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Rational Review News Digest » News

the freedom movement's daily newspaper since 1991

"At least 20 people died and dozens of others were injured Thursday in multiple militant attacks across Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. ... The simultaneous attacks included car bombs and mortar rounds fired in the towns of al-Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafa. The North Sinai security directorate in al-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and other security checkpoints were targeted." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:30 pm
"The Senate voted Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline on a 62-36 vote, setting up a clash with President Barack Obama, who has vowed to kill the bill with just his third veto in six years. The Keystone bill's three-week gallop included votes on more than 40 amendments, but the bill still lacks the support in both the Senate and the House to override a presidential veto. Still, the debate drew praise from Democrats and Republicans alike as a sign the Senate had left behind the gridlock that has stymied legislation for years, and it could now pick up its pace while giving the minority a chance to influence policymaking." [editor's note: The reason the "gridlock broke" on this is simple: Republicans wanted an early boost to their "we get things done" image, and Democrats wanted it over with so that to the extent that the veto is politically bad for them, there are two years for people to forget about it before the next election - TLK] (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:28 pm
"The California Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that the measles outbreak that started in Southern California has grown to 95 cases in eight states and Mexico. The department said 79 of those cases are in California and 10 of those cases involve Bay Area residents. Fifty-two cases can be linked directly to measles exposure at Disneyland." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:26 pm
"Three American contractors were killed in a shooting incident at the international airport in Kabul today that may have involved an Afghan security officer at the airport .... The three Defense Department contractors were Americans, a U.S. official said, noting that the shooter was wearing the uniform of an Afghan national policeman .... adding that it is also unclear if the Afghan listed as a fatality is someone other than the shooter who was shot dead by the security team at the airport." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:24 pm
"Ukraine's military conceded Thursday that its forces had been overrun by [the Donetsk People's Republic's] forces in another town in their battle to hold onto a strategically valuable railway hub. A soldier wounded in combat for the town, Vuhlehirsk, said armored vehicles and tanks were used in the attack on [the invaders'] positions, forcing a hasty retreat." (01/29/15)
Author: R. Lee Wrights
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:22 pm

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Rational Review News Digest » Commentary

the freedom movement's daily newspaper since 1991

"The world is pondering the odds of Mr Tsipras and Syriza succeeding. To win an election on a rather populist platform might be easy, but governing and entering into highly complex negotiations with European authorities is a different matter. I think Syriza's game may be easier than some expect, because it is much closer to the emerging consensus than it appears to many observers. Critics of 'austerity' (whatever that means) have achieved a substantially hegemonic position in the European debate -- not surprisingly, given the fact the European intelligentsia typically has a soft spot for higher spending." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:29 pm
"The 'special relationship' has always been based on a myth, the impossible premise that no daylight can exist between American and Israeli interests. This is impossible because, after all, the US and the Jewish state are separate (and quite different) countries, with specific -- and often conflicting -- interests. During the cold war, when Israel was arrayed with the West against the Soviet Union (although not always reliably), this elementary fact of international relations was more easily evaded. Today, however, as the Middle East is increasingly the focal point of US foreign policy, and Israel's internal political landscape takes on the coloration of unmitigated extremism, the policy of unconditional support has become untenable. What's telling is that it's the Israelis who are the first to recognize it, while US officials are still caught up in the old mythology." (01/30/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:27 pm
"The argument Trent [Dougherty] suggested (and I hope I'm reporting it correctly) is that God owns everything He creates and has given us permission to use the natural resources in the world around us. And since God loves all equally, and has special concern for the least-advantaged, God would guarantee everyone an equal share of natural resources (not all resources). This way, He shows no partiality and ensures that the poor are entitled to enough resources that, if respected, would ensure that most would not fall into poverty. The conclusion, Trent suggested, was knowable a priori based on God's nature and the existence of the world. Now, admittedly this was an informal conversation, so I don't want to hold Trent to what he claimed, but I think his suggestion is interesting. I also think it's wrong, but I want to explain both why it is interesting and why it is wrong." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:25 pm
"A prominent difference between the 19th-century libertarian movement and the contemporary one lies in their attitudes toward working people. These are people who are not primarily interested in reading economic or political theory, but who focus their energies instead on making a decent living or raising a healthy family. These are intelligent people who understand the impact of laws and government on their lives, but who concentrate on controlling the more personal factors involved in their well being. The 19th-century movement considered working people to be the best and firmest foundation on which to build a free society." (01/29/15)
Author: Thomas L. Knapp
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:23 pm
"First lady Michelle Obama made an important statement when she showed up in Saudi Arabia with her husband Tuesday to mourn the death of King Abdullah and meet successor King Salman. While the first lady dressed in a fashion respectful of Saudi custom -- in black pants and a long, loose jacket that fully covered her arms and legs -- she did not don a head scarf. Saudi women do not have that choice. Thus the first lady made a fashion statement that sent a politely assertive message to the all-male Saudi delegation. I approve." [editor's note: Hooray! When I saw the headline, I was praying she didn't go the Faux Snooze route - SAT] (01/28/15)
Author: Steve Trinward
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:21 pm

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