions deferring to Shariah law even when those decisions conflict with Constitutional protections. This is a serious issue and should be a subject of public debate and engagement by policymakers."

"This study is the result of months of analysis, discussion and drafting by a group of top security policy experts concerned with the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time: the legal-political-military doctrine known within Islam as 'shariah.'"

"As the debt grows, government’s interest burden grows with it. The more of our tax dollars consumed by interest, the fewer dollars available for discretionary spending. What’s worse, more pressure is then exerted to use tax increases to fund mandatory spending programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

"'This is really a bill which, if enacted into law, will be [a longer] step in the direction of stopping terrorism than any other we have had before this Congress in a long time,' one of the bill's sponsors declared."

Were the individuals involved in the Boston Tea Party activists? Extremists? Terrorists? Todd Alan Kreamer gives his opinion and puts their actions into 21st century perspective.

This article provides a brief summary of the Patriot Act. It explains the legislative background and methods used to pass this bill. Then, it explains the new powers created by the Patriot Act. It explains how these searches are fundamentally different then prior precedent.

"With terrorism still prominent on the U.S. national agenda, whether the country’s prevention efforts match the threat it faces continues to be central in policy debate. One element of this debate is questioning whether the United States, like some other countries, needs a dedicated domestic intelligence agency."

"What challenges does Islamism pose domestically to the core principles of Western plural societies, particularly the United States?"

Combining the opinions of a variety of panelists, this piece discusses the issue of healthy marriage and its relation to the welfare state, especially amongst low-income communities. This piece recognizes that the promotion of marriage is a good thing, and also brings up several statistics showing the direct correlation between the growth of welfare and the disintegration of the family.

"I have found through experience that when one argues a case in the United States Supreme Court, it can be more than a bit difficult to put the resulting decision in perspective."

In a very entertaining and thorough portrait of the environmental activist movement, Robert Sullivan describes some of the main figures behind the extreme Environmental Liberation Front.

"It is possible to distinguish at least three causal factors behind a general fall in prices. They are: supply-side deflation, price-wage rigidity deflation, and monetary deflation."

"Since John Roberts Jr. became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, there has been a measurable decline in the number of cases addressing Fourth Amendment questions. This article examines the reasons for that decline and predicts the substantial elimination of Fourth Amendment litigation in the Roberts Court."

"What did the founders of the United States see as the legitimate role of government? To answer that question we should turn to the rule book they gave us: the United States Constitution."

"In his talk Burns offered little hope for an escape from secular inflation. Current worldwide philosophical and political trends, Burns diagnosed, will continue to undermine wealth creation and strangle incentives. These modern trends produce permanent budget deficits and have introduced 'a strong inflationary bias' into the economy."

"This paper argues that current U.S. expenditure is far greater than necessary to support an efficient economy or an equitable society, so expenditure should be cut regardless of the fiscal outlook."

"The specter of a credit downgrade looms, and it is frightful. A downgrade threatens to push interest rates higher, making it more difficult for consumers to borrow, for businesses to hire, and for the economy to grow."

"A known and cataclysmic threat to the U.S. electric power grid is being largely ignored by the President and Congress. Warning events in 1859, 1921, 1989, and 2003 showed the danger that solar activity can pose to electrical power and distribution systems."

"Given our strong economy, lenders, both domestic and foreign, have thus far been willing to finance our national debt. However, in light of projected deficit and debt burdens, this may change."

"Quite a few people believe that if there is a decline in oil production, we can make up much of the difference by increasing our use of electricity--more nuclear, wind, solar voltaic, geothermal or even coal. The problem with this model is that it assumes that our electric grid will be working well enough for this to happen."

In this piece, the author uses the Patriot Act to explore how the Courts have frequently minimized the institutional protections offered by the Fourth Amendment.

"This study discusses how HUD officials operate within a highly politicized environment, which is heavily influenced by the groups that HUD subsidizes and regulates, including the housing industry, financial institutions, and community activists."

"Over the last 35 years, the U.S. government has embarked on several major projects to spur the commercial development of energy technologies intended to substitute for conventional energy resources, especially fossil fuels. Those efforts began with the 1973 energy crisis when President Nixon became the first U.S. leader to announce a plan for energy autarky. Presidents Ford and Carter...

