Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=1 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:22:57 GMT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:22:57 GMT Hope That Trump Will Be the Peace President That Obama Was Not Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/19/hope-that-trump-will-be-the-peace-president-that-obama-was-not/

With Donald Trump set to become president tomorrow, many proponents of the US government refraining from intervening in other countries have their fingers crossed, hoping that a Trump administration will bring an improved US foreign policy. In particular, there is hope that Trump’s statements that he wants the US and Russia to have friendlier relations will mean the Trump administration will work to reverse the much increased tensions of the last few years between the nations — tensions characterized by harsh words, sanctions, and military deployments.

In this week’s Ron Paul Institute weekly email to subscribers, RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams wrote about how Obama’s foreign policy turned out to be different than the one for which many peace supporters had hoped. McAdams also discussed in the email other matters, including Obama granting a commutation for whistleblower Chelsea Manning. (You can sign up here to receive free RPI updates.)

Read here the RPI weekly email beginning paragraphs, in which McAdams addresses Obama’s foreign policy and the last-minute escalation of confrontation with Russia that Obama is leaving for the incoming president to deal with:
It seems strange that this will be the last time I write you under the presidency of Barack Obama. I recall the slight ray of hope we felt when he took office, after eight years of the crazed neocons who ran Bush's White House. At the time, Dr. Paul had just finished his ground-breaking 2008 presidential run and so much had changed for us in the Congressional office. While we were legally separated from campaign activities, we felt the mist from the waves crashing on the shore of American political life. Ron Paul went from being a widely-admired and principled Member of Congress to the world-renowned ambassador of honest money and non-interventionism! A revolution was born!

By the 2008 race, Bush and his foreign policy were thoroughly discredited, and Ron Paul offered the strongest opposition to the warmed-over Bushism that the hapless McCain campaign had on offer. Obama had run as the peace candidate, and the peace candidate always wins -- even if he is a liar (see: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, GW Bush, etc.). But while many of us hoped for the best, we also knew there was little chance for us to change course.

Ron Paul went out with a bang in 2008. He refused to endorse the neocon who won the nomination and instead brought together candidates from the "minor" parties to agree on a basic set of principles upon which this Institute was founded in 2013. It was an excellent parting shot. The McCainiacs in their arrogance bade good riddance to the anti-interventionist wing of the party and...the rest is history (as it was four years later). Did they learn? Of course not.

So at that time, in 2008, Ron Paul became the steady voice of the non-interventionist movement even as much of the anti-Bush "peace movement" faded into silence hoping that Obama would live up to his Nobel Peace Prize billing. Instead, Obama bombed his way through his final year in the White House as he did the preceding seven years: he dropped an average of three bombs per hour in 2016. That's three per hour, each 24 hours, each 52 weeks, each 12 months. With some admirable exceptions, the Left side of the peace movement went into hibernation for eight years.

President Obama is going out with a bang, but of an entirely different sort. After he and his surrogates all but accused President-elect Trump of being a Kremlin agent -- bolstered by the "fake news" experts at the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media -- he made a couple of moves in attempt to bind his successor to a confrontational stance regarding Russia. First, he sent thousands of US troops to permanently be stationed in Poland for the first time ever. These troops and military equipment, including hundreds of tanks and so on, are literally on the border with Russia, but any complaint or counter-move is reported by the lapdog media as "Russian aggression." Imagine five thousand Chinese troops with the latest in war-making equipment on the Mexican border with the US, with a few ships in the Gulf of Mexico to boot. Would Washington welcome such a move? Then today we discover that Obama has sent a few hundred US Marines to take up in Norway for the first time since World War II. Of course it's not enough to be a military threat to Russia nor is it enough to actually defend Norway if "Russian expansionism" dictates an invasion. So what is the purpose? To wrong-foot any ideas Trump might have about turning down the nuclear-war-with-Russia dial.
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Breaking: Chelsea Manning to Be Freed in May Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/17/breaking-chelsea-manning-to-be-freed-in-may/

Charlie Savage reports at the New York Times that whistleblower Chelsea Manning is among the 209 people to whom President Barack Obama on Tuesday granted commutations that shorten their prison sentences. Obama also on Tuesday granted pardons to 64 people. Savage writes that Manning is scheduled to be freed on May 17.

In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, after a military court trial centered on Manning’s leaking of United States government information to WikiLeaks.

Last week, former US House of Representatives members and presidential candidates Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich sent a letter to Obama presenting their arguments for commuting Manning’s sentence. Paul and Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, are among the many people to request that Obama, in his final days as president, grant a commutation to Manning.
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Andrew Napolitano Meets Donald Trump for Second Time On Supreme Court Nomination Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/17/andrew-napolitano-meets-donald-trump-for-second-time-on-supreme-court-nomination/ previous hour-long meeting in December, Napolitano says in an interview with host Stuart Varney at Fox Business that a focus of the new meeting was Trump choosing a nominee to fill the vacant Supreme Court position.

In particular, Napolitano says in the interview that Trump and Napolitano discussed, in relation to filling the vacancy, “judicial attitudes, judicial temperament, ideology, and candidates for the court.”

Watch Napolitano discuss the meeting here:

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Not Just Poland: US Marines Deployed to Norway Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/16/not-just-poland-us-marines-deployed-to-norway/

Poland is not the only European country into which United States military forces are being inserted in the final days of the Obama administration. On Monday, about 300 Marines arrived in Norway. Reuters reports that the Marines, who will be the first foreign troops stationed in Norway since World War II, will be stationed at Norway’s Vaernes military base about 900 miles from the Russian border.

According to Reuters, the plan is for Marines, in successive six-month deployments, to be in the country for a year. Will the US military presence really end after one year, or will the one-year deployment of a few hundred Marines morph into a much longer and much larger military commitment?

In October, when the Norwegian government was considering the US request to station about 300 Marines in Norway, I noted in a Five Minutes Five Issues episode that Ryan Browne had reported a few months earlier at CNN that US Marines were positioning battle tanks, artillery, and logistics equipment in Norwegian caves. These caves, Browne suggested, already held nearly a year ago enough equipment to support 15,000 Marines.

(Photo: Cpl. Immanuel Johnson)]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/16/not-just-poland-us-marines-deployed-to-norway/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/16/not-just-poland-us-marines-deployed-to-norway/ Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:51:02 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: US Bombs, Airport Guns, Vaccines Commission, Marijuana Bill, Polluted WaPo Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/14/five-minutes-five-issues-us-bombs-airport-guns-vaccines-commission-marijuana-bill-polluted-wapo/
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at 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.

Teresa Welsh reported at McClatchy last week that the United States military, in a conservative estimate, dropped 26,171 bombs overseas in 2016, which is 3,027 more than the year before. Welsh writes that an estimated over 12,000 bombs were dropped in Iraq and over 12,000 in Syria as well, plus 1,337 in Afghanistan, nearly 500 in Libya, 34 in Yemen, and 14 in Somalia.

These numbers are not, however, the complete story on US involvement in bombings. For example, the US, in addition to dropping bombs, has been assisting Saudi Arabia and other allied nations wage war against Yemen, including via aerial refueling of those nations’ military aircraft.

Issue two.

"Had a licensed permit holder been one of those people standing right behind him, he'd have gotten one shot off and somebody would've pulled a gun out and shot him." That is a comment of Florida State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Greg Steube (R-Sarasota), quoted Tuesday at the Orlando Sentinel regarding the shooting last week at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida airport.

Last month, Steube introduced legislation that includes an expansion of where individuals with state carry licenses may carry handguns in Florida. His legislation, SB 140, removes airport passenger terminals from the places where state law prohibits licensees from carrying.

Should his legislation appear to be on a course to become law in Florida, it will be interesting to see how the US government responds.

Issue three.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has written much addressing vaccination safety and challenging actions of pharmaceutical companies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to vaccines. Kennedy announced Tuesday, after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, that Trump had asked him to be chairman of a US government commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity.

Issue four.

Starting with the states of Colorado and Washington in November of 2012, recreational marijuana legalization has been approved by popular vote in eight states and the District of Columbia. No state or territory government, though, has yet legalized via a bill passing in the legislature and being signed by the governor. Will the territory of Guam be the first to do so? On Tuesday, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo introduced in the Guam legislature a bill that would legalize marijuana in the territory.

Issue five.

Last week I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website regarding Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s plan to bring a congressional delegation to Russia. In my article, I mentioned the Washington Post article in which Rohrabacher was quoted regarding the trip.

Here is something about the Washington Post article that I did not mention in my article: In the first sentence of the Post article, Rohrabacher is referred to as “a longtime enthusiast of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

No information is provided in the Post article to support this characterization. The Characterization appears to be yet another attempt, common in the Post, to imply that someone favoring better US relations with Russia is disloyal to America.

Similar characterizations are regularly attached to President-elect Donald Trump in the Post as well.

In November, the Washington Post published an article promoting the existence of “a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy.” To support this conclusion, the article pointed to a list of over 200 websites that an anonymous group identified as “peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.” The Ron Paul Institute’s website, along with other well-know websites such as the Drudge Report, made the list.

A comment by then-President Thomas Jefferson in an 1807 letter comes to mind. Jefferson wrote:
Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
-----

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.

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Ron Paul Worries of ‘Setback of Civil Liberty’ with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/12/ron-paul-worries-of-setback-of-civil-liberty-with-jeff-sessions-as-attorney-general/
Watch Paul’s complete interview here:



Paul spoke more about Sessions potentially becoming attorney general on the Monday episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
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Ron Paul: ‘Political Grandstanding’ Behind Accusations of Russian Hacking of US Election Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/10/ron-paul-political-grandstanding-behind-accusations-of-russian-hacking-of-us-election/ intelligence report alleging Russian hacking of emails to affect the 2016 US presidential election and says that people pointing to the report as proving the Russian hacking are engaged in “political grandstanding.”

Paul, in the interview, says the allegations of the Russian government hacking emails to influence the 2016 United States presidential election in favor of Donald Trump are “just stirring up trouble for political reasons trying to discredit the president-elect.” Paul continues that, while he was “not a supporter” of President-elect Trump, Paul is “a supporter of trying to sort out the truth from all the nonsense that’s going on.” In this endeavor, Paul says in the interview that he agrees with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks who has declared that the emails were not leaked to WikiLeaks by a foreign government.

Pointing to his experience in the US House of Representatives in the run-up to the Iraq War, Paul declares, “there is every reason for me to be very skeptical of what our intelligence agencies are saying.” As Paul puts it:
They did not tell us the truth. They misled us. And a tragedy occurred from that.
Watch the complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/10/ron-paul-political-grandstanding-behind-accusations-of-russian-hacking-of-us-election/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/10/ron-paul-political-grandstanding-behind-accusations-of-russian-hacking-of-us-election/ Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:12:11 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Africa Deployments, 2016 Executions, Maine Marijuana, Less Prisoners, Vermont Pardons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/09/five-minutes-five-issues-africa-deployments-2016-executions-maine-marijuana-less-prisoners-vermont-pardons/ 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.

Where will the United States military find its next huge quagmire? How about Africa?

Nick Turse provided last week at The Intercept some perspective on the great increase in US Special Operations forces involvement in Africa over the last ten years. Turse writes:
In 2006, just 1 percent of commandos sent overseas were deployed in the U.S. Africa Command area of operations. In 2016, 17.26 percent of all U.S. Special Operations forces — Navy SEALs and Green Berets among them — deployed abroad were sent to Africa, according to data supplied to The Intercept by U.S. Special Operations Command. That total ranks second only to the Greater Middle East where the U.S. is waging war against enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
Issue two.

The Death Penalty Information Center relates in its 2016 year-end report that less prisoners were executed in America in 2016 than in any year since 1991. In 2016, 20 prisoners were executed in America. The executions took place in five states.

Issue three.

In last week’s Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about how legislators quickly passed and Governor Charlie Baker signed into law legislation overriding some of the marijuana legalization ballot measure that Massachusetts voters passed in November. A result is delaying by six months the opening of stores legally selling marijuana in the state.

Now, a similar move may be afoot in Maine to thwart that state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure that also passed in November. Steve Mistler reports at Maine Public Radio that Governor Paul LePage wants to delay the start of legal marijuana sales in Maine until after the nine-month time period defined in the ballot measure and that Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau is calling for a one year moratorium on marijuana sales.

Issue four.

While America retains a very high incarceration rate, there have been some reductions in recent years. Relying on information released last week by the US government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, Timothy Williams reports at the New York Times that about 1.5 million people were inmates in US and state prisons at the end of 2015 — the lowest number since 2005. For the larger category of adults in prison or jail or on probation or parole the number jumps to about 6.7 million — the lowest number since 2002.

To help explain the declining incarceration rate, Williams points to “the federal prison system releasing thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in 2015 and states seeking to save money by enacting legislation and policies to reduce prison populations.”

Issue five.

In the December 16 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I talked about Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin inviting people with Vermont convictions for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to request he pardon them. On Tuesday — two days before the end of his term as governor — Shumlin, who had received over 450 requests, issued 192 pardons for marijuana offenses.

Shumlin issued the pardons to extend some of the benefit of Vermont’s 2013 decriminalization of possessing up to an ounce of marijuana to some people convicted under the previous law. Similarly, President Barack Obama has granted commutations in some instances to shorten sentences of people who have been subjected to drug law sentences much longer than the sentences that would be expected if their cases had moved through the judicial system more recently.

If state legislatures and the US Congress do not act to ensure that new shortened sentences or the elimination of sentences are retroactively applied to people convicted under older sentencing standards, then such individuals are left with pardons or commutations as their hope for early release.

-----

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.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/09/five-minutes-five-issues-africa-deployments-2016-executions-maine-marijuana-less-prisoners-vermont-pardons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/09/five-minutes-five-issues-africa-deployments-2016-executions-maine-marijuana-less-prisoners-vermont-pardons/ Mon, 09 Jan 2017 19:09:05 GMT
Hundreds Of US Tanks Arrive In Europe To Support NATO Anti-Russian Buildup Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/06/hundreds-of-us-tanks-arrive-in-europe-to-support-nato-anti-russian-buildup/

As we reported yesterday, Lithuania confirmed the presence of U.S. special forces inside its territory, stating the deployment’s purpose is to train local forces and act as a deterrent against Russian aggression. Supposedly, the move is in response to a "escalation" by Vladimir Putin, who has been deploying nuke-ready missiles in the Russian province of Kaliningrad located in the heart of central Europe. This move has prompted the neighboring Baltic states to become “highly concerned” about Russian military activity.

Furthermore, sometime during the spring of 2017, NATO is expected to send battalions of 800 to 1,200 troops to each of the Baltic States and Poland. The mainstream media has even dubbed NATO’s recent buildup the alliance’s “biggest military buildup on Russia’s borders since the Cold War.” Even Great Britain will be sending fighter jets, as well as troops to Romania in order to counter Russia in the region.

Over the last several years, Russia has made it abundantly clear in the past that its deployment of missiles is a deterrent against NATO expansion along its borders, in what is effectively a cat-and-mouse game that continues to be played with catastrophic consequences, and which neither side can win.

Meanwhile, as part of the latest conventional arms race, on Friday hundreds of U.S. tanks, trucks and other military equipment arrived by ship in Germany to be transported by rail and road to eastern Europe as part of a NATO buildup that has drawn Russia's ire. According to Reuters, two shiploads arrived in the northern port of Bremerhaven and a third was due in a few days, bringing the fleets of tracked and wheeled vehicles for use by around 4,000 U.S. troops being deployed for exercises in NATO states near Russia.

U.S. and Polish forces will participate in a large "massing" exercise in Poland at the end of January as part of a series of measures aimed at reassuring U.S. allies in Europe after Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.  Beginning in February, U.S. military units will spread out across Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany for training, exercises and maintenance.

"The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation," Major General Timothy McGuire told reporters when asked if the large deployment was meant to send a message to Russia.

He also admitted that "this is just showing the strength and cohesion of the alliance and the U.S. commitment to maintain the peace on the continent."  It is also a provocation specifically designed to provoke Putin into further escalation, something which Obama also did last week with the expuslion of 35 Russian diplomats.

NATO countries say their planned deployments to eastern NATO countries are purely defensive, but Russia has rebuked what it sees as an aggressive western buildup in eastern Europe.
In addition to U.S. troops going to Poland, NATO members Germany, Canada and Britain are also sending battalions of up to 1,000 troops each to the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They say the four battalions, backed by additional U.S. forces on rotation, are justified by Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Those actions alarmed the Baltic states, which worry they could be the next targets of Russian pressure.

Among their equipment will be 87 Abrams M1A1 tanks, 20 Paladin artillery vehicles and 136 Bradley fighting vehicles. 

The equipment will be used by the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, arriving this month from Fort Carson, Colorado for the first of what Washington promises will be back-to-back nine-month rotations in the "foreseeable future."

The Army is also sending its 10th Combat Aviation Brigade with about 50 Black Hawk and 10 CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 1,800 personnel, as well as a separate aviation battalion with 400 troops and 24 Apache helicopters.
Amid this dangerous escalation, voices of reason were few and far between. One of them belonged to Germany's Left party, which has called for closer ties with Russia, said Berlin had a historic obligation to work for peace and disarmament, and it would protest against the deployment.  "Tanks never create peace anywhere," said Christian Goerke, who heads the party in Brandenburg state. "Quite the contrary, a troop deployment of such a scale is part of always increasing buildup and provocation."

Unfortunately both the US Military-Industrial complex, and the US government, stubbornly pretend not to recognize this simple logic.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/06/hundreds-of-us-tanks-arrive-in-europe-to-support-nato-anti-russian-buildup/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/06/hundreds-of-us-tanks-arrive-in-europe-to-support-nato-anti-russian-buildup/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:35:28 GMT
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Goes to Moscow Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/05/rep-dana-rohrabacher-goes-to-moscow/

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has plans to bring a congressional delegation to Russia. Rohrabacher is quoted in a Wednesday article by Robert Costa in the Washington Post as saying a purpose of the trip is to discuss with Russian officials “how we can work with the Duma.” The Duma is a legislative body of the Russian government.

Rohrabacher, as chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has a significant role in the United States House of Representatives regarding US relations with Russia. In this position, Rohrabacher has on occasion forcefully made the case for easing tensions between the US and Russia. For example, in March of 2015, Rohrabacher, speaking during a meeting of the subcommittee concerning Ukraine, criticized the US government’s effort “to basically defeat and humiliate Russia.” He argued that the US goal should instead be “to do what is right by Ukraine and bring peace to Ukraine.”

Rohrabacher’s influence in the House, though, should be understood in context. In introductory remarks at the Ukraine hearing at which Rohrabacher spoke out for peace and détente, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who is chairman of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, asserted the US government should take more aggressive actions in opposition to Russia in relation to Ukraine, calling US action so far “quite tepid.” And, last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) cheered and called “overdue” the announcement by President Barack Obama of punitive actions, including the expelling of 35 Russian diplomats from America, in response to purported Russian government actions including interfering with the 2016 US presidential election.

For some interesting information regarding Rohrabacher and his foreign policy views read Justin Raimondo’s December 5 article “Dana Rohrabacher for Secretary of State?” at antiwar.com.

Rohrabacher was recently in the news as a possible choice for the Secretary of State position in a Donald Trump administration. Trump ended up choosing Exxon Mobil Corporation CEO Rex W. Tillerson.
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Libertarian Party Chairman Denounces Ron Paul’s Support for States’ Rights Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/03/libertarian-party-chairman-denounces-ron-paul-s-support-for-states-rights/

Speaking with host Marc Clair in a Lions of Liberty Podcast interview released last week. Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark denounced Ron Paul’s support for states’ rights. Sarwark made the comments after, twenty-five minutes into the interview, the conversation turned to discussing Paul who has run for president three times, including once as the Libertarian Party nominee. Sarwark says that Paul “had policy prescriptions that were straight-up wrong and anti-libertarian.” Continuing, Sarwark calls Paul’s support for states’ rights “not a libertarian position.”

Of course, many people who consider themselves libertarians support states’ rights, as do many people who have run for office under the Libertarian Party banner. Indeed, 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, whose campaign Sarwark spent much of the interview praising, has spoken positively of states’ rights.

Paul succinctly explained the connection between states’ rights and the protection of liberty in his December of 2002 editorial “What Really Divides Us?” in which Paul wrote:
States' rights simply means the individual states should retain authority over all matters not expressly delegated to the federal government in Article I of the Constitution. Most of the worst excesses of big government can be traced to a disregard for states' rights, which means a disregard for the Ninth and Tenth amendments.
Paul dedicated a chapter of his book Liberty Defined to a discussion of states’ rights. Paul starts off the chapter presenting the relationship between states’ rights and the United States Constitution:
Technically, states don’t have 'rights' — only individuals do. But states are legal entities that are very important in the governmental structure of the United States, of course. They serve as a kind of bulwark against an overweening federal government. The Constitution was written with an intent to protect the independence of each state by establishing for the states a very limited relationship to the federal government. States do have a 'right' under the Tenth Amendment to retain all powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Systematically over the years, this understanding has been destroyed.

A defense of 'states’ rights' today generally elicits the charge that this is nothing more than a plot to restore some kind of ancient servitude. This claim really is preposterous. Jefferson believed in states’ rights. Even Hamilton had to play lip service to the idea. An attack on the very notion of states’ rights is ultimately an attack on the form of government that the Founders established.
A prominent example of states’ rights ideas being used to advance protection of liberty and oppose US government abuses is state governments deciding to withdraw, completely or in part, from participation in the war on marijuana. This is an exercise of states’ rights that Paul has repeatedly praised, including in a November interview with Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger in which Paul said the US government has “thrown up their hands” in response to states’ going their own way on marijuana laws and predicted we will see much more “nullification” by states of portions of the drug war.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/03/libertarian-party-chairman-denounces-ron-paul-s-support-for-states-rights/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/january/03/libertarian-party-chairman-denounces-ron-paul-s-support-for-states-rights/ Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:16:47 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Punishing Russia, Israel Brouhaha, Marijuana Delay, Troops Suicides, Torture Report Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/31/five-minutes-five-issues-punishing-russia-israel-brouhaha-marijuana-delay-troops-suicides-torture-report/ 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 Thursday, President Barack Obama announced his actions, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, in response to purported Russian government actions including interfering with the 2016 United States presidential election.

