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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,882
Monday, January 8th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Iran: Ahmadinejad reportedly arrested for “inciting violence”
2) Pompeo tries to rekindle fire under dying Russiagate scare
3) Bannon wusses out, recants slams on Trump family
4) Israel: Regime lists 20 groups to be denied entry over boycott calls
5) Iranian oil tanker burns, 32 missing after collision off China’s coast
6) Pulse gunman’s wife: I knew he was going to Orlando to attack
7) PA: Police chief arrested for wanting to have sex with teen who doesn’t exist
8) NASA: Ozone layer’s recovery “due to chemical ban”
9) Saudi Arabia: Princes arrested for holding “anti-austerity” protest
10) Bathroom fan caused fire at Clinton property
11) Report: Anti-LGBTQ policies cost states billions every year
12) FL: Couple asks SCOTUS to save their “getaway” treehouse
13) Arab League will lobby UN to recognize Palestinian state
14) Honduras: Thousands march against election result
15) CDC: E. coli outbreak could be linked to romaine lettuce

Everybody Has An Opinion:

16) Why Ruby Ridge still matters
17) “Should Twitter ban Donald Trump?” is really a question about government legitimacy
18) What nationalism really is (and why it matters)
19) Why the leaders of the Republican establishment are smiling
20) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 4, part 1
21) Paradigms and objective reality
22) How Wisconsin’s progressive revival could help Randy Bryce unseat Paul Ryan
23) Nativist anti-“open borders” rhetoric is a big lie
24) Capping provider payment: An alternative to public option
25) Quantum Vibe, 01/05/18
26) The Fed’s confidence game
27) From sea to shining sea
28) It’s high time for Congress to end marijuana prohibition
29) Michael Wolff and Donald Trump deserve each other
30) Will we ever learn?
31) The rule of law supports marijuana federalism
32) The EU invokes Article 7 against Poland, but only Poles can defend their liberty
33) The new (digital) biography
34) There’s a better way to unite Europe
35) Paying more at the pump will not fix California’s roads if politicians keep raiding the gas tax fund
36) A brief chat
37) It’s high time for new pot laws
38) Thinkers vs. feelers
39) Sessions’s marijuana decision shows we learned nothing from Prohibition
40) Why I’m not a progressive
41) State child care laws should not require teenage kids to submit biometric data to the FBI
42) Meet the new pearl-clutchers
43) Beaver State bliss
44) Don’t look now, minority unemployment at record lows under Trump
45) In search of Trump’s ideology

The Sound and the Fury:

46) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 77
47) Free Talk Live, 01/06/18
48) The Anarchist Experience, episode 146
49) Problems with the private production of defense, part 3: Strategy
50) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 22151) Judging Freedom Podcast, 01/05/18
52) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 138
53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1069
54) In the Tank Podcast, episode 121
55) Cato Daily Podcast, 01/05/18

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

1) Iran: Ahmadinejad reportedly arrested for “inciting violence”
Source: New York Post

“A former Iranian president was arrested for ‘inciting violence’ as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against the government and rising food prices, unrest that rocked the Islamic Republic for more than a week, according to a newspaper report. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested for comments he made during a Dec. 28 rally in the western Iranian city of Bushehr, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported on Sunday. … The news of the arrest of Ahmadinejad, who was president between 2005 and 2013, come as the powerful Revolutionary Guards on Sunday said the rallies had ended and blamed the violence on the United States, Britain and Israel.” (01/07/18)

https://nypost.com/2018/01/07/ahmadinejad-arrested-for-inciting-violence-in-iran-report/

—–

2) Pompeo tries to rekindle fire under dying Russiagate scare
Source: US News & World Report

“The head of the Central Intelligence Agency said on Sunday that Russia and others are trying to undermine elections in the United States, the next major one being in November when Republicans will try to keep control of Congress. U.S. intelligence agencies have [claimed, thus far without credible evidence] that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to try to help President Donald Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails embarrassing to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and spreading social media propaganda. … ‘Yes, I continue to be concerned, not only about the Russians, but about others’ efforts as well,’ Pompeo said, without giving details. ‘We have many foes who want to undermine Western democracy.’” (01/07/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2018-01-07/cias-pompeo-says-russia-and-others-trying-to-undermine-us-elections

—–

3) Bannon wusses out, recants slams on Trump family
Source: Politico

“Steve Bannon expressed regret Sunday after he created a furor with comments critical of President Donald Trump’s family in a new book, dragging the controversy into its fifth day as the White House kept up its attacks on both the former chief strategist and ‘Fire and Fury’ author Michael Wolff. … The on-the-record comments from Bannon sparked intense backlash from the White House, which has characterized Bannon’s cooperation with Wolff as a ‘betrayal.’ The book has also distracted Republicans and forced them to answer questions about the president’s temperament and mental stability, even as congressional and Cabinet leaders gathered at Camp David over the weekend to chart their 2018 agenda.” (01/07/18)

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/07/bannon-apology-trump-wolff-book-327216

—–

4) Israel: Regime lists 20 groups to be denied entry over boycott calls
Source: US News & World Report

