Peace and Prosperity
Ron Paul Gives Jimmy Dore a Libertarian Tutorial
Sat, 25 Jan 2020 23:28:15 GMT
Want a brief presentation on some key libertarian ideas regarding matters including United States tariffs on China, the status of the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world, pollution, and laws concerning labor unions? You can find it in the new interview of libertarian communicator Ron Paul by guest host Jimmy Dore at RT’s The World According to Jesse.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

Associated Press Sees 'Hundreds' Where Pictures Show Millions
Sat, 25 Jan 2020 15:56:12 GMT

At 10:01 UTC Friday the Associated Press tweeted that "hundreds" gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.

Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that "hundreds of thousands" are protesting in Baghdad against the US troop presence in Iraq.


When AP sent the misleading tweet the commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Forces Jaffar al-Batat had already announced that the number of demonstrators exceeds one million.

That number may well be correct. Reports said that the column of protesters was already eight kilometers long even while many were still arriving.


Muqtada al-Sadr, who had called for the protests but is hardly a 'radical', demanded that the US follow the decision of the Iraqi parliament and end its occupation. All US bases in Iraq must be closed, all security agreements with the US and with US security companies must be ended and a schedule for the exit of all US forces must be announced.

Meanwhile the US is pulling strings and tries to carve a new Sunni state out of western Iraq.

Al-Sadr promised to temporarily halt the resistance against the US occupation if the US commits to leaving orderly.

Otherwise ...

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.
Trump Envoy Issues Death Threat to Soleimani Successor, Head of Iran’s Quds Force
Thu, 23 Jan 2020 21:06:54 GMT

Just when you thought that Washington could not sink any lower in the international diplomacy game, the Trump White House compounds its previous misdeed by issuing a public death threat against the successor of assassinated Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani.

Presidential US Special Envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, gave a statement to the Arabic language newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, where he warned new General of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Esmail Ghaani, that he will end up like Soleimani should he be accused of killing any Americans, remarking that, “follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate.”

Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike on January 3, along with senior Iraqi PMU commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Hook continued saying,“We will hold the regime and its agents responsible for any attack on Americans or American interests in the region.”

Hook also went on to boast that Washington’s state-sponsored assassination of Soleimani has made the Middle East a safer place because it has “create a vacuum that the Regime will not be able to fill,” inferring that Ghaani will not be able to marshal “Iran’s agents in the region”.

Hook also repeated the common talking point that Soleimani was the ‘world’s most dangerous terrorist’ – a label which hardly corresponds with facts which clearly demonstrate that the Iranian military leader was leading the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

In the interview, Hook also used the opportunity to reinforce another State Department narrative which still claims that Iran somehow launched the September attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities – even though the likely culprit, Yemen’s Houthi rebel forces, had already taken credit for the attack.

Reprinted with permission from 21st Century Wire.
Ron Paul: The Impeachment Trial of President Trump is ‘Pure Politicking’
Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:02:58 GMT
Former United States Hose of Representatives member and presidential candidate Ron Paul is not too impressed with the ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate. The impeachment trial is “pure politicking,“ declares Paul in a new interview at TRT World focused in the impeachment trial.

Paul further comments in the interview:
It’s always been said that impeachment is a political process. Well that’s an understatement when you look at what’s going on now.
With wrongdoing being pursued by politicians both Republican and Democrat in DC, Paul assesses in the interview that the real battle taking place is over “who’s going be the boss of this” and “who’s going to control the largess.”

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s New Militarism-Cheering Election Opponent
Sat, 18 Jan 2020 05:17:30 GMT

Just like you should not judge a book by its cover, you should not judge a political candidate by his religion, sex, or place of birth. That is a lesson from Dalia al-Aqidi’s Thursday video announcing her campaign as a Republican in opposition to United States House of Representatives member Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

While al-Aqidi points to the two candidates’ shared religion, sex, and overseas births in the video, she also makes clear that the two candidates have very different views on foreign policy — particularly concerning the Iraq War and the assassination of Iran General Qassim Suliemani.

