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 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:58:28 GMT Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:58:28 GMT Ron Paul Pleased with how President Trump Handled Himself at Trump-Putin Meeting Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/17/ron-paul-pleased-with-how-president-trump-handled-himself-at-trump-putin-meeting/ International peace and trade advocate Ron Paul, in a new RT interview, praised how United States President Donald Trump handled himself at a meeting in Helsinki, Finland this week with Russia President Vladimir Putin. Says Paul, “I was sort of pleased with the way Trump handled himself.” In particular, Paul comments that Trump emphasized the benefit of “peaceful negotiations,” something Paul supports.

In contrast, the American media are “almost unanimously endorsing the idea that we have to have an enemy,” declares Paul, “and at this point, especially for the last 20 years, they’ve been working very hard to make Russia the enemy.”

As a next step after the Trump-Putin meeting, Paul suggests that Trump should work to eliminate US sanctions against Russia. Referring to the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity of which Paul is the chairman, Paul says: “Of course, we believe very strongly at the institute that trade is very important, and that’s why we don’t like to see protectionism and tariffs and sanctions and all these kinds of things” that Paul sees as standing in the way of advancing both peace and prosperity.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:


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Stephen Cohen Challenges ‘Mob Violence’ Reaction to Trump-Putin Meeting Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/17/stephen-cohen-challenges-mob-violence-reaction-to-trump-putin-meeting/
Continuing, Cohen comments that never in his life has he seen such a reaction to “the president of the United States doing what every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in 1943 with Stalin — meeting with the head of the Kremlin.” And, starting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, adds Cohen, each president “has met with the leader of the Kremlin for one existential purpose — to avoid war between the two nuclear superpowers.”

A meeting between US and Russia leaders is particularly important today because, Cohen assesses, “relations between the United States and Russia are more dangerous than they have ever, let me repeat, ever been, including the Cuban Missile Crisis.” A very important reason for a meeting between Trump and Putin, explains Cohen, is so the two leaders can “walk back the conflicts that could lead to war, whether they be in Syria, Ukraine, in the Balkan nations, in these accusations of cyber attacks.”

In contrast with previous US presidents having been encouraged to meet with, and applauded for meeting with, their Russian or Soviet counterparts to try to prevent conflict, Cohen notes the uniquely condemnatory reaction to Trump taking part in such a meeting. For the jeerers, Cohen has a question: “Do you prefer trying to impeach Trump to trying to avert war with nuclear Russia?”

Watch Cohen’s complete interview here:



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Ron Paul: Education, Not Politicians, Key for Liberty in the Long Term Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/16/ron-paul-education-not-politicians-key-for-liberty-in-the-long-term/
Around eight percent of the population promoting a philosophy, says Paul in the interview, can have a big influence. Paul points to the American Revolution as illustrating the type of impact that can be made by less than ten percent of people being dedicated to accomplishing a goal.

In the interview, Paul and Bet-David also discuss Paul’s thoughts on matters including foreign policy, the Federal Reserve, and marijuana prohibition, as well as the entire drug war.

Watch the complete hour-plus interview here:



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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/16/ron-paul-education-not-politicians-key-for-liberty-in-the-long-term/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/16/ron-paul-education-not-politicians-key-for-liberty-in-the-long-term/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:11:08 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Nassim Taleb, Military Spending, Bag Ban, North America Marijuana, Price of Oil Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nassim-taleb-military-spending-bag-ban-north-america-marijuana-price-of-oil/ 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.

A new speaker has been announced for the Ron Paul Institute’s August 18 conference: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of books including The Black Swan and Skin in the Game.

To find out more information about the conference, to purchase conference tickets, and to obtain a reduced-price room at the conference hotel, check out the web page ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.

Issue two.

President Donald Trump, attending a meeting of leaders of governments in the NATO alliance this week, was insisting that governments with NATO membership increase their military spending.

This highlights an absurdity of the US being in such an alliance: The alliance provides a reason for the US president to be a buttinski, hectoring for increased military spending by other nations.

