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Ron Paul – Wikipedia

Ron Paul

Ronald Ernest Paul

Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American author, physician, and retired politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1979 to 1985, and for Texas’s 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012. Paul is a critic of the federal government’s fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve and the tax policy, as well as the militaryindustrial complex, and the War on Drugs. He has also been a vocal critic of mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs. He was the first chairman of the conservative PAC Citizens for a Sound Economy[2] and has been characterized as the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party movement.[3][4]

Paul served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968, and worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist from the 1960s to the 1980s.[5] He became the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a son or daughter in the Senate when his son, Rand Paul, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.[6] Paul is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute,[7] and has published a number of books and promoted the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns.

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would forgo seeking another term in Congress in order to focus on his presidential bid.[8] On May 14, 2012, Paul announced that he would not be competing in any other presidential primaries but that he would still compete for delegates in states where the primary elections have already been held.[9] At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Paul received 190 delegate votes. In January 2013, Paul retired from Congress but still remains active on college campuses, giving speeches promoting his libertarian vision.[10][11] Paul received one electoral vote from a Texas faithless elector in the 2016 presidential election, making him the oldest person to receive an electoral vote, as well as the second registered Libertarian presidential candidate in history to receive an Electoral College vote after John Hospers.

Ronald Ernest Paul was born on August 20, 1935, in Pittsburgh,[12] the son of Howard Caspar Paul (19041997), who ran a small dairy company, and Margaret Paul (ne Dumont; 19082001). His paternal grandfather emigrated from Germany,[13] and his paternal grandmother, a devout Christian, was a first-generation German American.[14]

As a junior at suburban Dormont High School, he was the 200 meter dash state champion.[15] Paul went to Gettysburg College, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.[16] He graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology in 1957.[15]

Paul earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Duke University’s School of Medicine in 1961, and completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh.[17][18] Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Paul and his wife then relocated to Texas, where he began a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology.[18]

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits his interest in the study of economics to them.[19]

When President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar’s loose association with gold[19] on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics[20] and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.[21]

In 1974, incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him for the 22nd district.[18] President Gerald Ford later appointed Casey to direct the Federal Maritime Commission, and Paul won an April 1976 special election to the vacant office after a runoff.[22][23][24] Paul lost the next regular election to Democrat Robert Gammage by fewer than 300votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch, and was reelected in 1980 and 1982.[25][26][27] Gammage underestimated Paul’s popularity among local mothers: “I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he’d delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner.”[28]

Paul served in Congress three different periods: first from 1976 to 1977, after he won a special election, then from 1979 to 1985, and finally from 1997 to 2013.[29]

In his early years, Paul served on the House Banking Committee, where he blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation and spoke against the banking mismanagement that resulted in the savings and loan crisis.[13][30] Paul argued for a return to the gold standard maintained by the US from 18731933, and with Senator Jesse Helms convinced the Congress to study the issue.[19] He spoke against the reinstatement of registration for the military draft in 1980, in opposition to President Jimmy Carter and the majority of his fellow Republican members of Congress.[31]

During his first term, Paul founded the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE), a non-profit think tank dedicated to promoting principles of limited government and free-market economics.[32][33] In 1984, Paul became the first chairman of the Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE),[2] a conservative political group founded by Charles and David Koch “to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation.” CSE started a Tea Party protest against high taxes in 2002.[34] In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy being renamed as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity. The two organizations would become key players in the Tea Party movement from 2009 onward.

Paul proposed term-limit legislation multiple times, while himself serving four terms in the House of Representatives.[31] In 1984, he decided to retire from the House in order to run for the U.S. Senate, complaining in his House farewell address that “Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare… It’s difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic.”[35][36] Paul lost the Republican primary to Phil Gramm, who had switched parties the previous year from Democrat to Republican. Another candidate of the senatorial primary was Henry Grover, a conservative former state legislator who had lost the 1972 gubernatorial general election to the Democrat Dolph Briscoe, Jr.[37][38]

On Paul’s departure from the House, his seat was assumed by former state representative Tom DeLay, who would later become House Majority Leader.[39]

Following the loss of the 1984 senate race, Paul returned to his obstetrics practice and took part in a number of other business ventures.[13][40] Along with his former congressional chief of staff, Lew Rockwell, Paul founded a for-profit enterprise, Ron Paul & Associates, Inc. (RP&A) in 1984, with Paul serving as president, Rockwell as vice president, Paul’s wife Carol as secretary, and daughter Lori Pyeatt as treasurer.The company published a variety of political and investment-oriented newsletters, including Ron Paul Freedom Report and Ron Paul Survival Report,[41] and by 1993 was generating revenues in excess of $900,000.[42]

Paul also co-owned a mail-order coin dealership, Ron Paul Coins, for twelve years with Burt Blumert, who continued to operate the dealership after Paul resumed office in 1996.[43][44] Paul spoke multiple times at the American Numismatic Association’s 1988 convention.[43] He worked with his Foundation for Rational Economics and Education on such projects as establishing the National Endowment for Liberty, producing the At Issue public policy series that was broadcast on the Discovery Channel and CNBC,[32] and continuing publication of newsletters.

Paul left the Republican Party in 1987 and launched a bid for the presidency running on the Libertarian Party ticket. His candidacy was seen as problematic because of the party’s long support for freedom of choice on abortions. Native American activist Russell Means, Paul’s rival for the nomination, emphasized that he was pro-choice on the abortion issue.[45] In a forum held prior to the nomination, Means dismissed the greater funds raised by Paul’s campaign, commenting that Means was receiving “10 times more press” than the former Congressman and was therefore “100 times more effective”.[46]

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul was on the ballot in 46 states,[47] scoring third in the popular vote with 432,179votes (0.5%).[48] Paul was kept off the ballot in Missouri, due to what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch termed a “technicality,” and received votes there only when written in,[49] just as he did in North Carolina.[50]

According to Paul, his presidential campaign was about more than obtaining office; he sought to promote his libertarian ideas, often to school and university groups regardless of vote eligibility. He said, “We’re just as interested in the future generation as this election. These kids will vote eventually, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll go home and talk to their parents.”[47]

Paul considered campaigning for president in 1992,[51] but instead chose to endorse Pat Buchanan that year, and served as an adviser to Buchanan’s Republican presidential primary campaign against incumbent President George H. W. Bush.[52]

During 1996, Paul was re-elected to Congress after a difficult campaign. The Republican National Committee endorsed incumbent Greg Laughlin in the primary; Paul won with assistance from baseball pitcher, constituent, and friend Nolan Ryan, tax activist and publisher Steve Forbes[13] and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan (the latter two of whom had had presidential campaigns that year). Paul narrowly defeated Democratic attorney Charles “Lefty” Morris in the fall election, despite Morris’ criticism over controversial statements in several newsletters that Paul published.

In 1998 and 2000, Paul defeated Loy Sneary, a Democratic Bay City, Texas, rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge.[20]In the 2008 Republican primary,[53] he defeated Friendswood city councilman Chris Peden,[54] with over 70 percent of the vote[55] and ran unopposed in the general election.[56] In the 2010Republican primary, Paul defeated three opponents with 80percent of the vote.[57]

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would not seek re-election to the House in order to pursue the 2012 presidential election.[58][59]

Of the 620 bills that Paul had sponsored through December 2011, over a period of more than 22 years in Congress, only one had been signed into law a lifetime success rate of less than 0.3%.[60] The sole measure authored by Paul that was ultimately enacted allowed for a federal customhouse to be sold to a local historic preservation society (H.R. 2121 in 2009).[60]

By amending other legislation, he has helped prohibit funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification,[20] International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation with any U.N. global tax, and surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.[61]

Paul was honorary chairman of, and is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee that describes its goal as electing “liberty-minded, limited-government individuals”.[62] He is an initiating member of the Congressional Rural Caucus, which deals with agricultural and rural issues, and the 140-member Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.[63]

Paul served on the following committees and subcommittees.[64]

With the election of the 112th Congress, and a resulting GOP majority in the House, Paul became the chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology starting in January 2011.[65]

Paul’s congressional career ended on January 3, 2013 with the swearing in of the 113th Congress.

