Cornel West: Obama A ‘Counterfeit’ And A ‘Brown-Faced Clinton’

Union Theological Seminary professor and noted liberal public intellectual Cornel West had some harsh words for President Barack Obama in an interview with the left-leaning Salon.

The conversation started out on a sour note when Salon’s Thomas Frank asked West, “how do you feel things have worked out since then [2008], both with the economy and with this president?”

West’s reply:

[T]he thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.

[W]e ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.

Aside from criticisms for what he views as Obama’s overall failures, he criticized the President’s response to the police militarization on display in Ferguson, Missouri, and throughout the nation.

The Obama administration has been silent. Completely silent. All of a sudden now, you get this uprising and what is the response? Well, as we know, you send out a statement on the death of brother Robin Williams before you sent out a statement on brother Michael Brown. The family asked for an autopsy at the Federal level, they hold back, so they [the family] have to go and get their own autopsy, and then the federal government finally responds. [Obama] sends Eric, Eric’s on the way out. Eric Holder’s going to be gone by December.

Obama wasn’t the only person on the left West ripped.

He also took Al Sharpton to task:

[W]hen you say the name Al Sharpton, the word integrity does not come to mind. So you got low-quality black leadership. Al Sharpton is who? He’s a cheerleader for Obama…

MSNBC, state press, it’s all Obama propaganda, and Sharpton is the worst. Sharpton said explicitly, I will never say a critical word about the president under any condition. That’s why he can’t stand what I’m saying. He can’t stand what I do because, for him, it’s an act of racial traitorship to be critical of the president. There’s no prophetic integrity in his leadership…

And as for the possibility of a Hillary Clinton Presidency in 2016 that has liberals so giddy (or jiddy), West offers this:

Hillary Clinton is an extension of Obama’s Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency. She’d be more hawkish than he is, and yet she’s got that strange smile that somehow titillates liberals and neo-liberals and scares Republicans. But at that point it’s even too hard to contemplate.

Read the full interview at Salon.com.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-22-2014: Fed Up With MSM In Ferguson; Harry Reid Steps In It Yet Again; Trey Gowdy All Business As Benghazi Panel Nears; Cops And Cameras In Vice City; Friday Funnies

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

Fed Up With Media Circus, One Reporter Explains Why He Walked Away From Ferguson

Freelance journalist Ryan L. Schlosser went to Ferguson, Missouri to report on the rioting that followed the controversial police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, on August 9. He came away disgusted with the way the story was being reported, and the callous, self-serving manner in which national and international news outlets insinuated themselves, and their apparent agendas, into the much smaller local narrative – all while demonstrating a fundamental disregard for Ferguson residents while they were guests in their city. Read More…

Harry Reid Apologizes For Jokes At Asian-American Function

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has a history of insensitive and off-color remarks, apologized Friday for a pair of jokes he made before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” the Nevada Democrat said to laughter from the audience. Later in the program, milling onstage as he was introduced to participants, Reid leaned into the microphone and quipped, “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.” Read More…

Gowdy Says He’ll Bring Prosecutor’s Focus, Fairness To Benghazi Probe

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy’s new select panel, created by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), will begin more public hearings on Benghazi next month when Congress returns from its lengthy summer recess. Asked to talk about the committee, though, Gowdy declined. “I didn’t talk about my investigations when I was a DA,” he said curtly. “There’ll be a time and a place.” Read More…

In Wake Of Ferguson, Miami-Dade Mayor Wants ‘A Camera On Every Police Officer’

