Just like the drug war, another war sustained by lies, and massive wasteful spending.
23 Aug 2021: I served in Afghanistan as a US Marine, twice. Here’s the truth in two sentences. "The right call was getting out in 2002. 2003. ... We deserve better. Instead of politicians spending $6.4 trillion to 'nation build' in the Middle East, we should start nation building right here at home. ... When our country’s elites were preaching about how they had solved the financial crisis and the housing market was booming, I watched the house I joined the Marine Corps out of sit on the market for two years. My dad finally got $43,000 for it. He owed $78,000."
17 Aug 2021: Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have Tried Marijuana. "The percentage of U.S. adults who say they have tried marijuana has ticked up to 49%, the highest Gallup has measured to date. More than 50 years ago, just 4% said they had tried the drug".
27 July 2021: Inside a KKK murder plot: Grab him up, take him to the river. The KKK owns law enforcement today in the Republican state of Florida. "Even though three current and former Florida prison guards were exposed as klansmen, the state’s Department of Corrections says it found no reason to investigate whether other white supremacists were employed in its prisons."
31 Mar 2021: New York Becomes 15th State To Legalize Marijuana.. "Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday [March 31, 2021] ... The legislation automatically clears the records of those with past marijuana-related convictions ... State lawmakers passed the legislation mainly along party lines late Tuesday, [clueless Republicans opposed it]."
22 Jan 2021: Recreational marijuana sales kick off in Arizona.. "Recreational marijuana sales have started in Arizona, with many of the state's medical-marijuana dispensaries getting the OK on Friday [Jan 22, 2021] to open sales to anyone 21 or older. ... It is the fastest that any of the 15 states with recreational marijuana has gone from voter approval [Nov 3, 2020] to actual sales."
15 Jan 2021:Local Massachusetts Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Psychedelics Decriminalization Measure. "Oakland, Santa Cruz and Ann Arbor—have also decriminalized possession of plant-and fungi-based psychedelics. In Oregon, November’s election saw the passage of a historic initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes. ... Much of this reform progress can be traced back to Denver, which became the first city in the country to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in May 2019."
Today at the Worldwide Marijuana March in Antwerp 4 members of Trekt Uw Plant got arrested on the accusation that they planted a seed and some others because they were protesting against this arrest. Details will follow later. Meanwhile everyone is safe and free after 6 hours of detention and interrogation, the manifestation could continue and was visited by 150 people. The manifestation that was not intended as a blow in (open air cannabis consumption room), became a blow in after the intervention of the police, as a natural consequence of the fact that people came together on that place and the fear of the police for further escalation.
Books, T-shirts and flyers have all been confiscated, as well as 84 seeds, and four people at (each less than the officially tolerated 3 grams) cannabis on him. The police action seems to be politically motivated by the lord mayor of Antwerp, Patrick Janssens (also known as El Kapoen), who apparently ordered this directly without consulting the prosecutor nor the public order section of the Antwerp police force, who had given us permission to realize the event knowing perfectly well what we were going to do: plant a seed of one cannabisplant for each member of the Trekt Uw Plant association.
The event has been filmed - there will be scenes from it available soon.
The GMM in Antwerp, Belgium, on 13 may was a modest manifestation: only a handful of people showed up. The weather was fine, but fear was in the air: Two days before in Antwerp, a man of 18 had shot three people because of the colour of their skin and killed two of them. And as always in Flanders, people have difficulties in showing publicly their support for legal cannabis. One of the major political forces here, the fascist-oriented nationalist party Vlaams Belang, had announced a counter-demonstration, and the local police showed up the with the usual performance. Currently, Vlaams Belang has 34% of the votes in Antwerp, it could very well come to power at the next elections.
The positive news is that we obtained great press coverage (articles in two national newspapers, local television) and for a change, positive media coverage!
One of the objectives of the GMM in Antwerp was the presentation of a new association of cannabis consumers and producers, called "DRAW UP YOUR PLANT", that would start a collective plantation in the coming months. The new association wants to use the principle of giving each adult member the opportunity to grow 1 plant, which according to Belgian legislation, would fit in the category "cultivation for personal use" which has the "lowest priority of persecution".
The new association is planning to start its plantation in June, so when the local elections in Antwerp will take place in October, it would be the time of harvesting.
