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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,981
Thursday, May 24th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Italy: President names novice Giuseppe Conte as populist PM
2) Amnesty International: Rohingya insurgents massacred Hindu civilians in Myanmar
3) Judge: I have no earthly idea what the First Amendment means or requires
4) Trump lawyer “paid by Ukraine” to arrange White House talks
5) Kushner receives permanent security clearance, ending uncertainty over his status
6) NFL’s new policy on national anthem: Players, teams can be fined if they don’t stand
7) TX: Patterson removed as head of Southern Baptist seminary
8) More families of Sandy Hook victims, FBI agent join in frivolous litigation vs. Alex Jones
9) Source: Trump may impose tariffs on car imports in latest trade move
10) Fed minutes show support for June hike and calm about inflation outlook
11) Israeli: Katz says US may soon recognize Israel’s hold on Golan Heights
12) McDonald’s employees allege sexual harassment
13) AL: Huntsville cops investigate themselves, clear themselves
14) Russia: Regime launches four ballistic missiles from under the sea in what it claims is the most powerful weapons test from a single submarine since the Cold War
15) UBS warns there could be an oil price spike to $100 that triggers a US recession
16) Court: Federal civil rights law protects transgender people
17) “Recipe for authoritarianism”: Amazon under fire for selling face-recognition software to police
18) Comcast’s Xfinity website had a bug that leaked Wi-Fi passwords
19) DC: Sinkhole opens on White House lawn outside press briefing room
20) GA: Abrams wins Democratic gubernatorial primary; runoff between Cagle, Kemp for GOP

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) A graduation message for a dark age
22) The state in education, part 1: A history
23) The undemocratic spread of Big Brother
24) Deep State swamp monster says there is no Deep State
25) The danger of our left-right political divide
26) Millennial generation’s faith in free enterprise can be restored
27) Elon Musk is the Cosmo Kramer of crony capitalism
28) High marginal tax rates on the poor are creating an underground economy
29) Trump’s nuke focus misses Kim Jong Un’s real leverage
30) Avengers, Infinity War: Drops the population bomb
31) Election 2018: Make gridlock great again?
32) Anti-commandeering: An overview of five major Supreme Court cases
33) Just say yes
34) What turns an outsider into a president?
35) “Avengers: Infinity War” and the economics of infinity
36) European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and lessons for US privacy policy
37) The surprising [sic] list of Democrats who just (gratuitously) bowed to big finance
38) Is China and the yuan the future of Venezuela?
39) Erdogan wants to be Turkey’s lone strongman. What if he gets what he wants?
40) Thanks to Koch Brothers, GOP Congress in on the take
41) The simulation of democracy
42) Laws themselves a senseless crime
43) Let the farm bill stay dead
44) Markets aren’t miraculous; God bless the world
45) Stupid Patent of the Month: Facebook joins the online dating arms race
46) Trade deals must protect intellectual property rights [sic] 47) Hooray for Congress!
48) Congress stands with the blue, against the Constitution
49) What Planned Parenthood could learn from me
50) Quantum Vibe, 05/23/18

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 217
52) Scott Adams Says, 05/23/18
53) Political Research Digest, 05/23/18
54) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 05/23/18
55) Cato Daily Podcast, 05/23/18
56) Electric Libertyland, episode 73
57) Intercepted, 05/23/18
58) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 197
59) Free Talk Live, 05/22/18
60) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 162

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

1) Italy: President names novice Giuseppe Conte as populist PM
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella has accepted a political novice as prime minister, paving the way for two populist parties to form a government. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and right-wing League chose law professor Giuseppe Conte in a bid to end 11 weeks of political deadlock. The 53-year-old has faced claims that he embellished his CV, which he denies. Concerns remain over the two parties, which reject years of EU austerity and want to renegotiate Italy’s debt.” (05/23/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44223034

—–

2) Amnesty International: Rohingya insurgents massacred Hindu civilians in Myanmar
Source: Time

“Last August, nearly 100 Hindu villagers were massacred, their bodies found buried in mass graves in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Rakhine state. For nearly a year, it’s been unclear who perpetrated the attack. The Myanmar military blamed a Muslim Rohingya insurgent group known as ARSA, while the militants pinned the slaughter on the largely Buddhist state security forces. A new report by Amnesty International holds the insurgents responsible for the bloodshed. According to Amnesty, armed men dressed in black and plain-clothed Rohingya villagers appeared in the village of Ah Nauk Kha Maung Seik around 8 a.m. local time and rounded up dozens of Hindu women, men and children. Starting with the men, the victims were blindfolded and 53 people executed.” (05/23/18)

http://time.com/5288063/amnesty-report-rohingya-militants-massacred-hindus-in-myanmar/

—–

3) Judge: I have no earthly idea what the First Amendment means or requires
Source: NBC News

“President Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users for the political views they have expressed, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday. Blocking users from viewing his Twitter account — a feature offered by the social media platform — is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her ruling. … The government had argued that blocked individuals could still access the president’s tweets. The judge agreed but said that even considering the president’s First Amendment rights, preventing users from interacting directly with him on Twitter represented a violation of a ‘real, albeit narrow, slice of speech.’” (05/23/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-can-t-block-users-his-twitter-feed-federal-judge-n876831

—–

4) Trump lawyer “paid by Ukraine” to arrange White House talks
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved. The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law. Mr Cohen denies the allegation. The meeting at the White House was last June. Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. … There is no suggestion that Mr Trump knew about the payment.” (05/23/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44215656

