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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,111
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
437 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) France back to not being Charlie Hebdo: Comedian held for Coulibaly remark
2) “Silk Road” show trial opens
3) Chinese spacecraft enters orbit around moon in major milestone
4) Security theater: Obama to push law protecting companies from liability for assisting government spies
5) France: Pols dance on Charlie Hebdo graves, vow to intensify police statism
6) VA: Morrisssey wins election amid sex scandal
7) Dominican Republic: Officials arrested after one ton of coke disappears
8) Japan: Cabinet OKs record military budget with eye on China
9) Seoul willing for unconditional talks with Pyongyang
10) Ugandan rebel commander to be tried by international court
11) Donetsk People’s Republic: Rocket strike kills 11 bus passengers
12) OH: Country club bartender plotted to poison, shoot John Boehner
13) Report: Podesta joins Clinton campaign
14) ND & AR try to reinstate nation’s strictest abortion laws
15) Cuba: Dissidents out of prison but not entirely free
16) Broken clock correct: Cruz says abolish the IRS
17) ID: Pol says bump up teacher pay or no new tax cuts
18) OH: Police use tear gas to disperse crowd after OSU win
19) Cameroon: Regime says Boko Haram fighters killed near Nigerian border
20) NYC pols and Uber have a lot in common — they both want to run the business

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The propaganda war: The horror of the Paris rally
22) With libertarians like the Koch brothers, who needs the state?
23) The sick man of Europe
24) The cyberattack on Alongside Night
25) Idea for tackling inequality: Stop subsidizing it
26) Freedom lost in Obama’s secrecy-censorship crossfire
27) Massive US prison population a result of unconstitutional laws
28) Jeff Sessions’s handbook of immigration lies
29) Open letter: Why the War on Terror isn’t your battle
30) All hail the tumbling price of gas
31) Sad-eyed waifs, sad-eyed wife
32) Oil price floor could be a long way down
33) Self censorship
34) How ObamaCare forced me to be dependent on the state
35) The “Malheur Mafia” takes its cut
36) The UK government plans to up their spying game
37) Haiti: Faith, hope & chaos
38) Charlie Hebdo: Greatest overreaction since 9/11
39) Free speech hate speech
40) Britain’s “war on terror” insanity continues — David Cameron declares war on encryption
41) Je suis Charlie, but not really
42) Even for-profit universities are better than America’s terrible community colleges
43) Hold death dear and the state will vanish
44) Charlie Hebdo, the New York Times, and tribal politics
45) The value of conservation in the free market
46) It’s not just about race, it’s about power
47) The implications of zero interest rates for monetary and fiscal stimulus
48) The Charlie Hebdo “hot takes”
49) Improved relations key to ending Castro regime
50) Finding a mission
51) Je suis Charlie? Then challenge the Islamophobia industry
52) Dodd-Frank relief is a better deal for homeowners than Obama’s FHA folly
53) I am NOT Charlie
54) Police piracy
55) More surveillance won’t protect free speech
56) How the Cuban embargo got imposed
57) Obama gets bum rap on Paris
58) The Paris mystery: Were the shooters part of a global terrorist conspiracy?
59) The fate of the ICC
60) Lessons for winning liberty in a world of statism

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

1) France back to not being Charlie Hebdo: Comedian held for Coulibaly remark
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala has been detained by police for a Facebook comment appearing to back Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly. Coulibaly shot dead a policewoman and four Jewish men in separate attacks. The Paris prosecutor has begun an inquiry into whether Dieudonne was being an apologist for terrorism. The comic has a number of convictions for inciting anti-Semitism and the courts banned several of his one-man shows last year.” (01/14/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30811401

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2) “Silk Road” show trial opens
Source: USA Today

“The trial of the ‘Silk Road’ criminal-trafficking [sic] website’s alleged operator opened Tuesday with prosecutors calling him a criminal mastermind and the defense team portraying him as an innocent fall guy who was set up by the real culprits. [Political prisoner] Ross William Ulbricht, 30, accused of secretly operating the ‘Dark Web’ drug-and-money laundering online bazaar under the pseudonym ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ sat quietly in Manhattan federal court listening to the opposing views of evidence that could land him in prison for the rest of his life.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n2vna76

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3) Chinese spacecraft enters orbit around moon in major milestone
Source: Science Recorder

“A Chinese spacecraft service module just entered orbit around the moon, just months after it was successfully tested. The service module, which came from China’s circumlunar test flight, arrived in orbit this week, according to Chinese state media …. The spacecraft will operate on an eight-our orbit within 125 miles of the surface of the moon at its closest points, and at a range of up to 3,293 miles at its highest point.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pb7g2jm

