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.

 

Ron Paul Appears in Movies Based on Novels Atlas Shrugged and Alongside Night

Is former Member of the United States House of Representatives and current RPI Chairman Ron Paul “going Hollywood?” Not quite, he is still living in Texas and focused on protecting freedom. But, according to media reports, Paul has small roles in new movies based on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night. Both novels deal with oppressive governments and people acting to protect their freedom.

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

Judge Andrew Napolitano: No New US War in Iraq

Speaking Thursday on Fox News, RPI Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano explains that the United States government engaging in another war in Iraq would be contrary to US national interests as was the US invading and making war on Iraq in 2003. That prior Iraq war, Napolitano notes, destabilized Iraq and cost America much in lost lives and money. Napolitano adds that “the American public will not tolerate another war.”

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

Is Ron Paul the San Antonio Spurs of American Politics?

Many basketball fans are marveling at the San Antonio Spurs winning on Sunday night the team’s fifth nonconsecutive National Basketball Association championship. Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz suggests at his institute’s website that people should also marvel at RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul’s similar, and unmatched, United States House of Representatives­­ electoral accomplishments. Boaz explains:

[Ron Paul] first won in a special election for an open seat. He then lost his seat and won it back two years later, defeating the incumbent. After two more terms he left his seat to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate (and thereby did his greatest disservice to the American Republic, as his seat was won by Tom DeLay). Twelve years later, in 1996, after some redistricting, he ran again for Congress, again defeating an incumbent, this time in the Republican primary. Some political scientist should study the political skills it takes to win election to Congress without the benefit of incumbency — three times.

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

Ron Paul: Help Neither the Iraq Government Nor the Insurgents

RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul, in a US News and World Reports article Friday, succinctly addresses what the United States government should do in response to insurgents gaining greater control over parts of Iraq in the last few days. Contrary to the popular Washington, DC interventionist mindset that says the US government should aid one side or the other (or even both sides) in every conflict around the world, Paul says the US should just stay out of it.

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

Rep. John Duncan: ‘Stop Trying to Take Care of the Whole World and Start Taking Care of Our Own Country’

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) brought one minute of hard-hitting reality to the United States House of Representatives on May 30, remarking that the United States government, with its over $17 trillion debt, is only escaping — for now — Detroit-style bankruptcy by printing money. The representative explains that, unless the US government becomes more fiscally responsible, the US will fail to satisfy fully obligations such as military pension and social security payments. Duncan, an RPI Advisory Board member concludes his speech by suggesting the US government “stop trying to take care of the whole world and start taking care of our own country and putting the American people first once again.”

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

So Long, Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), who is in his seventh term in the United States House of Representatives and fourth year as House Republican majority leader, lost his primary race for reelection on Tuesday. That means Cantor will be out of the House when a new Congress begins in January.

Over the last year, Cantor has earned the attention of Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity with his consistent war position — advocating war against Syria, war against Iran, and war against much of the world.

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

Ron Paul: Legal Pot, Not SWAT

Ron Paul addresses Monday on the Ron Paul Channel the menacing militarization of police in the United States. Paul, the chairman and founder of RPI, explains the problem extends from small towns obtaining military combat vehicles to United States government agencies buying up vast amounts of weapons and ammunition to police employing over 40,000 SWAT team raids each year.

Paul also notes in the commentary that crime in Denver has decreased following the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Paul wonders if Colorado may be on to something—less laws are a better means than militarized police to reduce crime.

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

Associated Press Way Off on Ed Thompson’s 2002 Wisconsin Governor Campaign

Ed Thompson campaigning for Wisconsin Governor.

Ed Thompson campaigning for Wisconsin Governor.

Twelve years after Ed Thompson, running as the Libertarian Party nominee, won 10.5% in the 2002 Wisconsin governor race, the Associated Press, in an article published Sunday, mischaracterizes Thompson as a spoiler candidate who cost the Republican incumbent the governorship. The reality is very different. Thompson won the second-highest Libertarian vote percentage of any governor candidate ever and the highest vote percentage of any non-Republican, non-Democrat candidate statewide in Wisconsin in the last seventy years without being anyone’s spoiler.

