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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,916
Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
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In the News:

1) Venezuela: Maduro wants “mega-election” amid opposition boycott
2) Twitter accelerates McCarthyist purge ops
3) Report: Secret new charges filed against Manafort, Gates in Mueller probe
4) Billy Graham, 1918-2018
5) Lawsuits challenge Electoral College system in four states
6) NM: Legislature gets flurry of harassment complaints
7) House Republican oversight chair seeks EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s travel details
8) US Snail spends millions on TV show about its crime-fighting inspectors
9) TX: School district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence during school hours
10) Trump endorses gun rights for teachers to stop shootings
11) NJ: Murphy reverses Christie, approves $7.5 million for women’s health
12) Trump signals he’s open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program
13) AT&T loses bid for White House communications in antitrust case
14) Pakistan: Court order bars Sharif from leading ruling party
15) Security theater: Secret Service wigs out over “suspicious car”
16) UK: May calls for Brexit transition to be extended indefinitel
17) Finland: Regime unsure how to store 2,000 stolen Bitcoins after Treasury guidelines
18) KY: Democrat wins state house seat in district Trump won by 49 points
19) Israel: Netanyahu confidant reportedly to testify in corruption case
20) FL: Lawmaker’s aide fired after claiming student victim disarmament activists are “crisis actors”

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Doe-Eyed Youngsters for My Preferred Policies
22) What if the news reported only facts?
23) “Makers” and “takers” in libertarian thought
24) Stand up for liberty, not slavery
25) What you need to know (but never hear) about online schools
26) More antitrust revisionism aimed at Big Tech
27) GOP tax cuts turning out to be a disaster … for Democrats
28) Quantum Vibe, 02/21/18
29) Mass shootings: Cultural values are the problem, not guns
30) Right-wing populism can’t fix globalization
31) Hundreds of overbroad harassment policies severely endanger protected speech
32) The state’s odd definition of “consent”
33) GOP: The party of death
34) Never trust a popularis
35) Earthquake economics
36) It is our right to have “weapons of war”
37) The people of Honduras do not owe obedience to an imposed government
38) Meddling for empire: The CIA comes clean
39) Employers lead on health care
40) Frederick Douglass: Lion of individualist liberalism
41) Russia conspiracy theorists have failed to meet their burden of proof
42) Hooligans at play: Trump the worst president?
43) South Korea’s Olympic gambit traps both Kim and Trump
44) The Russian bot hysteria
45) The only thing we know for sure after a mass shooting
46) Safety net reform, labor force participation, and GDP growth
47) The rise of virtual citizenship
48) Did Congress really expect us to whittle our own personal jailbreaking tools?
49) Don’t trust the “Trump boom”
50) Pay your dues!
51) Charter Schools 101: What is a charter school?
52) Not even with a straight face
53) After Florida: Why gun control isn’t the answer
54) The Saudi-Iranian Cold War
55) Against argumentative definitions: The case of feminism

The Sound and the Fury:

56) UN’s Syria propaganda stunt
57) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/21/18
58) Electric Libertyland, episode 60
59) Adams: Gun arguments and media mind-reading
60) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 158
61) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/21/18
62) MisesUK.Org Podcast, episode 18
63) Intercepted Podcast, 02/21/18
64) Free Talk Live, 02/20/18
65) Bloggingheads.tv, 02/20/18

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

1) Venezuela: Maduro wants “mega-election” amid opposition boycott
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has proposed holding a ‘mega-election’ after the opposition coalition said it would boycott a planned presidential poll in April. Mr Maduro said he wanted to add legislative, state and municipal votes to provide ‘democratic renewal.’ Opposition parties say the presidential election will be ‘fraudulent and illegitimate.’ Venezuela is going through a protracted political and economic crisis. It has suffered for years from high inflation and the chronic shortage of food and medicines. Mr Maduro said elections would be held ‘with or without’ the Democratic Unity opposition coalition, which he accused of ‘erratic conduct.’ … ‘A great parliamentary mega-election in the country, I am proposing it officially to the National Constituent Assembly for its consideration and let’s go for some powerful, powerful elections for a democratic renewal of the country,’ he said.” (02/21/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-43149871

—–

2) Twitter accelerates McCarthyist purge ops
Source: Politico

“Twitter has pruned more suspected trolls and fake accounts from its platform, prompting several of its most outspoken conservative users to complain Wednesday that they had lost thousands of followers overnight. Conservatives quickly decried what they called the ‘#twitterlockout,’ adding it to their list of grievances against what they see as an ideologically liberal tech industry. The topic also got heavy promotion among Twitter accounts that some researchers have linked to Russia’s online influence campaigns. … The Twitter spokesperson said the company’s tools are ‘apolitical’ and the platform’s rules are enforced ‘without political bias.’” [editor’s note: At what point does Twitter and its “stab ourselves and our users in the eyes” business plan go into the dustbin of history? Should RRND continue to publish a Twitter edition (vote in our poll at https://twitter.com/rationalreview/status/966455619996790784 – TLK] (02/21/18)

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/21/twitter-purges-accounts-conservatives-357028

—–

3) Report: Secret new charges filed against Manafort, Gates in Mueller probe
Source: Fox News

“Prosecutors have filed at least one new charge under seal in the case against President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates. Fox News observed the filing in the clerk’s office at U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday afternoon. The filing of new charges was first reported by Politico. It was not immediately clear who the charge is against or whether it is part of a plea deal. The filing comes days after prosecutors revealed that they had uncovered ‘additional criminal conduct’ that includes ‘a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies’ related to a mortgage on one of Manafort’s properties. Prosecutors say Manafort obtained the mortgage fraudulently by providing the bank with ‘doctored profit and loss statements’ for his political consulting business that overstated the company’s income by ‘millions of dollars.’ Manafort previously denied any wrongdoing regarding his mortgages.” (02/21/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/21/secret-new-charges-filed-against-manafort-gates-in-mueller-probe.html

—–

4) Billy Graham, 1918-2018
Source: New York Times

“The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was 99. His death was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Mr. Graham had dealt with a number of illnesses in his last years, including prostate cancer, hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid in the brain) and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. … Graham took the role of evangelist to a new level, lifting it from the sawdust floors of canvas tents in small-town America to the podiums of packed stadiums in the world’s major cities. He wrote some 30 books and was among the first to use new communication technologies for religious purposes.” (02/21/18)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/obituaries/billy-graham-dead.html

