Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:20:56 GMT Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:20:56 GMT Five Minutes Five Issues: Poland Troops, Marijuana Crackdown, Jail Time, Mohammed’s Letter, Symposium Speakers Adam Dick 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.

The build-up of United States troops near Russia appears to be continuing.

In previous episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues I have talked about US troops arriving in the first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency in Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Romania. DW reported on Sunday that one thousand more US troops will be on their way in March to a Polish town 85 miles from the Kaliningrad region of Russia, located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.

Issue two.

If you are hoping marijuana will be largely excluded from the “ruthless” drug war President Trump has promised, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s Thursday press briefing should provide you with three types of news: good, bad, and confusing.

Good news first: Spicer appeared to say that the Trump administration, looking to an appropriations provision regarding respecting state medical marijuana laws, will not prosecute people complying with state medical marijuana laws.

Next the bad news: Spicer said he expects “greater enforcement” of US laws regarding recreational marijuana is on the way.

Now the confusing news: Asked to clarify what he means by “greater enforcement,” Spicer said:
No, no. I know. I know what I -- I think -- then that’s what I said. But I think the Department of Justice is the lead on that. It is something that you should follow up with them, but I believe that they are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana versus –
And that’s it. In short, Spicer’s guidance regarding recreational marijuana turns out to be very murky.

Trump, on the campaign trail in October of 2015, provided more clear guidance. Trump said:
In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.
Issue three.

Imagine spending a year in jail because you are unable to pay bail. That is the situation described by the Editorial Board of the San Antonio Express News in an editorial last month criticizing the bail situation in some parts of Texas. The editorial board writes that “about 20 percent of felony cases take more than a year to go to court and 56 percent of misdemeanor cases are pending more than six months.” The editorial notes that the threat of long pretrial detention leads many people to “plead guilty just to reduce their jail stays.”

Texas provides this one example among many of the pretrial detention problems in America.

Issue four.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in America who is imprisoned at Guantanamo, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama that was delivered just before Obama left the presidency. The attacks, Mohammed wrote “were a natural reaction to your destructive policies towards the Islamic world; your unlimited support to Israel, the Jewish Zionist State; and your continued support and protection for dictatorial rulers in the Islamic world aimed at protecting your own interests.”

Absent from Mohammed’s letter is any mention of hating Americans because of their freedom.

Issue five.

Two more speakers have joined the lineup for the upcoming symposium on the topic of “War and Peace in the Age of Trump.” Ron Paul Institute Academic and Advisory Board Members Eric Margolis and David Stockman will join previously announced speakers Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and Daniel McAdams.

The event, which RPI is joining the Ludwig von Mises Institute in hosting, will take place on April 8 in Lake Jackson, Texas. To find out more about the event and purchase tickets, open the Mises Institute website at — that’s M-I-S-E-S dot org — and click on the “events” tab at the top of the page.


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.

]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:20:56 GMT
US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley: We Must Sanction Assad Over Chemical Weapons! Daniel McAdams

Recently, we had a look at the ways President Trump's Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is making her predecessor, Samantha "humanitarian bomber" Power, look like a model diplomat by comparison. It turns out Haley's ghastly performance at the UN thus far is no fluke. Each time she opens her mouth she spews not the kind of foreign policy that President Trump campaigned on, but rather the boot-in-the-face know-nothingness that we have grown accustomed to in recent years. 

In the latest "Haley Alert," the Ambassador is furious over a Russia-threatened veto of a UN Security Council resolution offered by the US, UK, and France to impose new sanctions on the Syrian government over unproven allegations that Syria used chemical weapons against its own population.

Yes, under Ambassador Haley we have entered a time machine back to 2013, where the US is ready to deploy its entire diplomatic (and perhaps military) arsenal against the one government in the Middle East actually fighting President Trump's sworn enemies: ISIS and al-Qaeda.

President Trump, in one of his first interviews after the November election, starkly contrasted his position with those both of the outgoing Obama Administration and his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton:
I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. ...My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria... Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.
His employee, the US Ambassador to the UN, clearly does not share her boss's "opposite view" on Syria. And she is not afraid to contradict her boss's position on a regular basis. Today the US Mission to the UN released Ambassador Haley's remarks condemning the threatened Russian veto of new sanctions against Syria, and her comments do not in any way suggest a diplomat remotely well-informed about the complex matters at hand:
I think what we saw in there was pretty amazing, because you had unity in the fact that we needed to be concerned about chemical weapons being used in Syria. You had an overwhelming vote to say we need an investigative mechanism that would prove that these chemical weapons were being done by the Syrian regime. Now you’ve got the results that have come out, and people don’t like what the results are. It is ridiculous. How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime? People have died by being suffocated to death. That’s barbaric.

So what we’re going to do is – we were given all these reasons on why we shouldn’t propose the resolution. We were given all these reasons on why the timing was wrong. That is exactly why the timing is right. That is exactly why this resolution needs to happen. Whether people are going to veto it or not, you are either for chemical weapons or you’re against it. People died because of this, and the United States isn’t going to be quiet. Thank you.
Let's unpack this head-scratcher of a statement. First off, "we need an investigative mechanism that would prove that these chemical weapons were being done by the Syrian regime." So she is stating that there must be an investigation to prove what she has pre-determined to be true before the investigation took place? Does that sound like "innocent until proven guilty"? Or does it sound like Hoxha-era revolutionary justice? "We must have a trial to prove comrade X guilty so we can execute him!"

And this from Haley: "How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime?"

Ms. Ambassador: Do you mean the regime that just liberated Aleppo from its murderous occupation by al-Qaeda? You know, those guys who attacked the US on 9/11?

If Assad is using chemical weapons against his own people (Why? Presumably for fun?) then why once Aleppo was cleansed of the al-Qaeda occupiers have former residents flocked to return to an Aleppo under Assad's control? Do they enjoy being gassed?

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is an absolute train wreck. She embodies the worst traits of her predecessors with a much lower level of understanding of foreign affairs or diplomacy. Will President Trump recognize his mistake in appointing her to represent the US at the UN and replace her with someone who will actually carry out his foreign policy? Or was he simply lying when he said he had an "opposite view" from the conventional Washington wisdom on Syria (and Russia as well)?]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:41:28 GMT
Ron Paul Rewind: Discussing Foreign Policy with Alan Colmes Adam Dick
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Andrew Napolitano: Rescinding of School Bathrooms Mandate is a ‘Win for the Constitution’ Adam Dick
Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, elaborates:
The concept … of federal bureaucrats telling local school boards how to construct the school, how to build bathrooms, and how to run the school finds no comfort in the Constitution whatsoever. If anything is local and should be out of the hands of the feds, it’s the education of children.
Watch Napolitano’s complete interview here:

]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:21:06 GMT
The War Hawks Rolled Donald Trump Moon of Alabama

President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk:
In a 2016 speech to the Virginia Military Institute, McMaster stressed the need for the US to have "strategic vision" in its fight against "hostile revisionist powers" — such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran — that "annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries."
General McMaster, the new National Security Advisor, gets sold as a somewhat rebellious, scholar-warrior wunderkind. When the now disgraced former General Petraeus came into sight he was sold with the same marketing profile.

Petraeus was McMaster's boss. McMaster is partially his creature:
He was passed over for brigadier general twice, until then-Gen. David Petraeus personally flew back to Washington, D.C., from Iraq to chair the Army’s promotion board in 2008.
When Petraeus took over in the war on Afghanistan he selected McMaster as his staff leader for strategy. McMaster was peddled to the White House by Senator Tom Cotton, one of the most outlandish Republican neocon war hawks.

McMaster's best known book is "Dereliction of Duty" about the way the US involved itself into the Vietnam War. McMaster criticizes the Generals of that time for not having resisted then President Johnson's policies.

He is the main author of an Army study on how to militarily counter Russia. McMaster is likely to "resist" when President Trump orders him to pursue better relations with Moscow.

Trump has now been boxed in by hawkish, anti-Russian military in his cabinet and by a hawkish Vice-President. The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon. The next onslaught of the "serious people" is against Bennon and especially against his role in the NSC. It will only recede when he is fired.

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:23:06 GMT
Ron Paul: End Unlimited Presidential War Power Adam Dick
Noting congressional leadership’s opposition to reining in presidential war powers, Paul advises that House and Senate members can still exercise “the power of the purse” to end wars by refusing to approve legislation funding the wars.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:56:56 GMT
Liberty and Wealth in Jeopardy: Donald Trump’s Law and Order Presidency Adam Dick
Listen to the complete interview, in which Bennett and I also discuss other matters including the Trump administration’s foreign policy, here:

]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:40:26 GMT
Say Goodbye to 'Getting Along With Russia' - Trump's NSC Pick McMaster is a Major Hawk Daniel McAdams

Earlier today, President Trump selected Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his National Security Advisor, replacing the short-lived Gen. Michael Flynn. Those breathing a sigh of relief that the rumored favorite John Bolton didn't get the nod may want to hold that thought -- and their breath. McMaster is not the man to guide President Trump toward better relations with Russia and less US interference in the internal affairs of others.

In fact, he believes the opposite.

In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies just last May, Gen. McMaster blamed the lack of sufficient US military presence overseas for what he calls a more aggressive Russian geostrategic posturing.

Said the General:
Even though it may have been apparent, at least since 2008, that Russia was changing its geostrategic behavior and engaging in...probing, probing at the far reaches of American power, our strategic response was to accelerate our withdrawal forces from Europe. And what we're seeing now is we've awakened to obviously this threat from Russia who is waging limited war for limited objectives. Annexing Crimea. Invading Ukraine. At zero cost. And consolidating gains over that territory, and portraying the reaction by us and partners as escalatory. ... What is required is forward deterrence. To be able to ratchet up the cost at the frontier.
The General also made the completely fallacious assertion that Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. Even the highly critical if not overtly anti-Russia European Union concluded that Georgia was to blame for launching an ill-advised attack on Russian peacekeeping forces that were part of an international mission in South Ossetia.

Does this sound like someone who is going to work to help President Trump improve relations with Russia?

No wonder neocons Max Boot and Sen. John McCain are absolutely thrilled with Trump's choice of McMaster to be National Security Advisor. 

Sen. McCain, who just returned from attacking President Trump at the Munich Security Conference for not being harder on Russia, said today that McMaster:
...knows how to succeed. I give President Trump great credit for this decision, as well as his national security cabinet choices. I could not imagine a better, more capable national security team than the one we have right now.
Max Boot had a similar reaction:
H.R. McMaster is one of the most impressive army officers of his generation—a rare combination of soldier and scholar.
McMaster's claim to fame was the 1997 Dereliction of Duty, which is billed as a brave attack on the mistake of the Vietnam war, but was in fact largely focused on the failure to devote enough resources to actually winning the war -- a typical neocon critique of failed military interventions.

Is McMaster a worse choice than John Bolton? Perhaps. Whereas Bolton would have been under the microscope, McMaster may just be able, due to his military history, be able to avoid close scrutiny. 

Whatever the case, McMaster is all about conflict with Russia. Will his boss keep him in check?]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:44:15 GMT
Governor Kucinich? Adam Dick

Might Dennis Kucinich, who represented an Ohio district as a Democrat in the US House of Representatives for eight terms, be elected the next governor of Ohio? Henry J. Gomez reported Friday at that “the names of more than a dozen Ohio Democrats swirl in the speculation about the 2018 race for governor.” It will be an open contest, with term limits preventing current Ohio Governor John Kasich from seeking reelection. And, writes Gomez, the potential of Kucinich entering the Democratic primary contest is “the subject of increasing chatter among party insiders.”

So far, Kucinich is neither ruling out nor committing to a run for governor. Gomez writes:
Kucinich, when asked this week about running for governor, did not offer a direct answer.

'I'll certainly get back to you,' he wrote in an email, 'if I have anything to say which would be worth your time.'
Three years ago there was also speculation that Kucinich may enter the 2014 Ohio governor race. But, Kucinich stayed out of the race. Maybe he will decide otherwise this time. Indeed, in 2015, Kucinich suggested he has an interest in running for office in Ohio again, saying the following in an interview:
…I think that I’ll probably be back in elected office. I don’t have any immediate plans, but you know, as I make my way around the Cleveland area and around Ohio, I have people who keep asking, well, when are you going next? And I just tell them, stay tuned.
While many people know of Kucinich because of his work in the US House and his two runs for president in the Democratic primary, Kucinich’s earlier involvement in politics includes holding office in Ohio as a Cleveland City Council Member, Cleveland Mayor, and Ohio State Senator.

Kucinich is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:44:05 GMT
The Cancer of War: US Used Depleted Uranium in Syria Daniel McAdams

Despite vowing not to use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in its military action in Syria, the US government has now admitted that it has fired thousands of the deadly rounds into Syrian territory. As Foreign Policy Magazine reports:
US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 350 vehicles in the country’s eastern desert.
Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Moore said in 2015 that:
US and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.
Now we know that is not true. 

