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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,114
Monday, January 19th, 2015
436 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) ICC opens inquiry into possible war crimes in Middle East conflict
2) Argentina: Prosecutor who claimed cover-up found dead
3) SCOTUS to rule on marriage apartheid
4) Indonesia: Regime kills six for unauthorized entrepreneurial activities
5) Officials: NSA hacked North Korea before North Korea hacked Sony
6) Former US officials meet North Korean nuclear chief amid standoff
7) Qatari man, once held as enemy combatant by US, returns home
8) Belgium: Hundreds of troops deployed on the streets
9) Pentagon to deploy 400 trainers to help “moderate” Syrian rebels
10) PA: Pittsburgh restaurant doing away with tips for servers
11) Report: New focus in US anti-drug strategy for Caribbean
12) FL: Shopping mall shooting; another debate over guns and safety?
13) Poroshenko vows he will force seceded states to accept Ukrainian rule
14) IRS warns of tax refund delays
15) South Africa: Stop blaming all problems on whites, says Mandela assistant
16) Security theater: We’re supposed to care that shots were fired near Biden’s home
17) Afghanistan: Cabinet nominee on Interpol’s most-wanted list
18) Finally, an answer to the question “just how freaking stupid is Lindsey Graham?”
19) Turkey: Regime threatens to ban Twitter unless it blocks newspaper’s account
20) Saudi Arabia: Regime postpones lashing sentence for blogger Raif Badawi

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) We’ll always have Paris
22) The open society and its worst enemies
23) Don’t sit there complaining … do something!
24) Right to control a powerful delusion
25) Civil rights are too important to leave to special interest advocates
26) Tycoon dough: The ultimate electoral martial art
27) Socialist science
28) Ted Cruz: Loose cannon or libertarian reformer?
29) Test debate about politics, not education
30) Cliches of Progressivism #40: “The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer”
31) The year of the disgruntled voter
32) Google Glass dead, but it’s also the future
33) Central banking in a negative seignorage world
34) Our patent mess and the misery of its “trolls”
35) What the f*** happened to our food?
36) Was Sierra Pacific deep-pockets victim of government shakedown?
37) It’s nullification season: The time to get involved is now
38) College for eoall would set many up for trouble
39) Are electronic cigarettes for you?
40) Boko Haram
41) The war on Billie Holiday
42) Ministerial whims and the state of education
43) Public sector union fixes for the states
44) Hey, hey, LBJ, how many dreams did you kill today?
45) The (Austrian) economics of gifts
46) Judge rules home care workers really just “companions”
47) Security is not a crime — unless you’re an anarchist
48) The government retreats — a bit — in its assault on press freedom
49) The (minimum) wages of economic illiteracy
50) A rogue’s gallery in Paris
51) Behaving like the North Koreans
52) Heartland Daily Podcast, 01/16/15
53) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 01/17/15
54) Switzerland frees the Swiss franc
55) Self-interest and social order in classical liberalism: Mandeville on the benefits of vice

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

1) ICC opens inquiry into possible war crimes in Middle East conflict
Source: CNN

“The International Criminal Court opened an inquiry into attacks in Palestinian territories, paving the way for possible war crimes investigation against Israelis. In a statement Friday, the court’s top prosecutor said the decision follows the Palestinians’ signing of the Rome Statute. In doing so, they officially become ICC members on April 1, giving the court jurisdiction over alleged crimes in Palestinian territories. While a preliminary examination is not a formal investigation, it allows the court to review evidence and determine whether to investigate suspects on both sides.” (01/17/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/17/middleeast/palestinians-icc-inquiry/

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2) Argentina: Prosecutor who claimed cover-up found dead
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“An Argentine federal prosecutor who accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner last week of a cover-up has been found dead at his home in the capital, Buenos Aires. Alberto Nisman was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. On Wednesday, he accused the president of involvement in a plot to cover up Iran’s alleged role in the bombing. … a weapon was found next to Mr Nisman’s body, but the circumstances surrounding his death remain a mystery …. Mr Nisman was due to give evidence at a congressional committee hearing on Monday to outline his accusations against President Fernandez and other officials.” (01/19/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30877296

