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New Russia 'Spy' Scandal: US Foreign Policy Goes Retro

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Progressives have saddled themselves with a theory of history that sees the "march of progress" as an ever upwardly-bound journey to political perfection: thus the appellation "progressive," as in "things are getting progressively better." Yet history – real history, that is – lacks any such teleological plan or direction. It is characterized, instead, by ups and downs, golden ages and dark ages: the golden age of Greece and Rome was followed by centuries of ignorance and retrogression that we call – not without reason – the Dark Ages.

And while this characterization is meant to define the state of a culture in general – its mores, its level of technology, etc. – we can apply it to any field of human endeavor: e.g. the "golden age" of invention, the "dark age" of political repression signaled by the Alien and Sedition Acts – and also to the realm of foreign policy, where periods of relative peace are interrupted by periodic wars of aggression.

History, in other words, sometimes runs "backwards," and we are entering such a period today in our relations with Russia.
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After The 'Syriza Shock' - Now Comes The Hard Choice Of Escape Or Merely Re-setting The Terms of Greece’s EU Servitude

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We can heartily praise Alexis Tsirpras for calling bull on the destructive puzzle palace economics thrust on his country by the hypocrites and liars who rule from Brussels. And his finance minister designate, economist Yanis Varoufakis, is surely on the right track when he targets the rent-seeking bankers, big businesses and media operators who have plundered the Greek state for decades.

Indeed, his pledge that “we are going to destroy the Greek oligarchy system” should resonate throughout the length and breadth of Europe. After all, what has smothered growth, enterprise and hope in the EU is exactly the kind of crony capitalist corruption of economic life and exploitation of the state that had already wrecked the Greek economy—-even before the Trioka administered the coup de’ grace.

So the Syriza Shock is an inflection point. It represents the beginning of the end of unimpeded rule by the elitist apparatchiks who dominate the central banks and the economic policy machinery of Brussels, Washington and London. Overwhelmingly, their half-baked Keynesian and statist solutions have propped up the giant banks, fueled stupendous inflation of financial assets and enabled an era of obscene gambling windfalls to the very rich which is unprecedented in modern history.
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A Second Even More Unjustifiable Episode of Government Collection of Phone Records

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In the rush to sensationalize the Paris terrorist attacks and minimize all other news (for example, even more horrendous terrorist attacks in Nigeria), the American media has conveniently overlooked one major ill effect of the public hysteria it is helping to foment.

In a mini-redux of what happened subsequent to the 9/11 attacks, the American public, by confusing what's on TV with reality, is demonstrating what experts call "probability neglect." This phenomenon entails people excessively worrying about a rare event -- for example, a terrorist attack -- but being much less perturbed about much more common ways of dying by eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, smoking, failing to wear a seat belt, etc.

This excessive public fear allows the US government to run wild outside the Constitution and erode the civil liberties that make the United States unique, in the name of saving the populace from "terror" -- for example, unconstitutional indefinite jailing without charge or trial, the creation of kangaroo military tribunals as a substitute for civilian courts, illegally suspending people's right to challenge their detention, torture that violated  US and international law, and warrantless surveillance under the Patriot Act and even by violating existing law.
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The Danger of an MH-17 ‘Cold Case’

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Now more than six months after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, the refusal of the Obama administration to make public what intelligence evidence it has about who was responsible has created fertile ground for conspiracy theories to take root while reducing hopes for holding the guilty parties accountable.

Given the US government’s surveillance capabilities – from satellite and aerial photographs to telephonic and electronic intercepts to human sources – American intelligence surely has a good idea what happened on July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people onboard.

I’m told that President Barack Obama has received briefings on what this evidence shows and what US intelligence analysts have concluded about the likely guilty parties — and that Obama may have shared some of those confidential findings with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when they met on Dec. 24 in Hawaii.
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