Today's Edition


| Commentary

Thanksgiving Friday Special Edition

Dear readers,

Yes, a second holiday special edition -- five news stories, five commentaries for your holiday weekend enjoyment. If we took four whole days off, we'd never catch up with all the great content out there!

Since I'm writing you a note anyway, I'd like to hit a few points I don't always get around to.

Of course, I always get around to fundraising, especially at year end, so let me get that out of the way -- support the freedom movement's daily newspaper at:

A couple of things I usually DON'T remember to mention are other ways you can keep up with us and a request that you point others at us.

Each story you see in your daily RRND/FND email also goes up in three other places over the 24-hour period preceding the daily email:

- We are on Twitter at -- please follow us and ask others to do likewise!

- We are on Facebook at -- please "like" and "share" our page!

- And of course we are on the web at (the whole enchilada) and (most recent five news and commentary). Bookmark and visit early and often!

Have a great weekend and we'll be back on Monday with the regular email edition (if not before with further "holiday specials")!

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

PS: Yeah, I'm going to flog my new book, KN@PPSTER's Big Freakin' Book of Stuff, a little more. Free download! Check it out at ...

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Pope Francis in Turkey to boost faith ties

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Pope Francis has arrived in Turkey for what is described as a historic visit to promote religious dialogue in the country. He is being greeted in Ankara by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will later travel to Istanbul to meet the head of the Orthodox Christian church. This is only the fourth visit by a pope to Muslim-majority Turkey." (11/28/14)

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Russian warships enter English Channel, NATO dismisses “exercise” claims

Reuters Reuters

"A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises. ... Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen, NATO's military spokesman, also said the alliance was aware of the Russian ships' location. 'Our information indicates that the ships are transiting and have been delayed by weather conditions. They are not exercising in the Channel, as some Russian headlines would have us believe,' he said." (11/28/14)

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EU Parliament vote favors Google breakup

CNet News CNet News

"In a move whose bark is worse than its bite, the European Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution suggesting one way to address Google's dominance is by splitting the company's search business from its other operations. The nonbinding resolution calls upon the European Commission, whose competition division has been scrutinizing Google's search dominance since 2010, 'to consider proposals aimed at unbundling search engines from other commercial services.' That unbundling could separate Google services such as flight search, hotel reservations and shopping comparison from the company's search results." (11/27/14)

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NV: Politicians, judge side with cab monopolists vs. Uber, citizens

Daily Mail [UK]

"Ride sharing firm Uber has been forced to suspend its services in the U.S. state of Nevada after a judge issued the firm with an injunction. The judge from a Washoe County District Court issued a preliminary injunction preventing the company from operating statewide on Tuesday. It issued the legal ban on behalf of the state saying Uber refused to comply with state laws regulating commercial motor carriers which could put the public's safety at risk. ... the attorney general filed a lawsuit last month arguing that the Internet application infringes on the franchise rights of taxi companies and cabdrivers. The law suit could lead to a trial in the future. A spokesperson for Uber said that the ban in Nevada could cost 1,000 jobs." (11/27/14)

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France: Parliament to debate recognition of Palestine as a state

France 24 [France]

"French lawmakers will debate a proposal on Friday to recognise Palestine as a state in a move aimed at pushing for 'a definitive resolution of the conflict.' The non-binding motion is expected to pass a lower house vote December 2. ... Ahead of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned France it would be making a 'grave mistake' if it recognised Palestine." (11/28/14)

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At RRND/FND, we are thankful for YOU

Dear readers,

It's a holiday -- Thanksgiving -- in the US, so technically we have the day off and a long weekend. But since I happened to be up early this morning as usual, I figured I'd crank out a short edition for you: Five of the top news headlines, five commentaries that came to my attention.

All of us here at the freedom movement's daily newspaper are grateful to our readers for 23 years of your attention and financial support (nearly 12 years since we began publishing as Rational Review News Digest, but going all the way back to 1991 and Libernet). If you're celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, please accept our best wishes for you and your families. And if you're not celebrating an American holiday, well, we're still thankful for you and wish you the best.

As always at this time of the year, I try to pound the old fundraising drum a little harder so that our editors can hopefully rack up a little extra cash for holiday shopping and travel. You can support RRND/FND at:

Have a great weekend! We'll be back with the regular edition on Monday, and perhaps some additional holiday weekend editions before then.

