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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,348
Monday, December 21st, 2015
455 email subscribers

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

In the News:

1) Spanish election: PM Rajoy’s party loses majority
2) 30% of US Republicans, 19% of Democrats want to bomb city that only exists in cartoon world
3) Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill before departing on holiday break
4) Iran: Changes to US visa waiver program contradict nuke deal
5) Survey: US gas prices fall to lowest in more than six years
6) Delaware passes marijuana decriminalization law
7) Trump, Sanders: US should not try to topple dictators
8) At SCOTUS, Lone Star State stands apart
9) Bootloader flaw makes Linux vulnerable to easy hack
10) Putin: Russia will develop, not use, nuclear weapons
11) SpaceX to attempt historic rocket launch
12) Paul slams Congress over trillion-dollar spending bill nobody read
13) Democratic debate: After apology, Sanders and Clinton spar over ISIS, taxes
14) FBI said to probe breach of Juniper Networks VPN software
15) Security theater: Four arrests over Air France bomb scare

Everybody Has An Opinion:

16) Happy Zagmuk — if you can keep it
17) A testing paradigm for the 21st century
18) Libertarian National Convention 2016: An open letter on borders and immigration
19) Patriotic propaganda
20) Libertarians have nowhere to turn
21) The truth about USA Freedom
22) Most confused on human rights
23) How to lie while telling the truth, part 2
24) Donald Trump really is like FDR
25) Public demands campaign donor disclosure, so Congress bans it
26) Let people sell their organs
27) Baby boomers are America’s Sith lords
28) Our Sith presidency and the rise of Darth Trump
29) Hillary got the debate of her dreams
30) ID cards: Solving a problem that dare not speak its name
31) Debate is not a form of abuse
32) Why “best and brightest” can be dimmest and worst at governing
33) In the Internet era, it’s harder to make memes
34) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, episode 59: The Force dozes, rolls over, wishes you merry Christmas
35) The Great Gun Control War of the 20th Century, part 2
36) Federal Grinches spoil Christmas
37) Hasty, fearful passage of cybersecurity bill recalls Patriot Act
38) A problem only government could create
39) Angst against encryption: The global crackdown
40) When medical doctors are entrepreneurs
41) That old time spycraft
42) Woman of science
43) Free Thoughts Podcast, 12/18/15: The politics of Star Wars
44) The Tom Woods Show, episode 558 — Medicare and Medicaid, 50 years later: The awful truth
45) KCMO thugs violently assault man and threaten his family
46) 82 years after Prohibition, government still addicted to telling us what to do
47) Neocons object to Syrian democracy
48) The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis and a potential OTC interest rate derivatives crisis
49) Does the union make Uber strong?
50) The Vietnam war and the permanent war state

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

1) Spanish election: PM Rajoy’s party loses majority
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Spain’s governing conservative party has won the most seats in the general election but has lost its majority and must now try to form a coalition. With almost all votes counted, the Popular Party (PP) had 123 seats; the Socialists 90 and the anti-austerity Podemos party 69. The liberal Ciudadanos party was in fourth place with 40 seats. Podemos and Ciudadanos fielded national candidates for the first time, boosted by discontent among the electorate.” (12/20/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35146745

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2) 30% of US Republicans, 19% of Democrats want to bomb city that only exists in cartoon world
Source: Mashable

“Nearly one in every three Republican primary voters who responded to a recent poll said they wanted to bomb Agrabah, the fictional city in Disney’s 1992 film Aladdin. Democrats polled were slightly less in favor of destroying the made-up place. The company that commissioned the poll, Public Policy Polling, announced the Agrabah result in a tweet on Friday: ‘30% of Republican primary voters nationally say they support bombing Agrabah. Agrabah is the country from ‘Aladdin.” … Thirty-six percent of Democrats polled opposed bombing the fictional region and 19% supported it …” (12/19/15)

http://mashable.com/2015/12/18/bombs-over-agrabah/

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3) Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill before departing on holiday break
Source: United Press International

“Both chambers of Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure Friday that includes a change to the Affordable Care Act and keeps the government running through September 2016. The bill, while bipartisan, has faced conservative criticism for high spending and the omission of language that would put restrictions on Syrian refugees and the women’s health provider Planned Parenthood.” (12/18/15)

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/12/18/Obama-signs-11T-omnibus-spending-bill-into-law-before-departing-on-holiday-break/1571450450464/

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4) Iran: Changes to US visa waiver program contradict nuke deal
Source: ABC News

“Changes to a U.S. visa waiver program that impose travel restrictions on those who visit Iran contradict the landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Sunday. The U.S. in recent days tightened security requirements of its visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without visas.” (12/20/15)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-us-visa-waiver-program-contradict-nuke-deal-35875185

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5) Survey: US gas prices fall to lowest in more than six years
Source: Reuters

“U.S. gasoline prices dropped by 4 cents to $2.06 a gallon on average in the past two weeks to the lowest in more than six years, according to a Lundberg survey released on Sunday. The price, for regular grade as of Friday, was the lowest since $2.05 in April 2009 as oil prices continued to slide, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.” (12/21/15)

http://in.reuters.com/article/us-usa-gasoline-survey-idINKBN0U30Y020151220

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6) Delaware passes marijuana decriminalization law
Source: Smell the Truth

“Delaware’s cannabis users can breathe a sigh of relief, as the state now officially allows adults to carry small amounts of marijuana. A decriminalization law signed in June by Gov. Jack Markell has taken effect as of Friday morning, the AP reports. The law recognizes an amount of one ounce or less to be a ‘personal use’ quantity of marijuana, which now will be a civil offense punishable by a fine of $100. Simple possession had previously been punishable with three months in jail.” [editor’s note: this is an actual step toward decriminalization, unlike those in Ohio and the latest California fiasco – SAT] (12/18/15)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2015/12/18/delaware-passes-marijuana-decriminalization-law/

—–

7) Trump, Sanders: US should not try to topple dictators
Source: Reuters

“U.S. presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump said separately on Sunday that the United States should not try to topple dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, highlighting a skepticism over foreign wars that transcends party lines. Both candidates said the Middle East would be less tumultuous today if Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein were still in charge, arguing that the United States faces a greater threat from Islamic State and other extremist groups that have flourished in their wake.” [editor’s note: Do we dare elect either of these guys, solely because they both seem to have a ckue on foreign policy? – SAT] (12/20/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-dictators-idUSKBN0U30RG20151220

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8) At SCOTUS, Lone Star State stands apart
Source: USA Today

“When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was his state’s attorney general, he liked to sum up his approach to the job this way: ‘I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home.’ These days, one could forgive the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court for thinking Abbott remains the state’s chief law enforcement officer. From abortion and affirmative action to voting rights and, most likely, immigration, nearly all the court’s top cases come from Texas. ‘You could call this the perfect storm for putting Texas litigation in the limelight at the Supreme Court,’ says appellate lawyer David Frederick, a University of Texas School of Law graduate who has argued 45 times before the justices.” (12/20/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/12/20/supreme-court-texas-abortion-immigration-race-voting/77304068

—–

9) Bootloader flaw makes Linux vulnerable to easy hack
Source: LifeHacker

“Hitting a key over and over again actually works for once. Two security researchers in Spain recently uncovered a strange bug that will let you into most Linux machines just by hitting the backspace key 28 times. Here’s how to fix it and keep your data protected.” (12/16/15)

http://lifehacker.com/you-can-break-into-a-linux-system-by-pressing-backspace-1748370796

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10) Putin: Russia will develop, not use, nuclear weapons
Source: Killeen Daily Herald

“President Vladimir Putin says Russia will continue to develop nuclear weapons but doesn’t intend to use them. The Russian leader made the comment in a documentary called ‘World Order’ that was aired on state television Sunday night.” (12/20/15)

http://kdhnews.com/news/world/putin-russia-will-develop-not-use-nuclear-weapons/article_fc27a7f6-7db2-5fbc-8eec-8d9ec48ceee5.html

—–

11) SpaceX to attempt historic rocket launch
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“SpaceX is making a return to the launch pad with a mission to put its Falcon 9 orbital rocket into space, and then return its booster safely back to Earth, a spaceflight first. Launching for the first time since being sidelined in June, when a Falcon 9 disintegrated shortly after liftoff, an upgraded version of the rocket is anticipating liftoff at 8:29 p.m. on Sunday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.” (12/20/15)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1220/SpaceX-to-attempt-historic-rocket-launch.-Here-s-how-to-watch-it

—–

12) Paul slams Congress over trillion-dollar spending bill nobody read
Source: Fox News

“A fired-up Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday he voted against the massive $1.1 trillion spending bill because not only was it rushed through Congress — but no one had a chance to read it. ‘It was over a trillion dollars, it was all lumped together, 2,242 pages, nobody read it, so frankly my biggest complaint is that I have no idea what kind of things they stuck in that bill in the middle of the night,’ Paul [R-KY] said on “The Cats Roundtable,” a New York-based radio talk show. ‘I voted against it because I won’t vote for these enormous bills that no one has a chance to read,’ the GOP White House hopeful said.” (12/20/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/20/paul-slams-congress-over-trillion-dollar-spending-bill-claims-no-one-read.html

—–

13) Democratic debate: After apology, Sanders and Clinton spar over ISIS, taxes
Source: CNN

“Bernie Sanders apologized for his aides’ breach of Hillary Clinton’s proprietary voter data in the opening moments of Saturday’s Democratic debate — and Clinton dropped the issue. The two Democratic presidential hopefuls opted not to air out what has become a messy fight between their campaigns in front of the cameras as they met along with Martin O’Malley in Manchester, New Hampshire, for their third debate of the 2016 race. Instead, Sanders opened the two-and-a-half hour debate by looking at Clinton and saying: ‘Yes. I’m sorry.’ His comment provided a memorable start to a debate that also saw Sanders, Clinton and O’Malley trade blows on taxes, health care and guns — while agreeing on their distaste for Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner.” (12/19/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/19/politics/democratic-debate-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-updates/

—–

14) FBI said to probe breach of Juniper Networks VPN software
Source: USA Today

“U.S. officials are investigating a recent breach of Juniper Networks software over concerns the ‘backdoor entry’ allowed a foreign government to tap into communications of the U.S. government, news reports said. On Thursday, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said it found unauthorized code had been inserted into its ScreenOS software, which runs its firewalls. The rogue code could potentially compromise the whole system and decrypt VPN devices, without leaving a trace of the party behind the breach. … Juniper Networks makes communications equipment and software for large customers, including the U.S. government. Both groups have been vulnerable to large-scale hacks over the past year, and the Obama administration has expressed increased concern that foreign governments are involved in some of the attacks.” (12/19/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2015/12/19/fbi-investigates-juniper-networks-breach-hack-vpn-encrypted/77642450/

—–

15) Security theater: Four arrests over Air France bomb scare
Source: KSPR 33 News

“Four people have been arrested over a suspicious device that was found in the restroom of an Air France flight, prompting an emergency landing in Kenya early Sunday. The four had all been on board Air France Flight 463, a Boeing 777 bound from Mauritius to Paris, which was diverted to the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa after the device was found, Kenyan Cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Interior Joseph Nkaissery told CNN. He did not disclose their nationalities. The object was analyzed and found to contain no explosives, the airline said.” (12/20/15)

http://www.kspr.com/news/nationworld/air-france-flight-diverted-to-kenya-after-bomb-scare/21051646_37053822

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

16) Happy Zagmuk — if you can keep it
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

“As an anthopological enthusiast, I have often observed that, in every culture that experiences a change of seasons, there comes a time, in the middle of the coldest, darkest season, when somebody shouts, ‘I have had enough of this gloom! Lets start a fire and get drunk!’ Later on, somebody gave that suggestion — which proved very popular — religious significance, and the midwinter holidays were born. In fact, what we presently call Christmas didn’t have to wait until the baby Jesus was born (exactly like the god-king Mithras, very popular among Imperial Roman soldiers) in a stable. Four thousand three hundred years ago, the people of Babylon were celebrating a holiday they called ‘Zagmuk.’ It is the oldest such holiday in our civilization that I can discover. It runs for two weeks, heralds the eventual coming of Spring, and celebrates the victory of the god-king Marduk and his faithful pet dragon Maugdo or Mushussu over the evil forces of Chaos. At last, a holiday that Vulcans and Objectivists can love.” (12/20/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle852-20151220-02.html

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17) A testing paradigm for the 21st century
Source: The Inter-Rationale
by Steve Trinward

“Okay, let’s begin with some points of agreement: 1) Common Core has been a disaster; 2) No Child Left Behind is better labeled as ‘No Child Left Learning;’ 3) the mania for testing children repeatedly, with no chance to recover from a bad day or a misread question, is doing very little to improve the educational system in the United States — and a disclaimer, for those who wonder why a self-professed ‘libertarian/anarchist’ is even writing about this: Ain’t I supposed to hate all government, of all forms, and with regard to government schooling have only one goal: its complete destruction, along with all other forms of coercion, with the buildings burned to the ground, and salt poured over the ashes? Yes, but I also have a streak of realism in me …” (12/20/15)

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com/archives/210300

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18) Libertarian National Convention 2016: An open letter on borders and immigration
Source: KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp

“The current LP platform plank on immigration calls for a system that is less libertarian than the actually existing border systems of the European Union’s Schengen Agreement area, the United Kingdom’s Common Travel area, the CA4 Border Control Agreement area, the Russia/Belarus border and the India/Nepal Border. All of these areas boast, both de facto and de jure, ‘open borders.’ The Libertarian Party should never find itself in the position of demanding that the the US government act so as to keep America less free than other countries.” (12/18/15)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2015/12/libertarian-national-convention-2016.html

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19) Patriotic propaganda
Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

“When it comes to cultural propaganda the U.S. government puts the former German Nazi regime to shame. Your government is interested in telling you what to think and it is willing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to accomplish that goal. In spite of the First Amendment Establishment Clause, for example, your government has long been on a mission to culturally promote the concept of a government God. … Now the U.S. government Department of Defense is spending $millions of our taxpayer dollars to professional sports teams for the purpose of honoring American soldiers.” (12/18/15)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2015/12/patriotic-propaganda.html

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20) Libertarians have nowhere to turn
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“In my view neither major political party has libertarian inclinations. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few individual party members who lean slightly libertarian. Senator Rand Paul is obviously more libertarian that Donald Trump, and Senator Ron Wyden is obviously more libertarian that Hillary Clinton. But both parties are firmly in the ‘big government’ camp. When I point this out to conservatives they often insist that I should be a Republican, as that party is more pro-small government than the Democrats. When I point out that the size and scope of government grew much more under Bush than Clinton, they wave away this objection, ‘That’s the old GOP, the Tea Party has injected new libertarian instincts into the Party.’ Sorry, but I just don’t see it.” (12/18/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/12/libertarians_ha.html

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21) The truth about USA Freedom
Source: Fox News Forum
by US Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) & US Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

“There are no easy answers when it comes to keeping the government out of the lives of innocent Americans without sacrificing safety or national security. That fact was on full display at the recent Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. While heated exchanges and political posturing demonstrated the issue’s significance, the conversation unfortunately lacked critical facts. It’s paramount that our political leaders are accurate when discussing our nation’s counterterrorism policies because, despite claims to the contrary, significant legislative compromises have been reached that interlace both security and privacy to the greatest advantage of the American people.” [editor’s note: Not sure how much either of these two Congressthugs can truly speak for this topic, but nice to see it raised – SAT] (12/18/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/18/truth-about-usa-freedom.html

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22) Most confused on human rights
Source: Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal

“Most people’s understanding of human rights is upside down and backward. The question isn’t whether you have the right to own and to carry a gun or a sword; drive a car regardless of license or registration; make, sell, or buy meth; use your property as you see fit; smoke Cannabis; write, sing, or say whatever words you want to express; open a business; or anything else that has been claimed at one time or another to be a right. The point is no one — regardless of any justification — has the right to forbid you to do any of those things. All real rights are a right to not have something done to you.” (12/17/15)

http://www.cnjonline.com/2015/12/17/mcmanigal-most-confused-on-human-rights/

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23) How to lie while telling the truth, part 2
Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

“My previous example was an attack on religion. This time it is a defense of AGW catastrophism. It has long been known that increasing the concentration of CO2 increases the yield of C3 plants, including most crop species. The usual estimate is that doubling CO2 concentration, roughly what is projected for the end of this century, increases yield by 30% or more. This is an inconvenient fact for people who want to argue that AGW will reduce food supplies. Clearly what they need is a scientific article to cite, proving that CO2 is actually a bad thing for crops. And they have one, in Nature no less …” (12/18/15)

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-to-lie-while-telling-truth-part-ii.html

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24) Donald Trump really is like FDR
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Undoubtedly Donald Trump ruffled a lot of liberal-progressive feathers when he declared that he is more like President Franklin Roosevelt than any other leader has been. The truth oftentimes hurts, but actually Trump is right.” (12/18/15)

http://fff.org/2015/12/18/donald-trump-really-like-fdr/

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25) Public demands campaign donor disclosure, so Congress bans it
Source: Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“Republicans put a surprise sneak law into the big, last-minute ‘omnibus’ budget bill: It bans the administration from making companies and ‘charities’ disclose who is putting up the baksheesh money for political campaigns. The president has to sign it or the government shuts down. The result is that the rigging of our system to work only in the interests of those with big money will get even worse. Poll after poll shows that the public wants something done about the country’s campaign finance system. Obviously just knowing who is bribing funding the politicians as they continue to rig the system against us is at the top of any list: ’78 percent of Democrats and Republicans alike favoring a requirement that donor names be made public.’ The public might want something done about the campaign finance bribery corruption payoff system we have, but the bribed, corrupt, paid off politicians who owe their careers (and future lucrative corporate positions) to secret, big-money contributions want it kept the way it is, or made even ‘darker.'” (12/18/15)

https://ourfuture.org/20151218/public-demands-campaign-donor-disclosure-so-gop-congress-bans-it

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26) Let people sell their organs
Source: Forbes
by Abigail Hall

“The need for organs is growing. As technology improves, transplants have the potential to help more people live longer, healthier lives. But the same technological improvements also save the lives of many would-be organ donors. Taken together, the demand for organs grows while the supply isn’t likely to catch up. One solution to this problem is to allow the sale of human organs. Individuals in search of a kidney, part of a liver, etc., could pay a willing seller for his or her organ. In the United States such sales are illegal under the National Organ Transplant Act. Encouraging ‘donation’ by offering any sort of payment is also illegal.” (12/14/15)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/12/14/sell-organs/

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27) Baby boomers are America’s Sith lords
Source: The Daily Beast
by Nick Gillespie

“No one would confuse George Lucas with a deep thinker (his filmography includes such neutron bombs as Howard the Duck, Labyrinth, and Willow), but he has managed what is arguably the most ruthless and withering appraisal of the baby boom generation from young rebels to imperial overlords. The first six Star Wars movies document in imaginative form how antiwar activists became the cryptkeepers of Abu Ghraib, how hippies who called bullshit on LBJ and Richard Nixon staffed a Bush administration that sanctioned waterboarding and an Obama administration that generated a ‘kill list’ not subject to any sort of due process.” (12/19/15)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/19/baby-boomers-are-america-s-sith-lords.html

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28) Our Sith presidency and the rise of Darth Trump
Source: Cato Institute
by Trevor Burrus

“Gridlock is something we’ve come to know well in Washington, D.C., and we should get used to it. There are no indications it’s getting better, and it will likely get worse as people grow increasingly polarized. For those of us who think that the government tends to pass harmful laws, gridlock seems like a net positive. Yet we must be wary of those who are tempted by the dark side of the Force to use that gridlock to their advantage. We must be wary of our Sith presidency.” (12/18/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/our-sith-presidency-rise-darth-trump

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29) Hillary got the debate of her dreams
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“If Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley could control the circumstances and terms of Saturday’s debate, the third of the Democratic primary, it would have been a very different evening. It’s easy to imagine an ideal Sanders debate: a focus on how inequality is destroying the middle class and why Sanders, unlike Clinton, is willing to stand-up to corporate plutocrats and Wall Street. Martin O’Malley’s perfect debate would be one where his expertise in progressive wonkery could shine, and he would emerge as a sleek, plausible alternative. But world events, the unfolding strangeness of the Republican field, and the sensation-loving mindset of the media all conspired to create a debate that allowed Hillary Clinton to dominate, highlighting the areas where she has the most experience and is most comfortable discussing. Unfortunately for both of Clinton’s rivals, the actual debate felt almost scripted to allow her to present her most persuasive self, the confident and experienced master of a broadly supported centrist foreign policy.” (12/19/15)

https://newrepublic.com/article/126335/hillary-got-debate-dreams

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30) ID cards: Solving a problem that dare not speak its name
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

“Writing in the Daily Telegraph on the 10th December 2015, two Members of Parliament — Frank Field and Nicholas Soames — regret the cancellation, in 2010, of the previous Labour Government’s identity card scheme. They argue that the threat of terrorism requires us to think again. By all means, let us think again. However, since no material facts have changed, I see no reason for reaching any different opinion from the one I have always held. Identity cards are an astonishingly bad idea — so bad that it is hard to make a case for them with any semblance of good faith.” (12/18/15)

http://thelibertarianalliance.com/2015/12/18/id-cards-solving-a-problem-that-dare-not-speak-its-name/

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31) Debate is not a form of abuse
Source: spiked
by Guy Birchall

“Disagreement is a fact of life, and an important one. It is the foundation of democracy, but too many of our students confuse it with abuse. Someone disagreeing with you over an issue, whether it be BDS or transgender rights, should spark a debate, not a complaint to the authorities. Crying about ‘bullying’ is now the natural reflex of so many students when they stumble upon someone outside their own political bubble. Britain’s students need to grow up and stop wanting to be treated like children.” (12/18/15)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/debate-is-not-a-form-of-abuse/17740

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32) Why “best and brightest” can be dimmest and worst at governing
Source: Reuters
by Robert Dallek

“Millions of Americans, led by the Republican presidential candidates themselves, seem to forget what goes into a successful presidency. Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he will make America great again by bringing the “greatest minds” into his administration to solve America’s domestic and foreign problems. … Certainly having a smart president and the best brains as his advisers is a desirable arrangement. But having the smartest people in the room at the White House is no guarantee of a triumphal presidency. While it is obviously better to have smart people than less astute men and women trying to figure out answers to current challenges, if offers no certainty that serious problems will be solved, or even that the right decisions would be made.” (12/18/15)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/18/why-the-best-and-brightest-are-often-the-dimmest-and-worst-at-governing

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33) In the Internet era, it’s harder to make memes
Source: The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile

“It is getting harder and harder for officials to simply state a version of reality that significantly diverges from facts that have already been reported. It is easy in this Internet era to find multiple points of view and to make up one’s own mind as to which versions are backed by evidence and which are not.” (12/19/15)

http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/36701/Anthony-Wile-In-the-Internet-Era-Its-Harder-to-Make-Memes/

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34) The KN@PP Stir Podcast, episode 59: The Force dozes, rolls over, wishes you merry Christmas
Source: KN@PPSTER

“In this episode: Hey, what’s that beautiful noise?; Thanks For Asking! (Paranoia and Star Wars); My Open Letter to the Libertarian Party on Immigration; The Week in Stupid (More Star Wars Goodness!)” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/20/15)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-knpp-stir-podcast-episode-59-force.html

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35) The Great Gun Control War of the 20th Century, part 2
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell

“Prior to the 1970s, it was common, or at least not regarded with suspicion, for a northern liberal Democrat like John F. Kennedy to be a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). According to Kopel, that all changed when, ‘a tremendous cultural shift took place among American elites.’ Suddenly, they viewed private gun ownership with disgust. An example of this attitude can be found in a statement by historian Richard Hofstadter lamenting how ‘Americans cling with pathetic stubbornness’ to ‘the supposed ‘right’ to bear arms.’ To new elites, it was acceptable to use guns perhaps for recreational hunting or sports shooting, but the notion that guns might be used as a defensive tool was considered barbarian. Their solution: America needed to embrace European-style gun control laws.” (12/18/15)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/12/18/the-great-gun-control-war-of-the-20th-century-part-ii/

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36) Federal Grinches spoil Christmas
Source: USA Today
by Jesse Hathaway

“As thoughts of pilgrims, turkey and stuffing and football games turn to dreams of sugarplums and stockings laid out with care, federal regulators tasked with protecting the public from dangerous consumer goods continue their Grinch-like confiscation of things millions of people safely enjoy at Christmastime and through the rest of the year. In 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale of ‘pre-lit artificial trees, wreaths, menorahs, lawn figures, light sculptures, and other decorative outfits and accessories incorporating light sets.’ Doing the math, an American citizen was about 3.43 times more likely to be killed by a near-Earth object, such as an asteroid or meteorite, than from the supposedly deadly ‘[products] painted in colors to suggest a holiday theme or a snow covering.'” (12/17/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/12/17/consumer-product-safety-christmas-present-decoration-column/77280526

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37) Hasty, fearful passage of cybersecurity bill recalls Patriot Act
Source: The Intercept
by Jenna McLaughlin

“Congress easily passed a thinly disguised surveillance provision — the final version of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA — on Friday, shoehorned into a must-pass budget bill to prevent a government shutdown before the holidays. Born of a climate of fear combined with a sense of urgency, the bill claims to do one thing — help companies share information with the government to heed off cyber attacks — and does entirely another — increases the U.S. government’s spying powers while letting companies with poor cyber hygiene off the hook.” (12/19/15)

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/19/hasty-fearful-passage-of-cybersecurity-bill-recalls-patriot-act/

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38) A problem only government could create
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“The ongoing smartgun debate is a classic example of safety being used to justify a prohibition. Instead of acknowledging access control technology as something worth investigating the gun control community wants to mandate its use. That adds costs and unreliability, both because the technology is in its infancy, to firearms. And since the technology cannot be retrofitted into older firearms mandating its usage can remove all existing firearms from the market. Safety regulations always sound good on paper, especially if they’re for protecting the children, but it’s only a matter of mandating too many safety features to make a production functional or cost effective to create a ban.” (12/18/15)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2015/12/18/a-problem-only-government-could-create/

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39) Angst against encryption: The global crackdown
Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

“Political representatives, feeling the pinch about the need to do something — anything — after a dramatic attack, have found the subject nearest to their loathing: encryption. Ranking intelligence committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein from California has gone so far as to call encryption the Internet’s ‘Achilles’ heel’ when it is, in fact, its invaluable, strengthened torso. Feinstein’s Jekyll-Hyde reasoning here is that privacy will be protected by the surveillance state because the State is not particularly interested in the frivolities of the ordinary citizen. It is the greatest canard of all: data collection programs, and the means to access communications data, actual serve a broader public good.” (12/18/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/18/angst-against-encryption-the-global-crackdown/

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40) When medical doctors are entrepreneurs
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Michel Accad

“In this article, I wish to introduce the reader to the theory of entrepreneurship advanced by Frank Knight (1885-1972), and show that the common, everyday work of the physician could be considered a form of entrepreneurial activity in the Knightian sense.” (12/18/15)

https://mises.org/library/when-medical-doctors-are-entrepreneurs

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41) That old time spycraft
Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

“After his confirmation hearing in 2013, CIA Director John Brennan and other senior managers explained that the Agency would be seeking to enhance its ability to spy using human agents. It was an admission that to a large extent the United States intelligence community had forgotten how to engage in what was once a core capability that had defined its clandestine services for nearly seventy years. Now the Pentagon, which always favored technical spying over its HUMINT efforts because human spies are both unpredictable and considerably prone to embarrassing incidents, is essentially saying the same thing. Everyone is trying to revive the old-time tradecraft in part because machines have failed to collect the right kind of intelligence at the times when it is needed.” (12/18/15)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/that-old-time-spycraft/

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42) Woman of science
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W Reed

“She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize — in fact, to this day she remains the only woman to win two — and the first person of either sex to win Nobel Prizes in two different sciences. These achievements make it all the more noteworthy that her undergraduate education took place at an illegal, private institution. When I recently learned that the Polish-born and naturalized French scientist Marie Curie attended an ‘underground’ university in the 1880s in Warsaw, I immediately recalled a personal experience. In 1986, while embedded with the anti-government resistance in communist Poland, I met people who were taking classes at such a place, as well as others who had earned their illegal degrees at underground commencement exercises. Little did I know then that Poles have a storied history in what could be termed ‘educational independence.'” (12/18/15)

https://fee.org/freeman/woman-of-science/

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43) Free Thoughts Podcast, 12/18/15: The politics of Star Wars
Source: Libertarianism.org

“Does Star Wars have a distinct political viewpoint that we can tease out? Would the Rebel Alliance be considered a terrorist organization? How would we know if a rebellion was justified? Is the Star Wars story libertarian?” [various formats] (12/18/15)

http://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/politics-star-wars

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44) The Tom Woods Show, episode 558 — Medicare and Medicaid, 50 years later: The awful truth
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“The real truth about Medicare and Medicaid and their true nature and consequences are completely unknown to most people. Murray Sabrin has just released a documentary on the 50th anniversary of their creation setting the record straight, and providing an alternative. Not to be missed!” [various formats] (12/18/15)

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-558-medicare-and-medicaid-50-years-later-the-awful-truth/

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45) KCMO thugs violently assault man and threaten his family
Source: Cop Block
by Brian Sumner

“The video shows Palacio did everything the cops say you’re supposed to if you want to survive a police interaction. He didn’t call them pigs or cuss them out. He followed all of their orders. He never reached for his waistband or made aggressive movements. He did not resist them in any way, shape or form. He remained calm regardless of their assault.
Regardless of his compliance, the officers beat and abused Palacio. The lawsuit claims Palacio suffered head and back injuries, as well as emotional distress, as a result of the attack.” (12/19/15)

http://www.copblock.org/149702/kcmo-police-officers-sued-in-excessive-force/

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46) 82 years after Prohibition, government still addicted to telling us what to do
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton

“Starting next December, the nanny statists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will start enforcing a regulation forcing restaurants to offer ‘full nutritional information’ on all the beers they have on tap. Complying with the new rule will not be a problem for the major beer companies. Complying with the regulations, however, will be very difficult for craft brewers that, as the name suggests ‘craft’ a variety of beers. This new regulation would force their small business to test each different type of beer they make. Since these tests can cost more than $600 a piece, this will obliviously be a great financial burden to the craft brewers.” (12/18/15)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/82-years-prohibition-government-still-addicted-telling-us

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47) Neocons object to Syrian democracy
Source: OpEdNews
by Robert Parry

“The Washington Post’s editorial board is livid that President Barack Obama appears to have accepted the Russian position that the Syrian people should decide for themselves who their future leaders should be — when the Post seems to prefer that the choice be made by neoconservative think tanks in Washington or other outsiders. So, in a furious editorial on Friday, the Post castigated Secretary of State John Kerry for saying — after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow — that the Obama administration and Russia see the political solution to Syria ‘in fundamentally the same way,’ meaning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could stand for election in the future.” (12/19/15)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Neocons-Object-to-Syrian-D-by-Robert-Parry-Assad_Democracy_Elections_Neoconservatives-151219-904.html

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48) The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis and a potential OTC interest rate derivatives crisis
Source: The Cobden Centre
by Vishal Wilde

“After considering the alternative scenarios of Grexit, debt renegotiation, transferring of debt, a deflationary spiral and so on, it is concluded that this will either result (ceteris paribus) in an increase in sovereign debt yields or a decrease in the volume of sovereign debt issued. This is worrying; not only due to the events in Greece and the ripples it has sent throughout the Eurozone but also because elections are approaching in other peripheral countries.” (12/18/15)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2015/12/the-eurozone-sovereign-debt-crisis-and-a-potential-otc-interest-rate-derivatives-crisis/

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49) Does the union make Uber strong?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Nick Ford

“I agree with Meyer on the current state-union collaboration: The union makes Uber weak and not in a positive way for the benefit of the workers. But instead of simply giving up on unions perhaps it’s worth considering whether more radical unions could take down Uber’s current corporate model and mutualize it.” (12/20/15)

https://c4ss.org/content/42385

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50) The Vietnam war and the permanent war state
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Gareth Porter

“In his new book, American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity, Christian G. Appy deals with some big historical and conceptual problems of great interest to Americans and non-Americans who seek an end to the permanent war state that has developed in the United States. As the subtitle of American Reckoning suggests, Appy seeks to establish how the Vietnam War was related to the American ‘national identity’ but also how the war altered that identity.” (12/18/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-vietnam-war-and-the-permanent-war-state/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****