Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Wed, 07 Jun 2023 22:54:49 GMT Wed, 07 Jun 2023 22:54:49 GMT The FBI, Ukraine’s Censorship Assistant Adam Dick

Aaron Maté has been among a handful of reporters to whom Elon Musk granted access to Twitter records to uncover efforts by the United States government along with Twitter to censor communication on the social media platform in the time before Musk gained control over it. The newest revelations from Maté concern the US government, via the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), having acted as an assistant to the Ukraine government’s main intelligence agency, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), to seek censorship of 163 targeted Twitter accounts — Maté’s included — as well as personal information related to those Twitter accounts.

Read Maté’s chilling revelations here.

It is bad enough that the US government has been seeking to censor social media communication to advance the goals of power-hungry politicians, businessmen, and bureaucrats here in America. Now, comes revelations that, on top of that, the US government has been seeking to advance the censorship goals of, and hand over personal information of individuals using social media to, the government of Ukraine. Keep in mind that Ukraine is an intensely corrupt government, is overrun with nazis, and is apparently comfortable with targeting for assassination foreign individuals merely because those individuals have expressed views judged intolerable regarding Ukraine or its war with Russia.

The Ukraine government has also been relentless in suppressing free speech, opposition political parties, and the free exercise of religion within its borders.

Of course, the US assistance to Ukraine’s censorship effort has extended beyond Twitter. Maté notes in the concluding paragraph of his article:
News of the FBI’s work with Ukrainian intelligence to censor Twitter users also follows reporting from journalist Lee Fang that the FBI has pressured Facebook to remove accounts and posts deemed by the SBU to be Russian 'disinformation.' According to Fang, a senior Ukrainian official in regular contact with the FBI defined 'disinformation' in such broad terms that it could mean viewpoints that 'simply contradict the Ukrainian government’s narrative.'
How about the US starts respecting the First Amendment, and stops assisting Ukraine in pursuing its authoritarian objectives?]]> Wed, 07 Jun 2023 22:54:49 GMT
The Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Shot is Kaput Adam Dick

Last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the Emergency Use Authorization for Johnson & Johnson coronavirus shots. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, noted in a Thursday letter that the FDA made the revocation at the request of Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, that had related that the company would not be updating its shots, the latest “lots” purchased by the US government have expired, and “there is no demand for new lots.”

The lack of demand is little surprise. Americans have increasingly became hip to the fact that Johnson & Johnson’s shots, along with those of other companies such as Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, are dangerous and ineffective. This is in contrast with the relentless sales pitch from shots promotors in government and media that the shots were safe and effective. Successive court decisions, followed by withdrawal of much of the remaining US coronavirus shots mandates by the Biden administration have further reduced demand by removing much of the mandates to which Americans have been subjected.

All along, Johnson & Johnson has apparently been singled out by the US government for harsher treatment than other companies engaged in the American coronavirus shots campaign. I have written about this situation in previous posts:

FDA Says Stop the Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine Shots” on April 13, 2021

If Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine Shots Are Halted Because of Blood Clots, Why Have Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Shots Not Also Been Halted?” on April 17, 2021

‘Teacher’s Pets’ Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Again Avoid FDA Scrutiny” on July 15, 2021

Propaganda Master Anthony Fauci” on December 17, 2021

FDA Again Singles Out Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Shot for Danger Warning” on January 13, 2022

Eliminating Competition: The FDA Further Restricts Use of Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus shots” on May 6, 2022]]> Tue, 06 Jun 2023 18:41:31 GMT
Mexican Cartel Spotted With US Anti-Tank Weapons On The Texas Border! Daniel McAdams
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From 'Trans Rights' To 'Trans Entitlements' - A Threat To Civil Society Daniel McAdams
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Escalation: Lindsey Graham Applauds 'Dead Russians' As Drones Hit Moscow Daniel McAdams
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The Coronavirus Shots Mandate Remains in Place for US Immigrants Adam Dick

On the first day of May, the Biden administration announced that, starting on May 12, mandates President Joe Biden had imposed that many individuals take experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots would be rescinded.

The press release announcing the policy change included this listing of individuals who would be relieved of the mandates:
Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. Additionally, HHS and DHS announced today that they will start the process to end their vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border.
Not mentioned were immigrants to America. On May 4, a short statement from the United States Department of State suggested immigrants would not have relief under the change, noting that “starting May 12, noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers will no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States.”

Indeed, a coronavirus shots mandate remains in place for immigrants six months old and older. In all, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page detailing this and other shots requirements for immigrants lists shots related to 16 diseases as mandated for US immigrants. Notably, no such US government mandates apply to people who obtained citizenship upon birth by being either born in America or the child of a US citizen. There are, though, varying shots mandates imposed by states as a condition of school attendance. While the CDC web page says that immigrants can request a waiver “based on religious or moral convictions,” many immigrants will feel pressure not to do so, fearing making such a request will put at risk their immigration effort.

Why keep subjecting immigrants to this pressure to take the coronavirus shots plus shots related to 15 other diseases? It can help keep out of America independent thinkers who are determined to make their own decisions on medical and other matters. It can also help cement in new immigrants’ thinking from the get-go that they must submit to the US government’s expansive desire to micromanage how people live their lives. Welcome to America; now do as you are told. The shots mandates for immigrants are also among the many examples of the US government helping pharmaceutical companies move their products and increase their profits.
]]> Thu, 25 May 2023 20:26:19 GMT
“Good Morning Students” … “Good Morning AI Overlord” Adam Dick

In recent years, schools across America, with the help of private companies, have been significantly ramping up surveillance on students, largely in the name of keeping the children safe. Now that there is big buzz about artificial intelligence, or “AI,” it should come as little surprise that peeping adults will increasingly employ AI to aid them in the surveilling of school students.

Last week, the Dallas Independent School District was boasting about its new pilot project, undertaken along with the company Davista. The pilot project, the school district says, uses AI to extensively monitor each student and then sound the alarm if a student deviates from his “baseline” behavior.

Talk about stifling. Doesn’t growing up tend to involve moving away from your baseline? And since when does being a kid mean you should have no privacy? Tough kids, that is not how the AI sees things.

The last time I wrote about the Dallas Independent School District was in May of 2021. In that post, I discussed the district then busing students off campus to receive experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots — another Big Brother project fallaciously taken in the name of protecting the children.

In that May post, I noted that “At its website, the Dallas Independent School District describes itself as the fourteenth largest school district in America, with ‘approximately 154,000 students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.’” Here is some good news: The district’s website now indicates that it has dropped down to sixteenth largest school district in America and has experienced a decline to approximately 141,000 students.

That significant reduction over the last two years in the number of students subjected to the district’s dictates may provide some real progress toward protecting the children.

Parents, check on how your children are being treated by their schools, including in the name providing for their own protection. Your view of what should be done to protect your children is likely quite different than that of the people in charge at your children’s schools.]]> Mon, 22 May 2023 04:41:58 GMT
Kennedy Presidential Campaign Announces Dennis Kucinich is Campaign Manager Adam Dick
Kucinich, a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio, has some experience with presidential races, having twice run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Kennedy explained in a Thursday campaign press release some of the reasoning behind choosing Kucinich:
'Dennis Kucinich has brought invaluable electoral experience to our campaign,' said Kennedy. 'He knows how the system works from the inside out, and his deep knowledge of issues and his personal integrity are fully aligned with the core values our campaign is bringing to American politics.'
The press release also includes this commendation for Kucinich:
Due to his early opposition to the Iraq War, free trade agreements, and the surveillance state, and his support for huge investments in infrastructure, Mr. Kucinich has earned a reputation as one of America’s most prescient politicians.
While the official announcement came on Thursday, Kennedy had mentioned in a Twitter post two weeks earlier that Kucinich was his campaign manager, though maybe at that time the arrangement was interim.

For some explanation why Kucinich supports Kennedy’s candidacy and thus would take on being Kennedy’s campaign manager, watch Kucinich’s speech that immediately preceded Kennedy’s April 19 campaign announcement speech:

Kucinich is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]> Fri, 19 May 2023 20:39:40 GMT
Ending Marijuana Restrictions for Athletes Adam Dick

In December of 2019, I wrote about Major League Baseball (MLB), along with the Major League Baseball Players Association, announcing that marijuana use by professional baseball players would no longer be verboten. Concluding my discussion of this new development, I commented that “More professional sports organizations will surely follow in eliminating marijuana use prohibitions.”

On Wednesday, Lester Black of the San Francisco Gate reported details of a new agreement between National Basketball Association (NBA) and NBA players, confirming that the new agreement will “permanently remove marijuana from the league’s prohibited substances list, after years of being tacitly condoned.” This development, noted Black, falls in line with developments in other American professional sports organizations. Wrote Black:
The NBA’s softening marijuana stance comes as cannabis reform advances across the country and nearly all professional sports become more pot-friendly. The MLB and NHL have largely stopped punishing players for testing positive for cannabis and the NFL has relaxed its testing requirements to allow players to use marijuana in the offseason.
Meanwhile, marijuana restrictions for American college athletes competing under the jurisdiction of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have loosened. In February of last year, the NCAA greatly increased the THC threshold for a positive marijuana testing result (following a similar change made by the World Anti-doping Agency) and replaced automatic suspension for a positive marijuana testing results with participation in a school-provided “management plan and education for the student-athlete.”]]> Thu, 04 May 2023 12:59:13 GMT
Julian Assange and President Biden’s Reelection Adam Dick

Former British diplomat Craig Murray has chronicled well much of the effort of the US and British governments against Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. In a Tuesday post at his website, Murray suggests that the course of Assange’s continuing torment recently and over the next two years may be driven by an effort to ensure US President Joe Biden’s reelection.

Murray writes:
It is fast approaching a year since Julian Assange submitted his High Court appeal against extradition, and still the High Court has not even decided if it will hear the appeal or not. We had initially hoped the actual hearing might be before last Christmas.

The Assange prosecution is not popular in the USA, where even the mainstream media have come out against charging a journalist with espionage. In addition everybody can now see the parallel with Evan Gershkovich and potential impact of Assange’s treatment on Gershkovich.

Assange’s arrival in Washington would be a free speech cause celebre with the potential to alienate some liberal support from Biden in a close election. The US security services therefore still very much want Julian imprisoned for life – but they do not want him extradited until after Biden is safely re-elected.

The British government therefore need to keep Julian in maximum security in Belmarsh for another two years, to keep the Biden campaign and its security service backers happy.

This can only be done by introducing lengthy and unnecessary delays into the judicial process. We see that happening, or rather we see it 'inexplicably' not happening, before our very eyes.

The senior British judiciary do what the security services tell them to do. Discreetly suggested, in the club.
Read here Murray’s complete post that provides some other interesting insights on matters related to the 2024 presidential election.]]> Wed, 03 May 2023 13:57:30 GMT
Kennedy Declares His Presidential Campaign and Presidency Mission: ‘To End the Corrupt Merger of Sate and Corporate Power’ Adam Dick

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s presidential campaign announcement speech on Wednesday included much that advocates of limiting the power of the United Sates government can cheer, including strong criticism of the US government’s crackdown in the name of countering coronavirus and of the series of wars in which the US government has engaged from Vietnam to Ukraine. We’ll be watching and listening as Kennedy in the coming months expands on this criticism and discusses his promised different approach.

Early in his speech and immediately following announcing that he had decided to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Kennedy stated what will be the focus of his campaign and, should he win the election, his presidency. Declared Kennedy: “My mission over the next 18 months of this campaign and throughout my presidency will be to end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power that is threatening now to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism in our country, to commoditize our children, our ‘purple mountains majesty,’ to poison our children and our people with chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, to strip mine our assets, to hollow out the middle class, and keep us in a constant state of war.”

Coming back to this theme later in his speech, Kennedy stated:
All I am saying is you need a president at this time in history who can stand up to his bureaucracy. The bureaucracies are owned by the industries. I’m talking about, you know, NIH and EPA and CDC and FDA and DoT. That train track wreck would not have happened in East Palestine except we have a captive agency at DoT. Our food is terrible because the food companies and the pesticide companies own USDA. We’re in constant wars because the military-industrial complex, the big contractors, own CIA.
Kennedy proceeded to note that he believes most people at the CIA are “patriots” and “good public servants” with “enormous courage and idealism.” That, continued Kennedy, “is the same with most our agencies.” But, he explained, “the problem is the people who end up rising in those agencies generally are people who are in the tank with industry, and that’s how they get corrupted.”

As you watch Kennedy’s presidential campaign proceed, keep these comments from his campaign announcement speech in mind. They will likely be important for well understanding his future comments and proposals.

