Saturday, April 29, 2017

Five Minutes Five Issues: Lethal Tasers, Trump’s Wall, Berkeley Speech, School Friskings, War Power

By Adam Dick - April 29, 2017 at 04:57PM


Welcome to this week's episode of the RPI blog, "Five Minutes, Five Issues." You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:



Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.


Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

While Tasers are referred to as non-lethal weapons, their use can kill people.

Graham Dyer died after police used Tasers on him in 2013. For years, the Mesquite, Texas police department prevented Dyer’s parents from finding out what happened in his interaction with the police, denying the parents’ requests for records. The parents, two years after their son’s death, obtained video of the police interaction with Dyer. Eric Dexheimer reported last week at the Austin American-Statesman that the video shows that, while Dyer was bound at the hands and feet and in the back of a police car, he was Tasered multiple times, including “apparently deliberately, in his testicles,” with one cop even saying “I’m going to kill you” as Dyer was being Tasered in the police car. In the article, Dyer’s attorney says police records indicate four cops shocked Dyer multiple times. With the new information, Dyer’s parents are moving forward with a lawsuit.

Issue two.

President Donald Trump, in a recent Associated Press interview, said, in regard to his desired wall along the United Sates-Mexico border, that it is “a tremendously good investment” if it results in stopping just one percent of illegal drugs from entering America.

Jacob Sullum, in a Wednesday article at Reason, explains the nonsense of Trump’s claim. Sullum wrote:
Cartels replace the drugs lost to interdiction, and they can do so pretty cheaply, since drugs acquire the vast majority of their value after entering the country. Given the economics of prohibition, the most drug warriors can reasonably hope to accomplish by intercepting shipments is forcing drug dealers to charge their customers more by raising production and distribution costs. But because the replacement cost is low, interdiction is unlikely to have a significant and lasting impact on retail prices.
Issue three.

University of California at Berkley officials were sued this week for allegedly violating the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by cancelling, or not adequately supporting the facilitation of, speeches on campus by political commentators Ann Coulter and David Horowitz.

Why would the First Amendment or state law speech protections be relevant? Shouldn’t this just be a contract dispute? Assuming there is an enforceable agreement regarding a speech, shouldn’t whichever party, if any, that breached the agreement pay some compensation and the whole matter be done with?

This would be just a contract dispute but for one fact — Berkley is a state government university.

One way to minimize government infringements of speech rights is to reduce government activities. Selling off government universities would help.

Issue four.

The drug war has been used as an excuse for police actions such as bringing dogs through schools and searching lockers and cars where the dogs signal drugs may be present. Cops will also frisk individual students at schools based on suspicion of drug possession. Amanda Hoskins reported at WALB-TV that the sheriff’s department of Worth County, Georgia took things a step further, frisking all 900-plus students at a high school campus on April 14.

Issue five.

Earlier this month, constitutional scholar and Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Louis Fisher condemned as unconstitutional President Trump’s ordering the launching of missiles to attack a Syria military installation. Fisher wrote that “President Trump has no constitutional authority to unilaterally commit the nation to war against Syria, which is the effect of launching cruise missiles against Syria.” Fisher notes that Trump’s actions fall in line with a “series of unconstitutional wars” dating back to the 1950s with President Harry Truman and the Korean War.

-----

That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.



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