Obama Wants to Strengthen War on Drugs in New Orleans

Just in case you thought Barack Obama was the candidate to knock some sense into White House and Congressional drug warriors, think again. Stop the Drug War quotes Obama's comments as printed in the New York Times:

If elected, Mr. Obama said he would establish a Drug Enforcement Agency office in New Orleans that would be dedicated to stopping drug gangs across the region.

New Orleans already has a DEA office. As Stop the Drug War says:

Obama's drug war revitalization plan for New Orleans is the latest step in his successful bid to be the worst on drug policy among the democratic presidential contenders. He's lamented the "political capital" required to repair the despicable crack/powder sentencing disparity, a no-brainer racial justice issue that even drug war hall-of-famer Joe Biden wants to fix. At Howard University's Democratic Debate on minority issues, he stood there like an idiot while every other candidate managed to address some type of criminal justice reform. He was also the last democratic candidate to pledge an end to federal medical marijuana raids, and not because they're heartless and evil, but because they're "not a good use of resources."

TalkLeft's post on Obama and his wavering on crack sentencing is here.

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    My understanding is that Obama (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by dkmich on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 09:58:14 PM EST
    was an illegal drug user in his younger days.  I wonder how he would feel about drugs if he had had a taste of his cure.   Why is the sky always the limit when it comes to money for war?  

    Jeralyn; thank you, thank you.... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by aahpat on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 10:11:31 PM EST
    For months I have been trying to help people see the true right-wing pandering ways of Barack Obama. Democrats hate me for it.

    Here is the jist of my argoment with Obama. He brags, on his official senate web site, of being a cosponsor of the 2005 Meth Act.  Well, according the the 2007 National Drug Threat Assessment of the USDOJ that bill had the real market balloon effect of shifting the production and distribution to better organized and more aggressive Mexican gangs who have been quickly taking over American markets large and small since.

    Barack Obama: A Stereotype of Conventional Wisdom

    Obama was the last of the Democratic candidates to say that he would not enforce against medical pot in states where it is regulated. Chicago blogger Pete Guither at Drug WarRant told me last winter that Obama's state legislative record was always for more Draconian sentencing laws.

    I would love nothing more than to vote for the first Black or woman or Black woman for president of the United States of America. hillary promises, on the campaign trail, dto return America to Bill Clinton's world record prison populations. Barack Obama knows so little about the economic forces of black markets that he is proud of laws that have brought more even more violent people onto America's streets. Two total idiots.

    Thanks again Jeralyn, for being brave enough to rise up and get  in the face of Democratic Party conventional wisdom.

    asdf (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by TomK on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 11:24:21 PM EST
    Man, Obama sure doesn't look like he has very much credibility on this issue.

    "Thank you sir; may I have another?" (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 06:45:50 AM EST
    Is Obama a masochist?

    The DrugWar has hurt many minority groups. It can be proven beyond doubt that it was meant to perform exactly that purpose. And the largest group so targeted has been African-Americans. The prison population figures regarding racial minority composition shows well over half of prison inmates are Black. Most of those so incarcerated are there for drug law offenses. One doesn't need to be a Rhodes Scholar to see there is method to the seeming madness of the DrugWar. (If your intent is to socially and politically neutralize a 'troublesome' minority without overt, blatant violence, and use the false cloak of moralism to do it, then the end result is not madness, but twisted genius.)

    To ignorantly continue to support a policy, the intent of which is to hurt one's self and one's minority group, is tragic. The cure for that is education about the origins of that policy and refusing to implement it. But far too many Black leaders are terrified of seeming 'pro-drug' while forgetting that they would also be acting in favor of civil rights. While the Republican sires of the drug laws plot further predations with increasingly punitive drug laws, knowing exactly who they are hurting by doing so. Obama is merely 'enabling' that...and is no different from those hapless jerks in the Animal House movie being viciously paddled and then asking for more...

    from common dreams (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:20:21 AM EST
    Consider this: According to a 2006 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino.

