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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,879
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
447 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.com

Please forward this email to your friends so
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*****

In the News:

0) A final fundraiser update from the publisher …
1) Iran: Pro-regime rallies follow six days of protests
2) “Dead man’s switch?” Mysterious Assange tweet sends Twitter into a frenzy
3) MN: Bachmann says she’s considering running for Al Franken’s Senate seat
4) UT: Hatch to retire from US Senate, clearing way for Romney
5) Bulgaria: Radev vetoes anti-corruption bill
6) CA: Mike Tyson breaks ground on marijuana farm and luxury resort
7) “Mapping the Swamp” report: 30,000 feds earn more than any governor
8) Sanders: US should be more like Iceland
9) Study: Teens who start vaping [tobacco] are more likely to end up smoking
10) Deadly US cold snap expected to worsen
11) Study: Voters who object to federal spending “have a racist motive”
12) US House transportation panel chair says he will not seek re-election
13) SpaceX will try to launch the mysterious Zuma satellite again Thursday
14) Trump urges DoJ to “act” on Comey, suggests Abedin should face jail time
15) New colourful metalens opens up possibilities for AR and VR
16) Report: 2017 was safest year for commercial airline passengers ever
17) NV: SUV driver shoots intruder
18) Israel: Knesset raises vote threshold to tighten grip on Jerusalem
19) Diabetes drug reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice; reduces brain plaque buildup and improves memory
20) Pakistan: Regime summons US ambassador over Trump’s projectile Twitter diarrhea

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Are federal spying powers modern day writs of assistance?
22) News flash for Jack Lew: The US government is already broke
23) An unqualified injustice
24) Despite setbacks, liberty will prevail in 2018
25) First Amendment values versus the First Amendment
26) How to abolish war
27) A New Year’s freedom resolution
28) How President Trump changed your imagination
29) Wiretap orders that defy geographical limitations mandated by Congress must not be tolerated
30) Shocker: New York Times admits Trump is doing something right
31) Welcome to 2018 — we are all connected
32) Rubbing SALT in the wounds of Republicans
33) No foreign spy program reauthorization without citizen protections
34) In Catalonia, let seceders secede and remainers remain
35) Once centers of hope, political parties are dying
36) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 17: The rise of the elderly
37) Clean your room, change the world
38) The “Me Too” movement and the rights of the accused
39) India needs to work harder, both in its own backyard and in its near-abroad
40) My 2018 crypto plans
41) Trump versus the FBI
42) Why the Goldwater Rule exists, and why it applies to Donald Trump
43) Four thoughts on Byrd v. United States
44) How pagans viewed Christian charity
45) Five issues Congress will tackle this year — and one they definitely won’t
46) By the numbers
47) Where have you gone, Al Franken?
48) Holding parents responsible
49) Capitalism and how expectations coordinate markets
50) I win all my Ebola bets

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 37
52) Stossel: Is 2018 the year of the Libertarian Party?
53) Problems with the private production of defense, part 2: Mobilization
54) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/02/17
55) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 142

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

0) A final fundraiser update from the publisher …

Dear readers,

I apologize for it taking until today to get a final fundraiser update to you. I’m still waiting for one answer from a supporter that may increase the total, but I’ve been waiting for a day or so, and it’s time to stop bugging you with fundraising messages!

Thanks to KAW/PW, TH, AB, EG, JM, JR, TI, and DFD, whose one-time donations and monthly subscriber contributions totaling $255 in the last few days bring our FINAL year-end fundraiser total to $3,872! And thanks to all of you who have supported us over the last 15 years!

We hit 77.4% of our goal ($5,000), and we’re very grateful for it. As usual, I’ll try to keep fundraising appeals to a minimum (once a month or so) until the 4th quarter of 2018, and those appeals will be aimed at recruiting new “subscribing contributors” who send us a little bit on a regular basis (as little as $1 a month) so that eventually we can quit pulling out the stops with year-end pleas. If you’d like to be one of those subscribing contributors, see:

http://rationalreview.com/support-rrnd

And now, we return to your regular daily programming 🙂

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Publisher
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

—–

1) Iran: Pro-regime rallies follow six days of protests
Source: Reuters

“Pro-government rallies in several Iranian cities drew thousands of marchers on Wednesday, following six days of rare unrest that took the country’s leaders off guard. State television broadcast live pictures of rallies in Kermanshah, Ilam and Gorgan, where marchers waved Iranian flags and pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. … At least 21 people have been killed during the unrest, including two members of the security forces. More than 450 protesters have been arrested in the capital Tehran in recent days, and hundreds of others were detained around the country, according to officials. A judicial official said some could face the death penalty. … In at attempt to control the flow of information and calls for anti-government gatherings, Tehran authorities have restricted access to the Telegram messaging app and Instagram …” (01/03/18)

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-rallies/iran-holds-pro-government-rallies-after-sixth-day-of-protests-idUKKBN1ES0FY

—–

2) “Dead man’s switch?” Mysterious Assange tweet sends Twitter into a frenzy
Source: Sputnik [Russian state media]

