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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,881
Friday, January 5th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Trump seeks to block tell-all book — so publisher moves up release
2) Sessions reboots war on marijuana
3) Afghanistan: Kabul protest hit by deadly bomb attack
4) Trump regime aims to open nearly all US offshore waters to drilling
5) Merrill Lynch bans its clients, advisors from trading bitcoin-related investments
6) Trump regime suspends most security aid to Pakistan
7) Moon, Trump agree to delay joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics
8) Jet Airways grounds pilots after “cockpit fight”
9) A 9.4-ton space station is going to crash into Earth
10) Norway oil: Environmentalists lose Arctic exploration case
11) Charlottesville “crying Nazi” sues Antifa protesters, claiming he was framed at rally
12) IN: Second ranked Democrat in legislature won’t seek re-election
13) Philip Morris says its New Year’s resolution is to give up cigarettes
14) Australia: Backpackers in hospital after snorting white powder
15) CA: Man impersonating gangster tried to pull over real one
16) DHS confirms data breach
17) VA: Republicans win “lot draw” for state legislature seat
18) Egypt: Islamic State declares war on rival Hamas with video execution
19) Iran: Regime appears to have beaten down protests
20) NY: NFL heiress arrested after alleged anti-semitic purse attack

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Now we know: FBI ignored lawbreaking to exonerate Hillary Clinton
22) Fire and Fury: A tale of two Trump lawsuits
23) The Iranian rebellion: Everybody’s wrong
24) Sessions still is not leading a cannabis crackdown
25) Blockchain technology behind bitcoin is worth it
26) All of Hillary’s foreigners
27) Why not end both programs?
28) Minarchism on seasteads
29) Fat Cat Thursday
30) If Trump has been defamed, he should sue
31) Move over, corporate Democrats; new wave of left populists is on the rise
32) If you’re afraid of risk, don’t take the job of absorbing risk
33) If you can read one article on Italy only
34) A new strategy for “healthcare”
35) To stop looming war with North Korea, Trump must let Kim Jong Un talk to South Korea
36) Software copyright back before federal circuit: Time for the court to get it right
37) Instead of “infrastructure investment,” how about killing Davis-Bacon?
38) How an illegal shipping container changed the world’s economy
39) Racist mania
40) Mitt Romney is not an anti-Trump hero
41) Sorry, but the Republican Party is not in crisis
42) Socialism: Iran’s weapon against the west?
43) Rothbard, Rand, and “how I became a libertarian”
44) On the disease theory of fascism
45) Trump’s war on terror
46) Show me something new in Trump’s foreign policy
47) Bitcoin will stop the motor of the world
48) The times must change
49) There’s no way Congress is going to fix entitlements
50) Take your mitts off our myths

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Reason Podcast, 01/04/18
52) Cato Radio Highlight, 01/04/18
53) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/04/18
54) Free Talk Live, 01/03/18
55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1067

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

1) Trump seeks to block tell-all book — so publisher moves up release
Source: New York Times

“President Trump mounted a legal attack on Thursday on a new book portraying him as a volatile and ill-equipped chief executive, but the publisher rebuffed his demand to halt its release and defiantly moved up official publication to Friday because of soaring interest. In an 11-page letter, the president’s lawyer said the book, ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,’ by Michael Wolff, as excerpted in a magazine article, includes false statements about Mr. Trump that ‘give rise to claims for libel’ that could result in ‘substantial monetary damages and punitive damages.’ ‘Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book, the article, or any excerpts or summaries of either of them, to any person or entity, and that you issue a full and complete retraction and apology to my client as to all statements made about him in the book and article that lack competent evidentiary support,’ the letter said. Undeterred, Henry Holt and Co., the publisher, announced that rather than desist, it would make the book available for sale starting at 9 a.m. Friday rather than wait for its original release date on Tuesday.” (01/04/18)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/us/politics/trump-threatens-sue-fire-fury-publisher.html

—–

2) Sessions reboots war on marijuana
Source: NBC News

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave U.S. attorneys the green light Thursday to aggressively enforce federal laws against marijuana — even in states where pot is legal. In doing so, Sessions reversed an Obama administration policy that shielded legalized marijuana from federal intervention and enabled the pot industry to flourish. … A senior Justice Department official said one reason for the change is that the previous policy ‘was perceived to have created a safe harbor for the industry to operate.’ The move by the nation’s top law enforcement official comes the same week that California began selling recreational marijuana. It is also legal in Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. There are also thriving medical marijuana programs in 28 states.” [hat tip — David Klaus] [editor’s note: OK, so Sessions is picking a fight with marijuana. Hopefully he won’t be surprised when marijuana gives him an ass-whipping of epic proportions – TLK] (01/04/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/sessions-end-obama-era-policy-legalized-marijuana-n834591

—–

3) Afghanistan: Kabul protest hit by deadly bomb attack
Source: Guardian [UK]

