‘Mexico is renowned for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world, so it might sound strange to hear that sugary drinks pose a bigger threat to life here than violent crime.
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as Coca-Cola,Gatorade and homemade drinks known as “agua fresca” kill far more people every year in Mexico than criminal gangs.
A study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts Universityestimates a staggering 24,000 Mexicans die each year from diabetes, cancer and heart disease that are linked to sugary drinks.
Compare that figure to the roughly 15,649 murders officially recorded in 2014 and it’s clear which is the biggest killer in the Latin American country.
Worldwide, the total sugary-drink death toll is estimated at 184,000, with more than 70% of deaths caused by diabetes. The researchers said this was the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages.’
‘In February 2014, Drug Enforcement Administration task force officers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport seized $11,000 in cash from 24-year-old college student Charles Clarke. They didn’t find any guns, drugs or contraband on him. But, according to an affidavit filled out by one of the agents, the task force officers reasoned that the cash was the proceeds of drug trafficking, because Clarke was traveling on a recently-purchased one-way ticket, he was unable to provide documentation for where the money came from, and his checked baggage had an odor of marijuana.
Clarke’s cash was seized under civil asset forfeiture, where cops are able to take cash and property from people who are never convicted of — and in some cases, never even charged with — a crime. The DEA maintains that asset forfeiture is an important crime-fighting tool: “By attacking the financial infrastructure of drug trafficking organizations world-wide, DEA has disrupted and dismantled major drug trafficking organizations and their supply chains, thereby improving national security and increasing the quality of life for the American public.”
But the practice has become contentious, in part because agencies are generally allowed to keep a share of the cash and property they seize. In cases like Clarke’s, where local and federal agents cooperate on a seizure, federal agencies typically keep at least 20 percent of the assets, while local cops split the remainder among themselves. Critics argue that this creates a profit motive and leads to “policing for profit.”‘
‘Financial incentives have been found as the main motivation for private prisons to maximize the lengths of inmate stays, but the results are not saving states very much money or reducing crime, according to research done by the University of Wisconsin. Anya Parampil speaks with Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a prison reform activist, about the study.’ (RT America)
- Afghan poppy farmers say new seeds will boost opium output
- Afghans’ addiction to opium ravages adults, infants
- Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State
- After 13-Year War, Afghanistan’s Opium Trade Floods the Globe
- Afghan opium crop set for record high in 2014
- Afghan Opium Production Hits All-Time High
- Next Heroinland; Or How Afghanistan Became a Narco-state
- Opium production in Afghanistan – Wikipedia
- Deep Web (Documentary)
- Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison
- Is Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s pirate king, a mobster or a martyr?
- DEA Agent Charged With Acting as a Paid Mole for Silk Road
- Why the Silk Road Trial Matters
- How the Silk Road Trial Could Chill the Internet: Interview with Ross Derrick Broze
- The Most Important Trial in America
- The government’s trial against the alleged Silk Road mastermind begins today
- The Feds Think Hacking Silk Road With No Warrant Was Perfectly Okay
- The mystery of the disappearing Silk Road murder charges
- Did The NSA Help With The Silk Road Investigation?
- Silk Road (marketplace) – Wikipedia
‘Several industries have become notorious for the millions they spend on influencing legislation and getting friendly candidates into office: Big Oil, Big Pharma and the gun lobby among them. But one has managed to quickly build influence with comparatively little scrutiny: Private prisons. The two largest for-profit prison companies in the United States – GEO and Corrections Corporation of America – and their associates have funneled more than $10 million to candidates since 1989 and have spent nearly $25 million on lobbying efforts. Meanwhile, these private companies have seen their revenue and market share soar. They now rake in a combined $3.3 billion in annual revenue and the private federal prison population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to a report by the Justice Policy Institute. Private companies house nearly half of the nation’s immigrant detainees, compared to about 25 percent a decade ago, a Huffington Post report found. In total, there are now about 130 private prisons in the country with about 157,000 beds.
