What I’m reading

With Liberty and Justice for SomeGlenn Greenwald has a new book out: “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used To Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”

I haven’t completely finished it yet, but I highly recommend it based on what I’ve already read. Greenwald is one of the very best political writers today and he truly understands the dangers of unchecked government power (wielded by any party).

He makes powerful arguments about how the law has become a tool to increase the gap between the fortunate and unfortunate (through shielding the elite from accountability while constantly increasing criminal justice penalties for the average person), and spends a fair amount of time discussing the involvement of the war on drugs.

It’s a powerful book that shows that the war on drugs, as a means to a political end, is not happening in a vacuum (which is something we’ve already known and is brought home once again on this 10th anniversary of the Patriot Act), but is rather part of a much larger and wider power grab.

Important reading.

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27 Responses to What I’m reading

  1. Ministry of Truth says:

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy

  2. AeronwyRemembers says:

    “To function as the founders intended, our republic requires that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787

  3. kaptinemo says:

    It cannot be over-emphasized to what extant the War on Drugs has taken over from the Cold War as the core rationalization for maintaining the increasingly more encroaching police state.

    “When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” – Plato

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – HL Mencken

    You get the idea. We ‘need’ boogiemen. Boogiemen to scare the crap out of Nervous Nellies, who then, as Walter Lippmann put it so succinctly, welcome manacles to keep their hands from shaking. The problem is, they want us to wear them , too.

    Government is like that. No more Soviets to scare you with and make you give up more of your freedoms so you can be ‘protected’? No problem. Here’s ‘Pablo’ and his buddies, rolling in (CIA-sponsored) drug money and all set to turn your daughter into a crack-whore. Boogie, boogie, boogie! (shaking cardboard image of drug dealer in your face) Are ya scared, yet?

    Meanwhile, cops begin to look (and act!!) more and more like Darth Vader’s Imperial Stormtroopers, thuggishly trampling your rights as they trample your body. Who are you more threatened by, ‘Pablo’ or Officer Jack Boot?

    The answer should be obvious…

  4. kaptinemo says:

    When I was a Fed civil servant, after the fall of Communism, my agency began to see a lot of military and LE types showing up for ‘conferences’.

    It was pretty damn obvious what was going on. The Fed security organs and the military were trolling for a new raison d’etre to keep their budgets going when there was a lot of talk back then (the early 1990’s) about the ‘Peace Dividend’ that should come about, thanks to no further need to maintain the huge military machine built to ‘fight’ the Soviets.

    I know, I know; naive, huh? Bureaucracies don’t work like that. They do everything they can to find a new means of sustaining themselves, courtesy of ‘mission creep’. Which is exactly what happened. After Communism took a dirt nap, until ‘terrorism came along, it was drug dealers who were the new boogiemen. But the idea is always the same: an agency – and the policy it supports! – has outlived it’s usefulness and seeks to keep itself going, regardless of whether its’ needed or not.

  5. Servetus says:

    The Kap’n is right on when it comes to the games civil servants play. Among the games I encountered when I worked on government contracts was the deadline caper.

    In the deadline caper, the feds give themselves a fat timeframe to study and address a situation; for example, let’s say seven years. Not only will it take a full seven years to complete the tasks, but the majority of the effective work will be done in the last year or so; proof that completion could have been implemented much earlier with a little more zeal.

    Another problem is that the government can willingly neglect to pay contractors, grant recipients, and businesses for three years or more if they feel like it. They get away with these behaviors and others because they’re the government, and they aim to prove it.

    Government employees have job and agency protection schemes down to a science. The problems the schemes produce are among the reasons why the government gets charged up the yin-yang for goods and services. Doing business with the various agencies is often an expensive and mind-f#&king hassle that only big companies can afford to get into.

  6. claygooding says:

    At 16 billion a year,,and all the agencies and other bureaucracies that the ONDCP sends funding too,,how many federal employees are on that teat?

    If you look at the ONDCP budget report and see all the federal agencies that now depend on those drug war dollars being continued,,it sure is going to be an uphill fight,,

  7. Duncan20903 says:

    Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot! Not a word! Into your clothes and come!

    Decriminalizing Marijuana Initiative May Begin Signature Campaign

    Supporters want to tax and regulate pot like alcohol

    By Joe Young
    Monday, Oct 31, 2011

    Plans to make marijuana legal in California received a boost on Saturday after an announcement made by a state official.

    California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, announced that proponents of decriminalizing pot can begin collecting petition signatures for next November’s ballot.

    Proponents of the potential ballot measure said it’s based on making the jobs of law enforcement easier all while benefiting the state.

    • Windy says:

      WTF? They have to WAIT for PERMISSION to begin gathering signatures? That’s so dictatorial and just wrong!

      • darkcycle says:

        So do we, Windy. There’s a time limit under which you must gather the requisite signatures anywhere there’s an initiative process.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        They’ve got 150 days from when it’s approved unless there’s less than 150 days before the hard deadline which is 135 days before Election Day in California. Someone has to say “ready set go!” Though now that I think about it how would they know if there had been people signing petitions before the starting gun? Not that it really matters, it’s not like the people on our side of the table are in the habit of jumping the gun.

  8. darkcycle says:

    Whatever you make of it, happy halloween, and a bountiful harvest be…
    Enjoy your harvest festivals everyone.

  9. Duncan20903 says:

    Well the USPTO finally started updating their database to include new returns for the keyword cannabinoid. The total returns for a search of that keyword stands at 5,916 at this moment. Regulars here may recall that the first time I did the search in December 2010 there were 4,917 items returned. No interest in cannabinoids by industry? Surely you jest.


  10. allan says:

    How the gummint wins:

    We’ll protect you! From – Irish immigrants, Polish immigrants, Chinese immigrants, blacks, Mexicans, commies, beatniks (think Bob “Maynard G Krebbs” Denver, that old stoner), Hippies, poverty, blacks, Mexicans, terrorists, cults, drugs, the burdens of liberty, etc…

    You can fill in whatever is the ghoul de jour. My list here is hardly complete.

    And yes, it’s time to change the beast-friendly collar for a new choke collar and a very short chain. Rope will be provided only so they may have enough to hang themselves…

    Fill us in w/ any juicy insights Glenn may provide Pete. Maybe another Amazon Book Review for you?

  11. antifascist says:

    Thanks much for the link, Pete, I’m gonna purchase this one asap (after I figure out if I have the $).

    The war on drugs has always been a war on the liberal left; Nixon’s revenge against the antiwar left-wing. By now it should be obvious that his original DEA officers were all secret Neo-Nazis and it is becoming ever more apparent that they have morphed into the present Neocon-servative Party.

    What most people do not realize is that they made a deal with the Jewish Zionists in control of the mainstream media to promote their drug war lies in exchange for all the support they wanted in Israel and the ME.

  12. Peter says:

    Conspiracy theorize much?

    • Duncan20903 says:

      What happens if a fascist and an anti-fascist try to occupy the same space?

      It’s really a bad slip up on the part of the Jews in control of the media involved in the conspiracy to allow Israel to be the country with the sanest approach to medicinal cannabis and the patients it benefits. Their public policy is so sane that even their politicians consider it medicine. They even let people in the hospital have their medicine! Now is that whacked out or what?

      Don’t worry, reality hasn’t totally cracked in Israel. The police over there are just as confused by the issue as our local and national police agencies. The difference is that when Israeli cops hold an anti-reefer rally they’re the only ones that show up, which only confuses them more.

      Well, well, speak of the devil and in he walks! (cover your eyes antifascist, I’m about to cut and paste something I presume was written by a Jew):

      Montel Williams Impressed by Israel’s Medical Marijuana Policies

      By: Ashley Baylen
      Published: October 31st, 2011

      Itay Goor-Aryeh, Head of Pain Management at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel agrees with Williams’ claims. He calls marijuana “the lesser of the evils.”

      “Those patients, if they do not get cannabis, they will get morphine-like drugs and other harmful drugs,” said Goor-Aryeh. “I think that in many ways, cannabis is tolerated and is less addictive that morphine-based drugs.”

      But it’s plain to see that antifascist is correct in his assessment. If there wasn’t a massive conspiracy against us by the Jews, why in the world would they print the doctor’s name in pig latin? Why not just write it in plain to understand American? What about naming a hospital after a hooker? Who but those who would conspire against us would do something like that?

      Oh well, if you can’t lick them, it’s better to join them.


      (PS if there is an afterlife my dear departed friend Skippy is laughing his ass off at this screed.)

      • antifascist says:

        Duncan said: If there wasn’t a massive conspiracy against us by the Jews, why in the world would they print the doctor’s name in pig latin?

        Dude, you said “Jews”, not me. I said “Zionist Jews”. I highly suspect you of being a phony left-winger now, so unless you can give me a good answer to the following question, that’s going to be my position with you.

        Duncan, how would you explain that virtually every major mainstream media outlet, including newspaper, magazine, radio, tv networks have been willing to proliferate drug war propaganda (and lies) for the past 30 years with little or no left-wing pro-marijuana balance whatsoever?

        • DdC says:

          antifascist you have to take duncum with a grain of salt. I think he believes if he post enough words some day one or two of them may make sense. I’d advise caution in taking them literally. Peter, like most of the status quo sound like he has a firm grasp of mainstream media and reform movement. Not a wonder it has lasted almost 75 years. Probably thinks they’re liberal too… PC’s a bitch.

          95% of the media is controlled by 5 corporations.. Liberal? I call the religionist neocons khristzions. Not really much to do with religion and certainly not liberals in the progressive sense. Neocons are of both parties and major religions. Israeli people are in general probably more progressive it seems, but not necessarily liberal. Many Jews were demonized as liberals by the McCarthy rages and hysteria. Most escaped hitlers terror reign and found work in night clubs and the entertainment field. Most Jews I’ve known or cared for in hospice work were hard working, hard studying Americans with no zealotry to speak of. Israel is so tiny compared to the rest of the Middle East I am still amazed at how many hate them. They don’t seem to be a threat and how can you blame anyone for defending their homeland? Who has been attacked more? Letting your sworn enemy by their own accord, get closer to be more accurate in their rocket launches is flat out wingnut material. I think republicans think anyone who is poor is liberal. Probably the big government band aids most Libertards want to toss out. If they could only adjust their utopian blinders and stop the massive de-regulations that are slashing the people requiring band aids in the first place. But profit rules the minds of a Neocon. Yes they are fascist. But that in itself isn’t what is evil. It’s the people who choose to be mean and nasty. Boosh was fiscally liberal and socially conservative. Making him and cheney more Neocon than republican or conservative. I liked Ron Paul better in his younger years before coping out to the neocons… Now he basically tells everyone what they want to hear.

          The Myth of “Liberal Bias” in the Media

          The Corporate Muzzle
          Trolls of Fascism

          Army of Fake Social Media Friends to Promote Propaganda
          Does a code of ethics still exist in Intelligence firms? Does it disappear behind closed doors, dirty deeds done in the dark and used against the American people who are supposed to be free to express themselves?

          Bivings Group
          The Bivings Group is a PR firm whose clients include Monsanto, a company with a long history of harmful practices impacting the environment and human health. They seem to specialize in the creation of fake grassroots Astroturf supporters for their clients

          Conservatives without conscience by John W. Dean

          Big Lies by Joe Conason
          The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth

          Publisher Comments: In Big Lies, Joe Conason rips through the ten most damaging lies perpetrated by the right wing propaganda machine. This scathing, fact-filled analysis debunks it all…

          The Wrecking Crew, on How Conservatives Rule
          “Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we have seen is not an accident, nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction.”

          Perfectly legal by David Cay Johnston
          The covert campaign to rig our tax system
          to benefit the super rich– and cheat everybody else.

          “A tiny portion of the population controls the lion’s share of the wealth and most of the command positions of state, manufacturing, banking, investment, publishing, higher education, philanthropy, and media… these individuals exercise a preponderant influence over what is passed off as public information and democratic discourse.

          EFF previously warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend for social media surveillance. While the FBI Intelligence Information Report Handbook
          mentioned using “covert accounts” to access protected information, other government agencies endorsed using [url=https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/08/government-finds-uses-social-networking-sites]security exploits[/url] to access protected information.

          “Their overall economic domination and their campaign contributions, media monopoly, high-paid lobbyists, and public relations experts regularly predetermine who will be treated as major political candidates and which policy parameters will prevail… Though relatively few in number they get the most of what there is to get. Their wealth serves their power, and their power serves their wealth.”
          ~ Michael Parenti

        • DdC says:

          undefined? Doh! Now its OK?

      • antifascist says:

        So now, just becuz a piece of phony garbage like you conveniently removes the “Zionist” from my “Zionist Jews” reference, every instance of any reference to Jews, including those with the “Zionist” word attached are forever after to be considered antisemetic within this forum? Who the hell are you, Duncan, God Almighty, or just another Neo-Nazi Neocon pretending to be a genuine left-wing liberal?

        And f__K you too, Peter! (since after all you’re the one who first insinuated I may be a fascist)

    • DdC says:

      Ah… Reinforcement… Flat out fucking staaarange how far these worms have crawled into the soul of America…. Asshat patents Ayahuasca then tells natives they have to pay after thousands of years of use. They tried patenting bhang… We know barthwell and the ondcp hold patents on cannabinoids. One cancer drug went from $30 a treatment to $30,000. Crazy. Monsanto bilking the most impoverished Haite, India, Colombia. Terminator technology.(sterile seeds). Tholidomide— Never Again… Ooops FDA approved it, on the market for cancer treatment. But Ganja might cause excessive laughter and munchies so lets not even discuss it in Congress. Nice when Science catches up… Not ready for primetime I guess.

      “Deadly Monopolies”:
      Medical Ethicist Harriet Washington on How Firms are Taking Over Life Itself

      One of the major themes raised by the Occupy movement is the increasing power of large corporations over more and more aspects of our lives. We spend the hour looking into the issue of the corporate control of life itself. Our guest, Harriet Washington, is a medical ethicist and has just published a book that examines the extent to which what she calls the medical-industrial complex has come to control human life. In the past 30 years, more than 40,000 patents have been granted on genes alone—many more patents are pending. Washington argues that the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies patenting these genes are more concerned with profit than with the health or medical needs of patients. Her new book is called “Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself—And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future.”
      [includes rush transcript]

      Drug War Profiteers: Book Exposes How Wachovia Bank Laundered Millions for Mexican Cartels

    • antifascist says:

      First of all, if more people would stop ignoring how serious the situation was and start facing the WHOLE TRUTH, maybe we could get to the root of the real problem and do something substantial to put an end to the drug war. But too many choose to ignore the WHOLE TRUTH and give the extreme right wing a pass on its asinine and insane policies and so absolutely no real progress gets made to turn around the whole fiasco known as the drug war, which has always been a war on the antiwar liberal left.

      Instead of facing the WHOLE TRUTH, there are always some who choose to ignore it for whatever reason. Denying the Neo-Nazis compose the most extreme right-wing of the US Federal govt, for example, is the same as denying that the Neocons and the drug-warriors have been working together to build an empire of lies.

      Denying that the “Zionist” Jews control the major mainstream media and have been promoting the drug war lies and propaganda 24/7 for the past 30 years is also not doing the liberal left any good.

      And, some one like Duncan, of course, has to make a joke out of it because either he is a secret prohibitionist or Neo-Nazxi who has to discredit such information or because he is a secret Zionist Jew who has to make me sound like an antisemite even though I am not referring to all Jews, I am referring to Zionists specifically.

      Furthermore, just because Israel itself has saner drug laws than most countries does not mean that the Zionist Jews that control the Mainstream Media in the USA don’t promote drug war and Prohibitionist propaganda and lies. Anyone can see that they do.

  13. Servetus says:

    A medical marijuana credit union is being proposed by Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman due to the reticence of mainstream banks to handle proceeds from the Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries:


  14. Windy says:

    Yeah, I thought one or two of my posts were missing from recent threads, yes they contained links to information about Ron Paul and how to get him the nomination according to which kind of political process your State uses for that purpose (caucus or open/closed primary).

  15. Peter says:

    A. Fascist
    you’ll be telling us about ZOG next Best get your meds checked.

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