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

Volume XV, Issue #3,845
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Zimbabwe: Military takes over, says Mugabe is “safe”
2) Australia: Survey supports ending marriage apartheid
3) GOP targets ObamaCare mandate in tax bill
4) UK: Desperate to remain PM, May plays “blame the Russians for everything” card
5) Sessions denies lying on Russia, pleads “hazy memory”
6) Sessions: Weed “not as bad as heroin, but still illegal”
7) DC: massive Museum of the Bible readies for opening
8) OH: Kent State socialists refuse to take part in “capitalist vs. socialist” food drive
9) OK: LGBTQ advocacy center “won’t be intimidated” after their office shot up
10) Weight Watchers debuts diet wine to toast the holidays
11) NBC fires Lauer’s booker for “inappropriate conduct” with women
12) CT: Frivolous Sandy Hook lawsuit heads to Supreme Court
13) France: Regime considers setting minimum age for sexual consent to 13
14) New York allows PTSD patients to use medical cannabis
15) Cygnus cargo ship delivers holiday goodies and science gear to space station
16) SCOTUS will hear challenge to California law requiring anti-abortion groups to promote state-funded abortions
17) UK: Davis’s Brexit vote offer fails to win over Tory rebels
18) Real Bitcoin, aka Bitcoin Cash, hard forks in bid to ease mining difficulties
19) Afghanistan: Taliban kill 27 police in security post attacks
20) US FDA approves first digital ingestion tracking system med

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Who are we burning flags for?
22) The Honest Ads Act: “Fundamental rights,” real and imagined
23) Tighter gun laws will leave libertarians better armed than everybody else
24) US Department of Justice flouts freedom of press
25) Factory-like schools are the child labor crisis of today
26) Trump camp too disorganized to collude
27) Wedding cakes have nothing to do with free speech
28) Does western civilization still have a purpose?
29) What’s the real story behind Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium?
30) Can marijuana help addicts kick opioids?
31) Trump’s white nationalist foreign policy
32) The church of national government
33) Why policymaking won’t work for complex societies (and why principles will), part 1
34) Yet more deficient analysis
35) Two smart changes [sic] have made GOP tax bill passable
36) Will Moore sanctimony prevail again in Alabama?
37) Close to the edge
38) Republican tax reform plan: One step forward, two steps back
39) America is losing yet another drug war … in Afghanistan
40) The lost boys
41) When soft power salutes despots
42) GOP now shackled to Trump
43) Who owns space?
44) Assault Weapons Ban of 2017
45) Mocking Trump doesn’t prove Russia’s guilt
46) The Lebanon crisis: Who emboldened the Saudis?
47) Do the right thing
48) Eternally postponing responsibility
49) “Speaking freely”: Measuring reactions to peer expression
50) Trump immigration rhetoric relies on statistical outliers

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 30
52) The Libertarian Angle, 11/14/17
53) Cato Daily Podcast, 11/13/17
54) Freedom Feens Radio, 11/14/17
55) Free Talk Live, 11/13/17

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

1) Zimbabwe: Military takes over, says Mugabe is “safe”
Source: Washington Post

“Zimbabwe’s military took control of this southern African country — and its leader President Robert Mugabe — in the early hours Wednesday morning with a televised announcement saying it was ‘not a military takeover.’ Despite the assurances, the events bore all the hallmarks of a coup, with military vehicles stationed around the capital, the army taking over the television station and a uniformed general issuing a statement. The move by army commander Gen. Constantino Chiwenga came as the struggle over who will succeed the country’s increasingly frail 93-year-old leader came to a head. Mugabe has ruled since he led the country to independence from white minority rule in 1980. ‘We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover,’ said the statement read by Maj. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo. ‘We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country.'” (11/15/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/zimbabawe-military-takes-over-the-country-says-president-mugabe-is-safe/2017/11/15/086865c2-c9d2-11e7-b0cf-7689a9f2d84e_story.html

—–

2) Australia: Survey supports ending marriage apartheid
Source: CNN

“Celebrations broke out across Australia after a two-month national postal survey came out ‘overwhelmingly’ in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Results released Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 61% of the population voted to allow same-sex marriage, with 38% voting against. … Speaking after the result, Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it had been an ‘overwhelming’ response in favor of ‘yes’ and called for same-sex marriage to be legalized before Christmas.” (11/114/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/asia/australia-same-sex-marriage-yes/index.html

—–

3) GOP targets ObamaCare mandate in tax bill
Source: The Hill

“Senate Republicans are including the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate in their tax-reform bill, a risky play that meets President Trump’s demands but could cost the measure support from centrists. Repealing the mandate gives Republicans more money to offset the cost of tax cuts, and would fulfill a long-standing GOP promise to eliminate a core part of former President Obama’s health-care law. Republicans can afford only two defections in the Senate and pass the tax bill if all Democrats oppose it, but Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) expressed confidence that Republicans have the votes after a count. At the same time, Republicans acknowledged after a conference lunch that the decision to add the mandate’s repeal to the tax bill was not unanimous, suggesting uncertainty that the GOP has 52 votes.” (11/14/17)

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/360383-gop-targets-health-mandate-in-tax-reform

—–

4) UK: Desperate to remain PM, May plays “blame the Russians for everything” card
Source: Sky News [UK]

“Theresa May has launched a powerful attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policies during a speech in the City of London. The Prime Minister pledged the UK will continue to play a leading diplomatic role after Brexit, suggesting a post EU divorce trade deal would support Europe’s commitment to open economies and free societies in the face of Russian threats to the international order. … Mrs May accused Russia of ‘seeking to weaponise information’ as she criticised Moscow’s meddling in elections and hacking of Denmark’s defence ministry and the German parliament.” (11/14/17)

https://news.sky.com/story/theresa-may-launches-powerful-attack-on-russia-meddling-11125693

—–

5) Sessions denies lying on Russia, pleads “hazy memory”
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a raised voice and animated tone, told Congress on Tuesday he never lied under oath about Russian interference in the 2016 election and suggested that sleep deprivation and the ‘chaos’ of the Trump campaign clouded his recollections of campaign contacts with Russians. In more than five hours of testimony, Sessions sought to explain away apparent contradictions in his public statements by portraying President Donald Trump’s campaign as an exhausting operation and said he could not be expected to remember specific encounters from more than a year ago. But he did say that recent media reports have triggered in him a memory, which he had not previously revealed, of a conversation with a campaign adviser last year about a proposed Russian government meeting. ‘In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory,’ Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee. ‘But I will not accept, and reject, accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie.'” (11/14/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Sessions-faces-Congress-amid-new-Russia-probe-12355225.php

—–

6) Sessions: Weed “not as bad as heroin, but still illegal”
Source: Raw Story

“While Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have been persuaded that marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin, those harboring hopes for federal concessions on weed legalization shouldn’t bank on his support. Speaking at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Sessions stated that the Obama-era guidelines on cannabis remain intact, meaning the drug is illegal on the federal level even though a number of states have voted to legalize it for recreational use. ‘Our policy is the same, really, fundamentally as the Holder-Lynch policy, which is that the federal law remains in effect and a state can legalize marijuana for its law enforcement purposes but it still remains illegal with regard to federal purposes,’ Forbes reported Sessions as saying, referring to previous attorney generals and their policy. Sessions has long been an opponent of marijuana legalization, previously equating smoking weed with taking heroin. He stated in March that he did not back the ‘fashionable’ view on weed legalization.” [editor’s note: Once more, put the elf on the shelf, by any means necessary – SAT] (11/14/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/sessions-weed-not-as-bad-as-heroin-but-still-illegal

—–

7) DC: massive Museum of the Bible readies for opening
Source: USA Today

“In the new Museum of the Bible is a room full of Bibles, color-coded to show the more than 2,000 languages into which the holy book has been at least partially translated — and the similar number for which translation has ‘not yet begun.’ That exhibit is just one example of how the 430,000-square-foot building with a view of the U.S. Capitol is meant to fascinate, educate and (depending on your perspective) evangelize. ‘You could certainly interpret it that way,’ said Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers of the language-related exhibit in an interview shortly before the museum’s Friday opening.” (11/14/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/11/14/museum-of-the-bible-dc-readies-for-opening/861705001

—–

8) OH: Kent State socialists refuse to take part in “capitalist vs. socialist” food drive
Source: Fox News

“Two capitalist groups at Kent State University invited student socialist groups on campus to a canned food face-off — hoping the two sides could briefly put their political beliefs aside for a common good. The groups, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and Turning Point USA (TPUSA), sent out a joint invitation to two socialist groups, the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) and Socialist Collective, ahead of a campus-wide canned food drive ending this Friday. ‘We decided to engage in a friendly challenge in hopes to increase donations overall because a challenge is always a way to get people active and willing to participate, and to ease tensions that have been prevalent,’ TPUSA chapter president, Kaitlin Bennett told Fox News. But the socialist groups refused to take part in the ‘capitalists vs. socialists canned food drive,’ saying they would not participate in an event with a group with ‘dangerous’ views.” (11/14/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/14/socialist-students-at-kent-state-refuse-to-take-part-in-capitalist-vs-socialist-food-drive.html

—–

9) OK: LGBTQ advocacy center “won’t be intimidated” after their office shot up
Source: Raw Story

“Over the weekend, the office of an Oklahoma City LGBTQ advocacy group was shot at five times while no one was there. The office’s weatherproof windows received damage, and one shattered. According to NBC News, the suspected anti-LGBTQ vandalism at the offices of Freedom Oklahoma are neither a first for gay and trans advocates in the state, nor are they the first time the group has experienced threatening behavior. Troy Stevenson, Freedom Oklahoma’s executive director, said he received death threats after his group’s work on a case in Hitchcock, Oklahoma, where a gay couple’s house was burned down and their family was run out of town. ‘It was a gruff voice, calling and saying ‘I’m going to kill you,” Stevenson said of the calls he got. ‘I would block the number, and they would call back a couple days later, the same voice at 7 a.m. on my personal cell.'” (11/14/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/oklahoma-city-lgbtq-advocacy-center-wont-be-intimidated-after-their-office-was-shot-up

