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

Volume XV, Issue #3,865
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
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In the News:

1) UK: May loses key Brexit vote as Parliament requires approval of final deal
2) Blue Origin launches new crew capsule on third New Shepard Rocket
3) US Senate rebuffs two Trump judicial nominees
4) OH: Bill banning Down syndrome abortions heads to governor
5) Federal Reserve raises interest rates again
6) UK: Surgeon admits to burning initials into patients’ livers during operations
7) Myanmar: Two Reuters journalists arrested, face “official secrets” charges
8) Poll: Prefer having a female boss? You might be a liberal
9) Omarosa Manigault Newman, Trump’s apprentice on TV & at White House, “resigns”
10) Ecuador: Regime confirms it will continue to host Assange
11) WA: Polish death metal musicians, accused of rape, released from jail
12) Starbucks cafe’s wi-fi made computers mine crypto-currency
13) Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL
14) TX: Mom accused of subjecting son to 323 hospital visits, 13 surgeries
15) Turkey: Erdogan urges Muslim leaders to recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine capital
16) Yemen: Saudi invaders kill at least 30 prisoners with air strikes
17) Study: Most doctors would allow cannabis for children with cancer
18) Philippines: Duterte wins extra year of martial law powers
19) Poland: Regime fines TV channel for not toeing government line on protests
20) MI: Road pirate shot-caller bemoans victims’ un-subservient attitude
21) ROBOT exploit from 1998 resurrected, leaves top websites’ crypto vulnerable
22) South Africa: Court rejects Zuma’s bid to block corruption inquiry
23) Okinawa: Window falls from US Marines helicopter onto school grounds
24) NJ: ICE gangsters abduct 101
25) Canada: In trade blowback, regime will buy used Australian jets rather than new Boeing aircraft

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) No, the Internet is not about to be destroyed
27) Victory lap? 2017 was Bitcoin’s backwards year
28) Trump-Russia “dossier” scandal deepens, in unexpected ways
29) Why are there still any foreign interventionists?
30) This bloodsport needs to end
31) More evidence that US policy fosters enemy creation, not national security
32) What Doug Jones’s win means for Democrats
33) Avoid outrage fatigue this season
34) Tracing the Islamic State’s weapons supply chain — back to the US
35) How Doug Jones’s Alabama surprise could change everything
36) What Roy Moore’s loss says about smart politics
37) Congress’s lack of fiscal restraint hurts taxpayers
38) Welfare scientists “flee” to France
39) How Roy Moore lost an unlosable race in Alabama
40) Quantum Vibe, 12/13/17
41) Ideas for improving life in high-crime areas
42) Scared cops are scary
43) The Fed’s great unwind: Will it sink us?
44) Roy Moore’s loss signals GOP tearing itself apart ahead of 2018
45) The US is not a democracy, it never was
46) How Brexit is turning into a disaster for Ireland
47) New blood pressure guidelines raise concerns about interest group lobbying
48) Turning childhood into a mental illness
49) It’s never fun to lose a Senate seat, but the GOP dodged a bullet
50) FISC assurances on spying leave too many questions unanswered
51) Is the Republican tax plan intentionally sloppy?
52) Religious bias is distorting American foreign policy
53) Another election “against”
54) How the US could provoke a new Korean War
55) Regulating social media threatens free speech and competition
56) Government officials want more data collection. Time to say “thanks but no thanks”
57) MN: Dayton names Smith to replace Al Franken in US Senate
58) Five reasons to consider homeschooling your child
59) The FBI is an enemy of freedom
60) Book review: Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

The Sound and the Fury:

61) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 130
62) Reason Podcast, 12/13/17
63) Electric Libertyland, episode 50
64) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/13/17
65) Intercepted Podcast, 12/13/17
66) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 140
67) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/12/17
68) Free Talk Live, 12/12/17
69) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 685
70) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1058

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

1) UK: May loses key Brexit vote as Parliament requires approval of final deal
Source: CNN

“British Prime Minister Theresa May has lost a key vote on the EU Withdrawal bill, her first serious parliamentary Brexit setback. Members of Parliament voted Wednesday for an amendment to the bill meaning lawmakers must approve the final deal with the European Union before withdrawal begins. May lost by a close margin of 309-305 votes. Amendment 7 to Clause 9 was tabled by May’s own Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, who leads a faction of ‘rebels’ within the party. … The result was yet another disappointment for May, who has been struggling ever since her decision to hold a snap election in June, which resulted in the loss of her governing majority and the need to negotiate a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland — which has 10 seats in Parliament — to remain in a position to pass laws.” (12/13/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/europe/british-prime-minister-brexit-vote/index.html

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2) Blue Origin launches new crew capsule on third New Shepard Rocket
Source: Popular Mechanics

“Blue Origin launched and landed a New Shepard rocket for the first time since October 2016 at their launch facility in West Texas. The launch, which took place Tuesday, December 12, was the first of a new rocket booster and the company’s Crew Capsule 2.0, which has been upgraded from a previous test capsule by adding large windows and some internal amenities. … The capsule achieved an altitude of 326,075 feet (99.39 kilometers), which is just shy of the internationally recognized boundary for space at 100 kilometers, known as the Karman line. The booster then returned for a propulsive vertical landing and the capsule landed using a parachute.” (12/13/17)

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a14425109/blue-origin-launches-new-crew-capsule-on-third-new-shepard-rocket/

—–

3) US Senate rebuffs two Trump judicial nominees
Source: Raw Story

“Two of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees will not be confirmed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate following criticism over controversial statements they made, a White House official said. The official said on Wednesday that the two nominations ‘will not be moving forward’ in the U.S. Senate. One of the nominees, Brett Talley, selected for a district court position in Alabama, had already said he would withdraw. The other, Jeff Mateer, nominated to serve as a district court judge in Texas, was already hanging by a thread although he has not officially withdrawn. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican who chairs the influential Senate committee that overseas judicial nominations, said on Wednesday that he ‘doesn’t anticipate that either nominee would be confirmed,’ a spokesman said.” (12/12/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/two-trump-judicial-nominations-rebuffed-by-senate

—–

4) OH: Bill banning Down syndrome abortions heads to governor
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Ohio lawmakers have taken a major step toward making it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Two other states have passed similar prohibitions in an expanding national push that’s triggered emotional debate over women’s rights and the trust between doctor and patient. Ohio senators approved the bill Wednesday. Lawmakers have now sent it to the governor. The measure makes performing such abortions a fourth-degree felony and requires the state medical board to revoke a physician’s license if convicted. Women involved in such procedures wouldn’t be penalized.” (12/13/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/medical/article/State-senate-to-vote-on-bill-banning-Down-12427777.php

