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

Volume XV, Issue #3,643
Thursday, February 9th, 2017
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In the News:

1) UK: House of Commons OKs Brexit bill
2) US Senate confirms Sessions as Attorney General
3) Somalia: Former prime minister, a US citizen, is new president
4) Gorsuch allegedly calls Trump’s comments about judges “disheartening and demoralizing”
5) TX: ATF calls mosque fire arson, offers reward
6) CA: LAPD police union whines over settlement for family of man its members killed
7) Smart TV maker fined $2.2 million for spying on its 11 million users
8) NSA contractor indicted for theft [sic] of classified data
9) Russia: Putin signs law decriminalizing many domestic violence cases
10) Venezuela: Maduro regime close to dissolving all opposition parties before 2017 elections
11) IL: RFK’s son announces bid for governor
12) Thousands of WordPress sites hacked using recently disclosed vulnerability
13) US House committee votes to scrap Election Assistance Commission, presidential campaign welfare
14) US military to rent space in Trump Tower
15) Syria: Turkish forces “targeting Islamic State-held Raqa” as fighting rages for al-Bab
16) Russia: Opposition leader barred from presidential run by … convenient … embezzlement conviction
17) Romania: Regime survives no-confidence vote
18) Afghanistan: Six Red Cross workers killed, two missing in attack
19) Yemen: Saudi puppet regime withdraws consent for US ground operations
20) US Senate: Republicans vote to silence Warren in Sessions confirmation debate

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Hypocrisy isn’t the problem. Nihilism is.
22) Trump’s fear-mongering isn’t new
23) Highway robbery gets presidential seal of approval
24) Against the caring state
25) The Reichstag fire
26) Davos Man, globalism and the case for free trade
27) Why do conservatives want the government to defund the arts?
28) The march to impeachment
29) The TPP is dead. Spare the TTIP.
30) Hypocrisy — environists and liberals and politicians
31) A vote for Tom Price is a vote to destroy Medicare
32) Calexit will never happen
33) The carrot, the stick, and the buggy whip
34) In defense of waste, fraud, and abuse
35) Why Trump’s tough talk on Iran will backfire
36) The Emerald Belt Project (dreaming is free)
37) Is the Non-Aggression Principle self-negating? You decide!
38) Don’t be fooled by the Trump spat, the CIA is NOT your friend
39) How governments destroy consumer sovereignty
40) Trump’s accidental truth will take him down
41) How Republicans can save themselves from their Obamacare trap
42) Harvard’s troubled history with free association, part 2
43) Inflation: How it occurs and what are its consequences
44) Why “America First” resonates
45) Establishment Republicans risk achieving a progressive dream
46) No innocence abroad
47) The problem with Europe paying its defense bills
48) Trump at the crossroads
49) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #260: We belong to none and none to us, entirely.
50) What economists see that most don’t

The Sound and the Fury:

51) The Ancap Barber Shop, episode 9
52) David Stockman: Time to end the war on drugs
53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 843
54) The Jason Stapleton Program, 02/08/17
55) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/08/17
56) Intercepted, 02/08/17
57) Free Talk Live, 02/07/17
58) Electric LibertyLand, episode 6
59) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/07/17
60) The Bob Zadek Show, 02/05/17

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

1) UK: House of Commons OKs Brexit bill
Source: CNN

“Britain’s lower house of Parliament passed legislation Wednesday to allow Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to officially begin the Brexit process. Now that the legislation has been approved by the House of Commons, it will be put before the House of Lords for a final decision later this month. Members of the House of Commons had already voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill to kick off Britain’s divorce from the European Union in its initial readings, and a seven-hour debate on amendments preceded the final vote, which was 494 MPs in favor and 122 against.” (02/08/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/08/europe/brexit-bill-parliament-vote-article-50/

—–

2) US Senate confirms Sessions as Attorney General
Source: The Hill

“The Senate voted Wednesday night to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, capping a vicious debate that left Democrats and Republicans alike seething at times. No Republicans went against Sessions in the 52-47 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the only Democrat to back Sessions.” (02/08/17)

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/318608-senate-confirms-sessions-as-attorney-general

—–

3) Somalia: Former prime minister, a US citizen, is new president
Source: Billings Gazette

“[Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a] former prime minister who holds dual Somali-U.S. citizenship was elected Somalia’s new president on Wednesday, declaring a new ‘era of unity’ as he took on the daunting task of bringing the long-chaotic country its first fully functioning central government in a quarter-century. Fears of attacks by the Islamic extremist al-Shabab dogged the historic vote, which was limited to lawmakers instead of the population at large, with members of the upper and lower houses of parliament casting ballots at a heavily guarded former air force base in the capital, Mogadishu, while a security lockdown closed the international airport.”

http://billingsgazette.com/news/world/former-prime-minister-a-us-citizen-wins-somalia-vote/article_c7177d4e-f19c-540c-b95d-aa33f50cf971.html

—–

4) Gorsuch allegedly calls Trump’s comments about judges “disheartening and demoralizing”
Source: Fox News

