Today's Edition


A note from the publisher

Dear readers,

This is our final edition prior to the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend. You never know, there might be one or more "weekend special editions" ... but if there aren't, please know that we at RRND/FND are thankful for YOU!

If you're thankful for what we do, of course, you can express that thankfulness with fithly lucre via:

Have a great weekend; we wish you safe travels and a joyful holiday.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily


Putin: “Serious consequences” coming after Turks shoot down Russian jet

Independent [UK]

"Vladimir Putin has said there will be 'serious consequences' to Turkey's shooting down of a Russian fighter jet. The Russian President repeated his military's claim that the Su-24 plane was inside Syrian borders but Ankara has insisted it violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. 'Today's loss is a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,' Mr Putin told a press conference as he hosted King Abdullah of Jordan in Sochi." (11/24/15)


Tunisia: Regime declares state of emergency after bus explosion kills 12

Globe & Mail [Canada]

"Tunisia's president declared a 30-day state of emergency across the country and imposed an overnight curfew for the capital after an explosion Tuesday struck a bus carrying members of the presidential guard, killing at least 12 people and wounding 20 others. The government described it as a terrorist attack. The blast on a tree-lined avenue in the heart of Tunis is a new blow to a country that is seen as a model for the region but has struggled against Islamic extremist violence." (11/24/15)


IL: Chicago police officer charged with murder in shooting death of teen

Chicago Tribune

"Cook County prosecutors say a veteran Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times in an on-duty incident on the Southwest Side in October 2014. Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, turned himself in to state's attorney investigators at 7:41 a.m. in their offices at the criminal courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue, booking records show. ... Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of McDonald 'without legal justification and with the intent to kill or do great bodily harm,' according to the one-page criminal complaint filed against him." (11/24/15)


Asia stocks mixed amid geopolitical tension, oil eases from highs


"Asian stocks were mixed in early trading on Wednesday as investors assessed the geopolitical risk surrounding Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet, while crude oil prices eased from two-week highs. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS nudged up 0.2 percent. Australian shares dipped 0.1 percent while Japan's Nikkei .N225 shed 0.4 percent. South Korea's Kospi .KS11 was virtually unchanged." (11/24/15)


Pakistani man sentenced in US to 40 years prison for al Qaeda plot

Jamestown Sun

"A Pakistani man was sentenced by a U.S. judge to 40 years in prison on Tuesday for plotting to bomb a shopping center in England, as part of an al Qaeda plan to carry out attacks in Europe and the United States. Abid Naseer, 29, had faced up to life in prison following his conviction by a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, in March on charges including that he provided material support to the Islamic militant group." (11/24/15)


Obama: Islamic State “must be destroyed”

USA Today

"President Obama pledged Tuesday to step up assistance to France and other allies fighting the Islamic State, but stopped short of endorsing a French proposal for a new grand coalition that would include Russia. 'As Americans, we stand by our friends in good times and in bad,' Obama told reporters after meeting with French President Francois Hollande. The United States and France in particular will 'deliver justice' to the perpetrators of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, and to 'those who sent them,' he said. The 'murderous ideology' of the Islamic State 'poses a serious threat to all of us,' Obama said. 'It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed. And we must do it together.'" (11/24/15)


Costco chicken salad sickens 19 with E. coli

NBC News

"Nineteen people in seven states are sick with an E coli infection linked to chicken salad from Costco, federal health officials said Tuesday. 'Five ill people have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported,' the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report. It's a different strain of E coli from the one that forced the closure of more than 40 Chipotle outlets in Washington and Oregon earlier this month. But the dangers are the same." (11/24/15)


HI: SCOTUS asked to block Native Hawaiian election vote count

Fox News

"Opponents of an ongoing Native Hawaiian election are asking the Supreme Court to block votes from being counted. An emergency request filed with the court on Tuesday argues that Hawaiian residents who are not Native Hawaiians are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights. Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention to come up with a document allowing for self-government. Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the U.S. that hasn't been allowed to establish its own government. Lower federal courts have allowed the election to go forward. The voting is scheduled to end on Monday." (11/24/15)


KY: Beshear restores voting rights to non-violent felons

Raw Story

"Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on Tuesday signed an executive order restoring voting rights to most felons in state in an action that he said will affect some 180,000 people. Once felons have completed their sentences, including any probation or parole, and have made court-mandated restitution, they will have their rights automatically restored as long as they have no additional cases pending, Beshear said. Previously, felony offenders needed to apply to the governor’s office to have their voting rights restored. Now, Beshear said, the Department of Corrections will make the determination." (11/24/15)


Poll: More millennials support censorship

KTRH News Radio

"The First Amendment is apparently old news to a lot of the younger generation. According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of American Minnennials (ages 18-34) support government censorship of speech deemed 'offensive to minorities.' That is easily the largest amount of any age group. Only about 27 percent of Generation X (ages 35-50) and 24 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) support censoring offensive speech. Overall, Americans object to government censorship of speech by a margin of 67 percent to 28 percent." (11/24/15)


Canada refugee plan revives idiotic posturing over “porous” US border


"Standing two feet from Canada on windswept Montana prairie land, U.S. Border Patrol agent Andrew Herdina looks out over a line of crooked old fence posts with no wire between them -- the international border. 'If somebody is set on doing it, there are plenty of opportunities to cross this border,' said Herdina, surrounded by a vast expanse of prairie grass where there were no border posts, or checkpoints, or any visible signs of security. With U.S. security concerns heightened following the attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State, the relatively porous state of America's northern border has attracted little attention as politicians, mostly Republicans, have attacked President Barack Obama's plans to allow in 10,000 Syrian refugees." (11/24/15)


US regime imposes sanctions on senior Burundi officials


"U.S. President Barack Obama's administration imposed sanctions on Burundi's public security minister, a senior police official and other individuals who it says are threatening the stability of the country. National security chief Alain Guillaume Bunyoni and police Deputy Director-General Godefroid Bizimana are subject to asset freezes and travel bans, according to a statement posted on the U.S. Treasury department's website on Monday. The East African nation plunged into deadly violence after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April that he'd seek a third term in office. He secured a new mandate in July elections, which the U.S. and European Union have described as flawed." (11/24/15)


CA: Facebook yanks “White Student Union” page at UC Berkeley

San Francisco Chronicle

"A Facebook page created over the weekend claiming to represent a 'White Student Union' at UC Berkeley has been removed by the social media company after it found that the page creator had used a fake name. The page, which angered some students and prompted condemnation from Chancellor Nick Dirks and Vice Chancellor Na'ilah Nasir, was similar to postings claiming to be for clubs for white students at 75 college campuses across the country. Among them were UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton." [editor's note: Some of the bozos creating these "White Student Unions" are also claiming to be affiliated with the Center for a Stateless Society. They aren't - TLK] (11/24/15)


Thailand: Two indicted by junta court for deadly Bangkok bombing

Houston Chronicle

"A Thai military court on Tuesday indicted two foreigners accused of carrying out a deadly bombing at a shrine in Bangkok but questions hang over the case because of the attackers' unclear motive and an opaque investigation. Both men have been described by officials as ethnic Uighurs (pronounced 'wee-ghurs') from western China's Xinjiang region. Officials say the blast was carried out by a people-smuggling gang seeking revenge on Thai authorities for cracking down on their operation." (11/24/15)


Liberia records first Ebola death since July

ABC News

"A teenage boy has died of Ebola in Liberia, a health official said Tuesday, the first fatality since July in one of the three West African countries hit hardest by the worst ever outbreak of the disease. The 15-year-old boy died Monday night, said Dr. Francis Kateh, chief medical officer and acting head of Liberia's Ebola Case Management System. The boy, who lived in Liberia's eastern Paynesville district, was the first Ebola patient in the country since it was declared Ebola-free for a second time in September." (11/24/15)


Egypt: Militants kill four at elections judges’ hotel in Sinai


"Islamist militants killed four people in an attack on a hotel in Egypt's North Sinai where election judges were staying, the military and Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. A militant tried to drive a car bomb into the hotel before security forces opened fire on him, causing the car to explode, the military said. A suicide bomber got inside the kitchen and blew himself up while a gunman got into a room before firing randomly and killing a judge, they said. Twelve people were wounded. Two policemen were killed and the military said a civilian was among the dead. It said three militants were killed." (11/24/15)


Greece: Athens bomb explodes near parliament

BBC News [UK state media]

"A powerful bomb has exploded in central Athens, causing considerable damage but no injuries. The night-time blast -- outside the Greek Business Federation offices and close to parliament -- shattered windows in nearby buildings. The federation's offices and nearby buildings including the Cypriot embassy were badly damaged." (11/24/15)


