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

Volume XIV, Issue #3,380
Thursday, February 4th, 2016
455 email subscribers

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

In the News:

1) Silk Road Bitcoin-stealing Secret Service agent re-arrested
2) NH: Free State Project “triggers the move”
3) Assange says he’ll accept arrest if UN rules against him
4) CA: Doctors’ group formally supports cannabis legalization
5) Obama rebuts anti-Muslim rhetoric in first US mosque visit
6) Bipolar Dow industrials ends sharply higher, reversing early tumble
7) IRS reportedly experiencing “computer failure”
8) UN halts Syria talks as government closes in on Aleppo
9) Lawyer to Shkreli: “Zip it!”
10) NH: Clinton, Sanders spar over “progressive” label at town hall
11) CA: San Francisco weighs giving condoms to middle schoolers
12) Report: Luxembourg to support asteroid mining
13) NZ: Protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign Trans-Pacific Partnership
14) Santorum drops presidential bid, endorses Rubio
15) Syria: Russian military adviser killed in shelling
16) Report: Americans losing jobs to a visa program
17) Ethicists approve “three parent” embryos to stop diseases, but congressional ban
18) PA: Judge refuses to throw out sex assault case against Cosby
19) New job for NYPD: Annoying subway passengers
20) Barzani: Time for Kurdish statehood referendum
21) FL: Scott declares Zika emergency in four counties
22) Paul ends presidential bid
23) Egypt: Court overturns plan to kill 149 prisoners
24) CA: Water regulators vote to extend drought emergency
25) Trump hits Cruz for “fraud,” calls for do-over in Iowa

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Don’t do politics? Think again
27) Thoughts on “political correctness”
28) Rand Paul demise: Botched campaign or apathy on freedom?
29) Cruz and Rubio: Heirs to Bush-Obama militarism
30) The continuing demonization of cash
31) Resist the value-added tax
32) TPP signing brings out opposition
33) Is it time for US to dump Saudi Arabia?
34) Seeds of Liberty Podcast, episode 46: Shane Buell
35) Is “female Viagra” feminist?
36) Why we shouldn’t outlaw “unpaid” internships
37) GOP’s Donald Trump nightmare far from over
38) Republicans after Iowa
39) Israel’s new McCarthyism
40) Shame on Iowa Democrats and their fatally broken caucus system; did Hillary steal the election?
41) Common sense and liberal values prevail in Twitter harassment case
42) The establishment’s last stand
43) Lessons of the Flint water crisis
44) The LAVA Spurt, episode 1: Free State Project triggers the move
45) We must have the freedom to hate
46) No red flag?
47) Is Trump a realist?
48) It’s too early to prove absolute safety, but smokers shouldn’t wait to vape
49) Can’t Hillary haters all just get along?
50) The government might subpoena your toaster
51) Reason’s cure for Flint: More of the disease
52) You don’t have to be American to understand police brutality
53) Free Talk Live, 02/02/16
54) Television, football and politics: Gaming spectacles designed to keep the police state in power
55) US inequality, fiscal progressivity, and work disincentives

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

1) Silk Road Bitcoin-stealing Secret Service agent re-arrested
Source: Naked Security

“Rogue Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, a former member of the team that eventually managed to shut down the black market website Silk Road has been arrested at his home in Laurel, Maryland. The arrest came on the day before he was supposed to be handing himself in to the police to start his prison sentence. … An arrest warrant was issued under seal on Wednesday and executed on Thursday. During the arrest, according to court documents, officers found bags containing Bridges’s passport and a notarised copy of his passport, as well as corporate records for three offshore entities in Nevis, Belize and Mauritius.” [hat tip — David Klaus] [editor’s note: Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Now if they could just nab the US Attorney and the judge in the Ulbricht case and stick them in cages too … – TLK] (02/03/16)

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/02/03/silk-road-bitcoin-stealing-secret-service-agent-re-arrested/

—–

2) NH: Free State Project “triggers the move”
Source: Press Release Rocket

“As of today, The Free State Project is the most successful intentional migration movement in American history. This is because today the organization has announced that 20,000 participants have signed the Statement of Intent to move to New Hampshire, where they will ‘exert their fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.’ The 20,000 mark is significant, because it ‘triggers the move’ — the mass migration of the Free State Project participants who have all agreed to move to New Hampshire within the next five years. So far, almost 2,000 have already relocated to the state.” (02/03/16)

http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/free-state-project-triggers-the-move-20000-libertarians-to-move-to-new-hampshire-in-next-5-years/403552/

—–

3) Assange says he’ll accept arrest if UN rules against him
Source: USA Today

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Thursday that he would allow British officials to arrest him if a United Nations panel rules against him in a case against the United Kingdom and Sweden about his detention in London. … The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is expected to announce Friday its verdict on whether Assange is being detained illegally, according to media reports. The decision comes more than 16 months after the man filed a complaint with the panel about his detention. … Assange noted that if the panel rules in his favor, he expects the return of his passport and ‘the termination of further attempts to arrest me.'” (02/04/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/02/03/julian-assange-will-accept-arrest/79800340/