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

PS: If you haven't downloaded my new book, I hope you will (it's free in PDF format, cheap in other electronic formats or print). You can grab KN@PPSTER's Big Freakin' Book of Stuff at:

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US: Hundreds of thousands without power due to east coast storm

ABC News ABC News

"More than 350,000 electric customers from Maine to Virginia were without power this morning, after a storm dumped a sloppy mix of rain and snow along the East Coast. New Hampshire residents experienced the heaviest level of outages, with more than 180,000 electric customers there reported without power this morning. More than 78,000 customers in Maine lost power, along with 55,000 customers in New York." (11/27/14)

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Afghanistan: Suicide bomber targets British vehicle

The Washington Post Washington Post

"A suicide bomber attacked a British Embassy vehicle in the eastern part of the Afghan capital Thursday, killing at least five and injuring more than 30, according to law enforcement officials. It’s the latest in a spate of assaults targeting foreigners as most U.S. and international troops are preparing to withdraw by the end of the year. Authorities said the attacker detonated a car filled with explosives near the British vehicle, killing one British citizen and four Afghans." (11/27/14)

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Egypt: Junta court sentences 78 teenagers for pro-Morsi protests

Sydney Morning Herald

"An Egyptian court has sentenced 78 minors to between two and five years in prison for taking part in demonstrations calling for the return of ousted president Mohammed Mursi. The authorities have engaged in a crackdown on Dr Mursi's supporters since his overthrow by the army last year, with hundreds jailed in mass trials which the United Nations has described as 'unprecedented in recent history.' On Wednesday, a court in the city of Alexandria sentenced 78 teenage boys aged from 13 to 17 for joining Muslim Brotherhood rallies during the past three months, a judicial official said." (11/27/14)

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Pakistan: Three women among four anti-polio workers gunned down in Quetta

Daily Times [Pakistan]

"At least four volunteers of an anti-polio campaign -- women and a young man, were shot dead and three other women workers wounded in a targeted attack on the vehicle of anti-polio campaigners in Eastern Bypass area, an outskirt of Quetta, on Wednesday. The campaign was suspended in the area after the incident. The attackers opened fire after polio workers introduced themselves." (11/27/14)

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Heart stent for SCOTUS justice Ginsburg, 81

San Jose Mercury News

"Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted on Wednesday, reviving talk about how long the 81-year-old liberal jurist will be staying on the court. Ginsburg was expected back at work on Monday, but her hospitalization -- just three weeks after elections handed Republicans control of the Senate -- raised anew the question whether President Barack Obama would be able to appoint a like-minded replacement." (11/27/14)

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MO: Second night of Ferguson protests, second night of violence


"ike the night before, the tension here got thicker with every tick of the clock Tuesday. Protesters, kept at bay all evening by riot police and the National Guard, got restive. It was cold. It was late. Some flipped over a police cruiser briefly, broke out its windows and set it on fire. Police moved in quickly to snuff it out. ... Forty-four people were arrested and officers said they seized a Molotov cocktail. A car was set ablaze at a parking lot near Brown's memorial, but sporadic gunfire in the area stopped officers from responding, said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar." (11/26/14)

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Nigeria: Two female suicide bombers kill more than 40 at market

Los Angeles Times

"Two teenage girls wearing suicide belts blew themselves up in a market in northern Nigeria on Tuesday, killing more than 40 people, authorities said. It was the latest in a string of horrific attacks in Nigeria for which Islamist militants are blamed. The day before, dozens were killed in Damasak, a town on the border with Niger, when insurgents disguised as traders attacked the local market, gunning down people seemingly at random in a style of attack that has become commonplace in northeastern Nigeria." (11/25/14)

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Syria: Regime airstrikes reportedly kill dozens in Raqqa

The Daily Star [Lebanon]

"Syrian government warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes Tuesday on the de-facto capital of the extremist group ISIS, killing at least 60 people, shattering shop fronts and setting dozens of cars ablaze, activists said. Some of the air raids struck a market near a museum and an industrial neighborhood in the city of Raqqa, causing many civilian casualties, they said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-regime monitoring group, put the death toll at more than 60, among them 36 civilians whose names it was able to document." [editor's note: As always, recall that the "Observatory" is a propaganda mill based far from Syria and its claims should be treated skeptically - TLK] (11/26/14)

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Hong Kong: Police arrest 116 at protest site


"Hong Kong authorities cleared street barricades from a pro-democracy protest camp in the volatile Mong Kok district for a second day Wednesday after a night of clashes in which police arrested 116 people. People wearing red baseball caps and T-shirts that said 'I (heart) HK' helped dismantle a first row of barricades made up mostly of wooden pallets after bailiffs issued a warning to the crowd that they would start enforcing the court-ordered clearance." (11/25/14)

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Federal judges overturn marriage apartheid in Arkansas, Mississippi

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Arkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can consider appeals. ... A spokesman for Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said McDaniel was reviewing the ruling and would decide after the Thanksgiving holiday whether to appeal in consultation with Republican Attorney General-elect Leslie Rutledge in Arkansas. Mississippi officials had already said they planned to appeal any ruling that overturned the law." (11/25/14)

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Afghanistan: Ghani orders military review

Baton Rouge Advocate

"President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the operations of Afghanistan's defense forces, including discussing the resumption of controversial night raids banned by his predecessor. The move appears aimed at revamping the military for the fight against the Taliban amid new indications that U.S. and international forces will play a greater role than initially envisaged after the 13-year U.S.-led combat mission formally ends next month.( 11/25/14)

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France halts delivery indefinitely on Russia Mistral

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"France has suspended 'until further notice' the controversial delivery of a helicopter carrier to the Russian navy. President Francois Hollande blamed continuing unrest in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is accused of backing separatists in their fight against the government in Kiev. The Vladivostok warship was due to be handed over last month as part of a two-ship deal. Russia says it will stick to the terms of the contract." (11/25/14)

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Mexico: Cardenas leaves leftist party he founded

Colorado Springs Gazette

"A pillar of leftist politics in Mexico and son of a revered former president has resigned from the political party he founded, citing disagreements with its leadership. Three-time presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas released a letter explaining his decision late Tuesday. Earlier this month, he asked the entire national executive committee of the Democratic Revolution Party to resign following the disappearance of 43 college students in Guerrero." (11/25/14)

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Conservationists sue over federal coal program

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Conservation groups have sued the government to force federal officials to undertake the first broad environmental review of the government's coal-leasing program in decades. Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. It's being paid for by the philanthropic foundation of Microsoft founder Paul Allen. Supporters of the lawsuit said there hasn't been a comprehensive review of the government's coal program since 1979." (11/25/14)

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Burkina Faso: 24 died in unrest that ousted leader

Fort Dodge Messenger News

"A committee cataloging the damage done during protests that forced Burkina Faso's longtime president from power says 24 people were killed in the unrest. Opposition protesters, angry that President Blaise Compaore was seeking another term after nearly 30 years in power, set the parliament building on fire and forced his resignation on Oct. 31." (11/25/14)

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Schumer: Prioritizing healthcare overhaul was a mistake

Reuters Reuters

"The No. 3 Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday the Democratic Party had made a political mistake by pushing for Obamacare. New York Senator Charles Schumer, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said that after passing a stimulus package to jumpstart the economy during the economic downturn, Democrats 'put all of our focus on the wrong problem' by turning to President Barack Obama's healthcare reform effort, which passed in 2010." [editor's note: Okay, so if even Schumer admits it, can the progressives stop flogging how good it is? - SAT] (11/25/14)

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Judge: FEC improperly narrowed disclosure rules

Greensboro News-Record

"A judge says the Federal Election Commission impermissibly narrowed disclosure requirements for corporations and labor organizations that finance electioneering communications, the political ads that run close to an election. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the FEC regulation was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law." (11/25/14)

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Is Obama contemplating unilateral action on Cuba?

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"Is President Obama about to take unilateral steps to ease US relations with Cuba? A number of recent developments -- from Mr. Obama’s recourse to executive action on immigration to the Spanish foreign minister’s enigmatic statement that he would be carrying 'very concrete messages' from the US government when he visits Havana this week -- have some Republicans fretting that the White House aims to move even further from decades-old policy of isolating communist Cuba." (11/25/14)

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| News

Confronting the c-word

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy

"Depending on the political agenda of the alarmist du jour, we live in a rape culture, a gun culture, an abortion culture, a culture of racism. A standard definition of culture is 'the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.' When a specific adjective is used to define a society, it means the adjective captures a dominant attitude and behavior that characterize the society. But a culture does not rape, buy guns, have abortions or express racism. Individuals do." (11/27/14)

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Will superintelligent machines destroy humanity?

Ronald Bailey Reason
by Ronald Bailey

"Should humanity sanction the creation of intelligent machines? That's the pressing issue at the heart of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom's fascinating new book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Oxford University Press). Bostrom cogently argues that the prospect of superintelligent machines is 'the most important and most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced.' If we fail to meet this challenge, he concludes, malevolent or indifferent artificial intelligence (A.I.) will likely destroy us all." (for publication 12/14)

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A welcome failure of a libel suit

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by DJ Webb

"The libel case pursued by the former government minister, Andrew Mitchell, against The Sun newspaper over allegations that he called the policemen manning the gates of Downing Street 'plebs' is worthy of comment. It should be noted first of all how childish our politics has become, with playground-style allegations replacing substantive political debate. Does any adult in the country really care if Mitchell called the police 'plebs?' Would not such a comment be more than justified in the case where a lowly policeman was refusing to open the gate to allow a government minister to cycle home? In the context, however, where our distant and 'out-of-touch' Establishment is trying to convince us they do not regard us as 'plebs' (=the plebeians, in contrast to them, the patricians), the charge, such as it is, is held to be politically toxic." (11/28/14)

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Darren Wilson and the reality of “blue privilege”

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg

"From its inception, the shooting of Michael Brown was not investigated as a potential criminal homicide, and the inquiry was an exercise in validating the killer's story, rather than testing it against the available evidence. The assumption was that killing was part of his job description -- or, as Wilson has subsequently told George Stephanopoulos, 'I did what I was paid to do.' If Wilson had been a member of the productive class, rather than a state employee licensed to dispense aggressive violence, he would have been presumed legally innocent, but required to justify his actions. Because of his occupation, however, Wilson was considered both legally innocent and presumptively correct, and the investigation became an exercise in justifying the shooter's actions, rather than an inquiry into their propriety." (11/26/14)

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Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 years later

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Allan Stevo

"Skepticism toward any political and economic system is understandable in Central Europe. There have been some unpleasant attempts at using government and economics to control the people. Many look back at 1989 critically and wonder if the right decisions were made during the transitions. Some even look at the time before that with rose-colored glasses and long for what was. Some prospered in the old system and miss it. While the old system promised comfort to some, it was not a system of individual freedom. But, each day statists and individuals do battle in this place where East meets West, and overwhelmingly, it is the spirit of 1989 and not the spirit of 1948 that wins the battle." (11/28/14)

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Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal

"I am thankful for people. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the few friends who have stayed friends with me -- as difficult as that may be- over the years. And, although I miss my friends more than I can possibly express, I am thankful that most of them are just an email away when I need to reach out- even if I usually decide to not bother them." (11/27/14)

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Missouri, compromised

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Andrew Ferguson

"American political rhetoric is often like American politicians themselves: bland, oblivious, tone-deaf, and inimical to the cause of liberty. Whenever they say stupid things, we mock them for it, and justly so. But there’s another type of political rhetoric less entertaining but often far more harmful: the plain speech of the authority figure refusing to do anything which might in any way challenge the structure of which he is part. This is what we saw last night (Nov. 24) when St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced to the press that the grand jury convened by his office had decided there was no probable cause to pursue charges against police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown." (11/25/14)

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What do the facts and reality have to do with it?

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"The headline for the lead news story in RRND today reads: 'MO: Grand jury gives cop killer a pass.' Obviously, the author of that headline thinks that the cop who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri on August 9, 2014 is a murderer who got off scot free for the crime. ... Facts, evidence, reason, logic, truth -- the entire reality of existence go flying out the window in situations like this when otherwise intelligent human beings experience a knee jerk emotional reaction to an event. White cop shoots black teenager equals murder no matter what the reality. Well, that simple equation just doesn’t add up in this case." (11/26/14)

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Evil disguised as care and compassion, tyranny disguised as liberty

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

"Happy Thanksgiving! I wrote about thanks yesterday; fortunately, most of us still have many things to be thankful to God about, but we also need to include both prayers for deliverance (and the strength of will to work out our own) and for freedom; the kind of things in these first two stories, which are examples of how evil and twisted many in our society have become." (11/27/14)

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Chemtrails, Zen tales and the libertarian Zero Aggression Principle

