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RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST
The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper

Volume XIV, Issue #3,600
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
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In the News:

1) Syria: Assad regime has full control of eastern Aleppo, says Russian UN ambassador
2) Maduro shuts down Venezuela-Colombia border amid cash chaos
3) Uber encrypts its computers from afar when the government raids its offices, a lawsuit claims
4) US DoT proposes rule requiring new cars to talk to each other
5) ND: 176,000 gallons of oil spilled at pipeline
6) OH: Kasich okays 20-week abortion ban, nixes heartbeat bill
7) EPA: “Data gaps” block verdict on fracking, drinking water
8) Trump’s trade talk makes US firms fear China retribution
9) Dow closes at record high but doesn’t top 20,000 yet
10) NY: College student arrested with fireworks and weapons at Trump Tower
11) Scientists discover an exoplanet with clouds of jewels
12) UK: Overdue library book returned after 120 years
13) With tax-filing season near, scammers are gearing up
14) Europol arrests 34 teenagers for using DDoS attack tools
15) SpaceX pushes first crewed launch of Dragon capsule to 2018
16) Mexico: Police find two border tunnels leading from Tijuana into US
17) Canada: Government moves toward legalizing recreational pot
18) WA: Two presidential electors sue against fine for violating voters’ trust
19) Merkel, Hollande back extending sanctions against Russia
20) Gambia: Military takes over offices of electoral commission

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) If your culture holds grudges, it needs to be fixed
22) The FDA’s unauthorized war on pipes and cigars
23) Ranked Choice Voting likely means lower turnout, more errors
24) The defense of liberty can’t do without identity politics
25) An over-general misunderstanding
26) The Republican sanity caucus awakens
27) Collective intelligence in action: The self-directed education movement
28) Teenagers say no to drugs and tobacco, yes to vaping
29) Don’t forget JFK’s fight with the CIA
30) Trump’s Secretary of State pick is best of a bad lot
31) The fake news scandal isn’t quite what you think it is
32) A funny thing happened on the way to a reform
33) Riverview Gardens students lose the right to transfer
34) Let’s work with Trump to reduce drug prices
35) Loving exposes dark side of legislating morality
36) Some people still aren’t getting these finer distinctions of private property
37) Decision in tweeting case leaves students none the wiser about online speech rights
38) Democrats could do business with Trump on these five issues
39) Bolton is trouble; Tillerson isn’t
40) Pass the buck
41) Trump: It wasn’t Russia wot won it
42) Has the Fed been holding down interest rates?
43) While Democrats chase Russians, Republicans keep rigging elections
44) Pizzagate’s effect on revolution
45) The Bitcoin network death that never happened (again)
46) The Tom Woods Show, episode 801
47) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/13/16
48) Free Talk Live, 12/12/16
49) Scott McPherson: Time to end the war on drugs
50) Has “market failure” caused high healthcare prices?

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

1) Syria: Assad regime has full control of eastern Aleppo, says Russian UN ambassador
Source: ABC News

“Eastern Aleppo has fallen, and military activities there have stopped, according to Russia’s United Nations ambassador. ‘The Syrian government has re-established control over eastern Aleppo,’ Vitaly Churkin told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Residents of eastern Aleppo told ABC News that it is quiet there, with no sounds of battle, but ABC News could not immediately confirm whether fighting has ended. … The Russian announcement came after months of siege and years of fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces. In recent months, the Syrian government, with help from its Russian and Iranian allies, intensified its airstrikes on eastern Aleppo and tightened the siege in an attempt to gain full control of the area, rebel held until recently.” (12/13/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/syrian-government-reportedly-kills-dozens-civilians-aleppo-spot/story?id=44160179

—–

2) Maduro shuts down Venezuela-Colombia border amid cash chaos
Source: PanAm Post

“President Nicolas Maduro issued the closure of the Venezuelan-Colombia border for 72 hours in order to avoid the return of 100 Bolivar bills that, according to him, are in Cucuta being hoarded by the mafia. Maduro made the order on the night of Monday, December 13, saying that no one would lose money except for the mafias in control of the exchange houses linked to the Venezuelan opposition.” (12/13/16)

https://panampost.com/orlando-avendano/2016/12/13/maduro-shuts-down-venezuela-colombia-border-amid-cash-caos/

—–

3) Uber encrypts its computers from afar when the government raids its offices, a lawsuit claims
Source: Business Insider

“When government agents raid Uber’s offices, the company springs into action with an immediate response: it shuts everything down and encrypt all its computers. That’s according to a court declaration by former employee Ward Spangenberg, who served as Uber’s forensic investigator until last February. Spangenberg was fired by Uber and is now suing the ride-hailing startup for age discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and defamation. … Asked about Spangenberg’s allegations and if the plan he described was indeed standard Uber procedure during government raids, Uber sent Business Insider the following statement: ‘It’s no secret that Uber has trip coordinates and other personally identifiable information about riders and drivers, and it’s our obligation to protect that. We cooperate with authorities when they come to us with subpoenas.” [editor’s note: If this is true, Uber is heroic. I wish EVERY company had an “encrypt everything we own, NOW” button and someone standing by to push it at the first sign of a badge – TLK] (12/11/16)

http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-encrypts-company-computers-during-raids-lawsuit-claims-2016-12

—–

4) US DoT proposes rule requiring new cars to talk to each other
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

“All new cars and light trucks would be able to talk wirelessly with each other, with traffic lights and with other roadway infrastructure under a proposal released Tuesday by the Transportation Department. Officials say the technology holds the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths and transform driving. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or V2V, enables cars to transmit their locations, speed, direction and other information ten times per second. That lets cars detect, for example, when another vehicle is about to run a red light, is braking hard, changing lanes or coming around a blind turn in time for a driver to prevent a crash. The technology has the potential to prevent or mitigate the severity of up to 80 percent of collisions that don’t involve alcohol or drugs, officials said.” (12/13/16)

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/national/business/story/2016/dec/13/govt-require-cars-be-able-talk-each-other/402788/

—–

5) ND: 176,000 gallons of oil spilled at pipeline
Source: Russia Today [Russian state media]

“A pipeline in North Dakota spilled over 176,000 gallons of oil before it was shut down, state officials say. The spill happened 150 miles from the Dakota Access pipeline protests, with thousands of people rallying against the construction for months. The data initially came from the state’s Department of Health spokeswoman Jennifer Skjod. The last week’s blizzard in the area hampered the efforts to assess the damage, and the authorities ‘have no estimate on when or if it will be operational,’ Skjod said as quoted by The Huffington Post.” (12/13/16)

https://www.rt.com/usa/370135-pipeline-leak-spill-dakota/

—–

6) OH: Kasich okays 20-week abortion ban, nixes heartbeat bill
Source: US News & World Report

“Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Tuesday imposing a 20-week abortion ban while vetoing stricter provisions in a separate measure that would have barred the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat. … Kasich, an abortion-rights opponent, chose instead to sign off on a 20-week ban similar to those now in effect in 15 states and blocked from enforcement in two others. The measures are based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound. Ohio lawmakers rejected a Democratic amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest.” (12/13/16)

http://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2016-12-13/ohio-governor-gets-20-week-abortion-ban-heartbeat-bills

—–

7) EPA: “Data gaps” block verdict on fracking, drinking water
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances, but a lack of information precludes a definitive statement on how severe the risk is, the Environmental Protection Agency says in a new report that raises more questions than answers. The report removes a finding from a draft issued last year indicating that fracking has not caused ‘widespread, systemic’ harm to drinking water in the United States. Industry groups hailed the draft EPA study as proof that fracking is safe, while environmentalists seized on the report’s identification of cases where fracking-related activities polluted drinking water. The final report, completed at a cost of $29 million over six years, takes pains to avoid conclusions.” (12/13/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/EPA-Data-gaps-block-verdict-on-fracking-10792940.php

—–

8) Trump’s trade talk makes US firms fear China retribution
Source: Reuters

“U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s challenges to China on trade and Taiwan are rattling American companies who have long benefited from stable relations between the two countries but now fear retaliation by Beijing if Trump were to act. Trump jarred Chinese officials on Sunday by saying the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of ‘one China.’ Beijing expressed ‘serious concern’ about Trump’s remarks. Four U.S. industry sources who follow China policy closely said they were unsettled by any suggestion of abandoning the ‘one China’ policy, which they said had served the business community well for several decades.” (12/13/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-china-companies-idUSKBN1412Q7

—–

9) Dow closes at record high but doesn’t top 20,000 yet
Source: USA Today

“The final countdown to Dow 20,000 continues. It’s taken nearly 120 years to get close to this point as the Dow Jones industrial average came within 47 points Tuesday of its biggest milestone yet: Dow 20,000. The race to 20,000 for the blue chip stock index, which began way back in 1896, picked up speed after Election Day, as investors began to price in a better economy and stronger profit growth from U.S. companies due to president-elect Trump’s more business-friendly policies. At its afternoon intraday record peak, the Dow was up more than 155 points, or 0.8%, to a high of 19,953.75, before pulling back slightly to close up 114.78 points, or 0.6%, to close at 19,911.21.” (12/13/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2016/12/13/asian-stocks-mixed-following-wall-street-losses/95365132/

