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WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us – WIRED

Posted: October 16, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Galperin and her team focus on protecting the activists, dissidents, lawyers, journalists, and civilians who find themselves in an increasingly lopsided conflict with entities that hack, surveil, and sabotage themor better yet, equipping them to protect themselves. I think that empowering people to confront power is good, she says. Thats how change happens.

In part, Galperin aims to create tools that level the playing field for surveillance victims. In its first months, for instance, the Threat Labs tiny team of three full-time staffers has been building a device to detect a common form of police surveillance: fake LTE cell towers that trick phones into connecting to them, enabling police to pinpoint the location and track the identities of protesters and other surveillance targets.

The Threat Lab also does detective work to expose perpetrators of state-sponsored surveillance. For years, even before the teams creation, Galperin and fellow EFF researcher Cooper Quintin investigated a hacking operation that planted spyware on the computers of journalists and opposition figures in Kazakhstan. Working with the mobile security firm Lookout, Galperins team found that some of the same toolsperhaps made by the same for-hire hackerswere being used in a massive campaign to spy on civilian targets in Lebanon. At one point during that investigation, the EFF had a researcher walk the streets of Beirut with a smartphone to find the Wi-Fi network theyd linked with the hackers. The researcher discovered it was emanating from inside the headquarters of the Lebanese General Security Directorate.

The EFF had a researcher walk the streets of Beirut with a smartphone to find the hackers Wi-Fi network. It was emanating from inside the headquarters of the Lebanese General Security Directorate.

Galperins own obsession is the scourge known as spouseware, or stalkerware: hidden apps installed on a smartphone by someone with physical access to the deviceoften a domestic abuserthat let them spy on the phones owner. Since early 2018, Galperin has offered her services as a kind of first responder, security consultant, and therapist for stalkerware victims.

But Galperin wasnt satisfied with the scale of that hands-on approach. So she began shaming and pressuring the antivirus industry, which has long neglected stalkerware, to take it far more seriously. Several companies have since pledged to catalog and eradicate the apps just as thoroughly as they do traditional malware. Stalkerware is considered beneath the interest of most security researchers, Galperin says. Changing norms takes time. But it starts with someone standing up and saying This is not OK, this is not acceptablethis is spying.

Galperin, who has silvery-violet hair and a cyberpunk aesthetic, got her start as a systems administrator, attending security conferences and being treated, she says, like some hackers girlfriend who looks after Solaris boxes. In 2007 she joined the EFF, where her first job was to answer the 50-plus calls and emails that came in every day from people seeking help. The organization had recently filed a lawsuit against AT&T for aiding warrantless NSA spying, and Galperin was flooded with messages from people who had been targeted for surveillance. Her desk became a kind of security crisis hotline.

According to Danny OBrien, Galperins former boss at the EFF, the experience gave her a strong sense of the victims perspectivesomething thats often overlooked by the cybersecurity research community, which tends to focus more on sexy new hacking techniques than on the people who suffer from their use. Eva isnt afraid to plot out the consequences of hackers actions, OBrien says, to stare those consequences down until the problem is solved.

Shes also good at plotting out, and maximizing, the consequences of her own actions. Galperin says she has no illusions that she or her small team alone can tip the balance of security for vulnerable people worldwide. But in line with the EFFs longtime tactic of choosing cases that can set legal precedents, she says she chooses projects that promise to have cascading effects, that will force the industry to change its priorities or inspire other researchers. You figure out the place where you need to push, she says, not just to help the people you help every day, the individuals, but to change the game. To change the system. Andy Greenberg

FOUNDER & CEO / Rigetti Computing

In 2013, Chad Rigetti became aware that the field of quantum computing was entering a kind of adolescence. Sketched out in the 1990s, the technology was supposed to leapfrog conventional computing by tapping into the weird physics of subatomic particles. For years, researchers had been held up by the devilish unreliability of qubits, the devices needed to perform quantum manipulations on data. But now, finally, they were finding new ways to tame them. It was black magic, and then a framework emerged, Rigetti says. You could start to see all the pieces coming together. Thats when he quit his job at IBM and struck out on his own. Six years later, in labs stocked with steampunky equipment and liquid helium, Rigetti Computing is manufacturing small quantum processors.

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Gene Expression Market to Reach USD 11.37 Billion by 2026 | Reports and Data – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 5:40 pm

Gene Expression Market Size - USD 6.05 Billion in 2018, Market Growth - CAGR of 8.1%. Gene Expression industry Trends - Product launches and application of new techniques like NGS and DNA micro-arrays

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the Global Gene Expression market is expected to reach USD 11.37 billion by the year 2026, in terms of value at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2019-2026. Gene expression promises to tap into a previously unexplored segment in the vast and burgeoning genetic engineering industry. Gene expression is the process by which the genetic code - the nucleotide sequence - of a gene is used to direct protein synthesis and produce the structures of a cell. It is the process by which instructions in the DNA are converted into a functional product like protein. The commercial applications of gene expression have been studied and researched upon extensively in recent years. Many diverse and wide ranging applications have been found for this novel technique. With the increased availability and lowering costs of DNA technologies, gene expression has become a more readily used tool indispensable in drug discovery and development.

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Increase in investments in the market, which are supporting the technological advancements, and rise in healthcare expenditure are estimated to shape the growth of the gene expression market. Drug discovery & development and increase in demand for personalized medicine in chronic diseases such as cancer will be observed as the most lucrative applications for gene expression analysis in the forecast period. Application of gene expression in clinical diagnostics, on the other hand, will reflect a moderate growth throughout the analysis period. Moreover, the falling costs of sequencing have facilitated the integration of genomic sequencing into medicine. With the increased availability and lowering costs of DNA technologies, gene expression has become a more readily used tool indispensable in drug discovery and development. Many companies and educational institutions are collaborating to make gene expression publicly accessible through databases such as the Connectivity Map (CMap), Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) and the Tox 21 project.

New product development has been the consistent strategy undertaken by majority of the players to expand their product portfolio for serving a larger consumer base. For example, in September 2019, Qiagen N.V., launched the newly enhanced GeneGlobe Design & Analysis Hub, which integrates the company's manually curated knowledge base on over 10,000 biological entities with the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and functional analysis. Other companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific and Illumina Inc. have launched new products in the last few months which are being used in the gene expression market.

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For the purpose of the study, this Reports and Data has segmented the Gene Expression Market on the basis of product type, platform type, prescription mode, end user and the regional outlook

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Artificial Wombs Could Help Save Millions of Premature Babies Within the Next Decade – News18

Posted: at 5:40 pm

Dutch scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough. They predict that within a decade, they will be able to create a working prototype of an artificial womb, something that could save the lives of millions of babies who die due to the premature births.

Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands have been given a 2.6m grant to work on the development of a prototype for artificial wombs that could be used in clinics. Artificial wombs could help reduce complications and even save a prematurely born baby's life by acting as a replacement womb that could allow the fetus to complete full gestation period.

The external womb does so by simulating conditions naturally present withing a womb using a faux placenta that is connected to the fetus's umbilical chord.

Why is this important?

According to accepted norms, any birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy is considered premature. At present, about a million babies across the world die because of premature of birth, The Guardian reported. Even the ones who survive incur a range of medical difficulties and disabilities.

As per data collected by Tommy's, a UK-based not-for profit organisation that funds prenatal and neonatal research, babies born at 22 weeks of gestation have just a 10 percent chance of surviving. However, in just two weeks of added gestation, chances of survival shoot up to 6- percent.

External, artificial wombs could be extremely useful in such cases as they could provide almost perfect natural, womb-like conditions and allow a fetus to get adequate oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical chord. Unlike current incubation methods that deliver oxygen and nutrients directly to the organs like the lungs which may not have the full capacity to handle the treatment, the newer system would allow fetuses to grow its organs under natural conditions.

Research into the idea has been ongoing. In 2017, a team of researchers from Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in US successfully tested an artificial womb meant to carry premature births on a lamb feotus.

Why is it controversial?

While the implication of artificial wombs in terms of prenatal care could be miraculous, critics have already raised alarm bells over what this could mean for women's rights. Some feminist thinkers, as Professor Julien S. Murphy of the University of Southern Maine wrote in her book 'Feminist Perspectives in Medical Ethics' wrote, have raised concerns about how birthing outside of the human body, or ectogenesis, will affect the perception of women. Some even fear that deleting the need for women's bodies from the reproductive process could lead to women becoming obsolete. It would also impact abortion rights and the global women's movement to reclaim control over their bodies.

Strides in ectogenesis could also open up a minefield of political and ethical complications. While medical science is still a long way from completely growing babies from petri dishes, the possibility raises concerns about reproductive rights and genetic engineering.

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Live-cell pig skin successfully used to treat human burn wound – New Atlas

Posted: at 5:40 pm

When someone has a severe burn, a protective covering needs to be temporarily grafted onto the wound site and as soon as possible. Although that covering typically consists of skin from a human cadaver, genetically-engineered live-cell pig skin has now been used on a patient for the first time.

Applied to second- and third-degree burns, sheets of human cadaveric skin also known as allografts initially help to protect wounds against infection and fluid loss, along with the potentially-lethal complications that could follow. Once the recipient has stabilized, the allograft is removed and a piece of the patient's own skin is permanently transplanted onto the wound, from another part of their body.

Unfortunately, though, allografts are often in short supply, plus they can be expensive. With that in mind, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) developed a genetically-modified line of pigs, back in the 1990s. Those animals lack a gene that is ordinarily present in pigs but not in humans, allowing skin grafts from the pigs to appear less "foreign" to a human patient's immune system.

The technology has since been commercialized by spinoff company XenoTherapeutics, in the form of live-cell tissue grafts known as Xeno-Skin. In a recent clinical trial, MGH surgeon Jeremy Goverman used one of those "xenografts" on a human recipient for the first time.

Measuring 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inches), the Xeno-Skin was applied to a burn alongside a larger conventional allograft. Both were secured in place using surgical staples and gauze bandages, and then removed five days later. At that point, the two coverings were found to be "indistinguishable from each other" in appearance, having performed equally well at protecting the underlying wound by temporarily adhering to it as the patient stabilized.

A skin graft from the recipient's own thigh was then permanently applied to the wound, with healing now progressing as anticipated. Importantly, the scientists detected no transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses, the risk of which has previously limited the viability of transplanting live tissue or organs from pigs to humans.

"This small step we took today, represents a massive number of hours spanning decades of research in a multitude of fields including transplantation biology, immunology and genetic engineering," says Goverman. "Additionally, rapid advancements in gene-editing technology open a vast new avenue for genetically modifying pig skin that isnt rejected, representing the next chapter in standards of care for burn and transplant patients alike."

Sources: Massachusetts General Hospital, XenoTherapeutics

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5 Reasons Why Lex Luthor Is Smarter Than The Green Goblin (And 5 Ways Norman Osborn Is Smarter) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Posted: at 5:40 pm

In both the corporate and supervillain worlds, Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn are at the top of their games in their respective universes. Not content to bedeviling just Superman and Spider-Man, both antagonists have threatened and nearly completed world domination, requiring either the Justice League or the Avengers to put an end to their nefarious schemes.

Their successes are due in no small part to the nature of their characters: ambitious, calculating and ruthless. However, the one trait that sets them apart from other supervillains is their genius-level intelligence, which begs the question: Who is smarter, Lex Luthor or Norman Osborn?

RELATED:10 Marvel/DC Characters With The Exact Same Powers

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A man of guts and vision, Norman Osborn founded Oscorp with Mendel Stromm, having financed the lions share of the investment himself. Aside from that, Osborn ran the business end of the company while also contributing to the research in genetics that would eventually give him his augmented strength, reflexes, and healing factor.

Osborns raw intellect also helped develop his vast array of Goblin-themed weapons, including his infamous glider. However, his actions as the Green Goblin led to the combination of Stromms death, his loss of public image, and insanity. This was enough to lead to Oscorps downfall, but Norman was smart enough toset up a dummy corporation under an assumed name to ensure his grandsons legacy.

RELATED:The Top 10 Fictional Marvel Companies

Lex Luthors business acumen is unparalleled in the DC Universe, as LexCorps net worth and diversification portfolio dwarf any other companys, including Wayne Enterprises. Originally founded as a scientific research firm with a specialty in aeronautics, LexCorp has grown in scope and reach, with subsidiaries in all areas of the world and domains as varied as private security, weapons manufacturing, and computer software.

This success is due in no small part to its CEO, Lex Luthor himself. Aside from his formidable business knowledge and instinct, Luthor is not above breaking the law to ensure his companys growth and a robust bottom line.

Although Norman Osborn holds degrees in mechanical engineering and chemistry, its genetic engineering that he excels at, as that is what gave him the formula for his Green Goblin serum. Although heavily aided in this endeavor by his mentor Dr. Mendel Stromm, Normans scientific contributions and willingness to serve as a test subject were the key factors in granting him his enhanced strength, agility and resilience.

As if this feat were not impressive enough, Norman also designed his own weaponssome deceptively simple as the razor bats, and some requiring intricate knowledge of engineering and physics, like his sparkle-blasts and glider.

In his early appearances, most of Supermans adversaries were mad scientists, and Lex Luthor was chief amongst them. Modern incarnations of the character have often depicted Lex as a wealthy captain of industry, but his aptitude for scientific research, particularly in the technological field, has not diminished.

Aside from funding cutting-edge research, Luthor personally engages in advanced weapons development, reverse engineering of alien tech, and the search for alternative (usually kryptonite-powered) energy sources. In some continuities, Luthor is even responsible for creating some of the Man of Steels most deadly enemies, like the kryptonite-powered Metallo. His most recognizable accomplishment is the creation of his battlesuit, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel andcementing him as an evil scientific genius extraordinaire.

RELATED:Lex & Violence: Lex Luthor's Most Powerful Anti-Superman Suits, Ranked

Aside from his intellectual prowess in science and business, Norman Osborn is also no slouch in the strategy department. With considerable resources at his disposal and the patience of a slow-burning wick, Osborn is capable of crafting intricate long and short term plans designed to bring an unsuspecting opponent to their knees.

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the immediate events following his 'death' at the end of the Gwen Stacy affair. Allowing Spider-Man to believe he was gone for good, Osborn went about orchestrating the systematic destruction of his foe by faking Aunt May's death, absconding Peter and MJ's baby, and perhaps most unforgivably (to both Spidey and his readers), perpetrating the Clone Saga.

RELATED: Spider-Man 10 Things You Didn't Know About Aunt May

A formidable intellect like Lex Luthor's also breeds a formidable ego. A master strategist, whether he's planning a corporate takeover or his latest attack on Superman, Luthor walks with a grandiose swagger and self-assuredness that matches his considerable IQ. Ever the opportunist, Luthor is even smart enough to use his reputation for being smart to his advantage; his expertise on something is rarely questioned, and if so, his clout and considerable connections will usually silence his adversary for him. For Luthor, intelligence and intimidation go hand-in-hand, and he's not above using the former to ensure the latter to fulfill his aims.

Norman Osborn's ambition has often gone far beyond making Peter Parker's life miserable. Following the events of Secret Invasion and the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Osborn used his considerable influence to lobby for the creation of a new American defense program, with himself at its head. Now director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Osborn used his considerable resources and intelligence to further his own political agenda.

No fool, his first act was to try to neutralize his predecessor, Tony Stark. Next, he tried to gain access to all metahuman civilian identities gathered duringCivil War. When that didn't pan out, he resorted to restructuring the Avengers with members of the former-villains-turned hero superteam, the Thunderbolts, all in an ingeniously evil plan to give him almost unlimited power.

RELATED:Spider-Man: 5 of Norman Osborns Smartest Plans (& 5 That Were Destined To Fail)

Of all Lex Luthor's accomplishments, perhaps the greatest was becoming Presidentof the United States. His massive ego bruised by the sheer adulation Metropolis and the world gave Superman, Luthor decided to put his formidable intellect and resources to use and procure himself the presidency. Aside from winning the most powerful seat in world governance, Luthor had the foresight to leave LexCorp in the hands of Talia Al Ghul, a similarly intelligent and devious individual.

