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

Volume XIV, Issue #3,363
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
452 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com
*****

In the News:

1) Iran: Regime disables reactor, awaits end of sanctions
2) Venezuela: Supreme Court declares congress decisions void
3) KY: Bevin notifies feds of intent to shut down state’s ObamaCare program
4) SCOTUS seems sure to rule “against unions”
5) Rand Paul, bumped from main debate stage, will boycott Thursday’s undercard
6) Man bites dog! Bharara declines to prosecute Cuomo due to “insufficient evidence”
7) Putin: Sheltering Assad would be easier than Snowden asylum
8) Clinton proposes “surcharge” tax on Americans making more than $5 million
9) Defiant US fraudster Allen Stanford vows to clear name
10) Copper sinks to lowest level since 2009
11) FL: Medical marijuana effort hits 500,000 signatures
12) T-Mobile CEO apologizes for EFF F-bomb
13) Study: Prioritizing time over money leads to more happiness
14) Anglican leader hopes meeting can avoid homosexuality split
15) Spain: Landmark fraud trial starts for Princess Cristina
16) Lumosity pays US FTC $2 million for allegedly lying about its brain games
17) Iraq: Gunmen storm mall, killing at least 18
18) Mexico: “El Chapo” in solitary confinement as lawyers fight his extradition to US
19) North Korea: Regime reportedly arrests US citizen, alleges spying
20) Syria: First aid shipment in months reaches besieged Madaya

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The state of the nation: A dictatorship without tears
22) Does El Chapo’s arrest mean the drug war is over?
23) Uber revolutionizes common sense
24) Teaching young journalists old-school ethics
25) Two ranchers, two fires, too long behind bars
26) A new look at a forgotten egalitarian
27) Rule of law and civilization’s fall
28) Obama’s foreign policy far from victorious
29) 17th-century “assault weapons”
30) Oregon standoff: Isolated event or sign of things to come?
31) The “apolitical” insurrectionist who taught us wow to rebel
32) Why are angry ranchers being called terrorists?
33) Randal O’Toole on The Bob Zadek Show
34) Cruz’s collateral damage: Why so few Americans care about dead civilians
35) Why should Volkswagen be investigated for emission deception, but not government agencies?
36) Rationalism, pluralism, and federalism
37) Health insurers’ consensus on ObamaCare is collapsing
38) Why Republicans wouldn’t actually repeal Obamacare
39) A mental experiment for those who deny that minimum wages destroy jobs
40) Will GOP identity politics doom Marco Rubio?
41) Law in the tooth
42) Would Reagan be nominated today?
43) Election year anti-crime posturing could derail even limited sentencing reform
44) Well, they do actually have a point here on taxing public pensions
45) Individualism is battling the politically managed mind in the 21st century
46) Is the auto loan bubble ready to pop?
47) The great forgetting
48) The hypocrisy of Obama’s gun control crusade
49) Can the government fix its corps of managers?
50) Free Talk Live, 01/10/16

****SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS*************************
*
* STUDENTS FOR LIBERTY
* A Free Academy, A Free Society
* http://studentsforliberty.org/
*
* Tyranny Demands AN ACT OF SELF-DEFENSE: A NOVEL BY ERNE LEWIS
* http://www.tinyurl.com/elewis
*
* DRUPAL MANAGED HOSTING
* Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?
* http://inet-design.com/drupal-managed-hosting.html
*
* TIPPING POINT: A NOVEL BY FRANK CLARKE
* http://tinyurl.com/TipgPt2
*
* FISHIES
* PhotoJournal for Dive Travelers
* http://www.scubadadreefpix.com/fishies.htm
*
*************************SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS****

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

1) Iran: Regime disables reactor, awaits end of sanctions
Source: Columbus Dispatch

“Iran removed the core of its plutonium reactor and filled it with cement on Monday, paving the way for economic and financial sanctions to be lifted soon. The work that effectively rendered the reactor at Arak harmless was the last major hurdle for Iran to fulfill its commitments under a landmark deal reached just shy of six months ago in Vienna. The International Atomic Energy Agency still must verify that everything was done satisfactorily before U.S. and international sanctions can be lifted. But that is expected to take days, not weeks.” (01/11/16)

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2016/01/11/iran-disables-reactor-awaits-end-of-sanctions.html

—–

2) Venezuela: Supreme Court declares congress decisions void
Source: Reuters

“Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the new National Assembly’s decisions are void until three banned opposition lawmakers are removed from office, deepening a power struggle over the opposition’s new legislative majority. The Supreme Court in December blocked four lawmakers — three from the opposition and one allied with the government — from taking office after the Socialist Party alleged irregularities during last month’s vote for a new congress. The opposition dubbed the ruling a ‘judicial coup’ meant to strip it of its super majority and swore in the three barred opposition lawmakers last week, one of a number of tussles between the newly convened congress and the court.” (01/11/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN0UP2HF20160111

