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Name: herb morehead
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Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
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#BlackLivesMatter disrupts Clinton rally to demand she cut ties with prison industrial complex David

#BlackLivesMatter disrupts Clinton rally to demand she cut ties with prison industrial complex
David Ferguson
David Ferguson
27 Aug 2015 at 17:06 ET



Image: #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupt a Hillary Clinton rally in Cleveland, OH (GetEQUAL)

<snip>


Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday was interrupted by #BlackLivesMatter protesters who called on the candidate to acknowledge the recent deaths of multiple trans women of color.

According to Fusion, BLM staged the protest in conjunction with the GetEQUAL campaign — a grassroots LGBT rights group — to also demand that the former Secretary of State, New York Democratic Senator and U.S. First Lady to “divest from private prisons and invest in the liberation of black transgender women.”
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Video from today’s #BlackTransLivesMatter action calling on @HillaryClinton to divest from private prisons… pic.twitter.com/yo2RqkZLFu

— GetEQUAL (@GetEQUAL) August 27, 2015

According to a press release from the two groups, “The organizers interrupted Clinton’s speech in order to name the three black trans women who have been recently murdered in the state of Ohio including Cemia Dove, a black trans woman murdered in Cleveland.”

Angela Peoples, one of the protesters — and co-director of GetEQUAL — said, “Bankrolled by private prison companies and lobbyists like Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, Hillary Clinton is part of the system of violence that criminalizes and kills Black trans people — how can we take her policy suggestions to curb mass incarceration and detention seriously while she’s accepting this money?”

As the activists disrupted her presentation, Clinton pointed to them and said, “I’ll be happy to meet with you later, but I’m going to keep talking.”

Fusion’s Jorge Rivas wrote, “At least 20 transgender women have been killed this year, 14 of them black women. In nine of those cases, Fusion found last week, charges have been filed.”

“Hillary Clinton must stand with Black people, especially Black trans women, by refusing to accept funds from or bundled by executives of or lobbyists for private prison companies — and investing the money she’s already accepted from those companies in the work toward Black trans liberation,” said GetEQUAL’s Rian Brown in a statement sent to Fusion. “Until that happens, we cannot for a moment think that Hillary believes Black Lives Matter.”

Video at article

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/08/blacklivesmatter-disrupts-clinton-rally-to-demand-she-cut-ties-with-prison-industrial-complex/

Why Surprising Numbers of Republicans Have Been Voting for Bernie Sanders in Vermont


Why Surprising Numbers of Republicans Have Been Voting for Bernie Sanders in Vermont


If ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, his GOP opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him.
By Thom Hartmann / AlterNet
August 18, 2015

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/why-surprising-numbers-republicans-have-been-voting-bernie-sanders-vermont

Ann Coulter knows who she wants to be the Democratic nominee for president, and who that person is, well, it may surprise you.

She wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, and thinks that if Bernie gets the nod, he'll beat whoever the Republicans come up with to run against him.


You won't hear me say this often, but Ann Coulter is right.

If Bernie Sanders ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, and it looks more and more every day like he will be, his Republican opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him.

And that's because of all the Democratic candidates running, Bernie Sanders has the best chance of capturing Republican votes.

I've seen how Bernie does this, up close and personal.

Despite its reputation as a place filled with liberal hippies, Vermont, like most of rural northern New England, is home to a lot of conservatives.

Anyone running for statewide office there needs to win these conservatives' votes, and Bernie is great at doing that.

Back in 2000 when Louise and I were living in Vermont, it wasn't all that uncommon to see his signs on the same lawn as signs that said "W for President."

Seriously, I'm not kidding.

And as NPR's "Morning Edition" found out last year, some of Bernie's biggest fans are in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, the poorest and most conservative part of the state.

It's people from the Northeast Kingdom who've overwhelmingly elected Bernie to almost 20 years in Congress and two straight terms as senator, and it's people like them in the rest of the country who will probably send Bernie to the White House if he gets the Democratic nomination for president.

So why is that?

Why is Bernie Sanders, a socialist, so popular with people who should hate "socialism?"

The answer is pretty simple.

While Americans disagree on social issues like gay marriage and abortion, they're actually pretty unified on the bread and butter economic issues that Bernie has made the core of his campaign.

In fact, a recent poll by the Progressive Change Institute, shows that Americans overwhelmingly agree with Bernie on key issues like education, health care and the economy.

Like Bernie, 75 percent of Americans poll support fair trade that "protects workers, the environment and jobs."

Seventy-one percent support giving all students access to a debt-free college education.

Seventy-one percent support a massive infrastructure spending program aimed at rebuilding our broken roads and bridges, and putting people back to work.

Seventy percent support expanding Social Security.

Fifty-nine percent support raising taxes on the wealthy so that millionaires pay the same amount in taxes as they did during the Reagan administration.

Fifty-eight percent support breaking up the big banks.

Fifty-five percent support a financial transaction or Robin Hood tax.

Fifty-one percent support single payer health care, and so and so on.

Pretty impressive, right?

And here's the thing - supporting Social Security, free college, breaking up the big banks, aren't "progressive" policies, they're just common sense, and 60 years ago they would have put Bernie Sanders smack dab in the mainstream of my father's Republican Party.

