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'Hands Off Hong Kong' - the Cry That Seldom Is Heard

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Through the summer the world has watched as protests shook Hong Kong. As early as April they began as peaceful demonstrations which peaked in early June, with hundreds of thousands, in protest of an extradition bill. That bill would have allowed Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, to return criminals to Taiwan, mainland China or Macau for crimes committed there – after approval by multiple layers of the Hong Kong judiciary. In the wake of those enormous nonviolent demonstrations, Carrie Lam, CEO of Hong Kong, “suspended” consideration of the extradition bill, a face-saving ploy. To make sure she was understood, she declared it “dead.” The large rallies, an undeniable expression of the peaceful will of a large segment of the Hong Kong population had won an impressive victory. The unpopular extradition bill was slain.

But that was not the end of the story. A smaller segment continued the protests. (The Hong Kong police at one point estimated 4,000 hard core protesters.) pressed on with other demands, beginning with a demand that the bill be “withdrawn,” not simply “suspended.” To this writer death by “suspension” is every bit as terminal as death by “withdrawal.” As this piece is sent to press, news comes that Corrie Lam has now formally withdrawn the bill.

As the summer passed, two iconic photos presented us with two human faces that captured two crucial features of the ongoing protests; they were not shown widely in the West.
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Bill Dudley’s Noble Lie

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Former Federal Reserve official Bill Dudley’s recent op-ed calling for the Federal Reserve to implement policies that will damage President Trump’s reelection campaign states that such action would be unprecedented. Dudley claims the Federal Reserve bases its policies solely on an objective evaluation of economic conditions. This is an example of a so-called noble lie — a fiction told by elites to the masses supposedly for the people’s own good, but really designed to maintain popular support for policies that benefit the elites. Dudley’s noble lie is designed to bolster a rapidly (and deservedly) eroding trust in the Federal Reserve. The truth is the Federal Reserve has always been influenced by, and has always tried to influence, politics.
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Establishment Right and Left Call for COINTELPRO 2.0

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Both heads of the two-headed establishment political hydra want to resurrect COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal subversion program, in response to speech they oppose and want outlawed. 

In August, The Verge (owned by liberal Vox Media and founded by former CIA asset Markos Moulitsas) and the National Review, the failing neocon journal edited by Rich Lowry, posted articles on how to best undermine the First Amendment right of millions of Americans. 

The Verge cites a recent paper by N. F. Johnson and a collection of academics. Johnson and his fellows compare online “hate and extremist narratives” to a chemistry project. 

“We observe the current hate network rapidly rewiring and self-repairing at the micro level when attacked, in a way that mimics the formation of covalent bonds in chemistry,” they write.
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USS Gerald Ford - A $13 Billion Boondoggle

The US Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, is so over-budget and riddled with errors that it's practically useless. Never is it asked whether we need such a ship for the defense of this country. It is about spending and maintaining steady growth in the defense industry. Our own safety and security are completely irrelevant to the military spending juggernaut. And it's not just this carrier. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Record High Military Suicides Continue - What's The Real Cause?

The Pentagon has unveiled a new plan to combat record high military suicides, including more government bureaucracy and record-collecting. But is the US government missing the real point on military suicides? Are they so determined to treat the symptoms that they are blind to the cause? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Yes, Vaccine Safety IS Too Dangerous for Us to Discuss

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Recently, the news and opinion site HuffPost removed an article that had been up for more than six years. The piece, titled “Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court – Now What?” was published in January of 2013, and dealt with a case in which the US government’s Court of Federal Claims conceded that routine vaccination had aggravated a child’s underlying condition and led to that child developing “features of autism spectrum disorder.”

Now, the following statement appears in place of that article:
A previous blog post published on this site has been removed in the interest of public health. The article expressed the sole opinion of its author, who retains the rights to publish it elsewhere. Multiple studies have demonstrated that vaccines are safe and effective. Our letter from the editor has more on this decision.
This retraction did not occur in a vacuum. The first half of 2019 has seen a coordinated effort to scrub the Internet of any information that is critical of the claim that “vaccines are safe and effective.” The push began last fall, but gained momentum in January when the World Health Organization declared “vaccine hesitancy” to be a “global health threat,” placing it alongside Ebola, cancer, war zones, and drug-resistant pathogens.
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In Search of a Russiagate Scalp: The Entrapment of Maria Butina

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Much has been written about Maria Butina, the Russian “spy” who was accused of seeking to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and other organizations to try to gain a foothold in the Trump campaign and, later, in the White House. Much of it turned out to be nonsense. Butina wasn’t a spy. She wasn’t charged with spying. She wasn’t accused of being a spy. But that’s how the media branded her. The important thing is that there actually were spies around her. And they weren’t who you might have thought.

In the Butina case, the FBI and the Justice Department needed a scalp in the midst of the frenzy about the ultimaely unproven collusion theory of “Russiagate,” and so Butina was charged and convicted of “conspiracy to fail to register as an agent of a foreign government.” Seriously. Let me explain what that means. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was passed into law in 1938. It “requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts, and disbursements in support of those activities.” The law, the registration, and the database are meant to keep track of foreign lobbyists. Nothing more.

In realistic terms it means this: In 2008, I was hired by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce to write a series of op-eds in support of doing business in the city. I wrote four op-eds and they paid me a fee. But I had to go to the Justice Department’s FARA website and register as a “foreign agent,” meaning that I was being paid by a foreign government. No problem. It didn’t mean that I was a “secret agent” for Abu Dhabi. It just meant that I was temporarily in the employ of a foreign government.
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Beware (And Prepare): The American Empire Is Collapsing

When empires fall, they do not go down gracefully. The collapse is sudden and the consequences are permanent. Like the schoolyard bully who is finally defeated, his former victims and enemies revel in his fall. The US empire is now teetering on such a collapse. The signs are all around us. Aggressive US foreign policy, self-destructive monetary policy that debases the currency and hides inflation, a monstrous national and individual debt load. The writing is on the wall and the wise are preparing. What can we do? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Bankrupt and Irrelevant: the Presidential Debates and Four Recent Studies on Pentagon Spending

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In the almost 12 hours of Democratic Party presidential primary debates on June 26-27 and July 30-31, the words “Pentagon budget” or “defense spending” were not uttered, except for a fleeting, unanswered comment from Senator Bernie Sanders. Nor did any of the cable news moderators ask a single question about the more than $1.25 trillion dollars spent in 2019 for national security.

This is sad but unsurprising. Despite the parade of scandals and the billions of dollars wasted on poorly performingschedule bustingcost exploding weapons systems, the dismal failure of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) audit, the grossly overpriced spare parts, the ethically challenged senior leaders and the widely reported collapse in training and readiness, the issue of Pentagon spending and a decaying defense has been steadfastly shunned by both the candidates and the debate moderators.

Many people are quite happy about that. They wear star decorated uniforms in headquarters around the globe and expensive suits in corporate board rooms, congressional hangouts on Capitol Hill and wood-paneled offices on the E-ring of the Pentagon. The brass and the suits are well aware that candidate interest in their stewardship could get more than a little embarrassing.
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