Paul formally declared his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on March 12, 2007, on C-SPAN.[66] Few major politicians endorsed him, and his campaign was largely ignored by traditional media.[67] However, he attracted an intensely loyal grassroots following,[68] interacting through internet social media.[69][70][71] In May 2007, shortly after the first televised primary debates, the blogs search engine site Technorati.com listed Paul’s name as the term most frequently searched for;[69] and Paul’s campaign claimed that Paul had more YouTube channel subscribers than Barack Obama or any other candidate for president.[72] For a candidate who had had relatively low national name recognition prior to entering the race, Paul did surprisingly well in fundraising, taking in more money than any other Republican candidate in the fourth quarter of 2007, as the primary season headed into the Iowa caucuses.[73][74]

Despite benefiting from large numbers of campaign contributions from individual donors,[75] and the efforts of tech-savvy supporters determined to keep his name a frequent topic of discussion on the internet,[69] over the course of the campaign Paul was unable to translate the enthusiasm of his core supporters into large enough numbers of actual primary votes to unseat his rivals.

Paul came in 5th place in both the January 4 Iowa caucuses (10% of votes cast)[76] and the January 8 New Hampshire primary (8%).[77] With the exception of the Nevada caucuses January 19, where he came in 2nd (14%) behind Romney (51%), he did little better through the rest of January: Michigan 4th (6%), South Carolina 5th (4%), Florida 5th (3%). On SuperTuesday, February 5, he placed 4th in almost every state, generally taking in a mere 36% of the votes although he did better in the northern states of North Dakota (21%, 3rd place) and Montana (25%, 2nd place).[78][79]

By March, front-runner John McCain had secured enough pledged delegates to guarantee that he would win the nomination, and Romney and Huckabee had both formally withdrawn from the race. Paul, who had won no state primaries, knew that it was now mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination, as he had captured only 20[80] 40 pledged delegates compared to more than 1,191 for McCain, yet he refused to concede the race and said that it was unlikely that he would ultimately endorse McCain.[81][82][83] Over the next few weeks, Paul’s supporters clashed with establishment Republicans at several county and state party conventions over state party rules, the party platforms, and selection of delegates for the national convention.[84][85][86] In one of the more dramatic moments, Nevada’s state party leaders, outmaneuvered by Paul supporters at the state nominating convention, resorted to the highly unusual measure of prematurely and abruptly shutting down the convention before selecting national delegates, with a plan to reconvene at a later date.[87][88]

On June 12, 2008, Paul finally withdrew his bid for the Republican nomination. He later said that one of the reasons he did not run in the general election as a third-party candidate, after losing the primaries, was that, as a concession to gain ballot access in certain states, he had signed legally binding agreements to not run a third-party campaign if he lost the primary.[89] Some of the $4 million remaining campaign contributions was invested into the new political action and advocacy group called Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty.[90]

At a September 10, 2008, press conference, Paul announced his general support of four third-party candidates: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party); Bob Barr (Libertarian Party); Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party); and Ralph Nader (independent). He said that each of them had pledged to adhere to a policy of balancing budgets, bringing the troops home, defending privacy and personal liberties, and investigating the Federal Reserve. Paul also said that under no circumstances would he be endorsing either of the two main parties’ candidates (McCain Republican Party, or Obama Democratic Party) because there were no real differences between them, and because neither of them, if elected, would seek to make the fundamental changes in governance that were necessary. He urged instead that, rather than contribute to the “charade” that the two-party election system had become, the voters support the third-party candidates as a protest vote, to force change in the election process.[91][92] Later that same day, Paul gave a televised interview with Nader saying much the same again.[93]

Two weeks later, “shocked and disappointed” that Bob Barr (the Libertarian nominee) had pulled out of attending the press conference at the last minute and had admonished Paul for remaining neutral and failing to say which specific candidate Paul would vote for in the general election, Paul released a statement saying that he had decided to endorse Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate, for president.[94]

Paul withdrew from active campaigning in the last weeks of the primary election period. He received 42,426 votes, or 0.03% of the total cast, in the general election.[95]

Paul won several early straw polls for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination[96] and in late April 2011, he formed an official exploratory committee.[97][98] He participated in the first Republican presidential debate on May 5, 2011[99] and on May 13, 2011, Paul formally announced his candidacy in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.[100] He placed second in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, missing first by 0.9%.[101]

In December 2011, with Paul’s increased support, the controversy over racist and homophobic statements in several Ron Paul newsletters in the 1980s and early 1990s once again gained media attention.[102] During this time Paul supporters asserted that he was continually ignored by the media despite his significant support, citing examples of where television news shows would fail to mention Paul in discussions of the Republican presidential hopefuls even when he was polling second.[103][104][105]

Ron Paul’s presidential campaign managers Jesse Benton, John Tate and Demetri Kesari were all found guilty of paying former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson $73,000 to switch his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann to Paul.[106] In court papers filed in August 2014, Sorenson said that he had been paid by both presidential campaigns for his endorsement and plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from the incident.[107]

Paul came in third in the Iowa Republican Caucus held on January 3, 2012. Out of a turnout of 121,503 votes, Paul took 26,036 (21%) of the certified votes. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney finished in a virtual tie for first place with 25% each,[108] although Ron Paul had ultimately won Iowa at the Republican National Convention gathering 22 delegates to Mitt Romney’s 5. In the New Hampshire Primary held on January 10, 2012, Paul received 23% of the votes and came in second after Romney’s 39%.[109]

Paul’s results then declined, despite the withdrawal of candidates Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry. He had fourth-place finishes in the next two primaries, on January 21 in South Carolina (with 13% of the vote)[110] and on January 31 in Florida (where he received 7% of the vote).[111][112][113]

On February 4, Paul finished third in Nevada with 18.8% of the vote.[114] Three non-binding primaries were held on February 7; Paul took 3rd place in Colorado[115] and Missouri[116] with 13% and 12% of the vote respectively. He fared better in Minnesota[117] with 27%, finishing second to Rick Santorum.

On May 14, Paul’s campaign announced that due to lack of funds (though despite financial backing from financiers Peter Thiel and Mark Spitznagel)[118] he would no longer actively campaign for votes in the 11 remaining primary states, including Texas and California, that had not yet voted.[9][119] He would, however, continue to seek to win delegates for the national party convention in the states that had already voted.

