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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,128
Friday, February 6th, 2015
438 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) NATO agrees to escalate tensions in eastern Europe
2) Syria and Iraq: Jordanian air force launches new airstrikes after vowing harsh war on Islamic State
3) Surgeon General: Data shows marijuana “can be helpful”
4) Australia: Liberal MPs will vote on a leadership spill
5) PA: Two Philly cops charged in man’s beating
6) Israel: “Bottlegate” allegations dog Netanyahu before polls
7) Mexico: Land rights activist killed; four detained
8) Greek FM to Germany: End “gross indignity”
9) VA: Lawmaker withdraws constitutional convention proposal
10) OMB Director: Boomer retirement means more US debt
11) Elizabeth Warren plays corporate welfare sugar mommy (again)
12) Obama pulls the plug on $1.1 billion “clean coal” project
13) MD: Five convicted, three acquitted in Baltimore jail corruption trial
14) GOP unveils new ObamaCare alternative
15) KS: City governments, fake gun rights advocates support “flexibility” bill
16) Report: Hagel concerned about possible split in NATO
17) RadioShack files for bankruptcy as Sprint agrees to share stores
18) Hamburg to step down as FDA shot-caller
19) TX: SCOTUS blocks scheduled state killing
20) TX: Man tells lazy bureaucrats it’s not his job to help them do theirs; arrest follows

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Preet Bharara v. Ross Ulbricht: Who’s the real Dread Pirate Roberts?
22) Why I fight for a world without the state
23) “A substantial shift in attitudes”
24) Military metaphysics: A military definition of reality
25) Interview: Are Hamilton and Hull the same un-libertarian troll?
26) Free Talk Live, 02/05/15
27) GOP could cut $50 billion from budget and not shut down the government
28) The sins of Brian Williams
29) Mike Huckabee just doesn’t get it
30) The crash of The New Republic
31) Liberty Lines, 02/05/15
32) Lon Horiuchi: American Sniper
33) Why we should worry about domestic drones
34) Smedley Butler and the racket that is war
35) Mike Maharrey on The Scott Horton Show
36) Spanking is always unnecessary, part 1
37) The sham lawsuit that could eviscerate Obamacare
38) To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
39) GOP’s immigration Plan B: Fight over the Senate’s magical legislative power
40) Health care spending is up, way up
41) Tetlock and counter-factual history
42) Logical fallacies #7: Affirming the consequent
43) Obama’s budget proposal portends more problematic micromanaging by OCR
44) The “sharing economy? More like “share the crumbs”
45) The FGM show trial: This case should never have come to court
46) The folly of 1845: Texas and the evils of annexation
47) Anti terror
48) Embalmed dissent, or the fault in ourselves
49) By the numbers: Is the unemployment rate a “big lie?”
50) Attack of the pseudo-economists
51) Why we shouldn’t arm Ukraine
52) Shameless — meet seven congressmen who joined lobbying firms less than a month after leaving office
53) Shut out: How land-use regulations hurt the poor
54) Congress puts out tip jars in an effort to reduce national debt
55) Herd immunity
56) Negotiators burn their last opportunity to salvage the TPP by caving on copyright term extension
57) Libertarianism is on the verge of a political breakout
58) How to lose a “war on terror”
59) FDR’s smashing of America’s monetary system
60) Net Neutrality bait and switch to Title II

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

1) NATO agrees to escalate tensions in eastern Europe
Source: Florida Statesman

“NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said February 5 that the alliance has agreed to immediately set up six bases in eastern Europe and establish a spearhead force of 5,000 troops in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine [sic]. Stoltenberg, speaking at a news conference in Brussels after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, said France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Britain agreed to take the lead in forming the spearhead force.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kjfpcut

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2) Syria and Iraq: Jordanian air force launches new airstrikes after vowing harsh war on Islamic State
Source: Boston Herald

“Dozens of Jordanian fighter jets bombed Islamic State training centers and weapons storage sites Thursday, intensifying attacks after the militants burned to death a captured Jordanian pilot. As part of the new campaign, Jordan is also attacking targets in Iraq, said Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Up to now, Jordan had struck IS targets in Syria, but not Iraq, as part of a U.S.-led military coalition.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mjjnrau

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3) Surgeon General: Data shows marijuana “can be helpful”
Source: Raw Story

“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has admitted that weed is beneficial in the treatment of certain conditions. It’s seemingly a small step forward, but some medical marijuana advocates think it will make all the difference in the battle for legalizing weed. On Wednesday, Murthy answered questions about the measles outbreak — noting primarily that vaccines are safe — but was prodded to discuss his opinion on medical marijuana. His response showed that his take on medical marijuana is open but cautious.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nyaa3rc

