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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,910
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
444 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.com

Please forward this email to your friends so
they can subscribe too at http://eepurl.com/bSo8ST
*****

In the News:

1) Israel: Police recommend charging Netanyahu with bribery in two cases
2) UK: Judge upholds Assange’s continued unlawful detention
3) Trump regime fights against releasing details on national monument decision
4) Cryptocurrency users to IRS: Go f*ck yourselves, thieves
5) US intel gang tries to resuscitate “Russian meddling” bogeyman for 2018 midterms
6) TN: Corker “listening” to those urging him to rethink retirement
7) PA: Ivanka Trump touts business tax cuts in political hotspot
8) Colorado: Regime shuts down funeral home operated by body parts broker
9) Trump’s move to end DACA program blocked by second judge
10) WV: Officer fired after refusing to shoot man with gun settles lawsuit for $175,000
11) Study: Alcohol more harmful to brain than cannabis
12) Wray’s timeline on Porter security clearance contradicts White House
13) Letter with white powder for Trump Jr. calls him “awful,” says he’ll “get what he deserves”
14) IL: Off-duty police officer shot and killed in downtown Chicago
15) Rival to Nebraska’s governor becomes Democrat to bolster chances
16) Syria: Regime rejects UN-led committee to alter constitution
17) UK: Commonwealth in secret succession plans
18) Indian, Pakistani regimes rattle sabers after Kashmir gun battle
19) Musk: New SpaceX drone ship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, coming to east coast
20) NJ: Idiot pol resigns after comparing immigrants to raccoons
21) UK: Regime unveils machine learning technology to improve Internet censorship efficiency
22) Snowden ribs White House over security clearance backlog
23) Germany: Court says Facebook breaking law in how it collects personal data
24) Palestine: Judge orders secret hearing in abducted teen’s “trial” for slapping invaders
25) MD: Baltimore cops found guilty of racketeering, robbery in Gun Trace Task Force corruption case

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Roving bandit, stationary bandit, and income tax
27) Purpose versus excuse: Why Congress might buy Trump’s food stamp reform plan
28) The promise of smart contracts
29) The military industrial complex strikes again
30) Exit scans are here
31) Establishment Republicans can no longer claim to be fiscal conservatives
32) I’m not “gutting” CFPB
33) We don’t need new laws for faked videos, we already have them
34) From inmates to entrepreneurs
35) Don’t cheer minimum-wage hikes, they’re killing millions of jobs
36) Do risk preferences account for 1.4 percentage points of the gender pay gap?
37) No due process for Trump’s assasinees
38) Forget Trump, his party [sic] Is the problem now
39) The most libertarian towns in America
40) The local struggle against extremism
41) Coal jobs won’t come back, but there are other ways to help coal country
42) The problem with Oxfam isn’t just a few dirty men
43) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 20
44) Trump’s big buyback bamboozle
45) Maybe the government won’t screw up Bitcoin after all
46) How progressives can criticize Trump’s $7 trillion deficit without preaching austerity
47) To spend or not to spend
48) Trump administration’s North Korea trap is set
49) The GOP deficit scam will never die
50) Terror victims Donald Trump won’t talk about: Americans killed by the alt-right
51) Just when does Venezuela need to build a wall?
52) Only pro-lifers address abortion’s core moral question
53) Is Paul Krugman now too conservative for our textbooks?
54) The UK’s hidden hand in Julian Assange’s detention
55) Exploring the ethics of trade “retaliation”
56) Threat assessment
57) They couldn’t even defund NPR
58) Tolstoy testament
59) End space station funding right now
60) True grit

The Sound and the Fury:

61) The Libertarian Angle, 02/13/18
62) Stossel: Silk Road founder jailed, drug sales up
63) Political Research Digest, episode 10
64) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 135
65) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/13/18
66) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/13/18
67) Tenther Tuesday, episode 26
68) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 43
69) James Bovard on Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
70) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 148
71) Free Talk Live, 02/12/18
72) Should the sex offender registry be abolished?
73) bloggingheads.tv, 02/12/18

vvvvv SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS! vvvvv

UNCHAINING THE HUMAN HEART: A REVOLUTIONARY MANIFESTO
by J. Neil Schulman

TIPPING POINT: A NOVEL BY FRANK CLARKE
http://tinyurl.com/TipgPt2

Tyranny Demands AN ACT OF SELF-DEFENSE: A NOVEL BY ERNE LEWIS
http://www.tinyurl.com/elewis

^^^^^ SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS ^^^^^

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

1) Israel: Police recommend charging Netanyahu with bribery in two cases
Source: Haaretz [Israel]

“The Israeli police announced on Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took bribes in two separate cases and acted ‘against public interests.’ The two cases are the so-called Case 1000 — in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests — and Case 2000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom. … Netanyahu addressed the public in a live broadcast at 8:45 P.M., saying that he has worked for Israel all his life and vowing to remain the country’s prime minister. The prime minister has maintained he did nothing wrong, claiming on numerous occasions that ‘there will be nothing, because there is nothing.’” (02/13/18)

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/police-set-to-publish-recommendations-in-netanyahu-corruption-probes-1.5812016

—–

2) UK: Judge upholds Assange’s continued unlawful detention
Source: The Hill

“A British judge on Tuesday rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s plea for British authorities to drop legal action against him for jumping his bail in 2012. Reuters reported that Judge Emma Arbuthnot refused to drop a years-old arrest warrant on Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for 5 1/2 years. … The ruling was the latest hit to Assange’s effort to leave the embassy he has inhabited for years. The Ecuadorian government granted the WikiLeaks founder citizenship last month and requested that British authorities grant him diplomatic status to allow him to leave the country. That request was rejected.” (02/13/18)

http://thehill.com/policy/international/373582-uk-judge-rejects-assange-plea-to-drop-legal-action-against-him

—–

3) Trump regime fights against releasing details on national monument decision
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The U.S. government says it does not have to release documents involving legal arguments for President Donald Trump’s decision to shrink national monuments because they are protected presidential communications. The Department of Justice made a more detailed request of a federal judge in Idaho last week to dismiss a lawsuit from an environmental law firm, one of several tied to the monument reductions. Forcing the documents to be made public ‘would disrupt the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional responsibilities,’ the filing says. Justice Department attorneys also said that their release would disrupt the attorney-client relationship between the department’s Office of Legal Counsel and its clients in the executive branch. The Boise-based firm Advocates for the West sued for 12 documents withheld from a public records request related to Trump’s decision to reduce two sprawling monuments in Utah. He also is considering scaling back other monuments.” (02/13/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Trump-fights-releasing-details-on-national-12610894.php

