February 26, 2004

to whom can i speak today the gentleness has perished

* Democratic Underground lists 34 senators (including 8 republicans) that oppose the FMA bill.

* Can't remember where I saw this but it's kinda funny:

"First of all, let's get this straight. All marriage is same sex marriage...the same sex, over and over and over again. It's a long tedious meal with dessert at the beginning."

* The drug war and free speech. [via drug war rant.]

excerpt:

"Congress has just approved a law blatantly censoring pro-drug reform messages.

"It was the brainchild of Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., the religious right's water carrier who, as chairman of the District of Columbia Subcommittee, blocked city ordinances with which he disagreed such as those authorizing publicly funded abortions and needle-exchange programs. Late last year, Istook added an amendment to the omnibus spending bill that cuts off $3.1-billion in federal funds from transit authorities nationwide if they accept ads for their bus, train or subway systems promoting the reform of drug laws. Large transit systems in big cities could forfeit tens of millions of dollars if they don't comply. San Francisco has at least $100-million at risk, New York at least $75-million and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority $85-million.

"So once again those who favor a less militant approach to the nation's drug war - and only want the freedom to make their case to the public - have been forced to trot back to federal court to secure their First Amendment rights.

"On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Drug Policy Alliance, among other groups, filed suit against U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and the Washington Metro, after the D.C. transit system refused to accept a paid ad by the groups that proclaimed: 'Marijuana Laws Waste Billions of Taxpayer Dollars to Lock Up Non-Violent Americans.' The suit asks that the Istook amendment be found unconstitutional and that the court rule that no funds shall be withheld from transit systems that accept drug reform ads.

"The case should be a legal slam dunk. If free speech means anything in this country it is that a drug reform ad should be permitted to occupy the same bit of public space as an antiabortion ad or a gun control appeal. 'Congress keeps forgetting that there is no drug exception to the Constitution,' says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance."



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