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4) Australia: Liberal MPs will vote on a leadership spill
Source: news.com.au [Australia]

“Tony Abbott says he and Julie Bishop will oppose the spill motion to be put to the party room on Tuesday. Mr Abbott urged his party to avoid the chaos of the Labor years. ‘We are not the Labor party and we are not going to repeat the chaos of Labor years,’ the Prime Minister said. He said his colleagues Luke Simpkins and Don Randall were ‘entitled’ to bring forward the spill motion but that they were defying what the Australian people had voted for.” [editor’s note: I’m pretty sure the translation of that from Australian to American is that the Liberal Party’s MPs “the party room”) about to hold a vote of no confidence (“spill vote”) in their party leadership. Or maybe someone is wanting to pour punch down someone’s back at a social function. Hard to tell for sure – TLK] (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ohwl8wg

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5) PA: Two Philly cops charged in man’s beating
Source: Allentown Morning Call

“Two city police officers were arrested Thursday and accused of knocking a man off a scooter and beating him so severely that another officer thought he had been shot. Officers Sean McKnight, 30, and Kevin Robinson, 26, were immediately suspended for 30 days and will likely be fired, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. The pair had been off the street while a grand jury investigated. … McKnight, a seven-year police veteran, and Robinson, a six-year veteran, were charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, reckless endangerment, lying to authorities, falsifying records and obstructing justice.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q5m7gjn

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6) Israel: “Bottlegate” allegations dog Netanyahu before polls
Source: Dawn [Pakistan]

“In what has quickly become known as ‘bottlegate,’ the Israeli prime minister’s wife is alleged to have instructed her staff to take empty bottles from state functions, at their official residence in Jerusalem, to a supermarket for recycling — and then hand the cash over to her. … Since Sara Netanyahu is being treated as a private individual and not a government official, state comptroller Joseph Shapira handed the brief over to the attorney general, who has instructed police to begin examining the case — which could end in criminal charges. In a Facebook post responding to the claims, Mr Netanyahu wrote it off as an old story that is being recycled by the media in an effort to try and topple his Likud party and bring a ‘leftwing’ government into power in next month’s election. Members of Likud’s youth movement held a demonstration outside the Tel Aviv offices of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth last week, to protest what they claim is the media’s efforts to defame Netanyahu.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p8ad4wq

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7) Mexico: Land rights activist killed; four detained
Source: ABC

“Police in Mexico have detained four men suspected of involvement in the killing of a land rights activist from the state of Morelos. Alejandro Salgado Delgado of the Popular Revolutionary Front disappeared Tuesday in the eastern part of the state after a meeting with area residents.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lr6nsqj

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8) Greek FM to Germany: End “gross indignity”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Greece’s new finance minister has urged Germany to help end the ‘gross indignity’ of the Greek debt crisis. Yanis Varoufakis said ‘too much time, hopes, lives’ had been wasted by Greece’s forced austerity programme. He was speaking after talks with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said a reduction of Greece’s debt was off the agenda. Mr Varoufakis has been seeking support for Greece’s plan to renegotiate its massive international bailout.” (02/05/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31147112

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9) VA: Lawmaker withdraws constitutional convention proposal
Source: Washington Post

“Virginia apparently will not be backing a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution this year. Del. Scott Lingamfelter withdrew his resolution urging Congress to call a constitutional convention Thursday. He said the measure did not have enough support in the House or the Senate to pass. … Only three states have petitioned Congress for a constitutional convention. It takes 34.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pbvuk9o

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10) OMB Director: Boomer retirement means more US debt
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“While the nation provides healthcare and retirement benefits to the giant baby boom generation, the US government may have to learn to live with higher levels of debt than would otherwise be ideal, says Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan. The federal budget for fiscal year 2016, whose drafting Mr. Donovan supervised, projects federal debt next year will total $18.6 trillion, an amount equal to 75 percent of the size of the US economy. That level of federal debt is the highest level since 1950 and up sharply from 39.3 percent of GDP as recently as 2008.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ne3v9as

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11) Elizabeth Warren plays corporate welfare sugar mommy (again)
Source: Time

“Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic star who just last week unveiled a bill targeting the profits of large drug makers, doesn’t sound like much of a populist when it comes to another group of big health care corporations, the medical device manufacturers, many of which happen to be headquartered in the Senator’s home state of Massachusetts. Warren’s coziness with those companies is now earning her criticism within her party, with one former Democratic Senate staffer describing some of her positions as ‘repulsive.’ … Warren took to the floor of the Senate on Jan. 29 to unveil a bill she said would act as a kind of multi-million dollar ‘swear jar’ for pharmaceutical companies that break the law, penalizing them when they get caught and using the funds to supplement scientific research. … her bill has a loophole in it for medical device manufacturers. Those companies… would be exempt from her proposed penalties unless they also make drugs. At the same time, her bill explicitly ensures that the so-called ‘medtech’ companies would benefit from the research dollars that her ‘swear jar’ would generate.” [editor’s note: What a “progressive” — she also fought to keep the Export-Import Bank alive and shelling out money to favored businesses – TLK] (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwxs43q

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12) Obama pulls the plug on $1.1 billion “clean coal” project
Source: Fox News

“The Obama administration is pulling the plug on a stimulus-backed ‘clean coal’ power plant in central Illinois that was supposed to play a key support role for a proposed regulation to mandate carbon capture technology for coal plants. The Energy Department announced it was pulling funding for the FutureGen 2.0 power plant after awarding project developers $1.1 billion as part of the 2009 stimulus package — most of the awarded funds were never spent.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n6jg74b

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13) MD: Five convicted, three acquitted in Baltimore jail corruption trial
Source: Baltimore Sun

“A federal jury convicted five people and acquitted three others Thursday in a Baltimore jailhouse corruption case, ending a more than two-month trial that saw a parade of inmates, disgraced corrections officers and law enforcement officers outline an ‘upside-down world’ where criminals were in charge. The verdicts brought the total number of people convicted in the case to 40 — 24 of whom were corrections officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center. The trial of the only eight defendants not to take guilty pleas began in November and featured testimony by the alleged ringleader of the Black Guerrilla Family gang inside the jail, Tavon White.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/le5av23

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14) GOP unveils new ObamaCare alternative
Source: The Hill

“Three top Republicans are pushing an alternative to ObamaCare that would scrap the law’s mandates while keeping the tax credits that help low-income people buy private insurance coverage. An outline of the plan was made public late Wednesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). The plan — released the same week that the House cast its first vote of the year to repeal ObamaCare — will compete with several other replacement options as the GOP tries to coalesce around a response to a looming Supreme Court decision that could dismantle the law.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kr7uv2y

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15) KS: City governments, fake gun rights advocates support “flexibility” bill
Source: Wichita Eagle

“Both guns-rights advocates [sic] and municipal governments are supportive of a bill that would allow local governments to permit concealed guns in public buildings but restrict them in certain areas. Senate Bill 66, sponsored by Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, tweaks the state law that requires public buildings, such as courthouses, to provide security measures such as guards and metal detectors at entrances if they want to prohibit guns on the premises. … Courthouses could allow guns in the building and restrict them in certain areas, such as courtrooms. He argued this would give local governments more flexibility.” [editor’s note: There’s nothing “flexible” about “shall not be infringed” – TLK] (02/05/15)

http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article9342752.html

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16) Report: Hagel concerned about possible split in NATO
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday he is worried about a potential division within NATO as countries in the north want to focus on the growing threat from Russia, while other alliance members in the south are more worried about the influx of foreign fighters from northern Africa. In his final appearance at a NATO meeting as secretary, Hagel delivered a sobering message to the allies, saying they must be able to address all challenges on all fronts at the same time.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ne3v9as

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17) RadioShack files for bankruptcy as Sprint agrees to share stores
Source: CNet

“RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, although Sprint has swooped in to ensure there will still be life for the electronics chain. The long-struggling retailer said it had entered into a deal with General Wireless, a unit of investing firm Standard General, to sell between 1,500 and 2,400 stores in the US. RadioShack operates 4,000 company-owned stores in the country. … The bankruptcy filing marks the end of a publicly owned and independent RadioShack, which has been operating for nearly a century.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lau6r5j

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18) Hamburg to step down as FDA shot-caller
Source: Dubuque Telegraph Herald

“From food safety to tobacco and politically charged drug approvals, Margaret Hamburg reset the course of the embattled Food and Drug Administration, an agency that had often been seen as ineffective. After nearly six years on the job, Hamburg announced her resignation today in an email to staff. She said the agency’s chief scientist, Stephen Ostroff, will serve as acting commissioner. She is among the longest-serving commissioners to head the agency and helped oversee the creation of a new food safety system, reforms in how drugs are reviewed and new tobacco regulations.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lke25cc

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19) TX: SCOTUS blocks scheduled state killing
Source: ABC News

“A Texas inmate set to be [killed] next week for fatally shooting four men at an airplane hangar more than 30 years ago won a reprieve Thursday from the U.S. Supreme Court. Lester Bower Jr., 67, among the longest-serving Texas death row inmates, had been scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday. The justices gave no reason for the reprieve, saying only that it would be lifted automatically if they deny an appeal or act on it.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qczqx7t

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20) TX: Man tells lazy bureaucrats it’s not his job to help them do theirs; arrest follows
Source: Reuters

“A Texas man has been arrested for taking tightly wound currency into a county office to pay his $600 property tax bill and then launching a tirade when asked to help unfold the money …. Among the cash Norris took to the tax office was a bundle of tightly folded $1 bills that took staff several minutes each to unfold …. Tax officials requested the bills be unfolded so that they could count the money, and this prompted Norris to launch an anti-government rant where he showed his anger about paying taxes, the sheriff’s office said. He was arrested after refusing to leave the office.” ()2/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pudmzes

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

21) Preet Bharara v. Ross Ulbricht: Who’s the real Dread Pirate Roberts?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Thomas L Knapp

“The pseudonym ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ is drawn from the popular 1987 film The Princess Bride. Wikipedia summarizes the character as ‘not one man, but a series of individuals who periodically pass the name and reputation to a chosen successor. … the method works because Roberts'[s] notorious reputation inspires overwhelming fear in sailors. Ships immediately capitulate and surrender their wealth rather than be captured, a fate they imagine to be certain death.’ For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Ulbricht was, indeed, the operator of Silk Road as of his arrest. Who sounds more like Dread Pirate Roberts: The operator of a business connecting willing sellers with willing buyers, or the US Attorney who caged him and whose co-conspirators in the US Marshals Service auctioned off Bitcoin — tens of millions of dollars worth — stolen from Silk Road’s accounts?” (02/05/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35600

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22) Why I fight for a world without the state
Source: Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

“In an earlier phase of my intellectual development, I had been seduced by the heady siren song of limited government, which sounds like the most viable solution, but on closer examination is the most silly of chimeras. There is no historical precedent in the Western world, throughout its entire history, of a government calving off another or rising out of the ashes of extinction of the previous regime, containing themselves within the confines of power originally set forth at their germination. None. There are plenty of empty promises and proclamations of purity, but the usual suspects will be self-selected, seeking to rule others; most of whom are socio- or psychopathic. Politics is nothing more than the nationalization of human transactions, where the converse is the complete privatization of the planet. The latter is the charter of this blog.” (02/05/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3817

—-

23) “A substantial shift in attitudes”
Source: Vin Suprynowicz
by Vin Suprynowicz

“In case anyone is suffering those winter blahs, let’s start with some recent good news: The Huffington Post reports ‘For the first time in more than 20 years, Americans say it’s more important to protect the right to own guns than it is to control gun ownership.’ … Now, even conducting such a poll makes a political statement, implying such rights should somehow depend on majority support. When was the last time ‘Pew Research’ or Gallup did a poll on whether Americans think we should retain the freedom of religion or the freedom of the press? So far, none of the media elite seem to want those subjected to the fickle fancy of an impressionable mob.” (02/05/15)

http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=2394

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24) Military metaphysics: A military definition of reality
Source: The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy

“The political sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) coined a new term, The Power Elite, through the title of his popular 1956 book. The term described the relationships of power between people who occupied leadership positions in three key segments of society: the political, the economic (big business) and the military. This troika of authority shared a common vision and a common goal; they wanted to centralize the power of society under their control.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odf8so6

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25) Interview: Are Hamilton and Hull the same un-libertarian troll?
Source: Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed

“This story began with a book on Indiegogo, LIBERTARIANS: America’s Political Terrorists whose author turned out to be a former Texas Libertarian Party candidate for office, Shawn Michael Hamilton. Hours of Googling through social media turned up substantial evidence via photos and biographical data that Hamilton had previously run for Congress on the Florida LP ticket under the name Michael Hull. It now appears that Hamilton/Hull is a member of the Republican Party in North Carolina. Now one person out of a dozen contacted, Kurt Hildebrand, State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas, has agreed to an exclusive interview …” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q4zfzcp

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26) Free Talk Live, 02/05/15
Source: Free Talk Live

“There should be voter qualifications :: Switchblade legality :: The vaccine debate :: Herd immunity :: Caller wants Ross Ulbricht in jail :: Rand Paul vs Federal Reserve, shots fired! :: The morality of slaughtering animals :: Determinism :: The Freedom Feens vs Cantwell debate :: Irresponsible Greek spending.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/05/15)

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27) GOP could cut $50 billion from budget and not shut down the government
Source: Fox News Forum
by Ryan James Girdusk

“This session of Congress will be a contentious; Republicans need to walk a tightrope reinventing their image as a party that can govern while appeasing their base. Certainly no major entitlement reform will come out of this congress and be signed by the president — that’s a bridge too far. A place Republicans can make serious inroads though is with President Obama’s $4 trillion dollar budget. As Budget Chairman Rep. Tom Price and House Republicans are going through their committee hearings and markups of the budget they can easily find ways to cut spending without shutting down the government.” [editor’s note: Someone should let this guy how little most of those GOPers in Congress care about actually doing something constructive – SAT] (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lkxnl4t

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28) The sins of Brian Williams
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The Twitteratti are a tizzy over Williams'[s] blatant fibbery: he’s been telling the same story for years, all about how he was in a helicopter over Iraq that came under attack and he feared for his life. ‘I was in a place I had no business being,’ he said the other day, reiterating the lie and even embellishing it. This was too much for those soldiers who had actually been there, and they quickly debunked his tall tale: Stars and Stripes got a hold of it, and Williams was soon issuing groveling-yet-incomplete apologies, claiming he’d ‘misremembered’ the incident. The Twitter mob then descended — but what are they complaining about? After all, this is the very least of the lies Williams has told on air — and, as far as I’m concerned, the least egregious.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nk9a8lr

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29) Mike Huckabee just doesn’t get it
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“Mike Huckabee is a nice man, an intelligent man, but when it comes to facts of life which appear to contradict his 2,000 year-old religion he just doesn’t get it. He’s one of those nice intelligent guys who stubbornly deny reality preferring to cling instead to Biblical fantasy. That alone, in my opinion disqualifies him to ever become President of the United States.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnzdwkl

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30) The crash of The New Republic
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Starr

“The tension between money and left-of-center politics has its correlate in the world of the media. Like liberal political candidates, liberal political magazines depend on wealthy donors in what is often an uneasy relationship. That tension was evident in the implosion of The New Republic in early December, when nearly all the magazine’s well-known editors and writers quit after its owner, Facebook millionaire Chris Hughes, replaced the top leadership and announced he was turning the magazine into a ‘digital media company.'” (02/05/15)

http://prospect.org/article/crash-new-republic

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31) Liberty Lines, 02/05/15
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“I have some good news that you may not like hearing: Islam won’t take over the world. Its fanatical adherents would like to; they just can’t. Not without some civilization-ending catastrophe to pave the way — such as a major asteroid strike, a plague wiping out most of humanity, or some other ‘science fiction’ scenario. Sure, those things could happen, but they’re not likely, and not something you can control, so you shouldn’t obsess over it. Besides, at that point Islam would be the least of your worries. Still, it is completely self-defeating to support policies which empower the fundamentalist Muslims — such as the modern secular Crusade led by the US government.” (02/05/15)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2015/02/liberty-lines-feb-5-2015.html

—–

32) Lon Horiuchi: American Sniper
Source: Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg

“Many who have seen the cinematic tribute to the late Chris Kyle describe the experience in religious terms, recalling how a chastened, reverent silence descended on the theater as the end credits rolled. If the individual once known as Lon Horiuchi was part of the congregation, the impious sentiment of jealousy may have tainted his devotion. After all, he had also been true and faithful to his commission as a state-employed killer, shooting people from long distances at the command of his superiors; why isn’t he the object of similar veneration?” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kskwoga

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33) Why we should worry about domestic drones
Source: Reuters
by Robert Beckhusen

“Let’s imagine the worst-case scenario involving domestic drones. No, not the tiny quadcopter whose operator mistakenly crashed it on the south lawn of the White House. Let’s try something scarier. Take several drones, and equip each with a few pounds of explosives, shrapnel and ball bearings. Then send them on a one-way kamikaze mission. As the technology advances, network the drones so they travel in a group and explode at the same time.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pm3676h

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34) Smedley Butler and the racket that is war
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

“Butler proposed ways to make war less likely. Unlike others, he had little faith in disarmament conferences and the like. Rather, he suggested three measures: (1) take the profit out of war by conscripting ‘capital and industry and labor’ at $30 a month before soldiers are conscripted; (2) submit the question of entry into a proposed war to a vote only of ‘those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying;’ (3) ‘make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.’ It’s unlikely that those measures would ever be adopted by Congress or signed by a president, and of course conscription is morally objectionable, even if the idea of drafting war profiteers has a certain appeal. But Butler’s heart was in the right place.” (02/05/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/smedley-butler-racket-war/

