Is The U.S. Forcing Egypt Toward A Russian Alliance?

Submitted by James Durso
‘The lion is back in his den!’
Hosni Mubarak, former President of Egypt, walked free last week after six years in detention on charges of murder and corruption. What does the U. S. have to show for it? Nothing.
In January 2011, Egyptian activists planned protests against corruption, lack of economic growth, and the heavy-handed police tactics of the recent years. The protests were scheduled for 25 January in Cairo and across Egypt. A broad swath of Egyptian activist groups participated, including the Islamists. The protests quickly escalated and became increasingly violent to the extent that the police were replaced by the military. At the end of two weeks, Mubarak had dissolved his government, appointed an interim leader, and announced he would not seek re-election in the September 2011 elections.
In early February 2011, on the same day that Vice President, and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak would resign as President, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces suspended the constitution and dissolved both houses of Parliament for six months until elections could be held. In May 2011, Mubarak was charged with the murder of protesters and ordered to stand trial. The elections of June 2012 handed power to the only organized opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood and its leader, Mohammed Morsi, who promptly tried to install an Islamist constitution and grant himself broader power than had Mubarak. The secular opposition was upset that the Islamist opposition they helped usher into power would be so… Islamist. More violent protests ensued. The whole sorry mess came to an end in July 2013, when the military seized power and Morsi’s hand-picked minister of defense, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, became Egypt’s leader and was elected President in May 2014 with a Chicago-like 93 percent of the vote.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 4, 2017.

Macedonia Reject Soros & the EU Socialism

For 26-days straight, thousands of people have taken to the streets in order to send the message to Soros and European leaders that the people of Macedonia are a sovereign nation who utterly reject the left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power. Johannes Hahn is an Austrian politician, who since November 2014 is Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement. He went to earlier last week to Skopje, in Macedonia, where he held talks with political representatives in a bid to contribute to a solution to the political deadlock there to get Macedonia to join the EU.
There was considerable corruption where the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was forced to resign in December 2015. The EU brokered elections in December 2016 to end the protests against the government of Gruevski. The December 2016 elections have left a transitional government was installed including from 20 October 20th, 2015 with the two main parties, VMRO-DPMNE and the Social Democratic Union (SDSM).

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 27, 2017.

TRUMPDOM: The Curious World of Trump’s Foreign Policy Explained

It is barely seven weeks since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Perhaps too early to figure out the details of America’s foreign policy during his presidency. However, some broad contours of his policies are taking shape, which may provide pointers to what he is likely to do in the next four years.
These pointers are based partly on what Trump said during his election campaign and partly on what has happened since he became President. Actually, quite a lot has happened in the last seven weeks or so, including considerable turbulence in US domestic and foreign policy.
Before proceeding further, it may be useful to recall that Trump’s victory in the Nov. 2016 elections was unexpected. Most opinion polls and the mainstream media (MSM) predicted victory for Hillary Clinton, who was the candidate of the US Establishment and the ‘Deep State’ (DS), which includes the military-industrial complex, the intelligence agencies, the MSM, Wall Street, and the Jewish Lobby.
The DS is a permanent, unelected, group of institutions, lobbies, and individuals which wields enormous power from behind the scenes and continues to do so irrespective of who is the President and which party controls the US Congress. It is driven by the quest for money and power, among other things.
The present DS began taking shape almost thirty-five years ago when Jimmy Carter was President. There was a DS before that too, going back to the 1950s, which came into existence after the Second World War. However, it was much less powerful and entrenched than the present one. John F. Kennedy tried to defy it but did not succeed. Some believe he paid for it with his life.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 9, 2017.

