Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=1 Sun, 13 Jan 2019 20:10:51 GMT Sun, 13 Jan 2019 20:10:51 GMT Five Minutes Five Issues: National Emergency, Foreign Bases, Marijuana Noncrackdown, Oligarchs, Roving Patrols Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/13/five-minutes-five-issues-national-emergency-foreign-bases-marijuana-noncrackdown-oligarchs-roving-patrols/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In a Tuesday editorial, Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead discussed in detail dangers from presidents declaring national emergencies. Here is one intriguing fact Whitehead notes: The Constitution “allows for only one emergency power;” it does so when it states “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the Public Safety may require it.’”

Issue two.

In a Tuesday TomDispatch article, Nick Turse writes that the official listing of 514 Department of Defense sites overseas fails to include any bases in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cameroon, or Somalia “where such military outposts are known to exist.” Unlisted bases, Turse suggests, number in the hundreds.

You might guess other nations also have hundreds of military bases abroad. However, that is not the case. Turse writes:
The Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition notes that the United States possesses up to 95% of the world’s foreign military bases, while countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have perhaps 10-20 foreign outposts each. China has just one.
Issue three.

One year ago this month, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded prior Justice Department guidance that had advised restraint in US prosecutions of some people complying with liberalized state marijuana laws. Sessions replaced it with his own new memorandum.

In response, many advocates of rolling back marijuana prohibition warned a big marijuana crackdown was likely coming. However, a few days after Sessions issued his memorandum, I noted in an article at the Ron Paul Institute website that Sessions did not “direct or even suggest any increase in marijuana prosecutions whatsoever” and that his memorandum “so far has amounted to all bluster and no action.” Continuing, I wrote: “Maybe that is how he wants it — an opportunity to state as policy his anti-marijuana views for all to see without directing actions that would meet head-on the growing majority public support for marijuana legalization, the strong momentum for legalization’s expansion across the country, and the growing rejection among Congress members of US government marijuana law enforcement efforts.”

This week, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that “in the year since” Sessions issued his replacement memo, “the government has not launched a crackdown, five more states legalized cannabis in some form—with Vermont lawmakers voting to do so on the very same day Sessions made his move—and federal prosecutions for marijuana-related offenses during the 2018 fiscal year, which ended in September, declined by almost a fifth.”

Issue four.

In a Wednesday post at Twitter, the writer Glenn Greenwald made an insightful comment regarding language used in American media. Greenwald wrote that “the way the US media calls every rich Russian an ‘oligarch’ but never uses that term for US billionaires is extremely revealing about how they propagandize for nationalistic purposes.”

Issue five.

Roving patrols of the United States Border Patrol were instructed to use a list of 21 “actionable facts,” with any one fact serving as a basis for stopping cars within 100 miles of a US border. The list, included among Border Patrol training material received by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and reported Monday by Max Rivlin-Nadler at The Intercept, includes as bases to stop a vehicle the mere fact that a vehicle is “close to the border,” is “from out of the area,” or “appears to be heavily laden.” Such broad categories make many people having nothing to do with, say, illegal immigration or illegal drugs, subjectable to Border Patrol harassment. The list even includes two contradictory facts that together could justify stopping just about any vehicle: A stop can be based on people inside the vehicle either avoiding looking a Border Patrol agent or “paying undue attention to the agent’s presence.”

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That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/13/five-minutes-five-issues-national-emergency-foreign-bases-marijuana-noncrackdown-oligarchs-roving-patrols/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/13/five-minutes-five-issues-national-emergency-foreign-bases-marijuana-noncrackdown-oligarchs-roving-patrols/ Sun, 13 Jan 2019 20:10:51 GMT
Ron Paul: The Warmongering in DC is Bipartisan http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/11/ron-paul-the-warmongering-in-dc-is-bipartisan/
Watch the complete report, in which Paul also recommends that President Donald Trump fire National Security Advisor John Bolton, here:



