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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,895
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Tillerson takes aim at Russia after alleged gas attack by Syrian regime
2) Ursula K. LeGuin, 1929-2018
3) Congressional corruption: Courts reject Brown’s bids to stay out of prison
4) US regime says Turkish invasion of Syria is disruptive (apparently the US invasion of Syria isn’t?)
5) Venezuela: Regime says “petro” cryptocurrency pre-sale will be in hard currency
6) Report: Comey, Sessions were questioned for hours in Russiagate probe
7) USS Little Rock, Navy’s newest ship, is stuck in ice in Montreal
8) FL: Voters to decide on ending lifetime ban on voting for felons
9) Report: WWII soldiers dumped into mass grave after shipwrecks scavenged
10) New York City: Regime files frivolous lawsuits vs. drug companies over opioid epidemic
11) HI: Missile alert stand-down delayed by governor’s forgotten log-in
12) Spacewalking astronauts give new hand to robot arm
13) 1.7-billion-year-old chunk of North America found in Australia
14) Was Bob Costas dumped by NBC over concussion talk?
15) NFL rejected a “Please Stand” ad, veterans group says
16) Tsunami warnings canceled after magnitude-7.9 earthquake off Alaska
17) CA: Elon Musk’s Boring Company presents LA tunnel plan
18) FL: Video shows Border Patrol thugs hijacking bus, abducting passenger
19) Report: Fewer and fewer Americans can bring themselves to pretend that Budweiser is beer
20) Meteor credited for bright light, noise rattling Michigan
21) Canada, TPP members agree to revised deal without the US
22) UK: Regime blocks Fox’s buyout of Sky
23) South Korea: Regime continues assault on cryptocurrency
24) MT: Bullock decrees that would-be state contractors must implement corporate welfare for Big Data
25) Report: FBI director threatened to resign amid Trump, Sessions pressure

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Bye, bye, FBI? The case for disbanding the federal Frankenstein’s monster
27) The real losers in the shutdown fiasco
28) Government will protect us from bad speech? That’s the fakest news of all.
29) The government “shutdown” that wasn’t: What really happens?
30) Our heritage of open immigration from s***hole countries
31) Everyone’s talking about blockchains but hardly anyone’s using them
32) Abusing drugs
33) Oxfam is entitled to its own opinions, but not to its own facts
34) Wall Street isn’t the answer to the pension crisis
35) The laughable, the divine, and the baseball diamond
36) The Democrats didn’t betray their base
37) What Jesus didn’t say
38) Will Davos Man — or Woman — take on Trumpian nihilism?
39) President Trump’s successful strategic silence
40) Get ready for a congressional budget blowout
41) The effect of the Trump tariffs
42) Ho hum
43) Is ObamaCare fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic?
44) How long must they lord it over democracy and press freedom?
45) Has the tide turned against partisan gerrymandering?
46) FBI’s “missing” five months of texts: Worse than Watergate?
47) Law, order and the Dreamers
48) The return of the Stinger missile
49) Does Congress need the president to take the lead?
50) The problem, as always, is power
51) US needs to kick Cold War habit and end its addiction to militarism
52) Yet another open letter to the Scarcityist-in-Chief
53) How to forever resolve national monument controversies
54) Immigration hypocrisy, left and right
55) The five biggest problems with Oxfam’s 2018 income inequality report

The Sound and the Fury:

56) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 40
57) Tenther Tuesday, episode 29
58) The unshutdown and who “won”
59) Fresh Air, 01/22/18
60) Free Talk Live, 01/22/18
61) Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 199
62) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 695

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

1) Tillerson takes aim at Russia after alleged gas attack by Syrian regime
Source: Reuters

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday the Syrian government may still [sic] be using chemical weapons against its own people following a suspected chlorine attack in a rebel enclave, and he said Russia bore ultimate responsibility. … Russia is a close ally of Assad, providing direct military support in Syria against the various rebel groups trying to oust him and also diplomatic cover in the U.N. Security Council. Tillerson was speaking during a meeting hosted by France on an initiative to target those responsible for chemical attacks, largely in Syria, after an international investigation into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria ended in November after Russian opposition.” (01/23/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-chemicalweapons-france-usa/u-s-takes-aim-at-russia-after-suspected-syrian-government-gas-attack-idUSKBN1FC27O

—–

2) Ursula K. LeGuin, 1929-2018
Source: New York Times

“Ursula K. Le Guin, the immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy with books like ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 88. … Much of Ms. Le Guin’s science fiction has a common background: a loosely knit confederation of worlds known as the Ekumen. This was founded by an ancient people who seeded humans on habitable planets throughout the galaxy — including Gethen, Earth and the twin worlds of her most ambitious novel, ‘The Dispossessed,’ subtitled ‘An Ambiguous Utopia’ (1974). As the subtitle implies, ‘The Dispossessed’ contrasts two forms of social organization: a messy but vibrant capitalist society, which oppresses its underclass, and a classless ‘utopia’ (partly based on the ideas of the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin), which turns out to be oppressive in its own conformist way. Ms. Le Guin leaves it up to the reader to find a comfortable balance between the two.” [editor’s note: Libertarian novelist L. Neil Smith says The Probability Broach started as a riff on the “Propertarians” mentioned in The Dispossessed – TLK] (01/23/18)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/obituaries/ursula-k-le-guin-acclaimed-for-her-fantasy-fiction-is-dead-at-88.html

—–

3) Congressional corruption: Courts reject Brown’s bids to stay out of prison
Source: Orlando Sentinel

“Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown can’t stay free while she appeals felony convictions and she can’t delay reporting to prison, a pair of orders from separate federal courts said Monday. Brown’s motion to stay free was rejected by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta the same day that the judge in Jacksonville who sentenced Brown to five years behind bars turned down a request to delay the start of her sentence by another month. Brown, a Democrat who represented parts of Orlando, remains scheduled to enter prison by noon Jan. 29, the same deadline set for the founder of One Door for Education, a bogus charity Brown was convicted of using to enrich herself. … Brown was convicted in May of 18 felonies, most involving fraud or tax crimes. The bulk of the charges involved misuse of money that Brown, a 12-term congresswoman, helped raise for One Door, which received more than $800,000 over several years but spent little on actual charitable projects.” (01/23/18)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-corrine-brown-report-to-prison-20180123-story.html

