Obama’s ISIS War is Not Only Illegal, it Makes George W. Bush Look Like a Constitutional Scholar

Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.

- Andrew J. Bacevich, the Boston University political science professor and former Army colonel who lost his son in the Iraq war in 2007, in a recent Reuters article.

I have spent the past several days outlining my deep concerns about the “ISIS crisis” and Obama’s willingness to employ extreme propaganda in order to once again embark on another poorly thought out military campaign here and here. What I have also come to realize is that his latest war plan is brazenly illegal and unconstitutional.

While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives.

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Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “I’m Glad People Have This 9/11 Mentality Again”

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.37.09 AMIn the wake of non-stop propaganda from politicians of both parties, as well as a mainstream media desperate for ratings, the American public is finally terrified enough to support another war in the Middle East. This is an unfortunate development I lamented in yesterday’s post: The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention.

With just 6% of likely U.S. voters thinking Congress is doing a good or excellent job according to a recent Rasmussen poll, it’s no surprise to see so many of these corrupt clowns falling over one another to appear tough on ISIS, using myriad hyperbolic and Orwellian statements.

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How I Remember September 11, 2001

I wrote the following a year ago today. I’m reposting because it is more important now than ever in light of the most recent war propaganda:

How I Remember September 11, 2001

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was one year into my Wall Street career. I got up that morning just like every other morning and headed toward Union Square station to get on the subway down to 3 World Financial Center, the headquarters of Lehman Brothers. I had just purchased breakfast in the cafeteria when I saw one of the human resources folks from my floor yelling to evacuate. I was confused but I got my ass downstairs fast. When I got down there I joined the hundreds of others staring in awe skyward at the gaping hole in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. People speculated that a helicopter had hit the building, but I said no way. It looked like a bomb went off to me.

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“Million-Dollar Parking Spots” – Peak Stupidity has Arrived in Manhattan

Hundreds of men in starched robes descend on an opulent hotel here to vie for the most distinguished digits. Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Khouri made headlines and the Guinness Book of World Records when he paid $14 million for the tag simply sporting a “1.” His cousin, stockbroker Talal Khouri, paid $9 million for “5″ — the second-largest sum ever paid for a license plate.

- From the July 1, 2008 Wall Street Journal titled: Read My License Plate: It Cost Me a Fortune

I vividly remember reading the above article in the Wall Street Journal over six years ago and shaking my head in disbelief. Although the U.S. equity market had already peaked in October of 2007, in early July 2008 the oil market was hitting new record highs almost every single day. I remember going on an endless stream of client visits with my former employer, partly due to the novelty of me being one of the few sell-side guys out there yelling that we were in the midst of a massive commodity bubble. Within days of that WSJ Journal article, the oil bubble popped and the price crashed from a high of $147 per barrel to $32 by December, or a nearly 80% plunge in five months.


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The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.49.21 AMYou gotta love the American public sometimes. For a mass of people so easily terrified by guys in caves funded and armed by our intelligence services and “allies” in the Persian Gulf, the same public talks with such armchair bravado when it comes to launching bombs from drones and sending other people’s children to die.

Makes you wonder though, which one is it? Is the American public actually the tough guy soldier it pretends to be when cheering overseas military interventions, or is it really a scared, propagandized, coward hiding in one of our nation’s endless cubicle rows? Unfortunately, based on recent opinion polls demonstrating approval for military action against ISIS, it appears to be the latter. The former is merely a front put on by that terrified, economically insecure, silently suffering automaton. I really wish this weren’t the case.


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New Jersey’s Debt is Downgraded by Fitch as Chris Christie Funnels Pension Money to Private Equity and Hedge Funds

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.25.48 PMDavid Sirota must be commended for his incredible work this year exposing the insidious relationship between public pension funds and “alternative asset managers,” namely private equity firms and hedge funds. It is the private equity component that has captured my attention the most due to the industry’s notoriously opaque and seemingly illegal fees.

One example I highlighted earlier this year was: Leaked Documents Show How Blackstone Fleeces Taxpayers via Public Pension Funds. The reason this relationship between public pension money and private equity is so incredibly important is because so many in the private equity world are so incredibly shady. Let’s not forget what SEC official Drew Bowden said back in May:


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Kentucky Man Arrested for “Terroristic Threatening” After Posting Song Lyrics to Facebook

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 12.14.28 PMIt seems as if the never-ending stream of American plebs being arrested for the most innocuous activities, things that were seen as completely normal just a few years ago, is continuing its irrational march forward toward peak nanny-statism, at which point everything will be criminalized.

This disturbing trend has been a key topic for Liberty Blitzkrieg in 2014. Here are the three most recent absurd cases from July and August alone:

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Poverty Profiteering Part 2 – The Business Model of Exploiting the Poor in St. Louis County

The officer found that Bolden had four arrest warrants in three separate jurisdictions: the towns of Florissant and Hazelwood in St. Louis County and the town of Foristell in St. Charles County. All of the warrants were for failure to appear in court for traffic violations. Bolden hadn’t appeared in court because she didn’t have the money. A couple of those fines were for speeding, one was for failure to wear her seatbelt and most of the rest were for what defense attorneys in the St. Louis area have come to call “poverty violations” — driving with a suspended license, expired plates, expired registration and a failure to provide proof of insurance.

“These aren’t violent criminals,” says Thomas Harvey, another of the three co-founders of ArchCity Defenders. “These are people who make the same mistakes you or I do — speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, forgetting to get your car inspected on time. The difference is that they don’t have the money to pay the fines. Or they have kids, or jobs that don’t allow them to take time off for two or three court appearances. When you can’t pay the fines, you get fined for that, too. And when you can’t get to court, you get an arrest warrant.”

- From Radley Balko’s excellent article in the Washington Post, How Municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., Profit from Poverty

The following article is the second in a series exploring the increasing business of “Poverty Profiteering.” The first one, which stuck a particular chord with several readers can be found here: Poverty Profiteering in 2014 – Introducing Private Probation Companies

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Introducing JackPair – A New Hardware Tool to Encrypt Cellphone Conversations

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.07.22 PMWell, I’m not actually introducing JackPair at all. The creators of the device have had their project on Kickstarter for quite some time now, but it just passed its funding goal today (it had a $35,000 goal and has already raised close to $45,000 as of publication). Congrats guys!

While encryption between cell phones is already available via apps you can download, there are several reasons I have decided to highlight the project. First, I tend to focus quite a bit on all the things going wrong in the world, so when something comes across my screen that is encouraging and should be supported, I try to mention it. Second, I was really inspired by the description of the project, which contained an added personal touch by the creator when he describes growing up in authoritarian Taiwan. Third, while there appear to be other methods to achieve similar goals, this could serve as user friendly option for the non tech savvy amongst us. Finally, security guru Bruce Schneier seems to be impressed by the device.

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