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

Volume XV, Issue #3,663
Thursday, March 9th, 2017
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In the News:

1) FBI probing release of CIA hacking tools
2) Federal judge allows Hawaii to challenge Trump’s new travel ban
3) Oil plunges after record stockpile data, dollar gains
4) US drone strikes have gone up 432% since Trump took office
5) Comey whines about encryption some more
6) MA: Judge considers right to die lawsuit
7) Sweden brings back military conscription
8) TX: Senate committee votes in favor of having pervy public school employees grope students
9) Iceland first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay
10) Medical experts: Cannabis rectal suppositories safer than smoking it
11) Maduro claims Peruvian president advocates for US military intervention in Venezuela
12) House, Senate conservative Republicans plan their own ObamaCare repeal bill
13) Proposed bill would legally allow cyber crime victims to hack back
14) Iranian commander: US ship changed course toward Iranian vessels
15) The Statue of Liberty went dark overnight and the symbolism was irresistible to the Internet
16) Apple, Samsung and Microsoft respond to Vault 7
17) MN: Kaine’s son arrested after protesters disrupt authoritarian nationalist rally
18) US costs exploding for Alzheimer’s and other dementias
19) Trump plan “pays for” immigration police state boost with cuts to Coast Guard, TSA
20) Afghanistan: Gunmen disguised as doctors attack Kabul hospital, killing 30

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The prehistory of the alt-right
22) Vault 7: What it means for you
23) Transcription of the Rose-Pross debate on open borders
24) Don’t fight politics with politics
25) Blame the Pentagon and CIA for Trump’s immigration ban
26) Think Trump’s at war with the Deep State? Take another look at his policies
27) Allies or enemies — France and America
28) Fauxbamacare flops for Trump, GOP
29) Everyone’s a theorist
30) Congressional Republicans’ ObamaCare replacement won’t cut it
31) Gorsuch must answer questions Garland was denied
32) The last full measure of malice
33) Reagan redux at the Pentagon
34) The foreign aid fallacy: Has America become too generous?
35) The nuances of the distributed fleet
36) Romanticizing politics
37) What is Huma up to, and why should we care?
38) Nixing the Paris climate pact
39) Trump defends due process
40) The bumbling plot to destroy Obamacare
41) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #243: Do not be too much of a dove.
42) How the market creates jobs and how the government destroys them
43) Spygate: America’s political police vs. Donald J Trump
44) Higher costs don’t mean higher prices
45) Does the Second Amendment even exist?
46) War on page A-10
47) Customs agents’ unreasonable request
48) The existentialist origins of postmodernism
49) Our future: Tribal or cosmopolitan?
50) Ann Pettifor tells us all about the magic money tree

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Electric Libertyland, episode 10
52) Freedom Feens Radio, 03/08/17
53) Free Talk Live, 03/07/17
54) The Tom Woods Show, episode 864
55) Cato Daily Podcast, 03/07/17

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

1) FBI probing release of CIA hacking tools
Source: USA Today

“Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the public release of a document cache believed to detail CIA hacking tools used to breach computers, web servers, smart phones and televisions, a U.S. official said Wednesday. The official who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the inquiry is being coordinated by the FBI, following Tuesday’s disclosure by the website WikiLeaks, which stated that the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence ‘lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.’ CIA officials declined to comment Wednesday.” [editor’s note: Why isn’t the FBI probing the EXISTENCE AND USE of those tools by the CIA? – TLK] (03/08/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/08/fbi-probing-release-cia-hacking-tools-wikileaks/98903214/?csp=breakingnews

—–

2) Federal judge allows Hawaii to challenge Trump’s new travel ban
Source: Reuters

“The state of Hawaii can sue over President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii said the state could revise its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump’s original ban signed in January. The state is claiming the revised ban signed by the president on Monday violates the U.S. Constitution. It is the first legal challenge to the revised order. The state of Hawaii will ask the court on Wednesday to put an emergency halt to Trump’s new order, according to a court schedule signed by the judge. A hearing is set for March 15, a day before the new ban is to go into effect.” (03/08/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-legal-idUSKBN16F2IM

—–

3) Oil plunges after record stockpile data, dollar gains
Source: Reuters

“Crude prices plunged more than 5 percent on Wednesday on a spike in U.S. oil stockpiles, while the dollar gained on increased expectations the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates next week after a robust report on private sector jobs. The surge in crude inventories to a record high slammed energy stocks, leading much of Wall Street lower, and stoked concerns a global oil glut may persist even as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries tries to prop up prices with output curbs. U.S. energy stocks .SPNY slumped 2.5 percent in their biggest decline since mid-September.” (03/08/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-idUSKBN16F02Y