Numerous studies have found that depleted uranium is particularly harmful when the dust is inhaled by the victim. A University of Southern Maine study discovered that:
...DU damages DNA in human lung cells. The team, led by John Pierce Wise, exposed cultures of the cells to uranium compounds at different concentrations.

The compounds caused breaks in the chromosomes within cells and stopped them from growing and dividing healthily. 'These data suggest that exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant [DNA damage] risk and could possibly result in lung cancer,' the team wrote in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
We should remember that the United States is engaged in military activities in Syria in violation of international and US law. There is no Congressional authorization for US military action against ISIS in Syria and the United Nations has not authorized military force in violation of Syria's sovereignty either. 

The innocent citizens of Syria will be forced to endure increased risks of cancer, birth defects, and other disease related to exposure to radioactive materials. Depleted uranium is the byproduct of the enrichment of uranium to fuel nuclear power plants and has a half-life in the hundreds of millions of years. Damage to Syrian territory will thus continue long after anyone involved in current hostilities is dead.]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:13:05 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Poking Russia, Flynn Fuss, Protest Violence, US Killers, Wall Costs Adam Dick 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 last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Trump administration apparently continuing the Obama administration’s confrontation policy concerning Russia via rotating new United States troops into Estonia and Latvia. News came this week that new US troops have arrived in Bulgaria and Romania. Both countries, like Russia, border the Black Sea.

A confrontation policy is also being expressed in words. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared in a Tuesday press briefing that Trump “has been incredibly tough on Russia.” Spicer then said that Trump “continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russia.” Trump backed up Spicer’s comments the next morning, writing at Twitter:
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
What, I wonder, would Trump have done, had he been president, to stop Crimea from joining Russia?

May it be that the threat of war with Russia that many people feared would exist with a Hillary Clinton presidency is just as great, or even greater, with Trump as president?

Issue two.

The big fuss about Michael Flynn this week was about whether, after being picked by Donald Trump to be national security advisor but before Trump was sworn in as president, Flynn may have talked on the phone with the Russian ambassador to the US about US sanctions on Russia. Yeah, that’s it.

Here is a bigger issue to worry about. People in the US government spied on Flynn’s communication with the ambassador and, then, apparent information from that snooping was shared with the Washington Post. Here we have the surveillance state using tactics it has employed against government leaders of other nations to attack the new US presidential administration.

Issue three.

It is troubling watching videos of wanton attacks on individuals and property destruction during the Berkeley, California protest earlier this month and the Washington, DC protest the day of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Police did not prevent these actions. This serves as an important reminder that you have to rely on yourself to ensure your safety.

Issue four.

Many people reacted with shock and dismay after, earlier this month, President Trump said that there are “a lot of killers” and asked “you think our country’s so innocent?” Trump’s statement was in response to Bill O’Reilly telling Trump in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer.”

Of course, Trump put himself among the ranks of killers by authorizing fatal attacks overseas in his early days in office.

Justin Raimondo provided at a concise and reasoned reaction to Trump’s comments. Raimondo wrote:
What Trump said is something that every ordinary person recognizes – that the US government is not and has not been a conclave of angels. He echoes what every libertarian certainly takes as given: that government is coercion, naked force, and that it routinely kills.
Issue five.

Julia Edwards Ainsley reported last week at Reuters that a US Department of Homeland Security internal report suggests building a wall along the US-Mexico border will cost up to $21.6 billion. That amount, Ainsley writes, “is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This should come as no surprise. Neither should future reports of the wall’s costs moving higher and higher. The wall is, after all, a US government project.

Americans should not worry about only the financial cost of building and maintaining the wall. As Ron Paul warned in a September of 2016 editorial, the new wall can be used as a government tool, as was the Berlin Wall, to prevent people from leaving.


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.]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:48:07 GMT
Soros-Founded Group Seeks Trump Overthrow Daniel McAdams

The organization known as AVAAZ is best recognized for its involvement in regime-change actions overseas. The organization was founded in 2007 by ResPublica and, two groups funded in the millions of dollars by billionaire troublemaker George Soros. Since then it has never seen a (US government-favored) overthrow overseas that it didn't actively participate in.

