Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2017 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:00:05 GMT Saudi Arabia - Bin Salman's Coup Is A Model For His Own Ouster Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/

Someone wanted the public to know that the new Saudi clown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) took up his new position by unceremoniously disposing his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) by force. The juicy details, true or not, were briefed to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the same day:
As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne.

By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
Bin Nayef was a darling of the CIA and his disposal was not welcome. It may well be that the author of the tale of his ouster has his office in Langley, Virginia.

We had correctly called the MbN removal a coup and predicted that "the old al-Saud family king [..] will be offed soon." From the current Reuters piece:
Quoting a witness at the palace, one Saudi source said King Salman this month pre-recorded a statement in which he announces the transfer of the throne to his son. The announcement could be broadcast at any time, perhaps as soon as September.
We also wrote that "[m]any Arab peninsula citizens will want to see [the new clown prince's] head on a pike."

The details of how MbS deposed the previous crown prince MbN will enrage further parts of the Saudi citizens. Additional leaks about extensive MbS contacts with Israel will increase the bad feelings against him. This especially as Israeli is further encroaching on the al-Haram a-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa mosque on the (likely falsely) claimed Jewish temple mount.

MbS' attempt to push Qatar around has, as predicted, failed. The four countries that had joined against Qatar could not agree to increase the pressure. The demands made to Qatar have now been retracted. This is a huge loss of face for MbS and his Emirati mentor Mohammad bin Zayed. The Saudi war against Yemen kills many civilians and costs lots of money but is militarily lost. The announced big economic reforms have made no progress. The Gulf Cooperation Council is defunct and may fall further apart.

Everything MbS has touched failed. His actions violate traditions and religious commandments. His coup has set an example that can now be used against himself. It would not be astonishing to see a revolt against Mohammed Bin Salman even before he is able to make himself king.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:28:51 GMT
The Dangerous Rush to Prosecute Donald Trump and His Associates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/

No, no, no, no, and no, responds George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley to the calls, arising out of the “Russiagate” fixation, to prosecute President Donald Trump and his campaign and presidential administration associates for a list of crimes — treason, espionage, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of justice, and election fraud.

Considering each crime in turn in a Tuesday The Hill editorial, Turley finds the basis for the accusation lacking in each case. Further, Turley warns that “broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations” in order to take down Trump and his associates carries great danger.

The danger arises in part from creating expanded power for future presidents to use. Turley explains:
As satisfying as it may be to 'get after the Donald' or his progeny, the engorged criminal code that would be left would then be handed to the next president. That president would then have a less obstructed range for the investigation of opponents and critics.
Read Turley’s insightful editorial here.

Turley describes in his editorial a discussion in the 1966 movie A Man for All Seasons that culminates with Thomas More declaring: “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.” You can watch here that excellently performed discussion.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:16:29 GMT
Libya Report: Is Saif Gaddafi in the West's Crosshairs? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/

The struggle for power from the ruins of Libya is likely to get even uglier, and what is becoming decidedly more noticeable is the role of other interfering states who are betting on one side or another in the game for the prize that is Libya.

The latest international intrigue, orchestrated by what we might call the "new colonialist alliance," surrounds the future of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The United States, UK, the UN are egging on the United Arab Emirates and their allies including France and Jordan to finish the job in Libya by cajoling Libyan National Army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to totally abandon any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya. This new colonial order is seemingly becoming afraid of his growing popularity.

The US and its allies in the West and amongst the Arabs are engineering the so-called "Abu Dhabi Process" to bring Libya’s civil war to a close with a series of meetings for Gen. Haftar with world leaders. Haftar's meetings include the head of the Presidential Council, UN appointed Prime Minister Serraj; King Abdullah of Jordan; and the head of AFRICOM. Lastly and importantly, Haftar will meet with the new French President this week, a meeting worked out during Trump's visit to Paris.

To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US, UK, and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity. Failing that, there is a good chance he will be assassinated. 

Additionally, Saif al-Islam is being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically he was not involved in, to now being part of the alleged plot with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.

So thoroughly has the West manipulated the process in Libya that they have recently been able to convince Gen. Haftar to give up on any alliance with Saif al-Islam through a dramatic push by the United Arab Emirates in Zintan. Zintan, of course, is where Saif al-Islam was held in prison until quite recently.

The West does not like Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, but they are doing their best to get him to go along with this plan. Haftar is popular with the Libyan people, however, as is Saif.

According to irrefutable and reliable ground sources, a tribal meeting occurred in Zintan last Friday where an "agreement was signed" calling for the arrest of al-Siddiq militia leader Ajmi al-Atiri (who had been responsible for Saif Gaddafi since he arrested him in the desert) and to immediately search and re-arrest Saif al-Islam.

The fact is the UAE and the US do not like the signs of a country-wide movement, with tribal support, to make Saif al-Islam a Mandela style reconciliation figure.

The ground-game is important, but for immediate purposes the West just scored a major coup by setting the stage for Libya to spit-out Saif al-Islam right into the open jail cell in the ICC despite the lack of evidence against him. The ICC is merely a tool of the American dominated UN and Gaddafi’s son, the victim.

Will the US and its allies succeed? And what happens if they do?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:35:16 GMT
Netanyahu Opposes US-Russia South Syria Ceasefire Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government oppose the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all, and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria. They also said Russian troops couldn’t be allowed to police the safe zones closest to the Israeli border.

Ultimately it appears that none of these demands were met, with neither the US nor Russia apparently willing to center the terms of their deal on a ceasefire in one nation’s wars on demands from another nation that insists it is not involved in that war.

That Netanyahu felt the need to go public with his displeasure points to this being a particular sore spot, and Israeli officials say he also brought the matter up to both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not likely either side is going to revisit the deal to placate Israel, particularly since this ceasefire is holding better than most, and Israel’s objections are largely difficult to respond to, mostly centered on wanting the war to continue against the Shi’ites.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:25:38 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Bureaucracy, WaPo Conflict, Drug Decrim, Ronald Wayne, Thoreau Birthday Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ 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.

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC, but marijuana use by business customers and special events attendees has often been prohibited by law. That is changing some in Denver, Colorado with the City and County of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ July 1 rules for the consumption of marijuana in businesses and at special events.

Instead of just declaring it legal for any business or special event to allow the consumption of marijuana, the rules set up a permitting process and sweeping restraints. Applicants must prove their worthiness to receive a permit that can be revoked and that authorizes government agents, including police, to carry out inspections. Marijuana can only be consumed in so-called Designated Consumption Areas or DCAs that cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, child care establishment, alcohol or drug treatment center, or city-owned recreation center or outdoor pool. Special event permits must be sought at least 120 days before the event date. The rules also require the consumption of marijuana and even the advertising of DCAs to be shielded from view from public places including streets and sidewalks. The rules go on and on.

Government and special interests are working to keep tight control over legal marijuana.

Issue two.

In August of 2013, I wrote about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ then-recent purchase of the Washington Post. I noted the conflict of interest between his ownership of the Post that reports on the United States government and “Amazon’s potentially significant profits from computing and data storage contracts with numerous US government agencies including the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].”

This conflict of interest was discussed again at the Ron Paul Institute website this week in an article by Eric Zuesse. Zuesse wrote that Amazon Web Services or AWS that provides such services to entities including the US military and the CIA “is so profitable to Amazon that it accounts for all of Amazon’s net profits.”

Issue three.

You may have seen one of several articles saying drug decriminalization beyond marijuana may be about to take place in Oregon. One article at the Daily Caller is titled “Oregon Poised To Decriminalize Meth, Cocaine And Heroin.”

Not quite, responded Tom Angell in a Monday MassRoots article. “[T]he legislation in question,” Angell writes, “does not decriminalize drugs.” Though the legislation “reduces the punishment for possession of certain quantities of some drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Angell explains that its outcome is less than decriminalization. This is because, while decriminalization “is generally accepted to mean the removal of criminal penalties for the activity in question and the avoidance of arrest and incarceration,” the Oregon legislation provides for probation, imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines. This is much different than the traffic ticket type of penalty people expect with decriminalization.

Issue four.

Motherboard published this week a fascinating interview with Apple cofounder Ronald Wayne. Talking about US dollars, investing, and gold, Wayne sounds much like Ron Paul. Wayne said:
I supplement my income with collectors stamps and coins. You invest in gold in silver. I won't invest in anything dollar related, because I don't know when the roof will cave in, but it will. At the end of World War II, 40 nations came together to discuss what the currency and exchange rate would be. Before then it was the gold standard. But World War II was the most expensive war in history and most of these nations went bankrupt. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations said that every nation that uses fiat systems will inflate out of existence. So it is coming.
Issue five.

This week is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. James Bovard, in an essay regarding the anniversary at his website, relates that in Thoreau’s “early writing – especially his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’ – Thoreau vividly portrayed the perils of political power.”

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:44:26 GMT
House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/15/house-approves-696-billion-military-spending-bill/

In a 344-81 vote yesterday, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $696 billion spending bill which far exceeds the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump Administration.

The bill has a base $621.5 billion funding, and $75 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which includes at least $10 billion that are earmarked as part of the OCO but intended to be spent on domestic military spending.

The bill was supported by a majority of Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. Indeed, only eight Republicans voted against the bill, with three other abstentions. The bill still has to be reconciled with its Senate alternative before becoming law.

President Trump had proposed a very large increase in military spending, compared to those sought in recent years, with an eye on a bigger Navy. Congressional hawks were deeply critical of even this large proposed increase as insufficient, and sought to outdo it with a bigger, pricier version.

There still hasn’t been a proper resolution to the 2011 sequestration rules, which Congress has ignored every year since at any rate, but on paper, the legal cap on the pre-OCO budget is supposed to be $549 billion, which will obviously be far exceeded.

Obviously this is by far the biggest military spending bill on the planet, many times what the second largest military, China, spends in a year.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Ron Paul Explains the Libertarian Option on Larry King’s Politicking Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/
Watch the complete interview here.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:19:27 GMT
Bionic Mosquito Draws Blood From Cathy Young Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/

If you haven't yet read the Bionic Mosquito's blistering refutation of "libertarian" neocon Cathy Young's Reason Magazine piece on why Russia is the ultimate evil that must be sanctioned and smashed, do yourself a favor and take the time to do so.

In the Reason piece dissected by the Mosquito, Cathy Young -- a Russian immigrant -- slams Ron Paul and others with similar views on US/Russia relations (opposing Cold War 2.0 and NATO provocations on Russia's borders) as being "pro-Russia" (as opposed to anti-interventionist and anti-WWIII).

