Budget cuts? Police first!!
2 comments, 24/02/2009, by in Opinion

Perusing the news as I usual do, I come across LA sheriff could free 4,000 inmates due to budget.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca told The Associated Press on Monday it looks as if he’ll have to close two jails and eliminate the positions of the staff at those facilities.

“There’s no way around me cutting $71 million out of the budget that won’t affect having to close a jail or two,” Baca said. “I have to start cutting.”

Baca hasn’t finalized plans, but said he was looking at closing two of the county’s 10 jail facilities: the old central jail, which houses about 2,300 inmates; and part of another facility in Castaic in the north of the county that houses about 1,500 inmates. Violent offenders from the closed jails would be housed in other facilities.

Closing those facilities would eliminate positions for about 400 of the department’s 10,000 deputies and another 200 or so civilian jobs would be lost too. The job cuts would come primarily through a hiring freeze.

Of the inmates that would be released early, Baca said he’d first look to nonviolent offenders who are awaiting trial.

I can only see this as a good thing as it pertains to police AND marijuana reform.

gaining perspective

While I wouldn’t want to see anyone hurt by this economy, it’s an inevitable occurrence and it couldn’t happen to a “better” group of people in my opinion. Let’s be honest here folks. Police departments, along with the prison industry, are the most bloated and costly expenditure to the American taxpayer. Take for example, in 2007, there were about 872,000 marijuana-based arrests [Drug Sense via FBI]. These are the arrests that the former drug czar, John Walters, claims didn’t happen. He called them unicorns because he said they didn’t exist. Obviously, there are about 872,000 unicorns in 2007 alone. At any rate, that’s one dirty, lying cop that I am glad to see gone.

let’s talk numbers

But, I digress. I want people to think about the billions of dollars spent in time, man power, prison, helicopters, technology, and so on. Think about the billions of dollars that could be saved if we stop acting as if the police are doing this nation a great service by arresting and destroying the life of some lowly pothead. Think about the billions of dollars that get diverted away from hospitals, schools, and roads only to support a failed war on drugs.

Imagine that it costs $35,000 to keep a person in prison for one year (don’t get ahead of me). Now, multiply that by 872,000 lowly potheads that were arrested and imprisoned in 2007. That’s $30,000,000,000 per year to hold people who use marijuana. That’s $30,000,000,000 that could have gone to teachers, school books, afterschool programs, nurses, bridge construction, road work, and so on. That $35,000 per person could be used to hire someone for a job. That’s a potential of 872,000 jobs that could be saved nation wide. And these numbers only look at the cost of KEEPING a pothead in prison. In the United States, the war on drugs costs American taxpayers upwards of $70,000,000,000 and that’s before anyone is even arrested. WOW!

big bad pothead theory

My feelings are that if we’re going to start cutbacks here, start with the police and corrections first. Release non-violent criminals who don’t belong in prison in the first place. There’s no reason we should be spending tens of thousands per person to keep them in prison when they pose no harm to the community.

Seriously, how can a marijuana user be any more benign? Who’s afraid of the big bad pothead? Who’s afraid of the of the “deflated” chick in the anti-marijuana ad? Oh no! Watch out! She’s gonna getcha! Riiiiiiiiight! It’s laughable to say the least.

regaining perspective

I believe that this economy is going to define marijuana policy in the future. The United States finally has to prioritize it’s responsibilities to the people because times are tough. While this is possibly the crappiest reason to redefine marijuana policy, it’s about time the United States seriously addresses the incomprehensible madness that is US drug policy as a whole. I simply don’t understand how is it that a pothead, such as myself, cares more about jobs and families than a supposed normal person. How can it be considered normal to believe that jailing a pothead is more important than saving a teacher’s job or lowering the costs of medical expenses for a struggling family?

Am I, a pothead, really the problem with the United States?
You’d have to be in the Twilight Zone to believe that (or an overpaid police officer)!

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Tug of War over Michael Phelps
2 comments, 03/02/2009, by in Opinion

Introduction

I really wanted to write about Michael Phelps but I had to hold on a minute. I knew the story was too simple to speak about. Superstar athlete gets caught smoking marijuana, supposedly. Immediately, I knew everyone would jump on that; I couldn’t. I felt the story needed some complexity before it was worth writing about. Well, the issue just got good.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County…

“This case is no different than any other case,” Lott said Monday. “This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It’s a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred.”

Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a $570 fine, plus court costs.

Richland sheriff could charge Phelps by Adam Beam @ The State

Two Sides

From what I am reading in comments and other articles, it seems this is good for both sides of marijuana legalization. The prohibitionists want to seem strong against drug use so demonizing Michael Phelps will be a good move. However, Michael Phelps is not just some geeky guy from the suburbs. He’s a world record holding, Olympic swimming champion. He’s a role model to millions and promoted as such. To bring down Michael Phelps is not just some typical everyday arrest. It’s the destruction of American pride. That’s a very hard thing to do and no one wants to see it happen.

While those supporting marijuana legalization don’t want to see another good person, or true role model, go down, it’s not such a bad idea that Phelps will become a victim, or martyr, of an archaic system that has gone awry from day one. People will begin to question the validity of a policy that could place an icon in prison for such a minor infraction. People will question the validity of the arguments that keep this policy in place. Finally, people will want to know, “If marijuana is so dangerous to your health, then how did this guy manage to set world records and win so many medals?”

Racial Element

Just the image of Michael Phelps with a ROOR bong to his mouth alone has brought to light much-ignored conversations regarding the racial disparity of law enforcement, especially when it comes to marijuana use. Matt Fogg, former US Marshal and LEAP speaker, probably said it best when he said, “[Black people] make up 12% of the population, but [they] make up 80% of the drug arrests….” The questions being thrown around in this debate question whether or not Phelps isn’t going to be punished at all simply because he’s white.

But, Michael Phelps is more than just white. While his skin may preclude from a lot of persecution at the hands of law enforcement, there are also other reasons he won’t be persecuted. He’s rich with endorsement deals and various other income streams. That kind of money usually frightens police officers and district attorneys alike. He’s famous. That will definitely haunt some people in the future. He has the support of Octagon. He’s still a role model. Toss in the realities of the many marijuana smokers that have already invaded our society at high levels. Take a look at Celebstoner to get a “whiff” of all the big celebs who toke on joints on a daily basis. President Barack Obama was a pothead. With that too cool and calm demeanor I believe he still gets his high from time to time.

Is Marijuana dangerous?

Is marijuana the dangerous substance it’s claimed to be by the prohibitionists? The easy answer is no. Marijuana is not dangerous. Marijuana didn’t prevent Obama from becoming president nor was it so dangerous to stop Phelps from being a world swimming champion. Should Phelps be punished for marijuana use? According to the current law, he absolutely should be. Not only was he engaged in smoking marijuana but he should also have a paraphernalia charge for having that ROOR as well. Maybe, the Richland Country sheriff should pull a Rachel Hoffman on Phelps so we can all find out the identity of his supplier.

No, No, and No

If Michael Phelps is punished, how far will it go? Will the “righteous” police sheriff arrest and charge Michael Phelps? Will the school officials opt to investigate the situation? Will the IOC be willing to strip Phelps of his medals?

But Lott seems to be the only person talking about making a case against Phelps. Both the USC and Columbia Police Departments said they would not pursue charges.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Phelps’ sponsors — from apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega — issued statements calling the incident a “nonissue.” The International Olympic Committee accepted his apology.

“We have no reason to doubt his sincerity and his commitment to continue to act as a role model,” the IOC said in a statement.

At the University of South Carolina, where Phelps was visiting when the picture was taken, the mood was largely “who cares?”

“He’s young, and he is human. They’ll probably let him off easy because he owned up to it.”

– Richland sheriff could charge Phelps by Adam Beam @ The State

Oh well. Sorry for all of the suspense. It looks like another case where someone who’s rich or famous or white gets away with a criminal act because they’re rich or famous or white. This definitely opens the door to many more questions. If it’s such a “nonissue” and the general mood is, “who cares?”, then why is it such an issue for so many millions of others, mainly African American males?

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How dumb can a cop get?
1 comment, 02/02/2009, by in Opinion

How about…

…a police officer can so be so dumb that they’d consider a 14 year old child “savvy” to impersonate a police officer for five hours. Don’t believe me? Here’s the article: 14-year-old boy impersonates cop, police say. Now, this part of the article had me laughing and in tears, literally:

The boy identified himself as an officer from another district but was detailed for the day to Grand Crossing and also was savvy enough to sign out a police radio and a ticket book, according to a source. The source also said the boy went on traffic stops with the officer he went on the street with.

This wasn’t some kid who came just upon a uniform in some way, shape or form and went out on his own. No! He went to the damn station, greeted everyone, ate some donuts, took a dump, and even joked about O’Malley’s wife. He got partnered up with another police officer including getting a radio and ticket book and made traffic stops. And they didn’t figure out a damn thing until the “tour” was over. What tipped them off?

After his tour was over, a ranking officer became suspicious of the boy. Police said the officer discovered the teen was not a real police officer when he couldn’t produce any credentials. The boy was wearing police-issued pants, shirt, vest, sweater and skull cap, police said. He was missing his police star, but that was not discovered until after he returned from traffic patrol.

So, it took all of those clues to figure out that this child was NOT a real cop but:

Police said the 14-year-old’s partner on the traffic assignment did not recognize the boy was underage.

And, it doesn’t seem anyone knew a damn thing either. So, this child, this 14 year old baby, went truly undetected at a police station full of people who are charged with the safety of other people. I want to see a picture of this child. He’d better look like a grown man. Unfortunately, because he is a minor, we won’t get those images unless waived by the parents.

This is not surprising for me

I know sometimes on my blog it seems I keep track of police officer stupidity but I really don’t. It’s just so damn prevalent, I can’t help but come across something stupid done by police officer. In this case, it’s a whole police station. Imagine the stories we aren’t hearing in the news.

However, it does surprise me that police officers, well the smart ones at least, don’t do more for the integrity of their own profession. They should be out there pointing out police officer stupidity, writing up these guys, and helping the community promote better policies for handling corrupt police officers. But, I guess if any police officers were smart, police stupidity wouldn’t be so prevalent. If it was up to me, these guys would have those bright orange leashes for children attached to their backs and permanently lead around by people in the community.

Why would you listen to a police officer?

One thing I take issue with in the news is when they interview police officers about anything, especially marijuana. They all point out how marijuana is dangerous with flubbed statistics, outright lies, pseudoscience, and pure bullshit. But, if you didn’t know anything about the topic at hand, you’d think they were an expert at something. Truth is, they aren’t experts at anything. The smart cops (they do exist) know and understand topics better, present themselves more professionally, and do the job much better. The problem is that they’re usually disrespected by the police officers because of their education and intelligence (see: $815,000 settlement for fired Mountlake Terrace cop). It’s like that thug “friend” who tells you, “school is for fools” or some other ignorant anti-education cliche.

All I realize is that the policy on how police are treated and allowed to interact with the community needs a severe adjustment. Police need heavier restraints and real penalties to counter this Judge Dredd attitude and vigilante tactics. I’d like to, at one point in my life, have some respect for law enforcement officers these days. But, with frequent stories in the news only showing the tip of the iceberg of police stupidity, corruption, and malfeasance, I don’t think I’ll ever have that privilege. Maybe we need another grand disaster for the humanity in any police department to show itself.

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Police Corruption: Victims R Us
3 comments, 23/01/2009, by in Opinion

Are Black and Hispanic folks safe?


White folks have it easy?


What about news reporters, women, children???


Things are much easier around the world, I bet.


The Cost of Bad Police Policy

This just really shows that it’s never going to matter how much money is involved or the training given, police are bad for one reason: they’re allowed to get away with it. And, even if they don’t fully get away with it, very few actually will do any time in jail for the crimes they commit against innocent people. As long as they’re protected, the people remain unprotected and we all deserve equal protection under the law.

And, who gets the bill when police officers get a slap on the wrist? Do you think police departments have “Oops We Hurt/Killed Another Citizen” insurance plan? Yes they do actually. That’s what the tax payers are for, you and me. Every time you hear about a court case against a police officer, think about the funds it takes to prosecute/defend that criminal cop. That’s some number of potholes the streets could fill. Think about all of the cases settled for five- and six-figures. That money represents the teachers we could hire, in quality and quantity, books for school, and music and arts programs. Now think about all of the seven- and eight-figure settlements. Cities could easily support new infrastructure programs, create more jobs, help strengthen the economy. Think about the toll on society as even decent law abiding citizens are more frightened of police than the criminals they’re supposed to catch because they’re one and the same.

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Police Corruption: Protecting Yourself Part 2
Comments Off on Police Corruption: Protecting Yourself Part 2, 22/01/2009, by in Opinion

…continued from Police Corruption: Protecting Yourself Part 1

GUNS, GUNS, and more GUNS

Do not be afraid to own more than one gun which should include a shotgun. Don’t expect to go to war with the DEA or the local police. You will lose. However, you want to make them think twice about coming into your apartment without any resistance. This will give you time to TALK to them so that you can come to a peaceful, non-fatal conclusion for the night. And, be sure to practice extreme safety when storing your guns especially if you have children.

Media Planning

Do not be afraid to gain media coverage of your particular incident. The worst thing for a police department is to have their criminal cops plastered all over the evening news. On the other side be prepared for someone to drag your name through the mud

One guy that does this, and whom I hate with a passion, is this NYPD clown, Pat Lynch. He’s the Police BullSh*t Association president for these corrupt officers in New York City. No matter what happens in the news, regardless of who’s right or wrong, Pat Lynch is out there doing his best to sway public opinion against victims of police brutality. This guy openly supports the WORST of the NYPD. While the lawyers may keep their mouths shut and the officers charged with crimes have a court-issued gag order, this animal comes out to “Lynch” anybody who speaks truthfully about police officers.

This is why you, as a private citizen, ought to know who to contact in your community when racist animals like Pat Lynch attack! These criminal advocates will drag your name through the streets in support of corrupt police. So, you need a potent mouth piece, not to speak badly about police as that’s not needed, but simply to tell the truth to protect your name and image. Don’t get “Lynched” in the media.

Legal Team

You and your lawyer are your legal team. If you don’t have a lawyer that knows you, you don’t have a lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, you don’t have a legal team. Get a lawyer on retainer as you would have a cell phone in your pocket. By keeping your mouth shut and collecting as much evidence as possible, you are doing yourself the biggest favor in court. It’s because the police absolutely rely on the fact that there are no witnesses or anything recording their activities that they are able to get away with the crimes they commit against innocent people.

Get Political

Get to know your local politicians and their views on specific issues. They may be the problem as opposed to the solution. They may be the very ones advocating, promoting, or just ignoring these type of do-anything, harm anyone police tactics. At the end of the day, they speak for the people. If the people aren’t talking, then who is being heard? Keep in contact with your local assemblyman on up to state senators and so on. You may find out the worst is true and may need to put your support behind the other person come election time.

Protect Yourself

An encounter with a police officer can be the most life changing event you’ll ever experience. And, it won’t be because you committed some serious crime. It will be because you were walking down the street and they were bored. It might even be a bet between two partners. It might be because they just wanted to play SWAT team. But, when they’ve decided to focus their attention on you, it will be the scariest rollercoaster of your life. They’ll abuse you physically, emotionally, and mentally. And, it can last for months or years. The best way to see to it that this not be a bad situation for you is to put yourself in a position to have the police on defense.

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Police Corruption: Protecting Yourself Part 1
1 comment, 21/01/2009, by in Opinion

Intro

The police have so many tactics and little tricks they use against innocent people that it becomes difficult for an ordinary person to come out on top in the end. Back in the day, police departments practiced torture and coercion to get their way. Tens of thousands of people were forced to admit to thing they never did. This practice continues as police officers lob threats against you and your family. They’re allowed to get on camera and make their case against you so that even if you do win, you’re still guilty or tainted. It’s because of these tactics that I wanted to discuss some ways to protect yourself against corrupt police officers.

Shut Up. Keep your cool.

Police officers like to provoke and escalate situations. They’ll say and do anything to get that rise out of you. Don’t fall for it. They want the altercation. They want a reason to fight with you. Think about it. They already have the upper hand – semi-automatic gun, baton, pepper spray, tazer and a walkie talkie so they can call their friends to join in on the fun of destroying your life.

Don’t be the man that falls for this trick. Not only will they “knock your teeth in” but you’ll end up going to prison for protecting yourself against harassment and abuse. Even worse, they may end up killing you and be treated as heroes for cold-blooded murder. This is why these police murders are so prevalent in society.