—–

3) KY: Bevin notifies feds of intent to shut down state’s ObamaCare program
Source: Fox News

“Kentucky’s new Republican administration is moving forward with plans to shut down the state’s health insurance exchange, becoming the first state to cut ties with one of the key pieces of President Barack Obama’s signature health care [sic] law because of a political promise. Gov. Matt Bevin notified federal officials in a letter dated Dec. 30 that the state exchange will cease operations ‘as soon as is practicable.’ That will be at least a year from now, according to federal law. It will not affect health plans sold for 2016.” (01/11/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/11/kentucky-moves-ahead-with-plans-to-dismantle-health-exchange.html

—–

4) SCOTUS seems sure to rule “against unions”
Source: USA Today

“The Supreme Court left little doubt Monday where it stands on forcing teachers and government workers to contribute to public employee unions against their will: It’s ready to strike the requirement down. The court’s more conservative justices sharply criticized the current system in which public employees in 23 states and the District of Columbia must pay for the cost of collective bargaining, even if they disagree with their unions’ demands. The problem, those justices said, is that virtually everything the unions do affects public policy and tax dollars.” [editor’s note: This seems a lot like common sense to this aging libertarian – SAT] (01/11/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/01/11/supreme-court-public-employee-union-teachers-california/78630590

—–

5) Rand Paul, bumped from main debate stage, will boycott Thursday’s undercard
Source: Washington Post

“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will not appear at either of Thursday’s Fox Business-hosted debates in South Carolina, after the network’s polling analysis denied him a spot on its prime time stage. Paul — who would have been relegated to the day’s earlier, less-viewed ‘undercard’ debate — told The Washington Post tonight that he would ‘take the debate to Iowa and New Hampshire’ instead.” (01/11/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/01/11/rand-paul-bumped-from-main-debate-stage-will-boycott-thursdays-undercard/

—–

6) Man bites dog! Bharara declines to prosecute Cuomo due to “insufficient evidence”
Source: Buffalo News

“U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to prove that anyone in the Cuomo administration, including the governor, committed any federal crimes in the operation and 2014 shutdown of a state anti-corruption commission. Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Manhattan-based Southern District of New York, issued a rare public statement Monday afternoon that appears to effectively end his office’s probe of the Cuomo administration and its handling of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.” [editor’s note: First time I’m aware of that Bharara has let niggling considerations like lack of evidence slow down his racketeering operations. I’d be shocked — shocked! — by any suggestion that party politics played any role in this decision – TLK] (01/11/16)

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/no-federal-crime-found-in-moreland-shutdown-20160111

—–

7) Putin: Sheltering Assad would be easier than Snowden asylum
Source: Bloomberg

“President Vladimir Putin said giving refuge to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad would be much easier than it was for Russia to grant asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, though he dismissed the idea as ‘premature’ in an interview with German newspaper Bild. If presidential elections in Syria are held democratically under a United Nations-sponsored peace plan, ‘then Assad will probably not need to leave the country at all,’ Putin told Bild, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the Kremlin. ‘And it is not important whether he stays as president or not.’ Russia’s harboring of Snowden, accused of making public U.S. [government] surveillance secrets, sparked a major confrontation with the U.S. in 2013.” (01/11/16)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-12/putin-says-sheltering-assad-would-be-easier-than-snowden-asylum

—–

8) Clinton proposes “surcharge” tax on Americans making more than $5 million
Source: Raw Story

“U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday proposed a 4 percent tax on the wealthiest sliver of taxpayers who earn more than $5 million per year. The so-called ‘surcharge’ on the wealthiest 0.02 percent would generate $150 billion over the next decade, according to a Clinton campaign aide. The suggested tax follows Clinton’s promise last month as she campaigned alongside billionaire investor Warren Buffett to build on the ‘Buffett rule,’ which would establish a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those earning more than $1 million per year. Buffett has criticized tax policies that allow the rich to pay lower rates than the middle class.” (01/11/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/clinton-proposes-surcharge-tax-on-americans-making-more-than-5-million-a-year

—–

9) Defiant US fraudster Allen Stanford vows to clear name
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“In his first interview since being indicted in 2009 for masterminding the second-largest Ponzi scheme in history, convicted US fraudster Allen Stanford has told the BBC he is innocent. ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ said the 65-year-old Texan, speaking from a maximum security penitentiary in Florida. ‘Will I apologise? No. Mark my words … I am going to walk out the doors of this place a free man.’ Stanford says his life behind bars is ‘hell.’ He describes being assaulted by fellow inmates in 2009, saying the treatment he received by the authorities after the attack was ‘barbaric.’ Stanford’s lack of contrition is sure to anger the victims of his fraud, thousands of whom have little hope of ever recovering the money they lost in his $7 billion scam.” [editor’s note: Presumably this story isn’t including state Ponzi schemes like “Social Security” in its rankings – TLK] (01/11/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35283297

