Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:30:18 GMT Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:30:18 GMT UPDATE: Twitter Lets Julian Assange’s Mom Tweet Again Adam Dick wrote about Twitter restricting public access to the past Twitter posts of Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as preventing her from making new posts at her Twitter account. Today, it appears Twitter has removed those limitations.

Christine Assange had this to say about the matter in a
post at her Twitter page:

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Neocons Want Brazil in NATO to Undermine Venezuela – Daniel McAdams RT
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Twitter Prevents Julian Assange’s Mom from Posting, Restricts Viewing of Her Past Posts Adam Dick her Twitter page to criticize the United States government effort to prosecute and imprison her son for making available leaked information exposing abusive government actions, as well as her son’s harsh treatment — including a prohibition on his communication with the outside world — over the last year at Ecuador’s London embassy where he obtained sanctuary in 2012. Now, Joe Lauria reports at Consortium News, public access to Christine Assange’s Twitter account has been restricted and she has been prevented from posting at her account.

Lauria relates Christine Assange has written in a text that the placing of limitations on her Twitter account “followed on from a day of my tweets about free speech and calling on journalists globally to stand up for Julian.”

In September of 2017, a few months before the Ecuador embassy prevented Julian Assange from communicating with the outside world, Assange spoke at a Ron Paul Institute conference via live video. His speech was largely focused on opposing war, the US empire, and the military-industrial complex. Watching the speech, there is little wonder why powerful warmongers would want to silence both Julian Assange and his mother, who is a vocal and effective advocate for her son and his work with the WikiLeaks media organization. You can watch Julian Assange’s speech here:

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Ron Paul Airs Concerns about the Trump Presidency Adam Dick
Interviewed recently by host Larry King at King’s Politicking show at RT, Paul’s assessment of Trump’s presidency came out mostly negative.

In the wide-ranging interview, Paul, who King introduces as “always outspoken,” lives up to that description in providing clear criticism of Trump in regard to several matters. From increasing United States military spending to piling on new US government debt to continuing mass surveillance to seeking to build a wall at the US-Mexico border through the exercise of “national emergency” powers to keeping US troops in Syria, Paul declares Trump is following the wrong course.

Paul, however, is not entirely negative regarding Trump’s presidency. In the interview, Paul dismisses the accusation that Trump is “beholden to” Russia President Vladimir Putin. Paul also praises Trump for talking with leadership of the North Korea government, though Paul notes that the effort toward improving relations with North Korea appears to have recently been “sabotaged.”

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

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Five Minutes Five Issues: Watching Assange, Ocasio-Cortez, Expungement, Bernie Sanders, Alaska Marijuana Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has pretty much been held in isolation in Ecuador’s London embassy since twelve months ago when his visits there were curtailed and his means of communication with the outside world were blocked. Previously, in 2012, Assange had obtained sanctuary at the embassy to avoid prosecution and incarceration by the United States.

Last week, John Pilger wrote in a Consortium News article about Assange’s lack of privacy at the embassy. Pilger describes that “[c]ameras are everywhere” in the room Assange occupies with a guard posted at the door. During his visit with Assange in the room, Pilger writes:
… Julian maneuvers us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall. This is how we catch up: whispering and writing to each other on a notepad, which he shields from the cameras.
Issue two.

US House of Representatives Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was selected by people behind the scenes to run for office “so they could promote their own agenda.” Then, as a representative, Ocasio-Cortez continues to be controlled by such “very dangerous” people.

Those are the contentions of a much-watched video at YouTube. Looking through the comments by people who watched, it seems a fair number of viewers found this information to be particularly novel and disturbing.

Are the commenters this naïve, or are many of them just looking for confirmation for their dislike of Ocasio-Cortez or Democrats? What the video says about her is true for many people in office, both Democrats and Republicans. Especially in a big district such as a US House district that include hundreds of thousands of residents and when a politician was not well known and liked in the district before he ran for office or did not spend a big chunk of his own cash to win his election, it is a good bet that the politician was selected by people behind the scenes and continues to be controlled or at least strongly influenced by such people. That’s politics.

Issue three.