—–

5) Kushner receives permanent security clearance, ending uncertainty over his status
Source: Washington Post

“Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, now has a permanent security clearance and recently sat for six to seven hours of questioning by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team on a wide range of topics including Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, according to a person briefed on the matter. The FBI’s background check into Kushner’s financial history and foreign contacts took more than a year, and his clearance level was downgraded in February, becoming a source of uncertainty for the West Wing aide and blocking him from approved access to some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets. The granting of the security clearance suggests that investigators’ scrutiny of Kushner has decreased significantly.” (05/23/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/jared-kushner-receives-permanent-security-clearance-ending-uncertainty-over-his-status/2018/05/23/b4a57fae-5eb6-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html

—–

6) NFL’s new policy on national anthem: Players, teams can be fined if they don’t stand
Source: Yahoo! News

“The NFL has an official rule against kneeling during the national anthem. Following a year of hand-wringing and disagreement inside the league’s ownership ranks, team owners approved a new measure on Wednesday that gives players the option of staying in the locker room during the national anthem if they don’t wish to stand during the ceremonies. Under the new rule, players who choose to be on the field during the anthem will be required to stand. If a player or team employee is on the field during the anthem and chooses not to stand, that player’s franchise will be fined by the NFL. In turn, players and employees who choose to attend the anthem ceremonies but do not stand will also be eligible for a fine by their franchise, if the team chooses to levy one.” (05/23/18)

https://sports.yahoo.com/nfls-new-policy-national-anthem-players-can-fined-dont-stand-162017626.html

—–

7) TX: Patterson removed as head of Southern Baptist seminary
Source: Kansas City Star

“A former head of the Southern Baptist Convention was removed Wednesday as president of a Texas seminary following allegations of ‘unbiblical teaching’ through sexist and demeaning comments to women who he suggests should tolerate abuse. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees said in a statement that 75-year-old Paige Patterson was dismissed following a 13-hour meeting ‘to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary.’ The board named Patterson president emeritus with unspecified pay and will allow him and his wife to continue to live on campus as theologians-in-residence.” (05/23/18)

http://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article211726869.html

—–

8) More families of Sandy Hook victims, FBI agent join in frivolous litigation vs. Alex Jones
Source: Chicago Tribune

“Six more families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims sued right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for alleged defamation Wednesday for claiming the shooting was a hoax and the relatives are paid actors. An FBI agent who responded to the shooting joined the families as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court in Connecticut. The families of two other victims filed similar defamation lawsuits against Jones last month in Travis County, Texas, where his media company, Infowars, is based.” (05/23/18)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-sandy-hook-alex-jones-lawsuit-20180523-story.html

—–

9) Source: Trump may impose tariffs on car imports in latest trade move
Source: Reuters

“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to impose new tariffs on imported vehicles, invoking a national security law used to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel, an administration official and three industry officials briefed on the matter said. Another administration official said the move was aimed partly at pressuring Canada and Mexico to make concessions in talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement that have languished in part over auto provisions, as well as pressuring Japan and the European Union, which also export large numbers of vehicles to the United States.” (05/23/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-autos/trump-may-impose-tariffs-on-car-imports-in-latest-trade-move-sources-idUSKCN1IO1YM

—–

10) Fed minutes show support for June hike and calm about inflation outlook
Source: MarketWatch

“Federal Reserve officials in their meeting in early May confirmed they planned to raise interest rates in June and were not concerned they were behind the curve on inflation. ‘Most participants judged that if incoming information broadly confirmed their economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate for the FOMC to take another step in removing policy accommodation,’ the minutes said. Traders in the federal funds futures market see more than a 90% chance of a June rate hike.” (05/23/18)

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-minutes-show-support-for-june-hike-and-calm-about-inflation-outlook-2018-05-23

—–

11) Israeli: Katz says US may soon recognize Israel’s hold on Golan Heights
Source: Raw Story

“Israel is pressing the Trump administration to recognize its sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Wednesday, predicting U.S. assent could come within months. Interviewed by Reuters, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz described endorsement of Israel’s 51-year-old hold on the Golan as the proposal now ‘topping the agenda’ in bilateral diplomatic talks with the United States. Any such move would be seen as a follow-up on the U.S. exit from the international nuclear deal with Iran, and President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the opening of a new U.S. embassy there this month. Trump’s moves were hailed by Israel and caused deep concern among major European allies of Washington. There was no immediate comment from the White House on Katz’s remarks.” (05/23/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/05/israeli-minister-says-us-may-soon-recognize-israels-hold-golan-heights/

—–

12) McDonald’s employees allege sexual harassment
Source: CNN Money

“Ten female Mcdonald’s current and former employees have filed sexual harassment complaints against the company over the past week. … The complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in seven states, including Michigan, Florida and Louisiana. Most of the incidents were alleged to have occurred over the past two years. McDonald’s said in a statement on Tuesday the company takes sexual harassment allegations ‘very seriously.’” (05/23/18)

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/22/news/companies/mcdonalds-sexual-harassment/index.html

—–

13) AL: Huntsville cops investigate themselves, clear themselves
Source: AL.com

“Two Huntsville police officers captured on video arresting a suspect over the weekend have been cleared of excessive force allegations by an internal review, the department announced this afternoon. A video posted to Facebook just after midnight Sunday appears to show a man lying on the ground and being punched by at least one police officer. … ‘The Internal Affairs Division of the Huntsville Police Department reviewed the incident and found the officers acted within policy,’ the statement says.” (05/21/18)

https://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2018/05/huntsville_police_viral_video.html

