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

Volume XV, Issue #3,868
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Trump squats and passes a steaming pile of economic nonsense and jingoism, calls it a “national security strategy”
2) Chinese warplanes play same game with South Korea that US forces play with North
3) Myanmar: Regime says case against Reuters journalists can proceed
4) Pence delays trip to Middle East for tax vote and amid uproar over Jerusalem decision
5) South Africa: Ramaphosa wins ANC leadership election
6) US judge Alex Kozinski resigns for sexual misconduct
7) Spain: Vandals turn giant nativity scene into an orgy
8) MD: DeVos gives commencement speech amid protests in Baltimore
9) Trump judge pick who drew ridicule after hearing withdraws
10) McCain returns to Arizona, will miss vote on tax bill
11) Democratic senator seeks audit of EPA chief’s trip to Morocco
12) WA: At least six dead after Amtrak train derails along new, $181 million rail corridor
13) ESPN president John Skipper resigns citing substance addiction
14) Study: Older adults’ forgetfulness tied to faulty brain rhythms in sleep
15) GOP Senators: Corker did not add provision to tax bill
16) Trump predicts exoneration in Russia investigation as allies fear a “meltdown”
17) VA: Charlottesville police chief retiring “effective immediately”
18) Dog bites man: Schumer wants federal surveillance state extended to New York’s subways
19) Origin of life could lie within Mars’s crust
20) The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook
21) NC: Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will sell team amid sexual misconduct allegations
22) AK: Sarah Palin’s son arrested on domestic violence claims
23) Honduras: OAS calls for new election after president wins re-election
24) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are being sued over financial disclosure forms
25) Chile: Former president Sebastian Pinera wins runoff vote

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Mueller makes reckless move with seizure of Trump emails
27) There’s a due process problem with homeschool regulations
28) Top spook looks back to 2016
29) Who to believe on Washington’s Korea policy, Tillerson or Trump?
30) Optimality — the mainstream economist’s Holy Grail
31) Are we to give away our freedom?
32) Some comments on tax incidence
33) It’s about time! Restoring Internet freedom
34) God, Brexit, and EUtopia, part 3
35) Parents must not be afraid to let their children grow up
36) Why America’s law enforcement empire resembles secret police in a dictatorship
37) A better way to give Trump more judgeships to fill
38) The Republicans’ Leninist respect for democracy
39) Trump used an FBI graduation ceremony to call for greater police militarization
40) Book review: Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
41) Here’s why Trump doesn’t need to fire Mueller
42) Why complain about capitalists subsidising care homes?
43) The irrelevance of Trump’s national security strategy
44) Just say “yes” to prosperity
45) How Trump move on Jerusalem throws a lifeline to Muslim Brotherhood
46) Technology’s mixed blessing
47) Bitcoin fees have become infeasible
48) Health care mergers benefit patients
49) Why the stock market is rising
50) A very Breitbart Christmas
51) Will Net Neutrality zealots apologize when Internet fails to crash & burn?
52) The Strzok texts: FBI plotted to unseat Trump before election
53) The Republican Party doesn’t own Christian conservatives
54) America’s Great Depression and Austrian business cycle theory
55) The online manipulation of democracy

The Sound and the Fury:

56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 132
57) Reason Podcast, 12/18/17
58) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 689
59) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 326
60) The Bob Zadek Show, 12/17/17
61) Trump’s tax reform is not real reform
62) Free Talk Live, 12/17/17
63) The Anarchist Experience, episode 143

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

1) Trump squats and passes a steaming pile of economic nonsense and jingoism, calls it a “national security strategy”
Source: USA Today

“The national security strategy that President Trump released Monday puts economic issues — trade, energy independence and even tax reform — on an equal footing with more traditional military issues like nuclear defense. The result is a doctrine that attempts to balance competing objectives: Emphasizing political and economic competition with countries like Russia and China while also enlisting their help with security challenges like North Korea’s nuclear program.” (12/18/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/18/trumps-national-security-strategy-emphasize-economic-competitiveness/959934001/

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2) Chinese warplanes play same game with South Korea that US forces play with North
Source: Korea Times [Republic of Korea]

“Five Chinese military aircraft including two bombers entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) without prior notification Monday, causing [sic] South Korea to dispatch its fighter jets. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the Air Force’s Master Control and Reporting Center detected two H-6 bombers, two J-11 fighter jets and one TU-154 reconnaissance plane entered the KADIZ from southwest of Ieodo at 10:10 a.m. … Beijing said that the flight was part of a routine exercise and that it had no intention of infringing South Korea’s territorial airspace, the official said. An air defense identification zone is airspace over land or water that a country establishes to identify and control possibly hostile aircraft in the interests of national security. The concept of an ADIZ is different from that of territorial airspace, and is not defined in any international treaty.” (12/18/17)

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/12/205_241092.html

—–

3) Myanmar: Regime says case against Reuters journalists can proceed
Source: Reuters

“Myanmar’s civilian President Htin Kyaw, a close ally of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has authorized the police to proceed with a case against two detained Reuters reporters accused of violating the country’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act, a senior government spokesman said. Journalists Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last Tuesday evening after they were invited to dine with police officers on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. ‘The Ministry of Home Affairs has already submitted the case to the Office of the President,’ Zaw Htay, spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi, said by phone late on Sunday. He added that the president’s office had given approval for the case to go ahead.” (12/18/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/myanmar-government-says-case-against-reuters-journalists-can-proceed-idUSKBN1EC0O4

—–

4) Pence delays trip to Middle East for tax vote and amid uproar over Jerusalem decision
Source: Washington Post

“The White House announced Monday that Vice President Pence is delaying a planned trip to the Middle East in case his vote is needed to pass tax legislation — a move that also comes amid uproar over the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pence was scheduled to leave Tuesday, arriving in Egypt on Wednesday for a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. From there he was scheduled to visit Israel before traveling to Germany to meet with U.S. troops stationed there. Pence’s office said Monday the trip was being delayed so he can stay in Washington until votes on the tax cut legislation are completed.” (12/18/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-delays-trip-to-middle-east-amid-uproar-over-jerusalem-decision/2017/12/18/ba0438e4-e43d-11e7-833f-155031558ff4_story.html

