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Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police State

In the American police state, the price to be paid for speaking truth to power (also increasingly viewed as an act of treason) is surveillance, censorship, jail and ultimately death.

However, where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

In fact, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, all you really need to do is use certain trigger words, surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, drive a car, stay at a hotel, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, question government authority, or generally live in the United States.

With the help of automated eyes and ears, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potential enemies of the state.

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Living in the shadow of ISIS oil trade

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Obama Requests EU Support for Possible War Against Russia

According to Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Economic News), on April 23rd, U.S. President Barack Obama is “demanding the active deployment of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s armed forces, including their Army, Navy, and Air Force] to NATO’s eastern borders” at Poland and the Baltic republics, to join the quadrupling of America’s forces there, on and near those borders of Russia. (This is an extreme violation of what Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to when he ended the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirror organization the Warsaw Pact, but it’s actually culminating a process that began shortly after he agreed to America’s terms, which included that NATO “not move one inch to the east.”)

Furthermore, DWN reports that on April 25th, the U.S. President will hold a “summit meeting” in Hannover Germany with the leaders of Germany (Angela Merkel), Italy (Matteo Renzi), France (Francois Hollande), and Britain (David Cameron). The presumed objective of this meeting is to establish in NATO’s countries bordering on Russia, a military force of all five countries that are headed by these leaders, a force threatening Russia with an invasion, if NATO subsequently decides that the ‘threat from Russia’ be ‘responded to’ militarily.

NATO’s surrounding Russia with hostile forces is supposedly defensive against Russia — not an offensive operation. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, America’s President JFK didn’t consider Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev’s plan to base nuclear missiles in Cuba to be ‘defensive’ on the USSR’s part — and neither does Russia’s President Vladimir Putin consider America’s far bigger operation, of surrounding Russia with such weapons, to be ‘defensive’ and not offensive. The U.S. Government, and NATO, act as if Russia is surrounding them, instead of them surrounding Russia — and their ‘news’ media transmit this lie as if it should be taken seriously, not as its being a lie; but, in actual fact, NATO has already expanded right up to Russia’s western borders.

Obama is thus now adding to the economic sanctions against Russia that he had imposed allegedly because of Russia’s alleged ‘seizure’ of Crimea from Ukraine after Obama’s coup overthrew Russia’s ally Viktor Yanukovych who led Ukraine until the coup in February 2014.

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Earth Day: The Greatest Sham on Earth

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Brexit To Frexit? Front National Leader Marine Le Pen Could Back ‘Leave’ Camp On UK Visit

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s hard-right Front National party, is considering coming to the UK to campaign for a British exit from the European Union.

Le Pen’s office told the Guardian on Wednesday that a visit ahead of the June 23 vote was “under consideration.”

It is thought that if the trip does go ahead, Le Pen would be backing former UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson, who defected from the populist anti-immigration party in 2014 to join Le Pen’s far-right alliance.

The mainstream ‘Vote Leave’ campaign is believed to be keen to avoid being closely associated with Le Pen.

Front National may be backing a Brexit in the hope of promoting a Frexit – a French exit from the EU.

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Saudi Arabia is a Cancer on the World

The Phony War in Syria

The great, long-awaited counterattack against ISIS has finally begun. The offensive that spans Syria and western Iraq is targeting the ISIS-held cities of Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

For a variety of reasons, the much ballyhooed “final offensive” against ISIS is moving with all the speed of a medieval army of drunken foot soldiers and all the audacity of a lady’s garden party.

As a former soldier and war correspondent, I find the spectacle both pathetic and weird. Back in my army days, our tough sergeants used to call such behavior “lilly-dipping.” There’s no risk that this pathetic campaign will go down in the annals of military history.

In fact, the whole business smells to high heaven.

In the west, the Syrian government and Kurdish troops, stiffened by US, British and French special forces, and backed by US close air support, are inching towards ISIS-controlled Raqqa, a dreary, one-camel town that sits on some strategic roads. Syrian troops just retook Palmyra, once the desert capital of the fabled Queen Zenobia. The battle was hardly a second Stalingrad: ISIS fighters piled into their pickups and skedaddled.

Washington has been slowly massing Iraqi and US forces for the campaign against Mosul, an important city of 64,000 that is the gateway to Iraq’s northern oilfields. Arabs and Kurds have been battling over Mosul for decades. Iraq’s Kurds, now allied to the US, are set on cementing their hold on Mosul and its oil-producing region…and probably expelling many of its Arab inhabitants. The Turks, who once ruled this region, are angry as hornets and fearful that an independent Kurdish state may be proclaimed at Mosul.

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9/11 To Play Key Role At Republican National Convention

Is Trump the Peace Candidate?

In an editorial in the print edition of Reason, Matt Welch takes me to task for “celebrating” the candidacy of Donald Trump, who he calls a “false prophet of anti-interventionism.” Reason’s editor cites one of my more hopeful predictions about the beneficial consequences of the Trump Effect on American politics:

“’If Trump gets the Republican nomination the neocons are through as a viable political force on the Right,’ Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo enthused at the end of February. ‘And if Trump actually wins the White House, the military-industrial complex is finished, along with the globalists who dominate foreign policy circles in Washington.’"

Welch goes on to cite similar expressions of deep satisfaction at the sight of the neocons’ hysterical panic coming from former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman and my old friend Pat Buchanan. And he even professes to see how “it’s not hard to see how the paleo crowd wound up here,” pointing to Trump’s evisceration of the Brothers Bush and his delightfully true description of how George W. Bush and his neocon advisors lied us into war. And then there’s this:

“Foreign policy, militarism, and even tear-jerking paeans to politicians who govern during crises – in other words, about 90 percent of the content at the 2004 Republican National Convention – were no longer safe political spaces for the GOP. Donald Trump is taking a battering ram to one of the Republican Party’s core identities, and not a moment too soon.”

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US Ships In Military Assets & Prepares The Next Phase When The Ceasefire Collapses

Free Trade Agreements, Tariffs and Tax Reductions: “Squeezing the Lemon Dry” on Behalf of Giant Corporations

Big capital has constantly decreased its contribution to the state – creating a gap in the state’s coffers which is then filled by more and varied taxes on ordinary people – ultimately shrinking the very market big capital needs to sell its increased production of goods.

Tariffs and Taxes

“Before the income tax was imposed on us just 80 years ago, government had no claim to our income. Only sales, excise, and tariff taxes were allowed.” Alan Keyes

Free trade areas and free trade agreements have allowed for the growth of multinational corporations but the concomitant reductions in tariffs caused a decline in income for the states involved.

Tariffs are defined as “a tax imposed on the import or export of goods. In general parlance, however, it refers to “import duties” charged at the time goods are imported. Tariffs have three primary functions: to serve as a source of revenue, to protect domestic industries, and to remedy trade distortions (punitive function).”

As tariff income declined income taxes and payroll taxes increased. In many cases workers also objected to reductions in tariffs as cheap imports had deleterious effects on their industries and jobs.

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Rand Paul "We Should Have Never Been Involved In Libya Without A Vote In Congress!"

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The Enemy Within: Terrorist Enablers on the Potomac

Hillary Clinton and CIA director David Petraeus had a brilliant idea: they would fund, arm, and train a proxy army in Syria, overthrow the regime of strongman Bashar al-Assad, and jump on the rapidly moving train of the “Arab Spring” to extend US influence in the region. What could go wrong?

Plenty.

The “Free Syrian Army” created by Washington is, today, fighting alongside al-Qaeda and its Salafist allies, filling the vacuum left behind by the “Islamic State”/ISIS as it contracts under fire from Russian war planes and the Syrian army. As Middle East specialist Juan Cole points out:

“[E]ven as Daesh has been set back, al-Qaeda has recovered some of the territory lost to the SAA earlier this year southwest of Aleppo.

“Al-Qaeda is allied with the Freemen of Syria (Ahrar al-Sham) and the Jerusalem Army among other hard line Salafi Jihadis. These groups are in turn allied with remnants of the old Free Syrian Army (mostly Muslim Brotherhood) that are supported by the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. That is, the US-backed groups are battlefield allies of the allies of al-Qaeda. US and Gulf-supplied weaponry routinely makes its way to al-Qaeda.”

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Big Brother Gone Mad? No - He's Just Pure Evil: The David Icke Videocast Trailer

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Joining the Dots: Why the Establishment Hates Donald Trump

The public money stakes may be bigger than the US corporate stakes behind the foreign wars the US state has initiated since 1991. The takeaway promised by Trump’s policies threaten almost every big lobby now in control of US government purse strings. It grounds in the military-industrial complex spending close to $2,000,000,000 a day for its endless new untested weapons and foreign wars both of which Trump opposes. But the cut-off of hundreds of billions of public giveaways to the Big Corps do not end here. They hit almost every wide-mouthed transnational corporate siphon into the US Treasury, taxpayers’ pockets and the working majority of America. Masses of American citizens increasingly without living wages and benefits and in increasing public squalor and insecurity are paying attention to what the political establishment and corporate media have long buried and continue to silence.

Trump has raised the great dispossession from impotence into the establishment’s face, and this  is why he is a contagion on the American political scene. He is pervasively mocked, accused and slandered in non-stop public fireworks of ad hominem hits, but the counter-attacks never engage what Trump has set his sights on – the long  stripping of America by corporate globalization selecting for the limitless enrichment of the very rich living off an ever-growing take from public coffers and the impoverishment of America’s working people. A primal rage unites the political establishment across party lines, but they can’t say why. No defaming scorn and abuse is off limits, but Trump’s underlying betrayal of the ruling game remains unspeakable on the stage.

The electoral dynamite of all the Americans who have lost all their good blue-collar jobs, social benefits and public infrastructures is recognized only in class condescension. But the facts cannot be denied of a corporate globalization effectively stripping the lower middle classes and the public realm itself with no-one in Washington  establishment saying a word against the greatest transfer of wealth to the 1% in history.

Trump may deserve back as bad he gives. But this understanding keeps our eyes on the ego-contest which is the standard spectacle to avoid the real issues. The personal attacks only tells us how deep the rupture has become between Trump’s campaign and the establishment on the issues kept out of sight. This is why the corporate politicians and media are almost as wound into one-way demonization of Trump as they are when they beat the drums of war against a designated Enemy abroad.

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NAMING NAMES: HERE'S THE SHORT LIST OF PANAMA PAPERS GLOBAL CRIMINALS

“Puppet on a String”: Hillary as President would be Catastrophic for the US and the World

Beholden to special interests; complicit in US war crimes across the globe; held top secret information on an unsecured home server; incessantly lies (like most politicians); and is married to a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault: the fact that Hillary Clinton is even remotely capable of becoming President of the US is symptomatic of how corrupt and screwed up the US political system actually is.

Puppet on a String

Clinton is the walking, talking definition of a political prostitute, completely controlled by special interests, Israel and the shadow establishment. Since the beginning of 2013, Clinton has received at least $21.7 million for 92 speeches she has given to private organizations and groups. This includes $225,000 from Morgan Stanley; $225,000 from Deutsche Bank; $225,000 from Bank of America; and $675,000 from the Goldman Sachs Group (for three separate speeches). George Soros, the investor, billionaire and regime change extraordinaire, has also put millions into Clinton’s campaign.

Hillary is controlled by the parallel US government, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In 2009, she revealed her relationship with the CFR when she addressed the council at their newly opened outpost in Washington D.C.:

“I have been often to the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”

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New Cold War USA to add more armored brigades to Russian border

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NATO: Worse Than ‘Obsolete’

Unlike many libertarians, I love presidential election season, because that’s when generally ignored foreign policy issues are discussed beyond the small circle of Washington wonks. And that’s why I’m having such fun with Donald Trump – much to the annoyance of some of my readers, both libertarians and liberals alike: because he’s provoking a much-needed discussion about who benefits (and loses) from “American leadership” on the world stage. Most useful is his recent assertion that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is “obsolete.”

So it is. When the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union dissolved, the rationale for NATO disintegrated along with it. However, as libertarians know all too well, government programs (especially those that benefit the corporate sector) never die, nor do they fade away: they just keep growing to the degree that their constituency wields political clout. In NATO’s case, this clout is considerable.

When the citizens of Berlin did what Ronald Reagan urged Gorbachev to do – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!” – the Soviet leader tried to negotiate with the West. And, to his mind, he succeeded: an understanding was reached with Washington that the Russians would allow German reunification on the condition that the NATO alliance would not expand eastward.

That promise was not kept. Instead, the lobbyists, both foreign and domestic, went into overdrive in a campaign to extend NATO to the very gates of Moscow. It was a lucrative business for the Washington set, as the Wall Street Journal documented: cushy fees for lobbyists, influence-buying by US corporations, as well as political tradeoffs for the administration of George W. Bush, which garnered support for the Iraq war from Eastern  Europe’s former Warsaw Pact states in exchange for favorable treatment of their NATO applications.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BRICS BANK GLOBAL ECONOMIC TAKOVER FROM CIA ADVISOR JIM RICKARDS

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The Trump Challenge

The candidacy of Donald J. Trump has upended American politics, and, indeed, has changed the political landscape in ways our liberal and conservative elites never expected and clearly abhor. He talks like an ordinary person, for one thing – a rarity in a realm where politicians routinely speak as if they are giving a speech before the Peoria Rotary Club. Unrehearsed and raw, he doesn’t do  “talking points” – and this, I think, more than his controversial proposal to deport millions of illegal immigrants, has provoked the policy wonks and the “intellectuals” into paroxysms of contempt. It’s also what’s endears him to ordinary people, and makes them listen – perhaps for the first time – to what a candidate for the highest office in the land is saying about where America is today and where he wants the country to go.

Trump’s domestic platform, such as it is, doesn’t really interest me: his proposal to “temporarily” ban Muslims from entering the US is unenforceable and downright silly. (How can you know if someone is a Muslim?) The issue that catapulted him to national attention – immigration – has already been settled, for better or worse: with millions of illegal immigrants already here, largely as a result of US laxity in maintaining border security, the immigration restrictionists are about forty years too late. His plan to deport illegals will never happen.

It’s in the realm of international affairs that Trump has really made a significant and lasting contribution to the discourse. As Bill Schneider writes in a Reuters opinion piece: “Trump is repudiating the entire framework of US foreign policy since 1947.” That dramatic and unmistakable fact is being lost amid the theatrics of a campaign season that often resembles an episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Trump explicates his consensus-busting view of America’s proper role in the world:

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Trump Names Team of Foreign Policy Advisors and Questions Cost of U.S. Role in NATO

Lessons of Brussels

The vicious attack on the Brussels airport and metro underscores the futility of focusing on the Syrian “Caliphate” as the epicenter of terrorism: as I’ve been saying in this space since 2001, the snake has no head. Both al-Qaeda and now ISIS are protean entities with a vast geographical spread, and what the Brussels attack – and, before it, the Paris attack – show is that they have successfully colonized Europe.

If the “Islamic State” proclaimed by ISIS was defeated and eliminated tomorrow, the terrorist and criminal networks that pulled off the Brussels attacks would still exist.

The population of Brussels is nearly 25 percent immigrants from Muslim countries, primarily Morocco and Algeria. And as it turns out the two brothers who were the core of the ISIS cell were habitués of the now notorious Molenbeek neighborhood, which consists primarily of the descendants of immigrants who settled there decades ago. Poor, and beset by petty crime, it is a pool in which terrorist recruiters fish with much success. The Syrian civil war has become a cause that attracts young toughs with no prospects, who are looking for some sense of meaning – and a way to express their alienation from the larger society in which they live. Molenbeek was also the base for those who planned and carried out the Paris attacks – it is, in effect, a general headquarters for ISIS to carry out its European operations. Salah Abdeslam, the chief planner of the Paris attacks, fled there and found sanctuary for four months before being caught.

In short, the problem of terrorism in Europe is an internal phenomenon, not something that comes from the outside. The Europeans imported it – and, as Germany’s welcoming of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war-torn Middle East dramatizes, they are continuing to import it. Now they are living with the consequences.

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