“An odd, cryptic tweet by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange featuring some sort of code and a link to the video of a 2008 rap song has sent Twitter into speculation mode over its meaning. The tweet, which remains Assange’s last entry as of 5pm GMT, includes a 60 character code composed of letters and digits [fb4e568623b5f8cf7e932e6ba7eddc0db9f42a712718f488bdc0bf880dd3], along with a link to M.I.A.’s Paper Planes, a song featuring the chorus ‘All I wanna do is (gunshot, gunshot, gunshot, gunshot) and (click, ka-ching) and take your money’ and the lines ‘If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name’ and ‘I’ve got more records than the KGB, So, uh, no funny business.’ The message has led to a flurry of speculation over what exactly Assange was trying to say. Was it an encryption key indicating that a fresh batch of WikiLeaks files was on the way? Or a code for a ‘dead man’s switch’ triggered to release its cache of ‘life insurance’ files in case the freedom of information activist was assassinated?” (01/01/18)

https://sputniknews.com/viral/201801011060466020-mysterious-assange-tweet/

—–

3) MN: Bachmann says she’s considering running for Al Franken’s Senate seat
Source: Fox News

“Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is considering running for the recently vacated U.S. Senate seat held by Al Franken. ‘I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat,’ Bachmann said recently on televangelist Jim Bakker’s television show. ‘And the only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate and to be able to advocate for these principles.’ Bachmann, a religious conservative who served four terms in Congress, said she and her husband are considering the option to run for Franken’s Senate seat, but said there’s ‘a price you pay’ when running for a political office of that stature. ‘The question is, is it — should it be me? Should it be now? But there’s also a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic,’ Bachmann said, noting her and her husband ‘aren’t money people.’” (01/02/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/02/michele-bachmann-says-shes-considering-running-for-al-frankens-senate-seat.html

—–

4) UT: Hatch to retire from US Senate, clearing way for Romney
Source: CNN

“Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Tuesday that he won’t seek re-election this year …. Hatch, the Senate’s longest serving Republican, has wrestled with the decision for months, emboldened by the entreaties of President Donald Trump to seek an eighth term. Now, it sets up a potential path for Trump critic [Mitt] Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, to reclaim the spotlight as a conservative counterpoint to the President.” (01/02/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/02/politics/orrin-hatch-retires/index.html

—–

5) Bulgaria: Radev vetoes anti-corruption bill
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has vetoed an anti-corruption bill passed in parliament last month, saying it would not be effective. He argued that the bill would not be independent and could be used to persecute political opponents. The move is considered embarrassing for Bulgaria, which assumed the EU’s rotating presidency on Monday. The EU has been pressing the government to take steps to rein in administrative and political corruption for years. Anti-corruption agency Transparency International has said Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in the bloc. The bill, which would create a special unit tasked with tackling high-level abuse, was passed by parliament on 20 December.” (01/02/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42545381

—–

6) CA: Mike Tyson breaks ground on marijuana farm and luxury resort
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“First, there was the boxing ring. Then came ‘The Hangover.’ And now Mike Tyson is going green. Late last month, the former boxing heavyweight champ broke ground on a 40-acre cannabis operation in the quiet desert of California City, a remote town 60 miles south of Death Valley with a population of 15,000. Half of the acreage on Tyson Ranch will be devoted to cannabis growing, The Blast reports. The remaining 20 acres will feature a cutting-edge extraction facility, a ‘Tyson Cultivation School,’ an edible factory and a hydro-feed plant and supply store. ‘Smoke and stay’ appears to be the planned modus operandi for the Tyson venture, as the ranch will also include ‘glamping’ campsites and cabins, The Blast writes. The plot of land is near Edwards Air Force Base, the online publication explained, and Tyson intends his eponymous ranch to be a source of jobs for military veterans.” (01/02/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Mike-Tyson-marijuana-cannabis-weed-california-12467556.php

—–

7) “Mapping the Swamp” report: 30,000 feds earn more than any governor
Source: Fox News

“Tens of thousands of federal employees earn more money than any U.S. governor, according to a new report that reveals some eye-popping stats on government spending for the federal workforce. The 40-page report, titled ‘Mapping the Swamp’ and released by government watchdog group OpenTheBooks, focused on the ‘size, scope and power’ of the federal government — and found salary spending for high-paid employees on the rise. ‘The number of highly compensated federal employees is growing,’ the report said, describing six-figure salaries as increasingly common. According to the report, the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more increased by 165 percent between fiscal 2010 and 2016. Federal employees making $150,000 or more grew by 60 percent, with the number making more than $100,000 increasing by 37 percent in the same time period.” (01/02/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/02/mapping-swamp-report-finds-30000-feds-earn-more-than-any-governor.html

—–

8) Sanders: US should be more like Iceland
Source: Raw Story

“Bernie Sanders is calling on the United States to be more like Iceland and legally enforce equal pay for men and women, he said on Tuesday. ‘We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. As we fight back Republican efforts to revert women’s rights to second-class, it is important to not lose sight that our real goal is to move forward and expand women’s rights,’ the independent senator from Vermont wrote in a Facebook post. The former presidential candidate posted in response to the Nordic country’s historic legalization of equal pay for men and women, which went into effect on Monday. Iceland is the first country to do so, and its legislation requires that any company or government agency that employs 25 people or more prove to the government that it pays men and women the same wages, or else face fines.” [editor’s note: He’s right on one level; Iceland has multiple political parties, a coalition government, and mostly decentralized power – SAT] (01/02/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/bernie-sanders-says-us-should-be-more-like-iceland

