Category Archives: United States

Syrian War Shows That Some International Problems Don’t Have Practical Solutions

Last week,  The Washington Post reported that President Trump was suspending covert aid to Syrian rebels in their efforts to topple President Bashar al-Assad. While the White House has provided no official comment on the matter, since it’s a classified program, this move had been several months in the making as removing Assad was no longer a priority for the administration. They recognized that continuing to arm the rebels was unlikely to yield any significant results. This is a rare moment of sanity in the American approach to the Middle East, where the government admitted to limitations on its ability to engineer a positive solution out of a highly complex and volatile problem. The harsh reality is that some geopolitical problems don’t have solutions––the Syrian Civil War is a prime example of this.

Read the rest at: Counter Punch

How the FDA made a felon out of this Amish farmer – THE DAILY BEAST

In Bath County, Kentucky, a rural area near Lexington, a judge sentenced a 57-year-old Amish farmer and father of 12 to six years in prison for producing a herbal skin cream without the government’s permission.

Samuel Girod formulated homemade skin-care products on his family farm, and sold them for two decades throughout the upper Midwest, largely on word-of-mouth promotion. He claimed that his products could help with poison ivy rashes, psoriasis, headaches, and more. Despite the fact that the products were made from benign, natural ingredients like chickweed, rosemary, olive oil, and peppermint, products intended to treat diseases are considered drugs and must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration and produced in an approved facility.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast

How civil asset forfeiture reduces economic mobility – THE FEDERALIST

Income mobility in the United States has stagnated, a fact that hurts the poor most of all. If President Trump wishes to keep his promises to help low-income Americans escape poverty, he should instruct his administration to jettison, rather than expand, non-criminal asset forfeiture.

Non-criminal asset forfeiture lets government agents seize Americans’ assets (cash, but also cars and even houses) on the mere suspicion that they were involved in a crime. Asset forfeiture is intended to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, but frequently enables police to take the property of Americans who remain innocent in the eyes of the law.

Read more on The Federalist