New and News, Part 6

How long before they shoot someone by mistake?

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Machine-Gun-Toting Officers To Patrol NYC Subway
M4 Carbine Rifles, MP5 Submachine Guns & Bomb Sniffing Dogs Part Of New "Torch Team" Anti-Terror Efforts

Reporting
Magee Hickey NEW YORK (CBS) "• More protection against terrorists is coming to a subway station near you. Starting Thursday, special bomb teams - "Torch Teams" - will be toting submachine guns and bringing bomb-sniffing dogs onto the platforms and into the trains. CBS 2 was out first thing Thursday morning on the lookout for these significant security measure improvements.

It's a first for mass transit in the United States. NYPD officers, armed with rifles, submachine guns, body armor and bomb sniffing dogs will begin patrolling the city's subway system thanks to a 50 percent increase in a homeland security grant.

The city's massive subway system has long been considered a potential terror target; six officers and a dog will constitute a team, patrolling all platforms and trains in 12-hour shifts. The "Torch Teams" will be toting MP5 submachine guns and M4 Carbine rifles that are used by Navy seals and FBI hostage-rescue teams. The teams are being paid for by $151 million from the Feds.

Similarly equipped NYPD units, known as "Hercules Teams," have patrolled Wall Street, the Empire State building and other aboveground city landmarks for years as a response to the World Trade Center attacks.

A police official likened the "Torch Teams" to "Hercules Teams" with metro cards. In this age of heightened security, commuters and keen canines will share the underground world of mass transit
And just how much did being pickled in ergot play in old Albert getting to be 102?
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Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102
By CRAIG S. SMITH
Published: April 30, 2008

PARIS "” Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102.

The cause was a heart attack, said Rick Doblin, founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based group that in 2005 republished Dr. Hofmann's 1979 book "LSD: My Problem Child."

Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid.

He then took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug's value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity's oneness with nature. That perception, of union, which came to Dr. Hofmann as almost a religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life.

Dr. Hofmann was born in Baden, a spa town in northern Switzerland, on Jan. 11, 1906, the eldest of four children. His father, who had no higher education, was a toolmaker in a local factory, and the family lived in a rented apartment. But Dr. Hofmann spent much of his childhood outdoors.

He would wander the hills above the town and play around the ruins of a Hapsburg castle, the Stein. "It was a real paradise up there," he said in an interview in 2006. "We had no money, but I had a wonderful childhood."
I
It was during one of his ambles that he had his epiphany.

"It happened on a May morning "” I have forgotten the year "” but I can still point to the exact spot where it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above Baden," he wrote in "LSD: My Problem Child." "As I strolled through the freshly greened woods filled with bird song and lit up by the morning sun, all at once everything appeared in an uncommonly clear light. "It shone with the most beautiful radiance, speaking to the heart, as though it wanted to encompass me in its majesty. I was filled with an indescribable sensation of joy, oneness and blissful security."

Though Dr. Hofmann's father was a Roman Catholic and his mother a Protestant, Dr. Hofmann, from an early age, felt that organized religion missed the point. When he was 7 or 8, he recalled, he spoke to a friend about whether Jesus was divine. "I said that I didn't believe, but that there must be a God because there is the world and someone made the world," he said. "I had this very deep connection with nature."

Dr. Hofmann went on to study chemistry at Zurich University because, he said, he wanted to explore the natural world at the level where energy and elements combine to create life. He earned his Ph.D. there in 1929, when he was just 23. He then took a job with Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, attracted by a program there that sought to synthesize pharmacological compounds from medicinally important plants.

It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one Friday afternoon in April 1943. Soon he experienced an altered state of consciousness similar to the one he had experienced as a child.

On the following Monday, he deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug overwhelmed him. That day, April 19, later became memorialized by LSD enthusiasts as "bicycle day."

Dr. Hofmann's work produced other important drugs, including methergine, used to treat postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of death from childbirth. But it was LSD that shaped both his career and his spiritual quest.
"Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom," Dr. Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof during an interview in 1984. "I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us."

Dr. Hofmann became an impassioned advocate for the environment and argued that LSD, besides being a valuable tool for psychiatry, could be used to awaken a deeper awareness of mankind's place in nature and help curb society's ultimately self-destructive degradation of the natural world.

But he was also disturbed by the cavalier use of LSD as a drug for entertainment, arguing that it should be treated in the way that primitive societies treat psychoactive sacred plants, which are ingested with care and spiritual intent.

After his discovery of LSD's properties, Dr. Hofmann spent years researching sacred plants. With his friend R. Gordon Wasson, he participated in psychedelic rituals with Mazatec shamans in southern Mexico. He succeeded in synthesizing the active compounds in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, which he named psilocybin and psilocin. He also isolated the active compound in morning glory seeds, which the Mazatec also used as an intoxicant, and found that its chemical structure was close to that of LSD.

