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

Volume XIII, Issue #3,101
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
442 email subscribers

http://rationalreview.news-digests.com

*****

In the News:

1) UN Security Council rejects Palestine resolution
2) Libya: Suicide car bomber targets parliament
3) Cuba: Dissidents detained before protest
4) Russia: Putin critic goes from court to protest to jail in one day
5) Minimum wage to rise in 21 US states
6) US calls for release of Americans in Iran, denies swap offer
7) Turkey: Regime toadies sack four prosecutors behind Erdogan graft probe
8) Russia: Ukraine’s import of US nuclear fuel risky
9) Brazil: Petrobras bans firms amid kickback probe
10) Former Senator Gravel to head “Kush” marijuana company
11) CA: Signatures submitted to fight plastic bag ban
12) Report: How Ameriprise shaped deals to sell more securities
13) NH: Auctioneer selling Ku Klux Klan robe
14) FL: Bureaucrats claim judge’s gay marriage ruling “only applies to one couple”
15) Report: First Ebola patient likely infected by playing in bat tree
16) Bangladesh: Islamist party leader sentenced to death
17) Austria: Court charges critic of Kazakh president with murder
18) NY: Cuomo vetoes his own Common Core bill
19) Hackers recreate fingerprints using public photos
20) United, Orbitz file frivolous lawsuit against 22-year-old cheap fare finder

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) The evidence of altruism
22) The Sony hack fraud
23) The imperial presidency comes to Kaneohe Klipper’s 16th hole
24) 2014 Nanny of the Year
25) It’s not the Koran, it’s us
26) Thug vs Thug
27) Turkey: NATO’s loose cannon
28) Rush Limbaugh and his “black Bond” outrage
29) The Libertarian Angle, 12/30/14
30) Can you name the one thing that made America different?
31) Do they have to use that word?
32) The legacy of Carl Levin
33) Forecasting the future and winning liberty
34) The truth about loan forgiveness
35) On the silliness of the Cuban embargo
36) Six reasons we don’t know how good we have it
37) Wal-Mart the welfare queen?
38) Some New Year’s advice
39) Mojitos or malice? Which is Cuba’s national drink?
40) A new deal with Cuba
41) The TSA: A brief tale
42) Farewell to Dennis O’Keeffe
43) Charity t-tissue
44) NYPD versus de Blasio
45) What does it take to win the Democratic nomination in 2016?
46) It’s not too late for Uber to avoid Stupid Patent of the Month
47) An open letter to the media
48) “Remarkable”
49) School buses: America’s largest transit system
50) Terrorism and police states in Exodus: Gods and Kings

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

1) UN Security Council rejects Palestine resolution
Source: Time

“The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Tuesday rejected a Palestinian draft resolution, strongly opposed by the United States, that sought peace with Israel within a one-year time frame. The resolution failed to win the nine-vote majority required for approval, the Associated Press reports. Eight countries voted in favor of the resolution, while two opposed (U.S. and Australia), and five abstained.” (12/30/14)

http://time.com/3650693/united-nations-palestine-israel-resolution/

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2) Libya: Suicide car bomber targets parliament
Source: Houston Chronicle

“A suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the outer gate of the headquarters of the internationally recognized parliament, a Libyan lawmaker and a security official said. Parliamentarian Abu Bakr Baeira said no one was killed in the attack in the eastern city of Tobruk, where the assembly has been forced to convene since Islamist-allied militias seized the capital Tripoli over the summer and revived a rival government. A security official said 18 people were lightly injured including a lawmaker and three children.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ng52m6s

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3) Cuba: Dissidents detained before protest
Source: ABC News

“Cuban officials arrested at least three members of the political opposition Tuesday ahead of a protest art performance seen as the first major test of the government’s tolerance for dissent since the declaration of detente with the U.S. Expatriate artist Tania Bruguera returned to Cuba Friday with plans to set up an open microphone for anyone to speak on the Plaza of the Revolution, a square overlooked by the president’s office, military headquarters and huge portraits of revolutionary heroes Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pm8l8zw

