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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,116
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
436 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) Yemen: Shiite insurgents control presidential palace and residence
2) NE: Corporate welfare queen TransCanada launches 90 land theft attempts
3) France: Chechens arrested as alleged Paris accomplices charged
4) Argentina: Fernandez rants online about dead prosecutor
5) Donetsk People’s Republic: Shelling kills at least six civilians
6) Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union
7) Guinea: One dead, three wounded after grenade thrown at fans
8) Idiot pol alert, French edition
9) Turkey: Graft probe nears final chapter with parliament vote
10) Iraq: Canadian soldiers directing air strikes
11) Study downgrades climate impact of wood burning
12) GA: Man cited for eating cheeseburger while driving
13) Alaska: Unique hurdles facing legal pot in live-and-let-live state
14) Report: Odds of gas tax hike growing
15) Nepal: Violence and arrests over new constitution
16) SCOTUS rules for bearded Muslim inmate
17) SCOTUS rules for Teva over MS drug patent
18) CO: Jury selection begins in Holmes murder trial
19) Islamic State thugs threaten to murder Japanese hostages
20) Kenya: Police tear-gas schoolkids over playground protest

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) What both Pauls got wrong about the Charlie Hebdo massacre
22) Charlie Hebdo and the “blowback” debate
23) American Sniper, and the Murderers Hall of Infamy
24) We’ve come this far …
25) Pope Francis, freedom is my religion
26) American Sniper
27) Don’t run, Mitt
28) Mike Huckabee, your candidate of cultural resentment
29) Free Thoughts Podcast, 01/19/15
30) Straight talk on veterans and suicide
31) Did Supreme Court telegraph its ultimate ruling on gay marriage?
32) Building a culture of liberty, part 5: Agorism
33) “Terror” as victim rhetoric
34) Duke University and the new normal — action and reaction
35) SOTU Address: A progressive field guide
36) Innumerate writers and illiterate mathematicians
37) On ordinary Americans’ living standards
38) Why don’t Republicans have an alternative to ObamaCare?
39) Executive’s order
40) Can Wall Street take down Big Pharma?
41) Such a blow to the government’s highwaymen! Can it be for real?
42) Free at last: Martin Luther King Jr. and nullification
43) Against recent events
44) My disquiet at liberty without obligation to others
45) Reducing inequality: Where to start?
46) Groundhog Day C
47) From food to sex: What is consent?
48) Martin Luther King and what we have to fear from the surveillance state
49) The ante hoc fallacy
50) More civilization
51) You’ll never guess who’s trying to hack your iPhone
52) How to destroy crony capitalism
53) Republicans change rules; Democrats change stripes
54) The Libertarian Angle, 01/20/15
55) NOAA and NASA lied on temperature records

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

1) Yemen: Shiite insurgents control presidential palace and residence
Source: Washington Post

“Shiite insurgents controlled the palace and residence of Yemen’s besieged president Wednesday following attacks that threatened to topple a government that has been a key American ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. The assaults by the Houthi rebel faction — believed to be backed by Iran — marked a major setback for Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Witnesses said early Wednesday that his presidential guards fled after Houthi fighters seized the palace Tuesday and surrounded Hadi’s home, where he is thought to be held up, following intense clashes in the capital, Sanaa, that began Monday.” (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lop2phk

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2) NE: Corporate welfare queen TransCanada launches 90 land theft attempts
Source: Los Angeles Times

“TransCanada Corp., the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, filed eminent domain proceedings against an estimated 90 Nebraska landowners Tuesday to secure the right [sic] to build the controversial project across their property. … Nebraska is the project’s most contentious battlefield. A 2012 law allowed the governor to bypass the state Public Service Commission and give the project the go-ahead. Approval for the current route was granted in 2013. In February, a lower court declared the law unconstitutional and left the troubled pipeline with no approved route through Nebraska. This month, however, the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling and cleared the way for Obama to act.” (01/20/15)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-keystone-land-2015-0120-story.html

—–

3) France: Chechens arrested as alleged Paris accomplices charged
Source: Irish Times [Ireland]

“Five Russians of Chechen origin were arrested in the Herault department of southern France yesterday. Police said they discovered ‘extremely dangerous’ explosives in their possession. However, the prosecutor of Beziers, Yvon Calvet, warned against jumping to conclusions. The men, aged between 24 and 37, were already known to police for criminal activities, not for links to terrorism. … In Paris, the high court asked anti-terrorism magistrates to formally place four men who were arrested on January 16th under investigation for ‘association with a terrorist conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.’ Eight other people, including four women, who were arrested in the same dragnet were freed. The arrests were made in connection with Islamist violence that killed 17 people in Paris on January 7th, 8th and 9th.” (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mz48hs5

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4) Argentina: Fernandez rants online about dead prosecutor
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Facing a public outcry over the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor leading the investigation into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here, President Cristina Fernandez and her allies lashed out at the dead man on Tuesday, questioning whether he had allied himself with forces seeking to weaken her government. In a rambling 2,100-word letter posted on her Facebook page, Fernandez, whom Nisman had accused of orchestrating a cover-up to protect Iranian officials implicated in the bombing in exchange for Iranian oil, said that Nisman had been part of an effort to ‘sidetrack, lie, cover up and confuse’ attempts to finally resolve the case.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mnuxo4v

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5) Donetsk People’s Republic: Shelling kills at least six civilians
Source: Spartanburg Herald Journal

“At least three civilians were killed in shelling Tuesday in eastern Ukraine as fighting continued between [Ukrainian invaders] and [Donetsk People’s Republic] forces in the … city of Donetsk. AP reporters saw the bodies of two people killed while waiting for a bus. [DPR] authorities said another person died from an attack elsewhere in the city.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nc4awg5

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6) Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union
Source: NBC News

“President Barack Obama told Americans Tuesday night that the ‘shadow of crisis has passed’ after years dominated by wars, recession and the threat of terror, saying that it’s now time for the nation to ‘turn the page.’ … In a message that underscored a turn to economic populism, Obama outlined a vision for ‘middle-class economics’ and pledged to ‘restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American.'” [editor’s note: Of course, the purpose of the “State of the Union address” isn’t to “tell Americans” anything. The president is required to inform CONGRESS of his estimate of the state of the union, and personally I wish he’d go back to doing so in writing instead of putting on an annual dog and pony show – TLK] (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qdseaoj

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7) Guinea: One dead, three wounded after grenade thrown at fans
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald

“Authorities in the West African nation of Guinea say one person is dead and three others seriously wounded after someone threw a grenade into a crowd of people watching a televised soccer match. The fans were injured as they watched Guinea’s national team play Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations tournament under way in Equatorial Guinea.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntynxxq

—–

8) Idiot pol alert, French edition
Source: USA Today

“Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN Tuesday that she may sue Fox News because the network ‘insulted’ the city with its coverage of ‘no-go zones’ that are supposedly only for Muslim residents. Such zones don’t exist and Fox News has repeatedly apologized for the errors. ‘When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,’ CNN quoted Hidalgo as saying to the network’s Christiane Amanpour.” [editor’s note: This politician is setting her sights too low. She’s obviously stupid enough that she COULD aspire to have her own Fox News show! – TLK] (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qf3228e

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9) Turkey: Graft probe nears final chapter with parliament vote
Source: ABC News

“In what could be the final chapter of a graft investigation that once seemed to threaten the inner circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s parliament voted against sending four former ministers to court. In closer votes than expected, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) used its majority to sweep away an investigation that rocked Turkish politics in 2013, when prosecutors launched a spectacular series of raids. The vote was taken by secret ballots, but opposition parties made clear their position that Turkey’s Supreme Court should hear the evidence.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/na964b7

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10) Iraq: Canadian soldiers directing air strikes
Source: Bismarck Tribune

“Canadian special forces in northern Iraq have been helping Kurdish peshmerga fighters by directing coalition airstrikes against Islamic State extremists — work generally considered risky because it means they are close to the battle against the group. The Canadians’ efforts complement those of the United States, which has conducted the vast majority of the airstrikes against the Islamic State group. But in their new role, the Canadians are performing a task that so far the U.S. has been unwilling to do.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q2enjqo

—–

11) Study downgrades climate impact of wood burning
Source: Raw Story

“Surprising new research has sharply downgraded the perceived climate impacts of the gathering and burning of wood by residents of poor and developing countries who rely on the fuel to keep warm and cook food. Of the 2.8 billion people forced to use wood for fuel, often filling their humble homes with life-shortening soot, the vast majority are chopping down and gathering their fuel in ways that allow forests and woodlands to regrow. That isn’t just good for the environment around them; carbon-hungry growth of trees that replace those that were felled helps cancel the climate-changing effects of carbon dioxide pollution released when the wood is burned.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k25ko2t

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12) GA: Man cited for eating cheeseburger while driving
Source: Fox News

“A man says he was cited by police outside Atlanta for eating a cheeseburger while driving. Madison Turner, who’s from Alabama, tells Atlanta station WSB-TV he ordered a double quarter-pounder with cheese from a McDonald’s in the Marietta area shortly before he was pulled over last week. Turner says the officer told him he saw him eating the cheeseburger for two miles, telling the man ‘You can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.’ The ticket, issued under Georgia’s distracted driving law, states in the comments section that the offense is ‘eating while driving.'” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oqnczdz

—–

13) Alaska: Unique hurdles facing legal pot in live-and-let-live state
Source: Reuters

“Presiding over busy waterways and airspace that serve as unofficial highways of an inhospitable state twice the size of Texas, the federal government has a looming presence over Alaska and its famously live-and-let-live residents. And Uncle Sam considers marijuana illegal over every inch. This poses unique hurdles for entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on an Alaska move to legalize recreational marijuana, and who seek to grow and process products to be marketed across the state, much of which is accessible only via transport links policed by U.S. agencies and governed by federal law.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7dvn5t

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14) Report: Odds of gas tax hike growing
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“With Washington’s most famous climate-change skeptic expressing interest in raising the federal gasoline tax, Bay Area Rep. Jared Huffman sees an opening to grab the brass ring of the environmental movement: a tax on carbon. Taxing gasoline is, after all, a form of taxing carbon — a step environmentalists believe could reduce America’s global-warming emissions. Huffman reasons that if Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who once wrote a book calling climate change ‘The Greatest Hoax,’ can get Washington talking about raising the gas levy, it’s a good time to make the tax a little more sophisticated so it reflects the carbon content of all fuels.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvn6uvo

—–

15) Nepal: Violence and arrests over new constitution
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Scuffles broke out in Nepal’s parliament and police arrested protesters in the capital as tensions rose before a deadline to draft a new national constitution. Opposition lawmakers threw chairs and microphones and attacked the parliamentary Speaker early on Tuesday. The Maoist opposition accuse the ruling coalition of trying to push through their proposals without consensus. Nepal’s leaders have set 22 January as a deadline for the draft constitution.” (01/20/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30894714

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16) SCOTUS rules for bearded Muslim inmate
Source: PBS Newshour [US state media]

“The Supreme Court is siding with a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas who sued for the right to grow a short beard for religious reasons. … The justices said that inmate Gregory Holt could maintain a half-inch beard because Arkansas prison officials could not substantiate claims that the beard posed a security risk. Holt claimed that he has a right to grow a beard under a federal law aimed at protecting prisoners’ religious rights.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k44wkvn

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17) SCOTUS rules for Teva over MS drug patent
Source: Reuters

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd can still benefit from patent protection for top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, dealing a blow to generic drugmakers looking to market a cheaper rival product. In a 7-2 vote, the justices sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for further review saying it had not used the correct approach in analyzing whether the patent, due to expire in September 2015, was valid. The appeals court had thrown out the patent in 2013.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ow5cfth

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18) CO: Jury selection begins in Holmes murder trial
Source: WSAV 3 News

“Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of the man accused in the deadly Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. James Holmes faces multiple counts of first degree murder and attempted murder for shooting 12 people to death and wounding 70 others in a crowded movie theater. The first of 9,000 prospective jurors, one of the largest pools ever, will report to the Arapahoe County Justice Center. … The process of seating 12 jurors and 12 alternates is expected to take several months.” [editor’s note: It should take hours — the first 24 who aren’t related to and don’t know the principals in the case get empaneled. But like Vin Suprynowicz says, “voir dire” is French for “jury tampering,” with both sides (but especially the prosecution) jockeying to ensure a conviction or acquittal before the trial even starts — TLK] (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ldgevsb

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19) Islamic State thugs threaten to murder Japanese hostages
Source: USA Today

“The Islamic State threatened to kill two Japanese hostages Tuesday unless the militants receive a $200 million ransom in the next 72 hours. In a video posted online Tuesday, a black-clad, masked man with a British accent is shown standing between two hostages in orange jumpsuits who are identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa. Shortly after the video was released, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to save the hostages.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/maht67b

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20) Kenya: Police tear-gas schoolkids over playground protest
Source: CBS News

“Kenyan police Monday tear-gassed schoolchildren demonstrating against the removal of their school’s playground, which has been allegedly grabbed by a powerful politician, said a Kenyan human rights activist. The students from Langata Road Primary School were in the front line of people pulling down a wall erected around the playground which has been acquired by a private developer said to be a powerful politician, said Boniface Mwangi. Primary school children in Kenya are usually between six and 14 years of age.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mnqo64t

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

21) What both Pauls got wrong about the Charlie Hebdo massacre
Source: Reason
by Shikha Dalmia

“Ron Paul’s blowback didn’t cause the attack and Rand Paul’s war on immigration won’t cure it.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mavnnts

—–

22) Charlie Hebdo and the “blowback” debate
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Charlie Hebdo has been publishing pictures of Mohammed in various obscene postures since the 1970s. Yet that didn’t motivate European-born Muslims to murder their own countrymen — and join terrorist cells. It was only after September 11, 2001, and the launching of a massive invasion of the Middle East and North Africa, that the pot boiled over. Caught up in the immediate moment, stuck in the 24/7 news cycle, it’s sometimes difficult to get an overview — and lose perspective. It’s also easy to cave in to the pressure the War Party relentlessly exerts in its campaign to enforce the intellectual conformity that is the hallmark of a country in wartime.” (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvllngt

—–

23) American Sniper, and the Murderers Hall of Infamy
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“Just ten days ago, our wondrously life-affirming Western, and especially American, culture offered the spectacle of talk radio hosts giggling as they tried to determine the best way to celebrate the murders of those accused of the Charlie Hebdo killings. But our glorious culture is capable of achievements greater by far than a few hosts laughing about the deaths of less than a handful of people. When it comes to nauseating spectacles that celebrate violence and bloody death, we are always outdoing ourselves. Perhaps ‘celebrate’ isn’t quite the right word in this context. ‘Consecrate’ captures the dynamic more accurately; truly, violence. especially gratuitous violence, and bloody death, the bloodier the better, constitute our civic religion these days. So this week began with the inspiring news that huge audiences flocked to see the new film, American Sniper.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lxkqj2e

—–

24) We’ve come this far …
Source: Zero Gov
by Scott Thompson

“Dear Abolitionists, Voluntaryists, and Anarchists, I want you all to look down into the ‘Rabbit Hole’ and think about the journey you’ve made thus far. Are you staring into a dark abyss or are you standing at the bottom with your feet held firmly to the ground? For many it’s easy to settle your feet on some firm footing because it seems reliable, stable, and logical.” (01/20/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3784

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25) Pope Francis, freedom is my religion
Source: The Canal
by Kevin Itoiz

“On Thursday, January 15, the Catholic Church’s highest authority commented on the Paris terrorist attacks. Pope Francis said that while freedom of speech is a ‘fundamental human right,’ it should have its limits and not be used to offend. He added: ‘You cannot provoke people, or insult other people’s faith. You can’t make fun of someone’s faith. You just can’t.’ … Any ideology, religion, or person can and should be criticized by any means that do not involve violence. I’d like to say to my countryman, Pope Francis, that I too have a religion. My religion is freedom, and it has been tolerated by neither terrorists in Paris, fundamentalists in the Middle East and Africa, revolutionaries in Latin America, nor authoritarian governments around the world. We’ve come a long way as a civilization, and the vast majority of us do not kill each other over verbal disputes. We should not turn our backs on that progress.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q36vf6f

—–

26) American Sniper
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“U.S. soldiers were sent into a war in which they were the aggressors and the Iraqi forces and Iraqi people were operating in defense. It’s clear from the movie that Kyle never gets that point. Any Iraqi trying to kill an American soldier, thus, was automatically considered a bad guy — a terrorist. U.S. soldiers were automatically considered to be the good guys notwithstanding the fact that they were clearly violating the principles against wars of aggression set forth at Nuremberg.” (01/20/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/20/american-sniper/

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27) Don’t run, Mitt
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

“Mitt Romney is thinking of running for president in 2016. According to the New York Times, that’s what Romney told a group of big donors last week. Earlier, the former Massachusetts governor was thinking of running because the only other hefty Republican who could spare the party from a nutty primary (former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) was too coy about his 2016 intentions. Now that Bush seems ready to brave the ring, however, Romney still feels a need to do the deed. Again.” (01/15/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mc3vtw5

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28) Mike Huckabee, your candidate of cultural resentment
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“As much as I enjoy The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is usually not that good an interviewer when it comes to political figures. He’s about two-thirds of a good interviewer: there are always some good questions, but he usually misses opportunities to ask critical follow-ups, and when his interviewee is struggling, he’ll often jump in with a joke. Which is his job, of course (it’s a comedy show, and he’s a comedian), but it also has the effect of letting his subject off the hook. Last night though, Stewart did an extremely revealing interview with Mike Huckabee, one that cast into sharp relief what Huckabee’s 2016 presidential campaign is going to be about.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/npku74p

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29) Free Thoughts Podcast, 01/19/15
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Elizabeth Nolan Brown joins us for a discussion on libertarianism and women. What does libertarian feminism look like? How does libertarianism appeal to women?” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k932dk3

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30) Straight talk on veterans and suicide
Source: Come Home America
by Joey King

“I have been researching the issue of veteran suicide for about 6 years. … 18 veterans a day commit suicide. … These [are] the military’s own numbers, not the propaganda of some peace organization. Veterans are the largest, identifiable sub-group of suicides in the U.S. … Sadly, the number soon jumped from 18 to 22 veterans per day who kill themselves. It has been stuck there ever since. Far more military personnel loose their lives by their own hands than by the hands of the enemy and it has been that way for years.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kmnfeog

—–

31) Did Supreme Court telegraph its ultimate ruling on gay marriage?
Source: Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro

“As any good lawyer knows, framing the question you ask a court is just as important — often more important — than providing a well-argued answer that helps your client. Well, when the Supreme Court, as expected, decided to take up gay marriage, it unexpectedly reframed the ‘questions presented’ in the four cases it took up and consolidated for argument. Instead of accepting any of the formulations presented in the four petitions for review, it asked the parties to brief these two questions: 1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nq38vlm

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32) Building a culture of liberty, part 5: Agorism
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“‘Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging in a manner with aspects of peaceful revolution.’ So says Wikipedia. What is counter-economics? According to the father of Agorism, Samuel Konkin, ‘the study or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the State.’ I think agorism is a much broader concept and practice than was ever suggested by Konkin, and a necessary foundation to building a culture of liberty.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o73fsxp

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33) “Terror” as victim rhetoric
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Ryan Calhoun

“The entire purpose of the language of terrorism is to cloak the sentiments of war in a victim rhetoric. You see, France isn’t ‘at war,’ they’re merely responding to ‘terror’ attacks. Those wretched, vile gunmen are not warriors or soldiers, they’re madmen, lone wolf terrorists. The attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office on January 7 might otherwise be considered an invasion, an attack from outside forces France has declared war on. But war is far too brutish for the 21st century, where of course violence is on an inevitable downturn and world peace is just around the corner if not for a few meddling terror cells.” (01/19/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35159

—–

34) Duke University and the new normal — action and reaction
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Duke University will broadcast Muslim call to prayer across campus. That was Thursday’s headline, but Friday’s was different: Duke drops Chapel Muslim call to prayer. What does NOT make sense is the Daily Beast’s claim that Franklin Graham’s tweet (actually a Facebook posting) was ‘hateful.’ Read it and decide for yourself: ‘As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering and beheading Christians, Jews and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism.’ If the truth is ‘hateful,’ then I guess he’s being hateful.” (01/19/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6778

—–

35) SOTU Address: A progressive field guide
Source: Our Future
by Robert Borosage

“The annual State of the Union address that President Obama will deliver tonight before the Republican-controlled Congress serves many functions. It provides the president with a chance to boast upon progress made, and to highlight next steps. It frames, particularly with this obstructionist Congress, upcoming battles. And with the presidential election of 2016 already begun, it gives the president a chance to define themes and contrasts that the emerging challengers must respond to.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/phewnz5

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36) Innumerate writers and illiterate mathematicians
Source: WendyMcElroy.com
by Brad

“It’s not like God decides to flip a coin each year (or each month) to decide if he wants to make it warmer or cooler. And yet that ridiculous assumption — a random 50-50 choice — is what underlies those big scary odds. Without randomness, those calculations are false.” (01/20/15)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6297

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37) On ordinary Americans’ living standards
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“It’s an error to minimize the significance (and size of benefits) of Americans’ ‘remarkable access to incredibly cheap electronic toys’ on the grounds that ‘those are a small part of expenditure.’ The fact that American households today are filled with lots of these economic goods — and are getting more filled as time goes on — means that the fact that acquiring these goods requires only a ‘small’ expenditure renders Americans’ ‘remarkable access’ to such goods a huge benefit.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qzxtlcs

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38) Why don’t Republicans have an alternative to ObamaCare?
Source: Forbes
by John C Goodman

“The Affordable Care Act is one big mess. Even most Democrats know it’s a mess. It’s disliked on the left almost as much as it’s hated on the right. So you would think that Republicans would have a golden opportunity to offer an alternative. But they don’t have one. They’re not even close. Why is that?” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p5wj4ju

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39) Executive’s order
Source: Liberty Unbound
by SH Chambers

Cartoon. (01/20/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1362

—–

40) Can Wall Street take down Big Pharma?
Source: The Nation Blog
by William Greider

“Here is a man-bites-dog story that might give comfort to those many Americans being gouged by the drug industry’s larcenous prices. A Dallas hedge-fund operator named Kyle Bass who made a fortune attacking over-priced stocks now says he is going to attack Big Pharma for over-pricing drugs. Bass’s announcement set financial industry bloggers aflutter because hedge funds are not usually known for public spirited motives. Citizen Bass is in it for the money of course. But he intends to do well himself by doing good for the rest of us.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8llp6t

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41) Such a blow to the government’s highwaymen! Can it be for real?
Source: Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

“Yeah, I didn’t believe it, either, when I read the news on Friday. Eric Holder — that Eric Holder — delivering a major kneecapping to America’s government-approved highway robbers? But Radley Balko believes it. So I believe it. Well, more or less.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmus6j6

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42) Free at last: Martin Luther King Jr. and nullification
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Benjamin W Mankowski, Sr.

“In some ways, it is ironic to use Dr. King as an example to promote nullification and interposition. Dr. King, in his ‘etter from Birmingham Jail’ makes one reference to nullification and interposition, and it is not a flattering one. Many state and local governments cited nullification when they refused to comply with federal legislation and court decisions against segregation. It is the one unfortunate blight one can find in the nullification movement throughout American history. One single abuse of the process of nullification, however, should not serve to invalidate the entire nullification movement, which has resisted attacks on free speech, federal slave-catching laws, the destructive war on drugs, and a host of other federal abuses in history and in modern times. When one considers that the legitimate applications of nullification are rooted in the same beliefs Dr. King expressed, and which have been expressed by people of many different religious beliefs, that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ That is, in a nutshell, the essence of nullification.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ozyc3cw

—–

43) Against recent events
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“There are many tell-tale signs of a demagogue. Perhaps the clearest, though, is when someone states the words, ‘Recent events show X.’ Which recent events? Virtually any recent events! Yes, every century has a few mighty outliers that sway the fortunes of billions, like Hitler’s sneak attack on the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the overwhelmingly majority of recent events are sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (01/20/15)

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

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44) My disquiet at liberty without obligation to others
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by DJ Webb

“I have made it clear that I view a common culture as vital to any sort of functioning society that can maintain a separate existence to the state. A real society has a specific religious heritage that influences culture and moral values and provides the basis for a society where people know how they should behave — know what sort of behaviour is culturally and anthropologically sanctioned in their community — and thus how to forge sexual and other relationships with other people and bring up children. I don’t say the religious heritage has to be the scientific truth or the historical truth. Rather, its relevance to society consists in its acceptance over centuries as the foundation of (and, in itself, the expression of) social values.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kr6qpcz

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45) Reducing inequality: Where to start?
Source: Reuters
by Edward Hadas

“All people are equal in dignity but all societies are unequal in the distribution of education, consumption goods, economic opportunities and social influence. Until about 1800, few moralists thought the equality postulated in principle was violated by the inequality found in reality. Today almost everyone accepts that economic inequality can be, and often is, excessive. Why then does progress in alleviating unequal outcomes seem so slow? National debates about inequality may be serious and well meaning. But they cannot escape a sort of moral parochialism. If all people are truly equal, then it is wrong to worry primarily about equality within a small subset of humanity, for example the 4.5 percent of the world who are counted as American.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k29nmdd

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46) Groundhog Day C
Source: The Cagle Post
by Bill Schorr

Cartoon. (01/19/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/groundhog-day-c/

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47) From food to sex: What is consent?
Source: spiked
by Niall McCrae

“Baked cod or vegetable curry? This may not seem like a question with legal implications, yet in UK hospitals or care homes, the person offering the choice should proceed with caution. Under the terms of the Mental Capacity Act, nurses must check that a patient has decision-making capacity, and, if there is any doubt, on-the-spot assessment is required. By law, competence for consent is assessed for a multitude of ordinary activities. This well-intentioned statute has imposed an unnecessary burden on already-overworked nurses, while bringing little benefit to patients and their families.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ln3h2gk

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48) Martin Luther King and what we have to fear from the surveillance state
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton

“Opponents of the surveillance state are often lectured by the government’s defenders that we are being paranoid when we worry about the government using its surveillance powers against those who challenge the political status quo. We are told the goverment would never spy on individuals engaging in political activities and use the information to discredit them and their movements. … Except when they do. While today the US Government honors Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King with a national holiday, in the sixties, he was considered a dangerous radical and a target of warrantless wiretapping as part of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s effort to discredit him.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pcxym46

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49) The ante hoc fallacy
Source: The Skeptical Libertarian
by Daniel Bier

“Whenever I argue with conspiracy theorists, I often run into a kind of logical fallacy that I’d like to dub the ante hoc fallacy. In the post hoc, ergo propter hoc (‘after this, therefore because of this’) fallacy, the reasoner assumes that because one event follows another, the second was caused by the first. In the ante hoc (‘before this’) fallacy, the non sequitur is reversed: the reasoner assumes that whatever happens after an event is the reason for that event; that is, whatever followed an event was the purpose and intended result of it.” (01/19/15)

http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2015/01/19/the-ante-hoc-fallacy/

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50) More civilization
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Civilization is a choice, a habit, a line in the … sand. For modern, prosperous society to progress, to grow more healthy and wealthy and wise, most of us have to agree on a small set of principles. Mostly, we must agree not to rush to violence at the merest provocation. There has to be a lot of negotiation to get anything done. At least, in a free and open civilized society. Terrorism is the repudiation of this principle.” (01/20/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/01/20/more-civilization/

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51) You’ll never guess who’s trying to hack your iPhone
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Nicole Kardell

“The FBI wants to search through your electronic life. You may think it’s a given that the government is in the business of collecting everyone’s personal data — Big Brother run amok in defiance of the Constitution. But under the limits of the Fourth Amendment, nothing it finds can be used to prosecute its targets. Now the FBI is taking steps to carry out broad searches and data collection under the color of authority, making all of us more vulnerable to ‘fishing expeditions.'” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pzmwkzv

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52) How to destroy crony capitalism
Source: Richard Wellings
by Richard Wellings

“The recent Oxfam report on inequality and the ‘top 1 per cent’ is riddled with statistical errors. Worse still, its proposed solutions risk harming the poor through ill-conceived government interventions. Nevertheless, current patterns of wealth distribution raise important questions about ‘crony capitalism’ and the extent to which concentrated special interests have succeeded in rigging markets to benefit themselves at the expense of the wider population.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kgknsed

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53) Republicans change rules; Democrats change stripes
Source: CounterPunch
by Jack Rasmus

“This week President Obama will make another ‘State of the Union’ (SOTU) annual address to Congress. In his SOTU addresses in recent years his comments were typically cautious, careful not to convey or promise too much in terms of new initiatives that would benefit those left behind in the so-called US economic recovery. Proposals for programs to help raise wages for American workers, help immigrants become citizens, save homeowners from foreclosures, ensure affordable education for students, shore up the USA’s collapsing pension system, and so on were considered too controversial. As noted repeatedly by his White House spokespersons, anything more than minimalist proposals would only give an excuse for Republicans and conservatives in the US Congress to intensify their opposition; or would put Democrat Party members of Congress coming up for elections in conservative districts in a difficult position.” (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mfz3zvr

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54) The Libertarian Angle, 01/20/15
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Each week, FFF president Jacob Hornberger and FFF vice president Sheldon Richman discuss the hot topics of the day. This week: that attacks in Paris and their relation to gun control.” [Flash video] (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mssdb6q

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55) NOAA and NASA lied on temperature records
Source: Heartland Institute
by Tom Harris

“If NOAA and NASA made a big deal of a temperature record set by a few hundredths of a degree, many in the public would laugh, appreciating that such small changes cannot even be felt, let alone present problems. So instead the government emphasizes the amount by which the new temperature statistics exceed the ‘the 20th century average.’ But to know this difference to hundredths of a degree, as they claim to do, requires that we also know the average for the 20th century to hundredths of a degree. And this in turn requires that we know the so-called global average temperature in each year during the 20th century to a similarly high degree of accuracy.” (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l64lr3k

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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