—–

10) NY: College student arrested with fireworks and weapons at Trump Tower
Source: Raw Story

“A 19-year-old Baruch College student was reportedly arrested Monday night after he attempted to enter Trump Tower in New York with fireworks, the New York Post reported Tuesday. He was charged with two counts of criminal possession in the fourth degree and unlawful possession of fireworks, police told The Post. Alexander Wang allegedly walked into President-elect Donald Trump’s titular tower at 6:35 p.m. ET and Secret Service agents found a large knife, firecrackers, a water gun and handcuffs after searching his backpack. The Post reported that one of the fireworks was a M100, which the ATF says can cause ‘severe damage to face, arms, and body,’ as well as a garrote, a length of wire or cord that can be used to strangle a person.” (12/13/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/college-student-arrested-with-fireworks-and-weapons-at-trump-tower

—–

11) Scientists discover an exoplanet with clouds of jewels
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“For the first time ever, scientists have observed weather patterns on a gas giant outside of our solar system, a team of British researchers announced Monday. Researchers at the University of Warwick observed cloud formation and weather patterns on the massive exoplanet HAT-P-7b from 1,040 light-years away, thanks to data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. And what they found startled them. Scientists knew from previous studies that HAT-P-7b, which is 40 percent larger than Jupiter and 500 times more massive than the Earth, moves in a tight orbit around its star, completing a full revolution in just 2.2 days. Because of that proximity, the exoplanet is tidally locked, with one side of the permanently facing the star, much like Earth’s moon is tidally locked to Earth.” (12/13/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/1213/Scientists-discover-an-exoplanet-with-clouds-of-jewels

—–

12) UK: Overdue library book returned after 120 years
Source: Aol News

“When it comes to returning library books, the phrase better late than never comes to mind for this story out England. A woman in the United Kingdom recently returned a book to the library at a school in southwestern England. The only problem: the book was more than a century overdue. Alice Gillett found the book, ‘The Microscope and its Revelations’ while she was going through her late husband’s book collection. She saw that the book was borrowed from Hereford Cathedral School. Gillett’s grandfather, Arthur Boycott, attended the school between 1886 and 1894, according to the school’s website. Boycott went on to be a successful pathologist and naturalist and even has his photo on display in the National Portrait Gallery in London.” (12/12/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/12/12/overdue-library-book-is-returned-after-120-years/21626297

—–

13) With tax-filing season near, scammers are gearing up
Source: CBS News

“While many Americans are busy decking the halls, crooks are hard at work hatching new tax-related scams. That’s because scammers (like some eager Americans and tax preparers) are now gearing up for filing season — which each year brings a spike in schemes aimed at cheating taxpayers out of money and getting them to part with personal information, according to the IRS.” [editor’s note: As if the IRS wasn’t the biggest gang of thieving scammers on the planet – TLK] (12/13/16)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/with-tax-filing-season-near-scammers-are-gearing-up/

—–

14) Europol arrests 34 teenagers for using DDoS attack tools
Source: The Hacker News

“Europol has announced that the law enforcement agencies from 13 countries around the globe have arrested 34 users of Netspoof DDoS attack tool and interviewed and warned 101 suspects in a global crackdown. According to the report published on the official website of Europol, law enforcement authorities worldwide have made the arrest between 5 December and 9 December 2016.” (12/12/16)

http://thehackernews.com/2016/12/ddos-attack-tool.html

—–

15) SpaceX pushes first crewed launch of Dragon capsule to 2018
Source: TechCrunch

“SpaceX had intended to launch its first Dragon capsule with a human crew on board in 2017, as part of a NASA mission. The planned launch has been pushed back to 2018, however, representing a delay of around half a year. SpaceX has pushed back the timing for the momentous mission as it revamps its fueling procedures for Falcon 9 rockets following a launchpad explosion this September. … Still on track for 2017 is an uncrewed demo launch, not targeting Q4 with the updated timeline. Dragon’s being designed with reuse of up to 10 missions possible, SpaceX notes, and other testing happening for crewed missions during 2017 include testing of spacesuits, parachutes, the crew access arm and more.” (12/12/16)

https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/12/spacex-pushes-first-crewed-launch-of-dragon-capsule-to-2018/

—–

16) Mexico: Police find two border tunnels leading from Tijuana into US
Source: Lompoc Record

