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

Volume XV, Issue #3,617
Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
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In the News:

1) House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office
2) Russian navy sends two warships to Manila for drills with Philippines
3) Notes indicate Nixon interfered with 1968 peace talks
4) Haiti: Tribunal certifies presidential victory of first-time candidate
5) NY: Cuomo calls for “free” tuition at state’s public colleges
6) Report: Israeli military slow probing alleged troop violence
7) Venezuela: Maduro regime forced to buy its own bonds
8) Ford scraps plan for $1.6 billion plant in Mexico after Trump criticism
9) Yemen: Troops attack al Qaeda, 26 dead on both sides
10) Report: Hillary, Bill and Dubya to attend Trump inauguration
11) AL: NAACP occupying Jeff Sessions’s Mobile office “until he withdraws as AG pick or we’re arrested”
12) Ethiopia: Court jails 20 Muslims accused of pursuing Sharia state
13) Federal appeals court: Sentence completed? Too bad, state can hold you as long as they feel like holding you
14) China: Regime confirms its carrier held drills in South China Sea
15) WA: Man banned from Starbucks claims ageism
16) Assange “1,000% confident” that Russia was not source for DNC leaks
17) CNN story on alleged Russian hacking runs with Fallout 4 screenshot
18) China begins first freight train service to London
19) FL: City governments prepare to defy voters on medical marijuana
20) South Korea: Park refuses to testify in impeachment trial
21) Customs thugs hold air travelers hostage to computer problems
22) NM: Store bans “Obama and other Muslims”
23) Pakistan: New polio campaign in Quetta after rare strain found
24) OH: Regime launches online voter registration
25) FL: New law prohibits OTC cough syrup sales to minors

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) A cheap date
27) The other way the debate about Russian hacking is like the debate about WMDs
28) The 2016 LP convention and “taxation is theft”
29) Russia-bashing: The world’s most dangerous blame game
30) An incremental win
31) The University of No Characteristics Whatsoever
32) The Ministry of Truth opens June 21st
33) Having none of it
34) How to protect yourself from ransomware
35) So how bad was 2016 really?
36) Girding for the education fight ahead
37) Foreign policy blowback in Germany
38) Compensation, healthcare costs, and inequality
39) Fantasies about Russia could doom opposition to Trump
40) Danger in Democrats demonizing Putin
41) Drifting into fascism
42) GOP-style obstruction won’t work for Democrats
43) More ominous trade news from the Trump team
44) All the right people lost
45) 2017: Trump’s reality revolution won — now it must be implemented
46) Cult of the Individual: A play in one egoistic act
47) From “Dreamers” to nukes, Obama still has time to make a difference
48) Gracian’s aphorism #250: When must a remark be taken in its opposite sense?
49) A post-holiday health policy vignette: Eye surgery
50) Can we really govern ourselves without the sword?
51) New boss(es), same as the old boss(es)
52) Minimum wage and length of poverty spells
53) Blue states must become even bluer
54) Obama leaves the Constitution weaker than he found it
55) It can happen here (in fact, it did!)
56) Do we really need to explain supply and demand again?
57) The US abstains at a UN vote on Israel settlements
58) Parents in context
59) Checks and balances
60) The state of crypto law: 2016 in review

The Sound and the Fury:

61) The Tom Woods Show, episode 815
62) The Jason Stapleton Program, 01/03/17
63) Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock, 01/03/17
64) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/03/17
65) Free Talk Live, 01/02/17

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

1) House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office
Source: USA Today

“After public denunciations from watchdogs and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans on Tuesday reversed course and dropped plans to gut an independent agency that polices potential ethical wrongdoing by lawmakers. … The about-face came a day after House Republicans met behind closed doors and moved to rein in the office, approved by Congress in 2008 as an independent arm to investigate lawmakers after scandals sent three lawmakers and high-flying lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison.” (01/03/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2017/01/03/trump-slams-house-move-ethics-watchdog/96103514/

—–

2) Russian navy sends two warships to Manila for drills with Philippines
Source: United Press International

“Russia sent two warships to the Philippines to participate in naval drills as President Rodrigo Duterte’s relations with the U.S. becomes increasingly strained. The Admiral Tributs, an anti-submarine destroyer, and sea tanker Boris Butoma arrived in Manila on Tuesday for a four-day goodwill visit to show off the ships’ anti-terrorism capabilities and conduct talks, Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of the flotilla of the Russia’s Pacific Fleet, said at a news conference.” (01/03/17)

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/01/03/Russia-sends-two-warships-to-Manila-for-drills-with-Philippines/3161483461641/

—–

3) Notes indicate Nixon interfered with 1968 peace talks
Source: Smithsonian

“In October 1968, during the Paris Peace Talks, the U.S. was ready to agree to cease bombing Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, in exchange for concessions that would halt the decades-long conflict which eventually killed an estimated 58,000 American soldiers, 2 million Vietnamese civilians and 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong combatants. But suddenly, the day before the 1968 presidential election, a close race between Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon, South Vietnam inexplicably walked away from the negotiating table. … The Nixon campaign, it was rumored, promised the South Vietnamese bigger concessions if they waited to negotiate peace until after Nixon was elected. The idea was to not give President Lyndon Johnson and Humphrey a PR victory by suspending the war before the election. Now, political biographer John Farrell, writing in The New York Times'[s] opinion section this weekend, reports that handwritten notes from Nixon’s future White House Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman show evidence that the 36th president tried to secretly influence the peace talks while still a presidential candidate and a private citizen.” (01/02/17)