—–

5) South Africa: Ramaphosa wins ANC leadership election
Source: Bloomberg

“South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa beat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a gripping battle for control of the ruling party, putting him on track to become the nation’s next leader. Ramaphosa, 65, won 52 percent of vote to 48 percent for Dlamini-Zuma, 68, the tightest margin since Nelson Mandela led the ANC to power in 1994 after the end of apartheid. The outcome is a blow to President Jacob Zuma, who backed his ex-wife to succeed him and now risks being ousted before his second term ends in 2019. A lawyer, former labor-union leader and one of the wealthiest black South Africans, Ramaphosa has pledged to revive South Africa’s stagnating economy and clamp down on the state corruption that’s marred Zuma’s almost nine-year tenure. He was the favored candidate of investors, business leaders, labor unionists and the ANC’s communist party allies.” (12/18/17)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/ramaphosa-set-to-rule-south-africa-after-winning-control-of-anc

—–

6) US judge Alex Kozinski resigns for sexual misconduct
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A well-known US federal judge announced his retirement on Monday after several women alleged he subjected them to inappropriate sexual behaviour. Judge Alex Kozinski has been accused of inappropriate touching and lewd comments by 15 women, according to a Washington Post report. The 67-year-old judge said he will step down because the accusations are not good for the judiciary. Mr Kozinski apologised in a statement. ‘It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent,’ he said. ‘For this I sincerely apologise.’ A law professor at the University of California, Irvine, Leah Litman, told the Post that the judge had pinched her leg and talked about just having had sex before they appeared on a panel together.” (12/18/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42401601

—–

7) Spain: Vandals turn giant nativity scene into an orgy
Source: Raw Story

“Vandals reportedly reassembled a nativity scene set up on a roundabout in Boadila del Monte, in the mountains north of Madrid, Spain. According to Radio Madrid, the figures were reassembled into sexually suggestive poses. Mary was bent forward over Jesus’ crib in a position that suggested she was giving oral sex to Joseph. The animals were also placed in mating positions. The local chapter of the conservative Popular Party is demanding an investigation and filed a criminal complaint. ‘It constitutes a clear lack of respect for the religious beliefs and traditions of much of the population of the municipality,’ a PP spokesman told Europa Press. ‘In addition to the vandalism, it is a clearly intentional offensive attack against religious freedom. We demand respect for the freedom of belief as an essential pillar of our coexistence and of our democratic system protected by our constitution.’ A town council-member reported that the nativity scene was restored to its original placement.” (12/18/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/vandals-turn-towns-nativity-scene-into-holy

—–

8) MD: DeVos gives commencement speech amid protests in Baltimore
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took the stage at the University of Baltimore on Monday to a mix of boos and applause and argued for student-centered policies as dozens turned their backs in silent protest of her commencement address. Some students and faculty criticized the decision to honor DeVos at the public university. Graduate student Kerrin Smith, 26, said DeVos and President Donald Trump have overseen a ‘strangling of public education.’ DeVos, who has spent decades promoting the use of vouchers and other methods to redirect public money into private schools, shared a few anecdotes about the graduates she had met, including several first-generation college students.” (12/18/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/education/article/DeVos-to-give-commencement-speech-at-University-12438093.php

—–

9) Trump judge pick who drew ridicule after hearing withdraws
Source: ABC News

“A Trump judicial nominee whose inability to answer basic legal questions at his confirmation hearing brought him widespread ridicule has withdrawn, a White House official said Monday. Matthew Peters[e]n, nominated by Trump to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, became an internet sensation after the video of his confirmation hearing — during which Peters[e]n was unable to define basic legal terms — was posted online. In his resignation letter to the president, which was obtained by The Associated Press, Peters[e]n said that while he was honored to have been nominated for the position, ‘it has become clear to me over the past few days that my nomination has become a distraction — and that is not fair for you or your Administration.’” (12/18/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-judicial-pick-drew-ridicule-hearing-withdraws-51866056

—–

10) McCain returns to Arizona, will miss vote on tax bill
Source: USA Today

“Sen. John McCain returned to Arizona for rehabilitation after being hospitalized last week, his office said late Sunday, capping a weekend of speculation about his health and intentions to vote on a sweeping tax-code overhaul in Congress. News reports and a tweet from his daughter, Meghan McCain, indicated he would stay in Arizona through the holidays, likely meaning he would not be present for the vote expected this week. McCain, 81 and suffering from a deadly form of brain cancer, had been hospitalized since Wednesday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for what his office described as ‘normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy.’ His office’s release included a statement from Dr. Mark Gilbert, chief of neuro-oncology at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, saying McCain ‘responded well to treatment he received at Walter Reed Medical Center for a viral infection and continues to improve,’ Gilbert said.” (12/17/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/12/17/report-sen-john-mccain-return-arizona-miss-vote-tax-bill/959609001

—–

11) Democratic senator seeks audit of EPA chief’s trip to Morocco
Source: Raw Story

“The top Democrat on the Senate environment committee on Monday asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog to audit a recent trip to Morocco by the agency’s head to determine if it was in line with the EPA’s mission. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a trip to Morocco last week, promoted U.S. liquefied natural gas. Senator Tom Carper asked EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins to expand its current audit of Pruitt’s travel to include the trip to Morocco as part of a U.S. trade mission. ‘I request that you review the purpose of Administrator Pruitt’s travels to determine whether his activities during each trip are in line with EPA’s mission ‘to protect human health and the environment,” Carper wrote in the letter to Elkins. Traditionally, the EPA, which regulates clean air and water, does not promote the U.S. energy industry.” (12/18/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/democratic-us-senator-seeks-audit-of-epa-chiefs-trip-to-morocco

—–

12) WA: At least six dead after Amtrak train derails along new, $181 million rail corridor
Source: Seattle Times

