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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,274
Thursday, September 4th, 2015
447 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com
*****

In the News:

1) Former Clinton staffer who set up illegal email server to invoke Fifth Amendment
2) Mikulski gives Obama key vote to protect Iran deal
3) China: Regime to cut 300,000 soldiers, shift resources to sea and air
4) FL: Arby’s caves, apologizes after employee refuses to serve local gang-banger
5) Indonesia extradites ex-police officer sought in US murder
6) Yemen: Bombs at mosque in capital kill at least 20
7) France: Regime dismisses inquiry into Yasser Arafat’s death
8) New Ukraine doctrine declares Russia military opponent
9) Mali, neighboring countries plan force to fight extremists
10) MA: Attorney General okays cannabis ballot initiatives
11) Clinton proposes $7.5 billion federal fund to “tackle drug and alcohol addiction”
12) TX: Eight counties list more voters than residents
13) DC: Army Ranger School officially opens to women
14) Report: Cannabis could help make organ transplants safer
15) Ukraine: WHO confirms two cases of polio in Zakarpattya Oblast
16) OH: Fracking foes say elections chief exceeds his authority
17) Syria: At least ten killed in Latakia blast
18) The Hague: Ntaganda pleads not guilty at ICC trial
19) Kazakhstan: Soyuz launches with three for space station
20) OK: Robbery kingpins, critics spar over laws allowing theft

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Your “duty” to protect and serve the police
22) Walter Block and Roderick Long on thick vs. thin libertarianism
23) Sheep led to the slaughter: The muzzling of free speech in America
24) We don’t need “decades of research” to know vaping is safer than smoking
25) Cause, consequence, and responsibility
26) Rebellion against standardized tests is exploding
27) The mountain of legal injustice in the USA
28) Carly Fiorina and the GOP gender card
29) Unnecessary evil
30) Exciting, illuminating book The Words We Live By makes the Constitution come alive
31) Welcome to the United States of Alice
32) Throw Kim Davis in jail
33) Citibank report claims slowing “global warming” with “investments” in renewable energy will “save” trillions of dollars for the economy
34) James Bovard on the Libertas Media Project Podcast
35) Why does anarchy make everyone fill their pants in fear?
36) Why oil investors are so behind the curve
37) The plot against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner
38) The League of Empire
39) How not to help sweatshop workers
40) On Alaska, Obama is no hypocrite
41) The New York Times’s latest false equivalence: The Gray Lady blows it on the “Ferguson effect”
42) Not a rant
43) I prefer plastic
44) In search of our first trillionaire
45) Why shouldn’t copyright be infinite?
46) Freedom Feens Radio, 09/02/15
47) Donald Trump’s nuclear test
48) College towns join the mania: The skyscraper curse in Auburn
49) The moral dimension of work
50) Politics 2016: Who will stand up to the War Party?
51) You keep using that word: Monopoly edition
52) You can’t say that, Chrissie
53) A choice not an echo … please
54) The Libertarian Angle, 09/02/15
55) Scott Alexander on labor economics: Point-by-point reply

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

1) Former Clinton staffer who set up illegal email server to invoke Fifth Amendment
Source: Politico

“The former Hillary Clinton staffer who oversaw her private email server plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to answer incriminating questions before the House Benghazi Committee, according to a letter his lawyer sent the panel. The panel on Aug. 11 subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano, the go-to technology fixer for Clinton’s home-made server, to testify privately next Thursday about what he knew of the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic front-runner’s email arrangement. The panel also asked for all his documents about the email arrangement. But in a letter to the committee, his lawyer said he’d take the Fifth to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions, according to a copy obtained by to POLITICO. He also is refusing to turn over documents, citing the ongoing FBI investigation.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q8bd6gy

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2) Mikulski gives Obama key vote to protect Iran deal
Source: Reuters

“Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said on Wednesday she will support the Iran nuclear deal, giving President Barack Obama the 34 Senate votes needed to sustain a veto of any congressional resolution disapproving the deal. Thirty-two Senate Democrats and two independents who vote with the Democrats now back the agreement.” [editor’s note: Nearly all coverage of this topic ignores the fact that “the Iran deal” is already US law under a treaty ratified by the US Senate in 1945 — the United Nations Charter binds the US to conform to Chapter 7 Resolutions of the UN Security Council; Congress has no lawful power to just reject such a resolution without rescinding the status of the US as signatory to that treaty – TLK] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p7qwwxn

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3) China: Regime to cut 300,000 soldiers, shift resources to sea and air
Source: Washington Post

“At a military parade Thursday to mark the end of World War II, President Xi Jinping announced that China will cut some 300,000 soldiers from the country’s 2-million-strong armed forces, a move that would accelerate his campaign to modernize the military, shifting resources from land to sea and air. Xi pitched the cuts, and indeed, the entire event, as a peace offering — a tough sell given growing concerns in Asia and around the world about China’s maritime claims and military might.” (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncajefk

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4) FL: Arby’s caves, apologizes after employee refuses to serve local gang-banger
Source: USA Today

“Arby’s said it has apologized to Florida’s Pembroke Pines Police Department after an employee at one of the fast-food chain’s locations allegedly refused to serve one of the department’s police officers. … Arby’s CEO Paul Brown and Senior Vice President of Operations Scott Boatwright, called Police Chief Dan Giustino on Wednesday morning and apologized. … The Broward and Dade County Police Benevolence Association said an apology was not enough and called on supporters to boycott Arby’s until the company fires the employees.” [editor’s note: I see the gang’s boycott and raise them a BUYcott! I guess it’s roast beef for dinner tonight! – TLK] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pb78ygd

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5) Indonesia extradites ex-police officer sought in US murder
Source: ABC News

“A former Austin, Texas, police officer has been charged with capital murder in the death of his pregnant girlfriend, according to a federal affidavit unsealed Wednesday. VonTrey Jamal Clark was being extradited from Indonesia to the United States. The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office scheduled a news conference Thursday to discuss the case against him in the death of Samantha Dean, whose body was found in February behind a vacant shopping center.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q45fhxe

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6) Yemen: Bombs at mosque in capital kill at least 20
Source: Bennington Banner

“An Islamic State-claimed suicide bomber and a subsequent car bombing killed at least 20 people Wednesday at a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, Sanaa, amid the country’s raging civil war, officials said. The suicide bomber blew himself up inside the mosque during the evening call to prayers, while the car bomb exploded outside an entrance, they said.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/npo98xo

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7) France: Regime dismisses inquiry into Yasser Arafat’s death
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

“French magistrates have decided to dismiss an inquiry into the 2004 death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whose widow claims he was poisoned. The assistant prosecutor in Nanterre, Emmanuelle Lepissier, told The Associated Press that Tuesday’s decision was made ‘because there was not sufficient evidence that Yasser Arafat was assassinated by polonium (poisoning) or the intervention by another person.'” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocvl5yj

—–

8) New Ukraine doctrine declares Russia military opponent
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel

“Ukraine’s national security council on Wednesday approved a new military doctrine that declares Russia to be a military opponent and calls for the country to pursue NATO membership. There was no immediate official reaction from Russia, which hotly denies claims that it has sent troops and equipment to [seceded states formerly affiliated with Ukraine] and which opposes Ukraine joining NATO.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/py3ccgc

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9) Mali, neighboring countries plan force to fight extremists
Source: Lompoc Record

“Mali’s defense ministry adviser says that five neighboring countries have met to discuss a joint force to fight extremism in the region. Lt. Col. Diarran Kone said Wednesday that representatives from Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad are meeting in Bamako to strategize.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/npdok7y

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10) MA: Attorney General okays cannabis ballot initiatives
Source: Raw Story

“Ballot initiatives from two marijuana advocacy groups were approved by the Massachusetts attorney general on Wednesday, leaving it up to voters to decide whether pot smoking should be legal in the state. The proposals, submitted to State Attorney General Maura Healey by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the Bay State Repeal, argue that legalizing the drug will make it easier to regulate its sale and prevent underage kids from accessing it. Now, the backers must collect and file signatures from more than 64,000 voters by Dec. 2. The proposal would then be sent to the Legislature in May.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pg564ur

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11) Clinton proposes $7.5 billion federal fund to “tackle drug and alcohol addiction”
Source: Reuters

“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would launch a $10 billion initiative to tackle drug and alcohol addiction, a problem she speaks of often on the campaign trail and which affects 23 million Americans. Clinton’s plan would include a new $7.5 billion federal fund to support states that launch addiction-related prevention, treatment, medical response, prescription and criminal justice initiatives. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, announced her plan in the Manchester Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper. She said at her first campaign stop in the state, a retired doctor told her the biggest problem facing the country was drug addiction.” [editor’s note: And what would be the first step in such a plan? How about ending the War on (some) Drugs? – SAT] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqalc7e

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12) TX: Eight counties list more voters than residents
Source: Fox News

“No law prevents localities from having more registered voters than voting-age residents, and eight Texas counties do. Now a vote-watch group accuses the counties of violating the National Voting Rights Act by failing to purge dead and ineligible voters. ‘We are deeply concerned (that) voter rolls contain substantial numbers of ineligible voters,’ True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht stated in a letter to the eight Texas counties. The counties — Loving, Brooks, McMullen, Roberts, Irion, Jim Hogg, Culberson and Polk — list a combined 52,298 registered voters. But the latest U.S. Census data show only 49,457 voting-age residents in those counties. County officials told Watchdog.org they are reviewing their voter lists in response to TTV’s threat of legal action.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/noq4mfv

—–

13) DC: Army Ranger School officially opens to women
Source: USA Today

“The Army announced Wednesday that its elite Ranger School will be open to all qualified women, a key milestone in the military’s efforts to lift the ban on females in ground combat jobs. The decision was made after the Army allowed women to enter a limited number of classes as part of an assessment to determine how best to integrate females into ground combat specialties, such as the infantry and special operations. Last month, the first two women graduated from the Ranger School as part of that assessment. A third woman remains in training.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nghc733

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14) Report: Cannabis could help make organ transplants safer
Source: Smell the Truth

“Chalk up yet another medical benefit from marijuana. Researchers from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine have found that THC, marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, could help delay the rejection of incompatible organs in transplant patients, reports the International Business Times. … Their study, which was published recently by the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, examined two groups of genetically different mice and transplanted skin from one group to another, insuring that transplant rejection was inevitable. One group of mice was given THC while the other was given a placebo. Researchers found that the THC treatment not only helped delay rejection of the skin transplant, but also increased survival of the skin graft.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfvsr4e

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15) Ukraine: WHO confirms two cases of polio in Zakarpattya Oblast
Source: Kyiv Post [Ukraine]

“The discovery of polio in two children in Ukraine’s westernmost Zakarpattya Oblast is causing concern, marking the country’s first cases of the paralytic disease in nine years. One child was 4 years old and the other 10 months old at the time of onset of paralysis, according to the World Health Organization, taking place on June 30 and July 7, respectively. Both children had not been vaccinated against polio. The WHO blames the low vaccination rate in Ukraine against poliomyelitis, the viral disease that can affect nerves and lead to partial or full paralysis.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/py3ojds

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16) OH: Fracking foes say elections chief exceeds his authority
Source: Hudson Hub-Times

“Residents in three Ohio counties where Secretary of State Jon Husted invalidated anti-fracking ballot issues this fall argued in a court filing Sept. 1 that voters, not the elections chief, should decide the substance of such issues. Residents in Fulton, Medina and Athens counties told the Ohio Supreme Court that Husted was supposed to decide the validity of their petitions, not the merits of the ‘community rights county charters’ they proposed.” [editor’s note: No surprise — as the Libertarian Party knows, Husted only obeys election laws when doing so makes elections come out the way he wants – TLK] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8dnwgt

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17) Syria: At least ten killed in Latakia blast
Source: Business Standard [India]

“At least 10 people were killed and 40 others wounded in a blast that rocked Syria’s northwestern coastal city of Latakia on Wednesday, the state-run TV reported. The blast was triggered by a booby-trapped vehicle and tore through al-Hamam square in the city of Latakia, Xinhua reported. … Earlier on Tuesday, the state-run media outlets said authorities discovered two explosive-laden vehicles that were set to be detonated in Latakia, the hometown of President Bashar al-Assad and heartland of his Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o9nv28g

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18) The Hague: Ntaganda pleads not guilty at ICC trial
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda has pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of his war crimes trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. The 18 charges include murder, rape and the recruitment of child soldiers. Evidence has been gathered from more than 2,000 alleged victims, including former child soldiers. Nicknamed ‘The Terminator,’ Gen Ntaganda’s trial is the biggest and most complex case in the ICC’s history. He fought for different rebel groups as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army.” (09/02/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34122613