—–

4) Cryptocurrency users to IRS: Go f*ck yourselves, thieves
Source: CNBC

“A tiny fraction of Americans are reporting their cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS, according to a study from Credit Karma Tax. Fewer than 100 of 250,000 federal tax returns prepared and filed so far this year through the company have filed a Form 8949 for cryptocurrency gains and losses, Credit Karma said Tuesday. That’s less than 0.04 percent of filers. … A survey from LendEDU and conducted by Pollfish in November found that slightly more than a third of respondents were not planing to report their bitcoin transactions to the IRS.” (02/13/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/barely-anyone-is-paying-the-taxes-they-owe-on-their-bitcoin-gains.html

—–

5) US intel gang tries to resuscitate “Russian meddling” bogeyman for 2018 midterms
Source: US News & World Report

“U.S. intelligence agencies warn that Russia — among other countries posing cybersecurity threats — will continue [sic] to meddle in U.S. politics with an eye on the 2018 congressional elections, according to a new worldwide threat assessment and accompanying testimony from top intelligence officials on Tuesday. … The decisive conclusions from the Trump administration’s senior advisers on intelligence come amid ongoing criticism of the president’s shifting responses to questions about whether he believes Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election and of his accusations that the intelligence community itself was politicized.” [editor’s note: So far, publicly released “evidence” for the 2016 “meddling” charge comes down to some cheesy Facebook ads. Does anyone actually believe it any more? – TLK] (02/13/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-02-13/intel-report-russia-set-to-meddle-in-2018-congressional-elections

—–

6) TN: Corker “listening” to those urging him to rethink retirement
Source: Fox News

“Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is ‘listening’ amid encouragement from some Republicans to rethink his decision not to run for re-election this year, according to a spokesman for the GOP lawmaker. ‘In recent days, people across Tennessee have reached out to Senator Corker with concerns about the outcome of this election because they believe it could determine control of the Senate and the future of our agenda,’ Micah Johnson, a Corker spokesman, told Fox News. ‘The senator has been encouraged to reconsider his decision and is listening closely.’ … But those close to Corker acknowledge he would need to move swiftly to jump back into campaign mode. The filing deadline in Tennessee is April 5. Other Republicans, including the conservative Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, have already been campaigning for the position. There are concerns, though, from some Republicans that Democrats would have a decent shot at flipping the seat …” (02/13/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/13/tennessee-sen-bob-corker-listening-to-those-urging-him-to-rethink-retirement.html

—–

7) PA: Ivanka Trump touts business tax cuts in political hotspot
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A visit to suburban Pittsburgh by President Donald Trump’s daughter makes it the third time a senior administration official has dropped in on the political hotspot of 2018’s first congressional election. Ivanka Trump and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon met on Tuesday with business owners and Republican state lawmakers in Mount Lebanon, where Trump touted tax-cutting legislation her father signed. Sitting beside Trump was state Rep. Rick Saccone, the Republican running in March 13’s special election to fill the seat left vacant by Republican Tim Murphy’s resignation amid an abortion scandal. Saccone is facing Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor.” (02/13/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Ivanka-Trump-touts-business-tax-cuts-in-political-12611104.php

—–

8) Colorado: Regime shuts down funeral home operated by body parts broker
Source: Reuters

“Colorado officials indefinitely shut down the funeral home and crematory this week of a woman who runs a side business selling donated body parts from the same building. In its order, issued Monday, the state’s Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration suspended operations at Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors after saying that cremated remains returned to one donor were analyzed by the family and found to be concrete, not human ashes. The action against Sunset Mesa and its owner, Megan Hess, comes after an FBI raid last week.” (02/13/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-bodies-suspension/colorado-shuts-down-funeral-home-operated-by-body-parts-broker-idUSKCN1FX2W7

—–

9) Trump’s move to end DACA program blocked by second judge
Source: Bloomberg

“U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to end a program protecting hundreds of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants from deportation was blocked by a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York. It’s the second time in less than two months that a U.S. judge ruled that rescinding the Obama-era program as proposed would be illegal. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled Tuesday that the government hasn’t offered legally adequate reasons for ending the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA. The judge issued a preliminary ruling which ordered the government to keep processing renewal requests, echoing the Jan. 9 ruling of U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco.” (02/13/18)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-13/trump-s-move-to-end-daca-program-blocked-by-second-u-s-judge

—–

10) WV: Officer fired after refusing to shoot man with gun settles lawsuit for $175,000
Source: Fox News

“A West Virginia police officer who was fired after he refused to shoot a man who had a gun has settled a wrongful termination lawsuit for $175,000. Stephen Mader, 27, claimed he did nothing wrong in May 2016 when he tried to persuade R.J. Williams, 23, of McKees Rocks, Pa., to put down his weapon. Mader was an officer with the Weirton Police Department in West Virginia at the time of the incident. Another officer later saw Williams with his gun raised and fatally shot him. Williams'[s] gun was unloaded. Mader said he determined Williams, a black man, wanted to die by ‘suicide by a cop.’ Mader, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, said he believed he did the right thing and that his firing was unjustified. In a statement, he said he was ‘happy to put this chapter of my life to bed. My hope is that no other person on either end of a police call has to go through this again.’ Mader said Williams did not pose a risk of death of bodily injury to himself or others.” (02/13/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/13/west-virginia-officer-fired-after-refusing-to-shoot-man-with-gun-settles-lawsuit-for-175000.html

—–

11) Study: Alcohol more harmful to brain than cannabis
Source: Smell the Truth

“Alcohol poses a far greater threat to brain health than marijuana, according to new research. In a new study published by the medical journal Addiction, experts from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder found that alcohol consumption was linked to lowered volumes of brain tissue. Researchers observed the brain images of 853 adults between the ages 18 to 55, and 439 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. All participants varied in their consumption of alcohol and cannabis. They found long-term changes to both gray matter and white matter in the brain in alcohol users, particularly in adults who had been drinking for several years. In comparison, adults and teens who only used marijuana showed no significant changes in brain structure.” (02/12/18)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2018/02/12/alcohol-more-harmful-to-brain-than-marijuana-study-finds

—–

12) Wray’s timeline on Porter security clearance contradicts White House
Source: CBS News

“FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday that the FBI followed protocol and procedures with its background investigation for the security clearance of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. His timeline of events, however, does not match the timing that has been put forth by members of the Trump administration. … The White House said it was originally informed of the Porter allegations by the FBI in November, though Wray said the investigation was completed in July. Porter was still working under an interim security clearance while the FBI conducted its background investigation and reported its findings to the White House.” (02/13/18)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-director-christopher-wrays-timeline-on-rob-porter-security-clearance-contradicts-white-house/

—–

13) Letter with white powder for Trump Jr. calls him “awful,” says he’ll “get what he deserves”
Source: Fox News

