• Brian4Liberty

      by Published on 09-20-2014 12:45 PM

      Civil Forfeiture Allows Cities to Seize Private Property from People Never Charged with Crimes
      By Tommy Creegan

      The Institute for Justice is leading a class-action lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia and its’ civil forfeiture practices. This litigation comes in light of the city seizing a family’s home because unbeknownst to the parents, their son made a drug deal on the property worth $40.

      Civil forfeiture laws allow police departments to seize private property, sell it, and use the proceeds to fund their operations. The real owners of seized property do not have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to lose their property. Government can seize property, such as a car or home, if it’s found to “facilitate” a crime. In essence, the government sues the property itself.
      Visit the Institute for Justice’s website http://endforfeiture.com to learn more about civil forfeiture.

      Tell Your Senators: Support Rand Paul's FAIR Act and Uphold the 5th Amendment
      by Published on 09-19-2014 04:02 PM

      The U.S. finally gets a foreign policy agenda—from Rand Paul
      Merill Matthews - September 19, 2014

      After five years in the White House, President Obama’s only foreign policy principle seems to hinge on whether taking some action (or inaction) will help or hurt Democrats’ chances in the upcoming election.

      Senator Rand Paul has tried to counter this confusion by delivering a speech on the Senate floor focusing on the current mess in the Middle East—a mess he believes is largely of our own making—and outlined at least five important principles that should guide U.S. foreign policy decisions.

      1. Well-intended interventionism has unintended consequences
      2. The U.S. should only go to war when vital U.S. interests are attacked or threatened
      3. The burden of proof that U.S. interests are at stake is on the pro-war advocates
      4. When America goes to war it should only be to win—and win quickly and decisively
      5. A president needs to get congressional support before sending troops to fight
      by Published on 09-19-2014 01:08 PM

      Rand Paul vs. The Cowards
      By David Harsanyi - September 19, 2014

      If arming Syrian rebels is such a great idea, why was everyone in D.C. so terrified of a standalone vote on the issue?

      Before Senators voted 78-22 to pass a continuing resolution that would fund government through Dec. 11 and avoid a government shutdown, Rand Paul asked that question – and some other uncomfortable ones – on the floor. Call him is an isolationist if you like, but it’d be nice to hear some coherent answers.

      You won’t get any from prominent Republicans, who are more interested in hitting the administration for its fecklessness on ISIS. Certainly there was little genuine dissent from Democrats, who aren’t interested in debating another Middle East intervention for reasons of political expediency. “Leaders,” according to a Wall Street Journal piece from a few days ago, are unwilling to debate ISIS and Syria now “because of the risks involved in taking such a tough vote before the elections.” The real risk, right? Political careers. So what we had was a craven bipartisan plan to intervene in a sectarian war in the Middle East using a $1 trillion spending bill as cover.
      by Published on 09-19-2014 12:04 PM
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      Alleged ISIS Photo Controversy Engulfs Sen. John McCain
      by Matthew Boyle - 18 Sep 2014

      Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his aides swear the Syrian “rebels” he was pictured last year with weren’t ISIS members or supporters, and the mainstream media is by and large buying the 2008 GOP presidential nominee’s story.
      But a closer look at the situation tells perhaps a different story than McCain’s office or the mainstream media have pushed.
      Just last year, however, McCain’s office had no clue who the senator met...

      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...en-John-McCain ...
      by Published on 09-18-2014 04:03 PM

      Obama is defying the Constitution on war
      By George F. Will - September 17

      The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Today’s issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek congressional authorization for the protracted use of force against the Islamic State.

      Promising to “destroy” this group with the help of “a broad coalition” of “partners,” President Obama said last week, “I welcome congressional support for this effort.” He obviously thinks such support is optional, partly because this “effort,” conducted by U.S. combat aircraft, is something other than war. There he goes again.
      by Published on 09-17-2014 10:55 AM

      Sounds like Obama's stimulus programs. What do those cost? A million dollars per minimum wage job created?

      Senator: Obama wants $100K per rebel

      By Kristina Wong - 09/16/14

      Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) blasted the president's plan to train and arm moderate Syrian opposition forces against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as Congress prepares for a vote to authorize it.

      He said the plan, which would cost $500 million to train 5,000 rebels for a year, would essentially cost $100,000 per rebel.

      "So that is $100,000 per person that we are supposed to do," he said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
      "And when you start looking at what we've spent, almost $20 billion trying
      by Published on 09-12-2014 04:00 PM

      By MICHAEL T. OSTERHOLM - SEPT. 11, 2014

      Michael T. Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

      MINNEAPOLIS — THE Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.

      There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in
      by Published on 09-11-2014 03:15 PM

      How Obama Learned to Love the Bomb
      By Daniel McCarthy • September 11, 2014
      Barack Obama has adopted Bill Clinton’s policy toward Iraq: bomb it until it gets better. Clinton—and before him, George H.W. Bush—bombed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to safeguard the Kurdish north, degrade Saddam’s military capabilities, and perhaps weaken his regime to the point of collapse. Twenty years later, Obama is bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, while protecting the Kurdish north and what remains of the Iraqi state until recently ruled by Nouri al-Maliki.
      George W. Bush got one thing right: he recognized that what his father and Bill Clinton had been doing in Iraq wasn’t working. Rather than continue indefinitely with airstrikes and sanctions that would never tame or remove Saddam, Bush II simply invaded the country and set up a new government. In the abstract, that was a solution: the problem was the regime, so change it. But change it into what?
      Obama doesn’t want to answer the question that Bush I and Bill Clinton also avoided: namely, what kind of government could Iraq possibly have after Saddam that would satisfy the United States? Bush II had an answer, and it proved to be the wrong one...
      by Published on 09-09-2014 08:15 PM

      Robert Kagan Blames America First
      By Jacob Heilbrunn - September 9, 2014

      Ever since the 1970s, neoconservatives have alleged that either Republican or Democratic administrations are engaged in the appeasement of a foreign foe. The charge was hurled at Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger when they negotiated arms-control treaties with the Soviet Union. Jimmy Carter was accused of truckling to the Kremlin as well. Then, in 1982, Norman Podhoretz accused none other than the sainted Ronald Reagan of “appeasement by any other name” for failing to stand up to the Soviet Union. In 2000, Donald and Frederick Kagan issued a book called While America Sleeps in which they claimed that Washington was repeating the mistakes of the British Empire in the 1930s.

      Now, another Kagan is the latest to invoke the 1930s, in a column this past weekend in the Wall Street Journal. The 1930s, Robert Kagan says, are back. Kagan avers that “it is hard to avoid the impression”—but is it really that hard for him and his ideological brethren?—“that we have already had our 1931. As we head deeper into our version of the 1930s, we may be quite shocked, just as our forebears were, at how quickly things fall apart.”
      And so Kagan elides the fact that the Clinton administration engaged in a number of military actions. He also, Beinart reminds us, fails to take into account Obama’s own engagement in Libya, his establishment of a military bases in the Philippines, joint naval exercises with Vietnam, drone warfare and so on. Over the past two decades, the liberal hawks have done as much as the neocons to keep the American imperium a thriving concern.

      For the neocons, though, this isn’t enough. They keep trying to move the goalposts towards even greater military outlays and exertions. Hence the monotonous references to the 1930s.
      by Published on 09-09-2014 05:35 PM

      Another take on the destruction of the Middle and Lower classes, and the rise of the clergy of the state.

      America's new class system

      "Clerisy" class does the bidding of tech oligarchs to detriment of the middle class.
      Once a state where the middle class reigned supreme, the apotheosis of the American Dream, California now has the wealth distribution — and, in some disturbing ways, the political underpinnings — of a Third World country. In Silicon Valley, a group of super-wealthy tech oligarchs live lives of almost unimaginable wealth, while only a few miles away, illegal immigrants live in squalor.

      The oligarchs feel free, and even entitled, to choose the direction of society in the name of a greater good, but somehow their policies seem mostly to make the oligarchs richer and more powerful. Meanwhile, once-prosperous middle-class communities, revolving around manufacturing industries that have now moved overseas, either sink into poverty or become gentrified homes for the lower-upper class. The middle class itself, meanwhile, is increasingly, in Kotkin's words, "proletarianized," with security vanishing and jobs moving downscale.

      The oligarchs are assisted in their control by what Kotkin calls the "clerisy" class — an amalgam of academics, media and government employees who play the role that medieval clergy once played in legitimizing the powerful, and in implementing their policies while quelling resistance from the masses. The clerisy isn't as rich as the oligarchs, but it does pretty well for itself and is compensated in part by status, its positions allowing even its lower-paid members to feel superior to the hoi polloi.

      Because it doesn't have to work in competitive industries, the clerisy favors regulations, land-use rules and environmental restrictions that make things worse for businesses — especially the small "yeoman" businesses that traditionally sustained much of the middle class — thus further hollowing out the middle of the income distribution. But the lower classes, sustained by government handouts and by rhetoric from the clerisy, provide enough votes to keep the machine running, at least for a while.
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