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Ron Paul, the CIA, and Dr. Zhivago

Zhivago CIA

It is no secret that Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel Dr. Zhivago influenced RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul. Indeed, Dr. Zhivago and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged are the only two works of fiction included in the list of 48 books at the end of Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto that Paul says influenced him over the years. What has long been a secret, though, is that the United States Central Intelligence Agency played a significant role in helping promote the Pasternak novel.

A peek at the influence Dr. Zhivago had on Paul may be found in ABC News and National Public Radio profiles of Paul from 2011 that report on how Paul reading in his 20s a copy of Dr. Zhivago that his mother had given him put Paul on course reading many other books that helped him develop his understanding of libertarian ideas. This reading led directly to Paul first running for Congress in 1974 and continuing to communicate regarding political topics to this day. As Paul has explained many times, his runs for political office have been motivated largely by a desire to share ideas related to freedom with a larger audience.

Might Paul’s mother not have given him Dr. Zhivago if the CIA had not boosted the book’s popularity? Without reading the book, may Paul not have proceeded in the study that led him to help build support for liberty and nonintervention in the US and abroad?
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Federal Court Rules Government’s No-Fly List Is Unconstitutional

DHS

There is a major decision out of Oregon where U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has ruled that the government’s no-fly list is unconstitutional since there is no meaningful way to contest inclusion of the list barring you from commercial flights. Brown issued a 65 page ruling with the holding that the “inclusion on the no-fly list constitutes a significant deprivation of their liberty interests in international travel.” It is a refreshing opinion from the federal courts which tend to be highly deferential to the government in this area.

Central to the decision is Brown’s recognition that “international travel is not a mere convenience or luxury in this modern world. Indeed, for many international travel is a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society.” We have all heard horror stories of how people are mistakenly placed on this list and how they find themselves in an endless bureaucratic process to correct such mistakes. 

The sheer stupidity of many of these mistakes has been shocking with government officials barring people with similarly sounding names to terrorists like Bin Laden or the cavalier addition of names despite the huge cost to the individuals. The list is a CYA moment for many officials who want to be more safe than sorry, but those unfairly placed on the list find themselves in a governmental nightmare of red tape and delay.
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The US Supreme Court Is Marching in Lockstep with the Police State

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The U.S. Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice. In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts

Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching innocent motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.

These are the hallmarks of the emerging American police state: where police officers, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.
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Opt-Out of Common Core, Opt-In to The Ron Paul Curriculum

Oklahoma recently took action to protect the state’s children from the federal education bureaucracy by withdrawing from Common Core. Common Core is the latest attempt to bribe states, with money taken from the American people, into adopting a curriculum developed by federal bureaucrats and education “experts.” In exchange for federal funds, states must change their curriculum by, for example, replacing traditional mathematics with “reform math.” Reform math turns real mathematics on its head by focusing on “abstract thinking” instead of traditional concepts like addition and subtraction. Schools must also replace classic works of literature with  “informational” texts, such as studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Those poor kids!
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The Orwellian Daily Mail

Orwell

Many people have an instinctive feeling that the mainstream media do not tell them the whole story.

But few people realise quite to what extent the media are manipulated to send out a particular political message.  This problem is especially acute with foreign stories because by definition readers know less about far away countries than about their own.  They are therefore much more susceptible to a story being "spun" in one direction or another, especially if moral condemnation is involved: everyone enjoys the sense of being morally superior and interventionist media encourage this sentiment to justify interventionism.

A recent flagrant example was provided by a report in the Daily Mail on the Sunni Islamist insurgency in Iraq which has taken Mosul and now threatens Baghdad itself.

On 16 June 2014, the Mail carried an excited report which enthused about how even teenagers and young boys were taking up arms to defend the capital city against the Sunni militants of ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
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Eric Margolis: ‘Any US Move in Iraq Will Be Wrong’

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The US might be forced to send more ground troops to Iraq and seek an unpopular alliance with Tehran to stop Iraqi extremists from destroying the US creation, the Maliki government, award winning journalist Eric Margolis told RT.

RT:Militants from ISIS are closing in on Baghdad. How bad is this and what position will US continue to pursue?

Eric Margolis: As the old expression goes, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don't”. The US is in a very difficult position. This is a nightmare that has come back to haunt it. Practically any movement it makes, it will be wrong, in a sense that it angers somebody. And US has more interests in the Sunni world than it does in the Shia world. Behind the scenes, the Saudis, the major Sunni power are very unhappy with the thought of US intervention.

RT: Washington is sending a small contingent of troops to Iraq. How far will America go to deal with sectarian tensions there?

EM: I believe there are as many as 5000 US troops already in Iraq. Many of them are not in uniform, they are not called troops, they are called contractors, technical assistance. They are manning two airforce bases that the US still controls inside Iraq, or they are clustered inside the green zone, the huge fort of an embassy in Baghdad. So there are troops there.

Air strikes discussed may not be enough to stop ISIL group, and also we have to add the old Baath party of Saddam Hussein has risen up against the Shia dominated government. And if the air strikes do work, they would be a very blunt instrument because it is hard to know who to attack. The US may be forced to send more ground troops in.


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Iraq, Foreign Policy, Amnesty, John Bolton: Ron Paul Interviewed By Mike Church

Ron Paul Interviewed on the Mike Church Show, June 19, 2014.

Mike
:  What would you say or what do you say to people that are now rattling the sabers yet again: We gotta get back in there.  We gotta re-stabilize Iraq.

Paul:  I’ve made a statement: Don’t send one single thing or person or money or dollar into Iraq.  Just come home.  I said don’t go and after they went I said come home.  We just marched in and we can march home.  It’s none of our business.  We make things worse.  It looks like things are much worse.  The irony of all this, it’s amazing people don’t wake up.  We expended all those lives and money to take over Iraq and delivered it to the Iranians.  It proves the case that it’s a close ally to Iran.  They’re the ones who are coming in now to try to rescue the Shiite government.  Who knows what that will lead to?  We’re going along with this.  One week we want to nuke Iran and then the next week we say: That sounds like a pretty good idea.  Come in and help us.  We’re not going to send any more troops in.

We’re going to do everything else to aggravate people.  We’re still likely to drop bombs and we’re going to have our aircraft carriers out there.  We’ll have our threat of drones and our special forces.  We’ll send in a few Marines, which still aggravates the whole situation.


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The Blair Peace Project: Serial Warmonger’s Call For New Iraq War Will Have Opposite Effect

Tony Blair

Being a warmongering neocon, and in particular being a warmongering neocon called Tony Blair, means never having to accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions.

What it does mean is shifting the blame on to others and trying to rewrite history.

You might have thought that someone who launched an illegal, disastrous war against a sovereign state that has led to the deaths of up to 1 million people and who made claims before the war which proved to be false, might show at the very least a measure of contrition when the country in question is overrun by radical Islamist groups who had no presence in the country before the illegal invasion took place. But Tony Blair’s 2,800 word essay on Iraq and Syria and the Middle East is so full of distortions and ludicrous claims that it’s hard to know where to begin.

The man who repeatedly told us that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the buildup to the war in 2003 now tries to justify it on the grounds that another Middle East leader, President Bashar Assad of Syria, used chemical weapons in 2013 and that if left in power, Saddam would have gone back to using them.

If you’re confused by that, you’re not the only one. Even if it were to be conclusively proved that the Syrian government did use chemical weapons at Ghouta (and it most certainly hasn’t been) the fact remains that Iraq did not possess WMDs in 2003.
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Iraq: Will the Neocons Get Away With It Again?

The "BS" in CBS is well-earned by this CBS News story speculating on the alleged near certainty of a terrorist attack launched by ISIS – the Islamist group now rampaging across Iraq – against the continental US. Headlined "Will ISIS Plan a 9/11-style Terror Plot Against the US?", it is filled with the opinions of various "experts" and habitual warmongers whose exhalation of hot air is no doubt contributing to global warming.

The usual suspects are cited: Sen. Lindsey Graham, the War Party’s answer to Richard Simmons, shrieks "the seeds of 9/11s are being planted all over Iraq and Syria," while Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Oceania), who is giving up his seat in Congress for the right-wing radio talk show circuit, is honing his demagogy by declaring "I guarantee you: this is a problem that we will have to face, and we’re either going to have to face it in New York City or we’re going to face it here."
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Has the Dept. of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?

ICE VEHICLE

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.
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