IN: Pence Pence sued over Syria refugee demagoguery

Indianapolis Star

"Gov. Mike Pence is facing a federal lawsuit that challenges his power to block Syrian refugees from resettling in Indiana. The lawsuit, filed Monday night, accuses Pence of violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution by accepting refugees from other countries but not those from Syria. It comes a week after the Indiana governor -- and many of his counterparts around the country -- suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states following terrorist attacks in Paris." (11/24/15)


Blue Origin first to successfully land reusable rocket, beating SpaceX


"Elon Musk's SpaceX has been generating most of the headlines recently when it comes to privately owned space agencies, but Blue Origin, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has just taken the lead in one of the former's most impressive initiatives: to develop a reusable rocket and successfully land it after launch. Blue Origin announced today that its BE-3 rocket took an unmanned crew capsule to suborbital heights, separated, and then made a controlled decent ending with a vertical landing. Blue Origin says the launch took place on November 23rd in West Texas, seeing the BE-3 rocket and capsule, together known as New Shepard, reach a height of 62 miles (100.5 kilometers) before separating." (11/24/15)



Turkey’s stab in the back
by Justin Raimondo

"Putin's accusation that this is 'a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists' is absolutely correct -- but he isn't just talking about Turkey, whose Islamist regime has been canoodling with the terrorists since the start of the Syria civil war. Washington and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar -- who have been directly aiding ISIS as well as the 'moderate' head-choppers -- is indirectly responsible for the downing the Russian plane -- including a barbaric attack on the rescue helicopter, which was downed by a US-provided TOW missile launcher. Yes, folks, your tax dollars are going to support Islamist crazies in Syria. The same people who attacked Paris are being aided and abetted by the US -- and if that isn't a criminal act, then there is no justice in this world." (11/24/15)


NATO: This deal is a Turkey

William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

"Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an 'armed attack' on a NATO member 'shall be considered an attack against them all' and that all parties to the treaty must join in to 'restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.' Left unspecified is what happens when a NATO member itself launches an 'armed attack' on a non-member, as happened Tuesday when Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber near the Syrian border. ... If Russia responds tit-for-tat, and if Turkey successfully invokes Article 5, NATO members could suddenly find themselves in a shooting war born entirely of their own hubris. Turkey should never have been admitted to NATO in the first place, and both its membership and the existence of NATO itself have long outlived any possible value they might once have had." (11/24/15)


The LAVA Flow Podcast, 11/24/15

The LAVA Flow Podcast

"In this forthnight's episode, Uber is being shut out in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but the citizens are not taking it laying down, what's in the news with news on ballistic fingerprinting, vets getting medical marijuana, and the government using asset forfeiture to steal more than criminals, and an Ancap App segment on" [various formats] (11/24/15)


Ban encryption? It’s an impossible idea whose time will never come

by JD Tuccille

"Unwilling to let a good crisis go to waste, government officials have played on public fears to suggest bogus links between the Paris attacks and privacy-protecting technology like encryption and bitcoin. It's all in an effort to deny the benefits of those technology to people who don't want to live under constant state scrutiny. The one saving grace is that these technologies were developed in the expectation that governments would pull exactly such stunts, and are well positioned to resist government controls." (11/24/15)


Scapegoating Snowden

by Timothy J Taylor

"James Woolsey, a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), blames the recent terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people on Edward Snowden, the hero who blew the whistle on systematic government constitutional violations involving unlawful spying on all Americans. ... according to Woolsey, there would have been no terror attacks in Paris or elsewhere if only Edward Snowden had kept his mouth shut about unconstitutional and criminal activities in the U.S. government intelligence agencies. Snowden is the scapegoat who ought to be sacrificed to atone for the sins of the U.S. government." (11/23/15)


Getting charity right

Christian Science Monitor
by John Yemma

"Charity is simple in theory: A heart warms, a hand reaches out. In practice, though, ... [t]oo little can be a drop in the bucket; too much can foster dependence or open the door to skimming by middlemen and hucksters. [C]ritics have long worried about misdirected charity, about projects that do more harm than good. In his 2012 book, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It), Robert Lupton, a veteran of 40 years of community work in inner-city Atlanta, argues that charity must not do for the poor what they can do for themselves. His is the ancient 'teach a man to fish' philosophy, which is no less true for being ancient. Mr. Lupton advocates limiting open-wallet generosity to emergencies such as natural disasters. Follow-on funding should focus on the development of self-sufficiency (offering microloans, hiring local builders and suppliers, and trying to establish self-funded, locally owned and operated enterprises)." (11/23/15)


Regime change is the root of evil in Syria

Foundation for Economic Education
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Americans have become so accustomed to regime change as part of their federal governmental structure that most everyone has become quite blase about the topic. A good example is Syria, which has now been pushed front and center into the consciousness of the American people. Everyone is railing about those Syrian refugees but no one asks an important question: Under what authority is the U.S. government trying to oust a foreign leader from power?" (11/24/15)


Dear progressives

Foundation for Economic Education
by Aniruddha Ravisankar

"There is something incredibly inspiring about caring for others. I share your contempt for the inequities we find within and between countries. It hurts me each time I think about the unnecessary loss of life in the world due to poverty and economic stagnation. I am a classical liberal not because I don't care for others but because I do. I share your concern for the plight of the poor, I appreciate your desire for change, and I respect your disdain for narrow nationalism and feudalism. It is out of this appreciation that I ask you to come back to your political roots." (11/24/15)


Okinawans say no to new US Marine Corps base

The Nation
by Tim Shorrock

"Last week, with the world’s eyes focused on the latest terrorist threats to Europe and Africa, 45 activists from the Japanese island of Okinawa came to Washington to demand justice for a country where the US military has held sway since World War II. The activists represent the All-Okinawa Council, a broad coalition of over 2,000 women’s-rights activists, businessmen, trade unionists, academics, and citizens’ groups formed to stop construction of a new Marine Corps base on an island that already hosts 32 American military installations." (11/24/15)


The Supreme Court should hurry up and wait on immigration

Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro and Josh Blackman

"On Friday, less than two weeks after a federal appellate court affirmed the injunction against President Obama's executive action on immigration, the administration asked the Supreme Court to give the case 'immediate review.' Despite the administration's desperate plea to resolve the case as soon as possible --to allow a policy whose general thrust we agree with to proceed --the justices need not rush what could become a landmark separation-of-powers case." [editor's note: But the case is so SIMPLE -- Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution clearly and unambiguously empowers the president to "grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment" -- that there's really no reason to wait; it's a slam dunk if the Constitution means what it says - TLK] (11/24/15)


Quiet desperation and American fascism

The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner

"There's a must-read article if you want to understand why Democrats are losing the support of low income people who benefit from government programs like Medicaid and food stamps and logically should vote for Democrats based on pocketbook interests. Alec MacGillis of ProPublica, writing in The New York Times Sunday Review, observes that for the most part, the poor aren't defecting to Republicans -- they are not voting at all. His exhibit A is eastern Kentucky, one of America's poorest and most government-dependent regions. But the poor are so marginalized and disaffected that they are disconnected from civic life entirely." (11/23/15)


Freedom Feens Radio, 11/24/15

Freedom Feens Radio

"Jim Jesus, Angela Keaton and Dan Greene host tonight, Angela and Dan talk about why they've left the world of Facebook, Anonymous'[s] war on ISIS, they talk about Rush and classic rock music, Michael W. Dean makes a surprise appearance and hilarity ensues!" [various formats] (11/24/15)


The Fed is above the law

by Scott Sumner

"This post may upset some people, but I am simply trying to describe the world as it is, not as I would wish it to be. I recently spoke with Ryan Hart, who is researching the legal status of Fed policy. That got me thinking about the Fed's mandate, and whether it is legally enforceable." (11/24/15)


Think campus PC out of control? Look at the military

The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve

"To put political correctness on college campuses in some actual perspective (terrible scourge, or media hysteria?) it helps to look at another institution that houses and trains a lot of angry and hormonal 18- to 24-year-olds: the U.S. military. These institutions have more in common than you might think. Both have to make a lot of rules to anticipate the actions of thousands of teens gathered in a strange place with sudden access to freedom and money and booze. Both bring together kids from all over, some of whom haven’t met many people of different races and ethnicities. Their relationships are more intimate than most of us have with our coworkers, because they live together, and they also can't be immediately fired for being jerks. This is a serious problem for the military, because it needs the teens to kill bad guys, not each other. And so it has procedures for dealing with conflicts over teen identity politics that can be far more intrusive than any university faculty training on microaggressions." (11/24/15)


State campaign finance rules stifle free speech

Heartland Institute
by Kyle Maichle

"On Oct. 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission issue new regulations on so-called 'coordination' between candidates and super political action committees. The new rules are widely considered to be the toughest in the nation. In fact, they're an outrageous infringement of freedom of speech." (11/24/15)


Where does it end?: Left political correctness

by Norman Pollack

"By the logic of the Black Justice League, not only should Blacks at Princeton leave the institution lest their presence signifies complicity with racism, but the same standard should be consistently applied across the board, e.g., Black football players at southern universities such as Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Texas, Georgia, etc., schools from day one which were segregated until well into the postwar period, for by attending, let alone playing for, these schools they add to their prestige and indirectly legitimize their past. Ditto, the application of purging the past from all associations which directly or indirectly have or still do justify racism -- which takes in practically all of the American experience. Political correctness in any form is pernicious by its negation of class consciousness." (11/24/15)


In Syria, the joke’s on Washington

by Josh Cohen

"When Russia began its military campaign in Syria, the Obama administration and its allies quickly claimed it was a disaster in the making. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Russian President Vladimir Putin 'impulsive' and said he was 'winging it' in Syria with no long-term strategy. Former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul ridiculed Putin’s 'supposed strategic genius,' arguing the Russian leader 'cannot restore Assad’s authority over the whole country.' Even President Barack Obama joined the chorus, publicly warning Putin that he risked an Afghanistan-style Russian 'quagmire' in Syria. It turns out, though, that the joke’s on Washington: Thanks to shrewd tactics plus tailwinds from the Paris attacks, Syria is turning into a major strategic victory for Putin. Here’s what he’s accomplished and how he did it." (11/24/15)


Donald Trump’s politics of fear

The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

"Two days after ISIS attacked Paris, The New York Times published a front-page story suggesting that terrorism's new centrality to the presidential race might be 'prompting voters to reconsider their flirtations with unconventional candidates and to take a more sober measure of who is prepared to serve as commander in chief.' Nope. In poll after poll after poll since then, Donald Trump's support has gone up. The public's new focus on terrorism may have hurt one outsider candidate, Ben Carson, but it has helped Trump, who according to a recent ABC News / Washington Post poll, Republicans trust to handle terrorism by a 24-point margin over his nearest competitor. This may seem crazy, but it's not." (11/24/15)


Thanksgiving: Celebrating the birth of American free enterprise

The Cobden Centre
by Richard M Ebeling

"This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America." (11/24/15)


The Citizens United president

USA Today
by Robert Weissman

"Will Barack Obama be remembered for standing by helplessly as Citizens United eroded the very foundations of our electoral democracy? That may be an unfortunate part of his legacy if he fails to take action soon to do something -- anything -- about the billions of dollars in corporate and super-rich money flooding over the electoral terrain. There's no doubt that President Obama opposes Citizens United and its underlying logic. ... But there's also this fact: Citizens United was decided with President Obama in the White House. In the almost six years since then, he has made almost no effort to address the political disaster unleashed by Citizens United. And, while he's been president, the federal policy response to Citizens United has been to do ... exactly nothing." (11/24/15)


Limits of liberal war opposition

by David Swanson

"Robert Reich's website is full of proposals for how to oppose plutocracy, raise the minimum wage, reverse the trend toward greater inequality of wealth, etc. His focus on domestic economic policy is done in the traditional bizarre manner of U.S. liberals in which virtually no mention is ever made of the 54% of the federal discretionary budget that gets dumped into militarism. When such a commentator notices the problem of war, it's worth paying attention to exactly how far they're willing to go. Of course, they'll object to the financial cost of a potential war, while continuing to ignore the ten-times-greater cost of routine military spending. But where else does their rare war opposition fall short?" (11/24/15)


Free Talk Live, 11/23/15

Free Talk Live

"Robin Hood of Keene Victorious Again :: Adam Kokesh Forced on Greyhound After Being Banned from Airline When TSA Confused GPS Tracking Anklet with Bomb :: Adam Interrogated by FBI :: 3D Gun Blueprints Banned in New South Wales :: Defense Distributed Lawsuit." [Flash audio or MP3] (11/23/15)


The economic burden of corporate taxation

National Center for Policy Analysis
by David G Tuerck and James P Angelini

"As other countries lower their corporate tax rates, U.S. corporations are reincorporating in lower tax countries (engaging in 'tax inversions') to reduce their tax burdens. Permanently eliminating or lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate would reverse this tax calculus and establish the United States as a tax haven. The result would be a huge infusion of capital into the United States, made all the greater by other U.S. advantages, such as access to capital, rule of law and infrastructure." (11/24/15)


Trump and Republican foreign policy

The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

"The hope for Rubio, Bush, et al. has been that eventually voters would tire of the completely unprepared candidates that don't know anything about policy, but as we have already seen for months Trump and Carson supporters don't care that their candidates know little or nothing about policy. Now that the conversation has shifted to national security and foreign policy instead of immigration, that just gives the 'outsider' candidates different subjects to use to their advantage. Trump's blunt and heavy-handed nationalist rhetoric seems to appeal much more broadly among Republican voters than the dangerous proposals of the other hawkish candidates that want to get the U.S. mired ever more deeply in Syria's civil war. More to the point, Trump's lack of foreign policy experience doesn't hurt him as much in a field in which most of his competitors have little or none of their own." (11/24/15)


Post dated

Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"What does a business do whose market share is decreasing, is billions of dollars in debt, and which incurred one-third of that debt just last year? Realistically, it cannot be sustained. Not as a normal business. Of course, the business in question has been struggling to reform, has been cutting costs. But can't cut enough. I'm referring to the United States Postal Service." (11/24/15)


Hunters, trail riders, bikers and hikers

The Zelman Partisans
by Sheila Stokes-Begley

"I think many of us enjoy the beautiful autumn weather, the feel of crunchy leaves under our feet and the fresh crisp smell of autumn breezes. I would kind of guess that a few of us may enjoy going out in the woods to enjoy our sports. I know hunters, trail riders, people that enjoy biking or hiking trails with or without frolicking dogs. I also think Second Amendment people are by nature caring of others. That's why I beg your indulgence. There is a new program asking people that are out in the woods in force, especially this time of year to help with a heart wrenching chore. Finding missing people." (11/23/15)


The sorry tale of the PECB, Pakistan’s terrible electronic crime bill

Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Nighat Dad

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a government, in the wake of a national security crisis -- or hostage to the perceived threat of one -- will pursue and in many cases enact legislation that is claimed to protect its citizens from danger, actual or otherwise. These security laws often include wide-ranging provisions that do anything but protect their citizens' rights or their safety. We have seen this happen time and time again, from the America's PATRIOT Act to Canada's C-51. The latest wave of statements by politicians after the Paris bombing implies we will see more of the same very soon. Not keen to be left out, Pakistan has now joined the ranks of countries using 'cybercrime' and terrorism to rewrite the protections for their nationals' privacy and right to free expression." (11/23/15)


Students, admins cite “safe spaces” in seeking limits to media coverage

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Alex Morey

"One of many noteworthy aspects of the recent protests over racial inequality on dozens of America's college campuses has been the effort by some protesters to bar members of the press in the name of creating a 'safe space' to air their grievances. Many students have voiced concerns that the media would mischaracterize the story or, conversely, that the mere presence of journalists in a public forum would make students uncomfortable voicing their opinions." (11/23/15)


So, that’s DECC’s renewables plans entirely up in smoke then

Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

"One of the little fables, falsities really, of the DECC's approach to climate change rests upon just the one number. And that's what is the price of natural gas per therm going to be off into the future. We could assume that the price will be roughly the same as today. Or it might fall as a result of fracking, or it might rise as a result of supplies running out. But we obviously do need to make a forecast because that's the only way we can work out whether those damn windmills and so on are ever going to be economic. So what DECC did was assume that gas prices would roughly double from their current level. In that manner they could then say that those windmills would in fact be cheaper. Not because the windmills are cheaper now, nor because they're going to become cheaper in the future, but because the gas price is going to double." (11/24/15)


Arguments that water might run uphill are endless

Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

"Noah Smith speculates that raising the minimum wage might be good for low-skilled workers over time because a higher minimum wage prompts firms to invest in technologies that increase worker productivity ('Want Innovation? Try Raising Minimum Wages,' Nov. 23). Key to his case is his observation that '[i]n the past, when companies implemented labor-saving technology -- whether assembly lines or computers -- their workers didn't simply go on the unemployment rolls. They became more productive than before and commanded higher wages.' While this observation is largely accurate, by using it to justify minimum wages Mr. Smith confuses cause and effect." (11/23/15)


The atomic age and limited liability for nuclear accidents

The Hill
by William F Shughart II

"Some critics charge that the federal liability limit encourages the nuclear power industry not to insure adequately against accidents. But that criticism is untested because all damage claims thus far have been paid without recourse to Price-Anderson's secondary insurance fund. Nevertheless, the very large expected costs of a major nuclear event, unlikely as it may be, explain why private insurers are unwilling to underwrite fully any and all future accident claims. Price-Anderson clearly is a form of corporate welfare that indemnifies the nuclear industry in a worst-case scenario." (11/20/15)


The wonders of food

Center for a Stateless Society
by Grant Mincy

"Thanksgiving is truly a great holiday. I've always enjoyed the day -- how it feels, smells, and of course, tastes. As a college instructor, I'm fond of Turkey Day because it comes at the end of a long Fall semester. Thanksgiving offers some needed down time right before the total chaos that rings in the end of another academic year. Aside from that, November is perhaps my favorite month as it is a true season of change." (11/24/15)


Business is no business of the state

Future of Freedom Foundation
by George Leef

"The day after the 2010 mid-term elections, the federal government quietly announced the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a 'green energy' company that had been touted by Barack Obama as a leader in the kind of innovation that would help the planet to 'heal.' Solyndra had been founded by a big supporter of the president and the company had received a $535 million loan from the government early in 2009. Less than two years later, the company was bankrupt and the taxpayers were stuck with the loss." (11/24/15)


The endless cycle of terrorism
by Ivan Eland

"In the wake of the heinous attacks on civilians in Paris, the French are now prone to repeating the same mistakes the United States made after the even more barbaric 9/11 attacks. The natural reaction of politicians -- whether they be Democratic, Republican, or Socialist as in the case of President Francois Hollande in France -- is to show their publics that they are macho and tough. France's escalation of air strikes in Syria in retaliation for the Paris terrorist attacks is a good example. Unfortunately, that strutting and flexing doesn't solve the problem of terrorism and usually makes things worse. What is needed is more honesty about what causes radical Islamists' sporadic terrorist attacks on Western nations, which would lead to a more measured and effective response." (11/24/15)


Encounter in Nagasaki

Come Home America
by Joe Scarry

"Two days ago I visited the atomic bomb memorials in Nagasaki; yesterday I walked around the city, thinking about what I had seen. I ended up in the late afternoon at the Glover Garden, which provide a panoramic view of the city and the harbor. Jet lag was starting to set in, and I plopped down on a bench under an arbor to drink a bottle of cold green tea from one of the ubiquitous drink vending machines. ... one little girl started to talk to me. 'Where are you from?' she asked. And while she said this she looked at her classmates and gestured for them to back away, as much as to say, 'Give me some space here or the subject is going to flee the interview.' 'U.S.' I said. 'Oh ... ' she nodded. And I began to wonder, what can a child in Nagasaki think when they see a person from the US?" (11/23/15)


Protecting ourselves to death
by Mary J. Ruwart

"Cancer patients took the FDA to court to legalize their ability to use drugs that had undergone human safety testing but had not yet been shown to be effective. The courts ruled that US citizens did not have the right to try to save their lives with drugs not yet approved by the FDA. Consequently, some patients are now going to the black market or overseas to get drugs that might help them survive." (11/22/15)


A sober look at the west’s Kurdish allies

Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

"Kurdistan has acquired a growing roster of advocates in the United States. Indeed, some opinion leaders have urged Washington to downgrade its support of the Baghdad government and place greater reliance on relations with Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. A few outspoken supporters even regard Kurdistan as second only to Israel as a reliable, democratic US ally in the Middle East -- a view encouraged by influential Israelis. A more sober view is needed. The Kurds are indeed capable fighters, and they are vehement opponents of ISIS and other manifestations of Islamic extremism. However, both the Iraqi Kurds and their Syrian counterparts have their own political agendas. And those agendas inevitably cause problems for the Baghdad government and for Turkey, a key member of NATO." (11/23/15)


Who should pay for the Syrian refugees?

Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul

"Last week the US House dealt a blow to President Obama's plan to resettle 10,000 Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland. On a vote of 289-137, including 47 Democrats, the House voted to require the FBI to closely vet any applicant from Syria and to guarantee that none of them pose a threat to the US. Effectively this will shut down the program. ... I agree that we must be very careful about who is permitted to enter the United States, but I object to the president's plan for a very different reason. I think it is a sign of Washington's moral and intellectual bankruptcy that US citizens are being forced to pay for those fleeing Washington's foreign policy." (11/23/15)


Microaggression theory: An assault on everyday life

by Frank Furedi

"What's significant about the concept of microaggression is that it targets not just words, but the imputed meaning behind words. The question 'where are you from?' is denounced not because the words are offensive in themselves, but because the words' implication is offensive. Microaggressors are being denounced for what they allegedly think, not necessarily for what they say. This is an open invitation to police our thoughts. In the end, what matters is not the significance of the words exchanged but whether the individual claims to be offended by them." (11/23/15)


Donald Trump’s presidential “heel turn”

Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg

"In 2007, before becoming a 'reality TV' star in his own right, Trump was cast by World Wrestling Entertainment for a major role in an extended storyline that culminated in Wrestlemania 23. The climax of that pay-per-view event was a proxy battle between wrestlers representing Trump and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The victor would shave the loser's head in the center ring. ... Although he was clearly the fan favorite, Trump didn't choose to be a 'face' -- that is, a good guy -- because 'heels' are always more popular. Eight years later, Trump has resurrected his WWE character for use in the Republican presidential primaries, which are every bit as farcical as -- albeit immeasurably more harmful than -- the steroid-saturated soap opera called pro 'wrestling.'" (11/22/15)


It’s beginning to feel like 2002 all over again

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"At the end of last week, the liberal group Media Matters noted that in the wake of the Madrid bombings in March 2004, Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly asserted that 'If al-Qaeda attacks here, President Bush is re-elected in a heartbeat,' since 'unlike the Spanish,' who are passive sheep (or something), the strong American public "won't surrender, they'll get angry.' But after the recent attacks in Paris, O'Reilly sang a different tune: 'We get hit, [Obama] goes down as the worst president in U.S. history. No doubt.' While Media Matters's purpose in juxtaposing these two quotes was surely to mock O'Reilly for his partisan hypocrisy, you can look at it another, much more depressing way: O'Reilly was probably right both times." (11/23/15)


Fear is the name of the game

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"President Obama announced, 'We do not succumb to fear.' What did he mean with his use of the pronoun 'we?' He's got to be talking about the military and the CIA -- i.e., the national-security establishment -- which undoubtedly will not be afraid to drop more bombs in the Middle East and kill more people in that part of the world. He certainly can't be talking about the American people. They are among the most frightened people in the world! They succumbed to fear a long time ago, on a permanent, ongoing basis." (11/23/15)


Donald Trump is your dad

by Matt Welch

"Do you know how your Dad (or your uncle, or whatever beloved-if-occasionally-cringe-inducing family member best fits this description) is always sending around forwarded emails that don't sound remotely true, having to do with stuff like crime and patriotism and refugees and Muslims and kids-nowadays? Do you know how a couple of times of year the mild amount of frustration this produces will overwhelm your otherwise good humor about it and you'll snap 'Dad, in the amount of time you wrote that email, you could have seen that it wasn't true over at!?' Well, Donald Trump is your Dad." (11/23/15)


Overhaul TSA bureacracy

USA Today
by Anthony C. Roman

"Last week, the Islamic State promised to attack the U.S. The terrorist group’s coveted goals include bombing a U.S. airliner. Recently, the hand of terror touched France, Belgium, Egypt, Mali and other countries. In the midst of this evolution of terror, resilient Americans will crowd into airports during the Thanksgiving holiday to reunite with loved ones. The concern they carry is: Are we safe? The public has been frightened by news of a Transportation Security Administration 95% screening failure rate on a test. Government auditors smuggled mock bombs and weapons past screeners in June. Nor was a repeat audit reassuring: TSA failed again." (11/23/15)


Myths of empire
by Justin Raimondo

"The release of The Man in the High Castle, a streaming film series produced by Amazon and based very loosely on Philip K. Dick's 1962 novel of the same name, is an occasion for us to examine the myths of empire -- that is, the narratives that are woven around actual historical events, which are rarely accurate, and which are designed to buttress the prevailing political order. We can do this by examining, first, the differences between Dick's version, as presented in the original novel, and the Amazon film version, which deviates considerably from Dick's vision." (11/23/15)


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