Once in office, Luthor coordinated the defense of the Earth during the Our Worlds at War storyline, including the risky but brilliant idea of siccing a mind-controlled Doomsday on Imperiex.

Having achieved a position of extensive power and influence by being appointed the new director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Osborn did not rest on his laurels. Instead, he called together several of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel Universe together to form the Cabal, a dark mirror of the Illuminati and a secret group of heroes who got together to covertly discuss and enact unofficial policies in the superhero world. In this act, Osborn exhibited intelligent foresight, as now there would be nothing to stop him and his cadre of nefarious contemporaries from doing whatever they wished.

RELATED:The 10 Worst Things That Marvel's Illuminati Have Done

If Lex Luthor is Supermans greatest enemy, then a strong argument can be made for Brainiac being the second. A superior intellect that roams the universe amassing data on countless worlds and miniaturizing whole cities for cataloging and storage, Brainiacs digitized intelligence contains galactic repositories of knowledge, which he has used in schemes against Superman for decades.

In many continuities, Luthor has sought out Brainiac and merged with him, creating a completely new entity. This fusion of an already genius-level intellect with an inter-galactic database created an extremely deadly and ruthless adversary whose intelligence and cunning were second to none.

NEXT:5 Reasons Joker Would Beat Green Goblin In A Fight (& 5 Why Norman Osborn Would Win)

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What’s the end game for pro-impeachment libertarians? – Washington Times

Posted: at 5:29 pm

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Recently, House Democrats announced an impeachment inquiry into President Trump over claims that Mr. Trump held back aid to Ukraine in the hope its leader would investigate Joe Biden. Predictably, social media lit up immediately with #TrumpImpeachment and #ImpeachTrumpNow trending all over the United States. The usual suspects in the #NeverTrump conservative political class joined the deafening chorus of progressive pundits in their long-standing calls for formal articles of impeachment and Mr. Trumps resignation.

Somewhat surprising, however, has been witnessing many prominent libertarians join these ranks in making knee-jerk calls for impeachment. Unfortunately, these political observers dont seem to realize that removing Mr. Trump from office would solve none of the problems associated with his alleged abuses of power. The object of their ire should not be Mr. Trump the man but the office of the presidency and especially the permanent political class and establishment media (hereinafter the establishment) who whitewash and enable true presidential atrocities.

This is nothing new for libertarians. Indeed, the imperial presidency has been a libertarian bugaboo for decades, and many commentators have written eloquently on the dire need to limit the unilateral powers of Americas executive branch. Nearly all presidents since 1900 have expanded the scope of executive power well outside the strictures of Article 2 of the Constitution.

Henry Kissinger once joked, The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer a joke that betrays the brazen callousness with which people in the establishment view supposed legal limits on their actions. Additionally, the last four presidents before Mr. Trump all initiated foreign incursions and clandestine operations that have transformed much of the Middle East into a hellscape. Many of these operations were blatantly illegal e.g. providing direct military aid and comfort to Americas enemies, which is particularly damning since this act fits the exact legal definition of treason.

Speaking of which, Bill Weld recently accused Mr. Trump of committing treason in this Ukrainian fiasco. If this phone call is enough for a treason charge against Mr. Trump, surely there is an open-and-shut case for indicting the entire foreign policy team of the Obama administration including President Obama himself for treasonously providing direct aid and comfort to al Qaeda to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria. Instead, Mr. Weld heaped praise on Mr. Obamas administration, saying he was statesman-like while ignoring the unspeakable horrors that occurred as a result of Mr. Obamas direct orders.

This flippant attitude has been the long-standing demeanor from much of the establishment toward atrocities that span administrations of both parties. As the Joker says in The Dark Knight, Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying! Indeed, the establishment press only ever seems to give Mr. Trump slack when he bombs countries unconstitutionally that pesky Congress be damned.