In June, a group of 132 supporters of Paul, demanding the freedom as delegates to the upcoming Republican party national convention to cast votes for Paul, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Republican National Committee and 55 state and territorial Republican party organizations for allegedly coercing delegates to choose Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee.[120] The suit alleged that there had been “a systematic campaign of election fraud at state conventions,” employing rigging of voting machines, ballot stuffing, and falsification of ballot totals. The suit further pointed to incidents at state conventions, including acts of violence and changes in procedural rules, allegedly intended to deny participation of Paul supporters in the party decision-making and to prevent votes from being cast for Paul. An attorney representing the complainants said that Paul campaign advisor Doug Wead had voiced support for the legal action.[120] Paul himself told CNN that although the lawsuit was not a part of his campaign’s strategy and that he had not been advising his supporters to sue, he was not going to tell his supporters not to sue, if they had a legitimate argument. “If they’re not following the rules, you have a right to stand up for the rules. I think for the most part these winning caucuses that we’ve been involved in we have followed the rules. And the other side has at times not followed the rules.”[121]

Paul declined to speak at the Republican National Convention as a matter of principle, saying that the convention planners had demanded that his remarks be vetted by the Romney campaign and that he make an unqualified endorsement of Romney.[122] Paul had felt that “It wouldn’t be my speech… That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”[122] Many of Paul’s supporters and delegates walked out of the convention in protest over rules adopted by the convention that reduced their delegate count and that would make it harder for non-establishment candidates to win the party’s nomination in future elections.[123] Supporters and media commentators had noted that the delegations from states where Paul had had the most support were given the worst seats in the convention hall, while delegations from regions with no electoral votes, such as the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico, were given prime seats at the front.[124][125]

As in 2008, in 2012 Paul ultimately refused to endorse the ticket selected by the Republican Party. He said that there was no essential difference between Romney and his Democratic opponent, President Obama, on the most critical policies: “I’ve been in this business a long time and believe me there is essentially no difference from one administration to another no matter what the platforms… The foreign policy stays the same, the monetary policy stays the same, there’s no proposal for any real cuts and both parties support it.”[126] Paul received 26,204 write-in votes, or 0.02% of the total cast in the election.[127]

Throughout his entire tenure in Congress, Paul has represented his district as a member of the Republican Party. However, he has frequently taken positions in direct opposition to the other members and the leadership of the party, and he has sometimes publicly questioned whether he really belonged in the party.

Paul voted for Dwight D. Eisenhower for president in 1956 when he was 21 years old.[128] He had been a lifelong supporter of the Republican Party by the time he entered politics in the mid-1970s.[128] He was one of the first elected officials in the nation to support Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,[129] and he actively campaigned for Reagan in 1976 and 1980.[130] After Reagan’s election in 1980, Paul quickly became disillusioned with the Reagan administration’s policies. He later recalled being the only Republican to vote against Reagan budget proposals in 1981,[131][132] aghast that “in 1977, Jimmy Carter proposed a budget with a $38 billion deficit, and every Republican in the House voted against it. In 1981, Reagan proposed a budget with a $45 billion deficit which turned out to be $113 billion and Republicans were cheering his great victory. They were living in a storybook land.”[129] He expressed his disgust with the political culture of both major parties in a speech delivered in 1984 upon resigning from the House of Representatives to prepare for a (failed) run for the Senate, and he eventually apologized to his libertarian friends for having supported Reagan.[131]

By 1987, Paul was ready to sever all ties to the Republican Party, as he explained in a blistering resignation letter: “Since [1981] Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years.”[128][130] A month later he announced he would seek the 1988 Libertarian Party nomination for president.

During the 1988 campaign, Paul called Reagan “a dramatic failure”[130] and complained that “Reagan’s record is disgraceful. He starts wars, breaks the law, supplies terrorists with guns made at taxpayers’ expense and lies about it to the American people.”[133] Paul predicted that “the Republicans are on their way out as a major party,”[131] and he said that, although registered as a Republican, he had always been a libertarian at heart.[131][132]

Paul returned to his private medical practice and managing several business ventures after losing the 1988 election; but by 1996, he was ready to return to politics, this time running on the Republican Party ticket again. He said that he had never read the entire Libertarian platform when he ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988, and that “I worked for the Libertarians on my terms, not theirs.”[134] He added that in terms of a political label he preferred to call himself “a constitutionalist. In Congress I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the (Republican) platform.”[134]

When he lost the Republican Party presidential primary election in 2008, Paul criticized the two major political parties, saying that there was no real difference between the parties and that neither of them truly intended to challenge the status quo. He refused to endorse the Republican Party’s nominee for president, John McCain, and lent his support to third-party candidates instead.[135][136]

In the 2012 presidential campaign, during which he acknowledged it was unlikely that he would win the Republican Party nomination,[137] Paul again asserted that he was participating in the Republican Party on his own terms, trying to persuade the rest of the party to move toward his positions rather than joining in with theirs.[138] He expressed doubt that he would support any of his rivals should they win the nomination, warning that, “If the policies of the Republican Party are the same as the Democrat Party and they don’t want to change anything on foreign policy, they don’t want to cut anything, they don’t want to audit the Fed and find out about monetary policy, they don’t want to have actual change in government, that is a problem for me.”[139] On that same theme he said in another interview, “I would be reluctant to jump on board and tell all of the supporters that have given me trust and money that all of a sudden, I’d say, [all] we’ve done is for naught. So, let’s support anybody at all even if they disagree with everything that we do.”[140]

Paul has been described as conservative and libertarian.[13] According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress from 1937 to 2002,[141][142] and is the most conservative of the candidates that had sought the 2012 Republican nomination for president.[143] Other analyses have judged Paul much more moderate. The National Journal, for instance, rated Paul only the 145th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435) based on votes cast in 2010.[144][145] The National Journal’s analysis gave Paul a 2011 composite ideological rating of 54% liberal and 46% conservative.[146]

The foundation of Paul’s political philosophy is the conviction that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”[147]He has been nicknamed “Dr. No,”[20] reflecting both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”[30]

Paul has advocated for a noninterventionist foreign policy.[148] He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty.[149]

He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11 attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists. An opponent of the Iraq War and potential war with Iran, he has also criticized neoconservatism and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, arguing that both inadvertently cause terrorist reprisals against Americans, such as the 9/11 attacks. Paul has stated that “Israel is our close friend” and that it is not the place of the United States to “dictate how Israel runs her affairs”.[150]

Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft. Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”[151]

Sometime within the same month but much after the event of authorities executing a lock-down in sequence to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Paul commented on the tactics used by governing forces into a harsh criticism that he has written as a “military-style occupation of an American city”.[11]

Paul is a proponent of Austrian School economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian School economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of President Grover Cleveland and Chicago School economist Milton Friedman)[152] on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes;[153] he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during a 19951997 period.[20]

He has pledged never to raise taxes[154] and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels;[155][156] financing government operations would be primarily by excise taxes and non-protectionist tariffs. He endorses eliminating most federal government agencies, terming them unnecessary bureaucracies.

On April 15, 2011, Paul was one of four Republican members of Congress to vote against Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, known as “The Path to Prosperity.”[157]

Paul has consistently warned of hyperinflation and called for the gold standard as far back as 1981.[158][159] Since 1999, he has introduced bills into each Congress seeking to eliminate the Federal Reserve System in a single year.[160][161][162]

He endorses free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as “managed trade”.

As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention.[163] He called global warming a hoax in a 2009 Fox Business interview, saying, “You know, the greatest hoax I think that has been around in many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming.”[164] He acknowledges there is clear evidence of rising temperatures in some parts of the globe, but says that temperatures are cooling in other parts.[165]

Paul has stated that “The government shouldn’t be in the medical business.” He pushes to eliminate federal involvement with and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to decrease due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market.[166] He also opposes federal government influenza inoculation programs.[167]

Paul endorses increased border security and opposes welfare for illegal immigrants, birthright citizenship and amnesty;[168] he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

He is an outspoken proponent of increased ballot access for third-party candidates.[169] He has sought to repeal the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter law.[170]

Paul has stated that secession from the United States “is a deeply American principle” and that “If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”[171] Paul wrote the remarks in a post on his Congressional website in one of his final public statements as a member of Congress, noting that many petitions had been submitted to the White House calling for secession in the wake of the November 2012 election.[172]

He terms himself “strongly pro-life”,[173] “an unshakable foe of abortion”,[174] and believes regulation or ban[175] on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”.[176] His abortion-related legislation, such as the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.”[177] Paul says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception.[178]

Paul opposes the federal War on Drugs,[179] and believes the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana.[180]

Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not cited directly by the Constitution. He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty[176] (although he opposes capital punishment),[181] of education,[182] and of marriage, and endorsed revising the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to concern mainly disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual).[183]

