Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Crossing the Line: When Criticism of Israel Becomes Anti-Semitic

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-greenblatt/crossing-the-line-when-cr_b_9103302.html
 
Jonathan Greenblatt
National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League
01/28/2016

 
In the wake of a protest against a reception featuring an Israeli community group at a recent LGBTQ conference, there has been widespread controversy. We have read blog posts and articles, watched videos of the protest, and heard from friends and allies who were present at the demonstration.

Yet, what was perhaps most painful for many of us is that we value and embrace much of the good work of these activists and organizers. They are some of our nation's leading advocates, working to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Often they stand as allies in our work for justice and equality.

Unfortunately, though, this fissure is not a new experience. Since starting as the CEO of ADL last summer, I personally have heard from many college students that their Jewish faith renders them pariahs on their campuses -- unless and until they affirmatively denounce Israel.

Campus Hillels and other Jewish organizations that have long worked with LGBTQ campus groups, student of color organizations, and other progressive clubs on campus to host film festivals, panels, and other events increasingly are being shut out, rejected from participating, even when Israel is not on the agenda. Where other students are not being subjected to a litmus test on their views on Israel, Jewish students have been singled out and questioned about their objectivity and position on the issue.

As racial tensions flared across the country the past few years, we heard anecdotes from Jewish racial justice advocates that they were called "kikes" or targeted with other anti-Jewish slurs. When they tried to address the epithets, they were told they need to understand that "it's because of Israel."
Here's the thing, though. It's not. It's anti-Semitism.

Let's be clear. No government is immune from criticism. Surely neither the U.S. government nor the government of Israel nor any other. Indeed, we have criticized policies and practices of Israeli leadership when we felt appropriate to do so.

We recognize that anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian activists will condemn Israel. That is a reality. That is their right. We disagree - vigorously - with their accusations of pinkwashing, with claims that Israel is an apartheid state, and with other efforts to demonize Israel. And we will speak out, challenge their mischaracterizations, and dismantle their indictments with facts and truths, as is our right.

But when that criticism of Israel crosses the line into anti-Semitism, we will condemn it. It is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated anywhere, especially not in social justice circles.

To be specific, when a person conflates Jews, Israelis, and the Israeli government, it is anti-Semitic. When all Jews and all Israelis are held responsible for the actions of the Israeli government, it is anti-Semitic. When Jews would be denied the right to self-determination accorded to all other peoples, it is anti-Semitic.


And when protesters chant "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea," it is appropriately interpreted by most people as a call for the erasure of Israel - and it is anti-Semitic. Giving protestors the benefit of the doubt, it is unlikely that most intend their message to be anti-Semitic. However, regardless of the intent of the protest, the impact matters.

Yet, too often, when students, individuals, or organizations raise the specter of anti-Semitism it is quickly rejected, disregarded, or written off. Israel's critics literally have written best-selling books decrying their so-called inability to criticize Israel.

But President Obama himself noted that anti-Semitism is on the rise. And, as he eloquently reminded, "When any Jews anywhere is targeted just for being Jewish, we all have to respond.. 'We are all Jews.' "

Indeed, we know that women are best positioned to define sexism, people of color to define racism, and LGBTQ people to define homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism. But, does this mean that all women must reach consensus on what offends them? All people of color? Everyone in LGBTQ communities? Hardly.

So too, we Jews are best situated to define anti-Semitism, even if all of us may not likely reach consensus on the definition. Our millennial experience with intolerance demands the same acknowledgement as other forms of bigotry. Indeed, it is the collective responsibility of activists and organizers across the ideological spectrum to stop and listen when someone says, "You've crossed the line."

Standing up for rights of disempowered people is a job for us all. ADL has been doing it for more than 100 years. But marginalizing and wounding others in the process helps no one. Rather, it divides us and impedes our ability to find common ground in places where our collective strength could do so much good.

In the Safe Spaces on Campus, No Jews Allowed

From The Tower:   http://www.thetower.org/article/in-the-safe-spaces-on-campus-no-jews-allowed/

College students have risen up to fight racism on campuses across the country. But it is often those very same students who subject Jewish students to anti-Semitism.

Anthony Berteaux
February, 2016


When Arielle Mokhtarzadeh and Ben Rosenberg arrived at University of California, Berkeley on November 6 to attend the annual Students of Color Conference, they had no way of knowing that they would be leaving as victims of anti-Semitism.

