Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2019 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Sun, 16 Jun 2019 04:00:00 GMT Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:08:58 GMT Revisiting Ron Paul's 1988 Case for Drug Legalization Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/


For information on RPI's next conference in August, click here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:48:52 GMT
New York Ends Religious Exemption for Vaccinations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/

On Thursday, the New York state legislature passed and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation (S2994A) eliminating the religious exemption parents in the state have been able to exercise to refuse state-mandated vaccinations for their children as a condition for their children attending school. This legal change leaves parents with only a narrow medical exemption given that New York had already barred use of a philosophical exemption.

The legislation will even affect many children attending private schools.

In 2015, California similarly eliminated the ability of parents to claim any exemption to vaccinations other than a medical exemption. I wrote about that legal change in articles here and here. Now there is a move in the California legislature to drastically curtail the ability of parents to obtain medical exemptions for their children.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:38:29 GMT
Making 911 Call Responses Safer Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/

Calling 911 is marketed as a means to obtain help and safety when danger arises. But, when cops arrive in response to a 911 call, they can make a dangerous situation more dangerous and even make it deadly. This can especially be the case when the individual who makes the 911 call or is the subject of the call has a disability or a mental health issue.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead expressed the problem pithily in his October of 2017 editorial “Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old”: “Trained to shoot first and ask questions later, police pose a risk to anyone with special needs whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent or require more finesse than the typical freeze-or-I’ll-shoot tactics employed by America’s police forces.”

In addition to proposing reforms in how police are trained as a means to enhance the safety of 911 call responses, Whitehead suggests in his editorial that, for some emergency calls, police not be dispatched at all. Whitehead writes that some funds now directed to police departments could be used “to establish what one disability-rights activist describes as ‘a 911-type number dedicated to handling mental-health emergencies, with community crisis-response teams at the ready rather than police officers.’”

Along the lines of the suggestion made by Whitehead, Karen Morfitt reported Monday at CBS4 TV news in Denver, Colorado that the Denver police are planning to implement a pilot program, modeled after a program in operation in Eugene, Oregon, through which some 911 calls related to homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse would not result in the dispatching of any police. Instead, many such calls, when the situation does not involve a weapon or a threat to others, could be responded to by just a mental health worker and a medic.

Hopefully the program in the planning stages in Denver, and other similar programs, can help show the way to handling many emergency calls in a safer and more rights-respecting manner.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:26:08 GMT
Persian Gulf Tanker Attack: Iran Guilty? False Flag? Cui Bono? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:47:09 GMT
US Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner — described by Sarwark as a party member — in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolph Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

As if to make the support for a US government-orchestrated regime change operation in Venezuela yet more clear, Varner in the video even promotes that the “Chicago Boys” can improve things in Venezuela after the country’s current government is replaced. “
Chicago Boys” is a reference to University of Chicago-connected individuals that played a prominent role in the Chile government after a successful US-supported regime change in that country in 1973.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:14:10 GMT
Mike Gravel Says Legalize All Drugs Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/

The support for marijuana legalization is so strong among Democrats that there may be no hope for any United States presidential candidate who supports marijuana prohibition to achieve the party’s nomination. Indeed, we have witnessed Democratic candidate after candidate express support for legalization. Even long-time drug warrior Joe Biden, though he has held back from endorsing legalization, said through a spokesperson last month that he supports several significant marijuana law liberalizations.

Still, it is uncommon for a Democratic presidential candidate to take the further step of declaring his support for ending the entire drug war. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made such a declaration as he started his presidential campaign. In the case of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, a former US senator from Alaska, public support for ending the drug war goes back further.

