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Monday, October 13, 2014

Going Underground

From Reason TV:

"You can't fight markets," says David Shirk, associate professor of international relations and director of the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego. "When a market reaches a certain size, you can't fight it."

Joe Garcia, a deputy special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and head of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, would beg to differ. He and his colleagues have spent much of their careers doing just that, discovering more than 200 drug tunnels under the California-Mexico border since the inception of the task force in 1990.

"We want to make it so unattractive to do the type of work that they do, that they'll go somewhere else," says Garcia.

Garcia and his team are skilled at discovering tunnels and filling them up and have garnered favorable local press coverage on a number of big drug busts. But despite these high-visibility wins for Garcia's team, a recent report from the California Attorney General's office paints a picture of a California-Mexico border that's leakier than ever and reports that California has surpassed Texas as the nation's top methamphetamine entry point.

"For every mile of fencing we put up, for every extra thousand or ten thousand border patrol agents that we throw into the area, there's always some trafficker or some organization out there who's figuring out how to maneuver around those obstacles," says Shirk, who contributed to the Attorney General's report.

Garcia acknowledges that the team's initial approach felt a lot like "playing whack-a-mole," with a new tunnel popping up every time they shut an old one down. So, the team shifted its strategy and began targeting the heads of the organizations funding the tunnels, which reflects a broader shift in the U.S. war on drugs. Government efforts to systematically eliminate cartel leaders promptly destabilized the region and led to some of the worst bloodshed in the country's history.

"It was when the government decided to take on drug traffickers that the drug war became a literal war," says Shirk.

Decades of experience and improvements in technology have honed the tunnel task force's proficiency at detecting and eliminating tunnels, and Garcia's team has all but stamped out amateurish, unskilled smuggling operations. In this challenging environment, the most sophisticated and well-funded operations have cornered the market and see a bigger and better payout at the end of the proverbial, and literal, tunnel. As a result, the team has discovered numerous so-called "super tunnels" over the past five years: deep, multi-million dollar, professionally constructed tunnels boasting elevator shafts, high-powered ventilation, and even electric trains, possibly making them some of California's first ever profitable rail projects.

The technological arms race between law enforcement and drug traffickers has done little to shake Garcia's faith in the righteousness of his mission. He describes himself as the Dutch boy from the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, holding his finger in the leaky dike to hold back a flood until backup arrives with a more permanent solution.

"We know that's a long, hard road, and we may never be successful in our lifetimes. But we have to continue to lay that foundation down," he says.

That's one way to think about America's 40-year war on drugs. Another is to imagine a tiny tunnel underneath the border. You fill it. But another, bigger and better tunnel appears, so you assemble a special team of professionals to fill up tunnels and keep up with the professionals on the other side. And now, it's just you, and the professionals. You both learn and improve every time. The tunnels are getting bigger and better, but at least you're finding them. You are finding all of them, right?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Different Rules For The Rulers

It's okay to speed and make dangerous lane changes when your late for a conference.... and a cop.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Three Reasons We Should Not Be Fighting ISIS In The Middle East

From Reason TV:

President Obama has effectively declared war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, announcing that "we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."

But here are three reasons we should not be fighting ISIS in the Middle East.

1. ISIS isn’t that powerful.

War hawks such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claim that "the threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated." That is itself an overstatement. The FBI and Homeland Security both say ISIS isn’t a credible threat to the American homeland. The group may be great at using social media to exaggerate its power, but estimates of its troop strength range between 10,000 and 30,000 and most analysts talk about a core group of a few thousand fighters.

2. It’s a regional conflict.

ISIS controls territory inside Iraq and Syria. But even President Obama concedes that ISIS does not currently pose a threat "beyond that region."

Iraq and Syria—and their neighbors, including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Kurds—are the ones that must deal with this problem. Iraq’s army has more than one-quarter of a million U.S.-trained troops, the Peshmerga almost as many. Iran’s active forces number over half a million.

3. What counts as victory?

In announcing bombing runs and sending more American soliders to the Middle East, President Obama not only failed to call for congressional authorization, he neglected to discuss any sort of exit strategy. That’s a prerequisite for any responsible war plan. As important, his definition of success—we will "ultimately destroy" ISIS—is a goal nobody has ever achieved against any terrorist group.

Let’s be clear: The U.S. should do everything it can to defend its citizens and its interests.

But if the past dozen years have taught us anything—in Iraq and elsehwere—it’s that war is more complicated than our leaders ever want to admit. And it’s a lot easier to start wars than to win them—or even know when they’re over.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Attempt to Explain Why There is No Global Warming

Even though it is "settled science", the "Global Warming" models are not working. The models say the earth should be warming, but the earth hasn't been warming for the last 15 years. But "Global Warming" is "settled science" and we must take action based on the models. So the advocates of "Global Warming" keep on coming up with theories why the models are not working. Yet we must make massive changes based on these not working models. Yeah right.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Heather Johnson: Libertarian Mom Running for US Senate in Minnesota

Heather Johnson may not have much experience as a government official. But as the mother of two daughters and the Secretary of the Minnesota Libertarian Party, she has plenty of experience battling government officials. Johnson declared her candidacy for US Senate and she’s already showing what an energized and active campaign looks like. She’ll need to work extra hard, as the odds are always against honest, sincere citizen-candidates. But don’t forget - it’s Minnesota, where anything can happen on Election Day.

If you think it’s difficult being a mother of two young girls, working, volunteering, and going back to college all at the same time, try adding a run for US Senate to the list. While that massive burden might cripple most people, the Libertarian Party’s Heather Johnson only seems to get more energized from the challenge.

Read rest of article here:

Libertarian Mom running for US Senate in Minnesota

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Happened to the Malaysian Airlines Flight?

From the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity:

What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

Written by Ron Paul

Sunday July 20, 2014

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!

While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.

They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored “regime change,” it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.

The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.

They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.

They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called “measured and moderate.”

They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians.

They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack.

They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.

They will not report that the separatists in eastern Ukraine have inflicted considerable losses on the Ukrainian government in the week before the plane was downed.

They will not report how similar this is to last summer’s US claim that the Assad government in Syria had used poison gas against civilians in Ghouta. Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with US-backed rebels and the US claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions. Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. At the last minute public opposition forced Obama to back down – and we have learned since then that US claims about the gas attack were false.

Of course it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft. The real point is, it's very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda. At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?


Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How the Global Warming Scare Began


A great scientist named Roger Revelle had Al Gore in his class at Harvard and the Global Warming campaign was born. Revelle tried to calm things down years later, but Gore said Revelle was Senile and refused to debate. John Coleman documents the entire story and shows how our tax dollars are perpetuating the Global Warming alarmist campaign even though temperatures have not risen in years and years.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hardy Macia - Samuel Adams Award

The late Hardy Macia, whose soft whisper boldly asked New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan to allow cancer patients in need of relief to grow their own marijuana plants, was awarded the Samuel Adams Award for Activism at the Libertarian Party 2014 National Convention.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Harry Browne - Hall of Liberty

From the Libertarian Party:
Congratulations to the late Harry Browne, two-time LP presidential candidate, who was inducted into the Hall of Liberty at the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention.
The “Hall of Liberty” program is to honor lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting affect on the Libertarian Party and/or libertarian movement.
Those honored will be featured on the LP web site and on a “Wall of Liberty” in the LP national office.