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

Volume XV, Issue #3,857
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Spain: Judge orders some Catalan political prisoners held, others freed on bail as elections near
2) Brexit: No deal in Brussels after DUP torpedoes May/Juncker Ireland agreement
3) SCOTUS allows Trump travel ban to take full effect
4) SCOTUS rejects Texas case on marriage benefits
5) Trump takes unprecedented step to reduce national monuments
6) John B. Anderson, 1922-2017
7) Gold trader says he paid bribes to get out of Turkish jail in 2013
8) China closes school “teaching women to be obedient”
9) CVS-Aetna deal to change how big employers buy health benefits
10) Nelson Mandela funeral: “Millions misspent”
11) Congress: Major concealed carry bill picks up momentum
12) NH: Vermin Supreme sues City of Concord over free speech denial
13) Brown sentenced to five years for fraud, tax evasion
14) Kenya: Opposition group says top adviser abducted by regime forces
15) Report: Fear of extortionists drove Golden Krust CEO to suicide
16) Malta: Ten arrested in assassination of Panama Papers journalist
17) Trump amps up support for authoritarian theocrat and accused ephebophile creep Roy Moore
18) Australia: Politician proposes during same-sex marriage debate
19) Venezuela: Regime, having destroyed its currency, plans to make a new cryptocurrency to destroy
20) Yemen: Saleh reportedly killed

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The Logan Act is awful, and no, it’s not going to take down Trump’s administration
22) The sickeningly narrow focus of our outrage
23) Here’s why I can’t custom-design cakes for same-sex weddings
24) Expect desperate and insane behavior from government in 2018, part 2
25) Tax tinkering
26) The abyss stares back
27) Alaska Grassroots Alliance aim to melt GOP’s cold cold heart
28) Good news: Young Americans want a new political party
29) Russia: Our new (and old) official enemy
30) It’s time to change more than Trump
31) This explains man’s fatal attraction to communism
32) The winning case for free trade
33) Taming the imperial presidency
34) Stop telling me to “shop locally”
35) How Republicans are digging their own grave for 2018
36) Why is the government dumb on health?
37) The war on sex is out of control
38) Masterpiece Cakeshop isn’t a free speech case
39) From “Russia-gate” to “Israel-gate”
40) Secrets in the family
41) The left (and much of Washington) preparing to dance on the grave of Trump’s presidency
42) Normalizing the unthinkable in “western” exceptionalism
43) What’s the big deal?
44) Quantum Vibe, 12/04/17
45) No, the “Long War” didn’t fail because of American democracy
46) Surprise, the mainstream media is wrong again: Yes, nullification does work
47) There’s more to libertarianism than Trump or Bitcoin
48) What if we have already been ruled by an Intelligent Machine — and are we better off being so?
49) Capitalism and asymmetric information
50) Gulled by pronouns

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Reason Podcast, 12/04/17
52) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 679
53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1052
54) Praise of Folly Podcast, episode 37
55) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/04/17
56) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 324
57) Free Talk Live, 12/03/17

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

1) Spain: Judge orders some Catalan political prisoners held, others freed on bail as elections near
Source: Yahoo! News

“Catalonia’s sacked vice president Oriol Junqueras and three other separatist leaders will remain in prison during a probe over their role in the region’s independence drive, a Spanish judge decided Monday, as critical Catalan elections approach. Six other former ministers who were also remanded in custody last month will be released on bail of 100,000 euros ($119,000) each as an investigation into charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds continues, the Madrid court said in a statement. The decision comes as axed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont attended an extradition hearing in Belgium, where he escaped to after his region’s parliament declared independence on October 27, claiming he would not get a fair trial at home.” (12/04/17)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/judge-refuses-free-four-catalan-leaders-elections-near-113155458.html

—–

2) Brexit: No deal in Brussels after DUP torpedoes May/Juncker Ireland agreement
Source: Independent [UK]

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy is in disarray after the Irish Prime Minister dramatically accused her of reneging on an agreement that would have ended the deadlock in the talks. On a day of drama, the Prime Minister pulled the plug on a deal on the Irish border after it was rejected by the Democratic Unionist Party which props her up in power — triggering claims she is being ‘held to ransom.’ The embarrassment left Ms May scrambling to arrange crisis talks with the DUP before she heads back to Brussels later this week, with the clock ticking on the negotiations. EU leaders have demanded she guarantee there will no hard land border in Ireland before a summit next week, if the talks are to move on to discussing future trade and a transitional deal. The unravelling of the deal also left many Conservatives questioning Ms May’s handling of the talks, amid disbelief that the DUP had not been squared off in advance.” [editor’s note: If the UK ends its occupation of the Six Counties, there won’t be any “Irish border problem” – TLK] (12/04/17)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ireland-border-deal-uk-latest-updates-brexit-eu-withdrawal-dup-dublin-republic-a8091326.html

—–

3) SCOTUS allows Trump travel ban to take full effect
Source: USA Today

“The Supreme Court ruled Monday that President Trump’s immigration travel ban against six majority-Muslim countries can take full effect while legal challenges against the latest version are still tied up in courts. The ruling means all travelers from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad with ‘bona fide’ connections to the United States cannot enter the United States while the cases proceed. The decision eliminates restrictions imposed by federal courts based in California and Maryland that were similar to those designed by the Supreme Court in June. At that time, the justices allowed only part of an earlier, temporary travel ban to be implemented. The unsigned order from the court was opposed by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. The battle over the travel ban dates to the first week of the Trump administration and has involved different countries, restrictions and exemptions.” (12/04/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/04/supreme-court-allows-trump-travel-ban-take-full-effect/909797001