You can watch here Gravel back in 2007 declaring his support for legalizing drugs and ending the drug war “that does no good to anybody”:



Gravel has continued promoting legalization as part of his 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, declaring on his campaign website issues page titled “Ending the War on Drugs” that the US should “[d]ecriminalize, legalize, regulate, and tax all drugs, including opioids.” Plus, at the Gravel campaign’s YouTube page there is a trippy video in which Gravel, as an animated talking bug, denounces the drug war:

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:18:33 GMT
Amazon to Keep Aiding Government’s Facial Recognition Surveillance Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/

In January, I wrote about a then-upcoming vote by Amazon shareholders on a resolution calling for the company’s board of directors to “prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.”

Here is an update. In May, in a vote of Amazon shareholders, a resolution to prevent the sales failed, receiving less than three percent of votes cast. Also, as noted in a Reuters report on the vote, a second proposal calling for the company to take the more limited step of studying how its Rekognition facial recognition technology harms civil rights and privacy also failed, receiving just 27.5 percent support.

The results of the shareholder vote are disheartening for people seeking to influence companies to stop enabling Big Brother surveillance.

No doubt about it, the United States government’s goal is to make surveillance ubiquitous. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon see a surveillance growth industry similar to and overlapping with military contractors in the military-industrial complex. It can be difficult to do the right thing when dollar signs are lighting up in your eyes.

Airports are one of the primary areas where government and its corporate accomplices are seeking to expand surveillance in America — including through using facial recognition technology. It makes sense. People have already become accustomed to being subjected to extensive privacy invasions at airports in the name of “security.”

Jason Kelley warned in an April Electronic Frontier Foundation article that privacy invasion is becoming increasingly prevalent at American airports. Airlines, as well as the United States government’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are expanding their use of facial recognition technology to track people at airports. Kelley explains that the goal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which CBP and TSA are parts, is “to use facial recognition on 97 percent of departing air passengers within the next four years and 100 percent of all international passengers in the top 20 U.S. airports by 2021.”

While many people would rather not be subjected to the tracking technology, Kelley writes that airlines and government agencies are not being upfront about how to opt out of the surveillance or even whether the surveillance is taking place. Of course, the default should not be for the government to surveille people just because they happen to be in an airport or traveling. The default should be respecting people’s privacy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 21:40:11 GMT
Texas Bans Red Light Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/

On Saturday, after over ten years of red light cameras use by local governments across the state to impose fines, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that bans the use of red light cameras in Texas and ensures people who have been ticketed based upon photos taken by such cameras can register their vehicles despite their having not paid the tickets.

For a discussion of how state and local governments, working together with companies that provide and operate the cameras, have used red light cameras to surveille and fleece people across America, read John W. Whitehead’s October of 2013 Rutherford Institute editorial Red Light Cameras, Drones and Surveillance: Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies. In his editorial, Whitehead also describes how danger on the roads can be increased by yellow light times being reduced in conjunction with the operation of red light cameras in an effort to generate more fines at the cost of increasing the number of traffic accidents.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:18:17 GMT
Don’t Prosecute Julian Assange, Thank Him Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/
“The values underlying the First Amendment,” explains Napolitano, “are that the press should be free to expose all the government does, and whatever the press has in its hands — no matter how it acquired it — it is free to publish those materials as long as they are newsworthy, and no one can harm a hair on the head of anyone who does so.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano also discusses in his new editorial this week the US effort to prosecute Assange. Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul institute as well as the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, concludes his editorial with this thought-provoking statement:

Why was Assange indicted? Government killers are a mob, and mobs love anonymity. Assange assaulted their love by ending that anonymity. When the government kills and rejoices and lies about it in our names, we have a right to know of its behavior. Democracies spy on us all, yet they persist in punishing, to the ends of the earth, those who dare to shine a light upon them. Tyrannies do the same.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ Thu, 30 May 2019 21:27:04 GMT
McAdams: Bolton ‘Giving Dumb Advice’ on Iran & N. Korea RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ Tue, 28 May 2019 22:57:39 GMT
Revisiting Ron Paul's 1988 Case for Drug Legalization Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/


For information on RPI's next conference in August, click here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:48:52 GMT
New York Ends Religious Exemption for Vaccinations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/

On Thursday, the New York state legislature passed and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation (S2994A) eliminating the religious exemption parents in the state have been able to exercise to refuse state-mandated vaccinations for their children as a condition for their children attending school. This legal change leaves parents with only a narrow medical exemption given that New York had already barred use of a philosophical exemption.

The legislation will even affect many children attending private schools.

In 2015, California similarly eliminated the ability of parents to claim any exemption to vaccinations other than a medical exemption. I wrote about that legal change in articles here and here. Now there is a move in the California legislature to drastically curtail the ability of parents to obtain medical exemptions for their children.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:38:29 GMT
Making 911 Call Responses Safer Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/

Calling 911 is marketed as a means to obtain help and safety when danger arises. But, when cops arrive in response to a 911 call, they can make a dangerous situation more dangerous and even make it deadly. This can especially be the case when the individual who makes the 911 call or is the subject of the call has a disability or a mental health issue.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead expressed the problem pithily in his October of 2017 editorial “Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old”: “Trained to shoot first and ask questions later, police pose a risk to anyone with special needs whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent or require more finesse than the typical freeze-or-I’ll-shoot tactics employed by America’s police forces.”

In addition to proposing reforms in how police are trained as a means to enhance the safety of 911 call responses, Whitehead suggests in his editorial that, for some emergency calls, police not be dispatched at all. Whitehead writes that some funds now directed to police departments could be used “to establish what one disability-rights activist describes as ‘a 911-type number dedicated to handling mental-health emergencies, with community crisis-response teams at the ready rather than police officers.’”

Along the lines of the suggestion made by Whitehead, Karen Morfitt reported Monday at CBS4 TV news in Denver, Colorado that the Denver police are planning to implement a pilot program, modeled after a program in operation in Eugene, Oregon, through which some 911 calls related to homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse would not result in the dispatching of any police. Instead, many such calls, when the situation does not involve a weapon or a threat to others, could be responded to by just a mental health worker and a medic.

Hopefully the program in the planning stages in Denver, and other similar programs, can help show the way to handling many emergency calls in a safer and more rights-respecting manner.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:26:08 GMT
Persian Gulf Tanker Attack: Iran Guilty? False Flag? Cui Bono? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:47:09 GMT
US Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner — described by Sarwark as a party member — in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolph Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

As if to make the support for a US government-orchestrated regime change operation in Venezuela yet more clear, Varner in the video even promotes that the “Chicago Boys” can improve things in Venezuela after the country’s current government is replaced. “
Chicago Boys” is a reference to University of Chicago-connected individuals that played a prominent role in the Chile government after a successful US-supported regime change in that country in 1973.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:14:10 GMT
Mike Gravel Says Legalize All Drugs Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/

The support for marijuana legalization is so strong among Democrats that there may be no hope for any United States presidential candidate who supports marijuana prohibition to achieve the party’s nomination. Indeed, we have witnessed Democratic candidate after candidate express support for legalization. Even long-time drug warrior Joe Biden, though he has held back from endorsing legalization, said through a spokesperson last month that he supports several significant marijuana law liberalizations.

Still, it is uncommon for a Democratic presidential candidate to take the further step of declaring his support for ending the entire drug war. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made such a declaration as he started his presidential campaign. In the case of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, a former US senator from Alaska, public support for ending the drug war goes back further.

You can watch here Gravel back in 2007 declaring his support for legalizing drugs and ending the drug war “that does no good to anybody”:



Gravel has continued promoting legalization as part of his 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, declaring on his campaign website issues page titled “Ending the War on Drugs” that the US should “[d]ecriminalize, legalize, regulate, and tax all drugs, including opioids.” Plus, at the Gravel campaign’s YouTube page there is a trippy video in which Gravel, as an animated talking bug, denounces the drug war:

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:18:33 GMT
Amazon to Keep Aiding Government’s Facial Recognition Surveillance Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/

In January, I wrote about a then-upcoming vote by Amazon shareholders on a resolution calling for the company’s board of directors to “prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.”

