War on Drugs…

360_war_drugs_0324Yesterday, on “Talk of the Nation,” Robert Kagan, of the Obama administration was asked a question about the “War on Drugs.” Basically, it was a foreign policy question but it was important because the suggestion was what is the administration going to do about controlled substance use in the U.S. and how it affects the world, mainly Latin America. Here is part of Kagan’s answer:

“I think that, you know, this is an ongoing problem. It has – it’s having particularly destructive effects in Central America where, you know, the crime is just out of sight. But I guess this is where I would start to say there are only so many things the president is going to be able to do.”

It was perhaps one of the most empty responses I have ever heard regarding the war on drugs and U.S. policy.  He is suggesting that there isn’t much the government can do. Problem with the statement is, yes there is because the “war” is a creation of the government.  The moral policy of declaring cocaine and heroin and marijuana as unacceptable and worthy of prohibitive, destruction policy, is a choice by the U.S. now for nearly 100 years. The drugs (the substances) were once legal until morality got in the way of logic.  Thus, we now have spent trillions on drug prohibition and all it has done is increased the value of the product making it something to go to war overLatin America is fighting over the drugs (the gangs and cartels) because of the black market demand we create for the drugs in the West.  Black America (parts of it) is going down the toilet because of the black market demand and criminal sentencing policy. There is, therefore, plenty the President can try to do.

One thing is to press forward on federal legalization of marijuana, and a different approach to all controlled substances. If the profit motive is removed from drugs, it is highly likely the cartels will have no incentive to go to war over the cash. It is also likely that black men, young and old, will not wind up in prison for 10 years for small amounts of dope.

Of course, there are other things that can be done but for Kagan to brush off the idea that the President of the United States cannot do something or suggest something or set policy the right way, is quite insulting to us all who see the war up close and personal right in our communities.

PHOTO: TIME MAGAZINE

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Douglass Crossing the Anacostia

 

According to Courtland Milloy, of the Washington Post, Frederick Douglass, the great abolition leader will get a statute inside the U.S. Capitol, at last.

OK, lets be real. Fred D has always had a presence in Washington D.C. He has a house in Southeast that the federal government maintains all day, everyday. They will even show you around Fred’s crib and tell you what he did.  I took the tour decades ago when the place wasn’t the beautiful monument to American history it is today.

Fred is also downtown inside the Recorder of Deeds building. He was the city’s first, as I recall (I could be wrong).

And now Fred is coming home.  He is crossing the river (his house is east of the river) to the nation’s capitol.

I got to say it is well deserved.

Lincoln…

My oldest child is going to see the film, “Lincoln” today. Films are great teaching tools along with other sources. For as you know, films are oftentimes false or they stretch the truth.  My daughter also watched, “Glory.” with her glass and they read articles on “The Civil War.” We plan to also take her to an exhibit in Washington D.C. on the war.

Vote…or…Die…or…

I think I voted for the first time in 1988. Jesse Jackson was running for the Democratic Party nomination for President and I registered Democrat to vote for him. When he didn’t get the nomination, I registered Independent. I am not sure who I voted for; once Jackson was out, the election as far as I was concerned was over.

In 1992, when everyone swooned over Bill Clinton, I voted for Ron Daniels. Daniels was the best link to the Rev. Jesse Jackson as he had worked with Jackson for years. No way could I vote for Clinton and his DLC madness. I was sure he would win because for the most part he sounded like a Republican. you

In 1996 and in 2000, Ralph Nader got my vote. In 2004, like a fool I voted for John Kerry, one of the worst candidates ever. In 2008, I pulled the lever (not really but you get my drift) for Barack Obama.

This year, I voted for Mr. Obama again. It wasn’t even close. If the Republicans had offered up a more honest candidate, it would have been worthy of some debate. But it isn’t. Mitt Romney strikes me as incredibly dishonest. I am insulted the race is even close judging by how he has changed his positions like horn player playing free jazz.

But politics isn’t free jazz. The voters deserve honesty.  We all know that politics is ruthless but Romney has re-invented himself perhaps hundreds of times. It is excruciating to listen to him talk when he changes positions.

The guy above, C.T. Vivian was beaten so we could all vote. But that also means vote smart and don’t vote for what he was fighting against back in the day. It means voting for the future and the future is not the madness we have endured from the GOP. The party has no integrity at this point. None.  A vote for them is a vote for lies. Be smart.

Bloomberg turns up the temperature on climate change…

“Our climate is changing…and while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg made that statement yesterday when he endorsed President Barack Obama. He saw up close and personal the destruction brought on by climate change. New York City and state and the state of New Jersey were smacked dizzy by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly 100 are dead, billions in damage has been sustained, and everyone is wondering when is the next one.  Climate change is here. The future is now, as George Allen, the late football coach used to say.

I think Bloomberg’s moment will one day be revolutionary. It might be as important as when Bill Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.” Or perhaps it will be like that famous declaration that the nation was post-modern when the infamous housing project, Pruitt Igoe in St Louis was torn down.

But in all seriousness, Bloomberg is a millionaire. Big business guys and gals often make fun of climate change. Some have even paid scientists to lie about it so they can keep polluting. Some perpetuate the lie that there is disagreement about global warming and climate change. There isn’t. Scientists have been studying this for decades. The lies are lies and the truth is; we are killing ourselves. We have to change course and anyone with half a brain knows it. They just don’t know how.

But it was about time a high profile politico and businessman spoke the truth. Climate change must be addressed. Michigan, where I work, is voting on a referendum to legally mandate more renewables by 2020.  Other states are taking action. You want to know how. Go to this website and check it out because God didn’t send you here to destroy the planet.

Change your Climate…

So many weird storms these days and times.  Back in the summer, Washington D.C. was hit with something called a “derecho.” It was like an extended thunderstorm. It laid waste to neighborhoods in Washington D.C. and in the surrounding area.  There have been tornadoes everywhere.  I have been delayed by a few for travel and remember waiting out one in Ohio and it whipped by the turnpike.  Now, a tropical storm in New York and New Jersey that leveled the areas.

Growing up in Washington D.C., hurricanes were always possible for us. I remember the names: Agnes. Isabel. Hugo came through as well but we got the back end of that one. But those storms were back then when things were normal. Things are not normal, people.  Read George Monbiot’s book, “Heat,” if you think they are and then think of ways you can alter your way of living. We are in climate change.  If we do not change course, there is more of this to come.

Anyone just think this is the way it is and we are doomed? I beg to differ both from a scientific standpoint and from a spiritual standpoint.  This idea that we must destroy ourselves to realize our destiny is quite insane. And this notion that no matter what nature will take its course is also challenged by empirical study.  So believers and atheists, doubters and fanatics, change your carbon footprint today and reverse this trend.  We don’t have to deliberately vaporize ourselves; I am sure of it.