"The U.S. highway system is broken. And it’s not clear where the money is going to come from to fix it."

"Mainstream Muslims and religious scholars say Islam is wrongly blamed for the violence and intolerance of a few. But some critics say Muslims have not done enough to oppose terrorism and violence."

Two million passengers weekly are pawed as if they were felons, though their only crime is catching a flight. And while even suspected murderers are not supposed to be searched without warrants, law-abiding passengers such as Carlos abandon this freedom when they enter an airport as surely as Dante's sinners abandon hope when they enter hell.

"Under the Obama administration, the influence and involvement of trade unions in government policy decisions has surged to unprecedented levels."

"The 33 voter ID laws that have been enacted vary in their details. Two key distinctions are whether a law is strict or not, and whether or not the ID must include a photo."

"In this article, I address only the legality of the NSA program, not the policy question whether the program is necessary and effective from a national-security perspective."

The researchers imply that many welfare reform programs do not have a positive effect on marriage and out-of-wedlock birth rates. However, as the report goes on, the researchers do admit that several state welfare reform programs have demonstrated decided success in positive family formation efforts.

"The warnings were certainly there. In 1998, former utility executive John Casazza predicted that 'blackout risks will be increased' if plans for deregulating electric power went ahead. And the warnings continued to be heard from other energy experts and planners."


"A lecture by Professor Steven Horwitz on inflation from the Austrian school of economics perspective."

"H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and...

"While many were shocked by the massacre at the Sikh temple, our guest, Daryl Johnson, had warned years ago that such an attack was imminent. While working as a senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2009, Johnson authored a report warning about the increasing dangers of violent right-wing extremism in the United States, sparking a political firestorm in the process....

"National Security Agency whistle blowers Thomas Drake, former senior official; Kirk Wiebe, former senior analyst; and William Binney, former technical director, return to 'Viewpoint' to talk about their allegations that the NSA has conducted illegal domestic surveillance. All three men are providing evidence in a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the NSA.

Drake says...

"Jason's DeParle's new book, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and The Nation's Drive to End Welfare, is an insightful look at welfare reform, poverty and the underclass. It examines the evolution of welfare reform in policy circles in Washington as well as the impact of reform on the lives of inner city families. Our discussion will focus on the...

Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Gerald Corrigan discussed the purpose of the Federal Reserve and its role in economic crises, including the 2008 recession.

This video describes the rising illiteracy rate in the U.S. According to CBS, many thousands of adults in New York alone can only read material written at a 5th grade level or below. This clip explains how low reading ability negatively affects adults.

"In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 6,000 bridges in disrepair – the most in the nation. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 39 percent of bridges in the state are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. In the first segment of a five part series on infrastructure in the U.S., PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez reports with Blueprint America on Pennsylvania’s...

"In our second debate, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former chief economic policy adviser to Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, delivers a critique of the Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, and John H. Makin, resident scholar in economics...

"In a stunning move that has civil libertarians stuttering with disbelief, the U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America.

The National Defense Authorization Act is being called the most traitorous act ever witnessed in the Senate, and the language of the bill is cleverly designed to make you think it doesn't apply to Americans, but toward the...

"Anonymous, or Anon, is a movement made up of a number of nameless internet activists from around the world.

For many, the 'hacktivist' group has become the face of the new cyber-war against oppressive governments and all-powerful corporates. Others say the group's actions are reckless.

Describing itself as 'the freedom of speech, the freedom of information and the freedom of...

"Washington Post's Dana Priest reports on the sprawling post-9/11 terrorism-industrial complex — and its growing reach into the lives of ordinary Americans." Here is the transcript.

"Though many (especially on the left) blame capitalism for so much of today's problems. But I believe what they are incorrectly calling capitalism, is actually what I call 'corporatism'. Many of my fellow libertarians call it 'crony capitalism', but I think that muddy's the issue by using the word 'capitalism' in a different context.

I'm basically responding to a request from a very...

From the General Motors bailout to subsidies for Solyndra, crony capitalism is as serious a threat to liberty, free markets and civil society as ever. Cato Institute Senior Fellow Tom G. Palmer recently discussed The Morality of Capitalism (...

Professors Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) & Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno) discuss the causes & solutions to Cronyism in America.

"The U.S. government is about to declare a new war, but this time the enemy is a virtual one. A string of attacks on government websites by hackers has driven American policy-makers into a state of high-alert over a so-called terrorist threat. But some doubt the danger even exists, as RT's Lucy Kafanov reports."

"Unlike desperate countries like Haiti, many experts agree that so far Japan, a developed country, has fared well overall in disaster preparedness, which is measured by the country's immediate response following an earthquake and tsunami.

But many may wonder whether Americans are as prepared to handle such natural disasters."

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the questions of due process, judicial process and the 4th Amendment. Since the Obama administration ordered the killing of American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, there has been substantial debate surrounding the constitutionality of such a power. Does every citizen deserve due process?

"The Federal Government is addicted to spending. Watch this video from the Heritage Foundation to learn about the trouble we are in and where to find solutions."

"The President's highest priority is to keep the American people safe. He is committed to ensuring the United States is true to our values and ideals while also protecting the American people. The President is committed to securing the homeland against 21st century threats by preventing terrorist attacks and other threats against our homeland, preparing and planning for emergencies, and...

After offering a variety of statistics on the types of illiteracy in America, this news clip goes on to introduce several adults who struggled with functional illiteracy and the effects that the inability to read had on their lives. For many people, illiteracy causes fear and discourages mobility, and for others the inability to read has long term health...

Islamist literature rejects central features of modernity common in the West, including capitalism.

"Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R-Minn.) discusses how the U.S. is not fiscally prepared to handle an event on the scale of that which rocked Japan."

John Stossel discusses crony capitalism. Its definition, its symptoms, its effects, its causes and its solution.

"Step inside the eye of a solar storm and the measures scientists take to predict them."

What might it be able to do to Earth and is the U.S. prepared?

In this clip, Newt Gingrich describes some of the details of Sharia law and their incompatibility with established Western law. Gingrich also warns that Sharia law is a direct attack on the principles that many liberal Americans hold dear.

"Watch Congressman Pete Stark blow up when Jan Helfeld asks him why Stark believes, 'the more we owe, the wealthier we are.'"

Peter Schiff, a candidate for Senator in Connecticut, explains the economic crisis.  Schiff argues that the economic collapse is not over.  Because of our inability to allow markets to restructure, Schiff argues, the coming downturn will be much worse than expected.

Ron Paul lays out his argument against the NDAA, particularly the martial law provision.

"Sharia in Canada is a 2-part documentary series that delves into the debate over Islamic tribunals in Ontario. In December 2004, the Boyd Report recommended that Ontario authorize Islamic tribunals based on the sharia, a system of justice directly inspired by the Koran. In September 2005, however, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty banned all religious arbitration, whether Muslim, Jewish or...

"In what some have described as police enforcement of Sharia law at the annual Dearborn Arab International Festival, last Friday night Dearborn Police Officers arrested four Christian missionaries... [and] confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests...Arrested on charges of Breach of the Peace are: Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla,...

This documentary investigates the underground workings of the Army of God and depicts the violence that the organization sometimes resorts to.

What can the Stuxnet worm accomplish? Who can use it? Does it threaten Americans?

"Western legal tradition rests on the idea that there is 'one law for all.' This idea has emerged from the Judeo-Christian tradition as mediated by the Enlightenment, particularly from the tradition’s teaching about the equal dignity and liberty of all. What challenges does Islamist extremism pose domestically in the United States to the core principles of Western society? Western European and...

"Dr. Steve Horwitz explains the cause and costs of inflation."

Daniel Hannan's new book, The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America, urges Americans not to take such things as federalism, the rule of law and limited government for granted.

In this clip, Thomas Sowell debates Pennsylvania's welfare secretary Helen Bohen O'Bannion. The former adamantly argues that the welfare state is at fault for the decided decline of the black family through the years. Sowell's debate opponent implies that it is the responsibility of the government to try to lift up the lower class' standard of living....

"If America does not get welfare reform under control, it will bankrupt America. But the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector has a five-step plan to reform welfare while protecting our most vulnerable."

A brief video explaining an argument for net neutrality.

