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

Volume XV, Issue #3,608
Saturday, December 24th, 2016
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In the News:

0) A note from the publisher …
1) US abstains from UN vote condemning Israelis’ illegal West Bank squats
2) Study: Ebola vaccine works
3) Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse to pay off consumers, US bureaucrats
4) China: Regime demands $29 million bribe from GM
5) KS: Video emerges of deputy tazing, cuffing 91-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who died
6) Russian regime wants Apple to unlock iPhone belonging to ambassador’s killer
7) Gambia: West African troops on standby to oust Jammeh
8) UN Security Council rejects arms embargo on South Sudan
9) Australia: Four suspects charged over alleged Christmas Day terror plot
10) Malta: Plane hijacking ends peacefully; two Libyans surrender

Everybody Has An Opinion:

11) Capturing Christmas
12) Ralph Raico’s liberal mind and spirit
13) Donald Trump is ruining Christmas
14) No gays or Catholics allowed!
15) Colombia joins Argentina and Venezuela in adopting backward economic policies
16) Protectionism’s mean(s)ness
17) Is softforking to Segqit “radical” and “irresponsible?”
18) Rebuild the old wastes
19) How will the House Freedom Caucus respond to Trump?
20) Don’t sell government-funded inventions to trolls

The Sound and the Fury:

21) The LAVA Spurt, episode 27
22) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 167
23) The Tom Woods Show, episode 809
24) Free Talk Live, 12/22/16
25) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/22/16

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

0) A note from the publisher …

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc. to all our readers!

Here’s a short weekend special edition (10 news stories, 10 opinion pieces, 5 podcasts) for your enjoyment. I like to tell the other two editors to take the week at the end of the year, between Christmas and the new year, off. That way they can celebrate, travel, etc. without worrying about surfing the web for content. I’ll put out short editions for your reading pleasure during the coming week.

Thanks to RRS and DLW, whose contributions yesterday bring our year-end fundraiser total to $1,455.50 versus our goal (by December 31) of $5,000! You can help move us closer to the finish line at …

http://rationalreview.com/support-rrnd

… and I hope you will. We’re a reader-supported publication, and if you are reading this, you’re a reader, right? Have a great weekend, and “see” you on Monday!

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

—–

1) US abstains from UN vote condemning Israelis’ illegal West Bank squats
Source: Bloomberg

“The Obama administration abstained from voting Friday on a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, drawing accusations from the Israeli government that Washington had abandoned its closest Middle East ally and dealt a blow to the chances of peace talks with the Palestinians. The resolution, which could have been vetoed by the U.S., declared Israeli settlements illegal under international law and demanded that the country cease construction in the West Bank and other territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defended the move to abstain, saying ‘one cannot champion’ both settlements and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” (12/23/16)

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-12-23/u-s-abstains-from-un-vote-declaring-israeli-settlements-illegal

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2) Study: Ebola vaccine works
Source: Aol News

“An experimental Ebola vaccine completely protected people from the killer virus at the end of the west African epidemic, researchers report. They used the same strategy that was used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. Called ring vaccination, it calls for vaccinating people who have been in contact with patients, and contacts of contacts. It worked, the team led by the World Health Organization found. ‘Vaccine efficacy was 100 percent,’ they wrote in their report, published in Friday’s issue of the Lancet medical journal.” (12/23/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/12/23/ebola-vaccine-works-study-shows/21641088/

—–

3) Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse to pay off consumers, US bureaucrats
Source: Seattle Times

“Nine years after the collapse of the U.S. housing market sent shockwaves through the global economy, two European banks have agreed to offer American homeowners and borrowers billions of dollars’ worth of help under a settlement related to the sale of risky securities that helped spark the 2008 crisis. Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse said Friday they agreed to the tentative settlements with the U.S. Justice Department over their dealings in mortgage-backed bonds. Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest, agreed to pay $7.2 billion — $3.1 billion in fines and $4.1 billion in consumer relief. That relief could include easier terms on loan repayments terms for homeowners and borrowers. Neither Deutsche nor Credit Suisse, which agreed to a similar settlement under which it would pay $5.3 billion, including $2.8 billion in consumer relief, provided details on what the consumer compensation would entail.” (12/23/16)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/deutsche-bank-to-pay-7-2-billion-in-bond-settlement/

