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Adam Dick

Ron Paul Rewind: The Constitution and Its Rejection by the US Government

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The United States Constitution was ratified 230 years ago this week as the foundational law of the US government, when on June 21, 1788 New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document. In the year 2000, then-United States House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) delivered a speech on the House floor titled “A Republic, If You Can Keep It” in which he discussed in detail his thoughts on the Constitution, the individual rights he viewed the document as seeking to protect, and the great extent to which the US government had expanded beyond and rejected constitutional limits.
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The Texas Republican Party Now Supports Rolling Back Marijuana Prohibition. What’s Next?

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Over the weekend, delegates at the Texas Republican Party’s statewide convention voted by wide margins in favor of several roll-backs of marijuana prohibition. With over 80 percent support, the delegates approved three state party platform planks calling, respectively, for decriminalizing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, moving marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 of the United States government’s Controlled Substances Act, and urging the Texas legislature to “pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.” A fourth plank, calling for some expansion of the state’s rather limited low-THC cannabis oil medical program, received over 90 percent support.

So what is up next for the state’s marijuana laws? Will the state government adopt the delegates’ proposals? Might legal marijuana even be coming soon to the Lone Star State?

This action by the Texas Republican Party state convention delegates is an indication of how far the movement toward ending the war on marijuana has come in America. Republican politicians, in contrast with the younger segments of Republican voters, tend to oppose rolling back marijuana prohibition. And Texas, where no Democrat has been elected to any of 29 statewide elective offices since 1994, has been reluctant to join the trend of states enacting recreational or medical marijuana legalization.
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A Retirement Community for Drug-sniffing Dogs

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Legalizing marijuana in Illinois would likely cause some drug-sniffing dogs in the state to be killed. That is the claim asserted by Chad Larner, the training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County, Illinois in an in-depth Pantagraph article this week by Ryan Voyles. In Voyles’ article, counterarguments are presented that there will be alternatives to euthanizing such dogs, including involving the dogs continuing to live with their handlers or going through new training. But, assuming such options do not work out for some of the dogs, here is another option that is much better than keeping marijuana legal so some dogs can be saved — send the drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community for dogs.

Sending drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community will carry expenses. But, so does the war on marijuana. War on marijuana expenses include the costs of paying police and using police resources — including drug-sniffing dogs — to track down and arrest people for alleged marijuana law violations. Once individuals are arrested, the costs continue to mount with jailing and prosecution expenses. When arrested individuals are found guilty, the costs continue for incarceration or alternative punishments imposed.

The costs are not just on the government’s side. Arrested individuals rack up costs including payments to lawyers, missed work, and even loss of their jobs and homes in the process of asserting their innocence or trying to work out a plea deal. They also suffer with the psychological and physical hardships that come along with being arrested and detained, as well as having the threat of future punishment hanging over them, or the actuality of imposed punishment. Their friends and families tend to suffer as well.
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Privacy Denied: Students May Bring Only Clear Backpacks to School

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KERA radio in Dallas, Texas aired a news report this week relating that the Ennis school district in North Texas, starting in the fall semester, will allow students at district schools from prekindergarten through high school to bring only “clear, PVC backpacks to school.” The school district also is implementing right away mandatory backpack searches on middle and high school students. Plus, police dogs will be on campuses more often.

Making a typical excuse for the new anti-privacy school district policies, Ennis Police Chief John Erisman said in a report on the Dallas NBC television station that “anything that’s gonna keep our kids safe, our students safe — if we have to deal with a mild inconvenience in order for our kids to be safer, I am all for that.”

In announcing the clear backpack requirement, the school district is following in the footsteps of Broward County school district in Florida that, Dakin Andone reported earlier this month at CNN, imposed on students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a clear backpacks mandate in the name of enhanced security after a mass murder occurred earlier this year at the school.

