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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,911
Thursday, February 15th, 2018
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In the News:

FL: Former inmate kills 17 at government day prison / free fire zone
South Africa: Zuma resigns
US judge weighs challenge to federal cannabis prohibition
Maldives: Military forces, supporting Yameen’s coup, throw MPs out of parliament
Inspector general: VA Secretary Shulkin’s chief of staff altered email for wife’s expenses
Japan: Public grade school under fire over Armani uniform
NY: George Washington’s hair found in college library book
Family who buried wrong man sues California county
Munger urges regulators to ease off Wells Fargo, blasts bitcoin
Yiannopoulos to visit UCLA for talk on what he hates about Mexico
Canada: Broadcaster CTV amends Patrick Brown sex claim story
MN: Attorney says Wellstone sons questioned spending
Guys who want to hack your phone say you shouldn’t use Huawei phones because they might get hacked
Israel: Netanyahu dismisses calls to resign over corruption charges
A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt
Kaspersky Lab sues over second federal ban
Trump’s personal lawyer said he paid porn star Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket
US, Russian officials dispute reports of Russian casualties in Syria
Dog bites man: Seattle attorney for ICE gang charged with side racket
FL: Sarasota Democrat wins special election for state house seat

Everybody Has An Opinion:

National sovereignty and immigration
Saving kids from government schools
Does the developed world need cryptocurrencies?
EEOC Federal Guidance ruling gives Trump opportunity to fix Obama-era mistakes
Space thrilling despite government
Will Canada be the new testing ground for SOPA-lite? Canadian media companies hope so
What Is the price of love?
That Democrat “Blue Wave” starting to look more like a ripple
Statements of fact versus statements of opinion
Here’s how state legislators can FINALLY fix the national debt in 2018
LGBT Americans owe the Supreme Court for our happy Valentine’s Days
I win my long-run gas price bet
The dangers of America’s obsession with inequality
The US is stuck in Syria, with no mission
“A republic, if you can keep it”
Best persuasion play of the past year: The Charlottesville Fake News
The bogus “free speech” argument against unions
Behind the explosion in socialism [sic] among American teens
Trump’s food stamp overhaul sounds like a boondoggle waiting to happen
Political espionage, by the book
PBMs: The corporate scam that even Trump opposes
The EU is no friend of Irish independence
The big losers at the Olympics are the host nations
Practicing free love
Quantum Vibe, 02/14/18
How not to run the White House
Shouldn’t the United States return to its Constitution?
The IRS is coming for your passports
Here I go suggesting government efficiencies again
How to win a great power competition
A dangerous turn in US foreign policy
A lament for the Tea Party
When deplorability is no longer a dealbreaker
“Our agenda was common sense”
When stupid thinking happens to smart people

The Sound and the Fury:

The five best arguments against immigration — and why they’re wrong
Cato Daily Podcast, 02/14/18
Essential Libertarianism, episode 22
Electric Libertyland, episode 59
Freedom Feens Radio, 02/14/18
Foreign Policy Focus, episode 155
Intercepted, 02/14/18
Free Talk Live, 02/13/18
bloggingheads.tv, 02/13/18
The Tom Woods Show, episode 1093

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TIPPING POINT: A NOVEL BY FRANK CLARKE
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Tyranny Demands AN ACT OF SELF-DEFENSE: A NOVEL BY ERNE LEWIS
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***** In the News *****

FL: Former inmate kills 17 at government day prison / free fire zone
Source: NBC News

“At least 17 people were dead after a 19-year-old former student opened fire at a South Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The suspect was identified as Nikolaus Cruz, a former student who had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland for disciplinary reasons, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. He said at least 14 other people were injured in addition to the 17 people killed. Officials believe the gunman had one AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and multiple magazines, but it was unclear whether he had any other weapons.” [editor’s note: Naturally, “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and Co. will demand exactly the opposite of sense and demand new measures to make the world convenient for mass murderers – TLK] (02/14/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-respond-shooting-parkland-florida-high-school-n848101

—–

South Africa: Zuma resigns
Source: Washington Post

“South African President Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday, bringing to a close a nine-year tenure that has been dogged by corruption scandals and seen a steady decline in the popularity of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s historic liberation movement. His resignation came after a week of intense pressure, culminating in leaders of the ruling ANC ordering him to step down on Tuesday. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma as ANC leader in December, is expected to become acting president, according to South African law.” (02/14/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/south-africas-anc-demands-zuma-resignation-threatening-no-confidence-vote/2018/02/14/02e1d06e-1173-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html

—–

US judge weighs challenge to federal cannabis prohibition
Source: Raw Story

“The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn the United States’ longstanding prohibition of marijuana, the latest court battle over federal policy under President Donald Trump’s administration. The argument, before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan, came about a month after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would abandon a policy of former President Barack Obama that had left regulation of the drug largely up to states. Several states including, California, Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 29 states allow some medical use. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in July, include the parents of two children who use marijuana to treat illness, and former New York Jets player Marvin Washington, who works with a company that develops marijuana-based products. They claim that the federal ban on marijuana violates the U.S. Constitution. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a ‘Schedule I’ drug, meaning that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.” (02/14/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/us-judge-weighs-challenge-federal-marijuana-prohibition

—–

Maldives: Military forces, supporting Yameen’s coup, throw MPs out of parliament
Source: Afternoon Voice [India]

“The military in the Maldives on Wednesday threw all Members of Parliament (MPs) out of the Parliament building. … Earlier on Tuesday, the military blocked MPs from entering into the Parliament building. On Saturday, embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to meet with diplomats from the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom after the state of emergency was imposed in the Maldives last week. … The Maldivian capital remained tense as opposition leaders across were being rounded up and placed under detention as Yameen, who has been refusing to obey SC’s orders directing him to release nine prominent leaders from prison, gave sweeping powers to the security forces.” (02/14/18)

https://www.afternoonvoice.com/maldives-crises-military-throws-mps-parliament.html

—–

Inspector general: VA Secretary Shulkin’s chief of staff altered email for wife’s expenses
Source: CNN

“The chief of staff for Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin altered an email and made false statements to a department ethics official that led to taxpayers covering expenses for Shulkin’s wife on an official trip to Europe last summer, the agency’s inspector general said in a report released Wednesday. Vivieca Wright Simpson, Shulkin’s chief of staff, altered language in an email regarding the logistics of the trip that led to the department paying $4,312 in airfare for Shulkin’s wife, Merle Bari, according to the report. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General referred those allegations to the Justice Department, which decided not to prosecute at this time, according to the IG report.” (02/14/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/14/politics/shulkin-veterans-affairs-wimbledon/index.html

—–

Japan: Public grade school under fire over Armani uniform
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A Tokyo public school has adopted Giorgio Armani uniforms for students, triggering criticism in a country where hefty school fees are already burdening young parents. Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza shopping district has announced plans to introduce the new uniform option, which costs more than 80,000 yen ($730) for a full set. A minimum set (a navy-blue jacket and matching trousers or skirt, a long-sleeve shirt and a hat) would be more than twice the price of the current uniforms. The school’s principal, Toshitsugu Wada, told a news conference Friday that the top fashion brand would fit Taimei’s identity as ‘a school of Ginza.’ He said he chose Armani because its boutique is near the school.” (02/14/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/education/article/Japan-public-grade-school-under-fire-over-Armani-12564104.php

—–

NY: George Washington’s hair found in college library book
Source: USA Today

“Archivists at a New York college library stumbled upon an intimate artifact of George Washington — a lock of his iconic grey hair, tucked in an 18th-century almanac. The rare find has Schenectady’s Union College revisiting its relationship with the first president of the United States as historians wonder how the hair made it there. Historical records project archivist Daniel Michelson found the almanac atop a bookshelf at the college’s Schaffer Library. The leather-bound book, titled Gaines Universal Register or American and British Kalendar for the year 1793, includes population estimates of the American colonies. Inside the book, the college said, was an envelope, which read ‘Washington’s hair, L.S.S. & [scratched out] GBS from James A. Hamilton given him by his mother, Aug. 10, 1871.’ The hair was inside the envelope, tied together by a thread.” (02/14/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/02/14/george-washingtons-hair-found-new-york-college-library-book/337694002

—–

Family who buried wrong man sues California county
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Relatives who thought they had buried their loved one only to find out he was alive 11 days after his funeral sued a California county Tuesday. The suit filed by Frank Kerrigan’s family accuses the Orange County Coroner’s Office of negligence, concealment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. County spokeswoman Carrie Braun said she can’t comment on pending litigation but that the sheriff’s department is conducting an internal investigation. ‘The department extends regrets to the family of Frank M. Kerrigan for any emotional stress caused as a result of this unfortunate incident,’ she said. The mix-up began when a man was found dead behind a Verizon store in Fountain Valley, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.” (02/14/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Family-who-buried-wrong-man-sues-California-county-12611705.php

—–

Munger urges regulators to ease off Wells Fargo, blasts bitcoin
Source: Reuters

“Charlie Munger, the longtime business partner of fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, said on Wednesday it is time for regulators to ‘let up’ on Wells Fargo & Co which will end up ‘better off’ as it corrects a series of mistakes in how it treated banking customers. Munger spoke at the annual meeting of Daily Journal Corp, the Los Angeles-based newspaper publisher he chairs, where he also denigrated bitcoin BTC=BTSP as ‘noxious poison’ and urged reforms in the healthcare system. He spoke less than two weeks after the Federal Reserve took the unprecedented step of curbing the San Francisco-based bank’s asset growth until it fixes its shortcomings. Daily Journal typically draws little attention from investors, but CNBC broadcast the meeting on its website.” [editor’s note: The combination of apologizing for proven thieves, and “blasting” a free-market-based currency tells us all we need to know about this thug – SAT] (02/14/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-dailyjournal-munger/charlie-munger-urges-regulators-to-ease-off-wells-fargo-blasts-bitcoin-idUSKCN1FY2WE

—–

Yiannopoulos to visit UCLA for talk on what he hates about Mexico
Source: Raw Story

“Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing rabble-rouser whose campus appearances have sparked widespread protests, is headed to UCLA this month — this time to talk about what he hates about Mexico. Yiannopoulos said he intends to take on Mexican patriarchy in his Feb. 26 talk, ’10 Things I Hate About Mexico,’ which is being hosted by the Bruin Republicans. He said the talk is timely now as Congress moves to tackle immigration reform. ‘Trump and the Republicans make an economic and law-and-order case against uncontrolled immigration from Mexico. I’m going to make the social justice case against importing any more of this particular culture into America,’ Yiannopoulos said in a text Wednesday. ‘In other words, what would a third wave intersectional feminist, if she was being honest, say about Mexican society and culture, and in particular the rampant misogyny, corruption and patriarchal oppression that runs rampant throughout its ruling classes?’” (02/14/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/milo-yiannopoulos-visit-ucla-talk-hates-mexico

—–

Canada: Broadcaster CTV amends Patrick Brown sex claim story
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A Canadian news outlet says some of the facts in an expose of sexual misconduct claims against a politician were wrong. Patrick Brown resigned as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party in January, months before the provincial election. In its original story, CTV reported that a woman met Mr Brown at a bar a decade ago when she was 17 and under the legal drinking age. The broadcaster now says she was not under age at the time. But her allegations remain the same, it added. The woman told the network that Mr Brown picked her up at a bar more than a decade ago, and brought her back to his house with the promise of booze. When they were alone, he exposed himself and asked for oral sex, she said. Mr Brown has denied those allegations and he says he will pursue legal action to defend himself.” (02/14/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43066577

—–

MN: Attorney says Wellstone sons questioned spending
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“An attorney for David and Mark Wellstone and a fellow board member are disputing the reasons why the Wellstones are being dismissed from Wellstone Action, the liberal campaign organization named for their late father, Sen. Paul Wellstone. Wellstone Action leaders told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Wellstones would soon leave the board over differences in vision for the organization. Sam Kaplan, the Wellstones’ attorney, and former board member Rick Kahn say the Wellstones are being forced out because they questioned spending in the organization and raised questions about financial impropriety.” (02/14/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-Latest-Attorney-Wellstone-sons-questioned-12614694.php

—–

Guys who want to hack your phone say you shouldn’t use Huawei phones because they might get hacked
Source: The Verge

“The heads of six major US intelligence agencies have warned that American citizens shouldn’t use products and services made by Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE. According to a report from CNBC, the intelligence chiefs made the recommendation during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday. The group included the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the director of national intelligence. During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said the the government was ‘deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.’ He added that this would provide ‘the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.’” (02/14/18)

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/14/17011246/huawei-phones-safe-us-intelligence-chief-fears

—–

Israel: Netanyahu dismisses calls to resign over corruption charges
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Wednesday to allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Israeli police, labeling them ‘biased and extreme.’ The veteran prime minister rejected calls for his resignation. … Police investigators released their recommendation for an indictment on Tuesday, alleging that Netanyahu had accepted nearly $300,000 in gifts from two billionaire friends and that, in exchange, the prime minister had helped them with visa matters, tax breaks and business connections.” (02/14/18)

http://www.dw.com/en/benjamin-netanyahu-dismisses-calls-to-resign/a-42579700

—–

A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt
Source: Washington Post

“[I]n labs around the world, scientists are racing against time to cultivate new microbe-destroying molecules — but most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. With due respect to [Alexander] Fleming, microbiologist Sean Brady thinks it’s time to shift tactics. Instead of growing antibiotics in a petri dish, he hopes to find them in the ground. … That idea is beginning to pay off: In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology, he and his colleagues report the discovery of a new class of antibiotic extracted from unknown microorganisms living in the soil. This class, which they call malacidins, kills several superbugs — including the dreaded methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — without engendering resistance.” (02/13/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/02/13/a-potentially-powerful-new-antibiotic-is-discovered-in-dirt/

—–

Kaspersky Lab sues over second federal ban
Source: Axios

“Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has filed a lawsuit targeting the second of two federal bans on its wares. The latest suit goes after language in a defense law explicitly blocking the purchase of Kaspersky products. An earlier suit targets a Homeland Security directive doing the same. … At the center of the Kaspersky bans are [alleged, but thus far evidenceless] fears Russia could use its products in espionage operations.” (02/13/18)

https://www.axios.com/kaspersky-lab-l-1518556899-cac58f74-72e8-46fe-bec5-b45ad1f7afb2.html

—–

Trump’s personal lawyer said he paid porn star Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket
Source: CNBC

“President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, said on Tuesday that he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, the New York Times reported. In a statement, Cohen said the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign were not involved in the transaction and that neither had reimbursed him for the payment made to Clifford, according to the Times. Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, once claimed to have had an affair with Trump. The newspaper added that Cohen said the payment ‘was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.’ Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen had created a limited-liability company in October 2016 — about a month before the presidential election — to pay Clifford in exchange for her signing a nondisclosure agreement about her allegations of an affair.” (02/14/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/trumps-lawyer-said-he-paid-adult-film-star-out-of-his-own-pocket.html

—–

US, Russian officials dispute reports of Russian casualties in Syria
Source: Midland Reporter-Telegram

“It’s a scenario many feared in the fog of Syria’s multi-front war: a confrontation in which U.S. forces, responding to a provocation [sic], kill Russian soldiers or mercenaries on a crowded battlefield. Russian news reports Tuesday described just such a scenario, with an unknown number of Russian military contractors killed in a ferocious U.S. counterattack last week. But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other U.S. officials said they had no such information on casualties, and the Kremlin did not confirm any Russian deaths. U.S. officials also said the Russian government had lodged no complaint about its citizens being killed.” [editor’s note: The US troops in Syria are present in Syria as invaders in violation of both US and international law. They don’t get to plead “self-defense” or “provocation” – TLK] (02/14/18)

https://www.mrt.com/news/politics/article/US-Russian-officials-dispute-reports-of-Russians-12612165.php

—–

Dog bites man: Seattle attorney for ICE gang charged with side racket
Source: CNN

“The chief counsel for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Seattle field office was charged with stealing the identities of seven people who were involved in immigration proceedings, according to court documents. Raphael A. Sanchez allegedly devised a plan to defraud several financial institutions by using their identities to obtain money and property over a four-year period between October 2013 to October 2017, according to the court documents filed Monday in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.” [editor’s note: About as surprising as finding out that the getaway driver for a bank robbery gang occasionally goes out and does some solo burglaries – TLK] (02/14/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/14/us/seattle-ice-attorney-charged/index.html

—–

FL: Sarasota Democrat wins special election for state house seat
Source: Bradenton Herald

“Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, defeated Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in Tuesday’s special election for the vacated District 72 seat of the Florida House of Representatives. Good, a lawyer from Sarasota, received 23,039 votes, or 52.17 percent of the vote according to results posted on the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections website, which showed all 32 precincts reporting. Buchanan, who is the son of Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, received 19,782 votes (44.8 percent). Foxall got 1,338 votes (3.03 percent). … It was the first special election of 2018 and a race that had drawn national attention, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Good, while Buchanan had the backing of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.” (02/13/18)

http://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article199968734.html

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

National sovereignty and immigration
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

“Many people think something like the following argument is sound: 1. States have a right to national sovereignty. 2. National sovereignty includes a right to determine who may pass borders. 3. Therefore, national sovereignty precludes open borders. In this argument, premise 2 does all the work. Most laypeople will just present premise 1 and immediately jump to the conclusion, 3: ‘Nations have a right to national sovereignty; therefore, they have a right to close or restrict their borders to immigrants.’ However, the problem with this argument, which proponents rarely notice, is that it doesn’t specify why national sovereignty includes this right to restrict freedom but not others.” (02/14/18)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/02/national-sovereignty-immigration/

