Peace and Prosperity
Debate: Omar & AOC Join Rand Paul & Republicans to Urge Syria Withdrawal
Fri, 05 Apr 2019 13:31:45 GMT
What's the main message in a bi-partisan, bicameral letter sent by ten Members and Senators to President Trump urging a full US withdrawal from Syria? In this RT America debate, RPI's Daniel McAdams suggests it's a way for Congress to encourage the president that he does have some support in Washington for his declared intention to get US troops out of Syria. Trump may be only hearing neocon opinion opposed to such a withdrawal. Is it a foolish, sham move, or a pretty good strategy? Watch the debate:

McAdams: 'Trump White House is a "Cult" under Bolton'
Thu, 04 Apr 2019 05:16:07 GMT
How is it that President Trump's national security advisor John Bolton seems to actually be running things and even over-riding his boss's foreign policy? As RPI Director Daniel McAdams tells Rick Sanchez of RT America, it's because he's frozen everyone else from the intelligence and national security community out and insists on controlling all information that gets to the president. It is similar to the role played by Bolton's ideological comrades in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war: Keep control of the president and make sure he sees nothing that contradicts what is your desired policy:

Forty Martyrs Cathedral Reconsecrated in Aleppo
Wed, 03 Apr 2019 14:05:16 GMT
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The Forty Martyrs Armenian Cathedral in Aleppo was re-consecrated on Saturday, four years after the jihadist rebels ransacked the building.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, visited the historic church after its reconstruction meant it could be opened again after Jabhat Al-Nusra razed parts of the compound back in April 2015. - Al-Masdar News

Let us remember that the Syrian Arab Republic's recovery of Aleppo City after ferocious and prolonged combat made possible the re-construction of this ancient Armenian cathedral.

The Syrian Arab Army's front against al-Nusra just west of Aleppo City protects this cathedral and all the good people of Aleppo while re-construction continues.

Let us remember that al-Nusra is the Syrian branch of al-Qaida. They destroyed as much of this cathedral as they could manage while they held that part of the city. The al-Nusra were John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman's good friends. The three senators often visited them as well as the other FSA unicorns who were under al-Nusra's control. According to these three fools anything was better than the Syrian government. Now, who would have given then that idea?

And then there is the matter of the Borgist and neocon insistence that the US and our SDF allies defeated IS in Syria all by our selves. The fierce fighting done by the Russians and the SAA/allies is simply ignored by the swampies in DC.

Well, pilgrims, Reuters says that Bolton torpedoed the Hanoi meeting by persuading Trump to stiffen his terms at the last minute. Bolton is also leading the US toward a major geopolitical defeat in a failed attempt to remove Maduro in Venezuela. How long is Trump going to put up with this fool and his sidekick "ole first in his class" at State?

Perhaps a change in faces might result in different policy.

Reprinted with permission from Sic Semper Tyrannis.
Jacob Hornberger for President?
Tue, 02 Apr 2019 12:41:22 GMT
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Jacob Hornberger appears to be laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run as a Libertarian. That is the subject of a Monday article at Independent Political Report that notes Hornberger, who is the president of the libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), “is visiting many, if not all, the Libertarian Party state conventions” and has produced a new website jacobforliberty.com. That website looks like a campaign website, though it does not outright declare Hornberger is running for office.

Many people familiar with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPI) will also be familiar with Hornberger, whose articles have been featured at the RPI website and whose speeches have been highlights of RPI’s annual conference near Washington, DC and an April of 2018 joint FFF/RPI conference in Charleston, South Carolina.
Venezuela is ‘most open US coup’, pundit tells RT as WSJ talks ‘getting Russia out of Caracas’
Mon, 01 Apr 2019 13:23:51 GMT
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The US is fueling “the most open coup in history” in Venezuela, an American pundit told RT in response to a WSJ op-ed that beat the drum of interventionism by discussing how to get Russia out of Caracas and Maduro out of power.

