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

Volume XV, Issue #3,691
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
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In the News:

1) AR: Grandstanding pols vow to kill prisoners one way or another after court blocks
2) FBI agrees to give records to Antiwar.com
3) France: Le Pen attacked on stage by “topless” woman with bunch of flowers after violent street clashes between protesters and cops
4) Brazil: President says ministers under investigation may resign
5) GA: Election seen as Trump political barometer
6) Report: Venezuela illegally issued 10,000 passports to Syrians, Iranians
7) CA: Feinstein hears it at raucous town hall
8) DHS chief not on board with Trump’s anti-cannabis stance
9) Venezuela: El Aissami provided illegal passports to thousands from Middle East
10) This phishing attack is almost impossible to detect on Chrome, Firefox and Opera
11) Turkey: International monitors deliver scathing verdict on referendum
12) Russia: Google to open up Android devices, pay $7.8 million bribe
13) France: Macron, Le Pen edge further ahead of Fillon, Melenchon in poll
14) Hotels, unwilling to compete for your dollar, pressure government to keep you from using Airbnb
15) Robert W. Taylor, 1932-2017
16) Snowden filmmaker learns she was detained more than 50 times at US airports because she was under investigation for filming ambush that killed American soldier in Iraq
17) China’s Korea policy “in tatters” as both North and South defy sanctions
18) Atlanta and NY Fed cut US first quarter GDP view after weak data
19) Israel: Palestinian Arab prisoners launch mass hunger strike
20) Claim: White House may have violated its own ethics rules with Trump’s executive branch hires

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The income tax implies that government owns you
22) The future: Who says robots will occupy our occupations?
23) Glorious tax season
24) Stress, anxiety and depression
25) Why our coercive system of schooling should topple
26) How to structure a deal with North Korea
27) Pour the public education Kool-Aid down the drain
28) Trump’s five worst tax secrets, revealed
29) Is the charitable deduction worth keeping?
30) If you want my attention, pay me
31) Book review: The Art of Fiction by Ayn Rand
32) The national security state was one big mistake
33) A bank even a socialist could love
34) Good news about the “Obamacare Replacement Act”
35) How Trump and Obama are exactly alike
36) Trump has killed “beautiful little babies” in four countries
37) The war on regulation
38) What would libertarian gun policy look like?
39) It’s time to resurrect the counterculture movement
40) Sexual paranoia comes to campus
41) The real educational choice debate isn’t about money. It’s about government control
42) The NES Classic and economics
43) Agreeing with the opposition
44) Turkey needs some Brexit spirit to defeat Erdogan’s tyranny
45) Venezuela and our stupid obsession with US “leadership”
46) Is our political class mentally ill?
47) Democracy more dead
48) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #14: Reality and manner.
49) The moral foundations of the free market society
50) The racist history of minimum wage laws

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Freedom Feens Radio, 04/17/17
52) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 291
53) The Bob Zadek Show, 04/16/17
54) The Freedom Report, 04/17/17
55) Free Talk Live, 04/16/17

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

1) AR: Grandstanding pols vow to kill prisoners one way or another after court blocks
Source: Business Insider

“Arkansas'[s] attorney general and governor are vowing to pursue a series of executions scheduled over the next two weeks even after the state’s Supreme Court halted the first two lethal injections hours before they were to take place. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she will continue to seek justice [sic] for the families of victims and pursue two executions scheduled for Thursday, a pair set for April 24 and one planned for April 27. … Critics have contended that Arkansas'[s] rush to the death chamber was reckless. The state has said it had to act quickly because one of the drugs in its difficult-to-obtain lethal injection mix, the valium-like sedative midazolam, expires at the end of April.” (04/18/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-arkansas-attorney-general-governor-vows-to-pursue-executions-2017-4

—–

2) FBI agrees to give records to Antiwar.com
Source: Courthouse News Service

“In a win for government-transparency advocates, the FBI has agreed to turn over records it created when it spied on two anti-war journalists and pay $299,000 to settle their attorneys’ fees. The deal, which brings to a close a four-year battle for the records under the Freedom of Information Act, is spelled out in two stipulations filed in San Francisco federal court — one on Friday and the other in January. … With the ACLU’s help, Journalists Eric Garris and Dennis Raimondo sued the FBI in 2013, after they learned the agency was monitoring their libertarian news website Antiwar.com.” (04/17/17)

https://www.courthousenews.com/fbi-agrees-give-records-anti-war-reporters/

—–

3) France: Le Pen attacked on stage by “topless” woman with bunch of flowers after violent street clashes between protesters and cops
Source: The Sun [UK]

“Marine Le Pen was attacked on stage by a topless woman with with a bunch of flowers as her campaign rally was marred by protesters throwing missiles at police. The French right-wing leader addressed around 5,000 Front National (FN) supporters at the Zenith concert hall in the north of the city this afternoon, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. But there was chaos on the streets outside as menacing masked demonstrators dressed in black clashed with cops. Troublemakers hurled objects including rocks, chunks of wood and smoke bombs at riot police standing between them and the venue. Officers were seen firing tear gas back in an attempt to keep the mob at bay.” (04/17/17)