“The written contents of an envelope containg a white powder received Monday by Donald Trump Jr.’s wife said the president’s son would get what he ‘deserves,’ the NYPD confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday. ‘You’re an awful person and now you get what you deserve,’ the threatening note read, according to police. President Trump’s daughter-in-law, Vanessa, opened the letter addressed to her husband around 10 a.m. She was subsequently taken to the hospital as a precaution, along with two others, police said.” (02/13/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/13/letter-with-white-powder-for-trump-jr-calls-him-awful-says-hell-get-what-deserves.html

—–

14) IL: Off-duty police officer shot and killed in downtown Chicago
Source: CBS News

“An off-duty police officer was shot and killed at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The officer was later identified as 53-year-old Cmdr. Paul Bauer of the city’s 18th District. Tactical officers were on routine patrol Tuesday and observed an ‘individual’ acting suspiciously around 2:30 p.m. When they tried speak with the individual, a physical struggle ensued and the person escaped, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference. Bauer, a 31-year veteran, was in the area, overheard police radio transmission and confronted the individual, Johnson said. An armed physical confrontation ensued and Bauer was shot multiple times, he added.” (02/13/18)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-bauer-chicago-police-officer-shot-killed-james-r-thompson-center/

—–

15) Rival to Nebraska’s governor becomes Democrat to bolster chances
Source: Raw Story

“A state senator who entered Nebraska’s gubernatorial race as an independent said on Tuesday he had joined the Democratic Party to bolster his bid to unseat Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. Report Advertisement ‘I have 90 days before the May 15 Primary Election to introduce myself to Nebraskans registered in the Democratic Party and to earn their trust,’ said Bob Krist of Omaha, who changed his voter registration on Monday. Ricketts, whose family founded TD Ameritrade and owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, won his first term in office in 2014, beating Democrat Chuck Hassebrook 57 percent to 39 percent. Krist, a pilot and Air Force veteran, was appointed to Nebraska’s non-partisan single-chamber legislature in 2009 by then-Republican Governor Dave Heineman. Krist was elected to the seat as a Republican in 2010 and 2014 but announced in July he would run for governor as an independent.” (02/13/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/rival-nebraskas-governor-becomes-democrat-bolster-chances

—–

16) Syria: Regime rejects UN-led committee to alter constitution
Source: Reuters

“Syria’s government on Tuesday rejected efforts led by the United Nations to form a committee to rewrite Syria’s constitution, the main result of a peace congress among Syrian groups in Russia last month. ‘As a state, we are not bound by, nor have any relation with, any committee that is not Syrian formed, led and constituted,’ said Ayman Soussan, an assistant to the Syrian Foreign Minister, at a press conference in Damascus. ‘We are not bound by anything that is formed by foreign sides, whatever their name or state, we are not bound by it and it is of no concern to us,’ he added. … The main opposition negotiating group, which boycotted the Sochi meeting, said afterwards that it would cooperate with the formation of a constitutional committee so long as it would be under U.N. auspices.” [editor’s note: Much more polite than the US regime would likely be if the UN announced its intent to re-write the US Constitution – TLK] (02/13/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-constitution/syrian-government-rejects-u-n-led-committee-to-alter-constitution-idUSKBN1FX1EO

—–

17) UK: Commonwealth in secret succession plans
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Commonwealth [of Nations] has secretly begun considering who might succeed the Queen as its head, the BBC has learned. The issue is hugely sensitive because the role is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales on the Queen’s death. The Commonwealth has set up a ‘high level group’ to look at the way the international organisation is governed. This group is meeting later, officially to review how the Commonwealth is run by its secretariat and governors. It said the issue of the succession of the head of the Commonwealth was not part of the group’s mandate, but described the day-long discussions as ‘open.’ However, senior sources added that the gathering in London would also consider what happens when the Queen, who turns 92 in April, dies.” (02/13/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43040240

—–

18) Indian, Pakistani regimes rattle sabers after Kashmir gun battle
Source: US News & World Report

“India has warned Pakistan that it would pay for a deadly militant attack on an Indian army camp in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, the latest violence in the disputed region to stoke tension between the nuclear-armed rivals. Pakistan responded by saying it was ‘fully committed and capable of defending itself against any act of aggression’ and India had unfairly blamed it for the attack ‘without a shred of evidence.’ Saturday’s attack on the camp near Jammu, in the Indian-controlled part of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, was the worst in months with six soldiers and the father of a soldier killed. At least three militants were killed, according to Indian officials.” (02/13/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-13/india-says-pakistan-will-pay-after-kashmir-army-camp-attack

—–

19) Musk: New SpaceX drone ship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, coming to east coast
Source: WTSP 10 News

“A new SpaceX drone ship currently under construction will help the company handle increased launch operations and likely call the Space Coast home, CEO Elon Musk said Monday. The company’s third ship, named A Shortfall of Gravitas, will join Of Course I Still Love You for East Coast booster landing operations, Musk said via Twitter in response to FLORIDA TODAY. The latter is based at Port Canaveral and returns Falcon 9 boosters to facilities near the port for post-launch checkouts. … SpaceX operates its third ship, named Just Read the Instructions, on the West Coast for launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base.” (02/13/18)

http://www.wtsp.com/article/tech/science/space/elon-musk-new-spacex-drone-ship-a-shortfall-of-gravitas-coming-to-east-coast/67-518117412

—–

20) NJ: Idiot pol resigns after comparing immigrants to raccoons
Source: NJ.com

“Mendham Township Deputy Mayor Rick Blood resigned late Monday night after igniting a firestorm with his Facebook post comparing undocumented immigrants to raccoons in a basement and lauding President Trump as the exterminator. Blood’s resignation was announced to applause at the end of a three-hour Township Committee meeting. He was rebuked by about 30 speakers during a protracted public session and repeatedly urged to resign. … Blood apologized to the 70 in attendance and said he would resign if asked by his colleagues. ‘It was insensitive at best and it was cruel at the worst. I am most heartily sorry,’ Blood said of an eight-paragraph Facebook post that he did not author, but copied from someone he declined to identify. Versions of the post have circulated among Trump supporters for more than two years and mirror remarks in April 2016 by Carl Paladino, who co-chaired Trump’s campaign in New York.” (02/13/18)

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2018/02/deputy_mayor_resigns_after_getting_huge_backlash_o.html

—–

21) UK: Regime unveils machine learning technology to improve Internet censorship efficiency
Source: CNBC

“The U.K. government has released details of a tool that it says can automatically detect terrorist content on any online platform with incredible accuracy. Developed by the U.K. Home Office and artificial intelligence firm ASI Data Science, the innovative technology uses ‘advanced machine learning’ to analyze both the visuals and audio of a video. This enables it to decide whether the content could be propaganda for the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS. … [UK Home Secretary Amber] Rudd is visiting Silicon Valley where she will meet with communication service providers to [pressure them to cooperate with the regime’s censorship program].” (02/13/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/uk-unveils-machine-learning-technology-to-fight-isis-propaganda-online.html

