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Michael-BrownYou know the fix is in when a suspect who shot an unarmed man voluntarily provides four hours of un-cross examined testimony to a grand jury without taking the Fifth.

 

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If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality. We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities – particularly in communities of color.
– Thomas Nolan, criminology professor and former police officer

Should police officer Darren Wilson be held accountable for the shooting death of unarmed citizen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014?

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Ferguson matters because it provides us with a foretaste of what is to come. It is the shot across the bow, so to speak, a warning that this is how we will all be treated if we do not tread cautiously in challenging the police state, and it won’t matter whether we’re black or white, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat. In the eyes of the corporate state, we are all the enemy.

This is the lesson of Ferguson. Read More

 A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article 2

In the wake of the recent shootings in Connecticut, the public’s attention is drawn once again to the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And as always, the response of tyrannical governments to such crimes is to further restrict law-abiding citizens from owning and carrying firearms. Surely everyone can understand that the existence of laws prohibiting criminal behavior is an effective means of preventing such behavior. One need only look at the statistics on murder, for example, to see how well that theory works. Indeed, that theory doesn’t even hold true for Congress itself, since the 2nd Amendment — the supreme law of the land — makes it illegal to infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and yet, even as you read this, Congress is busy trying to enact all sorts of infringements on that sacred right.

The Declaration of Independence recognizes that our lives are a gift to each of us from God, our Creator. Every person thus having an inalienable right to his or her own life, it naturally follows that no other person can have a right to take it from us. Therefore, in order to preserve and secure our lives, the right to prevent such a taking is an inherent component of our right to life. And so, we come to the first reason why our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed: because every infringement of that right, by hindering us in defending our lives, is equally an infringement of our right to life.

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ISIS-McCainDid Senator John McCain, a leading advocate of arming Syria’s Islamist revolutionaries, meet with members or allies of the Islamic State in al-Sham [the Levant] (ISIS) during his trip to Syria on May 27 of last year?

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The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes...Crude, primitive rejection of everything Islamist has many unfortunate effects. Helping ISIS is one of the effects we ought to worry about at the moment. 

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stockman-headshotby  September 12, 2014

... let ISIS try to govern 8 million people in the dusty villages and impoverished desert expanse of the Euphrates Valley by means of the sword and medieval precepts of Sharia law. The resulting "blowback" from the bestirred people of the ISIS occupied lands will do more for the safety and security of the American people than all the drones and bombers that Washington could send to forge puppet nations within the Syrian and Iraqi "borders" that have already been deposited in the dustbin of history.

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wolfsangel-ukraineThe mainstream U.S. media is hazing German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama for sidestepping the “I-word” – invasion – in reference to Russia and Ukraine. But the MSM goes mute on Ukraine’s “N-word” for “Nazi” so as not to disrupt the pro-Kiev “group think."

 

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The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

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By Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

On August 1, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story by NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston touting explosive claims from what she called “a tech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” That firm, Recorded Future, worked together with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new report that purported to vindicate therepeated accusation from U.S. officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.”

The “big data firm,” reported NPR, says that it now “has tangible evidence” proving the government’s accusations. Temple-Raston’s four-minute, 12-second story devoted the first 3 minutes and 20 seconds to uncritically repeating the report’s key conclusion that ”just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaeda dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online” and, post-Snowden, “al-Qaeda didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it.” The only skepticism in the NPR report was relegated to 44 seconds at the end when she quoted security expert Bruce Schneier, who questioned the causal relationship between the Snowden disclosures and the new terrorist encryption programs, as well as the efficacy of the new encryption.

With this report, Temple-Raston seriously misled NPR’s millions of listeners. 

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Mediagate? As if we needed another lesson in why we need an independent media...and be sure to follow the link for careers in the first paragraph below for how fair and balanced goes in the drive by media.

by , August 23, 2014

 
Since Hamas fired its first projectile from Gaza into Israel in 2001, the US establishment media have strictly followed several rules of reporting on the “rockets.” These rules are unwritten. The scriveners and TV news broadcasters may not even think of them as rules. Nevertheless, American mass media reporting on Gaza rockets consistently and predictably follows one absolute, overarching, principle: Israel is always the victim. The rules implement this First Principle. Short are the careers of those who transgress them.

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The Missouri police shooting death of Michael Brown has spotlighted police brutality toward blacks but many other Americans, including whites, are finding themselves the targets of harsher and harsher police tactics, notes Nat Parry. 

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… about Iraq and the War Powers Act         by , August 22, 2014

I live in the little town of Sebastopol, in northern California’s Sonoma county: think of Berkeley, only with horses. It’s the kind of town where a sign, posted near an impressive grid of solar energy screens, greets you as you enter the city limits, declaring Sebastopol a "nuclear-free zone" – and where, as you might imagine, the Iraq war wasn’t exactly all that popular. My congressman is one Jared Huffman – a liberal Democrat, naturally: Republicans don’t stand a chance in these parts – and so when I heard President Obama was sending yet more troops to Iraq, as well as ordering air strikes, I called Huffman’s Washington office, convinced my concerns would be getting a sympathetic hearing – a notion of which I was soon disabused.
 

USS Liberty-300x231Silver Star winner Terry Halbardier, the hero who got off the SOS that saved the USS Liberty from Israeli destruction in 1967, died last week in California, prompting ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern to recall the murderous attack and the cowardly cover-up that followed.

 

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 by Mike Nixson

I am watching the remake of the series Cosmos. Carl Sagan, the host of the original series is a hard act to follow. He had the science down right but there was a real passion in his serach for not only facts but the truth and the process for getting there.  Neil deGrasse Tyson does a good job in the new series although he won't be imitated as effectively.  For a lot of believers it brings up a lot of disturbing and challenging issues, not the least of which is how to reconcile the interpretations of a book written by errant men with an observable universe created by an inerrant God. Many opt to accept interpretations that contradict the empirical evidence of God's handiwork. I think there is a name for that.

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There is a proper way to educate and there is a proper way to govern, and they are both known. Today we do these things in a different way, which presents a serious and perhaps fatal problem for our country. But repair is possible.

Take education first. The word "education" comes from a Latin word meaning "to lead forth." And if you think about it, "forth" is a value-laden term. Which way is forth? The Bible tells us to "raise up a child in the way he should go." But which way should he go? How does one come to know the answer to that? After almost 14 years as a college president I'm an expert on young people between 18 and 22, and I can tell you that if you ask a young person today which way is the right way to go, more often than not he or she will answer: "It depends on which way you want to go." Young people today give that answer because they've been taught to give that answer. But it's the wrong answer, and the activity of getting from there to the right answer—the activity of coming to know which way is the right way—is education. Thus "to lead forth."

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by Sheldon Richman

The conflict in Ukraine has prompted several level-headed commentators to point out that, of all governments, the U.S. government is in no position to lecture Russia about respecting other nations’ borders. When Secretary of State John Kerry said on Meet the Press, “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext.… You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” one of those commentators, Ivan Eland, responded, Read more on fff.org

 

Panhandle jury declares suspended Fla. sheriff not guilty of misconduct charges

BRISTOL, Florida — A Panhandle jury took roughly an hour on Thursday to declare suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch not guilty of misconduct stemming from his decision to intervene in a gun arrest. Read more here.

 

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