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A new book says looting’s fine as it’s fun and people get free stuff. It costs $27.57, but perhaps you can steal it instead

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In Defense of Looting is one of the most ridiculous books ever committed to print and would be laughable if the paper-thin philosophy behind it weren’t perniciously making its way into public life.

For most of human history, we have agreed that nicking other people’s stuff is bad. The Bible includes “thou shalt not steal” in the Ten Commandments alongside murder, blasphemy and adultery as things you shouldn’t be getting up to. Sharia law takes such a dim view of larceny that in its strictest interpretation lopping off thieves’ hands is de rigueur. 

Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also denounce pinching that which is not yours. It is illegal in some shape or form in every country on Earth. I’d wager even John Lennon, despite his crooning to “imagine no possessions,” would’ve been a bit ticked off if you made off with one of his guitars. 

And yet, worse than simple bog-standard thievery, in most people’s eyes, is looting, the crime of stealing things during or after a riot or a disaster of some description. It is such a craven act that must, by definition, be profiteering off a bout of unrest or tragedy, further compounding the suffering of those affected. Any civilised person must surely conclude that looting is abhorrent, immoral and indicative of a societal decay that needs to be urgently addressed when it happens.
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Why The 'Covid Lockdowners' Are Gunning For Dr. Atlas

The gloves are off and the fight is dirty! Those who have invested themselves in the idea that locking people down, destroying economies, and obliterating civil liberties in the name of fighting a virus are furious that President Trump has begun listening to a medical professional and policy expert who has a very different view. Dr. Scott Atlas has several times mentioned the successful approach of Sweden, which did better than many European countries without locking down and without destroying its economy. The US lockdowners want Dr. Atlas gone and they are not bashful about lying through their teeth. Also today, Governor Cuomo threatens Trump; political pressure for a November Covid vaccine; are people who refuse facemasks "sociopaths"? Watch today's Liberty Report. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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The CDC Is America's New Landlord

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This is astonishing, even by 2020 standards.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operating under the US Department of Health and Human Services, has asserted jurisdiction over private residential leases nationwide. It intends to curtail evictions until at least the end of the year, and in fact its new directive threatens federal criminal penalties against landlords who ignore tenant "declarations" made using CDC forms.

It is unclear, to put it mildly, exactly how this jurisdiction over private contracts and state/local courts flows even to Congress, much less an administrative agency acting on its own. One federal official justifies the bizarre and legally dubious action based on the CDC's broad charter to stop the spread of communicable diseases—a charter at which they've failed miserably with covid:
Congress has delegated broad authority to HHS, the Surgeon General and CDC, to take reasonable efforts to combat the spread of communicable diseases, and frankly I think it makes sense for those authorities abroad because we don't know for any given situation or scenario what steps will be needed to stop the spread. I think, in this particular order, the CDC has made a very compelling case that it is quite problematic at this particular time. It's focused on this particular pandemic, which is obviously the uniquely powerful grasp in the nation's entire history in terms of the effect it's had that for a bunch of reasons in particular, that the home has been sort of the focal point of people social distancing and building, sort of a safe space themselves over the past few months, and also the fact that if people get kicked out, they may end up in overcrowded congregated living facilities or homeless shelters, and that is a potential recipe for a big spread of COVID-19.
Thanks to the oft-criticized but in fact essential Zero Hedge for the nice bit of early and original reporting here—a full day before NPR, Bloomberg, et al.—and for details from a phone conference with CDC officials.
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Pelosi-Gate: House Speaker's Hair-Raising Hypocrisy

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was busted yesterday, sneaking in to a beauty salon in San Francisco for a shampoo. Salons in California had been closed for months to "fight Covid" but the Speaker obviously believes that some people are more equal than others. Also today, Australia descends into a dark and frightful dictatorship, as citizens are arrested for merely posting on Facebook that they oppose the lockdowns. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Anatomy of Coup Attempt in Belarus

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The Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed in a TV interview on August 27 that the Americans, amongst others, had fuelled the unrest in Belarus. He explained that the controversial presence of 33 Russian nationals (with military background) in Minsk in the run-up to the presidential election in Belarus on August 8, which briefly created misunderstanding between Minsk and with Moscow, was itself was a joint operation by Ukrainian and US intelligence agencies. 

The Russian nationals were apparently given job offers and were “simply lured there (Minsk), dragged across the border … de facto they were brought in on fake documents.” Evidently, Russia is in possession of hard intelligence. 

Putin spoke up even as US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun wrapped up talks with top Russian officials in Moscow Wednesday. According to a VOA report, Biegun’s consultations “marked an intensifying US effort to find a peaceful solution in Belarus.” The report took note that en route to Moscow, Biegun had “signalled that Washington was not eager to accept efforts by [Belarus President Alexander] Lukashenko to cast the election standoff as an East versus West showdown that might trigger direct Russian involvement.” 

Simply put, Biegun was on a “damage control” mission. This can be taken as admission of defeat in the US-backed regime change project in Belarus. Conceivably, Russian officials shared with Biegun their intelligence regarding the CIA involvement. Later, crisply anodyne identical readouts were released by the Russian and American sides without divulging any details.
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Cities Are Burning...Mayors Blame Trump!

From Chicago to Portland to Kenosha, US cities are in flames. Looting and wanton destruction continues without interruption. Police are given orders to stand back and allow thugs to beat, loot, murder, and burn with impunity. And, as we saw with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, those in charge of these burning cities all cry out together, "it's all Trump's fault!" Is it? Also in today's episode, WHO's communist leader screams that we need more Covid lockdowns even as the truth about the inflated numbers comes out. Dr. Scott Atlas making waves discussing the benefits of hydroxychloroquine. And the New York Times reports that Covid tests are worse than useless. All in today's Liberty Report...
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US Foreign Policy Elite Wants Biden & Detests Trump Because President Failed to Launch New NATO Missions to Justify its Existence

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One reason for the extraordinary hostility of the foreign policy insiders’ brigade toward President Trump is that he has not wasted his time conjuring up new missions to justify NATO’s continued existence.

Instead, he has promised to withdraw 12,000 US troops from Germany and, to add insult to injury, he has demanded that NATO member states increase their financial contributions toward the upkeep of the military alliance ostensibly there to “protect” them. 

This is sacrilege to a foreign policy elite that have spent the last 70 years worshipping at the altar of NATO. 

“US troops aren’t stationed around the world as traffic cops or welfare caseworkers—they’re restraining the expansionary aims of the world's worst regimes, chiefly China and Russia,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., fumed. 

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed alarm about the “continued erosion of confidence in our leadership within NATO, and more efforts that call into question our commitment, and more signals to the authoritarians within NATO and Russia itself that this whole institution is vulnerable.” 

Trump, according to Nicholas Burns, former US ambassador to NATO and current adviser to Joe Biden, has cast America’s military allies primarily as a drain on the US Treasury, and he has aggressively criticized Washington’s true friends in Europe—democratic leaders such as France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel—even as he treats Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, and other ‘authoritarians’ around the world with unusual tact.
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How 'Silence is Violence' Can Became Compelled Speech

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Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the rising concern over compelled speech on our campuses and our streets.

Here is the column:

“Silence is violence” has everything that you want in a slogan: Alliteration. Brevity. Simplicity. It also can be chilling for some in the academic and free-speech communities.

On one level, it conveys a powerful message that people of good faith should not remain silent about great injustices. However, it can have a more menacing meaning to “prove the negative” – demanding that people prove they are not racist.

In a prior column, I warned of the thin line between speech codes and speech commands, as people move from compelling silence to compelling speech: “Once all the offending statues are down, and all the offending professors are culled, the appetite for collective suppression will become a demand for collective expression.”

The line between punishing speech and compelling speech is easily crossed when free speech itself is viewed as a threat. It is not just the many cases of journalists, academics and others fired for expressing dissenting views. Even expressing support in the wrong way can be a terminal offense, like declaring “all lives matter” rather than “Black Lives Matter,” as in the firing of University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing Leslie Neal-Boylan or Vermont principal Tiffany Riley. While most of us support Black Lives Matter, it has become an official position of many schools — and variations are not tolerated. The concern is not only the establishment of orthodox values but the forced recitation of those values.
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CDC Bombshell: Only Six Percent Of 'Covid Deaths' From Only Covid!

Over the weekend the Centers for Disease Control dropped a bombshell report on coronavirus/Covid deaths: of the approximately 165,000 "Covid deaths" less than ten thousand died from Covid. The rest - a vast majority - had on average 2.6 serious additional diseases, with the addition in most cases of extreme advanced age. Is it time to begin litigating the damage done to the US and the world from the lockdown policies? Also today: the "largest protest in German history" over the weekend, as estimated millions turned out to oppose mandatory masks and lockdowns. Similar protests took place in London and in Spain. In the US...mostly silence. Today on the Liberty Report...
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