When the "Green Revolution" broke out in Iran in 2009, AVAAZ was right there, acting as one would expect from covert foreign intelligence operatives rather than NGOs:
During the 2009 Green Movement uprising in Iran, for example, Avaaz set up a network of proxy servers to allow protesters to post videos from the streets.
AVAAZ has been a key player in establishing false narratives that push the US government toward intervention in places like Libya and Syria. The organization does this by spending millions on the ground in these countries targeted for US "regime change" smuggling in video equipment to create propaganda videos of questionable authenticity, which are then widely distributed by a mainstream media that never looks at motives.

In Syria, the group's efforts were coordinated with and praised by armed opposition groups. As Time Magazine reported on the videos produced with equipment provided by AVAAZ:
Such imagery has been used by the Syrian opposition in their efforts to spur Western governments to action against the regime.
It is designed to make the case for regime change and for US military action overseas.

In Libya, AVAAZ was a leading voice mobilizing people to demand a no-fly zone, which set the stage for the eventual US intervention and destruction of the country.

It is important to understand that many thousands of innocent people have been killed worldwide when the policies espoused by AVAAZ have been followed.

Lately, AVAAZ has set its sights on the United States. It is pushing on its members a petition to the US House and Senate urging that President Trump be impeached and removed from office. The text of the petition reads as follows:
From the moment he’s taken office, Donald Trump and members of his family have been profiteering off the presidency at the expense of our democracy, and in violation of the Constitution. We call on you to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump immediately.

The petition has collected just short of a million signatures. The "regime change" operation has moved onshore and no matter what one thinks of Donald Trump, representative government is undermined far more by organizations like AVAAZ than a president subject to the vote of the American people.]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:46:13 GMT
Andrew Napolitano: Donald Trump Has to ‘Fear the Intelligence Community’ Adam Dick
Looking to Trump’s situation now with the intelligence community, Napolitano, who is the Fox News senior judicial analyst and a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, states:
Now the president is confronted with this problem, Neil: Will the intelligence community truthfully and accurately tell the president what they know about threats to the United States, or do they not trust the president and will they keep vital information from him? “They” [being] the same people who leaked this stuff about General Flynn.
Watch Napolitano’s short and powerful interview here:

UPDATE: Napolitano discussed the intelligence community threat to Trump more in a new video commentary. In the commentary, Napolitano declares:
There are obviously elements in the United States government, in the intelligence community, that want to frustrate Donald Trump. They want to frustrate his presidency because he is a threat to their power center, because he knows that they wish them ill and they have caused him harm, and now they are striking back.
Napolitano concludes his commentary with this advice for Trump: “There are elements in the government — executive branch of the government that works for you, Mr. President — that you need to get rid of.”

Watch Napolitano’s video commentary here:

]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:46:24 GMT
Praise for the Ron Paul Institute Adam Dick

In a Monday The Duran article titled “5 real news sites you should read,” Adam Garrie praised, and included in the title-referenced list, the website of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Garrie writes:
Ron Paul may have quit Congress but he is more involved in the political debate than ever before. His Ron Paul Institute website and his Liberty Report videos offer fresh views challenging mainstream American politics from a broadly libertarian and anti-war perspective.

Dr. Paul’s frequent contributions, as well as that of his colleagues and supporters, provides invaluable information on an increasingly popular political perspective from America’s heartland that continues to be ignored by the old failing media establishment.
Read Garrie’s complete article here.

Sign up for free Ron Paul Institute exclusive updates here.]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:19:15 GMT
Dennis Kucinich: Push for ‘New Cold War’ Behind Effort Against Michael Flynn Adam Dick
But why take such an action? Kucinich answers that the effort against Flynn is part of an effort to ensure that the “military-industrial-intel axis can cash in” from the deterioration of relations between the US and Russia and, potentially, a new cold war. As Kucinich notes, “the American people forked over billions of dollars” for the previous US-Soviet Union cold war. Kucinich elaborates:
This isn’t about whether you are for or against Donald Trump. Hello — this is about whether or not the American people are bystanders in a power play inside the intelligence committee, the outcome of which could determine our relationship with Russia and whether or not billions of dollars are going to be spent in a new cold war.
If Trump does not gain control over “his own intelligence apparatus,” Kucinich says that the resulting danger extends beyond a new cold war. Trump, Kucinich warns, “will never know the truth, the American people won’t know the truth, and we could be set at war with almost any country.”

