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      by Published on 08-27-2014 10:23 PM

      How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS

      Our Middle Eastern policy is unhinged, flailing about to see who to act against next, with little regard to consequences.

      By Rand Paul
      Aug. 27, 2014 6:35 p.m. ET

      As the murderous, terrorist Islamic State continues to threaten Iraq, the region and potentially the United States, it is vitally important that we examine how this problem arose. Any actions we take today must be informed by what we've already done in the past, and how effective our actions have been.

      Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy. The past year has been a perfect example.

      In September President Obama and many in Washington were eager for a U.S. intervention in Syria to assist the rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad's government. Arguing against military strikes, I wrote that "Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster actually encourage instability?"

      The administration's goal has been to degrade Assad's power, forcing him to negotiate with the rebels. But degrading Assad's military capacity also degrades his ability to fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Assad's government recently bombed the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

      To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn't get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime might well be ISIS.

      by Published on 08-27-2014 06:22 PM

      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, published last week an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" on "vehicle-to-vehicle communications."

      What NHTSA is proposing could begin a transformation in the American transportation system that makes our lives better and freer — or gives government more power over where we go and when.

      In announcing its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA is stressing its intention to protect the "privacy" of American drivers.

      "This document initiates rulemaking that would propose to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability for light vehicles," says NHTSA's
      by Published on 08-27-2014 05:18 PM

      A Realist’s Guide to Grand Strategy
      By William Ruger • August 26, 2014

      Some of the most exciting work in IR [International Relations] has been pursued at MIT over the last few decades.
      Posen depicts the current grand strategy debate as pitted between two main rivals: liberal hegemony and restraint. Liberal hegemony is an activist grand strategy that aims to assertively maintain U.S. dominance and the “unipolar moment” in the service of liberalism and national security. Posen explains that it has been the reigning U.S. grand strategy since the end of the Cold War and remains the consensus view of the foreign-policy establishment of both major parties—of liberal internationalists and neoconservatives alike. Yet he believes it is “unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful,” and ultimately “self-defeating.” Posen therefore spends the first half of the book explaining in detail what liberal hegemony is and why it so imperils America. In the book’s second, meatier half, he lays out his overarching restraint strategy and describes the specific military approach required to support it.
      Much more:
      by Published on 08-27-2014 04:12 PM

      Is this some really bad Twilight Zone episode? Do we have to remind this fellow about the corrupt plutocracy he is the head of? Please. Don't lecture us.


      Pena Nieto criticized unethical governors who had cracked down on immigrants, though he didn’t name any specifically.

      “There are still states that have not evolved so much as California, that still skimp on recognition and, even worse, the rights of immigrants,” he said. “Those who still believe and bet for the exclusion and discrimination or the rejection of diversity ... I only have one thing to say: the future, and a very near future, will demonstrate your ethical mistake. Time will show we’re right.”
      by Published on 08-27-2014 03:06 PM

      The coastal bastion of freedom may strike yet again!


      California is looking to bar the “Stars and Bars.”

      A bill sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk to ban California from displaying or selling the Confederate flag or objects with images of it. The state’s Legislature passed the bill nearly unanimously last week.

      Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, introduced the legislation after his mother discovered the Capitol gift shop sold a replica of Confederate money that contained a picture of the flag, according to the L.A. Times.

      The lone dissenting vote among the 67 cast was from former California GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks. He argued the bill would infringe on free speech.

      “I’m a strict Constitutionalist,” he told the Times. “It’s painful and lonely.”
      by Published on 08-27-2014 12:58 PM

      Time Stamp 4:40 Bill Kristol on the Laura Ingraham show

      Bill Kristol wants to bomb first and figure it out later. News at ten.

      During a Monday interview with Laura Ingraham on the ongoing situation in Iraq, the Weekly Standard founder discussed his desire to forgo national debates and simply bomb ISIS forces immediately.

      Kristol described libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as possibly having more foreign policy restraint than President Obama; Ingraham expressed sympathy for Paul cautioning that previous administrations’ foreign policies may have created the current Iraq chaos, but she ultimately said “doing nothing” is a policy she cannot abide.

      Kristol agreed. “Intellectuals overthink things,” he said. “We allied with Stalin in World War II, and helped create the captivity of Eastern Europe, you could argue… We got involved in Afghanistan to bring down the Soviet Union and probably helped create, indirectly, some of what came about in Afghanistan and ideas that led to 9/11. That’s life. Maybe we could have been cleverer in all these cases, but often, when you mess around in the real world, you have unintended effects and some of them are bad.”

      However, the neoconservative pundit continued, “We’re underestimating the ability of what the use of force — even from the air, even with some people on the ground to help out — how much that could do.”

      After mimicking his fellow talking heads who suggest that perhaps it’s best to have a national debate before using military force, Kristol then said: “What’s the harm of bombing [ISIS] at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don’t think there’s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that could be bad there. We could [kill] a lot of very bad guys.”
      by Published on 08-27-2014 11:54 AM

      Former IRS official Lois Lerner giving testimony to a Congressional committee in 2013. The IRS says it can't find her e-mails from before 2011—but Justice Watch says they're in disaster recovery backups.

      Unnamed Department of Justice attorneys admitted to an attorney from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch that backups exist of the e-mail messages of former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner. In a press release on the organization’s website, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the DOJ official claimed that accessing the specific e-mails in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS would be too difficult, as they were retained in an offsite backup for disaster recovery.

      Continued http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...fsite-backups/
      by Published on 08-27-2014 10:50 AM

      They only looked at 3 prisons and found extreme abuse with little repercussions and a code of silence. Imagine what's happening around the country...

      It's hard to read this whole thing.
      In an extraordinary rebuke of the New York City Department of Correction, the federal government said on Monday that the department had systematically violated the civil rights of male teenagers held at Rikers Island by failing to protect them from the rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force by correction officers.

      The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, released its findings in a graphic 79-page report that described a “deep-seated culture of violence” against youthful inmates at the jail complex, perpetrated by guards who operated with little fear of punishment.

      The report, addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio and two other senior city officials, singled out for blame a “powerful code of silence” among the Rikers staff, along with a virtually useless system for investigating attacks by guards. The result was a “staggering” number of injuries among youthful inmates, the report said.

      The report, which comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of the jail complex after a stream of revelations about Rikers’s problems, also found that the department relied to an “excessive and inappropriate” degree on solitary confinement to punish teenage inmates, placing them in punitive segregation, as the practice is known, for months at a time.

      Although the federal investigation focused only on the three Rikers jails that house male inmates aged 16 to 18, the report said the problems that were identified “may exist in equal measure” in the complex’s seven other jails for adult men and women.

      Continued: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/ny...land.html?_r=0

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