Tag Archives: California

San Quentin hunger striker’s kidneys shut down, as warden meets one demand

Moorbey'z Blog

by an unnamed pen pal at San Quentin

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This is just a small note to let you know I’m still alive. But on Friday morning at around 12:30 a.m., they found me on the floor unresponsive and a little blue-ish purple.

List of Death Row hunger strikers San Quentin Adjustment Center 0313 by LifeoftheLaw.org
Guards kept a list of Death Row hunger strikers in March 2013, when several prisoners protested their indefinite solitary confinement. – Photo: LifeoftheLaw.org

From what the guys here say, the guards opened the door, I fell out and they jumped on me with a shield, cuffed me and took me out. Then dropped me at the first tier cause their hands slipped, from what they told me. What happened? Well, I remember waking up with a start, shivering, my heart racing and like someone was squeezing my back and that’s it.

 

The nurses said kidney failure – that I…

View original post 308 more words

Advertisements

Editorial From The Daily Bell™

I expect that I may receive some flak about this but this is about rights not morals. Morals are an entirely different issue for which I have a very strong opinion. We live in a Nation ruled (it is said) by a Constitution. If that is so we must accept and defend the rights of those with whom we may even adamantly disagree. 

Without such wiliness to defend the right of others to practice those things I even consider abominable I am no better than any other tyranny at any time one desires to name in history. Choose-Nebuchadnezzar? Antiochus Epiphenes? One of the Caesars or Genghis Khan. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot? They all limited the freedoms of groups they were offended by.

NO  Let God Forbid. There is no reason to withhold a right because we may be offended. If two consenting adults choose to call themselves married then there is no reason they should be forbidden from doing so.

I would gladly make the argument that the government has no business being involved in marriage at all. For hundreds of years the church handled all matters of marriage, birth and death. If one was not a member one came under common law and then the sate would be involved in a very limited fashion.  Here is an editorial from The Daily Bell™:

Editorial

MONDAY, MARCH 04, 2013

Democracy and Gay Marriages

Frankly I have no horse in this race, nothing personal in any case. For my money you may marry your grandmother or cat, if all parties consent.

Marriages ought to be a matter of contract and not based on any myth or superstition. Folks should not be interfered with if they want to form a family union, however it is configured, so long as it isn’t some kind of criminal gang.

What I do find odd is for the White House to butt in here, requesting that the US Supreme Court invalidate various state statutes to conform to the doctrine of the ruling party or the president. In the case of President Obama, an avowed champion o f democracy in numerous areas – whereby as far as he is concerned, majority rule may violate individual property or contractual rights (so that, for example, he supports imposing all kinds of burdens such as various taxes) on everyone because the majority agrees – the demand that the court uphold the ban on gay marriages would appear to be perfectly acceptable to him if the majority in a state, such as California, so decides. But, alas, democracy must yield when Obama so wishes.

Democrats, be they lower or upper case types, often do not get it: If you believe that what the majority agrees to should be the law, you have no cause for complaint when insidious measures get passed in various elections in various jurisdictions. Majority rule means just that, rule by the will of the majority. If you think there are exceptions – as even the US Supreme Court has said there are and as most sane people would agree – you need to show why. The best case for them would provide support from the political doctrine of natural individual human rights. So that if everyone has a right to speak his or her mind, no majority would be authorized to shut us up no matter how outrageous our ideas happen to be. And there are other equally well-established individual rights that no majority ought to be authorized to breach. So, yes, whom one chooses to marry if all parties agree (remember polygamy!) may not be subject to interference by a majority or its representatives. Don’t like it but live with it, if you have any respect for the right to individual liberty!

But then do not impose on people measures, laws, regulations, etc., they find morally or otherwise objectionable unless these amount to protecting individual rights! But it doesn’t seem to me at all that Mr. Obama and his ideological cohorts have any firm commitment to such individual rights, only to some select ones that happen to suit their pragmatic frame of mind. In other words, they are essentially committed to a fascistic type of “legal” order wherein those who happen to sit atop the government get to tell everyone else what goes.

And they used to fancy the US a free country! Go figure.

Tibor Machan is a member of the Advisory Board for The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT) and the R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University in Orange, CA.

 


Schwarzenegger’s “Prison Planet”

Original Article: http://www.thedailybell.com/3712/Schwarzenegger-Sells-Out-to-the-Horrible-UN-Backed-Sustainia-Project

Monday, March 19, 2012 – by Staff Report
 

Arnold Schwarzenneger

Schwarzenegger: Time for a New Breed of Action Heroes … The former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces today that he will serve as Honorary Chair for the Sustainia Award alongside EU Commissioner Connie Hedeggard, IPPC Chairman Dr. Rajenda K. Pachauri and former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland. The Award is part of a new initiative to develop the world’s first realistic model of a sustainable world in 2020 – and identify the companies and persons who can make it real. As long as we can’t see or feel what a sustainable society is, we will never succeed in convincing decision makers to make the changes necessary. The sustainable private and public solutions must be recognized and scaled up – and we need a tangible idea of how it will improve quality of life for people and communities around the world. – UN Global Compact

Dominant Social Theme: With the Governator on our side, we can build a sustainable planet.

Free-Market Analysis: Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to rule the world. First, he was the world’s best bodybuilder and then the biggest movie star. After that he was the governator of the Biggest Show on Earth (California) and now he has signed on to be the award presenter for the startlingly ominous Sustainia project.

Schwarzenegger comes across as a caricature, like a cartoon character, a blow-up mannequin with a silly accent. For these reasons, he seems non-threatening. Also, he has been very successful, and people forgive success.

But Schwarzenegger’s deals were apparently cut with the power elite long ago. It wasn’t so well understood at the time, but Schwarzenegger’s 1990s movies presaged much of the growing police state in America and throughout the West. Coincidence?

This move star was featured in a number of films about the near future that contained many of the “security” techniques now coming on line. Just take a look at any of his tremendously successful Terminator movies or movies such as “Total Recall,” made in 1990.

This is one reason that those who run Hollywood are so focused on copyright law. Hollywood movies are distributed around the world. Rich or poor, and no matter the language, people watch the same fare and are conditioned to look at the world the same way.

The power elite uses only the biggest stage for its various dominant social themes – the fear-based promotions that seek to move the world’s populations toward global government.

These promotions feature food, water and energy. By demonizing carbon dioxide, for instance, the power elite is trying to make people suspicious of one of the two fundamental gases necessary for life. They are nothing if not ambitious and bold.

The UN is emerging once more as a main engine as the power elite makes its final push toward world government. This is one reason why we don’t see any schism in the power elite itself, as many maintain. The goals seem harmonious at the topmost level.

Yet when one reads about this horrible project, one might be struck by the pains that UN leaders are taking to distance themselves from it. This is part of the UN’s larger psyops war to convince people that the fascist mentality animating the current UN leadership is shared by NGOs, businesses big and small, political leaders and, of course, “the children.” The UN speaks for all of us, in other words.

It’s part of our lives now, as natural as breathing. We simply accept that the leaders of 100 or 200 nations casually get together in various posh getaways to sign nonsensical agreements supporting things like a “zero-carbon earth.”

Flush from its control of monopoly-fiat central banking around the world, the topmost elite behind these manipulations is seeking to build world government as fast as possible. What’s the rush? Well … we tend to believe that the Internet itself, and what we call the Internet Reformation, has forced the hand of these dynastic families.

As the Internet Reformation itself gathers force and informs people of the Way the World Really Works, the elites are losing their best tool – the memes they are able to establish through control of the world’s media.

As these memes founder and fail, the elites turn to war and Draconian legislation to force people to conform to their vision of a single, worldwide “community.” The UN has re-emerged as the lead instrument for this repression after a period of apparent lassitude.

The UN and its top people are everywhere these days, working in “concert” with various governments, NGOs and “celebrities.” This Sustainia gambit is just one of the same, and has all the patterns of an elite meme.

It’s like the unveiling of a new movie (maybe no coincidence). And it stars the person who was once the world’s biggest Hollywood star and features a cast of characters that include the world’s top corporations and non-profits, and of course, the world’s “leading thinkers.”