“President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee said Wednesday that comments Trump made about the federal appeals court deliberating his travel ban were ‘disheartening and demoralizing,’ Fox News has learned. A source on the president’s Supreme Court nomination team told Fox that Judge Neil Gorsuch made the remark in a meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. … Earlier Wednesday, Trump slammed the Ninth Cicuit Court of Appeals, which is currently deliberating his executive order temporarily suspending the country’s refugee program and banning travel for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.” (02/08/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/08/gorsuch-calls-trump-comments-about-judges-disheartening-and-demoralizing.html

—–

5) TX: ATF calls mosque fire arson, offers reward
Source: Raw Story

“A January fire that gutted a Texas mosque has been ruled arson, with a reward of up to $30,000 offered for tips leading to arrests, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Wednesday. The fire at the Victoria Islamic Center, about 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Houston, was started just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Authorities have found no evidence linking the fire with the order. U.S. Islamic rights groups have said they saw the fire as part of a growing wave of bigotry toward Muslims in the country.” (02/08/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/texas-mosque-fire-called-arson-reward-offered-atf

—–

6) CA: LAPD police union whines over settlement for family of man its members killed
Source: Los Angeles Times

“The union representing Los Angeles police officers says it’s ‘unfortunate’ the city council approved a $1.5 million settlement with the family of a mentally ill black man who was fatally shot by police during a[n alleged] struggle over an officer’s gun. Los Angeles Police Protective League President Craig Lally says Wednesday the settlement with Ezell Ford’s family sends the wrong message. … A police oversight board had found the officers had no reason to stop Ford, violating department policy.” [editor’s note: I agree it’s the wrong message for the taxpayers to foot the settlement bill. If the killers were required to cover the check — perhaps with help from their union — it would encourage more responsible behavior – TLK] (02/08/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-latest-union-decries-settlement-in-la-police-shooting/2017/02/08/235a5606-ee4f-11e6-a100-fdaaf400369a_story.html

—–

7) Smart TV maker fined $2.2 million for spying on its 11 million users
Source: The Hacker News

“Your government is spying on you! Businesses are spying on you! Your phone and browser are constantly spying on you! Even your TV is spying on you! Yes, you should also worry about your ‘smart’ TV, as one of the world’s biggest smart TV makers Vizio has been caught secretly collecting its consumers’ data through over 11 Million smart TVs and then selling them to third-parties without the user’s explicit consent. But the good news is that the home entertainment hardware maker has been fined heavily for this practice.” (02/07/17)

http://thehackernews.com/2017/02/smart-tv-vizio-spying.html

—–

8) NSA contractor indicted for theft [sic] of classified data
Source: Reuters

“A former National Security Agency contractor was indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges he willfully retained national defense information, in what U.S. officials have said may have been the largest heist of classified government information in history. The indictment alleges that Harold Thomas Martin, 52, spent up to 20 years stealing highly sensitive government material from the U.S. intelligence community related to national defense, collecting a trove of secrets he hoarded at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Martin faces 20 criminal counts, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the Justice Department said.” [editor’s note: 20 years he’s been doing this, and only now they indict? Double standards clearly, he must not have planned to release it to the media – SAT] (02/08/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cybersecurity-nsa-contractor-idUSKBN15N2N4

—–

9) Russia: Putin signs law decriminalizing many domestic violence cases
Source: Fox News

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into a law a controversial bill that decriminalizes many cases of domestic violence. The bill concerns assaults that inflict physical pain but do not cause bodily injury that threatens the victim’s health. It means that the new law makes battery on a family member punishable by a $500 fine or a 15-day prison sentence — so long as they don’t break any bones. Previously, the Russian law carried a maximum jail sentence of two years. Assaults causing serious injury or repeat offenses within a year would still be criminal offenses and carry potential jail terms.” [editor’s note: What in the name of all that is sane is this about? – SAT] (02/08/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/08/putin-signs-law-decriminalizing-many-domestic-violence-cases.html

—–

10) Venezuela: Maduro regime close to dissolving all opposition parties before 2017 elections
Source: PanAm Post

“Surveys reveal the vast majority of policies implemented by President Nicolas Maduro are not supported by most citizens in Venezuela, and that’s leading to major political changes in the country. His administration is ‘moving the pieces’ so there will be no political parties, which would allow the opposition to be more easily checked in future elections.” (02/08/17)

https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2017/02/08/maduro-regime-close-to-dissolving-all-opposition-parties-before-2017-venezuelan-elections-2/

—–

11) IL: RFK’s son announces bid for governor
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Chris Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday he will run for Illinois governor in 2018, bringing the instant name recognition of his family’s political legacy to what’s expected to be a sharply contested race to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Democratic businessman said Illinois is heading ‘in the wrong direction.’ In an email and video sent to supporters, he talked up history of service and said he wants to ‘restore the American dream to the people of this state. Today, I am announcing my run for Governor because I love Illinois, but we have never been in worse shape,’ he said. ‘We don’t need incremental improvement — we need fundamental change in state government.’ Kennedy, 53, is the eighth of 11 children of Ethel Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general who represented New York in the Senate and was assassinated in 1968 while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. He is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.” (02/08/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Businessman-Chris-Kennedy-to-run-for-Illinois-10917288.php

—–

12) Thousands of WordPress sites hacked using recently disclosed vulnerability
Source: The Hacker News