A short but emotive editorial piece by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said President Donald Trump should not let himself be “humiliated in our own hemisphere” by Vladimir Putin. The neocon paper was at their finest when they claimed Putin has built “a career of intervening abroad and seeing if the world lets him get away with it,” including in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria.

This didn’t play well with some American pundits who offered a dissenting opinion. Georgia, where the US was encouraging the pro-Western government to start a war, and Ukraine, which saw the American-backed coup, were “Russian reaction to US action,” Daniel McAdams, Executive Director at Ron Paul Institute, told RT.

Moscow has reacted “when a US action has caused a Russian ally to come under some stress,” McAdams offered, adding, “the same is true in Syria.”
The US wants to overthrow Maduro, this is the most open coup in history, probably. -McAdams
And on his part, the beleaguered Venezuelan president has asked for outside support which is natural with any government ally.
Why can’t a sovereign Venezuela ask assistance from its ally, why is sovereignty a one-way street when it comes to Washington? -McAdams
Like many US mainstream media, the WSJ quoted Trump’s outburst in which he said that Russia must get out of Venezuela. In their view, the diatribe sounded “like an invocation of the Monroe Doctrine.” The doctrine allowed Washington to treat Latin America and the Caribbean as its “backyard,” invading an array of countries and supporting coups against unfriendly governments across the region.

Under the doctrine, the European powers should not seek new colonies in the Western hemisphere, but in exchange for that, “the United States pledged to not get involved in internal affairs of European countries,” McAdams explained.

“We’re certainly not upholding – if we want to talk the Monroe doctrine – we’re the ones violating it, and we’ve violated it ... in Ukraine and elsewhere where the US has been involved in coups in Europe,” he argued.
Washington survives on having an enemy. If there were no enemies, probably 80 percent of Washington would be out of work. -McAdams
Washington is currently trying to oust Maduro, the elected leader of Venezuela, replacing him with Juan Guaido, a person more to its liking. A host of high-ranked US officials inadvertently floated military action against the Venezuelan government, but to no avail so far.

Reprinted with permission from RT.
McAdams: Guaido Losing Popularity at Home, Despite US Support
Fri, 29 Mar 2019 01:12:30 GMT
President Trump foolishly listened to his neocon advisors who told him that regime change in Venezuela would be a "cake-walk." Just recognize the other guy as president and the whole thing will fall like a house of cards, they no doubt told him. And he believed. Now it is two months later and neither border incidents nor big cash incentives to the military, nor even apparent sabotage of Venezuela's power generation system has resulted in the promised overthrow of the Maduro government. And to make matters worse, the Russians have landed which enormously complicates repeated US claims that "everything including military action" is on the table. RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins RT America with his views on what to expect next:

Five Minutes Five Issues: Nicaragua, Mass Killing, Electoral College, New Mexico Marijuana, Drug War Conference
Mon, 25 Mar 2019 20:09:53 GMT
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



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

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

Starting in five four three two one.

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

Let’s start.

Issue one.

The United States government has been striking Venezuela through actions including imposing sanctions and pushing for replacing the president of Venezuela.

US efforts to overthrow governments in Latin America extend beyond Venezuela. In the November 16 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US National Security Advisor John Bolton calling Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua a “Troika of Tyranny” and saying that “[u[nder President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.”

In a Wednesday Twitter post, Bolton indicated the US will be ramping up efforts against the Nicaragua government, writing:
The US denounces the Nicaraguan regime’s repression of peaceful protestors, violence against independent media, and reluctance to concede to the demands of the Nicaraguan people. These actions will not go unanswered.
Issue two.

It pays to be skeptical of media reports.

Kurt Nimmo wrote this week at kurtnimmo.blog that, while “[f]ollowing the murder of fifty Muslims at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand, the corporate media went into overdrive, describing the alleged shooter as a white supremacist Trump supporter,” the manifesto attributed to the shooter does not support that pat characterization.