“A suicide attacker blew himself up near a crowd of police and protesters in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 25 others, in the latest deadly violence to bring carnage to the Afghan capital. … A security source who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity said 20 people had been killed and 20 wounded in the attack, but the higher death toll could not be immediately confirmed. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which happened during a protest following the death of a shopkeeper during a police operation targeting alcohol and bootleggers, an unnamed official said.” (01/04/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/04/kabul-at-least-11-killed-in-latest-islamic-state-suicide-bombing

—–

4) Trump regime aims to open nearly all US offshore waters to drilling
Source: Reuters

“The Trump administration on Thursday proposed opening nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, reversing protections in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific. The bid to expand American energy production faces objections from environmentalists, state officials and some business groups worried about spills and the potential impact on coastal tourism. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the draft National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019 to 2024 would make over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf’s total acreage available for leasing, including areas put off-limits by the Obama administration.” (01/04/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-drilling-offshore/trump-administration-aims-to-open-nearly-all-u-s-offshore-waters-to-drilling-idUSKBN1ET1OW

—–

5) Merrill Lynch bans its clients, advisors from trading bitcoin-related investments
Source: CNBC

“Merrill Lynch financial advisors cannot buy bitcoin-related investments for their clients, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The ban prevents the financial giant’s roughly 17,000 advisors from pitching investments related to bitcoin and executing client requests to trade Grayscale’s bitcoin investment trust (GBTC), the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the matter. … Merrill Lynch previously banned access to the bitcoin futures that CME, the world’s largest futures exchange, and its competitor Cboe launched in mid-December. Bitcoin has soared more than 1,300 percent over the last 12 months and has drawn strong criticism that the digital currency is in a highly speculative bubble.” (01/04/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/03/merrill-lynch-bans-its-clients-advisors-from-trading-bitcoin-related-investments-report-says.html

—–

6) Trump regime suspends most security aid to Pakistan
Source: Washington Post

“The Trump administration will suspend most security assistance to Pakistan, the State Department said on Thursday, expanding its censure over militant safe havens that U.S. officials blame for ongoing violence in Afghanistan. … The administration had previously announced it will suspend $255 million in military aid to Pakistan.” (01/04/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-suspends-security-aid-to-pakistan/2018/01/04/303145e4-f18a-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html

—–

7) Moon, Trump agree to delay joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily [South Korea]

“South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Thursday to delay their countries’ regular joint military exercises during the Winter Olympic Games to be held here next month. The agreement came in a telephone conversation between the two leaders, according to the Blue House. The tentative agreement came at a request from the South Korean leader. … The call between Moon and Trump came one day after the divided Koreas reopened their dialogue channel at the joint security area of Panmunjom in a prelude to resuming government-level talks for the first time since December 2015.” (01/04/18)

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3042935

—–

8) Jet Airways grounds pilots after “cockpit fight”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Jet Airways has grounded two pilots following reports of a fight inside the cockpit of a flight from London to Mumbai. The Indian airline confirmed that a ‘misunderstanding’ occurred between the cockpit crew on the New Year’s Day flight. It added that the crew involved had been taken off their flight duties, pending an investigation. The flight, which was carrying 324 passengers, landed safely in Mumbai. According to Indian media reports, quoting witnesses, the incident occurred after the male pilot allegedly slapped the female pilot. The woman left the cockpit in tears, but colleagues eventually persuaded her to go back, reports said.” (01/04/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42562253

—–

9) A 9.4-ton space station is going to crash into Earth
Source: USA Today

“The first space station built and launched by China will come hurling into Earth as winter ends, according to a recent analysis. The Tiangong-1 is predicted to re-enter our atmosphere around March, the federally-funded Aerospace Corporation reports. In 2016, the Chinese stopped receiving data from the station, which is why its re-entry likely won’t be controlled. It’s hard to pinpoint where the station or its parts will fall, but it’s anticipated to land somewhere between 43 degrees North and 43 degrees South latitudes in one of two bands parallel to the equator, Aerospace says. The Northern Hemisphere prediction includes multiple states in the U.S. from northern California to Pennsylvania. Apparently, it’s not as terrifying as it sounds. The odds of the 9.4-ton unmanned station crashing into a person is ‘about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot,’ the analysis found. That’s because Earth’s atmosphere will likely burn up and break apart some of the 34-foot long mass.” (01/04/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/04/9-4-ton-space-station-going-crash-into-earth-no-you-dont-need-abandon-planet/1003558001

—–

10) Norway oil: Environmentalists lose Arctic exploration case
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A Norwegian court has backed the government’s plans for oil exploration in the Arctic, which had been challenged by environmental groups. The issuing of oil exploration licences breached a constitutional right to a healthy environment, the groups said. The 10 licences were issued in 2016 to explore the Barents Sea above the Arctic circle. Norway is seeking to replace production from its dwindling oilfields in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea. Although signed up to the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, it is western Europe’s biggest producer and exporter of oil and gas. Greenpeace says global energy companies have already discovered more oil and gas than the world can safely burn.” (01/04/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42569104

—–

11) Charlottesville “crying Nazi” sues Antifa protesters, claiming he was framed at rally
Source: Newsweek

“White supremacist Christopher Cantwell, who became infamous after the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in the Charlottesville, Virginia, in August has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Antifa protesters, who he claims ‘framed’ him in an alleged mace attack. Cantwell is currently facing up to 20 years in prison for allegedly attacking protesters with mace. But he now claims that his accusers used the spray on themselves in a bid to ‘maliciously punish, discredit, vex and harass him,’ Vice has reported. The self-identified white supremacist became infamous as the ‘crying Nazi’ after he released footage of himself weeping upon learning there was a warrant out for his arrest over the alleged attack ahead of the rally, which turned deadly after a man drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing activist Heather Heyer.” (01/04/18)

http://www.newsweek.com/charlottesville-crying-nazi-sues-antifa-claiming-he-was-framed-rally-769475

—–

12) IN: Second ranked Democrat in legislature won’t seek re-election
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Another top-ranking Democrat in the Indiana Legislature has decided to not seek re-election after this year’s session. Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond says she’ll finish out her term and then give up the seat she first won in 1998. Lawson has been the second-ranking House Democrat as minority floor leader since 2011 after six years as House Judiciary Committee chairwoman when Democrats controlled the chamber. Lawson is a retired Hammond police officer. She tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that the climate in the Legislature has become ‘toxic’ with Republicans holding large majorities in recent years and ignoring Democrats.” (01/04/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/No-2-Indiana-House-Democrat-won-t-seek-12473371.php

—–

13) Philip Morris says its New Year’s resolution is to give up cigarettes
Source: USA Today

“Philip Morris International has made a dramatic New Year’s resolution: ‘We’re trying to give up cigarettes.’ The maker of such cigarette brands as Marlboro, L&M, Parliament and Chesterfield took out full-page ads in several newspapers in the United Kingdom that said its new ambition in 2018 is to build a smoke-free future and eventually stop selling cigarettes. The manifesto, as described on the company’s web site, is to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes and to one day replace them all with smoke-free alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The company claims the alternatives are less harmful and that ‘we can achieve a significant public-health benefit only when a large number of these smokers switch from cigarettes to better products.’” (01/03/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/01/03/philip-morris-marlboro-wants-give-up-cigarettes-go-smoke-free/1001442001

—–

14) Australia: Backpackers in hospital after snorting white powder
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Nine young backpackers were rushed to hospital in the west Australian city of Perth after snorting a drug they mistook for cocaine. Three remain in critical condition after ingesting the mystery white powder which arrived in the post addressed to someone else. The nine suffered seizures, paralysis and hallucinations. Tests suggest the powder contained Hyoscine, a prescription drug which has gained notoriety as a date rape drug. Five of the backpackers are French, two are German, one is Italian and one is Moroccan, and they are aged between 21 and 25, say reports.” [editor’s note: Serves them right for stealing other people’s drugs – TLK] (01/04/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42563523

—–

15) CA: Man impersonating gangster tried to pull over real one
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A man was arrested on New Year’s Day for allegedly impersonating a police officer, after he attempted to pull over another vehicle — whose driver turned out to be an off-duty Visalia police sergeant. Brandon Freeman, 29, was driving a 2008 white Buick sedan in Tulare when he pulled behind a Visalia sergeant’s personal vehicle. Freeman then turned on a red light in the car and tried to initiate a traffic stop, said Visalia police. Rather than pull over, the sergeant drove to Visalia and contacted officers at his department, setting up a traffic stop of the white sedan. Freeman was pulled over by Visalia police, interviewed, then arrested for impersonating a police officer, along with other charges. It’s unclear why Freeman attempted to pull over the sergeant. Sgt. Damon Maurice with the Visalia Police Department told the Visalia Times-Delta that the incident should serve as a reminder for the public to pull over in well-lit and populated areas and to request identification from officers during a traffic stop.” [editor’s note: Early entry for Darwin Awards? Could have gotten shot very easily – SAT] (01/04/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Man-pulls-over-Visalia-officer-sergeant-red-light-12472288.php

—–

16) DHS confirms data breach
Source: Raw Story

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Wednesday that data of over 240,000 current and former employees was breached from an internal source and was discovered during a criminal investigation into the actions of a former staff member of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In a letter to employees, the DHS said that an unauthorized copy of its investigative case management system was found in the possession of a former DHS OIG employee. The number of affected employees was estimated to be around 247,167 including both current and former employees. They were all employed in the DHS in 2014. There was no information regarding the former OIG employee and the DHS did not say why the former employee was under investigation. The information in the file also included names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, positions, grades and duty stations. The agency said it ‘did not include any information about employees’ spouses, children, family members and/or close associates.’” (01/04/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/dhs-confirms-data-breach

—–

17) VA: Republicans win “lot draw” for state legislature seat
Source: CNN

“GOP incumbent David Yancey won a ‘lot draw’ in the race for Virginia’s House of Delegates Thursday, giving Republicans control of the chamber. The quirk of democracy came as the Virginia Board of Elections used the procedure laid out in a 1705 law to settle the 11,608-to-11,608 tie between Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds for the seat. James Alcorn, the chairman of the board of elections, drew a film canister with Yancey’s name out of a blue and white ceramic bowl made by Virginia artist Steven Glass. After the lot draw, Simonds did not rule out seeking a second recount, saying ‘all options are still on the table.’” (01/04/18)

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/politics/virginia-house-drawing/index.html

—–

18) Egypt: Islamic State declares war on rival Hamas with video execution
Source: Washington Post

“The extremist Islamic State group’s branch in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has taken a simmering dispute with the Palestinian Hamas group based in nearby Gaza to new levels, releasing a 22-minute video in which it calls on its followers to attack the group and shows the execution of a man it said was a collaborator. Analysts say the escalation has the potential to destabilize an already fragile security situation in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave that Hamas has controlled for the past decade. … The confrontation between the two militant groups has been building for more than a year, as Hamas has cracked down on Islamic State supporters in Gaza and hardened its border with the Sinai region in an attempt to repair relations with Egypt.” (01/04/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/04/islamic-state-throws-down-gauntlet-to-rival-hamas-with-video-execution/

—–

19) Iran: Regime appears to have beaten down protests
Source: CBS News

“The strength of protests shaking Iran was unclear on Thursday after a week of unrest that killed at least 21 people, with fewer reports of demonstrations as government supporters again took to the streets in several cities and towns. It wasn’t immediately clear if the drop in reports of new demonstrations challenging Iran’s theocratic government meant the protests were subsiding or that the authorities’ blocking of social media apps had managed to stop protesters from offering new images of rallies. However, while CBS News sources in Iran said there were sporadic, small uprisings reported around the country, the deployment of thousands of security forces appeared to have largely restored order — by force and intimidation — in most places.” [editor’s note: As if force and intimidation weren’t how ALL regimes — including the US regime — “restore order” when the serfs get uppity – TLK] (01/04/18)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-protests-appear-largely-quashed-by-tehran-security-forces/

—–

20) NY: NFL heiress arrested after alleged anti-semitic purse attack
Source: People

“The socialite daughter of former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke was arrested Wednesday following an altercation on New Year’s Eve, where she allegedly left a man bloodied after hitting him with her purse. The New York Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that Jacqueline Kent Cooke, 29, was charged with second-degree assault. The incident took place at a restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, when Cooke allegedly made an anti-Semitic remark to the mother of a 52-year-old man in the coat check line, police said. Police said a physical confrontation ensued, with Cooke allegedly striking [Matthew] Haberkorn in the head with her glass clutch. Police added that the man sustained a laceration.” (01/04/18)

http://people.com/crime/nfl-heiress-jacqueline-kent-cooke-arrested-new-years-eve-alleged-attack-purse/

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

21) Now we know: FBI ignored lawbreaking to exonerate Hillary Clinton
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Each new revelation about how the FBI handled (or, more appropriately, mishandled) the Clinton email scandal makes it that much clearer that politics trumped law enforcement, even when it involved matters of national security. The Hill’s John Solomon reported on Wednesday that congressional investigators have turned up evidence that the FBI believed laws had been broken when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides exchanged a multitude of classified information via email over Clinton’s unsecured, home-brew server. According to Solomon, an early draft of the FBI’s statement on the matter, written in early May 2016, said: ‘The sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the ‘up classified’ emails) supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.’” (01/03/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/clinton-email-scandal-fbi-investigation

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22) Fire and Fury: A tale of two Trump lawsuits
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Two days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States, a former contestant on his reality TV Show, The Apprentice, sued him for defamation. At issue was his public response to her allegations of unwanted kisses and forceful gropes. He had caller her a ‘liar’ and claimed she was motivated by greed and/or politics. Now the shoe’s on the other foot: Trump is threatening to sue publisher Henry Holt and Co. if they release a new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff. … In early December, Trump’s lawyers argued in court that he was just too busy and that his job was just too important for him to be dragged into court by a mere reality show contestant. … If he’s too busy and important to be sued, how can it be that he has the free time, the undiverted attention span, and the scratchable itch to to go around threatening to sue others?” (01/04/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12443

—–

23) The Iranian rebellion: Everybody’s wrong
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Here in the West, three views have taken root among the commentariat (and, of course, among US government officials: 1) This is a heroic attempt by the freedom-starved people of Iran to — finally! — overthrow the theocracy …. On the other hand we have a different view, 2) which we can see given expression on the same video, showing Iranian lobbyist Trita Parsi blaming – wait for it! – Donald Trump. Really? Oh yes, he really means it: it’s all because of economic uncertainty due to Trump’s threats to cancel the Iran deal. … Then there is the third view, which simply ascribes the rebellion to ‘US imperialism,’ and the regime-change apparatus Washington has put into place in order to pull off incidents such as these. This explanation — that the US, the Saudis, and the Israelis are solely responsible for the anti-government protests — lacks the one feature all such propositions require: evidence.” (01/04/18)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/03/iranian-rebellion-everybodys-wrong/

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24) Sessions still is not leading a cannabis crackdown
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a 2013 Justice Department memo that signaled a policy of prosecutorial restraint for state-licensed marijuana businesses. Rather than suggesting to U.S. attorneys how they should decide which marijuana cases to pursue, Sessions is letting them decide for themselves. Although that move reflects Sessions’ well-known opposition to marijuana legalization, it is not clear how big an impact it will have on the cannabis industry, because federal prosecutors have always had broad discretion but limited resources in this area.” (01/04/18)

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/04/sessions-still-is-not-leading-a-cannabis

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25) Blockchain technology behind bitcoin is worth it
Source: USA Today
by Moe Levin

“The holiday dinner table discussion about bitcoin has evolved and matured over the past eight years. Part of this evolution is in the grudging admission that the technology at bitcoin’s core has unexploited commercial and social utility. Bitcoin uses constantly growing, encrypted ledgers of transactions known as blockchains to allow secure transactions. Among other uses of blockchain technology, bitcoin has developed an elegant method for transferring value from one person to another. This is interesting from a technological perspective, and we can agree that this technology has some value. But how much? More important, how do we characterize the action of putting money at risk by buying bitcoin, or any cryptocurrency? For one thing, we don’t call it gambling. Gambling means binary bets with high probability of failure. With cryptocurrencies, you’re investing in the future potential of this technology, not a binary situation.” (01/03/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/03/blockchain-behind-bitcoin-worth-editorials-debates/109131594

—–

26) All of Hillary’s foreigners
Source: The American Spectator
by George Neumayr

“The media’s cheerleaders for the investigation into the Trump-Russia fable claim that its importance lies in keeping American elections pure of foreign interference. They have been posturing as great defenders of American sovereignty, a stance that normally makes them uneasy. But even as they pretend to worry about foreign interference, they seek to sanitize an investigation that is the product of foreign interference: the Obama administration, according to increasingly desperate reports, relied on the ‘intelligence’ of a shifting array of foreign spies and diplomats to launch its probe into Trumpworld. … Hillary, far from the victim of foreign interference, was the beneficiary of it. She had not only the John Brennans working for her but also the Christopher Steeles, effete diplomats, and other assorted foreign busybodies. The media says repeatedly that the American people deserve government elections untainted by foreign meddling. Shouldn’t that also apply to government investigations of candidates?” (01/03/18)

https://spectator.org/all-of-hillarys-foreigners/

—–

27) Why not end both programs?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, wants to make Wisconsin the first state to mandate drug testing for able-bodied adults who apply for food stamps. Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature approved the idea more than two years ago, but nothing came of it because of concerns about its constitutionality and its conflict with federal rules that prohibit states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients. … Walker touts drug testing ‘as a way to put more drug-free workers into the workplace.’ … Opponents of Walker’s plan, such as Jon Peacock, research director for Kids Forward, which advocates policies and public expenditures to benefit children and families in Wisconsin, maintain that ‘the state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements.’ I have a better idea than Walker or Peacock. Why not end both programs? Why not end the government’s war on drugs and the government’s food stamp program?” (01/04/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/not-end-programs/

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28) Minarchism on seasteads
Source: Praxeology.net
by Roderick T Long

Abstract: “States are dangerous, even minarchist ones. Nevertheless, there are reasons why a seastead community might seek to organize as a minarchy rather than an anarchy in order to have a governmental face to turn toward the outside world. Such a minarchy will need to be designed with incentive structures to counteract, as far as possible, the tendency of state power to grow. Several strategies for doing so, both democratic and anti-democratic, are considered and found wanting. It is argued that the best way of constraining a minarchist state is to build competitive, anarchic elements into its structure; several ways of doing this are canvassed.” [PDF] (published earlier in 207; so far as I know, just now posted online)

http://praxeology.net/RTLong-minarchism.pdf

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29) Fat Cat Thursday
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Dumitriu

“Today is Fat Cat Thursday. It marks the fact that in just three working days Britain’s top bosses will have earned more the average full-time employee will over the whole year. The High Pay Centre (who publish this stat) argue that this is evidence that CEO pay is too damn high. The Times believe that executive pay is damaging the reputation of free markets. And the Prime Minister agrees, she thinks that firms that offer CEOs massive pay packets are ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism.’ Hogwash! CEOs are paid handsomely because the decisions they make are so important. When Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer waited too long to invest big in smartphones, he destroyed share value magnitudes higher than his pay. The right CEO can take a firm to the next level (e.g. Steve Jobs at Apple) and the wrong CEO can bankrupt a firm. Is it any wonder that firms are willing pay millions to get the right one?” (01/04/18)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/fat-cat-thursday

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30) If Trump has been defamed, he should sue
Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Michael Wolff has published a sensational new book about the Trump administration. In it, he quotes Steve Bannon, formerly the chief executive of the Trump campaign and chairman of Trump propaganda outlet Breitbart, characterizing meetings between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives as ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘treasonous.’ Bannon also is quoted as saying that there is ‘zero’ chance that Donald Trump himself was unaware of the meetings. … If the Trump administration is telling the truth, and Wolff is telling tales (selling wolf tickets, as it were), then Trump should sue him and sue his publishers, Henry Holt & Company, a division of Macmillan and part of the giant Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. And by that I mean: Trump should actually sue Wolff and Henry Holt, rather than simply send a cease-and-desist letter, as he has done.” [editor’s note: Trump shouldn’t be allowed to sue anyone until he stops claiming that he’s too busy and important to be required to respond when someone else sues HIM – TLK]

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455143michael-wolff-donald-trump-defamed

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31) Move over, corporate Democrats; new wave of left populists is on the rise
Source: In These Times
by Theo Anderson

“In spring 2016, a U.S. presidential candidate made the above prediction to Businessweek. That candidate was none other than Donald Trump, and he was speaking of the GOP. His words seem ludicrous, but Trump’s anti-corruption pose, populism and vaguely left-sounding economic rhetoric would ultimately take him all the way to the White House. Trump was also openly racist, misogynistic and unencumbered by facts. But he foregrounded economic decline and corruption — and the tight link between them — with a rhetorical force and consistency that always eluded his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. In a campaign speech in a small Pennsylvania town in June 2016, Trump noted that Pittsburgh’s steel had built much of the nation. But ‘our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal,’ he said.” (01/04/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/left_populism_corporate_democrats_2018_primaries.html

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32) If you’re afraid of risk, don’t take the job of absorbing risk
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“If you ask the average America what the job of a police officer is, you will likely receive some variation of, ‘To protect and serve the public.’ This shouldn’t surprise anybody. We’re told from a young age that police officers are heroes who protect us and that we pay taxes so police officers can protect us from nefarious individuals. So, at least ideally, the purpose of a police officer, like that of a firefighter or a private security guard, is to absorb risk. When your job is to absorb risk, the job you take is necessarily risky, which is why many individuals, including myself, are puzzled by officers’ obsession with going home safe at night …” (01/04/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/01/04/if-youre-afraid-of-risk-dont-take-the-job-of-absorbing-risk/

—–

33) If you can read one article on Italy only
Source: EconLog
by Alberto Mingardi

“Marco Valerio Lo Prete, using data supplied by historian Guido Pescosolido, looks at the dynamics of Italian debt through time. Until recently, it only went above 120% of GDP twice: once, in the late 1800s and once in correspondence with the WWI military efforts. In both cases borrowing was driven by political factors: first, the country had to manage the public debts of the previously independent states absorbed by the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy (beginning with Piedmont’s, the state which conquered the rest of the Peninsula) and to finance public spending in order to foster top-down industrialisation and pay for colonial endeavours; second, obviously the war was a political decision. But more recently, borrowing has been driven by the dynamics of democratic politics.” (01/04/18)

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

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34) A new strategy for “healthcare”
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Starr

“With the Trump era only a year old and its full impact on health policy as yet unclear, it may seem premature to discuss what ought to come next. But, driven by new enthusiasm among progressives for Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan, the debate has already begun, and if the past is any indication, supporters of reform will turn to proposals long in gestation when they are finally able to act. When that time comes, Democrats don’t want to discover they have locked themselves into commitments on health care that they cannot fulfill, just as Donald Trump and Republicans did in 2016. Democrats are justifiably angry today about the Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid that have put health care for millions of people in jeopardy. Supporters of a universal system also have good reason to believe that the ACA was too limited and a stronger government role is necessary. But going to the opposite extreme and nationalizing health insurance has its own problems.” [editor’s note: As usual, a good analysis of what is, and poor ideas on how to fix it – SAT] (01/04/18)

http://prospect.org/article/new-strategy-health-care

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35) To stop looming war with North Korea, Trump must let Kim Jong Un talk to South Korea
Source: Cato Institute
by Eric Gomez

“In the lead up to the winter Olympic Games, North and South Korea now seem set on restarting official high-level talks, which had been frozen for the past two years. However, news of the talks has not generated much enthusiasm among U.S. experts, with many warning that supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to talk is meant to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States, and weaken the alliance. Concern over a wedge developing in the alliance is not misplaced, but the risks are manageable and should not stop the two Koreas from dialogue. Moreover, if Washington wants to prevent a wedge in its alliance with Seoul it should focus its efforts on reining in President Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric.” (01/04/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/stop-looming-war-north-korea-trump-must-let-kim-jong-un-talk-south-korea

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36) Software copyright back before federal circuit: Time for the court to get it right
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri & Corynne McSherry

“Should a company be able to shut down competition by asserting copyright in a collection of software commands? Tech giant Cisco Systems thinks so: it’s gone to court to try to prevent its competitor, Arista Networks, from building competing Ethernet switches that rely in part on commands Cisco argues it initially developed. Cisco lost the first round in a California district court, but it’s hoping for a better outcome from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. As we explain in a brief we’ve submitted supporting Arista, Cisco is wrong. First, where the collection of commands in question is simply a group of standard, highly functional directives, arranged based on logic and industry standards, it shouldn’t be copyrightable at all. Second, any copyright that does exist must be sharply limited, as a matter of law and good practical policy.” (01/04/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/cisco-v-arista

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37) Instead of “infrastructure investment,” how about killing Davis-Bacon?
Source: Town Hall
by Larry Elder

“Is there a difference between President Barack Obama’s ‘stimulus’ and President Donald Trump’s ‘infrastructure investment’? Despite costing $800 billion, most economists do not believe Obama’s ‘stimulus’ program did much stimulating. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of Treasury wrote in his diary that the New Deal spending, designed to rescue the economy, was not working. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau wrote: ‘We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. … I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot!’” (01/04/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2018/01/04/instead-of-infrastructure-investment-how-about-killing-davisbacon-n2429675

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38) How an illegal shipping container changed the world’s economy
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Robert Chovanculiak

“various fronts. The media headlines are full of it: They want to ban Uber in London and have already done so in Paris.They want to ban Airbnb in Prague and have de facto banned it in Berlin.The opponents of the sharing economy are accusing it of not following the regulations. The advocates for the sharing economy say that these regulations do not apply to it. Now, it is not important which of these two camps is right. It is important to realize that this is not the first case of regulation and innovation crashing. Practically every era has had its Uber or Airbnb.” (01/04/18)

https://fee.org/articles/how-an-illegal-shipping-container-reshaped-the-world-economy/

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39) Racist mania
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“Have you ever been called a racist? I have. I’ve been called a racist by a member of my own family. She’s known me since infancy. She’s never heard me express a racist thought in her entire life. It’s one of the ugliest personal labels imaginable against another human being. She knows I’m not a racist. But I support President Trump so she called me a racist. At least I’m not alone. Anyone who voted for or supports Donald Trump is a racist.” [editor’s note: No, not necessarily racist. Insane, but not necessarily racist – TLK] (01/04/18)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2018/01/racist-mania.html

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40) Mitt Romney is not an anti-Trump hero
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“During Donald Trump’s ascendency in the Republican Party, conservative pundits like William Kristol and Ross Douthat engaged in a sort of fan fiction, imagining that Mitt Romney would rescue the GOP by entering the race or enlisting a like-minded candidate. ‘He came pretty close to being elected president, so I thought he may consider doing it, especially since he has been very forthright in explaining why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should not be president of the United States,’ Kristol told The Washington Post after courting Romney in a May 2016 meeting. And if not? ‘Obviously, if there were to be an independent candidacy, Romney’s support would be very important.’ Romney passed on challenging Trump for president, but did try to recruit someone who would.” (01/03/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146487/mitt-romney-not-anti-trump-hero

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41) Sorry, but the Republican Party is not in crisis
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matt Grossmann

“The nomination of Donald Trump occasioned many premature obituaries of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. His election led to more predictions of imminent realignment around a new populist agenda. But the first year of Trump’s presidency in Congress has brought Republican orthodoxy: major tax cuts and another failed push to repeal Obamacare.” (01/04/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/sorry-republican-party-not-crisis/

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42) Socialism: Iran’s weapon against the west?
Source: Acton Institute
by Angel Manuel Garcia Carmona

“As 2017 ended, the Iranian people surprised the world by protesting against their nation’s theocratic system — including the Ayatollah — over rising prices, political corruption, and the lack of civil liberties. At least 21 people have been killed, and the head of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court has threatened protesters with the death penalty. The Iranian regime killed protesters in the streets, shortly after Venezuela’s repressive socialist government killed protesters in its own nation. However, disturbing reports indicate that one of Spain’s main political parties may be funded by both totalitarian regimes — because Iran believes socialism undermines the West.” (01/04/18)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2018/01/04/socialism-iran-weapon-west

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43) Rothbard, Rand, and “how I became a libertarian”
Source: Notablog
by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

“Whatever his faults, and whatever his twists and turns, from the New Left in the 1960s to the paleo-libertarian days of his later years, I think it should be noted that Rothbard was among the most prolific writers of his time, and his works on Austrian economics and history (from the colonial period to the Progressive era to the emergence of the ‘Welfare-Warfare’ state) present some of the most significant, insightful, and integrated radical analyses of the emergence of statism in the United States. … it is entirely possible, from the stories I’ve heard, that he certainly did everything he could to avoid citing Rand as any kind of influence on his ethics, as there was a lot of bad blood between the two figures …. But in looking at his whole body of work … I don’t think it can be denied that he was remarkable at integrating the insights of Mises … and those of the New Left … in coming up with a very radical, libertarian perspective on the emergence of statism in the United States.” (01/04/18)

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002383.html

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44) On the disease theory of fascism
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Jason Lee Byas

“Emmi Bevensee & Logan Yershov’s ‘Free Speech Dreams and Fascist Memes’ is probably the single most thoughtful and nuanced defense of violently disrupting fascist assembly. Of particular note is the way that it draws out something lingering implicit in most other defenses of that tactic. This is what I will call the ‘disease theory of fascism.’ For that reason, their essay deserves special attention. … Throughout their discussion, Emmi & Logan talk about fascism like catching a cold, where it just jumps from one person to another, independent of the reasons and interpretations of either person. After contact, Emmi & Logan refer to fascists as ‘hosts’ — the implication being that it’s more a case of the idea holding the fascist, rather than the fascist holding the idea.” (01/04/18)

https://c4ss.org/content/50349

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45) Trump’s war on terror
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“[A]s we have argued before on spiked, it is important not to overstate Trump’s tweeted ruptures to diplomatic protocol. In fact, Trump’s problem is not that he has broken with recent foreign-policy tradition; it is that he has revived and continued it. This, remember, was the president who, as recently as December 2016, promised to ‘stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.’ The president, that is, who was to reverse the West’s interventionist trajectory over the past two decades, and, with it, America’s. And yet, within months of being in office, Trump had switched positions, promising effectively to revamp the long-standing ‘war on terror.’” (01/04/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/trumps-war-on-terror/

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46) Show me something new in Trump’s foreign policy
Source: CounterPunch
by Charles Pierson

“[Mark] Landler writes that Trump ‘holds a radically different view of the United States’ role in the world than most of his predecessors’ and has broken with the ‘rules-based postwar international order’ the US has upheld for the past seventy years. Hogwash. Even before the coming of Sauron the Orange-Haired to Washington, the US was a lawless, imperialist Leviathan.” (01/04/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/04/show-me-something-new-in-trumps-foreign-policy/

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47) Bitcoin will stop the motor of the world
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Justin Haws Faber

“The decentralization and democratization of money and banking through cryptocurrencies and platforms like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash threaten the very foundation that makes possible large-scale murder, draconian limitations on international trade and heavy government regulations on markets across the globe that cause so much destruction of the achievements of yesterday, while simultaneously obstructing the progress of tomorrow. The proverbial shots have been fired and a bloodless coup d’etat, of sorts, led by internet nerds, hackers, libertarians, entrepreneurs and outright geniuses is underway.” (01/03/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/bitcoin-will-stop-motor-world

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48) The times must change
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The Gray Lady here marks the passing of Arseny Roginsky, an organizer and activist who kept alive the memory of state mass murder in his homeland. The Times quotes the late hero as insisting that common talk of ‘victims of repression’ is nowhere near enough. The repression did not merely descend upon the people as ‘a plague.’ The victims were targets of ‘state terror.’ But there was something missing in this too-brief notice. Though the Nazis were mentioned, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics wasn’t. Communism was not.” (01/04/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/01/04/the-times-must-change/

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49) There’s no way Congress is going to fix entitlements
Source: The Atlantic
by Ronald Brownstein

“House Speaker Paul Ryan may think otherwise, but it’s likely the tax bill that he helped drive through Congress last month has ruled out any serious effort to address the growing costs of federal entitlement programs for the elderly. That’s a problem, and not just for Republicans like Ryan looking to shrink the federal government. It’s an issue for Democrats, too: They want to preserve crucial investments in younger generations, but to do so they’ll eventually — and begrudgingly — need to impose some limits on the rising spending for seniors.” (01/04/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/gop-tax-bill-entitlement-reform/549623/

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50) Take your mitts off our myths
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

“Bear with me here. I have some explaining to do with this review, so don’t start throwing tomatoes yet. Here it goes: I loved watching the new Star Wars episode. At the same time, I’m glad that fans almost unanimously hate the new story, even if they don’t completely understand their visceral reaction to it.” (01/03/18)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1797

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

51) Reason Podcast, 01/04/18
Source: Reason

“‘Bitcoin is not competing with Visa or MasterCard. Bitcoin is competing with the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar,’ says Michael Goldstein, president of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute and host of the Noded Bitcoin Podcast. His co-host and the institute’s treasurer, Pierre Rochard, talk with Nick Gillespie about the meteoric rise of bitcoin, how it can become a viable currency despite volatility, and how it may well spell doom for central banks and the gods of Keynesianism.” [various formats] (01/04/18)

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/04/pierre-rochard-goldstein-bitcoin

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52) Cato Radio Highlight, 01/04/18
Source: Cato Institute

David Bier discusses DACA on NPR’s 1A. [Flash video or MP3] (01/04/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/david-bier-discusses-daca-nprs-1a

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53) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/04/18
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou flies solo and pokes fun at Oregeddon, the outrage over rural gas stations being permitted to allow customers to pump their own gas. He follows up with talking about the western frontier not being nearly as violent as depicted in the movies and novels. why crypto haters will be mowing our lawns in five years, and why most people like sugar and fear snakes.” [various formats] (01/04/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15478

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54) Free Talk Live, 01/03/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“It’s Bitcoin’s Ninth Birthday! :: Ripple Bank Scamcoin :: Bitcoin’s Beginnings :: Satoshi Nakamoto :: Private Money :: Islam and Cryptocurrency :: Gambling vs Investment :: False Complaint Against Cops :: Misuse of Plates :: Intel Exploit :: Microsoft Fanboy Ricky :: EOS :: Military Guy Shoots Cops :: HOSTS — Ian, Mike, Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/03/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-01-03

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55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1067
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“ISIS has been defeated, say the headlines, and perhaps the barbarous wars in Iraq and Syria may at last be drawing to a close. But is that the full story? Scott Horton joins me for a reality check.” [various formats] (01/03/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1067-peace-breaking-out-and-isis-defeated-or-is-it/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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