Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Sun, 23 Sep 2018 19:11:01 GMT Sun, 23 Sep 2018 19:11:01 GMT Five Minutes Five Issues: US Dollar, Reform, Poland Bases, Internal Poll, RPI Panel 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.

The threat to the United States dollar’s common use in international trade does not come only from nations like Russia and China that are often viewed as adversaries of the US. The threat also comes from governments generally seen as US allies. For example, consider the State of the Union speech delivered last week by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In the speech, Juncker says:
It is absurd that Europe pays for 80% of its energy import bill – worth 300 billion euro a year – in US dollar when only roughly 2% of our energy imports come from the United States. It is absurd that European companies buy European planes in dollars instead of euro.

This is why, before the end of the year, the Commission will present initiatives to strengthen the international role of the euro. The euro must become the face and the instrument of a new, more sovereign Europe.
Issue two.

During the September 13 episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, co-host Daniel McAdams described some of the tarnished history of American politicians’ reform efforts. McAdams says:
The word “reform” should be considered a four-letter-word…. The [War Powers Act] was meant to rein in the president after Vietnam. What did it do? It gave him permission to go to war without a [congressional] declaration. The FISA court … was supposed to rein in the secret deep state after all the spying that was exposed in the Church Committee. And what did that do? That actually became a facilitator. The FREEDOM Act was supposed to be a reform of the PATRIOT Act. It actually legalized some of the illegal things they were doing. So, “reform,” whenever you hear that in Washington, it’s time to run away, I think.
Issue three.

President Donald Trump, in a Tuesday joint press conference with Poland President Andrzej Duda, said his administration is considering Duda’s suggestion that the US establish permanent military bases in Poland.

Establishing such new bases near Russia would be consistent with the Trump administration last month more than doubling the number of US Marines in Norway near Russia.

Trump sending troops to Poland may sound familiar. About a thousand US troops were sent there in the first few months of Trump’s presidency.

Discussing at the press conference his reasoning for considering establishing new US bases in Poland, Trump says:
I think Russia has acted aggressively. They respect force. They respect strength, as anyone does.
Issue four.

Gary Johnson, who was governor of New Mexico as a Republican and ran for US president both as a Republican and as a Libertarian, is the Libertarian Party nominee for US Senate in New Mexico this year.

On September 15, Dan McKay reported at the Albuquerque Journal that a Journal poll conducted by Research & Polling, Inc. put Johnson in third place with 16 percent support, behind the Democratic incumbent at 47 percent and the Republican at 26 percent. Sixteen percent is very good for a Libertarian Party US Senate nominee running against Republican and Democratic opponents.

Five days later, Johnson’s campaign sent out an email including an assertion that the campaign’s “internal polling – and that of others – shows something very different than the recent Journal survey.” The email continues, stating:
Internal tracking by Lux Research, as of yesterday, shows the Republican at 10% and Governor Johnson at 28%, only 10 points behind the incumbent.
The Johnson campaign can say that, but nobody would reasonably just take the campaign’s word for it. The assumption should be that, when a campaign mentions the results of an internal poll, it is just spouting dubious public relations talking points unless the full poll is released for review and the polling company appears reliable.

Issue five.

At last month’s Ron Paul Institute conference I participated in a panel discussion. Video of the presentation is at 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.

Five four three two one.]]> Sun, 23 Sep 2018 19:11:01 GMT
BREAKING: US Preparing Actions Against Venezuela Robert Wenzel

The United States is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just told Fox News.

So much for the U.S. not playing global policeman under President Trump.

“You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said. “We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say.”

Pompeo did not give further details on the nature of the planned actions.

Reprinted with permission from TargetLiberty.]]> Fri, 21 Sep 2018 22:57:01 GMT
First US Territory Legalizes Marijuana Adam Dick

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres of the Northern Mariana Islands, a United States territory, signed into law on Friday legislation legalizing recreational and medical marijuana. This makes the Northern Mariana Islands the first US territory to legalize recreational marijuana.

As Tom Angell reports at Forbes, the legalization also makes the Northern Mariana Islands the first place in America to launch commercial marijuana sales via a bill passed in the legislature instead of via a popular vote on a ballot measure and the first place in America to adopt recreational marijuana legalization without first adopting medical marijuana legalization.

Before the year is over, there may be more recreational marijuana legalization in America, with legalization ballot measure votes in November in Michigan and North Dakota and legalization legislation moving forward with much support in New Jersey.]]> Fri, 21 Sep 2018 22:22:41 GMT
Ron Paul: ‘The Evidence Is Very Clear’ that the US Has Aligned Itself with al-Qaeda in Syria Adam Dick
Paul’s assessment came shortly after the interviewer played video of Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, calling Idlib a year back “the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.”

The US government’s antagonism toward efforts by the Syria government, aided by allied nations, to take back control of Idlib, makes more sense when US foreign policy toward Syria is understood in the context Paul provides in the interview. Paul explains that, while the US has used opposition to al-Qaeda “as the excuse” for US intervention in Syria, he believes instead “we’re there for other reasons.” Those reasons, Paul says, include opposition to Iran and Russia that are supporting Syrian military forces, as well as that “we think al-Quaeda will help our position — the United States position — to get rid of [Syria President Bashar al-Assad].”

Many Americans tolerate the US “trying to maintain a modern-day empire” via interventions including in Syria because they are not well informed about the matter, suggests Paul. To help cure this problem, Paul says he is trying with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which he founded after leaving the House of Representatives, “to alert people to the danger that is involved with our foreign policy.”

So what should the US do in Syria? “Leave as soon as possible,” advises Paul.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

]]> Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:42:57 GMT
Breaking: Massive Sustained Attack On Syria: Russian S-400 Defenses Possibly Active In Huge Escalation Tyler Durden

Another attack on Syria has occurred tonight on multiple locations in what is the largest sustained series of what are believed to be Israeli or possibly US air strikes in months. But hugely significant is that early reports suggest Russia's S-400 anti-missile missile defense system engaged the inbound rockets. 

On Monday night Syrian state-run SANA confirmed multiple missiles fired "from the sea into Lattakia city" in "an aggression from unknown source" which state media says involved successful intercepts by Syrian missile defense.

British-Syrian journalist Danny Makki, currently reporting from the ground, says the attack "lasted for a total of 1 hour 30 minutes" and missiles soared over four cities including Latakia, Tartus, Homs and Hama — with rockets and explosions lighting up the sky especially over the coastal towns. 

Though it appears another Israeli strike - as it came less than two days following an attack near Damascus - the details are still unknown, and some observers are speculating it could be an American attack, given that at least some of the missiles were fired from the sea.

SANA reports "an aggression on Lattakia has targeted the Technical Industries’ establishment" adding that "the air defenses intercepted and downed a number of the missiles".

Multiple journalists in the region further said that Syrian air defenses were activated across four provinces including Latakia and Tartus on the coast, as well as over Homs and Hama which are more inland. 

The initial major strike on Latakia, located on the Syrian coast, reportedly targeted a Syrian Scientific Research Center (SSRC) facility, and newly published video and images from Syrian sources show massive fireballs lighting up the sky.

But significantly the location of the strike is in the vicinity of Russia's Hmeymim airbase, and there are early unconfirmed reports that Russia engaged the inbound assault via its advanced S-400 system. 

According to the Middle East Institute's Charles Lister, "Reports suggest Russia air defenses in Hmeymim participated in attempting to repel tonight’s strikes in Latakia." 

Lister continued, "*IF* that’s true, that’d be a significant development. Some reports also say strikes came from sea; leading to accusations of a U.S naval cruise missile attack."

Unconfirmed local eyewitness accounts say that two hostile aircraft were shot down during the lengthy assault. 

A number of videos are circulating on Syrian social media which purport to show successful Syria or Russian missile defense intercepts during the sustained attacks. 
As yet, there's been no confirmation of who carried out the attack; however, a report early this month cited Tel Aviv sources who confirmed that Israel's Air Force has conducted 200 attacks on locations inside Syria over the course of the past 2 years alone, according to Reuters.