—–

10) Copper sinks to lowest level since 2009
Source: Reuters

“Copper prices plummeted on Monday to their lowest in 6-1/2 years as large losses on Chinese equity markets reinforced tarnished prospects for growth and demand in the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down 2.2 percent at $4,387 a tonne. The metal used in power and construction earlier touched $4,381, its lowest since May 2009. Chinese markets have had a rough start to the year, buffeted by the falling yuan, two days of stock exchange suspensions last week and weak factory and service sector activity surveys. Chinese stocks ended more than 5 percent down after a 10 percent plunge last week, which triggered a global sell-off of riskier assets.” (01/11/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/global-metals-idUSL3N14V2O220160111

—–

11) FL: Medical marijuana effort hits 500,000 signatures
Source: Smell the Truth

“After a narrow defeat in the prior election, Florida medical marijuana activists are charging back to the ballot box in 2016. The group United for Care has reportedly collected more than 523,168 valid signatures to again place a medical cannabis initiative before Florida voters. United for Care has until Feb.1 to collect 683,149 signatures and qualify the measure for a vote. More than 57 percent of voters turned out to pass medical marijuana in Florida in 2014, but the initiative failed to capture the necessary super-majority vote of 60 percent. Major Republican donor and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson provided 85% of the $6.2 million spent to defeat the initiative. Medical cannabis legalization in Florida was also opposed by former governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio.” (01/11/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/01/11/florida-medical-marijuana-effort-hits-500000-signatures

—–

12) T-Mobile CEO apologizes for EFF F-bomb
Source: CNN Money

“In a blog posted Monday afternoon, [T-Mobile CEO John] Legere said he was sorry for insulting the Electronic Frontier Foundation last week. The spat began last Thursday during a question and answer session on Twitter about T-Mobile’s new Binge On feature. T-Mobile (TMUS) says Binge On allows customers to stream videos from select partners without the data coming out of their monthly plans. Critics say T-Mobile actually throttles, or slows, video content. Treating one kind of content differently than others is a violation of net neutrality principals [sic]. … Legere said, ‘Who the f— are you anyway EFF? Why are you stirring up so much trouble, and who pays you?'” [editor’s note: He shouldn’t have apologized. Where EFF’s money is coming from these days is a perfectly legitimate question given the organization’s complete betrayal of Internet freedom in favor of the FCC’s “net neutrality” power grab – TLK] (01/11/16)

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/11/technology/t-mobile-eff-apology/

—–

13) Study: Prioritizing time over money leads to more happiness
Source: AOL News

“More emphasis placed on time than earning money is linked to greater happiness, according to a study recently published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Half a dozen studies comprising over 4,600 people were undertaken in order to attain the results. Some participants were asked questions having to do with apartment cost relative to commute length and whether graduate programs leading to a higher or lower salary with more or fewer hours was preferable. … Neither gender nor income levels impacted the findings. However, older people were more likely than younger people to value time over money.” [editor’s note: Having stumbled on this, mostly by accident, about 3 or 4 decades ago, I’m happy to see the research support the idea – SAT] (01/10/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/01/10/study-prioritizing-time-over-money-leads-to-more-happiness/21295059

—–

14) Anglican leader hopes meeting can avoid homosexuality split
Source: LaCrosse Tribune

“Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said Monday he hoped this week’s meeting of world Anglican leaders could avoid a split over homosexuality in the worldwide fellowship and lead to ‘finding ways to disagree well.’ However, Welby said there’s little he can do if some of the 38 leaders quit the meeting in Canterbury. Welby is the spiritual head of the 85-million-member Anglican Communion but, unlike a pope, he has no authority to force a compromise. … The communion, a fellowship rooted in the Church of England, has been fracturing for decades over gay relationships and women’s ordination, among other issues. The rifts blew wide open in 2003 when the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States, consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire.” (01/11/16)

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/world/anglican-leader-hopes-meeting-can-avoid-homosexuality-split/article_27ed2276-d91d-53b1-a129-c99f0f687aa6.html

—–

15) Spain: Landmark fraud trial starts for Princess Cristina
Source: Charlotte Observer

“Spain’s Princess Cristina spent 12 hours in court Monday at the start of her landmark criminal case, confronting accusations of bankrolling a lavish lifestyle with funds her husband received from an alleged scheme to embezzle millions from public contracts for conferences and sporting events. Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, said nothing during the opening of their trial as their lawyers and attorneys for 16 additional defendants argued why their clients should have charges dropped and made requests about evidence and witnesses for a trial expected to last six months.” (01/11/16)

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/tv/article54069965.html

—–

16) Lumosity pays US FTC $2 million for allegedly lying about its brain games
Source: Laurel Leader Call

