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

Volume XVI, Issue #3,875
Thursday, December 28th, 2017
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In the News:

1) Afghanistan: Dozens killed as blasts rock Kabul
2) AL: Moore challenges US Senate election defeat, alleges rampant voter fraud
3) Wrecked Bitcoin steadies after a rollercoaster Christmas
4) Security theater: LA-to-Tokyo flight turns around four hours into trip due to “unauthorized person”
5) S&P: October US home prices up 6.2% in year’s time
6) Oldest tree on White House lawn to be cut down, removed
7) VA: Officials postpone legislative seat lottery drawing due to lawsuit
8) Barclays takes $1.3 billion one-time hit from US tax bill
9) South Korea: Prosecutors demand 12-year prison term for Samsung heir
10) US city governments sue DoD for insufficient ardor of Orwellianism

Everybody Has An Opinion:

11) Peace is the keystone of liberty
12) The gifts of government
13) Nikki Haley: The bold scold of the Trump administration
14) Mr. Mueller, end the witch hunt
15) The buck stops over there
16) “Never Trump” will be the only faction still standing when he’s gone
17) The biggest loser
18) Is SCOTUS backsliding on LGBT rights?
19) Protectionism is a bad religion
20) Head of brass, feet of clay

The Sound and the Fury:

21) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 135
22) Electric Libertyland, episode 52
23) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 76
24) Free Talk Live, 12/26/17
25) Editor’s Break, episode 41

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

1) Afghanistan: Dozens killed as blasts rock Kabul
Source: CNN

“At least 40 people were killed Thursday in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, according to authorities. Another 30 people were injured in the attack, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told CNN. The attack happened around 10:30 a.m. local time (12.30 a.m ET) and targeted a cultural center in Police District 6 in Kabul. The initial suicide blast was followed by two more explosions, Rahimi said. The following explosions did not produce any injuries, the spokesman said. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack in a statement to the media released by the group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mojahid.” (12/28/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/28/asia/kabul-attack-intl/index.html

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2) AL: Moore challenges US Senate election defeat, alleges rampant voter fraud
Source: Fox News

“Roy Moore filed an election complaint late Wednesday, claiming voter fraud altered the outcome of Alabama’s Senate race, paving the way for Democrat Doug Jones'[s] victory. The Moore campaign said in a statement that the purpose of the complaint is to delay the certification of the election results until ‘a thorough investigation of potential election fraud, that improperly altered the outcome of this election, is conducted.’ The request came just a day before the State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet and certify the results of the election. … The election complaint also includes an affidavit from Moore saying that he underwent a polygraph test and confirmed that the allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls are ‘completely false.’” (12/28/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/28/roy-moore-challenges-alabama-senate-election-defeat-alleges-rampant-voter-fraud.html

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3) Wrecked Bitcoin steadies after a rollercoaster Christmas
Source: Business Insider

“Bitcoin’s price stabilised on Wednesday after several days of volatility over the Christmas period, which saw it crash below $12,000 before recovering by more than $4,000 in short order. On Wednesday morning, bitcoin’s price is little changed from its opening quote, trading at around $16,200 per coin, a gain of roughly 3%.” [editor’s note: The cryptocurrency in question is the train wreck of an altcoin resulting from the hard fork after which real Bitcoin became known as “Bitcoin Cash” – TLK] (12/27/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-december-27-2017-12

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4) Security theater: LA-to-Tokyo flight turns around four hours into trip due to “unauthorized person”
Source: Detroit News

“A plane heading from Los Angeles to Tokyo turned back because an unauthorized person was on board. KABC-TV reports All Nippon Airways Flight 175 left Los Angeles International Airport around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, but it never arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. … passengers were told that someone had managed to board the ANA flight with a United Airlines ticket. The plane landed at LAX around 7:30 p.m. after eight hours in the air. Teigen says police interviewed passengers who were sitting near the person.” (12/27/17)

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/nation/2017/12/27/flight-returns/108938404/

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5) S&P: October US home prices up 6.2% in year’s time
Source: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

“U.S. home prices climbed a robust 6.2 percent in October from a year ago as demand from would-be buyers grew and the supply of properties for sale continued to shrink. Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood in October at a solid 6 percent above its previous 2006 peak. Prices are rising at more than double the pace of wage growth, creating some affordability pressures that have been offset by relatively low mortgage rates. Metro areas with booming job markets and the steepest home price gains could see more residents staying as renters.” (12/27/17)

