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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,127
Thursday, February 5th, 2015
438 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) American political prisoner Ross Ulbricht convicted of doing business without Bharara gang’s permission
2) Greek banks hit as Europe stands firm over bailout
3) FCC gang kingpin confirms plans for Internet power grab
4) Moussaoui: Saudi royals funded al Qaeda
5) Syria: Regime says rebel shelling of capital kills at least three
6) India: Christian protesters clash with police in Delhi
7) Anthem hacked in “sophisticated” attack on customer data
8) Donetsk People’s Republic: Rocket fire kills at least five near hospital
9) Venezuela-US ties hit new low after visa ban
10) China: Drone maker plans software to block flights over Washington, DC
11) UK: New Zealand judge to head child sex abuse probe
12) Congress: First formal bipartisan [sic] luncheon in two years
13) Cameroon: Boko Haram “kill 70” in border town
14) AL: Anti-family chief justice urges probate judges to defy feds, preserve marriage apartheid
15) Jordan: King vows “relentless” war on Islamic State
16) CEO of Gallup: Jobless rate is “big lie”
17) Prediction: SCOTUS’s Lethal injection review could kill death penalty
18) Libya: Gunmen attack oilfield, at least three killed
19) Canada: Snowden speaks to Toronto students, urges caution on terror bill
20) Number of billionaires hits record high, Gates tops list

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Redneck ethnic cleansing
22) A sheeple in Libertarian’s clothing?
23) How reality TV is teaching us to accept the American police state
24) The latest capitalist monopoly: Opposition to the state
25) Lies Chris Kyle told less dangerous than lies he believed
26) States, United States: America’s James Bond complex
27) Afghanistan war: Still raging, but waged by contractors
28) Abolition was, and still is, no failure
29) Aristocracy 2016: Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton
30) A parable for the unemployed
31) On jailing the wrong people
32) So who did cook Adam Smith’s dinner then?
33) Obama’s “mindless austerity”
34) A better idea for paid sick leave
35) Is war between Hezbollah and Israel inevitable?
36) The sociopath as hero
37) I pledge allegiance to blind nationalism
38) The myth of the urban millennial
39) Reality vs. conservatism: Conservatism loses, again
40) Get vaccinated
41) N guilty men: A history of the presumption of innocence
43) Western spy agencies secretly rely on hackers for intel and expertise
44) Why are taxpayers giving millions to the NFL?
45) We can have modern medicine and freedom
46) New bipartisan bills give Congress a chance to strengthen email privacy
47) What’s so funny?
48) Turning Ukraine into a stage for western preening
49) Obama’s 2016 federal budget and middle class economics
50) How Uncle Sam became a bank robber
51) Who’s the war hero?
52) Ray McGovern on The Scott Horton Show
53) History in the balance: Why Greece must repudiate its “banker bailout” debts and exit the euro
54) What one Son of Liberty can do, so can another
55) How markets tell the truth and politics tells lies

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

1) American political prisoner Ross Ulbricht convicted of doing business without Bharara gang’s permission
Source: CNBC

“A jury has ruled Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old who founded the black market website Silk Road, guilty on all counts. The FBI arrested Ulbricht in a sting operation in October 2013 accusing him of being the criminal mastermind running Silk Road where items such as narcotics, fake IDs and other illegal goods were sold using bitcoin for payment. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, charged Ulbricht with seven counts including money laundering, drug trafficking and computer hacking among other things.” [editor’s note: Yes, I know, dog bites man; this is how show trials are SUPPOSED to come out – TLK] [hat tip — Nick Ford] (02/04/15)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102397735

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2) Greek banks hit as Europe stands firm over bailout
Source: CNN Money

“Greek markets are tumbling after the European Central Bank raised the pressure on the country’s new anti-austerity government to stick to the terms of its [predecessor regime’s] massive international bailout program, a message Germany is likely to reinforce later Thursday. … Stocks in Athens fell by 6% in early trading, and the country’s banks were even harder hit. Piraeus Bank (BPIRF) plunged by 16% and the National Bank of Greece (NBG) was down 15%. The yield on 10-year Greek government bonds jumped to nearly 11%.” (02/05/15)

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/05/news/economy/greece-europe-markets/

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3) FCC gang kingpin confirms plans for Internet power grab
Source: CNet News

“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is ready to shake up the Internet. Wheeler confirmed on Wednesday that the final rules he is proposing for Net neutrality will include regulating wired and wireless broadband services under utility-style rules based on Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Title II has the potential to radically change how the Internet is governed, giving the FCC unprecedented authority over the Internet.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lnreza5

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4) Moussaoui: Saudi royals funded al Qaeda
Source: Newser

“When the families of 9/11 victims decided to sue Saudi Arabia, Zacarias Moussaoui wanted to testify. In October, a team of lawyers interviewed the so-called ’20th hijacker’ from the Colorado supermax prison where he’s serving a life sentence. What he had to say was shocking: He alleges that not only did Saudi Arabia’s royal family fund al-Qaeda in the late 1990s, he says he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with an official from the Saudi embassy in Washington, the New York Times reports. In some 100 pages of testimony, filed in federal court in New York on Monday, Moussaoui also describes meeting with Crown Prince Salman — now King Salman — and delivering letters from Osama bin Laden.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9dqq8d

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5) Syria: Regime says rebel shelling of capital kills at least three
Source: Miami Herald

“Syrian rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells that struck several neighborhoods in the capital Damascus on Thursday, killing at least three people and wounding around 30 others, Syria’s state-run news agency said. Gray smoke billowed from several parts of the city, and the thud of shells and wailing ambulance sirens pierced the morning calm. The shelling followed threats by a rebel commander to shower the capital with mortar shells to avenge deadly government airstrikes on nearby rebel-held suburbs over the past week.” (02/05/15)

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article9328634.html

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6) India: Christian protesters clash with police in Delhi
Source: Reuters

“Hundreds of Christian protesters clashed with police in Delhi on Thursday as they pressed demands for government protection amid concern about rising intolerance after a series of attacks on churches. Demonstrators were pulled on to police buses as they tried to march from one of New Delhi’s largest cathedrals near parliament to the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. … Religious conversions have become a divisive political issue since hardliners with links to the BJP [India’s ruling political party] said Hinduism was under threat and started a campaign to convince Christians and Muslims to change their faith.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kbaoa38

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7) Anthem hacked in “sophisticated” attack on customer data
Source: Bloomberg

“Anthem Inc., the second biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, said hackers obtained data on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees in a sophisticated attack that has led to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. The information compromised includes names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street and e-mail addresses and employee data, including income, Anthem said in an e-mail. The company will notify customers who were affected and provide credit and identify-theft monitoring services for free, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish said in a letter to members.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppoflau

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8) Donetsk People’s Republic: Rocket fire kills at least five near hospital
Source: ABC News

“Rocket salvoes hit a previously safe section of … Donetsk on Wednesday, killing at least five people and damaging a hospital, six schools and five kindergartens, [Donetsk People’s Republic spokespersons] said. The fighting between [DPR forces] and [invading Ukrainian troops] escalated sharply in January, with more than 220 civilians killed in the past three weeks alone, according to the United Nations.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pk6krh3

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9) Venezuela-US ties hit new low after visa ban
Source: Cincinnati Sun

“The already strained ties between the United States and Venezuela hit a new low after America imposed travel restrictions on unnamed officials of the South American country allegedly involved in human rights violations. The visa ban was announced after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused US Vice President Joe Biden of plotting a coup to overthrow him, an allegation outrightly rejected by the US government.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oay9hj6

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10) China: Drone maker plans software to block flights over Washington, DC
Source: Salt Lake Tribune

“The Chinese maker of a drone that a hobbyist crashed at the White House says it is taking steps to ensure that cannot happen again. DJI Technology Co. said Wednesday it will send a software update this week for its drones’ navigation system that will block them from flying over Washington.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mqwev6j

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11) UK: New Zealand judge to head child sex abuse probe
Source: Idaho Press-Tribune

“A New Zealand judge will lead a wide-ranging inquiry into alleged child sex abuse by powerful figures in British society, the U.K. government said Wednesday, an attempt to restart a troubled probe that has seen two previous chairwomen quit over perceived conflicts of interest. Home Secretary Theresa May told lawmakers that New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard was appointed new chair of the probe, which aims to find out whether British public agencies — including the BBC, churches and political parties — had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse from the 1970s to protect politicians and others in power.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ld6rapg