Omar has strongly criticized the Iraq War. For example, in March of 2019, she posted at Twitter her denunciation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US as “leaving a trail of destruction and lives lost,” while calling for holding accountable the people who “repeatedly lied” in the run-up to the war.

Omar also has expressed harsh criticisms of both the US government’s recent assassination of Iran General Qassim Suliemani, upon an order by President Donald Trump, and the US military actions that followed. Omar, in a January 5 press release announcing her sponsorship, along with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), of a resolution purposed to prevent a US war against Iran, stated the following:
‪Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Following the assassination, thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices. We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war.
The message from al-Aqidi regarding the Iraq War and the assassination of Suliemani is just about the opposite. She declares in her campaign announcement video that the US government “had the courage to stand up to tyrants” while the images of soldiers riding in a tank and a statue of Iraq President Saddam Hussein being pulled down during the Iraq War are on display. Then, later in the video, al-Aqidi praises Trump’s ordering of the killing of Suliemani and disparages Omar’s criticism of the killing.

In the video, al-Aqidi makes one claim that will likely ring true for many people who disagree with her militarist perspective. She states that she and Omar “might seem nearly alike — both Muslims, both women, both refugees — but we couldn’t be further apart.”

Lawrence Wilkerson Lambasts ‘the Beast of the National Security State’
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 21:44:59 GMT
Lawrence Wilkerson, a College of William & Mary professor who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powel in the George W. Bush administration, powerfully summed up the vile nature of the US national security state in a recent interview with host Amy Goodman at Democracy Now.

Asked by Goodman about the escalation of US conflict with Iran and how it compares with the prior run-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson provided a harsh critique of US foreign policy over the last two decades. Wilkerson states:
Ever since 9/11, the beast of the national security state, the beast of endless wars, the beast of the alligator that came out of the swamp, for example, and bit Donald Trump just a few days ago, is alive and well.

America exists today to make war. How else do we interpret 19 straight years of war and no end in sight? It’s part of who we are. It’s part of what the American Empire is.

We are going to lie, cheat and steal, as [US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] is doing right now, as [President Donald Trump] is doing right now, as [Secretary of Defense Mark Esper] is doing right now, as [Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)] is doing right now, as [Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)] is doing right now, and a host of other members of my political party — the Republicans — are doing right now. We are going to cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That’s the truth of it, and that’s the agony of it.

What we saw President Trump do was not in President Trump’s character, really. Those boys and girls who were getting on those planes at Fort Bragg to augment forces in Iraq, if you looked at their faces, and, even more importantly, if you looked at the faces of the families assembled along the line that they were traversing to get onto the airplanes, you saw a lot of Donald Trump’s base. That base voted for Donald Trump because he promised to end these endless wars, he promised to drain the swamp. Well, as I said, an alligator from that swamp jumped out and bit him. And, when he ordered the killing of Qassim Suleimani, he was a member of the national security state in good standing, and all that state knows how to do is make war.
Wilkerson, over the remainder of the two-part interview provides many more insightful comments regarding US foreign policy, including recent developments concerning Iran. Watch Wilkerson’s interview here:

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Dennis Kucinich, Antiwar to His Core
Fri, 10 Jan 2020 21:35:11 GMT

A Thursday article by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone discusses Dennis Kucinich’s work in politics, from Kucinich’s eight terms in the United Sates House of Representatives to his two presidential campaigns to his activities since leaving political office. Taibbi, in the article focused much on Kucinich’s long-term devotion to advancing the case for peace, describes Kucinich as “antiwar to his core.”

Read Taibbi’s article here.

Kucinich is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Ron Paul: US Wants to ‘Own Iran’ Like the US Did When the Shah Was in Power
Fri, 10 Jan 2020 14:49:10 GMT

President Donald Trump is offering plenty of justifications for the US government’s recent military actions against Iran, including that the actions were taken to prevent the deaths of Americans and to prevent a war. Not so, says former US House of Representatives member and presidential candidate Ron Paul in a Wednesday interview with host Ernest Hancock at Declare Your Independence.

