Five Minutes Five Issues: Pence Video, YouTube Suppression, Stone Raid, DNA Databases, Diplomatic Relations
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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.
Last week, United States Vice President Mike Pence released a short video in which Pence said he and President Donald Trump express their “unwavering support” for the people of Saudi Arabia raising “their voices in a call for freedom.” Continuing, Pence declared Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who “has never won the presidency in a free and fair election” and who “has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.” Concluding, Pence told the people of Saudi Arabia, “we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of liberty.”
Just kidding, Pence said all that about Venezuela and Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.
The social media crackdown on alternative views continues. In a Tuesday video commentary, world-traveling independent journalist and commentator Luke Rudkowski discussed YouTube’s announcement last week that it will restrict recommendations of videos with what YouTube calls “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Rudkowski notes such “very generalized, oblique language” can be broadly used for suppressing independent voices to the advantage of mainstream media outlets that Rudkowski notes have sold the public very destructive United States government actions from the Iraq War to banker bailouts. Rudkowski further comments that the announcement is in line with prior policy given YouTube already limited the ability to find Rudkowski’s videos in searches.
It was troubling to hear Roger Stone tell host Andrew Napolitano at Fox Nation this week about the 6:00am raid on Stone’s home to arrest him on charges arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation. Stone recounts there were armored vehicles and 29 cops, some with guns pointed at him, surrounding his house when he opened the front door.
Such SWAT team raids have moved from rare to common in the past few decades. SWAT team raids now are used routinely for matters that in the past would be handled by a couple cops with guns holstered or by a phone call to arrange a time for someone to come to a police station.
Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead wrote an editorial last week providing an important warning about the US government, and state and local governments, building DNA databases. The databases, Whitehead explains, are “a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Whitehead writes this about the current situation:
All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. Increasingly, many of the data from local databanks are being uploaded to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s massive DNA database, which has become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.Issue five.
Even hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.
For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, by warrantlessly accessing our familial DNA shared with genealogical services such as Ancestry and 23andMe, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.
In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the potential consequences arising from the US government refusing to comply with Venezuela President Maduro’s demand that US diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Here is an update. On January 26, near the end of the deadline, the two governments agreed to allow their respective diplomats to stay in each country for 30 days.
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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