“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week settled with the brain games site, Lumosity, for $2 million, and that could be signaling that the agency is planning to increase its regulation of ad claims and marketing ploys used by those types of sites, according to an article on Fortune. On Tuesday, the FTC announced the settlement, declaring that Lumosity should pay $2 million as compensation for the damage to its subscribers. Lumosity is just one of the companies in a growing brain training industry that has millions of customers. The company advertised that training on these games for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a week, could help users achieve their ‘full potential in every aspect of life,’ according to the FTC complaint.” [editor’s note: Imagine if the FTC had to fork over money every time it made a false claim, as it does with, for example, three times in the three clauses of its mission statement – TLK]

http://leadercall.com/2016/01/lumosity-fined-2-million-for-lying-about-its-brain-games/

—–

17) Iraq: Gunmen storm mall, killing at least 18
Source: Fox News

“Gunmen stormed into a Baghdad mall on Monday after setting off a car bomb and launching a suicide attack at its entrance, killing at least 18 people and wounding 50 in the city’s mainly Shiite east, Iraqi officials said. The officials initially described the attack as a hostage situation, estimating that 50 people were trapped inside the complex. But Iraqi forces soon surrounded the building and landed troops on the roof. They clashed with the attackers inside, killing two of them, arresting another four and declaring the standoff over.” (01/11/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/01/11/gunman-kill-10-in-baghdad-mall-take-hostages-iraqi-officials-say.html

—–

18) Mexico: “El Chapo” in solitary confinement as lawyers fight his extradition to US
Source: ABC News

“A lawyer for Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is trying to ‘initiate a protection for him’ so the drug kingpin can avoid extradition to the U.S. ‘At this moment he cannot be extradited to the United States because there are current protections going on,’ Guzman’s extradition lawyer, Juan Pablo Badillo, told ABC News Sunday. ‘It has been granted a temporary withdrawal, not only to avoid his extradition but also in the unlikely event of being rearrested, being killed, punished or even held. Thank God none of this happened, he is just arrested and his dignity is safe.’ Guzman’s lawyers have already filed six motions to suspend his extradition. The Mexican Attorney General’s office told Mexican media company Televisa that Guzman’s extradition will take at least one year.” (01/11/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/el-chapo-solitary-confinement-lawyers-fight-extradition-us/story?id=36214316

—–

19) North Korea: Regime reportedly arrests US citizen, alleges spying
Source: CBS News

“The government of North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen on suspicion of spying, CNN reported Monday. It said a man identified as Kim Dong Chul was being held by the Pyongyang government and that authorities had accused him of engaging in spying and stealing state secrets. In an interview with a CNN correspondent, Kim said he had traveled extensively in recent years between China and North Korea and had made some trips to South Korea as well. In Washington, a State Department official refused to confirm the story.” (01/11/16)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/american-citizen-kim-dong-chul-north-korea-accused-spying-espionage/

—–

20) Syria: First aid shipment in months reaches besieged Madaya
Source: CNN

“The first shipment of foreign aid since October reached the besieged Syrian city of Madaya on Monday, bringing starving residents to tears at the sight, a United Nations source told CNN. Four trucks carrying food and blankets had moved into the city by about 5.30 p.m. Monday local time, the source said. The rest of the 44-truck convoy, carrying medicine and other supplies, was expected to enter the city shortly afterward, the source said. Shocking images of starving residents of the rebel-held city — under siege by Syrian regime forces and their allies since July — have drawn international attention.” (01/11/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/11/middleeast/syria-madaya-starvation/

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

21) The state of the nation: A dictatorship without tears
Source: OpEdNews
by John W Whitehead

“It doesn’t matter that the government has shown itself to be corrupt, abusive, hostile to citizens who disagree, wasteful and unconcerned about the plight of the average American. For the moment, Americans are continuing to play by the government’s rules. Indeed, Americans may not approve the jobs being done by their elected leaders, and they may have little to no access to those same representatives, but they remain committed to the political process, so much so that they are working themselves into a frenzy over the upcoming presidential election, with contributions to the various candidates nearing $500 million. Yet as Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House shows, no matter how much hope and change were promised, what we’ve ended up with is not only more of the same, but something worse: an invasive, authoritarian surveillance state armed and ready to eliminate any opposition.” (01/11/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-State-of-the-Nation-A-by-John-Whitehead-Fascist_Government_Nullification_Police-160111-522.html

—–

22) Does El Chapo’s arrest mean the drug war is over?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Given all the hoopla in the mainstream press over the arrest of famous Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo,’ some Americans are undoubtedly wondering whether this means that the decades-long U.S. drug war is finally over. The answer is no. Notwithstanding the arrest of El Chapo, the drug war will, like the Energizer Bunny, will keep going and going and going. It’s really the perfect racket, one in which drug dealers and drug lords and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency depend on each other for their existence. Without drug laws and the DEA, there would be no drug lords or drug dealers. And without drug lords and drug dealers, who would need the DEA?” (01/11/16)

http://fff.org/2016/01/11/does-el-chapos-arrest-mean-the-drug-war-is-over/

—–

23) Uber revolutionizes common sense
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Adriano Gianturco & Luciana Lopes