—–

14) Russia: Regime launches four ballistic missiles from under the sea in what it claims is the most powerful weapons test from a single submarine since the Cold War
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“The Russian navy has launched four ballistic missiles from under the surface of the White Sea. It is the first time four missiles have been simultaneously launched from a vessel of the kind used in the exercise, which according to reports was the biggest of its kind since the Cold War. … The R-30 Bulava is a solid-propellant ballistic missile developed specially for Project 955 submarines. It can deliver 10 warheads of 150 kilotonnes each to a distance of 10,000 kilometers.” (05/23/18)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5761651/Russia-launches-four-ballistic-missiles-sea-biggest-test-sub-Cold-War.html

—–

15) UBS warns there could be an oil price spike to $100 that triggers a US recession
Source: CNBC

“Oil prices have broken out of a ‘sweet spot’ for global economic growth and could herald a U.S. recession if they keep rising, UBS warns. The Swiss investment bank on Tuesday joined a chorus of financial institutions in pondering the economic impact of oil prices at $100 a barrel. Crude futures are trading near their highest levels in 3 1/2 years, bolstered by strong demand, supply cuts from big producers, and mounting geopolitical tension in the Middle East and Venezuela.” (05/22/18)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/oil-prices-at-100-could-trim-global-growth-trigger-us-recession-ubs.html

—–

16) Court: Federal civil rights law protects transgender people
Source: CNN

“A federal court ruled against a Virginia school district on Tuesday, holding that federal law protects a transgender student who sought to use the boys’ bathroom at his school. The ruling is a victory for Gavin Grimm — a transgender male — who began his legal fight four years ago and has since graduated from the school. The court denied a motion filed by the school district to dismiss Grimm’s lawsuit. Grimm’s lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union argued that Title IX — a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs — includes discrimination based on gender identity.” (05/22/18)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics/transgender-student-virginia-bathroom/index.html

—–

17) “Recipe for authoritarianism”: Amazon under fire for selling face-recognition software to police
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“In the aftermath of the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of Michael Brown, police departments and policy makers around the country hit upon a supposed panacea to racist policing and police brutality: body-worn cameras. Many hailed the move as a victory for accountability. But among the few dissenters was Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and a leader in the Black Lives Matter network, who warned early and often that the cameras could become tools of surveillance against people of color because ‘body-worn cameras don’t watch the police, they watch the community being policed, people like me.’ The scope and scale of that surveillance became clearer Tuesday, when the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California released a collection of public records detailing how Amazon has been marketing and selling facial recognition software, called Amazon Rekognition, to law enforcement agencies. Amazon marketing materials promoted the idea of using Rekognition in conjunction with police body cameras in real time — exactly the outcome Cyril feared.” (05/22/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/22/amazon-rekognition-facial-recognition-police

—–

18) Comcast’s Xfinity website had a bug that leaked Wi-Fi passwords
Source: The Verge

“The Comcast website that activates Xfinity routers has a bug that exposes customers’ personal information. As reported by ZDNet, the page for setting up home Wi-Fi and cable services can display the home address of where the router is located and give away the Wi-Fi password. Comcast learned about the bug and fixed its site shortly after the report, and it said it’s conducting an investigation.” (05/22/18)

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/22/17381046/comcast-xfinity-website-bug-leaked-wi-fi-passwords

—–

19) DC: Sinkhole opens on White House lawn outside press briefing room
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A sinkhole opened Tuesday on the North Lawn of the White House, outside the press briefing room. Reporters shared pictures of the hole on Twitter. Voice of America’s Steve Herman noted that he’s been watching the hole grow bigger by the day.” [editor’s note: I know it would just break all our hearts if the thing swallowed the White House. And the rest of Washington – TLK] (05/23/18)

https://www.ajc.com/news/national/sinkhole-opens-white-house-lawn-outside-press-briefing-room/mVKYSOXZEyoIp1MfcztgjP/

—–

20) GA: Abrams wins Democratic gubernatorial primary; runoff between Cagle, Kemp for GOP
Source: Savannah Morning News

“Democrats were set to nominate a woman for governor either way, with Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans battling it out in a pitched primary fight. But the 44-year-old Abrams stood out in her bid to be the nation’s first black female governor. The Atlanta attorney and former state General Assembly leader also has been unabashed in her insistence that the way to dent Republican domination in Georgia isn’t by cautiously pursuing the older white voters who’ve abandoned Democrats over recent decades. Rather, she believes the path is to widen the electorate by attracting young voters and nonwhites who haven’t been casting ballots. She’ll test her theory as the underdog against either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who will meet in a July runoff.” (05/22/18)

http://www.savannahnow.com/news/20180522/governor-race-abrams-wins-democrats-runoff-between-cagle-kemp-for-gop

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

21) A graduation message for a dark age
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by John W Whitehead

“Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people. They will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice. As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences. It’s a dismal prospect, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to guard against such a future.” (05/23/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/a-graduation-message-for-a-dark-age/

—–

22) The state in education, part 1: A history
Source: Notes on Liberty
by Mary Lucia Darst

