background preloader

Law

Facebook Twitter

The War on Weed: Still Expensive, Racist, and Failed. Photo via Flickr User Taber Andrew Bain For years, anti-drug-war advocates have been saying, over and over again, that arresting people for possessing controlled substances overcrowds prisons, wastes resources, and destroys communities. Yet little has changed at the federal level. In fact, during Obama’s first three years as president, the arrest rate for marijuana possession was about 5 percent higher than the average rate under George W. Bush. At a certain point, you have to stop being subtle, which might be why the American Civil Liberties Union’s new study on the “war on marijuana” doesn’t fuck around: “Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests,” it announces in big, unambiguous letters right at the top.

The report—touted as the first comprehensive look at statistics on marijuana-related arrests in all 50 states—finds that enforcement of pot prohibition has been an even costlier and more racially charged nightmare than originally suspected. More marijuana: IRS actually fears man who doesn’t file taxes. Text smaller Text bigger Amid an unusual spotlight on IRS conduct, a Colorado businessman contends his case is one the government particularly wants to keep hidden, because it could cause the whole federal agency to self-destruct. Jeff Maehr, a Colorado chiropractor who has engaged in a number of business ventures, including PureHealthSystems.com, admits he has refused to file federal income tax returns since 2002, but he says the IRS is afraid to press criminal charges against him.

“They don’t want this to go to court, because there is so much information there that would blow them out of the water if this became public knowledge,” Maehr claimed. “They are scared to death to bring this in front of a jury and give it a public hearing,” he said. “Instead, they know the IRS goes through administrative processes and ignorant judges and courts who all play this little game.” Maehr insists he is not a “tax protester.” “It’s not that I’m unwilling to pay my taxes. Circular logic? The U.S. Breaking the Taboo: Why the OAS Report on Alternatives to Drug Prohibition is Such A Big Deal. May 23, 2013 - By Daniel Robelo The Organization of American States (OAS) released an unprecedented report last Friday that presents the most high-level discussion of alternatives to drug prohibition in history.

This report is a big deal. It’s the first time that any multilateral institution anywhere in the world has critically analyzed the war on drugs and considered new approaches for the future – giving equal weight to options like decriminalization and legalization in the process. The OAS report doesn’t make concrete recommendations. Rather, the second part of the report lays out different scenarios for what alternative drug policies might actually look like – scenarios which break sharply from the U.S. In describing these scenarios, the OAS is saying we need to put all options on the table to improve public safety and health in the hemisphere – and that means considering the legal regulation of marijuana and other drugs. The OAS has now taken the debate to a whole, new level. Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in Landmark Case. A French farmer who can no longer perform his routine farming duties because of permanent pesticide injuries has had his day in court, literally, and the perpetrator of his injuries found guilty of chemical poisoning.

The French court in Lyon ruled that Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller formula, which contains the active ingredient alachlor, caused Paul Francois to develop lifelong neurological damage that manifests as persistent memory loss, headaches, and stuttering during speech. Reports indicate that the 47-year-old farmer sued Monsanto back in 2004 after inhaling the Lasso product while cleaning his sprayer tank equipment. Not long after, Francois began experiencing lasting symptoms that prevented him from working, which he says were directly linked to exposure to the chemical. Since Lasso’s packaging did not bear adequate warnings about the dangers of exposure, Francois alleged at the time that Monsanto was essentially negligent in providing adequate protection for its customers.

Killing al-Awlaki - Glenn Greenwald on Real Time. What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter? | Glenn Greenwald. (updated below [Sun.]) Shortly before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an American citizen, was apprehended last night, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham advocated on Twitter that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect be denied what most Americans think of as basic rights. "If captured," Graham wrote, I hope [the] Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as [an] enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes. " Arguing that "if the Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information", Graham concluded: "The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to 'remain silent.'" Once Tsarnaev was arrested, President Obama strongly suggested that he would eventually be tried in court, which presumably means he will at some point have a lawyer (something that Graham, along with John McCain and Liz Cheney, last night opposed).

"And so the FBI will surely ask 19-year-old Tsarnaev anything it sees fit. CAIR speech. Tortured for Testimony: Anarchists Get Solitary Confinement for Not Snitching. Five Basic Misconceptions About The Copyright Monopoly And Sharing Of Culture. Five erroneous assertions have kept appearing in the public debate since 1990 about file-sharing vs. the copyright monopoly. These assertions have persisted for 25 years, despite being obviously false. This is a reference article to link to and point at whenever one of them pops up the next time. It can seem disheartening that factually false – as in 180-degrees wrong, just-read-the-text wrong – arguments persist for a quarter of a century, but there is a lot of money in perpetuating these untruths.

If you have fallen for one of these, you are not alone; the first step to understanding the criticism against the copyright monopoly is understanding what it is. Therefore, as we uncover these misconceptions, we also learn what kind of legal mechanism the copyright monopoly is. (United States law will serve as an example for this article. Legislation is similar elsewhere.) 1.