Here is an update. In May, in a vote of Amazon shareholders, a resolution to prevent the sales failed, receiving less than three percent of votes cast. Also, as noted in a Reuters report on the vote, a second proposal calling for the company to take the more limited step of studying how its Rekognition facial recognition technology harms civil rights and privacy also failed, receiving just 27.5 percent support.

The results of the shareholder vote are disheartening for people seeking to influence companies to stop enabling Big Brother surveillance.

No doubt about it, the United States government’s goal is to make surveillance ubiquitous. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon see a surveillance growth industry similar to and overlapping with military contractors in the military-industrial complex. It can be difficult to do the right thing when dollar signs are lighting up in your eyes.

Airports are one of the primary areas where government and its corporate accomplices are seeking to expand surveillance in America — including through using facial recognition technology. It makes sense. People have already become accustomed to being subjected to extensive privacy invasions at airports in the name of “security.”

Jason Kelley warned in an April Electronic Frontier Foundation article that privacy invasion is becoming increasingly prevalent at American airports. Airlines, as well as the United States government’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are expanding their use of facial recognition technology to track people at airports. Kelley explains that the goal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which CBP and TSA are parts, is “to use facial recognition on 97 percent of departing air passengers within the next four years and 100 percent of all international passengers in the top 20 U.S. airports by 2021.”

While many people would rather not be subjected to the tracking technology, Kelley writes that airlines and government agencies are not being upfront about how to opt out of the surveillance or even whether the surveillance is taking place. Of course, the default should not be for the government to surveille people just because they happen to be in an airport or traveling. The default should be respecting people’s privacy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 21:40:11 GMT
Texas Bans Red Light Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/

On Saturday, after over ten years of red light cameras use by local governments across the state to impose fines, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that bans the use of red light cameras in Texas and ensures people who have been ticketed based upon photos taken by such cameras can register their vehicles despite their having not paid the tickets.

For a discussion of how state and local governments, working together with companies that provide and operate the cameras, have used red light cameras to surveille and fleece people across America, read John W. Whitehead’s October of 2013 Rutherford Institute editorial Red Light Cameras, Drones and Surveillance: Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies. In his editorial, Whitehead also describes how danger on the roads can be increased by yellow light times being reduced in conjunction with the operation of red light cameras in an effort to generate more fines at the cost of increasing the number of traffic accidents.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:18:17 GMT
Don’t Prosecute Julian Assange, Thank Him Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/
“The values underlying the First Amendment,” explains Napolitano, “are that the press should be free to expose all the government does, and whatever the press has in its hands — no matter how it acquired it — it is free to publish those materials as long as they are newsworthy, and no one can harm a hair on the head of anyone who does so.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano also discusses in his new editorial this week the US effort to prosecute Assange. Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul institute as well as the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, concludes his editorial with this thought-provoking statement:

Why was Assange indicted? Government killers are a mob, and mobs love anonymity. Assange assaulted their love by ending that anonymity. When the government kills and rejoices and lies about it in our names, we have a right to know of its behavior. Democracies spy on us all, yet they persist in punishing, to the ends of the earth, those who dare to shine a light upon them. Tyrannies do the same.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ Thu, 30 May 2019 21:27:04 GMT
McAdams: Bolton ‘Giving Dumb Advice’ on Iran & N. Korea RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ Tue, 28 May 2019 22:57:39 GMT
Revisiting Ron Paul's 1988 Case for Drug Legalization Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/


For information on RPI's next conference in August, click here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:48:52 GMT
New York Ends Religious Exemption for Vaccinations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/

On Thursday, the New York state legislature passed and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation (S2994A) eliminating the religious exemption parents in the state have been able to exercise to refuse state-mandated vaccinations for their children as a condition for their children attending school. This legal change leaves parents with only a narrow medical exemption given that New York had already barred use of a philosophical exemption.