—–

4) SCOTUS rejects Texas case on marriage benefits
Source: Austin American-Statesman

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Texas ruling that said the right to a marriage license did not entitle same-sex couples to spousal benefits under employee insurance plans. The city of Houston asked the high court overturn last June’s Texas Supreme Court decision that determined all marriage-related matters were not decided when the U.S. Supreme Court found a right to same-sex marriage. The federal court’s decision, issued without comment, allows the Texas court’s ruling to stand.” [editor’s note: This case is about government employee benefits. Get rid of government employee benefits (and of government employment) and the problem solves itself – TLK] (12/04/17)

http://www.statesman.com/news/supreme-court-rejects-texas-case-gay-marriage-benefits/QWgUz5GV9ktKz1rTC3tIeI/

—–

5) Trump takes unprecedented step to reduce national monuments
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“President Donald Trump on Monday took the unprecedented step of scaling back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, declaring that ‘public lands will once again be for public use,’ in a move cheered by Republican leaders who had lobbied him to undo protections they considered overly broad. The decision marks the first time in a half century that a president has undone these types of land protections. Tribal and environmental groups oppose the decision and are expected to go to court in a bid to preserve the designations. Trump made the plan official during a speech at the State Capitol, where he signed proclamations to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Both monuments encompass millions of acres of land. State officials said the protections were overly broad and closed off the area to energy development and other access. … Trump argued that the people of Utah know best how to care for their land.” (12/04/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Trump-to-scale-back-2-national-monuments-in-trip-12402926.php

—–

6) John B. Anderson, 1922-2017
Source: Washington Post

“John B. Anderson, an Illinois Republican who cultivated a freethinking reputation during his 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and mounted a serious third-party bid for the White House in 1980, died Dec. 3 at a retirement home in Washington. He was 95. The cause was not immediately known, said his son, John B. Anderson Jr. … After his career in elective office, Mr. Anderson taught constitutional law for many years at Nova Southeastern University near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he had a home. In the early 2000s, Mr. Anderson was president and chief executive of the World Federalist Association, now known as Citizens for Global Solutions, a group formed to promote strengthening the United Nations and forming an international court to try crimes of terrorism or genocide.” (12/04/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/john-b-anderson-fiery-third-party-candidate-in-1980-presidential-race-dies-at-95/2017/12/04/dd25dfda-d92a-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html

—–

7) Gold trader says he paid bribes to get out of Turkish jail in 2013
Source: Raw Story

“A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testifying at the trial of a Turkish bank executive in a New York federal court said Monday that he paid bribes to secure his release from jail in Turkey in 2013 after he was arrested there in a corruption investigation. The trader, Reza Zarrab, has not testified as to who received the bribes. He has pleaded guilty to charges that he schemed to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Zarrab is testifying for U.S. prosecutors against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank facing related charges. Atilla has pleaded not guilty.” (12/04/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/gold-trader-says-he-paid-bribes-to-get-out-of-turkish-jail-in-2013

—–

8) China closes school “teaching women to be obedient”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Chinese authorities have shut down an institute that was teaching women to be obedient and subordinate to men. The education bureau said the institute, which claimed it taught ‘traditional virtues,’ had violated socialist core values. An online video showed lecturers speaking out against gender equality, while other advice to women included not fighting back when being beaten. China has seen a rise in similar institutes in recent years. The viral video posted by news website Video Pear shows teachers at the Fushun School of Traditional Culture telling women they should not attempt to have a career but ‘just stay at the bottom level.’ It urges women to unconditionally obey their fathers, husbands and sons.” (12/04/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42218618

—–

9) CVS-Aetna deal to change how big employers buy health benefits
Source: Reuters

“CVS Health Corp’s proposed purchase of Aetna Inc will change the way many major U.S. corporations buy health coverage for employees and raise new questions over the cost of those benefits, benefit consultants said. CVS on Sunday said it planned to buy Aetna for $69 billion. Most national companies employing more than 20,000 people keep their prescription drug benefits separate from medical coverage. They believe they are paying less by shopping those contracts around to competitors within each industry. CVS and Aetna argue that their deal will lower healthcare costs for employees of their large corporate customers, giving the company greater clout to negotiate down drug prices and better manage the use of those medicines.” (12/04/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-aetna-m-a-cvs-health-employers-analys/cvs-aetna-deal-to-change-how-big-employers-buy-health-benefits-idUSKBN1DX0UJ

—–

10) Nelson Mandela funeral: “Millions misspent”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“South Africa’s corruption watchdog has found officials misused millions of dollars during Nelson Mandela’s funeral four years ago. According to the report, 300m rand ($22m; £16m) was redirected from a development fund to help with costs. It had been earmarked for things like ‘sanitation, the replacement of mud schools and the refurbishment of hospitals,’ the report stated. Instead, the authorities allegedly spent it on items like $24 T-shirts. Allegations of misuse first emerged in 2014, months after Mr Mandela’s funeral in Qunu, Eastern Cape, in December 2013, which was attended by heads of state from around the world. Now, nearly four years after Mr Mandela’s death at the age of 95, the country’s public protector, Busi Mkhwebane, has asked President Jacob Zuma to pursue the allegations further using the special investigations unit.” (12/04/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42224937

—–

11) Congress: Major concealed carry bill picks up momentum
Source: Fox News

“Gun-rights supporters are eyeing a big win this week as a bill that would make concealed-carry permits valid across state lines heads to the House floor — though it faces long odds in the Senate amid deep-pocketed opposition from gun-control advocates. ‘This is just simple, common-sense legislation that says if you’re a law-abiding citizen … we’re not going to turn you into a criminal just for crossing an invisible state line,’ bill sponsor Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., told ‘Fox News @ Night.’ Hudson says the bill simply attempts to clarify the patchwork of state laws that confuse citizens who can unwittingly get arrested when traveling from state to state. ‘All I’m saying is, when I cross the state line, I don’t want to automatically become a criminal,’ he said. The three-term congressman also is quick to point out the measure does not attempt to usurp state and local authority with federal law, nor does it ease background checks on gun purchases. The bill has 213 cosponsors, including three Democrats, and backing from 24 state attorneys general.” (12/04/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/04/major-concealed-carry-bill-picks-up-momentum-steams-toward-house-floor.html

—–

12) NH: Vermin Supreme sues City of Concord over free speech denial
Source: Free Keene

“2020 is a long way off, but longtime presidential contender Vermin Supreme isn’t resting easy. His attorneys filed a civil suit against the City of Concord, NH and some of its bureaucrats on Friday in the federal district court over Concord’s denial of a permit for a pony protest. According to the thirteen-page suit, Supreme had requested a permit from the city bureaucrats to protest outside Gibson’s Bookstore where Hillary Clinton will be holding a book signing event on Tuesday, December 5th. …
A bureaucrat with the Concord Health & Licensing Services Department, Eugene Blake, told Supreme’s agent that there were no general restrictions on having ponies outdoors at that location and that ordinarily he would grant the permit to have ponies at that location. However, Blake admitted the Concord police directed him not to grant a permit for the ponies on that day, and at that location, specifically because no one wanted to interfere with Clinton’s book signing.” (12/03/17)

https://freekeene.com/2017/12/03/vermin-supreme-sues-city-of-concord-over-free-speech-denial/

—–

13) Brown sentenced to five years for fraud, tax evasion
Source: The Hill

“Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for her connection to a fraudulent charity that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to multiple reports from Jacksonville, Fla. news outlets. Brown was convicted in May on 18 counts of financial crimes including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, tax crimes and hiding income she should have publicly reported.” (12/04/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/363118-former-florida-rep-sentenced-to-five-years-in-prison-for-fraud-tax-evasion

—–

14) Kenya: Opposition group says top adviser abducted by regime forces
Source: Washington Post

“Kenya’s main opposition group says police have detained one of its advisers ahead of a planned protest ceremony to stage a mock inauguration of Raila Odinga as president. Odinga’s National Super Alliance said in a statement that the detained man, economist David Ndii, was recently appointed chairman of a committee organizing the protest event on Dec. 12. The statement said police arrested Ndii Sunday in Diani on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. A police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, confirmed Ndii is being questioned by detectives.” (12/04/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/kenyan-opposition-group-says-top-adviser-is-in-detention/2017/12/04/ae8e3d8e-d8e4-11e7-a241-0848315642d0_story.html

—–

15) Report: Fear of extortionists drove Golden Krust CEO to suicide
Source: New York Post

“The founder of the Golden Krust Jamaican beef patty empire killed himself amid fears the feds were investigating him for evading millions of dollars in taxes, The Post has learned. A family member told detectives that Lowell Hawthorne, 57, admitted the huge tax debt [sic] to some of his relatives, and was ‘acting funny’ and ‘talking to himself’ in the hours before his suicide, a law enforcement source said Sunday. … The Jamaican immigrant started Golden Krust with a single fast-food eatery on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx and opened 16 more across the city before launching a franchise operation in 1996. The company now has more than 120 outlets in nine states, and sells its beef patties in more than 20,000 supermarkets, as well as to the city school system, state penal system and US military, according to a news release issued last year.” (12/04/17)

https://nypost.com/2017/12/03/golden-krust-ceo-killed-himself-over-tax-debt-fears-of-probe/

—–

16) Malta: Ten arrested in assassination of Panama Papers journalist
Source: CNN

“Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the arrest of 10 suspects linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Monday. Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bombing in October after her vehicle exploded soon after she left her home in Bidnija, close to the town of Mosta, local media reported at the time. … The death of Caruana Galizia, who had led the investigation into the Panama Papers and alleged corruption within political circles in Malta, rocked the country and caused consternation across Europe. In the aftermath of the attack, her son, Matthew Caruana Galizia, said his mother had been ‘assassinated’ because of her work uncovering alleged corruption in the Maltese government.” (12/04/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/europe/daphne-caruana-galizia-arrests-intl/index.html

—–

17) Trump amps up support for authoritarian theocrat and accused ephebophile creep Roy Moore
Source: CBS News

“President Donald Trump is throwing his full support behind embattled Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. Mr. Trump tweeted early Monday that ‘Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama.’ It was Mr. Trump’s most full-throated endorsement of Moore, who has lost backing of many top Republicans since he was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct decades ago. Mr. Trump has assailed Democratic candidate Doug Jones and has defended Moore against allegations of child molestation. But the White House has said he has no plans to make campaign appearances.” (12/04/17)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-offers-full-support-for-embattled-republican-roy-moore/

—–

18) Australia: Politician proposes during same-sex marriage debate
Source: ABC News

“Liberal MP Tim Wilson proposed to his partner of seven years Monday while debating the same-sex marriage bill in the House of Representatives. After speaking at length about growing up gay in Australia, the 37-year-old lawmaker asked the speaker for a special request. … ‘In my first speech, I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands. They are the answer to the questions we cannot ask,’ he added. ‘So there’s only one thing left to do. Ryan Patrick Bolger Will you marry me?’ With a big smile across his face Ryan said ‘yes’ and the House erupted in a loud applause. MP Wilson asked that his now fiancee’s response be recorded in the official parliamentary record.” [editor’s note: Congratulations! Now resign from the House and get a job in the productive sector! – TLK] (12/04/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/australian-lawmaker-proposes-sex-marriage-debate/story?id=51557110

—–

19) Venezuela: Regime, having destroyed its currency, plans to make a new cryptocurrency to destroy
Source: Business Insider

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the ‘petro’ backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy. The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that ‘the 21st century has arrived!’ ‘Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency,’ backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a five-hour showcase of Christmas songs and dancing.” (12/04/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-launch-cryptocurrency-called-petro-2017-12

—–

20) Yemen: Saleh reportedly killed
Source: New York Daily News

“The former president of Yemen and a main player in its long-running civil war has been killed after an enemy faction attacked his house, according to reports. Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned from the presidency of the nation in 2012 after the Arab Spring, but has recently come back to the fore after rebels ousted his predecessor three years later. Those Houthi rebels’ [sic] [alleged] links to Iran [were used as an excuse for] a persistent air campaign from Yemen’s neighbor Saudi Arabia, further plunging the country into violence and competing claims for the right to govern [sic]. Houthis have recently turned on Saleh, however, and said Monday that they had killed their former ally.” (12/04/17)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/house-leader-yemen-civil-war-bombed-whereabouts-unknown-article-1.3676148

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

21) The Logan Act is awful, and no, it’s not going to take down Trump’s administration
Source: Reason
by Scott Shackford

“The Logan Act is not a law about preventing fraud, or treason, or subversion as Posner and Hemel suggest. It’s a law for the expressed purpose of punishing political speech. Whenever it has been invoked it has been for exactly that reason. Logan Act accusations have always had strong stench of political opportunism behind them and very frequently (but not always) in response to peace-seeking activism. President Ronald Reagan invoked it against Jesse Jackson for traveling to Cuba and Nicaragua. GOP Rep. Steve King later tried to invoke it against Rep. Nancy Pelosi for communicating with the Syrian government. And it was invoked again toward the end of President Barack Obama’s administration as Republican senators signed onto an open letter warning Iran that their deal with Obama could be undone by the next president. … It’s utterly absurd — comical even — to suggest that anybody in Trump’s transition team should be charged for speech and negotiations with Russia that run counter to what Obama’s administration had planned just weeks before Trump would be sworn in as president.” (12/04/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/04/the-logan-act-is-awful-and-no-its-not-go

—–

22) The sickeningly narrow focus of our outrage
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“The ongoing national paroxysm about sexual harassment and abuse is unjustifiably, illegitimately and sickeningly restricted in its scope. The patient — our culture itself — is dying of multiple stab wounds, and ‘we’ have chosen to wipe its runny nose. I do not mean to minimize in any respect the seriousness of the crimes now finally receiving attention that is long overdue and fully merited. I mean the opposite: the problem is far worse, and far more complex, than most people are willing to countenance.” (12/04/17)

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-sickeningly-narrow-focus-of-our.html

—–

23) Here’s why I can’t custom-design cakes for same-sex weddings
Source: USA Today
by Jack Phillips

“What I didn’t say was that I wouldn’t sell them a cake. I’m happy to sell a cake to anyone, whatever his or her sexual identity. People should be free to make their own moral choices. I don’t have to agree with them. But I am responsible for my own choices. And it was that responsibility that led me to decline when two gentlemen came into my shop and invited me to create a wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony. Designing a wedding cake is a very different thing from, say, baking a brownie. When people commission such a cake, they’re requesting something that’s designed to express something about the event and about the couple. In this case, I couldn’t. What a cake celebrating this event would communicate was a message that contradicts my deepest religious convictions, and as an artist, that’s just not something I’m able to do, so I politely declined.” [editor’s note: Again, does a person lose the right to freedom of association by merely having a cash register? – SAT] (12/04/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/04/supreme-court-masterpiece-why-jack-phillips-wont-custom-design-cakes-same-sex-weddings-column/917631001

—–

24) Expect desperate and insane behavior from government in 2018, part 2
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“As Bitcoin rose through the $10,000 mark, I noticed an explosion in panic and fear on behalf of those who want to keep the current system in place. This is to be expected, as Bitcoin’s popularity is and should be seen as a report card on the global status quo. The financial system as it’s currently constructed is being publicly rejected with every uptick in the Bitcoin price, and with every billion dollars added to total crypto asset market capitalization. Naturally, this will make those in charge of the current predatory system, and those who have benefited most from it (oligarchs), increasingly hostile to its popularity.” (12/04/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/12/04/expect-desperate-and-insane-behavior-from-government-in-2018-part-2-bitcoin/

—–

25) Tax tinkering
Source: Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

“It appears the Congress is getting closer to passing a tax reform bill. While there are differences between the current House and Senate versions, they are close enough that it is easy to see that they can be reconciled and tax reform legislation can be passed this year. Reform on the individual income tax looks like some tinkering with its provisions, not a major reform. The major reform is in the corporate income tax, which would significantly lower rates and provide other benefits.” (12/04/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/12/04/tax-tinkering/

—–

26) The abyss stares back
Source: exile in happy valley
by comrade hermit

“Fascism is a tricky subject. Everybody seems to have a different interpretation of what it really means. Some people seem to struggle over the very nature of its existence; Whether it constitutes an actual political science or simply a phenomenon that occurs like a natural disaster in jackboots. Most people however just use the word like a rock to throw from the perceived safety of their glass houses. Of coarse, being a bitchy autodidact with an opinion on pretty much everything, I have my own theories. I’ve always seen fascism as the final form of statism before a government collapses beneath its own weight, a desperate last ditch effort to salvage the unsalvageable with brute force.” (12/04/17)

http://exileinhappyvalley.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-abyss-stares-back.html

—–

27) Alaska Grassroots Alliance aim to melt GOP’s cold cold heart
Source: In These Times
by Yereth Rosen

“On Nov. 14, 2017, bundled-up members of the Alaska Grassroots Alliance gather on the sidewalk outside local offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to protest the pending Republican tax overhaul. Joni Bruner, an organizer with the Alliance, is wearing a puffy lavender parka and tending to urns of hot chocolate to fortify protesters against the subfreezing temperature and the strong northerly wind. ‘It’s really cold,’ she says. The Alliance serves as an umbrella for several groups that have held rallies every Tuesday at the Anchorage offices since January 2017 in protest of Trump and congressional policies.” (12/01/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20721/Alaska-taxes-GOP-Republican-Lisa-Murkowski-Oil-Drilling

—–

28) Good news: Young Americans want a new political party
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“Do we need a third major political party? I often joke that I’d be happy if we actually had a second party, as when it comes to the big issues — war, monetary policy, civil liberties — the Republicans and Democrats are more alike than different. Perhaps that’s why a recent NBC News poll has found that nearly two-thirds of young people surveyed do not believe either the Republicans or Democrats are doing a good job and that a third major political party is needed.” (12/04/17)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/good-news-young-americans-want-new-political-party

—–

29) Russia: Our new (and old) official enemy
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Central to any national-security state is the need for official enemies, ones that are used to frighten and agitate the citizenry. If there are no official enemies, the American citizenry might begin asking some discomforting questions: What do we need a national-security state for? Why not abolish the CIA and dismantle the military-industrial complex and the NSA. Why can’t we have our limited-government, constitutional republic back? From 1945–1989, Russia (i.e., the Soviet Union) and the communists served that function well. … U.S. officials know that Americans are increasingly sick and tired of U.S. interventionism in Afghanistan and the Middle East and that they are figuring out that anti-American terrorism is the consequence of U.S. interventionism abroad. If U.S. troops are brought home, the threat of anti-American terrorism disappears. … That’s why the Pentagon and the CIA have returned to their tried and true official enemy, Russia, and to a certain extent ‘communism’ (See China, Cuba, and North Korea).” (12/04/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/12/04/russia-new-old-official-enemy/

—–

30) It’s time to change more than Trump
Source: Our Future
by Robert Borosage

“Every day, the media feasts on Trump’s lurid antics. Don’t fall for it. He’s a distraction, the clown show. And while he’s barking outside the big top, the GOP is inside, cutting away at our economy and the very essentials of our public life. The tax bill Republicans are trying to ramrod through the Congress provides a clear reminder that the real threat we face is a rabidly ideological GOP, now in full control of all branches of government, in Washington and in 26 states. Now, virtually unified Republican caucuses in both Houses are on the verge of passing truly grotesque tax legislation that will give more than 60 percent of its benefits to the richest 1 percent in the nation, while raising taxes on nearly all working families.” [editor’s note: Correct, but problem is even bigger than “one evil party” – SAT SAT] (12/04/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20171204/its-time-to-change-more-than-trump

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31) This explains man’s fatal attraction to communism
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Paul H Rubin