—–

4) US drone strikes have gone up 432% since Trump took office
Source: Antimedia

“According to an analysis from Micah Zenko, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, Trump has markedly increased U.S. drone strikes since taking office. Zenko, who reported earlier this year on the over 26,000 bombs Obama dropped in 2016, summarized the increase: ‘During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days — one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days — one every 1.25 days.’ That’s an increase of 432 percent.” (03/07/17)

http://theantimedia.org/drone-strikes-up-since-trump/

—–

5) Comey whines about encryption some more
Source: NBC News

“FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday the bureau is renewing its focus on the challenges posed by the growing use of encryption. At Boston College’s cybersecurity conference Wednesday, Comey said that he a fan of ‘strong encryption’ but noted that ‘it is making more and more of the room of what the FBI investigates dark.’ Between September and November, the FBI received 2,800 devices it had lawful authority to open but could not open 1,200 of them ‘with any technique,’ he said. He said there needs to a balance between privacy and the FBI’s ability to lawfully access information, a conversation that he acknowledged will require some ‘humility’ on the part of the bureau.” [hat tip — David Klaus] [editor’s note: I get the feeling that Comey wants to distract attention from the Vault 7 disclosures, which show that US state actors are compromising devices at the pre-encryption/post-decryption layer – TLK] (03/08/17)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/comey-fbi-couldn-t-access-hundreds-devices-because-encryption-n730646

—–

6) MA: Judge considers right to die lawsuit
Source: Raw Story

“Two Massachusetts doctors urged a judge on Wednesday to let them proceed with a lawsuit seeking an order that the state’s murder and manslaughter laws do not apply to physicians who offer lethal medications to terminally ill patients. During arguments before Superior Court Judge Mary Ames in Boston, a lawyer for the doctors, one of whom is suffering from cancer, said a cloud of uncertainty was preventing physicians from providing such medications. ‘Medical aid-in-dying is simply not covered by the Commonwealth’s manslaughter and murder laws,’ lawyer John Kappos said. He made the arguments on behalf of Roger Kligler, a retired doctor diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer, and Alan Steinbach, a physician who says he is willing to write prescriptions for lethal medication but fears prosecution.” (03/08/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/massachusetts-judge-considers-right-to-die-lawsuit

—–

7) Sweden brings back military conscription
Source: Fox News

“Imagine if President Trump, who has pledged to rebuild America’s military, announced tomorrow that the United States is reinstituting the military draft. Think there would be any opposition? That is just what another country has done: Sweden is introducing universal military conscription, and so far, no one is complaining. The decision to require all 18-year-olds, men and women alike, to register for the military draft beginning next year is a direct result of Sweden’s increasing nervousness about Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine, and lately, in and around the Baltic states. Like the United States, Sweden has, since 2010, relied on volunteers for military service. But of late, it has been unable to fill its quota, prompting its defense ministry to re-introduce the draft. Of the estimated 13,000 Swedes born in 1999, about 4,000 will be selected to serve for up to a year.” (03/08/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/08/do-feel-draft-sweden-brings-back-military-conscription.html

—–

8) TX: Senate committee votes in favor of having pervy public school employees grope students
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“Texas lawmakers have voted to advance a bill that would compel people to only use the public toilets that correspond with their birth gender. The measure is designed to prohibit transgender people from using toilets of the gender with which they identify. Republican supporters say the bill will protect women’s privacy in bathrooms, but critics say it is discrimination. The Senate vote in Austin drew hundreds of protesters to the state capitol, but the committee voted 7-1 in favour. It will now go before the Republican-controlled Senate, where it will be highly-prioritised, lawmakers say.” (03/08/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39210870

—–

9) Iceland first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay
Source: USA Today

“Iceland will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality, the Nordic nation’s government said Wednesday, International Women’s Day. The government said it will introduce legislation to parliament this month, requiring all employers with more than 25 staff members to obtain certification to prove they give equal pay for work of equal value. While other countries, and the U.S. state of Minnesota, have equal-salary certificate policies, Iceland is thought to be the first to make it mandatory for both private and public firms. The North Atlantic island nation, which has a population of about 330,000, wants to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.” (03/08/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/03/08/iceland-require-firms-prove-equal-pay/98906702

—–

10) Medical experts: Cannabis rectal suppositories safer than smoking it
Source: Smell the Truth

“Looking to experience the ultimate weed high? Then you might want to try inserting cannabis in your butt rather than smoking it. Medical experts suggest that using rectal marijuana suppositories may be much more effective than smoking pot, according to Canada’s National Post. ‘Rectally is actually a lot more preferred because of the volume of absorption,’ explained Mikhail Kogan M.D., medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. ‘You can put a lot more and it gets absorbed a lot better, but not everybody is open to this way of administration.’ Paul Farnan, an addictions specialist at the University of British Columbia, adds that smoking pot can cause damage to the lungs, which obviously is not an issue for weed suppositories.” [editor’s note: I checked; this is not an article from the Onion – SAT] (03/08/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/03/08/rectal-suppositories-are-safer-than-smoking-weed-medical-experts-suggest

—–

11) Maduro claims Peruvian president advocates for US military intervention in Venezuela
Source: PanAm Post

