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Trump Administration Wants Permanent Repeal of the 4th Amendment

Departing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats sent Congress a letter requesting that several features of the misnamed USA FREEDOM Act be made permanent, allowing the US government to spy in Americans in perpetuity. The Trump Administration wants to be able to intercept phone calls and text messages as well as snoop into business records and other violations of the Fourth Amendment. The FREEDOM Act was passed after Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA was illegally spying on American citizens. Falsely advertised as "reform," the replacement bill only made "legal" the illegality of the PATRIOT Act. Will Americans find the will to oppose this creeping tyranny? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The Saudis Learn the Term 'Asymmetric Response'

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The Saudis just learned that some moments in history show their significance as they unfold. Iran shooting down a US Global Hawk stealth drone and President Trump refusing his war-hawk cabinet in retaliating militarily is one of them.

I said then and still maintain that this was a turning point in the history of the world.
Any retaliation by the US would be catastrophic for the world economy. It would unleash a regional conflict on multiple fronts which would not be any kind of controlled theater…

… That for all the might of the US military and financial empire, its weaknesses are deep enough that even a relatively weak military and economy like Iran’s can stop it all dead cold because of basic things like geography, logistics and simple human resolve.
Many people misinterpreted these statements, and, indeed the entire article, to mean that Iran could stand up to the US in a direct military conflict and prevail. Nonsense.

War today isn’t just fought with soldiers, bombs, guns and drones. It’s fought in all theatres including the commodities futures and forex markets.
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Behind a Made-for-TV Hong Kong Protest Narrative, Washington is Backing Nativism and Mob Violence

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President Donald Trump tweeted on August 13 that he “can’t imagine why” the United States has been blamed for the chaotic protests that have gripped Hong Kong. 

Trump’s befuddlement might be understandable considering the carefully managed narrative of the US government and its unofficial media apparatus, which have portrayed the protests as an organic “pro-democracy” expression of grassroots youth. However, a look beneath the surface of this oversimplified, made-for-television script reveals that the ferociously anti-Chinese network behind the demonstrations has been cultivated with the help of millions of dollars from the US government, as well as a Washington-linked local media tycoon. 

Since March, raucous protests have gripped Hong Kong. In July and August, these demonstrations transformed into ugly displays of xenophobia and mob violence. 

The protests ostensibly began in opposition to a proposed amendment to the extradition law between Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and Macau, which would have allowed Taiwanese authorities to prosecute a Hong Kong man for murdering his pregnant girlfriend and dumping her body in the bushes during a vacation to Taiwan.
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Are Recessions Inevitable?

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Stocks fell last week following news that the yield curve on Treasury notes had inverted. This means that a short-term Treasury note was paying higher interest rates than long-term Treasury note. An inverted yield curve is widely seen as a sign of an impending recession.
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Mass Media’s Phony Freakout Over Bernie’s WaPo Criticism Is Backfiring

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After days of ridiculous, hysterical garment rending by mass media talking heads in response to Senator Bernie Sanders’ utterly undeniable assertion that The Washington Post has displayed unfair bias against his campaign, people with extensive experience in the mainstream press who are fed up with the lies are beginning to push back. Hard.

Former MSNBC producer Jeff Cohen has published an article in Salon titled “Memo to mainstream journalists: Can the phony outrage; Bernie is right about bias”. Cohen details his experience with the way corporate media outlets keep a uniform pro-establishment narrative running throughout all their coverage without their staff having to be directly told to to do this by their supervisors (though sometimes that happens, too). He writes as follows:
It happens because of groupthink. It happens because top editors and producers know — without being told — which issues and sources are off limits. No orders need be given, for example, for rank-and-file journalists to understand that the business of the corporate boss or top advertisers is off-limits, short of criminal indictments.

No memo is needed to achieve the narrowness of perspective — selecting all the usual experts from all the usual think tanks to say all the usual things. Think Tom Friedman. Or Barry McCaffrey. Or Neera Tanden. Or any of the elite club members who’ve been proven to be absurdly wrong time and again about national or global affairs.

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The Hypocrisy of President Trump and His Administration

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On Thursday, the state of Israel banned two United States congresswomen from visiting the country, Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Israel cited the congresswomen’s support for a boycott against Israel. Israel passed a domestically controversial law in March 2017 which allows the country to bar entry to anyone who supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions on Israel movement.

It is, of course, Israel's business as to who they allow into the country and who they ban, and for debate amongst Israeli citizens on the issue.

That said, it is remarkable that the Trump administration issued a statement in support of such a ban on Omar and Tlaib. The statement followed a tweet by Trump encouraging Israel to issue the ban
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America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia

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Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender.”
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US Sanctions Killing Innocent Iranians...Just 'Collateral Damage'?

The US government claim that US sanctions do not affect medicines and humanitarian assistance to Iran is a bold-faced lie. They make the manufacture of medicines in Iran nearly impossible and they make the cost of medicines beyond the reach of Iranians by disrupting the supply chain of raw materials. US sanctions policy kills innocents under the guise of being "humanitarian." Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Punishing the World With Sanctions

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Sanctions are economic warfare, pure and simple. As an alternative to a direct military attack on a country that is deemed to be misbehaving they are certainly preferable, but no one should be under any illusions regarding what they actually represent. They are war by other means and they are also illegal unless authorized by a supra-national authority like the United Nations Security Council, which was set up after World War II to create a framework that inter alia would enable putting pressure on a rogue regime without going to war. At least that was the idea, but the sanctions regimes recently put in place unilaterally and without any international authority by the United States have had a remarkable tendency to escalate several conflicts rather than providing the type of pressure that would lead to some kind of agreement.

The most dangerous bit of theater involving sanctions initiated by the Trump administration continues to focus on Iran. Last week, the White House elevated its extreme pressure on the Iranians by engaging in a completely irrational sanctioning of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The sanctions will have no effect whatsoever and they completely contradict Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that he is seeking diplomacy to resolving the conflict with Iran. One doesn’t accomplish that by sanctioning the opposition’s Foreign Minister.

Also, the Iranians have received the message loud and clear that the threats coming from Washington have nothing to do with nuclear programs. The White House began its sanctions regime over a year ago when it withdrew from the JCPOA and they have been steadily increasing since that time even though Iran has continued to be fully compliant with the agreement. Recently, the US took the unprecedented step of sanctioning the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is part of the nation’s military.
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Violent Protests In Hong Kong Reach Their Last Stage

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The riots in Hong Kong are about to end. The protests, as originally started in June, were against a law that would have allowed criminal extraditions to Taiwan, Macao and mainland China. The law was retracted and the large protests have since died down. What is left are a few thousand students who, as advertised in a New York Times op-ed, intentionally seek to provoke the police with "marginal violence."
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