—–

4) US regime says Turkish invasion of Syria is disruptive (apparently the US invasion of Syria isn’t?)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Turkey’s air and ground offensive against Kurds in northwestern Syria has distracted from international efforts to finish off the Islamic State group and has disrupted humanitarian relief work, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday. Mattis raised the matter in an exchange with reporters after unrelated meetings in the Indonesia capital with senior government officials. He made clear that while the U.S. sympathizes with Turkey’s concerns about border security, Washington wants the Turks to minimize their military action inside Syria.” (01/23/18)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Mattis-says-Turk-offensive-in-Syria-is-disruptive-12517352.php

—–

5) Venezuela: Regime says “petro” cryptocurrency pre-sale will be in hard currency
Source: Reuters

“Venezuela’s ‘petro’ cryptocurrency will initially be offered in a pre-sale in hard currency and other cryptocurrencies, the government said on Tuesday, and not initially available in the country’s collapsing bolivar currency. Leftist President Nicolas Maduro is hoping to capitalize on the success of cryptocurrencies by creating one for Venezuela as the bolivar plunges to all-time lows and the country struggles with hyperinflation. In his surprise announcement late last year, he said the petro would be backed by Venezuelan crude reserves, the world’s largest, although the political opposition says this would be illegal. Critics decry the petro as simply a way for the cash-strapped government to issue debt without being constricted by U.S. sanctions. But the U.S. Treasury last week warned that Americans engaging with the petro could still find themselves in violation of those sanctions.” [editor’s note: As much as I dislike the Venezuelan regime, I’m tempted to buy a “petro” just as a flip-off to the US regime – TLK] (01/23/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy-petro/venezuela-says-petro-cryptocurrency-pre-sale-will-be-in-hard-currency-idUSKBN1FC2RG

—–

6) Report: Comey, Sessions were questioned for hours in Russiagate probe
Source: New York Times

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for several hours last week as part of the special counsel investigation, and the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was interviewed by the office last year, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The interview with Mr. Sessions marked the first time that investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, are known to have questioned a member of President Trump’s cabinet.” (01/23/18)

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/us/politics/jeff-sessions-special-counsel-russia.html

—–

7) USS Little Rock, Navy’s newest ship, is stuck in ice in Montreal
Source: USA Today

“Christened in the northern Wisconsin town of Marinette and commissioned in snowy Buffalo in December, the USS Little Rock’s bloodlines run more Yankee than Dixie. Which should serve the ship and her crew well while they’re locked in the ice near Montreal. Much like her troubled class of Littoral Combat Ship, the Little Rock remains dead in the water. In the early 2000s, Navy officials had envisioned the LCS program as a revolutionary way to produce ships quickly, less expensively and outfit them with gear that could be swapped out when missions dictated. Dozens of them were expected to patrol the shallow coastlines of some the world’s hot spots, searching for submarines or conducting counter-mine missions. That didn’t happen.” (01/23/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/23/uss-little-rock-frozen-ice-montreal-latest-woe-her-troubled-class-ships/1057914001

—–

8) FL: Voters to decide on ending lifetime ban on voting for felons
Source: Raw Story

“Floridians will be asked in November whether to restore voting rights to people convicted of serious crimes who have completed their sentence after campaigners collected enough signatures on Tuesday to get the proposal included on the ballot. Nearly 1.5 million Floridians who have completed their sentences after a felony conviction remain disenfranchised, campaigners for the constitutional amendment say. Almost all states deny incarcerated people the right to vote, but Florida, an often crucial state in presidential elections, is one of only four to not automatically restore the franchise to people after they have completed their sentence.” (01/23/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/floridians-decide-ending-lifetime-ban-voting-felons

—–

9) Report: WWII soldiers dumped into mass grave after shipwrecks scavenged
Source: Fox News

“Their metal coffins ripped apart in the ocean, World War II sailors have reportedly found a new home: a shallow mass grave. Months after reporting that metal scavengers had destroyed some 40 British, American, Australian, Dutch, and Japanese warships in the Java Sea, the Guardian now describes what happened to some of the sailors aboard who lost their lives during the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942. According to Indonesian and Dutch media, the bones of hundreds of sailors from British and Dutch warships were dumped in a mass grave near the port of Brondong in East Java. One salvage company employee tells Tirto.id that skulls, jawbones, ribs, hipbones, and feet and hand bones were bagged and buried in a grave only a few feet deep. They included remains of British sailors from the HMS Electra and HMS Encounter, which has prompted the UK’s Ministry of Defense to speak out, reports the International Business Times.” (01/23/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/01/23/wwii-soldiers-dumped-into-mass-grave-after-shipwrecks-scavenged-report-says.html

—–

10) New York City: Regime files frivolous lawsuits vs. drug companies over opioid epidemic
Source: Raw Story

“New York City on Tuesday sued eight companies that make or distribute prescription opioids, blaming them for fuelling a deadly epidemic afflicting the most populous U.S. city. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the lawsuit sought $500 million of damages to help fight the crisis, which kills more people in the city annually than homicides and car accidents combined, including more than 1,100 from opioid-induced overdoses in 2016. ‘Big Pharma helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these dangerous drugs and hooking millions of Americans in exchange for profit,’ de Blasio said in a statement. The defendants include manufacturers Allergan Plc , Endo International Plc, Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma LP and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, and distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.” (01/23/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/new-york-city-sues-drug-companies-opioid-epidemic

—–

11) HI: Missile alert stand-down delayed by governor’s forgotten log-in
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Forgotten Twitter log-in details have been blamed for delaying a public correction to Hawaii’s missile alert earlier this month. Governor David Ige was told two minutes after a text message was issued by the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) that the threat warning was a false alarm. But his office did not share the information via social media until about 17 minutes later. On Monday, Mr Ige acknowledged he had failed to recall his social media ID. ‘I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made,’ he said after his State of the State address, according to local newspaper the Honolulu Star Advertiser. The governor added that he now stored the details on his smartphone to avoid a repeat blunder.” (01/23/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42787419

