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

Volume XV, Issue #3,763
Friday, July 28th, 2017
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In the News:

1) US House votes for $1.6 billion down payment on Berlin … er, border … wall
2) Venezuela: Bans on protests that “disturb” election
3) GOP Senators threaten to block “skinny” healthcare bill
4) Putin: We’ll have to retaliate against “illegal” US sanctions
5) Syria war: US says coalition partners must only fight Islamic State
6) ME: One-armed machete-wielding man in creepy clown mask arrested
7) Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language
8) FL: Man robs bank, then gets naked and throws money
9) Graham: “If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay”
10) Signal may be from first “exomoon”
11) Amazon profit slumps 77 percent as costs surge, shares fall
12) Watchdog: Pentagon almost gave fake cops $1 million in guns, bombs
13) Bezos passes Gates to become richest person in the world for the first time
14) Kid Rock launches voter registration non-profit
15) US DoJ files amicus brief that says Title VII does not protect sexual orientation
16) Jury urged to convict “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli on fraud charges
17) British teacher who urged student to masturbate for stress relief keeps job
18) Trump regime extortionists demand $110 million from BTC-e
19) Oregon scientists do first (publicly known, government-authorized) human gene embryo editing in US
20) NY: ICE gang abducts 114
21) Venezuela: Opposition leader urges public, army, on strike
22) Scaramucci tweets then deletes cryptic message about “leak” of his financial disclosure form
23) MS: Police shoot dog, kill man while serving warrant at wrong house
24) Trump to nominate Brownback for religious ambassador post
25) Pakistan: 20 members of village council accused of ordering rape of 17-year-old

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) The state is at war — with the future
27) If Congress is serious about getting rid of IRS …
28) Where technophobia meets Lenin
29) Despite the pall of scandal, some incremental progress during the Trump administration
30) Populism is now more popular than liberty with European voters: Study
31) It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist [sic] 32) Killing and dying for minerals
33) Want Congress to fast track health reform? Write bills to support business rather than people
34) Oh my stars and garters!
35) Donald Trump’s inner circle is quickly evaporating
36) Another summary execution
37) Confirmed: John Brennan colluded with foreign spies to defeat Trump
38) Scorecard: Trump’s first six months
39) Vile insinuation
40) Is the Democratic Party’s “Better Deal” good enough?
41) Trump, transgender personnel, and the US military
42) Trump’s transparent transgender Twitter trick
43) The Fed remains on course — to trouble
44) From Nazi propaganda to the pee dossier, FARA targets alien influence on US politics
45) The Creature of Philadelphia is a failure: Reject the “republic”
46) Democrats’ new agenda: Everything that’s wrong with the party
47) Dawkins: Cheered for hating Christianity, banned for hating Islam
48) Deficient high school civic education contributing to issues on campus
49) How can the Fed possibly unwind QE?
50) The Alphabay shutdown will be as futile as the drug war itself
51) The ultimate trifecta of crony capitalism
52) When “single payer” won’t pay
53) The Deep State, now and then
54) The transgender double bind works to Trump’s advantage
55) Politics of the next four years, part 3 (what’s an independent to do?)
56) The coup: Who’s winning?
57) Collectives and a bad case of the narcissists
58) Only make believe
59) Home Alone — Trump is the Kevin McCallister of American politics
60) Some thoughts on state capacity

The Sound and the Fury:

61) Mostly Weekly, 07/27/17
62) Freedom Feens Radio, 07/27/17
63) Cato Daily Podcast, 07/26/17
64) Reason Podcast, 07/26/17
65) Paul Molloy Show, 07/26/17
66) Free Talk Live, 07/26/17
67) The Tom Woods Show, episode 961
68) PanAm Podcast, 07/26/17

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

1) US House votes for $1.6 billion down payment on Berlin … er, border … wall
Source: Fox News

“The GOP-controlled House has given tentative approval to a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The controversial wall money is being given a ride on legislation to give the Pentagon a massive spending boost and increase funding for veterans medical care. The House added Trump’s wall funding by a 230-196 procedural vote that denied angry Democrats an up-or-down vote. The wall gets low marks in public opinion polls and is opposed by many of the GOP’s more moderate lawmakers. Trump promised at nearly every rally and campaign event that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico said no, and U.S. taxpayers will have to provide the money. In advancing the broader $788 billion spending bill, slated for a vote on Thursday, Republicans are trying to both ease a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and give both themselves and Trump political wins heading into the August recess.” (07/27/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/27/house-votes-for-1-6b-down-payment-on-border-wall.html

—–

2) Venezuela: Bans on protests that “disturb” election
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“Venezuela is banning protests that could ‘disturb or affect’ Sunday’s controversial election for a new constituent assembly. Prison terms of between five and 10 years could be imposed on those contravening the ban, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said. More than 100 people have been killed in protest-related violence since April. The opposition sees it as a move towards dictatorship. A 48-hour general strike is currently taking place. A 49-year-old died in a protest in the northern Carabobo state on Thursday. The opposition has also vowed to go ahead with a mass protest on Friday, despite the measure. The ban on activity will be in force from Friday until Tuesday.” (07/27/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40744851

—–

3) GOP Senators threaten to block “skinny” healthcare bill
Source: NBC News

“Support for a pared-down version of an Obamacare repeal bill still doesn’t have the support it needs as the Senate prepares for a long night of voting on health care. Unsatisfied with the so-called ‘skinny’ bill GOP leaders are crafting, some Republican members are threatening to block it unless they have a guarantee that the measure will move into negotiations with the House of Representatives, where it could be fattened up. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John McCain, R-Ariz., Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. — enough members to kill the legislation should they vote against it — held a last-minute news conference laying out their demands. … House Speaker Paul Ryan has not given his guarantee that they would go to conference. Other options include an informal conference that leaves Democrats out of the process or that the House just vote on whatever the Senate passes. ” (07/27/17)

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/republicans-scramble-ahead-vote-rama-n787056

—–

4) Putin: We’ll have to retaliate against “illegal” US sanctions
Source: Raw Story