“Last week, we reported about a critical zero-day flaw in WordPress that was silently patched by the company before hackers have had their hands on the nasty bug to exploit millions of WordPress websites. To ensure the security of millions of websites and its users, WordPress delayed the vulnerability disclosure for over a week and worked closely with security companies and hosts to install the patch, ensuring that the issue was dealt with in short order before it became public.” (02/07/17)

http://thehackernews.com/2017/02/wordpress-hack-seo.html

—–

13) US House committee votes to scrap Election Assistance Commission, presidential campaign welfare
Source: Los Angeles Times

“A House committee voted Tuesday to eliminate an independent election commission charged with helping states improve their voting systems. The party-line vote came less than two days after Trump vowed to set up a White House commission helmed by Vice President Mike Pence to pursue Trump’s erroneous claims of election fraud. The GOP majority on the House Administration Committee voted to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which was created by Congress after the 2000 Florida recount to upgrade voting technology and provide election-related information to federal entities, state officials and election administrators. Republicans, who led the effort to terminate the agency, say it’s a prime example of government waste. They’ve been introducing legislation to end the commission for years with little success. … The committee also voted to terminate the public financing system, which provides major party presidential nominees a lump sum grant of about $94.14 million in the general election.” (02/08/17)

http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-house-committee-votes-to-scrap-agency-1486514170-htmlstory.html

—–

14) US military to rent space in Trump Tower
Source: CNN

“The US military is looking to lease space in Trump Tower. ‘In order to meet official mission requirements, the Department of Defense is working through appropriate channels and in accordance with all applicable legal requirements in order to acquire a limited amount of leased space in Trump Tower,’ Lt. Col. JB Brindle, a Defense Department spokesman, told CNN. ‘The space is necessary for the personnel and equipment who will support the POTUS at his residence in the building.’ … The Department of Defense noted that the military has had to seek similar accommodations in the private residences of previous presidents as well, including in Chicago during Barack Obama’s tenure.” (02/08/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/07/politics/military-to-rent-space-trump-tower/

—–

15) Syria: Turkish forces “targeting Islamic State-held Raqa” as fighting rages for al-Bab
Source: Yahoo! News

“Turkey said Wednesday it was looking to push towards the Islamic State stronghold of Raqa in northern Syria in the next stage of its nearly half-year military operation, as fighting raged for the town of Al-Bab. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested Turkey and its allies could send special forces to take Raqa, the de-facto capital for the Islamic State (IS) group, despite being mired in intense fighting against jihadists in Al-Bab to the west.” (02/08/17)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/turkey-targeting-held-raqa-fighting-rages-al-bab-130818571.html

—–

16) Russia: Opposition leader barred from presidential run by … convenient … embezzlement conviction
Source: ABC News

“A Russian court has found the country’s most prominent opposition leader guilty of embezzlement in what critics say is a political trial intended to prevent him from running against President Vladimir Putin next year. Aleksei Navalny, 40, who made his name as an anti-corruption blogger chronicling the alleged ill-gotten gains of top officials, has become one of the leading figures in Russia’s beleaguered anti-Putin opposition. In December, he had declared his intention to run against Putin in the country’s 2018 presidential election, saying that although he has no chance of winning it would be good for the country. But on Wednesday, a court in the provincial city of Kirov found Navalny guilty of embezzling about $500,000 from local timber company Kirovles. The conviction now means Navalny is barred from running in the presidential election.” (02/08/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/top-putin-critic-found-guilty-embezzlement-barring-2018/story?id=45344067

—–

17) Romania: Regime survives no-confidence vote
Source: Bloomberg

“Romania’s government saw off a no-confidence motion in parliament and sought to reassure protesters who’ve rallied every day for more than a week in the biggest demonstrations since the fall of communism. Lawmakers from the Social Democrat-led cabinet boycotted Wednesday’s attempt by the opposition to usurp it, avoiding the risk of defections allowing the vote to pass. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu may also fire his justice minister to placate protesters furious at attempts to weaken anti-corruption efforts. … Romania’s third government in two years had incurred public rage by unexpectedly easing punishments for officials who abuse their positions and seeking to free others from prison.” (02/08/17)

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-07/romanian-premier-looks-to-reassert-control-after-week-of-protest

—–

18) Afghanistan: Six Red Cross workers killed, two missing in attack
Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“Suspected [Islamic State] fighters have killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) engaged in carrying supplies in the north of the country to areas hit by deadly snow storms, according to government officials. Another two employees were unaccounted for after Wednesday’s attack in Jowzjan province, said Thomas Glass, ICRC spokesperson, adding that the group did not know who was responsible for the attack. … Rahmatullah Turkistani, Jawzjan police chief, said the workers’ bodies had been brought to the provincial capital and a search operation launched to find the two missing ICRC employees. Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesperson, told Al Jazeera the group was not involved in the attack.” (02/08/17)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/icrc-afghan-red-cross-workers-killed-missing-170208131532856.html

—–

19) Yemen: Saudi puppet regime withdraws consent for US ground operations
Source: United Press International

“Yemen [sic] withdrew permission for U.S. special operations missions after civilians were killed in a military operation, U.S. officials said. A Jan. 29 raid on an al-Qaida base in Yemen resulted in a 50-minute firefight in which up to 30 Yemenis, including children, killed in the crossfire, along with one U.S. Navy SEAL. The Pentagon acknowledged that several civilians died in the attack on a vilage in central Yemen, though it is unsure how many. … The resulting outrage in Yemen prompted a suspension of the U.S. counter-terrorism program. Although neither Yemen nor the United States officially announced the withdrawal of approval, it was reported by The New York Times Tuesday, citing U.S. military officials.” [editor’s note: Given that the Saudis seem to be the chief sponsors of al Qaeda and that the “Yemeni government” in question is just a bunch of quislings riding in on the back of a Saudi invasion, this is kind of dog bites man, isn’t it? – TLK] (02/08/17)

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/08/Yemen-withdraws-consent-for-US-ground-operations/5851486554881/

—–

20) US Senate: Republicans vote to silence Warren in Sessions confirmation debate
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Warren read from a letter Scott King wrote in 1986, when she objected to President Reagan’s ultimately unsuccessful nomination of then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions to a federal district court seat. … ‘I call the senator to order under the provisions of Rule 19,’ [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell said after interrupting Warren’s speech, in which he said she had ‘impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama.'” (02/08/17)

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/08/514051080/republicans-vote-to-silence-sen-elizabeth-warren-in-confirmation-debate

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

21) Hypocrisy isn’t the problem. Nihilism is.
Source: Los Angeles Times
by Jacob T Levy

“The 17th century French author La Rochefoucauld famously described hypocrisy as ‘the tribute that vice pays to virtue.’ Ordinary political hypocrisy of the sort that we see when parties trade power typically has that character. The out-party hypocritically recites principles it violated just yesterday — ‘important legal changes should be made by congressional lawmaking, not executive order,’ for example. But in so doing it rearticulates norms and principles that officials, institutions and citizens can use as benchmarks. Without that rearticulation, the norms themselves would lose their force and be forgotten. In 2017, we should be less worried by hypocrisy than by its absence. Some hypocrites don’t feel shame, but at least they formally acknowledge that there are things about which one should be ashamed (the norms the other guy is violating). The Trump administration operates on a different, shameless, plane.” (02/08/17)

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-levy-hyocrisy-nihilism-20170208-story.html

—–

22) Trump’s fear-mongering isn’t new
Source: USA Today
by James Bovard

“President Trump is being reviled for wildly exaggerating the peril of Muslim refugees. Some commentators fret that his rhetoric signals a new fascist era descending on America. A Washington Post news analysis on Friday derided Trump’s fear-mongering: ‘Playing upon the nation’s anxieties about what might happen also stands as a stark contrast to how presidents have lifted the country out of actual crisis in the past.’ But presidential fear-mongering has a long and sordid history. We cannot understand the threat that Trump poses without recognizing how prior presidents used similar ploys.” (02/08/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/02/08/trump-fearmongering-obama-drones-presidents-james-bovard-column/97598348

—–

23) Highway robbery gets presidential seal of approval
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

“After 2016 saw several state victories reining in [civil asset forfeiture], the Obama Administration reinstated the program on the federal level. The federal Equitable Sharing Program, which had briefly been paused due to budget constraints, provided local law enforcement with a loophole, which allowed them to continue the practice so long as they shared their spoils with the feds. President Trump made some egregious comments on the matter while addressing a room full of Texas police officers on Tuesday, effectively destroying any hope that his administration will be better on this issue than President Obama. In fact, the situation may very well become worse.” (02/08/17)

https://fee.org/articles/highway-robbery-gets-presidential-seal-of-approval/

—–

24) Against the caring state
Source: spiked
by Steve Bremner

“It used to be the case that those who considered themselves progressives believed that the best way to help individuals lead fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable lives was to change fundamentally the economy and society. But the left seems to have given up on this ambitious project. It is now diminished, and disconnected from the people it once sought to liberate. In place of a broader mission, so-called progressives have become obsessed with the technocratic micromanagement of people’s daily lives, an agenda which is often hostile to the interests of ordinary people. Campaigns on issues such as loneliness are helpful for politicians, in this context. They give them an opportunity to reconnect with people, to present themselves not as distant bureaucratic meddlers, but as ‘carers.'” (02/08/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/against-the-caring-state

—–

25) The Reichstag fire
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“Is it okay to punch a Nazi? This question has become quite popular every since white nationalist Richard Spencer was decked by people who didn’t like what he was selling. Supporters of punching Nazis claim that standing idly by is what allowed the Nazis to rise to power and that the only way to prevent Nazis from rising to power again is through preemptive violence. This logic was also used by supporters of the UC Berkley rioters who caused Milo Yiannopoulos to cancel his talk. But did the Nazis rise to power because good people stood by and did nothing? As with most things, the rise of the Nazi Party wasn’t so simple.” (02/08/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/02/08/the-reichstag-fire/

—–

26) Davos Man, globalism and the case for free trade
Source: Acton Institute
by Samuel Gregg, Ph.D.

“Times are tough for free trade — the toughest since the first era of globalization came to a shuddering halt with the outbreak of war in 1914 and tariffs swept the world after 1918. Across the planet, economic nationalism is on the march. Faith in economic globalization’s benefits is waning throughout the West. Nothing symbolizes this more than Donald Trump’s election to the American presidency. If the case for free trade is to have a future, it requires a radical rethink. And part of that makeover is going to involve shedding something that only damages the cause of free trade. This is its association with what’s often called ‘Davos Man.'” (02/08/17)

http://acton.org/pub/commentary/2017/02/08/Davos-Man-globalism-and-the-case-for-free-trade

—–

27) Why do conservatives want the government to defund the arts?
Source: Salon
by Aaron D Knochel

“Recent reports indicate that Trump administration officials have circulated plans to defund the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), putting this agency on the chopping block — again. Conservatives have sought to eliminate the NEA since the Reagan administration. In the past, arguments were limited to the content of specific state-sponsored works that were deemed offensive or immoral — an offshoot of the culture wars. Now the cuts are largely driven by an ideology to shrink the federal government and decentralize power.” (02/08/17)

http://www.salon.com/2017/02/08/why-do-conservatives-want-the-government-to-defund-the-arts_partner/

—–

28) The march to impeachment
Source: The American Prospect
Robert Kuttner

“There are already plenty of grounds to impeach Donald Trump. The really interesting question is when key Republicans will decide that he’s more of a liability than an asset. If Trump keeps sucking up to Vladimir Putin, it could happen sooner than you think. The first potential count is Trump’s war with the courts. The Supreme Court is likely to give expedited review to the order by the 9th Circuit upholding Judge James Robart’s order that tossed out Trump’s bans on immigrants or refugees from seven countries, even permanent U.S. residents and others with valid green cards. It’s encouraging that the agencies of government, such as the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, immediately deferred to the court order, not to a president who thinks he can govern by decree.” (02/07/17)

http://prospect.org/article/march-impeachment

—–

29) The TPP is dead. Spare the TTIP.
Source: Cato Institute
by Simon Lester

“In President Trump’s recent memorandum directing the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he explained that ‘it is the intention of my Administration to deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals.’ This preference for bilateral deals raises the following question: If the United States will only be negotiating bilaterally, what does that mean for the ongoing U.S.-E.U. trade talks known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?” [editor’s note: It wouldn’t seem to raise any “question” at all. Looks pretty straightforward to me. And why is Cato flacking for bureaucrat-controlled “managed” trade? – TLK] (02/08/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/tpp-dead-spare-ttip

—–

30) Hypocrisy — environists and liberals and politicians
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Fresh news from North Dakota, that the acting Secretary of the Army may issue a record of decision as soon as Friday the 10th of February, which will allow the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) to be completed has people in a tizzy. The pipeline’s completion and use will destroy and permanently damage identified sacred-land (so recently identified that it was not known to exist when the environmental assessment was done just a couple of years ago). (I’m being sarcastic.) … But the horror has already begun. KFYR-TV reports that ‘Sanitation crews work to remove massive amounts of garbage from DAPL protest camp before spring thaw.'” [editor’s note: Yes, there’s a degree to which the pipeline protesters who cite environmental concerns damage their own cause with “unsustainable” camp practices. But probably not nearly as badly as the cause of freedom is damaged by “libertarians” who support the big government eminent domain corporate welfare Dakota Access boondoggle in the name of “free markets” – TLK] (02/08/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/02/08/hypocrisy-environists-and-liberals-and-politicians/

—–

31) A vote for Tom Price is a vote to destroy Medicare
Source: Our Future
by Nancy Altman

“No one voted to destroy Medicare. Yet, the first battle in the war over Medicare has arrived. Why would anyone want to destroy Medicare? It has stood the test of time. The smart policy is to expand it to everyone. Medicare shows government at its best. Government at its best! There’s the rub: Given Medicare’s proven success (its low administrative costs, its efficient coverage of those with the greatest medical needs and costs, and its enormous popularity), it’s no wonder that anti-government zealots hate the program. Medicare demonstrates that there are some services that the federal government provides better than the private sector. The mere existence of Medicare (and Social Security) puts the lie to the claim that everything should be privatized.” [editor’s note: Proven success? efficient coverage? Not sure how this writer can make so many stupid statements in a row, but – SAT] (02/08/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170208/a-vote-for-tom-price-is-a-vote-to-destroy-medicare

—–

32) Calexit will never happen
Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“It’s almost always an issue when people get excited and get their hopes up. This is an idea deeply rooted in Buddhism, and basically stems from the notion that, if you do not expect any particular thing to happen, then you cannot be disappointed. The contention — one I agree with — is that this discord between a person’s expectations and reality (how things actually turn out) is the root of unhappiness. … So when I see lots of people eager to see #CalExit, it worries me. Mass expectations can be particularly dangerous, as we’ve seen post-election with how people who firmly expected Hillary’s victory have reacted to President Trump. There’s a reason that ‘the masses’ came to be a pejorative, after all.” (02/08/17)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2017/02/08/calexit-will-never-happen/

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33) The carrot, the stick, and the buggy whip
Source: Reason
by Katherine Mangu-Ward

“As 2016 came to a close, dictionary makers Merriam-Webster posted a pathetic little tweet — a cry for help, really — that quickly went viral: “Fascism’ is still our #1 lookup. # of lookups = how we choose our Word of the Year. There’s still time to look something else up.’ Why the sudden interest? As Donald Trump wrapped up the Republican nomination and then the presidential election, political commentators and opinionated uncles at dinner parties started tossing around this vintage 20th century political terminology with abandon. Which caused a bunch of intrepid dictionary searchers to wonder: Here at the dawning of the Trump era, does fascism mean what we think it means?” (for publication 03/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/02/08/the-carrot-the-stick-and-the-b

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34) In defense of waste, fraud, and abuse
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Eric Schuler

“Back during the presidential campaign, Donald Trump was fond of suggesting that cuts in ‘waste, fraud, and abuse’ in the federal government would be sufficient to balance the budget. This never made too much sense–because the federal deficit is far larger than most estimates of potential savings. Yet it remains a common political talking point because it upsets no one. It’s one of the few things that all sides can agree on — cutting waste, fraud, and abuse is a good idea. That said, I would like to take the opportunity to clear the good name of government waste, fraud, and abuse. If we treat these as just some of the many possible ‘uses’ of government tax dollars, we quickly see that waste, fraud, and abuse are among the least objectionable activities of the US government.” (02/07/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/2017/02/defense-waste-fraud-abuse/

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35) Why Trump’s tough talk on Iran will backfire
Source: Reuters
by Mohamad Bazzi

“Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump criticized the Obama administration for being ‘too soft’ on Iran, and for allowing it to gain strength in the Middle East. Trump promised to ‘rip up’ the July 2015 agreement that Iran signed with the United States and five other world powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions. In his first weeks in office, Trump is eager to show that he will take a more aggressive and confrontational approach with Iran, which he called ‘the number one terrorist state’ during an interview with Fox News on Feb. 5. Tehran provided an opening on Jan. 29, when it tested a medium-range ballistic missile. Iranian officials said the launch did not violate a United Nations Security Council resolution that prohibits Iran from testing weapons systems that can carry nuclear warheads.” (02/08/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-iran-commentary-idUSKBN15N26U

—–

36) The Emerald Belt Project (dreaming is free)
Source: exile in happy valley
by comrade hermit

“It all starts with the collapse of the American Empire, which, lets face it, is an inevitability. All capitalist societies are built to self-destruct. … My dream is to take advantage of this chaotic opportunity and gather the continents leftist malcontents, be they communist, anarchist, socialist or libertarian, provided that they’re all anti-statist in nature, and unite them under one banner. Then, together, we repatriate my local Rustbelt ruins along the Great Lakes, forgotten cities like Erie, Cleveland and Detroit, with nothing to offer but abandoned land and untapped opportunity. Here we make our stand and create a confederacy of stateless artist colonies with the backbone of a new post-capitalist economy built on an industry I can only describe as AgriPunk.” (02/07/17)

http://exileinhappyvalley.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-emerald-belt-project-dreaming-is.html

—–

37) Is the Non-Aggression Principle self-negating? You decide!
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“A person named Jared emailed me out of the blue about a week ago with the following letter. It contains a request for feedback followed by an argument that the Non-Aggression Principle as made popular by Murray Rothbard was self-negating on the grounds that the creation of private property is an act of aggression. What ensued were several letters back and forth in which we both flesh out the other’s argument and offer our critique. In the end we understood each other better, but alas no consensus was reach. I share it all here for future reference.” (02/07/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/non-aggression-principle-self-negating-decide

—–

38) Don’t be fooled by the Trump spat, the CIA is NOT your friend
Source: In These Times
by Branko Marcetic

“Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, a history of the CIA’s decades-spanning attempts to co-opt and outright recruit writers and intellectuals for its own ends, is the fruit of at least 15 years of research. Yet by some cosmic happenstance, it’s only now being released, when it’s more relevant than ever. Joel Whitney’s book comes amidst weeks of CIA-dominated headlines as the intelligence community butts heads with President Donald Trump over allegations he owes his victory to–and is perhaps in the thrall of–the Kremlin. After a heated public exchange, Trump tried to make nice with the agency with a speech in front of the CIA memorial in Langley, Virginia. Rather than paying tribute to the agency’s fallen, however, he used the opportunity to criticize the media and insist on the tremendous size of his inauguration audience, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some CIA personnel.” [editor’s note: This should not be “news” to most libertarians, and should cause second thoughts for anyone claiming “intelligence agencies” as a reliable source – SAT] (02/07/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19874/the-cia-spread-fake-news-before-trump-did-finks-paris-review

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39) How governments destroy consumer sovereignty
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Per Bylund

“It is easy to fall into the trap of the ‘cost-plus’ method. That is, to consider prices for consumer goods to be a function of the costs of production. Unfortunately, the cost-plus method of pricing is commonly taught to MBA students worldwide, thereby cementing a bureaucratic view of business and the economy. The fact is that prices are not a result of costs; it is the other way around. Actually, prices and costs are not even ‘set’ by the same types of economic actors.” (02/08/17)

https://mises.org/blog/how-governments-destroy-consumer-sovereignty

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40) Trump’s accidental truth will take him down
Source: CounterPunch
by John Eskow

“‘Do you know why they hate Americans everywhere?’ Lenny Bruce used to cheerfully riddle his audiences, drawing on his years as a Navy gunner’s mate in occupied Europe during World War II; ‘because we fucked their mothers for candy bars, Jim.’ … ‘America is taken advantage of by every nation on earth, virtually,’ said Donald Trump, but he was only codifying, in his trademarked nitwit way, a series of messages drummed into us for years from all corners of the media, and from politicians of every stripe: we’re just too darn bighearted for our own darn good! … Well, not under Trump! ‘Those days are over, folks,’ he assures us, wallowing in the lie; but then two days later — his defenses weakened by sleeplessness and too much vanilla ice cream — he accidentally drops a truth-bomb that horrifies Jake Tapper and Brent Scowcroft alike: ‘what, you think we’re so innocent,’ he says, RE Putin’s murders, ‘you think we don’t have killers?'” (02/08/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/08/trumps-accidental-truth-will-take-him-down/