Hers is the same garbage we have heard from the neocons and "humanitarian" interventionists for the past 13 years: if you oppose war on Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose blowing up Libya, you are a Gaddafi lover; if you don't want to arm a bunch of crazed jihadis to overthrow secular Syria, you are an Assad apologist; and if you dare to suggest we attempt peaceful relations with Russia no matter our differences you are -- of course -- Putin's puppet.

The warmongers always lie and the people must be lied into war, as Goering knew so well.

Young believes that the US government must support "pro-freedom" (read: anti-Russian) countries on Russia's borders because to just leave them alone "would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well."

Young comes from the Trotskyite branch of the (faux) libertarian movement, where the libertarian's struggle is not to get his government off his back so that he/she can live as a free person, but rather to demand that US government resources be used to force (their view of) libertarianism ("pro-freedomism") across the globe. That's why she desperately calls for more "NGO" money to be flushed down the "democracy promotion" rathole in hopes that the "non-governmental" sector and the CIA can continue to work hand-in-hand to prop up some governments deemed friendly to the US government and to undermine and destroy.

Below is an appetizer from the Mosquito, but don't miss the rest of the meal here.

Better Dead Than Traditionally Wed

by Bionic Mosquito

This one runs a bit long…

Introduction

Russia's Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade: How Vladimir Putin's desire for domination and acceptance is scrambling American politics, by Cathy Young and published by Reason.com

Yes, it’s all Putin’s fault – even at Reason Magazine.

The beltway mainstream libertarians are coming out in force for war with Russia, and criticizing the libertarians who are against war with Russia.  Their desire for the libertine overwhelms any concerns they might have regarding war with Russia.

Now they don’t say all of this in so many words, but one need not be a high school graduate to see where this is all headed.

Let’s allow Cathy Young to set the stage:

· NATO expanding to Russia’s borders should not be seen as a threat by Russia, but as an olive branch of peace;

· The EU should not be viewed as an unaccountable bureaucracy, but an organization dedicated to advancing liberty in Europe;

· Western involvement in color revolutions (if it even occurs) – even on the doorsteps of Russia – should not be seen as destabilizing, but as advancement of liberal democracy;

· Creating turmoil throughout the Muslim world should not be viewed as a threat to Russia – which not only directly borders this Muslim world but is also home to something in the order of 10 million Muslims, but instead seen as a move toward expanding freedom.

And how are libertarians who might believe otherwise viewed?
…pro-Russian (or at least anti-anti-Russian) arguments have become fairly common not just among conservatives but among a contingent of libertarians, such as former Rep. Ron Paul and Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo.
And why?
…Ron Paul–style libertarians are inclined to see Russia as a check on U.S. foreign adventurism and Russia hawks as hardcore proponents of the American imperial leviathan.
An incomplete view is the most charitable way I can describe this, although for a libertarian even just this might be reason enough to be “anti-anti-Russian.”

And why are these beltway mainstream libertarians against Russia?  (Emphasis added)
Schindler cites a 2013 speech in which Putin deplored the rejection of "Christian values" by "many Euro-Atlantic countries," defended Russia's right to protect traditional morality, and criticized attempts to export "extreme Western-style liberalism" worldwide. (The main example of Western decadence and liberal extremism was, of course, same-sex marriage.)
Get the picture?  Do you think my title was a joke?  And for this, the West must go to war against Russia.  And any libertarian (or anyone else) who disagrees is, by definition, on Putin’s payroll.  (He must not have my wiring instructions.  I’m still waiting.)

The Death of Democracy

As if – at least as it is currently practiced in much of the West – this would be a bad thing….
The dominant narrative in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and mainstream media casts Putin as the implacable enemy of the Western liberal order…In this narrative, President Donald Trump is…a witting or unwitting instrument of subversion, useful to Putin either as an ideological ally or as an incompetent who will strengthen Russia's hand by destabilizing American democracy.
To the extent democracy is both worthwhile (a position I do not grant) and meaningful, American democracy was destabilized years ago – all on its own doing.  What was the Kennedy assassination but a destabilization of democracy?  What about the lies and false flags intended to drive the people toward a passion for war?  How can there be anything approaching a stable democracy when the mainstream media so blatantly and regularly lie to the public, acting as nothing more than press agents for the state?
At its extremes, the Russian subversion narrative relies on a great deal of conspiratorial thinking. It also far too easily absolves the Western political establishment of responsibility for its failures, from the defeat of European Union supporters in England's Brexit vote to Hillary Clinton's loss in last November's election. Putin makes a convenient boogeyman.
I read this and scratch my head.  Democracy’s failures can be seen in Brexit or in Hillary’s election loss?  What on earth does that even mean?  Was there a vote or wasn’t there?

Is Reason a Neocon Tool?
Nonetheless, there is a real Russian effort to counter American—plus NATO and E.U.—influence…
What libertarian thinks in such terms?  A libertarian would want to see the influence of the American government, NATO, and the EU all countered and reduced.  Bad enough we are under the yoke of unbelievably massive state governments, NATO and the EU are entities of force and coercion even above and outside of the state.  I wish the United States would work to counter NATO and EU influence – how could a libertarian think otherwise?  Thank God someone is doing it.

Of course, one could say that the state – any state – should not be used to counteranything.  OK, I agree.  So, get the US out of NATO; get the US out of military bases around the world.  Let’s keep in mind: on whose borders has NATO encroached since the end of the Cold War?

A Call For More Government Action…

…as opposed to less government action.
What should American policy be toward Putin's Russia?
How about stay out of their business?  How about stay out of their neighborhood?  How about no more destabilizations of its neighbors?  How about that for an American policy?

No, not at Reason.
While "democracy promotion" in countries with no homegrown liberal tradition is a project likely to remain discredited for the foreseeable future…
Talk about an understatement.  Have you seen the results?  But, there is a bigger question: under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “democracy promotion” by one government toward another country fall?
…support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations in countries that look to America for leadership is a far more complicated matter.
Under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations” by one government toward another region fall?
Ukraine, Georgia, and even the Baltic states may not be paragons of liberal capitalism today. Yet if they were bullied into a return to Russian vassalage, it would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well.
Isn’t it their business?  Does it do any good for such smaller countries to rely on the good graces of some government five thousand miles away while at the same time being antagonistic toward its own neighbors?  How much liberty has been lost by those in the Ukraine today because of this?

Read the rest of the Mosquito here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 19:56:04 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump-Putin Meeting, Roy Moore, Wisconsin Taprooms, Catalonia, Texas Prisons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ 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 sane world,” Robert Wenzel wrote Friday at Target Liberty, a meeting of United States and Russia leaders Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would consist of the two men exchanging small talk “as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot.” This is because the US would be following the advice of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to “steer clear of permanent Alliances” and to seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” Instead, Wenzel notes, “the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.”

While sanity is a bit much to expect in the short term, hopefully Trump and Putin’s Friday conversation at the G20 meeting in Germany will at least help reduce some of the dangerous tension between the two governments.

Issue two.

It looks like the results of the upcoming August 15 primary in Alabama could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers.

Remember Roy Moore? In 2003 he was removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to obey a US court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument he had ordered placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. In 2012 Moore was elected again chief justice. He was then suspended for taking actions including telling judges to continue enforcing the state’s gay marriage law that conflicted with a new US Supreme Court decision.

Now Moore is a Republican primary candidate for the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become US attorney general. Moore may do well in the large field of candidates that includes US House Member Mo Brooks and Luther Strange who was appointment by the governor to serve as the interim US senator.

Brooks’ internal polling apparently puts Moore in the lead with 31 percent compared to 23 percent for Strange and 21 percent for Brooks.

Given Moore’s history at the state Supreme Court, it seems likely he would exercise a fair amount of independence in the US Senate.

Issue three.

The 21st Amendment ending the US government’s alcohol prohibition was ratified in 1933. Over 80 years later there are still plenty of restrictions on the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There also are efforts to make alcohol laws more restrictive.

In Wisconsin, taprooms where craft breweries sell their beers on site are under threat of being outlawed. Ben Handelman reported last week at WITI-TV in Milwaukee that a provision to ban the taprooms could be inserted into state budget legislation. That would allow the ban to become law without a separate debate and vote on the matter.

Who is behind the proposed ban? To seek an answer, one may ask, “Who benefits?” Competing alcohol sellers trying to eliminate competition and alcohol distributors trying to protect their turf come to mind, Handelman says, “Lobbyist groups associated with distributors and taverns are the main suspects.”

Issue four.

A new nation may rise in Europe this fall. A popular election is scheduled for October 1 in Catalonia on whether Catalonia should become a nation independent of Spain. Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as stating that an independence vote victory will lead to negotiations with Spain to bring about independence, not negotiations for a lesser goal of Spain ceding more powers to Catalonia within the Spanish nation.

Issue five.

Brandi Grissom reported Wednesday at the Dallas Morning News that, with reduced incarceration in the state, the Texas government is scheduled to shut down four prisons by September 1 — more “than it has in any single year in history.” Grissom writes that the prisons are required to be shut down by the state budget passed earlier this year and that, when they are shut down, Texas will have closed eight prions over the last six years.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ Sun, 09 Jul 2017 14:15:25 GMT
What a Trump-Putin Meeting Would Look Like in a Sane World Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Puting meet in Hamburg, Germany at the G20, the headlines blare.
From NBC News:  Trump Carries a Weak Hand Into Putin Meeting

From the Washington Post: Trump and Putin hold talks as the world watches

From ABC News: Trump, Putin high-stakes meeting underway
But why is this a high-stakes meeting? Why is the world watching? and Why does Trump carry a "weak hand"?

In a sane world, a meeting between Trump and Putin would go like this, as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot:
Putin: Hey Donnie, how is it going?

Trump: Great, fabulous, I lead the greatest country in the world. We are yuge! Are you guys done with your winter yet?
The only reason the current meeting is of consequence is because the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.

If President Trump were to heed the advice of  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, there really wouldn't be much for Trump and Putin to meet over.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world" Washington said in his Farewell Address. In his inaugural address,  Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

If Trump halts the U.S. imperial actions and brings the ships, troops, missiles, and drones home, no one would pay attention to a Trump-Putin meeting.

Russia is no threat to the United States, they want commerce.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:32:01 GMT
Saudi Arabia - Bin Salman's Coup Is A Model For His Own Ouster Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/

Someone wanted the public to know that the new Saudi clown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) took up his new position by unceremoniously disposing his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) by force. The juicy details, true or not, were briefed to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the same day:
As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne.

By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
Bin Nayef was a darling of the CIA and his disposal was not welcome. It may well be that the author of the tale of his ouster has his office in Langley, Virginia.

We had correctly called the MbN removal a coup and predicted that "the old al-Saud family king [..] will be offed soon." From the current Reuters piece:
Quoting a witness at the palace, one Saudi source said King Salman this month pre-recorded a statement in which he announces the transfer of the throne to his son. The announcement could be broadcast at any time, perhaps as soon as September.
We also wrote that "[m]any Arab peninsula citizens will want to see [the new clown prince's] head on a pike."

The details of how MbS deposed the previous crown prince MbN will enrage further parts of the Saudi citizens. Additional leaks about extensive MbS contacts with Israel will increase the bad feelings against him. This especially as Israeli is further encroaching on the al-Haram a-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa mosque on the (likely falsely) claimed Jewish temple mount.

MbS' attempt to push Qatar around has, as predicted, failed. The four countries that had joined against Qatar could not agree to increase the pressure. The demands made to Qatar have now been retracted. This is a huge loss of face for MbS and his Emirati mentor Mohammad bin Zayed. The Saudi war against Yemen kills many civilians and costs lots of money but is militarily lost. The announced big economic reforms have made no progress. The Gulf Cooperation Council is defunct and may fall further apart.

Everything MbS has touched failed. His actions violate traditions and religious commandments. His coup has set an example that can now be used against himself. It would not be astonishing to see a revolt against Mohammed Bin Salman even before he is able to make himself king.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:28:51 GMT
The Dangerous Rush to Prosecute Donald Trump and His Associates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/

No, no, no, no, and no, responds George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley to the calls, arising out of the “Russiagate” fixation, to prosecute President Donald Trump and his campaign and presidential administration associates for a list of crimes — treason, espionage, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of justice, and election fraud.

Considering each crime in turn in a Tuesday The Hill editorial, Turley finds the basis for the accusation lacking in each case. Further, Turley warns that “broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations” in order to take down Trump and his associates carries great danger.

The danger arises in part from creating expanded power for future presidents to use. Turley explains:
As satisfying as it may be to 'get after the Donald' or his progeny, the engorged criminal code that would be left would then be handed to the next president. That president would then have a less obstructed range for the investigation of opponents and critics.
Read Turley’s insightful editorial here.

Turley describes in his editorial a discussion in the 1966 movie A Man for All Seasons that culminates with Thomas More declaring: “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.” You can watch here that excellently performed discussion.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:16:29 GMT
Libya Report: Is Saif Gaddafi in the West's Crosshairs? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/

The struggle for power from the ruins of Libya is likely to get even uglier, and what is becoming decidedly more noticeable is the role of other interfering states who are betting on one side or another in the game for the prize that is Libya.

The latest international intrigue, orchestrated by what we might call the "new colonialist alliance," surrounds the future of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The United States, UK, the UN are egging on the United Arab Emirates and their allies including France and Jordan to finish the job in Libya by cajoling Libyan National Army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to totally abandon any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya. This new colonial order is seemingly becoming afraid of his growing popularity.

The US and its allies in the West and amongst the Arabs are engineering the so-called "Abu Dhabi Process" to bring Libya’s civil war to a close with a series of meetings for Gen. Haftar with world leaders. Haftar's meetings include the head of the Presidential Council, UN appointed Prime Minister Serraj; King Abdullah of Jordan; and the head of AFRICOM. Lastly and importantly, Haftar will meet with the new French President this week, a meeting worked out during Trump's visit to Paris.

To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US, UK, and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity. Failing that, there is a good chance he will be assassinated. 

Additionally, Saif al-Islam is being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically he was not involved in, to now being part of the alleged plot with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.

So thoroughly has the West manipulated the process in Libya that they have recently been able to convince Gen. Haftar to give up on any alliance with Saif al-Islam through a dramatic push by the United Arab Emirates in Zintan. Zintan, of course, is where Saif al-Islam was held in prison until quite recently.

The West does not like Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, but they are doing their best to get him to go along with this plan. Haftar is popular with the Libyan people, however, as is Saif.

According to irrefutable and reliable ground sources, a tribal meeting occurred in Zintan last Friday where an "agreement was signed" calling for the arrest of al-Siddiq militia leader Ajmi al-Atiri (who had been responsible for Saif Gaddafi since he arrested him in the desert) and to immediately search and re-arrest Saif al-Islam.

The fact is the UAE and the US do not like the signs of a country-wide movement, with tribal support, to make Saif al-Islam a Mandela style reconciliation figure.

The ground-game is important, but for immediate purposes the West just scored a major coup by setting the stage for Libya to spit-out Saif al-Islam right into the open jail cell in the ICC despite the lack of evidence against him. The ICC is merely a tool of the American dominated UN and Gaddafi’s son, the victim.

Will the US and its allies succeed? And what happens if they do?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:35:16 GMT
Netanyahu Opposes US-Russia South Syria Ceasefire Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government oppose the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all, and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria. They also said Russian troops couldn’t be allowed to police the safe zones closest to the Israeli border.

Ultimately it appears that none of these demands were met, with neither the US nor Russia apparently willing to center the terms of their deal on a ceasefire in one nation’s wars on demands from another nation that insists it is not involved in that war.

That Netanyahu felt the need to go public with his displeasure points to this being a particular sore spot, and Israeli officials say he also brought the matter up to both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not likely either side is going to revisit the deal to placate Israel, particularly since this ceasefire is holding better than most, and Israel’s objections are largely difficult to respond to, mostly centered on wanting the war to continue against the Shi’ites.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:25:38 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Bureaucracy, WaPo Conflict, Drug Decrim, Ronald Wayne, Thoreau Birthday Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ 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.

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC, but marijuana use by business customers and special events attendees has often been prohibited by law. That is changing some in Denver, Colorado with the City and County of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ July 1 rules for the consumption of marijuana in businesses and at special events.

Instead of just declaring it legal for any business or special event to allow the consumption of marijuana, the rules set up a permitting process and sweeping restraints. Applicants must prove their worthiness to receive a permit that can be revoked and that authorizes government agents, including police, to carry out inspections. Marijuana can only be consumed in so-called Designated Consumption Areas or DCAs that cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, child care establishment, alcohol or drug treatment center, or city-owned recreation center or outdoor pool. Special event permits must be sought at least 120 days before the event date. The rules also require the consumption of marijuana and even the advertising of DCAs to be shielded from view from public places including streets and sidewalks. The rules go on and on.

Government and special interests are working to keep tight control over legal marijuana.

Issue two.

In August of 2013, I wrote about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ then-recent purchase of the Washington Post. I noted the conflict of interest between his ownership of the Post that reports on the United States government and “Amazon’s potentially significant profits from computing and data storage contracts with numerous US government agencies including the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].”

This conflict of interest was discussed again at the Ron Paul Institute website this week in an article by Eric Zuesse. Zuesse wrote that Amazon Web Services or AWS that provides such services to entities including the US military and the CIA “is so profitable to Amazon that it accounts for all of Amazon’s net profits.”

Issue three.

You may have seen one of several articles saying drug decriminalization beyond marijuana may be about to take place in Oregon. One article at the Daily Caller is titled “Oregon Poised To Decriminalize Meth, Cocaine And Heroin.”

Not quite, responded Tom Angell in a Monday MassRoots article. “[T]he legislation in question,” Angell writes, “does not decriminalize drugs.” Though the legislation “reduces the punishment for possession of certain quantities of some drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Angell explains that its outcome is less than decriminalization. This is because, while decriminalization “is generally accepted to mean the removal of criminal penalties for the activity in question and the avoidance of arrest and incarceration,” the Oregon legislation provides for probation, imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines. This is much different than the traffic ticket type of penalty people expect with decriminalization.

Issue four.

Motherboard published this week a fascinating interview with Apple cofounder Ronald Wayne. Talking about US dollars, investing, and gold, Wayne sounds much like Ron Paul. Wayne said:
I supplement my income with collectors stamps and coins. You invest in gold in silver. I won't invest in anything dollar related, because I don't know when the roof will cave in, but it will. At the end of World War II, 40 nations came together to discuss what the currency and exchange rate would be. Before then it was the gold standard. But World War II was the most expensive war in history and most of these nations went bankrupt. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations said that every nation that uses fiat systems will inflate out of existence. So it is coming.
Issue five.

This week is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. James Bovard, in an essay regarding the anniversary at his website, relates that in Thoreau’s “early writing – especially his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’ – Thoreau vividly portrayed the perils of political power.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:44:26 GMT
House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/15/house-approves-696-billion-military-spending-bill/

In a 344-81 vote yesterday, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $696 billion spending bill which far exceeds the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump Administration.

The bill has a base $621.5 billion funding, and $75 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which includes at least $10 billion that are earmarked as part of the OCO but intended to be spent on domestic military spending.

The bill was supported by a majority of Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. Indeed, only eight Republicans voted against the bill, with three other abstentions. The bill still has to be reconciled with its Senate alternative before becoming law.

President Trump had proposed a very large increase in military spending, compared to those sought in recent years, with an eye on a bigger Navy. Congressional hawks were deeply critical of even this large proposed increase as insufficient, and sought to outdo it with a bigger, pricier version.

There still hasn’t been a proper resolution to the 2011 sequestration rules, which Congress has ignored every year since at any rate, but on paper, the legal cap on the pre-OCO budget is supposed to be $549 billion, which will obviously be far exceeded.

Obviously this is by far the biggest military spending bill on the planet, many times what the second largest military, China, spends in a year.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Ron Paul Explains the Libertarian Option on Larry King’s Politicking Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/
Watch the complete interview here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:19:27 GMT
Bionic Mosquito Draws Blood From Cathy Young Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/

If you haven't yet read the Bionic Mosquito's blistering refutation of "libertarian" neocon Cathy Young's Reason Magazine piece on why Russia is the ultimate evil that must be sanctioned and smashed, do yourself a favor and take the time to do so.

In the Reason piece dissected by the Mosquito, Cathy Young -- a Russian immigrant -- slams Ron Paul and others with similar views on US/Russia relations (opposing Cold War 2.0 and NATO provocations on Russia's borders) as being "pro-Russia" (as opposed to anti-interventionist and anti-WWIII).

Hers is the same garbage we have heard from the neocons and "humanitarian" interventionists for the past 13 years: if you oppose war on Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose blowing up Libya, you are a Gaddafi lover; if you don't want to arm a bunch of crazed jihadis to overthrow secular Syria, you are an Assad apologist; and if you dare to suggest we attempt peaceful relations with Russia no matter our differences you are -- of course -- Putin's puppet.

The warmongers always lie and the people must be lied into war, as Goering knew so well.

Young believes that the US government must support "pro-freedom" (read: anti-Russian) countries on Russia's borders because to just leave them alone "would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well."

Young comes from the Trotskyite branch of the (faux) libertarian movement, where the libertarian's struggle is not to get his government off his back so that he/she can live as a free person, but rather to demand that US government resources be used to force (their view of) libertarianism ("pro-freedomism") across the globe. That's why she desperately calls for more "NGO" money to be flushed down the "democracy promotion" rathole in hopes that the "non-governmental" sector and the CIA can continue to work hand-in-hand to prop up some governments deemed friendly to the US government and to undermine and destroy.

Below is an appetizer from the Mosquito, but don't miss the rest of the meal here.

Better Dead Than Traditionally Wed

by Bionic Mosquito

This one runs a bit long…

Introduction

Russia's Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade: How Vladimir Putin's desire for domination and acceptance is scrambling American politics, by Cathy Young and published by Reason.com

Yes, it’s all Putin’s fault – even at Reason Magazine.

The beltway mainstream libertarians are coming out in force for war with Russia, and criticizing the libertarians who are against war with Russia.  Their desire for the libertine overwhelms any concerns they might have regarding war with Russia.

Now they don’t say all of this in so many words, but one need not be a high school graduate to see where this is all headed.

Let’s allow Cathy Young to set the stage:

· NATO expanding to Russia’s borders should not be seen as a threat by Russia, but as an olive branch of peace;

· The EU should not be viewed as an unaccountable bureaucracy, but an organization dedicated to advancing liberty in Europe;

· Western involvement in color revolutions (if it even occurs) – even on the doorsteps of Russia – should not be seen as destabilizing, but as advancement of liberal democracy;

· Creating turmoil throughout the Muslim world should not be viewed as a threat to Russia – which not only directly borders this Muslim world but is also home to something in the order of 10 million Muslims, but instead seen as a move toward expanding freedom.

And how are libertarians who might believe otherwise viewed?
…pro-Russian (or at least anti-anti-Russian) arguments have become fairly common not just among conservatives but among a contingent of libertarians, such as former Rep. Ron Paul and Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo.
And why?
…Ron Paul–style libertarians are inclined to see Russia as a check on U.S. foreign adventurism and Russia hawks as hardcore proponents of the American imperial leviathan.
An incomplete view is the most charitable way I can describe this, although for a libertarian even just this might be reason enough to be “anti-anti-Russian.”

And why are these beltway mainstream libertarians against Russia?  (Emphasis added)
Schindler cites a 2013 speech in which Putin deplored the rejection of "Christian values" by "many Euro-Atlantic countries," defended Russia's right to protect traditional morality, and criticized attempts to export "extreme Western-style liberalism" worldwide. (The main example of Western decadence and liberal extremism was, of course, same-sex marriage.)
Get the picture?  Do you think my title was a joke?  And for this, the West must go to war against Russia.  And any libertarian (or anyone else) who disagrees is, by definition, on Putin’s payroll.  (He must not have my wiring instructions.  I’m still waiting.)

The Death of Democracy

As if – at least as it is currently practiced in much of the West – this would be a bad thing….
The dominant narrative in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and mainstream media casts Putin as the implacable enemy of the Western liberal order…In this narrative, President Donald Trump is…a witting or unwitting instrument of subversion, useful to Putin either as an ideological ally or as an incompetent who will strengthen Russia's hand by destabilizing American democracy.
To the extent democracy is both worthwhile (a position I do not grant) and meaningful, American democracy was destabilized years ago – all on its own doing.  What was the Kennedy assassination but a destabilization of democracy?  What about the lies and false flags intended to drive the people toward a passion for war?  How can there be anything approaching a stable democracy when the mainstream media so blatantly and regularly lie to the public, acting as nothing more than press agents for the state?
At its extremes, the Russian subversion narrative relies on a great deal of conspiratorial thinking. It also far too easily absolves the Western political establishment of responsibility for its failures, from the defeat of European Union supporters in England's Brexit vote to Hillary Clinton's loss in last November's election. Putin makes a convenient boogeyman.
I read this and scratch my head.  Democracy’s failures can be seen in Brexit or in Hillary’s election loss?  What on earth does that even mean?  Was there a vote or wasn’t there?

Is Reason a Neocon Tool?
Nonetheless, there is a real Russian effort to counter American—plus NATO and E.U.—influence…
What libertarian thinks in such terms?  A libertarian would want to see the influence of the American government, NATO, and the EU all countered and reduced.  Bad enough we are under the yoke of unbelievably massive state governments, NATO and the EU are entities of force and coercion even above and outside of the state.  I wish the United States would work to counter NATO and EU influence – how could a libertarian think otherwise?  Thank God someone is doing it.

Of course, one could say that the state – any state – should not be used to counteranything.  OK, I agree.  So, get the US out of NATO; get the US out of military bases around the world.  Let’s keep in mind: on whose borders has NATO encroached since the end of the Cold War?

A Call For More Government Action…

…as opposed to less government action.
What should American policy be toward Putin's Russia?
How about stay out of their business?  How about stay out of their neighborhood?  How about no more destabilizations of its neighbors?  How about that for an American policy?

No, not at Reason.
While "democracy promotion" in countries with no homegrown liberal tradition is a project likely to remain discredited for the foreseeable future…
Talk about an understatement.  Have you seen the results?  But, there is a bigger question: under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “democracy promotion” by one government toward another country fall?
…support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations in countries that look to America for leadership is a far more complicated matter.
Under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations” by one government toward another region fall?
Ukraine, Georgia, and even the Baltic states may not be paragons of liberal capitalism today. Yet if they were bullied into a return to Russian vassalage, it would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well.
Isn’t it their business?  Does it do any good for such smaller countries to rely on the good graces of some government five thousand miles away while at the same time being antagonistic toward its own neighbors?  How much liberty has been lost by those in the Ukraine today because of this?

Read the rest of the Mosquito here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 19:56:04 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump-Putin Meeting, Roy Moore, Wisconsin Taprooms, Catalonia, Texas Prisons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ 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 sane world,” Robert Wenzel wrote Friday at Target Liberty, a meeting of United States and Russia leaders Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would consist of the two men exchanging small talk “as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot.” This is because the US would be following the advice of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to “steer clear of permanent Alliances” and to seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” Instead, Wenzel notes, “the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.”

While sanity is a bit much to expect in the short term, hopefully Trump and Putin’s Friday conversation at the G20 meeting in Germany will at least help reduce some of the dangerous tension between the two governments.

Issue two.

It looks like the results of the upcoming August 15 primary in Alabama could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers.

Remember Roy Moore? In 2003 he was removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to obey a US court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument he had ordered placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. In 2012 Moore was elected again chief justice. He was then suspended for taking actions including telling judges to continue enforcing the state’s gay marriage law that conflicted with a new US Supreme Court decision.

Now Moore is a Republican primary candidate for the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become US attorney general. Moore may do well in the large field of candidates that includes US House Member Mo Brooks and Luther Strange who was appointment by the governor to serve as the interim US senator.

Brooks’ internal polling apparently puts Moore in the lead with 31 percent compared to 23 percent for Strange and 21 percent for Brooks.

Given Moore’s history at the state Supreme Court, it seems likely he would exercise a fair amount of independence in the US Senate.

Issue three.

The 21st Amendment ending the US government’s alcohol prohibition was ratified in 1933. Over 80 years later there are still plenty of restrictions on the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There also are efforts to make alcohol laws more restrictive.

In Wisconsin, taprooms where craft breweries sell their beers on site are under threat of being outlawed. Ben Handelman reported last week at WITI-TV in Milwaukee that a provision to ban the taprooms could be inserted into state budget legislation. That would allow the ban to become law without a separate debate and vote on the matter.

Who is behind the proposed ban? To seek an answer, one may ask, “Who benefits?” Competing alcohol sellers trying to eliminate competition and alcohol distributors trying to protect their turf come to mind, Handelman says, “Lobbyist groups associated with distributors and taverns are the main suspects.”

Issue four.

A new nation may rise in Europe this fall. A popular election is scheduled for October 1 in Catalonia on whether Catalonia should become a nation independent of Spain. Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as stating that an independence vote victory will lead to negotiations with Spain to bring about independence, not negotiations for a lesser goal of Spain ceding more powers to Catalonia within the Spanish nation.

Issue five.

Brandi Grissom reported Wednesday at the Dallas Morning News that, with reduced incarceration in the state, the Texas government is scheduled to shut down four prisons by September 1 — more “than it has in any single year in history.” Grissom writes that the prisons are required to be shut down by the state budget passed earlier this year and that, when they are shut down, Texas will have closed eight prions over the last six years.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ Sun, 09 Jul 2017 14:15:25 GMT
What a Trump-Putin Meeting Would Look Like in a Sane World Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Puting meet in Hamburg, Germany at the G20, the headlines blare.
From NBC News:  Trump Carries a Weak Hand Into Putin Meeting

From the Washington Post: Trump and Putin hold talks as the world watches

From ABC News: Trump, Putin high-stakes meeting underway
But why is this a high-stakes meeting? Why is the world watching? and Why does Trump carry a "weak hand"?

In a sane world, a meeting between Trump and Putin would go like this, as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot:
Putin: Hey Donnie, how is it going?

Trump: Great, fabulous, I lead the greatest country in the world. We are yuge! Are you guys done with your winter yet?
The only reason the current meeting is of consequence is because the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.

If President Trump were to heed the advice of  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, there really wouldn't be much for Trump and Putin to meet over.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world" Washington said in his Farewell Address. In his inaugural address,  Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

If Trump halts the U.S. imperial actions and brings the ships, troops, missiles, and drones home, no one would pay attention to a Trump-Putin meeting.

Russia is no threat to the United States, they want commerce.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
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Saudi Arabia - Bin Salman's Coup Is A Model For His Own Ouster Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/

Someone wanted the public to know that the new Saudi clown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) took up his new position by unceremoniously disposing his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) by force. The juicy details, true or not, were briefed to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the same day:
As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne.

By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
Bin Nayef was a darling of the CIA and his disposal was not welcome. It may well be that the author of the tale of his ouster has his office in Langley, Virginia.

We had correctly called the MbN removal a coup and predicted that "the old al-Saud family king [..] will be offed soon." From the current Reuters piece:
Quoting a witness at the palace, one Saudi source said King Salman this month pre-recorded a statement in which he announces the transfer of the throne to his son. The announcement could be broadcast at any time, perhaps as soon as September.
We also wrote that "[m]any Arab peninsula citizens will want to see [the new clown prince's] head on a pike."

The details of how MbS deposed the previous crown prince MbN will enrage further parts of the Saudi citizens. Additional leaks about extensive MbS contacts with Israel will increase the bad feelings against him. This especially as Israeli is further encroaching on the al-Haram a-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa mosque on the (likely falsely) claimed Jewish temple mount.

MbS' attempt to push Qatar around has, as predicted, failed. The four countries that had joined against Qatar could not agree to increase the pressure. The demands made to Qatar have now been retracted. This is a huge loss of face for MbS and his Emirati mentor Mohammad bin Zayed. The Saudi war against Yemen kills many civilians and costs lots of money but is militarily lost. The announced big economic reforms have made no progress. The Gulf Cooperation Council is defunct and may fall further apart.

Everything MbS has touched failed. His actions violate traditions and religious commandments. His coup has set an example that can now be used against himself. It would not be astonishing to see a revolt against Mohammed Bin Salman even before he is able to make himself king.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:28:51 GMT
The Dangerous Rush to Prosecute Donald Trump and His Associates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/

No, no, no, no, and no, responds George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley to the calls, arising out of the “Russiagate” fixation, to prosecute President Donald Trump and his campaign and presidential administration associates for a list of crimes — treason, espionage, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of justice, and election fraud.

Considering each crime in turn in a Tuesday The Hill editorial, Turley finds the basis for the accusation lacking in each case. Further, Turley warns that “broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations” in order to take down Trump and his associates carries great danger.

The danger arises in part from creating expanded power for future presidents to use. Turley explains:
As satisfying as it may be to 'get after the Donald' or his progeny, the engorged criminal code that would be left would then be handed to the next president. That president would then have a less obstructed range for the investigation of opponents and critics.
Read Turley’s insightful editorial here.

Turley describes in his editorial a discussion in the 1966 movie A Man for All Seasons that culminates with Thomas More declaring: “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.” You can watch here that excellently performed discussion.]]>
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Libya Report: Is Saif Gaddafi in the West's Crosshairs? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/

The struggle for power from the ruins of Libya is likely to get even uglier, and what is becoming decidedly more noticeable is the role of other interfering states who are betting on one side or another in the game for the prize that is Libya.

The latest international intrigue, orchestrated by what we might call the "new colonialist alliance," surrounds the future of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The United States, UK, the UN are egging on the United Arab Emirates and their allies including France and Jordan to finish the job in Libya by cajoling Libyan National Army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to totally abandon any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya. This new colonial order is seemingly becoming afraid of his growing popularity.

The US and its allies in the West and amongst the Arabs are engineering the so-called "Abu Dhabi Process" to bring Libya’s civil war to a close with a series of meetings for Gen. Haftar with world leaders. Haftar's meetings include the head of the Presidential Council, UN appointed Prime Minister Serraj; King Abdullah of Jordan; and the head of AFRICOM. Lastly and importantly, Haftar will meet with the new French President this week, a meeting worked out during Trump's visit to Paris.

To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US, UK, and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity. Failing that, there is a good chance he will be assassinated. 

Additionally, Saif al-Islam is being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically he was not involved in, to now being part of the alleged plot with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.

So thoroughly has the West manipulated the process in Libya that they have recently been able to convince Gen. Haftar to give up on any alliance with Saif al-Islam through a dramatic push by the United Arab Emirates in Zintan. Zintan, of course, is where Saif al-Islam was held in prison until quite recently.

The West does not like Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, but they are doing their best to get him to go along with this plan. Haftar is popular with the Libyan people, however, as is Saif.

According to irrefutable and reliable ground sources, a tribal meeting occurred in Zintan last Friday where an "agreement was signed" calling for the arrest of al-Siddiq militia leader Ajmi al-Atiri (who had been responsible for Saif Gaddafi since he arrested him in the desert) and to immediately search and re-arrest Saif al-Islam.

The fact is the UAE and the US do not like the signs of a country-wide movement, with tribal support, to make Saif al-Islam a Mandela style reconciliation figure.

The ground-game is important, but for immediate purposes the West just scored a major coup by setting the stage for Libya to spit-out Saif al-Islam right into the open jail cell in the ICC despite the lack of evidence against him. The ICC is merely a tool of the American dominated UN and Gaddafi’s son, the victim.

Will the US and its allies succeed? And what happens if they do?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:35:16 GMT
Netanyahu Opposes US-Russia South Syria Ceasefire Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government oppose the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all, and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria. They also said Russian troops couldn’t be allowed to police the safe zones closest to the Israeli border.

Ultimately it appears that none of these demands were met, with neither the US nor Russia apparently willing to center the terms of their deal on a ceasefire in one nation’s wars on demands from another nation that insists it is not involved in that war.

That Netanyahu felt the need to go public with his displeasure points to this being a particular sore spot, and Israeli officials say he also brought the matter up to both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not likely either side is going to revisit the deal to placate Israel, particularly since this ceasefire is holding better than most, and Israel’s objections are largely difficult to respond to, mostly centered on wanting the war to continue against the Shi’ites.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:25:38 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Bureaucracy, WaPo Conflict, Drug Decrim, Ronald Wayne, Thoreau Birthday Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ 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.

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC, but marijuana use by business customers and special events attendees has often been prohibited by law. That is changing some in Denver, Colorado with the City and County of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ July 1 rules for the consumption of marijuana in businesses and at special events.

Instead of just declaring it legal for any business or special event to allow the consumption of marijuana, the rules set up a permitting process and sweeping restraints. Applicants must prove their worthiness to receive a permit that can be revoked and that authorizes government agents, including police, to carry out inspections. Marijuana can only be consumed in so-called Designated Consumption Areas or DCAs that cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, child care establishment, alcohol or drug treatment center, or city-owned recreation center or outdoor pool. Special event permits must be sought at least 120 days before the event date. The rules also require the consumption of marijuana and even the advertising of DCAs to be shielded from view from public places including streets and sidewalks. The rules go on and on.

Government and special interests are working to keep tight control over legal marijuana.

Issue two.

In August of 2013, I wrote about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ then-recent purchase of the Washington Post. I noted the conflict of interest between his ownership of the Post that reports on the United States government and “Amazon’s potentially significant profits from computing and data storage contracts with numerous US government agencies including the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].”

This conflict of interest was discussed again at the Ron Paul Institute website this week in an article by Eric Zuesse. Zuesse wrote that Amazon Web Services or AWS that provides such services to entities including the US military and the CIA “is so profitable to Amazon that it accounts for all of Amazon’s net profits.”

Issue three.

You may have seen one of several articles saying drug decriminalization beyond marijuana may be about to take place in Oregon. One article at the Daily Caller is titled “Oregon Poised To Decriminalize Meth, Cocaine And Heroin.”

Not quite, responded Tom Angell in a Monday MassRoots article. “[T]he legislation in question,” Angell writes, “does not decriminalize drugs.” Though the legislation “reduces the punishment for possession of certain quantities of some drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Angell explains that its outcome is less than decriminalization. This is because, while decriminalization “is generally accepted to mean the removal of criminal penalties for the activity in question and the avoidance of arrest and incarceration,” the Oregon legislation provides for probation, imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines. This is much different than the traffic ticket type of penalty people expect with decriminalization.

Issue four.

Motherboard published this week a fascinating interview with Apple cofounder Ronald Wayne. Talking about US dollars, investing, and gold, Wayne sounds much like Ron Paul. Wayne said:
I supplement my income with collectors stamps and coins. You invest in gold in silver. I won't invest in anything dollar related, because I don't know when the roof will cave in, but it will. At the end of World War II, 40 nations came together to discuss what the currency and exchange rate would be. Before then it was the gold standard. But World War II was the most expensive war in history and most of these nations went bankrupt. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations said that every nation that uses fiat systems will inflate out of existence. So it is coming.
Issue five.

This week is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. James Bovard, in an essay regarding the anniversary at his website, relates that in Thoreau’s “early writing – especially his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’ – Thoreau vividly portrayed the perils of political power.”

-----

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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House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/15/house-approves-696-billion-military-spending-bill/

In a 344-81 vote yesterday, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $696 billion spending bill which far exceeds the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump Administration.

The bill has a base $621.5 billion funding, and $75 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which includes at least $10 billion that are earmarked as part of the OCO but intended to be spent on domestic military spending.

The bill was supported by a majority of Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. Indeed, only eight Republicans voted against the bill, with three other abstentions. The bill still has to be reconciled with its Senate alternative before becoming law.

President Trump had proposed a very large increase in military spending, compared to those sought in recent years, with an eye on a bigger Navy. Congressional hawks were deeply critical of even this large proposed increase as insufficient, and sought to outdo it with a bigger, pricier version.

There still hasn’t been a proper resolution to the 2011 sequestration rules, which Congress has ignored every year since at any rate, but on paper, the legal cap on the pre-OCO budget is supposed to be $549 billion, which will obviously be far exceeded.

Obviously this is by far the biggest military spending bill on the planet, many times what the second largest military, China, spends in a year.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Ron Paul Explains the Libertarian Option on Larry King’s Politicking Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/
Watch the complete interview here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:19:27 GMT
Bionic Mosquito Draws Blood From Cathy Young Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/

If you haven't yet read the Bionic Mosquito's blistering refutation of "libertarian" neocon Cathy Young's Reason Magazine piece on why Russia is the ultimate evil that must be sanctioned and smashed, do yourself a favor and take the time to do so.

In the Reason piece dissected by the Mosquito, Cathy Young -- a Russian immigrant -- slams Ron Paul and others with similar views on US/Russia relations (opposing Cold War 2.0 and NATO provocations on Russia's borders) as being "pro-Russia" (as opposed to anti-interventionist and anti-WWIII).

Hers is the same garbage we have heard from the neocons and "humanitarian" interventionists for the past 13 years: if you oppose war on Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose blowing up Libya, you are a Gaddafi lover; if you don't want to arm a bunch of crazed jihadis to overthrow secular Syria, you are an Assad apologist; and if you dare to suggest we attempt peaceful relations with Russia no matter our differences you are -- of course -- Putin's puppet.

The warmongers always lie and the people must be lied into war, as Goering knew so well.

Young believes that the US government must support "pro-freedom" (read: anti-Russian) countries on Russia's borders because to just leave them alone "would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well."

Young comes from the Trotskyite branch of the (faux) libertarian movement, where the libertarian's struggle is not to get his government off his back so that he/she can live as a free person, but rather to demand that US government resources be used to force (their view of) libertarianism ("pro-freedomism") across the globe. That's why she desperately calls for more "NGO" money to be flushed down the "democracy promotion" rathole in hopes that the "non-governmental" sector and the CIA can continue to work hand-in-hand to prop up some governments deemed friendly to the US government and to undermine and destroy.

Below is an appetizer from the Mosquito, but don't miss the rest of the meal here.

Better Dead Than Traditionally Wed

by Bionic Mosquito

This one runs a bit long…

Introduction

Russia's Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade: How Vladimir Putin's desire for domination and acceptance is scrambling American politics, by Cathy Young and published by Reason.com

Yes, it’s all Putin’s fault – even at Reason Magazine.

The beltway mainstream libertarians are coming out in force for war with Russia, and criticizing the libertarians who are against war with Russia.  Their desire for the libertine overwhelms any concerns they might have regarding war with Russia.

Now they don’t say all of this in so many words, but one need not be a high school graduate to see where this is all headed.

Let’s allow Cathy Young to set the stage:

· NATO expanding to Russia’s borders should not be seen as a threat by Russia, but as an olive branch of peace;

· The EU should not be viewed as an unaccountable bureaucracy, but an organization dedicated to advancing liberty in Europe;

· Western involvement in color revolutions (if it even occurs) – even on the doorsteps of Russia – should not be seen as destabilizing, but as advancement of liberal democracy;

· Creating turmoil throughout the Muslim world should not be viewed as a threat to Russia – which not only directly borders this Muslim world but is also home to something in the order of 10 million Muslims, but instead seen as a move toward expanding freedom.

And how are libertarians who might believe otherwise viewed?
…pro-Russian (or at least anti-anti-Russian) arguments have become fairly common not just among conservatives but among a contingent of libertarians, such as former Rep. Ron Paul and Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo.
And why?
…Ron Paul–style libertarians are inclined to see Russia as a check on U.S. foreign adventurism and Russia hawks as hardcore proponents of the American imperial leviathan.
An incomplete view is the most charitable way I can describe this, although for a libertarian even just this might be reason enough to be “anti-anti-Russian.”

And why are these beltway mainstream libertarians against Russia?  (Emphasis added)
Schindler cites a 2013 speech in which Putin deplored the rejection of "Christian values" by "many Euro-Atlantic countries," defended Russia's right to protect traditional morality, and criticized attempts to export "extreme Western-style liberalism" worldwide. (The main example of Western decadence and liberal extremism was, of course, same-sex marriage.)
Get the picture?  Do you think my title was a joke?  And for this, the West must go to war against Russia.  And any libertarian (or anyone else) who disagrees is, by definition, on Putin’s payroll.  (He must not have my wiring instructions.  I’m still waiting.)

The Death of Democracy

As if – at least as it is currently practiced in much of the West – this would be a bad thing….
The dominant narrative in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and mainstream media casts Putin as the implacable enemy of the Western liberal order…In this narrative, President Donald Trump is…a witting or unwitting instrument of subversion, useful to Putin either as an ideological ally or as an incompetent who will strengthen Russia's hand by destabilizing American democracy.
To the extent democracy is both worthwhile (a position I do not grant) and meaningful, American democracy was destabilized years ago – all on its own doing.  What was the Kennedy assassination but a destabilization of democracy?  What about the lies and false flags intended to drive the people toward a passion for war?  How can there be anything approaching a stable democracy when the mainstream media so blatantly and regularly lie to the public, acting as nothing more than press agents for the state?
At its extremes, the Russian subversion narrative relies on a great deal of conspiratorial thinking. It also far too easily absolves the Western political establishment of responsibility for its failures, from the defeat of European Union supporters in England's Brexit vote to Hillary Clinton's loss in last November's election. Putin makes a convenient boogeyman.
I read this and scratch my head.  Democracy’s failures can be seen in Brexit or in Hillary’s election loss?  What on earth does that even mean?  Was there a vote or wasn’t there?

Is Reason a Neocon Tool?
Nonetheless, there is a real Russian effort to counter American—plus NATO and E.U.—influence…
What libertarian thinks in such terms?  A libertarian would want to see the influence of the American government, NATO, and the EU all countered and reduced.  Bad enough we are under the yoke of unbelievably massive state governments, NATO and the EU are entities of force and coercion even above and outside of the state.  I wish the United States would work to counter NATO and EU influence – how could a libertarian think otherwise?  Thank God someone is doing it.

Of course, one could say that the state – any state – should not be used to counteranything.  OK, I agree.  So, get the US out of NATO; get the US out of military bases around the world.  Let’s keep in mind: on whose borders has NATO encroached since the end of the Cold War?

A Call For More Government Action…

…as opposed to less government action.
What should American policy be toward Putin's Russia?
How about stay out of their business?  How about stay out of their neighborhood?  How about no more destabilizations of its neighbors?  How about that for an American policy?

No, not at Reason.
While "democracy promotion" in countries with no homegrown liberal tradition is a project likely to remain discredited for the foreseeable future…
Talk about an understatement.  Have you seen the results?  But, there is a bigger question: under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “democracy promotion” by one government toward another country fall?
…support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations in countries that look to America for leadership is a far more complicated matter.
Under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations” by one government toward another region fall?
Ukraine, Georgia, and even the Baltic states may not be paragons of liberal capitalism today. Yet if they were bullied into a return to Russian vassalage, it would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well.
Isn’t it their business?  Does it do any good for such smaller countries to rely on the good graces of some government five thousand miles away while at the same time being antagonistic toward its own neighbors?  How much liberty has been lost by those in the Ukraine today because of this?

Read the rest of the Mosquito here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 19:56:04 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump-Putin Meeting, Roy Moore, Wisconsin Taprooms, Catalonia, Texas Prisons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ 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 sane world,” Robert Wenzel wrote Friday at Target Liberty, a meeting of United States and Russia leaders Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would consist of the two men exchanging small talk “as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot.” This is because the US would be following the advice of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to “steer clear of permanent Alliances” and to seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” Instead, Wenzel notes, “the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.”

While sanity is a bit much to expect in the short term, hopefully Trump and Putin’s Friday conversation at the G20 meeting in Germany will at least help reduce some of the dangerous tension between the two governments.

Issue two.

It looks like the results of the upcoming August 15 primary in Alabama could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers.

Remember Roy Moore? In 2003 he was removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to obey a US court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument he had ordered placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. In 2012 Moore was elected again chief justice. He was then suspended for taking actions including telling judges to continue enforcing the state’s gay marriage law that conflicted with a new US Supreme Court decision.

Now Moore is a Republican primary candidate for the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become US attorney general. Moore may do well in the large field of candidates that includes US House Member Mo Brooks and Luther Strange who was appointment by the governor to serve as the interim US senator.

Brooks’ internal polling apparently puts Moore in the lead with 31 percent compared to 23 percent for Strange and 21 percent for Brooks.

Given Moore’s history at the state Supreme Court, it seems likely he would exercise a fair amount of independence in the US Senate.

Issue three.

The 21st Amendment ending the US government’s alcohol prohibition was ratified in 1933. Over 80 years later there are still plenty of restrictions on the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There also are efforts to make alcohol laws more restrictive.

In Wisconsin, taprooms where craft breweries sell their beers on site are under threat of being outlawed. Ben Handelman reported last week at WITI-TV in Milwaukee that a provision to ban the taprooms could be inserted into state budget legislation. That would allow the ban to become law without a separate debate and vote on the matter.

Who is behind the proposed ban? To seek an answer, one may ask, “Who benefits?” Competing alcohol sellers trying to eliminate competition and alcohol distributors trying to protect their turf come to mind, Handelman says, “Lobbyist groups associated with distributors and taverns are the main suspects.”

Issue four.

A new nation may rise in Europe this fall. A popular election is scheduled for October 1 in Catalonia on whether Catalonia should become a nation independent of Spain. Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as stating that an independence vote victory will lead to negotiations with Spain to bring about independence, not negotiations for a lesser goal of Spain ceding more powers to Catalonia within the Spanish nation.

Issue five.

Brandi Grissom reported Wednesday at the Dallas Morning News that, with reduced incarceration in the state, the Texas government is scheduled to shut down four prisons by September 1 — more “than it has in any single year in history.” Grissom writes that the prisons are required to be shut down by the state budget passed earlier this year and that, when they are shut down, Texas will have closed eight prions over the last six years.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ Sun, 09 Jul 2017 14:15:25 GMT
What a Trump-Putin Meeting Would Look Like in a Sane World Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Puting meet in Hamburg, Germany at the G20, the headlines blare.
From NBC News:  Trump Carries a Weak Hand Into Putin Meeting

From the Washington Post: Trump and Putin hold talks as the world watches

From ABC News: Trump, Putin high-stakes meeting underway
But why is this a high-stakes meeting? Why is the world watching? and Why does Trump carry a "weak hand"?

In a sane world, a meeting between Trump and Putin would go like this, as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot:
Putin: Hey Donnie, how is it going?

Trump: Great, fabulous, I lead the greatest country in the world. We are yuge! Are you guys done with your winter yet?
The only reason the current meeting is of consequence is because the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.

If President Trump were to heed the advice of  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, there really wouldn't be much for Trump and Putin to meet over.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world" Washington said in his Farewell Address. In his inaugural address,  Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

If Trump halts the U.S. imperial actions and brings the ships, troops, missiles, and drones home, no one would pay attention to a Trump-Putin meeting.

Russia is no threat to the United States, they want commerce.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:32:01 GMT
Saudi Arabia - Bin Salman's Coup Is A Model For His Own Ouster Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/

Someone wanted the public to know that the new Saudi clown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) took up his new position by unceremoniously disposing his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef (MbN) by force. The juicy details, true or not, were briefed to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the same day:
As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne.

By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
Bin Nayef was a darling of the CIA and his disposal was not welcome. It may well be that the author of the tale of his ouster has his office in Langley, Virginia.

We had correctly called the MbN removal a coup and predicted that "the old al-Saud family king [..] will be offed soon." From the current Reuters piece:
Quoting a witness at the palace, one Saudi source said King Salman this month pre-recorded a statement in which he announces the transfer of the throne to his son. The announcement could be broadcast at any time, perhaps as soon as September.
We also wrote that "[m]any Arab peninsula citizens will want to see [the new clown prince's] head on a pike."

The details of how MbS deposed the previous crown prince MbN will enrage further parts of the Saudi citizens. Additional leaks about extensive MbS contacts with Israel will increase the bad feelings against him. This especially as Israeli is further encroaching on the al-Haram a-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa mosque on the (likely falsely) claimed Jewish temple mount.

MbS' attempt to push Qatar around has, as predicted, failed. The four countries that had joined against Qatar could not agree to increase the pressure. The demands made to Qatar have now been retracted. This is a huge loss of face for MbS and his Emirati mentor Mohammad bin Zayed. The Saudi war against Yemen kills many civilians and costs lots of money but is militarily lost. The announced big economic reforms have made no progress. The Gulf Cooperation Council is defunct and may fall further apart.

Everything MbS has touched failed. His actions violate traditions and religious commandments. His coup has set an example that can now be used against himself. It would not be astonishing to see a revolt against Mohammed Bin Salman even before he is able to make himself king.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/20/saudi-arabia-bin-salmans-coup-is-a-model-for-his-own-ouster/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:28:51 GMT
The Dangerous Rush to Prosecute Donald Trump and His Associates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/

No, no, no, no, and no, responds George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley to the calls, arising out of the “Russiagate” fixation, to prosecute President Donald Trump and his campaign and presidential administration associates for a list of crimes — treason, espionage, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of justice, and election fraud.

Considering each crime in turn in a Tuesday The Hill editorial, Turley finds the basis for the accusation lacking in each case. Further, Turley warns that “broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations” in order to take down Trump and his associates carries great danger.

The danger arises in part from creating expanded power for future presidents to use. Turley explains:
As satisfying as it may be to 'get after the Donald' or his progeny, the engorged criminal code that would be left would then be handed to the next president. That president would then have a less obstructed range for the investigation of opponents and critics.
Read Turley’s insightful editorial here.

Turley describes in his editorial a discussion in the 1966 movie A Man for All Seasons that culminates with Thomas More declaring: “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.” You can watch here that excellently performed discussion.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/18/the-dangerous-rush-to-prosecute-donald-trump-and-his-associates/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:16:29 GMT
Libya Report: Is Saif Gaddafi in the West's Crosshairs? Richard Galustian http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/

The struggle for power from the ruins of Libya is likely to get even uglier, and what is becoming decidedly more noticeable is the role of other interfering states who are betting on one side or another in the game for the prize that is Libya.

The latest international intrigue, orchestrated by what we might call the "new colonialist alliance," surrounds the future of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The United States, UK, the UN are egging on the United Arab Emirates and their allies including France and Jordan to finish the job in Libya by cajoling Libyan National Army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to totally abandon any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya. This new colonial order is seemingly becoming afraid of his growing popularity.

The US and its allies in the West and amongst the Arabs are engineering the so-called "Abu Dhabi Process" to bring Libya’s civil war to a close with a series of meetings for Gen. Haftar with world leaders. Haftar's meetings include the head of the Presidential Council, UN appointed Prime Minister Serraj; King Abdullah of Jordan; and the head of AFRICOM. Lastly and importantly, Haftar will meet with the new French President this week, a meeting worked out during Trump's visit to Paris.

To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US, UK, and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity. Failing that, there is a good chance he will be assassinated. 

Additionally, Saif al-Islam is being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically he was not involved in, to now being part of the alleged plot with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.

So thoroughly has the West manipulated the process in Libya that they have recently been able to convince Gen. Haftar to give up on any alliance with Saif al-Islam through a dramatic push by the United Arab Emirates in Zintan. Zintan, of course, is where Saif al-Islam was held in prison until quite recently.

The West does not like Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, but they are doing their best to get him to go along with this plan. Haftar is popular with the Libyan people, however, as is Saif.

According to irrefutable and reliable ground sources, a tribal meeting occurred in Zintan last Friday where an "agreement was signed" calling for the arrest of al-Siddiq militia leader Ajmi al-Atiri (who had been responsible for Saif Gaddafi since he arrested him in the desert) and to immediately search and re-arrest Saif al-Islam.

The fact is the UAE and the US do not like the signs of a country-wide movement, with tribal support, to make Saif al-Islam a Mandela style reconciliation figure.

The ground-game is important, but for immediate purposes the West just scored a major coup by setting the stage for Libya to spit-out Saif al-Islam right into the open jail cell in the ICC despite the lack of evidence against him. The ICC is merely a tool of the American dominated UN and Gaddafi’s son, the victim.

Will the US and its allies succeed? And what happens if they do?]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/17/libya-report-is-saif-gaddafi-in-the-wests-crosshairs/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:35:16 GMT
Netanyahu Opposes US-Russia South Syria Ceasefire Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government oppose the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all, and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria. They also said Russian troops couldn’t be allowed to police the safe zones closest to the Israeli border.

Ultimately it appears that none of these demands were met, with neither the US nor Russia apparently willing to center the terms of their deal on a ceasefire in one nation’s wars on demands from another nation that insists it is not involved in that war.

That Netanyahu felt the need to go public with his displeasure points to this being a particular sore spot, and Israeli officials say he also brought the matter up to both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not likely either side is going to revisit the deal to placate Israel, particularly since this ceasefire is holding better than most, and Israel’s objections are largely difficult to respond to, mostly centered on wanting the war to continue against the Shi’ites.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/netanyahu-opposes-us-russia-south-syria-ceasefire-deal/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:25:38 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Bureaucracy, WaPo Conflict, Drug Decrim, Ronald Wayne, Thoreau Birthday Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ 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.

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in eight states and Washington, DC, but marijuana use by business customers and special events attendees has often been prohibited by law. That is changing some in Denver, Colorado with the City and County of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses’ July 1 rules for the consumption of marijuana in businesses and at special events.

Instead of just declaring it legal for any business or special event to allow the consumption of marijuana, the rules set up a permitting process and sweeping restraints. Applicants must prove their worthiness to receive a permit that can be revoked and that authorizes government agents, including police, to carry out inspections. Marijuana can only be consumed in so-called Designated Consumption Areas or DCAs that cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, child care establishment, alcohol or drug treatment center, or city-owned recreation center or outdoor pool. Special event permits must be sought at least 120 days before the event date. The rules also require the consumption of marijuana and even the advertising of DCAs to be shielded from view from public places including streets and sidewalks. The rules go on and on.

Government and special interests are working to keep tight control over legal marijuana.

Issue two.

In August of 2013, I wrote about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ then-recent purchase of the Washington Post. I noted the conflict of interest between his ownership of the Post that reports on the United States government and “Amazon’s potentially significant profits from computing and data storage contracts with numerous US government agencies including the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].”

This conflict of interest was discussed again at the Ron Paul Institute website this week in an article by Eric Zuesse. Zuesse wrote that Amazon Web Services or AWS that provides such services to entities including the US military and the CIA “is so profitable to Amazon that it accounts for all of Amazon’s net profits.”

Issue three.

You may have seen one of several articles saying drug decriminalization beyond marijuana may be about to take place in Oregon. One article at the Daily Caller is titled “Oregon Poised To Decriminalize Meth, Cocaine And Heroin.”

Not quite, responded Tom Angell in a Monday MassRoots article. “[T]he legislation in question,” Angell writes, “does not decriminalize drugs.” Though the legislation “reduces the punishment for possession of certain quantities of some drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Angell explains that its outcome is less than decriminalization. This is because, while decriminalization “is generally accepted to mean the removal of criminal penalties for the activity in question and the avoidance of arrest and incarceration,” the Oregon legislation provides for probation, imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines. This is much different than the traffic ticket type of penalty people expect with decriminalization.

Issue four.

Motherboard published this week a fascinating interview with Apple cofounder Ronald Wayne. Talking about US dollars, investing, and gold, Wayne sounds much like Ron Paul. Wayne said:
I supplement my income with collectors stamps and coins. You invest in gold in silver. I won't invest in anything dollar related, because I don't know when the roof will cave in, but it will. At the end of World War II, 40 nations came together to discuss what the currency and exchange rate would be. Before then it was the gold standard. But World War II was the most expensive war in history and most of these nations went bankrupt. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations said that every nation that uses fiat systems will inflate out of existence. So it is coming.
Issue five.

This week is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. James Bovard, in an essay regarding the anniversary at his website, relates that in Thoreau’s “early writing – especially his essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’ – Thoreau vividly portrayed the perils of political power.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/16/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-bureaucracy-wapo-conflict-drug-decrim-ronald-wayne-thoreau-birthday/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:44:26 GMT
House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/15/house-approves-696-billion-military-spending-bill/

In a 344-81 vote yesterday, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $696 billion spending bill which far exceeds the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump Administration.

The bill has a base $621.5 billion funding, and $75 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which includes at least $10 billion that are earmarked as part of the OCO but intended to be spent on domestic military spending.

The bill was supported by a majority of Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. Indeed, only eight Republicans voted against the bill, with three other abstentions. The bill still has to be reconciled with its Senate alternative before becoming law.

President Trump had proposed a very large increase in military spending, compared to those sought in recent years, with an eye on a bigger Navy. Congressional hawks were deeply critical of even this large proposed increase as insufficient, and sought to outdo it with a bigger, pricier version.

There still hasn’t been a proper resolution to the 2011 sequestration rules, which Congress has ignored every year since at any rate, but on paper, the legal cap on the pre-OCO budget is supposed to be $549 billion, which will obviously be far exceeded.

Obviously this is by far the biggest military spending bill on the planet, many times what the second largest military, China, spends in a year.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Ron Paul Explains the Libertarian Option on Larry King’s Politicking Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/
Watch the complete interview here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/12/ron-paul-explains-the-libertarian-option-on-larry-king-s-politicking/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:19:27 GMT
Bionic Mosquito Draws Blood From Cathy Young Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/11/bionic-mosquito-draws-blood-from-cathy-young/

If you haven't yet read the Bionic Mosquito's blistering refutation of "libertarian" neocon Cathy Young's Reason Magazine piece on why Russia is the ultimate evil that must be sanctioned and smashed, do yourself a favor and take the time to do so.

In the Reason piece dissected by the Mosquito, Cathy Young -- a Russian immigrant -- slams Ron Paul and others with similar views on US/Russia relations (opposing Cold War 2.0 and NATO provocations on Russia's borders) as being "pro-Russia" (as opposed to anti-interventionist and anti-WWIII).

Hers is the same garbage we have heard from the neocons and "humanitarian" interventionists for the past 13 years: if you oppose war on Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose blowing up Libya, you are a Gaddafi lover; if you don't want to arm a bunch of crazed jihadis to overthrow secular Syria, you are an Assad apologist; and if you dare to suggest we attempt peaceful relations with Russia no matter our differences you are -- of course -- Putin's puppet.

The warmongers always lie and the people must be lied into war, as Goering knew so well.

Young believes that the US government must support "pro-freedom" (read: anti-Russian) countries on Russia's borders because to just leave them alone "would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well."

Young comes from the Trotskyite branch of the (faux) libertarian movement, where the libertarian's struggle is not to get his government off his back so that he/she can live as a free person, but rather to demand that US government resources be used to force (their view of) libertarianism ("pro-freedomism") across the globe. That's why she desperately calls for more "NGO" money to be flushed down the "democracy promotion" rathole in hopes that the "non-governmental" sector and the CIA can continue to work hand-in-hand to prop up some governments deemed friendly to the US government and to undermine and destroy.

Below is an appetizer from the Mosquito, but don't miss the rest of the meal here.

Better Dead Than Traditionally Wed

by Bionic Mosquito

This one runs a bit long…

Introduction

Russia's Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade: How Vladimir Putin's desire for domination and acceptance is scrambling American politics, by Cathy Young and published by Reason.com

Yes, it’s all Putin’s fault – even at Reason Magazine.

The beltway mainstream libertarians are coming out in force for war with Russia, and criticizing the libertarians who are against war with Russia.  Their desire for the libertine overwhelms any concerns they might have regarding war with Russia.

Now they don’t say all of this in so many words, but one need not be a high school graduate to see where this is all headed.

Let’s allow Cathy Young to set the stage:

· NATO expanding to Russia’s borders should not be seen as a threat by Russia, but as an olive branch of peace;

· The EU should not be viewed as an unaccountable bureaucracy, but an organization dedicated to advancing liberty in Europe;

· Western involvement in color revolutions (if it even occurs) – even on the doorsteps of Russia – should not be seen as destabilizing, but as advancement of liberal democracy;

· Creating turmoil throughout the Muslim world should not be viewed as a threat to Russia – which not only directly borders this Muslim world but is also home to something in the order of 10 million Muslims, but instead seen as a move toward expanding freedom.

And how are libertarians who might believe otherwise viewed?
…pro-Russian (or at least anti-anti-Russian) arguments have become fairly common not just among conservatives but among a contingent of libertarians, such as former Rep. Ron Paul and Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo.
And why?
…Ron Paul–style libertarians are inclined to see Russia as a check on U.S. foreign adventurism and Russia hawks as hardcore proponents of the American imperial leviathan.
An incomplete view is the most charitable way I can describe this, although for a libertarian even just this might be reason enough to be “anti-anti-Russian.”

And why are these beltway mainstream libertarians against Russia?  (Emphasis added)
Schindler cites a 2013 speech in which Putin deplored the rejection of "Christian values" by "many Euro-Atlantic countries," defended Russia's right to protect traditional morality, and criticized attempts to export "extreme Western-style liberalism" worldwide. (The main example of Western decadence and liberal extremism was, of course, same-sex marriage.)
Get the picture?  Do you think my title was a joke?  And for this, the West must go to war against Russia.  And any libertarian (or anyone else) who disagrees is, by definition, on Putin’s payroll.  (He must not have my wiring instructions.  I’m still waiting.)

The Death of Democracy

As if – at least as it is currently practiced in much of the West – this would be a bad thing….
The dominant narrative in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and mainstream media casts Putin as the implacable enemy of the Western liberal order…In this narrative, President Donald Trump is…a witting or unwitting instrument of subversion, useful to Putin either as an ideological ally or as an incompetent who will strengthen Russia's hand by destabilizing American democracy.
To the extent democracy is both worthwhile (a position I do not grant) and meaningful, American democracy was destabilized years ago – all on its own doing.  What was the Kennedy assassination but a destabilization of democracy?  What about the lies and false flags intended to drive the people toward a passion for war?  How can there be anything approaching a stable democracy when the mainstream media so blatantly and regularly lie to the public, acting as nothing more than press agents for the state?
At its extremes, the Russian subversion narrative relies on a great deal of conspiratorial thinking. It also far too easily absolves the Western political establishment of responsibility for its failures, from the defeat of European Union supporters in England's Brexit vote to Hillary Clinton's loss in last November's election. Putin makes a convenient boogeyman.
I read this and scratch my head.  Democracy’s failures can be seen in Brexit or in Hillary’s election loss?  What on earth does that even mean?  Was there a vote or wasn’t there?

Is Reason a Neocon Tool?
Nonetheless, there is a real Russian effort to counter American—plus NATO and E.U.—influence…
What libertarian thinks in such terms?  A libertarian would want to see the influence of the American government, NATO, and the EU all countered and reduced.  Bad enough we are under the yoke of unbelievably massive state governments, NATO and the EU are entities of force and coercion even above and outside of the state.  I wish the United States would work to counter NATO and EU influence – how could a libertarian think otherwise?  Thank God someone is doing it.

Of course, one could say that the state – any state – should not be used to counteranything.  OK, I agree.  So, get the US out of NATO; get the US out of military bases around the world.  Let’s keep in mind: on whose borders has NATO encroached since the end of the Cold War?

A Call For More Government Action…

…as opposed to less government action.
What should American policy be toward Putin's Russia?
How about stay out of their business?  How about stay out of their neighborhood?  How about no more destabilizations of its neighbors?  How about that for an American policy?

No, not at Reason.
While "democracy promotion" in countries with no homegrown liberal tradition is a project likely to remain discredited for the foreseeable future…
Talk about an understatement.  Have you seen the results?  But, there is a bigger question: under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “democracy promotion” by one government toward another country fall?
…support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations in countries that look to America for leadership is a far more complicated matter.
Under what aspect of libertarian theory does the idea of “support for genuine grassroots pro-freedom aspirations” by one government toward another region fall?
Ukraine, Georgia, and even the Baltic states may not be paragons of liberal capitalism today. Yet if they were bullied into a return to Russian vassalage, it would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well.
Isn’t it their business?  Does it do any good for such smaller countries to rely on the good graces of some government five thousand miles away while at the same time being antagonistic toward its own neighbors?  How much liberty has been lost by those in the Ukraine today because of this?

Read the rest of the Mosquito here.]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump-Putin Meeting, Roy Moore, Wisconsin Taprooms, Catalonia, Texas Prisons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/09/five-minutes-five-issues-trump-putin-meeting-roy-moore-wisconsin-taprooms-catalonia-texas-prisons/ 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 sane world,” Robert Wenzel wrote Friday at Target Liberty, a meeting of United States and Russia leaders Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would consist of the two men exchanging small talk “as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot.” This is because the US would be following the advice of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to “steer clear of permanent Alliances” and to seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” Instead, Wenzel notes, “the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.”

While sanity is a bit much to expect in the short term, hopefully Trump and Putin’s Friday conversation at the G20 meeting in Germany will at least help reduce some of the dangerous tension between the two governments.

Issue two.

It looks like the results of the upcoming August 15 primary in Alabama could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers.

Remember Roy Moore? In 2003 he was removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to obey a US court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument he had ordered placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. In 2012 Moore was elected again chief justice. He was then suspended for taking actions including telling judges to continue enforcing the state’s gay marriage law that conflicted with a new US Supreme Court decision.

Now Moore is a Republican primary candidate for the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become US attorney general. Moore may do well in the large field of candidates that includes US House Member Mo Brooks and Luther Strange who was appointment by the governor to serve as the interim US senator.

Brooks’ internal polling apparently puts Moore in the lead with 31 percent compared to 23 percent for Strange and 21 percent for Brooks.

Given Moore’s history at the state Supreme Court, it seems likely he would exercise a fair amount of independence in the US Senate.

Issue three.

The 21st Amendment ending the US government’s alcohol prohibition was ratified in 1933. Over 80 years later there are still plenty of restrictions on the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There also are efforts to make alcohol laws more restrictive.

In Wisconsin, taprooms where craft breweries sell their beers on site are under threat of being outlawed. Ben Handelman reported last week at WITI-TV in Milwaukee that a provision to ban the taprooms could be inserted into state budget legislation. That would allow the ban to become law without a separate debate and vote on the matter.

Who is behind the proposed ban? To seek an answer, one may ask, “Who benefits?” Competing alcohol sellers trying to eliminate competition and alcohol distributors trying to protect their turf come to mind, Handelman says, “Lobbyist groups associated with distributors and taverns are the main suspects.”

Issue four.

A new nation may rise in Europe this fall. A popular election is scheduled for October 1 in Catalonia on whether Catalonia should become a nation independent of Spain. Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as stating that an independence vote victory will lead to negotiations with Spain to bring about independence, not negotiations for a lesser goal of Spain ceding more powers to Catalonia within the Spanish nation.

Issue five.

Brandi Grissom reported Wednesday at the Dallas Morning News that, with reduced incarceration in the state, the Texas government is scheduled to shut down four prisons by September 1 — more “than it has in any single year in history.” Grissom writes that the prisons are required to be shut down by the state budget passed earlier this year and that, when they are shut down, Texas will have closed eight prions over the last six years.

-----

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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What a Trump-Putin Meeting Would Look Like in a Sane World Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/july/07/what-a-trump-putin-meeting-would-look-like-in-a-sane-world/

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Puting meet in Hamburg, Germany at the G20, the headlines blare.
From NBC News:  Trump Carries a Weak Hand Into Putin Meeting

From the Washington Post: Trump and Putin hold talks as the world watches

From ABC News: Trump, Putin high-stakes meeting underway
But why is this a high-stakes meeting? Why is the world watching? and Why does Trump carry a "weak hand"?

In a sane world, a meeting between Trump and Putin would go like this, as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot:
Putin: Hey Donnie, how is it going?

Trump: Great, fabulous, I lead the greatest country in the world. We are yuge! Are you guys done with your winter yet?
The only reason the current meeting is of consequence is because the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.

If President Trump were to heed the advice of  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, there really wouldn't be much for Trump and Putin to meet over.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world" Washington said in his Farewell Address. In his inaugural address,  Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

If Trump halts the U.S. imperial actions and brings the ships, troops, missiles, and drones home, no one would pay attention to a Trump-Putin meeting.

Russia is no threat to the United States, they want commerce.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
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