TURKEY: Reverse Regime Change, Replacing Secularism with Sultanism

Since 2002, the Republic of Turkey has been ruled by the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), founded Recep Tayyip Erdoan and other prominent figures hailing from Necmettin Erbakan’s Welfare Party (or Refah Partisi, better known under the acronym RP) that had made Islamist politics mainstream in 1990′s Turkey.
At first, Erdoan and his henchmen appeared to respect the rule of law and the political traditions established by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk (1881-1938) and his followers (colloquially known as Kemalists, adhering to the ideology of Kemalism). The economic boom of the early AKP years and the concomitant political clout have allowed AKP-led Turkey to go down a post-Kemalist path into distinctly Muslim waters where authoritarianism and Ottoman nostalgia have managed to seduce the bulk of the Turkish population.
In reality, the economic boom overseen by the AKP was nothing but a mirage, after all, largely financed by borrowed money and extreme privatization – ‘a flood of near zero-interest foreign capital.’ At present, the Turkish economy appears to be in the doldrums, with unemployment currently at 11.8%, the highest level reached since March 2010 according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (or TK in acronymized Turkish).
The well-respected Turkish economist Taner Berksoy, for example, opines that the Turkish economy will experience a major downturn this year, in spite of the government’s encouragement packages, citing internal political instability as well as geopolitical risks, including Syria’s not-so civil war next door, and a general slowing down of the global economy.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 5, 2017.

The Effort to Undermine Trump Continues

What is getting really interesting is just how desperate many in Washington seem to be about Trump. It seems they are really concerned that he will cut off the gravy train in Washington. Even the Republicans hoped they could train him, fearing that his ban on lobbying for five years could be a deathblow to their livelihood.
Trump is not a racist as the nutcases claim; they are prompted by the Democrats in the campaign. Nobody can discriminate against any class, race, or religion as president. He cannot even overrule abortion – that is the Supreme Court’s decision. So why all the hatred and exaggeration? Why are people saying he wants to stop Muslims coming from other countries? The overall nastiness of those on the left against anyone who disagrees with them is stunning.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jan 12, 2017.

Sessions Will Recuse Himself Of Any Probe Into Hillary Clinton, Does Not Support A Ban On Muslims

As the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing continues, Trump’s nominee for attorney general said that he would recuse himself from any potential future investigations or probes involving Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while working as secretary of state, as well as any questions about her family’s philanthropic foundation.
Responding to senator Chuck Grassley if he could approach issues involving Trump’s presidential challenger impartially and objectively, Sessions said “I believe that could place my objectivity in question,” Sessions said. “I believe the proper thing would be for me to recuse myself.” He added the politically charged comments he made about the Clintons during the contentious campaign would give the appearance that he isn’t impartial.
Trump has called into question Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state during the campaign, and questioned whether her family’s solicitation of donations for the foundation could pose a conflict of interest. During the hearing, Grassley noted that Sessions – who supported Trump – had also made comments critical of her handling of sensitive emails and certain actions of the Clinton Foundation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 10, 2017.

Confessions Of A Fake News Reporter

‘A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.’ ~ Mark Twain
I write for those so-called ‘fake news’ websites. You know the ones: the 200 odd deplorable websites, the ones Hillary, the Pope and Michael Moore have attacked as threatening to destroy World Peace, Democracy, Facebook and the Mainstream Media (MSM).
I only write for a handful of them, sad to say, although I’ve been linked to scores more. One of my recent columns went viral and it probably swayed the entire election – for better or worse: Before Trump, Sen Bulworth Spoke Truth To Power . Seriously, the blatant corruption of the losing team, from Super Delegates to Podesta and PizzaGate to hidden Hillary health issues and secret sums of money funneling through the Clinton Foundation in ‘Pay to Play’ accusations cost them the election, despite the best efforts and endorsements of the entire American media.
I’ve written for Rense, Counterpunch, Antiwar and Zerohedge. Most of my best stuff appears here on Strike The Root first, or STR as we call it, a website where Henry David Thoreau rather than Mark Zuckerberg is our moderator. Tragically, STR did not appear on ProporNot and we are devastated, absolutely devastated. Not.
Sometimes I ask my friends: If knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss, which is preferable? I always hope someone will respond, as Socrates or Obi Wan would have: Knowledge of our ignorance is power; bliss in this age is unattainable.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

Sarah Palin Slams Trump Carrier Deal As “Crony Capitalism”, “Corporate Welfare”

Former Gov. Sarah Palin has criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s deal with the Carrier, in which as reported previously the air conditioner company would not outsource 1,100 workers to Mexico in exchange for $7 million in tax incentives over 10 years, saying that it yet another example of “corporate welfare.” The harsh criticism of Trump’s economic policy comes as she is reportedly under consideration to serve as Trump’s secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Writing an op-ed in the Young Conservatives blog, Palin said that while he is excited for the Carrier employees whose jobs are staying in Indiana, saying the deal is “a relief for hundreds of workers… Merry Christmas Indiana!’, she then joins Bernie Sanders and other critics in vlasting the deal as ‘crony capitalism” and an example of the “hallmark of corruption” and “socialism“, adding the arrangement could set “inconsistent, unfair and illogical precedent.”
Suggesting that the Trump deal is a carryover from the Obama administration’s “crony” ways of doing business, Palin wrote that ‘when government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent. Then, special interests creep in and manipulate markets. Republicans oppose this, remember?’
‘Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember? Because we know special interest crony capitalism is on big fail.’
Palin then made a statement many conservatives and virtually all libertarians would agree with, saying that “however well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2016.

Thanks For Nothing… And Everything

During this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my overwhelming gratitude…
Thank you, President Obama. Thank you for not upholding your oath to the U. S. Constitution to protect America’s southern border. Thank you for illegally granting amnesty via executive action and avoiding the unnecessary hassles of passing the legislation through Congress. And thank you for your efforts in turning the United States of America into a third-world refugee camp.
Thank you, Obama, for your broad support of Islam and for labeling American citizens as bitter, xenophobic racists clinging to their guns and religion. I would also like to express my gratitude to you, your enablers, and all of the sycophantically corrupt, establishment politicians for near doubling the national debt of the United States these last eight years.
Another heartfelt expression of gratitude goes out to all of the media pundits, talking heads, newspaper columnists, Silicon Valley moguls as well as the proprietors, purveyors and contributors of actual fake news websites who contort themselves daily to support leftist politicians and the progressive agenda. Without the blind commitment of those who have facilitated the Cloward-Piven strategy of sacrificing America to the global elite banking establishment, it would have been far more difficult for Obama to fundamentally transform our country over the last eight years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2016.

European Temper Tantrumps: “A World Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes”

Submitted by Juduth Bergmann via The Gatestone Institute,
The arrogant claim to the moral high ground by European elites has no basis in reality. There is no respect for freedom and democracy on a continent where citizens, such as the politician Geert Wilders, are arrested and prosecuted by in a court of law for speaking their minds freely about topics that the authorities find it expedient not to debate in public. Freedom, respect for the rule of law, and people’s race, religion and gender have never been less respected and protected in Germany during the post-WWII era than under Merkel. German authorities have completely failed to protect women, Christians and others from the chaos unleashed by the mass, unvetted, immigration of mainly Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East. The rule of law is anything but “respected” in Germany. Not everyone is “panicking”. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, rejected the invitation and told his colleagues to end their “collective whinge-o-rama” about the U. S. election result. Critics of the U. S. election omitted, however, the runaway lawlessness, divisiveness and corruption that American voters declined to reinstate. “A world is collapsing before our eyes”, tweeted the French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, as it became clear that Donald Trump had won the US presidential election. Although he later apparently deleted the tweet, the sentiment expressed in his tweet encapsulates the attitude of the majority of the European political establishment.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2016.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Exceptionalist’ Warpath

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most right-wing presidential candidate of all?
The answer used to be Donald Trump, famous for his naked bigotry toward Mexicans and Muslims. But that was before Hillary Clinton supporters took a page from the old Joe McCarthy handbook and began denouncing their Republican opponent as ‘an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation’ or arguing that criticism of Clinton and NATO somehow emanates out of Moscow.
Now comes Clinton’s speech at an American Legion convention in Cincinnati, her most bellicose to date, in which she savages Trump for failing to embrace the ultra-imperialist doctrine of ‘American exceptionalism.’
‘My opponent in this race has said very clearly that he thinks American exceptionalism is insulting to the rest of the world,’ she said Wednesday. ‘In fact, when Vladimir Putin, of all people, criticized American exceptionalism, my opponent agreed with him, saying, and I quote, ‘if you’re in Russia, you don’t want to hear that America is exceptional.’ Well maybe you don’t want to hear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.’
Good people, she went on, do not take exception to the doctrine – only enemies do:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Daniel Lazare, Consortium News ‘ September 8, 2016.