—–

12) Spacewalking astronauts give new hand to robot arm
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Spacewalking astronauts gave a hand to the International Space Station’s big robot arm Tuesday. As the federal government geared back up 250 miles below, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle successfully installed the new mechanical gripper. Because of the lingering effects of the government shutdown, the spacewalk got started in the morning without coverage on NASA TV. An on-air message simply stated: ‘We regret the inconvenience.’ Nearly an hour into the spacewalk, however, NASA TV came alive and began broadcasting the event with typical blow-by-blow commentary.” (01/23/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Astronauts-go-spacewalking-to-give-new-hand-to-12517522.php

—–

13) 1.7-billion-year-old chunk of North America found in Australia
Source: USA Today

“Eons ago, the land Down Under wasn’t so far away after all. Rocks recently discovered in Australia bear striking similarities to those found in North America, a study finds. The sandstone sedimentary rocks the scientists uncovered are not ‘native’ to present-day Australia, but instead are common in eastern Canada. The rocks were found in Georgetown, Queensland, Australia, which is some roughly 250 miles west of Cairns in the northeastern part of the continent. Scientists believe that one region of what’s now modern-day Australia was once attached to North America, but broke away 1.7 billion years ago. After drifting around for some 100 million years, the chunk eventually crashed into what’s now Australia, forming the ‘supercontinent’ Nuna. Researchers then determined that when Nuna broke apart an estimated 300 million years afterward, that chunk of land did not drift away. It instead became a new piece of real estate permanently stuck to Australia.” (01/23/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/01/23/australia-north-america-supercontinent-nuna/1058577001

—–

14) Was Bob Costas dumped by NBC over concussion talk?
Source: Fox News

“Bob Costas had circled Feb. 4 as his NFL broadcasting send-off, revealing last February Super Bowl LII would be the last one he’d host on NBC. On Monday, Costas’ name was nowhere to be found on the network’s press release announcing its on-air and studio teams for the game between the Patriots and Eagles. NBC named Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh hosts of the Super Bowl pregame show, which also will include ‘Football Night in America’ mainstays Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio and Chris Simms. The scheduling decision comes as a surprise after Costas, NBC’s prime-time host for every Olympics on the network since 1992, conceded a year ago he was turning Olympics duties over to Mike Tirico but had one more Super Bowl in him before assuming a lesser role with NBC. The 65-year-old has hosted six Super Bowls throughout his career. ‘I’ve been lucky to have such a long and enjoyable run,’ Costas told USA Today at the time. ‘So I just thought, better to leave before they ask me to leave.’ That development was nine months before Costas had some scathing words for the prevalence of head injuries in football during a roundtable discussion in November.” (01/23/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/23/was-bob-costas-dumped-by-nbc-over-concussion-talk.html

—–

15) NFL rejected a “Please Stand” ad, veterans group says
Source: Raw Story

“A veterans group is criticizing the National Football League for refusing to allow its advertisement encouraging players and fans to stand during the national anthem to air as part of the Super Bowl broadcast. AMVets National Commander Marion Polk tweeted that the group will ‘not tolerate’ the NFL’s censorship [sic]. The TV ad shows three service members holding an American flag and the hashtag #PleaseStand. ‘@AMVETSHQ will NOT tolerate the @NFL refusing #Veteran right to free speech. We fought for it!’ Polk tweeted on Monday.” [editor’s note: Mr. Polk needs to go read that constitution he swore to defend; “free speech” is something GOVERNMENT is forbidden to abridge, while a private entity supposedly has “freedom of association.” Or is he now claiming “special rights” as a “discriminated class,” so we not only have to run his ads but bake his specialized cakes? – SAT] (01/23/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/nfl-rejected-please-stand-ad-veterans-group-says

—–

16) Tsunami warnings canceled after magnitude-7.9 earthquake off Alaska
Source: CNN

“Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves. The tsunami alerts were canceled ‘because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat,’ said the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska. Small tsunami waves of less than 1 foot were reported in Alaska, the center said. The minor tsunami was triggered by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck the Gulf of Alaska shortly after midnight.” (01/23/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/us/alaska-earthquake/index.html

—–

17) CA: Elon Musk’s Boring Company presents LA tunnel plan
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Elon Musk’s Boring Company has presented plans to build a Hyperloop tunnel under Culver City, California. The plans were presented at a council meeting on Monday by Jehn Balajadia, operations co-ordinator of the firm. She said: ‘The purpose of Boring Company is to alleviate soul-destroying traffic and augment public transit.’ Mr Musk, also chief of Tesla Inc and Space Exploration Technologies Corp, didn’t speak at the meeting. A report by the Culver City manager’s office stated: “The Boring Company has proposed a privately funded human transportation tunnel that would run underneath the Westside of Los Angeles.” (01/23/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42788510

—–

18) FL: Video shows Border Patrol thugs hijacking bus, abducting passenger
Source: Washington Post

“As a Greyhound bus pulled up to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., station on Friday afternoon, en route from Orlando to Miami, the driver announced there would be a ‘routine’ security checkpoint. Two uniformed officers boarded the bus and introduced themselves as Border Patrol agents, passengers told the Florida Immigrant Coalition, an advocacy group. … About halfway down the aisle, the officers stopped to question a woman of Caribbean descent: ‘Do you have luggage?’ He pulled a red roller suitcase from the overhead bin. ‘This is yours?’ he asked. Then the two officers escorted the woman off the bus. The woman was later arrested, transported to a Border Patrol station for questioning and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings, the Border Patrol confirmed to the Miami Herald.” (01/23/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/01/23/video-shows-border-patrol-officers-asking-greyhound-passengers-for-ids-taking-woman-into-custody/

—–

19) Report: Fewer and fewer Americans can bring themselves to pretend that Budweiser is beer
Source: CNN Money