—–

5) Lawsuits challenge Electoral College system in four states
Source: Raw Story

“A coalition that includes a Latino membership organization and a former Massachusetts governor filed lawsuits on Wednesday challenging how four U.S. states allocate their Electoral College votes in presidential elections. The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Massachusetts and California, states that went for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, and South Carolina and Texas, where a majority of votes went to Republican U.S. President Donald Trump. The lawsuits challenge the winner-take-all system used in those states to select electors who cast votes for president and vice president in the Electoral College after a presidential election. Forty-four other states and the District of Columbia also use that system. Under that system, the candidate who wins the popular vote in a given state gets all its electors. To win the presidency, a candidate must win at least 270 votes from the 538 electors in the Electoral College. Critics complain that the Electoral College system allows a candidate to win a presidential election despite losing the nationwide popular vote.” [editor’s note: Pure democracy … one step closer to total tyranny – SAT] (02/21/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/lawsuits-challenge-electoral-college-system-four-us-states

—–

6) NM: Legislature gets flurry of harassment complaints
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The New Mexico Legislature received five reports about possible sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination during the recently concluded session, according to the legislative branch’s legal counsel. The flurry of complaints and reports from observers about possible misconduct by lawmakers and legislative staff stands in sharp contrast to the prior decade in which just one formal complaint of sexual misconduct was filed against a legislator with no finding of probable cause or disciplinary action. Several informal reports of misconduct emerged late last year, as statehouses nationwide confronted allegations of sexual misconduct. In response to a public records request, the Legislative Council Service reported House lawmakers were the focus of one complaint of discrimination and one report of possible sexual harassment during the recent session. Two reports of possible sexual harassment were made by legislative staff against staff colleagues.” (02/21/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/New-Mexico-Legislature-gets-flurry-of-harassment-12629804.php

—–

7) House Republican oversight chair seeks EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s travel details
Source: Raw Story

“The Republican head of the U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee sought details on Wednesday on how Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt got clearance to take numerous first class-flights revealed in recently released travel records. Trey Gowdy, who led a high-profile investigation into a 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure, sent a letter to Pruitt questioning whether the administrator followed federal regulations regarding official travel. The letter comes a day after House Democrats sent a similar letter requesting details of Pruitt’s first- and business-class travel and the process for requesting permission for each premium flight. Gowdy questioned a statement that EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox had made to the media last week that Pruitt had a ‘blanket waiver’ enabling him to fly first class, which he later amended.” (02/21/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/house-republican-oversight-chair-seeks-epa-chief-scott-pruitts-travel-details

—–

8) US Snail spends millions on TV show about its crime-fighting inspectors
Source: USA Today

“It’s high drama at the Post Office. A teddy bear arrives in the mail, and inspectors immediately suspect foul play. They open the package and see the bear has been split open and stitched back up, with narcotics stuffed inside its fluffy belly. Postal officials take the package to its destination, hoping to catch the drug dealer red-handed. This is not a real narcotics case. It’s an episode of The Inspectors, a TV crime drama paid for by the U.S. Postal Service’s inspection division. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has doled out more than $16 million since 2014 to a television entertainment firm to produce and air the show, which is aimed at educating teenagers and their parents about mail fraud, consumer scams and similar crimes. The agency says the TV program (which airs Saturday mornings on CBS) has been a big success. It’s paid for with money from the Postal Service’s asset forfeiture and consumer fraud awareness funds, not from postage revenue or tax dollars.” (02/21/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/21/16-million-postal-service-has-spent-make-satuday-morning-tv-show-turns-postal-inspectors-into-crimef/355986002

—–

9) TX: School district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence during school hours
Source: Fox News

“A Texas school district is threatening to suspend students who protest gun violence during school hours as ‘walkouts’ among young activists take place nationwide. Curtis Rhodes, Superintendent of Needville Independent School District, stated in a letter posted to Facebook and reportedly sent home to students on Tuesday that while the school district ‘is very sensitive to violence in schools including the recent incident in Florida,’ the district ‘will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness!!’ If students do choose to protest, the school district said they’ll suspend them for three days, and they’ll ‘face all the consequences that come along with an out of school suspension.’ The district’s letter, which was posted to Needville High School’s Facebook page, was taken down Wednesday.’” [editor’s note: So they would violate First Amendment rights for those wanting to repeal the Second? Seems fair enough – SAT] (02/21/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/21/texas-school-district-threatens-to-suspend-students-who-protest-gun-violence-during-school-hours.html

—–

10) Trump endorses gun rights for teachers to stop shootings
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“US President Donald Trump has expressed support for arming teachers and ending gun-free zones near schools at a White House event on gun violence. An armed teacher could end an attack ‘very quickly,’ he said. Mr Trump floated the proposals as survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting implored him to make sure it never happens again. The Republican president also backed calls for improved background checks for gun buyers. Other survivors meanwhile lobbied Florida lawmakers on gun control. ‘We’ll be very strong on background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody,’ Mr Trump told the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at Wednesday’s televised event at the White House.” (02/21/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43149694

—–

11) NJ: Murphy reverses Christie, approves $7.5 million for women’s health
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“New Jersey’s new Democratic governor signed legislation Wednesday setting aside about $7.5 million for family-planning and women’s health, reversing course on former Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s handling of the issue. It’s the first bill that Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law since succeeding Christie, who vetoed the spending throughout his two terms. ‘Today we are saying in a clear voice that New Jersey will once again stand for the right things,’ Murphy said. ‘New Jersey will once again stand up for women’s health.’ Murphy signed the legislation alongside legislative and Planned Parenthood leaders, including Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She said Murphy’s signature represents the start of a ‘new era.’ Democrat Phil Murphy will become New Jersey’s 56th governor, succeeding Republican Chris Christie after he is sworn in at the War Memorial in Trenton Tuesday. Christie opposed the legislation, saying that it circumvented the regular budget process. The funding for providers like Planned Parenthood is a fraction of the state’s nearly $35 billion budget.” (02/21/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/medical/article/Murphy-set-to-sign-bill-allocating-7-5M-to-12629056.php

—–

12) Trump signals he’s open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program
Source: Reuters