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4) Russia: Putin critic goes from court to protest to jail in one day
Source: The Daily Star [Lebanon]

“Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was detained by police Tuesday after he violated his house arrest to join a protest in Moscow over a guilty verdict against him and his brother in a controversial fraud case. Dozens of other people were also detained as hundreds gathered in central Moscow after the charismatic 38-year-old opposition leader called on Russians to take to the streets against President Vladimir Putin’s regime following Tuesday’s court ruling.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pylpha3

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5) Minimum wage to rise in 21 US states
Source: USA Today

“The minimum wage will rise in 21 states in 2015, putting it above the federal pay floor in more than half the USA and highlighting the impact of a national movement to boost the earnings of low-paid workers. The increases will lift the hourly wages of 2.4 million workers by up to $1 to an average of $8 and a high of $9.15, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The federal hourly minimum is $7.25.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7p32qj

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6) US calls for release of Americans in Iran, denies swap offer
Source: Firstpost [India]

“The United States called on Tuesday for the release of U.S. citizens held in Iran, but denied a report that Washington had proposed a prisoner exchange for a former U.S. Marine. A lawyer for Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American former Marine jailed in Tehran, was quoted in a report on Tuesday on Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency as saying that the United States had sought his release through a prisoner swap. ‘Those reports are not accurate,’ U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told a news briefing.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n5ybd5c

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7) Turkey: Regime toadies sack four prosecutors behind Erdogan graft probe
Source: The Peninsula [Qatar]

“Turkey’s top judicial body yesterday said it had dismissed four prosecutors who oversaw a massive corruption investigation which damaged the Islamic-rooted government and touched the inner circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) said Zekeriya Oz, Celal Kara, Muammer Akkas and Mehmet Yuzgec would be removed from their positions, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. A final decision on the fate of the prosecutors was due after the conclusion of an investigation, it added. They might be dismissed from the profession entirely.” (12/31/14)

http://tinyurl.com/offv584

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8) Russia: Ukraine’s import of US nuclear fuel risky
Source: Atlantic City Press

“Russia says Ukraine’s deal to buy U.S.-made nuclear fuel for its Soviet-built reactors could trigger a nuclear accident. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine announced Tuesday that his nation has reached a deal on nuclear fuel deliveries with Westinghouse to reduce dependence on Russian supplies.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/khzzb5d

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9) Brazil: Petrobras bans firms amid kickback probe
Source: Thibodaux Daily Comet

“Brazil’s state-run oil company says it’s temporarily suspending the country’s biggest builders and engineering firms from bidding on contracts amid investigations into a massive corruption scandal. The oil firm Petrobras says that it’s blocked 23 companies from bidding on projects while an internal probe and an investigation by prosecutors continue into alleged kickbacks and money laundering.” (12/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndchdtr

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10) Former Senator Gravel to head “Kush” marijuana company
Source: Raw Story

“Former US senator Mike Gravel has been appointed as the head of cannabis company Kush, which produces marijuana products for recreational and medicinal use, its parent company said Tuesday. Gravel will be in charge of marketing marijuana products, including a cannabis lozenge called ‘Kubby,’ Cannabis Sativa said. … Nevada-based Kush is a subsidiary of Cannabis Sativa, but will now operate independently under Gravel, who has been a director at the company since it was founded.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nattqa7

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11) CA: Signatures submitted to fight plastic bag ban
Source: Fox News

“Business groups trying to overturn a new California law that bans single-use plastic bags said Monday that they’ve collected more than enough signatures to put their referendum on the November 2016 ballot. If the referendum qualifies, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags will be suspended until voters weigh in, effectively buying plastic bag manufacturers more time. The plastic bag manufacturing trade group American Progressive Bag Alliance said it was turning in more than 800,000 petition signatures to county registrars by Monday’s deadline to qualify the referendum.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l9fdb2v

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12) Report: How Ameriprise shaped deals to sell more securities
Source: Reuters

“Ameriprise Financial Inc, the third-largest independent U.S. brokerage firm, is using its size and reach to shape risky securities it sells, sometimes in ways that make them riskier. At least three times in the past two years, the broker-dealer asked issuers of private real estate investment funds to change the structure of their deals so it could sell more of the securities, according to interviews with multiple sources with direct knowledge of Ameriprise’s practices and a review of testimony in an arbitration hearing involving Ameriprise.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oub44vu

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13) NH: Auctioneer selling Ku Klux Klan robe
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Tucked between children’s Victorian-era button-down shoes and a World War I collar bag with collars, one item stands out on an auctioneer’s website touting an end-of-the-year sale: a Ku Klux Klan robe dating to the 1920s. Discovered in an attic by a New Hampshire woman in her 80s, the white robe bears the KKK’s distinctive round, scarlet patch with a white cross. For years, it sat in a bag, assumed by family members to be an innocuous garment and not a feared symbol of the white supremacist group. Auctioneer Scott Morrill said when the woman found it and considered selling it, she removed the patch to wash the garment. On the back of the patch was her father’s name. Nobody in the family knew he was affiliated with the Klan. The woman, from Rochester, asked Morrill not to reveal her name.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l797my3

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14) FL: Bureaucrats claim judge’s gay marriage ruling “only applies to one couple”
Source: Christian Science Monitor

“Florida officials are embracing a sharply limited view of a federal judge’s ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. A temporary stay of that ruling is set to expire on Monday, potentially authorizing same-sex couples across the state to obtain marriage licenses. Such a move would set the stage for Florida to become the 36th state to recognize such marriages. But lawyers with the state attorney general’s office are arguing that the judge’s ruling only applies to one same-sex couple seeking a marriage license in Washington County.” [editor’s note: This nutball lady will stop at nothing – SAT] (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/omsxhlm

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15) Report: First Ebola patient likely infected by playing in bat tree
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Ebola victim who is believed to have triggered the current outbreak (a two-year-old boy called Emile Ouamouno from Guinea) may have been infected by playing in a hollow tree housing a colony of bats, say scientists. They made the connection on an expedition to the boy’s village, Meliandou. They took samples and chatted to locals to find out more about Ebola’s source. The team’s findings are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.” (12/30/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30632453

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16) Bangladesh: Islamist party leader sentenced to death
Source: The Nation [Pakistan]

“A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced an Islamist party leader to death today after convicting him of atrocities committed during a 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Azharul Islam, 62, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty of five out of six charges including the murder of hundreds of minority Hindus, rape, abduction and torture, prosecutors said. … Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 opened an inquiry into war crimes committed during the nine-month war. The tribunals have angered Islamists who call them a politically motivated attempt by Hasina to persecute the leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami, a key part of the opposition coalition.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o4qv7es

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17) Austria: Court charges critic of Kazakh president with murder
Source: euronews [EU]

“Austrian prosecutors have charged the Kazakh president’s former son-in-law turned opponent, Rakhat Aliyev, with the murder of two bankers in 2007, a Viennese court said on Tuesday, a case in which Kazakhstan has repeatedly requested his extradition. Aliyev, once Kazakh ambassador to Austria who became a vocal critic of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has previously denounced the case against him as politically motivated. … Kazakhstan attempted to have him extradited from Austria, but Vienna twice refused because of the former Soviet republic’s human rights record. Instead it opened its own investigation in 2011. He could face up to 40 years in jail if extradited.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m7nmkog

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18) NY: Cuomo vetoes his own Common Core bill
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal

“In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo negotiated and proposed a bill that claimed to ‘protect New York’s standing as a national leader in teacher evaluation.’ On Monday, Cuomo vetoed the very same bill, saying it doesn’t ‘fix the foundational issues with the teacher evaluation system.'” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nr4srpw

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19) Hackers recreate fingerprints using public photos
Source: CNN Money

“A German hacking group claims that it can recreate your fingerprints from the other side of the world. At a cybersecurity convention in Hamburg last week, the ‘Chaos Computer Club’ demonstrated how it can mimic a fingerprint just by analyzing photographs. … The Club said the presentation calls into question the validity of fingerprint security systems. ” (12/30/14)

http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/30/technology/security/fingerprint-hack/