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/notes-indicate-nixon-interfered-1968-peace-talks-180961627/

—–

4) Haiti: Tribunal certifies presidential victory of first-time candidate
Source: Bradenton Herald

“An electoral tribunal in Haiti has rejected claims that massive voter fraud marred the November presidential election victory of first-time candidate Jovenel Moise, officials said Tuesday. The judges found some irregularities but not enough to affect the outcome based on an analysis of 12 percent of the ballots, the Provisional Electoral Council said in a statement that cleared the way for Moise to be officially declared the winner of the race.” (01/03/17)

http://www.bradenton.com/news/nation-world/world/article124244144.html

—–

5) NY: Cuomo calls for “free” tuition at state’s public colleges
Source: Fox News

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to offer free tuition at New York public colleges to eligible residents. The Democrat unveiled his plan Tuesday morning at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. During the senator’s unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, Sanders pushed for free tuition at all U.S. public colleges. Cuomo’s plan would provide free tuition to a State University of New York or City University of New York college, including two-year community colleges, for residents whose families earn less than $125,000. Cuomo’s proposal would have the program starting this fall. The governor’s plan would require approval by the Legislature.” (01/03/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/03/governor-calls-for-free-tuition-at-new-york-public-colleges.html

—–

6) Report: Israeli military slow probing alleged troop violence
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“An Israeli advocacy group on Tuesday criticized what it called an ‘exceptionally low’ prosecution rate by the Israeli military in cases of violence committed by soldiers against Palestinians. The report by Yesh Din, a human rights group that is often critical of the Israeli military, came a day before a military court’s verdict is to be delivered in a high-profile manslaughter case against a soldier. In its annual report, Yesh Din said the army opened 186 criminal investigations into suspected offenses against Palestinians in 2015, but just four of those investigations yielded indictments. The group said the 2015 figures, based on official army data, were the most recent available.” (01/03/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Report-Israeli-military-not-investigating-10832381.php

—–

7) Venezuela: Maduro regime forced to buy its own bonds
Source: PanAm Post

“The Venezuelan government signed a contract with a Chinese bank for a $5 billion loan, based on bonds which will allegedly be issued in the future, which was classified as illegal by a congressman. ‘On December 29 Maduro’s government illegally signed a loan with a Chinese bank for USD $5 billion,’ warned the deputy and member of the National Assembly (AN) Finance Committee, Jose Guerra, through his Twitter account.” (01/03/17)

https://panampost.com/karina-martin/2017/01/03/maduro-regime-forced-buy-bonds-markets-shun-venezuela/

—–

8) Ford scraps plan for $1.6 billion plant in Mexico after Trump criticism
Source: Reuters

“Ford Motor Co said Tuesday it will cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and invest $700 million at a Michigan factory, after President-elect Donald Trump had harshly criticized the Mexico investment plan. The second largest U.S. automaker said it would build new electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles at the Flat Rock, Michigan plant and add 700 jobs. Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields said the decision to cancel the new Mexico factory was the result of sagging demand for small cars in North America and not because Trump was elected president. He told Fox Business that the automaker would have made the same decision even if Trump had not been elected.” (01/03/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-mexico-idUSKBN14N1EO

—–

9) Yemen: Troops attack al Qaeda, 26 dead on both sides
Source: Akron Beacon Journal

“Pro-[Saudi puppet] government forces attacked al-Qaida militants in southern Yemen on Tuesday, killing 15 jihadis but losing 11 of their own troops, security officials said. The fighting began when troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition attacked an al-Qaida stronghold in the Marakasha mountains in Abyan province, east of the southern city of Aden.” (01/03/17)

http://www.ohio.com/news/world/yemeni-troops-attack-al-qaida-26-dead-on-both-sides-1.737710

—–

10) Report: Hillary, Bill and Dubya to attend Trump inauguration
Source: USA Today

“It sounds as if both Hillary and Bill Clinton will attend this month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. New York magazine and NBC News report that both the ex-president and former secretary of State will be at the inauguration ceremony. It will be the first joint public appearance by Trump and Hillary Clinton since the three presidential debates that preceded Trump’s surprise election victory. Bill Clinton will be one at least three ex-presidents at the Jan. 20 inauguration of Trump; George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have also announced plans to attend.” (01/03/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/03/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-bill-clinton-inauguration/96117260

—–

11) AL: NAACP occupying Jeff Sessions’s Mobile office “until he withdraws as AG pick or we’re arrested”
Source: Raw Story

“Senate hearings are about to start next week in consideration of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks, and heads of the NAACP and its Mobile, Alabama branch have taken over Trump Attorney General pick Jeff Sessions’ Mobile office in preparation. On Tuesday, President and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell Brooks posted a photo to Twitter captioned, ‘The @NAACP & @AlabamaNAACP are occupying the Mobile office of @jeffsessions–untill he withdraws as a AG nominee or we’re arrested.’ According to AL.com, the NAACP’s Tuesday action was one of many others being held across the state in opposition to Sessions’ nomination.” (01/03/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/the-naacp-is-occupying-jeff-sessions-mobile-office-until-he-withdraws-as-ag-pick-or-were-arrested

—–

12) Ethiopia: Court jails 20 Muslims accused of pursuing Sharia state
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald

“An Ethiopian court has sentenced 20 Muslims to prison after they were found guilty of trying to establish a state ruled by Sharia law and inciting violence. They were charged under Ethiopia’s controversial anti-terrorism law and convicted last month. All but one received prison terms of five and a half years. Two were journalists working for a Muslim radio station.” (01/03/17)

http://democratherald.com/news/world/ethiopia-jails-muslims-accused-of-pursuing-sharia-state/article_95ee1b27-7b2f-5e89-90a9-274a6653bc7b.html

—–

13) Federal appeals court: Sentence completed? Too bad, state can hold you as long as they feel like holding you
Source: ABC News

“Minnesota’s program for keeping sex offenders confined after they complete their prison sentences is constitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, reversing a lower-court judge who said it violates offenders’ rights because hardly anyone is ever released. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state, which argued that the program is both constitutional and necessary to protect citizens from dangerous sexual predators who would otherwise go free. The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court. Seven offenders are currently free on provisional releases from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, and only one has been permanently discharged, even though the program is more than 20 years old. That led U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in 2015 to declare the program unconstitutional and order changes to make it easier for people to get on a pathway for release. As of Tuesday, 721 people were being held under the program.” (01/03/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/appeals-court-voids-order-minnesota-sex-offender-program-44526253

—–

14) China: Regime confirms its carrier held drills in South China Sea
Source: Danbury News Times

“China confirmed that its aircraft carrier has for the first time conducted drills in the South China Sea with a formation of other warships and fighter jets, a move that could raise concerns among its neighbors. The Defense Ministry said several J-15 fighter jets took off and landed from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Liaoning on Monday. The Liaoning, China’s first and only aircraft carrier, sailed into the South China Sea last week.” (01/03/17)

http://www.newstimes.com/news/world/article/China-confirms-its-carrier-held-drills-in-South-10831638.php

—–

15) WA: Man banned from Starbucks claims ageism
Source: KXLY News

“It’s a story making headlines around the world: A man claims he was kicked out of a Spokane Starbucks because of ageism. The man says he slipped a note to a flirty barista asking her out, then came back the next day to discover he was no longer welcome at the location because the note made the woman uncomfortable. … In an email exchange with the man, he claims he has a lawyer and will be pursuing a lawsuit against Starbucks.” (01/03/17)

http://www.kxly.com/news/local-news/man-banned-from-starbucks-claims-ageism/243944429

—–

16) Assange “1,000% confident” that Russia was not source for DNC leaks
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said Barack Obama is ‘trying to delegitimize the Trump administration’ by claiming the Russian government hacked Democrats’ emails during the bitter presidential election. Assange, whose interview with Sean Hannity will air on Fox News tonight, also reiterated his claims that Russia was not the source of the hacks. He told Hannity ‘with a thousand per cent’ confidence that the Russian government was not responsible for emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.” (01/03/17)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4083580/Assange-says-1-000-confident-Russia-NOT-source-hacked-Democratic-emails-published-WikiLeaks.html

—–

17) CNN story on alleged Russian hacking runs with Fallout 4 screenshot
Source: Tech Times

“CNN used a screenshot of Fallout 4 in a recent news item that was supposed to discuss Russian hacking. This turned out to be a disaster, as viewers recognized the visual from the popular game by Bethesda. The said news item where a Fallout 4 screenshot was used was published last December under CNN Politics. Along with the screenshot from the game, various computer footages that depict hacking were used as visual support for the report.” (01/03/17)

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/191034/20170103/fallout-4-computer-terminal-screenshot-used-by-cnn-to-show-russian-hacking.htm

—–

18) China begins first freight train service to London
Source: Jamestown Sun

“China has begun its first freight train service to London from Yiwu, a famed wholesale market town in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the Xinhua news agency reported. The train will travel for 18 days over more than 7,500 miles (12,000 km) to reach Britain from China, Xinhua said. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.” (01/03/17)

http://www.jamestownsun.com/news/nation-and-world/4191270-china-begins-first-freight-train-service-london-xinhua

—–

19) FL: City governments prepare to defy voters on medical marijuana
Source: WESH 2 News

“As medical marijuana becomes legal in the state of Florida, a handful of local governments are moving to temporarily prohibit dispensaries in their cities. Eatonville is one of several local governments passing measures to give themselves more time to figure out how to regulate marijuana dispensaries. Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in November. Soon after, Orlando city leaders extended a temporary ban on dispensaries until July 1. Eatonville’s town council will consider the final step toward adopting its own moratorium Tuesday night. The legislation would put a pause on anyone applying to build or develop marijuana dispensaries. It’s unclear how long that ban would last.” (01/03/17)

http://www.wesh.com/article/central-florida-governments-preparing-medical-marijuana-rules/8556648

—–

20) South Korea: Park refuses to testify in impeachment trial
Source: Bangkok Post [Thailand]

“South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to testify Tuesday in the impeachment trial that will decide her future, prompting the prosecutors to question why she has publicly denied the charges of corruption but will not do so before the court. After Ms Park’s refusal, the Constitutional Court delayed the start of oral arguments and asked her to testify on Thursday, when some of her current and former aides are also scheduled to testify. The court cannot force her to appear but can proceed without her if she refuses twice to appear at the hearings.” (01/03/17)

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1173745/park-refuses-to-testify-in-impeachment-trial

—–

21) Customs thugs hold air travelers hostage to computer problems
Source: USA Today

“And you thought your holiday hangover was rough. Monday night, a temporary computer shutdown of U.S. Customs and Border Protection systems at airports across the country led to major headaches for travelers nationwide. People returning home from the New Year’s holiday weekend were being processed at international terminals by hand at some airports, resulting in long lines and short tempers. Travelers reported issues in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Miami and Atlanta, among others.The outage lasted for four hours, the Customs agency said in a statement late Monday, before the system was up and running again.” [editor’s note: This was not caused by a computer outage. This was caused by Customs and Border Protections personnel not doing the obvious — waving travelers through the line until the system came back up – TLK] (01/03/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/01/02/customs-outage-causes-chaos-backups-airports/96093562/

