Sunday, August 5, 2018

Five Minutes Five Issues: Criticizing Media, Bipartisanship, NY Marijuana, Weapons Salesman, Conflicting Votes

By Adam Dick - August 05, 2018 at 03:43PM

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. 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.

There is much fuss about President Donald Trump saying negative things about the media, including calling much of the media “fake news” and “the enemy of the American people.”

Trump’s criticism of the media reminds me of an astute comment by Thomas Jefferson in an 1807 letter. Jefferson wrote:
… nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers live & die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time.
Issue two.

Current events writer Glenn Greenwald commented Thursday at Twitter that “the only way to maintain the conceit [that] there is so little bipartisanship in Washington is by steadfastly ignoring the vast key policy areas where the parties unite.”

As an example of such bipartisanship, Greenwald points to the United States Senate having approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the day before by a vote of 87 to 10. Passing the expansive bill each year is part of the process of maintaining and increasing the US government’s military spending that far exceeds that of any other nation. The legislation also facilitates US military actions across the world.

Issue three.

In the June 23 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the New York state government potentially legalizing recreational marijuana next year given the announcement that week by state Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker that, after the conclusion of a study requested by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Zucker was about to release a report recommending legalizing marijuana.

Here is an update. That report was published on July 13. Then, on Thursday, the governor created a working group that, working with individuals including state legislative leaders and marijuana bill sponsors, is charged with drafting a recreational marijuana legalization bill based on the findings of Zucker’s report. The press release announcing the formation of the working group says the desire is for the state legislature to consider the legalization legislation in its next session.

Issue four.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I contrasted the stirring up of fear of Russia and the vast advantage the United States and NATO members have over Russia in terms of military spending and gross domestic product (GDP).

Yet, President Trump insists that NATO governments increase their military spending. Why?

The answer may be found in this phrase: “military-industrial complex.” That is the conclusion of Brian Cloughley in his Friday CounterPunch article “NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex.”

In the article, Cloughley quotes Trump saying at a NATO meeting last month that “the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything” and listing off top US arms makers Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman.

Trump sounds like a salesman for American weapons companies in these comments, as he has at other times, such as when Trump, sitting next to Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House in March, spoke about, while holding up promotional posters, the sale of various US weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Issue five.

On Thursday, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft certified that three medical marijuana ballot measures have qualified, through the submission of supporting signatures, to be on the state’s November general election ballot. Tom Angell writes at Marijuana Moment that voters approving multiple medical marijuana ballot measures with conflicting provisions could lead to courts sorting out the effects of the votes.


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.

from Ron Paul Institute Peace and Prosperity Articles



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