This is why Ann Coulter is so scared of Bernie becoming the Democratic nominee.

She knows that he speaks to the populist, small "d" democratic values that everyday Americans care about, regardless of their political affiliation.

That's the really radical part of Bernie's 2016 campaign, and what's what maybe, just maybe, might make him the 45th President of the United States.

Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America — and What We Can Do to Stop It."

Louisiana Drug Task Force Spent 11 Months to Nail Some Teens for Pot


Louisiana Drug Task Force Spent 11 Months to Nail Some Teens for Pot

Elite drug task forces are supposed to be taking out major drug dealers. But all this Louisiana squad could find was a handful of kids.
By Matt Agorist / The Free Thought Project
August 12, 2015

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/louisiana-drug-task-force-spent-eleven-months-nail-teens-pot

Terrebonne Parish, LA — The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Houma Police Department, State Police Narcotics Division and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, created an elite task force whose combined efforts over an 11-month period helped to bring down one of the country’s most dangerous criminal elements.

Or so the war on drugs would like you to believe.
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What actually took place was a huge waste of taxpayer money and law enforcement resources in an attempt to bust a group of kids who were suspected of selling a plant, which is legal in 5 states, to willing customers.

Below is a breakdown of the charges and the laughable and embarrassingly tiny amount of drugs the teens were carrying.

— Austin Ferrill, 19, two counts of marijuana distribution, two counts of principal to marijuana distribution, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was charged with obstruction of justice and a turn signal violation. Agents found .80 grams of marijuana, 10 capsules of synthetic MDMA and 11 hydrocodone pills in Ferrill’s bedroom. His bond is $205,000.

For less than a single gram of pot, 10 hits of ecstasy, and pills that are in half of the medicine cabinets across the country, this young man’s life is now ruined. There were no victims.

— Cameron Clement, 19, one count of marijuana distribution. His bond is $35,000.

No drugs were found on Clement, but as he was associated with the other teens, he was kidnapped and caged and his bond set at a ridiculously high amount.

— Jude Boudreaux, 19, one count of marijuana distribution. Agents found 20 grams of high-grade marijuana in his vehicle. His bond is $50,000.

As for Mr. Boudreaux, he had an entire 20 grams. This criminal dared to carry over a half ounce of a plant that is legal in 5 states, and for this “crime,” his bail was also set ridiculously high.

It should also be noted that officials refer to the marijuana as “high-grade” in an attempt to justify wasting tens of thousands of dollars in local taxpayer money to take it off the street. In the meantime, however, someone in Colorado can walk into their local dispensary and purchase this “high-grade” marijuana, show it to a cop outside, and face no consequences.



— Gage Fontana, 19, distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. His bond is $60,000.

Perhaps Fontana did not have enough weed for the cops to measure as the weight of his “high-grade” marijuana wasn’t listed on the arrest report. Still, his bail was set at a staggering $60K.

— Dylan Brewer, 17, principal to marijuana. He was apprehended at 3902 Southdown Mandalay Road, and his bond is $35,000.

And lastly, is Mr. Brewer who facing down a $35,000 bail for the preposterously vague charge of “principal to marijuana.”

Thanks to the brave men and women in the various associations participating in this asinine sting operation, these “drug kingpins” have been robbed of their future opportunity for selling a product to a willing customer.

Just in the past week, we’ve seen police officers vaginally rape a woman in public in search of marijuana. We’ve seen a Memphis cop killed as he tried to arrest someone for a small amount of pot. We’ve also seen a teenager shot and killed for simply driving a female friend to get some marijuana.

Enough is enough.

There is no such thing as winning this war on drugs as its entire existence is a failure. One day humanity will look back at the innocent lives ruined and taken in the state’s immoral conquest to control our bodies and wonder how the hell we didn’t stop this madness sooner.

Do You Pay a 'Prohibition Premium' for Marijuana Where You Live?


Do You Pay a 'Prohibition Premium' for Marijuana Where You Live?

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/do-you-pay-prohibition-premium-pot-prices-where-you-live-looking-americas-marijuana

There are huge variations in pot prices depending on where you live, and what the laws are.
By Phillip Smith / AlterNet
August 11, 2015

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Eldad Carin

The western US has marijuana legalization in four states—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—as well as legal medical marijuana in a number more, including California, with the most wide-open medical marijuana system of all.

The east, not so much. The nation's capital has personal legalization, otherwise, outside of a handful of tightly regulated medical marijuana states, that's about it.
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A comparison of marijuana prices courtesy of PriceofWeed.com and the Washington Post's Wonk Blog makes evident the pot prohibition premium East Coast pot smokers are paying in comparison with their West Coast brethren. The premium is essentially a "risk tax" imposed on consumers when providers in a market increase their prices to account for the possibility of being arrested for their efforts.

There are a couple of exceptions to the general rule, which we will discuss below. In the meantime, here are pot prices per ounce reported in big cities out west:

Seattle, $212
Denver, $233
San Francisco, $272
Los Angeles, $284

And on the East Coast and the Midwest:

Miami, $250
Chicago, $300
New York, $345
Washington, DC, $350

While there is some variation among cities, the average price in the western cities is $250 an ounce, while the average price for eastern and midwestern cities is $311. That's a $61-an-ounce prohibition premium for consumers east of the Mississippi, adding roughly 25% to the price of an ounce out west.

The two anomalies that immediately jump out are Miami, where prices are surprisingly low, and Washington, DC, where prices are surprisingly high, given that it legalized small-time pot possession and cultivation last year.

DC has semi-legalized, but doesn't yet allow retail marijuana commerce, unlike the legal marijuana states, or even California, with its wide-open medical marijuana system. That could partially explain high prices there. Another explanatory factor is that, while DC allows personal grows, it is an entirely urban jurisdiction, with no open spaces for large-scale cultivation. DC is not Humboldt County, and it likely has to import most of the weed it consumes. And it's importing it from places where it is either cultivated illegally or transported illegally from places where it is legal to grow.

Similarly Chicago, which has significantly lower prices than the northeastern cities, may be benefitting from relative proximity to legal pot-growing states. It's 700 miles closer to Colorado and the West Coast. When the risk of transporting pot is lessened because the route is shorter, the risk tax goes down.

As for Miami, the low prices there are a bit of a mystery. The state has a reputation as an indoor pot cultivation powerhouse, in part because South Florida's muggy climate means home air-conditioning systems run 365 days a year, making it more difficult for police to find and investigate grows based on high electricity bills. But it also has relatively harsh marijuana cultivation laws. It is a historic smuggling center for Latin American drugs, but the data here are for high-grade US weed, not mid-grade Mexican, Colombian or Jamaican, so that doesn't really explain it, either.

The Miami anomaly aside, the lesson is clear, and it ain't rocket science: In addition to all the other costs imposed by marijuana prohibition, it hits pot smokers right in the wallet.

As a society, we may not want to make marijuana too cheap from fear that people will be inclined to use it to excess. That's where things like excise or luxury taxes come into play, as they have in the western legal states. They create a price floor. If there's a $100 excise tax on an ounce of pot, it doesn't matter how cheaply you can produce it, it's still going to cost $100—plus production costs and profits.

The western states aren't taxing it that steeply, but they are effectively creating a floor on pot prices. Still, the taxed weed out west is cheaper than the untaxed weed back east. Nobody likes paying taxes, but a pot tax is still significantly less expensive for consumers than a pot prohibition premium, and the revenues go for the general good, not into the pocket of Billy the Black Market Bud Man.

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

Why BLM matters: a history racists find easy to gloss over when they say racism is dead

Sundown Towns
aka: Racial Cleansing


http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3658

Between 1890 and 1968, thousands of towns across the United States drove out their black populations or took steps to forbid African Americans from living in them. Thus were created “sundown towns,” so named because many marked their city limits with signs typically reading, “Nigger, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On You In Alix”—an Arkansas town in Franklin County that had such a sign around 1970. By 1970, when sundown towns were at their peak, more than half of all incorporated communities outside the traditional South probably excluded African Americans, including probably more than a hundred towns in the northwestern two-thirds of Arkansas. White residents of the traditional South rarely engaged in the practice; they kept African Americans down but hardly drove them out. Accordingly, no sundown town has yet been confirmed in the southeastern third of Arkansas that lies east of a line from Brightstar (Miller County) to Blytheville (Mississippi County), and only three likely suspects have emerged.

Sundown towns in Arkansas range from hamlets like Alix to larger towns like Paragould (Greene County) and Springdale (Washington County). Entire counties went sundown, such as Boone, Clay, and Polk. Some multi-county areas also kept out African Americans. In Mississippi County, for example, according to historian Michael Dougan, a red line that was originally a road surveyor’s mark defined a “dead line” beyond which African Americans might not trespass to the west. That line apparently continued northeast into the Missouri Bootheel and southwest to Lepanto (Poinsett County), delineating more than 2,000 square miles.

Although there were not towns like these prior to the Civil War, precedents existed for the exclusion of free African Americans. As early as 1843, Arkansas denied free blacks entry into the state, and in 1859, Arkansas required such persons to leave the state by January 1, 1860, or be sold into slavery. Moreover, in 1864, the loyalist Arkansas faction passed a new state constitution that abolished slavery but excluded African Americans from moving into the state. However, that constitution never went into effect, and during Reconstruction, African Americans participated politically across the state. In 1890, every county had at least six African Americans, and only one had fewer than ten.

Then, between 1890 and 1940, white residents forced African Americans to make a “Great Retreat” in Arkansas and across the North. During this “Nadir of Race Relations,” lynchings peaked, and unions drove African Americans from such occupations as railroad fireman and meat cutter. Democrat Jeff Davis ran for Arkansas governor in 1900, 1902, and 1904, and then for the U. S. Senate in 1906; his language grew more Negrophobic with each campaign. “We have come to a parting of the way with the Negro,” he shouted. “If the brutal criminals of that race…. lay unholy hands upon our fair daughters, nature is so riven and shocked that the dire compact produces a social cataclysm.” White people responded with violence. By 1930, three Arkansas counties had no African Americans at all, and another eight had fewer than ten, all in the Arkansas Ozarks. By 1960, six counties had no African Americans (Baxter, Fulton, Polk, Searcy, Sharp, and Stone), seven more had one to three, and yet another county had six. All fourteen were probably sundown counties; eight have been confirmed.

Much of this area had been Unionist during the Civil War. Until 1890, white residents had maintained fairly good relations with their small African-American populations, partly because African Americans and white non-Democrats were political allies. Then, election law changes and Democratic violence made interracial coalitions impractical. Now, it would not pay to be anything but a Democrat. Allied with this Democratic resurgence, a wave of neo-Confederate nationalism swept Arkansas: most Ozark county histories written after 1890 tell of the war exclusively from the Confederate point of view. More than ever, it was in the interest of white populations to distance themselves from African Americans. Precisely in counties where residents had been Unionists, white residents now often seemed impelled to prove themselves ultra-Confederate and manifested the most robust anti-black fervor.

Often, the expulsion of African Americans was forced. Harrison (Boone County), for example, had been a reasonably peaceful biracial town in the early 1890s.”There was never a large Negro population,” according to Boone County historian Ralph Rea, “probably never more than three or four hundred, but they had their church, their social life, and in the main there was little friction between them and the whites.” Then, in late September of 1905, a white mob stormed the jail, carried several black prisoners outside the town, whipped them, and ordered them to leave. The rioters then swept through Harrison’s black neighborhood, tying men to trees and whipping them, burning several homes, and warning all African Americans to leave that night. Most fled without any belongings. Three or four wealthy white families sheltered servants who stayed on, but in 1909, another mob tried to lynch a black prisoner. Fearing for their lives, most remaining African Americans left. Harrison remained a sundown town at least until 2002. Similarly, Mena (Polk County) had a small black population until February 20, 1901, when a mentally impaired African American badly injured a twelve-year-old white girl. A white mob then took him from jail, fractured his skull, shot him, and cut his throat. In the aftermath, Polk County’s black residents fled.

Some of these riots, in turn, spurred whites in nearby smaller towns to hold their own, thus provoking little waves of expulsions. The Boone County events probably led to ejections from neighboring counties. In the early 1920s, William Pickens saw sundown signs across the Ozarks. By 1930, the region’s total black population had shrunk to half its pre-Civil War total.

Sundown towns often allowed one or two African Americans to remain, even while posting signs warning others not to stay the night. In Harrison, for example, James Wilson met the 1909 mob at his door with a shotgun and protected his house servant, Alecta Smith. Later, she insisted that her name was Alecta Caledonia Melvina Smith, but she also let white people call her “Aunt Vine,” which played along with the inferior status connoted by “uncle” and “auntie” as applied to older African Americans and helped her survive in an otherwise all-white community. Several Arkansas counties and towns show a slowly diminishing number of African Americans between 1890 and 1940 because they did not allow new black people in, and those who remained gradually died or left.

Sundown towns have shown astonishing tenacity. In the early 1900s, for example, pioneering archaeologist Clarence Moore “dared not proceed beyond Lepanto” on the Little River, for fear of endangering his black crew members. Dan and Phyllis Morse note that “race relations remain strained in that region,” a polite way of saying that African Americans still do not and perhaps cannot live safely in that area a century later. Sundown towns have achieved this stability by a variety of means. Some townspeople painted black mules on barns or rock outcrops, signaling to all that no “black ass” was allowed to spend the night. In Mena, African Americans did not even have to stop to get in trouble. Shirley Manning, a high school student there in 1960–61, describes the scene: “The local boys would threaten with words and knives Negroes who would come through town, and follow them to the outskirts of town shouting ‘better not let the sun set on your black ass in Mena, Arkansas,’ and they often ‘bumped’ the car with their bumper from behind. I was along in a car which did this, once, and saw it done more than once.”

An undated newspaper clipping from Rogers (Benton County), probably between 1910 and 1920, tells of the terror that African Americans might encounter in sundown towns even during the day. A Bentonville (Benton County) contractor was building a brick building in Rogers and brought with him a black hod carrier: “A group of young men were gathered in the Blue saloon when the Negro entered, probably looking for his employer. The group seized the Negro and began telling what they were going to do with him.” They threatened to drop him in an old well in the rear of the construction site after they had hanged him, “but others objected on the ground that the odor from the ones already planted there was becoming objectionable to the neighborhood.” Eventually, they let “the trembling Negro” slip, “and in a matter of seconds, he was just a blur on the horizon.” The incident was meant to be funny, for had the men been serious, they could easily have apprehended the runaway, yet was not entirely in jest, for it accomplished the man’s unemployment, surely one of its aims.

Economic boycott has kept many African Americans out of sundown towns. As motel owner Nick Khan said about Paragould in 2002, “If black people come in, they will find that they’re not welcome here. No one will hire them.” Whites who might defy the ban face reprisals. In 1969, a choir from Southern Baptist College performed in Harrison. One choir member was black, and a couple put her up for the night, “but we worried lest our house get blown up,” remembered the wife. Despite being warned not to, Khan hired an African American to work at his motel in 1982; his transient clientele gave him a form of economic independence.

Sundown towns continued to form in Arkansas as late as 1954, when white residents of Sheridan (Grant County) rid themselves of their black neighbors in response to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The owner of the local sawmill and the sawmill workers’ homes was principally responsible. He made his African-American employees an extraordinary offer: he would give them their homes and move them to Malvern (Hot Spring County), twenty-five miles west, at no cost to them. If a family refused to move, he would evict them and burn down their home. Unsurprisingly, African Americans “chose” to leave. The few other African Americans in Sheridan—preachers, independent business operators—suddenly found themselves without a clientele. They left, too. Afterward, Sheridan developed a reputation for aggressively anti-black behavior. Some smaller communities in Arkansas may also have gotten rid of their African Americans after Brown.

Hate groups have long been drawn to sundown towns. Harrison developed a large Ku Klux Klan (KKK) chapter that targeted striking railroad workers in the 1920s, hanging one from a railroad bridge in 1923 and escorting the rest to the Missouri line. KKK leaders still live in the Harrison area. Gerald L. K. Smith, a radio evangelist and leading anti-Semite in the 1930s and 1940s, moved his headquarters to Eureka Springs (Carroll County) partly because it was an all-white town.

Historian Patrick Huber calls the expulsions by which Ozark communities became sundown towns “defining events in the history of their communities.” Nevertheless, despite that importance, or rather because of it, most sundown towns have kept hidden the means by which they became and stayed white. Sociologist Gordon Morgan, trying in 1973 to uncover the history of African Americans in the Ozarks, wrote, “Some white towns have deliberately destroyed reminders of the blacks who lived there years ago.” To this day, other than by oral history, sundown towns are hard to research, because communities took pains to ensure that nothing about their policy was written. The Rogers Historical Museum has done an exemplary job of preserving an example of this suppression. In 1962, the Rogers Daily News upset the local Chamber of Commerce by using the following language in a front-page editorial lauding a successful Fats Domino concert: “The city which once had signs posted at the city limits and at the bus and rail terminals boasting ‘Nigger, You Better Not Let the Sun Set On You in Rogers,’ was hosting its first top name entertainer—a Negro—at night!” The chamber called the newspaper editor to task and asked its public relations committee to “keep a close watch on future news reporting and take any appropriate action should further detriment to the City of Rogers be detected.”

Some Arkansas towns have long used their racial composition as a selling point to entice new residents. Mena advertised what it had—“Cool Summers, Mild Winters”—and did not have —“No Blizzards, No Negroes.” In its 1907 Guide and Directory, Rogers competed by bragging about its “seven churches, two public schools, one Academy, one sanitorium” and noted, “Rogers has no Negroes or saloons.” Not to be outdone, nearby Siloam Springs (Benton County) claimed “Healing Waters, Beautiful Parks, Many Springs, Public Library,” alongside “No Malaria, No Mosquitoes, and No Negroes.” The pitch worked: a 1972 survey of Mountain Home (Baxter County) residents found many retirees from Northern cities who chose Mountain Home partly because it was all-white. A reporter in Mena wrote in 1980, “It is not an uncommon experience in Polk County to hear a newcomer remark that he chose to move here because of ‘low taxes and no niggers.’”

For fifteen years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, motels and restaurants in some sundown towns continued to exclude African Americans. Today, public accommodations are generally open. More than half of all Arkansas sundown towns have given up their exclusionary residential policies, mostly after 1990. Of fourteen suspected sundown counties in 1960, eight showed at least three African American households in the 2000 census. Additional “white” households now include “black” children, especially interracial offspring of white mothers from the community and black partners from elsewhere. The public schools of Sheridan desegregated around 1992, when students from two small nearby biracial communities were included in the new consolidated high school. In about 1995, a black family moved into Sheridan, and before the decade ended, it was joined by three more—slow progress, but progress nevertheless.

Some towns still merit the term, however. Smokey Crabtree, longtime resident of Fouke (Miller County), wrote in 2001:

As far back as the late twenties colored people weren’t welcome in Fouke, Arkansas to live, or to work in town. The city put up an almost life sized chalk statue of a colored man at the city limit line, he had an iron bar in one hand and was pointing out of town with the other hand. The city kept the statue painted and dressed, really taking good care of it. Back in those days colored people were run out of Fouke, one was even hung from a large oak tree…. As of this date there are no colored people living within miles of Fouke, so the attention getter, the means to shake the little town up isn’t “the Russians are coming,” it’s someone is importing colored people into town.

Sundown reputations persist. “Never walk in Greenwood or you will die,” a black Arkansas college student said in 2002. The 2000 census showed two African-American households in Greenwood (Sebastian County), however, so his information may be out of date. But such reputations can be self-maintaining.

Weed safer than heroin, the DEA says. Who already knew? Everybody. Weed also safer than the DEA

Weed safer than heroin, the DEA says. Who already knew? Everybody. Weed also safer than the DEA

by
Meteor Blades
Follow

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/08/1410019/-Weed-safer-than-heroin-the-DEA-says-Who-already-knew-Everybody-Weed-also-safer-than-the-DEA

marijuana
Not as bad as heroin. Not as bad as the DEA.

