By Chris Rossini
Promoters of the "Russian hacking" claims are adopting a modern form of George W. Bush's "you're either with us, or against us" canard.
Tucker Carlson resoundingly checkmates a Congressman who is on the Intelligence Committee, only to be told that it is Carlson himself who carries water for Putin and should move his show to RT!
According to MSM outlets like the Washington Post and NY Times, the CIA has concluded that the Russians hacked last month's presidential election to put Trump in charge. The evidence? It's secret. Who to believe? Let's look at who has what to gain...
By Ron Paul
A major threat to liberty is the assault on the right to discuss political issues, seek out alternative information sources, and promote dissenting ideas and causes such as non-interventionism in foreign and domestic affairs. If this ongoing assault on free speech succeeds, then all of our liberties are endangered.
One of the most common assaults on the First Amendment is the attempt to force public policy organizations to disclose their donors. Regardless of the intent of these laws, the effect is to subject supporters of controversial causes to harassment, or worse. This harassment makes other potential donors afraid to support organizations opposing a popular war or defending the rights of an unpopular group.
Many free speech opponents support laws and regulations forbidding activist or educational organizations from distributing factual information regarding a candidate’s positions for several months before an election. The ban would apply to communications that do not endorse or oppose any candidate. These laws would result in the only sources of information on the candidate’s views being the campaigns and the media.
Recently the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rejected a proposal to add language exempting books, movies, and streaming videos from its regulations. The majority of FEC commissioners apparently believe they should have the power, for example, to ban Oliver Stone’s biography of Edward Snowden, since it was released two months before the election and features clips of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discussing Snowden.
The latest, and potentially most dangerous, threat to the First Amendment is the war on “fake news.” Those leading the war are using a few “viral” Internet hoaxes to justify increased government regulation — and even outright censorship — of Internet news sites. Some popular websites, such as Facebook, are not waiting for the government to force them to crack down on fake news.
Those calling for bans on “fake news” are not just trying to censor easily-disproved Internet hoaxes. They are working to create a government-sanctioned "gatekeeper" (to use Hillary Clinton’s infamous phrase) with the power to censor any news or opinion displeasing to the political establishment. None of those wringing their hands over fake news have expressed any concern over the fake news stories that helped lead to the Iraq War. Those fake news stories led to the destabilizing of the Middle East, the rise of ISIS, and the deaths of millions.
The war on “fake news” has taken a chilling turn with efforts to label news and opinion sites of alternative news sources as peddlers of Russian propaganda. The main targets are critics of US interventionist foreign policy, proponents of a gold standard, critics of the US government’s skyrocketing debt, and even those working to end police militarization. All have been smeared as anti-American agents of Russia.
Just last week, Congress passed legislation creating a special committee, composed of key federal agencies, to counter foreign interference in US elections. There have also been calls for congressional investigations into Russian influence on the elections. Can anyone doubt that the goal of this is to discredit and silence those who question the mainstream media’s pro-welfare/warfare state propaganda?
The attempts to ban “fake news;” smear antiwar, anti-Federal Reserve, and other pro-liberty movements as Russian agents; and stop independent organizations from discussing a politician’s record before an election are all parts of an ongoing war on the First Amendment. All Americans, no matter their political persuasion, have a stake in defeating these efforts to limit free speech.
Where does Ron Paul buy his gold?
By Chris Rossini
To paraphrase a very old saying: "the bankers rule the world." Those who have followed Ron Paul over the years know that the saying holds up quite well. Presidential administrations may come and go, but the Deep State remains, of which The Federal Reserve and big banks play a major role. The Fed, after all, is the financier of all things authoritarian.
But Donald Trump promised us something different. He railed against the crony banksters while campaigning just a few short months ago.
Here are a few of Trump's tweets:
Even Edward Snowden believed the campaign slogans:
But, lo and behold, the election is now over and the Deep State is ensuring continuity. Maybe it's a slightly different flavor than a Hillary Administration, but continuity nevertheless.
Donald Trump now has three Goldman Men in his stable. First was his new Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Next came Trump's nominee for Treasury, Steve Mnutchen. And today, we find out that Trump has chosen Goldman Sachs president & COO Gary Cohn to be National Economic Council Director.
These aren't Mickey Mouse positions. We're talking real power and influence here.
So, we learn just one month after the election that no matter who the winner turned out to be, Goldman Sachs and Wall Street were going to come out smelling like roses.
Playing both sides of a fight is nothing new. In fact, you can look at the mess in Syria as a good example of how the U.S. government plays different sides.
The Ron Paul Institute reported earlier this year:
"one set of rebels supported by the Central Intelligence Agency is at war with another set of rebels supported by the Pentagon!"
That's right. Go ahead and read that one again. Let it sink in.
Goldman Sachs had both sides of this election.
What a pity.
President-elect Trump will nominate Andy Puzder, who runs the popular fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's as Labor Secretary of the incoming administration. Pudzer has some very promising views, that if acted on can actually improve working conditions in the United States. Ron Paul discusses on this week's Myth-Busters!
By Peter G. Klein
The death of Fidel Castro has brought to light the catastrophic failure of Cuban socialism. Cuba, whose standard of living was among the highest in the region in 1959, is now one of the world’s poorest countries (questionable stats on education, healthcare, and even cigars notwithstanding). And, of course, as is obvious to anyone not named Trudeau, the Castro regime was one of the world’s most dictatorial and brutal.
And yet, even in a totalitarian state, human creativity, ingenuity, and the drive to improve the world around us can never be totally extinguished. Household production, village enterprise, artist collectives, and similar small-scale market-like activities have existed in Cuba for years. Privately owned restaurants have been common for decades, and became legal in the early 1990s. (Now there are so many the Cuban government worries that they are not regulated enough.) A few years ago I helped organize a conference on Ediciones Vigía, a Cuban publishing house specializing in high-end artist books.
More generally, after Raoul Castro took over for his older brother in 2008, the Cuban government has gradually relaxed some restrictions on private ownership, markets, and entrepreneurship. While Cuba is still formally a socialist economy, it has already begun moving in the direction of a mixed economy, albeit a heavily interventionist one (some observers say Vietnam and China are the models – countries with few political rights but substantial amounts of de fact economic freedom). The Cuban government formally announced in 2010 plans to expand the “non-state sector,” laying off hundreds of thousands of state employees and legalizing small-scale private enterprise, some forms of land rental, and other capitalist practices (here is a useful report). Cuba even has an MBA program.
Will entrepreneurship flourish in Cuba, and will it bring the same increases in the quality of life as elsewhere in the world? I am cautiously optimistic. There will not be a quick transformation. For one thing, the Cuban government (and most Western observers) define “entrepreneurship” narrowly as self-employment and small business; they do not have in mind the Mises’s general concept of the capitalist-entrepreneur, the “driving force” of a market economy. Don’t expect Nike factories or indigenous industrial firms anytime soon. Moreover, the national government will continue to be the dominant force in Cuban economic life, severely hampering attempts by business owners, investors, arbitrageurs, and other market participants to create economic value.
Still, even a little bit of capitalism goes a long way. As Mises noted, the entrepreneurial function, the actions of the capitalist-entrepreneurs that transform resources into the goods and services desired by consumers, can never be completely eliminated, even in an interventionist world.
The entrepreneur is also jeopardized by political dangers. Government policies, revolutions, and wars can damage or annihilate his enterprise. . . . But [entrepreneurs] will not stop operating. If some entrepreneurs go out of business, others will take their place — newcomers or old entrepreneurs expanding the size of their enterprises. In the market economy there will always be entrepreneurs. Policies hostile to capitalism may deprive the consumer of the greater part of the benefits they would have reaped from unhampered entrepreneurial activities. But they cannot eliminate the entrepreneurs as such if they do not entirely destroy the market economy.
Even during the heyday of the Cuban Revolution, private initiative and enterprise continued, though largely forced underground. Now entrepreneurs are being given a fighting chance. Godspeed!
This article was originally published at The Mises Institute.
Trump's pick for Homeland Security, Gen. John Kelly, comes back to government fresh off his last assignment as commander of the US military's Southern Command (SOCOM). Will he bring his experience using the US military to fight the drug war in Central and South America to the drug war at home?
By Daniel McAdams
[The following is an email update available exclusively for RPI subscribers. Add your email to the list to get future updates.]
Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:
Wow! It was so great to hear back from so many of you when I asked what we should do about the Washington Post's scurrilous and defamatory article claiming that the Ron Paul Institute -- along with other major sites such as Drudge, ZeroHedge, David Stockman's Contra Corner, Counterpunch, and others -- were actually tools of the Kremlin whose secret mission is to undermine Americans' faith in the democratic process. Funny, most of us would agree that it's the Washington Post and the rest of the "mainstream" media that are engaged in "fake news" propaganda on the behalf of government entities. They are the real threat to our peace and prosperity!
So I asked you for your opinion about what we should do next and you filled up my "inbox" with great ideas. Thank you!
I have been Tweeting and communicating with others on the "Washington Post blacklist" and to be sure a buzz has been created that we find out today has caused a bit of concern on the part of the Washington Post. Though the newspaper has not denounced its embarrassment of an article and apologized to those it defamed, it is clear that the Washington Post's lawyers are warning it to back off: all of a sudden a note from the Editor of the newspaper appeared today in front of the article distancing the Washington Post from the very source that was central to the article's claim that hundreds of leading US websites are secretly working at the behest of the Kremlin.
Here's what the Editor of the Washington Post inserted today in front of the scandalous article from November 24th:
Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.
Here's a quick translation: we tried to pull one over on you but too many people called our bluff. So we are going to pretend that we had no ill intent when we used as a prime source for our article claiming that the Kremlin was controlling major independent news websites a dubious and anonymous source that we never really checked out.
This is a real "cover your rear" move by the Washington Post in attempt to quell the mounting tide of criticism of their neo-McCarthyist blacklist of major independent media sites.
Let's keep their feet to the fire! I think we have a good deal more spooking to do. They are on the run and we do not dare quit now!
I will keep you posted as this breaking event develops. We are your voice against the mainstream fake news websites.
Stay tuned for more and please don't hesitate to email me with questions or comments.
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
By Jacob G. Hornberger
On October 30, 1940, during his campaign for an unprecedented third term as president, Franklin Roosevelt told an audience in Boston,
And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars. They are going into training to form a force so strong that, by its very existence, it will keep the threat of war far away from our shores. The purpose of our defense is defense.
It was a lie. In actuality, FDR was secretly doing everything he could to embroil the United States into World War II to help Great Britain and France defeat Germany.
Why secretly? Because he knew that the American people, having been fed a bill of goods by President Wilson some 20 years regarding World War I, were overwhelmingly opposed to entering another European war.
If Roosevelt wanted to intervene in the war, why didn’t he just send U.S. troops into battle, just as later presidents would do in places like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Grenada, Afghanistan, Somalia, and others?
This was during a time when presidents still complied with the constitutional provision that prohibits a president from waging war without first securing a declaration of war from Congress. FDR knew that if he went to Congress and asked for a declaration of war, as Wilson had for intervention into World War I, there was no chance that Congress would have consented to it. After the senseless loss of more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers in World War I — the war whose goal was to bring an end to all future wars and to make the world “safe for democracy” — the elected representatives of the American people were not about to assent to U.S. intervention into World War II.
Therefore, FDR knew that he had but one chance to get the U.S. into the war. If he could only induce Germany into attacking the United States, he knew that Congress would have to declare war after such an attack.
So, FDR did everything he could to induce Germany into attacking the United States, including having U.S. warships escort British ships in war zones and even going so far as to track and report on German submarines in the area. Also, under so-called “lend-lease” agreements, FDR began providing armaments to Great Britain.
Although there were incidents regarding U.S. warships that were assisting Great Britain, Germany refused to take FDR’s bait by attacking the United States in a way that would have caused Congress to respond with a declaration of war. That’s because the Germans knew that it was U.S. intervention in World War I that had brought about Germany’s total defeat. The last thing they wanted was to go to war with the United States again.
That caused FDR to shift gears and begin focusing on the Pacific — on Japan. Maybe, just maybe, he thought, he could maneuver Japan into attacking the United States and thereby provide a “back door” to the war in Europe that he wanted desperately to intervene in.
That’s when he began squeezing Japan. He began demanding that Japan end its brutal military occupation of China. When Japan refused to comply with his order, FDR ordered a freeze on Japanese bank accounts in the United States.
More important, he imposed complete embargo on U.S. oil shipments to Japan, an act that directly threatened the ability of the Japanese military to continue occupying China.
When Japan entered negotiations with the United States in an attempt to avoid war with the U.S., FDR offered terms that he knew would be highly humiliating to the Japanese and that they would never accept. By this time, the United States had broken Japan’s diplomatic code and also possibly its military code (that part is still being held secret by the U.S. military) and so U.S. officials knew that war was imminent.
Owing to FDR’s actions, Japan was faced with a bad choice. Either end its occupation of China owing to a lack of oil, or attack the U.S. Pacific fleet so that it could not interfere with Japan’s securing of oil supplies in the Dutch East Indies.
Japan chose the latter course of action. Thus, contrary to what American schoolchildren are taught from the first grade on up, Japan never had any intention (or capability) of invading, conquering, and occupying the United States. The aim was simply to freely move into the Dutch East Indies, take their oil, and continue their occupation of China.
That’s why U.S. troops were left in the Philippines and why U.S. ships were left at Pearl Harbor. FDR used them as bait for the Japanese to attack. Roosevelt was crafty enough to order U.S. carriers out of Hawaii so that they would still be available for war later on. But he just as craftily left destroyers and cruisers — and the men operating them at Pearl Harbor — so that the Japanese could be lured into attacking and providing FDR with his casus belli. It’s also why Gen. Douglas Macarthur and 10,000 American troops were left in the Philippines. They too were being used as bait.
Of course, hardly anyone ever asks an important question: What in the world were U.S. troops doing in the Philippines? The answer is rooted in the Spanish American War in 1898, the “turning point” war in which the United States became an empire with colonies and America adopted a policy of foreign interventionism. The Philippines was one of its acquired colonies (and Puerto Rico and, effectively, Cuba). In fact, it was also around that time that the United States annexed Hawaii as a possession of the United States.
As we all know, FDR got what he wanted, albeit at the cost of the lives of American soldiers who were used as FDR’s bait. To secure its oil supplies in the Dutch East Indies, Japan attacked the Philippines and Hawaii, thereby enabling FDR to secure his congressional declaration of war from Congress. Germany quickly obliged FDR with a declaration of war on the United States, thereby giving FDR his “back door” to the European conflict.
This article was orignally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Libya looks poised to sink into all-out civil war as we approach six years since NATO "liberated" the country. Not content to rest on its mistakes, NATO now wants to add tiny Montenegro to its alliance. Will the Senate take the bait?