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

Volume XV, Issue #3,699
Friday, April 28th, 2017
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In the News:

1) US: Former political prisoner Barrett Brown arrested, apparently for talking to media
2) File under “the terrorists win”: Portland parade organizers cancel event due to Antifa threats
3) Afghanistan: Two US troops killed, one wounded
4) India: Regime bans social media in Kashmir in attempt to suppress military abuse videos
5) Trump’s immigrant crime hotline trolled with calls about aliens and UFOs
6) US Senate panel votes in favor of Gottlieb to run FDA
7) Obama’s $400k Wall Street speech leaves liberal base stunned
8) New Silicon Valley perk: paid time off to protest
9) US jobless claims jump to one-month high of 257k
10) Pentagon proves Flynn’s foreign payments
11) NE: Judge overturns beer prohibition near Indian reservations
12) Scientists have found a no-frills way to build on Mars
13) Chili peppers, cannabis help treat type 1 diabetes & upset stomachs
14) CT: Bill would allow cops to use killer drones
15) Russian spy ship collides with freighter, sinks in Black Sea
16) Trump tells Canada and Mexico he won’t terminate NAFTA, will seek renegotiation instead
17) Quadruple jeopardy: Court rules that prosecutors can just try a guy over and over until they get him
18) Trump’s war on the American economy: May use “national security” ruse to raise aluminum, steel prices
19) Syria: Overnight explosion rocks Damascus; regime blames Israel
20) Hollywood-friendly copyright bill passes House of Representatives

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) CIA director Pompeo doesn’t understand the First Amendment
22) Torturing the truth: The tax cut debate vs. the English language
23) Forget Reagan: Trump’s tax plan is more like George W. Bush
24) The FBI and Hillary, again
25) Why Trump should mend ties with Russia
26) Merge, bail, and make out like a bandit
27) Civil forfeiture has ruined countless lives. It’s long overdue for reform
28) Quality of government, not size, is the key to freedom and prosperity
29) With Trump, Millennials finally get their tax cut
30) Exposing the tangled webs of insurance networks
31) Bill Nye is anti-science
32) The environmentally friendly internal combustion engine
33) Ivanka Trump is successful; get over it
34) Communism’s bloody legacy turns 100
35) Tax cuts defund [sic] the very things that boost the economy
36) Taxing
37) Donald Trump is bad, not mad
38) Tax cuts will spur economic growth
39) Why all central banks’ e-currencies will fail horribly
40) Fate of Venezuela hinges on unity of opposition
41) Canada too nice to stand up to Trump
42) America First? Not so fast! What we’ve learned from 100 days of Trump foreign policy
43) A “government shutdown” may be a good thing
44) The mob vetoes Ann Coulter
45) UN-appealing
46) Another lawsuit tries to force an ISP into being a copyright cop
47) Venezuela ablaze
48) Minimum Deterrence as a Vulnerability in the Market Provision of National Defense
49) Funny stuff, winning the war
50) Are oil prices to blame for the Venezuelan crisis?

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Reason Podcast, 04/27/17
52) Freedom Feens Radio, 04/27/17
53) Free Talk Live, 04/26/17
54) Theodore Postol on The Scott Horton Show
55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 897

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

1) US: Former political prisoner Barrett Brown arrested, apparently for talking to media
Source: The Intercept

“Award-winning journalist Barrett Brown was re-arrested and taken into custody Thursday, the day before he was scheduled to be interviewed for a PBS documentary. Brown quickly became a symbol of the attack on press freedom after he was arrested in 2012 for reporting he did on the hacked emails of intelligence-contracting firms. … Faced with the possibility of 100 years in prison, Brown pleaded guilty in 2014 to two charges related to obstruction of justice and threatening an FBI agent, and was sentenced to five years and 3 months. … He was released in November. … According to his mother, who spoke with Brown by phone after his arrest, Brown believes the reason for his re-arrest was a failure to obtain ‘permission’ to give interviews to media organizations.” (04/27/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/27/formerly-imprisoned-journalist-barrett-brown-taken-back-into-custody-before-pbs-interview/

—–

2) File under “the terrorists win”: Portland parade organizers cancel event due to Antifa threats
Source: Washington Post

“For 10 years, the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association has kicked off the city of Portland’s annual Rose Festival with a family-friendly parade meant to attract crowds to its diverse neighborhood. Set to march in the parade’s 67th spot this year was the Multnomah County Republican Party, a fact that so outraged two self-described antifascist groups in the deep blue Oregon city that they pledged to protest and disrupt the April 29 event. Then came an anonymous and ominous email, according to parade organizers, that instructed them to cancel the GOP group’s registration — or else. … The email said that 200 people would ‘rush into the parade’ and ‘drag and push’ those marching with the Republican Party. … On Tuesday, the business association buckled, announcing it would cancel the parade altogether.” (04/27/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/27/portland-rose-parade-canceled-after-antifascists-threaten-gop-marchers/

—–

3) Afghanistan: Two US troops killed, one wounded
Source: Military Times

“Two American troops were killed and a third was wounded while battling Islamic State loyalists overnight in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Thursday, marking the latest in a series of violent developments as the Trump administration contemplates whether to escalate the 15-year war. The troops’ identities were not immediately disclosed, pending family notifications. The wounded service member did not require medical evacuation, a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Navy Capt. William Salvin, told Military Times.” (04/27/17)