Kennedy’s ability to gain support in the race may end up largely dependent on his ability to bring along voters to understand and agree with both his take on the “corrupt merger of state and corporate power” and his pitch that as president he would successfully counter that problem.
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Restoring Some Vaccination Choice in Mississippi Adam Dick

Like every American state government, the Mississippi government pressures parents to ensure their children take a slew of vaccination shots as a condition for the children to attend school. But, unlike most states, Mississippi law does not recognize the right of parents to refuse, based upon philosophical or religious objections, to follow the state-imposed childhood vaccination schedule.

Instead, the only exemption Mississippi parents have had available is a medical exemption that has turned out for almost all parents to be the same as having no exemption at all. I wrote about this in an April of 2015 article:
The New York Times  reported in February how extremely restricting vaccination mandate exemptions causes a significant increase in vaccination rates, pointing to Mississippi as an example. Mississippi has among the strictest vaccination requirements in America — barring philosophical and religious exemptions and allowing only a medical exemption for students in both public and private schools. In the 2013-14 school year the Times reports that only 17 out of 45,179 kindergarten students in the state were exempt from the state’s vaccination mandate.
The medical exemption could more accurately be called the mirage exemption. In contrast, philosophical and religious exemptions can allow much greater ability for parents to refuse government pressure to have their children subjected to each and every state-mandated shot at each and every state-mandated time in a child’s life.

Since I wrote that article in 2015, California and New York, two of the largest population states, have joined Mississippi by eliminating all exemptions other than the medical exemption. Three additional states — Connecticut, Maine, and West Virginia — also recognize only the medical exemption.

Some good news came for Mississippi parents this week. The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) has announced that on Monday a federal court “ruled that the First Amendment requires that, by July 15, 2023, the State of Mississippi afford its residents a religious exemption for their children to attend school without one or more state mandated vaccines.” ICAN, which has supported the lawsuit that led to the court’s ruling, provides more information in a legal update at its website.

Hopefully, religious and philosophical exemptions, in addition to medical exemptions, will soon be exercisable by parents in all states.]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2023 15:47:23 GMT
Ron Paul’s TimCast Interview: The John F. Kennedy Assassination and Beyond Adam Dick assessment that the United States government, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in particular, killed President John F. Kennedy. The assassination Paul describes as a coup that helped dramatically changed the nature of America.

Post-coup, the prominent libertarian communicator and chairman of the Ron Paul Institute argues, America has reached a point where “we don’t have any resemblance to a government that believes in a Republic; we don’t have honest money; we don’t have integrity; we don’t even have people in Washington that even pretend that you’re supposed to tell the truth.”

Watch the Paul’s TimCast interview here:

Paul’s discussion of a coup in American and the Kennedy assassination starts at 12 minutes and 36 seconds into the TimCast episode.

Paul addresses many additional matters in the interview, including his time in the United States House of Representatives and as a presidential candidate, monetary policy, and censorship by social media companies working together with government.]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2023 21:01:23 GMT
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Registers Support in Poll a Week before Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech Adam Dick

It can be an arduous task to defeat the incumbent president in an American presidential primary. Yet, that is the task Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has taken upon himself.

Kennedy is planning to announce his candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in an April 19 speech in Boston, Massachusetts.

An April 7-9
Morning Consult poll puts support for Kennedy among likely Democratic presidential primary and caucus voters at 10 percent. This is far behind the 70 percent support for President Joe Biden in the poll. But, it does indicate a base of support from which Kennedy can build to pose a significant challenge.

If Kennedy can reach the American people with an appealing message, he may prove successful. This is especially the case given that Biden appears to have a rather flimsy base of support. A
Monmouth University poll last month found that a 44 percent plurality of Democratic voters wanted Biden not to seek reelection while just 25 percent supported him seeking a second term. Thirty percent expressed no opinion on the matter.]]> Wed, 12 Apr 2023 21:29:49 GMT
Republican Congress Members and Presidential Candidates Pushing for War in Mexico Adam Dick

Back in September of 2018, I criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s suggestion that the United States military invade Mexico if Mexico legalizes heroin. Now, several Republican Congress members are using fentanyl fears as a new drug war basis for urging US military action south of the border.

Politico writer Alexander Ward provided details in a Monday article. The article begins with the following:
A growing number of prominent Republicans are rallying around the idea that to solve the fentanyl crisis, America must bomb it away.

In recent weeks, Donald Trump has discussed sending “special forces” and using “cyber warfare” to target cartel leaders if he’s reelected president and, per Rolling Stone, asked for “battle plans” to strike Mexico. Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced a bill seeking authorization for the use of military force to “put us at war with the cartels.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said he is open to sending U.S. troops into Mexico to target drug lords even without that nation’s permission. And lawmakers in both chambers have filed legislation to label some cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, a move supported by GOP presidential aspirants.
While much focus has been on Mexico, fighting drug cartels can mean globe-spanning US military action.

Read Ward’s article here.

Trump’s comments about US military actions to advance the drug war is at odds with his presidential campaign effort to run as the peace candidate. The comments, though, do follow directly from his declaration in his November 17 candidacy announcement speech that “We will wage war upon the cartels and stop the fentanyl and deadly drugs from killing 200,000 Americans per year.” Trump’s comments also fit in with those of other Republican presidential candidates mentioned in the Politico article — Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy — indicating they are open to labeling drug cartels as terrorist organizations and taking military action against them.

Potential presidential candidate John Bolton almost appears the moderate when quoted in the article stating that unilateral military operations “are not going to solve the problem.” That, though, leaves open the potential of US dominated coalition action à la the Bolton fave Iraq War or pressuring Mexico to consent to the intervention. Obtaining permission from Mexico for the US military to fight drug cartels in Mexico was an option Trump floated during his presidential term.]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2023 22:00:47 GMT
Revisiting Ron Paul’s 2004 House Foor Speech Calling for Disbanding NATO, ‘the Sooner the Better’ Adam Dick

On March 30, 2004 — just over 19 years ago, then-Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) concluded a United Sates House of Representatives statement with a strong admonition regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and US involvement in it.

Paul stated:
In conclusion, we should not be wasting US tax money and taking on more military obligations expanding NATO. The alliance is a relic of the Cold War, a hold-over from another time, an anachronism. It should be disbanded, the sooner the better.
Paul’s statement was made in opposition to a resolution (H.Res. 558) being considered on the House floor that day that welcomed “with enthusiasm” the addition of seven new members to NATO and encouraged consideration of adding more nations to NATO. The addition of these new nations all near the Russian border — Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — made 2004 a big year in NATO expansion.

Regarding the addition of the seven new members to NATO in 2004, Paul made this particular warning:
The expansion of NATO to these seven countries, we have heard, will open them up to the further expansion of US military bases, right up to the border of the former Soviet Union. Does no one worry that this continued provocation of Russia might have negative effects in the future? Is it necessary?
This comment is prescient considering that such expansion of NATO and US military bases is a contributor to Russia’s decision last year to send its military into Ukraine, a development to which the US and several NATO nations have responded with a fervor of warlike declarations and actions.

The addition of more nations near Russia to NATO continued since 2004. Albania and Croatia were added in 2009, Montenegro was added in 2017, and North Macedonia in 2020. With the addition of Finland this week, 12 nations since 2004 have joined NATO — the same number of nations as founded NATO in 1949. NATO membership now comes in at 31 nations. And there is momentum to add more, including Sweden potentially quite soon.

Read Paul’s statement here.

After leaving the House of Representatives in 2013, Paul founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Paul is chairman of the institute that is tasked with advocating for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties in America.]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2023 21:27:53 GMT
Want to Attend a University where Free Speech is Respected? Don’t Write off Public Universities. Adam Dick

Some individuals seeking out a free speech respecting university to attend may write off state or public schools, assuming that private schools will better fit the bill. Survey results from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), however, indicate that respect for free speech may more often be found at public colleges and universities.

FIRE surveyed over 40,000 students at 208 colleges and universities regarding matters related to free speech for its 2023 College Free Speech Rankings. Based on the answers students provided, along with the content of schools’ speech codes and how school administrations have handled campus speech controversies, the institutions of higher education were ranked and given grades ranging from Abysmal to Good.

Columbia University, the lone school rated Abysmal, is a private school. So also are the two schools rated Very Poor and 15 out of 16 of the schools rated Poor. In the next highest category of Bellow Average schools, private schools outnumbered public schools 33 to 16.

On the other end of the rankings, four of the six schools rated at the highest assigned rating of Good are public, though the private University of Chicago came in first overall. Next up, every one of the 21 schools rated Above Average is public.

The entire list of ranked colleges and universities — including ones ranked in the midrange categories of Slightly Below Average, Average, and Slightly Above Average — is composed of 87 private schools and 121 public schools.

For more details about the survey methodology and the results for individual schools, check out the rankings here.
]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2023 12:52:52 GMT
The Enriched Bread Scam Adam Dick

Back in grade school PE class the coach would, on occasion, have the students sit together on the gymnasium floor for a short lecture. One of those lectures I have thought about periodically in the years since. It is the lecture in which the coach described the enriched bread scam.

When you see bread labeled “Enriched” on a grocery store shelf you probably think it is improved over other bread, the coach said that day in the gym. But, he explained, the truth is the bread is inferior. Much of the nutritious part of the bread had been taken out or was never there, and then some lesser nutrition was added. The bread is now “Enriched,” but, in reality, it is less nutritious than other bread.

Calling the bread enriched, the coach said, was like saying you had been enriched by a robber who took all your money and then gave some of it back.

I was lucky to hear about the enriched bread scam so early. It is not often mentioned in schooling or media. Here is a brief discussion of it in a September 14, 2021 article by Jennifer Cook at Consumer Reports:
Grains have three parts: the endosperm, bran, and germ. White flour is made just from the endosperm, while whole wheat contains all three parts. And many of a grain's nutrients are in the latter two components.

White bread does offer some protein, and most commercial loaves are made from flour enriched with B vitamins and iron. Bread that's primarily whole grain, however, has a lot more going for it. In addition to B vitamins and iron, it supplies vitamin E, minerals such as zinc and magnesium, flavonoids and other antioxidants, protein, and fiber.
Being aware of the enriched bread scam is helpful far beyond in grocery shopping, I soon figured out. Marketing the inferior and the downgraded as superior and upgraded is a scam companies and governments routinely use to mislead people. Seeing though the scam can be helpful for advancing wellbeing and liberty.]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2023 21:58:19 GMT
Hotels, a Refuge for Free Speech Adam Dick

This century we have seen a major crackdown on free speech in America. The crackdown has shut off much free speech, including at colleges and social media websites where free speech had before seemed quite welcome.

This month, I have been working with a couple hotels affiliated with major hotel chains to make arrangements for Ron Paul Institute (RPI) conferences. Discussions between me and the agents of the hotels have addressed matters including rooms to be used for the conferences, food and beverages to be served, the schedules of the conferences, and, of course, charges from the hotels. A couple things, though, did not come up during the significant amount of back-and-forth in making arrangements — who would speak at the conferences and what would be spoken about at the conferences.

Refreshingly, the hotels’ agents see the names of the speakers, the content of their speeches, and the themes of the conferences as irrelevant. The hotels are interested in acting as venues for a third party’s event. That’s it. The hotels are taking on neither the role of advocate nor of speech police or “canceler.”

Such a hands-off attitude regarding who will speak and what will be said has been common previous times I have been in discussions with people at hotels regarding entering into agreements for RPI events. Never did it seem that any of the hotels with which I have had discussions would refuse involvement with one of the events because of who may speak or what may be said.

Respecting free speech is an easier and more profitable course for hotels than interrogating and barring potential customers in an effort to block events that include the “wrong” people or ideas. Hopefully, hotels will keep on the pro-free speech course, and many recent converts to the censorship course will return to providing greater respect for free speech.]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2023 14:50:28 GMT
The War on Marijuana is Hitting American Trucking Adam Dick

Marijuana is legal for medical or general (recreational) use by adults in most American states, but a truck driver can still lose his job because a United States government mandated routine drug test indicates he used marijuana.

Some people will be quick to respond, “Good, I don’t want people driving big rigs down the road while high on pot.” But, as Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) points out in a March 10 The Hill editorial, “Such tests are not intended to assess for marijuana-induced impairment, but rather, they are designed to detect whether one may have been exposed to cannabis several days, weeks, or even months earlier.”

The impact on trucking of such US government mandated testing for marijuana is big. Armentano writes:
According to newly provided statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 40,000 commercially licensed truck drivers failed federally mandated drug screens for marijuana in 2022. Since 2020, more than 100,000 truck drivers have tested positive for past cannabis exposure. Of this total, only about 25 percent sought to return to work — resulting in mass driver shortages.
It is a sad situation that this testing for marijuana results in truck drivers losing their jobs because of actions they took in their private time that do not interfere with their work. The toughest part of fixing this problem will likely be people in the US government letting go of drug war priorities that prevent changing policy to make it more in line with advancing liberty and safety.]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2023 22:46:50 GMT