Five Minutes Five Issues: Facial Recognition, WI Hemp, Lauer’s Button, Pennies Payment, Drug War Games

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.

The United States government is not content with its current facial recognition technology capabilities. It is amassing a huge database of photos of people’s faces and appears to desire to identify everyone, just about always and everywhere. For example, Lee Fang and Ali Winston reported Wednesday at The Intercept regarding the Department of Homeland Security seeking technology that will allow the identifying of three people in a car, two up front and one in back, driving through a light rain at 25 miles per hour with the windows up.

Issue two.

In the October 14 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker expressing reservations about legislation being considered in the state legislature that would legalize hemp farming.

On Thursday, Walker signed the hemp farming legalization bill into law.

Even if Walker had vetoed the bill, the veto could have been easily overridden given the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate had approved the bill in unanimous recorded votes.

As in other states that have legalized hemp farming, the new law requires farmers to jump through bureaucratic hoops to legally grow the crop. Still, such laws do end a prohibition.

Issue three.

Some people are pointing to the fact that former NBC television host Matt Lauer had a button at his desk that he could push to lock his office door as somehow incriminating him for assault or harassment or even indicating his employer knew of, and sought to aid, Lauer’s assaulting or harassing of people.

What nonsense. Such a button is a smart security feature. What is disconcerting is that people view having such a security feature as suspicious.

Years back, I worked in a law firm where each lawyer had at his desk a button he could push to close his office door. There I figured the primary purposes included easily and quickly ensuring greater privacy or quiet. Maybe that system could lock and unlock the door from the desk too; I don’t remember.

A button like the ones Lauer and I had is a great feature for an office.

Issue four.

Anthony Sevy had had enough after being told at the Royal Oak, Michigan courthouse that he would have to pay a $1.75 fee if he used his credit card to pay a ten-dollar parking ticket. So he came back to pay the fine with rolls of pennies.

People across America have paid much larger government fines and taxes with change. But, the court refused to accept Sevy’s pennies.

That was not the end of the story. Taryn Asher reported at WJBK-TV this week that Sevy claims in a lawsuit that, as he attempted to leave the building, courthouse police choked Sevy and forced Sevy to the ground. Courthouse video appears to back up Sevy’s claim of rough treatment. As is often the case in instances of police misconduct, it is Sevy, the apparent victim, who was charged with law-breaking, in this case, disturbing the peace and obstructing a police officer.

Issue five.

The Drug Policy Alliance states its mission is “to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.” Yet, it seems DPA wants to protect our minds from some games sold on the internet.

On Thursday, Hannah Hetzer, who is the senior international policy manager at DPA, wrote at the DPA website that the previous day Apple had removed from its store a series of games she characterizes as glorifying murders in the Philippines government’s war on drugs. Hetzer writes that DPA has called on Google to take down the games, and her article is accompanied by a message encouraging people to sign a DPA petition urging the removal of the games.


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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