—–

Saving kids from government schools
Source: Fox News Forum
by John Stossel

“Kids who attend New York City’s Success Academy charter schools do remarkably well. ‘We are No. 1 in student achievement in the state,’ says founder Eva Moskowitz, ‘outperforming all the wealthy suburbs.’ They do. Although they teach mostly poor kids, 95 percent pass the state math test, and 84 percent pass the English test. Pass rates at government run schools are 38 and 41 percent. How does Success Academy do it? For one thing, she keeps kids in class longer. Middle schoolers stay until 4:30 p.m. Is that too much stress for kids, I ask? ‘China and India are not worrying about the length of the school day,’ she replied. ‘We have to toughen up.’ From what I saw, ‘toughening up’ doesn’t make kids hate school. Many told me they ‘look forward’ to going to Success Academy in the morning. One called school ‘rockin’ awesome!’ ‘Kids like succeeding,’ explains Moskowitz.” [editor’s note: Longer school imprisonment is hardly an improvement; more open time for exploring and learning things kids actually care about might be – SAT] [additional editor’s note: “Charter” schools (and schools that become part of “voucher” schemes) ARE government schools! – TLK] (02/14/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/14/john-stossel-saving-kids-from-government-schools.html

—–

Does the developed world need cryptocurrencies?
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Gulker, PhD

“Liberty Street Economics, the New York Fed’s blog, recently did a question-and-answer session with Fed economists Michael Lee and Antoine Martin about cryptocurrencies. It’s a largely neutral and factual interview, but the economists do make one provocative comment: ‘Cryptocurrencies arguably solve the problem of making payments in a trustless environment, but it is not obvious that this is a problem that needs solving, at least in the United States and other advanced economies.’ In other words, why go through the trouble of network bottlenecks and proof-of-work schemes when people already trust their government institutions and banking systems? Cryptocurrencies are a litmus test for how one thinks about the size and power of government. Are they bad because they allow people to circumvent government institutions, or are they good because … they allow people to circumvent government institutions?” (02/14/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/does-developed-world-need-cryptocurrencies

—–

EEOC Federal Guidance ruling gives Trump opportunity to fix Obama-era mistakes
Source: USA Today
by James Bovard

“One of the Obama administration’s most aggressive social justice engineering schemes was busted earlier this month in federal court in Texas. In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission effectively made it a federal crime for businesses to refuse to hire felons and ex-convicts. Federal Judge Sam Cummings ruled on Feb. 1, 2018 that the EEOC violated federal law in concocting this new federal offense, providing the Trump administration a divine opportunity to rein in run-amok bureaucrats. The EEOC’s 2012 ‘Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions’ was 20,000 convoluted words intended to browbeat businesses to cease checking the records of job applicants.” (02/14/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/14/eeoc-federal-guidance-ruling-gives-trump-opportunity-fix-obama-era-mistakes-james-bovard-column/331130002/

—–

Space thrilling despite government
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Space exploration thrills me. I’ve followed Apollo moon landings, Skylab, various Martian landers and rovers, Space Shuttle launches, and every other manned or robotic mission I could watch. So I got even more excited when private individuals became serious about going to space. The latest feat — last week’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster and ‘Starman’ to the asteroid belt — was amazing. Many people dislike Musk for making deals with government, and I completely understand their disgust. I share it — tempered with a dose of harsh reality. While I would prefer private space travel, free of the stain of tax money, I realize there is no such thing in the real world, yet. Unless you keep your space project secret, government is going to discover what you’re doing and demand you beg for licenses.” (02/14/18)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2018/02/14/voices/space-thrilling-despite-government/156193.html

—–

Will Canada be the new testing ground for SOPA-lite? Canadian media companies hope so
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri

“A consortium of media and distribution companies calling itself ‘FairPlay Canada’ is lobbying for Canada to implement a fast-track, extrajudicial website blocking regime in the name of preventing unlawful downloads of copyrighted works. It is currently being considered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an agency roughly analogous to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. The proposal is misguided and flawed. We’re still analyzing it, but below are some preliminary thoughts.” (02/14/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/will-canada-be-new-testing-ground-sopa-lite-canadian-media-companies-hope-so

—–

What Is the price of love?
Source: Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

“Valentine’s Day must be former billionaire Tim Blixseth’s least favorite day of the year. The 67-year-old timber baron turned real estate developer has not exactly been, you might say, lucky in love. A first wife came and went. Ditto a second. Wife number three did seem, for a serious spell, to be working out spectacularly well. In the late 1990s, Tim and Edra Blixseth turned their 13,600-acre spread just north of Yellowstone National Park into a member-only, high-security ski club resort for the rich and famous, everyone from Bill Gates to global golfing superstar Annika Sorenstam. Tim and Edra ‘ran the club together,’ notes one media report on their entrepreneurial exploits, even installing a ‘caviar bar in the clubhouse.’ The place enthralled the world’s deep pockets. One after another, they ponied up the $250,000 sign-up fee, built mountainside homes on the grounds that cost up to $35 million each, and chipped in another $20,000 for the annual ‘Yellowstone Club’ dues.” (02/14/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180214/romance-in-an-age-of-grand-private-fortunes

—–

That Democrat “Blue Wave” starting to look more like a ripple
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Two months ago, Democrats were giddily talking about an anti-Trump-fueled ‘Blue Wave’ that would sweep them into power in the November mid-terms. Now with less than nine months to go until election day, that wave may be petering out. A ‘wave election’ was easy to believe in December. Republicans had lost a series of special elections, saw more than 30 state legislative seats flip from red to blue (this week’s loss in Florida made it 36) and lost five state-wide races, including governor races in Virginia and New Jersey. Republicans even lost a Senate seat in Alabama. At the same time, ‘generic ballot’ poll results in December showed Democrats with a double-digit lead. Poll-watching site FiveThirtyEight noted that Republicans were ‘in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle since at least the 1938 election.’” (02/14/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/that-democrat-blue-wave-is-starting-to-look-more-like-a-ripple