“Budweiser is no longer one of America’s three most popular beers. Before 2001, Budweiser was the top-selling U.S. beer, but it relinquished that crown to Bud Light. Coors Light knocked Budweiser out of the second spot in 2011. Now Miller Lite has taken over third place, relegating Bud to No. 4, according to sales estimates from the trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights, which has kept track since the mid-1970s. … The rise of craft beers, drinkers’ changing tastes and a booming wine and spirits industry have pressured global brewers like Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which makes Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light and Busch, as well as Coors Light and Miller Lite parent Molson Coors (TAP). Big brewers have suffered ‘injury by a thousand cuts’ as ‘consumers have been bitten by the flavor bug,’ said Duane Stanford, the editor of trade publication Beverage Digest.” [editor’s note: Well, Budweiser has a flavor … Clydesdale urine! – TLK] (01/23/18)

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/22/news/companies/budweiser/index.html

—–

20) Meteor credited for bright light, noise rattling Michigan
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Experts say a bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky above Michigan was a meteor. The American Meteor Society says it received hundreds of reports of a fireball Tuesday night over the state, including many in the Detroit area. Reports also came in from several other states and Ontario, Canada. Some Michigan residents reported their homes shaking. The society says the reports suggest a space rock penetrated deep into the Earth’s atmosphere before it broke apart. The U.S. Geological Service says it registered as a 2.0 magnitude earthquake in Michigan. Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office tells The Detroit News it was ‘definitely a meteoroid’ and a rare sight for Michigan. Other states where people reported seeing a fireball included Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.” (01/23/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Meteor-Bright-light-loud-noise-rattle-Michigan-12503042.php

—–

21) Canada, TPP members agree to revised deal without the US
Source: Toronto City News [Canada]

“Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed Tuesday to a revised trade agreement without the United States. The deal, confirmed by Singapore’s government, follows two days of high-level talks in Tokyo between Canada and the 10 other remaining TPP economies. The partners will now work toward signing the agreement by early March, Singapore’s trade and industry ministry said in a statement.” (01/23/18)

http://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/01/23/canada-tpp-deal/

—–

22) UK: Regime blocks Fox’s buyout of Sky
Source: CNet News

“A government regulator has set back Fox’s buyout of Sky, saying the deal wouldn’t be in the public interest. The provisional ruling by the Competition and Markets Authority found that Fox taking full control of the UK broadcaster would raise media plurality concerns by giving the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT), ‘too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda’ in the UK. It currently has a 39 percent stake in Sky and was aiming to buy the other 61 percent.” [editor’s note: So, when is the CMA going to break up BBC and sell its parts? Oh, wait, it’s only “private sector” actors who aren’t supposed to influence public opinion – TLK] (01/23/18)

https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/foxs-takeover-of-sky-blocked-by-uk-regulator/

—–

23) South Korea: Regime continues assault on cryptocurrency
Source: PYMNTS.com

“South Korean crypto enthusiasts will no longer be able to use anonymous bank accounts for coin trading starting on January 30th. The move was designed by regulators to make bitcoin a less useful tool for money laundering and other financial crimes [sic]. … South Korean regulators and leaders have been casting a more skeptical eye on cyrpto trading in recent weeks — and as of last week, the nation’s top financial cop noted that the government may even consider shutting down local digital exchanges. South Korea’s Presidential office has clarified that an outright ban on trading on the virtual currency exchanges is only one of the steps being considered, and not a measure that has been finalized.” [editor’s note: My guess is that the South Korean regime is doing this by way of serving as a test bed/ laboratory for the US regime’s own crypto suppression plans – TLK] (01/23/18)

https://www.pymnts.com/blockchain/bitcoin/2018/south-korea-shuts-down-crypto-trading-from-anonymous-bank-accounts/

—–

24) MT: Bullock decrees that would-be state contractors must implement corporate welfare for Big Data
Source: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

“Most efforts underway to restore so-called net neutrality face big obstacles and would take many months, if not years, to succeed. But in Montana, the governor has used the stroke of a pen to bring the rules to broad parts of his state. Through an executive order, Gov. Steve Bullock declared Monday that any Internet service provider with a state government contract cannot block or charge more for faster delivery of websites, two core aspects of net neutrality, to any customer in the state. Many major landline and mobile broadband providers hold government contracts in the state. The new requirements apply to new and renewed contracts signed after July 1, 2018.” [editor’s note: Hopefully, the next time the state government puts a job of this type for bid, they’ll find that there are no takers – TLK] (01/23/18)

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/jan/23/net-neutrality-decreed-in-montana-20180/

—–

25) Report: FBI director threatened to resign amid Trump, Sessions pressure
Source: Axios

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed, according to three sources with direct knowledge.” (01/23/18)

https://www.axios.com/scoop-sessions-fbi-trump-christopher-wray-877adb3e-5f8d-44a1-8a2f-d4f0894ca6a7.html

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

26) Bye, bye, FBI? The case for disbanding the federal Frankenstein’s monster
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The FBI has had 110 years to prove its worth. A dispassionate look at its history says that it’s far more often served as a center for blackmail, corruption, and political manipulation than as anything resembling a legitimate law enforcement agency. In fact, it was a bad idea in the first place.” (01/23/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12540

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27) The real losers in the shutdown fiasco
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“The government is open again, but the Washington Monument is still closed. Why? The answer offers a powerful example of why government as we have known it is obsoleting itself. By way of background, there is a game in federal government with a long history called the Washington Monument Ploy. The idea is that when a budget deal is not approved, and a shut down ensues, the politicians and the bureaucracy close the services that people use the most. … At the top of the list for closing has always been the Washington Monument. This way, when visitors come to the nation’s capital, and they are ready to pay homage to the first president by touring the most conspicuous symbol of the city’s power, they are greeted with a closing. See, this is what happens when the government exist? Your vacation is ruined. This year, however, that game did not work. The reason: the Washington Monument is already closed. It has been closed since 2016. It won’t reopen until 2019.” (01/23/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/real-losers-shutdown-fiasco

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28) Government will protect us from bad speech? That’s the fakest news of all.
Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“The folks from the government are here to protect us from extremism, fake news, and hate speech, and they’ve strong-armed some media company friends to help. … To be sure, working against violent extremism sounds, on its face, like a good thing. But let’s be clear that these are executives of media companies going before government officials to promise to suppress officially disapproved speech and to promote ideas and messages that the government supports. Historically, the sort of ‘hate speech’ government officials tend to dislike most is that directed at them, and their definitions of ‘positive and moderate voices’ most commonly apply to anything that strokes their egos.” (01/23/18)

http://reason.com/archives/2018/01/23/government-will-protect-us-from-bad-spee

—–

29) The government “shutdown” that wasn’t: What really happens?
Source: The Jack News
by Andy Craig