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/us-troops-killed-afghanistan-islamic-state

—–

4) India: Regime bans social media in Kashmir in attempt to suppress military abuse videos
Source: Independent [UK]

“Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have banned 22 social media sites in an effort to calm tensions in the disputed region after videos depicting the alleged abuse of Kashmiris by Indian forces fuelled protests. But the sites remained online Thursday as the local telecom company struggled to block them. The government said Wednesday that the one-month ban was necessary for public safety because social media were being ‘misused by anti-national and anti-social elements.’ … An official with Kashmir’s state-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., said engineers were still working on shutting down the 22 sites, including Facebook and Twitter, but so far had been unable to do so without freezing the internet across the Himalayan region. … While the government has halted internet service in Kashmir in previous attempts to prevent anti-India demonstrations, this is the first time they have done so in response to the circulation of videos and photos showing alleged military abuse.” (04/27/17)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-bans-social-media-sites-22-kashmir-alleged-abuse-videos-inidan-forces-soldiers-residents-a7705766.html

—–

5) Trump’s immigrant crime hotline trolled with calls about aliens and UFOs
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“When the US government uses the term ‘criminal alien,’ it means someone who is not a US citizen that has been convicted of a crime. Twitter, meanwhile, thinks flying saucers and The X-Files. On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security opened a new office, called VOICE, to ‘serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens.’ The centrepiece is a new hotline that victims can call for support and assistance. It was set up under the authority of an executive order on immigration from President Trump in January. People began making clear exactly what people should not be using the line for.” [editor’s note: First the ICE thugs whined a little about the trolling “disrupting” their “service;” then they changed their story and said it amounted to nothing. Personally, I think that anyone who has ever been the target of a lien they dispute the legality of with should call in as well – TLK] (04/27/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39731085

—–

6) US Senate panel votes in favor of Gottlieb to run FDA
Source: Raw Story

“A U.S. Senate committee voted on Thursday to advance the nomination of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to lead the Food and Drug Administration. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 14-9 in favor of Gottlieb, a physician, conservative health policy expert and a deputy FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration. The vote means Gottlieb’s nomination will now be voted on by the full Senate, where he is expected to be confirmed.” (04/27/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/us-senate-panel-votes-in-favor-of-dr-scott-gottlieb-to-run-fda

—–

7) Obama’s $400k Wall Street speech leaves liberal base stunned
Source: Fox News

“Former President Obama’s upcoming speech to Wall Streeters is putting $400,000 in his pocket — and putting longtime supporters in a difficult situation. Democratic Party leaders and grass roots activists alike are at a loss to explain how the onetime champion of the 99 percent could cash in with a September address at a health care conference run by investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald. ‘Spiritual leader of the people’s #Resistance cashes in with $400k speech to Wall Street bankers,’ read one tweet. ‘Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street speech will cost @TheDemocrats much more than that,’ read another. ‘It reinforces everything progressives hate about Democrats.'” [ediotr’s nbote: Yes, and the only surprise tome is that anyone is truly surprised – SAT] (04/27/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/27/obamas-400g-wall-street-speech-leaves-liberal-base-stunned.html

—–

8) New Silicon Valley perk: paid time off to protest
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“Like thousands of Bay Area residents, software engineer Risha Mars skipped work on International Women’s Day to rally for women’s issues on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. Unlike many of her fellow protesters, Ms. Mars didn’t need to worry about taking off on a Wednesday afternoon; she was on paid leave. ‘I didn’t feel pressured or guilty for leaving work,’ she recalls. ‘I felt very lucky to be able to do that.’ About a month before the protest, Mars’s company (a San Francisco startup called Buoyant) joined a handful of others in announcing that it would provide additional paid time off for employees to participate in civic activities. The idea, says Buoyant chief executive William Morgan, is to support democracy by encouraging workers to take the time they need, including office hours, to engage in politics, volunteer work, and civic service. ‘It’s a recognition of the fact that civic engagement is something that we should be doing not just as individuals but as a company,’ he says. ‘I wanted to make it more clear that we could not be passive citizens in this world.'” (04/27/17)

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0427/New-Silicon-Valley-perk-paid-time-off-to-protest

—–

9) US jobless claims jump to one-month high of 257k
Source: MarketWatch

“The number Americans who recently lost their jobs and sought unemployment benefits rose last week to a one-month high, though the increase appeared largely concentrated in New York state. Initial jobless claims jumped by 14,000 to 257,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected new claims to rise to a seasonally adjusted 245,000 in the seven days stretching from April 16 to April 22.” (04/27/17)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-jump-to-one-month-high-of-257000-2017-04-27

—–

10) Pentagon proves Flynn’s foreign payments
Source: Military.com

“The investigations into President Donald Trump’s ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn intensified Thursday as the Pentagon’s watchdog joined lawmakers in scrutinizing the legality of payments he accepted from foreign sources including a Russian state-sponsored television network. Also, new documents released by the ranking Democrat on a House oversight committee showed Flynn was warned by authorities when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign government-sourced money without ‘advance approval’ from the Pentagon. Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general and Defense Intelligence Agency chief, later accepted tens of thousands of dollars for his work on behalf of foreign interests, including RT, the state-supported Russian television network, and a Turkish-owned company linked to Turkey’s government.” (04/27/17)

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/04/27/flynn-was-warned-not-accept-foreign-government-payments.html