Wonders never cease:

It’s finally happened – the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has admitted that marijuana is “clearly” safer than heroin. Though this isn’t news to science, it represents a small but significant shift in the DEA who had previously refused to acknowledge that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin.

The science has been clear on the matter for a while. Not only is marijuana safer than heroin, but drug experts broadly agree that it’s also safer than alcohol. Yet, both drugs continue to be Schedule I controlled substances. According to the DEA, marijuana and heroin “have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”

The DEA’s acknowledgment follows a recent study released earlier this week that has challenged previous research linking teenage marijuana use with physical and mental health issues. Research on marijuana has been widely conflicted for the last few decades due to different methodologies and various factors that are difficult to control for.

The DEA's budget soared from $75 million in 1973 to $3 billion in 2014.

Throughout its lifespan, the DEA has killed innocent people, including teenagers. Corrupt agents have made millions, on occasion stealing bundles of cash during drug busts. The list of DEA violence and corruption goes on and on.

The agency also has spent years rejecting the scientific evidence that marijuana should be taken off the Schedule I list of proscribed substances. Which has meant millions of people—that's not hyperbole—have had their lives ruined by being jailed or imprisoned or otherwise sanctioned for possession or sale of the weed. Student loans and other government aid continues to be denied for people convicted of marijuana-related crimes.

So, hip, hip, hurray that after more than four decades of reckless, murderous, ruinous policies backed up by lies of commission and omission, a tiny bit of sanity has appeared at DEA HQ.

Perhaps we'll see some sanity appear elsewhere in the federal government soon and this corrupt and obsolete agency will be dismantled and Americans whose lives have been upended from sentencing for drug crimes that shouldn't be crimes will have their terms commuted and the stigma of criminality expunged from their records.

But I won't be making any wagers on such an outcome.

Hillary Clinton Is Running Away from Her Free Trade Record


Hillary Clinton Is Running Away from Her Free Trade Record
She is betting that few voters will notice the gap between her rhetoric and her own record.
By David Sirota / AlterNet
August 6, 2015


In her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has lately promoted herself as a populist defender of the middle class. To that end, she attempted to distance herself last week from a controversial 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would set the rules of commerce for roughly 40 percent of the world's economy.

As with similar business-backed trade pacts, labor unions, environmental groups and public health organizations are warning that the deal could result in job losses, reduced environmental standards, higher prices for medicine and more power for corporations looking to overturn public interest laws. And so, in her quest for Democratic primary votes, Clinton is suddenly trying to cast herself as a critic of the initiative.

"I did not work on TPP," she said after a meeting with leaders of labor unions who oppose the pact. "I advocated for a multinational trade agreement that would 'be the gold standard.' But that was the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative."

The trouble, of course, is that Clinton's declaration does not square with the facts.

CNN has reported that during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, Clinton publicly promoted the pact 45 separate times. At a congressional hearing in 2011, Clinton told lawmakers that "with respect to the TPP, although the State Department does not have the lead on this -- it is the United States Trade Representative -- we work closely with the USTR." Additionally, secret State Department cables published by the website WikiLeaks show that her agency -- including her top aides -- were deeply involved in the diplomatic deliberations over the trade deal.

In a series of cables in late 2009 and 2010, State Department officials outlined their extensive discussions about the pact with government officials from New Zealand. At one point, State Department officials in that country requested an additional employee to specifically "allow the Economics Officer to focus on preparations for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations."

Similarly, a September 2009 cable detailed Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, specifically discussing the TPP with Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister. In a November 2009 cable, the U.S. embassy in Tokyo detailed TPP discussions between Japanese government officials and Robert Hormats, a former Goldman Sachs executive who was then serving as Clinton's undersecretary of state. In a December 2009 cable, State Department officials in Hanoi reported that the U.S. Ambassador "hosted a dinner on December 21 for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement country representatives." The cable thanked the Clinton-run State Department for providing "regular updates" that "have been key to helping us answer the many TPP-related inquiries we receive."

Meanwhile, in a January 2010 cable, State Department embassy officials in Kuala Lumpur advised Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on strategies to negotiate the TPP with the Malaysian government.

The involvement of the Clinton-led State Department in the TPP is hardly surprising: In June, CBS News reported that "a senior administration official told CBS News Correspondent Julianna Goldman that Clinton was one of the biggest backers of TPP." In a Bloomberg News interview that same month, President Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice disputed the idea that Clinton was not involved in the TPP.

"She was integrally involved in all of the major initiatives of the first term of the administration," said Rice, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations when Clinton was Secretary of State. "She was instrumental in formulating and implementing the rebalance to Asia, of which the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a part."

Considering all the evidence, Clinton nonetheless pretending she had nothing to do with TPP is clearly a strategic calculation: She is betting that few voters will notice the gap between her rhetoric and her own record. It is certainly a cynical tactic. Time will tell if it is a politically shrewd one.
David Sirota is a best-selling author of the new book "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now." He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com.

Hillary Clinton Says She Didn’t Work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Hillary Clinton Says She Didn’t Work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Reposted because it was originally posted in wrong place.

By David Sirota


In her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has lately promoted herself as a populist defender of the middle class. To that end, she attempted to distance herself last week from a controversial 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would set the rules of commerce for roughly 40 percent of the world’s economy.


As with similar business-backed trade pacts, labor unions, environmental groups and public health organizations are warning that the deal could result in job losses, reduced environmental standards, higher prices for medicine and more power for corporations looking to overturn public interest laws. And so, in her quest for Democratic primary votes, Clinton is suddenly trying to cast herself as a critic of the initiative.


“I did not work on TPP,” she said after a meeting with leaders of labor unions who oppose the pact. “I advocated for a multinational trade agreement that would ‘be the gold standard.’ But that was the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative.”

The trouble, of course, is that Clinton’s declaration does not square with the facts.

CNN has reported that during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, Clinton publicly promoted the pact 45 separate times. At a congressional hearing in 2011, Clinton told lawmakers that “with respect to the TPP, although the State Department does not have the lead on this—it is the United States Trade Representative—we work closely with the USTR.” Additionally, secret State Department cables published by the website WikiLeaks show that her agency—including her top aides—were deeply involved in the diplomatic deliberations over the trade deal.

In a series of cables in late 2009 and 2010, State Department officials outlined their extensive discussions about the pact with government officials from New Zealand. At one point, State Department officials in that country requested an additional employee to specifically “allow the Economics Officer to focus on preparations for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations.”

Similarly, a September 2009 cable detailed Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, specifically discussing the TPP with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister. In a November 2009 cable, the U.S. embassy in Tokyo detailed TPP discussions between Japanese government officials and Robert Hormats, a former Goldman Sachs executive who was then serving as Clinton’s undersecretary of state. In a December 2009 cable, State Department officials in Hanoi reported that the U.S. Ambassador “hosted a dinner on December 21 for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement country representatives.” The cable thanked the Clinton-run State Department for providing “regular updates” that “have been key to helping us answer the many TPP-related inquiries we receive.”

Meanwhile, in a January 2010 cable, State Department embassy officials in Kuala Lumpur advised Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on strategies to negotiate the TPP with the Malaysian government.

The involvement of the Clinton-led State Department in the TPP is hardly surprising: In June, CBS News reported that “a senior administration official told CBS News Correspondent Julianna Goldman that Clinton was one of the biggest backers of TPP.” In a Bloomberg News interview that same month, President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice disputed the idea that Clinton was not involved in the TPP.

“She was integrally involved in all of the major initiatives of the first term of the administration,” said Rice, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations when Clinton was Secretary of State. “She was instrumental in formulating and implementing the rebalance to Asia, of which the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a part.”

Considering all the evidence, Clinton nonetheless pretending she had nothing to do with TPP is clearly a strategic calculation: She is betting that few voters will notice the gap between her rhetoric and her own record. It is certainly a cynical tactic. Time will tell if it is a politically shrewd one.

David Sirota is a senior writer at the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books “Hostile Takeover,” “The Uprising” and “Back to Our Future.” Email him at ds@davidsirota.com, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com.

© 2015 CREATORS.COM


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_says_she_did_not_work_on_the_trans-pacific_partnership_2015
Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 10:09 AM (2 replies)

Hillary Clinton Says She Didn’t Work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Hillary Clinton Says She Didn’t Work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Posted on Aug 7, 2015

By David Sirota


In her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has lately promoted herself as a populist defender of the middle class. To that end, she attempted to distance herself last week from a controversial 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would set the rules of commerce for roughly 40 percent of the world’s economy.


As with similar business-backed trade pacts, labor unions, environmental groups and public health organizations are warning that the deal could result in job losses, reduced environmental standards, higher prices for medicine and more power for corporations looking to overturn public interest laws. And so, in her quest for Democratic primary votes, Clinton is suddenly trying to cast herself as a critic of the initiative.


“I did not work on TPP,” she said after a meeting with leaders of labor unions who oppose the pact. “I advocated for a multinational trade agreement that would ‘be the gold standard.’ But that was the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative.”

The trouble, of course, is that Clinton’s declaration does not square with the facts.

CNN has reported that during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, Clinton publicly promoted the pact 45 separate times. At a congressional hearing in 2011, Clinton told lawmakers that “with respect to the TPP, although the State Department does not have the lead on this—it is the United States Trade Representative—we work closely with the USTR.” Additionally, secret State Department cables published by the website WikiLeaks show that her agency—including her top aides—were deeply involved in the diplomatic deliberations over the trade deal.

In a series of cables in late 2009 and 2010, State Department officials outlined their extensive discussions about the pact with government officials from New Zealand. At one point, State Department officials in that country requested an additional employee to specifically “allow the Economics Officer to focus on preparations for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations.”

Similarly, a September 2009 cable detailed Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, specifically discussing the TPP with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister. In a November 2009 cable, the U.S. embassy in Tokyo detailed TPP discussions between Japanese government officials and Robert Hormats, a former Goldman Sachs executive who was then serving as Clinton’s undersecretary of state. In a December 2009 cable, State Department officials in Hanoi reported that the U.S. Ambassador “hosted a dinner on December 21 for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement country representatives.” The cable thanked the Clinton-run State Department for providing “regular updates” that “have been key to helping us answer the many TPP-related inquiries we receive.”

Meanwhile, in a January 2010 cable, State Department embassy officials in Kuala Lumpur advised Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on strategies to negotiate the TPP with the Malaysian government.

The involvement of the Clinton-led State Department in the TPP is hardly surprising: In June, CBS News reported that “a senior administration official told CBS News Correspondent Julianna Goldman that Clinton was one of the biggest backers of TPP.” In a Bloomberg News interview that same month, President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice disputed the idea that Clinton was not involved in the TPP.

“She was integrally involved in all of the major initiatives of the first term of the administration,” said Rice, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations when Clinton was Secretary of State. “She was instrumental in formulating and implementing the rebalance to Asia, of which the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a part.”

Considering all the evidence, Clinton nonetheless pretending she had nothing to do with TPP is clearly a strategic calculation: She is betting that few voters will notice the gap between her rhetoric and her own record. It is certainly a cynical tactic. Time will tell if it is a politically shrewd one.

David Sirota is a senior writer at the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books “Hostile Takeover,” “The Uprising” and “Back to Our Future.” Email him at ds@davidsirota.com, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com.

© 2015 CREATORS.COM


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_says_she_did_not_work_on_the_trans-pacific_partnership_2015

Why Israel’s Security Experts Support the Iran Deal—and Iran’s Hard-Liners Don’t

Why Israel’s Security Experts Support the Iran Deal—and Iran’s Hard-Liners Don’t
Posted on Aug 7, 2015

By Joe Conason

<snip>

As Congressional Republicans seek to undermine the nuclear agreement between Iran and the international powers, they assert that hardline Islamists in the Islamic Republic are delighted with the deal while Israelis concerned over their country’s security are appalled. The same theme is now repeated constantly on Fox News Channel and throughout right-wing media.

But that message is largely false—and in very important respects, the opposite is true.

<snip>

Indeed, while vast throngs of Iranians greeted their government’s negotiators in a joyous welcome, the fanatical reactionaries in the Revolutionary Guard and the paramilitary Basij movement—which have violently repressed democratic currents in Iran—could barely control their outrage. Upon reading the terms, a Basij spokesman said last month, “We quickly realized that what we feared ... had become a reality. If Iran agrees with this, our nuclear industry will be handcuffed for many years to come.”


Hoping and perhaps praying for a veto by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, their supreme leader, the Basijis, the right-wing media in Tehran, and their regime sponsors pointed to “red lines” that the agreement allegedly crossed.

“We will never accept it,” said Mohammed Ali Jafari, a high-ranking Revolutionary Guard commander.

Such shrill expressions of frustration should encourage everyone who understands the agreement’s real value. Iran’s “Death to America, Death to Israel” cohort hates this deal—not only because of its highly restrictive provisions, but because over the long term, it strengthens their democratic opponents and threatens their corrupt control of Iranian society.

In Israel, meanwhile, the alarmist criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—a sage whose confident predictions about Iran, Iraq, and almost everything else are reliably, totally wrong—has obscured support from actual military and intelligence leaders. Like experts in this country and around the world, the best-informed Israelis understand the deal’s imperfections very well—and support it nevertheless.

“There are no ideal agreements,” declared Ami Ayalon, a military veteran who headed the Israeli Navy and later oversaw the Jewish state’s security service, the Shin Bet. But as Ayalon explained to J.J. Goldberg of the Forward, this agreement is “the best possible alternative from Israel’s point of view, given the other available alternatives”—including the most likely alternative which is, as Obama explained, another extremely dangerous Mideast war.

Efraim Halevy, who formerly ran the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, and later headed its National Security Council, concurs with Ayalon (and Obama). Writing in Yedioth Aharonoth, the national daily published in Tel Aviv, Halevy points out a profound contradiction in Netanyahu’s blustering complaints. Having warned that an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose a unique existential threat to Israel, how can Bibi logically reject the agreement that forestalls any bomb development for at least 15 years and increases the “breakout time” from one month to a year—even if Iran ultimately violates its commitments?

Such a deal is far preferable to no deal, the ex-Mossad chief insists, although it won’t necessarily dissuade Tehran from making trouble elsewhere. Halevy also emphasizes that no mythical “better” deal would ever win support from Russia and China, Iran’s main weapons suppliers, whose leaders have endorsed this agreement.

In short, both of these top former officials believe the agreement with Iran will enhance their nation’s security—and contrary to what Fox News Channel’s sages might claim, they represent mainstream opinion in Israel’s military and intelligence circles.

So perhaps we can safely discount the partisan demagogues and feckless opportunists who claim to be protecting the Jewish state from Barack Obama. And when someone like Mike Huckabee—who memorably escaped military service because of his “flat feet”—denounces the president for “marching Israelis to the oven door,” let’s remember the sane and serious response of Israel’s most experienced defenders.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_israels_security_experts_support_the_iran_deal_-_and_irans_hardliners_d
Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 08:07 AM (0 replies)
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