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US-Russian Exchanges Gather Momentum

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If a single exchange stood out during the tense interview of President Trump with the CBS News 60 Minutes on Sunday — Washington Post listed 8 of them — I would say it was when he tried to filibuster Lesley Stahl over the topic of ‘Russian meddling’ in the American elections.

Stahl kept taunting Trump but all she’d get was Trump repeating, ‘But China also meddled in the US elections.’ When she pointed out that she was asking about Russia, Trump repeated calmly, “And I think, frankly, China is a bigger problem”. Later, Stahl recounted that out of all 4 interviews she’s taken with Trump in the past 2 years, he was different this time: “He’s truly President. He felt it, I felt it.” Now, that was fulsome compliment from someone who is known to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Most certainly, Trump is unceremoniously shifting the narrative on Russia by laterally inserting China into it. He calculates that it pays, since ‘Russia collusion’ did not turn out to be a campaign issue in the midterm election in US, after all. Besides, the tide of opinion in the US regarding China has changed so dramatically and the focus is no longer on Russia. Arguably, engaging Russia as ‘counterweight’ to China might even appeal to the American opinion. Henry Kissinger long advocated it.
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How the Corporate State Murders Free Speech

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If you read anything today, read Andre Damon’s analysis of the concerted  effort by the state and its corporate partners—the very essence corporatism, fascism as Mussolini described it—to once again dominate the narrative as it did before the internet and the web. Damon critiques a paper put out by the Atlantic Council. The author, John T. Watts, a former Australian Army officer and consultant to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, writes that in order for the state to regain its monopoly over the narrative, it must engage in censorship
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Tucker Carlson’s Marijuana Malarkey

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In August, Tucker Carlson declared at his Fox News show that it would be an act of war on the United States for the Mexico government to cease engaging in a war on heroin. Carlson even supported his wacky conclusion by pointing to drug overdose deaths in America, despite those deaths in fact being multiplied because of the US war on drugs. On Wednesday, Carlson was back at his show spouting drug war nonsense — this time expressing his dread of marijuana legalization that kicked in this week countrywide in Canada potentially spreading throughout America.

The nonsense starts in the first words Carlson states in his introduction of guest Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. Carlson begins: “Well Canada has become just the second country in the history of the world to fully legalize the sale of marijuana as well as the recreational consumption.” The inclusion of the phrase “in the history of the world” gives the impression that prohibition has been the norm throughout world history, from thousands of years BC until Uruguay legalized marijuana sales in 2017. Carlson would need look no further than his own country of America to see the ridiculousness of this suggestion. From the founding of the Unites States government in the 1700s through the early 1900s, the national government did not prohibit the sale or use of marijuana. In fact, it did not prohibit the sale or use of other now-illegal drugs such as cocaine either.

Next up, Carlson dwells on the danger that marijuana “makes people less likely to act” and “more passive.” Of course, that is not true across-the-board as marijuana use can help people see things in a new way, leading to innovations in how they act in the future. Think of it as a form of brainstorming aid. It can also serve as rejuvenating relaxation and distraction, as can taking a break from work and chores to listen to music or play a sport. Nevertheless, assuming that Carlson’s assessment is correct, it would just as well be an argument for making illegal many other activities, such as watching a TV sitcom, taking a walk, or playing a card game.
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Why Did An American Hit Squad Kill Politicians In Yemen?

While Washington is in a frenzy over the apparent Saudi government murder of a Saudi Washington Post journalist, little attention is being paid to news that the United Arab Emirates hired an "guns for hire" company founded by an Israeli-American to assassinate members of a political party in Yemen. Pentagon and CIA trained special operations troops were used to carry out the assassinations, including a plan to blow up the party's headquarters building. While Russian involvement in our elections has yet to be proven, certainly blowing up a foreign political party headquarters and assassinating its leaders qualifies as election meddling. But it's Ok if we do it? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Killing Jamal Khashoggi Was Easy. Explaining It Is Much Harder

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Getting to the bottom of the Jamal Khashoggi disappearance is a bit like peeling an onion. It is known that Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd to get a document that would enable him to marry a Turkish woman. It is also known, from surveillance cameras situated outside the building, that he never came out walking the same way he entered. The presumption is that he was either killed inside or abducted, though the abduction theory would have to be based on a Consulate vehicle leaving the building with him presumably concealed inside, something that has not been confirmed by the Turks.
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The Corporatist War On Free Speech - Are We A Nation Of Sheep?

What do we call it when the government outsources censorship to the private sector? And what about when those "private" companies are in bed with government? The latest social media purge of hundreds of alternative news sites guarantees that we will be less informed. Guarantees that our only inputs will be from the government-approved mainstream media outlets. They want to turn us into a nation of sheep. Will we allow them? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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In the World of American Politics, One Khashoggi Is Worth One Million Yemeni Lives

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At this point we can only assume that the Turkish version of events regarding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi is true. As always, I’m open to being proved wrong, and it’s certainly incumbent upon Ankara to release the audio evidence of which they claim to be in possession (though this, should it come out, will naturally be dismissed by the Saudis as fabricated or doctored), but the list of plausible alternative scenarios currently stands at zero. 

Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate and was never seen again. If he had merely been kidnapped and jailed, we’d have heard from him by now. He would have appeared on Saudi state television and delivered some kind of scripted statement like Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri did last November. The House of Saud appears to prefer this time of year, autumn, for abductions and assassinations.

If Khashoggi was, in fact, whacked out by a Saudi hit squad—complete with torture and Goodfellas-style dismemberment—as the Turks maintain he was, then Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is even crazier than we thought. Since being named heir apparent by his senile father, King Salman, the crown prince has been on a mission to establish himself as the region’s chief thug. This is no small task, but MbS, as he’s blithely referred to, seems up to the challenge.
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With Nikki Haley Gone, Will Palestinians Get a Better Deal?

Nikki Haley may be on her way out, but the US Ambassador to the UN will certainly be remembered for her pro-Israel activism at the United Nations. Not only did she continue long-standing US policy of blocking any resolutions critical of Israel, she actively worked to punish any country or organization sympathetic to the Palestinians. Is such a policy really in the United States national interest? Will Nikki's departure signal a change? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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No More Dissident Voices: Succumb to Facebook & Twitter’s Demands or Get Banned (or Both)

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A recent purge by Facebook and Twitter of a host of independent media sites has pushed thousands of people out of work and has killed one of the most effective forms of expressing political dissent.

On Thursday last week, Facebook purged more than 800 pages and accounts, accusing them of engaging in “inauthentic behaviour” and violating Facebook’s anti-spam policies.

According to a statement released by Facebook on its website, many of these pages were:
using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.
One of these pages was The Anti-Media, which I have worked for since mid-2016. Until the purge, we had some 2.17 million followers on Facebook.
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