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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.
“When will Congress act and carry out its constitutional responsibility? The American people are tired of endless wars. And putting these wars on remote control — with no debate and no votes — is shameful.” Those are the closing words of a speech Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) presented Tuesday on the United States House of Representatives floor. McGovern was speaking in response to the announcement this week that over 200 more US troops will be sent to the Middle East for the ISIS War.
McGovern, along with a bipartisan group of representatives, has been advocating for Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on the ISIS War. But, their effort has been blocked by congressional leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Ryan’s predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) prefer that Congress cede unlimited power to President Barack Obama and whoever the next president may be.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to seek to implement marijuana legalization on the national level when he ran for office last year. On Wednesday, Canada Health Minister Jane Philpott announced in a United Nations General Assembly speech that legislation to accomplish the promised marijuana legalization will be introduced in the Canada parliament in the spring of next year.
Like in America, where in recent years some state and local governments have moved away from the war on marijuana, some province and local governments in Canada have also in recent years significantly liberalized marijuana policies. Unless a surprise move comes in the United States Congress, it looks like country-wide legalization will come to Canada before America.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey revealed Thursday that the FBI spent well over a million dollars on a hacking tool to overcome the security of an iPhone related to a San Bernardino, California mass murder investigation. Exactly how much more was spent Comey hasn’t said. But, hey, it’s not like the FBI is spending its own money.
The hacking occurred after iPhone-maker Apple resisted an ex parte court order the FBI had obtained to force Apple to do the hacking.
Just as there has long been plenty of reason to expect, it now looks like that iPhone has little to no information of value regarding the mass murder investigation or potential terrorist attacks. But, that is just a small issue on the path to the FBI’s ultimate goal — easy access to people’s private electronic information.
The Obama administration has worked to accomplish regime change in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. However, the president thinks at least one sort of regime change is wrong. Obama, in a Friday London Telegraph editorial, urged people in Great Britain to vote in June for staying in the European Union (EU).
Given Obama’s history of bad calls on regime changes, maybe British people would do well to consider Obama’s editorial as a factor weighing in favor of voting for a “Brexit.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have made it clear on which side of the so-called Apple vs. FBI privacy debate they stand. As I wrote in a Ron Paul Institute article on Monday, the two Senators have “released draft legislation intended to empower courts to require Apple and others to, as Feinstein puts it, ‘render technical assistance or provide decrypted data’ in criminal investigations.”
Fear of terrorism is being used to sell the need to defeat encryption and other privacy protections on electronic information. But, reading through the Burr-Feinstein draft legislation it is clear that terrorism is just the public relations talking point. Indeed, the draft legislation explicitly applies the privacy-stripping power to a list of criminal investigations, including that old standby excuse for liberty violations — drug crime investigations.
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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