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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,923
Monday, March 5th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Germany: Merkel set for fourth term after Social Democrats OK coalition
2) Italy: Exit polls point to hung parliament
3) Putin: Russia will “never” extradite citizens accused by US of election meddling
4) Turkey: US embassy shut for unspecified “security threat
5) South Korea names envoys in bid to arrange US-North Korea talks
6) Amazon stops selling Nest products as war with Google continues
7) Coinbase user files class action against company, claims insider Bitcoin Cash trading
8) WV: Inmates remain free as day prison guards continue strike
9) Pakistan: Hindu woman elected to Senate in historic first
10) Macedonia: Protesters urge government not to change country’s name
11) Gridiron dinner: Melania might be “next to leave” White House, Trump jokes(?)
12) US investment giant pressures gun firms
13) FL: Two-year plot to steal $4 million from armored vehicles, kill drivers, ends with epic arrest on interstate
14) Russia: Regime will allow medically prescribed marijuana, cocaine, and heroin at 2018 World Cup
15) Trump steps up war of words on trade with threat to tax EU cars
16) NY: GOP state senator busted for secretly continuing to pay aide who resigned over sex harassment claims
17) Michelle Obama won’t run for president, has more ambitious plans
18) Huckabee resigns from CMA board, citing political and religious intolerance
19) Trump: Maybe US will have a president for life someday
20) AL: Moore begs for help with legal defense fund to “make ends meet”

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) More Korean war is “worth it?” To whom?
22) No more hoorays for Hollywood
23) @Condoleezza: Weapons of war
24) The grammar of Russiagate
25) How to criticize a political opponent using list persuasion
26) Hollywood hoopla ignores media’s history of servility
27) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 6, part 2
28) The wealthy, the poor, the vulnerable
29) Against Trump’s tariffs
30) Average people used to understand that protectionism was welfare for special interests that hurt consumers. When did this change?
31) So much for tax cuts and deregulation
32) Purging Russian bots and trolls from politics may backfire
33) A protectionist is someone who …
34) Universal Basic Idiocy, Part 2
35) Putin’s nuclear-tipped hybrid war on the west
36) Reclaiming “liberal”
37) When it comes to pot, pain, and cancer, Jess Sessions is an idiot
38) Quantum Vibe, 03/02/18
39) The problem with defence “efficiency”
40) The shrinking of America
41) Racing towards a low-yield armageddon
42) Fair use protects so much more than many realize
43) Car Wars II: Revenge of the Cronies
44) The little agency that could have tamed the military-industrial complex
45) Fear of voters
46) This threat of a trade war is the opposite of “drain the swamp”
47) The new fault lines
48) Guns have always been vital to black political struggle
49) Exporting Roosevelt’s New Deal through aid, investment, and threat of war
50) Why I won’t be watching the Oscars this year

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Five Minutes, Five Issues, episode 97
52) Contra the alt-right, part 2
53) Intercepted Podcast, 03/04/18
54) Freedom Feens Radio, episode 1268
55) Anarcho Agenda, episode 59
56) Free Talk Live, 03/03/18
57) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 229
58) Felony Friday, episode 113
59) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 162
60) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 03/02/18

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

1) Germany: Merkel set for fourth term after Social Democrats OK coalition
Source: Bangor Daily News

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel cleared the last major hurdle on her path to a fourth term Sunday, after members of the center-left Social Democrats voted in favor of continuing their governing coalition with her conservative bloc. The decision ends almost six months of political uncertainty in Germany, the longest time the country has been without a government in its post-war history.” (03/04/18)

https://bangordailynews.com/2018/03/04/news/world-news/merkel-set-for-4th-term-after-social-democrats-ok-coalition/

—–

2) Italy: Exit polls point to hung parliament
Source: Metro [UK]

“Italy’s national elections are likely to return a hung parliament, exit polls predict. The election has been closely watched to see if populist sentiment swings it in the same way as America’s election and the Brexit vote. A centre-right alliance is likely to win the biggest bloc of seats in the lower house of parliament — but will fall well short of an outright majority, according to an exit poll …. Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, is likely to win 225-265 seats, ahead of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement with 195-235 seats and the ruling centre-left bloc with 115-155. … An outright majority would require at least 316 seats.

http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/04/exit-polls-point-hung-parliament-italian-elections-7360751/

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3) Putin: Russia will “never” extradite citizens accused by US of election meddling
Source: Chicago Tribune

“Russia will ‘never’ extradite any of the 13 Russians indicted by the United States for election-meddling, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, even as he insisted they didn’t act on behalf of his government. Putin’s comments in an NBC News interview airing Sunday illustrated the long odds that the Russian operatives will ever appear in U.S. court to answer charges of running a massive, secret social media trolling and targeted messaging operation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The United States has no extradition treaty with Moscow and can’t compel it to hand over citizens, and a provision in Russia’s constitution prohibits extraditing its citizens to foreign countries.” (03/04/18)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-russia-election-meddling-extradition-20180304-story.html

—–

4) Turkey: US embassy shut for unspecified “security threat”
Source: Washington Post