—–

10) Weight Watchers debuts diet wine to toast the holidays
Source: USA Today

“While you’re gorging this holiday season, there’ll be a new option for saving a few calories where you might not expect it: Wine. Weight Watchers has unveiled its new line of diet wine called Cense, starting with a sauvignon blanc. It becomes the latest of several calorie-cutting wines on the market. The company (which assigns values, called SmartPoints, to foods and then has members lose weight by limiting the number they consume) says Cense has 85 calories a glass compared to 120 calories for other white wines. It is half as many SmartPoints for the same 5-ounce serving. The idea for low-calorie vino has been fermenting at Weight Watchers for close to two years, explained Ryan Nathan, Weight Watchers vice president of products, licensing and e-commerce. A rose is also in the works.” [editor’s note: As long as they are not using Aspartame or other poisons, it sounds good – SAT] (11/14/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/11/14/weight-watchers-debuts-diet-wine-toast-holidays/859556001

—–

11) NBC fires Lauer’s booker for “inappropriate conduct” with women
Source: Fox News

“NBC News has fired Senior Vice President, Booking, News & Entertainment Matt Zimmerman after he ‘engaged in inappropriate conduct with more than one woman’ at the network. Zimmerman is widely known to be one of ‘Today’ co-host Matt Lauer’s closest associates and confidants at the network. He worked for years as Lauer’s personal booker, and expanded his remit to oversee all of NBC News’ guest bookings as Lauer’s power grew in the organization. ‘We have recently learned that Matt Zimmerman engaged in inappropriate conduct with more than one woman at NBCU, which violated company policy. As a result he has been dismissed,’ an NBC News spokesperson told Fox News.” (11/14/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/11/14/nbc-fires-senior-executive-who-was-matt-lauer-s-booker-for-inappropriate-conduct-with-women.html

—–

12) CT: Frivolous Sandy Hook lawsuit heads to Supreme Court
Source: Hartford Courant

“The eyes of the legal world and both sides of the growing debate about the role of guns in society will focus on the state Supreme Court Tuesday as justices hear arguments in a lawsuit by the victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre against the manufacturer of the weapon used in the shooting. Families of nine victims who were killed and a teacher who survived the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre filed the lawsuit in January 2015 seeking to hold Remington Outdoor Co. liable, arguing it marketed the AR-15 to the public even though it knew the weapon was designed for military use.” (11/15/17)

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-sandy-hook-gun-supreme-court-20171110-story.html

—–

13) France: Regime considers setting minimum age for sexual consent to 13
Source: Independent [Ireland]

“A bill being prepared by the French government could set a minimum legal age for sexual consent for the first time, and the country’s justice minister said Monday that she thought 13 years old could be reasonable. Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told France’s RTL radio network that 13 was a ‘limit that is worth considering’ for the forthcoming legislation, but noted that judges should also have the ability to assess whether someone was old enough to give consent in individual situations. … A minimum age of sexual consent does not currently exist in French law.” (11/14/17)

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/france-considers-setting-minimum-age-for-sexual-consent-to-13-36317827.html

—–

14) New York allows PTSD patients to use medical cannabis
Source: Smell the Truth

“New York military veterans and others diagnosed with post-traumatic stress will now be able to enter the state’s medical marijuana program. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Veterans Day signed legislation that adds PTSD to the list of qualifying health disorders for medical cannabis, according to an AP report. ‘Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home,’ Cuomo said. New York joins Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois as states that legally allow PTSD patients to use marijuana as medicine.” (11/13/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/11/13/new-york-allows-ptsd-patients-to-use-medical-marijuana

—–

15) Cygnus cargo ship delivers holiday goodies and science gear to space station
Source: Space.com

“A Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today (Nov. 14) to deliver food, supplies and some fascinating science experiments to the Expedition 53 astronauts. Orbital ATK, a private spaceflight contracted by NASA to fly cargo to the ISS, named this Cygnus spacecraft the S.S. Gene Cernan in honor of the late NASA astronaut and last person to walk on the moon. After launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on an Antares rocket Sunday (Nov. 12), Cygnus spent about 45 hours catching up to the ISS …” (11/14/17)

https://www.space.com/38768-cygnus-oa8-delivers-supplies-to-space-station.html

—–

16) SCOTUS will hear challenge to California law requiring anti-abortion groups to promote state-funded abortions
Source: KSRO News

“The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider whether a California requirement for pregnancy centers in that state to provide information about publicly funded abortion and contraceptive services violates free-speech rights. The petitioners, which say they are ‘life-affirming pregnancy centers,’ argue that California’s Reproductive FACT ACT, ‘Forces licensed pro-life medical centers to post notices informing women how to contact the State at a particular phone number for information on how to obtain state-funded abortions, directly contradicting the centers’ pro-life message.’ And that petitioners argue is a violation of the First Amendment, both its protections of speech and of free exercise.” (11/13/17)

http://www.ksro.com/2017/11/13/supreme-court-will-hear-challenge-to-california-pregnancy-center-law/

—–

17) UK: Davis’s Brexit vote offer fails to win over Tory rebels
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“A key parliamentary battle over crucial Brexit legislation will recommence in parliament, as Conservative MPs suggested a concession by David Davis to give MPs a ‘take it or leave it’ vote on any exit deal would not be enough to stave off rebellion. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, before eight days of debate over the EU withdrawal bill, the Brexit secretary pledged to introduce legislation to parliament that will allow MPs to vote on the final Brexit deal, either to accept or reject it and crash out with no deal in place. Conservative rebels who met the chief whip, Julian Lewis, overnight are understood to have made clear they have no intention of backing down over the bill’s most contentious points, including enshrining a meaningful vote in law.” (11/14/17)

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/14/david-davis-brexit-vote-offer-fails-to-win-over-tory-rebels

—–

18) Real Bitcoin, aka Bitcoin Cash, hard forks in bid to ease mining difficulties
Source: CoinDesk

“Bitcoin cash appears to be successfully navigating a planned hard fork. At press time, the majority of the network nodes (roughly 82 percent) have transitioned to new software (version 0.16.0 or later) that includes rules aimed at making the protocol’s reward distribution more attractive to the miners that secure its blockchain. Executed at roughly 21:00 UTC, the new version of the bitcoin cash blockchain has since amassed six blocks, while none have yet been mined on the older network. The results suggest that, while still possible, the fork will pass without the creation of a competing cryptocurrency.” (11/13/17)

https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-cash-hard-forks-blockchain-bid-ease-mining-difficulties/

—–

19) Afghanistan: Taliban kill 27 police in security post attacks
Source: Washington Post

“Taliban fighters stormed some 15 security posts in three different districts in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province overnight, killing at least 27 policemen, officials said Tuesday. Matiullah Helal, acting provincial police spokesman, said 22 police were killed and at least 15 others were wounded when insurgents stormed various security posts in two districts Monday night. He said the attacks took place in the Maywand and Zhari districts and some gun battles lasted for hours. He said 45 Taliban were killed and 35 others wounded. Naway District Gov. Sarajuddin Sarhadi said five local police were also killed at checkpoints in his district, including a post commander.” (11/14/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/official-taliban-kill-22-police-in-security-post-attacks/2017/11/14/186cb46c-c907-11e7-b506-8a10ed11ecf5_story.html

—–

20) US FDA approves first digital ingestion tracking system med
Source: US News & World Report

“The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system, in an unprecedented move to ensure that patients with mental illness take the medicine prescribed for them. The drug Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The drug Abilify was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia, and the ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was approved for marketing in 2012. The FDA said in a statement Monday that the digitally enhanced medication ‘works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch.'” (11/14/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-11-14/govt-approves-first-ever-med-with-digital-tracking-system

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

21) Who are we burning flags for?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Lucy Steigerwald

[W]orship of the flag has real consequences. As the satirical Onion put it once, ‘U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths.’ Commitment to nationalism invariably means forgetting about the humans who live there, unless you’re valuing their lives one thousand to one over that of someone who lives somewhere else. A commitment to nationalism is taught in rituals such as pledging allegiance to the flag and standing in the proper, respectful fashion for the anthem. Subsequently, it would follow that if you wish you fight those messages, iconoclasm is the answer. Destroy those deified symbols that reinforce the collective notion of a state, and its superiority over individual human rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, burning flags rarely imparts the subtlety and the depth that is needed to change minds.” (11/14/17)

https://c4ss.org/content/50203

—–

22) The Honest Ads Act: “Fundamental rights,” real and imagined
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Karen Hobert Flynn of The Daily Beast reports that US Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Mark Warner (D-VA) are pushing something called ‘The Honest Ads Act.’ The prospective law would burden web sites and social media networks with unconstitutional identity disclosure and disclaimer requirements like those currently covering political ads on radio and television. Their excuse? Moral panic. ‘The Russians’ pushed some cheesy political memes over social media last year. Obviously, ‘Hillary vs. Jesus’ is what swung the election. And, Hobert asserts, Americans have a ‘fundamental right to know who is trying to influence our votes and our views on public policy.’ Well, no. Americans — and Russians — have a fundamental right to say what they want to say, with or without their names attached to it.” (11/14/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/11872

—–

23) Tighter gun laws will leave libertarians better armed than everybody else
Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“[L]aws aren’t magic spells that ward off evil; they’re threats of consequences against violators, enforced by imperfect and often incompetent people, and noted or ignored by frequently resistant targets. Gun controls then, like other restrictions and prohibitions, have their biggest effect on those who agree with them and on the unlucky few scofflaws caught by the powers-that-be, and are otherwise mostly honored in the breach. As a result, gun laws intended to reduce the availability of firearms are likely to leave those who most vigorously disagree with them disproportionately well-armed relative to the rest of society. That raises some interesting prospects in a country as politically polarized and factionalized as the United States.” (11/14/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/11/14/tighter-gun-laws-will-leave-libertarians

—–

24) US Department of Justice flouts freedom of press
Source: Libertarian Party
by staff

“The U.S. Department of Justice, in a clear violation of the First Amendment, has required the Russian-funded news network RT to register as a foreign agent under the WWII era Foreign Agents Registration Act. RT, formerly known as Russia Today, faced government threats if it did not comply — including arrest of RT management and seizure of company accounts, which would effectively shut down the network. RT has registered because of those threats. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, in unequivocal terms, that ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,’ with no exceptions for expression published or broadcast by foreign-owned media.” (11/14/17)

https://www.lp.org/u-s-department-justice-flouts-freedom-press/

—–

25) Factory-like schools are the child labor crisis of today
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Kerry McDonald

“Most American children and teenagers wake early, maybe gulp down a quick breakfast, and get transported quickly to the building where they will spend the majority of their day being told what to do, what to think, how to act. An increasing number of these young people will spend their entire day in this building, making a seamless transition from the school day to afterschool programming, emerging into the darkness of dinnertime. For others, there are structured afterschool activities, followed by hours of tedious homework. Maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll get to play a video game before bed — a rare moment when they are in control. There is mounting evidence that increasingly restrictive schooling, quickly consuming the majority of childhood, is damaging children.” (11/14/17)

https://fee.org/articles/factory-like-schools-are-the-child-labor-crisis-of-today/

—–

26) Trump camp too disorganized to collude
Source: USA Today
by JD Gordon

“Criminalization of policy differences has descended upon America once again. The viciousness towards a sitting president and his team evokes memories of Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment. In the ‘witch hunt’ Clinton was impeached for something unrelated to the Arkansas real estate deal which sparked the Whitewater investigation years earlier. Like a Soviet secret police chief once said: ‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ Indeed. We’re seeing the same thing today. The Trump-Russia collusion story is a hoax and the ‘witchhunt’ of this century. Like typical conspiracy theories, usually the simplest explanation is correct. The campaign was chaotic, understaffed and underpaid, if paid at all. We couldn’t collude amongst ourselves.” (11/13/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/11/13/trump-camp-disorganized-collude-russia-opposing-view/107666062

—–

27) Wedding cakes have nothing to do with free speech
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“The New York Times recently carried an interesting article on the wedding-cake controversy that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. The article pointed out that prominent lawyers who specialize in First Amendment cases are ‘vexed’ by the controversy. … The legal controversy vexing all these great legal minds is a classic example of what happens when the courts compromise (i.e., abandon) the principles of freedom. When that happens, it produces situations where lawyers are ‘vexed’ and end up doing their best to pound square legal pegs into round legal holes. The fact is that the wedding cake controversy has nothing to do with free speech. Instead, the issue is all about private property and the right to discriminate.” (11/14/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/11/14/wedding-cakes-nothing-free-speech/

—–

28) Does western civilization still have a purpose?
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Whatever we might say about their specific beliefs, the people of early Western civilization were devoted to something … something supremely good. Their new civilization had a goal. It had purpose. There was something for everyone — rich, poor, old, young — to work for. And the civilization they created produced more benefit for mankind than any other civilization in human history, and by a huge margin. What does civilization in the West hold as a goal today? Is there anything we can really point to? At best, the ‘leaders’ of our hyper-political age claim to serve ‘freedom.’ But what does that really mean? Can any of these leaders define it clearly? Do they even try?” (11/14/17)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/does-western-civilization-still-have-a-purpose/

—–

29) What’s the real story behind Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium?
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Peter Grier

“President Trump calls it the ‘real Russia story’: allegations that as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the sale of 20 percent of US uranium supplies to Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear company. The sale was greased by $145 million in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Canadian executives who benefited from the sale, according to these allegations. Prosecutors at the Justice Department are now reportedly considering the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the transaction. Here is a look at some of the details of the case.” (11/14/17)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1114/What-s-the-real-story-behind-Hillary-Clinton-Russia-and-uranium

—–

30) Can marijuana help addicts kick opioids?
Source: Cato Institute
by Jeffrey A Singer

“Late last month Donald Trump’s administration declared the rising death rate from opioid overdoses a national public health emergency. Thirty-three thousand lives were lost to this scourge in 2015, and early reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paint an even bleaker picture for 2016. Policymakers working for the president are doubling down on a policy aimed at restricting opioids. But this policy isn’t working. In fact, it might even be contributing to abusers’ switch to more potent drugs such as heroin in recent years.Yet there is an approach that can truly curb the rising rate of overdose deaths that is staring them right in the face: legalizing marijuana.” (11/14/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/can-marijuana-help-addicts-kick-opioids

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31) Trump’s white nationalist foreign policy
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“President Donald Trump’s extensive five-nation Asia tour concluded abruptly on Tuesday when he skipped a meeting with regional leaders in the Philippines and headed back to the United States. … Making friends, not making deals, was the major theme of Trump’s trip. ‘My feeling toward you is incredibly warm,’ Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping. ‘We have great chemistry. I think we’ll do tremendous things, China and the U.S.’ He was equally enthusiastic about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe … Trump believes strongly in bilateral diplomacy and in his own mastery of the ‘art of the deal,’ and he scorns alliance systems (like NATO and the United Nations) and the lumbering bureaucracy of the State Department. So it’s only natural that his major foreign policy tactic is cultivating personal ties with foreign leaders, with all the awkward handshakes that requires.” (11/14/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/145814/trumps-white-nationalist-foreign-policy

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32) The church of national government
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Suzanne Sherman

“Earlier this summer, President Donald Trump said in a speech and via Twitter that Americans worship God and not government. The crowd, both in the flesh and in cyberspace, responded with cheers of agreement. But is this assessment correct? I am inclined to answer this question in the negative. A look across the political landscape reveals many people in America worship at the altar national government.” (11/14/17)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/11/14/the-church-of-national-government/

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33) Why policymaking won’t work for complex societies (and why principles will), part 1
Source: Everything Voluntary
by James Walpole

“I hate policy debates so much. Should health care be delivered by government agencies? Should people spend more money on roads? Should kids be educated in the same age grades? Let’s put aside that these questions assume only one answer which ‘we’ all have to agree on or submit to. A main problem with all of these policymaking questions is that they’re far too simple — and people’s methods for establishing answers presume too much.” (11/14/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/policymaking-wont-work-complex-societies-principles-will-part-1

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34) Yet more deficient analysis
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Only 20 percent of U.S. private-sector output is goods while nearly 50 percent of China’s output is goods. Therefore, to insinuate that the Chinese are playing some nefarious game by selling to Americans more goods than Americans sell to the Chinese makes no more sense than to insinuate that, say, tailors are playing some nefarious game by selling more goods to cardiologists than cardiologists sell to tailors.” (11/14/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/11/yet-deficient-analysis.html

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35) Two smart changes [sic] have made GOP tax bill passable
Source: Town Hall
by Peter Roff

“Last week, Texas Republican Kevin Brady, using the power available to him as chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, introduced another of what’s known as a ‘manager’s amendment’ to the tax reform bill. The changes that amendment made to the bill, which passed with ease, were both important and effective, making him perhaps the most influential House member since Jack Kemp on the subject of taxes. It is clear Chairman Brady had it in mind to mitigate controversy in order to produce the strongest, most passable conservative reform framework possible. Thanks to his efforts last week, it seems that the bill should now muster enough GOP support to cross the finish line in both the House and Senate. Criticisms of the House reform efforts have focused mainly on the bill’s alleged marginalization of American families and small businesses. Brady took most of their negative talking points away in one fell swoop with two simple changes.” (11/14/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/peterroff/2017/11/14/two-smart-changes-have-made-the-gop-tax-bill-passable-n2409237

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36) Will Moore sanctimony prevail again in Alabama?
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“[Roy] Moore was Alabama’s Chief Justice for three years but was forced off the court in 2003 by a unanimous 9-member judicial ethics panel after he defied a federal court order to remove a 2.6 ton stone monument of the Ten Commandments he had commissioned himself and placed at the courthouse. It constituted a government endorsement of religion in violation the federal Constitution First Amendment Establishment Clause. … by some miracle of miracles in 2015, he won an election to reclaim his former job as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. … Then he defied the United States Supreme Court. … He wasn’t listening. He wasn’t learning. So another Alabama judicial ethics panel booted him off the Court again. That’s why he’s unfit to be a judge, and that’s why alone, without any other bad deeds in his past, he’s unfit to be a U.S. Senator.” (11/14/17)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2017/11/will-moore-sanctimony-prevail-again-in.html

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37) Close to the edge
Source: Cobden Centre
by Tim Price

“Imagine that a cyborg from 10 years into the future paid you a visit back in 2007. Here is what is going to happen, he says, in a thick Austrian accent, his body looking like a condom stuffed with walnuts. After deregulation and a gaudy credit boom, Wall Street will face an extinction level event. So will the City of London. As a result, interest rates will be driven down to zero and kept there for a decade as a ‘temporary’ emergency measure. The UK will vote to leave the European Union. Donald Trump will be elected US President. On the basis of these facts alone, what do you think would happen to global stock markets? Would they be higher, or lower — and perhaps much lower ? Since we know the answer, it’s hardly a fair question, and there can in any case be no counter-factual. But this thought experiment does reveal the vulnerability of ‘global macro’ investing in a world in which central banks are almost exclusively calling the shots.” (11/14/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/11/close-to-the-edge/

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38) Republican tax reform plan: One step forward, two steps back
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Laurence M Vance

“As I say in my analysis of every tax-reform plan, a libertarian analysis is based on certain libertarian axioms of taxation. A libertarian analysis of any tax-reform plan is concerned with only one thing: to what extent does it allow Americans to keep more of their money in their pockets and out of the hands of Uncle Sam. With that in mind, let’s dive into the main features of the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.'” (11/14/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/republican-tax-reform-plan-one-step-forward-two-steps-back/

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39) America is losing yet another drug war … in Afghanistan
Source: The Nation
by Alfred McCoy

“After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump’s White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: The United States is staying in Afghanistan to fight and (so they insist) win. ‘The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might,’ said the president in August, trumpeting his virtual declaration of war on the Taliban. Overturning Barack Obama’s planned (and stalled) drawdown in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that the Pentagon would send 4,000 more soldiers to fight there, bringing American troop strength to nearly 15,000.” (11/14/17)

https://www.thenation.com/article/america-is-losing-yet-another-drug-war-in-afghanistan

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40) The lost boys
Source: The Atlantic
by Angela Nagle

“The sudden emergence of the so-called alt-right from the dark recesses of the internet into the American mainstream was at first more baffling than shocking. The young people sharing strange, coded frog memes and declaring their commitment to white identity politics on obscure websites remained in the realm of the unserious — or at least the unknowable and weird. … It wasn’t until the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that the alt-right took on a form that most Americans could finally grasp as a real, and unambiguous, political movement. A disciplined, torch-lit procession snaked through a college town, with white men shouting explicitly white-nationalist slogans in chorus. A true believer drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters and was charged with killing a woman named Heather Heyer. Could it be that these ‘ironic’ young men had meant what they were saying all along?” (11/14/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/brotherhood-of-losers/544158/

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41) When soft power salutes despots
Source: The American Prospect
by Mark Leon Goldberg

“When Donald Trump addressed an adoring crowd in central Warsaw last July 6, he had nothing but praise for the Polish government. The location was all too fitting. Krasinski Square faces Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, the country’s highest court. Since sweeping into office in 2015 with an outright majority (a feat that no party had accomplished since the fall of communism), the right-wing Law and Justice party sought to subsume all of Poland’s institutions of government to the will of the party and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Under a key regime proposal, all of the high court’s justices who were not party-approved would be removed from office, and any new appointments would have to be made through parliament. The government had held off on pulling the trigger, in part over concern for how this would affect the country’s relationship with the United States.” (11/14/17)

http://prospect.org/article/when-soft-power-salutes-despots

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42) GOP now shackled to Trump
Source: Fox News Forum
by Juan Williams

“Well, there goes the fake news. It is real news that Republicans got shellacked on Tuesday in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. And it is real news that President Trump’s grip as the party’s leader loosened for the first time since he claimed the White House. Republicans running in 2018 saw the reality of an anti-Trump wave among white suburban voters. House Republicans rely on votes from suburban areas to keep their majorities in states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida. Republicans currently hold 23 seats in congressional districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 11 in districts she lost by fewer than 5 percentage points.” (11/14/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/14/juan-williams-gop-is-shackled-to-trump.html

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43) Who owns space?
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“As pointed out as early as some of Heinlein’s juvenile novels in the 1940s and 1950s, government control of space is dangerous. And government agencies are the LAST people that you want to be in control of space. The last sixty years have demonstrated the truth of that concern. The bureaucracy and the politics of NASA and many other government agencies are the reason we are still paying tens of thousands of dollars to boost a single pound into orbit. And the reason that there are not already tens of thousands if not millions of us living in orbit or on Luna or elsewhere.” (11/14/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/11/14/who-owns-space/

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44) Assault Weapons Ban of 2017
Source: The Zelman Partisans
by Carl Bussjaeger

“Die-Anne Feinswine’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 is out. It’s worth a read. In some respects it’s much like its 1994 predecessor, only more so. Particularly in that it isn’t a ban. Hang on to that thought. … She got smart on one point. Back in the ’90s, manufacturers simply redesigned platforms to conform to the law (which she fein-whined was taking advantage of a ‘loophole’). This time she remembered to ban any variant of pages of specified firearms. So gun makers can’t take an AR-15 and saw off the pistol grip or weld the magazine in place and call it an AR-15PB (post-ban). They’ll have to give it a new model number series. I suggest the UYDF-17. You can figure it out. Then she gets to the ban-that-isn’t.” (11/14/17)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=4588

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45) Mocking Trump doesn’t prove Russia’s guilt
Source: Antiwar.com
by Ray McGovern