Marco Rubio is one of the best examples of the private prison industry’s growing political influence, a connection that deserves far more attention now that he’s officially launched a presidential bid. The U.S. senator has a history of close ties to the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison company, GEO Group, stretching back to his days as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. While Rubio was leading the House, GEO was awarded a state government contract for a $110 million prison soon after Rubio hired an economic consultant who had been a trustee for a GEO real estate trust. Over his career, Rubio has received nearly $40,000 in campaign donations from GEO, making him the Senate’s top career recipient of contributions from the company. (Rubio’s office did not respond to requests for comment.)’
- How Prisons Have Become a Cash Cow For the Rich
- Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota
- The ‘cannibalizing’ of Florida’s prison system
- Modern Day Slave Auction: Prison Auctioneers Sell People Like Products
- 6 Shocking Revelations About How Private Prisons Make Their Money
- This Is How Private Prison Companies Make Millions Even When Crime Rates Fall
- Disclosure Shows Private Prison Company Misled on Immigration Lobbying
- Violence, Abuse, and Death at For-Profit Prisons: A GEO Group Rap Sheet
- Private Prisons Profit From Immigration Crackdown, Federal And Local Law Enforcement Partnerships
- Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies
- Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations
- By the Numbers: The U.S.’s Growing For-Profit Detention Industry
- Marco Rubio, Geo Group, and a Legacy of Corruption
- Marco Rubio’s Prison Problem
- Florida judge rules prison privatization procedure unconstitutional
- Grand jury investigates private Panhandle prison deal
- Florida prison privatization proposals open door for politically connected GEO Group
- As Private Jails Reopen, Critics See Long Arm of the Lobbyists
- Corrections Corporation of America – SourceWatch
- GEO Group – SourceWatch
‘Starting Monday, the United States’ human rights record will be subject to international scrutiny by the U.N. Human Rights Council. It may just be the perfect catalyst for the Obama administration to make good on past and present wrongs that should never be associated with a liberal democracy predicated on respect for human rights.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is part of a regular examination of the human rights records of all 193 U.N. member countries and will be the second review of its kind for the U.S. since 2010. The review comes at a critical time when the U.S. human rights record has been criticized for falling short of meeting international human rights standards. From racially biased policing and excessive use of force by law enforcement to the expansion of migrant family detention and from the lack of accountability for the CIA torture program to the use of armed drones abroad, the U.S. has a lot to answer for.’
- UN Rights Review to Expose U.S. Failings
- UNHR Universal Periodic Review Second Cycle – United States of America
- IACHR Wraps Up Visit to the United States of America
- Human Rights Bodies Respond to Killings by Police in U.S.
- ACLU Response to Revised DOJ Guidance on the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
- U.N. Criticizes U.S. on Torture and Array of Human Rights Issues
- ACLU files new lawsuit over Obama administration drone ‘kill list’
- UN rights experts welcome US review of lethal drone attacks, urge transparency and accountability
- The Senate Committee’s Report on the C.I.A.’s Use of Torture
- The United States is Obligated to Compensate Victims of Torture
- Retired Justice Stevens says some Guantanamo captives may deserve reparations
- US to Answer for Surveillance Practices on Global Stage
- ACLU: Immigrant Family Detention in the United States
- ACLU Fact Sheet on Alternatives to Immigration Detention (ATD)
- Spies Among Us: How Community Outreach Programs to Muslims Blur Lines between Outreach and Intelligence
- SNCC/ACLU – Securing the Southwest Border: Perspectives from Beyond the Beltway
New Investigation Unravels Mexican Gov’t Account of How 43 Students Disappeared: Interview with Ryan Devereaux
‘An explosive new investigation published today by The Intercept reveals the untold story of how 43 students disappeared in Mexico on the night of September 26, 2014. It is based on more than two dozen interviews with survivors of the attacks and family members of the disappeared, as well as Mexican historians, human rights activists and journalists. The Intercept also reviewed official Mexican state and federal records including communication logs by security forces and sealed testimony from municipal police officers and gang members. The evidence shows repeated inconsistencies and omissions in the government’s account of what happened when the students went missing. We speak with Ryan Devereaux, staff reporter at The Intercept and author of the two-part investigation, “Ghosts of Iguala.”‘ (Democracy Now!)
‘As protesters in Baltimore set fire to buildings and vehicles last Monday to protest the death of Freddie Gray, protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero drove a burning truck into the congressional building in the capital Chilpancingo. The protesters were marking seven months since the disappearance of 43 students. Relatives have continued to question the Mexican government’s claim the students were attacked by local police and turned over to members of a drug gang, who killed and incinerated them. We speak with three relatives of the missing students: María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, mother of José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa; Clemente Rodríguez Moreno, father of Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre; and Cruz Bautista Salbador, uncle of Benjamín Ascencio Bautista. The relatives have criticized U.S. support for the drug war, saying Mexico is using the aid to kill innocent people. “If they were really fighting organized crime, as the United States government says, then the crime rates would have gone down,” Bautista Salbador says. “Apparently they are not fighting organized crime; they are fighting organized people.”‘ (Democracy Now!)
- Bill Clinton Apologizes To Mexico For War On Drugs
- Keeping count of Mexico’s missing
- Mexico’s Drug War is Killing Children
- Mexico’s Disappeared: The Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored
- ‘Mexico’s war on drugs is one big lie’
- Citing Failed War on Drugs, World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization
- Failed ‘War on Drugs’ Is Militarizing Law Enforcement, Fueling Police Violence
‘In the name of ‘counting every casualty,’ the Pentagon is systematically undercounting deaths from the ‘war on terror’ and the ‘war on drugs,’ in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America. Complicit in this great deception are some of the world’s most respected anti-war activists.
In this exclusive investigation, Insurge Intelligence reveals that a leading anti-war monitoring group, Iraq Body Count (IBC), is deeply embedded in the Western foreign policy establishment. IBC’s key advisers and researchers have received direct and indirect funding from US government propaganda agencies and Pentagon contractors. It is no surprise, then, that IBC-affiliated scholars promote narratives of conflict that serve violent US client-regimes and promote NATO counter-insurgency doctrines.
IBC has not only systematically underrepresented the Iraqi death toll, it has done so on the basis of demonstrably fraudulent attacks on standard scientific procedures. IBC affiliated scholars are actively applying sophisticated techniques of statistical manipulation to whitewash US complicity in violence in Afghanistan and Colombia.
Through dubious ideological alliances with US and British defense agencies, they are making misleading pseudoscience academically acceptable. Even leading medical journals are now proudly publishing their dubious statistical analyses that lend legitimacy to US militarism abroad.
This subordination of academic conflict research to the interests of the Pentagon sets a dangerous precedent: it permits the US government to control who counts the dead across conflicts involving US interests — all in the name of science and peace.’
‘The U.S. government started keeping secret records of Americans’ international telephone calls nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, harvesting billions of calls in a program that provided a blueprint for the far broader National Security Agency surveillance that followed.
For more than two decades, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed logs of virtually all telephone calls from the USA to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking, current and former officials involved with the operation said. The targeted countries changed over time but included Canada, Mexico and most of Central and South America.
Federal investigators used the call records to track drug cartels’ distribution networks in the USA, allowing agents to detect previously unknown trafficking rings and money handlers. They also used the records to help rule out foreign ties to the bombing in 1995 of a federal building in Oklahoma City and to identify U.S. suspects in a wide range of other investigations.’
‘In a war full of failures, the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.
Yet there is a clear winner in the anti-drug effort – not the Afghan people, but the infamous mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater.
Statistics released on Tuesday reveal that the rebranded private security firm, known since 2011 as Academi, reaped over half a billion dollars from the futile Defense Department push to eradicate Afghan narcotics, some 32% of the $1.8bn in contracting money the Pentagon has devoted to the job since 2002.’
‘Drug Enforcement Administration agents allegedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by local drug cartels overseas over a period of several years, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s watchdog.
The report did not specify the country where the parties occurred, but a law enforcement official familiar with the matter identified it as Colombia.
Seven of the 10 DEA agents alleged to have participated in the gatherings — most of which took place at an agent’s “quarters” leased by the U.S. government — admitted to having attended the parties, the report found. The agents, some of whom had top-secret security clearances, received suspensions of two to 10 days.’
Judge to U.S. Government: ‘National Security’ Isn’t a ‘Magic Word’ That Allows Constitutional Rights Violations
‘[…] In the past, DHS generally did not detain families who arrived in the United States seeking asylum. Most eligible individuals were released if they could show that they were not a flight risk or a danger to the community. However, beginning in the summer of 2014, DHS started detaining families in large numbers as part of an “aggressive deterrence strategy” intended to send a message to other Central Americans that if they sought refuge in the United States, they would be similarly punished. Under this policy, even if families demonstrated that they had a credible fear of persecution and were neither flight risks nor dangerous, DHS refused to consider them for release and kept them locked up.
‘Recent reporting on illegal tax evasion by the world’s second largest bank, HSBC, opens a window onto the pivotal role of Western banks in facilitating organised crime, drug-trafficking and Islamist terrorism. Governments know this, but they are powerless to act, not just because they’ve been bought by the banks: but because criminal and terror financing is integral to global capitalism. Now one whistleblower who uncovered an estimated billion pounds worth of HSBC fraud in Britain, suppressed by the British media, is preparing a prosecution that could blow wide open the true scale of criminal corruption in the world’s finance capital.’
- Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
- London: ‘a global haven for criminal financial activity’
- Broken Borders
- Western banks ‘reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade’
- FCA colluded to cover up alleged HSBC fraud
- Details of charges of fraud against HSBC and solicitors
- HSBC Whistleblower on BBC’s The Big Questions
- Don’t blow the whistle
- HSBC’s $1.9bn money laundering settlement could be rejected
- HSBC apology adverts give pause for thought
- Why I have resigned from the Telegraph
- Peter Oborne’s resignation shows that the media shouldn’t just serve the rich
- Scott Trust updates structure (2008)
- Why it’s time for your local authority to move its money
- Britain’s elite new police force National Crime Agency launches with appeal for private sector to fill its skills gap
- ‘Hedge-fund lads’ don’t help culture, says former Arts Council chairman
- Through the Looking Glass With Ambac
‘Former President Bill Clinton apologized to Mexico during a speech there last week for a backfired U.S. war on drugs that has fueled spiraling violence. “I wish you had no narco-trafficking, but it’s not really your fault,” Clinton told an audience of students and business leaders at the recent Laureate Summit on Youth and Productivity. “Basically, we did too good of a job of taking the transportation out of the air and water, and so we ran it over land. “I apologize for that,” Clinton said.
Clinton was referring to U.S. drug enforcement policy that began under his predecessors, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who invested heavily in shutting down the Caribbean Sea as the favored trafficking route between the U.S. and South America and Central America. That effort pushed smuggling west, over land in Mexico.’
- Bill Clinton Apologizes to Mexico for the Drug War, Now It’s President Obama’s Turn to End It
- Bill Clinton in 2012: Drug war ‘hasn’t worked’
- Mexico’s 7 Most Notorious Drug Cartels
- Mexico’s Missing Students
- Failed ‘War on Drugs’ Is Militarizing Law Enforcement, Fueling Police Violence
- Mexico’s Disappeared: The Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored
- Drug Prohibition Costs The U.S. $40 Billion Each Year
- Global drugs trade ‘as strong as ever’ as fight fails
- State Department 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
‘The United Nations says the drug war’s rationale is to build “a drug-free world — we can do it!” U.S. government officials agree, stressing that “there is no such thing as recreational drug use.” So this isn’t a war to stop addiction, like that in my family, or teenage drug use. It is a war to stop drug use among all humans, everywhere. All these prohibited chemicals need to be rounded up and removed from the earth. That is what we are fighting for.
