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Weekend Reads 3/21/20

Senate clears 77-day extension of surveillance powers

The extension is retroactive to Saturday. It still needs to pass the House, which is currently out of town. Asked if they could support the Senate deal, a senior Democratic House aide told The Hill that “leadership [is] discussing.”

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Capitalists Talking

about tax rates:

reallocation of resources:

and the role of government:

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Weekend Reads 2/29/20

Coronavirus, Saturday Night Live, And White Hysteria

We can and should do the best we can to stay healthy. Hysteria is not healthy. If somehow the coronavirus becomes a global pandemic that kills millions of people, it will not be because there wasn’t enough hysteria to stop it.

FBI recommends passphrases over password complexity

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Weekend Reads 2/22/20

These Guys Figured Out a Way to Get Endless Free McDonald's

But who wants unlimited drinks with nothing to sink your teeth into? "I played around with the coupon generator and, after about five hours, I discovered another vulnerability," he explained – a vulnerability that allowed them to order free food.

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The Wrong Kind of Regulation

Howard Baetjer, economics lecturer at Towson University, is upset wtih regulations restricting or banning Uber and Lyft in some cities. Well, that's not quite right. Technically, he is upset with all government regulation. He explains this in an article for Reason Magazine titled Not All Regulation Is Bad.

Baetjer's thesis is that free markets are capable of self-regulation, thus government regulation is an unnecessary waste at best; an economic burden and a hinderance to freedom at worst.

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Weekend Reads 2/15/20

Tribal leaders call Bears Ears opening an 'unlawful action'

Native American Rights Fund attorneys say Bears Ears is “one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record that is important to us all …”

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The Worst Interest Rate in the World

This is a slightly modified version of something I wrote for my old blog in 2005.

* * *

Payday loans work like this:

Let's say Joe is short $100 and has maxed out his credit cards. Joe goes to a payday lender. The lender gives Joe the money, and Joe writes a check for $100 plus a surcharge of, say, $15, dated two weeks in the future. Between now and two weeks, Joe gets his next paycheck, and the loan is covered.

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Weekend Reads 2/8/20

That dystopian hellscape keeping you up at night? It’s less likely than you think

And even as the worst-case scenarios are becoming unlikely, so are best-case scenarios for keeping the world from heating less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The United Nations Environment Program recently said that goal is starting to look “out of reach,” and temperatures have already climbed 1 degree Celsius since 1880.

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