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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,945
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Trump proposes more visibly militarizing US-Mexico border
2) Putin, Erdogan launch Turkey’s first nuclear reactor
3) Lawyer connected to Russia election interference investigation sentenced to jail
4) Tor axes its secure messaging app due to lack of resources
5) Migrant caravan halts in Mexico
6) Germany: Prosecutors ask court to hand Catalonian abductee over to Spanish regime
7) Rosenstein memo on Mueller gives OK to probe Manafort, Russia collusion
8) AMA: Legal cannabis is saving lives from opioid abuse
9) TX: Ted Cruz challenger raises staggering $6.7 million in first quarter
10) White House criticizes China for $3 billion in tariffs on US imports
11) KY: All county school districts close as teachers fight pension-reform bill
12) Report: EU antitrust regulators set to accept Gazprom concessions
13) SCOTUS: Antiabortion activists lose bid to make secretly recorded videos public
14) SCOTUS: Cops don’t have to think, they can just shoot and skate
15) Israel: Netanyahu scraps African migrant relocation deal with UN
16) Federal bureaucrats whine about Tesla not hiding crash information from public
17) Grindr admits it shared HIV status of users
18) Google bans cryptocurrency mining extensions from Chrome web store
19) Trump regime, seeking to speed deportations, plans to impose quotas on immigration judges
20) EPA to roll back car emissions standards, handing automakers a big win

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) A true but nonobvious proposition?
22) After the FBI’s Pulse nightclub failure, why should we trust James Comey anymore?
23) Liability, accountability, and government employees
24) The most important decision of Trump’s presidency
25) How Canada bans books
26) No one wins a trade war
27) The FDA plans to regulate nicotine in cigarettes
28) Yemen crisis: Does Saudi largess square with military campaign?
29) Uncertainty is the root of the current market craziness
30) Show me your immigration plan
31) Purpose-driven learning is the only kind that lasts
32) Everything keeps changing about the Skripal narrative, except “Russia definitely did it”
33) Revenue tariffs vs. protectionist tariffs
34) Everything the left thinks it knows about inequality is wrong
35) How the EU can help the new Zimbabwe prosper
36) No sympathy for Amazon
37) Trump administration is sabotaging the refugee program
38) Seeking refuge
39) Unbridgeable gap: Who we were and who we thought we were
40) Poll: Americans support Mueller probe, but want another one for FBI’s spying on Trump
41) Shouldn’t the EPA have learned from the VW emissions scandal?
42) A new study shows how American polarization is driven by a team sport mentality, not by disagreement on issues
43) Tariffs are taxes — and a political and economic killer
44) Dollars for decency
45) Trump and his tariffs
46) (Hot) air let out of California’s climate change lawsuit
47) The Post Office scam
48) The art of the Trump trade deal
49) The misplaced panic about London’s murder rate
50) I stand by my point that international trade is no net destroyer of jobs

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 04/03/18
52) Cato Daily Podcast, 04/03/18
53) Scott Adams Says, 04/03/18
54) Stossel: Little pink house
55) The Libertarian Angle, 04/03/18
56) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 50
57) Free Talk Live, 04/02/18
58) Cyber Law Podcast, episode 210
59) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 155
60) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1125

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

1) Trump proposes more visibly militarizing US-Mexico border
Source: Politico

“President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he intended to deploy troops along the U.S.-Mexico border until a wall was built there, proposing an escalation of efforts to prevent people from entering the country illegally [sic] via the southern border. … A senior official at the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that putting troops on the U.S.-Mexico border had been under discussion but that no rollout had been planned because of unresolved policy issues. The official said [US Secretary of Defense James] Mattis did not want armed troops at the border.” (04/03/18)

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/03/trump-military-guard-mexico-border-498480

—–

2) Putin, Erdogan launch Turkey’s first nuclear reactor
Source: Washington Post

“The leaders of Russia and Turkey on Tuesday launched the start of construction for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, as ties between the two nations deepen. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on his first foreign visit since being re-elected on March 18, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remotely gave the go-ahead for the construction of the Russian-built nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast at Akkuyu. Putin hailed the project as a symbol of growing cooperation between Russia and Turkey. … The Akkuyu plant is being built by Russia’s nuclear energy agency, Rosatom. The project is estimated to cost $20 billion.” (04/03/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/putin-and-erdogan-to-launch-turkeys-1st-nuclear-reactor/2018/04/03/ef7bb4b6-3712-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html

—–

3) Lawyer connected to Russia election interference investigation sentenced to jail
Source: USA Today

“A Dutch attorney who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and a Russian intelligence agent was sentenced to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine Tuesday. Alex Van Der Zwaan acknowledged making false statements about communications with Gates and the unidentified agent who prosecutors referred to as ‘Person A’ as part of the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Van Der Zwaan is the first person to be sentenced in the inquiry managed by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller. U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson rejected the defense request that he be permitted to pay a fine and return home to London. ‘We’re not talking about a traffic ticket,’ Jackson told Van Der Zwaan, adding that his conduct had taken on greater significance because of gravity of the investigation that he had been swept into.” (04/03/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/03/lawyer-connected-russia-election-interference-investigation-receives-30-day-sentence/481359002