—–

22) NM: Store bans “Obama and other Muslims”
Source: Huffington Post

“A New Mexico convenience store owner appears to promote his business by making threats of political violence. The Mayhill Convenience Store has had signs up for more than a year that include phrases like ‘Bullets Not Ballots’ and ‘Kill Obama’ with the word ‘care’ written in smaller letters under it. Although the signs have been around for some time, local station KOB drew new attention to the store on Friday. Outside the business, a sign reading ‘Obama & other Muslims not welcome here’ greets customers.” (01/02/17)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-mexico-store-racism-obama-muslims_us_586a71a3e4b0eb58648a1518

—–

23) Pakistan: New polio campaign in Quetta after rare strain found
Source: Business Insider

“Pakistan began a special five-day polio immunization campaign in the southwestern city of Quetta on Monday for children under five after a rare strain of the virus was found in sewage samples, officials said. Local officials said they had recruited Muslim clerics to promote the immunizations for 400,000 children after past programs were met with resistance and even violence by extremists.” (01/02/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-pakistani-city-launches-new-polio-campaign-after-rare-strain-found-2017-1

—–

24) OH: Regime launches online voter registration
Source: WYTV 33 News

“As of Jan. 1, Ohioans can now use an online portal to register to vote. The system requires a voter to have an Ohio driver’s license or state identification card. At Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s request, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 63, which authorizes the use of online voter registration in Ohio.” (01/02/17)

http://wytv.com/2017/01/02/ohio-launches-online-voter-registration-for-2017/

—–

25) FL: New law prohibits OTC cough syrup sales to minors
Source: WTSP News 10

“Minors won’t be able to buy some cough syrup brands over the counter as a new law [passed on the idiotic claim that it will] limit youth substance abuse took effect Monday. Senate Bill 938 is a measure that prohibits manufacturers, distributors and retailers from selling medicines containing dextromethorphan to those under 18, and requiring anyone who appears under the age of 25 to provide identification upon checkout. … Pharmacies saw a similar measure with a pseudoephedrine law back in 2011, [pharmacist Santino] Colabianchi said, where products such as Sudafed needed to be kept behind the counter. The ingredient is listed as a precursor to methamphetamine …” [editor’s note: And we all know that trying to control pseudoephedrine eliminated methamphetamine, right? This isn’t about substance abuse. It’s theater at the expense of freedom, as per usual – TLK] (01/02/17)

http://www.wtsp.com/news/new-law-prohibits-minors-from-buying-cough-syrup/381346593

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

26) A cheap date
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Lori Heine

“Politically speaking, libertarians can seem like a cheap date. We’re good enough for a nice time, when a prettier, sexier option is unavailable. But let’s face it, whenever the supermodel or the football hero flashes a flirtatious smile, a lot of our potential partners will desert us. These days, we’re doing plenty of strategizing. Should we take this course, or that? I’ll switch to the team sports metaphor that works so well in politics. For the most part, the choice appears to come down to the following: do we woo players from Team Red or Team Blue? Our franchise is perpetually struggling to stay competitive, and free agents are again beginning to shop their allegiances around.” (01/03/17)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1647

—–

27) The other way the debate about Russian hacking is like the debate about WMDs
Source: Reason
by Jesse Walker

“During the run-up to the Iraq war, I doubted those claims that Saddam Hussein had a secret stash of WMDs. But I also thought those weapons were beside the point. The more important question was whether Hussein was a threat to Americans, with or without weapons of mass destruction in his arsenal. Whatever ambitions he had were confined to his corner of the globe, so he didn’t really have any reason to target us — except for Washington’s sanctions and sabre-rattling. The focus on WMDs distracted from the deeper case against the war. … Just as it was conceivable to me then that Saddam was lying about WMDs, I think it entirely possible now that Russian agents hacked the Democratic National Committee. That may not have been proven, but it’s plausible …. Yet vast swaths of the center-left wing of the establishment seem to think this would mean Russia ‘installed’ Donald Trump as president.” (01/03/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/01/03/the-other-way-the-debate-about-russian-h

—–

28) The 2016 LP convention and “taxation is theft”
Source: Independent Political Report
by Caryn Ann Harlos

“Revisionism is beginning in some circles. ‘Taxation is Theft’ was formally resolved by the delegates to the 2016 Libertarian Party Convention. ‘Jim Fulner (MI) moved that we adopt the following resolution: ‘Be it resolved, taxation is theft.’ Following debate, the resolution was adopted by a voice vote.’ Various ways have been proferred to diminish the import of this. They are ineffective.” (01/03/17)

http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2017/01/caryn-ann-harlos-the-2016-lp-convention-and-taxation-is-theft/

—–

29) Russia-bashing: The world’s most dangerous blame game
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“The expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US was still to come when White House press secretary Josh Earnest was busy confirming to journalists that President Obama shared the view of the CIA and the FBI that Russia’s top intelligence agencies had hacked and leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee. But one question from reporters stood out: did the White House believe Russia had successfully rigged the US presidential election? ‘There are a variety of potential explanations [for Donald Trump’s win],’ responded Earnest. Just think about the absurdity of that question for a second. American journalists were seriously asking the White House if it believed Russia had effectively rigged the US election.” (01/03/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/russia-bashing-the-worlds-most-dangerous-blame-game