“Monday’s fatal derailment of an Amtrak train occurred on a rebuilt, $181 million track corridor that was supposed to make the trip between Seattle and Portland more reliable. Amtrak Cascades 501, with 70 people aboard, was the first regular service to use the ‘bypass’ track that goes directly from Tacoma to DuPont, instead of a slow but scenic path along Puget Sound at Tacoma Narrows. The railcars derailed onto I-5 on an old overpass that was outfitted with all new rails, said Janet Matkin, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). There are no switches in the immediate area, she said. The Associated Press said at least six people died, while dozens of others were transported to hospitals or treated by medics.” (12/18/17)

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/derailment-occurred-along-new-181m-rail-corridor/

—–

13) ESPN president John Skipper resigns citing substance addiction
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“ESPN president John Skipper has announced his resignation, citing a problem with substance addiction. Former ESPN president George Bodenheimer, who worked for the sports media company for more than 30 years, will step in as interim president. The changes are effective immediately. Mr Skipper said in a statement: ‘I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down. I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem. ‘Mr Skipper had led ESPN since 2012 and recently signed an extension to his contract to the end of 2021. He had worked at ESPN since 1997.” (12/18/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42403560

—–

14) Study: Older adults’ forgetfulness tied to faulty brain rhythms in sleep
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“Older brains may forget more because they lose their rhythm at night. During deep sleep, older people have less coordination between two brain waves that are important to saving new memories, a team reports in the journal Neuron. … The finding appears to answer a long-standing question about how aging can affect memory even in people who do not have Alzheimer’s or some other brain disease.” (12/18/17)

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/18/571120472/older-adults-forgetfulness-tied-to-faulty-brain-rhythms-in-sleep

—–

15) GOP Senators: Corker did not add provision to tax bill
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Republicans rallied to GOP Sen. Bob Corker’s defense Monday, rejecting a report that the Tennessee lawmaker stealthily tucked a provision into the massive tax package to benefit himself financially and then reversed course to back the bill. Democrats were unrelenting as they howled about the ‘Corker kickback’ and argued the tax benefit for real estate developers boosts the wealthy (President Donald Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Corker among them) at the expense of average Americans. In a letter on Monday, the GOP chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said that he (not Corker) was the author of the provision and that it was hardly a brand-new creation dropped into the final version of the bill. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, outlined the legislative path for the provision, starting with its unveiling Nov. 2 by his House counterpart, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas. Calling himself ‘disgusted,’ Hatch said it was ‘categorically false’ that the provision was ‘airdropped’ into the bill, or that Corker was responsible.” (12/18/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Senate-chairman-disputes-report-of-Corker-add-to-12438791.php

—–

16) Trump predicts exoneration in Russia investigation as allies fear a “meltdown”
Source: CNN

“President Donald Trump is privately striking a less agitated tone on the Russia investigation, sources say, even insisting he’ll soon be cleared in writing. But his new approach has some allies worried he’s not taking the threat of the probe seriously enough. … There’s no indication from special counsel Robert Mueller or his team that the probe is in its final stages. A tipping point in the showdown could come as soon as this week when Trump’s private lawyers and Mueller meet, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Trump’s team is hoping to get a clearer sense of Mueller’s next steps in the investigation, an assessment that could either pacify Trump or inflame him.” (12/18/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/18/politics/trump-russia-investigation/index.html

—–

17) VA: Charlottesville police chief retiring “effective immediately”
Source: Fox News

“Charlottesville Police Chief Alfred Thomas announced Monday that he is retiring, which the city said is ‘effective immediately,’ following criticism surrounding the department’s handling of a deadly white supremacist rally in the Virginia town this past summer. Thomas, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who was appointed to the position in April 2016, said that ‘nothing in my career has brought me more pride than serving as the Police Chief for the City of Charlottesville. I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly. It truly has been an unparalleled privilege to work alongside such a dedicated and professional team of public servants,’ Thomas said Monday, according to a press release. ‘I wish them and the citizens of Charlottesville the very best.’ The police chief oversaw law enforcement operations on Aug. 12 when white supremacists took over the Virginia town’s Emancipation Park for a rally, which left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead.” (12/18/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/18/charlottesville-police-chief-retiring-effective-immediately.html

—–

18) Dog bites man: Schumer wants federal surveillance state extended to New York’s subways
Source: New York Times

“Less than a week after a man detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his chest in a crowded subway corridor in Manhattan, Senator Chuck Schumer urged the federal government on Sunday to speed up the rollout of a technology that can detect concealed explosives in crowded areas. … Since 2004, the Transportation Security Administration has been testing machines that can detect whether a person is concealing an improvised explosive device in crowded mass transit environments. Mr. Schumer called on the agency to speed up the tests and deploy the machines in New York City subways, bus stations and airports.” [editor’s note: Instead of guessing his next demand each day, wouldn’t it be simpler to ask Schumer to name a single power of any kind that he DOESN’T want given to the federal government? – TLK] (12/17/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/17/nyregion/tsa-bombs-subways-schumer.html

—–

19) Origin of life could lie within Mars’s crust
Source: Raw Story

“Scientists may have been searching for Martian life in the wrong place, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience. Instead of combing the Red Planet’s surface, research should dig deep within the crust itself. Far older and more stable than our own planet’s subsurface, scientists from Hong Kong, Hungary and the U.S. think it could teach us about the origin of life on Earth. At some point in the distant past, non-living matter gave rise to living matter. Scientists around the world are searching for an explanation to this fundamental process. Digging is one of scientists’ favorite ways to learn about the past. Whether it’s ancient buildings, extinct animals or early human tools, soil holds a record of history. For something as old as the origin of life, however, our planet’s geological record is not nearly well enough preserved, the authors write. Because of this, the search for the origin of life on Earth (or the planet’s ‘abiogenesis’) broadly takes place in laboratories.” (12/18/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/origin-of-life-could-lie-within-marss-crust

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20) The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook
Source: Politico

“In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation. The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.” [editor’s note: If this report is accurate, I guess I need to revise my esteem for Obama upward – TLK] (12/18/17)

