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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,129
Monday, February 9th, 2015
439 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) Australia: Abbott survives leadership challenge
2) France: Socialists win parliament seat in face-off with National Front
3) Johnson to Congress: Don’t make DHS furlough 30,000 tax-sucking parasites
4) Jordan: Air force launches several dozen airstrikes on ISIS targets
5) Iraq: Baghdad celebrates lifting of curfew after 12 years
6) China: Regime kills Ferrari-loving billionaire “gangster”
7) China: Xi Jinping plans to make first state visit to US
8) Sudan: Russian embassy in Khartoum confirms kidnap of pilots in Darfur
9) Haiti: Protesters march to demand lower gasoline prices
10) Yemen: UN envoy says national talks will resume amid crisis
11) Nigeria: Electoral commission delays election
12) Egypt: At least 20 killed as riot breaks out at soccer match
13) Williams takes leave as NBC anchor amid controversy
14) CO: Proposed assisted suicide law voted down
15) Report: IRS rehired ex-employees with major tax issues
16) Chocolate snorting offers new way to a cocoa high
17) WA: Armed gun rights advocates rally at state capitol
18) MO: Scared stupid? Parents stage kidnapping to teach son, six, to fear
19) North Korea fires missiles off coast
20) India: Mumbai wants panic buttons, Uber says not practicable

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Joe Biden’s dangerous game
22) The poison called nationalism
23) Kiev’s bloody war is backfiring
24) Impaired self defense
25) Nanny doesn’t like cigars
26) TPP a huge deal, why is it kept secret?
27) Every liberal’s dream president, too good to be true
28) The nirvana fallacy
29) How the academy green-lit student censorship
30) This week in “libertarian straw man fallacies”
31) Was Saudi government complicit in 9/11 attacks? Not likely
32) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 02/07/15
33) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/08/15
34) Abolish the criminal justice system, part 4: Free all prisoners
35) On public investment, jobs & dreams
36) Obama is no friend of beer drinkers
37) Sheldon Richman on The Scott Horton Show
38) Visitors center could be profitable
39) How to achieve full employment
40) Freethought and freedom: Atheism, morality, and civic virtue
41) Medicare and Social Security tabs coming due
42) Is Jeb Bush just another “big government” liberal?
43) Republicans on the verge of a nervous breakdown over Obama’s “executive amnesty”
44) Getting serious about keeping children safe
45) Greece jumps from Scylla to Charybdis
46) Trust Panama to regulate Uber like you trust politicians
47) Could this be the case that ends ObamaCare?
48) US ranks first in intellectual property [sic] rights [sic] 49) Unpacking France’s chilling proposal to hold companies accountable for speech
50) Yes, we should call out the state for its wrongs
51) Do you want ANOTHER Cold War?
52) Diverse drivers’ data
53) Celebritarian pathos: The curious case of Christopher Cantwell
54) Brian Williams
55) Stevie, dictator of Togo

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

1) Australia: Abbott survives leadership challenge
Source: Business Standard [India]

“Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today survived a confidence vote on his leadership after just 17 months in power, despite a disastrous new poll showing his popularity plunging. … The motion aimed to declare vacant the positions of party leader and deputy leader — currently occupied by Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Julie Bishop. If it had succeeded, the party room, or Liberal Party members of both houses of Parliament, could vote for new candidates for the jobs. But the 101 Liberal parliamentarians — one was absent — rejected the proposal by 61 to 39 in a secret ballot.” (02/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pk7sbha

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2) France: Socialists win parliament seat in face-off with National Front
Source: FRANCE 24 [France]

“France’s ruling Socialists beat the far-right National Front party to secure a vacant seat in parliament for the Doubs region with 51.43% of the vote to 48.57%, official results said Sunday. President Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialists won the hotly contested by-election after the conservative UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) party candidate was eliminated in the first round. Hollande, long plagued by plummeting popularity figures, has seen his approval ratings double from record lows in the aftermath of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/jvpp693

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3) Johnson to Congress: Don’t make DHS furlough 30,000 tax-sucking parasites
Source: CNN

“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says he will have to furlough at least 30,000 workers if Congress doesn’t approve its funding by the end of this month. His comments, during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ came as conservatives on Capitol Hill insist that they use a Homeland Security funding measure as leverage to attack President Barack Obama’s immigration actions. But Johnson said he’s meeting with members of Congress every day this month, urging them to drop that idea.” (02/08/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/08/politics/jeh-johnson-dhs-funding/

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4) Jordan: Air force launches several dozen airstrikes on ISIS targets
Source: Knoxville Times

“A Jordanian official says dozens of air strikes have been launched against ISIS militants since the group released a video last week showing the burning to death of a Jordanian fighter pilot. Jordan said at the time it would retaliate harshly for the brutal execution of the pilot, who was doused in petrol and set on fire in a cage.” (02/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/myso65x

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5) Iraq: Baghdad celebrates lifting of curfew after 12 years
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“People in Baghdad have been celebrating the lifting of a 12-year-old curfew in the Iraqi capital. Pictures on social media showed people dancing in the streets as the restriction came to an end at midnight local time. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he had taken the decision to help normalise life in Baghdad. It came despite a string of explosions in the capital which killed at least 32 people on Saturday. Residents had previously had their movements restricted between the hours of 00:00 and 05:00.” (02/07/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31220604

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6) China: Regime kills Ferrari-loving billionaire “gangster”
Source: Telegraph [UK]

“A Chinese billionaire famed for his love of casinos, cigars and luxury cars was executed on Monday in one of the most dramatic episodes yet in president Xi Jinping’s war on corruption. Liu Han, a 49-year-old mining tycoon once worth at least £4.2 billion, was one of five alleged mafia kingpins to receive the death penalty after being convicted of offences including gun-running and murder. … The disgraced billionaire was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to death last May, with a court in Hubei province declaring him head of ‘a cabal of ferocious gangsters.'” (02/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/laoo89m

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7) China: Xi Jinping plans to make first state visit to US
Source: ABC News

“A top Chinese diplomat has said President Xi Jinping plans to make his first state visit to the U.S. later this year, Chinese state media reported Monday. The official China Daily newspaper quoted China’s ambassador to the U.S. Ciu Tiankai as saying Chinese and U.S. officials are discussing the visit. Ciu told Chinese reporters Sunday that no date had been determined yet.” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kso55kg

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8) Sudan: Russian embassy in Khartoum confirms kidnap of pilots in Darfur
Source: New York Telegraph

“Two Russian citizens working in Africa for UTair airline, which has been contracted by the United Nations, have been kidnapped in Sudan’s Darfur region, according to Russian officials. UTair has a contract to fly aircraft for the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in war torn Darfur (Unamid).” (02/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pdcoyya

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9) Haiti: Protesters march to demand lower gasoline prices
Source: Salt Lake Tribune

“At least 6,000 protesters marched through Haiti’s capital Saturday to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly. The protest in Port-au-Prince remained peaceful overall although police briefly threw tear gas and dispersed a crowd that had thrown trash and tires in the street to block traffic.” (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5v2emm

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10) Yemen: UN envoy says national talks will resume amid crisis
Source: St. Augustine Record

“Yemen will resume national talks over its future, the U.N. envoy to the country said Sunday, just days after Shiite rebels dissolved parliament and formally took power. Those talks Monday will include Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, whose Houthi rebels stormed into the capital, Sanaa, and elsewhere in September before besieging the president and seizing total control of the Arab world’s poorest country on Friday, envoy Jamal Benomar said.” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/jwf7rnr

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11) Nigeria: Electoral commission delays election
Source: MarketWatch

“The opposition in Nigeria on Sunday joined the U.S. in condemning the government for delaying an election here, as businesses braced for a costly political stalemate in Africa’s top economy. A decision the night before by Nigeria’s electoral commission to postpone a Feb. 14 presidential election — because the military declined to provide security — was a ‘setback for democracy,’ the All Progressives Congress said in a statement. The party, Nigeria’s first competitive opposition group, had hoped to win in Nigeria’s election next week. Instead, that vote has been delayed at least until March 28, prompting a raft of election observers to postpone their flights to this troubled democracy.” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nlsb7uu

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12) Egypt: At least 20 killed as riot breaks out at soccer match
Source: Denver Post

“A riot broke out Sunday night outside of a major soccer game in Egypt, with a stampede and fighting between police and fans killing at least 20 people, security officials said. The riot, only three years after similar violence killed 74 people, began ahead of a match between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at Air Defense Stadium east of Cairo. Such attacks in the past have sparked days of violent protests pitting the country’s hard-core fans against police officers in a nation already on edge after years of revolt and turmoil.” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kpztpan

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13) Williams takes leave as NBC anchor amid controversy
Source: Bloomberg

“Brian Williams will take a break from anchoring the ‘NBC Nightly News’ amid growing questions about the credibility of his reporting. Lester Holt will replace Williams for the time being, Williams wrote in a note to his staff on Saturday that said the issue has detracted from the U.S.’s most-watched nightly news broadcast. … Williams didn’t mention the controversy when he anchored the show Friday evening, hours after NBC confirmed it was investigating its most prominent newsman’s on-air claims that a military helicopter he was traveling in was shot and forced down in the Iraqi desert in 2003. Williams has since retracted his account and apologized after servicemen disputed his story.” (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pomtxjv

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14) CO: Proposed assisted suicide law voted down
Source: Raw Story

“After 10 hours of emotional testimony and debate, Colorado lawmakers late on Friday voted down a proposed assisted-suicide law that would have allowed terminally-ill patients to end their lives with prescription drugs. By an 8-to-5 bipartisan vote, the so-called ‘Death with Dignity’ bill was rejected by the Public Health and Human Services Committee in the state’s House of Representatives. The measure was sponsored by two Democratic lawmakers. ‘Supporting a concept and a bill are two different things,’ said committee chairwoman Dianne Primavera, a Democrat, during the hearing.” (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q4xts2t

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15) Report: IRS rehired ex-employees with major tax issues
Source: Fox News

“Hundreds of former Internal Revenue Service employees who had a history of misconduct and poor performance on the job were rehired by the tax agency, including some who had committed fraud or falsified documents. The previously cited IRS staff included 141 employees who had problems paying their own taxes, the agency’s inspector general said in a report made public Thursday. Several had ‘willfully failed to file their federal tax returns,’ the report said.” (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/prec25y

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16) Chocolate snorting offers new way to a cocoa high
Source: Reuters

“When Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone created a chocolate-sniffing device for a Rolling Stones party in 2007, he never imagined demand would stretch much beyond the rock & roll scene. But, seven years later, he has sold 25,000 of them. Inspired by a device his grandfather used to propel tobacco snuff up his nose, Persoone created a ‘Chocolate Shooter’ to deliver a hit of Dominican Republic or Peruvian cocoa powder, mixed with mint and either ginger or raspberry.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o4zrzvs

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17) WA: Armed gun rights advocates rally at state capitol
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A gun-rights rally drew about 50 people, mostly armed, to the steps of the Capitol on Saturday morning for a demonstration they hoped would end with their arrest. To raise money for bail, some protesters hawked caps with ‘Fight Tyranny — Shoot Back’ printed on them and sold out. The plan was to walk into the Capitol after a few speeches and carry guns into the Legislature’s viewing gallery, in defiance of rule changes made in January that banned the open carry of firearms there. However, the Washington State Patrol kept the gallery doors locked after the building opened to the public at 11 a.m. The crowd, including two state legislators, walked through the marble hallways, with some lining up to knock on the doors to the House gallery and Gov. Jay Inslee’s office. No one was arrested, and the State Patrol reported no disturbances. The protesters went instead to the closed gate of the governor’s mansion and prayed.” (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ptz74le

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18) MO: Scared stupid? Parents stage kidnapping to teach son, six, to fear
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“Police in Lincoln County, Mo., say a 6-year-old boy was subjected to a violent kidnapping arranged by family members who worried he was ‘too nice’ and wanted to scare him to teach him to be warier of strangers. According to the account from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office: The boy’s aunt arranged for a male co-worker to do the kidnapping, with the consent of the boy’s mother and grandmother. He then lured the boy into his truck, told him he would never ‘see his mommy again,’ and showed him a handgun. The man bound his hands and feet, blindfolded him, and took him to the family’s basement. After more trauma, the boy was taken upstairs for a lecture on stranger danger.” [editor’s note: Great, and now he won’t trust the only people he normally would have (once they get out of prison) – SAT] (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nkyjyly

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19) North Korea fires missiles off coast
Source: Arirang [South Korean state media]

“North Korea fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Sunday. According to a South Korean defense ministry official, the missiles hit the sea after traveling about 200 kilometers. The reclusive regime frequently fires short-range missiles as part of military drills, usually to demonstrate its military prowess when feeling pressured by the outside world. The latest firing comes ahead of a large-scale South Korea-U.S. military drill scheduled for March.” (02/08/15)

http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=175658

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20) India: Mumbai wants panic buttons, Uber says not practicable
Source: Times of India [India]

“Uber and the transport department are on collision course when it comes to installing the physical panic buttons in cabs. While transport commissioner Mahesh Zagade has cracked a whip and made it mandatory for all private taxis to have the physical panic switch near passenger seat, Uber feels these buttons will ’cause confusion and are prone to wear and tear.’ … Said Uber general manager (Mumbai) Shailesh Sawlani, ‘As a technology company, Uber does not own the cars nor employs drivers. We partner with independent contractors who are licensed to provide commercial transportation by the government. This means that these drivers are free to work with other operators as well. Imagine you enter the vehicle of a driver who works on four platforms. His/her car will need to have four physical panic buttons. In a situation of distress, the rider would have to pick the correct operator’s panic button to be able to get help on time.'” (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvzq66a

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

21) Joe Biden’s dangerous game
Source: The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

“US vice-president Joe Biden put American exceptionalism on display in a big way Saturday (February 7), laying down a tough line of patter to the 2015 Munich Security Conference. Biden called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to ‘get out of Ukraine,’ doubling down on US threats to escalate conflict in the Russia-Ukraine border region by arming Kiev’s forces. ‘Too many times, President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, troops and weapons,’ quoth Biden, by way of promising peace and simultaneously promising to deliver tanks, weapons and possibly US troops.” (02/08/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/98

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22) The poison called nationalism
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman

“The reason for the venom directed at those of us who question American sniper Chris Kyle’s status as a hero can be put into one word: nationalism. Nationalism is a poison. It attacks the mind, short-circuits thinking, and makes self-destruction look appealing. Nationalism sows the seeds of hate and war. It makes the title warrior an honorific instead of the pejorative it ought to be.” (02/06/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/tgif-poison-called-nationalism/

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23) Kiev’s bloody war is backfiring
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“Draft resistance is at an all-time high: a mere 6 percent of those called up have reported voluntarily. This has forced the Kiev authorities to go knocking on doors — where they are met either with a mass of angry villagers, who refuse to let them take anyone, or else ghost towns where virtually everyone has fled. In the Transcarpathia region of western Ukraine, entire villages have been emptied, the inhabitants fleeing to Russia to wait out the war — or the fall of the Kiev regime, whichever comes first. ‘It may seem a paradox,’ says Transcarpathia’s chief recruitment officer, ‘but from the western Ukrainian region of Ternopyl people have fled to Russia in order to escape army conscription.’ The frantic Ukrainian regime is now contemplating conscripting women over 20.” (02/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nup2aj9

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24) Impaired self defense
Source: The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty

“First, of course, it helps to define ‘impaired.’ Perfectly alert, with perfect judgment, perfect physical ability, and perfect training/experience describes nobody on earth, which makes every single human being ‘impaired’ to some extent, if compared to perfection. If not perfection, to what is it compared? Who decides? And why? A person’s physical abilities and judgment is relative to so many things, and the perception of those things is subjective and individual.” (02/08/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6926

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25) Nanny doesn’t like cigars
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“More than 50 years after President John F. Kennedy secretly purchased 1,200 Cuban cigars prior to imposing a trade embargo on Fidel Castro’s regime, President Barack Obama said on Dec. 17 that he is reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba and hopes Congress will end the commercial embargo. Cigar aficionados stood up immediately, in the hope that the U.S. Customs Service might no longer stand between Americans and Cuban cigars. But the Food and Drug Administration could torpedo the first shipment before it reaches port.” (02/09/15)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2015/02/06/barrons-nanny-doesnt-like-cigars/

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26) TPP a huge deal, why is it kept secret?
Source: In These Times
by David Sirota

“The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and 11 Asian nations would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy — but don’t ask what they are. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. Nevertheless, at last month’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the Obama administration from intensifying criticism of its refusal to release the full text of the proposed trade pact.” (02/06/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17608/tpp_negotiations

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27) Every liberal’s dream president, too good to be true
Source: The New Republic
by Eve Fairbanks

“The man was old and rumpled, no tie over his blue-and-white striped shirt. His eyes squinted; his hair looked like it was slicked back with kitchen grease. He ascended the podium in the United Nations General Assembly hall clutching a sheaf of papers. Before him sat the diplomatic orthodoxy, sleek in Amal Alamuddin hairdos and Savile Row suits. Ostensibly, Jose Mujica, as president of Uruguay, was a fellow member of the global elite. But if his attire didn’t make it clear that his allegiances lay elsewhere, what he was about to say would. Most U.N. speeches are pure boilerplate. The address Mujica was about to give on September 24, 2013 was something else entirely.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kkpcgst

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28) The nirvana fallacy
Source: Students For Liberty
by Nathan Goodman

“The world we live in is full of imperfections. As one looks around society, it’s not hard to find examples of externalities, imperfect information, or collective action problems that leave public goods insufficiently dispersed. But from these failures, it’s all too easy to leap to advocating idealized solutions. The problems we’re trying to solve arose from imperfect institutions populated by imperfect people. Positing perfection on the part of the institutions one advocates to solve a problem is unrealistic.” (02/08/15)

http://studentsforliberty.org/blog/2015/02/08/the-nirvana-fallacy/

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29) How the academy green-lit student censorship
Source: spiked
by Joanna Williams

“It would be easy to get the impression that students have created an environment in which banning things on a whim is the new normal, while academics look on in horror and champion the cause of free speech. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Restricting what can be said on campus began with academics and university administrators. While, in recent years, a proportion of the student body may have taken censorship to heart with all the fervour of a moral crusade, it is academics who legitimised the notion that words and images offend, that people should be protected from offence, and that restricting free speech is the best way to achieve this aim.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mkpv7a3

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30) This week in “libertarian straw man fallacies”
Source: Notes On Liberty
by Brandon Christensen

“Notice Falk’s all-too-reasonable lead-in. He gives off the vibe that he is the moderate one here, because he understands the libertarian argument and that, therefore, he is in control. … While Falk is in control, libertarians themselves are not in control. They have no idea what they are doing. Falk understands this about libertarianism. Libertarians do not.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kohhmtl

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31) Was Saudi government complicit in 9/11 attacks? Not likely
Source: The Nation
by Juan Cole

“The brouhaha about possible Saudi Arabian funding of Al Qaeda in the run-up to the September 11, 2001, attacks is being fueled from two directions. It is being pushed by Zacarias Moussaoui, sometimes called the ‘twentieth hijacker,’ now serving a life sentence in a federal supermax penitentiary. There are also allegations of Saudi funding in a congressional report on 9/11, a portion of which has not been released. That Saudi Arabia or its royal family were complicit in an attack on New York and Washington is completely implausible.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mykxmsp

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32) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 02/07/15
Source: KN@PPSTER

“In this episode: Thanks for Asking! (Florida and music questions); Christopher Cantwell; Do you financially support people ‘engaged in violent activities overseas, including conspiring to murder and maim persons?’ Shout-out to Rodger Paxton & The Lava Flow Podcast (and rambling monologue on podcasting in general).” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lqptssp

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33) Freedom Feens Radio, 02/08/15
Source: Freedom Feens

“Ben Stone the Bad Quaker, Michael W. Dean And Lousander Feen (in the second hour) drop Part Seven in their 36-part series, ‘Adopting and Adapting the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service of Alcoholics Anonymous to treating the disease of Statism, the disease of clinging to bad ideas, and the disease of clinging to bad people.'” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/onseavk

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34) Abolish the criminal justice system, part 4: Free all prisoners
Source: Students For Liberty
by Jason Byas

“The last three posts of this series have been focused on the injustice of punishment and criminal law, and the justice of a tort-based pure restitution system. Even if punishment itself were legitimate, however, we would still have reason to reject the main form of punishment that exists today.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lfydj89

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35) On public investment, jobs & dreams
Source: Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“Alongside Friday’s good employment data, there is a brouhaha on the Internets over claims that the government’s employment numbers are a ‘big lie.’ Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of the Gallup polling company penned ‘The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment,’ claiming that ‘the media’ is ‘cheerleading’ and the White House is ‘scor[ing] political points’ over phony numbers that the government makes up to make things look better than they are.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nne27op

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36) Obama is no friend of beer drinkers
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Chad Nelson

“It’s frustrating to hear US president Barack Obama receive kudos from the beer community simply because of his fondness for the beverage. Between his 2009 Beer Summit, his occasional beer in public, and his recent quip that he’s the first president to brew beer at the White House since George Washington, Obama has successfully cultivated a faux-cool image using beer as a prop. A bit of advice to Obama: If you really want to be a hero to the beer community, use your platform to remedy the government-caused shortage of beer variety. Use your office to shine a light on how government regulation of alcohol restricts consumer choice and drives up the price of beer. And for God’s sake, stop drinking Bud Light!” (02/06/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/35534

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37) Sheldon Richman on The Scott Horton Show
Source: The Scott Horton Show

“Sheldon Richman, vice president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses why ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle is no more an American hero/patriot than Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza.” (02/05/15)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/02/05/2515-sheldon-richman/

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38) Visitors center could be profitable
Source: Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal

“The Texico New Mexico Visitors Center’s fate has generated a bit of talk — most of which seems to revolve around trying to convince government to spend confiscated money to re-open it, leaving it in the hands of the very group that fumbled it. Why hand it back to them? Only the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ sees wisdom in continuing to throw money down a hole when you can stop. The best way to stop, in this case, is to let someone else risk their own money.” (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/op3gb34

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39) How to achieve full employment
Source: The American Prospect
by Lawrence Mishel

“It is encouraging that there is now widespread agreement across the political spectrum that the key economic challenge is middle-class income stagnation. To address this stagnation we must confront two underlying trends. The first is to address the ongoing but incomplete jobs recovery from the financial crisis that Wall Street inflicted on the global economy. The second trend is the stagnation of wages for the vast majority of workers since the late 1970s, an era of ‘wage suppression.’ That wage trends lay at the heart of income stagnation is just common sense. After all, middle-class families rely almost completely on what they earn from their jobs to support their consumer spending.” (02/06/15)

http://prospect.org/article/heres-how-achieve-full-employment

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40) Freethought and freedom: Atheism, morality, and civic virtue
Source: Libertarianism.org
by George H Smith

“The No-true-Scotsman Move consists of making a universal statement about a certain class of people and then, when confronted with obvious counterexamples, redefining that class so that the original statement becomes true by definition. … The No-true-Scotsman Move was popular for centuries among those Christian theologians who embraced the common distinction between speculative (or theoretical) atheists and practical atheists.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj9qjxm

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41) Medicare and Social Security tabs coming due
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“The national debt has dropped out of the headlines recently, but that doesn’t mean that it has gone away. In fact, just a few weeks ago, the debt officially topped $18 trillion. For those keeping score, that equals roughly 101 percent of GDP. In other words, we now owe more than the value of all goods and services produced in this country over a year. And, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the debt will climb to almost $27.3 trillion within the next 10 years. Moreover, as Milton Friedman, pointed out, debt, like taxes, is just a measure of how we pay for the true cost of government, which is spending. That spending is currently on a path to reach 36 percent of GDP by mid-Century.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/opnbxnc

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42) Is Jeb Bush just another “big government” liberal?
Source: Reuters
by Craig Shirley

“You can say one thing about the Bushes: They don’t quit easily. Even when they try over and over — and fail over and over — to redesign traditional American conservatism. Even on this date, Feb. 6, Ronald Reagan’s birthday, the fight over the meaning of American conservatism goes on: The Bush family thinking one thing, and Reagan conservatives representing another. The Bushes’ agenda has always relied on big government. But Reagan’s agenda focused on shrinking the authority of the state and enlarging the power of the individual. This is not a nuanced difference.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l7xa5pz

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43) Republicans on the verge of a nervous breakdown over Obama’s “executive amnesty”
Source: Reason
by Shikha Dalmia

“Last month, the GOP leadership convinced restrictionists to temporarily hold their fire and pass a Cromnibus spending bill that would fund all federal departments till the end of fiscal 2015, except for DHS, which would be funded only till the end of this month. The plan was to use DHS funding as leverage to get Democrats — and the president — to back off on the so-called ‘executive amnesty’ (their exaggerated term for a three-year reprieve from deportation that does not even offer a path to legalization let alone citizenship) while avoiding a repeat performance of the 2013 government shutdown that splashed so much egg on the GOP’s face. So how’s it working out?” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kflcbgn

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44) Getting serious about keeping children safe
Source: Mises Canada
by Logan Albright

“In 2010, 4,419 children were killed in motor vehicle accidents. The number merely injured, while not reported, is doubtless many times greater. Could there be a more senseless waste of human life? And yet this statistic is rarely reported, it makes no appearance on 24 hour cable news stations, it does not grace the front page of the New York Times or any other paper of note. It goes largely ignored, a travesty, since a solution could so easily be implemented. I would therefore like to make the modest proposal that very young children, let’s say under the age of three, be banned from riding in automobiles. Think of the lives that could be saved by such a minor reform!” [satire] (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o5w49qz

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45) Greece jumps from Scylla to Charybdis
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Iain Murray

“Every Greek child reads Homer in school. So Greek children are familiar with the legend of Scylla and Charybdis, from Homer’s Odyssey. The sailor Odysseus, returning home after the Trojan War, is faced with a desperate choice in the straits separating Italy and Sicily. To one side is the monster Scylla, who will tear his ship and eat his crew. On the other is the whirlpool Charybdis, which will suck his entire ship down to the depths. He chooses to sail past Scylla, and loses only a few of his crew. Greece, in its recent parliamentary election, faced a similar choice. But unlike Odysseus, Greek voters chose Charybdis.” (02/06/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/greece-jumps-from-scylla-to-charybdis

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46) Trust Panama to regulate Uber like you trust politicians
Source: The Canal
by Felix Javier Puga

“Panama is a country that follows its own path. In recent elections, we not only rejected the populist progressive candidate, but we made his party disappear. While the first world debates whether printing money will help ease recession, we worry about only growing at a rate of 6 percent per year, and don’t even have a central bank. Sometimes doing things the opposite way around has its benefits. But while various efforts are underway to legislatively punish Uber for offering a cheaper personal transport service, in Panama the issue barely exists. In our country, Uber is more expensive than regular taxis, and its clients are those who previously never used taxis.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ldbe7um

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47) Could this be the case that ends ObamaCare?
Source: Heartland Institute
by Justin Haskins

“State officials in Ohio filed a lawsuit on Monday, Jan. 26 alleging Obamacare tax assessments against government agencies are unconstitutional. Unsurprisingly, the case was covered closely by major media outlets across the nation. But while the Ohio case may be getting all the headlines, it could be a case brought forward by an unknown Pennsylvania tax collector that ends up taking down key provisions of President Barack Obama’s signature law when the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit considers the case in the spring.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mc9r6wa

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48) US ranks first in intellectual property [sic] rights [sic] Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by Jeong Seo

“It should be noted that although the U.S. ranks number one in the GIPC Index, the Property Rights Alliance ranked the U.S. 17th in its 2014 International Property Rights Index which aims to quantify the strength of both physical and intellectual property rights. IP protection is essential to developing innovative solutions and products in any sector, but perhaps even more so in health care.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/laegdft

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49) Unpacking France’s chilling proposal to hold companies accountable for speech
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jillian York

“In effect, Hollande’s proposal seeks to hold social media companies accountable for the speech that they host. This is antithetical to US law, where online service providers are explicitly exempted from being treated as publishers, with few exceptions, thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In other countries, such as Thailand, a lack of protections for intermediaries led to the 2010 arrest of the editor of a popular publication. Her crime? A failure to quickly moderate comments that were deemed to defame the monarchy, an act that in Thailand comes with harsh penalties.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwap86h

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50) Yes, we should call out the state for its wrongs
Source: Reformed Libertarian
by C Jay Engel

“Screaming ‘Romans 13!’ to someone who is pointing out the immoral deeds of the State is like shouting ‘turn the other cheek!’ to someone who was just knocked hard in the jaw by some thug. It is an inappropriate response. It is true that we as Christians are to generally subject ourselves to those in power and turn the other cheek when smacked. That is not the debate. The debate is whether certain Statist activities and punching someone in the face (outside of the context of self-defense) are moral.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qd4hs9l

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51) Do you want ANOTHER Cold War?
Source: Downsize DC
by James Wilson

“President Obama is considering sending military aid to the Ukraine. Taking sides in Ukraine’s civil war will antagonize Russia and provoke another Cold War. That’s what the Ruling Class wants, because a Cold War means increased Defense spending. Cronies in the Military-Industrial Complex will be happy.” (02/06/15)

https://downsizedc.org/blog/do-you-want-another-cold-war

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52) Diverse drivers’ data
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“The idea of a ‘Surveillance State,’ where government watches and records our every move, is usually billed to us as a matter of protection. That’s sure a good way to sell us tyranny. True, we do sometimes receive protection from governments that keep tabs on us about what we do, where we go, who we see. But if this sort of thing doesn’t also give you the creeps, I am at a loss.” (02/06/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/02/06/diverse-drivers-data/

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53) Celebritarian pathos: The curious case of Christopher Cantwell
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“I’ve come across a number of theories about Christopher Cantwell, but they tend to fall within the range bounded at one end by ‘well, what do you expect, he’s an asshole?’ to ‘perhaps he’s a government saboteur/provocateur on a secret mission to discredit the libertarian movement.’ Personally, I think that range is far too limited and that other possibilities should be considered.” (02/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ngcqucv

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54) Brian Williams
Source: The Cagle Post
by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon. (02/06/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/02/brian-williams-9/

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55) Stevie, dictator of Togo
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Michael Christian

“I was a student at the Universite du Benin in Togo in 1983. With typical and, I think, admirable American disrespect for authority, my fellow exchange students and I enjoyed calling the president of Togo ‘Stevie,’ because he had changed his name from Etienne (French for ‘Steven’) to Gnassingbe, to sound more African. Our Togolese friends did not find it funny. It wasn’t that they were offended. They were afraid when they heard us talking like that and told us of ditches where the tortured corpses of the president’s critics appeared overnight.” (02/05/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1368

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RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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