Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cease Fire Now!

I would call for the rebels in Libya to call a cease fire, establish a zone of non-violent expression to stage a nationwide campaign to finally end with a plebiscite vote over the question of a call of no confidence in Col. Khadaffi.

The campaign could remain under NATO's protective cover, without western military advisors to keep it closer to the ground and to encourage peaceful transition of power. I suggest that it be proposed that Saif be in charge at least to help implement reforms he had been calling for years prior. The call is for a unified, more prosperous and peaceful Libya.

Tribal bad elements, though small, could easily take advantage of any destabilization a civil war would bring.

Start right away calling for a zone for the expression of free speech and national unity and build out peacefully.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Libyan Rebels As Proxies?

News reports seem to be framing the Libyan rebellion in familiar terms. This concerns me. The uniformity of message never once brings up the question of foreign involvement in the political movements behind this uprising. We are not hearing in our media questions to officials or reporting on intelligence projects designed to facilitate regime change. Programs to set up friendly constituencies would be perpetuated and can act like sleeper cells. I wonder if the Libyan situation might actually have some dirty black ops psycho-social with ties to friends of John Bolton or other rabid PNAC clique.

It disturbs me to listen to news readers breathlessly whine for us to get in and enforce God knows what sort of outcome these rebels seek. Who told those demonstrators to get out on the streets and demand the president step down? Who backed that promise of security? I seriously doubt anybody would be doing this if they have no promise of help.

I wish there were some better clarity on how programs to destabilize unfriendly regimes are overseen and managed. Too much to hope for, it seem, as usual.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tennessee Blues

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hell yeah!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Mr. President

Respectfully Sir:

OK, fair enough, very funny about what the online community must be smoking - even though some of us organized for your presidential campaign, I can take a joke.

Still, I have to tell you that in the face of the seriousness behind the problems I am unsatisfied by the gallows humor - sarcastic cynicism is a poor substitute for wit.

Getting to the point: the real question behind the push for drug law reform has never been clearly addressed on your part. I think you would agree that US drug policy has failed to serve us well. Interdiction and warehousing has not reduced demand appreciably, and what it has accomplished hasn't been cheap. Doubling down is going to be much more expensive.

I get your position, really...here you are a couple months in office, dealing with a global economic meltdown, working with Federal Reserve and Treasury on re-making the financial sector without shocking the markets any more than they already are, not to mention foreign policy and a budget to try to get passed. I understand that you have a pretty full plate and here comes this crazy hop head scheme to legalize the weed. To help the economy! Well let me suggest, apart from the clear red herring, that there is another way to look at the issues.

Can we just accept the position that sick people take drugs? Why are we arresting people who need to be patients? If there is an epidemic of drug abuse, perhaps it is best addressed by employing education and treatment. I suggest that the millions of people abusing drugs in the US are self-medicating for mental illness, or need education to develop better coping skills. The de Facto leader of the Republican party, Mr. Limbaugh, would certainly agree that his personal challenge with recovery would not have been helped if he were forced to serve prison time instead of treatment.

The US economy is not the focus with my approach, rather it is the underground clandestine economics of the drug trade that need careful and innovative strategy.

Simply put, I suggest putting in place a strategy of economic stranglehold on the drug market. Similar to the idea of "dumping" in a commercial market, I propose letting the economic incentive to be in the drug business fall off by flooding the market with cheap, free product, alongside an aggressive, demand based mental health outreach program.

I don't suggest that one plank of the plan be implemented apart from the others. Simple decriminalization alone won't be as efficacious as it would with a treatment program alongside. What I propose is an approach that shocks the drug gangs and takes out some of their financial foundations. There remains the task of bringing the violent offenders to justice and ending the corruption and criminal enterprises. Perhaps this overwhelming task could be made a little bit easier by pushing the economic lever. Who would pay for something they could grow in their garden?

There is a certain cultural and tribal aspect that has crept into mainstream framing of the decriminalization argument. I think that is unfortunate, and some advocates of reform have allowed themselves to become subject to Cheech and Chong cliched characterizations. Still, who among us has not listened to the music or enjoyed the creative work of an artist who uses cannabis for sacramental or tribal ceremony? I think it is worth considering that this type of tribe is one example of the American individual. The foundation of drug control policy seems to be based upon the establishment of a nanny state trying to force out certain tribal elements in culture. The hard truth is that some people are going to smoke reefer whether it is legal or not. If our goal is to reduce availability to children, then we have failed. America's huge demand, which can be re-framed as unmet mental health need, will keep going as long as we refuse to treat it. And we will continue to fail until demand drops off. As long as there is demand alongside profit motive there will be a willing seller. The appropriate balance to strike is to draw comparisons with alcohol and tobacco prevention measures and move out from there.

What we have now is a 2-headed monster and both heads need to be chopped off. The violent illicit marketplace head can be addressed, in part, through economic engagement. The social head is only going to come off with widespread mental health care availability.

Mr. President, these are the arguments that I would like to see you address. Given the civil liberties aspect that has been disturbing many in the legal community for years, I feel the question has more merit than you have acknowledged publicly. Some may ask if you feel, in your personal experience, had you been arrested and convicted for drug use as a young person, that your life would have turned out as it did? Some are not as lucky as to not get caught and it strikes some as hypocritical to then turn around as chief policy director of the nation and laugh off the concerns of civil libertarians.

Taking a completely different line of reasoning, I urge you to take another look at the medical science in its totality concerning the physiological effects of cannabis. Even if its benefits are only palliative, policy should reflect evidence instead of cultural bias. Please be true to your campaign promise to be guided by science not ideology.

I suggest that the mental health treatment program would put to work a lot of talented MFCC's and MSW's - jobs which also fill certain gender slots.

President Obama, even though I doubt you will ever read this, it is with the hope that somehow a flicker gets through as I can't help but feel that it is only appropriate that we conquer violence and fear through kindness as the world moves closer towards a plowshare awareness.

Peace

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Terril Cross: Good Year for the Roses

Thursday, February 5, 2009

After getting beat up, Obama comes back swinging

President Obama having had a rough couple days rallies the house democrats in Williamsburg, Va Democratic retreat tonight. Calling on democrats to do what the elections show the public demands, the president is taking his case to the house ahead of conference committee after the senate passes their version of the recovery bill, presumably soon.

President Obama struck a populist tone, calling on his campaign time, referencing the public's basic decency and desire that the politicians are working for their behalf.

Ironically, senate majority leader Harry Reid announced that they will not get through the amendments tonight, despite assurances that they would work through the night. I think this is being held up over 100 billion that a minority of the minority led by Olympia Snowe wants to cut.

Then there's the blue dogs who are sniffing out a lot of what they call pork to dig out of the bill.

The president has stepped up the game by publicly defending such items as federal vehicle upgrades to alternative energy by wondering if 'these people (the critics) are serious' and forcefully saying the election shows the public rejects the worn out arguments that got us here.

Showing high spirits tonight in Williamsburg the president isn't showing any wear, seemingly energized by the battle.