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How To Build The Future: Peter Thiel on markets, technology, and education

In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, guest Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investors and thinkers, discusses his new book Zero to One. In it Thiel explains his theories on markets, monopolies, and the lack of new technology. Born in Germany, raised in California, Thiel is a US-ranked chess master and cofounder of PayPal and Palantir.

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Who Are the Racists: Conservatives or Liberals?

To call someone a racist is a serious charge. A racist is someone who believes that one person is superior (or inferior) to another person simply based on their skin color. It’s a belief that is both foolish and stupid. But conservatives are accused by progressives of being racist on an almost daily basis. Is it a fair accusation? Or, is it just political posturing? And, if it is political posturing, what does it say about the people making the charge? Derryck Green of Project 21 has some provocative answers.

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The Deteriorating Relationship Between Israel and the Obama Administration

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has written a piece detailing the deteriorating relationship between Israel and the Obama administration. The chief purpose of Goldberg's piece is to humiliate Benjamin Netanyahu. None of this is especially shocking, considering the antagonism the administration has shown toward the Jewish state from the start. Most people have focused on the name-calling, and Goldberg keeps a list of pejoratives used by U.S. officials to describe Netanyahu, including "aspergery." On that front, it's worth noting that the person repeatedly being called "chickens--t" by anonymous officials volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces, saw combat, and was the leader of an elite special forces unit deployed on numerous missions—including the freeing of a hijacked Sabena flight in 1972, where he was shot. Granted, this may not be so courageous as hopping the Amtrak from Delaware to D.C. each day or rallying the troops at a fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut, but God knows we can't all be heroes.

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The Politics of Victimhood

Ancient Roman candidates were expected to show off their scars earned in fighting for Rome. Marc Antony fired up the Roman people after the assassination of Julius Caesar by brandishing his bloodstained and torn toga. During Reconstruction in the United States,  “waving the bloody shirt” became common among radical Republicans who used the casualties and suffering of the Civil War as a weapon against Southern Democrats.

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China’s Imperial President: Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip


For the United States and much of the rest of the world, the awakening of Xi’s China provokes two different reactions: excitement, on the one hand, about what a stronger, less corrupt China could achieve, and significant concern, on the other hand, over the challenges an authoritarian, militaristic China might pose to the U.S.-backed liberal order.

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Could illegall immigrants and non-citizens decide the American election?


(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Could control of the U.S. Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.

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End of the Age of Obama

The end of the Age of Obama. It began with high hopes on a winter’s night in Iowa in 2008 and ended in disappointment on a crisp fall day nearly seven years later. Sure, the president has another two years in office, but he is now the lamest of lame ducks.

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African-American Voices Rise Against Obama and their Left-Wing Overlords

Chicago activists Paul McKinley, Mark Carter, Joseph Watkins and Harold “Noonie” Ward recently went on the record with RebelPundit to deliver a message to black communities across America.

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The Right Kind of German Leadership for Europe

German leadership has become the Holy Grail of European politics. There is not a single policy debate on EU affairs—be it about the euro, political union, a possible British exit from the EU, trade, or foreign policy—that does not end up being a discussion of what Berlin wants, should want, can do, and can’t do. All solutions (and all problems, for that matter) seem to stem from German leadership—or a lack thereof.http://carnegieendowment.org/images/article_images/2014-10-28_Berlin_605.jpg

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While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

Photographer: Chris Sattlberger/Getty Images

Every time fossil fuels get cheaper, people lose interest in solar deployment. That may be about to change.

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Crimes of Exactly What?

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The recent unfortunate shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and its violent aftermath seem to have had everything and nothing to do with race.  Brown was black and unarmed and the officer white; but it is equally true that the 292-pound Brown likely committed a number of crimes in the minutes before his death. He was high on drugs; he robbed a store and strong-armed the clerk; he was walking down the middle of a road; and he started a physical altercation with policeman Darren Wilson (who tried to question him), inflicting injuries on the officer before being fatally shot. If that were a typical day in the life of an American citizen, then civilization, as we now know it, could no longer exist.

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The HIV Drug Stopping AIDS In its Tracks

PrEP was approved by the United States government two years ago and is used widely, but the pill is not yet registered in Europe. Originally released as a treatment for HIV sufferers, the drug was then found to be effective in actually preventing the infection. "Once you take this pill daily, you have protection up to 99% effective against HIV", HIV Counselor Kenneth explains. The drug is already changing lives. Poppy is married to an HIV positive man and by taking PrEP she was able to become pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby without becoming infected herself. But the treatment is not without critics, like President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein. He explains: "People will think they're protected when they're not.". As a pilot project is scheduled to start soon in The Netherlands, the controversy shows no signs of dying away yet.

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Obama’s post-election plans for a secret radical agenda

He’s the Staller in Chief — President Obama has punted almost every hot-button issue past the key midterm elections on Nov. 4. Obama has postponed decisions on a raft of contentious issues related to ObamaCare, Gitmo, immigration and his Cabinet. This is partly to protect Democratic candidates and hold onto the Senate. But it’s more than that. Obama plans a number of radical moves later this year when the administration believes the media, and the public, are paying less attention.

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Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama

Sharyl Attkisson is an unreasonable woman. Important people have told her so. When the longtime CBS reporter asked for details about reinforcements sent to the Benghazi compound during the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack, White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, “I give up, Sharyl . . . I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”

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Ukraine’s Slow Descent Into Madness: While it fights rebels in the east, Kiev is beginning to crumble from the inside.

Vladimir Putin & Petro Poroshenko
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hands with Ukraine's President Petro PoroshenkoPhoto by Daniel Dal Zennaro/Reuters

Kiev, once an easy-going city famed for its hospitality, has become a gloomy place after almost a year of nonstop strife, from protests and street battles to revolution and war. Many residents worry about staying warm this winter if a dispute with Russia over natural-gas prices isn’t resolved. Others wonder whether the fighting will reach the capital. One influential TV journalist privately says he expects Russia to launch airstrikes on the city to open a land corridor to the Crimean peninsula, which is cut off from sea routes during the winter.

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Russia's Navalny vows to fight Putin

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America in Decay: The Sources of Political Dysfunction

 
Man on a mission: a U.S. Forest Service ranger on Mount Silcox, in Montana, 1909.
(Corbis / W. J. Lubken)

The depressing bottom line is that given how self-reinforcing the country’s political malaise is, and how unlikely the prospects for constructive incremental reform are, the decay of American politics will probably continue until some external shock comes along to catalyze a true reform coalition and galvanize it into action.

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How The Federal Reserve Is Purposely Attacking Savers

flickr/DonkeyHotey

There's something we 'regular' citizens wrestle with that the elites never seem to: a sense of moral duty. Not everybody holds that view, however. Rich people have terrible credit. They know that there’s a system and it has rules. And, for them, these rules can (and should) be optimized for their own benefit. So they do anything and everything that works to their advantage.

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Barack Obama, bewildered bystander

The president is upset. Very upset. Frustrated and angry. Seething about the government’s handling of Ebola. There’s only one problem with this pose, so obligingly transcribed for him by the Times. It’s his government. He’s president. Has been for six years. Yet Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration.

 

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Argentina is a sign of things to come. Are you willing to wait for when your government decides that your profits are too high?

In the pantheon of utter political stupidity in our time, the competition is pretty fierce to see who ranks #1. But I have to imagine that, even with so many rivals, Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner makes a pretty compelling argument to be the champion.

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