The major escalation comes just after Russia's Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Monday to announce that a demilitarized zone in the Idlib will be formed by October 15.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]> Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:08:48 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: World War III, Venezuela Coup, British Gold, Canada Border, Twitter Ban 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 an interview at the BBC regarding his new book concerning President Donald Trump, Bob Woodward said that Trump lacks “understanding how he has to protect the national security.” To illustrate this contention, Woodward says that at a National Security Council meeting this year “Trump kept asking about ‘why are we paying all this money for forward-deployed troops — 28,000 in South Korea, all of the troops in NATO,’” wondering “why are we protecting Europe, why aren’t they paying for this?” Woodward says that, in response, Secretary of Defense James Mattis had to tell Trump, “Because we’re trying to prevent World War III.” Woodward then says:
Now think about that, for a moment, that the secretary of defense has to remind the president of the United States that we’re trying to prevent World War III.
Give me a break. Woodward is talking nonsense. There are strong arguments that the large deployment of US troops in Europe, South Korea, and beyond greatly increases the risk of World War III and that bringing these troops home would greatly advance peace.

Issue two.

Ernesto Londoño and Nicholas Casey reported last week at the New York Times that the Trump administration held secret meetings with Venezuela military officers who were planning to overthrow the Venezuela government.

Such meetings should not be surprising given comments by individuals in the administration that I discussed in previous episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues. In the August 12, 2017 episode, I discussed President Donald Trump saying, in answer to a reporter’s question, that Trump would not “rule out a military option” for Venezuela. This year, I discussed, in the February 3 episode, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggesting in a speech that a military coup in Venezuela would be a fine way to resolve things and, in the May 26 episode, Vice President Mike Pence declaring at Twitter his desire that the Venezuela government be overthrown.

Issue three.

In a fascinating Sunday Daily Mail article, Peter Hitchens explored ten myths about World War II. One myth Hitchens addresses is a “special relationship” between Britain and the US that caused the US to aid Britain in the war.

Regarding that myth, Hitchens writes in part:
The extraordinary (and all but unknown) transfer of Britain’s gold to the USA throughout 1939 and 1940 was the lasting proof that a deliberate, harsh British humiliation had to precede any real alliance. The stripping of Britain’s life savings was an enormous event.
Issue four.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in next month in Canada, more Canadians will be working in newly legal marijuana businesses. And it looks like they all will be subjectable to a lifetime ban from crossing the border into America.

Aris Folley reported Friday at The Hill that a US Customs and Border Protection official has confirmed that Canadians working or investing in legal Canadian marijuana businesses could be banned for life from entering America if that information is uncovered in inspection or questioning. Customers of legal marijuana businesses also risk a lifetime ban for having used a drug that is illegal under US law. Banned Canadians can pay a $585 fee to undertake a potentially months-long process to seek a waiver.

Issue five.

This week, Twitter shut down the account of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis after his Iraq militia was accused of launching rockets toward the US government consulate in Basra, Iraq. Michael R. Gordon, writing at the Wall Street Journal, quotes the US State Department spokeswoman pretty much giving the US credit for the ban happening. He writes:
'We brought it to their attention,' said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. 'They understood the threat and took action.'
Yet, the US Department of Defense continues to post at its Twitter account. Isn’t Twitter aware that the US military has serially attacked and invaded countries for nondefensive purposes and is responsible for much more property destruction, maiming, and killing around the world than is any Iraq militia?


That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]> Mon, 17 Sep 2018 19:20:41 GMT
Lew Rockwell Reminisces about Working for Ron Paul at the House of Representatives Adam Dick

Before Lew Rockwell founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he was chief of staff in Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) United States House of Representatives office. In a new episode of the Tom Woods Show, Rockwell reminisces about his days working for Paul.

Listen to the complete episode with Lew Rockwell here.

While it has been decades since Rockwell was employed by Paul at the US House, the two men continue to work together on educational efforts, with Paul a distinguished counselor for the Mises Institute and Rockwell an advisory board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Rockwell and Paul are both scheduled to speak at a Saturday, November 3 event in Lake Jackson, Texas. Find out more information about the event, and purchase tickets to the event, here.
]]> Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:04:09 GMT
Charles G. Koch’s Reading List Adam Dick

Charles G. Koch and his brother David have for many years run one of the highest value privately held companies in America. From their business they have both become billionaires. And they have contributed a substantial amount of their money to political activities in the form of both funding nonprofits and contributing to and aiding candidates in elections.

Some people praise these two Koch brothers for helping the promotion of libertarianism while others criticize their actions as counterproductive to accomplishing that objective. Whatever your position — if any — in that divide, you may find value in the list of 34 book recommendations posted at the website of Charles G. Koch, a smart and well-read individual with a long-time interest in libertarian ideas.

I expect most libertarians will find Koch’s reading list, for the most part, is made up of books that, to the extent they deal with political philosophy and economics, express ideas largely in line with libertarianism.

For more libertarian-related reading ideas, consider also the reading list of 48 books that libertarian communicator Ron Paul included at the end of his 2008 book The Revolution: A Manifesto.

Both Koch and Paul’s lists include books by Andrew Bacevich (America’s War for the Greater Middle East in Koch’s list and The New American Militarism in Paul’s list), Friedrich A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom in both lists and The Fatal Conceit and Law, Legislation and Liberty in Koch’s list), and Ludwig von Mises (Human Action in both lists and Bureaucracy in Koch’s list). Paul did not include in his reading list Frédéric Bastiat’s The Law, which appears in Koch’s list. Yet, Paul, in an August of 2016 Tom Woods Show interview, mentioned the book in answer to host Tom Woods’ query of what one book Paul would recommend as an introduction to Paul’s views.

]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2018 21:35:28 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Twitter, Afghanistan War, Cameroon Military, Prisoners’ Calls, November Event 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.

Some recent Twitter actions are like shots fired at the Ron Paul Institute.

Four weeks after several other major technology companies imposed similar bans, Twitter this week permanently banned Alex Jones and his Infowars media company from the Twitter website. Jones has a long history of both praising and interviewing RPI Chairman Ron Paul.

Last month, Twitter purged Peter Van Buren, many of whose articles and blog posts have been featured at the RPI website.

In addition to Twitter preventing Jones and Van Buren from making new posts, Twitter removed all their existing posts.

Twitter last month temporarily barred RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams, Scott Horton Show host Scott Horton (several of whose interviews I have written about for RPI), and writer and August RPI conference speaker Caitlin Johnstone from posting at the website.

Kurt Nimmo, another writer of articles and blog posts featured at the RPI website, shut down his Twitter account in July, noting in explanation that he had lost hundreds of followers and experienced plunging interaction at Twitter over the previous few months. Nimmo, who earlier this year closed his Facebook account, writes “activism will be allowed to function unimpeded on social media only if it falls within narrow parameters set by the state, its institutions, and corporate media partners.”

Issue two.

The Afghanistan War, begun in 2001, is the United States government’s longest war. This week, the ninth successive US general began his turn as commander in the war.

The idea that the US will transform Afghanistan into a model democracy with features including women’s liberation was often promoted early in the war. Few people are buying that line now. Afghanistan is commonly understood as a costly quagmire for America and a dangerous, unpredictable environment for Afghanis.

So why has the US not pulled the US troops out? Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) President Jacob Hornberger provides one answer to that question in a Tuesday FFF editorial. Hornberger writes:
U.S. national-security officials know that once the last U.S. soldier is pulled out, Americans will go full-force into second-guessing mode, especially if the Taliban end up winning Afghanistan’s civil war. By keeping a relatively small contingent of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to preserve the puppet regime that U.S. officials have installed, U.S. officials can forestall the inevitable second-guessing for a few more years.
Issue three.

At the Ron Paul Institute website last month, I wrote about Nick Turse’s reporting on growing US military presence and activity in Africa.

In an article last week at The Intercept, Turse addressed the military of Cameroon, a nation he calls “a key U.S. ally and staging ground for America’s drone operations in Africa.” In particular, Turse explores massacres and “extrajudicial executions,” some documented in video, carried out by the Cameroon military in the country over the last few years.

Where in the world will the US military engage in its next big war? Africa is a likely locale. And do not be surprised if the US goes to war in alliance with a local military or militaries that regularly engage in extremely horrific conduct.

Issue four.

Keri Blakinger reports at the Houston Chronicle that the leadership of the Texas prison system voted in August to reduce by over 75 percent the phone call charge Texas prisoners pay. This is a welcome move away from prison profiteering in America. The change, writes Blakinger, means “instead of paying an average of 26 cents per minute, prisoners will pay 6 cents per minute - no matter the destination of the call.”

Issue five.

A Saturday, November 3 event in Lake Jackson, Texas will feature speakers including Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams from RPI and Lew Rockwell and Jeff Deist from the Ludwig von Mises Institute. You can obtain tickets to the event at the Mises Institute website at


That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]> Sun, 09 Sep 2018 21:09:12 GMT
Building a Broad Coalition - Ron Paul Congressional Staff Panel at RPI Media & War Conference RPI Staff
]]> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:22:35 GMT
Trump's Mental Stability Questioned by America's Most Psychopathic City Tho Bishop

When not assisting the continued politicization of America’s most powerful legislative branch, the media this week has relished in a variety of news items continuing to push the narrative that President Donald Trump is mentally unfit to hold office.

While it’s fair to question the fitness of anyone to hold the power given to the modern American president, the obsession with Trump’s mental stability is a wonderful example of the absurd lack of self-awareness enjoyed by the privileged residents of America’s capitol. After all, the city that finds Donald Trump so revolting is – as a recent study by Ryan Murphy has discovered – literally the psychopathic capitol of the United States.

As Doug French noted last July, this result would surprise no one familiar with F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. As Hayek wrote in his chapter dedicated to the question “Why the Worst Rise to the Top:”
Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves ‘the good of the whole’, because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.
This critique plays itself out when one looks at the most common objections to the Trump presidency from the traditional DC powers. For example, among the most prominent criticisms cited by the New York Times’ anonymous administration “senior official” was Trump’s handling of foreign policy:
Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations. Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.
In the views of the “stable state,” nothing better demonstrates Trump’s unfitness for office than his desire to de-escalate tensions with Russia by treating its government with respect and being willing to sit across from Kim Jong-un as equals.

In fact, the worst parts of the Trump Administration have been its commitment to the beltway status quo on a number of important issues. This includes his appointment of a variety of establishment-friendly Federal Reserve officials, his continuing the war on drugs, commitment to government-regulated immigration policy, support for absurd levels of military spending, and its general willingness to erode civil liberties. It’s also worth noting that while it’s great to see the establishment media on both the left and right condemn Trump’s fondness for tariffs, Washington’s hostility for actual free trade long pre-dates the Donald. Both the Bush and Obama administration imposed their own tariffs on good such as steel and solar panels.

Donald Trump is a man that is guilty of a great many sins, but at the end of the day he’s no worse than your average – overpaid – Federal senior staffer. The elites that make up the professional political class and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media have no moral high ground here. Their aim is not to restore “civility” or “decency” to American politics, after all their desire to expand the reach of government power is precisely what undermines such values. No, their goal is simply to reverse an election they didn’t expect to lose. It’s quite possible they may end up succeeding.

Hopefully the takeaway for those who relished the idea of “draining the swamp” is the realization that this can’t be accomplished by simply changing the name of the person who occupies the top office. The Federal government can’t be fixed; it must have its powers taken away.

Political decentralization is the only way to truly make America great again.

Reprinted with permission from]]> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 21:21:03 GMT
Mexico May Legalize Heroin; Get Ready to Send In the US Air Force and Marines Adam Dick
Talk about an extreme warmongering approach to US foreign policy! Based on Carlson’s view, it is an act of war for Mexico’s government to not engage in a war on heroin and thus not pursue the rights violations and government power expansions that come with such prohibition policy. If the Mexico government chooses to respect the freedom of Mexicans to peacefully produce and sell a product that is in demand, Carlson seems to thinks it is fine to send in the US Marines and Air Force as a “defensive” reaction.

Ridiculously, Carlson points to overdose deaths in America to support his assessment that Mexico, by legalizing production of heroin, would be initiating war on America. The reality is that the greatest culprit for those deaths and many other dangers for drug users is the drug war being fought by local, state, and national governments in America.

Watch the complete interview here:

]]> Tue, 04 Sep 2018 01:30:11 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: School Non-shootings, Murray Sabrin, Utah Marijuana, NJ Marijuana, Conference Video 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.

This week, National Public Radio corrected misinformation emanating from the United States Department of Education.

Anya Kamenetz reported Monday at NPR regarding an Education Department claim that, “in the 2015-2016 school year, ‘nearly 240 schools ... reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.’”

Note that in Education Department lingo a school-related “shooting” just means a gun being fired at a school, on a school bus, or at a school event — not that anyone was shot or even shot at.

When NPR looked into the claim, Kamenetz relates that only 11 of the reported incidents could be confirmed “either directly with schools or through media reports.” Regarding the rest of the supposed incidents, Kamenetz explains:
In 161 cases, schools or districts attested that no incident took place or couldn't confirm one. In at least four cases, we found, something did happen, but it didn't meet the government's parameters for a shooting. About a quarter of schools didn't respond to our inquiries.
Issue two.

Murray Sabrin is the Libertarian Party nominee for US Senate in New Jersey this year. Sabrin is rather well known for a Libertarian candidate, in part due to his previous statewide campaigns. Matt Welch related Wednesday at Reason that Sabrin won 4.7 percent in the 1997 New Jersey governor race as the Libertarian nominee, and, four years ago, won 19.4 percent in the New Jersey Republican primary for US Senate, ten percent behind the primary’s winner.

In the Senate race this year, Sabrin seems to be polling well for a Libertarian Party candidate. According to a poll commissioned by his campaign, Sabrin is at seven percent support, with the remainder split 40 percent for the Democrat incumbent, 30 percent for the Republican, and 22 percent “unsure.”

Yet, other polls do not even ask about support for Sabrin.

Welch sums up the situation well, writing:
… polls that don't include strong third-party candidates in contested races amount to journalistic malpractice. You don't know what's going on in the New Jersey Senate race if you're not asking about Murray Sabrin.
Issue three.

In the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints having released that week a statement critical of a potential Utah medical marijuana ballot measure being circulated for signatures. The initiative since has been approved for the November Utah ballot, and polling indicates it has majority support.

Last week, the church officially joined the opposition to the ballot measure, announcing planned opposition efforts including sending an email to church members in the state urging them to oppose the initiative. Taylor W. Anderson and Benjamin Wood suggest in a Salt Lake Tribune article that this opposition could have significant influence in the election given that “the church’s followers represent more than half of Utah voters” and that “a poll taken in June, after two statements that indicated church leadership had concerns about the initiative, showed some active members were persuaded to not support the initiative after criticism from the church.”

Issue four.

In the July 28 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Jersey state legislature potentially passing and the state governor signing into law marijuana legalization as soon as September. Here is an update. Last week, Sam Sutton reported at Politico that New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D - Gloucester) had said in an interview with Politico that Sweeney believes the state Senate and House of Representatives could approve legalization legislation in September.

Issue five.

At the Ron Paul Institute’s sold-out annual conference near Washington, DC on August 18, hundreds of individuals heard great speeches and met with people who are interested in RPI’s mission to promote nonintervention abroad and respect for liberty at home.

You can find speeches from the conference at the Ron Paul Liberty Report’s YouTube page at


That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]> Sun, 02 Sep 2018 21:49:05 GMT
Report: Chapel Hill Police Chief Ordered Officers To Stay Back As Protesters Tore Down Confederate Statue Jonathan Turley

We recently discussed the latest destruction of a statue in North Carolina and I expressed my skepticism over the inaction of police as well as the absence of significant arrests for a crime committed openly in public while surrounded by officers. Now, WRAL-TV obtained text messages and emails that showed Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue actually ordered his officers to back off as protesters were destroying a century-old statue.

The destruction of the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam” followed a familiar pattern. Earlier this year, I was critical of the handling of the prosecution of various protesters in North Carolina who torn down a statue in public and then celebrated their criminal acts in broad daylight. Because the statue of a civil war memorial, the act of property destruction was condoned by many and Durham District Attorney Roger Echols caved to the pressure in dropping all charges against everyone. It was effective immunity for a popular criminal act — a dangerous concept in any legal system.