On Politics, Corruption, And Two Little Words

The recent “reported turmoil” with Trump’s campaign is one of the most laughter-inducing things I’ve seen the media “report” over the last several years, along with one of the most-corrupt.
Let’s deal with the corrupt first.
The “dust-up” began with Trump going after Khan after, I remind you, he spent his entire speech at the DNC attacking Trump.
When you get up on a national stage and inject yourself into the political process you are fair game and so is everyone you bring with you.
This is especially true when you are lying through your teeth and have a dubious history — including recent history.
Specifically, Khan is an attorney who has previously written in a law journal on the “purity” of the Quran and Sunnah.
It is due to this that Khan writes, ‘to Muslims, the Quran being the very word of God, it is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation.’

Every legal obligation?
There it is, folks. Oh sure, CNN has said that he “doesn’t” support Sharia law, but his own words say otherwise. If every legal obligation arises from the Queeran, then no obligation in conflict with it is lawful in his mind. This is in direct conflict with our secular government; The Constitution, not Sharia, is the supreme law of the land — and attempting to change that by any means other than amendment (good luck) is an act being taken by an enemy of the nation.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2016-08-07.

Hillary Clinton: “I May Have Short-Circuited The Truth” About Email Scandal

One of the biggest surprises over the past week was Donald Trump’s dramatic meltdown, and subsequent escalation, with the family of Humayun Khan, the US Muslim captain killed in Afghanistan in 2014, who during the DNC, tangentially accused Trump and his potential policies of being responsible for their son’s death (he wasn’t). What is most striking is that instead of ignoring this attempt to bait the Republican candidate in public, to which he most gladly obliged, he should have simply moved on and stayed on the offensive, pressing Hillary over the recent Wikileaks disclosure revealing the cronyism and corruption within the Democratic Party, as well push the familiar narrative of her email scandal.
Conveniently, Hillary helped him do just that yesterday, when she acknowledged on Friday afternoon that she may have “short-circuited” when she claimed in recent interviews that FBI Director James Comey said she was “truthful” about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. In doing so Hillary once again shifted the news spotlight away from Trump and back on to herself, as she once again revealed that the only consistent thing about Hillary Clinton are the constant lies.
Following a heavily covered interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Hillary stated that Comey had found her statements “truthful” and “consistent” with what she has said publicly. Clinton’s lying led The Atlantic to publish an article titled ‘ Why Can’t Hillary Clinton Stop Lying?’ and the Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler awarded her four ‘Pinocchios’, adding that ‘Clinton is cherry-picking statements by Comey to preserve her narrative about the unusual setup of a private email server. This allows her to skate past the more disturbing findings of the FBI investigation.’ Notably, the NYTimes did not publish anything related to this flop and it took the Public Editor, whose job it to be the readers’ advocate at The NYT, to write an op-ed titled The Clinton Story You Didn’t Read Here.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden Aug 6, 2016.

The Never Trump Crowd Prefers Smiling Statism From Nurse Hillary

While I never have, and certainly never will, get on board the ‘Trump Train,’ I am perhaps more annoyed by the certain type of Republican and evangelical ‘conservative’ who opposes Trump specifically for reasons such as his vulgarity, his alleged racism, his rudeness and crudeness, his un-Christlikeness, his narcissism, and so on. The Donald is notoriously – and purposefully (he’s a reality TV sensation after all) – provocative in the way he treats his political opponents and those by whom he feels threatened. Obviously, all these things are worthy of criticism.
However, what is completely shocking to me, though perhaps it shouldn’t be, is that these same ‘Never Trump’ hashtag users literally would have been just dandy with Mitt Romney, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and so on. In other words, what matters to them is not the fact that the GOP’s leaders and champions are Big Government, pro-welfare state, pro-warfare state, pro Federal economic regulation/intervention, pro- Taxes, pro spending, pro-nationalization of commerce and industry; no, what matters most to them is that the politician is ‘nice.’
I have heard countless ballyhooing about the fact that Trump is the next Hitler due to his vocal denouncement of free trade, his immigration preferences, his appeal to the ‘nativists’ in America, and so on. Hogwash! Trump is a demagogue to the very same extent, though not necessarily to the same constituency, as all other politicians! Every single politician, by nature of his dirty rotten job, is a demagogue, one who appeals to emotion and sentiment. We live in a time when the Democratic and Republican parties have pushed for deficit after deficit, every debt ceiling addition, every war, every welfare program, the annual and constant funding of hundreds of Federal departments and agencies, law upon law, regulation upon regulation, bailout for the rich, bailout for the poor, bailout for some foreign government, bailout for some radical group who opposes some foreign government – and yet Donald is the bad guy, because he is profane and insensitive.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

The Dems WikiLeaks Hysteria – – The Hunt For A Red Trump-tober

Julian Assange has done it again: exposed the inner workings – and crimes – of our political class, that is. This time his target is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, whose emails were hacked by a Romanian who calls himself ‘Guccifer 2.0,’ and posted online by WikiLeaks. As revelations tumble out of the enormous data dump – e.g. DNC staffers conspired to target Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, as an ‘atheist’ – the collusion of the party leadership with the Clinton campaign to marginalize Sanders threatens the Democrats with a potential explosion on the eve of their convention. It’s ‘gas meets flame,’ as one Democratic party leader put it.
The Clinton campaign has responded by pushing a bizarre conspiracy theory that recalls the darkest days of the cold war: the DNC leak, they claim, is part of a plot by the Kremlin to elect Donald J. Trump President of these United States.
Yes, seriously.
Here is Clintonista-in-chief Robby Mook telling Jake Tapper that ‘Experts are telling us Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, andother experts are now saying the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.’ Echoing neoconservative complaints that efforts to insert a call for giving Ukraine offensive weapons were scotched by the Trump campaign, Mook pointed to this as ‘evidence’ that the Russians have infiltrated and taken over the Republican party. That’s their answer to the flood of scandal pouring out of the DNC emails – a reiteration of the plot of ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ with a little bit of ‘Red Dawn’ thrown in for good measure.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo ‘ July 25, 2016.

Saudi Clerics Issue Fatwa No. 21,758 – – -Ban Pokmon Go!

Top clerics in Saudi Arabia have issued a fatwa banning the playing of Pokemon Go as a form of gambling.
The decree was issued by General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars on the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, Arab News reported Wednesday.
The edict actually updates an existing ban on the Pokemon card and video games before they morphed into the mobile phone virtual reality game that has swept the world.
The clerics issued the old fatwa, (No. 21,758), 16 years ago, declaring the original Japanese game a form of gambling, which is forbidden in Islam,
Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said the virtual reality version of the game is the same as the old one.
The game has not been officially released regionally, but is nonetheless popular in the Middle East among gamers who have downloaded the app, the Associated Press reports.
Although Pokemon Go does not involve the winning or losing of money, the fatwa notes that it nonetheless violates the gambling ban.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Doug Stanglin, USA Today ‘ July 21, 2016.

No, Donald, It’s Not A ‘World War’

Actually, the Nice horror was the demented suicide of a wretch who recently got fired, divorced and arrested for road rage, not a planned jihadi terrorist attack.
Beyond that, the real jihadi threat is rooted in blowback, and combatting it is a domestic police function. Enough militatistic bellicosity already!
The inconvenient truth is, Washington and its NATO vassals have brought bombs, drones, occupations and slaughter to towns and villages throughout the greater middle east for upwards of three decades. It is that senseless intervention and aggression that has fueled the rise of vengeful barbarians who operate under the ideological cover of a twisted Sunni jihaddism.
In fact, it was the Bush/Clinton/Obama wars which gave rise first to al-Qaeda and then to ISIS. In very substantial degree Washington trained them, armed them and then incited them to their anti-western rampages.
The Imperial City’s insidious doctrine of ‘regime change’ also destroyed the states of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan, thereby giving the jihadi vast lawless territories from which to operate and to even establish a murderous medieval caliphate in the desert backwaters of western Iraq and northern Syria..
The frightful violence that has been episodically erupting in France owing to internal cadres and in the US owing to copycats does not originate in the religion of Islam. The latter confession is 1384 years old, but it was only 25 years ago that meaningful jihadi terrorism first impinged on the west.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 16, 2016.

The French Revolution: What we failed to learn from the greatest populist uprising in history

July 2016 – INDEPENDENCE DAY – It was an Age of decadence, hedonism, and opulence. Bling, Reality Stars and Versailles Court Culture, Elite class privilege, the ever-widening divide between the rich and poor, political corruption, government ruled by political families – the world has seen it all before and radically overthrew it in one of the most violent revolutions in human history. The French Revolution brought an end to European monarchies, aristocratic privileges. It diluted the power of the Catholic Church and ushered in a new age of constitutional and parliamentary democracy across most of Europe. 227 years after the first shots were fired on the streets of Paris and the French King Louis XVI was overthrown – modern bureaucrats still haven’t learned their lesson about the collective voice of the proletariat, the influence of radical new ideologies, and the power of populist uprisings.


This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on July 2, 2016.

Brexit: The Case For Competition And Decentralized Political Authority

Is Brexit a move toward British independence? Some Leave and Remain partisans may believe so, differing only over whether that’s good or bad.
But, as usual, things are more complicated. We should hope that, in one respect, Britain’s exit from the EU will create a kind of dependence that did not exist while it was still a member of the union.
To see how, one must take note of the original (classical) liberal case for competing political jurisdictions rather than one unified authority: competition tends to generate liberty and prosperity by lowering the cost of ‘exit’ – that is, of voting with one’s feet to relocate from more-onerous to less-onerous jurisdictions.
Legal and political scholars have long understood that decentralization of power in Europe accounts in large measure for its unique achievements both in terms of individual autonomy and prosperity. During the Middle Ages, instead of one superstate united with a single religious authority, Europe consisted in many small jurisdictions and a transnational church, each of which jealously guarded its prerogatives. In England, when kings tried to consolidate their power, they met resistance from barons and others who expected to lose from the centralization of power.
Although the players in this drama did not intend to liberate the common people, to an important extent, that was the world-changing consequence of this struggle, aided by direct popular resistance to oppression when opportunities arose. When the Middle Ages ended, this proto-liberal tradition, though under assault, was invoked in defense of liberty and economic progress. The result, imperfect as it has been and constantly in jeopardy from those who favor power over freedom, is what we call the western liberal spirit.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Sheldon Richman ‘ June 29, 2016.

Ron Paul: Don’t Let Them Take Your Liberty After Orlando

Last week America was rocked by the cold-blooded murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Orlando shooter appears to be a lone gunman who, while claiming allegiance to ISIS, was not actually working with a terrorist group. About the only thing Orlando has in common with 9/11 is the way power-hungry politicians and federal officials wasted no time using it to justify expanding government and restricting liberty.
Immediately following the shooting, we began to hear renewed calls for increased government surveillance of Muslims, including spying on Muslim religious services. Although the Orlando shooter was born in the US, some are using the shooting to renew the debate over Muslim immigration. While the government certainly should prevent terrorists from entering the country, singling out individuals for government surveillance and other violations of their rights because of religious faith violates the First Amendment and establishes a dangerous precedent that will be used against other groups. In addition, scapegoating all Muslims because of the act of one deranged individual strengthens groups like ISIS by making it appear that the US government is at war with Islam.
The Orlando shooting is being used to justify mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. For the past three years, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill limiting mass surveillance. But, last week, the same amendment was voted down. The only difference between this year’s debate and previous debates was that this year defenders of the surveillance state were able to claim that the Orlando shooting justifies shredding the Fourth Amendment.
The fact that the Orlando shooter had twice been investigated by the FBI shows that increased surveillance and wiretapping would not have prevented the shooting. Mass surveillance also creates a ‘needle in a haystack’ problem that can make it difficult, or impossible, for law enforcement to identify real threats. Unfortunately, evidence that giving up liberty does not increase security has never deterred those who spread fear to gain support for increased government power.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 21, 2016.