The legislation will even affect many children attending private schools.

In 2015, California similarly eliminated the ability of parents to claim any exemption to vaccinations other than a medical exemption. I wrote about that legal change in articles here and here. Now there is a move in the California legislature to drastically curtail the ability of parents to obtain medical exemptions for their children.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:38:29 GMT
Making 911 Call Responses Safer Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/

Calling 911 is marketed as a means to obtain help and safety when danger arises. But, when cops arrive in response to a 911 call, they can make a dangerous situation more dangerous and even make it deadly. This can especially be the case when the individual who makes the 911 call or is the subject of the call has a disability or a mental health issue.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead expressed the problem pithily in his October of 2017 editorial “Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old”: “Trained to shoot first and ask questions later, police pose a risk to anyone with special needs whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent or require more finesse than the typical freeze-or-I’ll-shoot tactics employed by America’s police forces.”

In addition to proposing reforms in how police are trained as a means to enhance the safety of 911 call responses, Whitehead suggests in his editorial that, for some emergency calls, police not be dispatched at all. Whitehead writes that some funds now directed to police departments could be used “to establish what one disability-rights activist describes as ‘a 911-type number dedicated to handling mental-health emergencies, with community crisis-response teams at the ready rather than police officers.’”

Along the lines of the suggestion made by Whitehead, Karen Morfitt reported Monday at CBS4 TV news in Denver, Colorado that the Denver police are planning to implement a pilot program, modeled after a program in operation in Eugene, Oregon, through which some 911 calls related to homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse would not result in the dispatching of any police. Instead, many such calls, when the situation does not involve a weapon or a threat to others, could be responded to by just a mental health worker and a medic.

Hopefully the program in the planning stages in Denver, and other similar programs, can help show the way to handling many emergency calls in a safer and more rights-respecting manner.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:26:08 GMT
Persian Gulf Tanker Attack: Iran Guilty? False Flag? Cui Bono? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:47:09 GMT
US Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner — described by Sarwark as a party member — in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolph Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

As if to make the support for a US government-orchestrated regime change operation in Venezuela yet more clear, Varner in the video even promotes that the “Chicago Boys” can improve things in Venezuela after the country’s current government is replaced. “
Chicago Boys” is a reference to University of Chicago-connected individuals that played a prominent role in the Chile government after a successful US-supported regime change in that country in 1973.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:14:10 GMT
Mike Gravel Says Legalize All Drugs Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/

The support for marijuana legalization is so strong among Democrats that there may be no hope for any United States presidential candidate who supports marijuana prohibition to achieve the party’s nomination. Indeed, we have witnessed Democratic candidate after candidate express support for legalization. Even long-time drug warrior Joe Biden, though he has held back from endorsing legalization, said through a spokesperson last month that he supports several significant marijuana law liberalizations.

Still, it is uncommon for a Democratic presidential candidate to take the further step of declaring his support for ending the entire drug war. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made such a declaration as he started his presidential campaign. In the case of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, a former US senator from Alaska, public support for ending the drug war goes back further.

You can watch here Gravel back in 2007 declaring his support for legalizing drugs and ending the drug war “that does no good to anybody”:



Gravel has continued promoting legalization as part of his 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, declaring on his campaign website issues page titled “Ending the War on Drugs” that the US should “[d]ecriminalize, legalize, regulate, and tax all drugs, including opioids.” Plus, at the Gravel campaign’s YouTube page there is a trippy video in which Gravel, as an animated talking bug, denounces the drug war:

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:18:33 GMT
Amazon to Keep Aiding Government’s Facial Recognition Surveillance Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/

In January, I wrote about a then-upcoming vote by Amazon shareholders on a resolution calling for the company’s board of directors to “prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.”

Here is an update. In May, in a vote of Amazon shareholders, a resolution to prevent the sales failed, receiving less than three percent of votes cast. Also, as noted in a Reuters report on the vote, a second proposal calling for the company to take the more limited step of studying how its Rekognition facial recognition technology harms civil rights and privacy also failed, receiving just 27.5 percent support.

The results of the shareholder vote are disheartening for people seeking to influence companies to stop enabling Big Brother surveillance.

No doubt about it, the United States government’s goal is to make surveillance ubiquitous. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon see a surveillance growth industry similar to and overlapping with military contractors in the military-industrial complex. It can be difficult to do the right thing when dollar signs are lighting up in your eyes.

Airports are one of the primary areas where government and its corporate accomplices are seeking to expand surveillance in America — including through using facial recognition technology. It makes sense. People have already become accustomed to being subjected to extensive privacy invasions at airports in the name of “security.”

Jason Kelley warned in an April Electronic Frontier Foundation article that privacy invasion is becoming increasingly prevalent at American airports. Airlines, as well as the United States government’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are expanding their use of facial recognition technology to track people at airports. Kelley explains that the goal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which CBP and TSA are parts, is “to use facial recognition on 97 percent of departing air passengers within the next four years and 100 percent of all international passengers in the top 20 U.S. airports by 2021.”

While many people would rather not be subjected to the tracking technology, Kelley writes that airlines and government agencies are not being upfront about how to opt out of the surveillance or even whether the surveillance is taking place. Of course, the default should not be for the government to surveille people just because they happen to be in an airport or traveling. The default should be respecting people’s privacy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 21:40:11 GMT
Texas Bans Red Light Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/

On Saturday, after over ten years of red light cameras use by local governments across the state to impose fines, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that bans the use of red light cameras in Texas and ensures people who have been ticketed based upon photos taken by such cameras can register their vehicles despite their having not paid the tickets.

For a discussion of how state and local governments, working together with companies that provide and operate the cameras, have used red light cameras to surveille and fleece people across America, read John W. Whitehead’s October of 2013 Rutherford Institute editorial Red Light Cameras, Drones and Surveillance: Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies. In his editorial, Whitehead also describes how danger on the roads can be increased by yellow light times being reduced in conjunction with the operation of red light cameras in an effort to generate more fines at the cost of increasing the number of traffic accidents.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:18:17 GMT
Don’t Prosecute Julian Assange, Thank Him Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/
“The values underlying the First Amendment,” explains Napolitano, “are that the press should be free to expose all the government does, and whatever the press has in its hands — no matter how it acquired it — it is free to publish those materials as long as they are newsworthy, and no one can harm a hair on the head of anyone who does so.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano also discusses in his new editorial this week the US effort to prosecute Assange. Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul institute as well as the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, concludes his editorial with this thought-provoking statement:

Why was Assange indicted? Government killers are a mob, and mobs love anonymity. Assange assaulted their love by ending that anonymity. When the government kills and rejoices and lies about it in our names, we have a right to know of its behavior. Democracies spy on us all, yet they persist in punishing, to the ends of the earth, those who dare to shine a light upon them. Tyrannies do the same.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ Thu, 30 May 2019 21:27:04 GMT
McAdams: Bolton ‘Giving Dumb Advice’ on Iran & N. Korea RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ Tue, 28 May 2019 22:57:39 GMT
Revisiting Ron Paul's 1988 Case for Drug Legalization Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/


For information on RPI's next conference in August, click here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/revisiting-ron-pauls-1988-case-for-drug-legalization/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:48:52 GMT
New York Ends Religious Exemption for Vaccinations Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/

On Thursday, the New York state legislature passed and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation (S2994A) eliminating the religious exemption parents in the state have been able to exercise to refuse state-mandated vaccinations for their children as a condition for their children attending school. This legal change leaves parents with only a narrow medical exemption given that New York had already barred use of a philosophical exemption.

The legislation will even affect many children attending private schools.

In 2015, California similarly eliminated the ability of parents to claim any exemption to vaccinations other than a medical exemption. I wrote about that legal change in articles here and here. Now there is a move in the California legislature to drastically curtail the ability of parents to obtain medical exemptions for their children.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/15/new-york-ends-religious-exemption-for-vaccinations/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:38:29 GMT
Making 911 Call Responses Safer Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/

Calling 911 is marketed as a means to obtain help and safety when danger arises. But, when cops arrive in response to a 911 call, they can make a dangerous situation more dangerous and even make it deadly. This can especially be the case when the individual who makes the 911 call or is the subject of the call has a disability or a mental health issue.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead expressed the problem pithily in his October of 2017 editorial “Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old”: “Trained to shoot first and ask questions later, police pose a risk to anyone with special needs whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent or require more finesse than the typical freeze-or-I’ll-shoot tactics employed by America’s police forces.”

In addition to proposing reforms in how police are trained as a means to enhance the safety of 911 call responses, Whitehead suggests in his editorial that, for some emergency calls, police not be dispatched at all. Whitehead writes that some funds now directed to police departments could be used “to establish what one disability-rights activist describes as ‘a 911-type number dedicated to handling mental-health emergencies, with community crisis-response teams at the ready rather than police officers.’”

Along the lines of the suggestion made by Whitehead, Karen Morfitt reported Monday at CBS4 TV news in Denver, Colorado that the Denver police are planning to implement a pilot program, modeled after a program in operation in Eugene, Oregon, through which some 911 calls related to homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse would not result in the dispatching of any police. Instead, many such calls, when the situation does not involve a weapon or a threat to others, could be responded to by just a mental health worker and a medic.

Hopefully the program in the planning stages in Denver, and other similar programs, can help show the way to handling many emergency calls in a safer and more rights-respecting manner.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/making-911-call-responses-safer/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:26:08 GMT
Persian Gulf Tanker Attack: Iran Guilty? False Flag? Cui Bono? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/13/persian-gulf-tanker-attack-iran-guilty-false-flag-cui-bono/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 16:47:09 GMT
US Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner — described by Sarwark as a party member — in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolph Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

As if to make the support for a US government-orchestrated regime change operation in Venezuela yet more clear, Varner in the video even promotes that the “Chicago Boys” can improve things in Venezuela after the country’s current government is replaced. “
Chicago Boys” is a reference to University of Chicago-connected individuals that played a prominent role in the Chile government after a successful US-supported regime change in that country in 1973.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/10/us-libertarian-party-chairman-promoting-video-calling-for-venezuela-regime-change/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:14:10 GMT
Mike Gravel Says Legalize All Drugs Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/

The support for marijuana legalization is so strong among Democrats that there may be no hope for any United States presidential candidate who supports marijuana prohibition to achieve the party’s nomination. Indeed, we have witnessed Democratic candidate after candidate express support for legalization. Even long-time drug warrior Joe Biden, though he has held back from endorsing legalization, said through a spokesperson last month that he supports several significant marijuana law liberalizations.

Still, it is uncommon for a Democratic presidential candidate to take the further step of declaring his support for ending the entire drug war. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made such a declaration as he started his presidential campaign. In the case of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, a former US senator from Alaska, public support for ending the drug war goes back further.

You can watch here Gravel back in 2007 declaring his support for legalizing drugs and ending the drug war “that does no good to anybody”:



Gravel has continued promoting legalization as part of his 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, declaring on his campaign website issues page titled “Ending the War on Drugs” that the US should “[d]ecriminalize, legalize, regulate, and tax all drugs, including opioids.” Plus, at the Gravel campaign’s YouTube page there is a trippy video in which Gravel, as an animated talking bug, denounces the drug war:

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/07/mike-gravel-says-legalize-all-drugs/ Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:18:33 GMT
Amazon to Keep Aiding Government’s Facial Recognition Surveillance Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/

In January, I wrote about a then-upcoming vote by Amazon shareholders on a resolution calling for the company’s board of directors to “prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless the Board concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.”

Here is an update. In May, in a vote of Amazon shareholders, a resolution to prevent the sales failed, receiving less than three percent of votes cast. Also, as noted in a Reuters report on the vote, a second proposal calling for the company to take the more limited step of studying how its Rekognition facial recognition technology harms civil rights and privacy also failed, receiving just 27.5 percent support.

The results of the shareholder vote are disheartening for people seeking to influence companies to stop enabling Big Brother surveillance.

No doubt about it, the United States government’s goal is to make surveillance ubiquitous. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon see a surveillance growth industry similar to and overlapping with military contractors in the military-industrial complex. It can be difficult to do the right thing when dollar signs are lighting up in your eyes.

Airports are one of the primary areas where government and its corporate accomplices are seeking to expand surveillance in America — including through using facial recognition technology. It makes sense. People have already become accustomed to being subjected to extensive privacy invasions at airports in the name of “security.”

Jason Kelley warned in an April Electronic Frontier Foundation article that privacy invasion is becoming increasingly prevalent at American airports. Airlines, as well as the United States government’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are expanding their use of facial recognition technology to track people at airports. Kelley explains that the goal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which CBP and TSA are parts, is “to use facial recognition on 97 percent of departing air passengers within the next four years and 100 percent of all international passengers in the top 20 U.S. airports by 2021.”

While many people would rather not be subjected to the tracking technology, Kelley writes that airlines and government agencies are not being upfront about how to opt out of the surveillance or even whether the surveillance is taking place. Of course, the default should not be for the government to surveille people just because they happen to be in an airport or traveling. The default should be respecting people’s privacy.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/05/amazon-to-keep-aiding-government-s-facial-recognition-surveillance/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 21:40:11 GMT
Texas Bans Red Light Cameras Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/

On Saturday, after over ten years of red light cameras use by local governments across the state to impose fines, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that bans the use of red light cameras in Texas and ensures people who have been ticketed based upon photos taken by such cameras can register their vehicles despite their having not paid the tickets.

For a discussion of how state and local governments, working together with companies that provide and operate the cameras, have used red light cameras to surveille and fleece people across America, read John W. Whitehead’s October of 2013 Rutherford Institute editorial Red Light Cameras, Drones and Surveillance: Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies. In his editorial, Whitehead also describes how danger on the roads can be increased by yellow light times being reduced in conjunction with the operation of red light cameras in an effort to generate more fines at the cost of increasing the number of traffic accidents.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/june/04/texas-bans-red-light-cameras/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:18:17 GMT
Don’t Prosecute Julian Assange, Thank Him Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/
“The values underlying the First Amendment,” explains Napolitano, “are that the press should be free to expose all the government does, and whatever the press has in its hands — no matter how it acquired it — it is free to publish those materials as long as they are newsworthy, and no one can harm a hair on the head of anyone who does so.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano also discusses in his new editorial this week the US effort to prosecute Assange. Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul institute as well as the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, concludes his editorial with this thought-provoking statement:

Why was Assange indicted? Government killers are a mob, and mobs love anonymity. Assange assaulted their love by ending that anonymity. When the government kills and rejoices and lies about it in our names, we have a right to know of its behavior. Democracies spy on us all, yet they persist in punishing, to the ends of the earth, those who dare to shine a light upon them. Tyrannies do the same.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/30/don-t-prosecute-julian-assange-thank-him/ Thu, 30 May 2019 21:27:04 GMT
McAdams: Bolton ‘Giving Dumb Advice’ on Iran & N. Korea RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2019/may/28/mcadams-bolton-giving-dumb-advice-on-iran-n-korea/ Tue, 28 May 2019 22:57:39 GMT