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/dec/27/october-home-prices-up-6-2-in-year-s-ti/

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6) Oldest tree on White House lawn to be cut down, removed
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

“A large portion of a famed magnolia tree planted on the south grounds of the White House by President Andrew Jackson will be removed because it is weak and poses a safety risk, a spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump says. Removal is planned for this week while President Donald Trump and his family are at their Florida home for the holidays. … Mrs. Trump has asked that wood from the tree be preserved, and that seedlings be available if the opportunity to plant a new tree arises. Jackson added the magnolia to the White House grounds in 1835, according to the White House Historical Association.” (12/27/17)

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nation-and-world/oldest-tree-on-white-house-lawn-to-be-cut-down-removed/

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7) VA: Officials postpone legislative seat lottery drawing due to lawsuit
Source: Raw Story

“A lottery drawing to settle a tied Virginia legislative race that could shift the statehouse balance of power has been indefinitely postponed, state election officials said on Tuesday, after the Democratic candidate mounted a legal fight. The decision to put off the high-stakes lotto, originally scheduled for Wednesday, marks the latest twist in a dramatic election recount that at one point showed Democrat Shelly Simonds beating Republican incumbent David Yancey by a single vote. … A day after Simonds emerged as the victor of a recount, a three-judge panel ruled that a disputed ballot should be counted for Yancey. That decision left the two candidates tied with 11,608 votes each in a district that encompasses the shipping hub of Newport News in southeastern Virginia, setting the stage for the equivalent of a coin toss to pick a final winner. Simonds asked a state court to reconsider on Tuesday, arguing that the disputed ballot was wrongly included.” (12/27/16)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/virginia-officials-postpone-lottery-drawing-indefinitely-that-would-decide-tied-statehouse-election/

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8) Barclays takes $1.3 billion one-time hit from US tax bill
Source: Bloomberg

“Barclays Plc will take a charge of about 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) this year as a result of the recent U.S. corporate tax overhaul driven by President Donald Trump. However, the British lender expects its future U.S. after tax earnings to be positively impacted by the changes, it said in a statement on Wednesday. … The lowering of the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent will benefit most companies but it also requires them to recalculate deferred tax assets that have accumulated on their balance sheets. Bank of America Corp. will take a $3 billion charge, while Credit Suisse Group AG is at risk of posting a third consecutive annual loss after predicting it will take a 2.3 billion-francs ($2.33 billion) hit.” (12/27/17)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-27/barclays-takes-1-3-billion-one-time-charge-from-u-s-tax-bill

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9) South Korea: Prosecutors demand 12-year prison term for Samsung heir
Source: US News & World Report

“South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a 12-year prison term for Samsung’s jailed billionaire heir, Lee Jae-yong, who maintained his innocence during an appeal of his conviction on bribery and other charges. In August, a lower court sentenced Lee to five years in prison for offering bribes to former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her confidante while Park was in office. Both Lee and prosecutors, who earlier had requested a 12-year prison term, appealed that ruling.” (12/27/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-12-27/prosecutors-demand-12-year-prison-term-for-samsung-heir-lee

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10) US city governments sue DoD for insufficient ardor of Orwellianism
Source: Klamath Falls Herald and News

“Three large U.S. cities filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Defense, arguing that many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren’t reported to the national background check system. New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia said in court papers that the military’s broken system for relaying such information helped spur the massacre of 26 people inside a Texas church last month. … Local law enforcement officials rely on the FBI’s database to conduct background checks on gun permit applications and to monitor purchases. It must be up-to-date in order to prevent people from wrongly getting guns, the cities’ attorneys wrote.” (12/27/17)

https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/nation_world/cities-sue-defense-dept-over-gun-check-system-failures/article_fd86957a-2daf-521a-bab7-5b0dcbe06599.html

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

11) Peace is the keystone of liberty
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Dan Sanchez