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12) Congress: First formal bipartisan [sic] luncheon in two years
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“When Republican and Democrat senators gathered for a bipartisan luncheon on Wednesday, legislative hot topics were strictly off the table. This was a get-to-know-you, social icebreaker, as the tags labeled ‘R’ and ‘D’ at every other place setting hinted. The forced integration was meant to help build relationships and break down partisan barriers. And from all accounts, it got the ball rolling. ‘I learned something from the other members that I didn’t know,’ said Sen. Mark Kirk [R-IL]. For example, he had no idea that freshman Sen. Gary Peters [D-MI] is a fellow Navy reservist.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lnk9b3v

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13) Cameroon: Boko Haram “kill 70” in border town
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Boko Haram militants have reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. The Islamist militants attacked civilians in their homes and in the town’s mosque, local officials said, setting many buildings on fire. The attack comes a day after a regional force said it had driven the militants from a Nigerian town near Fotokol. The Boko Haram insurgency has left thousands dead over the last six years.” (02/04/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31141097

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14) AL: Anti-family chief justice urges probate judges to defy feds, preserve marriage apartheid
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Alabama’s chief justice, who famously refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a state judicial building, has urged probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples even though a federal judge ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Roy Moore sent a letter to Alabama probate judges on Tuesday saying they are not bound by the ruling because they were not defendants in the lawsuit and have not been directly ordered to issue the licenses. He said the federal court did not have the authority to allow same-sex marriages.” [editor’s note: One day he will be dragged kicking and screaming from his lofty bench – SAT] (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m7lklk7

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15) Jordan: King vows “relentless” war on Islamic State
Source: Reuters

“Jordan’s King Abdullah vowed a ‘relentless’ war against Islamic State on their own territory on Wednesday in response to a video published by the hard-line group showing a captured Jordanian air force pilot being burned alive in a cage. Jordan hanged two Iraqi jihadists, one a woman, on Wednesday and vowed to intensify military action against Islamic State. ‘We are waging this war to protect our faith, our values and human principles and our war for their sake will be relentless and will hit them in their own ground,’ state television quoted the king as saying during a security meeting.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k7oyh6b

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16) CEO of Gallup: Jobless rate is “big lie”
Source: Fox News

“The chairman of the venerable Gallup research and polling firm says the official U.S. unemployment rate is really an underestimation and a ‘big lie’ perpetuated by the White House, Wall Street and the media. What CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton revealed in his blog Tuesday about how the Labor Department arrives at the monthly unemployment rate is no secret — including that Americans who have quit looking for work after four weeks are not included in the survey. The department’s current rate of 5.6 percent unemployment is the lowest since June 2008, with President Obama using his State of the Union address and campaign-style stops across the country to tout an economic recovery.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l5ohgbo

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17) Prediction: SCOTUS’s Lethal injection review could kill death penalty
Source: Raw Story

“Last week, the Supreme Court put three executions in Oklahoma on hold as it reviews the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty protocol. If the nation’s top court strikes down Oklahoma’s lethal injection procedure, what would it mean for the death penalty? … The court is assessing Oklahoma’s use of the drug midazolam, a sedative used in its three-drug lethal injection protocol. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, five states have used midazolam for their executions, and at least five other states have proposed using it.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m8hqhl7

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18) Libya: Gunmen attack oilfield, at least three killed
Source: CBC [Canadian state media]

“Libyan officials say gunmen have attacked a French-operated oilfield and shot to death three guards. A security official says the attack took place Tuesday in al-Mabrouk oil field, 170 kilometres south of the coastal city of Sirte. No group claimed responsibility.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kcu8hfg

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19) Canada: Snowden speaks to Toronto students, urges caution on terror bill
Source: Maclean’s [Canada]

“Former U.S. intelligence contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden says citizens of the world, including Canadians, should be ‘extraordinarily cautious’ when their governments try to pass new laws under the guise of an increased threat of terrorism. … Snowden, who remains in Russia after leaking U.S. National Security Agency documents, says citizens of any country should have concerns about this type of legislation. ‘I would say we should always be extraordinarily cautious when we see governments trying to set up a new secret police within their own countries,’ Snowden said Monday night during a video conference organized by Upper Canada College in Toronto.” (02/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7acpsg

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20) Number of billionaires hits record high, Gates tops list
Source: NBC News

“The number of billionaires in the world grew by 222 in 2014, bringing the total to a record 2,089, according to a new report. The three richest men in the world — Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett — now have a combined $244 billion, up $52 billion over the past year, or about $100,000 a minute, said the report, which is an annual list of the world’s richest individuals.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lxf4coa

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

21) Redneck ethnic cleansing
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“The Shenandoah National Park was erected on a pyramid of lies. The original advocates claimed that the parkland was practically uninhabited — ignoring the 15,000 people residing within the originally proposed park boundaries. They claimed the land was undeveloped, near-virgin turf — despite its long history of timber harvesting, mining and beef cattle production. They also claimed the land was worth only a trifle of its actual value and thus would be cheap to acquire. But the biggest deceits involved vilifying the mountaineers who inhabited what was then known as Virginia’s ‘Great Mountains.’ Families had lived and worked on those ridges and hollows since the 1700s and flourishing communities dotted the landscape. But when they refused to vacate their land to satisfy a grand political vision, they were quickly tarred as know-nothing sociopaths.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nxbwht6

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22) A sheeple in Libertarian’s clothing?
Source: Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed

“Shawn Michael Hamilton ran for US Rep from Texas District 17 in 2014 as a Libertarian Party of Texas candidate and then ‘Voluntarily stepped down’ as Chair of the McLennan County LP ‘due to differences with Party leadership and views and returned to the Republican Party.’ He then launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his book LIBERTARIANS: America’s Political Terrorists …. In 2012 Michael Hull ran for US Congress District 10 on the Pinellas County, Florida LP ticket. Hull used a campaign photo almost identical to a photo later used by Hamilton in his 2014 Texas campaign …. A dozen libertarians and LP officials in three different states were asked to comment for this article. Only one responded, stating ‘It’s the same person.'” [editor’s note: The plot thickens! I look forward to Garry’s further investigations! – TLK] (02/04/15)

http://www.examiner.com/article/a-sheeple-libertarian-s-clothing-1

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23) How reality TV is teaching us to accept the American police state
Source: The Daily Bell
by John W Whitehead

“Americans love their reality TV shows — the drama, the insults, the bullying, the callousness, the damaged relationships delivered through the lens of a surveillance camera — and there’s no shortage of such dehumanizing spectacles to be found on or off screen, whether it’s Cops, Real Housewives or the heavy-handed tactics of police officers who break down doors first and ask questions later. Where things get tricky is when we start to lose our grasp on what is real vs. unreal and what is an entertainment spectacle that distracts us vs. a real-life drama that impacts us.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k96mdsk

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24) The latest capitalist monopoly: Opposition to the state
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“New corporate enclosures, looting and monopolies are springing up all over the place these days. Watching the news is a lot like watching Robocop or Blade Runner, what with stuff like Detroit’s ‘Emergency Manager’ auctioning off local assets to corporate cronies the same way Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority did in Iraq. Given all that, it takes a lot to surprise me. I wasn’t expecting corporate capitalists to acquire a monopoly on dislike for the government though. Nevertheless that’s what scholar Andrew Hoberek suggests …” (02/04/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35426

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25) Lies Chris Kyle told less dangerous than lies he believed
Source: In These Times
by Brock McIntosh

“After watching the movie American Sniper, I called a friend named Garett Reppenhagen who was an American sniper in Iraq. … Chris Kyle didn’t view Iraq like me and Garett, but neither of us have attacked him for it. He’s not the problem. We don’t care about the lies that Chris Kyle may or may not have told. They don’t matter. We care about the lies that Chris Kyle believed: The lie that Iraq was culpable for September 11. The lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The lie that people do evil things because they are evil. The film American Sniper is also rife with lies. This was not Chris Kyle’s story. And Bradley Cooper was not Chris Kyle.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m9apl7o

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26) States, United States: America’s James Bond complex
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

“Today we see signs of the doctrine of American exceptionalism all around. U.S. foreign policy is not bound in the ways in which U.S. officials expect other countries’ foreign policies to be bound. America is special, chosen. So the rules are different. We might say America has a James Bond complex. In the eyes of many Americans, the United States has a ‘Double O.’ Bond said the Double O indicated ‘you’ve had to kill a chap in cold blood in the course of some assignment.’ As Ian Fleming’s series went on, the Double O became a license to kill. Judging by how the U.S. government gets away with murder, terrorism and other horrible offenses, it apparently has a de facto license to kill. Although by the U.S. definition, nothing it does can ever qualify as murder and terrorism.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m3depzn

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27) Afghanistan war: Still raging, but waged by contractors
Source: The Nation
by Tim Shorrock

“The killing of three US Pentagon contractors at the hands of a uniformed Afghani Army soldier in Kabul last week casts considerable doubt on President Obama’s recent proclamation that America’s ‘combat mission in Afghanistan is over.’ The US-trained Afghani security forces have now ‘taken the lead’ in the 14-year-old war, Mr. Obama told Congress in his State of the Union address on January 20. But after digging into the contractors involved and the circumstances behind their untimely deaths, it’s apparent that the US-led war against the Taliban is still in full swing, and that Americans (along with many Afghans) will continue to die.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m8jxljt

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28) Abolition was, and still is, no failure
Source: The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Joel Schlosberg

“Historian Jon Grinspan argues (‘Was Abolitionism a Failure?’ New York Times, February 1) against modern-day activists, from the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint to MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who view abolitionism as a successful movement worth emulating. Grinspan credits slavery’s end not to abolitionists’ unbending ideals but to ‘the flexibility of … moderates.’ Slavery died because its advocates were even less willing to compromise. But all new ideas are the work of extremists. There’s no need to preemptively tone them down; that will happen with their implementation anyway. The Libertarian Party’s call for ‘the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals’ was extremist in 1976.” (02/04/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/64

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29) Aristocracy 2016: Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton
Source: Voices of Liberty
by Winter Trabex

“In the early months of 2015, the two major American parties — Democrat and Republican — are already talking about putting forward candidates for the 2016 election. If past history is any indication, the candidate who comes to office will be markedly different than the candidate whom people thought they voted for. The prestige and power of the office of the president soon goes the head of the person who occupies it, creating tyranny where liberty was promised.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/noubb4f

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30) A parable for the unemployed
Source: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Jordan Ballor

“Perhaps you or someone you know is facing the uncertainty of being jobless. This parable has something to teach us in this regard. It might just as well be called the parable of the jobless. It teaches us to wait patiently and expectantly for ways that we can be of service to God through serving others. It teaches that all of us have some work to do, even if that work is, at a particular time, to wait faithfully.” (02/04/15)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/02/04/parable-unemployed

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31) On jailing the wrong people
Source: The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

“You know the statistic. We incarcerate a higher proportion of the population than any other country does. Russia and South Africa rank respectively second and third. Hundreds of thousands of young, now aging, men, are doing hard time for possession of small amounts of drugs. More and more people find themselves in jail because they got caught with bench warrants for their arrest for exorbitant fines they could not afford to pay. More than a century after debtors prisons were abolished, thousands are again behind bars because of debts. But one category of felon is free on the street. I refer, of course, to corporate criminals.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/jvu2gaa

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32) So who did cook Adam Smith’s dinner then?
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“Much excitement over in Grauniadland as a new book comes out talking about why that economically rational man so beloved of us neoliberals could not ever be the economically rational woman. Because, you know, women do all that caring and cleaning and stuff for love, not for reasons of calculated rational self-interest …” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7953u6

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33) Obama’s “mindless austerity”
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“In announcing his $3.999 trillion budget proposal for FY 2016, President Obama said that he was putting an end to ‘mindless austerity’ in federal spending. In response to which, one wants to ask, ‘What color is the sky on his planet?’ There has been no austerity, mindless or otherwise, during the Obama presidency (or, for that matter, the Bush presidency before that).” (02/04/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/obamas-mindless-austerity

