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Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman — How Congress Spends Your Money

Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the comic book heroine.

That is just one of the many outrageous projects buried in this 1,582 page bill. The legislation gives the Department of Education more money to continue nationalizing education via “common core.”
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Foreign Aid is a Real Joke

Bussman

Jane Bussman
is a British comedienne who moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s. She wrote for a number of TV shows, including South Park, for a while.  She then drifted into celebrity journalism interviewing  the likes of Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, and Aston Kutcher. 

She eventually chucked it all and sought to cleanse her soul by traveling to Africa to “find a country that had a really bad problem with genocide and just help out.” And this is where her story stops short of dreary cliche and gets really interesting. She found out that almost everything that she had heard about the war in Uganda was a lie fabricated by Western governments and their lapdog establishment media. She also discovered that Western aid was not helping Africa but was destabilizing it by prolonging wars and propping up corrupt governments.
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American Fascism

We know about the transformation of the American police, with their paramilitary equipment, their SWAT team raids, and incentive to terrorize people over drug offenses rather than pursue crimes against person and property. We know about the National Security Agency, which can access every American’s e-mails, phone calls, or text messages. And yet too many average Americans have greeted all this with indifference.

This indifference, I suggest, derives from the widespread public acceptance of the myth of the state that Americans are taught from the moment they step into a government classroom. The myth is this: the state is a public-service institution established to provide you with security, both personal and economic. And after years of indoctrination into this myth, it is little wonder that so many Americans are prepared to give the state the benefit of the doubt, and to look upon dissidents as incorrigible troublemakers. The police and the military, the most celebrated public faces of the state, are to be questioned least of all.
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Obama's NSA Speech: What Reform?

Obamaflag

Speaking from a set that could have been designed by Leni Riefenstahl, President Obama yesterday informed us that not only does our freedom depend on the work of spies, but the very birth of our republic was dependent on the same kind of surveillance network that so many are criticizing today. Critics, therefore, are not only unpatriotic but deeply anti-American. The message was clear: "surveillance equals freedom."

As Constitutional scholar Michael Ratner of The Real News Network points out, if Obama wanted his speech to reassure critics of an intelligence community that has seemingly turned its lens inward, he got it precisely backwards. He did not come out and acknowledge from the start that given recent revelations about NSA surveillance of US phone calls, computers, text messages, etc, our concerns are legitimate and he intends to do something about it. He did not affirm the importance of protecting the First and Fourth Amendments. He did not come out preaching real and concrete reform.

Instead, the president opened his speech placing himself clearly on the side of the surveillance state and opposed to citizens.


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Breaking: Obama Declares NSA 'Reforms' While Dismissing Influence Of Snowden Leaks

Turleynsa

I just listened to the NSA speech by President Obama and as expected there is precious little in terms of real change. For civil libertarians, it is a nothing burger served hot and with a sympathetic smile. It is much of the same. Another review board composed of government officials. Another promise for the Executive Branch to review itself. I am in Salt Lake City today on the Sister Wives case, but I am struck by the absence of civil libertarians on the coverage by the networks. I will have to run to court but I was underwhelmed. It seemed like another attempt to reinvent privacy in a new surveillance friendly image.

As I tweeted earlier, it was rather unpersuasive to hear Obama say that he was always intended to force reforms and that Snowden was merely a coincidence. If you step back, you will note that the programs will continue and the intelligence community will retain its authority with little outside independent limits. The speech had the feel of a car salesman coming back from “speaking with the manager” and saying that he is able to offer a deal that no one likes but he wants to offer because he likes the customer. Of course, this “deal” does not require our consent.
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You Can't Opt Out: 10 NSA Myths Debunked

The debate Edward Snowden envisioned when he revealed the extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Americans has taken a bad turn. Instead of a careful examination of what the NSA does, the legality of its actions, what risks it takes for what gains, and how effective the agency has been in its stated mission of protecting Americans, we increasingly have government officials or retired versions of the same demanding -- quite literally -- Snowden’s head and engaging in the usual fear-mongering over 9/11. They have been aided by a chorus of pundits, columnists, and present as well as former officials offering bumper-sticker slogans like "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," all the while claiming our freedom is in direct conflict with our security.

It’s time to face these arguments directly. So here are ten myths about NSA surveillance that need debunking. Let's sort them out.
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Judge Napolitano on NSA Using Radio Waves to Track and Attack Computers

Judge Andrew Napolitano discusses with host Shepard Smith on Fox News the New York Times report that the National Security Agency has surreptitiously installed devices in nearly 100,000 computers so the agency can use radio waves to spy on and alter data in the computers – even if the computers are not connected to the internet. Napolitano, an RPI Advisory Board member, examines the new revelations and Congress’s ongoing failure to end the mass spying.
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‘We Need Iran in Geneva to Stop Spread of Terror Throughout Middle East’

Kerry Iran Talks

Iran could bring to Geneva-2 its good relations with Assad, Iraq and Turkey, which are necessary for a political solution, Hillary Mann Leverett, author and expert on Iran, told RT.

RT: The UN Secretary-General has just reiterated his support for Iran being at Geneva-2. Since it's an UN-sponsored event, is that enough to make that happen or not?

Hillary Mann Leverett: Unfortunately, at this point it’s not. At this point both Russia and the United States have the veto power on who may attend, on which delegations may attend. [Russia is for Iran] but the US is not. At this point the US is blocking Iran’s participation.

RT: Yesterday the US Secretary of State John Kerry as good as invited Iran to take part. Yet back home a few hours later, the State Department laughed off any such invitation. Why the mixed signals, do you think?

HML: I don’t know [if] he messed up. I think what it demonstrates is the real incoherence in strategy and policy coming out of Washington, London and Paris, which seeks to somehow not just have negotiation, but to have essentially a table where Syria just comes to surrender. And that’s not something Syria is going to do, it’s not something Iran is going to support. I don’t think that’s something Russia or the vast majority of the countries around the world would support, but that’s essentially what Washington, London and Paris are trying to do. But it tends to be incoherent because it’s just not possible.
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A Tipping Point For Liberty Against Leviathan

Leviathan

Continuing revelations of the extensive scope of the US government’s mass spying program, piled on top of decades of foreign intervention and liberty suppression at home, can lead Americans to question if they should give up their work for peace and liberty. Nevertheless, there is reason for hope that pursuing this work will yield success.

Speaking with host Neil Cavuto on Fox Business, RPI Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano warns that the US government has established a mass spying program so invasive that "we are close to a generation of Americans who will not even know what privacy means because they will grow up in a society in which everything they do from the moment of their birth -- no matter how intimate or private the moment --will be monitored by the government, and they will accept that."

Napolitano explains that even when the crisis used to justify the government intrusion passes, "the freedom doesn’t come back or, if it does, it doesn’t come back all the way, and then that surrender is used by future generations of government as precedent for asking for more surrender of freedom."
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