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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,912
Friday, February 16th, 2018
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In the News:

US House GOP pushes “Make America East Germany Again” immigration plan as Senate fails slightly less insane deals
Ethiopia: Desalegn submits resignation after anti-government protests
Lebanon: Tillerson in Beirut, wades into Lebanon-Israel border dispute
Trump “strongly” favors imposing online sales tax, Mnuchin says
Eighth Circuit hears “disobedient” presidential elector case
Ireland: Sinn Fein blames DUP for collapse of Six Counties powersharing talks
Russian Foreign Ministry: Five Russians killed in US Syria strike
South Africa: Ramaphosa elected to succeed Zuma as president
Report: “Health attacks” on US diplomats in Cuba neurological, but cause still a mystery
Russia cargo ship delivers three tons of supplies to space station
Authoritarian troll Peter Thiel is reportedly exiting Silicon Valley, and may resign from Facebook’s board
McDonald’s slims down Happy Meal by banishing cheeseburgers
Google turns on default adblocker within Chrome
Pakistan: Regime begins seizing charities linked to US-wanted cleric
Afghanistan: Taliban issues open letter calling for peace talks with US
UK: Regime blames Russia for crippling cyberattack
Russia: Regime blocks opposition leader Navalny’s web site before election
FBI: Wrong turn could have sparked fire from gunmen at NSA gang’s lair
Australia: Government ministers banned from sex with staff
Trump endorses 25-cent gas tax hike, lawmakers say

Everybody Has An Opinion:

Misdiagnosing right-to-try laws
Why do anti-immigrants favor protectionism?
Trump’s new budget is a debt bomb waiting to explode
It’s not what they claim it is
Libertarians and the unsocial media game of egos
Law enforcement use of face recognition systems threatens civil liberties, disproportionately affects people of color
Gustave de Molinari and the anti-statist liberal tradition, part 3
How we became homeschoolers
The real problem with the DoJ’s decision to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger
Why Fed shouldn’t panic over inflation yet, and neither should you
Ban the box: But fix food stamps
Trump’s American carnage
To introduce Oliver Kamm to the concept of markets
With fealty to frailty, the Federalist Party of America launches
No Huawei! US spy chiefs reverse course on phone spying
Token holders don’t give a damn about voting rights and community governance
The liberals who want to love Trump to death
Trump leads GOP in turn against legal immigration
Massachusetts becomes dumber so the rest of us can be smarter
The scourging of Julian Assange
Dehomogenizing Austrian economics: The revival of Wieser
It’s the Remainers who are the conspiracy theorists
Trump’s infrastructure plan: Fiction? Scam? Actually, both
Corruption beyond imagination
Putin’s pocket army? The rise of Russian mercenaries in Syria
Asking the wrong questions about vouchers
America’s creeping regime change in Syria
How ICE works to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans
Speech Code of the Month: Kentucky State University
“Marriage and love have nothing in common”

The Sound and the Fury:

The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 81
Leading Liberty Podcast, 02/15/18
Clear and Present Danger, episode 2
Freedom Feens Radio, 02/15/18
Free Talk Live, 02/14/18
The Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 203
The Tom Woods Show, episode 1094
Editor’s Break, episode 58
EconTalk, 02/12/18
bloggingheads.tv, 02/14/18

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

US House GOP pushes “Make America East Germany Again” immigration plan as Senate fails slightly less insane deals
Source: The Hill

“House GOP leaders are forging ahead with their own hardline immigration bill, as the Senate threw in the towel Thursday on legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. The main author of the House bill, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said Thursday that he’s building support for his measure, even as other GOP colleagues said an initial vote tally this week was well below the 218 votes needed to pass the bill. … Goodlatte’s plan would provide DACA recipients with a temporary, renewable legal status — rather than citizenship — in exchange for authorizing funding for Trump’s border wall, ending family-based migration and scrapping the diversity visa lottery program. The Goodlatte plan also includes tough [police state enhancement] measures: The bill would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, boost penalties for deported criminals who try to re-enter the U.S. and requires that employers use an electronic verification system known as E-Verify to make sure they hire legal workers.” (02/15/18)

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/374145-house-gop-pushes-hardline-immigration-plan-as-senate-deals-fail

—–

Ethiopia: Desalegn submits resignation after anti-government protests
Source: Time

“Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced Thursday he has submitted a resignation letter after the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century, saying he hoped the surprise decision would help planned reforms succeed and create a ‘lasting peace.’ … Ethiopia has been rocked by months of protests demanding wider freedoms that have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands detained. The government in recent weeks released more than 6,500 detained opposition figures, journalists and others after the prime minister in an unexpected announcement in January said he wanted to ‘widen the democratic space for all.’” (02/15/18)

http://time.com/5160131/ethiopias-prime-minister-resigns-protest/

—–

Lebanon: Tillerson in Beirut, wades into Lebanon-Israel border dispute
Source: US News & World Report

