May 16, 2022 11:55 am

Conflicts of Interest at the National Institutes of Health

On May 11, acting National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Lawrence Tabak conceded that $350 million in undisclosed royalty payments to Dr. Anthony Fauci, his deputy Clifford Lane, former NIH director Francis Collins, and hundreds of NIH employees presented “an appearance of a conflict of interest.” Tabak, deputy ethics counselor of NIH since 2010…
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May 16, 2022 10:59 am

My Thank You to David Theroux

I was deeply saddened to hear that David Theroux recently passed away. Being a huge fan of the Independent Institute since college and someone who benefited from David’s encouragement and support for years, the loss is especially difficult. I first met David shortly after getting my first academic job at San Jose State University…
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May 11, 2022 2:56 pm

A Misguided “Take the Pledge” Campaign at University of California, Irvine

The Rev. Martin Luther King had a dream that in my youth I came to share wholeheartedly, “[T]hat my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” To my disappointment, my university now…
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May 11, 2022 1:09 pm

Treasury Secretary Admits Biden Spending Programs “Feed” Inflation

Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen became the first member of President Biden’s administration to acknowledge its spending policies are feeding inflation in the U.S. economy. That admission came during an interview with the Wall Street Journal‘s editor in chief Matt Murray. The video clip below is cued to start with the question he…
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May 9, 2022 2:41 pm

Gas, Guns, and Government Lunacy

“Sacramento police want your guns in exchange for gas money,” says a May 6 Sacramento Bee headline. The department asks residents to give away their firearms, which the Second Amendment authorizes them to keep and bear, for a $50 gas gift card that would not even provide a fill-up for many vehicles.  The department…
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May 6, 2022 1:57 pm

Ambiguity With the Dobbs Supreme Court Abortion Case

The well-publicized leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, if it represents the Court’s final decision, would allow the State of Mississippi to retain the prohibition on abortion beyond 15 weeks into a pregnancy that was passed by the Mississippi legislature. That much is clear. But…
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May 6, 2022 10:08 am

Proposal Aims to Bolster Student Privacy in California

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, schools confronted new difficulties when they were tossed into remote learning due to prolonged lockdowns. Resorting to online classes, schools relied on obtrusive software to proctor online tests. State Senator Dr. Richard Pan is recently advancing with a proposed revision to California’s Business and Professions Code relating…
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May 5, 2022 9:12 am

Government Is Failing to Fix Homelessness with Housing

What if your city government spent millions more than it does today to pay for housing for the homeless? What do you think your community would have to show for it? In San Francisco, the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) has taken on the task of housing many of the city’s…
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May 4, 2022 10:41 am

Inflation Not Caused by Rising Wages

Rising wages do not cause inflation (“Raises for Job Switchers Heighten Inflation Risk”, Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2022, p. A1). Instead, rising wages are symptoms of rising inflation rates. When prices are—and people expect them to be—on an upward march, workers demand (and employers are willing to pay) higher cash wages in the…
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May 3, 2022 2:27 pm

SCOTUS Overturning Roe v. Wade?

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Draft at 5).  So declares a…
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May 3, 2022 9:58 am

Disinformation Governance Board Comes as No Surprise

On April 27, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a “disinformation governance board.” As politicians, scholars, and journalists of various persuasions noted, such a board is more characteristic of Communist dictatorships than a constitutional democracy. On the other hand, in current conditions, the board should come as no surprise.  Saule Omarova, Biden’s choice…
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May 2, 2022 2:15 pm

What Will Musk’s Twitter Policies Look Like?

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion last week dominated headlines. Presuming the deal goes through as expected, there is uncertainty about what Musk plans to change. There is a case for optimism; Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter provides the world with a fresh opportunity to consider how freedom of speech can flourish…
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April 29, 2022 1:41 pm

My Meeting with David Theroux

On a Monday morning in August 2011, I was suddenly summoned to a conference call. A fellow employee said my services were no longer required. I was then handed a packet, and in the style of William Holden in Network, told to vacate the premises by 1:30 p.m.  Several colleagues were also sent packing…
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April 28, 2022 10:47 am

More Bad News on Gas and Water for California

Back in January, with gasoline prices already on the rise, California governor Gavin Newsom outlined a plan to delay the automatic 5.6 percent hike in the gasoline excise tax due on July 1. “It’s a $523 million dollar gas tax holiday of sorts,” the governor explained, but now embattled Californians won’t be celebrating. In…
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