*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST
The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper

Volume XV, Issue #3,733
Thursday, June 15th, 2017
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In the News:

1) VA: One dead, six wounded in gangland shootout
2) Southern Baptists voted overwhelmingly to condemn “alt-right white supremacy”
3) Fed raises rates, unveils balance sheet cuts in sign of confidence
4) Report: Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice
5) Trump changes Muslim ban expiration date ahead of high court decision
6) Major Bitcoin exchanges hit by cyberattacks as record rally makes them a target
7) CA: Panicked security theatrics lock down Air Force base
8) DC: Police to charge Turkish regime thugs for attack on protesters
9) Mexican/US beer mocks Trump as frowning mariachi
10) Most Trump real estate now sold to secretive buyers
11) OK: ACLU seeks re-examination of domestic violence case
12) NY: NYC eases severity of laws against public urination, drunkenness
13) Ireland: Indian immigrant’s son becomes country’s youngest prime minister
14) Australia: Regime reaches $53 million settlement with abducted refugees
15) PA: Court upholds Philadelphia’s idiotic beverage tax
16) Trump to nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for empty slot at FCC
17) Bahrain: Lawyer arrested for suing over Qatar blockade
18) MI: Five bureaucrats face manslaughter charges in Flint water crisis
19) Kazakhstan: Russians launch robotic cargo ship to space station
20) US retail sales drop 0.3% in May vs 0.1% increase expected

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Rejecting the heckler’s veto
22) Legal not to lie about your milk
23) Compulsory school attendance: Compassionate or counterproductive?
24) What Trump’s cabinet meeting reveals about government
25) Democrats’ obsession with Russian election hacking makes them look dumb
26) Democrats trot out Plan C in neverending Trump impeachment crusade
27) Tyranny over there but not over here
28) Afghanistan needs new debate
29) Turn the other cheek? Fuck that!
30) Even by Trump’s own standards, his budget is terrible
31) Celebrities feud and consumers win
32) The Saudi war against Qatar
33) What Sessions didn’t tell the Senate
34) The US taxpayers have spent enough on the war in Afghanistan
35) How Trump is tearing apart the Middle East
36) Sessions must go, but it can’t end there
37) Sure there’re more fat people around — ain’t that great?
38) Designer reality
39) How Congress can fight political violence
40) Can Trump rescue federal courts from politics?
41) Despite fear-mongering, US is not beset by grave threats
42) Liars lying about nearly everything
43) The preamble to the Constitution: What it tells us and what it doesn’t
44) Is the U-curve of US income inequality that pronounced?
45) Red alert: Russian focus might save Trump’s hide
46) 21st century automation: Is this time truly different?
47) What monopsony power in the labor market looks like
48) The hidden reason behind Bitcoin’s increasing fees: Darknet mixers
49) The Corbyn buck
50) European taxpayers may have paid millions for non-existent offices

The Sound and the Fury:

51) The Libertarian Angle, 06/14/17
52) Freedom Feens Radio, 06/14/17
53) Electric Libertyland, episode 24
54) Intercepted, 06/14/17
55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 930
56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 53
57) Free Talk Live, 06/13/17

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***** In the News *****

1) VA: One dead, six wounded in gangland shootout
Source: CNN

“Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the Capitol police force were shot Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, during Republicans’ early-morning practice ahead of a charity baseball game. President Donald Trump said the alleged gunman had been killed. Federal law enforcement officials identified the alleged shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois. At least six people including Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, were hospitalized. … Hodgkinson’s Facebook page is largely political, his profile picture is a caricature of Bernie Sanders as Uncle Sam.” [editor’s note: Hey, the thug life comes with potential consequences. This isn’t atypical — if it had happened in St. Louis and the gangs hadn’t been named “The Democrats” and “The Republicans,” it probably wouldn’t have made the front page – TLK (06/14/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/politics/alexandria-virginia-shooting/index.html

—–

2) Southern Baptists voted overwhelmingly to condemn “alt-right white supremacy”
Source: Washington Post

“A Southern Baptist Convention proposal to condemn a white nationalist group was passed and received a standing ovation during the convention’s annual meeting on Wednesday after the denomination received received fierce backlash when it looked like it wasn’t going to go to a vote. … ‘Racism and white supremacy are, sadly, not extinct but present all over the world in various white supremacist movements, sometimes known as ‘white nationalism’ or ‘alt-right,” the resolution states. Southern Baptists ‘decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ’ and ‘we denounce and repudiate white supremacy and ever[y] form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil.’” (06/14/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/06/14/southern-baptists-are-about-to-vote-on-a-proposal-to-condemn-white-supremacy/

—–

3) Fed raises rates, unveils balance sheet cuts in sign of confidence
Source: Reuters

“The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in three months and said it would begin cutting its holdings of bonds and other securities this year, signaling its confidence in a growing U.S. economy and strengthening job market. In lifting its benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point to a target range of 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent and forecasting one more hike this year, the Fed seemed to largely brush off a recent run of mixed economic data. The U.S. central bank’s rate-setting committee said the economy had continued to strengthen, job gains remained solid and indicated it viewed a recent softness in inflation as largely transitory.” (06/14/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-idUSKBN1952NA

—–

4) Report: Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice
Source: Boston Globe

