Civil Rights

Drug Policy Racist?

America has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the prisoners. Drugs are the reason. But not only that, American drug policy disproportionately singles out blacks. Blacks represent 15% of crack users but 85% of the races locked up for crack use, most for minimal possesion. Compared to whites, who make up 65% of crack users, only 5% of them are locked up.

Blacks in this country are 5 times more likely to be locked up that a black in South Africa at the height of Apartheid.

When a black American Citizen is addicted to drugs they go to jail. If they are white, they go to Betty Ford. Does prison really solve social problems more than treatment programs, education or other remedies?

Does the evil of these drugs somehow merit the laws and judgements being passed? Alcohol is a drug, but because it is socially acceptable, we don’t lock people up. Yet it presents a greater danger than any drug on the market. America repealed prohibition for a reason--to keep people out of jail, to allow the government to regulate alcohol, and to help diminish crime. Yet illegal drugs don’t even come close to the damage and death created by alcohol. In fact, casual drugs, like marijuana have been showed to have zero deaths.

"Indeed, epidemiological data indicate that in the general population marijuana use is not associated with increased mortality."
Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999), p. 109.

Here are the facts. Read the following statistics of annual deaths in America and consider the real reason these laws are in place and what races they target:

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Shame on the Obama administration

The Obama administration quickly jumped when Fox News said jump this week. Without checking sources and viewing the full videos and documents related to the story, the Obama administration shamefully asked for the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, an official of the USDA. What the administration couldn't fathom, is that Fox News, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others had blatantly lied in an attempt to oust a black woman from her position in the administration. In the same way they had cut and pasted video tape to lie about Acorn (see link below), this week they lied about Ms. Sharrad by skillfully editing a video to claim she was saying the opposite of what she was actually saying. Even the NAACP fell for the story and denounced her before the facts came out of what FOX NEWS had done. Once they realized they had been duped, they issued another statement (click here to read) and put the unedited video up on their website that they had been "snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart."

Once you see the real video, you see clearly that Ms. Sharrod was giving a talk about her conversion to realizing that her negative feelings she had been raised with about whites were wrong. FOX NEWS also claimed that the statements were current and yet, they were made 25 years ago when she did not work for the government. In the video, she speaks of her struggle to help a white farmer and his wife save their farm. CNN interviewed the coulple, who give credid to Ms. Sharrod for having saved their farm. For her, this story was a turning point in her understanding of helping the poor and not just blacks. But FOX NEWS played none of this part of the speech, but only the part where she was admitting her feelings and the struggle she was having before she made the right decision. This skillful lie, by FOX and its cronies, is just one of a list of many news stories that FOX had chosen to blatantly lie about.

Remember Jane Akre? Fox NEWS admitted that they told her to lie on television, when she refused, she was fired. Although winning the first court case against FOX, FOX won on appeal being told they had the right to lie on television. Jane Akre's case was thrown out because lying didn't meet the threshold of whistle-blowing laws. In other words, any news organization can ask their people to lie to preserve advertising profit. See more about Jane Akre here:

To read more on the exposing of FOX's prevarication,
click here and watch the broadcast of from the 20th of July, 2010 for Rachel Maddow.

To see more about the Acorn lies and exposé, see the two part youtube video here:

Part 1:
Part 2:

If anyone is interested in truth, they need to understand that the "free press" is a novel idea, but it doesn't exist in the U.S. in any mainstream form. As long as corporations control the media, profits will control the information you get. If you want a proven pattern of the lies of FOX and those that are featured on FOX, read the above articles, watch the videos above, then truly decide for yourself. In the mean time, perhaps the Obama administration will learn to stop falling for these shameful Republican tricks.

New Torture Interpretation

The Washington Post today published an an article on the Bush administration's new interpretation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. You can read the full article here:

The article expounds on the Bush administrations new interpretation on torture that:

" long as the intent of the abuse is to gather intelligence or to prevent future attacks, and the abuse is not 'done for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the individual' -- even if that is an inevitable consequence -- the president has given the CIA carte blanche to engage in 'willful and outrageous acts of personal abuse.'"

Of course the principle purpose of the Geneva conventions was exactly the opposite--that "gathering intelligence" or "trying to get information out of someone" was not to be done through torture. Thus Bush takes another step, (one of many) that is leading us into totalitarianism and the ultimate destruction of any moral high ground we may have left.

We have already lost all credibility with the rest of the world regarding this issue when it was exposed that we were exporting torture to other countries. In other words, in order to save face and torture anyway, we would outsource our torture to other countries that didn't have any qualms about torturing prisoners.

Read the article "
Outsourcing Torture" here:

Or read here:

Or here:

It seems that for our administration, torture has lost its thrill in being outsourced and now wants to experience the excitement of torture for itself. What better way than to utterly corrupt the intentions of the Geneva Convention.

To read some more about the evolutions and convolutions of the President's policies in this Matter, read statements by President Bush and responses to those statements by Human Rights First:

Racism alive and well in America

This week Rep Virgil Goode became the bigot of the month in a letter to his constituents in Virginia. Republicans regularly deny that they are racist anymore and yet somehow, pockets of America keep sending representatives to lead our nation that clearly need to be removed from office. His letter responded to the swearing in of a new Congressmen from Minnesota, Rep, Keith Ellison, who happens to be Muslim. Because of his religion, he, of course will not be putting his hand on the Bible for his swearing in, but has requested the Quran. As a result, Rep. Goode sent out a letter warning people that if they "don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran." Regardless of the fact that Rep. Goode doesn't understand the Constitution he should be defending, it seems that Rep Ellison is not an immigrant but can trace his ancestry to the 1700s in this country and converted to Islam in college. In spite of the negative press, Rep Goode will not back down and has caused many others to rear their ugly heads. Republican talk show host, Dennis Prager, for example, said publicly that Ellison should quit if he refuses to use the Bible. Prager continually uses Mormons as his example of choice, stating that they don't request to use the Book of Mormon. Of course, Mr. Prager, obviously doesn't know that Mormons use the Bible too as their fundamental canon as well. Later Rush Limbaugh got into an argument with his own call screener over this issue. Rush, attempting to support Rep. Goode told his screener, "He's voiced a concern that many Americans have. They probably don't have the courage to say it, but (interruption). My own staff, even in the spirit of Christmas, sees fit to argue with me. (interruption) ... as I understand it: If we don't get a handle on immigration, we are going to end up like Europe -- and if you don't think that there are a lot of people that think like that, then that's why you're screening and why I'm hosting because you are out of touch." Now moving on to another Republican talk show host, Sean Hannity, we hear even more vitriolic hate-mongering. Regarding the issue, Mr. Hannity stated, the swearing-in of Ellison "will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones" and suggested that using the Quran for a swearing-in is comparable to using "Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible."

bush speech today

Shock and awe describe the feelings of Amercians today who care about civil liberties and the power of the Executive Branch. Today, President Bush gave a speech that was frightening and chilling in extending the powers of his office again. Bush spoke of "methods" in which he obtained information from "enemy combatants" without disclosing those methods. He defended secret bases where he help these "combatants." What few on the right may understand is that if everything Bush said was true, meaning, that all the detainees are guilty and all the torture was "legally sanctioned." he is still wrong. Why? Because what if a President of the United States is corrupt? Whether or not you believe Bush is corrupt is not important to the discussion. If he is then there are no checks. There is no way to monitor the Executive powers he has taken upon himself in case he was corrupt. We have a system of checks and balances for a reason. That reason is because people with power can be corrupt. Not because they necessarily are corrupt. Can those on the right see the difference? We have a legal system for a reason. If a cop arrests someone we don't skip the trial process because we all believe the cop is honest. Detailed procedures are in place to protect the innocent. Because someone in the Executive says someone is an "enemy combatant," who checks that? How do we know if we don't have access to them? Now the Bush administration expect us to turn a blind eye to torture again. They want congress to decide what torture is because obviously we did work that out in Geneva. We want to believe torture is a legitamate method of interrogation because someone we trust said this is an "enemy combatant." But what if we don't trust them? Shall we give the same powers to someone who is not of our political persuasion? Fear and "security" will cause most people to easily relinquish their basic civil liberties.

Supreme Court decision

The Supreme Court yesterday decided that the President of the United States cannot take prisoners in Guantánamo Bay and assign his own judges and courts to try them. The fact that the Executive, again, is trying to grab more power by creating kangaroo courts is just another example of why Americans need to fear the direction of the country. Defending the administrations attempt to bypass true courts and issues of habeas corpus, Ann Coulter said yesterday that the Constitution intended that we have checks and balances between branches of government UNLESS we are at war. She said, "In wartime, all of that is reversed. That's why the Constitution vests the entire commander-in-chief powers in one man, not in branches, not with checks and balances." Of course, since we are continuously at war--now and forever--because of the nebulous definition of "war on terror," we no longer can have a system of checks and balances. The Republicans have made a new grab for unlimited executive power. The President has power to declare war without congress, can detain anyone without rights by calling them an "enemy combatant," and now has attempted to disregard military tribunal rules and maintain courts overseen by the President himself. Thankfully, the Supreme Court, has seen the coming danger.