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Turkey’s Erdogan Gives Europe the Middle Finger

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The impact of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s move Wednesday to replace Prime Minister Ahmet Dautoglu is already being felt in the western chancelleries with the signs that the scenario now is one of an acrimonious divorce between Ankara and the European Union. The EU-Turkey deal on stopping the flow of refugees to Europe in lieu of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to the Shenghen area has hit the skids. (Financial Times)

Of course, the refugee problem is an existential issue for the EU — and for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, whose political prestige is at stake, since she was the architect of the deal with Turkey which she got a reluctant EU to accept. The Chancellery in Berlin warned Erdogan yesterday: “The Chancellor has worked very well until now with Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu… and we assume that this good and constructive cooperation will continue with the new Turkish prime minister”. (Bloomberg)

But Erdogan is defiant, even plainly contemptuous. He retorted, “We will go our way; you go yours” – hinting that he is slamming the door shut on the democratic reforms that EU is demanding from Turkey. He added, “The EU is telling us to change our law on combatting terrorism. [They] are allowing terrorists to raise tents and then [they] come with requirements.”
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Secret Service Handcuffs The First Amendment

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Thomas Jefferson said that an informed citizenry is critical to a democracy, and with that as a cornerstone the Founders wrote freedom of the press into the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The most basic of ideas at play is that the government should in no way be allowed to control what information the press can report to the people, and cannot place restrictions on journalists. One of the principal characteristics of any fascist state is the control of information, and thus the press is always seen as a check on government power that needs to be stomped on. Ask any surviving journalist in North Korea, or Saudi Arabia.

 And so it is with terror we learn the United States Secret Service, in the name of security, is for the first time in our Republic’s history running background checks on thousands of journalists who plan to report from this summer’s Republican and Democratic Party nominating conventions.
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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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What Happened to the Revolution?

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In a recent interview I was asked why Bernie Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” had seemingly attracted so much support among young people. In fact polls suggest Sanders is the most popular candidate among people aged 18-29, and 51 percent of that same age group appears fed up with “capitalism in its current form,” according to a recent Harvard study.


It was just four years ago that so many young people turned out to hear and support my message of personal liberty, non-aggression, and non-intervention at home and abroad. I was thrilled that so many young people were attracted to a candidate whose main message was “I don’t want to run your life.”
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Mr. Trump, Explain Why America First Must Mean Ending Foreign Aid and Foreign Military Assistance

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Now that Mr. Trump has vowed that the concept of “America First” will be at the core of his administration’s foreign and domestic policies, he should begin to tell Americans what he intends to do make that pledge a reality and why it needs to be done. He should do this before his enemies — and America’s — can turn the phrase against him. On MSNBC this week, for example, Mr. Chris Matthews asked if Trump “was trying to make us mad” by using the term “America First”. Mr. Matthews said that the term refers to Americans who wanted no war with Germany in 1939-1941; he did not mention Japan, probably because it would blur the damning parallel he intended to draw between Mr. Trump, the America First movement of 1939-1941 and the Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews.

Mr. Matthews, like all on the left, is a historical ignoramus. He demonstrates that status, in this case, by not knowing that the great majority of all Americans in 1939-1941 opposed getting into a European or Asian war that did not concern our vital national interests, and would not until Imperial Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on us later in December, 1941. After those events, most America First members fully supported both wars and participated in the war efforts to defend America.

Even Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh – whose reputation and historical importance were ruined, then, by Roosevelt and his coterie, the British, and the Jewish-American elite, and, now, by Israel First and those it intimidates and bribes – risked his life in the war as a test pilot for new US military aircraft, and as a volunteer guinea pig for testing new means of protecting pilots and aircrew from the debilitating impact of high-altitude flight.
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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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Aleppo – Syria’s Stalingrad?

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In a message on Thursday addressed to Vladimir Putin felicitating Russia on its Victory Day, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad compared the fighting around the city of Aleppo to Stalingrad, which turned the tide of World War II. It’s a powerful metaphor for the Russian psyche, driving home that winning the Syrian war in Aleppo’s battle fields is a must and there is no scope for compromise.

Assad sent his message on the same day the US-Russia agreement extending the Syrian truce to the Aleppo theatre came into effect. Damascus insists this is only a 48-hour cease fire. Indeed, the Iranian reports on Thursday highlighted that the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters “backed up by the country’s fighter jets and Russian artillery units” continue their operations in western Aleppo, pushing back the extremist fighters.

On the other hand, Washington is anxious to interpret that the agreement with Moscow means that Aleppo falls within the purview of the ceasefire across the country. But is the ceasefire possible in a situation where the extremist groups (who have been excluded from the ceasefire) freely intermingle with the so-called moderate opposition groups?
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Texas Teachers and Police Launch Absurd Investigation After Eighth Grader Attempted To Pay for Lunch With $2 Bill

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We have been discussing the over-reaction officials in past cases where police have been called to address pranks or controversies once handled internally in schools. A news story out of Houston only servers to capture this absurdity. It began when Danesiah Neal, an eighth grader at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School, attempted to pay for lunch with a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph. The lunch personnel had never seen a $2 bill and what happened after that is truly absurd with school officials joining police in almost comical overreactions.
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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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Suspect Held in Solitary for Seven Months for Forgetting Hard Drive Passwords

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Innocent until proven guilty? Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination? Hah! Not if you forget your passwords, in Post-Constitutional America.

Former Philadelphia Police Sergeant Francis Rawls, above, has spent the past seven months in solitary confinement without conviction because passwords he entered for investigators failed to decrypt his hard drives, seized in connection with a child porn investigation. Rawls says he’s forgotten the correct passwords and so can’t decrypt the drives and provide the cops with evidence that he possessed child porn.
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