“The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. The move by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump’s own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.” (06/14/17)

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/06/14/mueller-reportedly-investigating-trump-for-potential-obstruction-justice/N7lgvI2cBDcTaxhPxrIKVI/story.html

—–

5) Trump changes Muslim ban expiration date ahead of high court decision
Source: The Hill

“President Trump on Wednesday made changes to his revised travel ban in an effort prevent the Supreme Court from declaring it moot because it was set to expire. The president approved the changes in a memo as the high court considers whether it will allow the long-stalled ban to take effect. Trump directed federal agencies to begin the 90-day ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, and a 120-day ban on refugees, 72 hours after lower court orders blocking it are lifted.” (06/14/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337807-trump-changes-travel-ban-expiration-date-ahead-of-high-court-decision

—–

6) Major Bitcoin exchanges hit by cyberattacks as record rally makes them a target
Source: CNBC

“Multiple cyberattacks on major bitcoin exchanges this week highlight the many challenges for the young digital currency world. A surge in investor interest also overwhelmed major bitcoin websites, while record-breaking levels of fundraising for new digital currencies add to worries that the largely unregulated cryptocurrency industry will be unable to manage the hype. … Bitfinex, the largest U.S. dollar-based bitcoin exchange, said on its status website Wednesday morning that its platform was under distributed denial-of-service attacks, or DDoS, that attempts to paralyze a system with a flood of information. … The news followed smaller BTC-e exchange’s tweet Monday of a similar attack on its systems that afternoon, when its website also temporarily went down. By Wednesday morning, BTC-e had deleted the tweet and its website showed trades going through.” (06/14/17)

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/major-bitcoin-exchanges-hit-by-cyberattacks-as-record-rally-makes-them-a-target.html

—–

7) CA: Panicked security theatrics lock down Air Force base
Source: ABC News

“A mistaken report of a shooter prompted the lockdown of Travis Air Force Base in California on Wednesday in the midst of an emergency training exercise, officials said. The base ordered people to shelter in place and lock their doors and windows. Gates were closed for more than an hour before the all-clear was given at the site 45 miles northeast of San Francisco. ‘There were reports of gunshots at the Base Exchange. However, no shooter was found,’ a base Facebook posting reported.” (06/14/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/northern-california-air-force-base-security-lockdown-48045551

—–

8) DC: Police to charge Turkish regime thugs for attack on protesters
Source: Mediaite

“U.S. authorities will reportedly prosecute twelve members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail over a May 2017 attack on protesters in Washington, D.C. The Turkish bodyguards assaulted the demonstrators shortly after President Erdoğan arrived at his ambassador’s residence in the U.S. capital. Journalists from Voice of America caught the world leader looking on as his security guards assaulted people in the crowd.” (06/14/17)

http://www.mediaite.com/online/u-s-authorities-to-charge-turkish-security-guards-over-brutal-attack-on-protesters/

—–

9) Mexican/US beer mocks Trump as frowning mariachi
Source: Raw Story

“Mexican and U.S. brewers have reinvented U.S. President Donald Trump as a gun-slinging mariachi folk musician to promote a new beer celebrating cross-border cooperation. The label of the new Amigous Cerveza craft beer, showing a frowning Trump in a sombrero, his trousers held up with a swastika belt buckle, mocks his divisive campaign rhetoric against Mexico and his pledge to build a border wall. The rear label declares that the 71-year-old New Yorker belongs ‘in a mad house, not the White House. … ‘We knew that a Trump label was going to be controversial, but it’s been selling extremely fast,’ said Luis Enrique de la Reguera, chief executive of brewery Casa Cervecera Cru Cru.” (06/14/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/new-mexican-u-s-beer-mocks-trump-as-frowning-mariachi

—–

10) Most Trump real estate now sold to secretive buyers
Source: USA Today

“Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities, a USA TODAY investigation has found. Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies, corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before. USA TODAY journalists have spent six months cataloging every condo, penthouse or other property that Trump and his companies own — and tracking the buyers behind every transaction. The investigation found Trump’s companies owned more than 430 individual properties worth well over $250 million. Since Election Day, Trump’s businesses have sold 28 of those U.S. properties for $33 million.” (06/14/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/13/trump-property-buyers-make-clear-shift-secretive-llcs/102399558

—–

11) OK: ACLU seeks re-examination of domestic violence case
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday that it will ask an Oklahoma court to review the case of a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to report the abuse of her children by her boyfriend, who received only two years behind bars for the abuse. Brady Henderson, the legal director for the ACLU’s Oklahoma chapter, said the group plans to file a lawsuit that will challenge what it believes was a disproportionate sentence given to Tondalao Hall, who said her boyfriend was also abusing her. Hall, 33, was sentenced to prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to failing to protect two of her children. The boyfriend, 35-year-old Robert Braxton Jr., pleaded guilty to abusing the children and was released on probation having been given credit for the two years he had already spent in jail.” (06/14/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/ACLU-seeks-re-examination-of-Oklahoma-domestic-11219763.php

—–

12) NY: NYC eases severity of laws against public urination, drunkenness
Source: Fox News