—–

4) CA: Doctors’ group formally supports cannabis legalization
Source: Smell the Truth

“An influential lobbying group representing more than 40,000 practicing California physicians is officially supporting a leading initiative to legalize marijuana. The California Medical Association (CMA) on Monday announced its endorsement of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the state’s most financially and politically supported initiative to legalize marijuana, the Sacramento Bee reports.” (02/03/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/02/03/california-doctors-group-formally-supports-marijuana-legalization

—–

5) Obama rebuts anti-Muslim rhetoric in first US mosque visit
Source: CNN

“President Barack Obama, in his first visit to a mosque in the United States, said Wednesday he was seeking to rebut ‘inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans’ from Republican presidential candidates. Attempting to recast what he said was a warped image of Islam while encouraging members of the faith to speak out against terror, Obama described Muslims as essential to the fabric of America.” (02/03/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/03/politics/obama-mosque-visit-muslim-rhetoric/

—–

6) Bipolar Dow industrials ends sharply higher, reversing early tumble
Source: MarketWatch

“U.S. stocks staged a late-day rally on Wednesday, as a big jump in oil prices lifted the energy and materials sectors, and battered financials reversed ugly losses. Energy stocks were the best performers on the S&P 500, up 4%, and the energy-focused exchange-traded fund Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF, gained 3.6% while Dow industrials component Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +5.22% soared 5.2%. In a session marked by wild swings, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.13% erased a 120-point drop to close 183.19 points, or 1.1%, higher at 16,336.66.” (02/03/16)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-set-for-a-struggle-to-recover-from-oil-driven-plunge-2016-02-03

—–

7) IRS reportedly experiencing “computer failure”
Source: Reuters

“The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday it is experiencing computer failure across several systems and temporarily cannot accept many taxpayer returns. ‘Several of our systems are not currently operating, including our modernized e-file system and a number of other related systems,’ the IRS said in a statement. ‘A number of taxpayer and tax practitioner tools are unavailable,’ it said. ‘IRS.gov remains available, although a number of the services on the site are not, including Where’s My Refund.’ The agency said it is in the process of making repairs and anticipates some of the systems will remain unavailable until Thursday.” (02/03/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-irs-computers-idUSKCN0VC2X2

—–

8) UN halts Syria talks as government closes in on Aleppo
Source: Reuters

“A United Nations envoy halted his attempts to conduct Syrian peace talks on Wednesday after the army, backed by Russian air strikes, advanced against rebel forces north of Aleppo, choking opposition supply lines from Turkey to the city. Another senior U.N. official said the Russian escalation was the main reason for the suspension of the peace talks, which have made little progress since beginning earlier this week.” (02/03/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKCN0VC169

—–

9) Lawyer to Shkreli: “Zip it!”
Source: USA Today

“Beleaguered pharmaceutical executive turned media sensation Martin Shkreli has been instructed by his new high-powered lawyer, Ben Brafman, to stop talking. ‘He is not making any more statements. Zero,’ Brafman said in an email to USA TODAY about his new client, who has been called the most hated man in America, and who just this week mouthed off to rapper Ghostface Killah and Congress. The crackdown comes as Shkreli heads to Washington for a Congressional committee hearing Thursday about skyrocketing drug prices at Turing Pharmaceuticals, a company the 32-year-old New Yorker ran before he was arrested in December on fraud charges.” (02/03/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/02/03/hated-ceo-martin-shkreli-told-zip/79757802

—–

10) NH: Clinton, Sanders spar over “progressive” label at town hall
Source: Washington Post

“The two Democratic presidential hopefuls sparred Wednesday over whether Hillary Clinton is enough of a ‘progressive,’ while she and Bernie Sanders both sought to manage expectations in a race that has now shifted to very different terrain. … The exchange was sparked by a day-old jab from Sanders, who told reporters in Keene that she is a progressive ‘some days,’ except when she ‘announces she is a moderate.’ … Sanders had a huge lead over Clinton — 61 percent to 32 percent — among likely New Hampshire voters in a poll released Wednesday by the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.” [editor’s note: Next town hall topic? How about “who’s the biggest authoritarian douchenozzle?” They could invite some Republicans to contend, too – TLK (02/03/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-sanders-spar-over-progressive-label/2016/02/03/1e7fde62-ca8d-11e5-ae11-57b6aeab993f_story.html

