Category Archives: Individual Rights & Equality

All discussions around racial, gender, sexual, and age equality and descrimination.

World Leaders Say Global War on Drugs Has Failed


Report of the Global Commission on Drug PolicyThe Global Commission on Drug Policy released its comprehensive report on the global drug war, and its effects on people and nations.  This group is comprised of former heads of state and several current and former world leaders such as George Schultz, Paul Volker, Kofi Annan, former Presidents of Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, and Switzerland, and many other former and present top government officials and business leaders.  This report plainly states, “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

The report recommends experimentation with drug legalization programs designed to undermine the power of organized crime, and to end, “the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.”  The executive summary at the beginning of the report linked above quickly provides the headline information you need for a basic understanding of the commission’s findings.  Additionally, click NPR and CNN International for their articles on this report.

This report shows agreement with many points I’ve made for years.  For example, over the past 4 years, more than 40,000 people were murdered in drug cartel related violence in Mexico alone.  Thousands of lives are taken each year in drug related violence in the U.S. as well.  Many people losing their lives aren’t even related to drug trade.  Of the illegal drugs with overdose potential, more users suffer or die from complications from impurities than from the actual drug.  Also, problems occur when someone receives a purer drug than expected so they administer a larger dose than they wanted or more than they might survive.  Basically, the vast majority of people suffering drug related deaths die because of organized crime and drug enforcement violence, not from drug use.

The drug war also affects everyday lives of many other innocent people.  Children suffer when their parent(s) are arrested for possession, low end distribution, or growing personal amounts of cannabis.  Not only do these children lose their parents for some period of time, when parents are released from prison, they have a brutal time finding employment.  They can’t afford enough food, maybe lose their homes or ability to pay for an apartment, and these stresses wreak havoc on the children at school and throughout their lives.  Their parent’s choices are not their problems.

Drug use and distribution is a choice.  Arguably, some drug use helps people be successful in their lives just like taking medications they could be prescribed, or the couple beers that help them relax after a ragged day.  Many people believe if they don’t participate in what they truly believe in, then laws never change, and pain and suffering continue in this way forever.  So, despite the dangers, they use or trade in drugs.  For others, it’s purely financial, and they’ll do whatever they can to protect the financial gains they reap from the drug trade.  These people even vote against legalization.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “If people let government decide what foods to eat and what medicines to take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”  Many conservatives tell us they strive to lead the government according to our constitution and in the way our founding fathers intended, yet, they don’t actually read what these founding fathers wrote.  Conservatives say they’re for small government to keep government out of our lives, yet they only mean that for themselves and their ilke.  However, many of them are caught doing exactly what they say not to do.  Basically, people like them, enjoy putting people down to make themselves look good, but most of them are no better than the people they continue to throw in jail.

It’s time to let people’s actions in our communities show who they are, and not judge them for what they do at home.

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Filed under American Corrections System, American Government & Institutions (state & federal), Drugs & Alcohol, Individual Rights & Equality, Marijuana Legalization

Church to Protest Funeral of Tucson’s 9-Year Old


From top left: Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorwin Stoddard and Phyllis Schneck (AP)

Arizona lawmakers are expected to pass a bill banning funeral protesters from getting within 300 feet of funeral services in a move to shield planned protests at funerals of the victims of Saturday’s shootings in Tucson.

CNN International reports that Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas plans to protest the funeral of the 9-year old shot & killed at Gabrielle Giffords’ event last Saturday.  This is the same church of crazies that protest funerals of U.S. military killed in action, gay people, and even Coretta Scott King.  They say they protest funerals so they can gain national attention, but for what, to be known as a brutally insensitive group of crazies who seem to know nothing about teachings of Jesus, especially forgiveness?  I believe they intend to protest all the funerals, not just the funeral of 9-year old Christina Green.  What could anybody possibly protest at Christina Green’s funeral?

I’m a strong believer in the freedom of speech, and the right to association, but this church is getting out of hand.  A funeral, regardless how publicly visible, is a private ceremony for family & loved ones.  It is not a public forum for any parasite looking for a host.  I believe this group goes far enough to be stopped, but since our legal systems says that’s not the case, a Coloradan named Romaine Patterson came up “angel action”, an idea to shield funerals from protests by this church.

Tucson volunteers are planning an angel action for the funeral.  Participants stand side by side wear 8×10 foot wings making protests invisible to funeral goers.  Apparently, Patterson came up with the idea when he was shocked to see this church protest the funeral of Matthew Shephard, a young gay man beaten in 1999 and left hanging on a fence to die in Wyoming.  I’m not sure when Patterson developed the idea into actual wings, but I wish people knew to provide angel action services for funerals over past years.

I implore everyone to take whatever action they can to stop this idiotic church from protesting funerals.  Don’t go shoot their members, and don’t go bomb their church, otherwise you’ll be just as crazy as their members, and just as cruel as other crazies inspired by them.  There have to be other peaceful ways to do this.  Let’s put our heads together here and with other friends for more solutions to this problem.  In th meantime, angel action is our best bet, but family & loved ones still know whats going on beyond those wings.

To learn more about all the victims of this tragedy, go to this NY Times article, hover over the photos, and click more information.

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Filed under Bullying, Hazing, Individual Rights & Equality, Religion & Politics