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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,968
Monday, May 7th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Report: Haspel offered to do the right thing, regime flacks talked her down
2) Giuliani: Trump doesn’t have to comply with a Mueller subpoena and could invoke the Fifth Amendment
3) Buying election ads on Google will now require ID verification
4) US Navy resurrects Second Fleet in Atlantic
5) Opponents of Real Bitcoin scrap plans for frivolous lawsuit vs. Bitcoin.com
6) Lebanon: Tepid turnout for first national election in nine years
7) Kashmir: Indian regime troops murder protesters
8) Iraq: Abadi launches Syria airstrikes as campaign booster
9) Russia: Navalny reportedly released after regime forces abduct more than 1,000
10) Trump regime to Xi regime on Taiwan airline directive: “This is Orwellian nonsense”
11) NASA’s InSight Mars lander launches
12) CA: Legislators seek to expand cannabis delivery statewide
13) Pakistan: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal shot at election rally
14) Drug warriors trot out new fake news to justify their continued depredations
15) Afghanistan: More than a dozen killed in mosque blast
16) McCain says he regrets picking Palin as running mate
17) Anger from French, British gun-grabbers over Trump NRA speech
18) California: Republicans try to bury differences for survival
19) TN: $7 million federal funding scandal hits Metro Nashville administrations of Briley, Barry & Dean
20) Trump regime removes language on freedom of the press from Justice Department handbook

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) CFPB makes war on the poor in the name of “protecting” them
22) Revolution in the Volunteer State?
23) Do family values stop at the Rio Grande for conservatives?
24) Xtreme taxpayer-sponsored space sports
25) Repeal the Logan Act
26) Dial T for Tyranny
27) No, the US isn’t “undertaxed”
28) It doesn’t matter what the majority says
29) Quantum Vibe, 05/04/18
30) A public choice perspective on trade
31) Calling out “hate speech” too often invites censorship
32) Gig drivers not independent contractors, but employees
33) The miracle of canned tuna salad
34) Amazon and Seattle — if you tax business maybe it doesn’t turn up to be taxed?
35) Why have gasoline prices risen lately?
36) “Being informed” no longer means following the news
37) Matt Bevin’s revenge?
38) The pitfalls of maximalism in North Korea diplomacy
39) So that’s what you spend your money on
40) Florida’s Amendment 4 would end 150 years of disenfranchisement
41) The role of prevention in healthcare reform
42) Fourteen common arguments against immigration and why they’re wrong
43) JFK and the inconceivable doctrine, part 2
44) Fighting the tropes of Russian propaganda
45) Any discussion of Russian disinfo invalid unless it addresses Iraq lies
46) How inequality concentrates talent, not just money
47) Leaving the ultimate misnomer behind
48) Roaming charges: All the president’s lawyers
49) Law of comparative advantage
50) Sweet schadenfreude?

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Free Talk Live, 05/05/18
52) Scott Adams Says, 05/05
53) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 144
54) Anarcho Agenda, episode 66
55) The LAVA Flow, episode 90
56) Cato Daily Podcast, 05/04/18
57) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 05/04/18
58) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1150
59) Editor’s Break, episode 81
60) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 238

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

1) Report: Haspel offered to do the right thing, regime flacks talked her down
Source: CBS News

“President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, Gina Hapsel, reportedly offered to withdraw her nomination after a White House meeting focusing on her past role in [illegal torture], according to the Washington Post. The Post, citing four senior U.S. officials, reports that Haspel had advised the White House she would withdraw to avoid a potentially harsh confirmation hearing, which is set for Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. … However, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports that a source close to the matter said that Haspel’s nomination ‘is going forward.’ An administration official also told CBS News that her nomination remains on track. … It was during a White House meeting on Friday that Haspel was reportedly grilled on her history with the interrogation program and signaled she would withdraw her nomination. Officials told the Post that White House aides including Marc Short and Sarah Huckabee Sanders met with Haspel at her CIA office for private discussions afterwards.” (05/06/18)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-gina-haspel-offered-to-withdraw-nomination-to-head-cia-before-confirmation-hearing/

—–

2) Giuliani: Trump doesn’t have to comply with a Mueller subpoena and could invoke the Fifth Amendment
Source: Washington Post

“President Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena issued by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and could invoke the Fifth Amendment if he does sit down with him, one of his lawyers said Sunday. ‘We don’t have to’ comply with a subpoena, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who recently joined Trump’s legal team, said in a televised interview. ‘He’s the president of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.’ Giuliani’s claims comes less than a week after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is seeking to interview Trump, had raised the possibility of subpoenaing the president during a meeting this year. Trump has shaken up his legal team in recent days, seeking to take a more aggressive response to the probe that has engulfed much of his presidency.” (05/06/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/05/06/giuliani-says-trump-doesnt-have-to-comply-with-a-mueller-subpoena-and-could-invoke-the-fifth-amendment/

—–

3) Buying election ads on Google will now require ID verification
Source: UberGizmo

“[Google] is now going to require additional verification for anyone who wants to buy an election ad on Google in the United States. It will also require advertisers to confirm that they’re a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. What this means is that advertisers will have to furnish their government-issued ID and other key information before they’re allowed to buy election ads on Google.” (05/06/18)

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2018/05/buying-election-ads-on-google-will-now-require-id-verification/

—–

4) US Navy resurrects Second Fleet in Atlantic
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The US Navy has said it will re-establish its Second Fleet, as Russia becomes more assertive. Chief of Naval Operations Adm John Richardson said the fleet, disbanded in 2011, would oversee forces on the US East Coast and North Atlantic. He said the National Defense Strategy, published earlier this year, made it clear that the era of great power competition had returned. The strategy makes countering Russia and China a priority. The fleet, which was disbanded for cost-saving and structural reasons, will be based in its previous home: Norfolk, Virginia.” [editor’s note: I doubt this is good – SAT] (05/05/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44014761

—–

5) Opponents of Real Bitcoin scrap plans for frivolous lawsuit vs. Bitcoin.com
Source: Coin Telegraph

“The pro-[Wrecked] Bitcoin community movement that galvanized last week against Bitcoin.com has reversed its plans to level a lawsuit against the site, community leader MoneyTrigz announced on the group’s Telegram channel yesterday, May 3. Members of the movement were outraged that major crypto wallet and media service Bitcoin.com — run by prominent Bitcoin Cash-proponent Roger Ver — appeared to be intentionally blurring the distinction between Bitcoin (BTC [aka Wrecked Bitcoin]) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH [aka Real Bitcoin]), and misleading buyers into buying the latter. On April 27, the group launched a website to gather claimants and donations for a promised lawsuit. However, the apparent initiator of the movement, MoneyTrigz, said yesterday they are cancelling the initiative due to the fact that only $3700 in [Wrecked Bitcoin] has been raised so far.” (05/04/18)

https://cointelegraph.com/news/pro-btc-movement-scraps-lawsuit-against-vers-bitcoincom-citing-lack-of-funds

—–

6) Lebanon: Tepid turnout for first national election in nine years
Source: Toronto Star [Canada]

“Lebanon’s first national elections in nine years were marked by a tepid turnout Sunday, reflecting voter frustration over endemic corruption and a stagnant economy. Politicians urged citizens to vote and security forces struggled to maintain order as fights broke out in and around polling stations. … The elections are the first since war broke out in neighbouring Syria in 2011, sending over one million refugees to Lebanon, a small country with an estimated population of around 4.5 million. The war has divided the country, pitting parties supporting the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria to aide President Bashar Assad against Saudi-aligned parties opposed to it. But low turnout — between 30 and 40 per cent in Beirut precincts according to the country’s National News Agency — betrayed widespread voter apathy for the main political currents governing the country and left open the possibility that outside candidates could win seats in Parliament.” (05/06/18)

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/05/06/lebanese-cast-ballots-for-the-countrys-first-parlimentary-election-in-nine-years.html

—–

7) Kashmir: Indian regime troops murder protesters
Source: US News & World Report

“Five civilians were killed and more than 50 wounded when Indian troops opened fire on hundreds of people who pelted them with stones as they carried out an operation against militants in Kashmir, a senior police official said. The police official, who asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said at least 10 of the wounded protesters were hit by bullets and four were in a critical condition.” (05/06/18)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-05-06/protesters-killed-as-indian-troops-move-on-militants-in-kashmir

—–

8) Iraq: Abadi launches Syria airstrikes as campaign booster
Source: Washington Post

“Iraq says it has carried out an airstrike in neighboring Syria targeting the Islamic State group. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Sunday’s strike, the latest in a series of cross-border air raids launched against the extremists in recent weeks. … The announcement came days before national elections in Iraq, in which al-Abadi hopes to secure a second term as prime minister.” (05/06/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraq-launches-airstrike-in-syria-against-islamic-state/2018/05/06/10c96f26-5123-11e8-a6d4-ca1d035642ce_story.html

—–

9) Russia: Navalny reportedly released after regime forces abduct more than 1,000
Source: Newsy

“Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has reportedly been released from police custody. Navalny was [abducted] Saturday along with over 1,000 others during protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Demonstrations took place in Moscow and several other cities across Russia. In a tweet, Navalny said authorities wrote him up for organizing a rally and resisting police.” (05/06/18)

https://www.newsy.com/stories/alexei-navalny-reportedly-released-from-police-custody/

—–

10) Trump regime to Xi regime on Taiwan airline directive: “This is Orwellian nonsense”
Source: The Hill

“The White House lashed out at China on Saturday after the country’s aviation authority sent letters to several major airlines scolding them for referring to Taiwan as a country. ‘This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. … Taiwan, which sees itself as a sovereign state with its own government, is considered by China as a rogue province and an inseparable part of its territory. Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions of China, and have a certain level of autonomy from Beijing. Among the airlines targeted by China’s warnings were American and United, whose websites listed Taiwan on its own, without any reference to China, according to a report by Foreign Policy.” (05/05/18)

http://thehill.com/policy/international/386365-white-house-blasts-china-over-taiwan-directive-to-air-carriers-this-is

—–

11) NASA’s InSight Mars lander launches
Source: Space.com

“NASA’s latest Mars explorer is on its way to the Red Planet. The agency’s InSight Mars lander lifted off today (May 5) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, rising off a pad here at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT, 4:05 a.m. local California time) and disappearing into the thick predawn fog moments later. … If everything goes according to plan, InSight will reach its destination in a little less than seven months, touching down Nov. 26 on a nice, flat plain just north of the Martian equator. After a series of checkouts, the stationary lander will then begin a mission unlike any ever undertaken in the annals of planetary exploration. InSight ‘will probe the interior of another terrestrial planet, giving us an idea of the size of the core, the mantle, the crust — and our ability then to compare that with the Earth,’ NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green said during a prelaunch news conference on Thursday (May 3).” (05/05/18)

https://www.space.com/40498-nasa-mars-insight-lander-launch.html

—–

12) CA: Legislators seek to expand cannabis delivery statewide
Source: Smell the Truth

“A new California bill would ensure easy access to legal marijuana statewide. Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced Senate Bill 1302 this week, which would permnit licensed cannabis businesses to deliver throughout the state, even in cities and counties that have banned legal operations in their borders. Lara testified to a committee on Wednesday in support of the bill, citing the fact that 75 percent of the state’s consumers have no local access to legal cannabis due to city and county bans on California’s voter-approved legal marijuana laws. ‘The premise of this measure is to ensure that the will of the voters to create a safe access to medical and recreation cannabis is preserved and, in some cases, returned,’ Lara said at Wednesday’s hearing. ‘This measure is not intended to interfere with a local government decision to abstain from or ban licensing, taxing or regulating cannabis businesses.’” [editor’s note: All that politicians have to do to “ensure easy access to legal marijuana” is get the hell out of the way entirely – TLK] (05/04/18)

https://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2018/05/04/lawmakers-want-to-expand-marijuana-delivery-throughout-all-of-california

—–

13) Pakistan: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal shot at election rally
Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has been wounded by an unidentified gunman at an election rally in central Punjab province, according to officials. Iqbal, 59, was shot in the shoulder on Sunday after addressing the crowd gathered in his native Narowal district, Federal Minister Talal Chaudhry told local TV station Geo News. … Television footage showed a prone Iqbal being wheeled into the government-run hospital following the attack. Chaudhry said that at least one man had been arrested at the scene of the attack, adding that investigations were ongoing.” (05/06/18)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/pakistan-interior-minister-ahsan-iqbal-shot-election-rally-180506135949029.html

—–

14) Drug warriors trot out new fake news to justify their continued depredations
Source: SCNow

“The story line sounds familiar: A popular pain drug becomes a new way to get high as prescribing by doctors soars. But the latest drug raising red flags is not part of the opioid family at the center of the nation’s drug epidemic. It’s a 25-year-old generic pill long seen as a low-risk way to treat seizures, nerve pain and other ailments. The drug, called gabapentin, is one of the most prescribed medications in the U.S., ranking ninth over the last year, according to prescription tracker GoodRx.” [editor’s note: I use gabapentin. Contra the article, I’m unaware of any “high” from it, and its presence in the bloodstreams of opiate overdose victims is just an indication that most users of pain medications are in, um, PAIN – TLK] (05/06/18)

http://www.scnow.com/living/health/article_543349aa-50ae-11e8-9bd2-0783acdd15dc.html

—–

15) Afghanistan: More than a dozen killed in mosque blast
Source: CNN

“At least 13 people were killed, and dozens more injured, after an explosion at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the latest in a wave of deadly attacks in the country in recent weeks. The mosque, in the city of Khost, was also being used as a voter registration center, ahead of parliamentary elections in October. The blast was caused by a bomb placed in the mosque, rather than by a suicide bomber, Khost’s Chief of Police Basir Bina told CNN. The Taliban denied involvement in the blast, and so far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened at 2:20pm local time.” (05/06/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/06/middleeast/khost-afghanistan-blast-mosque-intl/index.html

—–

16) McCain says he regrets picking Palin as running mate
Source: The Hill

“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he regrets choosing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to be his running mate during the 2008 presidential campaign. The New York Times reported on Saturday that McCain, while still defending Palin’s performance, said in his upcoming book ‘The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations’ that he wishes he had instead selected former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) His advisers reportedly had warned against choosing Lieberman, who was once a Democrat, stating that Lieberman’s support of abortion rights could divide Republicans. … Lieberman recently visited McCain, 81, at his ranch in Arizona where the senator is recovering from his brain cancer treatment and surgery for an infection. Recently released excerpts from McCain’s upcoming memoir indicate that he doesn’t know how much time he has left to live while battling the glioblastoma he was diagnosed with last year.” [editor’s note: I’m not sure whether Lieberman or Palin would have been worse, either as a candidate or in office – TLK] (05/05/18)

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/386392-mccain-i-regret-picking-palin-as-my-vice-presidential-nominee

—–

17) Anger from French, British gun-grabbers over Trump NRA speech
Source: Yahoo! News

“U.S. President Donald Trump caused anger in France and Britain by [noticing that] looser gun laws could have helped prevent deadly attacks in Paris in 2015 and linking knife crime in London to a handgun ban. In a speech to the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday, Trump mimicked the shooting of victims in the Paris rampage and said if civilians had been armed ‘it would have been a whole different story.’ The French government issued its strongest criticism of Trump since he took office and one minister urged the leader to apologise, at a time when President Emmanuel Macron has been reinforcing bilateral ties following a state visit.” (05/06/18)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/anger-france-britain-over-trumps-gun-law-speech-114117189.html

—–

18) California: Republicans try to bury differences for survival
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“For the sake of the California Republican Party’s survival, its chairman, Jim Brulte, instituted a rule for candidates speaking to convention delegates Saturday: ‘They only get to say positive things about themselves. If they want to say something negative, it ought to be about Democrats, not other Republicans.’ The two GOP candidates for governor ignored Brulte’s plea; at least when they were offstage. There, one mocked the other as a ‘beta male’ who stole his campaign slogan and the other retorted that his rival is ‘immature’ and ‘says a lot of dumb things.’ To California Republicans, obeying Ronald Reagan’s oft-quoted 11th Commandment — ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican’ — isn’t about etiquette. The fate of the GOP-held House could depend on whether Republicans show some unity Sunday.” (05/05/18)

https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/California-Republicans-try-to-bury-differences-12891431.php?t=67105c5399

—–

19) TN: $7 million federal funding scandal hits Metro Nashville administrations of Briley, Barry & Dean
Source: Tennessee Star

“A WSMV investigation revealed on Friday that $7 million in federal flood relief funds provided to the Metro Nashville Government in 2010 were not used for flood relief at all, but were instead used to build the Ascend Amphitheater downtown. The stunning revelation rocked the special mayoral election, and cast doubt on fiscal management and legal compliance with federal funding rules on the administrations of former Mayor Karl Dean, former Mayor Megan Barry, and Acting Mayor David Briley, who is a candidate in the May 24 special mayoral election. ‘Nashville got $10 million from HUD’s Disaster Recovery Fund to start and received another $22 million in a second appropriation from HUD in 2011,’ after the 2010 Nashville floods, WSMV reported, adding: ‘Our News4 I-Team investigation discovered that one-third of that $22 million — $7.4 million — never went to flooded homeowners. It was used to design Ascend Amphitheater, a downtown concert venue.’” (05/05/18)

http://tennesseestar.com/2018/05/04/7-million-scandal-hits-metro-nashville-administrations-of-david-briley-megan-barry-and-karl-dean

—–

20) Trump regime removes language on freedom of the press from Justice Department handbook
Source: The Independent [UK]

“The Trump administration has removed language about freedom of the press from its guidebook for US attorneys. The US Attorneys’ Manual is a guide to Justice Department policies written for US attorneys and other department employees. It was edited late last year, for the first time in two decades, with significant changes to the ‘Media Relations’ section — changes experts say reflect a larger Trump administration hostility towards members of the press. Gone from the handbook is a section specifically reminding attorneys of the public’s right to know. Gone is a section on the need for free press and public trial. Added to the manual is a section reminding employees to report any concerns to their superiors, and requiring them to disclose any contacts they have with the media.” (05/07/18)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/justice-department-press-freedom-free-trial-us-attorneys-manual-trump-adminstration-a8330036.html

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

21) CFPB makes war on the poor in the name of “protecting” them
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Pawn shops still exist, but I suspect payday lending has cut into their business quite a bit. If you’re employed and get a regular paycheck, a payday lender will advance you some money, which you pay back with interest. Yes, it’s high interest by comparison to, say, a home mortgage. Yes, some people get dragged down into recurring cycles of borrow and pay. Being poor sucks. Believe me, I know. But CPFB’s ‘solution’ is far worse than the alleged problem. Their rules just make it harder for you to get a loan, as if some Washington bureaucrat knows your finances and your needs better than you do. You and that bureaucrat have a lot in common: Both of you want to run your life.” (05/06/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/13514

—–

22) Revolution in the Volunteer State?
Source: Steemit
by Steve Trinward

“It has been said recently, by many people, that we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift. (Scott Adams calls it a Golden Age.) If you live in Nashville, or many parts of Tennessee, you maybe know this firsthand. I’ll begin with bullet points, to give you a reason to read the whole piece as you wish: * Nashville: Megan Barry demise, transit scam smashed, new Mayoral election, real chance for change. * Knoxville: Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs wins GOP primary for that city’s mayoral race. * Tennessee: Take a look at the ballot for Governor. and wonder why it’s so crowded.” (05/07/18)

https://steemit.com/carol/@wordmaker7/revolution-in-the-volunteer-state

—–

23) Do family values stop at the Rio Grande for conservatives?
Source: Reason
by Shikha Dalmia

“There is a horrifying scene unfolding at America’s southern border, with the U.S. government forcibly taking children away from fleeing parents seeking asylum. Why aren’t social conservatives, who supposedly hold family values and cohesion in such high esteem, outraged over what’s happening? After all, they spent last week justifiably howling over the British government’s refusal to let a mom and dad fly their 2-year-old son, who was on life support and has since died, to the Vatican for treatment. But when it comes to the rights of the parents and children at their own doorstep? Nada. Not a word.” (05/05/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/05/05/do-family-values-stop-at-the-rio-grande

—–

24) Xtreme taxpayer-sponsored space sports
Source: HubPages
by Garry Reed

“Wherever invaders invade, their sports go with them. The Romans introduced bear baiting to far-off Britain. Then the Brits concocted cricket and exported it to the New World, where it was turned into baseball by the Yanks who later taught it to little Japanese kids to help them forget about atomic bombs. Later on, via Alan Shepard’s moon walk in February, 1971, America — at great public expense — brought the game of golf to Terra’s moon. That game of Lunar Links, to the frustration of libertarian economists everywhere, was the beginning of taxpayer-subsidized space sports.” (05/05/18)

https://hubpages.com/politics/Xtreme-Taxpayer-Sponsored-Space-Sport

—–

25) Repeal the Logan Act
Source: National Review
by Dan McLaughlin

“The old adage that ‘partisanship stops at the water’s edge’ is far more the exception than the rule in American history, so the examples of politicians of all the major parties making common cause with foreign governments against the incumbent Administration are far too numerous to recount in full here. … Recent examples include the Trump/Flynn outreach to Russia; Republicans working with Benjamin Netanyahu over the objections of President Obama; Nancy Pelosi traveling to Syria to meet with Assad over the objections of President Bush; the various freelance diplomacy activities of Jimmy Carter and Jesse Jackson; Ted Kennedy working with the Soviets at cross purposes to the Reagan Administration; and, of course, Jane Fonda’s famous trip to Hanoi. These and more examples suggest that we should apply the usual caution that we should not seek to impose vague, complex, or elastic laws against our political enemies if we do not want them used against our friends. All of these activities are subject to legitimate political criticism. But the dangers of giving the executive branch the power to criminalize them ought to be obvious.” (05/04/18)

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/congress-should-repeal-logan-act/

—–

26) Dial T for Tyranny
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by John W Whitehead

“What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing. Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better.” (05/04/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/dial-t-tyranny/

—–

27) No, the US isn’t “undertaxed”
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“One of the talking points Democrats and the left often drag out to justify reversing the Trump tax cuts is that the U.S. is ‘undertaxed’ compared with other nations. A new study shows that’s false. Everyone from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to socialist independent Bernie Sanders says they would reverse the tax cuts. It’s premised not on the idea that we spend too much, but that working Americans keep just too dang much of their own money. The problem is, as a new OECD study shows, that’s not true. The OECD, the think tank for the world’s wealthiest nations, looked at 12 major countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The U.S. finished third in terms of taxes at 18.4% of income. Only Germany (at 19.7%) and deeply financially troubled Italy (21.7%) are higher than the U.S. So at the time of Trump’s tax cuts last year, the U.S. wasn’t ‘undertaxed’ by any real measure.” (05/04/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/no-the-u-s-isnt-undertaxed

—–

28) It doesn’t matter what the majority says
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“Stating that the majority supports a law is irrelevant because there is no inherent wisdom in the majority. For example, if a majority favored a law that required the first born son of every family to be sacrificed to Beelzebub, would you agree that a law requiring that be passed? I’m guessing most people wouldn’t because it’s an awful idea. I’m also guessing that some proponent of democracy will dismiss my example and by extent my argument as being ridiculous, which it is because I chosen it specifically to illustrate my point in the most hyperbolic manner possible. To appease those individuals though, I will present a more realistic example.” (05/04/18)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2018/05/04/it-doesnt-matter-what-the-majority-says/

—–

29) Quantum Vibe, 05/04/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Gus Mendes

Cartoon. (05/04/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1792

—–

30) A public choice perspective on trade
Source: Free Association
by Sheldon Richman

“Let’s say you could make a strictly economic case for government interference with people’s trading activities, that is, with their ability to cooperate freely with others across the world. (I have no idea what ‘strictly economic case’ even means, but stay with me.) Would we free traders have to give up? No way. Why not? Because we could deploy solid persuasive public choice arguments against such interference.” (05/04/18)

https://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2018/05/tgif-public-choice-perspective-on-trade.html

—–

31) Calling out “hate speech” too often invites censorship
Source: The Daily Beast
by Nadine Strossen

“Hate is a large problem, which has undermined the safety, equality, dignity, and well-being of too many individuals and groups, and we must resist it vigorously and effectively. While censorship of hateful messages might appear to be a common-sense strategy for doing so, the actual record of such censorship, throughout history and around the world, shows that it is at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive. That is why so many hatemongers — from the Nazis in Germany to the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville — provoke and welcome efforts to silence them, in order to increase the attention and support they receive. In contrast, robust free speech–including through demonstrations, counterprotests, advocacy, education, and counseling–has a solid track record of advancing the essential causes of equality, diversity, inclusivity, individual well-being, and societal harmony.” (05/04/18)

https://www.thedailybeast.com/calling-out-hate-speech-too-often-invites-censorship

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32) Gig drivers not independent contractors, but employees
Source: The American Prospect
by Catherine L Fisk

“A unanimous decision Monday by the California Supreme Court appears to require companies like Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as employees, who must therefore be paid no less than the state’s minimum wage and be reimbursed for their vehicle expenses. In Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court, the court simplified and clarified the rules governing which workers are ’employees’ protected by state wage and hour law rather than unprotected [sic] ‘independent contractors.’ In an 80-page opinion, the court adopted for California the so-called ‘ABC Test,’ a rule already in use in Massachusetts and New Jersey, which is more employee-protective than the old California law or some federal laws. Under the ABC test, workers are presumed to be employees protected by law requiring payment of the state minimum wage and premium pay for overtime hours.” [editor’s note: Until we stop making “victims” out of people trying to make a living outside the norms, we will continue to see crasp like this – SAT] (05/04/18)

http://prospect.org/article/those-gig-drivers-arent-independent-contractors-theyre-employees

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33) The miracle of canned tuna salad
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“I was feeling the munchies and found a vending machine, which, to my amazement, would take credit cards for a purchase as low as $0.50. I stood before a cornucopia of delights from all over the world (candies, nuts, muffins, dried fruit, beef jerky, energy shots) each available with the push of a button, and had to choose. When I face such a situation, I can’t help but recall the discoveries of historians and anthropologists of how the largest swath of all known history has consisted of human beings struggling for the next meal. Instead of running around fields, digging in the dirt, or risking life on the high seas, we stand in front of machines and swipe a plastic card. Clothing and housing were easy by comparison to the great problem of getting food — especially when it had to come mostly from what was available in near proximity. ” (05/04/18)

https://www.aier.org/article/miracle-canned-tuna-salad

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34) Amazon and Seattle — if you tax business maybe it doesn’t turn up to be taxed?
Source: Continental Telegraph
by Tim Worstall

“It’s still true that if you tax something you’ll get less of it. Tax big business in Seattle more and you’ll get less big business in Seattle. How much less depends upon elasticity. One description of that being well, how easy is it to dodge the new tax? As Amazon can stick its new building of office drones just outside Seattle city limits it’s actually pretty easy. Therefore the reduction in business activity from the institution of the tax will be quite large — elasticity.” (05/04/18)

http://www.continentaltelegraph.com/business/amazon-and-seattle-if-you-tax-business-maybe-it-doesnt-turn-up/

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35) Why have gasoline prices risen lately?
Source: Independent Institute
by William Shughart

“If you wonder why prices at the gas pump have been climbing recently and are expected to continue to climb, look no further than the sharp drop in crude oil production in Venezuela, the Saudi Arabia of the Americas. Counting its huge tar-sands deposits, Venezuela has more crude oil than any other country in the world. Nevertheless, oil output in that failed socialist state has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, largely because of mismanagement and corruption. The production collapse there coincides with announcements by Saudi Arabia and Russia of coordinated efforts to bolster world oil prices, which have climbed more than 60 percent since last summer, reaching a three-year high.” (05/04/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/05/04/why-have-gasoline-prices-risen-lately/

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36) “Being informed” no longer means following the news
Source: The Libertarian Republic
by Jennifer Fisher

“‘Being informed’ has been regarded as one of the highest virtues in the post-Enlightenment era of the West. And for the majority of this era, ‘being informed’ has largely meant following the news and current events on a daily basis. So much did the ritual of checking the news each morning and evening become part of the Western makeup that Nietzsche once cynically remarked that it had replaced prayer in the life of modern man. Many of us in the 35+ age range have fond memories of this ritual — our parents seated around the table in the morning with a section of the newspaper in hand, or the voice of Peter Jennings or Tom Brokaw in the background as dinner was being prepared. This was what was done by someone who sought to stay ‘informed.’ It was something to be emulated. However, this is no longer the case. ‘Being informed’ no longer means following the news. As veteran journalist Michael Goodwin has noted, we are witnessing ‘the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.’” (05/04/18)

https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/being-informed-no-longer-means-following-the-news/

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37) Matt Bevin’s revenge?
Source: The New Republic
by Sarah Jones

“Weeks after public school teachers across the state walked out of class, the Kentucky Department of Education has recommended that the state assume control of Kentucky’s largest school system. Commissioners appointed by the state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, would have final say over the affairs of the Jefferson County public school system, which serves the city of Louisville and surrounding areas. Opponents of a takeover say state control may not necessarily be the answer to the county’s problems. They’re concerned that this may be the prelude to greater privatization of the system, which itself could be part of a retaliatory campaign against the teachers and their supporters. Jefferson County is largely Democratic, and it mostly supported April’s walkout; in fact, the district was home to some of the state’s earliest teacher sickouts ahead of the large-scale walkouts that captured national attention. Jefferson County, therefore, challenges the authority of a governor who does not appreciate such challenges.” (05/04/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/148234/matt-bevins-revenge

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38) The pitfalls of maximalism in North Korea diplomacy
Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“It is possible North Korea could be persuaded to accept limitations on the size of its arsenal and to make its temporary moratorium on weapons and missile testing permanent. That would be a genuine and worthwhile improvement over the status quo, and it wouldn’t have to come at the expense of South Korea’s policy of engagement. That would require setting aside maximalist demands to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons and other unconventional weapons programs. In short, it would require the Trump administration to be open to making a compromise that falls well short of its stated goal. There is no sign that the administration is willing to do that yet, and that suggests that they may not even realize the pitfalls that lie ahead.” (05/04/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-pitfalls-of-maximalism-in-north-korea-diplomacy/

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39) So that’s what you spend your money on
Source: Show-Me Institute
by James V Shuls, PhD

“A few weeks ago I asked the question, ‘school administrators, what did you spend your money on?’ The purpose of that piece was to show that Missouri has been increasing school funding, but that money has not translated to higher teacher salaries. I showed that much of the money went to additional people, such as aides and administrators, and some went to increased costs for benefits. A recent audit of the Hazelwood school district offers even more answers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the full story, and I suggest you check it out. Here are some of the highlights: ‘The audit noted that the School Board and superintendent spent more than $387,000 in the past two school years on membership fees, travel, gifts, airfare and meeting expenses. The district spends tens of thousands of dollars on items such as sympathy flowers, sympathy cards, ‘excessive tipping,’ bellhops, valet parking, extra airline fees, gifts, T-shirts and board meals.” [editor’s note: Of course, the school administrators AREN’T spending their money. They’re spending everyone else’s money. And that’s the problem – TLK] (05/04/18)

https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/accountability/so-%E2%80%99s-what-you-spent-your-money

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40) Florida’s Amendment 4 would end 150 years of disenfranchisement
Source: Palm Beach Free Press
by staff

“Today, we will talk about Amendment 4 which would restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis. Many in the state would like to see the automatic restoration of all one’s constitutional rights once they have served their time; however, voting is the only right Amendment 4 addresses.” (05/04/18)

https://palmbeachfreepress.com/2018/05/04/floridas-amendment-4-would-end-150-years-of-disenfranchisement/

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41) The role of prevention in healthcare reform
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“‘Remember the old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” asks United Healthcare. ‘Maintaining or improving your health is important — and a focus on regular preventive care, along with following the advice of your doctor, can help you stay healthy’ … You would think that a private insurer, on the hook for big claims down the road if preventive measures did not catch health problems early, would know, if anyone did. Popular opinion seems to agree. … But there is more to the story. Yes, healthcare reform needs to get preventive care right, but preventive care is not the magic bullet that will make us healthier and cut national healthcare spending. Here are some of the issues.” (05/04/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/the-role-of-prevention-in-health-care-reform/

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42) Fourteen common arguments against immigration and why they’re wrong
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Alex Nowrasteh

“Arguments against immigration come across my desk every day, but I rarely encounter a unique one. In 2016, I wrote a blog responding to the most common arguments with links to different research. Since then, academics and policy analysts have produced new research that should be included. These are the main arguments against immigration, my quick responses to them, and links to some of the most relevant evidence …” (05/04/18)

https://fee.org/articles/14-common-arguments-against-immigration-and-why-they-re-wrong/

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43) JFK and the inconceivable doctrine, part 2
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“A lone-theorist might say, ‘Jacob, it is just inconceivable that the CIA and the Pentagon would engage in assassination.’ Yet, the evidence is overwhelming that both the Pentagon and the CIA have assassinated people and, in fact, continue to assassinate people. The circumstantial evidence indicates that as far back as 1953 the CIA was specializing in the art of assassination. That fact is demonstrated by the discovery in the 1990s of a top-secret CIA assassination manual that was being developed as part of the U.S. national-security state’s regime-change operation against Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz.” (05/04/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/05/04/jfk-inconceivable-doctrine-part-2/

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44) Fighting the tropes of Russian propaganda
Source: Reuters
by John Lloyd

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has been mad at the West for years. Indeed, he came to office mad at the West, because he thought the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century,’ and has blamed NATO expansion for post-Cold War tensions with Russia. Like most Russians, he blamed the liberal policies of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union for much of the catastrophe. But Putin also saw the West, especially the United States, as unrelenting in its efforts to destroy the country which he, as a KGB officer, had been trained to both venerate and serve. Tens of millions of Russians, who had moved to, or were born in Ukraine, the Baltic States, Central Asia and the Caucasus, found themselves, on the rending of the Soviet Union, foreigners in new nation states. In these, they were often regarded (as in the Baltic states and Georgia) with hostility. Putin saw it as his first task to protect the country left to him and to do what he could to protect the exiled Russians.” (05/04/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-russia-commentary/commentary-fighting-the-tropes-of-russian-propaganda-idUSKBN1I5206

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45) Any discussion of Russian disinfo invalid unless it addresses Iraq lies
Source: Caitlin Johnstone Blog
by Caitlin Johnstone

“The Guardian has published an article titled ‘Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance’ with an update on the British government’s efforts to help form an international coalition that will ‘combat Russian disinformation.’ ‘Russian denials over Salisbury and Douma reveal a state uninterested in cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth,’ the article’s author complains on behalf of the empire he serves, ‘but instead using both episodes to try systematically to divide western electorates and sow doubt.’ Western mass media outlets everywhere have been sounding an increasingly shrill alarm about ‘Russian disinformation’ regarding the Salisbury Skripal poisoning and the alleged Douma gas attack in Syria, and this Guardian article by Patrick Wintour forms a new step along the same trajectory. No attempt is ever made to describe why it is so dangerous to ‘sow doubt’ about unproven allegations long before investigations into either event have run their course. More curiously, no attempt to address Iraq is ever made.” (04/05/18)

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46) How inequality concentrates talent, not just money
Source: Our Future
Sam Pizzigati

“The German sociologist Georg Simmel, way back in 1900, likened grand concentrations of private wealth to stars in the sky. These days, here in our second grand global Gilded Age, the more appropriate celestial analogy might be the black hole. The more wealth concentrates in a precious few pockets, we’ve come to understand, the more the resulting concentration sucks out from the rest of society. What exactly gets sucked out from below? Money, of course. But much more as well. Grand concentrations of wealth at the economic summit suck up talent. The latest case in point: the career of the world-class designer Frank Stephenson. This 58-year-old has already made a creative impact on us. A decade ago, one business media outlet dubbed him one of our time’s ‘most influential automotive designers.” [editor’s note: I seldom agree with this guy, but his ability to present “progressive” ideas without shrieking continues me in posting his columns – SAT] (05/04/18)

https://ourfuture.org/20180504/a-black-hole-right-here-on-earth

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47) Leaving the ultimate misnomer behind
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Daniel Press

“Congress has a dwindling number of days left to stop a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulation that will make payday loans difficult for consumers to get. Access to such short-term, small-dollar, high-interest loans may not matter to people who already have savings or credit cards on hand for emergencies, but it’s a big deal to working Americans on lower economic rungs who suddenly need a loan to cover rent, make a car repair, or pay a utility bill. For those on the financial fringe, small dollar loans serve as a backstop to calamity. Around 35 million households lack steady access to traditional banks, either because they cannot afford the minimum deposits and fees, or because they’ve been regulated out of reach. That has caused a disconnect between the working poor and the upper echelons of society. The latter can simply charge a sudden expense, like an unexpected car repair, to their credit card or dip into savings. But millions of Americans don’t have that choice.” (05/04/18)

https://cei.org/content/leaving-ultimate-misnomer-behind

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48) Roaming charges: All the president’s lawyers
Source: CounterPunch
by Jeffrey St. Clair

“My theory, articulated several weeks ago, that the president Trump most resembles is Bill Clinton just got another point of proof with the hiring of Emmet Flood, one of Clinton’s top defense attorney’s in the Whitewater case. Flood comes to Trump’s defense from the glitzy DC law firm of Williams and Connelly, founded by the legendary Edwin Bennet Williams, former attorney for Katharine Graham and the Washington Post. Just when you thought ‘As Trump World Turns’ couldn’t get any weirder comes the episode featuring the Russian MMA fighter …” (05/04/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/04/roaming-charges-all-the-presidents-lawyers/

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49) Law of comparative advantage
Source: Cobden Centre
by Alasdair Macleod

“The debates about Brexit and President Trump’s trade machinations have demonstrated the blindness of otherwise intelligent people to the Law of Comparative Advantage. Let me attempt a contemporary definition: ‘The Law of Comparative Advantage states that an entity maximises its resources by producing that which gives the best return, while delegating production of all other products and services to other entities more cost-effective in their production.’ This is the justification behind the principle of the division of labour. But it is amazing how people ignore it when it comes to cross-border trade, particularly the Remainers in the Brexit debate, and Donald Trump with his trade policies.” (05/04/18)

https://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/05/law-of-comparative-advantage/

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50) Sweet schadenfreude?
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Yesterday, jurors convicted former Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods on 15 felony counts consisting of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Woods was at the center of a corrupt scheme to reward cronies at Ecclasia College and AmeriWorks with GIFs — state General Improvement Funds — in return for kickbacks. Former State Rep. Micah Neal, his co-conspirator, pleaded guilty more than a year ago. And last month, the former president of Ecclesia College, Oren Paris III, also admitted guilt. Regular readers may remember Woods as the Senate author of Issue 3, placed on the 2014 ballot by legislators — along with a summary for voters to read that fibbed about ‘establishing term limits’ and imposing a gift ban between lobbyists and legislators.” (05/04/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/05/04/sweet-schadenfreude/

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

51) Free Talk Live, 05/05/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Boy Scouts Change Name :: Melania Trump KGB? :: Gambling Cards Evil! :: Chinese Prom Dress Stirs Controversy :: Leftist Superiority :: Markets and Regulation :: Ten Commandments Statue Returns to Arkansas State Capitol, Lawsuit Looms :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark.” [Flash audio or MP3] (05/05/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-05-05

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52) Scott Adams Says, 05/05
Source: Scott Adams Says

“Scott Adams tells you how Trump’s brand helps him in an unexpected way. Bring coffee.” [Flash video] (05/05/18)

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

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53) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 144
Source: Johnny Rocket Launch Pad

“In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I am releasing the hidden interview I did with Joshua B. Wilcoxon, and Marc Clair. I was pretty drunk, and this almost wasn’t released, because of that! In this show, Joshua talks about the medicinal purposes of cannabis and how CBD’s changed his life. Later in the show, I am back to normal and talk with Alexander Meyer about property rights.” [various formats] (05/05/18)

http://jrlp.podbean.com/e/johnny-rocket-launch-pad-episode-144-the-cbd-blues-interview-w-joshua-b-wilcoxson/

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54) Anarcho Agenda, episode 66
Source: Anarcho Agenda

“College degrees vs trades, better ways to help the homeless, and much more.” [various formats] (05/05/18)

http://anarchoagenda.libsyn.com/anarcho-agenda-ep-66-2018-05-05

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55) The LAVA Flow, episode 90
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“Alfie Evans has been murdered by the state, and this one hit me really hard. What’s in the news with stories on more government murder, Bill Weld, busybodies, cops quitting at record levels, and cop corruption. Finally, an And Yet another Bad Cop segment on even more government murder.” [various formats] (05/04/18)

http://thelavaflow.com/alfie-evans-murdered-by-the-government-tlf090/

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56) Cato Daily Podcast, 05/04/18
Source: Cato Institute

“The future of trade policy may be one in which American trading relationships falter as the rest of the world takes its business elsewhere. Scott Lincicome comments.” [various formats] (05/04/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/tariffs-not-only-impose-immense-economic-costs-also-fail-achieve-their

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57) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 05/04/18
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“America’s monetary system was hijacked in 1913. The U.S. Constitution wasn’t amended to bring about The Federal Reserve ….it was just ignored. We use unconstitutional money every day. This ‘system’ is the monetary system of Empire. It was constructed for that purpose. We’ll, anyone with even a passing knowledge of history, knows what happens to Empires. There’s a crisis ahead, and you’d be correct to blame the Fed!” [Flash video] (05/04/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/blame-the-fed-crisis-ahead

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58) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1150
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“David Pakman of the David Pakman Show, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, square off in a discussion of allegations of collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials and operatives.” [various formats] (05/04/18)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1150-debate-is-there-anything-to-russiagate/

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59) Editor’s Break, episode 81
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 081 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: bullying our children into standing up for themselves toward bullies; when laws become totally outrageous and we’re no longer willing to support them; why libertarianism is unpopular; how libertarianism fails and why that’s really a bad question to begin with; and more.” [various formats[ (05/04/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/bullies-outrageous-laws-libertarian-unpopularity-and-failures-29m-editors-break-081

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60) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 238
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Will Duffield joins us again to discuss Cambridge Analytica and the future of social media.” [various formats] (05/04/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/whats-facebook-done-data

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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