Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2017 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Fri, 26 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT Fri, 26 May 2017 20:19:03 GMT Taking Peace And Prosperity to Washington, DC! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ undefined
RPI's Washington "Peace and Prosperity 2016" Conference

Last year we "brought the show on the road" to Washington, D.C., with our "Peace and Prosperity 2016" conference. We sold out the venue, had a great time with terrific speakers, and even had CSPAN broadcast the event to an audience of potentially millions of viewers. What a great way to get our message out that a non-interventionist foreign policy will bring us more security and more prosperity!

Our goal was to lay down a marker for the next administration that we are a significant, beyond Left/Right movement for real change in our foreign policy and that we must be heard. I believe we succeeded. 

There is much to be concerned about in the way US foreign policy is shaping up in this new Administration. Thousands more US troops to the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. A possible US ground invasion of Syria. US warships challenging the Chinese in the South China Sea. US war drums beating on North Korea. Destabilization efforts continuing across the globe. The president giving a free hand to his generals to pursue the "war on terror" wherever it leads. The president lining up with the Saudis in their slaughter of Yemen. 

All of this produces blowback, therefore all of it makes us less safe!

That is why must return to Washington, D.C. to bring our important movement together and again make a stand! We are working hard on the pre-planning stage of a September RPI Conference in D.C. and have been in touch with several very exciting and brilliant speakers to help us make the case. Are you interested in whistleblowers? The real "fake news" phenomenon? Are you interested in Ron Paul's coming new book? These topics and much more are in the works!

We are about to commit to the venue and a date (September 9th), but before we can make the commitment we must put together a Host Committee to help sponsor the event. Last year we had a tremendous group of extremely generous supporters form a Host Committee and the success of the conference was to their credit. 

If supporters of our efforts join together in a Host Committee we will move forward with the planning and hopefully ticket sales can begin in mid-June. We have decided to create a two-tier Host Committee to provide different incentives and different ways of honoring those who choose to support this conference.

1) Gold Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $1,000 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will be invited to an exclusive pre-conference VIP cocktail reception the night before the event where they will visit with Ron Paul, conference speakers, and Institute staff and Board Members. They will enjoy prime location reserved seating for the event and will be invited to a VIP post-conference reception. They will also receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss Gold Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

2) Silver Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $500 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will enjoy reserved seating at the conference and will be invited to an after-conference reception. They will receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss SIlver Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

3) We are also looking for major sponsors who are able to make a commitment above these two levels and who in turn would receive all the above perquisites as well as marquee-level recognition for their generosity...and more! Please email me to discuss or telephone me at 202-306-2672.

4) We plan to also offer tables to organizations who would like to showcase their programs and products to conference attendees. Please contact me for more information on how to sponsor your table!

We have a great conference in the works -- something truly unique -- but we simply must have sponsors in place to get the ball rolling. If you are willing to pledge support at either of the above three levels, please send me an email or telephone me right away at 202-306-2672. I'll gladly fill you in on the details and answer all of your questions.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ Thu, 25 May 2017 22:19:48 GMT
Manchester Bomber Was Product of West's Libya/Syria Intervention Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ undefined

Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad. 

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.

When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ Wed, 24 May 2017 05:01:15 GMT
US Arms Makers’ Stocks at Record Highs on Saudi Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/

The weekend finalization of a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia which officials say will be worth at least $350 billion over the next decade sent the stocks of politically well-connected US arms makers soaring to all-time highs, underscoring just how much money there is to be had in keeping Saudi Arabia awash in weapons to drop on Yemen.

Lockheed Martin is the biggest “winner,” most analysts agree, with some $28 billion in weapons and equipment out of the initial $110 billion going to them, and likely to get the biggest sum out of anyone else in the subsequent parts and maintenance that will bring it to a record $350 billion overall.

Others say Raytheon may be a “dark horse” for investors, with the company’s wildly expensive Patriot missile systems likely to be a substantial chunk of the Saudi purchase. Still, it’s hard to see them matching Lockheed’s sale of planes to drop more bombs on Yemen.

Still, when picking winners the situation is very much relative, as when the arms makers all belly up to the bar to get a chunk of this deal, you can bet the Trump Administration will ensure all the big ones get a taste. That’s why virtually all the big arms makers, and not just Lockheed and Raytheon, are touching record highs. Everybody’s got something coming here, and with $350 billion to go around, it can’t help but be big for them.

President Trump is eager to present the deal as good for jobs, good to the economy, and Wall Street is eager to project winners. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the losers, of course. Top of the list is Yemen, and following closely behind is whomever else the Saudis decide to attack with all these costly weapons in the years that follow.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:29:09 GMT
Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/

Publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.

Their solution, as with everyone else, is even bigger escalation, with reports from those familiar with the plan saying that the US needs “more than 50,000” ground troops in Afghanistan to ensure Ghani’s survival, with an eye toward eventually defeating the Taliban.

That’s a big escalation, and a much bigger one than has been suggested in previous reports, which initially presented the proposed escalation as 3,000 to 5,000, and most recently made it a choice between 3,000 or keeping troop levels flat. The Pentagon is evasive about troop levels in recent months, but around 8,400 troops are believed to presently be in Afghanistan.

So 50,000 would be a massive escalation, resembling the one President Obama tried when he took office, and for mostly the same reason, that they think it might conceivably turn a long struggling war around. That it didn’t lead to victory last time appears to be totally ignored in the latest assessment.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ Thu, 18 May 2017 13:37:37 GMT
Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/

It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more. 

The Syrian franchise of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), and was sent into Syria by the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi went on to launch the rival breakaway group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as al-Qaeda's boots on the ground in the war against the Syrian government. 

In 2015 the group decided to re-brand itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham while, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, continuing to incorporate smaller organizations into its structure. This is one of the reasons for the failure of last year's cessation of hostilities in Syria: the "moderate" fighters and the legitimate terrorists were so inter-mingled that it was impossible for the US to separate them. But the State Department did not buy into the PR makeover of al-Qaeda and designated al-Sham a terrorist organization as well. 

Then, early this year, al-Shams decided on a new rebranding and decided to name itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The leader of the new group is the same old leader, and is listed by the US as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" with a $10 million bounty on his head. 

But strangely enough, the US has not designated the new organization a terrorist organization even as it warns off other groups seeking to join the newly branded al-Qaeda in Syria.

Why is that?

Again from the Canadian state news agency:
The reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of US aid, weapons, and training. ...

For the US to designate HTS now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to "terrorists," and draw attention to the fact that the U.S. continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.
You read that right: The reason the US cannot designate al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist group is because that would make the US legally responsible for having supplied a terrorist group with extremely sophisticated weapons and training. The US is arming and training terrorists in Syria, but instead of just getting out it is pretending that al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization. 

h/t Josh Landis]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ Mon, 15 May 2017 20:30:27 GMT
NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border. 

But, as Ted Carpenter writes in the National Interest, these very same countries who scream the loudest about the Russian threat are strangely reluctant to devote any of their own resources to defending themselves against said threat. One would think that if a country faced an "existential threat" from their neighbor, Russia, (as Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski claimed recently), that country would be motivated to do something to address that threat in any way possible. But in fact the opposite is the case. Instead of devoting resources to blunting the Russian spear they claim is in their face, these same countries show no interest at all in spending for their own defense.

As Carpenter writes:
The other two Baltic republics, Lithuania and Latvia, spend 1.49 and 1.41 percent, respectively. Romania and Bulgaria devote 1.41 percent and 1.30 percent. Slovakia and Hungary spend a mere 1.12 percent and 1.02 percent, and the Czech Republic brings up the rear at 1.01 percent. NATO’s leading countries don’t do significantly better. The figures for France and Italy are 1.79 and 1.11 percent, respectively. Perhaps most telling, democratic Europe’s leading economic power, Germany, spends a pathetic 1.20 percent.
Think about it: if you really felt an existential threat from your neighbor would you do nothing at all to defend against that threat?

And what about that "threat"? It's largely manufactured as cover for central Europe's reliance on the US military-industrial complex (powered by the beleaguered US taxpayer) to cover its defense expenses. The US military machine is happy to provide the propaganda that the mainstream media is happy to distribute as "news" and "analysis." Poor old Joe Six-Pack works a good deal of his day to pay for the military budget of places like super-rich Germany and all he gets is this stupid monetary inflation that decimates his standard of living to show for it.

Threat? No, double standards. Washington criticized a military exercise between Russia and its ally Belarus on its own soil scheduled for later this summer, with Defense Secretary Mattis stating that "any kind of buildup like that is simply destabilizing." In fact, Mattis supports sending US missiles to the Russian border in response to these wargames. However the United States takes part in numerous wargames outside its own territory and even on the Russian border, but somehow these are not to be viewed by the rest of the world as "destabilizing" in any way. Even if they simulate attacks on North Korea just a stone's throw from North Korean territory!

Until middle America understands how it is being ripped-off by the international bureaucrats, military-industrial complex, and their own hypocritical and paid-off politicians -- forced to pay the way for rich strangers -- they will continue to see their standard of living decline. Will they find their righteous anger at the immoral forces allied against them? Hopefully so, and hopefully soon.

No more NATO!
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ Sat, 13 May 2017 05:54:52 GMT
Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump' Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.

While it is clear why Saudi Arabia is eager to appease Trump - after all the all important Aramco IPO is coming up, and the Saudis will be eager to open the world's biggest public offering in history to as many US accounts as possible while doing everything in their power to stay on America's good side  - Bloomberg's explanation that Riyadh felt "shunned by President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran" leaves a bit to be desired: after all Saudi Arabia has consistently been the best customer of the US military-industrial complex for the past decade, and to claim that it had troubled relations with the previous administration is naive at best. What is certain, however, is that Saudi Arabia would have been delighted had Hillary Clinton become president, considering the millions in "donations" the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia and its peer Gulf states over the years.

Meanwhile, the kingdom claimed a “historic turning point” in bilateral relations after President Trump met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House earlier this year. On May 19, Trump will make his first foreign trip since taking office, visiting Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem before heading to Europe.

Or perhaps it's not Trump, but rather his son-in-law, that Saudi Arabia is most delighted with. A White House official told Bloomberg that the plans were in the works and that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had played a critical role in the discussions.

The Saudi funding may end up an anchor investment in Trump's massive $1 trillion infrastructure stimulus plan.
Trump in March offered his support for developing a new U.S.-Saudi program in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology that could be valued at more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.

The president has said he intends to push for $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure investments over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from taxpayers and the rest from the private sector.
Of course, it would be delightfully ironic if the Saudi billions end up being routed to fund new US shale technology, R&D and/or capex, in the process lowering the cost-curve of US oil producers even more...and further eroding Saudi market share and boosting its budget deficit.

This would not be the first time the Saudi Public Investment Fund has made substantial capital allocations abraad: last year, the PIF has funneled about $50 billion of the kingdom’s reserves into investments abroad, almost all of it into technology. It will commit as much as $45 billion to partner with SoftBank Group Corp. to set up a new $100 billion vehicle to invest in global technology. The fund also invested $3.5 billion in Uber Technologies Inc. last June. In the case of the latter, in light of the recent scandals gripping Uber, which may soon lose Europe as a market, it is possible that the Saudi's top-ticked the valuation of the car-sharing unicorn.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ Thu, 11 May 2017 23:49:02 GMT
The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.

My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

Braver people than me, like Thomas DrakeMorris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.

Indeed, Obama prosecuted more federal whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous United States presidents combined, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The Obama administration also set a record (77 percent) for redacting government files or denying access to them in fiscal year 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.

More than any previous administration, Obama took longer to turn over files, said more often it could not locate documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over time-sensitive files quickly, requiring years-long legal actions to be brought to force the government’s hand. In the case of Hillary Clinton, files considered “unclassified” in one context were redacted in whole in another.

Though the backlog of unanswered requests grew by 55 percent, the administration cut the number of full-time Freedom of Information Act employees by 7.5 percent. Despite the critical nature of the documents to the election, the State Department was allowed to do its Freedom of Information Act screening of the Clinton emails largely with an ad hoc crew of retirees. The impact on journalists, and the right of the people to know, was immeasurable.

So spare me. The war on our freedoms was well under way before last week. Where the hell were you and your safety pins then?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ Thu, 11 May 2017 13:55:23 GMT
Trump Is Making Good Diplomatic Progress With Russia Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/
The 20th century, with hundreds of millions dead as a result of government wars, provides us all with valuable lessons on the importance of diplomacy.

Below, I discuss the recent meeting with Trump and Lavrov, the accusations of Russia interference with our election, the Comey firing, and the safe zones that that are being set up in Syria:



Reprinted with permission from RonPaulLibertyReport.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ Wed, 10 May 2017 22:17:48 GMT
Texas House to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/

The Texas state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider Thursday HB 81, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The legislation, should it become law, will prevent the incarceration of people solely for possessing one ounce or less of usable marijuana. While HB 81 would protect such individuals from a criminal conviction and prison time, police would be able seize their marijuana and issue them a citation that may lead to the imposing of an up to $250 fine.

In April, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of the state House approved the marijuana decriminalization legislation, a step in the process toward the floor consideration scheduled for the bill this week.

In 2015, the same committee approved then-Rep. David Simpson’s marijuana legalization bill (HB 2165). Simpson’s bill sought to treat marijuana the same as tomatoes for adults in the state. Simpson’s bill, which promised to bring to Texas marijuana legalization much more radical than marijuana legalization that has been approved in any state, was not considered on the House floor.

With Texas Governor Greg Abbott having declared that he opposes both recreational and medical marijuana legalization when he signed into law in 2015 legislation allowing quite limited medical use of low-THC marijuana extracts, decriminalization may be the most that can be implemented in the short term. Still, it would be nice also to see something more radical debated and voted on in the full Texas House and Senate.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ Wed, 10 May 2017 19:23:36 GMT
Taking Peace And Prosperity to Washington, DC! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ undefined
RPI's Washington "Peace and Prosperity 2016" Conference

Last year we "brought the show on the road" to Washington, D.C., with our "Peace and Prosperity 2016" conference. We sold out the venue, had a great time with terrific speakers, and even had CSPAN broadcast the event to an audience of potentially millions of viewers. What a great way to get our message out that a non-interventionist foreign policy will bring us more security and more prosperity!

Our goal was to lay down a marker for the next administration that we are a significant, beyond Left/Right movement for real change in our foreign policy and that we must be heard. I believe we succeeded. 

There is much to be concerned about in the way US foreign policy is shaping up in this new Administration. Thousands more US troops to the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. A possible US ground invasion of Syria. US warships challenging the Chinese in the South China Sea. US war drums beating on North Korea. Destabilization efforts continuing across the globe. The president giving a free hand to his generals to pursue the "war on terror" wherever it leads. The president lining up with the Saudis in their slaughter of Yemen. 

All of this produces blowback, therefore all of it makes us less safe!

That is why must return to Washington, D.C. to bring our important movement together and again make a stand! We are working hard on the pre-planning stage of a September RPI Conference in D.C. and have been in touch with several very exciting and brilliant speakers to help us make the case. Are you interested in whistleblowers? The real "fake news" phenomenon? Are you interested in Ron Paul's coming new book? These topics and much more are in the works!

We are about to commit to the venue and a date (September 9th), but before we can make the commitment we must put together a Host Committee to help sponsor the event. Last year we had a tremendous group of extremely generous supporters form a Host Committee and the success of the conference was to their credit. 

If supporters of our efforts join together in a Host Committee we will move forward with the planning and hopefully ticket sales can begin in mid-June. We have decided to create a two-tier Host Committee to provide different incentives and different ways of honoring those who choose to support this conference.

1) Gold Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $1,000 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will be invited to an exclusive pre-conference VIP cocktail reception the night before the event where they will visit with Ron Paul, conference speakers, and Institute staff and Board Members. They will enjoy prime location reserved seating for the event and will be invited to a VIP post-conference reception. They will also receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss Gold Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

2) Silver Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $500 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will enjoy reserved seating at the conference and will be invited to an after-conference reception. They will receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss SIlver Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

3) We are also looking for major sponsors who are able to make a commitment above these two levels and who in turn would receive all the above perquisites as well as marquee-level recognition for their generosity...and more! Please email me to discuss or telephone me at 202-306-2672.

4) We plan to also offer tables to organizations who would like to showcase their programs and products to conference attendees. Please contact me for more information on how to sponsor your table!

We have a great conference in the works -- something truly unique -- but we simply must have sponsors in place to get the ball rolling. If you are willing to pledge support at either of the above three levels, please send me an email or telephone me right away at 202-306-2672. I'll gladly fill you in on the details and answer all of your questions.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ Thu, 25 May 2017 22:19:48 GMT
Manchester Bomber Was Product of West's Libya/Syria Intervention Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ undefined

Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad. 

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.

When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ Wed, 24 May 2017 05:01:15 GMT
US Arms Makers’ Stocks at Record Highs on Saudi Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/

The weekend finalization of a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia which officials say will be worth at least $350 billion over the next decade sent the stocks of politically well-connected US arms makers soaring to all-time highs, underscoring just how much money there is to be had in keeping Saudi Arabia awash in weapons to drop on Yemen.

Lockheed Martin is the biggest “winner,” most analysts agree, with some $28 billion in weapons and equipment out of the initial $110 billion going to them, and likely to get the biggest sum out of anyone else in the subsequent parts and maintenance that will bring it to a record $350 billion overall.

Others say Raytheon may be a “dark horse” for investors, with the company’s wildly expensive Patriot missile systems likely to be a substantial chunk of the Saudi purchase. Still, it’s hard to see them matching Lockheed’s sale of planes to drop more bombs on Yemen.

Still, when picking winners the situation is very much relative, as when the arms makers all belly up to the bar to get a chunk of this deal, you can bet the Trump Administration will ensure all the big ones get a taste. That’s why virtually all the big arms makers, and not just Lockheed and Raytheon, are touching record highs. Everybody’s got something coming here, and with $350 billion to go around, it can’t help but be big for them.

President Trump is eager to present the deal as good for jobs, good to the economy, and Wall Street is eager to project winners. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the losers, of course. Top of the list is Yemen, and following closely behind is whomever else the Saudis decide to attack with all these costly weapons in the years that follow.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:29:09 GMT
Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/

Publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.

Their solution, as with everyone else, is even bigger escalation, with reports from those familiar with the plan saying that the US needs “more than 50,000” ground troops in Afghanistan to ensure Ghani’s survival, with an eye toward eventually defeating the Taliban.

That’s a big escalation, and a much bigger one than has been suggested in previous reports, which initially presented the proposed escalation as 3,000 to 5,000, and most recently made it a choice between 3,000 or keeping troop levels flat. The Pentagon is evasive about troop levels in recent months, but around 8,400 troops are believed to presently be in Afghanistan.

So 50,000 would be a massive escalation, resembling the one President Obama tried when he took office, and for mostly the same reason, that they think it might conceivably turn a long struggling war around. That it didn’t lead to victory last time appears to be totally ignored in the latest assessment.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ Thu, 18 May 2017 13:37:37 GMT
Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/

It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more. 

The Syrian franchise of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), and was sent into Syria by the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi went on to launch the rival breakaway group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as al-Qaeda's boots on the ground in the war against the Syrian government. 

In 2015 the group decided to re-brand itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham while, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, continuing to incorporate smaller organizations into its structure. This is one of the reasons for the failure of last year's cessation of hostilities in Syria: the "moderate" fighters and the legitimate terrorists were so inter-mingled that it was impossible for the US to separate them. But the State Department did not buy into the PR makeover of al-Qaeda and designated al-Sham a terrorist organization as well. 

Then, early this year, al-Shams decided on a new rebranding and decided to name itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The leader of the new group is the same old leader, and is listed by the US as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" with a $10 million bounty on his head. 

But strangely enough, the US has not designated the new organization a terrorist organization even as it warns off other groups seeking to join the newly branded al-Qaeda in Syria.

Why is that?

Again from the Canadian state news agency:
The reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of US aid, weapons, and training. ...

For the US to designate HTS now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to "terrorists," and draw attention to the fact that the U.S. continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.
You read that right: The reason the US cannot designate al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist group is because that would make the US legally responsible for having supplied a terrorist group with extremely sophisticated weapons and training. The US is arming and training terrorists in Syria, but instead of just getting out it is pretending that al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization. 

h/t Josh Landis]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ Mon, 15 May 2017 20:30:27 GMT
NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border. 

But, as Ted Carpenter writes in the National Interest, these very same countries who scream the loudest about the Russian threat are strangely reluctant to devote any of their own resources to defending themselves against said threat. One would think that if a country faced an "existential threat" from their neighbor, Russia, (as Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski claimed recently), that country would be motivated to do something to address that threat in any way possible. But in fact the opposite is the case. Instead of devoting resources to blunting the Russian spear they claim is in their face, these same countries show no interest at all in spending for their own defense.

As Carpenter writes:
The other two Baltic republics, Lithuania and Latvia, spend 1.49 and 1.41 percent, respectively. Romania and Bulgaria devote 1.41 percent and 1.30 percent. Slovakia and Hungary spend a mere 1.12 percent and 1.02 percent, and the Czech Republic brings up the rear at 1.01 percent. NATO’s leading countries don’t do significantly better. The figures for France and Italy are 1.79 and 1.11 percent, respectively. Perhaps most telling, democratic Europe’s leading economic power, Germany, spends a pathetic 1.20 percent.
Think about it: if you really felt an existential threat from your neighbor would you do nothing at all to defend against that threat?

And what about that "threat"? It's largely manufactured as cover for central Europe's reliance on the US military-industrial complex (powered by the beleaguered US taxpayer) to cover its defense expenses. The US military machine is happy to provide the propaganda that the mainstream media is happy to distribute as "news" and "analysis." Poor old Joe Six-Pack works a good deal of his day to pay for the military budget of places like super-rich Germany and all he gets is this stupid monetary inflation that decimates his standard of living to show for it.

Threat? No, double standards. Washington criticized a military exercise between Russia and its ally Belarus on its own soil scheduled for later this summer, with Defense Secretary Mattis stating that "any kind of buildup like that is simply destabilizing." In fact, Mattis supports sending US missiles to the Russian border in response to these wargames. However the United States takes part in numerous wargames outside its own territory and even on the Russian border, but somehow these are not to be viewed by the rest of the world as "destabilizing" in any way. Even if they simulate attacks on North Korea just a stone's throw from North Korean territory!

Until middle America understands how it is being ripped-off by the international bureaucrats, military-industrial complex, and their own hypocritical and paid-off politicians -- forced to pay the way for rich strangers -- they will continue to see their standard of living decline. Will they find their righteous anger at the immoral forces allied against them? Hopefully so, and hopefully soon.

No more NATO!
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ Sat, 13 May 2017 05:54:52 GMT
Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump' Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.

While it is clear why Saudi Arabia is eager to appease Trump - after all the all important Aramco IPO is coming up, and the Saudis will be eager to open the world's biggest public offering in history to as many US accounts as possible while doing everything in their power to stay on America's good side  - Bloomberg's explanation that Riyadh felt "shunned by President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran" leaves a bit to be desired: after all Saudi Arabia has consistently been the best customer of the US military-industrial complex for the past decade, and to claim that it had troubled relations with the previous administration is naive at best. What is certain, however, is that Saudi Arabia would have been delighted had Hillary Clinton become president, considering the millions in "donations" the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia and its peer Gulf states over the years.

Meanwhile, the kingdom claimed a “historic turning point” in bilateral relations after President Trump met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House earlier this year. On May 19, Trump will make his first foreign trip since taking office, visiting Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem before heading to Europe.

Or perhaps it's not Trump, but rather his son-in-law, that Saudi Arabia is most delighted with. A White House official told Bloomberg that the plans were in the works and that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had played a critical role in the discussions.

The Saudi funding may end up an anchor investment in Trump's massive $1 trillion infrastructure stimulus plan.
Trump in March offered his support for developing a new U.S.-Saudi program in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology that could be valued at more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.

The president has said he intends to push for $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure investments over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from taxpayers and the rest from the private sector.
Of course, it would be delightfully ironic if the Saudi billions end up being routed to fund new US shale technology, R&D and/or capex, in the process lowering the cost-curve of US oil producers even more...and further eroding Saudi market share and boosting its budget deficit.

This would not be the first time the Saudi Public Investment Fund has made substantial capital allocations abraad: last year, the PIF has funneled about $50 billion of the kingdom’s reserves into investments abroad, almost all of it into technology. It will commit as much as $45 billion to partner with SoftBank Group Corp. to set up a new $100 billion vehicle to invest in global technology. The fund also invested $3.5 billion in Uber Technologies Inc. last June. In the case of the latter, in light of the recent scandals gripping Uber, which may soon lose Europe as a market, it is possible that the Saudi's top-ticked the valuation of the car-sharing unicorn.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ Thu, 11 May 2017 23:49:02 GMT
The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.

My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

Braver people than me, like Thomas DrakeMorris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.

Indeed, Obama prosecuted more federal whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous United States presidents combined, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The Obama administration also set a record (77 percent) for redacting government files or denying access to them in fiscal year 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.

More than any previous administration, Obama took longer to turn over files, said more often it could not locate documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over time-sensitive files quickly, requiring years-long legal actions to be brought to force the government’s hand. In the case of Hillary Clinton, files considered “unclassified” in one context were redacted in whole in another.

Though the backlog of unanswered requests grew by 55 percent, the administration cut the number of full-time Freedom of Information Act employees by 7.5 percent. Despite the critical nature of the documents to the election, the State Department was allowed to do its Freedom of Information Act screening of the Clinton emails largely with an ad hoc crew of retirees. The impact on journalists, and the right of the people to know, was immeasurable.

So spare me. The war on our freedoms was well under way before last week. Where the hell were you and your safety pins then?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ Thu, 11 May 2017 13:55:23 GMT
Trump Is Making Good Diplomatic Progress With Russia Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/
The 20th century, with hundreds of millions dead as a result of government wars, provides us all with valuable lessons on the importance of diplomacy.

Below, I discuss the recent meeting with Trump and Lavrov, the accusations of Russia interference with our election, the Comey firing, and the safe zones that that are being set up in Syria:



Reprinted with permission from RonPaulLibertyReport.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ Wed, 10 May 2017 22:17:48 GMT
Texas House to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/

The Texas state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider Thursday HB 81, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The legislation, should it become law, will prevent the incarceration of people solely for possessing one ounce or less of usable marijuana. While HB 81 would protect such individuals from a criminal conviction and prison time, police would be able seize their marijuana and issue them a citation that may lead to the imposing of an up to $250 fine.

In April, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of the state House approved the marijuana decriminalization legislation, a step in the process toward the floor consideration scheduled for the bill this week.

In 2015, the same committee approved then-Rep. David Simpson’s marijuana legalization bill (HB 2165). Simpson’s bill sought to treat marijuana the same as tomatoes for adults in the state. Simpson’s bill, which promised to bring to Texas marijuana legalization much more radical than marijuana legalization that has been approved in any state, was not considered on the House floor.

With Texas Governor Greg Abbott having declared that he opposes both recreational and medical marijuana legalization when he signed into law in 2015 legislation allowing quite limited medical use of low-THC marijuana extracts, decriminalization may be the most that can be implemented in the short term. Still, it would be nice also to see something more radical debated and voted on in the full Texas House and Senate.

]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ Wed, 10 May 2017 19:23:36 GMT
Taking Peace And Prosperity to Washington, DC! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ undefined
RPI's Washington "Peace and Prosperity 2016" Conference

Last year we "brought the show on the road" to Washington, D.C., with our "Peace and Prosperity 2016" conference. We sold out the venue, had a great time with terrific speakers, and even had CSPAN broadcast the event to an audience of potentially millions of viewers. What a great way to get our message out that a non-interventionist foreign policy will bring us more security and more prosperity!

Our goal was to lay down a marker for the next administration that we are a significant, beyond Left/Right movement for real change in our foreign policy and that we must be heard. I believe we succeeded. 

There is much to be concerned about in the way US foreign policy is shaping up in this new Administration. Thousands more US troops to the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. A possible US ground invasion of Syria. US warships challenging the Chinese in the South China Sea. US war drums beating on North Korea. Destabilization efforts continuing across the globe. The president giving a free hand to his generals to pursue the "war on terror" wherever it leads. The president lining up with the Saudis in their slaughter of Yemen. 

All of this produces blowback, therefore all of it makes us less safe!

That is why must return to Washington, D.C. to bring our important movement together and again make a stand! We are working hard on the pre-planning stage of a September RPI Conference in D.C. and have been in touch with several very exciting and brilliant speakers to help us make the case. Are you interested in whistleblowers? The real "fake news" phenomenon? Are you interested in Ron Paul's coming new book? These topics and much more are in the works!

We are about to commit to the venue and a date (September 9th), but before we can make the commitment we must put together a Host Committee to help sponsor the event. Last year we had a tremendous group of extremely generous supporters form a Host Committee and the success of the conference was to their credit. 

If supporters of our efforts join together in a Host Committee we will move forward with the planning and hopefully ticket sales can begin in mid-June. We have decided to create a two-tier Host Committee to provide different incentives and different ways of honoring those who choose to support this conference.

1) Gold Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $1,000 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will be invited to an exclusive pre-conference VIP cocktail reception the night before the event where they will visit with Ron Paul, conference speakers, and Institute staff and Board Members. They will enjoy prime location reserved seating for the event and will be invited to a VIP post-conference reception. They will also receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss Gold Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

2) Silver Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $500 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will enjoy reserved seating at the conference and will be invited to an after-conference reception. They will receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss SIlver Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

3) We are also looking for major sponsors who are able to make a commitment above these two levels and who in turn would receive all the above perquisites as well as marquee-level recognition for their generosity...and more! Please email me to discuss or telephone me at 202-306-2672.

4) We plan to also offer tables to organizations who would like to showcase their programs and products to conference attendees. Please contact me for more information on how to sponsor your table!

We have a great conference in the works -- something truly unique -- but we simply must have sponsors in place to get the ball rolling. If you are willing to pledge support at either of the above three levels, please send me an email or telephone me right away at 202-306-2672. I'll gladly fill you in on the details and answer all of your questions.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ Thu, 25 May 2017 22:19:48 GMT
Manchester Bomber Was Product of West's Libya/Syria Intervention Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ undefined

Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad. 

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.

When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ Wed, 24 May 2017 05:01:15 GMT
US Arms Makers’ Stocks at Record Highs on Saudi Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/

The weekend finalization of a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia which officials say will be worth at least $350 billion over the next decade sent the stocks of politically well-connected US arms makers soaring to all-time highs, underscoring just how much money there is to be had in keeping Saudi Arabia awash in weapons to drop on Yemen.

Lockheed Martin is the biggest “winner,” most analysts agree, with some $28 billion in weapons and equipment out of the initial $110 billion going to them, and likely to get the biggest sum out of anyone else in the subsequent parts and maintenance that will bring it to a record $350 billion overall.

Others say Raytheon may be a “dark horse” for investors, with the company’s wildly expensive Patriot missile systems likely to be a substantial chunk of the Saudi purchase. Still, it’s hard to see them matching Lockheed’s sale of planes to drop more bombs on Yemen.

Still, when picking winners the situation is very much relative, as when the arms makers all belly up to the bar to get a chunk of this deal, you can bet the Trump Administration will ensure all the big ones get a taste. That’s why virtually all the big arms makers, and not just Lockheed and Raytheon, are touching record highs. Everybody’s got something coming here, and with $350 billion to go around, it can’t help but be big for them.

President Trump is eager to present the deal as good for jobs, good to the economy, and Wall Street is eager to project winners. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the losers, of course. Top of the list is Yemen, and following closely behind is whomever else the Saudis decide to attack with all these costly weapons in the years that follow.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:29:09 GMT
Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/

Publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.

Their solution, as with everyone else, is even bigger escalation, with reports from those familiar with the plan saying that the US needs “more than 50,000” ground troops in Afghanistan to ensure Ghani’s survival, with an eye toward eventually defeating the Taliban.

That’s a big escalation, and a much bigger one than has been suggested in previous reports, which initially presented the proposed escalation as 3,000 to 5,000, and most recently made it a choice between 3,000 or keeping troop levels flat. The Pentagon is evasive about troop levels in recent months, but around 8,400 troops are believed to presently be in Afghanistan.

So 50,000 would be a massive escalation, resembling the one President Obama tried when he took office, and for mostly the same reason, that they think it might conceivably turn a long struggling war around. That it didn’t lead to victory last time appears to be totally ignored in the latest assessment.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ Thu, 18 May 2017 13:37:37 GMT
Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/

It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more. 

The Syrian franchise of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), and was sent into Syria by the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi went on to launch the rival breakaway group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as al-Qaeda's boots on the ground in the war against the Syrian government. 

In 2015 the group decided to re-brand itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham while, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, continuing to incorporate smaller organizations into its structure. This is one of the reasons for the failure of last year's cessation of hostilities in Syria: the "moderate" fighters and the legitimate terrorists were so inter-mingled that it was impossible for the US to separate them. But the State Department did not buy into the PR makeover of al-Qaeda and designated al-Sham a terrorist organization as well. 

Then, early this year, al-Shams decided on a new rebranding and decided to name itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The leader of the new group is the same old leader, and is listed by the US as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" with a $10 million bounty on his head. 

But strangely enough, the US has not designated the new organization a terrorist organization even as it warns off other groups seeking to join the newly branded al-Qaeda in Syria.

Why is that?

Again from the Canadian state news agency:
The reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of US aid, weapons, and training. ...

For the US to designate HTS now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to "terrorists," and draw attention to the fact that the U.S. continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.
You read that right: The reason the US cannot designate al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist group is because that would make the US legally responsible for having supplied a terrorist group with extremely sophisticated weapons and training. The US is arming and training terrorists in Syria, but instead of just getting out it is pretending that al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization. 

h/t Josh Landis]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ Mon, 15 May 2017 20:30:27 GMT
NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border. 

But, as Ted Carpenter writes in the National Interest, these very same countries who scream the loudest about the Russian threat are strangely reluctant to devote any of their own resources to defending themselves against said threat. One would think that if a country faced an "existential threat" from their neighbor, Russia, (as Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski claimed recently), that country would be motivated to do something to address that threat in any way possible. But in fact the opposite is the case. Instead of devoting resources to blunting the Russian spear they claim is in their face, these same countries show no interest at all in spending for their own defense.

As Carpenter writes:
The other two Baltic republics, Lithuania and Latvia, spend 1.49 and 1.41 percent, respectively. Romania and Bulgaria devote 1.41 percent and 1.30 percent. Slovakia and Hungary spend a mere 1.12 percent and 1.02 percent, and the Czech Republic brings up the rear at 1.01 percent. NATO’s leading countries don’t do significantly better. The figures for France and Italy are 1.79 and 1.11 percent, respectively. Perhaps most telling, democratic Europe’s leading economic power, Germany, spends a pathetic 1.20 percent.
Think about it: if you really felt an existential threat from your neighbor would you do nothing at all to defend against that threat?

And what about that "threat"? It's largely manufactured as cover for central Europe's reliance on the US military-industrial complex (powered by the beleaguered US taxpayer) to cover its defense expenses. The US military machine is happy to provide the propaganda that the mainstream media is happy to distribute as "news" and "analysis." Poor old Joe Six-Pack works a good deal of his day to pay for the military budget of places like super-rich Germany and all he gets is this stupid monetary inflation that decimates his standard of living to show for it.

Threat? No, double standards. Washington criticized a military exercise between Russia and its ally Belarus on its own soil scheduled for later this summer, with Defense Secretary Mattis stating that "any kind of buildup like that is simply destabilizing." In fact, Mattis supports sending US missiles to the Russian border in response to these wargames. However the United States takes part in numerous wargames outside its own territory and even on the Russian border, but somehow these are not to be viewed by the rest of the world as "destabilizing" in any way. Even if they simulate attacks on North Korea just a stone's throw from North Korean territory!

Until middle America understands how it is being ripped-off by the international bureaucrats, military-industrial complex, and their own hypocritical and paid-off politicians -- forced to pay the way for rich strangers -- they will continue to see their standard of living decline. Will they find their righteous anger at the immoral forces allied against them? Hopefully so, and hopefully soon.

No more NATO!
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ Sat, 13 May 2017 05:54:52 GMT
Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump' Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.

While it is clear why Saudi Arabia is eager to appease Trump - after all the all important Aramco IPO is coming up, and the Saudis will be eager to open the world's biggest public offering in history to as many US accounts as possible while doing everything in their power to stay on America's good side  - Bloomberg's explanation that Riyadh felt "shunned by President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran" leaves a bit to be desired: after all Saudi Arabia has consistently been the best customer of the US military-industrial complex for the past decade, and to claim that it had troubled relations with the previous administration is naive at best. What is certain, however, is that Saudi Arabia would have been delighted had Hillary Clinton become president, considering the millions in "donations" the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia and its peer Gulf states over the years.

Meanwhile, the kingdom claimed a “historic turning point” in bilateral relations after President Trump met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House earlier this year. On May 19, Trump will make his first foreign trip since taking office, visiting Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem before heading to Europe.

Or perhaps it's not Trump, but rather his son-in-law, that Saudi Arabia is most delighted with. A White House official told Bloomberg that the plans were in the works and that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had played a critical role in the discussions.

The Saudi funding may end up an anchor investment in Trump's massive $1 trillion infrastructure stimulus plan.
Trump in March offered his support for developing a new U.S.-Saudi program in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology that could be valued at more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.

The president has said he intends to push for $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure investments over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from taxpayers and the rest from the private sector.
Of course, it would be delightfully ironic if the Saudi billions end up being routed to fund new US shale technology, R&D and/or capex, in the process lowering the cost-curve of US oil producers even more...and further eroding Saudi market share and boosting its budget deficit.

This would not be the first time the Saudi Public Investment Fund has made substantial capital allocations abraad: last year, the PIF has funneled about $50 billion of the kingdom’s reserves into investments abroad, almost all of it into technology. It will commit as much as $45 billion to partner with SoftBank Group Corp. to set up a new $100 billion vehicle to invest in global technology. The fund also invested $3.5 billion in Uber Technologies Inc. last June. In the case of the latter, in light of the recent scandals gripping Uber, which may soon lose Europe as a market, it is possible that the Saudi's top-ticked the valuation of the car-sharing unicorn.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ Thu, 11 May 2017 23:49:02 GMT
The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.

My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

Braver people than me, like Thomas DrakeMorris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.

Indeed, Obama prosecuted more federal whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous United States presidents combined, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The Obama administration also set a record (77 percent) for redacting government files or denying access to them in fiscal year 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.

More than any previous administration, Obama took longer to turn over files, said more often it could not locate documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over time-sensitive files quickly, requiring years-long legal actions to be brought to force the government’s hand. In the case of Hillary Clinton, files considered “unclassified” in one context were redacted in whole in another.

Though the backlog of unanswered requests grew by 55 percent, the administration cut the number of full-time Freedom of Information Act employees by 7.5 percent. Despite the critical nature of the documents to the election, the State Department was allowed to do its Freedom of Information Act screening of the Clinton emails largely with an ad hoc crew of retirees. The impact on journalists, and the right of the people to know, was immeasurable.

So spare me. The war on our freedoms was well under way before last week. Where the hell were you and your safety pins then?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ Thu, 11 May 2017 13:55:23 GMT
Trump Is Making Good Diplomatic Progress With Russia Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/
The 20th century, with hundreds of millions dead as a result of government wars, provides us all with valuable lessons on the importance of diplomacy.

Below, I discuss the recent meeting with Trump and Lavrov, the accusations of Russia interference with our election, the Comey firing, and the safe zones that that are being set up in Syria:



Reprinted with permission from RonPaulLibertyReport.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ Wed, 10 May 2017 22:17:48 GMT
Texas House to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/

The Texas state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider Thursday HB 81, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The legislation, should it become law, will prevent the incarceration of people solely for possessing one ounce or less of usable marijuana. While HB 81 would protect such individuals from a criminal conviction and prison time, police would be able seize their marijuana and issue them a citation that may lead to the imposing of an up to $250 fine.

In April, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of the state House approved the marijuana decriminalization legislation, a step in the process toward the floor consideration scheduled for the bill this week.

In 2015, the same committee approved then-Rep. David Simpson’s marijuana legalization bill (HB 2165). Simpson’s bill sought to treat marijuana the same as tomatoes for adults in the state. Simpson’s bill, which promised to bring to Texas marijuana legalization much more radical than marijuana legalization that has been approved in any state, was not considered on the House floor.

With Texas Governor Greg Abbott having declared that he opposes both recreational and medical marijuana legalization when he signed into law in 2015 legislation allowing quite limited medical use of low-THC marijuana extracts, decriminalization may be the most that can be implemented in the short term. Still, it would be nice also to see something more radical debated and voted on in the full Texas House and Senate.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ Wed, 10 May 2017 19:23:36 GMT
Taking Peace And Prosperity to Washington, DC! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ undefined
RPI's Washington "Peace and Prosperity 2016" Conference

Last year we "brought the show on the road" to Washington, D.C., with our "Peace and Prosperity 2016" conference. We sold out the venue, had a great time with terrific speakers, and even had CSPAN broadcast the event to an audience of potentially millions of viewers. What a great way to get our message out that a non-interventionist foreign policy will bring us more security and more prosperity!

Our goal was to lay down a marker for the next administration that we are a significant, beyond Left/Right movement for real change in our foreign policy and that we must be heard. I believe we succeeded. 

There is much to be concerned about in the way US foreign policy is shaping up in this new Administration. Thousands more US troops to the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. A possible US ground invasion of Syria. US warships challenging the Chinese in the South China Sea. US war drums beating on North Korea. Destabilization efforts continuing across the globe. The president giving a free hand to his generals to pursue the "war on terror" wherever it leads. The president lining up with the Saudis in their slaughter of Yemen. 

All of this produces blowback, therefore all of it makes us less safe!

That is why must return to Washington, D.C. to bring our important movement together and again make a stand! We are working hard on the pre-planning stage of a September RPI Conference in D.C. and have been in touch with several very exciting and brilliant speakers to help us make the case. Are you interested in whistleblowers? The real "fake news" phenomenon? Are you interested in Ron Paul's coming new book? These topics and much more are in the works!

We are about to commit to the venue and a date (September 9th), but before we can make the commitment we must put together a Host Committee to help sponsor the event. Last year we had a tremendous group of extremely generous supporters form a Host Committee and the success of the conference was to their credit. 

If supporters of our efforts join together in a Host Committee we will move forward with the planning and hopefully ticket sales can begin in mid-June. We have decided to create a two-tier Host Committee to provide different incentives and different ways of honoring those who choose to support this conference.

1) Gold Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $1,000 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will be invited to an exclusive pre-conference VIP cocktail reception the night before the event where they will visit with Ron Paul, conference speakers, and Institute staff and Board Members. They will enjoy prime location reserved seating for the event and will be invited to a VIP post-conference reception. They will also receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss Gold Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

2) Silver Level Host Committee Members at a minimum $500 donation will receive admission to the conference for the Member and one guest and will be publicly thanked in the conference program. They will enjoy reserved seating at the conference and will be invited to an after-conference reception. They will receive a signed copy of Ron Paul's forthcoming new book! Please send me an email -- or telephone me at 202-306-2672 -- to discuss SIlver Level Host Committee Membership or to make your pledge.

3) We are also looking for major sponsors who are able to make a commitment above these two levels and who in turn would receive all the above perquisites as well as marquee-level recognition for their generosity...and more! Please email me to discuss or telephone me at 202-306-2672.

4) We plan to also offer tables to organizations who would like to showcase their programs and products to conference attendees. Please contact me for more information on how to sponsor your table!

We have a great conference in the works -- something truly unique -- but we simply must have sponsors in place to get the ball rolling. If you are willing to pledge support at either of the above three levels, please send me an email or telephone me right away at 202-306-2672. I'll gladly fill you in on the details and answer all of your questions.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/25/taking-peace-and-prosperity-to-washington-dc/ Thu, 25 May 2017 22:19:48 GMT
Manchester Bomber Was Product of West's Libya/Syria Intervention Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ undefined

Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad. 

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.

When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/24/manchester-bomber-was-product-of-wests-libyasyria-intervention/ Wed, 24 May 2017 05:01:15 GMT
US Arms Makers’ Stocks at Record Highs on Saudi Deal Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/

The weekend finalization of a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia which officials say will be worth at least $350 billion over the next decade sent the stocks of politically well-connected US arms makers soaring to all-time highs, underscoring just how much money there is to be had in keeping Saudi Arabia awash in weapons to drop on Yemen.

Lockheed Martin is the biggest “winner,” most analysts agree, with some $28 billion in weapons and equipment out of the initial $110 billion going to them, and likely to get the biggest sum out of anyone else in the subsequent parts and maintenance that will bring it to a record $350 billion overall.

Others say Raytheon may be a “dark horse” for investors, with the company’s wildly expensive Patriot missile systems likely to be a substantial chunk of the Saudi purchase. Still, it’s hard to see them matching Lockheed’s sale of planes to drop more bombs on Yemen.

Still, when picking winners the situation is very much relative, as when the arms makers all belly up to the bar to get a chunk of this deal, you can bet the Trump Administration will ensure all the big ones get a taste. That’s why virtually all the big arms makers, and not just Lockheed and Raytheon, are touching record highs. Everybody’s got something coming here, and with $350 billion to go around, it can’t help but be big for them.

President Trump is eager to present the deal as good for jobs, good to the economy, and Wall Street is eager to project winners. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the losers, of course. Top of the list is Yemen, and following closely behind is whomever else the Saudis decide to attack with all these costly weapons in the years that follow.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/23/us-arms-makers-stocks-at-record-highs-on-saudi-deal/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:29:09 GMT
Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/

Publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.

Their solution, as with everyone else, is even bigger escalation, with reports from those familiar with the plan saying that the US needs “more than 50,000” ground troops in Afghanistan to ensure Ghani’s survival, with an eye toward eventually defeating the Taliban.

That’s a big escalation, and a much bigger one than has been suggested in previous reports, which initially presented the proposed escalation as 3,000 to 5,000, and most recently made it a choice between 3,000 or keeping troop levels flat. The Pentagon is evasive about troop levels in recent months, but around 8,400 troops are believed to presently be in Afghanistan.

So 50,000 would be a massive escalation, resembling the one President Obama tried when he took office, and for mostly the same reason, that they think it might conceivably turn a long struggling war around. That it didn’t lead to victory last time appears to be totally ignored in the latest assessment.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/18/trump-advisers-want-at-least-50-000-us-troops-in-afghanistan/ Thu, 18 May 2017 13:37:37 GMT
Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/

It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more. 

The Syrian franchise of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), and was sent into Syria by the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi went on to launch the rival breakaway group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as al-Qaeda's boots on the ground in the war against the Syrian government. 

In 2015 the group decided to re-brand itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham while, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, continuing to incorporate smaller organizations into its structure. This is one of the reasons for the failure of last year's cessation of hostilities in Syria: the "moderate" fighters and the legitimate terrorists were so inter-mingled that it was impossible for the US to separate them. But the State Department did not buy into the PR makeover of al-Qaeda and designated al-Sham a terrorist organization as well. 

Then, early this year, al-Shams decided on a new rebranding and decided to name itself Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The leader of the new group is the same old leader, and is listed by the US as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" with a $10 million bounty on his head. 

But strangely enough, the US has not designated the new organization a terrorist organization even as it warns off other groups seeking to join the newly branded al-Qaeda in Syria.

Why is that?

Again from the Canadian state news agency:
The reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of US aid, weapons, and training. ...

For the US to designate HTS now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to "terrorists," and draw attention to the fact that the U.S. continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.
You read that right: The reason the US cannot designate al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist group is because that would make the US legally responsible for having supplied a terrorist group with extremely sophisticated weapons and training. The US is arming and training terrorists in Syria, but instead of just getting out it is pretending that al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization. 

h/t Josh Landis]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/15/why-washington-took-al-qaeda-in-syria-off-the-terrorist-list/ Mon, 15 May 2017 20:30:27 GMT
NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border. 

But, as Ted Carpenter writes in the National Interest, these very same countries who scream the loudest about the Russian threat are strangely reluctant to devote any of their own resources to defending themselves against said threat. One would think that if a country faced an "existential threat" from their neighbor, Russia, (as Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski claimed recently), that country would be motivated to do something to address that threat in any way possible. But in fact the opposite is the case. Instead of devoting resources to blunting the Russian spear they claim is in their face, these same countries show no interest at all in spending for their own defense.

As Carpenter writes:
The other two Baltic republics, Lithuania and Latvia, spend 1.49 and 1.41 percent, respectively. Romania and Bulgaria devote 1.41 percent and 1.30 percent. Slovakia and Hungary spend a mere 1.12 percent and 1.02 percent, and the Czech Republic brings up the rear at 1.01 percent. NATO’s leading countries don’t do significantly better. The figures for France and Italy are 1.79 and 1.11 percent, respectively. Perhaps most telling, democratic Europe’s leading economic power, Germany, spends a pathetic 1.20 percent.
Think about it: if you really felt an existential threat from your neighbor would you do nothing at all to defend against that threat?

And what about that "threat"? It's largely manufactured as cover for central Europe's reliance on the US military-industrial complex (powered by the beleaguered US taxpayer) to cover its defense expenses. The US military machine is happy to provide the propaganda that the mainstream media is happy to distribute as "news" and "analysis." Poor old Joe Six-Pack works a good deal of his day to pay for the military budget of places like super-rich Germany and all he gets is this stupid monetary inflation that decimates his standard of living to show for it.

Threat? No, double standards. Washington criticized a military exercise between Russia and its ally Belarus on its own soil scheduled for later this summer, with Defense Secretary Mattis stating that "any kind of buildup like that is simply destabilizing." In fact, Mattis supports sending US missiles to the Russian border in response to these wargames. However the United States takes part in numerous wargames outside its own territory and even on the Russian border, but somehow these are not to be viewed by the rest of the world as "destabilizing" in any way. Even if they simulate attacks on North Korea just a stone's throw from North Korean territory!

Until middle America understands how it is being ripped-off by the international bureaucrats, military-industrial complex, and their own hypocritical and paid-off politicians -- forced to pay the way for rich strangers -- they will continue to see their standard of living decline. Will they find their righteous anger at the immoral forces allied against them? Hopefully so, and hopefully soon.

No more NATO!
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/13/natos-biggest-challenge-make-frightened-europe-pay-up/ Sat, 13 May 2017 05:54:52 GMT
Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump' Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.

While it is clear why Saudi Arabia is eager to appease Trump - after all the all important Aramco IPO is coming up, and the Saudis will be eager to open the world's biggest public offering in history to as many US accounts as possible while doing everything in their power to stay on America's good side  - Bloomberg's explanation that Riyadh felt "shunned by President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran" leaves a bit to be desired: after all Saudi Arabia has consistently been the best customer of the US military-industrial complex for the past decade, and to claim that it had troubled relations with the previous administration is naive at best. What is certain, however, is that Saudi Arabia would have been delighted had Hillary Clinton become president, considering the millions in "donations" the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia and its peer Gulf states over the years.

Meanwhile, the kingdom claimed a “historic turning point” in bilateral relations after President Trump met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House earlier this year. On May 19, Trump will make his first foreign trip since taking office, visiting Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem before heading to Europe.

Or perhaps it's not Trump, but rather his son-in-law, that Saudi Arabia is most delighted with. A White House official told Bloomberg that the plans were in the works and that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had played a critical role in the discussions.

The Saudi funding may end up an anchor investment in Trump's massive $1 trillion infrastructure stimulus plan.
Trump in March offered his support for developing a new U.S.-Saudi program in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology that could be valued at more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.

The president has said he intends to push for $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure investments over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from taxpayers and the rest from the private sector.
Of course, it would be delightfully ironic if the Saudi billions end up being routed to fund new US shale technology, R&D and/or capex, in the process lowering the cost-curve of US oil producers even more...and further eroding Saudi market share and boosting its budget deficit.

This would not be the first time the Saudi Public Investment Fund has made substantial capital allocations abraad: last year, the PIF has funneled about $50 billion of the kingdom’s reserves into investments abroad, almost all of it into technology. It will commit as much as $45 billion to partner with SoftBank Group Corp. to set up a new $100 billion vehicle to invest in global technology. The fund also invested $3.5 billion in Uber Technologies Inc. last June. In the case of the latter, in light of the recent scandals gripping Uber, which may soon lose Europe as a market, it is possible that the Saudi's top-ticked the valuation of the car-sharing unicorn.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/saudis-plan-40-billion-us-investment-to-cement-ties-with-trump/ Thu, 11 May 2017 23:49:02 GMT
The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week Peter van Buren http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.

My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

Braver people than me, like Thomas DrakeMorris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.

Indeed, Obama prosecuted more federal whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous United States presidents combined, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The Obama administration also set a record (77 percent) for redacting government files or denying access to them in fiscal year 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.

More than any previous administration, Obama took longer to turn over files, said more often it could not locate documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over time-sensitive files quickly, requiring years-long legal actions to be brought to force the government’s hand. In the case of Hillary Clinton, files considered “unclassified” in one context were redacted in whole in another.

Though the backlog of unanswered requests grew by 55 percent, the administration cut the number of full-time Freedom of Information Act employees by 7.5 percent. Despite the critical nature of the documents to the election, the State Department was allowed to do its Freedom of Information Act screening of the Clinton emails largely with an ad hoc crew of retirees. The impact on journalists, and the right of the people to know, was immeasurable.

So spare me. The war on our freedoms was well under way before last week. Where the hell were you and your safety pins then?

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/11/the-war-on-the-first-amendment-didn-t-start-last-week/ Thu, 11 May 2017 13:55:23 GMT
Trump Is Making Good Diplomatic Progress With Russia Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/
The 20th century, with hundreds of millions dead as a result of government wars, provides us all with valuable lessons on the importance of diplomacy.

Below, I discuss the recent meeting with Trump and Lavrov, the accusations of Russia interference with our election, the Comey firing, and the safe zones that that are being set up in Syria:



Reprinted with permission from RonPaulLibertyReport.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/trump-is-making-good-diplomatic-progress-with-russia/ Wed, 10 May 2017 22:17:48 GMT
Texas House to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/

The Texas state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider Thursday HB 81, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The legislation, should it become law, will prevent the incarceration of people solely for possessing one ounce or less of usable marijuana. While HB 81 would protect such individuals from a criminal conviction and prison time, police would be able seize their marijuana and issue them a citation that may lead to the imposing of an up to $250 fine.

In April, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of the state House approved the marijuana decriminalization legislation, a step in the process toward the floor consideration scheduled for the bill this week.

In 2015, the same committee approved then-Rep. David Simpson’s marijuana legalization bill (HB 2165). Simpson’s bill sought to treat marijuana the same as tomatoes for adults in the state. Simpson’s bill, which promised to bring to Texas marijuana legalization much more radical than marijuana legalization that has been approved in any state, was not considered on the House floor.

With Texas Governor Greg Abbott having declared that he opposes both recreational and medical marijuana legalization when he signed into law in 2015 legislation allowing quite limited medical use of low-THC marijuana extracts, decriminalization may be the most that can be implemented in the short term. Still, it would be nice also to see something more radical debated and voted on in the full Texas House and Senate.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2017/may/10/texas-house-to-consider-marijuana-decriminalization-bill/ Wed, 10 May 2017 19:23:36 GMT