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

Volume XV, Issue #3,867
Monday, December 18th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails
2) Pakistan: Suicide bombers attack church, killing nine
3) Russia: Kremlin says US tip-off helped halt terrorist attack
4) Erdogan: Turkey will open embassy to Palestine in east Jerusalem
5) Spain: Regime whiners complain about Assange putting spotlight on Catalonia oppression
6) UK: Amazon Prime could face investigation over delivery complaints
7) Three astronauts take off for International Space Station
8) Austria: “Freedom Party” wins key posts in new government
9) Tillerson: All options, except peace and the US minding its own business, on table to vis a vis North Korea
10) UN Security Council mulls call for US Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn
11) India: Call to speed up child rape executions
12) GA: Theme park offers free tickets for eating crickets
13) NV: Kihuen won’t seek re-election amid sexual harassment claims
14) US State Department says it has begun tracking blackout incidents related to Mexican booze
15) Plan to forbid words at FDA withdrawn after report of new CDC policy draws outrage
16) Uber used undercover agents, court letter says
17) MA: State regulations to allow smoking weed at yoga studios & movie theaters
18) Canada: Pharma billionaire and wife reportedly found hanging from railing in their mansion
19) IA: Free farmhouse, but buyer must move it off owners’ land
20) Former Black Caucus fellow alleges sexual harassment

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Unplugging the Doomsday Machine
22) A crowdfunding proposal: UFOs deserve better and more public investigation
23) Federal Bureau of Injustice
24) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 3, part 4
25) Trump & Co.’s vile anti-immigrationism
26) Ending Net Neutrality will save the Internet, not destroy it
27) No one wants literary fiction therefore everyone must pay more for literary fiction
28) The danger of reading too much into Alabama’s special election
29) What’s not happening with Mr. Jones
30) Inflation v deflation — state finances
31) The economics, and ethics, of Bitcoin
32) Trump’s [sic] tax plan: Why many middle-class Republicans support it
33) All I want for Christmas is the end to unnecessary war
34) An open letter to crypto-wealthy libertarians, voluntarists, and anarchists
35) Funny business
36) Socialism & the religion of theft
37) Now, a different clash of civilizations
38) The national security state and JFK, part 2
39) Stalkers in blue
40) What both sides are missing about Net Neutrality
41) It’s time to rethink education, part 3
42) No joking matter
43) Trump’s deregulation binge
44) A giant puffing sound
45) Free trade agreements v unilateral free trade
46) Masterpiece Cakeshop: Are we free to disagree?
47) Why Trump’s resignation won’t prevent another badly behaved, power-hungry president
48) Protectionism is immoral
49) Why do economists disagree?

The Sound and the Fury:

50) Free Talk Live, 12/16/17
51) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 134
52) The Scott Horton Show, 12/15/17
53) Felony Friday, episode 102
54) Everything Voluntary Podcast, episode 100
55) In The Tank Podcast, episode 119
56) spiked podcast, 12/15/17
57) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/16/17
58) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 218
59) Anarcho Agenda, episode 48

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

1) Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails
Source: Politico

“A lawyer for President Donald Trump’s transition team is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of unlawfully obtaining tens of thousands of private emails during its investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election. Kory Langhofer, an Arizona-based attorney representing Trump for America, spelled out the complaint in a seven-page letter sent Saturday to the main House and Senate oversight committees where he raises potential violations of attorney-client privilege and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful search and seizure. … Mueller spokesman Peter Carr defended the special counsel’s work in a statement issued just past midnight on Sunday, several hours after this story first posted. ‘When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,’ he said.” (12/17/17)

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/16/mueller-trump-transition-emails-lawyer-299577

—–

2) Pakistan: Suicide bombers attack church, killing nine
Source: Chicago Tribune

“Two suicide bombers struck a church in Pakistani on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding more than 50 others, authorities said, in the first attack on a church claimed by the country’s Islamic State group affiliate. Hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas when the bombers appeared in the city of Quetta and clashed with security forces. One assailant was killed at the church entrance. The other made it inside, said Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province. … The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying two ‘plungers’ from their group had stormed the church, without providing further details.” (12/17/17)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-pakistan-church-suicide-bombing-20171217-story.html

—–

3) Russia: Kremlin says US tip-off helped halt terrorist attack
Source: Reuters

“Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for a tip-off that helped prevent a terrorist bomb attack on a cathedral in the Russia city of St Petersburg, the Kremlin said. Information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) allowed Russian law-enforcement agencies to arrest the would-be attackers before they could carry out their plan, the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its Internet site. A senior Trump administration official confirmed Trump and Putin had spoken on Sunday. However, there was no immediate confirmation from U.S. authorities that they had shared the intelligence with Russian officials.” (12/17/17)

https://in.reuters.com/article/russia-usa-intelligence/kremlin-says-u-s-tip-off-helped-russia-halt-terrorist-attack-idINKBN1EB0NI

—–

4) Erdogan: Turkey will open embassy to Palestine in east Jerusalem
Source: The Hill

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said his nation plans to open an embassy in east Jerusalem, a move that follows the United States’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. … Erdogan’s statement comes after he and other Muslim world leaders during a summit in Istanbul last week slammed the United States’s announcement about Jerusalem. Erdogan at the summit reportedly called on countries to officially accept that Jerusalem is ‘the occupied capital of Palestine.’ President Trump earlier this month said the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, bucking years of precedent by the international community.” (12/17/17)

http://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/365302-turkey-will-open-embassy-in-east-jerusalem

