Archive for Free Speech

Daniel Ellsberg: Edward Snowden, Saving Us From the United Stasi of America

(Daniel Ellsberg, Alternet.org, June 10, 2013)
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In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material [3] – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago [4]. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution. . . . Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended. . . . The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requestsAs Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it [5]: “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp.” . . . For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know. . » Continue reading “Daniel Ellsberg: Edward Snowden, Saving Us From the United Stasi of America”

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Ethan Nadelmann: The Real Drug Czar

The most influential man in the battle for legalization is a wonky intellectual in dad jeans

(TIM DICKINSON, Rolling Stone,
JUNE 06, 2013)

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The driving force for the legalization of marijuana in America – a frenetic, whip-smart son of a rabbi who can barely tell indica from sativa – has just entered enemy territory. Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is here in California’s crucible of conservatism, Orange County, to talk about the failure of the War on Drugs and why the government should leave pot smokers alone. As a grizzled ex-DEA agent glares at him from the audience of a lecture hall on the campus of U.C. Irvine, it’s clear that this crowd has not gathered to celebrate cannabis culture. And that’s just the way Nadelmann likes it.

Today, thanks in large part to Nadelmann’s efforts, pot is fully legal in two states and available medically in 16 others. “He is the single most influential policy entrepreneur on any domestic issue,” says John DiIulio, a longtime drug warrior and tough-on-crime academic who has recently come around to Nadelmann’s side on marijuana policy. “He wore me down,” DiIulio says. “What can I say?”

[COMMENT by Lorenzo] This is a somewhat long article, but very much worth the time to read. Here are some of the topics that are covered:
Too High to Fail: Inside Denver’s weed boom
Conservatives Push Marijuana Reform in Congress
The Top 10 Marijuana Myths and Facts

Also, you can listen to a talk given by Ethan Nadelmann in my Podcast 208 – “It’s Time To End The War on Drugs”

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“Confessions of an Ecstasy Advocate”

“Confessions of an Ecstasy Advocate”, a short documentary that premiered at the recent MAPS Psychedelic Science 2013 conference, is now available for free viewing online, thanks to the producers and the support of The Starck Project. Long considered “ground zero” of MDMA hitting the street, the heartbeat of the Dallas scene was the world famous Starck Club. But there was also a lot of X that was sold on the street, and this is the story of how I got involved in this fascinating scene.

Confessions of an Ecstasy Advocate from George Wada on Vimeo.

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Don’t ever speak to the FBI without a tape recorder running and a lawyer present

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Richard Dawkins: “Indoctrination of religion” is “child abuse”

(David Edwards, RawStory.com, April 22, 2013)
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Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Sunday told a British literary festival that parents who forced their children to believe that religion was a fact were guilty of “child abuse.” . . . Speaking about his family-friendly book The Magic of Reality at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, the University of Oxford professor warned against the “indoctrination of children,” according to The Daily Mail. . . . “What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That’s child abuse.” . . . The author of The God Delusion recommended that children be taught religion in the same way that they are taught literature. . . . “There is a value in teaching children about religion. You cannot really appreciate a lot of literature without knowing about religion. But we must not indoctrinate our children,” he said. . . . In an interview with Al Jazeera late last year, Dawkins had said that being raised as a Catholic was similar to sexual abuse. . . .  » Continue reading “Richard Dawkins: “Indoctrination of religion” is “child abuse””

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Occupy’s Not Dead, It Was on Vacation . . . Year 2 Begins

(CounterPunch, VIJAY PRASHAD, September 17, 2012)
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A mid-September sunny day in New York City draws those with the day off to go to the parks and laze along the avenues, walking by the workers on call, cleaning up after tourists, holding together a city that always seems held together by the sweat of its massive workforce and a dose of city pride. Beneath the massive Washington Arch, a woman in a wheelchair, beside other men and women in wheelchairs and other prosthetic devices, holds a sign that says, “Occupy Wheelchairs.” The Occupy Wall Street Disability Caucus is holding an assembly to proclaim its presence at Occupy, Year 2. . . . Behind their wheelchairs, on the Arch, is a sculpture of Wisdom (made by Stirling Calder, the father of Alexander Calder), whose hand holds a book with Ovid’s quip, Exitus Acta Probat, which can be loosely translated as “all’s well that ends well.” It is a good hopeful slogan for the Occupy festival in anticipation of S17 (September 17), the day OWS returns to the canyons of Wall Street to shut down Money. . . . A man tells his three-year-old child, “let’s go occupy the playground.” It is the spirit of the moment. . . . The Occupy Catholics have a homemade sign: “We aren’t protesting. We’re advertising Love.” . . . A man in a police uniform holds a sign, “To understand us watch Inside Job. A film about Corporate Greed, not 9-11.” . . . » Continue reading “Occupy’s Not Dead, It Was on Vacation . . . Year 2 Begins”

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Is Revolution On The Way?

(George Lakey, Nation Of Change, 3 Aug 2012)
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I see no signs of a revolutionary situation in Norway.  Students of revolution keep an eye on the perceived legitimacy of a nation’s leadership, and Norwegians are enormously confident that their little ship in a big global sea is being steered well.  . . . The United Kingdom is a different story.  The legitimacy of the nation’s leadership is definitely in trouble.  The mass media shout the stories of the irresponsibility of the 1 percent and the politicians they corrupt.  The government is a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and is enthusiastic about enforcing austerity, running down the National Health Service and education system, forcing English university students to pay more for what used to be free education and opening new coal mines.  Homelessness is already up by an estimated twenty-five percent. . . . One way that government’s hold on to their legitimacy is to have an opposition party that holds out hope that, if it is elected, things will dramatically improve.  That used to work in the U.K., as in the U.S. . . . While students of revolution need to pay attention to trends in legitimacy, another key question is this: Can the present leadership solve the biggest problems facing society? . . . Arguably the biggest problem is climate change.  While the British 1 percent is allowing some sensible policies, like electrifying the railways and increasing wind farms, there is no sign that it has the will really to take the necessary steps.  When you add together declining legitimacy, the inability to address climate change and the absence of a hopeful alternative within the institutional framework, you have conditions for the opening of a revolutionary situation over the next 10 years in the U.K. . . .       . . . How about the U.S.? » Continue reading “Is Revolution On The Way?”

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Occupy Movement Being Labeled As “A Domestic Terror Organization” By FBI

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Quebec Student Movement Grows with Popular Support

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Occupy SF “If you think this is over then you’re wrong”

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