—–

30) An incremental win
Source: Cato Unbound
by Thomas L Knapp

“All four of us seem to agree that the technical goal of an election is to reflect, in aggregate but as accurately as possible, the diverse preferences of voters. Single member districts with first past the post plurality winners don’t do that very well. … Ranked choice voting, approval voting, score voting, and the like all mitigate this problem to a degree. Even if the voter’s most preferred candidate doesn’t win, there’s a decent chance that his second or third choice might, and that his glass will come out half full at any rate. Even as an anarchist, I have to call that a win. But as an anarchist, I’m also compelled to interject a sentiment expressed by a distinctly non-anarchist historical figure, Abraham Lincoln: ‘No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.'” (01/03/17)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2017/01/03/thomas-l-knapp/incremental-win

—–

31) The University of No Characteristics Whatsoever
Source: Town Hall
by Mike Adams

“Dear Professor Meinhold, Members of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee: It has been several weeks since I published my column ‘My Faculty Values and Your White Privilege’ on Townhall.com. In that column, which I have linked here, I warned you about the dangers of a resolution you passed condemning faculty members for publicly commenting on the demographic characteristics of students. I specifically enumerated five problems with your statement, which was an overreaction to a free speech controversy involving a faculty member (yours truly). The problems I enumerated demonstrated that your committee did not think matters through before passing the emotionally driven and politically motivated resolution. Please recall that I also gave you an opportunity to rescind the resolution. … I write today to recommend that we get rid of the following programs and initiatives in order to address some glaring inconsistencies.” (01/03/17)

http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2017/01/03/the-university-of-no-characteristics-whatsoever-n2266348

—–

32) The Ministry of Truth opens June 21st
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“The US State Department — more or less the seat of the deep state — will be opening a Ministry of Truth, version 1.0, beginning ‘180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.’ That is, by June 21, 2017. This outfit will work through networks of power more than government offices. That means that its actions will come at us from behind a blind. No one will be able to point to a face that can be blamed. The players will be scattered, their actions dispersed; they won’t be publicly seen or named.” (01/03/17)

http://www.freemansperspective.com/ministry-truth-opens-june-21st/

—–

33) Having none of it
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“James A. Haught writes an excellent and compelling article chronicling ‘The Long, Slow Death of Religion’ in America. The institution is already on death’s door in most of the West and today Christianity is fading fast in the U.S.A. I also observed this phenomenon more than four years ago in my blog post: ‘The Power of None.’ It’s a fact. The ‘Nones’ are coming, I said. They are growing in numbers. Their power is on the rise. They are poised now as a political force to be reckoned with — people with no religion at all — the fastest growing philosophically oriented group in America. According to a Pew survey one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion. They ignore faith.” [editor’s note: Actually, most of them seem to have abundant faith, just a different deity (the state) – TLK] (01/03/17)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2017/01/having-none-of-it.html

—–

34) How to protect yourself from ransomware
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Kevin Helms

“The ransomware industry has exploded recently. Often, hackers demand bitcoin payments in order to restore computer systems. Bitcoin.com investigates what to do to prevent ransomware attacks.”

https://news.bitcoin.com/ransomware-rise-protect-yourself/

—–

35) So how bad was 2016 really?
Source: Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

“It’s the fashionable thing to say good riddance to 2016, a truly crappy year. Dave Barry joined the crowd in his usual style. (H/T jb) I don’t know, though. Like all years, it was a mix of curses and blessings, along with a lot of life-as-usual. There was, of course, that election whose sludge spread from one end of the calendar to the other. But at least we didn’t end up with the Clinton Crime Family running the country. There was terrorism and war. But when is there not?” (01/03/17)

http://www.clairewolfe.com/blog/2017/01/03/so-how-bad-was-2016-really/

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36) Girding for the education fight ahead
Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

“If you want to get an idea of what kind of education policies to expect from a Donald Trump administration, Wall St. has a clue for you. A report from BuzzFeed explains, online charter schools are ‘gearing up for a boom during the Trump administration, judging by where investors are placing their bets.’ The article points to K12 Inc., which is the country’s largest operator of online charters, whose stock price has risen in value by more than 50 percent since Election Day — hitting a 2-year high at one point. The article quotes K12 executives who’ve ‘told investors the company was one of the ‘best positioned under Trump,’ especially due to the ‘”personal experiences” that high-level Trump administration members have with the company.’ Among Trump personnel who’ve had these ‘experiences’ with K12 is his pick for US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.” (01/03/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170103/girding-for-the-education-fight-ahead

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37) Foreign policy blowback in Germany
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“The dominant mindset of interventionists is: Don’t ever question or challenge anything the U.S. national-security establishment does because whatever it does is good and noble. Focus only on the evil acts of the terrorists because they are motivated only by hatred for America’s freedom and values. And then support whatever measures, no matter how tyrannical and oppressive, to keep America safe from those evil people who just want to do us harm. In other words, U.S. interventionism — indeed, the existence of the entire Cold War national-security state — is simply a given. The Pentagon and the CIA have the right to kill people in the Middle East and elsewhere. They have earned that right by their mission to protect ‘national security.’ Such things must never be questioned by anyone.” (01/03/17)

http://www.fff.org/2017/01/03/foreign-policy-blowback-germany/

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38) Compensation, healthcare costs, and inequality
Source: EconLog
by Amy Willis