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3) SCOTUS to rule on marriage apartheid
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The Supreme Court agreed Friday to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage …. Now that 36 states and the District of Columbia, holding about three-fourths of the country’s population, permit same-sex marriages, legal experts believe the high court is ready to settle the matter once and for all. Faced with a split in the appellate courts, the justices will hear 2 1/2 hours of oral arguments in April and issue a ruling before the court term ends in June.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nr4nk9s

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4) Indonesia: Regime kills six for unauthorized entrepreneurial activities
Source: Time

“Indonesia[‘s regime killed] six people convicted of drug crimes just after midnight Saturday, after rejecting last-minute appeals and clemency requests from foreign leaders whose citizens were among those sentenced to death. Officials confirmed that four men from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria and the Netherlands and one woman from Indonesia were [killed] in pairs by a firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, which is just off the southern coast of Java, the Associated Press reported. Another woman from Vietnam was [killed] in Boyolali, a regency in central Java.” (01/18/15)

http://time.com/3673040/indonesia-execution/

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5) Officials: NSA hacked North Korea before North Korea hacked Sony
Source: New York Times

“The trail that led American officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010, when the National Security Agency scrambled to break into the computer systems of a country considered one of the most impenetrable targets on earth. Spurred by growing concern about North Korea’s maturing capabilities, the American spy agency drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies, according to former United States and foreign officials, computer experts later briefed on the operations and a newly disclosed N.S.A. document.” (01/18/1)

http://tinyurl.com/m8z8egg

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6) Former US officials meet North Korean nuclear chief amid standoff
Source: Myrtle Beach Sun News

“U.S. academics and former senior officials met with North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator in Singapore on Sunday to get a feel for each other’s positions amid a years long standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons buildup. Leon Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council, a U.S.-based nonprofit, told reporters that the meeting will cover the North’s nuclear missile programs.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/klcu9qg

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7) Qatari man, once held as enemy combatant by US, returns home
Source: ABC News

“A Qatari man declared an enemy combatant by the Bush administration following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and imprisoned over links to al-Qaida has returned home to the Gulf nation after quietly being released by U.S. authorities. Ali al-Marri was arrested in December 2001 while attending graduate school in central Illinois. He was held without charge for nearly six years in a U.S. Navy brig in South Carolina before eventually pleading guilty and receiving a sentence of just over eight years behind bars.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lk9bhf9

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8) Belgium: Hundreds of troops deployed on the streets
Source: Chicago Chronicle

“Troops have been deployed in several Belgian cities to guard against potential terrorist attacks on sensitive targets, following a series of anti-terror raids and arrests amid a Europe-wide terror high alert. Up to 300 soldiers will be put on the streets in Brussels, Antwerp and other cities, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Saturday.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k4uy2dw

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9) Pentagon to deploy 400 trainers to help “moderate” Syrian rebels
Source: Las Vegas Herald

“In a move that will bolster its fight against the troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State militants, the United States military Friday announced its decision to deploy 400 trainers and hundreds more troops in a train-and-equip mission for moderate Syrian rebel forces. The mission, a part of President Barack Obama administration plans to expand training for factions Syrian rebels, is expected to begin as early as March.” (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofqkzkb

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10) PA: Pittsburgh restaurant doing away with tips for servers
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“One thing will be missing for both diners and servers at Bar Marco this spring: tips. The Strip District restaurant intends to pay servers $35,000 a year for a 40-hour work week, plus health care and profit shares of the restaurant. By the year’s end, the no-tipping policy may take effect at the Livermore and the Cloak Room, the sibling bar and event space in East Liberty. The switch will be subsidized by higher food prices on the menu and changes in the 10-seat wine room, which will go from two seatings a night to open reservations. The abolition of tips has happened elsewhere, spearheaded by fine-dining chefs, but this will be a first in Pittsburgh.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oawzqbd

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11) Report: New focus in US anti-drug strategy for Caribbean
Source: Fox News

“The Obama administration unveiled a new plan Friday to fight drug trafficking in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands amid concerns that the flow of cocaine from the Caribbean to the U.S. has more than doubled in the past three years. It is the first federal plan of its kind that outlines the steps federal authorities are taking and will take to crack down on drug trafficking specifically in both U.S. territories. It outlines six strategies, including sharing more intelligence, collaborating with local law enforcement and reducing drug-related violent crimes in the two territories.” (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvs984y

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12) FL: Shopping mall shooting; another debate over guns and safety?
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“A shooting today at Melbourne Square mall in Florida Saturday left two dead and one injured. Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan told Florida Today that the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute between a woman who worked at the mall’s food court and her husband. The husband shot his wife, and then killed another food court worker who tried to intervene. The gunman, Jose Garcia Rodriguez, then fatally shot himself, said police.” (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ltss2xq

—–

13) Poroshenko vows he will force seceded states to accept Ukrainian rule
Source: Washington Post

“Ukraine’s president vowed Sunday to reassert government control over [the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics] as the [invading Ukrainian] army unleashed a counter-offensive against Russian-backed [DPR troops] vying for command over the airport in the city of Donetsk. The separatist stronghold was shaken by intense outgoing and incoming artillery fire over the weekend as a bitter battle rages for the air terminal and surrounding areas. Streets in Donetsk, which was home to 1 million people before unrest erupted in spring, were completely deserted Sunday and the windows of apartments in the center were rattled by incessant rocket and mortar fire.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k56xsnk

—–

14) IRS warns of tax refund delays
Source: KTVQ News

“The IRS normally issues taxpayer refunds quickly. But this year, some filers are going to have to wait. Due to budget cuts, people who file paper tax returns could wait an extra week for their refund — ‘or possibly longer,’ wrote IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a memo to employees Tuesday.” [editor’s note: That problem seems so easy to solve … if a refund takes more than 24 hours from receipt of the return to issuance of the refund, the responsible employee’s pay is docked by $100 and Koskinen’s by $10, with the $100 going to the filer as a late refund fee and the $10 going back to the US Treasury. That should take care of it – TLK] (01/18/15)

http://www.ktvq.com/news/irs-warns-of-tax-refund-delays-221240/

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15) South Africa: Stop blaming all problems on whites, says Mandela assistant
Source: Raw Story

“Nelson Mandela’s former personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, has apologised after sparking an online race row with comments that white people were being made to feel unwelcome in South Africa. La Grange, who published ‘Good morning, Mr Mandela’ last year about her close relationship with the late anti-apartheid hero, attacked President Jacob Zuma for blaming all the country’s problems on whites. ‘I’m SICK of Jacob Zuma’s constant go at whites every few months,’ she tweeted on Saturday. ‘Why can’t we co-exist without it having to be at the expense of one another?'” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odol4vh

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16) Security theater: We’re supposed to care that shots were fired near Biden’s home
Source: United Press International

“Several gun shots were fired from a car passing near the Delaware home of Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday night, but Biden and his wife were not there at the time, according to police and Secret Service. ‘A vehicle drove by the vice president’s residence at a high rate of speed and fired multiple gun shots,” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback told CNN.’ … The Secret Service, FBI’s Baltimore division and New Castle police are investigating the incident to determine if it was targeted or random.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvy26hk

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17) Afghanistan: Cabinet nominee on Interpol’s most-wanted list
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Afghan president’s office has launched an investigation after it emerged that President Ashraf Ghani’s nominee for agriculture minister is on Interpol’s most-wanted list. Interpol’s website says Mohammad Yaqub Haidari is wanted in Estonia for large-scale tax evasion dating back to 2003. The president’s office was unaware Mr Haidari had legal problems but was investigating, a spokesman said. Mr Haidari said he was on the list but was victim of a political conspiracy.” (01/17/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30865317

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18) Finally, an answer to the question “just how freaking stupid is Lindsey Graham?”
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

[editor’s note: The answer is “stupid enough that can’t figure out, without the assistance of a committee, that he stands about the same chance of being elected to the presidency of the United States as the corpse of Osama bin Laden does” – TLK] (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2g8ab3

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19) Turkey: Regime threatens to ban Twitter unless it blocks newspaper’s account
Source: Engadget

“The Turkish government’s love/hate relationship with Twitter is once again turning sour. A court in the country’s Adana province is threatening to ban Twitter unless it blocks the account of a newspaper (BirGun) posting leaked documents that expose the truth behind a raid on an Intelligence agency convoy. Twitter and other social networks have agreed to delete individual posts, but that’s not considered good enough. BirGun is defying the censorship, and the court believes that the media outlet is interfering with both the investigation and national security as a whole.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mw3mu9g

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20) Saudi Arabia: Regime postpones lashing sentence for blogger Raif Badawi
Source: Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]

“The case of a Saudi blogger sentenced to 1000 lashes, which has been widely criticised by Western governments, has been referred to the Supreme Court by the King’s office, his wife said. Raif Badawi was flogged 50 times last week but a second round of lashings due on Friday was postponed for what she said were medical reasons. … Badawi co-founded the now-banned Saudi Liberal Network along with women’s rights campaigner Suad al-Shammari, who was also accused of insulting Islam and arrested last October. Ms Shammari has said the charges against Badawi were brought after the Saudi Liberal Network criticised clerics and the kingdom’s notorious religious police, who have been accused of a heavy-handed enforcement of sharia law.” (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ltv6dw2

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

21) We’ll always have Paris
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

“My solution to ‘terrorism’ is the same as it has always been: Get our imperial stormtroopers the hell out of the Middle East. Don’t prevent its prospective victims from arming themselves and fighting back. Forget your armies and navies, your tanks and aircraft. Let the people fight it on the street, where it occurs. This is by no means a perfect solution, but it might well have stopped 9/11, Sydney, and Paris. Get this through your head for once and all: ‘terrorism’ is a diffuse problem; the only answer, an armed populace, is a diffuse defense.” (01/18/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle805-20150118-02.html

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22) The open society and its worst enemies
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

“Last week’s bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity — literally a matter of life and death. A government that repeatedly wages wars of aggression — the most extreme form of extremism — endangers the society it ostensibly protects by gratuitously making enemies, some of whom will seek revenge against those who tolerate, finance, and symbolize that government and its policies.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lse9r4v

—–

23) Don’t sit there complaining … do something!
Source: The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty

“I have a headache … Reading about the gun grabbers, their collaborators and apologists in Washington State last week, and in Texas — not to mention Colorado, Nevada and California over the last few months. Compromise artists like Alan Gottlieb, occasional outbursts of marginally useful to downright nutty OC demonstrations, and the ongoing push/pull of public opinion, usually without much clear reasoning or understanding of the facts … The gun grabber biased media is the Chinese water torture of the decade. Personally, I consider attempts to deal with this via politics, demonstrations, letters to the editor and so forth to be a waste of time, even if not directly counterproductive. Each person has to do what they think is best, obviously, but if you are not inclined to political games like that, don’t let anyone tell you that you those are the only things you can do to promote or protect your rights. Nothing could be farther from the truth.” (01/17/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6790

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24) Right to control a powerful delusion
Source: Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal

“Almost all areas of political contention are invented and imaginary. Those areas of life shouldn’t be subjected to laws, majority opinion, or anyone’s control. There are only two things subject to control: aggression and violations of private property. Those don’t need any response beyond self defense. No one needs to give you permission to protect yourself and your property, and no one can take away your right to self defense. Beyond that, just look at all the areas that have been perverted by politics …” (01/15/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pq5a7vu

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25) Civil rights are too important to leave to special interest advocates
Source: Independent Institute
by Jonathan Bean

“‘War is too important to be left to the generals,’ the saying goes. Similarly, civil rights are too important to be left to professional advocates who champion only their own particular racial, ethnic, or religious causes. Unfortunately, in the ‘official’ civil rights community of today a spirit of inclusiveness may be the exception, not the rule.” (01/17/15)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5276

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26) Tycoon dough: The ultimate electoral martial art
Source: Reuters
by Lawrence Norden & Daniel Weiner

“Few recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have received as much attention (or generated as much public backlash) as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The court and its defenders promised that the ruling — which gave corporations (and, by extension, unions) a First Amendment right to spend unlimited money on elections — would free up more voices to enrich U.S. political debates. Critics predicted a deluge of corporate cash into U.S. elections.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mtwn9b8

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27) Socialist science
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Steve Murphy

“Even when confronted with such nullifying evidence, activist scientists refused to reject the AGW hypothesis. Nor did they modify it, the better to conform with observational evidence. Some simply rejected the science — science that they had come to view as ‘normal science,’ no longer suitable for their cause — and switched to Post-normal Science (PNS). PNS replaces normal science when ‘facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, and decisions urgent.’ Invented by social activists, it is a mode of inquiry designed to advance the political agenda behind such large-scale social issues as pollution, AIDS, nutrition, tobacco, and climate change.” (01/16/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1359

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28) Ted Cruz: Loose cannon or libertarian reformer?
Source: Reason
by Glenn Garvin

“Part of Cruz’s yahoo image comes from his Tea Party-style positions. Many people still get jolted when a candidate calls not to reform or rein in the IRS but to abolish it. But an even bigger component of the perception is that he spends too much time tilting furiously at windmills. The best example was his campaign in late 2013 to block a continuing budget resolution unless Democrats agreed to delay or defund Obamacare, spearheaded by Cruz’s 21-hour filibuster (which included readings from a pair of unlikely soulmates, Ayn Rand and Dr. Seuss).” (for publication 02/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/01/17/ted-cruz-loose-cannon-or-liber

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29) Test debate about politics, not education
Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

“Here’s how ridiculous the nation’s obsession with standardized testing has gotten: Last week Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz came across a news item about a school in Florida that ‘forbid the flushing of toilets during testing … to cut down on the distraction.’ As she quoted from her news source, the school administrators feared, ‘The whooshing water sounds from classroom bathrooms … might disturb test-taking classmates and send their focus, and their scores, spiraling down the drain.’ Before you dismiss that as just one ‘over the top’ anecdote, consider that the big new assessment fad sweeping the nation is to demand testing of our youngest students, the earlier the better.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwc6nfq

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30) Cliches of Progressivism #40: “The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer”
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Max Borders

“Imagine you could go back in time 50 years. Suppose the reason you are doing so is to put policies into place that would ensure that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. (Why anyone would want to do this is beside the point, but stay with me.) What policies would you set?” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5mqo4v

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31) The year of the disgruntled voter
Source: Liberty Chat
by JasonB

“A ‘100 year sweep’, ‘Republican landslide’, ‘Dems may never recover’. While the Republican tidal wave is significant, let’s not forget this recent election unfolded with the backdrop of historically low opinion polls of all sides at all levels. Before Republicans become too smug in their 2014 victory, they would be wise to remember they are one messianic snake oil salesman away from becoming irrelevant (see 2008).'” (01/18/15)

http://www.libertychat.com/2015/01/year-disgruntled-voter/

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32) Google Glass dead, but it’s also the future
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“Google announced today that it is ceasing production of smartphone-on-your-face Google Glass, and although they are characterizing it as just an end to the beta version, everyone else seems to be calling it a failure. There were certainly some reactions the company didn’t anticipate, like the fact that most people thought they look ridiculous, the coining of the term “Glasshole,” and the sometimes violent reactions people had to being recorded by someone else’s glasses. Jake Swearingen says the camera was the problem: ‘it turns out very few people are willing to be viewed as walking, talking invasions of privacy.’ But I promise you, wearable augmented reality will return before long.” (01/16/15)

http://prospect.org/waldman/google-glass-dead-its-also-future

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33) Central banking in a negative seignorage world
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“In the standard model, central banks earn seignorage (sometimes called ‘inflation tax revenue’) because their liabilities (cash and bank reserves) pay zero interest and their assets (government bonds) are interest earning. Thus imagine the Fed back in 2007, with a monetary base of $800 billion and 4% interest on its portfolio of bonds. In that case, the Fed would earn about $32 billion each year in profits. Most of that money is passed on to the Treasury, with the Fed just keeping enough to finance its operations. Because of the zero lower bound on interest rates, I don’t think anyone imagined seignorage ever turning negative. But risk-free German interest rates are now negative, so does that mean central banks in the eurozone can expect to earn negative seignorage?” (01/18/15)

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

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34) Our patent mess and the misery of its “trolls”
Source: The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile

Anthony Wile interviews William J. Watkins Jr. Watkins: “When you look at our torts system, especially, there are significant problems. We have moved from a negligence regime where if someone breached a duty of care to another person then they could be held liable for the resulting damages for that breach. That’s fairly basic, fairly straightforward. What we are seeing now is a move more toward the idea of strict liability. Of course, strict liability is most often associated with products liability cases but we see this whole concept permeating our legal culture.” (01/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l9zy5oo

—–

35) What the f*** happened to our food?
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad

“I’m no nutritionist. In fact, as I write this I am probably about 50 pounds overweight, which I guess depending on how you look at it could indeed make me a food expert. But for the most part, I’ve learned as an adult that I have horrible eating habits. I was raised like many other millennials. McDonald’s was a greatly anticipated treat at least once a week, and at home my mother made us tacos, meatloaf, cheese burgers, spaghetti, fried chicken and pork chops. Lots of potatoes, corn and 2% milk in the mornings with my Cinnamon Toast Crunch.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ku473x6

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36) Was Sierra Pacific deep-pockets victim of government shakedown?
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

“After what became known as the Moonlight Fire burned some 65,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada in 2007, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection decided that Sierra Pacific Industries was responsible for the damage. The culprit, regulators charged, was a friction spark from a bulldozer operating on Sierra Pacific land. Cal Fire fined the timber company $8 million to pay for related costs. Because the fire burned more than 40,000 acres of national forest, the federal government also went after Sierra Pacific’s deep pockets; in 2012, Sierra Pacific agreed to a settlement that entailed paying the feds $47 million and giving Uncle Sam 22,500 acres of forestland.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/meubzgn

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37) It’s nullification season: The time to get involved is now
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Michael Boldin

“It’s just the middle of January, and 2015 is off to a huge start for the Tenth Amendment Center and the nullification movement. We’re in the process of launching a new campaign to educate people about nullification, and state legislative sessions are getting underway with over 100 nullification-related bills under consideration already! I wanted to give you a more-detailed update on both of these important campaigns.” (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nw78b4h

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38) College for eoall would set many up for trouble
Source: Cato Institute
by Neal McCluskey

“Say not everyone should go to college, and you’re heading for a world of rhetorical hurt. ‘How dare you consign people to second-class citizenship,’ you’ll be angrily queried. ‘That’s just an excuse to leave kids behind,’ you’ll hear. But whether you think everyone is college material or not, reality is inescapable: The economy simply can’t handle an America full of degrees. Not even close.” [editor’s note: Actually, “the economy” would handle it just fine — it’s just that a lot of people with degrees would find those degrees of little value – TLK] (01/15/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntn87qz

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39) Are electronic cigarettes for you?
Source: ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell

“I get asked a lot of questions about my e-cigarette, aka personal vaporizer. I constantly end up evangalizing about it, to the point it almost comes of sounding like a sales pitch. Instead of perpetually repeating myself, I thought I’d put together this introduction.” (01/17/15)

http://christophercantwell.com/2015/01/17/electronic-cigarettes/

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40) Boko Haram
Source: The Cagle Post
by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon. (01/16/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/boko-haram-2/

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41) The war on Billie Holiday
Source: In These Times
by Johann Hari

“Jazz was the opposite of everything Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (established in 1930), believed in. It is improvised, and relaxed, and free-form. It follows its own rhythm. Worst of all, it is a mongrel music made up of European, Caribbean and African echoes, all mating on American shores. To Anslinger, this was musical anarchy, and evidence of a recurrence of the primitive impulses that lurk in black people, waiting to emerge.” (01/16/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17536/the_war_on_billie_holiday

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42) Ministerial whims and the state of education
Source: spiked
by Alka Sehgal Cuthbert

“If politicians were to butt out of education today, where would that leave teachers, parents and pupils? Would teachers be free to pursue their subject knowledge and teach as freely and creatively as they wished? And would children be free to enter a school every morning to grapple with the demands and pleasures of learning academic subjects? No, they would not. And that is largely because politicians may have power, but they have neither the moral nor the intellectual authority to shape the culture in which educational policymaking takes place.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ngtrcxr

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43) Public sector union fixes for the states
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Trey Kovacs

“As states begin their new legislative sessions, lawmakers have many opportunities ensure that government works toward the benefit of the public, not the benefit of special interests like government-employee unions. While labor law is not usually a top concern for the average citizen, it is key to controlling wasteful spending.” (01/16/15)

https://cei.org/content/public-sector-union-fixes-states

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44) Hey, hey, LBJ, how many dreams did you kill today?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Joel Schlosberg

“The critically acclaimed film Selma’s conspicuous absence from Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor for David Oyelowo’s portrayal of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. follows its concerted targeting by flunkies of Lyndon B. Johnson outraged by its portrayal of friction between King and the arch-war criminal president. One leading critic, Joseph A. Califano, Jr., casually states ‘I was then Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s special assistant,’ an admission he should be embarrassed to make in public, let alone in a national newspaper.” (01/17/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35103

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45) The (Austrian) economics of gifts
Source: Mises Canada
by Garrett Petersen

“While we typically think of entrepreneurs as businessmen, consumers also act as entrepreneurs. The necessity of forecasting under conditions of uncertainty and risk is what makes an act entrepreneurial, and there is plenty of uncertainty in consumer decision making. If I plan on buying a pair of rain boots, I must estimate how often I will be walking in the rain. My judgement as to whether I should buy at a given price depends on how expensive I think rain boots will be elsewhere and in the future. I wouldn’t pay $200 for rain boots if I expected the price to drop to $20 tomorrow. Thus, buying rain boots is clearly an entrepreneurial act. This means that there is more to consumption decisions than simply knowing one’s own preferences.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mcddgsu

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46) Judge rules home care workers really just “companions”
Source: The Nation
by Michelle Chen

“Labor advocates expected 2015 to be the year that some long-overdue respect finally comes to workers who provide home-based care for seniors and people with disabilities. But just as a federal reform granting those workers minimum wage and overtime pay was to be enacted this month, a district court judge has ruled in favor of the industry’s objections to giving home care workers equal rights. With the revisions blocked for now, the new year brings more hardship and uncertainty to a workforce on which hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people depend.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n8nho7x

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47) Security is not a crime — unless you’re an anarchist
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nadia Kayyali and Katitza Rodriguez

“Riseup, a tech collective that provides security-minded communications to activists worldwide, sounded the alarm last month when a judge in Spain stated that the use of their email service is a practice, he believes, associated with terrorism. Javier Gomez Bermudez is a judge of Audiencia Nacional, a special high court in Spain that deals with serious crimes such as terrorism and genocide. According to press reports, he ordered arrest warrants that were carried out on December 16th against alleged members of an anarchist group. The arrests were part of Operation Pandora, a coordinated campaign against ‘anarchist activity’ that has been called an attempt ‘to criminalize anarchist social movements.'” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lr3v3ju

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48) The government retreats — a bit — in its assault on press freedom
Source: The Intercept
by Lynn Oberlander

“This past week, the Department of Justice retreated from the attacks on press freedom that marked the Obama Administration’s early years. First, on Monday, federal prosecutors announced that they would not call reporter James Risen to testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling. And then, on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced (but did not publish) revisions to the policy governing when the Department of Justice can seek to question journalists or obtain information from media organizations about their sources. Maybe the Obama Administration has finally realized how important a role a free press plays in our democracy, or perhaps it finally occurred to AG Holder that it is embarrassing and hypocritical to jail journalists for refusing to reveal their sources while the U.S. is condemning Iran and other governments for similar actions.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pquhvlg

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49) The (minimum) wages of economic illiteracy
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Dear Mr. Goldbaum: You misunderstand my point in the ‘Notable & Quotable’ column of today’s Wall Street Journal. I did not say — and I do not believe — that low-skilled workers are ‘lesser forms of humanity’ than are high-skilled workers. I said only that the market value of the hourly output of low-skilled workers is lower than that of high-skilled workers and, thus, employers cannot afford to pay to lower-skilled workers wages as high as those paid to higher-skilled workers.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n6by8z3

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50) A rogue’s gallery in Paris
Source: CounterPunch
by Robert Fantina

“Much has already been said about the hypocrisy of world leaders, all of whom oppose free speech and freedom of the press to one degree or another, jumping on the ‘I am Charlie’ bandwagon and marching in Paris. Reminiscent of the massive demonstrations in support of the U.S. after 9/11, this rally was just another ‘feel good’ moment, full of photo opportunities for politicians masquerading as statesmen to use in future campaigns. Let’s look for a minute at just some members of the Rogues Gallery that were on display in Paris.” (01/16/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/16/a-rogues-gallery-in-paris/

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51) Behaving like the North Koreans
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“The controversy over North Korea’s supposed hacking of Sony in retaliation for The Interview actually goes a long way in showing the brilliance of our American ancestors who demanded the enactment of the Bill of Rights after the federal government was called into existence with the Constitution. Why did our ancestors insist on passage of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendments? Because they knew that the federal government would inevitably attract officials who would love nothing more than to punish people without having to go through the hassles of a jury trial, one in which they would be required to prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before they could do bad things to him.” (01/16/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/16/behaving-like-north-koreans/

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52) Heartland Daily Podcast, 01/16/15
Source: Heartland Institute

“Director of Communications Jim Lakely talks to Managing Editor of Healthcare News and Research Fellow Sean Parnell about the past year in regards to healthcare and the obamacare law. They discuss the failures from the launch of the government healthcare websites to the lackluster enrollment numbers.” [Flash video] (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p37fsz6

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53) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 01/17/15
Source: KN@PPSTER

“In this episode: Uncle Sam Wants You … Do You Want Him?” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/myw8eqv

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54) Switzerland frees the Swiss franc
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Hollenbeck

“You can fix your currency or you run independent monetary policy. But you cannot do both at the same time. In spectacular fashion, the Swiss government finally capitulated and decided control over the money supply was more important than a fixed rate against the euro. The Swiss franc rocketed up 30 percent in value minutes after the central bank’s decision to let the currency float.” (01/17/15)

http://mises.org/library/switzerland-frees-swiss-franc

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55) Self-interest and social order in classical liberalism: Mandeville on the benefits of vice
Source: Libertarianism.org
by George H Smith

“… Mandeville did not restrict his discussion of the unintended social benefits generated by self-interested actions within the boundaries of justice; he applied the same reasoning to various crimes. And this is what largely precipitated the hostile criticisms later voiced by those classical liberals, such as Adam Smith, who agreed that self-interested actions generate social benefits that were not intended by the acting agent (Smith’s ‘invisible hand’), but who refused to include unjust, or rights-violating, actions in the category of socially beneficial actions. Indeed, elsewhere Mandeville argued for the economic benefits of shipwrecks, which create employment for those workers needed to replace lost vessels. He also claimed that similar benefits flow from major disasters, such as the Great London Fire of 1666, which gutted the city and left around 70,000 people without homes.” (01/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p57l9s7

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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