“The White House on Wednesday praised an experimental program in Oregon that charges a mileage tax to volunteer drivers, adding to signals that President Donald Trump is open to finding new revenue sources to pay for his proposed infrastructure program. U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Many of Trump’s fellow Republicans, however, dislike the idea of a transportation tax as it would go against the grain of the party’s push to lower taxes and could hit Republican-leaning rural areas harder than cities. In the annual Economic Report of the President, the White House described Oregon (a Democratic-leaning [sic] state where environmental issues are a priority for many voters) as a ‘pioneer’ in transportation funding and highlighted its funding initiative, which began in 2015.” (02/21/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-economy/trump-signals-hes-open-to-mileage-tax-with-praise-of-oregon-program-idUSKCN1G527O

—–

13) AT&T loses bid for White House communications in antitrust case
Source: CNet News

“AT&T was dealt a blow Tuesday in its defense of the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block its purchase of Time Warner. The judge overseeing the case rejected AT&T’s request to access communications among the White House, the attorney general and the Justice Department’s antitrust division regarding the deal. AT&T requested the communications as part of its defense against a lawsuit aimed at blocking the $85 billion merger. The trial is expected to start in March. AT&T argues that the Justice Department has unfairly targeted the company because President Donald Trump doesn’t like CNN, which is owned by Time Warner.” (02/20/18)

https://www.cnet.com/news/att-denied-white-house-communications-doj-antitrust/

—–

14) Pakistan: Court order bars Sharif from leading ruling party
Source: Bloomberg

“Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that disqualified politicians cannot lead a party, a verdict that will stop former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif heading the nation’s ruling group months before elections. The decision was taken on Wednesday by the 3-member court in Islamabad, which ruled that under the constitution a disqualified politician is ‘debarred from holding the position of party head.’ It also nullified any decisions made by Sharif as party president, including candidate tickets in his name, putting into question Senate elections due March and a by-election victory that went in his party’s favor this month.” (02/21/18)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-21/pakistan-court-order-bars-sharif-from-leading-ruling-party

—–

15) Security theater: Secret Service wigs out over “suspicious car”
Source: US News & World Report

“The U.S. Secret Service reopened streets around the White House and allowed workers back into an evacuated building on Wednesday after authorities cleared a suspicious car parked nearby. Two downtown blocks were reopened to traffic, the Secret Service said on Twitter, but areas near the White House remained closed to pedestrians. Authorities had turned away federal workers heading to the New Executive Office Building and cleared pedestrians from sidewalks after a suspicious vehicle was reported. At least a dozen emergency vehicles responded.” (02/21/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2018-02-21/secret-service-responds-to-suspicious-vehicle-near-white-house

—–

16) UK: May calls for Brexit transition to be extended indefinitel
Source: Business Insider

“The UK government has called for the EU to discuss extending the Brexit transition period indefinitely beyond December 2020, in a move that is likely to enrage Conservative Brexiteers. The EU has previously insisted that Britain must be fully out of the EU by December 31, 2020, meaning a transition period would not be able to go beyond 20 months. However, a version of the UK’s Brexit transition guidelines leaked to Business Insider, calls on the EU to discuss leaving this end date open indefinitely.” (02/21/18)

http://www.businessinsider.com/theresa-may-brexit-transition-indefinitely-beyond-december-negotiating-guidelines-2020-2018-2

—–

17) Finland: Regime unsure how to store 2,000 stolen Bitcoins after Treasury guidelines
Source: Cointelegraph

“Authorities in Finland are trying to devise a means to store 2,000 bitcoins [stolen] in 2016, following new guidelines from the Treasury published Tuesday, Feb. 20, Bloomberg reported. According to Bloomberg, citing the Treasury guidelines, the authorities are prohibited from storing the Bitcoin stash, worth roughly $22.8 mln today, on virtual currency exchanges or services, instead requiring that they be stored offline, in a cold storage. Finnish authorities have declined to comment on how they’ve been storing the [stolen] Bitcoin up to this point.” (02/20/18)

https://cointelegraph.com/news/finland-authorities-unsure-how-to-store-2000-seized-bitcoins-after-treasury-guidelines

—–

18) KY: Democrat wins state house seat in district Trump won by 49 points
Source: The Hill

“Kentucky Democrats on Tuesday reclaimed a rural district in the state House of Representatives that went heavily for President Trump in 2016. Linda Belcher (D), a former state legislator who lost her seat in the Trump landslide in Kentucky, reclaimed the Bullitt County district by a more than two-to-one margin, defeating her GOP opponent Rebecca Johnson 68 percent to 32 percent. The Democrat had lost her seat in 2016 by just 150 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, even as Trump carried the district with 72 percent of the vote there compared to Hillary Clinton’s 23 percent. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also won the district in 2016 with 64 percent of the vote. Tuesday’s special election in the state’s House District 49 was held to replace former state Rep. Dan Johnson (R), who killed himself in December. Johnson, a pastor at a local church, had been accused of sexual abuse against a member of his congregation.” (02/20/18)

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/374777-dem-wins-ky-state-house-seat-in-district-trump-won-by-49-points

—–

19) Israel: Netanyahu confidant reportedly to testify in corruption case
Source: NBC News

“Israeli media reported Wednesday that one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest confidants has turned state witness and will incriminate him in corruption allegations, the latest in a dizzying series of developments that threaten to topple the beleaguered Israeli leader. Police would not confirm whether long-time aide Shlomo Filber would testify against Netanyahu, but all the major Israeli media outlets said a deal to do so had been reached. Filber, the former director of the Communications Ministry under Netanyahu, is under arrest on suspicion of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel’s Bezeq telecom company. In return, Bezeq’s popular news site, Walla, allegedly provided favorable coverage of Netanyahu and his family.” (02/21/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/netanyahu-confidant-reportedly-testify-corruption-case-n849816

—–

20) FL: Lawmaker’s aide fired after claiming student victim disarmament activists are “crisis actors”
Source: CNN

“A Florida representative’s aide lost his job Tuesday after sending an email to a reporter falsely alleging that two students who survived the Florida school shooting — and were speaking out on TV — are ‘actors.’ Benjamin Kelly, who worked as district secretary for Florida State Representative Shawn Harrison, emailed a Tampa Bay Times journalist with a message that read: ‘Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.’ Several Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who have advocated for stricter gun laws, have become the subject of conspiracy theories and smear campaigns.” (02/21/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/politics/florida-lawmaker-aide-fired/index.html

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

21) Doe-Eyed Youngsters for My Preferred Policies
Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“We’re seeking wisdom from the mouths of babes, these days. So I asked my 12-year-old son if the country would be a better, safer place if the government tried to disarm some or all Americans to reduce violent crime. ‘I think that would have the opposite effect,’ he said. ‘The fewer people who are armed, the fewer people there would be to fight against criminals.’ So there we have it: the launch of Pre-Teens Against Infringements of the Right to Self-Defense, right here in my living room. … There’s no logical reason why his participation in the discussion — which his mother and I encourage as a stepping stone to full engagement in the world around him — would be more convincing than the arguments of pundits, criminologists, and philosophers, just as there’s no logical reason to pay special attention to the teens now calling for more-restrictive gun laws in the wake of the Parkland shooting. There’s no logical reason that is — but we keep conscripting the tykes into political disputes in an effort to end debate, not advance it.” (02/21/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/02/21/doe-eyed-youngsters-for-my-preferred-pol

—–

22) What if the news reported only facts?
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“The common view we see from the mainstream media is that President Trump is a monster and there is no doubt about it. In support of that view, they offer plenty of evidence. And by evidence, I mean they hallucinate they can read minds. One of the biggest illusions of life is that we humans are good at deducing the inner thoughts of both strangers and loved ones based on observing their actions. The truth is that we are terrible at knowing what others are thinking. We just think we are good at it. No one is good at it. … The business model of the news media has moved away from hard reporting and toward punditry and opinion. Viewers enjoy opinion-driven content and it costs a lot less to produce than hard news. And that means the news industry has moved from factual reporting to (for all practical purposes) some form of imaginary mind reading to fill the hours. I’ll need some examples to make my point.” [editor’s note: For a more involved take on this, see Scott’s Periscope podcast, linked below in this RRND issue – SAT] (02/21/18)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/02/21/news-reported-facts

—–

23) “Makers” and “takers” in libertarian thought
Source: Libertarianism.org
by David S D’Amato

“The makers-versus-takers, producers-versus-parasites, industrious-versus-idle dichotomy is at the heart of libertarian thought — and has been since its nascence. Libertarians believe that if each individual owns herself and herself alone, then everyone must obtain whatever she may need to survive by and through productive activity, or else peaceful exchange, no one being permitted to use violence or coercion. Libertarians of all stripes have stated and restated the comparison, unfavorable to the former, of politics and economics, intent on showing the difference between, in sociologist Franz Oppenheimer’s words, ‘the political means’ and ‘the economic means’ of acquiring wealth. This emphasis transcends the putative left-right divide within libertarian thought, which places free market and capitalist ‘right libertarians’ on one side and socialist and anti-capitalist ‘left libertarians’ on the other. Both camps, if we wish to abide this simplistic division, earnestly celebrate the productive classes, however defined, and denounce those who live off of the toil of hardworking others.” (02/21/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/makers-takers-libertarian-thought

—–

24) Stand up for liberty, not slavery
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Slavery violates life, liberty, and property. No one can have the right to own another person. No one can have the right to force someone to work for the benefit of others. Not even if the laborer is allowed to keep a percentage. Even the most brutal slavers of the past fed, housed, and clothed the slaves if they wanted them to survive to labor another day. Anti-gun laws are slavery. Slaves, not trusted to make their own decisions, must depend on the master for protection. Free people choose to take responsibility for their own defense and are accountable if they harm an innocent person. Supporting gun control — which is, in reality, people control — is to support slavery.” (02/21/18)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2018/02/21/voices/stand-up-for-liberty-not-slavery/156309.html

—–

25) What you need to know (but never hear) about online schools
Source: Heartland Institute
by Kevin P Chavous

“Is digital learning a solution or a problem for academically-at risk students? In this recent piece in the New York Times, the author concludes the latter. But was it really online learning that caused the students to fall behind? Data from more than 24,000 students who enrolled in our partner online schools in the fall of 2017 showed that, upon enrollment, only an astonishing 5 percent of these students were prepared to learn grade-level content based on commercially-available readiness assessments. Overwhelming numbers of students who arrive at online schools are behind grade level. The reasons they struggled in the classroom, and why they selected an online school option, often included bullying, a medical condition, or the very fact that they were struggling academically …. The fact that higher numbers of academically-challenged students are selecting online school options after falling behind in traditional classrooms is not the fault of online learning.” (02/21/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/02/what-you-need-to-know-but-never-hear-about-online-schools/

—–

26) More antitrust revisionism aimed at Big Tech
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Iain Murray

“In a long but surprisingly weak story, the New York Times'[s] Charles Duhigg is the latest analyst to try to find an argument for why antitrust law should be used to break up Big Tech firms (Duhigg’s particular target is Google). In so doing he makes many of the same mistakes that have been made repeatedly on both the left and the right — but at least he doesn’t go so far as to claim that Apple is the sex organ of the Big Tech body politic, as a particularly bizarre piece in Esquire did a couple of weeks ago. The mistakes include taking debunked claims from competitors at face value, ignoring empirical data, and applying a revisionist history to how antitrust law has developed.” (02/21/18)

https://cei.org/content/more-antitrust-revisionism-aimed-big-tech

—–

27) GOP tax cuts turning out to be a disaster … for Democrats
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Not long ago, Democrats expected that the GOP tax cuts would be a political disaster for Republicans, just like ObamaCare was for Democrats in 2010. How’s that prediction working out? Writing in the Atlantic in December, longtime political reporter Ron Brownstein argued that ‘President Trump and congressional Republicans have just taken the same leap of faith that Democrats did when they passed the Affordable Care Act.’ He went on to note that after Democrats passed ObamaCare in early 2010 (despite strong public opposition) the backlash from voters ‘helped propel Republicans to the biggest midterm gain in the House for either party since 1938 and gave them a majority in the chamber they still haven’t relinquished.’” [editor’s note: Except that there haven’t been any tax cuts. Unless spending is cut, taxes aren’t cut. They’re at most deferred for later demand for payment with interest – TLK (02/21/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/gop-tax-cuts-are-turning-out-to-be-a-disaster-for-democrats

—–

28) Quantum Vibe, 02/21/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (02/21/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1761

—–

29) Mass shootings: Cultural values are the problem, not guns
Source: PanAm Post
by Priscila Guinovart

“After every shooting in the United States, an international group of puritans appears, advocating for the prohibition of gun ownership, as if that measure were a solution to what is a much deeper problem: the access to weapons. To believe that the dilemma lies in weapons and not in cultural values is not only a simplification that borders on the absurd, but also a denial of the facts involved in human responsibility. Perhaps only drugs have sparked a similar debate, with fanatics on both sides; and, as with the bearing of arms, the attack is on the consequences instead of looking at the cause right before our eyes. To save lives, and for the good of society as a whole, we must be clear in what many do not see as a truism — despite it being so: drugs do not consume themselves, weapons do not shoot themselves.” (02/20/18)

https://panampost.com/priscila-guinovart/2018/02/20/shooting-massacres-cultural-values-problem-not-guns/

—–

30) Right-wing populism can’t fix globalization
Source: The New Republic
by David Adler

“Just a year ago, it seemed like the era of globalization was over. At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (on a panel called ‘Squeezed and Angry’) hedge fund guru Ray Dalio set out the new direction of the global economy. ‘We may be at a point where globalization is ending and where provincialism and nationalism are taking hold,’ he said. ‘You will see more protectionism, perhaps the reversal of the trend in the 90s of trade agreement and globalization.’ Co-panelists Christine Lagarde and Larry Summers nodded along. Dalio’s view reflected a growing consensus. The economist Dani Rodrik diagnosed globalization to be ‘at risk.’ Nikil Saval, co-editor of n+1, proclaimed its fall. And Columbia’s Jeff Sachs catalogued its crisis. It seemed that the ‘great globalization lie’ had finally been exposed. And voters were punishing the political parties that had pushed it.” (02/21/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/147130/right-wing-populism-cant-fix-globalization

—–

31) Hundreds of overbroad harassment policies severely endanger protected speech
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Mary Zoeller

“FIRE frequently encounters speech codes that threaten constitutionally protected speech, but none appear more often than overbroad or vague harassment policies. We see these policies so often we became curious — just how many of these problematic policies do not comply with the Supreme Court’s standard for student-on-student (or peer) harassment? 753 individual policies, it turns out.” (02/21/18)

https://www.thefire.org/hundreds-of-overbroad-harassment-policies-severely-endanger-protected-speech/

—–

32) The state’s odd definition of “consent”
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Thomas Eckert

“Most people consider consent to be a straightforward concept. Parties voluntarily agreeing beforehand to the actions taking place between them sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, life — and more specifically, the state — has a way of overcomplicating situations. For example, last year a woman claimed she was raped by two NYPD detectives after being pulled over and detained while with her friends. Now, given the detectives’ DNA were both identified through a rape kit, the implications seem pretty obvious; except that in court they’re attempting to claim that she consented. Which ultimately leads us to this question: can someone consent in a forced scenario?” (02/21/18)

https://mises.org/wire/states-odd-definition-consent

—–

33) GOP: The party of death
Source: The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

“They balk at any attempt to stem gun violence. They’re against affordable health care and want to voucherize Medicare. Given their druthers, they’d allow giant companies to befoul the air and poison the water. And don’t get me started on the lies Republican figures advance to deny any attempt to address the changes in our planet’s climate that are wreaking destruction on the lives of millions, whether through floods, drought, or sea-level rise. The anti-regulatory Koch network provides Republicans with the ground troops and voter data they need to turn out the vote, and funds the think tanks that craft Republican policy that argues against health care and environmental health. And the National Rifle Association, which won’t even countenance background checks for those who purchase firearms at gun shows, is keeper and bestower of the seal of approval every red-state Republican must win in order to have a shot at winning his race or keeping her seat.” [editor’s note: This is a great example of the “mind-reading” many “journalists” are now guilty of – SAT] (02/21/18)

http://prospect.org/article/gop-party-death

—–

34) Never trust a popularis
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“If somebody asked me to describe Trump’s politics, I would label him a popularis. By that I don’t mean he favors the poor but favors the masses specifically because he believes doing so will grant him political power. The problem with populares is that you can never been sure which direction they’re going to go on any given issue at any point in time. Take the issue of gun control. A principled individual, whether they favor gun control or gun rights, will take a predictable stance on the issue. A popularis, on the other hand, will change their stance depending on the direction of the wind. One moment they might be attending a National Rifle Association (NRA) meeting to garner support from gun owners, the next they might be pushing gun control …” (02/21/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/02/21/never-trust-a-popularis/

—–

35) Earthquake economics
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“The history of the earliest skyscrapers is marvelous to contemplate. Many technologies besides steel had to come online. We needed indoor plumbing. We needed electricity as the source of lighting (no way could the new buildings function with gas lighting). We needed a new modern sophistication over physics. And we need seismology to protect against the earth shifting beneath our feet. All these came together at that crucial moment in history to change the way we live and work. Today we think nothing of them. But how is it that they all came together and why did it all happen in the 1880s? Here we need to reflect on economic institutions. It came at the end of what has been called the age of laissez-faire, a period that extended from the end of Napoleonic Wars through World War I. … humankind took major steps toward overcoming the exigencies of life itself. Crucially, all of this happened before the state grew to anything like its current level of intervention in the economic life of the citizenry.” (02/21/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/earthquake-economics

—–

36) It is our right to have “weapons of war”
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Scott McPherson

“When the federal government was called into existence in 1789 by the Constitution, many people had concerns. Would it threaten ancient liberties? By adding a Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution in 1791, express restrictions were placed on the federal government’s powers, including its ability to infringe the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms. At the time of their writing, the right to arms would have meant nothing less than an individual citizen’s ability to acquire and possess sufficient weaponry, to fight and apprehend criminals. He would also have been expected to face down foreign troops and Indians in an emergency. But having successfully thrown off a despotic king, the Framers also wanted the common militiaman to be able to defy with violence his own government should the need arise.” (02/21/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/right-weapons-war/

—–

37) The people of Honduras do not owe obedience to an imposed government
Source: In These Times
by Melissa Cardoza

“Honduras is considered by the U.S. government to be its back yard, its dump, its military base par excellence in the region, the banana plantation that has enriched its businesses with the blood of workers. There, in the histories of banana exploitation, is one of the origins of the history that we are now living through in this January. These are the lives of compatriots who have taken to the streets to say ‘no’ to another brutal coup against the people–this time an electoral coup. But that history could also be told starting centuries ago, when the ruin that arrived by sea with stories of a singular, punishing god and the inconceivable greed of the white Europeans practically condemned this country to oblivion. … History teaches. History comes back and shows us scenes that we have lived through and that we often need to recall. On the one hand, there are the sellouts. But on the other are people who dignify us with their actions and words. People from the banana fields who carried out an epic strike in 1954 against that giant of a company, breaking the back of its domination.” (02/21/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20933/Honduras-protests-Juan-Orlando-Hernandez-coup-banana-exploitation-strike

—–

38) Meddling for empire: The CIA comes clean
Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampark

“Electoral meddling has become the gruel of US politics for months, and more servings are being promised in the wake of the indictments against 16 Russians and Russian entities dished out Robert Mueller last week. Such actions can, when taken in isolation, seem sensible. Righteous indignation can be channelled appropriately, and given the suitable icing of exceptionalism. One of the difficulties behind the podium stance of virtue taken by the US political establishment on Russian interference in the country’s electoral process is one of simple hypocrisy. … Filled with pride and a sense of purpose, individuals such as former CIA director James Woolsey are happy to first say that the CIA ‘probably’ inserts its nose in the electoral affairs of other states, then justify it.” (02/21/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/21/meddling-for-empire-the-cia-comes-clean/

—–

39) Employers lead on health care
Source: USA Today
by James A Klein

“The Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JPMorgan Chase initiative to provide health coverage a new way (details to follow) has justifiably generated excitement. But far from being feared, ‘disruption’ is welcomed by individual and employer purchasers of health services as a spur to innovation. More puzzling is the assertion that this development suggests that the long-term play should be de-linking employers from health coverage. That would be a serious setback for 178 million Americans covered by employer plans. This system is made possible by enlightened, bipartisan policy promoting employer-provided coverage. Critics note the very large tax loss associated with employer coverage. But they overlook what an enormous bargain it is for the federal government. In fiscal 2015, the $145.5 billion tax revenue loss made possible employer health expenditures of $671.9 billion. That is return on investment for taxpayers of $4.61 of benefits for every $1.00 of forgone taxes.” [editor’s note: The bad news is, until this stops being tied to who you work for, instead of being in the hands of the individual (with group coverage created bottom-up), nothing will change in “health care costs” – SAT] (02/21/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/20/employers-lead-health-care-editorials-debates/110644976

—–

40) Frederick Douglass: Lion of individualist liberalism
Source: Independent Institute
by Jonathan Bean

“Frederick Douglass, whose bicentennial birthday fell on Valentine’s Day, is one of the great figures in American history, a hero whose legacy is celebrated even by those who might otherwise contest his actual ideas. Illustrating this truth, the New York Times marked the occasion by publishing a largely negative review of Timothy Sandefur’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man — a book that depicts the African-American ex-slave and social reformer as a classical liberal who championed individual liberty based upon natural rights, self-reliance, and Rule of Law. The book reviewer, Yale University historian David W. Blight, criticizes Sandefur and other ‘conservatives’ for ‘co-opting’ Douglass. (Sandefur is a self-described libertarian, but in Blight’s mind, ‘libertarian’ and ‘conservative’ are distinctions without a difference.) In making this complaint, Blight demonstrates his confusion as to the meaning of ‘the Right’ and classical liberalism.” (02/21/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/02/21/frederick-douglass-lion-of-individualist-liberalism/

—–

41) Russia conspiracy theorists have failed to meet their burden of proof
Source: Steemit
by Caitlin Johnstone

“The establishment Russia narrative is soul-wiltingly dull. Oh hey a shocking shocking bombshell revelation about something Russia did, everyone freaks out, then people actually look into the nature of the allegation and it turns out it’s nothing. Lather, rinse, repeat. An interminable addition of zeros, day after day after day after day. Boring. One of the very few interesting specks of light on this scene has been Aaron Mate and his unusual knack for convincing promulgators of the establishment Russia narrative to debate him, shining a big spotlight on just how weak the argument is. In December he famously debated ‘Collusion’ author Luke Harding in a beatdown that was the verbal equivalent of watching a prime Mike Tyson fight Bruno Mars, and he recently had a more low-key but equally revealing interview with John Feffer of Lobelog and Foreign Policy in Focus.” (02/20/18)

https://steemit.com/russia/@caitlinjohnstone/russia-conspiracy-theorists-have-failed-to-meet-their-burden-of-proof

—–

42) Hooligans at play: Trump the worst president?
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

“Trump is the worst president ever? So say an important subset of political scientists …. I would have hoped political scientists could put aside their current partisan resentment and answer this question somewhat objectively. Sure, I despise Trump too. But the worst president ever? Worse than McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt, who oversaw the straightforwardly evil US-Phillipine war, which left 200,000 civilians dead? Worse than Hoover, who greatly exacerbated the Great Depression with stupid interventions? Worse than Wilson, who put Americans needlessly into the unjustifiable Great War and then so screwed up post-war negotiations that World War II became close to inevitable?” (02/21/18)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/02/hooligans-play-trump-worst-president/

—–

43) South Korea’s Olympic gambit traps both Kim and Trump
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“North Korea’s Olympic athletes will not be bringing home any medals, but their participation may have earned the peninsula something more substantial. By taking part so visibly alongside South Korea, Pyongyang has been able to present itself as a credible global and regional power in a way that has eluded North Korean leaders since the war that divided the peninsula. The real strategic winner, however, is the South Korean government, which has shrewdly used the games to reshape the diplomatic landscape. For all the talk of reconciliation, neither North nor South Korea has much appetite for the compromises (or the catastrophic war) that reunification would take. What both countries have been desperate to do, however, is to blunt the potential threat of a major unilateral U.S. strike on Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities.” (02/21/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apps-korea-commentary/commentary-south-koreas-olympic-gambit-traps-both-kim-and-trump-idUSKCN1G52VM

—–

44) The Russian bot hysteria
Source: National Review
by Rich Lowry

“Does anyone believe, absent Russian trolls on Twitter and Facebook, that we were headed to a placid election season involving an incendiary, mediagenic former reality-TV star bent on blowing up the political establishment and a longtime pol who had stoked the enmity of Republicans for 30 years and was under FBI investigation? If you read the Mueller indictment, you might think the Russians were everywhere, not only advertising on Facebook (‘Trump is our only hope for a better future;’ ‘Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison’) but organizing rallies around the country. But it’s not clear these rallies even came off. … The Russians didn’t do anything to us that we weren’t doing to ourselves, although we were doing it on a much larger, more potent scale. The Russians are just aping the arguments we are already having with one another, and the sewerish level of much of the discussion on social media.” (02/21/18)

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/the-russian-bot-hysteria/

—–

45) The only thing we know for sure after a mass shooting
Source: Town Hall
by Bernard Goldberg

“Here we go again. This time it was at a high school in Florida. It has become depressingly familiar. Not just the horrific shooting, but also the words that come after something like this. Officials assure us that the victims and their families are in their thoughts and prayers. Then come the calls for more restrictions on guns. Then we get the reminders that if we see something we need to say something. It’s all so predictable. But by now we know something else that’s predictable: It’s going to happen again — if not at a school, then at a concert or a nightclub or a restaurant or an airport or even at a church. Nikolas Cruz had been expelled from school for getting into a fight with another student. Kids who knew him said if anyone were ever going to shoot the place up, he would be the kid who did just that. And last September a comment left on social media said, ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter.’ The name underneath the message: Nikolas Cruz.” (02/20/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/bernardgoldberg/2018/02/20/the-only-thing-we-know-for-sure-after-a-mass-shooting-n2451346

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46) Safety net reform, labor force participation, and GDP growth
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“A rising tide lifts all boats, does it not? That cliche of economic policy is meant to highlight the ways in which economic growth, as a substitute for targeted social policies, can make life better not just for the privileged, but for the disadvantaged, as well. However, the cliche is misleading in that the causation is not all one way. A better social safety net can contribute to a stronger economy and faster growth of both actual and potential GDP.” (02/20/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/safety-net-labor-force-participation/

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47) The rise of virtual citizenship
Source: The Atlantic
by James Bridle

“Citizenship and its varying legal definition has become one of the key battlegrounds of the 21st century, as nations attempt to stake out their power in a G-Zero, globalized world, one increasingly defined by transnational, borderless trade and liquid, virtual finance. In a climate of pervasive nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia, and ever-building resentment toward those who move, it’s tempting to think that doing so would become more difficult. But alongside the rise of populist, identitarian movements across the globe, identity itself is being virtualized, too. It no longer needs to be tied to place or nation to function in the global marketplace.” (02/21/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/virtual-citizenship-for-sale/553733/

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48) Did Congress really expect us to whittle our own personal jailbreaking tools?
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Cory Doctorow

“Section 1201 of the DMCA bans the bypassing of ‘access controls’ for copyrighted works. Originally, this meant that even though you owned your DVD player, and even though it was legal to bring DVDs home with you from your European holidays, you weren’t allowed to change your DVD player so that it would play those out-of-region DVDs. DVDs were copyrighted works, the region-checking code was an access control, and so even though you owned the DVD, and you owned the DVD player, and even though you were allowed to watch the disc, you weren’t allowed to modify your DVD player to play your DVD (which you were allowed to watch). … If it sounds weird that you have to ask the Copyright Office for permission to use your property, strap in, we’re just getting started. Here’s where it gets weird: DMCA 1201 allows the Copyright Office to grant ‘use’ exemptions, but not ‘tools’ exemptions.” (02/20/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/did-congress-really-expect-us-whittle-our-own-personal-jailbreaking-tools

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49) Don’t trust the “Trump boom”
Source: Mises Canada
by Taylor Lewis

“[W]e’ve seen this movie more than a few times before. The wildcat banking of the mid-19th century, the frequent panics of the fin-de-siecle, the Roaring Twenties, Jimmy Carter’s cardigan-covered stagflation, Alan Greenspan’s handiwork in suppressing interest rates to fuel a housing bubble that popped in the fateful autumn of 2008 — we live in a cinema where the feature show is never different. America, its economy and its workers, its labor and capital, are stuck in an involuntary pas de deux with some guy named Dow Jones. The so-called ‘Trump boom’ that’s sending stocks ever skyward was suspect from the beginning, but not for anything the President’s done.” (02/20/18)

https://www.mises.ca/dont-trust-the-trump-boom/

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50) Pay your dues!
Source: Town Hall
by John Stossel

“If your workplace is a union shop, are you forced to pay union dues? Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about that. When I worked at CBS and ABC, I was ordered to join the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists. That union had won a vote that gave them the right to speak for all reporters. I said, ‘I’m no ‘artist.’ I’m a reporter! I won’t join!’ But my bosses said they couldn’t pay me unless I did. In right-to-work states, unions can’t force people to join. But only 28 states are right to work. Aging socialist bureaucracies like New York state are not among them. But now the Supreme Court may say that no government worker, in any state, can be forced to pay a union. ‘If we lose this case, the entire public sector will be right to work,’ warns Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, the big government employees union. That outcome would thrill Rebecca Friedrichs. She’s the teacher who filed the right-to-work lawsuit that went to the Supreme Court two years ago.” (02/21/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2018/02/21/pay-your-dues-n2451809

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51) Charter Schools 101: What is a charter school?
Source: Show-Me Institute
by Susan Pendergrass

“It’s hard to believe that after nearly 30 years charter schools are still a mystery in some parts of the United States. But I still get the question: What is a charter school? Charter schools are public schools, but instead of being governed by a local school board, they are governed by a document — their charter — that lays out how the school will operate and the metrics by which its performance will be judged. The charter is granted to the group of individuals who seek to open and run the school, and it has an expiration date of three to five years, at which point it needs to be renewed or the school is closed.” [editor’s note: In English a charter school is a government school pretending to be like a private school – TLK] (02/20/18)

https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/school-choice/charter-schools-101-what-charter-school

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52) Not even with a straight face
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Is American foreign policy so foreign to our values that even those who have served at the very pinnacle of national intelligence agencies have trouble telling the truth? ‘Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?’ Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News'[s] The Ingraham Angle, asked James Woolsey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1993 to 1995. ‘Oh, probably,’ Mr. Woolsey replied. ‘But, uh, it was for the good of the system, in order to avoid communists from taking over. For example, in Europe in ’47-’48-’49, the Greeks and the Italians, we, the CIA –’ ‘We don’t do that now, though?’ Ingraham interjected. ‘We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?’ ‘Well … urrrrr, yum, yum, yum, um, um,’ the old spymaster offered to laughter from both Ingraham and her studio cameramen. ‘Only for a very good cause,’ he added with a sly grin, ‘and the interests of democracy.’ Interests. Of. Democracy. Ha. Ha ha. Laughing yet?” (02/21/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/02/21/not-even-with-a-straight-face/

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53) After Florida: Why gun control isn’t the answer
Source: spiked
by Kevin Yull