“President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would be forced to retaliate if Washington pressed ahead with what he called illegal new sanctions against Moscow, describing U.S. conduct towards his country as boorish and unreasonable. Putin, speaking on a visit to Finland, was commenting on a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives which on Tuesday decided to impose new sanctions on Moscow and to force President Donald Trump to obtain lawmakers’ permission before easing any sanctions on Russia. The sanctions have yet to be approved by the Senate or Trump, and a top White House aide said on Thursday that Trump could veto the legislation in order to push for a tougher deal.” (07/27/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/putin-well-have-to-retaliate-against-illegal-us-sanctions

—–

5) Syria war: US says coalition partners must only fight Islamic State
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“The US has warned its coalition partners in Syria to focus exclusively on the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) and not regime forces. A Pentagon spokesman told reporters the US’s aim in Syria and Iraq was to ‘fight ISIS, and fight ISIS only.’ One rebel group has left a joint base after clashing with the regime. It comes after President Donald Trump ended the CIA’s clandestine programme to provide weapons and supplies to Syrian rebel groups. That decision to end the programme, which started under the Obama administration in 2013 in an attempt to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to stand down, was made more than a month ago as part of an effort to improve ties with Russia, officials said last week.” (07/27/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40746045

—–

6) ME: One-armed machete-wielding man in creepy clown mask arrested
Source: USA Today

“Police arrested a Maine man who was reportedly dressed as a creepy clown and wielding a machete. Maine State Trooper Adam Schmidt said concerned residents called 911 around 6 p.m. Tuesday after spotting a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a clown mask, and holding a machete. The man reportedly ran off into the woods when spotted. State police said they had trouble tracking him, and additional calls came in over the next hour. According to authorities, just after 7 p.m., they spotted the clown, and were able to take him into custody. Corey Berry, 31, was charged with criminal threatening and transported to York County Jail where he posted $200 bail.” [editor’s note: In case you thought “hey, Bubba, hold my beer” was just a Southern thing – SAT] (07/27/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/07/27/one-armed-machete-wielding-man-creepy-clown-mask-arrested-maine/515478001

—–

7) Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language
Source: Digital Journal

“An artificial intelligence system being developed at Facebook has created its own language. It developed a system of code words to make communication more efficient. The researchers shut the system down as it prompted concerns we could lose control of AI. The observations made at Facebook are the latest in a long line of similar cases. In each instance, an AI being monitored by humans has diverged from its training in English to develop its own language. The resulting phrases appear to be nonsensical gibberish to humans but contain semantic meaning when interpreted by AI ‘agents.’ As Fast Co. Design reports, Facebook’s researchers recently noticed its new AI had given up on English. The advanced system is capable of negotiating with other AI agents so it can come to conclusions on how to proceed. The agents began to communicate using phrases that seem unintelligible at first but actually represent the task at hand.” (07/26/17)

http://m.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/a-step-closer-to-skynet-ai-invents-a-language-humans-can-t-read/article/498142

—–

8) FL: Man robs bank, then gets naked and throws money
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Authorities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida say they arrested a man who robbed a bank, stripped naked and ran down the street throwing stolen money — a spectacle that he somehow thought would jump-start his career as a comedian. Instead, the FBI says 25-year-old Alexander Sperber is charged with bank robbery. A federal complaint says the man told authorities he parked his car at the bank, made a gun motion with his hand and demanded money from the teller, who gave him about $4,700 in a bag. Officials say a red dye pack exploded, staining his clothes and a cast on his left wrist. The Sun Sentinel reports Sperber was taken to a hospital and found to be coherent and uninjured. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.” [editor’s note: a couple decades ago, a woman (and later a man) tried to spur country-music “discovery” by walking down Music Row in nothing but boots, but I don’t recall a bank robbery in either case – SAT] (07/27/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Authorities-Man-robs-bank-then-gets-naked-and-11470980.php

—–

9) Graham: “If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay”
Source: USA Today

“Sen. Lindsey Graham stepped up his loud protest of President Trump’s treatment of Jeff Sessions, saying that it wasn’t ‘going over well in the Senate’ and that ‘there will be holy hell to pay’ if the attorney general is fired. … Graham’s vocal opposition signals the growing discord between the Republican members of the Senate (where Sessions served for 20 years) and Trump. Trump has publicly attacked the attorney general for the past week over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and not investigate Hillary Clinton.” [editor’s note: Meanwhile civil libertarians of all stripes are visualizing him gone – SAT] (07/27/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/07/27/lindsey-graham-if-jeff-sessions-fired-there-holy-hell-pay/516074001

—–

10) Signal may be from first “exomoon”
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“Astronomers have discovered an object that could be the first known moon located beyond the Solar System. If genuine, the ‘exomoon’ is likely to be about the size and mass of Neptune, and circles a planet the size of Jupiter but with 10 times the mass. The signal was detected by Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope; astronomers now plan to carry out follow-up observations with Hubble in October. A paper about the candidate object is published on the Arxiv pre-print site. To date, astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 exoplanets — worlds orbiting stars other than the Sun. A hunt for exomoons (objects in orbit around those distant planets) has proceeded in parallel. But so far, these extrasolar satellites have lingered at the limits of detection with current techniques.” (07/27/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40741545

—–

11) Amazon profit slumps 77 percent as costs surge, shares fall
Source: Reuters

Amazon.com Inc reported a 77 percent slump in quarterly profit as the company invests heavily in areas such as video content and in fast-growing economies such as India. The company’s shares, already up nearly 41 percent this year, were down 2.6 percent at $1,019 in after-hours trading on Thursday. The shares touched a record high of $1,083.31 in regular trading, helping Chief Executive Jeff Bezos unseat fellow tech billionaire Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person, according to Forbes. Amazon said operating expenses rose 28.2 percent to $37.33 billion in the second quarter ended June 30. The company also forecast an operating income of $300 million to a loss of $400 million for the current quarter.” (07/27/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-results-idUSKBN1AC339

—–

12) Watchdog: Pentagon almost gave fake cops $1 million in guns, bombs
Source: Fox News

“The Pentagon nearly gave over $1 million worth of rifles, pipe bombs and other military hardware to a fake police department — set up as part of a government watchdog’s sting operation, a new report reveals. Using cloak-and-dagger tactics, auditors from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) created a nonexistent police department. They submitted requests to purchase from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) ‘controlled properties’ like simulated pipe bombs, night-vision goggles, and explosive ordnance detonation robots. ‘In less than a week after submitting the requests, our fictitious agency was approved for the transfer of over 100 controlled property items with a total estimated value of about $1.2 million,” the GAO said in a July 18 report. The sting operation involved government auditors creating a website describing the fake agency and using publicly available resources to produce false police credentials.” (07/27/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/27/watchdog-pentagon-almost-gave-fake-cops-1m-in-guns-bombs.html

—–

13) Bezos passes Gates to become richest person in the world for the first time
Source: GeekWire

“t’s Day One for Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person.