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20) United, Orbitz file frivolous lawsuit against 22-year-old cheap fare finder
Source: KHON 2 News

“A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down. United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit last month against 22-year-old Aktarer Zaman, who founded the website Skiplagged.com last year. The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called ‘hidden city’ ticketing. … Zaman said he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but he points out that there’s nothing illegal about his web site. He also said he has made no profit via the website and that all he’s done is help travelers get the best prices by exposing an ‘inefficiency’ in airline prices that insiders have known about for decades.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kemsuum

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

21) The evidence of altruism
Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“Sure, true believers in ubiquitous selfishness can grasp at straws to protect their dogma. Perhaps people donate blood for the free cookie, join the army because they might run for office one day, or give to charity in order to make business connections. Or maybe millions of average joes are clueless enough to believe that the blood supply, the safety of the free world, and the availability of charity hinge on whatever they personally choose to do. Anything is possible, but that doesn’t mean that anything is plausible. Once you grasp the logic of collective action, basic economics strongly supports a conclusion that economists rarely advertise: Genuine altruism is all around us.” (12/30/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/12/the_evidence_of.html

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22) The Sony hack fraud
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“In short, the technical ‘evidence’ supporting the narrative woven by those geniuses in Washington is rubbish. Yet they are still sticking by it — because, after all, government officials can never admit they were wrong. Especially since the President of the United States went out on a very thin limb and vowed to retaliate against North Korea — a pledge apparently carried out a few days ago. Two cyber-attacks took down the Hermit Kingdom’s pitiably small Internet structure, which consists of about as many IP addresses as can be found in a single block in Brooklyn. USA! USA! There’s just one problem: a rising chorus of independent cyber-security professionals are virtually unanimous in the opinion that the Obama administration muffed it. The North Koreans, they say, didn’t hack Sony — and our ‘retaliation’ is looking more and more like unprovoked aggression.” (12/31/14)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/12/30/the-sony-hack-fraud/

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23) The imperial presidency comes to Kaneohe Klipper’s 16th hole
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Gary Chartier

“Take a moment to think of the president as an ordinary American, with no special privileges or opportunities other than those directly required to allow her or him to perform the duties associated with the presidency. You don’t need a golf course to yourself in order to perform those duties. A president who was treated, legally and socially, as one of the people would be expected to share a golf course with everyone else. But even if the president doesn’t deserve to be treated as socially superior to everyone else, don’t we all benefit if the president is protected from attack by an enormous security bubble? It’s not obvious that we do.” (12/30/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/34615

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24) 2014 Nanny of the Year
Source: Reason
by Ted Balaker

“Our nation’s control freaks got even freakier in 2014 — from jetpacks to parking apps, eco-ATMs and powdered alcohol, they were determined to kill anything cutting edge. They targeted everything from dogs in parks to births at home, and they’ll sic cops on you for hoarding or smelling bad.” [text and Flash video] (12/29/14)

http://reason.com/reasontv/2014/12/29/nanny-of-the-year-2014

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25) It’s not the Koran, it’s us
Source: In These Times
by Leonard C. Goodman

“When you follow the money, it is easy to understand why the government avoided any honest discussion of the causes of terrorism. By one estimate, U.S. taxpayers have squandered $10 trillion over four decades to protect the flow of oil on behalf of multinational corporations. The result is an empire of U.S. military bases which have garrisoned the Greater Middle East. In the Persian Gulf alone, the United States has bases in every country save Iran. These bases support repressive, undemocratic regimes, and act as staging grounds to launch wars, interventions and drone strikes. And they generate tremendous profits for defense contractors.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nbl3z4m

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26) Thug vs Thug
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“It is common for bad guys to kill each other. It’s the life they choose. Don’t get wrapped up in supporting one side simply because you hate the other a little more; feel free to condemn both as what they are. And when one side is clearly the bad guy, violating someone who wasn’t currently initiating force or theft (which is something ALL on-duty cops are guilty of), then don’t hesitate to call the thug a thug.” (12/30/14)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2014/12/thug-vs-thug.html

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27) Turkey: NATO’s loose cannon
Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“The rising tide of domestic authoritarianism in Turkey is not a small concern. True, the Alliance has previously tolerated illiberal regimes and even outright dictatorships as members. Founding member Portugal was a quasi-fascist country under Antonio Salazar, and Greece groaned under a brutal military dictatorship in the late 1960s and early 1970s without forfeiting its NATO membership. But it would be far more difficult in the twenty-first century for the Alliance to look the other way as a member succumbs to dictatorial impulses.” (published 12/18/14; posted 12/30/14)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/turkey-natos-loose-cannon

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28) Rush Limbaugh and his “black Bond” outrage
Source: BBC News [UK state media] by Anthony Zurcher

“The prospect of Idris Elba eventually replacing Daniel Craig as the next James Bond went from hypothetical internet speculation to something more substantial last week, when the Daily Beast uncovered an interesting nugget in the piles of hacked Sony emails. ‘Idris should be the next Bond,’ Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal wrote, reportedly to a fellow studio executive. That was enough to set conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh into a tizzy. Bond, he said on his radio program last week, has a distinct ethnic profile that Mr Elba, who is black, doesn’t fit. ‘He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is,’ Limbaugh said, adding: ‘I know it’s racist to probably even point this out.'” [editor’s note: I suspect Ian Fleming would find this at very most amusing – SAT] (12/30/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-30594460

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29) The Libertarian Angle, 12/30/14
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“Each week, FFF president Jacob Hornberger and FFF vice president Sheldon Richman discuss the hot topics of the day. This week: the Cuban embargo.” [Flash video] (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qa2ubvo

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30) Can you name the one thing that made America different?
Source: Downsize DC
by Perry Willis

“If you voted against one of your current ‘representatives,’” then that rep probably works against what you want. Or … If you voted for one or more of your current ‘representatives,’ then you are probably still disenfranchised. And that’s because your so-called reps routinely fail to read the bills they vote to pass. They also constantly vote for bills that are packed with unrelated measures that they would have otherwise opposed.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l5gbfgz

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31) Do they have to use that word?
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

“I laughed a lot. But there is one part of The Interview that left me cold — its use of a certain four-letter word. This word, used to describe a female body part, is equivalent to the n-word in its crudeness. But while there is controversy over African Americans’ use of the n-word, I know no woman who finds it a liberating exercise to use this term in reference to herself or other women. In my experience, only creepy men who truly hate women use it. I defend [the] writers’ right to use offensive language. I also have a right not to like it. … In Hollywood, the line is clear: Spare the puppy, and you can call women by whatever slur is handy.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p96d5qz

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32) The legacy of Carl Levin
Source: The American Prospect
by David Cay Johnston

“For 15 years, Senator Carl Levin has taught Americans how our tax system really works. Hearings by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), which he heads, have exposed modern accounting alchemy that turns the black ink of domestic profits into the red ink of tax-deductible expenses. Levin has shown how profits can be shipped tax-free to the Cayman Islands and, amazingly, how Apple figured out that profits booked in Ireland could be hidden from tax authorities of both Ireland and the United States in a cloak of invisibility. He exposed tax favors that were supposed to create jobs but ended up destroying them. He made Swiss bankers who solicited tax evasion on American soil squirm, destroying their claims that criminal conduct was the work of rogue bankers.” (12/30/14)

http://prospect.org/article/legacy-carl-levin

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33) Forecasting the future and winning liberty
Source: The Daily Bell
by Richard M Ebeling

“As a new year begins, it is easy to consider that the prospects for freedom in America and in many other parts of the world seem dim. After all, government continues to grow bigger and more intrusive, along with tax burdens that siphon off vast amounts of private wealth. Extrapolating these trends out for the foreseeable future, it would seem that the chances for winning liberty are highly unlikely. There is only one problem with this pessimistic forecast: The future is unpredictable and apparent trends do change.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qydawjy