The first fact is that the copyright monopoly is not property, but a monopoly. 2. 3. 4. Very, very clear. 5. ‘Iraq war unlawful’: all 27 UK Foreign Affairs lawyers, 2003. ‘Official report delayed again’: UK govt today. More Than Thirty Top U.S. Officials Guilty of War Crimes. More than 30 top U.S. officials, including presidents G.W. Bush and Obama, are guilty of war crimes or crimes against peace and humanity “legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany,” the distinguished American international law authority Francis Boyle charges. U.S. officials involved in an “ongoing criminal conspiracy” in the Middle East and Africa who either participated in the commission of the crimes under their jurisdiction or failed to take action against them included both presidents since 2001 and their vice-presidents, the secretaries of State and Defense, the directors of the CIA and National Intelligence and the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and heads of the Central Command, among others, Boyle said.

In the Pentagon, war criminals include the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some Regional Commanders-in-Chiefs, especially for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and more recently, AFRICOM. Besides Chairman General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Former Washington, Colorado cops explain: What’s really going to change now that marijuana is legal? By Stephen C. WebsterThursday, November 8, 2012 12:14 EDT Following wins for marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado on Tuesday night, a former Seattle police chief and a former Denver police officer sat down with Raw Story to discuss what the laws will actually do and how they think things will change.

“Today is a great day for America!” Exclaimed Tony Ryan, a 36-year veteran of the Denver police force. “When people understand that marijuana prohibition is the cause of violence [instead of the drug itself], they get onboard and that’s exactly what’s happened in both of our states,” Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief, told Raw Story.

Despite their combined decades in police work, both men crossed the blue wall after retiring and joined Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates for drug policies that are less focused on police interdiction for users and more focused on medical assistance in overcoming addiction. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved. The remarkable, unfathomable ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz | Glenn Greenwald. On 29 May 2012, the New York Times published a remarkable 6,000-word story on its front page about what it termed President Obama's "kill list". It detailed the president's personal role in deciding which individuals will end up being targeted for assassination by the CIA based on Obama's secret, unchecked decree that they are "terrorists" and deserve to die.

Based on interviews with "three dozen of his current and former advisers", the Times' Jo Becker and Scott Shane provided extraordinary detail about Obama's actions, including how he "por[es] over terrorist suspects' biographies on what one official calls the macabre 'baseball cards'" and how he "insist[s] on approving every new name on an expanding 'kill list'". At a weekly White House meeting dubbed "Terror Tuesdays", Obama then decides who will die without a whiff of due process, transparency or oversight. Anyone who observes politics closely has a very low bar of expectations. The Desktop Regulatory State. Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA. Push to call blasphemy a crime. Pushing for limits to free speech ... UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. Photo: Nick Moir THE divide in world opinion over what constitutes free speech will be on display again this week at the United Nations, where arguments over a proposed blasphemy law were an annual feature for a decade.

This time it is the global reaction to a YouTube video that disparages Islam's prophet Muhammad that is sure to roil the meeting of the UN General Assembly. Muslim leaders have vowed to discuss the offensive video from their UN platforms, sowing concern among free-speech activists of a fresh push toward an international law that would criminalise blasphemy. ''I expect that we'll regress to where we were a couple of years ago,'' said Courtney Radsch, program manager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at the non-profit group Freedom House. Advertisement ''Human rights are not about protecting religions; human rights are to protect humans,'' she said. McClatchy Newspapers. Editorial: Initiative 502 pits the people of Washington against the federal government | Editorials.

In the 1990s the people of Washington wanted marijuana for use as medicine. Federal law forbade it, and politicians in Olympia would not push back. The people turned to the initiative power. In 1998 they passed Initiative 692, making Washington one of the early medical-marijuana states along with Alaska, Oregon and California. Now 18 states and the District of Columbia allow cannabis for medicinal use, and a push begins in the early states to allow it for general use.

Again, federal law says no. California, the first medical-marijuana state, voted on a legalization measure, Proposition 19, two years ago. Now come legalization initiatives in Washington, Colorado and Oregon. Washington’s existing marijuana law, which now makes possession of up to 40 grams — the equivalent weight of the tobacco in two-and-a-half packs of cigarettes — a misdemeanor. Washington’s medical-marijuana law does not repeal the underlying drug law. I-502 would authorize marijuana as a commercial product. How big business took over. It is one of those intriguing ironies of history that the immediate provocation for Lewis Powell’s political manifesto to Corporate America — his powerful private memorandum of 1971 — came not from a liberal Democrat in the White House, but from Republican Richard Nixon, the very president who was about to name Lewis Powell to the Supreme Court. Powell’s intention was to spark a full-scale political rebellion by America’s corporate leaders — what one writer called “the Revolt of the Bosses” — to change the political and policy mainstream in Washington and to put the nation on a new track, a track more favorable to business.

And he succeeded, probably far beyond his expectations. In his memo, Powell never mentioned Nixon or his administration by name. In a tone of exasperation, he chided America’s corporate leaders for bowing to mainstream middle-of-the-road policies and for adopting a strategy of “appeasement, ineptitude and ignoring the problem.” The Powell Blueprint Business Mobilizes. "Effective Evil" or Progressives’ Best Hope? Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency. This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! , democracynow.org, "Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency," as we turn to our two guests for a discussion and debate about President Obama’s speech and record. We turn to Michael Eric Dyson, who’s joining us here in Charlotte, North Carolina, professor of sociology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., author of many books, including Can You Hear Me Now?