“The U.S. Embassy in Turkey will be closed on Monday due to an unspecified security threat. A statement posted on the embassy’s web page on Sunday urged U.S. citizens to avoid the embassy in Ankara as well as large crowds and to ‘keep a low profile.’” (03/04/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/us-embassy-in-turkey-shut-for-unspecified-security-threat/2018/03/04/403c15fe-200b-11e8-946c-9420060cb7bd_story.html

—–

5) South Korea names envoys in bid to arrange US-North Korea talks
Source: Reuters

“South Korean President Moon Jae-in has picked two senior security officials as special envoys to North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, as upcoming joint military drills by U.S. and South Korean troops drew condemnation from Pyongyang. National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief Suh Hoon and National Security Office (NSO) head Chung Eui-yong will lead the visit as part of an effort to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula as well as possibly arrange talks between Pyongyang and Washington, according to a senior presidential aide cited by Yonhap. That mission could be complicated by the planned drills, as a commentary published by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency warned that North Korea would ‘counter the U.S.’ if the United States holds joint military exercises with South Korea.” (03/03/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-envoys/south-korea-names-envoys-in-bid-to-arrange-u-s-north-korea-talks-idUSKCN1GG02O

—–

6) Amazon stops selling Nest products as war with Google continues
Source: TechSpot

“The ongoing battle between Google and Amazon has just taken another turn, after the online retail giant announced it wouldn’t stock future products from Nest. As a result of the move, Nest has decided not to sell any more of its items on the site once the current inventory is depleted. Business Insider reports that a conference call between the two companies’ employees saw Amazon’s team inform Nest it wouldn’t be listing any of its newer products, such as the latest thermostat and Nest Cam IQ. … A person familiar with the matter said that in response, Nest decided to take an ‘all or nothing’ approach and stop selling its products on Amazon once current stocks run out. It’s unclear if third-party Amazon sellers will still be able to move Nest goods.” (03/04/18)

https://www.techspot.com/news/73545-amazon-stops-selling-nest-products-war-google-continues.html

—–

7) Coinbase user files class action against company, claims insider Bitcoin Cash trading
Source: Coin Telegraph

“Coinbase, a major US-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform, faces a class action lawsuit claiming that its employees and other insiders benefited from trading on non-public information that the exchange planned to introduce Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support last December …. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff accuses Coinbase of ‘artificially inflated prices’ by means of disclosing buy and sell orders moments after Coinbase launched BCH support on Dec. 19, 2017. The move may have caused the price of the cryptocurrency to soar by over 130 percent — from $1,865 on Dec. 18 it reached as high as $4,300 by Feb. 20, according to data from CoinMarketCap.” (03/03/18)

https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-user-files-class-action-against-company-claims-insider-bch-trading

—–

8) WV: Inmates remain free as day prison guards continue strike
Source: CNN

“West Virginia public school teachers will strike for an eighth day Monday because the state legislature didn’t meet their demand for higher pay and better benefits over the weekend. All 55 counties announced school closures for Monday. About 20,000 teachers walked out February 22, keeping almost 277,000 students out of class. Union leaders say the teachers won’t return to work until they get a 5% raise.” (03/04/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/04/us/west-virginia-teachers-strike-day-8/index.html

—–

9) Pakistan: Hindu woman elected to Senate in historic first
Source: Toronto Star [Canada]

“A woman from Pakistan’s marginalized Hindu minority has been elected to the senate for the first time ever in an election over the weekend in which a Taliban-linked cleric was defeated. Krishna Kumari, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party, hails from the so-called untouchables, the lowest rung of the caste system that still prevails in Pakistan and neighbouring India. Lawmakers in national and four provincial assemblies on Saturday elected half of the 104-member Senate to six-year terms.” (03/04/18)

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/03/04/pakistan-elects-a-hindu-woman-to-its-senate-in-historic-first.html

—–

10) Macedonia: Protesters urge government not to change country’s name
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“Several thousand protesters in Macedonia have demanded that the government call off ongoing talks with neighbouring Greece over a decades-long name dispute. Civic organisations joined under the motto ‘We are Macedonia’ to organise a rally in the capital, Skopje, on Sunday. They are urging the government not to agree to any changes to the country’s name and to protect the Macedonian national identity and language.” (03/04/18)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5460693/Protesters-Macedonia-urge-government-not-change-country-s-name.html

—–

11) Gridiron dinner: Melania might be “next to leave” White House, Trump jokes(?)
Source: People

“At the end of what has been a chaotic and unexpected week in Donald Trump’s administration, the president offered up his biggest surprise yet when he seemingly laughed at his own troubles during the Gridiron dinner on Saturday night. … ‘It’s been a really calm week at the White House,’ Trump remarked at the start of his speech, before joking that his wife Melania, with whom he is rumored to have an icy relationship, might be the next person to leave the White House, reported CNN.” (03/04/18)

http://people.com/politics/trump-jokes-melania-next-leave-white-house-jared-kushner-gridiron-dinner/