—–

9) Study: Teens who start vaping [tobacco] are more likely to end up smoking
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Youths who vape are more likely to light up. That’s the conclusion reached by UCSF researchers, who found that using any form of tobacco (including electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, water pipes and snuff) makes a teenager more likely to get hooked on conventional cigarettes. ‘Teens who experimented with tobacco in any form were at greater risk of future smoking,’ said senior author Benjamin Chaffee, a UCSF dentistry professor and one of those who conducted the study of 10,384 youths ages 12 to 17 who were nonsmokers at the outset of the research.” [editor’s note: I fixed the headline so it reflected the article, rather than aiding the cabal to demonize cannabis, as was obviously intended – SAT] [additional editor’s note: I suppose it’s possible that tobacco can be or is vaped, but I’ve never heard of it – TLK]

(01/02/18) http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Teens-who-start-vaping-are-more-likely-to-end-up-12467742.php

—–

10) Deadly US cold snap expected to worsen
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A deadly cold snap that has left the US shivering in record-breaking temperatures for the New Year is expected to worsen in the coming days. Several deaths have been blamed on the deep freeze, which is forecast to heap more snow on the East Coast this week, the National Weather Service said. Forty US states were under official winter alerts for bitter cold or snow on Tuesday morning. Tourists visiting Niagara Falls have posted photos of the waters freezing. The cold was expected to ease temporarily on Wednesday before the frigid temperatures return on Thursday.” (01/02/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42544598

—–

11) Study: Voters who object to federal spending “have a racist motive”
Source: Raw Story

“Despite benefitting the most from taxes, people in many of the United States’ poorest regions appear to oppose federal spending due to bigotry. A study published in the American Politics Research journal and summarized in the Harvard Business Review reveals that conventional wisdom that places poor white Republicans in states that receive tax benefits against Democrats in states that pay higher taxes to benefit those in poverty ‘is not supported by evidence,’ thus creating what the researchers referred to as a ‘federal spending paradox.’ This paradox led researchers to delve into three factors: ‘party identification, ideology, and racial resentment.’ They defined racial resentment as ‘a post-Civil-Rights-era view rooted in the denial of continuing discrimination against African Americans, doubts about their work ethic, and resistance to government efforts to reduce racial inequalities.’” [editor’s note: What a complete crock of … I guess I need to stop voting then? – SAT] (01/02/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/voters-who-object-to-federal-spending-have-a-racist-motive-study

—–

12) US House transportation panel chair says he will not seek re-election
Source: Raw Story

“Republican Representative Bill Shuster, the chairman of the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, will not run for re-election in November, he said in a statement on Tuesday. Shuster, 56, who has served in Congress since 2001, said in a statement that he will spend his last year in office ‘working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both Chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America.’ Trump, who met with Shuster in December to talk about rebuilding U.S. roads and other projects, is expected to unveil an infrastructure proposal later this month. The administration previously proposed $200 billion in government funding over 10 years as part of a goal of getting $1 trillion in public and private infrastructure spending, but that has been panned by Democrats who want significantly higher government spending fixing roads, bridges and other infrastructure items. Shuster has championed a plan backed by Trump to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system, but it has faced opposition in Congress and was not approved last year.” (01/02/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/us-house-transportation-panel-chair-says-he-will-not-seek-re-election

—–

13) SpaceX will try to launch the mysterious Zuma satellite again Thursday
Source: Ars Technica

“Fresh off a year with a record 18 orbital launches, SpaceX is set to try its first mission of the new year on Thursday. Less than two weeks since its last flight, the company returns to Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for the launch of the secretive ‘Zuma’ mission for the US government. Originally planned for November, an undisclosed issue with the Falcon 9 rocket’s fairing caused SpaceX to delay the launch … All that is publicly known about the Zuma payload is that it was manufactured for the US government by Northrop Grumman and bound for low-Earth orbit. One source told Ars that SpaceX is launching the payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, but the NRO has denied that Zuma is its satellite.” (01/02/18)

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/spacex-will-try-to-launch-the-mysterious-zuma-satellite-again-thursday/

—–

14) Trump urges DoJ to “act” on Comey, suggests Abedin should face jail time
Source: Washington Post

“President Trump on Tuesday appeared to suggest that Huma Abedin, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton, should face jail time, days after the State Department posted emails found on her estranged husband’s computer that included confidential government information. In a tweet, Trump also urged the Justice Department to act in prosecuting Abedin and former FBI Director James B. Comey, who the president fired in May amid the mounting investigation into Russia’s [alleged] meddling in the 2016 presidential election and contacts between Moscow and Trump’s campaign. … In his tweet, Trump appeared to be reacting to a report in the Daily Caller that found Abedin had forwarded State Department passwords to her personal Yahoo account before Yahoo faced a series of high-level hacks that affected all account-holders.” (01/02/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/01/02/trump-urges-justice-department-to-act-on-comey-suggests-huma-abedin-should-face-jail-time/

—–

15) New colourful metalens opens up possibilities for AR and VR
Source: Siliconrepublic.com [Ireland]

“For years now, scientists working in the field of optics have been working to replace the bulky, curved lens with something known as a metalens: a flat surface that uses nanostructures to focus light. What has held the technology back, however, is the limited spectrum of light that it can focus well — but that is set to change following a recent breakthrough from the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). In a paper published to Nature Nanotechnology, a team of researchers revealed that it developed the first single lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light — including white light — in the same spot and in high resolution. Until now, this achievement has only been done using standard curved lenses stacked on top of one another.” (01/02/18)

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/machines/ar-vr-new-technologies

—–

16) Report: 2017 was safest year for commercial airline passengers ever
Source: USA Today

“The friendly skies are safe, too. A new report finds that 2017 was the safest year for commercial air travel ever — with only 111 accidents and 13 deaths worldwide. The two fatal accidents both involved small regional planes — an Embraer Brasilia that lost control in flight in Angola after a reported engine failure in October and a Let 410 that crashed while landing Russia in November — according to the Netherlands-based aviation consultancy, To70. That’s a rate of one fatal accident for every 16 million flights, the firm calculated. … To70 studies data involving only larger passenger aircraft, which is why the two fatal crashes this New Year’s Eve weren’t included in the tally. … In addition, the report excludes fatalities on the ground, like the 35 people killed in Kyrgyzstan when a cargo plane sped past the runway into a neighboring village in January and the person killed by a jet blast as she stood close to the fence at the Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten in July.” (01/02/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/01/01/report-2017-safest-year-commercial-airline-passengers-ever/994504001/

—–

17) NV: SUV driver shoots intruder
Source: Elko Daily Free Press

“Las Vegas police say a driver who shot and killed a man climbing into his SUV likely won’t be arrested because it was apparently self-defense. Police Lt. Dan McGrath tells the Review-Journal the driver warned the man before firing the fatal shots late Sunday. … a teenager in the back seat was fighting off the intruder when the driver grabbed a gun and hit the man with it. Police say he kept coming and ignored the warning before the driver fired.” (01/01/18)

http://elkodaily.com/news/state-and-regional/regional-news-suv-driver-shoots-intruder/article_9f2bdb02-f16e-5b28-9fe5-ef80dc39baea.html

—–

18) Israel: Knesset raises vote threshold to tighten grip on Jerusalem
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Israel on Tuesday raised the number of votes needed for any future vote on ceding parts of Jerusalem to Palestine, in a move that could hamper the division of the city as part of a peace agreement. The amendment to the legislation increased the number of votes required to approve proposals to hand over any section of the city to ‘a foreign party’ from 61 to 80 in the 120-seat Knesset. … US negotiations between Israel and Palestine have been frozen since 2014 but, if resumed, an Israeli parliament majority to approve handing over parts of Jerusalem could complicate efforts to reach a peace agreement. Israel seized control of the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of a future state that would also include the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” (01/02/17)

http://www.dw.com/en/israel-raises-vote-threshold-to-tighten-grip-on-jerusalem/a-41994152

—–

19) Diabetes drug reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice; reduces brain plaque buildup and improves memory
Source: Newsweek

“Promising new animal research suggests a drug originally developed to treat diabetes significantly reverses memory loss and brain degeneration in mice with a rodent version of Alzheimer’s disease. If the same is proven true in humans, the drug could one day be used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related illnesses. In the study, published online this week in Brain Research, scientists from Lancaster University in England used lab mice to test how effective a diabetes drug known as a triple receptor was in treating Alzheimer’s disease.” (01/01/17)

http://www.newsweek.com/alzheimers-diabetes-new-medication-drug-development-767510

—–

20) Pakistan: Regime summons US ambassador over Trump’s projectile Twitter diarrhea
Source: US News & World Report

“Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s angry tweet about Pakistan’s ‘lies and deceit,’ while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt. David Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Monday to explain Trump’s tweet, media said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place. … Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday will chair a cabinet meeting that will focus on Trump’s tweet, while on Wednesday the country’s top civilian and military chiefs will meet to discuss deteriorating U.S. ties.” (01/02/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-01-02/pakistan-summons-us-ambassador-after-trumps-angry-tweet

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

21) Are federal spying powers modern day writs of assistance?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Daniel Brookman

“Section 702 currently allows the FBI and other federal agencies to use bulk data collected during the surveillance of foreign targets to be used in the prosecution of domestic cases. It acts as a backdoor to allow carte blanche spying on U.S. citizens bypassing the requirement for specific warrants issued upon probable cause. Senator Paul has been fighting for better protections for Americans from these unconstitutional actions and introduced the bipartisan USA Rights Act with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) earlier this year aimed at doing just that. The bill didn’t make it out of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee. The blanket warrants being used are essentially no different than the Writs of Assistance the British Crown imposed on colonial merchants leading up to the Revolutionary War. These Writs were general warrants that allowed officials to search and seize private property based upon any suspected premise.” (01/02/18)

https://mises.org/wire/are-federal-spying-powers-modern-day-writs-assistance

—–

22) News flash for Jack Lew: The US government is already broke
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“As I write this, the national debt stands at more than $20.5 trillion, and per the president’s 2018 budget request, the US government continues to spend money at a rate of about $7.8 million per minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — about $850,000 more dollars per minute than it raises with taxes. When Jack Lew refers to ‘us’ and ‘we,’ he wants every American to assume responsibility for a ‘fair share’ of that debt. Currently, such a share would come to nearly $63,000 per US citizen. But ‘we’ didn’t borrow that money. A few hundred politicians did. Yes, they claim that ‘we’ are their co-signers. But I don’t recall offering to cover their bar tabs. Do you?” (01/02/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12429

—–

23) An unqualified injustice
Source: Cato Institute
by Clark Neily

“One of the most important tools we have for holding police and other public officials accountable is the ability to sue them when they violate our rights. But the Supreme Court has undermined this vital accountability mechanism with a legal fiction called ‘qualified immunity.’ On Friday, the court will have an opportunity to change course by agreeing to hear a case involving a tragic miscarriage of justice. Andrew Scott was home playing video games with his girlfriend after midnight on June 15, 2015, when someone began pounding on the door to his apartment. The frightened couple retreated to Scott’s bedroom, where he retrieved his pistol and then made his way back to the living room. Carefully opening his front door, Scott saw an armed man and started to back up. The man immediately fired six shots, striking Scott three times and killing him. The shooter was Lake County, Florida, Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Sylvester …” (01/01/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/unqualified-injustice

—–

24) Despite setbacks, liberty will prevail in 2018
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“I have much hope for 2018. I know we are continuing to make steady progress waking up the American people to the idea that ideas do matter! Our interventionist foreign policy, responsible for so much misery around the world, is not inevitable. Our destructive economic and monetary policies, which enrich the well-connected while impoverishing the rest of us, are not inevitable. The further destruction of our right to privacy, to live our lives as we see fit, to pursue our own happiness without the government looking over our shoulder, is not inevitable. We can turn this around!” (01/02/18)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/despite-setbacks-liberty-will-prevail-2018

—–

25) First Amendment values versus the First Amendment
Source: Cato Unbound
by John Samples

“To participate in making a democratic culture, people need to (and do) use cultural artifacts owned by others. Balkin calls for strong ‘fair use’ to encourage democratic culture. Some would deny recognition and protection to intellectual property; after all, Mickey Mouse has retained his popularity because he has been absorbed into and retained by popular culture, long after Walt Disney penned his last cheerful rodent. On the other hand, in initially creating Mickey, Disney birthed an incredibly potent cultural product, and since at least 1688, the added value of that type has justified a kind of private property, for some people anyway. In a culture characterized by endless remixing, the locus of value creation can be difficult to determine.” (01/02/18)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2018/01/02/john-samples/first-amendment-values-versus-first-amendment

—–

26) How to abolish war
Source: The New Republic
by Andrew Lanham

“At the turn of the twentieth century, leading figures in the Progressive movement nurtured an idealistic dream. With the right kind of social reform, they believed, humanity could end all war. The philosopher William James called for a ‘moral equivalent of war.’ The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace funded legal efforts to abolish war. And in her 1907 book Newer Ideals of Peace, Jane Addams predicted that more rights for workers, women, and immigrants would soon create so much global cooperation that no one would fight again. The outbreak of World War I in 1914, followed by America’s entry into the war in 1917, seemingly shattered that dream. Woodrow Wilson had won reelection in 1916 on the slogan ‘He kept us out of war,’ but when Germany declared submarine warfare against neutral shipping (and any American civilians on those ships) in early 1917, Wilson rapidly changed his mind.” [editor’s note: While this gives the imperialist Wilson too much credit, it is a good overview of “progressive” anti-war efforts – SAT] (01/02/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146453/abolish-war

—–

27) A New Year’s freedom resolution
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Here’s a great New Year’s resolution for the American people: To redouble our efforts to achieve a free, prosperous, peaceful, and harmonious society, one that can serve as a model for the world. Sounds good, right? But not that easy. This resolution actually requires some deep and critical thinking, specifically relating to two important questions. The first question is: What does it really mean to be free?” (01/02/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/01/02/new-years-freedom-resolution/

—–

28) How President Trump changed your imagination
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“Do you remember when candidate Trump told us (in effect) that he would be the first non-politician to win the presidency? It seemed impossible to even imagine such a thing. Then he did the impossible. Do you remember when it was common wisdom that if the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it would be a huge problem? President Trump did it anyway. So far, it looks like a minor problem at most. Do you remember when experts said President Trump shouldn’t mess with the Iran nuclear deal because it could cause a huge problem for the United States and its allies? He did it anyway, and it is likely a supporting variable for the Iranian protestors who don’t like how their government is creating problems that don’t need to be problems.” [editor’s note: Once again, although I do not buy every bit of this, Mr Adams presents an alternate angle on these issues, every bit as credible as the “orthodox” view – SAT] (01/02/18)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/01/02/president-trump-changed-imagination

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29) Wiretap orders that defy geographical limitations mandated by Congress must not be tolerated
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jennifer Lynch & Karen Gullo

“The Supreme Court should recognize and give teeth to the critical, privacy-protecting limitations Congress placed on wiretaps, EFF told the court in an amicus brief we filed with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. When law enforcement officials wiretap someone’s cell phone, the law doesn’t allow them to tap any phone they want anywhere in the country. The Wiretap Act (also known as ‘Title III’ because it comes from Title III of the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act) permits wiretapping, but only under the narrowest of circumstances and subject to restrictive requirements carefully drawn to protect extremely sensitive privacy interests. One of those requirements is that judges can only authorize wiretap orders for interceptions that occur within their districts.” (01/02/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/wiretap-orders-defying-geographical-limitations-mandated-congress-must-not-be

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30) Shocker: New York Times admits Trump is doing something right
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“The ‘newspaper of record’ ran a highly unusual story this week. It reported how President Trump’s deregulatory push was encouraging business to spend and invest again. You don’t say. The Times’ story (which carried the web headline, ‘The Trump Effect: Business, Anticipating Less Regulation, Loosens Purse Strings’) started this way: ‘A wave of optimism has swept over American business leaders, and it is beginning to translate into the sort of investment in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation — and may finally raise wages significantly. While business leaders are eager for the tax cuts that take effect this year, the newfound confidence was initially inspired by the Trump administration’s regulatory pullback, not so much because deregulation is saving companies money but because the administration has instilled a faith in business executives that new regulations are not coming.’ Reporters Binyamin Appelbaum and Jim Tankersley note, for example, that capital spending climbed 6.2% in the first three quarters of the year, well before anyone could be sure there’d be a tax cut.” (01/02/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/new-year-ny-times-trump-regulation-business-investment

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31) Welcome to 2018 — we are all connected
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“Over the course of 2017, I spent a lot of time detailing where we stand as a species and where I think we’re going. To summarize, I think the positive impact of the internet and social media on humanity is still very much in its infancy. The more connected we become to one another across the planet, the more we’ll realize we have far more in common with one another than we do with the sociopathic oligarchs and politicians in charge of our respective nation-states.” (01/02/18)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/01/02/welcome-to-2018-we-are-all-connected/

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32) Rubbing SALT in the wounds of Republicans
Source: The American Prospect
by Dean Baker

“There is little question that the Republicans in Congress were quite explicitly targeting high-tax blue states with their decision to severely limit the deductions for state and local taxes. Putting a cap of $10,000 on these deductions can add thousands of dollars to the tax bills of many upper middle class people living in relatively high-tax states like California or New York. As a result, these states will feel considerable pressure from a politically powerful bloc to lower taxes, which will then necessitate cutbacks in areas like education and healthcare. Fortunately, there are ways to undermine the Republican effort. An obvious one is to partially replace the state income tax with an employer side payroll tax. This can lead to a situation in which the state tax on wage income ends up being fully deductible against federal income taxes even for people who do not itemize on their tax forms.” (01/02/18)

http://prospect.org/article/rubbing-salt-wounds-republicans

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33) No foreign spy program reauthorization without citizen protections
Source: Reason
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

“The federal government’s greatest constitutional responsibility is keeping America safe and secure. One of many tools in its arsenal is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was meant to strengthen our ability to monitor foreign threats. Since the intention of FISA is to spy on foreigners, we don’t require that the government obey the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protections of privacy are not extended to foreigners. Congress agreed to a less-than-constitutional standard as long as the targets were foreigners in foreign lands. Even many privacy advocates can accept this lower standard for foreign intelligence. But few, if any, privacy advocates believe that information vacuumed up without constitutional protections should be used against Americans accused of domestic wrongdoing. Unfortunately, that’s what we believe is happening now.” (01/02/18)

http://reason.com/archives/2018/01/02/no-foreign-spy-program-reauthorization-w

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34) In Catalonia, let seceders secede and remainers remain
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Przemyslaw Hankus

“The debate on whether Catalonia should or should not secede from Spain has raised the recurrent and demanding question for libertarians: is it ‘libertarian’ to support this particular secessionist process, knowing that the group wanting to secede does not necessarily seek to build a free market and libertarian paradise in the north-eastern part of the Peninsula? Furthermore, is supporting the right of self-determination disrespectful for those who do not want to leave Spain, but live in Catalonia? Is there any ‘libertarian’ solution to this Catalan puzzle? I will show that there is one called ‘enclavization.’” (01/02/18)

https://fee.org/articles/in-catalonia-let-seceders-secede-and-remainers-remain/

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35) Once centers of hope, political parties are dying
Source: Reuters
by John Lloyd

“There’s little difficulty in showing that some of the most venerable political parties of the democratic world may be facing terminal crises. The difficulty is in determining if government by a party or parties (the sustaining base of administrations the democratic world over) can last. On most material measures, the world is getting better — less poverty, more education and literacy, healthier people (though few believe it). But not for the established political parties which often helped make it so. That is because the parties are at the mercy of a series of vast movements, global rather than bounded by the nation state.” (12/29/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-parties-commentary/commentary-once-centers-of-hope-political-parties-are-dying-idUSKBN1EN1EV

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36) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 17: The rise of the elderly
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Under the mindset of the factory era, old people were expected to move quietly to the side after they stopped working. From there they were to quietly dote on grandchildren, then get sick and die. That, however, has changed. For one thing, people are living longer and retaining their health into advanced ages. Also, old people never really were fit to be pushed off the stage. Certainly old people tend to slow down, but ‘slower’ is a long way from ‘no movement at all.’ Old people are more than capable of many things, and they frequently have piles of massively valuable experience. Anyway, what we learned as the sanitarium (and now Crypto House) opened back up last week, was that Esther and the sanitarium refugees have been busy. While they were away, they spread their new ideas to at least three different old folks’ homes.” (01/02/18)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/rosc-17-rise-elderly/

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37) Clean your room, change the world
Source: Mises Canada
by Daniel J Sanchez

“In a now-famous appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, psychologist Jordan B. Peterson pointed out how strange it is that many politically-engaged young people are preoccupied with reorganizing society and the economic system when they can’t even organize their own bedrooms. … Indeed, as economic philosophers Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Leonard Read demonstrated, a market economy is so bafflingly complex that even an omniscient and perfectly virtuous central planner (presumably with an immaculate office) couldn’t hope to centrally plan it. So what kind of guidance can be expected from someone who can’t even centrally plan their own closet? And yet, so many are ardent about ‘changing the world’ while being profoundly neglectful of their own little corner of the world. This approach to life is a recipe for angst and depression.” (01/02/18)

https://www.mises.ca/clean-your-room-change-the-world/

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38) The “Me Too” movement and the rights of the accused
Source: In These Times
by Marilyn Katz

“Like many women of the Baby Boom generation who’ve worked outside the home, I’ve experienced the full range of sexual harassment and attempted abuse from absurd comments to unwanted touches or gropes to absolutely scary assaults. I’m delighted that we women have won the right to declare our bodies off limits to attackers and to call them out is a victory. That the men who engage in the full spectrum of sexual harassment from the juvenile to the criminal are being brought to account is good. That those called out have lost their right to a fair hearing and self-defense is not. I am disturbed by the mob mentality that seems to have overtaken the nation in addressing the problem. It is one thing to accuse, quite another to equate accusation with guilt. While old enough to catalogue decades of the harassment, I am also old enough to remember or know about parallel periods in history that are stains on the nation.” (12/29/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20794/me-too-and-the-rights-of-the-accused

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39) India needs to work harder, both in its own backyard and in its near-abroad
Source: Notes On Liberty
by Tridivesh Maini

“In his latest tweet, Trump minced no words, saying that Pakistan had fooled the US all these years, and that US will not take this lying down …. A number of senior officials in the Trump Administration, such as the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence have hinted that harsh steps for Islamabad are a real possibility, some of which include not just withdrawal of aid to Pakistan, but also the removal of Pakistan’s non-NATO ally status. … New Delhi has understandably been closely observing these events. Trump’s warnings to Pakistan are viewed as positive news for India …. Realists in New Delhi will however be keeping an eye on the following issues.” (01/02/18)

https://notesonliberty.com/2018/01/02/india-needs-to-work-harder-both-in-its-own-backyard-and-in-its-near-abroad/

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40) My 2018 crypto plans
Source: KN@PPSTER @ Steemit
by Thomas L Knapp

“At the moment, my three-digit crypto holdings are in Ethereum and Steem, with a few bucks in Bitcoin Cash and a tiny Dash mining contract. I find Bitcoin Cash and Dash interesting, but my prediction is that Ethereum will replace Bitcoin and its variants as the dominant crypto in 2018. It’s not geared so much as a medium of exchange as it is a foundation for investments in enterprises (‘Initial Coin Offerings’ and pre-buying of goods with digital tokens. I suspect that this year we will see some major enterprises (even Amazon, maybe?) do token sales that allow customers to take a discount on future purchases and the enterprise to take a prospective profit on the rise in Ethereum value.” (01/02/17)

https://steemit.com/steem/@thomaslknapp/my-2018-crypto-plans

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41) Trump versus the FBI
Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

“The attempt to tease, weave and develop a narrative against President Donald J. Trump over a Russian connection began almost immediately after his victory in November last year. This was meant to be institutional oversight and probing, but in another sense, it was also intended to be an establishment’s cry of hope to haul the untenable and inconceivable before some process. No one could still fathom that Trump had actually won on his merits (or demerits). There had to be some other reason.” (01/02/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/02/trump-versus-the-fbi/

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42) Why the Goldwater Rule exists, and why it applies to Donald Trump
Source: The Jack News
by Jim Bennett

“In 1964, Fact magazine published an article titled ‘The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater.’ It featured a survey, in which 1,189 psychiatrists voted to say that presidential candidate Goldwater was ‘psychologically unfit to be president.’ Goldwater sued for libel and won $75,000 in damages, and the American Psychiatric Association used this occasion to institute what has become known as the ‘Goldwater rule,’ stating that ‘it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on an individual] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.’ The Goldwater Rule is cited repeatedly in the recent book called ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,’ in which ’27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,’ albeit from a distance and in clear violation of the APA’s longtime ethical standards. Those experts are listed on the book’s back cover, and they apparently include Noam Chomsky, an emeritus professor of linguistics and longtime left-wing activist with absolutely no professional mental health expertise whatsoever.” (01/03/18)

https://www.thejacknews.com/commentary/why-goldwater-rule-exists-applies-to-donald-trump

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43) Four thoughts on Byrd v. United States
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Orin Kerr

“The Byrd case concerns a basic question in Fourth Amendment law: How much of a relationship does one need to have with property — in this case, a rented car — to be able to object to an illegal search or seizure of it? This is Question 2 in my textual breakdown of Fourth Amendment law, which everyone in Fourth Amendment law calls ‘standing’ even though the Supreme Court has told us we really shouldn’t call it standing (more on this below). When I teach Fourth Amendment standing, I generally teach it as a line-drawing exercise with points along a continuum. Everyone agrees on the extremes, and the disagreement is where to draw the line. How much of a connection, and what kind of connection, is enough?” (01/02/18)

http://reason.com/volokh/2018/01/02/four-thoughts-on-byrd-v-united-states

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44) How pagans viewed Christian charity
Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