I began to see this goal differently after I learned the story of the drunk elephants, the stoned water buffalo, and the grieving mongoose. They were all taught to me by a remarkable scientist in Los Angeles named Professor Ronald K. Siegel.’
- Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances (Book)
- Graham Hancock: The War on Consciousness
- Citing Failed War on Drugs, World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization
- How the War on Drugs and the War on Terror Merged Into One Disastrous War on All Americans
- ‘It is time to end the war on drugs’, says top UK police chief
‘Christian Seifert’s job is easy these days. On Thursday, for example, the chief executive of the German football league (DFL) gave a speech in which he rattled off the successes of the Bundesliga with its record revenues and ticket sales.
German football is booming. The TV deals are ever more lucrative, Die Nationalmannschaft have won the World Cup, and the few young players who do leave almost invariably end up being sold at astronomical prices to the best European clubs.
As its primary publicist, Seifert can just ride the wave. When the clubs return from the winter break next weekend, fans will arrive from all over the world, Britain included. In Germany, they will find wonderful atmospheres, old-fashioned terraces, cheap beer and maybe even the odd line of crystal meth.’
‘This past November, Oregon and Alaska voted to legalize the possession and sale of recreational marijuana, and the Department of Justice last month said it would allow Native American tribes to make their own decisions on the sale of pot. Each follows Colorado’s footsteps in the new process of marijuana legalization. NewsHour’s Rick Karr reports.’ (PBS News Hour)
‘Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan is named for the wide river that runs through its provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, a low-slung city of shrubby roundabouts and glass-fronted market blocks. When I visited in April, there was an expectant atmosphere, like that of a whaling town waiting for the big ships to come in. In the bazaars, the shops were filled with dry goods, farming machinery and motorcycles. The teahouses, where a man could spend the night on the carpet for the price of his dinner, were packed with migrant laborers, or nishtgar, drawn from across the southern provinces, some coming from as far afield as Iran and Pakistan. The schools were empty; in war-torn districts, police and Taliban alike had put aside their arms. It was harvest time.
Across the province, hundreds of thousands of people were taking part in the largest opium harvest in Afghanistan’s history. With a record 224,000 hectares under cultivation this year, the country produced an estimated 6,400 tons of opium, or around 90 percent of the world’s supply. The drug is entwined with the highest levels of the Afghan government and the economy in a way that makes the cocaine business in Escobar-era Colombia look like a sideshow. The share of cocaine trafficking and production in Colombia’s GDP peaked at six percent in the late 1980s; in Afghanistan today, according to U.N. estimates, the opium industry accounts for 15 percent of the economy, a figure that is set to rise as the West withdraws. “Whatever the term narco state means, if there is a country to which it applies, it is Afghanistan,” says Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies illicit economies in conflict zones. “It is unprecedented in history.”
Even more shocking is the fact that the Afghan narcotics trade has gotten undeniably worse since the U.S.-led invasion: The country produces twice as much opium as it did in 2000. How did all those poppy fields flower under the nose of one of the biggest international military and development missions of our time? The answer lies partly in the deeply cynical bargains struck by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in his bid to consolidate power, and partly in the way the U.S. military ignored the corruption of its allies in taking on the Taliban. It’s the story of how, in pursuit of the War on Terror, we lost the War on Drugs in Afghanistan by allying with many of the same people who turned the country into the world’s biggest source of heroin.’
‘If all you’ve got is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. And if police and prosecutors are your only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone will be treated as criminal. This is increasingly the American way of life, a path that involves “solving” social problems (and even some non-problems) by throwing cops at them, with generally disastrous results. Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches ever more on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.
By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where “the War on Crime” and “the War on Drugs” are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko’s blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.) But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct. It’s also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.’
- Radley Balko’s Huffington Post blog
- Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”
- “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control
- Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (Book)
- The School Security America Doesn’t Need
- Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance
- Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school
- The School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Targeting Your Child
- In a School Built on Trust, Metal Detectors Inject Fear
- Safety with Dignity: Alternatives to the Over-Policing of Schools (2009)
- Rough justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners
- Anal Probes And The Drug War: A Look At The Ethical And Legal Issues
- Three Teens Arrested for Waiting While Black
- A Waste of Money and Time
- Pay the Rent or Face Arrest
- Turning Migrants into Criminals
- Creating a Military-Industrial-Immigration Complex
- Living in a Constitution-Free Zone
- Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Reform
- The Making of a Global Security State
- Senators: ‘No evidence’ NSA phone sweeps are useful
- The Inefficacy of Big Brother: Associations and the Terror Factory
- The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries
- Sex Offenses, No Matter How Minor or Understandable, Can Ruin You for Life
- FBI Trainer Says Forget ‘Irrelevant’ al-Qaida, Target Islam
- NYPD Muslim Surveillance
- Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity
- The Informants
- Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses
- Prison, Foster Care, and the Systemic Punishment of Black Mothers
- The Social and Moral Cost of Mass Incarceration of African American Communities
- How the War on Crime Helped Make the War on Terror Possible
- The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (Book)
Are Mexico’s Missing Students the Victims of US-Backed Drug War? Interview with John Gibler and Laura Carlsen
‘Amidst outrage in Mexico over the disappearance of 43 students, we look at the U.S. role in the country’s violence. According to the Center for International Policy, the United States has spent approximately $3 billion to fund the so-called war on drugs in Mexico. Since the war on drugs began under President Felipe Calderón in 2006, more than 100,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence. That includes $2.4 billion in taxpayer funds through the Merida Initiative, launched as a three-year aid program for Mexican security forces under the administration of George W. Bush. The Obama administration has extended the Merida Initiative “indefinitely.” We are joined by Laura Carlsen, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Policy Program of the Center for International Policy, and journalist John Gibler.’ (Democracy Now!)
- Fury over Mexico student ‘massacre’ boils over
- More Protests As Mexico President Also Faces Ethics Questions
- Government Officials Flee As Thousands Protest Disappearance Of 43 Students
- Bodies of missing students likely burned, ashes tossed in river
- Ayotzinapa protests awaken Mexico from a nightmare
- Missing Students Underscore Dangerous Corruption In Mexico
- Missing students force Mexico’s forgotten crimes to surface
- Mexico’s missing students expose nexus of crime and politics
- UN calls on Mexico to do more to find missing students, asks permission to help
- She Tweeted Against the Mexican Cartels. They Tweeted Her Murder.
- Mexico’s Missing Students: Were 43 Attacked by Cartel-Linked Police Targeted for Their Activism?
- The Mexican Elite Propagandizes a Fire Sale
- Mexico to open oil and gas to private sector
- Mexico’s drug cartels are standing in the way of a fracking bonanza
- The Connection Between the Drug War In Mexico and Neoliberal Policies
- DC And Oregon Just Voted to Legalize Marijuana
- Alaska Becomes Fourth State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
- Florida Weed Measure Blasted By Billionaire & It Totally Worked
- Weed Revolution: Marijuana on the ballot across the country
- Denton first city in Texas to ban fracking
- First in Texas: Fracking ban is on ballot
- Colorado Prop 105: GMO food fight won by opponents of labeling
- Costly battle over GMO labeling too close to call in Oregon
- Monsanto, Dow Chemical fighting Oregon GMO labelling activists
- Big Food uses dirty tricks in ballot fights over GMO labeling, soda taxes
- Monsanto, BigAg Spend Millions Fighting Colorado, Oregon Ballot Measures to Label GMO Foods
- Sheldon Krimsky on How BigAg & the Government Is Putting Your Food at Risk
‘[…] As great as Edward Snowden’s leaks were for shedding light on the abuses of power within the NSA – and for actually getting them into the damn media for months at a time! – the problem of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies doing whatever the hell they want dates back to the dawn of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
This week, Techdirt pointed to a shiny new book by Michael Glennon which details the extent to which unelected bureaucrats are more in charge than the officials we elect every four or six years. The book is called National Security and Double Government, which is not an encouraging title at all. Glennon, who has plenty of non-tinfoil-hat-chops, is echoing comments by folks like John Kerry who say some of these spy apparatuses are “on autopilot.” Obama, too, may be purely Captain Renault shocked – shocked! – about the gambling going on, but a more frightening proposition than that is if the NSA really is handling its own accountability without even presidential oversight.’
- You Can’t Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show
- U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
- FBI’s counterterrorism sting operations are counterproductive
- The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings
- ICREACH: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
- In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
- Five myths about J. Edgar Hoover
‘Here’s a pretty astonishing chart on the skyrocketing number of arrests of black Americans for nonviolent drug crimes. Brookings’ Jonathan Rothwell lays it out:
Arrest data show a striking trend: arrests of blacks have fallen for violent and property crimes, but soared for drug related crimes. As of 2011, drug crimes comprised 14 percent of all arrests and a miscellaneous category that includes “drug paraphernalia” possession comprised an additional 31 percent of all arrests. Just 6 percent and 14 percent of arrests were for violent and property crimes, respectively.
Even more surprising is what gets left out of the chart: Blacks are far more likely to be arrested for selling or possessing drugs than whites, even though whites use drugs at the same rate. And whites are actually morelikely to sell drugs,’
‘A new report has found the war on drugs in Afghanistan remains colossally expensive, largely ineffective and likely to get worse. This is particularly true in the case of opium production, says the U.S. Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
In a damning report released Tuesday, the special inspector general, Justin F. Sopko, writes that “despite spending over $7 billion to combat opium poppy cultivation and to develop the Afghan government’s counternarcotics capacity, opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013,” hitting 209,000 hectares, surpassing the prior, 2007 peak of 193,000 hectares. Sopko adds that the number should continue to rise thanks to deteriorating security in rural Afghanistan and weak eradication efforts.’
- SIGAR Report: Poppy Cultivation In Afghanistan
- Testimony of John F. Sopko Before the Senate
- Map shows where Afghan poppy production rose
- How Opium is Keeping US in Afghanistan: CIA’s Shady History of Drug Trafficking
- War on Drugs in Latin America Is to Advance US Economic Interests, Not Reduce Drug Trafficking
- UN Official: Afghanistan risks becoming ‘narco-state’
- Since US invasion 1 million dead from Afghan heroin
- How the Pentagon Corrupted Afghanistan
- Pentagon’s War on Drugs Goes Mercenary
‘In the face of a failed War on Drugs, a global commission composed mostly of former world leaders recommended that governments decriminalize and regulate the use of currently illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics.
“The international drug regime is broken,” reads the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, whose members include former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan; former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz; former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and former high commissioner for human rights at the UN Louise Arbour; and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, as well as the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Portugal. “[O]verwhelming evidence points to not just the failure of the regime to attain its stated goals but also the horrific unintended consequences of punitive and prohibitionist laws and policies.”
Punitive drug law enforcement has done nothing to decrease global drug use, the Commission says in “Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work” (pdf). Instead, such policies have fueled crime, maximized health risks, undermined human rights, and fostered discrimination — all while wasting tens of billions of dollars.’
- Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work
- Evaluating Drug Decriminalization in Portugal 12 Years Later
- Huge Majority of Britons Believe ‘War on Drugs’ is Futile
- On Uruguay’s Legalization of Marijuana
- Honduras leader rails against ineffective drug war
- Jamaica moves to decriminalise marijuana, with eyes on medical use
- “F*ck It, I Quit” Says News Anchor Who Owns Alaska Cannabis Club
- Fewer Teenagers Are Using Pot Now That Colorado Has Legalized It
- Anti-Marijuana Academics Tied to Pain-Killer Manufacturers
- Cannabis-smoking couples are ‘less likely to engage in domestic violence’
- Tennessee Drug Tests Welfare Applicants, Finds Just 1 Person Using Drugs
- Lib Dems will abolish jail sentences for drug possession if they win next election
- Canadian Police Chiefs Call On Government To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession
- Why the NYT’s Call For Marijuana Legalization Is a Huge Deal
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