On December 11, 2002, I submitted an editorial to the Wisconsin State Journal to clear up similar allegations the Republican governor was then making to explain his failure to win the election. Having been Thompson’s campaign co-manager, I knew the governor’s allegation was malarkey then as the Associated Press’s similar suggestion is malarkey now.

The newspaper printed a very truncated version of my editorial as a letter to the editor. Below is the complete editorial I submitted. I have just removed a reference to Thompson’s no longer existing campaign website.

As a side note, the AP article is also misleading when it states the Libertarian Party has “never won a state or legislative office in Wisconsin.” The fact is that, by winning over 10% in the governor race, Thompson earned the state Libertarian Party an appointee on the Wisconsin State Board of Elections—expanding the eight member board that administered and enforced state campaign finance and election laws to nine members. I should know; I was the first board member selected by the state party.

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McCallum Wrong to Blame Thompson for Loss

Governor Scott McCallum claimed Monday on Wisconsin Public Radio that Ed Thompson cost McCallum the governorship. This claim is unsupportable. Governor McCallum would have soundly lost the governorship even if Thompson had not run.

A post-election Scott Rasmussen Public Opinion Research poll of 1,000 governor race voters commissioned by the Thompson campaign shows who Thompson voters would have voted for if Thompson had not run as the Libertarian governor candidate

Thompson voters split equally in their second choice, with 30% for Republican McCallum, 30% for Democrat Jim Doyle, and 27% for Green Jim Young. Ten percent would not have voted without the Thompson option. Thompson’s absence would not even decrease Doyle’s lead over McCallum.

Before the debates, polls indicated Thompson was appealing to more Democrat than Republican voters. In a wispolitics.com interview a month and a half before the election, then Assembly Republican Majority Leader Scott Jensen explained, “I think if Eddie Thompson were to drop out tomorrow, most of [Thompson’s supporters] are clearly voting for change, not the status quo and they are more likely to either not vote or go to the Doyle camp.”

Governor McCallum cannot legitimately complain about Thompson stealing votes. It would make more sense for Thompson to complain about McCallum stealing Thompson’s votes.

McCallum’s and Doyle’s surreptitious campaign to prevent Thompson from debating hindered Thompson’s ability to reach potential voters and obtain a debate boost. A Rasmussen poll of likely voters conducted for the Thompson campaign on October 17, the day after the first governor candidate debates in which Thompson participated, indicates that while 9.6% of all likely voters would vote for Thompson, 16.0% of those who saw the debate selected Thompson. When asked to suppose that Thompson could win, Thompson voters rose to 16.3% of likely voters, 22.8% among those who saw the debate. Viewers of the debate saw Thompson more favorably, 42.6% compared to 27.6% among all likely voters, and less unfavorably, 45.7% compared with 48.0%. Much of the significant improvement in Thompson’s support and favorable rating over the remaining month of the campaign is likely due to the rebroadcast of this debate and Thompson’s inclusion in a second debate.

McCallum claimed in the Monday WPR interview and during the campaign that he supported Thompson’s inclusion in debates. The editorial board of the Wausau Daily Herald told Thompson differently, saying both McCallum and Doyle refused to participate in the paper’s co-sponsored debate if Thompson were invited. The paper stated the same on the editorial page.

The post-election poll shows that voters gave Thompson the highest favorable rating (the percentage of people viewing a candidate favorably minus the percentage viewing him unfavorably). Thompson scored even with a zero rating (39% favorable minus 39% unfavorable), Doyle trailed slightly at -1% (44% minus 45%). McCallum and Young trailed far behind, McCallum at -17% (38% minus 55%) and Young at -21% (20% minus 41%). McCallum should be thankful he received more votes than Thompson even though Thompson scored second most favorable (after Doyle) and least unfavorable

With McCallum’s favorables lower than McCallum’s vote total, some of his voters chose a candidate they did not like. In contrast, Thompson won 10.5% of the vote–roughly one-quarter Thompson’s favorables. When voters were asked to suppose Thompson could win, Thompson’s vote total jumped to 23%.

At campaign end, Thompson had strong momentum. Support of 23% of voters and a favorable view among 39% put victory within sight. Maybe, with more time, Thompson could have won. One thing, though, is certain. McCallum’s loss of the governor campaign had nothing to do with Thompson’s campaign.