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How Much is Obama's War on ISIS Going to Cost? You Don't Want to Know!

How much is Obama's new war on Iraq and Syria going to cost? If you believe the woman who was right about the costs of the last US war on Iraq, Harvard Professor Linda J. Bilmes, it's going to cost a fortune. 

In a critically important article Professor Bilmes wrote for the Boston Globe this week, the author of The Three Trillion Dollar War (with Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz) points out that although the US has already spent approximately one billion dollars thus far on President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" ISIS, the price tag is going to climb steeply —and quickly — from there.

Direct costs of the president's plan will likely be on the order of $22 billion per year, but that is only the start.
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Ron Paul: Technology for Liberty, Not War

RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul, in a wide-ranging Alex Jones Show interview on Tuesday, commented on the potential of technology to counter “the abusive state.” Noting that government will always use technology for war and against the people, Paul says that in response “we have to try to get the smart people on our side to make sure the technology protects our liberty.”
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Liberty Across the Board: Ron Paul vs Boston Globe on The Right to Use Heroin

The Boston Globe published this week a guest editorial arguing, as RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul memorably did during a 2011 Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina, that heroin should be legalized. While the Globe editorial presents strong arguments for heroin legalization, it shies away from discussing the right to use heroin. In contrast, when asked in the debate about legalizing heroin, Paul zeroed in on individual rights, saying that protecting the right to use heroin is part of his commitment to protecting liberty “across-the-board”...
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To Stop War, Set Money Free!

In his new book, Set Money Free, RPI contributing writer Chris Rossini has managed to explore the dark nexus between the United States’ dishonest monetary system and that system’s usefulness in financing the US military empire.
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Robert Higgs: The Many Costs of War

The deaths, injuries, and property destruction of battles are obvious costs of war as is all the money spent on weapons, soldiers, and other expenses directly related to battles. Less well understood by many people are the many other war costs, including costs imposed on people who may never be near a battlefield but just live in a nation at war.

RPI Academic Board Member Robert Higgs explores in an informative Ludwig von Mises Institute lecture on Thursday many of these often overlooked or misunderstood costs. Higgs addresses a number of war costs the US government has historically imposed

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RPI’s Adam Dick Discusses the Drug War, Elections, and Smokey and the Bandit on the Lions of Liberty Podcast

RPI's Adam Dick joined the Lions of Liberty Podcast on Thursday for a discussion of the drug war and advancing liberty through electoral politics. Dick discusses with host Marc Clair how states and local governments going their own way on marijuana laws are overcoming the United States government’s war on marijuana, as well as some of the incremental steps the US government has taken over the last few years to roll back its drug war. Dick also makes some predictions about the war on a drugs and pitches a new Smokey and the Bandit movie about driving marijuana from Colorado to Texas.
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Ron Paul: Legal Pot, Not SWAT

Ron Paul addresses Monday on the Ron Paul Channel the menacing militarization of police in the United States. Paul, the chairman and founder of RPI, explains the problem extends from small towns obtaining military combat vehicles to United States government agencies buying up vast amounts of weapons and ammunition to police employing over 40,000 SWAT team raids each year.

Paul also notes in the commentary that crime in Denver has decreased following the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Paul wonders if Colorado may be on to something—less laws are a better means than militarized police to reduce crime.
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Lew Rockwell: Central Banks Make World Wars Possible

As people worry a new world war may rise out of Ukraine, RPI Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell proposes Wednesday on the Tom Woods Show that the creation of central banks makes world wars possible. Rockwell's comments regarding central banking are made in a wide-ranging interview that begins with a discussion of Rockwell’s book Against the State, which will be published in June.

Looking back to Rome, Rockwell notes that successive reductions in the silver content of coins helped fund government activities. Rockwell then explains that limits of this old method of money debasement were overcome in Britain in the 17th century with the creation of the Bank of England “specifically ... to wage war.”

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Can Kinky Friedman Bring Legal Marijuana and Hemp to Texas?

Kinky Friedman, who is competing in a runoff election Tuesday for the Democratic Party nomination for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, describes his race as “kind of a referendum on lifting this prohibition on hemp and on pot.” Can Friedman, who has gained notoriety among potential Texas voters as a singer/songwriter, mystery book writer, Texas Monthly columnist, and Texas governor candidate, bring legal marijuana and hemp to Texas?

While many people may view Texas as among the least likely states for a candidate promoting marijuana and hemp legalization to win statewide office, polling indicates a majority of Texans support marijuana legalization. Nevertheless, Texas politicians are reluctant to legalize, likely in part because they are concerned about a backlash from the minority of Texans who support the war on marijuana.
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