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said there are ‘constructive’ discussions underway on how to break a “stalemate” between Lebanon and Israel over gas drilling rights along the countries’ disputed maritime border and maintain calm along the volatile frontier. Tillerson was in Lebanon on a brief stopover amid a growing dispute between Lebanon and its southern neighbor, Israel, over oil and gas reserves, and Israel’s construction of a border wall that Lebanon says encroaches on its territory. The U.S. has been trying to mediate in the dispute, and Tillerson suggested Israel should stop building a border wall until the border between the two countries is agreed on. … He also said Hezbollah’s growing arsenal was a threat to Lebanon’s security and called on the Iranian-backed militia to cease its activities abroad to help reduce tensions in the region.” (02/15/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-15/us-secretary-of-state-in-lebanon-as-part-of-mideast-trip

—–

Trump “strongly” favors imposing online sales tax, Mnuchin says
Source: Fortune

“President Donald Trump ‘feels strongly’ that the U.S. should impose a sales tax on purchases made over the Internet, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. Mnuchin, speaking at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, said he has spoken personally with Trump about the issue, and that the president ‘does feel strongly’ that the tax should be applied. The prospect of an online sales tax has been a long-standing point of contention between Internet-based retailers and their brick-and-mortar rivals. Trump has previously gone after Internet giant Amazon.com Inc., saying last year that it does ‘great damage to tax paying retailers.’” [editor’s note: That damage can be completely fixed by getting rid of sales for all businesses. Problem solved. You’re welcome, Don – TLK] (02/15/18)

http://fortune.com/2018/02/15/donald-trump-online-sales-tax/

—–

Eighth Circuit hears “disobedient” presidential elector case
Source: Ballot Access News

“On February 13, the Eighth Circuit heard Abdurrahman v Dayton, 16-4551. The issue is the Minnesota law saying if a presidential elector votes in the electoral college for someone who did not get the most popular votes, then he or she is deemed to have resigned, and will be replaced by the other electors. The plaintiff, a Democratic presidential elector in 2016, voted for Bernie Sanders for president in the electoral college meeting in December. The Secretary of State then removed him as an elector, so his electoral vote was never counted. The U.S. District Court then ruled in favor of the state and dismissed the case, before any proceedings over the constitutionality of the law had occurred. The Eighth Circuit must now decide whether the case was dismissed too soon.” (02/14/18)

http://ballot-access.org/2018/02/14/eighth-circuit-hears-disobedient-presidential-elector-case/

—–

Ireland: Sinn Fein blames DUP for collapse of Six Counties powersharing talks
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“Sinn Fein and the DUP had signed up to a ‘draft agreement’ to restore powersharing to Northern Ireland before Arlene Foster dramatically collapsed the talks, it was today claimed. Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said she urged the unionists to close the deal last week before it could be ‘unpicked’ by opponents. But she accused the DUP of dragging their feet and laid the blame for the collapse of the talks on Mrs Foster’s party. The DUP sent shock waves through Northern Ireland and Westminster when they dramatically collapsed the talks last night — just days after Theresa May made a high-profile visit to Stormont.” (02/15/18)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5391717/DUP-chief-Arlene-Foster-ends-talks-restoring-devolution.html

—–

Russian Foreign Ministry: Five Russians killed in US Syria strike
Source: Washington Post

“The Russian Foreign Ministry says five Russians have been killed in a U.S. strike in Syria, the first official recognition of Russian deaths in the incident that has threatened to further strain Russia-U.S. ties. … Until Thursday, both Russian and U.S. officials said they had no information on Russian losses in the clash, which came when pro-government forces attacked positions of the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters and faced a ferocious U.S. counterattack.” (02/15/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-latest-russian-fm-5-russians-killed-in-us-syria-strike/2018/02/15/2022dac0-1253-11e8-a68c-e9374188170e_story.html

—–

South Africa: Ramaphosa elected to succeed Zuma as president
Source: United Press International

“Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa’s new president Thursday after the departure of embattled leader Jacob Zuma. The announcement of Ramaphosa, the only candidate nominated in South African Parliament Thursday, was met with singing in the National Assembly. In December, Ramaphosa was elected leader of the African National Congress. Zuma resigned Wednesday following pressure from the ANC, which said if Zuma didn’t resign by the end of the day, proceedings would begin to force him out. Ramaphosa, 65, drew international acclaim for steering talks that ended apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation, and produced South Africa’s first democratic constitution. He has served as country’s deputy president since 2014.” (02/15/18)

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/02/15/Ramaphosa-elected-as-South-Africas-new-president/8781518692927/

—–

Report: “Health attacks” on US diplomats in Cuba neurological, but cause still a mystery
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Doctors are releasing the first detailed medical reports about the hearing, vision, balance and brain symptoms suffered in what the State Department has called ‘health attacks’ on U.S. diplomats in Cuba. Still missing: A clear diagnosis of just what happened to trigger their mysterious health problems. All together, the symptoms are similar to the brain dysfunction seen with concussions, concluded a team of specialists from the University of Pennsylvania who tested 21 of the 24 embassy personnel thought to be affected. … The mystery began in late 2016 when U.S. embassy personnel began seeking medical care for hearing loss and ear-ringing that they linked to weird noises or vibrations — initially leading investigators to suspect ‘sonic attacks.’ Now, officials are carefully avoiding that term, as doctors involved in the probe wonder whether the sounds were a byproduct of something else that might help explain the full symptom list: memory problems, impaired concentration, irritability, balance problems and dizziness.” (02/15/18)

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/report_health_attacks_on_us_di.html

—–

Russia cargo ship delivers three tons of supplies to space station
Source: Space.com

