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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,893
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
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In the News:

1) Syria: Turkish forces commence invasion after days of airstrikes
2) US government “shutdown” theatrics grind into workweek after Senate fails to clinch deal
3) Johnson: FBI destroyed evidence during key period in Clinton/Trump probes
4) UK: UKIP leader Bolton under more pressure to step down as deputy resigns
5) Germany: SPD votes in favor of coalition talks with Merkel
6) Meehan ousted from House ethics committee after reports of sexual misconduct settlement
7) Jordan: Abdullah tells Pence US must rebuild trust after Jerusalem decision
8) Demonstrators rally worldwide for second day of Women’s Marches
9) CA: Democrats propose surcharge on businesses to fund social programs
10) Signs of fake government shutdown spotty but symbolic
11) China: Regime says US warship violated its South China Sea sovereignty
12) Report: Vegas shooter bought 55 guns in one year
13) Afghanistan: Kabul hotel siege leaves six civilians, five gunmen dead; Taliban claims responsibility
14) Male birth control pill could be made from poison derivative
15) South Africa: Cape Town could be the first major city in the world to run out of water
16) MO: Greitens says “no blackmail” and “no violence” in affair
17) Thailand: Asian wildlife trafficking “kingpin” Boonchai Bach arrested
18) ME: Town manager under fire for promoting racial separatism, criticizing Islam
19) Jamaica: Tourists warned not to leave resorts after string of deadly shootings
20) SCOTUS to rule on Trump Muslim ban

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The worst thing about federal government “shutdowns”
22) Trump versus the world
23) How the queen of selfishness taught me to accept my disability
24) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 4, part 3
25) After government shutdown, maybe politicians will find they are “non-essential”
26) Another bloody American century
27) What to do when liberals are the censors?
28) Party like it’s 1999: The beautiful inevitability of a bubble in blockchain startups
29) Trump’s Middle East policy: The good(ish), the bad and the ugly
30) Book Review: Nietzsche and the Nazis
31) The Office of National Drug Control Policy is on the chopping block again. Here’s why that’s not a bad thing.
32) Amazon, city killer?
33) Good or bad, but surely not transitory
34) A reasonable response by reasonable people
35) The life-changing magic of tidying up Hillary
36) Quantum Vibe, 01/19/18
37) Could/should Jubilee debt cancellations be reintroduced today?
38) Trump fills the swamp to exploit college students
39) Destroying the Iran deal while claiming to save it
40) Disability rolls tumble as economy gains steam
41) Can an economy advance without savings?
42) How will expanded use of 529 accounts affect Missouri’s budget?
43) Much of the federal government should be shut down
44) Pravda in the Izvestia
45) Trump’s ideas may force the introspection “Davos Man” needs
46) How to make your opponents try (and fail) to prove a negative
47) Just who are those “consumers?”
48) Questions — and a few good answers
49) Why Trump’s North Korea “bloody nose” campaign is a big bluff
50) A case for repealing all antitrust legislation

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Anarcho Agenda, episode 53
52) The Anarchist Experience, episode 148
53) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 223
54) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 144
55) Felony Friday, episode 107
56) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1077
57) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 694

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

1) Syria: Turkish forces commence invasion after days of airstrikes
Source: CNN

“Turkey launched a ground operation across the border into northern Syria on Sunday, in a move likely to raise tensions with the United States. Turkish officials said the troops entered the Afrin area a day after Turkish jets pounded targets there in an attempt to drive US-allied Kurdish militia from the area. ‘Operation Olive Branch is ongoing as planned and the ground operation has started,’ the Turkish armed forces said in a statement. The land operation comes hours after Turkish jets targeted US-backed, Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia in the area, killing at least eight people and injuring 13, according to the Syrian Democratic Forces General Command.” (01/21/18)

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/21/middleeast/turkey-military-forces-enter-syria-intl/index.html

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2) US government “shutdown” theatrics grind into workweek after Senate fails to clinch deal
Source: The Hill

“The shutdown is barreling into the workweek after senators failed late Sunday to clinch a deal to reopen the government. The impact of the closure is set to dramatically increase starting Monday. Hundreds of thousands of government employees face possible furloughs, some federal functions could cease, and it remains to be seen whether public museums and tourist attractions will remain open. … But there is optimism that the shutdown, now entering in its third day, could end soon. The Senate at noon on Monday is set to take a procedural vote on a government funding bill that would last for roughly three weeks, until Feb. 8.” [editor’s note: Oh, drama. So far the only people affected by this fake “shutdown” in any real way have been the people who schedule guests on the Sunday news talk shows – TLK] (01/22/18)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/370046-shutdown-grinds-into-workweek-after-senate-fails-to-clinch-deal

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3) Johnson: FBI destroyed evidence during key period in Clinton/Trump probes
Source: Washington Post

“The FBI did not retain text messages exchanged by two senior officials involved in the probes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for a five-month period ending the day a special counsel was appointed to investigate possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to a new congressional letter. The letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray indicates the Justice Department has turned over to lawmakers a new batch of texts from senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The messages have not been made public.” (01/21/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-did-not-save-officials-texts-during-key-period-in-clinton-trump-probes-senator-says/2018/01/21/c621c418-fed0-11e7-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html