Watch Kucinich’s complete interview here:

Kucinich is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board member.]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:05:49 GMT
David Stockman: People’s Drug Use is ‘None of the Government’s Business’ Adam Dick
Addressing further the right to use drugs, Stockman, who has worked in Washington, DC in jobs including as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and as a member of the US House of Representatives, says:
If we accept that in a free society people have a fundamental liberty to make choices for the better or for worse as long as they do not directly harm third parties or other people in terms of their safety, lives, and property, that is a fundamental principle that you really need to sort of implant right in the center of your thinking, because once you deviate from that principle, where does it stop? What I learned over my period in Washington is that, once you deviate from that principle, there are always advocacy groups that can come along and make a heck of a case that skydiving is a highly dangerous sport, and it needs to be banned — or any other endeavors of that sort that would be easy to name.

So, I think it is very clear: People have to have the liberty in a free society to make good choices, productive choices, for themselves, their families. But, also, if they make questionable choices or bad choices, that’s all part of the freedom business. Once we deviate very far from that, we have a government that can’t help itself, a government that becomes as a lot of people call it, and I strongly believe it’s the case, the nanny state that has the potential for endless meddling and interference in our lives.
In addition to presenting a rights-based condemnation of the drug war in the interview, Stockman argues that the roughly $1.5 trillion spent by the US, state, and local governments on the drug war since President Richard Nixon’s 1971 announcement of the war on drugs has had “no impact whatsoever” in achieving the drug war’s stated goals of reducing the rates of drug use and serious drug addiction. Also, argues Stockman, the drug war has created “collateral damage and really destructive effects,” some of which Stockman discusses in the interview.

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:

Stockman is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:07:53 GMT
What Do You Think About Sending Thousands More Troops to Afghanistan? Dennis J. Kucinich undefined

Earlier this week the commander of the US military forces in Afghanistan told Congress that the US needs to send a few thousand more troops into America’s longest war, which has already cost the lives of nearly 2,400 US soldiers, with over 20,049 wounded. 

Currently 63 percent of troops in combat are Americans. More than 100,000 persons, many civilians, have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began fifteen years ago. 

The cost to US taxpayers is over $700 billion dollars, and rising. Some members of Congress still want the US to try to win the war. 

Nearly six years ago, on March 17, 2011, I forced a debate in the House of Representatives, to try to get the US out of Afghanistan. Here is a link to the Congressional Record, the debate and the vote on the resolution.

Reprinted from author's Facebook page.

]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 23:34:45 GMT
Hope and Worry about the New President Adam Dick
Looking forward to the Trump presidency, I predicted, pointing to something similar that happened with President Ronald Reagan, that Trump would trade away following through on his stated desire to reduce spending in some areas in order to gain support in Congress for increased spending in other areas such as infrastructure and the military. The result, I concluded, would be a “compromise” of “increasing spending across-the-board.”

Continuing with predictions for a Trump presidency, I pointed to policing as an area where I expected “Trump as president would seek to expand government very likely.” In support of this conclusion, I referenced Trump’s support for New York City-style stop-and-frisk, the rolling back of restrictions on the US government supplying military weapons to local police, surveillance of Muslims in America, and the building of a wall between the US and Mexico. Trump talks about using the wall, I noted, for fighting the drug war in addition to preventing illegal immigration.

Regarding Trump’s potential foreign policy, the discussion turned to matters including Trump’s back-and-forth position on torture, his support for imprisoning people at Guantanamo, and his desire to reverse much or all the détente with Iran and Cuba that the Obama administration obtained. A foreign policy bright spot was the potential that Trump would take action to reduce the US government’s animosity toward Russia.

While the radio show discussion addressed several actions the Trump administration may take to threaten liberty and increase foreign intervention, I held out some hope, saying, “I’m always hopeful that there is a chance that we’ll have a president that at the end of his time in office the political system is better than it was before, that liberty is respected more.”

At the completion of Trump’s presidency, it would be great to inform Bennett that my hope had been fulfilled. But, the early days of the Trump administration are not boosting my optimism.

Listen to the complete interview here:

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Ron Paul Calls Potential Deputy Secretary of State Elliott Abrams ‘the Neocon’s Neocon’ Adam Dick appointing Elliott Abrams to be deputy secretary of state. Paul says Abrams has a “lousy” record. Continuing, Paul calls Abrams “the neocon’s neocon,” noting that “there has never been an intervention overseas that he didn’t seem to enjoy.”

Paul says in the interview that all of these interventions that Abrams supports did not “work.” Victory may be claimed in a sense from these interventions, Paul suggests, if they “remade the Middle East” so “we had thriving democracies there where civil liberties are being protected and [each country] had a constitution somewhat leaning toward ours.” But, in fact, Paul says “that isn’t the case” as the wars have caused more harm than good.