“America entered yet another ‘government shutdown,’ with the House and Senate unable to agree to a new appropriations bill before previous authorizations lapsed at midnight on Friday. For many fans of smaller government, the concept has an understandable appeal, and gleeful and sarcastic comments to that effect proliferate every time it happens. But what does a so-called ‘shutdown’ really mean? Not much. In fact, they don’t even save money, and they do nothing to shrink our bloated federal government. It all starts with the Constitution, which provides that ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.’ This gives Congress what is commonly referred to as the power of the purse: only Congress can approve the spending of federal money.” (01/22/18)

https://www.thejacknews.com/politics/government-shutdown-what-really-happens

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30) Our heritage of open immigration from s***hole countries
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Scott McPherson

“From the end of the Mexican War, in 1848, until the 1920s, the only obstacle to travel across the southern border was terrain. Usually poor and uneducated, people crossed and traded across this line without restriction, and helped to settle the American West. Hispanic Americans today are known for their strong work ethic and commitment to family, religion, and community. Late 19th-century Americans feared cheap labor from Asia,and the strange ways and different morals of an exotic people. Americans of Asian descent are now the most educated, entrepreneurial, and law-abiding ethnic group in our society. The Irish, too, were hated and despised. … Throughout our history, newcomers have joined the melting pot, adding to the energy, innovation, and dynamism of our society, and contributing to the well-being of all. As each group came, those who were here ‘first’ howled about the danger posed by interlopers. Such fears were always unfounded.” (01/23/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/heritage-open-immigration-shole-countries/

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31) Everyone’s talking about blockchains but hardly anyone’s using them
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Kai Sedgwick

“We live in an era in which everything is on the blockchain and there’s a blockchain for everything. From bananas to sex, there’s a token for that and a blockchain to match. There are now over 600 blockchains in existence, with dozens more dreamed up every month via ICOs. Given the current craze for all things blockchain, you might assume that millions of transactions were zipping across distributed ledgers each day. But the reality is very different. Blockchains might be hot, but outside of the big four, nobody’s using them.” (01/23/18)

https://news.bitcoin.com/everyones-talking-about-blockchains-but-hardly-anyones-using-them/

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32) Abusing drugs
Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“When the CVS drug chain announced its proposed merger with Aetna, some health experts offered a sliver of optimism. Combining elements of the medical supply chain could increase efficiency for patients, they reasoned, and eliminate some of the middlemen that make healthcare so expensive. But recent allegations about CVS trying to put independent pharmacists out of business should put an end to this happy talk. CVS’s existing combination of a pharmacy (which dispenses drugs) and a pharmacy benefits manager (which reimburses other pharmacists for dispensing drugs) is a disaster for competition and access, particularly in underserved communities. Adding a health insurer like Aetna would further concentrate market power and narrow the networks people depend upon for medical care. As first reported by the subscription-based outlet The Capitol Forum, near the end of October, right around when CVS/Aetna negotiations were first disclosed, independent pharmacists began to notice significant cuts to reimbursement rates for prescription drugs on plans managed by CVS Caremark, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM).” (01/23/18)

http://prospect.org/article/abusing-drugs

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33) Oxfam is entitled to its own opinions, but not to its own facts
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“Credit to Oxfam’s communications team. Each year, riding on the coattails of the jamboree in Davos, they manage to make a huge splash about global wealth inequality. And every year, it is pointed that, as Tim Worstall explained on CapX last January, wealth is not some fixed pie. It is usually accumulated through entrepreneurial activity that fulfils wants and needs, enhancing global welfare. Sadly, most readers who pay only a passing interest in the story will miss this nuance and receive claims such as ’82 per cent of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1 per cent’ with the shock they are designed to trigger.” (01/23/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/oxfam-entitled-its-own-opinions-not-its-own-facts

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34) Wall Street isn’t the answer to the pension crisis
Source: In These Times
by Doug Henwood & Liza Featherstone

“State and local public pension funds across the country are in political and economic crisis. At stake is a comfortable and deserved retirement for millions who have spent their lives serving the public: teaching our children, picking up our garbage, running our libraries. The crisis could also profoundly affect the budgets of state and municipal governments, already weakened by decades of austerity. The Right decries this parlous situation and demands savage cuts. The unions and their friends say there’s no problem, just reactionaries crying wolf to push an austerity agenda. But despite the clear bad-faith agenda of the Right (at a recent conference of the Koch brothers’ political network, one speaker joked about their efforts to ‘bring down the [Alabama] pension system’), the pension problem is real.” [editor’s note: Once again, a “progressive” correct analysis, and an idiotic solution – SAT] (01/22/18)

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

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35) The laughable, the divine, and the baseball diamond
Source: EconLog
by Sarah Skwire

“That idea of baseball as a marginally more manageable microcosm of the complicated and unpredictable real world that attracts economists to the sport is, I think, part of what attracts so many writers to it as well. Baseball is, for both groups, something of a model of how the world works, but on a smaller scale and with a tighter narrative. Besides, how can any writer resist the appeal of a game first played in Hoboken at a place called Elysian Fields? The combination of the laughable and the divine seem, again, like a perfect microcosm of human life.” (01/23/18)

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

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36) The Democrats didn’t betray their base
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“The Democrats have betrayed their base. That’s the consensus on the left wing after the party agreed to a deal that reopened the government without resolving the fate of Dreamers, the millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. ‘Democrats have drawn the wrath of a fired-up activist base that now feels betrayed,’ Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy reported. Ezra Levin, a co-founder of Indivisible, told Murphy ‘there need to be repercussions for selling out Dreamers and broadly selling out progressive policy priorities like this.’ New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg argued that in making this deal, which keeps the government open for another three weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sold out the resistance, the mass movement that has been fighting Donald Trump’s presidency and fueling the Democrats’ success in special elections.” [editor’s note: He is correct, but not for the reasons he presents here; the Dem pols (like their GOP cohorts) are doiung just what their masters ordered them to – SAT] (01/23/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146705/democrats-didnt-betray-base

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37) What Jesus didn’t say
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Most of the things people associate with Jesus are things he never said. I’ll provide a few dozen examples below, but first please understand that I’m not doing this to tear anything down. Rather, I’d like to open a path away from obsolete and moribund beliefs. To do that, I’m drawing a hard line between Jesus and the apostles. I’d very much like people to differentiate between what Jesus taught and what others taught about him. This is, however, a difficult thought, standing against centuries of assumptions to the contrary.” [editor’s note: Interesting. But, of course, we have no idea what Jesus actually did or did not say. Every claim on that subject is handed down via a third party, in some cases someone claiming to be one of those very apostles Rosenberg sets aside – TLK] [additonal editor’s note: Nevertheless, the writer’s point is still valid; separating what this alleged person (whether a mythical construct or not) is alleged to have said, from the much later interpretations of the “doctrine of Christianity” that arose for its own reasons, can be most enlightening (as Jefferson among others showed) – SAT] (01/23/18)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/jesus-didnt-say/

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38) Will Davos Man — or Woman — take on Trumpian nihilism?
Source: Reuters
by Harold Evans

“The tens of millions of fans of the HBO mythical series Game of Thrones boil with frustration. They long to know what happens next in the ancient mountain kingdoms of Westeros where kings and queens and power-mad challengers betray and murder each other with satisfying consistency. HBO is keeping fans in suspense until 2019, so I am happy to bring news of comparable real-life dramas that will assuredly start at the end of this month in peaks as snowed and menacing as the Westeros Frostfangs. In the fading weeks of January, more than a thousand moguls will trek to the Swiss Alps to pit their wits and tempers in the Davos World Economic Forum against the legendary fire-breather arriving from the west, the 45th president of the United States. America First! Down with elites! Donald Trump will be the first sitting American president to join the Davos confab since 2000.” (01/23/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-evans-davos-commentary/harold-evans-will-davos-man-or-woman-take-on-trumpian-nihilism-idUSKBN1FB33Y

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39) President Trump’s successful strategic silence
Source: National Review
by Jim Geraghty

“When Chuck Schumer gave his speech on the Senate floor Monday, announcing that Senate Democrats would support a continuing resolution to reopen the government in exchange for a promise of a vote on DACA in the coming weeks, everyone could tell he was surprised and dismayed that he had been forced to surrender so quickly. He was particularly irked that his position turned into a political loser over the course of a weekend, and that President Trump had failed to provide him some controversial statement to use as cover. ‘The White House refused to engage in negotiations over the weekend,’ Schumer fumed. ‘The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines.’ He’s trying to bait Trump; we will have to see whether that tactic works. The fact remains that Trump earned one of his biggest political victories of his presidency just by staying home and mostly staying quiet over the weekend.” (01/23/18)

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/455673/president-trumps-successful-strategic-silence

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40) Get ready for a congressional budget blowout
Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“No one is paying much attention, but Congress is preparing a two-year budget that would blow past bipartisan spending caps to the tune of $216 billion through 2019. That might be a best-case scenario. The budget watchers at FreedomWorks estimate that when hurricane disaster relief, funding for the border wall, added Obamacare money for the bankrupt insurance markets, and other last-minute spending ’emergencies’ are thrown in the mix, the two-year spending blitz could exceed $300 billion. President Donald Trump had better get his veto pen handy. All of this is happening because Republicans have fallen into the Democrats’ fiscal trap. To secure more money for national defense, Democrats are demanding an equal amount of extra funding for domestic social welfare programs. So to get an additional $108 billion for the Pentagon, the Republicans may agree to another $108 billion-plus in ransom money for domestic agencies. But when all the emergency funding is included, the ratio could be closer to $2 of additional domestic spending for every $1 of increased military funding. What a deal.” [editor’s note: as long as the GOPers insist on expanding the warfare machine, they have no “high ground” against the welfare-staters – SAT] (01/23/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/stephenmoore/2018/01/23/get-ready-for-a-congressional-budget-blowout-n2438048

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41) The effect of the Trump tariffs
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Dr. Madsen Pirie

“Although designed to protect American jobs, the new Trump tariffs will have consequences wider than those intended. The tariff on imported large residential washing machines is to be 20% on the first 1.2m machines imported, and then 50% on those above that number. These tariffs will decline to 15% and 40% respectively in the 4th year. This is designed to protect US companies such as Whirlpool, but it means that domestic US consumers will have to pay more for their washing machines because rival products made by Samsung Electronics and LG electronics will rise in price. It could also hit sales at Sears, which outsources its Kenmore brand to LG factories. The tariff on solar panels is to be 30% in the first year, declining to 15% by the 4th year. This will undoubtedly hit America’s booming solar energy industry by raising its costs.” [editor’s note: I dispute the claimed design intent here. In my opinion, the purpose of the tariffs is to reward crony constituencies, not to “protect American jobs” – TLK] (01/23/18)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/trump-tariffs

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42) Ho hum
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The President of the United States allegedly had an affair — or a one-night stand with attempts at an affair — with a porn star. And paid her to keep silent. While he was married to his current wife, and his son was an infant. Donald Trump denies it, but a variety of reporters claim to have multiple corroborations. It’s all very tawdry. And it looks like it has elicited … yawns. … The election of Donald Trump marks the end of an era, maybe. Trump has overwhelming support from social conservatives, and it isn’t for his morals. Meanwhile, the Left loathes the Donald for alleged mistreatment of women, which they deemed so unimportant when documented against President Bill Clinton that it birthed the ‘move on’ movement.” (01/23/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/01/23/ho-hum/

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43) Is ObamaCare fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic?
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“We recently speculated that ObamaCare might have contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has in turn driven down life expectancy in this country for the past two years. A new Senate report adds further support to this connection. The report, produced by the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee’s majority staff, provides convincing evidence that ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is at least partly to blame for the recent opioid epidemic. The Senate report notes that those with a Medicaid card can get prescriptions for opioids, such as oxycodone, for as little as $1 for up to 240 pills. Those pills, however, can be sold on the street for up to $4,000. That has created a powerful incentive for millions to get prescriptions and end up either getting addicted themselves or selling the pills on the black market. By vastly expanding Medicaid, ObamaCare contributed significantly to this problem, the Senate report found.” (01/23/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/opioid-epidemic-obamacare-medicaid-expansion