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4) Security theater: Obama to push law protecting companies from liability for assisting government spies
Source: United Press International

“President Barack Obama plans to announce legislation to protect companies from lawsuits for sharing data with the government for help in preventing cyberattacks. … Critics of legislation of this type are concerned that it allows the government too much access to people’s data with immunity from any legal action.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfwbdx8

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5) France: Pols dance on Charlie Hebdo graves, vow to intensify police statism
Source: CastaNet [Canada]

“France’s prime minister demanded tougher anti-terrorism [sic] measures Tuesday after deadly attacks that some call this country’s Sept. 11 — and that may already be leading to a crackdown on liberties in exchange for greater security. … Lawmakers in the often argumentative [Parliamnent] chamber lined up overwhelmingly behind the government, giving repeated standing ovations to [Prime Minister Manuel] Valls’ rousing, indignant address — and then voted 488-1 to extend French airstrikes against Islamic State extremists in Iraq. … [Valls] called for increased surveillance of imprisoned radicals and told the interior minister to quickly come up with new security [sic] proposals.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p2d6lw3

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6) VA: Morrisssey wins election amid sex scandal
Source: CBS DC

“Voters who have long overlooked Virginia lawmaker Joseph D. Morrissey’s history of fistfights, contempt of court citations and disbarment have now given him a pass for a sex scandal that landed him in jail, choosing him over two decidedly less colorful candidates in a House of Delegates special election. … Last month, Morrissey was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after prosecutors accused him of having sex with a 17-year-old girl, whose nude photo was found on his cellphone and allegedly shared with a friend. The young woman, who denies they had sex, is now 18 and pregnant but has not identified the father. Morrissey, a bachelor who has fathered three children out of wedlock with three different women, has denied wrongdoing but entered the misdemeanor plea to avoid felony charges punishable by years in prison and automatic loss of his legislative position.”

http://tinyurl.com/kdtzfep

—–

7) Dominican Republic: Officials arrested after one ton of coke disappears
Source: ABC News

“A court in the Dominican Republic has ordered the arrest of three prosecutors and 21 police officers accused of not reporting drug seizures involving more than a ton of cocaine that has since disappeared. Among those accused is the former director of an anti-narcotics unit, who is among the dozen of suspects that have been arrested. Authorities are still seeking to arrest the remainder.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l5usgcm

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8) Japan: Cabinet OKs record military budget with eye on China
Source: ABC News

“The Japanese Cabinet approved the country’s largest defense budget on Wednesday, with plans to buy surveillance aircraft and F-35 fighter jets to improve defenses of disputed islands amid China’s assertiveness in the region. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet endorsed a nearly 5 trillion yen ($42 billion) defense budget for the year beginning in April, a 2 percent rise. The budget must still be approved by parliament, but Abe’s coalition holds majorities in both houses.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kn559go

—–

9) Seoul willing for unconditional talks with Pyongyang
Source: Florida Statesman

“President Park Geun-hye Monday sought a breakthrough in relations with North Korea and said she was ready to hold a summit meeting dictator Kim Jong Un without any precondition ‘to ease the pain of division’. She however said that an end to reclusive North Korea’s military nuclear programme should form an important part of discussions between the two neighbours for peace on the peninsula but it was not a pre-condition to having a summit meeting.” (01/13/15)

http://www.floridastatesman.com/index.php/sid/229299437

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10) Ugandan rebel commander to be tried by international court
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel

“Uganda’s military said Tuesday the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel commander who surrendered to American troops last week will be taken to The Hague for trial. Dominic Ongwen is now in U.S. custody in Obo, a town in eastern Central African Republic, the country where he surrendered on Jan. 6, Uganda army spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q2gcazz

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11) Donetsk People’s Republic: Rocket strike kills 11 bus passengers
Source: Irish Times [Ireland]

“Kiev blamed [Donetsk People’s Republic forces] for shelling that killed at least 10 civilians on a bus and toppled the control tower at Donetsk airport, which for months has been at the epicentre of fighting between [invading Ukrainian] and [DPR government] forces. … [Ukrainian o]fficials said the rockets that hit the bus were probably aimed at a nearby checkpoint manned by Ukrainian servicemen. [DPR officials] denied responsibility and blamed [the invaders] for the attack, which is the worst single strike against civilians in recent months.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/norl9ge

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12) OH: Country club bartender plotted to poison, shoot John Boehner
Source: Washington Times

“An Ohio bartender at House Speaker John A. Boehner’s country club plotted to poison him by putting something in his drink, blaming the top Republican for the spread of Ebola and various other problems, federal authorities charged in a recent indictment. The bartender, Michael R. Hoyt, told authorities he was Jesus, Mr. Boehner was the devil, and said he blamed the congressman for getting him fired from his bartender’s job before he had a chance to poison the speaker. He told police he then planned to shoot Mr. Boehner and make an escape.” [editor’s note: So to summarize, Boehner was targeted by someone much more productive but only slightly less delusional and violent than himself – TLK] (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k5avvra

—–

13) Report: Podesta joins Clinton campaign
Source: WireUpdate

“President Barack Obama’s counselor, John Podesta, is reportedly leaving the White House next month to take on a senior advisory role in Hillary Clinton’s emerging presidential campaign, providing yet another sign that the former secretary of state is preparing a run for the White House. Three people familiar with the matter have told the Wall Street Journal that Podesta, 65, will leave the administration in February to join Clinton’s campaign as a senior advisor, the newspaper reported on Tuesday. A spokesman for Hillary Clinton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oktfgq4

—–

14) ND & AR try to reinstate nation’s strictest abortion laws
Source: Raw Story

“North Dakota and Arkansas are seeking to reinstate two of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws in a federal appeals court in Missouri on Tuesday. The US court of appeals for the 8th circuit , which sits in St Louis, is hearing oral arguments on the so-called fetal heartbeat laws, which ban abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Both bans were approved by lawmakers in 2013 but overturned by lower federal courts in separate decisions. The Arkansas legislature approved a bill that bans abortion at 12 weeks, prohibiting most abortions if a heartbeat can be detected. The state’s democratic governor vetoed the bill, but the conservative, Republican-controlled legislature overrode it.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/khx6tn7

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15) Cuba: Dissidents out of prison but not entirely free
Source: Reuters

“Most of the 53 Cuban prisoners released from jail under a historic U.S.-Cuba accord remain bound to the justice system under conditions that could easily return them to prison, dissident leaders say. While they doubt Cuba’s communist government would risk its rapprochement with the United States by putting former prisoners back behind bars, they say the 53 released are not entirely free.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k8phtu5

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16) Broken clock correct: Cruz says abolish the IRS
Source: Fox News

“Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday that Republicans should take advantage of their control of Congress to abolish the Internal Revenue Service.’ We need to pass fundamental tax reform making our tax code simpler, flatter, fairer,’ he said Monday at Heritage Action’s 2015 conservative policy summit. ‘And I’ll tell you, the single most important tax reform, we should abolish the IRS. … As we have seen the weaponization of the IRS, as we have seen the Obama administration using the IRS in a partisan manner to punish its political enemies.'” [editor’s note: And then his next words are that all the IRS layoffs should be moved south to fight border-crossings. DOH! -SAT] (01/13/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/12/cruz-abolish-irs

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17) ID: Pol says bump up teacher pay or no new tax cuts
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The Idaho lawmaker who has the power to kill tax bills says there will be no new tax breaks unless beginning teacher salaries boost to $40,000 a year. Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway threatened to hold proposed tax cuts hostage in order to get more funding for Idaho’s public schools even before the legislative session kicked off on Monday. Siddoway sharpened his demand on Tuesday, saying teacher salaries must increase sooner than what Gov. C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter has outlined. Otter asked lawmakers Monday to increase teacher salaries to $40,000 over the next five years, bumping new teacher pay from $31,750 to $32,800 next year.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qezm2vl

—–

18) OH: Police use tear gas to disperse crowd after OSU win
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Police in Columbus, Ohio, made multiple arrests and used tear gas to disperse crowds of American football fans after Ohio State’s victory Monday night. Fire fighters responded to nearly 90 fires as rubbish bins and discarded sofas were set alight. Officers on foot, horseback, and in vehicles tried to control the crowds as they poured out of bars after the win. Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 to capture the College Football Playoff national championship title.” (01/13/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30783992

—–

19) Cameroon: Regime says Boko Haram fighters killed near Nigerian border
Source: Toronto Star [Canada]

“Cameroon’s government says the military has killed 143 militants from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which has been waging war in neighbouring Nigeria. In a statement Tuesday on state television, authorities said hundreds of militants attacked a military camp the day before near the border with Nigeria. Cameroonian Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in the statement that the fight lasted five hours. He said a Cameroonian corporal was killed and four other soldiers were wounded, but gave no other details.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/luse3rb

—–

20) NYC pols and Uber have a lot in common — they both want to run the business
Source: CBS New York

“New York is waging a turf war on wheels. About 13,000 yellow cabs hailed with a hand raised in the air are now competing with hundreds of app-driven private black cars summoned by tapping a smartphone screen. The urban faceoff reached a fever pitch Monday morning when City Council members grilled representatives of the popular Uber service that operates globally — from New York and London to New Delhi and even China.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lu3e4ux

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

21) The propaganda war: The horror of the Paris rally
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“Most of the coverage of the Paris rally focuses on the size of the crowd — over a million and a half people, all marching in support of freedom of expression! — and adds as a kind of postscript that over 40 ‘world leaders’ ‘joined’ the demonstration. This is completely backwards. When over 40 ‘world leaders’ enthusiastically take part in an event of this kind, that fact alone establishes a single incontrovertible, irrefutable fact: whatever is happening, whatever views are being expressed, none of it is any threat whatsoever to power and authority. More specifically, it is no threat whatsoever to State power. No wonder all those world leaders were eager to take part: the largest demonstration ‘in modern French history’ was nothing less than a glorification of State power. This truth becomes still more obvious when we remember the actual records of the world leaders in question.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kay3r45

—–

22) With libertarians like the Koch brothers, who needs the state?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“What do you call someone who wants to steal your land and subject you to earthquakes? David Koch, who favors these things, calls himself a libertarian. In an interview with Barbara Walters last month on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ he described himself as ‘basically a libertarian.’ That label, as Koch sees it, means ‘a conservative on economic matters, and … a social liberal.’ But what he calls economic conservatism is pretty unlibertarian, if your idea of economic freedom means anything other than big business getting whatever it wants regardless of who it steps on in the process.” (01/12/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/34943

—–

23) The sick man of Europe
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The Paris terrorist attacks are an alarming symptom of sickness: a matrix of cultural, economic, and political diseases that, taken together, spell Europe’s doom. Can we diagnose the illness, and, perhaps, prescribe a cure? An examination of the European body politic is the first order of business: how healthy is this creature? For diseases don’t break out in a vacuum: they erupt because the organism’s immune system is somehow compromised.” (01/14/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/01/13/the-sick-man-of-europe/

—–

24) The cyberattack on Alongside Night
Source: J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J Neil Schulman

“The last showing of Alongside Night was Oct. 23, 2014 in Spokane, WA. The movie is not yet available on Blu-Ray, DVD, VOD or streaming. As of now the movie is two-and-a-half months past its last public availability, awaiting general release via wider theatrical and the above-mentioned home-entertainment media later this year. So how is it that within the last ten days — two-and-a-half months after its last screening — there have been 75 IMDb ratings for the movie, a dozen of them posted in the last 24 hours, 22 of them from non-U.S. users — and 59 — 78.7[%] — of these votes are the lowest possible rating of 1 out of 10? This gives Alongside Night an IMDb rating of 2.4 out of a possible 10 and gives a false-flag impression that an audience that has seen the movie has rejected it.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kojjbkl

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25) Idea for tackling inequality: Stop subsidizing it
Source: Our Future
by Dean Baker

“It’s rare that a week goes by in Washington without some major conference on inequality. This usually involves some prominent people, who get six or even seven figure paychecks, speculating on why inequality has grown and what we can do about it. These exercises illustrate the basic problem. Most of the discussion assumes that inequality is something that happened. By contrast, the more obvious story is that inequality is something that was done; it was the result of policies that had the effect of redistributing income upward.” [editor’s note: Wait, a “progressive” pundit attacking the problem, by ending a government program, instead of just proposing a new one? – SAT] (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mr32kbh

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26) Freedom lost in Obama’s secrecy-censorship crossfire
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard

“The Risen case presented an ideal opportunity to curb the Obama administration’s systematic campaign to silence those who would expose its abuses, failures, and deceits. But the Supreme Court’s refusal to consider the appeals court ruling ensured that the Justice Department and the White House would continue to have a stack of cards that could legally trump the right to know the truth. Obama still periodically pirouettes as the civil-liberties champion that some Americans remember from his 2008 presidential campaign. Yet in early 2013 the Justice Department secured a secret ‘search warrant for a Fox News reporter’s emails that invoked the ‘suspect exception’ by portraying the reporter as a criminal participant in the crime of the leak to the reporter,’ the New York Times noted. (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q2y9gc4

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27) Massive US prison population a result of unconstitutional laws
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell

“The Washington Post gives the sobering stats: 1,800 state and federal correctional facilities on top of 3,200 local and county jails, a total of approximately 5,000. This is compared to 4,599 degree-granting universities as of 2011. In areas like the South, there are more people in prisons than on college campuses, according to the Post. How did we get to this point? In short, it is due to the sheer number of unconstitutional federal laws that are enforced not only by the feds, but through the states as well.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kto3zpf

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28) Jeff Sessions’s handbook of immigration lies
Source: Reason
by Shikha Dalmia

“Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has declared an all-out jihad against any immigration reform that does not involve bouncing off immigrants of all varieties — skilled or unskilled — at the border. One glance at his newly released 25-page immigration memo — which he grandiosely dubs a ‘handbook’ — makes it abundantly clear that as far as he’s concerned, immigrants are the Number One bane of this land of immigrants. Why? Because, apparently, they increase ‘income inequality and joblessness by expanding the labor supply in excess of demand’ and undercut American wages.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lwhcfbq

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29) Open letter: Why the War on Terror isn’t your battle
Source: In These Times
by Rory Fanning

“Dear Aspiring Ranger, You’ve probably just graduated from high school and you’ve undoubtedly already signed an Option 40 contract guaranteeing you a shot at the Ranger indoctrination program (R.I.P.). If you make it through R.I.P., you’ll surely be sent off to fight in the Global War on Terror. You’ll be part of what I often heard called ‘the tip of the spear.’ The war you’re heading into has been going on for a remarkably long time. Imagine this: you were five years old when I was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2002.” [editor’s note: Need to get this out to every young person considering enlistment – SAT] (01/13/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17516/open_letter_army_ranger

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30) All hail the tumbling price of gas
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“American consumers begin the new year with a beautiful gift: low gas prices. These days, you pay twice or three times as much for fancy bottled water from the convenience store as you pay for gasoline, which has to be sucked out of the earth, refined, and transported from all over the world. That’s impressive, a tribute to the marvels of the market. Despite it all — and despite every effort by the world’s most powerful people — all the pressure is downward. It’s a shock, to be sure, but a glorious one.” (01/13/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/all-hail-the-tumbling-price-of-gas

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31) Sad-eyed waifs, sad-eyed wife
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

“The ’60s were a time of turbulent transition not only in attitudes about war, poverty, and race relations, but also in attitudes about art. If Andy Warhol could paint a reproduction of a soup can or Jackson Pollock could dribble paint on a canvas or Mark Rothko could lavish shades of red on the walls of the Four Seasons and all of them could call it art (and charge lavish prices, I might add), what else might be considered the next great breakthrough in art? Within this changing atmosphere an artist named Keane became famous for paintings of big-eyed waifs in somber settings.” (01/12/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1358

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32) Oil price floor could be a long way down
Source: Reuters
by Edward Hadas

“The oil market these days offers producers lessons in three basic ideas of market economics. They are all painful. The first is about the nature of oligopoly. When producers limit their combined supply, they can set the price at almost any level. But the higher the price, the more fragile the cartel tends to be. Three years of oil at around $110 a barrel was enough to create a rift. The main reason was that the government of Saudi Arabia, a low-cost supplier, resented cutting back output while more expensive producers went full out. Last June, the Saudis stopped trying to support the price. Without a cartel, the fall has been rapid, from $115 to $46 for a barrel of Brent crude.” [editor’s note: Someone explain this one — the corporate segment with the highest profit margins might have to downsize a bit, and consumer prices continue to drop? What’s the bad news? – SAT] (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4m2rz4

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33) Self censorship
Source: Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

“One by-product of the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was an outpouring of support for freedom of speech. While there was general agreement that the magazine’s content has been, beyond a doubt, offensive to some (and not only Muslims), almost everyone agreed that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be protected, regardless of who is offended by the speech. While nobody has proposed limiting freedom of speech, some commentators feared that the attack might result in self-censorship. People would be afraid to speak out if they thought they would be targeted for what they said.” (01/12/15)

http://blog.independent.org/2015/01/12/self-censorship/

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34) How ObamaCare forced me to be dependent on the state
Source: Liberty Chat
by cindybiondigobrecht

“Because of the deductions in my business, my taxable income put me in a subsidized coverage. Now I am totally at the mercy of the US government thanks to the ACA. I have been put in the position to be a dependent of the State when I was perfectly able to take care of my own insurance before the ACA mucked everything up. It seems that this law is really meant to force Americans into a socialized health care system whether they want to or not because only the wealthy can afford to be out of the system.” (01/12/15)

http://www.libertychat.com/2015/01/obamacare-forced-dependent-state/

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35) The “Malheur Mafia” takes its cut
Source: Pro Llibertate
by William Norman Grigg

“The Malheur County DA’s office had sought prison terms for Esbensen and Kangas, but had to settle for probation. Now it was seeking ‘restitution’ fees to pay the costs of the prosecution. From Esbensen, whom the prosecution had characterized as the ‘ringleader’ of a business enterprise that provided a legally recognized palliative medicine, the Malheur County DA’s office initially demanded $24,000 in ‘restitution’ to defray the costs of prosecution, which were estimated to be in the neighborhood of $40,000.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kk96r8c

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36) The UK government plans to up their spying game
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by D Harding

“Under new plans announced by David Cameron and co., the UK government is planning on ‘improving’ their spying game, with plans to ban all forms of media which are encrypted and cannot be viewed by state security organisations such as GCHQ (see here). In an effort to protect us from scary people, popular mobile phone apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Facetime, and SnapChat could all be banned from the UK as they have protected their customers consistently, and have even increased efforts to avoid snooping since Edward Snowden revealed what the NSA were doing in the US. Apparently the state doesn’t like not knowing what people are up to, and although there might be a few people who use such apps for the purposes of illicit behavior, and planning attacks (although I seriously doubt even that), it seems to me that something much more sinister is in the minds of the British state.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k7uv3pz

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37) Haiti: Faith, hope & chaos
Source: The American Prospect
by Nathalie Baptiste

“As my plane began its descent into Port-au-Prince, I could already see the shoddy homes held together by low-grade cement, metal sheets and blue tarps that dot the landscape. Crumbling structures teetered on the mountainside, still vulnerable to any kind of natural disaster. It’s been five years since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince; since then progress and rebuilding has been hampered by a slew of crises and political chaos. But, amid the political strife and abject poverty, small glimmers of hope appear. This is not the first time the Haitian people have faced tragedy and despair; my guarded optimism is rooted in their resilience.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mfdzuqa

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38) Charlie Hebdo: Greatest overreaction since 9/11
Source: ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell

“Given the fact that France is basically a gun free zone, I didn’t think 12 dead and 11 wounded there was all that newsworthy. Add to this the compulsory cultural integration, and the real headline here is that this kind of thing doesn’t happen two or three times a week. Unfortunately, this story is plaguing all of my news feeds with reactions that are entirely too newsworthy.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lgefc5j

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39) Free speech hate speech
Source: The Cagle Post
by Malcolm Evans

Cartoon. (01/12/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/free-speech-hate-speech/

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40) Britain’s “war on terror” insanity continues — David Cameron declares war on encryption
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“When it comes to the ‘war on terror,’ the United Kingdom embraces a unique form of paranoia and hatred for civil liberties that leaves pretty much all other Western nations in the dust. Although it isn’t the country in which I reside, the extraordinarily close diplomatic ties between the U.S. and the UK results in my paying particular attention to what transpires over in Albion. … Unsurprisingly, the recent attacks across the English Channel were more than sufficient to get UK Prime Minister David Cameron hot and bothered enough to immediately call for more power for the government, and less civil liberties for the citizenry. In his latest twisted authoritarian fantasy, Mr. Cameron has decided to declare war on encryption. In other words, a war on private communications between citizens.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ksz7wef

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41) Je suis Charlie, but not really
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll

“A thousand years ago, when I was editing a magazine that was supposed to bring news of the continent to eager young men, I looked into Charlie Hebdo as a story. It was fresh and new then, a product of the upheaval in Paris in 1968 that matched other upheaval around the world, including this country. It’s still very much of that era. Its politics (such as they were) were uncompromising; it did not see the good in any human institution. It held everyone to an impossible standard. It was also unfair to a lot of its targets; it wasn’t in the business of being fair. It was satire, pure satire, the kind we don’t really get in this country.” [editor’s note: A very good analysis of the issues here, even beyond free speech – SAT] (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lqcat7t

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42) Even for-profit universities are better than America’s terrible community colleges
Source: Cato Institute
by Neal McCluskey

“President Obama announced a plan Friday to provide free community college to any ‘responsible’ student who wanted it. That’s a bad idea. Community colleges perform poorly, and any additional government subsidy of these already heavily subsidized, weak performers would likely be a waste of money. For proof, compare them to much derided for-profit institutions. While these schools have their own flaws, their students do better on a variety of measures.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m28bbc4

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43) Hold death dear and the state will vanish
Source: Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

“I just finished a four-part series on Stoicism with Brett Veinotte at the School Sucks Project. We covered plenty of ground but I wanted to tease out what I think is something rarely if ever covered. The Stoic values inform a mindset that is distinctly libertarian. One might even say the state of mind shares a deep kinship with abolitionism. In fact, some of the Stoic philosophers were slaves themselves. The Stoics paint a broad and useful road-map to live a good life and joyous existence.” (01/12/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3773

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44) Charlie Hebdo, the New York Times, and tribal politics
Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

“A considerable part of the U.S. population identifies with either the red tribe (Republicans, conservatives) or the blue tribe (Democrats, liberals), choosing positions and interpreting evidence accordingly. Both tribes are, of course, opposed to Muslim terrorism and the murder of journalists. But the blue tribe version amounts to ‘Muslim terrorists are bad people, but we should not let their offenses prejudice us against the vast majority of Muslims who are not terrorists or give us a negative opinion of their religion.’ The red tribe version concedes that not all Muslims are terrorists but sees Muslim terrorism as part of an us vs them conflict, with ‘us’ the west and ‘them’ the Muslim world.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kt5skma

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45) The value of conservation in the free market
Source: Students For Liberty
by Chance ME Davies

“Let me tell you something you already know about basic economics: Resources are scarce. Understanding that our resources are limited is a vital part of what I believe to be a fundamental personal and business value: conservation. Conservation is the ‘planned management of natural resources to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.’ As someone who values economic freedom, I pride myself on the fact that free markets (or capitalism) provide the best standard of living for the largest amount of people, and data does support this. But understanding that an individual lives a relatively short time compared to the longevity of natural resources, how do we maintain the use of resources for today’s population, as well as tomorrow’s population?” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/plsddx2

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46) It’s not just about race, it’s about power
Source: Reason
by Matt Welch

“America will always be having a ‘conversation about race,’ and rightly so, given our poisoned history. But by overracializing the cases drawing most attention, we quickly arrive at a wearying impasse, with Al Sharpton shouting on one side and Rudy Giuliani barking on the other. There’s a perhaps simpler way of looking at things, one that gets you more quickly to actual solutions instead of cud-chewing task forces. And that is: When you give government a powerful tool, the powerless will feel it first.” (for publication 02/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/13/its-not-just-about-race-its-ab

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47) The implications of zero interest rates for monetary and fiscal stimulus
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“Most people correctly understand that the zero bound is bad news for monetary stimulus, but they don’t know why. They think it’s because monetary stimulus works through lowering interest rates, and nominal rates cannot be cut significantly below zero. In fact, monetary stimulus is easy to do at the zero bound, just peg NGDP futures contracts at a price 5% above current NGDP and your policy will be expected to succeed. In all likelihood no QE will be needed. … So why do I say zero rates are ‘bad news’ for monetary stimulus? Because they represent a market prediction of slow NGDP growth.” (01/13/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/01/the_implication.html

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48) The Charlie Hebdo “hot takes”
Source: The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow

Cartoon. (01/13/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/194761/charlie-hebdo-hot-takes

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49) Improved relations key to ending Castro regime
Source: The Canal
by Jose Nino

“Recent negotiations between Cuba and the United States have caused quite a stir within political circles in the United States. For the first time in over 50 years, US citizens may actually have the opportunity to travel to the tropical island and engage in commerce with its residents without much government hassle. Most importantly, these talks may finally put an end to the infamous embargo the Kennedy administration enacted in the 1960s in response to the communist takeover of the island.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/omutjrf

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50) Finding a mission
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Iraq War vet Daniel Gade is a lieutenant colonel, professor of public policy, and triathlon competitor with a message for fellow veterans: disability pay may be doing you more harm than good. Having lost a leg in combat himself, he submits that he is a messenger somewhat harder to dismiss than some others would be. Professor Gade criticizes how the government puts vets with relatively mild problems in the same category as those with true disabilities, and gives them incentives to stay out of the job market.” (01/13/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/01/13/mission/

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51) Je suis Charlie? Then challenge the Islamophobia industry
Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“If Europe really wants to pay tribute to the scribblers and hacks massacred in Paris last week, it could do worse than ditch the term ‘Islamophobia.’ For this empty, cynical, elitist phrase, this multicultural conceit, has done an untold amount to promote the idea that ridiculing other people’s beliefs and cultures is a bad thing. In fact, the widely used but little thought-on i-word has pathologised the very act of making a judgement. It has turned the totally legitimate conviction that some belief systems are inferior to others into a swirling, irrational fear — a phobia — worthy of condemnation and maybe even investigation by officials.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocpq2dw

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52) Dodd-Frank relief is a better deal for homeowners than Obama’s FHA folly
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by John Berlau

“The QM provisions are now so costly and complex that community banks and credit unions — as far away as one could get from the causes of financial crises — have sharply decreased or even abandoned altogether the creation of new mortgages. The U.S. House of Representatives responded last year by passing overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation to scale back Dodd-Frank’s QM, but the bill became one of over 400 that never moved from then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) desk. Yet Thursday, in a much-hyped speech on housing in Phoenix, President Obama chose not to join the bipartisan effort to take on the Dodd-Frank regulations keeping mortgages from moving, but to create new subsidies that not only may be ineffective at moving the housing market but would be harmful to the nation’s fiscal health, as they bulk up the government-backed housing agencies that fueled the housing crisis.” (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmykgnt

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53) I am NOT Charlie
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Within hours of the cold-blooded murder of a dozen people in the totally unarmed and virtually undefended offices of a[n] ‘in your face’ comic magazine in Paris, the signs started appearing: at first hand-made but quickly printed professionally. ‘Je Suis Charlie’ or ‘We Are Charlie’ is a fad, a hash-tag, and an excuse for doing little or nothing else.” (01/12/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6709

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54) Police piracy
Source: Mises Canada
by Douglas E French

“Readers who carry lots of cash should take note. Civil forfeiture laws give law enforcement agencies the incentive to take millions. Civil forfeiture turns the bedrock principle that Americans are innocent until proven guilty on its head. As the Institute for Justice (IJ) points out in its report, Policing for Profit, ‘Unlike criminal asset forfeiture, with civil forfeiture, a property owner need not be found guilty of a crime — or even charged — to permanently lose her cash, car, home, or other property.’ In law enforcement’s eyes, cash is always up to no good and has no purpose other than drug trafficking. Like pirates on the high seas, in some states, those who are supposed to be protecting and serving are trolling for cash to fund their budgets instead.” (01/13/15)

http://mises.ca/posts/articles/police-piracy/

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55) More surveillance won’t protect free speech
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jillian York

“Following a terrorist attack, it is not uncommon to hear calls from politicians and government officials for increased surveillance. Fear and grief can lead to quick ‘solutions’ that have significant consequences; as we pointed out last week, some of the most far-reaching surveillance and law enforcement powers around the world were devised in the wake of tragedies. That’s why what we’re hearing this week — in the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo — alarms us.” (01/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oy8pwxc

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56) How the Cuban embargo got imposed
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“I wonder how many Americans know how the U.S. embargo against Cuba got imposed. The story provides one more example of how the post-World War II national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto America’s governmental structure warped and perverted the values and principles of the American people in the name of the anti-communist crusade.” (01/13/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/13/cuban-embargo-got-imposed/

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57) Obama gets bum rap on Paris
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“Lots of folks are hammering Obama for not going to Paris for the march this past weekend. I think he is getting a bum rap. There was no excuse for the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. But the event turned into a Parade of Political Hypocrites with a vanload of repressive politicians hijacking the event to burnish their own image. It was a farce to see so many enemies of the media parading like devotees of freedom of speech.” (01/12/15)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2015/01/12/obama-gets-bum-rap-paris/

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58) The Paris mystery: Were the shooters part of a global terrorist conspiracy?
Source: The Intercept
by Jeremy Scahill

“In the days since the siege at the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, the press and social media sites have been consumed with the possible answers to one question: Beyond the two shooters, Said and Cherif Kouachi, who is responsible for the attack that killed 12 people at the magazine’s offices?” (01/12/15)

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/12/the-paris-mystery/

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59) The fate of the ICC
Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

“Where to, with the International Criminal Court this year? Much has been put into it, and even more written about it. But the body continues to receive submissions and requests in terms of indicting war crime suspects that seem to gather dust. When efforts have been successful, the usual charge of partiality towards Africa is suggested. The current chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, assumed her job in June 2012. Since then, she has introduced a certain stutter to the workings of the court. In some cases, these stutters have become more prolonged.” (01/13/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/13/the-fate-of-the-icc/

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60) Lessons for winning liberty in a world of statism
Source: Heartland Institute
by Richard M Ebeling

“Friends of freedom often become despondent when it seems that every day brings another growth and intrusion of government over people’s lives. But there is no reason to be disheartened, because there are lessons for winning liberty — from the opponents of freedom. Beginning in the last decades of the nineteenth century, through most of the twentieth century and into our own time, all ideological, political and economic trends have been in the direction of various forms of collectivism. How did this come about, and what might friends of freedom learn from it?” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/otb9fa4

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RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Mary Lou Seymour
Steve Trinward
Brad Spangler
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