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34) A better idea for paid sick leave
Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon Herrick

“Mandatory paid sick leave — it’s a policy that President Obama endorsed during his State of the Union speech, as 43 million Americans do not get paid sick leave as part of their employment. But while such a policy might garner sympathy, it’s full of unintended consequences that will ultimately hurt the workers it purports to help.” (02/04/15)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25324

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35) Is war between Hezbollah and Israel inevitable?
Source: Reuters
by Michael Williams

“The delicate status quo, which has ensured peace between Hezbollah and Israel since the 2006 war, is rapidly unravelling. After that war, both Hezbollah and Israel subscribed to a deterrence theory, which stood the test of time. Until two weeks ago. Now, tensions between the two sides are at their highest since the last ceasefire. Indeed, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that a third Lebanon war is now inevitable. On Jan. 18, an Israeli helicopter gunship hit a convoy of vehicles in the Syrian province of Quneitra. The attack killed six Hezbollah operatives, one of whom was Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated by Israel in an operation involving the Israeli Mossad and the CIA, as the Washington Post revealed last week.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nagmylp

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36) The sociopath as hero
Source: CounterPunch
by Paul Edwards

“Clint Eastwood — film’s Sociopath Emeritus — chose in American Sniper the perfect vehicle to manifest his intelligence, his politics and his character. Perfect because what it displays–besides a retailing of baldly ridiculous ideas long universally discredited, and a politics rooted in deep, indomitable ignorance and a form of stupidity that prides itself on denial of irrefutable reality — is the sleazy depravity of a mind that can craft a mawkish, fawning tribute to a diseased serial killer from a biography in which the killer himself spells out in appalling detail his own disgusting sickness.” (02/04/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/04/the-sociopath-as-hero/

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37) I pledge allegiance to blind nationalism
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

“The Pledge has been the center of controversy over the years. For the most part, those opposed to Pledge have done so on religious grounds. In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring a person to say the Pledge violates the first and fourteenth amendments. Issues of religion aside, the Pledge of Allegiance is disturbing. Schools are supposed to be a place of learning, a place where students learn to think critically. Schooling is supposed to prepare students to function in society. It is supposed to make them responsible citizens. The cultivation of devotion to the flag and the U.S. government creates anything but responsible citizens.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8popue

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38) The myth of the urban millennial
Source: Show-Me Daily
by Patrick Tuohey

“The debate over what millennials want continues to rage in Kansas City and elsewhere. City leaders are spending gobs of taxpayer money on entertainment districts, streetcars, and subsidized housing in hopes that the so-called creative class will flock there. But the evidence to support such efforts is weak and growing weaker with time.” (02/04/15)

http://www.showmedaily.org/2015/02/kansas-city-millennial-magnet.html

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39) Reality vs. conservatism: Conservatism loses, again
Source: Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“The core conservative ‘freedom’ argument, that government is illegitimate and we should all rely on our own ‘personal responsibility,’ came up against reality in the last few days. Conservative ideology — as it always does when confronted with reality — lost. There has been an outbreak of measles in the United States. So far, as of early February, there have been more cases of measles in the US than occur a typical year, and it is spreading. It is not a lot of cases, but there is a risk of it spreading out of control — because too few children are vaccinated. Before the vaccination program began in 1963 there were an average of 549,000 cases a year in the US, with around 500 deaths. Since 1963 vaccinations largely eliminated the disease in the US.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ltm3juq

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40) Get vaccinated
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jessica Flanigan

“Some arguments for vaccination requirements go like this: We already have a bunch of laws that tell people what to do for the sake of their health, and those laws are good, so why not also have laws in favor of vaccines? In general, I oppose the idea that public officials can interfere with people’s choices for the sake of public health. For example, I think that drug prohibitions, soda bans, and seat belt laws for adults are all impermissible policies. People are not liable to be interfered with simply because they are making an unhealthy choice. But vaccines are different for two reasons. First, I don’t think we should presume that parents have rights to make medical decisions for their kids. Rather, children’s treatment should be determined by what is in the best interest of the child, and that means getting vaccinated. (Tim Dare has a nice paper on parental authority here.) Second, people don’t have rights to harm other people, and that is what vaccine refusal is.” (02/04/15)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2015/02/get-vaccinated/