We had a lot of bad luck: heavy rain and wind, the early hour (chosen in order not to compete with Gay Parade in Brussels and a music festival close to Antwerp), late start of publicity campaign as the authorities delayed the permission for weeks, the fact that we could not start in time because unexpectedly, there was a funeral going on in a church close to the venue, the overwhelming presence of police (at least a 100 cops, water cannons, many officers in civilian at or around the place) and a counter demonstration by the Flemish Block Youth Party, a fascist party we have here in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium).
The theatre started before we even had built our stage. Around the planned hour of start of the event the approx. 10 counter demonstrators came marching on to the square. When the police tried to stop them, they threw a stink bomb, that spread quickly because of the wind. When they found out that this was affecting mostly the crowd who was just saying goodbye to a dead relative, the counter demonstrators disappeared quickly.
Half an hour later we could finally start with entertaining presentations, music, explanation of the Belgian cannabis law, music, high class poetry by the anti-stress poet and witnesses of the war on drugs.
At best, there may have been some 30 participants. But among them several journalists, who covered the event in newspapers and a local TV station and included that this was an event to denounce the war on drugs.
Ronald Reagan, 1980 campaign speech: "Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States, and we haven't begun to find out all of the ill effects, but they are permanent ill effects. The loss of memory for example."
See: more info. The quote from Nixon aide John Ehrlichman (in 1994) is from an April 2016 Dan Baum article in Harper's Magazine:Legalize It All. How to win the war on drugs. Quote: "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
See: Nixon's drug war against blacks and hippies.
11 Aug 2021: Article. "The world’s 2,690 global billionaires saw their combined wealth rise from $8 trillion on March 20, 2020 to $13.5 trillion as of July 31, 2021, ... The cost of vaccinating the world’s adult population was calculated as follows: two doses at $7 per dose for 5 billion people, for a total of $70 billion."
"By 2019, Americans earning less than $30,000 a year would be worse off under the Senate bill, CBO found. By 2021, Americans earning $40,000 or less would be net losers, and by 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off. On the flip side, millionaires and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 would be big beneficiaries".
Median wealth is exactly in the middle. 50% of adults have more, and 50% have less. Wealth is all assets (money, stocks, property, etc.) minus all debts. See Wikipedia: List of countries by wealth per adult - From the 2021 publication: The average median wealth per adult for Canada ($125,688) is much higher than that of the former great nation, the USA ($79,274). It's due to Republican trickle-down voodoo economics: Giving tax cuts to the rich instead of to the middle class and poor who actually need them. Low federal minimum wage. Plus predatory mortgage loans and foreclosure. And predatory unforgivable student loans. Google News search: student debt.
Debt in America: An Interactive Map. 29% of all adults. 24% of whites. 39% of people of color. See the map there, and below. See the astonishing percentages of adults with debt in collection. By county. Especially in the South. The South has been greatly impoverished by low Republican minimum wages, lack of expanded Medicaid, unfair bankruptcy laws, massive evictions (past and upcoming).
10 Jul 2018: National (US) Pay Trends. "Since 2006, wages have risen 12.9 percent overall in the US. But when you factor in inflation, real wages' have actually fallen 9.3 percent. In other words, the income for a typical worker today buys them less than it did in 2006."
The KKK owns law enforcement today in the Republican state of Florida.
27 July 2021: Inside a KKK murder plot: Grab him up, take him to the river. "Even though three current and former Florida prison guards were exposed as klansmen, the state’s Department of Corrections says it found no reason to investigate whether other white supremacists were employed in its prisons."
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may the country boast of its constitution and its government.
Many clueless Republican leaders deny it all. They also block free birth control, and simple single-payer, public-option healthcare without deductibles, copays, and premiums. Something that seniors, and everybody else with health problems, needs in order to work part time as one is able, and as an aging world needs.
So politicians worldwide need to work on that instead of trying to incentivize more babies. Truly universal healthcare costs less since it encourages more preventive care, and doesn't need big wasteful middleman health insurance bureaucracies. Healthcare should be completely separate from income level and workplace.
Immigration has to be limited. Economic justice has to happen instead. Countries need fair trade treaties and unions, and to even consider merging countries (or nearly so, as in the European Union). Economies of scale. As they have prospered birth rates have fallen in the European Union, Canada, Japan, Korea, and other peaceful, cooperative, and relatively more economically just areas. South and Central America have relatively higher birth rates. They are also generally more violent, and economically unjust. Africa and the Mideast are generally even more violent, economically unjust, and authoritarian.