—–

22) Snowden ribs White House over security clearance backlog
Source: CNN

“Former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday ribbed the White House for its extensive security clearance backlog. ‘I got a security clearance faster than half of this White House,’ Snowden tweeted. CNN reported on Friday that many top staffers at the White House, including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, do not have full security clearances and are operating with interim clearances as their reviews continue. The White House has attributed the backlog of clearances to the review process from the FBI and White House Office of Security.” (02/12/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/politics/edward-snowden-white-house-clearances/index.html

—–

23) Germany: Court says Facebook breaking law in how it collects personal data
Source: ZDNet

“Facebook has lost a court case in Germany over its terms of use and default privacy settings but has already filed an appeal. The case was brought about by a longstanding Facebook nemesis, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, or VZBV. Over the years, the VZBV has targeted Facebook’s Friend Finder tool and its deployment of users’ photos in ads, and its data-sharing between WhatsApp and the parent social network. This time round, the Berlin regional court agreed with the VZBV that Facebook is breaking German data-protection law by collecting users’ data without giving them the information they need to make informed choices.” (02/13/18)

http://www.zdnet.com/article/facebook-is-breaking-law-in-how-it-collects-your-personal-data-court-rules/

—–

24) Palestine: Judge orders secret hearing in abducted teen’s “trial” for slapping invaders
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“A teenage Palestinian protester filmed slapping and kicking two soldiers outside her home has appeared before an Israeli military court to face various charges including assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones. Ahed Tamimi, who turned 17 in jail last month, arrived on Tuesday morning for the first day of what could be a months-long trial, in what has become a symbolic case in the battle for international public opinion. The judge ordered a closed-door hearing and ejected a large group of journalists who had gathered at the Ofer military base, despite a request by Tamimi’s lawyer for the media to be able to observe proceedings.” (02/13/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/13/palestinian-teenager-ahed-tamimis-trial-begins-behind-closed-doors

—–

25) MD: Baltimore cops found guilty of racketeering, robbery in Gun Trace Task Force corruption case
Source: Baltimore Sun

“A federal jury convicted two Baltimore police detectives Monday for their roles in one of the biggest police corruption scandals in city history. Detectives Daniel T. Hersl, 48, and Marcus R. Taylor, 31, were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and robbery. Prosecutors said they and their comrades on the Gun Trace Task Force had acted as ‘both cops and robbers,’ using the power of their badges to steal large sums of money from residents under the guise of police work.” (02/12/18)

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-gttf-verdict-20180208-story.html

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

26) Roving bandit, stationary bandit, and income tax
Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“When a mugger or a home invader accosts you, he points a gun at you or waves a knife in your face and demands your wallet or some other property. In most cases, if you surrender your property to him as he demands, he takes it and flees, and you will most likely never see him again. He is, in the classic phrase, the roving bandit. In contrast, the state is, in Mancur Olson’s classic term, the stationary bandit. It extorts your money constantly, ceaselessly, and no amount of plunder sates its appetite for what rightfully belongs to you. You are milked endlessly by people who have no rightful claim to loot you, but do have the power to take even more of your wealth in the form of interest or penalties or to place you in a steel cage if you make too much of a fuss about being looted. With income taxation, however, the matter is even more exasperating and outrageous.” (02/13/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/02/13/roving-bandit-stationary-bandit-and-income-tax/

—–

27) Purpose versus excuse: Why Congress might buy Trump’s food stamp reform plan
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Politico reports that the Trump administration wants to partially replace ‘food stamps’ with ‘a box of government-picked, nonperishable foods every month.’ … From the initial response, one might expect this plan to go nowhere. Its cost-cutting benefits are debatable (the US Department of Agriculture says it would save $129 billion over ten years, but they’re not including the cost of actually delivering the food). Grocers oppose it for the obvious reason that it would reduce the amount of money flowing through their cash registers. Smaller-government types point out that it would entail a bigger USDA and that families are better judges of their own food needs than some box-packing bureaucrats. But it still might pass. Why? Because the purpose of ‘food stamps’ is not what most people think it is. What is that purpose? No, it’s not to feed the poor. That’s a happy side effect and a convenient excuse. The real purpose of the program is to justify welfare checks to Big Agriculture.”

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12847

—–

28) The promise of smart contracts
Source: Libertarianism.org
by Kate Sills

“Fargo is primarily a movie about promises, implicit and explicit. It asks whether we will keep our promises to others, even against our own self-interest. What makes the movie fascinating is that many of the promises aren’t backed by the court system, for very good reason — the deals are illegal. Fargo asks if we can trust each other even if there is no government force making us comply. In other words, can we make contracts in the state of nature? In 1651, Hobbes argued that we couldn’t …. Smart contracts are a new mechanism for enforcing promises, allowing us to make credible commitments with each other on a blockchain, including commitments with strangers in other countries. To be clear, smart contracts are not legally enforceable, but that’s part of their unique advantage. Smart contract commitments are enforced outside of the law, outside of legal jurisdictions, without government enforcement. Given that our legal jurisdictions are primarily tied to our geographic location, and many countries have frail or unreliable legal institutions, this is a huge societal advance.” (02/13/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/promise-smart-contracts

—–

29) The military industrial complex strikes again
Source: Antiwar.com
by John W Whitehead

“Since taking office, President Trump — much like his predecessors — has marched in lockstep with the military. Now Trump wants $716 billion to expand America’s military empire abroad and billions more to hire cops, build more prisons and wage more profit-driven war-on-drugs/war-on-terrorism/war-on-crime programs that eat away at the Fourth Amendment while failing to make the country any safer. Even the funds requested for infrastructure will do little to shore up the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, highways, power grids and dams. No matter how your break it down, this is not a budget aimed at perfecting the Union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting general welfare, or securing the blessings of liberty for the American people. No, this is a budget aimed at pandering to the powerful money interests (military, corporate and security) that run the Deep State and hold the government in its clutches.” (02/13/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/jwhitehead/2018/02/12/military-industrial-complex-strikes/

—–

30) Exit scans are here
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“It happened again. I was just about to board an international flight leaving out of Atlanta. A US marshal stood in the path. He and an assistant had a machine and a pad with footprint decals. I was instructed to stand there. A machine scanned my face, found just the right frame, and snapped a picture. I expressed some puzzlement. The officer tried to address my concern: ‘It’s a free picture for you!’ We laughed together because that’s what you do when you have some vague sense that a government official is standing in the way of you leaving your own country. … I questioned a passport and customs official about the practice. He said it was not a program within his domain. These new exit scans are run by the US Marshals. However, he added, it was his agency’s ambition to have the same controls over exiting the country as the US has over entering the country. Coming and going. It was all the same to him.” (02/13/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/exit-scans-are-here

