Five Minutes Five Issues: Blackface, Julian Assange, Mexico Marijuana, GDP, Big Tech Companies

by | Oct 29, 2018

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. 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.

Defending anyone using blackface — makeup darkening his skin so he can look more like a person he is dressing up as, such as for Halloween — is apparently grounds for losing your TV show at NBC.

This week, NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s show Megyn Kelly Today after people complained about and NBC leadership disapproved of Kelly, in the show’s Tuesday episode, arguing that using blackface is sometimes alright.

Supposedly, Kelly’s comments were racist. Ridiculous. If your goal is to look like someone else, using makeup to mimic that person’s skin color is part of how you can do it. That is reality, not racism.

I wonder if NBC will soon deep-six the 1984 Saturday Night Live segment in which Eddie Murphy wears “whiteface” and suddenly store clerks are giving him newspapers for free and bankers are handing him stacks of cash. It is on Saturday Night Live’s YouTube page. You may want to watch it soon, before it is sent down the memory hole.

But, maybe “whiteface” is still alright. Someone should ask the NBC executives.

Issue two.

Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador when Julian Assange of WikiLeaks obtained asylum in the nation’s London embassy in 2012.

Since Lenin Moreno succeeded Correa as president in May of last year, conditions for Assange at the embassy have become much worse, with Assange for the last seven month barred from receiving visitors or communicating with the outside world, a situation that appears much like solitary confinement in a prison.

In a Wednesday RT report, Correa says that the Ecuador government’s isolating of Assange is part of an effort “to push him to abandon” his sanctuary in the embassy. Correa also says he believes Ecuador will “turn over Assange to the American government.”

Issue three.

In the July 13 and October 13 episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about indications that Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will support marijuana legalization after he assumes office in December.

Here is a new indication of that. Obrador’s presidential transition team announced in a press release that marijuana legalization was on the agenda for discussion with Canada officials during this week’s tip to Canada by seven members of Obrador’s planned cabinet.

Issue four.

American gross domestic product (GDP) is often thought of as measuring economic activity in America. However, GDP incudes more than you may think, including spending on US military actions overseas.

Robert Wenzel provided the explanation Friday in an Economic Policy Journal article. Wenzel writes:

In the goofy land of highly questionable macro measurements, the U.S. economy has expanded at a 2.9% annual rate since April of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

Faster government spending, (government spending is more accurately measured than other parts of the economy), accounted for nearly half of the acceleration, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

And get this, defense shifted from contracting at a 2.1% annual rate between June 2009 and March 2017, to growing at a 2.9% rate since April 2017. The turnaround added 0.21 percentage points on average to the nation’s overall economic growth rate, according to Commerce Department figures.

Issue five.

On Thursday, independent journalist Luke Rudkowski was a guest at the Ron Paul Liberty Report. In the interview, Rudkowski said he is changing his “whole business structure” to have more emphasis on his email list, including providing exclusive content on the list. He says he is taking this action because of recent moves by big technology companies that are “a big threat against free speech.” “The email list is the most important thing,” says Rudkowski, for ensuring people access his communication.

Big technology companies have also lately restricted Ron Paul Institute communications from reaching people and have even suspended and banned people with connections to the institute. Like Rudkowski, RPI has been developing use of its email list, including with exclusive content. You can sign up for the RPI email list by clicking on “subscribe” at the top of the web page ronpaulinstitute.org.

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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.

Author

  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.