“A robotic Russian resupply ship linked up with the International Space Station this morning (Feb. 15) to deliver 3 tons of cargo, including fresh food, supplies and science gear for the astronauts on board. The Progress 69 resupply ship docked at the aft end of the space station’s Russian-built Zvezda module at 5:38 a.m. EST (1038 GMT) as both spacecraft flew 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth, over the area just east of the Philippines. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, launched the new cargo ship Tuesday (Feb. 13) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after a two-day delay.” (02/15/18)

https://www.space.com/39712-russian-cargo-ship-progress-69-space-station-arrival.html

—–

Authoritarian troll Peter Thiel is reportedly exiting Silicon Valley, and may resign from Facebook’s board
Source: CNBC

“Investor Peter Thiel is moving his residence and business operations from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The decision underscores a growing divide between the outspoken tech industry conservative and Silicon Valley. Thiel has also considered resigning from his position as a Facebook board member, sources told the WSJ. His motivation reportedly stems from both a perception of the valley’s intolerance for right-leaning politics as well as concerns around the financial impacts of regulatory scrutiny on the tech industry.” [editor’s note: Later in the article, Thiel is falsely identified as a “libertarian” and correctly identified as Trump supporter – TLK] (02/15/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/15/peter-thiel-is-reportedly-exiting-silicon-valley.html

—–

McDonald’s slims down Happy Meal by banishing cheeseburgers
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“McDonald’s is banishing cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar kids consume at its restaurants. Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid’s meal, but the fast-food company says not listing them will reduce how often they’re ordered.” (02/15/18)

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/mcdonald-s-slims-down-happy-meal-by-banishing-cheeseburgers/article_96a6237b-7433-5d0f-9d22-e4269f7c0f77.html

—–

Google turns on default adblocker within Chrome
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Google will start automatically blocking intrusive ads within its Chrome browser for desktop and Android from Thursday 15 February. The change, announced in June, will see the dominant browser that is used by over 56% of internet users block some of the most intrusive ads including full-page prestitial ads, flashing animated ads and auto-playing video ads with sound. … The built-in adblocker will stop showing all ads on any sites that repeatedly display any one of a list of the most disruptive ads, as decided by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) — a group of advertising and online media companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and a collection of publishers including News Corp, Thomson Reuters and the Washington Post.” (02/15/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/15/google-adblocker-chrome-browser

—–

Pakistan: Regime begins seizing charities linked to US-wanted cleric
Source: Willoughby News-Herald

“Amid increasing pressure from the international community, Pakistan on Wednesday began seizing assets and funds belonging to Islamic charities linked to a radical cleric wanted by the U.S., officials said. It was the first step against Hafiz Saeed since he was freed by Pakistani authorities in November on a court order. He is the founder of the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. … Saeed denies involvement in the Mumbai attacks and claims his charities are only under a U.N. watch list. The move came a day after Pakistan’s Cabinet approved new rules in an effort to tighten the noose around outlawed extremist and militant organizations and seize their financial assets.” (02/15/18)

http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20180214/pakistan-begins-seizing-charities-linked-to-us-wanted-cleric

—–

Afghanistan: Taliban issues open letter calling for peace talks with US
Source: Antiwar.com

“Late last month, President Trump announced the US is unwilling to engage in any peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. The Taliban, however, has now issued an open letter on the matter saying that they do want peace talks, and see the war needing to be resolved through peaceful dialogue. If President Trump’s disavowal of talks marked a big change, the Taliban’s position is even moreso, as top Taliban officials have long spurned the idea of talks without US withdrawal as a precondition, and have repeatedly denied that the talks that have happened amount to peace talks.” (02/15/18)

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/02/14/taliban-issues-open-letter-calling-for-peace-talks-with-us/

—–

UK: Regime blames Russia for crippling cyberattack
Source: CNN

“The British government says that Russia was behind a massive global cyberattack that hit major companies in June 2017. Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad said in a statement on Thursday that the Russian military was responsible for the attack, which initially targeted computers in Ukraine but quickly spread beyond its borders. The attack — called NotPetya — hit companies including British advertising group WPP (WPP), Oreo maker Mondelez (MDLZ), U.S. drugmaker Merck (MRK) and global shipping company FedEx (FDX). ‘The destructive attack masqueraded as ransomware, but its purpose was principally to disrupt,’ the U.K. government said in a statement.” (02/15/18)

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/15/technology/russia-cyberattack-notpetya-uk/index.html

—–

Russia: Regime blocks opposition leader Navalny’s web site before election
Source: Today Online [Singapore]

“Russian authorities blocked opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s website on Thursday a month before a presidential election, a move Navalny said was designed to blunt his campaign for a boycott of what he says is a sham vote. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, said it had ordered telecoms operators to block parts of Navalny’s site because he had ignored a request to remove material covered in an injunction obtained by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. … Navalny, who has been barred from running in the March 18 presidential election which incumbent Vladimir Putin is forecast to win, accused the authorities of acting to hinder his campaign aimed at getting people to boycott the election. They had also wanted to help Deripaska remove information about himself from the public domain, Navalny said, saying he had no intention of voluntarily taking down the material.” (02/15/18)

http://www.todayonline.com/world/russian-opposition-leader-navalnys-website-blocked-election