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3351145/marine-le-pen-election-rally-protesters-missiles-molotov-cocktails-tear-gas/

—–

4) Brazil: President says ministers under investigation may resign
Source: Reuters

“Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Monday some of his cabinet ministers are likely to resign after being placed under investigation in a massive corruption probe, as he seeks to draw a line under a scandal threatening his sweeping fiscal reforms. Last week a Supreme Court justice opened investigations into eight ministers (nearly a third of Temer’s cabinet) after they were accused of wrongdoing by executives of engineering group Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL] in plea bargain testimonies. The ministers under investigation include close advisers such as Temer’s chief of staff Eliseu Padilha, considered key to negotiations on a landmark pension reform to rein in government spending and runaway public debt.” (04/17/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-temer-idUSKBN17J151

—–

5) GA: Election seen as Trump political barometer
Source: USA Today

“The battle for a House seat in Georgia’s sixth district (with a Tuesday primary election) is becoming a quasi-referendum on President Trump that will probably intensify over the next couple of months. Democrats are rallying behind a 30-year-old political neophyte, Jon Ossoff, who is buoyed by $8.3 million in donations from small Democratic donors from around the country eager to make a statement about their feelings about the new president. If Ossoff captures 50% of the vote in Tuesday’s so-called ‘jungle primary,’ which features 18 candidates including four major GOP contenders, he’ll avoid a June runoff against a single Republican competitor. Polling averages show him falling at least a few points short of that goal, and the most likely outcome is that the battle drags on. ‘If Ossoff does hit 50 percent, it would be a further indication that House Republicans begin the cycle in deep trouble in upscale districts,’ David Wasserman, House editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said in a weekend analysis.” (04/17/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/17/georgia-election-seen-trump-political-barometer/100566456

—–

6) Report: Venezuela illegally issued 10,000 passports to Syrians, Iranians
Source: Fox News

“A former director of Venezuela’s Office of Identification, Migration and Foreigners said that during his 17 months in the post, the socialist government gave at least 10,000 Venezuelan passports and other documents to citizens of Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. In an interview with El Nuevo Herald, Colonel Vladimir Medrano Rengifo said the operation was headed by current Vice President Tareck El Aissami. He said most passports and visas were granted in the Venezuelan Consulate in Damascus, Syria’s capital. ‘Today we don’t know where these people are, nor what they are doing,’ said Medrano, who currently resides in the United States.” (04/17/217)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/17/venezuela-illegally-issued-10000-passports-to-syrians-iranians-report-says.html

—–

7) CA: Feinstein hears it at raucous town hall
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Many of the 1,000 people who attended Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s town hall Monday in San Francisco didn’t necessarily disagree with her, they just wanted her to be louder and more aggressive in opposing the Trump administration. ‘We would like to see her represent her liberal constituency a lot more forcefully,’ said Jegath Athilingam, 27, a neuroscience doctoral student at UC San Francisco. ‘We want to see her take the lead, as someone with her amount of seniority should do.’ At times, the hour-long constituent gathering at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center on 19th Avenue involved Feinstein trying to explain the rhythms of Washington’s slow-moving bureaucracy to an audience made up largely of people who are afraid, frustrated and angry at total Republican control of the government and want something done fast. Over the past five months, Feinstein’s office has received more than 2.5 million calls, emails and notes; typically, it receives 1 million in a year.” (04/17/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Feinstein-hears-it-at-raucous-S-F-town-hall-11078951.php

—–

8) DHS chief not on board with Trump’s anti-cannabis stance
Source: Smell the Truth

“At least one Trump administration official isn’t spewing the same anti-marijuana comments as his colleagues are. In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly told host Chuck Todd that marijuana is ‘not a factor’ in the ongoing drug war, reports the Washington Post. In the interview, Todd asks Kelly if marijuana legalization would alter border efforts to control drug smuggling. ‘Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,’ answered Kelly. Kelly then went on to explain which illegal substances are actually worth the concern.” (04/17/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/04/17/homeland-security-chief-not-on-board-with-trump-administrations-anti-marijuana-stance

—–

9) Venezuela: El Aissami provided illegal passports to thousands from Middle East
Source: PanAm Post

“The Hugo Chavez government has promoted human trafficking worldwide with the illegal delivery of at least 10,000 Venezuelan passports to citizens of Syria, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East. Venezuelan Colonel Vladimir Medrano Rengifo, former Director General of the Office of Identification, Migration, and Foreigners, told El Nuevo Herald that the South American country had issued at least 800 fraudulent passports a month between May 2008 and October 2009.” (04/17/17)

https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2017/04/17/venezuelan-el-aissami-provided-passports-terrorists/

—–

10) This phishing attack is almost impossible to detect on Chrome, Firefox and Opera
Source: The Hacker News

“A Chinese infosec researcher has discovered a new ‘almost impossible to detect’ phishing attack that can be used to trick even the most careful users on the Internet. He warned, Hackers can use a known vulnerability in the Chrome, Firefox and Opera web browsers to display their fake domain names as the websites of legitimate services, like Apple, Google, or Amazon to steal login or financial credentials and other sensitive information from users.” (04/17/17)

http://thehackernews.com/2017/04/unicode-Punycode-phishing-attack.html

—–

11) Turkey: International monitors deliver scathing verdict on referendum
Source: CNN

“International election monitors have delivered a scathing verdict on the conduct of Turkey’s controversial referendum to grant expansive new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Representatives from a coalition of international bodies said the vote took place on an ‘unlevel playing field’ with the ‘yes’ campaign dominating media coverage. Voters were not provided with adequate information, opposition voices were muzzled and the rules were changed at the last minute, they said. … Erdogan’s margin of victory in the referendum was razor-thin. Despite a state of emergency and a widespread crackdown on dissent, he succeeded in persuading only 51.4% of voters to back his constitutional upheaval.” (04/17/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/17/europe/turkey-referendum-results-erdogan/

—–

12) Russia: Google to open up Android devices, pay $7.8 million bribe
Source: TechCrunch

“Google has reached a settlement with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) agency in the antitrust case the Russian search rival Yandex had originally filed, claiming Google had violated local competition rules. The case revolved around how Google had required handset makers to pre-load their devices with Google apps and services in order to also gain access the Google Play Store application. FAS had imposed a fine of 438M RUB (~$7.8M) on Google …. Per the terms of the agreement, Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android devices in Russia, and it will not restrict the pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications — including on the Android home screen, FAS states.” (04/17/17)

https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/17/google-reaches-7-8-million-settlement-in-its-android-antitrust-case-in-russia/

—–

13) France: Macron, Le Pen edge further ahead of Fillon, Melenchon in poll
Source: US News & World Report

“French centrist Emmanuel Macron is set to top the voting in the first round of France’s presidential election ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and their leads over conservative Francois Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon have widened, a poll showed on Monday. The Elabe poll for magazine L’Express showed Macron winning 24 percent of the vote on Sunday, up from 23.5 percent the last time the survey was conducted a week ago. Le Pen’s score also improved slightly, rising to 23 percent from 22.5 percent, which would put her and Macron on course to face off in a May 7 runoff that he was seen winning by 62 percent to 38 percent.” (04/17/17)

—–

14) Hotels, unwilling to compete for your dollar, pressure government to keep you from using Airbnb
Source: engadget

“There’s no doubt that the hotel industry hates Airbnb — the home sharing service lures many would-be customers away through lower rates and the perks that come from staying in someone else’s abode. So how does it fight back? By pushing the government to crack down. The New York Times has learned that the American Hotel and Lodging Association has been conducting a ‘multipronged, national’ lobbying and research campaign to have politicians impose or toughen restrictions, selectively collect taxes and draw attention to the negative side-effects of home sharing. Reportedly, the AHLA is partly responsible for at least some of the higher-profile regulatory moves against Airbnb in the past year.” (04/17/17)

https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/17/hotels-fight-airbnb-through-lobbying/

—–

15) Robert W. Taylor, 1932-2017
Source: The Hacker News

“The Internet just lost one of its most prominent innovators. Robert W. Taylor, a computer scientist who was instrumental in creating the Internet as well as the modern personal computer, has died at the age of 85. Mr. Taylor, who is best known as the mastermind of ARPAnet (precursor of the Internet), had Parkinson’s disease and died on Thursday at his home in Woodside, California, his son Kurt Kurt Taylor told US media.” (04/16/17)

http://thehackernews.com/2017/04/rip-robert-taylor-internet.html

—–

16) Snowden filmmaker learns she was detained more than 50 times at US airports because she was under investigation for filming ambush that killed American soldier in Iraq
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“An Oscar Award-winning filmmaker has finally learned why she was stopped whenever she returned to the US for more than 10 years. … On November 20, 2004, [Laura] Poitras was in Baghdad filming ‘My Country, My Country.’ The film depicts Iraqi elections from the perspective of an Iraqi doctor, who criticized the American occupation yet hoped democracy would take root in his homeland. Members of a US Army National Guard unit from Oregon reported seeing a ‘white female’ holding a camera on a rooftop just before they were attacked. David Roustum, 22, an Army National Guardsman from West Seneca, New York, was killed. Several troops were wounded. Some guardsmen who saw Poitras suspected she had a heads-up about the attack and didn’t share that information with American forces because she wanted to film it. If true, Poitras would have broken American criminal law. The Academy Award winner called the allegation false and said she did not film the attack.” (04/17/17)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4418438/Snowden-filmmaker-learns-detained-airports.html

—–

17) China’s Korea policy “in tatters” as both North and South defy sanctions
Source: Washington Post

“More than half a century ago, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers died in the Korean War, fighting on the side of their Communist allies against the American-backed South. Yet today, China finds itself in the uncomfortable position of falling out with both the Communist North and capitalist South of this troublesome peninsula, imposing sanctions on both countries but getting no satisfaction from either. On Monday, South Korea announced it would press ahead with the ‘swift deployment’ of an American missile defense system despite relentless and vociferous Chinese opposition. … On Sunday, North Korea ignored China’s pleadings not to raise regional tensions by conducting another missile test, albeit one that failed.” (04/17/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinas-korea-policy-in-tatters-as-both-north-and-south-defy-sanctions/2017/04/17/50da5e28-22f2-11e7-928e-3624539060e8_story.html

—–

18) Atlanta and NY Fed cut US first quarter GDP view after weak data
Source: Reuters

“The Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve banks downgraded their outlook for U.S. economic growth for the first quarter after disappointing data on retail sales and consumer prices in March. First-quarter gross domestic product was on track to grow 0.5 percent, which was lower than the 0.6 percent growth rate calculated on April 7, the Atlanta Fed said. The New York Fed said on Friday its first-quarter GDP forecast was 2.09 percent, down from 2.56 percent a week earlier.” (04/17/17)

—–

19) Israel: Palestinian Arab prisoners launch mass hunger strike
Source: Yahoo! News

“Palestinian prisoners have launched one of the biggest hunger strikes in recent years in a protest against prison conditions. As many as 1,500 prisoners could be participating in the strikes, which have been planned to coincide with the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. The strike also comes ahead of commemorations this summer marking 50 years since the 1967 Six Day War and the start of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The strike has been called for by prominent Palestinian prisoner and leader Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving a life sentence over his role in the second Palestinian intifada — or uprising.” (04/17/17)

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/palestinian-prisoners-launch-mass-hunger-strike-israeli-jails-113000707.html

—–

20) Claim: White House may have violated its own ethics rules with Trump’s executive branch hires
Source: Business Insider

“The Trump administration may be entangling itself in another ethical landmine. In this case, the White House could have violated its own ethics rules with at least two hires, a New York Times and ProPublica investigation found. One potential conflict involves Michael Catanzaro, who is the White House’s top energy adviser. Until last year, The Times and ProPublica found, Catanzaro was working as a lobbyist for the fossil-fuel industry …. Another possible ethical dilemma involves Chad Wolf. The Times and ProPublica investigation found that Wolf, the chief of staff at the Transportation Security Administration, spent the past several years lobbying the TSA to secure funding for a new screening device for carry-on luggage that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. … Determining whether the White House violated its own ethics rules by hiring lobbyists is a murky area, however, because the investigation also found the Trump administration had secretly been issuing waivers to the rules it first introduced in a stated effort to increase transparency.” (04/16/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/ethics-trump-lobbyists-bankers-white-house-2017-4

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

21) The income tax implies that government owns you
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“We desperately need a serious national movement to get rid of it — not reform it, not replace it, no flatten it or refocus its sting from this group to that. It just needs to go. The great essayist Frank Chodorov once described the income tax as the root of all evil. His target was not the tax itself, but the principle behind it. Since its implementation in 1913, he wrote, ‘The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.”” (04/17/17)

https://fee.org/articles/the-income-tax-implies-that-government-own-you/

—–

22) The future: Who says robots will occupy our occupations?
Source: HubPages
by Gary Reed

“Nobody can accurately predict the future yet today we’re being told that a humankind smart enough to create robots is too stupid to create whole new industries and institutions for itself. People who buy into this are helping to create a perfect storm that will benefit authoritarian collectivists, progressives, social justice warriors, income redistributors and statists of all kinds. Demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage is steadily driving fast food operators and many other businesses into the mechanized arms of robots to automate their operations.” (04/16/17)

https://hubpages.com/business/The-Future-Who-Says-Robots-will-Occupy-Our-Occupations

—–

23) Glorious tax season
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Per Bylund

“Tax season is here. This is a time to celebrate. No, I mean it. Not because the State makes its claim on our hard-earned monies known, but because of what is on everybody’s mind and the type of activity we’re all involved with. Seldom is the State as present in our pockets (and pocket books) as in mid-April every year, when we either learn that we have inadvertently paid even more than the State thinks is its ‘fair share’ of our earnings, or learn that even the outrageous amounts we have already paid weren’t enough. And to make matters worse, we waste a lot of productive time to fill out forms and collect receipts — for the only purpose of proving to the State that we didn’t keep any income from them. But if we think about it, what tax season really means is that taxation, or legal extortion by the State, is on everybody’s mind.” (04/17/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/economics/glorious-tax-season/

—–

24) Stress, anxiety and depression
Source: The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty

“When you believe something, yet see clear proof that it is not true or right, you have some choices… You can accept the reality and seek to learn the truth, releasing the false belief. Or you eventually break down into this ‘mental illness’ which so often leads to self destruction or violence against others. The desire to control others, the lust for power and the willingness to destroy both themselves and others in order to gain that power … This is the root of the evil, and the worst addiction in the world.” (04/17/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/04/17/stress-anxiety-and-depression/

—–

25) Why our coercive system of schooling should topple
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Peter Gray

“I’ve been called a crazy optimist, a Pollyanna, a romantic idealist. How can I believe that our system of compulsory schooling is about to collapse? People point out that in many ways the schooling system is stronger now than ever. It occupies more of children’s time, gobbles up more public funds, employs more people, and is more firmly controlled by government — and at ever-higher levels of government — than has ever been true in the past. So why do I believe it’s going to collapse — slowly at first and then more rapidly — over the next ten years or so? Here are four reasons …” (04/17/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/coercive-system-schooling-topple-2

—–

26) How to structure a deal with North Korea
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“One of the most useful things I learned in business school was that you can usually make a deal whenever the parties involved don’t want full control of the same limited resources. That’s why a peace deal in Israel is impossible: both sides want the same land. But that’s a rare situation (fortunately). The more normal situation is the one we see with North Korea and the United States. The United States doesn’t want the same limited resource that North Korea wants. And China has their own interests. That kind of situation almost always means you can reach a deal if you look hard enough. At the moment, we have about 75% of what we need for a nuclear deal with North Korea. Both the United States and China are putting unprecedented economic and military pressure on North Korea, and that means North Korea will start to get flexible. But without the remaining 25% of what is needed for a deal, no breakthrough is possible. North Korea is unlikely to agree to anything that makes it seem as if it caved to pressure from the United States. You have to solve for that to get a deal. That is the missing 25%. So let me tell you how to do that.” (04/17/17)

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/159673746011/how-to-structure-a-deal-with-north-korea

—–

27) Pour the public education Kool-Aid down the drain
Source: Heartland Institute
by Teresa Mull

“The Obama administration, like many of its predecessors, spent billions propping up failing public schools, and what did we get for all our hard-earned tax dollars? High-school graduates are worse off. But many in the general public, having drunk the pro-public-schools Kool-Aid, mixed mainly by the nation’s corrupt and powerful teachers’ unions, are largely under the delusion that public education is a great and sacred institution worthy of preservation — no matter what.” (04/17/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/04/pour-the-public-education-kool-aid-down-the-drain/

—–

28) Trump’s five worst tax secrets, revealed
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“Thousands of demonstrators marched on Saturday to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. But, barring an unexpected surprise (a W2 form issued by Vladimir Putin, or a 1099 from mafia boss Anthony ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno), we already know Trump’s ugliest tax secrets. We will reveal those secrets … right after this break. Many readers will recognize this reference to Rachel Maddow’s televised release of Trump’s 2005 tax return, The MSNBC host kept her viewers in suspense for a total of 84 minutes, before learning that Trump paid an effective federal tax rate of 24 percent that year. That was considered an anticlimax. It even led some observers to speculate that Trump might have leaked the return himself, since many people had assumed that Trump hadn’t paid any federal taxes at all for years. That gets us to Trump’s first terrible tax secret: his tax return for that year was not unusual.” [editor’s note: Although this is mostly “progressive” whining about “tax fairness” he stumbles on a few valid points – SAT] (04/17/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170417/trumps-five-worst-tax-secrets-revealed

—–

29) Is the charitable deduction worth keeping?
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“House Republicans are preparing a tax reform plan that would lower personal income tax rates for many households, increase the standard deduction, and eliminate all itemized deductions — except those for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Lowering marginal tax rates while tightening loopholes is hard to argue with — but why keep those two?” (04/17/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/charitable-deduction/

—–

30) If you want my attention, pay me
Source: USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“Columbia law professor Tim Wu thinks your attention is being stolen. And he’s not happy about it. He’s not talking about TV commercials, which pay for the show that you’re watching. He’s talking about ads that seize your attention while giving you nothing in return. He has a special dislike of gas station TV, in which saccharine fake newscasts appear on the pump while you fill your car, tethered by a short length of hose. But that’s not all, Wu writes: ‘In that genre are things like the new, targeted advertising screens found in hospital waiting rooms (broadcasting things like The Newborn Channel for expecting parents); the airlines that play full-volume advertising from a screen right in front of your face; the advertising screens in office elevators; or that universally unloved invention known as ‘Taxi TV.’ These are just few examples in what is a growing category. Combined, they threaten to make us live life in a screen-lined cocoon.’ To this, I’d add lame autoplay videos that start up when you go to a text page.” (04/17/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/04/17/robocalls-tv-commercials-ads-glenn-reynolds-column/100548902

—–

31) Book review: The Art of Fiction by Ayn Rand
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“I had read pretty well everything Ayn Rand had written during her lifetime but there are some of her posthumously published works I had not got around to. This is one of them. It is an edited transcript of a series of informal discussion she held with friends and fans in her living room in 1958, finally edited and published in 2000. And it is a terrific addition to her works.” (04/16/17)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2017/04/book-review-art-of-fiction-by-ayn-rand.html

—–

32) The national security state was one big mistake
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“For months and even years after the Berlin Wall came crashing down, there were right-wingers who were warning that it was all a gigantic ruse on the part of the communists, one designed to get America to let down its guard. As soon as that happened, the communists would strike. After all, as every member of the conservative movement and the national-security establishment asserted throughout the Cold War, one could never trust a communist. But the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were more than shocked over the end of the Cold War. They were also frightened. They knew that their very existence was based on the Cold War and so-called communist threat. With no Cold War and no worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow, people were likely to ask: Why do we still need a national-security state?” (04/17/17)

http://www.fff.org/2017/04/17/national-security-state-one-big-mistake/

—–

33) A bank even a socialist could love
Source: In These Times
by David Dayen

“‘Money is a utility that belongs to all of us,’ says Walt McRee. McRee is a velvety-voiced former broadcaster now plotting an audacious challenge to the financial system. He’s leading a monthly conference call as chair of the Public Banking Institute (PBI), an educational and advocacy force formed seven years ago to break Wall Street’s stranglehold on state and municipal finance. ‘This is one of the biggest eye-openers of my life,” says Rebecca Burke, a New Jersey activist on the call. “Once you see it, you can’t look back.’ This ragtag group (former teachers, small business owners, social workers) wants to charter state and local banks across the country. These banks would leverage tax revenue to make low-interest loans for local public works projects, small businesses, affordable housing and student loans, spurring economic growth while saving people (and the government) money.” [editor’s note: Only a “progressive” would phrase that last part this way; we libertarians would just say “saving taxpayers money” – SAT] (04/17/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20044/the-fight-for-public-banking

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34) Good news about the “Obamacare Replacement Act”
Source: Downsize DC
by Perry Willis and Jim Babka

“Senator Rand Paul’s ‘Obamacare Replacement Act’ (S. 222) is gaining traction. It has a new co-sponsor in the Senate — Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Even better … The bill has also been introduced in the House (H.R. 1072) by Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and it already has 7 Republican, co-sponsors …” (04/17/17)

https://downsizedc.org/blog/good-news-obamacare-replacement

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35) How Trump and Obama are exactly alike
Source: CounterPunch
by Sam Husseini

“Trump won the 2016 nomination and election largely because he was able to pose as a populist and anti-interventionist ‘America Firster.’ Similarly, Obama won the 2008 election in good part because he promised ‘hope and change’ and because he had given a speech years earlier against the then-impending invasion of Iraq. Short of disclosure of diaries or other documents from these politicians, we can’t know for certain if they planned on reversing much of what they promised or if the political establishment compelled them to change, but they both eventually perpetrated a massive fraud. What is perhaps most striking is actually how quickly each of them backtracked on their alleged purpose.” (04/17/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/17/92072/

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36) Trump has killed “beautiful little babies” in four countries
Source: OpEdNews
by Chris Ernesto

“US president Donald Trump sounded sincere when he described how he felt after seeing pictures of ‘beautiful little babies’ allegedly killed by a Syrian government chemical weapons attack on April 4. ‘These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,’ said Trump, and hours later, the US launched nearly 60 tomahawk missiles in response to the allegations. But what about the beautiful little babies killed by US bombs since Trump became president? Is Trump not concerned about those children because they were killed by his missiles, and not Assad’s alleged chemical weapons? In the first three months of his presidency, Trump has dropped bombs — and killed children – in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.” (04/17/17)

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Trump-has-killed-beautifu-by-Chris-Ernesto-Airstrikes_Al-Qaeda_Assad_Children-170417-581.html

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37) The war on regulation
Source: The American Prospect
by Rena Steinzor

“A cornerstone of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign was his declaration of war on regulation and the agencies that write it. He has promised repeatedly to get rid of 75 percent of rules now on the books. More recently, Steve Bannon, the chief policy guru in the Trump White House, defined the mission of the war more accurately as ‘deconstruction of the administrative state.’ Ten days after taking office, Trump issued an executive order to accomplish his regulatory pledge by requiring agencies to kill two rules for every new one they propose, and has held a press event to announce further attacks almost every day. Another major tool is the legislative veto of so-called ‘midnight’ rules issued by the Obama administration in its last five months in office and the passage of ‘regulatory reform’ legislation that would make future rulemaking very difficult. All of these changes are a dream come true for corporate lobbyists. The oil and gas industry alone spends $300 million annually to lobby Congress, and fields three lobbyists per member.” (04/17/17)

http://prospect.org/article/war-regulation-0

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38) What would libertarian gun policy look like?
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Elijah J Henry

“A libertarian gun policy would involve strict application of the zero aggression principle, and little to no government involvement. How would these concepts affect current gun laws, if properly implemented? Let’s take a look.” (04/17/17)

https://thelibertarianalliance.com/2017/04/17/what-would-libertarian-gun-policy-look-like/

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39) It’s time to resurrect the counterculture movement
Source: The Nation
by Ira Chernus

“You could hear the deep sadness in the preacher’s voice as he named ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.’ With those words, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a scathing indictment of America’s war in Vietnam. It was April 4, 1967. His antiwar sermon seemed to signal a new high tide of opposition to a brutal set of American policies in Southeast Asia. Just 11 days later, unexpectedly large crowds would come out in New York and San Francisco for the first truly massive antiwar rallies. Back then, a protest of at least a quarter of a million seemed ‘yuge.’ King signaled another turning point by concluding his speech with ‘something even more disturbing’ — something that would deeply disturb the developing antiwar movement as well. ‘The war in Vietnam,’ he said, ‘is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit.'” (04/17/17)

https://www.thenation.com/article/its-time-to-resurrect-the-counterculture-movement

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40) Sexual paranoia comes to campus
Source: Reason
by Laura Kipnis

“Future generations will look back on the recent upheavals in sexual culture on American campuses and see officially sanctioned hysteria. They’ll wonder how supposedly rational people could have succumbed so easily to collective paranoia, just as we look back on previous such outbreaks (Salem, McCarthyism, the Satanic ritual abuse trials of the 1980s) with condescension and bemusement. They’ll wonder how the federal government got into the moral panic business, tossing constitutional rights out the window in an ill-conceived effort to protect women from a rapidly growing catalogue of sexual bogeymen. They’ll wonder why anyone would have described any of this as feminism when it’s so blatantly paternalistic, or as ‘political correctness’ when sexual paranoia doesn’t have any predictable political valence. (Neither does sexual hypocrisy.) Restoring the most fettered versions of traditional femininity through the back door is backlash, not progress.” (04/17/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/04/17/sexual-paranoia-comes-to-campus

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41) The real educational choice debate isn’t about money. It’s about government control
Source: Independent Institute
by Vicki Alger

“Last week I had the pleasure of speaking about the future of school choice at an event hosted in Washington, DC, by the Independent Women’s Forum, featuring The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke and SAVE President Edward Bartlett. The core issue of this public policy debate is not about money. It’s about competing visions over who has the right and responsibility for the education and upbringing of children. The rationale animating the creation of the US Department of Education is that government knows best.” (04/17/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/04/17/the-real-educational-choice-debate-isnt-about-money-its-about-government-control/

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42) The NES Classic and economics
Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“For those unaware, Nintendo recently released a mini-console for $60, which contained 30 classic NES games …. Naturally, the thing sold very well, but Nintendo notoriously has problems with supply and did the same thing with their Amiibos (which are little toys that interact with some of their games). Nintendo repeatedly failed to manufacture enough Amiibos to meet demand, which led to accusations that they were doing it on purpose (in fact, one can conclude nothing else, since they publicly addressed the problem and then did nothing to fix it). This obviously created scalpers, and scalpers are getting a lot of criticism. Some enterprising individual pops into Wal-Mart, buys an NES Classic for $60, and then posts it on eBay for $100 (or whatever price), pocketing the profit. This is actually a good thing, economically, but it’s a band-aid to the situation. Realistically, Nintendo should be the ones directly increasing the price of the NES Classic, instead of continuing to sell them for $60. In fact, thanks to the scalpers, there is no shortage.” (04/17/17)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2017/04/17/the-nes-classic-economics/

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43) Agreeing with the opposition
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“I have sometimes said that I agree with ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ each about half of the time: when they are right by opposing the opposition. That may be a slight exaggeration — they are probably right less often than that. I agree more often with ‘conservatives’ who are criticizing ‘liberals’ than I do with ‘liberals’ who are criticizing ‘conservatives.’ I have wondered why this is.” (04/17/17)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2017/04/agreeing-with-opposition.html

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44) Turkey needs some Brexit spirit to defeat Erdogan’s tyranny
Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“Some European observers, who, post-Brexit, view every referendum as a threat to stability, if not a Hitlerian device of mayhem, are talking about Erdogan’s referendum to give himself sweeping powers in the same breath as the Brexit referendum. Both the ‘Brexit and Erdogan referendums are illegitimate,’ says philosopher turned anti-democrat AC Grayling. A Europe ‘traumatised by Brexit’ hasn’t a leg to stand on when it comes to challenging the authoritarian Erdogan, says a writer for the Guardian. These attempts to link Brexit with Erdogan are beyond wrong. In truth, Erdogan’s campaign to weaken parliamentary democracy in order to sideline pesky oppositionists and to streamline political decision-making is far more in keeping with the Remainer / EU worldview than with Brexit. It’s another expression of the 21st-century elite turn against democratic ideals that the anti-Brexit sentiment, the establishment fury with the Trump throng, and Brussels’ power-grabbing constitutions — rejected by millions of Europeans — also express and embody.” (04/17/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/turkey-needs-some-brexit-spirit-to-defeat-erdogans-tyranny/

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45) Venezuela and our stupid obsession with US “leadership”
Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Another unwelcome side-effect of believing that the U.S. has the responsibility to ‘police’ the world is a tendency to think that other countries’ problems stem from a lack of ‘American leadership.’ Jackson Diehl offers the latest example of this error: ‘Still, Venezuela also tells a story of the eclipse of American leadership. For at least the past 100 years, the United States’ conception of its international mission included a determination not to allow another state in the Western hemisphere to fail.’ Considering that the U.S. has toppled governments in invasions, supported coups, or fueled civil wars in many of these countries, that is a questionable interpretation of what U.S. policy in our hemisphere has been for the past century. Regardless, Venezuela’s awful descent into ruin under Chavez and Maduro is not something that could have realistically been averted with more U.S. ‘leadership.'” (04/17/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/venezuela-and-our-stupid-obsession-with-u-s-leadership/

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46) Is our political class mentally ill?
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Our society is experiencing an episode of what can only be called mass psychosis. Is it a temporary thing, or are we headed for a large-scale mental breakdown? Is it just the political class, or is it contagious — is it spreading to the general population via the media? And, most importantly, is there a cure? I don’t have the answers to most of these questions, but one thing I do know: yes, the media is indeed the transmission belt that projects the sadism, the paranoia, and the all around general madness that originates in our sick political class, and carries it to the general population.” (04/17/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/04/16/is-our-political-class-mentally-ill/

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47) Democracy more dead
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘Turkey’s democracy died today,’ CNN headlined its report on yesterday’s national constitutional referendum. The measure contained 18 significant changes designed to further empower the country’s already seemingly all-powerful President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. CNN is behind the times. Turkey hasn’t been a real democracy for some time.” (04/17/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/04/17/democracy-more-dead/

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48) Baltasar Gracian’s aphorism #14: Reality and manner.
Source: WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy

“The aphorism is clear and particularly needed in our society because manners do not seem to be valued or taught. I remember how impressed I was with my neighbor because she taught her son to always acknowledge a gift through a ‘thank you’ note. That level of courtesy is rare. Most people do not even know how to apologize … even those who think they do often get it wrong.” (04/17/17)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.7938

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49) The moral foundations of the free market society
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“Higher education in the United States is engulfed in an ideological campaign against the American political and economic traditions of individual liberty, free competitive markets, and constitutionally limited government. In its place is the ‘progressive’ agenda of collectivist identity politics, the regulatory and redistributive interventionist economy, and political plunder and power. Both ‘scientific’ and casual surveys of political orientation and bias in American academia have strongly highlighted the large ‘left-of-center’ majority among college and university professors. Conservatives and classical liberal/libertarians are relatively few and far between at most institutions of higher learning. But the worst of it is not simply the marginalizing of those usually labeled as on the political ‘right,’ but the growing intolerance of any views other than the left-of-center majoritarian ones.” (04/17/17)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/moral-foundations-free-market-society/

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50) The racist history of minimum wage laws
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Chris Calton

“In 1966, Milton Friedman wrote an op-ed for Newsweek entitled ‘Minimum Wage Rates.’ In it, he argued ‘that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books.’ He was, of course, referring to the then-present era, after the far more explicitly racist laws from the slavery and segregation eras of United States history had already been done away with. But his observation about the racist effects of minimum wage laws can be traced back to the nineteenth century, and they continue to have a disproportionately deleterious effect on African-Americans into the present day.” (04/17/17)

https://mises.org/blog/racist-history-minimum-wage-laws

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

51) Freedom Feens Radio, 04/17/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Phil Pollard, Jeremy Heisenkitten, and Michael W. Dean yak about the wonders of Roku, the Stooges documentary — Gimme Danger, MWD exchanging snail mail with Iggy Pop, and Phil explains how ‘Sharing is not communism, and communism is not sharing.’ In the second hour, there’s talk of Jesus memes, the uselessness of perfect pitch, why MK isn’t around anymore, mocking of C4SS, phone freaking, and the latest Antifa/Trump supporters beat downs in Berkley.” [various formats] (04/17/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14342

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52) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 291
Source: Lions of Liberty

“In today’s episode, host Marc Clair is joined by actor, director and long-time progressive radio personality, the host of ‘The Majority Report,’ Sam Seder! Marc and Sam manage to have a nearly hour-long dialogue about politics without devolving into yelling and name-calling. Yes, folks, it can be done!” [various formats] (04/17/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/04/17/291/

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53) The Bob Zadek Show, 04/16/17
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“Kevin Shaw was doing his part, handing out Spanish-language constitutions to his fellow community college students at Pierce College in Los Angeles, when a campus administrator informed him that he would have to relocate to a 616-square-foot ‘Free Speech Zone.’ Shaw knew his rights, and got in touch with the only organization that knows how to fight back: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Since FIRE filed a lawsuit against the LA Community College School District, the L.A. Times has come out with an editorial in support of Shaw and his right to free speech at Pierce. Marieke Tuthill-Beck Coon is an attorney with FIRE, who joins the show to discuss the case.” [various formats] (04/16/17)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2017/4/16/whose-free-speech-our-free-speech

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54) The Freedom Report, 04/17/17
Source: The Libertarian Republic

“Conspiracy Radio host Alex Jones is in a bitter custody battle for his children with his former wife. Jones’ attorney Randall Wilhite told District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that his client shouldn’t be evaluated based on his appearances on his popular broadcasts on Infowars.com. Wilhite argued that judging Jones as a father in such a way would be akin to judging Jack Nicholson based on his appearance as The Joker in ‘Batman.’ … If that’s true, then would that be a conflict of interest for someone to sell water filters if they didn’t really believe that the government was poisoning it with fluoride? Why do people believe in such wild conspiracy theories anyway?” [various formats] (04/17/17)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.podbean.com/e/alex-jones-lawyer-hes-playing-a-character/

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55) Free Talk Live, 04/16/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“High School Fight Controversy :: Violent Clashes in Berkeley :: Trump Trolled by Tax Day Protestors :: Hillary :: Antifascists vs White Nationalists :: Public Radio :: Defecting to North Korea :: Domestic Violence :: Economics in One Lesson :: Farming and Speculators :: HR McMaster Psychopath :: Cops Do Nothing At Berkeley Conflict :: Court Lies to Lady :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Jonny Ray.” [Flash audio or MP3] (04/16/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-04-16

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****