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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,126
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
438 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) Jordan: Regime kills two prisoners in retaliation for pilot’s killing
2) Argentina: Dead prosecutor considered call for Fernandez’s arrest
3) France: Assailant wounds three soldiers in Nice Jewish centre attack
4) TN: Anti-abortion amendment result challenged
5) Venezuela: Officials begin occupation of private supermarket chain
6) Canada: Police announce charges against alleged Islamic State recruiting cell
7) Somalia: US military targets al-Shabab in drone strike
8) Vatican City: Pope decrees slain Salvadoran Archbishop Romero a martyr
9) Could private companies replace space shuttle?
10) KY: MADD backs ignition interlock bill
11) Want land on the moon? See the FAA
12) EPA challenges State Department’s Keystone XL analysis
13) AL: Marriage apartheid could end next week; Strange anti-family pol asks SCOTUS for stay
14) Community Health Systems, hospitals to pay $75 million in Medicaid scam
15) Bangladesh: Firebombing of bus kills seven
16) Egypt: Alexandria blast kills one; other explosives target Cairo airport
17) OR: Judge rules for enslavement of bakers, may charge $75k manumission fee
18) With an eye on Mars, White House seeks to boost NASA funding
19) UN Court: Serbia and Croatia didn’t commit genocide in 1990s
20) US factory orders fall for fifth straight month

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Sequester the empire
22) Rule by expert is more dangerous than measles
23) The better option
24) Questions yes; religion no
25) Unauthorized government killing by drones, bombs, and other means is still murder
26) Armed and black
27) Eric Holder’s lawless legacy
28) The SCOTUS case that could decimate public sector unionism
29) Wanted: Uber-ized education
30) The ghosts of Yalta still haunt the world
31) People power winning net neutrality
32) Let people choose their own drug policies
33) Baby steps in reform
34) Freedom of speech: Rafael Correa doesn’t get it
35) Maximum-effort legislation
36) The Democrats in opposition
37) How government helped create the coming doctor shortage
38) Ebola: Showing up the fearmongers
39) Budget balloon
40) Blinded by right
41) One (difficult) step to curbing extremism
42) The LAVA Flow Podcast, 02/03/15
43) Public presumption of guilt motivates unfair policies, even as details of sexual assault allegations come to light
44) Don’t ban Tesla, let it compete
45) Who owns you? Chris Christie, chemotherapy, and forced vaccinations
46) Anti-commandeering: The legal basis for refusing to participate
47) Heartland Daily Podcast, 02/02/15
48) The muscle of justice
49) The price we pay
50) Decisions and outcomes
51) Bitcoin: Currency canary in the coal mine?
52) Seven things to love about reddit’s first transparency report
53) Trevor Timm on The Scott Horton Show
54) Long-term care: Expectations vs. reality
55) The face of oligarch recovery — luxury skyscrapers stay empty as NYC homeless
56) Is the US becoming an economic oligarchy?
57) Bad Quaker Podcast, 02/02/15
58) The Freedom Report Podcast, 02/03/15
59) The US executions of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, part 1
60) House of Cards: Tom Ridge’s Code Rich

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

1) Jordan: Regime kills two prisoners in retaliation for pilot’s killing
Source: St. Augustine Record

“A Jordanian government spokesman says Jordan has [killed] two prisoners, including a would-be female suicide bomber from al-Qaida. The [killings] at dawn Wednesday came just hours after Islamic State militants released a video that purportedly showed a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive in a cage.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/osv8m8t

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2) Argentina: Dead prosecutor considered call for Fernandez’s arrest
Source: ABC News

“Investigators examining the death of a prosecutor who accused Argentine President Cristina Fernandez of agreeing to shield the alleged masterminds of a 1994 terror bombing said Tuesday they have found a draft document he wrote requesting her arrest. Chief investigator Viviana Fein said the draft detention request was found in a trash bin of the apartment where Alberto Nisman’s body was discovered on Jan. 18. It was not included in a complaint the prosecutor had filed in federal court days earlier.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ky22p9r

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3) France: Assailant wounds three soldiers in Nice Jewish centre attack
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A man wielding a knife has attacked three soldiers patrolling outside a Jewish community centre in Nice, in the south of France. The soldiers were wounded and police said the assailant was captured. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi told French TV that a second man had been arrested in connection with the stabbing. The attacker was expelled from Turkey last week and questioned upon his return, French media reported.” (02/03/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31118020

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4) TN: Anti-abortion amendment result challenged
Source: WSMV-TV News

