Archive for October 30th, 2011

Glenn Greenwald discusses justice for some

| October 30, 2011 | 5 Replies
Glenn Greenwald discusses justice for some

Glenn Greenwald recently appeared on Dylan Ratigan’s television show to discuss his new book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. Greenwald argued that many of our leaders don’t even pretend anymore that we should aspire to fairness.   Here’s the thought process underlying these claims we so often hear from those who oppose the Occupy movement: “Inequality will be deserved and legitimate because were all playing on an equal playing field.”  According to Greenwald, the reason for so much citizen anger (tea party and occupy protesters) is a growing perception that this inequality

is not the byproduct of fair and reasonable and well-deserved accomplishments but the byproduct of cheating, of a tilted playing field, that the winners exempt themselves from the rules to which the rest of us are bound. Typically, it is the law that constrains the most powerful from abusing their power. When law ceases to apply to them, as it has, the only solution that citizens have is to go outside of the system of law and begin to demand that change. That is why so many citizens are taking to the streets and protesting and realizing that working within the system is no longer a viable course of action.

How can this energy be harnessed, for instance through the Occupy movement?

The status quo–the failure to accommodate or to adhere to rules for anyone outside of this 99% is itself extremely volatile and itself extremely dangerous and destructive in that a course of action where citizens do go out on the streets in the United States has become a more attractive and really the only alternative for effectuating the kind of change that people thought that the 2008 campaign would bring.

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LEAP once again points out the insanity of the “war on drugs”

| October 30, 2011 | 15 Replies
LEAP once again points out the insanity of the “war on drugs”

The following information is from a mass emailing I was recently sent by LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition):

Late Friday night the White House issued a typical evasive rejection of the several marijuana legalization petitions that collected more signatures than any other issue on its “We the People” website. Even though recent polls show that more voters support marijuana legalization than approve of President Obama’s job performance, the White House categorically dismissed the notion of reforming any laws, focusing its response on the possible harms of marijuana use instead of addressing the many harms of prohibition detailed in the petitions.

One of the popular petitions, submitted by retired Baltimore narcotics cop Neill Franklin, called on the Obama administration to simply stop interfering with states’ efforts to set their own marijuana laws.

It’s maddening that the administration wants to continue failed prohibition polices that do nothing to reduce drug use and succeed only in funneling billions of dollars into the pockets of the cartels and gangs that control the illegal market,” said Franklin, who serves as executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of cops, judges and prosecutors who support legalizing and regulating drugs. “If the president and his advisers think they’re being politically savvy by shying away from much-needed change to our drug policies, they’re wrong. The recent Gallup poll shows that more Americans support legalizing marijuana than support continuing prohibition, so the administration is clearly out of step with the people it claims to represent. President Obama needs to remember his campaign pledge not to waste scarce resources interfering with state marijuana laws and his earlier statement about the ‘utter failure’ of the drug war.

United States spends $52 Billion every year attempting to enforce prohibition, a demonstrably futile endeavor. From a recent article in Esquire Magazine, we get to know the “War on Drugs” by the numbers: “15,223 dead and $52.3 billion spent each year.”  Don’t believe the White House numbers that claim we’re spending more on treatment than law enforcement–those are cooked numbers, and they are shot down by the numbers in the Esquire article. Therefore, the “war on drugs” is, indeed a matter of good versus evil, but not in the way the federal government preaches.  Ken Burns’ recent documentary, “Prohibition,” shines a bright light on every mistake we are now making regarding street drugs. I’ll conclude with a quote by Albert Einstein:  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

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