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For What Do We Stand?

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The humanoid collective is in an unforgiving snit over the refusal of NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, to stand for the playing of the national anthem. For a society that was once grounded in a greater tolerance for individual values and preferences, this reaction is another symptom of a system that no longer serves – much less tolerates – the diverse nature of human life.

Why would an intelligent person in any country want to stand for and sing a “national anthem?” How would such an act contribute to the well-being of someone who engaged in it? Let me state, at the outset, that in all matters relating to my conduct, I am a firm agnostic when it comes to evaluating the conduct others expect me to follow. Consensus-based definitions of reality or propriety do not impress me.

My mind will always insist upon asking my favorite word in the English language – the word that children ask of the adults in their lives until they are forced to abandon its use – “why?” If you would like me to follow a prescribed course of behavior, please inform me how my doing so would benefit me.
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John Kerry is Wrong – Media Shouldn’t Stop Covering Terrorism, But They Should Start Explaining it

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The media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover terrorism so much, because then people “wouldn’t know what’s going on.” That little bit of wisdom comes courtesy of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry’s offhand remark was made during a visit to Bangladesh last week, prompting immediate criticism and even subsequent clarification from State Department spokesperson John Kirby.

The secretary of state’s suggestion that simply ignoring terrorism might help it go away and that an ignorant public is somehow desirable is ludicrous – but maybe it just came out wrong. 

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on that. Let’s assume what Kerry meant to say is that if the media didn’t make ‘insta-celebrities’ out of terrorists and play wall-to-wall coverage of major terrorist events, it would inspire fewer copycats and lone wolf attackers of the kind we’ve seen in recent months. If that’s what Kerry meant to say, he’d have a fairly reasonable point.
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How to Solve the Illegal Immigration Problem

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent speech on immigration really missed the point. I understand Trump’s frustration over the US government’s inability to control the US borders and keep out those who would come to this country illegally. Trump was right that the media ignore legitimate questions we have on our immigration policy and he is right that special interests have a great interest in maintaining the status quo.

However when it comes to really solving the immigration problem he gets it all wrong. And instead of making us more free and prosperous, his solutions will accelerate our downward slide toward authoritarianism.
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Is the United States Trying to Incite Unrest in Venezuela?

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The U.S. government is placing pressure on major banks to keep their distance from "illicit" Venezuelan financial flows, specifically identifying Petroleos de Venezuela as a problem area.

This has resulted in Citibank announcing that it will stop processing debt payments to Petroleos de Venezuela's bondholders. The bank has cited "a periodic risk-management review."

The bank told bondholders that it would end its role as Petroleos de Venezuela's  principal pay agent and suspend its processing of at least seven debt bonds, including $5 billion in debt payments due in October and November of this year.

If Petroleos de Venezuela can not find another major bank processor, the state oil firm will not be able to make its payments and all hell could break lose.
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US V US in Syria

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What a mess!  In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be?

It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep the military and intelligence agencies on a tight leash.

But the Obama administration has had a weak secretary of defense and a bunch of lady strategists who are the worst military commanders since Louis XV, who put his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, in charge of French military forces during the Seven Year’s War. The French were routed by the Prussians. France’s foe, Frederick the Great of Prussia, named one of his dogs, "la Pompadour."

As a result,  the two arms of offensive US strategic power, the Pentagon, and CIA, went separate ways in Syria. Growing competition between the US military and militarized CIA broke into the open in Syria.
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Acceptable Losses: Aiding and Abetting the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

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Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. Thousands of civilians — no one knows how many — have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation.

This rain of destruction was made possible by the material and moral support of the United States, which supplied most of the bombers, bombs, and missiles required for the aerial onslaught. (Admittedly, the United Kingdom, France, and other NATO arms exporters eagerly did their bit.) US Navy ships aided the blockade.
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The Campaign to Blame Putin for Everything

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Hardly a day goes by without some “news” about the Russian “threat,” and in the past twenty-four hours the hate-on-Russia campaign seems to have picked up speed. After learning from Hillary Clinton that Vladimir Putin is not only responsible for the Trump campaign, but also for the “global nationalist movement” that yanked the British out of the European Union, mainstream media are telling us that Russian interlopers are supposedly invading our electoral process by hacking into voter databases. The Washington Post “reports”:
Hackers targeted voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona, and the FBI alerted Arizona officials in June that Russian hackers were behind the assault on the election system in that state.

The bureau told Arizona officials that the threat was ‘credible’ and severe, ranking as ‘an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10,’ said Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office.

As a result, Secretary of State Michele Reagan shut down the state voter registration system for almost a week.
So the Russkies are invading the American polity, launching a cybernetic assault on the very basis of our democracy? Really?
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Traveling To Cuba: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Yesterday history was made, with the first commercial flight from the US to Cuba in more than 50 years. Here is one real foreign policy achievement of President Obama, but in fact you cannot oppose an idea whose time has come. In today's Liberty Report we take a look at the benefits and pitfalls of the de facto normalization with Cuba...
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Homeland Security To Save Us From 'Rigged Elections'?

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly ready to announce that US elections are part of the "critical infrastructure" of the United States and thus under the Department's control. Part of the pretext for this move is news that voting registers in Arizona and Illinois may have been been hacked -- and without evidence this hack is being blamed on the Russians. Do we want the people who run the TSA to also run our elections? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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Ron Paul's Quick Conference Update

Ron Paul and his Liberty Report co-host Daniel McAdams sat down to discuss some of the final preparations for the "Peace and Prosperity 2016" conference to take place on September 10th in Washington, D.C. What's the latest? Who will be speaking? What to expect? Watch this short update and if you have not already done so, get your tickets today! For a listing of the speakers and topics, click here.
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