“Why do so many advocate a system which has failed whenever it has been tried? Communism is based on primitive economic thinking, what has been called ‘folk economics.’ That is, Marxism appeals to those untrained in economics because it is consistent with our primitive beliefs about economics. This is ironic because Marx called his system ‘scientific socialism,’ when in fact it is consistent with a pre-scientific view of the economy.” (12/04/17)

https://fee.org/articles/this-explains-mans-fatal-attraction-to-communism/

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32) The winning case for free trade
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Both political parties these days give short shrift to the idea of free trade. It’s a pity, because, as a new report shows, it’s the key to a better life for all. In its ‘2018 Index of Economic Freedom,’ the Heritage Foundation reminds us that not only is the idea of free trade appealing, but the evidence for its importance in raising standards of living is overwhelming. ‘Countries with the most trade freedom have higher per capita incomes, more secure food supplies, and cleaner environments,’ the report notes. Or, put even more simply, ‘Citizens of countries that embrace free trade are better off than those in countries that do not.’ Exaggeration? They back it up with data. Applying standardized measures of free trade to 183 countries around the world, the report’s authors break it down in thirds: A bottom third, with the lowest degree of free-trade policies; a second third, right in the middle; and the highest third, with the most free trade.” (12/01/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-winning-case-for-free-trade

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33) Taming the imperial presidency
Source: National Review
by Jay Cost

“I have a new ritual on Sunday mornings. I wake up, get my coffee, fire up Twitter, and check in on the mental health of the pundit class. More often than not, President Donald Trump has tweeted something that outrages a whole mess of people, and the fallout can last for hours on end. Part of me is amused by this. … Funny as this can be sometimes, I’m mostly angry over the whole spectacle. This is no way to run a republic. The executive office has become too ornamented, too powerful above the rest of us. The president is far too able to dominate our political discourse, not to mention the mental health of the nation, for his own purposes. Trump did not create this anti-republican monstrosity, but he is making use of it — apparently for the glorification of his own ego.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454309/united-states-constitution-congress-legislative-authority-tame-imperial-presidency

—–

34) Stop telling me to “shop locally”
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Allan Stevo

“When I happen to sit down at a friend’s or relative’s home where the television is on, especially at this holiday time of year, I hear public service announcements about how important it is to shop locally. I sometimes hear as many as one or two segments on each news broadcast that interject how important it is to shop locally. This is practically mindless — this ‘shop locally’ pronouncement. Guilt about not shopping locally and feeling good about the idea of shopping locally is practically the only value proposition offered by local stores. Instead the pronouncement should be ‘shop at good shops,’ or ‘shop at shops that give you what you want and how you want it.’” (12/04/17)

https://mises.org/wire/stop-telling-me-shop-locally

—–

35) How Republicans are digging their own grave for 2018
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Senate Republicans passed their version of tax ‘reform,’ and you could feel the relief flooding over the Capitol. Yes, they were joyful that at long last, corporations and the wealthy will find the terrible burden of taxation under which they struggle lightened considerably. But even more, Republicans knew that they had averted political disaster by finally accomplishing something, sparing themselves the wrath of their ever-wrathful base. … After they failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans convinced themselves that without any real legislative accomplishments to show for their time in complete control of Washington, they had better pass a tax cut or all would be lost. If they couldn’t manage it, ‘That will be the end of us as a party,’ said Senator Lindsay Graham, echoing the sentiments of many of his colleagues. The risk of disappointing their base was certainly justified. But with this mess of a bill, they’ve actually made their political problem even worse.” (12/04/17)

http://prospect.org/article/how-republicans-are-digging-their-own-grave-2018

—–

36) Why is the government dumb on health?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Ambler

“All Whitehall departments want more money than is good for them but they cannot all have a bigger share of the pot. The bigger the spenders, notably Health and Defence, the more they demand. And, of course, the bigger the spender, the more they waste because, primarily, they have the money to do so.” (12/04/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/why-is-the-government-dumb-on-health

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37) The war on sex is out of control
Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“So now even kissing under the mistletoe is rape. Unless you ask the target of your boozy Christmas peck to sign a contract in advance, I guess, clearly stating that he or she consents to having some part of their face intruded upon by your lips for 2.4 seconds at the office party. This is according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which yesterday tweeted: ‘If you bump into that special someone under the mistletoe tonight, remember that without consent it is rape #SeasonsGreetings.’ It’s hard to know what’s worse: that the PSNI doesn’t know what rape is, or its use of that passive-aggressive ‘Seasons Greetings’ hashtag.” (12/04/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-war-on-sex-is-out-of-control/

—–

38) Masterpiece Cakeshop isn’t a free speech case
Source: The New Republic
by Sarah Jones

“The case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission isn’t really about cake. It is, if you believe plaintiff Jack Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, about conscience and free creative expression. On Tuesday, that’s the argument they’ll air before the U.S. Supreme Court, in hopes of convincing the justices that Phillips should be exempt from a Lakewood, Colorado anti-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and in 2013, the state civil rights division found that Phillips, a conservative Christian, had broken the law by refusing to serve a same-sex couple. It was an an act that the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, called ‘offensive and dehumanizing.’ Phillips has appealed that initial finding to every possible level of the American legal system. His argument — that making cakes is a form of creative expression, and that it is unconstitutional to force him to use those gifts in ways he finds morally objectionable — hasn’t convinced a single court to rule in his favor. The Supreme Court is his last stop, and he may find a more receptive audience there.” [editor’s note: No, but it is a freedom of association one – SAT] [additional editor’s note: It’s both – TLK] (12/04/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146092/masterpiece-cakeshop-isnt-free-speech-case

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39) From “Russia-gate” to “Israel-gate”
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Life is full of surprises. Like that time you were counting on a new bike for Christmas, and were totally certain your parents were going to come through, and then — lo and behold! — on Christmas morning there it was: a spanking brand-new Segway! The final evidence that, despite your best efforts, you’d always be a nerdy little dork. (And yes, a pocket calculator turned up in your stocking,) That’s just what happened to #TheResistance this holiday season.” (12/04/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/12/03/russia-gate-israel-gate/

