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RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST
The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper

Volume XVI, Issue #3,874
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Embattled FBI admits it can’t verify dossier claims of Russia, Trump campaign collusion
2) Federal court rejects challenge to Trump voting commission
3) US retail holiday sales jump 4.9%, biggest increase since 2011
4) UT: Salt Lake paper says Hatch should end his career, or voters should end it for him
5) Guatemala: Regime to move embassy to Jerusalem
6) Report: Russian regime willing to mediate US-North Korea talks
7) CA: Victim shoots woman during Stockton home invasion robbery
8) Kashmir: Casualties on both sides in cross-border fire
9) PA: Woman gets $284 billion electric bill
10) China: Regime court sentences “Ultra Vulgar Butcher” activist to eight years in prison

Everybody Has An Opinion:

11) Homeland Security’s multibillion-dollar comedy show
12) Political immorality and personal immorality
13) The long family of mankind
14) An empire of barbarism
15) Revolutionary and state violence: The chickens always come home to roost
16) A call to liberate children and families
17) Discussion with a cop supporter
18) Tell United Nations goodbye and good riddance
19) Classic mainstream media clickbait scare resurfaces: “Chinese government can take over Bitcoin”
20) Will the new tax bill be as great as some say or as apocalyptic as others say?

The Sound and the Fury:

21) Power Problems, 12/26/17
22) Reason Podcast, 12/16/17
23) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 36
24) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/26/17
25) Free Talk Live, 12/25/17

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

1) Embattled FBI admits it can’t verify dossier claims of Russia, Trump campaign collusion
Source: Washington Times

“The FBI is declining to repudiate the Russia dossier on which it partially relied to start an investigation into the Trump campaign, but it concedes the document’s major core charges of election collusion remain unsubstantiated. Sources familiar with House and Senate investigations say this is the FBI’s dossier talking point 17 months after agents were first briefed in July 2016 as Donald Trump battled Hillary Clinton for the White House. The most recent FBI witness was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who spent nearly eight hours last week in a closed session before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. … Mr. McCabe declined to criticize the dossier’s 35 pages of salacious and criminal charges against Donald Trump and his aides, but he said it remains largely unverified, according to a source familiar with ongoing congressional inquiries.” (12/25/17)

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/25/fbi-says-russia-dossiers-collusion-charges-unsubst/

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2) Federal court rejects challenge to Trump voting commission
Source: Washington Post

“A nonprofit privacy group cannot stop President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from collecting millions of voter records, an appeals court ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit determined that the Electronic Privacy Information Center ‘is not a voter’ and therefore does not have standing to demand that the commission assess privacy concerns before assembling a vast database of voter information.” (12/26/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/federal-court-rejects-challenge-to-trump-voter-commission/2017/12/26/f1f64f42-ea61-11e7-9f92-10a2203f6c8d_story.html

—–

3) US retail holiday sales jump 4.9%, biggest increase since 2011
Source: USA Today

“Despite thousands of store closings this year, Americans supplied a final flurry of spending to give retailers their best holiday season sales since 2011, figures released Tuesday show. U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence. Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1%, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.” (12/26/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/12/26/u-s-retail-holiday-sales-jump-4-9-biggest-increase-since-2011/981464001/

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4) UT: Salt Lake paper says Hatch should end his career, or voters should end it for him
Source: US News & World Report

“The editorial board of Utah’s largest newspaper blasted Sen. Orrin Hatch in a column accusing him of an ‘utter lack of integrity’ and urging him not to run for re-election next year as it would be ‘basically a theft from the Utah electorate.’ The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday named Hatch, 83, its ‘Utahn of the Year,’ a dubious honor it says the longest-serving Republican in Senate history earned by his ‘part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments,’ ‘his role … in passing a major overhaul in the nation’s tax code,’ and ‘his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.’ … President Donald Trump has launched an effort to sway Hatch to run again. In large part seen as an attempt to block Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee who is seen as Hatch’s obvious successor, from running.” (12/26/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-12-26/salt-lake-paper-slams-orrin-hatch-for-delaying-retirement-reducing-national-monuments

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5) Guatemala: Regime to move embassy to Jerusalem
Source: The Epoch Times

“Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Sunday he had given instructions to move the Central American country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a few days after his government backed the United States in its decision to move its embassy. … The status of Jerusalem — home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions — is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as their capital.” (12/25/17)

https://www.theepochtimes.com/guatemala-to-move-embassy-to-jerusalem_2395594.html

—–

6) Report: Russian regime willing to mediate US-North Korea talks
Source: The Hill

“Russia said Tuesday it is willing to mediate talks between the United States and North Korea, should the two countries accept its offer, Reuters reported. ‘Russia’s readiness to clear the way for de-escalation is obvious,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly told reporters during a phone call. The offer comes amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang with both countries intensifying their rhetoric this year. … South Korea also offered an optimistic prediction on Tuesday, saying North Korea may be willing in the new year to engage in talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.” (12/26/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/366458-russia-willing-to-mediate-us-north-korea-talks-report

—–

7) CA: Victim shoots woman during Stockton home invasion robbery
Source: KCRA 3 News

“Two people were arrested after breaking into a home Saturday, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said. Joshua Keamohuli, 27, and Alicia Agundez, 34, were arrested on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, home invasion robbery and numerous weapon charges, deputies said. … deputies said Keamohuli and Agundez broke into a home. Deputies said a man was awakened by the pair after they demanded money and beat him with a wooden pole. The man fought back and Agundez pulled a gun, deputies said. The two began fighting over the gun and the victim was able to shoot Agundez in the leg.” (12/24/17)

http://www.kcra.com/article/victim-shoots-woman-during-stockton-home-invasion-robbery/14494968

—–

8) Kashmir: Casualties on both sides in cross-border fire
Source: Al-Jazeera [Qatar]

“Pakistan’s army says three of its soldiers have been killed by Indian fire across the de facto border between the two countries in the disputed region of Kashmir. The troops were killed on Monday in the Rakhchikri area of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the military said in a brief statement. One Pakistani soldier was also wounded. The incident came after India said four of its soldiers had been killed by Pakistani fire in the Rajouri area of Indian-administered Kashmir on Saturday.” (12/26/17)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/pakistan-troops-killed-cross-border-indian-fire-171226092503055.html

—–

9) PA: Woman gets $284 billion electric bill
Source: Erie Times-News

“Mary Horomanski went online earlier this month to check her electric bill. The Erie woman was stunned to see that she owed Penelec, her electricity provider, more than $284 billion — an amount greater than the national debts of Hungary and South Africa combined. ‘My eyes just about popped out of my head,’ said Horomanski, 58. ‘We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.’ The good news, if you can call it that, was that Horomanski didn’t have to pay the entire $284,460,000,000 until November 2018. Her minimum payment for December was a relatively paltry $28,156. … Horomanski texted her son, who contacted Penelec and told them about the bill. She said they confirmed it was in error. Her online statement was quickly fixed to the correct amount: $284.46.” (12/26/17)

http://www.goerie.com/news/20171226/erie-woman-receives-284-billion-electric-bill

—–

10) China: Regime court sentences “Ultra Vulgar Butcher” activist to eight years in prison
Source: New York Daily News

“A prominent activist who called himself the Ultra Vulgar Butcher as he mocked and pressured Chinese officials was given an eight-year prison sentence Tuesday for subversion, the harshest sentence handed down in a sweeping crackdown on rights campaigners. The Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court handed down the sentence after finding activist Wu Gan guilty of subverting state power. … Wu had become known among rights advocates and lawyers for his attention-grabbing campaigns. In one, he posed for online portraits brandishing knives that he said he would use to ‘slaughter the pigs’ among local officials who’d done wrong. In court on Tuesday, Wu struck an irreverent note in his remarks following the sentence, saying he was ‘grateful to the party for granting me this lofty honor,’ according to Ge [Yongxi, his attorney], who was in court.” (12/26/17)

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/world/china-sentences-vulgar-butcher-activist-8-years-prison-article-1.3720540

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

11) Homeland Security’s multibillion-dollar comedy show
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard

“After the 9/11 attacks, Congress and the Bush administration pretended that unlimited federal spending was one of the best ways to thwart terrorist threats. In 2002, Congress created the Homeland Security Department (DHS), sweeping some of the most inept federal agencies, such as the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), into the new mega-department. Congress also created numerous programs — some run directly by FEMA — to shovel out more than $30 billion in anti-terrorism funding to local and state governments. As Sen. Tom Coburn (R–Okla.) observed a few years ago, ‘FEMA’s lax guidelines and oversight made the agency a virtual rubberstamp for most anything that grant recipients creatively justified as related to homeland security — regardless of how loosely related.’ Louisiana Homeland Security grant recipients spent $2,400 for a lapel microphone and $2,700 for a teleprompter. Fort Worth, Texas, spent $24,000 of a federal anti-terrorism grant on a latrine-on-wheels. Other Texas local governments spent Homeland Security grants on ‘a hog catcher for Liberty County, body bags, garbage bags, Ziploc bags and two 2011 Camaros at $31,000 apiece,’ as a Senate report revealed.” (12/26/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/homeland-securitys-multibillion-dollar-comedy-show/

—–

12) Political immorality and personal immorality
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“Many Americans have been shocked by recent revelations of the extent of sexual harassment in Congress. However, no one should be too surprised that those who spend their lives defending and expanding the welfare-warfare state engage in immoral personal conduct. It is only natural that an immoral system, like the welfare-warfare state, tends to attract individuals likely to practice personal immorality.” (12/26/17)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/political-immorality-personal-immorality

—–

13) The long family of mankind
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“If you could go back in time a thousand years, you would find individuals who reminded you very much of your current friends and companions. The same is true of people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you love now. And you would care about those people the same as you do their present-day counterparts. Please understand this: Those we would love in the future can advance only in the same way we have, by the benefaction of their predecessors.” (12/26/17)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/long-family-mankind/

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14) An empire of barbarism
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“In one respect, the Middle East has had a good year. ISIS and its miserable affiliates suffered what looked like terminal defeats. ISIS lost its last Iraqi town, Rawa, on 17 November, and, unlike after other military setbacks, mustered barely a car bomb in response. … Yet, in other respects, the Middle East remains a thoroughly destabilised, disordered region. … on the one hand, Russia, allied with the Iran-led, largely Shia grouping of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, continues to react to the chaos by seeking the realpolitik objectives of security and stability with often brutal consequences, as shown by its attempt to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime in the face of what became an Islamist insurgency. And, on the other hand, there are the principal creators of the chaos to which Russia and its allies respond — namely, the US and its Western cohorts.” (12/26/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/an-empire-of-barbarism/

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15) Revolutionary and state violence: The chickens always come home to roost
Source: CounterPunch
by Howard Lisnoff

“A discussion of revolutionary violence is not the subject of this writing. I believe that that violence only validates the use of violence by the nation that protesters seek to stop from doing reprehensible acts against people. It is the ancient and failed eye for an eye argument. It is not self-defense in any discernible way. But Mrs. Clinton’s condemnation of Bill Ayers is a clear case of duplicity: it is an exercise in hypocrisy that only the political system can produce. How many deaths of innocent people have been caused by the war of regime change in Iraq? What human price has been exacted for that nation’s oil resources?” (12/26/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/26/revolutionary-and-state-violence-the-chickens-always-come-home-to-roost/

—–

16) A call to liberate children and families
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“No atheist or agnostic libertarian is interested in their children being indoctrinated into worship of the state. Any more than they want that child to be indoctrinated into worship of God the Creator (or any other deity). No christian libertarian is desires [sic] their child to be taught worship of the state or some perversion of any type of religion, whether it be ‘christianity’ or Gaia, or Islam or Judaism. The same holds true for lovers of liberty who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or LDS. But the situation is not just what propaganda, what religious indoctrination, what moral pollution students get in these schools. It is also that the schools do NOT teach the rudiments of basic knowledge.” (12/26/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/12/26/a-call-to-liberate-children-and-families/

—–

17) Discussion with a cop supporter
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“I don’t want a tornado to hit my house. I don’t ‘expect’ it, but I would be foolish to ignore the possibility. I don’t expect a cop to attack me — unless he initiates contact. Then, whether it’s a ‘traffic stop’ or some other ‘contact,’ he has already aggressed against me. My expectations are irrelevant at this point. I don’t ‘expect’ him to escalate the situation and murder me, but it happens more often than cop supporters want to know. To ignore the reality of the situation: that an armed aggressor has accosted me, and quite probably intends to rob me, might decide to kidnap me, and will murder me if he gets nervous, would be foolish on my part.” (12/26/17)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2017/12/discussion-with-cop-supporter.html