A UN press release tells us about this new, bold initiative. (And what a contemptuous name it is, like the very first thing someone scribbled down on a napkin during a brainstorming session on how to further confuse the “sheeple.”) Not surprisingly, the outfit issuing a press release on the new award’s presentation is the “UN Global Compact.”

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

From the press release, we learn that the former “Governator” believes the era of talk is over and that it is time for action. “The companies, institutions and persons who represent green solutions are the new breed of action heroes whose efforts we should celebrate and encourage,” he is quoted as saying.

Just as it is in the movies, Schwarzenegger has to share credit with others that get equivalent billing in this new production. “He is joined by three of the world’s most prominent sustainability leaders,” we are told.

First is European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); second is Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Former Prime Minister of Norway and Former Director General of WHO; and third is Gro Harlem Brundtland, who founded the global sustainability agenda 20 years ago at the first Rio conference in 1992 on sustainable development.

Schwarzenegger is gracious about being associated with these three. “Being a champion in body building, in movies or in politics, I learned that the key to success is people power – motivating and inspiring everyone to be a part of the solution, not just part of the problem.”

And he adds, “The Sustainia initiative and the awards that recognize innovative people and technologies can help our campaign to make communities healthier, wealthier, and more sustainable for generations to come.”

So what IS Sustainia? The Sustainia web page tells us that “Sustainia is a virtual model of the world we could create if we implemented ready and available solutions to our existing cities, homes, energy systems and transportation. Developers have started the process of building Sustainia. In the coming months, everyone with an Internet access can visit, inhabit and help build the new world on a virtual construction site.”

From the website, we learn that “The vision of Sustainia is presented in the book ‘Guide to Sustainia,’ which was developed by Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning in a collaborative effort with 20 global companies (including Microsoft, GE, DNV, Philips Lighting, DONG Energy, Tetra Pak, Cisco and others) and experts.” Here’s the “problem” as enunciated by Sustainia in this “Guidebook” …

Getting to Sustainia won’t happen overnight … Arriving safely requires many choices and actions. Most importantly: We cannot make it there by ourselves. We have to go together, all of us.

The warming planet and depletion of natural capital are global problems in a globalized world. The response has to be coordinated, collaborative, and carefully planned. Environmental problems are interconnected through a well-balanced and complex global system. If we alter one part, we risk impacting other parts – or tipping the balance altogether.

Furthermore, the effects follow specific time-bound trajectories. Global emissions of CO2 must be reduced by at least 50-85% in 2050. If we don’t initiate the sustainable trajectory today, so that emissions peak in 2020, we will not be able to halt global warming below dangerous levels.

The link to nature was, unfortunately, not generally reflected in the “old” economic model. The price of a product was based on the cost of human resources and materials, not the cost of pollution of our common natural good. In 2020, this has started to change, and that is one of the most important pathways to create a sustainable economy.

The notion that we do not have the tools to confront the environmental crisis changed in the 2000s. Numerous projections and forecasts told us we had most of the needed technologies, policies, and information. While there is no “silver bullet” – a single technology or political agreement that will solve the problem – an array of complementary measures do exist.

We know what to do. Fixing the problem comes down to the human factors.

But what if there is no “problem” to begin with? If there is global warming – and more and more evidence shows us there is NOT – then it is likely a condition beyond human control and one that, in any case, may be positive for the Earth’s flora and fauna in the long term.

One can surely make a case that a hot Earth is more sympathetic to life than a cold one. And the Earth has obviously been warmer in the past than at present.

On the other hand, the powers-that-be have taken to calling this meme-of-memes “climate change.” So maybe they are hedging their bets. Maybe the Earth is starting to COOL.

Weather always changes. By turning changeable weather patterns into a kind of crisis and associating this crisis directly with “every breath” people take, the elites have attempted to create an ongoing state of emergency that can be used to justify even the most Draconian laws and repression. It is a kind of key they hope will unlock the New World Order.

How does Schwarzenegger fit into this?

“The key elements in the collaboration between Sustainia and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s … initiative consist of the following:

1. To Identify, Design, Implement, Measure, Report and Verify the actions undertaken by regions and their positive impacts for a sustainable world.

2. On an annual basis, to identify the most successful sustainable solutions and award the solution with the most potential to be implemented and disseminated.

3. The establishment of a new powerful global forum for ambitious action and commitment to sustainable development that will provide a new innovative and creative annual platform for gathering global leaders.

Sustainia will be presented to world leaders in June this year, at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil, alongside an inspiration catalogue – “Sustainia100” – containing 100 concrete solutions and technologies that will help make “Sustainia” real.

Naked apes are uniquely susceptible to shame and guilt, and the global warming campaign is cleverly suited to play off both emotions. But there is a larger game afoot.

The idea, in our view, is to build a world government that will control every part of the actions and resource utilization of billions of people. It will literally be, in an apt phrase, a “prison planet.”

Eventually, over time, much of this population will be reduced, violently or otherwise, and the rest shall be susceptible to genetic manipulation. See the so-called Georgia Guidestones for a chilling prophecy in this regard.

Conclusion: This is the future that Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to assist in his need for attention, ego gratification and additional wealth.

United Nations :   View Glossary Description

Internet Reformation :   View Glossary Description


10 reasons why even democrats, liberals and progressives are choosing Ron Paul over Obama

Thursday, January 12, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

`

(NaturalNews) It’s a seemingly absurd idea on the surface: Why would democrats and liberals want to vote for Ron Paul (a Republican) over President Obama? Maybe because they want freedom instead of tyranny, it turns out. Because if you’re a total slave to the police state, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re on the left or the right, does it?
Here, I give you ten solid reasons why even liberals and progressives are supporting Ron Paul. And by the way, I don’t worship Ron Paul or any individual. What I honor is the principles that Ron Paul stands for — the very same principles President Obama has outright abandoned in his broken promises and disturbing reversals against the American people. Out of all the candidates, only Ron Paul has the ethical and moral strength to carry out his office from a place of principle rather than betrayal.

#1) Ron Paul supports decriminalizing marijuana and ending the War on Drugs. Obama does not.

Remember when Obamapromisedhe would decriminalize marijuana, but now his own administration continues to raid legal drug dispensaries in California? That’s a classic Obama lie: Say one thing to get elected, then turn around and do the exact opposite.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, openly supports decriminalizing marijuana and ending the failed War on Drugs. Although he doesn’tpromoterecreational drug use (and neither do I), he understands that treating weed smokers as hard-core criminals is ethical, morally and economically wrong. See my related article on Snoop Dogg and his recent drug bust in Texas: http://www.naturalnews.com/034612_Snoop_Dogg_marijuana_War_on_Drugs.html

#2) Ron Paul supports the freedom to choose what you eat and drink, including raw milk, but the Obama administration continues to run armed raids on raw milk farmers

Under Ron Paul, the FDA would be forced to end its vicious armed raids on Amish farmers and raw dairy producers. Obama has openly allowed such armed raids to continue under his watch, refusing to even take a stand for food freedom in America.

Ron Paul understands that liberty is the most important component of abundance. If you are not free to choose what you want to eat, smoke what you want to smoke, and choose your own type of medicine and health care, then you are a slave, not a citizen. Ron Paul seeks to get Big Government out of your life, away from your kitchen, out of your medicine cabinet and away from your children.

#3) Ron Paul would seek to eliminate FDA censorship of the scientifically-validated health claims for herbs, nutritional supplements and natural remedies

Under Bush and Obama, the FDA’s continued censorship of truthful statements about medicinal herbs, homeopathy and nutritional supplements has been fully supported by the White House. Obama is just a corporate puppet, of course, and that means he does whatever the powerful corporations tell him to do — especially the Wall Street and Big Pharma corporations. So it’s no surprise he hasn’t taken a stand to support health freedom for foods and supplements.

But Ron Paul has pushed the Health Freedom Protection Act year after year (http://www.naturalnews.com/019382_Health_Freedom_Protection_Act.html), tirelessly working tolegalize nutrition in Americaand restore Free Speech for Chinese Medicine herbs, Western medicine herbs and dietary supplements. Where Obama wants people to remain ignorant and malnourished, Ron Paul wants to restore your right to know the truth about supplements and natural medicine. As Ron Paul said in late 2005:

“The Health Freedom Protection Act will force the FDA to at last comply with the commands of Congress, the First Amendment, and the American people by codifying the First Amendment standards adopted by the federal courts. Specifically, the Health Freedom Protection Act stops the FDA from censoring truthful claims about the curative, mitigative, or preventative effects of dietary supplements, and adopts the federal court’s suggested use of disclaimers as an alternative to censorship. The Health Freedom Protection Act also stops the FDA from prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease.”

#4) Ron Paul would shut down secret military prisons like Gitmo, but Obama wants to expand those prisons and fill them with Americans!

It is now common knowledge that Obama lied when he said he would shut down Guantanamo Bay. As it turns out, Obama actually signed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) on New Year‘s Eve (when no one would notice). The NDAA grants the U.S. government the claimed “legal” right to “indefinitely detain” U.S. citizens, throw them in secret military prisons, interrogate them and even kill them with no due process. All this can now take place without a person even beingchargedwith a crime, much less given their day in court. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034537_NDAA_Bill_of_Rights_Obama.html)

Obama quietly signed this bill on New Year’s Eve, hoping no one would notice. This is how low his morals have stooped, by the way — to signing traitorous bills in the dark of night, on the evening before a major holiday where half the nation is hung over from alcohol. Why no signing ceremony with full coverage by CNN, huh? Maybe it’s because nationaltraitorsdon’t want their crimes against the United States Constitution to be filmed on camera.

In signing this, Obama violated his own oath of office, nullified the U.S. Bill of Rights, and essentially committed an act of mass civil rights violations against the People of America. Rep. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is one of the very few people who has openly and sternly opposed this unlawful NDAA which blatantly and arrogantly violates the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

This single point alone outweighs everything else you might think about Ron Paul. Even if you disagree with Ron Paul on other issues, none of that really matters if you’re rotting away in a secret military prison for daring to protest in a public park, for example. Without the Bill of Rights, nothing else really matters because tyranny takes over. The Bill of Rights must be defended first and at all costs. It is the only thing limiting the power of government and protecting the People from tyranny. Without it, we are all little more than slaves to a military dictatorship.

#5) Ron Paul is anti-war, Obama is pro-war.

Remember when Bush was the President, and everybody on the left was screaming about getting us out of all those wars in the Middle East? Funny how they suddenly fell silent when Obama took over the reins from Bush and continued running those same wars, isn’t it?

Ron Paul is solidly anti-war. Although he agrees with the need to “defend our shores,” he also believes that the United States has no moral authority (nor financial stability) from which to engage in running around the world as some sort of global police force, intervening in the business of nations,especially in the Middle East.

He is solidly against a war with Iran even as all the other candidates seem to be almost desperate to throwother people’s sons and daughtersonto the front lines of violent conflict. Only Ron Paul truly honors the troops by bringing them home. All the other war-mongers who say “support our troops” are really screaming, “Let our troops get killed overseas!” And unlike Gingrich, Ron Paul actually served his country as a military man, even with a child to care for:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-i-went-photo-going-viral-on-internet.html

#6) Ron Paul’s wants to end the Fed and stop bailing out wealthy banksters, while Obama is a Wall Street sellout

Don’t you find it astonishing that, under the Obama administration, wall street crooks like Jon Corzine have been involved in the theft of billions of dollars from American farmers and investors, yetno one has been indicted, prosecuted or criminally chargedfor those crimes?

Under the Obama administration, white-collar crime gets a wink and a nod. That’s because people like Vice President Joe Biden actually worship Jon Corzine

Wall Street crooks were some of the largest contributors to the Obama election campaign, and they continue to promote both Obama and Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, gets no support from the criminal banksters. That’s because he pledges to reign in the Fed, end the disastrous trillion-dollar bailouts and halt the theft of money from U.S. taxpayers by the wealthy elite.

Once again, this reason alone is enough of a reason to vote for Ron Paul. He’s the only candidate who doesn’t support the financial criminals on Wall Street. Maybe that’s why the crooked corporate media keeps smearing him in the news… they’re all tied in with the same crooks who run Wall Street.

#7) Ron Paul does not need a teleprompter to tell you what he believes, and his message has remained consistent for over 25 years

Obama needs a teleprompter to figure out what to say. That’s because he’s mainly a puppet who says what he’s told to say and signs what he’s told to sign (like the NDAA, which he of course promised he wouldn’t sign but did anyway).

Ron Paul needs no teleprompter. He doesn’t have to keep track of which lies he told in which speech to which group. That’s because Ron Paul tells the truth every time, and his message is the same whether he’s in Iowa, New Hampshire or Texas.

Ron Paul isn’t sexy, trendy or hip. Instead, he’s honest, reliable and ethical. Gee, those might be good qualities for leaders to possess, ya think?

#8) Ron Paul is not really a Republican loyalist

This should come as quite a relief to the Democrats out there. Ron Paul is really aLibertarianwho is running on the Republican ticket thanks to the necessary mechanisms of our two-party system. Most of today’s Republicans are just as corrupt as status quo democrats. They start wars, stage false flag terror events and hand out trillions of dollars in bailouts and government contracts to their corrupt buddies.

Ron Paul is none of that. He’s a humble, highly intelligent and principled individual who often votesagainsthis fellow Republicans on bills that run counter to the United States Constitution.

If Ron Paul wins as a Republican, that would of course give Republicans some additional power in Congress, but Ron Paul answers to no one other than God and the People. As all the corrupt corporate lobbyists realized long ago, Ron Paul thinks for himself and cannot be bought off, no matter how high the offer. He sticks to principles, he honors the Constitution, and he is dedicated to improving the future of our nation, period!

#9) Ron Paul wants to legalize Free Speech (again)

Isn’t it interesting how many of the OWS protesters are now being forced to pay daily fees for the “privilege” of protesting? Gee, I thought America was a free country, and I thought you could peaceably assemble anytime you wanted and shout your grievances to your government. Guess not: http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=FF2F1E3B23AEACE48AB3559AB17B857F

Now the police state pepper spraying has begun, all under Obama of course, who now wants to send Americans into secret military prisons and deprive them of their due process rights. If you believe in the First Amendment and freedom of speech, youcan’tbelieve in Obama! He is the polar opposite of freedom (plus, he flat out lies a lot).

Ron Paul has fought for the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution fordecades, and he has a PERFECT voting record in defending it. He does not waver. He does not bend. He fights for your freedoms in a way that no other Democrat or Republican has ever done.

If you want Free Speech to be legal again in America, vote for Ron Paul.

#10) Ron Paul wants to criminally investigate the crooks in Washington

Most Democrats and Republicans are all crooks who just cover each other’s backs. Yeah, you raped a little kid, but I stole a billion dollars from the taxpayers, and we’ll just agree to both remain silent. Sound familiar? That’s what happens in Washington D.C. almost daily.

Ron Paul thinks elected officials should follow the law. Shock! What a concept! Along with that, he also believes that Attorney General Eric Holder should not run guns into Mexico as part of a staged scam to blame the Second Amendment. Gasp!

Who else dares to say the bureaucrats in Washington are crooks who should be criminally investigated for their crimes against the People? You won’t find status quo officials pursuing any of this, of course, becausethey’re all corrupt!

Only Ron Paul stands out above the lawless corruption and criminal-mindedness of the status quo in Washington D.C. He is the “anti-insider,” the one man who actually threatens the entire corrupt system (which is why the press smears him every single day). This is why the recent voting in Iowa was falsified and rigged to make sure Ron Paul wouldn’t win (this was openly admitted by the Republican leaders on local radio). The crooks in Washington absolutely do not want Ron Paul to become President, and that alone should be sufficient reason to put Ron Paul into office!

You want real hope? Real change? Support Ron Paul

If you love the way things are today — unemployment on the rise, a government drowning in debt, soldiers coming home in body bags, your friends and neighbors rotting in prison after getting caught with a little weed — then vote for Obama! He’s happy to carry on the insane policies that have led us to this point in history.

But if you wantreal changein America, support Ron Paul.Make a donation today, so that he can raise the necessary funds to clobber “Mittens” Romney and win the Republican nomination. Then we’ll have a faceoff between Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and there’s no question Paul would win that contest if the voters still have a couple of brain cells functioning when they go to vote.

Make your donations at:
www.RonPaul2012.com

Or support the South Carolina money bomb by donating here:
http://ronpaul-2012.org/mbpledge_sc.html

Original Article:

http://www.naturalnews.com/034630_Ron_Paul_democrats_liberals.html#ixzz1kDlPDjcW

`


Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Die Faster Than Thought

I thought that this was interesting in light of the fact that these things have been shoved down our throats by the Nanny state. (E)

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 19, 2011 7:56 PM CST | Updated Jan 22, 2011

Compact flourescents are more efficient than old-fashioned incandescents, but not as long-lasting as originally thought, say studies in California. (PRNewsFoto/OSRAM SYLVANIA)

 

 

(NEWSER) – Compact fluorescent light bulbs are promoted as revolutionary power-saving devices—able to produce more light with less juice and last for nearly 10 years. But a review of conservation measures undertaken by California—a state that adopted CFLs more enthusiastically than any other—shows the bulbs to be a little disappointing, reports theWall Street Journal. CFLs were supposed to last 9.4 years, according to initial projections by California’s PG&E, but that’s now been revised to 6.3 years.

The bulbs burn out even faster in locations such as bathrooms and in recessed lighting, or when they’re turned on and off frequently. They’re still more efficient than the soon-to-be-gone incandescent bulbs, but considering that California utilities are shelling out $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumer purchases, the less-than-hoped-for results take a toll. “What California has learned, in a nutshell, is that it is hard to accurately predict and tricky to measure energy savings,” writes the Journal.

 


Gallup: Record Number Of Americans Now Say They Support Marijuana Legalization

This study is part of what encouraged me to support Prop 19 in the fall. Things are changing as more people become educated about the truth of Canabis (E)

October 29th, 2010 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

The latest national poll numbers from Gallup, which has been tracking public opinion on cannabis legalization since the late 1960s, shows that Americans’ support for ‘making marijuana legal’ is now at its highest reported level of support ever.

New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
Liberals, 18- to 29-year-olds express the highest levels of support
via Gallup.com

While California’s marijuana ballot initiative is garnering a lot of attention this election cycle, Gallup finds that nationally, a new high of 46% of Americans are in favor of legalizing use of the drug, and a new low of 50% are opposed. The increase in support this year from 44% in 2009 is … a continuation of the upward trend seen since 2000.

These results are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 7-10. Approximately 8 in 10 Americans were opposed to legalizing marijuana when Gallup began asking about it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Support for legalizing the drug jumped to 31% in 2000 after holding in the 25% range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.

Political Leanings, Age Divide Americans’ Support for Legalizing Marijuana

Across numerous subgroups, liberals’ support, at 72%, is by far the highest. There is widespread support for legalization among 18- to 29-year-olds (61%) as well.
Majority support is also found among Democrats, independents, men, and political moderates.

A large majority of those living in the West, which encompasses California, are in favor of making the drug legal. Support is significantly lower in the South and Midwest.

Political conservatives and Republicans are the least supportive of legalizing marijuana. Seniors express a similarly low level of support.

Women are 10 percentage points less likely than men to favor legalizing the drug.

These demographic, political, and ideological differences in support are much the same as they were in 2009.

Bottom Line

Support for making the drug legal in general, however, is growing among Americans. The public is almost evenly split this year, with 46% in favor and 50% opposed. If the trend of the past decade continues at a similar pace, majority support could be a reality within the next few years.

The latest Gallup numbers reinforce the question: ‘If a government’s legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy?’ It’s time for our elected officials to answer.

 


‘Gold Standard’ Studies Show That Inhaled Marijuana Is Medically Safe And Effective

State-Funded Clinical Trials Show Cannabis Eases Neuropathic Pain And Spasticity, Landmark Report Says

February 18, 2010 – Sacramento, CA, USA

Sacramento, CA: The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled marijuana consistently show that cannabis holds therapeutic value comparable to conventional medications, according to the findings of a 24-page report issued Wednesday to the California state legislature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).

Four of the five placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that marijuana significantly alleviated neuropathy, a difficult to treat type of pain resulting from nerve damage.

“There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compounds in the marijuana plant) may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment for … neuropathy,” said Dr. Igor Grant, Director of the CMCR, at a news conference at the state Capitol. He added that the efficacy of smoked marijuana was “very consistent,” and that its pain-relieving effects were “comparable to the better existing treatments” presently available by prescription.

A fifth study showed that smoked cannabis reduced the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. A separate study conducted by the CMCR established that the vaporization of cannabis – a process that heats the substance to a temperature where active cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion – is a “safe and effective” delivery mode for patients who desire the rapid onset of action associated with inhalation while avoiding the respiratory risks of smoking.

Two additional clinical trials remain ongoing.

The CMCR program was founded in 2000 following an $8.7 million appropriation from the California state legislature. The studies are some of the first placebo-controlled clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis as a medicine to take place in over two decades.

Placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ method for assessing the efficacy of drugs under the US FDA-approval process.

“These scientists created an unparalleled program of systematic research, focused on science-based answers rather than political or social beliefs,” said former California Senator John Vasconcellos, who sponsored the legislation in 1999 to launch the CMCR. Vasconcellos called the studies’ design “state of art,” and suggested that the CMCR’s findings “ought to settle the issue” of whether or not medical marijuana is a safe and effective medical treatment for patients.

“This (report) confirms all of the anecdotal evidence – how lives have been saved and pain has been eased,” said California Democrat Sen. Mark Leno at the press conference. “Now we have the science to prove it.”

Full text of the CMCR’s report to the California legislature is available at online at: http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org, or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at:http://www.canorml.org or (415) 563-5858.

updated: Feb 18, 2010



NORML: Give Thanks And Praises!

We do not celebrate Dec. 25th as any kind of special day for reasons I would be glad to elaborate upon for anyone who cares to ask. That said I wanted to include this letter since Allen St. Pierre speaks to a number of things that will offer hope and encouragement to those who were disappointed by the loss of Prop 19 in California in the November elections. (Ed)

December 24, 2010

Dear NORML Members and Supporters,

Social change doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen. This is the message we took away from the November 2010 election, an election that will influence NORML’s work in 2011 and beyond.

California Legalization Initiative: Prop. 19
I’m sure that by now you know the news. Forty-seven percent of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 19, which made the possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis lawful for adults. No legalization initiative in any state has ever received so much voter support, nor has any effort generated such positive national discourse. In fact, by the end of the campaign even our staunchest opponents had to concede that America’s present criminal prohibition is an unequivocal failure. They recognize that the question is no longer, ‘Should we legalize and regulate marijuana?’ but, ‘How should we legalize and regulate marijuana?’ This marks a monumental shift in the public and political debate over marijuana policy.

But that’s not all. Let us remember one of the tangible and significant victories of the campaign: The signing into law of Senate Bill 1449 reducing the adult possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a $100 fine—no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record. Passage of this law, which arguably would not have happened if it were not for advocates’ stepped up lobbying efforts regarding Prop. 19, will spare tens of thousands of Californians from criminal prosecution in 2011 and beyond.

Am I disappointed we failed to gain the support of 50 percent of California’s electorate?

Of course.

But I am proud of the progress we made, and of the broad coalition of political and civil rights organizations who endorsed our efforts, including the California NAACP, The Latino Voters League, the SEIU (one of America’s largest unions), and the Black Police Officers Association. That is why I remain confident that we can – and will – bring about the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adults in California in 2012, and that is why I believe that we can extend these same freedoms to the citizens of other states in the years to follow.

Elections Matter; Threats Ahead
Yet when I view the ever-changing political landscape nationwide, I recognize there are many significant hurdles before us. This fall’s resurgence of Republican-elected officials in both Washington, DC, and throughout the nation threatens to undermine many of our recent gains. As I write to you today, U.S. Senators are in the process of confirming Michele Leonhart – who has ordered more than thirty raids of state-sanctioned medical marijuana providers – to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, and House members are likely to promote Texas Republican Lamar Smith – arguably the most reefer-mad member of the U.S. Congress – to head the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.

At the statewide level, New Mexico’s newly elected Gov. Susan Martinez has threatened to repeal the state’s three-year-old medical cannabis law, which so far has licensed 17 dispensaries to produce and provide marijuana to nearly 3,000 authorized patients. In Michigan, incoming Attorney General Bill Schuette has also pledged to roll back the state’s popular medical cannabis law, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008. And in Montana, lawmakers are planning an all assault upon the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law, despite its passage with over 60 percent of the vote.

Drug warriors are emboldened by the statewide initiative defeats of medical cannabis proposals in Oregon (regarding the regulation of state-licensed dispensaries) and South Dakota (regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes), and advocates’ razor thin margin of victory in Arizona (which became the fifteenth state to authorize the medical use of marijuana since 1996), but NORML remains unbowed. We will continue to forge ahead with our push for full legalization in states like Colorado, Washington, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Rest assured, we have not lost our momentum, and we do not intend to let our opponents roll back even one of the many statewide victories that we – and all of you – have worked so hard to achieve.

“What Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger”
In fact, according to the most recent Gallup national public opinion poll, momentum in favor of adult legalization and regulation has never been stronger. According to the October survey, a record 46 percent of voters nationwide now support making marijuana legal, and only 50 percent support prohibition (an all-time low.) To put these percentages in proper perspective, consider this. A decade ago, fewer than 30 percent of Americans said that they backed ending cannabis prohibition and a whopping 70 percent supported it.

This is why our opponents are running scared, and it is why they have targeted 2011 as the year they strike back. They have no other choice. They are aware, just as we are, that public opinion is moving exponentially in favor of marijuana law reform, and that this trend shows no signs of abating. We may have lost a battle in November, but we are clearly winning the war – and the drug warriors know it.

NORML: Putting The ‘Grass’ Into Grassroots Since 1970
As we approach 2011, our prohibitionist opponents are keenly aware that they have lost the hearts and minds of the electorate, and they are preparing to wage one final stand. We plan to meet them head on – and defeat them. Will you support our efforts? Your continued financial support will assure that we hold the line in 2011, and it will allow us to continue the national dialogue that is turning a record number of Americans toward cannabis liberation. Victory is at a hand, but only if we keep the pressure on – and only if we have the resources to fight back when necessary.

Supporting NORML and NORML Foundation is both simple and rewarding. If you want your donation to be employed for political purposes, such as for lobbying state and federal policy makers, please direct your donation to NORML. If you’d prefer a tax-deductible donation, which will be used for education, litigation, advertising and social organizing, please direct any cash or stock donations to the NORML Foundation.

Many of NORML’s members and supporters generously donate to both!

Social change doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen, and it is happening. That is why NORML needs your support now more than ever. 2011 promises to be a battle, but with your continued financial contributions I know that we will emerge victorious.

NORML @ 40-Years-Young
Lastly, as the collective calendar is turned, NORML—a remarkably enduring and resilient hub for a now sprawling social justice movement and medical cannabis industry—embarks upon it’s 40th year of representing the interests of cannabis consumers by, among other services, providing legal assistance and moral support to the many tens of thousands of consumers, growers and sellers (our brothers and sisters) arrested and incarcerated annually because of our nation’s antiquated Cannabis Prohibition laws.

NORML provides both in-office and 24/7 online support services formedical cannabis patients; citizens facing drug testing concerns; the victims of civil forfeiture; studentsresearching papers; also, NORML’s staff provides over 3,000 local, State, national and internationalmedia interviews annually. On thetightest budget in the drug policy reform movement, NORML produces the most popular cannabis-centric conferences, as well as the most popular cannabis-related webpageand daily podcast on the Internet.

None of this is possible without thesupport of thoughtful and engaged citizens like you!

Again, your end-of-the-year donations to either NORML or NORML Foundation is proof positive of your stakeholdership in a really important 40-year-old Washington, D.C. institution among public interest organizations.

Here’s to a safe and hemp-filled holiday and New Year to all! Thanks, as always, for caring and sharing!

Cannabem liberemus,

Allen St. Pierre
Executive Director
NORMLNORML Foundation

*Have you seen some of the unique ‘thank you’ gifts for members and donors?

 

 


Tension grows between Calif. Muslims, FBI after informant infiltrates mosque

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 5, 2010; 12:47 AM

IRVINE, CALIF. – Before the sun rose, the informant donned a white Islamic robe. A tiny camera was sewn into a button, and a microphone was buried in a device attached to his keys.

“This is Farouk al-Aziz, code name Oracle,” he said into the keys as he sat in his parked car in this quiet community south of Los Angeles. “It’s November 13th, 4:30 a.m. And we’re hot.”

The undercover FBI informant – a convicted forger named Craig Monteilh – then drove off for 5 a.m. prayers at the Islamic Center of Irvine, where he says he spied on dozens of worshipers in a quest for potential terrorists.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has used informants successfully as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States. Agency officials say they are careful not to violate civil liberties and do not target Muslims.

But the FBI’s approach has come under fire from some Muslims, criticism that surfaced again late last month after agents arrested an Oregon man they said tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. FBI technicians had supplied the device.

In the Irvine case, Monteilh’s mission as an informant backfired. Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him.

He had helped build a terrorism-related case against a mosque member, but that also collapsed. The Justice Department recently took the extraordinary step of dropping charges against the worshiper, who Monteilh had caught on tape agreeing to blow up buildings, law enforcement officials said. Prosecutors had portrayed the man as a dire threat.

Compounding the damage, Monteilh has gone public, revealing secret FBI methods and charging that his “handlers” trained him to entrap Muslims as he infiltrated their mosques, homes and businesses. He is now suing the FBI.

Officials declined to comment on specific details of Monteilh’s tale but confirm that he was a paid FBI informant. Court records and interviews corroborate not only that Monteilh worked for the FBI – he says he made $177,000, tax-free, in 15 months – but that he provided vital information on a number of cases.

Some Muslims in Southern California and nationally say the cascading revelations have seriously damaged their relationship with the FBI, a partnership that both sides agree is critical to preventing attacks and homegrown terrorism.

Citing Monteilh’s actions and what they call a pattern of FBI surveillance, many leading national Muslim organizations have virtually suspended contact with the bureau.

“The community feels betrayed,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an umbrella group of more than 75 mosques.

“They got a guy, a bona fide criminal, and obviously trained him and sent him to infiltrate mosques,” Syed said. “And when things went sour, they ditched him and he got mad. It’s like a soap opera, for God’s sake.”

FBI and Justice Department officials say that the Monteilh case is not representative of their relations with the Muslim community and that they continue to work closely with Muslims in investigating violence and other hate crimes against them. Officials also credit U.S. Muslims with reporting critical information in a variety of counterterrorism cases.

The bureau “relies on the support, cooperation and trust of the communities it serves and protects,” FBI spokesman Michael Kortan said, adding that agents conduct investigations “under well-defined investigative guidelines and the law, and in close coordination with the Department of Justice.”

Officials said they have gone to great lengths to maintain good relationships with Muslims, including meetings hosted by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Last week, FBI officials met to discuss law enforcement and other issues with predominantly Muslim Somali community members in San Diego and Minneapolis.

Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, declined to comment on Monteilh, citing Monteilh’s lawsuit. He said that in certain circumstances, if there is evidence of a crime, FBI agents may “conduct an activity that might somehow involve surveillance in and about a mosque.”

But he said the agency does not target people based on religion or ethnicity.

“I know there’s a lot of suspicion that that’s the focus, that we’re looking at the mosques, monitoring who is coming and going. That’s just not the case,” he said.

The ‘chameleon’

Monteilh’s career as an informant began in 2003. Like many other informants, he was familiar with the inside of a prison cell. He had just finished a sentence for forging bank notes when local police officers he met at a gym asked him to infiltrate drug gangs and white supremacist groups for a federal-state task force.

“It was very exciting,” Monteilh said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I had the ability to be a chameleon.”

Monteilh, who stands over 6 feet tall and weighs 260 pounds, had worked as a prison chaplain before he was incarcerated. Married with three children, the Los Angeles native said that after he became an informant, an FBI agent on the task force sought him out. Law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about informants, said Monteilh was promoted from drug and bank robbery cases because his information was reliable and had led to convictions.

In early 2006, Monteilh said, he met with his FBI handler at a Starbucks.

“She asked if I wanted to infiltrate mosques,” he said. At a follow-up session at a doughnut shop, he said, his new handler told him that “Islam is a threat to our national security.”

“It was very exciting,” Monteilh said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I had the ability to be a chameleon.”

Monteilh, who stands over 6 feet tall and weighs 260 pounds, had worked as a prison chaplain before he was incarcerated. Married with three children, the Los Angeles native said that after he became an informant, an FBI agent on the task force sought him out. Law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about informants, said Monteilh was promoted from drug and bank robbery cases because his information was reliable and had led to convictions.

In early 2006, Monteilh said, he met with his FBI handler at a Starbucks.

“She asked if I wanted to infiltrate mosques,” he said. At a follow-up session at a doughnut shop, he said, his new handler told him that “Islam is a threat to our national security.”

Monteilh said he was instructed to infiltrate mosques throughout Orange and two neighboring counties in Southern California, where the Muslim population of nearly 500,000 is the nation’s largest. He was told to target the Islamic Center of Irvine, he said, because it was near his home.

FBI tactics were already a sensitive issue at the Irvine mosque, a stucco, two-story building that draws as many as 2,000 people for Friday prayers. With tensions rising between law enforcement and Muslims over allegations of FBI surveillance, J. Stephen Tidwell, then head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, spoke at the mosque in June 2006.

“If we’re going to mosques to come to services, we will tell you,” he said, according to a video of his speech. “. . . The FBI will tell you we’re coming for the very reason that we don’t want you to think you’re being monitored. We would come only to learn.”

Two months later, in August 2006, Monteilh arrived at the same mosque. He had called earlier and met with the imam. That Friday, he took shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, before hundreds of worshipers.

Worshipers said that in Monteilh’s 10 months at the mosque, he became almost manic in his devotion, attending prayers five times a day and waiting in the parking lot before the 5 a.m. prayer. Monteilh said he was told by the FBI to take notes on who opened the mosque each day.

Worshipers said his Western clothes gave way to an Islamic robe, a white skullcap and sandals, an outfit Monteilh said was chosen by his handlers. As he grew closer to Muslims, he said, the FBI told him to date Muslim women if it gained him intelligence.

Worshipers noticed that Monteilh often left his keys around the mosque, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who speaks often at the mosque.

“It seemed strange to people,” Ayloush said.

Inside the car remote on the bundle of keys was a microphone that recorded Muslims at the mosque, in their homes and at a local gym. Monteilh, who told people he was a fitness trainer, used the gym to seek out Muslim men.

“We started hearing that he was saying weird things,” said Omar Kurdi, a Loyola Law School student who knew Monteilh from the mosque and gym. “He would walk up to one of my friends and say, ‘It’s good that you guys are getting ready for the jihad.”

Worshipers said Monteilh gravitated to Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, an Afghan-born Arabic-language instructor who was a regular at Friday prayers.

Read the rest of the story

Related Articles

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Prop. 19 Goes up in Smoke

 

Mises Daily: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 by

[Watch the interview with Mark Thornton on Prop. 19.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Proposition 19 in California would have legalized marijuana, but it fell short. Victory seemed almost a foregone conclusion for many; after all, it is California. For millions, both in California and across the country, news of Prop. 19’s failure came as a major disappointment. However, it should be considered a great victory for such a radical measure to get 46 percent of the vote in open defiance of federal law, especially considering the intense opposition. Plans are already in the works to put the initiative back on the ballot for the 2012 election, which is expected to have higher turnout from young people. But in order for the ballot initiative to succeed, we must first understand why it failed.

The Opposition

In order to understand the depth and strength of the opposition, it is necessary to understand what Prop. 19 is really about. This legislation would be in open opposition to federal law as well as to a United Nations treaty that supports the drug war. It would be a law passed by the people, not the legislature. Most importantly, it would demonstrate that in the absence of marijuana prohibition, society can survive and thrive.

This example would give other states the idea that they could also effectively repeal marijuana prohibition. It might even create a national effort to repeal marijuana prohibition. It might even give people the idea to repeal other silly and harmful federal laws. This would open a can of worms for federal authority and bring back the idea of a people’s nullification.

So as you can see this was a critical victory for federal authority. It is not just that some potheads forgot to register to vote. Lots of money was spent, lots of lies were told. This was the equivalent of a goal-line stand for federal authority.

Bruce Yandle created the “bootleggers and Baptists” model of politics to describe how special-interest groups who normally oppose each other work for a common goal. With alcohol prohibition, Baptist preachers teamed up with bootleggers and moonshiners to make and keep alcohol illegal. Today we see the shared interests of environmental groups and established oil companies, who both want drilling restricted.

Those opposing Prop. 19 included everyone from marijuana dealers to megachurch preachers. All the powerful politicians, candidates, pot smokers, and even the California Beer and Beverage Distributors Association joined the team. The ancient proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” perfectly describes the relationship of these seemingly unlikely bedfellows.

Politicians

Politicians lined up solidly against Prop. 19, as you would expect. Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman opposed it. US Senate candidates Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina opposed it. California senator Dianne Feinstein opposed it. California representative and speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi opposed it. Both candidates for attorney general opposed it.

In an attempt to dishearten supporters of Prop. 19, US attorney general Eric Holder issued a statement that he would vigorously enforce federal law in California even if Prop. 19 passed. In a similar vein, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill making possession of small amounts of marijuana a minor violation punishable by a maximum fine of $100. This was a last-ditch effort to undermine support for Prop. 19 by giving the impression that marijuana was de facto a legal drug.

Even Mexican president Felipe Calderon and Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos vocally opposed Prop. 19 — not surprisingly, given that Mexico and Columbia receive a great deal of money from the United States to fight the War on Drugs, and both countries generate substantial incomes from the sale of illegal drugs. Legal pot in California would have been a big blow to both marijuana and cocaine sales from south of the border.

Bootleggers

There is good evidence that those who currently grow and sell illegal marijuana opposed Prop. 19. The “Emerald Triangle,” consisting of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties, is the major marijuana-growing region in Northern California. According to Mother Jones, those three counties voted to defeat Prop. 19:

“There’s a large movement up here of people who realize that their self interest lies in keeping marijuana illegal,” says Hank Sims, the editor of the North Coast Journal, based in the Humboldt town of Eureka. Growers in the Emerald Triangle’s rugged hills and foggy redwood groves are shielded from the snooping eyes of the DEA, but that advantage would become a handicap if pot could be openly cultivated in California’s warm, flat, agribusiness-dominated Central Valley. North Coast ganja growers “have got government-sponsored price control in the form of busts,” Sims explains. “So I think a lot of people kind of cynically voted their pocketbook and voted to keep it illegal.”

There was even a group called “Stoners against Legalization,” but it turns out that it was headed up by a drug-law attorney who would have lost a great deal of her business had Prop. 19 passed. Likewise, medical marijuana shops have come out against Prop. 19 on the ludicrous notion that legalization would reduce patient access to marijuana.

Baptists

Segueing from bootleggers to Baptists, we find this headline from the East Bay Express: Stoners against Legalization Team Up with Ex-Crackhead Priest. Of course, the priest was joined by fundamentalist Christians as well. The East Bay Express reports,

Backed by the California Beer and Beverage Distributors, no on 19 group “Public Safety First” employed the powerful Christian fundamentalist organization Vision to America. [T]he anti-gay rights group asked its hundreds of thousands of believers nationwide to “help us get the word out about our campaign to defeat legalized recreational marijuana in schools.”

The California Beer and Beverage Distributors, who would be hurt by lowe r marijuana prices, teamed up with church-based Vision to America — talk about bootleggers and Baptists in action — to raise money, run advertisements, and mislead the public debate. They claimed that Prop. 19 would lead to allowing truck drivers, nurses, and students to get high before driving, nursing, and going to school. The Chamber of Commerce also aired some blatantly misleading advertisements.

The truth, of course, is that students, nurses, and truck drivers can be prevented from getting high before showing up, just as they are prevented from getting drunk. The truth is that businesses can prevent customers and employees from smoking pot on their property, and insurance companies would not go along with businesses that let their employees get high and operate heavy machinery or fly planes. In fact, marijuana is saferthan alcohol and is probably only the 10th-most-problematic recreational drug.

Given the powerful forces opposing Prop. 19 — along with their lies and trickery — the forces of liberty and prosperity should not be disheartened by this initial defeat. We now have a copy of their playbook — politicians, pot growers, and medical-marijuana dealers oppose legalization, while Christian organizations, beer distributors, and drug lawyers spread lies to protect their self-interests.


Mark Thornton is a senior resident fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and is the book review editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is the author of The Economics of Prohibition, coauthor of Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War, and the editor of The Quotable Mises, The Bastiat Collection, and An Essay on Economic Theory. Send him mail. See Mark Thornton’s article archives.

Comment on the blog.

You can subscribe to future articles by Mark Thornton via this RSS feed.

You can receive the Mises Dailies in your inbox. Go here to subscribe or unsubscribe

.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dedicated Pot Crusaders Already Licking Their Chops for the Next Opportunity to Legalize

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


AlterNet / By Steven Wishnia

California’s pot-legalization initiative went down to defeat last night, but 46 percent of the vote tells advocates like Richard Lee that the future is bright.
November 3, 2010 |

OAKLAND—California’s pot-legalization initiative went down to defeat last night, but supporters say it came close enough to try again.

The Proposition 19 ballot initiative won 46 percent of the vote. It would have regulated and taxed marijuana under rules similar to those for alcohol, albeit with a lot more dry counties and odd blue laws.

Ironically, the proposal failed to carry the “Emerald Triangle” of Humboldt and Mendocino counties, the state’s most fabled ganja-growing region. Prop 19 got only 47 percent there, according to “semi-official” returns posted on-line by California’s Secretary of State.

Supporters claimed a moral victory and a tactical advance. The vote, they said, was close enough to put marijuana legalization on the national map as an issue to be taken seriously.

“It’s not a debate about if or when. It’s a debate about how,” said Prop 19 “coproponent” Jeff Jones, a longtime medical-marijuana activist. Jones’ Oakland cannabis dispensary was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s first medical-marijuana case.

“It hurts, but no matter what, it’s a victory,” said Danielle Schumacher, 28, a volunteer from Berkeley. “”We got a big percentage of the vote, and that’s something to build on.”

“The more we talk about it, we win,” said Aaron Houston of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, which organized scores of volunteers for the initiative. “We’ve had 40 years of Reefer Madness propaganda that’s said it’s not OK to talk about it. That’s what changed this fall.”

The proposal won almost two-thirds of the vote in San Francisco, and also carried Oakland and most of the Bay Area. It lost badly in the Central Valley, getting only 37 percent in Fresno, and it did only a few points better in the “Inland Empire” east of Los Angeles.

“It was an uphill battle in an off-year election; with an older, smaller, and more conservative electorate, it’s a hostile environment for marijuana-law reform,” said Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Los Angeles office.

If the initiative had passed, cannabis users, growers, and dealers would still have been vulnerable under federal law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in late October that the federal government would continue to enforce laws against sale, cultivation, and possession. The measure began to slip in the polls after that, and some activists call Holder’s announcement a turning point.

The Leaders

Seeded by a $1.4 million contribution from Oakland medical-marijuana magnate Richard Lee, the initiative was opposed by most of the state’s political establishment, but it drew a dedicated volunteer force and a coalition that activists called “unprecedented.” On Election Day, volunteers at Yes on 19’s Oakland office made more than 50,000 get-out-the-vote calls.

Prohibition endorsers included governor-elect Jerry Brown and his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman; the state Chamber of Commerce; the state associations of prosecutors, police chiefs, sheriffs, and narcotics officers; and both candidates for California attorney general.

People in the cannabis world say a victory for the Republican attorney-general candidate, Los Angeles prosecutor Steve Cooley, would do more damage than Prop 19’s loss. Cooley has argued that the state’s medical-marijuana law does not permit sale, and threatened to close every medical-pot dispensary in the state. He narrowly trailed Democrat Kamala Harris as of noon Wednesday.

Prop 19 also “forged an unprecedented coalition for marijuana-law reform,” says Stephen Gutwilliger. It won endorsements from groups outside the cannabis-culture and drug-policy worlds. It was backed by the state branches of the NAACP, the Latino Voters League, the Service Employees International Union, the Northern California district of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

“We’ve never been in rooms with union leaders, with minorities, with Democrats,” said Allen St. Pierre of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “In 1996, we were trying to convince the country that medical marijuana wasn’t a farce.”

The UFCW began backing the initiative in earnest after workers at Oakland’s medical-marijuana dispensaries joined the union earlier this year. Legal marijuana might bring “60,000, 70,000, 80,000 sustainable, single-earner jobs to California,” says Dan Rush, Local 5’s special-operations director. “It’s a growth industry for my union for the next ten years.”

The jobs pay well, he says—up to $35 an hour with benefits—-so legalization is also about “bringing dignity to the industry,” he adds, treating cannabis retail or agricultural workers like they’re meatcutters or grocery-store workers instead of like drug dealers.


Opposition Within the Ranks

A surprising amount of opposition came from pot-smokers themselves—-its significance conceivably shown by the results in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, where cannabis farming is a mainstay of the economy. Many growers fear that legalization would make prices drop so low that it would slash their income, or that big corporations would squeeze them out.

“It’ll exclude us little guys,” said an East Bay grower. He said the semi-legal status of medical marijuana has stabilized the market, and he doesn’t want to mess things up.

“There are mixed feelings within the industry,” said one of his companions, another grower. Indoor growers might be able to find a market for high-quality herb similar to that for microbrewery beer, but he also feared a “green rush” of new growers who would flood the market with mediocre herb and bring prices down too low for farmers to make a living.

Other stoner opponents said that anyone who really needs cannabis can get a medical-use certificate.

Still, voting against legalizing marijuana because you yourself are relatively safe might seem to be an extraordinarily hypocritical act for a pot-smoker—-or conceivably racist, as recently released studies by the Drug Policy Alliance have found dramatically higher arrest rates for pot possession among black and Latino people in California, especially young men.

“The growers (mostly all white) never talk about the War on Drugs and all the youth of color rotting behind bars in California and everywhere for small amounts of marijuana!” said a disgruntled hippie-era Mendocino County grower before the election.

Others objected to the age restrictions in the proposal. It would have set a smoking age of 21, and increased penalties for a person over 21 providing non-medical pot to someone under 18.

There were also plenty of conspiracy theories floating around California’s cannabis world. Philip Morris and/or R.J. Reynolds had bought 200,000 acres of foreclosed property up north, waiting for the day they could bulldoze into the marijuana market. Monsanto was waiting in the wings with ganja genetically engineered to be ultra-potent. Billionaire George Soros, who contributed $1 million to the initiative, was using Richard Lee to corner the market.

“If you can have it, why are you fighting so hard for other people to have it?” shouted Bill Benjamin, 28, of Oakland, one of a knot of men loudly picketing Oaksterdam University, Lee’s “cultivation college,” on Election Day. Most wore crudely printed “No on 19” T-shirts and claimed to be irate medical users.

“I have nephews in high school, and they don’t need to be smoking that shit,” said another protester.

Benjamin, who said he uses marijuana medically for insomnia, said he opposes changing the law because “recreational users already go to jail” and risking that is their choice. He also argued that if pot were legal, billionaires would buy out everyone else in the business.

“Marlboro’s not going to grow medical marijuana or marijuana, because it’s still federally illegal,” responded Jeff Jones when they confronted him. He dismissed the protesters as “ignorant, like Tea Partiers.”

Others see a more sinister hand at work. Enraged monologues about impractically omnipotent corporate conspiracies aren’t rare in the weed world, a persecuted subculture that can be somewhere between isolated and secretive and has plenty of urban legends. But belligerent rants in the phraseology of prohibitionist talking points, instant-scruff two-week beards, and crudely trying to pick fights with activists by calling them “faggots” remarkably resemble the tactics used by Vietnam-era agent provocateurs.

The Future

“We’re gonna be back in 2012,” Jeff Jones said at Yes on 19’s closing-night gathering in Oakland, speaking on video to the press and lower-level volunteers out in the parking lot.

Was the off-year campaign premature? Maybe, said Dale Gieringer of California NORML two days before the vote, but “we’re finally looking at the only thing that solves the problem of marijuana prohibition.”

The odds are good for a 2012 campaign that has more resources and has learned from this year’s mistakes. Some groups may try California again. Others are looking at Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska, which have all voted for initiatives to legalize medical marijuana. Revised versions might try to mollify intra-movement critics by including protections for small farmers and establishing a clear statewide regulatory system instead of a patchwork of local options.

It was “absolutely” better to have the vote now rather than wait, Aaron Houston said after the returns came in. “We have to have this conversation. Thirty thousand people have died south of the border.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


US Nearing 50% Supporting Marijuana Legalization, Poll Finds

*

by Phillip Smith, October 28, 2010, 05:58pm, (Issue #656)

Though the fate of California’s Prop 19 remains unknown for a few more days, majority support in the US for marijuana legalization appears to be just a few days away. An all-time high of 46% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. The number opposed to legalization dropped to an all-time low of 50%. Support increased from 44% last year, continuing an upward trend in the past decade.

time is on our sideSupport for legalization was at 12% in a Gallup poll in 1969 and climbed to 28% in 1978, then stayed flat at about 25% throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s. By 2001, support had climbed to 31%, by 2004 it was at 34%, by 2006 it was at 36%. Since then, support has grown by 10 points to 46%.

“If the trend of the past decade continues at a similar pace, majority support could be a reality within the next few years,” Gallup noted in its discussion of the poll results.

Pot legalization scored majority support among liberals (79%), 18-to-29-year-olds (61%), Westerners (58%), Democrats (55%), independents (54%), men (51%) and moderates (51%). It did least well among Republicans (29%), conservatives (30%), and people over 65 (32%)

Support varied among regions, from the West’s high of 58% to 47% in the East, 42% in the Midwest, and 41% in the South.

The poll also asked about support for medical marijuana and found that 70% of Americans supported it. But that figure is down from 75% in 2003 and 78% in 2005.

The poll was based on live cell phone and land line interviews conducted October 7-10 with a random sample of 1,025 adults. Each question was asked of a half-sample of approximately 500 respondents. The margin of sampling error was +/-5 percentage points.


Latino Police Officers Endorse Prop 19

*

by Phillip Smith, October 27, 2010, 06:41pm, (Issue #655)

The National Latino Officers Association (NLAO) endorsed Proposition 19 Wednesday, citing a new report that found Latinos are disproportionately arrested for simple marijuana possession in California. Latinos are arrested at two to three times the rate of whites, the report found, even though they use marijuana at a lower rate than whites.

Prop 19 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 or older and allow them to grow up to 25 square feet of pot and possess the resulting harvest. It would also allow cities and counties to permit, regulate, and tax the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana.

“As police officers sworn to protect public safety and the well-being of our community, NLAO is proud to endorse Proposition 19,” said the group’s Manuel Rodriguez at a Wednesday press conference. “Prohibition is dangerous and deadly. Keeping marijuana prohibition has allowed a lucrative black market and threatened public safety in our community and the USA,” he said. “Instead of making our streets safer, we’re spending that money incarcerating tens of thousands of people, including many Latinos.”

While Latinos are more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession in California, they are also arrested at rates disproportionate to their numbers in the state. In Irvine, for example, Latinos make up 9% of the population, but account for 20% of all pot possession arrests. Similarly, in San Jose, Latinos account for 30% of the population, but 55% of all pot possession arrests, the report found.

California is home to some 14 million Latinos, who account for 37% of the state’s population. But because many Latinos are foreign nationals, they account for only 21% of the state’s electorate. Still, Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the state, and nearly two-thirds of them are registered Democrats. Support for Prop 19 among Latino voters has varied widely in polls, and Wednesday’s press conference and endorsement were designed to bring this key demographic over to the “yes” side.

“This report documents very significant and widespread disparities in arrest rates for low-level marijuana possession,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Alliance, which sponsored the report. “Latinos have been arrested at double and triple the rate of whites in the past few years. There has been an extraordinary escalation in arrests for small amounts of marijuana in the past 20 years,” Gutwillig added, noting that pot arrests have tripled to more than 60,000 annually since 1990.

The big increase in marijuana possession busts has come as arrests for all other crimes, including other drug offenses, have dropped dramatically in the state, Gutwillig noted. “At the heart of the dramatic increase in arrests have been substantial race-based disparities, specifically targeting Latinos and African-Americans, and especially young African-Americans and Latinos.”

Since federal arrest data does not include a specific category for Latinos, marijuana arrests rates for the group are substantially undercounted, Gutwillig said. Disproportionate minority arrest rates are not the result of racist cops, but a systemic problem, he added. “The disparities documented in this report are the result of routine, pervasive police practices,” he said. “This is a statewide phenomenon.”

Also at the press conference was Diane Goldstein, a retired lieutenant commander with the Redondo Beach Police Department and a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “The current war on drugs has not just failed,” she said, “but is a policy disaster. We need solutions that deal with our communities’ drug problems. We believe that through regulation, control, and taxation, we will actually decrease the likelihood of the youth in our community using marijuana,” she said. “Drug abuse is a health problem, not a law enforcement matter. It is time for us to overcome our fears and and honestly assess the results of a drug war against our youth. Proposition 19 is a step in the right direction.”

Police have other, more pressing priorities than nickel and dime pot busts, said Rodriguez. “We as the NLOA are backing California on this so we can concentrate on crimes that are violent,” he said. “We’ve got worries about terrorists and explosions and two wars going on. We can concentrate more on terrorism instead of going into communities and locking up Latinos and African-Americans. We can use that money from marijuana revenues for schools and education,” he said.

Proposition 19 spokesperson Dale Sky Jones also addressed the press conference. “We’ve found  in California and across the country that currently policy has failed,” she said. “We have an opportunity to take cannabis and its profits out of the hands of criminals and to put it in the hands of those who will control and regulate and tax it. Prop 19 was written to protect our kids, and we have an opportunity to create tens of thousands of green, sustainable jobs for households.”

It’s less than a week from election day, the vote for Prop 19 is going to be very close, and every endorsement counts. Now, the campaign has one more law enforcement group on its side.

CA  

United States
See map: Google Maps


Are California’s Cops Donating Money to Keep Targeting Minorities?

Morgan Fox

by Morgan Fox
October 22, 2010

A new study released today shows conclusively that in California’s largest cities African-Americans are arrested for marijuana possession at much higher rates that whites. In the 25 cities profiled, African-Americans were arrested at four to 12 times the rate of whites, despite much higher use rates among whites.

This horrifying disparity is one reason Proposition 19 has earned the support of civil rights groups, including the California NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens of California. These numbers make it clear that removing penalties for marijuana possession would eliminate a tool that has been used to institute a system of pervasive racism in the Golden State. Given that even a single possession charge can result in severe economic and social consequences, the fact that arrests are focused so disproportionately on minority communities is an overwhelming argument for reform on November 2nd.

Some folks disagree, namely the majority of California’s law enforcement community. Several law enforcement groups have given large sums of money to the campaign against Proposition 19, the most recent being the California Police Chiefs Association, who donated $20,000 to No on Prop. 19.

Throughout the public debates on this issue, law enforcement groups (other than those backing Prop 19) have said that reformers need to prove why marijuana should not be illegal. It seems much more reasonable to expect the burden of proof to be on the other side, especially when marijuana prohibition results in such obvious racial persecution. Yet law enforcement does not rise to this challenge, probably because there is no justification for such practices in a civilized society.

Could it be that some California cops actually like targeting minorities?

If Proposition 19 passes, they will lose their easiest way to do so.

Interestingly, the largest law enforcement group supporting Proposition 19 is…

…the National Black Police Association.

 


Marijuana Two Minute Truths

Gateway Myth

The Addiction Question

Did you hear that? Marijuana is about as addictive as COFFEE. Scary!

 

Marijuana and the Brain

Doesn’t Cause Lung Cancer

Marijuana “Overdose”

Thanks to the Marijuana Policy Project

 

 


%d bloggers like this: