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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,349
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
455 email subscribers

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

In the News:

1) Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills six occupation troops
2) SpaceX launches rocket, successfully re-lands first stage
3) Saudi air defense intercepts rockets fired from Yemen
4) No indictments in jail death of police abductee Sandra Bland
5) Burkina Faso: International arrest warrant out for ex-leader Compaore
6) Rwanda: Kagame says the people chose to lift term limits
7) Haiti: Officials postpone vote set for this weekend
8) Millennials reject Donald Trump in new poll
9) FDA partially lifts gay men blood donation ban
10) Congress approves “ceasefire” extension on medical cannabis
11) At Oberlin, foodies seek a “safe space”
12) China co-opts Buddhist sect in global effort to smear Dalai Lama
13) Actor Nicolas Cage seen returning “stolen” dinosaur skull he bought
14) Pharma thug Shkreli fired from KaloBios
15) EU officially extends Russia sanctions for six months
16) Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons
17) Report: Iranian hackers breached controls of dam near New York
18) Indonesia: Police arrest nine accused of plotting major attack
19) FDA seeks to issue ban on indoor tanning for teens
20) Scientists discover tridymite, silica on Mars
21) Study links regular coffee consumption to lower death risk
22) NH: Nashua students get day off for security theater
23) Belgium: Five detained over Paris attacks
24) Graham suspends presidential campaign
25) Dog bites man: Schumer backs new bill to demonize social media because TERRORISM!

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) Learning lessons our schools can’t teach
27) Students need education, not indoctrination
28) Is capitalism the reason for the season?
29) As North Korea plans party congress US should offer peace treaty to Pyongyang
30) Democratic debate spawns fantasy talk on encryption
31) Go to college or go to jail?
32) The irony in Rubio/Cruz argument over “amnesty”
33) The Tom Woods Show, episode 559: Greenpeace co-founder repudiates organization
34) Want my blood? Get a warrant.
35) Alex Nowrasteh on The Bob Zadek Show
36) On free thought and religious expression
37) Is the risk of nuclear war rising?
38) There is no Social Security Santa Claus
39) With Lindsey Graham’s exit, dismal GOP race diminished further
40) Precedent
41) The case for clemency
42) Lack of public options shows how economy rigged against us
43) Money: A taxonomy
44) Constitutional professor attacks article apparently without reading it
45) Omnibus spending bill violates your privacy
46) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/21/15: We have always been at war with Agrabah
47) Who loves liberty more — liberals or conservatives?
48) Do we need the Fed?
49) Discreditable credit
50) The myth of the gender wage gap
51) Why capitalists are repeatedly “fooled” by business cycles
52) On golden eras and the now
53) Mobility, meritocracy and other myths
54) Remember your place
55) Labor econ versus the world

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

1) Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills six occupation troops
Source: USA Today

“Six American service members were killed Monday in a suicide bombing during a patrol outside a U.S. base north of Kabul, in the largest U.S. loss of life from an attack this year, according to a senior Defense official. The patrol of U.S. troops was targeted by a motorcyclist carrying a bomb. In addition to the servicemembers killed, three were injured, according to NATO command headquarters in Afghanistan. The attack occurred outside a sprawling U.S. airbase in Bagram, located 34 miles north of Kabul. The senior Defense official who confirmed that all six dead were Americans was not authorized to speak publicly.” (12/21/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/12/21/afghan-official-3-foreign-troops-killed-suicide-attack/77688432/

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2) SpaceX launches rocket, successfully re-lands first stage
Source: Los Angeles Times

“Elon Musk’s SpaceX not only blasted 11 satellites to orbit on Monday, but also brought its towering first-stage booster back down, with a historic landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla. … Musk has already tried twice to land the Falcon 9 on an unmanned ocean barge the size of a football field. The rocket successfully turned around, slowed from hypersonic speeds and hit its target on the barge. It then crashed. Landing the rocket Monday was a giant step toward making spacecraft reusable — a longtime quest of Musk and aerospace engineers. Their goal is to recycle the first stage, including its expensive engines, so it can be used repeatedly, lowering the cost of space travel.” (12/21/15)

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-return-to-flight-20151221-story.html

—–

3) Saudi air defense intercepts rockets fired from Yemen
Source: Iron Mountain Daily News

“The Saudi-led [invasion force] fighting rebels [sic] in Yemen said Saudi air defense units intercepted multiple missiles fired from inside Yemen toward the kingdom’s southwest border city of Jizan on Monday. A statement by the coalition said the rockets did not cause injuries or material damage and that the Saudi Air Force reacted immediately and destroyed the launching pad inside Yemen.” (12/21/15)

http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/1004594/Saudi-air-defense-intercepts-rockets-fired-from-Yemen.html?isap=1&nav=5024

