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See You in September! 'Peace and Prosperity 2016' Conference Program

The elephant in the living room? Foreign policy. No one wants to really talk about it. Washington is hoping the rest of us won't blurt out that the emperor has no clothes, that US interventionism is making us poorer, less free, and less safe. 

Even when candidates like Donald Trump talk about it, they don't talk about it. No nation-building, he said recently. But if we happen to see a country with some oil we should take it. "To the victor go the spoils!" is not a great slogan if you are running on the idea of restraint.

Hillary Clinton doesn't talk about it because her track record of hyper-interventionism speaks for itself. She thinks President Obama has been far too timid and reluctant to use military force overseas. He has not sufficiently weaponized the State Department. It aint broke, according to Hillary, we just need a whole lot more of it to make it work properly.
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Trump: Americans May Be Tried In Military Tribunals Under His Administration

I have long been a critic of military tribunals as constitutionally dubious and practically ineffectual institutions. The tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have resulted in few actual trials and undermined the standing of the United States as a nation committed to the rule of law. The principle rationale cited by former officials in defense of Gitmo has been that it would not be used to try citizens. Now in a deeply disturbing interview, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has stated that he might try citizens at Gitmo — maintaining a shadow court system for stripping citizens of basic rights of due process just a few miles off the United States shore.
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Afghan Maintenance Program You Pay For Wastes $423 Million

So, Afghanistan. America’s longest and wackiest war will soon enter its 16th year, and is scheduled to run through the next administration, as no one can remember why the US is fighting there anymore and so no one knows when this thing is over. Did we win yet? How would we know?

None of that matters of course, because plenty of American contractors are in their 16th year of getting filthy rich, thanks to extraordinary amounts of money being spent with no effective oversight by the Department of Defense. Let’s have the latest example.

Our friends at the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) are the poor b*stards charging with keeping track of all this waste. Once upon a time the point of an Inspector General was to point things out to upper management, like generals or Congress, so problems could be addressed. In 2016, the point of the Inspector General is to be ignored because no one in Washington actually cares to fix anything.
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The Drug War Built Leviathan Government; Drug War Backlash Can Defeat Leviathan Government

Interviewed Saturday on the Patriot’s Lament radio show on KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick zeroed in on the drug war as a major avenue for the expansion of government power at the expense of liberty. Yet, Dick also told hosts Joshua Bennett and Michael Anderson that the movement in recent decades of state and local governments to curtail the drug war shows a path to defeating the leviathan government that the drug war helped create.
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The Real Adam Dick Fights For Liberty

I have to admit, the first time I saw an Adam Dick essay at ronpaulinstitute.org, it was so solid  I thought that Ron Paul Institute executive director Daniel McAdams had written the piece under a pen name.

It was that good.

The only difference was that it was about a broad-based libertarian theme, rather than having a focus on foreign policy, which is McAdam's specialty.

Wow, I thought to myself, watch for Adam Dick columns, this is when McAdams is going to really let it rip on broad-based libertarian topics.

Well, as it turns out, there really is an Adam Dick and his writings are nothing short of intellectual beheadings of anti-freedom advocates and ideas.
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Ron Paul Recommends Reading This French Book Published in 1850

Thursday on the Tom Woods Show, host Tom Woods asked libertarian communicator Ron Paul what one book Paul would suggest someone read as an introduction to Paul’s views. Paul responded that he would suggest The Law by Frédéric Bastiat.

Paul says in the interview that The Law’s advantages as a book introducing people to new ideas include that The Law is a rather simple book and that it has a focus on making “one crystal clear point.” Paul explains that the point The Law addresses so well is “the principle on nonaggression,” which holds that “we can’t do harm to anybody else and the government shouldn’t be able to do it either.”
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Obama at Pentagon: Syria Mess is All Assad's Fault

Some presidents grow in office and some presidents even grow once out of office (Jimmy Carter comes to mind). But some presidents seem to learn very little during their four or eight year term. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to foreign policy, it seems President Obama falls into that latter category.

The president gave a press conference at the Pentagon today to update us on how the fight against ISIS is going. Remember: it is two years since Obama expanded what he promised would be a very limited military operation to save a religious minority -- the Yazidis -- from a hilltop in Iraq, into a full-fledged war in Iraq, Syria, and as of last week, Libya. 

Two years ago this very week, in fact, President Obama informed the American people that he was launching "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water..."
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A Tipping Point for Liberty: An Important and Timely Book

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity has done a service to everyone looking for intellectual ammunition against statist lies and propaganda. They've published A Tipping Point for Liberty: Exposing and Defeating Leviathan Government. This book is a collection of essays by Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow (and my former colleague in Ron Paul's congressional office) Adam Dick.

The book collects Adam's best writing on civil liberties. Among the topics covered are gun control, the growth of the surveillance state, the police state, the drug war, "government chicanery," and militarism.

My favorite section of the book is the one on Ron Paul and Libertarianism, where Adam takes on Dr. Paul's liberal and conservative critics, as well as so-called "libertarians" who seek to gain approval of the political class by watering down the message of liberty by attacking Dr. Paul and his allies.
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