Raving Mad 

Raving Mad 
Posted by CN Staff on July 26, 2002 at 12:01:29 PT
By Mike Connor, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
We all know that youth culture has already gone mostly underground. Even the most respected promoters run into trouble putting on anything remotely edgy for the under-21 crowd, and the word "rave" in particular has become a dirty word over the last decade. But you ain't seen nothing yet. If a couple of extreme pieces of legislation being considered by Congress go through, even that cute little sock hop you've been dreaming about having could end with SWAT teams crashing through windows armed with high-powered odor-eaters and a warrant for your arrest. 
All because someone at your event was doing drugs -- even if you didn't actually know about it. After you pay a fine in accordance with Title 18 of the United States Code, we'll see ya when you get out of the slammer -- in about nine years or so. That's an exaggeration of course -- SWAT teams aren't equipped with odor eaters. But the proposed legislation is real, and although it's couched in broader legislation attempting to battle methamphetamine use nationwide, the vague wording and draconian penalties have many promoters worried about the future of live entertainment as a whole. Here in Santa Cruz, local promoters fear the new statute will further damage an already hobbled live music scene. The police, meanwhile, say they don't even need these new enforcement tools -- they've had no problems breaking up the old full-moon parties up in Davenport, for instance. So the question becomes: why does anyone need these new laws? And are they worth the creepy implications for constitutional rights? Meth Mania  The main bill in question is called H.R. 3782, and has one of those annoyingly clever little acronyms -- CLEAN-UP, which stands for Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, Neutralize and Undermine Production of Methamphetamines. If passed, the bill would hold promoters responsible for drug use at their events by amending Section 416A of the federal Control Substances Act to read as follows: Whoever knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.The bill, which already has 66 co-sponsors in the House, was drafted by Congressman Doug Ose (R-Calif.) in response to the growing methamphetamine problem. H.R. 3782 is a comprehensive plan to increase funding to police task forces, educational outreach programs and environmental protection programs. Ose's press secretary, Yier Shi, says that 80 percent of the country's methamphetamines are produced in Northern California, mostly in Sacramento. Closer to home, Santa Cruz Deputy Sheriff Kim Allen calls the meth problem "an epidemic -- it's ruining people's lives across the board." But the bill is also designed to clean up methamphetamine use at entertainment events. Though raves are most commonly associated with ecstasy (and indeed a couple of anti-rave bills target that drug specifically), police also consider them a serious meth problem. According to Shi, police were frustrated by situations where drugs were sold openly at raves. "Currently if you are knowingly promoting a rave with drug use," Shi says, "the only people who are responsible are the ones with the drugs and the owners of the property." H.R. 3782 would change all that. Promoters who know or "ought to know" of any type of drug use at their shows -- whether it be meth, ecstasy, marijuana or any other controlled substance for that matter -- will be held criminally responsible for drug possession or use by anyone in attendance. Granted, there have been cases where event promoters knew of and even promoted drug use at their shows. It's no surprise that they're going to get busted -- they're practically asking for it. But most promoters say they aren't promoting drug use at their events (though it may of course happen anyway) -- they just want to promote music. This includes everyone from lovey-dovey rave promoters who want everyone to get blissed out on trippy natural highs to the stadium concert promoters who, despite security precautions like mandatory pat-downs, still can't control the actions of every single person in attendance. They're concerned that the language concerning promoters who "reasonably ought to know" about drug use at their shows is alarmingly vague. Organizations such as the International Association of Assembly Managers -- an industrial trade association comprised of more than 3,000 managers of stadiums, arenas, theaters, convention centers, amphitheaters and auditoriums -- are actively opposing the section of the bill quoted above. In a letter to James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, IAAM attorney Turner D. Madden expresses his concern that the sketchy wording will discourage people from promoting any entertainment events when faced with such broad responsibility and strict penalties. "It sounds rather ridiculous, but law enforcement officials could charge multiple defendants under Section 416A (the promoter, the arena manager and the others) for one musical event where one instance of drug use occurred at the event because all of them knew or reasonably should have known that one of ten thousand college students would use drugs," writes Madden. The Enforcement Dilemma  When asked how it's possible to determine which cases should be punished, Shi says, "That's the judgment that law enforcement officers need to make, to prosecute those who knowingly promote drug use." Not surprisingly, some are skeptical of legislation that requires police to not only enforce laws, but to interpret them as well. "It gives police more latitude to act on a whim or personal prejudices," says local performer/promoter Oliver Brown. "That prejudice manifests itself through deciding which car to pull over, which beggars to menace, which hosts of live music to bully, right on down the line." Asked if the statute will change the way raves are handled by the police, Deputy Sheriff Allen is doubtful. "No, not really, but I suspect it will be a component of enforcement," he says. "It appears on its face to be a pretty heavy burden to put on a promoter. But even if we don't agree with [federal laws], we have to enforce them." But there can be some leeway even in federal law. "Penal code section four says you're supposed to enforce the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law," says Allen. "I'm not saying we're not going to enforce it, but I think the sheriff's philosophy aims for what's best for the community." Still, not everyone may be comfortable with the thought of police enforcing laws based solely on their own discretion. The truth is, however, it's often a fundamental part of the legislative process. Legal experts say it's routine for the legislature to draft laws using very broad language, which are then refined through appeals. Unhappily, not only do people have to get arrested in the first place for this to happen, but somebody also has to appeal a decision and win, which usually costs money. It's a process that, while seemingly lazy or cowboyish on the surface, is nevertheless typical, considering the endless conceivable circumstances of a given type of crime. The principal issue in this case, though, is the limits (or lack thereof) of third-party liability. IAMM attorney Madden points out that "it is a well settled principal of law in many states that businesses are generally not liable for the criminal acts of third parties, absence a showing of a special relationship or negligence." He cites a parallel case regarding premises liability, Noble v. Los Angeles Dodgers, in which two people were attacked on the way to their car in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. The couple sued the stadium for insufficient security. They won the case, but an appellate court overturned the decision, saying, "It can be said that in this day and age anyone can foresee or expect that a crime will be committed at any time and at any place in the more populous areas of the country. We understand the law still to require that a plaintiff, in order to establish liability, must prove more than abstract negligence unconnected to the injury." Drug War Draftees  Similarly, it might also be said that in this day and age, anyone can foresee or expect that a joint will be smoked at any time and at any place in the more populous areas of the country. But under this new legislation, promoters of entertainment events will be responsible for the criminal behavior of others, even if they've taken preventative precautions. Some promoters say the bill's meth angle is a sham. "The whole idea that the bill would curb meth is simply some moron's idea of making an anti-drug statement," says Martin Tickle, who organizes the annual Cosmik Casbah in Santa Cruz. "I have never heard of meth as a club or rave drug." Others say it's simply unworkable and, more importantly, unfair. Pulse Productions owner Michael Horne says there would be specific difficulties in Santa Cruz: "It's already challenging enough to host an event where you've got a public assembly. There's a lot of substance use that comes with the business, and it's tough to find the point where you intervene. I host cultural events, just like going to movies. What people do before or after or during these events, I'm not sure how much control or input I should have., because what constitutes reasonable intervention?" "Why should event promoters suddenly become drug war officers?" asks local promoter Poco of Indagroove. "Although we try to secure our events as much as we can, it is impossible to control every individual's actions." He says the law would also squelch the efforts of groups like DanceSafe, which provides pill-testing and safety information to rave-goers. "This legislation would make event promoters less likely to allow drug prevention organizations and harm-reduction groups to distribute their information inside an event for fear of self-incrimination," says Poco. Some promoters think they can steer clear of the law, however. Tickle says he's not worried about H.R. 3782 affecting his event. "The bill would not apply," he says, "as our events have been built on a crowd for whom drugs and alcohol are not primary or secondary reasons for attending. Out mission statement is to offer dance as a celebration of self, spirit and community." H.R. 3782 has recently been referred to four separate committees in the House for review, and a voting date has not yet been determined. Even if it's passed, it's certainly possible that promoters like Tickle can continue organizing events undisturbed by police. The problem is that if Tickle is right, it won't be long before the party formerly known as "Meth Lab Bonanza" simply changes its name to "A Celebration of our Higher Selves," or something even less tongue-in-cheeky, making it more difficult for police to tell who's doing what. And, as Allen says, "Gray areas are interpreted by the social values and standards of the community." Although he doesn't think they should necessarily be off the hook completely, Allen sympathizes with the promoters' difficulty of completely eliminating drug use at their events. "I think there's an area of liability with the promoter, but then there's activity which you possibly can't ever abate, at any event. If you can get these drugs in jail, how are you going to keep them out of the general population? Mike Connor is the music calendar editor at Metro Santa Cruz, where this article originally appeared. Source: AlterNetAuthor: Mike Connor, AlterNetPublished: July 25, 2002Copyright: 2002 Independent Media InstituteContact: info Website: Articles & Web Site:DanceSafe Lunacy Poopers - Reason Magazine Against The Machine Addicted To The Quick Fix 
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Comment #34 posted by Zero_G on July 28, 2002 at 15:02:13 PT
I've just had a chance to peruse this link - And I'd dare say that there is more here than I expected to find. Certainly another playground for the mind to take some time to explore. Thank you
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Comment #33 posted by cougar on July 27, 2002 at 12:47:06 PT:
What bout churches who have young sex and drunks?
What ever happened to right to assemble peacefully, free speach and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Their trampling on our free-speech assemblings. The Bush Administration threw away our bill of rights with their moral intergrity. Weve been sold off to the money machine!!!
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on July 27, 2002 at 07:28:15 PT
Good Morning
Hi Everyone,I've been looking for news but so far I haven't found any. It looks like a storm might be rolling in and it might be hard for me to stay connected. I just wanted to mention that so you know everything is fine.I believe this is a scripture that says: Whom much is given much is required.We in the reform movement know what it is like to be an outcast. I think that's why we are more sensiive to the worlds problems. We have been oppressed for many years and why? There is no reason in my opinion.We have gone beyond being plastic people. Zero_G the Moody Blues speaks to our hearts and their music has always made me think and feel more deeply then any other music group has. Neil Young does the same thing for me.I also sometimes feel a little like this song excerpt from Bob Dylan. Things Have Changed!
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Comment #31 posted by JSM on July 27, 2002 at 07:14:47 PT
If you like the Dalai Lama, explore this site:
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Comment #30 posted by JSM on July 27, 2002 at 07:11:12 PT
Exactly, although I prefer the term "transmigration of the soul." Karma does equate to what goes around comes around or as you sow so shall you reap. Life is circular, it is our perception of it that is linear. It is a big universe and what we know is limited indeed.  
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Comment #29 posted by Zero_G on July 27, 2002 at 06:45:16 PT
Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso is an interesting individual. I am amazed at his willingness to explore Buddhist meditational states in western scientific settings, for example.There is also a movement in Dharamsala, the Tibetan Capital in Exile, away from strict theocracy towards democracy, albiet with a Buddhist flavor.
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Comment #28 posted by qqqq on July 27, 2002 at 06:23:47 PT
...did you know?...
..the Dalai Lama has a website!?....
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Comment #27 posted by Zero_G on July 27, 2002 at 06:15:43 PT
Wheels of Karma
Go round and roundSometimes your up andSometimes your downThose Wheels of KarmaCan make you danceIf your not good hereYou'll come back ants...Citizen Kafka and the Wretched Refuse String Band circa 1970'sMy religion is very simple - my religion is kindness. 
Dalai Lama 
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Comment #26 posted by qqqq on July 27, 2002 at 06:12:16 PT
..Isn't Life Strange... Zero G......
..."Now, cannabis users are generally considered to have poor memories - and if this were true, and it were also true
      that we are products of our memories, this would limit ourselves as individuals.      IF and ONLY IF, we DO NOT CHALLENGE THAT ASSUMPTION.      I feel my memory is pretty good, compared to the conditioned masses.      What do you think?"
....I'm not sure if I understand that,,,but I Know you're out there Somewhere...and I think your memory is good.
....I always liked that song;;"Timothy Leary's Dead".....
..Timothy Leary's dead
Timothy Leary's dead
..No..No..he's outside,,,Looking in....
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Comment #25 posted by dddd on July 27, 2002 at 06:01:54 PT
..I like the way you put it JSM....
....but feeling guilty,,,is a somewhat broad,and relative condition.....
I dont know if I would agree that life is more "circular",than "linear"......Are you saying 'what goes around comes around'?,,or are you more referring to a reincarnation idea?.....dddd
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Comment #24 posted by Zero_G on July 27, 2002 at 05:50:19 PT
Lovin' the Moody Blues
I remember the first time I saw "Legend of a Mind" live...and we are all products of our memories.Which brings me to this.FoM, I remembered you love the Moody Blues, you had commented in another thread a while back.Which is why, of course, that I provided that specific link.Now, cannabis users are generally considered to have poor memories - and if this were true, and it were also true that we are products of our memories, this would limit ourselves as individuals.IF and ONLY IF, we DO NOT CHALLENGE THAT ASSUMPTION.I feel my memory is pretty good, compared to the conditioned masses.What do you think?
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Comment #23 posted by JSM on July 27, 2002 at 05:41:02 PT
dddd, Should we feel guilty??
Look at it this way dddd, it is all karma. Rich this life, abuse the priviledge (with great wealth comes great responsibility) and bingo - poor the next. Abusing this planet, we are just setting up our next existence. IMHO, life is circular not linear so the implications are endless and what we do to the least of us we do to all of us. This world can be heaven or hell. It is our decision.
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Comment #22 posted by Zero_G on July 27, 2002 at 05:30:55 PT
Should we feel guilty...
Should we feel guilty about our wealth or just feel glad the hands of fate birthed us in rich nations? Don't Mourn, Organize. -
Joe Hill
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Comment #21 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on July 27, 2002 at 04:38:48 PT
Life in America
I have a dog...she eats pretty well, and up until I got laid off she lived better than me - no work, no boss (other than my benevolent dictatorship....Dogs would live well in america, even if Americans were not , by and large, the giant consuming couch potato nation it has become.5% of the world's population and we absorb, consume, suck up, snort and inhale 45% (or more) of the worlds natural resources. We are dizzy with food and saftey. we dont need homeland security.People doubtlessly have a diffesrent relationship with animals in other "less fortunate (ripped-off) countries.I remember Thailand had offered to import ALL of our unwanted animals - the would eat them. Americans balked and prefer to gas unwanted animals. It makes no rational sense. Its like spoiled children who have more than they can eat, but still refuse to share.I like this phrase:"If yer not living on the Edge, yer takin' up too much room"I think of that as during my conquest of Nations. :P
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Comment #20 posted by dddd on July 27, 2002 at 01:30:40 PT
...Excellent questions Indy...
...Several years ago,,,,I went to Roatan,which is an island off the coast of Honduras.My job was to oversee and expidite the completion of a deluxe vacation home that my friend was building.He was too busy with his business here in SoCal to go down there,so he sent me.........I will skip the details,,but the long and short of it,,was that all of a sudden,,there I was,,with thousands of dollars,and a nice rental car,,and my job was to hire people to work on the project,,and fire the local "contractor" guy,who had been milking my friend dry...It was weird...the contractor guy was a cut-throat,,and of course,,I was referred to as a "gringo"....It was very spooky,,,,anyway.....I had to start hiring locals to work on this lavish ,resort-like project.It was partially completed,and I was staying in the "guest house",,which was a deluxe,,air conditioned abode.......The going rate for laborers,was about $1.00 an hour,and there were people begging for work at this rate.It was bizarre..I had trouble dealing with it,,,I wasnt ready for being in the position of the rich American paymaster...I couldnt stand it,,,I ended up getting in trouble with my friend who owned the place,because I paid some of the guys who were really good,,double the going rate....I felt like a real big-dog...I'd give some of the workers an extra ten bucks,and it would dazzle the shit out of them!...Needless to say,I have many good friends down there............
...the reason I was reminded of all this,,is when you wrote; Should we feel guilty about our wealth or just feel glad the hands of fate birthed us in rich nations? "....I believe that we should feel very fortunate about ;"The hands of fate"....I always think that there is an infinitesmal blip of omnipresent reality that somehow caused our asses to end up in the epicurian western goodlife...if there was one tweedle of altered fate,,dddd could have been born into an impoverished family in Angola....... 
...Things may not seem that good here in the western world,,,but compared to what?....,,and unplugged....from outer space..................... .d.............................ddd 
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Comment #19 posted by freedom fighter on July 27, 2002 at 00:54:58 PT
Gotta get me a cat! :) I love dogs and cats! Actually, in this household, I got 5 cats. Yeah, your right... They eat better than the people somewhere on earth starving for food. Am I responsible? Somewhat! Rich Governments have warehouses of food that are rotting out, guarded by armed men.. How do I change this? By sending the money I spend on my 5 cats? or dogs? I don't think so. Why can't the countries get to together and feed everyone? Enuff good stuff for everyone including dogs and cats! I don't understand the logic where one third are fed well and 2 third are starving when we got enuff for every single beings!Sigh!ff
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Comment #18 posted by Industrial Strength on July 27, 2002 at 00:05:08 PT
What really strikes home the disparity between 1st and 3rd world countries is that our dogs live better than alot of people. They have sanitary housing, clean water, they don't go hungry, I would bet a person could live on the table scraps fed to our dogs. You can't help but feel a little guilty. I think guilt spurs more world vision child sponsorship than actual compassion. For what one big, costco bag of Pedigree costs you could sponser another child for a month. Should you get rid of your dogs? Should you only have small dogs, as they eat less? Is the cocktail of guilt and compassion enough for me to adopt a minimalistic lifestyle in order to be more charitable? No, as I'm sure it is for most people. Should we feel guilty about our wealth or just feel glad the hands of fate birthed us in rich nations? That's enough rhetorical rambling.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 26, 2002 at 22:05:18 PT
Thank you for the link on the other thread. I bookmarked it and already listened to Nights in White Satin. I love the Moody Blues.You said: In the midst of the world's most afflicted, was a sense of communal sharing, strangely lacking here.I'll tell you why but it's just my opinion. People that suffer the most really know how to live. Without suffering we become arrogant as a nation or as an individual. True wisdom is born of pain. We have lost our connections in the USA. We don't know how hard life can be like in other parts of the world. We just haven't experienced their desperation. I hope this makes sense.
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Comment #16 posted by Zero_G on July 26, 2002 at 22:03:20 PT
child labor in war zones
Orphaned children enter the workforce, and in many instances, are highly skilled and valued at tender ages.An example I mean to point at would be the sheet metal stove we bought from a 10 year old artisan. Would you not support an enterprising youngster in that instance, even though you abhor child labor? 
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Comment #15 posted by Zero_G on July 26, 2002 at 21:49:32 PT
On barter, kids and community
And markets. (And way off topic)The truest free market that I've experienced was in Afghanistan this last January. I won't even begin to describe the effect of Western Journalists and NGO's bringing $$$$ into local economies.Orphaned children enter the workforce, and in many instances, are highly skilled and valued at tender ages.And yet, in the midst of the world's most afflicted, was a sense of communal sharing, strangely lacking here.I offer no answers (though I have my own ideas) - I pose thoughts to be contemplated and an offer to dialog.
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Comment #14 posted by Zero_G on July 26, 2002 at 20:07:49 PT
Did ya see the pRez
In front of all those Union members, [yeah they wuz Cops, no less, here in California, one of the most powerful unions is the prison guards, an historical prank of cosmic proportion) Uniform, trying to say that he really does support the rights of workers, just not in his department....++++++++++++++++++This Earth is your EarthIt's the world of your birthFrom Greenwich Mean TimeTo the wat'ry date lineFrom polar ice capsTo the Equ-a-atorAnd its all up to you and mezg
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Comment #13 posted by herbdoc215 on July 26, 2002 at 19:53:55 PT
Zero_G, loved the story, it carried me away 
To much easier times at home. I love Dunsmuir, they advertise land there with number of seasoned holes per property. That espirit of community is very much alive among the young of California, the spirit of REAL America lives in those kids. They taught me as much as I did them and my life will be forever richer for it no matter where I lay my head. Value is a tenitive thing at best, bartering is more than an economic system to these people, it's a way of life, sort of the philosophy that is sadly lacking in this consumer based world of today. Peace, Steven Tuck 
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Comment #12 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on July 26, 2002 at 19:19:57 PT
House Passes Homeland Security Bill
House Passes Homeland Security Bill With Personnel Flexibility President Bush Demands
The Associated PressW A S H I N G T O N, July 26  The Republican-led House voted Friday to create an enormous Homeland Security Department, the biggest government reorganization in decades. It grants President Bush broad personnel powers he insists are key to confronting an agile, cunning terrorist threat.The 295-132 vote sets up a clash with the Senate, where Democrats have written a version that Bush is threatening to veto on grounds it ties his hands on hiring and firing."A time of war is the wrong time to weaken the president's ability to protect the American people," the president said at the White House earlier in the day.Closing House debate, Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas said the new Cabinet agency "will focus the resources of this government on our safety and on our security on the defeat of villainy."But many Democrats were dissatisfied, saying the bill could undermine worker civil service and union protections, shroud too much information in secrecy and threaten air passenger safety.
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Comment #11 posted by Zero_G on July 26, 2002 at 18:38:31 PT
the LA Weekly
For those of you not in la la land, is a free, widely distributed, Los Angeles Weekly (duh) newspaper. I've got my copy today, from the box next to the bus stop.Also of interest might be:
The Hobohemians, by Ben Ehrenreich, which actually surprised me by not mentioning cannabis...
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on July 26, 2002 at 18:35:35 PT
more unrelated...
9/11 Judge Orders Consolidation But Ignores DOJ Evidence Tampering:
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Comment #9 posted by goneposthole on July 26, 2002 at 18:23:32 PT
Republican Smokers
How many backroom deals are made amongst Republican bigwigs that go untold, unnoticed, and
illegally handled?Is there a Corruption Enforcement Administration lurking behind the scenes to make sure none of it happens?How many private jets are sailing through the skies filled with arms dealers checking out their armament depots at the bases from up high making sure that they're filled to capacity?Bomb everything into submission, and give everybody hell, too. What's next?
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Comment #8 posted by mayan on July 26, 2002 at 18:07:06 PT
9/11 Independent Commission
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY!!!House Amendment Passes Calling for Independent Commission on 9-11:
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Comment #7 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 26, 2002 at 15:53:38 PT
  If I'm ever at a Britney or Backstreet concert, I'm going to NEED a doobie.
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Comment #6 posted by trainwreck on July 26, 2002 at 15:28:21 PT
CLEAN-UP must be the House counterpart to the RAVE
act in the Senate???I like the way this calls for complete prosecutorial discretion...not that they don't already use it...where I live, cops set up undercover narcotics busts (buys & sells), extra dogs and out of county help, etc., for concerts that involve punk, heavy metal or hip-hop.Kid bands such as Backstreet or Brittney S. or country music concerts don't get the special treatment. They actually brag about that in the newspaper.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 26, 2002 at 13:36:14 PT
Here they are enlarged. This should work but might not but we'll see!
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Comment #4 posted by TroutMask on July 26, 2002 at 13:28:56 PT
Great one FoM
That's a great cartoon, FoM. I wish I would have noticed the ENLARGE IMAGE buttons a little sooner.-TM
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Comment #3 posted by Industrial Strength on July 26, 2002 at 13:28:18 PT
great cartoon
I can't believe that appeared in LA Weekly, which I assume is quite a large publication?
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Comment #2 posted by Industrial Strength on July 26, 2002 at 13:21:35 PT
Mr. Tickle
hit the nail on the head..."The whole idea that the bill would curb meth is simply some moron's idea of making an anti-drug statement". That can be applied to most anti drug measures. Maybe it will be good for law enforcement to have more kids dropping dead from dehydration or dirty pills, then they can really step up a "public awareness" campaign about the dangers of MDMA and go after dealers/users alot harder.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 26, 2002 at 13:10:28 PT
Cartoon from LA Weekly
Smoke Pot, Stay Outta JailBy Ellen Forney 
 JULY 26 - AUGUST 1, 2002
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