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said this week Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is ‘encouraging’ US President Donald Trump to carry out military intervention in Venezuela. ‘Take good care of what you say, Mr. Kuczynski, take care of what you do, because forces a thousand times stronger will rise against you,’ Maduro said. ‘Enough with the hatred, enough with the attacks.’” (03/08/17)

https://panampost.com/karina-martin/2017/03/08/maduro-claims-peruvian-president-advocates-for-us-military-intervention-in-venezuela/

—–

12) House, Senate conservative Republicans plan their own ObamaCare repeal bill
Source: Reuters

“Conservative Republicans in Congress said on Tuesday they oppose aspects of the Republican leadership’s healthcare bill and they plan to introduce their own legislation on Wednesday to repeal Obamacare. U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, a former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Senator Rand Paul told a news conference they would introduce repeal bills in their respective chambers.” (03/07/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-conservatives-idUSKBN16E2R8

—–

13) Proposed bill would legally allow cyber crime victims to hack back
Source: The Hacker News

“Is it wrong to hack back in order to counter hacking attack when you have become a victim? — this has been a long time debate. While many countries, including the United States, consider hacking back practices as illegal, many security firms and experts believe it as ‘a terrible idea’ and officially ‘cautions’ victims against it, even if they use it as a part of an active defense strategy.” (03/08/17)

http://thehackernews.com/2017/03/hacking-back-hackers.html

—–

14) Iranian commander: US ship changed course toward Iranian vessels
Source: Reuters

“A U.S. Navy ship changed course toward Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, a guard commander was quoted as saying on Wednesday while issuing a warning. A U.S. official told Reuters on Monday that multiple fast-attack vessels from the Revolutionary Guard had come within 600 yards (550 meters) of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, forcing it to change direction. But guard commander Mehdi Hashemi said the incident, the first of note between the countries’ navies in those waters since January, was the fault of the U.S. ship, telling the Fars news agency: ‘The unprofessional actions of the Americans can have irreversible consequences.’” (03/08/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-navy-idUSKBN16F0VP

—–

15) The Statue of Liberty went dark overnight and the symbolism was irresistible to the Internet
Source: Idaho Statesman

“For more than an hour Tuesday night, a cloak of darkness covered Lady Liberty. Some of the lights that normally illuminate the statue went off before 11 p.m., leaving only her still-lit torch and crown visible to most in New York Harbor. As one Twitter post opined, the timing was ‘just too perfect.’ Definitely, tweeted another, ‘an ominous sign of the times.’ The near-blackout of the universal symbol of freedom was invested with great meaning on the Internet, with a consensus settling, more or less, on two interpretations. Lady Liberty was either protesting President Donald Trump generally and more specifically his travel ban just a day after he signed the revised executive order limiting entry to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries. Or she was signaling her solidarity with #DayWithoutWoman, a strike, scheduled for Wednesday, that asks women to skip work to show the world what life would be like without them.” (03/08/17)

http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/nation-world/article137113938.html

—–

16) Apple, Samsung and Microsoft respond to Vault 7
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Several of the tech firms whose products have been allegedly compromised by the CIA have given their first reactions to the claims. Wikileaks published thousands of documents said to detail the US spy agency’s hacking tools on Tuesday. They included allegations the CIA had developed ways to listen in on smartphone and smart TV microphones. Apple’s statement was the most detailed, saying it had already addressed some of the vulnerabilities. … The CIA has not confirmed whether the documents — said to date between 2013 to 2016 — are real.” (03/08/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39203724

—–

17) MN: Kaine’s son arrested after protesters disrupt authoritarian nationalist rally
Source: KMOV 4 News

“The youngest son of Virginia Senator and former vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine was one of six people arrested for disrupting a rally for President Trump in Minnesota over the weekend. Linwood Michael Kaine, 24, along with four others, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of second degree riot after the ‘March 4 Trump’ rally at the State Capitol in St. Paul. A sixth person was cited for disorderly conduct, according to the Pioneer Press. Kaine, along with four others, allegedly chanted and lit fireworks inside the capitol’s rotunda during the rally.” (03/08/17)

http://www.kmov.com/story/34693428/tim-kaines-son-arrested-after-protesters-disrupt-pro-trump-rally

—–

18) US costs exploding for Alzheimer’s and other dementias
Source: Forbes

“America is shouldering an increasingly heavy burden of costs due to the rising numbers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, a new report shows. The estimated total cost to families and taxpayers for the care of those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia totaled more than a quarter trillion dollars last year — $259 billion — according to the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association. … Alzheimer’s disease is currently the sixth-leading causing of death in the United States. … Deaths from other major diseases, including heart disease, stroke, AIDS and prostate cancer, decreased between 2000 and 2014; heart disease deaths have gone down by 14%. But deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 89% during that time period, the report says.” (03/07/17)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/03/07/costs-exploding-for-alzheimers-and-other-dementias/