A surge in Amazon’s share price this morning, in advance of the company’s earnings report today, has pushed the Amazon CEO past his fellow Seattle-area billionaire Bill Gates with a net worth of more than $90 billion, according to Bloomberg. Their positions could change depending on fluctuations in Amazon’s stock, but it’s the first time Bezos has held the designation of world’s richest person. Gates has been the world’s richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index since 2013.” (07/27/17)

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/jeff-bezos-passes-bill-gates-become-richest-person-world-first-time/

—–

14) Kid Rock launches voter registration non-profit
Source: Raw Story

“The rumors are gaining momentum: Kid Rock may actually be considering running for Michigan’s Senate in 2018. The rock star, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, addressed inquiries about his potential Senate bid on his website, KidRock.com, on Wednesday and wrote he was going to spend the upcoming months ‘exploring’ his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. In the meantime, though, Rock said he was going to get Michiganders excited for the next election by launching a non-profit organization aimed at promoting voter registration. ‘The one thing I’ve seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it,’ Rock wrote.” (07/27/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/kid-rock-launches-voter-registration-non-profit

—–

15) US DoJ files amicus brief that says Title VII does not protect sexual orientation
Source: CNN

“The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday saying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment ‘discrimination based on sexual orientation.’ The DOJ filed the brief in the case of Donald Zarda, who had filed suit against his former employer Altitude Express in a case that questions whether sexual orientation is included in Title VII’s protections. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” (07/27/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/26/politics/doj-amicus-brief-title-vii-sexual-orientation/index.html

—–

16) Jury urged to convict “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli on fraud charges
Source: Raw Story

“A U.S. prosecutor on Thursday urged jurors to convict former drug company executive Martin Shkreli of defrauding investors in his hedge funds and stealing from his old company to repay them. In a five-hour closing argument capping off a month-long trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alixandra Smith told jurors in Brooklyn federal court that Shkreli told ‘lies upon lies’ over the course of five years. ‘Only you can see the whole picture,’ she said to the jurors. Shkreli, 34, is best known for raising the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim to $750 a pill, from $13.50 in 2015, when he was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The increase sparked outrage from patients and U.S. lawmakers and earned him the nickname ‘pharma bro.’ The fraud and conspiracy charges he now faces relate not to Turing but to Shkreli’s management of his previous drug company, Retrophin Inc, and hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare between 2009 and 2014.” (07/27/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/jury-urged-to-convict-pharma-bro-martin-shkreli-on-fraud-charges

—–

17) British teacher who urged student to masturbate for stress relief keeps job
Source: Fox News

“A British teacher accused of recommending a female student masturbate in order to relieve tension has been permitted to keep his job. The student, who was in Paul Gibbinson’s design and technology class at the Magna Carta School in Staines, Surrey, near London, allegedly was told that masturbating was ‘scientifically proven to work’ for stress relief. Gibbinson, 49, allegedly later followed up with the student, asking her if she ‘tried that thing yet.’ During a ‘misconduct panel’ with education officials, Gibbinson denied telling the girl to keep the suggestion secret, which was later found to be proven. The panel also proved that he asked her if she had tried it, according to The Sun.” [editor’s note: Good advice; inappropriate source? (I guess it should have been the phys ed teacher or school nurse?) – SAT] (07/26/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/07/26/british-teacher-accused-urging-student-to-masturbate-for-stress-relief-keeps-job.html

—–

18) Trump regime extortionists demand $110 million from BTC-e
Source: CoinDesk

“The US government has unsealed an indictment against BTC-e and one of its alleged operators, levying a $110 million fine for violations allegedly committed by the long-running bitcoin exchange. In the 21-count indictment released earlier this evening, the Department of Justice alleged that BTC-e and Alexander Vinnik, the Russian national who was arrested earlier today in Greece and later linked to the long-running exchange, committed a laundry list of crimes throughout the exchange’s six-year history. Federal prosecutors allege that BTC-e functioned as a clearing house for illicit funds sourced from ‘computer intrusions and hacking incidents, ransomware scams, identity theft schemes, corrupt public officials, and narcotics distribution rings.'” (07/26/17)

https://www.coindesk.com/110-million-btc-e-fined-us-vows-crackdown-unregulated-exchanges/

—–

19) Oregon scientists do first (publicly known, government-authorized) human gene embryo editing in US
Source: New York Daily News

“For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. According to MIT Technology Review, the experiment was just an exercise in science — the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.” (07/27/17)

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/oregon-scientists-human-gene-embryo-editing-article-1.3361302

—–

20) NY: ICE gang abducts 114
Source: Newsday

“Two immigrants living on Long Island were among 114 foreign nationals [abducted] during a recent sweep in the metropolitan area of those wanted for various offenses and violations, the federal immigration enforcement agency said Wednesday. The announcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not disclose the identities of the two immigrants — one living in Nassau County and one in Suffolk — or why they were [abducted].” (07/26/17)

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/crime/two-li-immigrants-among-114-arrested-in-ice-sweep-1.13828481

—–

21) Venezuela: Opposition leader urges public, army, on strike
Source: Ravenna Record-Courier

“Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez called on Venezuelans to support a 48-hour general strike beginning Wednesday in protest of government plans to rewrite the constitution, in his first direct public message since being released from prison to house arrest. The 46-year-old former Caracas-area mayor, who was sentenced to 14 years in 2015 after being convicted of inciting violence during a previous spate of protests, also appealed to the military not to deploy for Sunday’s election of a constituent assembly tasked with overhauling the embattled nation’s charter.” (07/27/17)

http://www.recordpub.com/latest%20headlines/2017/07/27/venezuela-opposition-leader-urges-public-army-on-strike