“What sorts of benefits do you receive from your employer that aren’t included in your take-home pay or on your income tax returns? We don’t all have ‘free’ cafeterias and laundry and fitness facilities, like Google. If you do have these kinds of amenities, how do you assess their value in terms of your overall compensation? Setting these cultural amenities aside for now, probably most of us have health care that is covered, at least in part, by our employers.” (01/03/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/01/compensation_he.html

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39) Fantasies about Russia could doom opposition to Trump
Source: CounterPunch
by David Swanson

“To many Democrats for whom killing a million people in Iraq just didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense, and who considered Obama’s bombing of eight nations and the creation of the drone murder program to be praiseworthy, Trump will be impeachable on Day 1. Indeed Trump should be impeached on Day 1, but the same Democrats who found the one nominee who could lose to Trump will find the one argument for impeachment that can explode in their own faces.” (01/03/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/03/fantasies-about-russia-could-doom-opposition-to-trump/

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40) Danger in Democrats demonizing Putin
Source: OpEdNews
by Norman Solomon

“Many top Democrats are stoking a political firestorm. We keep hearing that Russia attacked democracy by hacking into Democratic officials’ emails and undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Instead of candidly assessing key factors such as longtime fealty to Wall Street that made it impossible for her to ride a populist wave, the party line has increasingly circled around blaming Vladimir Putin for her defeat. Of course partisan spinners aren’t big on self-examination, especially if they’re aligned with the Democratic Party’s dominant corporate wing. And the option of continually fingering the Kremlin as the main villain of a 2016 morality play is clearly too juicy for functionary Democrats to pass up — even if that means scorching civil liberties and escalating a new cold war that could turn radioactively hot.” (01/03/17)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Danger-in-Democrats-Demoni-by-Norman-Solomon-Democrats_Demonizing_Putin_Treason-170103-133.html

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41) Drifting into fascism
Source: Cobden Centre
by Alasdair MacLeod

“Most people regard governments and their central banks as forces for the good. Financial crises and suchlike are therefore blamed on capitalism, and people believe our leaders do their best to pick up the pieces from market failures, because they are elected to promote the public good. The reality is very different, with governments acting not in the interests of their electors, but in the interest of the preservation of the administration. And the size of the administration is proportional to its degree of control over the people, so it and its burden on ordinary people just grows and grows with ever-increasing intervention and micro-management.” (01/03/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/01/drifting-into-fascism/

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42) GOP-style obstruction won’t work for Democrats
Source: USA Today
by Jesse Ferguson

“On Inauguration Day in 2009, top Republican leaders and strategists gathered for a private dinner at the Caucus Room restaurant to discuss how they were going to obstruct and derail Barack Obama’s presidency. It wasn’t a policy dinner about their ideological concerns, Robert Draper wrote in his 2012 book about the GOP-run House. It was a political dinner about obstruction as a tactic. Today, many Democrats (myself included) are asking whether our party leaders need to have a similar dinner on Jan. 20, 2017, to discuss how we can obstruct and oppose every move by the Trump administration.” (01/03/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/01/03/democrats-obstruction-congress-government-gop-column/96082632

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43) More ominous trade news from the Trump team
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“This news isn’t surprising, but it is nevertheless distressing: Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative will be the lawyer Robert Lighthizer. Lighthizer is a trade ‘pragmatist’ — which means that he opposes free trade. Lighthizer has written a fair amount about trade in past years in the popular press, all of it revealing that his understanding of trade is no better than that of the economically ignorant Mr. Trump and the equally economically ignorant man-in-the-street.” (01/03/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/01/more-ominous-trade-news-from-the-trump-team.html

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44) All the right people lost
Source: Ayn R Key
by Ayn R Key

“The election of Donald Trump, while not necessarily good in itself from a libertarian point of view, has certainly had effects that are very good. The best part of his victory is who lost when he won. The election was supposed to be a boring contest between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, with Hillary Clinton eventually winning on the platform of being the first woman president. Even if Donald Trump changes nothing, he succeeded in forcing all the right people out of the office they sought. He ended the Bush dynasty and the Clinton dynasty.” (01/02/17)

http://aynrkey.blogspot.com/2017/01/all-right-people-lost.html

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45) 2017: Trump’s reality revolution won — now it must be implemented
Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

“Washington, D.C. has been — for decades, in bipartisan fashion — a swallowing void of anti-Reality. The federal government has at best terribly mishandled, at worst utterly destroyed everything in which it insists on involving itself. Despite this record of nigh perfect imperfection — the list of things in which the federal government insists on involving itself has continued to inexorably grow. And as the Feds increased their role in…everything, the tethers to any rational justification for it get thinner and thinner, and ever more frayed. We the People have finally had it. And have elected political newbie Donald Trump to come in and clean house. His was the Reality Revolution — and it won him the White House. Now he must implement his revolutionary reforms — to begin to undo decades of rank DC stupidity.” [editor’s note: If Motley thinks Trump has any intention of reducing the size, power, scope or expense of the federal government, he should really put down the crack pipe – TLK] (01/03/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/01/2017-trumps-reality-revolution-won-now-it-must-be-implemented/

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46) Cult of the Individual: A play in one egoistic act
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by J Neil Schulman

“This play was performed in a table reading at Samuel Edward Konkin III’s Agorist Institute in Long Beach, California, with Konkin reading Dan Conrad, J. Neil Schulman reading Joel Rosenbaum, Victor Koman reading Vincent Andrews, Bob Cohen reading Mark Levy, and J. Kent Hastings reading Peter Braun.” (01/01/17)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2017/tle904-20170101-03.html