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35) Mike Maharrey on The Scott Horton Show
Source: The Scott Horton Show

“Mike Maharrey, the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, discusses the 200 state bills seeking to block or limit federal power, ranging from laws bypassing the FDA to allow terminal patients access to experimental drugs and treatments, to laws addressing Second Amendment and militarized police issues.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/04/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/02/04/2415-mike-maharrey/

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36) Spanking is always unnecessary, part 1
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“The practice of spanking children in particular, and child punishment in general, was abandoned in my family in August of 2011. We’ve never looked back. Sure my children have had their hard moments, but I’ve managed to find better ways to help them through than with spanking or time-outs. In every case, I either found and dealt with the unmet need that caused the problem, or failing that, got them through their trouble with empathy, compassion, and humor. I am now completely unconvinced that spanking, or any punishment of children, is ever necessary.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kaab8j8

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37) The sham lawsuit that could eviscerate Obamacare
Source: The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter

“Republicans in the House voted on Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act — for the fifty-six time. After four years these show votes have become a tedious joke. But Wednesday’s action had bleaker implications, as it was cast in the shadow of a lawsuit that could undermine the healthcare law in fatal ways. In a few weeks the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, which contends that the text of the ACA allows the IRS to give subsidies only to people who purchase insurance through exchanges set up by their state, and not to those who rely on the federally run marketplace.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qcmutgf

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38) To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
Source: LewRockwell.com
by Andrew P Napolitano

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unwittingly ignited a firestorm earlier this week when he responded to a reporter’s question in Great Britain about forced vaccinations of children in New Jersey by suggesting that the law in the U.S. needs to balance the rights of parents against the government’s duty to maintain standards of public health. Before Christie could soften the tone of his use of the word ‘balance,’ Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul jumped into the fray to support the governor. In doing so, he made a stronger case for the rights of parents by advancing the view that all vaccines do not work for all children and the ultimate decision-maker should be parents and not bureaucrats or judges. He argued not for balance, but for bias — in favor of parents.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/omervfh

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39) GOP’s immigration Plan B: Fight over the Senate’s magical legislative power
Source: Salon
by Simon Maloy

“The doomed-to-fail Republican effort to use legislation funding the Department of Homeland as a tool to dismantle President Obama’s immigration orders has, of course, failed. But the politics of the thing require that Republicans in Congress make a show of defiance to the president before giving in and agreeing to fund the country’s national security bureaucracy without any strings. The bill will pass, they insist, because that’s what the American people want/why they were elected/what the rule of law demands/etc. The insurmountable problem is that legislation passed by the House will not make it out of the Senate. The Democrats filibustered it on Tuesday, and filibustered it again yesterday, and filibustered it again today. Republicans in the Senate are nowhere near the 60 votes they need to invoke cloture, so the House bill is, for all practical purposes, dead. Don’t tell that to the House GOP, though. They’re insisting that their counterparts in the Senate pass the legislation — apparently through some sort of filibuster-breaking magic that imparts the power of 60 votes to the 53-or-so Republicans who back the measure.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n6knq4g

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40) Health care spending is up, way up
Source: Independent Institute
by John R Graham

“The economic data on health spending has been bouncing around like crazy in the age of Obamacare, so we must not read too much into one report. Nevertheless, the January 30 report on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that health spending has begun to race up again, despite moderate economic growth.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kvxgyhy

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41) Tetlock and counter-factual history
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“I’ve long been fond of counter-factual history. Like: If Prinzip hadn’t assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, North Korea wouldn’t be a Communist dictatorship. Or: If Lenin had died in early 1917, the Communists wouldn’t have taken over Russia, and the Nazis probably wouldn’t have taken over Germany. In many cases, I freely admit that counter-factual history is hard and hazy. I make no confident claims about what the world would be like today if Christianity had never arisen. In other cases, however, I think counter-factual history is pretty easy and clear — especially if we’re only discussing the following decade or two rather than the entire subsequent history of mankind.” (02/05/15)

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

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42) Logical fallacies #7: Affirming the consequent
Source: Adam Smith Institute

“Madsen Pirie’s latest moral fallacy: affirming the consequent.” [Flash video] (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lfkx5j6

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43) Obama’s budget proposal portends more problematic micromanaging by OCR
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Susan Kruth

“Given recent oversteps by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), FIRE was dismayed to learn of President Obama’s proposal to increase OCR’s funding by 31 percent — to 131 million dollars — for 2016. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, this would allow OCR to hire 210 additional full-time employees to join its current staff of 544, for a total of 754 employees. As Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) senior attorney Hans Bader, who used to work for OCR, argued in a post on CEI’s blog yesterday, OCR has already done significant damage and should not be rewarded for hurtling beyond the bounds of its authority.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kkqlwhe

