Liberty Links 6/21/16

12 links today. Enjoy

Hillary Clinton Opens Up 8 Point Lead in Florida (Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll)

Clinton’s “Progressive” Beacon Is a Former Goldman Sachs Banker and Bob Rubin Protégé (Bloomberg)

Think You’ve Got It Locked, Hillary? Meet Jill Stein (Politico)

DOJ Asks to Keep Secret Clinton Aide’s Immunity Deal (Politico)

Unlike Other States, Illinois Keeps Potential Obamacare Premium Hikes Secret (Chicago Tribune)

California Democrats Call for Elimination of Caucuses, Most Super-Delegates (LA Times)

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Republican Senators Use Orlando Shooting to Push for Increased Government Spying Powers

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“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement.

FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

– From the post: It’s Official: The FBI Classifies Peaceful American Protestors as “Terrorists”

*Update (6/22/16): This amendment was just voted on in the U.S. Senate and was very narrowly defeated. This post received a pathetic amount of reads yesterday, so please share it widely. These cretins plan on bringing it back for another vote. Just like the banker bailouts.

As I just tweeted:

Well we knew this was coming, and it’s no surprise to see Mitch McConnell leading the charge. A man who never saw a 4th Amendment violating piece of legislation he didn’t like.

Reuters reports:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a vote late on Monday to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to use a secretive surveillance order without a warrant to include email metadata and some browsing history information.

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Sanders Supporters Plan World’s Largest “Fart-In” During Hillary Clinton’s Acceptance Speech

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“Trump says very scary things — deporting immigrants, massive militarism and ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things,” she added.

Clinton boasted at a town hall in New Hampshire in November 2015 that, as a senator, she had voted for 2006 legislation that authorized the building of roughly 650 miles of wall on the border.

“So we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing,” she added.

– From the post: Jill Stein of the Green Party – Clinton Helped Create Trump

As the days and weeks go by, it has become increasingly apparent that many Bernie Sanders supporters will simply never, ever endorse or vote for Hillary Clinton. If anything, the coronation of Hillary was so replete with scheming and dirty tricks, more than a few Bernie supporters who may have been open to a Clinton candidacy a few months ago, now consider themselves diehard Bernie or Busters.

Of course, this is a very good thing. The Democratic Party is clearly too corrupt and beholden to oligarch interests to ever represent the needs of the citizenry. The sooner people recognize this reality and accept it, the better.

In any event, some of these #NeverHillary folks are planning a lighthearted protest at the Democratic convention in July in the form of the world’s largest “fart-in.” No this is not a joke — heavyweights such as Chris Hedges will be intimately involved in the festivities.

Truth Dig reports:

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It’s Not Just the UK – Widespread Support for EU Referendums Seen Across the Continent

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Actions have consequences, and people can only be pushed so far before they snap. I believe the Paris terror attacks will be a major catalyst that will ultimately usher in nationalist type governments in many parts of Europe, culminating in an end of the EU as we know it and a return to true nation-states. Although I think a return to regional government and democracy is what Europeans need and deserve, the way in which it will come about, and the types of governments we could see emerge, are unlikely to be particularly enlightened or democratic after the dust has settled.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of these horrific events, but the Paris attacks didn’t happen in a vacuum. The people of Europe have already become increasingly resentful against the EU,  something which is not debatable at this point. This accurate perception of an undemocratic, technocratic Brussels-led EU dictatorship was further solidified earlier this year after the Greek people went to the polls and voted for one thing, only to be instructed that their vote doesn’t actually matter.

– From last year’s post: A Message to Europe – Prepare for Nationalism

If you aren’t paying close attention to what’s happening in Europe, you may be surprised by the extent of “elite” panic at the notion that the British people could decide to leave the EU. Here’s just one example, from Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

Why is it so dangerous? No one can foresee what the long-term consequences would be. As a historian, I fear that Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the E.U., but also of Western political civilization.

While there’s no doubt that a Brexit will result in major disruptions to the status quo system, isn’t that the point? Moreover, that’s some downright apocalyptic talk by Mr. Tusk. What’s driving it?

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New York State Senator Introduces Unconstitutional, Anti-Free Speech Legislation

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Perhaps the greatest irony of this past year has been the mind numbing and irrational anti-free speech wave that swept across facets of so-called “liberal” America.

This regressive movement was most readily apparent on college campuses, where hordes of sheltered and emotionally stunted students demanded restrictions on free speech in order to prevent themselves from being offended by an ever expanding list of unhappy thoughts and words. However, what is far more troubling, albeit much less public, are attempts by two fascist academic authoritarians, to convince the American citizenry to relinquish their First Amendment rights in the name of fighting ISIS. One of these men is a close advisor to President Obama.

– From last year’s post: Glenn Greenwald Confronts American “Liberals” Trying to Destroy Free Speech

It seems everywhere you turn, U.S. politicians at all levels of government are incessantly scheming to figure out ways to further erode the civil liberties of the American public. Earlier this month, a particularly egregious example emerged from the state of New York. It relates to an anti-First Amendment executive order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, followed one day later by similar legislation introduced by a state Senator. In case you aren’t up to speed on the issue, here’s a little background.

From The Huffington Post:

Over the past year, several attempts in the New York legislature to pass laws protecting Israel against the boycotts, divestment and sanctions collectively known as “BDS” have failed. BDS punishes Israel for its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. In an unprecedented end run around the legislative process, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order this month that would accomplish just what the legislature has refused to do.

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The EU Wants to Impose a Tax for Sharing Links on the Internet

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No wonder the people of Great Britain are itching to rid themselves of this miserable, idiotic union.

TechDirt reports:

We’ve written plenty of times about ridiculous European plans to create a so-called “snippet tax” which is more officially referred to as “ancillary rights” (and is really just about creating a tax on Google). The basic concept is that some old school newspapers are so lazy and have so failed to adapt to the internet — and so want to blame Google for their own failures — that they want to tax any aggregator (e.g., Google) that links to their works with a snippet, that doesn’t pay for the privilege of sending those publishers traffic. As you may remember, Germany has been pushing for such a thing for many, many years, and Austria has been exploring it as well. But perhaps the most attention grabbing move was the one in Spain, which not only included a snippet tax, but made it mandatory. That is, even if you wanted Google News to link to you for free, you couldn’t get that. In response, Google took the nuclear option and shut down Google News in Spain. A study showed that this law has actually done much to harm Spanish publishers, but the EU pushes on, ridiculously. 

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Cornel West – “The Neo-Liberal Sleepwalking in Black America is Coming to an End”

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“I think, my dear brother, the chickens are coming home to roost,” West told Smiley. “We’ve been talking about this for a good while, the immorality of drones, dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”

“I think we have to be very honest, let us not be deceived: Nixon, Bush, Obama, they’re war criminals,” West said. “They have killed innocent people in the name of the struggle for freedom, but they’re suspending the law, very much like Wall Street criminals. The law is suspended for them, but the law applies for the rest of us. You and I, brother Tavis, if we kill an innocent person we go to jail, and we’re going to be in there forever.” 

– From the 2013 post: Cornel West: Obama is a “War Criminal”

Cornel West is an articulate and astute cultural and political observer who’s never afraid to go against the grain and challenge the entrenched and monumentally corrupt status quo. As such, I always try to make a point of hearing what he has to say. His latest interview is no exception.

The following chat with George Souvlis was published yesterday at Open Democracy, and is replete with some unforgettable quotes.

Enjoy.

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U.S. Ally Bahrain Suspends Largest Opposition Group a Day After Imprisoning Human Rights Activist

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Dear President Obama,

I write to you from a Bahraini jail cell, and this message was never meant to go beyond its walls. Even though I have never advocated for violence nor harmed another living soul, I have spent 28 of the last 36 months in a Bahraini prison for actions that can only be counted as crimes in a nation that stifles free expression and criminalizes open assembly. I have documented my government’s use of torture. I have reported on civilian casualties in Yemen. I have held a different opinion than that of a king. In retaliation, I may spend the next ten years of my life in jail.

While my government punishes me for demanding an end to its assault on civil and political rights, other GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia, subject human rights defenders to harsher abuse. Their repression can be seen in the flogging of free speech activist Raif Badawi and the death sentence against the religious scholar and human rights advocate Nimr al-Nimr. Saudi courts even sentenced Raif’s lawyer, Waleed abu al-Khair, to 15 years in prison. We as human rights defenders are targeted for giving voice to the marginalized, people seeking to take the reins of their own destiny; our governments do everything in their power to prevent us from acting upon the best ideals of our conscience.

– From last year’s post: Jailed Bahraini Human Rights Activist Writes Open Letter to Obama from Prison

As Saudi Arabia has proven over and over, it pays to be a U.S. ally in the Middle East. It’s a designation which grants tyrants carte blanche to do whatever they want. Discriminate against minorities, punish dissidents with crucifixion, systematically violate every conceivable human right, etc, etc. As an example, recall what happened just last week:

Saudi Arabia Forces the United Nations to Remove it from a List of Child Killers

So while Saudi Arabia gets most of the attention due to its relative size, regional influence and particular affinity for barbarism, the Kingdom of Bahrain is not far behind.

The last couple of days makes this perfectly clear. As the AP reports:

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Hacked Texas Billboards Target Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

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A group calling itself New World Hackers has been taking over billboards along Interstate 30 in Dallas. Like myself, the group seems to dislike both the Democratic and Republican candidates for President, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Newsweek reports:

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Liberty Links 06/13/15

18 links today, enjoy.

Deleted Official Report Says Saudi Key Funder of Hillary Clinton Campaign (Must read, Middle East Eye)

The Fourth Amendment Is Supposed to Work for the People, Not the Government (Reason)

Oklahoma Cops Find A New Way To Take People’s Money, Even If They Don’t Have Cash (Huffington Post)

NATO Chief: 4 Battalions Going to Baltic States, Poland (WW3 alert, AP)

Russia: We Will Respond to Entry of U.S. Naval Vessel Into Black Sea (Reuters)

Google Backs Obama on the Trade Deal That Some Tech Advocates Hate (Recode)

Florida AG Asked Trump for Donation Before Nixing Trump U Case (Shady, The Hill)

Andrew Cuomo and Other Democrats Launch Severe Attack on Free Speech to Protect Israel (The Intercept)

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