In the wake of national outrage over alleged police misconduct in Ferguson, Mo., Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Thursday vowed to make “body cameras” mandatory for all county patrol officers. Novel Idea…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Many people looked at the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and saw it as solely a racial issue. But it’s so much more than that. Want to focus on race? Fine – take the easy way out. Be distracted. Look at the shiny ball instead of the ugliness that is plain to see. Believing that Ferguson is about race is easier to handle, less scary than the truth: that our government intends to control us all — regardless of the color of our skin. But if you ignore the truth, you do so at your own risk. Friday ‘Funnies’…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Many people looked at the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and saw it as solely a racial issue. But it’s so much more than that. What happened in Ferguson should frighten every single citizen of this nation. This is America. The U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans certain rights, including “life” and “liberty.” Yet it is not uncommon for police officers to kill Americans of any race whenever they choose. What’s more, it is not uncommon for even local law enforcement agencies to possess military-grade equipment, which they are eager to use. Our lives and our liberty are threatened by the very people who claim they want to “protect and serve” us. Meanwhile, a concerted effort to limit Americans’ ability to protect themselves is underway. Want to focus on race? Fine! Take the easy way out. Be distracted. Look at the shiny ball instead of the ugliness that is plain to see. Believing that Ferguson is about race is easier to handle, less scary than the truth: that our government intends to control us all — regardless of the color of our skin. But if you ignore the truth, you do so at your own risk.

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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 16, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
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Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons
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Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
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Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com
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Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
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Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
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Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
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Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia
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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-21-2014: DoD Broke Law In Bergdahl Swap; Judge Orders Holder To Name Fast & Furious Papers; Police Shooting On A Sunny St. Louis Day; Calling B.S. On NSA’s Flimsy Spy Claim; LAPD Shells Out $5 Million For Gunning Down Suspect; Dems Foment Hobby Lobby Boycott – At Hobby Lobby

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

GAO Report: Department Of Defense Violated The Law In Bergdahl-Guantanamo Prisoner Swap

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that the Department of Defense violated the law when it carried out the Obama Administration’s arranged swap of five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay for the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Read More…

Not So Fast And Furious: Judge Orders DOJ To Hand Over List Of Withheld Gunrunning Documents

Attorney General Eric Holder may have gone about his business with a Congressional contempt charge hanging over his head for the past two years, but the gunrunning scandal that got him that way hasn’t disappeared. A federal judge made that abundantly clear on Wednesday.  Read More…

This Happened On August 19 In St. Louis. Does It Look Like Murder To You?

St. Louis police shot and killed 25 year-old Kajieme Powell around 1 p.m. on August 19, about 3.5 miles from the location of the now-infamous Michael Brown shooting. And if people need a clear case of police brutality to riot over, the knee-jerk evidence to support their outrage is much more accessible to an angry public in this case than in Brown’s. For starters, there’s this video. Watch…

EFF, ACLU Demolish ‘It’s Just Metadata’ Claim In NSA Spying Appeal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, a high-profile lawsuit that challenges mass surveillance, arguing that Americans’ telephone metadata deserves the highest protection of the 4th Amendment. Right now, the 4th Amendment needs all the help it can get. Read More…

LA Settles Police Shooting Case For $5 Million

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $5 million settlement with the family of an unarmed National Guard veteran killed on live television in a barrage of gunfire at the end of a wild pursuit last year in downtown L.A. The proposed payout is the largest settlement the city has made in a fatal police shooting case in at least a decade and comes after Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck raised concerns about the officers’ tactics. Read More…

Wasserman Schultz Visits Hobby Lobby Store — To Urge A Boycott

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, stopped at a Hobby Lobby store in her district on Wednesday — not to pick up some craft supplies for one of her kids’ school projects, but to alert people to the store’s existence and urge people not to shop there. Really…

This Happened On August 19 In St. Louis. Does It Look Like Murder To You?

St. Louis police shot and killed 25 year-old Kajieme Powell around 1 p.m. on August 19, about 3.5 miles from the location of the now-infamous Michael Brown shooting.

This shooting isn’t that shooting, though: there’s video of this encounter, whereas evidence in the Brown case is early in the discovery phase. The court of public opinion has run amok on both sides of the Brown case; evidence seems almost an afterthought.

One thing seems obvious, though: if people need a clear case of police brutality to riot over, the knee-jerk evidence to support their outrage is much more accessible to an angry public in this case than in Brown’s.

You can dicker over Powell’s behavior before the police filled him with bullets, or his evident thuggish demeanor, or the overall thuggish demeanor of the guy doing the filming. If Powell were still alive, perhaps he could dicker over those things, too, when he faced his accuser.

Thuggish demeanor, petty theft and alleged slow-motion threats to police don’t permit the wholesale abrogation of due process in favor of on-the-spot extreme justice – courtesy of the state.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson went on to tell the media Powell had a knife and was approaching the officers with it. Here’s his account, followed by a replay of the moment of the shooting:

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-20-2014: The Islamic State’s Appeal To Western Jihadists; The NYPD’s Chronic Camera Problem; Connecting The Dots Between The Police State And The Slum Economy; Perry Gets Mileage From Mugshot Moment; Chicago Doesn’t Swoon For Proposed Obama Library

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

Islamic State Has More British Muslim Fighters Than Britain Does; U.S. Claims Only A ‘Handful’ Of Americans Have Joined

Whether true or not, U.S. intelligence officials will only divulge to media that they believe a “small handful” of Americans are currently fighting as soldiers within the Islamic State. But one British parliamentarian believes that the terrorist “caliphate” now boasts more British Muslim recruits than are currently enlisted to fight in Britain’s own armed forces. Read More…

NYPD Settles With Man Arrested For Photographing Police; Reminds Officers They Cannot Object To Being Filmed

The New York Police Department has awarded a $125,000 settlement to a man who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the department, following a 2012 incident in which he was allegedly arrested and strip searched for filming police officers on duty. Read More…

Police States And Inner-City Economics

The recent civil disobedience, rioting and police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, reminds us of what happens when police states and bad economics are mixed together. Devastated by decades of ruinous economic policies, the economies of many inner cities continue to languish as the self-ownership of local residents is treated with contempt by the police and any attempt at building a small-business-based or wage-based economy is hobbled by government regulation. Mises…

Rick Perry Defiant As He’s Booked, Has Mug Shot Taken At Courthouse

Texas Gov. Rick Perry struck a tight smile for his mug shot Tuesday and issued a spirited defense against charges of abusing his power, vowing “to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being.” Perry said he faces the charges with his “head held high” and vowed, “We will prevail.” Supporters and members of his staff chanted, “Perry! Perry! Perry!” Detractors in the crowd waved placards, one of which said, “Nice mug shot, criminal.” Lawfare…

Chicago Voters Split On Luring Obama Presidential Library

Voters in the city that launched President Barack Obama’s political career are split over whether to put tax dollars into luring his presidential library to Chicago. Less than half of those surveyed in a Chicago Tribune poll — 47 percent — said they favored the idea of using tax money to attract or build the library, while 45 percent said they opposed it and 8 percent were undecided. Read More…

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-19-2014: Liberals Lose Their Gun Virginity; The Islamic State’s Ferguson PR Outreach; A Texas-Style Protest To Rick Perry’s Indictment; Mainstream Media Wakes Up To The Problem Of Militarized Police; Consumer Spending Is Up…If You Survived The Recession

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

Watch Liberal Gun Control Advocates Shoot Guns For The First Time In Their Lives

This is pretty cool: self-confessed anti-gun liberals, who agreed to at least see what it’s like to fire a gun, go to the L.A. Gun Club and get beginners’ training. All of them confess it’s the first time they’ve ever fired a gun in their lives.  And some of them walk away from the experience with their ideology in direct conflict with their emotions. Video…

Islamic Terror Sympathizers Reach Out To Ferguson Protestors

According to reports, factions of the Islamic State terror group which is brutalizing parts of the Middle East have turned their attention to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Photos and tweets seem to corroborate that. Read More…

Perry Indictment Is BS, Says Texas Gun Store

The Katy, Texas-based Tactical Firearms has again used the business’s marquee sign to call out President Barack Obama with a message defending Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry’s indictment is BS, according to the company. Zing…

The Best Reporting On Federal Push To Militarize Local Police

The militarization of St. Louis and other local police departments can be traced to two major sources – the federal 1033 Program, a section of the National Defense Authorization Act passed in the 1990s, as well as federal homeland security grants to states. Here are a few facts that you might have missed about the Pentagon pipeline and the rise of military equipment and tactics in local police departments. Read More…

Consumer Spending Gets Back On Track — For Those Who Still Have Any Money

Written off in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the U.S. consumer is back. Not quite with a vengeance, but definitely back. Spending by the rich never tailed off, and it accelerated alongside the soaring stock market gains of recent years. On the bottom economic rungs, the poor still struggle. Read More…

Watch Liberal Gun Control Advocates Shoot Guns For The First Time In Their Lives

This is pretty cool: self-confessed anti-gun liberals, who agreed to at least see what it’s like to fire a gun, go to the L.A. Gun Club and get beginners’ training. All of them confess it’s the first time they’ve ever fired a gun in their lives.  And some of them walk away from the experience with their ideology in direct conflict with their emotions.

“It’s a rush – it’s an adrenaline rush, and even though it’s f*cked up and I feel confused and conflicted about it all…I would probably come back and do it again,” said one smiling woman after her day at the range.

A few more sessions with a strong emphasis on gun safety would definitely do her good. Check out the fright that happens at 2:16.

“Oh, sorry.”

H/T: BuzzFeed Yellow

Perry Indictment Is BS, Says Texas Gun Store

The Katy, Texas-based Tactical Firearms has again used the business’s marquee sign to call out President Barack Obama with a message defending Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry’s indictment is BS, according to the company.

This isn’t the first time Tactical Firearms has gotten national attention for signs responding to the Obama Administration’s policies.

Check Out This Awesome Sign A Gun Store Made In Response To Obama’s Prisoner Swap

Islamic Terror Sympathizers Reach Out To Ferguson Protestors

According to reports, factions of the Islamic State terror group which is brutalizing parts of the Middle East have turned their attention to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

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The Islamic State was mentioned on a protest sign that appeared in a live CNN broadcast of the events in Ferguson. 

Twitter messages from Islamic jihadists in Syria and Iraq and their western supporters have expressed solidarity with protestors in Ferguson, encouraging people in the area to declare allegiance to the terror group.

Here’s a selection of some of the tweets appearing under the hashtag #FergusonUnderIS:

And under #JihadinFerguson:

In a video posted online Monday, Islamic State terrorists vowed to strike the U.S. in any way they can in response to U.S. attacks on IS militants.

“We will drown all of you in blood,” the group said.

Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 8-18-2014: Throw The Bums Out; Take The ‘F*cking Toys’ From Police; Immigration Crisis Afflicts Heartland Harvest; Three Decades Of Failed U.S. Policy In Iraq; Obama Out To Destroy The Press

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

America: Throw The Bums Out

Americans are fed up with elected officials, according to recent polling data which finds that just 19 percent of likely voters believe that most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected. Read More… 

Political Satirist On Ferguson: Take The ‘F*cking Toys’ From Police

On the Sunday edition of his HBO show “Last Week Tonight”, comedian John Oliver issued a scathing rebuke of the police response to recent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, suggesting that law enforcement agencies throughout the country are increasingly equipped with weapons and vehicles that they don’t need. Watch… 

Immigration Crisis At Border Afflicts Heartland Harvest

The heated tempers of the nation’s border states are driving the debate over immigration policy. States farther away from the U.S.-Mexico border, though, are reckoning with a different set of challenges: a skimpy agriculture labor market and cumbersome immigrant-worker programs that go unfixed amid partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill. Read More… 

Ron Paul Explains Three Decades Of Failed U.S. Policy In Iraq

This month, yet another U.S. president – the fifth in a row – began bombing Iraq. He is also placing in U.S. troops on the ground despite promising not to do so. Straight Talk…

NY Times Reporter Says Obama Is Out To Kill Press Freedom

A New York Times reporter facing jail time for refusing to out a source pulled no punches in a column published over the weekend, calling President Barack Obama the greatest threat to press freedom in a generation. Read More… 

NY Times Reporter Says Obama Is Out To Kill Press Freedom

A New York Times reporter facing jail time for refusing to out a source pulled no punches in a column published over the weekend, calling President Barack Obama the greatest threat to press freedom in a generation.

“It’s hypocritical,” reporter James Risen told the Time’s Maureen Dowd. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

The Obama Administration in 2010 renewed an expired Bush-era subpoena aimed at forcing Risen to reveal a source who provided him classified information about a failed CIA plot against Iran for his 2006 book “State of War.” In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear Risen’s appeal of the renewed subpoena, meaning that failure to comply with the Obama Justice Department’s demands could mean jail time for the journalist.

“It’s hard to fathom how the president who started with the press fluffing his pillows has ended up trying to suffocate the press with those pillows,” writes Dowd in her column.

Read the full piece at The New York Times.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-15-2014: Citizens In The Crosshairs; More IRS Bumbling In Lerner Lawsuit; Too Much Government; Change In Iraq; Al Gore Comes Back For His Money; Remembering Robin Williams; Friday Funnies

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

DHS Says Law Enforcement Should Prepare For More Citizen Enemies

Leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security suggest that police militarization is only likely to increase as officials claim that they are planning for increased “anti-government violence over the next year.” Read More…

IRS Contradicts Itself On Lerner Hard Drive Testimony; Judge Sets Another Deadline For Agency To Get Its Story Straight

The IRS will have until August 22 to explain to a Federal judge how it is attempting to recover Lois Lerner’s missing emails, as well as its policy relating to destroying computer equipment. The judge set the deadline after documents obtained via a FOIA request revealed agency officials had presented conflicting testimony, under oath, about the extent to which Lerner’s hard drive had been damaged before it was allegedly destroyed. Read More…

Americans Are Definitely Fed Up With Government

Separate polls out this week find that majority of Americans believe government is broken and overly involved in citizens’ lives. Surprise…

Al-Maliki’s Resignation As Prime Minister Prompts Relief In Iraq

Iraq swung Friday between conflicting emotions: relief that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s resignation had averted a destabilizing power struggle and a cold reckoning of the challenges facing the country’s new leader. Read More…

Al Gore Sues Al-Jazeera America For Allegedly Withholding $65 Million

Former Vice President Al Gore has sued Al-Jazeera America, claiming the satellite TV service owned by the Qatari royal family has withheld $65 million of the proceeds from the sale of cable channel Current TV. Read More…

Cartoonists From Around The World Say ‘Nanu Nanu’ To Robin Williams

This week, the world became less funny. Robin Williams succumbed to the mental illness that had lurked in the shadows of his entire adult life. He took a pocketknife and a belt, and he stopped the pain he had tried so hard to hide. Like so many tortured creative geniuses before him, Williams left this life too soon.Goodbye…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Talk about déjà vu! The volatile situation in Ferguson, Missouri, is frighteningly reminiscent of the days of Bull Connor and his attack dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. How did we get here so many years later? Well, you can thank Barack Obama for that. Unfortunately, Obama is on vacation and he does not want to be disturbed. To quote Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Friday Funnies…

Americans Are Definitely Fed Up With Government

Separate polls out this week find that majority of Americans believe government is broken and overly involved in citizens’ lives.

According to Rasmussen, 60 percent of American adults said that the government is too involved in trying to influence their lives. Fewer than 10 percent said that they wanted the government more involved in their lives and about one fifth of respondents said that the government’s current level of involvement is about right. The Rasmussen poll focused primarily on the Federal government’s use of taxes on things like unhealthy foods, alcohol and tobacco to influence personal behavior.

It’s no surprise that Americans aren’t thrilled about government efforts to force responsible decisions, as separate poling data show that a majority of the population believe the Nation’s leaders to be corrupt and largely inept.

In an August poll out from Gallup, more Americans (18 percent) cited “dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians; poor leadership/corruption/abuse of power” as their top concerns than any other issue facing the nation.

Another poll conducted by Fox News, recorded similar frustration:

The poll asks voters which message they would like to send to the federal government. Nearly six in 10 would say “leave me alone.” About a third would ask Uncle Sam to “lend me a hand.”

The 59 percent saying “leave me alone” is up from 53 percent in 2012 and 50 percent in 2011. Likewise, the 32 percent saying “lend me a hand” is down from a high of 44 percent three years ago (October 2011).

On Thursday, Rasmussen reported that Americans are divided on whether they think the President works very hard at his job. Meanwhile, 76 percent of respondents to a recent poll said that they are certain they work harder at their jobs than members of Congress.

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Talk about déjà vu! The volatile situation in Ferguson, Missouri, is frighteningly reminiscent of the days of Bull Connor and his attack dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. How did we get here so many years later? Well, you can thank Barack Obama for that. Our imperial president blatantly traipses all over our constitutionally guaranteed rights. That attitude trickles down all the way to our local communities. It was only a matter of time before Ferguson happened. To be fair, though, Americans aren’t the only ones who are the objects of Obama’s insatiable desire for control. He has his fingers in so many Middle Eastern pies it isn’t funny. Most recently, he decided it was up to him to do something about ISIS. Unfortunately, Obama is on vacation and he does not want to be disturbed. To quote Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” So Obama bombed Iraq. Hmmm… Haven’t we been here before, too?

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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
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Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
August 15, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
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Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
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Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons
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Olle Johansson, Sweden
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
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Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com

Cartoonists From Around The World Say ‘Nanu Nanu’ To Robin Williams

This week, the world became less funny. Robin Williams succumbed to the mental illness that had lurked in the shadows of his entire adult life. He took a pocketknife and a belt, and he stopped the pain he had tried so hard to hide. Like so many tortured creative geniuses before him, Williams left this life too soon. The shocking and sad news of the death of this man who had made so many of us laugh for so many long years made headlines worldwide, and the world mourned. In the movie “Dead Poets Society,” Williams famously portrayed John Keating, an unorthodox English teacher who ignited a passion for poetry and for life in his students. Perhaps it’s fitting that Williams’ death calls to mind a poem.

Solitude

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all;
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

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Manny Francisco, Manila, The Phillippines
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Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
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David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
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Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
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Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
August 14, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
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John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune
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Dario Castillejos, El Imparcial de México
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Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria
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Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria
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Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com
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Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Peter Broelman, Australia

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-14-2014: Golfers Ticked After Being Frisked For Obama; Rand Paul, A New Kind Of Republican; Obama Says Strikes Broke ISIS Mountain Siege; Why The Kurds Are Losing Ground; NAFTA Turns 20; Important Words On Race And Responsibility

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Martha’s Vineyard Golfers Frisked Without Warning So Obama Can Play Through

Rich guys hanging out on the golf course at the Vineyard Golf Club were surprised this week when they were suddenly approached by law enforcement – members of President Barack Obama’s security detail – and frisked without warning. Read More… 

A Look Into The Islamic State’s Power – And The Powerlessness Of Its Native Enemies

While U.S. airstrikes have had some effect – it’s not known how great – on the Islamic State’s jabs into mountainous territory where fleeing Iraqi civilians have stranded themselves in flight before a murderous land grab, many outside observers have been surprised at the relative ineffectiveness of Kurdish forces in the region at beating back the jihadists. Read More… 

Analysis: With Ferguson Essay, Rand Paul Proves A Very Different Republican

Paul’s rhetoric is not just a break with others in the embryonic Republican presidential field; it challenges GOP political orthodoxy going back several decades, ever since Richard Nixon made law and order a cudgel to batter Democrats in the riot-torn 1968 campaign. Read More…

Obama: U.S. Has Broken Islamists’ Siege On Iraq Mountaintop

President Barack Obama said Thursday that U.S. forces have broken Islamic militants’ siege of Iraq’s Mt. Sinjar, and he declared the humanitarian mission to save thousands of refugees stranded on the barren mountain a success. Read More… 

MULTIMEDIA

Report: Crony Capitalism Alive And Well As NAFTA Turns 20

Reporter Charlie LeDuff of “The Americans” explains how the North American Free Trade Agreement has caused problems for workers in the U.S. and Mexico. While corporations have made billions shipping jobs south of the border, the poor wages they provide in Mexico and South America are driving up illegal immigration to the U.S. Watch… 

Race Baiters Destroyed In One Epic Rant

One man’s response to the current civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, where police recently shot an unarmed black teenager. Watch… 

Report: Crony Capitalism Alive And Well As NAFTA Turns 20

Reporter Charlie LeDuff of “The Americans” explains how the North American Free Trade Agreement has caused problems for workers in the U.S. and Mexico. While corporations have made billions shipping jobs south of the border, the poor wages they provide in Mexico and South America are driving up illegal immigration to the U.S.

Race Baiters Destroyed In One Epic Rant

“I’m sick of it!”

Those are the words of one black American who has had it with the race baiting of Rev. Al Sharpton and others who pontificate about racial injustice without ever doing anything to enact positive change.

Marching, rioting and looting, the man says, aren’t going to improve race relations in the U.S.

The epic rant is a response to the current civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, where police recently shot an unarmed black teenager.

“When are we going to overcome, when? That was fifty plus years ago and all we’re doing is going around in circles…” the man says.

“You activists out there, you civil rights leaders— all of a sudden Black Panthers, NAACP come out the woodwork… they just came out of nowhere, [saying] ‘Oh, we gonna want justice. We want justice. No justice, no peace’ that’s all you see ‘No justice no peace,’” the man continues. “Shut up.

“When it was sixty plus shootings in Chicago a few weeks back, where were you? Nowhere to be found. A few weeks later, there was forty-seven drive-bys in one weekend, where were you? Nowhere to be found. When little Ray Ray kills little Lukie, where were you? Nowhere to be found. When a little girl was shot when she was riding her tricycle in the front yard and stray bullets hit her, where were you? Nowhere to be found.”

The man contends that black Americans must do more to change their communities.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-13-2014: You Have No Say In Government Policy; Paul Speaks Out Against Executive Orders; GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Has A Great Job Creation Plan; Obama Mulls Further Action In Iraq; Does Cuomo Have Something To Hide?

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

The Average American Has ‘Essentially Zero’ Influence Over U.S. Policy

An academic look into the driving forces behind American Federal policymaking concludes that the average citizen in the United States has “essentially zero” influence over the direction of government. Read More… 

Rand Paul Says He’d use Executive Orders If President… But Only To Revoke Previous Executive Orders

Speaking to constituents in Kentucky this week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he would use his executive power to reverse the damage done by his predecessors’ propensity for legislating by fiat if he were elected President. Read More… 

Texas GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes Deregulating Entry Points For Small Businesses

Greg Abbott, attorney general of Texas and the GOP’s candidate for Governor, recently unveiled a proposal that, if adopted, would put an end to State licensure requirements that currently govern such small-business occupations as cosmetology, coaching, dog training and interior design. Read More…

U.S. Sends Aircraft To Iraq; Obama Weighs Mission To Save Refugees

Administration officials said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is considering using military helicopters and other aircraft to help rescue thousands of refugees trapped on Mount Sinjar in northwest Iraq, potentially putting U.S. forces closer to the extremist fighters who have laid siege to the area. Read More… 

Why Is The Cuomo Administration Automatically Deleting New York State Employees’ Emails?

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration — which the Governor pledged would be the most transparent in State history — has quietly adopted policies that allow it to purge the emails of tens of thousands of state employees, cutting off a key avenue for understanding and investigating state government. Read More… 

Good Guys With Guns Stop Just Plain Bad Guys

Protests related to the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old by police in a St. Louis suburb turned violent Sunday night, overwhelming law enforcement authorities and leading to thousands of dollars in property damage and stolen goods.

The initially peaceful protesters had assembled to demand that the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown — who, despite being unarmed, was deemed a lethal threat by law enforcement officials — be relieved of duty and prosecuted.

Riverfront Times provides some background on the incident:

On Saturday at about noon, Brown was walking with a friend on the 2900 block of Canfield Drive when they came across a Ferguson police officer. Accounts differ about what exactly happened, but Brown ended up lying face down in the street in a pool of blood, shot repeatedly by the officer, a six-year veteran who has yet to be identified. Brown did not have a weapon. Witnesses at the scene told the media that Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot — some described the shooting as “execution style.”

At a press conference on Sunday morning, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar gave the (very brief) official version of what occurred, accompanied by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who did not speak. St. Louis County is in charge of the investigation. Here’s what Belmar told reporters: “One of those individuals at the time came in as the officer was exiting his police car. Allegedly pushed the police officer back into the car where he physically assaulted the police officer. It is our understanding at this point in the investigation that within the police car there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon. There was at least one shot fired within the car after that. The officer came back out of the car, he exited his vehicle and there was a shooting that occurred where the officer in fact shot the subject and the subject — they were fatal injuries.”

The story is a familiar one. As is the civil unrest that often follows when communities feel that one of their own has been killed, or suffered lesser abuses, at the hands of authorities.

Civil unrest and violence go hand in hand. And as emergency responders become overwhelmed — as they did in St. Louis this past weekend — the inaccurate assumption that the safety and property of individual residents is of primary concern to authorities quickly erodes.

Here, courtesy of the weekend violence in St. Louis, are two news reports that illustrate what happens when residents make the decision to actively defend (or not) their property.

A report reflecting the decision to trust the authorities to handle the situation via a Los Angeles Times report on the incident:

Workers hustled to replace Zisser Tire’s signature wraparound windows with plywood as evening approached. Looters broke into the store and stole tire rims from the showroom — each of them single display pieces for four-piece sets — and video captured one person using a rim to smash out each of the windows. Looters also entered the back of the store, broke into a gold Escalade and destroyed the dash.

Dennis G. Ferguson, a salesman for the store, told The Times that he had called the owner and debated bringing rifles down to the store as the looters worked their way down Florissant Avenue. Ultimately he decided against it. It was “too dangerous,” he said.

Another employee said that even after workers had arrived at the store Monday morning, a stranger came in and stole an iPad from the counter. Police caught him.

Now, from Riverfront Times, a report about on property owners who actively defended their assets:

Nobody is robbing St. Louis Ink Tattoo Studio anytime soon. Or County Guns, for that matter.

The two north county businesses share a storefront in a Florissant strip mall less than ten minute drive from the epicenter of last night’s riots in Ferguson. After nightfall, what began as a community’s peaceful demonstration against the Ferguson Police Department’s shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown turned increasingly violent. Crowds plundered a QuikTrip and burned it to the ground, and local news began reporting brazen raids on other stores in the area.

After hearing of the roving bands of looters, Mike Gutierrez knew he had to protect his tattoo shop. He brought a posse with him, including Adam Weinstein, owner of County Guns, who was acutely worried about criminals getting their hands on his merchandise.

“We didn’t want them coming in here and then running around with a bunch of free guns,” Weinstein told Daily RFT when we arrive at the store around 12:30 a.m. this morning. Weinstein was outfitted with an assault rifle, pistol and tactical vest. Gutierrez cradled his own rifle in his hands.

Gutierrez, Weinstein and their group arrived to find thieves tearing through a Dollar General in the same strip mall that houses their business. Weinstein says the looters attempted moving toward the shop, but were scared off by the guns. Then the police arrived.

“There were like two SWAT vans, two dozen cop cars,” said one woman. The cops apparently checked out the situation and then tore off to some other crisis.

Bottom line: A little deterrence and self-defense can go a long way.