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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,112
Thursday, January 15th, 2015
436 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) CIA clears itself of snooping US Senate computers
2) Mexico: 20 state officials investigated in military slayings
3) Security theater: Ohio man charged in FBI “bomb the US Capitol” scam
4) US House votes to overturn Obama immigration actions; bill now goes to Senate
5) Haiti: Government carries on without parliament amid standoff
6) Turkey: Davutoglu compares Netanyahu to Paris attackers
7) Iran: Detained Washington Post journalist indicted
8) Brazil: Former Petrobras executive held in corruption probe
9) US gives LRA commander, war crimes suspect to Ugandans
10) Charlie Hebdo expands print run
11) Egypt: Sisi urges religious moderation, no space for insult
12) MO: News groups back Flynt’s push for execution info
13) FL: FBI raids firm with “Wolf of Wall Street” link
14) Switzerland: Kerry, Zarif hold lengthy nuclear talks in Geneva
15) MI: State GOPers want controversial RNC member ousted
16) OR: 18 years later, pastor on trial for multiple rapes
17) Four top Secret Service shot-callers ejected from gang in agency shake-up
18) Catalonia: Election set to gauge independence support
19) MA: Judge rejects request to delay Tsarnaev show trial
20) FBI beefs up resources against stuff that could never plausibly be part of its jurisdiction

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Free speech in America? What about Lynne Stewart?
22) In defense of Uber’s surge pricing
23) How the Greek state looted Greece
24) What’s the best argument for libertarianism?
25) A delayed response to MK Lords
26) The Common Core standards’ undemocratic push
27) Interview: George Donnelly says “screw activism. Build community.”
28) How selfish are our views about abortion?
29) Government spending: What Congress isn’t seeing
30) Why decentralism?
31) The problem with Romney nostalgia
32) The right didn’t steal our future — we gave it away
33) Standardized tests
34) Germany’s anti-immigrant PEGIDA: Scarier than a Putin plot
35) Libertarians who support state violence against state agents
36) Government + Phony Science + $$$$ = Waste
37) A Vietnam veteran with PTSD is the first US execution of 2015
38) Freedom of speech lasted a matter of days
39) Chris Christie counts on public amnesia
40) Students learning how they learn and how they don’t
41) The high price of human trafficking
42) Individual liberties and the right to die
43) Fiorina no longer deadbeat candidate
44) Obama’s sordid record on censorship and secrecy
45) Arrgh! Pirates rule the high IPs!
46) Preview — agenda for Congress
47) Everything Voluntary Podcast, 01/14/15
48) Time to drop charges
49) Ten things the new GOP Congress should — and can! — do
50) The upside of a Republican Congress
51) Seeing with reason
52) What happened to vanilla?
53) The nihilistic liberalism of assisted dying
54) Litigation update: The Affordable Care Act
55) Understanding the Paris violence
56) Roy Gutman on The Scott Horton Show
57) Piketty makes up “facts” and I’m the bad guy
58) A “quality” to the disagreements
59) Some leaks are more equal than others
60) Inner city turmoil and other crises: My predictions for 2015

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

1) CIA clears itself of snooping US Senate computers
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A CIA internal watchdog has cleared agency officers of improperly accessing the computers of members of the US Senate intelligence committee. It said CIA officers acted reasonably in searching computers after concerns they contained classified material. The finding contradicts allegations from lawmakers and an admission from the agency’s own inspector general.” (01/15/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30829055

—–

2) Mexico: 20 state officials investigated in military slayings
Source: ABC News

“At least 20 Mexico state officials are under investigation in the cover-up of threats and torture for witnesses to alleged extrajudicial killings by soldiers last year, state authorities said Wednesday. State attorney for Mexico state, Alejandro Gomez, said the officials under investigation include prosecutors, forensic investigators and state police.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/knqts53

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3) Security theater: Ohio man charged in FBI “bomb the US Capitol” scam
Source: NBC News

