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May 2012
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Open Thread

Hope you had a good holiday weekend — especially the many veterans who are regulars here. I raised a glass to you, while hoping for an end to wars and for bringing war profiteers (both political and financial) to justice.

It got me thinking about the drug war — and yes, it is a war regardless of the drug czar’s wishes to avoid the words. And, of course, as with many wars, there’s no “winning” side or “righteous” side in this war. There are only combatants who refuse to give up their war, and the rest of the world who are victims of its destruction. We are not combatants in the drug war. Our fight is to end the war. Our fight is for peace.

It’s been a busy time lately and will continue to be as I finish up some projects prior to taking a large tour group to New York next week. I’ve also started rehearsals for my next show in Chicago, which will be opening June 29.

I’ve also had to adjust my blogging routine. I finally retired the 2006 Mac laptop that you loyal readers helped purchase for me. It served me extremely well for a whole lot of years. I’m trying to get adjusted to blogging on an iPad. It’s more portable, but it also has some challenges and differences that require adjustments on my part. I haven’t gotten used to new ways of keeping track of articles, etc. Bear with me.

bullet image Courts Expose Stop-and-Frisk as Racist, Unconstitutional NYPD Harassment Strategy: 8 Important Facets of the Legal Decision

“According to their own explanations for their actions, NYPD officers conducted at least 170,000 unlawful stops between 2004 and 2009”

bullet image Families of Mexico drugs war victims berate candidates – apparently U.S. politicians aren’t the only ones who prefer to avoid talking about the drug war.

bullet image Trial To Begin Monday In Lawsuit Over Dog Fatally Shot By Hartford Police – federal lawsuit. Time to start reining in the police abuse of dogs (via Radley Balko)

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37 comments to Open Thread

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    A vicious St. Bernard dog? Surely you jest. The worst things those dogs do is to get people drunk.

    It will be interesting to see if the attorneys can make this stick. I recall a few decades ago a series of “wrongful death” suits filed after pets had been killed. The consensus of the judiciary was that pets are (were) simple property and the only recoverable damages were for the monetary value of the pet. Not much for a mutt from the dog pound.

    The major difference today between now and then is all the animal cruelty laws that have been passed. Back in the time referred to above one could hang his dog by the tail in the noon sun until it died without consequence. That same action today would be a felony in many, if not all States.

    Those cops better hope for a jury of cat ladies. A vicious St. Bernard dog. What utter hogwash.

    • claygooding

      Do you remember the clamor over Johnson picking his Basset?type hound up by the ears?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        No, but I was 7 when Mr. Johnson left office…presuming that you mean Lyndon and not Andrew.

        Brouhaha is one thing, did he get arrested for animal cruelty?

  • darkcycle

    I had a really, really hard time reading that. I am too fucking empathetic. I wish I’d stopped reading at the adbreak in the page. That’s gonna be with me for a while.

  • My daughter’s favorite movie as a toddler was Beethoven. I can’t send her that story…

    So… was a memo sent to all LE around the country? The “shoot their dogs” memo? A St Bernard, a Welsh Corgy (Columbia, MO), Cheye Calvo’s Black Labs? Among all the dogs I’ve ever met, those 3 breeds have never even as much as snarled at me.

    I’d claim PTSD for any kid that sees their dog shot. I got all gut-tight when I imagined what my response would be if cops shot my two girls. A Chow-mix (rescue) and a Boxer-Pit Bull mix (“my daughter’s” dog), Kita and Willow are just as sweet as dogs can be. They bark and provide an intimidating front to strangers, but that’s what I pays ’em for. Once someone is introduced, scratches a head and throws a toy, they’re friends for life.

    Of course the flip side is that dogs are so important to LE they qualify as experts in court. Shooting a police dog is dar’near as bad as shooting a cop. Of course 5 0 shooting us… not much worse for them than shooting our dogs. Where’s the balance?

    Damitol!®

  • Servetus

    I once encountered a mailman who devised a clever and workable method for dealing with dogs who defend their territory. He used an umbrella, and as a menacing dog approached him, he’d point the umbrella at the dog and open it and close it in a series of motions. Worked every time. The dogs appeared confused about the big, quickly expanding black thing obstructing their view, and they backed down immediately.

    The idea that cops get off free for shooting a dog, whereas a mailman would probably be arrested for discharging a weapon in public, says much about a society when the police are allowed to run rampant over the interests and priorities of the people. Nothing says ‘police-state’ quite like cops being given a carte blanche to break laws the rest of us are expected to observe.

  • Tinsley Grey Sammons

    AMERICA’S FORSAKEN PROMISE is a product of nineteen years of research and Critical Thinking condensed into a mere 46 easy to study pages. Reviews have been very good so far.

    Google: scribd

    Enter AMERICA’S FORSAKEN PROMISE in the yellow text box at the top of your screen.

    • spam is spam, no matter which side it comes from. Tell us about it and skip the virtual tagging.

      • darkcycle

        Nineteen years of research in 46 pages…wow. Turns out not to have been a very fruitful line of inquiry, huh?

        • lord, please let my first book be longer than 46 pages…

          Mr Sammons has a blog: http://justiceforfew.com/

          To settle for anything less than an across the board repeal of the de facto prohibition of certain drugs is going to be a grievous mistake that will continue to impoverish and imprison harmless Americans for years to come — until a significant number of folks come to their senses regarding the only morally acceptable relationship between the individual and his government. Piecemeal “legalization” concedes a power to government that does not in truth lawfully exist. Drug Prohibition is the product of an intrinsically criminal distortion of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

        • Duncan20903

          ??? I must be missing something.

        • darkcycle

          The comment at the top of this string is disguised Spam. It’ like if you took your spam to a plastic surgeon and had it re-formed to look like Michael Jackson.

        • you haven’t missed a thing Duncan, just picking on/at the mystery meat… rrr… Spam®

          It’s a poorly orchestrated campaign of self promotion on Mr Sammons’ part. He’s going around the wwweb, kinda willy-nilly as far as I can see, tagging as he goes (sans spray paint). We got tagged. He does get one point back for making it past Pete’s spam filter (which he avoided by not adding a link)(which is kind of self-defeating).

    • Pony3

      Where you aware of your brother’s shenanigans with camels?

  • primus

    Lord, please make me less gullible. Lord? Lord? Are you listening Lord?

  • strayan

    You know all that extra attention the illicit drug industry receives from the government? That’s the root cause of violence in the drug industry: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=0hs-8dPDlyEC&lpg=PA307&dq=drug%20prohibition%20corruption&pg=PA316#v=onepage&q&f=false

    More good reads here: http://adlrf.org.au/research/

  • swansong

    You raised a glass to the veterans? The one’s fighting illegal and brutal wars of aggression across the globe?

    Did that also include the veterans of the ongoing drug war? I’m sure those men and women also think they’re fulfilling an honorable mandate.

    • claygooding

      When a field agent for the DEA reports that the first thing he learned,after training,was how to hide money,,,you have to wonder just a bit,,added that many of these “honorable” warriors know full well that marijuana prohibition is a farce and impossible to stop,,no,,I do not list these people as patriots,,more patriots hang out on this couch than in the entire city of DC.

    • yeah, those veterans. Like my dad, WWII, Battle of the Bulge veteran (and survivor). Like me (and both my older brothers) and many others here at DWR.

      Is there a problem? Ever hear of LEAP? Vietnam Vets Against the War? Iraq Vets Against the War? Pete’s Couch Potatoes Against the War? (heh… that makes “PCP Against the War”)

      I guess when we’re young, some of us just have to step in shit to really get a sense of the smell.

      And rarely is life ever black and white.

      • swansong

        Sigh…I wish I was young.

        Unfortunately finally seeing the light doesn’t quite make up for the damage done in the dark.

        There are many others far more deserving of reverance and respect that never receive it.

        You say things are rarely black and white but I get the sense that attitude doesn’t quite extend to the concept of the military not automatically being deserving of hero worship.

        Ftr…I see a big difference between the men that volunteered to travel overseas to fight a battle they felt needed to be fought, then to return home, (if they were lucky), to continue their civilian lives…and career military men/women agreeing to go anywhere…anytime…to kill whomever they’re told, whenever they’re told. Especially when it’s so painfully obvious today that they are all fought for reasons other than those stated.

        • I was young… not all it’s cracked up to be.

          and you know not where you step. I don’t hero worship anyone. I think the word “hero” has been abused, relentlessly bludgeoned by common use.

          During the “Civil” War, doctors still didn’t know about hand and surgical tool washing, sanitation was a profound step for the west.

          During WWI they figgered out the need for nurses to help treat the wounded GIs – both in body and spirit.

          WWII saw the horrific… detonation of nuclear weapons on civilians.

          Vietnam… a long process of compounded stupid. But our fatalities were held to a “mere” tens of thousands. Nowadays, it’s “only” thousands of losses per war. When we get war to the point no one is killed – peace finally wins, no?

          And the GI… slogged thru ’em all. Come the new wars and every GI is a hero. People and pundits say we have to honor their service. Greet them as heros. We did and do.

          But the common theme I’ve heard is that all those GIs of so many wars? if we want to “honor them” then we need to end the wasting of their lives.

          Did you know that some of the strongest opposition to use of torture on 9/11 related prisoners came from our military? All those “career military men/women agreeing to go anywhere…anytime…to kill whomever they’re told, whenever they’re told” are not really the blind and obedient followers you insinuate.

          I sat on a bus on an Air Force base in 1983, under arrest for blockading the base’ front gate. As the bus filled w/ protestors, the haranguing of the young airman “guarding” us got to the point I had to berate my fellow protestors. “I was once that young airman,” I told them, “and now I’m here protesting – precisely because I was there,” pointing at the airman.

          Our vets are far less culpable perpetrators of crimes (with exceptions of course) than the asshats in WDC that send them to the foreign places where we’ve fought, for reasons far different than the ones presented to the public.

        • kaptinemo

          Swansong, the fact of the matter is that most wars are devised in the boardrooms of banks, and in the closeted studies of so-called ‘NGO’ groups. Such people are cynics, coldly manipulating those imbued with patriotism (Leo Strauss’s ‘the gentlemen’) as ‘useful idiots’; consider Kissinger’s infamous assessment of military people.

          What’s worse is when the self-proclaimed ‘Wise’ – like Kissinger’s masters – create the problem that requires the expenditure of our dearest blood to rectify. And those sent off to fight rarely ever know why they are actually dying.

          A good source of links for information concerning the actual formulation of policy and use of the military can be found here. Normally I’d say “Enjoy” but there’s nothing enjoyable about learning of the true nature of this country’s foreign policies.

        • darkcycle

          I’m not even going to venture into the idiocy displayed above. Stupidity, trollery, whatever, it doesn’t rate a response.

  • Duncan20903

    Romney mathematically clinches GOP presidential nomination

    /snip/
    Still, nearly 200 coal workers were given the day off and bused to the event by Peabody Energy, owner of the coal-fired power plant near Craig. As Romney took the stage, they waved signs that read “Coal equals jobs!” and “No More Regulations!”

    Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
    And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
    Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
    Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

    And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
    Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
    Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
    Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

    When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
    Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
    I’ll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin’
    Just five miles away from wherever I am
    .

    Paradise

  • Marijuana Fails To Slow Progress Of Multiple Sclerosis In UK Study

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/346356/20120529/marijuana-fails-slow-progress-multiple-sclerosis-study.htm

    If you read closer, they didn’t use marijuana in the study. They used THC pills. Their pills failed. They didn’t try marijuana.

  • ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!!!

    Silvestre Reyes will no longer be serving in the US House of Representatives. Perhaps Kevin Sabet can help him find a new job?

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_20736581/16th-congressional-district-race-beto-orourke-ousts-eight-term-u-s-rep-silvestre-reyes?source=most_viewed

    Tune in next week for the California Senate Primary! Can anti-war, anti-prohibition Democrat David Levitt clinch the number 2 spot and give Feinstein a run for her money in November???

    • Peter

      another sign to obama that this is not your fathers drug war any more. people are now voting against prohibition and the dinosaurs in the dems like reyes and feinstein are vulnerable.

  • kaptinemo

    Each Administration since Nixon’s days have dreaded the ‘Russian Roulette moment’ regarding drug policy. They’ve known it was wrong, destructive, wholly dissonant with the ideas of of Republic founded on individual liberties, but because it was so useful for nefarious aims, they’ve been able to use the faux moral trump card to block any attempts to end it.

    They’ve always feared the day the cylinder stops spinning, the chamber with the ‘legalization’ round in it clicks into position behind the public policy barrel, and there’s nothing left to do but pull the trigger…or have it pulled for you.

    Every Administration has been able to dodge that, some by the skin of their teeth (like in Carter’s day). Every one…until now. Now, with 56% (I suspect it is actually much higher) of the populace saying that cannabis should be legal, the fact is that the tipping point was reached long ago, and the pendulum is tilting in our favor faster and faster…and it’s happening on the watch of an avowed and unapologetic former(?) illicit drug-using African-American President.

    Oh, the irony…

  • kaptinemo

    Everyone has read that drug interdiction efforts are like squeezing a balloon; the side opposite the pressure bulges. Squeeze in Colombia; the wtraffic moves to Peru. Squeeze in Peru, it goes to Ecuador. Squeeze in Mexico, it bulges in Guatemala and Honduras. But what everyone save the prohibs knows, every place the squeezed balloon bulges, blood spurts out:

    Drug War Violence Throws Honduras into Disarray

    from the article:

    “Colonel Ross A. Brown, who commands JTFB from the semi-permanent installation at Soto Cano, says that until recently, the primary mission of U.S. forces in Honduras was emergency aid and relief efforts, including on-the-spot medical and dental care, and airlifting emergency supplies to remote communities.

    “But the focus has changed in the last year,” says Brown, who also served with distinction in Iraq, and will rotate back to the Pentagon after this assignment.

    Now JTFB’s primary line of effort, Colonel Brown says, is “countering transnational organized crime.” JTFB supports the Honduran and other Central American armed forces as well as the U.S. interagency including DEA, but Department of Defense rules of engagement limit the direct involvement of U.S. troops.

    Even so, powerful critics in Washington contend that militarized crime fighting in Honduras is producing too much collateral damage. In March, members of both the U.S. House and Senate signed letters requesting that the State Department curtail further military training and assistance to the country, due to the ongoing human rights abuses being committed under the rule of President Lobo. Lobo came to power after the 2009 coup, and despite complaints from elected officials, remains one of the Obama Administration’s closest allies in the region.”

    Classic ‘mission creep’, with the usual result of innocent dead bodies as blood on US hands. Dammit, don’t we ever effin’ learn?

    • Duncan20903

      We’ve sure learned how to weasel our military into every other country on the planet. Do we have troops stationed in Antarctica yet?

      • darkcycle

        Yes, we have a permanent military presence in Antarctica. Just like we have a presence in the arctic, with, I believe Fort Wainright and Elmendorf Airforce Base.

  • primus

    The pendulum is indeed swinging, however the prohibitionists are pushing back on it as hard as they can. It won’t continue to swing if we don’t push just as hard to keep it going. Challenge every lie, accuse them of deceit, arrogance etc. and make sure everyone sees them unable to deflect our challenges and accusations of chicanery because they are true, factual and verifiable, as compared to the lies of the warriors. Keep up the pressure, and let’s not forget the ladies; they have organized to oppose the persecution of their children by the drug czar and his warriors, let us backstop and support them. When the ladies get on board the end of prohibition will be a fait accompli.

  • thelbert

    an oligarchy that can make it’s own reality has no reason to learn anything. they are magic , like donald trump. or joe arpaio.