    Such facts have been bandied about for years. But our politicians have consistently failed to take action on what has become yet another third rail of American politics, a subject to be avoided at all costs by elected officials who fear being incinerated on contact for being soft on crime.

    Perhaps you hoped this would change during a spirited Democratic presidential primary? Unfortunately, a quick search of the top Democratic hopefuls' websites reveals that not one of them -- not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, not John Edwards, not Joe Biden, not Chris Dodd, not Bill Richardson -- even mentions the drug war, let alone offers any solutions.


    Ira Glasser (none / 0) (#18)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 09:19:58 AM EST
    Who was head of the ACLU for a lot of years and is now on the advisory board of the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading drug policy reform group in America, wrote a very cogent essay, that minced no words, on this issue last year.

    Here is my link for it at my A LeftIndependent blog:
    Legalized Racial Discrimination in America

    Drug Busts=Jim Crow
    by Ira Glasser

    "The fact is, just as Jim Crow laws were a successor system to slavery, so drug prohibition has been a successor to Jim Crow laws in targeting blacks, removing them from civil society and then denying them the right to vote while using their bodies to enhance white political power. Drug prohibition is now the last significant instance of legalized racial discrimination in America.

    That many liberals have been at best timid in opposing the drug war and at worst accomplices to its continued escalation is, in light of the racial politics of drug prohibition, a special outrage. It is also politically self-destructive, serving to keep in power white conservatives opposed to everything liberals stand for. Liberals especially, therefore, need to consider attacking the premises upon which this edifice of racial subjugation is based. If they do not, who will?"
    [President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." H.R. Haldeman's diaries.
    The drug war was then and still is today that "system".


    thanks aaphat (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 09:34:20 AM EST
    Nicely written piece

    Crime in New Orleans (none / 0) (#4)
    by joejoejoe on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 12:00:48 AM EST
    Times-Picayune, 6/21/07:
    WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday brought national attention to New Orleans' tops-in-the-nation murder rate with the panel's chairman calling violent crime the "most serious threat" to the city's post-hurricane recovery.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who presided over the committee's hearing on rising violent crime rates since Hurricane Katrina, said he "can't get over the staggering numbers." Crime has reached "near epidemic proportions," Leahy said, but most incredibly "just one" of last year's 162 killings has resulted in a conviction.

    AP, 8/10/07:

    The city has recorded at least 117 murders this year. This week, two brothers suspected in 14 murders were found shot to death.[...]

    "Some of these guys are so violent that it is hard for witnesses to come forward, and they get involved in repeat criminal activities," the mayor added. "So it is unfortunate that they had to die, but it did kind of end the cycle that we were struggling with."[...]

    Tourism officials tell prospective visitors that New Orleans is mostly safe and that much of the crime involves "criminal on criminal."

    The New Yorker, 5/29/07:

    Murders associated with the drug trade are horrible enough. Ever since the AK-47 replaced the 9-mm. handgun as the standard drug-gang infantry weapon on the streets of New Orleans (a transition, my friends at the morgue say, that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union), victims have included uninvolved neighbors sitting on their porches or inside their houses down the street. But at least drug-related violence has a twisted logic to it. The attacks described on this flyer are creepy because the culprits seem to be beating women for the fun of it.

    Such attacks can happen in any city, I know, but it's hard not to see them as a symptom of the slow-burn wig-out under way in New Orleans. I don't notice it as much anymore, because I'm used to it, but re-reading my first post, from January, I know that people here looked heavier, paler, and more exhausted than I remember them looking last May. A mental-health crisis is smoldering here, with few resources to relieve it. People are good at covering it up, but get them talking--which isn't hard to do--and sooner or later the name of their sleeping pill or their antidepressant will surface. The illegal-drug trade probably explains a lot of the violence, but certainly not all of it.

    You can criticize Sen. Obama's lack of focus on the crack/powder sentencing issue but where do you stand on a sentence of zero days for murder? Zero days is what most killers in New Orleans are serving right now and that is what Sen. Obama said he would try to stop. Gang warfare in NOLA is producing the country's highest murder rate and cloud of fear that is choking a city. This isn't about rousting kids for possession in order to ruin their lives. It's about saving a dying city and increasing the life expectancy of kids caught in a lawless free fire zone.

    Then legalize narcotics... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Dadler on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 12:11:18 PM EST
    ...and stop treating weapons like bubble-gum.  Oh, and actually invest in American citizens.  

    Just like that? (none / 0) (#27)
    by joejoejoe on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 12:42:31 PM EST
    I understand the problems associated with drug prohibition but for the moment those problems are less than the violent environment that dominates New Orleans.

    You say legalize drugs. Fine. What is the timetable for achieving that goal? What obligations does the community in New Orleans have to the people there TODAY while you work to end the drug war?

    This isn't some abstract question. Sen. Obama said he was going to give more resources to fighting drug gangs, mitigating the violence that exists today.

    Only if leaders think they can repeal drug laws tomorrow are they relieved from the responsibility of mitigating the effects of those laws today. The crime in New Orleans is partly to blame on a failed war on drugs (but not all) but the murders that are occuring TODAY in New Orleans need to be stopped not because 'getting tough on crime' or some other slogan, the crime has to be mitigated because it's choking an already troubled city to death.

    Sen. Obama is trying to mitigate the problems of drug gangs that have led to the highest murder rate in a city in the most violent country in the world. For that he gets called a supporter of Jim Crow. That's one view but I think if you consulted people in New Orleans they would overwhelmingly support Sen. Obama's commitment of more resources to fight violent crime and solve some of the many unresolved murder cases in the city.


    Dittocrats would not have to (none / 0) (#28)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 01:18:20 PM EST
    end the drug war to assert congressional over-sight upon the contracts in New Orleans. They could have been doing this for the past two years and have not.

    Instead of sending in more police to imprison more poor people and so further destabilize the family structures that have been under assault since Katrina, the congress could immediately decriminalize pot. Send it to state regulation. This would free up millions of police manhours while restoring respect between the government and the majority of drug users who only smoke pot. It would significantly reduce the illicit marketplace making it less viable for gangs to proliferate. More police alone can only pick the pockets of a few gangsters. Reducing the marketplace available to the the gangsters stifles the entire industry and distribution structure so that it cannot support the number of people it supports today.

    Increased enforcement does not reduce crime or drug use. Not in the short or long term. All it does do is take the weaker and dumber players off the street leaving the market to the bigger, smarter and more adaptive gangsters. People better able to grow the market.

    We would not have to wait for Barack Obama to get elected to do these things. A majority of the congress could have these issues ready for state regulation in a matter of a month or two of negotiation in congress. By the end of this year we could free up thousands of police across the nation, including many more in New Orleans.

    Reducing most crime, street crime, is simple. Most street economic crime, in normal conditions, is addiction funding crime. the Swiss have found a cure for this. They subsidize prescription dispensing of heroin to incurable addicts. These are the people who commit hundreds of dollars a day in crime to support themselves. They are also always a very small percentage of any population. No more than .5%. Prescribing to them can get them to stop doing crime. For those who sell drugs to support themselves this means there will be fewer addict dealers on the streets encouraging children into addiction.

    The Swiss have also found that by defining addicts, in the community, as sick people needing help rather than social rebels that young people no longer view them in a romantic forbidden fruit light. Kids are less interested in expressing their rebelious youth through addictive substances.

    Swiss heroin model reporting benefits

    "In Switzerland, the medicalisation of heroin use has helped change the image of users: from rebels to losers," Nordt said. "In the eyes of the young, they're mostly just sick people, forced to get medical help."

    Reduced consequences

    The harm reduction policy followed by the Swiss authorities has also been successful in reducing heroin-related deaths, which have fallen by more than half over the course of a decade, and the transmission of Aids.

    And there is more good news concerning the fight against crime and prostitution.

    "Compared with countries like Britain, where crime is very often linked to substance abuse, this trend has almost disappeared in Switzerland over the last few years," said Nordt.

    Nordt and Stohler's study does not however show that Switzerland has been more successful than other countries in improving the numbers of people who manage to leave drugs behind for good.

    Some experts say that this economic street crime comprises 60% or more of the crime on our streets. Getting these addicts into clinics could quickly free up tens of millions of police manhours, reduce the cost in the community of crime victimization and take a significant consumer base away from the gangsters. Americans consume 15 tons of heroin alone. Just think of how much street crime and addiction proliferating dealing it takes to finance that 15 ton consumer demand as long as it is kept illegal.

    Real, proven science and economics based solutions that do not require waiting for Barack Obama to become president of the United States.


    I agree (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 01:45:45 PM EST
    Although one of the factors regarding the success of the Swiss move to medicalize is that Switzerland is more homogenous than America and has a social structure that is more on the village model. Nonetheless I am all for it here.

    All in all the WOD is a tremendous waste of money and resourses. The only function seems to be maintaing the drug problem  because it is such a cash cow.  


    The Brits (none / 0) (#30)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 02:32:16 PM EST
    used this same program before Nixon forced them into the drug war in 1971 as a means of quelling politican unrest there.

    Other European countries are doing it too to differing degrees. The U.S. has a number of arguments to demonize their efforts but they are moving forward in Italy, Germany and Spain.

    Limited programs were authorized last year for Great Britain but from what I understand at the outset some police hyped up a bust of a couple of doctors and thus intimidated others from wanting to get involved.

    The only real success of the drug war has been in subverting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with mass criminal disenfranchisement of the Jim Crow drug war reinstalled in 1970.

    If we only get half of the addicts into the program immediately that reduces street crime and crime vicimization by double digits quickly. Instead of a few DEA agents going after a few miscreants medicalization squeezes a huge portion of the consumer demand out of the crime and terrorism funding black market.


    Yes I Agree (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 02:51:08 PM EST
    Hard to convince all those profiting, from jim crow down the line to prison contractors. I am sure that they feel that it is stealing food off their tables.

    Its a racket.


    more than food (none / 0) (#32)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 02:59:01 PM EST
    Prison populations artificially inflate the political viability of rural white congressional districts. This facilitates gerrymandering of "safe districts". Urban poverty oppressed communities have less population and so their districts can be carved up with rural inclusions that force even liberal politicians to campaign to the right-wing interests and less for pluralistic interests.

    Obama is a prime example of a politician who should be representing the interests of the poor. He is in a great position to be a Martin Luther King for the 21st century. But he is campaigning against those interests in order to better pander to the folks who still have the voting power in America, the Jim Crow status quo.

    This is the real success of Richard Nixon's other dirty little war, the drug war.


    Yes (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 05:06:01 PM EST
    I know about that. The rub is that the prisoners are counted for representatives but are not allowed a vote. Big time scam, it's criminal.

    Back to the pre-Civil War days (none / 0) (#34)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 05:55:48 PM EST
    of 3/5th of a person status.

    The New York Times in January opined about the mandatory minimum sentencing laws and made this observation:

    "Worse still, the country has created a growing felon caste, now more than 16 million strong, of felons and ex-felons, who are often driven back to prison by policies that make it impossible for them to find jobs, housing or education." Closing the Revolving Door25 Jan 2007 New York Times

    Now, for a national security angle, combine that growing disaffected population with this observation in the newly released NYPD intelligence report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat", and comsider the potential for insurrection in America when this violence and anarchy achieves critical mass.

    The terrorism analysts observed:
    ...prisons are "A Radicalizing Cauldron"

    "Prisons can play a critical role in both triggering and reinforcing the radicalization process. The prison's isolated environment, ability to create a "captive audience" atmosphere, its absence of day-to-day distractions, and its large population of disaffected young men, makes it an excellent breeding ground for radicalization."

    Links at: U.S. drug war prisons: "A Radicalizing Cauldron"

    The drug war is creating the conditions for the disintegration of American society in an anarchy of highly violent heavily armed disaffected people who potentially already outnumber the entire civilian and military security resources of this nation.


    Rockefeller Republican (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 03:26:02 AM EST
    Obama is the best Rockefeller Republican in the race in both parties.

    #2, HRC is still #1 n/t (none / 0) (#6)
    by dkmich on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 05:12:06 AM EST
    Clinton (none / 0) (#9)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 07:09:53 AM EST
    promises more of the record Jim Crow prison population policies of her husband.

    She is no better than Obama. No different.

    Right-wing Democrats can no longer pander to the racist extreme right in America without the rest of us seeing them for what they are, political whores with no concept of the impacts that the public policies have that they are charged with maintaining.

    Nader was right. Nader is still right.

    The Democrats are liberal only in the sense of being the liberal wing of the GOP.

    I have been voting for Nader since 1996 and I will vote for Nader in 2008. Nader understands the Jim Crow economic and social oppression that is the drug war. Clinton and Obama do not understand anything.


    I guess (none / 0) (#35)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:57:44 PM EST
    San Francisco is the new face of racism what with the Black flight.  It has got to be something about the drug policy there.  

    More Jim Crow drug war is not the solution (none / 0) (#8)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 07:03:08 AM EST
    "It's about saving a dying city and increasing the life expectancy of kids caught in a lawless free fire zone."

    A big part of the problem in New Orleans is the fact that the police abandoned the city in its time of need. Abandoned it to anarchy. Then the politicians compounded that by disbursing the poor population rather than sending in resources to help them rebuild quickly. Jim Crow at its finest.

    Now the Democrats and Barack Obama promise to send in police to lock up people who already have no opportunity under the Jim Crow guise of the drug war.

    Barack Obama and the other right-wing Democrats are offensive in their ignorance.

    New Orleans has a black market for drugs that is worth between $ 108,566,568 and $163,966,792 depending on the estimates used. US Illicit drug market value calculator That economic resource could be redirected back into the community and the gangs disbursed by the real economic opportunity that exist in rebuilding the city.

    What the poverty oppressed people of New Orleans greatest need is economic opportunity.

    The gangs exist, especially the influx of aggressively violent Mexican gangs, because the only economic opportunity is in drugs. Gangs are feeding their members which is more than the Democrats and Republicans are doing for the population there.

    The gun violence exist because guns are a tool to secure some of that illegal economic opportunity.

    All that Barack Obama promises the poverty oppressed people of New Orleans is more Jim Crow oppression. More disenfranchisement. More reason for disaffection from American society.

    Threatening to take away the only economic opportunity and often the  parents away from children does nothing to reduce the free fire zone or its impact on children. Give their parents economic opportunity and you take the parents out of the gang culture that is feeding them and their children today.

    It disgust me that right-wing Democrats love to rant 'for the children' the minute anyone criticizes their ignorant drug war and its Jim Crow politician supporters. The 80% interdiction failure rate of the drug war abandons American children to the morals and ethics of addict drug dealers, gangsters, social predators and even terrorists. Giving them nothing more than "just say no".


    Obama, Clinton and other ignorant democrats (none / 0) (#10)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 07:46:22 AM EST
    need to take heed of the one group of elected executives in America who are on the front line of the drug war and who represent the interest of most of urban America, the U.S. conference of Mayors.

    "NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that...the United States Conference of Mayors believes the war on drugs has failed and calls for a New Bottom Line in U.S. drug policy.."

    The entire resolution: U.S. mayors call for end to drug war

    Where does Hillary stand on the "war"? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:10:10 AM EST
    Or Biden, or Dodd?  Mainstream candidates are all for more spending and longer sentences last I checked.

    Where is the difference in the two parties on the issue?  Ron Paul and Gravel are the only two I know of who think the drug war is a horrible waste of resources.

    Please point me to a link that demonstrates any of the other candidates against the drug war and the ridiculous sentencing that goes with it.

    TO: Jlvngstn (none / 0) (#12)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:18:57 AM EST
    Dennis Kucinich has opposed the drug war for a lot of years. but he is a party hack first. He is in the race to keep the political left close to the Party but in the end he will fold and tell his supporters to vote for whichever Jim Crow Dittocrat the right-wing foist off on America.

    Aapphat (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:21:50 AM EST
    You are correct, as does Gravel.  I made the sentence read "mainstream" candidates as I did not consider Kucinich a "mainstream" candidate although I do appreciate him being a part of the process because he does challenge the middle left.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#17)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 09:12:34 AM EST
    I missed the 'mainstream' .

    Dodd (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:24:05 AM EST
    Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., begged to differ. Usually a stickler on human rights and a proponent of a hands-off approach in Latin America, he has lately taken the lead on pumping millions in military aid to the Colombian army, one of the worst human-rights abusers in the world. Why? Well, it's probably just a coincidence, but Sikorsky just happens to be headquartered in his state, and through its parent company has -- also coincidentally, no doubt -- given Dodd more than $38,000 worth of combat aid (in the form of campaign donations) in the last election cycle.

    Anyway, Dodd wasn't about to let his hometown helicopter go down without a fight. He took to the Senate floor and offered an amendment that would leave the choice of choppers to the "experts" in the Pentagon and the Colombian military -- a smooth move that would have guaranteed the Blackhawks would prevail.

    After all, Gen. Fabio Velazco, the Colombian Air Force commander, is on record expressing his contempt for the Huey: "It's like comparing a '60 Ford to a new Mercedes." And Colombian Defense Minister Luis Fernando Ramirez chimed in, clearly forgetting the adage about not looking a gift Huey in the mouth.

    "When the Huey is coming," he whined, "the first thing you hear is the noise, even 10 minutes before you see it. It's a very noisy helicopter. With the Blackhawk, by the time you hear it, it is practically overhead."

    But Stevens and his coupon-cutting cronies were undeterred. "The Blackhawks are the tip of a sword going into another Vietnam," he claimed, playing the Southeast Asian-quagmire card. Which raises the question: If 30 Blackhawks put us on the road to another Vietnam, where do 60 Hueys lead? Another Grenada?

    In the end, the Hueys won the Senate dogfight, but the Blackhawks will clearly live to fight another day. As the House-Senate Conference Committee tries to reconcile the two bills, Colombia's ambassador to Washington has warned that his country will insist on the state-of-the-art Blackhawk.

    Obama: The Audacity of Hope (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:29:06 AM EST
    We need to tackle the nexus of unemployment and crime in the inner city. The conventional wisdom is that most unemployed inner-city men could find jobs if they really wanted to work; that they inevitably prefer drug dealing, with its attendant risks but potential profits, to the low-paying jobs that their lack of skill warrants. In fact, economists who've studied the issue--and the young men whose fates are at stake--will tell you that the costs and benefits of the street life don't match the popular mythology: At the bottom or even the middle ranks of the industry, drug dealing is a minimum-wage affair. For many inner-city men, what prevents gainful employment is not simply the absence of motivation to get off the streets but the absence of a job history or any marketable skills--and, increasingly, the stigma of a prison record.
    We can assume that with lawful work available for young men now in the drug trade, crime in any community would drop.

    Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.257-259 Oct 1, 2006

    Jlvngstn Good find (none / 0) (#20)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 09:44:10 AM EST
    We need to tackle the nexus of unemployment and crime in the inner city.


     The conventional wisdom is that most unemployed inner-city men could find jobs if they really wanted to work; that they inevitably prefer drug dealing, with its attendant risks but potential profits, to the low-paying jobs that their lack of skill warrants. In fact, economists who've studied the issue--and the young men whose fates are at stake--will tell you that the costs and benefits of the street life don't match the popular mythology: At the bottom or even the middle ranks of the industry, drug dealing is a minimum-wage affair.

    Thanks to the lawlessness of prohibition, and its 80% failure rate at interdiction, children in poverty oppressed communities are exposed to drugs at an ever earlier age so that by the time they reach employment age they are already socially and criminally corrupted. Their only experience and economic opportunity is crime and drugs. Regardless of the wage it is the only wage available in great part due to the community disintegration caused by the drug war imposed anarchic proliferation of unregulated drugs.

    For many inner-city men, what prevents gainful employment is not simply the absence of motivation to get off the streets but the absence of a job history or any marketable skills--and, increasingly, the stigma of a prison record.

    See above answers.

    "the stigma of a prison record." Thanks to your damned drug war Barack Obama!

    We can assume that with lawful work available for young men now in the drug trade, crime in any community would drop.

    Work like this: Black Contractors: NOLA Work Excludes Us Forbes Magazine, AP. 8/28/2007

    "NEW ORLEANS - Black contractors on Tuesday said they have been frozen out of the rebuilding of this city because federal agencies continue to dole out millions of dollars to large corporations."

    And instead of over-sight these past two years all we have gotten from the Dittocrats like Obama is chest thumping grandstanding for the zero tolerance law and order fanatics.

    Obama's solution is to send in more police and fill more prisons. Break up more families and take more potential wage earners and voters off the streets. that is just what the poverty oppressed communities of New Orleans need, more pandering by Dittocrats to the Jim Crow Repressioncon  Party.


    time to reread his book (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 10:00:02 AM EST
    and find out where his principles are, helping those in need or prosecuting them as scourges on society.  I look forward to his triangulation on this topic.

    Problem is I am not hearing any DIFFERENCE in the leading candidates, so why the story on Obama here?  To advance Dodd and Hillary?

    I have a question, if this is a site about crime and politics, why isn't there ten stories every day about the shameful representation we are getting from the presidential hopefuls who work in the senate.  Have they even started the work year yet?

    Our top five presidents historically speaking became so because of BOLD platforms and revolutionary ideas. The crop of candidates for at least 30 years has been filled with rhetorical gas bags who have accomplished very little.  

    Bill Clinton is ranked 22nd or 25th depending on which historian you choose.  He was not a great president by any stretch of the imagination.  I do not think Hillary's platform is all that much different than his and she does not have the benefit of a huge global business about to explode creating millions of jobs and products.

    Mike Gravel may not be the smartest of the group but he is without a doubt one of the more revolutionary candidates.

    I cannot see myself voting for anyone right now although Nader does have a very strong appeal again....


    "triangulation" (none / 0) (#23)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 10:42:25 AM EST
    is the operative word.

    My position is clear. I tell it to Dittocrats in every election.

    Tough love.

    I will withold the embrace of my electoral support until the Democrats get their heads on straight about the crime fostering terrorist funding problems imposed on America by their Jim Crow  drug war.

    When  the Dittocrats distinguish themselves from the Greedy Oppressive Perverts I will consider them in elections. Until then, Tough love! I vote for Greens, Libertarians, Nader and Independents who all oppose the Jim Crow drug war.

    The Greens, Libertarians, Nader and Independents reflect my social justice, civil liberties, human rights constitutional values. The Dittocrats and Repressioncons do not reflect or respect my constitutional and democratic values. Not in any way, shape or form.


    "Obama: The Audacity of Hope"lessness (none / 0) (#22)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    Hope against crime and the proliferation of drugs is found in the democratic institutions of regulation, licensing and taxation. The authoritarian institution of prohibition is in fact the codification of hopelessness. It is based on the idea that there is no way, no hope, to control excessive irresponsible usage of intoxicant drugs by democratic means. That the only solution for the genetically based unpopular disease of addiction is oppression, police and prisons. Social and political zero tolerance.

    This Audacity of Hope"lessness is derived from the moralistic and divisive Family Values culture war mindset. It forecloses alternatives that are based on constitutional values of human rights, civil liberties and social justice. The drug war is contemptuous of democratic institutions because it's real function is the subversion of American democracy. The neutralization and subversion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the, then soon to be enacted, 26st Amendment were the goals of Nixon and the Dixie-crats who created the drug war. They re-imposed Jim Crow and expanded it to include young socio-political nonconformists anti-war types who were electorally empowered by the 26st Amendment.

    Barack Obama can't pass off more of the zero tolerance counter-productive economics and anti-democracy oppression of drug war police oppression as "The Audacity of Hope".

    Remember kids, zero tolerance is absolute intolerance. Absolute intolerance is fascism.


    The lawless anarchy of prohibition (none / 0) (#24)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 11:13:15 AM EST
    Prohibition is the total abdication by politicians of their  democratic regulatory responsibility over a market. It is the idea that there can be no democratic middle ground where all feel safe in between responsible use and society.

    This regulatory vacuum is filled with anarchy.

    Regulation and licensing are how democratic societies minimize the predatory anarchy that is often natural to unlimited economic opportunity. Regulation and licensing are the democratic middle ground between those who strongly believe in freedom and those who have no faith in freedom.

    Conservative economists tell us what the outcome is for unregulated markets when they decry over-regulation as stifling to the growth and profitability of of products and markets. If ever a market needed stifling it is the intoxicant drug market. Democratic regulatory institutions are the fastest and surest way to stifle the predatory anarchy that prohibition is licensing but not regulating on our streets and in the world today.

    The drug market self-regulates with guns because there are no democratic institutions for distributors to depend upon to settle market disputes. Guns protect profits and markets under prohibition because banks, business associations and franchise law do not protect them.

    The absence of democratic regulation (none / 0) (#25)
    by aahpat on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 11:34:03 AM EST
    in the drug market means that the only morals and ethics reflected in the market and interposed between children and drugs are the morals and ethics of drug addict dealers, gangsters, social predators and terrorists who all thrive and are enriched in the anarchy.

    As long as young people are forced to run the gauntlet of their formative years between peers who are already addict dealers, predators and gangsters, none of whom have the morals and ethics of our community at heart, we will have more kids becoming addicts.

     21 Aug 2002
    Boston Globe

    "Glen Hanson, acting director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency, said ".... Since access to beer and cigarettes is restricted at the retail stage, Hanson said, youths have significant hurdles to obtaining them."

    As far as marijuana is concerned, there is not any control there," he said. "If you want it, you can get it. That is not good news."

    Regulation of the market not only takes huge profits out of the hands of the predators and terrorists but it also puts responsible licensed and regulated members of the community in control of the morals and ethics of the drug market. In between children and drugs.

    drug war (none / 0) (#36)
    by question on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:50:58 PM EST
    I have no pity for those who make their living selling poverty, enslavement, abuse and neglect.  People who should be pitied are those that suffer from that bondage.  Grandmothers who have to take care of their grandchildren financially and emotionally because their daughter or son is too strung out.  Kids who come home with no electricity or food in the house. Drug users who want help can't get quality treatment.  Drug treatment facilities charge more than a 5 star hotel and don't treat the patient.

    Drug dealers don't take what they sell.  They know better. I have met drug dealers who take food stamps and live in government housing while owning a Lexus. They give the drugs to the pregnant woman anyway or the man with a baby on his hip. Help the people who need and deserve the help. People who are arrested on drug charges and go to prison are people who are selling not using.