Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2019 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Sun, 17 Feb 2019 05:00:00 GMT Sun, 17 Feb 2019 12:04:43 GMT Lew Rockwell Calls ‘Baloney’ on Claim Iran is a National Security Threat to the United States Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/
Elaborating, Rockwell comments:
Iran is a small, poor country. They’ve got a lot of people, but economically they are small. They’re militarily small.
Further, Rockwell comments that Iran has not invaded any other country recently. “Unlike the US” that “invades all over the world,” explains Rockwell, Iran “is not an aggressive power.”

Watch the complete panel discussion, which is focused on US foreign policy and includes insightful comments from ANSWER Coalition National Director Brian Becker in addition to Rockwell, here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:41:07 GMT
McAdams: Senate Finds 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia - Now What? RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:14:44 GMT
Venezuela: Politics of Regime Change ‘Dangerous & Inhumane’ - Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:58:31 GMT
Where Greens and Libertarians Can Agree Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/

On Saturday, officers of the Maine state Green Independent and Libertarian parties held a press conference announcing the parties’ ten areas of agreement. The two parties note in a joint statement that the ten areas of agreement are related to the parties’ effort to work together in areas where they agree. The ten areas of agreement regard pursuing a more peaceful foreign policy, greater respect for individual rights, a more open elections process, and an end to corporate welfare.

Read here the Maine Green Independent and Libertarian parties’ ten areas of agreement:

AREAS OF AGREEMENT

1. End regime change wars.

2. Close down most US bases in foreign countries.

3. Terminate corporate welfare.

4. Void, via repeal, the PATRIOT Act and the 2012 NDAA provision allowing “indefinite detention” without jury trial, judge, or witnesses for the defense as flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution.

5. Teach and enforce our Bill of Rights and give extensive training in such to law enforcement personnel.

6. Support municipal food sovereignty ordinances for farmer to consumer transactions.

7. Expand time to gather petitions for office to April 30, to minimize difficulty during the most difficult weather of the year and to allow more time.
8. Do not require caucuses to maintain ballot access in Maine.

9. Allow nomination of candidates by convention as an option.

10. In some cases vaccines have prevented deaths or serious diseases. In other cases documentation exists of fatal or lifetime debilitating injuries to people, especially infants. Accordingly, we oppose any law mandating vaccines, which fail to take into account either sovereignty over our own bodies or important medical variations including allergic reactions.

The Maine parties’ announcement is reminiscent of a press conference Ron Paul held in September of 2008 at the National Press Club with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, and Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin as his guests. At that press conference, the third party and independent candidates announced their agreement with a policy statement dealing with foreign policy, individual rights, presidential powers, the national debt, the Federal Reserve, and corporate welfare.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 22:48:57 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Staying in Syria, Tulsi Gabbard, Acres of Hemp, Marianne Williamson, Mushroom Decrim http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the January 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said it is “smart to have a wait-and-see perspective” in regarding to President Donald Trump’s announcement that all United States troops will leave Syria. In a CBS Face the Nation interview broadcast on Sunday, Trump said US troops will remain in Syria for an indefinite period. Trump explains reasons for keeping US troops in Syria include because “we have to protect Israel” and “we're protecting the world.” He also said that, should all troops be removed from Syria, they can be quickly put back in.

Issue two.          

In Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) speech last week announcing her Democratic presidential primary candidacy, some of her comments suggest she is a supporter of nonintervention overseas.

In 2015, Gabbard spoke regarding foreign policy in her speech at a Christians United for Israel conference. Comments in that speech suggest Gabbard’s foreign policy may be more interventionist than that of President Donald Trump. In comparison with Trump, Gabbard seems in that speech as antagonistic toward Iran, at least as devoted to Israel, more devoted to the Kurds, and much more devoted to the "they attack us because we are free" perspective on terrorism that has been at the heart of the Global War on Terror.

Issue three.

With the ongoing reduction through the last few years in state and national restraints on hemp farming, the growing of the crop has become increasingly popular in America. Vote Hemp’s latest US Hemp Crop Report estimates around 78,000 acres of hemp were grown in 23 states in 2018. This follows an increase from around 10,000 acres in 15 states in 2016 to around 26,000 acres in 19 states in 2017.

Issue four.

Last week, Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary. Williamson is receiving much less attention than other candidates, in part because she has never held political office and because the American political establishment is not comfortable with her.

Williamson may do better in the presidential race than many people expect. As she demonstrated in her announcement speech, Williamson is among the best political orators in America. Her passionate and flowing speaking style reminds me of Dennis Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, when Kucinich ran for president.

Williamson is best known for writing books, most not about politics. A mere book writer cannot be a strong contender for the presidency, people say. A few years back people reacted similarly to Donald Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV show host. Like Trump, Williamson, if she is allowed on the presidential primary debate stage, will stand out. She will impress people with her dynamic and unique presentation.

Issue five.

Much of state and local government roll backs of the war on drugs have occurred in regard to marijuana. This makes sense given that marijuana is the illegal drug people are most likely to have used or to know people who have used, as well as the illegal drug that is generally thought to be about as dangerous as alcohol, or even less dangerous.

The city of Denver already has legal medical and recreational marijuana thanks to statewide ballot measure votes in Colorado. Soon it may also have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. Keith Coffman reported last week at Reuters that election officials have confirmed that sufficient signatures from voters have been submitted for a ballot measure decriminalizing psilocybin, the illegal component of psychedelic mushrooms, to be included on the Denver city ballot in May.

-----

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/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Sat, 09 Feb 2019 17:49:34 GMT
'US Has a Military Junta' - Lew Rockwell Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/06/us-has-a-military-junta-lew-rockwell/
Mises Institute Founder Lew Rockwell finds the idea preposterous. As he tells RT:
The US has a military junta. Guys like this general at the very top of the military have vast powers. The civilian control of the military is threatened in our country. In some ways we don't live in a free country anymore and it's because of things like this. ... 

I would love to see Trump keep his campaign promises. ... The US needs to pull all its troops out of everywhere. We've got troops in more than 100 countries and that's the US empire.
Rockwell goes on to say that the US empire is supported by nearly everyone in Congress, by the deep state, the CIA, the FBI, all the secret police agencies, and the military-industrial complex.

Watch the whole interview here:

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US plan for Latin America: ‘Venezuela is just the beginning’ – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:07:57 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Pence Video, YouTube Suppression, Stone Raid, DNA Databases, Diplomatic Relations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/february/03/five-minutes-five-issues-pence-video-youtube-suppression-stone-raid-dna-databases-diplomatic-relations/ 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.

Last week, United States Vice President Mike Pence released a short video in which Pence said he and President Donald Trump express their “unwavering support” for the people of Saudi Arabia raising “their voices in a call for freedom.” Continuing, Pence declared Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who “has never won the presidency in a free and fair election” and who “has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.” Concluding, Pence told the people of Saudi Arabia, “we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of liberty.”

Just kidding, Pence said all that about Venezuela and Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

Issue two.

The social media crackdown on alternative views continues. In a Tuesday video commentary, world-traveling independent journalist and commentator Luke Rudkowski discussed YouTube’s announcement last week that it will restrict recommendations of videos with what YouTube calls “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Rudkowski notes such “very generalized, oblique language” can be broadly used for suppressing independent voices to the advantage of mainstream media outlets that Rudkowski notes have sold the public very destructive United States government actions from the Iraq War to banker bailouts. Rudkowski further comments that the announcement is in line with prior policy given YouTube already limited the ability to find Rudkowski’s videos in searches.

Issue three.

It was troubling to hear Roger Stone tell host Andrew Napolitano at Fox Nation this week about the 6:00am raid on Stone’s home to arrest him on charges arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation. Stone recounts there were armored vehicles and 29 cops, some with guns pointed at him, surrounding his house when he opened the front door.

Such SWAT team raids have moved from rare to common in the past few decades. SWAT team raids now are used routinely for matters that in the past would be handled by a couple cops with guns holstered or by a phone call to arrange a time for someone to come to a police station.

Issue four.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead wrote an editorial last week providing an important warning about the US government, and state and local governments, building DNA databases. The databases, Whitehead explains, are “a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Whitehead writes this about the current situation:
All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. Increasingly, many of the data from local databanks are being uploaded to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Even hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.

For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial DNA shared with genealogical services such as Ancestry and 23andMe, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.
Issue five.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the potential consequences arising from the US government refusing to comply with Venezuela President Maduro’s demand that US diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Here is an update. On January 26, near the end of the deadline, the two governments agreed to allow their respective diplomats to stay in each country for 30 days.

-----

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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Venezuela President Urges Americans to Seek Peace with His Country Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ undefined

American politicians and media commentators left and right are playing up a supposed urgent need to overthrow the Venezuela government. Americans would do well to take a four-minute break from this torrent of pro-intervention advocacy to watch a video released Wednesday by Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

In the video, Maduro speaks directly to the American people. He urges Americans to seek peace instead of a coup in or war with his country. He presents his case well. Hopefully, many Americans will listen to him, consider his comments, and take action to end United States intervention in Venezuela.

Watch Maduro’s four-minute video presentation, in Spanish with English subtitles, here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:14:01 GMT
Six Weeks in Jail for Possessing Laundry Detergent Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/31/six-weeks-in-jail-for-possessing-laundry-detergent/

A disturbing story out of Florida recounts that Matt Crull spent six weeks in jail on a drug trafficking charge after police claimed, based on drug field test results, that a substance in Crull’s van was heroin. Crull was released this month after further testing indicated the substance was actually laundry detergent.

While the mistreatment of Crull is terrible, it is important to understand that his experience is far from unique. In fact, for some people the situation is worse: Seeing little hope for vindication in the judicial system, they plead guilty and are sentenced due to shoddy drug field test results.

In the November 5, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I discussed problems related to police and prosecutors’ use of drug field test results:
It appears that at least 100,000 people in America each year plead guilty to drug charges supported by police-conducted drug field tests that do not reliably indicate whether a substance tested is an illegal drug. So reports Ryan Gabrielson in an in-depth article

Gabrielson relates that police can conduct a field test, costing a couple bucks or less, at the site of an arrest and quickly obtain results. The catch is that the tests are not reliable. Gabrielson explains that false positive results on field tests are a reason “[f]ederal guidelines say all drugs in criminal cases must be identified by a qualified lab” and “[c]ourts across the country have repeatedly refused to admit field test results as evidence at trial.”

But, most alleged drug law violators never end up at trials. With large potential penalties hanging over their heads and often insufficient funds to present a strong case in court, they plead guilty, often in hopes of obtaining reduced sentences.

In some jurisdictions, field tested substances are thrown out after a plea deal. But, in Houston, Texas, the substances have been kept. Gabrielson reports that a mass retesting of those substances in Houston “identified more than 300 cases in which innocent people took plea deals largely based on field test results that proved wrong.” The district attorney’s office for Harris County, where Houston is located, no longer accepts guilty pleas where there have been only field tests. Still, Gabrielson writes, “in jurisdictions of all sizes and in all corners of the country, unconfirmed field tests are being used to help extract guilty pleas.”
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Lew Rockwell Calls ‘Baloney’ on Claim Iran is a National Security Threat to the United States Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/
Elaborating, Rockwell comments:
Iran is a small, poor country. They’ve got a lot of people, but economically they are small. They’re militarily small.
Further, Rockwell comments that Iran has not invaded any other country recently. “Unlike the US” that “invades all over the world,” explains Rockwell, Iran “is not an aggressive power.”

Watch the complete panel discussion, which is focused on US foreign policy and includes insightful comments from ANSWER Coalition National Director Brian Becker in addition to Rockwell, here:

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McAdams: Senate Finds 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia - Now What? RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/
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Venezuela: Politics of Regime Change ‘Dangerous & Inhumane’ - Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:58:31 GMT
Where Greens and Libertarians Can Agree Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/

On Saturday, officers of the Maine state Green Independent and Libertarian parties held a press conference announcing the parties’ ten areas of agreement. The two parties note in a joint statement that the ten areas of agreement are related to the parties’ effort to work together in areas where they agree. The ten areas of agreement regard pursuing a more peaceful foreign policy, greater respect for individual rights, a more open elections process, and an end to corporate welfare.

Read here the Maine Green Independent and Libertarian parties’ ten areas of agreement:

AREAS OF AGREEMENT

1. End regime change wars.

2. Close down most US bases in foreign countries.

3. Terminate corporate welfare.

4. Void, via repeal, the PATRIOT Act and the 2012 NDAA provision allowing “indefinite detention” without jury trial, judge, or witnesses for the defense as flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution.

5. Teach and enforce our Bill of Rights and give extensive training in such to law enforcement personnel.

6. Support municipal food sovereignty ordinances for farmer to consumer transactions.

7. Expand time to gather petitions for office to April 30, to minimize difficulty during the most difficult weather of the year and to allow more time.
8. Do not require caucuses to maintain ballot access in Maine.

9. Allow nomination of candidates by convention as an option.

10. In some cases vaccines have prevented deaths or serious diseases. In other cases documentation exists of fatal or lifetime debilitating injuries to people, especially infants. Accordingly, we oppose any law mandating vaccines, which fail to take into account either sovereignty over our own bodies or important medical variations including allergic reactions.

The Maine parties’ announcement is reminiscent of a press conference Ron Paul held in September of 2008 at the National Press Club with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, and Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin as his guests. At that press conference, the third party and independent candidates announced their agreement with a policy statement dealing with foreign policy, individual rights, presidential powers, the national debt, the Federal Reserve, and corporate welfare.
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Staying in Syria, Tulsi Gabbard, Acres of Hemp, Marianne Williamson, Mushroom Decrim http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the January 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said it is “smart to have a wait-and-see perspective” in regarding to President Donald Trump’s announcement that all United States troops will leave Syria. In a CBS Face the Nation interview broadcast on Sunday, Trump said US troops will remain in Syria for an indefinite period. Trump explains reasons for keeping US troops in Syria include because “we have to protect Israel” and “we're protecting the world.” He also said that, should all troops be removed from Syria, they can be quickly put back in.

Issue two.          

In Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) speech last week announcing her Democratic presidential primary candidacy, some of her comments suggest she is a supporter of nonintervention overseas.

In 2015, Gabbard spoke regarding foreign policy in her speech at a Christians United for Israel conference. Comments in that speech suggest Gabbard’s foreign policy may be more interventionist than that of President Donald Trump. In comparison with Trump, Gabbard seems in that speech as antagonistic toward Iran, at least as devoted to Israel, more devoted to the Kurds, and much more devoted to the "they attack us because we are free" perspective on terrorism that has been at the heart of the Global War on Terror.

Issue three.

With the ongoing reduction through the last few years in state and national restraints on hemp farming, the growing of the crop has become increasingly popular in America. Vote Hemp’s latest US Hemp Crop Report estimates around 78,000 acres of hemp were grown in 23 states in 2018. This follows an increase from around 10,000 acres in 15 states in 2016 to around 26,000 acres in 19 states in 2017.

Issue four.

Last week, Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary. Williamson is receiving much less attention than other candidates, in part because she has never held political office and because the American political establishment is not comfortable with her.

Williamson may do better in the presidential race than many people expect. As she demonstrated in her announcement speech, Williamson is among the best political orators in America. Her passionate and flowing speaking style reminds me of Dennis Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, when Kucinich ran for president.

Williamson is best known for writing books, most not about politics. A mere book writer cannot be a strong contender for the presidency, people say. A few years back people reacted similarly to Donald Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV show host. Like Trump, Williamson, if she is allowed on the presidential primary debate stage, will stand out. She will impress people with her dynamic and unique presentation.

Issue five.

Much of state and local government roll backs of the war on drugs have occurred in regard to marijuana. This makes sense given that marijuana is the illegal drug people are most likely to have used or to know people who have used, as well as the illegal drug that is generally thought to be about as dangerous as alcohol, or even less dangerous.

The city of Denver already has legal medical and recreational marijuana thanks to statewide ballot measure votes in Colorado. Soon it may also have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. Keith Coffman reported last week at Reuters that election officials have confirmed that sufficient signatures from voters have been submitted for a ballot measure decriminalizing psilocybin, the illegal component of psychedelic mushrooms, to be included on the Denver city ballot in May.

-----

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/featured-articles/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Sat, 09 Feb 2019 17:49:34 GMT
'US Has a Military Junta' - Lew Rockwell Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/06/us-has-a-military-junta-lew-rockwell/
Mises Institute Founder Lew Rockwell finds the idea preposterous. As he tells RT:
The US has a military junta. Guys like this general at the very top of the military have vast powers. The civilian control of the military is threatened in our country. In some ways we don't live in a free country anymore and it's because of things like this. ... 

I would love to see Trump keep his campaign promises. ... The US needs to pull all its troops out of everywhere. We've got troops in more than 100 countries and that's the US empire.
Rockwell goes on to say that the US empire is supported by nearly everyone in Congress, by the deep state, the CIA, the FBI, all the secret police agencies, and the military-industrial complex.

Watch the whole interview here:

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US plan for Latin America: ‘Venezuela is just the beginning’ – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Pence Video, YouTube Suppression, Stone Raid, DNA Databases, Diplomatic Relations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/03/five-minutes-five-issues-pence-video-youtube-suppression-stone-raid-dna-databases-diplomatic-relations/ 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.

Last week, United States Vice President Mike Pence released a short video in which Pence said he and President Donald Trump express their “unwavering support” for the people of Saudi Arabia raising “their voices in a call for freedom.” Continuing, Pence declared Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who “has never won the presidency in a free and fair election” and who “has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.” Concluding, Pence told the people of Saudi Arabia, “we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of liberty.”

Just kidding, Pence said all that about Venezuela and Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

Issue two.

The social media crackdown on alternative views continues. In a Tuesday video commentary, world-traveling independent journalist and commentator Luke Rudkowski discussed YouTube’s announcement last week that it will restrict recommendations of videos with what YouTube calls “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Rudkowski notes such “very generalized, oblique language” can be broadly used for suppressing independent voices to the advantage of mainstream media outlets that Rudkowski notes have sold the public very destructive United States government actions from the Iraq War to banker bailouts. Rudkowski further comments that the announcement is in line with prior policy given YouTube already limited the ability to find Rudkowski’s videos in searches.

Issue three.

It was troubling to hear Roger Stone tell host Andrew Napolitano at Fox Nation this week about the 6:00am raid on Stone’s home to arrest him on charges arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation. Stone recounts there were armored vehicles and 29 cops, some with guns pointed at him, surrounding his house when he opened the front door.

Such SWAT team raids have moved from rare to common in the past few decades. SWAT team raids now are used routinely for matters that in the past would be handled by a couple cops with guns holstered or by a phone call to arrange a time for someone to come to a police station.

Issue four.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead wrote an editorial last week providing an important warning about the US government, and state and local governments, building DNA databases. The databases, Whitehead explains, are “a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Whitehead writes this about the current situation:
All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. Increasingly, many of the data from local databanks are being uploaded to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Even hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.

For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial DNA shared with genealogical services such as Ancestry and 23andMe, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.
Issue five.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the potential consequences arising from the US government refusing to comply with Venezuela President Maduro’s demand that US diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Here is an update. On January 26, near the end of the deadline, the two governments agreed to allow their respective diplomats to stay in each country for 30 days.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
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Venezuela President Urges Americans to Seek Peace with His Country Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ undefined

American politicians and media commentators left and right are playing up a supposed urgent need to overthrow the Venezuela government. Americans would do well to take a four-minute break from this torrent of pro-intervention advocacy to watch a video released Wednesday by Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

In the video, Maduro speaks directly to the American people. He urges Americans to seek peace instead of a coup in or war with his country. He presents his case well. Hopefully, many Americans will listen to him, consider his comments, and take action to end United States intervention in Venezuela.

Watch Maduro’s four-minute video presentation, in Spanish with English subtitles, here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:14:01 GMT
Six Weeks in Jail for Possessing Laundry Detergent Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/january/31/six-weeks-in-jail-for-possessing-laundry-detergent/

A disturbing story out of Florida recounts that Matt Crull spent six weeks in jail on a drug trafficking charge after police claimed, based on drug field test results, that a substance in Crull’s van was heroin. Crull was released this month after further testing indicated the substance was actually laundry detergent.

While the mistreatment of Crull is terrible, it is important to understand that his experience is far from unique. In fact, for some people the situation is worse: Seeing little hope for vindication in the judicial system, they plead guilty and are sentenced due to shoddy drug field test results.

In the November 5, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I discussed problems related to police and prosecutors’ use of drug field test results:
It appears that at least 100,000 people in America each year plead guilty to drug charges supported by police-conducted drug field tests that do not reliably indicate whether a substance tested is an illegal drug. So reports Ryan Gabrielson in an in-depth article

Gabrielson relates that police can conduct a field test, costing a couple bucks or less, at the site of an arrest and quickly obtain results. The catch is that the tests are not reliable. Gabrielson explains that false positive results on field tests are a reason “[f]ederal guidelines say all drugs in criminal cases must be identified by a qualified lab” and “[c]ourts across the country have repeatedly refused to admit field test results as evidence at trial.”

But, most alleged drug law violators never end up at trials. With large potential penalties hanging over their heads and often insufficient funds to present a strong case in court, they plead guilty, often in hopes of obtaining reduced sentences.

In some jurisdictions, field tested substances are thrown out after a plea deal. But, in Houston, Texas, the substances have been kept. Gabrielson reports that a mass retesting of those substances in Houston “identified more than 300 cases in which innocent people took plea deals largely based on field test results that proved wrong.” The district attorney’s office for Harris County, where Houston is located, no longer accepts guilty pleas where there have been only field tests. Still, Gabrielson writes, “in jurisdictions of all sizes and in all corners of the country, unconfirmed field tests are being used to help extract guilty pleas.”
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Lew Rockwell Calls ‘Baloney’ on Claim Iran is a National Security Threat to the United States Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/
Elaborating, Rockwell comments:
Iran is a small, poor country. They’ve got a lot of people, but economically they are small. They’re militarily small.
Further, Rockwell comments that Iran has not invaded any other country recently. “Unlike the US” that “invades all over the world,” explains Rockwell, Iran “is not an aggressive power.”

Watch the complete panel discussion, which is focused on US foreign policy and includes insightful comments from ANSWER Coalition National Director Brian Becker in addition to Rockwell, here:

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McAdams: Senate Finds 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia - Now What? RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:14:44 GMT
Venezuela: Politics of Regime Change ‘Dangerous & Inhumane’ - Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/
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Where Greens and Libertarians Can Agree Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/

On Saturday, officers of the Maine state Green Independent and Libertarian parties held a press conference announcing the parties’ ten areas of agreement. The two parties note in a joint statement that the ten areas of agreement are related to the parties’ effort to work together in areas where they agree. The ten areas of agreement regard pursuing a more peaceful foreign policy, greater respect for individual rights, a more open elections process, and an end to corporate welfare.

Read here the Maine Green Independent and Libertarian parties’ ten areas of agreement:

AREAS OF AGREEMENT

1. End regime change wars.

2. Close down most US bases in foreign countries.

3. Terminate corporate welfare.

4. Void, via repeal, the PATRIOT Act and the 2012 NDAA provision allowing “indefinite detention” without jury trial, judge, or witnesses for the defense as flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution.

5. Teach and enforce our Bill of Rights and give extensive training in such to law enforcement personnel.

6. Support municipal food sovereignty ordinances for farmer to consumer transactions.

7. Expand time to gather petitions for office to April 30, to minimize difficulty during the most difficult weather of the year and to allow more time.
8. Do not require caucuses to maintain ballot access in Maine.

9. Allow nomination of candidates by convention as an option.

10. In some cases vaccines have prevented deaths or serious diseases. In other cases documentation exists of fatal or lifetime debilitating injuries to people, especially infants. Accordingly, we oppose any law mandating vaccines, which fail to take into account either sovereignty over our own bodies or important medical variations including allergic reactions.

The Maine parties’ announcement is reminiscent of a press conference Ron Paul held in September of 2008 at the National Press Club with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, and Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin as his guests. At that press conference, the third party and independent candidates announced their agreement with a policy statement dealing with foreign policy, individual rights, presidential powers, the national debt, the Federal Reserve, and corporate welfare.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 22:48:57 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Staying in Syria, Tulsi Gabbard, Acres of Hemp, Marianne Williamson, Mushroom Decrim http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the January 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said it is “smart to have a wait-and-see perspective” in regarding to President Donald Trump’s announcement that all United States troops will leave Syria. In a CBS Face the Nation interview broadcast on Sunday, Trump said US troops will remain in Syria for an indefinite period. Trump explains reasons for keeping US troops in Syria include because “we have to protect Israel” and “we're protecting the world.” He also said that, should all troops be removed from Syria, they can be quickly put back in.

Issue two.          

In Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) speech last week announcing her Democratic presidential primary candidacy, some of her comments suggest she is a supporter of nonintervention overseas.

In 2015, Gabbard spoke regarding foreign policy in her speech at a Christians United for Israel conference. Comments in that speech suggest Gabbard’s foreign policy may be more interventionist than that of President Donald Trump. In comparison with Trump, Gabbard seems in that speech as antagonistic toward Iran, at least as devoted to Israel, more devoted to the Kurds, and much more devoted to the "they attack us because we are free" perspective on terrorism that has been at the heart of the Global War on Terror.

Issue three.

With the ongoing reduction through the last few years in state and national restraints on hemp farming, the growing of the crop has become increasingly popular in America. Vote Hemp’s latest US Hemp Crop Report estimates around 78,000 acres of hemp were grown in 23 states in 2018. This follows an increase from around 10,000 acres in 15 states in 2016 to around 26,000 acres in 19 states in 2017.

Issue four.

Last week, Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary. Williamson is receiving much less attention than other candidates, in part because she has never held political office and because the American political establishment is not comfortable with her.

Williamson may do better in the presidential race than many people expect. As she demonstrated in her announcement speech, Williamson is among the best political orators in America. Her passionate and flowing speaking style reminds me of Dennis Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, when Kucinich ran for president.

Williamson is best known for writing books, most not about politics. A mere book writer cannot be a strong contender for the presidency, people say. A few years back people reacted similarly to Donald Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV show host. Like Trump, Williamson, if she is allowed on the presidential primary debate stage, will stand out. She will impress people with her dynamic and unique presentation.

Issue five.

Much of state and local government roll backs of the war on drugs have occurred in regard to marijuana. This makes sense given that marijuana is the illegal drug people are most likely to have used or to know people who have used, as well as the illegal drug that is generally thought to be about as dangerous as alcohol, or even less dangerous.

The city of Denver already has legal medical and recreational marijuana thanks to statewide ballot measure votes in Colorado. Soon it may also have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. Keith Coffman reported last week at Reuters that election officials have confirmed that sufficient signatures from voters have been submitted for a ballot measure decriminalizing psilocybin, the illegal component of psychedelic mushrooms, to be included on the Denver city ballot in May.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
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'US Has a Military Junta' - Lew Rockwell Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/06/us-has-a-military-junta-lew-rockwell/
Mises Institute Founder Lew Rockwell finds the idea preposterous. As he tells RT:
The US has a military junta. Guys like this general at the very top of the military have vast powers. The civilian control of the military is threatened in our country. In some ways we don't live in a free country anymore and it's because of things like this. ... 

I would love to see Trump keep his campaign promises. ... The US needs to pull all its troops out of everywhere. We've got troops in more than 100 countries and that's the US empire.
Rockwell goes on to say that the US empire is supported by nearly everyone in Congress, by the deep state, the CIA, the FBI, all the secret police agencies, and the military-industrial complex.

Watch the whole interview here:

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US plan for Latin America: ‘Venezuela is just the beginning’ – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Pence Video, YouTube Suppression, Stone Raid, DNA Databases, Diplomatic Relations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/february/03/five-minutes-five-issues-pence-video-youtube-suppression-stone-raid-dna-databases-diplomatic-relations/ 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.

Last week, United States Vice President Mike Pence released a short video in which Pence said he and President Donald Trump express their “unwavering support” for the people of Saudi Arabia raising “their voices in a call for freedom.” Continuing, Pence declared Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who “has never won the presidency in a free and fair election” and who “has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.” Concluding, Pence told the people of Saudi Arabia, “we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of liberty.”

Just kidding, Pence said all that about Venezuela and Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

Issue two.

The social media crackdown on alternative views continues. In a Tuesday video commentary, world-traveling independent journalist and commentator Luke Rudkowski discussed YouTube’s announcement last week that it will restrict recommendations of videos with what YouTube calls “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Rudkowski notes such “very generalized, oblique language” can be broadly used for suppressing independent voices to the advantage of mainstream media outlets that Rudkowski notes have sold the public very destructive United States government actions from the Iraq War to banker bailouts. Rudkowski further comments that the announcement is in line with prior policy given YouTube already limited the ability to find Rudkowski’s videos in searches.

Issue three.

It was troubling to hear Roger Stone tell host Andrew Napolitano at Fox Nation this week about the 6:00am raid on Stone’s home to arrest him on charges arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation. Stone recounts there were armored vehicles and 29 cops, some with guns pointed at him, surrounding his house when he opened the front door.

Such SWAT team raids have moved from rare to common in the past few decades. SWAT team raids now are used routinely for matters that in the past would be handled by a couple cops with guns holstered or by a phone call to arrange a time for someone to come to a police station.

Issue four.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead wrote an editorial last week providing an important warning about the US government, and state and local governments, building DNA databases. The databases, Whitehead explains, are “a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Whitehead writes this about the current situation:
All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. Increasingly, many of the data from local databanks are being uploaded to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Even hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.

For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial DNA shared with genealogical services such as Ancestry and 23andMe, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.
Issue five.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the potential consequences arising from the US government refusing to comply with Venezuela President Maduro’s demand that US diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Here is an update. On January 26, near the end of the deadline, the two governments agreed to allow their respective diplomats to stay in each country for 30 days.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
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Venezuela President Urges Americans to Seek Peace with His Country Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ undefined

American politicians and media commentators left and right are playing up a supposed urgent need to overthrow the Venezuela government. Americans would do well to take a four-minute break from this torrent of pro-intervention advocacy to watch a video released Wednesday by Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

In the video, Maduro speaks directly to the American people. He urges Americans to seek peace instead of a coup in or war with his country. He presents his case well. Hopefully, many Americans will listen to him, consider his comments, and take action to end United States intervention in Venezuela.

Watch Maduro’s four-minute video presentation, in Spanish with English subtitles, here.]]>
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Six Weeks in Jail for Possessing Laundry Detergent Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/january/31/six-weeks-in-jail-for-possessing-laundry-detergent/

A disturbing story out of Florida recounts that Matt Crull spent six weeks in jail on a drug trafficking charge after police claimed, based on drug field test results, that a substance in Crull’s van was heroin. Crull was released this month after further testing indicated the substance was actually laundry detergent.

While the mistreatment of Crull is terrible, it is important to understand that his experience is far from unique. In fact, for some people the situation is worse: Seeing little hope for vindication in the judicial system, they plead guilty and are sentenced due to shoddy drug field test results.

In the November 5, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I discussed problems related to police and prosecutors’ use of drug field test results:
It appears that at least 100,000 people in America each year plead guilty to drug charges supported by police-conducted drug field tests that do not reliably indicate whether a substance tested is an illegal drug. So reports Ryan Gabrielson in an in-depth article

Gabrielson relates that police can conduct a field test, costing a couple bucks or less, at the site of an arrest and quickly obtain results. The catch is that the tests are not reliable. Gabrielson explains that false positive results on field tests are a reason “[f]ederal guidelines say all drugs in criminal cases must be identified by a qualified lab” and “[c]ourts across the country have repeatedly refused to admit field test results as evidence at trial.”

But, most alleged drug law violators never end up at trials. With large potential penalties hanging over their heads and often insufficient funds to present a strong case in court, they plead guilty, often in hopes of obtaining reduced sentences.

In some jurisdictions, field tested substances are thrown out after a plea deal. But, in Houston, Texas, the substances have been kept. Gabrielson reports that a mass retesting of those substances in Houston “identified more than 300 cases in which innocent people took plea deals largely based on field test results that proved wrong.” The district attorney’s office for Harris County, where Houston is located, no longer accepts guilty pleas where there have been only field tests. Still, Gabrielson writes, “in jurisdictions of all sizes and in all corners of the country, unconfirmed field tests are being used to help extract guilty pleas.”
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Lew Rockwell Calls ‘Baloney’ on Claim Iran is a National Security Threat to the United States Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/13/lew-rockwell-calls-baloney-on-claim-iran-is-a-national-security-threat-to-the-united-states/
Elaborating, Rockwell comments:
Iran is a small, poor country. They’ve got a lot of people, but economically they are small. They’re militarily small.
Further, Rockwell comments that Iran has not invaded any other country recently. “Unlike the US” that “invades all over the world,” explains Rockwell, Iran “is not an aggressive power.”

Watch the complete panel discussion, which is focused on US foreign policy and includes insightful comments from ANSWER Coalition National Director Brian Becker in addition to Rockwell, here:

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McAdams: Senate Finds 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia - Now What? RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/13/mcadams-senate-finds-no-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-now-what/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:14:44 GMT
Venezuela: Politics of Regime Change ‘Dangerous & Inhumane’ - Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/12/venezuela-politics-of-regime-change-dangerous-inhumane-daniel-mcadams/
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Where Greens and Libertarians Can Agree Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/11/where-greens-and-libertarians-can-agree/

On Saturday, officers of the Maine state Green Independent and Libertarian parties held a press conference announcing the parties’ ten areas of agreement. The two parties note in a joint statement that the ten areas of agreement are related to the parties’ effort to work together in areas where they agree. The ten areas of agreement regard pursuing a more peaceful foreign policy, greater respect for individual rights, a more open elections process, and an end to corporate welfare.

Read here the Maine Green Independent and Libertarian parties’ ten areas of agreement:

AREAS OF AGREEMENT

1. End regime change wars.

2. Close down most US bases in foreign countries.

3. Terminate corporate welfare.

4. Void, via repeal, the PATRIOT Act and the 2012 NDAA provision allowing “indefinite detention” without jury trial, judge, or witnesses for the defense as flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution.

5. Teach and enforce our Bill of Rights and give extensive training in such to law enforcement personnel.

6. Support municipal food sovereignty ordinances for farmer to consumer transactions.

7. Expand time to gather petitions for office to April 30, to minimize difficulty during the most difficult weather of the year and to allow more time.
8. Do not require caucuses to maintain ballot access in Maine.

9. Allow nomination of candidates by convention as an option.

10. In some cases vaccines have prevented deaths or serious diseases. In other cases documentation exists of fatal or lifetime debilitating injuries to people, especially infants. Accordingly, we oppose any law mandating vaccines, which fail to take into account either sovereignty over our own bodies or important medical variations including allergic reactions.

The Maine parties’ announcement is reminiscent of a press conference Ron Paul held in September of 2008 at the National Press Club with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, and Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin as his guests. At that press conference, the third party and independent candidates announced their agreement with a policy statement dealing with foreign policy, individual rights, presidential powers, the national debt, the Federal Reserve, and corporate welfare.
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Staying in Syria, Tulsi Gabbard, Acres of Hemp, Marianne Williamson, Mushroom Decrim http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the January 4 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said it is “smart to have a wait-and-see perspective” in regarding to President Donald Trump’s announcement that all United States troops will leave Syria. In a CBS Face the Nation interview broadcast on Sunday, Trump said US troops will remain in Syria for an indefinite period. Trump explains reasons for keeping US troops in Syria include because “we have to protect Israel” and “we're protecting the world.” He also said that, should all troops be removed from Syria, they can be quickly put back in.

Issue two.          

In Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) speech last week announcing her Democratic presidential primary candidacy, some of her comments suggest she is a supporter of nonintervention overseas.

In 2015, Gabbard spoke regarding foreign policy in her speech at a Christians United for Israel conference. Comments in that speech suggest Gabbard’s foreign policy may be more interventionist than that of President Donald Trump. In comparison with Trump, Gabbard seems in that speech as antagonistic toward Iran, at least as devoted to Israel, more devoted to the Kurds, and much more devoted to the "they attack us because we are free" perspective on terrorism that has been at the heart of the Global War on Terror.

Issue three.

With the ongoing reduction through the last few years in state and national restraints on hemp farming, the growing of the crop has become increasingly popular in America. Vote Hemp’s latest US Hemp Crop Report estimates around 78,000 acres of hemp were grown in 23 states in 2018. This follows an increase from around 10,000 acres in 15 states in 2016 to around 26,000 acres in 19 states in 2017.

Issue four.

Last week, Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary. Williamson is receiving much less attention than other candidates, in part because she has never held political office and because the American political establishment is not comfortable with her.

Williamson may do better in the presidential race than many people expect. As she demonstrated in her announcement speech, Williamson is among the best political orators in America. Her passionate and flowing speaking style reminds me of Dennis Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, when Kucinich ran for president.

Williamson is best known for writing books, most not about politics. A mere book writer cannot be a strong contender for the presidency, people say. A few years back people reacted similarly to Donald Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV show host. Like Trump, Williamson, if she is allowed on the presidential primary debate stage, will stand out. She will impress people with her dynamic and unique presentation.

Issue five.

Much of state and local government roll backs of the war on drugs have occurred in regard to marijuana. This makes sense given that marijuana is the illegal drug people are most likely to have used or to know people who have used, as well as the illegal drug that is generally thought to be about as dangerous as alcohol, or even less dangerous.

The city of Denver already has legal medical and recreational marijuana thanks to statewide ballot measure votes in Colorado. Soon it may also have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. Keith Coffman reported last week at Reuters that election officials have confirmed that sufficient signatures from voters have been submitted for a ballot measure decriminalizing psilocybin, the illegal component of psychedelic mushrooms, to be included on the Denver city ballot in May.

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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/congress-alert/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/09/five-minutes-five-issues-staying-in-syria-tulsi-gabbard-acres-of-hemp-marianne-williamson-mushroom-decrim/ Sat, 09 Feb 2019 17:49:34 GMT
'US Has a Military Junta' - Lew Rockwell Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/06/us-has-a-military-junta-lew-rockwell/
Mises Institute Founder Lew Rockwell finds the idea preposterous. As he tells RT:
The US has a military junta. Guys like this general at the very top of the military have vast powers. The civilian control of the military is threatened in our country. In some ways we don't live in a free country anymore and it's because of things like this. ... 

I would love to see Trump keep his campaign promises. ... The US needs to pull all its troops out of everywhere. We've got troops in more than 100 countries and that's the US empire.
Rockwell goes on to say that the US empire is supported by nearly everyone in Congress, by the deep state, the CIA, the FBI, all the secret police agencies, and the military-industrial complex.

Watch the whole interview here:

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US plan for Latin America: ‘Venezuela is just the beginning’ – Daniel McAdams RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/05/us-plan-for-latin-america-venezuela-is-just-the-beginning-daniel-mcadams/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:07:57 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Pence Video, YouTube Suppression, Stone Raid, DNA Databases, Diplomatic Relations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/february/03/five-minutes-five-issues-pence-video-youtube-suppression-stone-raid-dna-databases-diplomatic-relations/ 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.

Last week, United States Vice President Mike Pence released a short video in which Pence said he and President Donald Trump express their “unwavering support” for the people of Saudi Arabia raising “their voices in a call for freedom.” Continuing, Pence declared Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who “has never won the presidency in a free and fair election” and who “has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.” Concluding, Pence told the people of Saudi Arabia, “we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of liberty.”

Just kidding, Pence said all that about Venezuela and Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

Issue two.

The social media crackdown on alternative views continues. In a Tuesday video commentary, world-traveling independent journalist and commentator Luke Rudkowski discussed YouTube’s announcement last week that it will restrict recommendations of videos with what YouTube calls “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Rudkowski notes such “very generalized, oblique language” can be broadly used for suppressing independent voices to the advantage of mainstream media outlets that Rudkowski notes have sold the public very destructive United States government actions from the Iraq War to banker bailouts. Rudkowski further comments that the announcement is in line with prior policy given YouTube already limited the ability to find Rudkowski’s videos in searches.

Issue three.

It was troubling to hear Roger Stone tell host Andrew Napolitano at Fox Nation this week about the 6:00am raid on Stone’s home to arrest him on charges arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation. Stone recounts there were armored vehicles and 29 cops, some with guns pointed at him, surrounding his house when he opened the front door.

Such SWAT team raids have moved from rare to common in the past few decades. SWAT team raids now are used routinely for matters that in the past would be handled by a couple cops with guns holstered or by a phone call to arrange a time for someone to come to a police station.

Issue four.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead wrote an editorial last week providing an important warning about the US government, and state and local governments, building DNA databases. The databases, Whitehead explains, are “a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Whitehead writes this about the current situation:
All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. Increasingly, many of the data from local databanks are being uploaded to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Even hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.

For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial DNA shared with genealogical services such as Ancestry and 23andMe, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.
Issue five.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the potential consequences arising from the US government refusing to comply with Venezuela President Maduro’s demand that US diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Here is an update. On January 26, near the end of the deadline, the two governments agreed to allow their respective diplomats to stay in each country for 30 days.

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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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Venezuela President Urges Americans to Seek Peace with His Country Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/january/31/venezuela-president-urges-americans-to-seek-peace-with-his-country/ undefined

American politicians and media commentators left and right are playing up a supposed urgent need to overthrow the Venezuela government. Americans would do well to take a four-minute break from this torrent of pro-intervention advocacy to watch a video released Wednesday by Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.

In the video, Maduro speaks directly to the American people. He urges Americans to seek peace instead of a coup in or war with his country. He presents his case well. Hopefully, many Americans will listen to him, consider his comments, and take action to end United States intervention in Venezuela.

Watch Maduro’s four-minute video presentation, in Spanish with English subtitles, here.]]>
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Six Weeks in Jail for Possessing Laundry Detergent Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/january/31/six-weeks-in-jail-for-possessing-laundry-detergent/

A disturbing story out of Florida recounts that Matt Crull spent six weeks in jail on a drug trafficking charge after police claimed, based on drug field test results, that a substance in Crull’s van was heroin. Crull was released this month after further testing indicated the substance was actually laundry detergent.

While the mistreatment of Crull is terrible, it is important to understand that his experience is far from unique. In fact, for some people the situation is worse: Seeing little hope for vindication in the judicial system, they plead guilty and are sentenced due to shoddy drug field test results.

In the November 5, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues I discussed problems related to police and prosecutors’ use of drug field test results:
It appears that at least 100,000 people in America each year plead guilty to drug charges supported by police-conducted drug field tests that do not reliably indicate whether a substance tested is an illegal drug. So reports Ryan Gabrielson in an in-depth article

Gabrielson relates that police can conduct a field test, costing a couple bucks or less, at the site of an arrest and quickly obtain results. The catch is that the tests are not reliable. Gabrielson explains that false positive results on field tests are a reason “[f]ederal guidelines say all drugs in criminal cases must be identified by a qualified lab” and “[c]ourts across the country have repeatedly refused to admit field test results as evidence at trial.”

But, most alleged drug law violators never end up at trials. With large potential penalties hanging over their heads and often insufficient funds to present a strong case in court, they plead guilty, often in hopes of obtaining reduced sentences.

In some jurisdictions, field tested substances are thrown out after a plea deal. But, in Houston, Texas, the substances have been kept. Gabrielson reports that a mass retesting of those substances in Houston “identified more than 300 cases in which innocent people took plea deals largely based on field test results that proved wrong.” The district attorney’s office for Harris County, where Houston is located, no longer accepts guilty pleas where there have been only field tests. Still, Gabrielson writes, “in jurisdictions of all sizes and in all corners of the country, unconfirmed field tests are being used to help extract guilty pleas.”
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