Logstash 7.6.2 / Unable to produce output

I am running rhel 7.8 / logstash 7.6.2 (as root)
logstash is unable to produce any output (tested elastic, file, and stdout)

executing:
/usr/share/logstash/bin/logstash -f /etc/logstash/testdata/test_file.conf --log.level=debug
where test_file.conf :

input 
 {
       file
	{
		path => "/etc/logstash/testdata/test_file2.txt"
		start_position =>"beginning"
		sincedb_path => "/etc/logstash/testdata/test_file_sincedb"
		codec => "json_lines"
	}
}  
output
{
    stdout {}

   #stdout { codec => rubydebug }
   # elasticsearch { ... }

  file {
	   path => "/etc/logstash/testdata/test_file_out.txt"
	   codec => "json_lines"
	}

}

The test_file2.txt only contains:
{"val1":"data1"}
{"val1":"data2"}
{"val2":"data3"}
{"val2":"data4"}

sincedb is removed every time before it runs.

debug shows:

[DEBUG] 2020-05-05 14:21:22.159 [Ruby-0-Thread-5: :1] CompiledPipeline - Compiled output
 P[output-stdout{}|[file]/etc/logstash/testdata/test_file.conf:42:1:```
stdout {}
```] 
 into 
 org.logstash.config.ir.compiler.ComputeStepSyntaxElement@c99a0cea
[DEBUG] 2020-05-05 14:21:22.159 [Ruby-0-Thread-15: :1] CompiledPipeline - Compiled output
 P[output-stdout{}|[file]/etc/logstash/testdata/test_file.conf:42:1:```
stdout {}
```] 
 into 
 org.logstash.config.ir.compiler.ComputeStepSyntaxElement@c99a0cea

everything else looks 'normal"

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