Incessant US attacks on Iran from sanctions to the killing last week of Iran General Qassim Suleimani, says Paul, are a consequence of a different policy that the US has had “for a long time” and that is endorsed by both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, as well as the deep state. Paul, in the US-Iran-relations-focused interview, describes this policy as follows:
We want to own Iran like we owned it when we had the Shah in power, and nobody’s going to be happy until that happens.
Listen to Paul’s complete interview here.

For an introduction to the US effort to place the Shah in power in Iran, aid the Shah’s government for the following 25 years, and, for the 40 years since the Shah’s departure, regain control over Iran, read Jacob Hornberger’s February of 2019 article “Understanding Why Iranians Bash the US Government.”
Who’s to Blame?
Thu, 09 Jan 2020 14:33:33 GMT

Recently I witnessed a tragic story broadcast on Fox news. A former US soldier who’d been disfigured in a roadside bomb blast was sharing photos of other soldiers like himself who had died or been severely wounded by similar explosions of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s).

He was making the case that President Trumps execution of Iranian General Soleimani was justified because he allegedly was responsible for promoting the use of IED’s in Iraq. This story is tragic on multiple levels. This soldier will bear the physical scars of combat for the rest of his life as will many of his comrades. Other soldiers lost their lives leaving wives, children, parents and other loved ones behind.

While this soldiers anger against General Soleimani is understandable the question is why was he and thousands of his comrades placed in harms way thousands of miles from the United States? We now know he was sent there based on multiple lies told by numerous U.S. government officials, including the President of the United States.

So the question is who should this soldier be angry at for a life of disability and disfigurement? The US officials who knowingly lied to place him in needless danger or General Soleimani who was doing his duty to resist the invasion of a foreign force?

Suppose the Chinese invaded the US to spread Communism? The people of the United States would rise up to resist the foreign invader and use every means at their disposal, including IED’s, to kick the invaders out of the country.

Is there any wonder that other people naturally rise up to resist an invading foreign force?

No it’s not, that’s human nature.

The desire to protect home and hearth is deep in the human soul. So when psychopaths lie to facilitate needless war those maimed for life based on their lies should hold them accountable. Not the people who rose up to defend their homes and families from a foreign invader.
Trump moves to unite the Middle East! (irony)
Tue, 07 Jan 2020 14:52:41 GMT

Teevee coverage of the recent events in the ME has been predictable. Those who hated Trump continue to hate him, etc. 

A few observations:

1. I had hoped that Trump's decision to kill an Iranian general engaged in a diplomatic mission (among other things) while the man was on the soil of a supposed ally of the US was something Trump pulled out of his fundament either inspired by war movies or on the recommendation of "our greatest ally" but I am informed that in fact some idiot in the DoD included this option in the list of possibilities that was briefed to the CinC in Florida. The decision process in such matters requires that when options are demanded by the CinC the JCS prepares a list supported for each option by fully formulated documentation that enables the president to approve one (or none) and then sign the required operational order. Trump himself chose the death option. I would hold General Milley (CJCS) personally responsible for not striking this option from the list before it reached the CinC. 

2. The Iranians are a subtle people. IMO they will bide their time whilst working out the "bestest" way to inflict some injury on the US and/or Israel. When the retaliation comes it will be imaginative and painful.

3. Trump is now threatening the Iraqis with severe sanctions if they try to enforce their parliamentary decree against the future presence of foreign (US mostly) troops on their soil. IMO a refusal to leave risks a substantial Shia (at least) uprising against the US forces in Iraq. We have around 5,500 people there now spread across the country in little groups engaged in logistics, intelligence and training missions. They are extremely vulnerable. There are something like 150 Marines in the embassy. There are also a small number of US combat forces in Syria east and north of the Euphrates river. These include a battalion of US Army National Guard mechanized troops "guarding" Syria's oil from Syria's own army and whatever devilment the Iranians might be able to arrange.

4. This is an untenable logistical situation. Supply and other functions require a major airfield close to Baghdad. We have Balad airbase and helicopter supply and air support from there into Baghdad is possible from there but may become hazardous. Iraq is a big country. It is a long and lonely drive from Kuwait for re-supply from there or evacuation through there. The same thing is true of the desert route to Jordan.

