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Archive for September 7th, 2009

Is the ‘War on Drugs’ Ending?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Is the ‘War on Drugs’ Ending?
Mexico and Argentina’s recent decisions to decriminalize the personal use of drugs mark a growing trend across Latin America to reject the now-40-year-old, U.S.-led, Nixon-founded “war on drugs” as both harmful and ineffective. —J.C. The Guardian: Bruno Avangera, a 40-year-old web designer from Tucumán in Argentina, pauses to relight a half-smoked joint of cannabis. Then he speaks approvingly of “progress and the right decision” by the country’s seven supreme court judges, who decided last week that prosecuting people for the private consumption of small amounts of narcotics was unconstitutional. “Last year three of my friends were caught smoking a spliff in a park and were treated like traffickers,” he said. “They went to court, which took six months. One went to jail alongside murderers. The others were sent to rehab, where they were treated for an addiction they didn’t have, alongside serious heroin and crack users. It was pointless and destroyed their lives.” The court’s ruling was based on a case involving several men caught with joints in their pockets. As a result, judges struck down an existing law stipulating a sentence of up to two years in jail for those caught with any amount of narcotics. “Each individual adult is responsible for making decisions freely about their desired lifestyle without state interference,” the ruling said. “Private conduct is allowed unless it constitutes a real danger or causes damage to property or the rights of others.” Is the “war on drugs” ending? The Argentinian ruling does not stand alone. Across Latin America and Mexico, there is a wave of drug law reform which constitutes a stark rebuff to the United States as it prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of a conflict officially declared by President Richard Nixon and fronted by his wife, Pat, in 1969. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

DRUG SHARKS

Mexico and Argentina’s recent decisions to decriminalize the personal use of drugs mark a growing trend across Latin America to reject the now-40-year-old, U.S.-led, Nixon-founded “war on drugs” as both harmful and ineffective. —J.C.

The Guardian:

Bruno Avangera, a 40-year-old web designer from Tucumán in Argentina, pauses to relight a half-smoked joint of cannabis. Then he speaks approvingly of “progress and the right decision” by the country’s seven supreme court judges, who decided last week that prosecuting people for the private consumption of small amounts of narcotics was unconstitutional.

“Last year three of my friends were caught smoking a spliff in a park and were treated like traffickers,” he said. “They went to court, which took six months. One went to jail alongside murderers. The others were sent to rehab, where they were treated for an addiction they didn’t have, alongside serious heroin and crack users. It was pointless and destroyed their lives.”

The court’s ruling was based on a case involving several men caught with joints in their pockets. As a result, judges struck down an existing law stipulating a sentence of up to two years in jail for those caught with any amount of narcotics. “Each individual adult is responsible for making decisions freely about their desired lifestyle without state interference,” the ruling said. “Private conduct is allowed unless it constitutes a real danger or causes damage to property or the rights of others.”

Is the “war on drugs” ending? The Argentinian ruling does not stand alone. Across Latin America and Mexico, there is a wave of drug law reform which constitutes a stark rebuff to the United States as it prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of a conflict officially declared by President Richard Nixon and fronted by his wife, Pat, in 1969.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Charles Karel Bouley: America Is Losing Its Collective Mind

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Charles Karel Bouley: America Is Losing Its Collective Mind
No, Democrats are doing nothing to prove they have the spine to lead. There should be no bipartisianship right now. The other party destroyed our country. Why listen to them now?

John Neffinger: The 3 Lost Lessons of Healthcare History: Will Obama Re-Learn Them in Time?
The New York Times recently reported that the Obama administration is heeding a list of six lessons from previous efforts to reform health care. Unfortunately, the three most crucial lessons were left off the list.

Steven Weber: Revolution #2009
Politics may be politics but the right has gone way beyond gamesmanship and into the realm of wanton, drunken destruction.

Tom Watson: Late Rounds on Healthcare: Can Obama Throw a Counter-Punch?
For an issues that’s supposed to represent the administration’s top domestic initiative, the slow and seemingly ad hoc nature of Obama’s healthcare plan has been painful to watch unfold.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

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Could Texas’ Gingrich-Based High School History Curriculum Go National?
While Republicans are busy gnashing their teeth over President Obama’s imminent indoctrination of the nation’s schoolchildren, there’s an education story bubbling up in Texas that could have considerably more far-reaching consequences. The GOP-controlled State Board of Education is working on…


Call an expert

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Call an expert


Julie & Julia: Women Excelling at Work

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Julie & Julia: Women Excelling at Work

Julie & Julia is that very rare movie about women's struggle to express their gifts through work. Not a boyfriend, a fabulous wedding, a baby or escape from a serial killer.

Video: White House Honcho Mealy-Mouthed on Public Option: Axelrod on Meet the Press

In his <i>Meet the Press</i> appearance, presidential adviser David Axelrod refuses to say if Obama will trade away the public heath care plan.

Milk May Endanger Your Health, and the Dairy Industry Knows It

A mutant protein linked to major diseases has invaded the world's dairy supply, including, most likely, the jug of milk in your fridge.

Labor Day: A Holiday for Us

Labor day is a tribute not to fancy movie stars or stodgy founding fathers or rich and bloated athletes, but us.

An Army of Home-Schooled "Christian Soldiers" On a Mission to "Take Back America for God"

Take a glimpse into the little-known world of conservative Christian homeschooling.


What Obama Must Demand from Congress on Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

What Obama Must Demand from Congress on Health Care
Congress returns next week to one of the fiercest and most important debates in recent memory — whether and to what extent the nation will provide health care to all Americans, and how we will reign in the soaring costs…


Sponsored Topics: CongressHealth careHealthUnited StatesInsurance

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Sen. Ben Nelson Expresses Support For Public Plan ?Trigger?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Sen. Ben Nelson Expresses Support For Public Plan ?Trigger?
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has long opposed a public health insurance option. In May, he expressed concern that “the public plan would be too attractive and would hurt the private insurance plans.” A Nelson spokesman even suggested that the senator would be “building a coalition opposed to the public plan.” And this past week, Nelson […]

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has long opposed a public health insurance option. In May, he expressed concern that “the public plan would be too attractive and would hurt the private insurance plans.” A Nelson spokesman even suggested that the senator would be “building a coalition opposed to the public plan.” And this past week, Nelson said health care reform “implodes” if a public option is included.

But this morning on CNN, Nelson moderated his stance ever-so-slightly. He indicated to host John King that he would support a so-called “trigger” (which would establish a public plan after a certain period of time if the private market fails to control costs):

Well I think he [Obama] has to say that if there’s going to be a public option, it has to be subject to a trigger. In other words, if somehow the private market doesn’t respond the way that it’s supposed to, then it would trigger a public option or a government-run option. But only as a fail-safe backstop to the process.

When I say trigger, out here in Nebraska and the midwest, I don’t mean a hair-trigger. I mean a true trigger — one that would only apply if there isn’t the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be.

Watch it:

The Obama administration is reportedly in talks with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on a possible compromise that would include the “trigger.” The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been pushing the “trigger” idea internally.

Earlier this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated her strong commitment to a public plan. She “warned insurance companies that they should accept the Senate health committee proposal that would create a public plan because ‘if they want no public option but a trigger, you can be sure that the trigger will bring on a very robust public option.’”


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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Featured Advertiser

Nelson, Klobuchar Mull the ‘Trigger’ Option on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’
JOHN KING (Host): And Senator Nelson, the White House says the president will be more specific. You know the big flashpoints in this debate. What is the one specific where you think the president needs to say, this is the way I need it to be? I’m the president of the United States. This is what w…

Education Sec. Duncan on ‘Face the Nation’
BOB SCHIEFFER (Host): The president is planning to speak to the nation’s school children Tuesday by C-Span and the Internet. I think it’s fair to say the White House was blindsided by the reaction that has blown up, a real fire storm. Conservatives are in a rage. Glenn Beck spoke for many of the …

Obama Gears Up for Health-Care Address
Looking to rescue his signature domestic policy initiative with a prime-time address to Congress on Wednesday, President Obama for the first time is poised to “draw some lines in the sand” over the size and shape of legislation to remake the nation’s health-care system, top advisers said Sunday.


Jim Traficant’s Release From Prison Evokes Strong Emotions in Youngstown
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Sept. 6 — The Elvis impersonator had ceded the stage, and the toupee contest was over.


CIA Gets the ‘Mark Fuhrman Treatment’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 7th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

CIA Gets the ‘Mark Fuhrman Treatment’
Doug MacEachern, AZ Republic

The Change Agenda At a Crossroads
Scott Wilson, Washington Post

Illegal Immigration Hysteria Has Cooled
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe