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How Liberals are Defeating Liberty in America

There is a clear connection between lack of knowledge of the Constitution and the present craziness and the loss of liberty in the US today.

Seraphim Hanisch

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It is a fact, but also an utter contradiction in terms, that “liberals” are completely against “liberty” in the United States. While this is a contradiction in theory, in practice it is absolutely normative in the nation’s culture.

Starting with the disintegration of a robust education in the nation’s history and Constitutional principles, the notion of what “freedom” means has been increasingly warped, and for the most part Americans are content to allow their freedoms to be subtly whittled away in the name of “progress”, “tolerance”, “equality” or any number of other buzzwords.

The effects are profound.

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The responses here are fascinating, and in fact this stunning lack of knowledge of the rights upheld in the First Amendment is the chief tool used by liberals to violate one’s personal liberties as guaranteed under the Constitution.

Here is the Amendment’s text:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The five freedoms therefore are:

  1. Congress may not regulate religious practice by passage of any laws
  2. Freedom of speech
  3. Freedom of the press
  4. The right of people to assemble peaceably and
  5. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It is worth noting these in contrast to the things the students in the video discuss as the video progresses.

Freedom of religion

It is very significant that the first liberty kept out of Congress’ grip is freedom to worship God according to one’s faith and practice without fear of sanction from the government.

Very few students mention it in the video, and it is not surprising that cases brought against businesses run by Christian owners have come under serious fire from legal levels, as happened with the Colorado baker Jack Phillips to the extent that his business was barely saved by an acknowledgement, even from liberal US Supreme Court justices that his religious liberty was deliberately attacked.

This case should have never left the town in which it happened, and it got all the way to the highest court in the nation before it was stopped.

Freedom of speech

We presently experience massive amounts of political mudslinging, but there is a clear bias as to whose opinions are “acceptable” in the public arena and whose are not. Supporters of President Trump have first hand experience with this problem as they have been almost unilaterally shouted down, harangued, even physically attacked and beaten, for supporting a man who went on the record saying that the United States Court system ought to be comprised of judges and justices who interpret the Constitution as written, and not according to the latest activist whim.

The Tea Party site noted the incredible hypocrisy surrounding the decision of one Candace Owens to retweet the racist, white-hating tweets of the New York Times’ new media darling Sarah Jeong, but simply replacing the word “white” with “black” or “Jew” – this action got Owens a 12 hour suspension on Twitter, while Ms Jeong’s public rants went unchecked:

This tweet was the only one found without foul and inappropriate language, all of which were allowed to remain on Twitter without comment or sanctions. But change the word from “white” to “black” and… instant outrage and suspension:

Freedom of the press

While it would seem that the press in the USA is indeed free – just mostly liberal – this is not really the case. The government and most of the mainstream media could be justifiably termed as being in collusion – for the government and mass media narratives on many subjects are all but identical.

Topics included in that are: President Trump, Russia, border security, climate change and healthcare, as well as general foreign policy views. In these areas, there is almost monolithic agreement of opinion and worldview. When taken objectively, it becomes very clear that there is not really a free press, but one that is complicit with the worldview of the powerful. This was most notably manifested on the Tuesday, August 7th report that Big Tech concerns Apple and Facebook deleted Alex Jones’ links and media from their sites:

While there may be no government-directed “control” of the media per se, there is very little room for “going off the reservation.” It is for this reason that President Trump was almost unanimously vilified by all prominent news agencies (including many at Fox) for his willingness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July.

There is great power behind the attempt to defame Russia, and there is apparently a great deal of resistance at many levels to anyone in the US coming clean with just how false and full of lies the American “official” narrative about Russia actually is.

The right of people to assemble peaceably

This again is not something that the government itself has directly seized control of. However the level of intolerance on the part of the Left, mostly, to all things conservative mean that sometimes peaceful assemblies of conservatives attract attacks. The accusation of the Left is that Trump supporters are neo-Nazis, which is outrageously false. There might be a few such people but they are as likely to be on one side as on the other.

The right of people to petition their government for redress of grievances

This phrase refers to the right of citizens to petition their government without being blocked in any way from doing so. According to the Heritage Foundation, this right has largely been subsumed into the general idea of freedom of speech, but it still has an independent standing as a way for people to bring their concerns before the government directly.

Part of the reason this right may be presently considered just a part of the right to free speech is because of lack of education in how the Constitution works, allowing the government to be merely “those people we elect to help us from on high” but without a clear understanding of the nation as a representative Republic.

The students in the video knew almost nothing of the First Amendment, and when they were asked various questions, such as “how do you define the right to free speech?” they responded, not from the standpoint of the law as given by the Law of the Land, but from how they personally thought and felt about various issues. In that regard, their response was “whatever doesn’t offend people; whatever doesn’t hurt anyone; we have to be careful of what we say…”

All of which is fine, but it is without law. 

This notion of lawlessness is significant.

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tomGio ConPRsonlosdurosStop Bush and Clintonvoza0db Recent comment authors
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tom

“The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances” seems pretty meaningless to me. You can petition anyone you like for anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you will get it. It doesn’t even mean they have to listen to you.

And I can’t see the slightest difference between freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which is just a special case of freedom of speech.

Gio Con
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Gio Con

Not surprised to see these clueless student responses. The US educational system is dismal — it simply follows trends like identity politics. Hence, “not saying anything that will hurt someone” is identity politics, not constitutional law.

PRsonlosduros
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PRsonlosduros

This is so sad…!

Stop Bush and Clinton
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Stop Bush and Clinton

Good points, but pinning the blame on the wrong culprit. It’s too easy to blame everything on the opposing political side. Dick Cheney is absolutely not a liberal – but he’s very much part of the anti-liberty movement – and a number of anti-Clinton liberals aren’t part of the problem. I also find it hard to see “liberal bias” in the very same media that supported Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld’s wars and Patriot Act. “Left” and “right”, “liberal and “conservative” have become meaningless in most ways. The Anti-Liberty movement (for lack of a better name) is made up of criminals from far “left”/”liberal”… Read more »

voza0db
Guest

The video sure is funny! Asking slaves what are the “freedoms” they have the privilege to use… And most of them don’t know a single one… Well they sure are free to be dumb modern salves!

Spit
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Spit

On one hand we as a people can challange the status que, we can boycott we can protest WE the people have control and can Force Google to put this guy back up. But.. There will be a Price if the people act to quickly. the powers that control the Media must not be underestimated and do not expect this guy to come back tomorow, this is going to take weeks. What I do advise ALL people to do, is to not play by their rules. Take the war of the minds of the Masses to them with “Word of… Read more »

Thraxite
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Thraxite

it seems that the author is making the argument that it is ok to be prejudiced against someones sexuality but not their religion. How is prejudice against gays any better than prejudice against a religion? Isn’t prejudice itself the enemy of man? A business which is freely open to the public cannot prejudice against any who it has, by dint of being open for business, invited onto its’ premises to conduct business.

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit plan continues to fail, as EU now pushing for UK to leave (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 138.

Alex Christoforou

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit strategy has been such a monumental failure that even Brussels negotiators are now pushing for the UK to simply leave the union, in what has becoming a British debacle, and a thorn in the Conservative Party’s side.

Many media pundits and analysts are now asking if the latest impasse in Brexit talks means that we are indeed seeing the last days of Theresa May?

While much of the mess the Conservative Party finds themselves in because of Brexit is squarely Theresa May’s fault, much of the damage done by May’s inability to close the deal on Brexit will not go away, even if she does.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s continued failure to obtain her soft Brexit dream, placing herself (and her Conservative Party) in such an embarrassing position, that European Union negotiators, tired of never ending talks, are eager to see Britain go away, in what will be an inevitable hard Brexit.

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“Are these the last days of Theresa May?”, authored by Stephen Bush via The New Statesman:


Are these the last days of Theresa May? This morning’s papers are full of stories of plots and ultimatums to the Prime Minister unless she changes her Brexit strategy, whether from her Scottish MPs over any extension of the transition period due to concerns over fisheries policy, from her Brexiteer MPs over the backstop or from her Cabinet over practically everything.

All this before the Budget next Monday, when Philip Hammond is going to have to find some way to pay for the extra cash for the NHS and Universal Credit all while keeping to May’s pledge that debt will continue to fall as a share of GDP. So added to all May’s Brexit woes, a row over tax rises could be coming down the track.

Of course, the PM’s position has been perilous for a very long time – in fact, when you remember that her period of hegemony ran from July 2016 to June 2017, she’s actually been under threat for more of her premiership than she hasn’t. But just because you roll heads 36 times in a row doesn’t mean your chances of rolling tails aren’t 50/50 on roll 37, and May’s luck could well be running out.

But while May shares a good size of the blame for the mess that the Conservative Party are in, it’s not all her fault by any means and none of those problems will go away if May is replaced or changes tack to win over her internal opponents in the European Research Group.

Ireland has a veto over the end state and only an indefinite and legally binding backstop for the island of Ireland will do if any deal is to be signed off. It’s true to say that no deal also means a hard border on the island of Ireland, but it’s also true that it will always been in the political interests of whoever is in office in Ireland for a hard border to be imposed as a result of no deal rather than for the Irish government to acquiesce in the creation of one through a EU-UK treaty.

The DUP can bring the Conservative government to an early end so they, too, have a de facto veto over any deal that creates barriers between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. But the only UK-wide solution – for the backstop to encompass the whole of the United Kingdom – is nothing doing with pro-Brexit Conservative MPs who don’t want an indefinite backstop. It’s also politically tricky with many EU member states, who don’t want the default outcome of the talks to be a UK-wide backstop, which many regard as a threat to the sanctity of single market. (The only reason why it is acceptable on the Irish border is because Ireland is still a member state and because the Irish border was both the location and the cause of political violence within living memory.)

Added to that, the Conservative parliamentary party seems to be undergoing a similar psychological journey to the one that Steve van Riel described during the 2015 Labour leadership election: that groups of any kind tend to reach a more extreme position the longer an issue is debated. Brexiteers who spent 20 years saying they wanted a Norway style deal now talk of Norway as a betrayal. Leavers who cheerily talked about making Northern Ireland into its own customs area before Brexit now talk of the backstop as a constitutional betrayal. And Conservative Remainers who only reluctantly backed an In vote to avoid the political upheaval of negotiating Brexit, or the loss of David Cameron, now call for a referendum re-run and privately flirt with the idea of a new party.

Some of that is May’s fault, yes. But none of it is going to go away if she does and all of it makes the prospect of reaching a Brexit deal considerably less likely.

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Saudi Crown Prince Spoke To Khashoggi By Phone Moments Before He Was Killed: Report

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community.

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Via Zerohedge


In the latest bombshell report involving the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak disclosed the new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi’s murder.

“Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh,” the report said.

“Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed’s offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended,” it added.

While the report is so far unconfirmed, the New Arab reports that so far Turkish pro-government media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.

Meanwhile, the Saudi version of events has been changing significantly over the past two weeks with authorities conceded Saturday that Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and a Riyadh critic, was killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul diplomatic compound following a “brawl”. The admission came after a fortnight of denials with the insistence that the journalist left the consulate alive, starting on October 5, when Crown Prince MBS told Bloomberg that Khashoggi was not inside the consulate and “we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises”.

On Saturday, the kingdom announced it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing – a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the crown prince’s role in the murder.

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community, and has left the U.S. and other allies struggling for a response on Sunday. As Bloomberg reports, France demanded more information, Germany put arms sales to Riyadh on hold and the Trump administration stressed the vital importance of the kingdom and its economy to the U.S.

In Sunday radio and TV interviews, Dominic Raab, the U.K. politician in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, described the latest Saudi account as not credible; French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for “the truth’’; and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his government would approve no arms sales so long as the investigation was ongoing.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir acknowledged a cover-up attempt. The dramatic reversal, after Saudi officials had previously said the columnist left the building alive, has only complicated the issue for allies.

Saudi Arabia’s al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday that the journalist’s death was an “aberration.”

“There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to cover up,” he said, promising that “those responsible will be punished for it.”

More importantly, he said that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the events, although if the Turkish report is confirmed, it will be yet another major flaw with the official narrative.

Several senior members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party said they believed Prince Mohammed was linked to the killing, and one called for a “collective” Western response if a link is proved. In an interview with The Washington Post, President Trump, too, said the Saudi narrative had been marked by “deception and lies.’’ Yet he also defended Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a “strong person,’’ and said there was no proof of his involvement in Khashoggi’s death. Some members of Congress have questioned his willingness to exonerate the prince.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to disclose details about the case at a meeting of his AK Party’s parliamentary faction on Tuesday, Haberturk newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, as Western firms and high-ranked officials scramble to avoid any Saudi involvement, Russia is more than happy to step in and fill the power vacuum void left by the US. As a result, Russian businesses are flocking to attend the investment forum in Saudi Arabia, as Western counterparts pull out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had considerable success boosting Moscow’s influence in the Middle East at U.S. expense, by standing by regimes that fall afoul of the West, including in Syria and Iran. Last week Putin signed a strategic and partnership agreement with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, backed by $25 billion in loans to build nuclear reactors. Until El-Sisi came to power, Egypt had been closely allied to the U.S.

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed squarely on the Crown Prince whose position of power is looking increasingly perilous. Congressional leaders on Sunday dismissed the story proffered earlier by the Saudis, with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bob Corker of Tennessee saying they believed the crown prince was likely involved in Khashoggi’s death.

Lawmakers said they believe the U.S. must impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia or take other action if the crown prince is shown to have been involved. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be formally expelled until a third-party investigation is done. He said the U.S. should call on its allies to do the same.

“Unless the Saudi kingdom understands that civilized countries around the world are going to reject this conduct and make sure that they pay a price for it, they’ll continue doing it,”’ Durbin said.

The obvious question is what happens and how the Saudi royal family will respond if it is pushed too far, and whether the worst case scenario, a sharp cut in oil exports, could be on the table if MBS feels like he has little to lose from escalating the situation beyond a point of no return.

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The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

Energy companies are flocking to the Mediterranean after oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt.

The Duran

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Authored by Vanand Meliksetian via Oilprice.com:


Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney once said: “the good lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected states… Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.” Europe is surrounded by states with abundant energy resources, but supply from these countries is not always as reliable. Russia, for example, is regularly accused of using energy as a weapon. However, major discoveries of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could mitigate dependence on Russian gas.

The discovery of a gas field named Tamar near the coast of Israel in 2009 set off a wave of investments in the energy sector. After 9 years, companies are flocking to the region after other discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt. Ever larger finds in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin such as the Leviathan gas field in 2010 and Zohr in 2015, have the potential to transform the strategic importance of the region.

Turkey’s energy hub ambitions

Few states in the world are geographically so well positioned as Turkey. The country controls Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea and serves as a bridge between east and west. Therefore, during the Cold War Ankara was an indispensable member of NATO. More recently, Turkey has the ambition to become an energy hub for Middle Eastern and Caspian energy. Ankara has had mixed successes in attracting investors and maintaining political stability.

After Israel’s significant discoveries, a U.S. backed initiative presented Turkey as an energy hub. Although a land pipeline is the cheapest option to transport gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, political developments have stalled construction. President Erdogan’s escalating public denunciations of Israel have made Jerusalem look for other options. Furthermore, relations with Europe have also been damaged which would be dependent on Turkey as a transit country.

Egypt as the regional gas hub

Egypt’s has the third largest gas reserves in Africa. Therefore, its export-oriented LNG industry came on-stream in 2004 but was shut mid-2013 due to a lack of resources. The growth of the domestic market demanded ever larger volumes, which went at the expense of exports. Instead, Egypt started importing LNG. However, the discovery of the massive Zohr gas field, the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has turned around the situation. Egypt imported its last shipment of LNG in September 2018.

Although relations between Egypt and Israel are far from normal, privately held companies have been able to strike a deal. Starting from the first quarter of 2019, in 10 years 64 bcm worth $10 billion will be delivered. The agreement has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until recently was exporting to Israel. However, with this deal, Cairo comes closer in becoming an energy hub.

The recent signing of another agreement, this time with Nicosia to develop a subsea pipeline from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field, has been another important step. Cypriot gas will be pumped 400 miles (645 kilometers) to the south to Egypt’s LNG facilities. Difficult relations with Nicosia’s northern neighbors make a pipeline to the north highly unlikely.

Cairo has been able to act pragmatically concerning its relations with its neighbors such as Israel while taking advantage of the limited amount of options for exporting gas. The obvious winner in this context has been Egypt and its LNG industry. Its chances of becoming the regional energy hub instead of Turkey have significantly increased.

Turkey’s hope for luck

All littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean struck ‘gold’ in the shape of natural gas except for Turkey. Ankara strongly opposes the exploitation of the gas resources in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus without a sharing agreement with Northern Cyprus’ Turkish inhabitants. The Turkish Navy prevented ships from Italy’s Eni from performing exploratory drilling off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus.

In search of its own luck, Ankara has set up a project to start looking for gas in the EEZ of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey. Kudret Özersay, TRNC deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, proclaimed the desire to turn the TRNC into an energy and electricity hub. However, it seems unlikely that investors will be willing to participate due to political and legal reasons.

The legal situation of the TRNC is an impediment to any major decision involving a longtime commitment worth billions. From an international point of view, the region is de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus, despite holding no control over the region. The TRNC holds no seat in the WTO.

Large investments require solid legal and political support for companies to earn back their investments. The current economic situation of Turkey makes it dependent on foreign money. However, stringent due diligence rules could impede some international banks in lending the necessary funds.

The Eastern Mediterranean Sea basin promises great rewards, but the risks are also high. With Turkey potentially being the only country that doesn’t profit from the gas bonanza, Ankara has acted aggressively to get what it regards as its fair share. However, it faces a united front from the other littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Turkey will be able to profit in the same way as Cyprus, Egypt or Israel.

By Vanand Meliksetian for Oilprice.com

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