Media Blaming Libertarians for Republican Candidates’ Losses Four Months Before Election

The media is not waiting until after the November general election to blame Libertarian Party candidates for Republican Party candidates’ upcoming losses. Indeed, Libertarian candidates are already being blamed for the Republicans’ potential failure to gain a majority in of the United States Senate. The Washington Post on Sunday published an article suggesting that Libertarian candidates could “spoil” Republicans’ chances of winning United States Senate races in eleven or more states, as well as some governor races.

Following an Associated Press article last month that erroneously suggested Libertarian governor candidate Ed Thompson caused the Republican incumbent Wisconsin governor to lose to the Democrat challenger in 2002, the Washington Post article points to Republican losses in the Virginia 2013 governor race and the 2006 and 2012 Montana US Senate races to support the assertion that Libertarian candidates are spoilers for Republicans.

What proof does the Washington Post article offer to advance this empirical argument? The Libertarian candidate received more votes than the number of votes by which the Democrat beat the Republican in each of those three races. That’s it — an underwhelming “argument” to say the least. The article seems to trust that readers believe the baseless, though widely repeated, characterization of libertarianism as a subset of conservatism.

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

House to Vote on ‘Expedited and Dignified’ TSA Screenings for Some People, Sometimes

The US House of Representatives is scheduled to consider on Tuesday the Honor Flight Act (HR 4812) that would require the Transportation Security Administration to work with a non-profit organization to establish a process for providing “expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans” who are traveling with the aid of certain non-profit organizations to visit certain war memorials.

While enactment of this legislation may provide some relief for veterans traveling on these particular trips, the obvious question is why the same basic restraints are not placed on the TSA for its interactions with everyone and for all trips.

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

Ron Paul: US Threatening Greater Middle East War, Stock Market Crash, and Oil and Gold Rise

Over at the Ron Paul Channel, RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul is warning of consequences from the US government escalating its military involvement in Iraq. Paul concludes:

Expect one day for this insanity of our foreign policy to translate into a much greater war in the region. When that comes, look for a stock market crash, oil prices to skyrocket and gold prices to soar.

Read and listen to Paul’s brief editorial here.

Paul warns in his editorial that increasing US military involvement in Iraq shows that the US is “falling off a cliff into the quagmire of an ever-worsening civil war in Iraq.”

In contrast, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, insists “[t]here’s no mission creep,” despite President Barack Obama sending at least 650 American troops to Iraq in the past two weeks.

Who should we believe?

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

Rep. Thomas Massie: Declassify 9/11 Report to Prevent the Next 9/11

In a new discussion at the YouTube channel of Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, discusses with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) the effort to declassify 28 pages of a joint House of Representatives and Senate Intelligence Committees report. The redacted pages include information concerning foreign governments’ involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. Jones and Massie both state that the information in those 28 pages is important for informing decisions regarding the Middle East and potential US government actions in Iraq, as well as for preventing another attack in America similar to the September 11 attacks.

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

Ron Paul: No More US Aid to Syria Insurgents; Better for House to Impeach than Sue Obama

Ron Paul, speaking with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, explains that President Barack Obama’s proposal to spend a half-billion dollars on training and arming Syria insurgents will hurt Americans while helping the military industrial complex. Paul, RPI’s chairman and founder, also argues that the House of Representatives would do better to impeach Obama for unconstitutional actions than to follow Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan to sue Obama.

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

Ron Paul, the CIA, and Dr. Zhivago

It is no secret that Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel Dr. Zhivago influenced RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul. Indeed, Dr. Zhivago and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged are the only two works of fiction included in the list of 48 books at the end of Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto that Paul says influenced him over the years. What has long been a secret, though, is that the United States Central Intelligence Agency played a significant role in helping promote the Pasternak novel.

A peek at the influence Dr. Zhivago had on Paul may be found in ABC News and National Public Radio profiles of Paul from 2011 that report on how Paul reading in his 20s a copy of Dr. Zhivago that his mother had given him put Paul on course reading many other books that helped him develop his understanding of libertarian ideas. This reading led directly to Paul first running for Congress in 1974 and continuing to communicate regarding political topics to this day. As Paul has explained many times, his runs for political office have been motivated largely by a desire to share ideas related to freedom with a larger audience.

Might Paul’s mother not have given him Dr. Zhivago if the CIA had not boosted the book’s popularity? Without reading the book, may Paul not have proceeded in the study that led him to help build support for liberty and nonintervention in the US and abroad?

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

RPI’s Adam Dick Discusses the Drug War, Elections, and Smokey and the Bandit on the Lions of Liberty Podcast

RPI’s Adam Dick joined the Lions of Liberty Podcast on Thursday for a discussion of the drug war and advancing liberty through electoral politics. Dick discusses with host Marc Clair how states and local governments going their own way on marijuana laws are overcoming the United States government’s war on marijuana, as well as some of the incremental steps the US government has taken over the last few years to roll back its drug war. Dick also makes some predictions about the war on a drugs and pitches a new Smokey and the Bandit movie about driving marijuana from Colorado to Texas.

The conversation starts with lessons learned from Dick’s experience in politics, including co-managing Ed Thompson’s 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign and working in Rep. Ron Paul’s US House of Representatives office.

Clair and Dick also address the foreign policy views of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), who recently lost his primary election while he was US House majority leader, and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board member, who won his primary election.

Listen to the interview here:

Read here some of Dick’s articles discussed in the interview:

My Drug War Interview at Universidad Francisco Marroquín from June 23, 2014.

City Voters Legalize Liquor Stores and Marijuana from November 6, 2013.

US House Votes to Respect States’ Medical Marijuana and Hemp Legalization from May 31, 2014.

Associated Press Way Off on Ed Thompson’s 2002 Wisconsin Governor Campaign from June 9, 2014.

Is Ron Paul the San Antonio Spurs of American Politics? from June 16, 2014.

Rep. Walter Jones’ Refreshing Voting Philosophy from May 3, 2014.

Rep. Walter Jones: Stop Wasting American Money and Lives in Afghanistan from November 4, 2013.

Rep. Walter Jones: Congress Should Decide if US Military Stays in Afghanistan from November 21, 2013.

Eric Cantor Evokes George Washington and Founders to Promote His War Agenda from February 19, 2014.

So Long, Rep. Eric Cantor from June 11, 2014.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

My Drug War Interview at Universidad Francisco Marroquín

Adam Dick at Universidad Francisco Marroquín

Adam Dick at Universidad Francisco Marroquín

On May 5, 2013 Luis Figueroa interviewed me at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City, Guatemala regarding the war on drugs in the United States.

The discussion addresses how the US government took steps in the last few years to roll back portions of the drug war—reducing penalties related to crack cocaine, eliminating a prohibition on US government-backed college financial aid for students with prior drug convictions, and allowing the District of Columbia to implement a medical marijuana law the US government had suppressed for years.

In the interview I also predict that the US government will increasingly back down in its war on marijuana as more states and local governments legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses. As the process develops, I suggest a patchwork quilt of different marijuana laws will materialize around the country, with no place enforcing total prohibition.

The big leap, I explain, would be ending the drug war beyond the war on marijuana. The war on marijuana can be ended more readily because, in the US, marijuana is perceived as more similar to legal alcohol and tobacco than are other illegal drugs and because marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug.

Watch the interview here:

Rep. Walter Jones on Foreign Policy: ‘We in America are in the Eleventh Hour’

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board member, discusses in-depth in a Friday C-SPAN Washington Journal interview his opposition to continued borrowing and spending for the United States to “police the world.” Jones says in the 33 minutes interview that the US, like empires through history, is harmed by its foreign intervention and that “we in America are in the eleventh hour of a twelve hour clock.”

Regarding the threat posed by foreign adventurism, Jones explains:

Every great nation…from the Spanish to the French to the Romans…that started to go around and take other territory around the world eventually failed, and I think we in America are in the eleventh hour of a twelve hour clock.

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

 

US House Rejects by 355 to 62 Vote Amendment to Limit Transfer of Military Weapons and Equipment to Local Police

By a vote of 355 “no” votes to 62 “yes” votes the United States House of Representatives voted down Thursday night an amendment offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 4870) that would have curtailed the transfer of US military equipment to local police.

Grayson explained on the House floor that he offered his amendment “to address a growing problem throughout our country, which is the militarization of local law enforcement agencies.” In particular Grayson expressed concern about documentation in the New York Times of huge transfers of military weapons and equipment to local police and the overkill use of transferred items in ordinary law enforcement, even in raids to enforce barber and liquor license laws, instead of in response to nonexistent terrorism.

The Times article Grayson mentions documents that the transfers involve a long list of military weapons and equipment including, since 2006 alone, 432 Mine-resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles (MRAPs), 435 other armored vehicles, 533 planes and helicopters, and 92,763 machine guns. The Times article also lists grenade launchers, silencers, and other items among the transferred military items.

As Grayson explained in the debate, his amendment would have limited effect. The amendment would not reverse any of the transfers that have already taken place, and it would allow transfers of guns and ammunition to continue unimpeded. What the amendment would do according to its language is stop the transfer under a Department of Defense program of the following items: “aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents (including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment), launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines or nuclear weapons.”

While the Times article does not list nuclear weapons among military items transferred to local police, Grayson including them to the list makes the point that, as the law stands, there is virtually no limit on what weapons and equipment may be transferred.

In opposition to Grayson in the debate two representatives figuratively put their hands over their respective eyes and ears and said they saw and heard no evil in the actions of local police. They presented this argument despite the decades long rise of SWAT culminating in what Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead terms an escalating “epidemic of police violence.”

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