—–

19) Trump plan “pays for” immigration police state boost with cuts to Coast Guard, TSA
Source: Politico

“The Trump administration wants to gut the Coast Guard and make deep cuts in airport and rail security to help pay for its crackdown on illegal immigration [sic], according to internal budget documents reviewed by POLITICO — a move that lawmakers and security experts say defies logic if the White House is serious about defending against terrorism and keeping out undocumented foreigners. The Office of Management and Budget is seeking a 14 percent cut to the Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion budget, the draft documents show, even as it proposes major increases to other Department of Homeland Security agencies to hire more border agents and immigration officers and construct a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. … the administration would slice the budget of the Coast Guard and cut 11 percent in spending from the TSA — reductions that critics say would weaken safeguards against threats arriving by sea or air.” [editor’s note: Very wise cuts on their own; too bad he wants to use them to “pay for” other stuff that’s at least as evil – TLK] (03/07/17)

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-coast-guard-budget-235750

—–

20) Afghanistan: Gunmen disguised as doctors attack Kabul hospital, killing 30
Source: Washington Post

“Gunmen disguised as doctors stormed a military hospital in the Afghan capital Wednesday morning, leaving at least 30 people dead and scores injured after a bombing and a six-hour gun battle. The assault was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group. A suicide bomber detonated explosives at the front gates, then gunmen opened fire on guards stationed inside the fortified medical compound. Several attackers were able to reach the second floor, where they fought police special forces much of the day. Military officials said the attack was quelled by about 4 p.m.” (03/08/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/suicide-bomber-gunmen-strike-military-hospital-in-kabul-killing-2/2017/03/08/de419912-03ca-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html

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

21) The prehistory of the alt-right
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker

“Reading ‘How I Left the Left’ is a solid reminder that there’s not much intellectual heft remaining on that side of the fence. If an ideology sets out to isolate the locus of evil in people’s very identity, it is pretty well spent. This, in addition to the failure of the socialist model everywhere it has tried, explains why the Left has suffered so much at the polls and now faces a serious backlash in campus and public life. With the failure of action comes reaction, and now the Western world is dealing with something far less familiar to most people: the rise of the alt-right as the alternative. It is attractive to some young people due to its taboo-breaking, rebel ethos that so easily inflames teachers and protectors of civic conventions. The movement is more than that, however. It has a real philosophical and political history, one that stands in violent opposition to the idea of individual liberty.” (03/08/17)

https://fee.org/articles/the-prehistory-of-the-alt-right/

—–

22) Vault 7: What it means for you
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“If the documents are authentic — and WikiLeaks has a sterling reputation when it comes to document authenticity — every paranoid thriller you’ve ever watched or read was too timid in describing a hypothetical surveillance state. Even the telescreens and random audio bugs of George Orwell’s 1984 don’t come close to the reality of the CIA’s surveillance operations. … Bottom line: You should accept the possibility that for the last several years anything you’ve done on, or in the presence of, a device that can connect to the Internet was observed, monitored, and archived as accessible data. Paranoid? Yes. But the paranoia is justified.” (03/08/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/9620

—–

23) Transcription of the Rose-Pross debate on open borders
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden et al.

Marco den Ouden (the Jolly Libertarian) transcribes a debate on borders between Larken Rose and Victor Pross. Rose: “[C]losed borders is a euphemism. It’s not like there’s a door you can close. Closed borders is a euphemism for lots of people with guns using violence to stop anybody from crossing or to stop people who don’t have politicians’ permission from crossing the entire massive line that goes around the territorial jurisdiction of a quote unquote country. So it isn’t a matter of do we close the door or do we open the door. It’s a matter of do we initiate violence against lots and lots of people for the quote unquote sin of trying to walk from one piece of dirt to the piece of dirt right next to it based on some notion that the ruling class in some country has a claim to every square inch of the entire country and gets to say who can and can’t set foot there.” (03/07/17)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2017/03/transcription-of-rose-pross-debate-on.html

—–

24) Don’t fight politics with politics
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Why has everything become political? It’s a tragedy. Politics drives people apart. It makes people miserable, angry, and sad. Politics makes people believe crazy things and gets them to defend the indefensible. It turns regular people into bullies and scapegoats. Politics distracts people from doing productive things and keeps them too occupied to do pleasant things. I understand. It is said that even if you don’t have an interest in politics, politics is interested in you. The same could be said of a mosquito.” (03/08/17)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2017/03/08/voices/dont-fight-politics-with-politics/151242.html

—–

25) Blame the Pentagon and CIA for Trump’s immigration ban
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“President Trump tells us that his newly modified travel ban, just his original travel ban, is intended to keep us safe. Safe from whom? From the terrorists. Or, if you wish, the Muslims, or the ‘radicalized Muslims.’ But the important question must still be asked: Why is it that terrorists, Muslims, or ‘radicalized Muslims’ wish to commit acts of terrorism against the United States? Some people still maintain that it’s because they hate us for ‘our freedom and values’ or because of our religions. But that’s just palpable nonsense.” (03/08/17)

http://www.fff.org/2017/03/08/blame-pentagon-cia-trumps-immigration-ban/

—–

26) Think Trump’s at war with the Deep State? Take another look at his policies
Source: In These Times
by Mike Lofgren