Primary Document

"America’s electric system, 'the supreme engineering achievement of the 20th century,' is aging, inefficient, and congested, and incapable of meeting the future energy needs of the Information Economy without operational changes and substantial capital investment over the next several decades.

Unprecedented levels of risk and uncertainty about future conditions in the electric industry...

"This book is the first attempt at writing Islamic laws For Muslims who have settled in non-Muslim Countries. Muslims who were compelled to leave their countries, and the places where they grew up, and had to migrate to non-Muslim countries in which they now live under different laws and systems, dissimilar values and rules, and unfamiliar customs and habits. The modes of conduct and manners...

One of the most widely cited reports on education reform, "A Nation at Risk" describes the declining academic rates and standards that were prevalent in the early 1980s. "A Nation at Risk" bemoans the fact that...

"During the meetings on inflation, I listened carefully to many valuable suggestions. Since the summit, I have evaluated literally hundreds of ideas, day and night.

My conclusions are very simply stated. There is only one point on which all advisers have agreed: We must whip inflation right now.


"From May 2009 through October 2011, arrests were made for 32 'homegrown,' jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. Two of these resulted in attacks—U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan’s alleged assault at Fort Hood in Texas and Abdulhakim Muhammed's shooting at the U.S. Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, AR and produced 14 deaths....

"This book contains an account of our present knowledge of the history and of the outlines of the system of Islamic law. It is intended for two groups of readers: students of history, social sciences, and comparative law on the one hand, and on the other, students of Arabic who might wish to embark upon this particularly important and attractive branch of Islamic studies. Islamic law provides...

This act authorized President Bush to use "necessary and appropriate" force against any and all responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Like so many other acts issued since 9/11 this, too, was widely criticized because of its vague nature and the possibility of such broad interpretation.

This document explains the basics of Sharia and shows its roots. It also shows its importance in Islam and its basis within the Qur'an.

This highly controversial bill passed the House, but stalled in the Senate. It proposed much stricter legislation against illegal individuals, including some aspects which criminalized citizens for aiding or hiring illegal aliens.

"A well-functioning transportation system is critical to America’s economic future. Whether it is by road, transit, aviation, rail, pipeline, or waterway, we rely on our transportation system to move people and goods safely, facilitate commerce, attract and retain businesses, and support jobs. The President’s 2013 Budget provides a total of $74 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding...

The Declaration of Human Rights set to govern the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference. It sets down that the nations will be ruled according to Sharia Law. It specifically mentions the differences in rights between men and women.

"In 2006, the Critical Infrastructure Task Force of the Homeland Security Advisory Council initiated a public policy debate arguing that the government's critical infrastructure policies were focused too much on protecting assets from terrorist attacks and not focused enough on improving the resilience of assets against a variety of threats. According to the Task Force, such a defensive...

"A BILL To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States."

"Cyberwarfare raises issues of growing national interest and concern. Cyberwarfare can be used to describe various aspects of defending and attacking information and computer networks in cyberspace, as well as denying an adversary's ability to do the same. Some major problems encountered with cyber attacks, in particular, are the difficulty in determining the origin and nature of the attack...

Henry Hazlitt's classic primer outlines a straightforward and accessible portrayal of free-market economics. An unshackled market, Hazlitt says, is the only path to "full production".

An early twentieth contributor to educational psychology, Hall advocated that the content of education should be determined by the child's stage of development, interests and needs. John Dewey was one of his students. In this work, Hall seeks to lay out the "Pedagogy of the Future. Every one of the new departures indicated in the following chapters has, I believe,...

This proposed piece of legislation would allow the federal government to take away U.S. citizenship without the individual necessarily being convicted of a crime.

This executive order was issued in 1979, creating a federal agency that could be called upon locally in times of emergency. In 2003, it became part of the Department of Homeland Security. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina FEMA came under increasing scrutiny and continues to face harsh criticism from both sides.

"The Internet allows businesses of all sizes and from any location to reach new and larger markets and provides opportunities to work more efficiently by using computer-based tools. Whether a business is thinking of adopting cloud computing or just using email and maintaining a website, cybersecurity should be a part of the plan. Theft of digital information has become the most commonly...