—–

4) China: Regime demands $29 million bribe from GM
Source: Detroit Free Press

“One week after media reports that China was investigating an automaker’s alleged ‘anti-competitive’ behavior, China levied a fine of $29 million (201 million yuan) on Shanghai General Motors for violating anti-monopoly rules. The Shanghai Price Bureau said Friday that Shanghai GM, the U.S. automaker’s venture with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp., improperly suppressed competition by enforcing minimum prices dealers were allowed to charge for Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick models.” (12/23/16)

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2016/12/23/china-general-motors-monopoly/95788648/

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5) KS: Video emerges of deputy tazing, cuffing 91-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who died
Source: New York Daily News

“Shocking body-camera footage has revealed that a sheriff’s deputy in Kansas jolted and handcuffed a 91-year-old man with Alzheimer’s after he refused to go to the doctor — and family members claim the violent incident led to the elderly man’s death. The unidentified victim was living at a nursing home in Minneapolis when deputies from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office were summoned there on March 30 in response to a call about a tenant getting violent before his regular doctor’s checkup. An initial report claimed that the victim had been combative with officers before a deputy discharged his stun gun — but body cam footage made public on Thursday by KWCH appears to suggest otherwise.” (12/22/16)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kansas-deputy-jolts-handcuffs-man-91-alzheimer-article-1.2920776

—–

6) Russian regime wants Apple to unlock iPhone belonging to ambassador’s killer
Source: The Hacker News

“Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot dead by an off-duty police officer in Ankara on December 19 when the ambassador was giving a speech at an art gallery. The shooter managed to pretend himself [sic] as his official bodyguard and [was] later shot to death by Turkish special forces. After this shocking incident, Apple has been asked to help unlock an iPhone 4S recovered from the shooter, which could again spark up battle similar to the one between Apple and the FBI earlier this year. Turkish and Russian authorities have asked Apple to help them bypass the PIN code on an iPhone 4S, which, the authorities believe, could assist them to investigate [the] killer’s links to various terrorist organizations.” (12/22/16)

http://thehackernews.com/2016/12/russian-ambassador-assassination.html

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7) Gambia: West African troops on standby to oust Jammeh
Source: Guardian [UK]

“West African troops will oust the Gambian president if he does not step down when his term ends in January, the chair of the regional bloc has said. Marcel de Souza, the head of the Ecowas commission, said that ‘if he loves his people,’ Yahya Jammeh would negotiate a peaceful exit, but if not, Senegal would lead the charge to remove him, according to Radio France Internationale. After 22 years in power, Jammeh lost the presidential election in the Gambia this month to Adama Barrow, a former estate agent, but after initially accepting the result, he reversed his position and is planning to challenge it in the courts.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/23/forces-on-standby-to-oust-gambian-president-yahya-jammeh

—–

8) UN Security Council rejects arms embargo on South Sudan
Source: Voice of America [US state media]

“The United Nations Security Council has rejected a U.S.-drafted resolution to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on South Sudan. The measure received seven votes in favor, while eight countries abstained. The resolution needed nine votes to pass, as well as no vetoes by permanent council members. Russia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Venezuela and three African council members — Angola, Egypt and Senegal — all abstained. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said the United States is ‘extremely disappointed’ by the outcome of the vote, but not surprised.” (12/23/16)

http://www.voanews.com/a/un-security-council-rejects-arms-embargo-south-sudan/3648327.html

—–

9) Australia: Four suspects charged over alleged Christmas Day terror plot
Source: ABC News

“Four men have been charged in what authorities allege was a plot to launch a Christmas Day terrorist attack in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. Authorities detained five suspects, all men, in raids on Thursday night and Friday. Initially, three of the suspects were charged on Friday with preparing or planning a terrorist attack, The Associated Press reported. Authorities announced later in the day that a fourth man had been charged.” (12/23/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/suspects-charged-alleged-christmas-day-terror-plot-australia/story?id=44363091

—–

10) Malta: Plane hijacking ends peacefully; two Libyans surrender
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Two Libyan hijackers diverted a domestic flight to the Mediterranean island of Malta on Friday to demand asylum in Europe and create a new political party in honor of the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi, officials said. After hours of negotiations, the standoff ended peacefully with the hijackers freeing all 117 people on board and walking off the plane to surrender. The hijacked Airbus A320 flight, operated by Afriqiyah Airways, was traveling from the Libyan oasis city of Sabha to the coastal city of Tripoli when it was diverted to Malta and landed at 11:34 a.m. local time.” (12/23/16)

http://www.startribune.com/malta-libyan-plane-presumed-to-be-hijacked-has-landed/408024716/