“The false promise of public education, as Nietzsche saw it, was that state schools claimed the laurels and legitimacy of private gymnasia through deceit — speaking to a university audience, he expected everyone to know that pre-state control, there were two types of secondary schools: gymnasium, where the student received a classical education and prepared to enter university, and realschule, where the student learned the three Rs, along with some science, and entered the workforce immediately after graduation. Nietzsche claimed that while the gymnasium curriculum needed a significant overhaul, the only products of the realschule were conformity, obedience, and an inflated sense of achievement. Hence, he believed, when the government took over the education system, officials chose to model the public school on the old realschule, while claiming that graduates had the knowledge and skills of the gymnasium.” ()5/23/18)

https://notesonliberty.com/2018/05/23/the-state-in-education-part-i-a-history/

—–

23) The undemocratic spread of Big Brother
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“Earlier this week, the ACLU led a coalition of two dozen civil-rights organizations in a new protest mounted in defense of an old proposition: that ‘people should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government.’ Facial-recognition technology threatens that proposition. Amazon is marketing a facial recognition product to local police agencies. And while it is hardly alone in that, its size, influence, and competence suggest that its product, Rekognition, could proliferate widely. That’s made it the target of protest. … In its research, the ACLU found that two jurisdictions already use the product: the city of Orlando, Florida, and the Sheriff’s Office in Washington County, Oregon …. The jurisdictions didn’t just acquire powerful new surveillance technology that undermines privacy — they did so without meaningfully seeking the permission of residents. That ought to spark outrage, recalls, and terminations — but it is not surprising. All over the United States, law-enforcement agencies quietly adopt technology that would spark intense debate if they first asked permission. They treat the public they are meant to serve as if its views don’t matter.” (05/23/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/the-undemocratic-spread-of-big-brother/560999/

—–

24) Deep State swamp monster says there is no Deep State
Source: Caitlin Johnstone Blog
by Caitlin Johnstone

“Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that he does not believe there is a deep state in the CIA, the State Department or the Department of Justice, which is the same as a mob boss saying he doesn’t believe there is organized crime in the Mafia. California Rep. Ted Lieu, himself a virulent Russiagater and aggressive defender of the US intelligence community, asked Pompeo if he believed there was a ‘Criminal Deep State’ at the State Department in reference to a recent tweet by America’s reality TV president. ‘I haven’t seen the comments from the president. I don’t believe there is a deep state at the State Department,’ Pompeo said.” (05/23/18)

—–

25) The danger of our left-right political divide
Source: Heartland Institute
by David S D’Amato

“[T]he conspicuousness of America’s political polarization belies a counterintuitive insight: the belligerents of the nation’s social and political war are actually very much alike. Culturally and aesthetically, the groups appear quite different, yet their political philosophies share a common heritage, rooted in the anti-Enlightenment ideas of the first half of the twentieth century. Gripped by reductionist groupthink, a toxin generated by the United States’ acrid culture-war politics, left and right are moving — regressing, in fact — toward their most crudely authoritarian incarnations. Their declension recalls the totalitarian communist and fascist ideologies of the early twentieth century. Classical liberalism effectively sidelined, the familiar battles of that period are reborn in the violent confrontations between the MAGA alt-right and black-clad antifascists, both groups equally enthralled by collectivism and intolerance.” (05/23/18)

http://blog.heartland.org/2018/05/the-danger-of-our-left-right-political-divide/

—–

26) Millennial generation’s faith in free enterprise can be restored
Source: Investor’s Business Daily
by Todd Hitt

“The last class of the millennial generation will graduate from college this month. These graduates enter the workforce deeply skeptical of the free enterprise system, and more likely than previous generations to embrace socialism. It’s up to us in the business community to lead by example and to prove the values that younger Americans prize — opportunity, independence, social consciousness, and entrepreneurship — flourish under free markets.” (05/23/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/millennials-free-enterprise-faith/

—–

27) Elon Musk is the Cosmo Kramer of crony capitalism
Source: The American Conservative
by Norm Singleton

“Anyone familiar with the hit sitcom Seinfeld knows that Cosmo Kramer, the rambunctious, eccentric neighbor of Jerry Seinfeld, had a lot of big ideas. From make-your-own-pizza parlors to tie dispensers to the infamous ‘mansierre,’ Kramer was — in his own mind — a world-changing revolutionary. Of course, aside from one notable exception (the Regis Philbin-approved pop-out coffee table book), none of his ideas ever panned out. But lack of achievement is exactly what viewers expected every week. The whole fun of Kramer was his dream-big mentality and the impracticality that came with it. … This comedy sitcom case study is ironically much more sensible than what occurs in real life. There are plenty of Cosmo Kramers out in the world today with ideas that are even more ambitious than anything Kramerica Industries could have formulated. The only difference is that these individuals have armies of lobbyists that can convince our spendthrift government to finance their ideas, even though they have yet to pass any free-market smell tests.” (05/23/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/elon-musk-is-the-cosmo-kramer-of-crony-capitalism/

—–

28) High marginal tax rates on the poor are creating an underground economy
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Alex Tabarrok

“High marginal taxes rates on the poor are a problem. We ought to be able to agree on that, even if we disagree on proposals to address the problem such as a universal basic income or a negative income tax. But in Forde’s magical world, up is down and down is up and the problem is that taxes on the poor are too low. But not to worry because this presents a hidden opportunity! … If nannies were taxed, the government would have more money to provide nannies with benefits. Wait, it gets worse. According to Forde, we can make both families and nannies better off by giving them back the money the government takes and still have money left over!” (05/23/18)

https://fee.org/articles/high-marginal-tax-rates-on-the-poor-are-creating-an-underground-economy/