Paul was critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing that it sanctioned federal interference in the labor market and did not improve race relations. He once remarked: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society”.[184] Paul opposes affirmative action.[185]

Beginning in 1978, for more than two decades Paul and his associates published a number of political and investment-oriented newsletters bearing his name (Dr. Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, the Ron Paul Investment Letter, and the Ron Paul Political Report).[41]

A number of the newsletters, particularly in the period between 1988 and 1994 when Paul was no longer in Congress, contained material that later proved controversial. Topics included conspiracy theories, anti-government militia movements, and race wars.[186] During Paul’s 1996 congressional election campaign, and his 2008 and 2012 presidential primary campaigns, critics charged that some of the passages reflected racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic bigotry.[20][187][188][189]

In a 1996 interview, Paul did not deny writing the newsletters and defended some of their contents, but specified that he opposes racism.[190][191][192] In March 2001, Paul said he did not write the commentaries, but stopped short of denying authorship in 1996 because his campaign advisers had thought it would be too confusing and that he had to live with the material published under his name.[193][194] Half a dozen libertarian activists, including some still closely associated with Paul, pointed to Lew Rockwell as the primary ghostwriter of the newsletters. Rockwell denied responsibility for the content.[41] In 2011, Paul’s spokesperson Jesse Benton said Paul had “taken moral responsibility because they appeared under his name and slipped through under his watch.”[195]

In April 2013, Paul founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a foreign policy think tank that seeks to promote his non-interventionist views.[196] The institute is part of his larger foundation Foundation for Rational Economics and Education.

In the same month, he began to offer the Ron Paul Curriculum, a homeschool online curriculum developed by Gary North and taught from a “free market and Christian” perspective; it is free from grades kindergarten5 and available to paid members from 612.[197]

In June 2013, Paul criticized the NSA surveillance program and praised Edward Snowden for having performed a “great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret”.[198]

On March 28, 2017, Paul predicted the markets would lower during the year and said President Trump had taken a risk with crediting himself for the postelection market surge, reasoning Washington was still predominantly unchanged.[199]

Paul has been a critic of Donald Trump’s plans to increase the number of military personnel in Afghanistan. In August 2017, he said that Americans don’t see Afghanistan as a threat to their personal security and being aggressive in foreign policy only loses Trump some of his support base.[200] Paul has also called for Trump to bring American troops back from Syria in April 2018, on the grounds that the threat from ISIS has been eliminated.[201]

In 2013, Paul established the “Ron Paul Channel”, an Internet broadcast. Its slogan is “Turn Off Your TV. Turn On the Truth.”[202] Speaking about the channel, Paul said, “I was at a debate one time a couple years ago, where I didn’t think I got a fair shake. In a two-hour debate, I had 89 seconds. I thought, maybe there’s something wrong with the media. Maybe they’re not covering us fairly. I’m just using it as a pun, but there’s a bit of truth to this. We don’t get a fair shake. The people who believe in liberty and limited government don’t expect it from the ordinary media.” Speaking about his youth appeal, he noted, “They don’t sit and watch TV and turn the programs on at seven o’clock to watch us like that so I thought the technology was there. The country is ripe for the continuation of this revolution.”[203]

In May 2015, Ron Paul ended all relationships with the Voices of Liberty and the Ron Paul Channel to start a new internet broadcast called the Ron Paul Liberty Report. According to Paul himself, it will not cost a thing, unlike the previous Ron Paul Channel. In the announcement of the ended relationship, Paul said, “But the message I have always tried to deliver over the years has always been the same, and that is spreading the message of liberty. Right now I am very much engaged in doing that through the internet. But, I believe we can do better. Right now, the program has changed to the Ron Paul Liberty Report, and that is what we do, we report on liberty in context of what is going on in daily activity and what is going on in the news.” Paul went on to say that it will be more locally controlled, unlike the previous Ron Paul Channel. Paul continued to say it will be produced out of Texas, instead of California.[204]

In April 2015, Paul began appearing in infomercials warning about an upcoming financial meltdown as a result of the imminent crash of the world’s currencies.[205][206] He urges listeners to read America 2020: The Survival Blueprint, a book written by Porter Stansberry.[207]

Paul endorsed his son, Senator Rand Paul, in the Republican primary and campaigned for him in Iowa.[208] After his son dropped out, Paul had said that no Republican or Democratic candidate even came close to holding Libertarian views.[209] Paul was disappointed in the Libertarian Party for nominating Gary Johnson for President of the United States and told independent voters that Jill Stein was a better candidate for those who “lean towards progressivism and liberalism”.[210]

Paul received one electoral vote from a Texas faithless elector, South Texas College political science professor William Greene (who had been pledged to Donald Trump),[211] in the 2016 presidential election,[212][213] making Paul the oldest person ever to receive an electoral vote.

Paul has been married to Carol (Carolyn) Wells since 1957.[214] They met in 1952 when Wells asked Paul to be her escort to her 16th birthday party.[215][216] They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian:[13] Ronald, Lori, Randal, Robert, and Joy. Paul’s son Randal is the junior United States senator from the state of Kentucky. Raised a Lutheran, Paul later became a Baptist.[217] Since 1995, Carol Paul has published the Ron Paul Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes she and her friends contributed, and which was sold in part to support Ron Paul’s political campaigns.[218] His life and career is the subject of the 2012 film Ron Paul Uprising.[219]

Paul and his wife currently reside in Lake Jackson, Texas.[220]

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Ron Paul – Wikipedia

Ron Paul – Official Site

mar 21, 2019 Neocons Want Brazil in NATO to Undermine Venezuela Daniel McAdams Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute joins News.Views.Hughes to discuss Trumps apparent 180 degree turn on NATO. While once he was outspoken in his criticism, President Trump now wants to expand the alliance by bringing Brazil into the fold. He argues that Trump has neocons whispering in his ear and that NATO is an expensive meeting club that has outlived its purpose… read on…

mar 20, 2019 Twitter Prevents Julian Assanges Mom from Posting, Restricts Viewing of Her Past Posts Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has usedher Twitter pagetocriticizethe United States government effort to prosecute and imprison her son for making available leaked information exposing abusive government actions, as well as her sons harsh treatment including a prohibition on his communication with the outside world over the last year at Ecuadors London embassy where he obtained sanctuary in 2012. read on…

mar 19, 2019 Ron Paul Airs Concerns about the Trump Presidency Ron Paul, the libertarian communicator who ran three times for president, has been neither a never-Trumper nor a loyalist of President Donald Trump. Instead, Paul, through the 2016 presidential campaign and Trumps presidency, has judged Trumps various comments and actions against Pauls understanding of right and wrong. read on…

mar 16, 2019 Five Minutes Five Issues: Watching Assange, Ocasio-Cortez, Expungement, Bernie Sanders, Alaska Marijuana A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show atStitcher,iTunes,YouTube, andSoundCloud. read on…

mar 14, 2019 Lawrence Wilkerson: National Security Spending Should Be Cut, Not Increased President Donald Trump released this week his budget proposal thatincludesincreasing by five percent United States military spending. read on…

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Ron Paul – Official Site

Ron Paul Liberty Report

If you’re walking around and talking about how you “hate profits,” you might as well say that you “hate oxygen” too. The truth is that you reallydon’thate profits because youcan’thate profits.

Every moment of your life, you’re seeking to profit, and concomitantly are trying to avoid losses.

Every single moment!

Read the rest

In every exchange, both sides benefit from their own individual subjective perspective. Thats because at the moment of the trade, they are both giving up something they value less for something they value more. Thus, trade enables people to improve their standard of living. The greater the ability of people to trade, the better off they are.

Read the rest

Read the rest

Read the rest

War Destroys.

Read this classic Rockwell piece here.

The Trump Administration has requested a huge increase in the US spy budget, including a whopping $23 billion for the “black” budget. The reasons given are the increasing threats from Russia and China. Does all this spy spending really protect us…or is it just welfare for the Beltway bandits and scaremongers?Streamed LIVE Mar. 19, 2019

The president has backpedaled yet again. Instead of seeing American troops return home from Syria “very soon,” as President Trump promised, his neocon advisors have made sure that it’s not going to happen.Published Mar. 18, 2019

Once again, we’re seeing that there’s really no philosophical differences between the two major parties. President Trump’s proposed budget of record spending and record trillion dollar deficits could just as easily have been put together by a Democratic administration. The national debt will ultimately be unserviceable and the government bubble will come to a painful end. Ron Paul discusses on today’s Liberty Report!Streamed LIVE Mar. 15, 2019

The Senate has passed “war powers” legislation ordering the president to cease and desist his cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the destruction of Yemen. A House vote is expected soon, which would throw the issue to the president who has promised a veto. Will there be political fallout for a president failing to accede to the will of Congress on matters of war and peace?Streamed LIVE Mar. 14, 2019

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar (MN) has stirred up both political parties with her comments on the Israel Lobby, has infuriated the Republicans with her aggressive line of questioning for Trump’s “regime change” expert Elliott Abrams, and has driven the Democrats mad with her criticisms of Barack Obama. Is she on the right track, or off the rails?Streamed LIVE Mar. 13, 2019

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Ron Paul Liberty Report

Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids

A new survey by AAA shows that most Americans distrust self-driving cars. In the past two years, public trust in the emerging technology has gone down.

Poor Turnout

While tech companies like Waymo, Uber, and Tesla race to be the first to build a fully-autonomous vehicle, the public is left eating their dust.

About 71 percent of Americans say that they don’t trust self-driving cars, according to a new American Automobile Association (AAA) survey. That’s roughly the same percentage as last year’s survey, but it’s eight points higher than in 2017, according to Bloomberg and just 19 percent say they’d put their children or family members into an autonomous vehicle.

Overall, the data is a striking sign of public fatigue with self-driving cars.

Track Record

Autonomous vehicles, unlike some other emerging technologies, have suffered very public setbacks, including when an Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian a year ago.

“It’s possible that the sustained level of fear is rooted in a heightened focus, whether good or bad, on incidents involving these types of vehicles,” said AAA director of automotive engineering Greg Brannon in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. “Also it could simply be due to a fear of the unknown.”

Uphill Battle

The AAA survey found that Americans are more accepting of autonomous vehicle tech in limited-use cases. For example, 53 percent of survey respondents were okay with self-driving trams or shuttles being used in areas like theme parks, while 44 percent accepted the idea of autonomous food-delivery bots.

Self-driving car companies are currently engaging in public relations efforts to earn people’s trust, Bloomberg reports. But if these AAA numbers are any indication, there’s a long way to go.

READ MORE: Americans Still Fear Self-Driving Cars [Bloomberg]

More on autonomous vehicles: Exclusive: A Waymo One Rider’s Experiences Highlight Autonomous Rideshare’s Shortcomings

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Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids

Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

A Familiar Car

First, it was supposed to feature Model-X-style “falcon wing” doors, and then it didn’t. It was supposed to be built in the Shanghai factory, but that didn’t work out either.

Tesla finally unveiled its fifth production car, the Model Y, at its design studio outside of Los Angeles Thursday evening.

“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the event. “So this thing will be really tight on corners.”

Bigger than the 3, Smaller Than the X

Yes, acceleration is still zippy: zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

But the vehicle is less than revolutionary. It’s arguably the company’s second crossover sports utility vehicle, after the Model X, and it borrows heavily from the company’s successful Model 3. In fact, 75 percent of its parts are the same, according to CEO Elon Musk.

The back of the Y is slightly elevated in the back for a roomier cargo space. A long-range model will feature seven seats — just like the Model X, despite being slightly smaller. Range: still 300 miles with the Long Range battery pack, thanks to its aerodynamic shape.

It will also be “feature complete” according to Musk, referring to the fact that the Model Y will one day be capable of “full self-driving” that he says “will be able to do basically anything just with software upgrades.”

10 Percent Cheaper

As expected, the Model Y is ten percent bigger and costs roughly ten percent more than the Model 3: the first Model Y — the Long Range model — will be released in the fall of 2020 and will sell for $47,000. A dual-motor all-wheel drive version and a performance version will sell for $51,000 and $60,000, respectively.

If you want to save a buck and get the ten-percent-cheaper-than-the-Model-3 version, you’ll have to wait: a Standard Range (230 miles) model will go on sale in 2021 for just $39,000.

Overall, the Model Y seems like a compromise: it’s not a radical shift, but it seems carefully designed to land with a certain type of consumer — and, if Musk is to be believed, without sacrificing Tesla’s carefully-cultivated “cool factor.”

Investors seemed slightly underwhelmed, too — the company’s stock reportedly slid up to five percent after the announcement.

READ MORE:  Tesla unveils Model Y electric SUV with 300 miles range and 7-seats [Electrek]

More on the Model Y: Elon Musk: Tesla Will Unveil Model Y Next Week

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Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen

A Samsung exec has shared new details on the company's efforts to create a full-screen phone, one with the camera embedded beneath the display.

Punch It

Just last month, South Korean tech giant Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10, a phone with just a single hole punched in the screen to accommodate its front-facing camera.

On Thursday, a Samsung exec shared new details on the company’s intentions to create a “perfect full-screen” phone, with an “invisible” camera behind the screen to eliminate the need for any visible holes or sensors — confirming that one of the biggest players in tech sees edge-to-edge screens as the future of mobile devices.

Hidden Tech

During a press briefing covered by Yonhap News Agency, Samsung’s Mobile Communication R&D Group Display Vice President Yang Byung-duk said the company’s goal is to create a phone with a screen that covers the entire front of the device — but consumers shouldn’t expect it in the immediate future.

“Though it wouldn’t be possible to make (a full-screen smartphone) in the next 1-2 years,” Yang said, “the technology can move forward to the point where the camera hole will be invisible, while not affecting the camera’s function in any way.”

Quest for Perfection

This isn’t Samsung’s first mention of an uninterrupted full-screen phone — as pointed out by The Verge, the company discussed its ambitions to put the front-facing camera under a future device’s screen during a presentation in October.

That presentation included a few additional details on how the camera in a full-screen phone would work.

Essentially, the entire screen would serve as a display whenever the front-facing camera wasn’t in use. When in use, however, the screen would become transparent, allowing the camera to see through so you could snap the perfect selfie — and based on Yang’s comments, that new innovation could be just a few years away.

READ MORE: Samsung Seeks Shift to Full Screen in New Smartphones [Yonhap News Agency]

More on Samsung: Samsung Just Revealed a $1,980 Folding Smartphone

The post Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen appeared first on Futurism.

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Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen

Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University

Futurism acquired by Singularity University

So, Readers –

As always, we’ve got some news about the future. Except this time, it’s about us.

We’re about to enter the next chapter of Futurism, one that will usher in a new era for this site. It’ll come with new ways we’ll be able to deliver on everything you’ve grown to read, watch, subscribe to, and love about what we do here. And also, more in volume of what we do, with larger ambitions, and ultimately, a higher level of quality with which we’re able to bring those ambitions to fruition.

As of today, Futurism Media is proud to announce that we’re joining operations with Singularity University. In other words: They bought us, they own us, and quite frankly, we’re excited about the deal.

It’s an excitement and an occasion we share in with you, our community of readers — aspiring and working technologists, scientists, engineers, academics, and fans, who carried us to where we are, who helped make this independent media company what it is today. We’ve always been humbled by your support, and we’ve worked to reciprocate it by publishing one of the most crucial independent technology and science digital digests, every day, full stop.

What this changes for you? Nothing. Really. Except: More of what you’ve come to count on Futurism.com to deliver every time you’ve read our stories, opened our emails, swiped up on our ‘Gram, watched our videos, dropped in on our events, clicked through a Byte, and so on. This partnership represents the sum total of the work you’ve engaged with, and the start of a new chapter in which we’ll be able to deliver on more of the above.

That means increased coverage of the emergent, cutting-edge innovation and scientific developments changing the world, and the key characters and narratives shaping them (or being shaped by them). It means an expanded, in-depth feature publishing program, arriving this Spring (it’s rad, and it’s gonna blow your socks off). It means more breaking news reporting and analysis. It means original media products you haven’t seen from us before — new verticals, microsites, other ways for you to get in the mix with our coverage. And yes, by working in concert with Singularity University, we’re going to have a pretty decent competitive advantage: Direct access to the characters and personas shaping our future, the people, ideas, and innovations right at the frontier of exponential growth technologies. Our branded content team, Futurism Creative, will also continue to produce guideline-abiding, cutting-edge, thoughtful and engaging content for our partners, and for the partners of SU, too. And finally, our Futurism Studios division will continue to push the envelope of feature-length narrative storytelling of the science fiction (and science fact) stories of that future.

Will this change our journalism? Not in the slightest. We’ll still be operating as an independent, objective news outlet, without interference from our partners, who will continue to hold us to the same ethics and accountability standards we’ve held ourselves to these last few years. There might be more appearances from the folks at SU in our work (not that SU’s proliferate network of notable alumni or board members haven’t previously made appearances around these parts prior to this), but by no means will SU be shoehorning themselves into what we do here.

Yet: Where the opportunity exists, we’ll absolutely seize on the chance to co-create and catalyze action together to shape the technology and science stories on the horizon, to say nothing of that future itself. We’ll continue to make quality the primary concern — and they’re here to support that mandate, and augment this team with additional resources to accomplish it. If even the appearance of a conflict presents itself, as always, we’ll default to disclosure. But it’d be absurd of us not to take advantage of the immense base of knowledge our new partners in Mountain View have on offer (an apt comparison here would be, say, Harvard Business Review to H.B.S. or M.I.T. and our contemporaries at the MIT Technology Review).

We’ve been circling this partnership for a while; they, fans of ours, and us, fans of theirs. The original mandate of Futurism as written by our C.E.O. Alex Klokus was to increase the rate of human adaptability towards the future through delivering on the news of where that future is headed. Singularity University concerns itself with educating the world on the exponential growth technologies changing our lives. It’s a perfect merging of interests. Where exponential growth technologies are concerned: One only need look as far as the way online advertising and social platforms changed the economics of media to see this. To find a home with a growing institution that will prove increasingly vital to the growing global community they’ve already established in spades is the best possible outcome. And no, we didn’t get crazy-rich or anything. But we did galvanize the future (and all its possibilities) for everyone at this company, and our ability to keep serving you, our readers.

We’re immensely proud of the scrappy, tight team here; and especially you, our community of readers and partners we’ve grown with these last few years. We’re proud of the product we’ve created, especially last year, when we steered away from reliance on social media platforms for an audience, and reconfigured an editorial strategy around the priority of driving you directly to Futurism.com daily, by prioritizing quality, topicality, reliability, and on-site presentation (shocker: it worked). Now, we proud to be able to do more, better, of what we’ve always done here:

Tell the stories of tomorrow, today. On behalf of the entire Brooklyn-based Futurism team, thanks for being along for the ride so far, and on behalf of the new Futurism x Singularity University family, here’s to more of where that came from.

The future, as ever, is looking bright. We can’t wait to tell you about it.

– Foster Kamer
Director of Content

James Del
Publisher

Sarah Marquart
Director of Strategic Operations

Geoff Clark
President of Futurism Studios

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Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University

Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

During the unveiling of Tesla's highly anticipated Model Y, CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would focus on its Solar Roof and Powerwall in 2019.

Looking Up

During the unveiling of Tesla’s highly anticipated Model Y Thursday night, CEO Elon Musk shared his vision for his company’s immediate future — and it had little to do with cars.

“This is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall,” he told the audience, according to Inverse — a sign that Tesla is shifting its focus from the road to the home, with the ultimate goal of creating a fully sustainable future.

Pretty Picture

In August 2017, Tesla gave the world its first glimpse of an installed Solar Roof, and it looked, well, a lot like any other roof. But that was the point — Tesla’s solar tiles didn’t have the jarring appearance of many home solar panels.

That aesthetically pleasing design — combined with the tiles’ affordability and “infinity warranty” — had solar energy expert Senthil Balasubramanian predicting Tesla would be a “game changer” for clean energy.

With the exception of the occasional massive battery project, though, we haven’t heard much about Tesla’s home energy products since then. The company spent much of 2017 and 2018 focused on getting through the Model 3’s “production hell” and dealing with the fallout from Musk’s latest public misstep.

Under One Roof

But now that Model 3 production is humming along, Tesla has the bandwidth to shift some of its engineering focus back to its Solar Roof and home batteries, according to Musk — and that should go a long way toward helping the company meet its ambitious goal of a more sustainable energy system.

“Solar plus battery plus electric vehicles, we have a fully sustainable future,” Musk told the audience Thursday. “That’s a future you can feel really excited and optimistic about. I think that really matters.”

READ MORE: Tesla Solar Roof: Elon Musk Declares 2019 Will Be the Year of the Roof [Inverse]

More on Tesla: Solar Expert Predicts Tesla Will Be a “Game-Changer” for Clean Energy

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Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

Jak Wilmot, co-founder of Disrupt VR, an Atlanta-based VR content studio, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset, locked up in his apartment.

The Dumbest Thing

Jak Wilmot, the co-founder of Atlanta-based VR content studioDisrupt VR, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset — that’s a full week — pent up in his apartment.

“This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but welcome to a week in the future,” he said in a video about the experiment.

To make the experience even more futuristic, Wilmot livestreamed the entire week on Twitch late last month, later uploading a wrapup video on his entire week on YouTube.

The rules were simple: he could switch from a computer-based Oculus headset to a different, untethered headset for thirty seconds while his eyes were closed. His windows were blacked out, he said, so that his physical body didn’t have to rely on the daylight-dependent circadian rhythm.

His more mobile VR headset had a built in camera in the front, so that he was able to “see” his physical surroundings — but not directly with his own eyes.

“Everything is in the Headset”

Wilmot worked, ate and exercised inside virtual reality. Sleeping in the headset turned out to be “more comfortable” than Wilmot anticipated, though his eyes burned a bit.

“If one is feeling stressed, they can load into a natural environment for ten minutes and relax,” he said in the video. “If one is feeling energetic, they can dispel energy in a fitness game — these are like the new rules of the reality I’ve thrown myself in. Everything is in the headset.”

VR Connection

Wilmot believes that virtual reality is what you make it. If you want to be alone, you can spend time by yourself in a gaming session, slaying dragons in Skyrim VR. Or you can chose to join the cacophony of VRChat — a communal free-for-all multiplayer online platform that allows you to interact with avatars controlled by complete strangers.

“VR is stepping into the shoes of someone else, or stepping into a spaceship and talking to friends,” said Wilmot. “It’s very easy to find your tribe, to make friends, to communicate with others through a virtual landscape, where its no longer through digital window [like a monitor], but actually being there with them. To me that’s what VR is — connection.”

Escaping Virtual Reality

After seven days of living inside the headset, Wilmot took off the goggles and relearned what it’s like to live in the real world.

Experiment_01… ????????

Subject Status… ????? pic.twitter.com/HC0Jqb3aZq

— jak (@JakWilmot) February 27, 2019

Apart from slight dizziness and some disorientation, he came back to normal almost instantly.

One major advantage to not living inside a VR headset: “oh my gosh,” he said, “the graphics are so good.”

READ MORE: This Guy Is Spending A Full Week In VR, For Science [VR Scout]

More on virtual reality: Sex Researchers: For Many, Virtual Lovers Will Replace Humans

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This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People?

By 2050, 6.5 billion people will choose to live in cities. These individuals will require employment and access to better healthcare from an infrastructure that is already extremely vulnerable. The Global Maker Challenge asked makers and innovators to help put forward solutions for this issue, and they delivered.

The post How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People? appeared first on Futurism.

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How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People?

Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group

2020 Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke was reportedly part of the hacktivist group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow during his teenage years.

Political Hack

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke just admitted to spending his teenage years as part of the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC), a group of hackers that first coined the term “hacktivism.”

O’Rourke, who failed to unseat Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm election and recently decided to run for president instead of challenging Senator John Cornyn in 2020, told Reuters that he credits the hacker group for helping develop his worldview — an intriguing admission for an unusual candidate who skateboards and used to play in a punk band.

Hacker-Lite

According to Reuters, there’s no evidence that O’Rourke actually engaged in any sort of serious hacking, though he did cop to stealing the long-distance phone service necessary for reaching the online message boards of the day.

Rather, O’Rourke seemed to spend his time in the Cult of the Dead Cow writing and sharing fiction with the community, such as a short story he wrote at age 15 about running over children in a car, Reuters reports.

“We weren’t deliberately looking for hacking chops,” CDC founder Kevin Wheeler told Reuters, describing the group’s attitude during the period of time O’Rourke was most active. “It was very much about personality and writing, really. For a long time, the ‘test,’ or evaluation, was to write [text files]. Everyone was expected to write things. If we were stoked to have more hacker-oriented people, it was because we’d be excited to have a broader range in our t-files.”

Formative Years

“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.”

The presidential hopeful, who espouses a mix of traditional liberal and libertarian views, describes the group as a sort of network for outcasts from society.

“When Dad bought an Apple IIe and a 300-baud modem and I started to get on boards, it was the Facebook of its day,” he said. “You just wanted to be part of a community.”

READ MORE: Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group [Reuters]

More on hacktivism: It’s Now Scary to Be A White Hat Hacker Thanks to the US Government

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Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group

Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups

Workplace messaging app Slack just announced that it banned 28 accounts that were known to be affiliated with hate groups.

Violating Terms

Slack, the team collaboration app commonly used to connect people within workplaces, announced Thursday that it had deleted 28 accounts that were clearly affiliated with hate groups, according to the company’s blog.

The announcement, sparse on concrete details or specifics, states that hate groups are explicitly unwelcome on the app and that Slack will continue to investigate and act on any future reports of hate speech or illegal activity.

“Today we removed 28 accounts because of their clear affiliation with known hate groups,” the statement reads. “The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform.”

Joining the Fight

In recent years, major platforms like Facebook and Twitter have struggled to keep white supremacists and other hate groups from spreading their messages across the internet, though both ban Nazi messaging in Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal.

Smaller scale platforms like Discord also recently started acting against hate groups, according to The Verge, which speculates that Slack’s focus on business communications instead of cultivating largescale communities may have helped the company avoid the issue of online hatemongering.

Real World Consequences

When hate speech is allowed to propagate online, it can lead to real-world violence — like the murder of Heather Heyer at a 2017 white supremacist rally. But banning hate groups and de-platforming the people behind them, as Slack claims to have done, is a successful strategy.

When right-wing activist Milo Yiannopolous was no longer permitted by online platforms to spread his racist and misogynistic viewpoints, he found himself effectively powerless and millions of dollars in debt, according to The Guardian.

“Using Slack to encourage or incite hatred and violence against groups or individuals because of who they are is antithetical to our values and the very purpose of Slack,” the company’s statement reads. “When we are made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes, we will investigate and take appropriate action and we are updating our terms of service to make that more explicit.”

READ MORE: Slack says it removed dozens of accounts affiliated with hate groups [The Verge]

More on content moderation: The UK Government Is Planning to Regulate Hate Speech Online

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Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups

States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction

Risky Maneuver

So far, two U.S. states, New York and Illinois, have legalized the use of cannabis to help treat chronic pain as an alternative to addictive opioids.

Ask anyone on the street, and they would probably tell you that cannabis helps people chill out. The chemical similarities between cannabis and opioids make it seem, anecdotally, like cannabis could help reduce opioid addiction. Both drugs mitigate similar symptoms and usher in similar experiences – but cannabis is far less dangerous on its own.

But anecdotal evidence only goes so far.

Mixed Bag

While it’s hard to criticize something that could help alleviate the opioid epidemic, the physiological impact of treating either chronic pain or opioid addiction with cannabis hasn’t undergone nearly the same rigor of scientific study as other medical treatments, according to Scientific American.

Overall, scientists have faced many challenges when it comes to experimenting with cannabis. Though Scientific American reports that some clinical research is finally starting to support it, overall, there’s just not a lot of evidence backing up that anecdotal hunch.

But because other opioid addiction treatments like methadone already work, and because cutting people off of them can be dangerous, scientists argued that switching people already taking prescription opioids over to a prescription of cannabis could actually be dangerous in a perspective letter recently published to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Pain Factor

The big question is whether cannabis will not only be able to help people already addicted to opioids, but also the chronic pain that the opioids may have been for in the first place.

In this case, research is once more limited. Plenty of studies suggest that cannabis treats pain, but a research paper published in European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience earlier this year found that most cannabis pain studies had severe limitations, calling their findings into question.

Legalizing marijuana could help people find all sorts of new treatments. And while exploring new tools to help treat people affected by the opioid epidemic is commendable, cannabis likely won’t end up being the answer.

READ MORE: Can Cannabis Solve the Opioid Crisis? [Scientific American]

More on cannabis: New Senate Bill Would Legalize Marijuana Nationwide

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States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction

This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers

Many of today's medical implants communicate via Bluetooth, which makes them vulnerable to hacking, but a new system could change that.

Heart Hack

An implanted medical device can dramatically improve a person’s quality of life — or even save their life outright.

However, the devices come with serious security vulnerabilities, and it’s not hard to imagine the damage a person could do by hacking someone’s pacemaker, insulin pump, or brain implant.

Now, researchers from Purdue University have found a way to prevent hackers from intercepting the wireless signals used to communicate with implanted devices — and their creation could ensure the “internet of body” remains secure in the future.

Watch This

Many people monitor their implants via electronic devices, such as smart watches or smartphones, with the implants and devices communicating over Bluetooth.

Those wireless signals can extend as far as 10 meters away from a person’s body, according to the Purdue researchers – meaning someone in the vicinity of the implant owner could intercept the information — and perhaps manipulate it.

In a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers detail how they created a prototype watch that avoids this issue.

Short Leash

According to the researchers, their watch can receive a signal from anywhere on a person’s body, but instead of communicating over Bluetooth, the electrical signals travel through the person’s own body fluids to reach the watch, never extending more than one centimeter beyond the person’s skin.

As a bonus, the system also requires 100 times less energy than Bluetooth, according to the researchers — but its ability to protect incredibly sensitive communications could be reason enough for the technology to replace Bluetooth for implant applications in the future.

READ MORE: Your body is your internet – and now it can’t be hacked [Purdue University]

More on implants: New Brain Implant Could Translate Paralyzed People’s Thoughts Into Speech

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This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers

Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks

In April, bank hackers stole the equivalent of $20 million from Mexico's central bank thanks to a network rife with security flaws.

Ocean’s Once

In April 2018, hackers stole the equivalent of $15 million from Mexican banks — and now we know how they probably did it.

Penetration tester and security advisor Josu Loza was one of the experts called in to respond to the April heist, and on March 8 he presented his findings at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco.

Based on his analysis, Mexico’s central bank wasn’t doing nearly enough to protect its clients’ money — but other financial institutions could avoid the same fate if they’re willing to work together.

Easy Money

On Friday, Wired published a story detailing the information Loza shared with the audience at RSA’s conference. Based on his assessment, the success of the heist was due to a combination of expert bank hackers willing to spend months planning their crime and a banking network rife with security holes.

During the presentation, Loza made the case that the hackers might have accessed the Banco de México’s internal servers from the public internet, or perhaps launched phishing attacks on bank executives or employees to gain access.

Regardless of how they first got access, Loza said, the main problem was putting too many eggs in one security basket. Because many of the networks lacked adequate segmentation and access controls, he argued, a single breach could provide the bank hackers with extensive access.

That enabled them to lay the groundwork to eventually make numerous money transfers in smaller amounts, perhaps $5,000 or so, to accounts under their control. They’d then pay hundreds of “cash mules” each a small sum — Loza estimated that $260 might be enough — to withdraw the money for them.

Cyber Insecurity

The bank hackers are still at large, but the heist appears to have served as a wake-up call for the Banco de México.

“From last year to today the focus has been implementing controls. Control, control, control,” Lazo said during his presentation, according to Wired. “And I think the attacks aren’t happening today because of it.”

He also noted the need for companies to collaborate to defend against cyberattacks.

“Mexican people need to start to work together. All the institutions need to cooperate more,” Loza said. “The main problem on cybersecurity is that we don’t share knowledge and information or talk about attacks enough. People don’t want to make details about incidents public.”

READ MORE: HOW HACKERS PULLED OFF A $20 MILLION MEXICAN BANK HEIST [Wired]

More on hacking: Hacker Figures out How to Drain $1 Million in Cash From ATM

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Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks

New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours

The makers of a new hypersonic rocket engine say it could whip flights from London to Sydney in just four hours, traveling at five times the speed of sound.

Rocket Plane

The makers of a new hypersonic rocket engine say it could whisk flights from London to Sydney in just four hours, traveling at five times the speed of sound. That’s a flight that can take 20 hours on a conventional jetliner.

According to the BBCUK company Reaction Engines says it’s gearing up to test the futuristic craft in Colorado — a startling vision of the future of transportation that could also, if the engine lives up to the hype, inform the future of spaceflight.

Screaming Fist

Reaction Engines, which has backing from the Rolls-Royce and Boeing, calls the new rocket engine the Sabre. It inhales air at lower altitudes, but works more like a rocket when it gets higher up.

“The core can be tested on the ground, but it’s the core that gets you air-breathing from the ground up to the edge of space, at which point there is no more oxygen to breathe and the system transitions to the pure rocket mode,” said Shaun Driscoll, Reaction Engines’ program director, according to the BBC.

Orbiter

The company also says the Sabre engine could push the frontiers of spaceflight, by sending crafts straight into orbit without multiple propellant stages, according to the BBC, which also reported that the the European Space Agency recently signed off on a design review for the Sabre engine.

“The positive conclusion of our Preliminary Design Review marks a major milestone in Sabre development,” ESA’s head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told the broadcaster. “It confirms the test version of this revolutionary new class of engine is ready for implementation.”

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New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours

NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up

Tests show that dormant herpes viruses reactivate in more than half the astronauts who travel on the Space Shuttle and International Space station.

Dormant Viruses

Tests show that dormant herpes viruses reactivate in more than half the astronauts who travel on the Space Shuttle and International Space station, according to new NASA research — a phenomenon the space agency says could pose problems for deep space missions.

“During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system, ” said study author Satish Mehta, a researcher at Johnson Space Center, in a press release. “In keeping with this, we find that astronaut’s immune cells — particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses — become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after.”

Less Effective

In research published last month in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, Mehta and colleagues found that astronauts shed more herpes viruses in their urine and saliva than before or after space travel. The culprit, they suspect, is just the stress of spaceflight.

“NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation — not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry,” Mehta said in the press release. “This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle.”

Minor Symptoms

Fortunately, symptoms were relatively rare. Out of 89 astronauts the team studied, only six experienced herpes breakouts in space, according to the paper — a rate of about seven percent.

The viral shedding also got worse the longer the astronauts were off Earth, leading researchers to worry the phenomenon could represent a challenge for deep space travel.

“While only a small proportion develop symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on missions to Mars and beyond,” reads the press release.

READ MORE: Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight [Phys.org]

More on herpes: Immune Cells Working Together To Kill Herpes Virus Captured on Video

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NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up

New Robot Hand Works Like a Venus Flytrap to Grip Objects

A team from MIT and Harvard has created a robot hand that's not only strong, but also soft — and it could usher in a new era in robotics.

Versatile Touch

If we want robots to take over more tasks for humans, we need to give them more versatile hands.

Right now, many robot hands can only complete specialized tasks. Ones that are strong often have trouble with tasks that require a delicate touch, and soft hands often don’t pack much of a punch when it comes to strength.

But now, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have created a robot hand that’s not only strong, but also soft — and it could usher in a new era in robotics.

Show of Hands

The team drew inspiration for its hand from the origami magic ball. Rather than using some sort of finger-like grippers, their cone-shaped robot hand envelopes an object and then collapses around it, much like a Venus flytrap captures its prey.

The pressure applied is enough for the hand to lift objects up to 100 times its own weight, but it can also handle far more delicate, light objects. A video released by MIT demonstrates the hand’s ability to pick up everything from a soup can to a banana.

Soft, but Strong

University of California at Santa Cruz robotics professor Michael Wehner, who was not involved in the project, praised the hand, noting its novelty in an interview with MIT News.

“This is a very clever device that uses the power of 3-D printing, a vacuum, and soft robotics to approach the problem of grasping in a whole new way,” Wehner said. “In the coming years, I could imagine seeing soft robots gentle and dexterous enough to pick a rose, yet strong enough to safely lift a hospital patient.”

READ MORE: Robot hand is soft and strong [MIT News]

More on robot hands: This AI-Operated Robotic Hand Moves With “Unprecedented Dexterity”

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The Pentagon Wants an Orbital Space Weapon to Blast Enemy Missiles

Space Laser

You know the scene in “Akira” where Tetsuo rips a satellite space weapon out of orbit?

Now the U.S. military wants to try something similar, according to Defense One. The Pentagon is requesting hundreds of millions of dollars to ramp up space-based weaponry including particle beams and space lasers that’ll fire downward at Earthly targets — a dark vision of the militarization of space.

Ballistic Missiles

According to Defense One, a Missile Defense Agency document released this week describes the military’s ambitions to disable ballistic missiles right as they launch.

“The addition of the neutral particle Beam effort will design, develop, and conduct a feasibility demonstration for a space-based Directed Energy Intercept layer,” it reads. “This future system will offer new kill options for the [Ballistic Missile Defense System] and adds another layer of protection for the homeland.”

Orbital Weaponry

Several contractors have prepared prototype orbital weaponry designs for the Pentagon over the years, according to Defense One, but they’ve been enormous and impractical. But now officials hope advances could make such a weapon feasible for a test by 2023.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of the technology we use today to where a full, all-up system wouldn’t be the size of three of these conference rooms, right?” said a senior defense official, according to Defense One. “We now believe we can get it down to a package that we can put on as part of a payload to be placed on orbit.”

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Computer Fraud Laws are Flawed, this Lawyer is Fighting Against Them

Tor Ekeland, hacker lawyer, fights back against the harsh punishments decreed using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. And one of those fights can be seen in “Trust Machine,” available now at Breaker.io.

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Computer Fraud Laws are Flawed, this Lawyer is Fighting Against Them


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