During the psychedelic era, Dr. Hofmann struck up friendships with such outsize personalities as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Aldous Huxley, who, nearing death in 1963, asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes of throat cancer.

Yet despite his involvement with psychoactive compounds, Dr. Hofmann remained moored in his Swiss chemist identity. He stayed with Sandoz as head of the research department for natural medicines until his retirement in 1971. He wrote more than 100 scientific articles and was the author or co-author of a number of books
He and his wife, Anita, who died recently, reared four children in Basel. A son died of alcoholism at 53. Survivors include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Though Dr. Hofmann called LSD "medicine for the soul," by 2006 his hallucinogenic days were long behind him, he said in the interview that year. "I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore," he said, adding. "Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley."

But he said LSD had not affected his understanding of death. In death, he said, "I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that's all."
So, you're all moving, before the Little Bush Idiocracy gets its puppets on the Supreme Court to parrot their anti-social extremeist diktats?
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California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: May 16, 2008
Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court's 4-to-3 decision striking down state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman makes California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages. The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days, is certain to play a role in the presidential campaign.
"In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship," Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote of marriage for the majority, "the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."
California already has a strong domestic partnership law that gives gay and lesbian couples nearly all of the benefits and burdens of heterosexual marriage. The majority said that is not enough.
Given the historic, cultural, symbolic and constitutional significance of the concept of marriage, Chief Justice George wrote, the state cannot limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The court left open the possibility that another terms could denote state-sanctioned unions so long as that term was used across the board.
The state's ban on same-sex marriage was based on a law enacted by the Legislature in 1977 and a statewide initiative approved by the voters in 2000, both defining marriage as limited to unions between a man and a woman. The question before the court was whether those laws violate provisions of the state Constitution protecting equality and fundamental rights.
Conservative groups have proposed a new initiative, this one to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. If it is allowed onto the ballot in November and approved by the voters, Thursday's decision would be overridden. The groups have gathered more than a million signatures on initiative petitions and submitted them to the state.
Justice Marvin R. Baxter, dissenting, said the majority had should have deferred to the state Legislature, which has in recent years increased legal protections for same-sex couples.
"But a bare majority of this court," Justice Baxter wrote, "not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the people themselves."
The California Legislature has twice passed bills allowing same-sex marriages, but they were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said they would overturn the 2000 referendum.
Mr. Schwarzenegger opposes the current ballot initiative seeking a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He said Thursday that he respected the court's decision and would not support overturning it, according to The Associated Press.
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco directed the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Before the California Supreme Court halted the practice, more than 4,000 same-sex couples received marriage licenses in San Francisco.
Strictly for geeks, but.....
Remember the next time you perform an exaflop, which is a quintillion calculations per second, followed by the zettaflop, the yottaflop and the xeraflop, your computer liesuretime fun is owed to the need of the military to test nuclear bomb detonations.

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Military Supercomputer Sets Record

By JOHN MARKOFF
Published: June 9, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO "” An American military supercomputer, assembled from components originally designed for video game machines, has reached a long-sought-after computing milestone by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second.

I.B.M.
The Roadrunner supercomputer costs $133 million and will be used to study nuclear weapons.
The new machine is more than twice as fast as the previous fastest supercomputer, the I.B.M. BlueGene/L, which is based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The new $133 million supercomputer, called Roadrunner in a reference to the state bird of New Mexico, was devised and built by engineers and scientists at I.B.M. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, based in Los Alamos, N.M. It will be used principally to solve classified military problems to ensure that the nation's stockpile of nuclear weapons will continue to work correctly as they age. The Roadrunner will simulate the behavior of the weapons in the first fraction of a second during an explosion.

Before it is placed in a classified environment, it will also be used to explore scientific problems like climate change. The greater speed of the Roadrunner will make it possible for scientists to test global climate models with higher accuracy.

To put the performance of the machine in perspective, Thomas P. D'Agostino, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, said that if all six billion people on earth used hand calculators and performed calculations 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner can in one day.

The machine is an unusual blend of chips used in consumer products and advanced parallel computing technologies. The lessons that computer scientists learn by making it calculate even faster are seen as essential to the future of both personal and mobile consumer computing.

The high-performance computing goal, known as a petaflop "” one thousand trillion calculations per second "” has long been viewed as a crucial milestone by military, technical and scientific organizations in the United States, as well as a growing group including Japan, China and the European Union. All view supercomputing technology as a symbol of national economic competitiveness.

By running programs that find a solution in hours or even less time "” compared with as long as three months on older generations of computers "” petaflop machines like Roadrunner have the potential to fundamentally alter science and engineering, supercomputer experts say. Researchers can ask questions and receive answers virtually interactively and can perform experiments that would previously have been impractical.

"This is equivalent to the four-minute mile of supercomputing," said Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee who for several decades has tracked the performance of the fastest computers.

Each new supercomputing generation has brought scientists a step closer to faithfully simulating physical reality. It has also produced software and hardware technologies that have rapidly spilled out into the rest of the computer industry for consumer and business products.

Technology is flowing in the opposite direction as well. Consumer-oriented computing began dominating research and development spending on technology shortly after the cold war ended in the late 1980s, and that trend is evident in the design of the world's fastest computers.
The Roadrunner is based on a radical design that includes 12,960 chips that are an improved version of an I.B.M. Cell microprocessor, a parallel processing chip originally created for Sony's PlayStation 3 video-game machine. The Sony chips are used as accelerators, or turbochargers, for portions of calculations.
The Roadrunner also includes a smaller number of more conventional Opteron processors, made by Advanced Micro Devices, which are already widely used in corporate servers.

"Roadrunner tells us about what will happen in the next decade," said Horst Simon, associate laboratory director for computer science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Technology is coming from the consumer electronics market and the innovation is happening first in terms of cellphones and embedded electronics."

The innovations flowing from this generation of high-speed computers will most likely result from the way computer scientists manage the complexity of the system's hardware.

Roadrunner, which consumes roughly three megawatts of power, or about the power required by a large suburban shopping center, requires three separate programming tools because it has three types of processors. Programmers have to figure out how to keep all of the 116,640 processor cores in the machine occupied simultaneously in order for it to run effectively.

"We've proved some skeptics wrong," said Michael R. Anastasio, a physicist who is director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. "This gives us a window into a whole new way of computing. We can look at phenomena we have never seen before."
Solving that programming problem is important because in just a few years personal computers will have microprocessor chips with dozens or even hundreds of processor cores. The industry is now hunting for new techniques for making use of the new computing power. Some experts, however, are skeptical that the most powerful supercomputers will provide useful examples.
"If Chevy wins the Daytona 500, they try to convince you the Chevy Malibu you're driving will benefit from this," said Steve Wallach, a supercomputer designer who is chief scientist of Convey Computer, a start-up firm based in Richardson, Tex.

Those who work with weapons might not have much to offer the video gamers of the world, he suggested. Many executives and scientists see Roadrunner as an example of the resurgence of the United States in supercomputing.
Although American companies had dominated the field since its inception in the 1960s, in 2002 the Japanese Earth Simulator briefly claimed the title of the world's fastest by executing more than 35 trillion mathematical calculations per second. Two years later, a supercomputer created by I.B.M. reclaimed the speed record for the United States. The Japanese challenge, however, led Congress and the Bush administration to reinvest in high-performance computing.

"It's a sign that we are maintaining our position," said Peter J. Ungaro, chief executive of Cray, a maker of supercomputers. He noted, however, that "the real competitiveness is based on the discoveries that are based on the machines."
Having surpassed the petaflop barrier, I.B.M. is already looking toward the next generation of supercomputing. "You do these record-setting things because you know that in the end we will push on to the next generation and the one who is there first will be the leader," said Nicholas M. Donofrio, an I.B.M. executive vice president.

By breaking the petaflop barrier sooner than had been generally expected, the United States' supercomputer industry has been able to sustain a pace of continuous performance increases, improving a thousandfold in processing power in 11 years. The next thousandfold goal is the exaflop, which is a quintillion calculations per second, followed by the zettaflop, the yottaflop and the xeraflop
Genius.
We were in Oaxaca and saw them.
One scene I'll never forget was this one "woman" had a maid, as many of them do.
But the maid was also a tranny.
She was an Indian wearing traditional Zapotec clothes and pigtails but was clearly a man.
It's funny the gender thing was not an issue but the class thing...
as an Indian she was the maid.
So if you think real estate is bad here and getting worse.......
How about what could be the reason I received this SPAMmail from Moscow ? ? ? ?


-----Original Message-----
From: Осип (Иосиф) Виталий [mailto:merinosjy437@mail.ru]
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 11:34 AM
Subject: Premises for night club in Moscow

Premises for lease (1000 sq m). The premises of the former restaurant on the 2nd and 3rd floors in an A-class building in the centre of Moscow near metro stations Chekhovskaya, Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya.

Power capacity is 700 kW. Panoramic view elevator for 40 persons. Modern architectural conception of the restored in 2002 monument of history and architecture (total area 5649 sq m). Ceiling hight - 3,5 - 4m. One possessor of right.

Possible usage: bank, stock exchange, restaurant, karaoke or nightclub, exhibition halls, offices, marriage agency, producer centre, model agency, dance school, fitness club etc.

Time of lease - by agreement

Rental rate - USD 900 per sq m a year, including VAT

Utility payments and operating costs - on actual basis

You can contact us via e-mail: utrorossii@mailfrom.ru or phones+7 926 111 78 58 ; +7 495 699 3858 ; +7 495 699 7236 ; +7 495 699 3205

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Only $75,000 a month rent!
And what is a marriage agency and how is it lucerative enough to foot that rent?
I like how in Moscow a dance school or fitness club can make as much money as a bank or stock exchange. What kind of dances are they teaching?
I'd like to just rent out the "panoramic view elevator for 40 persons." Then I would get Daddy and Sammy Jo to DJ in it and call it the Rise and Fall Club.
The news is, NYC makes the largest amount of arrests, nearly half a million since '97 !, for marijuana possession of any city in the whole world. Against the intent of New York State Law.

Here's the authoritative word on NYC police department's continuing crusade to arrest people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The interesting focus is on the exact technique the cops use to intimidate and fool individuals into getting themselves arrested:

"However, police officers can legally make false statements to people they stop, and officers can trick people into revealing things. So in a stern, authoritative voice, NYPD officers will say to the young people they stop:

"We're going to have to search you. If you have anything illegal you should show it to us now. If we find something when we search you, you'll have to spend the night in jail. But if you show us what you have now, maybe we can just give you a ticket. And if it’s nothing but a little weed, maybe we can let you go. So if you’ve got anything you’re not supposed to have, take it out and show it now.”

When police say this, the young people usually take out their small amount of marijuana and hand it over. Their marijuana is now "open to public view." And that – having a bit of pot out and open to be seen – technically makes it a crime, a fingerprintable offense. And for cooperating with the police, the young people are handcuffed and jailed."

Here is the whole news article:
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The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City
Posted by CN Staff on August 10, 2009 at 04:55:22 PT
By Harry G. Levine, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet

New York -- There are two things that need to be understood about marijuana arrests in New York City.
First, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is not a crime in New York State. Since 1977 and passage of the Marijuana Reform Act, state law has made simple possession of less than seventh-eights of an ounce of pot a violation, like a traffic violation.

One can be given a ticket and fined $100 for marijuana possession, but not fingerprinted and jailed. For over thirty years, New York State has formally, legally, decriminalized possession of marijuana.

Second, despite that law, since 1997 the New York City Police Department has arrested 430,000 people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, mostly teenagers and young people in their twenties. Most people arrested were not smoking pot. Usually they just carried a bit of it in a pocket. In 2008 alone, the NYPD arrested and jailed 40,300 people for possessing a small amount of marijuana. These extraordinary numbers of arrests and jailings, continuing for over twelve years, now make New York City the marijuana arrest capital of the world.

The arrests for marijuana possession first increased dramatically under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. They have continued unabated under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. By 2008 Bloomberg had arrested more people for pot possession than Giuliani, and more than other mayor in the world.

Why has the NYPD continued to order narcotics and patrol officers to make so many misdemeanor pot arrests? For many reasons. The arrests are easy, safe, and provide training for new officers. The arrests gain overtime pay for patrol and narcotics police and their supervisors. The pot arrests allow officers to show productivity, which counts for promotions and choice assignments. Marijuana arrests enable the NYPD to obtain fingerprints, photographs and other data on many young people they would not otherwise have in their criminal justice databases. And there is very little public criticism and thus far no political opposition to New York City's marijuana arrest crusade.

Do the pot arrests reduce serious and violent crimes? No, if anything they increase other crimes. Professors Harcourt and Ludwig at the University of Chicago Law School analyzed NYPD data and concluded that the pot possession arrests took officers off the street and distracted them from other crime-fighting activities. "New York City’s marijuana policing strategy," they reported, "is having exactly the wrong effect on serious crime – increasing it, rather than decreasing it.” Veteran police officers agree terming the possession arrests "a waste of time." The arrests drain resources not just of police, but also of courts, jails, prosecutors and public defenders.

Perhaps most appalling is who the police are arresting for marijuana possession. U.S. government studies have consistently found that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than do young blacks or Latinos. But the NYPD has long arrested young blacks and Latinos for pot possession at much higher rates than whites.

In 2008, blacks were about 26% of New York City's population, but over 54% of the people arrested for pot possession. Latinos were about 27% of New Yorkers, but 33% of the pot arrestees. Whites were over 35% of the City's population, but less than 10% of the people arrested for possessing marijuana. In 2008, police arrested Latinos for pot possession at four times the rate of whites, and blacks at seven times the rate of whites.

Do the arrests violate New York State's decriminalization law? Yes and no. Yes, they certainly violate the spirit and intent of the 1977 law which explicitly sought to eliminate the pot possession arrests and the stigma of criminal records, especially for young people. And yes, some police, in particular narcotics squads, do make some illegal searches and arrests.

But no, most of the arrests are probably technically legal. The NYPD has found easy ways to trick or intimidate young people so they allow a search, or even just take out their marijuana and hand it over to the officers.

Here's how the police do it. NYPD commanders direct officers to stop and question many young people and make arrests for possessing "contraband." In 2008, the NYPD made more than half a million recorded stop and frisks and an unknown number of unrecorded stops, disproportionately in black, Latino and low-income neighborhoods. By far, the most common contraband young people might possess is a small amount of marijuana.

According to U.S. Supreme Court decisions, police are allowed to thoroughly pat down the outside of someone's clothing looking for a gun, which is bulky and easy to detect. But police cannot legally search inside a person's pockets and belongings without permission or probable cause.

However, police officers can legally make false statements to people they stop, and officers can trick people into revealing things. So in a stern, authoritative voice, NYPD officers will say to the young people they stop:

"We're going to have to search you. If you have anything illegal you should show it to us now. If we find something when we search you, you'll have to spend the night in jail. But if you show us what you have now, maybe we can just give you a ticket. And if it’s nothing but a little weed, maybe we can let you go. So if you’ve got anything you’re not supposed to have, take it out and show it now.”

When police say this, the young people usually take out their small amount of marijuana and hand it over. Their marijuana is now "open to public view." And that – having a bit of pot out and open to be seen – technically makes it a crime, a fingerprintable offense. And for cooperating with the police, the young people are handcuffed and jailed.

Before Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, New York police rarely if ever did this to make marijuana arrests. Since 1997 the NYPD has used this procedure to make tens of thousands of marijuana arrests a year, averaging about a hundred a day, every day for over twelve years. This is more than ten times the average number of marijuana arrests the City made previously. As NYPD and New York Criminal Court data show, before 1997 marijuana arrests were less than one percent of all arrests. The lowest-level misdemeanor pot possession arrests are now over ten percent of all arrests in New York City.

New York is extreme in the number of its marijuana arrests. But other cities are also making many pot possession arrests and jailings at high rates, often using the same techniques as the NYPD. As FBI arrest data shows, this includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and other cities.

Since the 1990s, the U.S. War on Drugs has emphasized making many low-level possession arrests, especially of marijuana. At least forty percent of all drug arrests are now just for marijuana possession and U.S. marijuana arrests are at an all time high. In the last ten years, the U.S. has arrested more than six million people, mostly young people, for possessing marijuana.

As in New York City, pot arrests nationally are racially skewed, racially biased. Throughout the U.S., young blacks and Latinos are stopped, searched and arrested for pot possession at much higher rates than whites – even though young whites use marijuana at higher rates.

Do the arrests harm the people arrested? Absolutely. They produce permanent, criminal records which potential employers can easily find, often on the internet. As even the New York City Health Department recognizes, "A marijuana conviction can keep you from getting a student loan, a job, a house or an apartment – even years later." In effect, the marijuana arrests provide the young, mostly low-income blacks, Latinos and whites with a head start for unemployment and prison.

The arrests are expensive, but state and local governments do not have to pay for them all. Arrests for possessing even tiny amounts of marijuana and other drugs are subsidized by the U.S. government. Up to a billion dollars a year has been going to states, prosecutors and police departments through the Byrne Grant Program to “fight” drugs and crime. Many Democrats in Congress have been strong supporters of Byrne Grants, including Senators Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

In 2009, the economic stimulus package enacted by Congress added two billion dollars more to the Byrne Grant Program. This tripled Byrne Grant funding raising it to the highest level ever. As a result, this epidemic of racially-biased and stigmatizing marijuana possession arrests in New York City and elsewhere will grow even larger.

The Obama administration's Department of Justice could alter Byrne grant regulations so that police departments, prosecutors and local governments cannot use the federal funds to subsidize arrests of people who possess only small amounts of marijuana. That alone could do a great deal to reduce the arrests, jailings, and stigmatizing criminal records. But police departments and prosecutors have enormous political clout in Washington. And other than a few civil liberties and drug policy reform groups, there is currently little organized opposition to the pot arrests.

Partly because of the economic crisis, some people, especially in California, have proposed that marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated like alcohol is. Serious, broad-ranging debate about alternatives to marijuana prohibition would be a sensible, hopeful development. But marijuana legalization would constitute a huge change in U.S. drug law and is not likely any time soon. Meanwhile, the great many damaging, expensive, racially-biased marijuana possession arrests and jailings continue – even in places like New York that have legally decriminalized simple possession.

In the 1980s Barack Obama was a college student in New York City, living on the border of Harlem. He used marijuana, walked around the city a lot, and sometimes may have carried a bit of pot in his pocket. If the current policing policies of New York and other cities were in effect at that time, he might well have been arrested and jailed. If that had happened Barack Obama would not be president today.

Is this what Americans want their police to be doing: arresting enormous numbers of young people, disproportionately black and Latino, and destroying their futures, for … pot possession?