Some people are hoping that increased military spending by NATO member governments will lead to the US reducing its military spending. But, the reality is that the Trump administration and the US Congress have shown their dedication to increasing US military spending as much as they can get away with and show no sign of easing up on that plan.

Robert Wenzel describes the situation succinctly at Target Liberty. Wenzel writes:
What [Trump] really wants is a more militarized planet.

U.S. defense spending is at an all-time high under the Trump Administration...

and he is calling for NATO allies to put defense spending on steroids.
Issue three.

There has been much talk about the irony of al-Shabaab, an African terrorist group, banning plastic bags last week in areas it controls, with the offered reason of helping the environment.

OK, but remember that the US government, via apparently perpetual war, has been killing and injuring many more people across the world, and, all the while, regulating a multitude of things from automobiles’ gas mileage to the amount of water toilets flush in the name of helping the environment.

Issue four.

Countrywide marijuana legalization is scheduled to commence in Canada on October 17.

Countrywide marijuana legalization may happen soon in Mexico as well. Kyle Jaeger writes at Marijuana Moment that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who won the Mexico presidential election last week, is open to legalizing marijuana and is appointing Olga Sánchez Cordero, an advocate of legalization, to be secretary of the interior.

Meanwhile, in between Canada and Mexico, American states continue to adopt legalization. Nine states and Washington, DC so far. And more legalization is likely on the way soon, for example, in
Michigan via a November general election ballot measure and in New Jersey via legislation to be approved by the state legislature and governor.

I mentioned in the
October 28 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues that, due to factors including public support and state law changes, the US government legalizing marijuana within five years would not surprise me. Movement toward legalization nearby in Canada and Mexico is another factor that could help bring this about.

Issue five.

In a Monday editorial largely focused on US policy toward Iran, Ron Paul made an interesting observation related to the price of oil and spending on the US military. Paul wrote:
President Trump’s demand last week that OPEC “reduce prices now” or US military protection of OPEC countries may not continue almost sounded desperate. But if anything, Trump’s bluntness is refreshing: if, as he suggests, the purpose of the US military – with a yearly total budget of a trillion dollars - is to protect OPEC members in exchange for “cheap oil,” how cheap is that oil?
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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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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nassim-taleb-military-spending-bag-ban-north-america-marijuana-price-of-oil/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nassim-taleb-military-spending-bag-ban-north-america-marijuana-price-of-oil/ Sat, 14 Jul 2018 21:55:58 GMT
Mueller Indicts 12 Russians - Should the Trump-Putin Summit be Cancelled? RPI Staff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/mueller-indicts-12-russians-should-the-trump-putin-summit-be-cancelled/
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US Airstrike Kills at Least 28 Civilians in Eastern Syria Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/us-airstrike-kills-at-least-28-civilians-in-eastern-syria/

US and coalition planes in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor attacked a village along the Iraqi border which had some ISIS remnant forces within. Among the strikes was an airstrike against the local ice factory, which families were hiding out in waiting for the end of the raid.

At least 28 civilians, and over 30 civilians by some accounts, were killed in the attack, and dozens of others were wounded. The Syrian state media reported that the US was behind the strike.

The US did not contest this assessment, with a spokesman saying that US coalition forces “may have conducted strikes in the vicinity” and promised that there would be an assessment at some point regarding civilian casualties.

Pentagon assessments of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria don’t have the best track record. In general, the Pentagon reports cover about 10% of civilian casualties reported by human rights groups, dismissing everything else as non-credible.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/us-airstrike-kills-at-least-28-civilians-in-eastern-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/14/us-airstrike-kills-at-least-28-civilians-in-eastern-syria/ Sat, 14 Jul 2018 04:34:17 GMT
Andrew Napolitano Is ‘Gravely Disappointed’ by President Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/12/andrew-napolitano-is-gravely-disappointed-by-president-trump-s-supreme-court-pick/
“Judge Kavanaugh does not represent what the Framers wanted when they wrote the Fourth Amendment” — the US Constitution provision that deals with search and seizure, declares Napolitano in the video commentary. In particular, Napolitano states that Kavanaugh does not believe people have the right to privacy in their communications that is protected by requiring the government to obtain a warrant from a judge before the government can snoop into such communications. Napolitano also identifies Kavanaugh as “from the heart and soul of the swamp” whose denizens control things in Washington, DC — the same swamp that Trump said he would drain.

