Living in a representative republic means that each person has the right to take a stand for what they think is right, whether that means marching outside the halls of government, wearing clothing with provocative statements, or simply holding up a sign.
That’s what the First Amendment is supposed to be about.
Yet through a series of carefully crafted legislative steps and politically expedient court rulings, government officials have managed to disembowel this fundamental freedom, rendering it with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.
In the process, government officials have succeeded in insulating themselves from their constituents, making it increasingly difficult for average Americans to make themselves seen or heard by those who most need to hear what “we the people” have to say.
Congress wants to sweep a potentially explosive IT scandal under the rug. From Frank Miniter at americanthinker.com:
After spending a year digging into the Democrats’ covered up I.T. scandal in Congress, I happen to know there is a lot here that Americans aren’t being allowed to know. If all this group of I.T. administrators from Pakistan did in Congress doesn’t get out, then much of our freedom, which is wrapped up in this story, will be impacted.
The cover-up has been so effective that this isn’t happening. Imran Awan, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)’s I.T. aide, got off without jail time or restitution on only bank fraud charges. Congress got off without paying the price for possible corruption and for allowing a spy ring to run free in Congress. We can’t even be sure that Congress has made the necessary reforms to stop another spy ring from infiltrating and spying on Congress and thereby using stolen data to blackmail a congressman, influence a vote, or just know where members of Congress stand on various pieces of legislation, all of which can impact us.
Here is an issue, rather than the manufactured scandal or perpetual outrage, with which Democrats could actually make headway with the voters: America’s never-ending wars. From Jeff Cohen at antiwar.com:
While Trump’s 2016 victories in swing states may well have been aided by his posing as a foe of protracted war, his administration’s Mideast policies have largely exposed that masquerade. Unfortunately, the weak and confused positions of Democratic leaders on endless war and bloated military spending offer little alternative to war-weary voters.
If Rosenstein wasn’t joking about recording and removing Trump, he should be fired immediately and a criminal investigation launched. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wasn’t joking when he told former FBI officials Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page that he wanted to secretly record President Trump and use the tapes to remove him from office, according to the FBI’s former top lawyer.
Fox News reports that James Baker, who served as the FBI’s General Counsel before he was reassigned and then quit, told congressional investigators during a closed-door deposition last week that Page and McCabe relayed the same account of Rosenstein’s remarks – and that he was absolutely serious at the time.
“As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed,” reports The Hill‘s John Solomon, citing a confidential source.
“It was no laughing matter for the FBI,” the source added.
This is a bombshell if it turns out to be true. From Vivian Nereim and Taylan Bilgic at bloomberg.com:
The Saudis were discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi back to the kingdom, The Washington Post reported, citing a person familiar with the communications, which were intercepted before he vanished. Khashoggi, a columnist for the newspaper, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and is feared to be detained or dead.
And we recently discovered, if it was not known before, that no amount of power can withstand the hatred of the many.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
Americans are brought up to believe all sorts of myths about the country we call home. We’re told our economy is a free market meritocracy governed by the rule of law. We’re told our civil liberties, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, are inviolable and protected by the most powerful military in the world. A fighting force entrusted with the admirable and monumental task of defending freedoms at home, and democracy and human rights abroad. We’re told we exist in a system of self-government, in which our votes matter and our voices heard. In practice, none of this is true.
The fact of the matter is American citizens in 2018 are just a nuisance for the real power players. Useful as consumers, but increasingly problematic as larger numbers start to ask questions about how things really work. For far too long, we’ve been ignorant and willing accomplices in our own bondage. This allowed the concentrated and unaccountable power that really calls the shots to go for broke in recent decades, with unsurprisingly tragic results.
One way to undermine support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria: concoct a story that he’s selling out to the Sunni jihadists—backed by the US, Israel, the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia—that most Syrians fear and loath. From Ghassen Kadi at thesaker.is:
As the observers and analysts of events in the Middle East were busy looking at the aftermath of the downing of the IL-20 and the deployment of the S-300 in Syria, a great new danger is now looming.
President Assad issued a legislative decree (Decree No 16) and which is intended to reform the ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments). The “Awqaf” is a Sunni Muslim tradition that has been around for centuries, and its role is to manage the funds of family trusts. After the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire, the new states separated their own “Awqaf” and established their own religious bodies to manage these affairs and funds.
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