—–

40) Secrets in the family
Source: The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill

“Here’s a recent article about a strategy for protecting children from sexual abuse …. ‘believe your children and cultivate a ‘No Secret’ family …. ‘parents need to be clear that ‘we don’t keep secrets in our family …” That’s all very commendable and well-intended, but it was clearly dreamed up by straight, vanilla people who either developed late or don’t remember their own childhood sexuality, and therefore think of sexual secrets as only something that a child would be asked to keep by a molester, when in actuality a child might have their own sexual secrets that have nothing to do with molestation.” (12/04/17)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/secrets-in-the-family/

—–

41) The left (and much of Washington) preparing to dance on the grave of Trump’s presidency
Source: Fox News Forum
by Michael Goodwin

“Not many years ago, an ad for a newspaper warned that, ‘If you miss a day, you miss a lot.’ Now you don’t need a day to miss a lot. Mere seconds of inattention can get you behind the curve. What, you didn’t hear about the latest predator to fall on his sword? The gusher of startling events puts us neck deep in the curse of interesting times. We are in the midst of cultural reckoning over sex, could be on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea and may experience an economic boom as Congress moves closer to historic tax reform. Then there’s the White House, where the dynamics of upheaval are entering a crucial phase. Although many deplorables believe they finally have a government looking out for them, much of Washington and the American left are preparing to dance on the grave of Donald Trump’s presidency. Their celebration got an early start Friday with the guilty plea of Gen. Michael Flynn and his pledge to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.” (12/04/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/04/michael-goodwin-left-and-much-washington-are-preparing-to-dance-on-grave-trump-s-presidency.html

—–

42) Normalizing the unthinkable in “western” exceptionalism
Source: CounterPunch
by Anthony Shaker

“‘White’ — a pseudo-racial designation originally coined by the English — has strangely become standard among extreme nationalists living in culturally and historically distinct eastern Europe. The old Pan-Slavism and other ultranationalisms had a pronounced tendency toward intolerance and mutual hatreds, but dividing the world into ‘white’ Europe and the ‘nonwhites’ of everywhere else is quaintly new. It mocks humanity, of course, not to mention the reality of population distribution since the dawn of history. Above all, though, it indicates the extent to which radicals there have learned to parrot the language of western Europe: ‘We the West’ (enlarged to include central and eastern Europe) vs. ‘They the rest.’ By ‘nonwhite,’ of course, they mean to refer to all ‘outsiders,’ as Muslims have been specifically designated. It makes no difference whether the ‘nonwhite’ outsider’s hair is blonde or blue, whether his or her country of origin lies just across the EU border or halfway around the globe.” (12/04/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/04/normalizing-the-unthinkable-in-western-exceptionalism/

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43) What’s the big deal?
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Big news: in a $69 billion deal, CVS Health Corp. plans to buy Aetna Inc. The AP story by James F. Peltz says the move ‘would shake up healthcare industry.’ Should we worry? Because corporations aren’t cancerous, growth and consolidation are not to be feared as such. But speaking of cancerous growths … the federal government will not likely take the news of the merger with the tranquility of a Taoist sage.” (12/04/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/04/whats-the-big-deal/

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44) Quantum Vibe, 12/04/17
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (12/04/17)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1729

—–

45) No, the “Long War” didn’t fail because of American democracy
Source: The American Conservative
by Andrew J Bacevich

“I recently received a query from several mid-career national security professionals — a mix of military and civilians — currently enrolled in a graduate level program at a prominent American university. As part of their course of study, they are engaged in a collaborative research project that aims to answer this question: ‘Is America capable of constructing and executing a national security strategy for the Long War that is durable, coherent, affordable, multi-generational and achievable?’ In national security circles, as I understand it, the phrase ‘Long War’ has supplanted ‘Global War on Terrorism’ as the umbrella term encompassing U.S. military activities everywhere from West Africa to the Southern Philippines. It is shorthand for ‘war against violent Islamists wherever they happen to be.’ The students define their research problem this way: ‘American democracy [emphasis added] is not suited to support the current Long War strategy that demands consistent goals, ways, and means to achieve success.’ I was taken aback by their formulation. Is that how it looks to those on the inside? The chief obstacle to formulating an effective strategy is American democracy?” (12/04/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/no-the-long-war-didnt-fail-because-of-american-democracy/

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46) Surprise, the mainstream media is wrong again: Yes, nullification does work
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“An Anniston Star reporter recently parroted a common misconception about nullification. He basically said it hasn’t worked. But it has. And it Does. This fallacy persists because most people possess a very limited understanding of nullification the learned in government schools — if they have any grasp of the history at all.” (12/03/17)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/12/03/surprise-the-mainstream-media-is-wrong-again-yes-nullification-does-work/

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47) There’s more to libertarianism than Trump or Bitcoin
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Kym Robinson

“It has been an interesting decade since the Ron Paul revolution began. But has it has been a period where hopes and promises turned into reality. Rhetorical blasts from ideological champions surfed the waves of discontent only to profit from the many energies of those trapped and locked beneath them in places of uncertainty. Among such uncertain ranks lays a yearning for change, for something better or to return to a place that never was. Socialists, nationalists, religious zealots and libertarians all find inside of their own particular perspectives answers that can often be fatally dangerous to many strangers. It is also in the attachments to vulgar deceptions that many from within philosophical camps harm their reputations to the outsiders looking in.” (12/03/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/libertarianism-trump-bitcoin/

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48) What if we have already been ruled by an Intelligent Machine — and are we better off being so?
Source: Notes on Liberty
by Federico Sosa Valle

“The word ‘machine’ evokes a physical device. However, a machine might as well be an abstract one. Abstract Machines are thought experiments compounded by algorithms which delivers an output from an input of information which, in turn, could be used as an input for another circuit. … what if an automaton enabled with an intelligence superior to ours has already existed and is ruling at least part of our lives? We do not know of any being of that kind, if for a ruling intelligent machine we regard a self-conscious and will-driven one. But the ones who are acquainted with the notion of law as a spontaneous and abstract order will not find any major difficulty to grasp the analogy between the algorithms that form an abstract machine and general and abstract laws that compound a legal system.” (12/03/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/12/03/what-if-we-have-already-been-ruled-by-an-intelligent-machine-and-are-we-better-off-being-so/

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49) Capitalism and asymmetric information
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“Capitalism is a wondrous human institution for the mutual betterment for all in society. Yet, critics often insist that market systems enable sellers to take advantage of buyers, because those on the demand-side often lack the specialized knowledge that suppliers possess, thus, enabling a possible exaggerated misrepresentation of what is being offered for sale. What is missed is that market competition generates the incentives and opportunities to earn profits precisely by not misinforming or cheating the buyer.” (12/04/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/capitalism-asymmetric-information/

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50) Gulled by pronouns
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Farmer Jones alleges that grocer Williams, in the adjoining town, buys too little of Jones’s produce. So Jones hires thug Jackson to obstruct the purchases that Smith — one of Jones’s fellow townsmen — attempts to make at Williams’s grocery store. Thug Jackson assures Smith that such obstructionism is for our good; it’s meant to pressure grocer Williams into buying more from us. Thug Jackson promises that as soon as grocer Williams agrees to buy more from us that he, thug Jackson, will stop obstructing Smith’s ability to shop at Williams’s grocery store. But until then, there will be no cessation of Jackson’s obstructionism. When Smith protests this harassment and demands that Jackson stop immediately, Jackson and Jones accuse Smith of being ‘gullible’ — of naively supposing that grocer Williams will increase his purchases of our produce absent such obstructionism.” (12/03/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/gulled-by-pronouns.html

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

51) Reason Podcast, 12/04/17
Source: Reason

“On today’s episode, Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch discuss tax reform, President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Roy Moore, Bush/Gore whataboutism, the dangers of becoming a low-trust society, escalating political nihilism, and whether libertarians have contributed to the aforementioned problems with burn-it-all-down rhetoric.” [various formats] (12/04/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/04/talk-show-libertarians-and-nihilism

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52) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 679
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“Can You Charge the President With Obstruction of Justice?” [various formats] (12/04/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/679-can-you-charge-the-president-with-obstruction-of-justice/

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53) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1052
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Marco Bassani, a professor of the history of political theory at the University of Milan, joins me to discuss a question that has divided libertarians: is the independence of Catalonia from Spain a cause that should be cheered?” [various formats] (12/04/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-1052-catalonia-spain-and-secession-whats-the-libertarian-answer/

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54) Praise of Folly Podcast, episode 37
Source: Attack The System

“Todd Lewis and [Keith Preston] will analyze the failure the anarchist, libertarian and altright movements in the USA to achieve anything other than fringe marginal status.” [Flash video] (12/04/17)

https://attackthesystem.com/2017/12/04/praise-of-folly-podcast-37-analysis-of-the-failure-of-radical-american-political-movements/

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55) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/04/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Shane Buell, John Vibes, and Jeremy Heisenberg yak about Jeremy’s latest journey to court and his crypto-mining adventures, Fed officials unironically lamenting that BTC isn’t backed by anything, how satire sites troll all sides, having the poop beat out of you for paying a fine, the Congressional lawsuit slush fund, and how Yellowstone won’t kill us all.” [various formats] (12/04/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15360

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56) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 324
Source: Lions of Liberty

“It’s back! One of our most popular shows from 2016 — the Liberty Draft! — returns, as Marc, Brian, Odie and Rico gather together to recap the liberty propaganda teams they drafted one year ago. They discuss [whose] stock has risen and fallen, reveal who they are dropping from their team, and have a mini-supplemental draft to round things out. Plus, a major trade is announced! How did the Liberty Draft teams hold up one year later? Tune in to find out!” [various formats] (12/04/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/04/liberty-draft-one-year-later/

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57) Free Talk Live, 12/03/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Preparing for War with North Korea :: Venezuela to Launch Digital Currency? :: Koch Sues Venezuela :: Caller Says Government is Speaking in His Head :: Gang-Stalking :: Millenials :: Speaking at City Council Meeting :: Changing or Ignoring the State :: Diagnosing Mental Disorders :: Public Defenders :: LIEN :: Profits :: HOSTS — Ian, Jonny Ray.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/03/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-03

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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