NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - September 25, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - September 25, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on September 25, 2008 at 19:38:22 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
NORML Recognized By Project Censored September 25, 2008 - Washington, DCWashington, DC: NORML's reporting on the rising number of marijuana arrests has received recognition from Project Censored, an internationally acclaimed media research and academic training program sponsored by Sonoma State University in California.
NORML's work, in collaboration with the Marijuana Policy Project, appears in the book Censored 1999: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007-2008. NORML's contribution, “Marijuana Arrests Set New Record,” was ranked number 20 among the Project's top 25 most censored news stories. “Since beginning my tenure at NORML in the mid-1990s, I've observed the growth of the annual number of Americans arrested for minor marijuana violations, yet … mainstream media coverage of these skyrocketing arrest rates remains nominal,” Armentano wrote.Last week, data released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that police made over 872,000 arrests for marijuana violations in 2007 - the highest total ever recorded.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, Deputy Director.DL: One In Five High Schools Drug Test Students  September 25, 2008 - Washington, DCWashington, DC: An estimated one in five high schools and one in ten middle schools engage in some form of student drug testing - including random testing, according to survey data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the fall issue of Strategies for Success, a newsletter of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)."Findings indicate that the number of schools conducting … drug testing may be [approximately] 4,000 - more than double the highest estimates cited previously," the ONDCP reported.In all, 14.6 percent of all public and private middle schools and high schools now conduct some type of student drug testing, the CDC's School Health Policies and Programs study found. Slightly more than 50 percent of these schools reported conducted random drug testing among specific groups of students.Of the schools that drug test, 84 percent utilize urinalysis - a method that detects the presence of inactive drug metabolites, but does not have the ability to determine recent drug use or impairment. Fifteen percent of schools employ hair follicle testing, the study reported. Eight percent use saliva testing, and three percent use sweat patch testing technology.Of the drugs screened for, 86 percent of schools test for the presence of marijuana. By contrast, 75 percent of school drug testing programs screen for cocaine, 50 percent screen for alcohol, and fewer than 20 percent test for nicotine. Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on School Health resolved, "There is little evidence of the effectiveness of school-based drug testing," and warned that students subjected to random testing programs may experience "an increase in known risk factors for drug use." The Academy also warned that school-based drug testing programs could decrease student involvement in extracurricular activities and undermine trust between pupils and educators.A 2003 cross-sectional study of national student drug testing programs previously reported, "Drug testing, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, does not prevent or inhibit student drug use." A 2007 prospective randomized clinical trial also reported that students who underwent random drug testing did not differ in their self-reported drug use compared to students at neighboring schools who were not enrolled in drug testing programs.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director.DL: Messaging Impacts Psychomotor Skills Far More Than Cannabis, Study Says September 25, 2008 - London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom: Sending text messages from one's mobile phone impairs motorists' ability to drive a car to a far greater degree than does smoking cannabis, according to the findings of a study published this week by Britain's Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and reported by Reuters news wire.Seventeen volunteers age 18 to 24 years old participated in the driving simulator study."The reaction times of people texting as they drove fell by 35 percent, while those who had consumed the legal limit of alcohol, or taken cannabis, fell by 21 percent and 12 percent respectively," Reuters reported.The study also found that drivers' ability to maintain lane position and headway with the vehicle in front of them was more adversely impacted by texting than by the influence of marijuana.Currently, five US states have enacted laws prohibiting text messaging while driving. By contrast, fifteen states have enacted laws criminally prohibiting drivers from operating a vehicle with trace levels of cannabis or inactive cannabis metabolites in their blood or urine.A study published earlier this year in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention reported that in terms of overall driving performance, subjects under the influence of cannabis performed in a manner comparable to motorists with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. NORML's white paper, "Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review," -- NORML Foundation (DC)Published: September 25, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #31 posted by FoM on September 27, 2008 at 09:34:52 PT
Thanks EJ
I didn't know that. I know I don't want a warmonger as president after the one we've had for 8 years.