—–

11) NE: Judge overturns beer prohibition near Indian reservations
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A judge on Thursday overturned a decision that had barred four Nebraska stores from selling beer next to an officially dry American Indian reservation in South Dakota that struggles with alcohol-related problems. The ruling was a setback for those who want to close the stores in Whiteclay, an unincorporated village of nine residents that sells millions of cans each year next to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Critics blame the stores for widespread alcoholism and high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome on the reservation, which is home to the Oglala Lakota Tribe. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission ruled last week that it would not renew the stores’ licenses, citing a lack of adequate law enforcement in the area. Whiteclay is known as a spot where people drink, sleep and sometimes fight in public.” (04/27/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Judge-lets-Nebraska-beer-stores-near-reservation-11103377.php

—–

12) Scientists have found a no-frills way to build on Mars
Source: USA Today

“A group of engineers have found a way to build on Mars using nothing but the Red Planet’s soil, a discovery they said could be used to eventually build structures on the Red Planet. The University of California San Diego team discovered Martian soil can be made into bricks stronger than steel-reinforced concrete by simply using the right amount of pressure. That means no oven to bake the bricks or any other additional ingredients. ‘The people who will go to Mars will be incredibly brave,’ lead author Yu Qiao pronounced. ‘They will be pioneers. And I would be honored to be their brick maker.’ The researchers stumbled onto the discovery, which was published in Thursday’s Scientific Reports. Originally, the team sought to reduce the number of polymers needed to create bricks. Instead, they found pressure equal to a 10-pound hammer falling one meter was enough to form a small sample of hardened Mars soil.” (04/27/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/27/scientists-found-no-frills-way-build-mars/100968038

—–

13) Chili peppers, cannabis help treat type 1 diabetes & upset stomachs
Source: Smell the Truth

“Next time you feel a stomach ache coming on, try treating it with some weed and spicy food. Researchers have found that a compound in chili peppers can also produce an anti-inflammatory compound in the stomach similar to chemicals found in marijuana, reports Popular Science. In a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the UConn Health School of Medicine found that capsaicin (the compound known for giving chili peppers their heat) targets a cannabis receptor in the stomach that releases a compound similar to those found in marijuana called anandamide. Lead researcher Pramod Srivastava, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, found that anandamide produced by capsaicin consumption reduced inflammation in the guts of mice by summoning anti-inflammatory immune cells. The release of anandamide even cured mice with Type 1 diabetes.” (04/27/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/04/26/chili-peppers-marijuana-can-help-treat-type-1-diabetes-and-upset-stomachs

—–

14) CT: Bill would allow cops to use killer drones
Source: NBC News

“The way some lawmakers in Connecticut see it, weaponized drones represent a future for policing — and could be a necessary option in moments when lives are at stake. That’s why a bill making its way through the state legislature would be the first in the nation to explicitly allow police to add lethal weapons to drones. The bill, H.B. 7260, moved overwhelmingly out of the Judiciary Committee last month and must pass the state’s House and Senate before the session ends in early June. It’s unclear whether this incarnation will go as far as the governor’s desk, lawmakers say, after previous legislation on the topic failed to gain traction in recent years. Civil liberties groups are urging caution on the measure, citing concerns over privacy and when force would be used.” [editor’s note: Bad idea, but I guess it’s OK — as long as the bill also respects the rights of mere civilians to deploy such weaponry. Oh, it doesn’t? No deal, then – TLK] (04/27/17)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/weaponized-drones-connecticut-bill-would-allow-police-use-lethal-force-n745291

—–

15) Russian spy ship collides with freighter, sinks in Black Sea
Source: CBS News

“A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sunk in the Black Sea Thursday after colliding with a freighter near the Turkish coast. The Russian Defense Ministry said the collision occurred about 25 miles northwest of the Bosphorus Strait and left a hole in the hull of the Liman. The ministry statement, carried by Russian news agencies, said none of the crew members was hurt. … A shipping agent contacted by the Reuters news agency said the Togo-flagged freighter and the Russian warship collided in foggy conditions with poor visibility.” [editor’s note: How do you say, “Emerghency … Emerghency … Ev’rybody to get from street!” in Turkish? – SAT] (04/27/17)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-spy-ship-naval-reconnaissance-vessel-collision-black-sea/

—–

16) Trump tells Canada and Mexico he won’t terminate NAFTA, will seek renegotiation instead
Source: Business Insider

“US President Donald Trump told the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Wednesday that he would not terminate the NAFTA treaty but seek to renegotiate it with them, a White House statement said. The announcement came as White House officials disclosed that Trump and his White House advisers were considering issuing an executive order to withdraw the United States from the trade pact with Canada and Mexico. The White House said Trump spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and that he would hold back from a speedy termination of NAFTA, in a ‘pleasant and productive’ conversation.” (04/27/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nafta-canada-mexico-renegotiation-2017-4

—–

17) Quadruple jeopardy: Court rules that prosecutors can just try a guy over and over until they get him
Source: Charlotte Observer

“The man accused of killing Monroe teen Phylicia Barnes in Maryland will face his third trial in the case, Maryland’s top court ruled Wednesday. The Court of Appeals of Maryland said the judge who acquitted Michael Johnson in January 2015 was wrong to have acquitted him and did so in ‘an act without authority.’ … Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013, but the sentencing judge ordered a mistrial because prosecutors failed to turn over certain information, The Baltimore Sun reported. Another mistrial was declared in late 2014 after prosecutors played a recording jurors were not supposed to hear, according to The Sun. In January 2015, as the case moved forward to another re-trial, the circuit court judge who had declared the latest mistrial ruled that prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to try Johnson again, The Sun reported. That judge then acquitted Johnson.” (04/26/17)

