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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,930
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Stephen Hawking, 1942-2017
2) Trump ousts Tillerson, plans to replace him with blithering idiot Mike Pompeo
3) Russia: Military “threatens” self-defense in Syria
4) Sierra Leone: Regime holds first nation-state blockchain-powered election
5) PA: US House race, in district Trump won by 20 points, is too close to call
6) UK: May stamps foot, demands explanation from Putin for attack on former Russian spy
7) Israel: Netanyahu government reaches deal to avoid snap polls
8) Guns in schools not just an idea. Some states are already doing it
9) South Dakota to SCOTUS: Click “buy” on Internet sales tax
10) Japan: Regime plans to lower age of adulthood to 18
11) Torture queen nominated as CIA’s first female director
12) Argentine navy rescues US scientists from Antarctica
13) Dog bites man: Ailing Clinton continues to blame everyone else for her awful presidential campaign
14) US regime is ignoring UFO sightings, says former Pentagon insider
15) UK: Police investigate Russian businessman’s death in London
16) Report: Roger Stone claimed he spoke to Assange in 2016
17) ACLU sues TSA over unconstitutional device searches
18) Gaza: Roadside bomb targets Palestinian prime minister’s convoy
19) Manson’s remains will be given to grandson
20) CA: San Francisco ICE gang mouthpiece quits, citing burden of defending regime lies

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) There ought NOT to be a law
22) Could Trump and Sessions send federal troops to California over immigration?
23) There she goes again: Clinton’s blame game, Mumbai edition
24) You can’t take the sky from me
25) What a good-faith discussion of socialism might really look like
26) Video game violence: The latest chapter in a long history of complaining about violent entertainment
27) California’s bullet train to fiscal oblivion
28) The US government is the problem in Korea
29) The $24 million reasons Dems back America’s worst banks
30) Remembering Rex Tillerson
31) Pompeo, North Korea, and the nuclear deal
32) Why populists are becoming more popular
33) The real collusion story
34) Should doctors have special legal privileges when they kill people?
35) Are we nearly there yet? Employment, interest rates and inflation
36) Western civilization, seen from 2150 AD, part 2
37) Donald Trump’s good week
38) American laws — not Chinese ones — make American industry less competitive
39) Ramping up tariffs to spite Trump is economic self-harm
40) How Obama and Trump turned their backs on Haitians
41) Normalizing anarchism in an age of “populism” and “nationalist strongmen”
42) What Tillerson’s firing means: Three questions
43) The marketplace of ideas: Assaulting the First Amendment
44) Understanding the Trump trade doctrine
45) When Republicans attack states’ rights
46) Why they hate the First Amendment
47) The student censors in anti-fascist clothing
48) NBC’s clueless boost for Putin
49) The economic case for free trade is not a narrow cost-benefit one
50) Redefining the media

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Scott Adams Says, 01/13/18
52) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 03/13/18
53) The Post-Statist Review, episode 2
54) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 47
55) The Libertarian Angle, 03/13/18
56) Free Talk Live, 03/12/18
57) Editor’s Break, episode 66
58) Reason Podcast, 03/12/18
59) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 152
60) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1111

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

1) Stephen Hawking, 1942-2017
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Stephen Hawking, the brightest star in the firmament of science, whose insights shaped modern cosmology and inspired global audiences in the millions, has died aged 76. … Hawking’s first major breakthrough came in 1970, when he and Roger Penrose applied the mathematics of black holes to the universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in spacetime, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang. … Hawking’s run of radical discoveries led to his election in 1974 to the Royal Society at the young age of 32. Five years later, he became the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, arguably Britain’s most distinguished chair, and one formerly held by Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Paul Dirac, the latter one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics.” (03/14/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/14/stephen-hawking-professor-dies-aged-76

—–

2) Trump ousts Tillerson, plans to replace him with blithering idiot Mike Pompeo
Source: Washington Post

“President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday. Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington. Pompeo will replace him at the State Department, and Gina Hapsel — the deputy director at the CIA — will succeed him at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed.” (03/13/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-ousts-tillerson-will-replace-him-as-secretary-of-state-with-cia-chief-pompeo/2018/03/13/30f34eea-26ba-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html

—–

3) Russia: Military “threatens” self-defense in Syria
Source: CNBC

“The Russian military has threatened action against the U.S. if it strikes Syria’s capital city of Damascus, according to multiple news reports. The threat, by Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov, was widely reported by Russia media sites such as state news agency RIA and Tass. … Gerasimov said Russia would respond to a U.S. strike on Syria if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened, targeting any missiles and launchers involved. ‘In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them,’ he said.” (03/13/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/13/russia-military-threatens-action-against-the-us-in-syria.html

—–

4) Sierra Leone: Regime holds first nation-state blockchain-powered election
Source: Quartz

“On Mar. 7, elections in Sierra Leone marked a global landmark: the world’s first ever blockchain-powered presidential elections. As president Ernest Bai Koroma leaves office after serving two five-year terms, the maximum allowed constitutionally, Sierra Leoneans have had to pick from a pool of 16 candidates including the ruling party’s Samura Kamara, the erstwhile foreign minister, and Julius Maada Bio, former military head of state and candidate of the main opposition party. Results released by Sierra Leone’s election commission (NEC) suggest a run-off between Bio and Kamara is likely with neither candidate securing the required 55% of votes so far. … In Sierra Leone’s Western District, the most populous in the country, votes cast were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss foundation offering digital voting solutions, using a permissioned blockchain.” [hat tip — David Klaus] (03/13/18)

https://qz.com/1227050/sierra-leone-elections-powered-by-blockchain/

—–

5) PA: US House race, in district Trump won by 20 points, is too close to call
Source: New York Times