"Over the past few years, U.S. government debt held by the public has grown rapidly—to the point that, compared with the total output of the economy, it is now higher than it has ever been except during the period around World War II. The recent increase in debt has been the result of three sets of factors: an imbalance between federal revenues and spending that...

"An Act To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes."

The most current version of the Act is available at the Federal Reserve's...

Senator McCain addresses the Senate concerning the issue of national security information getting leaked. As the world moves further into the Information Age, the risk of sensitive information being exposed grows. Yet, many believe that such leaks are beneficial to the average person, as it has led to significant exposure of governmental corruption. While certain individuals in the government...

"NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to 'load up' the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-...

This report summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing examining the links between global warming, extreme weather events, and how these events affect the world now and will in the future.

Climate change now looms as a more immediate and serious threat than ever before and in need of swift, effective Congressional action.

"Once again the federal government has reached its 'debt ceiling,' and once again Congress is poised to authorize an increase in government borrowing.  Between its ever-growing bureaucracies, expanding entitlements, and overseas military entanglements, the federal government is borrowing roughly one billion dollars every day to pay its bills...

"The Bush Administration's 2003 National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets indicates that security guards are 'an important source of protection for critical facilities.' In 2003, approximately one million security guards (including airport screeners) were employed in the United States. Of these guards, analysis indicates that up to 5% protected...

"To require aliens to attest that they will not advocate installing a Sharia law system in the United States as a condition for admission, and for other purposes."

Among other things, this bill calls for the repeal of the Trouble Asset Relief Act.

"To establish a fee on transactions which would eliminate the national debt and replace the income tax on individuals."

The petitioner in this case was arrested and indicted based on expired warrant. Due to the clerical error, the petitioner argued that his conviction was based on illegally obtained evidence. The Supreme Court, however, declared that "[w]hen police mistakes leading to an unlawful search are the result of isolated negligence attenuated from the search, rather than...

"Nearly a quarter of the nation’s major urban roads are rated in substandard or poor condition, providing motorists with a rough ride and increasing the cost of operating a vehicle. While the share of the nation’s major urban roads in poor condition decreased from 2007 to 2008, potential deficits in state budgets, the completion of federal transportation stimulus projects and the failure of...

This massive piece of legislation most importantly consolidated dozens of federal agencies in order to improve means of fighting terrorism. It was single largest consolidation of federal power since the National Security Act of 1947. This act also established the Department and Director of Homeland Security.

Renewed every year, this act (2011) allocates money to certain areas of the Department of Homeland Security.

Most importantly, this act gives the Department of Homeland Security access to pre-flight information for all flights in the United States.

"The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (herein referred to as 'the Committee') initiated this investigation in November 2011 to inquire into the counterintelligence and security threat posed by Chinese telecommunications companies doing business in the United States."

"Is the United States bankrupt? Many would scoff at this notion. Others would argue that financial implosion is just around the corner. This paper explores these views from both partial and general equilibrium perspectives. It concludes that countries can go broke, that the United States is going broke, that remaining open to foreign investment can help stave off...

The Islamic Laws according to Ayatullah Khoei. A long list of laws covering all topics from water's purification to the definition of infidel.

"If peace, harmony and equality are to prevail we should start by learning to better communicate with each other based on mutual respect, understanding and empathy of each other. Using such terms as 'Islamic fascists', 'Muslim terrorists' and 'Islamist fundamentalist extremists' do not help in fighting the so called 'war on terrorism'.

On the contrary, such offensive, irresponsible and...

"After having briefly elucidated the meaning of Jihad and the significance of the clause ‘in the way of God’, I wish to explain in brief terms the Revolutionary Creed which Islam upholds so that it may be easily understood why Jihād is needed and what is the objective of Jihad."

"The nation's roads and highways are the backbone of the U.S. transportation system, allowing Americans to travel approximately 3 trillion miles annually. But conditions on the system are deteriorating, as the need for transportation improvements far outpaces the amount of funding available. As the nation looks to rebound from the current economic downturn, making needed improvements to roads...

This case revolved around a warrant-less search in which police encountered illegal marijuana possession. The Kentucky Supreme Court determined that the police department had failed to follow the proper procedures in entering a house without a warrant. Since this decision was released, the case has continued on to the U.S. Supreme Court. A transcript of the oral...

"Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice, not because of the danger of complete annihilation which is hanging over its head-this being just a symptom and not the real disease -but because humanity is devoid of those vital values which are necessary not only for its healthy development but also for its real progress. Even the Western world realises that...

This act allows military courts to try individuals accused of crime occurring within a defined war.

"Islamic law, known as the shari 'ah, is the framework of ultimate reality and the ethical guidance that Muslim scholars have derived from the direct Revelation of Allah to man. Although Allah reveals the pattern of ultimate truth indirectly through the workings of the physical universe and in the observable nature of man, the ultimate source of knowledge about both physical and metaphysical...

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year....

This piece of legislation is cited as "AN ACT To promote the national security by providing for a Secretary of Defense; for a National Military Establishment; for a Department of the Army, a Department of the Navy, and a Department of the Air Force; and for the coordination of the activities of the National Military Establishment with other departments and agencies...

"To prepare for forecasted air traffic growth, FAA is planning for and implementing NextGen in partnership with other federal agencies and the aviation industry. NextGen is a complex undertaking that requires acquiring new integrated air traffic control systems; developing new flight procedures, standards, and regulations; and creating and maintaining supporting infrastructure to create a more...

"The NextGen modernization of the U.S. air traffic system is already providing benefits for airports large and small and will provide more as the effort progresses. NextGen will provide new capabilities that will improve safety and accessibility at airports used by piston- and turbine-powered general aviation aircraft."

President Obama seeks to mend the conflict between Islam and the West. He wishes to take certain steps to establish common ground between the two and to create a better understanding and relationship for the future. Additionally, he does not deny that tension exists especially in the areas of violent extremism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rights and...

This act was passed on the heels of the Oklahoma City bombing, making transactions with terrorists illegal. Moreover, the act sought federal jurisdiction over matters of international terrorism, foreshadowing the Patriot Act which would come 6 years later.

This speech in the House chamber details why Representative McClintock withdrew his support from the Patriot Act. McClintock first recounts the circumstances leading up to the creation of the Fourth Amendment, and then relates an anecdote from Russia which demonstrates the importance of the Fourth Amendment.

This is the sister bill of SOPA.

"On September 11, 2001, state departments of transportation (DOTs) — builders and operators of the nation’s busiest roads, tunnels, and bridges — were reminded vividly about the vital role that transportation often plays when emergency situations occur. As DOTs across the country went on high alert, the emergency capabilities of highway, transit, rail, and pedestrian systems in the New York...

According to Joe Weisenthal, this speech finds "Dallas Fed Chief Richard Fisher...warning of the impact of cash that's not being lent out, and what he sees is debt monetiziation -- the Federal Reserve financing the government's spending directly.

Testifying before a Senate subcommittee, Michael Tanner declares that welfare dependency often encourages a higher level of crime.

"Our responsibility is to acknowledge this new environment and adapt our security instruments to it. That is the purpose of the DoD Cyber Strategy. We must prepare. We must recognize the interconnectedness of cyber. And we must be mindful of the many ways cyberspace is used–as a peaceful instrument of global communications, as a tool for economic growth–and, also, as an instrument to threaten...

Grading every piece of American infrastructure from public parks and schools to levees and dams, this ASCE offers this comprehensive report card that leaves America with a worrisome GPA.

The SAFE Act was a propsed piece of legislation to serve as an alternative for the Patriot Act. It did not pass.

This site provides an extensive archive of the speeches delivered at the Democratic National Convention of 2008, sorted by speaker or topic.

The stated intention of this act was to protect intellectual property through increased governmental regulation of the Internet. It has not yet passed into law.

The Sunnah for Muslims is thought to be the sayings and living habits of Muhammad, who they believe is their religion's greatest and last prophet. Hadith are narrations originating from the words and deeds of Muhammad. Thus, both Sunnah and Hadith are believed to be important for interpreting the Qur'an and in the understanding of Islamic law. This site provides links to various translations of the Hadith and the Sunnah used by Muslims.

"Last month I convened an emergency meeting of my cabinet and top homeland security, intelligence and defense officials. Across the country trains had derailed, including one carrying industrial chemicals that exploded into a toxic cloud. Water treatment plants in several states had shut down, contaminating drinking water and causing Americans to fall ill.

Our nation, it appeared, was...

This second edition of Terrorism provides an overview of the terrorist incidents and preventions designated by the FBI as having taken place in the United States and its territories during the years 2002 through 2005 and that are matters of public record.

Although Frank Mylar admits to being a supporter of President George W. Bush, he respectfully questions the constitutionality of some of the provisions in the Patriot Act. Mylar is particularly concerned about the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens and implies that the Patriot Act strikes at the heart of the safeguards established in it.

"The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 precipitated what, in retrospect, is likely to be judged the most virulent global financial crisis ever. To be sure, the contraction in economic activity that followed in its wake has fallen far short of the depression of the 1930s. But the virtual withdrawal, on so global a scale, of private short term credit,...

"The federal government’s consolidated terrorist watchlist was created in March 2004 by merging previously separate watchlists that were once maintained by different agencies throughout the federal government. The watchlist is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), through its supervision of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)."

"During the Carter administration, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created a new federal court to approve electronic surveillance of citizens and resident aliens alleged to be acting on behalf of a foreign power. Until now, the FISA court granted surveillance authority if foreign intelligence was the primary purpose of an...

"During January - March, 1948, Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (1903 - 1979) gave a series of five talks, in Urdu, on Radio Pakistan, in which he dealt with the broad and basic principles of moral, political, economic, social and spiritual teachings of Islam. They were immediately published in books and have also been translated into several different languages, the first English translation...

"Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have found the courage to do right by our children’s future. Deep down, every American knows we face a moment of truth once again. We cannot play games or put off hard choices...

"The cyber environment provides unprecedented opportunities for adversarial activities and is particularly vulnerable because of the nation's heavy reliance on information systems. A strong and well-protected U.S. information infrastructure is critical to virtually every aspect of maintaining our nation's security. Trusted insiders as well as external adversaries are targeting the U.S....

This page offers a number of translations of each verse of the Koran.

"Our national defense, economic prosperity, and quality of life have long depended on the essential services that underpin our society. These critical infrastructures—energy, banking and finance, transportation, vital human services, and telecommunications—must be viewed in a new context in the Information Age. The rapid proliferation and integration of telecommunications and computer systems...

Ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a series of cases in 1957, this act makes it illegal to advocate overthrowing the federal government. The act was mainly used to crack down on vocal communists. Though it has not been used for arrest since the Supreme Court decisions, the Smith Act is still on the books.

In Rajab 1366 (May June 1947), the Imaam Al-Shaheed Hasan Al-Banna, General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, sent this letter to Faruq 1st, King of Egypt and the Sudan, Mustafa Al-Nahaas Pasha, his then Prime Minister, and to the kings, princes, and rulers of the various countries of the Islamic world, as well as to a great number of civic and religious leaders in those countries. Once again we are publishing and distributing it. Many of the view points and directives it contains still represent the dearest hope of every Arab and every Muslim.

"Most political writers have concluded, that a republican government, over a very large territory, cannot exist; and as this opinion is sustained by alarming proofs, and weighty authorities, it is entitled to much respect, and serious consideration. All extensive territories in past times, and all in the present age, except those of the United States, have been, or...

"Rather than issuing the summons required by Virginia law, police arrested respondent Moore for the misdemeanor of driving on a suspended license. A search incident to the arrest yielded crack cocaine, and Moore was tried on drug charges. The trial court declined to suppress the evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds. Moore was convicted. Ultimately, the Virginia...

Congress is missing its opportunity to restore accountability, transparency, and market discipline now lacking in our financial system.



Could cyber-attacks be used to cause physical damage? What other vulnerabilities might be exploited in a cyber-attack? Could an attack disrupt infrastructure such as power grids? All these questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.

How likely is a domestic terror attack? Who might commit such an attack? What kind of damage could a domestic terror attack cause? What is the U.S. government doing to stop it? These questions and others are answered in this FAQ.

One of the most serious threats to national security, individual privacy, and protection of one's assets comes from Intellectual Property (I.P.) espionage. What kind of information may be stolen? Who is or has the capability of engaging in effective I.P. espionage? Has this already happened? What can the United States do? All these questions and more are answered in this FAQ.