“If the bloody debacle in Iraq should have taught Americans anything, it is that endorsements by lots of important people who think something is true don’t amount to evidence that it actually is true. If endorsements were the same as evidence, U.S. troops would have found tons of WMD in Iraq, rather than come up empty. So, when it comes to whether or not Russia ‘hacked’ Democratic emails last year and slipped them to WikiLeaks, just because a bunch of people with fancy titles think the Russians are guilty doesn’t compensate for the lack of evidence so far evinced to support this core charge.” (11/14/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2017/11/13/mocking-trump-doesnt-prove-russias-guilt/

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46) The Lebanon crisis: Who emboldened the Saudis?
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“As one commentator put it, all Middle Eastern conflicts ‘are all part of the same machinations — a great strategic power play between two regional heavyweights that has suddenly shifted from back rooms to potent realisation.’ And yet while it’s true that Iran-Saudi rivalry is inflaming conflict throughout the Middle East, there is also too much focus on the role played by these ‘two regional heavyweights.’ It’s a focus that excludes the role played by the West, especially the US, in the destabilising dynamics now ripping apart the region; a focus that ignores the extent to which the US and its allies are encouraging Saudi Arabia, emboldening it in its conflict with Iran; a focus that leaves unexamined the creation of the conditions in which the long-standing Saudi-Iranian rivalry could develop such an explosive trajectory.” (11/14/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-lebanon-crisis-who-emboldened-the-saudis/

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47) Do the right thing
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“[M]y wife spends a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies, mostly dealing with complex and confusing rules and regulations. One day after a particularly frustrating set of calls trying to get coverage for the purchase of my daughter’s contact lens, we discussed the root cause of all this distress. I pointed out that in a normal country you’d just go to the store and buy contacts, instead of working through a so-called ‘insurance’ company. (I use scare quotes as this has nothing to do with ‘insurance’ as an economic concept — it doesn’t reduce risk.) Our government uses the tax and regulatory system to push people towards buying more expensive contacts via employer insurance. (And let’s not even talk about ‘prescriptions.’) Without these provisions, my company would have no reason at all to provide contact lens insurance for my daughter. I’d buy catastrophic health insurance (which I’d probably go through my entire life never using), and then pay for health care out of pocket.” (11/14/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/11/do_the_right_th.html

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48) Eternally postponing responsibility
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“There is a common sense element to economics. We ignore it at our peril. So let’s take a cue from the Democratic Party’s current and de facto leader, Bernie Sanders. Turn to Denmark for a model. The Nordic state has what Bernie wants: higher education ‘free for all.’ But there are … costs involved.” (11/14/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/11/14/eternally-postponing-responsibility/

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49) “Speaking freely”: Measuring reactions to peer expression
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Kelsey Naughton

“When students sat down to respond to our survey, there were likely many things on their minds: tomorrow’s quiz, getting laundry washed, finding another cup of coffee, the latest episode of their favorite television show. A student might also have more pressing concerns on his or her mind, such as going through a breakup or dealing with family problems back home. Our goal was to write a survey that, in the clearest and simplest way possible, asked students how they would react to the expression of their classmates.” (11/13/17)

https://www.thefire.org/speaking-freely-measuring-students-reactions-to-peer-expression/

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50) Trump immigration rhetoric relies on statistical outliers
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail R Hall & Michael Coon

“Many argue that we must do more to protect Americans from immigrant crime. Few would disagree that any immigration policy should consider the safety and well-being of current U.S. citizens. However, when we hear fear-mongering about immigrants, we should remember that immigrant outlaws are outliers–not the norm.” (11/13/17)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9200

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

51) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 30
Source: Libertarianism.org

“The Haitian Revolution, with Jason Kuznicki.” [various formats] (11/14/17)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/haitian-revolution-jason-kuznicki

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52) The Libertarian Angle, 11/14/17
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“FFF president Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling talk about President Trump’s folly in the realm of free trade.” [various formats] (11/14/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-trumps-trade-antics-abroad/

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53) Cato Daily Podcast, 11/13/17
Source: Cato Institute

“Government control over air travel is still onerous, and that can limit both choice and the safety of travel. Gary Leff of the Mercatus Center and the blog View from the Wing discusses the latest fight over air travel.” [various formats] (11/13/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/how-airlines-compete-how-theyre-regulated

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54) Freedom Feens Radio, 11/14/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Michael W. Dean, Darrel Becker and new Feen cult member Kal Molinet discuss economics, Pussy Galore, cats, baby pumas on the Freedom Fence, plus (spoiler alert!) Rick &/or Morty.” [various formats] (11/14/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15288

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55) Free Talk Live, 11/13/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“US Govt Demands RT Register as Foreign Agent :: Voluntary Government :: Libertarians Moving to New Hampshire :: California Sucks for Freedom :: Defending Yourself In Jail :: No Shave November Under Attack :: Potential Breakup :: DASH Mining :: Degeneracy? :: Melanie’s Biggest Fan Proposes On-Air! :: Edgington Post AFTERSHOW — Debate Between Greg in NY and Libertarian Banker :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (11/13/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-11-13

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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