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47) From “Dreamers” to nukes, Obama still has time to make a difference
Source: Reuters
by Josh Cohen

“Riveting as President-elect Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice-style cabinet selection process may be, we should not forget that President Barack Obama still has more than two weeks left in office. Although that’s not enough time for Obama to take any new legislative initiatives, his administration is already taking some important policy steps. First, he has begun his promised retaliation against Moscow for its hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the private emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta. And on Dec. 28, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech emphasizing the necessity of a two-state peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians while also condemning Israel’s support for West Bank settlements which undermine the two-state solution. … Beyond these actions though, Obama can still use the powers of the presidency to burnish his legacy.” [editor’s note: These are actually good pro-liberty ideas as well, though he missed a few – SAT] (01/03/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cohen-obama-commentary-idUSKBN14M14Y

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48) Gracian’s aphorism #250: When must a remark be taken in its opposite sense?
Source: WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy

“Other translations use the titles ‘When should we reason backward?’ and ‘When to turn the conversation around.’ All translations dwell upon what Ayn Rand identified as the psychology of those who hate people for their virtues. Why? The malicious man recognizes those virtues (such as hard work) but he does not possess them and so must raise himself up by diminishing the good or elevating the bad/mediocre or both. His words of praise are lies and meant to harm what should decent people should value. His words of denunciation have a strange passion behind them that seems out of proportion to any fact being presented.” (01/03/17)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.7645

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49) A post-holiday health policy vignette: Eye surgery
Source: Independent Institute
by John R Graham

“Because my friend had the surgery in Toronto, this encouraged his wife to resume her praise of single-payer health care. The surgery happened before they had met, so he had to correct her: ‘No, I paid about $1,000 per eye.’ (The Ontario Health Plan covers cataract and intraocular lens surgery if medically necessary, but my friend’s surgery must not have been medically necessary because his vision was amenable to correction by spectacles.) This clarification deflated his wife, who announced she had paid about the same for lens surgery at about the same time, but in Florida!” (01/03/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/01/03/a-post-holiday-health-policy-vignette-eye-surgery/

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50) Can we really govern ourselves without the sword?
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Emily Skarbek

“Can markets work without state regulation? The conventional wisdom suggests that this is not possible, but it turns out that trade often thrives outside of the state. There is a growing literature that demonstrates this. One of my favorite studies is from Peter Leeson, who shows that 18th-century pirate ships were self-organizing based on constitutional, democratic principles. Other classic pieces show why Orthodox Jewish diamond dealers didn’t use contracts, how rural neighbors resolve disputes through social norms instead of courts, and how long-distance commercial ventures in the 11th-century were self-regulating. My own research has also shown how an informal money transfer system, known as Hawala, allows high-volume, international financial transactions without any oversight or regulation by nation states, and that it has done so successfully for several centuries.” (01/03/17)

https://fee.org/articles/can-we-really-govern-ourselves-without-the-sword/

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51) New boss(es), same as the old boss(es)
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Donald Trump ran for president in part on a promise to ‘drain the swamp’ that is Washington, DC. He positioned himself as a political outsider, beholden to no one and capable of bringing sweeping changes to a federal government set in its ways. But as Inauguration Day approaches, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the fundamentals aren’t going to change much.” (01/03/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/9003

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52) Minimum wage and length of poverty spells
Source: Notes On Liberty
by Vincent Geloso

“As one can see from the scatter plot below, there is a more or less clear relationship between the minimum wage as a share of the average wage and the length of poverty spells. What is more impressive is that this graph is not a regression. More precisely, the provinces with the highest minimum wages (like my own province of Quebec and the province of Nova Scotia) also have the most extensive social welfare nets. Alberta, a province with the lowest minimum wage ratio and one of the least ‘generous’ social welfare net in Canada, is at the very bottom of the pack in terms of the persistence of poverty.” (01/03/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/01/03/minimum-wage-and-length-of-poverty-spells/

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53) Blue states must become even bluer
Source: The New Republic
by Matthew Pratt Guterl

“For the past 20 years, the Republican Party has perversely rewritten former Supreme Court Louis Brandeis’s notion that states could be ‘laboratories of democracy.’ Where Brandeis imagined state governments pushing liberal and progressive ideas beyond the national consensus, drawing the nation forward, Republicans have worked to preserve a dwindling white majority through gerrymandering and have used state governments not merely to slow down liberalism, but to turn it to dust and ash in the broad center of the country. In the so-called red states, liberalism is now often relegated to a kind of folklore-ish local practice in college towns and mid-sized cities, while formal, statewide policy is strictly and stridently conservative. Red states, in other words, are laboratories of anti-democracy — as many have been, in a way, since the days of slaveholding and Jim Crow.” [editor’s note: Shall we point out that those “red states” were then dominated by … racist Democrats? – SAT] (01/03/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139596/blue-states-must-become-even-bluer

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54) Obama leaves the Constitution weaker than he found it
Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

“Every four years, an American citizen puts a hand on a holy book and swears to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ Anxiety is understandably high in the weeks before a new hand hits that Bible. But as we obsess about the intentions of the incoming president, it is worth asking ourselves how well the current incumbent has preserved our governing document.” (01/03/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/obama-leaves-the-constitution-weaker-than-he-found-it/512015/

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55) It can happen here (in fact, it did!)
Source: TomDispatch
by Tom Engelhardt

“Know thyself. It was what came to mind in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory and my own puzzling reaction to it. And while that familiar phrase just popped into my head, I had no idea it was so ancient, or Greek, or for that matter a Delphic maxim inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo according to the Greek writer Pausanias (whom I’d never heard of until I read his name in Wikipedia). Think of that as my own triple helix of ignorance extending back to … well, my birth in a very different America 72 years ago. Anyway, the simple point is that I didn’t know myself half as well as I imagined. And I can thank Donald Trump for reminding me of that essential truth. Of course, we can never know what’s really going on inside the heads of all those other people out there on this curious planet of ours, but ourselves as strangers?” (01/03/17)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176226

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56) Do we really need to explain supply and demand again?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“It is simple enough for demand for something to rise above the possible supply of it. Similarly, demand can fall below the available supply. We call these shortages and gluts. Which is what brings price into it. Prices are the method of rationing such things. As prices rise fewer people desire whatever it is and thus the pressure upon supply is loosened. As prices fall more desire and so that extra supply is snapped up.” (01/03/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/do-we-really-need-to-explain-supply-and-demand-again

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57) The US abstains at a UN vote on Israel settlements
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Walter E Block

“The international news at the close of 2016 is all about the abstention of the United States regarding a United Nations condemnation of the state of Israel for its settlement policy. What has the libertarian to say about this situation? From the anarcho-capitalist point of view, matters are simple. There should not be a government of the U.S. There should not be a state of Israel. The governments of the member nations of the U.N. should all be disbanded. And, since that organization consists of the governments of many countries, it, too, should be terminated.” (01/03/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/walter-e-block/us-abstains-un-vote/

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58) Parents in context
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘Virginia regulators are drafting rules that would require school districts to red-flag objectionable teaching material and make it easier for parents to control what books their children see in the classroom,’ reports the Washington Post. Those regulations won’t be finalized for a year or more (because government bureaucracies are painfully slow). Yet an ‘earlier version of the language released on a state website drew hundreds of comments from the public,’ the Post informs. ‘Most parents were supportive of the change …’ Teachers? Against.” (01/03/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/01/03/parents-in-context/

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59) Checks and balances
Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Jenkins

“We have recently heard a great deal about the alleged evils of the Electoral College, and progressive opinion would currently like to abolish what it views as an obstacle to true multicultural democracy. Reasonable people can disagree about the virtues of the college itself, but the underlying arguments here are deeply troubling for what they suggest about the very widespread ignorance of the Constitution. This is a matter of rudimentary civics education. The main indictment of the Electoral College is that it stands in the way of the expression of the voting majority. The main problem with this argument should be apparent: very few people actually believe in using simple electoral majorities to decide each and every political question.” (01/03/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/checks-and-balances/

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60) The state of crypto law: 2016 in review
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nate Cardozo

“This year was one of the busiest in recent memory when it comes to cryptography law in the United States and around the world. But for all the Sturm und Drang, surprisingly little actually changed in the U.S. In this post, we’ll run down the list of things that happened, how they could have gone wrong (but didn’t), how they could yet go wrong (especially in the U.K.), and what we might see in 2017.” (01/02/17)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/crypto-state-law-end-2016

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

61) The Tom Woods Show, episode 815
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“We lost Ralph Raico, a great libertarian historian, in December 2016. I spent the first part of this episode discussing his work; see also the link to one of his books below. I also answer several interesting listener questions, then offer to do an escape room with people in two U.S. cities. How could you not listen to this one?” [various formats] (01/03/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-816-liberty-lost-a-great-historian-in-2016-plus-nullification-and-listener-questions-answered/

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62) The Jason Stapleton Program, 01/03/17
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“It’s the first show of 2017, and I’ve got more stories than I can cover in the meager hour we have together, so I’ve decided to focus on some of the most talked about yet under-reported stories in the headlines today. You might wonder how anyone paying attention could be misinformed about the Russian hacking scandal, but it would seem the media either doesn’t understand the story itself or is choosing to misrepresent the truth. I’ll dive into the specifics today with the help of Sharyl Attkisson and her piece from sharylattkisson.com.” [various formats] (01/03/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/russian-hacking-congressional-oversight-and-civil-deutsche-banke/

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63) Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock, 01/03/17
Source: Freedom’s Phoenix

“Hour 1 — Tim Picciott (The Libertarian Advisor) on using on Teneo; Hour 2 — Vanessa Beeley (Independent researcher, writer, photographer) talks about her experience in Aleppo; Tim Picciott co-hosts the show and participates in the conversation; Hour 3 — Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD (molecular biologist) provides and update on Vaccines and Vaccinations, retrovirus, CDC corruption.” [various formats] (01/03/17)

https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Media/209990-2017-01-02-01-03-17-tim-picciott-vanessa-beeley-dr-judy-mikovits.htm

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64) Freedom Feens Radio, 01/03/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Jeremy, MWD and Jim yak it up good. Matt Bergman from Punk Rock Libertarians was on the first segment, but then had to leave for his private court-orded BipCot-licensed etiquette classes. Topics include a bunch of stuff. What do you expect? It’s the Feens and it’s Great. Dig it man, and tell two friends!” [various formats] (01/03/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=13515

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65) Free Talk Live, 01/02/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Cop Lover Shot By Police :: Getting Out of Car During Police Stop :: Stockholm Syndrome :: Say No To Police Searches :: Cop Runs into Donut Shop :: ‘Investigative Holds’ :: Libertarian Organizations in New Hampshire and Planning Activism :: Libertarian Takeover Strategy :: Crazy Caller :: Blind App :: Red Light Cameras.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/02/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-01-02

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Steve Trinward

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****