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4) No indictments in jail death of police abductee Sandra Bland
Source: NBC News

“A grand jury concluded Monday that it would issue no indictments in the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in a Texas jail cell earlier this year and whose handling by police sparked criticism of excessive force. A grand jury was convened in the case last month, and more than eight hours of evidence was heard during proceedings on Monday, NBC Houston affiliate KPRC reported. Authorities in Texas described her July 13 death in Waller County jail as suicide, although her family has remained dubious of the official account.” (12/21/15)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/grand-jury-issues-no-indictments-jail-death-sandra-bland-n484241

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5) Burkina Faso: International arrest warrant out for ex-leader Compaore
Source: Idaho Press-Tribune

“Burkina Faso’s military court has issued an international arrest warrant for former President Blaise Compaore for the assassination of the country’s ex-revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, the tribunal director said Monday. Sankara and 12 of his supporters were killed during a 1987 bloody coup that brought Compaore to power. An investigation into Sankara’s death was reopened after a popular uprising forced Compaore from office in October 2014 after a 27-year rule.” (12/21/15)

http://www.idahopress.com/ap_news/international/burkina-faso-intl-arrest-warrant-out-for-ex-leader-compaore/article_4be98ab6-fd92-5dff-8e46-9056d3e321ef.html

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6) Rwanda: Kagame says the people chose to lift term limits
Source: Greenfield Daily Reporter

“President Paul Kagame says the people of Rwanda democratically chose to lift term limits to allow him to remain in office beyond 2017. In an address to the nation Monday, Kagame castigated western critics of constitutional amendments to extend term limits, saying democracy in Rwanda is becoming stronger.” (12/21/15)

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/1bfac77530614533b71d5e8f3ea77965/AF–Rwanda-Term-Limits

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7) Haiti: Officials postpone vote set for this weekend
Source: ABC News

“Haitian authorities on Monday postponed presidential and legislative runoffs set for this weekend, saying they needed to wait for recommendations from a special commission tasked with evaluating the country’s widely criticized electoral process. In a brief statement, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said the runoffs scheduled for Dec. 27 were postponed until further notice. They did not provide a new election date.” (12/21/15)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/haiti-officials-postpone-vote-set-weekend-35896508

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8) Millennials reject Donald Trump in new poll
Source: MSNBC News

“Donald Trump may be riding high in national polls among primary Republican voters, but he’s not getting the same type of love from young people. According to a new poll released by Monmouth College, just under half of young adults surveyed said they have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. Only 17.5% said they viewed him favorably.” (12/21/15)

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/millennials-reject-donald-trump-new-poll?cid=sm_fb_msnbc

—–

9) FDA partially lifts gay men blood donation ban
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow gay men to donate blood if they have been celibate for one year, lifting a 30-year ban. Some gay activists called the one-year rule discriminatory, but it matches policies in other counties including the UK, Australia and Japan. The ban was put in place at the start of the Aids crisis during the 1980s. Groups that handle blood donations lobbied for the change, calling the ban on gay donors ‘medically unwarranted.’ While calling the decision a ‘step in the right direction,’ activist David Stacy said the FDA needs to go further.” (12/21/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35156578

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10) Congress approves “ceasefire” extension on medical cannabis
Source: Smell the Truth

“President Obama has extended a federal ‘ceasefire’ on targeting lawfully run state medical cannabis programs. The president signed the FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill on Friday, which contains Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibiting the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs and businesses, the Huffington Post reports. The DOJ will continue to be barred from interfering in any way with state medical marijuana laws, such as dispensary raids. DOJ employees are furthermore instructed not to arrest or prosecute any individuals complying with state laws regarding cannabis, CBD oil or hemp.” (12/21/15)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2015/12/21/congress-approves-ceasefire-extension-on-medical-marijuana

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11) At Oberlin, foodies seek a “safe space”
Source: Fox News

“Students at Oberlin College have a new injustice to fight: steamed chicken. Some undergrads at the left-leaning Ohio college are upset at the ingredients and quality of several Asian dishes being served in the cafeteria, The Oberlin Review reported. The frustrations first arose in November, but have continued into late December. One of the chief complaints? Steamed chicken instead of fried chicken as the main component of General Tso’s chicken. Another supposed food infraction involved the Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. Instead of a baguette, grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetable and herbs, Oberlin diners received pulled pork and coleslaw on ciabatta bread.” (12/21/15)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/20/at-oberlin-foodies-seek-safe-space.html

—–

12) China co-opts Buddhist sect in global effort to smear Dalai Lama
Source: Reuters

