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    Ron Paul on Individual Liberty vs. Centralized Control 

    Heres a little compilation I made from the March 31, 2017 Ron Paul Liberty Report, titled: Myth-Busters: Please Jean-Claude...Break Up The U.S.!


    Here's the link and summary from the original Livestream:

    EU President Jean-Claude Juncker issued a threat to President Trump. He said he would push for Ohio and Texas to split from the rest of America if Trump didn't change his tune and become more supportive of the EU. Libertarians have two words for Junker: "Yes, please!" Ron Paul talks the decentralization of power versus globalist tyranny on today's Myth-Busters!


    Obama's Legacy as Hypocrite-In-Chief

                Against the advice of my doctor, I often listen to the news (which should just be called the lies) while I’m at work and am frequently infuriated by the propaganda and lies told by politicians and rebroadcast by presumably neutral networks such as PBS, the BBC, and KQED (an NPR-member radio station which claims it is publically-funded yet accepts donations from corporations that sometimes underwrite their stories, and whose news reports are much different than KPFA – a truly independent and respectable Berkeley-based listener-funded radio station).  Yet nonetheless I listen in attempt to gain an understanding of the bullshit the average American is subjected to and to then arm myself with additional information (either omitted from or twisted by mainstream media news stories) from independent media sources in order to counter (however unpersuasively) the perspective held by people that I sometimes talk to about the news.   Last Tuesday, I heard a particularly egregious and hypocritical remark from our President who was on the campaign trail for Hillary, and in his criticism of Trump (neither of whom I will be voting for), Obama said:

    If you disrespect the Constitution by threatening to shut down the press when it doesn’t say things you like or threaten to throw your opponent in jail or discriminate against people of different faiths… if you do that before you are elected, then what are you gonna do when you have actual power to do those things?

                One problem inherent in Obama’s statement is his “when you have actual power to do those things” line. While I would prefer not to put words in the President’s mouth, I will in attempt to paraphrase what I interpret his message to be, in which seems he seems to be saying: “what would Donald Trump do if he were to become president and thus granted the power to do the aforementioned things (shut down the press, discriminate against others)?”  Obama seems to suggest that when the president holds a position of power they presented with an opportunity to violate the law and get away with it because they are, well, in power.  True, the president of the United States is elected a position of power, but this doesn’t give them the green light to abuse that power, which president Obama has done repeatedly, including in the exact ways that he is accusing Trump of potentially doing. 

    Obama's drone strikes have killed at least 176 children in Pakistan alone.

                In his two terms in office, President Obama has overseen eight consecutive years of continual war in the Middle East.  Instead of prosecuting former Bush administration officials (whom were the progenitors of this chaos) for war crimes, he kept key appointments and advisors onboard, thus the wars continued and expanded.  Like Hillary Clinton, he is a professional liar whom genuflects to the war machine, approving the greatest weapons sales in history to Saudi Arabia – a country run by a regime that treats women and homosexuals as horribly as the dogs abused in that country –  while pretending to fight for women’s and LGBT rights at home.   This man who pushes for the TPP and TTIP speaks of press freedom whilst running an administration that has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all previous presidents combined.  He has condoned the NSA surveillance state and the militarization of domestic police forces.   You have to hand him, for Obama is the greatest politician in modern history (I realized that we were faced with a choice: McCain or Obama, but there were also third party alternatives), for he still maintains a great deal of support from people who would call themselves “progressive” (a testament to the propaganda success of the neoliberal establishment) and whom call to nominate his wife as a future presidential candidate. 

    U.S-backed Saudi "double tap" airstrike on a funeral hall in Sanaa.

            He speaks of respect for the Constitution after having waged unconstitutional wars against Libya and putting boots on the ground in Syria, after boosting the troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan (steps the Obama administration justified and authorized by the 15-year-old Bush-era “War Powers Act”), and operating numerous drone strike campaigns throughout the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.  Despite bombing twice as many countries as Bush, having a “kill list,” and signing off on drone strikes which have killed hundreds of innocent people (one of whom was a 16-year-old American citizen), Obama went on the win the Nobel Peace Prize (if he thought he didn’t deserve then why not refuse it?).  He speaks of discrimination as the head of an Empire perpetuating war against millions of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen and allying itself with some of the most discriminatory regimes on the planet: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Bahrain, and Qatar.  Obama speaks out against throwing people in jail while his administration has viciously prosecuted Chelsea Manning and other whistle-blowers whilst condoning coups in Honduras, Egypt, and, and Ukraine.   Yes, Trump is a man who has fascism written all over his face, but Obama has proven than he is no better.  For him to claim that Trump will take actions that undermine the Constitution and harm innocent lives while he himself has done precisely that is a hypocritical, arrogant, and manipulative attempt to whitewash his record which is stained with blood and tarnished by lies. 

    Image from Adbusters.


    U.S Government and Mainstream Media Lies, the White Helmets, Dark Souls

    Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.

                                                                                                                                             -Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam


              What follows are three very distressing and informative video reports (the latter two of which contain highly disturbing footage apparently featuring CIA-trained Syrian rebels prior to the moment they decapitate a twelve-year-old boy, and the White Helmets arriving at a scene of an execution immediately after it has occurred – their timing incredulously incredible, or their involvement staged, or, more likely, pre-agreed upon) that attempt to examine the origins, tactics, and funding sources of the White Helmets.   Western media regularly extols the bravery of the White Helmets, and while it may be true that members of this organization are indeed brave and its origins were once noble, the videos below make a compelling case that their leadership is sectarian, that some of their members are armed and rub shoulders with the jihadi terrorist organization the al-Nusra Front, and that they have been founded in part by western mercenary firms. Contrary to their website claims that they do not accept any money from governments or corporations so as to remain independent, in April of this year the deputy spokesperson of USAID admitted that USAID has provided the White Helmets with $23 million dollars, and journalist Vanessa Beeley believes that a conservative estimate of their combined funding from the US, UK, Japan, Denmark, Holland, and Germany is $100 million. 

             While the lies and actions of White Helmets may play a small role in the greater conflict that is the Syrian Civil War (which has become a proxy war between the U.S and Russia), the truth of their motives and operations is important in relation to the mainstream media and government officials and agencies whom regularly invoke the necessity for military intervention in Syria in order to end the terror of the Assad regime.   What does is say if the mainstream media, Netflix, and sadly, The Intercept and many respectable NGOs are toeing the line of the United States and NATO narrative on the White Helmets, convincing us that they should be considered respectable recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize and that their alleged humanitarian work highlights the brutality of a regime that kills its own people, when in reality it appears that western militaristic agencies are fueling, funding, and supporting this very same organization which is affiliated with Islamic fanatics and whose members kill innocent people in Syria?   This may be a stretch, but to me it means that they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes and drag us into an insane and irrecoverable conflict.   This is total and absolute insanity, and if we don’t start paying attention to what our government is doing and begin taking action to stop them, then not only will the conflict in Syria rage on into further ruin, but it will be a mere footnote in the greater war which shall erupt from this one and likely envelope millions more into the flames. 







    Despotism and the War on Values

    The following article about was written by Divided Core contributor, advisor, and board member, the illustrious VG, freedom fighter extraordinaire. 

    We must undertake the struggle in all parts of the world, wherever we may be, because we have no other spare or replacement planet.  We have only this one, and we have to take action.

                                                                                                                                                        -Berta Cáceres, 1971-2016

              Despotism is absolute power which governs without the rule of law, absolutely. Sometimes to better understand a concept or term it helps to apply it to oneself or to one's own identity. This way we may better be able to empathize with the world to which we apply it. In light of the American political process (some call democracy) that has just completed its first round of the general election year 2016 I suggest we apply it to our own political identity. Yes, Donald Trump is undoubtedly a despot who likes to play by his own rules, or at least try. The fact that most republicans gulp down a choke at the thought of supporting him reveals his brutish repulsiveness, but let's put Chump aside.

    Image from Adbusters.

    Hilary Clinton has just powered her way to the democratic nomination using every insider scheme imaginable to defeat Bernie Sanders' much more honest and insurgent campaign. Funny how that word insurgent is used to describe the Sanders effort. File that one for later, for now we will return to Clinton. In addition to owning the DNC and the corporate media she rode the merits of being a woman to the nomination. I empathize with the Mother Earth that there has not yet been a woman president.  Those two words next to each other look bizarre, but isn't voting for someone because she is a woman just as backwards as voting for someone just because he isn't? Is Clarence Thomas a great Supreme Court Justice who stands up for Civil Rights just because he is black?