The University of California Student Association’s “oldest and largest conference,” the Students of Color Conference (SOCC) has maintained a reputation for 27 years as being a “safe space” where students of color, as well as white progressive allies, can address and discuss issues of structural and cultural inequality on college campuses. Students who attend are encouraged to be cognizant of their language while exploring topics that directly affect students from marginalized communities: the school-to-prison pipeline, sexual violence, decreased funding to ethnic and LGBT studies departments, racially insensitive speech, and perhaps most importantly, a “disquieting trend” of hate crimes on university campuses statewide.

It was this disquieting, yet growing, trend of hate speech and crimes directed towards Jewish students within the UC system that spurred Mokhtarzadeh and Rosenberg, both Jewish sophomores at UCLA, to attend the conference. Their freshman year was punctuated by incidents of anti-Semitism that were both personal and met with national controversy. They were shocked during their first quarter in school, when students entered the Bruin Cafe to see the phrase “Hitler did nothing wrong” etched into a table. Months later, Mokhtarzadeh’s friend, Rachel Beyda, was temporarily denied a student government leadership position based solely on her Jewish identity, an event that made news nationwide. Throughout the year, they saw the school’s pro-Palestinian group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), issue criticism of Israel that overstepped into anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate. The campus was supposed to be their new home, their new safe space—so why didn’t they feel that way?

Mokhtarzadeh applied to the Students of Color Conference with the hope “of learning more about the experiences of communities of color at the UC… [and] sharing with those communities the experience of my own,” she told me. As an Iranian Jew, she believed her identity as both a religious and ethnic minority granted her a place to belong and thrive at the SOCC. Rosenberg (who requested a pseudonym so that he could speak freely about campus issues without fear of potential retaliation) said that growing up in the Bay Area had taught him to be an active member of social justice movements and progressive communities. “I was always encouraged to take initiative on issues and movements that didn’t directly affect me,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about the struggles that my fellow students were going through.”

But their experiences as Jewish students at the SOCC would soon inspire a rude awakening: the campus progressives who were fighting for justice on college campuses for students of color weren’t only ignoring anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish identity—they were sometimes the ones perpetuating it.

This was quickly made clear on the first day at a session called “Existence is Resistance,” hosted by leaders of UC San Diego’s SJP chapter. Students discussed the boycott of Israel as an issue of urgency for students of color. Rosenberg and Mokhtarzadeh told me that they originally had no intention to engage in dialogue about Israel at the conference, but they were horrified at how attacks on Israel soon devolved into attacks on the Jews. “The session went way beyond the boundaries of what was appropriate or truthful at the SOCC,” Rosenberg recalled.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thetower.org/article/in-the-safe-spaces-on-campus-no-jews-allowed/

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Homeopathy: the air guitar of medicine

From Gadgette:  http://www.gadgette.com/2016/02/03/homeopathy-the-air-guitar-of-medicine/

This subhead contains as many active ingredients as your sugar pill

By Jennifer Harrison, Science Officer February 3, 2016

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine, which means a few things. It means it’s not medicine, it’s an alternative; it means it’s seen by many as somehow better and healthier than modern medicines; and it means that people are incredibly emotional in their support for it.I’ve received death threats pretty much every time I’ve ever written about homeopathy, which is incredible if you think about it. How can a remedy cause so much hatred? And what could I possibly say that would make people upset? Well, it doesn’t work. Homeopathy is a £40 million industry in the UK and it doesn’t even work. I once deliberately overdosed on homeopathic sleeping pills. I ate the whole tube, about a month’s worth. I did fall asleep but it was 10 hours later and at bedtime.

Like cures like

Many alternative medicines are a bit silly. Crystal healing anyone? However, none are as frustratingly absurd as homeopathy. There are not one but two unbelievable aspects of homeopathy that people are often unaware of, the first being like cures like. Homeopathy was invented in 1796 by a German named Samuel Hahnemann. He believed that you could treat and cure illnesses by using substances that cause the symptoms of the illness in healthy people.

If you had insomnia, a suitable substance would be caffeine. Caffeine will keep healthy people awake but if you’re unable to get to sleep then according to homeopathy, it will help you. You can buy homeopathic remedies on the high street that supposedly contain caffeine to help you sleep. And worse, Reddit user papafree claims to have used dangerous and hilarious ingredients while working in a homeopathic manufacturing plant according to this entertaining and disturbing thread.

