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August 2012
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Anatomy of an American City

Think a non-fiction version of “The Wire”

Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines — “Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City

So… how come we can’t get Al Jazeera on American cable systems?

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24 comments to Anatomy of an American City

  • Dave in Florida

    I spent 3 months last summer in Austria. I watched Al Jazeera quite a bit as well as the BBC. There were not many TV stations that were in English and I don’t understand German. They had a lot of good stuff on. The news in general is quite a bit different. It is just the facts without any bias. No sensationalism like we see here. A lot more in depth reporting, not just a 30 or 60 second spot that tells you what they want you to know- nothing. The print news is the same. Just take a look at some articles here.. http://www.austriantimes.at/ Enjoy!

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  • A columnist in Bangkok Post also recently referenced the fictional Baltimore from “The Wire”, comparing it to the situation in Thailand, where a new drug war rages rampant.

    Bang heads, take stats, tell lies

    Since Sept 11 of last year, when the Yingluck Shinawatra government launched its war on drugs, about 340,000 drug cases have been prosecuted, nearly 8% more than during the same period the year before. More than 330,000 suspects have been arrested, a 14% increase from last year. Some 65.5 million methamphetamine pills have been seized in total, a 26% increase. /snip/

    Sometimes the truth is told most frankly in fiction. Take the HBO series The Wire. It has taught us much about institutional dysfunction and the great lie that is the war on drugs.

    ”Bang heads and take stats” – that’s the mantra.

    When the Baltimore police department needs to boost its failing image, the commissioner declares a war on drugs and sends his minions out to bang heads and take stats.

    When the mayor is on a re-election campaign and needs to rouse the populace, he declares war on drugs and orders the police department to bang heads and take stats.

    Whenever any calamity befalls any powerful government or police officer, the best way to repair a damaged image is to declare a war on drugs, with the only strategy in mind being bang heads and take stats.

    Bang heads and take stats is simple. Just roll up to ghetto corners, bang heads by rounding up the low level street dealers and take stats by confiscating the drugs. Then off to the big press conference, flashing lights and rolling cameras.

    Line up the suspects and pile up the confiscated drugs. Throw out the numbers of however many were arrested and however much was confiscated. The media goes ”ooh” and ”aah”in primetime news and front page stories, and then the public also get to go ”ooh” and ”aah”. The next day it’s business as usual on the corners.

    Putting up a good face; it’s not just a Thai thing – it’s a human thing.

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  • Duncan20903

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    Why doesn’t anyone pay any attention to the lack of gun violence in Vermont? Vermont’s population was 626,431 in July 2011. Baltimore’s was 619,493. Vermonters are pained when their annual homicide total gets into double digits. Double digits as in >9. But there’s Ms. Mayor of Baltimore boasting because Baltimore managed to keep the total under 200 (196).

    Did you know that it’s legal under Vermont law to own a silencer for your handgun? The people of Charm City aren’t even legally allowed to own stun guns. Body armor is also illegal in Baltimore.

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  • pfroehlich2004

    State-level NAACP chapters now have a perfect record of endorsing marijuana legalization initiatives (at least if we start counting from 2010). How long til the national organization explicitly endorses legalization (rather than merely opposing the drug war)?

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21378892/colorado-marijuana-initiative-gets-naacp-endorsement

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  • divadab

    “So… how come we can’t get Al Jazeera on American cable systems?”

    -Because it’s the terrorist TV station. This is seriously widely believed among right-wing circles in America. What a bunch of maroons. Dangerous, demented, maroons.

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    • claygooding

      The war on terrorists will be the only never ending war the defense industries will have if we remove the war on drugs from their sales line,unless traffic cops start suiting up Gestapo style for speeding tickets.

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      • War Vet

        The War on Terror will mostly end if the war on drugs ends . . . you cannot win against a well armed nation that also has no munitions factories. Drug money finances most terrorist organizations. Even Al Jazerra admit it’s drug money. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are cartels . . . Hamas and Hezbollah . . . Chechnya Freedom fighters –the PKK etc . . . the terrorists are closer to the supplier both physically/regionally or religiously and they have the best odds of doing business with Mob syndicates when they spread out. That’s why you see a lot of the Russian and Italian Mafias in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . its always the terrorists in the middle east near large Opiate and hash supplies . . . Morocco is a source state that has many buyers who also give up their money to the cause after they keep a few thousand from the streets . . . cells can offer legal and physical protection to various dealers –cells can move it and import it from source to retailer . . . Nigerians are 50% Muslim, and they are the largest drug smuggling group of people known to man . . . half are suspected of having dope on them when the go to Europe . . . The Africans can offer a place to unload coke from Brazil and the Muslims can cross it up and over into Europe . . . They are the ones who own North Africa and they can cross Malawi Gold and South African durban up north. India and Thailand have 25% Muslim Populations and they are known for pot and opium . . . that’s how the terrorist get their meal ticket. Legal money is not covert and not enough people eat their stolen cars or pirated DVD’s therefore other black market items don’t have the same kind of consumer base as drugs. How do you think Al Qaeada can offer loads of supplies to Syrian Rebels for free? Drugs are easier to grow than oil and offer less overhead and can survive Whack-A-Mole games from the cops. Oil is bad for business and bad PR and no one will use oil as a terrorist’s bread and butter . . . but dope finds its way in everywhere -just like oil . . . drugs for God is the loophole: Fatwa . . . since dealing is bad, terrorists are good because they don’t steal to earn most of their money and the people notice how the terrorists uphold good morals when it comes to financial operations . . . selling drugs are normal and not considered bad if its for Allah. Afghanistan grows $70-80 Billion dollars a YEAR in dope when it hits the world’s streets . . . the Taliban who offered Osama is own Providence in Afghanistan makes a $100 Mil A year off dope . . . Pakistan who created the Taliban (since the PK is where they originate) makes $4 Billion a year in dope profits, which means they grow Billions even more worth of drugs . . . Iran has the most drug users per-capita, which means the Iranian government uses seized drug money and designated dope dealers (local or other) to finance some of its more expensive military toys and Militant ties -akin to how Pakistan used dope to buy the Bomb in response to India -whom they waged a long war with . . . the CIA dope show helped that when Russia invaded Pakistan’s neighbor and threatened Pakistan itself. End the war on drugs -end many wars where millions die. Do you really think people eat blood diamonds . . . nope, but coke is always on tap for whom ever wants, which is how much of Africa can afford war outside the diamonds and illicit oil . . . Somali pirates protect a lot of dope in the Indian destined to go up north through the dessert or Nile or float on up in the Red to the Suez for Europe. The Balkans have a large Muslim population and the Civil Wars and Genocide of the 90′s made it where they would have cells as partners and leaders. Dope money runs the world’s theaters for the 3rd world nations . . . without drugs, poor nations cannot afford to go to war for so long or for their wars to be much smaller -or negates war.

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  • claygooding

    Another Jury Revolts Against Marijuana Laws, “They felt marijuana should be legalized.”

    http://tinyurl.com/9roct7t

    “”I had a jury trial this morning on level 3 possession with intent MJ, level 4 possession drug paraphernalia and level 10 no drug tax stamp. During voir dire, my almost all white, middle-class, middle-aged jury went into full rebellion against the prosecutor stating that they wouldn’t convict even if the client’s guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt — almost all of them! They felt marijuana should be legalized, what he does with it is his own business and that the jails are already full of people for this silly charge. Then, when the potential jurors found out that the State wanted him to pay taxes on illegal drugs, they went nuts.

    One woman from the back said how stupid this was and why are we even here wasting our time. A “suit” from the front said this was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. The prosecutor ended up dismissing the case. Judge gave me a dismissal with prejudice. I’m still laughing my ass off over this one. I have NEVER seen a full on mutiny by an entire jury pool before. Easiest win ever!”” ‘snipped’

    Don’t you love it?

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  • Duncan20903

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    Eric Sterling will be interviewed on Al Jazeera about the war on drugs at 8:30PM Eastern Time. More information on how to watch Al Jazeera English online or on TV here: http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/

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    • darkcycle

      The shutdown date is the week after the cannabis cup in Seattle. Three days after, actually. They really do know how to crap on darkcycle’s party, don’t they?

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  • Cold Blooded

    You can get Al Jazeera on cable in the US. The English network is a lot different than the Arabic language channel.

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  • Wow. They found the genetic switch that causes reefer madness amongst blacks. This study sounds sour to me.

    “and most especially, in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is affected in psychosis.’

    He added: ‘We know that this overactive switch is relatively rare in Europeans, but is quite common in African populations.”

    http://tinyurl.com/8j9gqj8

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    • darkcycle

      Wow. The Daily Mail is on a roll. Bringing the racism back to reefer madness.

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      • Nunavut Tripper

        “‘One possibility we are keen to explore is that once in Central Asia these early migrants came into contact with the cannabis plant, which we know was endemic across that area at that time.

        ‘It is possible that the side effects of taking cannabis were such that people with the mutation were not so effective in producing and raising children.

        ‘Therefore, over the generations the numbers of people with the mutation decreased.”

        Holy shit, I didn’t know marrywanna was so dangerous and “endemic” that users couldn’t produce or raise children thus
        causing a whole lineage of toking cavemen to go extinct.
        I wonder if all the beautiful and loving children and grandchildren of my own and friends are real or a figment of my cannabinoid addled brain.

        Prohibs coming up with unproven theories like that make me want to hurl.

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    • stlgonzo

      My favorite part. This cannot be restated enough to the prohibs….

      “Pot has no lethal dose, is significantly less addictive than alcohol or nicotine, and has mild, medically benign withdrawal symptoms, Reiman noted. Pot’s biggest risk can be from law enforcement or other institutions, she said.”

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  • claygooding

    Sensible Washington Weighs in on the DEA’s Letter to Area Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

    http://tinyurl.com/9dvzgms

    “”On Thursday the DEA says it sent letters to 23 (yet to be fully revealed) area medical marijuana dispensaries determined to be located within “1,000 feet of a school, playground or other prohibited area” – ordering them to shut down or face the seizure and forfeiture of assets and profits, along with criminal prosecution.

    Today many medical marijuana activist (and just plain marijuana activists), including non-profit political organization Sensible Washington, condemned the action.”” ‘snipped’

    Hide the money and deny them more funding!

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  • claygooding

    US doping agency targets Lance Armstrong’s titles

    “”His seven Tour de France titles stripped away and his legacy in tatters, Lance Armstrong is heading back outdoors and into the public eye.

    A day after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency punished Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and erased 14 years of his career after concluding he used performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong is scheduled to ride in a mountain bike race in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday and follow it up by running a marathon there Sunday.””

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/08/25/us-doping-agency-erases-lance-armstrong-titles/#ixzz24Zgo6o3f

    Sad that these people just keep digging the hole deeper.

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  • perhaps a branding on the forehead or the mandatory wearing of armbands w/ a D, so the druggies will be easier for authorities to spot and the neighbors to mock… burning at the stake would of course be opposed by some civil rights orgs so it’s a last-option option…

    Purity, Damitol®! The Great Society must accept no less than it’s best (and richest).

    and I’ll be damned but that big-rock-falling-from-the-sky option is looking better every day.

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  • Soaring Numbers of Children on Powerful Adult Psychiatric Drugs
    http://tinyurl.com/9cb6c9e
    Its from August 14 – I just ran into it.

    The same problem being pointed out here by Peter Breggin’s article is the same problem that we are having with the treatment field – the powerful alliance with the pharmaceutical industry. We also now have the drug testing industry to add to the list. This is the crew still promoting studies from the reefer madness heyday in the press. Dreams of grandeur drive this crowd – a mentally stable population cared for by your local professional. I don’t think Breggin is far off. An addicted population is a goldmine. Those poor addicted potheads need treatment!

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    “Branding those of us who wish to see an end to this ridiculous drug prohibiton as liberals is an insult. I would like to see those who perpetuate this ridiculous campaign against common sense locked away for a very long time. Nothing liberal about that!” —Freddy F.

    http://tinyurl.com/bnvtqb6

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