—–

11) CA: San Francisco weighs giving condoms to middle schoolers
Source: Fox News

“San Francisco’s public schools leaders are considering distributing condoms at middle schools. The San Francisco Examiner reports Monday that the policy change was introduced as part of an overall effort by the San Francisco Unified School District to further prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy among minors. A board committee is scheduled to discuss the proposal Monday. The board first adopted a policy to distribute condoms at high schools in 1991, and in 1996 the board amended the district’s condom distribution program to allow parents to opt out or exclude their child from the program, the newspaper reported.” (02/02/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/02/02/san-francisco-weighs-giving-condoms-to-middle-schoolers.html

—–

12) Report: Luxembourg to support asteroid mining
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Luxembourg government has signaled its intention to get behind the mining of asteroids in space. It is going to support R&D in technologies that would make it possible and may even invest directly in some companies. The Grand Duchy will also put in place a legal framework to give operators who are based in the country the confidence to go about their business. Former European Space Agency boss Jean-Jacques Dordain is to be an adviser.” (02/03/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35482427

—–

13) NZ: Protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign Trans-Pacific Partnership
Source: New Zealand Herald [New Zealand]

“Central Auckland has ground to a halt as trade ministers signed the TPP today. All streets around Sky City Convention Centre and motorway on and off ramps leading to the central business district have been blocked by protesters. … The agreement is designed to free up trade [sic] and investment between the countries, but has been a beacon for controversy for several years, mainly due to the secrecy of the deal, lack of public consultation and fears New Zealand’s sovereignty could be diminished.” (02/04/16)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11584458

—–

14) Santorum drops presidential bid, endorses Rubio
Source: CNN

“Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid on Wednesday, throwing his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. … Santorum won the 2012 Iowa caucuses and ended that race with the second-most number of delegates to eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney. But he was unable to capture any momentum this year despite extensive barnstorming efforts in Iowa.” (02/03/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/03/politics/rick-santorum-dropping-presidential-bid/

—–

15) Syria: Russian military adviser killed in shelling
Source: Reuters

“A Russian military adviser was killed in Syria on Feb. 1 in a mortar attack, Russian news agencies cited the Defence Ministry as saying on Wednesday. ‘A Russian military adviser was performing the task of assisting the Syrian army in the development of new weapons supplied under existing interstate military-technical contract,’ RIA news agency cited a representative of the ministry as saying.” (02/04/16)

http://in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria-russia-idINKCN0VC2MS

—–

16) Report: Americans losing jobs to a visa program
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“Leo Perrero thought he was getting a promotion, or a raise. Or at least an enthusiastic high-five. He had worked in IT at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in some capacity for more than a decade. … Perrero was fresh off a glowing performance review, earning an evaluation he describes as ‘the highest you can get.’ So when he was called into a last-minute staff meeting in 2014, he thought it would be a good one. It wasn’t. Instead, he and his colleagues were told they had three months to find new jobs. An outside contracting firm would be taking over the department. And, in order to receive their severance packages, Perrero and his co-workers would have to train their replacements: guest workers from India, making about half their salaries.” [editor’s note: In other words, they lost their jobs to competitors who were willing to sell for less, not to a “visa program.” Do they complain when they find something they want on sale at a store for less than another store? There shouldn’t have been a visa requirement in the first place — labor markets should be free markets – TLK] (02/03/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2016/0203/Americans-are-losing-jobs-to-a-visa-program.-Can-it-be-fixed

—–

17) Ethicists approve “three parent” embryos to stop diseases, but congressional ban remains
Source: Washington Post

“An elite panel of scientists and bioethicists offered guarded approval Wednesday of a novel form of genetic engineering that could prevent congenital diseases but would result in babies with genetic material from three parents. The committee, which was convened last year at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, concluded that it is ethically permissible to ‘go forward, but with caution’ with mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT), said chairman Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University. But the advisory panel’s conclusions have slammed into a congressional ban: The omnibus fiscal year 2016 budget bill passed by Congress late last year contained language prohibiting the government from using any funds to handle applications for experiments that genetically alter human embryos.” (032/03/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/02/03/to-prevent-disease-ethicists-approve-creation-of-embryos-with-three-genetic-parents/

—–

18) PA: Judge refuses to throw out sex assault case against Cosby
Source: Beatrice Daily Sun

“A judge refused to throw out the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby on Wednesday, sweeping aside a former district attorney’s claim that he granted the comedian immunity from prosecution a decade ago. Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill issued the ruling after a hard-fought two-day hearing, saying witness credibility was a factor. He did not elaborate. In another setback for the defense, the judge also denied a defense request to disqualify newly elected Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele from the case.” (02/03/16)

http://beatricedailysun.com/entertainment/judge-refuses-to-throw-out-sex-assault-case-against-cosby/article_70768774-d03d-5ecf-aa78-100c79015cbc.html

—–

19) New job for NYPD: Annoying subway passengers
Source: NBC New York

“Despite a spate of high-profile subway crimes including slashings that garnered headlines, the first month of 2016 was the safest since the NYPD began keeping records, Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday. But authorities still offered a warning to subway snoozers: ‘Subways are not for sleeping,’ Bratton said. The NYPD will add more officers to subway patrols and those cops will wake riders who take naps on the subway, Bratton said.” (02/03/16)

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Big-Decline-in-Violent-Crime-Across-NYC-in-January-2016-CompStat-367470081.html

—–

20) Barzani: Time for Kurdish statehood referendum
Source: The Daily Star [Lebanon]

“Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has declared that the ‘time has come’ for the country’s Kurds to hold a referendum on statehood, a move likely to raise tensions with Baghdad. … Barzani, who has made similar calls in the past, did not specify when the vote would take place.” (02/03/16)

https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Feb-04/335526-barzani-time-for-kurdish-statehood-referendum.ashx

—–

21) FL: Scott declares Zika emergency in four counties
Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal

“Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday declared a public health emergency in four counties where cases of the Zika virus have been found. The declaration is for Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties. Scott’s office said the state has found nine Zika cases in which the mosquito-borne disease was contracted outside Florida. ‘Although Florida’s current nine Zika cases were travel-related, we have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state,’ Scott said.” (02/03/16)

http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/02/03/zika-cases-lead-scott-to-declare-health-emergency.html

—–

22) Paul ends presidential bid
Source: ABC News

“Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said today he is suspending his 2016 campaign for president. ‘It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,’ Paul said in a statement. ‘Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty.’ Paul finished fifth in Monday’s Iowa caucuses with 4.5 percent of the vote, behind rivals Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.” (02/03/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/rand-paul-suspends-2016-presidential-campaign/story?id=36674666

—–

23) Egypt: Court overturns plan to kill 149 prisoners
Source: Al Jazeera America

“An Egyptian appeals court on Wednesday overturned death sentences for 149 people accused of killing policemen in a mob attack on their station, a judicial source said. The court ordered a retrial for the defendants over the attack, which killed 13 policemen near Cairo on Aug. 14, 2013, the day police shot dead hundreds of demonstrators in the capital. The initial ruling in February 2015 came amid a series of death sentences in mass trials that were criticized internationally, as the government cracked down on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The court had also sentenced 37 people to death in absentia, but they would have to hand themselves in for a retrial.” (02/03/16)

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/2/3/egypt-court-overturns-death-sentences-for-149-pro-islamists.html

—–

24) CA: Water regulators vote to extend drought emergency
Source: Miami Herald

“State water regulators voted to extend emergency conservation measures because of a drought, even though an increase in rain and snow this winter has improved California’s snowpack. But with the drought still severe, conservations efforts fell off in December. Officials said Tuesday that residents used 18 percent less water than in December 2013, but that was the worst showing in seven months of tracking and fell well short of Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of 25 percent.” (02/03/16)

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article58103418.html

—–

25) Trump hits Cruz for “fraud,” calls for do-over in Iowa
Source: NBC News

“Less than 48 hours after an Iowa caucus defeat, Donald Trump is calling for a do-over. The New York business man accused the Ted Cruz campaign of fraudulent activities during the Iowa caucuses …. Trump took to Twitter to air his grievances against what he called Cruz’s ‘fraud’ and in subsequent tweets made the case for why he believed ‘a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.'” [editor’s note: I bet Trump’s campaign is really eating into the ratings of pro wrestling and Days of Our Lives – TLK] (02/03/16)

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-hits-cruz-fraud-calls-do-over-iowa-n510431

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

26) Don’t do politics? Think again
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Steven Horwitz

“The circus that has been the early stages of the 2016 presidential election is enough to make anyone, regardless of ideology, want to flee politics. For political skeptics, the spectacle confirms many claims we’ve long made about the ugliness of the political process and our desire to have no part of it. Some of us even maintain that we refuse to participate in politics on principle. We need to be careful about saying things like that because most who claim they want nothing to do with politics are, in fact, engaged in it all the time.” (02/03/16)

https://fee.org/freeman/don-t-do-politics-think-again/

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27) Thoughts on “political correctness”
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“Yes, the term ‘political correctness’ originated on the state left — but it originated as a slam. Non-Stalinist socialists used it to disparagingly describe Stalinist communists who changed their stated views to conform to whatever line was prescribed in Moscow. … Even as late as the 1970s, it remained a sort of inside joke on the state left, basically used to mock people who thought that their organizations’ political lines should determine their thoughts rather than the other way around. But there existed a fatal crack in state-leftist political thought that made the term ripe for an exploitative right-wing backlash. That crack was the increasing adoption of post-modern ‘critical theory’ thinking, an abscess of irrationality that has, over the last 50 years or so, infected and discredited large segments of the left (including, lately and much to my dismay, the libertarian left) …. Those implications were still in their infancy when the right enthusiastically counter-adopted the term ‘political correctness’ to describe any non-right-wing political view, and evolving to now when it’s used to dismiss — without the necessity of actually making a sound argument — any criticism of any right-wing person’s political views. So here we are at the current state of both evolutions.” (02/03/16)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2016/02/thoughts-on-political-correctness.html

