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Daniel McAdams

The Facebook Facedown

Conservatives were up in arms upon hearing from a Facebook whistleblower that the popular social media site as a matter of course would suppress news of interest to conservatives (and libertarians) from its "trending" section. Would Facebook really secretly plot to suppress the views of so many of its dedicated users? Could they really have decided to suppress, as was reported, news on Ron and Rand Paul? Even the US government became interested, with Senator John Thune writing a very nasty letter to Facebook demanding more information on how the business operates. What is the solution to the issue? Definitely not the involvement of the Federal Government, which will only make things worse! In fact, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is already trying to mend fences, scheduling a meeting tomorrow with a group of conservative leaders. Ultimately the market will decide. If people have lost faith in Facebook as a result of these allegations, the business will suffer as people vote with their feet. More today in the Liberty Report...
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NDAA 2017: Military Industrial Complex Wins, People Lose

The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to be an opportunity for Congress to shape national defense priorities and share the responsibility with the president when it comes to foreign policy. Generally the president has significant authority to make his mark on foreign and defense policy and the authorization process for both the Defense and State Departments is the Constitution's way to make sure the co-equal Legislative Branch of government is properly part of the process. Sadly though this is what was intended, current reality no longer resembles what was meant to be. Instead, Congress abrogates its authority to set defense spending priorities to the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, and to special interests in their districts. The result is a mess that has very little to do with defending this country and a whole lot to do with enriching those in position to feed from the trough. This week the House will vote on the Defense Authorization Act for 2017. Today's Liberty Report explains the process and previews the result...
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Washington Coup in Brazil? Was Incoming President US Embassy Informant?

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Adding to suspicions of a US role in the ouster of independent-minded Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is a revelation making the rounds today that Michel Temer, the opposition leader who will step in as interim president, had met with US embassy officials in Sau Paulo to provide his assessment and spin on the domestic political situation in Brazil. Thanks to Wikileaks, we have the US embassy cable that resulted from the incoming president's visit to US political officers.

Acting president Temer will hold office for up to six months while impeached president Rousseff stands trial in the Brazilian senate. If her impeachment is finalized by a two-thirds vote, Temer will remain in office until elections in 2018.
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America's War For The Greater Middle East

"Why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little even while absorbing very considerable losses and inflicting even greater damage on the subjects of America’s supposed beneficence?" This is the question asked by Professor Andrew Bacevich, a retired US Army colonel, in a must-read recent article. It is an excellent question that no one in the mainstream dares ask. But this is critical when considering our interventionist foreign policy: why are the constant wars not working? Why has 30 years of constant US warfare in the greater Middle East produced less peace, less harmony, less democracy, and less economic development than before we started? If war is so critical to peace and prosperity in the world, why has constant war produced less of it? The neocons would say that we simply have not waged enough of it. But that's like going to a doctor after a bad reaction to medicine and having him tell you to double up. In today's Ron Paul Liberty Report we are delighted to have Professor Bacevich, author of the excellent new book, America's War For The Greater Middle East, join us to trace the history of our failed foreign policy and plot a new course.
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Another Needless US/China Clash In South China Sea

For the third time in seven months, the US has sent a warship to challenge China in territorial waters it claims in the South China Sea. The US claims its purpose is to keep shipping lanes open, while China arguably benefits as much as anyone from trade going in and out of the region. Similar to US military operations off the Baltic coast, this latest clash in the South China Sea resulted in military jets being dispatched to send a message. With its interventionist policies toward both Russia and China, is the US opening itself up to the unintended consequences of pushing Russia and China closer together in opposition to the US empire? Can the countries in the region not better solve these disputes without US involvement?
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US Escalation in Afghanistan: A 'Recipe For Disaster'

The recently-released Pentagon report on the US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last October was heavily redacted, but it still revealed a great deal about the ongoing disaster of the longest war in US history. US troops complain that they have no idea what they are supposed to be doing in Afghanistan under the current rules of engagement. The Afghan army upon which the US has spent billions is not only unenthusiastic about confronting the Taliban, they don't even have proper military boots because of procurement corruption. President Obama is determined to continue the military occupation of Afghanistan even as the Taliban say the reason they keep fighting is because of the military occupation of their country. The big beneficiaries, as ever, are those getting rich inside the Beltway military-industrial complex. How many more billions will be wasted on this no-win war? None of the candidates seem to see any reason to change what we have been doing all along....
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Trump's Wall vs Kerry's Open Border - Is There A Libertarian Option?

In a university commencement speech over the weekend, US Secretary of State John Kerry ridiculed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. He told the students to get ready for a borderless society. He also said that in this age it is unrealistic to believe that a wall will keep out those who would seek to harm Americans inside our borders. He has a point in that, however why not think this through completely and consider whether those who would attack us are motivated by US foreign policy? If it is not true that they just attack us because we are rich and free, and if walls cannot keep them out, isn't it time to take a hard look at our interventionist foreign policy and ask whether it is actually making us less safe and more vulnerable to attack?
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US Ambassador to Hungary: Overthrow Assad, Let in Refugees, and Fight Russia...or Else!

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If anyone wants a short course on what's wrong with US diplomacy look no further than US Ambassador to Hungary Coleen Bell's speech Friday to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament. In typical diplo-speak there was plenty of flowery language about shared values, fish swimming together in the same water (?), sappy poetics like "together, out of that winter, we would force the spring," and talk of together being "part of the world’s greatest military and political alliance."

But make no mistake: Inside Ambassador Bell's velvet glove is an iron fist, poised to strike should Washington's annoyingly independent-minded Fidesz-led government step out of line on the big issues. And by "big" issues it should be understood that the US means the issues it considers in the interests of its own foreign policy, not necessarily those in Hungary's interest.
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Are Young People Really Going Socialist?

This election season is presenting unprecedented challenges to the peace and prosperity coalition that was born in opposition to the traditional Left/Right matrix. Young people have been strongly attracted to Ron Paul's message of keeping the government out of their private lives and out of the lives of people living overseas. It seems that presidential candidates in both major parties are appealing to some who continue to value non-intervention and civil liberties, yet the candidates' messages on these central issues are mixed at best. What are the implications for this shift and should we be worried that our message is being subsumed by the great populist wave currently being surfed by both Trump and Sanders? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Mandatory Draft Registration: A Victory For Women?

In 1980 President Carter issued an order requiring males between 18 and 25 to register with Selective Service should a military draft become necessary. It was a response to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. At the time women were not eligible for the draft because they were not eligible for combat roles. Much has changed in the intervening 36 years, and women are now eligible for military combat. In the name of "equality," some have argued that it is only fair for women to be forced to register for the draft as well. Unfortunately those who hold such a position are missing the main point: equality in slavery is nothing to cheer. Being forced by the government to fight and possibly die for its foreign policy goals is an idea incompatible with a free society. We do not owe the government a part of our lives to repay the "freedom" they give us, as our freedom is not a gift granted by government. What should young people facing the obligation of registering for a draft they do not believe in? We cover this and much more in today's Liberty Report...
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