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In November’s gubernatorial election in New York State, Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones are running against Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, who won his party’s primary. Hawkins and Jones are seeking to become the next governor and lieutenant governor respectively.
They’re hardly your typical politicians. Hawkins works at UPS in Albany, unloading trucks, and is a member of the Teamster’s union, while Jones is a teacher who taught for nine years in the New York City public school system.
Hawkins and Jones understand that winning is a long shot, to say the least. A recent NBC 4 New York poll showed Hawkins getting just seven percent of the vote. Still, taking a longer view, siphoning away a proportion of the main parties’ voters can be a way to get them to shift their policies in your direction. And the Greens have long argued that building an alternative to the two-party system is crucial because Republicans and Democrats represent the interests of their wealthy corporate donors.
Tag Archives | War On Drugs
Mark Ames digs in the crates of CIA scandal and comes up with Nicholas Deak, writing for Pando:
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With the release of the new Gary Webb film “Kill The Messenger” and the sudden renewed interest in what goes on in that dark underbelly of the US Empire — drug running, money laundering, death squads, assassinations of lives and of reputations — I’m reminded of the incredible life and death of Nicholas Deak, the CIA’s Cold War banker hailed in Time magazine as “the James Bond of the world of money” until the mid-1980s, when his global finance empire was destroyed by Reagan Administration accusations of large-scale Latin American drug money laundering.
The Reagan Commission on Organized Crime spent much of 1984 attacking Deak’s global foreign exchange firm, Deak-Perera. By the end of the year, Deak was forced to appear before the commission in a testy public interrogation; his financial empire collapsed within days.
[disinfo ed.’s note: excerpted from DRUGS UNLIMITED: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books.]
It is mainly the young who are suffering the consequences of society’s inability to update our drug laws effectively for the modern age. Almost one third of young people are searching for ways of getting legally high, according to the latest survey commissioned by the Angelus Foundation, a campaign group founded in 2009 by Maryon Stewart, whose twenty-one-year-old daughter Hester, a gifted medical student and keen athlete, died after taking GBL in 2009. (Gamma-butyrolactone, a paint stripper and industrial cleaner, can be used as an intoxicant and is poplar on the club scene. It is active at 1 ml, and causes euphoria and disinhibition, but overdoses, where users fall into a coma-like state, are commonplace since it is so potent.… Read the rest
Gary Webb is posthumously achieving recognition for his “Dark Alliance” investigative report of the CIA’s involvement in the importation of cocaine to finance its illegal involvement in backing the Contras in Nicaragua. There’s a movie coming out portraying Webb and now The Intercept reveals the CIA’s admission that it was closely watching Webb’s activities and eventual death:
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Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.
The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.
“The war on drugs was always a war against an idea. But ideas have a shelf-life, too, and this one has lost its potency,” writes Mike Jay at Aeon:
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When the US President Richard Nixon announced his ‘war on drugs’ in 1971, there was no need to define the enemy. He meant, as everybody knew, the type of stuff you couldn’t buy in a drugstore. Drugs were trafficked exclusively on ‘the street’, within a subculture that was immediately identifiable (and never going to vote for Nixon anyway). His declaration of war was for the benefit the majority of voters who saw these drugs, and the people who used them, as a threat to their way of life. If any further clarification was needed, the drugs Nixon had in his sights were the kind that was illegal.
Abby Martin and Manuel Rapalo go over a few of the most insane ways cartels are smuggling drugs into the US, including catapults, submarines, and even drones!
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The RAND Corporation has prepared a facts and figures filled report for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) entitled “What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs: 2000-2010.” Make of it what you will (RAND and ONDCP aren’t exactly the most trusted institutions), but there’s plenty of interesting and thought-provoking information. You can find a PDF with the entire report here; this excerpt is from the executive summary:
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A sense of scale is a prerequisite to thinking sensibly about illicit drug markets. For example, knowing whether a country consumes tens, hundreds, or thousands of metric tons (MTs) of a prohibited substance is critical for understanding the impact of a three-MT seizure at a border crossing. But decisionmakers need more than a sense of scale; they also need figures with enough precision to be able to determine whether the markets have become larger or smaller over time.
Abby Martin comments on the death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and calls attention to the recent deadly spate of heroin deaths, the need to decriminalize all drugs as well as the War on Drugs is failing America’s addicts.
The following lecture by Sanho Tree and panel discussion with Dr. Dominic Corva and Dr. Sunil Aggarwal predates the legalization of cannabis in Washington State and Colorado and Uruguay becoming the first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of cannabis, but it is well worth the watch and covers many of the devastating aspects of America’s War on Drugs. It includes an excellent summary of Plan Colombia, Mexico’s militarization of the war on drugs, benefits of certain ‘drugs’, and much more. The lecture ends at about the 40-minute mark with 20 minutes dedicated to comments by the other Panelists.
Pirate Television: Sanho Tree – Addicted to Failure
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In my syndicated newspaper column this week, I follow up my recent Pando report about marijuana legalization by firing up the flux capacitor and taking readers back to the front lines of the drug war circa 2006. It is worth taking a moment to go a little deeper in this space, because there is a key “you gotta see/hear it to believe it” revelation that doesn’t fully translate in a written recounting of that era.
Back then, in a precursor of what was to come under President Barack “Choom Gang” Obama, President George W. Bush was intensifying the federal government’s specific crusade against marijuana, a drug Dubya had suggested he personally used. Yet, in their eagerness to demonize cannabis and make it seem uncool, Bush and the hard-core prohibitionists in his drug czar’s office accidentally admitted that marijuana isn’t all that dangerous.