Photo by Revisorweb. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

It’s a tantalizing headline from investigative journalism group ProPublica: “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax.”

The source material for the report is an alleged “vast cache of IRS information” which may have been illegally leaked. A spokesperson for the US Treasury says that angle has been referred to the FBI, federal prosecutors, and other investigative bodies. And the title was clearly crafted to get our outrage gears turning.

But digging into the details, the promised revelation is … well, kind of boring. How do the wealthiest Americans “avoid” income tax? …

Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo by Ureem2805. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Was SARS-COV-2 — the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic — created (or at least weaponized by being made transmissible to and between humans) in a Chinese research lab? Was it then leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from that lab into the human population? It’s impossible to overstate the explosive potential of a provable “yes” answer to those two questions.

Seventeen months into the news cycle surrounding those questions (they were first publicly hinted at in a tweet on January 5, 2020), they’re still putting off lots of heat and very little light. …

Photo by US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

On June 7, the US Food and Drug Administration granted “accelerated approval” to Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s medication, aducanumab, two years after the company halted its first set of Phase 3 clinical trials over “disappointing” results. Accelerated approval is based not on the usual required finding that a drug is proven “effective,” but instead on a finding that it is “reasonably likely to predict a clinical benefit.”

The decision comes with some controversy. FDA advisor Dr. Caleb Alexander is “surprised and disappointed” by the decision, saying he thinks the FDA “gave the product a pass” despite lacking good evidence for its…

The Convention of States Project seeks, as its name reflects, a convention of states as provided for in Article V of the US Constitution. Such a convention, CPS claims, would “only allow” discussion of amendments that “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.”

The magic number of states for calling a convention is 34. According to a map on the CPS site, 15 states have passed the required resolution, while one legislative chamber has passed it in nine, and another 16 have “active legislation” on the matter. …

F-35 Lightning II variants in flight near Eglin AFB in 2014. Photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katerina Slivinske. Public Domain.

US President Joe Biden rolled out his 2022 federal budget request on May 28, surprising no one with his proposals for lavish expenditures on education, healthcare, and infrastructure, or with his promise that only the rich will be soaked to pay for it all (the $1.8 trillion projected deficit will be borrowed in your name, but you’re not supposed to notice).

Given that the US is drawing down its 20-year war in Afghanistan, one might expect some kind of peace dividend on the mis-named “defense” line of the proposal, but no such luck.

Biden proposes an increase of “only” 1.7%…

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Laney College in Oakland, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

“Unity begins with the truth,” US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted on January 13, arguing in favor of the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, “and the truth demands accountability.”

Senator Warren just loves her some “accountability.” In 2018, she proposed the “Accountable Capitalism Act.” In 2019, the “Corporate Executive Accountability Act.” In 2020, according to Forbes, she demanded “Accountability From 181 CEOs.” A Google search on her name and the word “accountability” returns 668,000 results.

The relevant question when Senator Warren brings up “accountability” is, of course, “accountability to whom?”

And the feeling one gets, regardless of her claims to…

In 2018, telling us that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” then-US-president Donald Trump imposed 15–25% tariffs (versus the previous rate of 10% and the average US tariff of 1.6%) on various Chinese goods, ranging from “dental cements and other dental fillings” to “Trout, fresh or chilled, excluding fillets, other meat portions, livers and roes.”

China wasn’t the only target. Trump also imposed a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber.

Turns out (as if we didn’t already know from previous experiences) that trade wars are bad and nearly impossible to “win,” if “winning” means making the citizens of the…

Boeing 737 (SP-RSM), the aircraft involved in the Belarus incident, photographed in 2019. Photo by Andrzej Otrebski. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

On May 23, a fighter jet intercepted Ryanair Flight 4978 as it was about to exit Belarus’s airspace en route from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania. Citing a supposed bomb threat (apparently contrived by regime agents on board the plane), Belarus air traffic control ordered the Boeing 737 to turn around and land in Minsk.

On the ground, regime police entered the plane and abducted opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega. Belarus’s state media reports that the hijacking/abduction was carried out on the personal orders of President Alexander Lukashenko.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (rightly) called…

Israeli airstrike on Gaza, May 2021. Screenshot from Voice of America video (public domain).

On May 5, Hamas commander Mohammed Deif issued a warning to Israel’s government: Unless Israeli police and troops stopped attacking Palestinians in Jerusalem — including not just those protesting against the regime’s theft of their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on behalf of Israeli “settlers,” but also worshipers at al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s most sacred sites — rockets would fly.

On the same day, the Biden administration notified Congress of its approval for Boeing’s sale of $735 worth of Joint Direct Attack Munitions to the Israeli regime.

The Israelis ignored Deif’s warning and continued their abuses. The rockets…

Elon Musk is a man of many skills. He didn’t just make electric cars sexy, he sent one to space. Perhaps chief among his talents is the ability to roil markets by running his mouth. Lately, he’s aimed that talent at cryptocurrency.

In February, one of Musk’s companies, Tesla, announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin; in March, that it would accept Bitcoin for purchases of its cars.

Then, in Mid-May, Musk announced that Tesla was suspending vehicle purchases in Bitcoin over “increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions” (while mentioning that “we are…

William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism

The primary mission of the Garrison Center is to publish/disseminate libertarian op-eds and letters for publication in newspapers, magazines and other media.

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