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Eminent-Domain Watch: From the Institute for Justice: "BB&T, the nation’s ninth largest financial holdings company with $109.2 billion in assets, announced today that it 'will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.'" (News release here.)
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Global What?: "Vienna’s subway tracks cracked, German authorities shut a key canal to ships after it iced up, and a zoo moved its penguins indoors Tuesday as a deadly deep freeze tightened its grip on much of Europe.
"Blamed for more than 50 deaths in Russia, the cold wave claimed at least 13 lives in the past five days in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, where authorities said another 30 people -- many of them homeless -- were hospitalized with hypothermia.
". . .Parts of Austria felt more like Siberia, with the mercury plunging well below zero. The bitter cold hit an all-time low of minus 24 degrees in the lower Austria town of Gross Gerungs, while in the beer-making town of Zwettl, it was minus 12 -- the chilliest Jan. 24 since 1929. (AP)
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The Great Murray: From a Rothbard lecture, "Clinton's Giant Step Backward, " available as a podcast from the Mises Institute: "The essence of the welfare state and the regulatory state is cartelization: the government as ally with various business groups to put their small competitors out of business. . . . It's important to show the essence of the regulatory state; it's a coalition between big government, ideological statists, and big-business groups who benefit from it."
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From My Latest Op-Ed: "Government Perpetuates the Underclass": "Removing the INS as a threat to these [exploited immigrant] workers would go a long way toward improving their situation. People coming here to make better lives should be welcomed, not persecuted. But more can be done, such as removing all government barriers to competition, work, and self-employment, such as licensing, regulations, and taxes, which reduce people’s options and help to perpetuate the underclass." (The Future of Freedom Foundation)