Five Minutes Five Issues: Kim Meeting, Empire, Venezuela Threat, Campaign Spying, Utah Marijuana

by | May 27, 2018

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

Imagine you are a political leader in a relatively poor country that, for decades after a major war against one of the wealthiest countries in the world that has not been concluded with a peace treaty, has endured tens of thousands of that nation’s military forces stationed across the border engaging in massive military exercises. Now imagine the vice president of that other nation threatens to bomb your country relentlessly, fund a ground invasion, and ensure the physical destruction of much of your country, the death of many inhabitants, and the elimination of the government, including the killing of yourself.

This is pretty much United States Vice President Mike Pence’s threat toward North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un when Pence said this week the US may deal with North Korea the way it dealt with Libya, something US President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton had also suggested recently.

Thursday morning, Trump canceled a planned June 12 meeting with Kim that was hoped to significantly reduce tensions. Trump explained in a letter to Kim that the cancelation was in response to “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed” in a North Korean government statement responding to Pence. In other words, Trump cancelled the meeting because North Korea reacted in a normal and clearly expectable way to extreme threats from high-level members of Trump’s administration.

Issue two.

Writing at lewrockwell.com, Michael S. Rozeff makes an important observation about empire and the US government in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying in a Monday Heritage Foundation speech that Iran threatens Americans’ safety.

Rozeff writes:

Pompeo and the rest of the foreign policy and defense establishment are men and women of empire. The Congress is too. This means that they do not act on behalf of America and Americans. They act on behalf of the empire. They are always giving us Americans a song and dance that they’re acting for our own good, our safety.

Issue three.

On Tuesday, the Venezuela government expelled two top US diplomats, with President Nicolás Maduro calling one the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Venezuela and accusing both of interfering in the nation’s recent presidential election.

US Vice President Pence’s Twitter post in response confirms Maduro’s general concern.

Pence wrote:

Nicolás Maduro just expelled our senior American diplomat from Venezuela following their sham elections. This provocation will be met with a swift response. We will continue to pressure Venezuela’s illegitimate regime until democracy is restored.

There you have it, the US vice president’s priority for Venezuela is overthrowing the country’s government.

Issue four.

President Trump is right to be upset about the US government spying on his 2016 presidential campaign. But, how unique is such spying? Lee Edwards, who now works at the Heritage Foundation, was director of information for Senator Barry Goldwater’s (R-AZ) 1964 presidential campaign. Edwards wrote Thursday at the Wall Street Journal about extensive spying on that campaign by the US government for the benefit of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was seeking reelection. The spying, writes Edwards, included a CIA spy in Goldwater campaign headquarters obtaining information about Goldwater’s upcoming travel and speeches, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arranging “widespread wiretapping of the Goldwater campaign.”

Issue five.

In the May 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about opponents of medical marijuana hiring canvassers to encourage people who signed petitions supporting placing a medical marijuana measure on the November Utah ballot to remove their signatures. Now medical marijuana opponents are pursuing a new means to prevent the vote that polling suggests will approve medical marijuana in Utah. Medical marijuana opponents, writes Taylor W. Anderson at the Salt Lake Tribune, have filed a lawsuit arguing the measure should be prevented from appearing on the ballot because medical marijuana legalization in the state would violate US law. That seems like a strange argument given that over the last 22 years three-fifths of the states have legalized medical marijuana.

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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.