Instead, explains Nimmo, that absurd so-called manifesto has “glaring incongruities” and presents a very different picture. Nimmo writes:
If we read a “manifesto” attributed to the accused shooter, Brenton Tarrant, we discover he followed the writing of Candace Owens, a “conservative” black woman, and predicts he will be set free like Nelson Mandela.

Tarrant—if he is indeed the author of this professed manifesto—also criticized the leadership of President Trump and described himself as an “eco-fascist,” a socialist, a libertarian, an anarchist, and at the same time a follower of the Norwegian psychopath Anders Breivik, a self-described white nationalist. 
Issue three.

At a Monday presidential campaign event in Mississippi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proclaimed her support for eliminating the constitutionally-mandated Electoral College.

Also this week, Joe Wolverton, II wrote at The New American that Colorado has become the twelfth state to enact legislation that could prevent the Electoral College from ensuring presidential elections are decided on a state-by-state basis.

The legislation joins Colorado with the eleven other states in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that would be activated upon states controlling a majority of electoral votes, now 270, having joined the compact. The compact members are over half-way there, at 181 votes, writes Wolverton.

Once the compact is activated, each member state would award its Electoral College votes to the person determined to have won the national popular vote, irrespective of how people voted in the state.

Issue four.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New Mexico House of Representatives approving a marijuana legalization bill. That bill ended up not becoming law after the state Senate failed to act on it. Still, Paul Armentano wrote Monday at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) website that the New Mexico legislature did approve some significant cannabis law changes. These include marijuana decriminalization, an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, and a law to take advantage of national hemp farming legalization adopted last year via the US Farm Bill. Also, marijuana legalization could become reality next year in New Mexico. Armentano relates that Governor Lujan Grisham declared she will add legalization to the 2020 legislative agenda.

Issue five.

Paul Armentano of NORML and Jacob Sullum of Reason are two people I turn to for information and analysis regarding the drug war. On May 18, they will join Ron Paul in Houston, Texas to speak at a Ron Paul Institute conference titled “Winning the War on the War on Drugs.”

You can find more information about the conference and purchase conference tickets at ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.

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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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Hoax of All Hoaxes: RPI's Daniel McAdams on the Death of Russiagate
Mon, 25 Mar 2019 14:17:09 GMT
There was collusion in the 2016 election, RPI's Daniel McAdams tells RT International. It was collusion between Hillary Clinton, US intelligence agencies, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and even "former" foreign intelligence agents like Christopher Steele. Is this actual collusion going to be punished now that the "Russia collusion" is shown to be the lie that it always has been?

UPDATE: Twitter Lets Julian Assange’s Mom Tweet Again
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:30:18 GMT
Yesterday, I wrote about Twitter restricting public access to the past Twitter posts of Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as preventing her from making new posts at her Twitter account. Today, it appears Twitter has removed those limitations.

Christine Assange had this to say about the matter in a
post at her Twitter page:

Neocons Want Brazil in NATO to Undermine Venezuela – Daniel McAdams
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:12:39 GMT
Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute joins News.Views.Hughes to discuss Trump’s apparent 180 degree turn on NATO. While once he was outspoken in his criticism, President Trump now wants to expand the alliance by bringing Brazil into the fold. He argues that Trump has “neocons whispering in his ear” and that NATO is “an expensive meeting club” that has outlived its purpose:

Twitter Prevents Julian Assange’s Mom from Posting, Restricts Viewing of Her Past Posts
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 19:27:08 GMT
Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has used her Twitter page to criticize the United States government effort to prosecute and imprison her son for making available leaked information exposing abusive government actions, as well as her son’s harsh treatment — including a prohibition on his communication with the outside world — over the last year at Ecuador’s London embassy where he obtained sanctuary in 2012. Now, Joe Lauria reports at Consortium News, public access to Christine Assange’s Twitter account has been restricted and she has been prevented from posting at her account.

Lauria relates Christine Assange has written in a text that the placing of limitations on her Twitter account “followed on from a day of my tweets about free speech and calling on journalists globally to stand up for Julian.”

In September of 2017, a few months before the Ecuador embassy prevented Julian Assange from communicating with the outside world, Assange spoke at a Ron Paul Institute conference via live video. His speech was largely focused on opposing war, the US empire, and the military-industrial complex. Watching the speech, there is little wonder why powerful warmongers would want to silence both Julian Assange and his mother, who is a vocal and effective advocate for her son and his work with the WikiLeaks media organization. You can watch Julian Assange’s speech here:


Ron Paul Airs Concerns about the Trump Presidency
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:07:14 GMT
Ron Paul, the libertarian communicator who ran three times for president, has been neither a “never-Trumper” nor a loyalist of President Donald Trump. Instead, Paul, through the 2016 presidential campaign and Trump’s presidency, has judged Trump’s various comments and actions against Paul’s understanding of right and wrong.

Interviewed recently by host Larry King at King’s Politicking show at RT, Paul’s assessment of Trump’s presidency came out mostly negative.

In the wide-ranging interview, Paul, who King introduces as “always outspoken,” lives up to that description in providing clear criticism of Trump in regard to several matters. From increasing United States military spending to piling on new US government debt to continuing mass surveillance to seeking to build a wall at the US-Mexico border through the exercise of “national emergency” powers to keeping US troops in Syria, Paul declares Trump is following the wrong course.

Paul, however, is not entirely negative regarding Trump’s presidency. In the interview, Paul dismisses the accusation that Trump is “beholden to” Russia President Vladimir Putin. Paul also praises Trump for talking with leadership of the North Korea government, though Paul notes that the effort toward improving relations with North Korea appears to have recently been “sabotaged.”

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:



Five Minutes Five Issues: Watching Assange, Ocasio-Cortez, Expungement, Bernie Sanders, Alaska Marijuana
Sat, 16 Mar 2019 13:29:31 GMT
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at 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.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has pretty much been held in isolation in Ecuador’s London embassy since twelve months ago when his visits there were curtailed and his means of communication with the outside world were blocked. Previously, in 2012, Assange had obtained sanctuary at the embassy to avoid prosecution and incarceration by the United States.

Last week, John Pilger wrote in a Consortium News article about Assange’s lack of privacy at the embassy. Pilger describes that “[c]ameras are everywhere” in the room Assange occupies with a guard posted at the door. During his visit with Assange in the room, Pilger writes:
… Julian maneuvers us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall. This is how we catch up: whispering and writing to each other on a notepad, which he shields from the cameras.
Issue two.

US House of Representatives Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was selected by people behind the scenes to run for office “so they could promote their own agenda.” Then, as a representative, Ocasio-Cortez continues to be controlled by such “very dangerous” people.

Those are the contentions of a much-watched video at YouTube. Looking through the comments by people who watched, it seems a fair number of viewers found this information to be particularly novel and disturbing.

Are the commenters this naïve, or are many of them just looking for confirmation for their dislike of Ocasio-Cortez or Democrats? What the video says about her is true for many people in office, both Democrats and Republicans. Especially in a big district such as a US House district that include hundreds of thousands of residents and when a politician was not well known and liked in the district before he ran for office or did not spend a big chunk of his own cash to win his election, it is a good bet that the politician was selected by people behind the scenes and continues to be controlled or at least strongly influenced by such people. That’s politics.

Issue three.

In the October 13 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about state and local governments where marijuana has been legalized putting in place simplified processes for, or making automatic, the expungement or reduction of marijuana convictions that occurred before legalization.

Now there are signs such measures will be included more often in future state marijuana legalization measures. For example, Claude Brodesser-Akner reported last month at NJ.com that expungement is included in marijuana legalization legislation that is likely to become law in New Jersey. Also, the New Mexico state House of Representatives approved last week a legalization bill that includes a means for expunging convictions for activities the legislation would legalize.

The New Mexico bill would also have marijuana sold in state government stores. In some states liquor is sold that way.