The establishments constant whitewashing of presidential atrocities brings me back to the perplexing reaction among libertarians cheering for Mr. Trumps impeachment. A pillar of modern libertarianism has been opposing never-ending foreign interventions. However, none of the articles of Mr. Trumps impeachment will include, for example, a single word about his support for Saudi Arabias horrific war in Yemen. Instead, the Democrats and #NeverTrump Republicans hell-bent on removing Mr. Trump intend to replace him with someone who wont upset the plan. While Mr. Trumps alleged crimes in the Ukraine fiasco are unacceptable to the establishment, fomenting foreign coups appear to be A-OK. Why should libertarians cheer for Mr. Trumps replacement with someone cut from an interventionist cloth?

Libertarians jumping on the impeachment train seem to be forgetting a basic tenet of economics: There are no solutions only tradeoffs. What, therefore, are the realistic alternatives to Mr. Trump? Legally speaking, after Mr. Trumps removal, Mike Pence would be next, who was an establishment animal before he became Mr. Trumps VP. Thus far, no one has made a compelling case for why a President Pence would be desirable over a President Trump from a pro-liberty perspective.

None of the Democratic candidates with a real shot at winning would be a net improvement over Mr. Trump on either the domestic or foreign policy fronts as Mr. Obama has shown, leftist candidates inevitably abandon their anti-war messages and neuter opposition from a left-wing anti-war movement. These libertarians are committing a Nirvana fallacy in wishing for someone better than Mr. Trump rather than evaluating the actual alternatives.

The establishment plays a key role in expanding the power of the president and should be as much a target of libertarian anger as the president himself. Libertarians must realize that they cannot achieve their laudable goal of reducing presidential power unless the establishment first loses its influence over that power. Replacing Mr. Trump with an establishment sycophant wont advance that goal.

Despite all his shortcomings, Mr. Trump is the best weapon against the establishment given present alternatives; therefore, the liberty movement would be poorly served if libertarians took the bait in this latest impeachment scheme.

Nick Cooper is a Mises Institute research fellow at George Mason University.

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Election 2019: Will the PPC win any seats, and will it split the right vote? – CityNews Calgary

Posted: at 5:29 pm

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) Its an ambitious move: the Peoples Party is running hundreds of candidates in the first federal election since the party formed just over a year ago.

However, despite the fledgling fringe party having hundreds of candidates across the country in every province and territory except Prince Edward Island and Nunavut UBC political scientist Richard Johnston says its unlikely any PPC candidates will win a seat.

Except, perhaps, for the partys leader.

I dont think theyre going to do terribly well. Maxime Bernier probably will hold on to his seat. Beyond that, Im not so sure. I also dont think that on balance, theyre going to be as disruptive a force as some people fear they might be, he says.

Nor will the party be much of a thorn in the side of the Conservative Party, he adds.

The PPC has been hovering at around two per cent support nationally in the weeks leading up to the election. The areas where the party has more support, however, are already Conservative strongholds. Drawing support from that partys base enough to split right-leaning votes is unlikely, Johnston says.

When you look at where theyre hitting their maximums, its basically in Alberta and Saskatchewan, probably the interior of B.C. So these are places where the culture is more Conservative, and where anti-immigrant attitudes tend to be strongest. But theyre also places where the Conservative Party has, generally speaking, very comfortable majorities. And so if they give up a few votes, theyre probably not going to give up any of those seats.

Chad Hudson, a former PPC candidate, recently dropped out of the running in the Nova Scotia riding of West Nova. He says the partys libertarianism and fiscal conservatism values are what initially drew him in, but the racist elements drove him out.

I was assured by the party that a lot of those things that I was concerned about being the more extreme elements of the parties, some of the racist elements, some of the more far right elements werent going to be a problem, that those elements had been purged from the party, he says.

But over time, he says a xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment has become prominent.

Johnston says thats the message getting through to the grassroots.

It is generally the case that simpler messages, often involving scapegoating, just tend to have more traction and more penetration, he says. And to the extent that theres going to be voters responding to the Peoples Party, its going to be people who are currently in the Conservative cap, but unhappy with the generally moderate presentation that Andrew Scheer is trying to produce.

In B.C., including Metro Vancouver, where many people are immigrants, Johnston says that message isnt going to go over well.

The people who are potential Conservative voters in the Lower Mainland are often people of color, of immigrant or minority background, and theyre not going to be particularly drawn to a party whose primary appeal is a kind of anti-immigrant, anti-minority sentiment.

While the PPCs chances at securing more than one seat are slim, its populist and anti-immigrant undertones may be more popular than the polls indicate.

A public opinion survey out of Simon Fraser University this summer found a decline in trust in Canadas democracy, and that a populist message may strike a chord with some.

Some of the race-based populism that weve seen emerge in other countries is starting to appear here in Canada. So one-in-three Canadians dont think that foreign-born Canadians should have the same say in government as Canadians that were born here, says Shauna Sylvester with SFU.

The survey also found one-in-four Canadians believe that minorities have too many supports and protections, and that there is too much support for religious freedom.

I think that during election time, certain narratives get exacerbated, and youre seeing anti-immigrant sentiments being expressed by certain political parties, and its important to pay attention to that, she says.

Overall, however, she says she doesnt think these messages will be attractive to most Canadians.

The information of the research indicates that some of the messaging that has come out from parties that are advancing anti-immigration stance or advancing a Canada-first stance will resonate with some portion of the population, Sylvester says. Thankfully, thats a small portion of the population, because I think that those are sentiments that go against a lot of the Canadian values on democracy.

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Poll shows Bevin, Beshear in dead heat ahead of November election – WSAZ-TV

Posted: at 5:29 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) -- A new poll shows Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear are in a dead heat just weeks ahead of November's gubernatorial election.

A Mason-Dixon Kentucky Poll shows both Bevin and Beshear have 46 percent of the vote. Libertarian John Hicks has one percent while seven percent of voters remain undecided. There is a margin of error of no more than four percentage points.

The polling lines up with a Politico report which said Bevin is gaining ground in the governor's race. He was down eight percent against Beshear in Mason-Dixon's December 2018 poll.

The poll shows Bevin is drawing more Republican support, as he has increased 10 percent in GOP support. He also has a stronger crossover vote with Democrats than Beshear has with Republicans. Bevin's job approval rating remains at 45 percent, while 48 percent disapprove of his job performance.

The polling also points to why Bevin may be using the potential for President Donald Trump's impeachment as a campaign strategy, as only 29 percent of Kentuckians support the President being impeached. Beshear has not said whether he supports the impeachment.

There is also a split between urban and rural voters. Beshear polls better in the Louisville and Lexington metropolitan areas, while Bevin polls better in eastern and western Kentucky. The two are in essentially a dead heat in northern Kentucky, with Bevin polling two percent higher. The Beshear campaign has utilized Rep. Rocky Adkins in its latest campaign advertisement in order to help gain more rural votes. Adkins significantly outperformed Beshear in rural Kentucky counties during the Democratic primary, especially in the eastern portion of the state.

Bevin polls eight percent higher with men, while Beshear polls eight percent higher with women. Bevin has a slight edge among Kentuckians over 50, while Beshear has a significant edge with voters under 50. Beshear polls eight percent higher among independents.

Mason-Dixon polled 625 registered Kentucky voters.

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Poll shows Bevin, Beshear in dead heat ahead of November election - WSAZ-TV

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Five John Lennon Songs For Libertarians on His Birthday – The Libertarian Republic

Posted: at 5:29 pm

Today is the birthday of arguably one of the most revolutionary Rock n Roll artists the world has ever known.

On October 9, 1940, John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool, England. While the legendary Beatles frontman wasnt a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination, there are many themes in his music that we who believe in limited government can empathize with.

Keeping this in mind, here are five songs from the pen of Lennon that libertarians can enjoy.

This song toward the end of The Beatles Era is a true Rock N Roll classic with a socially conscious message. This Chuck Berry style anthem talks about the importance of peaceful, non-violent resistance in the late 1960s a time when the world was on fire due to people tiring of the Vietnam War and the social change that was taking place as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. The song also has a very strong anti-communist theme as Lennon strongly puts down the Communist regime of China, But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, You aint going to make it with anyone anyhow.