No active ingredients

Homeopathic remedies come as water or a sugar pill. There are no other ingredients. If you take a remedy for curing insomnia and another for treating the cold and mixed them up, nobody on Earth could figure out which was which. Every test of the pill’s composition would find only sugar. Every study of patients taking the pills would reveal no difference because they are identical pills. There are no active ingredients in homeopathy.

As if Hahnemann’s belief of like cures like wasn’t weird enough, he felt that the more you diluted the substance the more effective it was. This almost makes sense at first because his ingredients were chosen to make symptoms worse (e.g. caffeine for insomnia), so using less of the ingredient would obviously give better results than more. But Hahnemann took it further, introducing the Law of Infinitesimals.

If you take one drop of your ingredient and dilute it in 99 drops of water, you’ve got 1 centesimal. If you take one drop from this solution and mix it into another 99 drops of water, you’ve got 2 centesimals written as 2C. With each further dilution, you very quickly lose the initial ingredient. Remedies are frequently sold at a 30C dilution. At that dilution you could buy enough of the product to fill the entire solar system and not find a single molecule of the original ingredient. You’re more likely to win the lottery five weeks running than find a single molecule of active ingredient in your remedy from Boots.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gadgette.com/2016/02/03/homeopathy-the-air-guitar-of-medicine/

Naomi Klein: Climate Change “Not Just About Things Getting Hotter… It’s About Things Getting Meaner”

From Bill Moyers:  http://billmoyers.com/story/naomi-klein-climate-change-not-just-about-things-getting-hotter-its-about-things-getting-meaner/

In a wide-ranging conversation, the journalist and climate activist discusses the recent Paris climate accords, the politics of global warming, climate change denial and environmental justice.

By Michael Winship February 3, 2016

A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein.

Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful part of the country. As has often been said, it runs on water, and as I grew up, there was an increasing realization that what we have is an invaluable natural resource we could be in danger of losing. Over the years, the threats have grown ever more complex with greater hazards revealed as pollution and development have encroached on the landscape. As a result, much of our audience was composed of environmentalists and concerned citizens, including a contingent from We Are Seneca Lake, the grassroots campaign fighting against the use of crumbling salt mines under the hillsides to store fracked natural gas and liquefied petroleum gases. (One of its leaders is biologist, mother and Moyers & Company guest Sandra Steingraber.)

The conversation with Naomi Klein was billed as “Capitalism vs. The Climate: Reflections on the 2015 UN Climate Conference,” and while we certainly spoke a great deal about that recent climate agreement in Paris, our talk ranged more widely as we discussed her life and work, politics, the continuing right-wing denial of global warming, and the climate justice movement.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. She’s a member of the board of directors for 350.org, the global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Among many other honors, in 2015 she received The Izzy Award – named after the great writer and editor IF Stone — celebrating outstanding achievement in independent journalism and media.

Klein’s most recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards in the nonfiction category. A documentary based on the book, directed by Avi Lewis, was released last fall.

Continue reading at:  http://billmoyers.com/story/naomi-klein-climate-change-not-just-about-things-getting-hotter-its-about-things-getting-meaner/

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Oberlin Alums Say BDS Drive is Fueling Campus Anti-Semitism

From Forward:  http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/332190/oberlin-alums-say-bds-drive-is-fueling-campus-anti-semitism/
 


Jewish alumni and students of Ohio’s Oberlin College say the pro-Palestine Boycott Israel movement has become a springboard for growing anti-Semitism.

“Several student organizations at Oberlin have assumed the role as the mouthpiece of the BDS (Boycott, Divest From, and Sanction Israel) movement, which claims to be a defender of Palestinian rights, but whose inflammatory language falsely portraying Israel as an illegitimate, colonialist and murderous regime demonstrates that its primary goal is to demonize the Jewish state,” an open letter from graduates to the school administration says.

The BDS activists are telegraphing to Jewish classmates that they “either forfeit your allegiance to Israel and join us, or we will brand you as an enemy of justice and complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Some of their protests have been timed to Jewish holy days: On Rosh Hashanah, Students for a Free Palestine planted 2,100 black flags outside of the Oberlin administration office to protest the casualties in Gaza in 2014 when a fed-up Israel struck back against a near-daily barrage of rocket fire.The administration has rebuffed the student anti-Israel demands, including those in a petition from black students that have equated the struggle of people of color with the plight of the Palestinians — and was planning to meet the alum who penned the open letter.