In the October 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about state and local governments where marijuana has been legalized putting in place simplified processes for, or making automatic, the expungement or reduction of marijuana convictions that occurred before legalization.

Now there are signs such measures will be included more often in future state marijuana legalization measures. For example, Claude Brodesser-Akner reported last month at that expungement is included in marijuana legalization legislation that is likely to become law in New Jersey. Also, the New Mexico state House of Representatives approved last week a legalization bill that includes a means for expunging convictions for activities the legislation would legalize.

The New Mexico bill would also have marijuana sold in state government stores. In some states liquor is sold that way.

Many Americans support marijuana convictions expungement. A new Quinnipiac University poll indicates public support for “erasing criminal records for marijuana possession or use” is at 63 percent, which is three percent higher than the poll’s measured support for legalization.

Issue four.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has advocated on the presidential campaign trail ending the war on drugs. On Monday, he posted comments at his Facebook page further supporting this action. Sanders wrote in part:
The War on Drugs has failed and we must end it. Not only do we need to legalize marijuana, we must expunge the records of marijuana offenses and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenses. We need to treat drug addiction and drug abuse with rehabilitation not with long prison sentences.
Issue five.

It looks like Alaska will be the first marijuana legalization state to explicitly permit consumption of marijuana at some places where marijuana is legally sold across the state. Paul Armentano wrote Wednesday at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) website that, under new state regulations, “the initial on site consumption areas may be approved by this summer.”


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

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Lawrence Wilkerson: ‘National Security’ Spending Should Be Cut, Not Increased Adam Dick includes increasing by five percent United States military spending. However, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson argues in a Tuesday The Real News interview that the US government would do well to cut a trillion dollars over ten years — about 100 billion dollars a year — from its national security budget, a budget Wilkerson notes is about twice the 700-plus billion dollars Defense Department budget.

On the bright side, Wilkerson suggests in the interview that he thinks that, largely due to new US House of Representatives members, there may now be insurmountable opposition in the House to major Defense spending increases.

Wilkerson also sees a political liability for Trump arising from Trump pushing for the increased spending. Wilkerson describes the situation this way:
I was just up in Boston, and, you know, Massachusetts is not necessarily the breeding ground for this kind of uprising, even with its reputation in the revolution in the beginning and so forth. But, Massachusetts is angry, and Connecticut’s angry, and Rhode Island’s angry. And I’ve been in Texas and Oklahoma, and they’re angry too. And they’re angry that Trump promised to take care of the domestic situation — his most potent promise with these voters in terms of Make America Great Again, and he isn’t doing it. And he certainly isn’t doing it by increasing the Defense budget well beyond what even the average American understands is probably necessary to keep this country secure.
Now imagine if America suffers a recession in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, an occurrence Wilkerson predicts in the interview is “very likely.” In the recession, many more Americans would lose their jobs and have difficulty making rent and mortgage payments. Then, Trump’s advocacy for loading up national security state and empire-building efforts with much more money can be expected to be regarded with much increased anger.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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The Real Big Time Bribes Going on at Colleges and Universities Robert Wenzel

So the news is filled with reports over the last 24 hours of misguided efforts of semi-wealthy parents, who were busted in an FBI sting, getting their not so bright children into elite colleges and universities via bribes.

But the real bribes go on. That is the government payments to colleges and universities to promote government lines of propaganda.

Four hundred thousand dollars was given to Yale women’s soccer team coach, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, to get a girl into Yale via the backdoor as a "soccer student." But it is a mere pittance compared to the serious scam. Yale University received approximately $480 million in federal funds in 2015, for example.

Who do you think had the big time influence at Yale, Rudy or the government?

It is also noteworthy that one of the universities on the list caught up in the FBI-busted bribery scandal is Georgetown University, a known high-value recruitment target of the CIA. It even has a School of Foreign Service.  Former CIA Director George Tenet was a graduate as was Bill Clinton.

The war criminals, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, and Tenet, have all taught there.

It has received funding from the  National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

It just doesn't stop, in addition to Yale as a recipient of EPA "climate research" funds, other recipients of EPA climate research funding have included:

North Carolina State University
Northeastern University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Stanford University
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
Brigham Young University

I could go on an on but the point is the FBI bust is a meaningless sideshow compared to the real problem of influence at colleges and universities. That being government influence which can and has resulted in distorted research that promotes the agenda of the Deep State and the power elites.

This is the serious influence that needs to be stopped.

I have zero interest in hearing about an actress, whom I had not known of before, and how she connived and scammed to get her dumb daughter into an elitist college.

Reprinted with permission from TargetLiberty.]]> Wed, 13 Mar 2019 14:22:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Jailing Manning, ‘Antisemitism,’ Whole Foods Marijuana, The Foreigner, RPI Conference Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

On Friday, Chelsea Manning was jailed after Manning refused to testify before a United States grand jury apparently impaneled to enable prosecutions related to WikiLeaks.

The writer Caitlin Johnston went to the heart of the matter in an article at Medium, writing:
The United States government has just re-imprisoned one of the nation’s greatest whistleblowers to coerce her into helping to destroy the world’s greatest leak publisher, both of whom exposed undeniably true facts about war crimes committed by that same United States government.
Issue two.

Kurt Nimmo, in an article last week at, examined the fraudulent charges of antisemitism being thrown at new United States House of Representatives Member Ilhan Omar (D-MN) based on Omar’s criticism of the Israel government and of some people seeking to influence US foreign policy to serve the Israel government’s objectives.

Nimmo makes an important observation that, just as there is no reason to believe Omar’s attacked comments are about religion or ethnicity, neither is there reason to believe that all the criticism of her comments is due to her being Muslim. Concluding his article, Nimmo writes:
Finally, Ilhan Omar made a mistake when she said the reason she is being attacked is because she’s a Muslim, which is merely a bonus for her accusers. The fact is anybody who criticizes Israel—regardless of race, gender, or religion—will be targeted.
Issue three.

In an article at the Ron Paul Institute website last week titled “Making Marijuana Legalization More Freedom-Friendly,” I wrote about people living where marijuana legalization has occurred in America not being able to purchase marijuana products in places including grocery stores where they can purchase alcoholic beverages.

Unknown to me at the time, Whole Foods founder John Mackey had said during a Texas Tribune public event the day before that, if marijuana legalization is passed in Texas, “chances are good that grocery stores will be selling” marijuana.

I hope he is correct. Back in 2015, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved Texas state Rep. David Simpson’s legislation to treat marijuana, for adults, the same as other agricultural products such as tomatoes. That legislation, which is far more radical than legalization legislation that has been approved in ten states so far, did not end up receiving a floor vote. But, the bill’s success in committee suggests Texas may take a very expansive approach when it does finally legalize marijuana.

Issue four.

Some fuddy-duddies complained about actors being dressed in Ku Klu Klan costumes in a play performed at Theodore Roosevelt High School in South Dakota last weekend. Then, as reported by Shelly Conlon at the Argus Leader, a Sioux Falls School District spokesperson issued a statement apologizing for the play having been performed.

The fuss is just about the costumes worn by some actors, ignoring the context of such in the play

Get over it people. The play is The Foreigner. It is a comedy. I enjoyed seeing the play performed in Texas a few years after its 1980s off-Broadway run in New York City. Here’s a spoiler: The characters in KKK costumes are not presented as heroic.

Issue five. ­

On Saturday May 18 in Houston, Texas, the Ron Paul Institute will host a conference regarding the war on drugs. Speakers will include Ron Paul and two individuals very informed about drug war issues — Jacob Sullum, a senior editor at Reason, and Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

To obtain more information, purchase “early bird” conference tickets, and reserve reduced-price guest rooms at the conference hotel, visit the web page


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

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'Bay of Pigs 2.0' US Invasion Plan for Venezuela Thwarted - Daniel McAdams
RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins RT America's Rick Sanchez to discuss this US attempt to foment a Colombia/Venezuela war and what it says about the US regime change plan for Venezuela:

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Recollections of Walter Jones and His Principled Votes in the US House of Representatives Adam Dick

A Wednesday Public Radio East report by Valerie Crowder presents some fond recollections of the principled political efforts of Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Walter Jones who died last month while serving in his 13th term in the Unites States House of Representatives as a Republican from North Carolina.