—–

12) US investment giant pressures gun firms
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The world’s biggest investment management firm is stepping up pressure on companies that make and sell guns after the Florida school shooting. BlackRock Inc is considering offering investors the chance not to invest in gun firms, and is asking those firms how they monitor safe use of weapons. The US corporation said the Florida shooting on 14 February, in which 17 people died, required a response. It is the largest shareholder in two of the biggest US gun manufacturers. ‘As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America,’ the corporation said on its website. ‘We believe that this event requires response and action from a wide range of entities across both the public and private sectors.’” (03/03/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43268446

—–

13) FL: Two-year plot to steal $4 million from armored vehicles, kill drivers, ends with epic arrest on interstate
Source: USA Today

“A two-year plot to rob two armored bank vehicles and murder the drivers ended on Interstate 95 in Martin County Feb. 20. Three suspects plotting to commit the violent robbery were arrested hours before they could pull off the deadly heist, according to information released Friday by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects were identified as Daryl Canady, also known as ‘Doo-Doo;’ Alger Lee Ellison; and Martiavius Leon Williams, also known as ‘Man.’ All were residents of Palm Beach County. The group planned to rob an armored truck picking up a large bank run from a PNC Bank in Port St. Lucie, according to a federal affidavit obtained Friday. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force (a multi-agency unit specializing in violent crimes in South Florida) was able to develop enough probable cause to arrange a special operation takedown that spanned from Palm Beach County to St. Lucie County.” (03/02/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/03/2-year-plot-steal-4-million-armored-vehicles-kill-drivers-ends-epic-arrest-florida-interstate/391828002

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14) Russia: Regime will allow medically prescribed marijuana, cocaine, and heroin at 2018 World Cup
Source: Smell the Truth

“Fans of the Beautiful Game will be allowed to enhance their 2018 FIFA World Cup experience with weed, coke, and heroin, if they have a valid medical reason. Attendants of this year’s World Cup competition in Russia can legally bring marijuana, cocaine, and heroin into Russian stadiums hosting the event as long as they bring proper medical paperwork, reports Newsweek. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) based in Moscow allows certain illegal drugs to be brought into the country as long as travelers are carrying medical documentation. FIFA rules also allow spectators to bring narcotics to live matches with supporting medical clearance, the Russian newspaper Izvestia initially reported.” (03/01/18)

https://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2018/03/01/russia-will-allow-medically-prescribed-marijuana-cocaine-and-heroin-at-2018-world-cup

—–

15) Trump steps up war of words on trade with threat to tax EU cars
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“US President Donald Trump has stepped up his war of words over trade tariffs, threatening to ‘apply a tax’ on imports of cars from the European Union. Mr Trump said other countries had taken advantage of the US for years because of its ‘very stupid’ trade deals. The trade wrangle began on Thursday when Mr Trump vowed to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. That brought a stiff response from trading partners and criticism from the IMF and WTO. EU trade chiefs have reportedly been considering slapping 25% tariffs on around $3.5bn (£2.5bn) of imports from the US, following Mr Trump’s proposal of a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on aluminium.” (03/03/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43270388

—–

16) NY: GOP state senator busted for secretly continuing to pay aide who resigned over sex harassment claims
Source: Raw Story

“Former New York State Sen. George D. Maziarz (R-Niagara) will avoid a criminal trial next week after pleading guilty on Friday to hiding salary payments to a disgraced former staffer, The Buffalo News reported. Former Sen. Maziarz, 64, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of ‘filing a false instrument.’ He had been facing trial on five felony charges. ‘His career ended … and it was the end of being the boss of bosses in Niagara County,’ Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. ‘We exposed what happened.’ The scandal centered around former senate staffer Glenn Aronow, who officially worked for Maziarz, until resigning after allegations of sexual harassment, the Lockport Journal reported. Sen. Maziarz allegedly hid payments to continue Aronow’s employment, utilizing a ‘multi-layered pass-through scheme’ involving his campaign account and the Niagara County Republican Committee.” (03/03/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/new-york-gop-state-senator-busted-secretly-continuing-pay-aide-resigned-sex-harassment-claims

—–

17) Michelle Obama won’t run for president, has more ambitious plans
Source: Raw Story

“Michelle Obama says she won’t run for president. At a conference earlier this week, the former first leader made it clear that she doesn’t have political ambitions. Or, at least, personal political ambitions. She’d rather work with young people, because ‘it’s a better investment to invest in creating thousands of mes. They’re tired of watching us do the same old thing and expect different results,’ she said at an event first reported on by Business Insider. ‘So I’m optimistic about the future. There are some bright young people out there doing some amazing things.’ Helping those bright young people would be better than running herself, Obama said. ‘This is why I’m not going to run for president,’ she said.” (03/03/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/michelle-obama-wont-run-president-ambitious-plan-instead

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18) Huckabee resigns from CMA board, citing political and religious intolerance
Source: Fox News

