Five Minutes Five Issues: Bolton Speech, Warmonger Medal, Roadside Surveillance, Marijuana Tax, School Security

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 a November 2 speech in Miami, Florida, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new US sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. Bolton called Cuba and Venezuela, along with Nicaragua, a “Troika of Tyranny” and said they “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.” Bolton further stated:

Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.

In the August 12, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaking similarly when announcing sanctions against Venezuela. Mnuchin said:

As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.

As I said then regarding Mnuchin, Bolton now is declaring the US is going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” — something John Quincy Adams warned against in Adams’ powerful July 4, 1821 speech promoting the US pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Issue two.

Maybe the Liberty Medal awarded annually by the US Congress-created National Constitution Center should be renamed the Warmonger Medal.

In the October 21, 2017 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the award last year being presented to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I noted that political writer James Bovard had commented that McCain received the award in recognition of his “unceasing advocacy for bombing hell out of foreigners in the name of freedom.”

This week, the 2018 Liberty Medal was awarded to former President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush led the US in an invasion of Iraq, as well as the commencement of the global war on terror that has been used to justify the expansion of US military operations, covert actions, and mass surveillance across the world.

Issue three.

In the October 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about Justin Rohrlich revealing at Quartz that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was planning to purchase trailer-mounted electronic roadside speed displays. The speed displays, in addition to displaying the purported speed of vehicles, would include license plate readers to aid in mass surveillance.

Last week, Rohrlich, along with Dave Gershgorn, reported on more hidden surveillance devices being deployed by the US government. In their new Quartz article, Rohrlich and Gershorn disclose the DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been purchasing covert surveillance cameras for use in streetlights. They also write that the DEA has been placing covert surveillance cameras inside traffic barrels — those brightly-colored barrels often used to separate automobile traffic from roadwork or construction activities.

Issue four.

In a Monday Reason article, Jacob Sullum described why lower marijuana taxes can appeal to politicians who want to “maximize tax revenue.” Sullum writes that, in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Canada, with lower marijuana tax rates than in some US states, licensed marijuana sellers would not have so much difficulty making sales in competition against black market sellers.

Of course, much of the revenue from marijuana taxes can be expected to be spent on actions harmful to liberty. That is a negative consequence of legalization.

Issue five.

John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich wrote Tuesday at the Washington Post that the Post had sent a survey to 79 schools that had experienced a shooting of some kind in the last six years, receiving back responses from 34. Asked what could have been done to prevent the shootings, Cox and Rich relate that “[o]nly one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have made a difference.”

Yet, Cox and Rich write that there has been a boom in schools spending on such technology and other school shooting prevention measures. They note that “school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market— an estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed campus police officers.”


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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