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44) How long must they lord it over democracy and press freedom?
Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

“Are we living in 2018, or 1820? I only ask because the notion of the unelected, unaccountable House of Lords attacking democracy and trying to impose stricter state control of press freedom surely ought to belong to a different age, 200 years ago. Yet today the lords are up to their old tricks again, seeking to undermine our two most precious liberties — democratic rights and freedom of expression.” (01/23/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/how-long-must-they-lord-it-over-democracy-and-press-freedom/

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45) Has the tide turned against partisan gerrymandering?
Source: The Atlantic
by David A Graham

“Across the nation, judges are discovering that if you look for it, partisan gerrymandering actually is all around you. Though courts have historically been reluctant to strike down redistricting plans on the basis of political bias …. Although districts are sometimes struck down for gerrymandering on the basis of race, courts have been reluctant to declare gerrymanders unconstitutional on partisan bounds because such rulings thrust the judiciary into the middle of partisan battles. Since legislatures are, in most states, entitled to draw the lines, it’s always been assumed that they will draw lines that give their own party an edge. The question is whether they can go too far.” (01/23/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/pennsylvania-partisan-gerrymandering-north-carolina-wisconsin-scotus/551177/

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46) FBI’s “missing” five months of texts: Worse than Watergate?
Source: Fox News Forum
by Richard Manning

“Richard Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods erased 18 minutes of tape and became infamous. The FBI erased five months of text messages and expects the American public to believe it was a random mistake. This is worse than Watergate. The text messages between agents Peter Strozk and Lisa Page are instructive for several reasons: they took place in the lead-up to Robert Mueller being named a special counsel; and because earlier messages that have been released included not only the involvement of outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but the desire of top-level FBI officials to create an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency. Strozk and Page eventually ended up working under Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible Russia connections to the Trump campaign — that is, before Strozk was removed after the Justice Department’s Inspector General revealed his extramarital affair with Page, and the anti-Trump bias that was animating the agents. Page had already left the probe before the texts were discovered.” (01/23/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/01/23/fbis-missing-five-months-texts-is-worse-than-watergate.html

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47) Law, order and the Dreamers
Source: CounterPunch
by Mitchell Zimmerman

“Put yourself in the shoes of a typical ‘Dreamer’ — one of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth brought here as small children. When you were six years old, your mother crossed the Mexican border and carried you into the United States. Although you’ve been here ever since, some people say you must be deported because you’re ‘illegal.’ True, they might admit, you had no choice about entering unlawfully. Your parents made that decision for you when you were a small child. But now you’re grown up, they say. You became an adult when you turned 18, so you should have obeyed the law at that point and gone back to Mexico. Instead, you chose to break the law by remaining in America. You’re not entitled to amnesty. Some people actually argue this. But can anyone honestly say that’s the decision they would make if they were a Dreamer?” (01/23/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/23/law-order-and-the-dreamers/

—–

48) The return of the Stinger missile
Source: The American Conservative
by Jason Ditz

“Introduced into service in the early 1980s, the Stinger missile is the top in class MANPADS (man-portable air defense system), a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft weapon that is both the lightest available, and has the biggest warhead. That all sounds great on paper, but the reality is that the U.S. military, with its massive air force and its arsenal of vehicle-launched Patriot missiles, is simply never in a position where air superiority in an engagement is dependent on rank-and-file infantry firing at enemy aircraft with short-range MANPADS. Unsurprisingly, this has meant the U.S. military has essentially never had occasion to use the Stinger to any real effect. … Which isn’t to say the Stinger missiles are all sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Quite the contrary, the Reagan administration was quite eager to get these missiles into the hands of U.S.-backed insurgencies, primarily the Afghan mujahideen and the UNITA movement in Angola. The Stinger missile was a great weapon for insurgency and quasi-terrorist movements for many of the same reasons it was impractical for the U.S. military.” (01/23/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-return-of-the-stinger-missile/

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49) Does Congress need the president to take the lead?
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Linda Feldmann

“Ironically, President Trump (a dealmaker in his past life) was nowhere to be seen when the deal to reopen the government was struck. Mr. Trump had spent the weekend holed up in the White House, talking with friends, aides, and key Republican lawmakers, watching his surrogates speak for him on television, and perhaps most important, steering clear of top Democrats. Even his Twitter account stayed on message. This was all by design, stage-managed by advisers who sought to prevent the chaos of the past few weeks from spilling over into the high-stakes arena of a partial government shutdown. The gambit worked. Democratic leaders quickly concluded that Trump wasn’t going to address the plight of Dreamers (unauthorized immigrants brought to the US as children) as part of a short-term spending bill, and so most Democrats voted to reopen the government. In exchange, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky pledged to take up immigration issues, including Dreamers, by early February. The president’s defenders say Trump’s hands-off approach was, in fact, in keeping with his past as a businessman. He was doing what CEOs are supposed to do: delegate.” (01/23/18)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0123/Does-Congress-need-the-president-to-take-the-lead

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50) The problem, as always, is power
Source: Cato Unbound
by Richard V Reeves

“The distribution that matters most in a liberal democracy is not of money, or of status, but of power. A person who can exercise power over the course and content of their own life, and over the shared institutions within which that life is lived, is a citizen. To be subject to the arbitrary power of another is to be, well, a subject. (I write as someone who is both a citizen of the United States of America and subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II). One of the most important challenges in liberal democracies is therefore to ensure the ‘conditions of rough power equality’ that Henry Farrell, in his contribution to this series, rightly emphasizes. Classical liberals have historically been in favor of free markets because markets are effective diffusers of power, and in favor of democratic political systems that place considerable power in the hands of voters.” (01/22/18)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2018/01/22/richard-v-reeves/problem-always-power

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51) US needs to kick Cold War habit and end its addiction to militarism
Source: OpEdNews
by Finian Cunningham

