Saturday, January 5, 2019

Five Minutes Five Issues: Paul Advice, Graham Reassured, American Influence, NH Marijuana, White Marchers

By Adam Dick - January 05, 2019 at 09:54AM

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.

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote last week about unnamed United States government officials telling him “frequent phone conversations” between President Donald Trump and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) “are having an outsize influence on the president’s recent foreign policy decisions,” including Trump’s decision to remove US military members from Syria. Rogin writes that “[h]awks such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)” advising Trump is alright, but Trump following advice from Paul, who is inclined to recommend reducing US intervention overseas, is “dangerous for our national security.”

In response to Rogin’s editorial, Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz wrote: “If Paul did in fact persuade the president to withdraw US troops from one of the seven military conflicts we’re currently engaged in, Bravo.” To Boaz’s comment I’ll add, hopefully Paul also persuades Trump to end all the military conflicts and to start no new ones.

Issue two.

It is heartening to hear President Trump announce all US troops will leave Syria. It is also smart to have a wait-and-see perspective. Will the promise be fulfilled? If troops are withdrawn, will other means of US intervention be used, from CIA agents to missile strikes to aid to insurgents? Wait and see.

One disturbing development is uber-interventionist Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was originally very critical of Trump’s announcement, saying this week that the president “told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria.” What makes Graham feel a lot better would likely have the opposite affect for supporters of nonintervention and peace.

Issue three.

Before retiring from the Army, Stanley McChrystal was as one of the nine successive US generals who oversaw the Afghanistan War. In that position, McChrystal pushed for a big increase in US troops for the war.

Asked Sunday by host Martha Raddatz at the ABC TV show This Week about President Trump’s announcement that US troops will be leaving Syria, McChrystal stated in-part, “If you pull American influence out, you’re likely to have greater instability and of course it’ll be much more difficult for the United States to try to push events in any direction.”

Let’s consider this comment in two parts. First, McChrystal asserts that “American influence,” largely military force, creates stability. However, both Iraq and Afghanistan are much more instable after many years of such American influence. Second, making it “much more difficult for the United States to try to push events in any direction” is, in fact, desirable. The US government trying to dictate what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, et cetera created America’s expansive and destructive foreign intervention morass.

Issue four.

Recreational marijuana legalization appears likely to occur in several states in 2019 via state legislature-passed and governor-approved legislation. Vermont, last year, was the first state to legalize this way instead of by a voters-approved ballot measure.

Also in 2019, the first state may legalize recreational marijuana via a legislature overriding a governor’s veto. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sonunu has said he would veto any legalization bill. However, Naomi Martin reported last week at the Boston Globe that state House of Representatives Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes there is sufficient support for legalization in the state House and Senate to override a veto.

All New Hampshire’s neighbors — Canada, plus Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont — have legalized recreational marijuana.

Issue five.

You have probably heard of universities adopting racial quotas and racial preferences for student admissions and businesses adopting such for hiring and promoting employees.

Political demonstrations can also have racial quotas. Marissa Papanek reported last week at KRCR-TV that organizers of the annual Women’s March in Eureka, California decided to cancel the event scheduled for January 19. In a press release, the local march organizers offer this reason for the cancelation: “Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community.”

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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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