“Mexican police and soldiers have discovered two clandestine tunnels in the border city of Tijuana that officials believe were built to smuggle drugs into California. The tunnels were found in an area of warehouses across from Otay Mesa, about 400 yards (meters) away from each other. The area immediately north of the border is also a warehouse district. Prosecutors said Monday that one of the tunnels reached to San Diego, and the other was unfinished.” (12/13/16)

http://lompocrecord.com/news/world/mexico-finds-border-tunnels-leading-from-tijuana-into-us/article_9552386d-569f-5b2e-98af-30b85610fbbf.html

—–

17) Canada: Government moves toward legalizing recreational pot
Source: Roanoke Times World

“Canada’s government said Tuesday it would study a federal task force’s recommendation that Canadians over 18 years old be allowed to buy marijuana for recreational purposes and would announce new laws in the spring for legalizing pot. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long promised to legalize recreational pot use and sales. If the legislation passes, Canada would be the largest developed country to end prohibition of recreational marijuana.” (12/13/16)

http://www.roanoke.com/news/wire_headlines/canadian-government-moves-toward-legalizing-recreational-pot/article_7fde71fb-3c94-5008-851d-2b12985a7d5e.html

—–

18) WA: Two presidential electors sue against fine for violating voters’ trust
Source: Seattle Times

“Two Washington electors have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a law that would fine them up to $1,000 each if they disregard the state popular vote in the November presidential election. Democratic electors Bret Chiafalo and Levi Guerra argue such penalties are unconstitutional, and that they should be able to cast their votes as they see fit when the Electoral College meets Dec. 19. A hearing on their request for an injunction barring the state from enforcing the law is scheduled for Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle.” (12/12/16)

http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/two-washington-state-electors-sue-over-law-on-election-results/

—–

19) Merkel, Hollande back extending sanctions against Russia
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland said on Tuesday they favored extending EU sanctions against Russia in an upcoming EU summit where the issue will be discussed. … The EU’s 28 leaders are set to meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the sanctions against Russia which will expire on January 31 next year. There appeared to be consensus amongst most member states to extend the sanctions. Some in the bloc, however, favor lifting the sanctions as Moscow has imposed retaliatory measures that hurt EU farmers.” (12/13/16)

http://www.dw.com/en/merkel-and-hollande-support-sanction-extensions-against-russia/a-36750757

—–

20) Gambia: Military takes over offices of electoral commission
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“The president of The Gambia’s electoral commission has been thrown out of his office by armed soldiers as a delegation of African leaders arrived in the country to try to persuade its autocratic ruler to step down following his defeat at the polls. … the presidents of Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana flew in to meet Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled an increasingly isolated nation for 22 years and last week vowed to stay on despite losing the presidential election. Asked if Jammeh had been receptive after their hour-long closed-doors meeting, the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, said, ‘Very much so,’ but the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, refused to comment.” (12/13/16)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/13/gambian-military-takes-over-offices-of-electoral-commissionyahya-jammeh

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

21) If your culture holds grudges, it needs to be fixed
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Cultures don’t create us, we create them. Those who maintain otherwise seek to collect our sacrifices and use us as tools. A culture is simply a group that passes a set of ideas through generations. Without people passing their ideas along, no culture could exist. So, should we pass ideas along blindly, or should we engage our minds and wills to make the next generation a little better than ours? My opinion is that every adult with ability should labor to improve the people around them, and that will almost always involve a local culture.” (12/13/16)

http://www.freemansperspective.com/culture-holds-grudges-needs-fixed/

—–

22) The FDA’s unauthorized war on pipes and cigars
Source: Reason
by Rick Newcombe

“If you want a case study in how bureaucracies can become tyrannical, there is no better example than the FDA’s control over cigars and pipes and pipe tobacco. They were never included in the original Tobacco Control Act because everyone knew that kids were not running out and buying premium cigars or Dunhill pipes and expensive 965 pipe tobacco. Congress granted the FDA authority over four very specific tobacco products: cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own and smokeless. Well, you might ask, how does the FDA justify their regulations if pipes and cigars were not named in the original legislation? Picture the Salem witch trials, where certain people in authority would ‘deem’ a woman to be a witch and then call for her to be burned at the stake. That is precisely what happened with the Tobacco Control Act. The FDA was given the right to ‘deem’ newly created tobacco products to be under their control.” (12/13/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/13/the-fdas-unauthorized-war-on-pipes-and-c

—–

23) Ranked Choice Voting likely means lower turnout, more errors
Source: Cato Unbound
by Jason McDaniel

“The history of electoral reform in America is littered with people who eagerly made grand claims about how their preferred solution would cure what ailed American democracy. Usually this involves ‘liberating’ the sanctified voters from the dastardly efforts of politicians and political parties to suppress the ‘true’ preferences of the electorate. Too often, the fruit of these reform efforts has been the creation of electoral processes that reduce voter engagement and maintain the status quo. Rob Richie’s arguments in favor of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) echo many of the same arguments that reformers have been making for over a hundred years. Unfortunately, pro-RCV arguments are similarly based on faulty assumptions about voters, and too often they ignore or inappropriately minimize empirical research that highlights the potential for negative consequences.” (12/13/16)

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2016/12/13/jason-mcdaniel/ranked-choice-voting-likely-means-lower-turnout-more-errors

—–

24) The defense of liberty can’t do without identity politics
Source: Niskanen Center
by Jacob T Levy

“[T]he last several years have absolutely seen a new level of identity-politics policing of popular culture. This has certainly not come only from the left: witness GamerGate and the preemptive online fury against the new women-led Ghostbusters movie. But there have been cases on the left I would identify as excesses. What I can’t see any excuse for doing is mapping my list of excesses onto the voting behavior of 80,000 very-low-information voters in three states, and then ignoring either Trump’s unpopularity at the moments of his own political incorrectness, or the absence of any general (or white) swing in Trump’s direction relative to the baseline of ordinary partisanship. A lot of butterflies flapped their wings to bring about the November 8 result, but we have particularly little reason to think that this was one of them.” (12/13/16)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/defense-liberty-cant-without-identity-politics/

—–

25) An over-general misunderstanding
Source: Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders

“Last week’s media chew toy involved the number of former generals President-elect Donald J. Trump has nominated for his cabinet. The ABC News website announced Trump ‘would have the most generals in the White House since World War II.’ What is that near-record number? Two. Yes, a whopping two among 14 announced cabinet-level picks. Trump has nominated retired Gens. James Mattis to be his secretary of defense and John Kelly to head Homeland Security. That puts the number of former generals on a par with former doctors, Tom Price for Health and Human Services and Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development. … Trump also has chosen three attorneys for his cabinet — would-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. I have heard no complaints about the number of attorneys.” (12/13/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/12/13/an-overgeneral-misunderstanding-n2259101

—–

26) The Republican sanity caucus awakens
Source: The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

“It’s now clear that Donald Trump is far more severely impaired than even his worst critics imagined. And the cracks in his presumed governing coalition are starting to show, before he even takes office. For starters, leading Republicans are pushing back on his insistence that he knows intelligence better than the CIA and challenging the idea that the U.S. should be a puppet of Vladimir Putin. The best outcome, of course, would be for some constitutional Hail Mary pass to prevent Trump from becoming president: a group of electors who decide that he is just too much of a risk, or some kind of emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, to stay the election because its integrity and validity was hijacked by the Russians. But, face it, this is magical thinking. Barring divine intervention, Donald Trump will take office on January 20.” (12/13/16)

http://prospect.org/article/republican-sanity-caucus-awakens

—–

27) Collective intelligence in action: The self-directed education movement
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Laura Grace Weldon

“We humans form institutions for the value they offer to society. Collectively these structures function with an intelligence based on what works. Ideally, whatever works persists and whatever doesn’t work fades away. But sometimes institutions become resistant to change or change in ways that make them more rigid and therefore less responsive. When that happens, people who work for or are served by that institution tend to suffer. It usually takes a certain amount of irritation, unfairness, or real misery before people step back and take a look at the institution itself. Suffering has a way of making us more fully aware and more authentically invested in change. So we react. We resist, compete, struggle, debate, discuss, break away, collaborate, and reinvent. More and more we see people resisting the structure of institutional education in its current form.” (12/13/16)

http://everything-voluntary.com/collective-intelligence-in-action

—–

28) Teenagers say no to drugs and tobacco, yes to vaping
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

“According to the annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) fewer teens are having sex and using drugs or alcohol. In fact, today’s teenagers actually have the lowest rates of ecstasy, heroin, and meth use on record. Even more shocking is the declining number of teenagers who say they smoke cigarettes. To put this decline in perspective, in 1991, 27.5 percent of teens surveyed said they considered themselves smokers. In the latest report, only 10.8 percent of teenagers polled said they would label themselves as smokers. Though there are potentially several reasons for this decline, another finding in the report suggests that one of the biggest factors involved is the rise of e-cigarettes.” (12/13/16)

https://fee.org/articles/teenagers-say-no-to-drugs-and-tobacco-yes-to-vaping/

—–

29) Don’t forget JFK’s fight with the CIA
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Weighing in against President-Elect Donald Trump in his disagreement with the CIA over alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, the Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris writes, ‘Donald Trump has picked a fight with the Central Intelligence Agency over Russian hacking of American elections, an unprecedented move for an incoming president.’ (Emphasis added.) The likely reason that Harris employed the term ‘incoming’ is that it enables him to avoid addressing the big elephant in the room — President Kennedy and his fight — actually his war — against not only the CIA but also another major component of the national-security state — the military establishment.” (12/13/16)