For more analysis of the rise in pro-war sentiment among Democrats, from the “Democratic policy elite in Washington” to Democratic voters across America, read Glenn Greenwald’s Friday The Intercept article “As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party’s Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War than Republicans.”]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/11/ron-paul-the-warmongering-in-dc-is-bipartisan/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/11/ron-paul-the-warmongering-in-dc-is-bipartisan/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 00:05:29 GMT
Ron Paul to President Trump and Congress: Don’t Fence — or Wall — Us In Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/08/ron-paul-to-president-trump-and-congress-don-t-fence-or-wall-us-in/ spoke passionately from the debate stage against the US government having a fence at the US-Mexico border. “I think this fence business,” said Paul at a debate held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, “is designed, and may well be used, against us and keep us in.” “In economic turmoil, the people want to leave with their capital and there’s capital controls and there’s people control,” continued Paul, “so, every time you think of a fence keeping all those bad people out, think about those fences maybe being used against us.”

With President Donald Trump saying the United States government will remain partially shut down until Congress delivers to him money to pay for wall building at the US-Mexico border, Paul has again been asked about his thoughts regarding such a wall or fence, this time in a Tuesday CNBC television interview. Again, Paul offered a strong rebuke of the idea, with an emphasis on the potential of the barrier — be it a fence or a wall — being used against Americans.

Paul declares in the Tuesday interview, much like he did on the debate stage years earlier, “I don’t want to wall people in, and I don’t want to wall people out.” Instead of a wall, Paul proposes, to deal with immigration concerns, removing both welfare incentives and an “easy road to citizenship” for people who come to America.

Watch Paul’s wall comments in the CNBC interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/08/ron-paul-to-president-trump-and-congress-don-t-fence-or-wall-us-in/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/08/ron-paul-to-president-trump-and-congress-don-t-fence-or-wall-us-in/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 19:21:10 GMT
Fed Up WikiLeaks Emails Media List of 140 ‘False and Defamatory’ Claims Not To Report as True Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/07/fed-up-wikileaks-emails-media-list-of-140-false-and-defamatory-claims-not-to-report-as-true/

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have not just been targeted by the United States government in response to their publishing of US government secrets. They have also been subjected to false reporting in the media.

In an email sent to media organizations on Sunday, WikiLeaks details that, due to “a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise ‘reputable’ media outlets,” Wikileaks is providing in the email a list of false and defamatory claims about WikiLeaks and Assange for journalists and publishers “to ensure they do not spread and have not spread falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.” A Reuters report counts a total of 140 items in the email’s “Defamation List.”

The email, which is marked at its beginning as a “confidential legal communication” and “not for publication,” has been posted online — something people associated with WikiLeaks, which specializes in publishing information sought to be kept secret, would seem likely to have anticipated.

Included in the email’s Defamation List are claims you may have seen in multiple media reports regarding WikiLeaks or Assange. The list advises that it is “false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is, or has ever been,” for example, “charged with an offence by the United Kingdom or Sweden” or “an agent or officer of any intelligence service.” Also declared “false and defamatory” are suggesting that Assange “has been accused by any person of raping them” or “has ever met or communicated with [former Donald Trump presidential campaign Chairman] Paul Manafort.”

The list also includes many “false and defamatory” suggestions in regard to and Assange and WikiLeaks together, including that either of them has ever “directed, conspired, or colluded in a criminal manner with its sources;” “colluded with or conspired with, or compromised the integrity of its journalism for, any political campaign or State;” or “suppressed materials critical of Israel, Russia or any other State.”

Notably, the email’s Defamation List also terms as “false and defamatory” claims denying the status of WikiLeaks as a media organization and Assange as an “editor, journalist, publisher, author and documentary maker.” Indeed, the email further notes that WikiLeaks and Assange have won awards for their journalistic efforts, as well as that WikiLeaks has “a perfect record of accurately verifying its publications.” Such information may be helpful in defending Assange and WikiLeaks against any charges in America, where journalists and media organizations have substantial basis for arguing they are protected from prosecution for publishing the secret government information they receive.