“The Uber revolution has created a surge of support for free markets, although not every Uber advocate realizes what he or she is supporting. Those who use the ride-sharing service know the difference it has made in their lives, and they resent attempts to maintain (or resurrect) the taxi cartels’ political privilege. What’s most surprising is the quality of the arguments Uber’s defenders make on social networks and elsewhere. Not only do they condemn legal barriers to entry; they even talk of the inherently coercive nature of a state-licensed system.” (01/11/16)

http://fee.org/freeman/uber-revolutionizes-common-sense/

—–

24) Teaching young journalists old-school ethics
Source: Cato Institute
by Nat Hentoff

“My introduction to journalism, at the age of 15, was made by a courageous mentor named Frances Sweeney, the tough-as-nails publisher and editor of a small muckraking newspaper, the Boston City Reporter. When Sweeney decided to expand the paper’s coverage from political corruption to an investigation of organized anti-Semitism in Boston — at the time the most anti-Semitic city in the country — she recruited a dozen Jewish teenagers to act as her volunteer undercover operatives. During our first meeting, as described in my memoir Boston Boy, she told us exactly what she expected: ‘What I want from you is facts. A fact is something that can be proved, and you will bring me the proof with each fact you bring me. Anything that is not a fact is an opinion. I do not want your opinions. In this newspaper, only the editor has opinions, but they are of no use unless they are based on facts.'” (01/11/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/teaching-young-journalists-old-school-ethics

—–

25) Two ranchers, two fires, too long behind bars
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“The occupation of buildings at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of armed and disgruntled ranchers has brought national attention to a case that illustrates the injustices wrought by mandatory minimum sentences. The men who took over the buildings on January 2, led by Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy, broke off from a protest in support of Dwight and Steven Hammond, father-and-son Oregon ranchers who were each sentenced to five years in federal prison for setting brush-clearing fires that spread to public land. Unfortunately, the intense hostility that the occupation has aroused among progressives has overshadowed a case that otherwise could help advance a transideological alliance in favor of reforming our excessively rigid and punitive criminal justice system, which is especially rigid and punitive in its treatment of drug offenders.” (01/11/16)

https://reason.com/archives/2016/01/11/two-ranchers-two-fires-too-long-behind-b

—–

26) A new look at a forgotten egalitarian
Source: Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

“Back in America’s original Gilded Age, in the decades right after the Civil War, no American spoke and wrote more compellingly against the nation’s growing inequality than Henry George, a Philadelphia-born journalist whose writing career initially took off in San Francisco. George’s immensely popular 1879 book, Progress and Poverty, sold millions of copies, and the reform plan he championed (what become known as the ‘single tax,’ a levy to prevent landowners from deriving any profit from mere ownership) captivated a significant chunk of his generation. In 1897, at George’s death, over 100,000 people walked past his coffin in New York’s Grand Central Station. Many thousands more marched in his honor after the funeral service. In the 19th century, only Presidents Lincoln and Grant went out amid comparable glory.” [editor’s note: Given that some libertarians ascribe to the Georgist ideas as a transition from IRS and similar tyrannies, this should at least provoke some comments – SAT] (01/11/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160111/a-new-look-at-a-forgotten-egalitarian

—–

27) Rule of law and civilization’s fall
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Rule of law? Following up on my commentary on the fall of Euro-American Civilization, and the rule of law, is this story. Sky reports that 78-year-old James McConnell, a preacher in Northern Island, has been cleared of charges in a Crown Court. The chargers were that he was ‘making improper use of a public electronics communications network and of causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.’ His ‘crime’ was calling Islam a false, Satanic, religion and having his sermon broadcast on-line. The Crown was not prosecuting him for ‘his beliefs’ but for his words; funny, I can’t find where you draw the line. The judge (no jury allowed) found him not guilty, but the apparent goal of the Crown prosecution and police was accomplished: to dictate what can and cannot be preached ‘publicly’ in Northern Ireland and perhaps ALL of the United Kingdom.” (01/11/16)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=8418

—–

28) Obama’s foreign policy far from victorious
Source: USA Today
by US Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R-CA]

“It looks like the president is going to spend part of his State of the Union address trumpeting his foreign policy ‘leadership.’ I find this baffling. Does he really believe the world has become safer and more secure since he took office? … [laundry list inserted] … If he truly thinks we have a winning foreign policy, the president’s machinations are ignorant, bordering on delusional. America’s voice and more importantly, actions, are largely dismissed abroad. Foreign aggressors have taken this era of American weakness to do as they please, which has resulted in a more dangerous and anarchic international system.” [editor’s note: This is example of the knee-jerk paranoia endemic to the GOP warmongers – SAT] (01/11/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/01/11/president-obama-state-union-address-foreign-policy-failures-mccarthy-column/78602176

—–

29) 17th-century “assault weapons”
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by Mike Blessing

“First, the very term ‘assault weapon’ is a nonsensical phrase intended to cause confusion amongst the members of the public who aren’t familiar with firearms, specifically to incite fear of said firearms amongst those same people. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the inane notion that ‘the Founders didn’t forsee today’s weapons such as the AK-47 or AR-15 — thus the Second Amendment only applies to single-shot muskets and flintlocks.’ The fact remains that the Founders were familiar with multiple-shot firearms, as such had been developed in Europe over a century before the Revolution: For starters, there’s the Kalthoff repeater.” (01/10/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle854-20160110-04.html

—–

30) Oregon standoff: Isolated event or sign of things to come?
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“The nation’s attention turned to Oregon this week when a group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom seized control of part of a federal wildlife refuge. The citizens were protesting the harsh sentences given to members of the Hammond ranching family. The Hammonds were accused of allowing fires set on their property to spread onto federal land. The Hammonds were prosecuted under a federal terrorism statute. This may seem odd, but many prosecutors are stretching the definition of terrorism in order to, as was the case here, apply the mandatory minimum sentences or otherwise violate defendants’ constitutional rights.” (01/11/16)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/ron-paul-oregon-standoff-isolated-event-sign-things-come

—–

31) The “apolitical” insurrectionist who taught us wow to rebel
Source: The Nation
by John Nichols

“Forty years ago, David Bowie told an interviewer, ‘I’d love to enter politics. I will one day. I’d adore to be prime minister.’ Rock stars have gone into politics, in Bowie’s Britain and around the world. But it was never a serious ambition for this particular rocker, whose death Sunday at age 69 shocked a world that Bowie had proven could be changed by more than elections and economics. Like his intellectual icon, the unruly and unconfined socialist George Orwell, Bowie eschewed ideological predictability for boundary-breaking expeditions along the frontiers of cultural change. David Bowie declared himself ‘apolitical.’ Yet he taught us how to rebel.” (01/11/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/david-bowie-the-apolitical-insurrectionist-who-taught-us-how-to-rebel

—–

32) Why are angry ranchers being called terrorists?
Source: spiked
by Frank Furedi

“What’s interesting about commentators’ attempts to represent a local dispute over land as morally equivalent to a jihadist terrorist attack is the cavalier, indiscriminate way in which they apply the label ‘terrorist.’ After all, as Janell at least concedes, the Oregon ranchers haven’t actually perpetrated an act of terror. There have been no reports of violence, injury or of anyone being held against their will. So why are commentators trying to characterise the standoff as a terrorist incident, and the ranchers as terrorists?” (01/11/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/why-are-angry-ranchers-being-called-terrorists/17794

—–

33) Randal O’Toole on The Bob Zadek Show
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“The Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole (aka the @antiplanner) returns to the show to discuss the epidemic of rising rents in metropolitan areas across America.” [various formats] (01/10/16)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2016/1/8/randal-otoole-on-rising-rents

—–

34) Cruz’s collateral damage: Why so few Americans care about dead civilians
Source: In These Times
by Rick Shenkman

“After Senator Ted Cruz suggested that the United States begin carpet bombing Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria, the reaction was swift. Hillary Clinton mocked candidates who use ‘bluster and bigotry.’ Jeb Bush insisted the idea was ‘foolish.’ … When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer objected that Cruz’s proposal would lead to lots of civilian casualties, the senator retorted somewhat incoherently: ‘You would carpet bomb where ISIS is — not a city, but the location of the troops. You use air power directed — and you have embedded special forces to direction the air power. But the object isn’t to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists.’ PolitiFact drily noted that Cruz apparently didn’t understand what the process of carpet (or ‘saturation’) bombing entails. By definition, it means bombing a wide area regardless of the human cost.” (01/11/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18744/ted-cruz-collateral-damage-why-so-few-americans-care-about-dead-civilians

—–

35) Why should Volkswagen be investigated for emission deception, but not government agencies?
Source: Heartland Institute
by Paul Driessen

“The heat is on! Not the unusual winter warmth in much of the United States — but the unrelenting heat generated by propaganda and pressure campaigns that the White House, EPA, Big Green and news media are unleashing in the wake of the Paris climate agreement … and as a prelude to the 2016 elections.” (01/11/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/01/why-should-volkswagen-be-investigated-for-emission-deception-but-not-government-agencies/

—–

36) Rationalism, pluralism, and federalism
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Will Baude

“We know the public-choice spillover arguments for why war and commerce are better handled at the national level, but they don’t tell us whether the federal government should be able to make contested choices about education, crime, or equality, and they don’t explain the proper scope of rights guaranteed against the states or whether those rights ought to be expanded. I take Jacob’s conclusion to be there is no a prior answer or definitive resolution to this question. That insight matches something I have noticed about the federal constitution: The U.S. Constitution also does not reflect a categorical or even fixed view of the proper scope of federal power. Instead it sets several different structures through which the scope of federal power can be debated.” (01/11/16)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/01/rationalism-pluralism-and-federalism/

—–

37) Health insurers’ consensus on ObamaCare is collapsing
Source: Independent Institute
by John R Graham

“The health insurance industry is undergoing a crisis of consensus on how to respond to the failure of Obamacare. That is the only way to interpret the departure of another large, national carrier, Aetna, from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). This follows UnitedHealth Group’s departure from the industry’s trade group last June …” (01/11/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/01/11/health-insurers-consensus-on-obamacare-is-collapsing/

—–

38) Why Republicans wouldn’t actually repeal Obamacare
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“Last week, in a bold example of their governing prowess, congressional Republicans took their 62nd vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and this time they actually passed it through both houses and sent it to President Obama to be vetoed. Naturally, they were exultant at their triumph. … What we know for sure is this: If a Republican wins the White House this November, he’ll make repeal of the ACA one of his first priorities, whether there’s a replacement ready or not. To listen to them talk, the only division between the candidates is whether they’ll do it on their first day in the Oval Office, in their first hour, or in the limo on the way back from the inauguration. But I’ve got news for you: They aren’t going to do it, at least not in the way they’re promising. Because it would be an absolute catastrophe.” [editor’s note: Mr. Waldman is correct that the repeal would have political disaster within it, but without some major shift so will bankruptcy for the system that claims to fund this scheme – SAT] (01/10/16)

http://prospect.org/article/why-republicans-wouldnt-actually-repeal-obamacare

—–

39) A mental experiment for those who deny that minimum wages destroy jobs
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Obviously, no one proposes that low-skilled workers become less productive or that they become more prone to commit employee theft. Nor does anyone propose that government mandate a minimum-hourly-break time. But it’s a useful test of someone’s belief that minimum wages (even ‘modest’ ones) cause no reductions in employment options for low-skilled workers for that someone to ask himself or herself if he or she believes that, say, an increased general tendency of low-skilled workers to be tipsy while on the job will also not reduce firms’ desires to employ such workers.” (01/11/16)

http://cafehayek.com/2016/01/a-mental-experiment-for-those-who-deny-that-minimum-wages-destroy-jobs.html

—–

40) Will GOP identity politics doom Marco Rubio?
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“If you had judged the state of the Republican primary one month ago by surveying the elite punditry of the moment, you would’ve come away with the sense that Marco Rubio was a runaway favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination. This assessment stood in stark contrast with both national and early state polls, none of which showed (or today show) Rubio anywhere close to the lead, and only one of which (New Hampshire) had him holding a tenuous grasp on distant second. The logic underlying the pro-Rubio analysis, rooted in the perfectly plausible assumption that Rubio’s support will climb as the Republican field winnows, isn’t entirely unfounded. The field of candidates who could plausibly gain significant numbers of endorsements within the party is much more fractured than the field of ‘insurgent’ candidates. If and when the former field shrinks, the thinking goes, Rubio stands to consolidate enough support to find himself in league with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Unless, of course, he doesn’t.” (01/11/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/127324/will-gops-identity-politics-doom-marco-rubio

—–

41) Law in the tooth
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Why did Dr. Ben Burris give up his orthodontic license? Where did he go wrong? Dr. Burris broke the law. He flagrantly violated the hallowed precepts of the Arkansas Dental Practices Act. Let me rinse and spit out the truth: This dentist illegally cleaned people’s teeth. Not just once — he did it again and again. Often twice a year per patient — or victim, depending on your viewpoint. Plus, brace yourself, he didn’t merely scrub their choppers, he did so — get this — at very low cost. We need strong laws to stop such scoundrels.” (01/11/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/01/11/law-in-the-tooth/

—–

42) Would Reagan be nominated today?
Source: The American Conservative
by Donald Devine

“All of the Republican presidential candidates compare themselves to Ronald Reagan. But almost every media outlet from the mainstream to the blogosphere predicts that Reagan would not even be able to win the Republican nomination if he were running for president today. … The nonpartisan CROWDPAC website has created an empirical measure of issue positions and group support to compare today’s candidates in a more objective manner. Fortunately, it calculated a Reagan score too.” (01/11/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-gipper-and-the-gop/

—–

43) Election year anti-crime posturing could derail even limited sentencing reform
Source: The Intercept
by Natasha Lennard

“In June, Politico published an article titled ‘Riots spur Senate look at sentencing reform.’ It was a causal stretch for which I’ll blame the vagaries of clickbait, but it conveyed a kernel of truth. Riots have historically prompted placation-aimed reforms. At the same time, decarceration efforts are now more palatable for tough-on-crime politicians, thanks to the existence of a vast nexus of technologies to surveil and control those deemed criminal, offering grim assurance that the carceral state is well-established beyond prison walls. But as we head into 2016, an election year hinged on Trumpian racism and bombast could threaten to sideline even the most muted of criminal justice reform bills.” (01/11/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/11/sentencing-reform-mandatory-minimums-election-surveillance-drug-treatment/

—–

44) Well, they do actually have a point here on taxing public pensions
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“Pensions are simply deferred pay. If their pay, that they’ve already earned, is now being reduced then they’ve every right to scream blue bloody murder. However, let’s do this properly shall we? Let’s now seriously, when comparing public and private pay, include the full value of those pensions in our calculations of that public pay. For when we do so we find that the public sector gets paid very much better than the private sector. Which is, of course, why those unions scream blue bloody murder when we point this out, the effects of those pensions.” (01/11/16)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/welfare-pensions/well-they-do-actually-have-a-point-here-on-taxing-public-pensions/

—–

45) Individualism is battling the politically managed mind in the 21st century
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“Wherever we turn we are confronted with politicians, political pundits, television talking heads, and editorial page commentators, all of whom offer an array of plans, programs, and projects that will solve the problems of the world — if only government is given the power and authority to remake society in the design proposed. Even many of those who claim to be suspicious of ‘big government’ and the Washington beltway powers-that-be, invariably offer their own versions of plans, programs, and projects they assert are compatible with or complementary to a free society.” (01/11/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/individualism-is-battling-the-politically-managed-mind-in-the-21st-century/

—–

46) Is the auto loan bubble ready to pop?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Tommy Behnke

“On Tuesday, it was announced that over seventeen million new vehicles were sold in 2015, the highest it’s ever been in United States history. While the media claims that this record has been reached because of drastic improvements to the US economy, they are once again failing to account for the central factor: credit expansion. When interest rates are kept artificially low, individuals are misled into spending more than they otherwise would. In hindsight, they discover that their judgment errors wreaked havoc on their financial well-being. This is a lesson that the country should have learned from the Subprime Crisis of 2008.” (01/11/16)

https://mises.org/library/auto-loan-bubble-ready-pop

—–

47) The great forgetting
Source: OpEdNews
by Chris Hedges

“Presidential candidate Donald Trump may be boorish, narcissistic, stupid, racist and elitist, but he does not have Hillary Clinton’s carefully honed and chilling amoral artifice. It was she, and an ethically bankrupt liberal establishment, that created the fertile ground for Trump by fleecing the citizens on behalf of corporations and imposing the neoliberal project. If she is elected, Trump may disappear, but another Trump-like figure, probably even more frightening, will be vomited up from our cultural and political sewer. Trump and Clinton, along with fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, refuse to admit what they know: Our most basic civil and political rights have been taken from us, the corporate oligarchy will remain entrenched in power no matter who wins the presidency, and elections are a carnival act.” (01/11/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Great-Forgetting-by-Chris-Hedges-Artists_Corporations_Great-Power-Game_Intellectuals-160111-688.html

—–

48) The hypocrisy of Obama’s gun control crusade
Source: CounterPunch
by Garry Leech

“President Barack Obama took to the stage last week to announce the latest initiative in his crusade to make it more difficult for Americans to purchase firearms. He even shed some tears for American children killed in mass shootings. But there is a blatant hypocrisy in Obama’s position on domestic gun control given that he has bombed more countries during his time in office than any president since World War Two. Where are his tears for the innocent Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, Libyan, Syrian, Somalian and Yemeni children who have been killed by his use of drones and other weapons?” (01/11/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/11/the-hypocrisy-of-obamas-gun-control-crusade/

—–

49) Can the government fix its corps of managers?
Source: The Atlantic
by Nora Kelly

“Forty years ago, Congress set out to fix the government’s broken bureaucracy. It worried that the political appointees who head federal agencies didn’t have solid relationships with the civil servants below them. So it established a new corps of government workers, called the Senior Executive Service, to be the executive branch’s expert managers, linking appointees to the rank-and-file. But today, a new report finds, the corps isn’t operating the way it’s supposed to be. And officials — from the Obama administration, to members of Congress, to the managers themselves — agree that they still haven’t perfected the art of running the federal government.” [editor’s note: It shouldn’t be THAT hard to fix these government employees — is there no one in Washington who knows how to Google “castration forceps?” – TLK] (01/11/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/01/senior-executive-service/423435/

—–

50) Free Talk Live, 01/10/16
Source: Free Talk Live

“Ride Sharing :: Yellow Cab SF to File For Bankruptcy :: Cabbie Switches Sides to UBER :: Arbitration :: UBER Drivers in CA Sue :: Contractors vs Employees :: Ralph in NJ :: CA Whiners :: Obama Hypo :: IRS Contractor Test :: Philly UBER Drivers Sue :: Pay Off the Politicians?” [Flash audio or MP3] (11/10/16)

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/241371845″ params=”visual=true&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=576&maxheight=864″ width=”100%” height=’400′ iframe=”true” /]

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****