—–

5) Spain: Regime whiners complain about Assange putting spotlight on Catalonia oppression
Source: Sky News [UK]

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been told to keep out of Catalonia’s separatist crisis. Mr Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, has angered Spain’s government by using his Twitter account to post messages of support for Catalan independence and accuse Madrid of ‘repression.’ Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis has said there were signs that Mr Assange was attempting to ‘interfere and manipulate,’ following him meeting with a prominent Catalan pro-independence figure. … Ecuador’s foreign ministry revealed last month that it had told Mr Assange to avoid making statements ‘that could affect Ecuador’s international relations’ with Spain and other countries.” (12/17/17)

https://news.sky.com/story/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-told-to-keep-out-of-catalonia-crisis-11175312

—–

6) UK: Amazon Prime could face investigation over delivery complaints
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Amazon could face an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority over complaints that its premium service is failing to deliver on time in the run-up to Christmas. Amazon Prime claims to offer ‘unlimited one-day delivery’ but customers have contacted the advertising regulator to say it is falling short of what is promised. … Information elsewhere on the site says: ‘Your order will be dispatched with the intention that it’s delivered one day after dispatch.’ It advises customers to contact customer services if they do not receive a parcel by the estimated delivery date.” [editor’s note: Presumably there’s legalese somewhere explaining that outside delivery services may not deliver in a timely manner. The one time I had a late delivery from Amazon that seemed to merit complaint, I received an apology and a free month of Prime – TLK] (12/17/17)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/17/amazon-prime-investigation-delivery-complaints

—–

7) Three astronauts take off for International Space Station
Source: Time

“A capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, Japan and the United States has blasted off for a two-day trip to the International Space Station. The Soyuz capsule … launched at 1:23 p.m. (0723 GMT; 2:23 a.m. EST) Sunday from Russia’s manned space-launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It entered orbit nine minutes later. … The capsule is to dock on Tuesday with the orbiting space laboratory.” (12/17/17)

http://time.com/5068001/astronauts-international-space-station/

—–

8) Austria: “Freedom Party” wins key posts in new government
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The far-right Freedom Party has secured the key posts of foreign, interior and defence in Austria’s new coalition government for its nominees. Governing with the conservative People’s Party, the move makes Austria the only country in Western Europe to have a far-right party in power. Austria’s president approved the new coalition on Saturday, two months after inconclusive elections. People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz, 31, will be Austria’s new chancellor. He will become the world’s youngest head of government.” (12/16/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42379985

—–

9) Tillerson: All options, except peace and the US minding its own business, on table to vis a vis North Korea
Source: Raw Story

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities are a direct threat to the United States, and Washington ‘will use all necessary measures’ to defend itself against such aggression. ‘In the face of such a threat, inaction is unacceptable for any nation,’ Tillerson said. ‘We have been clear that all options remain on the table in the defense of our nation,’ the secretary told a packed chamber of the U.N. Security Council in New York. ‘But we do not seek, nor do we want, war with North Korea.’ Tillerson spoke at a meeting on North Korea’s proliferation convened by Japan, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency this month. ‘The United States will use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression, but our hope remains that diplomacy will produce a resolution,’ Tillerson added.” (12/16/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/rex-tillerson-all-options-on-table-to-contain-north-korea

—–

10) UN Security Council mulls call for US Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn
Source: Reuters

“The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would insist any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital. The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, which was circulated to the 15-member council on Saturday and seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support but will likely be vetoed by Washington. The council could vote early next week, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China to pass. ” (12/16/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-un/u-n-council-mulls-call-for-u-s-jerusalem-decision-to-be-withdrawn-idUSKBN1EA0NW

—–

11) India: Call to speed up child rape executions
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Rapists of children should be executed within six months of their crime, a leading advocate for women’s rights in India has demanded. Swati Maliwal made the appeal in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the brutal gang rape and murder of student Jyoti Singh, 23, whose death sparked national protests. ‘Nothing has changed in the past five years,’ Ms Maliwal, chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, told the BBC. ‘Delhi is still the rape capital. Last month, there was a brutal gang-rape of a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, and the gang-rape of a seven-year-old, and another one-and-a-half-year-old girl was raped.’ On average, she said, three girls and six women were raped in the capital every day.” (12/16/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42379073

—–

12) GA: Theme park offers free tickets for eating crickets
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A Georgia theme park is offering guests a free ticket if they eat a cricket. The giveaway may bug some people. But Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta was giving away T-shirts and free admission Saturday to the first 100 guests to gobble up a roasted cricket. The challenge was meant to promote the park’s upcoming attraction called MEGABUGS! The Valdosta Daily Times reports the interactive insect attraction will open in March. Exhibits will include giant replicas of insects including a 15-foot (4.5-meter) dragonfly, a 26-foot (8-meter) hissing cockroach and a 50-foot (15-meter) millipede.” (12/15/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Georgia-theme-parks-offers-free-tickets-for-12435637.php

—–

13) NV: Kihuen won’t seek re-election amid sexual harassment claims
Source: Fox News

“Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., announced Saturday that he would not seek re-election in the wake of multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. ‘I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question,’ Kihuen said in a statement first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However, the freshman congressman added that ‘it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek re-election.’ The announcement by Kihuen, 37, came one day after the House Ethics Committee announced it had opened an investigation into the harassment claims against him. Earlier this month, a former campaign aide accused Kihuen of propositioning her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections during his 2016 campaign. This week, a lobbyist told the Nevada Independent that he touched her thighs and buttocks and made unwanted sexual advances while he was a state senator.” (12/16/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/16/dem-rep-kihuen-wont-seek-re-election-amid-sexual-harassment-claims.html

—–

14) US State Department says it has begun tracking blackout incidents related to Mexican booze
Source: USA Today

“Officials with the U.S. Department of State are now tracking reports of blackouts and injuries related to potentially tainted alcohol in Mexico and said Friday they have already received a dozen complaints. The agency has come under fire from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in recent months for ‘underplaying’ the risks to tourists traveling to Mexico and for not doing enough when U.S. citizens are injured or die while vacationing there. One U.S. senator called the department’s response to tourist troubles in Mexico ‘disingenuous.’ The announcement comes three days after the U.S. Office of Inspector General launched an inquiry into the agency’s policies and procedures for handling those cases.” (12/16/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/12/15/state-department-says-has-begun-tracking-mexico-alcohol-related-blackout-incidents/957413001

—–

15) Plan to forbid words at FDA withdrawn after report of new CDC policy draws outrage
Source: Raw Story

“The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet received or implemented a policy to ban words like ‘science-based’ or ‘transgender,’ according to an agency spokeswoman. Analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were banned from using those and five other words, including ‘fetus,’ ‘vulnerable,’ ‘entitlement,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘evidence-based,’ in their budget documents in a Thursday meeting, according to a Washington Post report on Friday. ‘We haven’t received, nor implemented, any directives with respect to the language used at FDA to describe our policy or budget issues,’ the spokeswoman said in her full response. Other agencies, including the Health and Human Services department and the National Institutes of Health did not immediately return requests for comment. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman directed inquiries to HHS. Public health groups blasted the new policy over the weekend, suggesting it would have far-reaching effects on the CDC’s work and focus.” (12/16/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/plan-to-forbid-words-at-trumps-fda-withdrawn-after-after-report-of-new-cdc-policy-draws-outrage

—–

16) Uber used undercover agents, court letter says
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Uber set up a covert unit tasked with stealing competitors’ secrets and engaging in undercover surveillance, a letter published by a US court on Friday has alleged. It is critical evidence in Uber’s legal battle with Waymo, the self-driving car company that accuses the ride-sharing firm of stealing its technology. The letter, sent by lawyers representing a former Uber employee, sparked an internal investigation when it was sent to Uber in May, but has not been made public until now. In a statement, Uber said: ‘While we haven’t substantiated all the claims in this letter (and, importantly, any related to Waymo), our new leadership has made clear that going forward we will compete honestly and fairly, on the strength of our ideas and technology.’ The allegations in the letter were made by Richard Jacobs, who worked at Uber until February this year. He left after an incident in which he felt he was unfairly demoted. Shortly afterwards, he sent the letter alleging the misconduct.” (12/16/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42376515

—–

17) MA: State regulations to allow smoking weed at yoga studios & movie theaters
Source: Smell the Truth

“Massachusetts regulators are planning to offer adults a wide variety of public areas to enjoy legal recreational marijuana. The state Cannabis Control Commission approved ‘mixed-use’ licenses this week that would allow marijuana sales and consumption in certain businesses that includes lounges, yoga studios, movie theaters, restaurants, and massage parlors, reports the AP. Under the proposed regulations, both smoking lounges and mixed-use business would only be allowed to sell single-serve portions of cannabis. And similar to rules serving alcohol, customers will not be allowed to take any marijuana products out of the premises. The plan to allow recreational use in said businesses should help reduce smoking in unauthorized public spaces, according to Cannabis Commissioner Shaleen Title.” (12/15/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/12/14/massachusetts-will-allow-smoking-weed-at-yoga-studios-movie-theaters-under-new-regulations/

—–

18) Canada: Pharma billionaire and wife reportedly found hanging from railing in their mansion
Source: Fox News

“Canadian billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were reportedly found hanging in their mansion Friday, and police said they were investigating their deaths as suspicious. Sherman, the founder of Apotex, and his wife Honey were found dead at their luxury mansion in an upscale neighborhood north of Toronto just before noon on Friday. The Toronto Sun reported first responders found the couple ‘hanging from a railing that surrounds a lap pool inside the house.’ Police have not confirmed the report.” (12/16/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/16/canadian-billionaire-and-wife-suspiciously-found-dead-in-their-mansion-police-say.html

—–

19) IA: Free farmhouse, but buyer must move it off owners’ land
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Bargain hunters beware! A four-bedroom farmhouse in southern Iowa listed online for free comes with a catch: The new owner must move the building from the current owners’ land. Roger and Linda Dolecheck wrote in a Craigslist ad that the Ringgold County home will be torn down this winter if no one takes up their offer. The Dolechecks have been trying for years to sell the house where they raised their four children, the Des Moines Register reported . ‘It needs a family to enjoy it the way ours did,’ Roger Dolecheck wrote in the ad. The 2 1/2-floor farmhouse is assessed at $52,700, even after the Dolechecks invested $150,000 in repairs.” (12/15/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Farmhouse-for-free-but-buyer-must-move-it-off-12433398.php