Read the WikiLeaks email, including links to supporting materials, here.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/07/fed-up-wikileaks-emails-media-list-of-140-false-and-defamatory-claims-not-to-report-as-true/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/07/fed-up-wikileaks-emails-media-list-of-140-false-and-defamatory-claims-not-to-report-as-true/ Mon, 07 Jan 2019 22:33:18 GMT
Taxing and Regulating the Hell out of Marijuana in California Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/06/taxing-and-regulating-the-hell-out-of-marijuana-in-california/

A year into legal recreational marijuana sales in California, the volume of sales is far less than many people, and the state government, expected. The reason for low sales numbers is not that people stopped liking marijuana. The missing expected sales are still being made, but in the black market. Because “California is regulating and taxing the hell out of cannabis” in the legal market, it is hard “for legal suppliers to compete with the state's longstanding, extensive, and highly developed black market,” writes Jacob Sullum in a Friday Reason article.

Read here Sullum’s informative article exploring why the inclusion of restraints on market freedom has made recreational marijuana legalization a bit of a flop in California.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/06/taxing-and-regulating-the-hell-out-of-marijuana-in-california/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/06/taxing-and-regulating-the-hell-out-of-marijuana-in-california/ Sun, 06 Jan 2019 22:33:04 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Paul Advice, Graham Reassured, American Influence, NH Marijuana, White Marchers Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/05/five-minutes-five-issues-paul-advice-graham-reassured-american-influence-nh-marijuana-white-marchers/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote last week about unnamed United States government officials telling him “frequent phone conversations” between President Donald Trump and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) “are having an outsize influence on the president’s recent foreign policy decisions,” including Trump’s decision to remove US military members from Syria. Rogin writes that “[h]awks such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)” advising Trump is alright, but Trump following advice from Paul, who is inclined to recommend reducing US intervention overseas, is “dangerous for our national security.”

In response to Rogin’s editorial, Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz wrote: “If Paul did in fact persuade the president to withdraw US troops from one of the seven military conflicts we’re currently engaged in, Bravo.” To Boaz’s comment I’ll add, hopefully Paul also persuades Trump to end all the military conflicts and to start no new ones.

Issue two.

It is heartening to hear President Trump announce all US troops will leave Syria. It is also smart to have a wait-and-see perspective. Will the promise be fulfilled? If troops are withdrawn, will other means of US intervention be used, from CIA agents to missile strikes to aid to insurgents? Wait and see.

One disturbing development is uber-interventionist Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was originally very critical of Trump’s announcement, saying this week that the president “told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria.” What makes Graham feel a lot better would likely have the opposite affect for supporters of nonintervention and peace.

Issue three.

Before retiring from the Army, Stanley McChrystal was as one of the nine successive US generals who oversaw the Afghanistan War. In that position, McChrystal pushed for a big increase in US troops for the war.

Asked Sunday by host Martha Raddatz at the ABC TV show This Week about President Trump’s announcement that US troops will be leaving Syria, McChrystal stated in-part, “If you pull American influence out, you’re likely to have greater instability and of course it’ll be much more difficult for the United States to try to push events in any direction.”

Let’s consider this comment in two parts. First, McChrystal asserts that “American influence,” largely military force, creates stability. However, both Iraq and Afghanistan are much more instable after many years of such American influence. Second, making it “much more difficult for the United States to try to push events in any direction” is, in fact, desirable. The US government trying to dictate what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, et cetera created America’s expansive and destructive foreign intervention morass.

Issue four.

Recreational marijuana legalization appears likely to occur in several states in 2019 via state legislature-passed and governor-approved legislation. Vermont, last year, was the first state to legalize this way instead of by a voters-approved ballot measure.

Also in 2019, the first state may legalize recreational marijuana via a legislature overriding a governor’s veto. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sonunu has said he would veto any legalization bill. However, Naomi Martin reported last week at the Boston Globe that state House of Representatives Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes there is sufficient support for legalization in the state House and Senate to override a veto.

All New Hampshire’s neighbors — Canada, plus Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont — have legalized recreational marijuana.

Issue five.

You have probably heard of universities adopting racial quotas and racial preferences for student admissions and businesses adopting such for hiring and promoting employees.

Political demonstrations can also have racial quotas. Marissa Papanek reported last week at KRCR-TV that organizers of the annual Women’s March in Eureka, California decided to cancel the event scheduled for January 19. In a press release, the local march organizers offer this reason for the cancelation: “Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community.”

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That’s a wrap.