This tune out of Johns solo career became an anti-war protesters anthem. It is no secret that Lennon was a very outspoken critic of the war in Vietnam, which stacked up an enormous death toll of 366,010 American casualties, according to TheVietnamWar.info. As libertarians, we advocate for a peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy which is clearly the theme of this song.

Lennons popular Christmas song was yet another musical jab at Americas hawkish foreign policy. John asks his audience what they have done to better humanity at the end of the year and reminds us all that war can be over if we as a people stand up and declare enough is enough! The song also makes mention to that all men are equal regardless of ethnicity. Equality in the eyes of the law was a key issue that was still being fought for at the time this song was written.

As seekers of truth and transparency between the people and government, this is certainly a song libertarians will love. In the lyrics of this song, Lennon tells our elected officials they can keep the hope and change, and calls them out for continually lying to the people. He takes stabs at the war on drugs and Americas attempts to use our military to police the world. As libertarians, we can surely echo Johns bold declaration that All we want is some truth!

Lennons protest song Power to the People reminds us that the government works for We the People and the only true change will come from us. If we want to restore the balance of power, we must remind our elected officials that they are our employees and we arent their serfs who obey their every decree. This is the reality of the situation and not a politically charged talking point. The only lasting revolution is a revolution of thought.

While anyone who has studied Lennons life knows he was undoubtedly not a free-market capitalist, there is much when it comes to his advocacy for a non-interventionist foreign policy and individualism that libertarians can appreciate. He is recognized by many as being one of the greatest Rock n Roll singer/songwriters of the 20th century, but he was that and so much more. I appreciate Johns contributions to our world, both musically and socially.

Happy Birthday, John! Thanks for the music!

Image: Flickr

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Five John Lennon Songs For Libertarians on His Birthday - The Libertarian Republic

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‘Most Americans Don’t Want To Work for the Federal Government’ Says Andrew Yang, Trashing Federal Jobs Guarantee – Reason

Posted: at 5:29 pm

Andrew Yang continues to clear the low bar of being the Democratic presidential candidate most skeptical of government power, if not government spending.

In response to a question about whether he would support a federal jobs guarantee at tonight's Democratic debate, the former entrepreneur argued that the feds were not going to be very good at providing people with meaningful work.

"I am for the spirit of a federal jobs guarantee, but you have to look at how it would materialize in practice. What are the jobs? Who manages you? What if you don't like your job? What if you're not good at your job?" said Yang, distinguishing himself from Sen. Bernie Sanders (IVt.) who had reiterated his support for the idea of a jobs guarantee tonight.

"Most Americans don't want to work for the federal government," Yang bluntly put it, saying a jobs guarantee would replicate the results of failed government retraining programs and produce "jobs that no one wants."

Instead, the presidential candidate made the pitch for his Freedom Dividend, his universal basic income proposal that would provide every American with $1,000 a month.

This, said Yang, would benefit people like his wifecurrently at home raising two children, one of whom is autisticwho are unable to work, and therefore would not benefit from a jobs guarantee.

A universal basic income would "put the money into our hands so we can build a trickle up economy" and "enable us to do the kind of work that we want to do," said Yang.

Some libertarian thinkers have argued for some form of UBI as a more efficient, less paternalistic form of the current welfare state. Yang interestingly makes the pitch for his Freedom Dividend in individualistic, if not necessarily libertarian, terms: A universal basic income allows you to decide how to spend your money, and do what you want with your life.

The math for Yang's Freedom Dividend doesn't quite work out. Skeptical free marketers will note that it has the potential to disincentivize work, and will always rely on coercive taxation.

Nevertheless, in a debate that's mostly been candidates arguing they would be the best philosopher king (or queen), it's nice to hear at least someone on stage to express a little faith in the ability of individuals to run their own lives (even if taxpayers are still paying the bills).

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'Most Americans Don't Want To Work for the Federal Government' Says Andrew Yang, Trashing Federal Jobs Guarantee - Reason

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