“New York City residents and visitors may see more public urination soon. That’s because the city council has decided that such activity will now draw a civil ticket, like breaking the speed limit, rather than a criminal summons. The council (in a move that mirrors a similar action in Denver) also downgraded the severity of similar offenses, like public drunkenness. Instead of going before a criminal judge, offenders will be required to attend an administrative hearing. The shift in policy is the result of the Criminal Justice Reform Act and critics say that it undermines the city’s long-time ‘broken windows’ policing policy in which cracking down on minor offenses, like public urination, is deemed to prevent more serious crime from occurring, according to the New York Post. Those who advocate for the new initiative say it will divert 100,000 cases a year from a backlogged criminal justice system and stop minor offenders from racking up a criminal record.” (06/14/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/14/new-york-city-eases-severity-laws-against-public-urination-drunkenness.html

—–

13) Ireland: Indian immigrant’s son becomes country’s youngest prime minister
Source: FirstPost [India]

“When Leo Varadkar’s Indian father, Ashok, moved to Ireland in the 1970s, he chose one of Western Europe’s most socially conservative countries to call home. Thirty-eight years later, his youngest child became the once-staunchly Catholic country’s first openly gay prime minister, its first of Indian descent and the youngest person ever to hold the office.” (06/14/17)

http://www.firstpost.com/world/leo-varadkar-indian-immigrants-son-becomes-irelands-youngest-pm-reuters-3645097.html

—–

14) Australia: Regime reaches $53 million settlement with abducted refugees
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“The Australian government has agreed to a $53 million settlement with 1,905 people who were held at a refugee detention camp on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. It’s one of the largest human rights class-action settlements in Australian history. The Manus Island camp, an all-male facility, has for years been blasted by rights groups for its conditions. The detainees party to the lawsuit were held there at various times between November 2012 and May 2016, and say they suffered from negligence and false imprisonment. Asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by boat were routinely intercepted by Australian authorities and taken to facilities on Manus or on the island of Nauru.” (06/14/17)

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/14/532919441/australia-reaches-53-million-settlement-with-refugee-detainees

—–

15) PA: Court upholds Philadelphia’s idiotic beverage tax
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

“A panel of judges has upheld Philadelphia’s beverage tax, dismissing complaints from the American Beverage Association and local retailers who argued that the levy is unlawful. The legal victory is the second for the city, which fended off a challenge in December. … In April, seven justices of Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh heard arguments on whether the city’s 1.5-per-ounce tax duplicates the state sales tax, rendering it illegal. Wednesday the panel published a 5-2 decision affirming the lower court’s ruling. Arguments centered on whether the levy amounted to a double tax. State law prohibits Philadelphia from enacting taxes on items or transactions the commonwealth already taxes.” (06/14/17)

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/beverage-tax-upheld-by-commonwealth-court-20170614.html

—–

16) Trump to nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for empty slot at FCC
Source: Ars Technica

“President Donald Trump plans to nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel for another term on the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel had to leave the commission at the end of last year when the Republican-led US Senate refused to reconfirm her for a second five-year term. The departure of Rosenworcel and former Chairman Tom Wheeler left the FCC with just three out of the typical five members, with Republicans holding a 2-1 majority. Republican senators didn’t want Rosenworcel to stay on the FCC at the time because it would have resulted in a 2-2 deadlock. Commissioners are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But no party can have more than a one-vote majority, so Trump has to nominate a Democrat and a Republican to fill the empty seats.” (06/14/17)

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/06/trump-to-nominate-democrat-jessica-rosenworcel-for-empty-slot-at-fcc/

—–

17) Bahrain: Lawyer arrested for suing over Qatar blockade
Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“A prominent human rights lawyer in Bahrain has been arrested after launching a lawsuit against the government over its restrictions imposed on neighbouring Qatar. Issa Faraj Arhama al-Burshaid was detained after challenging Manama’s sanctions, which include blocking Qataris from staying in the country along with other economic penalties. He filed the case with the Supreme Administrative Court in Manama against the Cabinet, Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry. … Bahrain on Thursday declared it a crime — punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and a fine — to show ‘”sympathy or favouritism’ to Qatar or to object in any way to Bahrain’s decision to break relations and impose economic and border restrictions on its neighbour.” (06/14/17)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/bahrain-lawyer-arrested-suing-qatar-blockade-170614031944392.html

—–

18) MI: Five bureaucrats face manslaughter charges in Flint water crisis
Source: Detroit Free Press

“Attorney General Bill Schuette charged two high-ranking state health officials today in the fourth round of criminal charges in the Flint drinking water crisis. He also brought new and serious felony charges against four defendants who were charged earlier in the investigation. … Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office, both felonies. Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. Four defendants charged earlier — former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley, former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality drinking water chief Liane Shekter-Smith; DEQ drinking water official Stephen Busch; and former City of Flint Water Department manager Howard Croft — were each charged with involuntary manslaughter.” (06/14/17)

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2017/06/14/flint-water-crisis-manslaughter-charges/396075001/

—–

19) Kazakhstan: Russians launch robotic cargo ship to space station
Source: Space.com