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



For more of Napolitano’s thoughts regarding Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, read Napolitano’s new editorial here.
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Saudi Arabia Issues Sweeping Pardon for Its Military Members Engaged in War on Yemen Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/12/saudi-arabia-issues-sweeping-pardon-for-its-military-members-engaged-in-war-on-yemen/

On Tuesday, the Saudi Arabia government issued a pardon providing its military members involved in the Saudi Arabia-led and United States-supported war on Yemen with sweeping protection from potential penalties. The war on Yemen has been responsible for creating great destruction and suffering through extensive bombings, as well as fighting on the ground and a blockade. In addition to deaths and injuries caused directly by military actions, the ongoing attack on Yemen has brought about large increases in malnutrition and disease through the destruction of homes and infrastructure, as well as the blocking of imports needed to sustain Yemenis’ health. The issuing of the pardon can be seen as giving Saudi Arabia military members a “green light” to increase the brutality.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/12/saudi-arabia-issues-sweeping-pardon-for-its-military-members-engaged-in-war-on-yemen/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/12/saudi-arabia-issues-sweeping-pardon-for-its-military-members-engaged-in-war-on-yemen/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 17:29:48 GMT
Legalized Groping: Court Grants TSA The Right To Assault You Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/12/legalized-groping-court-grants-tsa-the-right-to-assault-you/
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Trump Hammers NATO. Good! Let's Get Out! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/11/trump-hammers-nato-good-lets-get-out/
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Brett Kavanaugh: Triumph Of The 'Radical Center' Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/10/brett-kavanaugh-triumph-of-the-radical-center/
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From North Korea To NATO - Diplomacy...Or More Deception? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/09/from-north-korea-to-nato-diplomacyor-more-deception/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/09/from-north-korea-to-nato-diplomacyor-more-deception/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/09/from-north-korea-to-nato-diplomacyor-more-deception/ Mon, 09 Jul 2018 16:43:03 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: United States, Charges Dropped, Search Warrant, Schedule One, Jefferson’s Day Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/08/five-minutes-five-issues-united-states-charges-dropped-search-warrant-schedule-one-jefferson-s-day/ 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 July 4 episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ron Paul explained that early on people would say “the United States are.” Later, people instead said “the United States is.” Changing from using “are” to using “is,” Paul explains, accompanied moving away from viewing the states as “Free and Independent States”— what they were termed in the Declaration of Independence.

Issue two.

Steven Nelson reported Friday at the Washington Examiner that US prosecutors are dropping all charges against the remaining 39 defendants from among more than 230 people arrested in protests in Washington, DC on Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration day. Nelson explains:
The decision follows two unsuccessful trials in which jurors either acquitted or deadlocked on charges against members of a largely black-clad anti-capitalism march. Other cases were dropped after a judge found prosecutors improperly withheld evidence.
Nelson also relates some of the pressure exerted to secure guilty pleas. Nelson writes:
Prosecutors sought to force plea deals through use of tough felony charges that by statute could have brought more than 70 years in prison. Twenty people pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of rioting in exchange for a year on probation.
Issue three.

The Iowa Supreme Court, in deciding the case of Iowa v. Ingram last week, found greater protection against warrantless “inventory searches” of vehicles under the state Constitution’s search and seizure provision than the US Supreme Court has found under the US Constitution’s similarly-worded Fourth Amendment provision. The court’s opinion contrasts the state’s “recent caselaw” emphasizing the “robust character” of the state’s constitutional protection with recent US Supreme Court decisions that “generally have sought to minimize the scope of individual protection under the Fourth Amendment.” The opinion criticizes the US Supreme Court’s recent “revisionist trend” that involves neglecting the “warrant requirement expressly contained in the Fourth Amendment” while promoting “a free-floating and open-ended concept of ‘reasonableness’” to justify warrantless searches.

Police often conduct inventory searches of vehicles being impounded — upon a driver’s arrest or in other circumstances, such as in the Iowa case where police determined the vehicle’s registration had expired. The search can uncover evidence of a crime. In the Iowa case, the driver was arrested after police claimed they found a bag containing an illegal drug and drug paraphernalia in the warrantless inventory search.

The Iowa court rejected the US Supreme Court’s deference to local police policy regarding warrantless inventory searches. It also criticized the US Supreme Court protecting wide discretion in stops and arrests of drivers for minor traffic violations. The Iowa Supreme Court declared:
An essentially unregulated legal framework allowing wide police discretion in stopping, arresting, and conducting warrantless inventory searches of the driver’s automobile amounts to a general warrant regime that is anathema to search and seizure law.
Issue four.

A Senate Appropriations Committee report accompanying legislation providing appropriations for the Department Health and Human Services (S 3158) directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse to "provide a short report on the barriers to research that result from the classification of drugs and compounds as Schedule 1 substances." Schedule 1 carries the most restrictions in the US government’s Controlled Substances Act. The report released last week also expresses concern that Schedule 1 restrictions "effectively limit the amount and type of research that can be conducted on certain Schedule 1 drugs, especially marijuana or its component chemicals and certain synthetic drugs."

Tom Angell notes at Forbes that the committee also included similar language in its report accompanying last year’s version of the appropriations bill.

Issue five.

In an editorial this week, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano pointed out a difference between now and when Declaration of Independence drafter Thomas Jefferson lived. Napolitano writes:
In Jefferson’s day, the voters knew all that the government did, and it knew nothing about them. Today government operates largely in secrecy, and it knows our every move and captures our every communication.
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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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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/08/five-minutes-five-issues-united-states-charges-dropped-search-warrant-schedule-one-jefferson-s-day/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/08/five-minutes-five-issues-united-states-charges-dropped-search-warrant-schedule-one-jefferson-s-day/ Sun, 08 Jul 2018 22:21:34 GMT
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Plan to Put Metal Detector Checkpoints in Schools across Texas Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/04/lt-gov-dan-patrick-s-plan-to-put-metal-detector-checkpoints-in-schools-across-texas/

In a March 31 article, I wrote about invasions of privacy being implemented by school districts in Texas and Florida. Plans included allowing students to carry only clear backpacks and subjecting students to security checkpoints complete with metal detectors. The justification offered is students’ safety and, in particular, protection against potential mass murders.

Now, Texas’ lieutenant governor is pushing to take this sort of invasion of students’ privacy statewide, starting with a fall semester rollout of metal detectors in a school district in which a mass murder occurred recently.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, in a Monday announcement, declared he would donate ten metal detectors for use in Santa Fe school district schools. A mass murder occurred in the district’s high school in May.

Testing such an expansion of power in the name of providing protection will likely encounter less resistance from students and parents in this area that has recently experienced a mass murder in a school, with the accompanying fear and worry. And, with the loss and anxiety people have been experiencing in the area, most media and many individuals will be more hesitant to offer criticism of the metal detectors’ placement and use in Santa Fe schools.

Next up in Patrick’s plan is the state government funding the use of metal detectors in schools statewide. Patrick, who as lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, declared in his Monday announcement “that the Texas Senate will create a new matching fund program in the next legislative session for other schools that want to install metal detectors or use wands for inspection.” Patrick further says the new state program will apply retroactively to help pay for metal detectors installed in schools prior to the program’s creation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/04/lt-gov-dan-patrick-s-plan-to-put-metal-detector-checkpoints-in-schools-across-texas/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/04/lt-gov-dan-patrick-s-plan-to-put-metal-detector-checkpoints-in-schools-across-texas/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 13:52:42 GMT
Sen. Graham Visits Syria, Attacks Trump Plan to Pull Troops Out Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/03/sen-graham-visits-syria-attacks-trump-plan-to-pull-troops-out/

Hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made a surprise visit to Syria on Monday, stopping off in the city of Manbij, which is held by US and Turkish forces. Graham delivered a speech clearly designed to attack the idea of a US pullout from Syria.