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19) Kazakhstan: Soyuz launches with three for space station
Source: Indiana Gazette

“A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, a Dane and a Kazakh blasted off today for a two-day trip to the International Space Station. The rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a Russian launch facility in Kazakhstan, on schedule at 10:37 a.m. with ‘everything going flawlessly,’ according to a commentator on NASA television. It was the 500th launch of both manned and unmanned spacecraft from the launch pad used in 1961 by Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, the commentator said.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nl5vklo

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20) OK: Robbery kingpins, critics spar over laws allowing theft
Source: Oklahoma Watch

“In one corner: both conservatives and liberals at the State Capitol, warning of the need to rein in the frequent [thefts] of people’s cash and property by law enforcement agencies. In the other: law enforcement officials and prosecutors at the Tulsa Police Training Academy, insisting they act responsibly and in the public interest in their [thefts] of private assets as part of the war on drug traffickers. The dueling hearings occurred on the same day, Tuesday, underscoring the rift over legislation that would impose more limits on civil asset forfeiture. The practice has allowed city, county and state agencies to [steal] tens of millions of dollars in money and property over more than a decade.” (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p9lt5ae

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

21) Your “duty” to protect and serve the police
Source: Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg

“Glenn Beck, acting in his self-appointed role as a punitive populist prophet, has urged his audience to join ‘hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm,’ and ‘ring’ their local police departments in prayer. The local police are ‘under siege,’ Beck tremulously insists, and divine intervention on their behalf is necessary. Beck hasn’t yet urged Americans to act as human shields on behalf of the heavily armed, body armor-clad functionaries who are supposedly paid to protect them. Some police union officials haven’t shied away from suggesting that the public has a moral duty to protect the police, despite the fact that police have no reciprocal obligation to protect individuals threatened with criminal violence.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p7fhtg4

—–

22) Walter Block and Roderick Long on thick vs. thin libertarianism
Source: The Political Cure and YouTube channel DanielTheSexiest

“Walter Block and Roderick Tracy Long debate on what libertarianism is.” [Flash video] (09/02/15)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dk0xBvOlnE?feature=oembed]

—–

23) Sheep led to the slaughter: The muzzling of free speech in America
Source: The Daily Bell
by John W Whitehead

“The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots. With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called ‘government speech.'” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnmo2wj

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24) We don’t need “decades of research” to know vaping is safer than smoking
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“For a smoker contemplating a switch to vaping, it is worse than unhelpful to say, as Holger does, that ‘e-cigarettes pose dangers to our health,’ that they ‘carry their fair share of toxic chemicals,’ or that they ‘have negative effects on lungs.’ The relevant question is how the risks of vaping compare to the risks of smoking, and there is no question that they are much lower. By implying otherwise, e-cigarette alarmists may very well deter smokers from making a switch that could save their lives. Holger claims to be agnostic on the question of whether vaping is safer than smoking, and he thinks this is a scientific position. It isn’t.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oj3vpnk

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25) Cause, consequence, and responsibility
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“In a classic case of killing the messenger, China’s communist government is arresting people for publishing news stories about the massive crash of the Chinese stock market. In an editorial on the matter, the New York Times correctly observed, ‘The crackdown smacks of desperation. China’s communist government is looking for scapegoats for its mistakes.’ But why would that surprise anyone? Governments always look for scapegoats, especially when it is the government itself that is the root cause of the problem.” (09/02/15)

http://fff.org/2015/09/02/cause-consequence-responsibility/

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26) Rebellion against standardized tests is exploding
Source: The Nation
by Michelle Chen

“Opting out is in. Over the past two years, the movement to boycott standardized tests across New York State has mushroomed from a fringe rebellion to a mass mobilization against what many see as an anxiety-provoking, creativity-stifling, hypercommercialized testing regime. With record numbers of opt-outs last year, however, activists are now testing the patience of education officials. State education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has signaled stiff disapproval and dropped hints last month that the movement may suffer consequences for bucking the system.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nb6dpy2

