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Delusional State Dept: 'We Brought Peace to Syria in 2015'

This gem from over the holidays may have passed under your radar screens. In the final State Department press conference for 2015, spokesperson John Kirby outlined the Department's "pivotal foreign policy moments of 2015." To be fair, some achievements warranted a mention by Foggy Bottom: re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and finalizing the Iran deal are two bright spots in the otherwise foul witches brew called "US foreign policy 2015."

However in amongst taking credit for eliminating ebola and saving the Arctic from global warming, Spokesman Kirby let loose with this zinger -- an "achievement" called, "Bringing Peace, Security to Syria."
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Killer Cops: Dialing 911 May Be Hazardous to Your Health

If you call the cops on someone whose behavior is worrying you, just know that your call may lead to the cops killing or seriously injuring that person.

Sitharath Sam learned this lesson Sunday after she called the police on her boyfriend of ten years. Sam is reported at KNXV-TV to have called the cops when her boyfriend Sean Mould, who had been heavily drinking, refused to leave her home. Sam also says Mould neither physically abused her nor threatened her. Tempe, Arizona police arrived at her home and shot Mould, who they say walked toward a cop while holding a pocket knife. Summing up the lesson from the tragic turn of events, Sam states, “I made that one mistake of calling for help; and now he’s dead, and I have to live with it.”
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Ron Paul Rewind: Real ID is National ID

Pursuant to the 2005 Real ID Act, the United States government is on schedule to prohibit many Americans from domestic flights unless they present US passports or other approved US government IDs in 2016. Expect the sweep of the prohibition to be vast given the US Department of Homeland Security represents that 28 states and all US territories produce IDs noncompliant with Real ID. In a US House of Representatives floor debate on the Real ID Act, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warned that voting for the bill is voting for a national ID card. “If a state opts out, nobody is going to accept their driver’s license,” said Paul.
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Is There a War on Police or a War on Us?

There has been much talk about a “war on police” in 2015. The story goes that police in America are in great danger from a rise in violent attacks against them. It is suggested that the attacks are stirred up by criticisms and protests of police misconduct.

As the end of the year approaches, however, we find that the war on police is a myth, with deaths of police at near the record low. Instead, the war in America seems to be a war by — rather than on — police, with police killing about three people a day this year.
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US Now World’s Top Arms Dealer

In most people’s minds, America’s biggest exports are things like iPhones made in China, or swank Levi’s made in China. But in fact, America is the world’s leading seller of one category of goods, and those goods are nearly 100% made in America: weapons.

Maybe not a huge surprise, given that America maintains the globe’s largest military itself, has the largest network of bases and installations around the world, and makes war, well, pretty much anywhere/everywhere it godd*amn feels like it. But check out some impressive numbers: foreign arms sales by the United States jumped by almost $10 billion in 2014, about 35 percent growth, even as the global weapons market remained flat and competition among suppliers increased. How’d where you work do this year? Did you realize 35 percent growth? Sounds like you’re in the wrong business, Skippy.
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Federal Court Strikes Down Federal Provision Used To Bar Trademark Protection For Redskins and Other Controversial Names

I have previously written about my disagreement with the US Patent and Trademark Office decision to rescind federal trademark protections for the Redskins as a racially disparaging name as well as the underlying law used to strip the team of its trademark protection. The law allows for a small administrative office to effectively dictate the outcome of a long simmering societal debate over the team name. More importantly, the standard for determining what names or words are disparaging remains dangerously undefined with striking contradictions as we have previously discussed in permitted and disallowed trademarks. 

One of the cases that I have discussed involves an Asian-American rock band called The Slants, which was also barred by the office. Now the band has won a major victory not just for itself but also the first amendment in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC The Court struck down the part of the law allowing the denial of the registration of offensive trademarks. The case, which is likely to appealed to the Supreme Court, will have a major impact on the Redskins controversy.
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Will Marijuana Be Rescheduled in 2016?

In January, President Barack Obama stated that rescheduling marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule 1 is “a job for Congress.” At the time, prominent advocates of liberalization of United States marijuana laws countered that the executive branch has the authority to unilaterally move marijuana to a lower schedule. A letter sent Monday by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with seven cosigning senators, to the heads of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suggests that the Obama administration may have since decided to move forward with unilateral executive branch rescheduling of the plant during Obama’s final year in office. 
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White House Schizophrenia - Kerry: 'Assad Can Stay'; Obama: 'Assad Must Go'

Just three days ago, emerging from Moscow meetings with Russian foreign minister Lavrov and president Putin, US Secretary of State John Kerry signaled a major shift in US foreign policy toward Syria. "The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change," he told the media. The media rightly reported the apparent US about-face as, "Assad can stay."

The shift was seen as paving the way for the adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution calling for a ceasefire and political solution to the nearly five-year old brutal war in Syria. This would not have passed the Security Council, where Russia is a permanent member, if the official US position was still that "Assad must go."
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Obama Wants to Take Away Santa’s Guns

Lauren Davis of WVLT-TV reported on Thursday about the predicament of Patrick Hackett, a Knoxville, Tennessee veterinarian who found out in 2004 that he is on the United States government’s No Fly List. Hackett has a long white beard and dresses up as Santa Claus for photos with people and their pets. He also enjoys dressing up in western clothing while carrying guns, a hobby President Barack Obama is threatening to end with a proposal to bar gun ownership by people on the No Fly List.
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Ron Paul: Save Trillions of Dollars and Millions of Lives by Replacing Militarism with Defense

In a new interview with host Deirdre Bolton at Fox Business, Ron Paul explains that most United States Department of Defense spending is on militarism rather than defense. This spending on militarism, Paul continues, is “a negative,” wasting trillions of dollars on counterproductive foreign interventions that produce millions of deaths overseas while reducing Americans’ safety.

Paul, the chairman and founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, points out the money thrown into militarism harms the economy and contributes to the “dwindling” of the middle class in America. Spending on defense of our own country instead of on imposing the will of the US government on people overseas, Paul explains, is much cheaper in terms of both money spent and lives lost.
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