: The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson and Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X. And in New York City, we’re joined by Glen Ford, a veteran journalist, executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Right. AMY GOODMAN: It was supposed to be held at the Bank of America Stadium— MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Right, right. AMY GOODMAN: —but because of the weather, it was—that was canceled. AMY GOODMAN: Glen Ford, your assessment? [break] Portugal Drug Policy: Decriminalization Works. Markey: Law Enforcement Collecting Information on Millions of Americans from Mobile Phone Carriers | Congressman Ed Markey, Massachusetts 7th District. Skip to main content News Markey: Law Enforcement Collecting Information on Millions of Americans from Mobile Phone Carriers Share this page Congressman releases first-ever accounting of responses from wireless carriers that indicate sweeping personal data requests from law enforcement agencies WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the first-ever accounting of its kind, Congressman Edward J.

“We cannot allow privacy protections to be swept aside with the sweeping nature of these information requests, especially for innocent consumers,” said Rep. A link to the responses from the carriers can be found HERE . Other findings from the responses to Rep. There were approximately 1.3 million federal, state, and local law enforcement requests for cell phone records to wireless carriers in 2011 (This number does not include T-Mobile because the company did not provide this information in its response.). Rep. US drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan – and the west stays silent | Glenn Greenwald. The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead.

Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has become one of the favorite tactics of the very same US government. A 2004 official alert from the FBI warned that "terrorists may use secondary explosive devices to kill and injure emergency personnel responding to an initial attack"; the bulletin advised that such terror devices "are generally detonated less than one hour after initial attack, targeting first responders as well as the general population".

"A van draws up next to the wounded man and Iraqis climb out. They are unarmed and start to carry the victim to the vehicle in what would appear to be an attempt to get him to hospital. NRC-2006. Anthony Gregory: Then, Who DID Build It, Mr. President? No Copyright Law: The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion? Kill or Capture: Obama's Troubling Targeted-Killing Policy. SHOCKING : CALIFORNIA COPS OPEN FIRE ON MEN - WOMEN - CHILDREN - BABIES.

Is the End of Prohibition at Hand? Conservatism. The Word - Sink or Swim - The Colbert Report - 2012-04-06. Real Time with Bill Maher 25 may 2012 in HD New Rules pt. 2. Mother of 3 arrested, abused for taking pictures of tourist attraction at airport  Federal judge complicity. First They Come For the Muslims. CISPA: Say Hello To Big Brother. Let's Be Blunt: It's Time to End the Drug War. Separate Justice System for Muslims. The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ Revealed: government plans for police privatisation | UK news. The Facts About Americans Who Receive Public Benefits. The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech. U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners. @Google: Lawrence Lessig: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It. Glenn Greenwald at the Cato Institute's "Ending the Global War on Drugs" Conference. Richunclesam comments on If American copyright laws can be enforced around the world, why can't American labor and slavery laws be enforced worldwide as well?

"He Says One Thing and Does Another": Ralph Nader Responds to Obama’s State of the Union Address. Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure. Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works | Threat Level. PIPA support collapses, with 13 new Senators opposed. Chris Hedges Sues Obama Admin Over Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Approved in NDAA. Why I’m Suing Barack Obama - Chris Hedges' Columns. Tech Blackout to Protest SOPA. US elections, rigged and computer codes. ELECTION FRAUD! How A Teen's Coerced Confession Set Her Free. President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law » Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union. Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies. The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value. Obama's abysmal record on civil liberties | Mehdi Hasan. Anonymous declares cyber war on Congress over indefinite detention act.

Three myths about the detention bill. ACLU On Obama's Plan To Detain American Citizens INDEFINITELY With No Trial. The Desktop Regulatory State. Obama: I can’t comment on Wall Street prosecutions. The young and the restless: Kids sue government over climate change. Shockingly Unshocking: Two Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA/PIPA Become Entertainment Industry Lobbyists. The US national security smokescreen | Nancy Goldstein. Halliburton Confirms US Concentration Camps Ready to Detain up to 2 Million “Terrorists” « Dr. Steve Best.

Proof Obama will sign NDAA 1031 Citizen Imprisonment Law in a few days. Tell Congress: Say NO to Indefinite Detention and Endless Worldwide War. The We-Are-At-War! mentality. 75 Years in Prison For Videotaping Police. NYPD pepper sprays man to death. No, `both sides’ aren’t equally to blame for supercommittee failure - The Plum Line. Washington Post Column Incredulous That Congress Is Considering Censoring The Internet. The New Progressive Movement. Why your vote for Congress might not matter. Failure Is Good. American Censorship Day November 16 - Join the fight to stop SOPA. Congress: Trading stock on inside information? The Privatization of Copyright Lawmaking. Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy. The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery? The right of citizens to videotape police - latimes.com.

The Quiet Coup - Magazine. The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality - Yemen. The two-tiered justice system: an illustration.