—–

4) Tor axes its secure messaging app due to lack of resources
Source: Engadget

“The Tor team unveiled its Messenger app in 2015 to boost the security of existing chat clients, but those plans are coming to an end less than three years later. The developers are ending support for Tor Messenger due primarily to a lack of support. … The app was still stuck in beta testing years after its debut, and the creators had to ignore bug reports and feature requests due to the limited resources. There were also underlying security issues.” (04/02/18)

https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/02/tor-messenger-support-ends/

—–

5) Migrant caravan halts in Mexico
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The caravan of Central American migrants that angered U.S. President Donald Trump was sidelined at a sports field in southern Mexico with no means of reaching the border even as Trump tweeted another threat to Mexico Tuesday. ‘The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our “Weak Laws” Border, had better be stopped before it gets there,’ Trump wrote. ‘Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen.’ The caravan that once numbered 1,150 or more people actually halted days ago in the town of Matias Romero in the southern state of Oaxaca, where participants slept out in the open. After days of walking along roadsides and train tracks, the organizers now plan to try to get buses to take participants to the final event, an immigrants’ rights conference in the central state of Puebla later this week. Bogged down by logistical problems, large numbers of children and fears about people getting sick, the caravan was always meant to draw attention to the plight of migrants and was never equipped to march all the way to the U.S. border.” (04/03/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Migrant-caravan-raising-concerns-in-US-takes-12800730.php

—–

6) Germany: Prosecutors ask court to hand Catalonian abductee over to Spanish regime
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“German prosecutors have asked a court to permit the extradition of the former [sic] Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain. Prosecutors in the northern town of Schleswig announced on Tuesday morning they have requested Puigdemont to be put under arrest for extradition purposes after ‘intensive examination’ of the European arrest warrant issued by Spain. The former Catalan president has been detained at a prison in the town of Neumünster since he was [abducted] on 25 March, shortly after crossing over the Danish border into northern Germany.” (04/03/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/03/german-prosecutors-ask-court-to-permit-carles-puigdemont-extradition-to-spain

—–

7) Rosenstein memo on Mueller gives OK to probe Manafort, Russia collusion
Source: Fox News

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller was given the green light to investigate President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his work with the Ukrainian government as well as claims Manafort colluded with the Kremlin, according to court documents filed late Monday. A newly disclosed Aug. 2, 2017, memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shows that Mueller was authorized to go after Manafort on multiple fronts in an investigation that has resulted in criminal charges against 19 people and three Russian companies. The August memo was disclosed in a court filing by Mueller’s team of prosecutors in response to Manafort’s lawyers, who asked a judge to dismiss the charges against him. Manafort is arguing that Mueller, who was assigned to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, overstepped his authority by investigating allegations that took place before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But in their new filing, prosecutors revealed that Rosenstein (who appointed Mueller) wrote a memo last August that outlined the scope of Mueller’s appointment.” (04/03/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/03/rosenstein-memo-on-mueller-gives-ok-to-probe-manafort-russia-collusion.html

—–

8) AMA: Legal cannabis is saving lives from opioid abuse
Source: Smell the Truth

“Legal access to marijuana is helping people use less prescription opioids, according to two studies published Monday by the American Medical Association. In a study conducted by authors Ashley C. Bradford, W. David Bradford and Amanda Abraham of the University of Georgia, researchers examined data from Medicare, which primarily covers patients over the age of 65. They found a 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in states with legal marijuana programs. Opiate prescriptions also dropped by 6.9 percent in states that allow adults to grow their own plants. ‘These findings further strengthen arguments in favor of considering medical applications of cannabis as one tool in the policy arsenal that can be used to diminish the harm of prescription opioids,’ the authors wrote.” (04/02/18)

https://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2018/04/02/legal-marijuana-is-saving-lives-from-opioid-abuse-new-studies-find

—–

9) TX: Ted Cruz challenger raises staggering $6.7 million in first quarter
Source: Raw Story

“U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign, a staggering number that poses a new category of threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. The haul is easily O’Rourke’s biggest fundraising quarter yet, more than double his next-closest total for a three-month period. It also is more than any Democratic Senate candidate nationwide took in last quarter, O’Rourke’s campaign said. Cruz has not released his first-quarter fundraising numbers yet, but O’Rourke’s $6.7 million total is on a different level than his previous hauls, which ranged from $1.7 million to $2.4 million. Those alone were good enough to outraise Cruz for three of the last four reporting periods. Furthermore, the $6.7 million total came from more than 141,000 contributions — another record-busting number for O’Rourke.” (04/03/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/ted-cruz-opponent-beto-orourke-says-raised-staggering-6-7m-first-quarter-2018

—–

10) White House criticizes China for $3 billion in tariffs on US imports
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The White House has criticized China after it imposed retaliatory tariffs against the US on a range of goods, including pork and wine. Beijing put duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to slap taxes on imports of steel and aluminum. China said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs. US stocks fell sharply and Asia traded generally lower, amid trade war fears. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 Index lost 2.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.9%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 opened down about 1.5% on Tuesday but recovered a little to close 0.45% lower. The Shanghai Composite closed down even further, dropping 0.84%, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend, reversing earlier losses to finish up 0.29%.” (04/03/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43622862

—–

11) KY: All county school districts close as teachers fight pension-reform bill
Source: USA Today

“All of Kentucky’s public schools were closed Monday as thousands of teachers protested a surprise pension reform bill at the state Capitol. While the majority are of the state’s 120 county school districts have spring break this week, 21 school districts canceled because of Monday’s rally, either deciding to allow for a day of protest or because a majority of teachers called in sick, a Courier Journal analysis shows. ‘The Lee County School District will close schools on Monday, April 2, 2018,’ one announcement said. ‘This will allow our public school employees time to travel to Frankfort to advocate for Public Education and school funding at the KEA (Kentucky Education Association) rally. We need to continue to make sure the Legislature puts our students and families first and to search for new sources of revenue to fully fund Public Education.’” (04/02/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/02/schools-shut-kentucky-teacher-protest/477956002

—–

12) Report: EU antitrust regulators set to accept Gazprom concessions
Source: Reuters

“The European Union and Gazprom are poised to settle a long-running antitrust case after the Russian gas company agreed to price reforms and to allow rivals to gain a foothold in eastern Europe, people familiar with the matter said. A decision by the European Commission could come as early as this month although the timing could still slip, the people said. A settlement would allow Gazprom to avoid a possible fine of as much as 10 percent of its global turnover. The seven-year-old case underlines the rocky relationship between Europe and Russia, which have clashed over Ukraine, Syria and, most recently, a nerve attack against a former Russian spy living in England that resulted in expulsions of diplomats on both sides.” (04/03/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-gazprom-antitrust-exclusive/exclusive-eu-antitrust-regulators-set-to-accept-gazprom-concessions-sources-idUSKCN1HA1V4

—–

13) SCOTUS: Antiabortion activists lose bid to make secretly recorded videos public
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request by antiabortion activists to make public conversations they secretly recorded at national meetings of abortion providers in San Francisco and Baltimore after posing as researchers. The justices, without comment, denied review of lower-court rulings prohibiting the group called the Center for Medical Progress from publicly releasing the recordings or any other information its members obtained by infiltrating the annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation in San Francisco in 2014 and in Baltimore in 2015. The group posted videos of some of the conversations on its website before U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco issued an injunction barring further releases. One of the speakers recorded without his knowledge was affiliated with a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that was attacked by an antiabortion gunman in November 2015, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling on the case. Three people were killed.” (04/03/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Antiabortion-activists-lose-bid-to-make-secretly-12800642.php

—–

14) SCOTUS: Cops don’t have to think, they can just shoot and skate
Source: Tucson Sentinel

“The Supreme Court reversed a lower court Monday and said a University of Arizona police officer cannot be sued for shooting a woman who refused to drop a knife as she stood in her driveway. The court took the unusual step of issuing its decision without holding a hearing on the case. It said UAPD Cpl. Andrew Kisela enjoyed immunity in the 2010 shooting of Amy Hughes because his actions did not clearly violate the law in a situation in which the officer had ‘mere seconds’ to make a decision. In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor called Kisela’s actions clearly unconstitutional. Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said the court’s ruling ‘tells officers they can shoot first and think later, and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished.’” (04/02/18)

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/040218_scotus_uapd/supreme-court-reverses-case-against-officer-tucson-police-shooting/

—–

15) Israel: Netanyahu scraps African migrant relocation deal with UN
Source: Reuters

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was cancelling an agreement with the U.N. refugee agency to relocate thousands of African migrants, bowing to right-wing pressure to scrap the deal. … The fate of about 37,000 Africans in Israel has posed a moral dilemma for a state founded as a haven for Jews from persecution and a national home. The right-wing government has been under pressure from its nationalist voter base to expel the migrants. It had been moving ahead with plans to deport many of them to Rwanda when Israel’s Supreme Court intervened and froze such deportations in March.” (04/03/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-migrants/israels-netanyahu-scraps-african-migrant-relocation-deal-with-u-n-idUSKCN1HA14N

—–

16) Federal bureaucrats whine about Tesla not hiding crash information from public
Source: Houston Chronicle

“Tesla may have run afoul of federal rules governing safety investigations when it released information over the weekend about a fatal crash involving one of its Model X SUVs in California late last month. The release of investigative information was the latest instance of Silicon Valley bucking long-standing norms in dealing with government authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board voiced its displeasure Sunday, saying it was ‘unhappy’ Tesla had released information about the March 23 crash that killed 38-year-old Walter Huang when his Tesla slammed into a highway barrier on U.S. 101 outside Mountain View, Calif[ornia]. … ‘Prior to the NTSB’s adoption of the final report, only appropriate NTSB personnel are authorized to publicly disclose investigative findings’ [NTSB said in a statement] …. ‘Tesla releases critical crash data affecting public safety immediately & always will. To do otherwise would be unsafe.’ [responded Tesla CEO Elon Musk].” [editor’s note: Screw you, NTSB – TLK] (04/02/18)

https://www.chron.com/business/article/Tesla-may-have-violated-federal-rules-by-12800780.php

—–

17) Grindr admits it shared HIV status of users
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“The same-sex dating app Grindr responded Monday to revelations that it allowed third parties to view the HIV status of users, saying its customers had the option not to supply sensitive information. Grindr acknowledged that information on users’ HIV status, including the date they were last tested for the virus, was shared with two companies — Apptimize and Localytics, who were paid to monitor and analyze how the app was being used. … Grindr said: ‘It’s important to remember that Grindr is a public forum. We give users the option to post information about themselves including HIV status and last test date, and we make it clear in our privacy policy that if you choose to include this information in your profile, the information will also become public.’” (04/02/18)

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/03/599069424/grindr-admits-it-shared-hiv-status-of-users

—–

18) Google bans cryptocurrency mining extensions from Chrome web store
Source: CNet News

“Google announced that it’s kicking all cryptocurrency mining extensions off its Chrome web store, pointing to how often they’d been abused by scammers. The Chrome Web Store originally allowed cryptocurrency mining extensions, as long as mining was all the extension was supposed to do and the users knew exactly what they were getting into.” (04/02/18)

https://www.cnet.com/news/google-bans-cryptocurrency-mining-extensions-for-chrome/

—–

19) Trump regime, seeking to speed deportations, plans to impose quotas on immigration judges
Source: Los Angeles Times

“The Trump administration will pressure U.S. immigration judges to process cases faster by establishing a quota system tied to their annual performance reviews, according to new Justice Department directives. The judges will be expected to clear at least 700 cases a year to receive a ‘satisfactory’ performance rating, a standard that their union called an “unprecedented” step that risks undermining judicial independence and opens the courts to potential challenges. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has promised to stiffen immigration enforcement partly by moving more aggressively to clear a backlog of more than 600,000 cases pending before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the federal court system that adjudicates immigration cases.” (04/02/18)

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-immigration-quotas-20180402-story.html

—–

20) EPA to roll back car emissions standards, handing automakers a big win
Source: Washington Post

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he would revoke Obama-era standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the United States to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, a move that could change the composition of the nation’s auto fleet for years.” (04/02/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/epa-to-roll-back-car-emissions-standards/2018/04/02/b720f0b6-36a6-11e8-acd5-35eac230e514_story.html

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

21) A true but nonobvious proposition?
Source: Reason
by Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

“The economist Paul Krugman wrote a column a long time ago claiming that comparative advantage is in fact difficult to comprehend, requiring various tricky assumptions only an economist could love. But it is ‘difficult’ only in the world of Princeton University economists in which market ‘imperfections’ abound and mathematical proof reigns. Actually, it’s dead easy. No math, no arithmetic. It is, in fact, the soul of common sense. Comparative advantage is merely the principle of cooperation. The word advantage gets us thinking of competition, perfectly reasonable in our own individual lives — we do compete with other businesses or other writers or whomever. But we also massively cooperate with family and colleagues. The world as a whole, furthermore, does well by cooperating, in business or science or cultural life.” (04/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/04/03/a-true-but-nonobvious-proposit

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22) After the FBI’s Pulse nightclub failure, why should we trust James Comey anymore?
Source: USA Today
by James Bovard

“The FBI suffered another debacle on Friday when an Orlando jury returned a not guilty verdict for the widow of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 in his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June 2016. The biggest terrorism case of the year collapsed largely thanks to FBI misconduct and deceit. Noor Salman was charged with material support of a foreign terrorist organization and lying to the FBI about knowing about her husband’s pending attack on the nightclub. The FBI vigorously interrogated her for 18 hours, threatening her with the loss of custody of her infant son unless she signed a confession. Salman, who reportedly had an IQ of only 84, initially denied any knowledge but relented and signed a statement composed by an FBI agent.” (04/03/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/04/03/fbi-pulse-nightclub-verdict-terrorism-failure-james-comey-book-column/478092002

—–

23) Liability, accountability, and government employees
Source: Libertarianism.org
by Aeon Skoble

“California paid over half a million dollars to settle sexual harassment claims against state judges. South Carolina paid $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit for a man having been wrongly shot 57 times. Back in California, the family of a mentally ill man who was tortured to death was paid five million dollars. You can easily find dozens of similar stories …. It’s exceedingly rare that the wrongdoers are removed from their positions, and rarer still for them to be sent to prison. Most of the time they aren’t even indicted, and when they get indicted, acquittals are much more common than convictions. You would think that a judge or congressman who is a sexual predator, or a cop who shoots an unarmed man, should at least be removed from that line of work; even though that rarely happens, our sense of justice suggests it would be a good idea. But beyond that, it seems as though justice requires more.” (04/03/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/liability-accountability-government-employees

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24) The most important decision of Trump’s presidency
Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel R DePetris

“President Donald Trump has made a fair share of blunders during his 14 months in office–so many, his critics claim, that it would take an entire week to compile a spreadsheet. … But all of these errors pale in comparison to a potentially monumental decision Trump will make on May 12. That’s the day Trump will determine whether Iran deserves another waiver from U.S.-crafted nuclear sanctions. Given the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and America’s own intelligence community have both verified that Tehran is meeting its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the decision to renew the waiver next month should be a straightforward and simple one. Unfortunately Trump does not see it that way …” (04/03/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-most-important-decision-of-trumps-presidency/

—–

25) How Canada bans books
Source: National Review
by JJ McCullough

“When the state gains the power to outlaw certain forms of expression as ‘hate speech’ — a rising demand in some corners of America these days — the result is rarely a decrease in hate but always expanded power for grotesque new forms of bureaucratic busybodying. I subscribe to an email service that provides me with the Canadian Border Service Agency’s ‘Quarterly List of Admissible and Prohibited Titles.’ This is something the government of Canada produces every few months to inform its citizens which works of ‘Obscenity and Hate Propaganda’ — that is, books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and sometimes even flyers, posters, and stickers — have been denied entry into their country.” (04/03/18)

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/canada-laws-crack-down-on-hate-speech/

—–

26) No one wins a trade war
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“Trade between nations dates back as far as we have historical records, whereas trade deficit figures are a mid-20th-century invention. Trade does not depend on having statisticians available to calculate the comings and goings of the products and services of whole nations. That this trade war is being conducted with the excuse of these statistics reveals just how pernicious they can be in practice. The results of this war are as follows. US consumers get to pay more for imports from China. American companies lose markets as Chinese consumers and importers turn to other countries to provide wines, pork, and fruit. And this is only round one.” (04/03/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/no-one-wins-trade-war

—–

27) The FDA plans to regulate nicotine in cigarettes
Source: Independent Institute
by Raymond March

“In an unprecedented effort, the Food and Drug Administration is working to significantly reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes. In one policy scenario, the FDA would set a limit of 0.4 milligrams of nicotine per gram of tobacco, reducing the typical nicotine level by 97 percent. Their goal is clear: get current smokers to quit and deter future generations from getting hooked. Smoking is deadly, causing over 480,000 preventable deaths per year. It is also financially taxing, resulting in nearly $170 billion in direct medical cost costs annually. While the amount of death and steep medical costs are concerning, good intentions do not always result in good outcomes. Several questions come to mind when assessing the FDA’s recent efforts. Among them are: How would changing nicotine levels change the incentives of smokers? Perhaps more importantly, how successful has the FDA been in the past in promoting public health?” (04/03/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/04/03/the-fda-plans-to-regulate-nicotine-in-cigarettes/

—–

28) Yemen crisis: Does Saudi largess square with military campaign?
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Scott Peterson

“By the third anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen last week, the coalition it leads (backed by the United States and Britain) had carried out 16,749 airstrikes against one of the poorest nations on earth. The United Nations blames coalition bombs for causing two-thirds of the more than 10,000 deaths in the conflict. Shiite Houthi rebels marked the three-year anniversary of a war the UN blames for creating the ‘worst man-made humanitarian crisis in the world’ by launching seven missiles deep into Saudi territory. Three fell on the capital Riyadh, killing one civilian, in the most extensive counter-strike of its kind. But two days later, while Yemenis braced for a military response, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave a strong indication that the kingdom has also begun to focus on humanitarian needs in the war, which has created widespread hunger and a raging cholera epidemic.” (04/02/18)

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2018/0402/Yemen-crisis-Does-Saudi-largess-square-with-military-campaign

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29) Uncertainty is the root of the current market craziness
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The market has seemingly gone nuts. Sudden one-day drops pare back weeks of gains, followed by a cautious recovery of the lost ground. There’s a strong correlation between those swings and Trump’s mouth, whether he’s making formal policy announcements or just tweetstorming his latest obsession. To understand the problem, let’s look to the seemingly unrelated fields of economics and physics.” (04/03/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/13196

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30) Show me your immigration plan
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Whenever liberals or conservatives tell you that they favor immigration controls, one way to stop them dead in their tracks is to say to them: Show me your plan. They will stare at you blankly. They will be dumbfounded. They won’t know what to say. It is likely that they will simply respond with something like, ‘A nation has the right to control its borders.’ Okay, but what is your plan for making your system of immigration controls work? What is your plan for finally bringing an end to the ongoing, never-ending ‘immigration crisis’ that has lasted for at least 70 years? They will be stymied, frustrated, and confounded. They won’t know what to say. There are two reasons for this.” (04/03/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/04/03/show-immigration-plan/

—–

31) Purpose-driven learning is the only kind that lasts
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Kerry McDonald

“In my forthcoming Unschooled book (now at the publisher!), I highlight the story of a grown unschooler who didn’t really write until he was a teenager. Then, he wanted to communicate with a girl he liked and wanted to impress her. That provided the real and motivating context to write — and to write well. He never had formal writing instruction as an unschooler, but after writing back and forth to the girl, he realized that he liked both the girl and the writing! He became increasingly passionate about writing, ultimately majoring in journalism in college and becoming a successful journalist. When learning is connected to living, it is meaningful.” (04/03/18)

https://fee.org/articles/purpose-driven-learning-is-the-only-kind-that-lasts/

—–

32) Everything keeps changing about the Skripal narrative, except “Russia definitely did it”
Source: Medium
by Caitlin Johnstone

“The latest news update on the notorious Skripal case is that the source of the alleged Novichok poisoning may have been a cereal brought to the Skripals by a family friend who happens to work for a major Russian medical company, hospitalizing them both as well as a police sergeant for some reason. Less than 24 hours earlier, we were informed that the Novichok nerve agent was actually likely administered via the handle of the front door, which according to the New York Times would have been an operation that ‘is seen as so risky and sensitive that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin.’ This is par for course in the immensely plot hole-riddled Skripal case, which since the story broke has been an endless barrage of ever-changing contradictory narratives the details of which nobody is certain of to any degree at all… except that Russia definitely did it.” (04/03/18)

—–

33) Revenue tariffs vs. protectionist tariffs
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Chris Calton

“Protectionism was certainly the justification for the high tariffs, and this argument continued well after the Civil War. Andrew Carnegie himself credited the steel tariff as his reason for pursuing the steel industry as opposed to another venture. When the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was passed in 1930, imposing duties on more than 20,000 imported goods, protectionism was again the justification. Even among the anti-protectionism South, certain exceptions were quietly tolerated, such as the sugar tariff that protected Louisiana and Texas planters, though this was opposed by southerners in other regions. The problem with all of these disputes — tariffs as a tax versus tariffs as a boost to domestic industry — is that there is no fundamental difference between one or the other.” (04/03/18)

https://mises.org/wire/revenue-tariffs-vs-protectionist-tariffs

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34) Everything the left thinks it knows about inequality is wrong
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“Listen to the Dear Leader Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow travellers, and one would think that economic inequality in the UK is going through the roof. ‘We cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality,’ Corbyn said last year. Left-wing commentators such as Polly Toynbee and Will Hutton have in the past claimed inequality is ‘soaring’ and ‘ever-increasing.’ Corbyn has tweeted on this factoid several times, and even preached to the UN in December about burgeoning inequality at a global level. Now, it’s a cliche, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts. And for once, Corbyn is being liberal. Unfortunately, with the truth.” (04/03/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/everything-left-thinks-it-knows-about-inequality-wrong

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35) How the EU can help the new Zimbabwe prosper
Source: Acton Institute
by Ibrahim B Anoba

“The European Union has pledged to assist the new administration in Zimbabwe by reintegrating into the global economy and mending the nation’s strained ties with the international community. It also promised to work with the country in its efforts towards fiscal solvency. This timely support is vital for Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose economic recovery plan has not a moment to waste. The EU’s promises reiterate the good news that the world is ready to take Zimbabwe seriously again. However, the centrality of the EU to this process makes it a decisive player in the success of Zimbabwe.” (04/03/18)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2018/04/03/how-eu-can-help-new-zimbabwe-prosper

—–

36) No sympathy for Amazon
Source: The New Republic
by David Dayen

“Amazon has a Donald Trump problem. For days now, the president has been tweeting about the online retail giant, accusing it of ripping off the U.S. Postal Service, shortchanging state and local governments on taxes, and using these unfair advantages to put countless retailers out of business. ‘Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon,’ he tweeted on Monday. ‘THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country…not a level playing field!’ Trump is almost certainly lashing out at Amazon because its CEO owns The Washington Post, which has been critical of his presidency. And this raises legitimate concerns about creeping authoritarianism.” (04/03/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/147740/no-sympathy-amazon

—–

37) Trump administration is sabotaging the refugee program
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew La Corte

“President Trump has presided over the systematic dismantling of the American refugee resettlement system as we know it. Record low refugee caps, the travel ban, and ‘extreme vetting’ have captured the public’s attention, but the administration has also quietly derailed the refugee program in a myriad of other ways that have long-term implications. The U.S. is on pace for record low refugee admissions in 2018 while the total number of refugees around the world is at a record high. So far in FY 2018 — from October to the end of March — the U.S. has resettled 10,548 refugees, a total woefully short of this year’s cap of 45,000. Not only is the cap the lowest since Congress created the modern refugee program in 1980, but even the share of the cap admitted through March is half of the average share in the same period over the last five years.” (04/03/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/the-trump-administration-is-sabotaging-the-refugee-program/

—–

38) Seeking refuge
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“A good deal of my life has been spent in a half-conscious search for places where a healthy person could function as a healthy person: places where health was accepted rather than resented, where it didn’t have to be hidden. Such places have proven to be scarce. The healthy man or woman is all too often taken as a threat, rather than a friend to perhaps learn from. This stems from the status obsession that has infested mankind. By it, another person’s health undercuts your value as a person. Perhaps the most common coping technique for this in our time is for people to overtly condemn anything they can brand as evil.” (04/03/18)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/seeking-refuge/

—–

39) Unbridgeable gap: Who we were and who we thought we were
Source: Antiwar.com
by Major Danny Sjursen, US Army

“As a lowly, ground-pounding, soldier, I’ve been an embattled police officer of sorts, doing the bidding of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, or their associated proxies across the region. Never, in any tangible sense, did we act in vital American interests or make the world a safer place. In that broader, global sense, we were told the U.S. was a force for good, an ‘indispensable nation,’ a bringer of liberty. In reality, we were a counterproductive force for chaos, the armed wing of an increasing rogue, though ostensibly democratic, regime in Washington.” (04/03/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/danny_sjursen/2018/04/02/unbridgeable-gap-who-we-were-and-who-we-thought-we-were/

—–

40) Poll: Americans support Mueller probe, but want another one for FBI’s spying on Trump
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Most Americans support the special counsel investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but doubt it will lead to charges against President Trump, a new IBD/TIPP Poll shows. Yet, while they support the special counsel investigation, they also say another special counsel needs to be appointed to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Among the more than two-thirds of our 902 poll respondents who said they were following the special counsel investigation ‘closely,’ 56% said they disagreed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should ‘never have been appointed, due to a lack of evidence that the president has actually committed a crime.’ Only 41% agreed with that statement, suggesting support for the ongoing investigation.” (04/03/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/americans-support-mueller-probe-but-want-another-one-for-fbis-spying-on-trump-ibdtipp-poll

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41) Shouldn’t the EPA have learned from the VW emissions scandal?
Source: Continental Telegraph
by Tim Worstall

“[C]onsider higher fleet standards. What will actually happen? Americans don’t get the engines they desire, manufacturers desire to stay in business, they’ll all lie of course. The mpg standards will be gamed and in a decade we’ll find that the fleet on the roads doesn’t meet these new standards. Oh, and GM and Chrysler will need rescuing again, won’t they? We could, of course we could, say but the Yanks are different and they’ll all obey the rules. Oh Yeah? So explain the SUV to us all then? The original set of those CAFE standards said that cars would be held to one standard, car bodies or similar placed upon pick up truck chassis and engine combinations would be held to another, lower, one. At which point car bodies were placed upon pick up truck chassis and engine combinations so that Americans could get the engines they desired and so the SUV was born. OK, now anyone want to insist that people won’t dodge the regulations, lie to gain what they want?” (04/03/18)

http://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2018/04/03/shouldnt-the-epa-have-learned-from-the-vw-emissions-scandal/

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42) A new study shows how American polarization is driven by a team sport mentality, not by disagreement on issues
Source: The Intercept
by Zaid Jilani

“In 2004, then-Senator Barack Obama wowed the country with an address at the Democratic National Convention designed to unite the country and tear down partisan divides. ‘Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes,’ he said. ‘Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.’ … the question of how we fall into color-coded political patterns has gotten even more resonant. … what if the source of this polarization has little do with where people actually fall on the issues, or what people actually believe in? What if people are simply polarized by political labels like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ and what they imagine their opponents to be like more than they are by disagreements over issues like taxes, abortion, and immigration?” (04/03/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/03/politics-liberal-democrat-conservative-republican/

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43) Tariffs are taxes — and a political and economic killer
Source: The American Spectator
by Bob Luddy

“Some government officials now talk about managed trade, which is government intervention. A few government officials managing a market of billions of people and transactions are a prescription for economic regression, not growth. America has tried managed trade before and the consequences were horrific, namely Smoot-Hawley 1930, the tariffs on 20,000 items, which made the Great Depression far worse as foreign countries retaliated and the result was loss of GDP and jobs. In 1934 tariffs were reduced because of these jobs losses. Tariffs are taxes on our citizens. They reduce economic growth and increase the price of goods for all citizens. The Bush steel tariffs of 2002 caused the loss of over 200,000 American jobs. This job loss was self-inflicted by tariffs (AKA taxes). Managed trade and tariffs make all countries poorer and produces no winners.” (04/03/18)

https://spectator.org/tariffs-are-taxes-and-a-political-and-economic-killer/

—–

44) Dollars for decency
Source: The American Prospect
by Robert Reich

“Last Wednesday morning, Laura Ingraham, Fox News’s queen of snark, tweeted that David Hogg (a 17-year-old who survived the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and has been among the eloquent advocates for gun control) ‘whines about’ being rejected by four universities he applied to. She linked to an article from the Daily Wire calling him a ‘gun rights provocateur.’ For Ingraham and Fox News, such cruel, ad-hominem attacks are typical. Vitriol helps boost ratings. After all, Fox is a central part of Donald Trump’s America. And Trump, like Fox News, has made bullying and humiliating people into an art form. But television viewers are also consumers, and the ultimate goal of advertisers isn’t getting them to watch a particular television show. It’s getting them to buy the advertiser’s products. Which has caused a problem for Ingraham. Shortly after Ingraham’s attack on Hogg, he called for Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott the show. Within days, a slew of them did just that.” [editor’s note: Mr. Reich has become less and less relevant with each screed; this might be the last one I bother to post here – SAT] (04/02/18)

http://prospect.org/article/dollars-decency

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45) Trump and his tariffs
Source: CounterPunch
by Vijay Prashad

“Trump has defined the project of making American great again in opposition to China. It is as if a halt to China’s advance will somehow contribute to the greatness of America. But it is clear that Trump will not be allowed to push too hard against China and that his policies will not impact China negatively. Commercial lobbies in the U.S. responded negatively to Trump’s China policy because they feared retaliation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 44 other such associations wrote a stinging letter to Trump asking him not to impose tariffs against China. If the U.S. did so, they wrote, it would ‘trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy.’ Apple, Google and Walmart are among the firms that say that they would not like a trade war with China. They rely upon China for production and for markets. It would be catastrophic for them if China fought back.” (04/03/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/03/trump-and-his-tariffs-2/

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46) (Hot) air let out of California’s climate change lawsuit
Source: Heartland Institute
by William M Briggs

“The California court climate class ordered by a judge has ended — with everybody agreeing the climate has changed. This is good news. It means anybody who calls an oil company representative a ‘Climate denier!’ from now on will either by lying or ignorant. This ought to make for quieter politics.” (04/02/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/04/hot-air-let-out-of-californias-climate-change-lawsuit/

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47) The Post Office scam
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The President of the United States says that the U.S. Postal Service is scamming us by offering shipping discounts to Amazon, the mail-order giant. ‘Post Office scam must stop.’ President Trump is hovering in the vicinity of the right idea. But what about government-required discounts for shippers? Are these scams too? Congress has long required lower postal rates ‘for religious, educational, charitable, political and other non-profit organizations. …’ Robert Shapiro estimates that such mandates cost the agency over a billion dollars a year. The government forces USPS to do a great many things that lose money — things that companies functioning in a free market cannot profitably do.” (04/03/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/04/03/the-post-office-scam/

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48) The art of the Trump trade deal
Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“Is it possible that Donald Trump is winning on trade? Last week, Trump apparently delivered two underappreciated victories as a result of his threat of stiff tariffs and renegotiated trade deals. First, Seoul has agreed to reduce long-standing non-tariff trade barriers that have reduced American exports to Korea. Though the details are still sketchy, the Koreans have agreed to buy more Ford and General Motors Co. cars and trucks and other U.S.-made products. This can only be good news for American workers. The Koreans have also agreed to increase reimbursement rates to American drug and vaccine producers. Even The New York Times grudgingly conceded that the deal ‘represents the type of one-on-one agreement that Mr. Trump says makes the best sense for American companies and workers.’” [editor’s note: I am reserving judgment on this issue, until I see this “trade war” extend beyond … let’s say a month or so? – SAT] [editor’s note: The problem is that if Trump “wins” on trade, it means that American consumers and workers lose – TLK] (04/03/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/stephenmoore/2018/04/03/the-art-of-the-trump-trade-deal-n2467106

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49) The misplaced panic about London’s murder rate
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“‘London murder rate overtakes New York for first time ever after spate of fatal stabbings and shootings,’ declared the Evening Standard. It was a view monotonously echoed throughout the British media, with the BBC even adding the cheerless voice of Leroy Logan, an ex-Met police chief superintendent, who said it was proof that ‘London’s violent traits have become a virus.’ No perspective was offered. No context. And yet perspective and context are exactly what we need. Indeed, the striking story here is not London’s, but New York City’s. Yes, it is true that 46 people have been murdered (including 31 fatal stabbings) in London since the start of the year, a murder rate that, over the past two months, really has exceeded that of NYC’s for the first time ever. But this is as much a story of NYC’s success at reducing the number of murders as it is of London’s failure to do likewise.” (04/03/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-misplaced-panic-about-londons-murder-rate/

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50) I stand by my point that international trade is no net destroyer of jobs
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Autor and Drum insist that the 2.4 million American jobs that Autor and his co-authors identify as being destroyed by trade with China — and that I mention in my op-ed — is a net figure and, hence, evidence against the validity of my point that we should not worry about the particular jobs destroyed by trade because ordinary job churn in America routinely destroys far more jobs than are destroyed by Americans’ trade with non-Americans. That is, Autor and Drum claim that, as a result of Americans’ trade with the Chinese, there are today in America, contrary to my argument, on net 2.4 million fewer jobs. But in fact the nationwide employment changes in America estimated by Autor, et al., are only inferred from industry and regional changes in employment. This inference, I believe, is unjustified.” (04/02/18)

http://cafehayek.com/2018/04/stand-point-international-trade-no-net-destroyer-jobs.html

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

51) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 04/03/18
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“President Trump’s call for US troops to leave Syria and his call to Putin suggesting a summit have left the neocons gasping. Will Trump dare to defy his ‘experts’ and follow through with his promises? If he is opposed to neocons, why does he keep hiring them?” [Flash video] (04/03/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/trump-shifts-on-syria-russia-neocons-go-nuts

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52) Cato Daily Podcast, 04/03/18
Source: Cato Institute

“The ‘initial coin offering’ has taken on the look and feel of an ‘initial public offering’ for equity investors. Are cryptocurrencies equities or commodities? Are they something different entirely? Diego Zuluaga comments.” [various formats] (04/03/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/cryptocurrency-its-own-asset-class

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53) Scott Adams Says, 04/03/18
Source: Scott Adams Says

“Scott Adams talks about the immigrant caravan, DACA, and why it is a good week for President Trump.” [Flash video] (04/03/18)

https://www.periscope.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1kvJpWnkLRMGE

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54) Stossel: Little pink house
Source: Reason

“Susette Kelo bought a run-down home. She fixed it up and painted it pink. Then the government came and took it. ‘Eminent Domain’ has long allowed politicians to grab your property to build roads, railroad tracks, a border wall–anything they claim is for ‘public use.’ But they wanted Kelo’s house so they could give the property to a private developer. Is that right?” [Flash video] (04/03/18)

https://reason.com/reasontv/2018/04/03/stossel-little-pink-house

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55) The Libertarian Angle, 04/03/18
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“What is the best way to educate children? Who decides? Join Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling as they explore.” [various formats] (04/03/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-separate-school-state/

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56) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 50
Source: Libertarianism.org

“On May 19, 1842, Thomas W. Dorr dressed up like Napoleon and ordered his makeshift little army to storm the Providence state arsenal.” [various formats] (04/03/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/civil-war-new-england

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57) Free Talk Live, 04/02/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Condom Challenge Stupidity :: Baton Rouge Cop Admits on Video to Falsifying Reports and Evidence :: Utah Law to Protect Parents of Free Range Kids :: Activism is Important :: Genderqueer Activist’s Advice for Parents :: Mark’s Clothing :: Propaganda :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (04/02/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-04-02

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58) Cyber Law Podcast, episode 210
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy

“In the news roundup, Nick Weaver, Ben Wittes, and I talk about the mild reheating of the encryption debate, sparked not just by renewed FBI pleading but by the collapse of the left-lib claim that building law enforcement access into IT devices is impossible because, uh, math. The National Academy report on encryption access has demonstrated that access is well within the zone of plausible technology policy, with support from a group of prominent tech experts, such as Ray Ozzie, all of whom know math. Speaking of law enforcement, it was a good week for cybercrime enforcement.” [MP3] (04/02/18)

https://reason.com/volokh/2018/04/02/keeper-loser-weeper

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59) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 155
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Polygamy, Star Wars, school boards, failure to report a crime and more.” [various formats] (04/02/18)

https://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-155-sister-wives/

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60) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1125
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Are economists obsessed with ‘efficiency?’” [various formats] (04/02/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1125-are-economists-obsessed-with-efficiency/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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