Five Minutes Five Issues: Fentanyl Scare, Internet Snooping, Muhammad Ali, Drug War, Bilderberg 2016

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Thursday. 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.

In 1986, the death of basketball player Len Bias from a drug overdose was used to propel forward imposing long mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted for having small amounts of crack. It took nearly 25 years until those crack mandatory minimums were rolled back partway toward the powder cocaine levels.

By the way, it turns out Bias likely overdosed on powder cocaine instead of crack.

Jeremy Haile and Michael Collins warn at The Marshall Project on Monday that reports the drug fentanyl may have played a role in musician Prince’s death could be used to support creating new long mandatory minimums. Will the urge to “do something” about a hyped-up drug epidemic again condemn many people to long sentences in prison?

Issue two.

On Fox News this week, Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member Andrew Napolitano called a provision being considered in the United States Congress “the deepest and most profound assault” on the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment prohibits searches and seizures without probable cause and a warrant. Napolitano explains that the provision would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to, without a search warrant from a judge, obtain Americans’ internet browsing records. As Napolitano elaborates, the proposed legal change threatens the privacy of people’s medical, legal, religious, and personal information.

Napolitano notes the provision would also makes it a crime for internet service providers to tell people the FBI has demanded the turnover of private information.

Issue three.

Ron Paul Institute Chairman Ron Paul has long admired boxer Muhammad Ali’s resistance to being drafted into the US military during the Vietnam War. This week, Paul dedicated the Monday episode of his Ron Paul Liberty Report to commemorating Ali’s resistance.

Paul wrote in his book Swords into Plowshares the following regarding Ali: “One thing is for sure, Muhammad Ali stood his ground and refused to go thousands of miles from home to kill people who never did him any harm — a heroic stand.”

Issue four.

Forty-Five years ago this month, on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon, in a White House speech, announced the escalation of anti-drug efforts. Nixon helped popularize the term “war on drugs” in the process. Nixon declared:

America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.

The same day, Nixon sent a message to Congress in which he said he was “initiating a worldwide escalation in our existing programs for the control of narcotics traffic.”

The drug war has brought over a trillion dollars in spending, a very high incarceration rate, gang violence, the erosion of respect for constitutional rights protections, foreign military interventions, and other disastrous consequences. Hopefully, the US government will end this war soon.

Issue five.

This week the 2016 Bilderberg meeting is taking place in Germany. The highly-secretive meeting of select elite government, business, foundation, academic, and media people, predominantly from America and Europe, occurs yearly.

You might worry that the attendees will concoct plans to enrich and empower themselves at the expense of the rest of us. But, don’t worry about that. Right up top of the Bilderberg FAQ it states: “The meeting has one main goal: to foster discussion and dialogue. There is no desired outcome, there is no closing statement, there are no resolutions proposed or votes taken.”

Come on, who can be against some people coming together to talk?

Anyway, the FAQ also explains that the Bilderbergers have “a diverse mix of backgrounds, views, generations and genders.” I guess I will check the mailbox next year for my invitation to Bilderberg 2017.


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.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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