“Thousands of Buddhists from all over Britain packed into the Aldershot football stadium southwest of London on June 29, quietly waiting under a hot sun to see the Dalai Lama. Just outside the turnstiles, another group of Buddhists awaited the Tibetan spiritual leader. ‘False Dalai Lama, stop lying, false Dalai Lama, stop lying!’ they chanted over and over through megaphones, drummers pounding out a rhythmic tempo. When he spoke, only snippets of his remarks could be heard above the cacophony. … The Aldershot demonstration was part of a pattern: Noisy protesters are following the globetrotting Dalai Lama almost everywhere he goes, denouncing him in terms that echo the invective heaped upon the Nobel Peace laureate by China’s ruling Communist Party.” (12/21/15)

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-dalailama

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13) Actor Nicolas Cage seen returning “stolen” dinosaur skull he bought
Source: Reuters

“It appears Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is the mystery owner who agreed last week to forfeit a rare stolen dinosaur skull to U.S. authorities so it can be returned to the Mongolian government. The office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, filed a civil forfeiture complaint on Wednesday to take possession of the skull, which will be repatriated to Mongolia.” [editor’s note: By “stolen,” the article means that someone removed it from turf claimed by Mongolia’s largest and most powerful criminal organization, the “Mongolian government;” their gangland counterparts here aided them in getting it “back,” even though it was never really theirs in the first place – TLK] (12/21/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-nicolascage-dinosaur-idUSKBN0U42MS20151221

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14) Pharma thug Shkreli fired from KaloBios
Source: Raw Story

“The controversial US pharma boss and hedge fund figure Martin Shkreli has been fired as CEO of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals following his arrest on fraud charges, the firm said Monday. The news came on the heels of Shkreli’s resignation Friday as boss of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the day after his indictment over allegations of a Ponzi scheme-like fraud conspiracy. Shkreli was ‘terminated as chief executive officer of the company and resigned from his position as a member of the board of directors’ on December 17, the day of his arrest, KaloBios said in a securities filing. US Justice Department officials suspect the 32-year-old of mounting a brazen fraud between 2009 and 2014 at two hedge funds and another firm, prior to his career at either pharmaceutical company.” (12/21/15)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/12/pharma-bro-martin-shkreli-fired-from-pharma-company-kalobios

—–

15) EU officially extends Russia sanctions for six months
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“The EU has decided to maintain economic sanctions against Moscow citing incomplete implementation of the Minsk peace accord. Moscow claims the extension will encourage Kyiv to ‘sabotage’ the peace process. … The EU concluded that Russia had failed to fully respect the roadmap to peace in [the seceded states that were once part of] eastern Ukraine, as determined by the so-called Minsk accord.” (12/21/15)

http://www.dw.com/en/eu-officially-extends-russia-sanctions-for-six-months-over-ukraine-conflict/a-18932985

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16) Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons
Source: Reuters

“Brent crude prices hit their lowest in over 11 years on Monday, hounded by a relentless rise in global supply that looks set to outpace demand again next year. Oil production is running close to record highs and, with more barrels poised to enter the market from the likes of Iran, the United States and Libya, the price of crude is set for its largest monthly percentage decline in seven years. While consumers have enjoyed lower fuel prices, producers have cut spending and thousands of jobs and the world’s richest exporters have been forced to revalue their currencies, sell off assets and even issue debt for the first time in years as they struggle to repair the holes in their finances.” (12/21/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil-idUSKBN0U400T20151221

—–

17) Report: Iranian hackers breached controls of dam near New York
Source: Newsweek

“Iranian hackers breached the control system of a dam near New York City in 2013, an infiltration that raised concerns about the security of the country’s infrastructure, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing former and current U.S. officials. Two people familiar with the breach told the newspaper it occurred at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye, New York. The small structure about 20 miles from New York City is used for flood control. The hackers gained access to the dam through a cellular modem, the Journal said, citing an unclassified Department of Homeland Security summary of the incident that did not specify the type of infrastructure.” (12/21/15)

http://www.newsweek.com/iran-hackers-breached-controls-dam-near-new-york-report-407601

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18) Indonesia: Police arrest nine accused of plotting major attack
Source: Time

“Indonesian police have arrested nine terrorist suspects across five cities on the island of Java after receiving leads from the Australian Federal Police and the U.S. FBI …. Among those detained were a teacher from a boarding school and a student named Zaenal, who was allegedly being trained to carry out a suicide bombing in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, on New Year’s Day, the Australian Associated Press said. Authorities say attacks on Shi’ite communities on the islands of Java and Sumatra were also planned.” (12/21/15)

http://time.com/4156533/indonesia-terrorism-arrests-attack/

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19) FDA seeks to issue ban on indoor tanning for teens
Source: Newzy

“‘The FDA’s long-awaited tanning device proposals are an important step that will help to reduce skin cancer diagnoses and deaths,’ the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said in a statement. ‘Individuals under 18 years are at great risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.’ People who use tanning beds 10 or more times in their lifetime have a 34 percent increased chance of melanoma, compared with people who have never had that exposure. The FDA would be able to seize machines and fine businesses that don’t follow the rules, once finalized … The FDA even suggested that for those of legal age, there must be an enforcing law setting limits to its use — that before the first tanning session and on the following sessions, users must sign a ‘risk acknowledgement certification’ which proves [sic] they fully understand the dangers involved in the device use.” (12/21/15)

http://newzy.net/2015/12/21/fda-seeks-to-issue-ban-on-indoor-tanning-for-teens.html

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20) Scientists discover tridymite, silica on Mars
Source: Morning Ticker

“For the first time ever, scientists have discovered the mineral tridymite on Mars — as well as huge amounts of silica, a sign of ancient flowing water on the Red Planet. Curiosity found a large amount of rock-forming silica, which is a mineral that is composed of silicon and oxygen and on Earth typically indicates the past presence of water. It’s usually a good spot to find microbial life on Earth — perhaps it’s a sign that such life could have existed on Mars. … But the discovery of tridymite is perhaps more intriguing. This mineral is rare on Earth and it’s the first time scientists have found it on Mars. When it’s found on Earth, it’s typically found in rocks thrown out by volcanoes, indicating that such volcanoes may have once existed on Mars.” [editor’s note: We already knew that Mars had volcanoes — including the largest one in the solar system – TLK] (12/21/15)

http://www.morningticker.com/2015/12/scientists-shocked-at-this-discovery-on-mars/

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21) Study links regular coffee consumption to lower death risk
Source: West Texas News

“Researchers conducted a decade long study in US and discovered that people who consumed coffee everyday showed less chances of dying due to many causes, like heart disease and diabetes, in comparison to the ones who didn’t consume coffee at all. The more was the consumption of coffee, the lower was the study participants’ risk of dying, and similar pattern was shown by decaf drinkers.” (12/21/15)

http://wtexas.com/content/5186-regular-coffee-consumption-linked-lower-death-risk

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22) NH: Nashua students get day off for security theater
Source: Boston Herald

“Schools in this city on the Massachusetts border were ordered closed today after ‘a detailed threat of violence to harm students and staff’ was emailed to a principal, officials said, prompting an FBI investigation that comes amid heightened tensions after a similar threat shut down Los Angeles schools last week. … The threat, which police declined to specify, was emailed to a Nashua school principal who happened to be checking his work email yesterday, and police were soon notified, Baxter said. Officials declined to identify the principal, but said he was not a principal at one of Nashua’s two high schools.” (12/21/15)

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/2015/12/threat_shuts_nashua_schools

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23) Belgium: Five detained over Paris attacks
Source: ABC News

“Two people were detained early today and three other people detained late Sunday in Brussels in connection with the Paris attacks in November, the Belgian federal prosecutor said. An investigating judge who specializes in terrorism cases ordered a search of a house in Brussels Sunday, the prosecutor said in a statement. The search was connected with the federal investigation of the Paris attacks that killed 130 people and based on a ‘thorough analysis of phone records.'” (12/21/15)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/people-detained-brussels-paris-attacks/story?id=35883214

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24) Graham suspends presidential campaign
Source: Washington Post

“Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ended his long-shot presidential bid Monday, telling supporters in a web video that he succeeded in changing the conversation about how to fight the Islamic State. … By leaving the race Monday, Graham can remove his name from his home state’s primary ballot, creating the sort of free-for-all that candidates such as Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have desired for months.” [editor’s note: I had expected him to hold out until the New Hampshire primary, then trade his endorsement and campaign efforts for the promise of the job he really wants — Secretary of Defense — from some other candidate. I suppose he may still be doing that, just earlier – TLK] (12/21/15)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/12/21/lindsey-graham-suspends-his-presidential-campaign/

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25) Dog bites man: Schumer backs new bill to demonize social media because TERRORISM!
Source: WBFO 88.7 News [US state media]

“Senator Charles Schumer is pushing for a new legislation that will fight terrorists use of social media to recruit, raise money and inspire attacks. The Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015 has just passed the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate. Recent attacks and last week’s arrest of a pizza shop owner in Rochester, New York are evidence that terrorists are using social media with ill intent.” [editor’s note: Actually, the bill “fights” nothing. It just requires a “report” from the executive branch. But said “report” will almost certainly be used to justify further government intrusion into Internet content – TLK] (12/20/15)

http://news.wbfo.org/post/schumer-backs-new-social-media-legislation#stream/0

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

26) Learning lessons our schools can’t teach
Source: Ruwart.com
by Mary J Ruwart

“In the early 1900s, our great-grandparents trudged off to their neighborhood school. For the better part of the day, the teacher stood in front of the class, chalk in hand, to expound on lessons contained in the schoolbooks. Today, our children take cars or buses to school, but once they are there, students listen as the teacher stands in front of the class to expound on the lessons contained in the schoolbooks. The facilities are newer, the chalk has become a white board marker, an occasional video clip is shown, and the curriculum includes some additional subjects, but otherwise our schools are stuck in the horse and buggy days.” (12/21/15)

http://www.ruwart.com/blog/learning-lessons-our-schools-cant-teach-from-the-cliff-notes-version-of-healing-our-world.html

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27) Students need education, not indoctrination
Source: spiked
by Harvey Silverglate

“Resistance to overbearing political indoctrination at Harvard and elsewhere is gradually gaining steam as professors, students, parents, alumni, courts, and other observers of higher education increasingly recognise the destructive potential of administrative assaults on traditional academic freedom (not to mention the feckless submissiveness that administrators have shown to the tyranny of student demands that are incompatible with the whole notion of the liberal arts academy). One thing seems clear: the bureaucrats may engage in tactical retreats when supporters of academic freedom shed their reticence and fight back, but will nonetheless retrench and continue to pursue their agendas, expand their power and retain their bloated numbers and salaries.” (12/21/15)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/students-need-education-not-indoctrination/

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28) Is capitalism the reason for the season?
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by BK Marcus

“Rowdy men in colorful rags gather outside the city’s nicer homes, demanding to be let in. Some have disguised themselves with mock-fancy outfits that ridicule their less-than-willing hosts, while others have blackened their faces or dressed up as animals. If you try to keep them out, they will shatter your windows, break down your door, and help themselves to food and drink. If instead you grant the rabble access, your costumed guests will drink your best booze and demand a cash ‘tip’ for slurring a noisy song at your family. Welcome to a traditional Christmas, as it was celebrated for over a thousand years: from the last days of Rome, through late-medieval London, to 18th-century New York. No Santa, no Christmas tree, no wreath or holly or mistletoe. And no more sign of the Holy Family than you would have seen at any other season.” (12/21/15)

https://fee.org/freeman/is-capitalism-the-reason-for-the-season/

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29) As North Korea plans party congress US should offer peace treaty to Pyongyang
Source: Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow

“Four years ago North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il died. His son, Kim Jong-un was not yet 30 and many doubted that he would emerge in control. But Kim fils now appears very much in charge and has scheduled North Korea’s first communist party congress in decades in May. The U.S. should encourage reform by proposing talks on drafting a peace treaty and normalizing relations.” (12/21/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/north-korea-plans-party-congress-us-should-offer-peace-treaty-pyongyang

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30) Democratic debate spawns fantasy talk on encryption
Source: The Intercept
by Jenna McLaughlin

“Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton during Saturday’s debate said the U.S. should commission a ‘Manhattan-like project,’ a reference to the secret World War II-era atomic bomb endeavor, to address the alleged threat encryption poses to law enforcement. She also admitted she doesn’t actually understand the technology. Clinton was largely parroting a popular FBI talking point that’s been highly publicized following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino — that encryption is law enforcement’s Achilles heel in preventing crime — though there’s no evidence encryption enabled the plots to go undetected.” (12/21/15)

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/21/democratic-debate-spawns-fantasy-talk-on-encryption/

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31) Go to college or go to jail?
Source: USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“Go to college or go to jail? That’s the choice that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders seems to think confronts America’s youth. The other day, Sanders tweeted: ‘At the end of the day, providing a path to go to college is a helluva lot cheaper than putting people on a path to jail.’ Sanders’ comments carried the same elitist tinge that marked John Kerry’s unfortunate remarks in 2006: ‘You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.’ Kerry’s comment created a firestorm of criticism (and, if I recall correctly, some pretty amusing commentary from troops actually in Iraq) since it both overstated the value of education and cast unfair aspersions on soldiers serving in Iraq.” (12/18/15)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/12/19/bernie-sanders-john-kerry-college-jail-column/77570786

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32) The irony in Rubio/Cruz argument over “amnesty”
Source: The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

“Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are for now the only real candidates with a chance to become the Republican nominee for president (granting that Donald Trump, whatever his chances, is an utterly unreal candidate), and to Rubio’s chagrin, they are engaged in a dispute over immigration that grows progressively more venomous. This complex policy challenge has been reduced to the question of which of them is more fervently opposed to ‘amnesty’ for undocumented immigrants, but the debate obscures an odd fact. Though Cruz is getting the better of the argument, the substance of Rubio’s position on the issue (which he is now desperately trying to justify) is actually more popular with Republican voters. But in this atmosphere, when fear and resentment are the order of the day, even that isn’t enough to help him.” (12/21/15)

http://prospect.org/article/irony-marco-rubio-and-ted-cruzs-argument-over-amnesty