There is no official plan for the US to withdraw from Syria. Indeed, Pentagon officials have been presenting the US military presence in Syria as open-ended. That’s not to say that Graham’s comments had no reason.

Rather President Trump has talked openly of wanting to withdraw the US troops from Syria, sometimes saying he expects it to happen soon, while ultimately being talked out of doing so by cabinet members. Graham is getting out in front of future possible considerations of a drawdown.

In his comments, Graham insisted that the US needed to “stay here to help,” and that it would be “terrible” if the US didn’t have any troops in Syria in the future. The US presence in Syria could be complicated, however, with Turkey aiming to take Kurdish border territory therein.

Manbij is the start of the US agreeing to back Turkey over the Kurds, effectively making a deal to expel Kurdish YPG from Manbij in favor of Turks. All other US troops in Syria are embedded in Kurdish-held territory, and it’s not clear how long it will be before Turkey starts challenging for those areas.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/03/sen-graham-visits-syria-attacks-trump-plan-to-pull-troops-out/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/03/sen-graham-visits-syria-attacks-trump-plan-to-pull-troops-out/ Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:21:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Troop Withdrawal, Carter Foiled, Marijuana Votes, Booting Assange, RPI Conference Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/01/five-minutes-five-issues-troop-withdrawal-carter-foiled-marijuana-votes-booting-assange-rpi-conference/ 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.

Speaking Thursday in South Korea, United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the “U.S. commitment to the Republic of Korea remains ironclad and the U.S. will continue to use the full range of diplomatic and military capabilities to uphold this commitment,” Mattis further stated, “And this includes maintaining the current U.S. force levels on the Korean peninsula,”

Mattis’ comment, in its absoluteness, is at odds with a comment by President Donald Trump in Trump’s June 12 press conference after meeting in Singapore with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Trump made clear he would like to end the 70 years of stationing tens of thousands of US military members in South Korea. Trump said:
I want to get our soldiers out. I want to bring our soldiers back home. We have 32,000 soldiers in South Korea. I would like to be able to bring them back home. That’s not part of the equation. At some point, I hope it would be.
Issue two.

Donald Trump is not the first US president to suggest withdrawing the US troops from South Korea. Jimmy Carter, in his presidential campaign and as president, advocated the removal of US ground forces from South Korea. But, Franz-Stefan Gady wrote this month at The Diplomat that “congressional obstruction, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community, among others,” which Gady writes some people would today term the “deep state,” stopped Carter from following through on the plan. Gady notes that Carter was still able to reduce the number of US troops in South Korea by about 3,000 through not replacing troops whose deployments ended.

Issue three.

The rolling back of marijuana prohibition in America continues.

On Thursday, the US Senate passed the Farm Bill containing hemp farming legalization, regulation, and subsidization provisions I mentioned in the June 16 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues. As I said in that episode, it would not be surprising to see the hemp provisions become law this year.

Also this week, Oklahoma voters approved a medical marijuana ballot measure, making Oklahoma the 30thstate to legalize medical marijuana. I mentioned in a May 15 Ron Paul Institute article that Oklahoma is one of four states with marijuana ballot measures expected to be voted on this year, with all appearing to have majority public support. Next up are November general election state-wide marijuana votes on recreational marijuana legalization in Michigan and on medical marijuana in Missouri and Utah.

Issue four.

On Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence. In the letter, also signed by nine fellow Senate Democrats, the senators sought to demean WikiLeaks with an allegation of WikiLeaks seeking to interfere in elections around the world, including the 2016 US presidential election. The letter further states that the senators “remain extremely concerned about Ecuador providing asylum to WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange since June 2012.” Though the letter is not so direct in its wording, a clear message of the letter is that Pence should tell the Ecuador president in a meeting the next day to boot Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy where Assange has for six years had asylum protection from incarceration and prosecution in America.

Issue five.

The annual Ron Paul Institute conference near Washington, DC is seven weeks away.

Conference speakers include Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams from RPI, as well as writer and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Officer Ray McGovern, professor and retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead, and Ludwig von Mises Institute Chairman Lew Rockwell.

To find out more information about the conference, as well as to purchase an “early bird” conference ticket and book a reduced-price room at the conference hotel, check out the web page ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.

undefined

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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/2018/july/01/five-minutes-five-issues-troop-withdrawal-carter-foiled-marijuana-votes-booting-assange-rpi-conference/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/july/01/five-minutes-five-issues-troop-withdrawal-carter-foiled-marijuana-votes-booting-assange-rpi-conference/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 17:57:42 GMT
Keeping Government Employees Out of Your Business Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/27/keeping-government-employees-out-of-your-business/

Don’t expect a victory in an American court if you file a lawsuit arguing that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should be shut down because it is stealing people’s money, that the so-called security checkpoints of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should be eliminated because of the many sexual assaults they facilitate, or that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents should be punished for assaulting and kidnapping people who have harmed nobody, as well as for invading and ransacking such people’s homes.

Government agents abuse peoples’ rights routinely in ways for which there is no recourse in the courts to stop it. That is how things are. But, people do not have to be happy about it. And people do have means outside the court system by which they can express their disapproval and impose some punishment.

One way people can do so is to refuse to help government employees who they see as doing wrong. That appears to be what an owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia did when on Friday she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is President Donald Trump’s press secretary, to leave the restaurant, though it is concerning that the action was taken quite a long time after Sanders had been at the restaurant. The owner later explained that her reasoning related to Sanders having, as press secretary, defended Trump administration policies the owner dislikes.

If this sort of action catches on, don’t be surprised to see government outlaw it.

For further thoughts regarding what happened at the Red Hen, check out Robert Wenzel’s Tuesday article at Target Liberty, in which Wenzel discusses how people in government can do “evil deeds” under “civilized cover,” and the Tuesday episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report in which Ron Paul discusses the property right of business owners to choose who may be at their businesses.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/27/keeping-government-employees-out-of-your-business/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/27/keeping-government-employees-out-of-your-business/ Wed, 27 Jun 2018 19:53:30 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Assange Isolation, Blowback, New York Marijuana, NYC Marijuana, Ecstasy Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-assange-isolation-blowback-new-york-marijuana-nyc-marijuana-ecstasy/ A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, 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.

Six years ago, the Ecuador government gave Julian Assange of WikiLeaks asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, allowing him to avoid being handed over by the British government to the United States government for incarceration and prosecution. Assange, in his room at the embassy, was able to meet with guests and to communicate via the internet, often regarding the US and other governments.

Things changed 12 weeks back. The Ecuador government cut off nearly all visitors to Assange and his communication with the outside world. Assange seems to have become pretty much a prisoner in isolation. This may be torture, especially considering it has gone on for weeks on end. Notably, isolation, termed solitary confinement, was imposed on Chelsea Manning when Manning was in prison for leaking information to WikiLeaks. It would not be surprising to find the US behind the isolation of Assange.

Issue two.

On Friday, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute regarding a speech Ron Paul delivered in the US House of Representatives in the year 2000. One thing I did not mention in my article, but that stood out when I listened to the speech, is two sentences in which Paul addresses — over a year and a half before the September 11, 2001 attacks on America — the blowback risk from US military intervention abroad. Paul says:
As bad as it is that average Americans are forced to subsidize such a system, we additionally are placed in greater danger because of our arrogant policy of bombing nations that do not submit to our wishes. This generates the hatred directed toward America, even if at times it seems suppressed, and exposes us to a greater threat of terrorism since this is the only vehicle our victims can use to retaliate against a powerful military state.
Issue three.

Maybe next year New York will join the states with legalized recreational marijuana. New York Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker, who Governor Andrew Cuomo had asked to study marijuana legalization, announced on Monday that a soon-to-be-released final report on the matter will recommend legalizing adult marijuana use.

Issue four.

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with James O’Neill — the city’s police commissioner, announced in a press conference policy changes regarding marijuana. Erin Durkin writes at the Daily News that the changes mean most people police stop for smoking marijuana in public will receive criminal summonses with a fine up to $100 instead of being arrested, though “people with open warrants, on parole or probation, lacking identification, with a violent criminal record in the last three years, or caught smoking while driving will still get arrested.”

The announcement follows roll backs in the war on marijuana undertaken by prosecutors in the city’s boroughs. Durkin writes:
The Brooklyn and Manhattan district attorneys have already said they’d stop prosecuting most marijuana smoking cases. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said Tuesday he’ll soon launch a program to seal old marijuana convictions, and Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. said he will decline to prosecute even some people still subject to arrest under the new policy.
Issue five.

MDMA, often called ecstasy, has been in the US government’s Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule 1, and thus been prohibited even for medical uses, for decades. However, Raymond March writes in a Tuesday Independent Institute article that ecstasy’s potential medical use to aid people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reaching the third of four phases of the US Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval process is a good sign for its medical use becoming allowed under US law given that “the drugs that reach this phase are typically approved.”

Ecstasy’s potential to help people with medical issues is not new information. As March relates, prior to it being outlawed, “therapists began using MDMA to treat patients suffering from traumatic experiences almost 50 years ago.”

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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/2018/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-assange-isolation-blowback-new-york-marijuana-nyc-marijuana-ecstasy/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/24/five-minutes-five-issues-assange-isolation-blowback-new-york-marijuana-nyc-marijuana-ecstasy/ Sun, 24 Jun 2018 21:36:25 GMT
US State Department 'Concerned' Over Syrian Government Operations in...Syria! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/21/us-state-department-concerned-over-syrian-government-operations-insyria/

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement today warning the Syrian government to cease and desist from its final military push against ISIS and al-Qaeda groups in southwest Syria. The United States is "deeply troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria" because such operations are within the "de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November," the statement says.

What a strange warning. The United States, which illegally occupies territory of a country nearly 6,000 miles away, is warning Syria, the country it partly occupies, not to conduct military operations against terrorist organizations within its own borders!

Aside from the absurdity of Nauert's press release, there is the important matter that the whole statement is a lie.

First, the "deconfliction zone" to which she refers has been unilaterally declared by the United States. Syria never agreed to cease military operations within its own borders. Suggesting that Damascus is violating some agreement when it was never party to the agreement is shockingly dishonest.

Second, even the "de-escalation zones" agreed between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan, in May, 2017, exempted UN-recognized terrorist groups from the deal. So even if Syria was a party to the US-claimed "de-escalation" agreement, its current advance on ISIS and al-Qaeda controlled territory would not be a violation.

Third, the State Department's claims on the "Da Nang" agreement between Presidents Putin and Trump are purposely misleading. The very first sentence of the "Da Nang" statement affirms the two leaders' "determination to defeat ISIS in Syria," demonstrating the high priority placed on fighting ongoing terrorist occupation of parts of Syria. 

So why now, seven months later, is the US warning Syria against completing the very task that Trump and Putin made a top priority? 

Also, the "Da Nang statement" discusses the "de-confliction" areas explicitly in the context of the fight against ISIS: 
The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both US and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved.
So, again, why is the US objecting to the Syrian government's actions to achieve a goal -- defeat of ISIS -- reiterated by the US government?

The "Da Nang" statement also made it clear that when it comes to Syrian territory, that country's sovereignty must be respected:
The Presidents affirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character...
How can the US be committed to Syria's sovereignty when it violates that sovereignty by occupying Syrian territory and warning the Syrian government against attacking al-Qaeda and ISIS-dominated areas of Syria?

The United States -- which maintains hundreds of US troops illegally in Syria -- warns Syria about conducting military operations within its own borders against internationally-recognized terrorist groups, citing the "Da Nang" agreement, which:
...reinforces the success of the ceasefire initiative, to include the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area...
But those "foreign fighters" they agreed to eliminate by definition must include the US military itself! So actually it is the US that is violating the agreement by remaining in Syria, not the Syrian government by fighting al-Qaeda!

As an astute colleague wrote today, "have also been rumors in Washington that the Administration is preparing for something 'big' in Syria, possibly related to warnings from the Pentagon that Syrian forces have been threatening the unilaterally declared “de-escalation zone” in the country’s southeast."

Nauert's release may be one big lie, but the US threat against Syria is looking to be deadly serious.

Don't miss RPI's Summer Peace and Prosperity Conference! More information here.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/21/us-state-department-concerned-over-syrian-government-operations-insyria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/21/us-state-department-concerned-over-syrian-government-operations-insyria/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:54:11 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Yemen, Farm Bill Hemp, Trump/Kim Meeting, Medical Marijuana, Dividing California Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/17/five-minutes-five-issues-yemen-farm-bill-hemp-trumpkim-meeting-medical-marijuana-dividing-california/ StitcheriTunesYouTube, 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 Saudi Arabia-led and United States-supported war on Yemen, along with the resulting destruction and suffering, continues. The attack this week on Al Hudaydah, a port and city with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, should make the situation in Yemen substantially worse. As Margaret Coker and Eric Schmitt noted in a Wednesday New York Times article regarding the ongoing invasion, the port is “the main entry point for aid to the rest of the country.”

Issue two.

On Wednesday, the US Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee approved the wide-ranging 2018 Farm Bill that includes provisions legalizing, as well as regulating and subsidizing, hemp farming. The hemp farming provisions are backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who earlier this year introduced the Hemp Farming Act (S 2667) that couples legalization with regulation and subsidization. It would not surprise me to see the hemp provisions become law later this year.

Issue three.

In a Monday editorial, Ron Paul wrote about the dialogue between US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Paul comments that “talking is always better than threatening” and “trading is always better than sanctioning.”

Paul concludes his editorial with an expression of hope and a recommendation. Paul writes:
Hopefully this historic Trump/Kim meeting is the beginning of a dialogue that will continue to dial back the tensions. Hopefully we can soon remove the 30,000 US troops that have been stationed in South Korea for seven decades. One thing Washington must do, however: stay out of the way as much as possible so as to allow the two Koreas to continue their peace process.
Issue four.

Tom Angell wrote Tuesday at Forbes that this year, “in a dramatic sign of the rapidly changing politics of cannabis, the budget rider” intended to prevent the US government from prosecuting people complying with state medical marijuana laws “is part of the initial spending bill for the Justice Department as introduced by Republican Senate leaders.” In contrast, Angell notes that in previous years such language became part of the appropriations legislation only via amendments.

Because such language also was added to the Justice appropriations legislation coming out of the House Appropriations Committee, Angell writes that the medical marijuana provision “is all but certain to end up in the final [fiscal year 2019] appropriations legislation that is sent to President Trump for his signature later this year.”

Issue five.

According to the US Census Bureau, California has a population of over 39 and a half million people. The state’s population is about 40 percent more than that of Texas, the second most populous state, and about 88 percent more than that of Florida, the third most populous state. Around one out of eight Americans lives in California.

California covers much land too. It is the third biggest state.

Given these facts, it should not be a surprise there is significant support in California for splitting the state up. One proposal to do that will be on the state’s November election ballot. As John Myers reported Tuesday at the Los Angeles Times, the ballot proposal calls for splitting California into three states — first, a narrow coastal state extending from the Los Angeles area to the Monterey area that would keep the name California, second, Southern California that would generally include the portion of the current state to the east and south, and, third, Northern California that would generally include the portion of the current state to the north.

If the ballot measure passes, Myers writes that a spitting of the state would not be guaranteed for a couple reasons. First, state legislative approval may be required. Second, the US Congress would need to approve the state’s division.

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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/2018/june/17/five-minutes-five-issues-yemen-farm-bill-hemp-trumpkim-meeting-medical-marijuana-dividing-california/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/june/17/five-minutes-five-issues-yemen-farm-bill-hemp-trumpkim-meeting-medical-marijuana-dividing-california/ Sun, 17 Jun 2018 20:44:50 GMT