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A Retirement Community for Drug-sniffing Dogs

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Legalizing marijuana in Illinois would likely cause some drug-sniffing dogs in the state to be killed. That is the claim asserted by Chad Larner, the training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County, Illinois in an in-depth Pantagraph article this week by Ryan Voyles. In Voyles’ article, counterarguments are presented that there will be alternatives to euthanizing such dogs, including involving the dogs continuing to live with their handlers or going through new training. But, assuming such options do not work out for some of the dogs, here is another option that is much better than keeping marijuana legal so some dogs can be saved — send the drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community for dogs.

Sending drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community will carry expenses. But, so does the war on marijuana. War on marijuana expenses include the costs of paying police and using police resources — including drug-sniffing dogs — to track down and arrest people for alleged marijuana law violations. Once individuals are arrested, the costs continue to mount with jailing and prosecution expenses. When arrested individuals are found guilty, the costs continue for incarceration or alternative punishments imposed.

The costs are not just on the government’s side. Arrested individuals rack up costs including payments to lawyers, missed work, and even loss of their jobs and homes in the process of asserting their innocence or trying to work out a plea deal. They also suffer with the psychological and physical hardships that come along with being arrested and detained, as well as having the threat of future punishment hanging over them, or the actuality of imposed punishment. Their friends and families tend to suffer as well.
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Trump’s Pyrrhic Victory: the US Opts for a Path That Can Only Lead to War

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Nearly everyone loses by President Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) relating to Iran’s nuclear energy program and to reinstate the “highest level” of sanctions while also threatening secondary sanctions on any country that “helps” the Iranians. The whole world loses because nuclear proliferation is a disaster waiting to happen and Iran will now have a strong incentive to proceed with a weapons program to defend itself from Israel and the United States. If Iran does so, it will trigger a regional nuclear arms race with Saudi Arabia and Egypt undoubtedly seeking weapons of their own.
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Washington Secrecy is Creating a Know-Nothing Democracy

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Washington may be more secretive nowadays than at any time in recent decades. Federal policymakers have become accustomed to rationing what they release while citizens are assured that official secrecy makes them more secure. But American democracy cannot survive perpetual bipartisan coverups from the political ruling class.

recent analysis by Reporters Without Borders ranked the United States as 45th in the world in press freedom — worse than Romania and barely better than Botswana. Unfortunately, this dismal grade is not due to Trump’s endless denunciations of the media. The sharpest plunge in America’s press freedom rating occurred during the Obama administration — thanks in part to its zealous prosecutions of journalists. But Trump is continuing policies started by earlier presidents that mock freedom of the press and Americans’ right to know about federal activities.

Secrecy may cast the most important confirmation vote for Trump’s nominee to be CIA chief, Gina Haspel. The CIA withheld from the US Senate much of the information on Haspel’s 33 year career with the agency. The CIA did disclose that Haspel met with Mother Teresa, presumably exonerating Haspel of subsequent sins for her role in Bush-era torture. Even though Haspel wrote the cable ordering the destruction of dozens of videotapes of waterboarding and similar brutalities, the Trump administration apparently expects senators to presume that Haspel would deal straight with Congress and the American people. However, Haspel's evasive testimony Wednesday morning failed to answer key questions about her role in the most controversial aspect of the war on terror.
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Trump Kills Iran Deal - Who Wins? Who Loses?

President Trump's statement upon ending US participation in the Iran nuclear agreement was filled with so many objectively false statements that it almost seems the neocons who crafted it were trying to make a fool out of him. The assertion that Iran is allied with al-Qaeda is so brazenly false that it rivals the tallest of the tall tales served up to lie Americans into supporting the disastrous Iraq war. So now with the US out of the deal...what comes next? What will the Europeans do? How will Americans react to the loss of 100,000 Boeing jobs due to cancellation of a passenger airline contract with Iran? We look at some of the implications of the move in today's Liberty Report...
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The Donald's Done -- The Deep State Wins Its War On America First

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The Donald's action to ash-can the Iranian nuclear deal marks the War Party's complete and baleful triumph. There is now nothing much left of America First. Trump's reckless, unwarranted and utterly irrational action will pull Washington ever deeper into an incendiary middle eastern vortex of political and religious conflict that has absolutely nothing to do with the safety and security of the America people.
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Iran Deal Stunt Slams US Reputation: Questions Korean Talks – Analyst

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US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal weakens the reputation of the United States, and reduces trust in the upcoming negotiations with North Korea, US Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Executive Director Daniel McAdams told Sputnik on Tuesday.


"The real immediate question is what will be Iran's reaction and how will the Europeans, particularly the UK, France, and Germany, respond. The other question is whether Israel and Saudi Arabia will take Trump's action as a green-light to use military force against Iran — or launch a false flag that would draw the United States into a war," McAdams said.

He noted that other important consequence of the withdrawal is a "severe diminishment" of the US reputation as a country that holds to its promises and agreements.

McAdams went on to say that US pulling out of the JCPOA is "another in a series of US betrayals going back to Gaddafi, Saddam, Noriega, and so on."

"The US has closed all doors to communications with Iran with Trump's move. This leaves war as the only door left open," he stated. "It was a foolish and unnecessary move that will thrill the neocons he has surrounded himself with, while making the rest of us, Americans far less safe."
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The Conservative Case Against Gina Haspel

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The White House is insisting that Gina Haspel move forward in nomination as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, despite her own concerns that the Senate hearings—expected to begin Wednesday—could turn brutal over her history in the CIA’s torture program. The Trump administration would be smart to heed her concerns.

Predictably, progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Bernie Sanders have come out strongly against her. Libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul said not only that he’ll vote against Haspel, but that he’ll filibuster her nomination. Paul does that kind of thing to nominees who have a background in the CIA’s torture program—he also filibustered, albeit unsuccessfully, John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director when President Obama made that appointment in 2013.

But in addition to progressive and libertarian concerns, there is also a conservative case to be made against Haspel—and certainly a Christian case against her.

Almost none of my progressive friends know that I’m a former adjunct professor of intelligence studies at Liberty University, the right-wing evangelical university founded by the late Jerry Falwell. Liberty prides itself on its record of turning out conservatives and evangelicals and preparing them for a lifetime of activism. While there, I was assigned to the Helms School of Government, named after the late Republican senator Jesse Helms, one of the most deeply conservative members that body has ever seen. I genuinely liked and respected every professor and administrator I encountered at the Helms School, and I consider many of them to be my friends.
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Congress To Green-Light Perpetual Global War?

A bipartisan Authorization for the Use of Military Force introduced by Sens. Corker (R-TN) and Kaine (D-VA) is being celebrated as evidence that Congress has finally woken up from its slumber and is asserting its Constitutional obligations on matters of war and peace. Nothing could be further from the truth! This "reform" legislation only legalizes the currently unsustainable status quo, where the president can go to war anywhere and everywhere, against anyone he chooses, with no further Congressional approval needed. This bill makes matters far worse, in that Congress will not be able to easily stop the president's new wars: under this new bill it will take a 2/3 vote to disapprove of any new presidential war! And still worse, it will allow the president to "declare war" on an individual person -- even an American citizen! That means if the president determines an American who opposes US foreign policy in the Middle East (or any other peaceful citizen) is an "associated force" -- a term not at all defined --  that citizen can be killed or indefinitely detained on a whim. We break down this horrific new bill -- fast-tracked to pass -- in today's Liberty Report...
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Iran Crisis: Will Trump Waiver On The Waiver...Or 'Hang Tough'?

This week President Trump will have to decide whether he will sign another waiver to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal, or whether he will de facto pull the US out of the deal (which would likely result in the collapse of the deal and possibly war). The closest US allies are begging Trump to remain in the deal, and even some US hawks like Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry think we should stay in. But the neocons want us out. What will he do? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The NSA Continues to Abuse Americans by Intercepting Their Telephone Calls

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One of the few positive things in the ill-named USA FREEDOM Act, enacted in 2015 after the Snowden revelations on NSA domestic spying, is that it required the Director of National Intelligence to regularly report on its domestic surveillance activities. On Friday, the latest report was released on just how much our own government is spying on us. The news is not good at all if you value freedom over tyranny.
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