“There may be new ammunition in a lawsuit challenging the passage of Tennessee’s Amendment 1 on abortion. Lawyers said they now know that 76,000 more people voted for the amendment than voted in the governor’s race. The plaintiffs said the state constitution clearly says amendments pass only when a majority of all the citizens of that state voting for governor vote in their favor. A lawsuit has been filed challenging the validity of the vote. ‘If those 76,000 people that didn’t vote for governor made up the margin of difference on Amendment 1, if their votes were not appropriate, then Amendment 1 does not pass,’ attorney Dewey Branstetter said.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmygp7o

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5) Venezuela: Officials begin occupation of private supermarket chain
Source: Iron Mountain Daily News

“National guardsmen and state price adjusters fanned out across Venezuela Wednesday to impose a military-style occupation with an unusual goal: Making sure shoppers can buy enough sugar. The South American country’s socialist administration temporarily took over the Dia a Dia supermarket chain as part of a crackdown on the private businesses it blames for worsening shortages and long lines.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lapmk7d

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6) Canada: Police announce charges against alleged Islamic State recruiting cell
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel

“Canadian police on Tuesday arrested one man who they say was part of an Islamic State recruiting cell and charged two more men who are overseas — one of whom may be dead. Police said they arrested Awso Peshdary, 25, and charged him with participation in the activity of a terrorist group and with facilitating a terrorist group. Police also filed terrorism charges in absentia against Khadar Khalib, 23, and John Maguire, a 24-year-old convert to Islam.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/og6yxbs

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7) Somalia: US military targets al-Shabab in drone strike
Source: ABC News

“The U.S. has conducted a Special Operations-led airstrike just south of Mogadishu targeting senior al-Shabab leader Yusuf Dheeq, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. ‘A little bit after 9 a.m. eastern time [Jan. 31] U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted a strike south of Mogadishu using unmanned aircraft and several hellfire missiles,’ Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m99v68y

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8) Vatican City: Pope decrees slain Salvadoran Archbishop Romero a martyr
Source: Altoona Mirror

“Thirty-five years after he was gunned down by a right-wing death squad as he celebrated Mass, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero moved a step closer to possible sainthood Tuesday when Pope Francis declared he was a martyr killed out of hatred for his Catholic faith. The decree by the first Latin American pope ended decades of debate over whether Romero — a hero of the liberation theology movement — was slain for his politics or his preaching.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mcmm44x

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9) Could private companies replace space shuttle?
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“From shop floors to launch pads at Cape Canaveral, momentum is building toward lofting the first commercial services to carry humans to and from the space station by the end of 2017. The two companies NASA has selected for the job (Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies) are clearing initial, crucial milestones, and to keep the program moving, President Obama has proposed that the government spend $1.24 billion on the effort in fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1. That’s up from $805 million the program received this year. During the past five fiscal years, Congress repeatedly has provided less money for the program than the White House sought, although the gap has narrowed significantly.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/obqd39w

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10) KY: MADD backs ignition interlock bill
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A lawmaker’s proposal to test the sobriety of drunken driving offenders when they get behind the wheel won support Tuesday from groups that crusade against impaired driving and promote the bourbon industry. State Rep. Dennis Keene’s bill drew praise from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The legislation aims to have ignition interlock devices installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders as a way to keep them from putting lives in danger by drinking and driving again. … The rally came as the Kentucky General Assembly resumed its 30-working-day session Tuesday after a three-week break. The session will continue into March.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pbov8b8

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11) Want land on the moon? See the FAA
Source: Reuters

“The United States government has taken a new, though preliminary, step to encourage commercial development of the moon. According to documents obtained by Reuters, U.S. companies can stake claims to lunar territory through an existing licensing process for space launches. The Federal Aviation Administration, in a previously undisclosed late-December letter to Bigelow Aerospace, said the agency intends to ‘leverage the FAA’s existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis.'” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kde68j6

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12) EPA challenges State Department’s Keystone XL analysis
Source: Fox News

“The Environmental Protection Agency challenged the State Department’s environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the analysis should ‘give additional weight’ to whether low oil prices could cause the project to drive the development of oil sands. The comments, part of the ongoing six-year federal review for the Canada-to-Texas project, could give the White House political cover to reject the $8 billion pipeline. President Obama has said he would reject Keystone XL if it ‘significantly exacerbates the problem of carbon pollution’ that scientists blame for driving climate change.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odzosbw

—–

13) AL: Marriage apartheid could end next week; Strange anti-family pol asks SCOTUS for stay
Source: Seymour Tribune

“A federal appeals court on Tuesday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin Monday in Alabama, but the state’s attorney general made a last-ditch attempt to keep the weddings on hold. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday refused to delay a district judge’s decision that overturned Alabama’s gay marriage bans. That would appear to pave the way for Alabama to become the 37th state where gays can legally wed. … Attorney General Luther Strange asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the weddings until the justices settle the issue nationwide when they take up gay marriage later this year. The attorney general predicted there will be ‘unnecessary confusion’ next week among local officials who issue marriage licenses absent a stay.” [editor’s note: Florida AG Pam Bondi tried the “confusion” argument, too. I’m not sure why county clerks would be “confused” by not having to peek inside trousers and up skirts before issuing the same paperwork they’ve issued for 150 years, give or take. If I was a county clerk I think I might be a little insulted that attorney generals think I’m that damn dumb – TLK] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n85ae6k

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14) Community Health Systems, hospitals to pay $75 million in Medicaid scam
Source: The Tennessean

“A Franklin-based company and three New Mexico hospitals have agreed to pay the federal government $75 million to settle allegations in a Medicaid false-claims case that stemmed from a whistleblower’s complaints. The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement Monday in a case that involved Community Health Systems Professional Services Corp., which was accused of making illegal donations to county governments. Those donations were then used by the counties — and subsequently the state — to obtain matching payments under a now-discontinued program that supplemented Medicaid funds to hospitals in rural New Mexico.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pj9swne

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15) Bangladesh: Firebombing of bus kills seven
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Attackers threw crude fire bombs at a packed bus in Bangladesh early Tuesday, setting it alight as it moved along a highway and leaving at least seven people dead and 16 injured during a nationwide strike called by the opposition. … Political attacks — mostly fire bombings of vehicles — have killed at least 53 people since early January, when an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia ordered a nationwide transportation blockade in an attempt to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step down. The two politicians have long battled for political supremacy in the South Asian nation.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2qkb9u

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16) Egypt: Alexandria blast kills one; other explosives target Cairo airport
Source: Los Angeles Times

“A roadside bomb near Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria, killed a bystander and injured two others Tuesday, and authorities defused two more explosives at Cairo International Airport, officials said. The latest reports are part of recent increase in small bombs being planted around Egypt. Many of the devices have been so-called flash-bang grenades, designed to sow panic but cause minimal damage or casualties. Larger and deadlier bombs have been targeted almost exclusively at members of the Egyptian police and army.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ndosw5p

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17) OR: Judge rules for enslavement of bakers, may charge $75k manumission fee
Source: Columbus Dispatc

“An Oregon bakery that refused on religious grounds to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws because the shop is not a registered religious institution, state officials said yesterday. Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in the Portland area, might have to pay fines of $75,000 or more to two women to whom it refused service in 2013, a Bureau of Labor and Industries administrative judge ruled last week.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lq8oa9k

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18) With an eye on Mars, White House seeks to boost NASA funding
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“The White House budget proposal for NASA in 2016 calls for a $500 million boost over the 2015 enacted budget and would keep NASA on its path to Mars, NASA chief Charles Bolden says. The $18.5 billion budget request, presented by Bolden today (Feb. 2), includes funding for developing a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, and the agency’s asteroid redirect mission (ARM). Officials think ARM could help pave the way for crewed missions to the Red Planet by the 2030s.” [editor’s note: Hopefully free-market spacers will get to Mars before Earth’s governments do. And then politely but firmly un-invite those governments – TLK] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lwpfvn3

—–

19) UN Court: Serbia and Croatia didn’t commit genocide in 1990s
Source: Denver Post

“The United Nations’ top court ruled Tuesday that Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide against each other’s people during the bloody 1990s wars sparked by the breakup of Yugoslavia. … The International Court of Justice said Serb forces committed widespread crimes in Croatia early in the war, but these did not amount to genocide. The 17-judge panel then ruled that a 1995 Croat offensive to win back territory from rebel Serbs also featured serious crimes, but did not reach the level of genocide..” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kpeb79w

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20) US factory orders fall for fifth straight month
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“US factory orders fell for a fifth straight month in December, hit by the global economic slowdown and the oil price plunge, US Commerce Department data released Tuesday showed. New orders for manufactured goods fell 3.4 percent from November to $471.5 billion, with shipments, unfulfilled orders and inventories also all lower. The decline was spread through a broad range of industries. Excluding the often-volatile transport sector — cars, trucks and aircraft mainly — new orders fell 2.3 percent.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/marygy9

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

21) Sequester the empire
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The fake debate over the misnamed ‘defense’ budget underscores everything that’s wrong with our foreign policy, our political system, and the crooks who rule the roost in Washington. This Washington Post piece on the politics surrounding the issue tells us everything we need to know about how the political class — and its journalistic camarilla — operates. Although the authors cite a figure — $561 billion — nowhere do we read that this is an all-time high. Yet that’s just the beginning of what’s wrong with Washington. In any debate, one would reasonably expect the two sides to disagree, but not in this case. Both the President and his Republican opposition agree that the military budget must be radically expanded — and that the Congress needs to break its own sequestration law in order to do it.” (02/04/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/02/03/sequester-the-empire

—–

22) Rule by expert is more dangerous than measles
Source: The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

“In the first five months of 2011, 118 cases of measles were reported in the US. No one died of measles during that period. During the same period, CDC recorded 698 ‘adverse event reports’ on measles vaccines, including combination vaccines like the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine. Those reports include four deaths, but we can’t know if the vaccines actually caused the deaths because these reports are not usually thoroughly investigated. No, I’m not here to regale you with unproven (and probably unprovable) tales of vaccine-related autism, religious arguments against vaccination, and so forth. But the simple fact of the matter is that both vaccination and non-vaccination entails risks. In each and every case, someone has to weigh those risks and make the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. Who should that someone be? My answer is ‘the patient or the patient’s guardian.’ Not because I reject the efficacy or morality of vaccines or the concept of ‘herd immunity’ (I don’t), nor because I think them generally unsafe (adverse reactions are very much the exception, not the rule), but because I reject one-size-fits-all rule by designated experts on specious ‘public health’ grounds.” (02/03/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/51

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23) The better option
Source: Stossel’s Take
by John Stossel

“It’s easy to ‘fire’ a business that rips you off. Just go to a different one. It’s a lot easier to patronize another business than to get government to fix the problem. But bad businesses and the politicians they own, I mean influence, often don’t want you to have that choice. I’ve written about how taxi companies don’t like competition from ride-sharing services like Uber. Taxi companies, rightly, say it’s unfair that they have to obey all kinds of rules and get complicated licenses that Uber drivers don’t get. Rather than getting rid of the excessive regulations, many local politicians just say that new competition is ‘unfair’ and ban ride-hailing services. They’ve banned Uber in places like Thailand, Spain, Nevada and Massachusetts.” (02/03/15)

http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/the-better-option.html

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24) Questions yes; religion no
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“The lawmakers are at it again. They’re Hell bent on finding ways to get their religion taught once again in the public schools. The latest gambit involves legislation in South Dakota that would allow teachers to address the supposed ‘weaknesses in the scientific theories of evolution and global warming.’ But why is legislation necessary to allow teachers to question scientific theories?” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/leeqk3k

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25) Unauthorized government killing by drones, bombs, and other means is still murder
Source: Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

“Although U.S. drones firing missiles at suspected bad guys in faraway places — such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia –have gotten much publicity in recent years, it was recently revealed that the CIA assassinated top Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah with a good old-fashioned car bomb in Damascus, Syria with President George W. Bush’s strident approval in 2008. Because of an executive order, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, prohibiting assassinations by the CIA, presidents usually get around that order by using the military to kill an enemy bigwig and then make the disingenuous claim that it was merely taking out a ‘command and control’ target rather than an assassination. In this case, Bush, never one to observe constitutional or legal niceties, became incensed that the CIA director was being too timid in carrying out the hit using the exploding car. The real issue in such cases is not whether it is more dangerous to liberty to kill the enemy using a high-tech drone or a more traditional car bomb, but whether it constitutional to do either.” (02/03/15)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5299

—–

26) Armed and black
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by BK Marcus

“In Dallas, Texas, the newly formed Huey Newton Gun Club marches in the streets bearing assault rifles and AR-15s. ‘This is perfectly legal!’ the club leader shouts. ‘Justice for Michael Brown! Justice for Eric Garner! … Black power! Black power! Black power! Black power!’ Meanwhile, closer to Washington, DC, the venerable National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) responds to the fatal shooting of two New York City police officers in December by repeating its call for tougher gun-control laws. How, then, do black Americans feel about guns? They are divided on the issue, as are Americans generally. But that doesn’t mean they’re evenly divided.” (02/03/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/armed-and-black

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27) Eric Holder’s lawless legacy
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“Eric Holder is reaping applause as his six-year reign as Attorney General comes to a close. But Holder’s record is profoundly disappointing to anyone who expected the Obama administration to renounce the abuses of the previous administration. Instead, Holder championed a Nixonian-style legal philosophy that presumed that any action the president orders is legal.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n78k9b8

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28) The SCOTUS case that could decimate public sector unionism
Source: In These Times
by Moshe Z. Marvit

“Last week, an appeal was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court for a case that could prove to be the most damaging case to labor in decades. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association aims to overturn a nearly 40-year precedent which allows the use of ‘fair share’ fees for public sector unions, wherein all union members must pay for the costs associated with collective bargaining and contract administration. Since all workers in unionized workplaces share the benefits of unionization … unions say that workers who choose not to become members of unions must at least pay these fees in order to not become ‘free riders,’ gaining benefits from union representation without paying for them.” [editor’s note: Since the initial purpose of unionizing was a challenge to private-sector corporati through collective bargaining & profit sharing, the very concept of a “public sector union” was always an oxymoron – SAT] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/jvwnxzr

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29) Wanted: Uber-ized education
Source: Cato Institute
by Jason Bedrick and Lindsey Burke

“Innovation has enabled Uber to create a better experience for both consumer and provider. And nowhere is that kind of innovation more desperately needed than in our K-12 education system. An Uber-ization of education — something that is already beginning to happen — will improve service for students and teachers. Take the example of teacher-led schools.”

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/wanted-uber-ized-education

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30) The ghosts of Yalta still haunt the world
Source: The Daily Bell
by Richard M Ebeling

“Seventy years ago, during the week of February 4-11, 1945, the most momentous conference of the Second World War was held at Yalta in the Crimea between Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Their decisions have affected much of the world ever since.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kgd5b5g

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31) People power winning net neutrality
Source: The Nation Blog
by John Nichols

“Can the people ever win in an new age of oligarchy, when corporate power is so frequently and thoroughly unbound? Yes, sometimes, they can. After years of bumbling, blustering and bureaucratic attempts to avoid necessary action, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to move on Thursday to defend net neutrality. … Translation: The FCC is preparing to defend the Internet as we know it against subdivision by profiteers who would create a ‘fast lane’ for paying content from multinational corporations and billionaire-backed politicians and a ‘slow lane’ for communications from those who are not on the winning side of the income-inequality chasm.” [editor’s note: It is surprising that Mr Nichols can understand this issue so poorly – SAT] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pzmwey6

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32) Let people choose their own drug policies
Source: Reason
by Stanton Peele

“What if we just allowed people to take drugs in a supportive social milieu that clearly signals appropriate behavior?” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k5l59vr

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33) Baby steps in reform
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Bounkham ‘Bou Bou’ Phonesavanh was in the wrong place at the wrong time. His crib. The Georgia toddler was badly burned by a flash grenade during a drug raid gone wrong. A remorseful sheriff’s department claims they could not have known what would happen. But such botches are not rare. … A couple of Georgia lawmakers have offered legislation to reduce the chances of such collateral damage. One would slightly restrict the circumstances in which no-knock warrants could be issued. Another would require most no-knock raids to be conducted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Though modest steps, they may help save some lives. But the fundamental problem? The persistence of the War on Drugs.” (02/03/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/02/03/baby/

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34) Freedom of speech: Rafael Correa doesn’t get it
Source: The Canal
by Rebeca Morla

“On the night of Wednesday, 28 January, the Twitter account of popular satirical Facebook group Crudo Ecuador was suspended. At a stroke, President Rafael Correa proved beyond doubt that censorship rules in his so-called Citizens’ Revolutionary Government. For many, myself included, the mysterious disappearance of the account was hardly a surprise. Just a few days previously, Correa had threatened to unmask Crudo Ecuador’s anonymous curator, whose targets include politicians of all stripes, as well as everyday topics.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kh3uvju

—–

35) Maximum-effort legislation
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Suppose Congress, in a well-intentioned effort to help teenaged workers, as well as blue-collar immigrant workers, enacts legislation that declares unlawful any attempts by these workers to compete for jobs by offering to work harder than some maximum level of effort divined by government to be the appropriate maximum level of effort that such workers should exert. And suppose also that Congress has the means to enforce this diktat. Would today’s advocates of minimum-wage legislation believe that such ‘maximum-effort’ legislation would generate net benefits to teenaged and blue-collar immigrant workers?” (02/03/15)

http://cafehayek.com/2015/02/maximum-effort-legislation.html

—–

36) The Democrats in opposition
Source: The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson

“Where should the Democrats go now? Losing both houses of Congress frees them to function as an opposition party, not just to the Republicans, but to a political economy that serves fewer and fewer Americans. Whether they will seize that opportunity remains an open question. To many within the party establishment, the Democrats face a choice between moving to the center to win over white electors who have either stopped voting or strayed into the Republicans’ ranks, or moving left to re-energize the Rising American Electorate, the young and minority voters who powered Barack Obama into the White House. The idea that a progressive populist agenda… could command support in both these constituencies is still alien to many Democratic leaders.” (02/03/15)

http://prospect.org/article/democrats-opposition

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37) How government helped create the coming doctor shortage
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Logan Albright

“For the last five years, attempts to reform America’s health care system have focused primarily on the demand side of the market, and specifically on the market for insurance. Yet, these reforms have not achieved significant improvements in health care outcomes, nor reductions in cost. As health care specialist John C. Goodman has pointed out in Forbes, the slowed growth of health care spending in the United States is a trend that correlates most closely with supply side reforms such as the availability of health savings accounts. Reductions in spending or costs are certainly not an effect of the Affordable Care Act.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m874l8g

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38) Ebola: Showing up the fearmongers
Source: spiked
by Rob Lyons

“When the leaders of the WHO finally broke themselves away from their endless battle against ‘non-communicable disease’ (eg, obesity) and woke up to the acute problem of ebola, they immediately pressed the panic button and started cranking up fears about ‘unparalleled’ dangers. (This must have meant ‘unparalleled in the past five years’ given that in 2009, Margaret Chan was declaring that with swine flu ‘all of humanity is under threat.’) Fearmongering is a poor substitute for effective, timely action. The WHO would seemingly rather cry wolf over every new epidemic than actually put in place the systems and resources that could counter these events in the first place.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n6yd4bs

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39) Budget balloon
Source: The Cagle Post
by Nate Beeler

Cartoon. (02/02/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/02/budget-balloon/

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40) Blinded by right
Source: Unqualified Offerings
by Thoreau

“Rand Paul has decided to flirt with the notion that vaccines cause autism. If he just stuck with an argument that vaccines should be voluntary because he’s libertarian and wants everything to be voluntary, well, I get why he’d go there. Mind you, there’s a very strong case to be made that vaccination is not solely an individual matter because of the invisible threat posed by communicable diseases, but ultimately this comes down to a value judgment, and so a purely values-based case can be made. Alas, he went beyond values and questions of making things mandatory, and set foot in the land of junk science …” (02/02/15)

http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2015/02/02/18398

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41) One (difficult) step to curbing extremism
Source: Reuters
by Sarah Chayes

“Why did nearly half of Iraq open itself to Islamic State, a militant group seen as one of the most psychotic on record? Why have Boko Haram militants gained a solid foothold in northern Nigeria? Why aren’t the ranks of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula thinning, despite regular drone strikes in Yemen? Do these disparate countries have some trait in common? They do: the rampant corruption of their ruling elites. At issue is no ad hoc venality, such as exists everywhere. The populations of these nations (and of Ukraine and the half-dozen Arab countries that rose in revolt four years ago, with spiraling consequences) are subjected to a far more virulent strain of this disease than are most of their Western counterparts.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o962j5l

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42) The LAVA Flow Podcast, 02/03/15
Source: The LAVA Flow Podcast

In this episode, we talk about: * What’s Rustling My Jimmies, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch * What’s in the News, with a Silk Road trial update * And Yet Another Bad Cop, or four * Statists Say the Dumbest Shit featuring BlackBerry CEO John Chen * The Next Generation with Busting the myth of the home school social problem, featuring my wife, Jessica Paxton.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m8b7jjx

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43) Public presumption of guilt motivates unfair policies, even as details of sexual assault allegations come to light
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Susan Kruth

“University students who claim that they were wrongly punished for alleged sexual assaults are increasingly fighting back, both in courts of law and in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, questionable (or even debunked) narratives have already been used to justify policy changes and legislation that threaten the due process rights of accused students, while failing to adequately punish those who are actually guilty. Those who truly wish to protect the rights of all students must pay close attention as more details about cases come out, as these details often demonstrate why a fair hearing, and a presumption of innocence, are essential.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/najhpox

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44) Don’t ban Tesla, let it compete
Source: Show-Me Daily
by Joseph Miller

“We wrote last year about the attempt of Missouri Car Dealers and their lobbyists to prohibit Tesla from directly selling its vehicles to consumers. The Missouri Department of Revenue granted Tesla a dealership license in 2013, and the company now has stores in University City and Kansas City. But according to the Missouri Auto Dealers Association (MADA), Tesla is breaking Missouri’s Motor Vehicle Franchise Law and creating unfair competition through its manufacturer-direct sales. Legislative action to shut down Tesla failed last year, so MADA has sued the Department of Revenue. However, MADA’s claims hold little merit.” (02/02/15)

http://www.showmedaily.org/2015/02/dont-ban-tesla-let-compete.html

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45) Who owns you? Chris Christie, chemotherapy, and forced vaccinations
Source: Reformed Libertarian
by Shane Kastler

“Many ‘government control zealots’ where aghast at Christie’s seemingly soft stance on forced immunizations. How dare he suggest parents might have a say in the matter!?! So much was the outcry that he somewhat recanted his statement by ‘clarifying’ that there was no question you should have your children immunized. This parrots a very similar statement that President Obama recently made on the topic. Is anyone shocked to find Obama and Christie in lockstep on an issue? I too was aghast at Christie’s statement, but for the exact opposite reason of the ‘government control zealots.’ As a parent, I found it offensive that a government dictator would suggest that parents MIGHT ‘need to have some measure of choice in things as well.'” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lrfejk2

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46) Anti-commandeering: The legal basis for refusing to participate
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“The Supreme Court has long held that states do not have to be active participants in the enforcement or effectuation of federal acts or regulatory programs. The basis for what is now known as the legal doctrine of ‘anti-commandeering’ was the advice of James Madison, writing in Federalist #46. There, he advised four primary tactics for individuals and states to effectively push back against federal overreach, including a ‘refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.’ The following are the four landmark cases where the Court has upheld this doctrine.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ov6qaxl

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47) Heartland Daily Podcast, 02/02/15
Source: Heartland Institute

“Michael LaFaive, director of the the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, joins Budget & Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway to talk about cigarette excise taxes and their effect on consumer behavior.” [Flash video] (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l6rw8db

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48) The muscle of justice
Source: CounterPunch
by Ralph Nader

“The common law of torts, which originated from English common law, has been elaborated in tens of thousands of judicial decisions with one basic message: If a person suffers a wrongful injury or harm, he or she can seek remedy in court with a trial by jury. Through tort law, our civil justice system operates to compensate victims, punish perpetrators and deter future harms. For years this system has been under sustained assault in Congress and state legislatures. Corporations, with their enormous lobbying influence, have few qualms about lobbying to limit Americans’ right to their day in court.” (02/03/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/03/the-muscle-of-justice/

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49) The price we pay
Source: Strict Liberalism
by Rocco

“There was a turnout of 64% in the Greek general election, with 36% of those casting a winning vote, meaning only 23% of eligible voters actually voted for Syriza. Officially, less than three quarters of the population wanted to be ruled by Syriza and now will be. In other words, the Greek election was a thoroughly unexceptional one. A ruling party being determined by the opinion of roughly a third of roughly two thirds of voters is par for the course.” (02/02/15)

https://strictliberalism.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/the-price-we-pay/

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50) Decisions and outcomes
Source: EconLog
by David Henderson

“In yesterday’s post in which I applied the Third Pillar of Economic Wisdom to some decisions made near the end of the Superbowl game, I didn’t challenge the conventional wisdom that say that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made a bad decision about the play call on the second down. Matt Yglesias, though, does a good job of that. But here’s the bigger point I want to make and it applies whether the decision is by a football coach in a big game or you in your big game called life. The point is this: it’s important to distinguish between decisions and outcomes. We all know why there is so much criticism of Pete Carroll: because his play decision for that second down led to a bad outcome. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad decision.” (02/03/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/02/decisions_and_o.html

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51) Bitcoin: Currency canary in the coal mine?
Source: Mises Canada
by Doug French

“Schiavenza juxtaposes bitcoin and the battered ruble, claiming the Russian currency has held up better because ‘Moscow can rescue through manipulating interest rates and instituting capital controls.’ But a currency is supposed to collapse if its fundamentals are bad. That’s why Bitcoin was created as an alternative to the government-managed and -manipulated currencies that cloud the honest workings of the economy.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nf4cyr4

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52) Seven things to love about reddit’s first transparency report
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Rainey Reitman

“On Thursday, reddit published its first-ever transparency report covering all of 2014. It’s a summary of all the legal requests to take down content from the site as well as all government attempts to access reddit’s user data. Lots of companies publish transparency reports, but not all of them do a good job. We took some time to look at exactly what reddit’s report included and found a whole bunch of stuff that impressed us. Here’s an overview of why you might be equally thrilled with the report.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l66hr9x

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53) Trevor Timm on The Scott Horton Show
Source: The Scott Horton Show

“Trevor Timm, a columnist and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, discusses his article ‘Barrett Brown’s sentence is unjust, but it may become the norm for journalists;’ and how Obama’s proposed expansion of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act would make it even easier to jail journalists.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/02/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/02/02/2215-trevor-timm/

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54) Long-term care: Expectations vs. reality
Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Carrie E. Henning-Smith and Tetyana P. Shippee

“A new report from Health Affairs reveals that Americans’ perceptions of their future need for long-term care differ markedly from reality. According to the study: * Sixty percent of adults aged 40 to 65 believed that they would not likely need long-term care services, despite that 70 percent of adults will most likely need long-term care services in the future. * Americans who reach the age of 65 have a 46 percent change of spending time in a nursing home. * One-third of adults above the age of 40 have not made plans to pay for long-term care services. This is significant not just for people’s own long-term health costs but for America’s federal-state health care program for the poor: Medicaid.” (02/03/15)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25321

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55) The face of oligarch recovery — luxury skyscrapers stay empty as NYC homeless population hits record high
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“Nowhere is the fraudulent and criminal ‘oligarch recovery’ more on display than in my hometown of New York City. Despite benefitting more than any other community from an enormous taxpayer bailout of the industry that destroyed the economy, financial services, the vast majority of the wealth has been allocated to a handful of oligarchs. To make matters even worse, American public policy, if you can even call it that, has been to encourage overseas oligarchs to park billions of dollars in U.S. real estate that largely sits uninhabited. Manhattan is a perfect example of this unproductive behavior and misallocation of capital.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ls8osqf

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56) Is the US becoming an economic oligarchy?
Source: The Skeptical Libertarian
by Daniel Bier

“Recently Cathy [Reisenwitz] published a piece at the Center For a Stateless Society titled ‘The New Oligarchs,’ in which she argues that U.S. economy has become increasingly calcified, unequal, and immobile, with a new rentier class of financial oligarchs. It’s a provocatively pessimistic article, but there are number of points that bear closer scrutiny.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kvzrfqd

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57) Bad Quaker Podcast, 02/02/15
Source: Bad Quaker Dot Com

“Ben Stone talks with Neema Vedadi about the basics.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/02/15)

http://www.badquaker.com/archives/3265

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58) The Freedom Report Podcast, 02/03/15
Source: The Libertarian Republic

“Kooks, Cranks, Vaccines, Conspiracy Theorists & Rand Paul.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pafr48t

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59) The US executions of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, part 1
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“In 1999, in response to an order issued by Bill Clinton to U.S. departments and agencies to release long-secret records of the U.S. national-security state relating to the 1973 military coup in Chile, the U.S. State Department released a memo that stated that during the coup, U.S. intelligence ‘may have played an unfortunate role’ in the killings of two American citizens, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi Jr. ‘At best, it was limited to providing or confirming information that helped motivate his murder by the government of Chile.’ The memorandum was an amazing revelation, not only because it revealed that an official U.S. investigation had secretly concluded that the U.S. national-security state had very likely participated in the murder of two U.S. citizens, but also because it challenged long-stated denials by officials in the U.S. national-security establishment that they had played any role in the murders of Horman and Teruggi.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ow53zkg

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60) House of Cards: Tom Ridge’s Code Rich
Source: The Intercept
by Ken Silverstein

“Tom Ridge was not a rich man when he resigned as the chief of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. His financial disclosure from that year showed he had investments worth between $100,000 and $815,00 in companies. Though modest by the current standards of senior government officials, those investments included companies ‘with contracts with his department and others who want to profit from homeland security,’ a CQ story said at the time. Yet soon after leaving government service, Ridge bought a property in Chevy Chase, Maryland worth about $2 million. … So how exactly has Ridge made all his money? … Soon after leaving government in 2004 (and boasting of ‘more than 22 consecutive years of public service’) Ridge cashed in on the homeland security gravy train.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ly8wmmc

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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