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

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
On China's Culpability in the COVID-19 Outbreak:

"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is waging a ferocious, global propaganda campaign designed to deflect blame for the origin and spread of the COVID-19 outbreak from Wuhan, China. Moreover, Beijing is trying to take advantage of the pandemic to increase its global standing and influence. ...

"If Beijing escapes blame for its failure to curb the coronavirus pandemic, its lies, and its attempts to cover up the pathogen's seriousness -- or, worse yet, if it actually earns global plaudits for its actions -- then no country will feel the need to be honest with the world when another epidemic breaks out, and the same deadly fiasco will repeat itself. Meanwhile, an emboldened CCP will grow only more aggressive and repressive, having learned that it can fool and bully the world into submission. Quite simply, if nation states do not understand that there will be repercussions for such malfeasance, then our globalized world will suffer more coronavirus-style pandemics in the future.

"Beijing freely chose to deny the truth of COVID-19, and its governing malpractice and incompetence helped unleashed a pandemic on the world. For the sake of morality, political governance, and the future, the world must speak truth to power, remember the facts, and condemn the CCP's actions."

— Michael Auslin, Hoover Institution Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow and Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow
— Michael Auslin, Hoover Institution Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow and Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow
Posted March 31, 2020 • 07:43 AM
On the Strength of Federalism in Fighting Coronavirus:

"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said 'precious months' were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.

"It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem to long for federal takeovers, if not martial law. Yet like all panic shopping, they are buying into far more than they need while not doing as much as they could with what they have. For decades, governors tried to retain principal authority over public emergencies, but they did very little with those powers. While many are doing impressive work now, some governors seem as eager to contain the blame as the coronavirus. Call it political distancing.

"Even if Trump nationalized the crisis by deploying troops, imposing price controls, and forcing production of ventilators, the Constitution has left most police authority and public health safety to the states in our system of federalism. The Framers believed liberties and powers were safest when held closest to citizens in local and state governments. Elected officials at the local and state levels are more readily held accountable than unknown Washington bureaucrats. Of course, with authority comes responsibility, and the latter notion is not always as welcomed as the former.

"Despite all the hyperbole of the last few days, the federal authority of the president to act is much more limited than many appear to believe. Trump cannot, and should not, simply take over the crisis. While he may want to 'open for business' by Easter, he has no clear authority to lift state orders for citizens to stay at home. His greatest authority is supplying assistance in the production and delivery of necessary resources such as ventilators. While he can put conditions on some assistance, he cannot commandeer the authority of governors in their responses to the pandemic. ...

"Our leaders need to play to their strengths to fight the current war. The coronavirus battle must be won in months and not years. The only way to do this is to use existing structures and markets. Vastly different situations are presented in each state, some with relatively small numbers of cases while others like New York face a full fledged pandemic. Indeed, this is precisely where federalism is a strength rather than a weakness.

"Unlike highly centralized European countries, our leaders have the ability to make far more tailored responses on a state by state basis. Each state can tailor its response to its individual threats or needs, and look to the federal government for badly needed resources. When the coronavirus shifts, the federal government will have these fully functioning systems with people who are intimately familiar with the local terrain. Simply put, our balanced form of federalism was made for this pandemic."

Read entire article here.

— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
Posted March 30, 2020 • 07:09 AM
On Media Trying to Foment Friction Using Coronavirus:

"As if the world isn't crazy enough, some extremists want more crazy -- namely a falling out between President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

"The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci is the country's No. 1 immunologist and has advised six presidents in times of trouble.

"So the anti-Trump obsessives are all but praying for the president to can him, and so justify their contempt for the chief executive. Meanwhile, the 'we hate this quarantine' crew imagines life can go back to normal if the science dude just shuts up.

"Fauci sees no split: 'Even though we disagree on some things, [Trump] listens,' he told Science magazine. 'He goes his own way. He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say.'

"On Tuesday, he said he wishes media bids to sow division 'would stop, because we have a much bigger problem here' Amen."

— New York Post Editorial Board
— New York Post Editorial Board
Posted March 27, 2020 • 07:28 AM
On the Need to Unite on the Coronavirus Aid Bill:

"Someone who is 'Machiavellian' today is thought to be sneaky, cunning and lacking a moral code. So, meet the Democrats in the House of Representatives who'd probably make Machiavelli their leader if he were still around. ...

"Of course, what the House really wants in the bailout bill is a provision that Donald Trump won't be President for another four years. But Pelosi can't have that because -- well -- we live in a democracy where that decision is left to the voters.

"The U.S. economy is in trouble. The Federal Reserve has done what it can and it's not enough.

"Now it's up to the elected officials to step in. The Senate has done its job, although it could have moved faster. The White House stands ready to do what it has to do.

"It'll be seen on Thursday whether the House is still diddling around and whether Pelosi can place the needs of the country ahead of 15th century thinking about putting one over on the other political party. Dragging their feet would be political suicide for the Democrats, but people often do stupid things without thinking that they later regret.

"So, let John Crudele be quoted forever as saying this to the Democrats: 'Don't miss this opportunity to fix things because you want to create a bigger crisis. Get off your butts and, at least for once, do the right thing.'"

— John Crudele, New York Post
— John Crudele, New York Post
Posted March 26, 2020 • 07:37 AM
On What Americans Can Learn From WWII Sacrifice During Coronavirus Pandemic:

"Sacrifice? commitment?

"Americans of the 21st century have no idea of the sacrices made during World War II. Today's Americans think sacrifice is when Starbucks runs out of cinnamon for their latte mochas.

"No doubt the coronavirus is real and scary. And there is talk in the air of World War II-style commitment, but staying home and binge-watching 'The Simpsons' is not quite the sacrice that their parents and grandparents made some 80 years ago. A lot more was involved.

"After Dec. 7, 1941, America went on a full war footing and not just the government. 'Don't you know there's a war on?' was a common exhortation to remind people about going without in that time of national crisis.

"Americans went without gas and oil, or had it rationed. Milk was rationed. Meat was rationed. Sugar was rationed. Coffee was rationed. In fact, nearly all foodstuffs were rationed. So was clothing, including diapers.

"So were lightbulbs. So was practically everything else. Civilians were kicked off trains and planes to make way for American servicemen. No one complained.

"Meanwhile, Americans collected rubber, aluminum, paper, cooking grease and old stockings and they did so joyously too, for the war effort. Wine and beer were rationed, too, as was hard liquor. Wages were frozen for the most part and unions could not go on strike. With one corporation, President Roosevelt's men did not like the CEO, so they promptly had him removed from the management of his own company.

"Nobody raised an eyebrow. ...

"America truly was united in World War II because we had a common enemy and a common goal, but we were an uncommon country inhabited by uncommon people."

Read entire article here.

— Craig Shirley, Presidential Historian and Reagan Biographer
— Craig Shirley, Presidential Historian and Reagan Biographer
Posted March 25, 2020 • 07:40 AM
On Coronavirus Aid Package Progress:

"Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are close to reaching a deal on a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, both said.

"'We look forward to having a deal tomorrow,' Mnuchin told reporters outside Schumer's (D-NY) office late Monday night.

"'That's the expectation -- that we finish it tomorrow and hopefully vote on it tomorrow evening,' Schumer added.

"Mnuchin and Schumer said they spoke by phone with President Trump throughout the night of negotiations and that they had resolved most issues in the legislation."

— Emily Jacobs, New York Post
— Emily Jacobs, New York Post
Posted March 24, 2020 • 07:29 AM
On Stalled Senate Economic Relief Package:

"Senate Democrats Sunday blocked a critical economic relief package worth more than $2 trillion, stalling plans to pass the bill by Monday and send it to the House.

"Lawmakers and the Trump administration hoped to send a positive message to unstable stock markets and to those worried about the damage to the economy and the job losses caused by the spread of the virus.

"The measure includes sending direct cash payments that would average about $3,000 per family and expanding unemployment insurance, as well as $350 billion in aid to struggling small businesses. It also provides $500 billion in loans to industries hurt by the economic slowdown. ...

"McConnell, visibly angry on the Senate floor, entered a motion to reconsider the measure and said he'd bring it up again for a vote by Monday.

"'We'll have again at some point of my choosing and hopefully some adults will show up on the other side of the room and understand the gravity of the situation and the need to act before the markets go down further and the American people become even more depressed about our lack of ability to come together under the most extraordinary of circumstances,' he said.

"The Senate bill is the product of a day of bipartisan talks and includes many of the provisions sought by Democrats."

Read entire article here.

— Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner Chief Congressional Correspondent
— Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner Chief Congressional Correspondent
Posted March 23, 2020 • 07:31 AM
On Mitch McConnell's Stimulus Package:

"Saying lawmakers 'need to take bold and swift action as soon as possible,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday introduced legislation to provide as much as $1,200 per person and $2,400 per couple in the U.S. amid the coronavirus outbreak and skyrocketing jobless claims.

"The draft legislation, obtained by Fox News, would provide minimum payments of $600, and aid would be phased down at adjusted gross income thresholds of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple. Additionally, there would be $500 payments for each child.

"The rebate amount is slated to then be reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer's income exceeds the legislation's threshold. The amount is therefore reduced to zero for single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers. ...

"Qualifying income includes earned income, as well as Social Security retirement benefits and certain compensation and pension benefits paid to veterans. This approach 'ensures relief gets to low-income seniors and disabled veterans' as well, top Republicans said in their summary of the legislation.

"And, similar to previous disaster-related relief provisions, the bill would 'waive the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes.'

"McConnell's proposal aligns with the Trump administration's push to swiftly send checks to U.S. citizens."

Read entire article here.

— Gregg Re, FOX News
— Gregg Re, FOX News
Posted March 20, 2020 • 07:46 AM
On Coronavirus and China:

"This week, President Donald Trump came under fire for his use of the phrase 'Chinese virus' to describe the coronavirus, the source of the new pandemic that has led to a global economic shutdown as well as lockdowns of citizens in every major Western country.

"That media have somehow found time to hone in on the one issue that matters least -- the labeling of a Chinese virus as such -- in the middle of an unprecedented planet-wide freeze demonstrates the utter unseriousness of those objecting.

"That the term should be controversial at all is nearly beyond belief. The virus did indeed originate in China. Most of all, that the Chinese government should be shielded in any way from the results of its own pathological and tyrannical misgovernment is perverse beyond measure.

"Make no mistake: The Chinese government is chiefly responsible for the explosion of this pandemic. ...

"Once this is all over, it's far past time for Americans to have a serious discussion about the extent to which openness to China ought to be curbed."

Read entire article here.

— Ben Shapiro, Syndicated Columnist and Editor-in-Chief
— Ben Shapiro, Syndicated Columnist and Editor-in-Chief
Posted March 19, 2020 • 08:06 AM
On Treasury and IRS to Delay Tax Season:

"Taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve to pay the income taxes they owe for 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday at a news conference.

"As part of its coronavirus response, the federal government will give filers 90 days to pay income taxes due on up to $1 million in tax owed, Mnuchin said in Washington. The reprieve on that amount would cover many pass-through entities and small businesses, he said.

"Corporate filers would get the same length of time to pay amounts due on up to $10 million in taxes owed, Mnuchin said.

"During that three-month deferral period, taxpayers won't be subject to interest and penalties, he said.

"You should still get your 2019 income tax return in to the federal government as soon as possible, especially if you're due a refund and need cash."

— Darla Mercado, CNBC
— Darla Mercado, CNBC
Posted March 18, 2020 • 08:36 AM
Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was the National Park Service established?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"Americans put a man on the freaking moon, landed a robot on a postage size stamp of land on Mars, harnessed the power of the atom, defeated Germany in a world war -- twice, invented the automobile, and defeated gravity and invented human flight. Yet right now many of us are sitting alone in our homes behind cloth masks with dubious protective qualities thinking about banning children from attending…[more]
—Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
— Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
Liberty Poll   

Has Covid-19 significantly changed your family's typical July 4th weekend activities or are they essentially the same as in previous years?