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Is Trump Trying to Goad Iran Into War with the US?

Is Trump Trying to Goad Iran Into War with the US?

On Monday President Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization.

Mainstream media is playing it up as an escalation of economic pressures on the country.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes

The designation should deepen Iran’s international isolation, another step in the maximum pressure campaign against the regime for its nuclear program. Anyone who provides material support to the group can now be prosecuted more easily and IRGC members are blocked from entering the U.S. IRGC officials will also risk arrest and extradition while traveling.

Don’t believe for a minute this is the half of it.

This is the first time ever that the United States government has named a part of another government as a foreign terrorist organization.

What does it mean?

Labeling any group a foreign terrorist organization allows that group to be targeted by the U.S. government by means of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Colonel W. Patrick Lang, a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces, writes:

The AUMF on terrorism has been used far and wide as a hunting license to attack any armed group that could even distantly be thought a terrorist enemy.  The anti-terrorism AUMF makes such attacks legal under US law.

The official designation as “terrorist” of the IRGC which is a 125000 man army with its own navy and air force makes it legal for the US Armed Forces to attack the IRGC and its people wherever they are found and under any circumstances that may occur.  It is a declaration of war.

Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, told Reuters she worried about implications for U.S. forces.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaked Documents Show U.S. Government Tracking Journalists Through a Secret Database

Leaked Documents Show U.S. Government Tracking Journalists Through a Secret Database

Welcome to Trumpworld.

The President has little appreciation for liberty or the dangers of a growing police state. And those working under him understand this and act accordingly.

He is as bad as most other presidents. The only difference being that there is a group of about 30% of the population, MAGA people, who don’t understand this and believe he is going to protect them from the expanding state.

From NBC News:

Customs and Border Protection has compiled a list of 59 mostly American reporters, attorneys and activists for border agents to stop for questioning when crossing the U.S-Mexican border at San Diego-area checkpoints, and agents have questioned or arrested at least 21 of them, according to documents obtained by NBC station KNSD-TV and interviews with people on the list. Several people on the list confirmed to NBC News that they had been pulled aside at the border after the date the list was compiled and were told they were being questioned as part of a “national security investigation.”… 

One lawyer from the list who was recently stopped at a San Diego-area crossing, Nicole Ramos, refugee director for Al Otro Lado, a law center for migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, learned from NBC News that CBP had compiled a dossier of information on her. The dossier included personal details such as her mother’s name, her social media pictures, the car she drives and her work and travel history. “The document…appears to prove what we have assumed for some time, which is that we are on a law enforcement list designed to retaliate against human rights defenders who work with asylum seekers and who are critical of CBP practices that violate the rights of asylum seekers,” Ramos said.

In Africa, A New Tactic to Suppress Online Speech: Taxing Social Media

In Africa, A New Tactic to Suppress Online Speech: Taxing Social Media

Think things are bad in the US and Europe when it comes to social media speech suppression?

Check out, Africa.

Will this be our future?

Aware of the threat that social media poses to their power, repressive regimes in Africa have employed various methods to stifle internet-based mobilization. These include internet shutdowns, targeted social media applications shutdowns, website takedowns, extensive surveillance of digital communications, online propaganda, and the detention of online critics, writes Babatunde Okunoye for Foreign Affairs.

According to Okunoye, in 2018, repressive governments adopted yet another tactic: taxes on social media usage. In countries such as Uganda, Benin, Tanzania and Zambia, there are now laws in place which impose daily taxes on social media and other over-the-top services. In Uganda, for instance, citizens have to pay 200 Ugandan Shillings (US $ 0.05) per day to access Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp as a law adopted last year. Citizens of Benin have had to pay 5 CFA francs ($0.008) per megabyte consumed through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter as stipulated by Decree No. 2018 – 341 of July 25 2018. The decree also introduces a 5 percent fee, on top of taxes, on texting and calls. These laws also make the cost of maintaining personal websites by citizens prohibitively expensive. As a result of the Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2018, citizens in Tanzania now must pay a $920 fee to receive the government’s permission to maintain a website…

Most citizens believe that these measures were drawn up to restrict the space for freedom of expression in worsening human rights contexts in countries like Uganda and Tanzania. While some of these social media taxes have been couched as measures to raise government revenue, given the poor economic situation prevalent in much of Africa, virtually everyone sees them for what they really are—attempts to stifle the right to freedom of expression and association of the millions of Africans demanding more from their governments.

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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