“The National Defense Strategy unveiled by Pentagon chief James Mattis illustrates once again the revanchist Cold War mindset dominating Washington which is the inevitable expression of the US'[s] destructive addiction to militarism.” (01/23/18)

https://www.opednews.com/articles/US-needs-to-kick-Cold-War-by-Finian-Cunningham-Cold-War_Corruption_Economy_Militarism-180123-330.html

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52) Yet another open letter to the Scarcityist-in-Chief
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Mr. Trump: Your imposition of penalties on Americans who buy foreign-made washers coincidentally was announced one day before I’ll welcome into my home a technician to repair my years-old washing machine. The stated justification for your punitive tax on Americans who buy washers assembled outside of the U.S. or Canada is that it will prevent ‘injury’ to American producers of such machines. … Can you explain to the American people why those of us who stretch our incomes by purchasing foreign-assembled washers deserve to be punitively taxed while others of us who stretch our incomes by having our existing machines repaired are not so taxed — despite the fact that the consequences of each of these different actions on domestic appliance producers are identical?” (01/22/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/01/yet-another-open-letter-scarcityist-chief.html

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53) How to forever resolve national monument controversies
Source: Heartland Institute
by Barry Poulson

“It is time for a new Grand Bargain that would give the citizens most impacted by federal land grabs and federal land ownership final say in the disposition of public lands. Using the Public Land Initiative model, Western states could form a compact of the states to draft a new Homestead Law, which would provide for the devolution of land and resources in the public domain to the states. State legislatures could then enact laws for the management of these public lands.” [editor’s note: Why not just a new federal Homestead Act releasing one-acre parcels to individuals on application and commitment to reside there for X years? – TLK] (01/22/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/01/how-to-forever-resolve-national-monument-controversies/

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54) Immigration hypocrisy, left and right
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“I don’t think there is any government program that reflects chronic hypocrisy more than immigration controls. Hypocrisy is the name of the game when it comes to immigration. … the left says, ‘Oh, no! Let the DACA children stay here. Unlike the heartless conservatives, we love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged.’ But wait a minute, progressives. Don’t you all support immigration controls? You’re not ready to embrace the libertarian position favoring open immigration, are you? Of course, you’re not. … the immigration hypocrisy runs through the right as well. Conservatives never cease reminding us of their favorite mantra — ‘free enterprise, private property, and limited government.’ Yet, they continue to embrace immigration controls, which are the perfect violation of the principles of their favorite mantra.” (01/23/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/01/23/immigration-hypocrisy-left-right-2/

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55) The five biggest problems with Oxfam’s 2018 income inequality report
Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

“Today’s report chides President Donald Trump for appointing ‘a cabinet of billionaires,’ presumably like Betsy DeVos. Yet many of the people cheering its release may be surprised to learn that, under Oxfam’s formula, The Donald may have qualified as one of the downtrodden. Oxfam evaluates ‘the wealthy’ by subtracting a person’s net liabilities from net assets. Thus, a lawyer with substantial student loans who was just hired by a prestigious Wall Street firm is considered ‘poor.’ Fortune magazine surveyed Donald Trump’s least successful years and asked, ‘Wouldn’t it be remarkable if the tycoon, who was claiming even in his darkest days in the 1990s to be worth over $1 billion … was really not just dead broke, but hugely under water?’ If he were in debt, Trump would be among Oxfam’s poorest, worse off than someone earning two dollars a day with no net liabilities.” (01/22/18)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2018/01/22/5-biggest-problems-oxfams-2018-income-inequality-report

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

56) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 40
Source: Libertarianism.org

“William Morgan was about to publish the Freemasons’ tightly controlled secrets. The powers conferred through initiation; Morgan planned to expose it” [various formats] (01/23/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/everything-is-freemasons

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57) Tenther Tuesday, episode 29
Source: Tenth Amendment Center

“This is the 369th day the GOP Congress has failed to repeal Obamacare. Meanwhile, it has also expanded the surveillance state with the reauthorization of FISA Sec. 702. But with nullification season getting into full swing, a number of states are advancing efforts to limit surveillance both at the state and federal level. In this week’s episode of Tenther Tuesday, Michael Boldin and Mike Maharrey talk about state bills to nullify the NSA, warrantless stingray spying, license plate tracking and drone surveillance.” [Flash video] (01/23/18)

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/01/tenther-tuesday-episode-23-taking-on-the-surveillance-state/

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58) The unshutdown and who “won”
Source: Scott Adams Says
by Scott Adams

“Scott Adams talks about the unshutdown and who ‘won’.” [Flash video] (01/23/18)

https://www.pscp.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1ynJOoyBrBXJR

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59) Fresh Air, 01/22/18
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are experts in what makes democracies healthy — and what leads to their collapse. They warn that American democracy is in trouble.” [Flash audio] (01/22/18)

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air

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60) Free Talk Live, 01/22/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Government is Back :: Philippines’ Psycho President’s Drug War and Targeting of Critical Media :: Windows Phones :: Women and Science and Math :: Women Under Pressure vs Men Under Pressure :: Revenge Porn :: Sex and Shame :: HOSTS — Ian, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/22/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-01-22

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61) Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 199
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy

“In this guestless episode, Michael Vatis, Markham Erickson, and Nick Weaver join [Stewart Baker] to explore the intense jockeying that led to passage of S. 139 and gave section 702 of FISA a new lease on life. The administration team responsible for shepherding the bill did well, weathering the President’s tweets, providing a warrant process for backend searches that will likely be used once a year if that, and — almost without anyone noticing — pulling the unmasking reform provisions from the bill and substituting an ODNI rule. Why?” [various formats] (01/22/18)

http://reason.com/volokh/2018/01/22/did-unmasking-reform-clinch-the-deal

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62) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 695
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“It appears that in an attempt to make the shutdown sound as bad as humanly possible CNN may have overstepped in its reporting when it suggested an asteroid might strike earth while NASA’s program to monitor the sky was on hold. … We’re also talking FISA and the memo floating around claiming widespread abuses. What I find funny is CNN again decided to refute the claims by bringing on disgraced Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to claim he knew of no abuses while serving as DNI.” [various formats] (01/22/18)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/695-fisa-abuses-government-shutdowns-and-rogue-asteroids/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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