—–

20) Former Black Caucus fellow alleges sexual harassment
Source: USA Today

“A former fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Friday accused Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., of harassing her in 2013. Scott immediately denied the allegations. M. Reese Everson said she was wrongfully terminated after the alleged harassment, in the latest charge of sexual misconduct leveled against a member of Congress. ‘I was propositioned to have a sexual relationship with my boss that I did not want,’ she said at a news conference in a Washington suburb. ‘I was retaliated against, I was wrongfully terminated and I was blackballed,’ Everson said. In a statement, the 70-year-old Scott immediately denied the accusations: ‘I absolutely deny this allegation of misconduct. I have never sexually harassed anyone in my 25 years of service.’ He said Everson is backed by a ‘Republican operative known for dabbling in outlandish conspiracy theories.’” (12/16/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/15/former-black-caucus-fellow-alleges-sexual-harassment-strongly-denied-lawmaker/955214001

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

21) Unplugging the Doomsday Machine
Source: Reason
by Lucy Steigerwald

“When he last spoke with Reason in 1973, Daniel Ellsberg was on trial for leaking the Pentagon Papers. The Harvard-educated military analyst at the RAND Corporation had long wrestled with many of the moral quandaries of war, but was a consummate Washington insider up until the moment he decided to release a classified Department of Defense study of the Vietnam War, with its damning proof that President Lyndon Johnson had misled Congress and the public about the conflict. … Today, Ellsberg is the 86-year-old elder statesmen of whistleblowing. He calls Edward Snowden ‘a hero of mine.’ In return, Snowden has said he was following in Ellsberg’s footsteps when he leaked his own cache of secret government documents in 2013. Reason spoke with Ellsberg by phone in October about his new book, his belief that nobody needs more nuclear weapons than Kim Jong Un has, and why the Cold War’s apocalyptic threats still hang over us.” (for publication 01/18)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/17/unplugging-the-doomsday-machin

—–

22) A crowdfunding proposal: UFOs deserve better and more public investigation
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The nature of the UFO phenomenon is such that investigations of it shouldn’t be entrusted to any single government, or for that matter to government at all. On the other hand, most current private sector investigations seem at first blush to labor under heavy confirmation bias. That is, those who are interested in investigating UFOs either want or don’t want them to be alien spacecraft and therefore find reasons to conclude that that’s what they are or aren’t. It seems to me that UFO research is the perfect endeavor for a respected university to get into using ‘crowdfunding’ — asking the general public to contribute, then spending the money to hire qualified researchers from applicable fields (meteorology, aerospace engineering, etc.) who evince no agendas beyond dogged pursuit of the truth, and putting them to work.” (12/17/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12340

—–

23) Federal Bureau of Injustice
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“Did you know that the longest serving Director of the FBI, from 1924 to 1972, a grand total of 48 years, was a crook? That’s right! U.S. Presidents were afraid to fire this despicable human being during all that time because he used his considerable bureaucratic power to amass secret files on them as well as on hundreds of other prominent individuals for purposes of coercion and blackmail. And now Americans have to show for it a massive tribute to him, in Washington D.C. — the J. Edgar Hoover Building — headquarters of the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Injustice. Fast forward to modern day FBI history and we see that things haven’t changed much.” (12/17/17)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2017/12/federal-bureau-of-injustice.html

—–

24) The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 3, part 4
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency (CBDC) is a national currency that issues from a central bank. It is the crypto counterpart to a physical currency, such as the U.S. dollar. It is also a bitter irony. A monetary wildcat (crypto) meant to undermine the world’s financial system (central banks) is being caged and tamed to serve the status quo. At least, the status quo is trying. Nations are actively exploring the development of CBDCs. Russia plans to develop the cryptoruble. Japan wants the J-coin. The Bank of Canada released a thirty-page paper arguing for its own CBDC. The Federal Reserve has finally admitted to considering a U.S. crypto. China, the United Kingdom, India … the list of interested nations scrolls on. CBDCs may seem to parallel free-market digital currencies, but they are actually anti-crypto; they are the antithesis of Bitcoin.” (12/16/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/the-satoshi-revolution-chapter-3-do-you-want-a-government-fiat-crypto-part-4/

—–

25) Trump & Co.’s vile anti-immigrationism
Source: The Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna displayed an odious hostility to liberty at a press briefing this week when he tried to associate immigration with terrorism. ‘If you have immigrant visa programs where the eligibility criteria are low to nonexistent or even an outright lottery,’ Cissna, ‘you’re not selecting for the types of people that we [sic] want in this country, according to criteria, that will ensure their success in our nation. That will ensure that they will assimilate well.’ I can think of one type of person I’d rather not have in the country — people like Cissna.” (12/15/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/daily-featured-articles/tgif-trump-co-s-vile-anti-immigrationism/

—–

26) Ending Net Neutrality will save the Internet, not destroy it
Source: Fox News Forum
by Jesse Hathaway & Justin Haskins