—–

FBI: Wrong turn could have sparked fire from gunmen at NSA gang’s lair
Source: New Hampshire Union Leader

“A wrong turn may have led three men to drive onto the campus of the U.S. National Security Agency near Washington on Wednesday, sparking a scare that drew gunfire from guards and sent three to the hospital, FBI officials said. The FBI said there was no link to terrorism in the incident. The motorists, who were not identified, drove to a gate of the secretive government agency in Fort Meade, Md., shortly before 7 a.m. EST. Guards fired on the vehicle after it violated NSA security rules, officials said.” (02/14/18)

http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20180214/NEWS07/180219602

—–

Australia: Government ministers banned from sex with staff
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Australia’s prime minister on Thursday banned government ministers from having sex with staff as his deputy battled for his political survival over revelations that he is expecting a baby with a former press secretary. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused Barnaby Joyce of making a ‘shocking error of judgment’ by having an office affair which had hurt his wife, his four daughters and his new partner who is due to give birth in April.” (02/15/18)

https://www.seattlepi.com/news/world/article/Australian-government-ministers-banned-from-sex-12615645.php

—–

Trump endorses 25-cent gas tax hike, lawmakers say
Source: Politico

“President Donald Trump endorsed the idea of a 25 cent-per-gallon gas tax increase at a meeting Wednesday with lawmakers, people who attended the session said — a move that could help pay for his big infrastructure plan but brought swift attacks from anti-tax conservatives. Trump’s support came just two days after the White House released a long-awaited, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan that didn’t endorse such a politically perilous increase, and less than two months after he signed a mammoth tax code overhaul that would have provided cover for lawmakers supporting it. The last president to hike the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax was Bill Clinton in 1993, a year before Democrats lost both chambers of Congress in a crushing midterm defeat.” (02/14/18)

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/14/trump-gas-tax-409647

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

Misdiagnosing right-to-try laws
Source: Independent Institute
by Raymond March

“Determining whether or not drugs are safe and effective is critical. However, right-to-try laws only apply to terminally ill patients who have exhausted all other options. It is inconceivable that granting them access would hinder ‘the public’s health and the interests of future patients.’ Further, the legislation would only allow access to experimental drugs and procedures that passed Phase 1 of the FDA’s approval process, which specifically tests for safety. Right-to-try allows patients to bypass Phase 2, Phase 3, and the new drug application process. These can take up to nine years to complete. The clinical process is also biased against participation by those needing it most.” (02/15/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/02/15/misdiagnosing-right-to-try-laws/

—–

Why do anti-immigrants favor protectionism?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Okay, I get it: President Trump and his acolytes favor immigration controls because they don’t want people from s***hole countries coming into the United States. What doesn’t makes any sense is why they also favor tariffs, sanctions, embargoes, and other trade restrictions against those s***h countries. After all, by increasing economic misery in those countries, such measures only encourage more people from those countries to come to the United States, the exact opposite of what anti-immigrants want.” (02/15/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/02/15/anti-immigrants-favor-protectionism/

—–

Trump’s new budget is a debt bomb waiting to explode
Source: Fox News Forum

“Government produces no products that consumers are willing to pay for voluntarily, and it doesn’t sell shares of stock in its assets. It doesn’t generate wealth; it seizes it. And when it can no longer politically get away with seizing, it borrows. It borrows a great deal of money — money that it rolls over, by borrowing trillions to pay back trillions to prior lenders, and thus its debt never goes away. Last week, after eight years of publicly complaining that then-President Barack Obama was borrowing more than $1 trillion a year to fund the government — borrowing that the Republicans silently consented to — congressional Republicans, now in control of Congress and with a friend in the Oval Office, voted to spend and hence borrow between $5 trillion and $6 trillion more than tax revenue will produce in the next three years; that’s a few trillion more than they complained about in the Obama years. That’s borrowing $1 million a minute.” (02/15/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/15/judge-andrew-napolitano-trump-s-new-budget-is-debt-bomb-waiting-to-explode.html

—–

It’s not what they claim it is
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“Libertarianism is not about what many of its enemies pretend it is about. It is not about being ‘anti-government.’ What it is about is the recognition that no one has the right to initiate force or violate private property. In other words, no one has the right to archate. That’s it, period. If it isn’t about not having the right to archate, it might still be compatible with libertarianism, but it isn’t central to libertarianism.” (02/15/18)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2018/02/its-not-what-they-claim-it-is.html

—–

Libertarians and the unsocial media game of egos
Source: HubPages
by Garry Reed

“What is it about the net that brings out the worst in people? Online forums like Facebook Groups and their ilk are about the most unsocial social media formats that a thinking libertarian can wander into. It’s a perpetual Ego War of personal attacks and insults and logical fallacies and repetitiously superficial posturing and battle cries of ‘I’m Right You’re Wrong’ and ‘I Win You Lose.’ Virtually undecipherable internet slang that goes way beyond LOL requires repeated trips to Urban Dictionary just to understand the latest insult for most people but only a simple trip to a decent reference book for libertarians to explain their beliefs.” (02/14/18)

https://hubpages.com/politics/Libertarians-and-the-Unsocial-Media-Game-of-Egos

—–

Law enforcement use of face recognition systems threatens civil liberties, disproportionately affects people of color
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jennifer Lynch