“The Democrat and Republican in a special House election in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Trump country were divided by a few hundred votes in a race that was too close to call early Wednesday — an ominous sign for Republicans in a district that Donald J. Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points. With 100 percent of votes counted, Conor Lamb, a Democrat, was clinging to a 579-vote lead over Rick Saccone, a Republican. But a few thousand absentee ballots had not yet been counted, suggesting that no winner would be declared until later in the day, at the earliest. And it was possible that a legal battle could ensue. … A first-time candidate and former Marine, Mr. Lamb, 33, forced Republicans to pour over $10 million into a southwestern Pennsylvania district where Democrats did not even field a candidate in the past two congressional elections.” (03/13/18)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/us/politics/lamb-saccone-pennsylvania-election.html

—–

6) UK: May stamps foot, demands explanation from Putin for attack on former Russian spy
Source: Reuters

“President Vladimir Putin faces a midnight deadline to explain to Britain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to strike down a former Russian double agent who passed secrets to British intelligence. … Prime Minister Theresa May said it was ‘highly likely’ Moscow was to blame after Britain identified the substance as part of the Novichok group of nerve agents which were developed by the Soviet military during the 1970s and 1980s. … May gave Putin, who faces a presidential election on March 18, until end of Tuesday to explain what happened or face what she said were ‘much more extensive’ measures against the $1.5 trillion Russian economy.” [editor’s note: The UK regime is by turns amusing and annoying when its leaders forget that they no longer have an empire and are now small beans in the scheme of things – TLK] (03/13/18)

https://in.reuters.com/article/britain-russia/putin-faces-midnight-deadline-to-explain-nerve-attack-on-former-spy-to-uk-idINKCN1GP0PC

—–

7) Israel: Netanyahu government reaches deal to avoid snap polls
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“Israel’s government reached a deal on Tuesday to avoid snap elections after days of speculation over the motives of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing possible indictment for corruption. The deal comes after some coalition partners had accused Netanyahu of wanting early elections to bolster his political standing ahead of his possible indictment for bribery in the coming months. … Netanyahu’s legal woes were the focus of the coalition crisis throughout, with a range of politicians accusing him of allowing it to worsen to give him the option of forcing early polls. Polls suggest he could remain prime minister after fresh elections even with corruption investigations hanging over him.” (03/13/18)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5494865/Efforts-intensify-prevent-early-polls-Israel.html

—–

8) Guns in schools not just an idea. Some states are already doing it
Source: USA Today

“As U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos leads a commission tasked with examining ways to protect schools, including arming school personnel, will K-12 buildings swap ‘gun-free zone’ signs for a more armed and dangerous message? White House officials, including President Trump himself, have said they would support offering federal funds for ‘rigorous firearms training’ to qualified school employees. It’s a fiercely debated idea …. But arming teachers isn’t a new concept — it’s already happened. … Texas school administrators operating under what’s known as the Guardian Plan are allowed to carry handguns on them or keep them locked in a safe. … Michigan schools have been arming teachers for years, too. … At least 14 states arm teachers and another 16 states give local school boards the authority to decide whether school staff can carry guns, according to data compiled by VICE News. ” (03/13/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/13/can-guns-schools-save-students-during-shooting-heres-what-states-say/418965002

—–

9) South Dakota to SCOTUS: Click “buy” on Internet sales tax
Source: Reuters

“The woman walked into Cash Hogen’s hardware store last fall to ask a single question about a KitchenAid mixer on display: What did the manufacturer call that color scheme? ‘Tangerine,’ replied Hogen. And with that, the woman walked out. It is a kind of customer interaction that happens often these days, said Hogen, who has run his store in Pierre, South Dakota’s downtown historic district since 1983. People come in to look at a product, ask a question or two, then leave, presumably to search for it more cheaply online. Retailers even have a name for the practice: ‘showrooming.’ ‘It’s just a gut feeling that she’s not buying it from me,’ he said. One reason customers shop elsewhere, Hogen says, is that even when he can compete on price, he has to charge sales tax, which ups the ultimate price of his merchandise.” [editor’s note: So eliminate existing sales taxes instead of imposing new ones. Problem solved – TLK] (03/13/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-taxes/south-dakota-urges-supreme-court-to-click-buy-on-internet-sales-tax-idUSKCN1GP1DI

—–

10) Japan: Regime plans to lower age of adulthood to 18
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Children in Japan will be considered adults when they are 18 as opposed to 20, under a new proposal that is supported by the government. If the change is approved, 18-year-olds will be able to get married, sign contracts and take out loans without the consent of their parents. But teenagers will still be banned from smoking, drinking alcohol and gambling until they are 20. If parliament votes in favour of the bill it will take effect in 2022. It would be the first change to the law that defines adulthood since it was set in 1876. Under the existing law, people under 20 can only get married with the consent of their parents. Men can do so at 18 and women at 16. But this amendment will raise the age that women can get married so that all 18-year-olds will be able to do so without parental consent.” (03/13/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43391498

—–

11) Torture queen nominated as CIA’s first female director
Source: Fox News

“President Trump’s pick to head the CIA is a seasoned spymaster who has avoided the limelight during a 32-year career that has included stints running overseas ‘black sites’ where dangerous terrorists were waterboarded. Gina Haspel, 61, must be confirmed by the Senate before she takes command of the spy agency from Mike Pompeo, who Trump nominated as Secretary of State after firing Rex Tillerson. While she has won praise from Washington insiders (including Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden), she will likely face questions on the Hill about her connection to sites where waterboarding took place. The controversial practice, which simulates drowning, has been likened to torture but supporters say it has helped extract valuable information from hardened terrorists. Haspel previously served as Pompeo’s deputy. In stepping in as the CIA’s new chief, she becomes the agency’s first-ever female director.” (03/13/18)

—–

12) Argentine navy rescues US scientists from Antarctica
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Argentine navy has rescued four US scientists and a contractor from an Antarctic camp after the US icebreaker due to pick them up could not reach them because of thick sea-ice. The five were carrying out research on Joinville Island off the north-eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. All five are in good health after being airlifted by helicopter onto the Argentine icebreaker Almirante Irízar. Rescuing the team and 400kg (880lb) of equipment took two-and-a-half hours. ” (03/13/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-43384867

—–

13) Dog bites man: Ailing Clinton continues to blame everyone else for her awful presidential campaign
Source: Fox News

“Hillary Clinton’s trip to India is evoking memories from her failed 2016 bid for president, as the Democrat makes headlines for blaming racism and misogyny for her loss while taking stumbles in front of the cameras. During an appearance in India over the weekend, Clinton claimed she lost the 2016 presidential race in part because white women didn’t stand up to the men in their lives pressuring them to vote for Donald Trump. … Meanwhile, The American Mirror published video online showing Clinton slipping twice as she fell down the stairs during a tour in India. Clinton’s health was a topic of conversation throughout the 2016 presidential election, after having public coughing spells and stumbling during a Sept. 11 memorial service in New York City.” (03/13/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/13/hillary-clinton-blames-pressure-from-men-for-why-white-women-voted-for-trump.html

—–

14) US regime is ignoring UFO sightings, says former Pentagon insider
Source: Independent [UK]

“The US is ignoring UFOs and might be missing proof of alien civilisations, according to a former Pentagon insider. The government needs to do far more to investigate reports of unexplained objects flying around the sky, wrote Christopher Mellon, who served deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, in a piece for the Washington Post. A number of videos of US pilots encountering unexplained objects appear to suggest that there exists aircraft far superior to anything known to be held by America or its allies, said Mr Mellon, who is now part of the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, an organisation devoted to investigating such phenomena.” (03/13/18)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ufo-sightings-explained-china-russia-object-video-footage-proof-alien-a8253221.html

—–

15) UK: Police investigate Russian businessman’s death in London
Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“A Russian businessman who was associated with a prominent critic of the Kremlin has mysteriously died in London, his lawyer said. London’s Metropolitan Police on Tuesday were treating the death as unexplained and have put counter-terrorism detectives in charge of the case ‘as a precaution because of associations that the man is believed to have had.’ There was no evidence to suggest a link to the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, police said.” (03/13/18)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2018/03/uk-police-investigate-russian-businessman-death-london-180313190912494.html

—–

16) Report: Roger Stone claimed he spoke to Assange in 2016
Source: Axios

“Political operative Roger Stone, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, told two of his associates in 2016 that he’d been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, per the Washington Post. An anonymous Stone associate cited in the report — the other is Sam Nunberg — claimed that Stone discussed hacked emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in Assange’s possession in the spring of 2016.” [editor’s note: Stone denies it. Which, of course means nothing either way since Stone’s picture is a strong candidate to appear in the dictionary next to “dishonest back-stabbing blowhard” – TLK] (03/13/18)

https://www.axios.com/roger-stone-julian-assange-wikileaks-2016-election-russia-e583133f-0d94-40f4-947a-5840c9950703.html

—–

17) ACLU sues TSA over unconstitutional device searches
Source: Engadget

“When the TSA launched stricter screening procedures for domestic passengers’ electronic devices last year, it didn’t reveal the whys and hows. That didn’t sit well with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, which has now filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the organization in an effort to extract more info about its procedures and motivations. … The rights and liberties watchdog wants to see the TSA’s records detailing its policies, procedures or protocols when it comes to searching domestic passengers’ devices.” (03/12/18)

https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/12/aclu-foia-lawsuit-tsa/

—–

18) Gaza: Roadside bomb targets Palestinian prime minister’s convoy
Source: Washington Post

“A road side bomb exploded near the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister as he was visiting the Gaza Strip, damaging three escort vehicles and causing minor injuries to seven bodyguards. The blast, which did not harm Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah, was declared by the Palestinian Authority an assassination attempt and it held Hamas, the Islamist party controlling the Gaza Strip responsible — the latest blow to reconciliation efforts between the divided Palestinians. For its part, Hamas condemned the incident and opened an investigation, already arresting several suspects.” (03/13/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/roadside-bomb-targets-palestinian-prime-ministers-convoy-entering-gaza/2018/03/13/bcc71c7e-269e-11e8-874b-d517e912f125_story.html