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

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/05/five-minutes-five-issues-paul-advice-graham-reassured-american-influence-nh-marijuana-white-marchers/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/05/five-minutes-five-issues-paul-advice-graham-reassured-american-influence-nh-marijuana-white-marchers/ Sat, 05 Jan 2019 14:54:09 GMT
Hey Mitt Romney: Autocracy, Corruption, and Brutality Are Hallmarks of US World Leadership Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/02/hey-mitt-romney-autocracy-corruption-and-brutality-are-hallmarks-of-us-world-leadership/

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who will be sworn in as a United States Senate member from Utah on Thursday, wrote a Tuesday Washington Post editorial very critical of President Donald Trump. Romney warns in his anti-Trump torrent, “The alternative to US world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal."

Hold on and think about that for a moment.

If Romney’s supposition is correct, then the alternative to US world leadership is much like US world leadership. You need look no further than US wars in the last few decades, from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, to see that autocracy, corruption, and brutality are hallmarks of US world leadership.
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/02/hey-mitt-romney-autocracy-corruption-and-brutality-are-hallmarks-of-us-world-leadership/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/02/hey-mitt-romney-autocracy-corruption-and-brutality-are-hallmarks-of-us-world-leadership/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:42:26 GMT
President Trump’s Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Says Do Not Prosecute Julian Assange Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/01/president-trump-s-lawyer-rudy-giuliani-says-do-not-prosecute-julian-assange/
Here is Giuliani’s discussion of the matter in the interview:
It’s a First Amendment issue, right? It isn’t stolen property. I mean, it is stolen property, but it has a different nature when it’s information. So, let’s take the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers were stolen property, weren’t they? They were stolen from the Pentagon — given to the New York Times and the Washington Post. Nobody went to jail in the New York Times and the Washington Post. We’ve had revelations during the [George W.] Bush administration — Abu Ghraib, all of that. It’s stolen property, taken from the government against the law. Once it gets to a media publication, they can publish it. They can publish it for the purpose of informing people. You can’t put Assange in a different position than that. He was a guy that communicated. We may not like what he communicates, but he was a media facility, he was putting that information out. Every newspaper, station grabbed it and published it.
Watch Giuliani’s complete interview here:



Giuliani’s reasoning in the interview is similar to the reasoning New York Times Deputy General Counsel David McCraw offered when he told judges at the US Ninth Circuit’s annual judicial conference in July that he thought Assange is “sort of in a classic publisher’s position” and that “the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”

Hopefully, the president will hear this sound, liberty-advancing reasoning, whether from Giuliani or someone else, and make a public and binding assurance that the US government will not seek the arrest, prosecution, or punishment of Assange.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/01/president-trump-s-lawyer-rudy-giuliani-says-do-not-prosecute-julian-assange/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/january/01/president-trump-s-lawyer-rudy-giuliani-says-do-not-prosecute-julian-assange/ Tue, 01 Jan 2019 13:46:52 GMT
Leaving Syria: Will Trump Hold Fast? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/31/leaving-syria-will-trump-hold-fast/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/31/leaving-syria-will-trump-hold-fast/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/31/leaving-syria-will-trump-hold-fast/ Mon, 31 Dec 2018 17:36:49 GMT
Ron Paul: Trump Presidency is a ‘Mixed Bag’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/28/ron-paul-trump-presidency-is-a-mixed-bag/ Donald Trump’s presidency is a “mixed bag.” That is the assessment of libertarian communicator and former presidential candidate Ron Paul in a recent interview with Larry King at King’s Ora TV show Politicking.

Asked by King what he thinks overall about the Trump presidency, Paul says he cannot praise Trump as a libertarian or condemn him as a “socialist-authoritarian.” So what then is Trump’s political philosophy? “I can’t figure him out,” declares Paul regarding Trump, who Paul says does not appear to be “worried about following a consistent pattern.” With Trump’s political views being rather indecipherable, his presidency, concludes Paul, is a “mixed bag.”

In contrast to Trump’s approach to government, Paul discusses in the interview the libertarian approach. “Libertarians don’t intervene other than [for] the protection of liberty,” Paul explains. While Trump intervenes here and there, sometimes in line with conservatives and sometimes in line with liberals, Paul says a libertarian would follow clear guidelines: “Stay out of the business of regulating the economy; stay out of the business of telling how people should live; stay out of the business of telling other countries how they should run their countries.”

Watch Paul’s complete interview, in which Paul also talks in detail about the American economy, here:


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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/28/ron-paul-trump-presidency-is-a-mixed-bag/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/28/ron-paul-trump-presidency-is-a-mixed-bag/ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 17:42:21 GMT
Flashback: Whistleblowers Panel at Ron Paul Institute Conference 2017 Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/27/flashback-whistleblowers-panel-at-ron-paul-institute-conference-2017/ Jesselyn Radack, and Philip Giraldi. These are the kinds of great events your tax deductible donation to the Ron Paul Institute helps organize!

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Trump Selects Former Boeing Executive to Replace Former General Dynamics Board Member as Defense Secretary Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/23/trump-selects-former-boeing-executive-to-replace-former-general-dynamics-board-member-as-defense-secretary/

The military-industrial complex revolving door keeps revolving. Sunday morning, President Donald Trump announced in a Twitter post that he plans to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense James Mattis, temporarily at least, with current Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan. Shanahan will assume the job on January 1 — two months before the departure date Mattis had proposed. Before taking on their current government jobs, Mattis and Shanahan worked for two of the largest military contractors — Mattis as a General Dynamics board of directors member and Shanahan as a Boeing senior vice president.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/23/trump-selects-former-boeing-executive-to-replace-former-general-dynamics-board-member-as-defense-secretary/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/23/trump-selects-former-boeing-executive-to-replace-former-general-dynamics-board-member-as-defense-secretary/ Sun, 23 Dec 2018 21:58:52 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: New York Marijuana, Trump’s Wall, Vaping Teens, Deportation Numbers, Heinlein Idea Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/22/five-minutes-five-issues-new-york-marijuana-trump-s-wall-vaping-teens-deportation-numbers-heinlein-idea/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the June 23 and August 4 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about developments toward recreational marijuana legalization in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo requested a study that concluded with recommending legalization. Then, the governor created a working group that worked with people including state legislative leaders and marijuana bill sponsors. The working group sought to advance the state legislature considering legalization legislation soon.

Here is an update. In a Monday speech outlining legislative priorities for the coming year, Governor Cuomo for the first time clearly stated that he supports legalization. Expect the state to legalize in 2019.

Neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut may legalize marijuana through the legislative process in 2019 as well. In New Jersey, the governor supports legalization and Assembly and Senate committees have approved a legalization bill, though a different bill will likely ultimately be enacted. And in Connecticut, the governor-elect has declared legalization is a priority for the upcoming legislative session.

Issue two.

In his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said that when he became president Mexico would pay for a wall he would have built at the border between America and Mexico. As president, Trump continued to state this claim, though adding that Mexico may pay through a reimbursement. Then, in the last two weeks, Trump has been saying he will shut down the United States government if Congress does not allocate money to pay for that wall. On Tuesday, the situation became stranger, with the US State Department announcing 4.8 billion dollars in aid to Mexico. That is about the same amount Trump had been insisting Congress provide in wall funding to prevent a government shutdown.

Issue three.

There has been much fretting in the media about the US government’s new Monitoring the Future survey results indicating a significant increase in vaping of nicotine by American teenagers. The fretting is likely enhanced by the press release announcing the results being titled “National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2018: Vaping Surges” and that the three-page press release focuses mostly on nicotine vaping. Alcohol and other drugs besides nicotine and marijuana are not mentioned until the last page.

Over at Reason, Jacob Sullum suggests the increased vaping by teenagers should be celebrated, not fretted. Sullum writes that, “[o]n balance, the increase in e-cigarette use by teenagers is more likely to be a public health boon than a public health disaster.” He supports this conclusion by noting teenagers’ vaping has been increasing at the same time their smoking of much more dangerous ordinary tobacco cigarettes has decreased. To the extent teenagers who frequently vape “otherwise would be smoking,” writes Sullum, “it is more like a solution than a problem.” However, Sullum writes that this solution is being fought by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that continues to pile on e-cigarette restrictions that will drive both teenagers and adults to smoking instead.

Issue four.

President Donald Trump is known for being tough on illegal immigration. But, it turns out deportation numbers reached much higher under the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama. Lindsey Bever and Deanna Paul reported last week at the Washington Post that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) numbers show that in 2018 the US government deported over 256,000 people, compared to the over 409,000 people deported in 2012.

Issue five.

In Robert A. Heinlein’s novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the character Bernardo de la Paz offers some creative suggestions for people seeking to set up a government on the moon after people on the moon had rebelled against control from Earth. Among his suggestions, all geared toward limiting government power, is considering having two legislative chambers, but with a twist. One chamber would be empowered to approve new laws, though only by a two-thirds majority vote. The other chamber would be empowered to repeal laws with just a one-third minority vote.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/22/five-minutes-five-issues-new-york-marijuana-trump-s-wall-vaping-teens-deportation-numbers-heinlein-idea/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/22/five-minutes-five-issues-new-york-marijuana-trump-s-wall-vaping-teens-deportation-numbers-heinlein-idea/ Sat, 22 Dec 2018 14:51:11 GMT
Ron Paul: ‘Very Good’ that President Trump is Pulling Troops out of Syria Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/20/ron-paul-very-good-that-president-trump-is-pulling-troops-out-of-syria/
In addition to removing the troops, Paul emphasizes that the US withdrawal should be “complete,” which requires also terminating other means of US intervention in Syria, including by removing all Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents and special forces, as well as by ending sanctions.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:



This week, Paul talked more about the removing of US from Syria in the Wednesday and Thursday episodes of the Ron Paul Liberty Report.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/20/ron-paul-very-good-that-president-trump-is-pulling-troops-out-of-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/20/ron-paul-very-good-that-president-trump-is-pulling-troops-out-of-syria/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 23:27:59 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Yemen Rule, MI Home Grow, DNA Database, Legal Hemp, Free Speech Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/16/five-minutes-five-issues-yemen-rule-mi-home-grow-dna-database-legal-hemp-free-speech/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is posted. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve a rule (H. Res. 1176) for considering the farm bill. House leadership had inserted in the rule a provision prohibiting members from bringing to the House floor, via the War Powers Act, legislation seeking to end US military support for the Yemen War. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute as well as a House member, spoke on the House floor, condemning the provision as “preemptively sweeping all of the power of the Congress under the War Powers Act under the rug for the entire remainder of this congressional session.”

On January 3, a new Congress will begin, and it will have new leadership due to Democrats gaining the House majority in the November election. What a fresh start it would demonstrate if that new leadership put the US military’s participation in the Yemen War immediately up for a floor vote when the next Congress begins.

Issue two.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Utah Governor Gary Herbert signing into law a medical marijuana bill that had been rushed through the state legislature. The new law imposes a significantly more restrictive medical marijuana legal system than Utah voters had approved in November.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, after voters approved in November the legalization of recreational marijuana, Michigan State Senate Leader Arlan Meekhof introduced legislation (SB 1243) to make major changes in the voters-approved marijuana legalization. Included was the elimination of both the legalization of people growing up to 12 marijuana plants in their own homes for personal use and the licensing of “marijuana micro-businesses” that could grow up to 150 plants and sell the harvested marijuana. The legislation did not, however, move forward, due to failure to receive backing from the required supermajority of state senators.

As Kathleen Gray noted in a Thursday Detroit Free Press article, legalization of home growing is particularly important in Michigan because legal recreational marijuana “won’t be commercially available until the state develops the rules and regulations that will govern the recreational market and begins awarding licenses in early 2020.”

Issue three.

Zuri Davis reported Friday at Reason that a lawsuit has been filed against the state of California challenging California’s practice of entering the DNA of people arrested for felonies in a national database and leaving the DNA there forever, even for individuals who are never convicted.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the plaintiffs, states in a press release about the lawsuit:
The indefinite retention of thousands of DNA profiles from people who are acquitted or never charged violates the California Constitution, which affords both a right to privacy and a right against unlawful searches and seizures that are specifically aimed at protecting people from the government’s overbroad retention of personal information.
Issue four.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said to expect soon congressional approval of the farm bill (HR 2) containing hemp farming legalization. This week, the US House of Representatives and Senate voted to approve that farm bill. Expect President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law this month.