“Face recognition — fast becoming law enforcement’s surveillance tool of choice — is being implemented with little oversight or privacy protections, leading to faulty systems that will disproportionately impact people of color and may implicate innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit, says an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) report released today.” [summary — full paper available in HTML or PDF] (02/15/18)

https://www.eff.org/wp/law-enforcement-use-face-recognition

—–

Gustave de Molinari and the anti-statist liberal tradition, part 3
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by David M Hart

“Two years after Molinari had first proposed his theory of the ‘production of security,’ the English political philosopher, Herbert Spencer, independently pushed free-market liberalism to its anarchist limits in his book Social Statics. Spencer argued that the state was not an ‘essential’ institution and that it would not necessarily last forever. As society progressed, government would inevitably become smaller and ‘decay’ as voluntary market organizations replaced the coercive political institutions of the state. … Spencer deduced from the principle of equal liberty the individual’s ‘right to ignore the state.’” (02/15/18)

https://mises.org/library/gustave-de-molinari-and-anti-statist-liberal-tradition-part-3

—–

How we became homeschoolers
Source: Strike The Root
by Paul Bonneau

“[W]e were (almost) never officially registered with the state as homeschoolers, thus avoiding the testing requirements and educrats looking over our shoulder. As I stated on the email list, he was our child, not the state’s. Now, one can make the case that abused children should be ‘cared for’ by government (not a very good case, but the argument can be made, at least); but letting those bastards dick around with functional families? No way. None of their damn business. I would make that point every time some newbie came on the email list — almost invariably part of their first post was, ‘How do I get right with the authorities?’ My response was always, ‘Why bother?’ It was an old saying there on the list, that ‘those who registered, frequently wished they hadn’t; but those who hadn’t registered, never ended up wishing they had.’” (02/15/18)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/how-we-became-homeschoolers

—–

The real problem with the DoJ’s decision to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Gulker

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) last November shocked many observers in the telecommunications and entertainment industries by suing to stop the $108 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. by AT&T. The last time the DOJ went to court to attempt to block a ‘vertical’ merger (when a company merges with one of the companies that buys its product) was 1977. … The DOJ’s apparent shift in course allowed the media to hone in on a potentially tantalizing theory: that President Trump, who vocally criticizes CNN, a channel owned by Time Warner subsidiary Turner Broadcasting, unduly influenced the DOJ to block the merger. Such meddling would be a serious abuse of presidential power. This article does not speculate on the president’s role in blocking the merger, but instead looks at the economics of the transaction.” (02/15/18)

https://www.aier.org/research/real-problem-dojs-decision-block-atttime-warner-merger

—–

Why Fed shouldn’t panic over inflation yet, and neither should you
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Suddenly, inflation is relevant again. In recent weeks, following a strong January jobs report, data showing wages rising rapidly and, now, a half-percentage point rise in consumer price inflation, markets have been spooked. It’s good to fear inflation, but wrong to overreact. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index, the widely followed inflation indicator, rose a surprisingly strong 0.5% in January, or 2.1% year over year. That’s still fairly modest inflation pressure, but it’s plainly picking up, with five months in a row now of consumer inflation over 2%. More worrisome still is the fact that the annualized rate for the past three months is 4.4%. There’s no reason to think that’s permanent, but it does get your attention if you own stocks, financial instruments, own a credit card, or have an adjustable rate mortgage.” (02/14/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/why-fed-shouldnt-panic-over-inflation-yet-and-neither-should-you

—–

Ban the box: But fix food stamps
Source: Salon
by Amanda Marcotte

“Donald Trump’s administration may be incompetent when it comes to governance, but it’s aces when it comes to unparalleled corruption and trolling. Both were in play with the dramatic announcement that the proposed 2019 budget would take half the budget for low-income Americans’ food stamp benefits (technically the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) and use them to send boxes of pantry staples to participants, instead of allowing them to shop for themselves. It’s almost a given that this was likely a corrupt move to shift money from low-income people toward graft-heavy private contract programs, but it’s also likely that Trump and his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, were just trolling. … The grim truth, and the reason why Trump’s ‘box’ troll was so effective, is that large swaths of the American population still see poverty as a moral failing and believe that people who need assistance cannot be trusted to handle basic adult responsibilities like paying rent or choosing food to feed their families.” (02/15/18)

https://www.salon.com/2018/02/15/forget-trumps-box-troll-heres-how-to-make-the-food-stamp-program-better/

—–

Trump’s American carnage
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“In his inaugural address, Donald Trump declared, ‘This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.’ He knew it would not. We know it did not. … Trump gave those credulous enough to believe him false hope. ‘The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,’ he vowed at the Republican National Convention. ‘Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.’ But safety was not restored that day. Neither crime nor violence ended. The vow was a cynical ploy to get votes. It worked. And now, sadly but predictably, Trump has been proven wrong again.” (02/15/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/trump-carnage/553424/

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To introduce Oliver Kamm to the concept of markets
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“We’ve regularly pointed out around here that markets in forms of organisation are just as important as any other. We’re entirely fine with the idea that cooperatives, or other forms of communal, even socialist, organisation will outperform, in certain circumstances or sectors, more capitalist forms. Even that the State does some things better than non-state actors. Our point always being that we’ve got to have a market in such things so that we can see which is doing it better. Exactly and entirely the same is true of regulation and standards. Once we get past the basics already there in common law — don’t poison the consumers sort of things, possibly harms to third parties — then we positively don’t want the one set of rules. We want the competition to see which actually is better, we need the market.” (02/15/18)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/to-introduce-oliver-kamm-to-the-concept-of-markets

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With fealty to frailty, the Federalist Party of America launches
Source: National Review
by William FB O’Reilly

“A new political party is rolling out in America. It’s tiny, unfunded, understaffed, and it’s not really a party at all, at least not yet. Sounds promising — right? There’s more. Its name is stodgy, akin to blowing dust from an old tome in a Philadelphia attic: the Federalist Party of America. What’s next? Powdered wigs? And if the party ever draws real breath, everyone who’s anyone in Washington will try to strangle it in its crib. How can it miss?” (02/15/18)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456417/federalist-party-america-launches-today-supports-term-limits

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No Huawei! US spy chiefs reverse course on phone spying
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“If it seems like only a year ago that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was telling us how dangerous it is for Americans to have encrypted smart phones that make it hard for the FBI to poke around in our data, that’s because yes, it really was only a year ago. In early 2017, James Comey took Apple to court, demanding that the company help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist/murderer Syed Farook. Other officials have kept up a steady whine against strong encryption ever since. But now, CNN reports, the FBI and other US intelligence agencies are suddenly and ever so deeply concerned with preserving your smart phone privacy.” (02/15/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12874

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Token holders don’t give a damn about voting rights and community governance
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Kai Sedgwick

“You’ve probably heard of The DAO and you’ve certainly heard of the ICO. Now say hello to the DAICO, an ‘innovative fundraising model’that aims to combine the best of both frameworks. The Abyss Platform is the first project to utilize this hybrid organizational structure, which has been credited as the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin. There’s just one problem with The DAO, the ICO and the mutant DAICO it’s spawned — the public couldn’t give a damn about key tenets such as voting rights and community governance. All they want is cheap tokens they can flip for a quick profit.” (02/14/18)

https://news.bitcoin.com/token-holders-dont-give-damn-voting-rights-community-governance/

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The liberals who want to love Trump to death
Source: The New Republic
by Graham Vyse

“The Resistance runs on rage, and understandably so. President Donald Trump is a fearsome threat to everything the left stands for: inclusion and diversity, compassion and progress. But to defeat him, many believe, liberals must act more like him: name enemies, fight dirty, and never back down. Yet several prominent liberals spent the first year of Trump’s presidency calling for exactly the opposite as an antidote to Trumpism: more love and empathy, more civility and collaboration. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker talked about a ‘conspiracy of love,’ which Politico dubbed ‘a combination of a guiding-light mantra and a permanent political slogan.’ CNN host Van Jones toured the country to enlist young people in his #LoveArmy, and wrote a book, Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. Fellow CNN commentator Sally Kohn will soon publish a book, too: The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity. These two pundits want liberals to help heal a bitterly divided nation by softening their rhetoric about Republicans, even die-hard Trump supporters. But they also believe it’s sound politics.” (02/14/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/147069/liberals-want-love-trump-death

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Trump leads GOP in turn against legal immigration
Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

“Many people have long decried illegal immigration while claiming to have no problem with legal immigration. The complaints about undocumented foreigners are familiar: ‘Why can’t they follow the rules? Why don’t they get in line and wait their turn like everyone else? Why should they be rewarded for breaking the law?’ The simple answer is that we make it too hard to immigrate, even as our economy depends on the labor of immigrants, legal or otherwise. If the goal is to induce more aspirants to come through legitimate channels, we should be working to expand and simplify those channels. That’s not what Donald Trump proposes. His plan provides legal status and a lengthy path for citizenship for up to 1.8 million people who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In exchange, though, the president wants to sharply restrict family-based immigration.” (02/15/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/02/15/trump-leads-attack-on-legal-immigration

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Massachusetts becomes dumber so the rest of us can be smarter
Source: Heartland Institute
by Robert Holland

“Prior to the advent of Common Core in 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts led all other states in the intellectual depth and productiveness of its home-grown K–12 standards. In 2005, Massachusetts became the first state ever to rank numer-one in all four categories of basic-knowledge testing done by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly called the nation’s report card. It retained that distinction for several years, until the corrosive effect of sacking its world-class standards in favor of the federally subsidized Common Core began to become painfully obvious. Between 2011 and 2015, the Bay State was one of 16 states to experience falling scores in NAEP reading and math.” (02/14/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/02/massachusetts-becomes-dumber-so-the-rest-of-us-can-be-smarter/

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The scourging of Julian Assange
Source: CounterPunch
by John Wight

“Julian Assange’s latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped has failed in what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power. … If Julian Assange had been confined to a foreign embassy in Moscow or Beijing for five years, on the same grounds on which he has been confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his plight would have been a cause celebre, sparking calls for boycotts, sanctions, and action at the UN on the part of free speech and prisoner of conscience liberals in the West who are never done excoriating Russia and China.” (02/15/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/15/the-scourging-of-julian-assange/

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Dehomogenizing Austrian economics: The revival of Wieser
Source: Cobden Centre
by Joseph T Salerno

“[T]he dehomogenization debate of the last few decades was actually initiated by a radical reinterpretation of the socialist calculation debate of the 1930s published by Israel Kirzner in 1988. Prior to Professor Kirzner’s seminal article, ‘The Economic Calculation Debate: Lessons for Austrians,’ it was widely accepted by both neoclassical and Austrian economists that Hayek (and Lionel Robbins) had diverged from and softened Mises’s position that economic calculation was ‘impossible’ under socialism.” (02/15/18)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/02/dehomogenizing-austrian-economics-the-revival-of-wieser/

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It’s the Remainers who are the conspiracy theorists
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“Given the overwhelming sense among too many members of our chastened political and cultural elite that Brexit was a conspiracy drawn up by a cabal of old men, probably backed by shadowy Russian cash, it should come as no surprise that the solution proffered has a nasty historical undertone. As pro-EU Labour peer Lord Adonis put it in a piece on those ‘behind’ Brexit in the New European: ‘Britain needs not only a change of policy but a complete purification. Let’s hope it is not too painful.’ A purification? Have these people listened to themselves?” (02/15/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/its-remainers-who-are-the-conspiracy-theorists/

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Trump’s infrastructure plan: Fiction? Scam? Actually, both
Source: The American Prospect
by Donald Cohen

“First, it’s a fiction. There is no $1.5 trillion plan. It’s $200 billion — that’s all the federal government says it’s going to spend — but then it’s not that either. That $200 billion doesn’t factor in the billions in cuts to transportation, water, energy, and other projects. The Highway Trust Fund that states and cities rely on is zeroed out. Budgetary shell games (a.k.a. budget cuts) are not the new investment that will fill the gaping need in American drinking water, waste water disposal, transit, roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure. Paul Krugman summed it up in a tweet: ‘So the real net spending on infrastructure being proposed is basically zero. All that’s left is an effort to privatize things that can make profits.’ In reality, the Trump plan shifts the vast majority of infrastructure spending onto state and local governments — which compels them to levy tolls, taxes and fees (there’s no other source of funds) on local businesses and individuals. Trump’s plan thereby ensures that wealthier regions will invest more and poor regions less, further exacerbating the economic divides across the country and continuing to let our infrastructure fall into disrepair.” (02/14/18)

http://prospect.org/article/trumps-infrastructure-plan-fiction-scam-actually-both

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Corruption beyond imagination
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Four [Baltimore] police officers, already convicted, testified to routinely violating the rights of citizens in order to steal cash and property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. … A total of eight officers of the Gun Trace Task Force have now been convicted of or pleaded guilty to felonies. … Baltimore, we’ve got a problem.” (02/15/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/02/15/corruption-beyond-imagination/

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Putin’s pocket army? The rise of Russian mercenaries in Syria
Source: The American Conservative
by David Isenberg

“If you think the media has been saturated with news about Russia think again. While thoughts might run to Robert Mueller’s probe into possible Russian collusion with the Trump election campaign, I refer to something possibly far worse: the development and expansion of Russia’s private military companies (PMC) and its implications for the global spread of armies for hire by great powers and multinational corporations alike.” (02/15/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/putins-pocket-army-the-rise-of-russian-mercenaries-in-syria/

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Asking the wrong questions about vouchers
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“Instead of asking whether vouchers work, whether vouchers enable to students to get a better education, and how more children can receive vouchers, there are a number of other questions that ought to be asked: Are vouchers a form of welfare? Are vouchers libertarian? Whose responsibility is it to pay for the education of children?” (02/15/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/asking-wrong-questions-vouchers/

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America’s creeping regime change in Syria
Source: Cato Institute
by John Glaser

“In eastern Syria last week, American air and ground forces attacked Syrian pro-government military units, killing roughly 100 people, including some Russian advisors. U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Veale described the attack as ‘taken in self-defense.’ ‘Self-defense?’ Had the regime of Bashar al-Assad bombarded Boston Harbor? No, but it had attacked a base, long held by Syrian rebels, with U.S. military advisors present. Despite the tit-for-tat chronology here, it’s hard to see how Veale’s ‘self-defense’ claim is tenable. After all, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained last month, the Trump administration has committed to an indefinite military presence of roughly 2,000 U.S. boots on the Syrian battlefield. Are these troops present at the behest of the host government? Certainly not. Has Congress ratified their deployment in some way? Guess again. Are they there preempting an imminent threat of attack on America? Nope. Are they under the mandate of a UN Security Council resolution? No. n fact, the U.S. military presence in Syria has no legal authorization whatsoever.” (02/14/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/americas-creeping-regime-change-syria

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How ICE works to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans
Source: The Intercept
by Eoin Higgins

“For 10 years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s investigative office has worked to keep its internal handbook out of American courts. The handbook could have been used in court to show how ICE’s push to lead on denaturalization cases stands in contrast to the language of federal law governing the process, an immigration lawyer said. ‘We could have used it as an exhibit in a motion to dismiss’ in previous denaturalization cases, said Philip Smith, an immigration attorney from Portland, Oregon, noting the contrast. The handbook, which was issued on January 15, 2008, and published Wednesday by the independent media outlet Unicorn Riot, makes clear that the priority for ICE’s investigative division, Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, in denaturalization proceedings is to use the most efficient means possible to fulfill a single-minded goal: leveraging the bureaucratic process to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans.” (02/14/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/14/ice-denaturalization-naturalized-citizen-immigration/

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Speech Code of the Month: Kentucky State University
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Samantha Harris

“FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for February 2018: Kentucky State University. Kentucky State’s updated Student Code of Conduct contains an expanded list of ‘offenses against persons’ that — in addition to wholly reasonable bans on physical abuse, harassment, threats, and the like — includes a ban on ’embarrassment.’ Yes, you read that correctly — at Kentucky State, you can face disciplinary action for embarrassing another person.” (02/14/18)

https://www.thefire.org/speech-code-of-the-month-kentucky-state-university/

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“Marriage and love have nothing in common”
Source: In These Times
by Emma Goldman

“The popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous, that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition. Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other. No doubt some marriages have been the result of love. Not, however, because love could assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it because few people can completely outgrow a convention. There are today large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based on love, and while it is equally true that in some cases love continues in married life, I maintain that it does so regardless of marriage, and not because of it.” [Published 1914; reprinted 02/14/18)]

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20912/Emma-Goldman-Marriage-love-sexual-freedom-women-feminism-church-state

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

The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 81
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“From Criminal Cops last week to Private Police this week, I wonder which ones are more successful? What’s in the News with stories on zero tolerance, deadly cops, rapist cops, graffiti trumps property rights, Tide Pod bans, and Pentagon loses more money. Plus, a special Herding Cats episode on a follow up from Liberty Forum and big news for PorcFest XV.” [various formats] (02/15/18)

http://thelavaflow.com/private-police-tlf081/

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Leading Liberty Podcast, 02/15/18
Source: Leading Liberty

“Your narrative is the foundation of your campaign, so before you spend another dime on outreach, check out today’s episode with Larry Sharpe’s senior adviser Phil Ricci on what questions you need to ask yourself about why you’re running — and what you need to do to get them answered in an actionable way.” [various formats] (02/15/18)

http://heyjenngray.com/building-campaign-narrative-larry-sharpe-nys-phil-ricci/

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Clear and Present Danger, episode 2
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

“Rome was the most powerful empire in antiquity. But were the Romans free to speak truth to power? Did history’s first successful Women’s March take place in Rome? And who came out on top when the words of Cicero clashed with the ambition of Caesar and armies of Octavian? Why did historians and astrologers become endangered species when the republic became an empire? Find out in episode 2 of Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.” [various formats] (02/15/18)

https://www.thefire.org/clear-and-present-danger-podcast-episode-2-liberty-or-license/

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Freedom Feens Radio, 02/15/18
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou and Randy celebrate Valentine’s Day by continuing with Bastiat and The Law. They discuss how the law has been used as an instrument of plunder instead of a protector of life, liberty, and property.
MWD joined for the first two segments to talk about more proposed silly bans.” [various formats] (02/15/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15617

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Free Talk Live, 02/14/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Airline stories :: World Bonobo Day :: FMLA Insurance :: Biometric ID cards? :: Baltimore police found guilty of corruption :: Court rules against Trump on DACA :: Polling numbers on election, immigration, and more :: Dave in NY arrested :: AFTERSHOW Edgington Post with Paul Litviakov :: HOSTS — Darryl & Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/14/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-02-14

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The Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 203
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy

“In this episode, Jamil Jaffer and I interview Glenn Gerstell, the General Counsel of the National Security Agency. Glenn explains what it was like inside the effort to reauthorize section 702 of FISA. Jamil and I ask him whether the FISA court has the authority to deal with material omissions in FISA applications, and he actually answers. Glenn also touches on how it feels to discover that data subject to a judicial retention order has been inadvertently deleted, on his secret exercise regime, on his future plans, and on how the United States should respond to the cybersecurity crisis.” [MP3] (02/14/18)

https://reason.com/volokh/2018/02/14/episode-203-interview-with-glenn-gerstel

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 1094
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University, has just released a provocative (and really excellent) book that takes aim at the education system virtually all of us grew up in. The claims made for it — virtually all of them — collapse on close examination. And he doesn’t say the system has been corrupted by political correctness, and we just need to get back to its noble origins. His critique is far more sweeping, and devastating.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1094-the-case-against-education/

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Editor’s Break, episode 58
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 058 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: his objectives as a parent raising children, the goal of all purposeful behavior, why the power to detain is the definition of tyranny, enjoying the small moments in life, income vs. consumption taxation, and more.” [various formats] (02/14/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/parenting-objectives-tyranny-enjoying-life-taxation-26m-editors-break-058

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EconTalk, 02/12/18
Source: EconLog

“Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and the author of The Case Against Education talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/12/18)

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2018/02/bryan_caplan_on_1.html

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bloggingheads.tv, 02/14/18
Source: bloggingheads.tv

“Robert Wright (Bloggingheads.tv, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and Matthew Cooper (@mattizcoop) … Matt: Why I resigned from Newsweek … Why is the Manhattan DA investigating Newsweek’s parent company? … Populism, polarization, and page views … The lost world of the dominant newsweekly … Henry Luce’s hidden editorializing at Time … Can the newsweekly’s original mission be realized in the digital age?” [Flash video] (02/14/18)

https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/50667

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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