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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,034
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"And every day, it seems, the headlines offer fresh examples of the greed and selfishness with which my generation has laid waste to its own possibilities. And it doesn’t end with Wall Street’s kleptocracy. In the world at large, we have proclaimed ourselves to be a peace-loving nation, yet we wage prolonged wars of choice. We declare our devotion to free and open markets, yet time and again unrestrained capitalism, while an effective tool for generating short-term profit, proves itself a useless metric for calibrating a just and inclusive society. We insist that we are still a great people, that an American Century is still to come, yet many of us feel no call to citizenship if citizenship has any actual cost. Even during wartime, with our armies afield, we whine about paying taxes, though our tax rates are the lowest in modern American history. Meanwhile, though less prone to overt racism, we have nonetheless abandoned the precepts of upward mobility for all Americans, conceding the very idea of public education, of equality of opportunity. And as our society further stratifies, as the rich get richer and the poor become less and less necessary to our de-industrialized economy, we wage a war against our underclass under the guise of drug prohibition, turning America into the jailingest society on the face of the earth. And as to reform? As to the political leadership and responsive government? That hardly seems possible when our high court permits capital to purchase our electoral process at wholesale prices.
Am I’m bringing you down with all of this stuff? Am I bumming you out? I can’t help it. I’m sorry. But hey, if you watched The Wire, or Generation Kill, or Treme – then you knew I was gonna go there, right? Those are angry narratives. They are saying angry things about the American future.
And now, forgive me, that future is yours. And Woody Allen’s clever turn-of-phrase, once played for laughs, now has a real and ugly echo, doesn’t it?
For starters, my generation probably owes yours an apology. Because, hey, we definitely shanked it. We choked. We let ourselves get distracted with greed, with gloss, with the taste of the bread and the glitz of the circuses. We took our eyes off the prize – which was always this:
There cannot be two American experiments, one for the fortunate and another for the rest. All of us must share the same future – like it or not. For the republic to long endure, there must be a real American collective and all of us must have some stake in that collective."
Posted by RainDog | Thu May 24, 2012, 03:46 PM (0 replies)
cross post from Dream smoker in the Drug Policy Forum so that more people will see this - http://www.democraticunderground.com/1170518#post5
Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop and the executive director of advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, sees the poll as a political weather vane pointing toward the future.
"Polling now consistently shows that more voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana than support continuing a failed prohibition approach," he said in a statement Tuesday. "Yet far too many politicians continue to act as if marijuana policy reform is some dangerous third rail they dare not touch. If the trends in public opinion continue in the direction they are going, the day is not far away when supporting a prohibition system that causes so much crime, violence and corruption is going to be seen as a serious political liability for those seeking support from younger and independent voters. Savvy forward-looking politicians are already beginning to see which way the wind is blowing."
Indeed, the Rasmussen poll is far from the first to find the majority support legalizing marijuana.
Posted by RainDog | Wed May 23, 2012, 02:37 PM (37 replies)
The terms 1st, 2nd and 3rd waves were created by feminists who thought the feminist movement of the 1960 and 70s left out large portions of the female population, specifically, all of those who weren't white and upper or middle class and straight.
Though critique of this privilege given to (mostly) suburban white female issues began earlier, by the 1990s, with a variety of input from women of color, homosexual and trans women, women in 3rd world nations, and even punk Riot Grrrls with zines - some women thought the focus of feminism was too small - not inclusive enough.
1st wave feminism: voting rights, property rights, birth control (that existed at the time - condoms or sponges and, just as important, education about sexuality and how to prevent conception.)
2nd wave feminism: sexual freedom, legislative work to change sexist law, integration into the workplace, equal funding, integration into the political arena
3rd wave feminism: sexual freedom, inclusion of gendered females, diversity, inclusion of women of color and women from other cultures - plus the issues surrounding both 1st and 2nd wave feminism.
1st wave feminism is generally thought of in terms of the Suffrage Movement (gaining the right to vote.) That places it within the 19th and 20th century.
However, even before this, women, such as Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of the woman who wrote Frankenstein, fwiw), who came of age during the revolutionary period in America and France, wanted the ideas of the Enlightenment extended to females in society. Back then, a female could not obtain an education beyond things that she could use to run a household, for the most part.
There were exceptions, such as Ida Lovelace (after Wollstonecraft), but the rule was that females were purposely kept ignorant - in the same way that slaves were purposely kept uneducated. She wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, that talked about the sexism (that did not have a name at that time) that controlled the way in which society functioned, just as monarchy and the church controlled all of European society.
Wollstonecraft was British, but she is one of the most influential "mothers" of western feminism because of her writings that recognized women had no place to go in society, except under the control of a male. She argued that women were capable of receiving an education without becoming immoral and that society benefited by educating women as well as men. She ran a school, helped a friend escape from an abusive husband, helped an American lover smuggle stolen goods from French aristocrats to finance the French Revolution, traveled alone with her illegitimate child and wrote about it, viewed and wrote about The Terror first hand, and was a friend of leading intellectuals of the day in GB and the newly founded U.S. - like John Adams, Joseph Priestly, and the founder of anarchism, William Godwin.
There were a lot of parallels between the position of women and slaves - though, of course, the color of a white woman's skin still gave her more options, even tho narrow, than a black man or woman in America. Nevertheless, because of religion, for the most part, women were forced to remain second-class citizens for longer than black men - who gained the right to vote before any woman.
Suffragettes were attacked in the streets for demanding the right to vote. By men. They were vilified by politicians and preachers - just as any social change is attacked today. With the 1920s, women were divided on issues like prohibition, but, in order to exist in "polite society" women could either be "good" or "whores" - i.e. go to speakeasies or sit home. This same sort of division existed long before this time - it's a division put in place by religious views. Even the suffragettes failed to account for their own privilege. They tried to exclude women of color, like Ida B. Wells.
(Imo, btw, religion has been one of the chief causes of oppression for women across societies and time. you see it now. you saw it then. you saw it when some asshole was blaming women for opening Pandora's Box or offering Adam an apple. Wollstonecraft, back in the day, recognized this and said that, as a culture we need to get away from the "myths of Prometheus" and move to rational thought.
Anyway, then, in 1949, Simone de Beauvoir, a French writer/philosopher, wrote a book called The Second Sex. In that book, she talked about the way in which men viewed women as "objects" rather than "subjects." Women are treated as "creatures" whose lives were not worth examining beyond their roles in relation to men. They were "exoticized" - in the same way that racism works - or, the way that religions dehumanize "the other." (As she had seen with The Holocaust, and as has been done to women in regard to religion for a long time.)
That inhumanity has been extended to women throughout history. Women are considered abnormal because they're not male. Their lives were not as valuable - Their experiences not as important - Their perspective not worth consideration - This, again, is just how racism has played out in American society, as well.
The Second Sex is regarded as the beginning of 2nd wave feminism., but the idea, as a movement, did not take hold until the 1960s, with the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique.
But the foundation for feminism was laid in WWII, when women entered the workplace in massive numbers to make up for the loss of men who were sent to fight. Of course, prior to WWII, a lot of women (and children) worked - in factories, with no protection by law, and some women, like Jane Addams, gave focus to the plight of immigrant women in the U.S.
But after WWII, the U.S. embarked on a massive propaganda campaign to tell middle-class white women to get out of the workforce so that men could have jobs. They did - but many of them realized that it was not enough to have a life that only mattered b/c of a husband or children. They wanted some sort of financial independence and interests that were their own - A life apart from their families, as every other member of the family was allowed to have. White middle class privilege was still at work in this recognition, though, as women of color often worked for outside their homes.
In the 1960s, women gained access to more reliable birth control. The state could no longer enforce religious beliefs about women's outcomes based upon their sexual lives. The reason religions hate birth control is because they continue to maintain the same patriarchal attitudes toward females now as they did when they were aligned with monarchies in the 1700s and before.
Now, to the issue that causes contention, often, here:
In the 1970s and 1980s, one group of feminists began a focus on pornography. Other feminists at the time, and now, disagreed with the positions of the anti-porn faction because they viewed porn as a free speech issue as well as an issue of women's objectification. The anti-porn faction developed a line of action that worked to suppress porn as a violation of a woman's civil rights.
One of the most vocal women in the anti-porn movement was Andrea Dworkin. She also wrote about right wing women who work to undermine all women - conservative women. We still see them at work today - in the Republican Party. But she also made claims about pornography that said it promoted rape and child abuse. She wrote a book that claimed all heterosexual intercourse degrades women.
She crossed a line with many people with that pov. She claimed she was misunderstood and that, eventually, people would be able to have sex that was not coercive. But for now...
Other feminists responded that they could define their sexuality themselves - and could enjoy porn - whether those women were homo or hetero-sexual. For some, however, that position would be "false consciousness," i.e. it is impossible to rise above the ideology of sexism and patriarchy in which someone lives.
The "porn wars" on this site stem from the clash of these two povs.
Anyway, back in the 1960s, Democrats, under Kennedy, took up the cause of women's rights and women began their long-time association with the Democratic Party at the same time that African-Americans moved from the party of Lincoln (that was becoming the party of racists and Reagan and religious right wingers) to the party that passed the civil rights act.
In the 1960s and 70s - there were a lot of different people in American society who wanted change - Native Americans, African-Americans, women, homosexuals... and immigrants, esp. Latinos...working people in general became the focus of attack after Democrats lost many states due to their alignment with women and people of color.
And those battles for change are the ones that are still being fought today.
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 22, 2012, 03:51 PM (6 replies)
sorry if this was posted before. I didn't see it, if so. From North Carolina -
There's been a noticeable shift in the attitudes of African Americans in North Carolina toward rights for gay couples in the wake of President Obama's announcement last week that he supports gay marriage. Our final poll before the primary last week found only 20% of black voters in the state favoring gay marriage, with 63% opposed. Now 27% express support for gay marriage with 59% opposed, for an overall 11 point shift on the margin.
There's been a similar movement when it comes to the overall idea of providing gay couples legal rights in the form of either marriage or civil unions. Before the primary 44% of African Americans favored one of those with 51% opposed to any sort of legal recognition for same sex couples. Now 55% of blacks support either gay marriage or civil unions with only 39% against any sort of recognition. Obama's words look to be having an impact.
-In another indication that North Carolinians don't really know what they voted for last week 55% of voters in the state say they support either gay marriage or civil unions. Even though 61% voted to ban both of those things last week. We also asked very explicitly whether same sex couples should be allowed civil unions with the same legal rights as marriage and the state splits on that question at 46%.
On a side note 8% of North Carolina voters, including 13% of Republicans, think being gay should be a felony.
Just to note that politicians' words have an impact, even if their deeds don't immediately follow - on this and other issues.
Posted by RainDog | Fri May 18, 2012, 09:30 PM (7 replies)
Asked whether voters felt President Obama should respect the medical marijuana laws in these states, or use federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws, 74 percent of voters nationally said the president should respect state laws, 15 percent said he should prosecute in accordance with federal law and 11 percent weren't sure.
...Non-intervention polled well across parties and demographics, with 75 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents signaling their support for a hands-off federal approach to state medical marijuana laws. A full 75 percent of women stated they support states' rights when it comes to medical marijuana, which is somewhat surprising, given ample public polling in Colorado and California that suggests more women oppose legalization than men.
A non-intervention policy was also broadly supported across racial groups, with 73 percent of whites, 73 percent of Hispanics and 81 percent of blacks in favor, although polling for minorities may be less accurate: 71 percent of all respondents were white.
Respondents were interviewed nationwide from May 10 through May 14, 2012, by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. Eighty-five percent of respondents were 35 or older, and as a whole were split 48 percent male to 52 percent female.
Look at that! Americans can agree on something!
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 15, 2012, 11:39 PM (64 replies)
Posted by RainDog | Fri May 11, 2012, 02:31 AM (2 replies)
I'm not just talking about Republicans, either. I'm talking about social conservative Democrats.
I cannot think of one issue about which they have made the compelling argument for democracy in terms of economics, personal freedom, religious freedom... so WHY do so many people insist on modes of thought that they can look at, historically, and recognize that they're wrong?
Posted by RainDog | Wed May 9, 2012, 10:18 PM (24 replies)
In Montana - the DEA was harassing a politician who indicated support for mmj.
In California and other states, the DEA told state employees they could be charged with violation of federal law for implementing the states' policies as part of their jobs (the DoJ backed off on this after states protested, loudly.)
Agents armed with assault rifles and chainsaws raided Northstone Organics near Ukiah soon after the announcement, despite its sheriff's permit to grow medicinal pot.
and these actions have made local politicians less likely to permit dispensaries in their locales.
In various states the IRS has threatened banks that allow dispensaries (no matter their location) to have bank accounts.
federal authorities have warned banks that handling receipts from marijuana sales remains illegal under federal law and could violate money-laundering laws.
The conflict is not isolated to Washington, one of 16 states — plus the District of Columbia — to allow therapeutic use of marijuana for certain patients.
This has nothing to do with violation of local ordinances. This has to do with the federal govt. attempting to stop the establishment of dispensaries at all from doing business in their states as legal entities - as they are under state law.
Federal prosecutors in states with dispensaries have sent letters to landlords telling them that they face prison and seizure of their properties if they don't force dispensaries to close.
“This is not an idle threat. … What we’re trying to do is send a message as broadly as possible. … We are serious about enforcing federal law. … We are not just talking about it, but we are doing something about it. … Prosecuting marijuana cases is a higher priority now.” –statements of the US Attorneys for the four federal districts in California
- this is about enforcing FEDERAL law, not state law.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, at the federal level, said that someone's status as a mmj patient made that person ineligible to possess a firearm.
"Any person," bureau Assistant Director Arthur Herbert writes in the open letter to all gun sellers, "who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is ... prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition."
Even tho the Supreme Court has already ruled that state law enforcement should implement the laws of the states, not the federal govt - i.e. the Federal Govt. cannot compel state law enforcement to enact its laws - they continue to use state law enforcement in these crackdowns.
“The actions taken today in California by our U.S. Attorneys and their (local) law enforcement partners are consistent with the Department’s commitment to enforcing existing federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), in all states,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
The state of Colorado does not have the same regulatory framework as the Federal Govt. and so the Federal Govt. is, again, applying its laws, rather than the state's, to shut down dispensaries.
On Sunday, 25 medical marijuana centers across Colorado closed their doors in response to a Department of Justice crackdown which did not appear rooted in state or local law, as the administration had previously promised it would be.
The Obama administration, through U.S. Attorney John Walsh, ordered the centers in March to either move, shut their businesses down, or face criminal charges because, according to Walsh, they were within 1,000 feet of a school.
Although nothing in Colorado's medical marijuana law specifies the distance between a shop and a school, the decision, like most such zoning matters, is left to local communities.
In California, the oldest dispensary (a nonprofit) in the nation was raided and all the plants that had been inspected by the local sheriff that were also labeled for specific patients were torn out.
The argument, recently, to justify this thuggery on the part of the Federal Govt is that they did not make an arrest - but they can still make an arrest and they have harassed people who are working within the laws of their states.
Although our initial efforts in the Northern District focus on only certain marijuana stores, we will almost certainly be taking action against others. None are immune from action by the federal government.”
-so, you see, the Federal agents themselves disagree with your claim that this is only about dispensaries that violate specific regulations.
In July of last year, the DEA said that marijuana had no medical use - which is an outright lie that the Obama administration supports. Leonhart said, "At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."
Not only does this decision conflict with state laws... it also conflicts with a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the branch of the National Academy of Sciences charged with answering complex medical questions for Congress. Way back in 1999, the IOM said:
Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances.
Despite the issue of smoking marijuana, the IOM said that medical use of the drug is acceptable when other alternatives have failed.
In addition, in 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an investigational new drug application, or IND — which grants permission to study a drug with the goal of approving it for marketing if it is safe and effective — for Sativex, an inhalable marijuana-derived drug, which includes both THC and CBD, the main active components of cannabis. So, while one federal agency says the drug is too risky for use even under medical supervision, another is studying it for possible approval for marketing.
See, this issue comes down to RESCHEDULING and the bad law that is allowed to stand. Obama has indicated he has no desire to address the is bad law. HIS INACTION ALLOWS BAD LAW TO CONTINUE.
So, it doesn't, ultimately, matter if you want to argue that those raided were not in compliance - EVEN THO THIS IS NOT TRUE - because the reality is that this administration allows the continuation of unscientific policy to continue that allows the federal govt to interfere at all.
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 10:03 PM (1 replies)
Those four states are: Colorado, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
These requests were made in 2011.
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 08:19 PM (0 replies)
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 08:06 PM (3 replies)