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Comment #30 posted by E_Johnson on September 27, 2008 at 09:10:37 PT
And I can see what an insidious liar he is
McCain, like most die hard Cold Warriors, likes to promote the idea that Afghanistan was some innocent country that was just sitting there minding its own business when WHAMMO the Russians showed up by surprise to take over.That's the image of Russia McCain is trying to peddle to voters right now and he wants to rewrite history so Afghanistan becomes an innocent victim of Putin, basically.That's not what happened. The Afghan military had been Soviet-funded and Soviet-trained since 1957, after the Eisenhower administration declined to give them foreign aid. Because their parents in the Afghan military were paid and trained by the USSR, most of the college-educated youth ended up with Marxist political sympathies and belonged to one of two Afghan Communist parties -- Parcham or Khalq.There was a Marxist coup in 1973. Parcham took over. But factional bickering between the two parties, along with growing armed resistance from the rural ultra-religious tribal people, destabilized that government.Two more factional coups later, the Afghan government was begging the Soviet Union to intervene and protect them from the Islamic extremists.It's a tangled history, and it angers me that McCain is trying to dumb it down and act like he could have sent in a few troops and solved all their problems amid the post-war devastation and chaos of 1989.He cannot be President. 
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Comment #29 posted by E_Johnson on September 27, 2008 at 08:53:52 PT
I'm a little obsessed by that subject
Many people say in hindsight that we should have sent troops to Afghanistan or do something to help stabilize Afghanistan after the Soviets left. It's a dream. There's nothing we could have done, because we never had an imagined happy future for Afghanistan. There was one and only one purpose for our intervention there -- to help the mujahedin beat the Soviet military.Back then that was believed to be sufficient, because our foreign policy had been dumbed down to mindless anti-Communism by the Reaganites.The Reagan administration did not have any plans to help Afghanistan become a modern civil society with a democracy and consumer-based capitalism.Get rid of the Commies and the rest will just magically take care of itself, I think that was the operating philosophy back then.And that would have been McCain's operating philosophy too. If someone had put him in the White House for a day, he wouldn't have done anything differently at all.If he'd had a momentary thought to do something, he would have looked at the situation on the ground and not had one useful idea of what to do or even which faction in the civil war to back.Out of all the things he said last night, oddly enough, that was the one thing that really ticked me off the most.Part of the novel I'm writing is set in Afghanistan during the eighties. I've done a lot of research. It's a very complicated country. For one thing, it's an extremely polarized society. Back around the time of the Soviet invasion, the rural people were mostly hard core Islamist tribalists who did really nasty things to women. But the educated elite were mostly hard core Marxist-Leninists, who were even more hard core than the professional Marxist-Leninists in Moscow.I don't know how McCain thinks he could have taken a country like that and solved all their problems back in 1989. Besides, the Berlin Wall was coming down, Gorbachev was abandoning the arms race all by himself, the Soviet Union was entering a crisis period, and nobody cared about Afghanistan because the collapse of Soviet Communism was going to make everyone's problems everywhere go away.Even if we could beam McCain back in history and have him take over for Bush I, even if he'd had an idea about which faction to back, neither Congress nor the American public would have let him do it.And he wouldn't have accomplished anything useful even if he had. I don't understand why people claim McCain is better at foreign policy then Obama.I think McCain's foreign policy is moronic. It's moronic for him to imply that he could have fundamentally altered Afghan society and made everyone get along peacefully and democratically if he'd been President in 1989.We might have been better off in the long run if the Soviet Union had won.How many former Soviet republics are active training grounds for Al Qaeda terrorists? I haven't seen a single one mentioned in the news.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on September 27, 2008 at 08:17:23 PT
I didn't notice his tie. His eyes and demeanor scared me. He never made eye contact with Obama. If a person can't look another person in the eye when they are standing on a principle it makes me not believe them. Body language has always been a way for me to decide how I feel about a person. His body language wasn't good. Obama's was fine.
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Comment #27 posted by mykeyb420 on September 27, 2008 at 08:08:31 PT
did anyone else see McCains " Hypno-Tie "?? I listened to the debate on the radio and did not see the tie until afterwards. Those stripes " danced " on the screen. I think he was trying to hypnotize the USA
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on September 27, 2008 at 05:54:27 PT
About Debate
EJ, McCain gave me the impression that he thinks wars are not for winning or losing but are to be continued forever. He seems to want to be a President of the military not the people on the USA. 
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Comment #25 posted by E_Johnson on September 26, 2008 at 22:32:28 PT
McCain has a lot of cheap sentiments
The part that got me was where he said he would have had America "stay in Afghanistan" after the Russians left. I want to know what he meant by that. He probably didn't mean anything because it was just a cheap easy sentiment to have.One reason why America didn't intervene in the Afghan civil war after the Soviets left is because there was no side in that war that the American government could comfortably take.The side of the extremist mullahs would not have appealed to the American public in 1989. By then we knew what those extremist mullahs were about and it was scary.But the people who fought the scary mullahs belonged to an alliance of moderate Sufis and Afghan Communists. I can't see McCain supporting the side with Communist military commanders on it.McCain says things that sound emotionally appealing, like we should have stayed in Afghanistan back in 1989, but when you take them apart and examine them in detail, they don't really make sense.
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Comment #24 posted by afterburner on September 26, 2008 at 22:30:52 PT
OT, but Related
Couple arrested for carrying raw chocolate. 
For second time, drug test falsely shows their confection to be hashish.
Sep 26, 2008 04:30 AM. 
Robyn Doolittle, 
Staff Reporter Raw Foodists Arrested for Trafficking Chocolate; Interrogated for "Cacao Crimes". 
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 by: Mike Adams (see all articles by this author).
Key concepts: Chocolate, Food and Law enforcement
(NaturalNews) When Ron and Nadine from the Living Libations beauty care and chocolate company ( attempted to fly to the United States in August of this year, they ran into something completely unexpected: Drug-sniffing dogs at the Toronto airport. When their dogs took a special interest in their raw, unrefined chocolate with hemp seeds and superfood extracts, they were arrested, handcuffed and put through hours of tortuous interrogation. Such begins the journey of Ron and Nadine, the chocolate freedom fighters from Canada.Accused of trafficking two and a half pounds of hashish (which was really just raw, homemade chocolate), Ron and Nadine were arrested, physically separated into interrogation rooms and handcuffed to chairs. Their six-month old baby was forcibly taken from them, and they were immediately subjected to intense interrogation.Their chocolate looked suspicious, they were told, because it wasn't in a commercial wrapper. If it's not Hershey's, it must be drugs! An on-the-spot drug test from the NIK company (which makes portable drug testing kits) returned a positive result, the Canadian police claimed, and that's all the evidence they need to arrest anyone.As you'll learn later, however, it turns out the NIK drug testing kits return false positives nearly 100% of the time if the results are interpreted incorrectly, as they were in this case... (see photos below). ...Why the War on Drugs is out of controlWhat Ron and Nadine experienced here is just one symptom of a War on Drugs that's utterly out of control. While completely ignoring the real drug dealers (Big Pharma and psychiatrists who put kids on amphetamines), tyrannical law enforcement personnel target innocent natural health advocates who refuse to eat Snickers bars and Big Macs.Carrying "unusual" food with you at the airport is now a crime that can get you thrown in jail and cost you $20,000 or more in legal bills. And that's when you're innocent!The War on Drugs has done virtually nothing to stem the tide of illegal street drugs, but it's sure given lots of money and power to another group: The DEA and other drug enforcement tyrants whose careers (and paychecks) depend on continuing their politically-motivated crusade against innocents.Marijuana arrests are out of control, with nearly 8 million Americans having been arrested for pot possession over the last decade ( Meanwhile, the U.S. spends between $10 and $12 billion a year enforcing those laws, and that doesn't count the exploding prison population, where now an astonishing 11 percent of all black men between the ages of 30 and 34 are in prison. ( startling 2.3 million Americans are sitting in prison cells right now, and many are there for victimless crimes such as smoking marijuana. And yet, amazingly, powerful institutions in society directly promote highly addictive drugs to virtually everyone:• Daily caffeine through coffee and energy drinks for teens
• "Speed" amphetamines for children diagnosed with ADHD
• Highly addictive painkillers like Oxycotin, which are now openly abused by teens
• Over-the-counter cold medicines, now widely used to manufacture meth (crank, ice, etc.)The real point to all of this, of course, is not to stop Americans from using drugs; it's to force Americans to use patented drugs that earn profits for powerful corporations. The job of the DEA is primarily to eliminate Big Pharma's competition by criminalizing non-patented drugs while protecting patented ones.In order to concentrate power into their own hands, they must create fear and terrorize the population, which is why the DEA keeps raiding California medical marijuana clinics, by the way... even though they are legal in the State of California!