5. Trump's strategery appears to be based on the concept that the Iraqis will submit to our imperial demands. "We will see."

Reprinted with permission from Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.

Ron Paul: It is Best for Iraq to Tell the US to ‘Get Out’
Sun, 05 Jan 2020 19:55:50 GMT
In a Friday interview with host Rick Sanchez at RT regarding the United States government’s assassination of Iran General Qassim Suleimani at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, peace advocate and former presidential candidate Ron Paul declared that “the best thing that could happen in the immediate future” is for Iraq to tell the US government to “get out.” Paul, in the interview, also counters the argument that the US had to kill Suleimani “to save American lives,” stating that he feels “less safe” after the assassination.

Watch the complete interview here:

Many Iraqis, including in the nation’s parliament, agree with Paul regarding the presence of US troop in Iraq. The Iraq parliament on Sunday passed a resolution calling for ending the presence of US troops in Iraq, a move Iraq’s prime minister also supports.

Bill Weld: Ho-Hum, Donald Trump Ordered the Assassination of Qassim Suleimani
Sat, 04 Jan 2020 21:26:24 GMT

In 2016, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld received the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nomination. This year, having returned to the Republican Party, Weld is challenging President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Many people would assume that Weld would be criticizing Trump for ordering this week’s killing in Iraq of Iranian General Qassim Suleimani. This assumption would make sense given the libertarian position favoring nonintervention overseas.

However, Weld has long favored many policies far afield from libertarianism, including an interventionist foreign policy. True to form, Weld’s milk-toast response to Trump’s assassination order in no way challenges the order itself or any aspect of the US government’s ongoing intervention in Iraq, the Middle East, or anywhere in the world. Indeed, Weld’s response is even blasé regarding whether a US war with Iran is a good or bad thing.

Weld presented his response in two Friday Twitter posts. First, Weld wrote:
Soleimani was evil. Of that, there is no doubt. While there are real questions to be asked about this Administration’s strategic approach toward Iran, today, our focus MUST be on the safety & security of our fellow Americans standing in harm’s way at a very dangerous moment.
Weld then followed up with this tweet:
Right or wrong, the United States is closer to war with Iran than we have been in decades. How we got here is a conversation for another day. Where we go from here? That is a question that demands clear and stable leadership.
Dennis Kucinich Condemns Killing of Iran General and Calls for US Congress to Prevent a Larger War
Fri, 03 Jan 2020 21:01:37 GMT

Dennis Kucinich, a long-time advocate for the United States government pursing a peaceful foreign policy who served in the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from Ohio and twice sought the Democratic Party presidential nomination, issued a statement on Friday in which he condemns the US government’s killing of Iranian General Qassim Suleimani and calls on Congress to prevent the development of a larger war.

Below is Kucinich’s complete statement:
The extrajudicial-assassination of a top Iranian state official constitutes an illegal act of war against Iran, and risks a retaliatory response which imperils US officials and our soldiers world-wide. The President has been horribly served by his advisors who are playing a dangerous game on the chess board of the Middle East, continuing a discredited neocon agenda which led America into Iraq in 2003.

Here’s what’s happening: The NeoCons have long wanted war with Iran. The US killing Iran’s top military leader is a direct act of war designed to provoke a political and populist response in Iran against the United States. This game can lead to the assertion that Israel, America’s ally, is under threat from Iran. The Neocons can use this “threat” as an excuse to “protect” Israel and enter headlong into a war on Iran - - A war which is neither legal, necessary or in the US or Israel’s interest.

The Pentagon calls the drone strike which killed General Suleimani a “defensive” measure. It was an overtly offensive attack calculated to provoke Iran to war, leveraging Israel’s geographic vulnerability as an excuse to wage a wider war.

Congress must cut off funds and/or invoke the War Powers Act, to force a vote within 90 days, denying the administration authorization, and thereby terminating the US war against Iran and protecting the region from a conflagration.

Unverifiable ‘intelligence’ continues to be used as a pretext, to disastrous effect. Instead of admitting the utterly corrupt basis for the war in Iraq, and at last withdrawing, the US is on course to intensify conflict in the region.