Harry G. Levine is a professor of sociology at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the coauthor of Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice, and of the NYCLU report: Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Police Policy in New York City, 1997-2007
Baltimore Police have a similar nasty way of catching these same types of people. The police go into areas that have strip bars and these low class motels that are usually used by short term stays. The police go to the motels late at night knocking on peoples doors telling them that there are criminals robbing people in the area and the police then ask the motel guests if they, the police, can come into their room and talk to the guests about how they can be safe and not become a victim to criminals in the area. But in reality the police use this tactic so the guest allows the police to enter the motel room to hear how they can stay safe and once in the room the police can look around and search for contraband. Somehow because the guest at the motel allowed the police to enter, it’s then OK for the police to search without a warrant.

I rarely go to these motels, I now use the high class luxury hotels downtown. Lol

It is ironic that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all “experimented” with substances but they are not afraid to jail(enforce laws) people who do the same as they did. I wonder if the new senator Al Franken will be happy writing stiff drug enforcement laws with his new colleagues, I bet he smoked a few joints in his life,,,lol It’s funny what wearing a tie will do to a man. The phrase to use is, “do as I say, not what I do“.
The frightening thing about this is it took about 20 years before health officials could see the real need for techaddiction rehab.

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Internet rehab clinic for 'screenager' children hooked on modern technology

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:51 AM on 18th March 2010

Tech addicts: Teenagers hooked on computers and mobile phones will be treated in the first rehab clinic of its kind.
Children who are hooked on computer games, the internet and mobile phones are to be offered help at what is thought to be the first dedicated technology addiction service for young people in Britain.
The Capio Nightingale Hospital in central London - where singer Amy Winehouse was treated for drug addiction - launched the new service for patients as young as 12 following calls from parents concerned about their children's obsession.
Youngsters will be weaned off their gadgets in a residential unit and will also be taught face-to-face social skills.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Richard Graham said parents had told him their children flew 'into a rage' when they were asked to turn off their computers and police had even been called to settle the rows.
Dr Graham, who is leading the new addiction treatment, said rehab services need to 'adapt quickly' to help young people affected by technology addiction - who he dubbed 'screenagers' - rather than sticking with the same treatment models used for substance abuse.
'Mental health services need to adapt quickly to the changing worlds that young people inhabit, and understand just how seriously their lives can be impaired by unregulated time online, on-screen or in-game,' he said.
'We have found that many of the existing services fail to recognise the complexity of these situations, borrowing from older models of addiction and substance misuse to very limited effect.
'This is why Capio Nightingale Hospital has launched the first Young Person Technology Addiction Service, which we hope will address the underlying causes of this addiction to transform screenagers back into teenagers.'
The treatment aims to increase off-screen social activities and improve the person's confidence in face-to-face situations, the lack of which may have made them more susceptible to technology addiction.
It also encourages them to think about their relationship with their phone, computer games or social networking websites like Facebook and teaches them skills to help them to switch off.
The treatment package may also include a look at body image and physical health if the addiction has affected the child's confidence, activity levels or diet.
Strategies to deal with online problems, like cyber bullying, may also be part of intensive in-patient care, group or individual therapy.
Dr Graham told the London Evening Standard the technology addicts - who he compared to gambling addicts - were hyper-stimulated so they were 'always on the alert' and could suffer withdrawal symptoms like agitation.
'I've been contacted by parents who see their children going into a rage when they're told to turn off their computer. Some end up having to call the police,' he said.
Dr Graham said children played some computer games for the social contact, adding: 'It gives them a sense of connection so they end up playing all the time.'

He said: 'What we need are official guidelines now on what counts as healthy or unhealthy use of technology.'
Other clinics, including The Priory, offer treatment for internet addiction but have no dedicated service for young people.
A spokeswoman for Capio Nightingale Hospital said the service will be offered for children as young as 12 but those aged 15 to 17 are expected to be the main target group.
She said the service did not aim to make children give up technology use completely, instead they are encouraged to cut out any problem use - like computer games - and restrict the time spent using their phone or computer
Governor Signs Legislation Eliminating NYPD's Stop And Frisk Database
Governor David Paterson signed a bill this morning to virtual eliminate the NYPD database which keeps personal information on people officers stop and frisk, most of whom are not charged with any crimes.

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She said the service did not aim to make children give up technology use completely, instead they are encouraged to cut out any problem use - like computer games - and restrict the time spent using their phone or computer

Isn't that the parent's responsibility? Why rob the taxpayer, other than the fact it's now tradition in socialist England?
This reminds me of a poem I heard recently at Low Life about the dog run in the park.
______________________________________________
Here’s the Pub, Church and Field for Public Sex

By SARAH LYALL
Published: October 7, 2010

PUTTENHAM, England — There was the man they called “Bob the Builder,” who wore only a hard hat. There was the naked sunbather who remarked, “Nice day for it, isn’t it?” to a woman taking a walk. And there was the moment, Jules Perkins said, when the dizzying array of sexual forces that have somehow descended on her blameless Surrey village came together all at once, like a scene from a one-size-fits-all X-rated film.

The lay-by on the A31that is a popular haunt of Doggers and people cruising for sex.

“There were two blokes sitting side by side, watching a man and a woman having sex,” Ms. Perkins said, describing what happened as she strolled with her dog on the hill between her house and the Hog’s Back ridge. “Nearby, there were two men sunbathing together, wearing nothing but tight little white underpants.”

Later, she found a pink vibrator in the bushes.

“I gave it to the police,” she said. “They said, ‘What should we do with it?’ I said, ‘Put it in Lost Property.’ ”

Puttenham, about an hour’s drive from London, has fewer than 2,500 residents and is famous for its ancient church; its friendly pub, the Good Intent; and its proud inclusion in both the Domesday Book — an 11th-century survey of English lands — and “Brave New World.”

Unhappily for many people here, it is also famous for being featured on lists of good places to go “dogging” — that is, to have sex in public, sometimes with partners you have just met online, so that others can watch. So popular is the woodsy field below the ridge as a spot for gay sex (mostly during the day) and heterosexual sex (mostly at night) that the police have designated it a “public sex environment.”

Public sex is a popular — and quasi-legal — activity in Britain, according to the authorities and to the large number of Web sites that promote it. (It is treated as a crime only if someone witnesses it, is offended and is willing to make a formal complaint.) And the police tend to tread lightly in public sex environments, in part because of the bitter legacy of the time when gay sex was illegal and closeted men having anonymous sex in places like public bathrooms were routinely arrested and humiliated.

Enthusiasts’ Web sites alert practitioners to known dogging locations — more than 100 in Surrey alone — and offer handy etiquette tips for the confused or overly excited.

“Only join in or move closer if you are asked,” advises one site, Swinging Heaven, which says it has more than one million registered members.

Richard Byrne, a senior lecturer in countryside management at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, said that modern technology has made dogging much more convenient than it used to be, thanks to search engines, Facebook groups and people tweeting about their experiences. “And of course, everybody’s got mobiles,” he said.

Swinging Heaven says that the practice began in Britain in the 1970s, and that the term comes from the phenomenon of voyeurs “doggedly” following people having sex. Others say that practitioners claim to be “walking the dog” when they are, in fact, going out to meet naked strangers in fields.

Britons are a tolerant bunch, and most probably would not care who watched whom doing what in whatever configuration, as long as they all went somewhere else. Why, Puttenham residents wonder, do they have to do it 400 yards from the village nursery school?”

“We have nothing against gays or whoever it is up there,” said Lydia Paterson, who lives here. “It’s just the principle of, ‘What on earth is going on?’ ”

A stroll through the field the other day unearthed no doggers (it was raining) but revealed much evidence of their existence. Debris — used condoms, things made of rubber, pages torn from pornographic magazines, snack wrappers, discarded tea cups — littered the area. The paths were dotted with black mats that people had conveniently left behind for the next time.

Residents have been pressing the authorities to do something, arguing that the government should simply close the rest stop that provides access to the offending field, just off the busy A31 road. That way, people hoping to have sex would have nowhere to park.

But local government officials refused, saying closing it would unfairly penalize motorists who genuinely wanted just to rest and would deprive the owner of the Hog’s Back cafe, also at the rest stop, of his livelihood.

Alternative suggestions, discussed at a recent meeting of the Surrey County Council Cabinet, included deploying rangers to patrol the site on horseback; encouraging hikers to roust doggers with actual dogs; and filling the field with potentially bad-tempered bulls.

“It was like, ‘Are you taking this seriously?’ ” Ms. Paterson said. “One cabinet member said, ‘If you close this site, there could be an increase in suicides because these people have nowhere else to go.’ ”

Some older residents sympathize with the council. “Honestly, it’s been going on for so many years,” said Jennifer Debenham, 71, a customer at the Good Intent.

Referring to a nearby village, an elderly man at the bar piped up, “At Wisley, there are two sites, one for males and one for heteros.”

Mrs. Debenham said, “I think we should just let them get on with it.”

The man added, “If you want to find out more, just put ‘dogging’ into your search engine.”

Meanwhile, frazzled residents trade tales of woe: The half-dressed men who materialize from the shrubbery and theatrically pretend to be foraging for nuts and berries. The Internet reviews (“One site listed us as the No. 2 dogging site in Europe,” Ms. Perkins said wearily). The occasion when an unsuspecting motorist went for a bathroom break in the bushes, only to be surrounded by a crowd of eager men.

“It was the quickest pee he’d ever done in his life,” Ms. Paterson said.

The council has agreed to institute an “active management plan” that might include cutting down some shrubbery and putting in security patrols. And the police recently put up a sign warning people not to engage in “activities of an unacceptable nature.”

“There was a lot of debate over the wording for that sign,” Ms. Paterson said. “I guess they didn’t want to say, ‘Don’t have sex.’ ”
Don't let the science stop you, it's about what makes you feel good !


February 16, 2011, 12:01 am

Phys Ed: What Really Causes Runner’s High?

<address class="byline author vcard">By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS</address>
Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

For decades, endorphins have hogged the credit for producing “runner’s high,” that fleeting sense of euphoria and calm that many people report experiencing after prolonged exercise. Who among us, after an especially satisfying workout, hasn’t thought, “ah, my endorphins are kicking in.” Endorphins are the world’s sole celebrity peptide.

Endorphins first gained notoriety in exercise back in the 1980s when researchers discovered increased blood levels of the substance after prolonged workouts. (Endorphins, for those who know the word but not the molecules’ actual function, are the body’s home-brewed opiates, with receptors and actions much like those of pain-relieving morphine.) Endorphins, however, are composed of relatively large molecules, “which are unable to pass the blood-brain barrier,” said Matthew Hill, a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University in New York. Finding endorphins in the bloodstream after exercise could not, in other words, constitute proof that the substance was having an effect on the mind. So researchers started to look for other candidates to help explain runner’s high. Now an emerging field of neuroscience indicates that an altogether-different neurochemical system within the body and brain, the endocannabinoid system, may be more responsible for that feeling.

In a groundbreaking 2003 experiment, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that 50 minutes of hard running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle significantly increased blood levels of endocannabinoid molecules in a group of college students. The endocannabinoid system was first mapped some years before that, when scientists set out to determine just how cannabis, a k a marijuana, acts upon the body. They found that a widespread group of receptors, clustered in the brain but also found elsewhere in the body, allow the active ingredient in marijuana to bind to the nervous system and set off reactions that reduce pain and anxiety and produce a floaty, free-form sense of well-being. Even more intriguing, the researchers found that with the right stimuli, the body creates its own cannabinoids (the endocannabinoids). These cannabinoids are composed of molecules known as lipids, which are small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier, so cannabinoids found in the blood after exercise could be affecting the brain.

<h6 class="kicker">Since that 2003 study, a flurry of research has been teasing out the role that endocannabinoids play in the body’s reaction to exercise. In some of Dr. Hill’s work, for instance, rats treated with a drug that blocked their endocannabinoid receptors did not experience the increase in new brain cells that usually accompanies running, suggesting that a well-functioning endocannabinoid system may be required for cognitive improvements from exercise. Other researchers have found that endocannabinoids may be what nudge us to tolerate or enjoy exercise in the first place. In an experiment published last year, groups of mice were assigned either to run on wheels or sip a sweetened drink. Running and slurping sugar previously were identified as pleasurable behaviors in animals. Now the researchers saw that both activities lit up and sensitized portions of the animals’ endocannabinoid systems, intimating that the endocannabinoid connection may lend both exercise and dessert their appeal.</h6>

But perhaps the most telling experiment was published last year by researchers in France who had bred mice with no functioning endocannabinoid receptors. Mice usually love to run, but the genetically modified animals, given free access to running wheels, ran about half as much as usual. Although the full intricacies of the endocannabinoid system’s role in motivating and rewarding exercise is not yet understood, it seems obvious, the researchers say, that the cannabinoid-deprived mice were not getting some necessary internal message. Typically, the endocannabinoid system “is well known to impact onto central reward networks,” the authors write. Without it, exercise seemed to provide less buzz, and the animals didn’t indulge as much.

Whether this accumulating new science establishes, or ever can establish, definitively, that endocannabinoids are behind runner’s high, is uncertain. As Francis Chaouloff, a researcher at the University of Bordeaux in France and lead author of the genetically modified mouse study, pointed out in an e-mail, rodents, although fine models for studying endocannabinoid action, “do not fill questionnaires to express their feelings related to running,” and runners’ high is a subjective human experience. Still, endocannabinoids are a more persuasive candidate, especially given the overlap between the high associated with marijuana use and descriptions of the euphoria associated with strenuous exercise. One recent review article described them: “pure happiness, elation, a feeling of unity with one’s self and/or nature, endless peacefulness,” and “inner harmony.” Ahhhh.

Since the multiple disasters in Japan interest in bomb/disaster shelters has gone up 1,000%.
At this great link you can scroll down about a third of the page to a really useful interactive chart where you can plug in the exact size of explosion and find out what the range and extent of various detrimental effects will be. Very educational. In the 'search' field just type in New York City, or wherever You are, then below the map move the 'weapon selector' slider to select the type of bomb, then click 'nuke it.'

http://undergroundbombshelter.com/

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