Five Minutes Five Issues: Bilderberg, Marijuana Prosecutions, Sports Politics, Marijuana Morality, RPI Conference
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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.
Charlie Skelton wrote Friday at Newsweek regarding the Bilderberg meeting that began this week in Turin, Italy.
Reporters are forbidden from entering the meeting’s hotel grounds, much less attending any of the events or discussions over the course of the several-days-long meeting. In fact, the meeting’s venue, writes Skelton, “is surrounded by scowling Italian police who tell you to delete your photos if you get too close to the security cordon.”
However, Skelton notes, there is an exception: “Every year, a select group of friendly columnists and editors are invited to attend Bilderberg.” But, don’t expect to be hearing or reading their accounts of the meeting. They, like other attendees, are sworn to silence.
The hostility to media scrutiny is a long tradition of the secretive Bilderberg meetings that Skelton perceptively calls “the Super Bowl of corporate lobbying” and the attendees of which are a select group of individuals including major political and business leaders. Skelton writes that, over his ten years of covering Bilderberg meetings, he has had some difficulties. He mentions a few, writing:
… I’ve been surrounded by a circle of yelling cops, been taken out of my room by armed police at 1 a.m. and made to stand under a searchlight for half an hour, and I’ve tussled with an undercover Greek policeman in the Athens underground.Issue two.
As state and local governments continue rolling back marijuana prohibition, we are seeing reductions in the Unites States government’s marijuana prosecutions. A US Sentencing Commission report titled Overview of Federal Criminal Cases: Fiscal Year 2017 was released this week. The report indicates that US government prosecutions for marijuana law violations dropped 25.3 percent from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2017 and 45.8 percent over the longer period of fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2017.
On Monday, President Donald Trump withdrew his invitation for the Super Bowl champion football team the Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House. That invitation was withdrawn after most Eagles players had decided not to attend the event.
Then, on Friday, Trump told reporters he would not invite to the White House this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) champion team, be it the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden Gate Warriors — who went on to win the finals series that night. This decision came after players on the teams, including LeBron James of the Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Warriors said players of neither team would accept an invitation to the White House.
Maybe these developments will help bring to an end White House spectacles with victorious sports teams. That would be good. It is disturbing seeing presidents grabbing on to the good will and excitement of sports victories for their political gain.
Gallup’s Values and Beliefs survey addressed attitudes regarding marijuana and alcohol use for the first time this year.
The poll conducted in May indicates 65 percent of polled Americans think smoking marijuana is morally acceptable. In fact, of 21 behaviors and practices people were asked to judge as morally acceptable or morally wrong, marijuana use received the eighth highest ranking of moral acceptability. Smoking marijuana came in at over 20 percent higher, for example, than either abortion or pornography.
For the time being, smoking marijuana’s moral acceptability rank is below drinking alcohol that registered at 78 percent in the poll.
On Saturday, August 18, you can join me, along with Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams and RPI Chairman Ron Paul at RPI’s third annual conference at the Dulles Airport Marriott Hotel near Washington, DC. There will be plenty of great speakers to hear and supporters of liberty and peace to meet. “Early bird” discount tickets to the event and special reduced price hotel guest rooms are available at ronpaulinstitute.org/conference.
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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