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33) The Tom Woods Show, episode 559: Greenpeace co-founder repudiates organization
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Patrick Moore, a Canadian scientist who was a founding member of Greenpeace, finally had to leave the organization for its extremism. Don’t miss his fascinating story!” [various formats] (12/21/15)

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-559-greenpeace-co-founder-repudiates-organization/

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34) Want my blood? Get a warrant.
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“All 50 states have ‘implied consent’ laws that condition the ‘privilege’ of driving on submission to testing in the event of a DUI arrest. In most states, test refusal does not trigger criminal penalties, but it results in license suspension and can be used as evidence against DUI defendants — a policy the Supreme Court has approved. Minnesota and North Dakota are two of 13 states that treat test refusal as a crime. Birchfield, Beylund, and Bernard argue that threatening them with criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a warrantless search violates their Fourth Amendment rights. If a search is not valid to begin with, they say, ‘consent’ obtained under threat of punishment cannot make it so.” (12/21/15)

https://reason.com/archives/2015/12/21/want-my-blood-get-a-warrant

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35) Alex Nowrasteh on The Bob Zadek Show
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“The last time Alex Nowrasteh joined the show, several listeners called in with concerns over Bob and Alex’s boldly open stance on immigration. As a leading immigration scholar with the Cato Institute, Nowrasteh researches, blogs, speaks, and tweets tirelessly in support of a more sane and open border policy. Bob says, ‘Let them all in’ (with a few obvious exceptions). … Bob and Alex will provide a brief history of immigration policy in the United States, and discuss the major presidential candidates’ positions on a legal pathway to citizenship, i.e., ‘amnesty.'” [various formats] (12/20/15)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2015/12/17/immigration-nation-nowrasteh-sets-it-straight-again

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36) On free thought and religious expression
Source: Students For Liberty
by Alexis Esneault

“How should we respond to Muslim communities in the light of recent acts of terror? Ask someone with a Jesuit education. This might sound strange coming from someone who is not religious, but if there is one person who appreciates her Jesuit education (and the way it has benefitted my life for the better), it’s me. Learning about different belief systems and religious communities throughout my undergraduate studies taught me the importance of religious freedom, and respect for the free expression of religious (or nonreligious) beliefs — no matter what someone’s opinion is.” (12/21/15)

http://studentsforliberty.org/blog/2015/12/21/on-free-thought-and-religious-expression/

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37) Is the risk of nuclear war rising?
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“On Sunday, November 28, Californians watched with bemusement and in some cases alarm as a bright light moved across the sky. It wasn’t a UFO. It was a U.S. Navy Trident ballistic missile. It was, of course, just a test — the first of two in three days. They coincided with tough talk from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who earlier that month had criticized Russia for engaging in “challenging activities” at sea and air, in space and cyberspace. Days earlier, he had been in the South China Sea aboard an aircraft carrier, sending a similarly robust message to China about its actions in the disputed region. I was eight years old when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. No sooner had I become even barely aware of the threat of nuclear war than it was gone, apparently forever. Now, however, it has quietly returned.” (12/20/15)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/20/whats-the-likelihood-of-nuclear-war-in-the-next-20-years

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38) There is no Social Security Santa Claus
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling

“At this annual time of good cheer it might seem Grinch-like to challenge the spirit of Santa Claus, but the reality is that there is no jolly, bearded, rotund man in a red suit who brings us goodies for free. And the Congressional Budget Office has recently reminded us of this in reference to Social Security. The Congressional Budget Office’s December 2015 report on ‘Long-Term Projections for Social Security’ makes it very clear that the U.S. government’s promise of assuring every American a federally funded retirement pension faces a very uncertain future. Not that this is new news. Critics of the Social Security system have offered warning signals for decades. But the system’s financial unsustainability is, now, more likely just around the corner.” (12/21/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/there-is-no-social-security-santa-claus/

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39) With Lindsey Graham’s exit, dismal GOP race diminished further
Source: The Nation
by John Nichols

“Americans who disagree with Lindsey Graham on virtually every issue can, and should, still recognize that the South Carolina senator’s decision to suspend his 2016 Republican presidential run is a loss for his party and the broader debate. The senator was the loudest (and often the loneliest) Republican challenger to the absolute absurdity of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and to the willingness of other candidates, congressional leaders, and party bureaucrats to aid and abet the blowhard billionaire’s vile rhetoric. Graham dared to say what other Republicans would not, ripping Trump as a ‘race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.'” (12/20/15)

http://www.thenation.com/article/with-lindsey-grahams-exit-a-dismal-republican-race-is-diminished-further-still

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40) Precedent
Source: The Zelman Partisans
by Carl Bussjaeger

“The Federal Aviation Administration, in response to a few incidents involving RC drones near aircraft — none of which caused deaths, injuries, nor even an aircraft crash — issued a new, retroactive rule requiring a national registration database of nearly all drone owners. [ding] Lacking new legislation to authorize this, the FAA simply, and arbitrarily, redefined toys to be aircraft requiring registration. [ding ding] Despite telling prospectively compliant drone owners that their personal data (name, address) would be kept private, in fact, they plan a publicly searchable database. [ding ding ding]” (12/21/15)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=2672

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41) The case for clemency
Source: The American Conservative
by Chase Madar

“Whether we admit it or not, we are in quite a spot: our hyper-incarceration is unprecedented in U.S. history. Rectifying this will require changes in policing, a cutting back of what we criminalize, and serious revision of our sentences, which far outstrip their deterrent value. Another part of the solution will have to be clemency on a massive scale: pardons, which all but expunge a criminal record; commutations, which shorten a prison sentence; parole; geriatric and compassionate release; and retroactive sentencing reform.” (12/21/15)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-case-for-clemency/

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42) Lack of public options shows how economy rigged against us
Source: Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“In a country with a Constitution beginning with the words, ‘We the People,’ should our economy work for all of us instead of just a few of us? You would think it should work for We the People, but example after example shows how it is actually rigged to work for only a few people. Last week, in ‘Citizens Deliver 150K Petitions Demanding Postal Banking,’ I made the point: ‘We can continue to have a rigged system that enables and encourages predators to take advantage of the public, or we can offer public options that protect and provide services for the public.'” [editor’s note: If only this were an honest attempt to make the Post Office into an alternative to the banking cartels, and not just another bailout for another failing government-monopoly – SAT] (12/21/15)

https://ourfuture.org/20151221/lack-of-public-options-shows-how-economy-gets-rigged-against-us

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43) Money: A taxonomy
Source: Reformed Libertarian
by C Jay Engel

“What is money? Most people have only a vague idea. It has something to do with the green pieces of paper in one’s wallet; but then again such paper is rarely used in our digital age. The intention of the present article is to give an overview of the different financial instruments that people often refer to as money. While seemingly a remarkably dry subject, I am convinced that no aspect of economic theory is as important in our time as a correct formulation of money and banking.” (12/20/15)

http://reformedlibertarian.com/blog/money-a-taxonomy/

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44) Constitutional professor attacks article apparently without reading it
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

“Today, I received an email from a ‘constitutional law professor’ chastising me for an argument I made in the most recent installment of my continuing serious on The Federalist Papers. The email is indicative of the condescension and lack of critical thinking we deal with from so-called experts all the time. It was clear from the outset of the email that this professor either had not read past the article’s headline, or he suffers from some type of severe reading comprehension problem. Following is his email, and my response.” (12/21/15)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/12/21/constitutional-professor-attacks-article-apparently-without-reading-it/

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45) Omnibus spending bill violates your privacy
Source: Free Press Publications
by Darryl W Perry

“One of the worst things included in the over 2,000 page spending bill is a provision completely unrelated to federal spending. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) and its previous iterations the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) previously failed to pass through Congress as stand-alone measures. … The inclusion of a modified version of CISA into the spending bill will definitely benefit the surveillance state which was dealt a symbolic blow when the NSA mass surveillance program was transformed with the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act earlier in the year.” [text, Flash audio or MP3] (12/20/15)

http://fpp.cc/omnibus-spending-bill-violates-your-privacy/

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46) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/21/15: We have always been at war with Agrabah
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“James Babb, Steve Miller-Miller and Michael W. Dean discuss Mark Edge quitting Free Talk Live, the tyranny of the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture against Mark Baker, and a cop decides that if he was ordered to enforce segregation, he’d do it. Get ready to have your feen bone tickled! We’ll miss you Mark!!” [various formats] (12/21/15)

http://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=10406

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47) Who loves liberty more — liberals or conservatives?
Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by Paul Bonneau

“Say there are only two bills this session, one of them allowing ‘constitutional carry’ of firearms, and the other de- criminalizing the growing and smoking of pot. And let’s say we have two bill raters, one a conservative and the other a liberal. The conservative is likely to rate the carry bill as very liberty-enhancing. What does he do with the pot bill? He probably doesn’t like it too much, and he may rate it as neutral, or at best a small positive. But if he’s honest he won’t say it is liberty-hostile. There is no rational way to twist a bill like this into something liberty- hostile. The liberal is likely to rate the pot bill as very liberty-enhancing. What does he do with the carry bill? He might not like it much, and rate it as neutral, or at best a small positive. But if he’s honest he won’t say it is liberty-hostile. There is no rational way to twist a bill like this into something liberty-hostile.” (12/20/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle852-20151220-04.html

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48) Do we need the Fed?
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton

“When the Fed floods the market with artificially created money, it lowers the interest rates, which are the price of money. As the price of money, interest rates send signals to businesses and investors regarding the wisdom of making certain types of investments. When the rates are artificially lowered by the Fed instead of naturally lowered by the market, businesses and investors receive distorted signals. The result is over-investment in certain sectors of the economy, such as housing. This creates the temporary illusion of prosperity.” (12/21/15)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/ron-paul-need-fed

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49) Discreditable credit
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Capitalism can be rigged a hundred different ways, apparently. China’s is run by its Communist Party, and even current innovations bear the stamp of the Party. Take ‘social credit.’ Not the quaint decentralist economic reform movement that was a minor deal in politics on the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada 60 or more years ago. What I’m referring to is the innovative credit scoring system devised by a gaming company in cooperation with China’s commie-run government.” (12/21/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/12/21/26040/

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50) The myth of the gender wage gap
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Nick Capaldi

“The ‘gender wage gap’ myth is a classic example of selective reasoning that attempts to justify the wholesale looting of male productivity. It assumes that men and women are separate, social entities competing for the same resources; as opposed to a typical family unit or partnership working together for mutual benefit. It does not take state benefits into consideration (many mothers, for instance, voluntarily choose low-paid, part-time work to maximise state subsidies (tax-credits etc.) with the minimal of work effort …” (12/20/15)

http://thelibertarianalliance.com/2015/12/20/the-myth-of-the-gender-wage-gap/

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51) Why capitalists are repeatedly “fooled” by business cycles
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Shostak

“According to the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT) the artificial lowering of interest rates by the central bank leads to a misallocation of resources because businesses undertake various capital projects that — prior to the lowering of interest rates — weren’t considered as viable. This misallocation of resources is commonly described as an economic boom. As a rule, businessmen discover their error once the central bank — which was instrumental in the artificial lowering of interest rates — reverses its stance, which in turn brings to a halt capital expansion and an ensuing economic bust. From the ABCT one can infer that the artificial lowering of interest rates sets a trap for businessmen by luring them into unsustainable business activities that are only exposed once the central bank tightens its interest rate stance.” (12/21/15)

https://mises.org/library/why-capitalists-are-repeatedly-fooled-business-cycles

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52) On golden eras and the now
Source: Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe

“The other day I heard somebody refer to the ‘golden age of television.’ I immediately leaped to the conclusion that he meant that fuzzy black and white age in which all of America watched Leave It to Beaver, Gunsmoke, and Ed Sullivan’s variety hour and gathered the next day to share their mutual cultural three-channel (if you didn’t count PBS, which was at that point some guy standing at a blackboard writing equations), pre-programmed experience. Just as I was about to remind the speaker that his ‘golden age’ was just seconds in geological time before Newton Minow created waves — and a meme — by damning all of television as ‘a vast wasteland,’ I realized ‘that’s not what he meant. He meant now. This very minute.” (12/20/15)

http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/ClaireWolfe/2015/12/20/on-golden-eras/

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53) Mobility, meritocracy and other myths
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“At the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry (‘Yes, America’s middle class has been disappearing … into higher income groups,’ Dec. 17) justifies the shrinking middle class and growing economic inequality by citing the finding of a recent Pew Institute study that of the 11% shrinkage in the American middle class, 7% have gone to the top and only 4% to the bottom. First, movement between strata doesn’t legitimize stratification if the structure itself is illegitimate. Meritocracy is a legitimizing myth created to distract people from the question of whether the system of power those meritocratic functionaries serve is just.” (12/20/15)

https://c4ss.org/content/42422

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54) Remember your place
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“To all my Democrat and Republican friends and family: Are your lives really so empty and devoid of meaning that you feel you need a president? Someone to ‘run things’ for you? Personally, I think that’s very sad. I trust you to be able to run your own life, and after a little practice, being able to run it better than you think you can. I know you don’t need a ‘representative’ or Ruler or any of the ‘laws’ they dream up. So why waste time and worry choosing something you don’t need?” (12/20/15)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2015/12/remember-your-place.html

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55) Labor econ versus the world
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“My 13-year-old homeschooled sons just finished my labor economics class. I hope they take many more economics classes, but I’ll be perfectly satisfied with their grasp of economics as long as they internalize what they learned this semester. Why? Because a good labor economics class contains everything you need to see through the central tenets of our society’s secular religion. Labor economics stands against the world. Once you grasp its lessons, you can never again be a normal citizen. What are these ‘central tenets of our secular religion’ and what’s wrong with them?” (12/21/15)

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

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****