Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump Anti-Semitism, PATRIOT Act, Sheldon Adelson, Bill Weld, DEA Spending
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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.
In a Wednesday Washington Post editorial, Trinity College History Professor Cheryl Greenberg quotes from this sentence in a speech Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered this month in West Palm Beach, Florida: “We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors,”
Agree or not, Trump’s conclusion does not seem outlandish regarding this Democratic opponent who has been paid millions for speeches to financial service companies and whose campaign is raking in contributions from people in the financial sector.
However, Greenberg has a different take. She writes that “Trump’s references to money, bankers and international conspiracies appear to be deliberate anti-Semitic dog whistles.”
This week is the 15th anniversary of President George W. Bush signing the PATRIOT Act into law. On February 8, 2011, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) delivered a speech in the US House of Representatives floor debate over renewal of PATRIOT Act provisions that were set to expire. Paul explained that the PATRIOT Act contributes to the diluting over time of the Fourth Amendment restraint on government searches and seizures. Paul noted in particular that the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) also plays a part. Of course, the US government’s drug war, which was ramped up in the 1970s, is another contributor. We can look back at 15 years of the PATRIOT Act in the context of an over 30-year assault on the Fourth Amendment.
Ray Stern reported Monday in the Phoenix New Times on big donations Sheldon Adelson has made to groups opposing marijuana referenda in the November general election. Stern lists donations ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to groups opposing marijuana legalization referenda in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Nevada, as well as $1 million to defeat a Florida medical marijuana referendum.
A large portion of Adelson’s wealth comes from owning casinos. State governments outlaw or greatly restrain the operation of casinos, just as state governments do activities related to marijuana. And the reasons for casinos prohibition often are similar to the reasons for marijuana prohibition. Prohibitionists say both must be outlawed to protect the children, to shield adults from sinful or self-destructive behavior, and to fight criminal organizations.
On Tuesday, Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Bill Weld issued a statement in which he addressed himself to “all those in the electorate who remain torn between two so-called major party candidates whom they cannot enthusiastically support” and “particularly to those Republicans who feel that our President should exhibit commonly accepted standards of decency and discipline.”
You might expect the statement would argue that people should reject both the Republican and Democratic options and instead vote Libertarian. It does not. Instead, Weld repeatedly denounces Trump before concluding Trump “must not” be elected president.
This statement is par for the course from Weld who declared in an MSNBC interview last month that he is “not sure anybody’s more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States.”
Eight US House of Representatives members sent a letter Tuesday to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting “that the U.S. Government Accountability Office produce a report on the cost effectiveness of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP).”
The representatives make clear that they are critical of the US government’s war on marijuana by stating that “the recent trend in state laws to legalize and decriminalize the production, distribution or consumption of marijuana calls into question the necessity of such a program.”
In the letter, the representatives also mention that the state of Utah, after receiving $73,000 in funding under the program, “did not find a single marijuana plant to eradicate.” That sounds great. Imagine the gains for freedom if the entire DEA budget could yield such results.
That’s a wrap.
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