McCain, Paul: The U.S. Must Halt Aid To Egypt

Egypt is in disarray as the Barack Obama-backed Muslim Brotherhood government is being pushed from power by the nation’s military. The uprisings, according to many foreign policy experts, are yet another example of how dangerous American meddling in Mideast affairs is to any measure of true democracy.

Members of the press in the United States have called the uprising an assault on democracy. But reports often leave out the fact that, while President Mohammed Morsi was supposedly elected by popular vote, he ruled the nation with a theocratic iron fist. Perhaps a result of the Western mainstream’s apparent fear of criticizing Islam, atrocities against liberty have gone largely unreported since Morsi took the seat of power.

News outlets, including the BBC, Bloomberg and The Associated Press, have covered the military uprisings with near sympathetic tones toward Muslim Brotherhood leadership, attributing its undemocratic style of leadership to the deeply entrenched religious beliefs of its members.

The Obama Administration lauded the original movement that brought Morsi to power, and it never made any meaningful attempt to condemn his rapid centralization of power. Instead, while pushing domestic policy initiatives full of social liberalism at home, the White House continued a policy of pumping $1.5 billion annually into a country that, with Sharia as a justification, has a horrible human rights record since the Morsi government took hold.

If nothing else, the coup in Egypt shows the true goal of all Mideast foreign policy: perpetual destabilization by way of puppetry. So even as the nation is in the throes of what could lead to another revolution, the United States is opting to continue pumping money into the region in order to ensure that whoever is eventually declared as Egypt’s rightful leader remains a puppet to the United States with the promise of wealth.

In a contribution to The Washington Times over the weekend, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) expressed deep opposition to continued U.S. aid to Egypt:

In Egypt, protest is met with tear gas, manufactured in America and paid for with American taxes. When Egyptians protest, they protest against their government and also America for subsidizing that government.

Despite the fact that Mohamed Morsi recently convicted 16 Americans of political crimes in a show trial, the Obama administration still sent them over $2 billion this year.

American tax dollars flow no matter which despot rules.

Hosni Mubarak brutally suppressed protest over three decades of martial law. Yet, we sent him some $60 billion, much of which was stolen by Mr. Mubarak and his family.

Mr. Mubarak abused his citizens and his own power, yet we gave him billions of dollars and advanced weaponry, including F-16 jets. Mr. Mubarak would eventually use those jets to intimidate the protesters who would eventually end his regime.

Today, we give the same billions and fighter jets to Mr. Mubarak’s successor, Mr. Morsi, who the protesters now see in the same light as Mr. Mubarak.

But worse, due to our aid and support, Egyptians see Mr. Morsi and America as the same.

Some American politicians never know when to say no. Three prominent interventionists called for arming Moammar Gadhafi the year before they called for arming the Libyan Islamists rebels who overthrew Gadhafi. Which Islamic rebels killed the American ambassador? No one seems to know and no one has been brought to justice. Often, today’s “rebels” can become tomorrow’s tyrants, and vice versa.

Paul has sometimes been alone in his calls for ending U.S. aid to foreign nations, but this time he isn’t. Even Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), a perpetual neocon always up for a bit of good ole America intervention, believes that the United States is playing a dangerous game by pumping billions of dollars into Egypt.

He said in a statement:

I have always said that democracy is about more than elections, and I have consistently urged the Egyptian military to serve as the guarantor of Egyptian democracy and the protector of the Egyptian nation. I understand that the military’s removal of Morsi from office was undertaken with broad public support in the name of democracy and could ultimately lead Egypt to a more inclusive and representative civilian government. However, it is difficult for me to conclude that what happened was anything other than a coup in which the military played a decisive role. Current U.S. law is very clear about the implications for our foreign assistance in the aftermath of a military coup against an elected government, and the law offers no ability to waive its provisions. I do not want to suspend our critical assistance to Egypt, but I believe that is the right thing to do at this time.

While the debate is still in the air as to whether the popular support for the Egyptian military’s actions could be reason to consider the recent events something other than a military coup, many people are of the mind that the United States is doing more harm than good by continuing to pump aid money into the region. This, however, is not the view of the White House.

“It is not in our interest in moving particularly quickly”  in changing the situation in Egypt, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday. He added that the government overthrow is a “charged” issue for tens of millions of Egyptians who have differing views on what happened.

Currently, Carney stressed, “the U.S. is not aligned with — nor is it supporting — any particular political party or group” in the nation.

