Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana Legalization, Bye-Bye Google, Yemen Omission, Alcohol Tax, Redistrict for War

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at StitcheriTunesYouTube, 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.

Michigan and New Jersey may be among the next few states to legalize marijuana.

On Monday, legalization supporters submitted to the Michigan government over 350,000 petition signatures in support of a marijuana legalization initiative. David Eggert of the Associated Press writes that, if state officials determine about 252,000 of the signatures are valid, the state government will need to either adopt the initiative as law or place it on the November 2018 statewide election ballot.

In the November 10 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned that New Jersey voters had just elected for governor a candidate who had campaigned for marijuana legalization. New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy said in a television interview last week that legalizing marijuana will be one of his priorities in 2018.

Issue two.

Comments by Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt last week at the Halifax International Security Forum may be seen in the future as having foreshadowed the end of Google’s search engine dominance. Schmidt said that Alphabet subsidiary Google is working on deranking the Russian-government-related RT and Sputnik websites. Such deranking would restrict relevant web pages of these media companies from appearing in Google search results.

The more Google’s search engine prioritizes political favoritism at the expense of providing helpful, on-point results, the more people will look for alternative routes to find information and the more reward there will be for other companies to meet that demand.

Issue three.

In his editorial this week, Ron Paul discussed how media coverage of the catastrophic conditions in Yemen often leaves out mention of the United States government’s complicity in the Yemen War. Paul points to a recent Washington Post article as an example.

Another example is a Sunday television report on the CBS show 60 Minutes. The 13-minute story regarding the dire conditions in Yemen mentions the US only in context suggesting the US is seeking to help suffering Yemenis.

Alex Emmons filled in some missing information at The Intercept the next day. He wrote:

For two-and-a-half years, the U.S. government has backed Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen every step of the way. The United States has dispatched warships to reinforce the blockade. It has refueled Saudi planes, sent the Saudi military targeting intelligence, and resupplied them with tens of billions of dollars worth of bombs.

In conclusion, Emmons writes:

Per “60 Minutes’s” framing of the conflict, the crisis in Yemen is a random tragedy happening on the other side of the world – manmade, but outside U.S. control. The truth is nearer the opposite. Without U.S. support, the humanitarian crisis would not exist on such a catastrophic scale.

Issue four.

Here is a bright spot in tax legislation being considered in the US Congress: The Senate tax bill includes some reductions in excise taxes on alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol excise taxes are justified as a way of causing decreased consumption of alcohol. This justification intertwines taxation with controlling people’s behavior.

If the US government respected freedom, it would not seek, through taxes or otherwise, to stop us from taking nonviolent actions such as drinking beer, wine, or hard alcohol.

Issue five.

One consequence of opposing war in the US House of Representatives can be losing your House seat through redistricting.

Interviewed last month by Luke Rudowski of We Are Change, former House Member Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said his opposition to war is the reason the Democratic Party threatened to challenge in court the state’s congressional redistricting, which was being formulated by Republicans, unless the redistricting cut up into four to five pieces the Cleveland-area district Kucinich had represented for 16 years. Kucinich, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, explains the result was that the final redistricting, which was implemented in the 2012 general election, essentially eliminated Kucinich’s district.


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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