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 20:33:29 PT
That sounds like as good as a reason as any. LOL! Obama is leading with 69% in the CNN poll. I can't find a poll on Fox. I'm not familiar with their web site though.
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Comment #22 posted by BGreen on September 26, 2008 at 20:30:59 PT
I've figured it out, FoM
We all watched the debate in high definition and the commentators must have watched it in analog with bad sound and a bad picture.Yeah, that's what's wrong with them.(grin)The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 20:25:10 PT
Who Fared Better in The First Presidential Debate?
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 20:22:47 PT
Poll: Who Won The Presidential Debate?
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 20:04:15 PT
I think they have to side with McCain since he is the hawk and has been around a very long time. Obama talked about our ports not being secure. The two other debates will be Obama's strength. I think Obama won. McCain was grinding his teeth and his eyes were dark and scary.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 20:00:53 PT
McCain's body language was angry and condescending. Obama's body language was presidential and calmer. 
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Comment #17 posted by BGreen on September 26, 2008 at 20:00:21 PT
I don't know what debate the commentators watched
They're talking about how good McCain did. McCain didn't even answer the questions he was asked. McCain changed the subject and rambled on incessantly.Brother.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #16 posted by BGreen on September 26, 2008 at 19:44:05 PT
Winner by TKO = Barrack Obama
McCain sounded weak and nervous. Obama sounded strong and presidential.I think McCain rambled like a confused old man.I was actually embarrassed for the old guy.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 17:46:50 PT
Don't have any popcorn but we got some ice cream. I love my hd tv and we have it hooked up to surround sound. I can't wait for this debate. I really hope Obama does well. I think he will. They are saying that 100 million people will be watching tonight. What a campaign this has been. I'm glad you have been able to enjoy it too. 
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Comment #14 posted by fight_4_freedom on September 26, 2008 at 17:17:53 PT
Got your popcorn ready FoM????
I'm excited to finally see them duke it out on stage.I think Obama is going to come out swinging.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 17:04:10 PT
Come to think of it I haven't read a Salon article in a longtime. 
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Comment #12 posted by E_Johnson on September 26, 2008 at 16:19:28 PT
I'm complaining about Salon not Biden
Our issues are definitely censored there. Salon covered Ron Paul without mentioning his stand on the WOD. Salon covered Kucinich without using the word "marijuana" once.After they edited the WOD out of Joe Biden's history, I just decided to stop reading.They're always going after the mainstream media for what the mainstream media doesn't cover.Oh the injustice!Like, self-awareness much?They write themselves an excuse for being even worse than the mainstream media when it comes to pot. Hypocrites.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 13:13:47 PT
I have hope! I am so excited about the future of our country if Obama wins. Nobody can rain on my parade. I march to the beat of my own drum. I'm like that you know. LOL!Grumbling about things that might not be perfect isn't something I do. My glass these days is half full not half empty.
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on September 26, 2008 at 13:06:03 PT
Thanks for the buzz kill, Paul!
LOLWell, in a lot of ways cannabis was caught up with truly dangerous chemicals in Biden's barbaric anti-drug extremism, whereas Palin has done nothing except specifically target cannabis and the partakers thereof.Are we allowed to have any hope things will get better?The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 12:00:43 PT
Thanks you. I did see that. Excerpt: As Wasilla mayor in 2000, Palin championed a city council resolution opposing a ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for adults. In March her administration asked the Alaska Supreme Court to reverse its 1975 decision shielding private marijuana use, arguing the drug is more dangerous than it used to be.
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Comment #8 posted by paul armentano on September 26, 2008 at 11:32:32 PT
I blogged recently about all four candidates past record on drug policy here: also commented on this subject -- giving my personal opinion -- last week on Dr. Drew's show.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 26, 2008 at 11:03:27 PT
What is Sarah Palin's stand?
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Comment #6 posted by paul armentano on September 26, 2008 at 10:57:02 PT
"A seat at the table" -- Biden hasn't change
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Biden accepted the endorsement of the National Association of Police Organizations this morning on behalf of the Democratic ticket, pledging to again provide a seat at the table for local law enforcement. 	
Biden, speaking on a conference call with NAPO President Tom Nee, made a
plug for the "Biden Crime Bill," which he said was contributed to a 30
percent drop in violent crime in the 1990s."Then, for some reason, because this administration and my good friend John
don't think it's a role of the federal government to be involved in local
law enforcement . they decided they had to stop it," he said. Biden promised
to re-establish those policies, to provide funding and technological
assistance to communities across the country.Nee said that in the wake of 9/11, local police officers have taken on
greater responsibilities for issues like immigration and weapons tracking.
He said there is a "clear demarcation" in the philosophies of the Democrats
and Republicans."We know [that] crime is not a local problem like the other campaign has
identified," Nee said. "It's time to mow the lawn again, it's time to get
back to dealing with homeland security because it all begins at home."Biden, who talks often on the campaign trail about his affection for first
responders, agreed, saying that in the wake of a terrorist attack it is
often local police on the front lines. He said he "would not have joined the
ticket" if he was not "absolutely convinced" that he and Obama are of the
same mind.NAPO endorsed John Kerry in 2004, and Al Gore in 2000.Biden is scheduled to speak this morning at the National Guard Association
conference in Baltimore. His son, Beau, is a captain in the National Guard's
Judge Advocate General Corps, and is scheduled to deploy to Iraq next month.
McCain addressed the conference this weekend.
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on September 26, 2008 at 09:39:01 PT
You're right, E_Johnson, but what if ...?
What if Joe Biden has had the change of heart that he has expressed?I know it may only be wishful thinking, but the words I heard him speak concerning medical cannabis were nothing like the sleazebag who sneaked the RAVE act into the necessary and needed Amber legislation.If Bob Barr can do a 180° turnaround in his view on the WOD (even though I don't trust a word Bob Barr says because of his Republican mindset,) there's a chance that Biden has at least softened his stance.The reality is that Joe Biden is a consummate politician that used the WOD as a device to achieve political power. If Joe Biden feels he can further his power by coming out against the WOD, that's what Joe Biden will do. At least the Democrats as a whole have historically had some sort of compassion for human beings, at least more than demonstrated by the Republicans.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on September 25, 2008 at 21:20:14 PT
And I mean this too
Everyone who has anything to do with marijuana reform or drug reform should boycott Salon for the way they covered Joe Biden, completely erasing the WOD from his resume.It reminded me of Stalin erasing Trotsky. It's the same idea. Hide whatever embarrasses you politically, even if it means distorting history and throwing blinders over reality.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on September 25, 2008 at 21:15:26 PT
In fact I will even say this
If you wanted to keep yourself as IGNORANT as humanly possible about current events and politics that concern the War on Drugs, then you could accomplish that goal by getting ALL your news from Salon and avoiding the New York Times and the Washington Post.
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on September 25, 2008 at 20:54:45 PT
I think we should all send email to Joan Walsh
Joan Walsh, the editor of Salon, is always touting herself as the determined enemy of censorship when she prints Opus cartoons that some newspapers didn't print.But Walter Shapiro did an article purporting to lay out Joe Biden's political resume and VP qualifications -- and the War on Drugs was nowhere on it.Trying to find the RAVE act in a Salon article about Joe Biden is like trying to find a picture of Stalin standing next to Trotsky on the Lenin Mauseoleum.Salon used to hold the government accountable for marijuana lies.But now Joan Walsh is censoring everything about pot except TV critic Heather Havrilesky's clueless soccer mom style moralizing reviews of Weeds, which don't even come close to getting the point of the show.They report on everything the Supreme Court does EXCEPT when they do something about pot. They report on everything Congress does except when it's about the WOD.Joan Walsh has almost completely disappeared the War on Drugs from her publication. At the same time, they publish drinks recipes using hard liquor and celebrate recreational alcoholism.Talk about Project Censorship.But she doesn't see it as censorship.To Joan Walsh, keeping her readers from connecting the War on Drugs to Joe Biden is just a choice in editorial policy.Just like Stalin was making a choice in editorial policy when he erased Trotsky from Soviet history.
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Comment #1 posted by fight_4_freedom on September 25, 2008 at 19:47:21 PT
Nice work! I am very happy to hear you are being recognized for your hard work.Congrats!
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