Many Americans support marijuana convictions expungement. A new Quinnipiac University poll indicates public support for “erasing criminal records for marijuana possession or use” is at 63 percent, which is three percent higher than the poll’s measured support for legalization.

Issue four.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has advocated on the presidential campaign trail ending the war on drugs. On Monday, he posted comments at his Facebook page further supporting this action. Sanders wrote in part:
The War on Drugs has failed and we must end it. Not only do we need to legalize marijuana, we must expunge the records of marijuana offenses and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenses. We need to treat drug addiction and drug abuse with rehabilitation not with long prison sentences.
Issue five.

It looks like Alaska will be the first marijuana legalization state to explicitly permit consumption of marijuana at some places where marijuana is legally sold across the state. Paul Armentano wrote Wednesday at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) website that, under new state regulations, “the initial on site consumption areas may be approved by this summer.”

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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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Lawrence Wilkerson: ‘National Security’ Spending Should Be Cut, Not Increased
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:00:18 GMT
President Donald Trump released this week his budget proposal that includes increasing by five percent United States military spending. However, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson argues in a Tuesday The Real News interview that the US government would do well to cut a trillion dollars over ten years — about 100 billion dollars a year — from its national security budget, a budget Wilkerson notes is about twice the 700-plus billion dollars Defense Department budget.

On the bright side, Wilkerson suggests in the interview that he thinks that, largely due to new US House of Representatives members, there may now be insurmountable opposition in the House to major Defense spending increases.

Wilkerson also sees a political liability for Trump arising from Trump pushing for the increased spending. Wilkerson describes the situation this way:
I was just up in Boston, and, you know, Massachusetts is not necessarily the breeding ground for this kind of uprising, even with its reputation in the revolution in the beginning and so forth. But, Massachusetts is angry, and Connecticut’s angry, and Rhode Island’s angry. And I’ve been in Texas and Oklahoma, and they’re angry too. And they’re angry that Trump promised to take care of the domestic situation — his most potent promise with these voters in terms of Make America Great Again, and he isn’t doing it. And he certainly isn’t doing it by increasing the Defense budget well beyond what even the average American understands is probably necessary to keep this country secure.
Now imagine if America suffers a recession in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, an occurrence Wilkerson predicts in the interview is “very likely.” In the recession, many more Americans would lose their jobs and have difficulty making rent and mortgage payments. Then, Trump’s advocacy for loading up national security state and empire-building efforts with much more money can be expected to be regarded with much increased anger.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

The Real Big Time Bribes Going on at Colleges and Universities
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 14:22:25 GMT
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So the news is filled with reports over the last 24 hours of misguided efforts of semi-wealthy parents, who were busted in an FBI sting, getting their not so bright children into elite colleges and universities via bribes.

But the real bribes go on. That is the government payments to colleges and universities to promote government lines of propaganda.

Four hundred thousand dollars was given to Yale women’s soccer team coach, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, to get a girl into Yale via the backdoor as a "soccer student." But it is a mere pittance compared to the serious scam. Yale University received approximately $480 million in federal funds in 2015, for example.

Who do you think had the big time influence at Yale, Rudy or the government?

It is also noteworthy that one of the universities on the list caught up in the FBI-busted bribery scandal is Georgetown University, a known high-value recruitment target of the CIA. It even has a School of Foreign Service.  Former CIA Director George Tenet was a graduate as was Bill Clinton.

The war criminals, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, and Tenet, have all taught there.

It has received funding from the  National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

It just doesn't stop, in addition to Yale as a recipient of EPA "climate research" funds, other recipients of EPA climate research funding have included:

North Carolina State University
Northeastern University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Stanford University
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
Brigham Young University

I could go on an on but the point is the FBI bust is a meaningless sideshow compared to the real problem of influence at colleges and universities. That being government influence which can and has resulted in distorted research that promotes the agenda of the Deep State and the power elites.

This is the serious influence that needs to be stopped.

I have zero interest in hearing about an actress, whom I had not known of before, and how she connived and scammed to get her dumb daughter into an elitist college.

Reprinted with permission from TargetLiberty.
Five Minutes Five Issues: Jailing Manning, ‘Antisemitism,’ Whole Foods Marijuana, The Foreigner, RPI Conference
Sun, 10 Mar 2019 22:27:39 GMT
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is posted. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at 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.

On Friday, Chelsea Manning was jailed after Manning refused to testify before a United States grand jury apparently impaneled to enable prosecutions related to WikiLeaks.

The writer Caitlin Johnston went to the heart of the matter in an article at Medium, writing:
The United States government has just re-imprisoned one of the nation’s greatest whistleblowers to coerce her into helping to destroy the world’s greatest leak publisher, both of whom exposed undeniably true facts about war crimes committed by that same United States government.
Issue two.

Kurt Nimmo, in an article last week at kurtnimmo.blog, examined the fraudulent charges of antisemitism being thrown at new United States House of Representatives Member Ilhan Omar (D-MN) based on Omar’s criticism of the Israel government and of some people seeking to influence US foreign policy to serve the Israel government’s objectives.

Nimmo makes an important observation that, just as there is no reason to believe Omar’s attacked comments are about religion or ethnicity, neither is there reason to believe that all the criticism of her comments is due to her being Muslim. Concluding his article, Nimmo writes:
Finally, Ilhan Omar made a mistake when she said the reason she is being attacked is because she’s a Muslim, which is merely a bonus for her accusers. The fact is anybody who criticizes Israel—regardless of race, gender, or religion—will be targeted.
Issue three.

In an article at the Ron Paul Institute website last week titled “Making Marijuana Legalization More Freedom-Friendly,” I wrote about people living where marijuana legalization has occurred in America not being able to purchase marijuana products in places including grocery stores where they can purchase alcoholic beverages.

Unknown to me at the time, Whole Foods founder John Mackey had said during a Texas Tribune public event the day before that, if marijuana legalization is passed in Texas, “chances are good that grocery stores will be selling” marijuana.

I hope he is correct. Back in 2015, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved Texas state Rep. David Simpson’s legislation to treat marijuana, for adults, the same as other agricultural products such as tomatoes. That legislation, which is far more radical than legalization legislation that has been approved in ten states so far, did not end up receiving a floor vote. But, the bill’s success in committee suggests Texas may take a very expansive approach when it does finally legalize marijuana.

Issue four.

Some fuddy-duddies complained about actors being dressed in Ku Klu Klan costumes in a play performed at Theodore Roosevelt High School in South Dakota last weekend. Then, as reported by Shelly Conlon at the Argus Leader, a Sioux Falls School District spokesperson issued a statement apologizing for the play having been performed.

The fuss is just about the costumes worn by some actors, ignoring the context of such in the play

Get over it people. The play is The Foreigner. It is a comedy. I enjoyed seeing the play performed in Texas a few years after its 1980s off-Broadway run in New York City. Here’s a spoiler: The characters in KKK costumes are not presented as heroic.

Issue five. ­

On Saturday May 18 in Houston, Texas, the Ron Paul Institute will host a conference regarding the war on drugs. Speakers will include Ron Paul and two individuals very informed about drug war issues — Jacob Sullum, a senior editor at Reason, and Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

To obtain more information, purchase “early bird” conference tickets, and reserve reduced-price guest rooms at the conference hotel, visit the web page ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.

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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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'Bay of Pigs 2.0' US Invasion Plan for Venezuela Thwarted - Daniel McAdams
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 02:31:02 GMT
A remarkable recent article in Bloomberg reports on the real plan for last month's showdown over US "aid" for Venezuela blocked at the Colombian border. According to the report, the US plan was for some 200 heavily armed exiled Venezuelan military officers from the Colombian side of the border were to over-run the Venezuelan militia guarding their side of the border. Shockingly, the US government neglected to notify its ally Colombia of what would certainly result in a massive escalation of existing tensions between the two countries and it wasn't until the last minute when the Colombian government got wind of the plan and put the kibbosh on it. 

RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins RT America's Rick Sanchez to discuss this US attempt to foment a Colombia/Venezuela war and what it says about the US regime change plan for Venezuela:

Recollections of Walter Jones and His Principled Votes in the US House of Representatives
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 20:14:34 GMT
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A Wednesday Public Radio East report by Valerie Crowder presents some fond recollections of the principled political efforts of Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Walter Jones who died last month while serving in his 13th term in the Unites States House of Representatives as a Republican from North Carolina.

Jones’ friend Rufus Edmisten relates in the report that Jones knew taking independent positions in the House, including in opposing US wars, would cost Jones politically, but he did so anyway. While Edmisten states that “loads and loads of money” were spent to defeat Jones in Republican primary contests, but Jones was never defeated “because people back home said, ‘OK, Walter may not vote like we want him to all the time, but we know we can trust him to do what he thinks is right.’”

Fellow Representative G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat also from North Carolina, discusses in the report looking at vote tallies and seeing “perhaps two Republicans voted with Democrats on an issue, and one would be Walter B. Jones, Jr, not because he was enamored with Democratic policies, but because he found an issue that we had in common.”

Listen to the complete report about Jones here.

The recollections in the Public Radio East report are similar to some of the recollections of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who was a friend and colleague of Jones at the House. In a February Ron Paul Liberty Report episode dedicated to discussing Jones’ life, Paul said that Jones showed “you can survive politically” while “standing on principle, working with Democrats, and saying that peace is a good idea.”
Walter Block: US Government Should Ignore, Not Overthrow, ‘Evil Dictators’
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:28:17 GMT
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Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Walter Block has some clear advice regarding what the United States government should do about “evil dictators” around the world: Ignore them. After all, Block, an economics professor at Loyola University and prominent libertarian scholar, writes in a Tuesday lewrockwell.com blog post, there is “no country, no groups of individuals with the power, or the intention,” to invade or conquer America.

And how about those Americans who feel something must be done about the “evil dictators?” Block provides this option:

If individual US citizens want to go abroad to make the “world safe for democracy” or safe for anything else, there is nothing in the libertarian philosophy to stop them. Let them borrow a leaf from the Lincoln Brigade, a bunch of private citizens from the US, the UK, and elsewhere, who went to Spain in 1936 to fight Franco.

Read here Block’s blog post in the form of an emailed question to Block along with his response.

US Government’s Top Pharmaceutical Official Promoting Eliminating Vaccination Exemptions
Tue, 05 Mar 2019 14:30:08 GMT
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With the expansion of state governments’ crackdown on vaccination exemptions facing significant obstacles after, in 2015, California eliminated nearly all vaccination exemptions for children in government schools, private schools, and day care, Alex Newman writes at The New American that Scott Gottlieb, the head of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been publicly suggesting the US government mandate that states restrict or eliminate vaccination exemptions for children.

Is this mere bluster as we saw with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggesting the US should prosecute people complying with liberalized state marijuana laws? Donald Trump had during the 2016 presidential campaign supported letting states go their own way on marijuana. Similarly, Newman writes that Trump, as a candidate, expressed concern about vaccine dangers and supported parents’ right to choice in the matter.

Further, in January of 2017, Robert Kennedy, Jr, who has written much concerning potential vaccine dangers and has challenged pharmaceutical companies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in regard to vaccines, announced then-President-elect Trump had requested Kennedy chair a US government commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity, though that chairmanship and commission have not materialized.

It is unclear what, if anything, will come from Gottlieb’s threats. Still, it is important to keep watch on the potential for the US government expanding its power in this area. Libertarian communicator and former presidential candidate Ron Paul stressed the importance of the vaccinations mandate issue when he asked in a February of 2015 editorial regarding the issue, “if government can override parental or personal health care decisions, then what area of our lives is off-limits to government interference?”

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