Jones’ friend Rufus Edmisten relates in the report that Jones knew taking independent positions in the House, including in opposing US wars, would cost Jones politically, but he did so anyway. While Edmisten states that “loads and loads of money” were spent to defeat Jones in Republican primary contests, but Jones was never defeated “because people back home said, ‘OK, Walter may not vote like we want him to all the time, but we know we can trust him to do what he thinks is right.’”

Fellow Representative G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat also from North Carolina, discusses in the report looking at vote tallies and seeing “perhaps two Republicans voted with Democrats on an issue, and one would be Walter B. Jones, Jr, not because he was enamored with Democratic policies, but because he found an issue that we had in common.”

Listen to the complete report about Jones here.

The recollections in the Public Radio East report are similar to some of the recollections of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who was a friend and colleague of Jones at the House. In a February Ron Paul Liberty Report episode dedicated to discussing Jones’ life, Paul said that Jones showed “you can survive politically” while “standing on principle, working with Democrats, and saying that peace is a good idea.”]]> Thu, 07 Mar 2019 20:14:34 GMT
Walter Block: US Government Should Ignore, Not Overthrow, ‘Evil Dictators’ Adam Dick

Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Walter Block has some clear advice regarding what the United States government should do about “evil dictators” around the world: Ignore them. After all, Block, an economics professor at Loyola University and prominent libertarian scholar, writes in a Tuesday blog post, there is “no country, no groups of individuals with the power, or the intention,” to invade or conquer America.

And how about those Americans who feel something must be done about the “evil dictators?” Block provides this option:

If individual US citizens want to go abroad to make the “world safe for democracy” or safe for anything else, there is nothing in the libertarian philosophy to stop them. Let them borrow a leaf from the Lincoln Brigade, a bunch of private citizens from the US, the UK, and elsewhere, who went to Spain in 1936 to fight Franco.

Read here Block’s blog post in the form of an emailed question to Block along with his response.

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US Government’s Top Pharmaceutical Official Promoting Eliminating Vaccination Exemptions Adam Dick

With the expansion of state governments’ crackdown on vaccination exemptions facing significant obstacles after, in 2015, California eliminated nearly all vaccination exemptions for children in government schools, private schools, and day care, Alex Newman writes at The New American that Scott Gottlieb, the head of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been publicly suggesting the US government mandate that states restrict or eliminate vaccination exemptions for children.

Is this mere bluster as we saw with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggesting the US should prosecute people complying with liberalized state marijuana laws? Donald Trump had during the 2016 presidential campaign supported letting states go their own way on marijuana. Similarly, Newman writes that Trump, as a candidate, expressed concern about vaccine dangers and supported parents’ right to choice in the matter.

Further, in January of 2017, Robert Kennedy, Jr, who has written much concerning potential vaccine dangers and has challenged pharmaceutical companies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in regard to vaccines, announced then-President-elect Trump had requested Kennedy chair a US government commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity, though that chairmanship and commission have not materialized.

It is unclear what, if anything, will come from Gottlieb’s threats. Still, it is important to keep watch on the potential for the US government expanding its power in this area. Libertarian communicator and former presidential candidate Ron Paul stressed the importance of the vaccinations mandate issue when he asked in a February of 2015 editorial regarding the issue, “if government can override parental or personal health care decisions, then what area of our lives is off-limits to government interference?”]]> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 14:30:08 GMT
US Has Foreign Policy of ‘World Domination’ – Daniel McAdams RT
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Making Marijuana Legalization More Freedom-Friendly Adam Dick

It took 45 years after the 1933 termination of the United States government’s alcohol prohibition for the US government to legalize beer home brewing and, then, another 35 years until in 2013 the last two American states legalized home brewing. In comparison, of the ten states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, only the Washington state government prohibits home growing of marijuana, and for years the US government has backed off from prosecuting people complying with the liberalized state marijuana laws.

In this way, freedom is being recognized more quickly under marijuana legalization than it was under alcohol legalization. But, the number of states that include prohibition of home grow in their laws generally ending marijuana prohibition may increase. In particular, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing marijuana legalization that includes, consistent with a recently revealed request from some large marijuana companies, a ban on home grow.

One area where ending marijuana prohibition is progressing with much less respect for freedom is the legal ability to buy and use marijuana in a variety of places. Under legalization, people have been denied the ability to legally purchase marijuana products at bars and restaurants. The sale of marijuana products also remains prohibited at other places where alcoholic beverages are sold, such as at grocery stores and convenience stores, as well as at special events including concerts, sport competitions, and fairs.

Proponents of marijuana legalization often say that marijuana use is less harmful than alcohol use. This argument was the focus of a series of bus-side advertisements funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, for example, in its 2013 effort to encourage people to vote in favor of an ultimately approved marijuana ballot measure in Portland, Maine. Yet, individuals in states with legal recreational marijuana have less options for where they can purchase and consume marijuana legally than they do in regard to beer or even liquor.

Ending marijuana prohibition in a state or at the national level is an important accomplishment. But, as with the ending of alcohol prohibition, there afterward remain more actions that can be taken to further expand government’s respect for freedom. Hopefully, many of those actions will be taken in a time period measured in months or even a few years instead of several decades.
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Senators to Reintroduce Bill to End US Involvement in Yemen War Next Week Jason Ditz

Having seen a successful Senate vote late last year and a successful House vote earlier this month both come to naught on ending the Yemen War, the Senate is reportedly planning to try again. Officials say that the fresh Senate bill will be introduced next week.

To successfully get the bill to the White House, identical versions need to pass in both the House and the Senate. Last year this was impossible because the former House leadership kept changing the rules to duck votes. This year, it may depend on whether or not they can keep Israel out of it. 

The original plan was for the February 13 House bill to get passed in the Senate as is. But War Powers Act challenges have a specific standing, which theoretically prevents leadership from blocking them. The final House version, however, included an amendment praising Israel and opposing BDS, and the Senate leadership argues that this makes it no longer just a War Powers Act challenge, and strips it of its standing. 

So the Senate is starting from scratch again, betting they can once again get a majority to support a clean War Powers Act challenge. The question is whether they can manage to do this without opponents sticking unrelated language about Israel, or anything else, into the text that will ultimately derail it.

Reprinted with permission from]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 14:16:36 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US Intervention in Venezuela is About Profits for the Rich, not Democracy and Freedom Adam Dick
Interviewed this week by Paul Jay at The Real News, Wilkerson explains that “no move in our hemisphere that I can recall in our history has ever been about democracy and freedom, though we use those words quite loosely to describe our motivation because it makes the somnolent American people feel good.”

US intervention in the Western Hemisphere, Wilkerson says in the interview, is “usually about commercialism, whether it’s Guatemala and United Fruit Company and bananas and land or whether it’s some other country, like today Venezuela, where it’s oil and the five percent that we have relations with.” Elaborating, Wilkerson, who is an academic board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, notes that “US commercial relations with South America, Central America too to an extent but mostly South America, have always been that we try to maintain the wealthiest five percent, usually the corporate leadership in that country, in power because they’re allied with our corporate leadership in profit-making.”

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview regarding US foreign policy here:

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Hard for US to ‘Sell Regime Change’ in Venezuela – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff
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Congratulations Women, Judge Rules the US Military Should Draft You Too Adam Dick

Over the last few years, there has been action in the United States Congress regarding whether or not to expand Selective Service registration requirements and any potential military draft to include women as well as men. Much of the support for this move has been explained as an effort to advance “equality.”

It looks like the US courts may beat the US legislative branch to expanding this realm of submission to government dictates to include women. Gregory Korte reported Sunday at USA Today that US District Judge Gray H. Miller declared Friday in a court case decision “that the all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that ‘the time has passed’ for a debate on whether women belong in the military.”

Here is the key conclusion of Judge Miller in the Southern District of Texas case National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System:
In short, while historical restrictions on women in the military may have justified past discrimination, men and women are now “similarly situated for purposes of a draft of registration for a draft.” Rostker, 453 U.S. at 78. If there ever was a time to discuss “the place of women in the Armed Services,” that time has passed. Id. At 72. Defendants have not carried the burden of showing that the male-only registration requirement continues to be substantially related to Congress’s objective of raising and supporting armies.
Ron Paul wrote about the prospect of drafting women into the US military in his May of 2016 editorial “Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery.”]]> Mon, 25 Feb 2019 21:29:13 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Syria Troops, Licensed Rights, Bossy US, Wisconsin Marijuana, Political Parties Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the February 9 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about President Donald Trump backtracking on his December announcement that all United States troops would leave Syria. Here is an update. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued this one sentence announcement: "A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time." Then, the next day, a senior administration official doubled that count to approximately 400 troops and said the troops would be “observers and monitors” instead of peacekeeping troops.

Issue two.

Did you make sure to undergo your free speech background check, take a free speech course, and pay a free speech license fee before you posted a comment on the internet or engaged in a political discussion with a friend? Of course not. Free speech is a right. It does not require background checks, courses, and license fees. However, in many states, such requirements are imposed for legally exercising another right. And that right — the right to carry a gun — is, like the right to speech, recognized in the United States and states’ constitutions.

Last week, the Kentucky state Senate approved by a 29 to 8 vote legislation (SB 150) eliminating the requirement of licensing, along with background checks, courses, and fee requirements, for people to legally carry concealed firearms. If the legislation makes it successfully through the state House of Representatives and the governor’s office, Kentucky will join the increasing number of states with legal recognition of license-free concealed carry.

Issue three.

The bossy US government is at it again — telling other nations what their laws should be.

Josh Lederman wrote Tuesday at NBC News that the Trump administration “is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay.” While much focus can be expected to be placed on Iran, which is a continual target of the Trump administration, don’t expect to hear much about governments the Trump administration favors. Consider, for example, Saudi Arabia where Lederman writes “homosexuality can be punishable by death, according to a 2017 worldwide report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).”

Issue four.

Mark Sommerhauser reported Sunday at the Wisconsin State Journal that Tony Evers, the new Governor of Wisconsin, will be including legalization of medical marijuana and decriminalization of recreational marijuana in his state budget proposal. The governor’s final budget proposal is expected to be released on February 28. In a Monday press release, Governor Evers provided details about his broader marijuana laws liberalization plans.

Back in the 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, Ed Thompson was proposing such marijuana law changes as major components of his Libertarian campaign for governor. Even then, legalizing medical marijuana had overwhelming majority support in the state. Also, as I could see working as Thompson’s campaign comanager, many people were open to much more marijuana prohibition rollbacks. But, the Republican and Democratic nominees in that race, and the Republican and Democratic governors of the succeeding 16 years would not support major marijuana law liberalizations. As a result, Wisconsin is less a leader and more a follower regarding ending the war on marijuana.

Issue five.

Here comes the 2020 presidential race with more Democrats announcing their candidacies each week and some politicians talking about running against President Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Before you become too drawn in, consider this Tuesday comment from Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and Fox New Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano at the Fox News website:
We have one party -- the big government party. It has a Republican wing that likes war, deficits and corporate welfare and a Democratic wing that likes war, taxes and individual welfare. Neither wing abides by the Constitution, and both write laws that doom third parties to failure, and ensure they stay in power.

That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

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Conservatives, China, and the USA Laurence M. Vance

A usually good conservative magazine has an article titled: “China’s New Aggression on the World Stage.” The text under the title reads: “China has long used Western capital to challenge the might of the West. Now it is moving forcefully, making demands of companies and countries, expanding its influence.” Yes, China is an authoritative state. But it is hard to take articles like this seriously. The United States has hundreds of bases and hundreds of thousands of troops scattered around the world. It makes demands of companies and countries all the time and seeks to expand its influence. It moves forcefully. It is an aggressor. Yes, China is bad, evil, etc. I agree with most of what the article says about China and its communist government. But what country is actually a threat to the peace of the world? Certainly not China. The United States and its military are a global force for evil. And just read at random any ten articles by John Whitehead and you will see what an authoritarian state America has become.

Reprinted with permission from]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2019 18:13:53 GMT