—–

19) Manson’s remains will be given to grandson
Source: New York Daily News

“Charles Manson’s remains are staying in the family. The body of the cult leader will be given to grandson Jason Freeman, a Kern County Court Commissioner ruled Monday night. … Freeman had been feuding over the remains with both Manson’s biological son, Michael Brunner, and his prison pen pal Michael Channels. … His lawyer, Dale Kiken, said they plan to move quickly with the body. ‘My expectation and my hope is that (Manson) will not only be cremated, but that he will be scattered at sea or somewhere similar where there’s a conclusion for all,’ Kiken told The News.” (03/12/18)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/charles-manson-remains-grandson-article-1.3870959

—–

20) CA: San Francisco ICE gang mouthpiece quits, citing burden of defending regime lies
Source: The Week

“James Schwab has stepped down as spokesman for the San Francisco division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), saying Monday he could no longer defend or ‘deflect’ from ‘false’ and ‘misleading’ statements by top U.S. officials, notably Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE acting Director James Homan. … Specifically, Schwab was talking about Homan’s assertion, repeated by Sessions and President Trump, that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s (D) warning about an ICE raid had left ‘864 criminal aliens and public safety threats’ at large.” [editor’s note: Moral move — next stop, a real job in the productive sector? – TLK] (03/13/18)

http://theweek.com/speedreads/760553/ice-spokesman-san-francisco-quits-citing-burden-defending-false-statements-by-trump-officials

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

21) There ought NOT to be a law
Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants limits on virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, that help people keep their financial lives private from folks like him. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants government regulation of political speech by foreign agents — or maybe just by people with whom she disagrees. Gun control activists want more restrictions with which to threaten peaceful gun owners so that violent predators who break laws will have more things to ignore. If ever there was a ‘there oughta be a law moment,’ we’re living in it. At least, we’re living in one of all too many such moments. Because people are forever looking to the law as the solution to the ills they perceive in the world around them —
often only to spackle over the failures of the previous round of laws.” (03/13/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/03/13/there-ought-not-be-a-law

—–

22) Could Trump and Sessions send federal troops to California over immigration?
Source: USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“Is California the next Little Rock? Recent statements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggest that it might be. Last week I wrote about folks in California who want to split the state in various ways. But no sooner was that published than Sessions put California on notice in a blistering speech that invoked the American Civil War. ‘I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration. But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear,’ Sessions told the California Peace Officers’ Association on Wednesday. ‘There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is ‘the supreme law of the land.’ I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.’ Sessions'[s] stern warning was prompted by California laws designed to frustrate the enforcement of federal immigration laws, as inspired by the ‘Sanctuary City’ movement.” (03/13/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/03/13/trump-sessions-might-send-federal-troops-california-immigration-laws-glenn-reynolds-column/417633002

—–

23) There she goes again: Clinton’s blame game, Mumbai edition
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“It’s been James Comey. It’s been Them Russians. It’s been Barack Obama. It’s been misogyny. It’s been WikiLeaks. It’s been social media. Hillary Clinton has tons of reasons why she lost the 2016 presidential election. And, oddly, none of those reasons are herself or her campaign. This week, the excuse is that millions of whipped women just did as they were told.” (03/13/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/13013

—–

24) You can’t take the sky from me
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“Swarm Technologies applied to the Federal Communications Commission Fascist Communications Club (FCC) for permission to launch a handful of satellites. The FCC denied the company’s application. But the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on spaceflight so Swarm Technologies shopped around and was able to get its satellites into the air thanks to India. Now the FCC is claiming that it owns all of space …” (03/13/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/03/13/you-cant-take-the-sky-from-me/

—–

25) What a good-faith discussion of socialism might really look like
Source: Libertarianism.org
by Steven Horwitz

“At the Washington Post, Elizabeth Bruenig has written two recent columns suggesting that Americans should consider some form of socialism as a remedy for the problems that ail capitalism, and perhaps society more broadly. In the second column, she bemoaned the response to the first, accusing many of her critics of not responding in good faith. Her complaint focused on two things: 1) how quickly they brought up the Soviet Union or Venezuela as examples of socialism, presuming that’s what she wanted and 2) their attempts to deny that the Nordic countries are meaningfully socialist. I will address both of those points below, but I also what to note that there is much missing from Bruenig’s columns that could go a long way toward making her argument in better faith. Her refusal to engage with the best criticisms of socialism is a major example.” (03/13/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/what-good-faith-discussion-socialism-might-really-look

—–

26) Video game violence: The latest chapter in a long history of complaining about violent entertainment
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Trevor Burrus

“Violent entertainment is nothing new, nor is the older generation complaining about it. In usual Trump fashion, he claimed to be ‘hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.’ But it’s not true. People all over the world play video games, especially young boys, and there’s no resulting correlation to acts of violence. Actually, some studies have shown that violent video games might reduce crime by keeping young men off the street and glued to their TVs. ” (03/13/18)

https://fee.org/articles/video-game-violence-the-latest-chapter-in-a-long-history-of-complaining-about-violent-entertainment/

—–

27) California’s bullet train to fiscal oblivion
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“California’s bullet train project, also known as Jerry Brown’s Folly, has turned into a fiscal nightmare for the Golden State. Not only are the cost estimates soaring, but the time table has once more been shifted back. Based on current estimates, it may turn out to be the biggest fraud in the history of public works. … Early on, planners warned that the cost would be more than $100 billion. But Jerry Brown, California’s governor, didn’t like that estimate. So, like Canute commanding the tide to recede, he sought new estimates. He sold those lower estimates to a gullible, and frankly foolish, public. The original promise, made in a proposition voted on in 2008, called for the entire ‘high-speed’ rail system to be built at a cost of just $37 billion and to be finished by 2020. It would carry 120,000 riders a day at a cost of $55 a ticket — far less than it costs on average to fly. And it would zip riders to their destinations in just a few hours. Nice.” [editor’s note: Another warning for those who think the Nashville transit scam is legitimate – SAT] (03/12/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/californias-bullet-train-to-fiscal-oblivion

—–

28) The US government is the problem in Korea
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“The U.S. government has two aims in Korea, both of which are related. Its principal aim is regime change. It wants to oust the communist regime in North Korea and install a pro-U.S. regime in its place, one that will then ‘invite’ the Pentagon and the CIA into the country to construct U.S. military bases and install U.S. missiles along the Korea-China border. … The U.S. government’s second aim is to have North Korea abandon and dismantle its nuclear-weapons program, which, needless to say, would make it less costly to pursue a U.S. regime-change operation against North Korea. But North Korean officials are not dumb.” (03/13/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/03/13/u-s-government-problem-korea/

—–

29) The $24 million reasons Dems back America’s worst banks
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“Why would Democratic senators join their Republican colleagues in pushing a bill that lays out a rich banquet of goodies before some of America’s worst bankers, and increases the risk that taxpayers will have to bail them out? Here are 24 million reasons: These 16 Democrats have collectively received $24,488,961 in campaign contributions from savings and investment firms and commercial banks. They have also received $42,246,555 from lawyers and law firms, some of which represent banking interests, and $4,318,208 from lobbyists.” (03/13/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180313/these-dems-got-24-million-from-banks-before-backing-a-pro-banker-pro-discrimination-bill

—–

30) Remembering Rex Tillerson
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

“This morning, President Donald Trump ousted his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The move comes after months of speculation, and debate has already begun over whether he qualifies as the worst secretary of state of all time. Yet even if his successor proves more competent at running the State Department, he might not necessarily be an upgrade. Determining where Tillerson ranks among secretaries of state is necessarily a subjective exercise. As I discussed in a post last summer, the nature of the department’s work is somewhat ethereal.” (03/13/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/remembering-rex-tillerson/

—–

31) Pompeo, North Korea, and the nuclear deal
Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Now that Trump has announced that Mike Pompeo is his nominee for Secretary of State, it is worth considering some of what Pompeo has had to say about North Korea and the nuclear deal with Iran at greater length. In an interview this past Sunday, Pompeo restated the administration’s unrealistic goal of denuclearization. He went on to say this: ‘There is no relief in sight until the president gets the objective that he has set forth consistently during his entire time in office.’ That doesn’t suggest that there is an interest in the administration in finding a compromise or in offering North Korea an incentive to reach an agreement. Like other members of the administration, Pompeo seems to think that the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has been successful and thinks that pressure should continue to be applied to force concessions. If there is ‘no relief in sight’ for North Korea, why would North Korea be willing to give up anything?” (03/13/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/pompeo-north-korea-and-the-nuclear-deal/

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32) Why populists are becoming more popular
Source: Reuters
by John Lloyd

“Those who feel left behind by the enrichment of the minority and the stagnation of the many are choosing to be represented by political forces that cannot give them what they need, and will likely make their lives worse. These political forces are embodied in very different parties and movements, but the reasons for their popularity are frequently based on popular perceptions of governments’ inability or unwillingness to address their problems. These perceptions, however, do not include a considered judgment on the viability of the programs offered by the anti-establishment parties. They spring from seeing the highest rewards in a globalized world going to the highly educated and the well-connected, while working and middle classes are now fragmented, losing bargaining power and sometimes regarded with scorn for their ‘incorrect’ views. The most recent example: The success of the populist 5-Star Movement, which emerged as Italy’s largest single party (although not an outright majority winner) in the country’s March 4 elections.” (03/12/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-populism-commentary/commentary-why-populists-are-becoming-more-popular-idUSKCN1GL2FC

—–

33) The real collusion story
Source: National Review
by Michael Doran

“Most observers assumed that Russian state-backed hackers stood behind Guccifer 2.0 (an assumption that has grown stronger with time). If Trump felt sheepish about benefiting from such people, he hid it well. ‘I will tell you this, Russia. If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ he said on July 27, referring to Hillary Clinton’s messages that the FBI never recovered during its investigation of her private server. In the eyes of his supporters, Trump’s appeal to Putin was a stage whisper, a mock gesture — and a pointed dig at Clinton. In her rush to hide emails from the FBI, Trump implied, she had delivered them up to Putin on a platter. But his brand of humor was lost on Clinton and her team. To them, the appeal to Putin was sinister. … And so, the collusion thesis was born.” (03/13/18)

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/russia-collusion-real-story-hillary-clinton-dnc-fbi-media/

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34) Should doctors have special legal privileges when they kill people?
Source: Continental Telegraph
by Tim Worstall

“It’s an interesting question, should the law for doctors who kill patients be different from the law for everyone else? The answer is no, of course damn not. But that is what is being floated here, that they get legal privileges as they kill us: ‘The legal bar for convicting healthcare professionals of manslaughter is currently ‘too low,’ a medical defence organisation has said.’ … Note what they’re not saying — that manslaughter law is wrong and needs changing. What they are saying is that manslaughter law as it applies to doctors, and only doctors, is, and should be changed. To which, again, the correct answer is no, of course damn not. For we’ve already got a system which deals with anomalies, close cases and special circumstances, the jury.” (03/13/18)

http://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2018/03/13/should-doctors-have-special-legal-privileges-when-they-kill-people/

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35) Are we nearly there yet? Employment, interest rates and inflation
Source: Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd

“There are two factors, above all others, which are spooking asset markets at present, inflation and interest rates. The former is impossible to measure with any degree of certainty — for inflation is in the eye of the beholder — and the latter is divergent depending on whether you look at the US or Japan — with Europe caught somewhere between the two extremes. In this Macro Letter I want to investigate the long term, demand-pull, inflation risk and consider what might happen if stocks, bonds and real estate all collapse in tandem.” (03/13/18)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/03/are-we-nearly-there-yet-employment-interest-rates-and-inflation/

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36) Western civilization, seen from 2150 AD, part 2
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Premoderns were actually addicted to scarcity. Without it, they didn’t know how to find a mate, for example. Showing oneself worthy (especially on the part of males) involved demonstrations that one could thrive in conditions of scarcity better than one’s competitors. Under this assumption, the gathering of more and more goods made them a more and more worthy mate. And so, when technology began to end scarcity in the late 1900s, most people were simply unable to see it. Most rejected it reflexively, and many ridiculed those who persisted in their claims that scarcity was being overcome.” (03/13/18)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/western-civilization-seen-from-2150-ad-part-2/

—–

37) Donald Trump’s good week
Source: The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

“Is Donald Trump some kind of feral genius whose intuition takes him into policy realms where lesser leaders fear to tread? He takes willful pleasure in not reading briefing books or checking with experts, but in trusting his ample gut. Exhibits A and B, which dominated the news last week, were his ordering of tariffs on aluminum and steel, to the horror of every orthodox trade expert (and the joy of his base); and his even more abrupt decision to accept the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for a face to face meeting. Might either of these impulsive decisions produce policy breakthroughs, proving the conventional view of both substance and process wrong? Take the case of Korea first. Ever since the Clinton administration, the North Koreans have tried to pull the United States into a process that would result in security guarantees for themselves and lifting of sanctions, in exchange for some kind of limits on their nuclear program. But those limits never quite materialize.” (03/12/18)

http://prospect.org/article/donald-trumps-good-week

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38) American laws — not Chinese ones — make American industry less competitive
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Justin Murray

“All else held equal, the best price always wins. The United States is certainly competitive on the global market. Despite the rhetoric, the US is currently the second largest exporter in the world behind China. The US has a major international presence in computer technology, automobiles, manufactured goods and pharmaceuticals. There is certainly a great deal of competitiveness in the US. If the US was somehow disadvantaged by foreign subsidy, it would be difficult to, say, export $109 billion in automotive products each year. The problem with US competitiveness doesn’t come from the presence of foreign competition but from internal issues. The issue arises with the regulatory State, which currently burdens the US economy with around $2 trillion in dead weight costs.” (03/13/18)

https://mises.org/wire/american-laws-%E2%80%94-not-chinese-ones-%E2%80%94-make-american-industry-less-competitive

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39) Ramping up tariffs to spite Trump is economic self-harm
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“From a rational economic perspective, both the US administration and the EU should recognise that it is domestic consumers who ultimately bear the majority of the cost of tariffs through higher prices. If one focuses on this, rather than producer concerns, one realises that a trade war entails both sides harming their own economies to try to get the other to back down. The economic conclusion is that the optimal response to a trade partner imposing import tariffs is to keep your own trade free, unless the threat of tariffs can be harnessed to deliver free trade both ways.” (03/13/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/ramping-tariffs-spite-trump-economic-self-harm

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40) How Obama and Trump turned their backs on Haitians
Source: In These Times
by Maya Averbuch

“Queen-size mattresses line the walls of Gustavo Banda’s church, Embajadores de Jesús. Suitcases stacked on top of one another crowd the space even before parishioners line up in plastic chairs. For the past year, the thin-mustached pastor has turned the building into a shelter for thousands of Haitians figuring out where to go next. Banda tells In These Times he did not foresee the church’s current role when he built it, but, he says, ‘God does not make mistakes.’ The plight of Tijuana’s Haitians reveals the obstacles created by changing U.S. immigration policy, first under Obama and now under Trump. Most arrived in Mexico from Brazil, where they had fled after Haiti’s massive 2010 earthquake, looking for work preparing for the Olympics and the World Cup. When Brazil’s economy started to collapse, many Haitians headed north, believing the United States would grant them parole, a status that had saved other Haitians from deportation.” (03/13/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20922/obama-trump-haiti-tijuana-stranded

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41) Normalizing anarchism in an age of “populism” and “nationalist strongmen”
Source: Attack the System
by Keith Preston

“Much ado has been made in the centrist liberal press regarding the supposed decline of liberal democracy and the rise of supposed nationalist strongmen such as Trump, Putin, Duterte, Modi, Erdogan, Xi (who recently declared himself president for life) or, after the recent elections in Italy, Salvini. This supposed rise of strongmen is alleged to be accompanied by the growth of right-wing populist movements motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and opposition to All Good Things. Not only the Left but even many mainstream conservatives have engaged in considerable hand-wringing over these trends. A more realistic view recognizes that the rise of populism and nationalism represents a backlash against the centralization of wealth and political power on an international scale, and on an unprecedented level, and the fact that the political classes of most nations have been complicit in this.” (03/13/18)

https://attackthesystem.com/2018/03/12/normalizing-anarchism-in-an-age-of-populism-and-nationalist-strongmen/

—–

42) What Tillerson’s firing means: Three questions
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Peter Grier

“President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and will nominate current CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Mr. Tillerson’s replacement, was far from unexpected. In some ways, the relationship between Mr. Trump and Tillerson could be described as a chronicle of a firing foretold. The two men never seemed to click on a personal level, and Tillerson differed with his boss on many major diplomatic issues, from the placement of the US Embassy in Jerusalem to the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accords to how to deal with North Korea and its unpredictable leader Kim Jong-un. Some news outlets were predicting Tillerson’s imminent departure as early as last November. Like a stopped clock finally showing the correct time when it comes around, that prediction has at last come true. But Tillerson’s departure raises as many questions as it answers. Here are some that stand out:” (03/13/18)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0313/What-Tillerson-s-firing-means-Three-questions

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43) The marketplace of ideas: Assaulting the First Amendment
Source: CounterPunch
by Stanley L Cohen

“Recently, in a brazen effort to forestall, if not censor, the release of a news report depicting the insidious impact of AIPAC upon core democratic institutions of the United States, a number of congressmen demanded that Al Jazeera be designated a ‘foreign agent’ involved in the release of ‘deceptive propaganda.’ … Implicit in the First Amendment is a fundamental belief that the governed are far more capable than the government of distinguishing truth from falsehood and that the government’s role is not to regulate the content of the marketplace but to ensure it remains open to all ideas; those true and not … radical or conventional. That these legislators, their constituents or lobbyists are offended by the content of various stories, opinion pieces or documentaries published or aired by Al Jazeera is of no constitutional moment. To the contrary, information deemed by some to be offensive propaganda is to others relevant and probative of issues to be contested and resolved in an open and free society.” (03/13/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/13/the-marketplace-of-ideas-assaulting-the-first-amendment/

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44) Understanding the Trump trade doctrine
Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“Last week, Donald Trump dialed back his earlier call for a punitive and blanket tariff on imported steel and aluminum. Good decision. The financial markets rallied, as the new plan specifically targets countries that are cheating and stealing, such as China and Russia, and provides exemptions for allies. It was a reminder that, with Trump, it always comes down to the art of the deal. Trump’s original call for blanket tariffs got the world’s attention and reiterated to world leaders that Trump doesn’t bluff. That’s a useful lesson for our friends and foes alike. Trump makes a strong case that many of our trading partners (most notably, China) are violating trade-agreement rules left and right and stealing American patents and intellectual property. And they have been doing so for years and years with impunity. China is estimated to be pirating more than a half trillion dollars’ worth of American technology, inventions, drugs, vaccines and computer software each year. That is theft, and it cannot stand.” [editor’s note: This perspective, coming from someone with a pretty decent economic track record before he became a Trumper, is well worth considering – SAT] (03/13/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/stephenmoore/2018/03/13/understanding-the-trump-trade-doctrine-n2460131

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45) When Republicans attack states’ rights
Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

“[T]he idea of ‘principled federalism’ is, with the exception of a few lonely oracles in faculty lounges, slightly rarer than Sasquatch. From James Madison to Jeff Sessions, political leaders and judges routinely defend broad federal power when their party controls the federal government, and sweeping state authority when it does not. Case in point: United States v. California, a massive immigration lawsuit filed last week by the Trump administration. As civil conflict goes, it’s not quite firing on Fort Sumter, but it does signal all-out legal war.” (03/13/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/when-republicans-become-anti-states-rights/555362/

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46) Why they hate the First Amendment
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Does banning Facebook in the weeks leading up to an election sound like freedom? ‘The corrosive effect of social media on democratic life,’ writes The New Republic’s Jeet Heer, ‘has led both French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make the same threat to Facebook: self-regulate or be regulated.’ But Macron doesn’t go far enough. ‘If fake news truly poses a crisis for democracy, then it calls for a radical response,’ Heer insists. … ‘What if you weren’t allowed to post anything political on Facebook in the two weeks before an election?’” (03/13/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/03/13/why-they-hate-the-first-amendment/

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47) The student censors in anti-fascist clothing
Source: spiked
by Tamara Berens

“Let’s not exaggerate: things are not yet quite as bad in the UK as they are on some US campuses. We aren’t yet being asked to retreat to beanbag-filled safe rooms, or to hire private-security firms to police ‘high-risk’ events. Unless we are proactive, however, we may witness all of these things within the near future. A toxic campus intolerance is fast seeping into lecture halls and seminars themselves, as too many students are increasingly unable to differentiate between wanting to disagree with a viewpoint and silencing that viewpoint altogether. We are now in the middle of a battle for the fundamentally liberal values of UK universities. We have been forced to justify basic principles such as freedom of speech and rational enquiry.” (03/13/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-student-censors-in-anti-fascist-clothing/

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48) NBC’s clueless boost for Putin
Source: Antiwar.com
by Ray McGovern

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team swept a doubleheader on March 1, with his mid-day speech claiming strategic parity with the U.S., and then the nightcap duel with NBC’s Megyn Kelly. Any lingering doubt that Putin is a shoo-in for another term as President is now dispelled. Putin might consider sending NBC a thank-you note. As I watched NBC’s special, ‘Confronting Putin,’ Friday evening, I asked myself — naively — what possessed President Putin to subject himself again to what NBC calls a Megan Kelly ‘grilling,’ replete with supercilious questions and less-than-polite interruptions, just nine months after his first such ‘grilling.’ It then hit me that ‘grilling’ is in the eye of the beholder.” (03/13/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2018/03/12/nbcs-clueless-boost-for-putin/

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49) The economic case for free trade is not a narrow cost-benefit one
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“The economic case against thievery is not that the gains to today’s thieves happen to fall short of the losses suffered today by the thieves’ victims. Instead, the economic case against thievery is that the more successful is a society at preventing thievery, the more prosperous will everyone that society be over time. Indeed — and this next part is vital — even would-be thieves would prefer to live in a society in which thievery is outlawed than to live in one in which it is permitted. The very same economic and ethical calculus that condemns thievery condemns protectionism.” (03/12/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/03/case-free-trade-not-narrow-cost-benefit-one.html

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50) Redefining the media
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“There has long been a odd set of relationships between government and, first newspapers, later radio and television. Newspapers are, by their very nature, political. Radio and television became even more political. Media, like any other invention of mankind, can be used for good or for bad; it can be used to promote liberty or to control others.” (03/13/18)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2018/03/13/redefining-the-media/

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

51) Scott Adams Says, 01/13/18
Source: Scott Adams Says

“Scott Adams tells you how to build a talent stack that helps you predict the future. Bring coffee.” [Flash video] [editor’s note: This one also comments on the breaking news of Tillerson and the new CIA choice – SAT] (01/13/18)

https://www.pscp.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1nAKERnAOykGL

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52) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 03/13/18
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“Mises Institute President Jeff Deist joins today’s Liberty Report to take a look at the future of the libertarian movement. Plus special bonus: What’s happening at the State Department?” [Flash video] (03/13/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/are-millennials-abandoning-liberty-with-special-guest-jeff-deist

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53) The Post-Statist Review, episode 2
Source: Downsize DC

“In this episode, Jim and Howard tackle the Dick’s Sporting Goods memo regarding their actions in the wake of the Parkland, FL shooting. Then, Jim explains the history of government involvement in healthcare. Then finally, the guys discuss the dangers of power and obedience, in the light of the Stanford Prison and Milgram experiments.” [various formats] (03/12/18)

https://downsizedc.org/jim-babkas-post-statist-review-episode-2/

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54) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 47
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Abram D. Smith is a forgotten figure in American history. But in September 1838, a circle of revolutionaries elected him to be President of Canada.” [various formats] (03/13/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/canada-conspiracy

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55) The Libertarian Angle, 03/13/18
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Special guest Doug Bandow, senior fellow a The Cato Institute, talks foreign intervention with Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling.” [various formats] (03/13/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-reject-foreign-interventionism/

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56) Free Talk Live, 03/12/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Federal District Court Rules Cryptocurrency a Commodity :: Forkfest Beer Mile and other Athletic Events :: Communism :: North Korea :: Anarchocommunism :: Adderall Bobby :: Snowden :: Melanie Defends Pharma Bro? :: List Prices of Drugs :: More on Daraprim, Patents, and Pricing :: HOSTS — Ian, Darryl, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (03/12/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-03-12

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57) Editor’s Break, episode 66
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 066 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: female verse male reproductive rights in a legal context, what would happen in society if murder were legalized, how democracy creates social warfare, the logical sleight of hand performed by people decrying so-called ‘wage slavery,’ and more.” [various formats] (03/12/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/reproductive-rights-legalizing-murder-social-warfare-wage-slavery-34m-editors-break-066

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58) Reason Podcast, 03/12/18
Source: Reason

“Another week, another exploration of the meaning and import of the president’s words on Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and yours truly. Besides the drug stuff, the quartet gets into Trump’s North Korea diplomatic initiative, his really existing trade war, his taste in economic advisers, and the difference on any/all of the above from his predecessors.” [various formats] (03/12/18)

https://reason.com/blog/2018/03/12/executing-drug-dealers-and-other-trump

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59) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 152
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Racism and gun control, LibertyCon, Bitcoin vs Gold, Tarrifs [sic] and more.” [various formats] (0/12/18)

https://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-152-gun-control-racist/

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60) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1111
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Angelo Valle discovered libertarianism and the Tom Woods Show while in high school, heard about Praxis on the show, and at age 20 is now prospering at a successful startup. Now that’s the kind of story we ought to hear, so he shares it with me today.” [various formats] (03/12/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1111-how-a-young-student-escaped-the-education-industrial-complex/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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