Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2018 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 05:00:00 GMT Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:05:52 GMT Three Ways the New Democratic House Majority May Investigate President Trump Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/
In particular, Napolitano suggests “there are three areas of investigation that the Democrats will focus on.” These areas are whether Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey for an improper purpose, contact during the 2016 presidential race between people involved in the Trump campaign and Russians or Russia agents, and whether Trump or his family are increasing their wealth in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution due to foreign diplomats and heads of state making payments, such as for lodging, to Trump family-related hotels.

In addition to these investigations potentially leading to impeachment proceedings, Napolitano notes that the investigations can result in the selective revelation of information “to taunt or humiliate or embarrass the president, or reveal to the public things that the public needs to know.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:02:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Votes, Voting Libertarian, US Election, Marijuana Laws, Important Election Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In a May 15 article at the Ron Paul Institute website, I wrote about polls suggesting that, this year via ballot measures, voters in Michigan would approve recreational marijuana legalization and voters in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah would approve medical marijuana legalization.

Here is an update. Oklahoma voters were the first this year to approve a medical marijuana ballot measure, doing so in a June 26 election. Then, on Tuesday, Missouri and Utah voters approved medical marijuana ballot measures as well. Also on Tuesday, voters in Michigan, which already had legal medical marijuana, approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Now, 33 states have adopted legal medical marijuana and 10 states have adopted legal recreational marijuana.

Issue two.

You might think when you vote for a Libertarian Party candidate that you are sending a clear message in support of change in the libertarian direction. But, sometimes a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot is putting forward a non-libertarian message. I encountered such in the Tuesday election in Texas. Neal Dikeman, the Libertarian United States Senate candidate, had on his campaign website a series of short videos regarding different issues. That is a great idea. Unfortunately, watching the videos, I discovered that Dikeman was repeatedly avoiding supporting libertarian positions, and often any substantive positions, on the issues he addressed. Voting for him would send no clear message generally. Plus, it would send the party a message of approval for abandoning libertarianism.

Issue three.

Ludwig von Mises Institute President Jeff Deist, in an editorial the day before this week’s US general election, noted that which party controlled the US House of Representatives would depend this year, as had which party’s nominee would become president two years ago, on a relatively small number of votes across the country. The alternating of US government control through elections from one party to another is a dangerous proposition, argues Deist, when so much power is concentrated in that government. The solution, Deist indicates, includes the transfer of power to state and local governments.

Deist concludes the editorial with the following:
Federalism and subsidiarity, applied with increasing intensity, are the non-violent path forward. Insistence on universalism, decided by a slight majority and applied top-down from DC, will fail here at home in the same way — and for the same reason — nation-building fails abroad.
Issue four.

Many marijuana legalization advocates say that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol. But, that is not the result in any state where recreational marijuana has been legalized. Instead, a new bureaucracy has been set up in each state to administer many rules peculiar to marijuana.

When will the first state move to list marijuana along with beer and wine or liquor in much of the state’s laws? How about buying marijuana along with a bottle of wine at the local grocery store or along with a bottle of cognac at the local liquor store? How about ordering a marijuana brownie as part of your meal at a restaurant, the liquor license of which was automatically expanded to be a marijuana license as well? How about it being legal to keep at home and to carry as much marijuana as you choose? It seems like a natural legalization path. Yet, it is a path not yet taken.

Issue five.

Some Americans are saying that the US general election this year was the most important election ever. Some Americans said the same thing about the US general election two years ago as well.

Maybe the 1860 US general election was the most important ever for Americans. The victory of Abraham Lincoln in that election was a major catalyst for the war between the United States and the Confederate States. Counting deaths on both sides, that war, by a large margin, caused the deaths of more American troops and civilians than has any other war.

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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/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Sat, 10 Nov 2018 05:54:43 GMT
Trump Administration Considers Declaring Yemen’s Houthis ‘Terrorists’ Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/

Just weeks after promising to back a peace effort in Yemen, the Trump Administration is reportedly considering labeling the Shi’ite Houthi movement in northern Yemen, one of the principal forces, a terrorist organization.

The move appears unrelated to US policy in Yemen itself. Rather, it reflects the Trump Administration’s desire to go after perceived Iranian allies. Saudi Arabia, who is attacking the Houthis, has accused them of being in league with Iran.

In reality, the Houthis have always had limited connections to Iran. But making them a US-labeled terrorist group would not only greatly undermine the Houthis, it would complicate the peace talks to the point of making them nearly impossible.

Perhaps even worse, a terrorist label would make it even harder to deliver humanitarian aid into northern Yemen. With millions on the brink of starvation because of the US-backed Saudi war and Saudi naval blockade, a cut to aid could lead to a massive humanitarian disaster.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Blackface, Julian Assange, Mexico Marijuana, GDP, Big Tech Companies Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Defending anyone using blackface — makeup darkening his skin so he can look more like a person he is dressing up as, such as for Halloween — is apparently grounds for losing your TV show at NBC.

This week, NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s show Megyn Kelly Today after people complained about and NBC leadership disapproved of Kelly, in the show’s Tuesday episode, arguing that using blackface is sometimes alright.

Supposedly, Kelly’s comments were racist. Ridiculous. If your goal is to look like someone else, using makeup to mimic that person’s skin color is part of how you can do it. That is reality, not racism.

I wonder if NBC will soon deep-six the 1984 Saturday Night Live segment in which Eddie Murphy wears “whiteface” and suddenly store clerks are giving him newspapers for free and bankers are handing him stacks of cash. It is on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube page. You may want to watch it soon, before it is sent down the memory hole.

But, maybe “whiteface” is still alright. Someone should ask the NBC executives.

Issue two.

Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks obtained asylum in the nation’s London embassy in 2012.

Since Lenin Moreno succeeded Correa as president in May of last year, conditions for Assange at the embassy have become much worse, with Assange for the last seven month barred from receiving visitors or communicating with the outside world, a situation that appears much like solitary confinement in a prison.

In a Wednesday RT report, Correa says that the Ecuador government’s isolating of Assange is part of an effort “to push him to abandon” his sanctuary in the embassy. Correa also says he believes Ecuador will “turn over Assange to the American government.”

Issue three.

In the July 13 and October 13 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about indications that Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will support marijuana legalization after he assumes office in December.

Here is a new indication of that. Obrador’s presidential transition team announced in a press release that marijuana legalization was on the agenda for discussion with Canada officials during this week’s tip to Canada by seven members of Obrador’s planned cabinet.

Issue four.

American gross domestic product (GDP) is often thought of as measuring economic activity in America. However, GDP incudes more than you may think, including spending on US military actions overseas.

Robert Wenzel provided the explanation Friday in an Economic Policy Journal article. Wenzel writes:
In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9% annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1% annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9% rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.
Issue five.

On Thursday, independent journalist Luke Rudkowski was a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report. In the interview, Rudkowski said he is changing his “whole business structure” to have more emphasis on his email list, including providing exclusive content on the list. He says he is taking this action because of recent moves by big technology companies that are “a big threat against free speech.” “The email list is the most important thing,” says Rudkowski, for ensuring people access his communication.

Big technology companies have also lately restricted Ron Paul Institute communications from reaching people and have even suspended and banned people with connections to the institute. Like Rudkowski, RPI has been developing use of its email list, including with exclusive content. You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on “subscribe” at the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:12:20 GMT
This, in Part, is How Trump is Boosting GDP Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/

It's all about catering to the military-industrial-complex. There is a big spender in the White House who loves the military.

In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1 percent  annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9 percent  rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.

Defense outlays grew 6 percent  in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, thanks in part to a bipartisan budget agreement to boost government spending this year and next by nearly $300 billion above limits set in a 2011 law, including $165 billion more for military.

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Click for larger.

“I would expect that, with the increase in the defense discretionary caps, that its contribution is going to increase, and in fact it will be leading overall GDP growth by mid-2019,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, reports WSJ.

WSJ notes:
Lockheed Martin Corp. , the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday it expects revenue to increase up to 6% in 2019 as it boosts production of missiles and F-35 combat jets. The company reported a $1.47 billion profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $963 million a year earlier. Its order backlog rose to $109 billion.

Boeing Co. , the world’s largest aerospace company by sales, raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year, thanks in part to strong demand for defense projects. The company won a trio of Pentagon contracts in recent weeks, after four years of sales declines in its defense unit.
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 18:01:27 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US Antagonism toward Iran Is Supported by Iran Terrorism Lie Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/
Wilkerson, who retired from the United States Army as a colonel and was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, examines in the interview a variety of aspects of US policy regarding Iran. Matters discussed include how antagonism toward Iran influences the US military’s continued presence and activities in Syria, the draconian sanctions the US imposes on Iran and how nations are seeking to circumvent those sanctions, and the possibility that President Donald Trump will announce shortly before the November midterm election that he will be meeting with Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Perhaps Wilkerson’s most eye-opening observation comes when he addresses a frequently offered justification for the US government’s antagonism toward Iran — that Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That claim, says Wilkerson, is a lie. Here, from near the end of the interview, is Wilkerson’s exchange with Shevardnadze regarding that claim:
Shevardnadze: I just don’t get it. Why is America so hellbent on fighting Iran for decades and decades now? I really don’t get the reasons for all this anti-Iran sentiment. I mean, nothing stopped these two countries from living normally with each other, like it had been under the Shah. And, you know, when they use the pretext of terrorism, I was just like, “I yet have to see one Shia terrorist blowing up something in Paris, Madrid, London, Brussels, or Berlin.” What is this all about?