“After centuries of persecution and repression, the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 313. However, within a generation his nephew would try to restore paganism to the Roman Empire. Julian — remembered by historians as Julian the Apostate — came to the throne in 361 after rejecting his Christian baptism and celebrating the pagan rites that had not fully lost their hold on his subjects. Julian tried to use all the powers of the state to launch a pagan revival. He organized a parallel, pagan priesthood based on the Church’s diocesan model. He tried to use legal mechanisms to deny Christians their recently acquired equal rights. But he saw one obstacle above all preventing a return to the old ways: Christian charity.” (01/02/18)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2018/01/02/how-pagans-viewed-christian-charity

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45) Five issues Congress will tackle this year — and one they definitely won’t
Source: The American Conservative
by Barbara Boland

“Capitol Hill Republicans spent much of the Christmas break rejoicing over the passage of tax reform. But when they return in 2018, they’ll face a thorny briar patch of other issues they’ll need to tackle. Many of these items should have been dealt with in 2017 but were put off with short-term patches. With these problems still looming and Donald Trump eager to follow up his tax overhaul with other successes, expect a busy congressional calendar in the year to come — though not as busy as it could be. Let’s begin with the one thing we can be sure Congress won’t deal with.” (01/02/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/5-issues-congress-will-tackle-in-2018-and-1-they-definitely-wont/

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46) By the numbers
Source: The Zelman Partisans
by Carl Bussjaeger

“In recent years, victim disarmament advocates have been making more use of international firearms homicide rate comparisons. The United Kingdom used to be their go-to example, but that’s largely fallen by the wayside since, not only has its crime rate been growing as America’s has dropped, but they were outed for faking their low numbers. These days, the line is, ‘The United States has the highest firearms murder rate of any developed nation,’ along with assorted variations on the theme. Typically, they also throw in the fact that we have far more guns per person than any other country (I see that as a point of pride).” (01/02/17)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=4716

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47) Where have you gone, Al Franken?
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Today, finally, is the day. Barring some last-minute hijinks in the extended resignation ritual announced almost four weeks ago by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the comedian turned cad turned politician turned pervert leaves his U.S. Senate seat. And hopefully keeps his mitts off other people’s seats to boot.” (01/02/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/01/02/where-have-you-gone-al-franken/

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48) Holding parents responsible
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“Here’s a philosophical brain teaser for you: Should parents be held responsible for their children’s actions? My culturally programmed answer to this question is, ‘Yes, because children can’t be held responsible for their actions, they’re too young to really know what they’re doing, and since somebody should, why not those who are raising them?’ Parents often take pride and credit for their children’s accomplishments, so why not for their failures, too? I think there can only be two possible answers to this question that make any rational sense. These two answers fork at one question: Do we have free will?” (01/01/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/holding-parents-responsible

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49) Capitalism and how expectations coordinate markets
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“Open, competitive markets have a resilient capacity to successfully coordinate the actions of, now, billions of people around the world. With an amazing adaptability to changing circumstances, the actions and reactions of multitudes of suppliers and demanders are brought into balance with each other. Yet, none of this requires government planning, regulation or directing control. But how does this all come about?” (01/02/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/capitalism-expectations-coordinate-markets/

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50) I win all my Ebola bets
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“Back in 2014, Ebola was national — and global — news. Even in Africa, fears ultimately turned out to be overblown. The WHO’s official tally was about 11,000 fatalities. The true figure is almost certainly higher, but not grossly so. This is far short of the hundreds of thousands of deaths so many predicted. … In the U.S., the news was even better. Total deaths came to one. Given the effectiveness of sanitation and quarantine at preventing its spread, this was highly predictable. But medical science didn’t inoculate us against national hysteria. … Rather than fruitlessly argue with a maelstrom of passion, I publicly proposed the following bet in October, 2014: ‘$100 says that less than 300 people will die of Ebola within the fifty United States by January 1, 2018.’ Four noble souls took the other side. Since today is January 1, 2018, I am pleased to announce that I have won the bet. (Since all prepaid, we’re already settled up).” (01/01/18)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2018/01/i_win_all_my_eb.html

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

51) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 37
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Joel Mokyr argues that the elite stood on the shoulders of craftsmen to bring us into the age of Enlightenment.” [various formats] (01/02/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/enlightenment-revolution-w-mokyr

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52) Stossel: Is 2018 the year of the Libertarian Party?
Source: Reason

“Libertarians had high hopes last presidential race. The candidates offered by the two major political parties were hated, so libertarians thought 2016 was their big chance. It didn’t turn out that way. Still, Nicholas Sarwark, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, says it was a great success. … [John] Stossel talks to Sarwark about what we can learn from the last election, and what the future holds for libertarians and the Libertarian Party.” [Flash video] (01/02/18)

http://reason.com/reasontv/2018/01/02/2018-the-year-of-the-libertarian-party

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53) Problems with the private production of defense, part 2: Mobilization
Source: Attack The System

“Todd is joined by Keith Preston and Will Mclean to discuss the problems of privatizing mobilization of armed forces.” [Flash video] (12/31/17)

https://attackthesystem.com/2017/12/31/problems-with-the-private-production-of-defense-part-2-mobilization/

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54) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/02/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Darrell Becker and Michael W. Dean explain economics for noobs, how the world works, why cops are like mongooses, why Bitcoin is not the same as a tulip, why crypto haters will be mowing our lawns in five years, and why most people like sugar and fear snakes.” [various formats] (01/02/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15467

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55) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 142
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Top anarchists and minarchists of 2017, cryptocurrency taxation, homelessness, California weed and more.” [various formats] (01/01/18)

http://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-142-philosophy-injection/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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