—–

31) Establishment Republicans can no longer claim to be fiscal conservatives
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“So much for US Republicans starving the government beast. When the party’s major tax reform package passed in December, Democrats worried that projections for a $1 trillion debt increase over a decade would be used by Republicans to justify spending cuts and reforms to old-age entitlements. Instead, with a looming government shutdown, Republican and Democrat leaders last week conspired to pass a budget-cap busting spending package. This increased outlays by around $300bn over two years — a rise that no doubt will become the new baseline thereafter. People decry a lack of bipartisanship in the US, but Congress has shown that when you get a cross-party consensus, taxpayers suffer.” (02/13/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/establishment-republicans-can-no-longer-claim-be-fiscal-conservatives

—–

32) I’m not “gutting” CFPB
Source: USA Today
by Mick Mulvaney

“The accusation that I am ‘gutting’ the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not new. It fits a certain narrative, pushed by people who cannot accept the fact that Donald Trump is president. There is a problem with the claim, however: It is just flatly wrong. Yes, I mean to change the bureau. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. That’s exactly what happens to every agency when a new administration appoints new leadership. And we’re looking for a lighter regulatory hand: bringing common sense and balance to government regulation is a central tenet of this administration. Toward that end, I changed the internal structure of our fair lending enforcement and supervision functions. I did that in order to have only one office, not two, that handles enforcement, and only one, not two, that handles supervision. I also decided to reconsider rules on payday lending. Going unreported: State regulators told the bureau years ago that such rules were unnecessary, as many states had already regulated those businesses.” (02/13/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/13/mick-mulvaney-changing-cfpb-editorials-debates/110383654

—–

33) We don’t need new laws for faked videos, we already have them
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by David Greene

“The knee-jerk reaction many people have towards any new technology that could be used for awful purposes is to try and criminalize or regulate the technology itself. But such a move would threaten the beneficial uses as well, and raise unnecessary constitutional problems. Fortunately, existing laws should be able to provide acceptable remedies for anyone harmed by deepfake videos. In fact, this area isn’t entirely new when it comes to how our legal framework addresses it. The US legal system has been dealing with the harm caused by photo-manipulation and false information in general for a long time, and the principles so developed should apply equally to deepfakes.” (02/13/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/we-dont-need-new-laws-faked-videos-we-already-have-them

—–

34) From inmates to entrepreneurs
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

“Can you imagine being eternally judged according to the worst thing you have ever done? As imperfect beings, we have all committed regrettable acts and said things that were less than commendable. But for the vast majority of us, these bad choices have not prevented us from picking up the pieces and moving on with our lives. But for the formerly incarcerated, the worst thing they have ever done haunts them long after they leave prison. Their past often prevents them from securing a job and housing, two essential elements needed to rebuild your life. And when you factor in the environmental circumstances that led to their bad decisions in the first place, you recognize that many of these former offenders have no support system there to guide them down a more virtuous path after they are released.” (02/13/18)

https://fee.org/articles/from-ex-cons-to-entrepreneurs/

—–

35) Don’t cheer minimum-wage hikes, they’re killing millions of jobs
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“A large number of states and cities are raising their minimum wage this year, part of a wave of recent actions to help low-income workers. Sadly, not only will it not help, it will devastate many of them. Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., will raise their minimum wage this year, under the misbegotten notion that it will help the poor, in particular struggling minority youth. It won’t. As a new study from the American Action Forum shows, not only will most workers not be better off, they will take a huge hit. Why? Common sense tells you that when you raise the cost of something, anything, less of it will be used or consumed. It’s a fundamental precept of economics. And labor is no different.” (02/12/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/minimum-wage-hikes-kill-millions-of-jobs

—–

36) Do risk preferences account for 1.4 percentage points of the gender pay gap?
Source: Notes on Liberty
by Vincent Geloso

“A few days ago, this study of gender pay differences for Uber drivers came out. The key finding, that women earned 7% less than men, was stunning because Uber uses a gender-blind algorithm. … To explain this, the authors highlight a few explanations borne out by the data: men drive faster allowing them to have more clients; men have spent more time working for Uber and have more experience that may be unobserved; choices of where and when to drive matters. It is this latter point that I find fascinating … Male Uber drivers prefer riskier hours (more risks of having an inebriated and potentially aggressive client), riskier places (high traffic with more risks of accidents) and riskier behavior (driving faster to get more clients per hour). The return to taking these risks is greater earnings. According to the study, 20% of the gap stems from this series of choices or roughly 1.4 percentage points.” (02/13/18)

https://notesonliberty.com/2018/02/13/do-risk-preferences-account-for-1-4-percentage-points-of-the-gender-pay-gap/

—–

37) No due process for Trump’s assasinees
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“President Trump is making a big deal out of the fact that former staff secretary Rob Porter is being denied ‘due process of law’ because people believe that his two former wives are telling the truth regarding his purported physical abuse of them and disbelieving Porter’s denials of such abuse. Unfortunately, Trump displays a woeful lack of understanding of what due process of law is all about. It’s a legal concept, not a means by which one determines which spouse is telling the truth in a marital dispute. It is a restriction on the power of government to arbitrarily kill, incarcerate, torture, or do other bad things to people. … How can the provisions of the Fifth Amendment be reconciled with the U.S. government’s ongoing assassination program as part of its ‘war on terrorism?’ They can’t be.” (02/13/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/02/13/no-due-process-trumps-assassinees/

—–

38) Forget Trump, his party [sic] Is the problem now
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“It’s Political Messaging 101: You can’t beat Trump by talking about him all the time. We should be talking about our economic future, but all we’re talking about our 45th president. … Trump dominates the media landscape like some paint-and-plaster Colossus, his conquering limbs striding from news cycle to news cycle. … The president is ‘setting both the terms and tone of the debate.’ When everyone is focused on our 45th president, how can Democrats hold your attention long enough to make the case that they will make people’s lives better?” [editor’s note: First off, Mr Eskow mistakes the GOP as being “Trump’s party” (true in name only); second, he mistakes the Dems as offering something better – SAT] (02/13/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180213/everybody-talks-about-trump-whos-talking-about-everybody-else

—–

39) The most libertarian towns in America
Source: Strike the Root
by Alex R Knight III

“Maybe you’re thinking seriously about getting out of some hellhole in favor of living in a slightly less statist place, around more like-minded people — or possibly you just want a break and an interesting place to visit. Either way, I think I’ve identified a few places that might interest you …” (02/13/18)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/most-libertarian-towns-in-america

—–

40) The local struggle against extremism
Source: Cato Unbound
by Seth G Jones

“The Islamic State has — at least for now — lost most of the territory it once controlled under its self-proclaimed ‘caliphate.’ But it is more important than ever to examine long-term counterterrorism efforts against Salafi-jihadist groups, including against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. … Since September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers have frequently underestimated the ability of terrorist groups to resurge or establish a sanctuary.” (02/13/18)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2018/02/13/seth-g-jones/local-struggle-against-extremism

—–

41) Coal jobs won’t come back, but there are other ways to help coal country
Source: Reuters
by Jason Walsh

“It was always obvious that Donald Trump would never be able to keep his promise, made both as candidate and president, that he would bring coal jobs back to battered mining communities. Despite a long-standing campaign by the coal industry to blame the industry’s decline on President Obama’s environmental policies, the primary drivers of that decline have been economic, the most important being the low cost of natural gas. Nonetheless, Trump made his pledge to coal country. And it found a receptive audience, particularly in Appalachia, where the industry’s collapse has resulted in severe economic hardship. Trump’s message could not have come at a worse time, giving false hope to laid-off coal miners, and the communities where they live and work, at a juncture when many of them had finally accepted the reality that their jobs weren’t coming back — and were embarking on the hard but necessary course of diversifying their local economies.” [editor’s note: First move would be legalizing hemp, which could take up the slack without destroying environmments or miners’ health – SAT] (02/13/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walsh-coal-commentary/commentary-coal-jobs-wont-come-back-but-there-are-other-ways-to-help-coal-country-idUSKCN1FX2JY

—–

42) The problem with Oxfam isn’t just a few dirty men
Source: spiked
by Ella Whelan

“Oxfam is experiencing a moment of disgrace. Allegations that leading representatives of the charity in Haiti used prostitutes and exploited locals have rocked it to its core. It also seems as if Oxfam has been trying to cover up this scandal since 2011. … Many are in shock over the behaviour of these ‘humanitarian’ aid workers. I’m not. … the aid industry’s relationship with the Third World is a deeply problematic one. It sets up Westerners as powerful white saviours of the apparently damaged or vulnerable peoples of the poorer parts of the world. And in such circumstances, in a situation where you are the good, pure person coming to save those in need, it is not surprising that some people might exploit such a moral position for personal gain or satisfaction.” (02/13/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-problem-with-oxfam-isnt-just-a-few-dirty-men/

—–

43) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 20
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“I walked into Jay’s expecting to find Johnny to be his usual gregarious self. And he was, so long as he was greeting people at the bar. Once we sat by ourselves in the restaurant, however, he changed. I had never seen Johnny scared before. I’d seen him angry, disgusted, and irritated, but not scared. We were barely through the usual ‘How’s your family?’ stuff before he jumped into crypto.” (02/13/18)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/rosc-20-storm-warning/

—–

44) Trump’s big buyback bamboozle
Source: The American Prospect
by Robert Reich

“Trump’s promise that corporations will use his giant new tax cut to make new investments and raise workers’ wages is proving to be about as truthful as his promise to release his tax returns. The results are coming in, and guess what? Almost all the extra money is going into stock buybacks. Since the tax cut became law, buybacks have surged to $88.6 billion. That’s more than double the amount of buybacks in the same period last year, according to data provided by Birinyi Associates. Compare this to the paltry $2.5 billion of employee bonuses corporations say they’ll dispense in response to the tax law, and you see the bonuses for what they are: a small fig leaf to disguise the big buybacks. If anything, the current tumult in the stock market will fuel even more buybacks. Stock buybacks are corporate purchases of their own shares of stock. Corporations do this to artificially prop up their share prices. Buybacks are the corporate equivalent of steroids. They may make shareholders feel better than otherwise, but nothing really changes.” (02/13/18)

http://prospect.org/article/trumps-big-buyback-bamboozle

—–

45) Maybe the government won’t screw up Bitcoin after all
Source: Reason
by Andrea O’Sullivan

“Libertarians generally don’t expect much of government regulators. Hearings on the hill about how to approach some new, unregulated activity often boil down to little more than nebulous demands to ‘do something’ and boss people like us around. This is especially pronounced with a revolutionary new technology like bitcoin. For these reasons, a recent testimony by the chairmen of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) before the Senate Banking Committee provided a welcome breath of fresh air to the cryptocurrency community. Rather than rushing to regulate, these policymakers urged restraint and humility towards financial innovation.” (02/13/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/02/13/maybe-the-government-wont-screw-up-bitco

—–

46) How progressives can criticize Trump’s $7 trillion deficit without preaching austerity
Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“Deficit spending isn’t a sign of moral or economic failure. But looking at the headlines about the Trump administration’s last few weeks of economic policymaking, you might think otherwise. Referring to Democrats and Republicans both, The Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson bemoans that, ‘Ever-larger budget deficits have become their means of making policy and practicing politics.’ He points to the $1.7 trillion spending agreement reached last week, the $1.4 trillion tax plan passed recently and the White House’s 2019 budget proposal, which — if passed in full (something that basically never happens) — would add $7 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade. As John Cassidy at the New Yorker puts it, ‘the country’s finances will be in a wretched state once the GOP’s recent tax-cut bill is fully enacted.’ He laments the ‘sea of red ink that now stretches into the indefinite future.’ We have to ‘keep the deficit numbers in check,’ he says. But Republicans ([allegedly] committed to small government and even smaller budgets) simply aren’t up to the task. The irony!” [editor’s note: Sure is funny to see a “progressive” pundit being the voice of reason on economics – SAT] (02/13/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20908/Donald-Trump-budget-deficit-Democrats-Republicans-Chuck-Schumer-Austerity

—–

47) To spend or not to spend
Source: The American Spectator
by Brandon J Weichert

“With the recent budget vote, Washington has decided to spend an additional $300 billion over the next two years, on top of the $1 trillion that we’ve just tacked on to the national debt with the recent tax cuts. Congress also decided to put off dealing with the budget again until March 2019. Thanks to this decision, whatever economic gains we may experience since the passage of the tax cuts are at risk over the long-term. A debate is needed, if the country is to have a chance at sustainable, widespread economic growth. We must decide very soon on whether we seek to be the America of relatively low taxes, reasonable regulation, and fiscal responsibility, or if we want to be another Europe. I shudder at what the American peoples’ choice will be.” (02/12/18)

https://spectator.org/to-spend-or-not-to-spend/

—–

48) Trump administration’s North Korea trap is set
Source: Fox News Forum
by Harry J Kazianis

