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The Census Bureau's Latest Peril to Freedom

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The Census Bureau is sending its hefty American Community Survey to more than three million households a year. I recently received this 28-page tsunami of questions about everything from my plumbing to my profession to my ethnicity and income. But as a former Census taker who has written about Census controversies for more than 25 years, I distrust this blunderbuss.

In 2005, the American Community Survey replaced the long Census form that was sent to a minority of respondents as part of the once-a-decade population count. Many congressmen are irate that the Census Bureau threatens $5,000 fines against anyone who refuses to answer all the questions. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) denounced it as an “unnecessary and completely unwarranted government intrusion.”

Unfortunately, citizens’ compliance with Census demands does nothing to ensure that the government itself will respect their privacy or obey the law.
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War Criminal Blair Warmongers for Ground Invasion of Syria and Iraq

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In an ideal world, Tony Blair would have been tried for war crimes years ago, and most probably would be over a decade into a life-time jail sentence for his role in the Iraq war. However, in our Orwellian world, devoid of justice and accountability, Blair is doing what he does best: warmongering.

The former British Prime Minister stated this week that in order to defeat ISIS, Britain and the wider West will have to “wage a proper ground war against them.” Blair has been a vocal of proponent of deploying ground forces against ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa, calling again for Western troops on the ground in March of this year.

Blair’s remarks are conformation of what many in the independent media have been warning about for years now; that some individuals in the West are trying to use the threat of ISIS (which they created) to launch a full-scale invasion of Syria and attempt to oust Assad. If the West is filled with enough hubris to actually deploy ground troops to Syria, it would move the West one step closer to military confrontation with Russia.
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Hawks Hand Hillary A Foreign Policy Blueprint: Will She Bite?

The neoconservative, Democrat-heavy Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has created a foreign policy blueprint for what they hope is a future Hillary Clinton presidency. Unsurprisingly, it is heavy on the "need" for the US military to much more aggressively dominate the globe. The Obama Administration was far too dovish, according to CNAS "experts." No one should be shocked that yet another militaristic Beltway "think tank" is funded predominantly by the military-industrial complex. Will Americans continue to be fooled by those who line their pockets with cash while making the rest of less safe and more poor? We give it our two cents in today's Liberty Report...
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No “Glitch”: State Department Admits That Press Briefing Was Intentionally Edited To Remove Passage . . . But Insisted It Cannot Find Official Responsible

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You may recall the controversy of a press conference at the State Department was later edited to remove an embarrassing question and answer regarding the Iran negotiations. When the exchange with Fox New Reporter James Rosen was found missing, Elizabeth Trudeau, director of the press office insisted that “Genuinely, we think it was a glitch.” Now, the State Department is admitting that it was not a glitch but an intentional editing of the transcript to remove the exchange. However, State Department spokesman John Kirby insists that they cannot determine who ordered the deletion.

The exchange occurred in 2013 when Rosen got then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki to admit to misleading the press on the Iran nuclear deal. (Psaki is now White House Communications Director). Rosen reminded Psaki that he had asked in February whether there were bilateral talks with Iran on the issue. Then-spokesperson Victoria Nuland denied that such talks were underway by saying “on a government-to-government level, no.” In fact, there were such talks underway. In December, Rosen asked Psaki “Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?” Psaki responded: “James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.” That seemed to confirm the obvious that the Administration had lied to the media and the public.
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Clinton Offers New Explanation For Email Scandal

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I was on NPR yesterday on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss the Clinton email scandal. Appearing on the show was Brian Fallon, spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, who offered a new and rather implausible spin on the worsening scandal. Fallon said that Clinton was relying on her knowledge that Colin Powell used a personal email account as the reason that she thought her server was approved.

Here is what Fallon said in response to questions from Rehm:
I think that, as she has sought to explain in the multitude of interviews she’s done in the last few days since the report has come out, there was — and this is backed up in the IG report — one of her predecessors, Secretary Powell, had used personal email exclusively.And so she felt that in setting up her arrangement, that since his was approved, that hers was similar enough that it would be approved, too.
As I noted at the time, this is a new explanation. After the report said uncategorically that Clinton never asked for approval and would never have received approval for her unsecure personal server, she has switched from claiming that her server was “allowed” to she “believed it was allowed.”
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Was the White Rose Right or Wrong on Patriotism?

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One of the most dramatic movie scenes I have ever watched is the courtroom segment in Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, a German movie with English subtitles that I cannot recommend too highly. The movie revolves around Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister who were two of the principal members of a German organization called the White Rose.

I first wrote about the White Rose in 1996 in an article entitled “The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent,” which was later published in an anthology on the Holocaust for high school students. The White Rose is one of the most remarkable stories of courage I have ever encountered. The fact that the organization was composed primarily of college students makes it even more amazing.
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Congress’ Treachery, the FBI’s Double-Crossing and the American Citizenry’s Cluelessness: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

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As the grandfather of three young ones, ages 5 to 9, I get to see my fair share of kid movies: plenty of hijinks, lots of bathroom humor, and an endless stream of slapstick gags. Yet even among the worst of the lot, there’s something to be learned, some message being conveyed, or some aspect of our reality being reflected in celluloid.

So it was that I found myself sitting through The Angry Birds Movie on a recent Sunday afternoon, doling out popcorn, candy and drinks and trying to make sense of a 90-minute movie based on a cell phone video game that has been downloaded more than 3 billion times.

The storyline is simple enough: an island nation of well-meaning, feel-good, flightless birds gets seduced by a charismatic green pig and his cohort who comes bearing food, wine and entertainment spectacles (the Roman equivalent of bread circuses). Ignoring the warnings of one solitary, suspicious “angry” bird that the pigs are up to no good, the clueless birds eventually discover that the pigs have stolen their most precious possessions: their eggs, the future of their entire society. It takes the “angry bird” to motivate the normally unflappable Bird Nation to get outraged enough to do something about the violation of their trust by the pigs and the theft of their personal property.
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Obama and the Myth of Hiroshima

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On May 27, Barack Obama became the first sitting American president to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the site of the world’s first atomic bombing. Though highly photogenic, the visit was otherwise one that avoided acknowledging the true history of the place.

Like his official predecessors (Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Peace Memorial in early April, as did two American ambassadors before him), Obama did not address the key issues surrounding the attack. “He [Obama] will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb,” Benjamin Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, stated.

With rare exception, the question of whether the atomic bombs were necessary to end World War Two is debated only deep within the safety of academic circles: could a land invasion have been otherwise avoided? Would more diplomacy have achieved the same ends without the destruction of two cities? Could an atomic test on a deserted island have convinced the Japanese? Was the surrender instead driven primarily by the entry of the Soviets into the Pacific War, which, by historical accident, took place two days after Hiroshima—and the day before Nagasaki was immolated?
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Third Battle For Fallujah -- Time To Finally Come Home?

Iraqi military troops along with Iran-backed Shia militias are fighting to expel ISIS from its two year control of Fallujah. That unfortunate city is also the location of two US battles to "liberate" the city and both times the place was flattened. The US says it is fighting in Iraq to rid the country of ISIS, but is very conflicted over the Iranian role in expelling ISIS. The US government has no strategy to "fix" Iraq, and in fact what it is trying to achieve -- a non-sectarian, unified country not aligned with Iran -- was already achieved by Saddam Hussein before the US "liberation." The only sensible place for the US military to go is home.
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Thank The Troops for Destroying Our Country

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While Americans are expected to thank the troops for their service all year long, today — Memorial Day — we are called upon to thank them even more profusely. The idea is that since the troops are defending our country and protecting our rights and freedoms, we should express our gratitude to them.

But there is just one big problem with that picture: In actuality, the troops are destroying our country and our fundamental rights and freedoms. That’s not something any American should be grateful for.

Consider the out-of-control spending and borrowing that are sure to bring on an economic and monetary crisis that could make the Great Depression look like child’s play. A big part of all that federal spending and borrowing is for the warfare state, where the troops play a major role.

Of course, the warfare-state people exclaim, “We’re not at fault. We’re protecting national security. The fault lies with the welfare state side of the federal government. Cut their dole instead of ours.”
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