Personal Surveillance

As an African American male living in New York City, it becomes necessary to go the extra mile to protect yourself. While it is illegal for us to wear bullet proof vests although we’re the ones mostly in need of such protection from police, we can at least maintain some sort of recording device on our person in the event that we are stopped by the police for any reason. I’ve been looking into mostly spy devices which are pretty costly. But, if I can wear something that will definitely record audio and video of police harassment at the time it’s occurring, I’ll at least feel that I can come out on top in the end.

Never expect a situation in which a police officer won’t find a way to harm you. So, don’t worry about trying to prevent it. Your best bet is to simply minimize it and use the evidence gathered from your personal surveillance to defend yourself in the future.

We all can’t afford personal surveillance. It gets quite expensive, especially if you want to use devices in your car or property. However, we can afford stickers for our cars or pins on our chests that will allude to it. One thing police are afraid of is being caught on tape as is the nature of any criminal. If enough people can afford surveillance devices, it will play enough of a deterrent to police officers seeking to harm innocent people. I remember years ago a tenant set up a camera and a motion detector in front of the door to his apartment. He’d be alerted when anyone was near and could simply check the camera. It was big and bulky and very obvious but it worked and that’s how he felt safe.

Reinforce your life

Many times police officers lie to get search warrants (and the judges know). Other times, it be a mistaken no-knock raid. Either way, they will bust in your door and destroy your life by either outright murdering you or splitting up your family – put your children in foster homes and try to get your spouse to turn against you.

  • In case of Kathryn Johnston [link], a grandmother in Atlanta, she was mudered in her own home by police officers. And, they planted evidence in a botched cover up attempt.
  • In the case of Alberta Spruill [link], a church going woman in Harlem, she was simply scared to death by no-knock raiding police officers.

And there are many more cases of these situations where the police or DEA may simply come into your home and ruin your life. These are things you want to prevent in your life because these women were elderly grandmothers just enjoying the rest of their days. And, they could be any one of us.

Get a heavy metal door that is reinforced into the house or apartment. Another good idea is to set up a double door situation in which they may break into the first one and be met with another much stronger door. Do not be afraid to put full-sized bars across all of your windows as well. None of this will stop the police from coming into your house. But, they will provide you enough time to protect yourself.

to be continued…

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Police Corruption Tactics
3 comments, 19/01/2009, by in Opinion

Intro

It’s always been a wonder exactly what ways the corrupt police officers charge and get people convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. While I can’t imagine to know every single way they spread their dirt, I can definitely point out some things that people in general should watch out for in the event they’re confronted with a typical police officer.

Lying

Of course this is the most common of police tactics. Police officers lie big and they lie small. It’s the small lies that do the most damage. For example, when I was arrested for witnessing police brutality on a young Black man, the police officer who arrested me was not the officer who wrote up the report. Instead, they got a Puerto Rican officer to lie on the report saying that he arrested me when in fact, he wasn’t even actually there!

Bait & Switch

I confronted the officer because I didn’t get a chance to see the real arresting officer’s name or number. The guy that arrested me was some short, fat white guy with beedy eyes. He’s the same officer I witnessed pepper spray that young Black man AFTER he was already beaten and in the back of the cruiser on two separate occasions. The Puerto Rican officer explained to me that the arresting officer is not always the one to write the report and I’d be dealing with him, instead.

Padding

I asked the officer what I am being charged with and I find out the charges are disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. This is amazing being that I was in my bedroom, 2nd floor, in my underwear watching from the window. Finally, when I get to arraignment the prosecutor reads off the report and the officer claimed that I was hanging out of the window, yelling obscenities, and I threw something at them that “nearly missed him”. Basically, they were trying to paint me as a crazy person in this report. The judge really homed in on the throwing incident because he wanted to know if it missed or it hit. The prosecutor couldn’t explain it because the officer never showed up to the arraignment, obviously. Why would the fake cop show up when he wasn’t even there?

It’s funny because if I did throw something or did hit a police officer, why wasn’t I charged with that “crime”? It’s because they wanted the disorderly conduct and inciting a riot to stick to me without the blow out of a real trial and case in court. Imagine what it would be if I really did hit that officer! Come on! It would have to come out as to why I would do all of that. They don’t want “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” to come out in court especially when they’re busy fabricating reports.

To conclude

This is not anything new folks. This is not isolated to my situation. Simply look at the articles and links posted above. Police officers from coast to coast, north and south, are typically liars. They need to lie because that’s the only way they’ll ever get their “shits and giggles”. As dumb and ignorant as most police officers are, especially the ones who think this doesn’t apply to them, it’s impossible for them to actually do their job.

They’re simply too stupid.

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I am not Mr. Pothead
3 comments, 30/12/2008, by in Opinion


Intro

It’s funny how people act or react when they find out someone else is involved with marijuana. People who were once glorified in their respective professions, awarded for their accomplishments, turn into thugs and criminals over night.

  • A doctor who prescribes marijuana to patients becomes a drug dealer.
  • A police officer joins LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and becomes a traitor.
  • A teen is caught smoking a joint and becomes a junkie.
  • A longtime friend admits marijuana use and becomes an outcast.

A society that once saw a hero, now sees a villain. Something is wrong this picture.

President Anthony is not Mr. Pothead

I’ll use myself as an example. I have been smoking marijuana for about 6 years now. While many people know, many don’t know. But, when they do find out, a lot changes. I am no longer a simple person anymore. I am whatever I was before plus the term “pothead”, almost like a last name. Before, I was cute, educated, smart, and many other things. Today, to those so-called friends, I am a cute pothead, educated pothead, and a smart pothead.

It’s not so much the “pothead” that bothers me. Yes, I am a pothead.. well.. a marijuana connoisseur better describes me. But, it’s that arrogant derogatory usage that gets to me when non-marijuana users use it. It’s like being called “black” by a completely up-turned nose white person. Most darker skin folks understand what I mean as they’ve most likely experienced the usage toward them. You can almost sense the arrogance in the tone and that they think less of you.

The truth…

…is that there’s nothing that person can do or say to make things better because it’s not the terms they use but the way in which they used those terms that does the damage. And the damage multiplier is when it comes from a longtime friend/family or client or patient or coworker. This person knows you. They never could discern the difference when you were high or sober – driving, talking, walking, gaming, etc. I always find it HILARIOUS when those cancer smoking and alcohol drinking friends accuse me of being high when I hadn’t smoked anything in more than a week. But, now they KNOW more about you, you’ve become Mr. or Ms. Pothead.

So, the question then becomes, what changed?

Yes, I am okay.

I didn’t change. I am still me. Just yesterday, we were doing this and doing that. You didn’t know I was high. For years, you never knew I was high. You never even thought anything was strange with me. All of a sudden, you’re cutting your eye at me. You’re treating me different. You’re asking if I am okay. I have been just as okay as you’ve known me for the past six years when you never knew I smoked marijuana. Why should my current state of well being be questioned now? Why should it be questioned when I wasn’t even smoking anything?

In fact, I am NOT okay. I am actually very sober and I NEED to get high just so that I can tolerate your NEW bullshit.

Silver Lining

Eventually, people grow up. Look at the United States. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act included marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. Thirty years later, marijuana has been decriminalized in many states and 14 states have medical marijuana laws. The more friends get to see you high, the more they realize that marijuana is not some evil addictive narcotic. I won’t glorify marijuana. But, there’s a reason more and more people are smoking marijuana today. There’s a reason for the state-by-state change in marijuana policy. There’s a reason why quite a few of my friends seem to be coming out of the closet.

It’s because many of us potheads have put up with the bullshit long enough that others can stop acting like complete idiots, adjust their arrogance, alleviate their ignorance, and even move toward actually smoking with you instead of looking down on you.

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It’s Not Drug Dealing When The CIA Does It
4 comments, 26/12/2008, by in Opinion

Incredible Washington Post article I just read. Check it out: Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan. What’s going on here? The CIA seems to be dealing Viagra to the elderly Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. Let’s check out some excerpts from this article:

His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

“Take one of these. You’ll love it,” the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception.

Wow! That sounds like some hardcore drug pushing to me.

“Hey kid! You feeling a little sad? Try one of these pills. It’ll make you feel all better.”

And sure enough it did. Jack knew what he was doing when he gave little Tommy that methamphetamine. Tommy told his friends and then they were hooked, stealing from their parents to support their drug habit.

Now replace Jack with the CIA and Tommy and his friends with the Taliban. Sounds like drug pushing to me. Here’s some more from the article.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country’s roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

Oooh. Is that what it’s called now? It’s not drug pushing anymore folks. It’s “novel incentives and creative bargaining”. Well I wonder if Jack could use that in the court of law.

“Your honor, I wasn’t pushing drugs. I was using novel incentives and creative bargaining.”

OK OK OK. Enough. Let’s be real.

The truth of the matter is that the CIA is over there pushing Viagra, and who knows what else, to a bunch of old men who are probably married to 10yo girls. And, the Taliban is no damn better. They’re busy chopping off hands and torturing people to get them to stop growing heroin, yet they’re excited over some pills. These people are very conservative… wait.. abusing drugs, easily bribed, and overly conservative while at the same time condemning others for lesser activities.. THAT’S A DAMN REPUBLICAN.

All this nation wants is legal marijuana. Maybe I should control some supply/trade routes in New York City and marry a 10yo girl. Maybe the US Government will approach me with drugs too.

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Cali Kush and the BlackBerry Bold
3 comments, 22/12/2008, by in Opinion

First thing’s first, I am sorry for being late with this post. I was BAKED all of Sunday and into wee morning hours. Wooooooooooo. Baked off of some…

Cali Kush

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had some marijuana that put me on my ass. While I’ve had Cali Kush before, I don’t quite remember it being this damn good. It was me and two other friends. The plan was to order a large pie from Ray’s Pizza, real pizzeria, watch tv and smoke up while we wait on the pizza. My bright idea is to roll a good size blunt so we could get truly baked. I ended up rolling this SLUG of a blunt. See here:

Needless to say, we were awesomely baked.

Also, I finally upgraded my phone to the…

BlackBerry Bold

Normally I am a Sony Ericsson man. In fact, I’d go so far as to drop the Sony but it is what it is. Although my first phone was a Nokia (free), every phone since then has been a Ericsson, or Sony Ericsson, phone. I loved their phones because they were strong, sturdy, and did what they said they do. But, it was time to upgrade to something more functional for me. I wanted that PDA feeling back that I had with my Toshiba E800 and I knew the PDA/Phone hybrid market was finally getting it done the right way – near seamless convergence between the PDA and the Phone.

I was awaiting the SE Xperia X1 or SEX1 phone. However, no carrier picked it up. The unlocked price of that phone is $800 which I can’t do. Besides I am worried about the phones abilities when not made to function on a specific network. The nearest option with the exact same features was the HTC Fuze. But, I know the Fuze was a knockoff of the SEX1. I couldn’t bring myself to buying a cheap knockoff.

So, my only option was the BlackBerry Bold. On day 1, it was just fine. I synchronized all my info and personalized it as much as I could, officially dubbing it the BlackBerry Anthony because it was mine. Days 2 and 3 are a different story. It stopped syncing with the computer, had errors, etc etc etc. I looked online for help for “909 errors” and “connector” problems. I called tech support and the woman couldn’t even help me with it. So, I took it back to the store. They did a master reset and asked me to give it a few more days. When I got home, it still didn’t sync. Basically, I learned:

  1. Get a memory card. keep the device memory free of anything or don’t clog it up too much.
  2. When uninstalling, check those registry entries and make sure there’s nothing to delete.
  3. Check your contact folders (on Vista) when synchronizing and make sure information isn’t corrupt

BlackBerry devices are very fickle and picky.
This is really one of the reasons why I didn’t want to get anything other than an Ericsson phone. I know that these other phone companies make devices that aren’t always up to the specs or expectations of specs. For example, the BlackBerry Bold has bluetooth but it’s connectivity is not complete. With my old Ericsson phones, I could pair it up with anything. When I send a file in whichever direction, it works. The phone inteprets the file and if it can’t figure it out, it puts it in a folder for shit it can’t figure out. SIMPLE. But, as it’s been the case with many other non-Ericsson phones, I can’t even get the BlackBerry to connect with the computer outside of the program. I’d really appreciate that level of connectivity. That way I can just send files, contacts, and so on. If the phone can’t figure it out, put it in “that” folder. If it can, put it in the proper location.

But, I expected these limitations in functionality when I signed up so I am not fully annoyed by it. While at the AT&T store, two of the clerks there were having a conversation. The guy was saying, “I hooked it up the the Desktop Manager” and was cut off by the woman as she said, “STOP STOP STOP. The first mistake you made was hooking it up to the computer!” I think that says it all for me.

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Police Corruption: What’s Your Story?
8 comments, 09/12/2008, by in News

Intro

Yesterday, I put together a post, Stupid Dirty Cops Got Caught, responding to a KopBusters episode in which Barry Cooper, former law enforcement officer, set up a legal grow operation consisting of two mini evergreen trees in an effort to catch a very dirty Odessa, TX police department.As I visited other sites looking for details, I came across comment sections of very, very delighted citizens who actually felt some level of vindication at seeing these dirty cops get caught committing crimes. Next, I started seeing individuals respond with their own stories of police corruption or the typical over-the-top police arrogance. It would seem the comments went from cheers to cheers and anecdotes (stories) to just anecdotes to angry anecdotes of police corruption.

While I am far from surprised at the concept of police corruption as I do live in New York City, police corruption central tied with Los Angeles, I am surprised at the amount of first-hand accounts of such corruption. It’s so rampant and pervasive that it’s affecting everyone and disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanics. More and more, we can add people Middle Eastern descent with Arab or Muslim sounding names to that list.

What’s your police corruption story?

Here’s My Story

I’ve already written my own: The 48th Precinct of the Bronx, NY are PUNKS. It’s in five parts because it’s very exhaustive and as detailed as I can get it. Click on the links to take you to my true story of police corruption.

In short, I was arrested for “disorderly conduct” and “inciting a riot”. Supposedly, I did all of this while watching five police officers beat an already handcuffed guy, named Clinton, who didn’t stand more than 5 feet 5 inches. I watched, after he was beaten bloody and thrown into the cruiser, another officer squirt a 5 sec long stream of pepper spray into his face as he lay there in the back seat.

Why was I arrested? Because, I told the officer to stop. No! Because, I witnessed the entire thing while in my second-floor bedroom, still in my underwear. Unfortunately, the case didn’t go any further than a few court dates while the DA tried to get the lying officer to testify, which he didn’t. But, that’s my story. I want to hear your own.

Comments from Reason.com [link]

Tracy Cooper Jr. | December 6, 2008, 2:15pm

This is awesome. It’s going to be fun to watch these cops try and explain this.

jasno | December 6, 2008, 2:19pm

I think I speak for everyone when I say:

Fuck. Yeah.

J sub D | December 6, 2008, 2:57pm

Radley, for all the times you’ve ruined my day, I unreservedly forgive you. Thank you ever so much for calling this beautifully executed sting operation to my attention. I will be e-mailing links to people about this and encourage others to do the same. Odessa is not unique.

REMEMBER KATHRYN JOHNSTON!
FYI: Kathryn Johnston is.. was a 92-year old grandmother (born in 1914, died 2006) in Atlanta, shot to death by police during a drug raid of her apartment. Later it was found out that the informant tip used to obtain the search warrant was a fabricated The officers were indicted on charges of murder and burglary. [Links: 11Alive | WSBTV | CNN]

mc | December 7, 2008, 11:55am

As a rural WV resident, I have seen some of the worst police corruption in the country. Our cops and politicians do things that would make dirty vice in big cities look like girl scouts. Off the top of my head, I can think of a cop who shot the town mayor in a “hunting accident” because the mayor was going to clean up the police, my sister’s best friend and boyfriend getting pulled over no less than 10 times in one day because she was divorcing her cop husband; multiple cops who are having affairs with and supplying drug dealers while falsely imprisoning innocent people to go down for the crimes; cops’ families doing pretty much whatever they want including breaking the speed limit by 40 miles in a residential neighborhood, killing a beloved family pet and keeping on driving; and, one of the worst situations, a cop making an illegal turn at a very high speed, slamming into people obeying all traffic laws on a motorcycle, paralyzing the driver, and ONLY getting 2 weeks of desk work as a result. In another part of the state, a cop shot a man point-blank in front of his entire family, for “killing your kid” in what was actually a tragic, unavoidable boating accident.

I would LOVE for them to take on the cops back here…although I wouldn’t put it past them to kill the guys, though…

Abdul Alhazred | December 8, 2008, 2:38pm

Might as well weigh in with my own stories of local police corruption, there is a certain officer from my hometown who has been “suspended” from TWO different police forces. My experience with him was when he targeted my brother for harassment, he claimed he found a marijuana seed in his car once, which promptly disappeared. He had been known for beating people up for not “showing him the respect he deserves,” he jerked one of the local teachers’ husband out of his car, threw him on the ground and put his boot on the back of his head because he had a rifle in the back seat of his car (extremely normal in this part of the country) Anyhow, my mother was one of many to go in and try to complain to the chief of police, she was told that “they get a little rowdy sometimes, but they’re good boys” and “now, they’re just hot-doggin’ they’re good boys.”

Anyhow, he “resigned” from the local police force when they came under pressure from some of the prominent families in town, without any official action whatsoever, and he took a job on the Rolla police force, where he was just suspended for beating up a woman (in her 70’s) for asking to see his ID when she pulled him over.

Oh, and he has a body-count, he beat one man so severely that he died, and threw another face-first into a puddle where he drowned.

Chuck | December 8, 2008, 12:12pm

As a practicing lawyer I can tell you that COPS LIE. They lie on the street, they lie in their homes, they lie on camera and they lie in court. Nothing is ever done about it, and it is unlikely that anything ever will until we can get the word to the citizenry in a message that they can understand. I had the pleasure last year of showing a video to the jury proving that all six of the cops testifying in the trial were lying, which resulted in my client’s acquittal on two first-degree felony counts. We do not often get lucky enough to find that kind of evidence, so we need other methods of getting the truth out. In that case, despite damning evidence of perjury, the District Attorney did not even investigate. She knows who gets her convictions for her. However, just this year she had a woman indicted for perjury who accidentally checked the “No” box on a jury form asking if she was a US citizen. The fact is that when your top-cop (District Attorney) is a criminal, nothing will ever change until the citizens rise up against the corruption.

I have friends who are cops. They may be good cops, but I am not sure. The fact is that they seem to be good people, fun to hang out with, etc. But I don’t feel that I can or ever will trust them professionally. They are cops.

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Stupid Dirty Cops Got Caught
6 comments, 08/12/2008, by in News

Background [CBS7 news report]

As I was perusing my marijuana-related news site, I came across, Cops ‘Busted’ for Raid on Fake Grow Op [Reason via High Times]. Seems our old friend, Barry Cooper is at it with Kop Busters. Barry Cooper rented a house in Odessa, TX to set up a grow operation. The great part about it is that they were growing two tiny Christmas trees (no taller than a foot each from what I saw in the video). The theory is that if police were as honest and straight as they claimed, this grow operation should go undetected. Obviously, it didn’t.

Who’s Barry Cooper

Barry Cooper is a veteran law enforcement officer and anti-drug-war lecturer made famous throughout the anti-drug-war community for his film Never Get Busted Again Vol. 1. During the course of his eight year career as a drug enforcement officer he made more than 800 drug arrests, 50 vehicle seizures and confiscated over $500,000 in cash and assets.

Barry Cooper is a man who saw something wrong with the system. He realized that he was being lied to about marijuana and sought to effect change. In many rights, he’s still a law enforcement officer. He’s just brave enough to do something about the dirty police tactics that corrupt his duties. Where he was considered a hero to many during his time as a police officer, he’s more of a hero without the badge because he didn’t need the badge or a gun to do the right thing.
Never Get Busted [website | youtube]
Kop Busters [website]
Marc “Prince of Pot” Emery interviews Barry Cooper

How We Know Cops Were Crooked [Raw Footage]

First of all, this grow operation was 100% legal as there is nothing illegal about growing plants indoors much less Christmas trees (just in time for Christmas too). Secondly, the only people who knew about the grow operation were Barry Cooper’s staff.

So, new questions are raised:

  1. How did Odessa police “know” there was an “illegal” grow operation?
  2. How did they obtain a warrant to raid the location?

First of all, the police did NOT know about the grow operation. With no marijuana and no way to know there was marijuana in this house, the police, the people you trust with your lives, had to have found out illegally. But, even then, with that illegally obtained “evidence” how did they go about obtaining a search warrant? Lies beget lies. They had to have lied on to get the warrant. If they knew for a fact there was marijuana being grown on this property, there would be no way for the police to lose. But, they did indeed lose.

Now that we know Odessa police lied to obtain this information, we want and deserve real answers to those questions. What did the police do, illegally, to target this location? Exactly, what did they use to lie to obtain the search warrant? While we can guess at a few things, we’ll never know unless the police stop lying. But, lies beget lies.

Why Set Up A Grow Operation: Yolanda Madden

Well, it seems this isn’t the first time Odessa police have lied.. go figure. In 2005, Yolanda Madden was set up by the very same police department in a methamphetamine scheme in which the police informant planted evidence on her. But, this is not some lie to get Yolanda off. The informant admitted planting the evidence on Yolanda. She’s currently serving 8 years in federal prison on distribution charges because the police set her up near a junior high school. If you don’t know, many counties, cities and states apply harsher punishment when dealing drugs within a school zone.

Yolanda Madden is just an example of the police corruption that exists all over the United States. As long as innocent citizens continue to get targeted by police for their own fun and excitement, we’ll continue to have these problems. This should let people know that we are all at risk from police, innocent and guilty.

The Real Problem: Judges

We can play this game of “cat and mouse” with police departments around the nation as much as we please. In the end, it comes down to what happens in the court room. When police officers set innocent people up, informants misinform, and evidence is fabricated, it’s all left up to the judge to decide what’s fair and what’s NOT fair. Far too often, it’s the judges that take the word of police over other people. When you have entire police departments acting criminally, it’s up to the judges to do a better job of protecting the people from the animals that attack them.

The very reason police corruption exists is because the judicial system allows it. The people ought to begin chastising and scrutinizing the judges for their decisions to allow evidence that was obviously illegally obtained. If this continues, then what’s the point of the US Constitution and other laws. Police officers can not continue to choose what laws they decide to follow and enforce. As long as judges continue to allow this activity, there’s no reason for police to stop being badged criminals.

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Sweet Bitch Slap to Local Police
Comments Off on Sweet Bitch Slap to Local Police, 05/12/2008, by in News

State Medical Cannabis Laws Are Final [Salem News via High Times]

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark decision yesterday in which California state courts found that its medical cannabis law is not preempted by federal law.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Garden Grove v. Superior Court means that federal law does not prevent state and local governments from implementing medical cannabis laws adopted by voters or state legislatures. In short: the group Americans for Safe Access, says federal law does not override state law on medical cannabis.

Understanding

This is really an issue of state’s rights. We learned this back in high school. The way this nation is run is like a collective of mini nations that work together (supposedly). The federal government is that collective at work in the form of the executive, legislature, and judicial. Whatever the federal government doesn’t legislate, it leaves up to the individual states. In this way, the states can react to their own respective situations quickly.

What’s been happening is that some police officers in medical marijuana states, in their supreme arrogance and stupidity, try to decide which laws they want to enforce – state or federal. What they don’t realize is that they are NOT federal employees. They are state employees. Therefore, they have absolutely NO business, nor right, playing the role of federal law enforcement. That means whatever state laws are on the books for medical marijuana, they MUST follow. Otherwise, they’re just violent weapon-wielding vigilantes hiding behind their badges.

The supreme court simply solidifies this distinction effectively telling local police around the nation: DO THE DAMN JOB YOU WERE HIRED TO DO. YOU DO NOT WORK FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! That means, if you’re in a medical marijuana state, DEAL WITH IT. If local police are enforcing federal laws, it undermines the will of the people. What if the federal government decides that murder was now legal? But, your state still has laws against murder. Do you want local police enforcing state laws against the will of the people or federal laws?

DEA Next to get Bitch Slapped (Hopefully)

Also noted in the article is a case in which a California officer, Patrick Hedges, felt it necessary to call in the DEA when he couldn’t find anything against a specific marijuana dispensary. This is how sad and arrogant some local police departments have become. However, all of that may come to an end soon. President-elect Obama said (and it IS just words for now) he would put an end to DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries.

In this weak economic climate, it’s going to be great when Obama looks over the DEA budget to realize they’re blowing billions of dollars annually with, at best, minimal returns on investment. In other words, these pricks better catch more than 1-5% of drugs in the nation and start arresting real criminals (not sick patients) to justify that level of expenditure. It’s pitiful. With that much money, this nation can do a lot more than throw it down a hole. Healthcare. Education. Infrastructure.

How are truly serious addicts (cocaine, heroin, meth) getting OFF the drugs by going in and out of prison? They’re not. Think about it. How much money is spent per prisoner per year? Only the most ignorant, or devoid of humanity, would believe it makes sense to allow addiction to continue while spending billions per year NOT addressing the problem. It’s pitiful.

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“King of the Hill” on weeeed!
4 comments, 04/12/2008, by in Opinion

The Setup

I don’t watch King of the Hill as often as I used to watch it. I catch it from time to time, here and there. Last night it came on at about 1pm. The episode started somber as usual. It was time for football tryouts. Hank, being the former football hero and father, wants Bobby to tryout for the team. Bobby, being the eclectic individual and somewhat polar opposite of his father, proudly goes for and gets the job of towel boy to the initial dismay of his former quarterback father. But, Hank doesn’t care as long as Bobby is somewhere in and around football.

The Twist

During one of the games, Bobby is disrespected by the coach even as the team won. This puts Bobby in a bad place. He signed up to be a towel boy, not the team’s bitch. Now, he’s not even happy doing that. As Bobby’s on his way home, he passes his neighbor Min as she’s tending to the roses in her garden. Did I mention Bobby is eclectic? He takes interest in growing his own roses. Unfortunately, Hank is not too supportive of this. He’ll accept towel boy but where’s the manhood is growing roses. Hank is raising a man, not a gardener.

This forces Bobby to seek ways to indulge his new passion. He goes to the local garden shop to purchase some bare root roses to grow. However, his dilemma is in trying to keep his hobby secret from his father. He asks the clerk if there’s a way he could grow in his closet.

Here Comes The Weed

The clerk at the garden shop tips Bobby off to a store that would help him grow plants in secret. And the name of that store: Seeds and Stems. However, when Bobby walks into the store, you see all kinds of smoking paraphernalia, most notably bongs and pipes. The clerks are at first bewildered by some kid asking for grow advice but are relieved to find out that he genuinely wants to grow roses in his closet and in secret because of his father’s disapproval. So, Bobby gets his start in horticulture, cultivation, or growing.

Unfortunately, his passion makes him forget the big game which the team lost due to their lack of a towel boy. Hank comes home furious that Bobby didn’t show up. In searching for Bobby, Hank finds him slipping out of the closet. When Hank goes to inspect, he finds the potted rose stems. After a conversation with Peggy, Hank decides to support his son, in secret. He couldn’t bare to have the neighbors know that his son was into roses.

Hardcore Grower

Hank goes back to the garden shop to find a tall and burly man who’s just as intense about growing as the most hardcore football player. He explains to Hank about the competition and that growing isn’t just some past time. It’s hard work. “It’s science and art.” When he finds out that it’s Bobby that’s doing the growing, he berates Hank for putting such a young boy through such pain. Hank is intrigued, attracted even, by the man’s high intensity and competitiveness. He wants to do more than support Bobby. He wants Bobby to be a winning grower.

Unfortunately for Hank, Bobby doesn’t have the same same intensity as his father. Hank goes back to Seeds and Stems shop to get more grow supplies and information. Upon seeing this, the clerks get serious with Hank. They let him know Bobby got the “kiddy stuff”. If he’s serious about growing, he’ll step up his game. Seeing the high costs of growing indoors, Hank persuades Seeds and Stems to sponsor him in the competition. Now, they’ve got a real indoor grow operation.
In the end, Hank ends up going way overboard and sees that he’s doing more damage to Bobby than he intended. They ended up losing the competition to the intense grower from the grow shop . Hank decides to transplant the roses outdoor in an effort to respect his son’s hobby as well as the hobby itself.

Real Marijuana Growing

I always say that marijuana growing is easy. All you need is what mother nature provides – earth, water, air, and light. However, the intense grower is right. It is science and it is art, when you want to grow the best. Growing the best marijuana is a delicate combination of biology, chemistry, genetics, math, love, and patience.

Imagine a grow operation. Organic fertilizer or synthetic salts? Organic requires things like bat guano (manure), beneficial bacteria, mycorrhizae fungi and other things. Synthetic salts requires the right combination of formula. Get any of these things wrong and you can severely underfeed or overfeed your plant, slowing growth and/or causing nutrient burn. You can test your mix with electrical conductivity (EC) meters, parts-per-million (PPM) meters, and pH testers. And that’s just what’s going on in the dirt or water solution if hydroponic.

Above ground, growers contend with air quality, proper light and intensity, temperature, humidity, insects, disease, mold, rot, and fungus. A grower has to maintain appropriate conditions to ensure the plant is healthy and strong.

Although it’s overwhelming in the beginning, you can get the hang of it quickly. $300 will get you started with a mini system growing plants no taller than two feet. Eventually, you’ll want to step your game up just like Hank did. Costs can easily reach into the tens of thousands but that’s for the commercial growers who invest in all of those lights, meters, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, carbon dioxide, and various other items.

But, the “rose buds” are worth the effort…

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National Geographic Explorer: Heroin vs Meth vs Marijuana
3 comments, 03/12/2008, by in News

Intro

Last night, I watched three back to back Explorer episodes on National Geographic. Heroin Crisis looked at heroin around the world, the second episode was The World’s Most Dangerous Drug (methamphetamine), and the final episode was titled Marijuana Nation.

Heroin Crisis

I knew a lot about heroin already. One thing that stood out to me was when the program got into the manufacturing side of heroin. Afghanistan was producing 30% more heroin than the actual demand. While I didn’t know that, I did know that Afghanistan was indeed responsible for producing 90% of the world’s heroin. In fact, I wrote about: Wakeup: Back to Reagan’s Drug War.

You see the Taliban had crushed the drug trade in Afghanistan in 2001. They tortured and murdered farmers to get their point across (much worse than the DEA’s torturing and murdering of American citizens over marijuana). Then, the first coming of the idiot-Christ, President mis-Elect Bush, came around, guns-a-blazing, to shut down the Taliban. That’s when poppy production went BACK into overdrive.

Question: Why did we decide to go into Afghanistan? Al Qaeda? Osama Bin Laden? Does it even matter?

World’s Most Dangerous Drug

Methamphetamine (crystal meth or meth) scares me! Simply put, it’s a frightening drug. I’d heard a lot about it. But, being that my one and only interest is and will always be marijuana, it didn’t make sense for me to gather more information about this drug. But this Explorer program gave me that view of meth that set me straight about it once and for all. One thing that stood out to me more and more were the before and after images of meth users. Strong healthy people now looking thin, emaciated, and gaunt within a matter of a few months to two years. Not even cocaine or heroin is that bad on the body. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up in the Bronx, New York City. I’ve seen first hand the destruction cocaine and heroin can do to a community. But, meth is a beast unto itself.

Anyway here’s a Youtube video of meth users, before and after. As much as I hate to use these people because they demonize a harmless plant along with other man-made chemicals, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Marijuana Nation

Finally, we get to Marijuana Nation and I am happy, yet pensive due to the twisting and spinning of information by police and DEA agents. I have a problem stomaching the ignorant and arrogant ranting of bold-faced habitual liars.

Let’s think about it critically for a minute.

Who do you believe, or side with, in the War on Marijuana? Would you side with marijuana growers and traffickers over the DEA and police when it comes to legalizing marijuana? I’d side with the criminals because it’s a question of who will lose if marijuana is legal.

First and foremost, criminals – growers and dealers. They lose because if marijuana is legalized, prices drop. That’s not good for a would-be former criminal’s pocket. If you’re in the business of selling marijuana, you’d want to keep the prices high so that you can profit as much as possible. However, that will be difficult to do when you can buy a pound of decent marijuana in Zimbabwe for $20. You see where I am going on the criminal side of things. Yet, it’s the criminals, like Marc Emery, that want it legalized. People don’t sacrifice themselves unless it’s important to them, morally important.

Secondly, the police and DEA. As I watched this program, comparing it to the other two, I realized there was an incredible bump in the amount of money and resources used for marijuana eradication. But, they lose if marijuana is legal because marijuana accounts for a high percentage of their work. If marijuana is made legal, it would be difficult for the DEA to account for the expenditures they currently use $70 billion annually. In other words, they’d be losing jobs.It’s in their best interest to keep the pressure high on marijuana demonization in an effort to paint themselves as saviors and worth the cost. On top of that, if they’re not concentrating on petty marijuana crime, they’d have to actually do real police work like solving murders or catching rapists.

Who wins? Scientists and Researchers. Doctors and medicinal users. Casual Users. US citizens in general who don’t like the criminal element (the DEA) nor the wayward and errant dealers on the corner. And yes, even police. Remember Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables? Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920’s? There’s a lesson the authorities of the United States should study extremely carefully because they’re already repeating the past. If that’s the case, we know the inevitable result.

Anyway, Marijuana Nation was good even if it rehashed a lot of the old stuff (old to me, at least) – Marc Emery (BC3 and Cannabis Culture), indoor and outdoor grow operations, and of course the obligatory save-my-DEA-job lies.

Last Puff

It’s a wonder why people continue to lump marijuana in with heroin or methamphetamine. The substances are so drastically different on so many levels. It’s like comparing water to nuclear runoff – one’s safe and naturally occurring and the other is fatal and man-made. If you “enjoy” a cup of nuclear runoff, you’re going to need lots of help. And, the people of this world, all nations, fail at the job of helping one another. We can’t continue to murder, torture, and imprison our way out of our problems. It’s the very reason they keep coming back. These people – friends, family, and others – need help in the form of common sense policy through education (which has worked for decreasing tobacco use). We can also put some of that DEA largesse into healthcare and addiction treatment. And, at $70 billion a year, we could probably provide free healthcare for all Americans as well.

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2700 year-old marijauna stash (and then some)
3 comments, 02/12/2008, by in News

Quick Announcements

  • National Geographic will be having an “Explorer” episode dedicated to “Marijuana, the most widely used illicit drug on the planet….” at 10pm tonight on December 2nd, 2008. It’s preceded by two more Explorer episodes, “Heroin Crisis” and “World’s Most Dangerous Drugs” regarding Methamphetamine addiction at 8pm and 9pm, respectively. I’ll be tuning into to all three episodes.
  • Congratulations to Arjan from Green House Seeds Co. for winning this year’s Cannabis Cup with their Lemon Haze strain. I look forward to trying it in the future.. one day.. hopefully.

Intro

I think we all know marijuana has been around for thousands of years in just about every culture outside of the Americas. All over the world, people have used cannabis for all kinds of purposes, primarily medical and secondarily because people like to get high. Yeah, they do.

2,700-year-old marijuana stash found [link]

I found this story in the Toronto Sun (via High Times). Simply put, researchers found 789 grams of marijuana that…

was clearly “cultivated for psychoactive purposes,” rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

Yes folks. People smoked marijuana just to get high 2,700 years ago. And guess what! 2,700 years later, people STILL smoke marijuana just to get high. And, what else!? 2,700 years from now, people will STILL be smoking marijuana JUST TO GET HIGH.

Anyway, back to the article.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

So, it was a white guy in China who decided he wanted to be buried with almsot two pounds marijuana to take with him into the afterlife. Honestly, I don’t know if that would have been enough for me to take into the afterlife. I don’t rightly know how long an afterlife would be if it does exist but just in case I might want to go in with a long ton (2200 pounds). Check on it in one year. If it hasn’t been touched then feel free to take it out the grave. I am positive a one-year cure underground will make it worth the wait.

Other Marijuana History

As I’ve said before, there are plenty of other cases in which marijuana shows up in history and much further back than the above article. For example, in Egypt, the pharaohs used to bath in cannabis oils. We’re talking some 5,000+ years ago. Egyptians were growing and harvesting fields of this stuff for their daily use. And check the process.

Even in the Bible, the name for marijuana is kaneh bosem. Drop the “em” and you’ve got kaneh bos which sounds a hell of a lot like cannabis and is considered the root of the word cannabis. Unfortunately, the problem is that most Christians never really know what the Bible is saying due to bad translations and missing sections. So, there is a debate about what exactly kaneh bosem is today. The reason it’s a problem is because kaneh bosem is the main ingredient in anointing oil or what is known today as holy water. We’ve got one side of people who can’t imagine that Jesus or Moses used marijuana in some way, shape or form. (It’s the devil weed, right!?) And, you’ve got the other side that’s made the connection between kaneh bos and cannabis.

It’s all about the use of oil.

You see, the THC in marijuana is not water soluble. In other words, it won’t dissolve in water. However, THC is fat soluble as well as alcohol soluble. The fat soluble part is important because oil contains plenty of fat. This is why people make cannabis butter for use in cooking; butter has fat.

I believe the people were interested in the THC more than the plant. If it were just plant itself, they could have just as easily used water. But I don’t know enough about that time period to jump to that educated guess. It wouldn’t be far fetched for me to believe that Egyptians, and later on Jews followed by Christians, used marijuana for multiple purposes.

This history of marijuana is specifically why many people also call it God’s herb. Rastafarians believe that you can connect with God more through the use of marijuana. It’s a sacrament to them and many others all around world.

Quick Tip

If you’re ever having trouble searching for marijuana-related info, like the stuff I am talking about here, use the word “cannabis” instead. In fact, the scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. Usually, when people are speaking “intelligently” about marijuana, they choose to use the more scientific term. Personally, I think it’s a subconcious, and sometimes concious, effort to maintain some air of legitimacy. Ridiculous, but it works.

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My Hero: Andrew Lahde
1 comment, 21/10/2008, by in Opinion

Introduction

This is a letter written by Andrew Lahde, hedge fund manager, quit his job after returning 866% on the investment betting against the subprime collapse. In other words, this guy made money betting that the housing market would collapse. As we all know, it collapsed in magnificent fashion. He’s rich.. very rich.

Why is he my hero?

He’s my hero because he points out some of the problems with this twisted society as a whole.

  • Blind trust in “Ivy League” educations versus Competence and ability
  • Government corruption (politicians being purchased like candy at the store)
  • Aristocracy versus Meritocracy (Giving rewards instead of earning them)
  • Willingness to NOT be greedy and just be happy

This guy made millions of dollars taking advantage of the stupid decisions by these stupid, overrated Ivy League idiots raised by nannies, butlers, and boarding schools paid for by their ultra-rich parents.

But, Mr. Lahde gets my ultimate respect with his advocacy for using hemp and dispelling the myth of marijuana as an evil substance.

However, I have to put my hero in his place. Hemp and marijuana are the same species, Cannabis Sativa. However, the difference between hemp and marijuana is not gender, it’s the THC concentration, or strength, in the female plant. While all male marijuana plants are indeed low in THC, NOT all females are high in THC. So, the difference would only be noticeable in female marijuana plants.

For example, the marijuana that comes out of Mexico is usually around 5% THC. The most potent kinds of marijuana can have THC concentrations as high as 15% to 20% but it is VERY rare as it takes OPTIMAL growing conditions to achieve that potency. Hemp has a THC concentration from under 1% to 2% at the most.
Note: Law enforcement like to claim marijuana has reach up to 30%-40% and more in an effort to scare people about “super weed”. Trust me, I wish there was marijuana that potent. It doesn’t exist.

Anyway here is the letter by my current hero, Andrew Lahde:

Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list those deserving thanks know who they are.

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don’t worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer’s company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life — where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management — with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government.

Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country?

Ah, the female. The evil female plant — marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other [addictive] drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say good-bye and good luck.

All the best,

Andrew Lahde

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Wakeup: Back to Reagan’s Drug War
6 comments, 18/10/2008, by in Opinion

In this war on drugs, there is one question that every poor Black and Hispanic person in the inner city – the dealers, the users, and the innocent bystanders – wants answered, “How do these substances get into our neighborhood?”
This question comes about because there is a disconnect in the flow of drugs. For example, if you wanted to track how a car got into your neighborhood, you can track it from the manufacturer through the distribution system – trucks, trains, planes, and car salesmen – into the hands of the owner. However, when it comes to drugs we don’t know the distribution system. The one question that always comes up is, “if the US government wants to stop the flow of drugs, why don’t they go after the manufacturers instead of the low-level dealers?”

The answer: The US government IS the distribution system that facilitates the flow of crack, cocaine, and heroin into the nation and the inner city.

I know it all sounds like a conspiracy theory – “Oh, the big dangerous government is out to get us!” Sure, it sounds crazy. Unfortunately, it’s so crazy that it’s true. Listen to former DEA agent Celerino Castillo tell you about his experiences in Central and South America. It’s a two part video, about an hour long total.

Folks, it’s important to understand that this is NOT coming from the mouth of some paranoid crackhead. This is from the mouth of a man who was IN it all. Here are the video interview of former DEA agent Celerino Castillo:

The one thing that stood out to me before the end of the second video is that Mr. Castillo confirmed the fears that I had about heroin production in Afghanistan. I watched news reports that the US military wouldn’t destroy poppy fields as they showed clips of US soldiers walking through. The one thing I knew about the Taliban in Afghanistan, they are staunch Muslims. They fought drug dealers in Afghanistan and punished them harshly with death. All of a sudden, the US comes starts the War on Terror and Afghanistan is now producing 90% of the world’s heroin.

Folks, this is NOT Usher and Tameka getting a divorce. This is NOT some celebrity sex tape. This is NOT the latest Hip Hop beef. This is the Reagan era revisited. This is the crack/cocaine/heroin epidemic. This is high levels of unemployment and depressed individuals looking for an escape. This is blood-stained sidewalks and kids dying over cheap gold chains and nice sneakers. This is what I remember from the 80s under two terms of Ronald Reagan and one term of George HW Bush. We’re going back to these times thanks to two terms of George W. Bush.

The only thing that’s truly going to save our communities is the will to resist. We’ve got to be reminded of the harm done to us by this fake war on drugs. We have to be stronger than our parents were during the 80s. We have to make sure to NOT succumb to the ease of drug money and NOT look for escape in substances. This shit is coming to our doorsteps. The best thing we can do is be prepared.

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Big Brother Works Both Ways

The minute we’re born, the doctor slaps our little bottoms and the nurse enters our information into a computer database. This is something that we have to accept in this digital world. Let’s call it the Matrix. Yes, I like that, too. At any point in time, our entire lives can be opened like a book or a computer folder. Everything that we were, are, and will become exists in this folder and its subfolders on computers around the world. All it takes is for someone to compile this information to get a detailed view of who and what we are.This is the “Big Brother” that we’ve all talked about – someone is always watching and always listening. This is the very purpose of Bush’s unwarranted wiretapping on American citizens. Every step we take is tracked – cellphone, email, computer, internet, credit cards, etc etc etc. Every letter I type in this very blog post is dynamically screened to weed out for specific words – bomb, kill, anthrax, suicide, allah, islam, bush, and so on. In fact, I may have just set off some red flags in Dick Cheney’s basement.

But, today, I read something that gives me some comfort.

Sarah Palin had her email accounts hacked. Politically, this didn’t reveal much so far. It seems these were just personal email accounts that she may have used for government business. Of course, this leads to other potential implications of wrongdoing. Pastebin, Wikileaks and Gawker all have something related to Sarah Palin’s email being hacked which you can see for yourself – screenshots, pictures, emails. But, that’s not what this post is about although it’s a strong example.

See, a group, or pseudo-group, of hackers known as Anonymous did the dirty work of breaking into Sarah Palin’s email. It gives me comfort because it lets me realize that there is someone out there, a group of someones, with the ability to fight fire with fire. It’s similar to the slaughter of the Native Americans as they tried to fight gunpowder and spheres made of metal with bows and arrows made from wood.

We live in a true Matrix and we’ve got to be able to fight back digitally. We, the people, need hackers as the government has hackers and as corporations have hackers that can be, will be, and have been used against us. This hacking lets me know that not even government officials are safe from the system they’ve developed. There is always someone out there watching and listening. And, those kinds of individuals exist on both teams.

However, I do fear, as an ordinary individual, that this loose group of digitally savvy individuals has no set conscience, rules, ethics, or laws. But, that is the nature of those that live in secrecy. We have to trust that there is some good and hope that there is more good than bad.

Update: Please be sure to check out the comments to this post by “Anonymous”. The name doesn’t imply that it is a representative of the group Anonymous. The name only shows up because the person didn’t identify themselves. But, it’s important to get a better understanding of the positive value of hackers from a true hacker’s perspective.

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Why Bush’s $150B stimulus package won’t work!
2 comments, 10/02/2008, by in Opinion

I am sure we all hear about this huge tax refund that’s supposed to be given back to the American people. It won’t help the economy and it’s easy to understand why. The question that simply needs to be answered is: Where will that money end up?

First, we have to look at why Bush thinks a stimulus package will work. Obviously, we all know Bush is an idiot when it comes to just about everything. That should be your first clue. But, if it isn’t, here’s the first reason. 90% of the nations wealth is in the hands of 10% of the nation. That means most of that stimulus package is going straight to the rich. The one thing rich people do well is hoard their money. In other words, it’s going to end up in a bank account somewhere collecting interest. Most of that money will not end up stimulating the economy.

Now, we’ve at least got $15B left which is the 10% that the poor people of the US will get to spend. Let’s imagine that all of it is going to be spent. Truth be told, most of it will probably end up going towards the future of some kids college tuition which isn’t going to stimulate the economy NOW. But, let’s just imagine $15B will be spent in the US. We’ve got to ask ourselves, how much of that will go to American companies?

Now think! How much actual stuff is produced in the US? Automobiles are mainly manufactured overseas. Ask Detroit about that! Clothing is manufactured overseas. Furniture, computers, and everything is manufactured overseas. I saw a documentary on cartooning and one of the artists explained that after they come up with concepts and art, the actual cartooning is sent to Taiwan. So even the cartoons we watch in the mornings are being manufactured overseas. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is manufactured overseas. I think the United States is number one at manufacturing lies and deceit!

So, when we all go out to spend that $15B stimulus package, it’s not even going to companies in the US. It’s going to manufacturing companies overseas. The greater reality of that situation is that the money isn’t even going to the people in those nations but instead it’s getting kicked up to their local politicians for bribes and right back to the company heads who are already rich, the CEO’s and shareholders who have probably received a fat chunk of that stimulus package.

The idea of the stimulus package is based on the health of the economy. The nation has to be producing for the people to buy. If you guys are old enough, you’ll remember that “Made in America” campaign so many years ago. They were saying look for the “Made in America” tag or ask your car dealer if your car was made in America. We can’t even do that anymore because barely anything is made in America!

Let’s do some more factoring in. How many foreign companies as well as property owners exist in the US? A lot! The US is the only nation that sells out to other nations while other nations have strong restrictions against foreign investments. In other words, we’re selling out our most valuable asset, land! Ask yourself how many buildings in downtown Manhattan are owned by the Germans, Japanese, and Chinese. The Chinese are basically taking over. Anyway, when foreign companies move in, they bring in their own labor force a lot of the times. I don’t mean they bring in thousands of people in one shot. But, if you go into any of these buildings, you’ll find the lower tier workers are from the surrounding area but management at most levels – lower, middle, and upper – are from the homeland.

This nation’s economy is suffering from a multitude of problems – increased rich/poor gap, imported labor, exported jobs (especially in manufacturing), and a major Republican spending spree which goes to fatten up the pockets of Bush/Cheney’s friends. There’s absolutely no way for this stimulus package to work in favor of US, at leastt NOT at this point in our economy.

This nation has to get its jobs back! This is the most important thing. When Bush got into office, the nation lost MILLIONS of jobs and we haven’t recovered that yet! In fact, we’re not even close to recovering it. The nation has to balance it’s imports and exports. If we continue to import more than we export, we will continue to run in the negative. We have to reindustrialize the nation meaning we have to bring back manufacturing facilities as well as jobs. We can’t increase exports if we can’t produce anything to export. We have to be tough on immigration. I don’t mean just getting rid of Mexicans. I am talking about getting rid of Russians, Germans, British, Japanese, Chinese, and others so that Americans can fill those positions.

Let’s be honest, do we really want the minimum wage jobs that many SURVIVE on or do we want those high paying jobs that we can LIVE with?! I know what I want! I don’t intend to use my degree to become a janitor! So, I am not worried about the guy flipping burgers at McDonalds and can’t speak English. I am worried about the Russian guy at Morgan Stanley that makes 80k a year and can’t speak English. But, I digress.

This nation has to get back into a cyclical economy meaning when we spend our money, it’s spent within the nation and goes to people within the nation so they can spend more in the nation! When money goes out of the nation, it somehow find its way back to the nation. This is the only way a stimulus package will help the economy! It will not help the economy if the money going to the people barely gets spent and what is spent is funneled to other nations anyway.

That’s why the stimulus package won’t work. So my advice to anyone reading this is if you get a nice chunk of change, PUT IT IN THE BANK! Don’t spend it! If you have to spend it, try to buy American! If you’ve got enough money to spend, INVEST IT! Learn that stock market. It’s the only thing that will help you!

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