RRND Email Full Text (Published)

  • Appeals court largely upholds disgraced former president’s federal gag order

    Source: Politico

    “A federal appeals court has largely upheld a gag order on Donald Trump, concluding that Trump’s rhetoric poses ‘real-time, real-world consequences’ for witnesses that threaten the integrity of his upcoming criminal trial over his attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Trump’s complaints about free speech and his presidential candidacy ring hollow when juxtaposed with the ‘imminent’ threats his invective has posed to witnesses and the court proceedings themselves. … The ruling reinstates restrictions, imposed in October by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan but suspended amid the appeal, on Trump’s ability to attack key witnesses in the case against him. Trump is also barred from attacking prosecutors in the case — other than special counsel Jack Smith — and courthouse staff, if the statements are deemed to be an effort to interfere in the proceedings.” (12/08/23)

  • France: Prosecutors order Le Pen to stand trial in EU funding scandal

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “French prosecutors on Friday ordered far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen to stand trial over claims she used EU funds to finance party activities in France. The former presidential candidate will in March be joined by 26 other members of the National Rally (RN) party in the dock, all accused of setting up a system for embezzling EU money to hire staff in France. The fake jobs inquiry began in 2015, with prosecutors alleging that starting in 2004, National Front eurodeputies including Le Pen took part in the fake jobs scheme. The accused include Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the co-founder of what became France’s most successful far-right party. The party itself, as a legal entity, is suspected of receiving illicit funds, and of complicity in fraud.” (12/08/23)


  • NM: Homeowner shoots intruder

    Source: KFDA 10 News

    “Clovis police say a homeowner shot an intruder as they tried to break into their home earlier this week. Around 11:00 p.m. on December 4, a resident called 911 to report someone trying to break into their home. Officers responded to the home on Rosa Boulevard. While officers were responding, the homeowner called 911 again and said the person tried to force their way into the home and they shot the intruder. The suspect was taken to the hospital before being transferred to a medical facility in Lubbock.” (12/07/23)


  • Year-End Fundraiser Update, Firewater Friday Edition

    It’s a FIREHOSE … er, FIREWATER (see below) FRIDAY at the freedom movement’s daily newspaper. Last time I checked, we had 106 news stories, opinion pieces, and audio/video links lined up for you, And there may be more by the time you read this!

    On the fundraiser front, Yesterday was a “zero-dollar day,” leaving our year-end fundraiser total (as of 5:30am Eastern on Friday) at $1,805.50.

    We remain $769.50 short of our goal — once we hit $2,575, support GL will “match funds” to get us to $5,150.


    I guess it’s gimmick time, and the gimmick is an early birthday celebration. On December 23, RRND turns 21 years old (with another decade before that as Libernet/FND).

    If you’re inclined to help us to our goal AND help us celebrate a 21st birthday, “buy us a drink” at:


    In fact, feel free to “get us drunk” over the weekend, to the tune of $769.50 “worth of booze.”*

    Steve is fond of Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout, which apparently runs about $5 for a pint or $8 for a growler (he only drinks it on draft, not from a can).

    My tastes are both more expensive and cheaper. I see that Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon goes for about $12 for a fifth. A little more buck, a lot more bang, if you will. But I’d certainly settle for one of those stouts Steve likes, or a nice IPA, in the same price range as his preference.

    That URL one more time:


    Have a great weekend … after you help us knock this fundraiser out!

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

    * Metaphorical! I don’t think I spent that much money on booze in a year, even when I was a carousing youngster. These days I have a couple of drinks a year.

  • Palestine: Intense street fighting in southern Gaza

    Source: Yahoo! News

    “Intense urban fighting raged in and around the Gaza Strip’s largest cities on Friday, as the death toll continues to rise. After the first phase of its ground offensive in northern Gaza, Israel’s army extended operations southwards this week, where nearly two million civilians are now trapped. … Gaza’s death toll rose to 17,177 people on Thursday, 70% of whom are women and children, according to Palestinian authorities. Early on Friday, 40 people were reported dead in strikes near Gaza City in the north, and ‘dozens’ of others in Jabaliya and Khan Younis. On Thursday evening, Israeli television broadcast videos showing Palestinians in their underwear and blindfolded, under the guard of Israeli soldiers in Gaza. The footage provoked heated controversy on social networks.” (12/08/23)


  • US regime to hold military exercises in Guyana amid border tensions with Venezuala

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “The United States said it will carry out military flights in Guyana on Thursday in a joint operation as the South American country faces soaring tensions with neighbouring Venezuela over a contested oil-rich region. ‘In collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force, the US Southern Command will conduct flight operations within Guyana on December 7,’ the American embassy in Guyana said in a statement, noting the flights are part of ‘routine engagement’ to enhance a security partnership between the two countries. A border feud has recently spiralled over the oil-rich Essequibo region, controlled by Guyana for more than a century but which Venezuela also claims and has voiced intent to take over. The long-running dispute over Essequibo, which comprises some two-thirds of Guyanese territory, has intensified since ExxonMobil discovered oil there in 2015.” (12/07/23)


  • CA: Hunter Biden indicted on tax charges in new criminal case

    Source: The Guardian [UK]

    “Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax charges in California, becoming the second indictment against the president’s son, adding fuel to a scandal that Republicans have been seizing on in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The state charges on Thursday follow federal firearms charges in Delaware alleging Biden unlawfully [sic] obtained a revolver in October 2018 after he falsely stated he was not using narcotic drugs. The new charges include three felonies and six misdemeanor offenses, and Biden faces a possible 17-year sentence if convicted. … The state charges come as Republicans in Congress have pushed forward with a possible impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden in connection with his son’s scandals.” (12/07/23)


  • Denmark: Parliament adopts law banning Quran burnings

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatari state media]

    “Denmark’s parliament has passed a bill that makes it illegal to burn copies of the Quran in public places after protests in Muslim nations over the desecration of Islam’s holy book raised security concerns. The bill, which prohibits ‘inappropriate treatment of writings with significant religious importance for a recognised religious community,’ was passed with 94 votes in favour and 77 opposed in the 179-seat Folketing on Thursday. In practical terms, it will be forbidden to burn, tear or otherwise defile holy texts publicly or in videos intended to be disseminated widely. Those who break the law risk a fine or up to two years in prison. Before it takes effect, Queen Margrethe needs to formally sign it. That is expected to happen this month.” (12/07/23)


  • Disgraced former president appeals court loss on immunity claim, seeks pause

    Source: USA Today

    “Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that he isn’t protected by presidential immunity from criminal charges tied to his alleged interference in the 2020 election. The former president filed the appeal Thursday along with a request for a pause in his criminal proceedings while the appeals court considers his arguments. His trial in the case is currently scheduled to begin in March. … U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected a series of arguments from Trump to have the case dismissed, including that he can’t be prosecuted because his alleged actions were ‘at the heart of his official responsibilities as President.’ ‘Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens,’ Chutkan said in her Dec. 1 ruling.” (12/07/23)


  • Biden regime asserts power to seize drug patents in move to slash high prices

    Source: CNBC

    “The Biden administration on Thursday opened the door to seizing the patents of certain costly medications from drugmakers in a new push to slash high drug prices and promote more pharmaceutical competition. The administration unveiled a framework outlining the factors federal agencies should consider in deciding whether to use a controversial policy, known as march-in rights, to take patents for drugs developed with taxpayer funds and share them with other pharmaceutical companies if the public cannot ‘reasonably’ access the medications. Doing so could lead to the development of lower-priced generic alternatives, which could cut into key drug companies’ profits and reduce costs for patients. For the first time, officials can now factor in a medication’s price in deciding to break a patent.” [editor’s note: Taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to this in the first place, but if they do, the product should be unpatentable and in the public domain – TLK] (12/07/23)


  • Google launches Gemini, its most-advanced AI model yet, as it races to compete with ChatGPT

    Source: CNN Business

    “Google on Wednesday launched its most ambitious effort yet to compete in the rapidly growing field of generative artificial intelligence, launching an AI model known as Gemini that’s designed to compete with the likes of OpenAI’s GPT models and supercharge everything from Google’s consumer apps to Android smartphones. The scope of Google’s ambitions were reflected in the company’s announcement, which introduced Gemini as the company’s ‘largest and most capable AI model’ and declared a ‘Gemini era’ that foresees the tech giant’s model being used in every setting, from big companies to consumer devices such as the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Unlike existing AI models that typically deal with only one type of user prompt, such as exclusively images or text, Gemini was built to be ‘multimodal,’ Google said. This means it accepts inputs that include multiple types of media, combining text, images, audio, video and programming code.” (12/07/23)


  • TX: Woman with risky pregnancy granted abortion despite state ban

    Source: BBC News [UK state media]

    “A Texas judge has granted permission to a woman whose foetus has a fatal abnormality to have an abortion, despite the state’s ban on the procedure. The ruling – which Texas may challenge – is thought to be one of the first attempts to seek a court-ordered abortion. Texas law prohibits abortion except to save the life of the pregnant woman. Abortion advocates claim the exception is too vague and puts women at risk. That is the argument of Kate Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two from the Dallas area, who is currently 20 weeks pregnant. Her foetus has been diagnosed with trisomy 18, a lethal condition that, in almost all cases, results in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of the baby within the first year of life.” (12/07/23)


  • US House censures Bowman for falsely pulling fire alarm

    Source: The Hill

    “House Republicans censured Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Thursday after he falsely pulled a fire alarm in a House office building in September, hitting the New York Democrat with a congressional reprimand that liberals derided as ‘extreme’ and ‘profoundly stupid.’ The chamber voted 214-191-5, mostly along party lines, on the resolution to censure Bowman. Three Democrats — Reps. Chris Pappas (N.H.), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.) and Jahana Hayes (Conn.) — voted with all present Republicans in favor of the censure. The public rebuke came more than two months after Bowman — during a high-stakes vote to avert a government shutdown Sept. 30 — falsely pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building, triggering an evacuation. The New York Democrat was charged with a misdemeanor Oct. 25 and pleaded guilty the next day.” (12/07/23)


  • Lebanon: Reuters says IDF killed journalist

    Source: Politico

    “News agency Reuters on Thursday said the Israel Defense Forces killed one of its journalists in Lebanon in October. In a detailed and wide-ranging investigation, Reuters said an Israeli tank crew fired two shells in quick succession from Israel into Lebanon while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling. Israel’s barrage killed Issam Abdallah and injured several other journalists. Human rights group Amnesty International said the Israeli strikes on the journalists were deliberate and must be investigated as a war crime.” (12/07/23)


  • NY: Democrats tap former congresscritter to run in special election to replace Santos

    Source: US News & World Report

    “Former congressman Tom Suozzi will be the Democratic candidate in the Feb. 13 special election to succeed ousted lawmaker George Santos in the U.S. House of Representatives, local party leaders said on Thursday. Suozzi, who had previously held the seat before resigning to mount an ultimately unsuccessful run for New York governor, was one of at least 19 people who had filed to run for Santos’ former seat. The congressional district includes part of New York City’s Queens borough and Long Island suburbs to the east. … Other Democrats who had filed to run included a former state senator, a surgery center executive and a county legislator, among others. The Republicans have not yet announced their candidate.” (12/07/23)


  • ND: Politician’s Son Crashes During Police Chase, Killing Cop

    Source: US News & World Report

    “The 42-year-old son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer crashed into a North Dakota sheriff’s vehicle during a police chase, pushing it into a deputy and killing him, according to authorities and the Republican senator’s family. Ian Cramer, of Bismarck, was arrested and jailed following Wednesday’s crash, and charges are pending, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said in a news release. … The first-term senator wrote that his son ‘suffers from serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations.’ Earlier Wednesday, Ian Cramer insisted on ‘going to his brother Ike,’ who died in 2018, according[to] the statement, which doesn’t further explain what that means. As a result, the senator’s wife, Kris, took Ian Cramer to the Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck. When Kris Cramer got out of the family’s Chevrolet Tahoe, Ian Cramer got into the driver’s seat and drove off, Kevin Cramer said.” (12/07/23)


  • Russia: Lawmakers approve March election, paving way for a fifth Putin term

    Source: CBC News [Canadian state media]

    “Russian lawmakers on Thursday set the date of the country’s 2024 presidential election for March 17, moving Vladimir Putin a step closer to a fifth term in office. Members of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, voted unanimously to approve a decree setting the date. … Putin, 71, hasn’t yet announced his intention to run again, but is widely expected to do so in the coming days now that the date has been set. Under constitutional reforms he orchestrated, he is eligible to seek two more six-year terms after his current one expires next year, potentially allowing him to remain in power until 2036. Having established tight control over Russia’s political system, Putin’s victory in the March election is all but assured. Prominent critics who could challenge him on the ballot are either in jail or living abroad, and most independent media have been banned.” (12/07/23)


  • MS: Voting rights groups push for answers from election officials about ballot shortages

    Source: SFGate

    “One month after Mississippi’s November statewide election, voting rights groups say election officials in the state’s largest county have failed to provide enough information about the problems that led to polling precincts running out of ballots. The coalition of statewide and national civil rights organizations has requested meetings and more details about why Hinds County Election Commissioners ordered the wrong ballots, leading to shortages at several polling locations on the day the state was deciding a competitive governor’s race and a full slate of down-ballot races. Those queries have largely been met with silence, the groups said at a joint news conference Thursday. ‘While we recognize and respect the commissioners have taken responsibility for the ballot shortages, Hinds County voters still have questions,’ said Amir Badat, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.” (12/07/23)


  • US filings for jobless claims tick up modestly, continuing claims fall

    Source: Yahoo! Finance

    “U.S. applications for jobless benefits ticked up last week, but the overall number of people in the U.S. collecting unemployment benefits fell after hitting its highest level in two years last week. Unemployment benefits claims rose by 1,000 to 220,000 for the week ending Dec. 2, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was in line with analyst expectations. About 1.86 million were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended Nov. 25, 64,000 fewer than the previous week. It’s just the second time in 11 weeks that continuing claims have fallen.” (12/07/23)


  • Amnesty Urges World Court To Probe War Crimes In Afghanistan

    Source: NDTV [India]

    “Amnesty International has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prioritise and accelerate the delivery of justice for victims of crimes committed by the Taliban and other actors in Afghanistan before the Taliban seized power in August 2021, TOLO News reported. In the statement, Amnesty International stated, ‘The International Criminal Court (ICC) must prioritize and accelerate the delivery of justice for victims of crimes committed by the Taliban, as well as by other actors in Afghanistan before the 2021 takeover,’ Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported. … The Taliban also urged the International Criminal Court to conduct a probe into the war crimes of other nations in Afghanistan, TOLO News reported.” (12/07/23)


  • Ukraine: Regime claims assassination of “traitor” ex-MP who fled to Russia

    Source: Independent [UK]

    “A pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who fled to Moscow after Vladimir Putin’s invasion has been shot dead, with Ukraine’s security service said to be behind the assassination. Illia Kyva, 46, a former member of Ukraine’s parliament, was shot shot in a park in Odintsovo region, southwest of Moscow, according to Russian investigators. A Ukrainian source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the SBU security service was responsible. … Only hours before his murder, Kvya accused Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky of ‘drowning the people in blood,’ referring to Ukrainians. He described Mr Zelensky as a ‘cowardly and narcissistic’ leader in a message on Telegram. Several pro-war Russian figures have been assassinated since the start of the war in operations blamed by Moscow on Ukraine, including journalist Darya Dugina, war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and former submarine commander Stanislav Rzhitsky.” (12/07/23)


  • WaPo journalists stage daylong strike under threat of job cuts

    Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

    “More than 750 journalists and business-side staffers at The Washington Post walked off the job for the day, saying they are angered by the company’s decision to embark on massive job cuts while contract negotiations have stalled. … The strike Thursday is the most serious labor action at the paper in decades. It follows months of worker activism throughout the nation. While some of those have led to wins for labor, the media industry has suffered sharp layoffs this year.” (12/07/23)


  • CA: Starting next year, you can get cash for alcohol bottles

    Source: SFGate

    “Starting next year, Californians will be able to recycle wine and liquor and large juice bottles for cash. The beverage containers will be included in the California Redemption Value fee, a statewide program implemented after the 1986 Bottle Bill in which consumers pay a fee when purchasing beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and metal. As with containers already subject to the CRV, the fee will be refundable when the bottles are returned to a recycling center beginning Jan. 1. Wine, liquor, alcoholic coolers and juice in containers 24 ounces or less will be redeemable for five cents, according to CalRecycle, and those over 24 ounces will be redeemable for 10 cents. Wine and liquor sold in paperboard or pouches, such as boxed wine, will earn a 25-cent refund.” (12/07/23)


  • Kenya: Judge Finds Meta Is Not in Contempt of Court

    Source: US News & World Report

    “A Kenyan judge on Thursday found Facebook’s parent company Meta was not in contempt of court for failing to pay dozens of content moderators that a contractor laid off. Labour judge Mathews Nduma Nderi said Meta did not ‘deliberately and contemptuously’ breach a court order requiring it to pay the wages of hundreds of Facebook content moderators. ‘They did various things which they thought were lawful in trying to deal with their situation but we did not find that what they did amounted to contempt,’ Nderi said. Earlier this year, 184 moderators sued Meta and two contractors after they said they lost their jobs with one of the firms, Sama, for organising a union. The plaintiffs alleged they were then blacklisted from applying for the same roles at the second firm, Majorel, after Facebook changed contractors. Out-of-court settlement talks collapsed in October.” (12/07/23)


  • NV: Six fake electors indicted

    Source: CBS News

    “A Nevada grand jury on Wednesday indicted six Republicans who submitted certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election in their state, making Nevada the third to seek charges against so-called ‘fake electors.’ … The fake electors — involved in the state GOP or Clark County GOP — have been charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument. Those two categories of felonies have penalties that range from one year up to either four or five years in prison. The indictments in Nevada are just the latest to come out of investigations in several states into the activities of Republican electors.” (12/06/23)


  • Free Speech on Campus on the Israel-Palestinian War

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “What gives Congress the authority to censor, insult, abuse, humiliate, question, and pressure college presidents on any campus policy? The answer is that such authority comes from the schools’ decision to go on the government dole through the receipt of taxpayer-funded grants and subsidies from either the state or federal governments. Thus, the dole gives Congress the authority to control, manage, and supervise these institutions of higher learning. This is what all too many colleges and universities are loath to acknowledge — that when they went on the dole, the piper ended up calling the tune.” (12/08/23)


  • The Devastation of Gaza

    Source: Eunomia
    by Daniel Larison

    “Backing the war to the hilt has been an outrageous moral failure, and it is also an incredibly stupid policy because it just paves the way for more conflict and suffering in the future.” (12/08/23)


  • Here We Go Again: America’s War for the Greater Middle East (Cont.)

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Andrew Bacevich

    “One way of understanding the ongoing bloodbath pitting Israel against Hamas is to see it as just the latest chapter in an existential struggle dating back to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948. While the appalling scope, destructiveness, and duration of the fighting in Gaza may outstrip previous episodes, this latest go-around serves chiefly to reaffirm the remarkable intractability of the underlying Arab-Israeli conflict. Although the shape of that war has changed over time, certain constants remain.” (12/08/23)


  • Evidence of ethnic cleansing growing in West Bank and Gaza

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by Paul R Pillar

    “Even if one were to take at face value Israel’s declarations that its assault on the Gaza Strip and its two million residents is all about ‘destroying Hamas,’ the Israeli operation is too misguided for the United States or any other power to support or condone it. Hamas cannot be destroyed with bombs and a ground invasion, and even if it could, the operation is worsening, not enhancing, the future security of Israeli citizens. But the Israeli declarations should not be taken at face value in any event. Other motivations are also likely behind the Israeli assault. Almost two months into the Israeli offensive, the evidence is increasingly suggesting that Israel is engaged in nothing less than ethnic cleansing of Palestinians who live in the Strip.” (12/08/23)


  • WHO Calls for Punitive Booze and Soda Taxes on the Anniversary of Prohibition Repeal

    Source: Reason
    by JD Tuccille

    “How do you mark the anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal? At Reason we celebrate the hard-won victory of (relative) sanity that led to the passage of the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th Amendment and clearing the way for Americans to again (legally) consume alcoholic beverages. We also point to lessons that can be learned from failed efforts to use the force of law to prevent people from making their own choices. But if you’re an international nanny-stater, you use the day to call for restrictions on popular beverages.” (12/08/23)


  • Dying to Be Free: Releasing Palestinian Captives Is Not a Numbers Game

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Ramzy Baroud

    “There is a reason why Palestinians are keen on releasing their prisoners, despite the heavy price they continue to pay for their freedom. It may seem rational to ask the question: what is the point of releasing a few Palestinian detainees from Israeli prisons, if the price of doing so is the death of over 15,000 Palestinians in Gaza? In fact, even if all Palestinian prisoners – numbering about 7,000 – are released, they would not even amount to 30 percent of the total number of Palestinian dead and missing, so far, in the ongoing Israeli genocide in the Strip. The logic may sound even more puzzling when we consider that, between October 7 and November 28, Israel has detained over 3,290 Palestinians in the West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem.” (12/08/23)


  • Gaza, The Day After: A Roundup Of Options

    Source: The UnPopulist
    by Akiva Malamet

    “For its own peace and security, it would be wise for Israel to consider the long-term consequences of a hawkish strategy that insufficiently prioritizes the safety of Gazan civilians lest it further poison the search for a permanent resolution that is morally defensible and politically workable.” (12/08/23)


  • The Crazy Covid Copulation Exemption

    Source: JimBovard.com
    by James Bovard

    “Covid lockdowns spurred an endless cornucopia of official hypocrisy. Top politicians brazenly violated the restrictions they inflicted on everyone else. But perhaps the most absurd aspect of the pandemic was the endless exemptions that officialdom concocted. … Many states effectively outlawed weddings to minimize the risk of Covid transmission. But in many states and cities, politicians and health officials propounded a ‘copulation exemption’ to their repressive edicts. Shortly after lockdowns had been imposed in most of the nation, Covid superstar Anthony Fauci declared that people who hook up with strangers for sex via Tinder or other dating apps are entitled to make their ‘choice regarding a risk.’ In New York City, police violently assaulted people on the street for failing to obey mandatory facemask edicts. But at the same time, the city government gave its approval to ‘glory holes’ for sex with strangers.” (12/07/23)


  • Time for Leviathan Reduction Action

    Source: Garrison Center
    by Joel Schlosberg

    “Despite taking socialists to task for being leery of the president (Joe Biden) who boasted that he ‘beat the socialist,’ Justin Vassallo may as well be wearing a red suit for the message he’s bringing reds. After all, according to Vassallo’s ‘The Left’s Foolish Attack on Bidenomics’ (Compact Magazine, December 5), socialists need not bother with nostalgia for Michael Harrington’s The Other America inspiring JFK and LBJ to launch the War on Poverty six decades ago, when they wield considerable influence on the federal economic policy of 2024.” (12/07/23)


  • What should happen when fuel-efficient vehicles take over the roads

    Source: Orange County Register
    by Veronique de Rugy

    “The government has a dilemma: It’s pushing hard for fuel-efficient vehicles, but gas taxes pay for roads. There’s an obvious fix, but are Americans ready for it? … My solution to the whole mess is to get the federal government out of infrastructure spending and financing in the first place and put the responsibility where it belongs: with states, municipalities and the private sector. But considering the low probability that this idea will see the light of day, we should next consider a user-fee system designed to charge drivers by the mile. Mileage-based user fees would ensure that those who use the infrastructure the most contribute proportionately more to its construction, maintenance and improvement. Such a design aligns with the fundamental principle of user fees, linking payments directly to a person or entity’s actual usage and providing a fair and equitable funding structure.” (12/07/23)


  • The Schizotocracy, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The New Normal Reich

    Source: Consent Factory, Inc.
    by CJ Hopkins

    “Well, 2023 is almost in the books, and things couldn’t be going better for the New Normal Reich. It’s been a long, strange seven years, but we’re finally back to the Global War on Terror, which, as you may recall, was abruptly preempted in 2016 by the War on Populism, which, as you may recall, was abruptly preempted in 2020 by the Apocalyptic Pandemic, which, as you may recall, was what ushered The New Normal Reich into being and brought us full-circle. … Islamic terrorism, Russia, Trump, disinformation, racism, hate speech, conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, anti-vaxxerism, transphobians, Communists, cultural Marxists, radical wokesters, the Cult of Musk, neo-Covidians, Zionazis, climate-change deniers, decapitated baby rapers … it doesn’t really matter. Pick an enemy and join the Roman Orgy of Hatred! The schizotocracy couldn’t care less which side of whatever you think you are on.” (12/07/23)


  • The White House Goes Rogue: Secret Surveillance Program Breaks All the Laws

    Source: Tenth Amendment Center
    by John Whitehead

    “The government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying programs as long as we’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t believe it. It doesn’t matter whether you obey every law. The government’s definition of a ‘bad’ guy is extraordinarily broad, and it results in the warrantless surveillance of innocent, law-abiding Americans on a staggering scale. For instance, it was recently revealed that the White House, relying on a set of privacy loopholes, has been sidestepping the Fourth Amendment by paying AT&T to allow federal, state, and local law enforcement to access — without a warrant — the phone records of Americans who are not suspected of a crime. This goes way beyond the NSA’s metadata collection program.” (12/07/23)


  • The Official Story Of October Seventh

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “The official story is that on October 7, 2023, thousands of evil Hamas terrorists broke out of their walled-in enclave and killed approximately 1,200 Israelis for no reason other than because they were evil and wanted to kill Jews. Nothing was done by the Israeli government to provoke this attack, and nothing of any relevance happened prior to this date. The attack was as undefended as could possibly be; Israeli defense forces did not respond for nine hours despite having received ample warning that an attack was coming for months, from both their own intelligence services and from Egyptian intelligence. … This is all perfectly normal and not suspicious at all. Also not at all suspicious is the fact that 100 percent of the 1,200 Israeli deaths on October 7 are being attributed to Hamas despite Israeli media and eyewitness testimony reporting that the IDF was firing indiscriminately into areas full of Israelis.” (12/07/23)


  • Why Rome’s Best Emperor Shunned Government Schools

    Source: Foundation for Economic Education
    by Lawrence W Reed

    “The great classical scholar Edith Hamilton noted that the ancient Greeks frowned upon their Roman counterparts in regards to education. The former adopted public (government) schooling while the Romans left education to the family in the home. The snooty Greeks thought Romans were backward and unsophisticated. The Romans, of course, conquered the Greeks. For most of the five centuries of the Republic, Romans were schooled at home where virtues of honor, character, and citizenship were emphasized. Not until the Republic’s last century or so did anything resembling government schooling emerge. Moreover, it was never so centralized, universal, and mandatory as it is in our society today. The English academic and cleric Teresa Morgan, in a 2020 paper titled ‘Assessment in Roman Education,’ writes, ‘In no stage of its history did Rome ever legally require its people to be educated on any level.'” (12/07/23)


  • Fatal Attraction: State Imperialism and Capitalism

    Source: Underthrow
    by Max Borders

    “Joseph Schumpeter’s analysis is the antithesis of Lenin’s. Militaristic Imperialism is not the most advanced stage of capitalism but a clear indication that feudalism just won’t die.” (12/07/23)


  • On the Death of Henry Kissinger

    Source: Center for a Stateless Society
    by James C Wilson

    “On November 29th, 2023, Henry Kissinger died at the age of 100. The internet rejoices. For years, Kissinger had been a living embodiment of evil that would just not die, in the realm of online discourse. But at last, the reaper finally got him. Of course, all the celebration of this man’s death overlooks one obvious fact. By all measurable standards, Kissinger, a career war criminal and routine accessory to mass murder, won. He was able to live comfortably to an age decades older than average, as the last surviving member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet. He was constantly praised and esteemed by the American political class, far away from the countless deaths and destruction he oversaw.” (12/07/23)


  • Israel’s War Against Gaza Should Not Be America’s War

    Source: TomDispatch
    by Andrew Bacevich

    “One way of understanding the ongoing bloodbath pitting Israel against Hamas is to see it as just the latest chapter in an existential struggle dating back to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948. While the appalling scope, destructiveness, and duration of the fighting in Gaza may outstrip previous episodes, this latest go-around serves chiefly to reaffirm the remarkable intractability of the underlying Arab-Israeli conflict. Although the shape of that war has changed over time, certain constants remain. Neither side, for instance, seems capable of achieving its ultimate political goals through violence. And each side adamantly refuses to concede to the core demands of its adversary. In truth, while the actual fighting may ebb and flow, pause and resume, the Holy Land has become the site of what is effectively permanent conflict.” (12/07/23)


  • Trump’s “similar acts” unveiled before his election interference trial

    Source: The Hill
    by James D Zirin

    “[O]n Tuesday, Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a formal paper in court affording Trump with notice of any similar crimes, wrongs or other bad acts he may have committed that are not part of the indictment, but which the government wants to offer into evidence at trial. Decisions about whether such ‘similar acts’ can be presented to a jury is left to the discretion of the trial judge, and these decisions aren’t reversible unless the judge abuses her discretion. … Smith said he will present evidence about Trump historically resorting to threats, racist attacks against his opponents, stifling internal dissent, promoting election interference and stopping the counting of votes.” (12/07/23)


  • Why Ordinary People Enable Totalitarians, part 1

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Barry Brownstein

    “If you are looking for the great men, [Sebastian] Haffner wrote, you will believe the history of the 1930s ‘is a kind of chess game among Hitler, Mussolini, Chiang Kai-shek, Roosevelt, Chamberlain, Daladier, and a number of other men whose names are on everybody’s lips.’ When we accept the great man theory, ordinary people have little responsibility. They are seen in Haffner’s words as ‘anonymous others [who] seem at best to be the objects of history, pawns in the chess game, who may be pushed forward or left standing, sacrificed or captured.’ Haffner rejected the great man principle and articulated ‘the simple truth’ that ‘decisive historical events take place among us, the anonymous masses.'” (12/07/23)


  • Chris Christie Is Right, Trump’s Trade War Accomplished Nothing

    Source: Reason
    by Eric Boehm

    “‘You can’t say he was good on trade,’ Christie said, directly rebutting a comment former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had made earlier in the evening. ‘He didn’t change one Chinese policy in the process. He failed on it.’ ‘All he did was impose tariffs, which raise the prices for every American,’ Christie added. Trump’s presidency overturned decades of a generally pro-trade Republican consensus and ushered in an era of assuming that trade is bad for American workers and consumers. He hiked tariffs on steel, aluminum, solar panels, washing machines, and a wide range of Chinese goods. For Trump and his allies, those higher tariffs — which were directly paid by American importers and consumers — were meant to reconfigure the trading relationship between America and China. But Christie is exactly right. It failed.” (12/07/23)


  • Bidenomics Killing the American Dream of Owning a Home

    Source: Association of Mature American Citizens
    by Andrew Shirley

    “Despite President Joe Biden’s proclamation that ‘Bidenomics is just another way of saying ‘the American Dream,” the numbers show that one critical part of that dream for millions of families – owning a home – is now more out of reach than at any time in history. According to a report released earlier this year from real estate and property research firm ATTOM, ‘median-priced single-family homes and condos are less affordable in the third quarter of 2023 compared to historical averages in 99 percent of counties around the nation with enough data to analyze.’ On average according to ATTOM’s data, new homeowners are now required to spend about 35 percent of their monthly income on a mortgage and other expenses related to owning a home – a number considered unaffordable by accepted lending standards, which call for that figure to be closer to 28 percent.” (12/07/23)


  • What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Connor O’Keeffe

    “Over the weekend, border-policy negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans fell apart. The talks were meant to firm up Republican support for the president’s massive $105 billion military support proposal ahead of Wednesday’s vote by including additional funds for border security in the spending package. Now, with no imminent approval of further aid to Ukraine, hawks in government and the media are trying to stoke panic about what will happen if Kiev is cut off from U.S. support.” (12/07/23)


  • New Argentine Leader’s Economic Savvy

    Source: Hoover Institution
    by David R Henderson

    “There has been a lot of discussion of newly elected Argentine president Javier Milei’s proposals for economic reform. Much of that discussion has been on how successfully he will implement his ambitious proposals for freeing Argentina’s highly statist economy. He has proposed getting rid of the central bank and putting Argentina on the US dollar standard that, if successful, would bring Argentina’s inflation rate down from triple digits to single digits. … What he will achieve is difficult to know. As Danish physicist Niels Bohr said, in a famous line often also attributed to baseball legend Yogi Berra, ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’ But what we can say is that Milei has a highly developed understanding of the most important ideas in economics.” (12/07/23)


  • The Money Supply Continues Its Biggest Collapse Since The Great Depression

    Source: Cobden Centre
    by Ryan McMaken

    “Money supply growth fell again in October, remaining deep in negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. October’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract year over year. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. Money-supply growth has now been negative for twelve months in a row.” (12/07/23)


  • What Latin America Can Teach the US About Democracy [sic]

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Ronn Pineo

    “When Americans think about Latin American politics the clichés images that may come to mind is of military coups, tanks rolling, and generals in sunglasses. If Americans hear news about current Latin American politics it usually will deal with democracies that have died or are under assault, as is the case in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. So informed, many Americans would find the idea that Latin America could teach the U.S. anything positive about democracy to be downright laughable. But things have changed. Although there remain serious issues for Latin American democracies, it is nonetheless fair to say that most of Latin America is governed by emerging democracies these days. Think of most democracies around the world as falling basically into one of two categories: old, tight, democracies and young, loose democracies.” (12/07/23)


  • Secretary Cardona’s Quagmire

    Source: Independent Institute
    by K Lloyd Billingsley

    “‘I think it was President Reagan who said, ‘We’re from the government. We’re here to help!’’ That was a recent post from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who has it wrong. President Reagan actually said: ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’ It’s a funny mistake for an education secretary, but it’s understandable. According to his official bio, ‘Cardona earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, and a master’s degree and PhD from the University of Connecticut.’ The bio does not explain that the degrees are all in ‘education.’ The Secretary also reflects an institutional problem.” (12/07/23)


  • A Rising Stock Market Does Not Drive Economic Growth

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Frank Shostak

    “Many people believe that a general increase in stock prices is an important factor in economic growth. However, this is a questionable observation. The view that the stock market drives economic growth originates from the observation that changes in stock prices precede changes in economic data. We suggest that various economic indicators are heavily influenced by money supply, which also drives stock prices.” (12/07/23)


  • I’ll Need Reasons To Believe The Next Vote Count

    Source: Freeman’s Perspective
    by Paul Rosenberg

    “I’m not a political guy. Fundamentally I’m a voluntaryist, which means that I want to leave political rule behind, en toto. But I also live among good people who still believe in political processes. So, as I run across contributions I may be able to make, I consider offering them. Today I have something. Perhaps it will make next year’s political game a bit less bad, and perhaps it won’t, but this is at least the right time to try. I’ll start by noting that the vote counting in 2020 stank.” (12/07/23)


  • How Israel Uses an AI Genocide Program To Obliterate Gaza

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Jonathan Cook

    “It should already have been evident from the scale of death and destruction inflicted on Gaza over the past eight weeks that Israel was implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians in the besieged enclave. Now Israeli whistleblowers have provided details of how these crimes against humanity are being carried out – and how they are being rationalised internally within Israel’s military and political echelons. An extraordinary series of testimonies jointly published by the Israel-based publications 972 and Local Call last week established that the huge death toll of Palestinian civilians is, in fact, integral to Israel’s war aims, not an unfortunate side effect.” (12/07/23)


  • GOP Debate: Ukraine inching toward the memory hole

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

    “It’s as if the Ukraine War has all but ended — at least for American politics. If the Republican debates had occurred last year they would have been consumed with talk over whether Vladimir Putin was readying to roll across Europe and how weak President Biden was for not giving Ukrainian President Zelenksy our best tanks, our most powerful fighter aircraft, the longest range missiles we had — maybe even access to nukes. But Zelensky wasn’t anywhere near the debate stage in Alabama last night, his name not even invoked. Fitting, we guess, since the Senate failed to pass an aid package yesterday that would have sent another $60 billion to Ukraine. This, despite administration claims that the war effort is literally running out of money.” (12/07/23)


  • Vance Targets Credit Cards to Stop Inflation

    Source: Cato Institute
    by Norbert Michel

    “It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again. Seemingly out of nowhere, it’s upon us — members of Congress are scrambling to get their priorities into ‘must‐​pass’ legislation. One candidate for making it into a must‐​pass bill is the Credit Card Competition Act of 2023, a bill that would impose a ‘routing requirement’ on the credit card market. The bill would force credit card service providers to offer comparable services that their competitors provide. Only in Washington would someone sell this idea as one that improves competition.” (12/07/23)


  • The Trump Dictatorship Goes on Autopilot

    Source: The Nation
    by Chris Lehmann

    “The Trump campaign apparatus is spending so much time now saying the quiet part out loud that our establishment gatekeepers haven’t really taken much notice of the dramatic escalation in volume. In recent weeks, Trump has stepped up his vows to wreak retribution on a vast array of MAGA nation enemies, branding them ‘vermin’ and marking them out for elimination. Plans to stock the federal workforce with fawning Trump loyalists are a centerpiece of plans for a Trump second term, while a new host of vicious border-internment proposals are also taking shape in MAGA land. … the urgent question remains unchanged from what it was at the outset of the Trump era: How can a bloated, complacent, and change-averse system of media-political consensus respond convincingly to the threat of an authoritarian putsch engineered by a major political party?” (12/07/23)


  • Israel vs. Hamas: Where Have All the Feminists Gone?

    Source: Town Hall
    by Larry Elder

    “China’s Communist Party has detained an estimated 2 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Turkestan Muslims in a network of concentration or reeducation camps. In August, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, described as the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group, put out a statement ‘calling on travel companies to stop selling trips to China’s Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government is conducting a campaign of genocide and mass internment against Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic minority groups.’ That took a while. Three years earlier … British political commentator Nick Cohen wrote: ‘Today, they bend their knees and bite their tongues as China engages in unspeakable atrocities against the largely Muslim Uighur population of western China. … They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them.'” (12/07/23)


  • American Hubris

    Source: Judging Freedom
    by Andrew P Napolitano

    “When Bush attacked Afghanistan, he didn’t ask Congress for a declaration of war, as the then-existing Afghan government did not attack the U.S. He asked for and received instead a novel creature called the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF. This creature is unknown to the Constitution, as it purported to authorize war without end against unknown and unnamed targets. Congressional declarations of war historically established that once the war had been fought and the target surrendered, the declaration no longer authorized the war. Not so with the AUMF, as its wording is so expansive and ambiguous; it authorizes any president to use military force at any time against any person or entity who arguably perpetrated or facilitated the 9/11 attacks.” (12/07/23)


  • Refreshing the Camelot School: Kennedy Hagiography at Sixty

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Binoy Kampmark

    “Camelot, the sweetly sentimental shorthand for a shortened US presidency, has generated a mythopoetry so rich it turns the stomach, clogs the intestines, and soils the historical record. With its effacing tendencies, its soppily loyal hagiographers, its ghastly, moist worshippers, anniversaries are the best occasions to shine. Six decades have passed since President John F. Kennedy was slain in Dallas, and the miasma of psychic doubt and veneration has only slightly abated.” (12/07/23)