“Israel on Sunday identified 20 activist groups from around the world whose members will be banned from entering the country over their calls to boycott the Jewish state, stepping up its fight against a movement it views as a serious threat. Israel last year enacted a law that would ban any activist who ‘knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.’ The list made public Sunday, which includes a Nobel Peace Prize winning organization, follows up on that legislation.” (01/07/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-01-07/israel-lists-20-groups-to-be-denied-entry-over-boycott-calls

—–

5) Iranian oil tanker burns, 32 missing after collision off China’s coast
Source: Reuters

“A tanker carrying Iranian oil and run by the country’s top oil shipping firm was ablaze and spewing cargo into the East China Sea on Sunday after colliding with a Chinese freight ship, leaving the tanker’s 32 crew members missing, the Chinese government said. Thick clouds of dark smoke could be seen billowing out of the Sanchi tanker, engulfing the vessel as rescue efforts were hampered by bad weather and fire on and around the ship, Mohammad Rastad, head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, told Iranian television.” (01/07/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-oil/iranian-oil-tanker-burns-32-missing-after-collision-off-chinas-coast-idUSKBN1EW059

—–

6) Pulse gunman’s wife: I knew he was going to Orlando to attack
Source: USA Today

“A handwritten statement given to the FBI by the wife of Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen says she saw him prepare for the deadly attack for months and knew that the LGBT nightclub was his target. The 12-page statement, quietly released by federal authorities at the end of December in a batch of records in the case, was taken hours after the June 12, 2016 shooting. The attack left 49 dead and dozens of others injured. Noor Salman was questioned for hours, without a lawyer, after authorities learned her husband was the gunman behind the attack. She was arrested last year on federal charges of providing material support to a terrorist and tampering with evidence but has pleaded not guilty, claiming she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She said Mateen abused her and claims she did not know of his plot. But her defense conflicts with the signed statement she gave to the FBI, which details her knowledge of Mateen’s planning and his path to carry out an attack on behalf of the Islamic State.” (01/05/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/01/05/orlando-pulse-gunman-wife-knew-attack-plans-statement-fbi/1008079001

—–

7) PA: Police chief arrested for wanting to have sex with teen who doesn’t exist
Source: CNN

“The online ad was pretty blunt: ‘Dominate [sic] male police officer seeks fun, discreet, sub playmate — m4w.’ Before long, that officer got a response from a purported 14-year-old girl. And the age didn’t dissuade him, authorities said. … But the officer sending those crude messages wasn’t just any cop — he was Michael William Diebold, the police chief of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, investigators say. And that 14-year-old girl wasn’t really an eighth-grader. It was a special agent for the state attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.” [editor’s note: So he was either going to have sex with someone who doesn’t exist, or he was going to have consensual sex with another cop who is an adult. Either way, no victim = no crime – TLK] (01/07/18)

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/07/us/police-chief-arrested-undercover-sex-sting/index.html

—–

8) NASA: Ozone layer’s recovery “due to chemical ban”
Source: Raw Story

“The shrinking hole in the ozone layer has become somewhat of a success story among all the damages humans have inflicted upon the Earth. A new NASA study based on data from the Aura satellite confirms the success, so far, through measuring the chemicals that caused the hole in the first place. The study, published Thursday in Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that a decline in ozone-depleting chemicals has resulted in 20 percent less depletion since 2005. Specifically chlorine levels declined by 0.8 percent each year between 2005 and 2016. ‘We see very clearly that chlorine from [chlorofluorocarbons] is going down in the ozone hole, and that less ozone depletion is occurring because of it,’ Susan Strahan, lead author and atmospheric scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. The chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Strahan referred to are ozone-depleting chemicals that were once used in aerosol sprays, blowing agents for foams and packing materials, and refrigerants. Chlorine causes ozone depletion as the sun’s ultraviolet radiation breaks down the CFCs into chlorine.” [editor’s note: it could also be due to greater awareness among the public; the ban was an effect of that trend, not its cause – SAT] (01/06/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/nasa-ozone-layers-recovery-is-due-to-chemical-ban

—–

9) Saudi Arabia: Princes arrested for holding “anti-austerity” protest
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Saudi authorities have arrested 11 princes for holding a protest at a royal palace in the capital Riyadh. The group were angered by the government’s decision to stop paying the water and energy bills of royals. Those involved have not been named. The government is currently attempting a major economic overhaul to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. Public spending has been targeted, including the lifting of some government subsidies. The kingdom has roughly doubled domestic petrol prices and introduced a 5% tax on most goods and services, including food and utility bills.” [editor’s note: So Saudi Arabia is ahead of USA Inc empire in slimming oligarchy (king’s favorite courtiers, by any other name), even though they still call them “royals?” – SAT] (01/06/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42592784

—–

10) Bathroom fan caused fire at Clinton property
Source: USA Today

“A bathroom fan caused the fire that burned part of a building on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s New York property on Wednesday. ‘Apparently a bathroom fan shorted out,’ New Castle Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein said in a Friday email. He said the small fire burned a hole in the bathroom ceiling of the facility, which is used by the Secret Service, at 15 Old House Lane, in Chappaqua, N.Y. The Chappaqua Fire Department declined to comment. Fire extinguishers were used to put out the fire in the second-floor ceiling of the detached structure behind the Clintons’ home, the Secret Service said in a statement on Wednesday.” (01/05/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/05/bathroom-fan-caused-fire-bill-and-hillary-clintons-n-y-property/1008570001

—–

11) Report: Anti-LGBTQ policies cost states billions every year
Source: Raw Story

“Discriminating against LGBT people is more than a social issue — according to research from The William Institute at the UCLA School of Law, it’s also an economic issue that costs states billions of dollars every year. The Daily Beast, citing research from The William Institute, shows that refusing to grant rights to the LGBT community costs states a lot of money. For instance, states lose money over boycotts, like the one in North Carolina over the ‘bathroom bill,’ in which the state attempted to pass a law that would force transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender at birth, instead of the gender they actually identify as. The boycotts resulted in the canceling of events and people losing their jobs. But even beyond boycotts, states are also missing opportunities to raise billions of dollars by refusing to pass bills and laws that protect LGBT people.” [editor’s note: Notice how “boycotts” work to penalize bigotry, even when the offending “business” is government? – SAT] (01/05/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/hate-doesnt-pay-anti-lgbtq-policies-cost-states-billions-every-year

—–

12) FL: Couple asks SCOTUS to save their “getaway” treehouse
Source: Fox News

“A couple in Florida in a losing battle with the city over their beachfront treehouse said they’re hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will enter the fray and save their ‘getaway.’ The treehouse in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island belongs to owners Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen and will be torn down unless the nation’s highest court decides to make a ruling. A decision on whether it’ll take the case could come as early as Monday. The justices only hear about 80 of the several thousands of cases they’re asked to take each year, according to the Supreme Court FAQ page, so the couple’s chances seem slim. But their lawyer, David Levin, told The Associated Press that he believes his client’s rights were violated when a Florida court ‘rubber stamped’ a ruling proposed by the city of Holmes Beach without any evidence of independent consideration. The couple said they built the structure after receiving what turned out to be bad advice from the city in 2011.” (01/06/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/06/florida-couple-asking-supreme-court-to-save-their-getaway-treehouse.html

—–

13) Arab League will lobby UN to recognize Palestinian state
Source: Reuters

“Arab states will soon embark on a diplomatic drive to persuade the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said. Six Arab foreign ministers met in Amman on Saturday to follow up on earlier decisions taken by the Arab League to counter U.S. President Donald Trump’s move in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision that overturned decades of U.S. policy on the Middle East. A committee made up of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and headed by Jordan was set up after an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo shortly after Trump’s decision that called on Washington to abandon its decision.” (01/06/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-arabs/arab-league-to-lobby-u-n-to-recognize-palestinian-state-idUSKBN1EV0PG

—–

14) Honduras: Thousands march against election result
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Thousands of demonstrators led by opposition leader Salvador Nasralla gathered in Honduras’ second-largest city Saturday to protest the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez in a vote they say was fraudulent. ‘We will not stop until Hernandez says he’s leaving,’ Nasralla told supporters, many of whom chanted ‘JOH out!’ referring to Hernandez. It was the first such march in San Pedro Sula since the Nov. 26 election, and the losing candidate once again appealed to the Organization of American States and the countries that have recognized Hernandez’s victory to listen to the protesters as they oppose an ‘illegal government.’”

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Thousands-march-against-election-result-in-12479321.php

—–

15) CDC: E. coli outbreak could be linked to romaine lettuce
Source: USA Today

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are investigating reports of E. coli illnesses in 13 states possibly linked to romaine lettuce or other leafy greens, according to a statement issued by the CDC. Arizona and California produce about 90% of the lettuce and other leafy greens grown in the United States. The produce also comes from Mexico. The CDC statement said it was investigating the outbreak and had not definitively linked it to romaine. However, the type of E. coli making people ill resembles that linked to a similar recent outbreak in Canada, where the Public Health Agency of Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source, the CDC said. The statement did not specify where the lettuce may have originated.” (01/06/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/06/cdc-e-coli-outbreak-could-linked-romaine-lettuce/1010180001

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

16) Why Ruby Ridge still matters
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard

“In the wake of violent clashes between protesters last August in Charlottesville, many people demanded a federal crackdown on suspected dangerous extremists. The federal government has previously carried out similar heavy-handed suppression efforts with disastrous results. Rather than intellectually purifying the nation, such efforts are far more likely to turn nitwits into martyrs.” (01/05/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/ruby-ridge-still-matters/

—–

17) “Should Twitter ban Donald Trump?” is really a question about government legitimacy
Source: Libertarianism.org
by Aaron Ross Powell

“Twitter routinely bans users for making far more minor and far less credible threats than those ejaculated daily, 280 characters at a time, by our president. Yet his account persists. Why? Why does Donald Trump get away with threatening violence, while we don’t? Why does he suffer no consequences for his actions, while you or I would be swiftly banned? Why, in short, does President Donald Trump of the United States live by a different set of rules than the rest of us? The first, and easiest, answer is ‘Because Twitter says so.’ … But that’s too easy an answer, and not just because the ‘military and government entities’ exemption didn’t exist before December 2017.” (01/05/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/twitter-not-banning-donald-trump-exposes-illegitimacy-core-government

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18) What nationalism really is (and why it matters)
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Alex Nowrasteh

“Nationalism is a political movement that has made major inroads in recent years while preaching a message of immigration restrictionism, trade protectionism, and a stronger government devoted to defending citizens from (mostly) imaginary harms. But besides some policy positions and a style of governance, there is not a good working definition of nationalism widely used in popular discourse and there is almost no attempt to distinguish it from patriotism. My base assumption was that nationalism must be something more than crude jingoistic tribalism, but few ventured beyond that. Those reasons prompted me to read several thousand pages on the topic — and I learned quite a bit. Below are some lessons I learned and a useful taxonomy of different types of nationalism.” (01/07/18)

https://fee.org/articles/what-nationalism-really-is-and-why-it-matters/

—–

19) Why the leaders of the Republican establishment are smiling
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Francine Kiefer

“When President Trump ruthlessly denounced his former chief strategist Steve Bannon this week, the political team behind Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell put out a short video tweet of him breaking into a smile. No comment, just Senator McConnell smiling. The tweet befits the majority leader, a man of few and carefully considered words and sharp political elbows. The video’s understated emotion also conveys a reality check for mainstream Republicans who might be relishing this political earthquake. Certainly, the Senate leader is pleased with the banishment of Mr. Bannon, who has been working to elect outsider Republicans to push the ‘establishment’ McConnell from his leadership post. Score one for Team Mitch. But Bannon’s political demise (however long it lasts), comes with a caveat for GOP leaders in Congress: The drain-the-swamp, anti-establishment movement may have lost a general, but the army of rabble-rousers marches on — continuing to divide the GOP.” [editor’s note: One of the saner pieces on the current GOP I’ve seen in a while; go CSM! – SAT] (01/05/18)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0105/Why-the-leaders-of-the-Republican-establishment-are-smiling

—–

20) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 4, part 1
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“The privacy of cryptocurrency offers the brightest hope for individuals to preserve their financial autonomy. And the need for privacy has never been more urgent; with the digital age, the collection of data has become a bonanza of which past governments could only dream. But crypto-users who want to control their own wealth confront cultural assumptions that strongly favor government control rather than individual freedom.” (01/06/18)

https://news.bitcoin.com/satoshi-revolution-chapter-4-hide-everything-part1/

—–

21) Paradigms and objective reality
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“At first blush, the concept of paradigms may seem to undercut the idea of an objective reality. The Wikipedia article on Thomas Kuhn, the innovative philosopher who introduced the concept in his seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, summarizes Kuhn’s argument: ‘the notion of scientific truth, at any given moment, cannot be established solely by objective criteria but is defined by a consensus of a scientific community. Competing paradigms are frequently incommensurable; that is, they are competing and irreconcilable accounts of reality. Thus, our comprehension of science can never rely wholly upon ‘objectivity’ alone. Science must account for subjective perspectives as well, since all objective conclusions are ultimately founded upon the subjective conditioning/worldview of its researchers and participants.’ Libertarians, particularly those who ground our philosophy in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, might well be appalled by the notion.” (01/06/18)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2018/01/paradigms-and-objective-reality.html

—–

22) How Wisconsin’s progressive revival could help Randy Bryce unseat Paul Ryan
Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“In late December, days after the GOP passed their tax bill through Congress, Democratic House candidate Randy Bryce released a new ad in his campaign to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st District. Over a montage showing waitresses and manufacturing workers on the job, Bryce (himself an ironworker) recites the words: ‘Survival, commitment, faith.’ His narration in the ad tells the story of an American Dream gone awry, interspersing clips of workers and mothers kissing their kids before school with images of Ryan, for whom the $1.5 trillion tax bill was a Malthusian pet project, and who stands to benefit greatly from its passage. At the end of the ad, Bryce is shown speaking to an intimate crowd of varied ages. ‘This is why we’re going to win. This is what separates us from the other side. We care about everybody. And they don’t.’ This is the second polished and openly populist ad from Bryce, whose campaign burst onto the scene in the summer of 2017 with a common-sense message: Randy Bryce cares about and understands working people in Wisconsin, because he’s one of them. Paul Ryan doesn’t, because he isn’t.” (01/05/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20803/wisconsin-paul-ryan-randy-bryce-2018

—–

23) Nativist anti-“open borders” rhetoric is a big lie
Source: Niskanen Center
by Will Wilkinson

“Donald Trump ran on promises to restrict immigration and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. During the first year of Trump’s presidency, immigration hawks have pivoted (as immigration doves predicted they would) from targeting illegal immigration to attacking central aspects of the status quo system of legal immigration — diversity visas and family reunification in particular — in favor of a much more restrictive points-based system. Populist nativists, such as Trump and his media champions at outlets like Breitbart and the Daily Caller, get a ton of rhetorical and political mileage from railing against the specter of ‘open borders,’ and then constantly narrowing the definition of ‘open’ to include most every policy that allows the admission of any immigrants.” (01/05/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/nativist-anti-open-borders-rhetoric-big-lie/

—–

24) Capping provider payment: An alternative to public option
Source: The American Prospect
by John Holahan & Linda J Blumberg

“Before the Trump administration adopted policies undermining the Affordable Care Act, the ACA’s marketplaces were working well where there was competition, but faced high and rapidly increasing premiums in areas with only one or two insurers or a limited number of providers. Without significant competition, insurers have little incentive to negotiate lower payment rates for hospitals and doctors, and when a provider system is essentially a monopoly in a region, even a well-motivated, dominant insurer has little negotiating leverage. One answer some people have suggested for these problems of high premiums and concentrated market power is to create a public option — a government-run plan to compete with private insurers. We suggest a simpler and more politically feasible approach that has had a record of success and bipartisan support in the Medicare program. The Medicare program allows private insurers to compete with traditional Medicare. The option, known as Medicare Advantage, has been attractive to many insurers, including large national insurers, and it now serves about one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries.” [editor’s note: This actually has some positives in it; I welcome economists who can show the holes – SAT] (01/05/18)

http://prospect.org/article/capping-provider-payment-alternative-public-option

—–

25) Quantum Vibe, 01/05/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (01/05/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1741

—–

26) The Fed’s confidence game
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by staff

Interview with Mark Thornton. Thornton: “Austrian economics enlightens you about what will happen but not when and how much. Right now all the headline numbers are very good. The unemployment rate and the consumer price index (to the extent that you can believe them), along with the stock market all look remarkably well. However, we have had nearly nine years of historically low interest rates and that signals trouble ahead. Not surprisingly, as a result of Fed policy, total household debt (mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans) is fast approaching a record-breaking $13 trillion. Investment in real estate and elsewhere is also at or close to bubble levels. There has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy as well. So, all the facts seem to line up with the Austrian business cycle theory.” (01/06/18)

https://mises.org/library/feds-confidence-game

—–

27) From sea to shining sea
Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Republicans like the look of the presidential electoral map: On a county-by-county basis, the United States is a vast sea of Republican red separating two little beachheads of Democratic blue, broken by a few little blue islands with names such as Chicago and Denver. That’s a lot of red. But the blue bits? There aren’t many of them … but that’s where the people are. If real estate cast votes, the United States would be practically a one-party state. And, to be sure, as things stand, the Republicans are doing well, controlling the presidency and both houses of Congress while enjoying a commanding position in the states. ‘Who needs California?’ they ask, often with a sneer. ‘Who needs New York and New Jersey?’ The answer: America does. Conservatives, too.” (01/07/18)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455208/conservatives-have-abandoned-coasts-cities-bad-move

—–

28) It’s high time for Congress to end marijuana prohibition
Source: Libertarian Party
by staff

“On Jan. 4, acting against the advice of his own Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo. The Obama-era memorandum had allowed states to set their own cannabis rules and regulations, with minimal intervention by the federal government. In rescinding the memo, the Trump administration has flouted the U.S. Constitution’s provision to reserve most powers to the states, a precept the Libertarian Party (LP) holds as fundamental to the federalist structure the country’s founders crafted. ‘Sessions’s move to reinstate excessive power at the federal level is like opening hunting season,’ said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. ‘Now federal prosecutors may fire their regulatory ‘shotguns,’ at will, at anybody in the pot business, whether medical or recreational, whether operating legally under state laws or not. It is high time for congress to act. They should immediately end prohibition: that means repeal all drug laws and grant amnesty to federal prisoners found guilty solely of nonviolent drug offenses.’” (01/06/18)

https://www.lp.org/high-time-congress-end-marijuana-prohibition/

—–

29) Michael Wolff and Donald Trump deserve each other
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“With the publication of his insider account of the White House, Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff has achieved the impossible: He’s gotten Donald Trump to agree with his hated foes in the Fake News Media. Trump has twice denounced Wolff’s tome as ‘phony’ [two Tweets displayed]. Many prominent journalists who cover Trump agree, casting doubts on both Wolff’s factual accuracy and his allegedly unethical approach to sourcing. Speaking on CNN, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Wolff ‘gets basic details wrong. … He creates a narrative that is notionally true, conceptually true, the details are often wrong.’” [editor’s note: Okay, so I’m confused; when someone publishes lies and distortions of the facts, that person is rarely considered to have anything of value to say (Meanwhile, Mr. Heer refuses to leave his bubble) – SAT] (01/06/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146517/michael-wolff-donald-trump-deserve

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30) Will we ever learn?
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“As technology advances, as we find more and more things that make liberty ever more possible, we should be entering a golden age. An era in which abundance becomes more and more common and general, in which people have more and more freedom to be and explore and discover and invent and LIVE. The technology and knowledge to see what can be and needs to be fixed, coupled with courage to go and do just that, would not make the planet a paradise, but it would end tremendous misery and enable people to live under better conditions than at any time in history. But … That is not happening. Instead, history is repeating itself. Again.” (01/06/18)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2018/01/06/will-we-ever-learn/

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31) The rule of law supports marijuana federalism
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Will Baude

“Last Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was rescinding all of the Obama administration’s enforcement guidance that had foresworn enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against marijuana that was legal under state law. There has been plenty of criticism of Sessions’s new position, including from my co-bloggers Ilya and Jonathan here. One major line I’ve seen in defense of Sessions’s action is that his position is truer to the rule of law: Maybe Congress should decentralize marijuana policy, the argument goes, but until it does the executive branch should be enforcing the law, not suspending or dispensing with ones it thinks are unwise. As a general principle, I think there is a lot to that. But in this case, I do not think the rule of law requires the renewed enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, and if anything requires the opposite.” (01/07/18)

http://reason.com/volokh/2018/01/07/the-rule-of-law-supports-marijuana-feder

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32) The EU invokes Article 7 against Poland, but only Poles can defend their liberty
Source: Acton Institute
by Marek Tatala

“Poland is often compared to Hungary under Victor Orban. I personally wrote about the Orbanization of Polish politics two years before the Law and Justice took power. In Hungary, Orban won a supermajority in the parliament and, by changing the constitution, consolidated his powers, while speaking about so-called ‘illiberal democracy.’ Today, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has never won a constitutional majority, follows Orban’s path — a harmful path for the Polish economy, the rule of law, and democracy. Victor Orban’s support for the Polish government is now the key to block any further steps mentioned in Article 7, as some of them require unanimous support. But even without these steps, the Polish government’s role in the EU will be marginalized. Undermining the Polish position in the EU is bad foreign policy, weakening our influence on EU rules and future reforms. But most importantly, the Polish government’s policies are bad for Poland.” (01/05/18)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2018/01/05/eu-invokes-article-7-against-poland-only-poles-can-defend

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33) The new (digital) biography
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Isobel Ducasse

“In the opening paragraph of her 1927 article ‘The New Biography,’ Virginia Woolf articulates the problematic nature of life writing: the difficulty the biographer faces in uniting two opposing forces: truth and personality. Truth, Woolf notes, we deem as ‘something of granite-like solidity,’ whereas personality encompasses a ‘rainbow-like intangibility.’ For Woolf, writing in 1927, the art of biography presented its own challenges — yet today, with social media endowing anyone access to as many social apps as they please, the art of life writing — of wresting a consistent and truthful narrative from the ever-protean whims of personality, has become further problematized. If we actively curate, through texts, Facebook posts, Instagrams, and tweets, our own autobiographical narratives for our friends and family — public access to our profiles are effectively writing their own biographies of us.” (01/05/18)

https://c4ss.org/content/50352

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34) There’s a better way to unite Europe
Source: Reuters
by John Lloyd

“The European political year, grinding back into gear for 2018, is full of doubt, even woe. In the continent’s major countries politics are stuck, or likely to stick, in cul-de-sacs from which exit is difficult. Only in France, under the banner not so much of the tricolor as the injunction En Marche! (Let’s Go!), is there official optimism and vigor. Germany, Europe’s leading economy, has yet to agree on a government. … Yet Germany remains strong in its economy and forecasts are bullish for this year, its businesses apparently insouciant about the politicians’ dilemmas. By contrast, Italy’s growth, up a little from the stagnation of recent years, remains highly dependent on a coherent government emerging from elections on March 4. The outcome, however, is forecast to end in a hung parliament, as a weakened governing Democratic Party faces a rejuvenated right and a populist Five Star Movement, presently the most popular single party.” (01/05/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-europe-commentary/commentary-theres-a-better-way-to-unite-europe-idUSKBN1EU1Q2

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35) Paying more at the pump will not fix California’s roads if politicians keep raiding the gas tax fund
Source: Independent Institute
by William F Shughart II & Kristian Fors

“From the beginning in 1923, the stated purpose of the gasoline tax was to build and maintain roads. The revenue, along with a ‘transportation improvement fee’ and taxes on diesel fuel, is earmarked for California’s Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program, which is equivalent to the highway trust funds of other states and the federal government. For this reason, the tax on gasoline is called a user fee. It is justified as a way of forcing drivers to pay for the wear and tear they impose on public roads. The more miles people drive, the more gasoline they burn, and the more tax revenue flows into the fund. But the user-fee justification breaks down for drivers of electric vehicles, who do not pay gas taxes at all, and for the owners of hybrid and other highly fuel-efficient cars and trucks.” [editor’s note: It also breaks down as a massive subsidy of 18-wheelers by passenger automobile drivers, as the former put far more wear and tear on the roads in proportion to the fuel they use – TLK] (01/05/18)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9230

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36) A brief chat
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“I was thinking about the developments this week with Trump, Bannon, etc., and all the talk of Trump’s ‘idiocy,’ ‘ignorance,’ ‘stupidity,’ etc. Without getting into the details of this latest universe-altering story (until another new universe-altering story comes along next week), it occurs to me that my perspective on Trump may not be in accord with that of some of my readers. Of course, I begin from the indisputable premise that anyone who wants to be President is insane or too close to insane to countenance.” (01/05/18)

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2018/01/a-brief-chat.html

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37) It’s high time for new pot laws
Source: Cato Institute
by Trevor Burrus

“As many expected, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suspended Obama-era guidance documents pertaining to the federal treatment of marijuana in those states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. But Sessions’ move may backfire. A $9.7 billion industry has been thrown into disarray, and the 64 percent of Americans who support marijuana legalization, including half of Republicans, are wondering how and why an unelected federal official essentially overturned the will of the nearly 70 million people who live in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. It’s time for the millions of Americans who support increased research on marijuana, the relaxation of federal marijuana laws, outright legalization or anything in between to call on their representatives to clarify the relationship between federal and state marijuana laws. It’s time to limit the ability of throwback drug warriors like Jeff Sessions to fight a drug war the people don’t want.” (01/05/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/its-high-time-new-pot-laws

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38) Thinkers vs. feelers
Source: Strike The Root
by Mark Davis

“There is a tendency these days in public discourse concerning political matters to promote the ideal of an ongoing conflict between the broad, all-encompassing ‘left vs. right’ and/or ‘liberal vs. conservative’ categories with the conflict being analogized with military camps and team sports. Lately, due to the seeming politicization of every aspect of life, this tendency has invaded all realms of public discourse. It is largely the product of an elite agenda that seeks to purposely sow discord and conflict (i.e., divide and rule). However, the relevant conflict is really between thinkers and feelers. There are thinkers both left and right and feelers both liberal and conservative.” (01/05/18)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/thinkers-vs-feelers

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39) Sessions’s marijuana decision shows we learned nothing from Prohibition
Source: USA Today
by Christian Schneider

“In 1932, when Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis deemed U.S. states ‘laboratories’ for democracy, he couldn’t have known that those labs would one day be filled with hydroponic weed. This week, federalism and marijuana once again found themselves trapped in the same smoke-filled van as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a number of Obama-era policies that turned a blind eye as states legalized weed for recreational purposes. During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump said marijuana enforcement should be left to the states; but on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump believes ‘that we should enforce federal law.’ Federal law, of course, bans marijuana sale and use. It is that very restriction to which voters in states all over the country are now objecting.” (01/06/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/06/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-marijuana-decision-shows-we-learned-nothing-prohibition-column/1005411001

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40) Why I’m not a progressive
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“I am a utilitarian. Many (most?) utilitarians are progressives. So why am I not a progressive? I recently ran across three news articles that help to explain my skepticism of progressivism. First I’ll briefly summarize the key takeaways, and then I’ll explain what I believe they tell us.” (01/05/18)

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

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41) State child care laws should not require teenage kids to submit biometric data to the FBI
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jennifer Lynch

“Jennifer Parrish, a child care provider in Minnesota who runs a day care out of her home, finds herself at a crossroads due to a recently passed Minnesota law. The law imposes new background check requirements on child care providers, including that they provide biometric information. But the law doesn’t apply just to the providers themselves; it also requires anyone age 13 and up who lives with a family day care provider to submit to the same background check, whether or not they have committed any crime. This means Jennifer’s 14-year-old son, along with about 12,000 other kids in Minnesota, must provide his fingerprints and a face recognition photograph to the state, which will send them to the FBI to be stored for his lifetime in the FBI’s vast biometrics database.” (01/05/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/state-child-care-laws-should-not-require-teenage-kids-submit-biometric-data-fbi

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42) Meet the new pearl-clutchers
Source: spiked
by Patrick West

“In 2017, it was often remarked upon just how intolerant and censorious the liberal-left has become. How times have changed: 30 or 40 years ago, to be of the left was to challenge and lampoon authority, to dare to say the unspeakable — an ethos epitomised by alternative comedy. These days, by comparison, to be of the liberal-left is to censure and to censor, to stop others speaking the unspeakable, to stamp your authority upon those who break your precious taboos.” (01/05/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/meet-the-new-pearl-clutchers/

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43) Beaver State bliss
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The Great State of Oregon is not at DEFCON 1. Nor are Beaver State residents gnashing their teeth over a new law that went into effect earlier this week. News reports proclaimed: ‘People in Oregon are freaking out about the thought of pumping their own gas under a new law.’ But don’t believe everything you read.” (01/05/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/01/05/beaver-state-bliss/

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44) Don’t look now, minority unemployment at record lows under Trump
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“While economists and Wall Street analysts described December’s jobs report as ‘below consensus’ or even ‘disappointing,’ there was nothing disappointing for one broad group of Americans: minorities. For them, the Trump economy is delivering, big time. It’s really about all of those at the bottom doing better. As we wrote in December, ‘the most interesting part of the jobs report, which goes almost unnoticed by the media, is that it’s not just a few groups seeing more jobs and opportunity — it’s broad-based, with minorities, women, men and even those with low incomes, showing the best gains.’ And that’s still true this month. But it’s especially true for minorities. Almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, unemployment rates for Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians have not only fallen, but are now at all-time lows.” (01/05/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/dont-look-now-but-minority-unemployment-is-at-record-lows-under-trump

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45) In search of Trump’s ideology
Source: CounterPunch
by Andrew Levine

“Is Donald Trump a rightwing ideologue — perhaps a libertarian like Ted Cruz or a ‘nationalist’ (as per the current euphemism) like his former ‘brain’ (the best he ever had) and BFF Steve Bannon? It might seem that he is one or the other or (somehow) both, given what he has been up to in recent years. But this is a trick question. Trump is not a rightwing ideologue because he is not an ideologue at all. The very idea gives him too much credit. Indeed, Trump has no settled political convictions. How could he? If his tweets are any indication, he cannot even hold a thought for more than a day or two. He just goes with whatever is on his mind.” [editor’s note: The suggestion that either Trump or Cruz is a “libertarian” is risible – TLK] [additional editor’s note: This writer could use a dose of Scott Adams (to test his confirmation bias shell), then some research to find moer appropriate labels for those with whom he disagrees – SAT] (01/05/187)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/05/in-search-of-trumps-ideology/

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

46) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 77
Source: The LAVA Flow

“As with every year, there are a ton of new laws around the country starting on January 1st. I take a look at these and decide if it is a good or bad year for liberty.What’s in the News with stories on government banning drivers, government banning bulletproof glass, Canada recreational cannabis, government being sued, cop deaths down, and cops kill an unarmed man. And, and Ancap Apps segment on Edward Snowden’s new app, Haven.” [various formats] (01/07/18)

http://thelavaflow.com/new-year-new-laws-2018-tlf077/

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47) Free Talk Live, 01/06/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“China Cracking Down On Bitcoin Mining? :: Centralized Mining :: Monero, Zcash, and Privacy Coins :: Beginner Wallets :: Credit Card Skimmers :: Negative Temperatures :: Cryptocurrency at Retail :: Elderly People and Cryptocurrency :: Inflation :: Future of Cryptocurrency :: Bitcoin vs Dollars :: Voting :: Dogecoin Success :: Cannabis Prohibition :: HOSTS — Ian, Chris R., Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/06/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-01-06

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48) The Anarchist Experience, episode 146
Source: The Anarchist Experience

“The return of Anarcho-Hero, MC. What is is what like going through TSA on his latest trip, Rich’s run-in with mainstream Bitcoin, and these headlines: — Criminals Drop Bitcoin for Monero — New Zealanders build island in bid to avoid alcohol ban — Elgin Man Told to Stop ‘Slumber Parties’ for Homeless During Cold, He Says.” [various formats] (01/07/17)

https://theanarchistexperience.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-anarchist-experience-146/

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49) Problems with the private production of defense, part 3: Strategy
Source: Attack The System

“Todd Lewis is joined by Will Mclean to finish our discussion on the privatization of defense. Today we will be focusing on strategy and tactics envisioned by the libertarians.” [Flash video] (01/06/18)

https://attackthesystem.com/2018/01/06/problems-with-the-private-production-of-defense-part-3-strategy/

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50) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 221
Source: Libertarianism.org

“David Kopel joins us again to discuss firearms, gun violence, mass shootings, and whether a gun-free America is possible or desirable.” [various formats] (01/05/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/guns-mass-shootings

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51) Judging Freedom Podcast, 01/05/18
Source: JimBovard.com

“My old friend Brian Wilson and I [Jim Bovard] had a pleasant palaver about the 1993 federal attacks at Waco today on his Libertas Media ‘Judging Freedom’ podcast. OK, Waco wasn’t pleasant but there is plenty of comic relief — including an appearance of the ‘Magic Bullet’ from the 1963 Kennedy assassination.” [Flash video] (01/05/18)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2018/01/05/waco-revisited-podcast-with-brian-wilsons-libertas-media/

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52) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 138
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #138, I discuss some good news. The North and South Koreans have agreed to talks and the North will look to send athletes to the Olympics. South Korea’s president and Trump agree to not hold any wargames during the Olympics. The Iranian protests fading and European leaders are not looking to intervene. In a little more good news, Norway has decided to halt weapon sales to the UAE. I also update Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and US aid to Pakistan.” [various formats] (01/05/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-138-some-good-news

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53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1069
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Nobody knew what to expect in a Trump presidency. Daniel McCarthy joins me for a lively review of the past year.” [various formats] (01/05/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1069-trumps-2017-a-review/

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54) In the Tank Podcast, episode 121
Source: Heartland Institute

“John Nothdurft and Donny Kendal present episode #120 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today’s podcast features work from the Cascade Policy Institute, Senator James Lankford, Americans for Tax Reform and The Heartland Institute.” [Flash audio] (01/05/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/01/in-the-tank-ep121-oregon-gas-pumps-federal-fumbles-new-hampshire-esas/

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55) Cato Daily Podcast, 01/05/18
Source: Cato Institute

“How can the public send a clear message to police that they, and not malicious tipsters, are ultimately responsible when cops kill innocent people? Clark Neily comments.” [various formats] (01/05/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/swatting-police-accountability

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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