Videographers Have First Amendment Right Not to Make Same-Sex

From this morning’s 2-to-1 Eighth Circuit decision in Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, written by Judge David Stras and joined by Judge Bobby Shepherd (Judge Jane Kelly dissenting in major part):

Carl and Angel Larsen wish to make wedding videos. Can Minnesota require them to produce videos of same-sex weddings, even if the message would conflict with their own beliefs? The district court concluded that it could and dismissed the Larsens’ constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s antidiscrimination law.

Because the First Amendment allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say, we reverse the dismissal of two of their claims and remand with instructions to consider whether they are entitled to a preliminary injunction.

I’ll blog much more extensively about it this morning, but I thought I’d just pass along the news.

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Remy: All My Loving (Beatles Parody)

Remy discovers the hysterical, shrieking crowds are here for the entitlements.

 

Written and performed by Remy.
Produced and edited by Austin Bragg.
Music tracks and mastering by Ben Karlstrom.

LYRICS:

Does adulthood dismay you?
Vote me and I’ll pay you
You won’t have to grow up, it’s true
All your bills will be paid
Your adulthood delayed
And I’ll give all this money to you

Bob commuted to college
For discounted knowledge
So large debts he would not accrue
Lived at home, did some chores
Now he’ll also pay yours
Cuz I’ll give all his money to you

All this money
You will get from Bob
All this money
If I get this job

All your work wages risen
Your debts all forgiven
Your childcare will be paid for too
Want free parental leave?
Just takes one vote for me
And I’ll give all this money to you

All Bob’s money
I will give to you
All Bob’s money
If I win it’s true
All Bob’s money
All Bob’s money
All Bob’s money
I will give to you

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Libra Members Consider Quitting Project Due To Gov’t Pressure: Report

Authored by Marie Huillet via CoinTelegraph.com,

At least three of Facebook’s early backers for its planned Libra stablecoin launch are considering withdrawing their support in light of the fierce regulatory pushback.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

report from the Financial Times on Aug. 23 alleges that two founding partners of Facebook’s Libra Association have held discussions about what their “right next steps” should be. 

One further — again unnamed — backer is purportedly concerned that their public support for Libra will draw unwanted regulatory scrutiny of their own, independent businesses.

Blame games

As previously reported, the Libra Association is the newly-established, independent governance consortium for Libra. It counts 28 founding members — including VisaMastercardPayPal and Uber and Spotify — each of which was required to invest $10 million to join.

In an interview with the Financial Times, one partner noted that:

“I think it’s going to be difficult for partners who want to be seen as in compliance [with their own regulators] to be out there supporting [Libra].” 

Another backer criticized the social media giant for its ill-conceived strategy, saying that:

“Some of those conversations [about regulation] should have taken place before the launch, to understand how regulators would think about this, so there wasn’t so much pushback.”

The tension reportedly goes both ways. One partner admitted that Facebook is itself becoming “tired of being the only people putting their neck out.”

Both Facebook and the Libra Association have reportedly declined to comment.

Regulators swoop in

As reported this week, the European Commission’s antitrust regulators —  have become the latest to join the rounds of regulatory probes into Libra since the project’s unveiling this June.

The regulatory backlash governmentsregulators and central bankers worldwide reached such a fever pitch that by late July, Facebook was prompted to warn its investors that the stablecoin may never be released.

During a hearing at the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee earlier that month, lawmakers had asked Facebook how they could be expected to trust a firm whose collection, storage and misuse of customer data had landed it a $5 billion penalty.

The furore has not, nonetheless, quite prevented new potential members from pursuing their interest — including Monex Group Inc — owner of the hacked Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck — Taiwanese digital currency trading platform Maicoin, and evenZckerberg’s arch-rivals, the Winklevoss Twins.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2KR043T Tyler Durden

Remy: All My Loving (Beatles Parody)

Remy discovers the hysterical, shrieking crowds are here for the entitlements.

 

Written and performed by Remy.
Produced and edited by Austin Bragg.
Music tracks and mastering by Ben Karlstrom.

LYRICS:

Does adulthood dismay you?
Vote me and I’ll pay you
You won’t have to grow up, it’s true
All your bills will be paid
Your adulthood delayed
And I’ll give all this money to you

Bob commuted to college
For discounted knowledge
So large debts he would not accrue
Lived at home, did some chores
Now he’ll also pay yours
Cuz I’ll give all his money to you

All this money
You will get from Bob
All this money
If I get this job

All your work wages risen
Your debts all forgiven
Your childcare will be paid for too
Want free parental leave?
Just takes one vote for me
And I’ll give all this money to you

All Bob’s money
I will give to you
All Bob’s money
If I win it’s true
All Bob’s money
All Bob’s money
All Bob’s money
I will give to you

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Stocks Plunge After Trump Vows To Retaliate To China “This Afternoon”, Orders US Companies To Find “An Alternative To China”

Anyone who was hoping for a quiet end to the week will be severely disappointed when first China announced new tariffs on the US, then Powell’s J-Hole speech came and went, and then, as we expected, Trump responded to China’s trade war escalation when in a barrage of 4 tweets he lashed out at China, saying “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them“, and ordered “Our great American companies… to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.

And the punchline: “I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon.”

From Trump:

Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.

The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP.

Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.

I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States.

Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE, all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop – it didn’t.

Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!

Both yields and stocks tumbled on this “unexpected” escalation…

… while the dollar plunged amid the earlier concerns that Trump may announce FX intervention, which in turn sent gold soaring to $1,530.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2PcE7QV Tyler Durden

Dollar Tumbles On Speculation Trump To Announce FX Intervention “Shortly”

While Trump’s latest Powell lashing on twitter was most notable for the dramatic criticism of the Fed chair, after Trump said “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?”, what was far more interesting in the Trump tweet and what got far less attention, was Trump’s disclosure that the Fed is speaking “without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly.

The question, of course, is what will Trump be announcing that the Fed is still not privy of, with speculation spreading among trading desks that, as discussed last night, Trump may have had enough of a soaring dollar, which just hit an all time high against in trade weighted terms, and will instruct the Treasury’s Exchange Stabiliziation Fund to intervene, potentially by buying yuan in the offshore market, to devalue the USD against the Chinese currency.

Sure enough, one look at the suddenly plunging dollar and it’s immediately clear that traders are suddenly terrified that the US may take aggressive – and unilateral – action against the USD “shortly.”

 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2NsL3ai Tyler Durden

Furious Trump Unloads On Fed: Asks “Who Is Our Bigger Enemy: Powell Or Xi”

Moments after J-Powell’s J-Hole speech hit, we summarized our longish take as follows: in the aftermath of Trump daring the Fed to “show their stuff”, Powell did not do that and instead…

We didn’t have long to wait, because with stocks unsure initially how to respond – they eventually did trade in the green as algos convinced themselves that Powell’s speech was more dovish than hawkish or just because shorts were forced to cover once again – Trump who was expecting much more from Powell, apparently he was hoping for a 100bps rate cut announcement or at least “some QE”, the president lashed out at Powell, and blasted on twitter:

As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great. My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?”

It was not immediately clear what Trump was referring to by Powell not knowing what Trump “is doing”, or what he will announce shortly. 

However, it is ironic that after stocks eventually hit session highs just before Trump’s tweet, they have since drifted lower, even as yields and the dollar slump, while gold is soaring. In other words, if stocks end up dropping now, and if Trump is looking for a culprit for today’s market action, he should look in the mirror.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/30slVEd Tyler Durden

Trump Was Right – The Dollar Just Hit An All-Time High!

Earlier in the week, President Trump tweeted (once again) frustratedly towards The Fed:

“We are competing with many countries that have a far lower interest rate, and we should be lower than them. Yesterday, ‘highest Dollar in U.S.History.’ No inflation. Wake up Federal Reserve.

So-called “fact-checkers” went wild proclaiming this fake news, lies, and more confirmation that President Trump is against the historical establishment line of a “strong dollar” policy.

There’s just one thing! They’re all wrong! And Trump was right. The naysayers mistake was to use individual FX pairs or simple narrow dollar indices to judge the relative strength of the dollar.

The FACT is that the USDollar  – at its broadest against all of its world trading partners – has never, since Bretton Woods, been stronger than it is today…

Source: Bloomberg

The point of bringing this up now – other than fact-checking the fact-checkers and confirming President Trump was right – is that this record high value of the USDollar against all of its trading partners suggests USD intervention (oral or actual) is virtually assured.

However, the dollar is losing ground against one form of ‘money’…

Source: Bloomberg

That is a serious regime change, trade accordingly.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2ZrFr6c Tyler Durden

The government gave her son a sex change without parental consent

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.

Can’t sue cop for breaking domestic violence victim’s bones

It all started when a boyfriend playfully tried to push his girlfriend into the pool.

Most people would see that as harmless horsing around. But one lady saw domestic violence. So she called the police.

Police came and arrested the boyfriend. His girlfriend, the alleged victim, became quite irritated, as you could imagine. She insisted that he had done nothing wrong, and they were just fooling around.

Then she walked away from police as they were talking to her. So one officer saw fit to run up behind this 5-foot tall woman and body slam her to the ground. He took her down with such force that he broke her collarbone, and she lost consciousness.

Amazingly enough, the police then arrested HER and charged her with disturbing the peace.

I’m not joking. The lady who broke her collar bone due to excessive police force is the one who apparently disturbed the peace.

Naturally this became a lawsuit. But last week, a federal court ruled that the police officer cannot be sued.

He gets “qualified immunity”, because, while he was slamming this petite bikini-clad woman to the ground and crushing her bones, he was performing his official duties as an agent of the government. Therefore he cannot be held personally liable for his actions.

Click here for the court documents.

Conscientious objector to taxes wins another round

Michael Bowman hasn’t paid taxes since 1999.

And when the government came after him for tax evasion, the whole matter went to court.

In April 2018, though, courts dismissed tax evasion charges because Michael openly refused to pay the taxes. He wasn’t lying or engaging in fraud– he openly and conscientiously objected to paying.

As a conscientious objector, Michael opposes the fact that his tax dollars fund programs that go against his religious beliefs.

The court recognized this claim and dismissed the charge.

But Bowman was also charged with failure to file tax returns… which is another crime.

And that case has recently resulted in a mistrial; the hung jury could not come to an agreement on whether Bowman held a good faith belief that he was breaking the law.

This is a victory for Michael… though the government could still decide to re-try the case.

Click here for the full story.

Twitter promoting Chinese government propaganda 

Social media giants will ban anyone for “hate speech” these days.

That could be for anything as simple as expressing an unpopular opinion, or sharing a politically incorrect meme.

But when it comes to spreading Chinese propaganda, Twitter and Facebook are happy to oblige. For a price.

A Chinese state-owned media source, Xinhua News, has been buying ads on Twitter and Facebook, to show in Hong Kong and overseas.

The ads claim that most Hong Kong residents want the protests to end, and support the Chinese government. This, of course, is according to the Chinese government.

One advertisement stated that “All walks of life in Hong Kong called for a brake to be put on the blatant violence, and order to be restored.”

Another claimed Hong Kong citizens were calling China their motherland.

All were misinformation, aimed at countering the true scope and purpose of the Hong Kong protests against Chinese control over Hong Kong.

Only after public backlash, Twitter and Facebook removed a number of accounts placing the ads. Twitter said they will not accept advertising from state-controlled media.

Click here for the full story.

Government gave her son a sex change without her consent

At age 17, the government considers you so irresponsible that you cannot buy cigarettes, drink alcohol, or consent to marriage.

Even if you want to join the military at 17, you still need a parent’s permission.

But a county in Minnesota decided a 17-year-old was capable of making the life altering, irreversible decision to get a sex change.

The school district, county, and state agencies, without any legal process, decided the minor was emancipated from his mom. That means he is in charge of his own legal decisions.

This usually requires a court order. But in this case, school and medical officials decided this on their own. They didn’t even inform his mother before giving him drugs and elective medical treatments.

So far, this mom has lost every suit she has filed. Courts say her parental rights were not substantially abridged.

Now she’s asking the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Click here for the full story.

Source

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The 80th Anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet Pact


Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact, as Joseph Stalin looks on. August 23, 1939.

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, signed on August 23, 1939. What I wrote on the 75 anniversary five years ago, remains true today. In this post, I reprint it with minor changes and additions:

History is full of cynical international agreements, many of which led to terrible results. But it is likely impossible to find any worse than this one.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact set the stage for history’s bloodiest war, which killed some 50 million people. Without assurance of Soviet noninterference, the Germans could not have gone to war against Britain and France (they realized that, in 1939, they lacked the military power to fight a two-front war). The agreement also enabled both powers to inflict horrible atrocities against the people of the Eastern Europe states they occupied as a result.

Everyone knows about the Nazi part of these crimes. The Soviet part is less well-known, but almost equally heinous. For example, the treaty gave the Soviets the “right” to occupy the Baltic States, and Eastern Poland. This led to the extermination of some 3% of Estonia’s population, and the deportation to Gulags of many more in all three Baltic states. The other areas occupied by the USSR (including a large part of eastern Poland) suffered comparable atrocities. It is difficult  to precisely calculate the overall harm caused by the Nazi-Soviet Pact. But the death toll surely runs into the many millions. Historian Timothy Snyder’s book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin includes a far more extensive account of the many atrocities perpetrated by both regimes as a result of their agreement.

To this day, defenders of Stalin’s decision to sign the pact claim that he needed to do it because the British and French otherwise might have simply stood aside and let Hitler attack him. There is no justifying the Anglo-French appeasement of the late 1930s. But at least they did not actively collaborate with Hitler, as Stalin chose to do. Moreover, Hitler could not have attacked the USSR in 1939 without going through Poland, which the British and French had just guaranteed against German attack.

Finally, by allowing Hitler to deal with his Western enemies before having to worry about the Soviets, Stalin set up a situation where the Nazis could, in 1941, attack the USSR without having to face any other opponent on in Europe on land. By signing the pact with Hitler, Stalin himself helped create the absence of a “second front” that he later spent much of World War II complaining about.

On a more personal note, my great-uncle was killed in the Russo-Finnish War, just a few months after the pact was signed. Finland was, of course, one of the states allocated to Soviet [sphere of influence] under the agreement with the Nazis. It is unlikely that Stalin would have dared to attack Finland without first being assured of German noninterference. Thus, my relative became one of the millions who lost their lives as a result of history’s most infamous agreement. Many other relatives died in the Holocaust (which likely would not have happened on anything like the same scale without the Pact), and later phases of World War II that the agreement made possible.

Today is also an appropriate time to take note of the enormous contrast between present-day German and Russian views of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Almost no one in the political mainstream in modern Germany defends the  agreement, or the other crimes of the Nazi era. By contrast, state-controlled media under the regime of ex-KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin, who called the fall of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” have have sought to whitewash the communist past, including the 1939 agreement with Hitler. Such refusal to learn the lessons of the past increases the likelihood of similar moral regression in the future.

 

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