Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Fri, 17 May 2019 13:59:10 GMT Fri, 17 May 2019 13:59:10 GMT Andrew Napolitano Praises San Francisco’s Facial Recognition Technology Ban Adam Dick ban city government use, including by the city’s police, of facial recognition surveillance technology.

Government’s use of facial recognition technology, Napolitano explains in the interview, “is surveillance, and surveillance requires a warrant, and if we get to the state of mass, suspicionless, warrantless surveillance, we will have lost the rights the Fourth Amendment was written to guarantee, and that’s the right to be left alone and the right to prevent fishing expeditions.”

Continuing, Napolitano, a former New Jersey state judge, warns, “when the laws are written not to preserve liberty, but to make it easier for the cops to enforce the laws, that’s called a police state.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

Napolitano is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute.]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 13:59:10 GMT
Who Attacked Four Oil Tankers in United Arab Emirates? RPI Staff
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Lawrence Wilkerson: We Could See a Repeat of the Vietnam War in Venezuela Adam Dick invades Venezuela, we can expect to see a repeat there of what happened in Vietnam — a long war costly in lives lost and ending in defeat for the US. That is the conclusion of College of William & Mary professor and former Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson in a recent interview with host Sharmini Peries at The Real News.

Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration and is a Vietnam War veteran, explains in the interview the strong opposition US military forces would encounter in Venezuela. States Wilkerson:
I’ve worked with the Venezuelan military. They are very professional. I would place them on the top of the list for South America. That puts them above Argentina, above Chile, whose militaries are quite competent too. And I would say that [US President Donald Trump] ought to be very, very careful about saying he’s going to send Marines or soldiers to Venezuela because the Venezuelan military will be unified immediately. It will take to the hills, and it will fight us as the Vietnamese did during the Vietnam Was and as the Taliban are in Afghanistan right now — to the last Marine, to the last soldier. And we’ll be going home, and we will not be very successful there.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview focused on relations between the US and Venezuela here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Think it is impossible that the US would invade Venezuela? Consider Scott Smith’s Saturday Associated Press report detailing the US-supported Venezuela opposition figure Juan Guaidó interacting with the US military and seeking its support in overthrowing the Venezuela government. The article also notes that “U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, the head of South Command” has declared he “‘stands ready’ to assist Guaidó.”]]> Tue, 14 May 2019 00:04:10 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson Warns the US is Driving Down a Highway to War with China Adam Dick
The drive toward war is not undertaken in response to a real threat posed by China to the people of America. Instead, argues Wilkerson, the US government is moving toward war for reasons related to money for both the military and the broader military-industrial complex, as well to advance President Donald Trump’s domestic political goals.

Wilkerson, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s Academic Board, elaborates on the US military’s money-seeking motivation to advance the new China scare, stating:
All of this right now, first and foremost, is a budget ploy. They want more money. And that’s largely because their personnel costs are just eating their lunch. And, second, it’s an attempt to develop — and this has something to do with money too of course — another threat, another cold war, another feeding system. The military just hooks up like it is hooking up to an intravenous, you know, an IV system and the money just pours out—slush fund money, appropriated money, everything else.
More broadly, Wilkerson pegs the ramping up of confrontation with China as “all about keeping the [military-industrial] complex alive” that Wilkerson explains “the military was scared to death would disappear as we began to pay the American people back” a peace dividend at the end of the cold war. US government efforts against terrorism, explains Wilkerson, have also been used to ensure the money keeps flowing.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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This Week's Psilocybin Mushroom Vote and the Drug War’s Future Adam Dick

What does the victory this week of a ballot measure making arrests of people 21 years old and older for personal use or possession of psilocybin mushrooms the lowest priority for Denver police portend for the future of the drug war in America?

Jacob Sullum, who will be speaking May 18 at a Ron Paul Institute conference titled “Winning the War on the War on Drugs,” provides a detailed and thoughtful answer to this question in a Thursday Reason article.

Sullum’s article begins with the following:
In 2007 Denver voters approved a ballot initiative that made arrests for marijuana possession the city's "lowest law enforcement priority." The margin of victory was 14 percentage points. On Tuesday, Denver voters approved a similar ballot initiative for psilocybin mushrooms. It won by a single percentage point, according to the "final unofficial results."

The direct practical consequences of that surprising outcome, which became clear yesterday evening after several news outlets (including Reason) erroneously reported that voters had rejected the measure, will be modest. But approval of the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative is symbolically and politically important, since this is the first time a U.S. jurisdiction has decided that psilocybin use should not be treated as a crime.

That development suggests marijuana legalization, which Colorado voters approved in 2012 and most Americans now support, was only the beginning of a movement that could gradually replace the war on drugs with a legal regime that is more peaceful, humane, and tolerant. At the same time, the contrast between the psilocybin initiative's razor-thin victory and the decisive 2007 vote telling Denver police to stop arresting cannabis consumers suggests that further progress will be neither easy nor straightforward.
Continue reading Sullum’s article here.

Find out more about and obtain tickets for the May 18 Ron Paul Institute conference focused on the war on drugs here. The Houston, Texas conference will feature presentations by speakers including Sullum, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Deputy Director Paul Armentano, retired New York City Police Department narcotics detective and police officer John J. Baeza, and Ron Paul Institute Chairman Ron Paul.

undefinedGet your tickets to the RPI Conference on May 18th in Houston!

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New York City Eliminates Jail Phone Call Fees Adam Dick

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city had eliminated charges for phone calls made by inmates in city jails. Karen Matthews of the Associated Press reported that New York City, with this elimination of fees that had been 50 cents for the first minute and five cents for each additional minute, is the first major American city to eliminate inmates’ phone call fees.

This is a welcome move against what I described in an October of 2013 Ron Paul Institute article as “phone system monopolies that charge inmates' families and friends exorbitant rates to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones.”

New York City is not alone in rolling back or eliminating the phone call fees. In August, for example, the Texas prison system voted to implement an over 75 percent reduction in phone call fees for Texas inmates.

De Blasio, quoted in Matthews' Associated Press article, succinctly describes some of the benefit of eliminating the fees, stating that making the phone calls free will ensure “people in custody have the opportunity to remain connected to their lawyers, families and support networks that are so crucial to re-entry into one’s community.”]]> Wed, 08 May 2019 13:21:43 GMT
Ron Paul Argues the Case Against Tariffs on Chinese Goods Adam Dick
Competing with more free markets, argues Paul in the interview, is a much better option than imposing tariffs. Plus, Paul continues, when the US government imposes tariffs on Chinese products, “we punish ourselves because American consumers pay the tariffs” in the form of higher prices.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

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Mexico’s President Says End the Drug War Adam Dick

Last year, the growing, sale, and possession of marijuana became legal countrywide in Canada. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been considering marijuana legalization for his country as well, last week released a plan supportive of ending the war on drugs altogether in Mexico.

Obrador’s plan does not present particular legislation and will likely not lead to the hands-off approach libertarians advocate. Still, Obrador’s plan indicates the Mexico government will likely soon take a major step back from the draconian prohibition policy that has led to much death and suffering in the country.

The United States has some catching up to do.

undefinedGet your tickets to RPI's Drug War Conference for Houston, May 18th!

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Legal Marijuana Home Delivery and Marijuana ‘Hospitality Spaces’ Coming to Colorado Adam Dick

It looks like people in Colorado, the state that along with Washington led the way in marijuana relegalization via ballot measure votes in 2012, will soon have significantly expanded legal choices for how they obtain and where they use marijuana. Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that the state Senate approved two marijuana bills this week, one legalizing delivery of medical and recreational marijuana to homes and the other legalizing the creation of “hospitality spaces” where marijuana may be consumed. These hospitality spaces could be connected to or separate from places where marijuana is legally sold.

Earlier this year, Alaska adopted regulations that would make it the first legalization state to explicitlypermit marijuana consumption at some places across the state where marijuana is legally sold.

It is expected that Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who has long supported legal marijuana and as governor is promoting the development of a leading marijuana industry in the state, will sign into law both bills. The home delivery bill, which had already been passed in the state House of Representatives, went directly to Polis for consideration. The Senate-passed hospitality spaces bill went to the governor after the additional step of being approved by the state House of Representatives, given that the Senate-passed bill is an amended version of a bill the House had earlier approved.

Get your tickets to RPI's Houston Conference on May 18th!
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Michael Scheuer: US Intervention in Venezuela is for the Benefit of Powerful Special Interests Adam Dick
Scheuer, who is an Academic Board member at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, declares in the interview that the potential American benefits from intervention in Venezuela are for powerful special interests. “The truth is,” Scheuer explains, “we don’t have an interest in Venezuela, except for J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan and oil companies.”

Speaking about foreign intervention generally, Scheuer concludes, “I know that intervention kills American soldiers, deprives the nation of resources that are needed at home, and makes us hated around the world.” Further, notes Scheuer, one intervention will lead to another intervention. “They never resolve themselves,” he states.

Watch Scheuer’s complete interview here:

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Iran Appeals Directly To Trump: Your Advisers Dragging You Into War Robert Wenzel

Iran appears to be attempting to go over the head of Trump's crazed war hawk advisors by talking to Fox News.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he believes President Trump's own advisers, as well as Middle East allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are “dragging the United States into a conflict” with Iran.

Zarif specifically named National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israel, Saudi Arabia, along with close Saudi ally the United Arab Emirates, as all seeking to escalate tensions leading toward a regime change war on Iran.

Wallace asked if they’re “all trying to exercise regime change?” and Zarif responded, “at least, at least.” He explained:
They have all shown an interest in dragging the United States into a conflict. I do not believe that President Trump wants to do that, I believe President Trump ran on a campaign promise of not bringing the United States into another war. But I believe President Trump’s intention to put pressure, the policy of maximum pressure on Iran in order to bring Iran to its knees so that we would succumb to pressure, is doomed to failure.
This comes just days after Zarif made similar statements about the possibility of US and Iranian ships clashing in the Persian Gulf, warning that a false flag "accident" scenario could "lure" Trump into war — something which he thinks Trump himself doesn't want to see happen.

An intriguing move by Iran to lower tensions and keep the peace.


Here is the bloodthirsty Bolton's response:
Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]> Mon, 29 Apr 2019 20:33:00 GMT
Washington ‘Thrives & Survives on War & Conflict’ – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff
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Why Bernie Sanders Can Defeat Donald Trump in 2020 Adam Dick

With his veto this week of legislation intended to end United States military support for the war on Yemen, President Donald Trump may have ensured his defeat to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2020 presidential election. That is an argument political commentator Patrick J. Buchanan persuasively presents in a new editorial.

With that veto, writes Buchanan, “Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats.” Buchanan continues:
If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
In recent presidential elections, candidates seen as more ant-war have won, notes Buchanan, including Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That situation may be reversed in 2020. Buchanan concludes his editorial with this prediction: “By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the ‘no-more-wars’ political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.”

Read Buchanan’s editorial here.]]> Fri, 19 Apr 2019 14:00:21 GMT
‘Fort Trump’: Poland Ready for US Military Base RPI Staff
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Debate: Omar & AOC Join Rand Paul & Republicans to Urge Syria Withdrawal RPI Staff bicameral letter sent by ten Members and Senators to President Trump urging a full US withdrawal from Syria? In this RT America debate, RPI's Daniel McAdams suggests it's a way for Congress to encourage the president that he does have some support in Washington for his declared intention to get US troops out of Syria. Trump may be only hearing neocon opinion opposed to such a withdrawal. Is it a foolish, sham move, or a pretty good strategy? Watch the debate:

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McAdams: 'Trump White House is a "Cult" under Bolton' RT
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Forty Martyrs Cathedral Reconsecrated in Aleppo Col. W. Patrick Lang
The Forty Martyrs Armenian Cathedral in Aleppo was re-consecrated on Saturday, four years after the jihadist rebels ransacked the building.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, visited the historic church after its reconstruction meant it could be opened again after Jabhat Al-Nusra razed parts of the compound back in April 2015. - Al-Masdar News

Let us remember that the Syrian Arab Republic's recovery of Aleppo City after ferocious and prolonged combat made possible the re-construction of this ancient Armenian cathedral.

The Syrian Arab Army's front against al-Nusra just west of Aleppo City protects this cathedral and all the good people of Aleppo while re-construction continues.

