World War II has been over for 70 years, yet the US military continues to occupy the Japanese island of Okinawa against the wishes of the island's population and political leaders. The US spends billions of dollars per year on its military presence in Japan. WWII is over and the Cold War is over. Why should this occupation continue?
By Ron Paul
The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face. I discuss with John Stossel:
By Ron Paul
The ongoing war in Syria may see some escalation soon. A report that 51 State Dept. employees (out of 13,000 foreign service officers) signed a memo urging President Obama to change his focus in Syria from fighting ISIS to fighting the secular Assad government has caused quite a stir.
The fact that such a small number of individuals could make this a noteworthy story shows that propaganda continues to reign supreme. It makes no sense that U.S. can weaken ISIS by attacking the main opponent of ISIS (i.e., Assad).
We're constantly smothered in rhetoric about how America "must stop ISIS." Yet, ISIS has been on the ropes, and in trouble. The group has been on the run, and what does the U.S. want to do? They want to hurry up and bomb Assad, which they've been trying to do for five years now.
There's agitation in the Congress right now to give the authority to Obama to do something that he 'seems' to be reluctant to do. If we would have had an aggressive neocon as a president, Congress wouldn't have mattered. He would have went ahead with the bombings by now.
I think we're really playing with fire here. Is it really worth the risk to stir up a war with Russia? It makes no difference to Americans whether or not Assad remain in power in Syria. It has nothing to do with our freedoms or economy. Yet the rhetoric keeps building nonetheless.
An American in Orlando lost his mind and shot 50 people dead, and the response is to go across the world and attack Assad in Syria? Such illogic reminds me of the U.S. attacking Iraq after 9/11. It made no sense then (or now) and it accomplished nothing but the creation of chaos (and ironically) ISIS itself!
Are we witnessing opportunism once again?
If we want to be safer and enjoy more liberties, we much change our foreign policy. We have to mind our own business, have a strong national defense, and practice non-intervention abroad with other nations. That idea is much better than the nonsense coming from the State Department and the government at large.
Some 51 State Department employees signed a protest memo urging the Administration to re-focus in Syria away from attacking ISIS and toward attacking the Assad government. They write that the best way to destroy ISIS is to overthrow the Syrian government (which has been fighting ISIS). What has happened to US diplomacy?
By Ron Paul
Last week America was rocked by the cold-blooded murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Orlando shooter appears to be a lone gunman who, while claiming allegiance to ISIS, was not actually working with a terrorist group. About the only thing Orlando has in common with 9/11 is the way power-hungry politicians and federal officials wasted no time using it to justify expanding government and restricting liberty.
Immediately following the shooting, we began to hear renewed calls for increased government surveillance of Muslims, including spying on Muslim religious services. Although the Orlando shooter was born in the US, some are using the shooting to renew the debate over Muslim immigration. While the government certainly should prevent terrorists from entering the country, singling out individuals for government surveillance and other violations of their rights because of religious faith violates the First Amendment and establishes a dangerous precedent that will be used against other groups. In addition, scapegoating all Muslims because of the act of one deranged individual strengthens groups like ISIS by making it appear that the US government is at war with Islam.
The Orlando shooting is being used to justify mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. For the past three years, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill limiting mass surveillance. But, last week, the same amendment was voted down. The only difference between this year’s debate and previous debates was that this year defenders of the surveillance state were able to claim that the Orlando shooting justifies shredding the Fourth Amendment.
The fact that the Orlando shooter had twice been investigated by the FBI shows that increased surveillance and wiretapping would not have prevented the shooting. Mass surveillance also creates a “needle in a haystack” problem that can make it difficult, or impossible, for law enforcement to identify real threats. Unfortunately, evidence that giving up liberty does not increase security has never deterred those who spread fear to gain support for increased government power.
The Orlando shooter successfully passed several background checks and was a licensed security guard. But, just like those who used Orlando to defend unconstitutional surveillance, authoritarian supporters of gun control are not allowing facts to stand in the way of using the Orlando shooting to advance their agenda. Second Amendment opponents are using Orlando to give the federal government new powers to violate individuals’ rights without due process. One pro-gun control senator actually said that “due process is what’s killing us.”
Ironically, if not surprisingly, one of those calling for new gun control laws is Hillary Clinton. When she was sectary of state, Clinton supported interventions in the Middle East that resulted in ISIS obtaining firearms paid for by US taxpayers!
Mass surveillance, gun control, and other restrictions on our liberty will not prevent future Orlandos. In fact, by preventing law-abiding Americans from defending themselves, gun control laws make us less safe from criminals. Similarly, mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping erode our rights while making it more difficult for law enforcement to identify real threats.
If Congress really cared about our security and liberty, it would repeal all federal gun laws, end all unconstitutional surveillance, and end the hyper-interventionist foreign policy that causes many around the world to resent the US.
How very strange that so many have succumbed to the idea that government has moral authority to feed the hungry, or to monitor personal habits, or to create "equality". Government inherently has nothing! Everything it acquires, it must first take by force, like a thief. How did government get away with the subjugation of moral authority? Ron Paul discusses on this week's Myth-Busters!
By Daniel McAdams
How did the use of military force become the first option in US foreign policy? Why must we spend a trillion dollars each year to fund a global empire that leaves us poorer and less safe? How does the military-industrial complex rip off working Americans while becoming obscenely wealthy? And what can we do about it? Join Ron Paul and the Ron Paul Institute for a one of a kind event making an uncompromising case for a foreign policy of peace and non-intervention.
In addition to a keynote address by Ron Paul, the conference will feature several prominent speakers associated with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. This conference will educate but it will also be a call to action. We will make our voices heard!
Registration opens at 9:00 AM and conference begins promptly at 10:00 AM. A sit-down lunch is included, as well as refreshments! Get your tickets today at a special, "super early bird" rate and save $$$.
By Ron Paul
On June 23, there will be a referendum in the Britain on whether or not to leave the European Union. There's a lot of speculation as to how this vote will play out. The very well-known, and well-traveled investor Marc Faber thinks that an exit would be "the best thing ever for Great Britain."
Momentum has been shifting away from Brussels and the EU. Currently 53% favor Britain leaving, while 43% say they'd rather stay, or don't know. This is very good to see, but a lot can still happen between now and June 23.
Scare tactics are surely being used. For example, Donald Tusk who is President of The European Council says: "I fear that Brexit could be the beginning of the end, not only to the EU, but to the entire Western political civilization."
I doubt Tusk actually believes that, but who knows? People in power often fall victim to their own propaganda.
I've long been an advocate of secession, in all of its forms. I've never been a fan of nations giving up their sovereignty. The more decentralized the government is, the better the prospects for liberty. I wish the United States would get out of the agreements that it has entered, like the UN, IMF, NATO, NAFTA, WTO, etc.
Nations (and even individual states) tend to go along with the centralization of power until things start to go south. Once the inevitable problems of gigantic bureaucracies cannot be avoided, secession takes over. It becomes a stampede to become the first one out the door.
This same phenomenon occurs with money as well. Many around the world have used and continue to use dollars. However, once the unavoidable crises occur, the desire to run to sound money will occur as well.
I think it's great that the British people are waking up and having this referendum. It took them a long time to make it happen, and it'll be interesting to watch.
By Chris Rossini
Few cities have as much or more historical significance than Philadelphia. It is the home of the Declaration of Independence, which is a wonderful document with many libertarian underpinnings. How sad it is to see what has become of the "city of brotherly love".
Philadelphia will become the first large American city to impose a sin tax on sugary drinks on Thursday in what could be a tipping point in the long-running war between health advocates and the soda industry.
That's right, Philadelphians have come full circle from opposing England's "stamp tax" to imposing a "sin tax" on sugary drinks.
What a sign of the times.
Of course "health advocates" can more accurately be described as "health bullies," who seek to use the violence of government to micromanage free choosing individuals.
Neither the health bullies, nor the government have a right to tell Philadelphians what to put into their bodies. They have their own bodies to take care of. That's as far as their dominion should extend. Philadelphians are not their property.
If only Thomas Jefferson could see what has happened in the home of the Liberty Bell. If he could only see what has become of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Depending on who you listen to, a UK vote to leave the EU will be a return to national sovereignty or the end of Western political culture. Which is it?