—–

18) Tell United Nations goodbye and good riddance
Source: Town Hall
by Jeff Crouere

“Since 1946, the headquarters of the United Nations has been in United States, with the official headquarters opening in New York City in 1952. For decades, the United States has been a very hospitable host to this ungrateful, hateful collection of diplomats. By 2014, these international visitors had amassed over $16 million in unpaid parking tickets. For these diplomats, the laws of the United States are an afterthought and a mere inconvenience. Even worse, the members of the General Assembly regularly pass resolutions that are both anti-American and anti-Israeli. The latest outrage occurred this week as 128 nations in the General Assembly voted to condemn President Trump’s courageous decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy to this historic home of the Jewish people. This move was an internal decision which should have been of no interest to the United Nations. A country should be able to move its embassy to whatever city suits its purposes, without international comment and certainly without vicious condemnation.” (12/23/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/jeffcrouere/2017/12/23/tell-united-nations-goodbye-and-good-riddance-n2426439

—–

19) Classic mainstream media clickbait scare resurfaces: “Chinese government can take over Bitcoin”
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Avi Mizrahi

“After a flood of articles about how bitcoin mining is about to consume all power sources on the face of the Earth in just a few years, leading to an unstoppable environmental catastrophe, a new attempt to gin up paranoia against the cryptocurrency resurfaces. The issue we should all be scared of now is the Chinese government taking control of bitcoin. … The source for the scary claim behind the headlines is a report from bitcoin ‘security researchers.’ Two minutes of googling by the newspaper writers would have found that the couple of university students that they rely on are peddling their own security ICOs at the moment, and that the concentration of hashing power in China is a well known issue, and that the information cited is widely available without their help.” (12/26/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/another-mainstream-media-clickbait-scare-chinese-government-can-take-over-bitcoin/

—–

20) Will the new tax bill be as great as some say or as apocalyptic as others say?
Source: Palm Beach Free Press
by Karl Dickey

“The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affecting federal taxes was signed into law yesterday, December 22, 2017, by President Donal Trump and depending upon your political affiliation, it is either the end of the world or the best thing since sliced bread. So, let’s try to distill the shrill and get back to reality as it is neither of those things.” (12/23/17)

https://palmbeachfreepress.com/2017/12/23/will-the-new-tax-bill-be-as-great-as-some-say-or-as-apocalyptic-as-others-say/

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

21) Power Problems, 12/26/17
Source: Cato Institute

“Hype and Hype-ability: Threat Inflation in U.S. Foreign Policy — Featuring Emma Ashford and A. Trevor Thrall.” [various formats] (12/26/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/hype-hype-ability-threat-inflation-us-foreign-policy

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22) Reason Podcast, 12/16/17
Source: Reason

“In a wide-ranging conversation with Reason’s Nick Gillespie, [Thaddeus] Russell, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia, talks about discovering the Austrian School of economics only long after he left the academy, why actual Marxists hate postmodernism and why libertarians should love it, the insidious nature of America’s Protestant work ethic, and how the Democrats are reviving the Cold War.” [various formats] (12/26/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/26/thad-russell-education-academia-podcast

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23) Liberty Chronicles Podcast, episode 36
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Historians call 1816-1824 the ‘Era of Good Feelings’ because there were no real party organizations.” [various formats] (12/26/17)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/liberty-chronicles/era-nasty-dealings

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24) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/26/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Michael W. Dean and Phil Wormuth discuss the cheesiness of The Hero’s Journey, Phil and MWD’s brilliant artistic processes, the processes of others (including some inside baseball about Hubert Selby Jr), the new documentary about David Crowley A Gray State … and the great murder mystery of ‘How did David Crowley and his family really die?’ Also, listen to MWD’s 2012 interview with David Crowley: ‘David Crowley, Director Of Gray State Movie Talks Filmmaking, Armageddon and Hope.’” [various formats] (12/26/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15433

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25) Free Talk Live, 12/25/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Santa Claus Myth :: Commercialization of Christmas :: Local Government Efficiency? :: Profit vs Govt :: Hidden Tax Burden :: Consequences of Force :: Cryptocurrency Free Market :: Civil War? :: Islam and Lying :: Religion and Santa :: Raided Over No Business License :: Law :: HOSTS — Ian, Melanie, Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/25/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-25

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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