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan immediately cheered Obama’s actions, calling them “overdue” and saying Russia “has consistently sought to undermine [America’s interests], sowing dangerous instability around the world.”

However, many Americans, including some House members, have been asking, “Where is the proof?” As I mentioned in last week’s Five Minutes Five Issues episode, some House members have expressed concern to Obama about the president taking unilateral action against Russia and have requested Obama provide a classified briefing to all Congress members to present the evidence of Russian interference in the election.

But, with the House speaker providing gung-ho support for the new anti-Russia actions, Obama can proceed unhindered.

Issue two.

In the September 17 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the United States government having just announced $38 billion in military aid to the Israel government over ten years — a record amount to any government.

This week, I see media reporting on tension between Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration. The tension is related to the US government abstaining on a United Nations Security Council vote concerning Israel and US Secretary of State John Kerry making some comments critical of Israeli government policies.

I might believe the international brouhaha is more than a distracting performance if there appeared to be any chance US aid to Israel would be cut off or even reduced.

Issue three.

Massachusetts voters approved on November 8 legalizing marijuana in their state. The approved ballot measure calls for allowing marijuana stores to open in January of 2018. “Not so fast,” said several state legislators who on Wednesday quickly passed, with no vote by either the full state Senate or House, legislation delaying the opening of the stores by six months, that is, until July of 2018.

Joshua Miller and Jim O’Sullivan reported at the Boston Globe how a few lawmakers quickly approved the change without any public hearings or pubic notice. In the state Senate, the Senate president and Republican minority leader appear to have passed the marijuana law change in less than a minute, with no other senators present. Then, Miller and O’Sullivan relate, “[l]ess than an hour later in the House, with about five members on hand and Democratic Representative Paul Donato presiding, passage was even faster, taking seconds to add their approval to the measure.” All this was done during an informal session when the legislative bodies had completed their normal sessions. In the informal session, Miller and O’Sullivan report that no roll-call votes are permitted and legislation passes unless a member objects.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the legislation into law on Friday.

Issue four.

Tom Vanden Brook wrote at USA Today on Thursday regarding some newly released US military statistics. Brook relates that the statistics show that more US troops deployed to the Middle East in the ISIS War have died from suicide than have been killed in combat.

Issue five.

Josh Gerstein writes at Politico that another potential avenue has opened for the complete torture report of the US Senate Intelligence Committee to be made public. On Wednesday, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the preservation of torture-related items including the report, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) response to the report, and all documents referenced or otherwise relied upon in the Senate committee report or the CIA response. Lamberth also ordered that a copy of the report be delivered to the court.

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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.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/31/five-minutes-five-issues-punishing-russia-israel-brouhaha-marijuana-delay-troops-suicides-torture-report/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/31/five-minutes-five-issues-punishing-russia-israel-brouhaha-marijuana-delay-troops-suicides-torture-report/ Sat, 31 Dec 2016 15:12:10 GMT
2017 - Ron Paul's New Year Predictions Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/2017-ron-pauls-new-year-predictions/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/2017-ron-pauls-new-year-predictions/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/2017-ron-pauls-new-year-predictions/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 19:30:22 GMT
New Russia Sanctions ‘Underscore Vindictiveness & Pettiness’ of Obama Administration RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/new-russia-sanctions-underscore-vindictiveness-pettiness-of-obama-administration/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/new-russia-sanctions-underscore-vindictiveness-pettiness-of-obama-administration/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/30/new-russia-sanctions-underscore-vindictiveness-pettiness-of-obama-administration/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 15:37:00 GMT
Ask Ron Paul - Tariffs, Populism, Disinfo, And More... Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/29/ask-ron-paul-tariffs-populism-disinfo-and-more/


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/29/ask-ron-paul-tariffs-populism-disinfo-and-more/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/29/ask-ron-paul-tariffs-populism-disinfo-and-more/ Thu, 29 Dec 2016 18:11:24 GMT
Why Lew Rockwell is Optimistic the Drug War Will End Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/27/why-lew-rockwell-is-optimistic-the-drug-war-will-end/
While Rockwell notes there are powerful interests fighting to perpetuate the war on drugs, Rockwell also declares in the interview his optimism that educational efforts will help increase public support for ending drug prohibition. Pointing to states “nullifying” US government anti-drug laws through actions including medical and recreational marijuana legalization, Rockwell says “we have every reason to be optimistic” that the drug war “will eventually come to an end.”

Rockwell, who is the founder and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, also discusses in the interview how legalizing choice regarding drugs and ending drug prohibition would yield, as did ending alcohol prohibition decades ago, many benefits. Rockwell concludes:
Choice is good. Choice is good for the economy, good for us as individuals. It’s good for civilization as a matter of fact.
Watch Rockwell’s complete interview here:



Rockwell is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/27/why-lew-rockwell-is-optimistic-the-drug-war-will-end/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/27/why-lew-rockwell-is-optimistic-the-drug-war-will-end/ Tue, 27 Dec 2016 20:15:03 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Faithless Electors, ‘Russian Hack,’ Avenue Strategies, Pelosi Vote, Electoral College Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/23/five-minutes-five-issues-faithless-electors-russian-hack-avenue-strategies-pelosi-vote-electoral-college/ 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.

Before the Monday Electoral College voting, there was much talk of electors pledged to Donald Trump abandoning him. Some people even thought such so-called faithless electors may cause Hillary Clinton to become president.

In past presidential elections, vote switching by electors has been rare. In 2012, it did not occur at all.

One hundred-eighty years ago defecting electors deprived a candidate of an Electoral College majority. That happened with Martin Van Buren’s running mate Richard M. Johnson in 1836. With no vice presidential candidate winning an Electoral College majority, the decision shifted to the United States Senate where Johnson won in the end.

On Monday, seven electors successfully voted for someone other than their designated presidential candidate. Most of the faithless electors selected an alternative choice for vice president as well.

More electors abandoned Clinton than abandoned Trump. Clinton electors in Washington cast three votes for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle. In Hawaii, a Clinton elector chose Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders. At least three other Clinton electors — in Maine, Minnesota, and Colorado — attempted to vote for someone other than Clinton but were prevented from having such votes counted. The only faithless elector presidential votes among Trump electors were in Texas, providing one vote each for John Kasich and Ron Paul.

Issue two.

On Monday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), along with Walter Jones (R-NC), who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, wrote to President Barack Obama regarding reports that anonymous Obama administration officials suggested “that some intelligence agencies believe the Russian government interfered in the U.S. presidential election with the intention of aiding the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump.” The representatives also express concern about Obama’s suggestion in a National Public Radio interview that the US would take retaliatory actions against Russia. Amash and Jones conclude their letter by requesting “that a classified briefing on the evidence being used to support these claims be made available to all members of Congress immediately.”

Issue three.

A copy of an interesting business launch announcement is included in a Wednesday Los Angeles Times article by Evan Halper.

Remember Corey Lewandowski? He was Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a while. Lewandowski and Barry Bennett, who also was involved in Trump’s campaign, have started a company. It’s called Avenue Strategies. Lewandowski says in the announcement of the company’s launch that he had considered “multiple opportunities” in the Trump administration but has decided to help Trump “outside the formal structure of government.” And Bennett says he is excited to help the company’s clients “raise their voices in Washington.”

Issue four.

On November 30, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) retained her position as minority leader in a vote by House of Representatives Democrats. But, the vote of 134 to 63 indicates significant opposition to Pelosi continuing in the leadership role. As noted by Emmarie Huetteman in a New York Times article, 20 more Democratic House members voted for Pelosi’s challenger this time than did so in 2010. Just before the 2010 leadership vote, Republicans had won over 60 House seats to become the majority party — all while Pelosi was speaker of the House.

Issue five.

Since the US Constitution mandates the Electoral College system, abolishing that system requires adopting a constitutional amendment.

In the week after the election, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced a constitutional amendment intended to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with a countrywide popular vote to directly elect presidents.

The amendment would strip election influence from smaller states. Therefore, it seems unlikely the amendment would make it successfully through the required process of, first, receiving an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of both the House and Senate and, second, being approved in the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

By the way, the proposed amendment also declares the US Congress has vast election powers. These include deciding what candidates are on the ballot, the manner in which presidential elections operate, and how results are ascertained and declared.

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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.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/23/five-minutes-five-issues-faithless-electors-russian-hack-avenue-strategies-pelosi-vote-electoral-college/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/23/five-minutes-five-issues-faithless-electors-russian-hack-avenue-strategies-pelosi-vote-electoral-college/ Fri, 23 Dec 2016 22:21:50 GMT
Ron Paul: Purported Russian Hack in US Election is Insignificant Compared to What US Does Overseas Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/22/ron-paul-purported-russian-hack-in-us-election-is-insignificant-compared-to-what-us-does-overseas/
Paul — providing perspective on the matter — notes that the US government is interfering with elections around the world “all the time.” Paul also suggests reviewing the history of US government involvement in foreign countries, including “how many countries we invaded, how many people we have killed in order to have our guy in.” Looking to this history, Paul concludes, “we don’t have much room for condemning anybody else.”

Watch here a clip from the interview, in which Paul also comments regarding the Texas member of the Electoral College who cast a vote for Paul for president on Monday:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/22/ron-paul-purported-russian-hack-in-us-election-is-insignificant-compared-to-what-us-does-overseas/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/22/ron-paul-purported-russian-hack-in-us-election-is-insignificant-compared-to-what-us-does-overseas/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 19:43:34 GMT
Ron Paul Rewind: John Birch Society 50th Anniversary Speech Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/20/ron-paul-rewind-john-birch-society-50th-anniversary-speech/ article, wrote that Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who President-elect Donald Trump has picked to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, spoke in July at a dinner held by a chapter of the John Birch Society in Mulvaney’s home state. Levy suggests Mulvaney presenting a speech at the dinner should be troubling when she asserts that the John Birch Society “has long been exiled from mainstream conservatism.”

Supposing Levy’s assertion about the John Birch Society is true, is it such a bad thing to be exiled from mainstream conservatism? Many people would claim such a status with pride given all the wars and individual rights violations that have been pursued with the support of many politicians who consider themselves mainstream conservatives.

In 2008, Ron Paul, then a Republican House of Representatives member from Texas, spoke at the John Birch Society’s 50th anniversary event in Wisconsin. Watch here Paul’s speech, in which he talks about the John Birch Society, as well as matters including the importance of following the US Constitution, avoiding foreign intervention, opposing conscription, and ending the Federal Reserve:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/20/ron-paul-rewind-john-birch-society-50th-anniversary-speech/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/20/ron-paul-rewind-john-birch-society-50th-anniversary-speech/ Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:28:40 GMT
Philippines President Duterte Using China Leverage to Strike Better Aid Deal with Donald Trump? Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/18/philippines-president-duterte-using-china-leverage-to-strike-better-aid-deal-with-donald-trump/

United States foreign aid dollars, and even police training, have been supporting for several months large-scale systematic street executions of supposed drug dealers and users in the Philippines. Now, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has promoted the escalation of the drug war in the country since his election in the summer, is expressing his dislike for the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation postponing a decision on renewal of potentially several hundred million dollars in US aid to the Philippines government in order to review “concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.”

Duterte sounds angry from his comments in response. And he may be angry. But, Duterte’s comments also may be designed to place him in a good position to strike a more advantageous US aid deal with President-elect Donald Trump.

A Saturday report from the Associated Press relates that Duterte has reacted to the US foreign aid announcement by saying he welcomes not being given the aid, “bye-bye America,” and the Philippines “can survive without American money.” Plus, the Associated Press report further notes that Duterte, in his comments, said that the US should “prepare for the eventual repeal or the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.” In other words, Duterte is suggesting the Philippines is ready to respond to an aid cut-off by terminating the Philippines’ cooperation with the US military.

Indeed, it may be that Duterte’s earlier talk of reducing ties with the US and increasing ties with China is the primary, though unspoken, motivation for the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s announcement regarding Philippines aid.

This all sounds like great news for advocates for a noninterventionist US foreign policy: There may soon be a significant reduction in US foreign aid to the Philippines and a termination or substantial curtailment of US military operations with the nation.

However, it is too early for noninterventionists to celebrate.

At the same time Duterte was saying “bye-bye” to the US he also said his nation can instead receive aid from the Chinese government and expressed an affinity with Donald Trump. “I will let Obama fade away and if he disappears, then I will begin to reassess,” said Duterte.

How should we interpret Duterte’s comments overall? It seems that Duterte may, like Trump, see himself as a great dealmaker. Knowing Trump’s repeatedly expressed concerns about China, what better way to ensure much US aid continues to flow to the Philippines government, and maybe even increases substantially, than to threaten to end military cooperation with the US and to increase ties with China? And, to help make negotiations move forward smoothly, it may not hurt to compliment the US leader across the negotiating table, especially when that leader is prone to categorize people into “friends” and “enemies.” “I have talked to Trump, he was very nice, very courteous,” Duterte said. This type of compliment is in stark contrast with the type of language Duterte has used to describe President Barack Obama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/18/philippines-president-duterte-using-china-leverage-to-strike-better-aid-deal-with-donald-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/december/18/philippines-president-duterte-using-china-leverage-to-strike-better-aid-deal-with-donald-trump/ Sun, 18 Dec 2016 23:53:22 GMT