“North Korea’s Kim family are the greatest abusers of human rights on the planet today. Such a family — more akin to the murderous Corleones in the Godfather trilogy than leaders of a nation-state — deserves to be tried in The Hague for their sins. But instead of a one-way trip to answer for their countless crimes, the killer Kims were instead paid what can only be described as the ultimate honor: VIP seats in a luxury box at the 2018 Winter Games, right there with our own Vice President Mike Pence, thanks to a peace overture pushed by the two Koreas. Barf. And from there it gets worse. North Korea used this opportunity to mount what could easily be described as the greatest attempted rebranding of a country in modern times. Forgotten was talk of Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests of last year or the 200,000 or so people trapped in prison camps. Oh no, instead we were told that Kim’s visiting sister was the ‘Ivanka Trump’ of North Korea. Seriously?” (02/13/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/13/trump-administrations-north-korea-trap-is-set.html

—–

49) The GOP deficit scam will never die
Source: The New Republic
by Alex Shephard

“For the last 40 years, Republicans have run as the party of small government and fiscal responsibility. But, after pushing a gigantic, deficit-busting tax bill in November and a gigantic, deficit-busting two-year budget last week, many are pronouncing the days of the fiscally sound, drown-the-government-in-the-bathtub Republican Party to be over. ‘It can now be said that Republican lawmakers care about the federal deficit only when they want to use it to bash Democratic presidents,’ opined The New York Times editorial board in a searing op-ed. ‘I’m old enough to remember when the Republican Party was pro-FBI, pro-morality and anti-deficits,’ scoffed Max Boot in The Washington Post. … Despite consistently arguing that deficit reduction is not just a core Republican priority, but an existential imperative, when in power Republicans have shown no fiscal restraint whatsoever — the deficit has increased significantly faster under Republican presidents than Democratic ones.”

https://newrepublic.com/article/147063/gop-deficit-scam-will-never-die

—–

50) Terror victims Donald Trump won’t talk about: Americans killed by the alt-right
Source: Salon
by Chauncey DeVega

“Have you heard of Blaze Bernstein? What about Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and Scott Fricker? Do Casey Jordan Marquez and Francisco Fernandez sound like familiar names? The answer is almost certainly no. Those are a few names drawn from the list of more than 100 people murdered or injured by the white supremacist ‘alt-right’ movement. The mainstream American news media has not devoted significant coverage to these victims. Why? Because while the rule ‘if it bleeds it leads’ is the corporate media’s informal modus operandi, right-wing violence has been increasingly normalized in the era of Donald Trump. Of course, Trump has not spoken the names of any of the 43 people killed by the ‘alt-right’ because the perpetrators are not nebulous black or brown people — or, worse yet, Muslims.” (02/13/18)

https://www.salon.com/2018/02/13/terror-victims-donald-trump-wont-talk-about-people-killed-by-the-alt-right/

—–

51) Just when does Venezuela need to build a wall?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“An interesting little point is that the Berlin Wall has now ceased to exist for longer than it did exist. But we shouldn’t forget it nor its lesson. One that Venezuela is going to have to think about …. when do they start to build a wall restricting the number who can flee from the joys and pleasures of socialism?” (02/13/18)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/just-when-does-venezuela-need-to-build-a-wall

—–

52) Only pro-lifers address abortion’s core moral question
Source: National Review
by Mene Ukueberuwa

“By and large, pro-lifers do not demand that the public embrace an explicitly Christian worldview, or ask for any special protection for unborn children. Rather, we ask only that our country’s common moral principles be extended to every living person, and we challenge proponents of abortion to prove why they ought not be. As it happens, few proponents of abortion are up to this challenge. Instead of addressing the question of whether abortion is right or wrong as pro-lifers routinely do, the vast majority of pro-choice supporters merely argue that abortion is necessary — they treat the moral question as a puny afterthought.” [editor’s note: Ukueberuwa misses an important distinction that requires proof — “human being” and “person” are not necessarily the same thing. And many pro-choicers do in fact emphasize the moral dimension; they just happen to disagree with Ukueberuwa on what that dimension is and/or what position on it is correct – TLK] (02/13/18)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456355/pro-choice-advocates-avoid-moral-debate-prefer-euphemism

—–

53) Is Paul Krugman now too conservative for our textbooks?
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“In the third edition of Mankiw’s excellent textbook, he quotes Paul Krugman defending child labor (as a lesser of evils) in the context of international trade agreements …. That all seems pretty unobjectionable to me. Who favors child prostitution? (Apparently, lots of people favor policies that lead to child prostitution.) I’m told that this Krugman comment was removed from later editions. In the 4th edition it was replaced with an article by Virginia Postrel, which emphasized that most parents don’t want their kids to work, and that economic growth was the most reliable way of eliminating child labor. Once again this is very sensible, and perhaps less controversial. I’m told that still newer editions also dropped even that discussion.” (02/13/18)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2018/02/is_paul_krugman.html

—–

54) The UK’s hidden hand in Julian Assange’s detention
Source: CounterPunch
by Jonathan Cook

“It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy in London have been entirely unnecessary. In fact, they depended on a legal charade. Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case. In other words, for more than four years Assange has been holed up in a tiny room, policed at great cost to British taxpayers, not because of any allegations in Sweden but because the British authorities wanted him to remain there.” (02/13/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/13/the-uks-hidden-hand-in-julian-assanges-detention/

—–

55) Exploring the ethics of trade “retaliation”
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“[N]o government can be trusted to accurately and apolitically assess the economic interventions of other governments. This fact alone creates — or should create — a strong presumption against empowering the home government to ‘countervail’ or to otherwise respond to the economic interventions of foreign governments. The temptation of the home government to wrongly classify as many as possible foreign-government actions as ‘unfair trade practices’ is simply too great to presume that, even if there is in reality a class of foreign-government actions that justify retaliatory actions by an apolitical and well-informed home government, the benefits — ethical and economic — of entrusting any real-world home government with the power to respond will be outweighed by the costs.” (02/13/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/02/exploring-ethics-trade-retaliation.html

—–

56) Threat assessment
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Don’t drink transmission fluid. Or perform a swan dive off the Empire State Building. Or munch on a Tide Pod. Be cautious, in other words, of the advice offered in ‘Boycott the Republican Party,’ the Atlantic opinion piece authored by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, both scholars at the Brookings Institution. Their erudite suggestion? Conservatives should ‘vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).’” (02/13/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/02/13/threat-assessment/

—–

57) They couldn’t even defund NPR
Source: The American Conservative
by Margaret Menge

“In 1995, at the end of the summer after graduating from college, I interviewed for a job on Capitol Hill. At the start of the interview, I asked the freshman member of Congress (a conservative Republican) a silly question: Had he meant, when he’d called for eliminating the NEA, the National Endowment for the Arts, or the National Education Association? ‘Both,’ he replied. How quaint and how blissfully optimistic it now seems for a new congressman and a young conservative to believe that it was possible to cut government down to size. How naive for me and so many others to think the Republican Party was sincere in its promise to return to limited government.” (02/13/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/they-couldnt-even-defund-npr/