—–

5) Federal Reserve raises interest rates again
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 0.25%, the third rate rise in 2017. The US central bank said the move, which was widely expected, underscores ‘solid’ gains in the US economy. Officials also boosted their economic forecasts, projecting 2.5% growth in GDP in 2017 and 2018, due in part to planned tax cuts. The Fed said it anticipates three further increases in rates next year, unchanged from its previous forecast. The decision to raise interest rates, raising the cost of borrowing, takes the Fed farther away from the ultra-low rates it put in place during the financial crisis to boost economic activity.” (12/13/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42344170

—–

6) UK: Surgeon admits to burning initials into patients’ livers during operations
Source: Fox News

“A British surgeon admitted to using a laser beam to carve his initials into two patient’s livers during transplant operations. The surgeon, Simon Bramhall, 53, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of assault in Birmingham Crown Court, central England, after he left ‘SB’ etched on the internal organs of a man and a woman during procedures in 2013. Bramhall used an argon beam coagulator, which seals bleeding blood vessels with an electric beam, to make his mark. According to The Telegraph of London, the beams are used not just for bleeding, but to beam to sketch out the area of an operation. Such brandings are usually not harmful and would normally disappear, but when the female patient’s liver did not heal properly, the initials were reportedly found in a followup operation.” (12/13/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/12/13/surgeon-admits-to-burning-initials-into-patients-livers-during-operations.html

—–

7) Myanmar: Two Reuters journalists arrested, face “official secrets” charges
Source: Reuters

“Myanmar’s government said on Wednesday that police had arrested two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The reporters had been working on stories about a military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rahkine State that has caused almost 650,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The Ministry of Information said in a statement on its Facebook page that the journalists and two policemen face charges under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The 1923 law carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. The reporters ‘illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media,’ said the statement, which was accompanied by a photo of the pair in handcuffs.” (12/13/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/two-reuters-journalists-arrested-in-myanmar-face-official-secrets-charges-idUSKBN1E71CO

—–

8) Poll: Prefer having a female boss? You might be a liberal
Source: USA Today

“Is the answer to sexual harassment in the workplace more female bosses? Americans seem unconvinced about that — except for the most dedicated C-SPAN watchers, perhaps. In a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, eight in 10 men and two-thirds of women said they didn’t have a preference on whether to report to a male or female boss. Among the relatively small number who had a preference, men by nearly 3-1 preferred a male boss (13% a male boss, 5% a female one) while women were narrowly divided, 16%-13%. But there were some quirky details in the survey’s cross-tabs. For instance, those who described themselves as very liberal and had a preference chose female bosses over male ones by close to 3-1. Those who described themselves as very conservative preferred male bosses over female ones by almost 5-1.” (12/13/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/12/13/usa-today-suffolk-poll-prefer-having-female-boss-youre-more-likely-liberal/948599001

—–

9) Omarosa Manigault Newman, Trump’s apprentice on TV & at White House, “resigns”
Source: USA Today

“Omarosa Manigault Newman, the Donald Trump apprentice who followed him from his reality television show to his presidential campaign and then the White House, has resigned, the White House said Wednesday. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Newman resigned Tuesday ‘to pursue other opportunities,’ and that her departure is effective Jan. 20 — exactly one year into the Trump presidency. Newman, 43, was the most prominent African-American face of Trump’s White House, working on outreach to historically black colleges and universities and racial disparities in the military justice system. But it was her social life that more often grabbed headlines. She married Florida pastor John Allen Newman at Trump’s Washington hotel in April, reportedly using the White House as a backdrop for her wedding photos. Her $25,000 dress was provided by TLC television’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress.’” [editor’s note: Rumor mill has Newman being fired by chief of staff and escorted from the White House after trying to “storm” the presidential residence area to appeal directly to Trump – TLK] (12/13/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/13/omarosa-manigault-newman-trumps-apprentice-televisreality-star-turned-trump-presidential-aide-resign/947822001

—–

10) Ecuador: Regime confirms it will continue to host Assange
Source: Prensa Latina [Cuban state media]

“The Ecuadorian government has confirmed that it keep protecting Australian cyber activist Julian Assange, who has remained in asylum since 2012 at the Quito embassy in London, the Foreign Ministry confirmed today. The statement, issued through the Twitter account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, responds to comments on the networks about an alleged decision of the executive to remove the WikiLeaks founder’s status. ‘Attention! Given the rumors circulating in social networks, the Foreign Ministry reiterates that there is no change in the status of asylum for #JulianAssange. Ecuador will maintain protection as soon as his human rights are endangered,’ the Foreign Ministry reported on Twitter.” [editor’s note: Why Cuban state media? Because they seemed to be the only English-language source for this story when I noticed it, and I didn’t want to throw Spanish or Italian at you – TLK] (12/13/17)

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=22207

—–

11) WA: Polish death metal musicians, accused of rape, released from jail
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“All four members of a Polish death metal band have been released from jail as they await trial on charges of raping a Washington state woman. Defense attorney Steve Graham said his client, Waclaw Kieltyka, was ordered released on Monday by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Julie McKay. The other three members of Decapitated (Michal Lysejko, Rafal Piotrowski and Hubert Wiecek) were released Nov. 22. All four were released on their own recognizance, without bail. All have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and rape. The Spokesman-Review says the judge ordered the men to remain in Washington. Earlier they had been ordered to turn in their passports.” (12/13/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/All-4-members-of-Decapitated-released-from-12427279.php

—–

12) Starbucks cafe’s wi-fi made computers mine crypto-currency
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Starbucks has acknowledged that visitors to one of its branches were unwittingly recruited into a crypto-currency mining operation. The wi-fi service provided by one of the coffee chain’s Buenos Aires outlets surreptitiously hijacked connected computers to use their processing power to create digital cash. Starbucks said that it had taken ‘swift action’ to address the problem. But one expert said it highlighted the risks of using public wi-fi. It is not clear how long the malware involved was active or how many customers were affected. The issue was identified only when the chief executive of a New York-based technology company logged into the service and noticed the problem.” (12/13/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42338754

—–

13) Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL
Source: Raw Story

“Nebraska’s main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Keystone XL project’s recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process. If it succeeds, Bold Nebraska could throw up new roadblocks to the controversial project to move Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, by pressing regulators to revisit TransCanada’s application, or by suing if they refuse. The Nebraska Public Service Commission issued an approval for Keystone XL to pass through the state in late November, removing the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project. But the commission’s approval was not for the route TransCanada had singled out in its application, but for an alternative that shifts it closer to an existing pipeline right-of-way that affects scores of new landowners. Jane Kleeb, the head of Bold Nebraska which has been fighting the pipeline for years, said the group was beginning meetings with these new landowners to rally opposition to the line, starting Wednesday and continuing into next week.” (12/12/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/anti-pipeline-group-goes-back-to-work-against-keystone-xl

—–

14) TX: Mom accused of subjecting son to 323 hospital visits, 13 surgeries
Source: Fox News

“A Texas mother is in jail after hospital staff sounded alarm over a boy who had been seen 323 times at various medical centers and undergone 13 major surgeries in his eight years of life. Kaylene Bowen, who has allegedly previously claimed her son was dying of a genetic disease, fighting cancer and suffering from several other ailments over his lifetime, was arrested on a warrant accusing her of injury to a child with serious bodily injury, The Star-Telegram reported. Bowen, 34, remains in Dallas County Jail while the boy, whose name is Christopher, and his two half-siblings have been placed in foster care. The boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, said he’s tried alerting authorities to Bowen’s actions previously, but was shut down by courts who sided with her.” (12/13/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/12/13/mom-accused-subjecting-son-to-323-hospital-visits-13-surgeries.html

—–

15) Turkey: Erdogan urges Muslim leaders to recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine capital
Source: Deutsch Welle [Germany]

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is urging the Arab world to issue a strong reaction to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by recognizing East Jerusalem as the ‘occupied capital of the Palestinian state.’ ‘With this decision, Israel, which is responsible for occupation, blockade, unlawful settlements, home demolitions, evictions, land asset appropriations, disproportionate violence and murders, was rewarded for all its terrorist actions,’ Erdogan told delegates at Wednesday’s Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul. … The US'[s] decision on Jerusalem provoked worldwide condemnation from leaders, Arab and otherwise, and sparked violent protests across the Arab world …. However, no state has yet announced any concrete measures against the US or Israel.” (12/13/17)

http://www.dw.com/en/turkey-urges-muslim-leaders-to-recognize-east-jerusalem-as-palestinian-capital/a-41767851

—–

16) Yemen: Saudi invaders kill at least 30 prisoners with air strikes
Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“At least 30 prisoners have been killed in Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen’s rebel [sic]-controlled capital, Sanaa, according to local media. Al Masriet, an online publication, reported on Wednesday that dozens of people were also injured in seven raids targeting facilities controlled by the Houthi rebels [sic], including the prison housing about 180 prisoners at the time of the attack. There was no immediate reaction by the Saudi-led coalition.” (12/13/17)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/houthis-saudi-led-raid-kills-prisoners-sanaa-171213114332935.html

—–

17) Study: Most doctors would allow cannabis for children with cancer
Source: Smell the Truth

“A considerable majority of medical physicians would help children treat cancer with medical cannabis, a new study suggests. In a study published this week in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago found that 92 percent of all providers would give child cancer patients access to medical marijuana. However, researchers found more support from medical providers from states without any current medical marijuana laws. Only 85 percent of providers certified to recommend medical cannabis would allow treatment for children, compared to 95 percent of their peers in prohibitionist states.” (12/13/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/12/12/most-doctors-would-allow-medical-marijuana-for-children-with-cancer-study-finds

—–

18) Philippines: Duterte wins extra year of martial law powers
Source: Hindustan Times [India]

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won martial law powers across the southern third of the country for one more year on Wednesday to combat Islamic militants and leftist rebels, as Congress brushed aside fears of a looming dictatorship. Duterte’s request to extend martial law in the Mindanao region until December 31 next year and detain rebellion suspects there without charge was approved by 240 votes to 27 at a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives. Asked by reporters later on Wednesday if he would extend martial law to the whole country, Duterte said ‘all options are on the table.’” (12/13/17)

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/philippines-duterte-wins-extra-year-of-martial-law-powers/story-utIJaENSjjr5OIe4PVaEPI.html

—–

19) Poland: Regime fines TV channel for not toeing government line on protests
Source: Hollywood Reporter

“TVN24, a Polish TV news channel owned by U.S. media giant Scripps Network Interactive, has been fined more than $400,000 by Poland’s media regulator over allegedly biased coverage of anti-government protests. Footage shot by TVN24 ‘failed to inform viewers that the [2016] December 16-18 protests held outside parliament were unlawful,’ Teresa Brykczynska, a spokeswoman for regulator KRRiT, said, and in so doing effectively urged ‘viewers to participate in illegal protests.’ TVN24, which is part of Polish TV group TVN that Scripps acquired in 2015 for $615 million in the largest ever U.S. media deal in Poland, is appealing the fine of 1.5 million zlotys ($414,000) imposed for a news report shot when a group of liberal opposition legislators occupied the Polish parliament last December in a protest by the ruling rightwing Law and Justice Party to ban journalists from covering proceedings there [sic].” (12/13/17)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/scripps-polish-channel-fined-coverage-anti-government-protests-1067118

—–

20) MI: Road pirate shot-caller bemoans victims’ un-subservient attitude
Source: WNEM 5 News

“[A Macomb County, Michigan sheriff’s] deputy pulled over a Chevy Cobalt in what police said is an area known for drugs. The deputy said he immediately smelled marijuana. Police said that’s when 22-year-old Jonathan Hadley got out of the car and began walking away. The deputy ordered him to stop several times, but Hadley did not. When the deputy caught him, Hadley began fighting and resisting. Then the driver, 19-year-old Yahaira Elisea-Moreno, ran up and began attacking the deputy. Then, 20-year-old Jordan Herrod came from outside of a house, shoved the deputy into a shrub, then got on top of him and began beating him. … [The sheriff] said if [the victims] would have just cooperated none of this would have happened.” (12/13/17)

http://www.wnem.com/story/37055476/dash-cam-shows-suspects-allegedly-attack-deputy

—–

21) ROBOT exploit from 1998 resurrected, leaves top websites’ crypto vulnerable
Source: ZDNet

“A number of the most popular websites and services online, including Facebook and PayPal, are vulnerable to an exploit which has resurfaced from 1998. The security flaw, dubbed ROBOT, was first discovered almost two decades ago by Daniel Bleichenbacher. PKCS #1 1.5 padding error messages produced by secure sockets layer (SSL) servers allow for an adaptive-chosen ciphertext attack which ‘fully breaks the confidentiality of TLS when used with RSA encryption,’ according to researchers Hanno Bock and Juraj Somorovsky from Hackmanit GmbH, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, and Tripwire VERT’s Craig Young. The server implementation bug could be used to perform RSA decryption and key signing in order to decrypt traffic. ‘We discovered that by using some slight variations this vulnerability can still be used against many HTTPS hosts in today’s Internet,’ the team says.” (12/13/17)

http://www.zdnet.com/article/robot-exploit-from-1998-resurrected-leaves-top-sites-crypto-vulnerable/

—–

22) South Africa: Court rejects Zuma’s bid to block corruption inquiry
Source: New York Times

“President Jacob G. Zuma of South Africa suffered a stinging legal defeat on Wednesday when the country’s High Court rejected his efforts to block an inquiry into accusations of influence-peddling so widespread that it is known as ‘state capture.’ The decision came days before a major gathering to choose Mr. Zuma’s successor as leader of the governing African National Congress. After the findings were read aloud in court, the public gallery burst into applause and cheers, according to local news media reports. The allegations center on accusations that Mr. Zuma has been complicit in a scheme by three businessman that allows them to influence the appointment of government ministers in order to tilt the awarding of contracts in their favor.” (12/13/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/world/africa/south-africa-zuma-corruption.html

—–

23) Okinawa: Window falls from US Marines helicopter onto school grounds
Source: MSN

“A window fell from a U.S. helicopter onto a school sports field near a U.S. Marines air base on Okinawa on Wednesday, the Marines said, the latest in a series of accidents that have fanned safety concerns on Japan’s southern island. … A 10-year-old boy suffered a minor injury but the exact cause was unclear, an Okinawa prefecture official told Reuters. The boy was among about 50 children on the elementary school grounds when the window fell from a U.S. CH-53E transport helicopter.” [hat tip — David Klaus] [editor’s note: The CH-53 was old even when I was in the Marine Corps. The last one was manufactured nearly 40 years ago – TLK] (12/12/17)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/window-falls-from-us-marines-helicopter-onto-school-grounds-in-japans-okinawa/ar-BBGFl8L

—–

24) NJ: ICE gangsters abduct 101
Source: NJ.com

“Dozens of people — many from Mexico and Central America — were [abducted] in New Jersey by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, in a five-day operation that officials on Tuesday said was targeted at ‘criminal aliens’ and those charged with immigration violations [sic]. ICE said most of those arrested, who ranged in age 20 to 71 years old, had prior felony convictions. … Nationwide, [abductions] under the Trump Administration of immigrants here illegally [sic] have jumped 40 percent in the fiscal year, according to figures recently released by the government. ICE refused to disclose the total of [abductions] it has made in New Jersey since January.” (12/12/17)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/nj_immigration_sweep_by_ice_leads_to_101_arrests.html

—–

25) Canada: In trade blowback, regime will buy used Australian jets rather than new Boeing aircraft
Source: Los Angeles Times

“Canada has ditched a plan to buy 18 Super Hornet jet fighters from U.S.-based Boeing Co. and will instead buy 18 used F-18 fighters from Australia. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously warned that Canada would stop doing business with Boeing if the company doesn’t drop a trade complaint against Canadian plane maker Bombardier, and the government warned again on Tuesday that Boeing would have little chance of winning a new contract for 88 additional fighter jets under the status quo. Trudeau’s government also said Tuesday that it would assess companies’ overall impact on Canada’s economy before buying the 88 additional fighter jets to replace its aging F-18s. ‘Bidders responsible for harming Canada’s economic interest will be at a distinct disadvantage compared to bidders who aren’t engaged in detrimental behavior,’ Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said.” (12/12/17)

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-canada-f18-boeing-20171212-story.html

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

26) No, the Internet is not about to be destroyed
Source: USA Today
by Jessica Melugin

“The headlines regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming vote on ‘net neutrality’ regulations suggest impending doom. ‘FCC Is Revving Up to Destroy the Internet as We Know It,’ blares a Popular Mechanics headline. ‘The Free and Open Internet Is About to Become Less Free, Less Open,’ declares a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial. Yet, despite the considerable media coverage of net neutrality, the issue remains obscure for many consumers. And unfortunately, much of the coverage has shed more heat than light. So what does net neutrality actually do? To answer that question, we need to consider how the three principal elements of net neutrality regulations (bans on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization) would be applied to some older ‘offline’ industries.” (12/13/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/13/blocking-throttling-paid-prioritization-how-net-neutrality-unfair-broadband-jessica-melugin-column/949095001

—–

27) Victory lap? 2017 was Bitcoin’s backwards year
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Jim Harper

“2017 was another gloriously miserable year for bitcoin. As in 2016, gains in the price of bitcoin belie deep deficits in the cryptocurrency world. Bitcoin’s stock of social capital, the human institutions around this most important technology, remains woefully deficient, and the capacity of bitcoin to deliver anything other than wealth to ‘HODLers’ has fallen precipitously. Don’t get me wrong: wealth is great! But some of bitcoin’s greatest potential benefits — global financial inclusion, broad gains for financial privacy, a stable money supply for those without, and increased liberty — appear further away now than they did a year ago, or at any time in bitcoin’s history.” (12/13/17)

https://cei.org/content/victory-lap-2017-was-bitcoins-backwards-year

—–

28) Trump-Russia “dossier” scandal deepens, in unexpected ways
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“With every new revelation, the ‘dossier’ on President Trump, which got the entire Trump-Russia-collusion story going, looks more and more scandalous. Not because of what it reveals about Trump, but what it is revealing about behind-the-scenes efforts to ruin his presidency. The latest twist involves a senior Justice Department official who was just demoted for his connection to it. When the existence of the now-discredited dossier first came to light, it was described simply as information compiled by a former British intelligence operative with a high degree of credibility in the spy community. The fact that a two-page summary had been presented to Trump and President Obama in early January lent it still more credibility. … From that point on, it was treated as an authoritative report pointing to Trump’s collusion with Russians to meddle in the U.S. election.” (12/12/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/trump-russia-dossier-scandal

—–

29) Why are there still any foreign interventionists?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“For the first hundred years of American history, the United States was founded on the concept of a limited-government republic, one whose government did not intervene in the affairs of other nations, specifically in Europe and Asia. … Later generations of Americans abandoned that founding foreign-policy principle and adopted the opposite philosophy — interventionism. The big turn came in 1898 with the Spanish American War, continued with World War I and World War II, followed by the Korean War and Vietnam War, culminating in today’s forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, with coups, invasions, assassinations, kidnappings, and partnerships with and support of foreign dictators thrown into the mix. Americans today have a choice: Restore America’s founding principle of non-interventionism or continue embracing foreign interventionism.” (12/13/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/12/13/still-foreign-interventionists/

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30) This bloodsport needs to end
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“The left is getting nuttier, the hard right is getting scarier, and the entire enterprise of political control seems ever more outmoded. Over the last century, we’ve seen these gigantic government institutions with hegemonic power. All that remains is the struggle for who gets to control them and these elections are the public vehicle we’ve traditionally relied upon to render a decision. It was once believed that mass elections like this would bring peaceful outcomes to the struggle. Not so any more. It only pushes the conflicts into the future. The seething over the results begins as soon as they are announced, and the cries for revenge follow in short order. It is particularly dangerous when the results track racial and gender demographics so closely, inviting everyone involved to regard his or her neighbor as an enemy. This winner of this election declared that his victory had united the state. That’s absurd. The losers will be madder than ever and swear that they too will have their day.” (12/13/17)

https://fee.org/articles/this-bloodsport-needs-to-end/

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31) More evidence that US policy fosters enemy creation, not national security
Source: Downsize DC
by Perry Willis & Jim Babka

“U.S. tax dollars ($70 billion) have funded and trained Afghan police and defense forces through three administrations, Bush, Obama, and Trump. During that time U.S. troops have constantly complained about Afghan soldiers and police using Afghan children as sex slaves. Yes, you read that right. The Afghans even have a term for this practice, bacha bazi (boy play). But Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump have ignored the troops’ complaints. Official U.S. policy has even blocked American soldiers from rescuing abused children. But it gets worse … The Taliban has used these crimes as a tool to recruit forces to fight the U.S. This provides stark evidence for our claim that U.S. foreign policy fosters enemy creation, not national security.” (12/13/17)

https://downsizedc.org/afghan-enemy-creation/

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32) What Doug Jones’s win means for Democrats
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Francine Kiefer

“Doug Jones, the Democratic lawyer who snatched a historic Senate win in Alabama on Tuesday, is a man of high ideals. In 1977, when he was still in law school, the young Alabamian skipped contracts class with a friend to watch then-Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley prosecute the first trial of the 1963 bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham. The dynamite blast killed four African-American girls, a seminal event in the turbulent civil rights era. Mr. Baxley faced a defense lawyer who was the son of a Birmingham city mayor — two titans going at it. ‘Baxley was masterful,’ recalls Mr. Jones’s friend, Richard Mauk. ‘We were so impressed with that, and Doug was like, ‘That’s who I want to be, fighting for truth and justice.” Mr. Jones eventually fulfilled that dream as a US attorney in Alabama, reopening the Birmingham case and convicting Klansmen responsible for the bombing.” (12/13/17)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1213/What-Doug-Jones-s-win-means-for-Democrats

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33) Avoid outrage fatigue this season
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“To get the most out of this holiday season, and to finish out 2017 on a high note, I recommend avoiding outrage fatigue. What is outrage fatigue? It’s the exhaustion, cynicism, apathy, and hopelessness that comes from exposure to too many outrageous crises at once. Whether your outrage is over your belief that President Trump has been caught plotting with Russians, yet faces no consequences, or from your belief that the politically motivated investigators probing him are simply grasping at shadows of straws in a desperate attempt to destroy someone they despise. It depends on your perspective, but either view can make you crazy.” (12/13/17)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2017/12/13/voices/avoid-outrage-fatigue-this-season/155280.html

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34) Tracing the Islamic State’s weapons supply chain — back to the US
Source: Wired
by Brian Castner

“[Damien] Spleeters is also constantly searching for new weapons that show how ISIS engineers’ expertise is evolving, and with this trip to Tal Afar he has set his sights on one promising new lead: a series of modified rockets that had appeared in ISIS propaganda videos on YouTube and other social media. Spleeters suspected that the tubes, trigger mechanisms, and fins of the new rockets were all the work of ISIS engineers, but he thought the warheads likely came from somewhere else. After discovering similar weapons over the past six months, he has grown to believe that ISIS may have captured the warheads from anti­government militias in the Syrian civil war that had been secretly armed by Saudi Arabia and the United States.” (12/12/17)

https://www.wired.com/story/terror-industrial-complex-isis-munitions-supply-chain/

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35) How Doug Jones’s Alabama surprise could change everything
Source: The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

“Hell hath no fury like a predator scorned. And so it was that Roy Moore, the far-right Republican U.S. Senate candidate who Tuesday night lost a special election in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones, refused to concede to his rival that evening, even after all the major news outlets called the outcome. On the same day, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to insult a high-profile woman senator with sexual innuendo [sic]. … Moore and Trump, on the surface, have little in common, Trump being an areligious, foul-mouthed New Yorker, and Moore being a performatively pious Southerner. But they are bonded by an experience they share: a chorus of female voices aimed at them, the voices of women with credible stories of having been groped, forcibly kissed, stalked, and more. In Moore’s case, the women who allege these assaults and transgressions were teenagers at the time of the stalking and/or assault, while he was in his thirties; in Trump’s case, only some of his 16 accusers were teenagers at the time he allegedly took liberties.” [editor’s note: Funny, I just heard an MLB manager say “a player will do anything” to get a hit when he’s in a slump; was he claiming they’re all hookers at heart? – SAT] (12/13/17)

http://prospect.org/article/how-doug-joness-alabama-surprise-could-change-everything

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36) What Roy Moore’s loss says about smart politics
Source: Reuters
by Scott Lemieux

“Roy Moore’s party has been punished for his refusal to do the right thing. While some Republican leaders wanted him to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after nine women accused him of sexual misconduct against them when they were teenagers, Moore refused, and went on to lose to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday. That means Democrats who fretted that Al Franken shouldn’t have been pushed out of the Senate over the sexual misconduct allegations against him were wrong. Moore’s insistence on staying in the race underscores how differently the nation’s main political parties have responded when their members have been accused of sexual harassment and assault.” [editor’s note: Am I the only one who noticed the thousands of people who dragged themselves out to vote write-in for the Libertarian candidate, Mr. Bishop, with no delusions they were electing a Senator? That might be the long-run story here – SAT] (12/13/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lemieux-moore-commentary/commentary-what-roy-moores-loss-says-about-smart-politics-idUSKBN1E70FV

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37) Congress’s lack of fiscal restraint hurts taxpayers
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“With the divisiveness of tax reform now hidden behind the closed doors of a conference committee, Congress has returned to the only thing that restores bipartisanship on Capitol Hill: spending money. After pushing the deadline off for another two weeks, Congress must now act by December 23 in order to avoid the by-now-routine threat of a partial government shutdown. That means we should expect the usual threats and predictions of disaster, all just in time for the holidays. Current reporting suggests that Congress is likely to gather the courage to extend the deadline all the way to mid-January, just in time for us to go through it all a second time.” (12/13/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/congresss-lack-fiscal-restraint-hurts-taxpayers

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38) Welfare scientists “flee” to France
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“According to the Guardian, President Macron of France is crowing over the fact that American scientists are ‘fleeing’ the Fifty States and the tyranny of Donald Trump in order to enjoy freedom to research man made global warming in their new home-in-exile in France. … But this is NOT ‘about freedom.’ These 13 scientists are not and have never been denied any freedom to research global warming, by Trump or anyone else. What they are being denied is having someone else (the government, and therefore, the taxpayers) PAY for their research.” (12/13/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/12/13/welfare-scientists-flee-to-france/

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39) How Roy Moore lost an unlosable race in Alabama
Source: Town Hall
Guy Benson

“In a shocking political earthquake, the Republican Party has lost a Senate election in Alabama. For perspective on how difficult that feat was, the closest previous Senate contest in that state over the last two decades was … a 19-point GOP victory. Just three years ago, Jeff Sessions ran unopposed. Donald Trump carried ‘Bama by 28 points last fall. In my election preview post yesterday, I wrote that an upset by liberal Doug Jones was improbably plausible, due exclusively to the disastrously awful candidate Republicans had nominated. Apologies for quoting myself, but here you go. … I thought the ingredients for a massive upset were all in the mix — but I’d believe it when I saw it. And now we’ve seen it.” (12/13/17)

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/12/13/stunner-heres-the-top-reason-why-roy-moore-lost-the-alabama-senate-race-n2421771

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40) Quantum Vibe, 12/13/17
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (12/13/17)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1733

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41) Ideas for improving life in high-crime areas
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“Crime is the base problem for a number of poor urban areas. Wherever you have high crime, you have trouble attracting employers. And without employment options, you end up with poverty, a low tax base to support schools, hopelessness, drug dealing, and the rest. So I thought I would share some ideas for reducing urban crime. The first idea comes from Black Lives Matters out of New York. I can’t judge this sort of idea from my suburban home in California, but I share it with you because it belongs in the conversation. There is a small experiment going on in part of Harlem that has drastically reduced violent gun crime. … I think it’s always fair to be skeptical of success claims. But I like any plan that can be tested small and evaluated. This example fits that model perfectly.” (12/13/17)

http://blog.dilbert.com/2017/12/13/ideas-improving-life-high-crime-areas

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42) Scared cops are scary
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“The jurors who acquitted Philip Brailsford of second-degree murder last week were told to judge him based on ‘how a reasonable officer would act, versus a regular person with no police training,’ as The Arizona Republic put it. That distinction was crucial, because a ‘regular person’ would never get away with shooting an unarmed man who was crawling on the floor, sobbing, and begging for his life. Like other recent cases in which jurors failed to hold police officers accountable for the unnecessary use of deadly force, Brailsford’s acquittal shows that cops benefit from a double standard. Unlike ordinary citizens, they can kill with impunity as long as they say they were afraid, whether or not their fear was justified.” (12/13/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/13/scared-cops-are-scary

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43) The Fed’s great unwind: Will it sink us?
Source: Cobden Centre
by Thorsten Polleit

“In the eyes of many people, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is an indispensable institution. We are told it supports growth and employment, fends off the negative shocks, and fights inflation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Fed’s fiat money regime is economically and socially highly destructive — causing far-reaching societal and political consequences that extend beyond what most people would imagine. Fiat money is inflationary, it debases the purchasing power of money; it benefits a few at the expense of the many; it causes boom-and-bust cycles that hurt many people economically; it makes people run into too much debt, leading to over-indebtedness; it corrupts society’s morals; it makes government grow at the expense of individual liberty; it encourages the state’s aggressiveness and fuels its war machine. Tragically, however, people consider falsely the Fed as their ‘knight in shining armor’ coming to their rescue in times of trouble rather than what the institution really is: the very source of economic and societal grievance.” (12/13/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/12/the-feds-great-unwind-will-it-sink-us/

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44) Roy Moore’s loss signals GOP tearing itself apart ahead of 2018
Source: In These Times
by Theo Anderson

“Over the past 40 years, the Republican Party has largely become a coalition of two groups: white people for whom the economy and the U.S. political system work extremely well, and white people for whom the economy and our politics hardly work at all. Democrat Doug Jones’ upset win in Alabama yesterday points to the slow-motion crackup of that coalition. The bargain since Ronald Reagan’s presidency has been that the wealthy get their tax breaks, their shills in Congress and the hyper-concentration of wealth and power. The less fortunate group gets candidates who align with their right-wing views on guns, abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues. … The result of this bargain is a party whose social and economic policies are almost comically unpopular — its current tax bill, for example, has an approval rating in the 20s. Yet the GOP manages to control every branch of the federal government through a blend of gerrymandering, voter suppression, campaign cash and the rural biases built into our political system.” (12/12/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20765/roy-moore-doug-jones-alabama-bannon-gop-2018-trump

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45) The US is not a democracy, it never was
Source: CounterPunch
by Gabriel Rockhill

“One of the most steadfast beliefs regarding the United States is that it is a democracy. Whenever this conviction waivers slightly, it is almost always to point out detrimental exceptions to core American values or foundational principles. For instance, aspiring critics frequently bemoan a ‘loss of democracy’ due to the election of clownish autocrats, draconian measures on the part of the state, the revelation of extraordinary malfeasance or corruption, deadly foreign interventions, or other such activities that are considered undemocratic exceptions. The same is true for those whose critical framework consists in always juxtaposing the actions of the U.S. government to its founding principles, highlighting the contradiction between the two and clearly placing hope in its potential resolution. The problem, however, is that there is no contradiction or supposed loss of democracy because the United States simply never was one.” (12/13/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-never-was/

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46) How Brexit is turning into a disaster for Ireland
Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Jenkins

“The island of Ireland consists of both an independent republic of 26 counties, as well a six-county province — Northern Ireland, or Ulster — that is part of the United Kingdom. That division has through the years produced bitter conflicts, as the existence of the North remains offensive its Catholic minority who want a united Ireland. That both Great Britain and the Irish Republic were members of the European Union proved immensely beneficial at soothing tensions and effectively eliminating the internal border. But what will happen when Great Britain leaves the EU while Ireland remains? There will have to be some frontier between northern and southern Ireland to check goods and/or migrants entering ‘Europe.’ This can be done in two ways, each one desperately unpalatable to a major constituency.” (12/13/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-brexit-is-turning-into-a-disaster-for-ireland/

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47) New blood pressure guidelines raise concerns about interest group lobbying
Source: Independent Institute
by Raymond March

“On November 13, millions of Americans had high blood pressure for the first time. It wasn’t even Thanksgiving. That day the American College of Cardiology (ACC), working with the American Heart Association (AHA), released new guidelines regarding what constitutes high blood pressure. Since 2003, a reading below 140/90 was considered normal. Now, any blood pressure over 120/90 is considered hypertension. … Whenever government works with special-interest groups to set industry standards it is important to examine the underlying incentives. When government imposes more stringent health standards, more resources are devoted to meet them. This can include more physicians, medical devices, prescriptions, dietary products, and other health-related goods. This is lucrative for many healthcare professionals. Perhaps more importantly, we should ask: How successful has government been in advancing health in the past?” (12/13/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/12/13/new-blood-pressure-guidelines-raise-concerns-about-interest-group-lobbying/

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48) Turning childhood into a mental illness
Source: spiked
by Frank Furedi

“The growing trend for redefining the problems of life as issues of mental health has had a particularly pernicious effect on children and child development. Since the late 1970s, there has been a creeping tendency to portray children as uniquely vulnerable to emotional damage. Before then, it was commonly believed that children could recover their strength and resilience in the aftermath of an emotionally difficult experience. But in the late 20th century, in line with the expanding medicalisation of everyday life, society became preoccupied with the apparent fragility of childhood. It was at this point that the idea that mental illness is a common feature of childhood started to gain resonance. In the decades that followed, more and more children came to be diagnosed with a psychiatric illness.” (12/13/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/turning-childhood-into-a-mental-illness/

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49) It’s never fun to lose a Senate seat, but the GOP dodged a bullet
Source: National Review
by Jim Geraghty

“The populists are indeed miracle workers, they’ve managed to elect a Democrat in Alabama. Roy Moore may very well have been the worst Senate nominee for any major party in American history. Even if you dismissed the allegations of him sexually pursuing teenagers in his 30s — and there was no compelling reason to believe Moore’s shifting denials — he managed to create appalling new controversies in almost every appearance. He completely avoided the campaign trail in the final days, because he could not be trusted to speak to the public. Despite the frustration of a 52-seat majority becoming a 51-seat majority, tonight’s result is in fact, a long-term victory for the Republican Party.” (12/12/17)

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/454598/its-never-fun-lose-senate-seat-gop-dodged-bullet-roy-moores-defeat

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50) FISC assurances on spying leave too many questions unanswered
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by India McKinney

“Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced questions from the House Judiciary Committee about how his department is implementing one of the government’s most powerful surveillance tools. Despite repeated bipartisan requests, Director Wray refused to tell the Members of the Committee how many Americans have been impacted by Section 702, enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act. This isn’t the first time the FBI has refused to answer to Congress. … Section 702 authorizes the acquisition of foreign intelligence information; however, because many Americans communicate with foreign persons outside the United States every day, our communications are also being captured and read without a warrant. How many Americans have had their communications ‘incidentally collected’ under Section 702? We don’t know. In fact, not even Congress knows. Although the House Judiciary Committee has sent several bipartisan letters to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence asking this exact question, ODNI has refused to respond.” (12/12/17)

https://www.eff.org/fisc-assurances-unanswered

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51) Is the Republican tax plan intentionally sloppy?
Source: The New Republic
by David Dayen

“The Republican tax bill being negotiated this week is like a Sudoku puzzle: daunting to novices, but in the hands of an experienced master, a simple case of plugging in numbers. The opportunities for gaming the new rules will make tax lawyers unspeakably rich for the rest of time, finding endless opportunities to shelter, transform, or reassign income to lower their clients’ payments. And there’s another group poised to get in on the tax loophole fun: state governments that, in a few simple steps, can and probably will nullify the biggest sources of revenue in the bill. All of this fits with a longstanding conservative project: Starve the government of taxes, and use that as a rationale to slash social spending. This would achieve their goal of re-channeling government benefits from the working poor, who require safety net assistance, to oligarchic holders of dynastic wealth.” (12/12/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146215/republican-tax-plan-intentionally-sloppy

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52) Religious bias is distorting American foreign policy
Source: The Atlantic
by Kori Schake

“Among the many odd elements of President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. Embassy in Israel will move to Jerusalem is that it comes precipitously in advance of Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to region. The purpose of the trip was to show solidarity with the plight of Christians in the Middle East, yet Christian leaders — including the Coptic Pope — are refusing to meet with Pence. What those leaders understand, which the Trump administration seems not to, is that Christians in the Middle East have lived and will continue to live in societies where Muslim majorities determine political and social outcomes, and those outcomes become less tolerant when religious minorities are perceived to be the exclusive beneficiaries of U.S. policy.” (12/13/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/12/middle-east-christians-vp-pence/548216/

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53) Another election “against”
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“As I write, Democratic candidate Doug Jones has just taken the stage to declare himself the winner of the Alabama Senate race, the one in which Roy Moore became more infamous than famous, and better known for the worst kind of reasons. The final counts are not in, and I suppose there could be a turnaround at the last moment, but it doesn’t look like it. It looks like Republicans lost the seat. Hillary Clinton is already crowing that this is a sign of more Democratic victories to come. Maybe. Too soon to tell. Meanwhile, what to make of it all?” (12/13/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/13/another-election-against/

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54) How the US could provoke a new Korean War
Source: Antiwar.com
by Geoffrey Fattig

“In April 2002, about a year before the invasion of Iraq, then-president George W. Bush told a group of assembled reporters that Saddam Hussein had to go. When asked how he would accomplish this, Bush replied cryptically, ‘Just wait and see.’ I was reminded of this quote when President Trump was asked about North Korea’s test launch of a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, reportedly able to strike anywhere in the United States. Trump’s response was simply, ‘We’ll handle it.’ Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about ‘fire and fury’ and ‘totally destroying’ North Korea have garnered much of the headlines. But perhaps because his grandest pronouncements — ‘build the wall,’ ‘repeal and replace,’ ‘lock her up’ — have all proven hollow, his subtler comments hinting toward war, such as when he termed a meeting of top generals in October as ‘the calm before the storm,’ seem far more alarming.” (12/13/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/geoffrey_fattig/2017/12/12/us-provoke-new-korean-war/

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55) Regulating social media threatens free speech and competition
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Dumitriu

“The PM’s ethics watchdog is preparing to call for a major change in the way social media is regulated. It’s thought Lord Bew, who chairs the Committee on Standards in Public Life, will recommend that social media firms like Facebook and Twitter should be liable for the content posted on their platforms. In other words, he wants to reclassify social media platforms as publishers, holding them to the same standards as newspapers. If you care about free speech and innovation, this should worry you.” (12/12/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/regulating-social-media-threatens-free-speech-and-competition

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56) Government officials want more data collection. Time to say “thanks but no thanks”
Source: Heartland Institute
by Teresa Mull

