Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2018 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 05:00:00 GMT Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:05:06 GMT Welcome to Trump Budget Management : A Week After Decrying a $716 Billion Defense Budget, Trump Agrees to $750 Billion Defense Budget Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/

President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reports CNN.

Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

Note well that Trump's tweet suggests the high military budget is the result of a "major and uncontrollable Arms Race" but does not mention that the Empire has outposts throughout the world with many active military operations in regions that are none of our business.

The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, according to CNN.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration source told CNN.. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline."

Notes CNN, the meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:21:35 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Reversal, New Liberal Order, Legal Hemp, Boycotting Israel, Marijuana Tax Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, 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, Utah state legislators voted to replace the medical marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last month with much more restrictive legislation. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the replacement into law.

The new law further limits who can use medical marijuana and eliminates the legalization of some individuals growing their own marijuana. In addition, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that other changes include reducing the number of stores where people can buy medical marijuana and requiring stores to hire pharmacists.

Issue two.

The death last week of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and President George H.W. Bush brought to mind his creepy promotion as president of a “new world order.”

That phrasing received an update this week when another former CIA director — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — said in a Tuesday speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium that “[i]n the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” Continuing, Pompeo said it would be an order “that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity for all.”

In case you are thinking that Pompeo is not giving us doublespeak of promoting war as peace and destruction as prosperity, note that he dedicates much of his speech to challenging countries the US has imposed sanctions on and militarily threatened. These include Iran, China, and Russia as well as three countries — Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — that National Security Advisor John Bolton termed a “Troika of Tyranny” in a November speech. Note also that Pompeo declares in his speech that President Donald Trump is “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” and that Trump “knows, as George H.W. Bush knew, that a safer world has consistently demanded American courage on the world stage.”

Issue three.

The farm bill coming out of a United States Senate and House of Representatives reconciliation committee contains legalization of hemp farming along the lines of the provisions in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that I discussed in the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. Expect Senate and House votes approving the bill soon.

Paul Armentano, the deputy director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, discussed the importance of this legal change relative to the larger war on marijuana in the concluding paragraph of his Tuesday The Hill editorial. Armentano writes:
Finally, the symbolic significance of this forthcoming law change should not be under emphasized. Passage of the 2018 farm bill will mark the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970. As statewide and public support in favor of broader marijuana reforms continues to grow, it is apparent that this federal change won’t be the last.
Issue four.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at his website kurtnimmo.blog about efforts to insert into legislation in the lame duck US Congress penalties for companies boycotting products from Israel. In his interesting and informative editorial, Nimmo mentions reasons why people may be justified in engaging in such a boycott. Yet, fundamentally, boycotting is an exercise of people’s right to use their resources as they see fit. People should face no legal punishment for boycotting products from Israel even if Israel were a libertarian wonderland.

Issue five.

There is a debate in New York over how to spend tax money from likely-soon-to-be-legalized marijuana in the state. People are taking sides on whether the money should be spent on subways or on welfare programs or on this or that other government project. It may be best to just throw the money into general revenue for the state legislators to divvy up as they choose. Dedicating the tax revenue to particular projects would give special interests much incentive to ensure marijuana taxes stay high or even increase.

-----

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/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 20:11:21 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Discusses the ‘Dark Side of Law Enforcement’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/
When asked about Russiagate investigation target Jerome Corsi filing on Monday a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s prosecutorial staff, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and a former New Jersey state judge, explains that much of the conduct about which Corsi complains is common in prosecutions. Napolitano comments that “almost everything that [Corsi] has accused the prosecutors of doing is standard operating procedure for prosecutors.” Napolitano continues:
This is, as you and I have discussed off-air, the dark side of law enforcement. It is not neat, and it is not pretty. Prosecutors can coerce. They can threaten. They can lie. They can deceive. They can do anything short of actually committing a crime in order to extract evidence from a witness or in order to flip the witness to their side. And that’s apparently what they’ve tried to do with Jerry Corsi.
Concerns about such practices by prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been part of the reasoning behind Napolitano’s repeated cautioning that President Donald Trump should not talk with Russiagate investigators. To not talk is also likely wise advice for other individuals confronted by this investigation, as well as individuals subjected to questioning by local police or prosecutors in various other types of investigations. Law enforcement officials often do not play fair. People who do not exercise their right to remain silent are taking a big risk, even if they have done nothing illegal.

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:35:32 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Julian Assange, NJ Marijuana. Saudi Support, War and Debt, RI Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, for years after he obtained asylum from the Ecuador embassy in London, hosted guests and communicated with the outside world. Via video, Assange took part in interviews and presented speeches, including, last year, a Ron Paul Liberty Report interview and a Ron Paul Institute conference speech.

Then, for the last eight months, Assange has been held in isolation at the embassy, much like a prisoner in solitary confinement. After eight months of effort, la Republica was able to arrange a visit with Assange. Here is a description of Assange’s condition from la Republica’s report:
As soon as we saw him, we realised he has lost a lot of weight. Too much. He is so skinny. Not even his winter sweater can hide his skinny shoulders. His nice-looking face, captured by photographers all around the world, is very tense. His long hair and beard make him look like a hermit, though not a nutter: as we exchange greetings, he seems very lucid and rational.
Issue two.

In the September 1 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Jersey legislature potentially approving legislation legalizing recreational marijuana — a priority for the state’s governor — in September. But, things did not move forward that quickly.

This week, committees in the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill. This is a promising sign that legalization will occur soon. But, Payton Guion cautions at NJ.com that the legislative process will likely not be completed this year. Guion writes that the legislature is scheduled to be in session only one more day — December 17 — this year and that the bill may be revised before consideration by all House and Senate members.

Issue three.

The Wednesday 63 to 37 vote in the United States Senate in favor advancing to the Senate floor Senate Joint Resolution 54, legislation seeking to end the US military’s supporting of the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen, is a challenge to a major, decades-old US policy of supporting the Saudi Arabia government.

In February of 2006, then-US House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) discussed some background of US-Saudi Arabia relations in a House floor speech titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony.” After the 1971 demise of the remnant of the US gold standard, Paul explains:
Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup.
Issue four.

In a new interview at Salon, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano gives some advice for libertarians. Napolitano says:
They need to articulate to the public the dangers of war and debt. Those are the two principal areas of government on which there is no disagreement between Republicans and Democrats and which, if left unchecked, will destroy our society as we know it.
Issue five.

Kyle Jaeger reported Friday at Marijuana Moment that, while Rhode Island’s governor and House of Representatives speaker, both Democrats, are not supporting legalizing recreational marijuana, the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives — Blake Filippi — is a supporter. Indeed, in a new interview, Fillippi even criticized recent legalization in Massachusetts for being too restrictive regarding the number of stores allowed to sell marijuana.

-----

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/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:26:45 GMT
The Free State Project Jumps the Shark Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/

The Free State Project has shown promise in seeking to improve respect for liberty in New Hampshire by encouraging thousands of advocates for liberty to move to the state, with movers pursuing endeavors including running for office and engaging in civil disobedience. While that promise persists as movers continue to work for liberty in the state, it appears that in those efforts they may face headwinds emanating from the Free State Project organization itself.

At the Free State Project’s Twitter page, a series of posts appeared on Wednesday calling individuals listed on the Red Alert Politics “30 Under 30” list “liberty activists” and inviting them to attend the Free State Project’s New Hampshire Liberty Forum for free “in honor of” their “hard work.” The 30 Under 30 list is far from a compilation of “liberty activists” as that term would be understood by many longtime Free State Project supporters and movers. Rather, as noted by Red Alert Politics, the list is composed of “young, right-of-center leaders.”

There may be good reasons for inviting the Red Alert Politics 30 Under 30 list members to the Free State Project event and even for offering them free admission, including that there is value in adding some diversity of views at the event or that libertarian views may rub off on the invitees. There are also arguments for the event being better if most of these invited individuals are not present. But, to praise these individuals en masse as “liberty activists” and declare an intention to “honor” them for their “hard work” is inconsistent with what the Free State Project has promoted in the past. This is a warning sign that the Free State Project, at least at its leadership level, has undergone a significant philosophical transition.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:01:52 GMT
Notes on the Khashoggi Case Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/

The Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi story will someday be seen by historians (not in the US) as a near-perfect example of the failure of American policy in the Middle East begatting more failure. Only ignorance of history and the amazing sheepishness of the American people to have their opinions spoon fed to them will make things “work out.”

Forget the current arms sales (the naughty thing the media says made Trump “pardon” Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for supposedly ordering the murder, conveniently on a phone fully-tapped by the US, though sooner or later someone will claim the real driver is some sort of shady Trump real estates deal negotiated by Kushner), the US at present needs the Saudis as a hedge against the empowered Iran our wars of the last decades in Iraq inadvertently created, and of course as Israel’s new friend in that same regard in the music of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” that powers the Jewish state’s relations in the neighborhood.

Trump is boorish and gross, but he is just the ugly face of truth behind decades of US policy, a Few Good Men’s Colonel Jessup inside foreign affairs screaming we can’t handle the truth. The truth is every American president from Roosevelt to Trump bent over for the Saudis. And so will the next president, whether it’s Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Representative Tulsi Gabbard evisceratingTrump as “Saudi Arabia’s bi*ch” is true enough, even if she was incomplete in not naming every other American leader since WWII. And, oh yeah, the Clinton Foundation, which was engorged with Saudi cash.

(Trump as Colonel Jessup telling us what we don’t want to hear is not restricted to Saudi affairs. When journalism cosplayer, now friend of the #Resistance, Bill O’Reilly demanded to know what Trump thought about Vladimir Putin being a killer, Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?… I think our country does plenty of killing also.”)

The truth is the Saudis can do whatever they want inside their own sphere as long as they serve our (shifting needs) for (example) oil, war in Afghanistan against the USSR, and now bulwark against Iran.

And the US is always happy to return a favor. Two Bushs waged wars that helped the Kingdom. Obama sent US forces into bloody work in Yemen for the Saudis. Stuff happens along the way — OPEC was unleashed out of a plan to control prices, 9/11 and al Qaeda out of the creation of the jihad against the Sovs, Desert Storm when then-US ally Saddam ended up too strong after we used him to knock back Iran in the 1980s and America had to defend the Kingdom’s oil so they could sell it to us, and this year the relatively minor kerfuffle (promoted by Erdogan for his own political purposes) of Khasshogi. But the US always looks the other way, whether it is Saudi funding to kill 2,997 Americans on 9/11 or the Soprano’s hit on Khasshogi. Meh.

The latter just caught the public’s attention because it fits with the media’s 24/7/365 need to create Trump-driven crisis fodder (don’t forget Mohammed Bin Salman — MBS to his friends and PR handlers — was a US-media darling only months ago because he was gonna let the ladies drive over there), plus of course Trump’s own willingness to constantly fan the flames with a Tweet or flippant comment. It’s nice to see them have such a symbiotic relationship. Meanwhile the greater American atrocity, supporting the slaughter of civilians by Saudi forces in Yemen, is left more or less untouched except as an adjunct to the Khasshogi case; the US may publicly pull back there a symbolic bit as playful punishment. The real blowback from Khasshogi will be near-zero compared to what happened for example when OPEC crushed our economy and when al Qaeda sent us to war for 18 years.

US-Saudi relations are a constant clusterfutz where one unexpected horrible outcome is “fixed” by an even larger problem once envisioned as the solution. That domino effect, from 1945 through tomorrow, is what binds the US and Saudi Arabia as brothers in foreign policy crime, and if the Saudi’s play it right (as they have for decades) it always will.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:17:58 GMT
Lew Rockwell Challenges President Trump’s ‘Sickening’ Support for Saudi Arabia Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ written declaration of support for the government of Saudi Arabia, libertarian communicator and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell presented a succinct summary of reasons for Trump’s “sickening” support.

Rockwell states:
The questions of morality, of course, are entirely absent, as they usually are from US government policy. As long as the Saudis are willing to bribe enough Americans, as long as they are willing to do what the US government wants in terms of oil, as long as it’s willing to give big contracts to what Trump refers to as “all the great American companies” that are causing so much havoc around the world, there is nothing they could do that would hurt them. I’m sure they are going to continue to kill people. This is a terrible thing President Trump is doing. It’s really sickening, and it’s horrible.
Watch the RT news segment here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 22:30:20 GMT
President Trump’s Support of Saudi Arabia is Par for the Course in US Foreign Policy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/

Many people are condemning President Donald Trump’s continuing support for the Saudi Arabia government and its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Critics note the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and widespread rights abuses in Saudi Arabia as reasons to oppose the Trump administration’s support for the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Yet, as Glenn Greenwald explains in an intriguing Wednesday The Intercept editorial, Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia is in line with a long history of United States presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, supporting governments around the world — including the Saudi Arabia government — that have been doing horrible things, while basing that support, including the providing of military and intelligence assistance, on nebulous claims of “national security.”

The problem exhibited by Trump in this instance is nothing new. It is engrained in how US politics has worked for decades. Referring in particular to Trump’s Tuesday written declaration of the Trump administration’s continuing support for Saudi Arabia, which has been the subject of much backlash, Greenwald writes that the declaration is “a perfect example — perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual — of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II” instead of the “deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy” that it has been painted as by some critics, including many who have helped advance the US governments relentless pursuit of destructive intervention overseas.

Read here Greenwald’s editorial that also includes informative examples from the last few decades of US intervention overseas. The examples illustrate that, while Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia is wretched, it is also par for the course in US foreign policy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:38:36 GMT
California Democrat Threatens 'Nukes' If Americans Don't Hand Over Their Guns Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/

Well that escalated quickly...

Just days after taking back the House, a Democratic Congressmen has proposed outlawing "military-style semi-automatic assault weapons" and forcing existing owners to sell their weapons or face prosecution.

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Swalwell proposes that the government should offer up to $1,000 for every weapon covered by a new ban, estimating that it would take $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons - and “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”

As NBC News reports, this is a major departure from prior gun control proposals that typically exempt existing firearms; as in the past, Democrats and gun safety groups have carefully resisted proposals that could be interpreted as 'gun confiscation', a concept gun rights groups have often invoked as part of a slippery slope argument against more modest proposals like universal background checks.

And sure enough Swalwell's egotistical over-reach - going full "Australia" - prompted anger across social media. But it was one particular thread that caught our eye...

John Cardillo, "America Talks Live" host on Newsmax, tweeted  in response: "Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state. These people are dangerously obsessed with power."

Which prompted a further response  from Joe Biggs, a combat vet, "So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You're outta your fu*king mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power."

To which Rep. Swalwell decided to reply  - in a not tyrannical-sounding way at all... "And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities."

And after the furor exploded, Swalwell quickly resorted to the "it was sarcasm" excuse.

* * *

Now the question is - who will Twitter ban? The conservative-leaning 2nd Amendment-protector raising his "social media" above the pulpit; or the liberal politician who is threatening to unleash nukes on domestic soil in order to ensure the citizenry follow his demands and hand over their means of defense?

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:37:34 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Bolton Speech, Warmonger Medal, Roadside Surveillance, Marijuana Tax, School Security Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/16/five-minutes-five-issues-bolton-speech-warmonger-medal-roadside-surveillance-marijuana-tax-school-security/ 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 a November 2 speech in Miami, Florida, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new US sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. Bolton called Cuba and Venezuela, along with Nicaragua, a “Troika of Tyranny” and said they “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Bolton further stated:
Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.
In the August 12, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaking similarly when announcing sanctions against Venezuela. Mnuchin said:
As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
As I said then regarding Mnuchin, Bolton now is declaring the US is going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” — something John Quincy Adams warned against in Adams’ powerful July 4, 1821 speech promoting the US pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Issue two.

Maybe the Liberty Medal awarded annually by the US Congress-created National Constitution Center should be renamed the Warmonger Medal.

In the October 21, 2017 episode
of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the award last year being presented to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I noted that political writer James Bovard had commented that McCain received the award in recognition of his “unceasing advocacy for bombing hell out of foreigners in the name of freedom.”

This week, the 2018 Liberty Medal was awarded to former President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush led the US in an invasion of Iraq, as well as the commencement of the global war on terror that has been used to justify the expansion of US military operations, covert actions, and mass surveillance across the world.

Issue three.

In the October 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Justin Rohrlich revealing at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was planning to purchase trailer-mounted electronic roadside speed displays. The speed displays, in addition to displaying the purported speed of vehicles, would include license plate readers to aid in mass surveillance.

Last week, Rohrlich, along with Dave Gershgorn, reported on more hidden surveillance devices being deployed by the US government. In their new Quartz article, Rohrlich and Gershorn disclose the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been purchasing covert surveillance cameras for use in streetlights. They also write that the DEA has been placing covert surveillance cameras inside traffic barrels — those brightly-colored barrels often used to separate automobile traffic from roadwork or construction activities.

Issue four.

In a Monday Reason article, Jacob Sullum described why lower marijuana taxes can appeal to politicians who want to “maximize tax revenue." Sullum writes that, in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Canada, with lower marijuana tax rates than in some US states, licensed marijuana sellers would not have so much difficulty making sales in competition against black market sellers.

Of course, much of the revenue from marijuana taxes can be expected to be spent on actions harmful to liberty. That is a negative consequence of legalization.

Issue five.

John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich wrote Tuesday at the Washington Post that the Post had sent a survey to 79 schools that had experienced a shooting of some kind in the last six years, receiving back responses from 34. Asked what could have been done to prevent the shootings, Cox and Rich relate that “[o]nly one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have made a difference.”

Yet, Cox and Rich write that there has been a boom in schools spending on such technology and other school shooting prevention measures. They note that “school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market— an estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed campus police officers.”

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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.

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Welcome to Trump Budget Management : A Week After Decrying a $716 Billion Defense Budget, Trump Agrees to $750 Billion Defense Budget Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/

President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reports CNN.

Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

Note well that Trump's tweet suggests the high military budget is the result of a "major and uncontrollable Arms Race" but does not mention that the Empire has outposts throughout the world with many active military operations in regions that are none of our business.

The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, according to CNN.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration source told CNN.. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline."

Notes CNN, the meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:21:35 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Reversal, New Liberal Order, Legal Hemp, Boycotting Israel, Marijuana Tax Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, 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, Utah state legislators voted to replace the medical marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last month with much more restrictive legislation. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the replacement into law.

The new law further limits who can use medical marijuana and eliminates the legalization of some individuals growing their own marijuana. In addition, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that other changes include reducing the number of stores where people can buy medical marijuana and requiring stores to hire pharmacists.

Issue two.

The death last week of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and President George H.W. Bush brought to mind his creepy promotion as president of a “new world order.”

That phrasing received an update this week when another former CIA director — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — said in a Tuesday speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium that “[i]n the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” Continuing, Pompeo said it would be an order “that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity for all.”

In case you are thinking that Pompeo is not giving us doublespeak of promoting war as peace and destruction as prosperity, note that he dedicates much of his speech to challenging countries the US has imposed sanctions on and militarily threatened. These include Iran, China, and Russia as well as three countries — Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — that National Security Advisor John Bolton termed a “Troika of Tyranny” in a November speech. Note also that Pompeo declares in his speech that President Donald Trump is “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” and that Trump “knows, as George H.W. Bush knew, that a safer world has consistently demanded American courage on the world stage.”

Issue three.

The farm bill coming out of a United States Senate and House of Representatives reconciliation committee contains legalization of hemp farming along the lines of the provisions in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that I discussed in the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. Expect Senate and House votes approving the bill soon.

Paul Armentano, the deputy director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, discussed the importance of this legal change relative to the larger war on marijuana in the concluding paragraph of his Tuesday The Hill editorial. Armentano writes:
Finally, the symbolic significance of this forthcoming law change should not be under emphasized. Passage of the 2018 farm bill will mark the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970. As statewide and public support in favor of broader marijuana reforms continues to grow, it is apparent that this federal change won’t be the last.
Issue four.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at his website kurtnimmo.blog about efforts to insert into legislation in the lame duck US Congress penalties for companies boycotting products from Israel. In his interesting and informative editorial, Nimmo mentions reasons why people may be justified in engaging in such a boycott. Yet, fundamentally, boycotting is an exercise of people’s right to use their resources as they see fit. People should face no legal punishment for boycotting products from Israel even if Israel were a libertarian wonderland.

Issue five.

There is a debate in New York over how to spend tax money from likely-soon-to-be-legalized marijuana in the state. People are taking sides on whether the money should be spent on subways or on welfare programs or on this or that other government project. It may be best to just throw the money into general revenue for the state legislators to divvy up as they choose. Dedicating the tax revenue to particular projects would give special interests much incentive to ensure marijuana taxes stay high or even increase.

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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.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 20:11:21 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Discusses the ‘Dark Side of Law Enforcement’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/
When asked about Russiagate investigation target Jerome Corsi filing on Monday a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s prosecutorial staff, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and a former New Jersey state judge, explains that much of the conduct about which Corsi complains is common in prosecutions. Napolitano comments that “almost everything that [Corsi] has accused the prosecutors of doing is standard operating procedure for prosecutors.” Napolitano continues:
This is, as you and I have discussed off-air, the dark side of law enforcement. It is not neat, and it is not pretty. Prosecutors can coerce. They can threaten. They can lie. They can deceive. They can do anything short of actually committing a crime in order to extract evidence from a witness or in order to flip the witness to their side. And that’s apparently what they’ve tried to do with Jerry Corsi.
Concerns about such practices by prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been part of the reasoning behind Napolitano’s repeated cautioning that President Donald Trump should not talk with Russiagate investigators. To not talk is also likely wise advice for other individuals confronted by this investigation, as well as individuals subjected to questioning by local police or prosecutors in various other types of investigations. Law enforcement officials often do not play fair. People who do not exercise their right to remain silent are taking a big risk, even if they have done nothing illegal.

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:35:32 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Julian Assange, NJ Marijuana. Saudi Support, War and Debt, RI Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, for years after he obtained asylum from the Ecuador embassy in London, hosted guests and communicated with the outside world. Via video, Assange took part in interviews and presented speeches, including, last year, a Ron Paul Liberty Report interview and a Ron Paul Institute conference speech.

Then, for the last eight months, Assange has been held in isolation at the embassy, much like a prisoner in solitary confinement. After eight months of effort, la Republica was able to arrange a visit with Assange. Here is a description of Assange’s condition from la Republica’s report:
As soon as we saw him, we realised he has lost a lot of weight. Too much. He is so skinny. Not even his winter sweater can hide his skinny shoulders. His nice-looking face, captured by photographers all around the world, is very tense. His long hair and beard make him look like a hermit, though not a nutter: as we exchange greetings, he seems very lucid and rational.
Issue two.

In the September 1 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Jersey legislature potentially approving legislation legalizing recreational marijuana — a priority for the state’s governor — in September. But, things did not move forward that quickly.

This week, committees in the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill. This is a promising sign that legalization will occur soon. But, Payton Guion cautions at NJ.com that the legislative process will likely not be completed this year. Guion writes that the legislature is scheduled to be in session only one more day — December 17 — this year and that the bill may be revised before consideration by all House and Senate members.

Issue three.

The Wednesday 63 to 37 vote in the United States Senate in favor advancing to the Senate floor Senate Joint Resolution 54, legislation seeking to end the US military’s supporting of the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen, is a challenge to a major, decades-old US policy of supporting the Saudi Arabia government.

In February of 2006, then-US House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) discussed some background of US-Saudi Arabia relations in a House floor speech titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony.” After the 1971 demise of the remnant of the US gold standard, Paul explains:
Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup.
Issue four.

In a new interview at Salon, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano gives some advice for libertarians. Napolitano says:
They need to articulate to the public the dangers of war and debt. Those are the two principal areas of government on which there is no disagreement between Republicans and Democrats and which, if left unchecked, will destroy our society as we know it.
Issue five.

Kyle Jaeger reported Friday at Marijuana Moment that, while Rhode Island’s governor and House of Representatives speaker, both Democrats, are not supporting legalizing recreational marijuana, the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives — Blake Filippi — is a supporter. Indeed, in a new interview, Fillippi even criticized recent legalization in Massachusetts for being too restrictive regarding the number of stores allowed to sell marijuana.

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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.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:26:45 GMT
The Free State Project Jumps the Shark Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/

The Free State Project has shown promise in seeking to improve respect for liberty in New Hampshire by encouraging thousands of advocates for liberty to move to the state, with movers pursuing endeavors including running for office and engaging in civil disobedience. While that promise persists as movers continue to work for liberty in the state, it appears that in those efforts they may face headwinds emanating from the Free State Project organization itself.

At the Free State Project’s Twitter page, a series of posts appeared on Wednesday calling individuals listed on the Red Alert Politics “30 Under 30” list “liberty activists” and inviting them to attend the Free State Project’s New Hampshire Liberty Forum for free “in honor of” their “hard work.” The 30 Under 30 list is far from a compilation of “liberty activists” as that term would be understood by many longtime Free State Project supporters and movers. Rather, as noted by Red Alert Politics, the list is composed of “young, right-of-center leaders.”

There may be good reasons for inviting the Red Alert Politics 30 Under 30 list members to the Free State Project event and even for offering them free admission, including that there is value in adding some diversity of views at the event or that libertarian views may rub off on the invitees. There are also arguments for the event being better if most of these invited individuals are not present. But, to praise these individuals en masse as “liberty activists” and declare an intention to “honor” them for their “hard work” is inconsistent with what the Free State Project has promoted in the past. This is a warning sign that the Free State Project, at least at its leadership level, has undergone a significant philosophical transition.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:01:52 GMT
Notes on the Khashoggi Case Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/

The Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi story will someday be seen by historians (not in the US) as a near-perfect example of the failure of American policy in the Middle East begatting more failure. Only ignorance of history and the amazing sheepishness of the American people to have their opinions spoon fed to them will make things “work out.”

Forget the current arms sales (the naughty thing the media says made Trump “pardon” Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for supposedly ordering the murder, conveniently on a phone fully-tapped by the US, though sooner or later someone will claim the real driver is some sort of shady Trump real estates deal negotiated by Kushner), the US at present needs the Saudis as a hedge against the empowered Iran our wars of the last decades in Iraq inadvertently created, and of course as Israel’s new friend in that same regard in the music of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” that powers the Jewish state’s relations in the neighborhood.

Trump is boorish and gross, but he is just the ugly face of truth behind decades of US policy, a Few Good Men’s Colonel Jessup inside foreign affairs screaming we can’t handle the truth. The truth is every American president from Roosevelt to Trump bent over for the Saudis. And so will the next president, whether it’s Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Representative Tulsi Gabbard evisceratingTrump as “Saudi Arabia’s bi*ch” is true enough, even if she was incomplete in not naming every other American leader since WWII. And, oh yeah, the Clinton Foundation, which was engorged with Saudi cash.

(Trump as Colonel Jessup telling us what we don’t want to hear is not restricted to Saudi affairs. When journalism cosplayer, now friend of the #Resistance, Bill O’Reilly demanded to know what Trump thought about Vladimir Putin being a killer, Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?… I think our country does plenty of killing also.”)

The truth is the Saudis can do whatever they want inside their own sphere as long as they serve our (shifting needs) for (example) oil, war in Afghanistan against the USSR, and now bulwark against Iran.

And the US is always happy to return a favor. Two Bushs waged wars that helped the Kingdom. Obama sent US forces into bloody work in Yemen for the Saudis. Stuff happens along the way — OPEC was unleashed out of a plan to control prices, 9/11 and al Qaeda out of the creation of the jihad against the Sovs, Desert Storm when then-US ally Saddam ended up too strong after we used him to knock back Iran in the 1980s and America had to defend the Kingdom’s oil so they could sell it to us, and this year the relatively minor kerfuffle (promoted by Erdogan for his own political purposes) of Khasshogi. But the US always looks the other way, whether it is Saudi funding to kill 2,997 Americans on 9/11 or the Soprano’s hit on Khasshogi. Meh.

The latter just caught the public’s attention because it fits with the media’s 24/7/365 need to create Trump-driven crisis fodder (don’t forget Mohammed Bin Salman — MBS to his friends and PR handlers — was a US-media darling only months ago because he was gonna let the ladies drive over there), plus of course Trump’s own willingness to constantly fan the flames with a Tweet or flippant comment. It’s nice to see them have such a symbiotic relationship. Meanwhile the greater American atrocity, supporting the slaughter of civilians by Saudi forces in Yemen, is left more or less untouched except as an adjunct to the Khasshogi case; the US may publicly pull back there a symbolic bit as playful punishment. The real blowback from Khasshogi will be near-zero compared to what happened for example when OPEC crushed our economy and when al Qaeda sent us to war for 18 years.

US-Saudi relations are a constant clusterfutz where one unexpected horrible outcome is “fixed” by an even larger problem once envisioned as the solution. That domino effect, from 1945 through tomorrow, is what binds the US and Saudi Arabia as brothers in foreign policy crime, and if the Saudi’s play it right (as they have for decades) it always will.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:17:58 GMT
Lew Rockwell Challenges President Trump’s ‘Sickening’ Support for Saudi Arabia Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ written declaration of support for the government of Saudi Arabia, libertarian communicator and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell presented a succinct summary of reasons for Trump’s “sickening” support.

Rockwell states:
The questions of morality, of course, are entirely absent, as they usually are from US government policy. As long as the Saudis are willing to bribe enough Americans, as long as they are willing to do what the US government wants in terms of oil, as long as it’s willing to give big contracts to what Trump refers to as “all the great American companies” that are causing so much havoc around the world, there is nothing they could do that would hurt them. I’m sure they are going to continue to kill people. This is a terrible thing President Trump is doing. It’s really sickening, and it’s horrible.
Watch the RT news segment here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 22:30:20 GMT
President Trump’s Support of Saudi Arabia is Par for the Course in US Foreign Policy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/

Many people are condemning President Donald Trump’s continuing support for the Saudi Arabia government and its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Critics note the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and widespread rights abuses in Saudi Arabia as reasons to oppose the Trump administration’s support for the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Yet, as Glenn Greenwald explains in an intriguing Wednesday The Intercept editorial, Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia is in line with a long history of United States presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, supporting governments around the world — including the Saudi Arabia government — that have been doing horrible things, while basing that support, including the providing of military and intelligence assistance, on nebulous claims of “national security.”

The problem exhibited by Trump in this instance is nothing new. It is engrained in how US politics has worked for decades. Referring in particular to Trump’s Tuesday written declaration of the Trump administration’s continuing support for Saudi Arabia, which has been the subject of much backlash, Greenwald writes that the declaration is “a perfect example — perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual — of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II” instead of the “deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy” that it has been painted as by some critics, including many who have helped advance the US governments relentless pursuit of destructive intervention overseas.

Read here Greenwald’s editorial that also includes informative examples from the last few decades of US intervention overseas. The examples illustrate that, while Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia is wretched, it is also par for the course in US foreign policy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:38:36 GMT
California Democrat Threatens 'Nukes' If Americans Don't Hand Over Their Guns Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/

Well that escalated quickly...

Just days after taking back the House, a Democratic Congressmen has proposed outlawing "military-style semi-automatic assault weapons" and forcing existing owners to sell their weapons or face prosecution.

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Swalwell proposes that the government should offer up to $1,000 for every weapon covered by a new ban, estimating that it would take $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons - and “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”

As NBC News reports, this is a major departure from prior gun control proposals that typically exempt existing firearms; as in the past, Democrats and gun safety groups have carefully resisted proposals that could be interpreted as 'gun confiscation', a concept gun rights groups have often invoked as part of a slippery slope argument against more modest proposals like universal background checks.

And sure enough Swalwell's egotistical over-reach - going full "Australia" - prompted anger across social media. But it was one particular thread that caught our eye...

John Cardillo, "America Talks Live" host on Newsmax, tweeted  in response: "Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state. These people are dangerously obsessed with power."

Which prompted a further response  from Joe Biggs, a combat vet, "So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You're outta your fu*king mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power."

To which Rep. Swalwell decided to reply  - in a not tyrannical-sounding way at all... "And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities."

And after the furor exploded, Swalwell quickly resorted to the "it was sarcasm" excuse.

* * *

Now the question is - who will Twitter ban? The conservative-leaning 2nd Amendment-protector raising his "social media" above the pulpit; or the liberal politician who is threatening to unleash nukes on domestic soil in order to ensure the citizenry follow his demands and hand over their means of defense?

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:37:34 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Bolton Speech, Warmonger Medal, Roadside Surveillance, Marijuana Tax, School Security Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/16/five-minutes-five-issues-bolton-speech-warmonger-medal-roadside-surveillance-marijuana-tax-school-security/ 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 a November 2 speech in Miami, Florida, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new US sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. Bolton called Cuba and Venezuela, along with Nicaragua, a “Troika of Tyranny” and said they “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Bolton further stated:
Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.
In the August 12, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaking similarly when announcing sanctions against Venezuela. Mnuchin said:
As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
As I said then regarding Mnuchin, Bolton now is declaring the US is going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” — something John Quincy Adams warned against in Adams’ powerful July 4, 1821 speech promoting the US pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Issue two.

Maybe the Liberty Medal awarded annually by the US Congress-created National Constitution Center should be renamed the Warmonger Medal.

In the October 21, 2017 episode
of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the award last year being presented to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I noted that political writer James Bovard had commented that McCain received the award in recognition of his “unceasing advocacy for bombing hell out of foreigners in the name of freedom.”

This week, the 2018 Liberty Medal was awarded to former President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush led the US in an invasion of Iraq, as well as the commencement of the global war on terror that has been used to justify the expansion of US military operations, covert actions, and mass surveillance across the world.

Issue three.

In the October 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Justin Rohrlich revealing at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was planning to purchase trailer-mounted electronic roadside speed displays. The speed displays, in addition to displaying the purported speed of vehicles, would include license plate readers to aid in mass surveillance.

Last week, Rohrlich, along with Dave Gershgorn, reported on more hidden surveillance devices being deployed by the US government. In their new Quartz article, Rohrlich and Gershorn disclose the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been purchasing covert surveillance cameras for use in streetlights. They also write that the DEA has been placing covert surveillance cameras inside traffic barrels — those brightly-colored barrels often used to separate automobile traffic from roadwork or construction activities.

Issue four.

In a Monday Reason article, Jacob Sullum described why lower marijuana taxes can appeal to politicians who want to “maximize tax revenue." Sullum writes that, in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Canada, with lower marijuana tax rates than in some US states, licensed marijuana sellers would not have so much difficulty making sales in competition against black market sellers.

Of course, much of the revenue from marijuana taxes can be expected to be spent on actions harmful to liberty. That is a negative consequence of legalization.

Issue five.

John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich wrote Tuesday at the Washington Post that the Post had sent a survey to 79 schools that had experienced a shooting of some kind in the last six years, receiving back responses from 34. Asked what could have been done to prevent the shootings, Cox and Rich relate that “[o]nly one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have made a difference.”

Yet, Cox and Rich write that there has been a boom in schools spending on such technology and other school shooting prevention measures. They note that “school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market— an estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed campus police officers.”

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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.

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Welcome to Trump Budget Management : A Week After Decrying a $716 Billion Defense Budget, Trump Agrees to $750 Billion Defense Budget Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/

President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reports CNN.

Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

Note well that Trump's tweet suggests the high military budget is the result of a "major and uncontrollable Arms Race" but does not mention that the Empire has outposts throughout the world with many active military operations in regions that are none of our business.

The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, according to CNN.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration source told CNN.. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline."

Notes CNN, the meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:21:35 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Reversal, New Liberal Order, Legal Hemp, Boycotting Israel, Marijuana Tax Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, 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, Utah state legislators voted to replace the medical marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last month with much more restrictive legislation. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the replacement into law.

The new law further limits who can use medical marijuana and eliminates the legalization of some individuals growing their own marijuana. In addition, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that other changes include reducing the number of stores where people can buy medical marijuana and requiring stores to hire pharmacists.

Issue two.

The death last week of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and President George H.W. Bush brought to mind his creepy promotion as president of a “new world order.”

That phrasing received an update this week when another former CIA director — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — said in a Tuesday speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium that “[i]n the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” Continuing, Pompeo said it would be an order “that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity for all.”

In case you are thinking that Pompeo is not giving us doublespeak of promoting war as peace and destruction as prosperity, note that he dedicates much of his speech to challenging countries the US has imposed sanctions on and militarily threatened. These include Iran, China, and Russia as well as three countries — Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — that National Security Advisor John Bolton termed a “Troika of Tyranny” in a November speech. Note also that Pompeo declares in his speech that President Donald Trump is “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” and that Trump “knows, as George H.W. Bush knew, that a safer world has consistently demanded American courage on the world stage.”

Issue three.

The farm bill coming out of a United States Senate and House of Representatives reconciliation committee contains legalization of hemp farming along the lines of the provisions in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that I discussed in the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. Expect Senate and House votes approving the bill soon.

Paul Armentano, the deputy director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, discussed the importance of this legal change relative to the larger war on marijuana in the concluding paragraph of his Tuesday The Hill editorial. Armentano writes:
Finally, the symbolic significance of this forthcoming law change should not be under emphasized. Passage of the 2018 farm bill will mark the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970. As statewide and public support in favor of broader marijuana reforms continues to grow, it is apparent that this federal change won’t be the last.
Issue four.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at his website kurtnimmo.blog about efforts to insert into legislation in the lame duck US Congress penalties for companies boycotting products from Israel. In his interesting and informative editorial, Nimmo mentions reasons why people may be justified in engaging in such a boycott. Yet, fundamentally, boycotting is an exercise of people’s right to use their resources as they see fit. People should face no legal punishment for boycotting products from Israel even if Israel were a libertarian wonderland.

Issue five.

There is a debate in New York over how to spend tax money from likely-soon-to-be-legalized marijuana in the state. People are taking sides on whether the money should be spent on subways or on welfare programs or on this or that other government project. It may be best to just throw the money into general revenue for the state legislators to divvy up as they choose. Dedicating the tax revenue to particular projects would give special interests much incentive to ensure marijuana taxes stay high or even increase.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 20:11:21 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Discusses the ‘Dark Side of Law Enforcement’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/
When asked about Russiagate investigation target Jerome Corsi filing on Monday a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s prosecutorial staff, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and a former New Jersey state judge, explains that much of the conduct about which Corsi complains is common in prosecutions. Napolitano comments that “almost everything that [Corsi] has accused the prosecutors of doing is standard operating procedure for prosecutors.” Napolitano continues:
This is, as you and I have discussed off-air, the dark side of law enforcement. It is not neat, and it is not pretty. Prosecutors can coerce. They can threaten. They can lie. They can deceive. They can do anything short of actually committing a crime in order to extract evidence from a witness or in order to flip the witness to their side. And that’s apparently what they’ve tried to do with Jerry Corsi.
Concerns about such practices by prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been part of the reasoning behind Napolitano’s repeated cautioning that President Donald Trump should not talk with Russiagate investigators. To not talk is also likely wise advice for other individuals confronted by this investigation, as well as individuals subjected to questioning by local police or prosecutors in various other types of investigations. Law enforcement officials often do not play fair. People who do not exercise their right to remain silent are taking a big risk, even if they have done nothing illegal.

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:35:32 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Julian Assange, NJ Marijuana. Saudi Support, War and Debt, RI Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, for years after he obtained asylum from the Ecuador embassy in London, hosted guests and communicated with the outside world. Via video, Assange took part in interviews and presented speeches, including, last year, a Ron Paul Liberty Report interview and a Ron Paul Institute conference speech.

Then, for the last eight months, Assange has been held in isolation at the embassy, much like a prisoner in solitary confinement. After eight months of effort, la Republica was able to arrange a visit with Assange. Here is a description of Assange’s condition from la Republica’s report:
As soon as we saw him, we realised he has lost a lot of weight. Too much. He is so skinny. Not even his winter sweater can hide his skinny shoulders. His nice-looking face, captured by photographers all around the world, is very tense. His long hair and beard make him look like a hermit, though not a nutter: as we exchange greetings, he seems very lucid and rational.
Issue two.

In the September 1 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Jersey legislature potentially approving legislation legalizing recreational marijuana — a priority for the state’s governor — in September. But, things did not move forward that quickly.

This week, committees in the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill. This is a promising sign that legalization will occur soon. But, Payton Guion cautions at NJ.com that the legislative process will likely not be completed this year. Guion writes that the legislature is scheduled to be in session only one more day — December 17 — this year and that the bill may be revised before consideration by all House and Senate members.

Issue three.

The Wednesday 63 to 37 vote in the United States Senate in favor advancing to the Senate floor Senate Joint Resolution 54, legislation seeking to end the US military’s supporting of the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen, is a challenge to a major, decades-old US policy of supporting the Saudi Arabia government.

In February of 2006, then-US House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) discussed some background of US-Saudi Arabia relations in a House floor speech titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony.” After the 1971 demise of the remnant of the US gold standard, Paul explains:
Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup.
Issue four.

In a new interview at Salon, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano gives some advice for libertarians. Napolitano says:
They need to articulate to the public the dangers of war and debt. Those are the two principal areas of government on which there is no disagreement between Republicans and Democrats and which, if left unchecked, will destroy our society as we know it.
Issue five.

Kyle Jaeger reported Friday at Marijuana Moment that, while Rhode Island’s governor and House of Representatives speaker, both Democrats, are not supporting legalizing recreational marijuana, the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives — Blake Filippi — is a supporter. Indeed, in a new interview, Fillippi even criticized recent legalization in Massachusetts for being too restrictive regarding the number of stores allowed to sell marijuana.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:26:45 GMT
The Free State Project Jumps the Shark Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/

The Free State Project has shown promise in seeking to improve respect for liberty in New Hampshire by encouraging thousands of advocates for liberty to move to the state, with movers pursuing endeavors including running for office and engaging in civil disobedience. While that promise persists as movers continue to work for liberty in the state, it appears that in those efforts they may face headwinds emanating from the Free State Project organization itself.

At the Free State Project’s Twitter page, a series of posts appeared on Wednesday calling individuals listed on the Red Alert Politics “30 Under 30” list “liberty activists” and inviting them to attend the Free State Project’s New Hampshire Liberty Forum for free “in honor of” their “hard work.” The 30 Under 30 list is far from a compilation of “liberty activists” as that term would be understood by many longtime Free State Project supporters and movers. Rather, as noted by Red Alert Politics, the list is composed of “young, right-of-center leaders.”

There may be good reasons for inviting the Red Alert Politics 30 Under 30 list members to the Free State Project event and even for offering them free admission, including that there is value in adding some diversity of views at the event or that libertarian views may rub off on the invitees. There are also arguments for the event being better if most of these invited individuals are not present. But, to praise these individuals en masse as “liberty activists” and declare an intention to “honor” them for their “hard work” is inconsistent with what the Free State Project has promoted in the past. This is a warning sign that the Free State Project, at least at its leadership level, has undergone a significant philosophical transition.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:01:52 GMT
Notes on the Khashoggi Case Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/

The Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi story will someday be seen by historians (not in the US) as a near-perfect example of the failure of American policy in the Middle East begatting more failure. Only ignorance of history and the amazing sheepishness of the American people to have their opinions spoon fed to them will make things “work out.”

Forget the current arms sales (the naughty thing the media says made Trump “pardon” Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for supposedly ordering the murder, conveniently on a phone fully-tapped by the US, though sooner or later someone will claim the real driver is some sort of shady Trump real estates deal negotiated by Kushner), the US at present needs the Saudis as a hedge against the empowered Iran our wars of the last decades in Iraq inadvertently created, and of course as Israel’s new friend in that same regard in the music of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” that powers the Jewish state’s relations in the neighborhood.

Trump is boorish and gross, but he is just the ugly face of truth behind decades of US policy, a Few Good Men’s Colonel Jessup inside foreign affairs screaming we can’t handle the truth. The truth is every American president from Roosevelt to Trump bent over for the Saudis. And so will the next president, whether it’s Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Representative Tulsi Gabbard evisceratingTrump as “Saudi Arabia’s bi*ch” is true enough, even if she was incomplete in not naming every other American leader since WWII. And, oh yeah, the Clinton Foundation, which was engorged with Saudi cash.

(Trump as Colonel Jessup telling us what we don’t want to hear is not restricted to Saudi affairs. When journalism cosplayer, now friend of the #Resistance, Bill O’Reilly demanded to know what Trump thought about Vladimir Putin being a killer, Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?… I think our country does plenty of killing also.”)

The truth is the Saudis can do whatever they want inside their own sphere as long as they serve our (shifting needs) for (example) oil, war in Afghanistan against the USSR, and now bulwark against Iran.

And the US is always happy to return a favor. Two Bushs waged wars that helped the Kingdom. Obama sent US forces into bloody work in Yemen for the Saudis. Stuff happens along the way — OPEC was unleashed out of a plan to control prices, 9/11 and al Qaeda out of the creation of the jihad against the Sovs, Desert Storm when then-US ally Saddam ended up too strong after we used him to knock back Iran in the 1980s and America had to defend the Kingdom’s oil so they could sell it to us, and this year the relatively minor kerfuffle (promoted by Erdogan for his own political purposes) of Khasshogi. But the US always looks the other way, whether it is Saudi funding to kill 2,997 Americans on 9/11 or the Soprano’s hit on Khasshogi. Meh.

The latter just caught the public’s attention because it fits with the media’s 24/7/365 need to create Trump-driven crisis fodder (don’t forget Mohammed Bin Salman — MBS to his friends and PR handlers — was a US-media darling only months ago because he was gonna let the ladies drive over there), plus of course Trump’s own willingness to constantly fan the flames with a Tweet or flippant comment. It’s nice to see them have such a symbiotic relationship. Meanwhile the greater American atrocity, supporting the slaughter of civilians by Saudi forces in Yemen, is left more or less untouched except as an adjunct to the Khasshogi case; the US may publicly pull back there a symbolic bit as playful punishment. The real blowback from Khasshogi will be near-zero compared to what happened for example when OPEC crushed our economy and when al Qaeda sent us to war for 18 years.

US-Saudi relations are a constant clusterfutz where one unexpected horrible outcome is “fixed” by an even larger problem once envisioned as the solution. That domino effect, from 1945 through tomorrow, is what binds the US and Saudi Arabia as brothers in foreign policy crime, and if the Saudi’s play it right (as they have for decades) it always will.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:17:58 GMT
Lew Rockwell Challenges President Trump’s ‘Sickening’ Support for Saudi Arabia Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ written declaration of support for the government of Saudi Arabia, libertarian communicator and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell presented a succinct summary of reasons for Trump’s “sickening” support.

Rockwell states:
The questions of morality, of course, are entirely absent, as they usually are from US government policy. As long as the Saudis are willing to bribe enough Americans, as long as they are willing to do what the US government wants in terms of oil, as long as it’s willing to give big contracts to what Trump refers to as “all the great American companies” that are causing so much havoc around the world, there is nothing they could do that would hurt them. I’m sure they are going to continue to kill people. This is a terrible thing President Trump is doing. It’s really sickening, and it’s horrible.
Watch the RT news segment here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 22:30:20 GMT
President Trump’s Support of Saudi Arabia is Par for the Course in US Foreign Policy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/

Many people are condemning President Donald Trump’s continuing support for the Saudi Arabia government and its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Critics note the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and widespread rights abuses in Saudi Arabia as reasons to oppose the Trump administration’s support for the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Yet, as Glenn Greenwald explains in an intriguing Wednesday The Intercept editorial, Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia is in line with a long history of United States presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, supporting governments around the world — including the Saudi Arabia government — that have been doing horrible things, while basing that support, including the providing of military and intelligence assistance, on nebulous claims of “national security.”

The problem exhibited by Trump in this instance is nothing new. It is engrained in how US politics has worked for decades. Referring in particular to Trump’s Tuesday written declaration of the Trump administration’s continuing support for Saudi Arabia, which has been the subject of much backlash, Greenwald writes that the declaration is “a perfect example — perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual — of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II” instead of the “deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy” that it has been painted as by some critics, including many who have helped advance the US governments relentless pursuit of destructive intervention overseas.

Read here Greenwald’s editorial that also includes informative examples from the last few decades of US intervention overseas. The examples illustrate that, while Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia is wretched, it is also par for the course in US foreign policy.]]>
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California Democrat Threatens 'Nukes' If Americans Don't Hand Over Their Guns Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/

Well that escalated quickly...

Just days after taking back the House, a Democratic Congressmen has proposed outlawing "military-style semi-automatic assault weapons" and forcing existing owners to sell their weapons or face prosecution.

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Swalwell proposes that the government should offer up to $1,000 for every weapon covered by a new ban, estimating that it would take $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons - and “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”

As NBC News reports, this is a major departure from prior gun control proposals that typically exempt existing firearms; as in the past, Democrats and gun safety groups have carefully resisted proposals that could be interpreted as 'gun confiscation', a concept gun rights groups have often invoked as part of a slippery slope argument against more modest proposals like universal background checks.

And sure enough Swalwell's egotistical over-reach - going full "Australia" - prompted anger across social media. But it was one particular thread that caught our eye...

John Cardillo, "America Talks Live" host on Newsmax, tweeted  in response: "Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state. These people are dangerously obsessed with power."

Which prompted a further response  from Joe Biggs, a combat vet, "So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You're outta your fu*king mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power."

To which Rep. Swalwell decided to reply  - in a not tyrannical-sounding way at all... "And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities."

And after the furor exploded, Swalwell quickly resorted to the "it was sarcasm" excuse.

* * *

Now the question is - who will Twitter ban? The conservative-leaning 2nd Amendment-protector raising his "social media" above the pulpit; or the liberal politician who is threatening to unleash nukes on domestic soil in order to ensure the citizenry follow his demands and hand over their means of defense?

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:37:34 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Bolton Speech, Warmonger Medal, Roadside Surveillance, Marijuana Tax, School Security Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/16/five-minutes-five-issues-bolton-speech-warmonger-medal-roadside-surveillance-marijuana-tax-school-security/ 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 a November 2 speech in Miami, Florida, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new US sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. Bolton called Cuba and Venezuela, along with Nicaragua, a “Troika of Tyranny” and said they “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Bolton further stated:
Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.
In the August 12, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaking similarly when announcing sanctions against Venezuela. Mnuchin said:
As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
As I said then regarding Mnuchin, Bolton now is declaring the US is going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” — something John Quincy Adams warned against in Adams’ powerful July 4, 1821 speech promoting the US pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Issue two.

Maybe the Liberty Medal awarded annually by the US Congress-created National Constitution Center should be renamed the Warmonger Medal.

In the October 21, 2017 episode
of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the award last year being presented to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I noted that political writer James Bovard had commented that McCain received the award in recognition of his “unceasing advocacy for bombing hell out of foreigners in the name of freedom.”

This week, the 2018 Liberty Medal was awarded to former President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush led the US in an invasion of Iraq, as well as the commencement of the global war on terror that has been used to justify the expansion of US military operations, covert actions, and mass surveillance across the world.

Issue three.

In the October 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Justin Rohrlich revealing at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was planning to purchase trailer-mounted electronic roadside speed displays. The speed displays, in addition to displaying the purported speed of vehicles, would include license plate readers to aid in mass surveillance.

Last week, Rohrlich, along with Dave Gershgorn, reported on more hidden surveillance devices being deployed by the US government. In their new Quartz article, Rohrlich and Gershorn disclose the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been purchasing covert surveillance cameras for use in streetlights. They also write that the DEA has been placing covert surveillance cameras inside traffic barrels — those brightly-colored barrels often used to separate automobile traffic from roadwork or construction activities.

Issue four.

In a Monday Reason article, Jacob Sullum described why lower marijuana taxes can appeal to politicians who want to “maximize tax revenue." Sullum writes that, in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Canada, with lower marijuana tax rates than in some US states, licensed marijuana sellers would not have so much difficulty making sales in competition against black market sellers.

Of course, much of the revenue from marijuana taxes can be expected to be spent on actions harmful to liberty. That is a negative consequence of legalization.

Issue five.

John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich wrote Tuesday at the Washington Post that the Post had sent a survey to 79 schools that had experienced a shooting of some kind in the last six years, receiving back responses from 34. Asked what could have been done to prevent the shootings, Cox and Rich relate that “[o]nly one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have made a difference.”

Yet, Cox and Rich write that there has been a boom in schools spending on such technology and other school shooting prevention measures. They note that “school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market— an estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed campus police officers.”

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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.

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Welcome to Trump Budget Management : A Week After Decrying a $716 Billion Defense Budget, Trump Agrees to $750 Billion Defense Budget Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/

President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reports CNN.

Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

Note well that Trump's tweet suggests the high military budget is the result of a "major and uncontrollable Arms Race" but does not mention that the Empire has outposts throughout the world with many active military operations in regions that are none of our business.

The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, according to CNN.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration source told CNN.. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline."

Notes CNN, the meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:21:35 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Reversal, New Liberal Order, Legal Hemp, Boycotting Israel, Marijuana Tax Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, 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, Utah state legislators voted to replace the medical marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last month with much more restrictive legislation. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the replacement into law.

The new law further limits who can use medical marijuana and eliminates the legalization of some individuals growing their own marijuana. In addition, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that other changes include reducing the number of stores where people can buy medical marijuana and requiring stores to hire pharmacists.

Issue two.

The death last week of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and President George H.W. Bush brought to mind his creepy promotion as president of a “new world order.”

That phrasing received an update this week when another former CIA director — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — said in a Tuesday speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium that “[i]n the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” Continuing, Pompeo said it would be an order “that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity for all.”

In case you are thinking that Pompeo is not giving us doublespeak of promoting war as peace and destruction as prosperity, note that he dedicates much of his speech to challenging countries the US has imposed sanctions on and militarily threatened. These include Iran, China, and Russia as well as three countries — Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — that National Security Advisor John Bolton termed a “Troika of Tyranny” in a November speech. Note also that Pompeo declares in his speech that President Donald Trump is “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” and that Trump “knows, as George H.W. Bush knew, that a safer world has consistently demanded American courage on the world stage.”

Issue three.

The farm bill coming out of a United States Senate and House of Representatives reconciliation committee contains legalization of hemp farming along the lines of the provisions in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that I discussed in the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. Expect Senate and House votes approving the bill soon.

Paul Armentano, the deputy director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, discussed the importance of this legal change relative to the larger war on marijuana in the concluding paragraph of his Tuesday The Hill editorial. Armentano writes:
Finally, the symbolic significance of this forthcoming law change should not be under emphasized. Passage of the 2018 farm bill will mark the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970. As statewide and public support in favor of broader marijuana reforms continues to grow, it is apparent that this federal change won’t be the last.
Issue four.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at his website kurtnimmo.blog about efforts to insert into legislation in the lame duck US Congress penalties for companies boycotting products from Israel. In his interesting and informative editorial, Nimmo mentions reasons why people may be justified in engaging in such a boycott. Yet, fundamentally, boycotting is an exercise of people’s right to use their resources as they see fit. People should face no legal punishment for boycotting products from Israel even if Israel were a libertarian wonderland.

Issue five.

There is a debate in New York over how to spend tax money from likely-soon-to-be-legalized marijuana in the state. People are taking sides on whether the money should be spent on subways or on welfare programs or on this or that other government project. It may be best to just throw the money into general revenue for the state legislators to divvy up as they choose. Dedicating the tax revenue to particular projects would give special interests much incentive to ensure marijuana taxes stay high or even increase.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 20:11:21 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Discusses the ‘Dark Side of Law Enforcement’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/
When asked about Russiagate investigation target Jerome Corsi filing on Monday a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s prosecutorial staff, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and a former New Jersey state judge, explains that much of the conduct about which Corsi complains is common in prosecutions. Napolitano comments that “almost everything that [Corsi] has accused the prosecutors of doing is standard operating procedure for prosecutors.” Napolitano continues:
This is, as you and I have discussed off-air, the dark side of law enforcement. It is not neat, and it is not pretty. Prosecutors can coerce. They can threaten. They can lie. They can deceive. They can do anything short of actually committing a crime in order to extract evidence from a witness or in order to flip the witness to their side. And that’s apparently what they’ve tried to do with Jerry Corsi.
Concerns about such practices by prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been part of the reasoning behind Napolitano’s repeated cautioning that President Donald Trump should not talk with Russiagate investigators. To not talk is also likely wise advice for other individuals confronted by this investigation, as well as individuals subjected to questioning by local police or prosecutors in various other types of investigations. Law enforcement officials often do not play fair. People who do not exercise their right to remain silent are taking a big risk, even if they have done nothing illegal.

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:35:32 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Julian Assange, NJ Marijuana. Saudi Support, War and Debt, RI Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, for years after he obtained asylum from the Ecuador embassy in London, hosted guests and communicated with the outside world. Via video, Assange took part in interviews and presented speeches, including, last year, a Ron Paul Liberty Report interview and a Ron Paul Institute conference speech.

Then, for the last eight months, Assange has been held in isolation at the embassy, much like a prisoner in solitary confinement. After eight months of effort, la Republica was able to arrange a visit with Assange. Here is a description of Assange’s condition from la Republica’s report:
As soon as we saw him, we realised he has lost a lot of weight. Too much. He is so skinny. Not even his winter sweater can hide his skinny shoulders. His nice-looking face, captured by photographers all around the world, is very tense. His long hair and beard make him look like a hermit, though not a nutter: as we exchange greetings, he seems very lucid and rational.
Issue two.

In the September 1 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Jersey legislature potentially approving legislation legalizing recreational marijuana — a priority for the state’s governor — in September. But, things did not move forward that quickly.

This week, committees in the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill. This is a promising sign that legalization will occur soon. But, Payton Guion cautions at NJ.com that the legislative process will likely not be completed this year. Guion writes that the legislature is scheduled to be in session only one more day — December 17 — this year and that the bill may be revised before consideration by all House and Senate members.

Issue three.

The Wednesday 63 to 37 vote in the United States Senate in favor advancing to the Senate floor Senate Joint Resolution 54, legislation seeking to end the US military’s supporting of the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen, is a challenge to a major, decades-old US policy of supporting the Saudi Arabia government.

In February of 2006, then-US House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) discussed some background of US-Saudi Arabia relations in a House floor speech titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony.” After the 1971 demise of the remnant of the US gold standard, Paul explains:
Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup.
Issue four.

In a new interview at Salon, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano gives some advice for libertarians. Napolitano says:
They need to articulate to the public the dangers of war and debt. Those are the two principal areas of government on which there is no disagreement between Republicans and Democrats and which, if left unchecked, will destroy our society as we know it.
Issue five.

Kyle Jaeger reported Friday at Marijuana Moment that, while Rhode Island’s governor and House of Representatives speaker, both Democrats, are not supporting legalizing recreational marijuana, the Republican leader in the state House of Representatives — Blake Filippi — is a supporter. Indeed, in a new interview, Fillippi even criticized recent legalization in Massachusetts for being too restrictive regarding the number of stores allowed to sell marijuana.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/december/03/five-minutes-five-issues-julian-assange-nj-marijuana-saudi-support-war-and-debt-ri-marijuana/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:26:45 GMT
The Free State Project Jumps the Shark Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/

The Free State Project has shown promise in seeking to improve respect for liberty in New Hampshire by encouraging thousands of advocates for liberty to move to the state, with movers pursuing endeavors including running for office and engaging in civil disobedience. While that promise persists as movers continue to work for liberty in the state, it appears that in those efforts they may face headwinds emanating from the Free State Project organization itself.

At the Free State Project’s Twitter page, a series of posts appeared on Wednesday calling individuals listed on the Red Alert Politics “30 Under 30” list “liberty activists” and inviting them to attend the Free State Project’s New Hampshire Liberty Forum for free “in honor of” their “hard work.” The 30 Under 30 list is far from a compilation of “liberty activists” as that term would be understood by many longtime Free State Project supporters and movers. Rather, as noted by Red Alert Politics, the list is composed of “young, right-of-center leaders.”

There may be good reasons for inviting the Red Alert Politics 30 Under 30 list members to the Free State Project event and even for offering them free admission, including that there is value in adding some diversity of views at the event or that libertarian views may rub off on the invitees. There are also arguments for the event being better if most of these invited individuals are not present. But, to praise these individuals en masse as “liberty activists” and declare an intention to “honor” them for their “hard work” is inconsistent with what the Free State Project has promoted in the past. This is a warning sign that the Free State Project, at least at its leadership level, has undergone a significant philosophical transition.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/29/the-free-state-project-jumps-the-shark/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:01:52 GMT
Notes on the Khashoggi Case Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/

The Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi story will someday be seen by historians (not in the US) as a near-perfect example of the failure of American policy in the Middle East begatting more failure. Only ignorance of history and the amazing sheepishness of the American people to have their opinions spoon fed to them will make things “work out.”

Forget the current arms sales (the naughty thing the media says made Trump “pardon” Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for supposedly ordering the murder, conveniently on a phone fully-tapped by the US, though sooner or later someone will claim the real driver is some sort of shady Trump real estates deal negotiated by Kushner), the US at present needs the Saudis as a hedge against the empowered Iran our wars of the last decades in Iraq inadvertently created, and of course as Israel’s new friend in that same regard in the music of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” that powers the Jewish state’s relations in the neighborhood.

Trump is boorish and gross, but he is just the ugly face of truth behind decades of US policy, a Few Good Men’s Colonel Jessup inside foreign affairs screaming we can’t handle the truth. The truth is every American president from Roosevelt to Trump bent over for the Saudis. And so will the next president, whether it’s Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Representative Tulsi Gabbard evisceratingTrump as “Saudi Arabia’s bi*ch” is true enough, even if she was incomplete in not naming every other American leader since WWII. And, oh yeah, the Clinton Foundation, which was engorged with Saudi cash.

(Trump as Colonel Jessup telling us what we don’t want to hear is not restricted to Saudi affairs. When journalism cosplayer, now friend of the #Resistance, Bill O’Reilly demanded to know what Trump thought about Vladimir Putin being a killer, Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?… I think our country does plenty of killing also.”)

The truth is the Saudis can do whatever they want inside their own sphere as long as they serve our (shifting needs) for (example) oil, war in Afghanistan against the USSR, and now bulwark against Iran.

And the US is always happy to return a favor. Two Bushs waged wars that helped the Kingdom. Obama sent US forces into bloody work in Yemen for the Saudis. Stuff happens along the way — OPEC was unleashed out of a plan to control prices, 9/11 and al Qaeda out of the creation of the jihad against the Sovs, Desert Storm when then-US ally Saddam ended up too strong after we used him to knock back Iran in the 1980s and America had to defend the Kingdom’s oil so they could sell it to us, and this year the relatively minor kerfuffle (promoted by Erdogan for his own political purposes) of Khasshogi. But the US always looks the other way, whether it is Saudi funding to kill 2,997 Americans on 9/11 or the Soprano’s hit on Khasshogi. Meh.

The latter just caught the public’s attention because it fits with the media’s 24/7/365 need to create Trump-driven crisis fodder (don’t forget Mohammed Bin Salman — MBS to his friends and PR handlers — was a US-media darling only months ago because he was gonna let the ladies drive over there), plus of course Trump’s own willingness to constantly fan the flames with a Tweet or flippant comment. It’s nice to see them have such a symbiotic relationship. Meanwhile the greater American atrocity, supporting the slaughter of civilians by Saudi forces in Yemen, is left more or less untouched except as an adjunct to the Khasshogi case; the US may publicly pull back there a symbolic bit as playful punishment. The real blowback from Khasshogi will be near-zero compared to what happened for example when OPEC crushed our economy and when al Qaeda sent us to war for 18 years.

US-Saudi relations are a constant clusterfutz where one unexpected horrible outcome is “fixed” by an even larger problem once envisioned as the solution. That domino effect, from 1945 through tomorrow, is what binds the US and Saudi Arabia as brothers in foreign policy crime, and if the Saudi’s play it right (as they have for decades) it always will.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/24/notes-on-the-khashoggi-case/ Sat, 24 Nov 2018 17:17:58 GMT
Lew Rockwell Challenges President Trump’s ‘Sickening’ Support for Saudi Arabia Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ written declaration of support for the government of Saudi Arabia, libertarian communicator and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell presented a succinct summary of reasons for Trump’s “sickening” support.

Rockwell states:
The questions of morality, of course, are entirely absent, as they usually are from US government policy. As long as the Saudis are willing to bribe enough Americans, as long as they are willing to do what the US government wants in terms of oil, as long as it’s willing to give big contracts to what Trump refers to as “all the great American companies” that are causing so much havoc around the world, there is nothing they could do that would hurt them. I’m sure they are going to continue to kill people. This is a terrible thing President Trump is doing. It’s really sickening, and it’s horrible.
Watch the RT news segment here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/22/lew-rockwell-challenges-president-trump-s-sickening-support-for-saudi-arabia/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 22:30:20 GMT
President Trump’s Support of Saudi Arabia is Par for the Course in US Foreign Policy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/21/president-trump-s-support-of-saudi-arabia-is-par-for-the-course-in-us-foreign-policy/

Many people are condemning President Donald Trump’s continuing support for the Saudi Arabia government and its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Critics note the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and widespread rights abuses in Saudi Arabia as reasons to oppose the Trump administration’s support for the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Yet, as Glenn Greenwald explains in an intriguing Wednesday The Intercept editorial, Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia is in line with a long history of United States presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, supporting governments around the world — including the Saudi Arabia government — that have been doing horrible things, while basing that support, including the providing of military and intelligence assistance, on nebulous claims of “national security.”

The problem exhibited by Trump in this instance is nothing new. It is engrained in how US politics has worked for decades. Referring in particular to Trump’s Tuesday written declaration of the Trump administration’s continuing support for Saudi Arabia, which has been the subject of much backlash, Greenwald writes that the declaration is “a perfect example — perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual — of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II” instead of the “deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy” that it has been painted as by some critics, including many who have helped advance the US governments relentless pursuit of destructive intervention overseas.

Read here Greenwald’s editorial that also includes informative examples from the last few decades of US intervention overseas. The examples illustrate that, while Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia is wretched, it is also par for the course in US foreign policy.]]>
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California Democrat Threatens 'Nukes' If Americans Don't Hand Over Their Guns Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/

Well that escalated quickly...

Just days after taking back the House, a Democratic Congressmen has proposed outlawing "military-style semi-automatic assault weapons" and forcing existing owners to sell their weapons or face prosecution.

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Swalwell proposes that the government should offer up to $1,000 for every weapon covered by a new ban, estimating that it would take $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons - and “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”

As NBC News reports, this is a major departure from prior gun control proposals that typically exempt existing firearms; as in the past, Democrats and gun safety groups have carefully resisted proposals that could be interpreted as 'gun confiscation', a concept gun rights groups have often invoked as part of a slippery slope argument against more modest proposals like universal background checks.

And sure enough Swalwell's egotistical over-reach - going full "Australia" - prompted anger across social media. But it was one particular thread that caught our eye...

John Cardillo, "America Talks Live" host on Newsmax, tweeted  in response: "Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state. These people are dangerously obsessed with power."

Which prompted a further response  from Joe Biggs, a combat vet, "So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You're outta your fu*king mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power."

To which Rep. Swalwell decided to reply  - in a not tyrannical-sounding way at all... "And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities."

And after the furor exploded, Swalwell quickly resorted to the "it was sarcasm" excuse.

* * *

Now the question is - who will Twitter ban? The conservative-leaning 2nd Amendment-protector raising his "social media" above the pulpit; or the liberal politician who is threatening to unleash nukes on domestic soil in order to ensure the citizenry follow his demands and hand over their means of defense?

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/16/california-democrat-threatens-nukes-if-americans-dont-hand-over-their-guns/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:37:34 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Bolton Speech, Warmonger Medal, Roadside Surveillance, Marijuana Tax, School Security Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/16/five-minutes-five-issues-bolton-speech-warmonger-medal-roadside-surveillance-marijuana-tax-school-security/ 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 a November 2 speech in Miami, Florida, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new US sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. Bolton called Cuba and Venezuela, along with Nicaragua, a “Troika of Tyranny” and said they “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Bolton further stated:
Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.
In the August 12, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaking similarly when announcing sanctions against Venezuela. Mnuchin said:
As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
As I said then regarding Mnuchin, Bolton now is declaring the US is going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” — something John Quincy Adams warned against in Adams’ powerful July 4, 1821 speech promoting the US pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Issue two.

Maybe the Liberty Medal awarded annually by the US Congress-created National Constitution Center should be renamed the Warmonger Medal.

In the October 21, 2017 episode
of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the award last year being presented to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I noted that political writer James Bovard had commented that McCain received the award in recognition of his “unceasing advocacy for bombing hell out of foreigners in the name of freedom.”

This week, the 2018 Liberty Medal was awarded to former President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush led the US in an invasion of Iraq, as well as the commencement of the global war on terror that has been used to justify the expansion of US military operations, covert actions, and mass surveillance across the world.

Issue three.

In the October 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Justin Rohrlich revealing at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was planning to purchase trailer-mounted electronic roadside speed displays. The speed displays, in addition to displaying the purported speed of vehicles, would include license plate readers to aid in mass surveillance.

Last week, Rohrlich, along with Dave Gershgorn, reported on more hidden surveillance devices being deployed by the US government. In their new Quartz article, Rohrlich and Gershorn disclose the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been purchasing covert surveillance cameras for use in streetlights. They also write that the DEA has been placing covert surveillance cameras inside traffic barrels — those brightly-colored barrels often used to separate automobile traffic from roadwork or construction activities.

Issue four.

In a Monday Reason article, Jacob Sullum described why lower marijuana taxes can appeal to politicians who want to “maximize tax revenue." Sullum writes that, in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Canada, with lower marijuana tax rates than in some US states, licensed marijuana sellers would not have so much difficulty making sales in competition against black market sellers.

Of course, much of the revenue from marijuana taxes can be expected to be spent on actions harmful to liberty. That is a negative consequence of legalization.

Issue five.

John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich wrote Tuesday at the Washington Post that the Post had sent a survey to 79 schools that had experienced a shooting of some kind in the last six years, receiving back responses from 34. Asked what could have been done to prevent the shootings, Cox and Rich relate that “[o]nly one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have made a difference.”

Yet, Cox and Rich write that there has been a boom in schools spending on such technology and other school shooting prevention measures. They note that “school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market— an estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed campus police officers.”

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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.

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