The world's most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first "global snapshot" of four decades of the war on drugs. To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time. Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
Who scrubs the Internet of its awfulness?
Buzzfeed interviews a former employee of the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children
tasked with processing reports of child porn. [Buzzfeed url and title is nsfw, trigger warning for sexual assault & exploitation]
In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall)
of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program
documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations
against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission
and the Church
committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George
,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly
: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
Need a spouse or uncooperative business associate taken care of? Have no fear! HitmanForHire.net is here.
"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue."
-- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless
, explaining that the surge
in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1
, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ
/ Photo Gallery
. [more inside]
Earlier this month, thirteen record labels tried to claim that
Limewire was liable for between $400 Billion and $75 Trillion
in damages. (For some perspective, the world's GDP in 2011 is expected to be a mere ~$65 billion.
) Judge Kimba Wood called the assertion 'absurd'
in a 14 page opinion. (pdf) [more inside]
Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill
has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status.
Localfilter: Today in Tokyo
, legislation passed
that will further restrict manga and animation "glorifying or exaggerating illegal sexual acts." Ten of the biggest comics companies are protesting the Tokyo International Anime Fair
, sponsored by the city, responding that a focus on their mode of expression is unfair. Blogger Dan Kanemitsu reports.
Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article
about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World
under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications
. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press
(particularly Murdoch's News International
, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police
, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned
[video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate
in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege
breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee
, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence
. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife"
, and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll
[pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
If you hire illegal aliens at your business, the federal government can seize your property
. In a rare move, the U.S. government is seeking to confiscate the property of an iconic San Diego restaurant that allegedly had a practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
The British music industry is taking the carrot, rather than stick, approach when talking about downloading music
. They have created a series of animations
about various artists (Blind Willie Johnson, Kate Bush, Nick Cave, The Jam etc - I particularly like the Sigur Ros
one) that proclaim 'music matters' and their 'trustmark'
will appear on legitimate music downloading sites.
The Adventures Of A Would Be Arms Dealer
(PDF) is an eight-page comic illustrating how an illegal arms deal works in practice. Via
Federal and state government officials and border activists say the garbage dumped in the Sonoran Desert
by illegal immigrants and their smugglers is staggering. The cleanup is costing taxpayers millions. The Southern Arizona Project
(pdf) is a multi-year program setup by the Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the impacts to the ecology by illegal immigration and smuggling. In 2006 alone, more than 1.18 million pounds of trash was collected along the southern Arizona border.
On July 10, Prince William County, Virginia voted
to begin a major crackdown on illegal immigration. Two local filmmakers have responded with a series of videos covering everything from county hearings
to head-on confrontations
between white and Hispanic residents. Full collection of 31 youtube videos
(with more regularly being added). The Washington Post's coverage
"This series explores the black spots in American law: areas in which our laws are routinely and regularly broken and where the law enforcement response is … nothing. These are the areas where, for one reason or another, we've decided to tolerate lawbreaking and let a law—duly enacted and still on the books—lay fallow or near dead." The first two entries are prescription drug abuse
and internet pornography
to gather information about Americans' phone records
--... the NSA had approached the company (Qwest) about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.
...Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. ...
-- The Administration's crimes and illegal spying on all of us and Quest's punishment for not going along with their plans.
McHenry and his "roommates"
-- GOP Rep Patrick McHenry (NC), co-owner of a DC home with Scott G. Stewart, former chair of the College Republican Nat'l Cttee (and bilker of many senior citizens), received a DC home-ownership reduction improperly. McHenry's actual home in North Carolina was apparently also home to quite a collection of young men: (convicted fraudulent voter) Michael Aaron Lay
, Neil Everett Capano, Matthew Allen Hamilton, and (multiple violations, including "death by vehicle") Jason Jent Deans
. Also, McHenry's 04 consultant Ralph Gonzales was one of the men involved in a recent FL murder/suicide, and links to Robert Drake, the killer
(political work in NC and escort service connections), are still being documented. Stay tuned! [more inside]
Step by Step
How do you define private property? Apparently the city council of Belmont, CA has their own definition.
On June 4th, 2007, New Haven became the first city to pass a law offering Municipal IDs for all citizens of the city, including illegal immigrants
giving them better access to city services and making it possible for them to obtain a library card or open a bank account. Some people
think it's a good idea. Some people
don't, saying, among other things, that the program will cause illegal immigrants from other cities to rush to New Haven. The federal government may have made their opinion known on June 6th, when 31 illegal immigrants were arrested
in what officials say was a routine raid, not in any way influenced by what had occurred two days previous. However, the mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano Jr has called it "an act of intimidation."
Yesterday, in nearby North Haven, 3 more illegal immigrants
"I do not recall"
--meet Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA
(Our mission is to help other agencies better serve the public by meeting – at best value – their needs for products and services, and to simplify citizen access to government information and services.
), and hear about the powerpoint presentation from Rove's office all about electing Republicans in 08 and how her agency should help. Her office supplied it to Congress--but it was just a (GOP) "team-building exercise" and "brown-bag lunch". (YouTube) Read up on the Hatch Act
Should artists be allowed
to use copyrighted materials? Where do the First Amendment and "intellectual property" law collide? What is art's future
if the current laws
are allowed to stand? Questions asked by Stay Free!
in their ongoing multimedia exhibit.
The world's longest undefended border apparently gives the U.S. enough freedom to send in the FBI for routine investigations
in another country. Of course, this is not the first time
that American authorities operated illegally in Canada. How would Americans feel if it was the other way around
? Pretty funny, eh?
I was a slave in Puglia.
A long first-person exposé, in English, about immigrant slave labor in Italy, from Fabrizio Gatti writing in the Italian newspaper L'Espresso
. "I can hire you. Tomorrow," he promises. "Do you have a girl friend?" "A girlfriend?" "You have to bring me a woman. For the boss. If you bring him one, he'll put you to work right away. Any girl will do." He points to a twenty year-old woman and her companion, working on the conveyor belt of a huge tractor that is being used to gather tomatoes. "Those two are Romanians, just like you. She slept with the boss." "But I'm alone." "No work for you then." Photo galleries
. Italian version
(includes additional sidebars not found in the English version, including local and government reaction to the exposé and more photo galleries under the sidebar "Reportage Fotografico.")
--as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect
in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...
"Mortgaging Old Black People"
--Abramoff, Ralph Reed, the Black Churches Insurance Program, with the old folks' benefits going to Abramoff. They had previously tried it with the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe of El Paso. (original GQ story here)
Friday fun (HST)...
Pure sweet insanity...somebody has been playing too many video games...Semi-pro probably totally illegal hi jinks on Swedens highways and byways...andrenaline rush just watching this...and oh yeah its official... Google owns the world...(warning embedded 14 minute video....) and ..umm...you can buy tires here... tires.com
...you can catch glimpses of the bikes speedo that I assume are in KPH...
Stories from a prison in South Korea,
told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one
. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two
. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
... I told the judge that the war violates the United Nations Charter, which forbids the use of force, unless carried out in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council,
neither of which obtained before Bush invaded Iraq. ...--testimony of Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the case of Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes, on trial for court-martial--he refused to board his ship bound for the Gulf.
"I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."
--the presiding officer at the court-martial, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant
The sentence? Reduction to the lowest rank. Two months' restriction to the 32nd Street Naval Station. Three months of hard labor, but no jail time. Court adjourned.
incredibly weird military recruitment drive/sermon/men's night out thing in a Baptist Church ... Every word of this might be true, but it was also part of a “The lord will protect you in the military” themed sermon. I have never had both respect and disgust for a single individual with such volume in my life. When I asked him for a picture with him holding the same bible he is in the sermon picture I think my attitude came off as “fan boy”. ...
(might be slow-loading--tons of pics)
Illegal RNC trashing Democratic registrations in Vegas -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.
"No voting rights for YOU......boy!"- Florida's illegal purges of voter rolls to continue for 3rd national election? Election head resigns.
While Florida refuses to release the "purge lists" to CNN
, "The head of Florida's elections division resigned Monday amid reports he was feeling political heat over a push to purge thousands of suspected felons from the state's voter rolls." (Tallahassee Sun-Sentinel) " there has been little action
(and worse, really) on Florida's agreement to reinstate illegally purged voters to Florida voting rolls
that resulted from an NAACP lawsuit over the 2000 election ["Many voters said their votes didn't count or they were turned away from polls due to mistakes on voter lists, busy telephone lines at election headquarters, punch-card voting machine foul-ups and other problems...Statewide, the largest numbers of voting problems were found in precincts with high proportions of black and elderly voters."
The NYT editorially acknowledged
the scandal on February 15, 2004.]
On May 21, 2002, Ashcroft's Justice Department began a suit against Florida counties "for purging Black voters from voter rolls and other violations of civil rights"
Now, four years after the 2000 election, illegally "purged" Florida voters will not be notified until it is "too late to have their rights restored for this election
- or are turned away on Election Day", reports the Tampa Tribune. "The vast majority of them are black and would be likely to vote Democratic."
It's difficult for convicted felons to regain the right to vote in Florida
, but many on the "purge" lists were not (in 2000) and still are not felons at all. [ note : Greg Palast
- busy of late - must be most credited with blowing this story wide open. See here here
HEY! That's illegal!
Aw, yeah the motherlode of illegality. The organizers of this exhibit seem to get it all right. The website doesn't skimp on the source material either. Wanna see George Bush wreak havoc on the Teletubbies bunnies? It's here
. Wanna see Wally Wood's (Of The Realist
) version of a Disneyland orgy? It's here
. Public Enemy sampled the Beatles but pulled the song because the licence fees were insane, listen to it here
. Also, don't skip over the "contract" that pops up when you enter the site, it's classic.