Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump Missiles, US Marijuana, Border Agent Assaults, Canada Drug Decrim, Kyle Kashuv
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
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Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
It was great to see one Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board Member — Andrew Napolitano — interview another — United States House of Representatives Member Thomas Massie (R-KY) — at Fox News on Wednesday. Their discussion focused on President Donald Trump’s launching of missiles into Syria unilaterally, that is, without congressional authorization. Trump’s action, they agreed, was not legal. And Massie explained why he thinks many of his fellow Congress members share the blame. “The Constitution is only as good as the members of Congress who are willing to defend it,” said Massie, who further lamented that there “is not enough uproar” in Congress about the president’s abuse of power.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a US House member long critical of the war on marijuana, is quoted in a Tuesday Politico article predicting that, if the Democrats gain majorities of the House and Senate in the November general election, then significant war on marijuana roll back legislation would pass in Congress. Such legislation, Blumenauer says, would be supported by a “bipartisan consensus of virtually every Democrat and several dozen Republicans.”
Blumenauer says consideration of such legislation is now prevented by Republican leadership, but would not be by Democratic leadership. The Politico article further suggests, “[w]ith Democrats in control, the new chairs of the relevant committees [in the US House] would be pro-marijuana: Jerry Nadler [(D-NY)] in Judiciary, Frank Pallone [(D-NJ)] in Commerce, and Jim McGovern [(D-MA)] in Rules.”
Debbie Nathan wrote Monday at The Intercept that “media outlets across the political spectrum” have “repeated statistics showing a sharp upward trend in the number of assaults against [US] Border Patrol agents.” In fact, Nathan notes that, “reversing a long downward trend,” US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported yearly increases in assaults on its agents of 20 percent in fiscal year 2016 and 73 percent in fiscal year 2017. But, funny math from CBP appears to explain much or all of the reported increase in assaults. For example, Nathan reports that six people throwing rocks, bottles, and tree branches at seven US Border Patrol agents on February 14, 2017 was reported as 126 assaults. The funny math that turns a claimed assault on seven Border Patrol agents into 126 assaults is “seven agents times six perpetrators times three projectiles.”
Further examining the assault numbers, Nathan writes:
According to the [Federal Bureau of Investigation (FB)], most Border Patrol agents for whom assault data has been publicly reported were not injured. Rocks and water bottles don’t always hit their mark. Or they are never thrown in the first place — for reporting purposes, apparently, the mere brandishing of an object constitutes assault.Issue four.
Might the Canada government, which is already moving forward with countrywide marijuana legalization, next decriminalize drugs generally?
Last week, delegates at a national convention of Canada’s ruling Liberal Party adopted a resolution supporting decriminalizing all drugs.
Such decriminalization is “not part of our plans" Canada Prime Minister and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau is quoted at the CBC as saying in regard to the resolution. However, the resolution’s adoption suggests public pressure could in the future help cause decriminalization to become part of the plans of the party and of the Canada government.
Last month, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website about schools implementing new rules and procedures, including requiring students to use only clear backpacks, justified to counter perceived risks of mass killings.
Here may be another example of a liberty-threatening response. Kyle Kashuv, a student in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where a mass shooting took place in February, says he was pulled out of class last week and interrogated by police because he had posted on the internet pictures and videos of him shooting a rifle at a gun range, along with some nonthreatening comments including regarding Second Amendment rights.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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