—–

4) UK: UKIP leader Bolton under more pressure to step down as deputy resigns
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Ukip’s deputy leader has resigned, increasing the pressure on the party’s beleaguered leader, Henry Bolton, to step down following an overwhelming vote of no confidence against him by the party’s national executive. Margot Parker, who is also a Ukip MEP, said controversy over Bolton’s relationship with Jo Marney, a younger party activist found to have sent racist messages, had taken over ‘the job he was elected to do.’ … The party has been plunged into chaos since Bolton lost a vote of confidence at a national executive meeting on Sunday, with every member but himself supporting it, but still refused to quit. Ukip will hold an emergency meeting of ordinary members in the next month to try to force him out.” (01/22/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/22/ukip-leader-henry-bolton-pressure-step-down-deputy-resigns

—–

5) Germany: SPD votes in favor of coalition talks with Merkel
Source: United Press International

“Germany’s Social Democrat Party voted in favor of entering the second and final stage of coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. The SPD held a special congress in Bonn Sunday as 56 percent of the party’s delegates voted in favor of moving forward with negotiations to form a ‘grand coalition’ led by Merkel. … Many voters were unhappy with the decision to continue coalition talks, noting SPD leader Martin Schulz failed to produce any truly Social Democratic policies in the first round of negotiations.” (01/21/18)

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/01/21/Germanys-SPD-votes-in-favor-of-coalition-talks-with-Merkel/2551516567948/

—–

6) Meehan ousted from House ethics committee after reports of sexual misconduct settlement
Source: Vanity Fair

“House Speaker Paul Ryan removed Rep. Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania from the House Ethics Committee after The New York Times reported Meehan had settled a sexual misconduct complaint. The report alleges that Meehan used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle the case leveled against him by a former aide. … Under the House’s current policy of dealing with workplace sexual misconduct cases, according to CNN, settlements are paid through the U.S. Treasury after going through the Office of Compliance’s system. Meehan’s settlement, though, was reportedly paid out through his own office’s fund.” (01/21/18)

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/01/pat-meehan-sexual-harassment-settlement

—–

7) Jordan: Abdullah tells Pence US must rebuild trust after Jerusalem decision
Source: Reuters

“Jordan’s King Abdullah told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild ‘trust and confidence’ in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital. With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a ‘potential major source of instability.’ … At the end of the visit, Pence in remarks to the press said he ‘agreed to disagree’ with King Abdullah on the impact of Trump’s move.” (01/21/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mideast-pence-jordan/jordans-king-tells-pence-u-s-must-rebuild-trust-after-jerusalem-decision-idUSKBN1FA0FS

—–

8) Demonstrators rally worldwide for second day of Women’s Marches
Source: NBC News

“Demonstrators and activists gathered in cities worldwide on Sunday for a second day of Women’s Marches, a year after millions worldwide rallied to highlight women’s issues and challenge the presidency and policies of Donald Trump. This year’s marches also coincide with the anniversary of Trump’s first-year in office and activists have focused the agenda on voting. … Organizers described the rally as ‘an event that will launch a national voter registration tour one year after the historic Women’s March on Washington,’ according to a statement on the march’s website.” (01/21/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/demonstrators-rally-worldwide-second-day-women-s-marches-n839626

—–

9) CA: Democrats propose surcharge on businesses to fund social programs
Source: Fox News

“Lawmakers from California have proposed a bill that would compel companies making more than $1 million to turn over half their tax-cut savings to the state in order to fund programs that support low-income and middle-class families. Assembly members Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, have proposed an Assembly Constitutional Amendment that would enact a tax surcharge on California companies, in order to help people who have been negatively affected by the GOP’s tax overhaul, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Critics of the tax overhaul have argued that a tax-heavy state like California will be hurt by declining revenues that pay for social programs, the Chronicle reported. The tax surcharge is a way of compensating for an anticipated loss in state revenue.” (01/20/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/20/california-dems-propose-surcharge-on-businesses-to-fund-social-programs.html

—–

10) Signs of fake government shutdown spotty but symbolic
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Symbols of American promise became emblems of American dysfunction on Saturday when a dispute in Congress over spending and immigration forced scores of federal government agencies and outposts to close their doors. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island turned away visitors in New York, due to what the National Park Service described as ‘a lapse in appropriations,’ a bureaucratic term for a lack of money. In Philadelphia, crowds of tourists were told Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, and the Liberty Bell were closed. The shuttered icons were some of the easiest-to-spot impacts of the partial government closure. Funds ran out at midnight Friday, leaving 48 hours before the most dramatic effect (the furloughing of nearly a million federal employees) goes into effect.” (01/20/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Administration-pledge-to-minimize-shutdown-faces-12512390.php

—–

11) China: Regime says US warship violated its South China Sea sovereignty
Source: Reuters

“A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea this week, U.S. officials said on Saturday, and Beijing vowed to take ‘necessary measures’ to protect its sovereignty. China’s foreign ministry said USS Hopper missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island, which is also known as Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines. It was the latest U.S. naval operation challenging extensive Chinese claims in the South China Sea and came even as U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. Two U.S. officials confirmed that the USS Hopper had sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal.” (01/20/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-us-sovereignty/china-says-u-s-warship-violated-its-south-china-sea-sovereignty-idUSKBN1F9088

—–

12) Report: Vegas shooter bought 55 guns in one year
Source: USA Today

“The gunman in the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people and wounded 489 others last October had purchased at least 55 guns in the prior 12 months, according to a report released Friday out of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old who police believe acted alone in the shooting, had purchased 29 firearms between 1982 and 2016, according to the report, but then bought nearly twice that many between October 2016 and September 2017, according to the report. Most were rifles in various calibers, along with more than 100 firearm related items purchased through a variety of retailers. Federal law requires gun stores to report multiple handgun purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but not multiple rifle purchases.” (01/20/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/20/report-vegas-shooter-bought-55-guns-1-year/1050734001

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13) Afghanistan: Kabul hotel siege leaves six civilians, five gunmen dead; Taliban claims responsibility
Source: ABC News

“At least six civilians and five gunmen are dead following an 11-hour siege Saturday of the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, according to the country’s interior ministry. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties. Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told ABC News that six people were also injured: three police officers and three civilians.” [editor’s note: Is a group that goes out of its way to “avoid civilian casualties” a “terror group?” The possibility of killing wedding attendees doesn’t seem to give US drone terrorists pause – TLK] (01/21/18)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/kabul-intercontinental-hotel-siege-civilians-gunmen-dead/story?id=52486357

—–

14) Male birth control pill could be made from poison derivative
Source: Raw Story

“The long, winding road to a male birth control pill may have just become more direct. Researchers have found a potential lead in a plant extract that African warriors once used to make lethal poison-tipped arrows, according to CBS Boston. The extract is called ouabain, and it inhibits sodium and calcium ions from a membrane protein known as Na,K-ATPases. Crucially, the protein also affects fertility in male mice. It’s been shown to dampen fertility in male humans, but the catch is the risk of heart damage, which is why it’s never been suitable for a male birth control pill before. But by tinkering with ouabain’s chemical elements, including removing a key sugar group, a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas have now designed an analog (a safe knock-off) that’s much likelier to bind to protein in sperm than to anything involving heart tissue.” (01/20/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/male-birth-control-pill-could-be-made-from-poison

—–

15) South Africa: Cape Town could be the first major city in the world to run out of water
Source: USA Today

“Murad Ebrahim turned on the shower in his gym locker room. The newly-installed showerhead delivered a gentle stream, then shut off shortly after. ‘Two-minute showers,’ said Ebrahim, 39, a publishing house executive. ‘You barely get to soap your body.’ In the shower stalls in his Cape Town gym, buckets catch excess water that doesn’t go down the drain. When they fill up, the gym gives them to customers for flushing toilets. Cape Town and the surrounding region of South Africa are suffering from a severe drought. Three years of low rain levels and an unseasonably dry winter mean that average dam levels are just over a quarter full. The metro area of 3.7 million has less than 90 days’ worth of water in its reservoirs, making it the first major city in the world that could run out of water.” (01/19/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/19/cape-town-could-first-major-city-run-out-water/1047237001

—–

16) MO: Greitens says “no blackmail” and “no violence” in affair
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“In his first interview since acknowledging an extramarital affair, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said Saturday that there was ‘no blackmail’ and ‘no threat of violence’ by him in what he described as a months-long ‘consensual relationship’ with his former hairdresser. Greitens told The Associated Press that he has no plans to resign from office as a result of the affair, despite calls to step aside from several Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. ‘I’m staying. I’m staying,’ he said twice for emphasis, adding about his relationship with his wife, staff and supporters: ‘We’re strong.’” (01/20/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Missouri-governor-no-blackmail-no-violence-12512330.php

—–

17) Thailand: Asian wildlife trafficking “kingpin” Boonchai Bach arrested
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Thai police have arrested a man alleged to be the head of Asia’s biggest illegal wildlife trading networks. Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai of Vietnamese origin, was detained in a town on the border with Laos. He faces up to four years in jail for smuggling protected animal parts like rhino horns and elephant ivory. Animal trafficking is a lucrative black market trade. Police said the suspect was the ‘ringleader’ of a ‘major smuggling syndicate’ operating over a decade. He was arrested on Friday over the smuggling of 14 rhino horns worth around $1m (£700,000) from Africa to Thailand.” (01/20/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42758184

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18) ME: Town manager under fire for promoting racial separatism, criticizing Islam
Source: Fox News

“The town manager of a small northern Maine community is under fire for promoting white separatist views and making comments critical of Islam, it was reported Saturday. Jackman town manager Thomas Kawczynksi, 37, says he is the leader of New Albion, a racial segregationist movement that wants to preserve the white majority of northern New England and Atlantic Canada. ‘I am not a white supremacist. I am not a racist,’ Kawczynski told the Portland Press Herald. ‘What gets me in trouble sometimes is I am a white person who is not ashamed to be white.’ He told the paper he opposed Islam because it was ‘not compatible with Western culture.’ The paper interviewed the pastor of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland who said that what Kawczynski was doing was awful.” (01/20/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/20/maine-town-manager-under-fire-for-promoting-white-separatism-criticizing-islam.html

—–

19) Jamaica: Tourists warned not to leave resorts after string of deadly shootings
Source: Raw Story

“British and Canadian tourists in Jamaica have been warned not to venture from resorts in Montego Bay after a state of emergency was imposed in response to a spate of deadly shootings. Soldiers have been deployed on the streets in St. James parish after a series of killings led to a military response. Newsweek has reached out to the State Department — which at the time of publication had not updated its travel advisory to Americans visiting the Caribbean island. On Saturday, several U.S. federal government offices closed after Congress could not agree a new budget. It is unclear how the State Department will be impacted by the closure. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Thursday that the extra security measures were necessary to ‘restore public safety’ in the St. James area. Chief of defense, Major General Rocky Meade, said Jamaican armed forces were targeting gangs, with ‘particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion.’” (01/20/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/tourists-warned-not-to-leave-resorts-in-jamaica-after-string-of-deadly-shootings

—–

20) SCOTUS to rule on Trump Muslim ban
Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

“The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide the legality of the latest version of President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the United States by residents of six majority-Muslim countries. The issue pits an administration that considers the restrictions necessary for Americans’ security against challengers who claim it is illegally aimed at Muslims and stems from Trump’s campaign call for a ‘complete shutdown of Muslims’ entering the U.S. The justices plan to hear argument in April and issue a final ruling by late June on a Trump policy that has been repeatedly blocked and struck down in the lower courts.” (01/20/18)

http://www.lockportjournal.com/news/supreme-court-to-rule-on-trump-travel-ban/article_71abd0d8-bddd-5cb9-8ecc-7aa6ddbe3df3.html

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

21) The worst thing about federal government “shutdowns”
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The second worst thing about federal government ‘shutdowns’ is that they’re almost entirely meaningless theatrical productions — tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing — from beginning to end. The worst thing about such ‘shutdowns’ is that they end, usually in a way that undoes most of what little good they accomplished in the first place.” (01/20/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12520

—–

22) Trump versus the world
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“Tools are the result of saving and investment, that is, previous production and abstention from consumption. This is the roundabout method of production. Crusoe accumulates and stores fish the primitive way so he can eat while he suspends fishing and concentrates on making a net, which will enable him to catch and consume more fish with less effort in the future. As the late P. T. Bauer, the once-maverick development economist, long taught, all people — not just white Europeans and their new-world brethren — easily discover these truths, and because they want their families to be able to consume more in the future, they act accordingly: refrain from consumption, save, and invest — unless their rulers get in the way. … Trump and his ilk would have us believe that people in certain parts of the world don’t get it, that there’s something wrong with them. It’s the same old buncombe most western development economists used spout to justify intervention and central planning in the less-developed world after World War II.” (01/19/18)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/daily-featured-articles/tgif-trump-versus-world/

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23) How the queen of selfishness taught me to accept my disability
Source: Folks
by Robert Lerose

Interview with Chris Matthew Sciabarra: “It is ironic that the ‘goddess of selfishness’ gave me inspiration as a teenager, suffering from chronic illness: I took away from her work the idea that it was possible to survive and flourish by virtue of the passion of productive work and pride in one’s achievements. That passion and pride has been an enormous source of inspiration, given how much I’ve published in my lifetime.” (01/18/18)

https://folks.pillpack.com/how-the-queen-of-selfishness-taught-me-to-accept-my-disability/

—–

24) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 4, part 3
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“The blockchain’s ledger of transfers allows uninvited parties to eavesdrop on financial and other information that has been voluntarily made public — at least, to some degree. What should the legal status of eavesdropping be? If someone overhears a personal conversation in a public place and he repeats the content, does the act infringe anyone’s right to ‘be left alone?’ What if the eavesdropper uses the information to advantage, for example, by acting on a stock tip? What if he uses the data to blackmail? Is there a right to legally restrain the eavesdropper?” (01/20/18)

https://news.bitcoin.com/the-satoshi-revolution-chapter-4-is-privacy-possible-in-the-digital-era-part-3/

—–

25) After government shutdown, maybe politicians will find they are “non-essential”
Source: USA Today
by James S Robbins

“Cable networks covering the last-ditch Senate attempt to avoid a government shutdown Friday night showed scary looking clocks counting down the seconds until midnight. And then, midnight came. The government shut down. Speeches were made. OK now what? We will see the usual grandstanding of course, the usual hyperbole. Maybe Senator Cory Booker will cry tears of rage again. But ‘shutdown’ is a misnomer, because the most critical functions of government will continue. Social Security payments will be made. The Defense Department will keep defending us, though pay will be delayed. Even Robert Mueller’s Russian witch hunt will keep grinding away. It’s not like the United States will instantly turn into Venezuela.” (01/20/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/20/what-next-after-government-shutdown-maybe-politicians-find-they-non-essential-robbins-column/1051003001

—–

26) Another bloody American century
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Matthew Harwood

“Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was livid. ‘In the dead of night,’ the California Democrat wrote on Twitter in July, House Speaker Paul Ryan did something ‘underhanded and undemocratic.’ He stripped out her bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force against al-Qaeda from the Defense Appropriations bill. Congress passed the AUMF three days after 9/11 to give the president the authority to go after al-Qaeda, which had attacked America on that crystal-clear morning in September. There was only one member of Congress to cast a lonely vote against the resolution: Barbara Lee. In what can only be described as prophetic, Lee warned at the time of the AUMF vote that ‘we must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.’” (01/19/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/another-bloody-american-century/

—–

27) What to do when liberals are the censors?
Source: Japan Today [Japan] by John Lloyd

“Citizens in authoritarian states know what they can read or publish, see or hear. In places such as China, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Egypt, semi-free private discussion and small-circulation publishing is permitted. But the dissident talk can’t become opposition action. That is cut off, either at the root or when it appears on the streets. In a revealing interview, the Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie, a dissident in his youth and now a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, told the sinologist Ian Johnson that ‘this (Chinese) government … is not a traditional dictatorship. It’s a new type. It’s now much more complicated.’ Young people who want to explore forbidden zones can, said Qiu, use secured Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which allow users to bypass government filters by disguising their physical location. So China allows limited discussion of sensitive subjects such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, accounts of which are still controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party.” (01/19/18)

https://japantoday.com/category/features/opinions/column-commentary-what-to-do-when-liberals-are-the-censors

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28) Party like it’s 1999: The beautiful inevitability of a bubble in blockchain startups
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Gulker, PhD

“One could forgive me for assuming that the North American Bitcoin Conference, a gargantuan 4,000-person event held on January 18 and 19 in Miami, would be about Bitcoin. There were a couple of terrific speakers on the topic, most notably our own Jeffrey Tucker, but the event was dominated by pitches and presentations from startups in the wider blockchain ecosystem. There was plenty to learn about untapped markets and new applications for blockchain, but for this economist, the event provided something much more valuable — an indelible snapshot of an inevitable moment in the history of a transformative technology, and a new understanding of what a technology ‘bubble’ actually means.” (01/20/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/party-its-1999-beautiful-inevitability-bubble-blockchain-startups

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29) Trump’s Middle East policy: The good(ish), the bad and the ugly
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Katulis & Daniel Benaim

“President Donald Trump came into office on a wave of angry populism, vowing to remake U.S. foreign policy to match his ‘America First’ rhetoric. The Middle East has been a testing ground for Trump’s approach. With Vice President Mike Pence heading to the region this weekend, it’s worth taking a look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Trump administration’s policies in the Middle East to better understand where America might be headed in the region in 2018 — and just how bumpy the ride could get. The Good(ish): It is easy to be consumed by the distractions, the outrages, and the real damage that have defined Trump’s approach to foreign policy. But taking stock also means acknowledging in good faith those places where the administration has indeed advanced U.S. interests in its first year. The most strategically significant gain was the retaking of territory from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where the group is in retreat.” (01/19/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146677/trumps-middle-east-policy-goodish-bad-ugly

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30) Book Review: Nietzsche and the Nazis
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“Walter Kaufmann, the foremost Nietzsche scholar in the world, set out after the war to rehabilitate the philosopher. Nietzsche, he argued, got a bad rap as the pre-eminent Nazi philosopher. In his 1950 book, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, which was expanded through three more editions over the years, he includes an entire chapter called The Master Race on the Nazi question. Kaufmann’s main thrust is that proto-Nazis like Richard Oehler cherry-picked quotes out of context to promote the idea that Nietzsche was anti-Jewish and pro-Aryan. He includes a prime example of this as well as dissecting Nietzsche’s views on race. … in Stephen Hicks’s intriguing little book, Nietzsche and the Nazis, he partially agrees with Kaufmann. But he also disagrees. Nietzsche was misrepresented in some respects by the Nazis. But many of Nietzsche’s positions fully supported the Nazi ideal.” (01/20/18)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-review-nietzsche-and-nazis-by.html

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31) The Office of National Drug Control Policy is on the chopping block again. Here’s why that’s not a bad thing.
Source: Reason
by Mike Riggs

“President Donald Trump is poised yet again to slash the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Politico reports. The plan reportedly involves moving the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) grant to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and moving the Drug Free Communities grant to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That reshuffling makes sense (even if the programs themselves don’t) as the DEA has 600 agents working on HIDTA and HHS reviews applications for Drug Free Communities. Some ONDCP staff would remain in place to consult the White House, which seems redundant in light of the ‘expertise’ provided by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Kellyanne Conway. (Conway was recently promoted from talking head to leader of the White House Opioid Crisis Team, or whatever it’s officially called.) Yet for some reason, all the reporting I’ve seen on this story suggests that allowing specialized agencies to absorb the ONDCP’s programs would lead to some sort of national drug abuse crisis, which we’ve thus far averted thanks to the ONDCP’s effectiveness and vigilance. None of these articles have mentioned the myriad ways in which the ONDCP has been downright harmful.” (01/19/18)

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/19/the-office-of-national-drug-control-poli

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32) Amazon, city killer?
Source: The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley

“Trying to figure out where Amazon will set down roots or, depending on your perspective, spread its tentacles, is the newest capitalistic cage match. Nineteen American cities and one Canadian metro area, down from the original 238, now go into overdrive to secure what promises to one of the most transformative economic decisions in the world: a single $5 billion investment in a second headquarters that brings 50,000 high-tech workers and their families, plus thousands more jobs in associated sectors. This competition spurred the type of collaboration between private sector and political leaders that only develops when a trophy like an Amazon comes into view, according to Susan Wachter, a University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor of real estate and finance and co-director of Penn Institute for Urban Research, which assembled a group of urban experts to weigh in on the Amazon competition.” (01/19/18)

http://prospect.org/article/amazon-city-killer

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33) Good or bad, but surely not transitory
Source: Cobden Centre
by Jeffrey P Snider

“When Federal Reserve officials first started last year to mention wireless network data plans as a possible explanation for a fifth year of ‘transitory’ factors holding back consumer price inflation, it seemed a bit transparent. One of the reasons for immediately doubting their sincerity was the history of that particular piece of the CPI (or PCE Deflator). To begin with, the unlimited data plan wars that kicked off with Verizon’s entry into them wasn’t all that much of a change for the industry. It seemed a little weird to be suggesting falling wireless telephone prices (the category of the CPI carrying the carriers’ various products and services) were a ‘transitory’ factor when wireless telephone prices have been falling since they were first added to the index twenty years ago. It’s kind of what they do.” (01/19/18)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/01/jeffrey-p-snider-good-or-bad-but-surely-not-transitory/

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34) A reasonable response by reasonable people
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“The paradox of nuclear weapons is that they offer a terrible power but are only useful as a deterrent. If you have nuclear weapons and your enemy has nuclear weapons, peace can exist because you both have the power to wipe the other side out. Neither side will launch because it will result in their demise as well. But what happens when a nuclear armed country acts in an unreasonable manner?” (01/19/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/01/19/a-reasonable-response-by-reasonable-people/

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35) The life-changing magic of tidying up Hillary
Source: In These Times
by Betsy Vandercook

“It’s been a year, exactly, since we’ve had a new president. Some of us have marched, some have written letters, others haven’t gotten out of bed yet. Me, I keep returning to my basement. It’s time to move on, and there’s stuff down there I need to let go. There are these boxes — all alike, all pretty full, and all neatly lettered: H-I-L-L-A-R-Y. Inside are newspapers and magazines, letters and invitations, books, bumper stickers, photos, fridge magnets, and ‘Bill Clinton and his Family’ paper dolls. I could have started a presidential archive or made a killing on eBay. But now it’s too late. Like most of you, I voted for Hillary in the general election. But in the primary, Bernie was my guy. That made me feel more than a little guilty, like I was cheating on a friend, because in a way, I was. Hillary and I, you see, go way back together: same hometown, same schools, and birthdays just five days apart.” (01/20/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20851/life-changing-magic-hillary-clinton-bill-trump-inauguration-friend-kondo

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36) Quantum Vibe, 01/19/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (01/19/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1747

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37) Could/should Jubilee debt cancellations be reintroduced today?
Source: CounterPunch
by Michael Hudson & Chrles Goodhart

“The idea of annulling debts nowadays seems so unthinkable that most economists and many theologians doubt whether the Jubilee Year could have been applied in practice, and indeed on a regular basis. A widespread impression is that the Mosaic debt jubilee was a utopian ideal. However, Assyriologists have traced it to a long tradition of Near Eastern proclamations. That tradition is documented as soon as written inscriptions have been found — in Sumer, starting in the mid-third millennium BC. Instead of causing economic crises, these debt jubilees preserved stability in nearly all Near Eastern societies. Economic polarization, bondage and collapse occurred when such clean slates stopped being proclaimed.” (01/19/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/19/could-should-jubilee-debt-cancellations-be-reintroduced-today/

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38) Trump fills the swamp to exploit college students
Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

“President Trump ran on promises to ‘drain the swamp’ of special interests and corporate lobbyists in Washington, DC, but higher education policy in his administration is a quagmire of Okefenokee proportions. Just to review the latest developments to emerge from the dismal places in his administration: * His Department of Education contracted with a college student loan service company with financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, * His Department of Justice sided with a college loan service firm that a state attorney general says has violated college student loan debt forgiveness rules, and * His Department of Veterans Affairs gave a reprieve to a for-profit college that also has ties to personnel deep in the muck of DoEd headquarters in L’Enfant Plaza.” (01/19/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180119/trump-fills-the-swamp-to-exploit-college-students

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39) Destroying the Iran deal while claiming to save it
Source: The Atlantic
by Philip Gordon & Robert Malley

“President Trump’s recent ‘help-me-before-I-do-something-really-irresponsible’ statement on the Iran nuclear deal could have been worse. But it should have been better. And it will almost certainly end badly. Contrary to what many had feared, Trump didn’t void the deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). While he imposed some new penalties on Iranian officials, they were not of the sort that put the deal in immediate danger. He nonetheless chose yet again to attack and undermine an international agreement that, by all accounts, is working, to which America’s allies and partners are committed, and whose collapse would both severely undermine U.S. credibility and allow Iran to resume the nuclear activities it recently halted. By threatening to withdraw from the deal unless Congress and Europe implausibly and unilaterally alter its terms, Trump has put it on a path to collapse without any realistic plan for what to do if that happens.” (01/21/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/trump-iran-deal-jcpoa/551066/

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40) Disability rolls tumble as economy gains steam
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“If you want a sign of a growing economy, look at the disability rolls. They’ve been shrinking rapidly of late, as fewer apply for benefits and more disabled return to work. This is very good news. In the aftermath of the last recession, the number of workers who went on the Social Security Disability Insurance program skyrocketed by more than 1 million. It’s clear from the data that this was being driven largely by the lack of good job prospects. Monthly applications for SSDI leapt from an average 182,000 a month in 2007 to 245,000 a month in 2010. Even years after the recession had ended, applications remained well above 200,000 a month as the painfully slow recovery dragged on. With jobs scarce and enrollment requirements for SSDI fairly lax, it’s not surprising that many took this route. While these trends started to slowly turn around in 2015, they accelerated in 2017.” (01/19/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/disability-rolls-tumble-as-economy-gains-steam

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41) Can an economy advance without savings?
Source: Mises Canada
by Patrick Barron

“According to Frank Decker, Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney Law School, it certainly can. Not only that, but eschewing savings in favor of ‘monetisation of assets’ will yield better results! I refer to his article in Economic Affairs — Volume 37, Number 3, October 2017 — a publication of the Institute of Economic Affairs, London. Mr. Decker purports to answer the question ‘Central Bank or Monetary Authority? Three Views on Money and Monetary Reform.’ The three views examined are commodity money, state money, and money as a derivative of property. All three views are explained very well, and a beginner to the study of the role of money will learn a lot in a short period of time.” (01/20/18)

https://www.mises.ca/can-an-economy-advance-without-savings/

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42) How will expanded use of 529 accounts affect Missouri’s budget?
Source: Show-Me Institute
by Joseph Haslag & Susan Pendergrass

“The federal tax reform bill is likely to have many consequences, intended and unintended. One intended consequence is that it expands the use of funds in 529 education savings accounts beyond college expenses to K-12 expenses. If parents open these accounts for their children and add money to them, they can withdraw those funds when needed for education expenses without paying taxes on what the savings have earned. In addition, in states that allow it, deposits to these accounts can be deducted from income on state forms, thereby lowering the tax bills of savers.” (01/19/18)

https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/taxes-income-earnings/how-will-expanded-use-529-accounts-affect-missouris-budget

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43) Much of the federal government should be shut down
Source: Fox News Forum
by Steve Hilton

“The conventional wisdom about the government shutdown chaos in Washington is completely wrong. Whoever you listen to, their explanation for the shambles is political. If you’re on the left you blame President Trump – just as you blame him for everything from bad weather to burned toast. If you’re on the right you call it the ‘Schumer Shutdown’ (after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.) and point out that today’s Democrats are being driven by their extreme ‘open borders’ base. For what it’s worth, I agree that the Democrats are in thrall to their party’s extremes, in particular on the issue of immigration. And it surely makes sense to handle the DACA issue as part of a negotiated immigration deal, including the border wall and an end to the diversity visa lottery and chain migration. Using the ‘Dreamers,’ as DACA recipients are known, to hold up agreement on the entire federal budget is a ridiculous and damaging stunt.” (01/20/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/01/20/much-federal-government-should-be-shut-down-and-power-given-back-to-people.html

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44) Pravda in the Izvestia
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Back in the USSR’s heyday, the joke about the two major newspapers, Pravda (meaning ‘truth’ — and published by the Communist Party) and Izvestia (meaning ‘news’ — and published by the Soviet State), was that ‘there’s no Truth in the News and no News in the Truth.’ Nowadays, in Trump’s America, we have fake news. And one reason Donald Trump won the presidency was his defiant stance against the ‘lying press.’ Which is why, when Trump announced, last week, his intent to give out awards to the news media for their top ‘fake news’ stories of 2017, he was playing to his base.” (01/19/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/01/19/pravda-in-the-izvestia/

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45) Trump’s ideas may force the introspection “Davos Man” needs
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week. On the face of it, the annual jolly for worldwide business and political elites at a ski resort in Switzerland looks an unwelcoming environment for the President. ‘Davos Man’ is seen by many as the manifestation of the globalist agenda Trump denounces. The biggest acclaim at last year’s jaunt, after all, went to President Xi of China, as he outlined a robust defense of free trade days after Trump’s inauguration extolled protectionism. But there’s an argument to be made that on other issues, Trump’s likely opinions will provide the shake-up the Forum needs. Rich people blowing company cash in an expensive resort to bloviate their political views and contemplate the musings of ‘very important people’ is in itself not particularly interesting. But when politicians, businessmen, lobbyists, commentators and regulators get together committing to ‘improving the state of the world,’ there are reasons to be concerned.” (01/19/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trumps-ideas-may-force-introspection-davos-man-needs

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46) How to make your opponents try (and fail) to prove a negative
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“Sometimes you can prove an alleged event did happen, but you generally can’t prove something did not happen. For example, if police have clear video footage of a crime in progress, several direct witnesses, and DNA evidence too, you can say they proved the defendant did the crime. But if your neighbor says an angel visited him in his bedroom at night, and there were no witnesses or physical traces left behind, you can’t prove it didn’t happen. All you can say for sure is that you don’t have any evidence of it happening. So if you want to drive a political opponent crazy, allege that he or she did something evil, provide no direct evidence, and force them to do the impossible: Prove it didn’t happen. Consider the Russian collusion investigation.” (01/20/18)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/01/20/make-opponents-try-fail-prove-negative

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47) Just who are those “consumers?”
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“While working on a principles of economics textbook, I began wondering how students evaluate terms like ‘consumer welfare.’ Who are these consumers? There’s a term for people who are not consumers, they are called ‘corpses.’ All living people are consumers. So any policy that benefits consumers as a group also must, ipso facto, benefit society as a whole. Right? Not quite, as that’s not what economists mean by ‘consumers.’” (01/20/18)

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

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48) Questions — and a few good answers
Source: The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty

“I’d like to propose a few questions for your pondering, and encourage you to comment on them here. These questions may seem to have only complex answers, or no answers at all. I propose that the solutions to the problem are indeed complex, but the premise is actually quite simple: 1. Who owns/controls your life and body? You? Or someone, something else? 2. If ‘someone else,’ by what authority? Why does someone else own you? 3. Are you happy for others to own/control you? Or are you upset about it, even if you can’t see any alternative? 4. Do you see an alternative? What would that be?” (01/19/18)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2018/01/19/questions-and-a-few-good-answers/

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49) Why Trump’s North Korea “bloody nose” campaign is a big bluff
Source: Antiwar.com
by Gareth Porter

“The Trump administration’s leaks of plans for a ‘bloody nose’ strike on North Korean nuclear and/or missile sites is only the most recent evidence of its effort to sell the idea that the United States is prepared for a first strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). But the ‘bloody nose’ leak — and the larger campaign to float the idea of a first strike against North Korea — isn’t going to convince Kim Jong Un or anyone else who has paid close attention to the administration’s propaganda output. That’s because national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other senior advisers know the Trump administration has no real first-strike option that is not disastrous.” (01/19/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2018/01/18/trumps-north-korea-bloody-nose-campaign-big-bluff/

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50) A case for repealing all antitrust legislation
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“On no topic in microeconomics does the Austrian approach differ so profoundly from that of mainstream neoclassical economics as it does on the topic of competition. And because sharp differences in understandings of ‘competition’ — and, hence, of ‘monopoly’ — promote different attitudes toward commercial practices and market arrangements, it’s no surprise that Austrian assessments of antitrust policy differ strikingly from typical mainstream assessments. Unlike the great majority of economists today outside of the Austrian tradition, Austrians reject the argument that antitrust is needed to keep markets competitive, or that antitrust can be reliably used to increase markets’ competiveness, inventiveness, and efficiency. Three separate reasons justify this deep Austrian skepticism of antitrust, although any one reason standing alone would be sufficient for this policy conclusion.” (01/19/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/01/case-repealing-antitrust-legislation.html

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

51) Anarcho Agenda, episode 53
Source: Anarcho Agenda

“Preventing erroneous missile warnings, and while Trump talks, privacy is being further taken. All that and more discussed on Anarcho Agenda.” [various formats] (01/20/18)

http://anarchoagenda.libsyn.com/anarcho-agenda-episode-53-2018-01-20

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52) The Anarchist Experience, episode 148
Source: The Anarchist Experience

“With the Government shutdown, is this anarchy? We discuss this question, as well as More problems dealing with the police and court system, does it do any good to renounce your citizenship, the Alt-Right’s endorsement of Monero as it’s official currency, and these headlines: — Customs And Border Protection Clarifies: You Have No Rights While Traveling — Gov’t Failed to Help, So Dad Builds 5 Mile Road BY HIMSELF, So His Kids Can Go To School.” [various formats] (01/20/18)

https://theanarchistexperience.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/the-anarchist-experience-148/

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53) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 223
Source: Libertarianism.org

“John Samples joins us to discuss how the Trump presidency is challenging America’s Institutions.” [various formats] (01/19/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/trumps-assault-americas-institutions

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54) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 144
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #144, I discuss the war’s cost on Americans. 1,000s of Americans have been killed overseas. Many veterans suffer from lasting physical, psychological, and moral injuries from the war. The war has cost every American freedom. The cultural decay created by the war has led to mass fear of immigrants by Americans. The wars have also cost Americans trillions of dollars of wealth.” [various formats] (01/19/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-144-the-war-on-us

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55) Felony Friday, episode 107
Source: Lions of Liberty

“Today on Felony Friday Rocky Ferrenburg joins host John Odermatt to discuss how he overcame drug addiction and found success after spending time incarcerated.” [various formats] (01/19/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/01/19/felony-friday-107-drugs-felonies-new-life-interview-recovering-addict-turned-politician/

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56) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1077
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Michael Douma, Assistant Research Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown, and Director of the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, joins me to discuss what it means to be a classical liberal, or libertarian, historian — do we have our own methods, are we telling a different story, or what precisely are we doing?” [various formats] (01/19/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1077-dissident-historians/

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57) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 694
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“I know you’ve all been wondering what happened to Darren and the truth is, a lot has happened over the past year that I haven’t been able to talk with you about, but today I break the gag order and spill the beans. The truth, I’m afraid will be far less interesting than the speculation that it’s important you know everything that’s been going on behind the scenes. I’ve also got a KILLER article on capitalism that gave me some great ammunition to discuss what’s wrong with our current system and how you can ensure you come out on top.” [various formats] (01/19/18)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/694-what-happened-to-darren/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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