Let us remember that al-Nusra is the Syrian branch of al-Qaida. They destroyed as much of this cathedral as they could manage while they held that part of the city. The al-Nusra were John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman's good friends. The three senators often visited them as well as the other FSA unicorns who were under al-Nusra's control. According to these three fools anything was better than the Syrian government. Now, who would have given then that idea?

And then there is the matter of the Borgist and neocon insistence that the US and our SDF allies defeated IS in Syria all by our selves. The fierce fighting done by the Russians and the SAA/allies is simply ignored by the swampies in DC.

Well, pilgrims, Reuters says that Bolton torpedoed the Hanoi meeting by persuading Trump to stiffen his terms at the last minute. Bolton is also leading the US toward a major geopolitical defeat in a failed attempt to remove Maduro in Venezuela. How long is Trump going to put up with this fool and his sidekick "ole first in his class" at State?

Perhaps a change in faces might result in different policy.

Reprinted with permission from Sic Semper Tyrannis.]]> Wed, 03 Apr 2019 14:05:16 GMT
Jacob Hornberger for President? Adam Dick

Jacob Hornberger appears to be laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run as a Libertarian. That is the subject of a Monday article at Independent Political Report that notes Hornberger, who is the president of the libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), “is visiting many, if not all, the Libertarian Party state conventions” and has produced a new website That website looks like a campaign website, though it does not outright declare Hornberger is running for office.

Many people familiar with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) will also be familiar with Hornberger, whose articles have been featured at the RPI website and whose speeches have been highlights of RPI’s annual conference near Washington, DC and an April of 2018 joint FFF/RPI conference in Charleston, South Carolina.]]> Tue, 02 Apr 2019 12:41:22 GMT
Venezuela is ‘most open US coup’, pundit tells RT as WSJ talks ‘getting Russia out of Caracas’ RT

The US is fueling “the most open coup in history” in Venezuela, an American pundit told RT in response to a WSJ op-ed that beat the drum of interventionism by discussing how to get Russia out of Caracas and Maduro out of power.

A short but emotive editorial piece by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said President Donald Trump should not let himself be “humiliated in our own hemisphere” by Vladimir Putin. The neocon paper was at their finest when they claimed Putin has built “a career of intervening abroad and seeing if the world lets him get away with it,” including in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria.

This didn’t play well with some American pundits who offered a dissenting opinion. Georgia, where the US was encouraging the pro-Western government to start a war, and Ukraine, which saw the American-backed coup, were “Russian reaction to US action,” Daniel McAdams, Executive Director at Ron Paul Institute, told RT.

Moscow has reacted “when a US action has caused a Russian ally to come under some stress,” McAdams offered, adding, “the same is true in Syria.”
The US wants to overthrow Maduro, this is the most open coup in history, probably. -McAdams
And on his part, the beleaguered Venezuelan president has asked for outside support which is natural with any government ally.
Why can’t a sovereign Venezuela ask assistance from its ally, why is sovereignty a one-way street when it comes to Washington? -McAdams
Like many US mainstream media, the WSJ quoted Trump’s outburst in which he said that Russia must get out of Venezuela. In their view, the diatribe sounded “like an invocation of the Monroe Doctrine.” The doctrine allowed Washington to treat Latin America and the Caribbean as its “backyard,” invading an array of countries and supporting coups against unfriendly governments across the region.

Under the doctrine, the European powers should not seek new colonies in the Western hemisphere, but in exchange for that, “the United States pledged to not get involved in internal affairs of European countries,” McAdams explained.

“We’re certainly not upholding – if we want to talk the Monroe doctrine – we’re the ones violating it, and we’ve violated it ... in Ukraine and elsewhere where the US has been involved in coups in Europe,” he argued.
Washington survives on having an enemy. If there were no enemies, probably 80 percent of Washington would be out of work. -McAdams
Washington is currently trying to oust Maduro, the elected leader of Venezuela, replacing him with Juan Guaido, a person more to its liking. A host of high-ranked US officials inadvertently floated military action against the Venezuelan government, but to no avail so far.

Reprinted with permission from RT.]]> Mon, 01 Apr 2019 13:23:51 GMT
McAdams: Guaido Losing Popularity at Home, Despite US Support RPI Staff
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