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41) N guilty men: A history of the presumption of innocence
Source: Libertarianism.org
by Helen Dale

“What if I told you that the bulk of crime in Britain was committed by 100,000 known individuals with a list of previous convictions that makes them easy to trace? And what if I added that we could arrest the lot of them, lock them up without charge, and reduce the country’s crime rate almost to zero overnight? Tempted? I hope you’re not tempted, but it is true that we know who most of the future criminals are, where they live, what race and sex they are, and lots of other things about them. And it is also true that if we reverted to a world where guilt is presumed — just lock ’em up, where there’s smoke there’s fire, of course they’ll do it again — we would indeed reduce our crime rate to trivial levels.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q64hkgt

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42) When your government lies to you
Source: QandO
by Bruce McQuain

“Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup lays out one of the biggest lies our government is party to each month. The unemployment rate. Right now the lie claims that only 5.6% of those who want to work aren’t working. That’s simply not true. But it is a lie that banks on you not looking into how the government computes this number.” (02/04/15)

http://www.qando.net/2015/02/04/when-your-government-lies-to-you/

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43) Western spy agencies secretly rely on hackers for intel and expertise
Source: The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald

“The U.S., U.K. and Canadian governments characterize hackers as a criminal menace, warn of the threats they allegedly pose to critical infrastructure, and aggressively prosecute them, but they are also secretly exploiting their information and expertise, according to top secret documents. In some cases, the surveillance agencies are obtaining the content of emails by monitoring hackers as they breach email accounts, often without notifying the hacking victims of these breaches. ‘Hackers are stealing the emails of some of our targets … by collecting the hackers’ ‘take,’ we … get access to the emails themselves,’ reads one top secret 2010 National Security Agency document.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oykysln

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44) Why are taxpayers giving millions to the NFL?
Source: The Libertarian Republic
by Grant Philips

“Now that the Super Bowl is over, media commentators are using a laundry list of words to describe the event, none of which includes ‘expensive for taxpayers.’ This has spurred at least one lawmaker to skewer NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the tax-free status enjoyed by the NFL. Congressman Jason Chaffetz has a point: the IRS classification of the NFL as ‘non-profit’ is laughable. The NFL and professional sports leagues are a temple for underhanded corporate welfare and cronyism. In a 21 year span, 55 stadiums were constructed costing $87 billion in direct costs, 57% of which was financed by the tax payer.” (02/04/15)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/taxpayers-giving-millions-nfl/

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45) We can have modern medicine and freedom
Source: USA Today
by US Senator Rand Paul, R-KY

“Ah, the tempest of a media maelstrom. Headlines claim falsely that I am against vaccines or say they cause disorders. Quite ironic, that the press called me anti-vaccine on the same day I received my booster vaccine for Hepatitis A. In two interviews on the subject this week, I spent the bulk of my time defending vaccines as one of the greatest advancements in medicine. As a doctor, I am well aware of their need and effectiveness. To me, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston’s inoculation of his son with live smallpox was one of the most courageous acts in the history of medicine.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lr4ws7v

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46) New bipartisan bills give Congress a chance to strengthen email privacy
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nate Cardozo

“A pair of bills aimed at reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) were introduced in the United States Congress today. The bills, championed by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lee (R-Utah) and Representatives Yoder (R-Ks.) and Polis (D-Co.) focus on clarifying that the government must obtain a warrant before looking at email and other private online messages. EFF strongly supports this common sense reform.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m676olw

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47) What’s so funny?
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“It’s interesting to think about what society views as funny, and what it does not. Comedians make lots of jokes about drinking alcohol, but you generally don’t see jokes about serious crimes like rape. (In the rare cases where they occur, the comedian is usually scolded.) Where do drugs fit in?” (02/03/15)

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

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48) Turning Ukraine into a stage for western preening
Source: spiked
by Tim Black

