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Has the American Dream Become the American Nightmare?

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For too long now, the American people have allowed themselves to be persuaded that the government’s job is to take care of us: to feed us, clothe us, house us, educate us, raise our children, heal our infirmities, manage our finances, protect us from our enemies, guard us against all dangers (real and imaginary), and provide for our every need.

Where Americans go wrong is in failing to recognize that there’s always a catch to such devil’s bargains purportedly carried out for the good of all society.

You want free education for your children? The government can take care of it. In exchange for free public schools, however, your children will be molded and indoctrinated into compliant, obedient citizens who reflect the government’s values rather than your own.

You want free health care? The government can take care of that, too. In exchange, your medical decisions—how you live and die—will ultimately be determined by corporations to whom you are little more than a line item impacting their profit and loss margins.

You want to be insulated from all things that might cause offense? That’s not a problem for the government. Its thought police will use hate crime laws to criminalize speech, thought and actions that may be politically incorrect.
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The Neocon Lament: Nobody Wants Them in Trump's Washington

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There is no limit to the hubris driven hypocrisy of America’s stalwart neoconservatives. A recent Washington Post front page article entitled “‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted” shares with the reader the heartbreak of those so-called GOP foreign policy experts who have apparently been ignored by the presidential transition team seeking to staff senior positions in the new administration. Author David Nakamura describes them as “some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administration who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.”

“But,” Nakamura adds, “their phones aren’t ringing.” And I wept openly as he went on to describe how they sit forlorn in a “state of indefinite limbo” in their law firms, think tanks and university faculty lounges just thinking about all the great things they can do for their country. Yes, “serve their country,” indeed. Nothing personal in it for them. Nothing personal when they denounced Trump and called him incompetent, unqualified, a threat to the nation and even joined Democrats in labeling him a racist, misogynist, homophobe, Islamophobe and bigot. And they really got off when they explained in some detail how The Donald was a Russian agent. Nothing personal. It’s was only business. So let’s let bygones be bygones and, by the way, where are the jobs? Top level Pentagon or National Security Council only, if you please!

And yes, they did make a mistake about some things in Iraq, but it was Obama who screwed it up by not staying the course. And then there was Libya, the war still going on in Afghanistan, getting rid of Bashar and that funny business in Ukraine. It all could have gone better but, hey, if they had been fully in charge for the past eight years to back up the greatly loved Vicki Nuland at the State Department everything would be hunky dory.
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Trump's 31 Airstrikes - A Taste Of Things To Come?

Over the weekend, President Trump indicated that he would continue in his predecessor's foreign policy. The US conducted some 31 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq and two drone strikes in Yemen. Will we achieve different results doing the same thing over and over?
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Is Medical Marijuana A Crime?

When authorities found out that Shona Banda treated her severe Crohn's Disease with cannabis after all other treatments (and multiple surgeries) had failed, they took away her child and are trying to send her to prison for 30 years. But she is fighting back! We speak with Ms. Banda about her struggle for health freedom in today's Liberty report...
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Trump’s Foreign Policy: An Unwise Inconsistency?

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Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions have been anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the US needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were abandoned or an opposite position was taken. Trump’s inconsistent rhetoric left us wondering exactly what kind of foreign policy he would pursue if elected.

The President’s inaugural speech was no different. On the one hand it was very encouraging when he said that under his Administration the US would “seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” and that he understands the “right of all nations to put their own interests first.” He sounded even better when he said that under Trump the US would “not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.” That truly would be a first step toward peace and prosperity.
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US intervention in Syria? Not under Trump

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A new coalition of US-based organizations is pushing for a more aggressive US intervention against the Assad regime. But both the war in Syria and politics in the United States have shifted dramatically against this objective.

When it was formed last July, the coalition hoped that a Hillary Clinton administration would pick up its proposals for a more forward stance in support of the anti-Assad armed groups. But with Donald Trump in office instead, the supporters of a US war in Syria now have little or no chance of selling the idea.

One of the ways the group is adjusting to the new political reality is to package its proposal for deeper US military engagement on behalf of US-supported armed groups as part of a plan to counter al-Qaeda, now calling itself Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

But that rationale depends on a highly distorted presentation of the problematic relations between those supposedly “moderate” groups and al-Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot.

Plan for a Clinton White House...

The “Combating al-Qaeda in Syria Strategy Group” was formed last July by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), according to the policy paper distributed at an event at the Atlantic Council on 12 January.
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What Trump Could Do

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Today Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. American voters rejected the devil they know so well — Hillary Clinton — for the devil they don’t. Why they did so, and how Trump prevailed, is the biggest political story of our age. But the rejection of progressive hubris, what Friedrich Hayek called the “fatal conceit” of those who would presume to plan our lives, is at the heart of that story.

The Left views Trump’s election as an absolute calamity, despite his support for unions and protectionist trade policies, despite his identity as a New York elite rather than some despised red state politician, and despite his ambivalence toward the social issues that animate Christian conservatives. One would think Democrats would be relieved not to suffer an ideologue like Santorum or Cruz in the White House. Yet their hysteria and lack of self-awareness prompt them to attack the Electoral College, of all things. 

Progressives bear direct responsibility for Trump’s victory. They grossly miscalculated in nominating Mrs. Clinton, an avaricious and humorless technocrat who utterly failed to engage ordinary people. They abandoned populist economic themes and union halls in favor of global trade deals. They stayed silent while the Obama administration spent two full terms at war. They excused Obama’s NSA scandals. They cheered the growth of an imperial presidency and an activist judiciary, both of which they are now shocked to imagine outside their control.

But worst of all, progressives have poisoned America with vicious identity politics and a deeply false narrative of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and privilege. How could a backlash not result? By demonizing history, religion, traditional families, and middle America, they deliberately politicized whole areas of life that should be off limits to government. Politics is war, but it is also sales.
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We’re Still Here, 1/20/17, Consumed Most of All by Our Fears

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One of my favorite quotes includes the lines “I awoke this morning to find that it was not judgment day – only morning. Morning: excellent and fair.” I think that sums up a part of my thinking, but certainly not all.

A nuclear reckoning, war with China, or anything else quite so violently apocalyptic is imminent, or even underway, as far too many of us think. I live in one of those bubbles, the sum of which make up America now. Many of the people I talk to, in person and here online, seem to believe, truly believe, the world is coming to something of an end. These are by and large educated, once-rational people, some of whom have been voices of reason in the past. They are not that way now.

We are however falling, some important threads of our nation being teased apart, and our best days are behind us. But this did not start on November 8, 2016, or January 20, 2017, thoough historians will note those dates as significant milestones (same as September 11, 2001.) But not because of Donald Trump. Because his name just happened to be attached to what has been growing inside us since the end of WWII.
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Obama's Wasted, Deadly, and Destructive Presidency

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Eight years ago, President Obama’s administration started with hope and change. Eight years later, we end up with a legacy of nothing but waste, death, and destruction.

Libertarians never had any hope, of course, that Barack Obama would dismantle any aspect of the welfare state. As a died-in-the-wool liberal, his commitment to socialism, regulation, and economic interventionism is unwavering. When, for example, he addressed the healthcare crisis brought on my Medicare, Medicaid, regulation, and interventionism by foisting Obamacare onto the American people, we libertarians were not surprised.

Where libertarians (and lots of liberals) had hope was that Obama would change the direction that the George W. Bush administration had set for America with respect to foreign policy and civil liberties.

After all, Obama had made a big deal of having opposed Bush’s war on Iraq. On the campaign trail he also emphasized his supposed deep commitment to civil liberties, especially given his legal understanding of constitutional principles.

Alas, no change. Obama’s eight years turned out to be nothing more than a continuation of Bush’s eight years, which, like Obama’s, consisted of waste, death, and destruction.
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McCain's $5 Trillion Military Budget: Will It Make America Great Again?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to spend five trillion dollars over the next five years in a massive build-up of the US military. Dozens of ships will be be built, as well as more than a hundred new fighter jets -- including the problem-plagued F-35. The Army and Marines will greatly expand. McCain's goal is to be able to fight a conventional war in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It's as if we are back in 1950! How much do McCain's donors in the military-industrial complex love this budget? We can only imagine. But will Trump bite? Is this the kind of spending that would really "make America great again"? As Alibaba gazillionaire Jack Ma put it so well recently in Davos, the US has wasted $14 trillion on wars over the past 30 years. More on this today in the Liberty Report...
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