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

11) Capturing Christmas
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The festival of Hanukkah begins tomorrow at sundown; Christmas is on Sunday. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time to spend with family and friends, to appreciate what’s most important in life. And maybe even to forget about politics for a bit. But remember one political or historical thing this holiday season: in addition to its religious significance for Christians, Americans share an excellent historical reason to celebrate on Christmas day.” (12/23/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/12/23/capturing-christmas/

—–

12) Ralph Raico’s liberal mind and spirit
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker

“Some years ago, back when people sent mail, a letter arrived in my mailbox with a return address of Buffalo, New York. It was from my friend Ralph Raico (1936-2016), the famed historian of liberalism who died recently. I wondered what this nonbeliever would send me at Christmas time. He called himself a ‘free-thinker,’ but he also knew of my own theism to which I assumed he objected profoundly. How would this man, raised a Catholic but now an atheist, deal with this?” (12/23/16)

https://fee.org/articles/ralph-raico-s-liberal-mind-and-spirit/

—–

13) Donald Trump is ruining Christmas
Source: The Week
by Shikha Dalmia

“I am a Hindu, my husband a Jew. So which religious holiday do we celebrate? Why, Christmas, of course! Every year, we get the obligatory tree and open presents while sipping eggnog and listening to Nat King Cole’s Christmas album. Later in the day, we bake shortbread cookies with our (Christian) friends and dine over lamb rogan josh and pulao. In short, we may not celebrate this national holiday in a traditional American way (whatever that means), but we have no trouble doing so, much less saying Merry Christmas. But in Donald Trump’s America, millions of Americans like us who have embraced Christmas voluntarily will become involuntary recruits in his War for Christmas. In the long run that won’t save the holiday, it will doom it.” (12/23/16)

http://theweek.com/articles/668662/donald-trump-ruining-christmas

—–

14) No gays or Catholics allowed!
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by James Taylor

“The Republican Party is considering trying to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) once Trump takes office. This Act, if passed as worded, will have some interesting and unintended consequences for Catholics — who, with the Act’s obvious target of gay people, could become legitimate targets of discrimination. The FADA ‘prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.’ In Catholic canon law consecrated virgins and religious women (i.e., members of Catholic religious communities) are considered to be legally married to Jesus. (See Canons 604 and 607 in The Code of Canon Law.) The Catholic Church thus does not believe that ‘marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman’ since it recognizes the polygamous union of Jesus with multiple consecrated virgins and religious women.” (12/23/16)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/no-gays-catholics-allowed/

—–

15) Colombia joins Argentina and Venezuela in adopting backward economic policies
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail R Hall Blanco

“On this blog I’ve discussed how the price system is fundamentally important. Only via the mechanisms of private property rights, prices, and profit and loss can resources be allocated to their highest valued use. But these facts of economics don’t always make people happy. As I explain to my principles students, sometimes everyday citizens and government officials look at the prices of particular items and don’t like what they see. They think some prices are either ‘too high’ or ‘too low.’ As a result, government will attempt to ‘fix’ these ‘wrong’ prices by imposing a price control. In the case that a price is deemed to be ‘too low,’ governments will impose what’s called a price floor, setting the minimum price that consumers must pay for a particular good or service. The most common example of this type of price control is the minimum wage.” (12/23/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/12/23/colombia-joins-argentina-and-venezuela-in-adopting-backward-economic-policies/

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16) Protectionism’s mean(s)ness
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“When a producer suffers losses, these losses are the market’s way both of informing that producer that it is serving consumers poorly and of motivating it either to perform better or to move into some other line of work. Without the information and motivation supplied by profits and losses, markets cannot function. Economies stagnate or even deteriorate. By artificially swelling profits and preventing losses, protectionism mutes the information and motivation supplied by the profit-and-loss system. The end — consumer welfare — is sacrificed in order that some particular means be cosseted or preserved independently of its effectiveness. But a means whose value is disconnected from the ends that it serves is a means whose effectiveness we cannot accurately assess.” (12/23/16)

http://cafehayek.com/2016/12/41883.html

—–

17) Is softforking to Segqit “radical” and “irresponsible?”
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Justin O’Connell

“‘Segregated Witness [Segwit] is the most radical and irresponsible protocol upgrade Bitcoin has faced in its eight year history,’ wrote the pseudonymous author Jaqen Hash’ghar for Medium. ‘The push for the [Segwit] soft fork puts Bitcoin miners in a difficult and unfair position to the extent that they are pressured into enforcing a complicated and contentious change to the Bitcoin protocol, without community consensus or an honest discussion weighing the benefits against the costs. The scale of the code changes are far from trivial — nearly every part of the codebase is affected by [Segwit].’ Proposed by Bitcoin Core, Segwit has sparked a discussion about whether to fundamentally change the Bitcoin network or scale it as it is.” (12/23/16)

https://news.bitcoin.com/softforking-segwit-radical-irresponsible/

—–

18) Rebuild the old wastes
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Grant A Mincy

“In our world of conflict it is important to remember the better angels of our nature. For we are many. I find it important to think of the people in my life. Whether family, friends, colleagues, mentors, peers, the woman who always gives us stickers at the market, whoever: all of these actors, including myself, are vulnerable to the surrounding world. We are all beings who grow and adapt in a complex physical and social environment. We are social beings and depend upon each other for survival, be it through our close personal relationships or our overlapping and intertwining cultures. As our species evolved the mechanisms of selection favored competition, but just as importantly cooperation, pro-social behavior and mutual aid. The human is competitive but cooperative, deeply rooted in the principles of mutualism.” (12/23/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/47330

—–

19) How will the House Freedom Caucus respond to Trump?
Source: The Atlantic
by Michelle Cottle

“Life is about to get way more interesting — and potentially a lot more boring — for the House Freedom Caucus. After a couple of free-wheeling years as Congress’s bratty, bomb-lobbing obstructionists, the conservative diehards will soon face a topsy-turvy political landscape: unified Republican rule led by a president whose anti-establishment, blow-the-system-to-smithereens shtick makes the fractious legislators look positively staid. No question, a Trump administration holds rich promise for conservatives: rolling back Obamacare, beefing up borders, cutting taxes. But the new president is hardly an orthodox conservative and has also floated agenda items that seem tailor-made to perturb small-government, deficit-cutting types.” [editor’s note: Apparently Ms. Cottle fell for the myth of the small-government Republican – TLK] (12/23/16)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/house-freedom-caucus-and-trump/511499/

—–

20) Don’t sell government-funded inventions to trolls
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon

“Research funded by the United States government should benefit everyone. That’s why EFF so strongly supports the idea of writing an open access requirement for federally funded research into the law as soon as possible. It’s also one reason why we recently launched Reclaim Invention, a campaign asking U.S. universities to rethink their patenting policies. It’s crucial that federally funded research be made available to the public so that anyone can read and use it, not just people with institutional connections. But even if the public can read government-funded research, patents on inventions that arise from it can still fall into the wrong hands and undermine the public interest. Federally funded inventions are supposed to stimulate innovation and new business models, but in the hands of patent trolls — companies that do nothing but amass patents and sue others for patent infringement — they do just the opposite.” (12/22/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/dont-sell-government-funded-inventions-trolls

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

21) The LAVA Spurt, episode 27
Source: The LAVA Flow Podcast

“Cops get the court’s go-ahead to shoot your dogs. What would happen if you did the same thing? This is the twenty-seventh episode of The LAVA Spurt, The Cops Help All Dogs Go To Heaven Edition.” [various formats] (12/22/16)

http://thelavaflow.com/cops-help-dogs-go-heaven-edition/

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22) Free Thoughts Podcast, episode 167
Source: Libertarianism.org

“George Selgin joins us for a discussion about the gold standard. How did America get off the gold standard, and is there any chance of the country returning to it?” [various formats] (12/23/16)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/gold-standard-wont-be-coming-back

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23) The Tom Woods Show, episode 809
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Brian Aitken was sentenced to seven years in prison — later commuted by Chris Christie — on bogus weapons charges. We discuss his case and its larger implications.” [various formats] (12/22/16)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-809-how-gun-laws-cost-him-his-son-and-his-freedom/

—–

24) Free Talk Live, 12/22/16
Source: Free Talk Live

“Uber moves self-driving cars from San Francisco to Arizona :: Solar roads in France :: Trolley question :: Miami Beach misplaced $3.6 million :: solar paths :: UN says Duterte should be tried for murder :: Gov’t employee says money stolen in Miami was likely an inside-job :: Is Christmas deadly?” [Flash audio or MP3]

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2016-12-22

—–

25) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/22/16
Source: Cato Institute

“Drought creates big problems in California. Bad water allocation makes those problems worse. Reed Watson of the Property and Environment Research center comments.” [various formats] (12/22/16)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/price-water-california-edition

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****