http://www.fff.org/2016/12/13/dont-forget-jfks-fight-cia/

—–

30) Trump’s Secretary of State pick is best of a bad lot
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“President-elect Donald Trump is taking a huge gamble by nominating Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state. The Exxon Mobil CEO is notorious for making lucrative business deals with Russia, and in 2012 he was awarded the Order of Friendship by President Vladimir Putin. Since American lawmakers of both parties are alarmed by reports from the intelligence community that Putin interfered with the U.S. election with the goal of helping Trump, picking Tillerson for the highest cabinet position is likely to stoke fears, and make for heated confirmation hearings in the Senate. Indeed, the bipartisan backlash began the moment Tillerson’s name was first floated.” [editor’s note: Odd how as Trump went away from fomenting WW III and closer to diplomacy, his opposition on this pick has increased – SAT] (12/13/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139312/trumps-secretary-state-pick-best-bad-lot

—–

31) The fake news scandal isn’t quite what you think it is
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Trevor Hultner

“In truth, fake news has become a zaxlebax, a package-deal anti-concept that encompasses all of these wildly different media forms and describes nearly none of them correctly. The Onion has never claimed to be anything but satire. Upworthy has never said they don’t use clickbait headlines, and they’re not trying to mislead the public. C4SS, Antiwar, Infoshop or the AntiMedia have never claimed to be objective, nor have they ever misled their readers into believing they were fueled by anything other than their respective ideologies. The only media that really fits the bill of ‘fake news’ in the sense most folks mean by it are actual, fake news websites like ‘abcnews.com.co’ and tabloid news.” (12/13/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/47215

—–

32) A funny thing happened on the way to a reform
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Ideologically, [Donald Trump] has been all over the map. So one might reasonably think he would govern as a centrist. A non-humble Jimmy Carter retread, perhaps. But he has assembled the most conservative cabinet in our lifetime. Far more conservative than Ronald Reagan’s. Predictably, Democrats are freaking out. Why the move ‘rightward?’ Well, if all the Democratic leadership plus most of the moderate Republican leadership have come out strongly against you — in high moral dudgeon — what point is there to appease them?” (12/13/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/12/13/a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-a-reform/

—–

33) Riverview Gardens students lose the right to transfer
Source: Show-Me Institute
by Emily Runge

“After nearly a decade of failing to achieve state accreditation, Riverview Gardens School District achieved provisionally accredited status, which will take effect in January 2017, leaving the Normandy Schools Collaborative as the only unaccredited district in the state. This may be good news for the school district, but it could be bad news for students who have transferred out of the district over the past several years. … Missouri’s accreditation system and transfer law create a trap for students in districts just barely performing above the threshold — the schools perform too well for the students to be allowed to leave, but not well enough to prepare the students for work or college. Missouri families deserve to make their own educational choices and shouldn’t be bound by fluctuating quality measures of the districts where they live.” [editor’s note: This piece mentions the awful Normandy school district, where I used to live — even more so than most, it was a combination daycare center and juvenile prison with education as at best a tertiary concern. Aside from a general aversion to government schools, the complete suckiness of that district pushed us to becoming homeschoolers when we lived there – TLK] (12/12/16)

http://showmeinstitute.org/blog/accountability/riverview-gardens-students-lose-right-transfer

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34) Let’s work with Trump to reduce drug prices
Source: USA Today
by US Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

“A few months ago, from the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump said, ‘We are not allowed to negotiate drug prices. Can you believe it?’ Unfortunately, I can. It’s one of the reasons that prescription drug prices are skyrocketing. It’s one of the reasons that the cost of EpiPen went up nearly 500% since 2009. There are more reasons to be sure, but not being able to negotiate is an important one. So, outrage and disbelief are called for, yes. But not without clear, concrete action to back it up. As the new administration and new Congress get to work, we need to take on prescription drug price gouging. And the path forward is clear. Competition is the best way to ensure prescription drugs are affordable.” (12/13/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/13/drug-prices-klobuchar-competition-column/95307768

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35) Loving exposes dark side of legislating morality
Source: Independent Institute
by Sam Staley

“A small but important film is making its way through U.S. theaters this season, and its message will resonate powerfully with those favoring individual liberty and freedom. Loving has earned just $6.5 million at the box office, but the film tells a poignant story about an all too recent dark period in American history. The dangers inherent in giving government the authority to enforce moral codes like the ones addressed in this film are relevant today. Loving follows the persecution and legal odyssey of Richard and Mildred Loving, the mixed-race couple that challenged Virginia’s miscegenation laws preventing whites and non-whites from marrying.” (12/12/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/12/12/the-film-loving-shows-the-dark-side-of-legislating-morality/

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36) Some people still aren’t getting these finer distinctions of private property
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“It’s quite obvious that out there in that political world there are people who don’t get even the basics of this idea of private property. Those who insist that shareholders cannot pay their managers what they wish for example, or that someone else must be prevented from utilising their own land in their own manner because, you know, the view or something. But there are also those who miss some of the finer distinctions in this area: ‘Taxpayers saved the Royal Bank of Scotland. Now it’s time we owned it’ — Gareth Thomas … That’s interesting, not sure we agree, but it is interesting.” (12/13/16)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/some-people-still-arent-getting-these-finer-distinctions-of-private-property

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37) Decision in tweeting case leaves students none the wiser about online speech rights
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon

“Earlier this month, a federal district court dismissed the constitutional claims of Navid Yeasin, who was expelled from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2013 based in part on Twitter comments about his ex-girlfriend. The disappointing decision raises concerns and perpetuates uncertainty over a public college or university’s ability to punish students for off-campus online speech.” (12/12/16)

https://www.thefire.org/decision-in-tweeting-case-leaves-students-none-the-wiser-about-online-speech-rights/

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38) Democrats could do business with Trump on these five issues
Source: Reuters
by Josh Cohen

“After Donald Trump’s stunning election victory, Democratic legislators now face a fork in the road: cooperate with Trump or oppose him at every turn. Given the tenor of the Trump campaign (including its attacks on Latinos, Muslims and other minorities), it’s understandable that many Democrats feel the urge to dig in their heels. But many of Trump’s campaign promises actually represent long-time Democratic priorities. Given these overlaps, it’s in Democrats’ best interest to at least explore working with Trump on these issues: Infrastructure … Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) … Ending the ‘Carried Interest’ Tax Loophole .. Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy.” [editor’s note: A good list for the most part – SAT] (12/13/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-democrats-commentary-idUSKBN1421N1

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39) Bolton is trouble; Tillerson isn’t
Source: The American Conservative
by Scott McConnell

“President-elect Trump’s State Department selections have managed to trigger opposition from two distinct and opposed camps. The neocons and anti-Russians oppose Exxon chief Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state designate, as too inclined to accommodate Putin. The disparate but occasionally united liberal, arms-control, and realist types are equally alarmed about John Bolton’s apparent selection for the number-two deputy secretary of state slot.The problem with Bolton is simple. If you liked George W. Bush’s foreign policy, especially the Iraq War and the idea of regime change carried out by the American military on a multi-country, pan-regional scale, and you want get that kind of policy going again, the search is over: he’s definitely the guy.” (12/13/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/bolton-is-trouble-tillerson-isnt/

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40) Pass the buck
Source: CounterPunch
by Rodolfo Acuna

“President Harry S. Truman had a sign on his desk with the inscription ‘The buck stops here.’ Truman an avid poke player wanted to specify that he didn’t ‘pass the buck’ to anyone; he accepted personal responsibility for the way the country was governed. A ‘buck was an article used in a game of poker.'” The buck represented the changing of the dealing from one dealer to another to avoid the appearance of cheating. A marker, a buck, would designate who the buck was being passed to. Evidently, there are no poker players left in the United States. Unlike Truman everyone appears to want to pass the buck. Nowhere is this more evident than in the aftermath of the presidential election. Democrats eager to find a scapegoat have passed the buck.” (12/13/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/13/pass-the-buck/

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41) Trump: It wasn’t Russia wot won it
Source: spiked
by Sean Collins

“Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. More than a month later, Democrats can’t accept that fact. Rather than face the reality that millions of voters rejected Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, they have embraced conspiracy theories to try to explain their loss. And in a serious threat to democracy, they are now relying on these half-baked notions to try to overturn the result.” (12/13/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/trump-it-wasnt-russia-wot-won-it/

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42) Has the Fed been holding down interest rates?
Source: The Cobden Centre
by George Selgin

“Once upon a time, when my twin brother and I were tots, our father convinced us that he could make a traffic light change from red to green whenever he wanted it to. Raising his hand to the light as we sat at an intersection, he would say, ‘I command you to change to green … now!’ cocking his finger at the light for emphasis. Sure enough, the light would change precisely on cue, while two little boys shouted, ‘Papa, how do you do that!?’ I share this little anecdote because I’m convinced that, if more people had been fooled the way my brother and I were, fewer would be so gullible today as to believe that the Fed has been firmly in control of interest rates these past eight years, and that it is only owing to that control that rates have remained low for so long.” (12/13/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/12/george-selgin-has-the-fed-been-holding-down-interest-rates/

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43) While Democrats chase Russians, Republicans keep rigging elections
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“What does it tell us when leading Democrats are more upset about alleged Russian election-rigging than they are about proven Republican election-rigging? After all, American oligarchs like the Koch Brothers have no more right to undermine our democracy than Russian oligarchs do. GOP voting laws systematically discriminate against minority voters and working people. Yes, leading Democrats have lodged pro forma protests against them, but they should be shouting about it from the rooftops. They seem more comfortable challenging Russians than they do challenging a party that’s undermining the electoral process much closer to home. Maybe voters in places like North Carolina and Texas were ‘hacked’ by the wrong people.” [editor’s note: This guy used to have some objectivity; now he gives away his bias in every sentence – SAT] (12/13/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161213/while-democrats-chase-russians-republicans-keep-stealing-elections

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44) Pizzagate’s effect on revolution
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by Paul Bonneau

“It occurs to me Pizzagate might be just a gigantic version of the Wenatchee Witch Hunt. Or the Salem witch trials. After all, humans are prone to flights of fancy at times. But then I think, ‘Wait a minute. This is government we are talking about, here.'” (12/11/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle902-20161211-04.html

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45) The Bitcoin network death that never happened (again)
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Jamie Redman

“According to Bitcoin Obituaries the digital asset has died 117 times, according to the many mainstream media reports. The Linkedin article titled ‘Bitcoin is a bubble. It will burst on Monday 12 December 2016’ is now recorded as the last bitcoin death. Other overly exaggerated bitcoin deaths come from publications such as Bloomberg, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and much more. Many deaths supposedly occurred after Mt Gox, when Mike Hearn left, and when Bitfinex was breached. Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts easily dismiss these headlines of bitcoin bursting at the seams. The Linkedin post/hoax was no different as even if it was true, the points made were quite illogical. However mainstream media and those who don’t know much about bitcoin can easily be swayed by such headlines.” (12/13/16)

https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-network-death-never/

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46) The Tom Woods Show, episode 801
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“G.P. Manish discusses what the Austrian School of economics can contribute to the debate over what the developing world should do to become wealthy. We also discuss India’s recent demonetization of its 500 and 1000-rupee notes.” [various formats] (12/12/16)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-801-making-poor-countries-rich-austrian-school-insights/

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47) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/13/16
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Shane Radliff, Jim Jesus, and MWD (fresh from FaceBookJail) talk about the government wanting a monopoly on fake news, why people who love the anti-stalking book A User’s Manual for the Human Experience might want to stalk the author, why friends don’t tell friends who are about to have surgery about surgery gone horribly wrong, and with you a Merry Capitalismass (and a Happy New Objectivistvomit).” [various formats] (12/13/16)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=13361

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48) Free Talk Live, 12/12/16
Source: Free Talk Live

“Venezuela Steals Millions of Toys in the Name of Jesus :: Mining Bitcoin in Venezuela :: CIA and FBI Opinions on Russia Election Hacking :: Venezuela Inflation :: Bitcoin Debit Cards :: Crackdown on Bitcoiners :: Legal Immigration Hassle :: Commie Sarah :: Adoption Attorneys :: Invasive USDA Survey.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/12/16)

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49) Scott McPherson: Time to end the war on drugs
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Watch FFF policy adviser Scott McPherson present his perspectives on why America needs to end the war on drugs. This presentation is part of FFF’s Drug War Video Project, whose aim is to accelerate the end of this immoral and destructive government program.” [Flash video] (12/13/16)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/scott-mcpherson-time-end-war-drugs/

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50) Has “market failure” caused high healthcare prices?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Dale Steinreich

“With premiums rising an average of 22 percent and as high as 116 percent on Obamacare’s 2017 government exchanges, it seems surreal to read journalists attributing the economic pathologies of US health care to market failure. Yet that is essentially the perspective being driven by the Associated Press and NBC with approving input from industry economists and consultants. While not a new narrative, the most recent version begins with the observation that patient co-payments and deductibles have failed to control costs. According to a Mercer consultant, ‘It’s not human nature to be rational thinkers about health care cost decisions. … It will never be just like buying a lawnmower.’ In popular and academic literature, this is a common assertion that is never explained in much detail, never mind rigorously proven. And hilariously, it’s still regnant dogma even as American consumers, right before our very eyes, continue their abandonment/avoidance of Obamacare because of its increasing costs.” (12/13/16)

https://mises.org/blog/has-market-failure-caused-high-health-care-prices

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Steve Trinward

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****