—–

28) Rand Paul demise: Botched campaign or apathy on freedom?
Source: JimBovard.com
by Jim Bovard

“In football terms, Rand started his prez campaign on the 40-yard line — he was doing great in the polls in 2014. He ended it by punting from his own end zone. There will likely be some excellent post-mortem analyses of his campaign in the next few days. On the other hand, it is unclear how many Americans still give a damn about freedom. If folks are more enthused about carpet bombing foreigners than leashing Leviathan, any pro-freedom candidate will have a hard row to hoe.” (02/03/16)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2016/02/03/rand-paul-demise-botched-campaign-or-apathy-freedom/

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29) Cruz and Rubio: Heirs to Bush-Obama militarism
Source: Free Association
by Sheldon Richman

“I see no point splitting hairs over whether Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio is the more egregious warmonger. Both love the bloody and costly U.S. empire. Both believe in American exceptionalism. (Rubio arrogantly calls for a ‘New American Century.’) Both want to make war in the Middle East (and beyond) and ‘stand behind Israel,’ though such policies provoked the 9/11 attacks. Both want to pour money into the military, as though America were militarily threatened. (The U.S. military budget equals the budgets of the next seven highest spending nations.) Both want to prevent detente with Iran, which poses no danger. Both hype terrorism as an existential threat. Both want the government to spy on Americans, especially Muslim Americans. Both want to ‘control the border,’ code for violating the natural right of people to move freely and make better lives without government permission.” (02/03/16)

http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2016/02/cruz-and-rubio-heirs-to-bush-obama.html

—–

30) The continuing demonization of cash
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Paul-Martin Foss

“The insidious nature of the war on cash derives not just from the hurdles governments place in the way of those who use cash, but also from the aura of suspicion that has begun to pervade private cash transactions. In a normal market economy, businesses would welcome taking cash. After all, what business would willingly turn down customers? But in the war on cash that has developed in the thirty years since money laundering was declared a federal crime, businesses have had to walk a fine line between serving customers and serving the government. And since only one of those two parties has the power to shut down a business and throw business owners and employees into prison, guess whose wishes the business owner is going to follow more often?” (02/03/16)

https://mises.org/library/continuing-demonization-cash

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31) Resist the value-added tax
Source: USA Today
by Diana Furchtgott-Roth

“Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky propose a VAT as a way to pay for cuts in income taxes. This is well-intentioned, and in theory would be a more efficient tax that could increase economic growth. In practice, Congress would never get rid of the income tax, but it would layer the VAT on top of existing levies. Raising a VAT rate by one percentage point can bring in about $150 billion in revenue per year. That’s why once VATs are put in place, they rise over time. Congress, which comes down to the wire every year with its budget, would not be able to resist raising the tax by a small fraction. Then it would likely spend the revenue, rather than reducing the deficit. That’s why countries with VATs have larger public sectors.” (02/03/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/03/value-added-tax-vat-economics-congress-editorials-debates/79778902

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32) TPP signing brings out opposition
Source: Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson

“Representatives of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries will officially sign the free trade agreement in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday (which on this side of the date line means the signing occurs Wednesday). But the prospects for U.S. passage of the agreement continue to decline. … A Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute study, ‘Trading Down: Unemployment, Inequality and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’ by Jeronim Capaldo and Alex Izurieta, with Jomo Kwame Sundaram, concluded that TPP would cause job loss and increase inequality in every TPP country, especially the United States.” [editor’s note: Nice to see my alma mater standing up to this abomination – SAT] (02/03/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160203/tpp-signing-brings-out-opposition

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33) Is it time for US to dump Saudi Arabia?
Source: Reuters
by Josh Cohen

“The moral case for the United States to question its close relationship with Saudi Arabia is clear. Saudi Arabia is governed by the House of Saud, an authoritarian monarchy that does not tolerate dissent, and the country consistently ranks among the ‘worst of the worst’ countries in democracy watchdog Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights. Saudi Arabia follows the ultra-conservative Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam, and the public practice of any religion other than Islam is prohibited. Its legal system is governed by Sharia law, and a 2015 study from Middle East Eye noted that Saudi Arabia and Islamic State prescribed near-identical punishments, such as amputation and stoning for similar crimes. The government is also renowned for carrying out public executions after trials that Amnesty International condemns as ‘grossly unfair;’ Amnesty describes the Saudi ‘justice system’ as ‘riddled with holes.'” (02/03/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/02/03/is-it-time-for-the-united-states-to-dump-saudi-arabia

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34) Seeds of Liberty Podcast, episode 46: Shane Buell
Source: Peaceful Anarchism

“Please enjoy this recent episode of the Seeds of Liberty Podcast. This week we were joined by Shane Buell, a voluntaryist and agorist who, among other FB ventures, runs the Iconoclast page. Herein we discussed Shane’s path to voluntaryism, riding in on the Ron Paul wave, getting to see politics from the inside, panarchy, localizing property norms, starting a business, circumventing the State in the present, unwillingness to help the cause of freedom when death seems imminent, taking different approaches to spreading the message, Danilo’s pick-up tips, #DaniloMemes, The SOL’s impact on Shane, his plans for the Iconoclast in 2016, and more!” [Flash video] (02/03/16)

http://peacefulanarchism.com/seeds-of-liberty-podcast-episode-46-shane-buell-voluntaryist-agorist-and-iconoclast/

—–

35) Is “female Viagra” feminist?
Source: In These Times
by Molly M Ginty

“It’s been called the first ‘Viagra for women’ and hailed as a health breakthrough. But Addyi (generic name flibanserin) is sparking ire just as it claims to spark desire. Is this drug a boon for feminism because it finally gives women what men have enjoyed since 1998: prescription medication that can effectively boost sagging libidos? Or are the drug’s pluses (an average increase of 0.5 to 1 ‘sexually satisfying events per month’) not really worth its potential side effects of nausea, dizziness and fainting? Since the FDA approved Addyi in August 2015, feminist debate on these questions has raged. Heightening the controversy is the fact that feminist organizations, with funding from the drug’s maker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, played an active role in getting the drug approved.” (02/03/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18769/is-female-viagra-feminist

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36) Why we shouldn’t outlaw “unpaid” internships
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail R. Hall and Jennifer Schneible

“While paid internships are usually seen as similar to other jobs, unpaid internships have come under increased scrutiny. Critics contend that since employers know students are desperate for experience, employers can abuse their interns with long hours and poor work conditions, all without compensation. Two interns who worked on the film ‘Black Swan’ recently sued their former employer, with one claiming that unpaid internships ‘rob … people of the value of their labor.’ In light of such concerns, some perhaps well-intentioned critics want unpaid internships outlawed. But there is nothing exploitative about unpaid internships.” (02/02/16)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=8661

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37) GOP’s Donald Trump nightmare far from over
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“Ted Cruz’s poll-defying victory in the Iowa caucuses Monday night spared the Republican Party the ultimate humiliation of a Donald Trump landslideā€”not in Iowa, per se, but in the presidential primary writ large. Until this week, nonplussed Republicans were contemplating with dread an increasingly likely scenario in which Trump won Iowa convincingly, reinforced his dominant leads in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and went on to essentially run the table to the nomination. Things won’t be quite that straightforward for Trump after all. The early conventional wisdom out of Iowa is that Trump hurt himself by failing to put together a traditional campaign apparatus, that Cruz helped himself by putting together a great one, and that third-place Marco Rubio benefitted from a late burst of pragmatism within the Republican electorate. The results at the very least slow Trump’s juggernaut, and possibly reorient the primary into a real three-way race.” (02/02/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/128991/gops-donald-trump-nightmare-far

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38) Republicans after Iowa
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“The conventional wisdom hasn’t been right about much this political season, but it is probably accurate when it says that there were three tickets out of Monday’s Iowa caucuses on the Republican side. Other candidates will limp on for a while, driven by a combination of ego and Super PAC money, but, for all intents and purposes, this now looks like a three-way race: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.” (02/03/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/republicans-after-iowa

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39) Israel’s new McCarthyism
Source: The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier

“As international discontent with Israel’s occupation policy continues to rise, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Israel’s ultra-right-wing movement have escalated their attacks on the country’s progressive community, which opposes the 49-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the ever-expanding government-subsidized settlements. This week, the Knesset is expected to take up a bill backed by Netanyahu and his allies that will require Israeli nongovernmental organizations that expose and challenge the government’s human rights abuses against Palestinians to register, in effect, as foreign agents. Some Israeli activists call the legislation their country’s version of McCarthyism.” (02/02/16)

http://prospect.org/article/israels-new-mccarthyism

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40) Shame on Iowa Democrats and their fatally broken caucus system; did Hillary steal the election?
Source: OpEdNews
by Rob Kall

“Questions have been raised about some goings on before and during the Iowa Democratic caucuses. The Iowa Democrats should lose their position as first in the nation to influence the presidential elections. The way they handle the caucuses and the result reporting is profoundly flawed and almost designed to be influenced by insiders. Democrats should rise up and insist that Iowa lose its first position or change the way they do things.” (02/03/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Shame-on-Iowa-Democrats-an-by-Rob-Kall-Iowa-Caucus_Vote-Theft-160203-517.html

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41) Common sense and liberal values prevail in Twitter harassment case
Source: Reason
by Cathy Young