But some advocates of cutting Egyptian aid argue that continuing aid that could potentially again fall into the hands of oppressors simply is not in the best interest of the United States. Egypt’s people will not forget who funded their oppressors. And as we have learned with our other Mideast misadventures, that increased anti-American sentiment is certain to breed terrorists who will later feel compelled to inflict the same pain on the American people that they have felt in their homeland.

EPA Readying For New Regulatory Rules To Take Effect

The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to release an onslaught of new regulatory initiatives in September, taking on everything from carbon dioxide emissions to pollution run-off from military ships.

A regulatory plan, quietly released by the Barack Obama Administration last week, goes far beyond what the President has discussed with regard to introducing new greenhouse gas emissions standards for new and existing power plants in the Nation.

One regulatory initiative would enact stricter standards on pollution from military ships, including drainage from onboard photography labs, deck runoff from rain and seawater, and foam used to fight fires on the shops.

Other rules change the way air conditioner refrigerants will be produced and handled in the future, create new standards for pharmaceutical disposal and enact new rules for agricultural grain elevators.

While there are a number of odds and ends in the EPA regulatory plan, much of the agenda still focuses heavily on broad initiatives to cut carbon emissions in the United States, echoing stated goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan. Based on a statement released by the President late last month, the EPA will also focus heavily on throttling power plants and reducing emissions in coming years by introducing new standards and incentivizing green technology:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already undertaken such action with regard to carbon pollution from the transportation sector, issuing Clean Air Act standards limiting the greenhouse gas emissions of new cars and light trucks through 2025 and heavy duty trucks through 2018. The EPA standards were promulgated in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, which, at the same time, established fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks as part of a harmonized national program. Both agencies engaged constructively with auto manufacturers, labor unions, States, and other stakeholders, and the resulting standards have received broad support. These standards will reduce the Nation’s carbon pollution and dependence on oil, and also lead to greater innovation, economic growth, and cost savings for American families.

The new regulatory initiatives are expected to be scrutinized in coming weeks by the Nation’s lawmakers and business groups.

“Obviously they attract the most attention because that’s where most cost and benefits lie,” Sherzod Abdukadirov, a research fellow with the Mercatus Center, told The Hill. “Given the size and impact of environmental regulations, it is really important to make sure that we get them right, that they are high quality,” he added, so that outside groups know what to expect.

Obama: The Government Is Us, And We’re Doing Things Right

Do you feel well-represented by your Federal government?

If you said no, President Barack Obama wants you to change your tune: You should love the government “because the government is us,” the President said Monday.

Obama was attempting to make the point that Americans should focus less on government failings and more on where it makes things better.

 

“We can’t just stand on the sidelines.  We can’t take comfort in just being cynical.  We all have a stake in government success— because the government is us,” the President proclaimed. “And we’re doing things right”

He went on later, “We’re doing a lot of this work administratively but unfortunately there are still a bunch of rules, a lot of legislation that has poorly designed some of our agencies and forces folks to engage in bureaucratic jump-hoop – hoop jumping – instead of just going ahead and focusing on mission and delivering good service to our citizens.”

H/T: The Examiner


Former NSA Employee, Whistleblower Thomas Drake: Time For A New American Revolution

During a Restore the Fourth rally in Washington D.C. last week, former National Security Agency employee-turned-whistleblower Thomas Drake called on Americans to revolt against government surveillance and information control.

“I call for a new American Revolution declaring our independence from the surveillance state and government control of information,” he said.

Drake went on to decry the Federal government’s unquenchable thirst for power, saying that the United States “has become the kind of secret, undemocratic, authoritarian, imperialist nation against whom we fought the first American Revolution.”

“We the people do not consent to the surveillance state,” Drake said. “We will not forsake our rights for the sake of national security. We will not accept that the end justifies the means. We will not accept the government granting itself license to steal our liberty and our information away from us.”

 

Drake was prosecuted in 2010 under the Espionage Act for allegedly disclosing classified information on the NSA’s wire-tapping program.

Eventually, with help from the Government Accountability Project, he was cleared of all charges related to the government’s goal of putting him in jail for “the rest of his natural life.” Drake pleaded guilty to a simple misdemeanor of “exceeding authorized use of a computer” and was sentenced to one year of probation and community service. While, perhaps, the justice system didn’t completely fail Drake in the end, the government he angered effectively dismantled his career and disrupted his life in terrible ways.

Halalgoogling: A Sharia Law Search Engine

This week, Halalgoogling, a search engine that fetches results from others like Google and Bing and filters content according to Islamic law was launched.

A press release announced that the Sharia-friendly search engine has a built-in “advanced special filtering system that blocks Haram content according to the Law of Islam” doing away with any content containing things such as “pornography, nudity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, gambling, anti-Islamic content”.

Some examples of attempted searches on the site that that may offend sharia:

halal halal2 halal3

Gallup: Majority Of Americans Feel The Founders Would Dislike Modern America

Leading up to Independence Day, the Gallup polling agency reached out to Americans in an effort to gauge patriotism throughout the Nation. According to the results of a patriotic survey, 71 percent of the Nation’s citizens believe that the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be ashamed of America today.

Gallup asked 3,577 respondents the following question: “Overall, do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out?”

The polling agency concluded of the negative majority, “Americans are now much less likely than they were a decade ago to say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased with how the country has turned out. This is most likely an outgrowth of Americans’ current level of negativity toward their government, including the record-low level of confidence Americans have in Congress and the significant percentage of Americans who cite dissatisfaction with government as the third most important problem facing the country today.”

Region and political affiliation had some bearing on how respondents answered.

For example, only 67 percent of those polled in the East and 66 percent in the West said that the Nation’s Founding Fathers would be disgusted by modern America. But 74 percent of respondents from the South and 74 percent of those in the Midwest were convinced that the Founders would have a negative view of today’s America.

Eighty-three percent of conservatives said the Founders would be displeased. That’s compared to 54 percent of liberals and 68 percent of moderates.

Despite the notion that the Nation has veered from the original intention of those who dedicated their lives to its founding, 85 percent of respondents said that they are proud to be American citizens.

Researchers: Mild Beer Consumption Can Benefit Heart Health

Beer is good for you.

Researchers at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, found blood flow to the heart improved within a couple of hours of drinking two-thirds of a pint of beer.

In a small study involving 17 nonsmoking men in their late 20s and early 30s, the researchers backed previous evidence that moderate beer consumption may be good for the heart.

The study subjects had their cardiovascular health measured within an hour or two of drinking a little more than two-thirds of a pint of beer. They later had the same tests done after the same amount of alcohol-free beer or a measure of vodka.

Researchers tested for endothelial function — a measure of how easily blood passes through major arteries — as well as aortic stiffness to check for hardening in the arteries.

All three drinks had some benefit to the stiffness of arteries around the heart and blood flow to the heart, but the arteries were most flexible after drinking beer.

Previous studies have found that darker beers rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects, may be the most beneficial to heart health.

The results of the new study were published online this week in the journal Nutrition.

Libertarian Activist Under Investigation For Loading Shotgun In Washington

Libertarian activist and radio host Adam Kokesh released a video showing himself loading a shotgun in the middle of Freedom Plaza in Washington on Thursday with the Capitol building clearly shown behind him.

“We will not be silent, we will not obey, we will not allow our government to destroy our humanity,” Kokesh said as he loaded the gun. “We are, the final, American, revolution. See you next Independence Day.”

 

Kokesh had previously planned to lead an armed march on Washington to celebrate Independence Day, but backed off when Washington Metropolitan Police pledged to arrest marchers who openly carried rifles into the city.

Officers with the department said they have viewed the video and are currently investigating the activist.

“The Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Park Police are aware that today Adam Kokesh posted a video that appears to have been taken in Freedom Plaza in Northwest, D.C. We are in the process of determining the authenticity of the video.”

King George’s Cops Take Over Nevada Homes For Investigation

A lawsuit filed in Nevada alleges that cops violated residents’ 3rd Amendment rights by demanding they be allowed to occupy two homes in order to conduct an investigation involving a neighbor’s residence.

According to Courthouse News Service, officers with the Henderson Police Department demanded that the residents allow them to use their homes in order to gain a “tactical advantage” over a suspect. When the residents refused the request, the officers arrested them and used the homes anyway.

According to the complaint, here’s what happened:

At 10:45 a.m. defendant Officer Christopher Worley (HPD) contacted plaintiff Anthony Mitchell via his telephone. Worley told plaintiff that police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a “tactical advantage” against the occupant of the neighboring house. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence. Although Worley continued to insist that plaintiff should leave his residence, plaintiff clearly explained that he did not intend to leave his home or to allow police to occupy his home. Worley then ended the phone call.

But, cops don’t like being told “no”:

[Henderson police officers] banged forcefully on the door and loudly commanded Anthony Mitchell to open the door to his residence. Surprised and perturbed, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell immediately called his mother (plaintiff Linda Mitchell) on the phone, exclaiming to her that the police were beating on his front door.

Seconds later, officers, including Officer Rockwell, smashed open plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s front door with a metal ram as plaintiff stood in his living room. As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor. Fearing for his life, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell dropped his phone and prostrated himself onto the floor of his living room, covering his face and hands.

Addressing plaintiff as “asshole,” officers, including Officer Snyder, shouted conflicting orders at Anthony Mitchell, commanding him to both shut off his phone, which was on the floor in front of his head, and simultaneously commanding him to ‘crawl’ toward the officers. Confused and terrified, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell remained curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face, and made no movement.

Although plaintiff Anthony Mitchell was lying motionless on the ground and posed no threat, officers, including Officer David Cawthorn, then fired multiple “pepperball” rounds at plaintiff as he lay defenseless on the floor of his living room. Anthony Mitchell was struck at least three times by shots fired from close range, injuring him and causing him severe pain.

Mitchell was charged with obstructing an officer. His father faced the same charge after he attempted to leave a police command center when the officers also took over his home. The charges ultimately were dismissed with prejudice after the men spent nine hours in jail.

Washington’s Last Chance: Is It Time For A New Olive Branch Petition?

Yesterday, Americans celebrated the decision of the Nation’s Founding Fathers to declare independence from their oppressors in Great Britain. But celebrating Independence Day at a time when tyrannical creep from centralized government has made lack of freedom in the United States seem so painfully obvious likely feels a bit perverse to even the most patriotic Americans. That’s why a historical event that took place on this day a year earlier than the Declaration of Independence was born may make July 5 a date that Americans should note with more regard than the Fourth of July.

On July 5, 1775, the Second Continental Congress of the United States adopted John Dickenson’s Olive Branch petition, a document that declared the American colonists were willing to remain loyal to the British crown — but only on the condition that their rights were recognized by the royalty overseas.

Dickenson’s statement of opposition to British policy in the petition leaves no doubt that a final break with Britain, and the prospect of a resultant bloody revolution, was not the primary goal of Colonial leadership at the time.

One passage from the petition phrases the Colonial opposition in terms of apologetic necessity:

We shall decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome variety of artifices practised by many of your Majestys ministers, the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, that have from time to time been dealt out by them, in their attempts to execute this impolitic plan, or of traceing thro’ a series of years past the progress of the unhappy differences between Great Britain and these colonies which have flowed from this fatal source.

Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.

In essence, Dickenson was informing the king that it was not his policy that the Colonists opposed, but that of his ministers.

The Olive Branch petition was sent to King George III on July 8. And the crown’s unwillingness to receive the petition made very clear that he considered the will of his ministers and his own will one in the same.

Americans today could easily draw many comparisons between the Colonial America and Great Britain power struggle and that which is occurring between Federal and local governance in the Nation today. Instead of a far-removed royal order, modern Americans are subject to executive whim directed from Washington D.C., a place completely oblivious to Main Street, USA. There is no king directing ministerial dogsbodies to ensure that the will of the throne is realized. In today’s America, a Presidential Administration enlists the help of various Federally funded agencies to make its will reality:

  • An Internal Revenue Service to target political enemies.
  • A National Surveillance Agency to listen in on billions of daily conversations for evidence of subversion.
  • A Justice Department to prosecute any that dare veer away from the will of the Federal government.

Many Americans have become so disenfranchised by Federal supremacy that calls for Revolutionary action are pretty common, though the prospect of such would bring about only unthinkable bloodshed and pain for the American populace. And the Federal government has taken careful steps to ensure that no such action could ever present to an angry citizenry as a viable option for governmental reform. Contrarian actions like blowing the whistle on government wrongs or protesting the wrongs presented by whistle-blowers are potential markers of terroristic leanings.

The ever-expanding definition of “terror” has given Federal officials a means by which to justify mass surveillance and militaristic policing in the homeland. And any inclination of a popular movement away from lemming-like behavior is a potential catalyst for harsh government crackdown.

Americans today, no matter how angry they are at government, recognize the same harsh reality that confronted the men who so hoped the Olive Branch petition would help: This is no time for all out Revolution. The potential for death and tyrannical proliferation is far too real.

The time has come for a new Olive Branch, one written on behalf of the American everyman and addressed to the highest ranks in Washington. It should encourage the Nation’s leadership to restore the Constitutional rights of every American citizen, to operate only within its original Constitutional confines and to put the Nation back on the path blazed by the Nation’s original leadership.

If Washington, like King George, refuses to accept the terms of the people, those who wish to remain on the right side of history will be left with few options. And they will be forced to decide: Is the America as envisioned by the Founding Fathers to forever perish? Or, to borrow from Thomas Jefferson, will the tree of liberty be again refreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants?