Author Archive | DeepCough

Netherlands Judge Backs Cannabis Cafe Ban For Foreign Tourists

Cannabis CafeVia BBC News:

A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes.

While soft drugs are tolerated, there is growing concern at tourists visiting just for drugs, and foreign dealers selling illegally at home.

The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

A group of cafe owners argued at The Hague district court that the ban was discriminatory against foreigners. Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new “weed pass”, which is also being debated. There are about 700 coffee shops, as they are called, in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised, although not legal; police generally tolerate possession of up to five grams of cannabis.

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Did A Secret Music Industry Meeting Invent “Gangsta Rap” Music?

NWA Straight Outta ComptonIf you believe that the CIA pushed crack cocaine into poor black neighborhoods in the inner cities, then you might wanna take a look at this. Ivan posts on Hip Hop Is Read:

This anonymous letter landed in my inbox about a minute ago:

Hello,

After more than 20 years, I’ve finally decided to tell the world what I witnessed in 1991, which I believe was one of the biggest turning point in popular music, and ultimately American society. I have struggled for a long time weighing the pros and cons of making this story public as I was reluctant to implicate the individuals who were present that day. So I’ve simply decided to leave out names and all the details that may risk my personal well being and that of those who were, like me, dragged into something they weren’t ready for.

Between the late 80′s and early 90’s, I was what you may call a “decision maker” with one of the more established company in the music industry.

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President Obama’s Top Official (In Charge of Drug Control Policy) Conflates Hemp with Marijuana

Gil KerlikowskeOnce again, Gil Kerlikowske makes it a point to fulfill his job description as head propagandist of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Reports Stephen C. Webster on the RAW Story:

In a recent response to a White House petition, President Barack Obama’s drug czar warned of danger in the domestic production of industrial hemp, drawing a stunned reaction from the petition’s author, who told Raw Story on Wednesday that it was “like getting hit in the head with a hammer.”

The claim by former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, his second response to a marijuana-related White House petition, is not surprising as it reflects current U.S. policy toward marijuana. It is, however, simply not true that THC in hemp poses any sort of potential for abuse, as it is impossible to become “high” from ingesting the plant.

“America’s farmers deserve our Nation’s help and support to ensure rural America’s prosperity and vitality,” he wrote.

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Ways The Government Tracks You

EyeSpyJust because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you… Bill Quigley writes on Counterpunch:

Privacy is eroding fast as technology offers government increasing ways to track and spy on citizens. The Washington Post reported there are 3,984 federal, state and local organizations working on domestic counterterrorism. Most collect information on people in the US. Here are thirteen examples of how some of the biggest government agencies and programs track people.

One. The National Security Agency (NSA) collects hundreds of millions of emails, texts and phone calls every day and has the ability to collect and sift through billions more. Wired just reported NSA is building an immense new data center which will intercept, analyze and store even more electronic communications from satellites and cables across the nation and the world. Though NSA is not supposed to focus on US citizens, it does.

Two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Security Branch Analysis Center (NSAC) has more than 1.5 billion government and private sector records about US citizens collected from commercial databases, government information, and criminal probes.

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Netflix Super PAC Supports SOPA

NetflixSo you thought that $8 a month was a sweet deal? Well, guess what else comes with it. Stephen C. Webster reports on RAW Story:

Video streaming giant Netflix has recognized the compelling financial logic behind Washington’s anti-piracy efforts.

In a recent filing with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), Netflix revealed that it has created its own political action committee called FLIXPAC, designed to support anti-piracy measures in Washington and the candidates that favor them.

The FEC filing, made April 5, was first spotted by Politico. The company has seen its spending on federal lobbying ramp up in recent years, going from approximately $20,000 in 2009 to half a million in 2011, amid heated debates in Washington over restrictions on Americans’ Internet use.

Those restrictions, represented most clearly in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), were initially supported by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who reportedly sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce expressing solidarity with that bill’s ultimate goals.

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FBI: “We’re Not Winning” Against Hackers

FBIDevlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: “We’re not winning,” he said.

Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.

His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks …

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