The recently discovered messages from Blue shows the same special protection afforded those who are committing popular crimes. Blue ordered his officers to give the protesters “lots of space” and “stay way out.” At one point, he even chastised officers for being “too close” to an unfolding crime in front of them. Some, like Thom Goolsby, a UNC Board of Governors member, criticized the police for a lack faction.

Despite the open commission of the crime by multiple people, only three face misdemeanor charges of rioting and defacing a public monument. Of course, even misdemeanor charges were dropped eventually by Echols in the earlier case when he buckled under public pressure.

The fact that such destruction would be a misdemeanor rather than a felony is bizarre.  In North Carolina, a Class H Felony Larceny charge is used for any property or services valued at over a $1000. Yet, you can openly destroy a century old statue and caused far greater monetary damage but only face a misdemeanor?

Under G.S. 14-288.2(e), a person is guilty of a Class F felony if he or she (1) willfully (2) incites or urges another (3) to engage in a riot, and (4) the inciting or urging is a contributing cause of a riot which (5) results in (a) property damage of $1,500 or more or (b)serious bodily injury. Yet, this charge was not brought in a coordinated effort to destroy a public memorial or art work.

The low number of arrests and minor charges naturally raise suspicions that prosecutors and police are shielding people who commit popular criminal acts.

Reprinted with permission from
]]> Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:40:08 GMT
Hemp Harvested Again at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Farm Adam Dick

George Washington grew hemp at his Mount Vernon farm in Virginia. Many other American farmers of his era also grew hemp, including fellow Founder and Virginian Thomas Jefferson. This was long before hemp farming was prohibited in the 20th century along with the growing of high-THC cannabis commonly called marijuana.

In a sign of the return of some lost liberty to America, hemp was once again grown and harvested at Mount Vernon this year. The reintroduction of hemp plants at Mount Vernon was made possible by a change in United States law included in the 2014 “farm bill” allowing colleges, universities, and states’ agriculture departments to grow hemp for research purposes in compliance with state laws.

In a recent NPR report, Brakkton Booker, relates how Mount Vernon, working together with the University of Virginia, has reintroduced the crop at the farm. Read and listen to Bookers telling of the story and see pictures of Mount Vernon workers in period clothing harvesting hemp and turning it into cloth fiber here.]]> Thu, 30 Aug 2018 14:34:40 GMT
Patrick Buchanan Says Make Security Clearance Revocations Routine Adam Dick

Many people are expressing shock about President Donald Trump announcing last week that he was revoking former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan’s security clearance. Trump’s action even violates Brennan’s First Amendment right to free speech, some people claim. Nonsense, responds Patrick Buchanan this week in an insightful editorial. Nobody has a right to a security clearance, argues Buchanan. Indeed, Buchanan proposes that the best course is to revoke routinely many Americans’ security clearances.

Buchanan writes:
With 4 million Americans holding top-secret clearances, and [Washington, DC] awash in leaks to the media from present and past intel and security officials, it is time to strip the swamp creatures of their special privileges.

The White House should press upon Congress a policy of automatic cancellation of security clearances, for intelligence and military officers, upon resignation, retirement or severance.

Clearances should be retained only for departing officers who can demonstrate that their “need to know” national secrets remains crucial to our security, not merely advantageous to their pursuit of lucrative jobs in the military-industrial complex.
Read Buchanan’s complete editorial here.]]> Thu, 23 Aug 2018 20:10:26 GMT
A Large, Expensive US Air Force Base in Africa Adam Dick

In July of 2016, Nick Turse wrote at The Intercept about “1,700 Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other military personnel” who were then “carrying out 78 distinct ‘mission sets’ in more than 20 nations” across Africa. This military activity is in line with the increased United States military focus on Africa that Turse described three years earlier in his Tom Dispatch article “The Pivot to Africa: The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent.” By October of last year, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford was acknowledging the US had “a little over 6,000 forces … in about 53 different countries” in Africa.

This week at The intercept, Turse provides an important update on one aspect of the increased focus on Africa — a US drone base under construction in a remote Niger location that is “the largest base-building effort ever undertaken by troops in the history of the U.S. Air Force, according to Richard Komurek, a spokesperson for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.”

Many Americans first heard of US military action in Niger last year when several US Special Forces troops were killed there. Americans can expect to hear more about Niger and other African countries in the coming years as more US troops are killed and injured on the continent and as more Africans are killed and injured, and have their property destroyed, in US military actions there, including via drone strikes originating from the US Air Force’s new base in Niger.

]]> Thu, 23 Aug 2018 13:54:52 GMT
More US Sanctions on Russia: RPI's Daniel McAdams on Why Trump's Being Played RPI Staff
]]> Wed, 22 Aug 2018 17:12:15 GMT
More US Marines Coming to Norway, a Strange Way to Seek Friendship with Russia Adam Dick

President Donald Trump says he wants to improve relations between the United States and Russia, and he met in July with Russia President Vladimir Putin largely in a purported effort to move toward this goal. Yet, the Trump administration continues to send more US troops and military equipment to along the Russia border, including in Norway. Around 300 US Marines were deployed to Norway in the final days of the Barack Obama administration. Then, last week, Reuters reported that the Trump administration will soon more than double to 700 the number of Marines in Norway and that some Marines will be stationed closer than before to Norway’s border with Russia.

The plans, the Reuters article notes, “triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans ‘clearly unfriendly’.” No doubt. As peace advocate and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has often commented, Americans would be quite perturbed if Russia, China, or some other nation started massing military forces across the border in Mexico or in the Gulf of Mexico. Why should Russians not be perturbed by the massing of US forces nearby in Europe — along with the successive introduction of European nations near Russia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?

In a debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton about a month before Trump’s election to the presidency, Trump declared “I think it would be great if we get along with Russia.” Many times since, as president, Trump has reiterated his desire for better relations with Russia. However, actions speak louder than words, and the actions the Trump administration has been taking toward Russia, from increasing US military forces along the Russian border to expelling dozens of Russia diplomats from America to keeping in place and adding new Russia sanctions, are hard to interpret as anything but unfriendly.]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:49:44 GMT
Brennan: 'We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool' Peter van Buren

Last week Trump suspended former CIA head John Brennan’s security clearance.

His defenders immediately rose to declare this shall not stand. Twelve former intelligence officials signed a statement criticizing Trump’s decision, claiming “We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool, as was done in this case… this action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials to stay silent.”

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

“The notion that you’re going pull somebody’s clearance because you don’t like what they did in government service or you don’t like what they say is deeply disturbing and very offensive,” said Fran Townsend, George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser.

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

The New York Times even asked “Was It Illegal for Trump to Revoke Brennan’s Security Clearance?” and wondered if Trump had violated Brennan’s First Amendment rights.

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

All those statements are completely and idiotically wrong. My clearance was revoked by my then-employer, the State Department, in 2011 for political reasons, to silence me and others, as part of the Obama war on whistleblowers. And I wasn’t alone. Jesselyn Radack then of The Government Accountability Project wrote “Peter Van Buren is the latest casualty of this punitive trend. The government suspended his top-secret security clearance – which he has held for 23 years – over linking, not leaking to a WikiLeaks document on his blog and publishing a book critical of the government.

“As a whistleblower attorney, this has happened to numerous clients who have held security clearances for decades, but dare to say something critical of the government. Like with Thomas Drake, Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, Franz Gayl, and numerous clients, these life-long public servants have had their security clearances suspended. So these folks who have been in possession of security clearances for decades suddenly ‘raise serious security concerns’ because they criticize the government.”

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

And to save all those lazy journalists and former officials some time, the courts have long recognized (Thomas Egan v. Department of the Navy) the president has broad authority to establish and oversee the security clearance system and no one has a “right” to a security clearance. Brennan (and I!) may still may exercise First Amendment rights, albeit without access to classified material just like every other American not employed by the government in a sensitive position.

In my case it cost me my job. In Brennan’s case, he’s now just another old man ranting on social media demanding Trump get off his lawn.

Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.

Reprinted with permission from]]> Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:53:51 GMT