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Don't Believe the Hype About Gun Shootings in the US

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Since the San Bernardino killings last week, many statements of politicians and stories in the media are painting a picture of “gun violence” in America that, on a closer look, appears to be far from reality.

These are some of the messages we hear in constant rotation: Be afraid of your neighbor who has a few guns and some boxes of ammunition; he must be planning a violent attack. Panic about the mass murders epidemic. Dread the explosion of violent crimes of recent years.

The barrage is deafening. But, should it be believed?

It is true people use guns to kill other people, including in mass murders. But, it is also important to not fall for exaggerated claims related to guns and mass murder.

Below are a few observations on guns and mass murder that should be considered when evaluating the fear-building messages that seem to be favored by many individuals in politics and the media...


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Saudis Bomb Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Yemen

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Just like their Sugar Daddy America bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan “by accident,” the Saudis bombed for the second time this year a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen.

But it’s OK — just like the U.S., the Saudis will conduct an investigation of themselves, no doubt leading to the conclusion that as in Afghanistan, it was all a mistake.

Under any variant of the rules of war, international law and just plain humanity, it is illegal, wrong and immoral to bomb a medical facility. Doctors Without Borders, an international nongovernmental organization, is however an attractive target in modern war, because they treat all people who need medical care equally. That means they may be bandaging up a civilian child in one bed while working on a “rebel” fighter in the next bed. They believe strongly in helping those who require help.

That bothers folks like the United States and Saudi. Big countries have their own medical facilities for their soldiers. They have the air assets to whisk wounded soldiers off the battlefield to trauma care centers located safely behind friendly lines. In their minds, Doctors Without Borders exist primarily to give aid to the enemy. Boom!
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Women In Combat: An Issue Of Rights?

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced recently that all military jobs, including the most dangerous combat roles, would be open to women starting next April. The announcement added new life to a lawsuit seeking to expand mandatory Selective Service registration to women as well as men who reach the age of 18. The military draft is a form of slavery. Seeking to extend it to women because one feels it is discriminatory if it applies only to men is a case of faulty logic. In a real threat to the United States, likely every able body would defend their homeland. A draft only seeks to add cannon fodder to the imperial foreign policy of the warmongering neocons. The problem is the foreign policy, not a lack of fighters to carry it out. More on women in combat and the draft in today's Liberty Report...
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Up From Imperialism: How to End the Terrorist Threat and Return to Normalcy

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The San Bernardino massacre, in which a seemingly harmless county worker and his wife murdered 14 people in cold blood and wounded 21 others, marks a new phase in the cycle of war and repression that characterizes the post-9/11 era. The authorities recognize this, and they are moving swiftly to take advantage of their opportunity. As Rahm Emmanuel famously put it:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
On the left as well as the right, the cry goes up: Give the government more power! Protect us! Oh, and there’s always this old standby: Bombs away!

As Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security chieftain, put it to the New York Times: “We have moved to an entirely new phase in the global terrorist threat and in our homeland security efforts.” Terrorists have “in effect outsourced attempts to attack our homeland. We’ve seen this not just here but in other places. This requires a whole new approach, in my view.”
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Obama Speech: Don't Give In To Fear...But Be Scared To Death

President Obama's address to the nation last night urged Americans to not give in to fear, all the while he stoked fear of terrorist threats all around. He outlined four components to his strategy to fight terrorism that looked like what he had been doing all along, seemingly to no avail. He praised American exceptionalism. Then he said he wanted to take the guns from Americans on the government "no-fly" list -- even though we know that due to government incompetence thousands are on the list with no ties to terrorism whatsoever. More on Obama's sly propagandism on today's Liberty Report...
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Will the IRS Take Your Passport?

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A little-noticed provision in the highway funding bill Congress passed this week threatens a right most Americans take for granted: the right to travel abroad. The provision in question gives the Internal Revenue Service the authority to revoke the passport of anyone the IRS claims owes more than $50,000 in back taxes.

Congress is giving the IRS this new power because a decline in gas tax receipts has bankrupted the federal highway trust fund. Of course, Congress would rather squeeze more money from the American people than reduce spending, repeal costly regulations, or return responsibility for highway construction to the states, local governments, and the private sector. On the other hand, most in Congress fear the political consequences of raising gas, or other, taxes. Giving the IRS new powers allows politicians to increase government revenue without having to increase tax rates. Some even brag about how they are “cracking down on tax cheats.”
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‘No Gun for You!’: Obama’s ‘Soup Nazi’ Gun Control Proposal

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The Soup Nazi character in the Seinfeld television show sells, at his take-out restaurant, soup that some people consider the best in New York City. But, there is a catch. Customers placing their orders at the restaurant’s counter are in fear that one mistake in phrasing or some other minor misstep will draw the ire of the Soup Nazi along with his decree “No soup for you!”

In a CBS television interview the day of the killings in San Bernardino, California, President Barack Obama effectively proposed giving an unknown number of nameless bureaucrats arbitrary “Soup Nazi” power to decide which individuals in America may or may not possess or obtain guns. If Obama’s proposal becomes law, one bureaucrat, based on the flimsiest of reason or an outright mistake, could summarily decree an individual barred from gun ownership. “No gun for you!”

Here is what Obama, in his own words, recommends in the Wednesday interview:
And for those who are concerned about terrorism, some may be aware of the fact that we have a no-fly list where people can't get on planes, but those same people who we don't allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm and there's nothing that we can do to stop them. That's a law that needs to be changed.
The next day, a vote was held in the US Senate regarding an amendment offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would, in line with Obama’s recommendation, allow the US government to decree that individuals with some supposed connection to a terrorism threat are barred from accessing guns. By a 54 to 45 vote, senators voted not to move forward with the amendment.
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Are We In A Clash Of Civilizations?

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The credibility of all American politicians now requires acknowledging that America is engaged in a great war for survival – “the war against Islam.” Fear of “radical Islamic terrorists” requires our undivided attention. We’re to believe that the ugly and vicious violence of a very small percentage of the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world, without an army, navy, or air force, is on the verge of engulfing America and Western civilization. The claim is that the Western concept of Christianity, liberty, and free markets is threatened. If this is so, it speaks more about the weak support for these values than for the strength of a small group claiming to speak for all of Islam. It may not make much sense, but it provokes the fear required for war-mongering.
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Are We in a Clash of Civilizations?

It is the extremists on both sides -- the radical Islamists and the neocons at home -- who are pushing a clash of civilizations to suit their own agendas, says Ron Paul in this brand new address. The idea that the western, "Christian" world is at a war to the death with Islam is a fantasy in the minds of both sides. The great danger is that this tiny minority on both sides can make headway, each earning its own recruits to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. They must be resisted. We must cling to the ideas of liberty, peace, and prosperity...
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War With Russia or With ISIS: What Ever Happened to Peace?

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According to the Nation magazine and many others, there are two options available to the US government. One is increased hostility perhaps leading to nuclear war with Russia. The other is a joint US-Russia-and-others war on ISIS.

Many in the United States who generally oppose war and who look for information outside the US corporate media manage to recognize the US focus on overthrowing the Syrian government, with Iran next on the list.

They notice the lack of US concern over Saudi and Turkish assistance to ISIS. And at least in the backs of their minds they remember that the destruction of Iraq was the critical ingredient in the creation of ISIS. But they've been as frightened by the beheading videos as any Donald Trump fanatic screaming for the eradication of Muslims -- all right, maybe a bit less frightened, but still very frightened.

So they find refuge in the idea that Russia really wants to destroy ISIS, and they urge the United States to help. The alternative of war with Russia is unthinkable. But why in the world should that be the only alternative?
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