—–

Statements of fact versus statements of opinion
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“‘You can’t be neutral!’ ‘You can’t be indifferent!’ ‘You can’t be apolitical!’ How many times have you heard somebody say a variation of these statements? I’ve heard these phrases quite a few times and the frequency seems to be increasing. However, anybody making such a statement is wrong. Why? Because you can be neutral, indifferent, apolitical, or any combination of those things. People making such statements are mistaking their personal beliefs for facts. Most of the people who say you can’t be neutral, indifferent, or apolitical are really saying that since you disagree with them on something they view you as being in league with their enemy.” (02/14/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/02/14/statements-of-fact-versus-statements-of-opinion/

—–

Here’s how state legislators can FINALLY fix the national debt in 2018
Source: Heartland Institute
by Jesse Hathaway

“Now that 2017 is in the books, Americans across the country are working to keep their New Year’s resolutions so that 2018 might be better than years past. One resolution politicians in Washington, DC should make, but almost certainly won’t, is ending out-of-control government spending and reckless waste. Despite previous Congress'[s] failure to rein in spending, 2018 can be the year serious fiscal reforms are finally implemented — but only if state elected officials resolve to step up and take charge by leading the country toward effective, sensible policies. This would best be accomplished with the passage of a state-led federal balanced budget amendment.” (02/14/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/02/heres-how-state-legislators-can-finally-fix-the-national-debt-in-2018/

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LGBT Americans owe the Supreme Court for our happy Valentine’s Days
Source: USA Today
by Jim Obergefell

“For years, Valentine’s Day has been the target of the modern pessimist’s wrath. It has become the focus of the cynic’s ire, an unnecessary moment that foists obligation upon millions of consumers to prove their love with purchases of chocolates and flowers. But for millions of same-sex couples and LGBT people everywhere, it’s about so much more. It’s a day to honor and embrace the legacy of love created by a series of landmark Supreme Court decisions that recognize the virtues of all loving relationships in the eyes of our government. It’s a moment to remind ourselves that we are free to love whom we love, to celebrate and embrace that love, and to understand what it truly means to achieve equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The greatest Valentine’s Day messages aren’t found in a greeting card or scribbled on the back of a heart-shaped box. They’re enshrined in decision after decision that the court has set forth, decisions that protect our dignity and common humanity.” (02/14/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/14/happy-valentines-day-glbt-gay-americans-owe-supreme-court-obergefel-column/336732002

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I win my long-run gas price bet
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“In July of 2008, the average U.S. price of regular gasoline was $4.062. As usual, global hysteria followed. And as usual, I was unperturbed. So unperturbed, in fact, that I made the following bet with Tyler Cowen and David Balan: ‘I will bet $100, even odds, that the U.S. price of gas (including taxes) in the first week of January, 2018 will be $3.00 or less in 2008 dollars.’ A subsequent clarification specified that the bet was on the price of regular gasoline. Today, the January CPI arrived, allowing us to finally resolve this ten-year bet. … I expect that Tyler will insist that I just got lucky. And if I lost roughly half my bets, that would be a wise reaction. However, this latest victory brings my betting record to 17 wins and 0 losses.” (02/14/18)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2018/02/i_win_my_long-r.html

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The dangers of America’s obsession with inequality
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“Yippee! Last week’s sell off on Wall Street wiped out more than $3 trillion in wealth. Overnight, economic equality increased. True, you and I aren’t any better off — in fact, some of those losses came out of our 401(k)s and pension plans — but the important thing is that the biggest losers were evil rich people. Warren Buffet lost more than $5 billion, Jeff Bezos more than $3 billion. All together, the world’s 500 wealthiest people lost more than $180 billion. Aren’t you happy? Of course not. But doesn’t the mindset increasingly heard on the progressive left and the populist right dictate that you should be? We have become obsessed with economic equality at the expense of economic growth. Inequality is said to be the transcendent issue of our time. Yet a society that is rich and unequal still beats one that is poor and equal any day of the week.” (02/14/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/dangers-americas-obsession-inequality

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The US is stuck in Syria, with no mission
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“In its five months in Syria last year, a single U.S. Marine Corps artillery battalion fired more shells than any equivalent American military unit since Vietnam. The statistic (revealed this month by the Marine Corps Times) was another reminder of just how violent, out-of-control and complex the largely hidden war in Syria remains. With the support of Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has secured his position and is no longer fighting for his life. But the government in Damascus still lacks control of vast portions of the country, and a complex range of outside actors have found themselves increasingly dragged in. Major Israeli airstrikes this weekend against Syrian forces, and Turkey’s ongoing offensive against Kurdish militants, were the latest indications of just how dangerously tensions have escalated. Both Israel and Turkey had largely avoided direct involvement over the nearly seven years the Syrian war has been raging. Now both have concluded that their interests require them to get their hands more seriously dirty.” (02/14/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apps-syria-commentary/commentary-the-u-s-is-stuck-in-syria-with-no-mission-idUSKCN1FY2T7

—–

“A republic, if you can keep it”
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution, wrote that of all the enemies to liberty, war is the greatest. What he meant by that is that governments inevitably use wars and other crises and emergencies to centralize and expand their powers over the citizenry. Thus, in the process of claiming to keep the citizenry safe from external threats, the government often becomes a grave threat to their freedom and well-being. The United States has been at war for more than 15 years, ever since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003. But it’s actually much worse than that. If we go back to 1941, we see that the United States has been embroiled in what has become perpetual war …. Thus, it shouldn’t surprise anyone, given Madison’s dictum, that Americans now live under a regime that wields powers that are ordinarily found in countries ruled by totalitarian regimes, including assassination, indefinite detention, torture, and secret surveillance of the citizenry.” (02/14/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/republic-can-keep/

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Best persuasion play of the past year: The Charlottesville Fake News
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“Now that some time has passed, and emotions have subsided a bit, I can tell you about the best persuasion play of the past year. The credit goes to the anti-Trump media. They convinced much of the world that the President of the United States referred to a bunch of racists with tiki torches in Charlottesville as ‘fine people.’ What President Trump did say is that some ‘fine people’ were at the event. I see only two ways to interpret that statement. One interpretation is completely ordinary and the other is batshit crazy. The batshit crazy interpretation is the one the anti-Trump media persuaded you is the real one. … We are asked to believe President Trump took sides with the anti-semitic chanters despite having a Jewish daughter, Jewish grandkids, Jewish son-in-law, and several Jewish top advisors. … Let’s compare two interpretations of President Trump’s ‘fine people’ statement.” (02/14/18)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/02/14/charlottesville-fake-news-best-persuasion-play-past-year

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The bogus “free speech” argument against unions
Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

“Free speech has no fiercer advocate than Professor Eugene Volokh of the University of California at Los Angeles. As a teacher of First Amendment law, director of a First Amendment amicus brief clinic, and a founder of the libertarian-leaning Volokh Conspiracy blog, Volokh lets almost no free-speech sparrow fall anywhere in the U.S. without weighing in, usually against government and in favor of free speech objectors. Supreme Court justices have cited his opinions six times. From personal experience, I know him to be merciless when he deems a fellow academic insufficiently militant in defense of speech values. So when Volokh weighs in before the Supreme Court in opposition to a free-speech claim, that fact should spur a careful look on all sides. Last month, Volokh filed an amicus brief in Janus v. American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, the pending First Amendment challenge to ‘agency fee’ agreements between government and public-employee unions. Volokh’s brief, in support of the union, argues that the fees are fully constitutiona — that, in fact, the First Amendment simply doesn’t apply to this case.” (02/14/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/the-bogus-free-speech-argument-against-unions/553205/

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Behind the explosion in socialism [sic] among American teens
Source: In These Times
by Rebecca Stoner

“In a fluorescent lit classroom with handmade posters covering one wall, approximately 15 high school students are chanting the words of black revolutionary Assata Shakur: ‘It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and we must support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.’ With some embarrassed giggling, they recite it once, twice, three times, led by their visiting speaker, Pamela Gomez of the Hillsborough Community Protection Coalition, an alliance of local progressive groups. These students are some of the 40-odd members of the Blake High School chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA). The Tampa high school has 1,697 students, a majority of them black or Latino, and the YDSA chapter reflects that. The chapter also has a high concentration of LGBTQ students, the club’s biggest demographic bloc.” [editor’s note: I predict the “explosion” implodes, as each “teen” sees a first paycheck – SAT] (02/14/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20901/YDSA-teen-Socialism-Millennials-high-school

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Trump’s food stamp overhaul sounds like a boondoggle waiting to happen
Source: Reason
by Eric Boehm

“As part of the budget proposal unveiled earlier this week, the Trump administration is calling for a radical overhaul of so-called “food stamps” that would have the U.S. Department of Agriculture shipping boxes of nonperishable food to low-income Americans every month. Think Amazon Prime, but for terrible canned food selected by bureaucrats. The problem here isn’t the general idea of reforming the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). … But Trump’s ‘America’s Harvest Box’ proposal is a boondoggle waiting to happen. There are many, many good questions about how the program would actually work, and very few answers in the budget proposal.” (02/14/18)

https://reason.com/blog/2018/02/14/grocery-store-cronyism-will-save-us-from

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Political espionage, by the book
Source: The American Specator
by George Neumayr

“[Former CIA director John] Brennan is under Congressional investigation for possible perjury. But instead of challenging his yarn-spinning about the Steele dossier, NBC gives him a platform to continue it. How much longer before the media adds Sally Yates, Susan Rice, and (if they could get him) Christopher Steele as ‘correspondents?’ What a farce. Last week, in keeping with the media’s ho-hum atmosphere of normalized political espionage, Jonathan Winer blandly outed himself as a State Department cog in Obamagate. He made his role in it — briefing John Kerry and company on the Hillary-financed Steele dossier in the heat of the campaign, then passing material from Cody Shearer, another dirt-diver for Hillary, to Steele (who then gave it to the FBI) — sound like just another day at the State Department.” (02/14/18)

https://spectator.org/political-espionage-by-the-book/

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PBMs: The corporate scam that even Trump opposes
Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“While the media pores over a Trump budget proposal that died before even getting to Congress, another administration document might deserve more scrutiny. Last Friday, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released its blueprint for making prescription drugs more affordable. And one of the biggest proposals would break up the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry, a small group of middlemen that administers drug benefits in health plans, providing dubious assistance on lowering prices while extracting outsized profits. It may strike you as surprising that an administration so devoted to doing the bidding of big business would call for one of the largest and most profitable industries in America to be dismantled. But in context it makes a lot of sense. This report on lowering drug prices scrupulously avoids nearly everything that would lower the pharmaceutical industry’s profits. And drug companies have been pointing to pharmacy benefit managers as a source of high prices, to deflect blame away from themselves.” (02/13/18)

http://prospect.org/article/corporate-scam-even-trump-opposes-pbms

—–

The EU is no friend of Irish independence
Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

“As a freedom-loving democrat, I have long supported the view that Ireland should be one united, 32-county sovereign republic. But, as a freedom-loving democrat, I am fiercely opposed to any attempt via the European Union to impose some bureaucratic version of ‘Irish unity’ in order to undermine Brexit. That would be a serious attack on sovereignty and democracy in both Britain and Ireland.” (02/14/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-eu-is-no-friend-of-irish-independence/

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The big losers at the Olympics are the host nations
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Josh Adamson

“Servicing debt can burden taxpayers for decades, and there are no better examples of this than the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Sochi will cost Russians £860 million per year for the foreseeable future, and the public debt from the 1976 Montreal Olympics was only fully repaid by the Canadian government in 2006. One must also consider the opportunity cost of such reckless public expenditures which could be used in areas which provide direct benefits to a nation’s citizens. But what about the economic benefits that hosting an Olympics can yield for a country? Impact analysis studies commissioned by governments in their lead-up to a Games conclude that hosting the Olympics will encourage tourism and employment — thereby generating a positive economic impact for their city or country. But the results of such studies are usually mediocre at best, and most of these analyses are commissioned to legitimize a political position rather than to search for economic truths.” (02/14/18)

https://fee.org/articles/the-big-losers-at-the-olympics-are-the-host-nations/

—–

Practicing free love
Source: Students For Liberty
by Gabi Maylock

“[M]any today see a tradeoff between their relationship and their freedom. You may lose the freedom to hang out with your friends, to travel when and where you planned, to pursue your passions. Meanwhile, living the single life for too long might mean that you are ‘too free-spirited’ and will never be able to settle down. You won’t know how to be happy with another human being and die alone. But for many liberty lovers, freedom is an important quality of a healthy, loving relationship. During the late 1800’s, the Free Love Movement left an important impression on the early libertarian movement. The free love movement should be important to liberty lovers of all kinds, whether or not they personally want to be in a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship.” (02/14/18)

https://www.studentsforliberty.org/2018/02/14/practicing-free-love/

—–

Quantum Vibe, 02/14/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (02/14/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1758

—–

How not to run the White House
Source: The New Republic
by Elizabeth Drew

“If nothing else does it, the current scandal engulfing the Trump White House (which has quickly metastasized from a matter of disregarding repeated FBI reports of wife-beating by a top official to one of recklessness in the handling of top secret information) hould bring home the point that governing is serious business. And that those who don’t take it seriously are headed for trouble. The White House is in more trouble now than presidencies in modern history have been after just a year in office. The Republican strategist Steve Schmidt was correct in his anguished comment on MSNBC on that ‘this isn’t normal.’ Moreover, the abnormality is spreading — and it will be difficult to rein in. Too much bad blood is being allowed to spill; pent-up resentments are being acted upon; the once-quiet knifing among staff members has turned into warfare.” (02/14/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/147091/not-run-white-house

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Shouldn’t the United States return to its Constitution?
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Laurence M Vance

“The Constitution (article VI, clause 3) requires that senators and representatives ‘be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution.’ Do they? U.S. law requires that members of Congress be sworn in before they can take their seats. Senators and representatives must ‘solemnly swear’ that they ‘will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’ and that they ‘will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.’ Do they? Regardless of any issues that libertarians have with the Constitution, it is the supreme law of the land that members of Congress are supposed to support, defend, and bear faith and allegiance to. Do they? They certainly do not.” (02/14/18)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/02/14/shouldnt-the-united-states-return-to-its-constitution/

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The IRS is coming for your passports
Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“The U.S. government is building the world’s largest debtors’ prison: the United States. Beginning this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin denying passports to some American citizens with unpaid taxes and, in some cases, revoking the passports of Americans with tax delinquencies. The government will in effect place those with unpaid taxes under arrest, effectively denying them their right to travel. To be clear: We are not talking about Americans who have been convicted of tax evasion or tax fraud, or who are awaiting a criminal trial on charges related to tax matters. These Americans have not been charged with a crime, must less convicted of one. … The right to travel is — like the right to free speech, the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievance — a basic civil right.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456393/irs-policy-targets-us-passports-congress-should-reverse-it

—–

Here I go suggesting government efficiencies again
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“[A] major objection to the [Trump administration’s “food stamp reform”] plan is that its supposed cost savings doesn’t account for the cost of actually getting the food to recipients’ doorsteps. Well, why not have some SNAP recipients fulfill the work/training requirements by packing and delivering the boxes? Pick the recipients who are 1) able-bodied and 2) unemployed and have them take those boxes to the recipients who are 3) disabled and/or 4) employed. It seems like an obvious measure from both cost-cutting and putting-welfare-clients-back-to-work standpoints.” (02/14/18)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2018/02/here-i-go-suggesting-government.html

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How to win a great power competition
Source: Cobden Centre
by Benn Steil

“‘The United States is confronted with a condition in the world which is at direct variance with the assumptions upon which [our foreign] policies were predicated,’ wrote a State Department official. ‘Instead of unity among the great powers … there is complete disunity.’ The secretary of state concluded that the Russians were ‘doing everything possible to achieve a complete breakdown.’ The president called for unilateral action to counter U.S. adversaries. ‘If we falter in our leadership,’ he told Congress, ‘[we will] surely endanger the welfare of this nation.’ These precise words were spoken in 1947, by Russia specialist Chip Bohlen, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, and President Harry S. Truman. But they are being echoed today by a new U.S. administration, heralding another era of great-power competition in which adversaries jostle for global influence.” (02/14/18)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/02/how-to-win-a-great-power-competition-alliances-aid-and-diplomacy-in-the-last-struggle-for-global-influence/

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A dangerous turn in US foreign policy
Source: CounterPunch
by Conn Hallinan

“The Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy is being touted as a sea change in U.S. foreign policy, a shift from the ‘war on terrorism’ to ‘great power competition,’ a line that would not be out of place in the years leading up to World War I. But is the shift really a major course change, or a re-statement of policies followed by the last four administrations? … Certainly the verbiage about Russia and China is alarming. Russia is routinely described as ‘aggressive,’ ‘revisionist,’ and ‘expansionist.’ In a recent attack on China, US Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson described China’s trade with Latin America as ‘imperial.’ But in 1914 there were several powerful and evenly matched empires at odds. That is not the case today.” (02/14/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/14/a-dangerous-turn-in-u-s-foreign-policy/

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A lament for the Tea Party
Source: The American Conservative
by Matt Purple

“It was 2013 and I was sitting in my office when one of my co-workers shuffled in. He had a headache, he said, the result of a campaign he was running for a position in local Republican politics that had unexpectedly turned rocky. The problem was the voters: they had tagged him as an establishment man and no matter how many times he touted his conservative bona fides, he couldn’t seem to dispel their skepticism. ‘Only one thing matters now,’ he said, ‘immigration. They’re just livid about that.’ Looking back, that conversation marked, for me anyway, the moment that the Tea Party began to change, from a loosely woven coalition of activists worried about big government to the right-wing nationalist force that would eventually elect Donald Trump. … Matt Kibbe is absolutely correct that the Tea Party is dead, and the mortician will note that its passing occurred around 5:30 a.m. last Friday morning, when Congress passed its two-year budget deal. That agreement vaporizes the Tea Party’s lone legislative accomplishment, the spending caps that were imposed in 2011; they were raised twice before, but never under a Republican president.” (02/14/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-lament-for-the-tea-party/

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When deplorability is no longer a dealbreaker
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“Last month, Mollie Hemingway, the Fox News contributor and senior editor at The Federalist, declared herself a Donald Trump supporter for the first time. ‘I wasn’t a Trump supporter,’ the headline of her Washington Post op-ed stated. ‘I am now.’ She cited his actions on judicial nominees, climate policy, regulatory reform, tax cuts, guidelines on how colleges should adjudicate sexual assault, and foreign policy. Large swaths of the Republican Party and the conservative movement have now reconciled themselves to supporting President Trump, including figures far more famous, powerful, and influential than any journalist. A strong case could be made that this particular endorsement didn’t really change anything, especially since its author was already openly anti-anti-Trump in her orientation. Still, if the GOP loses the ability to win elections during the next decade because its leadership has lost the trust of too many people in too many groups — Latinos, blacks, Asian Americans, Muslims, immigrants, anti-racists, anti-sexists, citizens who worry about the minimum civic virtues a republic requires to thrive — I will recall her endorsement as an illustration of how it happened.” (02/13/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/what-donald-trump-supporters-cannot-be-trusted-to-do/551201/

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“Our agenda was common sense”
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The Republican Party doesn’t need to bury the corpse. Its victim has been assimilated, like the Borg did with alien peoples in the Star Trek universe, or maybe it was just soaked up as if the GOP were a giant fungus amongus. So, what’s dead? The Tea Party, which was killed by partisanship, says Matt Kibbe, President and Chief Community Organizer at Free the People.” (02/14/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/02/14/our-agenda-was-common-sense/

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When stupid thinking happens to smart people
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Lori Heine

“Anyone who pays attention to the political scene is bound to observe the prevalence of what those in Twelve-Step recovery call ‘stinking thinking.’ When we hear a particular stupidity once too often, something in us snaps. My own ‘snap’ comes not when a dumb oaf commits this infraction, but when the guilty party is someone whose intelligence I generally respect.” (02/12/18)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1813

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

The five best arguments against immigration — and why they’re wrong
Source: Reason

“No issue is more hotly contested today than immigration, with restrictionists calling for the deportation of illegals and a 50 percent cut in legal immigration. Here are the five strongest arguments against immigrants and immigration — and why they’re wrong.” [Flash video] (02/14/18)

https://reason.com/reasontv/2018/02/14/best-arguments-against-immigration

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Cato Daily Podcast, 02/14/18
Source: Cato Institute

“It’s difficult to overestimate what Frederick Douglass overcame to become one of the greatest advocates for liberty in the 19th century. Timothy Sandefur is author of the new Cato book, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/frederick-douglass-self-made-man

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Essential Libertarianism, episode 22
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

Drawing the Line, by Blair Adams. [various formats] (02/14/18)

https://www.essentiallibertarianism.com/2018/02/14/drawing-the-line-el22/

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Electric Libertyland, episode 59
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland, host Brian McWilliams takes a look at the latest budget deal, and Trump’s budget proposal moving forward, both of which embrace the war state and the military industrial complex. Brian also discusses a recent experience with the most brainwashed statist Canadian he’s ever met, talks a bit about the bizarro media darling (per CNN) that is brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-Jong, and highlight’s Rand’s invitation to talk with the Taliban in Afghanistan.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/02/14/electric-libertyland-ep-59-military-industrial-congress/

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Freedom Feens Radio, 02/14/18
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Dianna Keiler and Jeremy Heisenberg commiserate about degrading eyesight, their young experiences with Catholicism, whether or not to disassociate from family members, dealing with past traumas in the present, cooking shows, and Kelsey Grammer.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15612

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Foreign Policy Focus, episode 155
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #155, I breakdown Senator Rand Paul’s interview on Fox News. Senator Paul takes advantage of the government budget process to call out American’s 7 wars, the huge Defense budget, and the futility of American Interventionism. I discuss Mike Pence’s statement on North Korea. I also update the Afghanistan War, the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, and the Syrian Civil War.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-155-rand-paul-is-right-on-war

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Intercepted, 02/14/18
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted: Senior National Security Correspondent Jim Risen talks about the secret NSA negotiations with a Russian intermediary and discusses where he sees the Russia investigation going. As Trump continues his obsession with the MS-13 street gang, The Intercept’s Alice Speri reports on how this ‘war on gangs’ has given the green light for federal agents to target high school students for deportation. NYU professor Nikhil Singh talks about his latest book ‘Race and America’s Longest War’ and offers a provocative perspective on some of the golden calves of ‘American exceptionalism.’ Iran analyst Holly Dagres of The Iranist discusses the politics of regime change and the recent protests in Iran. Plus, Stormy Daniels helps Trump wag the dog.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/14/intercepted-podcast-americas-distribution-of-violence/

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Free Talk Live, 02/13/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Govt School Teachers :: Dog Meat and Other Unusual Meats :: Man’s Best Friend :: Stray Dog Problem :: Squid :: Good Radio :: Thoughts on Police :: Conscription :: Need More Activists in NH :: Dismal Results in Florida Libertarian Scene :: NH Activism Down? :: Passing A Cop Car :: Vindictive Cop :: HOSTS — Ian, Johnson.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/13/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-02-13

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bloggingheads.tv, 02/13/18
Source: bloggingheads.tv

“Aryeh Cohen-Wade (Joking on the Square, @AryehCW) and Jesse Farrar (@Bronzehammer, Your Kickstarter Sucks) … How Jesse’s joke tweet ended up on Fox & Friends … Jesse: ‘We’re all mad at each other all the time’ … The link between Weird Twitter and left politics … Jesse’s comedy podcast, Your Kickstarter Sucks … Is the show a critique of American capitalism? … The wacky world of video game streaming.” [Flash video] (02/13/18)

https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/50647

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 1093
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Kevin Duffy, a principal of Bearing Asset Management, gives his assessment of the U.S. economy as a whole and of particular sectors: housing, precious metals, auto loans, and more.” [various formats] (02/13/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1093-are-we-in-a-giant-bubble/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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