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Peace and Prosperity

Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, Rest in Peace

It is with deep personal sorrow that I announce the passing of dear friend, mentor, and Ron Paul Institute Board Member, Ambassador Faith Whittlesey. Ambassador Whittlesey was truly a remarkable woman whom I admired so very much and cared about deeply. I first met Ambassador Whittlesey when I was selected to be an American-Swiss Foundation Young Leader in 2006, spending a week in Zurich with our "Young Leader" counterparts in Swiss government, culture, and industry.
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Trump's Newest Threat To North Korea Makes A Deal Impossible

President Trump again derailed the negotiations with North Korea. It will be difficult to get them back on track. The attitude he showed  makes it unlikely that any deal will be made.

Tuesday night North Korea threatened to cancel the summit with U.S. President Trump. Remarks by U.S. National Security Advisor Bolton that the "Libya model" would be applied to North Korea were taken as insult.

Libya had bought some equipment that could be used to eventually start Uranium enrichment. But it never had a coordinated program to develop nuclear weapons nor did it have the industrial and academic base to pursue such a project. To get out of sanctions Libya gave up the little material it had. All was shipped to the U.S. before the sanctions were lifted. Bolton probably referred to only that part of the "Libya model".
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Ron Paul Supports American Exceptionalism?!

“American exceptionalism” is a phrase frequently rolled out in support of United States interventions abroad, including US military attacks. So it would likely surprise many people to hear that Ron Paul, the former US House of Representatives member and presidential candidate known for his advocacy for a noninterventionist foreign policy, declared in a panel discussion this week at the TRT World show The Newsmakers that he is a supporter of American exceptionalism. However, there is a catch. Paul defines the American exceptionalism he supports differently than the way that phrase is commonly defined by people who desire the US to be an empire or the policeman on the world.
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Washington, DC: Where Torture is More Forgivable Than Harassment

Less than a month ago, President Trump’s nominee for the VA head chose to withdraw his name from consideration as allegations mounted—which he vehemently denied—of his having created a “toxic” work environment and assorted other peccadillos. Meanwhile, most of us have lost count of how many members of Congress have resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment of various degrees, some proven, some not, including, for example, Al Franken, who issued this mea culpa:
The first thing I want to do is apologize: to [accuser] Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.
Not good enough, Al.
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Ron Paul Interview with Larry King: Foreign Policy, Mueller Investigation, and More

Ron Paul and interviewing legend Larry King had a provocative discussion last week on King’s Politicking show at RT. The prominent libertarian communicator, who founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity in 2013 after leaving the United States House of Representatives, talked with King about a variety of topics running from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation to the US government’s interventionist foreign policy.
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Voters in Several States Set to Roll Back Marijuana Prohibition This Year



Polling suggests approval of state ballot measures in upcoming elections this year that would cause the number of states with legal medical marijuana to grow by three and with legal recreational marijuana to grow by one. Absent earlier legislative action in other states, recreational marijuana legalization approval in Michigan would make it the tenth state with such legalization, and medical marijuana legalization in Oklahoma and Utah, as well as Missouri where petition signatures for ballot measures have not yet been counted and verified, would bring the total number of states with legal medical marijuana up to 33. Tom Angell discusses in a Thursday Forbes article the polling indicating substantial majority support in these states for the respective forms of legalization the ballot measures include.
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War Codes in Trump's Iran Proclamation

Today President Trump announced that he was canceling US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. The president's assertions were ludicrous and factually incorrect, but the neocons who were no doubt behind the speech have never been all that wedded to the truth. It became obvious fairly on that Trump's rationale was not to be taken seriously, when he cited last week's comical stage performance by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "Iran Lied" about its nuclear program. 

Netanyahu's fairy tale required us to believe that the Iranians were storing their most sensitive national security documents and compact discs in an unguarded hut, which the crack Israeli team of intelligence operatives were able to discover and remove by the truckload right under the noses of what they claim is among the most totalitarian "regimes" on earth.
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Huge Increase in NSA’s Phone Calls and Text Messages Collection after 'Major Reform' of Mass Surveillance Program


On Friday, the National Security Agency (NSA), which has played a primary role in the United States government’s mass surveillance program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, disclosed it had collected 534 million phone calls and text messages of Americans in 2017 — more than three times the amount it collected the year before. But, what about the USA FREEDOM Act that the US Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in 2015? There was much fanfare when the USA FREEDOM Act was enacted and during its consideration in Congress that the legislation’s “reform” would impose major new restraints on the mass surveillance program in order to defend liberty and privacy.
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Pentagon Seeks Arms for 65,000 US-Backed Troops in Syria



While US “relief funds” are frozen in Syria, the Pentagon continues to seek massive amounts of funding for its military operations in the country. This includes a request for $300 million in weapons to give to “partner forces” in Syria.

This amounts to enough arms for 65,000 fighters. This is expected to center on the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is to say, almost entirely the Kurdish YPG. The US has been arming the YPG for years now as part of its Syria operations.

This is being sought in spite of repeated US assurances to Turkey that their arming of the YPG was temporary. With ISIS virtually wiped out in Syria, the YPG no longer has offensive goals fitting into US plans for Syria, and rather is focused chiefly on fighting a Turkish invasion of northern Syria.
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