“An uncrewed Russian cargo ship launched toward the International Space Station today (June 14), kicking off a two-day trip to deliver tons of fresh food and other supplies. The automated Progress 67 spacecraft launched into orbit atop a Russian Soyuz rocket at 5:20 a.m. EDT (0920 GMT). The mission lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the local time was 3:20 p.m., NASA officials said. The Progress spacecraft is carrying nearly 3 tons of fresh food, fuel and other vital supplies for the space station’s Expedition 52 crew.” (06/14/17)

https://www.space.com/37193-russia-launches-progress-67-cargo-ship.html

—–

20) US retail sales drop 0.3% in May vs 0.1% increase expected
Source: CNBC

“U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than a year in May amid declining purchases of motor vehicles and discretionary spending, which could temper expectations for a sharp acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales fell 0.3 percent last month after an unrevised 0.4 percent increase in April. May’s decline was the largest since January 2016 and confounded economists’ expectation for a 0.1 percent gain. Retail sales rose 3.8 percent in May on a year-on-year basis. Some of the drop in monthly retail sales reflected lower gasoline prices, which weighed on receipts at service stations.” (06/14/17)

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/us-retail-sales-may-2017.html

***** Everybody Has An Opinion *****

21) Rejecting the heckler’s veto
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Zach Greenberg

“The heckler’s veto is rooted in the misguided belief that an argument can be defeated by forcefully shutting up its opponents. On the college campuses of a free society, a viewpoint gains acceptance in the ‘marketplace of ideas’ by the persuasive power of the arguments in support of it, not the physical might of its advocates. Rather than using force to silence a speaker, the answer to speech with which one disagrees is more speech, not violence or censorship. Unfortunately, many colleges have recently ratified the heckler’s veto by canceling events featuring invited speakers in response to actual or perceived threats of violence or other disruption.” (06/14/17)

https://www.thefire.org/rejecting-the-hecklers-veto/

—–

22) Legal not to lie about your milk
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Mary Lou Wesselhoeft doesn’t have to lie about the milk she’s selling. The Florida Department of Agriculture has lost in court. Mary Lou has won. Ocheesee Creamery sells pasteurized milk without any additives. One of her products is skim milk. Ocheesee sells skim milk without vitamin additives, which is perfectly legal to do. But the Florida government claims that only skim milk with the additives counts as real ‘skim milk,’ the kind you can call skim milk in speech to customers. (Kafka, did you write this horror story? Fess up!)” (06/14/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/06/14/legal-not-to-lie-about-your-milk/

—–

23) Compulsory school attendance: Compassionate or counterproductive?
Source: Heartland Institute
by Teresa Mull

“Earlier this month, an Arizona state legislator did the unthinkable: He proposed returning power to the people by repealing compulsory school attendance laws. Compulsory education requirements have effectively reversed the role government has in Americans’ lives, from having citizens tell the state what to do to having the state telling citizens what they must do. In a recent interview, state Rep. Paul Mosley (R-Lake Havasu City) told me his suggestion that it’s the parents’ job to feed and educate their own children drew outrage from all 50 states. The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss wrote Mosley’s view belonged in ‘the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category.’ But is Mosley’s proposal really so outrageous?” (06/14/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/06/compulsory-school-attendance-compassionate-or-counterproductive/

—–

24) What Trump’s cabinet meeting reveals about government
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Craig Cantoni

“You may have seen the video of President Trump’s cabinet meeting. Democrats are atwitter over what they saw as obsequious comments of cabinet members directed at an egotistical president. Republicans are atwitter over what they saw as sincere comments of cabinet members directed at a great leader. Both sides missed the larger point: that no matter who sits around the table at cabinet meetings, and no matter who is president, the federal government has become so large, so complex, so centralized, so bureaucratic, so costly, so caught up in minutia, and so involved in the affairs of citizens, cities, states, and other countries, that it is unmanageable.” (06/14/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/blog/trumps-cabinet-meeting-reveals-government/

—–

25) Democrats’ obsession with Russian election hacking makes them look dumb
Source: CounterPunch
by Ted Rall

“They got Al Capone for tax evasion — only tax evasion. It wasn’t very satisfying for his prosecutors. But they couldn’t prove murder or racketeering. So they got him where they wanted him: behind bars. It wasn’t elegant. But they got the job done. Congressional Democrats need some of that prohibition-era pragmatism. They want Donald Trump impeached. But unlike Capone’s tormentors, Dems are largely ignoring Trumpy crimes they can prove in favor of those they can’t — Russian ‘election hacking’ that may not have happened at all. Democrats seem determined to maintain their status as a political version of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” (06/14/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/14/democrats-obsession-with-russian-election-hacking-makes-them-look-dumb/

—–

26) Democrats trot out Plan C in neverending Trump impeachment crusade
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“It is merely a coincidence that just as the Trump-Russia collusion story started seriously falling apart, Democrats suddenly shifted gears to file a lawsuit against President Trump for allegedly violating an obscure provision of the Constitution involving foreign ’emoluments.’ On Monday, attorneys general from Maryland and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit against Trump claiming that he is ‘flagrantly violating’ the Constitution because he is still the owner of his businesses, even though he’s given up the operation of them. … For those who don’t know, Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution stipulates that ‘no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.’ The idea that Trump’s businesses could be a problem vis-a-vis this clause never came up before the election. In fact, the only article we found in a search was one that questioned whether Hillary Clinton violated it as secretary of state when her foundation was getting fat foreign gifts while she was making decisions that benefited foreign governments.” (06/14/17)

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/democrats-trot-out-plan-c-in-their-neverending-trump-impeachment-crusade

—–

27) Tyranny over there but not over here
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Throughout history, governments have used crises to justify the adoption of totalitarian powers. In the model totalitarian regime — Nazi Germany — Hitler used the terrorist attack on the Reichstag to ask the German Parliament to grant him emergency powers — temporarily, of course (although, not surprisingly, they lasted to his death in 1945). … That’s what the Egyptian military dictatorship (which, don’t forget, is a close partner and ally of the U.S. government) is doing — using crises and terrorism to justify its dictatorial powers. It’s an old but highly effective strategy employed by totalitarian regimes. But it’s also what the U.S. national-security state did after the 9/11 attacks. And don’t forget — the totalitarian powers that were adopted by U.S. security services are still in existence — 16 years after the attacks — longer now than Hitler’s ’emergency’ powers were in existence, and there is still no sign that U.S. security services intend to relinquish such powers any time soon.” (06/14/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/06/14/tyranny-over-there-but-not-over-here/

—–

28) Afghanistan needs new debate
Source: USA Today
by US Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

“The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for nearly 16 years, the longest war in American history. During that time, our nation has lost more than 2,200 servicemembers, with tens of thousands more wounded. The United States is currently spending more than $3 billion per month in Afghanistan: conducting military operations, training Afghan security forces, and supporting the Afghan central government. Despite these efforts, the central government continues to lose significant ground to the Taliban, and negotiations over a political settlement seem much further away now than in years past. … Across three presidential administrations and Congresses held at various times by both political parties, at no time since 2001 has Congress asserted its constitutional responsibility to fully debate this war. At no time since 2001 have we, as an independent branch of government with war authorization powers, demanded accountability from the executive branch about the commitments the American people should be willing to continue to make. The time for that debate is long past due.” (06/14/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/06/14/john-garamendi-time-new-afghan-editorials-debates/102857668

—–

29) Turn the other cheek? Fuck that!
Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“Recently, an anti-Muslim bigot was hospitalized, and libertarian vice presidential candidate and Muslim Will Coley started a campaign to raise funds for the guy, quoting various teachings of the Quran and actions of Mohammad to show that this sort of behavior (turning the other cheek) is perfectly in accord with Islam and should be encouraged. At first, this went exactly as one would like: people saw the wisdom in the teaching. After all, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, or so goes the saying. … Then came the SJWs. And, oh man, did they come. Suddenly Will was their enemy, despite having the approval of many prominent Islamic figures, and the reason that Will was their enemy? Because he’s white.” (06/14/17)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2017/06/14/turn-the-other-cheek-fuck-that/

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30) Even by Trump’s own standards, his budget is terrible
Source: In These Times
by Susan J Douglas

“Immoral. Cruel. Heartless. These are just some of the words immediately hurled at Trump’s proposed budget and its cuts aimed at children (their suffering the stated reason he bombed Syria), the poor, the sick and the elderly. And the budget is all of those things. But here’s a word we need to hear more: stupid. Trump’s budget only works within the trickle-down theory of economics, the discredited idea that massive tax cuts for the wealthy yield massive economic growth. Trump’s proposed cuts would seriously undermine America’s economic health and competitiveness as a world power.” [editor’s note: Another “progressive” missing the point? SAT] (06/12/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20202/our-loser-president-and-his-sad-budget-trump

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31) Celebrities feud and consumers win
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

“At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I would take a bullet for Taylor Swift without hesitation. With all the heartache and betrayal that woman has gone through, jumping in front of a speeding bullet is the least I can do. This is why the Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift feud has been of particular interest to me. Not only do I find Perry’s brand painfully contrived and basic, but I just don’t really enjoy her music unless it is being covered by the Glee cast, which it frequently was during the show’s run. While Taylor’s vocals may not be as skilled as Perry’s, she is one of the few who actually writes her own music and is able to tap into emotions we have all felt before in a way that is so vulnerable and human. For me, listening to her albums is a cathartic experience. But in an interesting turn of events, this feud, which has spanned over the last several years, has resulted in a win for consumers, as is typical when it comes to market competition.” (06/14/17)

https://fee.org/articles/celebrities-feud-and-consumers-win/

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32) The Saudi war against Qatar
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“What in the name of Allah is going on with the spat between Qatar, on one side, and the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates, and most of the rest of the Arab states on the other? Accusations that Qatar is the fulcrum of ‘terrorism’ in the region, emanating from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi — the twin epicenters of Islamic extremism on earth — seemed to have been broadcast from Bizarro World. And the incident that sparked the controversy — in which much of the Arab world, led by the Saudis, blockaded tiny Qatar — added the extra-hot spice of cyber-espionage to an already indigestible dish.” (06/14/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/06/13/saudi-war-qatar/

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33) What Sessions didn’t tell the Senate
Source: Reuters
by Tim Weiner

“We stand confronted (as former Senator Bob Dole said after seeing ex-Presidents Ford, Carter, and Nixon standing together at the funeral of the Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat) with Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, and Evil. Hear no evil was represented at Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate intelligence committee by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. He said ‘I don’t recall’ or ‘I don’t remember’ so often that it sounded like a highlight reel from the Watergate hearings. Speak no evil was played by Republican members of the committee, who gave a free pass to Sessions’ protestations that he knew nothing substantive about Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. In fact, no senator of either party had the temerity to ask about his recent offer to resign, made directly to President Trump, for reasons on which we can only speculate.” (06/14/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-weiner-sessions-commentary-idUSKBN1952PX

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34) The US taxpayers have spent enough on the war in Afghanistan
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Tim Haffner

“Former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, recently penned an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal calling for a MacArthur Plan for Afghanistan that rests on two pillars: a central Viceroy acting with complete authority to direct development activities and a privatized East India Company model for securing key areas to bolster economic growth. He goes on to posit mineral resource extraction and agriculture cultivation as the means of funding Afghanistan’s rise into the ranks of civilized nations. Of course, leftists immediately denounced the idea as war profiteering and corporate undermining of state authority.” (06/14/17)

https://mises.org/blog/us-taxpayers-have-spent-enough-war-afghanistan

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35) How Trump is tearing apart the Middle East
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“Professional tweeter Donald Trump, with nudges from his retinue of advisers, is once again proving himself a crass amateur when it comes to international diplomacy. Two weeks ago he visited Saudi Arabia to do a sword dance with Saudi royalty, enjoy a confab with other Gulf monarchs, and, according to Trump himself, sort out Islamist terrorism. And, incredibly, thanks to Trump’s intervention, an already chaotic situation in the Middle East, in which local disputes are almost always simultaneously international conflicts by proxy, has become even more messily absurd, as two US allies, both of whom host the US airforce, are now being pitched into battle against each other. Not that Trump, his delusions of moral grandeur duly inflated, seems concerned.” (06/14/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/how-trump-is-tearing-apart-the-middle-east/

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36) Sessions must go, but it can’t end there
Source: The American Prospect
Adele M Stan

“Every time Kamala Harris, the United States senator from California, opens her mouth in a high-profile hearing, it seems that some old white man tells her to be quiet. That’s what happened on Tuesday when, for the second time in a week, an old white man with a gavel stopped Harris, a woman of African American and Indian heritage, when she dared to demand that Attorney General Jeff Sessions explain to the American people the legal underpinnings for his refusal to answer questions put to him by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian officials and businessmen. Prompted by Senator John McCain, Committee Chair Richard Burr interrupted Harris, telling her to ‘allow the witness to answer the question.’ … On Tuesday, it was Sessions’s turn on the hot seat, and he did not take kindly to being pressed by Harris, whose line of questioning revealed that the attorney general could not cite the details or origins of a policy he claimed existed in the Justice Department, regarding advance protection of a president’s right to shield from public view conversations he had with members of his administration.” [editor’s note: Although Harris is clearly a dingbat (much like her colleague Ms. Waters), she seems far less demented than McCain and his fellow “mansplainers” (and yes, Sessions must become the first target for firing) – SAT] (06/14/17)

http://prospect.org/article/sessions-must-go-it-can%E2%80%99t-end-there

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37) Sure there’re more fat people around — ain’t that great?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“Certainly, there are aesthetic reasons for not desiring too many fat people around but the basic underlying story here is that we’ve solved the great and original human problem. How do we produce enough food to keep everyone alive? For we note that before about 1820, just as the Rev Malthus sat down to write it all out, the major limitation upon population size (in both senses, number of people and size of people) was the ability to produce enough food. People really did drop dead from lack of it.” (06/14/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/sure-therere-more-fat-people-around-aint-that-great

—–

38) Designer reality
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Lori Heine

“Libertarians take great stock in the law of supply and demand. We understand that as long as something is in demand (as long as it isn’t a cure for cancer), there will generally be a supply of it. As it was with alcohol — the consumption of which only increased as a result of Prohibition — so, too, has it been with such drugs as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Less obvious, perhaps even to us, is the driving force behind the seemingly unstoppable popularity of alternative reality. Why do so many people, in this increasingly dystopian century, appear to be disconnected from objective truth? I don’t believe it can simply be explained as dissatisfaction with dystopia. There appears to be a general notion that people can believe whatever they want, and that reality is so subjective that it is mere clay, to be molded into whatever shape they choose.” (06/12/17)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1724

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39) How Congress can fight political violence
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“The shooting of U.S. Representative Steve Scalise and four others early Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, is a reminder of how paralyzed the gun debate has become in America. After all, if anything could change the minds of legislators who oppose gun control, it would be their becoming the target of gun violence. But, as with the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Gifford in Tuscon, Arizona, the immediate response has been for lawmakers to reiterate their political positions on the issue. Mo Brooks, a congressman from Alabama, was at the baseball practice targeted by James T. Hodgkinson, the 66-year-old suspect who died after a shootout with police. Asked if the incident had changed his position on gun control, Brooks replied, ‘Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.’” [editor’s note: correct me if I misread, but I heard that only one of the targets being armed at the time, and firing back, prevented deaths and wider destruction from this nutcase – SAT] (06/14/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/143332/congress-can-fight-political-violence

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40) Can Trump rescue federal courts from politics?
Source: The American Conservative
by George Liebmann

“A pattern has developed in recent administrations of both parties. The road to the higher federal judiciary is now a well-trodden one. It begins with the support of a well known ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ law professor; proceeds to the chambers of a federal appellate ‘feeder’ judge of the same political persuasion, and thence to a Supreme Court clerkship with a like-minded justice. Thereafter, the anointed or indoctrinated person may bide his or her time in one of several approved positions: the White House Counsel’s office, the office of the Solicitor General, or the Office of Legal Counsel, if his party is in power; or in a large Washington law firm, congressional committee staff, advocacy group or East Coast law faculty if it is not. As Paul Dewitt Carrington has noted, such careers do not foster ‘intellectual modesty and self-restraint … Especially so if they have after graduation led sheltered careers as law clerks to judges and justices and other occupants of high public offices.’” (06/14/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-cloning-of-judges/

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41) Despite fear-mongering, US is not beset by grave threats
Source: Cato Institute
by John Glaser

“[P]oliticians love to exaggerate threats because it makes them look tough and strong. The media love to emphasize looming dangers because it boosts viewership. And the bureaucracies in Washington tend to amplify meager security concerns because it sustains high budgets and political relevance, and protects them from blame in the event of a terrorist attack or instability overseas. The reality, however, is that the United States is remarkably insulated from foreign threats.” (06/13/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/despite-fear-mongering-us-not-beset-grave-threats

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42) Liars lying about nearly everything
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Philip Giraldi

“The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. … More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. … So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington’s admittedly low standards of rectitude. ” (06/14/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/06/phil-giraldi/liars-lying-nearly-everything/

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43) The preamble to the Constitution: What it tells us and what it doesn’t
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“For many Americans, knowledge of the Constitution begins and ends with the preamble. A lot of people probably even memorized it at some point in school. I suppose you could laud the educational system for at least acknowledging the existence of America’s governing document. But unfortunately, all of the focus on the preamble has done more harm than good. For all of its poetic beauty and the sweeping principles it highlights, the Constitution’s preamble tells us very little about the American system of government as conceived by the founding generation.” (06/13/17)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/06/13/the-preamble-to-the-constitution-what-it-tells-us-and-what-it-doesnt/

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44) Is the U-curve of US income inequality that pronounced?
Source: Notes on Liberty
by Vincent Geloso

“For some time now, I have been skeptical of the narrative that has emerged regarding income inequality in the West in general and in the US in particular. That narrative, which I label UCN for U-Curve Narrative, simply asserts that inequality fell from a high level in the 1910s down to a trough in the 1970s and then back up to levels comparable to those in the 1910s. To be sure, I do believe that inequality fell and rose over the 20th century. Very few people will disagree with this contention. Like many others I question how ‘big’ is the increase since the 1970s (the low point of the U-Curve). However, unlike many others, I also question how big the fall actually was.” (06/14/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/06/14/is-the-u-curve-of-us-income-inequality-that-pronounced/

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45) Red alert: Russian focus might save Trump’s hide
Source: Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd

“I’m not saying the Russians didn’t try to tamper with the vote. (Although, as a patriotic American, I doubt they can tamper as well as we can.) I’m not saying it’s not important or not worth looking into. I’m just saying that if you put most of your focus and resources and political capital on the bet that you will find some smoking gun of direct collusion between Trump and his circle with the Russian state — evidence so direct and overwhelming that even the GOP extremists in Congress can’t overlook it — then you are going to be disappointed. You will not bring down Trump, who, despite mountains of dirt thrown on him, will still walk away and claim vindication.” (06/14/17)

http://www.chris-floyd.com/home/articles/red-alert-russian-focus-might-save-trump-s-hide-14062017.html

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46) 21st century automation: Is this time truly different?
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ryan Hagemann & Nicholas Ciuffo

“In recent years, a great deal has been written about the effect of automation on employment. On the one hand, the pessimists predict that we’re nearing a tipping point, where the wealth created by robots will be reserved for an elite few, while a permanent social underclass will remain forever unemployable. Alternatively, the eternal optimists portend that we are on the path to a post-scarcity world, and that the road ahead may be long, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. All in all, the optimists probably get a lot more right than the pessimists give them credit for. Unfortunately, much of that optimism tends to ignore the many bumps on the road to increasing abundance and, more importantly, disregards how those bumps could derail progress.” (06/13/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/21st-century-automation-time-truly-different/

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47) What monopsony power in the labor market looks like
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“Many people seem to assume that only monopolies have monopoly power. Not so, most firms do. If your firm can raise prices by one penny without seeing sales drop to zero, then you have monopoly power. And if you can reduce wages by one penny per hour without losing all your employees, then you have monopsony power in the labor market. That’s not to say perfect competition is not a useful model, it’s is a good approximation of reality in some contexts. But it’s becoming increasing clear that monopsony power is more than a minor characteristic of the labor market, it gets to the heart of the current issue of labor shortages.” (06/13/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/06/what_monopsony.html

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48) The hidden reason behind Bitcoin’s increasing fees: Darknet mixers
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Jamie Redman

“Just recently a darknet marketplace (DNM) vendor who details he’s been involved with the bitcoin industry for five years, says the rising fee market is caused by marketplace mixers that process multiple transactions at a time. The vendor details that DNM sales using these mixers are forcing him and many others to pay for 50 transactions at a time at ten times the cost, to cover their tracks.” [editor’s note: If I run a store and see that I have customers routinely waiting in line for 20 minutes, I don’t jack up my prices, shrug my shoulders, and tell people who complain ‘well, it’s all those people coming in to buy beer.’ I hire more cashiers and install more registers and checkout lanes. If the network congestion is coming from dark net markets and mixers, well, so what? The solution remains the same: Increase the block size – TLK] (06/13/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/the-hidden-reason-behind-bitcoins-increasing-fees-darknet-mixers/

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49) The Corbyn buck
Source: Mises Canada
by Taylor Lewis

“If youth is wasted on the young, then so are brains. The U.K. snap election brought a bitter surprise to the optimistic Conservative Party. Prime Minister Theresa May barely escaped with her knitting intact after her party’s dismal showing at the polls. Just two months ago, the Tory leader was riding high, calling an election she was almost certain to win. With Brexit talks formally underway, and the Labour opposition led by a frumpy, incompetent, and all around unassuming bloke, May had the wind at her back and gumption in her sails as she steadily rode to a total routing of her enemies. Well, it looks like that old Marxist allure never lost its charm. Britain’s youth, widely (and unfairly) panned for staying home during the Brexit vote, went all lovey dovey over Jeremy Corbyn, giving Labour some unexpected gains, ultimately preventing a total Tory majority.” (06/13/17)

https://www.mises.ca/the-corbyn-buck/

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50) European taxpayers may have paid millions for non-existent offices
Source: Acton Institute
by Kaetana Leontjeva-Numaviciene

“The EU’s decision-making bodies have long been accused of a lack of transparency and being detached from their citizens. A new report has uncovered how the lack of accountability has created a new scandal. Even the means of providing a more direct link between EU citizens and their representatives has become a source of widespread abuse and potential corruption, raising a number of moral and ethical issues. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) receive a tax-free monthly General Expenditure Allowance of around $4,870, or $58,400 a year to maintain offices in their home nations and other expenses. Their national offices are supposed to allow their constituents to communicate with them more easily. The overall cost of the program is $44.9 million (€40 million). But one-third of MEPs’ national offices either do not exist or cannot be located, according to The MEPs Project, run by Investigative Reporting Denmark.” (06/13/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/06/13/european-taxpayers-may-have-paid-millions-non-existent-offices

***** The Sound and the Fury *****

51) The Libertarian Angle, 06/14/17
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“FFF president Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling talk about the founder of The Foundation for Economic Education and a hero of modern libertarianism, Milton Friedman.” [various formats] (06/14/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-giants-libertarianism-leonard-read/

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52) Freedom Feens Radio, 06/14/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Shane Buell and Jeremy Heisenberg yak about multitasking with audiobooks, Jeremy’s new infatuation with Hal’s New York seltzer, North Korea threatening to nuke NY, and how school kills kids’ creativity. In the second hour Shane and Jeremy discuss how governments hate competition, Lysander Spooner and the American Letter Mail Company, and scientists calling for studies on sex in space.” [various formats] (06/14/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14664

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53) Electric Libertyland, episode 24
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland Host Brian McWilliams welcomes in legal counsel and renown man of mystery Rico to talk the Jeff Sessions hearing, James Comey, Rand Paul vs. Saudi arms deals, Evergreen College’s social justice warriors and the Gay Pride Week protest parades, some of which refused to allow pro-Trump LGBTQ citizens to participate.” [various formats] (06/14/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/06/14/electric-libertyland-ep-24-sessions-comey-pride-week/

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54) Intercepted, 06/14/17
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted: Trump’s besties in Saudi Arabia convinced him that Qatar, the host of U.S. Central Command, is the premiere Arab nation sponsoring terrorism. Amnesty International’s Sherine Tadros and Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan analyze the hypocrisy-laden, bizarre crisis. We also discuss the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy addresses the Justice Department’s allegations about The Intercept’s recent NSA story and the prosecution of the alleged leaker. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes talks Russia, Trump, the media and his new book, ‘A Colony in a Nation.’ DJ Spooky joins the conversation and imagines a Trump-inspired mash-up of Dante’s Inferno and Disco Inferno.” [various formats] (06/14/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/14/intercepted-podcast-the-trump-mixtape-dantes-inferno-meets-disco-inferno/

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55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 930
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Bernie Sanders is saying we need to increase the minimum wage because it’s so hard for people earning the present minimum wage to find adequate housing. Now there are all kinds of problems with that, but I’m particularly interested in Bernie’s complete lack of interest in why housing in some places might be so expensive.” [various formats] (06/13/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-930-bernie-sanders-isnt-curious-about-why-some-places-are-so-expensive/

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56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 53
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #53, I look at the war machine’s propaganda. The propaganda creates a false narrative about US wars overseas. The lies that are told by the media and government about war allow US support for war to continue. The war harms the people of the US and the Middle East, while enriching and empowering wealthy elites. By knowing how to identify the propaganda you can avoid believing it.” [various formats] (06/14/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-53-exposing-the-war-machines-propaganda

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57) Free Talk Live, 06/13/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Bill Cosby Jury Still Deliberating :: Libertarian Frustrations :: Illegal Thin Blue Line Painted Down Street in Keene :: City Council Lack of Responsibility :: Venezuela Supreme Court Set Ablaze :: Opiates :: Car Safety Features :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Johnson.” [Flash audio or MP3] (06/13/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-06-13

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

Editors Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
R. Lee Wrights
*****