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

Volume XV, Issue #3,869
Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
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In the News:

1) US Senate passes final GOP tax bill, leaving vote to House
2) Twitter begins new round of user purges to enforce political conformity
3) Bitcoin.com co-founder sells entire BTC stash, calls it “virtually unusable” as a currency
4) Clinton campaign, DNC accused of “corrupt” money scheme in new FEC complaint
5) UK: Leak found on new $4 billion aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth”
6) UK: Sheffield arrests over “alleged Christmas terror plot”
7) Poll: “Fake news” is second-most annoying phrase to Americans in 2017
8) US regime lifts funding ban on studies that enhance dangerous germs
9) Feds probing if engineer was distracted in Amtrak crash
10) Sexual misconduct outcry makes US lawyers rethink confidentiality
11) China condemns US “Cold War mentality” on national security
12) CA: Berkeley may repeal law that lets police use pepper spray
13) UFOs “are real”: Ex-Navy pilot describes encounter
14) Japan: US “defense” contractors to make out like bandits on North Korea security theater
15) Saudi Arabia: Explosion heard over capital as witnesses claim ballistic missile was “intercepted and destroyed”
16) Police: California couple tried selling kids for money and drugs
17) Kaspersky sues US Heimatsicherheitsdienst over federal blacklist
18) FDA gang to target homeopathic remedies
19) Corporate welfare queen Boeing begs Uncle Sugar to protect it from mean ol’ Bombardier at trade hearing
20) Trump regime blames North Korea for WannaCry

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Holiday cheer means reasonably priced, smuggled booze
22) Trump’s “National Security Strategy” is the opposite of national security
23) Media, slow down; fake Trump stories hurt you
24) Texas cop could get away with murder thanks to federal law enforcement partnership
25) Free association is not fascism: How many times does it have to be said?
26) Hysteria and “Net Neutrality” … aka government control of the Internet
27) No, scrapping Net Neutrality laws won’t kill the Internet
28) Is Betsy DeVos about to pump up the school-to-prison pipeline?
29) Stop the newest border screening bill
30) Why Trump’s Muslim ban 3.0 is so dangerous
31) Congress should let FISA amendments expire
32) Do you trust your boss to “share” your tips?
33) Individual morality and consequences
34) Bitcoin mining is costly, just like gold mining
35) What South Africa’s Ramaphosa must do next
36) Family, pop culture, and the nurture assumption
37) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 16
38) It’s a battle, not the war (FISA Sec 702)
39) The Republican opposition goes out with a whimper
40) Why do people say that hunter gatherers don’t work very much?
41) Leave them kids alone
42) Trump’s new “principled realism”: Economics = security
43) Obama’s forgotten lies and frauds
44) Trump’s NLRB showers big business with gifts, workers with coal
45) A fistful of people who don’t suck!
46) Jesus was born in a police state
47) Liars, and the lied-to
48) We’re all Mary Whitehouse now
49) Free trade for Christmas (trees)
50) Telemedicine: Answering the call of those who need it most

The Sound and the Fury:

51) FIREside Chats, episode 4
52) Interview: Adam Williams
53) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 690
54) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 35
55) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/19/17
56) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/18/17
57) Free Talk Live, 12/18/17

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

1) US Senate passes final GOP tax bill, leaving vote to House
Source: CBS News

“The Senate passed the final version of the GOP tax bill early Wednesday morning, after hours of floor speeches in which Democrats lambasted the legislation as bad for the middle class, while Republicans insisted the exact opposite was the case. The legislation passed along party lines, 51-48, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the vote. The Senate’s vote was supposed to be the final one. But the House will again have to vote on the bill it passed to much fanfare Tuesday afternoon, after discovering certain provisions in the bill likely constituted procedural violations. That second House vote will take place Wednesday morning.” (12/20/17)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-tax-bill-senate-vote-today-live-house-new-tax-bill-byrd-rule-revote-tomorrow/

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2) Twitter begins new round of user purges to enforce political conformity
Source: Bloomberg

“Twitter Inc. pulled some white supremacists and other extremists from its platform on Monday, enforcing new policies to address persistent concerns that it wasn’t doing enough combat hate speech and harassment. Among the accounts that disappeared from the site were those linked to Britain First, the far-right fringe group U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted to near universal condemnation, and white supremacist organizations like the League of the South and American Renaissance. The company’s critics described the action as a wide-ranging ‘purge,’ noting that it took place on Joseph Stalin’s birthday. … Twitter has said it wouldn’t take action against government officials, pre-empting calls that Trump is in persistent violation of its rules. ” (12/18/17)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-19/twitter-bans-some-white-supremacists-and-other-extremists

—–

3) Bitcoin.com co-founder sells entire BTC stash, calls it “virtually unusable” as a currency
Source: news.com.au [Australia]

“Bitcoin entrepreneur Emil Oldenburg is getting out. In an interview with Swedish website Breakit, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Bitcoin.com — which offers various services including mining, currency exchange and wallet storage — warned very high fees and long transaction waiting times had made bitcoin ‘virtually unusable’ as a currency. … The bitcoin community has been bitterly split on the issue of technology upgrades which would potentially speed up the network. That divide led to the creation in August this year of bitcoin cash, which Mr Oldenburg and his business partner, Bitcoin.com chief executive Roger Ver, have been aggressively promoting.” (12/19/17)

http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/investing/bitcoincom-cofounder-sells-entire-stash-calls-it-virtually-unusable-as-a-currency/news-story/217509dd165fb12b41896927b38930d1