This was one of the “goals” in a list of non-negotiable demands black students handed administrators: “The divestment from all prisons and Israel.”

Marvin Krislov, the Oberlin president, roundly rejected the demands: “I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement,” he said.

And last September the school’s Investment Office rebuffed BDS and SFP demands that the college divest from several companies that do business in the occupied West Bank.

In an online statement, Students for a Free Palestine denied being anti-Semitic — or stoking hatred.

Continue reading at:  http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/332190/oberlin-alums-say-bds-drive-is-fueling-campus-anti-semitism/

Sanders Vows To Kill TPP If Elected. Will Clinton?

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/04/sanders-vows-kill-tpp-if-elected-will-clinton
 
by Dave Johnson
Thursday, February 04, 2016


As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free-trade” agreement was signed in New Zealand by representatives of the 12 participating countries, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders strongly voiced his opposition and committed to doing what he can to kill the deal if he is elected president.

Rival Hillary Clinton has also stated opposition to the TPP, but will she also vow to kill it if elected?

Sanders Vows To Kill TPP

Saying that TPP follows in the footsteps of failed trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, Sanders promised to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations.”
He said that supporters of these agreements have sold them as creating jobs, but over and over again, they have been proven dead wrong.

President Bill Clinton sold NAFTA in 1993, saying it would create a million American jobs over a five-year period. Instead, NAFTA led to the loss of close to 700,000 jobs.

The conservative Cato Institute said that the trade deal with China would create far more export opportunities for America than the Chinese. Instead, the trade deal with China has led to the loss of 3.2 million jobs, and enormous, humongous and continuing trade deficits with that country.

Since 2001, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down and we have lost over 4.7 million manufacturing jobs. If the workers find new jobs at all, they are usually lower-paying.

Sanders said at the press conference, “Trade is a good thing. But trade has got to be fair. And the TPP is anything but fair.”

Sanders vowed to kill TPP if elected, saying, “As your president, not only will I make sure that the TPP does not get implemented, I will not send any trade deal to Congress that will make it easier for corporations to outsource American jobs overseas.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/04/sanders-vows-kill-tpp-if-elected-will-clinton

Social Security is an integral part of most people's retirement.


The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor

From Kevin MD:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html
 
I was a licensed naturopathic doctor in two states. I quit practicing naturopathic medicine after discovering my former boss, also a licensed ND, had been importing and administering an illegal cancer drug. I trusted my boss, as did his patients, because he was well respected in the naturopathic community and his credentials included “FABNO” (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). This FABNO treated any kind of cancer, even in patients who had been discharged by their medical oncologists. I regret not being concerned that the drug would arrive at the clinic in packages with foreign postage. My alarm bells didn’t go off until one day the packages stopped arriving, and my FABNO boss said, “They were probably confiscated.”

Promptly, I looked up the substance. It is called Ukrain and is not approved or under review by the FDA, which makes it a federal crime to import into the U.S. I confronted my boss, to which he acknowledged his actions were “legally questionable.” I hired a lawyer, resigned, and filed a complaint to the state’s naturopathic board.

That evening, a former president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians called and urged me not to go to the authorities because, in his words, “You are a naturopath after all.”
I felt personally insulted. Were my boss’s actions meant to go unreported because of a professional philosophy packaged as an appeal to nature? My interest in being a naturopath evaporated. I had spent almost 8 years in the naturopathic community. I went to one of the “best” naturopathic programs and believed that NDs were primary care physicians. In anguish, I began scrutinizing my education and training at Bastyr University. What I learned is frightening.

What is a licensed naturopath?

Naturopaths are licensed or registered in 17 states, two U.S. territories and D.C., as well as five Canadian provinces. Their goal is full licensure with a scope of practice equal to primary care physicians. Current scopes vary wildly. In Arizona, an ND is considered a “physician” and can prescribe controlled substances and perform minor surgeries. In Alaska, an ND is restricted to providing nutritional advice, counseling, herbs, homeopathy, and physical therapies.

A licensed ND needs to have graduated from a program accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is granted programmatic accrediting status by the U.S. Department of Education. Many, especially NDs, often confuse CNME accreditation with government endorsement. In fact, CNME has accrediting power because it meets administrative criteria, not because the naturopathic curriculum is medically sound. Tellingly, naturopaths accredit their own programs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html

DEA Hired A TSA Informant To Help Take Cash From People's Luggage

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dea-tsa-agent-cash_us_569f9db5e4b0875553c266ea?pu1bgldi

It also promised the agent a cut of the profits.