—–

58) Tolstoy testament
Source: The Racinian
by David Kristopeit

“Recently in my readings I ran across a great quote from Leo Tolstoy in his essay, On Anarchy. He says, ‘And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.’ Think about that for a moment. How many of us are willing to change ourselves? It seems like we all want to change everyone else, make them more like us. After all we are right. They are wrong.” (02/13/18)

https://racinian.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/tolstoy-testament/

—–

59) End space station funding right now
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Laurence M Vance

“If Donald Trump decides that he wants to end NASA’s funding of the ISS, it won’t be because he opposes government space exploration or government funding of scientific research in space. He simply has other ambitions, such as wanting NASA ‘to send astronauts back to the Moon, as a pit stop to eventually send people to Mars.’ But why wait until 2025 to end funding of the ISS? Why not end funding now?” (02/12/18)

https://mises.org/wire/end-space-station-funding-right-now

—–

60) True grit
Source: Austro-Athenian Empire
by Roderick T Long

“On Kant’s view, a moral action is worthy of respect only if it is motivated by a good will — a respect for the moral law for the moral law’s own sake. If it is motivated instead by some sort of inclination or sentiment (such as charitable acts being motivated by feelings of sympathy), the action is no longer worthy of respect, because if one’s actions depend on favourable sentiments — sentiments whose presence or absence is not under the control of the agent’s will –– then that implies that if those favourable sentiments had happened to be absent, the agent would not have performed the action, and so the agent’s having done the right thing is fortuitous and not the expression of a reliable commitment to duty. Hodgson’s narrator is making a similar point here, holding that since his act of courage was largely motivated by a feeling of revulsion at his own cowardice, it is less worthy of respect than it would have been if motivated by ‘a sheer effort of will.’” (02/12/18)

https://aaeblog.com/2018/02/12/true-grit/

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

61) The Libertarian Angle, 02/13/18
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“FFF president Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling talking discuss the growing tensions on the Korean peninsula.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-korea-olympics-brouhaha-video/

—–

62) Stossel: Silk Road founder jailed, drug sales up
Source: Reason

“Stossel points out that as long as drugs are illegal, whatever the police do, only drives the price of drugs higher. The big profits then encourage sellers to take bigger risks. The same thing happened during alcohol prohibition. Police cracked down, but smugglers found a way. They also funded organized crime. Now drug prohibition funds crime, and authoritarians pretend the solution is long jail sentences.” [Flash video] (02/13/18)

https://reason.com/reasontv/2018/02/13/stossel-silk-road-founder-jailed-drug-sa

—–

63) Political Research Digest, episode 10
Source: Niskanen Center

“2017 saw protest movements return with a vengeance, as millions protested Donald Trump at marches for women, science, immigration, & more. But will that translate into public opinion shifts or electoral mobilization in 2018? Dana Fisher finds a lot of cross-over in concerns and participation across a year of big protests and signs it is translating into electoral mobilization. Nazita Lajevardi finds that protests and news coverage surrounding.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/episode-10-resistance-protesting-trump-changing-public-views/

—–

64) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 135
Source: Johnny Rocket Launch Pad

“Johnny returns to the airwaves with guest co-host John Odermatt (Lions Of Liberty, Felony Friday). So just what is the Mises Caucus, and what is their mission? Well, this week we talk to a fellow music lover and founder of the Mises Caucus, Michael Heise!” [various formats] (02/13/18)

http://jrlp.podbean.com/e/johnny-rocket-launch-pad-135-the-mises-caucus-w-michael-heise/

—–

65) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/13/18
Source: Cato Institute

“What can be done to counter public corruption? Frank Buckley is author of The Republic of Virtue: How We Tried to Ban Corruption, Failed, and What We Can Do about It.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/republic-virtue-how-we-tried-ban-corruption-failed-what-we-can-do

—–

66) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/13/18
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Darrell Becker has his solo show debut, does great, and gets to go off on what he thinks is the problem with lots of people …” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15606

—–

67) Tenther Tuesday, episode 26
Source: Tenth Amendment Foundation

“Today is the 390th day that the GOP has failed to repeal Obamacare. Meanwhile, the same Republicans that swore they would cut spending when Obama was in office just approved a budget with $300 billion in new spending. The Federal Reserve makes all of this spending and debt possible through its money-printing. But states are continuing to push forward with measures that could ultimately undermine the central bank. In this episode of Tenther Tuesday, Michael Boldin and Michael Maharrey talk about legal tender bills moving in several states, along with legislation to take on federal healthcare and spying. They also engage in a little discussion on cryptocurrency and talk a bit about TAC’s overall strategy.” [Flash video] (02/13/18)

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/02/tenther-tuesday-episode-26-end-the-fed-privacy-health-freedom/

—–

68) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 43
Source: Libertarianism.org

“America’s first identifiably libertarian political movement began as a conspiracy to conquer Tammany Hall.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/legendary-locofocos

—–

69) James Bovard on Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
Source: JimBovard.com

“Ernie Hancock had me back on his program FreedomsPhoenix program. We had fun smacking around politicians, federal agencies, and folks who still don’t get it. Ernie is the only host I know who makes me sound like I am on Quaaludes.” [Flash audio] (02/13/18)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2018/02/13/rowdy-hour-with-radio-host-ernie-hancock/

—–

70) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 148
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Libertarian Party, agorism, microbrewery laws, Tom Woods and more.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

http://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-148-liberty-bang-bus/

—–

71) Free Talk Live, 02/12/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“School Tells Students They Have to Agreed to Dance If Asked :: Teacher Appeals Conviction of Sex With Student :: Melanie Hates Teachers :: Accepting Rejection :: Closed Government Meetings :: Dave in NY is Mad About Camgirl :: Grove Party :: Ricky Chat Room Bitch :: Tipping on Pickup Orders :: HOSTS — Ian, Darryl, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/12/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-02-12

—–

72) Should the sex offender registry be abolished?
Source: Reason

“[D]ebate at the Soho Forum between Emily Horowitz, a sociologist at St. Francis College, and Marci Hamilton from the University of Pennsylvania and CHILD USA.” [Flash video] (02/12/18)

https://reason.com/blog/2018/02/12/should-the-sex-offender-registry-be-abol

—–

73) bloggingheads.tv, 02/12/18
Source: bloggingheads.tv

“Glenn Loury (Brown University) and Harold Pollack (University of Chicago, The Century Foundation) … Is the idea that Trump threatens democracy overblown? … Harold: Democrats need to reckon with the political potency of racism … Hey Trump, ‘Norway is not a skill!’ … Is it racist to fear demographic change? … When bad-faith actors erode democratic norms … Why Harold doesn’t care who the next Democratic nominee is.” [Flash video] (02/12/18)

https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/50634

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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