These privacy-invading actions are just the beginning. Both school districts are adopting further requirements including that students wear IDs on campuses. Also, KERA reports that the Ennis school district will install security gates at its schools, while the CNN story relates that metal detectors and metal detector wands may be used at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Each morning students can be welcomed to school by being herded through a security checkpoint. Hopefully, there will be a lower level of harassment at the schools than is imposed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports and elsewhere.
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Ron Paul and Jacob Hornberger to Speak at Foreign Policy Conference in Charleston, South Carolina

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Ron Paul and Jocob G. Hornberger — two of the premier voices for peace in America — will speak at a foreign policy conference next month hosted jointly by Paul and Hornberger’s respective educational organizations — the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) and the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF). The Sunday, April 29 conference titled “Non-intervention: America’s Original Foreign Policy” will take place from 1:00pm to 5:00pm in Charleston, South Carolina.
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Showdown: Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Memo vs Legalization Momentum and Public Support

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On Thursday, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum in the Department of Justice (DOJ) that many people are concerned will lead to a crackdown by the US government on people acting in compliance with state laws under which, in varying ways, the growth, distribution, sale, possession, and use of marijuana is legal. While the issuing of the memorandum is an important development, there are several reasons to expect that the public support for, and the momentum in favor of, marijuana legalization will overpower any potential US government effort to counter states’ legalization.
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What Michael Moore Gets Right and Wrong about the Police State

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Documentarian Michael Moore, in a Friday post at Twitter, linked to video of Alex Wubbels, a nurse at a Salt Lake City, Utah hospital, being arrested for refusing to comply with a police demand that she draw blood from an unconscious patient at the hospital without first the patient consenting, the patient being arrested, or a warrant being issued. While Moore admirably alerted people to what he termed the “authoritarian police state” in America and provided them with a vivid example of that police state in action, he clouded the issue by wrongly suggesting that the police state is a new creation caused by Donald Trump being president of the United States.

Moore, in his tweet, included a link to video of some of the encounter between Wubbels and police preceded by this comment:
Here's what it looks like now in Trump's America. The authoritarian police state he so loves is now everywhere. Please watch this video.
Moore’s sharing of the video and his cautioning regarding an authoritarian police state do a service for liberty. The decades-in-the-making expansion of police invincibility when cops assault or kill people needs to be seen and understood by Americans so it can be rolled back.
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Why President Donald Trump May Let Hillary Clinton Walk Scot-Free

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Donald Trump famously said in an October of 2016 presidential debate with Hillary Clinton that she would be in jail if he became president. Pointing to her deletion and destruction of emails that were a focus of an Obama administration Department of Justice investigation, Trump further explained he would, as president, have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton. Yet, it is over six months since Trump was sworn in as president, and there is no special prosecutor and little indication that the Trump administration is making any effort to develop a case for prosecuting Clinton.

Then, on Tuesday, came a report from Ed Klein at Newsmax that the Trump administration Department of Justice had reopened the investigation of Clinton. That investigation had been strangely closed last year in conjunction with a statement by then-Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James B. Comey in which Comey effectively said evidence indicated Clinton had broken the law but she would nonetheless not be prosecuted.

Now, just about as strangely, the story is, according to Klein, that the Trump administration’s Justice Department, after reviewing evidence pertaining to Clinton, is considering offering her a plea bargain in which she admits guilt and receives zero punishment related to both her emails and “pay to play’ deals with foreign governments and businesses. This is a plea bargain the average criminal defendant dreams of receiving but has virtually no chance of seeing offered.

Whether the Trump administration does nothing or offers Clinton the dream plea bargain that Klein mentions, either course would be about the opposite of the one to which Trump, as a candidate, said he aspired.
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Trump Sends in the Gun Confiscation Cops

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Chicago police are keeping busy confiscating “illegal guns.” Last year through the summer, the confiscations were occurring at a rate of one every 59 minutes according to Chicago Police Department figures related by Mark Berman in an October 2016 Washington Post article. This summer, the Chicago police will have some assistance from the United States government in racking up impressive gun confiscation numbers.
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