“Western leaders, cheered on by a braying, Russia-stereotyping commentariat, have not only helped to create the situation in Ukraine — they have also ceaselessly used it to haul themselves on to the moral high ground, issuing condemnations of Russia, and pushing through new rafts of economic sanctions with one hand, while beckoning Ukraine’s government to come ever closer to the European Union with the other. And now, as Russia responds ever more dangerously, ever more unpredictably, to what it perceives to be a threat on its border, how are Western leaders and an increasingly excited media responding? By upping the ante yet further.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5hqz2s

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49) Obama’s 2016 federal budget and middle class economics
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Clyde Wayne Crews

“In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected federal spending to return to $4 trillion by 2017. Spending had topped $4 trillion back during the height of the downturn, when America was in full-stimulus mode, pouring money into ‘shovel-ready’ projects and infrastructure. President Barack Obama doesn’t want to wait; his just-released federal budget proposal for FY 2016 seeks $3.999 trillion in spending.” (02/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q44pz72

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50) How Uncle Sam became a bank robber
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“During her confirmation hearings last week, Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, called civil forfeiture, a form of legalized theft in which the government takes people’s property without accusing them of a crime, ‘a wonderful tool.’ Lynch, currently the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, suggested that innocent owners need not worry about getting hammered by this tool, because forfeiture ‘is done pursuant to supervision by a court,’ and ‘the protections are there.’ In light of a forfeiture case that Lynch’s office had abruptly dropped the previous week, her assurances rang hollow. The case, involving $447,000 that the government stole from a Long Island business and sat on for nearly three years, illustrates the injustice inflicted by seizures in which a ‘crime’ that harms no one becomes an excuse for bank heists that enrich the agencies perpetrating them.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nyjuzrw

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51) Who’s the war hero?
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that neither the Justice Department nor Congress has ever launched an official investigation into the U.S. national-security state’s murder of Horman and Teruggi. As I point out my article, the State Department launched a secret investigation into the murder, reached the same conclusion as that Chilean court, and then proceeded to cover it up. When Horman’s widow Joyce Horman brought a wrongful-death action in U.S. District Court, the federal judiciary summarily dismissed her case, without permitting her to take even one deposition. One thing is for sure: On September 11, 1973, the Chilean people learned first-hand what President Eisenhower had warned the American people about — about how a nation’s national-security establishment poses a grave threat to the liberties and democratic processes of a nation.” (02/04/15)

http://fff.org/2015/02/04/whos-war-hero/

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52) Ray McGovern on The Scott Horton Show
Source: The Scott Horton Show

“Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), discusses his possible imprisonment for criminal trespass and resisting arrest (for using a paid ticket to see David Petraeus speak at a New York YMCA); and the neocons trying to provoke a military confrontation with Russia by supplying US armaments to Ukraine.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/03/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/02/03/2315-ray-mcgovern/

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53) History in the balance: Why Greece must repudiate its “banker bailout” debts and exit the euro
Source: LewRockwell.com
by David Stockman

“Now and again history reaches an inflection point. Statesman and mere politicians, as the case may be, find themselves confronted with fraught circumstances and stark choices. February 2015 is one such moment. For its part, Greece stands at a fork in the road. Syriza can move aggressively to recover Greece’s democratic sovereignty or it can desperately cling to the faltering currency and financial machinery of the Euro zone. But it can’t do both.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nyyx6nw

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54) What one Son of Liberty can do, so can another
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad

“I remember learning about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and about the Sons of Liberty. British colonists who were mad as hell about a distant central government taxing their income between 1% and 2%, plus additional taxes on sugar trade and tea. … Today, we live under a regime that wants up to 35% of our income. On what is left of our earnings, we pay taxes on everything from our daily purchases to our real estate holdings. We are even forced to do businesses with private health insurance companies or pay a fine.” (02/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k5radya

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55) How markets tell the truth and politics tells lies
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Gary M Galles

“Coordination requires a process that reveals accurate information to those who make choices. Otherwise, the information will be lost, along with any wealth creation that might have followed. Undistorted market prices provide that information. While what people say may be misleading, people reveal many truths when they engage in market behavior. After all, what you do is often far more truthful than what you say. … In contrast, because politics is based more on what people say than on what they do, it often short-circuits the mechanisms for discovering the truth: prices, profit, and loss. Politics becomes less about cooperation and more about creating perceptions.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m8jqfhb

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RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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