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34) The truth about loan forgiveness
Source: Students For Liberty
by Baleigh Scott

“Loan forgiveness occurs when the lender forgives the borrower’s debt, and eats the cost himself. But the government is not in a position to forgive debt because the government did not lend the money in the first place — because the government does not have money to lend. When the government ‘forgives’ loans, it does not eat the cost, the taxpayer does — which is another way of saying that, if you’re a taxpaying resident of the United States, your loans have not been forgiven.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qds8nzz

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35) On the silliness of the Cuban embargo
Source: Mises Canada
by James E Miller

“Cuba, a rinky-dink island off the coast of Florida that hasn’t seen a new automobile within its borders in 50 years, is not a threat to the United States. The country no longer serves as a Soviet satellite. It’s not exporting the violent revolutionary theories of Marx. Cuba is one of the last holdouts of repressive collectivist regimes that are characterized by a few elites profiting off the back of the plundered masses. So what’s the big deal with opening up U.S. trade with a nation in close vicinity that is unfortunately run by despotic thugs? Doesn’t free trade lift all boats, rich and poor? Didn’t someone once wisely observe that if goods don’t cross borders, tanks will?” (12/30/14)

http://mises.ca/posts/blog/on-the-silliness-of-the-cuban-embargo/

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36) Six reasons we don’t know how good we have it
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Monica Lewis and Matthew La Corte

“This rundown of global problems sounds like it’s right out of the comedy This Is the End, but these are the stories that have been dominating our recent news cycles. It’s true that the world is not perfect and that there are serious social, economic, and political concerns that must be approached head on. But acknowledging these problems doesn’t mean we need to be pessimistic about the present or the future. In fact, modern America (and the world as a whole) is experiencing an era of unprecedented freedom and prosperity.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pqu6sb8

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37) Wal-Mart the welfare queen?
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Does WalMart collect $2.6 billion a year in corporate welfare from the government? Well, according to Freedom Force, the mega-corp does. That is, IF you buy the logic of Michael Snyder, who calculates how full-time employees of WalMart collect an average of $5,815 a year ($420,000 per store) in welfare benefits because they aren’t able to make it on WalMart’s poor salaries.” (12/30/14)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6590

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38) Some New Year’s advice
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux

“The New Year is a time to resolve to break bad habits. So as we ring in 2015, here are some bad habits that I wish government would break.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kbxowfx

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39) Mojitos or malice? Which is Cuba’s national drink?
Source: Daily Anarchist
by Anthony Caprio

“It has been said that carrying a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. This phrase has been running through my mind a lot as I read the comments made by Cuban American politicians upset over the thawing of relations between Cuba and the United States. To hear their hysterics you would think America was arming people who want to kill Americans (a policy they seem to support for the Middle East), instead of liberalizing trade and travel with one of our closest neighbors.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k295vjg

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40) A new deal with Cuba
Source: The Nation
by Peter Kornbluh

“In substance and sentiment, the ‘new deal’ between Washington and Havana is historic; it is a major breakthrough in what has been one of the most intractable foreign-policy conundrums in recent US history. … Given the enormous political sensitivities regarding dialogue with Cuba, not to mention a normalization of relations, the Obama administration’s turn to back-channel diplomacy — furtive meetings, third-country interlocutors, secret emissaries — was crucial.” (12/30/14)

http://www.thenation.com/article/193777/new-deal-cuba

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41) The TSA: A brief tale
Source: Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

“This Christmas I flew out of town with my fiance to see his family. Since we’d be out of town for several days, I checked a bag with the airline. We arrived to our destination without any fuss and drove to see his family. As I went to my bag to retrieve some things before bed, I was greeted by a note from the TSA. The paper stated that my bag had been searched as a part of necessary ‘security’ precautions. Aside from looking like a five-year-old had packed my bag, everything seemed fine (I’m a careful packer — so the fact my folded clothes were left in wads was particularly irritating). Upon further inspection, however, I realized some things were missing from my luggage.” (12/30/14)

http://blog.independent.org/2014/12/30/the-tsa-a-brief-tale/

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42) Farewell to Dennis O’Keeffe
Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

“Whether the Christian Faith is true is not a question I can answer. All I can say is that its truth is neither certain nor impossible. But, if we turn away from considerations of truth, I do not think there is any other religion so able to give meaning and hope to its believers. Yesterday, we were told to respect the mortal remains, because they had been made in the image of God and had once contained the soul of Dennis.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qgt6pyv

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43) Charity t-tissue
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Danny Westneat, writing in the Seattle Times, tells us of Leon Delong, who for the last 15 years has been collecting unused, ‘stub’ rolls of toilet tissue from the janitors of the Evergreen City’s toniest skyscrapers, and giving them to food banks and pantries. For charity. The ritzier places dare not risk a toilet roll running out. So the janitorial staff at these office buildings replace rolls every night. And were left with half-used/three-quarters-used tissue rolls. Perfectly usable. But not suitable for those businesses that feared leaving any single restroom customer in an uncomfortably tissue-less condition.” (12/30/14)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2014/12/30/charity-t-tissue/

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44) NYPD versus de Blasio
Source: The Cagle Post
by Taylor Jones

Cartoon. (12/29/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/12/nypd-versus-mayor-de-blasio/

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45) What does it take to win the Democratic nomination in 2016?
Source: Reuters
by Bill Schneider

“Get out your pitchforks, Democrats! A showdown over populism is coming. The core of the problem is the decline of Democratic support among white working-class voters. White voters without a college degree made up 36 percent of the midterm electorate this year. They voted nearly 2-to-1 Republican. Democrats did not have a compelling economic narrative for them. … Working-class Americans haven’t seen any recovery. Without a strong message on the economy, Democrats had to rely on social issues (women’s rights, immigration, climate change) to rally the party’s liberal base. It didn’t work. ” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o365qkz

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46) It’s not too late for Uber to avoid Stupid Patent of the Month
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri

“[I]magine you own a transportation company. You have a limited number of seats and you know that customers are willing to pay different amounts based on their sensitivity to cost. But you don’t want seats to go empty, since every empty seat is a missed profit opportunity. So you implement a system where the more demand is up or supply is down, the more you charge. Or conversely, the more demand is down and supply is up, the less you charge. And then you file a patent application for your ‘invention.’ Because Uber did just that, Uber is being forewarned of its risk of receiving the Stupid Patent of the Month award.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nt8yk8d

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47) An open letter to the media
Source: CounterPunch
by Assata Shakur

“My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.” (12/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/30/an-open-letter-to-the-media/

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48) “Remarkable”
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Michael Boldin

“That’s what a mainstream media report in Wired called the Nov. 19th Utah hearing on our bill to turn off water to the NSA. ‘What’s noteworthy is no one on the panel said: ‘Hey, wait a minute, we can’t do this.” The establishment doesn’t want us to nullify. But we’re doing it anyway.” (12/29/14)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/12/29/remarkable/

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49) School buses: America’s largest transit system
Source: Heartland Institute
by Wendell Cox

“Reminiscent of the late Rodney Dangerfield’s lament, America’s network of school buses get ‘no respect.’ The thousands [of] ‘yellow buses’ are buried without a mention in the most important tables of the US Department of Transportation’s National Transportation Statistics. Neither the terms ‘school’ nor ‘school bus’ appear in tables summarizing the number of vehicles (Table 1-11), vehicle travel (Table 1-35), passenger travel (Table 1-40) and others. At the same time, there is far more complete information on virtually every other transportation mode. This would not be surprising if the school bus system was small or insignificant. It is anything but.” (12/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/myzmyhl

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50) Terrorism and police states in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken

“Those looking for a profound spiritual or religious message in Ridley Scott’s new film Exodus: Gods and Kings, will probably be better off re-watching Raiders of the Lost Ark instead. As an exercise in political and military themes, however, Exodus is moderately successful.” (12/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pawhh8p

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

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