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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Marijuana in Jamaica: Possession of up to two ounces decriminalised on Bob Marley's birthday

Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalised in Jamaica after a drugs law that was passed on Friday was debated by senators for five hours.

Having up to two ounces (around 56 grams) will only be punishable by a fixed penalty ticket, instead of a criminal charge.

The amendment of the law happens to have been passed on the birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley, who died of cancer aged 36 in 1981. He is well-known to have praised weed as “the healing of a nation.”

The new penalty will cost, or if it would be a criminal offence to not pay the amount, is not yet known.



Prosecutors: Drew Peterson tried to have Will County state's attorney killed

Convicted killer Drew Peterson was charged Monday with trying to put a hit on the prosecutor who sent him away for 38 years, the Illinois attorney general’s office said.

Peterson was charged in Randolph County, which is home to the maximum-security prison that has housed Peterson for nearly two years, with one count of solicitation of murder for hire and one count of solicitation of murder, an attorney general’s office news release said.

Peterson is accused of trying to arrange a hit on Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow between September 2013 and December 2014, the release stated. Glasgow successfully prosecuted the retired police sergeant despite a largely circumstantial case built around hearsay statements.

Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg said Monday morning that neither he nor Peterson's family had been informed of any charges. He called the idea of Peterson trying to retaliate against Glasgow "absurd."



Toon- A Shining City on a Hill

Republicans Still Denying Bush Lied About Iraq

By Jonathan Chait

As America hurtles toward a potential Bush-versus-Clinton dynastic rematch, no Democratic loyalists have yet come forward to insist that Bill Clinton was in fact speaking the truth when he denied having sexual relations with that woman. There is, however, a continual submerged effort to deny that George W. Bush’s administration misled the country into the Iraq War. Today, The Wall Street Journal op-ed page has Republican judge Laurence Silberman fiercely insisting that the Bush administration did not lie, and that the claim it lied is itself a calumny.

Silberman’s argument is a simplistic one aimed at confusing those who have already forgotten the basic sequence of events. Silberman argues that a bipartisan commission, which he co-chaired, investigated the matter, and found that the Bush administration was victimized by faulty intelligence. “Our WMD commission ultimately determined that the intelligence community was ‘dead wrong’ about Saddam’s weapons,” concludes Silberman. So, yes, mistakes happen, but intelligence failures happen, and the Bush administration cannot be blamed for dishonesty.

Silberman does not mention that the commission he chaired did not even investigate whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence. Senate Republicans refused to allow the commission to investigate this matter, fearing it would harm Bush’s reelection prospects. Indeed, Silberman himself wrote in the report at the time, “Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry.”

This was a favorite line of pro-Bush spin. It is true that passing on faulty intelligence by mistake is not the same thing as misrepresenting intelligence. Bush's defenders habitually rebutted accusations of the latter by insisting that the former was true. In reality, both things happened — the administration suffered from honest intelligence failures, and it misled the public about the facts as it understood them.



Toon: Where are the Sobs?

Monday Toon Roundup






Danziger Toon: The House of Saud

Bernie Sanders steps up: I am not Hillary, ‘trust me’

HARRISBURG, Penn. – Organizers with Keystone Progress invited Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders to speak at the annual conference here this weekend. Sanders showed up.

The Independent senator from Vermont is actively considering a presidential run in 2016, and hopes to tap into progressive grassroots networks like this one for a potential underdog challenge to all-but-declared Democratic frontrunner Clinton.

The desire for an alternative to Clinton was clear among the 800 rank-and-file activists, labor organizers, and local elected officials here. But he’s stuck between Clinton on one hand and Warren on the other, who so far tops many progressives’ fantasy draft presidential ticket.

“Hillary Clinton doesn’t come up in our conversations as being a progressive,” said Franklin Country Democratic Party Chair Sheri Morgan, who was manning the Progressive Democrats of America booth offering “Run, Bernie, Run” swag.



One year later, has Michael Sam been frozen out of the NFL?

It was a year ago - the Sunday after Super Bowl XLVIII at 8pmET - that Michael Sam turned speculation into reality: One of college football's best players, and a top NFL prospect, was gay.

In the coming months he was showered with praise. Eric Dickerson would offer him congratulations. Michael Irvin would call him his friend. Robert Quinn welcomed him to the Rams. Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama himself, would laud him.

Yet amidst the celebration, the writing on Sam's 2014 NFL wall started three hours after his big announcement a year ago. Days earlier CBS Sports had ranked Sam their No. 90 pre-Draft prospect, projected to be selected in the third round. Simply based on the fact that Sam came out as gay - based on nothing but his sexual orientation - CBS Sports dropped him to pick No. 160 - Mid-fifth round.

In the eyes of CBS Sports, being gay in the NFL cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and put your draft stock in jeopardy. They weren't the only ones.



Clinton builds a different campaign for 2016. Will she be different, too?

No one can say what kind of candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will be once she starts actively campaigning later this year. Last summer’s book tour and later public appearances highlighted the degree to which she is both rusty as a candidate and still grappling with the message for a 2016 campaign.

There are clear indications, however, that she is determined to put together a campaign organization that is markedly different from the one she had in 2008, designed to avoid both the tactical and strategic mistakes that contributed to her undoing against Barack Obama and the debilitating infighting that plagued the inner circle of what became for a time a dysfunctional campaign.

The upper most tier of Clinton’s new team speaks to the changes between 2008 and a 2016 campaign. In John Podesta, designated as the likely chairman, Clinton has something she lacked eight years ago. Podesta is someone who can speak to her almost as a peer. He should be able to offer unvarnished and critical counsel from the perspective of someone who has been White House chief of staff in her husband’s administration and a now a top adviser to Obama. In contrast to many of the people in the upper ranks of the 2008 campaign, Podesta likely will not be timid about speaking frankly to her.

Beyond quiet advice to the candidate, there is an even more important role that Podesta could play in a Clinton 2016 campaign. Because of his stature, personality and long-standing relationship with the Clintons, he can speak authoritatively for the candidate, internally and externally. He brings order — to the extent that anyone can — to an operation that otherwise could be plagued by freelancing among the Clintons’ vast and extended network. He has the opportunity to draw clearer lines of authority and enforce the rules.

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