Yes, the US has lost over 4,432 troops who were present in Iraq, NOT because of Iran, but because top US officials lied to the American people about Iraq’s intent to use weapons of mass destruction against America.

Must America risk more blood and treasure in Iraq and now Iran? Our Iraq policy has resulted in the deaths of our soldiers and over one million innocents, made the world less safe and deprived our fellow countrymen of the benefit of trillions of dollars which ought to have been spent otherwise on rebuilding America.

Americans must reclaim their capacity to protest our government’s recklessness in the use of military power which makes America and the world less safe.
Kucinich is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Butler Shaffer, R.I.P.
Tue, 31 Dec 2019 14:01:26 GMT

N.B. Butler Shaffer was a valued Member of the Ron Paul Institute's Board of Advisors. He will be greatly missed.

We mourn the passing of our good friend Butler Shaffer, who died Sunday afternoon at the age of 84. Butler was a libertarian at a time when there were very few libertarians in the world. Like many supporters of the free market, he was first attracted to the Republican Party. He supported Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, but he soon came to realize that limited government was a chimera and that the State was by nature opposed to liberty.

As he put the issue in a letter to me in November 2014: “It was just a few months more than 50 years ago that I sat in the Cow Palace in San Francisco as part of my state’s delegation to the Republican National Convention (i.e., the Goldwater Convention). . . Afterwards, I was enjoying a drink at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel with one of Goldwater’s advisors. I asked: “Now that Goldwater has the nomination, let us suppose that he gets elected president. What do you think he would do to begin cutting back on federal government power?” “What do you mean?” my acquaintance answered. I reminded him of Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” wherein he proposed eliminating a few government programs (federal involvement in education being one area). The other man answered: “don’t be absurd: if Goldwater gets elected president, the most we would hope to accomplish would be to slow down the rate of growth of government.”

‘’This conversation helped to confirm the sentiments to which I was already becoming more firmly attracted. I went back home; walked away from any delusional thinking about ‘cleaning up the whorehouse’; and never looked back.”

With this view of the state, Butler was naturally attracted to the anarchism of Murray Rothbard and Robert LeFevre, and he wrote from this perspective for the rest of his long life.

His brand of libertarianism was decidedly un-PC. For example, he strongly opposed the extreme feminist view that abortion is always morally acceptable. In an article written in October 2015, he said: “If one is to avoid the inconstant fluctuations of fashion in designating who is/is not a 'person,' the standard I have found to be less arbitrary than others is found in what gives each individual a sense of uniqueness: DNA. Once the sperm fertilizes the egg, a genetically distinct individual is in the process of development. The abortion defenders emphasize the 'developmental' nature of what they label a 'fetus,' a word chosen for its dehumanizing tendencies, so as to treat the being as little more than a form of protoplasm which, like the woman’s appendix, can be removed from her body by her will. I once had a feminist colleague try to convince me that a child did not acquire DNA until after it had been born!”

He had no sympathy for the deep state’s efforts to destroy Donald Trump. In a column for LRC on September 19, 2018, he said: “Celebrity entertainers have been quick to abandon the civilizing sentiments that otherwise make life peaceful and decent. It is the advantages associated with public fame that allows many of them to blithely speak of killing Donald Trump, blowing up the White House, or prancing across a stage with a mock-up of Trump’s severed head. That so little moral contempt has been expressed by those conditioned to laugh or applaud the performances of these people, tells much about the state of our culture.”

Butler belongs in the pantheon of genuine heroes, along with his friends Murray Rothbard and Burt Blumert.  Fortunately for us, another of those heroes, Butler’s friend Ron Paul, is still here to lead us and inspire us. Wherever people value liberty, Butler Shaffer will be remembered with respect and admiration.

Reprinted with permission from
Keeping Green Party Candidates Off Ballots
Mon, 23 Dec 2019 02:06:52 GMT

The United States Green Party issued a press release Thursday announcing it is seeking “to get ballot lines for all 50 states and DC and the U.S. territories in 2020.” This would be an improvement over the 2016 US general election. The press release states that the party had ballot access in 47 states then, with access in three of those states just for write-in votes.

