Ron Paul: The US is in the Middle of an Intellectual Revolution

RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul, in an interview Thursday with John Stossel on Fox Business, explains that the United States is in the middle of an intellectual revolution powered by the “message of liberty.” Paul points to grassroots opposition preventing a US government attack on Syria as a manifestation of the revolution.

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Cisco blames NSA Spying for Reduced Sales

Cisco Systems executives, whose company’s stock price fell Thursday in percentage terms the most since February of 2011, are pointing to US National Security Agency spying as a cause of the reduced sales of its products including networking equipment.

Cisco Systems Chief Executive Officer John Chambers suggested in the company’s earnings conference call with analysts on Wednesday that concerns about NSA spying contributed to Cisco’s decreased sales in China. Invezz expands on the spying’s impact on Cisco sales with comments from Cisco’s chief financial officer and figures for reduced product orders in Russia and Brazil:

Chief financial officer Frank Calderone said that the projected revenue decline was partially due to the recent revelations about internet surveillance by the US National Security Agency, which prompted “a level of uncertainty or concern” among customers internationally. In the last quarter new orders dropped 12 percent in the developing world, with Brazil down 25 percent and Russia off 30 percent.

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FBI v. The First Amendment: The US Government’s Investigation of Antiwar.com

Federal Bureau of Investigation documents released last week reveal the FBI investigated Antiwar.com, a website regularly publishing content critical of US foreign policy, for at least six years based on the content and audience of the antiwar.com website, as well as an asinine mistake by the FBI.

According to Julia Harumi Mass of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which is representing Antiwar.com in a lawsuit against the FBI, the FBI produced in response to a document request in the lawsuit documents confirming “that the FBI targeted and spied on Antiwar.com [and the website’s founding editors Eric] Garris and [Justin] Raimondo based on their First Amendment protected activity and kept records about that activity in violation of federal law.” Mass elaborates on the anti-press freedom justifications for the investigation:

One of the factors that prompted the FBI to investigate the editors of the online magazine was that Justin Raimondo writes under this pseudonym. The content of a writer’s published opinions and whether they write under a pseduonym [sic] should never be used to characterize someone as a potential threat to national security, or justify an FBI investigation. The First Amendment protects anonymous speech too. News articles and the comments of the public should not be included in FBI intelligence files unless they’re necessary to a real criminal investigation.

The second flawed factor that prompted the FBI investivgation [sic] is that “many individuals worldwide…including individuals who are currently under investigation” view the website. Presumably people around the world, “including individuals who are currently under [FBI] investigation” view all kinds of websites and news sources. Being part of a successful media outlet should not make a journalist suspicious and should not be the basis for government surveillance.

In addition, Mass points to a mistake as a third factor prompting the investigation:

The third flawed and incorrect factor was the FBI’s mistaken conclusion that Eric Garris had threatened to hack the FBI website. In fact, Garris reported to the FBI that he was the recipient of a hacking threat to Antiwar.com. After reporting this threat, he was instructed to forward the email to the FBI, which he did. The FBI later concluded that Garris had threatened to hack the FBI website and placed him under suspicion.

It is an odd mistake for the FBI to interpret Garris’s reporting of a hacking threat against the Antiwar.com website as a threat by Garris against the FBI’s website. The flub up could have been rectified and an illegitimate investigation potentially prevented by just double-checking Garris’s communication with the FBI. Instead, the asinine mistake remained uncorrected, allowing the investigation to proceed with a justification not rooted in concern about First Amendment-protected expression.

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Whistle-blower Cop Describes Stop-and-Frisk, Corruption at NYPD

New York City Police Department policeman Adhyl Polanco describes in a Democracy Now report and interview the corrupting and rights abusing quota system for stop-and-frisk, summons, and arrests in the largest local police department in the United States. Among other revelations, Polanco estimates that, but for the improper encouragement of stop-and-frisk by the city government, police department, and police union, about 600,000 of the around 700,000 police initiated stop-and-frisk incidents last year would not have occurred. Polanco adds that some police will arrest “whoever’s at the corner” near the end of a work shift to meet the quota plus receive overtime pay.

Polanco proceeds to explain that police are forced to understate actual, reported crimes to ensure the city’s crime statistics improve. Proponents of stop-and-frisk can then point to the manipulated crime statistics to support the claim that the stop-and-frisk policy is reducing crime.

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Widespread Hostility Toward TSA is Justified

Journalist extraordinaire James Bovard explains in a Washington Times editorial Tuesday why, even though many in the media do not want to admit it, there is widespread and justified hostility toward the Transportation Security Administration. Bovard writes:

In the wake of last Friday’s shootings at Los Angeles International Airport, some politicians and media commentators are feigning shock at the widespread hostility toward the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There was no justification for the shooting suspect, Paul Ciancia, to gun down three TSA agents on the job, killing one. Ciancia’s brutal rampage, though, should not obscure the fact that the TSA has perennially pushed many Americans to the breaking point.

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City Voters Legalize Liquor Stores and Marijuana

Eighty years after the Twenty-First Amendment to the United States Constitution ended the US government’s prohibition on alcohol, Jeff Mosier reports in the Dallas Morning News that in elections Tuesday residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex cities of Arlington and Lewisville voted to legalize liquor stores in their cities. Mosier explains that the election results in these cities with respective populations of around 365,000 and 100,000 are part of a trend over the last decade of Texans voting to ease local legal restrictions related to alcohol:

From 2004 to 2013, Texans voted in 665 elections seeking to ease alcohol restrictions, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Nearly 80 percent passed.

Only two jurisdictions voted during that same time to restrict alcohol sales.

Also in elections Tuesday, Reason writer Ed Krayewski relates that voters in cities in Maine and Michigan, where recreational marijuana use has not been legalized statewide, voted for recreational marijuana legalization.

Since Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, referenda and bills passed by legislative bodies have liberalized many local and state government marijuana laws. Laws concerning marijuana in the US have thus increasingly resembled the patchwork quilt of differing, though not outright prohibitionary, state and local laws concerning alcohol.

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Rep. Walter Jones: Stop Wasting American Money and Lives in Afghanistan

Rep. Walter Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, presented last week on the House floor a short, powerful speech calling for ending US military action in, and the flow of Americans’ tax money to, Afghanistan. Jones’s speech focuses on continued US government spending in Afghanistan “at a time when America is drowning in debt” as well as recent killings of Americans in Afghanistan, including a father of two who had been stationed at a US Marines base in Jones’s North Carolina district. Jones concluded his speech with the following appeal:

It is time for the Congress of the United States to face the fact that we have our own problems here in America. To send money—over $600 billion—to Afghanistan to build roads, schools, utility plants so the Taliban can blow them up makes no sense. It is time for little girls like these two to have their daddies at home and not have their daddies in a coffin.

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Ron Paul’s Push to End War on Pain Doctors — Fresh Attacks!

The US Food and Drug Administration’s announcement Thursday that it supports adding more pain medications to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act is a critical step in expanding through regulatory fiat the US government’s war on pain doctors and their patients that RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul fought to end in the US House of Representatives.

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.