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27) The mountain of legal injustice in the USA
Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“For the ‘crime’ of carrying, say, $20,000 of my own money into or out of the USA without accurately reporting it, the government may legally take the money, fine me $500,000, and put me in a steel cage for 10 years. Think about it. Are such reporting requirements in themselves not an outrageous invasion of one’s privacy and peaceful personal affairs? And are not the absurdly severe penalties for mere failure to make an accurate report the stuff of nightmares? If you think about this law, which is but a single example among thousands that might be given, and you suppose that it is the kind of law that ought to be enforced in a free society, may God have mercy on your erring soul.” (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofjfzac

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28) Carly Fiorina and the GOP gender card
Source: The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

“However unlikely it is that Carly Fiorina, the fired Hewlett-Packard CEO and loser of a U.S. Senate race, will win the Republican presidential nomination, there’s a very good chance she could be the GOP running mate. The best card in the hand she has to play is that of gender, and she obviously knows it. Call it her anti-Trump card (if you can bear to). In presidential contests, the role of the vice presidential candidate is typically to attack whoever’s at the top of the other party’s ticket. That allows your presidential candidate to look like a nice person, while the running mate lobs some mud.” (09/02/15)

http://prospect.org/article/carly-fiorina-and-gop-gender-card

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29) Unnecessary evil
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“Law enforcement authorities in the United States of America can be downright evil at times. They violate constitutional rights. They’re often trigger-happy and overly aggressive. Some think they have a government license to commit highway robbery. Nowhere is this unnecessary evil more apparent than with law enforcement taking advantage of asset forfeiture laws.” (09/02/15)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2015/09/unnecessary-evil.html

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30) Exciting, illuminating book The Words We Live By makes the Constitution come alive
Source: Cato Institute
by Nat Hentoff

“The arrival in August of an updated, expanded edition of Linda Monk’s book, The Words We Live By (Hachette Books), reminded me of my initial rush of enthusiasm when I first wrote about it in The Washington Post column I had at the time. Monk subtitled her book ‘Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution,’ but it is actually a swinging adventure story of how Americans came to define themselves as a nation through the struggle to keep the Constitution functioning as the guarantor of our most fundamental liberties.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppxu4dg

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31) Welcome to the United States of Alice
Source: The American Spectator
by Patrick J McCloskey

“America is sliding down the rabbit hole and stepping through the mirror. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, Alice meets Humpty Dumpty who declares, ‘When I use a word … it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ Whether or not one supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is anything but ‘affordable.’ Most premiums are increasing steeply, government subsidies are growing, and the number of health providers is shrinking.” (09/01/15)

http://spectator.org/articles/63937/welcome-united-states-alice

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32) Throw Kim Davis in jail
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“Kim Davis, a county clerk in Morehead, Kentucky, will face a contempt hearing Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples — an act of unlawful defiance that has made her a hero to the religious right and a villain to progressives. To their credit, many conservatives (particularly those without deep ties to the religious right) have called upon the Rowan County clerk, who claimed to be acting ‘under God’s authority,’ to issue the licenses or resign. But others have rallied to her side, or silently assented as she’s abused her state power by denying same-sex couples a constitutional right.” [editor’s note: No argument here – SAT] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nrk6mzt

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33) Citibank report claims slowing “global warming” with “investments” in renewable energy will “save” trillions of dollars for the economy
Source: Heartland Institute
by Gene Koprowski

“A new report by a division of Citibank, America’s third largest bank, indicates that the cost of doing nothing on global warming is essentially the same as the expense of enacting a transition to a ‘low-carbon’ economy. According to an approving article in The Guardian, the Leftist U.K. daily, Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), recently published a study examining the economic costs and possible benefits of the ‘low-carbon future’ scenario for the world economy. … Citi claims the cost of forceful, government-centered action would be $190.2 trillion and the price of market-oriented inaction would come in at $192 trillion.” [editor’s note: Since when has market-oriented inaction been on the table? This is a jealously match between two sets of state-subsidized players — heavily subsidized for more than a century Big Fossil on one hand, and currently moderately subsidized Would-Like-To-Be-Big Renewable on the other – TLK] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oywj5am

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34) James Bovard on the Libertas Media Project Podcast
Source: JimBovard.com

“Talk show legend Brian Wilson and I had a rowdy chat today on his Libertas Media Project podcast on the Midsummer Shakespeare Brawl, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and whether the American political system is beyond hope.” [Flash audio or MP3] (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3yfauu

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35) Why does anarchy make everyone fill their pants in fear?
Source: Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert

“Don’t hit and don’t steal. Absent these two things, no government on Earth could exist for an hour much less centuries. Once the state has secured the means to threaten or initiate violence, this prerogative becomes the exclusive preserve of the monopolistic state. Political science is not about elegant ways for humanity to co-exist. … But the notion of anarchy scares the shit out of Americans across the fetid plain. The notion of not having legions of armed busybodies ready with the bat to apply the wood shampoo or worse at the behest of the ruler de jure makes most American men shiver in terror.” (09/02/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=4435

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36) Why oil investors are so behind the curve
Source: Reuters
by Kevin Allison

“Oil investors are behind the curve. Many assume that the cost of pulling oil out of the ground is relatively static — or at least changes slowly. Reality is slipperier. Rethinking the way the ‘cost curve’ works may help explain recent gyrations in oil and other commodity markets. Miners, drillers and investors love cost curves because of their attractive simplicity. Draw a chart with the various producers lined up on the horizontal, in order of how cheaply they can get supply out. In the case of oil, to the far left are the cheapest Middle Eastern fields; on the right, the most expensive deepwater and oil sands. On the vertical is the cost of production. The result is an upward-sloping curve. As the price rises or falls, suppliers become economical, or not. Analysts then guess how supply will pan out.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qjad337

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37) The plot against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner
Source: The Atlantic
by Russell Berman

“In 2013, John Boehner gave in to Senator Ted Cruz and his conservative allies in the House, and the government shut down for two weeks in a failed fight over Obamacare. A year ago, Boehner and Mitch McConnell succeeded in twice putting off a losing battle over immigration until after they could wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats. With federal funding set to expire on September 30, conservatives are once again demanding a standoff that Boehner and McConnell are hell-bent on avoiding. This time around, the issue that might prevent an orderly — if temporary — extension of funding is Planned Parenthood.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4q4pzb

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38) The League of Empire
Source: CounterPunch
by Ron Jacobs

“Despite the myths we are fed about it being about freedom and democracy, when considering the First World War, it is easy to see it as a battle among colonial powers for supremacy. Likewise, the negotiations after the end of hostilities were merely a continuation of those battles, with the victorious powers forcing the losing nations to accept their terms for the division of the spoils. Simultaneously, however, was a desire by some men in the halls of power for a new institution whose purpose would be the peaceful resolution of rivalries like those that led to the war. It was from this desire that the League of Nations was created.” (09/02/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/02/the-league-of-empire/

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39) How not to help sweatshop workers
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Sandy Ikeda

“You hear that H&M buys shirts from a factory in Bangladesh that works its employees long hours under harsh conditions and low pay. What’s the moral thing to do? Should you publicly shame the company for its iniquitous practices? Call on the government to improve wages and working conditions? Buy your shirts from someone else? Propose that the company raise prices so workers can get paid more? Actually, if you really want to be socially responsible, the first thing to do is be as sure as possible that actual harm — from the perspective of the workers themselves — is taking place.” (09/02/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/how-not-to-help-sweatshop-workers/

—–

40) On Alaska, Obama is no hypocrite
Source: USA Today
by staff

“It’s not often that a president spends three days visiting a single state, particularly one with just 737,000 people and no real drama in how it will vote (reliably Republican) on Election Day. But President Obama seemingly can’t get enough of Alaska. … More than any other place in America, Alaska presents vivid examples of climate change. … Yet during his Alaskan odyssey, Obama has taken flak from an unlikely source: environmentalists. They argue that pushing for climate action, shortly after approving Royal Dutch Shell’s plan for drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, makes him a hypocrite. Actually, it doesn’t. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with fighting to mitigate climate change while also recognizing that oil remains an important energy source for the time being.” (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pcpwwqp

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41) The New York Times’s latest false equivalence: The Gray Lady blows it on the “Ferguson effect”
Source: Salon
by Elias Isquith

“There’s no proof that mainstream America’s newfound concern over police brutality has anything to do with more murders. And the Times says that ‘experts’ in the field of law enforcement find the theory to be without evidence. It’s no more supported by facts than the idea that the breakup of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has sent an untold number of Americans into a state of violent, nihilistic depression. Yet for some reason, the Times — to its shame — decides to throw the idea into the mix nevertheless. … it’s conceivable that someone might read the above and think my criticism is overwrought. After all, doesn’t the Times not-so-subtly suggest that the so-called Ferguson effect is all so much bullshit? Yes, it does. But the point is that the Times shouldn’t bother to include such dangerous nonsense in the first place, regardless of whether or not it ultimately attempts to undermine it. You don’t get credit for disputing a conspiracy theory if you’re the one who raised it in the first place.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj868nq

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42) Not a rant
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by AX Perez

“Members of Oath Keepers showed up at Ferguson, Missouri, armed to protect various people. They offered to provide arms for self defense to protesters (thus shooting down, you should pardon the expression, of various left wing groups that the Oath Keepers are the KKK repackaged). Several protesters suggested that the OK guys were meshuggeneh, that while white men could walk the streets with ‘assault rifles’ and pistols, Black People trying the same would get killed. If this is true we have a long way to go in civil rights. Of course, leftists would argue this means Whites should be disarmed same same Blacks. Equal oppression for all is equality, right?” (08/30/15)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle836-20150830-03.html

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43) I prefer plastic
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“When I go to the supermarket, and get asked ‘paper or plastic?’ — about which bag the checker should wrap my purchases in — I almost always say ‘plastic.’ They are lighter than paper bags, are easily re-usable for a wide variety of home purposes, and resist water — thus less apt to self-destruct on the trip from store to car, car to kitchen. Of course, anything plastic and mega-popular makes a perfect target for environmentalist critics.” (09/02/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/09/02/i-prefer-plastic/

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44) In search of our first trillionaire
Source: Our Future Blog
by Sam Pizzigati

“White House hopeful Bernie Sanders has been doing his best lately to place America’s ‘billionaire class’ right at the center of the nation’s political discourse. But Phoenix-based attorney Bob Lord would like to see the nation start contemplating the next chapter in the ongoing concentration of America’s wealth: the emergence of our first trillionaires. Lord doesn’t stand alone. Other observers also see trillionaires (billionaires a thousand times over) in our future. Last year, for instance, CNBC explored whether America’s first trillionaire might arrive in time for that network’s 2039 50th anniversary. But Lord may be doing more than any other analyst to track the trends bringing trillionaires ever closer.” [editor’s note: As long as said “potential trillionaires” do so by providing new products to the market, rather than with war profiteering and corporate welfare, nobody should complain about “income inequality” – SAT] (09/01/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150901/in-search-of-our-first-trillionaire

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45) Why shouldn’t copyright be infinite?
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Maira Sutton

“If an 11-note sequence counts as infringement, how much do modern artists owe Pachelbel’s descendants? The four-chord sequence making up the core of his Canon in D has been repeated in dozens, if not hundreds, of subsequent songs. Should evidence produced by Australia’s Axis of Awesome be used in copyright lawsuits by anyone who can document that, ten generations back, Johann Pachelbel was a great-great-grandfather? It seems absurd. Even from the perspective of a profit-seeking artist, copyright is a double-edged sword. Stronger copyright both increases the rewards from having produced a piece of work and increases the cost of creating new works.” (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8hj544

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46) Freedom Feens Radio, 09/02/15
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“James Babb, Nick Hazelton and Michael W. Dean discuss ‘pay it forward,’ asthma, child labor during forest fires, Patty Hearst, FIJA, yaks, The Streisand Effect, Silk Road, FreeRoss and much much more! They determine that, yes: Government is an infinite fractal of wood lice under the rock of the State.” [various formats] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qf4bczr

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47) Donald Trump’s nuclear test
Source: The American Conservative
by Scott McConnell

“Next week, Trump is scheduled to appear at an anti-Iran-agreement rally with Ted Cruz, an event sponsored by the ultra right-wing Zionist Organization of America. This is the problem with Trump — if his pro-American and pro-middle class economic nationalism is packaged along with deference to Netanyahu’s foreign-policy agenda, it will become more or less worthless to thoughtful people. But it is not entirely clear what Donald Trump’s foreign-policy inclinations are, beyond the tactical. In regards to one neoconservative action item — escalating the fight with Russia over Ukraine — he said that he could get along quite well with Vladimir Putin. The greater neoconservative goal, of course, is the prevention any American rapprochement with Iran, keeping the sanctions going till they have a president willing to start a war on the country. How does Trump fit into that?” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfcpsph

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48) College towns join the mania: The skyscraper curse in Auburn
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Mark Thornton

“The ‘Skyscraper Curse’ describes the eerie connection between record-breaking skyscrapers and global economic crises. There are no true skyscrapers being built in Auburn, Alabama, home of Auburn University. But, there has been a great deal of building big and tall. … What are people thinking? Don’t they realize we are in one of the weakest recoveries on record and possibly headed for another recession? Is it greedy bankers and construction companies run amuck? Is it out-of-control architects and chefs that are to blame? Or is it the spoiled rich college kids who demand luxury apartments and locally grown veggies? The rush to build bigger, taller, and more luxurious buildings actually has little to do with any of these groups, but it has divided us as a city.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2exqsj

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49) The moral dimension of work
Source: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by James V Schall

“Our most unsettling economic problems are actually not economic but moral — moral ones that cannot be simply passed on from generation to generation. They need to be chosen and internalized by each person in each generation at the risk of deflecting material goods from their proper purposes. Work likewise is not exclusively for its own sake. Rather work, while being an expression of human dignity and concrete accomplishment, aims at a product, aims at the material wellbeing in which something more than work can happen. The basis of culture, as Josef Pieper wrote in a famous thesis, is not only work but also leisure that lies beyond work. We work in order to have leisure, not the other way around.” (09/02/15)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/02/moral-dimension-work

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50) Politics 2016: Who will stand up to the War Party?
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“For anyone with hopes of changing our foreign policy of relentless aggression, the presidential candidates now parading their wares before the public are truly a depressing sight. The Republicans are vying with one another for the ‘honor’ of being the most warlike, and even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) — son of the resolutely anti-interventionist Ron Paul, surely one of the most effective and militant critics of American foreign policy — has joined in the contest. All the GOPers have taken aim at President Obama’s deal with Iran: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, two of the loudest, are organizing a September 9 rally on Capitol Hill opposing the agreement. On the Democratic side of the aisle, the picture doesn’t look much better.” (09/02/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/09/01/the-test-of-war/

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51) You keep using that word: Monopoly edition
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“Monopoly is one of those words that gets thrown around too loosely. The word monopoly means, ‘exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service.’ So monopoly actually defines a condition that only exists under government interventionism. But the word, like so many other words, has been twisted by the State. Today monopoly implies any company that has become extremely large. Case in point, Google …. Google isn’t a monopoly. In fact it’s not even close to being one. Every single product and service it provides is also provided by others.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3g45ef

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52) You can’t say that, Chrissie
Source: spiked
by Ella Whelan

“Hynde’s comments were shocking because the prevailing narrative around sexual assault and rape has been so one-sided. If you don’t play the victim, then you’re part of the problem, runs the dominant train of thought. It is as if victimhood has become a sort of brand: students who have been sexually assaulted get photoshoots in broadsheets, petitions in their names and t-shirts made in their honour. The reaction to Hynde’s comments shows just how stifling this victim-heavy atmosphere has become.” (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nt8h92p

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53) A choice not an echo … please
Source: Liberty Unbound
by SH Chambers

“I would be surprised if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton became the nominees of the two major parties in 2016. Not shocked, mind you, but surprised. We’ve seen stranger things. Consider Jesse Ventura. But the prospect of a ‘Trump v. Clinton’ ballot makes me uneasy — in part, because they both seem so ideologically ambiguous. While I know they must differ ideologically, I’m not quite sure how.” (09/01/15)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1455

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54) The Libertarian Angle, 09/02/15
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Each week, FFF president Jacob Hornberger discusses the hot topics of the day. This week, Jacob and guest co-host Richard M. Ebeling talk about the current debates among current candidates in the presidential race.” [various formats] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oo4ugfw

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55) Scott Alexander on labor economics: Point-by-point reply
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“To recap my last post, Scott Alexander’s critique of libertarian labor economics amounts to a critique of mainstream labor economics itself. If Scott were in my labor economics course, I could spend hours of classtime responding to his thought-provoking critique. Since he’s not, I’ll do it here.” (09/02/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/09/scott_alexander_3.html

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Steve Trinward

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****