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed

"Everyone, we are told, knows that chemtrails, those white fluffy-looking streaks crisscrossing the skies of our world, are not vapor trails left by the Jet engines of airplanes; they're really a secret conspiracy by our One World rulers to poison every human being on the planet by deliberately spraying us with chemical or biological agents for undisclosed nefarious purposes." (11/25/14)

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The Ferguson Lie

Simple Justice
by Scott H. Greenfield

"McCulloch put on a play in Ferguson. His press conference announcing the foregone conclusion was remarkably in many ways, not the least of which was how he sold the argument for 'no true bill' rather than the position he, as prosecutor, was duty-bound to champion. The man charged with prosecuting killers argued the case for not indicting Wilson. McCulloch didn’t have to go to the grand jury at all. He could have prosecuted Wilson by fiat had he wanted to do so. He did not. He was not going to be the person who charged Wilson with any variation of homicide. But in deciding to take the case to the grand jury, the lie was born." (11/25/14)

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Rand Paul sorta goes to war

Justin Raimondo
by Justin Raimondo

"There's absolutely nothing in Paul's resolution that justifies a declaration of war. Nor is there any attempt to show how the Islamic State represents a 'clear and present danger' to the US: indeed, this claim is plainly comical, rather like an elephant being brought to its knees on account of the intimidating presence of a fearsome mouse. One wonders if it occurred to the geniuses advising Sen. Paul that a formal declaration of war by the US against the Islamic State would be a huge propaganda victory for the jihadists. After all, we haven't taken such a step since World War II: do we really want to elevate this makeshift 'Caliphate' to the status of a threat on the order of Hitler and the Axis powers?" (11/26/14)


When may we kill government agents? In defense of moral parity

Bleeding Heart Libertarians Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

"If it is permissible to assassinate Hitler to stop him from invading Poland, is it also permissible to assassinate a US president in order to stop him from invading the Philippines or from ordering the genocidal slaughter or forced relocation of Native Americans? If it would be permissible to kill a Gestapo agent to stop him from murdering innocent people, is it also permissible to kill a democratic police officer who uses excessive violence? Philosophers and laypeople often assume not. They assume that in liberal democracies, only non-violent resistance to state injustice is permissible. They assume we must defer to democratic government agents, even when these agents act in deeply unjust, harmful, and destructive ways. This assumption is puzzling." (11/25/14)

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State justice failed Michael Brown. People’s justice is just getting started.

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"More than three months after Darren Wilson executed Michael Brown in broad daylight in Ferguson, Missouri, the grand jury's decision is in. No state prosecution, no justice from the state's court system, for his crime. Wilson will never be tried, let alone convicted. But in the real justice system, this is not the end for Wilson -- it's only the beginning.

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America’s dangerous double standard on air and sea “provocations”

Ted Galen Carpenter Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

"Statements by U.S. and NATO leaders, along with Western media accounts, foster the impression that Russian ships and aircraft arrogantly penetrate the airspace and territorial waters of alliance members. But when pressed, officials concede that the vast majority of incidents do not involve such illegality. Stoltenberg stated that most of the flights 'are close to NATO airspace,' but he admitted that there were 'a very limited number of violations.' ... the United States has adopted a blatant double standard when it comes to the actions of its own armed forces." (11/24/14)

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The Libertarian Angle, 11/25/14

Future of Freedom Foundation Future of Freedom Foundation

"FFF president Jacob Hornberger and FFF vice president Sheldon Richman discuss the hot topics of the day. This week: Uber’s undermining the taxi monopoly." [Flash video] (11/25/14)

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What “60 Minutes” should have reported about infrastructure

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

60 Minutes ran a report Sunday, 'Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure,' describing the seriousness and damage to the economy caused by our country’s crumbling infrastructure. ... How do we fix this? Well, it’s simple: Congress can just invest in maintaining and modernizing our infrastructure! That’s all it takes. (OK, you’re either laughing hysterically or crying. Sorry.) This used to be a no-brainer, a bipartisan approach, undisputed. Everyone understood that maintaining and modernizing the infrastructure created good-paying jobs with benefits. It made our economy more competitive." [editor's note: Tough to get pols hell-bent on world domination to pay attention to the home front - SAT] (11/25/14)

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Battle cry: Candidate Paul appeases the masters of war

Empire Burlesque

"Oh dear. Rand Paul, favorite candidate of those who dream of an anti-imperial coalition of hardcore libertarians and the antiwar left, has popped many a bubble this week with his proposed Senate bill to declare war on ISIS. Supporters will doubtless say that Paul (like another young politician on the make who served as a blank screen for his followers' aspirations for genuine hope and change) is merely playing '11th dimensional chess' with the move, trying to put America's war machine back on a Constitutional footing, while outflanking potential rivals for the GOP nomination who might otherwise have painted him as 'soft' on killing large amounts of people with massive amounts of expensive and profitable machinery. But Paul is not simply calling the war machine's bluff." (11/25/14)

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Uber against racial profiling

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Howard Baetjer Jr.

"Market forces are regulating racial profiling by taxicabs better than government regulations do. Investigative reporter Russ Ptacek, who is white, had to hail only 22 cabs to get 23 rides one recent day in Washington, DC. (One cab stopped before he hailed.) An African-American teammate in the investigation, dressed in the same clothes and hailing from the same spots, had to hail 34 cabs to get 23 rides. The other 11 ignored him. ... Why would Uber-directed drivers, unregulated by any government agency, pick up passengers from minority groups that government-regulated taxi drivers refuse? The answer is that Uber drivers are regulated by Uber, Uber is regulated by market forces, and market forces regulate far more effectively than the DC taxi commission does." (11/25/14)

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Antipathy for the state is not enough

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Report
by Lara-Murphy Report staff

"This interview with Mises Institute President Jeff Deist is reprinted from the October 2014 issue of the Lara-Murphy Report." (11/26/14)

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Why Michael Brown’s killer would have been acquitted

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"Given the contested circumstances of Michael Brown's death, it is understandable that many people were dismayed by a grand jury's rejection of criminal charges against the police officer who shot and killed the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer. But if Darren Wilson had been indicted, he almost certainly would have been acquitted, precisely because important details of his deadly encounter with Brown are hard to pin down." (11/25/14)

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Why the US plan to save Iraq is doomed to fail

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Van Buren

"If the United States was looking for the surest way to lose Iraq War 3.0, it might start by retraining the failed Iraqi Army to send north -- alongside ruthless Shi’ite militias -- into Sunni-majority territory and hope that the Sunnis will welcome them with open arms, throwing out the evil Islamic State. Maybe it’s time for a better plan. And the way to find one is by understanding how we lost Iraq War 2.0. We need a plan to create a stable, tri-state solution to the Sunni-Shi’ite-Kurd divide, or the current war will fail as surely as the previous one." (11/25/14)

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We need government cops because private protection forces would be accountable to the powerful and well-connected instead of being accountable to the people.

Rad Geek People's Daily
by Rad Geek

"A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The decision wasn’t a surprise -- leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely -- but it was unusual. Grand juries nearly always decide to indict. Or at least, they nearly always do so in cases that don’t involve police officers." (11/25/14)

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Ferguson 187: Some questions

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L. Knapp

"Question #1 (multiple choice). Did the various police agencies operating in Ferguson: (a) Intentionally ignore the burning of 10-15 buildings last night so that they could concentrate their attention on the peaceful protesters and blame said protesters for the arsons today?; or did they (b) Actually carry out, or arrange in advance for the carrying out of, the burning of 10-15 buildings last night so that they wouldn't have to rely on chance to ensure that they'd have something to blame the peaceful protesters for today?; or (c) Hmmm ... I'm trying to think of some third possibility, but there doesn't seem to be one." (11/25/14)

No Comments »

Why I stopped spending my time on politics … and why I think you should too
by Paul Rosenberg

"Many of my friends vote; people I love and respect vote; but I’ve given it up. That horrifies many people, but -- truth be faced -- it bothers them mostly because it calls their choices into question. That’s very unfortunate, because I quite understand why they vote. And I don’t look down on them for it; I did it plenty of times myself. I just wish they’d stop punishing themselves with politics and be happy instead." (11/25/14)

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Brown’s death should be call to action not violence

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Juan Williams

"Where is the black leadership now that a grand jury has decided not to indict the police officer that killed Michael Brown? ... Incredibly, the best leadership on the scene has come from the family of the murdered teen. Michael Brown’s family issued a statement right after the prosecutor announced that the grand jury was not going to indict the officer. They ... spoke about the need for 'positive change…[the] need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.' They specifically called for requiring the police to wear body cameras and then they added 'please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction -- Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference,'" (11/25/14)

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Stores to open on Thanksgiving — don’t complain

Abigail Hall Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall

"It is true that retailers who choose to open on Thanksgiving do so because they see the chance to profit. This desire to profit, however, is neither nefarious nor inherently evil. In fact, profits indicate that everyone in this situation is winning. Retailers open on Thanksgiving and other holidays because there is a demand for their goods and services. Consumers benefit from having these retailers open their doors as they are able to buy goods and services. If the majority of individuals found it morally or otherwise objectionable to open on Thanksgiving, it would no longer be profitable for retailers to open on the holiday." (11/25/14)

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Patrick Cockburn on The Scott Horton Show

The Scott Horton Show

"Patrick Cockburn, a journalist with The Independent, discusses how the Islamic State has hastened an end to Iraq’s 2000 year old Christian communities; why the CIA is underestimating the Islamic State’s power; and how Chuck Hagel’s resignation as Defense Secretary highlights the disaster of US policy in the Middle East." [Flash audio or MP3] (11/24/14)

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Darren Wilson wasn’t the first

In These Times In These Times
by Flint Taylor

"The Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of African-American teenager Michael Brown is heartless but unsurprising. But it is important to place the case in context with the history of police violence investigations and prosecutions in high profile cases -- and the systemic and racist police brutality that continues to plague the nation. In doing so, there are lessons for the movement for justice in the Michael Brown case, as well as for those who are engaged in the broader struggle against law enforcement violence." (11/24/14)

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Against the criminal justice system, part 2: The criminality of criminal law

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Jason Byas

"n the first post of this series, I gave some reasons why libertarians ought to reject the practice of punishment. As an alternative, I suggested that the only proper role of law is dispute resolution, and that law’s violence can only be used in either direct defense or the collection of restitution. In effect, this eliminates criminal law, leaving only civil law in its place. In what follows, I’ll try to bolster that conclusion by briefly showing why libertarians ought to oppose criminal law, beyond just the illegitimacy of punishment." (11/25/14)

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A Martian’s assessment of Earth

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Godfrey Bloom

"Let us assume for the purpose of argument we were hosting a competent, experienced management consultant from another galaxy with an in depth knowledge of planet earth’s economic history. He has, of course, no cronies, no axe to grind, he is dispassionate, he is most certainly not an intellectual or academic. He is not part of any political dogma or machine. He has no cronies and no personal financial interest. Indeed he returns to his own galaxy on completion of his report. What would this ice-cold individual recommend driven by pure common sense?" (11/25/14)

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The Ferguson uprising is only a SHTF preview

Ron Holland The Daily Bell
by Ron Holland

"Events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri in the 'Show Me State,' are allowing Americans an opportunity to safely watch on cable news a frightening preview of what will likely happen when a real SHTF event takes place. Just take the uprising in the small town of Ferguson (population 21,000) and multiply the mob violence and police/military overreaction somewhere between 200 and 500 times to get a glimpse of the future should poor areas of many cities and metropolitan areas erupt following a severe financial crisis and subsequent cut in welfare benefits and government employment in a future crisis scenario." (11/25/14)

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Why it’s impossible to indict a cop

The Nation The Nation
by Chase Madar

"How to police the police is a question as old as civilization, now given special urgency by a St. Louis County grand jury’s return of a 'no bill' of indictment for Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in his fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. The result is shocking to many, depressingly predictable to more than a few. Can the cops be controlled? It’s never been easy: according to one old sociological chestnut, the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence is what defines modern government, and this monopoly is jealously protected against the second-guessing of puny civilians." (11/24/14)

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Thank Obama for all he’s done

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

"While I still harbor doubts about implementation, Obama's recent executive order on immigration exceeds my wildest hopes from two months ago. Yet to be honest, I'm having trouble feeling thankful. Not because I'm afraid he's 'undermined the rule of law.' Legal arguments aside, I strongly believe that unjust laws should not be enforced and broken whenever expedient. No, I'm having trouble feeling thankful about Obama's executive action because ..." (11/25/14)

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Iraq: What if it weren’t us?

Tom Dispatch
by Tom Engelhardt

"Let’s play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there’s another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere that, between 2001 and 2003, launched two major wars in the Greater Middle East. We’re talking about full-scale invasions, long-term occupations, and nation-building programs, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. ... Having imagined that, ask yourself: How well did all of that turn out for this other power? " (11/25/14)

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