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44) The “sharing economy? More like “share the crumbs”
Source: In These Times
by Robert Reich

“How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots’ owners? Meanwhile, human beings do the work that’s unpredictable — odd jobs, on-call projects, fetching and fixing, driving and delivering, tiny tasks needed at any and all hours — and patch together barely enough to live on. Brace yourself. This is the economy we’re now barreling toward.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqg7ay3

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45) The FGM show trial: This case should never have come to court
Source: spiked
by Brid Hehir

“Yesterday, a jury in the UK found Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena not guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) on a newly delivered young mother. Another man was cleared of abetting Dr Dharmasena. The jury of 12 concluded, in less than 30 minutes, that the evidence offered by the prosecution, representing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), was wholly lacking in conviction. All I can say is: three cheers for juries! This case should never have come to court.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kh5jmfk

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46) The folly of 1845: Texas and the evils of annexation
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken

“This year marks the 170th anniversary of the annexation of Texas by the United States government. Although Texas militias had gained de facto independence from Mexico in 1836, negotiations between Mexico and the United States continued for another nine years as the Texas government attempted to work out a long-term strategy for Texas. Most Texans (especially the Anglo ones) wanted union with the United States, and American settlers looking to move to Texas also wanted union to ease emigration and legal issues. Moreover, American slave owners saw the opportunity to admit another slave state to the United States to counterbalance the addition of northern free states from the Louisiana Purchase.” (02/05/15)

http://mises.org/library/folly-1845-texas-and-evils-annexation

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47) Anti terror
Source: The Cagle Post
by Steve Nease

Cartoon. (02/04/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/02/anti-terror/

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48) Embalmed dissent, or the fault in ourselves
Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“In their ignorant devotion to the mythical, utterly false view of America as ‘a shining city on a hill,’ most Americans prefer to believe that torture was an aberration that the U.S. government practiced for only a short period of time. And America will, of course, never do it again, as we have been assured by Obama and every other political leader. They’re all lying, of course. America was founded on torture: how could it be otherwise for a nation which arose out of a centuries-long genocide of Native Americans and the centuries-long institution of slavery?” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjypzdh

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49) By the numbers: Is the unemployment rate a “big lie?”
Source: The Skeptical Libertarian
by Daniel Bier

“Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of the polling company Gallup, published an opinion piece this week denouncing the official unemployment rate of 5.6% as a ‘big lie.’ It’s a lie, he says, repeated to make the Obama administration look good and deceive Americans about the economy. … You see these kinds of stories every few months when there’s a drop in unemployment (last November, it was Sean Hannity making a stink, in past years it’s been GE’s former CEO Jack Welch), and you’ll probably continue see them for the rest of your life. The reason is that one side is always trying to make the economy look worse than it is commonly supposed to be, and journalists and pundits are always looking for sensational stories.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k3j5qxd

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50) Attack of the pseudo-economists
Source: The Canal
by Adrian Ravier

“In my professional opinion, university courses for the social sciences and the so-called hard sciences should both include a component involving economics. After all, graduates of whatever stripe invariably go on to be part of one market or another, and they shouldn’t be alien to its dynamic, or without a minimal understanding of how its prices are formed, and the consequences of state interventionism.” (02/05/15)

http://blog.panampost.com/editor/2015/02/05/attack_pseudo_economists/

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51) Why we shouldn’t arm Ukraine
Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

“In recent decades, you could make a good living betting on American military intervention in any foreign crisis covered by CNN. President Barack Obama has resisted demands to escalate our response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but his resistance may soon collapse. It has been under great pressure for months, with Republicans accusing him of being ‘weak and indecisive.’ … Obama abstained from shipping weapons to Ukraine because there was no reason to think they would do much good — and there still isn’t. Lethal military assistance combines several unappealing features.” (02/05/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/02/05/why-we-shouldnt-arm-ukraine

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52) Shameless — meet seven congressmen who joined lobbying firms less than a month after leaving office
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“If there was a walk of shame for so-called Congressional ‘representatives,’ this list would serve as an excellent starting point. Their actions serve as definitive proof that the vast majority of politicians are only in it for money and power. They could care less about ‘public service’ or being statesmen. If that was truly their calling in life, they wouldn’t immediately turn around and join lobbying firms the moment they leave office. Yet all they do is cash in.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pkt774q

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53) Shut out: How land-use regulations hurt the poor
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Sandy Ikeda

“One kind of regulation that was actually intended to harm the poor, and especially poor minorities, was zoning. The ostensible reason for zoning was to address unhealthy conditions in cities by functionally separating land uses, which is called ‘exclusionary zoning.’ But prior to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, some municipalities had race-based exclusionary land-use regulations. Early in the 20th century, several California cities masked their racist intent by specifically excluding laundry businesses, predominantly Chinese owned, from certain areas of the cities. Today, of course, explicitly race-based, exclusionary zoning policies are illegal. But some zoning regulations nevertheless price certain demographics out of particular neighborhoods by forbidding multifamily dwellings, which are more affordable to low- or middle-income individuals.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/okhkmkr

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54) Congress puts out tip jars in an effort to reduce national debt
Source: Students For Liberty
by Suzanne Schaefer

“With the national debt surpassing $18,000,000,000,000, Congress has decided to put out tip jars all over Capitol Hill in a mass effort to reduce the overwhelming and rapidly increasing national debt. ‘We’re all taking steps to be proactive,’ said Representative John Boehner, ‘we can’t just all sit around and do nothing. So we’ve been brainstorming ways to alleviate this immense burden from the shoulders of American citizens. Because we care.’ … ‘I’ve already contributed $2.36,’ beamed Boehner. ‘I’ve always got some spare change in my pockets, so it’s been easy to just drop it in the jar. I’d probably scrape up even more if the jars were cute little piggy banks,’ Boehner giggled. ‘There’s just something so fun about feeding a cute little piggy bank!'” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lsvl8va

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55) Herd immunity
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Those who fear a negative personal effect from vaccination (and there are some, though the ‘autism’ charge appears to be bogus) become ‘free riders,’ as economists like to put it. They gain a de facto immunity without having to pay — either in money or in the small risk that vaccination does demonstrate. This particular free rider benefit depends on the concept of ‘herd immunity.’ That’s the conjectured level of protection for individuals who lack biological immunity by the overwhelming presence of vaccinated people in a population who are immune. (The disease can’t spread because it hits too many dead ends in healthy hosts.)” (02/05/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/02/05/vaxxers/

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56) Negotiators burn their last opportunity to salvage the TPP by caving on copyright term extension
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Maira Sutton

“New reports indicate that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have agreed to language that would bind its 12 signatory nations to extend copyright terms to match the United States’ already excessive length of copyright. … Negotiators have been made well aware that there is no economic rationale that can justify this extension. The fact that they have chosen to ignore what is a clear consensus among economists points to the fact that this agreement has not been driven by reason, but by the utter corruption of the process by lobbyists for multinational entertainment conglomerates, who have twisted what is notionally a trade negotiation into a special interest money-grab.” (02/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qzlsyl3

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57) Libertarianism is on the verge of a political breakout
Source: Cato Institute
by David Boaz

“The growth of the libertarian movement is a product of two factors: the spread of libertarian ideas and sentiments, and the expansion of government during the Bush and Obama administrations, particularly the civil liberties abuses after 9/11 and the bailouts and out-of-control spending after the financial crisis. As one journalist noted in 2009, ‘The Obama administration brought with it ambitions of a resurgence of FDR and LBJ’s active-state liberalism. And with it, Obama has revived the enduring American challenge to the state.'” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q57evs7

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58) How to lose a “war on terror”
Source: CounterPunch
by Ramzy Baroud

“The Sinai Peninsula has moved from the margins of Egyptian body politic to the uncontested center, as Egypt’s strong man — President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi — finds himself greatly undercut by the rise of an insurgency that seems to be growing stronger with time. Another series of deadly and coordinated attacks, on January 29, shattered the Egyptian army’s confidence, pushing it further into a deadly course of a war that can only be won by political sagacity, not bigger guns.” (02/05/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/05/how-to-lose-a-war-on-terror/

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59) FDR’s smashing of America’s monetary system
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Among President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s notable ‘achievements’ was his smashing of America’s monetary system into oblivion. It is impossible to overstate the significance of what Roosevelt did and the fact that he did it without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment.” (02/05/15)

http://fff.org/2015/02/05/fdrs-smashing-americas-monetary-system/

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60) Net Neutrality bait and switch to Title II
Source: Heartland Institute
by Scott Cleland

“et neutrality and Title II FCC Internet regulation are not the same. Net neutrality is forward-looking, 21st century Internet freedom. Title II is backward-looking, 1934 government restrictions of a bygone telephone monopoly. Net neutrality is all about protecting consumers’ Internet freedoms. Title II is all about politics, power and control.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2a6yon

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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