Why can’t people just vote for Green Party candidates across the country? The answer is that many state governments have imposed special burdens, including the requirement of gathering many signatures from registered voters and submitting those signatures to the state governments, in order for third parties and their candidates to be included as options in voting booths.

The difficulty of collecting a mandated high number of signatures is often added to by states imposing various rules regarding the collection of signatures. Such rules have included limiting who may circulate petitions, requiring signatures to be gathered in a short period of time, and requiring a minimum number of signatures to be collected from people living in different areas, for example in each of the states’ legislative districts. And, once the signatures are turned in, state governments may exclude from their counts many signatures or even whole pages of signatures because they fail to meet tough standards.

All this helps the Republican and Democratic parties, along with their candidates and officeholders, by limiting competition.

Supporters of Green Party and other third party candidates end up spending much time and money on petition drives. That time and money could otherwise be devoted to campaigning. And the financial costs can be very high. The US Green Party places the spending by the party’s 2016 presidential campaign alone on achieving ballot access at over $800,000.

Sometimes, third parties or their potential candidates fail to qualify for the ballot or do not even try to obtain ballot access because of the great burden state governments impose. That eliminates competition altogether.
Swalwell: Failing To Turn Over Documents Is Proof Of Guilt
Wed, 18 Dec 2019 18:53:42 GMT

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., has made sensational statements into a signature style over the last couple years. However, this week Swalwell appears to be contesting the touchstone of due process: the presumption of innocence. On Tuesday, Swalwell declared that, President Donald Trump refuses to give Congress the documents and witnesses that it has demanded, he is clearly guilty of all charged offenses. Swalwell declared “We can only conclude that you’re guilty.” Trump has gone to the courts to challenge the demands under presidential immunities and privileges.

Swalwell’s position further extends the troubling premise of the obstruction article of impeachment. The House is moving to impeach Trump for failing to yield on its demands during a relatively short period of investigation. It will be impeaching him despite that fact that the Supreme Court just took a case to consider his challenges to a demand for his tax and finance record.

That however is not enough for Swalwell who believes that members should not only effectively impeach a president for challenging such demands but should also conclude that he is guilty: “In America, innocent men do not hide and conceal evidence. They are forthcoming and they want to cooperate and the president is acting like a very guilty person right now.”

So much for the Fifth Amendment. It is not clear if the same standard applied to President Barack Obama when he went to court rather than turn over material in the “Fast and Furious” investigation.

It will be interesting how this extreme anti-due process view will impact Swalwell’s effort to be named one of the House managers. This view could be played back to the Senate as an example of the unhinged position of some members in this impeachment.

Reprinted with permission from
Secession Is Far More Ordinary Than Many People Suggest
Tue, 17 Dec 2019 21:30:12 GMT

Advocacy for secession, both in America and abroad, is often scoffed at as unrealistic. Yet, far from an impossible goal, secession has happened much in history.

In a new editorial, political commentator Patrick J. Buchanan discusses some of the many secessions of the last few hundred years. He also addresses a few of the strong movements for secession across the word right now. And, as a note of caution for people eager to repress movements toward secession, Buchanan comments: “The peace of mankind in the 21st century may well depend upon our ability to accommodate this inexorable secessionist drive to some degree.”

Read Buchanan’s editorial here.
WikiLeaks Exposes OPCW Chemical Attack Report Truth
Tue, 17 Dec 2019 14:16:01 GMT
Wikileaks has blown the lid off of the bait & switch scandal at the Organization for the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons (OPCW), the UN agency tasked with investigating and reporting on the alleged chemical attack at Douma in Syria last year. With its latest release, Wikileaks has given us an insider view into what was going on as the investigators who had been in Douma were shocked to find that their analysis and conclusions were not only ignored in the final report (which was written by those who had not been on site), but actually the final report issued conclusions that were the opposite of their findings. RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins Tyrel Ventura on Watching the Hawks to discuss the enormity of this scandal - and why the mainstream media won't touch it with a ten foot pole:

Removing Marijuana Restrictions for Baseball Players
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:59:14 GMT

Some American professional sports organizations, such as the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), have served as auxiliary enforcers of the United States government’s marijuana prohibition, testing players for marijuana use and imposing penalties on them if it is determined they have used marijuana. On Thursday, MLB, along with the Major League Baseball Players Association, announced a reversal of that policy for baseball players, starting with the 2020 spring training.