Issue five.

Years back, I was a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging speech restrictions of the University of Texas at Austin.

On Thursday, a lawsuit was brought against the university challenging other UT speech restrictions. Jacob Sullum reports at Reason that the broad and vague speech restrictions targeting speech perceived as offensive, biased, uncivil, or rude are applied generally by the university and particularly for dormitories and UT’s internet access and email system. Also challenged is UT’s Campus Climate Response Team that Sullum writes “encourages students to file a report whenever they hear or read anything that offends them,” whether on campus or off campus. Similar speech restrictions have been adopted at other universities.

Hopefully, UT will back down this time as it did years back.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.

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Ron Paul Takes On the US Foreign Policy of Interventionism http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/15/ron-paul-takes-on-the-us-foreign-policy-of-interventionism/
Paul, in the in-depth discussion, takes on trade wars, US membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), sky-high US military spending, and US involvement in the war on Yemen.

Watch the complete discussion here:

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Lawrence Wilkerson: ‘Arrogance of Power’ Behind Arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada for US Extradition Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/11/lawrence-wilkerson-arrogance-of-power-behind-arrest-of-meng-wanzhou-in-canada-for-us-extradition/
It is “the arrogance of power” that Wilkerson argues makes the US government think it can “dictate, in unilateral sanctions,” what people in another country, such as China, can do in terms of trade.

As far as the Canada government’s involvement in the matter, Wilkerson comments that “our northern neighbor knows on which side its bread is buttered and who butters it, and, at the end of the day, Canada may stand up and seem to be bold in the face of the giant to its south’s wishes, but it rarely really is.” “It knows its economic future and present,” Wilkerson continues, “is pretty much dominated by the United States, and it knows that, if it doesn’t follow what the United States wants it to do, in most cases, it will be punished, and it does not wish to be punished the way we punish people these days.”

Wilkerson, who is an Academic Board member at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, also criticizes in the interview the US government’s abundant use of sanctions across the world. “I am very concerned about the way we wield the sanctions axe in the world,” says Wilkerson. He further states that these sanctions “are creating a lot of enemies in the world,” explaining:
I don’t know how many countries we have under sanctions right now, but it’s probably half the world in one way or another — individual states or parts of states or whatever. And there is a very powerful movement aborning in the world to dedollarize the world because of those sanctions and the arrogance with which we implement them. And our Congress is majorly guilty in this business. They think the best weapon to throw at everybody is “oh, sanction that person; sanction that state; oh, sanction them; put more sanctions on them” and so forth. Well, there’s a lot of people out there. We’ve got about 330 million in this country now. There’s about seven-plus billion in the world, and in polls about two and a half to three billion of those people say that the number one threat to the security of their state, of their country, of their children’s future is the United States of America. Part of the reason for that is our arrogance in the way we do this business with sanctions, and war.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/11/lawrence-wilkerson-arrogance-of-power-behind-arrest-of-meng-wanzhou-in-canada-for-us-extradition/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/11/lawrence-wilkerson-arrogance-of-power-behind-arrest-of-meng-wanzhou-in-canada-for-us-extradition/ Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:08:47 GMT
Welcome to Trump Budget Management : A Week After Decrying a $716 Billion Defense Budget, Trump Agrees to $750 Billion Defense Budget Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/

President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reports CNN.

Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

Note well that Trump's tweet suggests the high military budget is the result of a "major and uncontrollable Arms Race" but does not mention that the Empire has outposts throughout the world with many active military operations in regions that are none of our business.

The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, according to CNN.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration source told CNN.. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline."

Notes CNN, the meeting last week came as the Trump administration floated a 5% cut to the Defense Department, reducing the defense budget from $716 billion allocated in 2019 to $700 billion in 2020 as part of a federal government-wide effort to reduce the deficit.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/10/welcome-to-trump-budget-management-a-week-after-decrying-a-716-billion-defense-budget-trump-agrees-to-750-billion-defense-budget/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:21:35 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Reversal, New Liberal Order, Legal Hemp, Boycotting Israel, Marijuana Tax Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

This week, Utah state legislators voted to replace the medical marijuana ballot measure approved by voters last month with much more restrictive legislation. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the replacement into law.

The new law further limits who can use medical marijuana and eliminates the legalization of some individuals growing their own marijuana. In addition, Kyle Jaeger reports at Marijuana Moment that other changes include reducing the number of stores where people can buy medical marijuana and requiring stores to hire pharmacists.

Issue two.

The death last week of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director and President George H.W. Bush brought to mind his creepy promotion as president of a “new world order.”

That phrasing received an update this week when another former CIA director — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — said in a Tuesday speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, Belgium that “[i]n the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” Continuing, Pompeo said it would be an order “that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity for all.”

In case you are thinking that Pompeo is not giving us doublespeak of promoting war as peace and destruction as prosperity, note that he dedicates much of his speech to challenging countries the US has imposed sanctions on and militarily threatened. These include Iran, China, and Russia as well as three countries — Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — that National Security Advisor John Bolton termed a “Troika of Tyranny” in a November speech. Note also that Pompeo declares in his speech that President Donald Trump is “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” and that Trump “knows, as George H.W. Bush knew, that a safer world has consistently demanded American courage on the world stage.”

Issue three.

The farm bill coming out of a United States Senate and House of Representatives reconciliation committee contains legalization of hemp farming along the lines of the provisions in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that I discussed in the April 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. Expect Senate and House votes approving the bill soon.

Paul Armentano, the deputy director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, discussed the importance of this legal change relative to the larger war on marijuana in the concluding paragraph of his Tuesday The Hill editorial. Armentano writes:
Finally, the symbolic significance of this forthcoming law change should not be under emphasized. Passage of the 2018 farm bill will mark the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970. As statewide and public support in favor of broader marijuana reforms continues to grow, it is apparent that this federal change won’t be the last.
Issue four.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at his website kurtnimmo.blog about efforts to insert into legislation in the lame duck US Congress penalties for companies boycotting products from Israel. In his interesting and informative editorial, Nimmo mentions reasons why people may be justified in engaging in such a boycott. Yet, fundamentally, boycotting is an exercise of people’s right to use their resources as they see fit. People should face no legal punishment for boycotting products from Israel even if Israel were a libertarian wonderland.

Issue five.

There is a debate in New York over how to spend tax money from likely-soon-to-be-legalized marijuana in the state. People are taking sides on whether the money should be spent on subways or on welfare programs or on this or that other government project. It may be best to just throw the money into general revenue for the state legislators to divvy up as they choose. Dedicating the tax revenue to particular projects would give special interests much incentive to ensure marijuana taxes stay high or even increase.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/08/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-reversal-new-liberal-order-legal-hemp-boycotting-israel-marijuana-tax/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 20:11:21 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Discusses the ‘Dark Side of Law Enforcement’ Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/
When asked about Russiagate investigation target Jerome Corsi filing on Monday a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Russiagate Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of Mueller’s prosecutorial staff, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and a former New Jersey state judge, explains that much of the conduct about which Corsi complains is common in prosecutions. Napolitano comments that “almost everything that [Corsi] has accused the prosecutors of doing is standard operating procedure for prosecutors.” Napolitano continues:
This is, as you and I have discussed off-air, the dark side of law enforcement. It is not neat, and it is not pretty. Prosecutors can coerce. They can threaten. They can lie. They can deceive. They can do anything short of actually committing a crime in order to extract evidence from a witness or in order to flip the witness to their side. And that’s apparently what they’ve tried to do with Jerry Corsi.
Concerns about such practices by prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been part of the reasoning behind Napolitano’s repeated cautioning that President Donald Trump should not talk with Russiagate investigators. To not talk is also likely wise advice for other individuals confronted by this investigation, as well as individuals subjected to questioning by local police or prosecutors in various other types of investigations. Law enforcement officials often do not play fair. People who do not exercise their right to remain silent are taking a big risk, even if they have done nothing illegal.

Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/december/04/andrew-napolitano-discusses-the-dark-side-of-law-enforcement/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:35:32 GMT