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Niya Kenny is a Brave Young Lady

Sometimes parents exaggerate in praising their children. But the mother of Niya Kenny, an 18-year-old student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, is spot-on when she describes as brave Kenny’s actions in response to school cop Ben Fields on Monday roughing up and arresting a fellow student. "My child, and I'm not mad at her, she was brave enough to speak out against what was going on and didn't back down and it resulted in her being arrested," says Kenny’s mother.

In militarized American schools, small discipline matters can quickly result in school-based or called-in cops roughing up and arresting students. Such was the case in Kenny’s math class this week when Fields responded to a complaint of a student’s failure to either participate or leave the class by yanking the student out of her seat and attached desk, hurling her across the classroom floor, and arresting her.
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Breaking: Sec Def Tells Congress US to Begin 'Direct Action on the Ground' in Syria and Iraq

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that United States military forces would soon begin "direct action on the ground" in Iraq and Syria, promising more missions like the recent operation to free hostages in Iraq that cost the life of US special forces member Sgt. Joshua Wheeler last week.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” he added.

This signals the beginning of both Iraq War 3.0 and Syria War 1.5. It is unclear whether Iraq would welcome more US troops on the ground, but it is certain that US military operations on Syrian territory are a violation of Syrian sovereignty and therefore illegal under international law.
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Washington: Assad Still Must Go

At the State Department's daily briefing today, Spokesman John Kirby conceded that the Syrian government led by President Assad may have a role to play in a "political transition" of the country. 

The apparent shift was in response to a reporter who pointed out that Assad is not opposed by the entire population of Syria:
...the Assad regime definitely represents a certain constituency in Syria. The minorities, Christians, even a portion of the Sunnis look at the Syrian regime as their representative, in particular at Bashar al-Assad. Why should Bashar al-Assad be complex nixed out of the process, considering that he controls the larger portion on the ground, proudly asserting themselves as the major power in that conflict on the ground? Why should Assad be nixed out of the process?
State Spokesman Kirby replied:
Nobody said that there wouldn’t be a role for Assad or for the institution of his – institutions of his government in the transition.
It appears to be a slight step back from the previous position that no talks could be held on Syria's future until Assad is out of power. In fact, however, this "shift" is more cosmetic than substantive, as Kirby reiterated that, "nothing’s changed about our position on Bashar al-Assad."
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The Benghazi Tragedy Is A Result of Bad Ideology

The tragedy of Benghazi can be attributed to stupidity and bad ideology. The much talked about Hillary Clinton testimony does not challenge the ideology of interventionism. The hearing is merely a challenging of the management of interventionism. So both sides agree on intervening in foreign countries, they merely disagree on how it is to be managed.

I believe that the argument must be ideological and the notion of interventionism itself must be challenged. The problem of Benghazi is not one of management. Both sides endorsed and supported the intervention in Libya. Since that time, there has been an expansion into Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
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Why Is The US Silently Bombing Syria's Electricity Network?

The Aleppo power plant is a 1,000 megawatt thermal plant in five units build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1995-1998. It is situated some 25 kilometers east of Aleppo city center.  During the fighting around Aleppo various electricity distribution stations were damaged and electricity in parts of the city has become scarce and unpredictable. But the main power station had so far not been hit.

The plant is in the hands of the Islamic State but there is an informal agreement between the government, which controls the distribution network, and those who hold the power generating station:

[T]he agreement of understanding pertains to the division of the electricity supply between the parties, whereby ISIS will receive 60 percent of the quota and the Syrian regime will receive 40 percent.
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New Report: US Aid to Afghanistan Basically Wasted or Stolen

As Obama fails on another campaign promise, this one to end the war in Afghanistan, and as that war moves into its 15th year, it is important to remember the US has spent around $110 billion (no one knows the exact amount due to poor record keeping) to “rebuild” that beleaguered nation, so far. 

We say “so far” in that the spending continues, and like the end of the war itself, as no foreseeable end date.

So how is that rebuilding thingee going?

Not well, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which issued a report saying “The Afghan private sector has thus far failed to fulfill its potential as an engine of economic growth or an instrument of social inclusion.”
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The Danger Of America's Assassination Program

On today's Liberty Report, we covered the US government's assassination program. You'll surely recall when President Obama issued an executive order that said the President has the authority to assassinate even American citizens at his own discretion.

Well, a very important report was issued by The Intercept that gave us a view at how horrendous the US drone program is in practice. The report was from a whistleblower who showed that during a five month period of drone strikes in Afghanistan, 90 percent of the people killed were not the intended targets.

This is very dangerous territory. The immorality should be extremely obvious. But there are also the unintended consequences and blowback that end up flying back like boomerangs.
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Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)

You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.

Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.
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Into Africa: Obama's Newest War

What to do when an intervention has completely imploded, contributing to 200,000 deaths, destroying a country, and pushing the US closer to a nuclear conflict with Russia than at any time in the past 40 years? 

Well if you are President Obama you press forward with yet another US military intervention!

And of course you ignore the Constitution in the process.

President Obama announced yesterday that he would be sending some 300 US troops to the African country of Cameroon to help battle Boko Haram, a fundamentalist Sunni sect influenced by Wahhabism -- Saudi Arabia's second most famous export. Earlier this year, the leader of Boko Haram allegedly pledged his group's allegiance to ISIS.
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