“There is an air of irrationality to the responses from both the left and the right. The proposals from conservatives include putting armed drones in schools; employing hi-tech Homeland Security machinery to detect shooters; arming retired police and military personnel and putting them in classrooms; introducing airport-style security measures; and permitting teachers to carry concealed weapons. But while these measures might make some people feel better, they would not prevent someone determined to take the lives of human beings. Stoneman Douglas had an armed guard who did not encounter Cruz. More importantly, proposals from both sides wildly overestimate the danger posed to students from rogue shooters.” (02/21/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/after-florida-why-gun-control-isnt-the-answer/

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54) The Saudi-Iranian Cold War
Source: Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

“By late 2017, about the only thing lower than President Donald Trump’s approval rating was the likelihood of a near-term Saudi-Iranian rapprochement in the Middle East. Five years of constant low-level regional proxy conflicts between the states during the Arab Spring and its aftermath have increased the long-standing animosity and security fears of the two countries, and brought this rivalry into the public eye. It’s now widely accepted that Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a ‘Cold War’-style struggle for primacy of the Middle East. But while there are some aspects of this picture that are accurate, it is also an oversimplification of a complex regional environment.” (02/20/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/saudi-iranian-cold-war

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55) Against argumentative definitions: The case of feminism
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“Suppose I define socialism as, ‘a system of totalitarian control over the economy, leading inevitably to mass poverty and death.’ As a detractor of socialism, this is superficially tempting. But it’s sheer folly, for two distinct reasons. First, this plainly isn’t what most socialists mean by ‘socialism.’ When socialists call for socialism, they’re rarely requesting totalitarianism, poverty, and death. And when non-socialists listen to socialists, that’s rarely what they hear, either. Second, if you buy this definition, there’s no point studying actual socialist regimes to see if they in fact are ‘totalitarian’ or ‘inevitably lead to mass poverty and death.’ Mere words tell you what you need to know.” (02/20/18)

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

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

56) UN’s Syria propaganda stunt
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“What’s going on in East Ghouta? One of the last jihadist-held parts of Syria is being liberated, but you wouldn’t know it from US and UN reporting. Why is the UN taking sides, issuing provocative statements blaming the Syrian government while ignoring the other side?” [Flash video] (02/21/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/uns-syria-propaganda-stunt

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57) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/21/18
Source: Cato Institute

“The Supreme Court faces two cases of partisan gerrymandering this term. Why hasn’t Congress dealt with this issue? Walter Olson comments.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/gerrymandered-battle-lines-scotus

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58) Electric Libertyland, episode 60
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland, Brian McWilliams gives his take on gun violence in America in regards to mass shooting events, and why any debate on taking away the right to bear arms is completely pointless. Is mental health behind these events or is it a culture fostered by the people who hate guns the most? It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Brian also discusses the comically irrelevant Mueller Russia indictments and the author of ‘Democracy Unchained’ linking autism with being libertarian.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/02/21/electric-libertyland-ep-60-progressives-actually-causing-mass-shootings/

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59) Adams: Gun arguments and media mind-reading
Source: Scott Adams Says

“Scott Adams tells you the worst arguments about guns and why racism comes from the news not candidates. With coffee.” [Flash video] [editor’s note: This is really worth your time; it presents the ways gun-rights advocates under cut their best arguments, and then addresses why “the media” has lost its way so completely – SAT] (02/21/18)

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1ZkKzVawezZKv

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60) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 158
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #158, I discuss the mainstream media’s attention turning back to Syria. The Assad bombing of East Gouta has allowed the mainstream media to push the “Assad must go” line. The mainstream media have used Iran’s and Russia’s role in Syria to claim those states are looking to expand their power. The media ignores cases when Syrian civilians are killed by groups other than Assad, Russia, ISIS, or Iran. I also update Nigeria, the Olympics, Iraq, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and Operation Olive Branch.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-158-when-syrian-lives-matter

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61) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/21/18
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Nick Hazelton and Jeremy Heisenberg start the show by announcing Nick’s retirement from the Feens, which leads to a discussion about the new direction of Nick’s podcast Yakkin with Nick, localized podcasting, building stronger ties in your community, an appreciation for history, becoming less reliant on technology, and why birthdays create greedy, little communists.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15653

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62) MisesUK.Org Podcast, episode 18
Source: Mises UK

“Tonight, on show 18 of the MisesUK.Org podcast, regular host Andy Duncan spoke with Duncan Whitmore, who was the recent winner of our Mises UK Essay competition and who also spoke at our recent Mises UK conference. They spoke about economics, hard money, monetary inflation, the potential collapse of the EU, Brexit, the glorious Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, the abominable Theresa May PM, Hayek, Mises, the spread of Austrian School economics, decentralisation, localisation, secession, the Holy Roman Empire, the wonder of Switzerland, the British state’s National Health Service, and a few other measly extraneous matters.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

https://misesuk.org/2018/02/21/economic-progress-and-decentralisation-with-duncan-whitmore/

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63) Intercepted Podcast, 02/21/18
Source: The Intercept

“James Risen and Glenn Greenwald have both won Pulitzer Prizes. They both have found themselves in the crosshairs of the U.S. government for their journalism. And they both write for The Intercept. But Jim and Glenn have taken very different approaches to covering the Trump/Russia story. This week on Intercepted, they go head-to-head in a debate.” [various formats] (02/21/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/21/intercepted-podcast-russiamania-glenn-greenwald-vs-james-risen/

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64) Free Talk Live, 02/20/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Anarchapulco 2018 Bonus Episode :: Alex Parhdy aka Doctoradeluz on instagram :: Paul Puey from Edgesecure.co :: Crypto Mark from Pivx.org :: Sasha Daygame from Woke.as :: Alex and Ingrid, the Encrypted Couple from Fireitupconsulting.com :: Danny Sessom of Thecryptoshow.com and Dash.org:: Constantine Kloecker and Marcel Morales from Blockspace.ch :: Buchanon Dowling aka Beerman81 on youtube :: Michael Nimetz aka Mikeonfire on Steemit :: Benny Wills of Joycamp on Youtube.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/20/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-02-20

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65) Bloggingheads.tv, 02/20/18
Source: Bloggingheads.tv

“Robert Wright (Bloggingheads.tv, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and Greg Gutfeld (Fox News) … If Bob and Greg can’t bridge America’s tribal divide, who can? … One cure for tribalism … How tribalism triumphs over ideology … Is Trump crazy like a fox, or just crazy? … Greg: Identity politics is ‘nothing but division’ … Does language policing help Trump? … Fox News in the scheme of things.” [Flash video] (02/20/18)

https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/50714

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