“The prospect of four years of Donald J. Trump’s nonstop rants about imaginary conspiracies against his daughter, wholesale slander against the judicial branch and attacks on the press as enemies of the people has caused some Americans to slip into a comforting form of denial. He will be a blip in our history, they say, because our formal institutions, and the American people, will ultimately prevail against a rogue disruptor. Others, more hard-boiled, appeal to the powers-that-be that they believe actually run the country regardless of electoral results: the Wise Men, the Power Elite or what I have called the Deep State. These informal power groupings, according to speculation, will attempt to gently but firmly pry Trump’s tiny fingers from the wheel before he sails the ship of state into an iceberg.” (03/08/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19944/trump-deep-state-populism-bannon-kushner-cia-wall-street

—–

27) Allies or enemies — France and America
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Although there are many things to be learned from the contents of Vault 7, one thing jumped out quickly in the initial reviews of the thousands of documents. The CIA (presumably at the urging of the Obummer regime in the White House) treated America’s Oldest Ally as an enemy. Spying on government and political operations in Paris (and presumably elsewhere) during France’s 2012 elections is NOT what friendly, allied nations are supposed to do. Yet DC did it, in another example of the incredible stupidity of FedGov politicians and technocrats and their minions. Indeed, if the same level of hacking and spying were done on, say, Venezuela or China or North Korea — or even that nest of vipers, Saudi Arabia — and then revealed, it would indeed be a cause for war against DC.” (03/08/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/03/08/allies-or-enemies-france-and-america/

—–

28) Fauxbamacare flops for Trump, GOP
Source: USA Today
by Christian Schneider

“In January of this year, HealthCare.gov began running its final television ads urging people to sign up for insurance on the plans offered by the Affordable Care Act. The ads featured women dancing and laughing as giant superimposed numbers demonstrated how much money the government was going to give them to offset their premium costs. Typically, being forced to buy an expensive product I don’t want doesn’t exactly provoke me to dance. (That role is usually reserved for whiskey and Cokes.) When I pay my property taxes, it is not as if I have to temporarily cease doing the Dougie to mail the check. Plus, the spots appeared unnecessarily cruel; begging people to sign up for a program that the president promised to repeal seemed like selling condominiums on the Death Star.” (03/08/17)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/03/08/gop-health-care-bill-mandate-obamacare-christian-schneider-column/98864138

—–

29) Everyone’s a theorist
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux

“A common complaint against economists is that we’re ‘ivory-tower theorists.’ The accusation is that theories are not reality and, therefore, anything an economic theory says about reality is worthless. Heaven knows some economists are guilty of peddling worthless, even destructive, theories. Yet this fact doesn’t mean all economic theories are worthless or destructive. A theory — any theory, whether it be about economics, biology or astrophysics — is nothing more than a story told to make better sense of reality.” (03/07/17)

http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/12010270-74/theory-theories-economists

—–

30) Congressional Republicans’ ObamaCare replacement won’t cut it
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“If you want to see political malpractice in action, you don’t have to read Donald Trump’s latest tweet — just look at the mess Republicans have made of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Given seven years to come up with a replacement for one of the most poorly designed (and most scrutinized) laws in modern history, Republicans somehow managed to botch both the politics and policy.” (03/08/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/congressional-republicans-obamacare-replacement-wont-cut-it

—–

31) Gorsuch must answer questions Garland was denied
Source: The American Prospect
by Dorothy Samuels

“This is what the GOP push to confirm Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s far-right nominee for the Supreme Court, has come to: An Instagram video posted by the Senate Republican Conference shows the 49-year-old federal Circuit Court of Appeals judge stopping to pet an adorable Shih Tzu while on his Capitol Hill rounds. The caption: ‘One more reason you’ll love Judge Gorsuch. He loves dogs.’ Funny, perhaps, and cuddly, but also emblematic of Republicans’ artful but misleading push to ‘normalize’ Trump’s very right-wing choice in advance of his Senate confirmation hearings, which begin on March 20. It’s all part of a full court press to install Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat that Republicans effectively stole from Barack Obama with their unprecedented refusal to even consider his nominee, Merrick Garland, another widely respected (and far more moderate) federal judge. Obama had tapped Garland to fill the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia’s death a little more than a year ago.” (03/08/17)

http://prospect.org/article/neil-gorsuch-must-answer-questions-merrick-garland-was-denied

—–

32) The last full measure of malice
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Will Grigg

“The wrongful conviction of Christopher Tapp is just one of several cases — such as the equally bogus double-murder conviction of Lanny Smith, and the utterly bizarre rape conviction of Michael Whiteley — demonstrating the deeply dysfunctional nature of Bonneville County’s criminal ‘justice’ system. The Tapp case, however, poses the most acute risk to the county’s political class: It has received national publicity, the victim is still a young man, he has influential advocates (including the murder victim’s mother), and his exoneration would lead to a civil rights suit he would easily win. This explains why the County is desperate to have Tapp sign a deal and seal up the matter before next month’s hearing.” (03/08/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/will/last-full-measure-malice-bonneville-county-seeks-plea-deal-christopher-tapp/

—–

33) Reagan redux at the Pentagon
Source: The American Conservative
by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

“Trump’s recent spending announcements, coupled with the general themes he’s hewed to during the campaign, appear to be part of an opening salvo in the coming budget fights with Congress. But there’s more to it. Trump seems to think Reagan’s own approach to facing down the Soviets and winning the Cold War — pouring money into the military industrial complex and turning around the nation’s patriotic malaise with soaring, muscular rhetoric — will work in 2017. If such a program can generate jobs and pump life into the economy, even better. … Advocates of foreign-policy restraint can be pleased that Trump so far seems averse to starting wars and nation building. Yet for the military-industrial complex, staying home can also be very good news. Building up for war is just as good for business as fighting one, maybe even better.” (03/08/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/reagan-redux-at-the-pentagon/

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34) The foreign aid fallacy: Has America become too generous?
Source: Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

“Americans, on average, believe that over a quarter of the federal budget (26 percent) goes for foreign aid, pollsters report. But actual outlays for foreign aid make up just 1 percent of what the federal government annually spends. Don’t expect this startling gap between perception and reality to narrow anytime soon. We now have in the White House a President who’s exaggerating (at every opportunity) what the United States spends on foreign assistance. … Real life has a different story to tell. Over recent years, U.S. tax dollars have been about as likely to bomb bridges in other lands as build them. A huge share of our tax dollars that flow overseas go for armaments, ammunition, and other forms of military assistance.” (03/08/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170308/has-america-become-too-generous

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35) The nuances of the distributed fleet
Source: Niskanen Center
by Joshua Hampson

“Late last year, the Department of Defense (DOD) delivered a study to Congress on alternatives to the official plans for future Navy fleet architecture. As the new Administration and Congress debate how best to fulfill their campaign promises to build up the military, the study is receiving renewed interest. It differs substantially from current Navy plans — as well as other proposals from think tanks — –and focuses on autonomous robotic integration, electronic warfare, and modularity. The study proposes a ‘distributed fleet’ approach, and works through how such a fleet might be constructed. There are some intriguing and possibly beneficial ideas in the alternative proposal. However, like most things in defense planning, the devil is in the details.” (03/08/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/nuances-distributed-fleet-navy/

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36) Romanticizing politics
Source: Cato Unbound
by Ross Emmett

“One implication of Knight’s understanding of the Liberal Revolution is that it bifurcated the individual into two different ‘persons’ — the economic person and the political person. Or, to put it differently, after the Liberal Revolution, the ‘person’ operating in the economic realm was conceptualized differently from the ‘person’ operating in the political realm. Morality remained important to political discourse after the Liberal Revolution, while rational calculation and profit-seeking were important to economic activity. What Knight made of this divide won’t detain us now, but one of the interesting consequences of his argument is the possibility that literary discourse in the post-Enlightenment period was romanticized because of the economic/political divide.” (03/08/17)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2017/03/08/ross-emmett/romanticizing-politics

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37) What is Huma up to, and why should we care?
Source: Town Hall
by Ed Klein

“The gossip sphere was atwitter recently when Huma Abedin, the estranged wife of scandal-scarred Anthony Weiner and Hillary Clinton’s longtime confidante, met for lunch with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The two women were spotted enjoying a private tete-a-tete at Il Cantinori, a favorite celebrity hangout in Greenwich Village. They’re good friends; Wintour held fundraisers for Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign and she profiled Abedin in the pages of Vogue. Beyond their mutual admiration for Hillary, Abedin and Wintour share a passion for fashion, and sources tell me that among the things they discussed over lunch was Wintour’s offer to help Abedin find a job in the fashion business. Now that Abedin is a single mother and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is in sex-addiction rehab and out of work, she needs a steady, well-paying job.” (03/08/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/edklein/2017/03/08/what-is-huma-up-toand-why-should-we-care-n2295887

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38) Nixing the Paris climate pact
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Christopher C Horner

“Recent media reports suggest a conflict within the Trump White House over whether to keep the president’s campaign promise ‘to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement,’ the successor to the rejected Kyoto Protocol. President Trump also promised to roll Barack Obama’s controversial and harmful climate agenda back, yet the Paris agreement, signed in September 2016 just before the presidential election, is the capstone of that agenda, committing us to keep the agenda in place, and forever tighten it. Rescinding the policies but promising to continue them are irreconcilable. Such baby-splitting would create not just a glaring policy conflict in the Trump White House, but would have lasting repercussions.” (03/07/17)

https://cei.org/content/nixing-paris-climate-pact

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39) Trump defends due process
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“What do you call a regulation that summarily deprives law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights without any evidence that they pose a danger to others? If you are a New York Times editorialist, you call it “sensible.” That was the newspaper’s take on a Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that Congress canceled with a bill President Trump signed last week. The objections aroused by the rule’s demise show that its supporters do not understand it, do not value the constitutional right to arms, or both. The SSA rule would have blocked gun purchases by anyone who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and who, because of a mental impairment, has been assigned a representative payee to handle the money. According to the SSA, such an individual has been ‘adjudicated as a mental defective’ and is therefore prohibited from owning firearms by the Gun Control Act of 1968. But as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pointed out, ‘the determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an ‘adjudication’ in any ordinary meaning of the word.’” (03/08/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/03/08/trump-defends-due-process

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40) The bumbling plot to destroy Obamacare
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“The effort to convert candidate Barack Obama’s health policy platform into what became Obamacare began just days after the 2008 election, with the release of a detailed white paper written by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus that bears remarkable resemblance to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which became law nearly a year and a half later. Everything that happened in between (dozens of public hearings, hundreds of private ones, countless Congressional Budget Office cost estimates, White House negotiations and agreements with industry and consumer stakeholders) had an impact on the final bill, but the process began with a remarkable degree of Democratic consensus, reflected in the similarities between the initial and final products.” (03/07/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/141166/bumbling-plot-destroy-obamacare

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41) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #243: Do not be too much of a dove.
Source: WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy

“[T]his aphorism reveals a streak of aggressive skepticism toward other people, which may be entirely justified and necessary as self-protection. But the advice differs from some other aphorisms. Instead of praising the maintenance of a pure character, Gracian seems to advise embracing negative aspects of your humanity. I don’t think he is advocating that you act upon those negative aspects except in the sense of using them as sources of insight into the motives, character and actions of others.” (03/08/17)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.7817

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42) How the market creates jobs and how the government destroys them
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Walter E Block

“If the media tell us that ‘the opening of XYZ mill has created 1,000 new jobs,’ we give a cheer. When the ABC company closes and 500 jobs are lost, we’re sad. The politician who can provide a subsidy to save ABC is almost assured of widespread public support for his work in preserving jobs. But jobs in and of themselves do not guarantee well, being. Suppose that the employment is to dig huge holes and fill them up again? What if the workers manufacture goods and services that no one wants to purchase? In the Soviet Union, which boasts of giving every worker a job, many jobs are just this unproductive. Production is everything, and jobs are nothing but a means toward that end.” (original publication 1988; posted 03/08/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/03/walter-e-block/market-creates-jobs/

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43) Spygate: America’s political police vs. Donald J Trump
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies — and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening. The irony is that the existence of this dangerous apparatus — which civil libertarians have warned could and probably would be used for political purposes — has been hailed by Trump and his team as a necessary and proper function of government.” (03/08/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/07/spygate-americas-political-police-vs-donald-j-trump/

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44) Higher costs don’t mean higher prices
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Per Bylund

“The reason an expensive good is produced at high cost is that those high costs can be covered by the anticipated price that it can be sold for. It doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs choose high costs for the fun of it, but that they motivate a certain level of costs based on the anticipated price — and that price is really dependent only on consumer valuation of the final good. In imperfect markets, this means there can be high markups that offer entrepreneurs enormous profits. But this is also what lures other entrepreneurs to enter this particular market, so where there are no significant barriers to entry profits will tend to get squeezed until they reach the standard market rate of return. In this process, costs are pushed down but consumer good prices even more so, thereby making consumers the ultimate winners of this process. So it is not in any sense a paradox that the market price of a box of paint has very little to do with the final price of the painting.” (03/08/17)

https://mises.org/blog/higher-costs-don%E2%80%99t-mean-higher-prices

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45) Does the Second Amendment even exist?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“Politicians, the news media, and Americans persuaded by them are clamoring for the federal government to ‘do something’ about gun violence. Organizations are urging Congress to pass more gun-control legislation. But everyone is not just ignoring the Second Amendment; they are acting as though it doesn’t even exist.” (03/08/17)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/second-amendment-even-exist/

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46) War on page A-10
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“War was once big news. Now? Not so much. Which may be a function of the never-ending War on Terror, no end in sight in Afghanistan and an Iraq War that is officially over … except for the fighting.” (03/08/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/03/08/war-on-page-a-10/

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47) Customs agents’ unreasonable request
Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

“The incident at John F. Kennedy Airport, where Customs and Border Protection Agents boarded an incoming flight from San Francisco and asked for — or demanded — ID from every passenger, has hit a nerve with many people — some of whom, like me, think that a demand that passengers exiting a domestic flight show ‘papers’ would probably be unconstitutional, and definitely smacks of a nascent police state. … A CBP spokesperson characterized the incident as a ‘consensual’ search — meaning, in other words, that the agents asked passengers if they would mind terribly showing ID as they exited. Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement can almost always ask a person to voluntarily provide ID, or allow a search, even in situations where they can’t demand either. Unfortunately, the courts have usually held that the officers are not required to tell people they have the right to refuse.” (03/08/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/customs-agents-unreasonable-request/518871/

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48) The existentialist origins of postmodernism
Source: Notes On Liberty
by Bruno Goncalves Rosi

“In 19th century Denmark, all were born within the Lutheran Church, and being a Christian was the socially accepted position. Kierkegaard complained that in centuries past being a Christian was not easy, and could even involve life-threatening events. In the face of this he argued for a Christianity that involved an individual decision against all evidence. … This concept of blind faith, going against all the evidence, is central to Kierkegaard’s thinking, and became very influential in twentieth-century Christianity and even in other Western-established religions. Beyond the strictly religious aspect, Kierkegaard marked Western thought with the notion that some things might be true in some areas of knowledge but not in others. Moreover, its influence can be seen in the notion that the individual must make decisions about how he intends to exist, regardless of the rules of society or of all empirical evidence.” (03/07/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/03/07/the-existentialist-origins-of-postmodernism/

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49) Our future: Tribal or cosmopolitan?
Source: CounterPunch
by Luke O’Brien

“Whenever he found found himself at a loss of words, Marx once wrote to Engels, he would say of the topic at hand, ‘vell, y’see, it’sh dialectical.’ It was if this contribution would be enough to elicit enough thoughtful nods that no one would notice as he shambled back up to the bar, and away from the arduous task of drunken philosophizing. (And it is, I’ve tried.) It’s worth being honest: the issue of contemporary cosmopolitanism and tribalism is tricky, with pitfalls and contradiction peppering the path to insight. And yeah, it is dialectical. There is a trend that Marxists, Whigs, neoconservatives and reactionaries have all recognised: the passage of time brings with it a gradual liberalising of society and a disintegration of its borders.” (03/08/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/08/our-future-tribal-or-cosmopolitan/

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50) Ann Pettifor tells us all about the magic money tree
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“Ann Pettifor takes to The Guardian to tell us all about … well, it’s supposedly about International Women’s Day but it’s actually about the Magic Money Tree. ‘Despite all these obvious differences, government budgets are deemed analogous (by economists and politicians) to a household budget.’ Standard, absolutely middle of the road, economics does no such thing. It does simplify the arguments into the demotic to get points over to the populace, entirely true, but it simply isn’t true that economist equate government and household budgets. There are chapters in each and every textbook detailing why it would be wrong to do so.” (03/08/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/ann-pettifor-tells-us-all-about-the-magic-money-tree

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

51) Electric Libertyland, episode 10
Source: Lions of Liberty

“In this, the 10th episode of Electric Libertyland, Brian McWilliams laments a bizarre dream in which he was working for the great evil that is Hillary Clinton, recaps the libertarianism in ‘Logan,’ cracks Vault 7 and throws a FISA party over the latest allegations of illegal wiretapping of Trump Tower by the Obama Administration. Brian also looks at Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Justice Clarence Thomas'[s] takedown of civil asset forfeiture, Arizona becoming a new libertarian wonderland, #Trumpcare’s many, many problems and Israel decriminalizing marijuana.” [various formats] (03/08/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/03/08/ell10/

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52) Freedom Feens Radio, 03/08/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Chandler, V and MWD talk about how today’s yoots are harmed by the news, how cats are a wonderful invasive species, we’ve stopped approving trolls who demand radio their way, and how the government is spying on you and can kill you with your car.” [various formats] (03/08/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14108

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53) Free Talk Live, 03/07/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Wikileaks Releases CIA Hacking Documents :: Somaliafest and the Pirate Party :: CIA Subverts Encryption Apps :: Officer Gets Slap on Hand After Killing :: World Passport :: Liberty Lobby :: Snowden on CIA Leak :: Social Media and Depression :: Minimum Wage and Corporate Collusion :: Libertarian Wastes of Time :: Welfare :: Relationships With Tall Women :: HOSTS — Ian, Vincent.” [Flash audio or MP3] (03/07/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-03-07

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54) The Tom Woods Show, episode 864
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“We’re told we need government because only the public sector can give us ‘public goods,’ which are either impossible to produce privately or are produced in the wrong quantities. In this lesson from my Ron Paul Curriculum course on government I put this claim under a microscope.” [various formats] (03/07/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-864-the-bogus-public-goods-rationale-for-government/

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55) Cato Daily Podcast, 03/07/17
Source: Cato Institute

“The Trump travel ban covering several majority Muslim countries is a slight improvement, but contains many of the same flaws as the original. Alex Nowrasteh explains.” [various formats] (03/07/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/revised-redacted-trump-travel-ban

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****