“On January 22, a three-year legal drama that made few headlines but was closely watched by those with an interest in free-speech and online-harassment issues came to an end in a Toronto courtroom. Gregory Alan Elliott, a 55-year-old graphic artist, was found not guilty of criminal harassment toward feminist activists Stephanie Guthrie and Heather Reilly. The trial judge took pains to stress that he felt the women were truthful and did feel harassed. But he also concluded that their perception of harassment was not reasonable, since it was based on the assumption that Elliott had no valid points to make or opinions to defend.” [editor’s note: Even if his points/opinions hadn’t been “valid,” it’s really simple. Saying things on Twitter is free speech and not a crime in any sane society, period, end of story. If you feel “harassed” by someone, there’s a block/ignore button – TLK] (02/03/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/02/03/common-sense-and-liberal-values-prevail

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42) The establishment’s last stand
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The good news for anti-interventionists out of Iowa is that Bernie Sanders has defied the conventional wisdom and effectively delayed the coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton. In spite of a ramped up effort to isolate the Vermont socialist from the Democratic mainstream, Hillary is in for a bruising fight that will only get bloodier when Sanders smashes her in New Hampshire, as seems likely. On the Republican side of the aisle, the news from Iowa is decidedly mixed.” (02/03/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/02/02/the-establishments-last-stand/

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43) Lessons of the Flint water crisis
Source: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Kishore Jayabalan

“As a native of Flint, Michigan, I am very saddened by the contaminated water crisis that has broken out in my hometown and has now gathered international attention. What’s even sadder is that I am not terribly shocked that such a crisis could take place there. Flint has long been Exhibit A in the story of the decline and fall of a once-proud industrial city in the age of globalization; it is also a prime example of why monopolies in politics, business and labor are inherently prone to collusion, complacency and even corruption. Flint is what happens when we avoid competition out of a false sense of ‘solidarity.'” (02/03/16)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/03/lessons-flint-water-crisis

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44) The LAVA Spurt, episode 1: Free State Project triggers the move
Source: The LAVA Flow Podcast

“So, since this episode in now in your podcatcher, the Free State Project has completed its mission of reaching its first 20,000 signers, which means the move has been triggered! What does this mean for you? If you are a signer of the pledge, this means that you have 5 years from today to move to New Hampshire ‘exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property.'” [various formats] (02/03/16)

http://thelavaflow.com/free-state-project-triggers-the-move-tls001/

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45) We must have the freedom to hate
Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“The policing of hatred represents one of the greatest threats to freedom of speech in the 21st century. From coddled campuses, where student leaders ban speech they deem to be ‘hatemongering,’ to the public sphere more broadly, where hate-speech laws govern what we can say about race, religion and sexuality, various ways of thinking have been rebranded as ‘hatred’ and are shamed or silenced into oblivion. It can be hard to stand up to this war on hatred; who wants to be known as ‘pro-hate?’ But it is essential that we do, for the control and punishment of hatred represents an alarming intrusion of the state and others into the realm of ideas, and even emotions.” (02/03/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/we-must-have-the-freedom-to-hate/

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46) No red flag?
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The Iowa caucuses were pretty much a dead-heat for the Democrats, with Hillary Clinton winning a number of precincts by the flip of a coin and barely edging out Sanders. Leaving aside conspiratorial notions like trick coins, the Democratic results are most interesting in one obvious way: half of the Democratic activists in this Midwestern state proved themselves just fine with voting for a self-proclaimed ‘socialist;’ the other half were apparently hunky-dory to cast their ballots for an ethically-challenged political insider most often described by voters in an ABC News survey with the word ‘liar.’ No red flags, Dems?” (02/03/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/02/03/no-red-flag/

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47) Is Trump a realist?
Source: The American Conservative
by Leon Hadar

“If Donald Trump has distanced himself from some of the positions held by two of the powerful wings of the conservative movement — free marketeers and evangelical Christians — he has provoked a fury among members of the third GOP wing, the neoconservatives, who for all practical purposes dominate the party’s foreign policy thinking. To say that the neocons don’t like Trump would be an understatement.” (02/03/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-trump-a-realist/

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48) It’s too early to prove absolute safety, but smokers shouldn’t wait to vape
Source: Heartland Institute
by Brad Rodu

“Tobacco opponents say that we’ve had too little experience with e-cigarettes to know whether they are safe. While it is true that we don’t yet know the health consequences of long-term use, that should not discourage smokers from switching. We know that smoke contains high levels of thousands of agents, many of which are toxic or carcinogenic. In contrast, e-cigarette vapor contains water, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, nicotine, flavors and perhaps a few contaminants at minuscule levels. None of these — with the exception of buttery flavors (here) — are linked to any specific disease. This difference alone justifies encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.” (02/02/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/02/its-too-early-to-prove-absolute-safety-but-smokers-shouldnt-wait-to-vape/

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49) Can’t Hillary haters all just get along?
Source: CounterPunch
by Patrick Walker