—–

4) Clinton campaign, DNC accused of “corrupt” money scheme in new FEC complaint
Source: Fox News

“A new legal complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission alleges that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee used state chapters as strawmen to circumvent campaign donation limits and laundered the money back to her campaign. The Committee to Defend the President, a political action committee, filed its complaint with the FEC on Monday with the allegations that the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) solicited cash from big-name donors, including Calvin Klein and ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane — money that was allegedly sent through state chapters and back to the DNC before ending up with the Clinton campaign. Officials with the committee said their filing was spurred by their own analysis of FEC reports, where they said they discovered the HVF either never transferred the money to state chapters and back to the DNC, or did so without the state chapters having actual control.” (12/19/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/19/hillary-clinton-campaign-dnc-accused-corrupt-money-scheme-in-new-fec-complaint.html

—–

5) UK: Leak found on new $4 billion aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth”
Source: United Press International

“A leak was found on Britain’s new HMS Queen Elizabeth — the Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful warship ever built, officials said. The aircraft carrier, commissioned earlier this month at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth, is worth [sic] $4.13 billion. Military officials said the warship’s leak was caused by an issue with a shaft seal and is scheduled for repair. A Royal Navy spokesman said the issue won’t prevent the ship from sailing or its sea trials.” [editor’s note: The ship may have COST $4.13 billion, but would anyone value it at that if they were asked to spend their own money, rather than someone else’s, to buy it? Doubtful – TLK] (12/19/17)

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/12/19/Leak-found-on-Britains-new-4B-aircraft-carrier-Queen-Elizabeth/2851513690948/

—–

6) UK: Sheffield arrests over “alleged Christmas terror plot”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Action has been taken against an alleged Islamist terror plot in the UK that could have happened at Christmas, counter terrorism sources say. Four men were arrested early on Tuesday in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. An Army bomb disposal team cordoned off a street in Chesterfield where a 31-year-old man was arrested. Nearby homes were evacuated. Three other men aged 22, 36 and 41 were arrested in the Burngreave and Meersbrook areas of Sheffield. All four suspects were detained on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. They have been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire for questioning. The cordon in Chesterfield was later lifted.” (12/19/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-42410084

—–

7) Poll: “Fake news” is second-most annoying phrase to Americans in 2017
Source: USA Today

“Love to call things ‘fake news?’ You might want to reconsider that. According to a new poll out this week, the phrase ‘fake news’ (often used by President Trump) is the second-most annoying phrase used in casual conversation this year. The Marist Poll found that 23% of Americans disliked the phrase. It came only second to ‘whatever,’ which took the top spot with 33% for the ninth year in a row. The poll also found people were more likely to find the phrase annoying they identified as Democrats (29%) or independents (26%) than as Republicans (12%). Trump has consistently used the phrase ‘fake news; since his election. He’s tweeted the words 147 times, including on Tuesday, when he knocked a Washington Post story that reported he nearly rescinded Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination.” [editor’s note: Meanwhile, “sloppy journalism” (by CNN, the Times, the Post, et al) continues to give reason to use the term – SAT] (12/19/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/12/19/marist-poll-fake-news-now-second-most-annoying-phrase-among-americans/964626001

—–

8) US regime lifts funding ban on studies that enhance dangerous germs
Source: Raw Story

“The U.S. government on Tuesday lifted a 2014 temporary ban on funding research involving the flu and other pathogens in which scientists deliberately make them more transmissible or more deadly. The ban covered federal funding for any new so-called ‘gain-of-function’ experiments that enhance pathogens such as Avian influenza, SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS viruses. It followed a series of safety breaches at federal laboratories involving the handling of anthrax and avian flu that raised questions about lab safety at high-security national laboratories. The concern with ‘gain-of-function’ research is that while the work may produce useful insights about how a pathogen might naturally evolve and become more deadly, laboratory-enhanced pathogens could be used for biowarfare or bioterrorism if they fell into the wrong hands.” (12/19/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/us-lifts-funding-ban-on-studies-that-enhance-dangerous-germs

—–

9) Feds probing if engineer was distracted in Amtrak crash
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A U.S. official says investigators are examining whether an Amtrak engineer was distracted when a speeding train derailed, killing three people and sending several rail cars flying off an overpass. The official said Tuesday that in addition to the engineer, there was another employee training in the train’s cab Monday. The official says investigators are looking into whether the engineer lost ‘situational awareness.’ The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Audio dispatch in which a crew member discusses injuries to the engineer mentions a second person in the front of the train, who was also hurt.” (12/19/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-Latest-Feds-probing-if-engineer-was-12441946.php

—–

10) Sexual misconduct outcry makes US lawyers rethink confidentiality
Source: Reuters

“The wave of sexual misconduct allegations made against dozens of powerful men in recent weeks is causing lawyers to rethink how they handle such cases, including the longstanding use of confidentiality agreements. As more women, and sometimes men, speak out, settlement deals with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that bar victims from discussing past claims of harassment or abuse have come under fire, with many lawmakers and advocacy groups now arguing they should be abolished. Lawyers who represent plaintiffs and defendants in harassment cases said they had previously assumed NDAs, which are rarely breached, would be upheld in court if challenged. But now there is a greater probability courts could void such agreements deeming them against the public interest.” (12/19/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-misconduct-agreements/sexual-misconduct-outcry-makes-u-s-lawyers-rethink-confidentiality-idUSKBN1ED1DM

—–

11) China condemns US “Cold War mentality” on national security
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“China has condemned the ‘Cold War mentality’ of the White House after the publication of a new US national security policy. The document labels China and Russia as ‘rival powers’ and lays out a number of potential threats they pose. The new strategy said Beijing and other governments were determined to challenge American power. But China’s foreign ministry criticised the strategy report, saying Washington should ‘abandon outdated notions.’ Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: ‘No country or report will succeed in distorting facts or deploying malicious slander.’” (12/19/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42409148

—–

12) CA: Berkeley may repeal law that lets police use pepper spray
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A civilian commission in Berkeley worried about the health effects of pepper spray is urging the City Council to repeal an ordinance that allows police officers to use the chemical on violent protesters. The council approved the law in September in response to a series of destructive political clashes between extremist groups in the city. The vote overturned a 20-year-old ban on police using the eye-stinging spray for crowd control. Police officers have long been equipped with pepper spray, but were prohibited from using it when a mass of people was involved. The September ordinance gave them permission to deploy the agent on people committing violence in a crowd.” (12/19/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Berkeley-may-repeal-law-that-lets-police-use-12439915.php

—–

13) UFOs “are real”: Ex-Navy pilot describes encounter
Source: Raw Story

“A former commanding officer of a U.S. Navy squadron claims to have seen a flying object about the size of his F/A-18 fighter plane that resembled a white Tic Tac. David Fravor said he saw the object after a break in a routine training mission off the California coast on November 14, 2004. The former officer claimed the unidentified 40-foot-long wingless object moved rapidly, unlike anything he had ever seen in the air, and he has not forgotten it since. ‘I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,’ Fravor said in an interview with ABC News. ‘I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. After 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.’ The ex-Navy pilot explained that he was on a training flight mission around 13 years ago when the incident occurred.” (12/19/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/ufos-are-real-ex-navy-pilot-describes-encounter

—–

14) Japan: US “defense” contractors to make out like bandits on North Korea security theater
Source: Newsweek

“Japan’s Cabinet has approved a plan to expand its ballistic missile combat systems and increase its defense capabilities amid escalating missile and nuclear weapons threats from North Korea. A proposal to build two Aegis Ashore batteries was approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on Tuesday. The cost of the sites, without the missiles, will likely be at least $2 billion to build and officials say they are not likely to be operational until 2023 at the earliest … Each Aegis Ashore battery is estimated to cost approximately $8.9 billion, reports Bloomberg. … Last month, President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Abe to purchase more U.S. military equipment amid threats from North Korea.” [editor’s note: North Korea’s regime has “threatened” to defend itself if attacked – TLK] (12/19/17)

http://www.newsweek.com/shinzo-abe-approve-plan-expand-japans-ballistic-missile-combat-systems-752100

—–

15) Saudi Arabia: Explosion heard over capital as witnesses claim ballistic missile was “intercepted and destroyed”
Source: The Mirror [UK]

“Saudi Arabia’s air defence forces [claim to] have shot down a ballistic missile fired towards the capital by Yemen’s Houthi rebels [sic]. The Saudi-led military coalition [invading] Yemen [claimed] it had intercepted the missile south of Riyadh. A spokesman for the Houthis wrote on Twitter that the rebels had fired a Volcano 2-H missile towards the al-Yamama royal palace in the capital. Witnesses described hearing an explosion as the missile was destroyed overhead. Footage posted on social media shows a plume of smoke in the air after the projectile was intercepted by Saudi Arabia’s military.” (12/19/17)

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/riyadh-explosion-blast-heard-capital-11720389

—–

16) Police: California couple tried selling kids for money and drugs
Source: Fox News

“A California couple was arrested after they attempted to sell their children in exchange for money and drugs, authorities said Monday. Vincent Calogero, 38, and Sarah Nilson, 32, were taken into custody about 4 p.m. Thursday after police received a call about possible child abuse, Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. Residents in the neighborhood called police to report the children were in danger. It’s unclear what incident led to the report. Calogero and Nilson were attempting to give or sell their two sons in exchange for money and drugs, police said. The children were placed with Department of Children and Family Services personnel. The couple were booked on suspicion of felony child endangerment, child neglect and being under the influence of a controlled substance. They are being held on $100,000 bail.” (12/19/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/19/california-couple-tried-selling-kids-for-money-and-drugs-police-say.html

—–

17) Kaspersky sues US Heimatsicherheitsdienst over federal blacklist
Source: Ars Technica

“Kaspersky Labs, the embattled security vendor, has sued the Department of Homeland Security on Monday. The company alleges that, because the agency essentially blacklisted Kaspersky in September over its alleged links to the Russian government, it has unduly suffered as a result. Specifically, Kaspersky says that, due to the way DHS'[s] Binding Operational Directive (BOD) was issued, the company didn’t have adequate time to respond to the government’s concerns, which immediately had a deleterious effect on its business.” (12/18/17)

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/kaspersky-sues-dhs-over-federal-blacklist/

—–

18) FDA gang to target homeopathic remedies
Source: Time

“U.S. health officials plan to crack down on a growing number of unproven alternative remedies, focusing on products containing dangerous ingredients that have occasionally been linked to serious injury and death. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a new proposal for regulating homeopathic medicines that have long been on the fringe of mainstream medicine. The agency plans to target products that pose the biggest safety risks, including those marketed for children or for serious diseases. But under the government’s framework, the vast majority of low-risk products would remain on the market. Popular homeopathic brands include Zicam Allergy Relief and Cold-Eeze.” (12/18/17)

http://time.com/5070277/fda-homeopathy-alternative-medicine/

—–

19) Corporate welfare queen Boeing begs Uncle Sugar to protect it from mean ol’ Bombardier at trade hearing
Source: Seattle Times

