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

Volume XV, Issue #3,859
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Pentagon: Four times as many US troops in Syria than previously acknowledged
2) Top House Democrats: “Now is not the time” to impeach President Trump
3) UN, EU, Pope criticize Trump’s Jerusalem announcement
4) Russia: Putin to run again for president
5) Doctors find abnormalities in brains of Cuba attack victims
6) Oregon’s senators join call for Franken’s resignation
7) FL: Professor’s anti-Trump art display showcased ahead of Pensacola rally
8) KY: Gay man to run against Kim Davis, who denied him a marriage license
9) Study: Alcohol sales decreasing in legal marijuana states
10) Person of the Year: Time honours abuse “silence breakers”
11) Tax bill moves oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic refuge one step closer
12) NC: County weighs paying cyber hackers $26k ransom for servers held hostage
13) US Air Force unveils criminal reporting reforms in wake of Texas shooting
14) Security theater: Trump’s eldest son faces questions in Congress about Russia
15) Whistleblower: Flynn told colleague Russia sanctions would be “ripped up”
16) EU: Luxury brands lifted by court backing for online sales ban
17) Corey Feldman’s audio files naming alleged sexual predators have been found by police
18) House weighs gun bill as ATF reviews “bump stock” devices
19) Mozilla and Yahoo sue each other over default search engine deal
20) Trump too busy and important to face defamation lawsuit, president’s lawyers claim
21) UK: Man in court accused of plotting to assassinate May
22) US flu cases so far this year double last year; vaccine may be only 10% effective
23) GA: Recount looms in too-close-to-call Atlanta mayor’s race
24) US menaces North Korea with B-1B bomber, wonders why North wants nuclear deterrent
25) Feds ignore Fifth Amendment, subject Steinle defendant to double jeopardy

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Is Bitcoin “bigger than General Electric?”
27) Our land, our infrastructure, our country — a lot of loose talk
28) It’s not help if it’s not wanted
29) Time to shut it down
30) A note on minimum wages and monopsony power
31) I hate The New York Times
32) Wag the embassy
33) In defense of Bitcoin hoarding
34) Weaponized outrage a threat to free speech
35) Beyond the whack-a-mole of No Platform
36) Socialism still kills
37) Blame Russia, but not too much
38) Fake news and our real problems
39) How we can tell the Tea Party is dead
40) “Every darn penny”: The GOP’s philosophy on death and taxes
41) The tax bill could backfire on the economy
42) Net Neutrality: The media lies — then polls on the results of their lies
43) What is a student for liberty?
44) The Net Neutrality noise machine turns violent
45) Hopes and nightmares over cryptocurrencies
46) You’re a sad man, Jerry Brown
47) The oral argument in the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop same-sex marriage case is heartening
48) The political class’s partisan hypocrisy has been laid bare
49) It’s more than just the absence of acceleration, it’s the synchronization where there should be none
50) Baking chaos: Masterpiece Cakeshop argument misses the mark
51) Memed into the public domain?
52) Masterpiece Cakeshop reminds me of Jim Crow
53) Want to drain the swamp? Trump should start with ethanol reform
54) Chris Christie’s situational federalism
55) Quantum Vibe, 12/06/17
56) Dealing with predators, part 2
57) What does it mean to say “the Fed did too much?”
58) Internet censorship bills wouldn’t help catch sex traffickers
59) Should the DEA assassinate drug offenders?
60) Your stupidity, your responsibility

The Sound and the Fury:

61) Reason Podcast, 12/06/17
62) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/06/17
63) Political Research Digest, episode 5
64) Unregistered, episode 36
65) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/06/17
66) Intercepted Podcast, 12/06/17
67) Essential Libertarianism, episode 16
68) Electric Libertyland, episode 49
69) Free Talk Live, 12/05/17
70) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 139

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

1) Pentagon: Four times as many US troops in Syria than previously acknowledged
Source: The Hill

“The Defense Department on Wednesday acknowledged that the U.S. has roughly 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria, four times more than what officials had claimed just a month ago. The number does not represent an increase in troop levels in the country, a Pentagon spokesman said, but instead reflects a more accurate count. The U.S. military had as recently as November said the official troop count in Syria was 503.” (12/06/17)

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/363581-pentagon-four-times-as-many-us-troops-in-syria-than-previously-acknowledged

—–

2) Top House Democrats: “Now is not the time” to impeach President Trump
Source: USA Today

“Top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that now is not the time to impeach president Trump. House Minority Leader Pelosi of California and Democratic Whip Hoyer of Maryland explained why they voted to table the resolution from Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, that calls for Trump’s impeachment. ‘Congress faces a vast set of urgent, overdue priorities for the American people,’ the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement. ‘Democrats are firmly focused on taking real, effective steps to improve the lives of hard-working Americans and defeating Republicans’ cruel barrage of attacks on the middle class.’ Instead, the Democratic Party should use its energy on protecting American families threatened by the GOP ‘tax scam,’ they said. The House and Senate have both passed tax overhaul plans and are working on hashing out the differences between the two. Still, Pelosi and Hoyer noted that legitimate questions have been raised about Trump’s fitness to lead the United States.” (12/06/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/06/top-house-democrats-now-not-time-impeach-president-trump/927625001

—–

3) UN, EU, Pope criticize Trump’s Jerusalem announcement
Source: New York Times

“Pope Francis said, ‘I cannot remain silent.’ The United Nations secretary general spoke of his ‘great anxiety.’ The European Union expressed ‘serious concern.’ American allies like Britain, France, Germany and Italy all declared it a mistake. A chorus of international leaders criticized the Trump administration’s decision on Wednesday to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a dangerous disruption that contravenes several United Nations resolutions and could inflame one of the world’s thorniest conflicts. … Critics of the announcement said the change in policy removed any pretense that the United States is a neutral broker for peace. Palestinians and other Arabs in the region already view the Trump administration as leaning toward Israel’s right-wing government. The change in American policy ‘destroys the peace process,’ said the Palestinian prime minister, Rami Hamdallah.” (12/06/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/world/europe/trump-jerusalem-pope.html

—–

4) Russia: Putin to run again for president
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Russia’s Vladimir Putin has said he will seek another term as president in next year’s election. He made the announcement in a speech to workers at a car factory in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod. ‘I will put forward my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian federation,’ he said. Mr Putin has been in power since 2000, either as president or prime minister. If he wins the March election he will be eligible to serve until 2024. Russian TV journalist Ksenia Sobchak has already said she will stand in the election but opinion polls suggest Mr Putin will win easily. Russia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been formally barred from standing because he was found guilty of embezzlement — a charge he claims was politically motivated.” (12/06/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42256140

—–

5) Doctors find abnormalities in brains of Cuba attack victims
Source: US News & World Report

“U.S. embassy workers in Havana who were subject to mysterious, loud noises and vibrations in an invisible attack last year were found to have developed brain abnormalities, doctors have discovered. Tests by doctors searching for clues to explain what led to the victims’ hearing, memory, balance and vision damage reveal the workers developed changes to the white matter tracts in their brain that control communication, several U.S. officials said, according to an Associated Press report. These findings support a general agreement by government and university physicians who have been researching the attacks. … The discovery is one of several factors that leads investigators to believe some type of sonic weapon was involved in the attacks. It it also the first major physical finding related to damages incurred by the invisible attacks.” (12/06/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-12-06/doctors-find-abnormalities-in-brains-of-cuba-attack-victims

—–

6) Oregon’s senators join call for Franken’s resignation
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Oregon’s two Democratic senators have joined their female counterparts in other states calling for Sen. Al Franken’s resignation over sexual harassment allegations. Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley both tweeted Wednesday that they hope Franken will step down. Wyden wrote it was the ‘right thing to do given this series of serious allegations’ while Merkley said a resignation would be in the ‘best interest of our country.’ A group of female Democratic senators also called upon Franken to resign Wednesday. The Minnesota Democrat’s office said he would make an announcement Thursday, but did not specify the subject.” (12/06/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Oregon-s-senators-join-call-for-Franken-s-12410352.php

—–

7) FL: Professor’s anti-Trump art display showcased ahead of Pensacola rally
Source: Fox News

“A Florida art professor’s anti-Trump display with T-shirts bearing such slogans as ‘Unapologetic Racist Enabler 2017’ and ‘WTF? 2016’ is being showcased at Pensacola State College ahead of the president’s visit to the Panhandle Friday. Douglas Reiser, who designed the shirts amid the 2016 election, has them up in the school’s art department until Jan. 12 as part of a faculty and staff exhibition. ‘This is such a Trump-central area, it’s so pro-Trump, that I felt like somebody in this area should say, ‘Hey, we’re not all pro-Trump,” Reiser told the Pensacola News Journal. Next to each shirt is a plaque with quotes from Trump that Reiser found interesting, with blank space available for ‘future inexplicable quotes,’ he said.” (12/06/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/06/florida-professors-anti-trump-art-display-showcased-ahead-pensacola-rally.html

—–

8) KY: Gay man to run against Kim Davis, who denied him a marriage license
Source: Raw Story

“The county clerk in rural Kentucky who went to jail rather than give marriage licenses to gay people is facing a re-election challenge from one of the gay men she tried to prevent from marrying. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis made international headlines in 2015 when she denied legal marriage license to five gay couples. But on Wednesday, one of the men she opposed will officially launch his campaign to retire her from office. ‘I can’t let this happen,’ David Ermold told Newsweek. ‘I just cannot sit by and just let her take that seat without a fight.’ Ermold has lived in Rowan County for 14 years. He was excited to marry his boyfriend of almost two decades. But instead of a marriage license, he and his now-husband, David Moore, got a lawsuit. They were one of the many couples who sued Davis after she refused to grant them marriage licenses on the grounds that doing so went against her religious beliefs. That case is still working its way through the courts.” (12/06/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/gay-man-denied-marriage-license-to-run-against-kim-davis

—–

9) Study: Alcohol sales decreasing in legal marijuana states
Source: Smell the Truth

“New research finds that cannabis has become a significant alternative to drinking alcohol. A working study from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University has observed a 15 percent drop in alcohol sales in states that legally allow medical marijuana. ‘States legalizing medical marijuana use experience significant decrease in the aggregate sales of alcohol, beer and wine,’ the researchers wrote. ‘Moreover, the effects are not short lived, with significant reductions observed up to 24 months after the passage of the law.’ Researchers examined Nielsen’s Retail Scanner database for alcohol sales data from over 90 major retailers throughout the United States. The experts find that beer and wine sales in particular have seen the largest decline.” (12/06/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/12/05/alcohol-sales-decreasing-in-legal-marijuana-states-study-finds

—–

10) Person of the Year: Time honours abuse “silence breakers”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Time magazine has named ‘the Silence Breakers’ — women and men who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment — as its ‘Person of the Year.’ The movement is most closely associated with the #MeToo hashtag which sprung up as allegations emerged against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. But Time says the hashtag is ‘part of the picture, but not all of it”.’ … ‘This is the fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades,’ editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said. He told NBC’s Today programme that it ‘began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women (and some men, too) who came forward to tell their own stories.’ The magazine illustrates the ubiquitous nature of sexual harassment by showcasing women from markedly different backgrounds on its cover.” (12/06/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42254219

—–

11) Tax bill moves oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic refuge one step closer
Source: Fox News

“The controversial tax bill approved by the Senate over the weekend includes a provision that would allow commercial oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), marking the closest Alaska lawmakers and the fossil fuel industry have come in decades to having the pristine corner of the state opened up for development. ‘Tonight is a critical milestone in our efforts to secure Alaska’s future,’ Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in a statement over the weekend. ‘Opening the 1002 Area and tax reform both stand on their own, but combining them into the same bill, and then successfully passing that bill, makes this a great day to be an Alaskan.’ Murkowski, along with Alaska’s other senator, Republican Dan Sullivan, has been a major proponent of opening up ANWR to oil and gas development to help fund the state. Without income or sales tax, Alaska is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues to pay for everything from infrastructure projects to social welfare programs.” (12/06/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/06/tax-bill-moves-oil-drilling-in-alaskas-arctic-refuge-one-step-closer.html

—–

12) NC: County weighs paying cyber hackers $26k ransom for servers held hostage
Source: USA Today

“Officials in North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County were in touch with hackers, believed to be from Iran or Ukraine, and planned to decide Wednesday evening whether to pay them $26,000 to win the release of multiple files held hostage on county servers. County manager Dena Diorio told reporters it could take ‘days, not hours’ to restore the computers and bring full service back, regardless of whether the county pays the ransom. Cyber experts believe the hackers operated from Iran or Ukraine and infected the servers with a new strain of ransomware known as LockCrypt, she said. An email attachment opened by a county employee Tuesday initiated the attack. The attachment contained a ‘worm’ that began encrypting the county’s files. It also contained an email address and instructions on how to pay the ransom.” (12/06/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/12/06/hackers-shut-down-mecklenburg-county-servers-demand-23-k-ransom/926779001

—–

13) US Air Force unveils criminal reporting reforms in wake of Texas shooting
Source: Raw Story

“The U.S. Air Force is toughening its rules for reporting criminal records to the government’s gun owner background check database, after a man convicted of assault while in the service was able to purchase guns and later shot and killed 26 people in a Texas church. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday that local offices now must loop in higher levels of command before closing criminal cases, and that case officers must verify that the records have actually been added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. She also said the Air Force is reviewing past cases to determine whether they were properly shared with the FBI, after an ongoing inquiry revealed a “widespread” breakdown in reporting across both of the branch’s two law enforcement agencies.” (12/06/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/us-air-force-unveils-criminal-reporting-reforms-in-wake-of-texas-shooting

—–

14) Security theater: Trump’s eldest son faces questions in Congress about Russia
Source: Reuters

“President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., returned to Congress on Wednesday to face questions from lawmakers about alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with Moscow by his father’s presidential campaign. Trump arrived shortly before 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) for what was expected to be several hours of questioning by members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, one of three main congressional committees investigating the matter. Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also conducting a broad investigation of the matter. He has announced the first indictments of Trump associates, and President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. Trump Jr.’s appearance on Wednesday came amid mounting criticism of the Russia probes by some of his father’s fellow Republicans in Congress, who accuse investigators of bias against Trump.” (12/06/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/trumps-eldest-son-faces-questions-in-congress-about-russia-idUSKBN1E028Y

—–

15) Whistleblower: Flynn told colleague Russia sanctions would be “ripped up”
Source: CNN

“As President Donald Trump delivered his inaugural address, incoming-national security adviser Michael Flynn texted his former business colleague about a plan to join Russia and build nuclear reactors in the Middle East: The project was ‘good to go,’ he told them, according to a summary of a whistleblower’s account provided by a lawmaker. The business colleague who texted with Flynn later recounted that he also suggested sanctions against Russia would be ‘ripped up’ as one of the administration’s first acts, according to the whistleblower. … Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge in the criminal investigation into Russian collusion last week. His lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment for this story.” (12/06/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/06/politics/whistleblower-flynn-told-colleague-removing-russia-sanctions-priority/index.html

—–

16) EU: Luxury brands lifted by court backing for online sales ban
Source: euronews [EU]

“Coty and other luxury brands scored a landmark victory on Wednesday in their bid to stop retailers selling their products on online platforms such as Amazon and eBay when Europe’s top court backed their right to protect their image. The issue is significant in Europe, whose companies account for 70 percent of global luxury goods sales. Luxury owners have long waged a battle against what they see as free riders cashing in on their exclusivity and branding. Online platforms such as Amazon and eBay, in turn, say online sales curbs are anti-competitive and hurt small businesses. The Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) ruling came in a case involving U.S. cosmetics maker Coty’s German subsidiary and German retailer Parfumerie Akzente, which sells Coty’s goods on sites including Amazon against the company’s wishes.” (12/06/17)

http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/06/luxury-brands-boosted-by-court-ruling-for-online-sales-ban

—–

17) Corey Feldman’s audio files naming alleged sexual predators have been found by police
Source: People

“Audio files of Corey Feldman’s naming alleged sexual predators in 1993 have been found by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office, PEOPLE confirms. ‘Following the recent inquiries into the Sheriff’s Office interview of Mr. Feldman in 1993, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office conducted an additional review for any stored items remaining from the Michael Jackson investigation,’ public information officer Kelly Hoover said in a statement to PEOPLE. ‘In a container which included the original reports from the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office located some detective working copies of audio recordings made during the investigation. A copy of Mr. Feldman’s interview was located.’ … During an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show last month, Feldman revealed that he had told the police he was sexually assaulted in 1993; however, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office [said] they didn’t have any record of Feldman’s accusation.” (12/06/17)

http://people.com/tv/corey-feldmans-audio-files-found/

—–

18) House weighs gun bill as ATF reviews “bump stock” devices
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The Republican-led House is weighing a bill to make it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines, as the Trump administration says it is reviewing whether to ban ‘bump stock’ devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire faster. The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the agency expects to regulate bump-stock devices and could end up banning them. Thomas Brandon told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the ATF and Justice Department would not have initiated the review ‘if (banning them) wasn’t a possibility at the end.’” (12/06/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/House-weighs-Republican-bill-easing-gun-12408858.php

—–

19) Mozilla and Yahoo sue each other over default search engine deal
Source: Engadget

“Deals between web browser suppliers and search engine providers are big business. For Mozilla, agreements with search engines have brought in as much as US$300 million a year, which accounts for 90 percent of its income. So the stakes are high amid the latest tech company quarrel, which sees Mozilla end its partnership with Yahoo due to claims it hadn’t been paid. Neither party is happy with the situation, so they’re suing each other.” (12/06/17)

https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/06/mozilla-and-yahoo-sue-each-other-over-default-search-engine-deal/

—–

20) Trump too busy and important to face defamation lawsuit, president’s lawyers claim
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“[A] lawyer for Donald Trump argued for the dismissal of a lawsuit that threatens to reignite one of dozens of accusations of sexual assault facing the president. The lawsuit was brought by a former contestant on The Apprentice, Summer Zervos, who claims Trump kissed her and groped her breast during a 2007 meeting to discuss business opportunities at the Beverly Hills Hotel. … In a hearing before a New York judge, Jennifer Schechter, to determine the case’s future, Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz argued that Zervos shouldn’t be allowed to proceed with her suit. Trump’s denials were political speech, he said, protected from legal action, and a lawsuit would prevent the president, who holds a singular office, from performing his job. ‘The president is the person who runs the executive branch,” Kasowitz said. ‘He needs to be available 24/7.’” [editor’s note: Zervos’s lawyers offered to take Trump’s deposition between his rounds of golf – TLK] (12/05/17)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/05/trump-defamation-lawsuit-summer-zervos

—–

21) UK: Man in court accused of plotting to assassinate May
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“A man has appeared in court accused of plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister in a bomb and knife attack on Downing Street. Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, is alleged to have planned to bomb the security gates outside the Westminster residence before attacking Number 10 with a knife and suicide vest in a bid to kill Theresa May. Rahman has been charged with preparing acts of terrorism and appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, alongside Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, who is accused of trying to join Islamic State.” (12/06/17)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5150381/Two-court-charged-plot-kill-PM-according-reports.html

—–

22) US flu cases so far this year double last year; vaccine may be only 10% effective
Source: CBS News

“Health officials say there are a number of signs pointing to a potentially rough flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the U.S. so far, which is more than double the number this time last year. Flu is currently widespread in four states, including Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, the CDC reports. What’s more, this year’s flu shot may not be up to the task. It is the same formulation that was used during Australia’s most recent flu season — which typically sets a pattern for what the U.S. will face — and it was only 10 percent effective there.” (12/05/17)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/this-years-flu-vaccine-may-only-be-10-effective-experts-warn/

—–

23) GA: Recount looms in too-close-to-call Atlanta mayor’s race
Source: ABC News

“The race for mayor in Atlanta early Wednesday was too close to call, with one candidate declaring herself the city’s new leader and the other vowing to request a recount. The margin was razor-thin, with several hundred votes separating Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. Bottoms spoke early Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel, saying near the end of her speech that ‘I am just in awe of what God is able to do.’ ‘I’m so honored to be your 60th mayor,’ she told her cheering supporters. But Norwood took the podium at her own rally and said that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and she believes some ballots have yet to be tabulated. ‘We will be asking for a recount,’ Norwood said. Just 759 votes separated the candidates early Wednesday morning, Norwood told supporters.” (12/06/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/recount-looms-close-call-atlanta-mayors-race-51608280

—–

24) US menaces North Korea with B-1B bomber, wonders why North wants nuclear deterrent
Source: CTV [Canada]

“The United States flew a B-1B supersonic bomber over South Korea on Wednesday as part of a massive combined aerial exercise involving hundreds of warplanes, a clear warning after North Korea last week tested its biggest and most powerful missile yet. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Guam-based bomber simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea’s eastern coast during a drill with U.S. and South Korean fighter jets. … B-1Bs flyovers have become an increasingly familiar show of force to North Korea, which after three intercontinental ballistic missile tests has clearly moved closer toward building a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the U.S. mainland. The five-day drills that began Monday involve more than 200 aircraft, including six U.S. F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighters.” (12/06/17)

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-flies-bomber-over-south-korea-in-show-of-force-against-north-korea-1.3709143

—–

25) Feds ignore Fifth Amendment, subject Steinle defendant to double jeopardy
Source: CNN

“The undocumented immigrant who fatally shot a young San Francisco woman at a popular tourist spot two years ago has been indicted on two federal charges in connection with the controversial case. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was acquitted last week of state murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, was charged Tuesday with one count of a felon in possession of firearm and one count of an immigrant in possession of a firearm. Garcia Zarate’s acquittal in Kate Steinle’s death prompted a firestorm of criticism from President Donald Trump and conservatives toward San Francisco, a so-called sanctuary city. Garcia Zarate was found guilty on a state charge of being a felon is possession of a firearm and could face up to three years in prison.” (12/05/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/05/us/garcia-zarate-kate-steinle-federal-indictment/index.html

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

26) Is Bitcoin “bigger than General Electric?”
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“I’ve seen a lot of headlines like these lately, and so I’ll take a moment to point out how wrong-minded they are. To compare Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) to a company is just wrong. As I keep saying, Bitcoin is not an investment. That is, * It’s not a share of ownership in a corporation, like a stock. * It’s not a promise of debt repayment, like a bond. Bitcoin is a currency. And so, if we want to compare it to something, we must compare it to other currencies, not to stocks, bond, real estate, or whatever else.” (12/06/17)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/bitcoin-bigger-general-electric/

—–

27) Our land, our infrastructure, our country — a lot of loose talk
Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“You may imagine that because you paid taxes, obeyed laws, or carried out other duties laid on you by the various governmental entities, you have a rightful claim to partial ownership of public property. But these governments beg to differ with you, and they stand ready to back up their own claims as de facto owners with force and violence if need be. In short, mis amigos, you don’t own squat — not the country at large, and not its public lands or infrastructure, either.” (12/06/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/12/06/our-land-our-infrastructure-our-country-a-lot-of-loose-talk/

—–

28) It’s not help if it’s not wanted
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Most people enjoy helping others when they can, and when they see a deserving opportunity. It’s one of the best things about human nature. Yet it’s easy to fool yourself into believing you are helping while doing the opposite. It’s not ‘helping’ if it’s unwanted. For example, I don’t want you to hire police to protect me from crime. I certainly don’t want to be forced to pay for them, nor let them interfere in acts that have no individual victim. If I see you stabbing yourself in the foot repeatedly, my intervention might not be wanted. Even if I suspect mental illness, how far should I go to stop you from doing what you want to do? As unpleasant as the reality is, you have the right to do whatever you want to your own body.” (12/06/17)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2017/12/06/voices/its-not-help-if-its-not-wanted/155182.html

—–

29) Time to shut it down
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“The specter of a government shutdown is looming once again, since funding of the federal government expires on Friday, December 8. But in a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-ranking Republican senator, stated, ‘There shouldn’t be any discussion about shutting down the government. We can make this thing work.’ … Contrary to Senator Thune, there should be a discussion about shutting down the government. The federal government’s annual budget is currently about $4 trillion. When Thune talks about making things work and negotiating he is talking about how a small portion of this $4 trillion will be spent. Democrats and Republicans are united in agreement about the vast majority of federal spending. What is never discussed is the constitutionality and legitimacy of all federal spending.” (12/06/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/time-to-shut-it-down/

—–

30) A note on minimum wages and monopsony power
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“The existence of monopsony power supplies the only theoretically credible condition under which a minimum wage can possibly improve the well-being of low-skilled workers without harming any of them. Of course, however, claims that monopsony power is in reality rampant enough in the United States to justify minimum-wage legislation are incredible. These claims fail the smell test. But — and here’s the point of this post — to the extent that temporal or geographic pockets monopsony power might arise in reality, once source of such power might well be minimum-wage legislation itself.” (12/06/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/note-minimum-wage-monopsony-power.html

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31) I hate The New York Times
Source: Town Hall
by John Stossel

“My hometown paper drives me crazy. I read The New York Times because it often has good coverage. The newspaper pays to send reporters to dangerous places all around the world. This weekend, the Times Magazine did a surprisingly fair profile of Sean Hannity, although they chose photos that make him look evil. But mostly I read the Times because my neighbors read it, and I need to understand what they think. Sadly, many think dumb things because most every day the Times runs deceitful, biased stories and headlines that mislead. Opinion columns have license to do that, but these days, the Times’ smears extend to ‘news’ stories. A recent headline said that that President Trump’s tweets had ‘united Britain in outrage.’ Wow. Really? The whole country? Only if you read the entire story would you learn that the outraged people include ‘the opposition Labour party,’ ‘several’ Conservatives … and comedian John Cleese. That’s a whole country ‘united in Trump outrage?’ Please.” (12/06/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2017/12/06/i-hate-the-new-york-times-n2418518

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32) Wag the embassy
Source: The Atlantic
by David A Graham

“On Christmas Day 1997, the movie Wag the Dog hit theaters, telling the story of a president of the United States who, caught making advances on an underaged girl, launches a war on Albania to distract the public. The next day, a young staffer named Monica Lewinsky quit her job at the Pentagon. … The movie has since become shorthand for presidents attempting diversionary tactics. Though Clinton’s administration saw the birth of the term, it was hardly a novel maneuver. In recent history alone, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush have all been accused of wagging the dog. In recent history alone, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush have all been accused of wagging the dog.” [editor’s note: Never cared much for the movie, but the novel it’s based on — American Hero by Larry Beinhart — is a must-read – TLK] (12/06/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/trump-wags-the-dog-jerusalem/547571/

—–

33) In defense of Bitcoin hoarding
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“Bitcoin is undergoing a historic deflation, which simply means that its value is growing relative to the goods and services it can purchase. This is in contrast to inflation, in which the value of the currency falls relative to its purchasing power. Inflation inspires spending — better to get rid of the money while it is more valuable. Deflation inspires saving — better to keep it so that your wealth rises over time. So there is nothing selfish, strange, or weird about holding an asset that is rising in value. It would be irrational to do otherwise. And there is nothing odd about spending like mad in an inflation either. Our expectations of the future determine what we do today in every life and especially in monetary economics.” (12/06/17)

https://fee.org/articles/in-defense-of-bitcoin-hoarding/

—–

34) Weaponized outrage a threat to free speech
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“The tweet was clearly meant to scare me. Jack Posobiec, an alt-right bottom-feeder best known for promoting the Pizzagate and Seth Rich conspiracy theories, issued this ominous warning on November 25: ‘It will soon be @HeerJeet’s time in the barrel’ … Posobiec is an ally of the notorious Roger Stone, famed for his political dirty tricks, and the tweet echoed the phrase ‘time in a barrel,’ which Stone had tweeted prior to scandals breaking out about Democratic Party bigwig John Podesta (the Wikileaks email leak) and Senator Al Franken (the accusations of sexual assault). I wondered what Posobiec could possibly have on me. The most shocking thing about my emails is my tardiness in answering them; I have hundreds of orphaned missives in my ‘drafts’ folder. My sex life, for better or worse, is hardly tabloid material. And I have never sexually harassed anyone. Maybe Posobiec, being a fabulist, was planning on inventing a lurid tale of depraved behavior? Posobiec’s smear job, which came a few days later, was weak tea.” (12/06/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146117/weaponized-outrage-threat-free-speech

—–

35) Beyond the whack-a-mole of No Platform
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Jason Lee Byas

“I’ve become increasingly concerned that many anti-fascists have been excessively relying on attempts at restricting fascists’ opportunities to spread their ideas. Above and beyond the tactical and ethical concerns I gave previously, this over-reliance is dangerous, even if it’s a reliance on tactics I’m otherwise on board with. Whatever the benefits or hazards there are to No Platform, it can never be our main means of preventing fascism’s rise. If No Platform is the best method we have for preventing fascism’s rise, then we’re already doomed.” (12/06/17)

https://c4ss.org/content/50217

—–

36) Socialism still kills
Source: Acton Institute
by Kishore Jayabalan

“Talk long enough to European conservatives and they will eventually remind you that the communists in the western and eastern parts of the Old Continent have never been held accountable for their crimes. Certainly nowhere near to the extent that Nazi party members were following World War II. This lack of accountability has meant that communism was never made completely disreputable on the political left, so some variant of communism/socialism was bound to re-surface, despite the insurmountable evidence of its human cost and abject failure.” (12/06/17)

https://acton.org/pub/commentary/2017/12/06/socialism-still-kills

—–

37) Blame Russia, but not too much
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“‘Missed a train? Lost a vote? Blame us!’ reads one of the many posters recently posted on London’s underground transport system for RT, the Russian-based satellite broadcaster formerly known as Russia Today. The ads are yet another sign of just how overtly Moscow and its outlets have been reveling in their newfound reputation for driving events in Western politics. But it also points to a growing and increasingly difficult dynamic. As the United States, Britain and other European nations obsess ever more deeply about potential Russian interference within their borders, they ironically risk playing further into the Kremlin’s hands. President Donald Trump might remain unconvinced, but outside the White House there remains little doubt that President Vladimir Putin’s government has deliberately attempted to drive political events in Europe and the United States. U.S. intelligence agencies are united in their conclusion that Moscow interfered directly during the 2016 presidential election, primarily through hacking Democratic Party e-mails and disseminating their content to discredit Hillary Clinton.” (12/05/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apps-hacking-commentary/commentary-blame-russia-but-not-too-much-idUSKBN1DZ37Z

—–

38) Fake news and our real problems
Source: Cato Unbound
by Will Rinehart

“Modern conceptions of democracy place a heavy premium on information. Voting is central feature of democracy because it ties the electorate with representatives. Through this mechanism, citizens put into place elected officials that are then expected to translate constituent preferences into public policy. In turn, this folk theory of democracy demands that citizens keep informed of their representatives’ actions so that when agendas no longer align, the representatives is replaced. Yet this collective story about democracy is a creature from a specific time in American history, the Progressive era. From the late 1890s to the 1920s, a series of political shifts occurred just as the mass-produced newspaper expanded into national markets to help usher in a now dominant criterion for democracy. From the very founding of the United States until the late 1890s, individuals weren’t expected to make rational choices when voting.” (12/05/17)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2017/12/05/will-rinehart/fake-news-our-real-problems

—–

39) How we can tell the Tea Party is dead
Source: Downsize DC
by Jim Babka and Perry Willis

“Yesterday, we shared how Elizabeth Warren was likely both cynically and hypocritically using the ‘read the bills’ concept for temporary political advantage. We included a mirror video from a Republican House leader, saying almost exactly the same things a few years ago. It’s eerie how similar the two videos are. But in the last 24 hours, we’ve been repeatedly told, ‘Well, the Democrats did it first.’ Worse, it’s been suggested that we didn’t ‘bitch’ when the Democrats rushed an unread bill out during the Obamacare saga. That’s simply not accurate. We were advancing our ‘Read the Bills Act’ long before Obamacare, and we were very critical of Democrats for not letting people read the bill before they passed it.” (12/06/17)

https://downsizedc.org/tea-party-dead/

—–

40) “Every darn penny”: The GOP’s philosophy on death and taxes
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“Republican Senator Charles Grassley tells the Des Moines Register his party’s plan for deep tax cuts to the rich ‘recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.’ Perhaps Sen. Grassley is replaying an old record from his youth. ‘Cigarettes, whiskey, and wild wild women,’ sang the Sons of the Pioneers in 1947. ‘They’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane.’ So much for that newfound Republican populism we’ve been hearing so much about. So why, Senator Grassley, can’t we all just be rich, like you? Working people don’t have much to spend on entertainment nowadays, because it takes ‘every darn penny they have’ just to survive. A recent survey found that 78 percent of Americans say they’re living from paycheck to paycheck.” (12/06/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20171205/booze-women-and-movies-death-taxes-and-sen-grassleys-philosophy

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41) The tax bill could backfire on the economy
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“The tax bill pending before Congress has raised the hopes of many people, like myself, who favor sweeping tax reform. It includes imperfect but recognizable versions of several measures long advocated as steps toward greater tax efficiency and fairness. These include cuts in corporate tax rates, increases in the standard deduction linked to a scaling back of itemized deductions, and a gesture toward reform of income support policy in the form of a modest expansion of child tax credits. Although it is now clear that none of these will be implemented in a way that is fully satisfactory, some reformers declare themselves willing to at least grudgingly support the bill as a whole. Before doing so, however, I suggest taking a clear-eyed look at some of the possible less pleasant consequences of the bill.” (12/06/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/tax-bill-backfire-economy/

—–

42) Net Neutrality: The media lies — then polls on the results of their lies
Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

“Nothing in human history has grown bigger, better and/or faster than the Net — in no small part because the government was doing nothing to ‘help.’ Of course, the Obama Administration couldn’t stand something so freely doing so well. So they — without benefit of Congress — ‘reclassified’ the Web to under Title II. Title II is a classification — from the 1934 Telecommunications Act. Get that? Nineteen thirty-four. Title II was created to regulate landline telephones. Get that? Landline telephones. This for the Internet makes zero legal or technological sense. But for the Obama FCC — it made political sense. Because under Title II — there are mountain ranges of regulations and taxes to impose. The Trump FCC is this month rightly, reasonably undoing this titanic stupidity. And ever since, the ‘news’ media has been subjecting us to their case of collective vapors. We last week chronicled more than two dozen ‘news’ stories — in which Titles I & II and/or reclassification are never, ever mentioned.” (12/06/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/net-neutrality-the-media-lies-then-polls-on-the-results-of-their-lies/

—–

43) What is a student for liberty?
Source: Students For Liberty
by Cory Massimino

“To be a student is to have an appreciation for the art of learning as an open-ended process of entrepreneurialism, mutual gain and intellectual progress. To learn, you must open yourself up to other ideas and strive to discover the good ones by using your best judgement. You must see past the blind tribalism of everyday discourse and the complacency of arguing merely to argue rather than to learn. Engaging with new, strange ideas shouldn’t be seen as a challenge to one’s ego, as proof of another’s superior knowledge, as a WWF cage match, or as an ideological war, but as a cherished opportunity for reciprocal understanding and growth. Despite what the average quality of discourse on social media might seem to imply, there are opportunities for learning everywhere if you remember that you can learn from everyone.” (12/06/17)

https://www.studentsforliberty.org/2017/12/06/what-is-a-student-for-liberty/

—–

44) The Net Neutrality noise machine turns violent
Source: Town Hall
by Phil Kerpen

“The perpetual outrage mob on the left has adopted an unlikely target of late: the brainy, affable head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai is now flanked by a Homeland Security protective detail everywhere he goes because of a deluge of specific, credible threats of violence toward him and his young children. He’s also facing an onslaught of racist smears and attacks too obscene to quote — including an image asserting that Pai is Osama bin Laden after shaving his beard. Members of Congress are coming under similar attack for supporting Pai’s signature proposal. The most outrageous example resulted in a criminal indictment after Congressman John Katko received a message threatening: ‘I will find you and your family and I will kill you all. Do you understand? I will literally find all of you and your progeny and just wipe you from the face of the earth.’” (12/06/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/philkerpen/2017/12/06/the-net-neutrality-noise-machine-turns-violent-n2418576

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45) Hopes and nightmares over cryptocurrencies
Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

“The truest test of whether such currencies will survive must lie in their ultimate acceptance by the authorities. But there is a fundamental paradox at work here. Traditional banks and officials, with exceptions, do not like this alternative currency culture, fearing volatility. Yet it is precisely this volatility and unregulated conduct that underpinned the subprime mortgage collapse and the governance of US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.” [editor’s note: Kampmark has it backward: The truest test of whether the “authorities” will survive must lie in whether or not those “authorities” can adapt to an environment in which they no longer control, and can no longer tax, the issuance and flow of money. Because that’s what’s coming. – TLK] (12/06/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/06/hopes-and-nightmares-over-crypto-currencies/

—–

46) You’re a sad man, Jerry Brown
Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“Jerry Brown was not at ease, shuffling papers and hastily sipping water before the moderator turned to him. Dressed in a boxy suit, the Democratic governor of California was seated on stage at the U.S. Climate Action Center (USCAC), a flashy, igloo-shaped tent home to a self-styled U.S. shadow government out to work around President Donald Trump’s climate obstinance. They’d come to Bonn for the UN climate talks known as COP23, the first international climate talks since Trump announced he would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. That morning, a few dozen activists loudly interrupted Brown’s remarks at the opening ceremony, then filed out of the tent to protest the governor’s corporate-backed cap-and-trade program and his support for California’s oil and gas industry. Brown later gave a boilerplate speech on why Americans should take climate action seriously, and blurted, ‘By the way, those protesters earlier, they’re wrong on cap-and-trade.’” (12/06/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20737/jerry-brown-climate-bonn-germany-fossil-california-COP23

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47) The oral argument in the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop same-sex marriage case is heartening
Source: Cato Institute
by Walter Olson

“The conventional split between the Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative wings came through in yesterday’s lively argument. Justice Sonia Sotomayor hammered the baker’s position, while the conservative trio of Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts did the same to Colorado’s. And yet on another level the Justices share a good deal of common ground. None were gunning for any major turnabout in Court doctrine. In conservative circles, some yearn for a sweeping new right to ignore discrimination laws in the name of religious liberty or freedom of association. That’s a non-starter, even (or especially) with today’s conservative Court. … On the Left, some pine for a hard-line opinion that claims of religious liberty or free speech can never, ever provide an excuse for discrimination. But it’s not just the Alitos and Clarence Thomases who would oppose that outcome.” (12/06/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/oral-argument-supreme-courts-masterpiece-cakeshop-same-sex-marriage-case

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48) The political class’s partisan hypocrisy has been laid bare
Source: AL.com
by Elizabeth BeShears

“With all that has been in the news the last few months, the chickens are coming home to roost for both the Democratic and Republican parties, and their hypocrisy has never been laid more bare. It is easy to divide ourselves along party lines, to call one side good and the other bad. The resistance against the establishment. The imposing Empire versus the scrappy rebels. But increasingly it feels like we’re all getting played. Over the last two weeks in particular we’ve seen two stories unfold that lead me to believe the political class has no line it won’t cross to advance its narrative. Over the last couple weeks we’ve seen two incredible examples of this hypocrisy, and I hope they give other Alabamians and Americans as much pause as they gave me.” (12/04/17)

http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/12/the_political_classs_partisan.html

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49) It’s more than just the absence of acceleration, it’s the synchronization where there should be none
Source: Cobden Centre
by Jeffrey P Snider

“According to the latest ECB figures, as of yesterday total ‘liquidity’ added to the European banking system for that central bank’s ongoing monetary ‘stimulus’ was just shy of €2 trillion. The outstanding balance in the core current account (reserves) held on behalf of the banking system was €1.296 trillion. In the deposit account, banks are holding €686 billion at -40 bps in ‘yield.’ To create all these euro-denominated numbers, the European Central Bank through its constituent National Central Banks (NCB) has purchased €2.21 trillion …. The numbers given above don’t appear to balance because of the way all this stuff is accounted for.” (12/06/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/12/its-more-than-just-the-absence-of-acceleration-its-the-synchronization-where-there-should-be-none-by-jeffrey-p-snider/

—–

50) Baking chaos: Masterpiece Cakeshop argument misses the mark
Source: The American Prospect
by Andrew Koppelman

“Today’s oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, in which a baker claims a free speech right to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, suggested that a majority of the Court may be inclined to rule for the baker. But the most coherent way for the justices to do that would signify almost nothing about the larger question of how to resolve the tension between same-sex rights and religious liberty. Instead, it would complicate President Trump’s life in, of all things, the apparently unrelated travel ban case. The baker, Jack Phillips, claims that his cakes are expressive works of art, and that making a cake for a same-sex wedding would force him to send a message of approval of same-sex marriage, which he rejects for religious reasons. He’s willing to sell premade cakes to same-sex couples, but not wedding cakes made to order. The trouble with his claim is that it leaves mysterious which activities would be immunized from anti-discrimination law.” [editor’s note: It still comes down to freedom of association vs. government overreach – SAT] (12/06/17)

http://prospect.org/article/baking-chaos-masterpiece-cakeshop-argument-misses-mark

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51) Memed into the public domain?
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“When the definitive history of the 2016 presidential election is written, the central figure may turn out to be … a frog. ‘Pepe,’ to be precise. The cartoon frog with red lips started out as a minor figure in a Matt Furie webcomic, but came to symbolize so much more. … Oddly — or maybe not, politics and culture wars being what they are — the lawyer for Pepe’s creator makes much of the alt-right/hate group usages of Pepe: ‘You can’t copy other people’s ideas and claim free speech,’ says Tompros. ‘[The alt-right is] absolutely free to spout hate in some other form. We just don’t want them using Pepe the Frog to do it.” Contra Furie’s lawyer, you are allowed to copy others’ ideas in a free society. Copyright is something a bit narrower. Trickier.” (12/06/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/06/memed-into-the-public-domain/

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52) Masterpiece Cakeshop reminds me of Jim Crow
Source: USA Today
by Montel Williams

“I don’t know Colorado baker Jack Phillips, so I have no basis to speculate on the sincerity of the religious beliefs he says would be violated if he had to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. What I do know is that I grew up under Jim Crow. I know that we, as a nation, have seen arguments like his before. It wasn’t long ago, in our history, when politicians and business owners made similar religious liberty arguments to justify segregation in businesses. Because of that dark chapter in our history, we decided (long ago) that when a business is open to the public, that means every member of the public.” [editor’s note: And that decision was admitted to be an overreach even at the time, by both its supporters and its critics – SAT] [additional editor’s note: There’s a resemblance to Jim Crow here, but it runs in the other direction. Compelled association is no different than compelled segregation. It is compulsion that is the issue – TLK] (12/05/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/05/masterpiece-cakeshop-reminds-me-jim-crow-no-new-second-class-citizens-montel-williams-column/923122001

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53) Want to drain the swamp? Trump should start with ethanol reform
Source: The American Conservative
by Bill Wirtz

“Trump was voted into office on the promise that he would drain the swamp — meaning rid Washington of its damaging lobbying sector and create public policy in the interest of the people rather than whoever is best at peddling influence. One of the many ways to do that would be to get rid of the Renewable Fuel Standard altogether, which would see the energy market become fairer. Right now, the crony capitalism of the ethanol quota is causing small refineries to lose their ground to large companies, and is costing the United States thousands of jobs. Senators who succumb to the ethanol industry’s lobbying are also holding up key nominations; they want not only to maintain the RFS, but to expand it. The most astonishing part of their stance is how blatantly obvious it is that they’ve been bought off, as it makes no sense, either from a jobs, business, or environmental perspective, to support the current framework.” (12/06/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/want-to-drain-the-swamp-trump-should-start-with-ethanol-reform/

—–

54) Chris Christie’s situational federalism
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“As a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Chris Christie promised to stop states such as Colorado from legalizing marijuana. As governor of New Jersey, Christie insists that the federal government has no business stopping his state from legalizing sports betting — an argument that got a mostly friendly reception at the Supreme Court on Monday. The most likely explanation for Christie’s situational federalism is that he does not mind if people bet on sports but cannot abide pot smoking. But there is a legal rationale for Christie’s apparent inconsistency, and it says a lot about the extent to which the federal government has usurped powers that the 10th Amendment reserves to the states.” (12/06/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/06/chris-christies-situational-federalism

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55) Quantum Vibe, 12/06/17
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (12/06/17)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1730

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56) Dealing with predators, part 2
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“There are those who point out that this is an episode of public hysteria, a modern-day Salem witch hunt. One person suggested that a more accurate comparison is the political purge: like those of Lenin and Stalin in Soviet Russia, Mao (and current leaders) in Red China, or the Night of the Long Knives when the SS eliminated the SA. Perhaps we can consider it to also have elements of the common method of internal discipline in the Communist Party USA, which involved forcing people to confess to whatever the party leadership demanded and claimed. Still, it is likely that this is a case of ‘where there is smoke, there is fire.’ Others, like this commentary, have decried the situation and the actions revealed. But few are actually offering any resolution. So here is an attempt to do so.” (12/06/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/12/06/fame-wealth-and-power-and-the-greatest-of-these-is-part-2-dealing-with-predators/

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57) What does it mean to say “the Fed did too much?”
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“MRU has a video entitled ‘When the Fed Does Too Much.’ That led me to wonder, ‘too much what?’ Too much discretion? Too much regulation? Too expansionary a policy? So I decided to watch the video. By conventional standards the video is perfectly fine. But then I’m not a conventional economist, and I disagree with several parts of the video.” (12/05/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/12/what_does_it_me_1.html

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58) Internet censorship bills wouldn’t help catch sex traffickers
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon

“There are some differences between SESTA and FOSTA, but their impact on the Internet would be the same. A website or other online platform could be liable under both civil and criminal law, at both the state and federal levels, for the sex trafficking activities of its users. Since it can be very difficult to determine whether a given posting online is in aid of sex trafficking, the bills would almost certainly force websites to become significantly more restrictive in what sorts of content they allow. Many victims of trafficking would likely be pushed off the Internet entirely, as well as sex workers who weren’t being trafficked.” (12/05/17)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/12/internet-censorship-bills-wouldnt-help-catch-sex-traffickers

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59) Should the DEA assassinate drug offenders?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Ever since President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, proponents of this massive federal program have lamented its manifest failure. If only officials would just ‘crack down’ in the war on drugs, drug-war advocates have exclaimed over the years, we could finally win it. Alas, for more than four decades drug warriors have had to accept reality: their massive federal program has failed. It’s turned out to be a big loser. No one, not even the most ardent drug warrior in the country, has ever been ready to declare victory in the war on drugs.” (12/06/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/12/06/dea-assassinate-drug-offenders/

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60) Your stupidity, your responsibility
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Daniel Krawisz

“One way of looking at the title of this article is that I am proposing a harsh world in which fools are triumphantly preyed upon by unabashed predators, but another way of looking at it is that creativity cannot occur in an environment in which stupidity is restrained. Creativity itself is nothing more than controlled stupidity. To be creative you must generate lots of ideas and be prepared to discard most of them.” (12/05/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/your-stupidity-your-responsibility/

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

61) Reason Podcast, 12/06/17
Source: Reason

“One of the most-controversial parts of Republican tax reform is the Senate’s proposal to sharply limit the amount of mortgage interest homeowners can deduct from their taxes. Under current law, homeowners can deduct interest on mortgage loans of up to $1 million for two houses, plus interest on home equity loans worth another $100,000. That currently costs the federal government about $70 billion in foregone revenue, making it one of the biggest ‘tax expenditures’ in the federal budget. The Senate tax bill would allow homeowners to deduct the interest on $500,000 of mortgage debt for a single residence. But even that lower level is too much of a giveaway, says Anthony Randazzo, the director of economic research at Reason Foundation.” [editor’s note: It’s not a “giveaway,” nor does it “cost” anything — it’s just not taking some people’s money. Personally I’d rather see it done away with and the tax RATE cut such that that $70 billion in foregone theft gets spread among everyone, though. OK, well, I want the rate cut to zero, but you know what I mean … – TLK] [various formats] (12/06/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/06/randazzo-podcast

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62) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/06/17
Source: Cato Institute

“One casualty of tax reform may be the mandate that hides the costs of Obamacare. Michael F. Cannon discusses the change.” [various formats] (12/06/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/will-tax-reform-end-individual-mandate

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63) Political Research Digest, episode 5
Source: Niskanen Center

“After every mass shooting, partisans retreat to their respective corners on gun control. The National Rifle Association, and the gun owners it represents, are critical forces in our politics, but they may be winning only with Republican voters and in Republican states. Matt Grossmann talks to Mark Joslyn about new research showing gun owners are moving further apart politically from non-gun-owners, with each developing a partisan culture. He also talks to Jay Barth about a new study showing that Obama’s elections and NRA influence have accelerated gun policy adoption in the U.S. states, with Republican states deregulation guns and Democratic states regulating them.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/06/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/episode-5-gun-politics-gun-policy-polarize-america/

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64) Unregistered, episode 36
Source: Libertarian Institute

Thaddeus Russell interviews Scott Horton. [Flash video] (12/06/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/blog/unregistered-podcast-genocide-yemen/

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65) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/06/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Kal Molinet and Jeremy Heisenberg finally get on track after some technical difficulties to yak about having patience when speaking to statists, the downsides of ostracism, how emojis are now being considered threats, the apparent drunk droning issue in New Jersey, and the free market solving the opiod crisis in Oregon.” [various formats] (12/06/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15372

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66) Intercepted Podcast, 12/06/17
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted: Matthew Cole joins Jeremy for a discussion about their explosive report in The Intercept that Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former CIA officer and Oliver North of Iran-Contra fame have been pitching a private spy operation to the White House and CIA to counter the ‘deep state’ attempting to undermine Trump’s presidency. Radio show host, activist, and comedian Randy Credico has been hit with a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump and Russia. Roger Stone claims Credico was his secret liaison with WikiLeaks during the election. We ask Randy what this is all about and if he plans to appear before Congress in a week. Journalist Barrett Brown spent four years in prison stemming from his involvement with Anonymous, LulzSec and other hacker collectives who went after powerful private security companies. Barrett talks about the FBI’s campaign against him and offers a critique of WikiLeaks, Trump, and the state of the media in the U.S.” [various formats] (12/06/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/06/intercepted-podcast-whos-afraid-of-the-alt-deep-state/

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67) Essential Libertarianism, episode 16
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“‘Voluntaryist Resistance,’ by Carl Watner.” [various formats] (12/06/17)

http://www.essentiallibertarianism.com/2017/12/06/volutaryist-resistance-el016/

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68) Electric Libertyland, episode 49
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s #ElectricLibertyland, host Brian McWilliams welcomes in the ‘Godfather’ of the Lions of Liberty, Howard Snowdon for a deep discussion on the latest to come out about Trump, Russia, Comey, Flynn and Peter Strzok of Mueller’s investigative team. Brian and Howie break down what’s known, what’s not known, and what conspiracies could be underway by the Deep State to protect it’s own ass. Afterwards, the gents look at the Congressional Accountability Act, which ‘acts’ as a hush money slush fund for Capitol Hill sexual assault/harassment accusers, before rounding out the show with a discussion on Bears Ear National Monument and private vs. public lands.” [various formats] (12/06/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/06/electric-libertyland-ep-49-trump-flynn-mueller-strzok-plus-sexy-government-hush-money/

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69) Free Talk Live, 12/05/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Millenials and Socialism :: Foreign Aid and Debt :: Unprincipled Libertarian Party Frustrations :: Cryptocurrency and Capital Gains :: IOTA :: Judaism and Atheism :: Equality :: Destroying the Fed :: Happy and Secure :: Needs :: Buying Bitcoin Off the Record :: Security of Bitcoin :: Bitcoin Fears and Objections :: Credit Unions and Crypto.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/05/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-05

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70) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 139
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Matt Lauer, Tax Bill, Immigrant shooter, Baltimore cop murder and more.” [vaarious formats] (12/05/17)

http://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-139-matt-lauers-sex-dungeon/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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