Here is how the announcement describes the new policy regarding marijuana:

• Natural Cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD, and Marijuana) will be removed from the Program's list of Drugs of Abuse. Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties' Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides for mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player's Club or the Commissioner's Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids.

• Educational Programs on the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana will be mandatory for all Players and Club Personnel during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. These educational programs will focus on evidence-based and health-first approaches based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.

MLB is not, however, giving up on the drug war altogether. At the same time it is removing the marijuana restrictions, MLB is expanding testing for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, and synthetic THC.

Mick Akers delves into the MLB changes, and discusses the differences in treatment of major and minor league baseball players regarding drugs, in a Las Vegas Review Journal article you can read here.

More professional sports organizations will surely follow in eliminating marijuana use prohibitions.
Edward Snowden Speaks Out for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:47:58 GMT
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has been silenced. Assange was prevented from communicating with the outside world in his final 13 months at the Ecuador embassy in London, where he had obtained sanctuary from extradition to the United States. The silencing has continued in a British prison where Assange has been detained pending extradition to the US since British police forcibly removed him from the embassy in April.

Similarly, communication by Chelsea Manning has been much curtailed after Manning reveled United States military secrets. First, Manning served seven years in United States military prison after being convicted for the leak. Released from prison in 2017, Manning has been condemned to jail for most of the time since March of this year for refusing to testify for a grand jury involved in the US government’s effort to prosecute Assange.

Manning, a whistleblower, and Assange, a publisher who through WikiLeaks helped make public revelations of government activities provided by Manning and other whistleblowers, are prevented by the US and British governments, respectively, from speaking up on their own behalf. But that does not mean that other individuals cannot speak up for them. In fact, with Assange and Manning’s ability to communicate limited, it is more important than ever that advocates for their freedom speak up on their behalf.

Last week, Edward Snowden, a whistleblower who has since 2013 escaped similar silencing via retaining sanctuary in Russia, spoke up in strong advocacy for Assange and Manning’s freedom. He did so in an interview with Democracy Now host Amy Goodman.

Snowden points out in the interview that the US cases against Assange, Manning, and himself all derive from the Espionage Act, the same Espionage Act that he notes was used against Daniel Ellsberg in the 1970s after Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to media. Pointing as an example to Ellsberg being prevented from even telling a jury at trial why he leaked the Pentagon Papers that revealed the hidden truth about US actions in the Vietnam War, Snowden emphasizes that the Espionage Act “is a special law that absolutely rules out any kind of fair trial.”

Continuing, Snowden discusses in the interview Manning’s revelations of “torture and war crimes, indefinite detention on the part of the United States government in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba” and Snowden’s own “involvement in the revelation of global mass surveillance” as being part of activities by a “new generation” of whistleblowers.

Like Ellsberg, Snowden relates that he and Manning were confronted with the Espionage Act “that forbids the jury to consider” if the leaking activity at issue “was something that did more good for the public to know than it did harm to the government in terms of inconvenience or theoretical risks of investigative journalism in a free society.”

And Snowden makes sure to emphasizes that the victims of this type of persecution over the last few years extend beyond Manning and himself. Indeed, the charging of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act Snowden sees as particularly threatening. States Snowden:
We moved from an individual and exceptional case that was not repeated for decades and decades in the Ellsberg instance to something that under the Obama administration he charged more sources of journalism using this special law than all other presidents in the history of the United States combined. And now, under the Trump administration, we have taken one more step. We have gone from the United States government’s war on whistleblowers to, now, a war on journalism with the indictment of Julian Assange for what even the government itself admits was work related to journalism. And this I think is a dangerous, dangerous thing — not just for us, not just for Julian Assange, but for the world and the future.
Watch Snowden’s complete interview here: