Five Minutes Five Issues: Poking Russia, Flynn Fuss, Protest Violence, US Killers, Wall Costs

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Friday. 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 last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Trump administration apparently continuing the Obama administration’s confrontation policy concerning Russia via rotating new United States troops into Estonia and Latvia. News came this week that new US troops have arrived in Bulgaria and Romania. Both countries, like Russia, border the Black Sea.

A confrontation policy is also being expressed in words. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared in a Tuesday press briefing that Trump “has been incredibly tough on Russia.” Spicer then said that Trump “continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russia.” Trump backed up Spicer’s comments the next morning, writing at Twitter:

Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?

What, I wonder, would Trump have done, had he been president, to stop Crimea from joining Russia?

May it be that the threat of war with Russia that many people feared would exist with a Hillary Clinton presidency is just as great, or even greater, with Trump as president?

Issue two.

The big fuss about Michael Flynn this week was about whether, after being picked by Donald Trump to be national security advisor but before Trump was sworn in as president, Flynn may have talked on the phone with the Russian ambassador to the US about US sanctions on Russia. Yeah, that’s it.

Here is a bigger issue to worry about. People in the US government spied on Flynn’s communication with the ambassador and, then, apparent information from that snooping was shared with the Washington Post. Here we have the surveillance state using tactics it has employed against government leaders of other nations to attack the new US presidential administration.

Issue three.

It is troubling watching videos of wanton attacks on individuals and property destruction during the Berkeley, California protest earlier this month and the Washington, DC protest the day of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Police did not prevent these actions. This serves as an important reminder that you have to rely on yourself to ensure your safety.

Issue four.

Many people reacted with shock and dismay after, earlier this month, President Trump said that there are “a lot of killers” and asked “you think our country’s so innocent?” Trump’s statement was in response to Bill O’Reilly telling Trump in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer.”

Of course, Trump put himself among the ranks of killers by authorizing fatal attacks overseas in his early days in office.

Justin Raimondo provided at a concise and reasoned reaction to Trump’s comments. Raimondo wrote:

What Trump said is something that every ordinary person recognizes – that the US government is not and has not been a conclave of angels. He echoes what every libertarian certainly takes as given: that government is coercion, naked force, and that it routinely kills.

Issue five.

Julia Edwards Ainsley reported last week at Reuters that a US Department of Homeland Security internal report suggests building a wall along the US-Mexico border will cost up to $21.6 billion. That amount, Ainsley writes, “is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This should come as no surprise. Neither should future reports of the wall’s costs moving higher and higher. The wall is, after all, a US government project.

Americans should not worry about only the financial cost of building and maintaining the wall. As Ron Paul warned in a September of 2016 editorial, the new wall can be used as a government tool, as was the Berlin Wall, to prevent people from leaving.


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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