“An apparently frustrated Mike Huckabee resigned from the board of the Country Music Association Foundation after just one day Thursday, saying the music industry is intolerant to those with conservative, religious beliefs. On Wednesday, the former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate was announced as a new board member of the charitable arm of the group that runs the annual CMA Awards and CMA Festival. But prominent music industry leaders swiftly criticized Huckabee’s appointment, including some who singled out his support for gun rights and traditional family values. In his resignation letter to the CMA Foundation, Huckabee called his critics bullies, but said he was resigning to end an ‘unnecessary distraction’ for the foundation.” (03/02/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/03/02/mike-huckabee-resigns-from-country-music-board-citing-political-and-religious-intolerance.html

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19) Trump: Maybe US will have a president for life someday
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“President Donald Trump says he thinks it’s great that China’s president now holds that office for life and muses that maybe the U.S. will do the same someday. Trump’s remarks were met with laughter and applause during a luncheon for Republican donors Saturday at his South Florida estate. CNN said it obtained a recording of the remarks. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently consolidated power. Trump told the gathering: ‘He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great.’ Trump added, ‘I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.’ Trump criticized his Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, repeated his view about ‘a rigged system,’ and called the Iraq invasion ‘the single worst decision ever made.’” (03/03/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Trump-says-maybe-US-will-have-a-president-for-life-12725968.php

—–

20) AL: Moore begs for help with legal defense fund to “make ends meet”
Source: USA Today

“A cash-strapped Roy Moore urged supporters Thursday to pour more donations into a legal defense fund formed to fight a defamation lawsuit by a woman who said he molested her when she was 14. In a lengthy Facebook post, the unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate decried the cost of his attorneys and described how his resources ‘have been depleted’ and he’s ‘struggled to make ends meet.’ … ‘I have lawyers who want to help but they are not without cost and besides their fees, legal expenses could run over $100,000,’ he wrote. ‘I have had to establish a legal defense fund, anything you give will be appreciated.’” (03/02/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/03/03/roy-moore-begs-help-legal-defense-fund-make-ends-meet/391766002

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

21) More Korean war is “worth it?” To whom?
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Speaking to CNN on the possibility of resuming hostilities in the nearly 70-year-old Korean War (in uneasy ceasefire since 1953), US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says ‘all the damage … would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security.’ Worth it, Senator Graham? To whom? The last period of open war on the Korean peninsula cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 million lives, including nearly a million soldiers on both sides (36,516 of them American) and 2.5 million civilians in the North and South. What did the American taxpayer get in return for three years of fighting, tens of thousands of Americans dead, and nearly $700 billion (in 2008 dollars)? Well, that taxpayer’s government got to decide who’s in charge of part of the Korean peninsula, which, last time I checked, is not a US state or territory. And that taxpayer’s government got the opportunity to spend hundreds of billions of dollars more of that taxpayer’s money to garrison the North-South border along the 38th Parallel for 65 years.” (03/03/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12965

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22) No more hoorays for Hollywood
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“There was a time long ago, when I worked in the theater in the 1970s, when I cared about the Oscars a lot. After I moved to Los Angeles in 1978, I worked in the movie industry for several years. So I still cared about the Oscars a lot. Over the last 30 years, my interest in the Oscars, and in Hollywood in general, has declined dramatically. Hollywood and its associated displays of self-congratulation primarily draw my attention in terms of why and how its product connects to broader cultural trends and issues. … In terms of its presentation in the post-Harvey Weinstein atmosphere, this year’s Oscars might provide some intriguing moments. But I suspect those in charge of the Oscars, as well as many of those in the movie business, would strongly prefer that the Oscars imitate the bland gruel of comfort food rather than the stinging tanginess of exotic dishes.” (03/04/18)

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2018/03/no-more-hoorays-for-hollywood.html

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23) @Condoleezza: Weapons of war
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

“People on the wrong side of this issue frequently blather that America’s Founding Fathers — who, for the most part, were aware only of single-shot muzzle-loading rifles and pistols — couldn’t have imagined civilians armed with automatic or semiautomatic weapons. On the contrary, what the Founding Fathers couldn’t have imagined is a time when ordinary citizens are forbidden to own and carry weapons fully as capable as those of the military, defeating the entire purpose of the Second Amendment. They understood what you and others like you pretend not to, that military weapons in civilian hands are for preserving civil rights and civilian lives. As leftists continuously whimper, they are, indeed ‘weapons of war’: humanity’s 10,000-year-old continuing war against tyranny.” (03/04/18)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2018/tle963-20180304-02.html

—–

24) The grammar of Russiagate
03/05/2018 Opinion No comments Edit This

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“When you read in the newspaper or hear it said on CNN that Russia or Moscow or the Kremlin did such and such, you should call out, ‘Who exactly?’ Countries, cities, and citadels cannot act. Only individuals do. Moreover, there’s a big difference between the GRU (Glavnoje Razvedyvatel’noje Upravlenije) and the IRA (Internet Research Institute), between Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin. But their acts are equally attributed to Russia. St. Petersburg (where the IRA is located) even becomes subsumed by Moscow. The Kremlin could refer to someone directly ordered by Putin or a rogue actor. But those distinctions are of little interest to those formulating or promulgating the Official Narrative. Finally, let’s turn to the word alleged.” (03/02/18)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/foreign-policy/tgif-grammar-russiagate/

—–

25) How to criticize a political opponent using list persuasion
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“I’m seeing a lot of ‘list’ journalism now that is designed to paint President Trump in a negative light. The power of the list is that the more items on the list, the more persuasive it looks, even if the items are weak. Here’s a good example. If you want to create a persuasive political attack list, be sure to include the following elements in various combinations: Situations that could turn out bad but probably won’t; Imperfect situations that aren’t terribly important; A rumor that would be bad if it were true, but probably isn’t …. I am often criticized for praising effective persuasion and leaving out the ethical dimension. I’ll do it again right here because I trust you to apply your own moral filter. I’m only here to tell you what works and what doesn’t. And this attack-list method totally works. President Trump isn’t the only persuader in the game. His opponents, collectively but not individually, have a great game too. Is their persuasion ethical and moral? I trust you to make that judgement without my assist.” (03/03/18)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2018/03/03/criticize-political-opponent-using-list-persuasion

—–

26) Hollywood hoopla ignores media’s history of servility
Source: The Hill
by James Bovard

“Much of the media nowadays is portraying itself as heroes of the #Resist Trump movement. To exploit that meme, Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg rushed out ‘The Post,’ a movie depicting an epic press battle with the Nixon administration. But regardless of whether Spielberg’s latest wins the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday night, Americans should never forget the media’s long history of pandering to presidents and the Pentagon.” (03/02/18)

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/376399-hollywood-hoopla-ignores-medias-history-of-servility

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27) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 6, part 2
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“Cryptography and its offspring, cryptocurrency, are antidotes to Oceania — the dystopian society depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984. The Orwellian culture is designed to eliminate privacy in order to make nonconformity and dissent impossible. In breaking the spirit of its citizens, Oceania denies them individuality and their humanity. Cryptography returns the power of privacy to individuals. In privacy, they can reach their human potential.” (03/03/18)

https://news.bitcoin.com/wendy-mcelroy-silence-and-soul-in-the-crypto-cold-war-the-evolution-of-privacy/

—–

28) The wealthy, the poor, the vulnerable
Source: Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

In our deeply unequal age, we’ve become accustomed to talking about concepts like income and wealth, affluence and poverty. Researchers at the OECD, the developed world’s official economic research agency, would like to toss another concept into the inequality mix: economic vulnerability. Why do we need to talk about vulnerability? Wealth and income stats alone, a new OECD study points out, often don’t tell us the whole story about who’s prospering and who’s not. One example: Households with decent incomes often don’t have much in the way of assets. In these asset-poor households, any serious disruption (a sudden job loss, family breakdown or disability) could bring economic disaster. How many households are living at the precipice of this disaster? The OECD’s new economic vulnerability study has an alarming answer.” (03/02/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180302/the-wealthy-the-poor-the-vulnerable

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29) Against Trump’s tariffs
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by the editors

“The Trump administration has announced it plans to raise taxes on Americans in the form of tariffs. On Thursday, the president promised steel and aluminum executives that he would protect them against foreign competition by levying tariffs on both metals in the coming weeks: 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The effect of tariffs will be to impose a higher tax burden on Americans, while increasing the cost of living, and the costs imposed on entrepreneurs using the taxed materials.” (03/02/18)

https://mises.org/wire/against-trumps-tariffs-0

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30) Average people used to understand that protectionism was welfare for special interests that hurt consumers. When did this change?
Source: Coyote Blog
by Warrne Meyer

“I have been watching the second season of Victoria on PBS (quite good, I think) and much of it has covered the famines of the 1840’s and the debate over the Corn Laws. At the time, it seems that average people understood that the British tariffs on imported food were in place solely to protect the agricultural profits of aristocratic (and by definition well-connected) landowners while hurting the country as a whole by raising food prices for every consumer and contributing to the famines that were sweeping Ireland and parts of England. … In case after case, [US president Donald Trump’s tariff proposals] are justified as increasing the welfare of a certain number of workers in targeted industries, but they hurt the welfare of perhaps 100x more people who consume or work for companies that consume the targeted products.” (03/02/18)

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2018/03/average-people-used-to-understand-that-protectionism-was-welfare-for-special-interests-that-hurt-consumers-when-did-this-change.html

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31) So much for tax cuts and deregulation
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“2017 ended with tax cuts and deregulation. It was too good to last. The administration has now reversed course, promising higher taxes in the form of tariffs and regulations in the form of import restrictions, as if we didn’t already have enough. It might seem strange to long for war. It is. But that is exactly what Donald Trump has done in a tweet to cause every economist, and every humanitarian, on planet earth to wince with dread.” (03/03/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/so-much-tax-cuts-and-deregulation

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32) Purging Russian bots and trolls from politics may backfire
Source: USA Today
Jonathan Turley

“Beware of politicians trying to make the Internet ‘honest again.’ Democratic lawmakers responding to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election want to increase the regulation of the Internet, from a dubiously named ‘Honest Ads Act’ to the fining of sites for suspicious posters, to increased use of national security laws to scrutinize posters. Most of these measures would have had little if any impact on the Russian operation, but they could open the door to significantly curtailing free speech on the Internet. There are three areas of illicit Russian activities: hacks of emails, attempts to compromise voting systems, and using posts and protesters to foment division. The first two areas are major threats that should be and can be addressed with new federal programs. However, after the recent indictment of 13 Russian nationals by special counsel Robert Mueller, politicians instead called for stripping away anonymity for Internet ads and cracking down on bots and trolls.” (03/02/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/03/02/making-internet-honest-again-isnt-innocent-may-seem-jonathan-turley-column/379131002

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33) A protectionist is someone who …
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“… believes that national borders emit mystical, potent, and evil powers. According to the protectionist, if Ann and Bob voluntarily trade with each other while each are in Buffalo, the trade is fine and good: both Ann and Bob gain. And although Chuck in Charleston is disappointed that Ann bought from Bob rather than from Chuck, even the protectionist doesn’t believe that Chuck has any cause for complaint or that Chuck’s loss of business to Bob is a source of national economic decline. But let Bob be in Toronto rather than in Buffalo, and — for the protectionist — matters are totally different. The fact that Ann’s commerce with Bob’s now traverses a political border means, for the protectionist, that that border somehow changes the transaction into one that is harmful to the American economy.” (03/04/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/03/a-protectionist-is-someone-who-35.html

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34) Universal Basic Idiocy, Part 2
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Long favored on the left, the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) is enjoying a current vogue even among some conservatives. But don’t be confused by the bipartisanship: no matter who likes the idea, it’s a bad one. The UBI idea has attracted a varied group of backers, including entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, former Service Employees International Union chief Andy Stern and libertarian thinker Charles Murray. It enjoys public popularity, too. A recent Gallup and Northeastern University poll found that 48% of Americans said they would support a universal basic income, while 52% said they would oppose it. And 46% said they would pay higher taxes to fund it. Money for nothin’, it seems, is a popular idea. It’s growing in popularity largely because people fear being left jobless by the increased use of robots and artificial intelligence in the workplace.” (03/02/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/universal-basic-idiocy-pt-ii

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35) Putin’s nuclear-tipped hybrid war on the west
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“This month marks the fourth anniversary of Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, an event that shocked the world and shook European faith in the post-Cold War security order. In retrospect, it has become clear that, for Putin, annexing the peninsula was not so much an end goal as a declaration of future intent, an early escalation in a broader and more ambitious effort that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently termed, with little obvious exaggeration, Russia’s ‘World Hybrid War’ on Western democracy itself. In an unusually bellicose speech on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin put Moscow’s remilitarization and its confrontation with the West at the heart of his pitch for re-election. His approach to this confrontation, which many now term ‘hybrid warfare,’ mixes nuclear posturing and cutting-edge technology with covert action, and was deliberately designed so as to make it very difficult for the West to respond.” (03/02/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apps-russia-commentary/commentary-putins-nuclear-tipped-hybrid-war-on-the-west-idUSKCN1GD6H2

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36) Reclaiming “liberal”
Source: The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill

“Though I’m still friendly with many people who use the term ‘libertarian,’ the same holds true for the term ‘feminist’ and for me, both terms are polluted beyond reclamation by the behavior of bad actors and the one-dimensional thinking of authoritarians. While I’m still going to describe myself as a minarchist or anarchist, when I want a more general term I’m going back to the traditional one for the philosophy opposed to authoritarianism: ‘liberal.’ At least until the American Civil War, the term ‘liberal’ meant more or less what is now properly meant by ‘libertarian’ …” (03/02/18)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/reclaiming-liberal/

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37) When it comes to pot, pain, and cancer, Jess Sessions is an idiot
Source: Reason
by Matt Kibbe

“I am a stage-four cancer survivor. No, that’s wrong. I’m not a survivor. I beat cancer’s ass into the ground, dusted myself off, and proceeded on with life. I don’t consider myself, or the millions of other people who deal with life-threatening or chronic conditions, a victim. We are not. But surely, patients have enough to manage already without the idiocy rattling through Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ teeth every time he opines on opiods, cannabis, and pain management. That’s right, I said it. Someone had to. Jeff Sessions is an idiot.” (03/03/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/03/03/jeff-sessions-idiot-pot-cancer-opioids

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38) Quantum Vibe, 03/02/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (03/02/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1765

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39) The problem with defence “efficiency”
Source: Continental Telegraph
by Jason Lynch

“A recurring refrain around the UK defence budget is the need for efficiency, and the endless quest for ‘savings’ to be found from cutting anything not being fully used around the clock. The problem with this argument, though, is that in peacetime one would hope the military are being rather under-used. Most immediately, having some ‘wasteful’ spare capacity, means there’s headroom at home for times when floods, snow, or other problems arise.” (03/04/18)

http://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2018/03/04/the-problem-with-defence-efficiency/