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/

—–

21) NC: Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will sell team amid sexual misconduct allegations
Source: New York Magazine

“The post-Weinstein sexual-harassment reckoning reached the NFL this weekend, culminating in Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announcing that he will sell the franchise he founded at the end of the season. The response to allegations against Richardson — one of the NFL’s most powerful owners and the only current owner who’s played in the league — moved with astonishing speed. On Friday the Panthers announced that they had hired attorneys to investigate allegations against the organization’s 81-year-old founder. The NFL took over that investigation on Sunday, and hours later Richardson said he would put the team up for sale, without saying why or admitting any wrongdoing.” (12/18/17)

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/panthers-owner-to-sell-team-amid-misconduct-allegations.html

—–

22) AK: Sarah Palin’s son arrested on domestic violence claims
Source: Washington Post

“Court documents say Track Palin, the oldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was arrested on charges related to domestic violence again. He was arraigned Sunday morning on three counts of felony burglary, misdemeanor reckless assault and misdemeanor criminal mischief. … Palin previously faced domestic violence charges in 2016. Court records say he was suspected of punching his girlfriend, who then became concerned that Palin was going to shoot himself with a rifle.” (12/18/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/sarah-palins-son-arrested-on-domestic-violence-claims/2017/12/18/8a9c579e-e3d9-11e7-927a-e72eac1e73b6_story.html

—–

23) Honduras: OAS calls for new election after president wins re-election
Source: New York Times

“The Honduran electoral commission on Sunday declared President Juan Orlando Hernandez the victor in a bitterly contested race, but the Organization of American States called for a new election, arguing that the vote was so riddled with irregularities that it was impossible to be sure of a winner. The electoral commission, which is controlled by allies of Mr. Hernandez, said he had won by about 50,000 votes over the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla. The announcement, and the response from Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the O.A.S., seemed likely to escalate the political crisis that has gripped Honduras since the Nov. 26 vote.” (12/17/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/17/world/americas/honduran-presidential-election.html

—–

24) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are being sued over financial disclosure forms
Source: Newsweek

“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are being sued for allegedly failing to include assets owned by 30 investment funds they have stakes in on their financial disclosure forms. The first daughter and her husband were hit with the lawsuit on Sunday, Politico reported. The complaint comes from lawyer Jeffrey Lovitky, who alleges the pair omitted information from their public forms. … The lawsuit from Lovitky, who also brought a suit against President Donald Trump in March, also suggests the couple should have disclosed income from two investments vehicles — but failed to do so.” (12/18/17)

http://www.newsweek.com/ivanka-trump-and-jared-kushner-are-being-sued-over-financial-disclosure-forms-750885

—–

25) Chile: Former president Sebastian Pinera wins runoff vote
Source: CNN

“Chile’s former President, the conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera, has been elected to serve another term as the country’s leader. Pinera, who governed the South American nation from 2010 to 2014, defeated leftist candidate Alejandro Guillier during a second round of voting Sunday. Chile’s Electoral Service said Pinera won with 54.58% of the votes. Guillier came in second with 45.42%, a much wider margin than originally predicted by pollsters. Outgoing President Michelle Bachelet, a socialist leader who also served two presidential terms, had backed Guillier, who had pledged to continue many of her policies and programs.” (12/17/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/17/americas/chile-election-sebastian-pinera/index.html

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

26) Mueller makes reckless move with seizure of Trump emails
Source: The Hill
by Jonathan Turley

“J. Edgar Hoover used to say that ‘justice is just incidental to law and order.’ It was a telling quote from someone who routinely abused his power in seeking what he viewed as enemies of law and order. Hoover is now a pariah at the FBI and the Justice Department, but his attitude toward the use of federal power lingers like a dormant virus. Too often investigators interpret uncertain legal questions as a license for action. That seems to be the case with a new and troubling controversy over a massive seizure of emails by special counsel Robert Mueller from the General Services Administration (GSA). Mueller did an end run around Trump transition officials and counsel by seizing tens of thousands of emails from the GSA despite claims of privilege. The move was legally unprecedented and strategically reckless. In a gratuitous muscle play, Mueller may have added a potential complication to the use of evidence that could contaminate much of his investigation in any later trial.” (12/18/17)

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/365371-mueller-makes-reckless-move-with-seizure-of-trump-transition-emails

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27) There’s a due process problem with homeschool regulations
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Kerry McDonald

“Homeschooling opponents will often cite rare examples of abuse or neglect of parents who claimed to be homeschooling, and who were often already known to social services agencies, as a rationale for restricting homeschoolers’ freedoms. The vast majority of homeschooling parents are overly attentive to their children’s education and well-being, which may be a primary reason they chose to homeschool in the first place. Sending their kids to school would be the easy path. The biggest problem with the often-cavalier way citizens and lawmakers suggest regulating homeschoolers — who receive no public money but still pay local property taxes to fund schools — is that it is an invasion of privacy and a violation of due process. It assumes parents must be monitored for the good of others, and that they are guilty unless proven otherwise.” (12/18/17)

https://fee.org/articles/theres-a-due-process-problem-with-homeschool-regulations/

—–

28) Top spook looks back to 2016
Source: Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders

“Michael Morell, former acting head of the CIA, became a political animal in August 2016 when he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. This month, he came to grips with the consequences of that decision — that it might have played into President Donald Trump’s distrust of the intelligence community. It is possible, he told the Review Journal, ‘I played a role in that.’ Back to last year. In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Morell not only endorsed Clinton, he also warned that, to the eyes of an intelligence analyst, candidate Trump could be considered ‘an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation’ whom Russian President Vladimir Putin had co opted by playing to Trump’s demanding ego.” (12/17/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2017/12/17/top-spook-looks-back-to-2016-n2423327

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29) Who to believe on Washington’s Korea policy, Tillerson or Trump?
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“President Trump has often said that his foreign policy objective was to keep his enemies guessing. If that’s the goal, you could say that he’s doing a good job. The problem is who does he think his enemies are, because the American people are often left guessing as well.” (12/18/17)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/believe-washingtons-korea-policy-tillerson-trump

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30) Optimality — the mainstream economist’s Holy Grail
Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“In discussing the economy and especially economic policy, mainstream economists have been in love with optimality for a century or so. They have built many mathematical models from which they have derived conditions related to optimal tariffs, optimal population, optimal money supply, optimal taxation, optimal subsidies, and so forth. Indeed, for talking about the overall economy, their criterion of efficiency is something called Pareto optimality. By now, probably thousands of articles have been published in economics journals in which the author constructs an economic model, derives from it the optimality conditions, and concludes by making policy recommendations that prescribe how governmental authorities should act — that is, should use their coercive power — to force the real world into conformity with the model’s optimality conditions. All this — above all, the policy recommendations —
is for the most part an enormous waste of time and intellect.” (12/18/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/12/18/optimality-the-mainstream-economists-holy-grail/

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31) Are we to give away our freedom?
Source: PanAm Post
by Jose Azel

“Are we free to give away our freedom? This is a profound philosophical question with very practical political implications. Yet, even for those of us that hold liberty to be the highest political value, it is not an easy question to answer, and I beg the reader’s patience. All collectivist ideologies, racism, socialism, nationalism, fascism, communism, and their derivations, hold that people are free to give up their freedoms. For collectivists, the individual is not the holder of rights. For collectivists, what matters are the rights and interest of the race, the class, or the nation. And these collective interests are expressed through the power of the state to which the individual willingly surrenders his freedom.” (12/18/17)

https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2017/12/18/are-we-free-to-give-away-our-freedom/

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32) Some comments on tax incidence
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“It’s disappointing that so many people uncritically accept the claim that taxes on corporations are absorbed by owners. Consider the excise tax on gasoline, which is imposed on corporations like Exxon and Chevron. Is this tax on corporations absorbed by owners, or passed on to consumers? I think if you polled 100 economists and 100 non-economists, all 100 non-economists would claim that the excise tax on gasoline is passed on to consumers, whereas some of the economists would argue that the burden is shared between gasoline consumers and stockholders of the oil companies. (The economists are correct in this case.) So it seems like the public is especially likely to believe that corporations simply pass taxes on to consumers. If asked why, I suppose they’d say something about big oil companies being ‘greedy.’” (12/18/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/12/some_comments_o_1.html

—–

33) It’s about time! Restoring Internet freedom
Source: Heartland Institute
by Bartlett Cleland

“In a marked victory, the Federal Trade Commission, the federal privacy cop, will now return to the internet beat after being forced away for two years. Contrary to those who would intentionally stir discontent, consumers still have a blanket of protection if a service provider fails to live up to its promise. Beyond the FTC, such promises can be enforced by consumers themselves, states’ attorneys general and others. Today’s move is by any objective analysis a win for the American people, but Congress still needs to address the issue. We cannot afford to risk the future of our health, communications, entertainment, work and education to those preferring social experiments above social success.” (12/18/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/its-about-time-restoring-internet-freedom/

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34) God, Brexit, and EUtopia, part 3
Source: Acton Institute
by Stephen F Copp

“Faced with the rising power of the EU, many will be tempted to succumb and bow their knee to it. Yet Christian theology was forged in the furnace of the brute power of the Roman Empire. The apocalyptic writer John responded in graphic terms, seeing hope one day in a new heaven, a new earth, even a New Jerusalem — a beautiful city, shining with God’s glory, as brilliant as a precious jewel, made of pure gold — together with healing of the nations. Even in the worst of adversity, there is hope. It may be the eleventh hour, but it is not too late for Europe to turn back from the folly on which it embarked in the 1950s.” (12/18/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/12/18/non-utopian-christian-vision-europe-god-brexit-and-eutopia

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35) Parents must not be afraid to let their children grow up
Source: The Jack News
by Jim Gray

“Only supervised activities for our children; safely drive them to school; don’t let them go out on Halloween by themselves, etc., etc. As aptly stated in a recent article in Reason Magazine, ‘Play is training for adulthood.’ And today not only aren’t our children playing much on their own, they’re not doing much of anything on their own. … But only when children fall down and skin their knees in some “resilience moments” without parental guidance will they learn from their mistakes. And this is virtually the only way that they can effectively grow into adulthood. Our kids are tougher than we give them credit for. And we should actually want them to be insulted that we feel they are too shallow and sensitive to be able to take care of themselves on their own — because that is how they learn to be careful.” (12/18/17)

https://www.thejacknews.com/commentary/jim-gray-parents-not-be-afraid-to-let-their-children-grow-up

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36) Why America’s law enforcement empire resembles secret police in a dictatorship
Source: OpEdNews
by Philip Giraldi

“Secret police are characteristic of dictatorships, or so goes the conventional thinking on the subject. Police in democracies operate for the most part transparently and within a set of rules and guidelines that limits their ability to gratuitously punish citizens who have done nothing wrong. If a policeman operating under rule-of-law steps out of line, he can be held accountable. That is also conventional thinking. But what happens when an ostensibly ‘democratic’ police force becomes corrupted and starts doing things that are outside its zone of responsibility, and does so to benefit a political relationship that will in turn protect those who have broken the law under cover of carrying out their official duties? That is the characteristic of what we have been calling a ‘deep state,’ where forces drawn generally from the political class and security services conspire together to control what the public is allowed to know while also manipulating nuisances like elections to make sure that the ‘correct’ outcome emerges.” (12/18/17)

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-America-s-Law-Enforcem-by-Philip-Giraldi-Law-Enforcement_Police-Abuse-Of-Power_Police-Corruption_Secret-Service-171217-398.html

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37) A better way to give Trump more judgeships to fill
Source: Cato Institute
by Josh Blackman

“Recently, a prominent conservative law professor and his former student created a stir when they urged Republicans to create over 200 new judgeships for President Trump to fill. This proposal, I wrote, was ‘ill-considered and should be discarded.’ And indeed it was: The authors removed the proposal from the Internet and are revising it. There is, fortunately, a far easier way to give President Trump many new vacancies to fill. According to my calculations, there are over 100 judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush who can immediately open up new vacancies by announcing a plan to leave active service, either upon the confirmation of their successor or on a future date. They should be encouraged to do so over the next year.” [editor’s note: Is there any particular reason to believe that Trump-appointed judges would be better than judges appointed by his predecessors or successors? – TLK] (12/18/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/better-way-give-trump-more-judgeships-fill

—–

38) The Republicans’ Leninist respect for democracy
Source: The American Prospect
by Todd Gitlin

“The Republican Party is the B-team of politics. The B stands for Bolshevik. They strike even before the iron is hot, partly because they fear it won’t stay hot for long, partly because they know how unpopular their moves are, and partly because they believe in the exercise of raw power. The Republican commandos are in a hurry because, so far, they haven’t been able to legislate themselves out of a paper bag. They fear, reasonably, that the midterm elections will go badly for them even if last-minute sweeteners for the likes of Marco Rubio, Bob Corker, and Susan Collins give them an ambiguous legislative trophy to campaign on. They also must fear (if they’re paying attention) that their president is marching them over the precipice into a full-blown constitutional crisis by arranging to fire Robert Mueller, and that however the imbroglio turns out, it won’t nourish further legislation.” (12/18/17)

http://prospect.org/blog/tapped/republicans%E2%80%99-leninist-respect-democracy

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39) Trump used an FBI graduation ceremony to call for greater police militarization
Source: Reason
by Eric Boehm

“President Donald Trump spoke to local law enforcement officials who completed an 11-week FBI training program, using the occasion call for greater militarization of local police forces. … ‘We are allowing our local police to access surplus military equipment, something the previous administration for some reason refused to do,’ Trump said Friday. ‘Explain that one. Explain it to me, please. Never understood that one. Somebody out there can explain — anybody want to stand up and explain it, that’d be tough.’ OK, we’ll give it a go. For starters, Trump’s claim that the Obama administration refused to let local police get their hands on military-grade weapons is completely inaccurate. The Obama administration did place some limitations on those transfers following a series of violent confrontations between police and civilians in 2014 and 2015, but those restrictions amounted to tanks and rocket launchers. In fact, ‘2014 and 2015 were peak years’ for the transfer of military weapons to local police, according to a report published last year by Open The Books, a pro-transparency nonprofit.” (12/18/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/18/trump-wants-more-police-militarization

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40) Book review: Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“Fifteen Dogs is the second book in a quincunx (a cycle of five stories) planned by the author. The books examine faith, place, love, power and hatred. It is not clear to me whether each book focuses on one of these five concepts or all of them together. Certainly all are touched on in Fifteen Dogs, though the most powerful insights are on the nature of friendship and love.” (12/18/17)

http://jollylibertarian.blogspot.com/2017/12/book-review-fifteen-dogs-by-andre-alexis.html

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41) Here’s why Trump doesn’t need to fire Mueller
Source: Fox News Forum
by Alan Dershowitz

“The Trump team is probably not going to seek to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. To do so would be to provoke Trump’s crucial supporters in Congress. Instead, they seem to be seeking to discredit him and his investigation. This is apparently designed to achieve two possible results: the first is to put pressure on the special prosecutor to lean over backwards in order to avoid any accusation of bias against Trump and his team. Mueller cares deeply about his reputation for integrity and will want to emerge from this process with that reputation intact. Accordingly, he may err (consciously or unconsciously) in favor of Trump in close cases so that the public will regard him as unbiased and fair-minded. This is a classic tactic used by lawyers, athletic coaches, business people and others in how they deal with decision makers. The great Red Auerbach, former coach of the Boston Celtics, once told me that when he screams loudly at officials, he generally gets the next close call in his favor. I have heard the same from baseball managers regarding balls and strikes.” (12/18/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/18/alan-dershowitz-trump-doesnt-need-to-fire-mueller-heres-why.html

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42) Why complain about capitalists subsidising care homes?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“It is entirely true that there are problems in Britain’s care homes industry. Government has been eager enough to push up the costs of providing them — those rising minimum and national wages — and somewhat less eager to raise the price paid to cover those wage rises. Yet it’s simply bizarre for people to be complaining about capitalists subsidising the sector …. Think it though. Care homes are running. The last time a chain went bust not one single one closed. No one lost their care nor home — investors lost a packet. So, what are the investors actually doing as they lose money? Subsidising the care homes with their losses.” (12/18/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/why-complain-about-capitalists-subsidising-care-homes

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43) The irrelevance of Trump’s national security strategy
Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

“The Trump administration is poised to release its first National Security Strategy (NSS) today. For months, there has been speculation about what the document would contain given the president’s views and the more conventional outlook of leading national security officials in his administration. … A recent story by Kate Brannen at Just Security points to how ‘non-Trumpian’ the 70-page NSS will be. That administration officials might ignore Trump’s professed foreign policy inclinations would be a good thing given how dangerous his worldview, if implemented, would likely prove. However, others have reported that the document will emphasize themes the president has repeated — such as sovereignty and nation-states in ‘perpetual competition’ — both on the campaign trail and since taking office. There are two reasons why this speculation is likely to be all for naught though. On the one hand, the NSS has rarely — if ever — mattered. And on the other, Trump’s National Security Strategy is even less likely to matter because of Trump himself.” (12/18/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/irrelevance-trumps-national-security-strategy/

—–

44) Just say “yes” to prosperity
Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“The notable thing about the technology economy is that it is a peerless machine for turning intelligence into money. Sure, there are physical inputs for a company such as Apple, and warehouses and forklifts and such for Amazon, but what those companies really do is apply intelligence. Brainpower in, splendid products and services out, and what is most certainly literal tons of money produced for investors, workers, and shareholders. Nobody really planned that, and nobody is in charge. … In its earliest days, Web commerce was more or less dismissed as a bunch of nerds messing around in their garages, which it was. A great deal of what’s best about the modern world is the result of nerds messing around in their garages: Google, the modern automobile business, rock ‘n’ roll. Thank goodness nobody took it seriously enough to try to regulate it, manage it, and direct it — which would only have deformed it. Instead, it transformed every aspect of commercial life.” (12/17/17)