Indeed, Trump has discussed this failure of US intervention in regard to the Iraq War. Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump brought up his opposition to the United States starting the Iraq War in 2003. In a February of 2016 debate, Trump called the Iraq War a “big, fat mistake,” a mistake that, Trump continued, cost two trillion dollars and thousands of lives. In addition, Trump asserted that “Iran is taking over Iraq, with the second-largest oil reserves in the world.” Concluding, Trump said:
George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.
Therefore, it surprises many people that reports suggest Trump is considering Abrams for a State Department appointment. Abrams continues to support President George W. Bush’s decision to wage war on Iraq.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

Paul, along with co-host Daniel McAdams, discussed in detail the potentiality of Abrams as deputy secretary of state in the Tuesday episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report:

In the Ron Paul Liberty Report discussion, Paul argues that Abrams could be one of the most important Trump appointments, and McAdams offers a possible big reason why Trump would want to consider appointing Abrams to the State Department position. McAdams explains that, while people will say that Abrams “is so different from Trump,” regarding Iran “they are in lockstep: Elliott Abrams agrees with Trump and with [Secretary of Defense James Mattis] and with [National Security Advisor Michael Flynn] that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism, which is absolutely not true.”

For an in-depth discussion by Paul of his views regarding neoconservatism, read here Paul’s July 10, 2003 US House of Representatives speech “Neo-Conned.”]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 14:40:54 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Russia Confrontation, Murder Rate, Revoking Passports, Airstrikes, RPI Event Adam Dick 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 final days of the Obama administration, United States troops, equipment, and weapons arrived in Poland and Norway. These deployments near Russia further escalated tensions between the US and Russian governments.

Many advocates of nonintervention and the avoiding of military conflict with Russia hoped that Donald Trump would, as president, end such military deployments. Trump said during the campaign and since that he wants a “good relationship” with Russia. But, in the last few days, new rotations of US troops have arrived in Estonia and Latvia, also on Russia’s doorstep. This suggests the Obama administration’s confrontation policy is still in force.

Issue two.

On Tuesday, President Trump, at a White House meeting with police from around the country, said the murder rate in America is the highest it has been in 45 to 47 years. However, Eric Boehm wrote at Reason that Trump’s assertion is “completely false.” Looking to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics, Boehm notes that the murder rate now is less than half what it was in 1980, when the murder rate was at its peak over the last 45 years.

You may be tempted to view Trump’s misstatement of the facts as of little importance. But, Trump supported in his campaign liberty-threatening policing policies of expanding the use of New York City-style stop-and-frisk and reinstating the full flow of military weapons from the US government to local cops. Also, on Wednesday, Trump said, in a speech to the Major Cities Chiefs police organization, that his administration will be “ruthless” in its war on drugs. Extraordinary overstatements of murder rates is one way to generate the fear needed to lead people to support suppressing liberty in the hope of obtaining safety.

Issue three.

In November of 2015, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website about a provision included in HR 22, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, that would authorize the US State Department to deny passport requests by and revoke the passports of Americans who have $50,000 or more of unpaid federal taxes, including penalties and interest. President Barack Obama signed that bill into law the next month.

Robert W. Wood related at Forbes last week that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has announced that early this year it will begin informing the State Department about individuals who have unpaid, legally enforceable tax debt of over $50,000 and for which a levy has been issued or a tax lien has been filed and administrative remedies are exhausted or lapsed. There are a few exceptions in the IRS process, including for some people making timely payments on their taxes. The State Department will rely on this IRS information to revoke existing passports and block the issuing of new passports.

Issue four.

For years, and maybe back to the beginning of the War on Terror, Department of Defense public disclosures have significantly understated the number of airstrikes by the US military in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow reported Sunday at the Military Times that “potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes” by US Army-operated helicopters and drones have not been included in the disclosures. They write that at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan alone were left out last year.

Issue five.

The Ron Paul Institute is joining the Ludwig von Mises Institute in hosting a symposium in Lake Jackson, south of Houston, Texas, on April 8. The topic for the symposium is “War and Peace in the Age of Trump.” Speakers at the event will include Lew Rockwell and Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute and Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams of RPI.

To find out more about the April 8 event and purchase tickets, open the Mises Institute website at — that’s M-I-S-E-S dot org — and click on the “events” tab at the top of the page. [event link]


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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