“Make no mistake. What I decidedly am not saying in this article is that all leftists should sing ‘Kumbaya,’ become good Democrats, and stop ‘hating on’ Hillary Clinton. The day I scrawl such indefensible bilge, somebody kindly shoot me. Granted, I’d actually be delighted to see a huge bunch of us leftists joining hands and singing ‘Kumbaya.’ But only because we’re all basking together in a toasty inner glow — of our common hatred for Hillary. If I have my druthers, we’ll all link arms in a common task: to deprive her of the Democratic nomination. Or failing that (should she outrace the Clown Car and become president), we’ll let her know she’s starting her administration as the most hated and distrusted president in U.S. history — a sentiment publicly confirmed by our ‘yuuuge’ organized protest of her inauguration.” (02/03/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/03/cant-hillary-haters-all-just-get-along/

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50) The government might subpoena your toaster
Source: The Atlantic
by Kaveh Waddell

“Many of the gadgets in the vaunted ‘Internet of Things’ send data streams to servers operated by their manufacturers for processing, storage, and retrieval. That’s how you can check up on the the live camera feed from your living-room Dropcam — a popular security camera manufactured by Nest, Google’s sister company — or browse its recording history to determine how that stain got into the carpet last night. The data that lives on these servers is generally secured and held for customers to download at their leisure. But the hosting company can access the information, too, and is sometimes compelled to do so by the government. Law enforcement often relies on subpoenas to obtain data that consumers share with companies, avoiding the need for a more burdensome search warrant, which requires a judge’s approval.” (02/03/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/why-the-government-might-subpoena-your-toaster/459696/

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51) Reason’s cure for Flint: More of the disease
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“We all know private water utilities are an industry. But the water privatization process itself is an entrenched industry. All the basic procedures have already been worked out and standardized of, by and for the private water utility industry, and local governments’ role amounts to little more than rubber-stamping a deal written by the corporations they’re dealing with. ALEC’s model privatization statutes and boilerplate legal documents are all written by private water utility lobbyists. And the consultants municipalities hire to negotiate privatization deals have a financial incentive to promote the water companies’ interests instead.” (02/02/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/43161

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52) You don’t have to be American to understand police brutality
Source: Cop Block
by Da Ry

“Nobody is saying we don’t have freedoms in America, but it’s common knowledge that avoiding police helps you keep your freedoms. Ninety-nine (99) people were killed by police in September, of 2015, ninety-five (95) people in October, seventy-eight (78) people in November and another one-hundred (100) people in December according killedbypolice.net It’s nice to see other countries letting their voices be heard about this injustice. While the controversy continues over what’s worse, protesting or the actual injustice that’s happening, millions more are waking up. Most officers go their entire careers without firing their weapons at an offender, but the ones that are killing unarmed people appear to have a history of abuse. The United Kingdom, a nation without guns, has their people standing up for the brutality that has become all too common since cameras have been running.” (02/02/16)

http://www.copblock.org/153164/you-dont-have-to-be-american-to-understand-police-brutality/

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53) Free Talk Live, 02/02/16
Source: Free Talk Live

“Police Enter Innocent Man’s Home, Shoot Him :: Iowa Caucus :: Dwarf Tossing :: Free State Project Hits 19,999.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/02/16)

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245177999″ params=”visual=true&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=576&maxheight=864″ width=”100%” height=’400′ iframe=”true” /]

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54) Television, football and politics: Gaming spectacles designed to keep the police state in power
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by John W Whitehead

“If there are two spectacles that are almost guaranteed to render Americans passive viewers, incapable of doing little more than cheering on their respective teams, it’s football and politics — specifically, the Super Bowl and the quadrennial presidential election. Both football and politics encourage zealous devotion among their followers, both create manufactured divisions that alienate one group of devotees from another, and both result in a strange sort of tunnel vision that leaves the viewer oblivious to anything else going on around them apart from the ‘big game.'” (02/03/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/television-football-politics-gaming-spectacles-designed-keep-police-state-power/

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55) US inequality, fiscal progressivity, and work disincentives
Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Alan J. Auerbach, Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Darryl Koehler

“This study combines the 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances data and the Fiscal Analyzer, a highly detailed life-cycle consumption-smoothing program, to a) measure ultimate economic inequality — inequality in lifetime spending power — within cohorts, b) assess fiscal progressivity within cohorts, c) calculate marginal remaining lifetime net tax rates, taking into account all major federal and state tax and transfer policies, d) evaluate the ability of current income to correctly classify households as rich, middle class, and poor, e) determine whether current-year average net tax rates accurately capture actual fiscal progressivity, and f) determine whether current-year marginal tax rates on labor supply accurately capture actual remaining lifetime marginal net tax rates.” [summary — full paper available as PDF download] (02/02/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/us-inequality-fiscal-progressivity-and-work-disincentives

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****