America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
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“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Getting the Goods on Schiff Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, January 01 2020
During hearings, Schiff cracked his gavel repeatedly to silence questions from Republicans about the whistleblower. Truth is, Schiff was protecting himself.

The truth behind House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff's role in engineering President Donald Trump's impeachment may soon come out because a nonprofit group promoting government transparency  Judicial Watch  is suing to get the whistleblower's emails.

No matter how the Senate proceeds with Trump's trial, Schiff should be held accountable for the devious means he used to drive impeachment.

The public also needs the truth about the so-called whistleblower. Real whistleblowers deserve to be treated like heroes. But the man identified as the whistleblower by Judicial Watch and many media accounts  Eric Ciaramella  is no hero.

To dignify Ciaramella with the term "whistleblower" misrepresents what he allegedly did. Let's say he filed what is technically called a whistleblower complaint. He had no firsthand knowledge of Trump's controversial July 25 phone call or motivations. Every allegation in the complaint begins with "I learned from multiple U.S. officials," or "multiple officials told me" or "officials with direct knowledge informed me." Just gossip. He never names any sources. Ciaramella acted as the anti-Trumpers' frontman. As for courage, there's not an ounce. He's cowering from public view.

Compare him to real whistleblowers. Kansas' top Transportation Safety Administration official, Jay Brainard, blew the whistle this month, warning the TSA is lowering metal detector sensitivity levels to shorten airport lines. He went on TV to warn against sacrificing safety for expedience.

Similarly, Boeing ex-employee Ed Pierson is blowing the whistle against the company for overworking assembly line employees, leading to production errors that could cause 737 Max planes to malfunction or crash.

Real whistleblowers speak from firsthand knowledge and don't hide their identities. They muster the courage to expose dangers or abuses that would otherwise go unreported. Movies are made about heroes like former cigarette company executive Jeffrey Wigand, who went on "60 Minutes" to expose the industry cover-up of addiction.

During hearings, Schiff cracked his gavel repeatedly to silence questions from Republicans about the whistleblower. Truth is, Schiff was protecting himself. Even now, if the whistleblower talks, details of Schiff's role in launching the complaint may come out.

What is already known is that on July 26, one day after Trump's call with the Ukrainian president, Schiff hired Sean Misko to join his staff. Shortly after that hire, Schiff's staff met with Ciaramella, who is a friend and co-worker of Misko's in the intelligence community. Schiff's staff gave Ciaramella "guidance" on how to make a complaint. A cozy arrangement. The emails will likely divulge more.

Schiff concealed these dealings until The New York Times caught him in the lie. Schiff also withheld documents about aiding the whistleblower to House investigators.

The whistleblower filed his complaint with the Inspector General Michael Atkinson on Aug. 12, also concealing that he had met with Schiff's staff. When the complaint became public in September, Schiff feigned surprise.

Even worse, Schiff obscured how the whistleblower complaint ever saw the light of day. The big question is why Atkinson deemed the complaint "credible" enough to be reported to Congress  the trigger required for Schiff to launch an impeachment investigation.

The complaint contained nothing but "secondhand or unsubstantiated assertions," which regulations say are insufficient for a complaint to be acted on. Accounts of wrongdoing from co-workers don't qualify. Atkinson's Sept. 30 statement defending his decision to deem the complaint "credible" amounts to "I did it because I did it" double-talk. He never gives a reason.

Atkinson's Oct. 4 closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee undoubtedly offers answers, but Schiff refuses to let even House members see it. The transcripts of all 18 other witnesses have been released  but not Atkinson's. It's a stunning omission.

By concealing that testimony, Schiff is propping up what Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel calls the whistleblower's "hearsay report" and keeping Schiff's own role in launching the complaint under wraps.

But the shameful truth about Schiff's hoax will likely be uncovered in the emails Judicial Watch is seeking. Sadly, it's too late to spare the nation from impeachment.


Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York state and author of "Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution." 
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Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
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"Never before has a speech extolling America's virtues and the marvels or the nation's heroes played to such poor -- and completely dishonest -- reviews.At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America -- its Founders, its ideals and freedom, its capacity for self-renewal, its astonishing variety of geniuses, adventurers…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
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