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article146867014.html

—–

18) Trump’s war on the American economy: May use “national security” ruse to raise aluminum, steel prices
Source: US News & World Report

“President Donald Trump will direct his administration Thursday to expedite a new investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president will sign a memo ordering him to determine the impact of rising aluminum imports. High-purity aluminum is used in a number of defense applications, including military planes and the armor-plating of military vehicles. Ross said that, thanks to steep competition from overseas, there is only one American smelter that produces high-purity, aerospace-quality aluminum still in operation. ‘It’s very, very dangerous, obviously from a national defense point of view, to only have one supplier of an absolutely critical material,’ he told reporters at a White House briefing Wednesday evening. The move, which could lead to tariffs on aluminum imports, is the second such investigation the president has initiated. Last week, he asked Ross to look into steel imports to determine whether they, too, pose a national security risk.” (04/27/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-04-27/trump-to-order-aluminum-imports-investigation

—–

19) Syria: Overnight explosion rocks Damascus; regime blames Israel
Source: ABC News

“An large overnight explosion on Thursday rocked Syria’s capital, the country’s state media and opposition activists said. The explosion occurred at a military installation near the Damascus airport, according to both SANA state TV and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring organization with on the ground contacts in Syria. State television blamed the explosion on Israel, saying it had attacked the location with several missiles from inside the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel controls. In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz stopped short of saying Israel was behind the attack, but said ‘the incident in Syria is absolutely in line with Israeli policy to act to prevent advanced weapons from Syria going to Hezbollah in Lebanon with the help of Iran.'” (04/27/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/overnight-explosion-rocks-damascus-syrian-government-blames-israel/story?id=47050552

—–

20) Hollywood-friendly copyright bill passes House of Representatives
Source: The Verge

“The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make the Register of Copyright a presidentially appointed position, instead of a part of the Library of Congress. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), will now move to the Senate, where it’s being put forward by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). As we’ve written previously, this bill would grant the US Copyright Office more agency in advocating for specific copyright policy — something that’s previously led to conflict between the office and the Library of Congress. Goodlatte and other supporters of the bill describe it as a way to make the Register of Copyright democratically accountable, since they would be confirmed by the Senate rather than chosen by the Librarian of Congress. But it would also open it up to greater influence from lobbyists, particularly from groups that stand to benefit from harsher copyright rules — like the MPAA, which has praised the bill’s passage.” [editor’s note: Copyright is like a dinosaur that’s dead but still flopping around and smashing stuff with its tail because the nerve signal telling it to lie still and decompose hasn’t reached its brain yet – TLK] (04/27/17)

http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/27/15452668/copyright-selection-accountability-goodlatte-bill-passes-house

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

21) CIA director Pompeo doesn’t understand the First Amendment
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“You would think that by the time a person becomes the Director of the CIA, he would have a correct understanding of the Constitution, which is the founding document of the federal government, which the CIA is part of. This should be especially true when the CIA Director is a former member of Congress, a graduate of West Point, and the holder of a law degree from Harvard. Embarrassingly, such is not the case with CIA Director and former U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo. In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Pompeo demonstrated a woeful lack of understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment.” (04/27/17)

http://www.fff.org/2017/04/27/cia-director-pompeo-doesnt-understand-first-amendment/

—–

22) Torturing the truth: The tax cut debate vs. the English language
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“On April 26, the Trump administration released a one-page summary of its tax reform proposals. The following morning, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss those proposals. Co-anchor Norah O’Donnell didn’t waste any time ham-handedly injecting the mainstream media’s dishonest narrative-shaping language into the conversation. ‘As you mentioned this would be historic tax cuts [sic],’ her first question began. ‘Estimated to cost the American taxpayer $7 trillion over a decade. So when will you tell us how you will pay for it?’ Unfortunately Mnuchin played along: ‘In regards to the pay for [sic], I don’t know how people can estimate the cost since we don’t haven’t released all the details, but this is going to be paid for by economic growth and by a reduction of many, many deductions in special interest.’ O’Donnell tried to put two ginormous lies over on her viewers. And Mnuchin let her get away with it.” (04/27/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/10385

—–

23) Forget Reagan: Trump’s tax plan is more like George W. Bush
Source: Reason
by Matt Welch

“In the run-up to today’s big White House tax-reform announcement, the question among many analysts was: Would President Donald Trump’s ideas look more like Ronald Reagan in 1981 (when he and a bipartisan congressional majority cut rates) or 1986, when they simplified the code? While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, flanked by National Economic Director Gary Cohn, bragged that the administration’s plan was both ‘the biggest tax cut’ and the ‘largest tax reform’ in U.S. history — 1981 and 1986 at the same time, only more! — the more apt and less comforting historical precedent might be the guy who Trump never tires of bashing: George W. Bush.” (04/27/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/04/26/forget-reagan-trumps-tax-plan-is-more-li

—–

24) The FBI and Hillary, again
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Andrew P Napolitano

“Last weekend, The New York Times published a long piece about the effect the FBI had on the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, Donald Trump won a comfortable victory in the Electoral College while falling about 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote. I believe that Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate who failed to energize the Democratic Party base and who failed to deliver to the electorate a principled reason to vote for her. Yet when the Times reporters asked her why she believes she lost the race, she gave several answers, the first of which was the involvement of the FBI. She may be right. Here is the back story.” (04/27/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/04/andrew-p-napolitano/the-fbi-and-hillary-again/

—–

25) Why Trump should mend ties with Russia
Source: Reuters
by Josh Cohen

“During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s verbal affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin so puzzled the Washington establishment that some speculated Putin had either ‘recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation’ or that Trump was simply a ‘useful fool’ for the Russians. But 100 days into Trump’s presidency, this seems anything but true. After the United States retaliated for the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attack, Washington and Moscow are engaged in a harsh war of words. Washington blames Russia for the gas attack, while Moscow accused the United States of breaking international law and suspended a Russian-American agreement to coordinate air operations over Syria. Trump now says U.S.-Russian relations ‘may be at an all-time low,’ while Putin says the relationship has become worse since Trump took office.” (04/27/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-russia-100days-commentary-idUSKBN17T22Q

—–

26) Merge, bail, and make out like a bandit
Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“Corporate America prides itself on rewarding success and punishing failure. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer does not fit comfortably into that narrative. During her five-year tenure at the once-proud tech firm, user levels stagnated, ad revenue dropped, acquisitions cratered, layoffs accelerated, product quality floundered, and hackers stole the personal information of more than one billion users. But when Yahoo’s sale to Verizon becomes official in June, with the restructured company renamed Oath, Mayer will walk away with $186 million, according to a regulatory filing released this week. That includes shares of Yahoo stock Mayer owned, stock options, and a $23 million ‘golden parachute’ of cash, restricted stock units, and medical benefits. Mayer did relinquish $14 million while taking responsibility for the Yahoo Mail data breach, but she’ll get 13 times that amount just to no longer remain part of the company.” (04/27/17)

http://prospect.org/article/merge-bail-and-make-out-bandit

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27) Civil forfeiture has ruined countless lives. It’s long overdue for reform
Source: The Libertarian Republic
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Scott Bullock

“During the 1980s, as the war on drugs was ramping up, Congress enacted legislation that made it far easier for the federal government to seize cash, cars, and even real estate. Worst of all, Congress created powerful financial incentives to pursue civil-forfeiture cases. Once a property is forfeited, federal agencies can auction it off and collect up to 100 percent of the proceeds or retain it for their own use; previously, forfeiture proceeds were directed to the Treasury’s General Fund. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, the Justice Department’s Assets Forfeiture Fund skyrocketed from just under $94 million to more than $4.5 billion between 1986 and 2014.” (04/27/17)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/sen-paul-scott-bullock-civil-forfeiture-ruined-countless-lives-long-overdue-reform/

—–

28) Quality of government, not size, is the key to freedom and prosperity
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“In the first post in this series, I examined the effect of the size of government on freedom and prosperity. Using indicators of economic freedom, personal freedom, and prosperity for a sample of 144 countries, I arrived at two significant results. First, I found that the data showed economic freedom to be positively associated with both personal freedom and prosperity. Second, I found that greater personal freedom and prosperity were associated with larger, not smaller, governments. This post digs deeper into the data by constructing a measure of the quality of government. It turns out that the apparently positive effect of larger government on freedom and prosperity arises from a positive association between the size and quality of government. Quality of government affects freedom and prosperity much more strongly than simple size.” (04/27/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/quality-government-not-size-key-freedom-prosperity/

—–

29) With Trump, Millennials finally get their tax cut
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“President Trump’s much-awaited tax reform plan is here. As promised, it will deeply cut taxes, make the code simpler and help restore economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurship. It’s the most pro-growth tax plan since the Reagan Boom, and that’s saying a lot. At the unveiling of the tax reform plan on Wednesday, the White House described it as ‘the biggest individual and business tax cut in American history.’ That’s no lie. And here’s a surprise: one group that will especially benefit, but seldom gets mentioned, is Millennials. If Trump’s supply-side tax-cut magic works as it should, many of these young workers will be leaving their parents’ couches and taking off their barista aprons to take better jobs at higher wages. For the first time in their working lives, they will know what it’s like to live in an economic boom, not the decade-long era of decline and 2%-growth stagnation that marked the Financial Crisis and the Obama economy. Maybe they’ll come to think of Trump as fondly as those who lived through the Reagan Boom think of The Gipper.” (04/26/17)

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/with-trump-millennials-finally-get-their-tax-cut

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30) Exposing the tangled webs of insurance networks
Source: Heartland Institute
by Dr. Alieta Eck

“Nothing could be more confusing than fees charged by hospitals and doctors. There are many reasons why hospitals would like to keep it that way. I remember sitting in a hospital staff meeting and hearing about negotiations to merge two hospitals that were about a mile apart. The argument was that bigger is better, and a merger would put the hospitals in a greater ‘bargaining position’ to get higher fees. I remember thinking that monopolies are not a good thing for the consumers, and that competition drives prices down. But this was not about patients, who are the real consumers. It was about the ability to strong-arm higher fees from the largest payers, insurance companies and government programs. Patients were just pawns to be moved around by powerful interests.” (04/27/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/04/exposing-the-tangled-webs-of-insurance-networks/

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31) Bill Nye is anti-science
Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“What we’re seeing is a more of an revival than a renaissance, as the precepts of science have been tossed in the trash with reckless abandon. What else can we conclude, when ‘celebrated scientists’ make claims that they either know to be false, trusting that the masses will believe them, or are simply too ignorant on the subject to know whether their claim is false at all? Yet this hasn’t stopped the masses — the precise characteristics which makes them ‘the masses,’ after all, is that they aren’t interested in independently discovering truth and will blindly follow whatever ideology is handed down to them from ‘trusted authorities’ — from swallowing all of it, with Tyson’s demonstrably false, fallacious, and erroneous spiel seeing tens of thousands of retweets by people who have no desire to think the matter through for themselves.” (04/27/17)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2017/04/27/bill-nye-is-anti-science/

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32) The environmentally friendly internal combustion engine
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“People forget the past. Environmentalists, who often rant about how much more environmental damage humans are causing today than in the past, seem to have forgotten just how terrible living conditions were barely a century ago. Humanity’s agricultural knowledge was far more limited, which means farmers commonly practiced more damaging forms of agriculture. Horses were the primary mode of transportation, which introduced a great amount of biological contaminants to metropolitan areas. Trash was often discarded in place instead of collected and moved to a designated dump. Our species has come a long ways in terms of environmentalism and not because of the State but because of rational self-interest. Having a cleaner environment benefits us so market forces have been hard at work reducing humanity’s environmental impact. This hard work continues today.” (04/27/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/04/27/the-environmentally-friendly-internal-combustion-engine/

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33) Ivanka Trump is successful; get over it
Source: Chicago Tribune
by Ed Rogers

“OK, I had said I wasn’t going to write about Ivanka Trump again anytime soon. But that was before Trump was insulted Tuesday at the faux globalist do-gooder W20 conference in Germany. Speaking on a panel, ‘Inspiring Women: Scaling Up Women’s Entrepreneurship,’ Trump was cool and collected when asked about her role in the Trump White House. And despite the curt moderator’s attempt to scold Trump, saying, ‘some attitudes toward women your father has displayed might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empowerer for women,’ Trump still proved successful in defending the president. Imagine if that same statement had been directed at Chelsea Clinton about her father, former President Bill Clinton. The moderator would have been chastised. But when directed at President Donald Trump, the moderator was praised and Ivanka Trump was greeted with boos.” (04/27/17)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-ivanka-trump-booed-20170427-story.html

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34) Communism’s bloody legacy turns 100
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Marion Smith

“One hundred years ago this month, a train pulled by locomotive No. 293 arrived at the Finland Station in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Though it was late at night, a large crowd waited waving red flags and flowers. Within a sealed railcar was a passenger who would soon become dictator of the world’s first Marxist state: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin.” (04/27/17)

https://fee.org/articles/communisms-bloody-legacy-turns-100/

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35) Tax cuts defund [sic] the very things that boost the economy
Source: Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“After eight years of complaining about ‘Obama deficits,’ Republicans are proposing huge, dramatic, unprecedented tax cuts, especially for corporations. President Trump wants the corporate tax rate cut from 35 percent down to 15, denying the government $2 trillion of revenue over the next decade. He is also proposing dramatic cuts to personal income tax cuts that will especially benefit billionaires like him. Republicans call corporate tax cuts ‘pro-growth,’ saying they will give the economy a boost. Trump’s Treasury Secretary says the plan will ‘pay for itself with economic growth.’ So now they’re for ‘stimulus?’ But here’s the real question: do tax cuts actually boost economic growth?” [editor’s note: Early contender for “dumb analysis of the year;” amazing how conflating tax cuts with “lost government revenue” is still the biggest messup of most “progressive” pundits – SAT] (04/27/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170426/tax-cuts-defund-the-very-things-that-boost-the-economy

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36) Taxing
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“In recent days I have — likely like you have — heard and read several media reports on Trump’s tax plan (or what we know of it so far). Nearly all of these reports are juvenile: changes in tax rates are evaluated by the media according to changes in the legal tax liabilities of various groups of people. For example, Trump’s proposal to cut the top federal personal income-tax rate from 39.6% to 35% is assessed only by its effect on high-income earners. Specifically, of course, it’s portrayed as a ‘gift’ to high-income earners. Eliminating the estate tax, as well as the alternative minimum tax, are likewise portrayed as benefits for the rich. My purpose here isn’t to praise or to pillory Trump’s tax plan; I’ve yet to examine it in any detail. My purpose, instead, is to lament this popular approach to evaluating taxation. ” (04/27/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/04/taxing-2.html

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37) Donald Trump is bad, not mad
Source: spiked
by Benedict Spence

“It shouldn’t surprise us that this has happened: frustrated that the oft-repeated argument ‘Donald Trump is bad’ isn’t working, the next logical step in rhetoric was always going to be ‘Donald Trump is mad.’ That doesn’t make it any less outrageous, though, and it reveals a damning weakness in his opponents. They either don’t want to make political arguments against him, or they can’t. As well as essentially throwing in the political towel, painting Trump as a lunatic, deprived of sense and reason, does two things. Firstly, it patronises his supporters …. Secondly, by painting him as unhinged, these experts absolve The Donald of responsibility for his actions. To claim madness is to claim diminished responsibility, an escape route that history should not afford him.” (04/27/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/donald-trump-is-bad-not-mad/

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38) Tax cuts will spur economic growth
Source: USA Today
by Adam Brandon

“Americans not only need tax relief, they also need tax certainty. The main reason that President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are pursuing fundamental tax reform this year is because the American economy has not seen annual economic growth above 3% since 2005. This is an indictment of decades of unabated growth in the complexity of the tax code, devoid of any meaningful attempt to permanently reduce tax burdens for all Americans. This year, Americans will spend billions of dollars and countless hours trying to comply with the a staggeringly complex, 70,000-page, federal tax code. This is an effective tax on top of what Americans and their businesses owe.” (04/27/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/04/26/tax-cuts-will-spur-economic-growth-editorials-debates/100952720

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39) Why all central banks’ e-currencies will fail horribly
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Datavetaren

“From time to time I hear ‘central banks could issue e-currencies on blockchains!’ Before dwelling on the details on why that isn’t possible, let’s consider an ‘Einsteinian thought experiment.’ Let’s begin by asking ourselves the question: How do we know that a computer system is secure and not being tampered with?” (04/27/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/central-banks-will-never-able-issue-e-currencies/

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40) Fate of Venezuela hinges on unity of opposition
Source: Independent Institute
by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

“If the monolithic unity that Maduro’s regime has by and large maintained until now continues, we will see even more horrific violence. The man is hell-bent on remaining in power. However, it is by no means guaranteed that he will maintain that unity. There have been sporadic symptoms of dissent among Chavistas. One of them came from the attorney general, Luis Ortega, who chastised the Supreme Court for staging a coup against the National Assembly. One major factor in all of this will be the unity of the opposition itself.” (04/27/17)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9058

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41) Canada too nice to stand up to Trump
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“Earlier this year at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Palm Beach resort, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney serenaded the president with a rendition of ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling.’ It’s not clear that Trump caught the symbolism, but students of Canadian history know that Mulroney was alluding to a famous moment in his own career, in 1985, when he and President Ronald Reagan sang the classic Celtic tune together during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Quebec City. Mulroney and Reagan had a warm friendship and struck a free trade agreement in 1988 that served as the precursor for NAFTA six years later. Mulroney is justly proud of his baritone voice, but he doesn’t sing to American presidents just for fun. His message to Trump was clear: NAFTA grew out of a deep friendship between Canada and the United States, and Trump should honor it. But Trump has threatened to do the opposite.” (04/27/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/142292/canada-nice-stand-trump

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42) America First? Not so fast! What we’ve learned from 100 days of Trump foreign policy
Source: Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall and John Glaser

“After President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a ‘Trump doctrine’ has yet to emerge fully, but one important lesson is already clear: making radical changes in American foreign policy is very difficult.” (04/27/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/america-first-not-so-fast-what-weve-learned-100-days-trump-foreign-policy

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43) A “government shutdown” may be a good thing
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Harold Pease

“Democrats won’t fund a border wall and threaten a ‘government shutdown’ if included in the budget under consideration. Without President Donald Trump removing for now the wall from consideration, a shutdown would be likely. President Trump largely won on the popularity of the wall but promised to make Mexico pay for it with a better trade balance, so he cannot back down long term without the loss of credibility with core supporters. But a government shutdown is never as bad as portrayed and, in fact, may be a good thing.” (04/26/17)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/04/26/a-government-shutdown-may-be-a-good-thing/

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44) The mob vetoes Ann Coulter
Source: The American Conservative
by Peter Van Buren

“Ann Coulter will not speak at Berkeley tonight because the threat of mob violence led campus authorities to claim they could not protect her, resulting in a back-and-forth in which the speech was canceled, un-canceled, and finally canceled for good when the group sponsoring the event backed out. Similar threats led New York University (NYU) to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos'[s] appearance in February. These are shameful actions by two universities that purport to value free speech — one of them a public institution that is constitutionally obligated to. Previous violence at Berkeley directed against Yiannopoulos, as well as the current threats, originated with a coalition of so-called antifas: anti-fascists, persons who believe that in Trump’s America violence to silence speech they do not agree with is justified. They probably are unaware their tactics were once used to silence civil-rights marchers, anti-war protesters, abortion-rights advocates, and the women’s movement.” (04/27/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/

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45) UN-appealing
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Like E.F. Hutton, when the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ‘Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’ talks, people listen. In disbelief, perhaps. Or amusement. But they listen. Well, at least Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank does, anyway. Unfortunately, Milbank couldn’t get Dainius Puras — the Lithuanian doctor serving as the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to blah, blah, blah — to talk. Milbank did, however, uncover an ‘urgent appeal’ sent by Puras to the U.S. State Department, with instructions to pass it along to congressional leaders. Puras won’t discuss his confidential February letter until June, when ‘it becomes public at the next session of the Human Rights Council.’ But the ‘leaked’ letter announces the U.N. has launched an investigation to determine whether repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) violates international law.”
(04/27/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/04/27/un-appealing/

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46) Another lawsuit tries to force an ISP into being a copyright cop
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz

“Major record labels are once again trying to force an Internet service provider into enforcing their copyrights by cutting off customers from the Internet over copyright accusations. The lawsuit they filed against Texas broadband provider Grande Communications suffers from many of the same due process problems as the BMG Music Publishing v. Cox Communications case, which is on appeal. The issue in both cases is whether and when a home broadband provider should cut off a customer’s Internet service when someone using that service is accused of copyright infringement. The legal hook for this controversy is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 512, which protects ISPs and other Internet intermediaries against the risk of massive copyright penalties stemming from a customer’s copyright infringement. But to get the protection of Section 512, an ISP has to terminate ‘subscribers and account holders … who are repeat infringers’ in ‘appropriate circumstances.'” (04/26/17)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/04/another-lawsuit-tries-force-isp-being-copyright-cop