Nick Wing 01/20/2016

A Department of Justice watchdog officially condemned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration this month, following a report that the agency had recruited a Transportation Security Administration security screener to search bags for cash that the DEA could confiscate.

The very existence of such a partnership highlights much broader concerns about the controversial legal practice known as civil asset forfeiture, which critics say contorts law enforcement priorities and props up a system of policing for profit.

In a summary of its investigation, the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General concluded that the agreement "violated DEA policy" on a number of levels. While the OIG determined that the TSA informant never provided any actionable information to the DEA, it concluded that the plans to pay the agent out of the cash he or she helped seize "could have violated individuals’ protection against unreasonable searches and seizures if it led to a subsequent DEA enforcement action."

In effect, the OIG was questioning the propriety of an arrangement in which a TSA agent would use his or her power to tip off the DEA to the presence of cash in travelers' luggage, and then receive compensation based on how profitable that information was to the agency.

Robert Everett Johnson, an attorney for the libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice, says the same criticism could be made about the entire practice of civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement officials to seize a person's property -- including cash, cars, jewelry and houses -- without obtaining a conviction or even charging the owner with a crime.

"This really is what we see every day around the country -- when law enforcement takes property using civil forfeiture, law enforcement is able to keep that property and use it to fund their budgets and in many cases even to pay the salaries of people who are overseeing the forfeitures," said Johnson.

"That creates an obvious financial incentive to take property from people who haven't done anything or haven't been proven to have done anything wrong. It creates an incentive for all kinds of abuse," he added.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dea-tsa-agent-cash_us_569f9db5e4b0875553c266ea?pu1bgldi
See Also: How Police Officers Seize Cash From Innocent Americans

We Are Not Your Enemies -- Pinklying, Pinkwashing and the Decline of the LGBTQ Left

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/we-are-not-your-enemies_b_9128730.html
 
 Dana Beyer01/31/2016
 
Many of you are aware of the crisis that occurred two weeks ago at the National LGBTQ Task Force's (Task Force) annual Creating Change conference, which I and many others have covered at this site and elsewhere. Today I'd like to examine in greater detail the club used by the radical left to slander and libel their Jewish compatriots. I call that weapon "pinklying"; they call it "pinkwashing."

The term "pinkwashing" has been around for awhile, but has gotten new life thanks to this manufactured crisis at Creating Change. Kudos to the disruptors for getting the word out -- Creating Change is now the go-to destination for the young activists who demand attention and create drama rather than change -- but now they will have to defend it against an engaged and better-educated opposition.
I will start with the definition used by Sarah Schulman, one of the leaders of the Jewish wing of the BDS movement (her followers are known as "Schulmanites"):

"pinkwashing": a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians' human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.
So let's do a bit of exegesis on this definition. I think it's fair to say that most leftist Jews have a real problem with "the continuing violations of Palestinians' human rights." I work for a two-state solution because I'm appalled not only at those human rights violations, but the violation of the core integrity of the Jewish soldiers asked to carry them out. That my children's generation feels obligated to carry out those orders causes me despair. I am very grateful to Breaking the Silence for speaking out on this very issue.

Israel does have "an image of modernity" because it is a modern state. Denying that is absurd. Is that modernity "signified by Israeli gay life"? To a degree, and that "gay life" sets it apart from the Arab world in general. One should know, however, that while the law in Israel is quite supportive of LGBT citizens, only 40% approve of homosexuality (though compared to only 4% in Palestine). The rabbinate, which controls all family law in the state, is vociferously opposed, and the most extreme fundamentalist Jews are inciting murderous violence against the queer population. A Wider Bridge (AWB) exists to build relationships with organizations like the Agudah and Jerusalem Open House to help them confront the daily threats to their existence, threats that exist even in the "modern" state of Israel.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/we-are-not-your-enemies_b_9128730.html

Why Americans Are Turning Their Backs On Corporate Media…


Radical Rant: Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Marijuana

From High Times:  http://www.hightimes.com/read/radical-rant-bernie-sanders-vs-hillary-clinton-marijuana
 
By Russ Belville Tue Feb 02, 2016

The first of the presidential nominating contests is complete. The Iowa Caucus was held last night and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton eked out a 0.3 percent win over her challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton picked up 28 delegates to Sanders’ 21 delegates, with three of those delegates coming by way of Hillary winning three coin flips in three precincts that had come up tied.

The real winner last night, though, was marijuana consumers who would be far better off under a President Sanders, who now has the political momentum, than under a President Clinton.

Hillary Clinton maintains a perspective on marijuana better suited for 2000 than 2016. She still believes the jury is out on medical marijuana, saying, “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet.”

Apparently over 29,000 studies on the government’s PubMed database just aren’t “enough research yet.”

Though she’s warmed up a bit to medical marijuana, her idea of reform is to move cannabis from Schedule I (a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse, like LSD and heroin) down to Schedule II (a deadly dangerous drug with medical use and high potential for abuse, like cocaine and meth).

Senator Sanders, meanwhile, has a perspective on marijuana suited for 2016 and beyond. “The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Sanders told students at George Mason University last year.

More than three-in-five (77 percent) of Millennial Democrats (born ’81-’96) agree with Senator Sanders, as do almost two-thirds (63 percent) of Millennial Republicans. Three-in-five Gen-X Democrats (’64-’80) and two-thirds (66 percent) of Boomer Democrats (’46-’64) also agree that marijuana ought to be made legal.

Hillary Clinton is also the Democrat in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry, as noted by Marijuana Politics blogger Romain Bonilla:

Continue reading at:  http://www.hightimes.com/read/radical-rant-bernie-sanders-vs-hillary-clinton-marijuana

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top US generals: Women should have to register for the draft, too

Back in the 1960s I used to think the Draft was wrong, but now I see everyone having to take their chances at being drafted as fairer than the Economic Draft we currently have where the poor "volunteer" in order to get the benefits they would otherwise be denied due to their economic status..

And yes women should be drafted too along with LGBT folks.


From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/top-us-generals-women-should-have-to-register-for-the-draft-too/
 
Reuters
02 Feb 2016


The top U.S. Marine Corps and Army generals said on Tuesday that women should be required to register for the military draft, along with men, as the armed forces move toward integrating them fully into combat positions.

“I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft,” General Robert Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on women in combat.

General Mark Milley, the chief of staff of the Army, also backed registration for women, although two other witnesses, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy, said only that there should be a discussion of legislation requiring women to register for the Selective Service.

The U.S. military is currently an all-volunteer force, but young men are required to register in case the draft is reactivated.

The military leaders said it would take years for women to be fully integrated into combat units, although they generally voiced strong support for the plan to skeptical committee members.

Milley estimated full integration would take “no less than one to three years of deliberate effort.”
President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, announced in December that the military would let women serve in all combat roles. The historic announcement was greeted with intense skepticism by many Republican members of Congress, as well as expectations it would require women to register for the draft.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/top-us-generals-women-should-have-to-register-for-the-draft-too/

Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate to oppose fracking

From Grist:  http://grist.org/article/bernie-sanders-is-the-only-presidential-candidate-to-oppose-fracking/
 
By
28 Jan 2016


This story was originally published by The New Republic and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

There isn’t much daylight these days between the Democratic candidates on the environment. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley all agree that humans are responsible for climate change and that it’s one of the world’s most pressing problems. To that end, they support clean energy tax breaks, reject drilling in the Arctic, and oppose the (now-rejected) Keystone XL pipeline.

But there’s one environmental issue where Sanders truly stands apart: He wants to ban hydraulic fracturing outright. Clinton and O’Malley have proposed lesser measures, and show no sign of going further. That’s an indication of just how radical Sanders’ stance really is, but it also raises an important question: Is a fracking ban remotely plausible?

There used to be more daylight between the candidates, especially Sanders and Clinton. The Vermont senator has long called for “a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters” — and he’s taken early, decisive stances in support of many of the environmental movement’s top demands before he ever launched his presidential campaign.

Clinton has followed Sanders’ lead to the left. She came out against the Keystone XL pipeline just months before President Barack Obama rejected it. She knocked the dangers of Arctic drilling last August, as Shell faced increasing scrutiny and abandoned its exploratory drilling just one month later. And she opposed Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on the grounds it would hurt American jobs and wages, but the move earned her points with green groups who opposed the deal for other reasons. That’s not an exhaustive list of every issue environmentalists care about, but it was enough to earn the Clinton campaign an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters.

Continue reading at:  http://grist.org/article/bernie-sanders-is-the-only-presidential-candidate-to-oppose-fracking/