❝ Marijuana users and heroin addicts are basically the same, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.
“I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana — so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful,” said Sessions. He went on to call for a revival of hardline ’80s- and ‘90s-style “educating people and telling them the terrible truth about drugs.”
❝ For someone on a bar stool arguing with his friends, this would be a stupid but harmless “hot take.” But for the top law enforcement official in a nation of 320 million people, it’s a malicious string of lies intended to justify dangerous policies.
❝ Sessions’ mockery of the idea that marijuana could help people struggling with opiate addiction is especially frustrating to Steve Miller, who retired as a sergeant after 18 years on a suburban Detroit police force and now works as a private investigator at a lawfirm specializing in medical marijuana cases.
“He’s out of reality in that statement. Marijuana has proven to be very beneficial medically for people. And there are studies coming out now showing it is helping people get off their opiate and heroin addictions, and showing it helps kick alcohol addiction as well,” Miller, one of many law enforcement professionals who advocates to end marijuana prohibition, told ThinkProgress. “I don’t know where his medical training comes from that he makes these statements.”
❝ The idea that routine marijuana use is a “life-wrecking dependency…only slightly less awful” than heroin addiction is also medically absurd. Once chemically dependent upon heroin, the human body will tear itself apart if forcibly deprived of the drug. A heroin addict pursuing her next hit or pill is fleeing hours and hours of vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. Someone deprived of their nightly joint might be a little cranky, a little on edge, a little less hungry the next day when they get up and go to work…
❝ Miller…is familiar with the kind of intractable mythologizing of marijuana that the United States Attorney General is reviving today…“Some people are more comfortable believing the lies they have been told by their government for 80 years. You can blast people with science as much as you want, but they just don’t want to believe it,” he said.
“He’s entitled to his feelings. But don’t push that agenda on a public where 71 percent think it should be legal.”
Sessions is representative of the backwards-looking, hardly ever-thinking populism that ranges from Right to Left. Most of the big numbers for that sort of rejoicing in ignorance occupy the Right. Witness the dedicated-to-ignorance brigade that marches from demographics about to be screwed to the economic wall of budget cuts for everything from education to meteorology, science to food safety.
Ignorance ain’t bliss when your kith and kin are threatened. Advancements prohibited by tiny-minded bigots are simply removed from folks’ lives before they can be adopted. Won’t make folks any healthier.
❝ Once the most powerful sheriff in the United States, Lee Baca is now headed to prison.
A jury convicted the former Los Angeles County sheriff Wednesday on conspiracy charges stemming from his role in a cover-up of extensive civil rights abuses inside the county’s vast jail system.
❝ The scope of Baca’s actual conviction is much narrower than the departmental scandal that eventually chased him out of office in 2014, as dozens of his officers faced criminal charges.
❝ Baca’s own convictions tie back to one specific incident within a much longer saga of abusive and corrupt practices in the county jail system. Human rights lawyers had documented allegations of brutality and corruption inside Baca’s jails for years before federal investigators got involved. When Baca’s team discovered the investigators had an inmate informant, they hid the inmate from the FBI agents who were working with him and sent two people to confront the lead investigator at her home.
❝ Baca’s role in crafting and approving efforts to stymie an investigation put him in a legal box. But that’s akin to catching Al Capone for cheating on his taxes, considering the years of detailed reports on the culture of extreme and routine violence deputies used to maintain their authority within Baca’s jails.
❝ Baca, now 74, had initially sought to avoid trial entirely, copping a plea on lesser charges in exchange for a six-month sentence. A judge decided that the sentence was too light and refused to approve the deal.
Which is why continued vigilance over judges, how they are elected and/or appointed is critical. One of the last defenses against corruption and crime in a nation that often rewards criminal behavior with elective office. Worshipping the strong man syndrome.
Baca now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Cary being removed from the Trump rally
❝ C.J. Cary really loves Donald Trump. He has loved him for years, and he really wants him to be president. On Wednesday night, the 63-year-old came to a Trump rally in Kinston, North Carolina, determined to pass his candidate a note of advice: stop being so offensive on the campaign trail to women, minorities, and people with disabilities, or else “lying Hillary” will defeat him.
❝ According to the Charlotte Observer, Trump spotted Cary, wearing sunglasses and a bright red shirt, after he had made his way to about 30 feet from the stage and began waving his note in the air while shouting “Donald!”
Oh, did we mention Cary is black? He is.
❝ Anyway, Trump mistook Cary for a protester. Trump addressed him directly from the podium: “We have a protester!” he said…Trump then said this to Cary: “By the way, were you paid $1,500 to be a thug?”
Thug! Thug. $1,500. Thug.
❝ As the crowd erupted into chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” the candidate instructed his security team, as he usually does when there’s a disturbance at one of his events: “You can get him out. Get him out.”…
About the most support Trump gets from likely voters in the Black community is 4%. I’m surprised there are that many fools willing to sell out.
❝ The attack on Orlando LGBT club Pulse on Saturday night was carried out – like so many mass shootings before it – with an assault rifle, of the “AR-15 type”. These weapons have the ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, spraying waves of hot lead and fire, giving the shooter the power to mete out death on an industrial scale.
The NRA and its supporters have fanatically lobbied to keep these weapons cheap, legal and easy to obtain, in spite of the fact that there is no sporting use for them. You can’t hunt deer with an assault rifle. Animal targets would vaporize if struck by a single round.
❝ Their utility in stopping a home invasion is questionable, but this is true of all guns. According to the FBI, for every case of “justifiable homicide” with a firearm in the US – that’s to say, a self-defense shooting – there are 32 murders, suicides or accidental gun deaths. The overwhelming weight of evidence says that the high rate of gun ownership in this country makes us less safe, not more…
❝ There are many people who insist they “need” a gun – particularly an assault weapon – to feel safe. But unless you are a marine in Fallujah or a Chicago SWAT cop, you don’t “need” anything of the sort. You want it, and not in any kind of reasonable way. It’s either because you’re a sociopath or you’re unreasonably afraid. Neither one of those states is a valid place from which to make the decision.
❝ Perhaps this moment will be a kind of tipping point where the US comes to its senses and starts placing some reasonable restrictions on the owning and trafficking of firearms. My hopes, however, are not high.
❝ After Sandy Hook – when we as a nation heaved a deep, sad sigh over the deaths of an entire schoolroom full of children, then looked away and did nothing – I’ve come to see my countrymen’s gun obsession as an unreasoning dependency, like an alcoholic steadily drinking herself to death.
I would like to believe that we’ll learn something from this, but in truth, the thing I think we’re mostly likely to learn is that when we’re in public – especially in previously safe spaces like gay bars and churches – we need to keep one eye constantly on the nearest exit and always be ready to run.
David Ferguson’s opinion in The GUARDIAN is sad but true. I don’t expect many of our nation’s newspapers to publish anything like it. They are run by cowards. I expect most electronic media – from TV talking heads to online pulpits – will not publish anything like it. They are run by cowards. I expect most politicians, office-holders by virtue of being elected by American citizens – the overwhelming majority of whom support regulated vetting of gun purchases, an end to the sale of assault weapons – will lack the courage and foresight to echo David Ferguson’s good sense. They are cowards.
I have been a gun owner for over 60 years. I don’t hunt anymore. No longer any interest in target shooting. I still own 3 guns – none of which are assault rifles. I support a return to that ban in a heartbeat. I would stand in line to vote for restrictive regulation, oversight and licensing for all guns. I would welcome the debate over details and limits because limits are needed in this nation which would rather protect bigots with guns than ordinary unarmed citizens.
❝ Alabama politics are at a low point even by the state’s own high – or low – standards: three top elected officials are embroiled in scandal or facing removal from office while a former governor serves time in federal prison on a corruption conviction.
On Friday, chief justice Roy Moore was suspended from his job. He faces possible ouster over his attempts to block gay marriage following the US supreme court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
❝ It is familiar territory for the Republican, a Christian conservative who was removed from the same position in 2003 over a Ten Commandments monument, then easily won re-election later…
Idjits love re-electing idjits.
Among the nation’s poorest states, Alabama is troubled by problem areas including physical and mental health; comparatively low high school graduation rates; and too many occupational deaths, according to a report by the United Health Foundation…
❝ In its list of civil charges against Moore, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission said the 69-year-old chief justice abused his office by issuing an administrative order to probate judges in January, telling them an Alabama court order and law banning same-sex marriages remained in effect despite the US supreme court decision affirming same-sex marriage six months earlier…
❝ The court of the judiciary will decide whether Moore violated judicial ethics, and he could be removed from office if found guilty. The same court removed Moore from office in 2003 for his refusal to follow a federal court order directing him to remove a washing machine-sized Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state’s judicial building.
At least this gives today’s generation a demonstration of the thought processes of secessionists like the Confederate Judge Moore. If the federal constitution supersedes your own archaic ruling – stop recognizing federal law. He’s trying to do the same regarding the state constitution and the commission which suspended him. It’s all the same kind of anarchist silliness that ego-smitten nutballs embrace every time they confront civilized law which refuses to bend to their patriarchal dementia.
The toughest row to hoe is that red dirt and rocky line that women and men of good will in Alabama have to fight to cross. Plenty of folks who love their home state, self-educated or schooled in enough history and philosophy, science and law, to understand what a modern state and society can accomplish for all citizens. So it was when I lived in Louisiana. So it is in Alabama, today.
My wife’s favorite new political slogan: “Help the Republicans LOSE WITH CRUZ!”