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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,125
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
438 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) S&P agrees to pay $1.37 billion extortion demand, pretend it’s not being extorted
2) CA: Bureaucrats connive with DEA to evict candidate who embarrassed them
3) Security theater: EU Parliament buildings evacuated in panic over man’s clothing
4) Report: FCC will release proposals for bureaucratic takeover of Internet on Thursday
5) Greece: Bailout “troika” may go, says European Commission
6) Jordan says its ambassador will return to Israel after spat
7) Trinidad: Persad-Bissessar fires attorney general, security minister
8) South Sudan: Warring factions sign another peace deal
9) Panama’s ex-president trots globe, one step ahead of corruption probe
10) Romania: Media boss probed for money laundering, tax evasion
11) NJ: Christie calls for “balance” on child vaccinations
12) Australia: PM won’t risk job with ballot
13) White House: Obama would veto House bill to repeal Obamacare
14) Iran: Contest has cartoonists denying Holocaust
15) Thailand: Leader says blasts aimed at discrediting government
16) US stocks stage late rally: Dow jumps almost 200 points
17) France: Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in court on pimping charges
18) Egypt: Regime court confirms death sentences for 183 political prisoners
19) Nigeria: Car bomb explodes in Gombe after Jonathan rally
20) ND: Pols consider measure to scrub Common Core

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) One cheer for Obama on the Keystone XL boondoggle
22) The two simplest arguments for open borders
23) “Our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit”
24) Aggression and The American Sniper
25) The city that outlawed free food
26) Obama not entitled to ignore the deficit
27) Die Nasty
28) How much longer can the US economy bear the burdens?
29) Paul attack on Bush “hypocrisy”: Signal issue for 2016 campaign
30) Biting the invisible hand
31) Brave new world indeed
32) Will GOP ever seriously consider corporate tax reform?
33) The inheritance of wealth and social mobility
34) An Oscar Russia really doesn’t want to win
35) The Freedom Report Podcast, 02/02/15
36) Rigging the rules: The next corporate sting
37) Hot or not
38) Funding a balanced force
39) The blurry line between competition and cooperation
40) University of Iowa asks students how best to show its disregard for First Amendment
41) Libertarians hijacked the right: How free-market zealots doomed American conservatism
42) The failed “Yemen model”
43) Jurors can’t know pot growers are patients
44) Sean Gabb — homophobic bigot!
45) Back to the future of education
46) Exposed: The staggering scale of censorship on campus
47) Nullification season: 200 state bills and counting
48) City rightly kills standards
49) Prepping — just do it
50) The Middle East: Telling fact from twaddle
51) Venezuelans: Take up arms for democracy?
52) Free Thoughts Podcast, 02/02/15
53) The authoritarianism of the American police state
54) The Libertarian Angle, 02/02/15
55) Shoveling global warming in Chicago

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

1) S&P agrees to pay $1.37 billion extortion demand, pretend it’s not being extorted
Source: New York Times

“Standard & Poor’s, the giant credit rating agency accused of inflating the subprime mortgage bubble, had long been convinced that a Justice Department lawsuit lacked merit. So convinced, in fact, that it portrayed the lawsuit as an act of ‘retaliation’ for its decision to cut the credit rating of the United States in the summer of 2011. Now that S.&P. is poised to settle that case, as well as lawsuits from 19 state attorneys general across the country, the rating agency is walking back that claim. As part of a $1.37 billion settlement deal expected this week, S.&P. has agreed to acknowledge that it never found evidence supporting its accusations of retaliation, people briefed on the matter said. The Justice Department, which long scoffed at S.&P.’s claims, had emphasized the retraction as a sticking point in the settlement talks.” [editor’s note: Nice credit rating agency ya got there … be a shame if anything happened to it … – TLK] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/leo8nry

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2) CA: Bureaucrats connive with DEA to evict candidate who embarrassed them
Source: Victorville Daily Press

“Former two-time Town Council candidate Tom Piper said on Thursday he is homeless after the town’s Code Enforcement department cited him at his workshop on Pioneer Road. He was cited for five violations including improperly occupying a business place and housing a medical marijuana dispensary, defined as an unlawful use under the town Development Code. Piper admitted he had been living in the industrial unit, but that ended Tuesday afternoon when he was visited by Code Enforcement officers and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies, who called in a Drug Enforcement Administration officer, he said.” [editor’s note: The back story on this is that the same “Code Enforcement officers” stole his campaign signs when he ran for office (he’s a libertarian, btw) and were forced toput them back up when he took the matter to California’s attorney general. This is revenge, pure and simple – TLK] [hat tip — Matthew Barnes] (02/02/15)

http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150130/NEWS/150139984/0/SEARCH

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3) Security theater: EU Parliament buildings evacuated in panic over man’s clothing choices
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Police in Brussels have detained a man following a security scare that forced the evacuation of the EU Parliament. This comes amid heightened security weeks after police said they had thwarted a major terror attack. The public prosecutor’s office in Brussels said on Monday that police had approached the man, who was dressed in camouflage gear, after he was observed acting in what was deemed to be a suspicious manner near several of the European Parliament’s administrative offices. A statement released by the prosecutor’s office said that when police asked him about his intentions, he ‘said that he wanted to meet the president of the parliament.’ Police then sealed off an area around the Slovakian man’s parked car and hundreds of people were evacuated from the Parliamentary offices as a precaution.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lzujobr

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4) Report: FCC will release proposals for bureaucratic takeover of Internet on Thursday
Source: Raw Story

“New Federal Communications Commission rules that will regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) more like utilities are due to be proposed on Thursday, CNBC reported on Monday, citing Dow Jones Newswires. The rules, which would more fully embrace the principle known as ‘net neutrality,’ would be aimed at barring ISPs from blocking or slowing down certain websites, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvpzatg

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5) Greece: Bailout “troika” may go, says European Commission
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The European Commission says the controversial EU-IMF troika supervising Greek finances could be replaced. The troika is a group of auditors representing the Commission, the European Central Bank and IMF. They carry out regular checks to see if Greece is sticking to its commitments under the EU-IMF bailout agreement. Greece’s new left-wing government does not accept the troika’s agenda. Instead it aims to renegotiate the bailout, to get a huge reduction in Greece’s debt.” (02/02/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31098367

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6) Jordan says its ambassador will return to Israel after spat
Source: Omaha World

“A spokesman for Jordan’s government says its ambassador will return to Israel after he was pulled over growing confrontations at a hilltop site in Jerusalem holy to both Jews and Muslims. Mohammad al-Momani told journalists Monday that the ambassador would return to Tel Aviv.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/keg49ad

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7) Trinidad: Persad-Bissessar fires attorney general, security minister
Source: ABC News

“Trinidad’s leader has fired her attorney general and the national security minister over allegations they participated in witness tampering. In a televised address late Monday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she could not determine the truth of the allegations against the two officials. But she said the accusations brought their offices ‘into disrepute.'” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p8xkanw

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8) South Sudan: Warring factions sign another peace deal
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“South Sudan’s warring factions early Monday signed another peace deal in the latest effort to end hostilities that have raged for more than a year, but analysts expressed doubt about whether it will hold. The government and rebels have previously signed at least three peace deals which were broken quickly. South Sudan rebels’ military spokesman, Lul Koang, said keeping the agreement depends on both sides. ‘If the government respects the deal, then there will definitely be a decrease in the level of violence. But if they remain in the same mood, it is not going to stop the fight,’ Lul said.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/myaz8fc

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9) Panama’s ex-president trots globe, one step ahead of corruption probe
Source: Biloxi Sun Herald

“Panama has long been a haven for dictators and foreign ne’er-do-wells, but now its citizens are watching the curious spectacle of their own former president trotting the globe in a private jet, perhaps looking for refuge himself. If former President Ricardo Martinelli returns to Panama, the likelihood of his arrest on corruption charges appears to grow by the day.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mtcyjnc

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10) Romania: Media boss probed for money laundering, tax evasion
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald

“Anti-corruption prosecutors have detained a top Romanian media boss on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering worth 3 million euros ($3.4 million.) The anti-corruption department on Monday questioned and later detained Adrian Sarbu, managing director of Mediafax, the country’s main private news agency. He will be held for 24 hours.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pohcnwh

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11) NJ: Christie calls for “balance” on child vaccinations
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie on Monday waded into the emotional subject of childhood vaccinations. Why did he do that? That’s not a big partisan issue in United States politics — at least, not yet. First, the background: New Jersey Gov. Christie toured a biomedical research facility in Cambridge, England, as part of a three-day trade mission to the United Kingdom. The facility makes a nasal flu vaccine for a US-based company. In remarks afterward, Governor Christie struck what he might have thought was a balanced note on vaccinations. First, he noted that he and his wife had vaccinated their own four children.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lsl3fvv

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12) Australia: PM won’t risk job with ballot
Source: ABC News

“Australia’s beleaguered prime minister on Tuesday ruled out throwing his job open to challengers with a leadership ballot to demonstrate his control over his government, warning colleagues that voters craved stability. Only half way through his first three-year term as prime minister, Tony Abbott faces a revolt from within the ranks of his conservative government over poor opinion polling and unpopular policy directions.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ls92cpl

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13) White House: Obama would veto House bill to repeal Obamacare
Source: Reuters

“The White House issued a veto threat on Monday for a bill from the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives bill that would repeal President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.” [editor’s note: Just another threat until he actually does it, just as with Keystone. BHO’s “stones” still vaporware! – SAT] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kh9pkyq

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14) Iran: Contest has cartoonists denying Holocaust
Source: Fox News

“A twisted ‘art’ contest sponsored by an Iranian museum (with the apparent blessing of the Islamic Republic’s regime) has cartoonists competing for prizes and prestige by making fun of the Holocaust. The Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest (the first was held in 2006) will pay the winning artist $12,000, and the image will go on public display at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran. Organizers claim the contest’s revival was brought on as a protest of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that was attacked by Islamist killers last month because it published cartoons of Muhammad.” [editor’s note: This cannot end well – SAT] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/koqbgc9

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15) Thailand: Leader says blasts aimed at discrediting government
Source: Omaha World

“Two small bomb explosions outside a major shopping mall in Thailand’s capital were aimed at discrediting the military government, the junta leader said Monday. The government has been under heavy pressure to lift martial law, which has been in place since a coup last May removed an elected government.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lqqvfyu

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16) US stocks stage late rally: Dow jumps almost 200 points
Source: USA Today

“Stocks rallied in late afternoon trading Monday as the Dow jumped almost 200 points to open February on a positive note after a dismal start to the new year in January. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shot back up above 2000, rising 26 points, or 1.3%, to 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 196 points, or 1.1%, to 17,361. The Nasdaq composite rose 42, or 0.9%, to 4677.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nsemdqo

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17) France: Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in court on pimping charges
Source: Los Angeles Times

“Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faced another humiliating day in a court Monday when he appeared on charges accusing him of procuring sex workers for an international prostitution ring operating out of luxury hotels in Europe and the United States. The case, dubbed the “Carlton Affair” after the luxury hotel in the northern city of Lille where authorities say the prostitution network was based, has riveted France and stirred debate about the extent to which the personal lives of public figures should remain private. Paying for sex is not illegal in France, but it is against the law to procure prostitutes for others or to run a prostitution business.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocwr4xj

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18) Egypt: Regime court confirms death sentences for 183 political prisoners
Source: Hindustan Times [India]

“An Egyptian court Monday confirmed death sentences against 183 men convicted of killing 13 policemen, in a verdict slammed as ‘outrageous’ by rights group Amnesty International. The verdict came as another court announced that deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi would stand trial on February 15 in an espionage case — the fourth trial he is facing. The policemen were killed in an attack on a police station in Kerdasa, a town on the outskirts of Cairo, on August 14, 2013. … Monday’s verdict, which can be appealed, came after the initial sentences were sent to the grand mufti, the government’s official interpreter of Islamic law, for ratification.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9rct4e

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19) Nigeria: Car bomb explodes in Gombe after Jonathan rally
Source: Reuters

“A car bomb went off near a stadium in the northeastern Nigerian city of Gombe on Monday, a few minutes after President Goodluck Jonathan left a party rally there, killing one person and wounding 18. A Reuters photographer said the bomb exploded about 200 metres (220 yards) from the stadium, engulfing the car in flames, while residents fled in panic. … There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although suspicion is likely to fall on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has attacked Gombe several times.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mvtua3p

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20) ND: Pols consider measure to scrub Common Core
Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin

“The House Education Committee is slated to hear testimony on a bill that would require North Dakota to scrub Common Core education standards for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. … [Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo] and other critics contend Common Core represents a federal takeover of education.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnaku84

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

21) One cheer for Obama on the Keystone XL boondoggle
Source: The Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

“As I write this, Congress has passed a bill bypassing the US State Department’s endless review process and approving construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama’s vow to veto that bill is the right thing to do, but for the wrong reasons. He’s blowing an opportunity to steal congressional Republicans’ thunder on one of their own banner issues. … why not address the elephant in the room (pun very much intended) and openly side with libertarians against this GOP boondoggle on property rights grounds?” (02/02/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/38

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22) The two simplest arguments for open borders
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Jeff Ricketson

“On November 20, 2014, president Barack Obama announced a series of executive orders reforming the US immigration system. His plan of action consists not so much of improvements as of acceptance of the system’s failures and a doubling down on those failures. The plan’s key elements include increasing border security, deporting felons (‘instead of families,’ notes whitehouse.gov), criminal background checks, and tax liability for all undocumented immigrants. Instead of trying to enforce these failed policies, Obama could consider two simple arguments for open borders: The rights argument and the economic argument. Though either alone is sufficiently strong to make the case for border abolition, together they should be strong enough to destabilize enforcement of one of the greatest human rights abuses and human welfare handicaps in human history.” (02/02/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35310

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23) “Our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit”
Source: Vin Suprynowicz
by Vin Suprynowicz

“Granted that there are many who don’t wish to explore or find about about the nature of consciousness — whether our understanding of the world could be enhanced by the temporary lowering of internal, learned filters that limit our perceptions — does that give them any right to limit such explorations of our own minds by those of us who do?” (02/02/15)

http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=2381

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24) Aggression and The American Sniper
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“FFF Vice President Sheldon Richman stirred up quite a bit of controversy over his article last week entitled ‘The American Sniper Was No Hero.’ Defenders of Chris Kyle, the U.S. military sniper around which the movie American Sniper revolved, took Sheldon to task for daring to criticize the members of the U.S. military who killed people in Iraq, including Kyle, who set the U.S. record for people killed through sniper fire. One thing comes through loud and clear throughout all the controversy: While exuding praise for the troops in response to Sheldon’s article, defenders of Kyle and other U.S. soldiers who invaded and occupied Iraq simply cannot come to grips with the central issue that libertarians have raised since even before the Iraq invasion: aggression.” (02/02/15)

http://fff.org/2015/02/02/aggression-american-sniper/

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25) The city that outlawed free food
Source: The Nation
by Michelle Chen

“Governing public space often boils down to basic social discipline. Some cities try to reduce littering by removing trash cans (thus limiting people’s options for tossing garbage in public). And some cities now apply this rationale to homelessness: by passing laws that bar homeless people from public places. Fort Lauderdale has taken this social engineering to its logical extreme by restricting ‘food distribution,’ effectively giving those who help the homeless no place to feed them — because all that free food only encourages public displays of hunger. But Fort Lauderdale’s Food Not Bombs activists say the real crime is a ban on acts of public generosity.” (02/02/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/196689/city-outlawed-free-food

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26) Obama not entitled to ignore the deficit
Source: USA Today
by staff

“Much of the controversy over the $4 trillion budget President Obama released Monday has focused on what it would do: hike taxes on corporations and the wealthy, cut taxes for the middle class and spend more on infrastructure. But more important is what the spending plan would not do. It wouldn’t deal with the government’s long-term financial woes, driven largely by the soaring costs of benefit programs.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mcdkxlu

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27) Die Nasty
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Lori Heine

“Oliver, a friend of mine who’s about to retire, will need to go on working — just to survive — until he dies. He can’t disclose to the government that he’ll still be earning money, or he’ll lose the Social Security he paid for with money he might otherwise have invested. Without it, he can’t make enough money, at any job that will still have him, while living on Social Security alone would reduce him to poverty. When I complain about this to people with standard-issue leftist views, all they do is rant about the greedy rich and the big corporations — as if Oliver didn’t exist.” (02/02/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1367

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28) How much longer can the US economy bear the burdens?
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Robert Higgs

“Ordinary people, and sometimes experts as well, tend to overreact to short-term economic changes. The current economic malaise in the United States and Europe has brought forth a bevy of commentators convinced that this time the economy has taken a permanent turn for the worse. Never again, they declare, will we enjoy growing prosperity as we did in days of yore. Some of these Chicken Littles do see a possible means of escape from the impending doom, but only if the government carries out an extraordinarily bold economic rescue program, flush with such Keynesian measures as unprecedented monetary ‘quantitative easing’ and large ongoing deficits in the government budget. Anything else, they insist, condemns us to languish indefinitely in a ‘liquidity trap’ characterized by diminished rates of employment and slow, if any, economic growth. Economic historians know, however, that such declarations are hardly new and that the economy’s long-run trend has continued to tilt upward for two centuries despite the short-run ups and downs around the trend line.” (01/30/15)

http://mises.org/blog/how-much-longer-can-us-economy-bear-burdens

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29) Paul attack on Bush “hypocrisy”: Signal issue for 2016 campaign
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“The Republican presidential nominating contest has barely begun, and already we’re talking about marijuana. This is yet another issue most Republicans would just as soon not discuss, since public opinion is moving away from them and they haven’t quite figured out how fast they should follow after it. But at the moment, Jeb Bush can thank Barack Obama for paving the way for him to dismiss his own youthful pot smoking as no big deal — at least nothing that should make anyone want to vote against him.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kugmeoo

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30) Biting the invisible hand
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by staff

“Peter Foster is an English-born financial and economics columnist in Canada, where he writes twice weekly for the National Post. He is the author of nine books, the latest of which is Why We Bite the Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism. We got to sit down with Peter and talk about that very book.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k4sagbt

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31) Brave new world indeed
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by AX Perez

“I was born into a world of black dial telephones. Party line meant you shared the line with your neighbors and had to wait your turn to make a call (not to mention any of them could pick up their phone and eavesdrop any of your conversations. I think this was a plot device in a couple of movies.) You could pay extra for a private line and long distance calls were relatively expensive. TV was black and white, and the sets were a major piece of furniture. Home computers weren’t even science fiction. There were car phones for the very rich and fax machines were there for the police and news agencies to transmit photos.” (02/01/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle807-20150201-03.html

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32) Will GOP ever seriously consider corporate tax reform?
Source: The New Republic
by Danny Vinik

“On Tuesday morning, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss President Barack Obama’s budget for the 2016 fiscal year. One policy sure to be a major topic of discussion: corporate tax reform. The hearing will give us our first look to see if corporate tax reform is really possible in the 114th Congress. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, offered a sneak peak of his position on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning. ‘We really believe that we should reform the entire tax code for all people,’ he said. … ‘For us, small businesses have to be a part of that puzzle.'” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kcvwawd

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33) The inheritance of wealth and social mobility
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“Many of the papers are covering the new Greg Clark paper showing that social mobility isn’t quite as fast as some think. But it has to be said that the paper isn’t quite showing what people think it does. It is true that the intergenerational elasticity of wealth inheritance is 0.7-0.75 as the paper defines it. But this isn’t quite the same as saying that that wealth is inherited.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m7no7cn

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34) An Oscar Russia really doesn’t want to win
Source: Reuters
by David Gillespie

“Leviathan is due to become one of the most celebrated Russian films in the West in decades, yet it may be banned in Russia. The film, which was the first from the country to win a Golden Globe since ‘War and Peace’ in 1968, has also been nominated for an Oscar. But in Russia, the film has provoked a host of polarized reactions. The movie is a satirical social commentary set in a fictional fishing town on the northern coast of the Barents Sea. It tells the story of Nikolai, an alcoholic car mechanic, who tries to save his family home from being expropriated by the corrupt mayor. Nikolai thinks that the mayor wants his property and land for himself, though we later learn it is used to build a church. [The film] is grimly funny in places, but it also shows the corruption and callousness of a whole social system, from the mayor down to the courts and police, with particular ire reserved for a self-serving and venal Orthodox Church.” (02/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k5e2mbc

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35) The Freedom Report Podcast, 02/02/15
Source: The Libertarian Republic

“The National Review’s Kevin Williamson penned a biting essay attacking pornstar Miriam Weeks (AKA Belle Knox) for her views on politics. … Today’s episode of the Freedom Report podcast discusses the Williamson piece, and discusses whether the problem isn’t that Weeks is speaking out on politics, but that she isn’t speaking out on the right kind of politics. Conservative politics. She’s a libertarian, and of course the big government conservatives at the National Review are not going to be happy about that.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kpgoonz

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36) Rigging the rules: The next corporate sting
Source: Our Future
by Robert Borosage

“President Obama rolls out his budget today, triggering the next salvos in the debate about America’s future. The president’s budget calls for ending the destructive caps on federal spending known as the ‘sequester.’ It would make vital investments in infrastructure, education, and R&D, and begin paying for making two years of community college free for all, a first step to a K-16 public education plan. It would raise taxes on the wealthy to help pay for tax breaks for working parents. Democrats are rallying to support it. Republican leaders have already pronounced it ‘dead on arrival.'” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l8kz7cx

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37) Hot or not
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘I should have been an engineer,’ climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer laments. ‘I went into science with the misguided belief that science provides answers. Too often, it doesn’t. Some physical problems are simply too difficult. Two scientists can examine the same data and come to exactly opposite conclusions about causation.’ In other words, it’s like all sciences of complex phenomena. Like social science — economics, for instance. But he’s not complaining that it’s hard. He’s complaining that it’s been taken over. By ideologues.” (02/02/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/02/02/hot-or-not/

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38) Funding a balanced force
Source: Cato Institute
by Christopher A Preble

“The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission recommended reforms for future service members that would ultimately result in lower personnel costs. Sen. John McCain has signaled that he would consider changes, but advocacy groups are already lobbying to maintain the status quo. Congress is likely to bend to the pressure, although it did approve modest changes in the 2015 budget. However, there is another way to reduce military personnel costs without cutting pay and benefits for active-duty men and women: Reduce the number of active-duty troops.” (02/02/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/funding-balanced-force

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39) The blurry line between competition and cooperation
Source: Library of Economics and Liberty
by Timothy Taylor

“What is the opposite of ‘competition?’ If you fear that this is a trick question and run off to check a synonym/antonym dictionary, you will find an answer that probably came to mind in the first place: ‘cooperation.’ Indeed, many people view economics as morally suspect because they perceive economics as emphasizing competition, rather than the arguably more virtuous approach of cooperation. When I bump into this concern, I often respond that economics seeks to analyze the world as it is, not as we might prefer it to be.” (02/02/14)

http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2015/Taylorcompetition.html

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40) University of Iowa asks students how best to show its disregard for First Amendment
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Peter Bonilla

“We haven’t revisited the deplorable censorship case of art professor Serhat Tanyolacar at the University of Iowa (UI) for some time now. It has not slipped FIRE’s mind, however, that UI has yet to demonstrate any awareness of the First Amendment principles it trampled on by censoring and publicly denouncing Tanyolacar’s work. FIRE and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) have harshly rebuked UI for its handling of the case, in both a joint letter and joint press release. And though I didn’t think my opinion of UI’s management of this case could get any lower, it turns out I was wrong.” (01/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kgf4o6y

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41) Libertarians hijacked the right: How free-market zealots doomed American conservatism
Source: Salon
by Michael Lind

“In today’s debate about the economy, populist liberals, centrist neoliberals and libertarians are represented. One group is missing from the American economic debate: economic conservatives. The economists and economic pundits who are usually described as ‘conservatives’ in the U.S. are really libertarians, or, if they are more moderate, right-neoliberals. While genuine conservatives are anti-utopian in temperament, most right-wing economists in the U.S. share the utopian belief that many if not most public services and publicly regulated utilities can be replaced with competitive private markets.” [editor’s note: You gotta love Michael Lind. One day he dismisses libertarianism because there’s never been a libertarian society anywhere, the next day he complains that libertarians control this one. Rich fantasy life, obviously – TLK] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ollf35t

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42) The failed “Yemen model”
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

“Last September President Obama cited his drone program in Yemen as a successful model of US anti-terrorism strategy. He said that he would employ the Yemen model in his effort to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But just a week ago, the government in Yemen fell to a Shite militia movement thought to be friendly to Iran. The US embassy in Yemen’s capit[a]l was forced to evacuate personnel and shut down operations. If Yemen is any kind of model, it is a model of how badly US interventionism has failed.” (02/02/15)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/failed-yemen-model

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43) Jurors can’t know pot growers are patients
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Imagine you are a juror in the federal trial of five people charged with growing and distributing marijuana in northeastern Washington. The prosecution cannot present any direct evidence that the defendants sold marijuana to anyone, and the defendants say they were growing all 74 plants for their own personal use. A bit of arithmetic reveals that the total number of plants comes to just under 15 per defendant, which happens to be the presumptive limit for patients under Washington’s medical marijuana law. Yet no one says anything about medical marijuana during the trial. What you don’t realize is that the defense attorneys have been forbidden to discuss their clients’ reliance on Washington’s law, since federal law bans marijuana for all purposes. You also do not realize that each of the defendants faces at least 10 years in federal prison, because their lawyers are not allowed to talk about that either.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lcqgpyh

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44) Sean Gabb — homophobic bigot!
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

“I did a quick discussion this morning on LBC Radio. The subject was whether smoking should be banned in open places. I pointed out that, bearing in mind how one of the open places in questions was beside a roundabout and car park, the suggestion had more to do with attacking smokers than the most extreme stretching of the harm-to-others principle. The health fascist then went into a self-righteous lecture about the alleged cost smokers place on the NHS. I gave my standard response to this — that, arguing on this principle, though not on mine, we should recriminalise gay sex. All hell broke loose.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mdmb8nj

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45) Back to the future of education
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Lawson Bader

“‘It’s your kids, Marty, something has got to be done about your kids!’ Doc Brown’s line at the conclusion of Back to the Future did more than hint at future sequels. It captured the underlying motivations of modern parenthood. Unfortunately, it also says much of modern government. There is no greater threat to our Republic than the merging of the helicopter parent with the modern day legislator.” (02/02/15)

https://cei.org/content/back-future-education

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46) Exposed: The staggering scale of censorship on campus
Source: spiked
by Tom Slater

“This is a big day in the fight for free speech on campus. For the past six months, spiked, with a team of student researchers and academic experts, has been researching, assessing and compiling the Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) — the UK’s first-ever nationwide study of the state of free speech on campus. We have collected and analysed the policies and bans of 115 universities and students’ unions, ranking every institution using our traffic-light system — Red, Amber and Green. Now the results are in. And they don’t look good.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7l8ncl

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47) Nullification season: 200 state bills and counting
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“It’s less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season and the Tenth Amendment Center counts more than 200 bills seeking to block or limit federal power. Sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, these bills range from narrowly focused legislation that would allow terminally-ill people access to experimental drugs and medical treatments despite FDA regulations, to bills that would deny resources and assistance from states to the NSA.” (02/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q9mxlqe

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48) City rightly kills standards
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Bradley Harrington

“That’s right, it turns out that Cheyenne’s downtown core just happens to be a tad freer than the rest of the city in the building-design-specifications arena, and opponents of your right to peacefully develop your property as you see fit are now rushing in to slam that door in your face. Indeed, Councilman Dr. Mark Rinne, sponsor of the ordinance, declared that, as things sit right now, ‘there is nothing to prevent someone who wants to do something downtown as inexpensively as they can, from doing a concrete block building or metal building.’ Holy smokes, can you imagine that? Shucks, without these proposed UDC amendments, someone with money might actually dare to construct something useful and profitable downtown. But, God forbid, they might do it out of materials Dr. Rinne, in all of his infinite wisdom, deems as unacceptable to his tastes. Can’t have that!” (02/02/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6895

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49) Prepping — just do it
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“It amazes me how people can ridicule those who prepare — coming up with justifications for not doing so themselves. It’s always that someone else can help them, or that the store is just a block or two away, or ‘that will never happen.’ Well, ‘that’ can always happen, and does to someone every day. Then when their lack of preps comes back to bite them, they still refuse to see how much better it would have been for them to have been ready.” (02/02/15)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2015/02/prepping-just-do-it.html

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50) The Middle East: Telling fact from twaddle
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Fred Reed

“Many Americans wonder why the US military has such a dismal record of failure in its wars in Moslem territories. Do we not have the most modern forces in the world? How can a force armed with fighter-bombers, B1s, night-vision goggles, helicopter gunships, heavy armor, and advanced remotely-piloted vehicles lose routinely to lightly-armed goatherds? Journalistic old-hands in the regions, men who have spent decades following the wars and the complex and shifting alliances, say quietly that the cause is American ignorance of both the lands and the people. Virtually no one in the United States has any notion of the region, they say, though all seem to have strong opinions. Policy thus rests on self-assurance buttressed by factual vacuum.” (02/02/15)

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/02/fred-reed/pig-ignorant/

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51) Venezuelans: Take up arms for democracy?
Source: The Canal
by Elisa Vasquez

“A recent video made by General Angel Vivas, a well-known opposition figure in Venezuela, eliminates any hope that one might still have about democracy returning to Venezuela. Instead, it reveals the profound authoritarian tendencies that have become embedded in our national psyche. In the video, Vivas calls for citizens to take arms to defend themselves against the ‘Castro-Communist’ invasion suffocating the Venezuelan state. The general fails to take into account the dangers of beginning a civil war in Venezuela, still less the vicious precedent that would be set by a ‘civil-military’ coup.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m7zzgy4

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52) Free Thoughts Podcast, 02/02/15
Source: Libertarianism.org

Michael Shermer joins us to discuss his newest book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l7msurf

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53) The authoritarianism of the American police state
Source: CounterPunch
by Matt Peppe

“There are obviously two sets of rules. Common civilians, especially blacks and Latinos, are seen as inherently criminal and are treated as such. Members of law enforcement are seen as above the law, and are exempt from such treatment. By virtue of their authority, police are superior to criminals. Criminals are the people who are poor, who are black, who are Latino, who don’t wear uniforms or suits to work.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ky9vz43

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54) The Libertarian Angle, 02/02/15
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: the debate continues over the smash hit movie American Sniper.” [Flash video]

http://tinyurl.com/lp6gyyg

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55) Shoveling global warming in Chicago
Source: Heartland Institute
by Jim Lakely

“The second Blizzard of 2015 will have ended its pass through the Midwest by early in the morning on Groundhog Day. Chicago got hammered, proof below. I shoveled for nearly four hours Sunday, just to make progress on the seven inches that had fallen. I have another several hours of shoveling Monday to clear the other eight inches or so that awaits me. Global warming strikes again! What’s that you say, global warming alarmist readers? Weather is not climate? Yeah. I know that. But do you guys?” (2/02/15)

http://blog.heartland.org/2015/02/shoveling-global-warming-in-chicago/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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