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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,872
Saturday, December 23rd, 2017
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In the News:

0) At RRND, the new year comes early …
1) Spain: Rajoy rejects call for talks with Puigdemont
2) Old Bitcoin transaction fees surge to record $55, price dives, Coinbase halts trading
3) Snowden’s new app turns your spare Android phone into a pocket-sized security system
4) TX: Deputies kill six-year-old
5) CA: Fight for Charles Manson’s remains has turned into a “circus,” Kern County attorney says

Everybody Has An Opinion:

6) Anatomy of a tax cut
7) Those thieving thieves and their schemes
8) Airbnb regs are bad for small towns too
9) Quantum Vibe, 12/22/17
10) Rule of law: Order versus justice

The Sound and the Fury:

11) Now available: The Robert Heinlein Interview — Complete Audio
12) Felony Friday, episode 103
13) Free Talk Live, 12/21/17

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

0) At RRND, the new year comes early …

Dear readers,

It’s Saturday — but it wouldn’t do to let RRND’s 15th birthday go by without at least a short weekend edition, would it? Here are five news links, five commentaries, and three audio/video selections for your perusal. Thanks to all of you for a great decade and a half (and then some in our previous formats)!

We’ll likely be running similarly short editions over the coming week. The news cycle tends to mercifully slow down a bit over “Christmas break,” and many of our commentary sources take the opportunity for some time off as well.

Finally, yes, I’m going to rattle the tin cup vigorously this last week of 2017. We’re a reader-supported publication and our year-end fundraiser is $1,577 short of its $5,000 goal. If you find the freedom movement’s daily newspaper valuable but have never returned any of that value as financial support, now would be a great time:

http://rationalreview.com/support-rrnd

Have a great weekend and happy holidays!

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Publisher
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

—–

1) Spain: Rajoy rejects call for talks with Puigdemont
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rebuffed calls by Catalonia’s ousted [sic] leader, Carles Puigdemont, to meet for new talks outside the country. Mr Rajoy said he would negotiate with whoever became the new head of the Catalan government but they would have to take up their post in Catalonia. Mr Puigdemont earlier called for talks to take place in Brussels, where he is living in self-imposed exile. Separatist parties won a majority in a Thursday’s snap regional election. … The Spanish government imposed direct rule on Catalonia and called the election after declaring an October independence referendum illegal.” (12/22/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42458717

—–

2) Old Bitcoin transaction fees surge to record $55, price dives, Coinbase halts trading
Source: Bloomberg

“The growing pains of exchanges crashing and transaction times slowing down experienced during the surge in bitcoin are proving to be much more painful on the way down. Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said all buying and selling was temporarily disabled during today’s rout, after having delays in processing wire transfers and verifying new customers for the past week due to higher traffic. Bitcoin transaction volume jumped more than 30 percent on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, while fees to approve and record the transactions on the blockchain surged to a record $55, according to Bit Info Charts. … Bitcoin has tumbled as much as 42 percent over the past four days to $10,776, posting the biggest decline over such a span since 2013.” [editor’s note: Personally, my very small crypto holdings are in Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Monero. IMO, Old Bitcoin is a dead dinosaur that’s only still flopping around because its nervous system hasn’t got the news of its death to its brain yet – TLK] (12/22/17)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-22/bitcoin-growing-pains-even-more-pronounced-as-price-takes-a-dive

—–

3) Snowden’s new app turns your spare Android phone into a pocket-sized security system
Source: Gizmodo

“NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has helped create a new way to protect you from potential snoops. Snowden joined with the Freedom of the Press Foundation to create an open-source Android app called Haven, which turns your phone into a pocket-sized security system. All you need is a spare phone and a healthy dose of paranoia. … The problem Haven aims to address is known as an ‘evil maid’ attack. Basically, many of the precautions you might take to protect your cybersecurity can go out the window if someone gains physical access to your device. If that happens without your knowledge, a malicious actor could have eyes and ears on all your private files and you’re none the wiser. Haven’s primary purpose, then, is to guard your laptop or other devices against anyone who might try to tamper with them. But the app can be helpful in other scenarios as well.” (12/22/17)

https://gizmodo.com/snowdens-new-app-turns-your-spare-android-phone-into-a-1821530494

—–

4) TX: Deputies kill six-year-old
Source: US News & World Report

“Four sheriff’s deputies firing at a wanted felon shot and killed a 6-year-old boy when at least one round went through the wall of his San Antonio-area mobile home and struck him, sheriff’s officials said. The woman, sought for offenses including car theft and who was being chased by Bexar County deputies, was attempting to break in to the trailer Thursday afternoon when the shooting happened, Sheriff Javier Salazar said. The woman was shot multiple times and died at the scene. The boy was struck in the torso and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [editor’s note: There are two kinds of firearms discharges — intentional and negligent. So the only real question is whether the person who fired the shot should be charged with murder or manslaughter – TLK] (12/22/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/texas/articles/2017-12-22/boy-7-kil

—–

5) CA: Fight for Charles Manson’s remains has turned into a “circus,” Kern County attorney says
Source: Los Angeles Times

“Even in death, Charles Manson is proving to be troublesome for authorities. A month after Manson died in a Bakersfield hospital, at least five people have stepped forward to claim his remains. With so many parties vying for the body, the Kern County Counsel filed paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday asking the court to keep it abreast of any future claims. The coroner doesn’t want to release the remains to the wrong person and end up getting sued by someone else, the county’s attorney said.” (12/22/17)

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-manson-remains-20171221-story.html

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

6) Anatomy of a tax cut
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“Taxation is theft, I know, but the repeal of taxation, which would mean the repeal of the state, is not on the menu today. Sorry about that. So for now we must talk about the best available option. That’s life. You must begin any journey exactly where you are. I’ve watched the debate over the vanilla Republican tax bill closely during these many months. It’s been fascinating at many levels, not least sociologically. People reveal much about themselves — and their views of personal autonomy — in how they discuss taxes.” (12/22/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/daily-featured-articles/tgif-anatomy-tax-cut/

—–

7) Those thieving thieves and their schemes
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“I know practically nothing about the most recent tweaking of the gang’s theft conspiracy. I hadn’t been keeping up with developments, details, or news about it, and I don’t care enough to research it. Some people claim it means they will be stealing slightly less. (I sort of doubt it, because they always seem to manage to make up their theft quotas elsewhere, but I can pretend for a moment.) Some other people are having a conniption because some people are happy if it’s the case that slightly less will be stolen. What? I am against theft. All theft. That being said, in my opinion stealing less is always preferable to stealing more (or the same).” (12/22/17)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2017/12/those-thieving-thieves-and-their-schemes.html

—–

8) Airbnb regs are bad for small towns too
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Martha Ekdahl

“The city of Lexington, Virginia recently updated their zoning ordinance to include restrictions on short-term rentals (STRs), including Airbnbs. Colloquially called Airbnb laws, these regulations are common in large cities, but smaller cities take a larger risk of harming their economy by restricting one of the many cottage industries providing income to residents. By capping total rental nights to 104 per year and threatening business license revocation on the basis of neighbor complaints, Lexington fails to recognize the potential negative impact this action will have on the city’s small economy.” (12/22/17)

https://fee.org/articles/airbnb-regs-are-bad-for-small-towns-too/

—–

9) Quantum Vibe, 12/22/17
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (12/22/17)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1737

—–

10) Rule of law: Order versus justice
Source: Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

“One of the most important factors that generate prosperity is rule of law, which means having an objective set of laws that apply to everyone. Rule of law provides the incentive for people to engage in productive activity so they can prosper themselves by producing value for others. In the absence of rule of law, institutions favor some people over others, and entrepreneurial individuals have the incentive to look for ways to join the favored group and to benefit themselves through activities that impose costs on others. Rule of law removes the opportunity to prosper through connections and cronyism, and creates opportunities to prosper through mutually-advantageous exchange.” (12/21/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/12/21/rule-of-law-order-versus-justice/

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

11) Now available: The Robert Heinlein Interview — Complete Audio
Source: J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review

“Just in time for Christmas! Available for the first time ever!” [editor’s note: Most RRND/FND links are to “free” audio, but this looks like an exciting package. It includes an audio forward by Brad Linaweaver, plus four audio segments of J. Neil Schulman’s interview of Robert Heinlein, as well as bonus PDF material, for $35 – TLK] (12/21/17)

http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com/2017/12/now-available-complete-audio-the-robert-heinlein-interview/

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12) Felony Friday, episode 103
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On today’s episode of Felony Friday, host John Odermatt is joined by Colin Kreiger. Colin is a member of the Lions of Liberty Pride … but that’s not the reason why he’s on the show. The reason Colin was asked to share his story on Felony Friday is because he serves as a remarkable example for others that it’s never too late to turn your life around. In fact, Colin credits the ideas of liberty for being a main catalyst in providing the blueprint and the motivation to turn his life around.” [various formats] (12/22/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/22/felony-friday-103-libertarian-principles-helped-drug-dealer-turn-life-around/

—–

13) Free Talk Live, 12/21/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Jeff Sessions weighs in on Bundy mistrial :: Catalans elect pro-independence parliament :: How to determine who can secede :: Are politicians just like you & me? :: Caller calls out Heather :: Ramblings from Ricky :: Another caller with thoughts for Heather :: Ice tea company changes name to Long Blockchain :: Sarah in New Mexico :: HOSTS — Darryl, Heather, Chris.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/21/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-21

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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