Wilkerson: When you find the answer to that question, please email me. I ask the same question. I did the war-planning for the principal force provider command in the United States military for years. I’ve worked on this region for years. I do not understand this. Saudi Arabia is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, still today, and yet we call Iran that. We lie when we say that. We outright, blatantly lie when we say that. Moreover, we know we’re lying. So I don’t understand this either. I am as perplexed as you are at this fascination we have for the tyranny in Riyadh and the hatred we have for the theocracy, partial democracy in Tehran. In geopolitical, in geostrategic terms, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:47:53 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Canada Marijuana, Ambassador Nobody, Marijuana Ally, Federal Reserve, US Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ 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 minimum age to purchase recreational marijuana being lower under countrywide legalization in Canada than it is in any American state that has legalized.

Jacob Sullum, in a Wednesday Reason article, provides three more reasons he thinks Canada legalization is better than American legalization. First, countrywide legalization has benefits including marijuana merchants not having to “operate under a legal cloud, committing federal felonies every day.” Second, marijuana taxes in Canada are lower than in American legalization states such as California and Washington. Third, Marijuana delivery is legal in Canada while it is prohibited in the majority of American legalization states.

Issue two.

Who should President Donald Trump appoint to replace outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley?

At Twitter, foreign policy writer Justin Raimondo suggests appointing someone who could move things in a noninterventionist direction — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

If that happens, maybe US House of Representatives Member Thomas Massie (R-KY), a fellow Kentucky Republican who often is allied with Paul in the Congress, could gain Paul’s vacated Senate seat.

But, Massie has another idea, In a Twitter post directed to the president, Massie writes “we the undersigned Members of Congress respectfully request that you consider replacing Ambassador Nikki Haley with … Nobody.”

Following that message, Massie, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, includes a link to a web page listing cosponsors of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 193) that would terminate US membership in the UN. The bill is the current version of legislation Sen. Paul’s father Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsored before retiring from the House.

Issue three.

The effort to roll back the United States government’s war on marijuana may soon gain significant support from an influential ally. That is the suggestion of marijuana policy writer Tom Angell in a Monday Forbes article. Angell writes that the American Bankers Association (ABA), the largest group representing American banks, “is asking its members to share stories demonstrating problems caused by the growing gap between marijuana’s ongoing federally prohibited status and its legalization in an increasing number of states.” The ABA says in an email announcing the survey that responses will be used for communicating with regulators and legislators. Among stories sought are those regarding situations where “banks face significant risks … including criminal and civil penalties as well as bank regulatory action,” if banks serve the marijuana industry and where banks turn away potential customers that “may generate a portion of their income from marijuana-related businesses.”

Issue four.

If you assume the Libertarian Party of the United States supports ending the Federal Reserve, you may assume too much.

Here is a complete October 12 Twitter post from the party:
Libertarians have differing thoughts on whether we should have a Fed, but it is NOT wise for the Fed to become a political football. #Trump/Congress should not control it. They can question it & have opinions. But the Fed, if it exists, should be independent from their control.
That day, I noted at Twitter that the party’s post provides a “window onto what the national US Libertarian Party has become.”

By two days later, the party’s post had disappeared.

Issue five.

If the Democrats take control in the US House of Representatives, you might expect House Democratic leadership would push for ending marijuana prohibition, especially given such action has over 60 percent popular support and even more support among Democratic voters. However, as Matt Laslo reported Thursday at the Daily Beast, the three top House Democratic leaders seem uninterested in liberalizing marijuana laws.

Laslo provides quotes from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicating she would not push for rolling back marijuana prohibition beyond what President Trump indicates he will support, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) saying he has not even discussed with Pelosi the party’s plans for marijuana policy, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) saying “[i]t’s not important to me.”

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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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Nevada Brothel Owner and Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Supporter Dennis Hof Has Died Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/

One of the quirky news stories of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign was the support Paul received from Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof and some of Hof’s employees. In Nevada, brothels may be legally operated in several counties.

Hof since entered elective politics himself, in June defeating an incumbent in a Republican primary race for the Nevada state Assembly.

Hof died this week.

Asked in a Reason interview about Hof’s support for Paul, Hof described himself as a libertarian and discussed the importance of states’ rights, making your own decisions, and a “live and let live” outlook.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:51:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Nikki Haley, Canada Marijuana, Government Statistics, Expungement, Mexico Drug War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ 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.

Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, in a Wednesday RPI email list message, discussed Nikki Haley’s Tuesday announcement that she will be leaving her position as United States ambassador to the United Nations. McAdams calls Haley an “extreme warhawk,” noting some of her comments regarding US relations with Russia, Syria, and North Korea in explanation. Yet, McAdams notes that the New York Times, in a Twitter post announcing Haley’s departure, said Haley is a “moderate Republican voice.” While calling Haley moderate seems absurd to someone who values peace, McAdams argues it may seem correct to many people in Washington, DC where “being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy.”

You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on the “subscribe” link near the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

Issue two.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in in Canada next week, Polly Washburn explored Wednesday at Marijuana Moment different ways Canada provinces are handling legalization.

One important way all the provinces’ marijuana laws will differ from those in American states that have legalized is the minimum age to purchase. Washburn writes:
As with alcohol, the age at which Canadians can purchase cannabis is lower than in the United States. In Quebec and Alberta, 18 year-olds will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana. In every other province, the legal age will be 19. By contrast, in the U.S., every state that has legalized recreational marijuana to date has set the legal age at 21, which is also the legal drinking age in the states.
Issue three.

Be skeptical of government statistics.

Take, for example, the US government’s widely reported measure of unemployment. When the new monthly unemployment statistic was announced last week, an Associated Press article started off by stating, “[t]he last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now” was in December of 1969.

However, Peter Schiff, in the October 5 episode of his podcast, explained that, while “all the headlines are ‘we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1969,’” the 2018 to 1969 unemployment rate comparison is an “apples to oranges comparison” or even an “apples to refrigerators comparison.” Schiff elaborates that in 1969 people working part time but seeking full time work were considered unemployed as also were people who would like to work but have given up looking for work. Now all those people are not considered unemployed. If you compare “apples to apples,” Schiff says he believes the unemployment rate today would be “way above ten percent.”

Issue four.

In the February 3 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the San Francisco, California district attorney adopting a process whereby San Francisco prosecutors would review marijuana convictions for expungement or reduction so individuals would not have to undertake the difficult and expensive process of seeking the relief made available under California’s recently enacted recreational marijuana legalization.

Similar action has been taken in other cities, such as Seattle, Washington.

Now a state government is also pursuing automatic review of marijuana convictions. Lindsay Schnell wrote last week at USA Today that, while several states have laws allowing people with certain marijuana convictions the opportunity to pursue the reduction or removal of those convictions, last week, the California governor signed into law the first statewide legislation that charges a state government with undertaking the process automatically.

Issue five.

In the July 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Mexico government potentially legalizing marijuana given that Andrés Manuel López Obrador had won the presidential election the week before.

It turns out President-elect Obrador is, in fact, considering legalization of drugs beyond marijuana. Reuters reports that Obrador on Sunday said he “would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.”

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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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Hey, Loyola Students, Don’t Boycott Prof. Walter Block Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/

Loyola University Economics Professor Walter Block starts off his Tuesday article at lewrockwell.com stating it has come to his attention “that many Loyola students will not enroll in my classes, will boycott my public lectures, will have nothing to do with me, because they think I favor slavery and am a racist and a sexist.” Block then proceeds to refute each of the assertions put forward to urge students to boycott him.

In addition to the boycott effort being based on false claims, it threatens to cause participating students to receive a much lesser college education. That is an argument Robert Wenzel convincingly presents in a Tuesday Target Liberty article. After providing his own refutation of the assertions used to support the Block boycott, Wenzel concludes with some comments regarding what students participating in the boycott will miss out on. Wenzel writes:
But aside from the specifics of Dr. Block's views, it is a particularly limited student mind that refuses to contemplate or consider thinking that is different from what a student already thinks he knows.

College should be a period of open thinking and consideration of all types of views.

The students boycotting Dr. Block will never do anything impressive on the intellectual front. They will be moved by the intellectual fads of the day. They will be anti-plastic straw today, and who knows, maybe pro-butt tattoos tomorrow. They are in an important way insignificant. The student that takes Dr. Block's class to challenge him or learn from him is taking the first step toward deep thought, independent thought and maybe original thought. This will be the type of person that may make an intellectual contribution down the road.
At the Ron Paul Institute, we highly value Block’s insights, especially regarding the institute’s areas of focus — advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. We are thankful for Block’s membership in the institute’s Academic Board and hopeful that many Loyola University students will both reject the call to boycott Block and take advantage of their opportunity to learn with him.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:29:58 GMT
Three Ways the New Democratic House Majority May Investigate President Trump Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/
In particular, Napolitano suggests “there are three areas of investigation that the Democrats will focus on.” These areas are whether Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey for an improper purpose, contact during the 2016 presidential race between people involved in the Trump campaign and Russians or Russia agents, and whether Trump or his family are increasing their wealth in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution due to foreign diplomats and heads of state making payments, such as for lodging, to Trump family-related hotels.

In addition to these investigations potentially leading to impeachment proceedings, Napolitano notes that the investigations can result in the selective revelation of information “to taunt or humiliate or embarrass the president, or reveal to the public things that the public needs to know.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:02:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Votes, Voting Libertarian, US Election, Marijuana Laws, Important Election Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In a May 15 article at the Ron Paul Institute website, I wrote about polls suggesting that, this year via ballot measures, voters in Michigan would approve recreational marijuana legalization and voters in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah would approve medical marijuana legalization.

Here is an update. Oklahoma voters were the first this year to approve a medical marijuana ballot measure, doing so in a June 26 election. Then, on Tuesday, Missouri and Utah voters approved medical marijuana ballot measures as well. Also on Tuesday, voters in Michigan, which already had legal medical marijuana, approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Now, 33 states have adopted legal medical marijuana and 10 states have adopted legal recreational marijuana.

Issue two.

You might think when you vote for a Libertarian Party candidate that you are sending a clear message in support of change in the libertarian direction. But, sometimes a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot is putting forward a non-libertarian message. I encountered such in the Tuesday election in Texas. Neal Dikeman, the Libertarian United States Senate candidate, had on his campaign website a series of short videos regarding different issues. That is a great idea. Unfortunately, watching the videos, I discovered that Dikeman was repeatedly avoiding supporting libertarian positions, and often any substantive positions, on the issues he addressed. Voting for him would send no clear message generally. Plus, it would send the party a message of approval for abandoning libertarianism.

Issue three.

Ludwig von Mises Institute President Jeff Deist, in an editorial the day before this week’s US general election, noted that which party controlled the US House of Representatives would depend this year, as had which party’s nominee would become president two years ago, on a relatively small number of votes across the country. The alternating of US government control through elections from one party to another is a dangerous proposition, argues Deist, when so much power is concentrated in that government. The solution, Deist indicates, includes the transfer of power to state and local governments.

Deist concludes the editorial with the following:
Federalism and subsidiarity, applied with increasing intensity, are the non-violent path forward. Insistence on universalism, decided by a slight majority and applied top-down from DC, will fail here at home in the same way — and for the same reason — nation-building fails abroad.
Issue four.

Many marijuana legalization advocates say that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol. But, that is not the result in any state where recreational marijuana has been legalized. Instead, a new bureaucracy has been set up in each state to administer many rules peculiar to marijuana.

When will the first state move to list marijuana along with beer and wine or liquor in much of the state’s laws? How about buying marijuana along with a bottle of wine at the local grocery store or along with a bottle of cognac at the local liquor store? How about ordering a marijuana brownie as part of your meal at a restaurant, the liquor license of which was automatically expanded to be a marijuana license as well? How about it being legal to keep at home and to carry as much marijuana as you choose? It seems like a natural legalization path. Yet, it is a path not yet taken.

Issue five.

Some Americans are saying that the US general election this year was the most important election ever. Some Americans said the same thing about the US general election two years ago as well.

Maybe the 1860 US general election was the most important ever for Americans. The victory of Abraham Lincoln in that election was a major catalyst for the war between the United States and the Confederate States. Counting deaths on both sides, that war, by a large margin, caused the deaths of more American troops and civilians than has any other war.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Sat, 10 Nov 2018 05:54:43 GMT
Trump Administration Considers Declaring Yemen’s Houthis ‘Terrorists’ Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/

Just weeks after promising to back a peace effort in Yemen, the Trump Administration is reportedly considering labeling the Shi’ite Houthi movement in northern Yemen, one of the principal forces, a terrorist organization.

The move appears unrelated to US policy in Yemen itself. Rather, it reflects the Trump Administration’s desire to go after perceived Iranian allies. Saudi Arabia, who is attacking the Houthis, has accused them of being in league with Iran.

In reality, the Houthis have always had limited connections to Iran. But making them a US-labeled terrorist group would not only greatly undermine the Houthis, it would complicate the peace talks to the point of making them nearly impossible.

Perhaps even worse, a terrorist label would make it even harder to deliver humanitarian aid into northern Yemen. With millions on the brink of starvation because of the US-backed Saudi war and Saudi naval blockade, a cut to aid could lead to a massive humanitarian disaster.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/ Fri, 09 Nov 2018 14:29:43 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Blackface, Julian Assange, Mexico Marijuana, GDP, Big Tech Companies Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Defending anyone using blackface — makeup darkening his skin so he can look more like a person he is dressing up as, such as for Halloween — is apparently grounds for losing your TV show at NBC.

This week, NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s show Megyn Kelly Today after people complained about and NBC leadership disapproved of Kelly, in the show’s Tuesday episode, arguing that using blackface is sometimes alright.

Supposedly, Kelly’s comments were racist. Ridiculous. If your goal is to look like someone else, using makeup to mimic that person’s skin color is part of how you can do it. That is reality, not racism.

I wonder if NBC will soon deep-six the 1984 Saturday Night Live segment in which Eddie Murphy wears “whiteface” and suddenly store clerks are giving him newspapers for free and bankers are handing him stacks of cash. It is on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube page. You may want to watch it soon, before it is sent down the memory hole.

But, maybe “whiteface” is still alright. Someone should ask the NBC executives.

Issue two.

Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks obtained asylum in the nation’s London embassy in 2012.

Since Lenin Moreno succeeded Correa as president in May of last year, conditions for Assange at the embassy have become much worse, with Assange for the last seven month barred from receiving visitors or communicating with the outside world, a situation that appears much like solitary confinement in a prison.

In a Wednesday RT report, Correa says that the Ecuador government’s isolating of Assange is part of an effort “to push him to abandon” his sanctuary in the embassy. Correa also says he believes Ecuador will “turn over Assange to the American government.”

Issue three.

In the July 13 and October 13 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about indications that Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will support marijuana legalization after he assumes office in December.

Here is a new indication of that. Obrador’s presidential transition team announced in a press release that marijuana legalization was on the agenda for discussion with Canada officials during this week’s tip to Canada by seven members of Obrador’s planned cabinet.

Issue four.

American gross domestic product (GDP) is often thought of as measuring economic activity in America. However, GDP incudes more than you may think, including spending on US military actions overseas.

Robert Wenzel provided the explanation Friday in an Economic Policy Journal article. Wenzel writes:
In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9% annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1% annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9% rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.
Issue five.

On Thursday, independent journalist Luke Rudkowski was a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report. In the interview, Rudkowski said he is changing his “whole business structure” to have more emphasis on his email list, including providing exclusive content on the list. He says he is taking this action because of recent moves by big technology companies that are “a big threat against free speech.” “The email list is the most important thing,” says Rudkowski, for ensuring people access his communication.

Big technology companies have also lately restricted Ron Paul Institute communications from reaching people and have even suspended and banned people with connections to the institute. Like Rudkowski, RPI has been developing use of its email list, including with exclusive content. You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on “subscribe” at the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:12:20 GMT
This, in Part, is How Trump is Boosting GDP Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/

It's all about catering to the military-industrial-complex. There is a big spender in the White House who loves the military.

In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1 percent  annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9 percent  rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.

Defense outlays grew 6 percent  in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, thanks in part to a bipartisan budget agreement to boost government spending this year and next by nearly $300 billion above limits set in a 2011 law, including $165 billion more for military.

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Click for larger.

“I would expect that, with the increase in the defense discretionary caps, that its contribution is going to increase, and in fact it will be leading overall GDP growth by mid-2019,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, reports WSJ.

WSJ notes:
Lockheed Martin Corp. , the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday it expects revenue to increase up to 6% in 2019 as it boosts production of missiles and F-35 combat jets. The company reported a $1.47 billion profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $963 million a year earlier. Its order backlog rose to $109 billion.

Boeing Co. , the world’s largest aerospace company by sales, raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year, thanks in part to strong demand for defense projects. The company won a trio of Pentagon contracts in recent weeks, after four years of sales declines in its defense unit.
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 18:01:27 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US Antagonism toward Iran Is Supported by Iran Terrorism Lie Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/
Wilkerson, who retired from the United States Army as a colonel and was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, examines in the interview a variety of aspects of US policy regarding Iran. Matters discussed include how antagonism toward Iran influences the US military’s continued presence and activities in Syria, the draconian sanctions the US imposes on Iran and how nations are seeking to circumvent those sanctions, and the possibility that President Donald Trump will announce shortly before the November midterm election that he will be meeting with Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Perhaps Wilkerson’s most eye-opening observation comes when he addresses a frequently offered justification for the US government’s antagonism toward Iran — that Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That claim, says Wilkerson, is a lie. Here, from near the end of the interview, is Wilkerson’s exchange with Shevardnadze regarding that claim:
Shevardnadze: I just don’t get it. Why is America so hellbent on fighting Iran for decades and decades now? I really don’t get the reasons for all this anti-Iran sentiment. I mean, nothing stopped these two countries from living normally with each other, like it had been under the Shah. And, you know, when they use the pretext of terrorism, I was just like, “I yet have to see one Shia terrorist blowing up something in Paris, Madrid, London, Brussels, or Berlin.” What is this all about?

Wilkerson: When you find the answer to that question, please email me. I ask the same question. I did the war-planning for the principal force provider command in the United States military for years. I’ve worked on this region for years. I do not understand this. Saudi Arabia is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, still today, and yet we call Iran that. We lie when we say that. We outright, blatantly lie when we say that. Moreover, we know we’re lying. So I don’t understand this either. I am as perplexed as you are at this fascination we have for the tyranny in Riyadh and the hatred we have for the theocracy, partial democracy in Tehran. In geopolitical, in geostrategic terms, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:47:53 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Canada Marijuana, Ambassador Nobody, Marijuana Ally, Federal Reserve, US Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ 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 minimum age to purchase recreational marijuana being lower under countrywide legalization in Canada than it is in any American state that has legalized.

Jacob Sullum, in a Wednesday Reason article, provides three more reasons he thinks Canada legalization is better than American legalization. First, countrywide legalization has benefits including marijuana merchants not having to “operate under a legal cloud, committing federal felonies every day.” Second, marijuana taxes in Canada are lower than in American legalization states such as California and Washington. Third, Marijuana delivery is legal in Canada while it is prohibited in the majority of American legalization states.

Issue two.

Who should President Donald Trump appoint to replace outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley?

At Twitter, foreign policy writer Justin Raimondo suggests appointing someone who could move things in a noninterventionist direction — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

If that happens, maybe US House of Representatives Member Thomas Massie (R-KY), a fellow Kentucky Republican who often is allied with Paul in the Congress, could gain Paul’s vacated Senate seat.

But, Massie has another idea, In a Twitter post directed to the president, Massie writes “we the undersigned Members of Congress respectfully request that you consider replacing Ambassador Nikki Haley with … Nobody.”

Following that message, Massie, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, includes a link to a web page listing cosponsors of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 193) that would terminate US membership in the UN. The bill is the current version of legislation Sen. Paul’s father Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsored before retiring from the House.

Issue three.

The effort to roll back the United States government’s war on marijuana may soon gain significant support from an influential ally. That is the suggestion of marijuana policy writer Tom Angell in a Monday Forbes article. Angell writes that the American Bankers Association (ABA), the largest group representing American banks, “is asking its members to share stories demonstrating problems caused by the growing gap between marijuana’s ongoing federally prohibited status and its legalization in an increasing number of states.” The ABA says in an email announcing the survey that responses will be used for communicating with regulators and legislators. Among stories sought are those regarding situations where “banks face significant risks … including criminal and civil penalties as well as bank regulatory action,” if banks serve the marijuana industry and where banks turn away potential customers that “may generate a portion of their income from marijuana-related businesses.”

Issue four.

If you assume the Libertarian Party of the United States supports ending the Federal Reserve, you may assume too much.

Here is a complete October 12 Twitter post from the party:
Libertarians have differing thoughts on whether we should have a Fed, but it is NOT wise for the Fed to become a political football. #Trump/Congress should not control it. They can question it & have opinions. But the Fed, if it exists, should be independent from their control.
That day, I noted at Twitter that the party’s post provides a “window onto what the national US Libertarian Party has become.”

By two days later, the party’s post had disappeared.

Issue five.

If the Democrats take control in the US House of Representatives, you might expect House Democratic leadership would push for ending marijuana prohibition, especially given such action has over 60 percent popular support and even more support among Democratic voters. However, as Matt Laslo reported Thursday at the Daily Beast, the three top House Democratic leaders seem uninterested in liberalizing marijuana laws.

Laslo provides quotes from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicating she would not push for rolling back marijuana prohibition beyond what President Trump indicates he will support, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) saying he has not even discussed with Pelosi the party’s plans for marijuana policy, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) saying “[i]t’s not important to me.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ Sun, 21 Oct 2018 17:55:46 GMT
Nevada Brothel Owner and Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Supporter Dennis Hof Has Died Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/

One of the quirky news stories of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign was the support Paul received from Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof and some of Hof’s employees. In Nevada, brothels may be legally operated in several counties.

Hof since entered elective politics himself, in June defeating an incumbent in a Republican primary race for the Nevada state Assembly.

Hof died this week.

Asked in a Reason interview about Hof’s support for Paul, Hof described himself as a libertarian and discussed the importance of states’ rights, making your own decisions, and a “live and let live” outlook.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:51:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Nikki Haley, Canada Marijuana, Government Statistics, Expungement, Mexico Drug War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ 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.

Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, in a Wednesday RPI email list message, discussed Nikki Haley’s Tuesday announcement that she will be leaving her position as United States ambassador to the United Nations. McAdams calls Haley an “extreme warhawk,” noting some of her comments regarding US relations with Russia, Syria, and North Korea in explanation. Yet, McAdams notes that the New York Times, in a Twitter post announcing Haley’s departure, said Haley is a “moderate Republican voice.” While calling Haley moderate seems absurd to someone who values peace, McAdams argues it may seem correct to many people in Washington, DC where “being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy.”

You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on the “subscribe” link near the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

Issue two.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in in Canada next week, Polly Washburn explored Wednesday at Marijuana Moment different ways Canada provinces are handling legalization.

One important way all the provinces’ marijuana laws will differ from those in American states that have legalized is the minimum age to purchase. Washburn writes:
As with alcohol, the age at which Canadians can purchase cannabis is lower than in the United States. In Quebec and Alberta, 18 year-olds will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana. In every other province, the legal age will be 19. By contrast, in the U.S., every state that has legalized recreational marijuana to date has set the legal age at 21, which is also the legal drinking age in the states.
Issue three.

Be skeptical of government statistics.

Take, for example, the US government’s widely reported measure of unemployment. When the new monthly unemployment statistic was announced last week, an Associated Press article started off by stating, “[t]he last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now” was in December of 1969.

However, Peter Schiff, in the October 5 episode of his podcast, explained that, while “all the headlines are ‘we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1969,’” the 2018 to 1969 unemployment rate comparison is an “apples to oranges comparison” or even an “apples to refrigerators comparison.” Schiff elaborates that in 1969 people working part time but seeking full time work were considered unemployed as also were people who would like to work but have given up looking for work. Now all those people are not considered unemployed. If you compare “apples to apples,” Schiff says he believes the unemployment rate today would be “way above ten percent.”

Issue four.

In the February 3 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the San Francisco, California district attorney adopting a process whereby San Francisco prosecutors would review marijuana convictions for expungement or reduction so individuals would not have to undertake the difficult and expensive process of seeking the relief made available under California’s recently enacted recreational marijuana legalization.

Similar action has been taken in other cities, such as Seattle, Washington.

Now a state government is also pursuing automatic review of marijuana convictions. Lindsay Schnell wrote last week at USA Today that, while several states have laws allowing people with certain marijuana convictions the opportunity to pursue the reduction or removal of those convictions, last week, the California governor signed into law the first statewide legislation that charges a state government with undertaking the process automatically.

Issue five.

In the July 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Mexico government potentially legalizing marijuana given that Andrés Manuel López Obrador had won the presidential election the week before.

It turns out President-elect Obrador is, in fact, considering legalization of drugs beyond marijuana. Reuters reports that Obrador on Sunday said he “would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ Sun, 14 Oct 2018 04:57:36 GMT
Hey, Loyola Students, Don’t Boycott Prof. Walter Block Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/

Loyola University Economics Professor Walter Block starts off his Tuesday article at lewrockwell.com stating it has come to his attention “that many Loyola students will not enroll in my classes, will boycott my public lectures, will have nothing to do with me, because they think I favor slavery and am a racist and a sexist.” Block then proceeds to refute each of the assertions put forward to urge students to boycott him.

In addition to the boycott effort being based on false claims, it threatens to cause participating students to receive a much lesser college education. That is an argument Robert Wenzel convincingly presents in a Tuesday Target Liberty article. After providing his own refutation of the assertions used to support the Block boycott, Wenzel concludes with some comments regarding what students participating in the boycott will miss out on. Wenzel writes:
But aside from the specifics of Dr. Block's views, it is a particularly limited student mind that refuses to contemplate or consider thinking that is different from what a student already thinks he knows.

College should be a period of open thinking and consideration of all types of views.

The students boycotting Dr. Block will never do anything impressive on the intellectual front. They will be moved by the intellectual fads of the day. They will be anti-plastic straw today, and who knows, maybe pro-butt tattoos tomorrow. They are in an important way insignificant. The student that takes Dr. Block's class to challenge him or learn from him is taking the first step toward deep thought, independent thought and maybe original thought. This will be the type of person that may make an intellectual contribution down the road.
At the Ron Paul Institute, we highly value Block’s insights, especially regarding the institute’s areas of focus — advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. We are thankful for Block’s membership in the institute’s Academic Board and hopeful that many Loyola University students will both reject the call to boycott Block and take advantage of their opportunity to learn with him.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:29:58 GMT
Three Ways the New Democratic House Majority May Investigate President Trump Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/
In particular, Napolitano suggests “there are three areas of investigation that the Democrats will focus on.” These areas are whether Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey for an improper purpose, contact during the 2016 presidential race between people involved in the Trump campaign and Russians or Russia agents, and whether Trump or his family are increasing their wealth in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution due to foreign diplomats and heads of state making payments, such as for lodging, to Trump family-related hotels.

In addition to these investigations potentially leading to impeachment proceedings, Napolitano notes that the investigations can result in the selective revelation of information “to taunt or humiliate or embarrass the president, or reveal to the public things that the public needs to know.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:02:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Votes, Voting Libertarian, US Election, Marijuana Laws, Important Election Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In a May 15 article at the Ron Paul Institute website, I wrote about polls suggesting that, this year via ballot measures, voters in Michigan would approve recreational marijuana legalization and voters in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah would approve medical marijuana legalization.

Here is an update. Oklahoma voters were the first this year to approve a medical marijuana ballot measure, doing so in a June 26 election. Then, on Tuesday, Missouri and Utah voters approved medical marijuana ballot measures as well. Also on Tuesday, voters in Michigan, which already had legal medical marijuana, approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Now, 33 states have adopted legal medical marijuana and 10 states have adopted legal recreational marijuana.

Issue two.

You might think when you vote for a Libertarian Party candidate that you are sending a clear message in support of change in the libertarian direction. But, sometimes a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot is putting forward a non-libertarian message. I encountered such in the Tuesday election in Texas. Neal Dikeman, the Libertarian United States Senate candidate, had on his campaign website a series of short videos regarding different issues. That is a great idea. Unfortunately, watching the videos, I discovered that Dikeman was repeatedly avoiding supporting libertarian positions, and often any substantive positions, on the issues he addressed. Voting for him would send no clear message generally. Plus, it would send the party a message of approval for abandoning libertarianism.

Issue three.

Ludwig von Mises Institute President Jeff Deist, in an editorial the day before this week’s US general election, noted that which party controlled the US House of Representatives would depend this year, as had which party’s nominee would become president two years ago, on a relatively small number of votes across the country. The alternating of US government control through elections from one party to another is a dangerous proposition, argues Deist, when so much power is concentrated in that government. The solution, Deist indicates, includes the transfer of power to state and local governments.

Deist concludes the editorial with the following:
Federalism and subsidiarity, applied with increasing intensity, are the non-violent path forward. Insistence on universalism, decided by a slight majority and applied top-down from DC, will fail here at home in the same way — and for the same reason — nation-building fails abroad.
Issue four.

Many marijuana legalization advocates say that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol. But, that is not the result in any state where recreational marijuana has been legalized. Instead, a new bureaucracy has been set up in each state to administer many rules peculiar to marijuana.

When will the first state move to list marijuana along with beer and wine or liquor in much of the state’s laws? How about buying marijuana along with a bottle of wine at the local grocery store or along with a bottle of cognac at the local liquor store? How about ordering a marijuana brownie as part of your meal at a restaurant, the liquor license of which was automatically expanded to be a marijuana license as well? How about it being legal to keep at home and to carry as much marijuana as you choose? It seems like a natural legalization path. Yet, it is a path not yet taken.

Issue five.

Some Americans are saying that the US general election this year was the most important election ever. Some Americans said the same thing about the US general election two years ago as well.

Maybe the 1860 US general election was the most important ever for Americans. The victory of Abraham Lincoln in that election was a major catalyst for the war between the United States and the Confederate States. Counting deaths on both sides, that war, by a large margin, caused the deaths of more American troops and civilians than has any other war.

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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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Trump Administration Considers Declaring Yemen’s Houthis ‘Terrorists’ Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/

Just weeks after promising to back a peace effort in Yemen, the Trump Administration is reportedly considering labeling the Shi’ite Houthi movement in northern Yemen, one of the principal forces, a terrorist organization.

The move appears unrelated to US policy in Yemen itself. Rather, it reflects the Trump Administration’s desire to go after perceived Iranian allies. Saudi Arabia, who is attacking the Houthis, has accused them of being in league with Iran.

In reality, the Houthis have always had limited connections to Iran. But making them a US-labeled terrorist group would not only greatly undermine the Houthis, it would complicate the peace talks to the point of making them nearly impossible.

Perhaps even worse, a terrorist label would make it even harder to deliver humanitarian aid into northern Yemen. With millions on the brink of starvation because of the US-backed Saudi war and Saudi naval blockade, a cut to aid could lead to a massive humanitarian disaster.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Blackface, Julian Assange, Mexico Marijuana, GDP, Big Tech Companies Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Defending anyone using blackface — makeup darkening his skin so he can look more like a person he is dressing up as, such as for Halloween — is apparently grounds for losing your TV show at NBC.

This week, NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s show Megyn Kelly Today after people complained about and NBC leadership disapproved of Kelly, in the show’s Tuesday episode, arguing that using blackface is sometimes alright.

Supposedly, Kelly’s comments were racist. Ridiculous. If your goal is to look like someone else, using makeup to mimic that person’s skin color is part of how you can do it. That is reality, not racism.

I wonder if NBC will soon deep-six the 1984 Saturday Night Live segment in which Eddie Murphy wears “whiteface” and suddenly store clerks are giving him newspapers for free and bankers are handing him stacks of cash. It is on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube page. You may want to watch it soon, before it is sent down the memory hole.

But, maybe “whiteface” is still alright. Someone should ask the NBC executives.

Issue two.

Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks obtained asylum in the nation’s London embassy in 2012.

Since Lenin Moreno succeeded Correa as president in May of last year, conditions for Assange at the embassy have become much worse, with Assange for the last seven month barred from receiving visitors or communicating with the outside world, a situation that appears much like solitary confinement in a prison.

In a Wednesday RT report, Correa says that the Ecuador government’s isolating of Assange is part of an effort “to push him to abandon” his sanctuary in the embassy. Correa also says he believes Ecuador will “turn over Assange to the American government.”

Issue three.

In the July 13 and October 13 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about indications that Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will support marijuana legalization after he assumes office in December.

Here is a new indication of that. Obrador’s presidential transition team announced in a press release that marijuana legalization was on the agenda for discussion with Canada officials during this week’s tip to Canada by seven members of Obrador’s planned cabinet.

Issue four.

American gross domestic product (GDP) is often thought of as measuring economic activity in America. However, GDP incudes more than you may think, including spending on US military actions overseas.

Robert Wenzel provided the explanation Friday in an Economic Policy Journal article. Wenzel writes:
In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9% annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1% annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9% rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.
Issue five.

On Thursday, independent journalist Luke Rudkowski was a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report. In the interview, Rudkowski said he is changing his “whole business structure” to have more emphasis on his email list, including providing exclusive content on the list. He says he is taking this action because of recent moves by big technology companies that are “a big threat against free speech.” “The email list is the most important thing,” says Rudkowski, for ensuring people access his communication.

Big technology companies have also lately restricted Ron Paul Institute communications from reaching people and have even suspended and banned people with connections to the institute. Like Rudkowski, RPI has been developing use of its email list, including with exclusive content. You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on “subscribe” at the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:12:20 GMT
This, in Part, is How Trump is Boosting GDP Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/

It's all about catering to the military-industrial-complex. There is a big spender in the White House who loves the military.

In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1 percent  annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9 percent  rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.

Defense outlays grew 6 percent  in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, thanks in part to a bipartisan budget agreement to boost government spending this year and next by nearly $300 billion above limits set in a 2011 law, including $165 billion more for military.

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Click for larger.

“I would expect that, with the increase in the defense discretionary caps, that its contribution is going to increase, and in fact it will be leading overall GDP growth by mid-2019,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, reports WSJ.

WSJ notes:
Lockheed Martin Corp. , the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday it expects revenue to increase up to 6% in 2019 as it boosts production of missiles and F-35 combat jets. The company reported a $1.47 billion profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $963 million a year earlier. Its order backlog rose to $109 billion.

Boeing Co. , the world’s largest aerospace company by sales, raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year, thanks in part to strong demand for defense projects. The company won a trio of Pentagon contracts in recent weeks, after four years of sales declines in its defense unit.
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 18:01:27 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US Antagonism toward Iran Is Supported by Iran Terrorism Lie Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/
Wilkerson, who retired from the United States Army as a colonel and was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, examines in the interview a variety of aspects of US policy regarding Iran. Matters discussed include how antagonism toward Iran influences the US military’s continued presence and activities in Syria, the draconian sanctions the US imposes on Iran and how nations are seeking to circumvent those sanctions, and the possibility that President Donald Trump will announce shortly before the November midterm election that he will be meeting with Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Perhaps Wilkerson’s most eye-opening observation comes when he addresses a frequently offered justification for the US government’s antagonism toward Iran — that Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That claim, says Wilkerson, is a lie. Here, from near the end of the interview, is Wilkerson’s exchange with Shevardnadze regarding that claim:
Shevardnadze: I just don’t get it. Why is America so hellbent on fighting Iran for decades and decades now? I really don’t get the reasons for all this anti-Iran sentiment. I mean, nothing stopped these two countries from living normally with each other, like it had been under the Shah. And, you know, when they use the pretext of terrorism, I was just like, “I yet have to see one Shia terrorist blowing up something in Paris, Madrid, London, Brussels, or Berlin.” What is this all about?

Wilkerson: When you find the answer to that question, please email me. I ask the same question. I did the war-planning for the principal force provider command in the United States military for years. I’ve worked on this region for years. I do not understand this. Saudi Arabia is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, still today, and yet we call Iran that. We lie when we say that. We outright, blatantly lie when we say that. Moreover, we know we’re lying. So I don’t understand this either. I am as perplexed as you are at this fascination we have for the tyranny in Riyadh and the hatred we have for the theocracy, partial democracy in Tehran. In geopolitical, in geostrategic terms, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:47:53 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Canada Marijuana, Ambassador Nobody, Marijuana Ally, Federal Reserve, US Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ 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 minimum age to purchase recreational marijuana being lower under countrywide legalization in Canada than it is in any American state that has legalized.

Jacob Sullum, in a Wednesday Reason article, provides three more reasons he thinks Canada legalization is better than American legalization. First, countrywide legalization has benefits including marijuana merchants not having to “operate under a legal cloud, committing federal felonies every day.” Second, marijuana taxes in Canada are lower than in American legalization states such as California and Washington. Third, Marijuana delivery is legal in Canada while it is prohibited in the majority of American legalization states.

Issue two.

Who should President Donald Trump appoint to replace outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley?

At Twitter, foreign policy writer Justin Raimondo suggests appointing someone who could move things in a noninterventionist direction — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

If that happens, maybe US House of Representatives Member Thomas Massie (R-KY), a fellow Kentucky Republican who often is allied with Paul in the Congress, could gain Paul’s vacated Senate seat.

But, Massie has another idea, In a Twitter post directed to the president, Massie writes “we the undersigned Members of Congress respectfully request that you consider replacing Ambassador Nikki Haley with … Nobody.”

Following that message, Massie, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, includes a link to a web page listing cosponsors of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 193) that would terminate US membership in the UN. The bill is the current version of legislation Sen. Paul’s father Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsored before retiring from the House.

Issue three.

The effort to roll back the United States government’s war on marijuana may soon gain significant support from an influential ally. That is the suggestion of marijuana policy writer Tom Angell in a Monday Forbes article. Angell writes that the American Bankers Association (ABA), the largest group representing American banks, “is asking its members to share stories demonstrating problems caused by the growing gap between marijuana’s ongoing federally prohibited status and its legalization in an increasing number of states.” The ABA says in an email announcing the survey that responses will be used for communicating with regulators and legislators. Among stories sought are those regarding situations where “banks face significant risks … including criminal and civil penalties as well as bank regulatory action,” if banks serve the marijuana industry and where banks turn away potential customers that “may generate a portion of their income from marijuana-related businesses.”

Issue four.

If you assume the Libertarian Party of the United States supports ending the Federal Reserve, you may assume too much.

Here is a complete October 12 Twitter post from the party:
Libertarians have differing thoughts on whether we should have a Fed, but it is NOT wise for the Fed to become a political football. #Trump/Congress should not control it. They can question it & have opinions. But the Fed, if it exists, should be independent from their control.
That day, I noted at Twitter that the party’s post provides a “window onto what the national US Libertarian Party has become.”

By two days later, the party’s post had disappeared.

Issue five.

If the Democrats take control in the US House of Representatives, you might expect House Democratic leadership would push for ending marijuana prohibition, especially given such action has over 60 percent popular support and even more support among Democratic voters. However, as Matt Laslo reported Thursday at the Daily Beast, the three top House Democratic leaders seem uninterested in liberalizing marijuana laws.

Laslo provides quotes from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicating she would not push for rolling back marijuana prohibition beyond what President Trump indicates he will support, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) saying he has not even discussed with Pelosi the party’s plans for marijuana policy, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) saying “[i]t’s not important to me.”

-----

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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Nevada Brothel Owner and Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Supporter Dennis Hof Has Died Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/

One of the quirky news stories of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign was the support Paul received from Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof and some of Hof’s employees. In Nevada, brothels may be legally operated in several counties.

Hof since entered elective politics himself, in June defeating an incumbent in a Republican primary race for the Nevada state Assembly.

Hof died this week.

Asked in a Reason interview about Hof’s support for Paul, Hof described himself as a libertarian and discussed the importance of states’ rights, making your own decisions, and a “live and let live” outlook.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:51:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Nikki Haley, Canada Marijuana, Government Statistics, Expungement, Mexico Drug War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ 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.

Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, in a Wednesday RPI email list message, discussed Nikki Haley’s Tuesday announcement that she will be leaving her position as United States ambassador to the United Nations. McAdams calls Haley an “extreme warhawk,” noting some of her comments regarding US relations with Russia, Syria, and North Korea in explanation. Yet, McAdams notes that the New York Times, in a Twitter post announcing Haley’s departure, said Haley is a “moderate Republican voice.” While calling Haley moderate seems absurd to someone who values peace, McAdams argues it may seem correct to many people in Washington, DC where “being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy.”

You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on the “subscribe” link near the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

Issue two.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in in Canada next week, Polly Washburn explored Wednesday at Marijuana Moment different ways Canada provinces are handling legalization.

One important way all the provinces’ marijuana laws will differ from those in American states that have legalized is the minimum age to purchase. Washburn writes:
As with alcohol, the age at which Canadians can purchase cannabis is lower than in the United States. In Quebec and Alberta, 18 year-olds will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana. In every other province, the legal age will be 19. By contrast, in the U.S., every state that has legalized recreational marijuana to date has set the legal age at 21, which is also the legal drinking age in the states.
Issue three.

Be skeptical of government statistics.

Take, for example, the US government’s widely reported measure of unemployment. When the new monthly unemployment statistic was announced last week, an Associated Press article started off by stating, “[t]he last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now” was in December of 1969.

However, Peter Schiff, in the October 5 episode of his podcast, explained that, while “all the headlines are ‘we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1969,’” the 2018 to 1969 unemployment rate comparison is an “apples to oranges comparison” or even an “apples to refrigerators comparison.” Schiff elaborates that in 1969 people working part time but seeking full time work were considered unemployed as also were people who would like to work but have given up looking for work. Now all those people are not considered unemployed. If you compare “apples to apples,” Schiff says he believes the unemployment rate today would be “way above ten percent.”

Issue four.

In the February 3 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the San Francisco, California district attorney adopting a process whereby San Francisco prosecutors would review marijuana convictions for expungement or reduction so individuals would not have to undertake the difficult and expensive process of seeking the relief made available under California’s recently enacted recreational marijuana legalization.

Similar action has been taken in other cities, such as Seattle, Washington.

Now a state government is also pursuing automatic review of marijuana convictions. Lindsay Schnell wrote last week at USA Today that, while several states have laws allowing people with certain marijuana convictions the opportunity to pursue the reduction or removal of those convictions, last week, the California governor signed into law the first statewide legislation that charges a state government with undertaking the process automatically.

Issue five.

In the July 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Mexico government potentially legalizing marijuana given that Andrés Manuel López Obrador had won the presidential election the week before.

It turns out President-elect Obrador is, in fact, considering legalization of drugs beyond marijuana. Reuters reports that Obrador on Sunday said he “would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ Sun, 14 Oct 2018 04:57:36 GMT
Hey, Loyola Students, Don’t Boycott Prof. Walter Block Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/

Loyola University Economics Professor Walter Block starts off his Tuesday article at lewrockwell.com stating it has come to his attention “that many Loyola students will not enroll in my classes, will boycott my public lectures, will have nothing to do with me, because they think I favor slavery and am a racist and a sexist.” Block then proceeds to refute each of the assertions put forward to urge students to boycott him.

In addition to the boycott effort being based on false claims, it threatens to cause participating students to receive a much lesser college education. That is an argument Robert Wenzel convincingly presents in a Tuesday Target Liberty article. After providing his own refutation of the assertions used to support the Block boycott, Wenzel concludes with some comments regarding what students participating in the boycott will miss out on. Wenzel writes:
But aside from the specifics of Dr. Block's views, it is a particularly limited student mind that refuses to contemplate or consider thinking that is different from what a student already thinks he knows.

College should be a period of open thinking and consideration of all types of views.

The students boycotting Dr. Block will never do anything impressive on the intellectual front. They will be moved by the intellectual fads of the day. They will be anti-plastic straw today, and who knows, maybe pro-butt tattoos tomorrow. They are in an important way insignificant. The student that takes Dr. Block's class to challenge him or learn from him is taking the first step toward deep thought, independent thought and maybe original thought. This will be the type of person that may make an intellectual contribution down the road.
At the Ron Paul Institute, we highly value Block’s insights, especially regarding the institute’s areas of focus — advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. We are thankful for Block’s membership in the institute’s Academic Board and hopeful that many Loyola University students will both reject the call to boycott Block and take advantage of their opportunity to learn with him.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:29:58 GMT
Three Ways the New Democratic House Majority May Investigate President Trump Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/
In particular, Napolitano suggests “there are three areas of investigation that the Democrats will focus on.” These areas are whether Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey for an improper purpose, contact during the 2016 presidential race between people involved in the Trump campaign and Russians or Russia agents, and whether Trump or his family are increasing their wealth in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution due to foreign diplomats and heads of state making payments, such as for lodging, to Trump family-related hotels.

In addition to these investigations potentially leading to impeachment proceedings, Napolitano notes that the investigations can result in the selective revelation of information “to taunt or humiliate or embarrass the president, or reveal to the public things that the public needs to know.”

Watch Napolitano’s complete video commentary here:



Napolitano is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/11/three-ways-the-new-democratic-house-majority-may-investigate-president-trump/ Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:02:25 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Votes, Voting Libertarian, US Election, Marijuana Laws, Important Election Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In a May 15 article at the Ron Paul Institute website, I wrote about polls suggesting that, this year via ballot measures, voters in Michigan would approve recreational marijuana legalization and voters in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah would approve medical marijuana legalization.

Here is an update. Oklahoma voters were the first this year to approve a medical marijuana ballot measure, doing so in a June 26 election. Then, on Tuesday, Missouri and Utah voters approved medical marijuana ballot measures as well. Also on Tuesday, voters in Michigan, which already had legal medical marijuana, approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Now, 33 states have adopted legal medical marijuana and 10 states have adopted legal recreational marijuana.

Issue two.

You might think when you vote for a Libertarian Party candidate that you are sending a clear message in support of change in the libertarian direction. But, sometimes a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot is putting forward a non-libertarian message. I encountered such in the Tuesday election in Texas. Neal Dikeman, the Libertarian United States Senate candidate, had on his campaign website a series of short videos regarding different issues. That is a great idea. Unfortunately, watching the videos, I discovered that Dikeman was repeatedly avoiding supporting libertarian positions, and often any substantive positions, on the issues he addressed. Voting for him would send no clear message generally. Plus, it would send the party a message of approval for abandoning libertarianism.

Issue three.

Ludwig von Mises Institute President Jeff Deist, in an editorial the day before this week’s US general election, noted that which party controlled the US House of Representatives would depend this year, as had which party’s nominee would become president two years ago, on a relatively small number of votes across the country. The alternating of US government control through elections from one party to another is a dangerous proposition, argues Deist, when so much power is concentrated in that government. The solution, Deist indicates, includes the transfer of power to state and local governments.

Deist concludes the editorial with the following:
Federalism and subsidiarity, applied with increasing intensity, are the non-violent path forward. Insistence on universalism, decided by a slight majority and applied top-down from DC, will fail here at home in the same way — and for the same reason — nation-building fails abroad.
Issue four.

Many marijuana legalization advocates say that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol. But, that is not the result in any state where recreational marijuana has been legalized. Instead, a new bureaucracy has been set up in each state to administer many rules peculiar to marijuana.

When will the first state move to list marijuana along with beer and wine or liquor in much of the state’s laws? How about buying marijuana along with a bottle of wine at the local grocery store or along with a bottle of cognac at the local liquor store? How about ordering a marijuana brownie as part of your meal at a restaurant, the liquor license of which was automatically expanded to be a marijuana license as well? How about it being legal to keep at home and to carry as much marijuana as you choose? It seems like a natural legalization path. Yet, it is a path not yet taken.

Issue five.

Some Americans are saying that the US general election this year was the most important election ever. Some Americans said the same thing about the US general election two years ago as well.

Maybe the 1860 US general election was the most important ever for Americans. The victory of Abraham Lincoln in that election was a major catalyst for the war between the United States and the Confederate States. Counting deaths on both sides, that war, by a large margin, caused the deaths of more American troops and civilians than has any other war.

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That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/10/five-minutes-five-issues-marijuana-votes-voting-libertarian-us-election-marijuana-laws-important-election/ Sat, 10 Nov 2018 05:54:43 GMT
Trump Administration Considers Declaring Yemen’s Houthis ‘Terrorists’ Jason Ditz http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/

Just weeks after promising to back a peace effort in Yemen, the Trump Administration is reportedly considering labeling the Shi’ite Houthi movement in northern Yemen, one of the principal forces, a terrorist organization.

The move appears unrelated to US policy in Yemen itself. Rather, it reflects the Trump Administration’s desire to go after perceived Iranian allies. Saudi Arabia, who is attacking the Houthis, has accused them of being in league with Iran.

In reality, the Houthis have always had limited connections to Iran. But making them a US-labeled terrorist group would not only greatly undermine the Houthis, it would complicate the peace talks to the point of making them nearly impossible.

Perhaps even worse, a terrorist label would make it even harder to deliver humanitarian aid into northern Yemen. With millions on the brink of starvation because of the US-backed Saudi war and Saudi naval blockade, a cut to aid could lead to a massive humanitarian disaster.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/november/09/trump-administration-considers-declaring-yemen-s-houthis-terrorists/ Fri, 09 Nov 2018 14:29:43 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Blackface, Julian Assange, Mexico Marijuana, GDP, Big Tech Companies Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Stitcher, iTunesYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

Defending anyone using blackface — makeup darkening his skin so he can look more like a person he is dressing up as, such as for Halloween — is apparently grounds for losing your TV show at NBC.

This week, NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s show Megyn Kelly Today after people complained about and NBC leadership disapproved of Kelly, in the show’s Tuesday episode, arguing that using blackface is sometimes alright.

Supposedly, Kelly’s comments were racist. Ridiculous. If your goal is to look like someone else, using makeup to mimic that person’s skin color is part of how you can do it. That is reality, not racism.

I wonder if NBC will soon deep-six the 1984 Saturday Night Live segment in which Eddie Murphy wears “whiteface” and suddenly store clerks are giving him newspapers for free and bankers are handing him stacks of cash. It is on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube page. You may want to watch it soon, before it is sent down the memory hole.

But, maybe “whiteface” is still alright. Someone should ask the NBC executives.

Issue two.

Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks obtained asylum in the nation’s London embassy in 2012.

Since Lenin Moreno succeeded Correa as president in May of last year, conditions for Assange at the embassy have become much worse, with Assange for the last seven month barred from receiving visitors or communicating with the outside world, a situation that appears much like solitary confinement in a prison.

In a Wednesday RT report, Correa says that the Ecuador government’s isolating of Assange is part of an effort “to push him to abandon” his sanctuary in the embassy. Correa also says he believes Ecuador will “turn over Assange to the American government.”

Issue three.

In the July 13 and October 13 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about indications that Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will support marijuana legalization after he assumes office in December.

Here is a new indication of that. Obrador’s presidential transition team announced in a press release that marijuana legalization was on the agenda for discussion with Canada officials during this week’s tip to Canada by seven members of Obrador’s planned cabinet.

Issue four.

American gross domestic product (GDP) is often thought of as measuring economic activity in America. However, GDP incudes more than you may think, including spending on US military actions overseas.

Robert Wenzel provided the explanation Friday in an Economic Policy Journal article. Wenzel writes:
In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9% annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1% annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9% rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.
Issue five.

On Thursday, independent journalist Luke Rudkowski was a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report. In the interview, Rudkowski said he is changing his “whole business structure” to have more emphasis on his email list, including providing exclusive content on the list. He says he is taking this action because of recent moves by big technology companies that are “a big threat against free speech.” “The email list is the most important thing,” says Rudkowski, for ensuring people access his communication.

Big technology companies have also lately restricted Ron Paul Institute communications from reaching people and have even suspended and banned people with connections to the institute. Like Rudkowski, RPI has been developing use of its email list, including with exclusive content. You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on “subscribe” at the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/29/five-minutes-five-issues-blackface-julian-assange-mexico-marijuana-gdp-big-tech-companies/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:12:20 GMT
This, in Part, is How Trump is Boosting GDP Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/

It's all about catering to the military-industrial-complex. There is a big spender in the White House who loves the military.

In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1 percent  annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9 percent  rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.

Defense outlays grew 6 percent  in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, thanks in part to a bipartisan budget agreement to boost government spending this year and next by nearly $300 billion above limits set in a 2011 law, including $165 billion more for military.

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Click for larger.

“I would expect that, with the increase in the defense discretionary caps, that its contribution is going to increase, and in fact it will be leading overall GDP growth by mid-2019,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, reports WSJ.

WSJ notes:
Lockheed Martin Corp. , the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday it expects revenue to increase up to 6% in 2019 as it boosts production of missiles and F-35 combat jets. The company reported a $1.47 billion profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $963 million a year earlier. Its order backlog rose to $109 billion.

Boeing Co. , the world’s largest aerospace company by sales, raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year, thanks in part to strong demand for defense projects. The company won a trio of Pentagon contracts in recent weeks, after four years of sales declines in its defense unit.
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/26/this-in-part-is-how-trump-is-boosting-gdp/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 18:01:27 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson: US Antagonism toward Iran Is Supported by Iran Terrorism Lie Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/
Wilkerson, who retired from the United States Army as a colonel and was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, examines in the interview a variety of aspects of US policy regarding Iran. Matters discussed include how antagonism toward Iran influences the US military’s continued presence and activities in Syria, the draconian sanctions the US imposes on Iran and how nations are seeking to circumvent those sanctions, and the possibility that President Donald Trump will announce shortly before the November midterm election that he will be meeting with Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Perhaps Wilkerson’s most eye-opening observation comes when he addresses a frequently offered justification for the US government’s antagonism toward Iran — that Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That claim, says Wilkerson, is a lie. Here, from near the end of the interview, is Wilkerson’s exchange with Shevardnadze regarding that claim:
Shevardnadze: I just don’t get it. Why is America so hellbent on fighting Iran for decades and decades now? I really don’t get the reasons for all this anti-Iran sentiment. I mean, nothing stopped these two countries from living normally with each other, like it had been under the Shah. And, you know, when they use the pretext of terrorism, I was just like, “I yet have to see one Shia terrorist blowing up something in Paris, Madrid, London, Brussels, or Berlin.” What is this all about?

Wilkerson: When you find the answer to that question, please email me. I ask the same question. I did the war-planning for the principal force provider command in the United States military for years. I’ve worked on this region for years. I do not understand this. Saudi Arabia is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, still today, and yet we call Iran that. We lie when we say that. We outright, blatantly lie when we say that. Moreover, we know we’re lying. So I don’t understand this either. I am as perplexed as you are at this fascination we have for the tyranny in Riyadh and the hatred we have for the theocracy, partial democracy in Tehran. In geopolitical, in geostrategic terms, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/23/lawrence-wilkerson-us-antagonism-toward-iran-is-supported-by-iran-terrorism-lie/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:47:53 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Canada Marijuana, Ambassador Nobody, Marijuana Ally, Federal Reserve, US Marijuana Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ 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 minimum age to purchase recreational marijuana being lower under countrywide legalization in Canada than it is in any American state that has legalized.

Jacob Sullum, in a Wednesday Reason article, provides three more reasons he thinks Canada legalization is better than American legalization. First, countrywide legalization has benefits including marijuana merchants not having to “operate under a legal cloud, committing federal felonies every day.” Second, marijuana taxes in Canada are lower than in American legalization states such as California and Washington. Third, Marijuana delivery is legal in Canada while it is prohibited in the majority of American legalization states.

Issue two.

Who should President Donald Trump appoint to replace outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley?

At Twitter, foreign policy writer Justin Raimondo suggests appointing someone who could move things in a noninterventionist direction — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

If that happens, maybe US House of Representatives Member Thomas Massie (R-KY), a fellow Kentucky Republican who often is allied with Paul in the Congress, could gain Paul’s vacated Senate seat.

But, Massie has another idea, In a Twitter post directed to the president, Massie writes “we the undersigned Members of Congress respectfully request that you consider replacing Ambassador Nikki Haley with … Nobody.”

Following that message, Massie, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, includes a link to a web page listing cosponsors of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 193) that would terminate US membership in the UN. The bill is the current version of legislation Sen. Paul’s father Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsored before retiring from the House.

Issue three.

The effort to roll back the United States government’s war on marijuana may soon gain significant support from an influential ally. That is the suggestion of marijuana policy writer Tom Angell in a Monday Forbes article. Angell writes that the American Bankers Association (ABA), the largest group representing American banks, “is asking its members to share stories demonstrating problems caused by the growing gap between marijuana’s ongoing federally prohibited status and its legalization in an increasing number of states.” The ABA says in an email announcing the survey that responses will be used for communicating with regulators and legislators. Among stories sought are those regarding situations where “banks face significant risks … including criminal and civil penalties as well as bank regulatory action,” if banks serve the marijuana industry and where banks turn away potential customers that “may generate a portion of their income from marijuana-related businesses.”

Issue four.

If you assume the Libertarian Party of the United States supports ending the Federal Reserve, you may assume too much.

Here is a complete October 12 Twitter post from the party:
Libertarians have differing thoughts on whether we should have a Fed, but it is NOT wise for the Fed to become a political football. #Trump/Congress should not control it. They can question it & have opinions. But the Fed, if it exists, should be independent from their control.
That day, I noted at Twitter that the party’s post provides a “window onto what the national US Libertarian Party has become.”

By two days later, the party’s post had disappeared.

Issue five.

If the Democrats take control in the US House of Representatives, you might expect House Democratic leadership would push for ending marijuana prohibition, especially given such action has over 60 percent popular support and even more support among Democratic voters. However, as Matt Laslo reported Thursday at the Daily Beast, the three top House Democratic leaders seem uninterested in liberalizing marijuana laws.

Laslo provides quotes from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicating she would not push for rolling back marijuana prohibition beyond what President Trump indicates he will support, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) saying he has not even discussed with Pelosi the party’s plans for marijuana policy, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) saying “[i]t’s not important to me.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/21/five-minutes-five-issues-canada-marijuana-ambassador-nobody-marijuana-ally-federal-reserve-us-marijuana/ Sun, 21 Oct 2018 17:55:46 GMT
Nevada Brothel Owner and Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Supporter Dennis Hof Has Died Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/

One of the quirky news stories of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign was the support Paul received from Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof and some of Hof’s employees. In Nevada, brothels may be legally operated in several counties.

Hof since entered elective politics himself, in June defeating an incumbent in a Republican primary race for the Nevada state Assembly.

Hof died this week.

Asked in a Reason interview about Hof’s support for Paul, Hof described himself as a libertarian and discussed the importance of states’ rights, making your own decisions, and a “live and let live” outlook.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/16/nevada-brothel-owner-and-ron-paul-presidential-campaign-supporter-dennis-hof-has-died/ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:51:49 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Nikki Haley, Canada Marijuana, Government Statistics, Expungement, Mexico Drug War Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ 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.

Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, in a Wednesday RPI email list message, discussed Nikki Haley’s Tuesday announcement that she will be leaving her position as United States ambassador to the United Nations. McAdams calls Haley an “extreme warhawk,” noting some of her comments regarding US relations with Russia, Syria, and North Korea in explanation. Yet, McAdams notes that the New York Times, in a Twitter post announcing Haley’s departure, said Haley is a “moderate Republican voice.” While calling Haley moderate seems absurd to someone who values peace, McAdams argues it may seem correct to many people in Washington, DC where “being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy.”

You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on the “subscribe” link near the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

Issue two.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in in Canada next week, Polly Washburn explored Wednesday at Marijuana Moment different ways Canada provinces are handling legalization.

One important way all the provinces’ marijuana laws will differ from those in American states that have legalized is the minimum age to purchase. Washburn writes:
As with alcohol, the age at which Canadians can purchase cannabis is lower than in the United States. In Quebec and Alberta, 18 year-olds will be able to purchase adult-use marijuana. In every other province, the legal age will be 19. By contrast, in the U.S., every state that has legalized recreational marijuana to date has set the legal age at 21, which is also the legal drinking age in the states.
Issue three.

Be skeptical of government statistics.

Take, for example, the US government’s widely reported measure of unemployment. When the new monthly unemployment statistic was announced last week, an Associated Press article started off by stating, “[t]he last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now” was in December of 1969.

However, Peter Schiff, in the October 5 episode of his podcast, explained that, while “all the headlines are ‘we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1969,’” the 2018 to 1969 unemployment rate comparison is an “apples to oranges comparison” or even an “apples to refrigerators comparison.” Schiff elaborates that in 1969 people working part time but seeking full time work were considered unemployed as also were people who would like to work but have given up looking for work. Now all those people are not considered unemployed. If you compare “apples to apples,” Schiff says he believes the unemployment rate today would be “way above ten percent.”

Issue four.

In the February 3 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the San Francisco, California district attorney adopting a process whereby San Francisco prosecutors would review marijuana convictions for expungement or reduction so individuals would not have to undertake the difficult and expensive process of seeking the relief made available under California’s recently enacted recreational marijuana legalization.

Similar action has been taken in other cities, such as Seattle, Washington.

Now a state government is also pursuing automatic review of marijuana convictions. Lindsay Schnell wrote last week at USA Today that, while several states have laws allowing people with certain marijuana convictions the opportunity to pursue the reduction or removal of those convictions, last week, the California governor signed into law the first statewide legislation that charges a state government with undertaking the process automatically.

Issue five.

In the July 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Mexico government potentially legalizing marijuana given that Andrés Manuel López Obrador had won the presidential election the week before.

It turns out President-elect Obrador is, in fact, considering legalization of drugs beyond marijuana. Reuters reports that Obrador on Sunday said he “would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.”

-----

That’s a wrap.

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

Five four three two one.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/14/five-minutes-five-issues-nikki-haley-canada-marijuana-government-statistics-expungement-mexico-drug-war/ Sun, 14 Oct 2018 04:57:36 GMT
Hey, Loyola Students, Don’t Boycott Prof. Walter Block Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/

Loyola University Economics Professor Walter Block starts off his Tuesday article at lewrockwell.com stating it has come to his attention “that many Loyola students will not enroll in my classes, will boycott my public lectures, will have nothing to do with me, because they think I favor slavery and am a racist and a sexist.” Block then proceeds to refute each of the assertions put forward to urge students to boycott him.

In addition to the boycott effort being based on false claims, it threatens to cause participating students to receive a much lesser college education. That is an argument Robert Wenzel convincingly presents in a Tuesday Target Liberty article. After providing his own refutation of the assertions used to support the Block boycott, Wenzel concludes with some comments regarding what students participating in the boycott will miss out on. Wenzel writes:
But aside from the specifics of Dr. Block's views, it is a particularly limited student mind that refuses to contemplate or consider thinking that is different from what a student already thinks he knows.

College should be a period of open thinking and consideration of all types of views.

The students boycotting Dr. Block will never do anything impressive on the intellectual front. They will be moved by the intellectual fads of the day. They will be anti-plastic straw today, and who knows, maybe pro-butt tattoos tomorrow. They are in an important way insignificant. The student that takes Dr. Block's class to challenge him or learn from him is taking the first step toward deep thought, independent thought and maybe original thought. This will be the type of person that may make an intellectual contribution down the road.
At the Ron Paul Institute, we highly value Block’s insights, especially regarding the institute’s areas of focus — advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. We are thankful for Block’s membership in the institute’s Academic Board and hopeful that many Loyola University students will both reject the call to boycott Block and take advantage of their opportunity to learn with him.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2018/october/09/hey-loyola-students-don-t-boycott-prof-walter-block/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:29:58 GMT