—–

29) Trump’s nuke focus misses Kim Jong Un’s real leverage
Source: Reuters
by Kent Harrington

“Kim Jong Un has decided to show Donald Trump that the White House hasn’t cornered the market on drama, much less the Nobel Prize for bringing the two Koreas peace in their time. As the leader of a regime known for its bombast and abrupt about-faces, Kim’s threat to cancel their meeting in Singapore next month is par for the course in dealing with Pyongyang. But Kim also is sending a message: their agenda needs to go beyond his nuclear weapons and missiles.” (05/23/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-harrington-nkorea-commentary/commentary-trumps-nuke-focus-misses-kim-jong-uns-real-leverage-idUSKCN1IO2KJ

—–

30) Avengers, Infinity War: Drops the population bomb
Source: Independent Institute
by Sam Staley

“Controversy has ensnared the public discussion over Avengers: Infinity War and the bickering among Marvel Comics fans seems to have overshadowed the essential plot driver: In a world of finite resources, people need to die. Otherwise, our world is doomed, faced with environmental catastrophe because of over-consumption. Someone will have to choose who lives to consume resources and who doesn’t. Or do they? Unfortunately, audiences will have to wait until the second Infinity War movie is released to know how this conflict is finally resolved.” (05/23/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/05/23/avengers-infinity-war-is-a-superhero-allegory-for-the-debate-over-population-control/

—–

31) Election 2018: Make gridlock great again?
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Congress has been controlled by one party and the White House by another for eight of the last 12 years. But instead of gridlock, what we’ve mostly seen is a sort of mutual back-scratching process in which each party rages (with all the vigor and believability of professional wrestlers) at, then ‘reluctantly’ supports, the other’s excesses. George W. Bush and Barack Obama vetoed 12 bills each during their combined sixteen years as president — less than 2/3 as many as Bill Clinton in his eight years. The last president to veto fewer bills than either Bush or Obama was Warren G. Harding, who served for less than 2 1/2 years. The betting public sets reasonably good odds on a return to ‘divided government’ after this November’s midterm elections. … Could real gridlock be on its way back into fashion? I’d like to think so. But I don’t.” (05/23/18)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/13629

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32) Anti-commandeering: An overview of five major Supreme Court cases
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“The Supreme Court has long held that states do not have to be active participants in the enforcement or effectuation of federal acts or regulatory programs. The basis for what is now known as the legal doctrine of ‘anti-commandeering’ was the advice of James Madison, writing in Federalist #46. There, he advised four primary tactics for individuals and states to effectively push back against federal overreach, including a ‘refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.’ The following are the five landmark cases where the Court has upheld this doctrine.” (05/23/18)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/

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33) Just say yes
Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“The double-whammy outrage of the Eighth Amendment is first that it limits women’s autonomy, preventing them from exercising self-government, from exercising sovereignty over their bodies and minds; and secondly that it removes the issue of abortion from the democratic sphere. Instead, through making the restriction on abortion an actual constitutional stipulation, the Eighth Amendment puts abortion on the rarefied, unreachable, legal plane of constitutional expertise. It tells Irish people that abortion is not something they should think about too much or publicly discuss or seek to liberalise; instead, it is an issue for the clever and legally minded, to be kept away from hoi polloi. A Yes vote will change this forever. It will instantly make this issue that touches upon liberty, choice, equality, community and health into a matter of public concern, of public control, a matter for the people.” (05/23/18)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/just-say-yes/

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34) What turns an outsider into a president?
Source: The New Republic
by Maya Averbuch

“‘I make three promises to the people,’ Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the white-haired progressive who has been gunning for the Mexican presidency for over a decade, told crowds in the capital at the start of his campaign. ‘I never lie, I never steal, and I never betray.’ Mexico’s July election may finally be the right moment for the controversial candidate, who has made headlines for proposals on everything from reducing former presidents’ pensions to granting amnesty for poppy growers. Discontent with the current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, and with policies that have led to high inequality and a skyrocketing murder rate, have won defectors to Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), bringing the once-marginalized candidate into the mainstream. His eye-catching qualities, some experts argue, mask a broader and more interesting story of societal change: The Mexican public has lost faith in almost a century of one-party or, in the latest years, two-party rule. If Lopez Obrador wins, it will be because they are convinced he is the only feasible alternative.” (05/23/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/148505/turns-outsider-president

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35) “Avengers: Infinity War” and the economics of infinity
Source: Acton Institute
by Jordan J Ballor, PhD

“The latest Marvel blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War, has opened to popular acclaim and record-breaking box office numbers. It is truly a spectacle, and one that expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into uncharted territory. But amid the special effects and the glamor, the plot that drives the action is an old one, and no less compelling because of its antiquity. Thanos, the Mad Titan, pursues absolute power in the form of the Infinity Gauntlet, which houses six gems whose origins lie beyond the creation of the cosmos. Thanos initially pursues this power not for its own sake but rather out of a well-intentioned but deeply misguided sense of limits of economic growth. What we find in the course of the film, however, is that the single-minded pursuit of such a pure ideological agenda always requires sacrifice.” (05/23/18)

https://acton.org/pub/commentary/2018/05/23/avengers-infinity-war-and-economics-infinity

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36) European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and lessons for US privacy policy
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Ryan Radia & Ryan Khurana

“The European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which enters into effect on May 25, 2018, is the most significant policy change regarding data collection and retention in history, with implications far beyond the EU. It could significantly impact any businesses or organizations in the United States and around the world that have any interaction with EU residents. The GDPR will affect not only Internet companies, but also businesses that collect or process personal data in the offline world. Worse, it will significantly harm competition and innovation not only in Europe, but around the world.” (05/23/18)

https://cei.org/content/european-unions-general-data-protection-regulation-and-lessons-us-privacy-policy

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37) The surprising [sic] list of Democrats who just (gratuitously) bowed to big finance
Source: In These Times
by David Dayen

“In a win for amnesia, Congress advanced a bipartisan bill on Tuesday deregulating the banking industry, just a decade after Wall Street triggered a financial crisis that caused millions to lose their jobs and their homes. S.2155, known as the Crapo bill both for its co-author, Senate Banking Committee chair Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and its general quality, was pitched as a narrow measure to provide relief for salt-of-the-earth community banks and credit unions. But anyone making that claim is either misinformed or trying to spin the truth. In reality, the Crapo bill will deregulate 25 of the 38 largest banks in America, weaken capital requirements that force banks to pay for their own mistakes, free some lenders from disclosing data used to detect lending discrimination and largely handcuff the Federal Reserve’s ability to apply special regulations to the biggest banks, to name just a few provisions. Plus, the changes have already begun to consolidate the banking sector, with the very community banks the bill was intended to help being scooped up by larger rivals.” (05/23/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21160/Dodd-Frank-Big-Banks-Deregulation-Democrats-Finance-Industry

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38) Is China and the yuan the future of Venezuela?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Tho Bishop

“[T]he leading opposition parties, including Justice First, Popular Will, Democratic Unity Roundtable, and Democratic Action are a reaction to the violent crackdown and growing unconstitutional authoritarianism of Maduro’s government, rather than socialist ideology itself. In fact, all but Justice First still explicitly make socialist appeals in their political campaigns. The continued appeal of socialism among the public is so great that Henrique Capriles, a leading oppositional figure, called for a socialist-coalition as the best strategy to take down Maduro. So if the public will does not exist to embrace true market reforms, what options exist for the country? The first issue Venezuela faces is transitioning away from the bolivar that has become worth less than World of Warcraft currency thanks to Maduro’s hyperinflationary policies.” (05/23/18)

https://mises.org/wire/china-and-yuan-future-venezuela

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39) Erdogan wants to be Turkey’s lone strongman. What if he gets what he wants?
Source: Antiwar.com
by Conn Hallinan

“Based on the outcome of a referendum last year, Turkey will move from a parliamentary system to one based on a powerful executive presidency. But the referendum vote was very close, and there’s widespread suspicion that Erdogan’s narrow victory was fraudulent. This time around, Turkey’s president is taking no chances. The electoral law has been taken out of the hands of the independent electoral commission and turned over to civil servants, whose employment is dependent on the government. The state of emergency will make campaigning by anyone but Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the National Action Party (MHP), problematic. But Erdogan called for early elections not because he’s strong, but because he’s nervous about the AKP’s traditional strong suit: the economy.” (05/23/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2018/05/22/erdogan-wants-to-be-turkeys-lone-strongman-what-if-he-gets-what-he-wants/

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40) Thanks to Koch Brothers, GOP Congress in on the take
Source: The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

“Poor Paul Ryan, caught between a rock and a hard place. His caucus divided between the belligerent and the merely unreasonable, Ryan’s very tenure as speaker of the House is threatened. Even though he promised to step down in January, there are maneuverings among his colleagues to oust him before then. Ryan’s political career is largely the creation of Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who have built the political infrastructure on which most Republicans in Congress now depend when seeking election. However, with the tax bill now passed and the deregulatory regime well under way in the executive branch, Ryan may have served out his usefulness to the Kochs. Ever concerned about his reputation, Ryan (unlike Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) likes to occasionally serve up the pretense of judging a cause on its merits. So when the far-right Republican Freedom Caucus tanked a vote on the Farm Bill over the demand for a more draconian immigration policy, Ryan found that despite all the things he’s done to please President Donald J. Trump, it wasn’t enough for those far-right guardians of the patriarchy.” (05/23/18)

http://prospect.org/article/trumps-corruption-thanks-koch-brothers-gop-congress-on-take

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41) The simulation of democracy
Source: CounterPunch
by CJ Hopkins

“One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about ‘defending democracy’ and ‘democratic values.’ Naked despotism is so much simpler, not to mention more emotionally gratifying. Ruling an empire as a godlike dictator means never having to say you’re sorry.” (05/23/18)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/23/the-simulation-of-democracy/

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42) Laws themselves a senseless crime
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Droughts are a serious problem. They cause wildfires, dirt storms, crop failure, and they deplete the aquifer. Droughts are harmful and dangerous. Someone should do something! Why aren’t droughts illegal already? On the other hand, you don’t want floods, either. Or property-damaging hail or tornadoes. Those should be criminalized as well. There needs to be a legal minimum and maximum amount of rainfall each month, and bans on assault weather, so everyone is safe and healthy. Reasonable people understand it is absurd to criminalize nature. People who advocate, write, pass, and enforce laws are not reasonable people. When nature and laws collide, nature will always make a fool of laws.” (05/23/18)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2018/05/23/voices/laws-themselves-a-senseless-crime/157818.html

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43) Let the farm bill stay dead
Source: National Review
by Michael Tanner

“On Friday, as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continued its descent into chaos and irrelevance, the farm bill went down to defeat amidst dueling immigration proposals. Yet while this latest snafu makes the Republicans look feckless once again, they should probably be thankful that they have been saved from this legislative dog’s breakfast. All farm bills are bad, pure creatures of the D.C. swamp, regardless of which party is in power, but Republicans appear to have worked overtime to make certain that this one confirmed the party’s worst stereotypes.” (05/23/18)

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/farm-bill-let-it-stay-dead-welfare-for-farmers-destructive/

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44) Markets aren’t miraculous; God bless the world
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“Markets, or the array of exchanges of property between individuals and groups, are responsible for the rising standard of living enjoyed by human beings all across the world. To the extent that markets are free to develop, people’s needs are easier met and conflicts over scarce resources are reduced. I’m guilty of describing these amazing effects of markets as ‘miraculous.’ I wrote a few entries in a ‘Miracles of the Market’ series back in 2009. But I was wrong to ever describe anything the market does as a miracle or as miraculous. Why? Because the positive effects of markets broadly described above do not depend on any sort of divine intervention, and its totally ridiculous to say that they do. Rather, they are the natural result of individuals and groups engaging in market action. No divine explanation necessary.” (05/22/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/markets-arent-miraculous-god-bless-world

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45) Stupid Patent of the Month: Facebook joins the online dating arms race
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Joe Mullin

“Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it will wedge its way into an already-crowded corner of online commerce. The social networking site plans to use its giant storehouse of personal data to create a dating service, promising to help users find ‘meaningful relationships,’ not just ‘hookups,’ as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it. It remains to be seen whether Facebook’s new service [will] be a ‘Tinder-killer’ that users flock to, or a flop for a company that’s long been beset with privacy concerns. But there’s one thing Facebook, its competitors, and its detractors should all be able to agree on. When a new dating service launches, it should rise or fall based on whether it can win the trust of users — not an arbitrary race to the Patent Office. Unfortunately, well before it built and launched an actual dating service, Facebook engaged in just such a race. The company applied for a stupid patent on ‘social dating’ back in 2013, and earlier this year, the Patent Office granted the application.” (05/22/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/05/stupid-patent-month-facebook-joins-arms-race-social-dating-patent

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46) Trade deals must protect intellectual property rights [sic] Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“Donald Trump is now deep into trade negotiations with China and NAFTA 2.0 negotiations with Canada and Mexico. We are strong free traders, but we believe that Trump’s plans to negotiate better trade agreements that reduce trade barriers abroad are right on the mark. He also has to make sure those deals fully protect U.S. intellectual property, or what is commonly called know-how. American investments, ingenuity and entrepreneurship have made intellectual property one of our nation’s most important assets. IP-intensive industries, including software, biotechnology and entertainment, now support nearly one-third of all U.S. jobs. But too often, our foreign trading partners take unfair advantage of our IP innovations to enrich themselves at our expense. This is glaringly evident in the pharmaceutical sector. American pharmaceutical companies are the runaway global leaders in developing new prescription drugs. This requires massive outlays of capital. A 2014 Tufts study estimated the cost of developing and bringing a prescription drug to market at $2.6 billion.” (05/22/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/stephenmoore/2018/05/22/trade-deals-must-protect-intellectual-property-rights-n2482929

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47) Hooray for Congress!
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“When Congress behaves badly, I criticize. When it works well, I applaud. I’ve waited a long, long, long time to put my hands together in polite applause. It happened yesterday. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Senate bill, largely along party lines, to give those facing a terminal illness the ‘right to try.’ That is, the right to try experimental drugs and treatments that haven’t yet been approved by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Of course, Congress doesn’t actually give us rights. We have always had the common law right — indeed, the human right — to freely seek a path to wellness when we are ill. From time immemorial. Even before the FDA. So, this legislation was, more correctly put, a way to announce that the congressionally-created FDA would stop blocking our freedom … provided we are dying and the government-approved medical establishment has no more licensed hope to offer.” (05/23/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/05/23/hooray-for-congress/

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48) Congress stands with the blue, against the Constitution
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Last week the House of Representatives, by a margin of more than 10 to 1, approved a completely gratuitous, blatantly unconstitutional bill that would make assaulting a police officer a federal crime. The lopsided vote was a bipartisan portrait in cowardice that vividly showed how readily politicians forsake their oaths of office to keep their hold on power. The Protect and Serve Act prescribes a prison sentence of up to 10 years for anyone who ‘knowingly assaults a law enforcement officer,’ thereby ‘causing serious bodily injury,’ or ‘attempts to do so.’ Such conduct is, of course, already illegal in all 50 states, and there is no reason to think local law enforcement agencies are reluctant to arrest and prosecute people guilty of it.” (05/23/18)

https://reason.com/archives/2018/05/23/congress-stands-with-the-blue-against-th

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49) What Planned Parenthood could learn from me
Source: Fox News Forum
by Nicole Saphier, MD

“It had happened to a few girls in my high school before me, some of whom quickly had an abortion and moved on with their lives. Except this time it was me. The flood of emotions I experienced upon learning of my pregnancy as I started my senior year of high school was dominated by fear and shame. Needless to say, this wasn’t the most planned aspect of my life and certainly was not on my regimented timeline for becoming a doctor – or for life in general, for that matter. Many around me said I wouldn’t accomplish my goals and that if I went through with the pregnancy I would not only ruin my life but my child’s as well. I also found myself questioning whether I really could amount to anything, other than being a statistic and ultimately a single parent. I would be remiss if I minimized this moment into political rhetoric. The decision to have my son at a young age was not based on political or religious beliefs. On the contrary, it was based on emotion and responsibility. Had this happened decades prior I may have been forced into an unsafe abortion or hidden away during my pregnancy and my child would have been given away. I am grateful to have had the choice to choose life.” (05/22/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/22/what-planned-parenthood-could-learn-from-me-being-teenage-mom-was-hard-but-it-sure-didn-t-ruin-my-life.html

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50) Quantum Vibe, 05/23/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Gus Mendes

Cartoon. (05/23/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1798

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

51) Cyberlaw Podcast, episode 217
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy

“In our 217th episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast, the blockchain and cryptocurrency team seizes control of the podcast again. Alan Cohn hosts another of the podcast’s periodic deep dives into all things blockchain and cryptocurrency to discuss recent regulatory developments and the current state of play of the industry.” [various formats] (05/23/18)

https://reason.com/volokh/2018/05/23/blockchain-takes-over-the-podcast

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52) Scott Adams Says, 05/23/18
Source: Scott Adams Says

“Scott Adams talks about SPYGATE, Iran, and MS-13. Goes well with coffee.” [Flash video] (05/23/18)

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

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53) Political Research Digest, 05/23/18
Source: Niskanen Center

“How Labor Unions Impact Inequality — And Whether That Justifies the Legacy Costs They Leave.” [Flash audio] (05/23/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/how-labor-unions-impact-inequality-and-whether-that-justifies-the-legacy-costs-they-leave/

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54) Ron Paul Liberty Report, 05/23/18
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report

“After 17 years of war, innumerable new ‘strategies,’ and trillions of dollars spent, the US war in Afghanistan is no closer to being ‘won’ than ever. Will naming yet another war commander do the trick? Don’t hold your breath!” [Flash video] (05/23/18)

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/us-names-18th-afghan-war-commander-are-we-turning-the-corner-yet

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55) Cato Daily Podcast, 05/23/18
Source: Cato Institute

“Things are getting better, and The Enlightenment deserves a large amount of the credit. Steven Pinker’s new book is Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.” [various formats] (05/23/18)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/enlightenment-now-case-reason-science-humanism-progress

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56) Electric Libertyland, episode 73
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland Brian McWilliams reacts to some issues raised during the Libertarian National Party Chair candidate debate on Monday’s show before changing lanes and voicing a new take on why gun violence in schools continues. Brian also takes a shot at Starbucks Coffee’s new ‘everybody craps free’ policy, Kendrick Lamar setting a ‘White Girl Trap,’ a win for Father’s Rights in Kentucky and the latest on all things Trump. Yes, that includes the revelation of a confirmed FBI mole in the Trump campaign, under Obama’s FBI.” [various formats] (05/23/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/05/23/kendrick-lamar-sets-a-white-girl-trap/

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57) Intercepted, 05/23/18
Source: The Intercept

“Blackwater founder Erik Prince has been one of Donald Trump’s shadow advisers. Now, will he be investigated for perjury? This week on Intercepted: Jeremy breaks down the Trump Tower meeting Prince set up with a representative of the Saudi and Emirati royals and an Israeli who runs propaganda and media manipulation operations. Journalist Allan Nairn analyzes Trump’s rise to power, the agenda of the extremist Republican Party, and dissects the latest on the Trump/Russia investigation. Author and retired psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye discusses the U.S. Army Field Manual and its Appendix M. This document is the current U.S. policy on the treatment of foreign detainees. Kaye explains why some of its currently ‘approved’ tactics are torture. Syrian journalist Marwan Hisham and artist Molly Crabapple discuss their new book, ‘Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War.’ Plus the bizarre and frightening story of how the CIA created a shellfish toxin dart gun.” [various formats] (05/23/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/23/the-killing-machine-legalized-torture-propaganda-and-endless-war-in-the-time-of-trump/

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58) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 197
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #197, I discuss John Bolton’s plan for North Korea to undergo Libyan style denuclearization. In December 2003 Libya quickly gave up a nuclear weapons program. In 2011, NATO, led by the US, went to war with Libya. The war was based on myths pushed by Hillary Clinton. The war ended in the brutal killing of Libyan Leader Gadaffi forces that included al-Qaeda. The Trump Administration has announced it will place strict sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. I explain the dangers of Trump believing his maximum pressure campaign led to North Korea’s offer to denuclearize.” [various formats] (05/23/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-197-libyan-style

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59) Free Talk Live, 05/22/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Showtime ‘Gigolos’ Star and Voluntaryist Vin Armani Joins Us as Guest Co-Host :: NFL Kneeling Controversy Returns? :: State Religion :: Knapernick :: New Hampshire Nightlife and Diversity :: Moving to New Hampshire :: Victimless Crimes :: Vin’s Pirate Radio Station :: Television :: Bitcoin Pizza Day :: Cointext.io :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Vin.” [Flash audio or MP3] (05/22/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-05-22

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60) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 162
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Breeding Ground for Insanity.” [various formats] (05/22/18)

https://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-162-breeding-ground-insanity/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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