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41) How Republicans can save themselves from their Obamacare trap
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“When Republicans unexpectedly won unified control of the federal government in November, they began speaking of repealing the Affordable Care Act as fait accompli. Obamacare would be on borrowed time by the spring, replaced by the summer or fall, and wiped off the books forever within a couple years. Three months later, their bravado has given way to panic and confusion. Republicans find themselves beset by angry and alarmed constituents at their district offices and public events every weekend. They have defensively characterized these demonstrations as paid astroturf and threats to public safety, but it is just as likely they are questioning protesters’ legitimacy to avoid confrontations like this one, between Representative John Faso of New York and a constituent with a brain tumor.” (02/08/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/140490/republicans-can-save-obamacare-trap

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42) Harvard’s troubled history with free association, part 2
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Ryne Weiss

“In Part 1, we discussed Harvard’s long-hidden 1920 ‘Secret Court’ files — uncovered by an intrepid student journalist in the early 2000s — revealing that Harvard systematically interrogated students about alleged homosexual activity, asking them to make confessions and name associates. At least one suicide was linked to this unconscionable practice. Today, we’ll present details of another era in which Harvard saw fit to punish students for exercising their associational rights: In the 1950s, Harvard gave in to McCarthyism and began interrogating alleged communists and communist sympathizers.” (02/07/17)

https://www.thefire.org/harvards-troubled-history-with-free-association-part-2/

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43) Inflation: How it occurs and what are its consequences
Source: Cobden Centre
by Tim Lucas

“Guided by Austrian school economics, I have attempted to outline firstly the different mechanisms through which inflation may occur. Secondly, I have noted some of the second-order consequences that might be expected as a result of these primary mechanisms. Finally, I have made some observations about how this framework relates to investment today.” (02/08/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/02/inflation-how-it-occurs-and-what-are-its-consequences/

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44) Why “America First” resonates
Source: The American Conservative
by Robert W Merry

“What kind of foreign policy would emerge in America if it were crafted and sustained strictly by U.S. public opinion? We can’t know precisely, because we can’t sit down with the American people and ask them in a way that allows for give and take and for probing the thinking behind the various responses. But we do have polls, and they can tell us a great deal about the state of public opinion on major foreign-policy matters.” (02/08/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-america-first-resonates/

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45) Establishment Republicans risk achieving a progressive dream
Source: Hawaii Reporter
by Frank Salvato

“One of the motivating factors of those who chose to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election was his promise to affect the repeal of the Affordable Care & Patient Protection Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. … it is incredibly disappointing to hear that some establishment Republicans — including two traditionally thoughtful men — are floating the idea of not repealing the total of the law and, instead, ‘repairing it.’ Sens. Orin Hatch (R-UT), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are espousing just that notion. They, along with usual suspect Republicans in Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), are providing the avenue to a catastrophe that Progressives and Liberal Democrats could have only dreamed of achieving: the fracture of the Republican Party and creation of a third political party.” [editor’s note: He says that last part like it’s a bad thing – TLK] (02/07/17)

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/establishment-republicans-risk-achieving-a-progressive-dream/123

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46) No innocence abroad
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“After establishing, during the big Super Bowl day interview, that President Donald Trump respects Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Bill O’Reilly asked why. After all, the Fox News star challenged, ‘Putin’s a killer.’ ‘We’ve got a lot of killers,’ Trump replied. ‘What, you think our country’s so innocent?’ This disturbed just about everyone. On the left, it was more evidence of Russian influence. The right recoiled at Trump doing the leftist thing, equating our moral failings with the much worse failings of others.” (02/08/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/02/08/no-innocence-abroad/

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47) The problem with Europe paying its defense bills
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

“One of the main foreign policy talking points of President Donald Trump’s campaign was that America’s allies — particularly its European allies — were not paying enough for their own defense. As then-candidate Trump told the New York Times, NATO members needed to start ‘paying their bills,’ otherwise the United States would need to reconsider its alliance commitments. … the emphasis Trump has placed on the issue — going so far as to threaten withholding defense of countries that do not meet minimum spending requirements — raises several interesting questions. Two of them stand out in particular: can America’s European allies increase their defense budgets? And if so, is it a good thing if they do?” [editor’s note: Neither of those questions stands out nearly as much to me as this one: Even if they “can’t” or “shouldn’t” increase their defense budgets, why on earth would it be the job of the US to pick up the check? – TLK] (02/08/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/problem-europe-paying-defense-bills/

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48) Trump at the crossroads
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Less than three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, there are several troubling signs that the new administration is abandoning its foreign policy mandate and going off the rails. First and foremost is the saber-rattling aimed at Iran. … The real epicenter of the gathering storm is Yemen …” [editor’s note: Trump has no “mandate,” in foreign policy or otherwise — and on foreign policy in particular, his campaign pledges were so many, so varied and so mutually exclusive that it would be impossible to figure out what such a “mandate” would look like if it DID exist. Raimondo believed what he wanted to believe about Trump and continues to discount that naivete as a possible factor in things not going the way he expected them to go – TLK] (02/08/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/02/07/trump-at-the-crossroads/

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49) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #260: We belong to none and none to us, entirely.
Source: WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy

“As close as you are to another person — a soul-mate spouse or a deeply-loved family member — never surrender your will and judgment to him or request him to surrender them to you. That’s akin to giving away your humanity and becoming another’s slave. No one who honestly cares for you or for the sanctity of individuals in general would ask that. ” (02/08/17)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.7700

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50) What economists see that most don’t
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux

“Economists see the world differently than non-economists. Often, that involves nothing more than our habit of looking not only at the most obvious facts of reality but also at the less obvious facts. For example, when Americans buy more imported steel, everyone sees that some steelworkers in Pennsylvania and Ohio lose their jobs. Economists, of course, also see these job losses. But unlike most non-economists, economists see the jobs that are created in America as a result of greater imports. Economists see that foreigners use dollars earned selling steel to us to buy American exports or to invest in America. Each of these uses creates jobs in America.” (02/07/17)

http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/11883481-74/economists-quarterback-value

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

51) The Ancap Barber Shop, episode 9
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“We talk about Hoppean physical removal, Trump’s travel ban, Scott’s diet update, and free helicopter rides.” [various formats] (02/08/17)

http://www.ancapbarbershop.com/hoppean-physical-removal-and-trumps-travel-ban-abs9/

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52) David Stockman: Time to end the war on drugs
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Watch David Stockman present his perspectives on why America needs to end the war on drugs. This presentation is part of FFF’s Drug War Video Project, whose aim is to accelerate the end of this immoral and destructive government program.” [Flash video] (02/08/17)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/david-stockman-time-end-war-drugs/

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53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 843
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“This one’s a must-listen, both for the topic and also for the guest: the brilliant Angelo Codevilla. What are the true origins of political correctness? Codevilla traces them to sources you’ll find chilling — but when you hear his explanation, everything starts to make sense.” [various formats] (02/08/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-843-the-roots-of-political-correctness-with-angelo-codevilla/

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54) The Jason Stapleton Program, 02/08/17
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“Last night CNN hosted a debate between Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders over the future of the Affordable Care Act. Apparently, CNN liked the ratings boost it got from the presidential debates and is trying to keep the momentum going. Personally, I’d love to see more of these debates with people tuning in to hear the ideas from all sides. I’ve got a lot of clips from the event and I, of course, will have plenty of witty commentaries to go along.” [various formats] (02/08/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/536-highlights-from-the-ted-cruz-bernie-sanders-debate/

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55) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/08/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lisa, Jim and MWD explain why it’s NOT activism to walk into a police station bearing rifles dressed like ISIS anywhere, especially in the city with the highest US Arab population. Then we start a new ongoing contest, ‘Aspie vs. ADD.’ The apparent winner is ‘Why not both???'” [various formats] (02/08/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=13731

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56) Intercepted, 02/08/17
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted we sit down with intrepid investigative reporter Allan Nairn, who breaks down Trump’s relationship with the CIA, the president’s murderous affection for Vladimir Putin, and the killer assembly of establishment neocons and right-wing conspiracists running the U.S. war machine. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Princeton professor and author of ‘From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,’ dismantles Obama’s problematic legacy, offers strategic advice for resisting Trump, and shares her scorecard on Nazi punching. The Intercept’s own distinguished alt-historian, Jon Schwarz, offers a (morbid) lesson on the origins of presidential executive orders. And singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches performs a powerful song about racism and the police state.”

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/08/intercepted-podcast-president-trumps-cabinet-of-killers-and-why-orange-is-the-new-anti-black/

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57) Free Talk Live, 02/07/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Free the Nipple Protest Trial Number Two Happened Today — Ladies Found Guilty, Appeal Planned :: Objections to Female Toplessness :: Violence, Sex, and Television :: Puritanism :: Genitalia :: Abolish Minimum Wage :: Wealth Redistribution :: Types of Freedom :: Silencers and Suppressors :: Immigration Ban :: Dolphin Slaughtering :: Patents :: Technology Making Us Rude? :: The Cove :: Refugees :: Ralph :: Government, Rights, Soliders, Slavery :: HOSTS — Ian, Vincent.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/07/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-02-07

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58) Electric LibertyLand, episode 6
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On today’s Electric Libertyland, host Brian McWilliams flies solo as he breaks down some of the most ridiculous, politicized and social media outrage inspiring commercials from Super Bowl LI. Brian also looks at the recent Antifa actions, a liberal professor at NYU losing her mind and Betsy DeVos being voted in as Education Secretary.” [various formats] (02/08/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/02/08/ell6/

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59) Cato Daily Podcast, 02/07/17
Source: Cato Institute

“Whoever pays for it, President Trump’s plans for a wall separating the U.S. from Mexico is fatally flawed on a number of fronts. Dan Griswold explains.” [various formats] (02/07/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/cracks-trumps-wall-plan

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60) The Bob Zadek Show, 02/05/17
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“Join Bob and William [Watkins Jr.] as they discuss the relevance of anti-federalist ideals to current events, from Trump’s executive orders to California’s new secession movement.” [various formats] (02/05/17)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2017/2/2/the-return-of-the-anti-federalists

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****