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47) Venezuela ablaze
Source: CounterPunch
by Robert Hunziker

“Questions come to mind when news about Venezuela depicts a nation under siege. For certain, the mainstream press in America is not on the President Nicolas Maduro bandwagon. From coast-to-coast, American media claims Maduro is a horrible despicable dictatorial creepy monster that flogs his own people and stifles democracy, same as all tyrants throughout history. But, is that really the truth?” (04/27/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/27/venezuela-ablaze/

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48) Minimum Deterrence as a Vulnerability in the Market Provision of National Defense
Source: Libertarian Papers
by Joseph Michael Newhard

“Abstract: Minimum deterrence, though consistent with the nonaggression principle, is inadequate to deter states from invading anarchist territory and provides inadequate means of territorial defense when deterrence fails. In order to be effective, and thus attract clients, private defense agencies may want to adopt a military posture that incorporates first-strike counterforce and second-strike countervalue capabilities. To this end, they must acquire weapons of mass destruction — including tactical and strategic nuclear weapons — and long-range delivery vehicles capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory. They must also decline to extend the nonaggression principle to states and individuals outside the voluntary defense network. Paradoxically, advertising such a posture while possessing a nuclear arsenal will save lives on both sides by minimizing the probability that anarchists must ever wage a defensive war at all.” [full paper available as PDF download] (04/17)

http://libertarianpapers.org/newhard-market-anarchism-national-defense/

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49) Funny stuff, winning the war
Source: Cato Unbound
by Michael C Munger

“Well, gosh. In this month’s Cato Unbound someonetried to have some fun, someone else decided that no one deserves to have fun, and a big fuss broke out. And, as usual, it’s because everyone pretty much agrees, so tiny points of doctrine and imagined slights assume exaggerated importance. We libertarians really get upset at heretics. Which is why we spend so little time worrying about infidels: we’re too busy fighting with our friends.” (04/26/17)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2017/04/26/michael-c-munger/funny-stuff-winning-war

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50) Are oil prices to blame for the Venezuelan crisis?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Daniel Fernandez Mendez

“Many analysts are venturing to link the crisis that plagues the Venezuelan economy with the fall in the price of crude oil. With oil being one of the most important commodity in Venezuelan production and the country’s main export product, it seems that the fall in the price would bring any country with an economic structure similar to Venezuela’s into a crisis. Similarly, many assume that the problems in Ecuador have the same root as those in Venezuela, although less pronounced.” (04/27/17)

https://mises.org/blog/are-oil-prices-blame-venezuelan-crisis

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

51) Reason Podcast, 04/27/17
Source: Reason

“In the latest Reason podcast, I talk with the entrepreneurs about the difficulties in launching a device that not only promises to help the one-in-three women (including many high-performance female athletes) who experience incontinence but also reconfigures the way we think about personal health and well-being. The Yarlap, says MaryEllen Reider, can be bought without a prescription and is an example of a medical technology that’s ‘about improving your lives and taking your health into your own hands.’ As such, it joins a growing roster of ‘electroceuticals’ and other devices, drugs, and techniques that empower individuals to improve their lives in very specific and personalized ways.” [various formats] (04/27/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/04/27/reider-yarlap-pelvic-floor-size-matters

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52) Freedom Feens Radio, 04/27/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou and Phil drop mad scientists. Lou and Phil discuss the proposed porn tax, police investigating a man for telling kids that taxes are bad, and lies, damn lies, and statistics.” [various formats] (04/27/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14416

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53) Free Talk Live, 04/26/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Press Freedom Index Shows US Ranking Worse Again :: Bad Quaker Joins Us to Discuss Destroying the Religious Belief in the State :: Flat Earth Insanity :: Failure to Report Crime :: Government Schools :: Red Pill Forum Creator Outed as NH State Representative :: Sugar Tax :: FBI Playpen Case Dropped :: HOSTS: Ian, Mark, Jay.” [Flash audio or MP3] (04/26/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-04-26

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54) Theodore Postol on The Scott Horton Show
Source: Libertarian Institute

“Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at MIT, discusses his critique of the White House Intelligence Report claiming that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun on April 4th. Postol debunks claims that photos of a metal tube inside a crater are evidence of a Syrian air attack that released sarin gas. A more plausible scenario is that a Russian air strike on an ammunition dump created a large explosion, dispersing toxic chemicals over a large area that could have caused the mass casualties seen on video.” [various formats] (04/26/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/42617-theodore-postol-white-houses-false-claims-regarding-april-4th-syrian-nerve-agent-attack/

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55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 897
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Cato Institute Vice President for Research Brink Lindsey launched an attack on Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard days ago, and it needs to be answered. Even more fun are my stories about my own treatment at the hands of these delightful people. Here’s an episode you may pretend not to want to listen to, but let’s face it, you will. Before you say, ‘Woods, you shouldn’t engage in this kind of tit-for-tat,’ listen to the episode. I have already answered your objection.” [various formats] (04/26/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-897-cato-vp-attacks-ron-paul-i-share-war-stories-i-have-kept-secret/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****