The US Supreme Court ruled more or less in favor of the Masterpiece Cake Shop's owner refusing to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples on religious grounds. While conservatives may view this as a victory, in fact the ruling may end up hurting conservatives and libertarians more than helping them.
By Daniel McAdams
On Saturday, August 18th, proponents of peace and prosperity will gather again in Washington, DC, to call for a change in our foreign policy, to get the latest on the war on the independent media, to hear thoughtful and inspiring speakers, and to make new acquaintances and re-connect with old ones. Yes, the Ron Paul Institute is coming back to town!
The third annual Ron Paul Institute Washington, DC, Peace and Prosperity Conference includes a special focus on the symbiosis between the mainstream media and the warfare state. How does the mainstream media promote war and how does the war machine promote the mainstream media? How do the militarist interventionists collude with the mainstream media to prevent alternative media from having a voice? Remember "PropOrNot"? The Atlancic Council? "Hamilton 68"? How does the US government misuse its citizens' money to propgandize them into supporting endless, winless, pointless wars? To propagandize them into viewing any alternative media questioning the permanent warfare state as "unpatriotic" or even "agents of a foreign power"?
As always, the RPI summer conference will feature the most prominent, enlightening, and even entertaining experts in the field to present the case for peace and prosperity. In addition to several solo speeches, including by former US Rep. Ron Paul, Mises Institute founder Lew Rockwell, former CIA officer Ray McGovern (recently arrested for protesting the appointment of "Bloody" Gina Haspel to head the CIA), and more, this year's conference will feature three expert panel discussions to add a dynamic component to the event. Panel discussions will include prominent former military officers discussing the US global military empire and how it undermines our security and moral compass at home, a panel on the mainstream media's collusion with the national security state to destroy alternative voices, and a lunchtime panel of former Ron Paul Congressional staffers on how to build coalitions that work. The media panel will be introduced with a very special appearance by "Rogue Journalist" Caitlin Johnstone.
By popular demand, we are reinstating our "early bird" ticket prices for a limited time, so get your tickets right now and save some money!
Are you traveling from out of town? We've managed to get a great room rate at the Marriott of just $89 per night - but rooms are limited so book yours right away. There is a link on the main conference ticket sales page to get your discounted room.
By Adam Dick
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court, in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, decided in favor of a bakery that the Colorado state government sought to require to design and create a custom wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage. The court’s narrow basis for its resolution of the matter means that we can expect to see more cases dealing with similar issues moving through American courts.
In December, as a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report, I discussed the case with hosts Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams. In the discussion, Paul addressed the heart of the matter, saying that the bakery’s refusal to design and create the cake “is a property rights issue” and that “as long as force and violence is not used … owners should have the right to use their property as they see fit.”
Watch the complete interview here:
By Ron Paul
The February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida prompted many parents to consider homeschooling. This is hardly surprising, as the misnamed federal “Gun-Free Schools” law leaves schoolchildren defenseless against mass shooters. Removing one’s children from government schools seems a rational response to school shootings.
School shootings are not the only form of violence causing more parents to consider homeschooling. Many potential homeschooling parents are concerned about the failure of school administrators to effectively protect children from bullying by other students.
Of course many parents choose homeschooling as a means of protecting their children from federal education “reforms” such as Common Core. Other parents are motivated by a desire to protect their children from the cultural Marxism that has infiltrated many schools.
The spread of cultural Marxism has contributed to the dumbing down of public education. Too many government schools are more concerned with promoting political correctness than ensuring that students receive a good education. Even if cultural Marxism did not dumb down education, concerns that government schools are indoctrinating children with beliefs that conflict with parents’ political, social, and even religious beliefs would motivate many families to homeschool.
Even when government schools are not intentionally promoting cultural Marxism or other left-wing ideologies, they are still implicitly biased toward big government. For example, how many government schools teach the Austrian economics explanation for the Great Depression — much less question the wisdom of central banking — or critically examine the justifications for America’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy?
Parents interested in providing their children with a quality education emphasizing the ideas of liberty should consider looking into my homeschooling curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous programs in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior oral and verbal communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own internet businesses.
The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never puts ideological indoctrination ahead of education.
While government schools — and even many private schools — pretend religion played no significant role in history, my curriculum addresses the crucial role religion played in the development of Western civilization. However, the materials are drafted in such a way that any Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist parent can feel comfortable using the curriculum.
Interactive forums allow students to engage with and learn from each other. The forums ensure students are actively engaged in their education as well as give them an opportunity to interact with their peers outside of a formal setting.
Concern about the safety of students in government-run schools is one reason many parents are considering homeschooling, but it is not the only reason. Many parents are motivated by a desire to give their children something better than a curriculum that has been dumbed down by federal initiatives like Common Core. Other parents do not wish to have their children indoctrinated with views that contradict the parents’ political, social, or even religious beliefs.
I encourage all parents looking at alternatives to government schools —alternatives that provide children with a well-rounded education that introduces them to the history and ideas of liberty — to go to RonPaulCurriculum.com for more information about my homeschooling program.
Reports are circulating that the US is considering sending its THAAD missile defense system to Germany to, they claim, guard against the Iranian threat. Are the Iranians -- or the Russians -- about to attack Berlin? Or is this another big win for the US defense contractors?
By Joshua Bennett
For hundreds of years, western cultures have been refining what is known as Freedom of Conscience.
One of the outcomes of this refinement is Freedom of Speech, a Liberty that is relatively new to the human political experience.
Not long ago, being critical of a government, for instance, could get you killed by that government. Merely speaking out of turn or having critical thought towards the State religion meant torture or death.
But, we have advanced through time to understand that free thought and critical speech is something that a free people must protect and encourage. Thomas Jefferson went as far as to say that repressing Freedom of Conscience was a “Sin against God”.
Suppressing Freedom of Conscience though, was and is seen by the State as self preservation.
Today, we have access to information that only 20 years ago was other-worldly. Anyone with a cell phone can post a rant or share information to literally the whole world. Because of this information access, people take the information they get from the State influenced main stream media with a grain of salt, or immediately disbelieve it, and usually, rightfully so.
This is dangerous for the State’s propaganda machine, but the State realizes what is even more dangerous to it, would be for the State to appear to suppress it. Whether on the Left or the Right of the political spectrum, people tend to cherish what we now call, “Free Speech”, and rightfully so.
So what is the State to do? What States always do. Make the people fear their Liberty more than Itself.
Instead of immediately passing laws suppressing and/or silencing free speech, the State is manipulating the political fears people have to make them feel threatened by what they may think is opposing speech to their beliefs. And the fear the State has spread between opposing political speech has resulted in what not long ago would have been mocked as fairy tale superstition.
"Words can hurt you. People who disagree with you want to hurt you. You need your feelings protected against all invasion. Dissenting speech or thought is violence towards you.”
Instead of using dissenting views from our own to refine our beliefs and convictions, and to encourage discussion for the betterment of overall society, we are not only growing to fear Opposition of Thought, we want to be protected from it.
Enter the State.
From legislating pronouns, to aggressive threats of imprisonment for incorrect thinking, the State has moved in against Freedom of Conscience to suppress nonconformist. And some cheer this behavior by the State, seen to protect them from all harm. Others see it as a shield to advance their own political agenda opposition free.
But, as Bastiat explained, while all wish to live at the expense of the State, the State lives at the expense of all.
No one's political or personal thoughts or actions, are safe from this aggression by the State. While the State will pick winners and losers in the short run, it’s only a matter of time before the State silences everyone.
Before you cheer the State for destroying your opposition’s Freedom of Conscience, remember when your opposition is gone, you will be alone, and no one will be there when the State marches you into the rail car that you have built.
This article was originally published at Patriot's Lament.
Tariffs are taxes on Americans for the benefit of a tiny group of politically-connected corporations. Taxation can never lead to prosperity. Unfortunately, constant doses of patriotic propaganda convince Americans that they're being robbed for their own good. Ron Paul discusses the destructiveness of tariffs on today's Liberty Report.
What do you think authoritarians, who want everyone to obey their will, would prefer more? A nation of free thinking individuals, guided by their own beliefs, opinions and desires? Or a nation of people who can't detect truth, and who don't know what they're 'allowed' to think, or 'allowed' to say? Which would rulers prefer? Ron Paul discusses the mental prison known as Political-Correctness.
The US European Commander wants more US troops in Europe "to deter Russian aggression." Meanwhile, Poland is offering the US $2 billion to build a permanent US base on its territory. And the US is moving 2,500 new tanks and fighting vehicles into Europe. Does Russia really want to invade Europe? Or is this a fantasy of the US military-industrial complex?
By Ron Paul
Just two weeks after President Trump pulled the US from the Iran nuclear agreement, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, issued 12 demands to Iran that could never be satisfied. Pompeo knew his demands would be impossible to meet. They were designed that way. Just like Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia in July, 1914, that led to the beginning of World War I. And just like the impossible demands made of Milosevic in 1999 and of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003, and so many other times when Washington wanted war. These impossible demands are tools of war rather than steps toward peace.
Secretary Pompeo raged at Iran. The mainstream news media raged at Iran. Trump raged at Iran. But then a strange thing happened: nothing. The Iranians announced that they remained committed to diplomacy and would continue to uphold their end of the nuclear agreement if the Europeans and other partners were willing to do the same. Iranian and European officials then sought out contacts in defiance of Washington in hopes of preserving mutually-beneficial emerging commercial relations.
Washington responded to the European snub by threatening secondary sanctions on European companies that continued doing business with an Iran that had repeatedly been found in compliance with its end of the bargain. Any independent European relationship with Iran would be punished, Washington threatened. But then, again, very little happened.
Rather than jump on Washington’s bandwagon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made two trips to Russia in May seeking closer ties and a way forward on Iran.
Russia and China were named as our prime enemies in the latest National Security Strategy for the United States, but both countries stand to benefit from the unilateral US withdrawal from the Iran deal. When the French oil company Total got spooked by Washington threats and pulled out of Iran, a Chinese firm eagerly took its place.
It seems the world has grown tired of neocon threats from Washington. Ironically the “communist” Chinese seem to understand better than the US that in capitalism you do not threaten your customers. While the US is threatening and sanctioning and forbidding economic relations, its adversaries overseas are busy reaping the benefits of America’s real isolationism.
If President Trump’s canceled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un remains canceled, North and South Korea have shown that they will continue with their peacemaking efforts. As if Washington was no longer relevant.
I’ve often spoken of the unintended consequences of our aggressive foreign policy. For example, President Bush’s invasion of Iraq only helped Iran – our “enemy” – become more dominant in the Middle East. But it seems new consequences are emerging, and for the neocons they must be very unintended: for all of its bellicosity, threats, demands, sanctions, and even bombs, the rest of the world is increasingly simply ignoring the demands of Washington and getting on with its own business.
While I am slightly surprised at this development, as a libertarian and a non-interventionist I welcome the growing irrelevance of Washington’s interventionists. We have a far better philosophy and we must work hard to promote it so that it can finally be tried after neocon failure becomes obvious to everyone. This is our big opportunity!