“The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Foundations for Evidence-based Policy-making Act (FEPA). The aim of the FEPA legislation is to ‘establish a more secure, transparent, and efficient data system that will help federal agencies better assess the effectiveness of their programs.’ … House Speaker Paul …. Ryan’s website reports the bill will ensure ‘maximum data availability while respecting privacy and national security concerns, instructs federal agencies to establish a data inventory and federal data catalogue’ and ‘expands access to data while improving privacy standards.’ U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) claims FEPA ‘does not create a federal data base, does not collect federal data in one place,’ and ‘oes not authorize any new data analysis’ — thus making the whole ‘federal data catalogue’ curious. Ensuring ‘maximum data availability’ and ‘improve[ing] privacy standards’ is an ambitious goal that I don’t believe is possible for the federal government. It’s simply too big, too corrupt and too poorly managed to be able to do both. And even it could, why would the American people want it to?” (12/13/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/government-officials-want-more-data-collection-time-to-say-thanks-but-no-thanks/

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57) MN: Dayton names Smith to replace Al Franken in US Senate
Source: The Hill

“Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) on Wednesday named Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to fill Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) soon-to-be vacated Senate seat. Smith said she intends to run in November 2018 to complete the remaining two years of Franken’s term. … Franken announced his resignation last week in the wake of accusations that he groped and kissed women without their consent. He did not, however, set a date for his departure from the Senate, saying only that he would leave ‘in the coming weeks.’ Smith on Wednesday said she’s spoken with Franken and his staff, and expects he will officially step down some time in early January.” (12/13/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/364690-minnesota-lt-gov-to-replace-franken-run-for-seat-in-2018

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58) Five reasons to consider homeschooling your child
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Christina Battons

“According to the National Household Education Survey, parents are just not comfortable with the negative learning environment in public schools. They are concerned about child bullying. Of course, it’s not something that is recorded in their student’s report cards, and it mostly goes unnoticed. Teachers and bullying victims will not report cases like the stealing of food or money, physical harm or continuous use of abusive language. So, as a parent, once you know that your child has been beaten up, what should you do? Keeping in mind the physical and psychological torment that it brings. In the end, homeschooling becomes your best option.” (12/12/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/five-reasons-consider-homeschooling-child

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59) The FBI is an enemy of freedom
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Scott McPherson

“With the possible exception of the BATFE, it would be hard to imagine an entity within the federal government more out of control and in need of — dare I say it? — abolition. Getting rid of the FBI would be a giant boon for the freedom of the American people. As President Harry S. Truman put it, ‘We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction.’ For its entire existence the FBI has served as the strong arm of the federal government. Beginning in 1909 as the Bureau of Investigation, no one’s life, liberty, or property has been safe since. Ostensibly created to investigate anarchists, bootleggers, kidnappers, bank robbers, crimes on federal property, and later, the KKK, the FBI would soon find its true calling: political repression, personal destruction, and terror.” (12/13/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/fbi-enemy-freedom/

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60) Book review: Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“I first heard of Blaine Harden’s book, Escape From Camp 14, in the Writer’s Remarks at the end of Steve Berry’s The Patriot Threat. The backstory of one of the characters in the book is based on Harden’s account. That character was one of the most compelling in Berry’s novel, a tragic heroine fighting internal demons created by her past as an inmate of North Korea’s horrific prison camps. The camps are horrific but only became notorious with the publication of Harden’s book. … The book is the story of the life of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person known to have escaped from one of the camps.” (12/12/17)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2017/12/book-review-escape-from-camp-14-by.html

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

61) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 130
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #130, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss his new article on Yemen and the situation in Israel. Will’s article explains how deaths in Yemen have been undercounted during the Saudi/US war against Yemen. Will talked with several sources to gain a better understanding of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Will also discussed the NY subway terror attack and how that it was blowback from Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-130-yemen-israel-with-will-porter

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62) Reason Podcast, 12/13/17
Source: Reason

“In a wide-ranging interview about The Volokh Conspiracy, [Eugene] Volokh discussed the site’s aims, why he thinks the government is sometimes right to force business owners to serve customers they don’t like, and his high opinion (so far) of Donald Trump’s appointments to the federal judiciary. In an age of deep polarization and intellectually mendacious debates, the Volokh Conspiracy remains a straight shooter when it comes to pursuing what its contributors see as the truth.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/13/volokh-podcast

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63) Electric Libertyland, episode 50
Source: Lions of Liberty

“In this week’s #ElectricLibertyland, Brian McWilliams takes a look at whether Donald Trump has inadvertently inspired the TRUE ‘Libertarian Moment’ that so many have said passed us by after the run of Ron Paul and the failure of Rand Paul and Gary Johnson in 2016.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/13/electric-libertyland-ep-50-trump-creating-real-libertarian-moment/

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64) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/13/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Dianna Keiler and Jeremy Heisenberg get personal about tea drinking habits, pregnancies and nursing, a love for wine and cheese, their anti-social dogs, and Amazon and Walmart inside your house.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15399

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65) Intercepted Podcast, 12/13/17
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted: an exclusive interview with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean about the Mueller investigation, how the CIA and military may benefit from Trump’s presidency, and how Trump stacks up to Nixon and Reagan. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg talks about the classified secrets he has kept for decades. … Jeremy takes on the false news report about the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks that was aggressively promoted by CNN, MSNBC, and CBS. … We talk to the co-director of ‘American Carnage,’ Farihah Zaman. Patterson Hood of the band Drive-By Truckers talks about growing up in Alabama and how the civil rights struggle and George Wallace impacted his life. Donald Trump calls in to Delilah for life advice.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/13/intercepted-podcast-full-metal-jackass/

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66) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 140
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Arizona hotel murder, Bitcoin news, Tesla and more.” [various formats] (12/13/17)

http://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-140-catch-69/

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67) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/12/17
Source: Cato Institute

“Many hurdles remain in place for innovation in the sphere of telemedicine. Shirley Svorny offers her thoughts in a new Cato paper, ‘Liberating Telemedicine: Options to Eliminate the State-Licensing Roadblock.’” [various formats] (12/12/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/liberating-telemedicine

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68) Free Talk Live, 12/12/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Localbitcoins Trader Going to Prison :: Selling Virtual Goods :: Callers Scared? :: Gamers Mad About Star Wars Battlefront 2 :: Loot Boxes and Gambling :: Money and Gaming :: Murder of Daniel Shaver :: Police Discretion :: Tether :: Coffee Shop Expectations :: ACLU Sues Over Border Patrol Checkpoints :: HOSTS — Ian, Johnson, Will.” [various formats] (12/12/17)

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

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69) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 685
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“Scott [Horton] is by far my favorite guest. That’s why he’s a repeat guest on the show. Today we’re going to discuss everything from Isreal to North Korea, and it’s going to challenge your views and open your eyes.” [various formats] (12/12/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/685-the-great-scott-horton/

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70) The Tom Woods Show, episode 1058
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Christopher Snowdon of London’s Institute of Economic Affairs makes the case against paternalistic meddling in individual decisions.” [various formats] (12/12/17)

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1058-killjoys-a-critique-of-the-nanny-state/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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