“Libertarianism embraces the individual’s right to life, liberty, and property. The meaning of these rights have been intentionally distorted by some, but they originally meant the right not to be murdered (life), not to be enslaved (liberty), and not to be robbed (property). What distinguishes libertarians is that we apply these principles comprehensively, making no exception for the government. It is not okay for the government to steal and call it taxation, to enslave and call it incarceration, or to murder and call it war. As private murder is a worse crime than private kidnapping and theft, so should war (mass murder by the government) be a paramount concern for libertarians, surpassing even many issues involving the police state and economic planning/redistribution.” (12/27/17)

https://fee.org/articles/peace-is-the-keystone-of-liberty/

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12) The gifts of government
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“Most politicians display an attitude that their constituents are like children in need of constant government, care and supervision from rulers who know what is best for them. It’s like they think they own us and therefore anything they do on our behalf is a gift. You see, the government owns your life and your property. Any privilege they allow us is a gift. If a law permits us some activity it’s a gift. If taxes are reduced and you are allowed to keep more of your property it’s a gift. … the truth of the matter is that the politicians, bureaucrats, agents and employees of the government always get the gift no matter what. The government swamp creatures always get the gifts. Their object is to collect revenue from the people. That revenue is their sustenance. The people collectively is their golden goose.”
(12/27/17)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-gifts-of-government.html

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13) Nikki Haley: The bold scold of the Trump administration
Source: The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow

“As governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley didn’t have much need to worry about foreign policy. Yet for reasons unknown (other than perhaps her Indian heritage), Donald Trump tapped her to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. There, she has performed to perfection, offering a model of the hubris and lack of awareness that consistently characterize U.S. foreign policy. What makes America different from other nations when it comes to foreign policy is the certainty that it is the right — indeed, the duty — of Americans to run the world. … Other governments have no right to make decisions about their own countries, and need to be told what’s right and wrong by Washington on any and every subject, day or night, in sunshine, rain, or snow. But another element of American exceptionalism is the fact that the U.S. is exempt from the rules it applies to other nations. Washington gets to lecture, but no one gets to tell Americans what they should do.” (12/27/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/nikki-haley-the-bold-scold-of-the-trump-administration/

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14) Mr. Mueller, end the witch hunt
Source: USA Today
US Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ)

“In May, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Today, Mueller’s investigation is clearly careening far beyond the scope of his original charge. Unfortunately, taxpayer resources are being used to scrutinize anyone and anything that fits into a preconceived notion that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to ‘fix the election.’ Since June, I have requested that Robert Mueller recuse himself. We learned after Mueller’s appointment that former FBI director James Comey leaked government memos meaning to influence the appointment of a special counsel. Comey’s actions were rewarded by a news media frenzy that backed the administration into a corner, leading to the selection of his close friend, Mueller. After assuming the role, Mueller has made blatantly partisan hires that place the direction of his probe under a cloud of suspicion. These hires are, in part, due to a failure of the Department of Justice to officially vet its prosecutors or agents. Unfortunately, Mueller exploited this lapse in policy.” (12/26/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/26/mueller-end-witch-hunt-andy-biggs-editorials-debates/108932714

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15) The buck stops over there
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“After he won what he erroneously described as an Electoral College ‘landslide,’ Donald Trump explained away his failure to attract the support of most voters by conjuring ‘millions of people who voted illegally’ — a massive fraud that somehow went completely undetected by election officials throughout the country. A few days after taking office, Trump revived that fantastical claim, setting a pattern for the excuse making and blame shifting that would mark the first year of his presidency. Here are some of the highlights.” (12/27/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/27/the-buck-stops-over-there

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16) “Never Trump” will be the only faction still standing when he’s gone
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“[T]he most important and damning traits that distinguish Trump from his predecessors are his willingness to stoke animus against minority groups for political gain; the energy he has given to white supremacists; the indiscipline of his public statements; the frequency with which he blatantly lies to the public; and the unsavory characters that he brought with him into the federal government — including Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka, for starters. Only Never Trumpers can credibly claim to stand against the moral abominations that suffused Trump’s political rise and the first year of his presidency. … Insofar as most Republicans celebrate Trump as a success story, rather than repudiating him as an affront to basic standards of decency, they transgress against the Founding belief in the importance of character in leaders while disgracing themselves and doing shortsighted violence to the GOP’s long term prospects.” (12/27/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/never-trump-is-conserving-decency-on-the-right/549197/

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17) The biggest loser
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Government is supposed to serve everybody … according to good, old-fashioned republican theory. But most governments serve some more than others. We can define as ‘corruption’ any attempt to make government serve a few at the expense of the many — or the many at the expense of the few.” (12/27/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/27/the-biggest-loser/

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18) Is SCOTUS backsliding on LGBT rights?
Source: The New Republic
by Adam Winkler

“It has been an ominous month at the Supreme Court for LGBT rights. In what has been hailed as the biggest case of the term, the justices signaled that they may rule in favor of a baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. And in a much less talked about but no less important case, the Court refused to stop a lawsuit, which would allow state and local governments to deny people in same-sex marriages their spousal benefits, from moving forward in Texas state court. At first blush, these potential setbacks for equal rights are surprising coming from a Supreme Court that just a few years ago boldly extended the fundamental right to marry to same-sex couples. It was a signal moment in the history of LGBT rights. So why would the justices now be watering down the promise of equal citizenship?” [editor’s note: Maybe because “allowing people to marry” peacefully does not directly involve forcing others to subsidize it? – SAT] (12/26/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146408/supreme-court-backsliding-lgbt-rights

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19) Protectionism is a bad religion
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Sincere protectionists believe that any decrease in scarcity brought about by a non-fellow-citizen is a problem so severe that it must be combatted with government force. This belief is especially strong if the non-fellow-citizen decreases scarcity in the home country in return for virtually nothing from citizens of the home country: for protectionists, the greatest economic sin that a foreigner can commit against the good people of the home country is for that foreigner to export goods or services to the home country and to ask for nothing in return. Sincere protectionists, therefore, should be opposed to prayer — or, at least, to the actions of any god or gods who answer people’s prayers.” (12/26/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/protectionism-bad-religion.html

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20) Head of brass, feet of clay
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Stephen Cox

“A friend and I had a debate about Andrew McCabe, the doofus deputy director of the FBI. As you recall, McCabe was an important figure in last year’s investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, despite the fact that his wife had received more than $700,000 from a close friend of Clinton’s to finance her campaign for the Virginia legislature. What McCabe seems to have done or permitted to be done during the investigations is pretty much what you’d expect from someone compromised in that way. I refer to such things as the FBI’s probable use of the absurd dossier on Trump’s visit to Russia as evidence to convince a secret court to allow surveillance of Trump and associates. Now, if report be true, McCabe’s recent performance before a congressional committee showed that he is both a liar and a fool.” (12/26/17)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1794

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

21) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 135
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #135, I discuss the big news from over the Christmas weekend. Saudi Arabia is increasing airstrikes in Yemen. Saudi airstrikes killed at least 70 civilians on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The US announced, under the cover of Christmas, that the US would begin supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons. I examine the article Scott Ritter released of his analysis of Nikki Haley claim that Iran is supplying missiles to the Houthi.” [various formats] (12/27/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-135-exploiting-christmas

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22) Electric Libertyland, episode 52
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland Brian McWilliams takes away some libertarian lessons from Charles Dickens'[s] ‘A Christmas Carol.’” [various formats] (12/27/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/27/electric-libertyland-ep-52-libertarian-christmas-carol/

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23) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 76
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“What is this Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency thing you’ve been hearing about? Find out here. What’s in the News with stories on death row, Free State Project crypto news, gun registry, taxation is theft, government cereal regulations, and Starbucks barred from closing stores. Also, a Herding Cats segment on Liberty Forum with a discount code for you, and a Statists Gonna State segment on a charity frozen by the government.” [various formats] (12/27/17)

http://thelavaflow.com/how-to-get-started-in-bitcoin-and-cryptocurrency-tlf076/

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24) Free Talk Live, 12/26/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Bitcoin vs Government Money :: Zencash :: Huffpo Attacks Bitcoin :: The Rich and Charitable Donations :: More Lies :: 70s Standard of Living :: Arcades :: Violence Backed Coin :: Bus Shelters :: AFTERSHOW — Zencash’s Co-Founder Robert Viglione :: HOSTS — Ian, Johnson, Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/26/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-26

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25) Editor’s Break, episode 41
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 041 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the coercive nature of customs and the obligations they create, when friends change ideologies and accuse you of being the one who’s changed, an accepted form of misogyny in marriage, individualism, the economics of regifting, what to do when a friend or family member becomes a cop, and more.” [various formats] (12/26/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/obligations-ideologies-misogyny-regifting-33m-editors-break-041

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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