“Boeing and Canada’s Bombardier squared off Monday in a case that’s putting profits and diplomatic ties on the line. In a daylong hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission, Kevin McAllister, the head of Boeing’s commercial-airplanes division, argued that Bombardier’s sale of its CSeries jets at what he said are below fair-market prices poses an existential threat to Boeing’s 737 MAX 7. ‘Our Max 7 is at extreme risk,’ McAllister told the trade panel. ‘If you don’t level the playing field now, it will be too late.’ Boeing’s push to have tariffs imposed on sales of the CSeries threatens to block Delta Air Lines from taking delivery of the 75 CSeries jets it ordered in 2016. But Greg May, Delta’s senior vice president for supply-chain management and fleet strategy, said Boeing’s filing of the complaint is ‘absurd.’ ‘Boeing did not lose this sale to Bombardier,’ May told the panel. ‘When we chose to add the CS100 aircraft to our fleet, Boeing simply did not and does not have the right-sized aircraft.’” (12/18/17)

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-bombardier-clash-over-tariffs-at-trade-hearing/

—–

20) Trump regime blames North Korea for WannaCry
Source: CNBC

“The Trump administration has publicly blamed North Korea for unleashing the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe earlier this year. ‘The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,’ Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, wrote in a piece published on Monday night in the Wall Street Journal. … North Korean government representatives could not be immediately reached for comment. The country has repeatedly denied responsibility for WannaCry and called other allegations about cyber attacks a smear campaign.” [editor’s note: I wonder if the Trump regime will offer any more evidence for this claim than its opponents have offered for “Russian election meddling?” – TLK] (12/18/17)

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/18/us-to-blame-north-korea-for-wannacry-cyber-attack.html

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

21) Holiday cheer means reasonably priced, smuggled booze
Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“Keeping the old punch bowl filled can get spendy at this time of year, so you can’t blame Juncheng Chen for making an epic party run to try to keep costs down. Unfortunately, officials in his home state of New York don’t like it when their captive subjects drive across the border to stock up in jurisdictions where the booze prices are cheaper. They arrested him earlier this month and issued a press release about law enforcement’s great blow against frugal scofflawry. … Huh. It’s almost as if burdening popular products with excessively high taxes inevitably causes people to seek to avoid paying them through any and all means, legal or illegal, no matter what enforcement methods are imposed. Who would have guessed? Except for anybody paying attention, that is.” (12/19/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/19/holiday-cheer-means-reasonably-priced-sm

—–

22) Trump’s “National Security Strategy” is the opposite of national security
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a ‘National Security Strategy’ report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump’s offering is of a piece with his prior displays of economic illiteracy and foreign policy jingoism. It’s a dog’s breakfast of policy pronouncements that couldn’t be more opposed to real ‘national security’ if that had been the author’s intention. The document reiterates Trump’s commitment to economic protectionism in the guise of ‘fair and reciprocal’ trade, rattles sabers at Russia, China, and North Korea, and commits to extending decades of disastrous US military adventurism in the Middle East. Trump’s distant predecessors showed us what a real ‘National Security Strategy’ would look like.” (12/19/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/12363

—–

23) Media, slow down; fake Trump stories hurt you
Source: USA Today
by Jon Gabriel

“One year ago, I counseled Trump’s many detractors to pace themselves. Following Donald Trump’s shock election, the permanent political class had gone through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining and depression, but the time had come for acceptance. Twelve months on and acceptance is nowhere to be found. Every news cycle brings another round of hyperventilation — sometimes two or three rounds. Yes, Trump was and remains a very different sort president, especially following a polished politico like Barack Obama. But, as I said back then, ‘It’s going to be a long four years, and there will be plenty of real decisions to get outraged about. If you keep losing your mind every time Donald Trump acts like Donald Trump, you’re going to guarantee a long eight years.’” (12/19/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2017/12/19/beltway-media-needs-take-deep-breath-fake-trump-stories-hurt-you-jon-gabriel-column/959639001

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24) Texas cop could get away with murder thanks to federal law enforcement partnership
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“The state of Texas wants to prosecute a former Austin Police Department detective for using excessive force and killing a man, but the officer has so far avoided prosecution by claiming federal immunity because he was working on a task force organized by the FBI. … Klienter’s attorneys have successfully argued that the state of Texas cannot prosecute him because he was working in a ‘federal capacity’ at the time. Under this legal reasoning, the supremacy clause of the Constitution affords federal agents immunity from state prosecution. The argument follows the typical bastardized view of the supremacy clause. As HuffPo put it, ‘federal law must prevail over an inconsistent state law.’ Of course, that’s not what the supremacy clause says at all.” (12/19/17)

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/12/texas-cop-could-get-away-with-murder-thanks-to-federal-law-enforcement-partnership/

—–

25) Free association is not fascism: How many times does it have to be said?
Source: Attack The System
by Keith Preston

“I started AttacktheSystem.Com 17 years ago as an anarchist-themed alternative politics website for the purpose of moving anarchism away from the familiar doctrinaire leftist fundamentalism that dominates much of the anarchist milieu, and creating a forum where anarchists can engage with the entire range of alternative politics, culture, and philosophy. But, to paraphrase Max Stirner, ‘our anarchists are very pious people,’ and there were and continue to be some in the anarchist milieu who are more concerned about rooting out heresy than engaging with ideas. While many anarchists prefer an anarcho-sectarian approach, I prefer to embrace the entire legacy of anti-authoritarian and anti-institutional thinking. While many anarchists are obsessed with ostracizing perceived moral lepers, I am interested in engaging with people and ideas from all over the place. A fundamental conflict between my approach of that of some of these critics seems to be rooted in the application of the venerable anarchist concept of free association.” (12/19/17)

https://attackthesystem.com/2017/12/19/free-association-is-not-fascism-how-many-times-does-it-have-to-be-said/

—–

26) Hysteria and “Net Neutrality” … aka government control of the Internet
Source: Town Hall
by Jack Kerwick

“Here are a few things that everyone who is interested in forming a thoughtful view on whole issue of so-called ‘Net Neutrality’ should keep in mind. First, the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius advocated on behalf of an idea that has since become enshrined in a doctrine that his followers recognize as ‘the Rectification of Names.’ To put the point simply, Confucius realized that in order to discern reality for what it is, we must call things for what they are. In order to resolve problems, we must affix to them accurate labels. Confucian wisdom couldn’t be more pertinent to the issue at hand, for insofar as it is used to refer to the position for which the Obama administration’s has become the popular face, the term ‘Net Neutrality’ is about as inaccurate and misleading a label as any demagogue can conjure. An eminently and literally more accurate label is that of ‘Government Control’ of the internet.” (12/19/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/12/19/hysteria-and-net-neutralityor-governmentcontrol-of-the-internet-n2424525

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27) No, scrapping Net Neutrality laws won’t kill the Internet
Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“The decision by the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to remove so-called ‘net neutrality’ laws last week produced a flurry of outrage. The American media company Netflix was most vociferous, declaring on Twitter: ‘we’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity, and civic engagement.’ Such sentiment has echoed around the world. But all of this seems odd. Netflix itself has been streaming media online since 2007, and the specific President Obama-era net neutrality laws only came into force in 2015. Was the internet before 2015 really the barren, innovation-free zone painted by critics of last week’s change? Or are opponents of the FCC decision prone to hyperbole?” (12/19/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/no-scrapping-net-neutrality-laws-wont-kill-internet

—–

28) Is Betsy DeVos about to pump up the school-to-prison pipeline?
Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

“It now looks like the Trump administration’s repeal of Obama-era guidelines allowing transgender students to use the school bathroom of their preference was just the beginning of a long list of regulatory reversals including efforts to ensure school discipline practices don’t discriminate against students by race or disability and disproportionally push students into a school-to-prison pipeline. Recently, Politico broke the news that officials in Trump’s department of education led by Secretary Betsy DeVos seem ready to scrap Obama-era guidance that compel schools to end zero-tolerance discipline policies and curb widespread tendencies to use out-of-school suspensions disproportionally on black and brown school children and students with disabilities. In a meeting coordinated by rightwing think tanks, according to Education Week, high-level officials in DeVos’s department heard a one-sided presentation by critics of the Obama guidelines and gave little indication of wanting to get all sides of the debate.” [editor’s note: This guy’s handwaving would be hilarious if it were not so tiresome; he must also be a “net neutrality” minion – SAT] (12/19/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20171219/is-betsy-devos-about-to-pump-up-the-school-to-prison-pipeline

—–

29) Stop the newest border screening bill
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Adam Schwartz & David Ruiz

“Biometric screening, surveillance drones, social media snooping, license plate readers — all this and more would be required by new federal legislation to expand high-tech spying on U.S. citizens and immigrants alike at and near the U.S. border. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced ‘the SECURE Act’ (S. 2192) on December 5.” (12/19/17)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/12/stop-newest-border-screening-bill

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30) Why Trump’s Muslim ban 3.0 is so dangerous
Source: In These Times
by Maha Hilal

“Two years ago this December, Donald Trump issued his now infamous statement: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.’ Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump has sought to put three different Muslim bans into place, with the last now making its way through the courts. In a December 4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided to allow Muslim ban 3.0 to be implemented while challenges to its constitutionality make their way through the lower courts. In this, the Supreme Court overturned appellate courts’ earlier decisions to halt its implementation during the appeal process. To be clear, this decision was not based on the merits of the case or the ban’s constitutionality.” (12/19/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20777/donald-trump-muslim-ban-islamophobia-discrimination-war-on-terror

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31) Congress should let FISA amendments expire
Source: Libertarian Party
by staff

“Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in 2008 to enable surveillance of persons or organizations outside the United States, but in practice section 702 of the act includes sweeping warrants for the National Security Agency (NSA) and its PRISM surveillance program to collect static information stored in widely used online portals like Google and Facebook — no matter whose information it is. Section 702 of FISA is set to expire on Dec. 31. ‘Congress should let it expire,’ said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark.” (12/19/17)

https://www.lp.org/congress-let-fisa-amendments-expire/

—–

32) Do you trust your boss to “share” your tips?
Source: The Nation
by Michelle Chen

“If you work for tips, you know how important it is to go home at the end of your shift with your cash in your pocket, knowing you’ve gotten paid for the day. But what if your boss got to keep the wages instead, and pay you later, maybe? That’s the deal the Trump administration is proposing for restaurant workers nationwide. The Labor Department thinks workers should trust bosses to hold on to workers’ tips and take their own cut as they please. The Department of Labor has proposed a rule change that would tweak federal labor standards for tipped workers, such as restaurant servers and bartenders, to give employers major discretion over how to spend the wages they earn in cash tips.” [editor’s note: A tip is a gift, not income; now see Sec. 102A of the IRS code – SAT] (12/19/17)

https://www.thenation.com/article/do-you-trust-your-boss-to-share-your-tips

—–

33) Individual morality and consequences
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“When I express my disbelief in objective morality, especially to libertarians, I’m usually met with a lengthy explanation of how a world without objective morality would devolved into a world of murder, rape, and pillage. It’s the same argument Christians often make against atheists. Without a belief in God, they believe people will just murder, rape, and pillage. However, people who make these arguments make two mistakes. First, they assume that all morality must be established by an outside force. Second, they believe morality and consequences are interchangeable.” (12/19/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/12/19/individual-morality-and-consequences/

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34) Bitcoin mining is costly, just like gold mining
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“There is a reason that Bitcoin is being called Digital Gold. It was structured to operate the same way as the classical gold standard minus the sponsorship of government. It requires no centralized management. You have to expend resources to become the first owner of the initial resource. There is a finite supply of the specie payment. Payments are finally settled when made. Bitcoin is the gold standard ported over to the digital age. In gold mining, as the price of the metal rises, the inspiration for finding and mining more deposits rises, along with the profits of the mining industry itself.” (12/19/17)

https://fee.org/articles/bitcoin-mining-is-costly-just-like-gold-mining/

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35) What South Africa’s Ramaphosa must do next
Source: Reuters
by William Saunderson-Meyer

“After a bruising battle that engaged ordinary South Africans in a manner reminiscent of the heady combination of fear and hope that galvanized the country after Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years of incarceration in 1990, his ruling African National Congress party has chosen a new leader to try to lift the country’s veil of sleaze. Cyril Ramaphosa, at present serving as a deputy to the controversial and widely-despised President Jacob Zuma, is now the shoo-in as the party’s candidate to become South Africa’s next president in 2019, should the ANC win that general election. Publicly embraced as the anti-corruption savior of a country deeply divided by the sleaze of Zuma’s two-term administration, Ramaphosa’s victory finally dashes Zuma’s hopes of installing his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as his successor.” (12/19/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saundersonmeyer-southafrica-commentar/commentary-what-south-africas-ramaphosa-must-do-next-idUSKBN1EC2S8

—–

36) Family, pop culture, and the nurture assumption
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“The central message of behavioral genetics is that modern human beings systematically overestimate the effects of upbringing and systematically underestimate the effects of heredity. Judith Harris famously called this bias ‘the nurture assumption.’ But why are people so predisposed to the nurture assumption? I’ve previously argued that first-hand parenting experience is misleading, because the short-run effects of parenting far exceed the long-run effects. Changing kids is easy; the hard thing is preventing them from changing back!” (12/19/17)

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

—–

37) Rise of the Superfluous Class, part 16
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Thank God for experience. Last week we had another of our meetings at Jay’s bar, and it almost turned into a disaster. Only long experience saved it. Everything was proceeding nicely until I saw my old friend Martin walking up to the bar with a man who creeped me out. This guy was perfectly attired and wore the same type of overcoat I used to see in and around power centers in Rome. (I lived in Rome for a short time.) This guy smelled of ‘heartless elite.’ The last time I talked with someone who gave me that vibe, she asked me about e-gold … which was attacked and destroyed a year or two later. Coincidence, perhaps, but I wasn’t about to take such a chance again.” (12/19/17)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/rosc-16-rebels-with-full-bellies/

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38) It’s a battle, not the war (FISA Sec 702)
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“The attack on our privacy IS an attack on our liberty. It is government and other institutions (schools and major corporations, to name two) watching and controlling — directly or indirectly — what we can do and what we are prevented from doing. In the long term, we must take away the power of government — even when that power is supposedly used to protect us and give us what we need. It is more than just shining the light on the scurrying rodents and insects that the police and surveillance state smell so strongly of. It is more than just keeping them from accomplishing their goals. It is more than just refusing to cooperate. It requires taking action not just to defend ourselves against those who would be (and all too often ARE) our masters. It requires taking action against them, responding to their violence and threats and actions in kind.” (12/19/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/12/19/its-a-battle-not-the-war-fisa-sec-702/

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39) The Republican opposition goes out with a whimper
Source: The New Republic
by Alex Shephard

“On August 1, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona published Conscience of a Conservative, a compact but fiery denunciation of the Republican Party’s turn towards demagoguery, nativism, and Donald Trump. Decrying the ‘Faustian bargain’ the party made in accepting Trump in return for conservative judges and the occasional policy victory, Flake slammed his colleagues for supporting a petty and unstable tyrant bent on undermining American democracy. ‘We pretended that the emperor wasn’t naked,’ he wrote. ‘Even worse: We checked our critical faculties at the door and pretended that the emperor was making sense.’ Three days earlier, Flake had voted with 48 of his Republican colleagues in an unsuccessful attempt to repeal Obamacare in the dead of night. Four months later, he would join 50 of his Senate colleagues (including John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, who all undermined the July effort to repeal Obamacare) to pass a highly regressive and unpopular tax reform package that will inordinately benefit corporations and the wealthy.” (12/19/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146354/republican-opposition-goes-whimper

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40) Why do people say that hunter gatherers don’t work very much?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“The average British food budget for a family is some £60 a week. The median full time hourly wage is some £13 or so an hour. Our calculator tells us that this is 5 hours of work a week for the food required. Note well that that is 5 hours work to feed a family, something we can define as the (still, just about) modal four people of two adults and two children, or if preferred, two adults only. Using that latter we work somewhere between one fifth and one tenth of the amount of time hunter gatherers do to fill our bellies.” (12/19/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/why-do-people-say-that-hunter-gatherers-dont-work-very-much

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41) Leave them kids alone
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Common sense says you don’t suspend toddlers from school for wiggling their fingers as if wielding a gun, or for sculpting a ‘gun’ out of a slice of Wonder Bread or Freihofer’s. Yet evidence continues to mount that all too many teachers and administrators are immune to considerations of reasonableness when it comes to kids who misbehave. (Or ‘misbehave.’) Such enemies of childhood innocence must be hindered. So let’s give two and a half cheers to Ohio lawmaker Peggy Lehner, who proposes to legislate an end in her state to suspending children in the third grade or younger who aren’t threatening anybody. (I’m not sure why kids in grades later than third can’t catch the same break.)” (12/19/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/19/leave-them-kids-alone/

—–

42) Trump’s new “principled realism”: Economics = security
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“President Trump calls his new national security strategy ‘principled realism.’ We call it a welcome return to a foreign policy premised first and foremost on U.S. interests, not globalist sloganeering. ‘Whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition,’ Trump said, departing from the globalist script followed by most recent presidents of both parties. Even so, there was nothing wild or radical about this new national security strategy. Bloomberg said it in a headline: ‘Trump’s National Security Strategy Is Shockingly Normal.’ Trump’s normalcy is undeniable. It rests on what he calls ‘four pillars,’ which include: 1. Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life; 2. Promote American prosperity; 3. Preserve peace through strength; 4. Advance American influence. Could anyone really object to those? But it goes beyond mere generalities.” [editor’s note: This site is normally fairly sane in its analyses; not sure if they are this time – SAT] (12/19/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/trumps-new-principled-realism-economics-security

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43) Obama’s forgotten lies and frauds
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“Donald Trump has been flogging the truth and twisting facts since the day he arrived in the Oval Office. But anyone who expected more candor from him as president than on the campaign trail was criminally naive. The real mystery nowadays is why the media seeks to expunge the falsehoods of prior presidents. ‘Trump’s Lies versus Obama’s’ was the headline in a Sunday Review New York Times piece aiming to drive a final coffin nail into Trump’s credibility. The Times claimed Trump has already ‘told nearly six times as many falsehoods as Obama did during his entire (8-year) presidency.’ The columnists seem so distraught that it is surprising the article is not in all caps. But the Times'[s] list of falsehoods is itself a charade with gaping Montana-sized holes. Has the Times forgotten about Edward Snowden?” (12/18/17)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2017/12/18/hill-obamas-forgotten-lies-frauds/

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44) Trump’s NLRB showers big business with gifts, workers with coal
Source: The American Prospect
by Justin Miller

“This holiday season, President Trump is doling out lumps of coal for workers (and not the clean kind either). In his first year as president, Trump appointed two new members on the National Labor Relations Board, giving the board its first pro-business majority in eight years. By the end of September the Senate had confirmed the appointments of Marvin Kaplan, a Republican lawyer, and William Emmanuel, a corporate labor lawyer. However, nobody expected the new board to take much action until after the NLRB’s Chairman, Philip A. Miscimarra, retired in mid-December and Trump replaced him. But Trump’s federal labor agency pulled off a Christmas miracle. As all eyes were on the fate of the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut package and Miscimarra on his way out the door on Saturday, the board released a flurry of decisions within 48 hours late last week that overturned a number of pro-worker precedents set by the Obama board.” [editor’s note: Civics 101 … Once more time, executive orders and agency “decisions” can always be reversed, unless Congress passes a bill, the President signs it and SCOTUS says it is within the Constitution – SAT] (12/19/17)

http://prospect.org/article/trump-nlrb-showers-big-business-gifts-workers-coal

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45) A fistful of people who don’t suck!
Source: exile in happy valley
by comrade hermit

“On the political front; the Democrats have become McCarthyites, The Republicans have (officially) become Nazis, everybody raped everybody and revolutions were betrayed on three separate continents (in Venezuela, Kurdistan and Catalonia) just in time for the October Uprising’s centennial anniversary and that doesn’t even cover America’s ever expanding net of ghastly foreign interventions (coming to a madrasa near you!). So it should come as little surprise that I had a hard time coming up with a list of people who actually DON’T suck. For the last few years I’ve topped off the year with a list of 16 People Who Don’t Suck! Kind of an attempt to make up for the overwhelming negativity that usually governs this blog. This year I’m sorry to say that I just couldn’t cut it. There quite simply aren’t 16 people alive who don’t suck, at least not in a noteworthy way.” (12/18/17)

http://exileinhappyvalley.blogspot.com/2017/12/a-fistful-of-people-who-dont-suck.html

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46) Jesus was born in a police state
Source: OpEdNews
by John W Whitehead

“The Christmas narrative of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one. The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable, where Mary gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. Unfortunately, Jesus was born into a police state not unlike the growing menace of the American police state. And when he grew up, Jesus did not shy away from speaking truth to power. Indeed, his teachings undermined the political and religious establishment of his day. He was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be. Yet what if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, Jesus had been born and raised in the American police state?” (12/18/17)

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Jesus-Was-Born-in-a-Police-by-John-Whitehead-Christmas_Mass-Spying-Surveillance_People-Jesus-Christ_Police-Brutality-171218-768.html

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47) Liars, and the lied-to
Source: The Zelman Partisans
by Carl Bussjaeger

“Sometimes I’m willing to allow that a person is ignorant, rather than maliciously lying, when advocating for victim disarmament. That’s because there are — at least — two types of gun control advocates. The first are those for whom the goal is a disarmed citizenry — for the sake of people control — rather than a reduction in violence. The second is their targeted demographic: those who didn’t care enough about the subject to have already educated themselves using readily available data. The first group lies to the second to instill panic so that they will begin to care. But the targeted demographic will be operating on the dramatic lies and blood-dancing they accepted passively. How do you tell the ignorantly well-intentioned — who might be capable of grasping reality once it’s presented — from the outright liars? Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.” (12/19/17)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=4689

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48) We’re all Mary Whitehouse now
Source: spiked
by Andrew Doyle

“The celebrated writer William S Burroughs shot his wife in the face. The sculptor Eric Gill molested two of his daughters and his pet dog. The novelist Anne Perry helped to bludgeon her best friend’s mother to death with a brick. Lord Byron committed incest with his half-sister. Joe Orton boasted about having sex with underage boys. Caravaggio murdered a man while attempting to castrate him. Michael Bay made Transformers. Few would seek to defend these acts. In modern parlance, they would be described as ‘problematic.’ But it’s worth reminding ourselves that just because an artist is widely admired, that doesn’t make him or her incapable of committing terrible crimes. There has always been disagreement over whether or not art can be separated from the artist, but lately the question seems more pressing than ever.” (12/19/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/were-all-mary-whitehouse-now/

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49) Free trade for Christmas (trees)
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Scott McPherson

“Whether it’s for cheap steel or cheap tires, Americans are supposed to be afraid of trade with China because it provides us with products we want at low prices. But to the damage allegedly inflicted on our economy by those who would save us money, must we now add … artificial Christmas trees? According to a November 27 story in Breitbart News, Chinese companies dominate the domestic market, and their fake trees are ‘driving’ Christmas tree-growers in Oregon out of business. … There’s no reason to be concerned. Demand for real trees is declining in favor of artificial trees because more consumers prefer their convenience, quality, and price. Breitbart claims this is a ‘vicious cycle,’ but it’s just a reflection of consumer desire.” (12/19/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/free-trade-christmas-trees/

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50) Telemedicine: Answering the call of those who need it most
Source: Independent Institute
by Raymond J March

“Telemedicine — using telecommunication technology to help administer medical care — provides patients swift and reliable contact with a physician at a distance. Currently, 71 percent of health care providers use telemedicine tools. Telemedicine can provide swift service when care is urgent and time is short, and, perhaps, save the lives of patients like Gearhart. The VA already uses telemedicine on a large scale, accounting for approximately two million clinical encounters at a cost of $1.2 billion in 2016. But it isn’t yet available to all its patients. Recently, the VA announced plans to increase telemedicine access by enacting an ‘anywhere-to-anywhere’ program that would allow VA physicians to override state-licensing restrictions to provide care beyond state boundaries.” (12/18/17)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9223

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

51) FIREside Chats, episode 4
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

“Spotlight on Speech Codes 2018.” [Flash video] (12/19/17)

https://www.thefire.org/fireside-chats-04-spotlight-on-speech-codes-2018/

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52) Interview: Adam Williams
Source: Peaceful Anarchism

“Please enjoy my recent conversation with Adam Williams, comeback coach, Avatar master, crypto consulting expert. Herein we discussed the Avatar course, being a better version of yourself, Danilo stand up comedy, Sterlin Luxan, Bitcoin can undermine Central Banking institutions, Peter Schiff, Mike Maloney, Hidden Secrets of Money, How To Win Friends and Influence People, Tragedy of the Commons and Potato Chips, Danilovich Chess YouTube channel, Mark Passio: What On Earth Is Happening, Minimalism, Comeback Coaching, exciting testimonial and more!” [Flash video or Flash audio] (12/19/17)

http://peacefulanarchism.com/adam-williams-comeback-coach-avatar-master-crypto-consulting-expert/

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53) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 690
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“Looking to 2018 and beyond.” [various formats] (12/19/17)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/690-looking-to-2018-and-beyond/

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54) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 35
Source: Libertarianism.org

“There was a conspiracy to create Christmas. This is a fairly standard historical interpretation of the American Christmas celebration.” [various formats] (12/19/17)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/christmas-conspiracy

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55) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/19/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Darrel and MWD take back ‘porch monkey’ then tell you how to not get hacked, whether you own Bitcoin or not. Plus, what’s wrong with these GD kids today!” [various formats] (12/19/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15415

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56) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/18/17
Source: Cato Institute

“The centerpiece of the Republican tax reform plan is a substantial cut in the corporate tax rate. Spending cuts will apparently have to wait. Chris Edwards comments.” [various formats] (12/18/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/tax-cuts-not-spending-cuts-are-way

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57) Free Talk Live, 12/18/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Hook-up Website Sues Competitor Over Logo :: Intellectual Property and Libertarianism :: Belief in Property :: Bitcoin Fee Madness :: Toll Increase? :: Trucker Logs :: Bullet Fired in Air Kills Boy :: Ricky on Gun Safety :: 4 Chan Q Thread :: Buying Altcoins :: Old Woman Arrested for Trespass at Nursing Home :: Cashing Out of Cryptocurrency :: HOSTS — Ian, Melanie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/18/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-18

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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