“Federal authorities have filed charges against an Ohio man who they say wanted to attack the U.S. Capitol. But they told NBC News that the man, identified as Christopher Cornell, was dealing with an undercover agent the entire time and was never in a position to carry out his plan.” [editor’s note: I’m beginning to wonder if there’s ANYONE in the US who comes up with these ideas without an FBI agent suggesting them – TLK] (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n2wapbv

—–

4) US House votes to overturn Obama immigration actions; bill now goes to Senate
Source: Fox News

“House Republicans voted Wednesday to overturn President Obama’s controversial immigration actions, despite deep Democratic opposition and an uncertain fate for the bill in the Senate. The House voted 237-190 on legislation to fund the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year to the tune of $40 billion. But as part of that legislation, Republicans approved provisions to gut the president’s immigration directives. One amendment would undo executive actions Obama announced in November that provided temporary deportation relief, and offer work permits, to some 4 million illegal immigrants. Another amendment would cancel Obama’s 2012 policy that’s granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as kids.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l32luvq

—–

5) Haiti: Government carries on without parliament amid standoff
Source: Omaha World

“A new prime minister has taken office in Haiti as the country enters a period of political uncertainty following the dissolution of parliament because of a stalemate between lawmakers and the president. Prime Minister Evans Paul was nominated by President Michel Martelly but has not been confirmed by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nsrjl2e

—–

6) Turkey: Davutoglu compares Netanyahu to Paris attackers
Source: Reuters

“Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday compared his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to the Islamist militants who carried out attacks last week in Paris, saying both had committed crimes against humanity. Davutoglu told a news conference that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and its storming in 2010 of a Turkish-led aid convoy to the Gaza Strip, in which 10 Turks were killed, were on a par with the Paris attacks, whose dead included shoppers at a Jewish supermarket.” (01/15/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmsqzd4

—–

7) Iran: Detained Washington Post journalist indicted
Source: Watertown Public Opinion

“A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for months has been indicted and will stand trial, Iran’s state news agency reported Wednesday, without elaborating on what charges he faced. The report by the official IRNA news agency came the same day as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif before talks with world powers resume over the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q88wu7n

—–

8) Brazil: Former Petrobras executive held in corruption probe
Source: Fort Dodge Messenger

“Brazilian authorities on Wednesday arrested another former executive of the state-run oil company Petrobras as a landmark probe into the nation’s biggest known corruption scandal continues to expand. Along with former Petrobras officials, several top executives from some of Brazil’s biggest construction and engineering firms are behind bars and facing corruption charges.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofaugat

—–

9) US gives LRA commander, war crimes suspect to Ugandans
Source: Roanoke Times World

“U.S. Special Forces in Obo, Central African Republic, handed over to Ugandan troops a Lord’s Resistance Army commander who is charged with war crimes, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Wednesday. He will be transferred for trial at the International Criminal Court, according to a Ugandan military official. U.S. Embassy spokesman Daniel Travis confirmed the handover of Dominic Ongwen, who had been held by American troops since Jan. 6. Travis said it was “a major step forward” securing the future of LRA-affected areas of East and Central Africa.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oz4f5nd

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10) Charlie Hebdo expands print run
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Millions more copies of French weekly Charlie Hebdo are being printed after the first run sold out in hours. The normal print run of 60,000 was extended to five million – a week after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at the magazine’s offices and five others in subsequent attacks in Paris. The ‘survivors’ issue’ has angered some Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. A video purportedly from al-Qaeda in Yemen said it planned the Hebdo attack.” (01/14/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30808284

—–

11) Egypt: Sisi urges religious moderation, no space for insult
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“President Abdel Fattah al Sisi issued a decree Tuesday that allows his government to ban any foreign publications it deems offensive to religion — just days after his foreign minister joined the Paris solidarity march in support of Charlie Hebdo’s right to offend. This and other contradictions lie at the heart of the president’s approach to religion, eighteen months after he overthrew an Islamist president. For Mr. Sisi, religion lies at the heart of his administration’s statist project — and that’s why he wants to keep a tight grip on religious expression in the most populous Arab country.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ln6spvw

—–

12) MO: News groups back Flynt’s push for execution info
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A coalition of 14 news organizations wants a federal appeals court to allow porn publisher Larry Flynt to join a lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to disclose more details of its execution methods. A lawyer for the news groups, which include The New York Times, The Washington Post and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, argued Wednesday before a three-judge federal panel in St. Louis that the Hustler magazine publisher should be allowed to join the pending lawsuit on First Amendment grounds. A federal district court judge had denied Flynt’s request to join the suit, originally filed by death row inmates seeking more information about the execution process.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/omseryz

—–

13) FL: FBI raids firm with “Wolf of Wall Street” link
Source: Reuters

“U.S. FBI agents on Wednesday raided the offices of Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies Inc, a Florida medical device company whose executive vice president helped inspire the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, according to a Reuters reporter and other witnesses. The reporter saw dozens of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, and local police around the site. Witnesses told Reuters the agents earlier closed entrances to the building that houses Med-Care and removed boxes of files.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ne4t97g

—–

14) Switzerland: Kerry, Zarif hold lengthy nuclear talks in Geneva
Source: swissinfo [Switzerland]

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif held intensive talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme on Wednesday, returning for an evening session before handing off to their deputies, officials said. Iran and six world powers have renewed their quest for an elusive nuclear deal — seen as crucial to reducing the risk of a wider Middle East war — after negotiators failed for the second time in November to meet a self-imposed deadline.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l2fvxfz

—–

15) MI: State GOPers want controversial RNC member ousted
Source: Fox News

“Some Republicans are calling on the Republican National Committee to expel Dave Agema, a controversial committee member from Michigan, after he linked to a racist article from Facebook. Michigan state Sens. Mike Kowall and Jim Marleau and state Rep. Jim Tedder have signed a letter imploring the committee to ‘take all necessary action to end our party’s long nightmare involving’ Agema. The RNC begins a three-day meeting Wednesday in San Diego. Agema refused to resign a year ago after criticizing Muslims and gays.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/knahj49

—–

16) OR: 18 years later, pastor on trial for multiple rapes
Source: Raw Story

“An Oregon pastor is set to stand trial 18 years after women first brought allegations of rape and sexual abuse to authorities. The Oregonian reported on Wednesday that prosecutors had reexamined complaints that Mike Sperou raped seven women as children in the 1990s, and that he would be charged based on new allegations by one of the women. The women said that Sperou turned Southeast Bible Church, which may have started with good intentions, into a cult that broke down bonds within families. Sperou, who claimed to have emotional scars from childhood and the Vietnam war, engaged in heavy drinking, used drugs, and sexually abused children in the church, the women said.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pyd3xp3

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17) Four top Secret Service shot-callers ejected from gang in agency shake-up
Source: Washington Post

“The Secret Service has decided to remove four of its most senior officials while a fifth has decided to retire, the biggest management shake-up at the troubled agency since its director resigned in October after a string of security lapses, according to people familiar with internal discussions. The departures would gut much of the Secret Service’s upper management, which has been criticized by lawmakers and administration officials in recent months for fostering a culture of distrust between agency leaders and its rank-and-file, and for making poor decisions that helped erode quality.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kjq2nsg

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18) Catalonia: Election set to gauge independence support
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“The leader of Spain’s separatist-minded Catalonia region has announced that regional elections will be held in September to determine whether a majority of lawmakers favor an independence drive. … Separatists say Catalonia lawmakers could unilaterally declare independence from Spain if they win a majority of supporters in the 135-member regional parliament.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nlul3v5

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19) MA: Judge rejects request to delay Tsarnaev show trial
Source: Columbus Dispatch

“A U.S. judge today rejected the latest plea by lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to pause jury selection for his trial due to the recent attacks in Paris. Tsarnaev’s lawyers yesterday had argued that the Paris attacks, which started with a mass shooting at a satirical newspaper and left 17 people dead after three days of violence, would stir memories of the deadly 2013 blasts at the marathon, making it harder to select an impartial jury.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pyehtgx

—–

20) FBI beefs up resources against stuff that could never plausibly be part of its jurisdiction
Source: PBS [US state media]

“The FBI is stepping up efforts against international corruption, creating new squads to search for bribery cases that are rooted overseas but reach to the United States, law enforcement officials said. The three squads, based in the FBI’s largest field offices, will concentrate on a key priority the Justice Department set over the past decade. … The initiative’s goals are to identify additional violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes bribing foreign officials for business a crime, to prosecute cases in U.S. courts and to build on the FBI’s expertise in the area.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p3w37kc

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

21) Free speech in America? What about Lynne Stewart?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in France on Charlie Hebdo, U.S. officials are telling the world how committed they are to the principles of freedom of speech. Really? How about Lynne Stewart, the New York lawyer who was convicted and sentenced to serve time in a federal penitentiary for doing nothing more than speaking the following words to the press: I am not withdrawing my support of the cease-fire, I am merely questioning it and I am urging you, who are on the ground there to discuss it and to include everyone in your discussions as we always have done.” (01/14/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/14/free-speech-america-lynne-stewart/

—–

22) In defense of Uber’s surge pricing
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Robert P Murphy

“The smartphone-coordinated ride-sharing company Uber has come under fire for charging ‘outrageous’ prices during peak demand times. I will defend the general principle of ‘surge pricing,’ which performs the vital social function of drawing forth supply when it’s needed and allocating it to those who desire it the most. The complaints against surge pricing are actually laments against the cosmic fact of scarcity. Surge pricing makes the best of a bad situation.” (01/14/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/in-defense-of-ubers-surge-pricing

—–

23) How the Greek state looted Greece
Source: Daily Anarchist
by Nikos Sakkas

“Every anarchist understands the inherent incompetence, and corruption of the modern State. However, Greece is not a typical case. Greece is competing with Argentina for the most extreme failure of the State, and its many cronies, in the postwar period.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mkapbmo

—–

24) What’s the best argument for libertarianism?
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Kevin Vallier

“Following up on my last post, I’d like to ask you which argument for libertarianism you find most compelling (do feel free to specify the version of libertarianism you affirm). In some ways, this should be easier than naming the best argument against libertarianism, though I find myself a bit puzzled as to which argument I think is most compelling.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2zktfu

—–

25) A delayed response to MK Lords
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“My visceral reaction to Lords’s piece remains unchanged: I think ‘welfare queens’ is a poorly chosen descriptor. To the best of my knowledge, every dime received by Molyneux, Cantwell and Kokesh is given voluntarily by people who approve of what they’ve done or support what they claim to intend to do. I don’t have to support any of the three people, or their work, myself to understand that in the marketplace of ideas, earning voluntary support from donors is as far as it gets from welfare queenism.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mfj2l5z

—–

26) The Common Core standards’ undemocratic push
Source: Education Week
by Williamson M. Evers

“In the 1830s, when Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States, he found Americans intensely loyal to their local schools. Americans saw schools as extensions of their families and neighborhoods. They viewed public schools as akin to voluntarily supported charities and as part of what social scientists today call civil society. … Today, Americans retain much of the sentiment about local schools they had in Tocqueville’s day. But, increasingly, parents and taxpayers view the public schools as an unresponsive bureaucracy carrying out edicts from distant capitals. Today, we are dealing with a deteriorating situation in a declining institution, namely widespread ineffective instruction in the public schools.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n5y9k75

—–

27) Interview: George Donnelly says “screw activism. Build community.”
Source: Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

Donnelly: “John Robb’s first rule of open source warfare is to break the other guy’s networks. Conversely, by building our networks, we become stronger. Rule number two is to grow black economies. Through trading communities, we enrich ourselves, we know each other better and we grow more allies. The state can take all material resources from us but they can not take our connection to each other. They can’t stop us from caring about each other and acting in solidarity with each other.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l3fxlll

—–

28) How selfish are our views about abortion?
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“In The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind, Weeden and Kurzban argue that individuals’ ‘inclusive interests’ have a large effect on their position on abortion. On the one hand, this seems implausible. On the other hand, Jason Weeden wrote his dissertation on abortion attitudes, so there must be something to his story. What’s really going on? Like Weeden and Kurzban, I turn to the General Social Study to find out. My evidence is only exploratory; I don’t pursue every statistical permutation. However, I did precommit to blog the topic before I looked at the data.” (01/15/15)

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

—–

29) Government spending: What Congress isn’t seeing
Source: Our Future
by Dean Baker

“The U.S. House of Representatives recently adopted a new rule that requires lawmakers to take long-term macroeconomic effects into consideration when deciding how to vote on tax and spending bills. In theory, this could show that tax cuts, particularly for billionaires, boosts the U.S. economy, since expectations of paying fewer taxes would encourage people to work a little harder, leading to more growth that would help offset revenues lost from tax cuts. There is some truth to the logic behind this type of forecasting — what policymakers call ‘dynamic scoring.’ But this approach put forth by the House has little to do with the way the economy actually works.” [editor’s note: Just so you know, this is not quite the Bastiat version of “the unseen” – SAT] (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qavkz5o

—–

30) Why decentralism?
Source: Libertarianism.org
by David S D’Amato

“Libertarians are taught to laud capital accumulation as the route to productive investment, and thus to innovation and general prosperity, but in doing so we have neglected those aspects of our tradition that demonstrate the dark side of accumulated wealth. This unfortunate tendency to commend concentrated wealth and economic power — and accordingly great disparities in wealth — glosses over the historical connections between economic power and its political twin, a close analysis of which disillusions the idea of the capitalist as a creator and engine of creative transformation.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5uauy4

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31) The problem with Romney nostalgia
Source: National Review
by Jonah Goldberg

“You know how superhero flicks often have an extra scene after the credits to hint at what the sequel will be like? Well, this would be the perfect end to the movie Romney 2012. The problem is that ‘Romney for president’ is now an art-house film thinking it’s a blockbuster franchise and that there’s a huge market for another sequel. There’s not.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lpdx3jl

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32) The right didn’t steal our future — we gave it away
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“The unequal diffusion of technical knowledge and skills with regard to race and class is a very real issue, and should be of concern to anyone who cares about social justice. But to me the point is it’s still an improvement that the bottleneck involved in fighting exploitation is shifting from actual ownership of capital to the diffusion of knowledge and technique. So the class war is becoming less about assaulting and capturing the enormous masses of investment capital or the large institutions that control expensive production machinery, and more about equally diffusing knowledge. As material problems go, the second is a much better one to have.” (01/14/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/34976

—–

33) Standardized tests
Source: The Cagle Post
by Mike Keefe

Cartoon. (01/13/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/standardized-tests/

—–

34) Germany’s anti-immigrant PEGIDA: Scarier than a Putin plot
Source: Reuters
by Lucian Kim

“Last week, when I attended my first rally in Dresden organized by PEGIDA, Germany’s mysterious ‘anti-Islamization’ movement, I was reminded of the aggressive pro-Russian protests that tore apart eastern Ukraine a year ago. Thousands of demonstrators, who mostly refused to talk to the ‘lying press,’ listened to fiery speeches railing against the country’s political class. Among the German flags present, I also spotted a few Russian ones, including a banner that was split diagonally, one half Russia’s tricolor, the other half Germany’s.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pophway

—–

35) Libertarians who support state violence against state agents
Source: ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell

“Here’s a fun exercise. If badges don’t grant extra rights, but it’s universally wrong for citizens to use violence against police, then it must also be wrong for prosecutors to indict bad cops, right? If that statement sounds a little bit contradictory to you, then we’re on the same page. There’s something wrong with this equation.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ltwd5fj

—–

36) Government + Phony Science + $$$$ = Waste
Source: Heartland Institute
by Edmund Contoski

“The obvious successes of past technologies have made politicians and environmentalists eager to be in the forefront of promoting futuristic schemes for their goals. Everyone wants to be on the side of the next Great Idea. All too often these futuristic fantasies are sold to a gullible public, as well as fellow politicians and the news media, with impressive but scientifically-flawed arguments that bump up against harsh physical realities that are immutable. These cannot be changed by any amount of laws, government spending or propagandizing. Solar power and wind power are examples. So is global warming.” (01/13/15)

http://blog.heartland.org/2015/01/government-phony-science-waste/

—–

37) A Vietnam veteran with PTSD is the first US execution of 2015
Source: The Intercept
by Taylor Barnes

“In the first execution carried out in the US in 2015, last night Georgia put to death a decorated Vietnam War veteran who had been diagnosed with severe mental illness before he killed a deputy sheriff after a traffic stop in 1998.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kufc5nt

—–

38) Freedom of speech lasted a matter of days
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by DJ Webb

“It was fascinating to see the Western leaders throw their weight behind the idea that freedom of speech is core to Western values. Of course Charlie Hebdo has the right to publish cartoons that mock Islam and Muslims. But libertarians have long been aware that commitment to free speech has been very patchy in the West for quite some time. Today we read that a French comedian, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, has been arrested for a Facebook comment in support of some of the recent killings.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/llgpzp8

—–

39) Chris Christie counts on public amnesia
Source: The American Prospect
by Rachel M. Cohen

“In 2010, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took over $3 billion in revenue earmarked for a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and used it to plug a hole in his budget — leaving the people of his state and the region with no tunnel, and no money left for one in the future. Now Christie has endorsed a new report that includes a recommendation for expanding rail capacity between New Jersey and New York, as if no one would remember that he killed an earlier federally subsidized project that would have accomplished that purpose.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mr5rc8y

—–

40) Students learning how they learn and how they don’t
Source: Cato Institute
by Nat Hentoff

“For years, educational reformers have too often just glibly emphasized ‘critical thinking’ as a key goal of education. But students who are mainly talked at by teachers and then graded by collective standardized tests don’t get to do much critical thinking in school.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mzjnlm9

—–

41) The high price of human trafficking
Source: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Elise Hilton

“Today, human trafficking impacts entire industries, and job sectors — both legitimate and illegitimate. Monetarily, it is the second largest criminal activity in the world. Only the illegal drug trade is more profitable. The profits generated from human trafficking play an enormous role in national and global economies. There is also the untold human cost. It is, as Pope Francis said, an open wound on humanity.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oqgqfha

—–

42) Individual liberties and the right to die
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

“Suppose you were diagnosed, like Brittany, with some incurable, painful, ultimately fatal disease. Armed with the knowledge and ability to painlessly end your life, would you consider it? To be honest, I don’t know that I could do it (I’m not sure I can square it with my moral compass). But even if I wouldn’t, I cannot say that I would deny that choice for another person. Allow me to explain why.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k53t8cp

—–

43) Fiorina no longer deadbeat candidate
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

“This just in: Carly Fiorina paid off the debt from her losing 2010 Senate campaign against Sen. Barbara Boxer. As I wrote last month, the former HP head is mulling over a 2016 presidential run — which made her failure to pay off her handlers and vendors rather puzzling. Losing candidates often owe money, but she’s a rich candidate, who was partially self-funded. Nonetheless, she left behind debt just under $500,000.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocqtx56

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44) Obama’s sordid record on censorship and secrecy
Source: CounterPunch
by James Bovard

“Republicans are condemning President Obama’s failure to attend the Charlie Hebdo march in Paris as is omission was the equivalent of a hate crime. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tx) took the cake with a bizarre tweet complaining that ‘even Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons.’ But there was no reason for the president to race across the Atlantic to tromp with other foreign leaders who claimed to have a sudden awakening on the value of freedom of the press. While Obama’s record on press freedom is not as disgraceful as Egypt’s, or Turkey’s, or Gabon’s, he has shown enough duplicity on this subject to gain easy admission into the hypocrites’ club.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ovqydx7

—–

45) Arrgh! Pirates rule the high IPs!
Source: Students For Liberty
by Elias Garcia

“Let me be the first to lament the ‘fall’ of The Pirate Bay, a service that, statistically speaking, there’s a decent chance you use. On December 9th, Swedish officials decided to raid the facilities that contained the servers that TPB was hosted on, effectively shutting the site down. While TPB has remained ‘offline,’ it’s search engine and catalog no longer available to those who access the site, it’s probably a good time to realize that this is not the end. Nor has it ever been. Or will be.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pdwp6yw

—–

46) Preview — agenda for Congress
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by staff

“With the start of the 114th Congress comes a fresh opportunity to address the challenges created by a broken government. To kick off this new congressional session, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) recommends numerous reform proposals to strengthen the U.S. economy, increase transparency, and foster fair and open competition instead of favoring special interests.” (01/14/15)

https://cei.org/content/preview-agenda-congress

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47) Everything Voluntary Podcast, 01/14/15
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Episode 047 is the first part of a conversation analyzing the requirements that religion puts on children, and also adults. This list was sent to Skyler in a private correspondence with Wes Bertrand, who podcasts at CompleteLiberty.com, in the Spring of 2012.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l3hy2py

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48) Time to drop charges
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Annette Bosworth is a medical doctor. She’s also a political neophyte, last year having sought the Republican Party nomination for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota. She lost. Which is not surprising. But the next day, she was arrested on twelve counts of election fraud and perjury. She awaits a Feb. 3 trial facing an incredible 24 years in the hoosegow — and, not insignificantly, the loss of her medical license if convicted. Is Bosworth some sort of threat?” (01/14/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/01/14/time-to-drop-charges/

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49) Ten things the new GOP Congress should — and can! — do
Source: Reason
by staff

“[E]ven with the added distraction of a presidential primary season already wheezing into gear, there are several concrete and long-overdue steps that lawmakers can take to expand the scope of human freedom and prosperity. So in the New Year’s spirit of helpfulness, reason is offering the new Congress a 10-point list of passable policies that would help make the country more free, fair, and fun …” (for publication 02/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/06/10-things-the-new-gop-congress

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50) The upside of a Republican Congress
Source: In These Times
by Cole Stangler

“Keeping things from getting worse: It’s a familiar, if modest, goal of left-leaning Democrats in Washington. Now it’s going to become even harder. Republicans have their first Senate majority in nearly a decade and their largest House majority since 1946. Factor in a White House with an eye for bipartisan compromise, and the next two years could be downright hellish for progressives. ‘We’re in defense mode,’ says Conor Boylan, director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), which works to connect outside progressive groups with members of Congress.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p3kud74

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51) Seeing with reason
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux

“A frequent complaint about economics is that the failure of most economists to predict the 2008 financial crisis means that economics isn’t really scientific. It’s true that most economists didn’t predict the crisis, but the ability to make such specific predictions is not the hallmark of science.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntac4wo

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52) What happened to vanilla?
Source: The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty

“What happened to the flavor of vanilla? I remember clearly the wonderful sweet, wholesome fragrance each time the bottle was opened in my mother’s kitchen. The taste was sweet and clean, exotically floral even, a real comfort flavor. I remember the same smell and taste as I baked and cooked for my little family in the early years. I can’t remember when it changed. … Now there is little to indicate that ‘vanilla’ is at all related to that ghostly memory.” (01/14/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6739

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53) The nihilistic liberalism of assisted dying
Source: spiked
by Kevin Yuill

“If assisted dying is a medical treatment, then all are entitled to it — including convicted murderers.” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p6ylb42

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54) Litigation update: The Affordable Care Act
Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Ann N Purvis

“In the five years since Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the validity of the law has been litigated in federal courts throughout the United States. From infringements on religious liberty to violations of the legislative process, lawsuits challenging the ACA have reflected the dissatisfaction of many with both the substance of the bill and its implementation.” [executive summary — full article available as PDF download] (01/14/15)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/bg176

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55) Understanding the Paris violence
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

“Contrary to American officialdom and its stalwart ‘manufacturers of consent’ — the intelligentsia and mainstream media — we will never comprehend the reasons for the slaughter of 17 innocent people in Paris as long as we ignore the history of Western violence against the Muslim world.” (01/14/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/understanding-paris-violence/

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56) Roy Gutman on The Scott Horton Show
Source: The Scott Horton Show

“Roy Gutman, a journalist with McClatchy Newspapers, discusses reports that a US airstrike in Syria killed 50 civilians; and why US intervention in Syria and Iraq might be beneficial even if the Obama administration can’t devise a coherent plan of action.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/13/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/01/13/11315-roy-gutman/

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57) Piketty makes up “facts” and I’m the bad guy
Source: Free Advice
by Robert P Murphy

“Both ideological friends and foes have been chiding me for (in my paper co-authored with Phil Magness) focusing on trivial details, like Piketty getting the dates wrong for tax hikes and minimum wage increases. Big deal, Murphy! Focus on the inequality data. But Phil and I couldn’t ignore the boneheaded mistakes. Chris Giles of the FT did exactly what my critics are suggesting, and he was in the news for a week. Then Piketty responded (quite inadequately), Piketty’s fans said, ‘Heh what tools, leave the data to the grownups, kids,’ and now progressive bloggers smirk at you if you bring up Giles. And that is understandable. Giles was a writer for a newspaper, whereas Piketty is an expert in this literature — a guy whom Larry Summers said should get a Nobel for the empirical work. Without taking 2 months to read up on the literature yourself, how could you possibly weigh in on this matter? So that’s why it’s so important for Phil and me to show you just how unbelievably sloppy Piketty was when it came to things that a high school student should get right in a term paper, and then to see him dismiss them as ‘typos.'” (01/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mhguocd

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58) A “quality” to the disagreements
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“I care very little about statists disagreeing with me. I’m going to live liberty the best I can regardless of their wishes or fears. I only make the effort to get them to see liberty for their own sake. They can take it or leave it. Debating them gives me practice putting my thoughts into words.” (01/14/15)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2015/01/a-quality-to-disagreements.html

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59) Some leaks are more equal than others
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“Whenever whistleblowers have emerged to share important information about our government’s criminal activity, these individuals are either jailed or their lives are ruined. The examples are many. We have Private Manning, who is currently in jail for releasing videos of war crimes to Wikileaks. There’s also the case of former NSA employee Thomas Drake, as well as John Kiriakou, the only person jailed with regard to the U.S. torture program, and that’s only because he leaked information about it to the public. Of course, we all know about Edward Snowden, who correctly predicted his fate and wisely fled the country before informing the world of the dystopian nightmare being constructed in the shadows by the NSA and the U.S. government. In the effort to demonize these American heroes, Washington D.C. political hacks and mainstream media pundits consistently pointed to how dangerous leaking classified information is, and how these individuals must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In contrast, many of these same cronies are coming out to vigorously defend David Petreaus.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofcpp7q

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60) Inner city turmoil and other crises: My predictions for 2015
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege. It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.” (01/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mqe2bm5

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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