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40) The shrinking of America
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“In his unexpected announcement Thursday that the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Donald Trump insisted that these metals are essential to national identity. ‘When it comes to a time where our country can’t make aluminum and steel … you almost don’t have much of a country,’ he said. ‘Without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same.; This recalls a familiar refrain from Trump’s presidential campaign. ‘We don’t have a country without a border,’ he told Joe Scarborough on MSNBC in July of 2015. ‘Without a border, we just don’t have a country.’ These words reveal something essential not just about the priority Trump gives to trade protectionism and immigration restriction, but the nature of this nationalism. His notion of American identity is narrow and shallow, encompassing only the country’s borders and its raw products. You take those away, and America is nothing. In short, he’s a brick and mortar (and steel) nationalist.” (03/02/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/147259/shrinking-america-donald-trump-trade-war

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41) Racing towards a low-yield armageddon
Source: CounterPunch
by Brian Cloughley

“On February 3 the Washington Post observed that ‘the United States can deliver a [nuclear] strike anywhere in the world in 30 minutes with astounding accuracy’ and questioned the need for ‘a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons,’ quoting the commander of the strategic force, General John Hyten, as saying ‘I’m very comfortable today with the flexibility of our response options.’ But it appears that no matter the quantity and world-destroying capability of the US nuclear arsenal, there is always room for more — and more devastating — weapons of mass annihilation.” (03/02/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/02/racing-towards-a-low-yield-armageddon/

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42) Fair use protects so much more than many realize
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Katharine Trendacosta

“With copyright being abused to shut down innovation and speech, and copyright terms lasting for generations, fair use is more important than ever. Without fair use, we’d see less creativity. We’d see less news reporting and commentary. And we’d see far less innovation. Fair use allows people to use copyrighted materials for certain purposes without payment or permission. If something is fair use, it is not infringing on a copyright.” (03/02/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/03/fair-use-protects-so-much-more-many-realize

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43) Car Wars II: Revenge of the Cronies
Source: Show-Me Institute
by Patrick Ishmael

“Back in 2014 I wrote on this blog and at Forbes about a legislative attempt to force companies like Tesla to sell cars through a middleman in Missouri. At the time, I wrote that ‘Missouri should not be out protecting businesses and business models, especially when doing so is clearly against the interests of consumers.’ And so it remains today, as a new effort is afoot to force car manufacturers to hire middlemen to sell their vehicles.” (03/02/18)

https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/regulation/car-wars-ii-revenge-cronies

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44) The little agency that could have tamed the military-industrial complex
Source: The American Prospect
by Miriam Pemberton

“To win World War II, the United States turned its economy into a war machine; then the Cold War encouraged the military-industrial complex to dig in for the long haul. But even though the Berlin Wall fell nearly three decades ago, this feature of the American national security landscape endures. Defense giant Lockheed Martin brags on its website that its new fighter jet is built in 46 states. In a society nearly allergic to the idea of industrial policy, America’s de facto military-industrial policy means that businesses, workers, and whole communities across the country continue to depend on Pentagon spending. At the beginning of President Barack Obama’s first term, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter paid a visit to the Pentagon’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). The agency has been around since the post-Vietnam days to help communities adjust to lower levels of military spending, either from base closures or contract cancellations. Obama’s team knew that his promise to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had a downside: Communities living off the post–September 11 military spending surge would be taking a hit.” (03/02/18)

http://prospect.org/article/little-agency-could-have-tamed-military-industrial-complex

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45) Fear of voters
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“You are a state legislator, say. And an issue could be placed on the ballot on which a majority of your state’s citizens might not vote according to your preference. What would you do? 1. Educate your fellow citizens on the merits of your position; or 2. Dawdle while calling a lobbyist for advice; or 3. Change the constitution to make it impossible for such a vote to ever be held? State Rep. John Enns chose option C — perhaps after exhausting B.” (03/02/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/03/02/fear-of-voters/

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46) This threat of a trade war is the opposite of “drain the swamp”
Source: Cato Institute
by Simon Lester

“On Thursday, President Trump made a trade policy announcement, of sorts, with all his usual clarity. Before an audience of steel and aluminum executives, he said he would impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, and that these tariffs would last ‘for a long period of time.’ This is about as far from draining the swamp as trade policy could possibly get. Trump is going directly to special interests (i.e. business executives), and giving them favors at the expense of the rest of the country.” (03/02/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/threat-trade-war-opposite-drain-swamp

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47) The new fault lines
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“I grew up during the Cold War, when the key fault line in politics was between the left and right. There’s something about politics, perhaps something about life in general, that makes it tempting to think of binary options. But the recent global rise of nationalism has made that sort of binary thinking increasingly misleading, as there are now three major global ideologies.” (03/03/18)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2018/03/the_new_fault_l.html

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48) Guns have always been vital to black political struggle
Source: In These Times
by Charles Cobb Jr.

“Guns were used to fend off night riders seeking to murder civil rights activists and their supporters. Guns themselves are not central to gun violence. My thinking on this is shaped by my experience as a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizer in Mississippi in the 1960s, where guns helped keep us alive. Indeed, the centuries-long history of Black armed rebellion against slavery and resistance to white supremacist terror illustrates that guns have always been vital to Black struggle. To be clear, there should be gun control. You can control guns, however, without taking them away. Let’s examine the argument.” (03/01/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20948/gun-control-black-self-defense-slave-revolts-nonviolent

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49) Exporting Roosevelt’s New Deal through aid, investment, and threat of war
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Wendy McElroy

“By 1945, America was weary of war and wanted to loosen the reins of government which had tightened during World War II; Truman’s popularity and power declined. In the 1946 election, the Republicans seized control of both houses of Congress on a platform of rolling back government. In the 1948 presidential election, many were so certain that the Republican candidate, Thomas Dewey, would win that the Chicago Tribune prematurely printed newspapers with the front-page head-line ‘Dewey Defeats Truman.’ He didn’t. But the vote totals were only about 4 percent apart. Truman needed a popular cause around which the public and his party would rally. He found it in the bombastic campaign against communism both domestically and abroad. The Truman Doctrine of 1947 was a declaration of Cold War on a global scale and it had been well received. The doctrine offered U.S. military and economic support to nations that were threatened by communist troops or insurrections. Truman found another popular cause in the Marshall Plan.” (03/02/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/exporting-roosevelts-new-deal-aid-investment-threat-war/

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50) Why I won’t be watching the Oscars this year
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

“I’m writing this before the ceremonies, so you can compare what I say with what actually happened; but I’m not changing my mind. It’s not that I’m boycotting the ceremony; frankly, it isn’t important enough to boycott. I just don’t care anymore. The awards shows have made themselves obnoxiously political and tediously irrelevant.” (03/03/18)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1824

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

51) Five Minutes, Five Issues, episode 97
Source: Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

“‘Take the Guns First.’ AUMFs, Ukraine Weapons, No Guns List, Coffee Joint.” [various formats] (03/04/18)

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/march/04/five-minutes-five-issues-take-the-guns-first-aumfs-ukraine-weapons-no-guns-list-coffee-joint/

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52) Contra the alt-right, part 2
Source: Attack The System

“Todd Lewis will be joined by Keith Preston and Anarcho Reign to discuss the altright’s fake history.” [Flash video] (03/04/18)

https://attackthesystem.com/2018/03/04/contra-the-altright-part-2-fake-history-or-we-wuz-vikangs/

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53) Intercepted Podcast, 03/04/18
Source: The Intercept

“[Mat] Johnson is an award-winning novelist and comic book writer. His graphic novel series ‘Incognegro’ centers around a mixed race detective who goes undercover as a white man to solve racially motivated crimes. His latest work is titled ‘Incognegro: Renaissance.’ Mat is also a professor at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.” [various formats] (03/04/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/04/bonus-intercepted-podcast-mat-johnson-incognegro/

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54) Freedom Feens Radio, episode 1268
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou Sander and Paul Gordon discuss The Reality Of Power, how it is constructed, how it persists, and how it can change. Paul talks about Peasant Uprising of 1381 as a reference.” [various formats] (03/04/18)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15689

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55) Anarcho Agenda, episode 59
Source: Anarcho Agenda

“Discussing the seen and unforeseen when it comes to banning and broken windows.” [various formats] (03/04/18)

http://anarchoagenda.libsyn.com/anarcho-agenda-ep-59-2018-03-04

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56) Free Talk Live, 03/03/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Banning Male Infant Circumcision :: Circumcision and Sexual Pleasure :: Parental Rights :: Female Genital Mutilation :: Dave in NY Goes to Jail, Loses Porn DVDs :: No Circumcision, No Problem :: NM Senator Going to Prison :: Death Penalty :: Not Paying Taxes :: Former Mennonite :: Dude Who Chose Circumcision for Himself :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark.” [Flash audio or MP3] (03/03/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-03-03

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57) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 229
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Rick Doblin joins us to give a primer on the medical uses of psychedelics.” [various formats] (03/02/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/is-dea-trippin-rick-doblin

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58) Felony Friday, episode 113
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On today’s episode Aaron Gunter joins host John Odermatt to share his journey from felon drug addict to firefighter.” [various formats] (03/02/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/03/02/felony-friday-113-felon-firefighter/

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59) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 162
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #162, I discuss Congress looking to limit presidential war powers. Senators Sanders, Lee, and Murphy have introduced S.J. Res. 54 to end the US war in the Yemen Civil War. The bill has bipartisan support, and Senator Sanders explains the importance of the bill. In the House, Representatives Lee and Amash hosted a hearing on the use of military power. The hearing allowed for several Representatives and experts to speak on the overreach and failures of the 2001 AUMF.” [various formats] (03/02/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-162-congress-moves-on-war

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60) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 03/02/18
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“Every special interest has a pitch on how to get government benefits at the expense of everyone else. This week we get the steel industry pitch. Americans are supposedly going to ‘Beat China’ by paying a tax to the U.S. government. With enough propaganda, Americans will go along with it. But Ron Paul will tell the truth instead.” [Flash video] (03/02/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/trump-on-tariffs-punish-china-by-taxing-americans

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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