“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the right move Thursday when it undid an Obama-era power grab commonly referred to as ‘net neutrality,’ ending the agency’s micro-management of the internet. The FCC action benefits consumers and ensures that the internet will be free from burdensome government control. In a 3-2 vote, the FCC approved the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The order reverses a decision made by the Obama administration to regulate internet service providers (ISPs) under the Telecommunications Act of 1934 — a law intended to establish rules for phone and local electric companies enacted decades before development of the internet. Although the internet operated effectively and efficiently without net neutrality, Obama’s FCC in 2015 suddenly and inexplicably determined a radical transformation was required to ‘save’ it. The meaning and scope of net neutrality has been muddied over the past two years because information technology experts use the term very differently than political activists and many in the media do.” (12/16/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/16/ending-net-neutrality-will-save-internet-not-destroy-it.html

—–

27) No one wants literary fiction therefore everyone must pay more for literary fiction
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“It is not quite true that no one wants literary fiction any more. Rather, that fewer people seem to do so and are willing to pay less money for it as well. But the answer we’re told we must implement is indeed as in that headline — therefore everyone must pay more for literary fiction. And they do mean everyone, the dustman must be taxed so that the creative studies graduate can write for the Duke to read. As regular readers know we do not believe that all should be taxed so that the well off gain their pleasures — let them pay for themselves.” (12/17/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/no-one-wants-literary-fiction-therefore-everyone-must-pay-more-for-literary-fiction

—–

28) The danger of reading too much into Alabama’s special election
Source: The New Republic
by Elizabeth Drew

“Two things that the political press excels at are intensive (I would say excessive) speculation about who will win a particular race, and overconcluding about its result. (Paying no attention to the first is an excellent way to save time.) Yet while speculation is harmless (if people lay money on the basis of it, that’s their problem), overconcluding can lead to unwarranted expectations and major disappointments — even to a sense that the election must have been stolen or rigged, a disillusionment with politics. Which could then lead to non-participation, which as we’ve seen can tip a race in a certain direction. While the celebrating of the remarkable victory of Doug Jones over Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions was certainly warranted, overconcluding is rampant.” (12/15/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146315/danger-reading-much-alabamas-special-election

—–

29) What’s not happening with Mr. Jones
Source: CounterPunch
by Paul Street

“I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that I’m relieved that the Christian fascist Alabama superfreak Roy Moore won’t be ascending into the United States Senate next year. And that I enjoyed seeing the malevolent gangster-capitalist Donald Trump (‘Boss Tweet’), the socio-pathological Republican Party, the proto-fascist Steve Bannon, and the theocratic and alt-rights smacked down (mainly by Black voters) in one of the reddest of the nation’s red states. Still, how excited do progressives really want to get about Doug Jones'[s] special election victory over a candidate who was badly tarred with accusations of child molestation — a despicable and clownish predator whose pursuit of teenage girls in his 30s led to him being banned from a shopping mall? We should beware here of ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations.’” (12/15/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/15/whats-not-happening-with-mr-jones/

—–

30) Inflation v deflation — state finances
Source: Cobden Centre
by Alasdair MacLeod

“There is a general belief, and that is all it is, that state finances fare better in an inflationary environment than a deflationary one. This perception arises from the transfer of wealth from lenders to the state through a devaluation of the currency, which occurs with monetary inflation, compared with the transfer of wealth from the state to its creditors through deflation. The effect is undoubtedly true, even though it is played down by governments, but it ignores what happens to continuing government obligations and finances.” (12/15/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/12/inflation-v-deflation-state-finances/

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31) The economics, and ethics, of Bitcoin
Source: Acton Institute
by Philip Booth

“There is much talk of a ‘Bitcoin bubble.’ However, it is not clear that the idea of digital currencies is widely understood. What are they? And why might their prices vary? How should a person of faith look at the moral issues Bitcoin raises? Ethical questions might be raised about the soaring price of something that seems to have no intrinsic value.” [editor’s note: There’s no such thing as “intrinsic value.” Things are valuable because, and only because, people subjectively value them. Scarcity or particular utilities might drive those subjective valuations, but it is still human desires that are their basis – TLK] (12/15/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/12/15/economics-and-ethics-bitcoin

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32) Trump’s [sic] tax plan: Why many middle-class Republicans support it
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Christa Case Bryant

“Republican leaders promised tax reform would streamline things so much that 9 out of 10 Americans could file their taxes on a postcard. It’s not that simple for David Fraser. He has four children, four rental houses, a small business, and no idea how the tax bill will shake out for him and his family. But living in Illinois, which has high income and property taxes, he has the sense he’s not going to come out on top. ‘We may finally be forced to move out of state. This hurts tremendously. I am waiting for [Congress’s] final bill before I meet with my CPA to assess the potential damage,’ he says. ‘That being said, I still think the corporate rate cut is justified.’ From policy analysts to journalists, many have criticized President Trump’s tax bill as hurtful to middle-class Americans, and a betrayal of his populist campaign promises — particularly since tax cuts for individuals are set to expire after 2025.” [editor’s note: One more time, there is no “Trump tax plan;” there is a House version of one, and a Senate version. All Trump gets to do is sign or veto it; the days of Presidents making laws are fortunately coming to an end (also, the current version of the bill does NOT eliminate the SALT deduction, even if it should – SAT] [additional editor’s note: Someone forgot to tell Trump that he doesn’t have a tax plan, Steve — could you let him know so he’ll quit flogging it? – TLK] (12/15/17)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1215/Trump-s-tax-plan-Why-many-middle-class-Republicans-support-it

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33) All I want for Christmas is the end to unnecessary war
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Erik Goepner

“All I want for Christmas is for the US to only fight the wars it has to and to stay out of all the others. The lives of young Americans are too high a price to pay for wars driven by threat inflation, ego, or foolhardy social experiments.” (12/15/17)

https://fee.org/articles/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-the-end-to-unnecessary-war/

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34) An open letter to crypto-wealthy libertarians, voluntarists, and anarchists
Source: Free Keene
by Ian Freeman

“With $1 trillion market cap for all cryptocurrency on the horizon, it’s pretty clear a bunch of voluntarist/anarchists/libertarians have access to unprecedented wealth — if not now, very soon. If achieving liberty in your lifetime is important to you and you have now found yourself with, or will very soon (if the prices keep rising) have access to more wealth than you have ever had access to, or could have imagined having, now is the time that you should seriously consider a couple of options …” (12/16/17)

https://freekeene.com/2017/12/16/an-open-letter-to-crypto-wealthy-libertarians-voluntarists-and-anarchists/

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35) Funny business
Source: Strike The Root
by Paul Hein

“It’s safe to say that, as businesses go, Uncle Sam’s (NOT Sam’s Club!) is, by far, the biggest. It is also, by far, the strangest. We all deal with businesses every day, and without exception, they conduct themselves differently from Uncle. For instance: You can buy what you want, when you want it. If you want a new pair of socks, you can go to any number of stores and buy the pair that suits you, any time the store is open, which is most of the time — perhaps even in the evening. If the pair you select is more expensive than you think it should be, you can try another store. You can order the socks online, without leaving your home, in your underwear, at 3:00 a.m., if you wish. Not so with Uncle’s operation.” (12/15/17)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/funny-business

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36) Socialism & the religion of theft
Source: Mises UK
by Andy Duncan

“There is property and theft. We all recognise these related conditions. And then there is freedom as opposed to slavery. And we all recognise the differences here too. At least when they’re made explicit to us. All of us know what these things are. And all of us at least understand these concepts. What is really strange is that except under one peculiar circumstance, even professed socialists recognise and live under these conditions of natural law. For example, if you were to go up to a socialist, at some fancy globalist conference, and simply take his or her smart phone, merely because it looked nice, then there would be uproar. ‘That’s my phone!’ they would exclaim. … And then we come to that special exception. That magical exception that drives all of human conflict. There exists a ‘special’ group of people. From where they derive their special status is never clearly explained and is never allowed to be challenged. But the main special right they think they enjoy is to take other people’s stuff, without permission, to better enjoy their own lives.” (12/16/17)

https://misesuk.org/2017/12/16/socialism-the-religion-of-theft/

—–

37) Now, a different clash of civilizations
Source: Reuters
by John Lloyd

“‘The Darkest Hour,’ a film which emphasizes the courage and iron will of Winston Churchill through the first weeks of the Second World War, is drawing audiences and praise on its release in North America. It shows new generations that this man (mocked and marginalized in the 1930s by his party) was an inspirational leader during those bleak days, and beyond. Yet the acclaimed war-time prime minister was also an imperialist and a racist. Churchill was not out of step with his time. It was widely accepted in the first half of the 20th century that the world was composed of strata of humanity which could be ranked according to their quality. That view, the crudest misreading of Charles Darwin, had seemed, at least in the West, to have died, or at least been consigned to the fringes of political and intellectual life. But it hasn’t.” (12/16/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-civilizations-commentary/commentary-now-a-different-clash-of-civilizations-idUSKBN1E923J

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38) The national security state and JFK, part 2
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to pave the way for preventing Allende from coming to power or for a coup by creating as much economic misery and suffering as possible. His words to the CIA were ‘Make the economy scream.’ And that’s precisely what the CIA did. … there was still considerable resistance to a coup within the Chilean military. The U.S. national-security establishment was finally able to overcome that resistance with one of the most fascinating, important, and revealing arguments in the history of the United States. What the Pentagon and the CIA told their military-intelligence counterparts in Chile was this: When the president of a country is threatening national security with his policies and actions, it is the solemn duty of the national-security establishment to save the country by removing him from office. Now, think about that for a minute.” (12/15/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/national-security-state-jfk-part-2/

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39) Stalkers in blue
Source: The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill

“Every week, sometimes more than once per week, I share news reports of cops molesting, sexually harassing, sexually assaulting and even raping women and teen girls, and sometimes even men, boys or children. These reports appear on average every five days, but that’s only counting the incidents which are both reported and rise to the level of a crime; most rapes, molestations and other sexual misbehavior by cops falls short of an actual crime, and most of the crimes are not reported because most of the victims are wise enough to understand that their lives will be overturned and their affairs pried into by ‘investigators’ with very little chance of the rapist cop suffering even the slightest consequences (unless you call a paid vacation a ‘consequence’).” (12/15/17)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/stalkers-in-blue/

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40) What both sides are missing about Net Neutrality
Source: The Antimedia
by Derrick Broze

“Perhaps it’s time we focus on creating a truly decentralized internet that has no single point of failure or control. While the majority of internet users opt for the ‘mainstream’ world wide web and communication systems, there are obvious reasons to pursue open source, decentralized solutions. The old systems rely on centralized networks and authorities. By using, supporting, and creating decentralized peer-to-peer networks, we help maintain the internet as a safe and secure place to share information and educate ourselves. What exactly would a decentralized internet look like? New ventures like MaidSafe, Nexus Earth, and the OpenNic Project are just a few of the examples of efforts that are beginning to stretch the boundaries of how we access the internet.” (12/16/17)

http://theantimedia.org/what-both-sides-missing-net-neutrality

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41) It’s time to rethink education, part 3
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“Over the next ten years, I suspect the concept of a college education will be questioned to such an extent, and by so many people, that all assumptions we currently hold dear will be discarded. The spark for this momentous shift will start, as is so often the case, with simple economics. Too many young people have taken on too much debt to get jobs that didn’t require this education they were told they needed. We quite literally have an entire generation that understands this intimately, and this understanding will shape the way they see college, and education in general, as they raise kids of their own.” (12/15/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/12/15/its-time-to-rethink-education-part-3-the-future-of-college/

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42) No joking matter
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“In lieu of Orwell’s telescreen in every room, modern Internet technology enables repressive governments to punish citizens for thoughtcrime that becomes app-speech crime. If the Chinese government can spy on you, it will. And penalize you for remarks it deems offensive to the dignity of the state. Because of such repression, blogger Stephen Green observes that ‘strong encryption is everybody’s friend — except the tyrant’s.’ Agreed. Encryption is an important line of defense. But some societies require this more than others, because harmless, incidental communications are not equally attacked by government, from country to country. Which means that encryption is actually a second line of defense. The first is a cultural and political tradition respecting individual rights.” (12/15/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/15/no-joking-matter/

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43) Trump’s deregulation binge
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“With all that was going on last week, maybe you missed this: President Trump has cut 22 regulations for every new one put on the books over the last year. It’s a big reason why the economy is perking up. For fiscal 2017, major U.S. government agencies put out some 67 actions to deregulate the economy. Meanwhile, they issued just three new major rules. Trump vowed before entering office to cut two rules for each new one imposed, so mission accomplished, big time. ‘The never-ending growth of red tape in America has come to a sudden, screeching and beautiful halt,’ Trump said on Thursday, as he released the federal government’s twice-a-year Unified Agenda for regulation. The cost savings so far from the effort: Some $8.1 billion in net federal regulatory costs. But the impact on the larger economy is far more significant.” (12/15/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/trumps-deregulation-binge/

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44) A giant puffing sound
Source: Cato Institute
by Simon Lester

“Ross Perot warned of a ‘giant sucking sound’ when the original NAFTA was signed, but the new NAFTA being negotiated right now may coincide with a giant puffing sound. Marijuana legalization efforts in both Canada and the United States (and Mexico for medical marijuana) will, as with most goods and services these days, become intertwined with complex trade agreement rules on public health, investment, intellectual property and state-owned enterprises. So will the North American Free Trade Agreement bring us free trade in cannabis? Or will the negotiators kill this buzz by carefully drafting language that excludes marijuana products from the trading system?” (12/15/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/giant-puffing-sound

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45) Free trade agreements v unilateral free trade
Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“The current renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) raises two sorts of questions. First, is NAFTA a free trade agreement? Will it be a free trade agreement after it is renegotiated? Second, do we need free trade agreements to have free trade? (Addressing the second question may answer some of the reader comments on my recent post about comparative advantage.) I am using ‘free trade agreements’ loosely to include all forms of reciprocity, that is, situations where one country opens its borders to another one only if the latter reciprocates.” (12/15/17)

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

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46) Masterpiece Cakeshop: Are we free to disagree?
Source: spiked
by Paul Coleman

“The facts of the case are straightforward. In 2012, two men asked Jack to design a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage. Jack believes marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman, and for reasons of conscience, he could not design a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage. Jack told the couple he would happily sell them anything in his shop, or create a custom cake for them for another occasion. This nuance is important and often misreported in the media. Jack serves all customers; he does not want to be forced to create all messages. However, this distinction was lost on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which ordered Jack to design wedding cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages (if he continues to create any wedding cakes), teach his staff why he was wrong, and file quarterly reports with the government for two years, informing them if he declines an order and explaining the reasons why. Notably, the same Civil Rights Commission held that other cake artists in Colorado could lawfully refuse to design cakes with messages opposed to same-sex marriage.” (12/15/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/masterpiece-cakeshop-are-we-free-to-disagree/

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47) Why Trump’s resignation won’t prevent another badly behaved, power-hungry president
Source: Newsweek
by Nicholas Sarwark & Whitney Bilyeu

“Should President Donald Trump resign over allegations of sexual misconduct? Yes, if they’re true, and his party should hold him accountable. But the increased calls for Trump’s resignation illustrate a far larger implication about government abuse of power. Trump’s uncivil behavior certainly sets a bad example. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he was famously caught on tape not just admitting, but bragging about, having gotten away with inappropriate sexual behavior, affording some veracity to the recent allegations by women who have come forward to describe his having forcibly kissed or groped them. Republicans should denounce him for that. … So what can be done? We can keep striving to elect only good people, but it’s impossible to guarantee respectable, fair behavior from our elected and appointed officials, who, like the rest of us, are imperfect. What we can do is eliminate the incentives.” (12/15/17)

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-resignation-wont-prevent-next-badly-behaved-power-hungry-president-749452

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48) Protectionism is immoral
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Perhaps the greatest contribution that economics makes to the analysis of trade is that it shows that many more humans than are seen by protectionists are affected by trade. It’s the economist who points out that, in addition to those humans in the domestic economy whose jobs are protected by tariffs, there are humans in the domestic economy whose jobs are destroyed by tariffs. It’s the economist who points out that the artificial hike in incomes created by tariffs for some humans in the domestic economy occurs only because other humans in the domestic economy suffer a larger, artificial cut in incomes. And it’s the economist who understands better than anyone else that the term ‘human costs’ is ridiculously redundant: all costs are borne by humans. All that said, my support, ultimately, for free trade is not based on economics. It’s based on ethics.” (12/16/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/protectionism-is-immoral.html

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49) Why do economists disagree?
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Leland B Yeager

“The influence of economics suffers from the idea that economists disagree to the point of uselessness. George Bernard Shaw supposedly complained that ‘if all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.’ A similar old adage says that if you ask the advice of five economists, you will get five different answers, or, if Keynes is one of the five, six answers. Such talk may be fun, but it is unfair. ‘The first lesson of economics,’ said Thomas Sowell, ‘is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.’ … Economists agree on the basics of their subject; disagreement on policy has other sources.” (12/15/17)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1790

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

50) Free Talk Live, 12/16/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Pro Wrestler Actor the Rock to Run for US President? :: Protestors Prosecuted for Being There While Others Committed Illegal Acts :: Journalistic Quality :: News Media :: Lady Illegally Targeted By Police for Bringing Sign to Rally :: Melania KGB Agent? :: Reality Subjective :: Libertarian Activist Conflict :: Justice System Failure :: US and Relative Freedom :: Solar Subsidies :: Power Deregulation :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/16/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-16

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51) Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 134
Source: Johnny Rocket Launch Pad

“So just buckle up, as Johnny interviews Joshua Smith who is running for Libertarian National Chair in 2018!” [various formats] (12/15/17)

http://jrlp.podbean.com/e/%E2%80%8Bjohnny-rocket-launch-pad-episode-134-the-hard-cider-interview-with-lnc-chair-candidate-joshua-smith/

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52) The Scott Horton Show, 12/15/17
Source: Libertarian Institute

“Will Porter makes his debut on the Scott Horton Show to discuss his article for the Libertarian Institute, ‘Yemen’s Silent Numbers: Official Death Count Masks War’s Toll on Civilians.’ Porter explains the numerous problems with the OHCHR’s civilian death count and why the estimates likely don’t reflect near the total number of civilians whose lives have been lost as a result of the war.” [various formats] (12/15/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/12-15-17-will-porter-undercounted-civilian-deaths-yemen/

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53) Felony Friday, episode 102
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On today’s episode of Felony Friday Aaron David Seidel joins host John Odermatt to share why he’s fighting for Ohio Governor John Kasich to grant him a full pardon. In August of 2004 Aaron, at 18 years old, was convicted of one count of attempted murder, for the shooting of his then step-father.” [various formats] (12/15/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/15/felon-convicted-attempted-murder-petitions-gov-kasich-pardon/

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54) Everything Voluntary Podcast, episode 100
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Episode 100 welcomes Chantel Quick to the podcast for a chat with Skyler about her article titled, ‘Dear Parents: 6 Things to Remember This Holiday Season.’ Topics include: Chantel’s journey to peaceful parenting, blogging at EarthBasedMom.com, self-directed living, bribing kids with gifts, controlling and manipulating children, lying to kids, use of the Santa myth, forcing affection with relatives, and more.” [various formats] (12/15/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/dont-let-bad-parenting-ruin-holiday-56m-episode-100

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55) In The Tank Podcast, episode 119
Source: Heartland Institute

“John Nothdurft and Donny Kendal present episode #119 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. … Donny starts off the podcast telling John about some facts he recently learned about the relationship between California fires and non-native eucalyptus trees.” [Flash audio] (12/15/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/in-the-tank-ep119-eucalyptus-trees-tn-pork-report-bail-reform-and-the-life-of-an-alarmist/

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56) spiked podcast, 12/15/17
Source: spiked

“On this week’s spiked podcast: Paul Embery on the new threats to Brexit, Nathalie Rothschild on anti-Semitism in Sweden, and Emily Yoffe on why the #MeToo movement has gone too far.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/15/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/labour-has-turned-against-working-class-leavers/

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57) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/16/17
Source: Cato Institute

“With the Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates at this week’s FOMC meeting, another step will be have been taken in the Fed’s ‘Normalization’ plan. The Fed will, however, enter 2018 facing many more issues. Tate Lacey comments.” [various formats] (12/16/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/federal-reserves-unresolved-questions

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58) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 218
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Michael Strong joins us this week to talk about the role that capitalism and social entrepreneurship play in alleviating global poverty.” [various formats] (12/15/17)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/how-conscious-capitalism-can-solve-global-poverty

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59) Anarcho Agenda, episode 48
Source: Anarcho Agenda

“Discussing wages, and why Facebook isn’t a good place to have an argument.” [various formats] (12/15/17)

http://anarchoagenda.libsyn.com/anarcho-agenda-ep-48-2017-12-15

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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