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454718/walmart-prosperity-freedom

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45) How Trump move on Jerusalem throws a lifeline to Muslim Brotherhood
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Taylor Luck

“President Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has elicited criticism and outright condemnation from world leaders ranging from traditional US allies to long-time adversaries. In the Arab world, scene of multiple demonstrations since Mr. Trump’s declaration, the reaction has been especially angry and has created one clear political winner: the conservative Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist organization — violently suppressed in Egypt, outlawed in much of the Gulf and marginalized elsewhere in the region — has stood against the Arab-Israeli peace process and negotiations over Jerusalem for decades. Analysts and politicians say the Brotherhood’s strong language and decisive action have filled a void left by Arab regimes that have condemned the declaration but are cautious not to strain ties with the US and Israel.” (12/18/17)

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/1218/How-Trump-move-on-Jerusalem-throws-a-lifeline-to-Muslim-Brotherhood

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46) Technology’s mixed blessing
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Zack Sorenson

“I do believe that technology must inevitably bring an end to war, assuming there are no Earth-destroying ‘auctions for price discovery’ in the current nuclear arms race. I still believe this. However, I’m starting to think that technology won’t necessarily favor liberty. Specifically, I envision a future where not every individual human ends up as an ‘economic actor.’ Between economic actors, conflict will become too expensive. However, I envision a future where a mass of humanity will fail to pass the barriers to entry into economic activity.” (12/17/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/blog/technologys-mixed-blessing/

—–

47) Bitcoin fees have become infeasible
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Kai Sedgwick

“Everyone has their price, a dollar figure at which they’d be willing to sell bitcoin, and also a figure they’re willing to pay to send it. Paying $20 to transfer $10 million of bitcoin seems reasonable. Paying the same amount to send $100 worth seems ridiculous. Bitcoin has been unsuitable for micro-transactions for some time, but it’s now reaching a stage where it’s unsuitable for mid-sized transactions. Is bitcoin a store of wealth because that’s its best use case, or has it simply morphed into one because no one can afford to move it?” (12/17/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-fees-have-become-infeasible/

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48) Health care mergers benefit patients
Source: USA Today
by Rick Pollack

“Rapid changes in the larger health care field are leading hospitals and health systems to explore new ways to enhance quality, reduce costs, and provide more convenient access to care to meet patients’ needs on their terms. Hospitals aren’t alone: The decision by CVS to acquire health insurer Aetna is based on the idea of building a care system closer to consumers that is more responsive to their needs. Those same goals are driving some hospitals and health systems to join together. According to a recent economic study from Charles River Associates, hospital mergers can lead to substantial savings and provide needed funds to finance innovations that will enhance quality and convenience. Benefits apply whether the hospitals involved are nearby, across the state or even across the country. A larger system allows hospitals to share infrastructure costs for expensive IT and reduce overlapping overhead costs.” (12/17/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/17/health-care-mergers-benefit-patients-editorials-debates/108704794

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49) Why the stock market is rising
Source: Cobden Centre
by Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca

“‘The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me,’ U.S. President Donald Trump bragged to reporters last month. There is no arguing that markets have been buoyant since his election thirteen months ago: the S&P 500 index is up 28 percent. But is the president right to credit himself? A wider and closer look at the numbers shows he is not.” (12/18/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/12/why-the-stock-market-is-rising/

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50) A very Breitbart Christmas
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“Surveying America back in 2013, I concluded that ‘Christmas Is Kicking Ass in the War on Christmas’ noting the open-air Nativity scenes in the secular progressive enclave of Santa Monica; the 76-foot Christmas tree uncontroversially erected in the heart of New York City; the choir publicly singing ‘Happy birthday, Jesus! Happy birthday, Lord!’ in Washington, D.C., and more. This affection for the holiday that marks the birth of Jesus Christ extended all the way to the White House, where President Barack Obama recorded videos wishing the nation ‘Merry Christmas’ in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. … But this year, a popular website associated with the populist-right political faction that controls the White House is subverting the Christmas spirit. Traditionally, it meant peace on earth, and good will toward men. But Breitbart readers are being asked to visit an online store that the company has set up called Deplorable Christmas, where the gifts express the values of ‘war’ and ill-will.” (12/18/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/at-breitbart-politics-is-upstream-of-christmas/548612/

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51) Will Net Neutrality zealots apologize when Internet fails to crash & burn?
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“For years, advocates preached the net-neutrality gospel with a fervor normally reserved for end-of-the-world preachers. Now that the FCC has voted to dismantle its net-neutrality regulatory scheme, we’ll be able to see just how misguided these zealots have been. … The problem: While everyone says they are for net neutrality, nobody seems to actually know what it is, including the Obama FCC chairman who wrote the rules. When asked a couple of years ago how the FCC intended to apply its new regulatory authority, Tom Wheeler said: ‘We don’t know; we’ll have to see where things go.’ Tellingly, the first goal under net neutrality was to impose costly (and since repealed) privacy rules that had nothing to do with net neutrality. The second was to target an unlimited-video data plan provided by T-Mobile. Shorn of all the histrionics, the FCC’s net-neutrality regime was little more than a blatant power grab by the Obama administration, and one that was completely unnecessary.” (12/17/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/net-neutrality-regulations-overturned-ajit-pai

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52) The Strzok texts: FBI plotted to unseat Trump before election
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“We now have proof that the FBI was actively plotting a coup d’etat against President Trump even before he was elected. Despite my libertarian skepticism when it comes to the nature and ultimate fate of American democracy, that’s a sentence I never expected to write. After all, are we living in some banana republic out of a Graham Greene novel, or the republic founded by Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and Adams? Given the most recent revelations surrounding the Mueller investigation, and the behavior of the FBI both before and after the 2016 presidential election, the answer to that question is not at all clear.” (12/18/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/12/17/strzok-texts-fbi-plotted-unseat-trump-election/

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53) The Republican Party doesn’t own Christian conservatives
Source: The American Conservative
by Gracy Olmstead

“Republican nominee Roy Moore lost the vote in Alabama on Tuesday. To many, that defeat was comforting: Moore’s troubling background included lawlessness, extremism, and allegations of child molestation. He may not have lost by much–but with a tenfold increase in write-ins and a drop-off of 800,000 voters, it appears that Moore was too much for principled conservatives in Alabama. Indeed, after crunching the numbers, economist Lyman Stone suggested that Moore had the lowest white evangelical support of any Alabama Republican in the 21st century … The GOP now seems perilously close to losing some of its less populist Christian voters — especially those who are younger and perhaps less committed to the party and its messaging. Roy Moore is not, after all, the first disagreeable character that the GOP has chosen to embrace and support in recent months …” (12/18/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-republican-party-doesnt-own-christian-conservatives/

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54) America’s Great Depression and Austrian business cycle theory
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“When Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression first appeared in print in 1963, the economics profession was still completely dominated by the Keynesian Revolution that began in the 1930s. Rothbard, instead, employed the ‘Austrian’ approach to money and the business cycle to explain the causes for the Great Depression, and to analyze the misguided and counterproductive policies that were followed in the early 1930s, which, in fact, only intensified and prolonged the economic downturn. To many of the economists in the early 1960s, Rothbard’s ‘Austrian’ approach seemed out-of-step with the then generally accepted textbook, macroeconomic approach that focused on a highly ‘aggregate’ analysis of economic changes and fluctuations on general output and employment as a whole. There was also the widely held presumption that governments could easily maintain economy-wide growth and stability through the use of a variety of monetary and fiscal policy tools.” (12/18/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/americas-great-depression-austrian-business-cycle-theory/

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55) The online manipulation of democracy
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“There exist many sneaky ways to get other people to do what you want, voluntarily — effectively blurring the line between legitimate persuasion and fraud. When large, almost unavoidable private companies apply those techniques to targeted groups of voters, that blur might look something very much like election fraud. … Google, it turns out, can influence voter and consumer behavior merely by ordering search results in specific ways.” (12/18/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/18/the-online-manipulation-of-democracy/

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

56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 132
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #132, I discuss the Yemen war at 1,000 days. Iona Craig is now working on a Yemen database revealing key stats about Saudi’s war in Yemen. I explain how US Amb to the UN Nikki Haley is trying to provoke a war with Iran. I talk about the US sharing intelligence with Russia to prevent a terror attack. I also update North Korea, Libya, and Egypt.” [various formats] (12/18/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-132-1000-days-of-war

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57) Reason Podcast, 12/18/17
Source: Reason

“‘The tree of hope has to be watered with the blood of young journalists,’ Katherine Mangu-Ward says on today’s Reason Podcast. Was Reason’s editor in chief talking about entitlement reform? The new Star Wars movie? Paul Ryan? All of the above? You’ll have to listen below to find out.” [various formats] (12/18/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/18/talk-show-12-18-podcast

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58) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 689
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“The government wants power and to have power they need control. They use central banks to control your money and if they get their way they will use those banks to prevent you from ever having the freedom to use that money without their knowledge. A lot of people dismissed this as conspiracy theory, but like many of the conspiracies we’ve outlined on the show, this one isn’t a theory at all. It’s a fact. But what would a cashless society mean to you, your money and your life? Would it really be all that bad? Tune in today to find out.” [various formats] (12/18/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/689-imf-calls-for-a-cashless-society/

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59) Lions of Liberty Podcast, episode 326
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On today’s show, Marc welcomes back a guest who first appeared in the early days of the podcast, Shayne Wissler! Shayne is the author of two books about individual rights — ‘For Individual Rights’ and ‘Reason and Liberty: The Foundations of Civilization,’ which was just released in its 3rd edition. Shayne describes how his questioning of his Mormom upbringing eventually led him to question everything and delve deeper into philosophical justifications for individual rights, resulting in his two books on the subject.” [various formats] (12/18/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/18/can-following-reason-lead-individual-rights-interview-reason-liberty-author-shayne-wissler/

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60) The Bob Zadek Show, 12/17/17
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“[Jayant] Bhandari joins Bob for the full hour. Tune in to hear Bhandari’s international perspective on capitalism and morality, on the show of ideas, not attitude.” [various formats] (12/17/17)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2017/12/15/capitalism-and-morality-twin-pillars-of-the-west

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61) Trump’s tax reform is not real reform
Source: Free Press Publications
by Darryl W Perry

“President Trump recently held a press conference where he said, ‘I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday, working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country.’ Adding, ‘Congress has reached an agreement on tax legislation that will deliver more jobs, higher wages, and massive tax relief for American families and for American companies. The typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income tax cut of more than $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half. It’s going to be a lot of money. You’re going to have an extra $2,000.’ However, the American Enterprise Institute details the problem of income-based phaseouts that serve as a stealth rate hike, and in some extreme cases could lead to certain income being taxed at a rate above 100%. This hardly sounds like a tax cut, even if it is relegated to extreme cases.” (12/17/17)

http://fpp.cc/trumps-tax-reform-is-not-real-reform/

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

“Bureau of Land Management Corruption Exposed :: Bitcoin Cash Making Major Inroads :: Solar Power and Decentralization :: Arsonists :: Bitcoin Fear Selling :: Government School Has No Advantages :: Strange Possible Squatter Issue :: Age Stratification :: Psychopath vs Sociopath :: Power Subsidies :: Little Free Library :: Legislative Pay :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Jonny Ray.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/17/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-17

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63) The Anarchist Experience, episode 143
Source: The Anarchist Experience

“We discuss Net Neutrality, the implication of asking for State Solutions to State created problems, and these headlines: -– ‘Robots must pay TAX’ British workers demand automatons pay their way — Raging Cop Maces Fellow Cop While Torturing Handcuffed Man With Pepper Spray.” [Flash audio] (12/17/17)

https://theanarchistexperience.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/the-anarchist-experience-143/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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