—–

22) Scaramucci tweets then deletes cryptic message about “leak” of his financial disclosure form
Source: ABC News

“Newly-named White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Wednesday wrote in a now-deleted cryptic tweet that the ‘leak’ of his financial disclosure form is a ‘felony,’ adding that he would be contacting the FBI and The Department of Justice. … Scaramucci was referring to a report by Politico which revealed the findings of the former Wall Street financier’s disclosure, which was filed with the Office of Government Ethics. … But to contextualize it as a leak is incorrect. Why? Because it’s a public document.” (07/27/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/scaramucci-tweets-deletes-cryptic-message-leak-financial-disclosure/story?id=48877830

—–

23) MS: Police shoot dog, kill man while serving warrant at wrong house
Source: United Press International

“Close to midnight on Sunday, Southaven, Miss., police arrived at the wrong house to serve an arrest warrant and shot a man dead in his own home, according to reports. Ismael Lopez, 41, was shot dead late Sunday night after he checked to see who was at his front door. But the police were supposed to be across the street to serve an arrest warrant for Samuel Pearman, who was wanted on an assault charge, reported WREG. … police officers said they were forced to shoot Lopez when he opened his front door and his pet pit bull charged at them. Police said they opened fire at the dog and saw Lopez holding a gun from behind his door.” (07/26/17)

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/07/26/Mississippi-cops-kill-man-when-they-go-to-wrong-address-on-arrest-warrant/2221501051117/

—–

24) Trump to nominate Brownback for religious ambassador post
Source: The Hill

“The White House said late Wednesday President Trump will nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to serve as an ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Brownback, a devout Catholic, would be the fifth person to run the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom — an office first created by legislation Brownback sponsored when he was a member of the Senate back in 1998.” (07/26/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/344041-trump-to-nominate-brownback-for-ambassador-post

—–

25) Pakistan: 20 members of village council accused of ordering rape of 17-year-old
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Pakistani police have arrested 20 members of a village council for allegedly ordering the rape of a teenager as punishment for a rape committed by her brother. The incident occurred earlier this month in the neighbourhood of Raja Ram in Muzaffarabad, a suburb of the central city of Multan. The 17-year-old victim is the sister of a man suspected in the rape of a 13-year-old girl earlier this month. The perpetrator of the second rape is believed to be the brother of the first victim. … Jirgas, or village councils formed of local elders, are a traditional means of settling disputes in Pakistan’s rural areas, where courts and lawyers are not always accessible or trusted. But such councils are illegal and have been under fire for their controversial decisions, especially regarding women.” (07/27/17)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/27/20-members-of-pakistan-village-council-accused-of-ordering-of-girl

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

26) The state is at war — with the future
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“We stand at the doorway of a future featuring money without borders, work and trade without permission. That future represents existential crisis for the political class: The end of the state as we know it. Absent the ability to tax and regulate its host, the parasite known as government starves and dies. The situation is equally dire for the rest of us. High-profile takedowns like the Silk Road, Alphabay, Hansa and BTC-e, large as they loom in the moment, are mere speed bumps. The road to the future remains open, and the only way to plausibly close that road off entirely is to essentially pull the plug on every technological development since the introduction of the personal computer. What would that look like? Think the Dark Ages, the Great Depression, and North Korea all rolled into one.”

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/11066

—–

27) If Congress is serious about getting rid of IRS …
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Many of the ideas that emerge from Washington are stale, unimaginative and unworkable. Not so the latest pitch from a group of conservative congressional Republicans: Eliminate the IRS. This goes beyond some kind of political revenge fantasy. It’s time to consider the damage that the IRS does both to Americans’ freedoms as individuals and to the costs it imposes on the economy as a whole, argue the 151 members of the Republican Study Group, an in-house conservative think tank, in their newest budget proposal. The proposal, an alternative to the House Budget Committee’s official 2018 budget, comes as part of a much broader tax reform plan that would leave taxes flatter and fairer for both corporations and individuals than is currently the case. … But even many conservatives concede that getting rid of the IRS would be difficult, if not impossible. So how would the RSG accomplish its goal?” (07/25/17)

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/if-congress-is-serious-about-getting-rid-of-irs-it-must-pass-big-bang-tax-reform

—–

28) Where technophobia meets Lenin
Source: Attack The System
by Keith Preston

“Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How is a work by Theodore John ‘Ted’ Kaczynski, otherwise known as the ‘Unabomber’ terrorist, a former mathematics professor who sought to fight what he regarded as the excessive encroachment of technology by blowing up those who invent and market it. Kaczynski has been imprisoned since his 1996 arrest, and this book was completed during the course of his incarceration while serving multiple life sentences. As the title suggests, this work seeks to provide an answer to two primary questions. Why must the ‘technological system,’ as Kaczynski refers to it, be abolished? And how might such abolition be achieved? Kaczynski devotes a considerable portion of the book to revolutionary strategy. I found this to be the most compelling part of the book, as I am likewise interested in revolutionary theory, even if I cannot abide Kaczynski’s ideological framework.” (07/27/17)

https://attackthesystem.com/2017/07/27/where-technophobia-meets-lenin/

—–

29) Despite the pall of scandal, some incremental progress during the Trump administration
Source: Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

“Although the media is properly focused on the very troubling issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and the Trump campaign’s apparent willingness to collude with a foreign power to win it, and the heretofore Republican debacle in trying to repeal Obamacare, progress is being made on less publicized issues — whether by the Trump administration or other branches of government pushing back against it.” (07/27/17)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9135

—–

30) Populism is now more popular than liberty with European voters: Study
Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

“The rhetoric of classical liberals should not be considered revolutionary. It is rooted in the reality of human nature as described by revelation and manifest throughout history. Their proposals should be based in reality, with a strong infusion of prudence. But if the modern transatlantic sphere were to embrace a classical liberal outlook, it would experience ‘dramatic change.’ Liberty recognizes two of the main driving forces of the populist explosion: cronyism and global governance. And it prescribes the right cure. To prevail, its adherents must offer a different narrative than the shrill, envy-filled braying of homegrown demagogues. They must show the superiority of their prescriptions. In a word, they must compete.” (07/27/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/07/27/populism-now-more-popular-liberty-european-voters

—–

31) It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist [sic] Source: The New Republic
by Emily Atkin

“One month before President Donald Trump was sworn into office, the climate scientist Michael Mann wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about the time someone sent a letter filled with fake anthrax to his office. The August 2010 scare, he recalled, was ‘just one in a long series of threats I’ve received since the late 1990s, when my research illustrated the unprecedented nature of global warming.’ Things had gotten better in recent years, he wrote–no more anonymous mail with potential bio-weaponry, no more personal investigations by congressional committees, and far fewer death threats. But with Trump’s inauguration imminent, he wrote, ‘my colleagues and I are steeling ourselves for a renewed onslaught of intimidation, from inside and outside government.’ Six months into the Trump administration, the onslaught Mann feared has arrived. Scientists and science advocates say climatologists inside and outside the government are facing unprecedented intimidation from the Trump administration, conservative groups, and internet trolls.” [editor’s note: Actually it’s about time; it’s been “hard” to be a skeptic about “settled science” for decades now – SAT] (07/27/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/144056/its-never-harder-climate-scientist

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32) Killing and dying for minerals
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Americans might soon have a new reason to thank the troops for their service, at least in Afghanistan, where the troops have been killing and dying for almost 16 years. According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, ‘President Trump, searching for a reason to keep the United States in Afghanistan after 16 years of war, has latched on to a prospect that tantalized previous administrations: Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth, which his advisers and Afghan officials have told him could be profitably extracted by Western countries.’ If that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what does. How do empire and foreign interventionism become more morally perverse than that?” (07/27/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/07/27/killing-dying-minerals/

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33) Want Congress to fast track health reform? Write bills to support business rather than people
Source: Reuters
by Michael Rosenbaum

“With John McCain’s support, and a tie-breaking vote by Vice-President Mike Pence, the Republican party managed to bring the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to the Senate floor for debate. Originally proposed in March 2017, made it out of committee in record time. The Senate rejected the bill Wednesday, but Republican leaders are now trying to gain support for a slimmed-down version. It’s unclear exactly what the ‘skinny’ bill would include, but so far all versions of the Republican health plans include variations of measures to decrease government support of Medicaid by approximately 850 billion dollars over the next 10 years and leave 20-25 million more Americans without health insurance. Many of them substantially increase average premiums. In contrast, healthcare proposals that actually benefit the public, sometimes at the expense of Big Insurance, Big Food, and other ‘Bigs,’ seem destined to be shuffled from committee to committee for years without ever being openly debated in Congress and in front of America. Something is wrong here. Why should healthcare bills designed to enrich big business be prioritized over those that promote a healthier America? ” [editor’s note: Not sure what delusion he’s under that this would move Congress faster, but yeah … – SAT] (07/27/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-rosenbaum-health-commentary-idUSKBN1AB2YG

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34) Oh my stars and garters!
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Every once in a while, some startling revelation shows up on the television or computer screen. It happened again. A major understanding of the laws of the universe has been revealed — and get this: by a British think tank. Full of (be warned, it is staggering) economists. This revelation: Work REDUCES Poverty. In other words, the more you work, the less likely you (and your children and the rest of your family) are to be living in poverty!” (07/27/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/07/27/oh-my-stars-and-garters/

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35) Donald Trump’s inner circle is quickly evaporating
Source: The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss

“Donald J. Trump is preparing his endgame. Besieged in every direction (by Robert Mueller’s multi-pronged special-counsel inquiry, by the FBI and the Department of Justice, by several congressional committees, and by a steady drumbeat of leaks), the White House is building an Alamo-like fortress to protect the president. In the battles ahead, Trump is relying on his innermost core of loyalists: his two sons, his daughter, his son-in-law, his lawyers, and a select group of White House staffers and former campaign advisers who’ve passed muster by pledging ultimate fealty to the commander in chief. Everyone else is either being thrown overboard or getting the runaround, and many who were once considered Trump’s closest allies are now seen as likely to resign.” (07/27/17)

https://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trumps-inner-circle-is-quickly-evaporating

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36) Another summary execution
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“It’s a day ending in ‘y’ so that must mean that a law enforcer in the United States murdered somebody. Oh, and will you look at that, one did! However, this story has a twist. The officers involved were heading to serve a warrant but ended up at the wrong address and, I guess, decided to eliminate all witnesses to their mistake …” (07/27/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/07/27/another-summary-execution/

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37) Confirmed: John Brennan colluded with foreign spies to defeat Trump
Source: The American Spectator
by George Neumayr

“An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s. Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people. John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ‘Hillary for president cups’ and other campaign paraphernalia.” (07/26/17)

https://spectator.org/confirmed-john-brennan-colluded-with-foreign-spies-to-defeat-trump

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38) Scorecard: Trump’s first six months
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“The first six months of the Trump presidency have been dominated by tweets, insults, and investigations. But obscured by all the noise have been important questions of policy. Let us, therefore, put aside issues of style and look more closely at the substance. What has President Trump accomplished?” (07/26/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/scorecard-trumps-first-six-months

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39) Vile insinuation
Source: The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill

“In yesterday’s news column, I featured the latest in what has become a relentlessly moronic theme under the ‘Pygmalion Fallacy’ heading: the argument that due to the principles of sympathetic magic, an inanimate object which the human mind interprets as being shaped like a woman (or a child) has some kind of mystical connection to the thing it resembles, so that for a man to fuck a sex doll somehow affects a prudish, pearl-clutching woman who can’t even see or know that it’s happening, or magically harms an ‘innocent child’ thousands of miles away. This is the cognition of a savage; it deserves no more consideration in a rational society than the contention that the Earth is flat or that priests should make sacrifices to Zeus and Poseidon in order to turn away hurricanes. But the most recent iteration of this nonsense contains something far uglier and anti-humanistic than mere superstition; it’s the loathsome application of the tabula rasa doctrine to human sexual desire.” (07/27/17)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/vile-insinuation/

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40) Is the Democratic Party’s “Better Deal” good enough?
Source: The American Prospect
Eliza Newlin Carney

“It’s a good thing for Democrats that the ‘Better Deal’ agenda that party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi unveiled on Monday will not be their only campaign message as they head into the 2018 midterms. There’s nothing exactly wrong with Democrats’ plan to raise wages, train workers, invest in infrastructure, and break up monopolies that hurt competition. It’s just that the whole rollout, staged in the white, working class town of Berryville, Virginia, had a self-consciously scripted air about it. It’s easy to see why voters at the party’s base want their leaders to show more passion and grit.” [editor’s note: She should probably read the In These Times piece by Miles Kampf-Lassin (blurbed in this same issue) – SAT] (07/27/17)

http://prospect.org/article/democratic-party%E2%80%99s-better-deal-good-enough

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41) Trump, transgender personnel, and the US military
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

“Donald Trump decided to start yesterday morning by dropping a bombshell on Twitter. According to some reports, military officials worried an actual bombshell was being dropped due to a lag in the president’s multi-tweet announcement. Instead, Trump merely announced that he was banning transgender personnel from serving in the U.S. military. The details of the new policy are unclear though. There does not seem to have been policy process beforehand, nor implementation guidelines released afterwards. The New York Times reports Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who is currently on vacation, was informed of the decision a day before, and that he was ‘appalled’ the decision was announced via Twitter. However, whatever Mattis’ feelings on the subject, early reports suggested the Pentagon’s press office had not been properly informed. It is also unclear what prompted Trump’s decision.” (07/27/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/trump-transgender-personnel-u-s-military/

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42) Trump’s transparent transgender Twitter trick
Source: USA Today
by EJ Montini

If you are an open-minded person and have a good heart, and you believe that every human being is of equal value and deserves equal respect, you’re just the sucker President Trump is looking for. … Chances are you are outraged (or at least disturbed) that Trump announced plans to ban transgender troops from the military, saying he would not allow them to serve in any capacity.The critics of Trump’s action are good, patriotic people who believe in the values embedded in the U.S. Constitution. In other words … suckers. Trump is playing them. Playing you. The president is losing on health care. He is losing in foreign policy. He is losing — bigly — in the investigation of the Russian connections to his campaign, his supporters, his family. He needs something, anything, to fire up his most loyal supporters, who themselves have shown some recent signs of wavering. So he used what has worked in the past for him and that he knows will work in the future: hate. Prejudice.” (07/26/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/07/26/trumps-transparent-transgender-trick-ej-montini-column/512852001

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43) The Fed remains on course — to trouble
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Thorsten Polleit

“According to mainstream economic wisdom, the time has come for the US economy to return to a more normal level of interest rates. Industrial output is expanding at a decent clip, official unemployment has declined markedly, and prices in the stock and housing market show a sustained upward drift. Considering these circumstances, the US economy can now shoulder a tighter monetary policy, it is said. It should be understood, however, that there will be side-effects, even unintended consequences, if and when the Fed hikes interest rates further.” (07/27/17)

https://mises.org/library/fed-remains-course-%E2%80%93-trouble

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44) From Nazi propaganda to the pee dossier, FARA targets alien influence on US politics
Source: Reason
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

“A relatively obscure federal disclosure law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), is having a moment in the spotlight, thanks to scrutiny of the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russian agents. ‘Given recent Russian and other efforts to influence our elections, this law has never been more important,’ asserted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Here’s what you need to know about why the law is important and how the government goes about enforcing it.” (07/27/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/27/foreign-agents-registration-act

—–

45) The Creature of Philadelphia is a failure: Reject the “republic”
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Zack Sorenson

“Why does every form of cancer and every underserved river crossing get to have special attention from Congress? Why is the go to answer for any social problem just to lobby Congress to ban it, or fund it? What the republic really is, is a football that gives the rich and powerful a way of advancing their interests. It’s a football that they and the tribes compete to possess. How many of our national security secrets are auctioned out to Israel, China, or Saudi Arabia by politicians? Wouldn’t the good generals be furious to know that? But then again, it’s the good work of the generals that’s up for sale. If not for their committed professionalism, what good would the institutions of the republic be to potential clients?” (07/27/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/blog/creature-philadelphia-failure-reject-republic/

—–

46) Democrats’ new agenda: Everything that’s wrong with the party
Source: In These Times
by Miles Kampf-Lassin

“The story of the Democratic Party in 2017 has been one of timidity and stubborn resistance to real change. In the immediate aftermath of the party’s preferred candidate facing a humiliating defeat in last year’s presidential election, questions swirled over what direction the party would take to respond to the new political reality. With Democrats at their weakest position in decades, having lost over 1,000 seats in states and Congress over the previous eight years, it appeared that a drastic shift in how the party operated was in store. And the party was offered an early opportunity to embark on such a shift, with the campaign by Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chair. Ellison sported a resume as a bold progressive with popular support from rank-and-file Democrats and party activists alike. And he presented a clear break with the Democratic Party’s traditional establishment.” (07/27/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20363/Democratic-party-corporate-power-new-agenda-a-better-deal

—–

47) Dawkins: Cheered for hating Christianity, banned for hating Islam
Source: spiked
by Hardeep Singh

“KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley, California, has cancelled an event with scientist and author Richard Dawkins because it disapproved of his controversial views on Islam. Dawkins had been scheduled to speak in August about his memoir, A Brief Candle in the Dark. ‘We had booked this event based entirely on [Dawkins’s] excellent new book on science,’ KPFA informed ticket-holders. ‘We didn’t know he had offended and hurt — in his tweets and other comments on Islam — so many people.’ Dawkins, an avowed atheist, has fiercely criticised Islam, particularly its blasphemy laws and sanction of murder for apostates. … Sure, Dawkins’s arguments can be blunt and dogmatic. But it’s hard to see why criticising extreme religious practices, or expressing dislike for a particular religion, should be deemed so harmful. There’s also a glaring double standard here. Dawkins is just as scathing about Christianity, and about all faiths, as he is about Islam. And yet it is only his criticism of Islam that has got him in trouble.” (07/27/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/dawkins-cheered-for-hating-christianity-banned-for-hating-islam/

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48) Deficient high school civic education contributing to issues on campus
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Katherine Hung

“I’ve only been with FIRE for a short month and a half; and yet already, I’ve seen numerous university policies discredited in the courts of law and public opinion. Because these successes for FIRE also have to be understood as a testament to the pervasiveness of First Amendment violations, my pride in FIRE is accompanied by a sober awareness of the situation on college campuses. A culture of censorship has taken root and permeated universities, in part due to some students’ unfamiliarity or disinterest in their rights. A likely culprit, in my opinion, is deficient civic education in secondary schools across the nation. In the absence of engaging civics instruction and classroom debate, some students fail to grasp the content or significance of their First Amendment freedoms, allowing those rights to fall victim to restrictions on campus.” (07/26/17)

https://www.thefire.org/deficient-high-school-civic-education-contributing-to-issues-on-campus/

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49) How can the Fed possibly unwind QE?
Source: Cobden Centre
by Alasdair Macleod

“There are currently two important items on the Fed’s wish list. The first is to restore interest rates to more normal levels, and the second is to unwind the Fed’s balance sheet, which has expanded since the great financial crisis, principally through quantitative easing (QE). Is this not just common sense? Maybe. It is one thing to wish, another to achieve.” (07/27/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/07/how-can-the-fed-possibly-unwind-qe/

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50) The Alphabay shutdown will be as futile as the drug war itself
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Nils Biedermann

“Let’s look at Alphabay like a regular drug cartel. Simply speaking you have a head; you have people who are responsible for acquiring the drugs and those who are responsible for selling them again. AlphaBay had a lead administrator, vendors and customers. So what happens in real life when a major drug lord gets busted? When Pablo Escobar died in 1993 he left behind a power vacuum. The drug market fragmented and ‘baby cartels’ emerged. The same thing can be said for Mexican drug cartels today. They are smaller and less powerful but more numerous. In 2015, authorities captured two Mexican drug cartel figureheads. May 2017 marked a 20-year peak in Mexico’s monthly murder rate with 2,186 murders committed. The drug trade didn’t just disappear after one figurehead was captured. It changed and modified to the new circumstances, as it always does.” (07/27/17)

https://fee.org/articles/the-alphabay-shutdown-will-be-as-futile-as-the-drug-war-itself/

—–

51) The ultimate trifecta of crony capitalism
Source: The American Conservatism
by Alison Acosta Winters

“A free market is by definition a business environment in which companies produce products and services valued by consumers at a cost they are willing to pay, free from special advantages created by government. In such a market, not only will a business fail when it doesn’t create value for consumers, it will be allowed to fail. But well-meaning politicians often can’t resist interventions into the free market through bailouts, subsidies, government loan forgiveness, or other lifelines. And of course companies have every incentive to go after such special treatment, both in terms of lobbying for them and flocking to them once they are created. Thus is corporate welfare found at every level of government in America and in nearly every realm of government policy.” (07/27/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-ultimate-trifecta-of-crony-capitalism/

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52) When “single payer” won’t pay
Source: Heartland Institute
by Peter Ferrara

“Obamacare’s great innovation was to expand Medicaid to working-age, nondisabled adults not living in poverty (with income up to 138 percent of poverty). That has added about 16 million more dependents to Medicaid since Obamacare became operational, an increase of almost 30 percent in just five years. As a result, nearly 70 million Americans are now dependent on Medicaid, which was originally supposed to be a safety net program for the poor. But adding millions more Americans to taxpayer dependency on Medicaid is not a solution for the uninsured. Even though Medicaid already spends hundreds of billions a year in federal and state funds, the government does not pay doctors and hospitals enough to assure that the poor dependent on the program can get essential health care when they need it. That is why medical studies show that health outcomes for the poor dependent on Medicaid are not any better than for the uninsured.” (07/26/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/07/when-single-payer-wont-pay/

—–

53) The Deep State, now and then
Source: CounterPunch
by Edward Curtin

“In recent years there has been a spate of books and articles detailing the CIA’s past Cold War cultural and political propaganda efforts, from the creation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) with its string of magazines, to its collaboration with many famous writers and intellectuals, including Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Richard Wright, Irving Kristol, et al., and its penetration and working relationships with so many publications and media outlets, including The New York Times, the Paris Review, Encounter, etc. These exposes show how vast was the CIA’s propaganda network throughout the media and the world, and how many people participated in the dirty work. … But that was then. What about now?” (07/27/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/27/the-deep-state-now-and-then/

—–

54) The transgender double bind works to Trump’s advantage
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“Message one: Gender identity is a social convention and there’s no inherent problem with any gender identity. That is (for example — there are lots of possible permutations), a person who was born with the biological/anatomical characteristics of a ‘male,’ but who identifies and presents publicly as a ‘female,’ is not defective, broken, sick, etc. The person just happens to be outside the middle, ‘normal’ range of the bell curve representing gender identity. No biggie unless you’re some kind of bigot. Message two: ‘Gender dysphoria’ — a self-perceived disconnect between biological/anatomical characteristics and gender identity — is a medical condition for which treatment (including but not limited to psychological counseling, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery) is appropriate. Message two gives Donald Trump, as well as military leaders who, for whatever reason, don’t want transgender people in the ranks of the armed forces, an out. If it is a medical condition, it is a PRE-EXISTING medical condition. And the armed forces have always rejected people with pre-existing medical conditions that might represent either a handicap for the recruit in accomplishing the mission or an extra expense or problem for the military in addressing. You’re not going to get into the military with cancer or hepatitis or paraplegia.” (07/27/17)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-transgender-double-bind-works-to.html

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55) Politics of the next four years, part 3 (what’s an independent to do?)
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“f I had to describe my politics at the most macro level, I guess you could call me a decentralist. I believe the primary threat to human liberty, happiness and evolution is the concentration of power, whether it manifests in government or business. In today’s America we’ve seen the worst of both these things come together, as oligarchs and large corporations have used their money and influence to transform the country into an undemocratic, neo-feudal cesspool.” (07/26/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/07/26/politics-of-the-next-4-years-part-3-whats-an-independent-to-do/

—–

56) The coup: Who’s winning?
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Michael S Rozeff

“At this time, Trump is pulling out from under by degrees but hasn’t defeated his foes yet. His followers remain loyal, and this support is growing. This is alarming to Democrats in office. Some of them, seeing the political liability, are saying to move on and away from the Russia issue. Jared Kushner’s published statement is detailed and open. Its detail is plausible and realistic, hiding nothing. The collusion angle has no legs in this instance. The hacking attribution to Russia has been degraded and demoted repeatedly, most recently by the coalition of retired intelligence professionals named VETS. The counterattack against the coup has gained some steam, its main spear pointing at the instigators of the infamous dossier.” (07/27/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/07/michael-s-rozeff/the-coup/

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57) Collectives and a bad case of the narcissists
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Emma Buck

“The non-hierarchical, consensus-based, mission-driven collective remains and pervades activist organizing bodies of every level. We love them, apparently. Yet I’ve seen the most collective energy drained to nothing when any one of those elements (the hierarchy, the consensus, the mission) is implicitly or explicitly challenged, and often from within. Someone is in some way not operating non-hierarchically, in a way that is supportive of consensus or, some would argue, in alliance with the mission, and the whole collective devolves into a miserable landscape of extra meetings and long emails with many feelings. Collectives work, often brilliantly, until they don’t. At least, collectives who haven’t put anything in place to avoid such situations. Collectives such as these can empower individuals to participate and learn from the get-go, stemming from social intelligence and group wisdom. However, collectives can also create the perfect framework for a narcissist to completely take over, invisibilized by the nature of the collective itself.” (07/26/17)

https://c4ss.org/content/49600

—–

58) Only make believe
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Problems can be solved. But for those lacking the merest clue how to solve a given problem … alternatives exist. Books can be cooked to pretend the problem no longer exists. And perhaps to fool others.” (07/27/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/07/27/only-make-believe/

—–

59) Home Alone — Trump is the Kevin McCallister of American politics
Source: Antiwar.com
by David Stockman

“It’s as if on election night the shocked and exasperated rulers of the Imperial City ordered Donald Trump to sleep in the White House attic. Unlike Kevin McCallister’s family in the movie, however, the establishment never stopped obsessing about his bratty insolence and never intended for him to rejoin the family the next morning — or ever. Instead, the Washington political establishment and its collaborators in the main stream media are engaged in an unabashed and unconcealed campaign to remove the Donald from even the figurative White House attic where he now dwells with his Twitter account.” (07/27/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/david_stockman/2017/07/26/home-alone-trump-kevin-mccallister-american-politics/

—–

60) Some thoughts on state capacity
Source: Notes on Liberty
by Mark Koyama

“Medieval and early modern states were mostly devices for rent-extraction and rent-seeking. But this rent-extraction and rent-seeking was largely decentralized. They collected taxes through a variety of costly and inefficient means (such as selling monopolies). They then spent the tax revenue on costly wars. Decentralized rent-extraction was costly and inefficient. For example, it is well known that weights and measures varied from place to place in preindustrial Europe. What is less well known is that there were institutional reasons for this, as each local lord wanted to use his own measures in order to extract more surplus from the peasants who were forced to grind their grain using his mill. Local cities similarly used their own systems of weights and measures in order to extract surplus from traveling merchants. This benefited each local lord and city authority but imposed a large deadweight loss on the economy at large.” (07/26/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/07/26/some-thoughts-on-state-capacity/

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

61) Mostly Weekly, 07/27/17
Source: Reason

“Jeff Sessions is on the ropes with Donald Trump. Good. The president is pissed because Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. But here are a baker’s dozen of reasons to hate the attorney general, including his obsession with restarting the war on pot, his call to jack up mandatory minimums, and his support for civil asset forfeiture. Then there’s his lack of interest in due process, willingness to subvert state’s rights when they conflict with his desired outcome, and desire to lengthen prison terms for non-violent criminals. Also, he might be some kind of statist elf.” [Flash video] (07/27/17)

http://reason.com/reasontv/2017/07/27/thirteen-more-reasons-to-hate-jeff-sessi

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62) Freedom Feens Radio, 07/27/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou and Knight discussed how to find a job in the first hour because Knight is currently seeking new employment. In the second hour, they discussed why police reforms can never be anything other than the same people doing the same things and calling them something else.” [various formats] (07/27/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14860

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63) Cato Daily Podcast, 07/26/17
Source: Cato Institute

“A member of the U.S. House wants to have the President’s head examined. It’s far from an ideal response to an erratic chief executive.” [various formats] (07/26/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/unserious-25th-amendment-solution

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64) Reason Podcast, 07/26/17
Source: Reason

“Now that ethereum has a market cap of more than $18 billion, the network is facing immense technical challenges. Can it scale to serve millions of users? To discuss, we spoke with Michael Freedman, a professor of computer science at Princeton who, starting in the late ’90s, worked on an earlier wave of peer-to-peer computing technologies.” [various formats] (07/26/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/26/ethereum-blockstack-blockchain-freedman

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65) Paul Molloy Show, 07/26/17
Source: Freedom Works

“Roger Noriega, former US Ambassador on Venezuela Crisis.” [Flash audio or MP3]

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66) Free Talk Live, 07/26/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Parents Television Council Filing More Complaints With FCC :: Upcoming Bitcoin Fork Possibility :: Tits :: Gold and Silver vs Bitcoin :: Indecent Broadcast Content :: Teen Girl Countersues Prosecutor Over Child Porn Charges, Wins :: People Die In Back of Truck Crossing Border :: Human Smuggling :: Detroit Riots :: Smoking Tenant :: Transgendereds Banned from US Military :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark” [Flash audio or MP3] (07/26/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-07-26

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67) The Tom Woods Show, episode 961
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“This episode is drawn from the Society and the State podcast, on which I was the guest for the very first episode. We discuss how I went from teaching a handful of college students to reaching many, many more via my online work — and supported a family to boot. We also discuss a horrendous business failure of mine, and other fun things.” [various formats] (07/26/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-961-how-i-increased-my-audience-by-1000-times-plus-a-big-failure/

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68) PanAm Podcast, 07/26/17
Source: PanAm Post

“Singer-songwriter Tatiana Moroz is a leading libertarian activist and bitcoin advocate who has traveled the country using her music to promote, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, among others. A graduate of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, Tatiana was inspired by the musicians of the previous generation who used art to protest the Vietnam War.” [Flash video] (07/26/17)

https://panampost.com/david-unsworth/2017/07/26/podcast-freedomfest-tatiana-moroz/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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