    Clinton's record on foreign policy and campaign conduct is contemptible and despotic. She is a hawk and a crony. Her Clinton Foundation accepts donations from SAUDI ARABIA (Gee, weren't they pretty close to the Bushes too)? Why do these issues matter? We live in beautiful Sonoma County. Organic this, that and the other are abundant. People from all over the world pay out the nose to stay in a spare room and enjoy rural suburbia.

    Foreign policy and campaign conduct are the most important issues before us because they reveal the most about how a candidate is going to engage with the world. Wake up baby boomers!!! Indeed we live in a globalized world that is based on a system of exploitation and consumption. Everyone is hoping that Hilary's koolaide is as good as Bill's. The nineties, the great tech boom of money, minivans and ME.

    No Clinton is not a solution. She is the establishment. She has it so well oiled and lubed. Get ready for the TPP, fracking off California's coast, and more anemic obamacare, while in the background we continue invading places and slaughtering thousands of people we are told we should fear and in the process bankrupt our country and destroy the planet (the military uses 40% of fossil fuel consumption in the United States).

    What are our values? A value is a principle which a person considers important in life. Most people say family, freedom, peace, health, fairness, and honesty when asked about their values. How are these values being reflected in the American political process?

    I have heard dozens people say they support and respect everything that Sanders has talked about, but in the end they voted for Clinton because she was going to be the winner and that she needs momentum to defeat Trump. This is a very conservative approach and reflective of an American obsession with winning and competition. Voting the perceived lesser of two evils does not work, is is how America degraded in the first place. What are we conserving? Vast economic inequality and environmental degradation? Corporate oligarchy and racial injustice? Clinton's legacy is part of the problem not the solution.

    We are suffering from an American culture that is despotic and it is waging a war on our values. Clinton is the perfect reflection of our illness. From one side of her mouth she talks about the importance of environmental, economic, racial and social justice, but from the other side she advocates the structures that allow the continuation of the current paradigm.

    Americans are addicted to unbridled consumption, which necessitates the exploitation of someone or someplace (hence the support for Clinton's policies). We hear the calls for reform, but we don't listen. We see the writing on the wall, but we don't understand. Why is every month this year the hottest ever recorded? Why are people gunning down innocent people, 50 at a time, in a night club? We need to remind ourselves of our values and strive for them. It's hard and humbling, but we are not all kings and queens. Vote your conscience!! We may take a large step back before taking larger steps forward, but at least we won't be taking continual leaps deeper and deeper into the abyss.

    Berta Cáceres, Honduran environmental activist murdered in her home by armed gunmen in March, 2016.  R.I.P.   (Image from: Remezcla)



    The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

    Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight thousand miles away from its shores.

                                                -Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in reference to Ho Chi Minh, Beyond Vietnam, 1967

    Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

                                                                                                                   -George Orwell, Politics and the English Language


            On Thursday, in a stupendous feat of mental gymnastics, Secretary of State John Kerry said that ISIS was responsible for carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity in Iraq.  While this true, it is equally true that the United States bears full responsibly for instigating the insanity and violence currently raging across Iraq and much of the Middle East, and that ISIS would have never emerged as a radical resistance force had it not been for the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq – an invasion that was based on lies and an occupation that has seen American forces commit acts of torture and indiscriminate killing tantamount to that of ISIS.

            U.S forces have raped and tortured Iraqi citizens to death in the prison cells of the erstwhile Saddam Hussein regime; the arsenal of destructive weapons denoted by our military has created a living hell on Earth for millions of Iraqis that had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks and must now subsist amongst the rubble of their homes stained with the blood of their family, their lives dismembered by million-dollar Tomahawk missiles launched by Navy ships in the Red Sea.  Like the Republicans who have declared Donald Trump a national security threat due to his pro-torture and unilateral militaristic positions while they themselves have supported torture and preemptive war, Kerry, who as Senator of Massachusetts voted for the Iraq War, doesn’t have leg to stand on as he applies a twisted and hypocritical logic in his assessment of ISIS, citing their genocidal tendencies as the reason why Iraq and Syria are now in ruins. 

            The truth (unspoken by the State Department and their loyal mainstream media allies that dutifully disseminate any announcement from the government as though it were truth) is that the underlying causes of the violence plaguing the Middle East are a direct result of the United States government and military whom --  at the behest of Wall Street, the Military-Industrial-Complex, and death-defying Cold War-era centenarian government officials like Henry Kissinger (a war criminal with close ties to Hillary Clinton), Dick Cheney, Zbigniew Berezniki (President Obama’s former foreign policy advisor), and Donald Rumsfeld  -- have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq for the sake of profit and imperialism.   After a quarter century of sanctions and weekly bombing raids, and after 13 years of military occupation, not only has America in effect created ISIS, but we have slaughtered far more innocent people in that region than ISIS has or ever will.  While the actions of our government may not be labeled as genocide, this means little to the family members of the hundreds of thousands of civilians (of whose deaths the military does not keep track) that have been killed by our weapons, and countless others (perhaps as many as four million) that have died as a result of the tangential instability caused by the invasion and occupation (not to mention a quarter-century of sanctions).     

    Outcome of U.S airstikes in Iraq, 2003.

            Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1973, when the United States was embroiled in another murderous quagmire based on lies and aggression – the Vietnam War, in which ultimately the United States lost fifty-thousand soldiers and killed over two million Vietnamese – a far more cleared-headed John Kerry of Vietnam Veterans Against the War had this to say to Congress and the American people:

            We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism - and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong… We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam.

            Since then John Kerry has substituted the logic and passion of a man with an independent voice for that of a confabulating politician who must toe the line of a party rife with double-standards and hypocrisy.  Like Hillary Clinton who must now make excuses for her avocation of war with the now failed-states of Iraq and Libya, John Kerry has assumed the position of a hitman who must defend the indefensible.  He must point the finger at ISIS for carrying out mass killings when it is the United States that has overseen the primary genocide in that region.  When Russia followed in the U.S lead and began bombing Syria, Kerry was put in the awkward position of saying that it was their bombing campaign was destabilizing, as though the U.S bombing of Syria and arming of rebels was constructive.  When the Egyptian military overthrew the first democratically-elected president of Egypt in 2013, Kerry said that the military was “restoring democracy.”  He has played the genocide card with ISIS but says nothing of Saudi Arabia’s mini-genocide against civilians in Yemen.

            If we are to resolve the world’s problems we must try to view the world through a clear and objective lens.  Yes, ISIS is committing genocide, but so have we (then and now: think slavery, Native Americans, Hiroshima and Nagasaki); and for us to call genocide on ISIS is the pot calling the kettle black.  We invaded Iraq based on a lie: that Saddam Hussein was harboring terrorists, and the tragic irony of our foolhardy campaign is that we have created real terrorists in our crusade to catch phantoms.  In addition to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria are in ruins due to our foreign policy, and our government is blaming the people of those regions for the destabilization and chaos; we blame them for not going along with our imperialist agenda.  But what did we expect having invaded and brutalized sovereign states and human beings?  Did we expect for them to just roll over and hand us their resources after we have killed their family members and friends?  (One thing that should be noted is that these countries were all fairly modern before we invaded; this can be observed in the old footage of Syrian nightlife.  Before we invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s cabinet even included Christians.)  Imagine that a foreign power bombed your neighborhood to smithereens, wiping-out everything you loved in an invasion and occupation of your homeland – would you roll over as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, and a number other war criminals would like and apparently expect the Iraqis to do, or would you fight back?  We must acknowledge our mistakes if we are to correct them.  We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the people whom we have oppressed if we are to reconcile our differences with them.  Our current strategy is to label everyone who hates us a terrorist and refuse to end these war until every last one of them is killed.  Such a strategy will lead to an amaranthine conflict and will only see the Middle East enveloped in flames.  This should not be the way forward for it is an ominous trajectory that would spell doom for the fate of humanity.  Now is the time for sympathy, compassion, diplomacy, for truth and reconciliation.  Let that be the way forward so that the newborn Iraqi child will no longer be born into a world of horror and sorrow.