Storm Waters Dry Up Drugs

  Storm Waters Dry Up Drugs

Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2005 at 06:05:31 PT
By Patrick Moore 
Source: Newsday  

New Orleans -- Many television viewers watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last week found that their compassion soured as they watched the violence and looting in New Orleans. But what did those images really mean?Disasters have a way of making hidden problems visible and, in this case, the effects of disproportionate addiction and alcoholism rates in poor, minority communities have been dramatically revealed. Already living in despair before the disaster, the looters were deprived of the "medicine" that made life bearable; violence was inevitable.
As New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in an interview on a local radio station, "Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me. ... People don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about it. You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix, and that's the reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drugstores. They're looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will."The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified lack of education and unemployment as characteristics of those most likely to develop addiction problems. As an HHS report states, "Those who live in poverty are also exposed to other adverse conditions, including availability of drugs, lack of legitimate opportunity, alienation and hopelessness."New Orleans is known as a party town, but the truth of addiction there is far from a party, especially for those living in poverty. Louisiana has been identified as one of the top 20 states in America where a treatment gap exists between those who need treatment and those who receive it. In New Orleans, where nearly a third of the population lives in poverty and the majority of the poor are black, addiction is a major problem among the very group left behind to face the hurricane. That nearly half of the men arrested in the city in recent years have tested positive for cocaine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is only one indicator of the problem's extent.Addiction is, of course, not limited to New Orleans. It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans are dependent on illicit drugs and alcohol. Be it New Orleans, New York or Los Angeles, large numbers of poor addicts exist in most urban areas in America, and a natural disaster or terrorist attack in another city might well yield similar results.The Bush administration has been particularly adept at providing false linkages between some subjects - 9/11 and Iraq, for instance - while denying others. New Orleans illustrates President George W. Bush's willful ignorance. When the president talks about "zero tolerance" for looters, he seems unable to recognize the conditions that produced their behavior. It's hard to imagine his drawing a connection between the violence of looting by desperate poor people living in addiction and his own economic policies. Yet, the brutality of his "compassionate conservatism" is evidenced by poverty levels rising under this administration while federal funding for drug treatment has gone down.While the total drug control budget has risen, law enforcement remains the primary focus and treatment funding shows a net decline. Experts have long agreed that treatment is more effective than law enforcement sweeps and drug eradication. Yet valuable funds continue to be spent prosecuting medical marijuana clubs while millions need treatment.Addiction is admittedly a difficult disease to treat. Prevention campaigns and physical detox are useful, but effective approaches demand greater resources. The most successful rehabilitation programs are in-patient and last at least 30 days. During that time, patients are provided with counseling, medical care, psychiatric evaluation and job training. Transitional housing after treatment further enhances the chances of an addict staying sober and returning to a productive life.This type of treatment is now mostly available only to the wealthy or those with private insurance. We need to widen the range of recipients. While rigorous treatment programs are expensive, experts agree that they are still far more cost-effective than law enforcement.In America, the poor are disproportionately likely to be addicts and less likely to have effective treatment available to them. When these people are forced to come down hard, it's not surprising that some of them turn to violence. Law enforcement is not the answer. We need to reduce poverty in America and provide effective addiction treatment. We can no longer hide this problem or wait for the next crisis to deal with it. Note: Without programs to treat addiction, it's no wonder that the social fabric is torn to shreds. Patrick Moore is a writer and drug counselor living in Los Angeles. His book on crystal meth addiction, "Tweaked," will be published next year.Source: Newsday (NY)Author: Patrick MoorePublished: September 8, 2005Copyright: 2005 Newsday Inc.Contact: letters newsday.comWebsite: Justice Archives

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Comment #49 posted by FoM on September 19, 2005 at 12:35:45 PT
Here is a recording of Southern Man from Farm-Aid last night. I couldn't get any of it last night when Neil came on. It just kept buffering but I didn't have trouble until everyone wanted to hear him sing. He is one progressive musician for lack of a better way of saying it. Someone said that he had the Fisk Jubilee Singers with him and he was singing their history! Really something.
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Comment #48 posted by FoM on September 19, 2005 at 11:10:21 PT
Thank you. This is such a complex problem. Just seeing how poor the people are that lived in New Orleans makes me wonder if there really is an answer to how to solve the problems for the extremely poor. I can blame corporations for sending jobs away. I can blame the lack of compassion for the mentally ill. I don't think there is one reason or solution to this very sad state of affairs.
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Comment #47 posted by afterburner on September 19, 2005 at 10:49:34 PT
RE Comment #23 by FoM, better late than never
"I read the articles but I don't understand them very well. Is your welfare like our welfare down here? I believe we have a responsibility to care for those who get stuck in life and mental illness. I can't imagine a world where people wouldn't care for the sick, the old and the seriously disadvantaged. I always figured who the heck am I to feel superior to another person because I don't need the governments help to get by in life."Some background to international conservative approaches to welfare and mental health:How Thatcher boosted Welfare dependancy
Such was the welfare state in the good old days. Then Mrs Thatcher came in and
enacted a welfare revolution. In the early eighties 'signing on' was once a ...Thatcher, Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, Baroness
... and economic changes that dismantled many aspects of Britain's postwar welfare
state. ... Thatcher praises war on terrorism, leaders' `iron will'; ...
 BBC NEWS | Business | The future of welfare reform
Margaret Thatcher at the Brighton Tory conference in 1980. Margaret Thatcher took
on the unions and the welfare state ...These UK welfare reforms were copied in the US under Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton and G.W. Bush and by former Ontario Premier Mike Harris in Canada.&&&&&Ronald Reagan and the Commitment of the Mentally Ill: Capital, Interest Groups, and the Eclipse of Social Policy
Almost ten years after Ronald Reagan left office as president, the legacy of his
... When some mentally ill patients do not receive treatment, mental health ...As a result of the fiscal cuts under the Reagan administration, the mentally ill were 'mainstreamed' into ordinary society without the necessary federal or state funding to insure their successful integration. Government and/or healthcare officials mistakenly thought that mental health problems could be solved solely by chemical remedies [chemical imbalance theory]. Conveniently, these chemical imbalance theories gave a philosophical support for adoption of conservative mental health reforms, which were also imitated internationally by conservative governments. In the USA a pattern has developed since the passage of the USA.Patriot Act that puts local schizophrenics at risk every time an 'orange alert' is announced.
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Comment #46 posted by FoM on September 14, 2005 at 11:08:49 PT
Upcoming Benefit Concert For Victims of Katrina
From The Big Apple To The Big Easy
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Comment #44 posted by FoM on September 11, 2005 at 07:36:26 PT

I'm glad you liked it. There isn't one song on his new album that I don't like. He sang This Old Guitar last night on the VHI benefit for Katrina victims. Each musician only sang one song. I went to the Rust List and a couple people complained that Neil was only promoting his new CD. Then the finale of the concert blew that out of the water. Neil was joined by the Fisk Jubilee Singers and other musicians and played out Fats Dominos song Walking To New Orleans. It took me to another space in time. It was unbelievable to me.
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Comment #43 posted by afterburner on September 11, 2005 at 07:26:32 PT

RE Comment #40: FoM - WoW
invigorating comforting inspiringgenerousEven the prairie wind sounds are relaxing, like some Divine gift of belonging.
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on September 11, 2005 at 07:04:29 PT

An Open Letter from Michael Moore
A Letter to All Who Voted for George W. Bush from Michael MooreSunday, September 11th, 2005To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush: On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel? How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows? That's right. Horse shows. I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe. I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America. Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer? When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure? When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there? Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people? Why do you hate our federal government so much? You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD? With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home? Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all. The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake. That's not a joke. The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water. It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the widow at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC. It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!" My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world? And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain? Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters. We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together. The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever. Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution. Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away? I know you know better. You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose? I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show. Yours, Michael Moore mmflint aol.com
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Comment #41 posted by FoM on September 10, 2005 at 21:05:07 PT

Just a Small Comment
It's late and I am still watching the concert for Katrina victims on VHI. I hope others have been watching the concert. It is so different and such a cross section of musicians. One song that made me pay serious attention was a song I believe it was called America What Would Jesus Do. It was so good. It had to have been inspired. That's all and I hope everyone is having a good weekend.
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on September 10, 2005 at 10:03:01 PT

Afterburner and Everyone Who Might Be Interested
I received an e-mail this morning telling me that Neil Young's new album Prairie Wind is on his web site. I appreciate that an artist like Neil Young lets us hear the album before it's even released. Enjoy!
Neil Young: Prairie Wind
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Comment #39 posted by mastercy on September 10, 2005 at 06:32:15 PT:

the big easy
The thing about New Orleans is that it was our number one port city. That is why they will probably rebuild it. However, what about all those chemicals that were in the water, they've probably contaminated everything. N.O. Will never be the same.
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 19:26:11 PT

Friendly Reminder: ReAct Now: Music & Relief
MTV, VH1 & CMT Special, 'ReAct Now: Music & Relief' to Air Saturday, September 10 from 8pm-11pm ET/PT 
Additional Artists Join this Multi-Genre, Multi-Platform Special Including The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Kanye West, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Alan Jackson, 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson, Brian Wilson, Melissa Etheridge, The Neville Brothers, Trent Reznor, Cash Money's Baby and Lil' Wayne and more... Complete Article:
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Comment #37 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 18:53:38 PT

A Very Interesting Article
I found this on a board I read. It's about the person who told off Cheney in the news the other day.
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Comment #36 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 18:22:45 PT

Mayan and Everyone
The concert was wonderful. Neil sang his one new song from Prairie Wind called When God Made Me. It was beautiful and it almost seemed like it was made for this night even though it wasn't. Bono was extraordinary as he usually is in my opinion. I hope others see the concert too.
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 17:36:52 PT

I did think you were barking at me but I know we all under unbelievable stress and I know that's what it was and that's ok. These are such sad times but they also are a time of awakening if we let it be. Good things could come from this disaster.
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Comment #34 posted by mayan on September 09, 2005 at 17:27:15 PT

I hope you don't think I was barking at you in my previous post. I have been in a real bad mood since Katrina. I can't even begin to imagine what the real victims feel. I don't know if they should even try to rebuild that city. I heard those folks were already losing an acre a day to water or something like that. Remember what the Russians used to help decontaminate the soil at Chernobyl? Hemp. Maybe they should drop tons of seeds on the wasteland when it dries out. Nature kills and nature heals. The rain isn't needed now but it will eventually help clean the land.HEMP "EATS" CHERNOBYL WASTE, OFFERS HOPE FOR HANFORD:
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 16:09:36 PT

b4daylight and VitaminT
Maybe it can be fixed but the contamination will be forever in the soil. If I had a small child I would be afraid to move back even if they say it is ok and safe. Maybe they can clean up the toxins but I can't comprehend how they will do it. It looks like it was a beautiful, historic city and it is sad to think some of New Orleans might not be able to be built back.
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Comment #32 posted by VitaminT on September 09, 2005 at 16:01:49 PT

Most of the historic homes that got wet are old pier and beam structures that had no insulation in the walls. The timber used to construct them is generally very good wood which can withstand a lot of abuse. Assuming the houses were not washed off their foundation piers, these things will dry out in no time once the water is pumped out of the city.Even the houses knocked off their piers can be saved if people care enough to jack them up and put them back where they belong. Old 2x4's or 2X6's with shiplap siding on both sides are incredibly strong and repairable when damaged.Newer structures will not do well at all. Insulated walls will hold moisture for months and will promote the growth of mold. Many of them will be demolished because it's much cheaper to build new, this is no great loss in the long term.The important institutions survived even if they were severly damaged:The French Quarter and the Central Business District are in comparatively good shape from what I've seen. The refineries and Port will be back on line in short order. Most of what sustained the city's economic life can be fixed and probably pretty soon. It won't be able to support all of it's people for a few years but can support a core population which will expand over time.The greatest threat to the future of New Orleans is dispair and indiference. If we give in to these then we give power to the forces which might seek to gain by the distruction Katrina has wrought. Yes I do refer to a certain Half-Wit and a cadre of dangerous men who sit in smoke-filled rooms in Washington. There was, at the time, very little political impetus driving the W to preserve a mainly Democrat-voting city. I would be far from startled to learn that the delayed federal response was calculated. Some extremists no doubt smirked with glee until they realized the magnitude of the disaster - then they methodically jumped to their feet and mosied on down to see what was left of New Orleans. Elements of the news coverage appear almost designed to depict these desperate people as animals. The gunshots at helicopters - highly questionable some cops are saying that it didn't even happen! The multiple rapes and murders at the Superdome? the cops on the scene say it didn't happen! It would hardly be the first time that the right-wing extremist media tried to run shotgun for the little cowboy.Certainly the tragedy cut across all political lines and I don't want believe what I just wrote - but Republicans would benefit from the permanent disruption of Huey Long's home town.That said, If we accept defeat now - N.O. might be a goner and even though there was surely no conspiracy on the part of the Republicans to solidify their power in such a cynical way the effect would be the same.I urge you to think again. I live in Houston so I know what committed people can achieve when they are unified and it's a wonderful thing to see! The people of New Orleans and all Americans must commit themselves to making this great city rise above the flood waters and live again.
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Comment #31 posted by b4daylight on September 09, 2005 at 15:59:14 PT


Comment #25 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 10:49:06 PTWell I think you can rebuild anything with enough taxpayer dollars. I mean the space station is only 100 billion dollars and growing. But as for the poeple I am not sure I would want to go back. I mean twice in forty some years they have had this. Nor do I want to pay for a New Orleans, A Las Angelos, or Miami. I choose to live in the desert with 10,000 year old valcanos and 5,000 year earthquakes. I think if we use sciene we can find better places to live than what they had in the past. One thing is true spending 60 billion dollars on anything will create a sub economy and this is what the president wants. Of course with a Public so ready to bow down how could he go wrong. 
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 14:32:47 PT

Friendly Reminder: Concert for Katrina Victims
Shelter From The Storm: Concert For The Gulf CoastWill Air Friday, September 9th At 8PM ET/CT On CBS, UPN
To Donate, Call 1-866-4-AID-NOW(CBS) NEW YORK In a cooperative and collaborative effort, the six broadcast networks announced plans last week to present "Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For The Gulf Coast", a one-hour, commercial-free simulcast on Friday, Sept. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/CT; tape delayed PT/MT). The entertainment special/fundraising event will salute the brave citizens in the devastated areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and pay tribute to the rescue personnel guiding relief efforts in the region.Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Alicia Keys, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and Neil Young are among the performers initially scheduled to appear. Among the initial celebrities slated to make appearances are Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Nicholson, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Sela Ward.In addition to “road blocked” coverage on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB and UPN, "Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For The Gulf Coast" will also be carried live in the United States on ABC Family, Black Family Channel, Bravo, E!, Fox Reality, FSN Ohio, FSN South, FSN West, FX, G4 Media, Ovation, Oxygen, PAX, PBS, SOAPnet, TBS, Tennis Channel, Trio, TV Guide Channel, TV One, USA Network and WGN. Internationally, the special will also be broadcast in at least 95 countries on programming services in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and virtually all of Asia and the Middle East."Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For The Gulf Coast" will be broadcast from the Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Los Angeles and Sony Studios in New York City live to the Eastern and Central time zones and tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Joel Gallen, who produced the unprecedented “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon in September 2001, will executive produce the special.Phone lines for Hurricane Katrina relief aid will officially open on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 AM/ET during ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’s “The Early Show”and NBC’s “The Today Show,” and local affiliate morning shows on FOX, The WB and UPN. Phone lines will remain open during the daytime and be promoted on such shows as ABC’s “The View” and then continue into the network late night programs, including ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”; “CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”; and NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” At various points during these programs – either through on-air talent or on-screen messages – viewers will be advised where they can donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Participation will vary by program. All contributions collected from the morning, primetime and late night fundraising efforts will go to either the American Red Cross by calling or The Salvation Army, depending on the donor’s preference. For phone donations, call 1-866-4-AID-NOW or visit either or CBS & UPN are units of Viacom Inc., as is this web site.Copyright: MMV, CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
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Comment #29 posted by dongenero on September 09, 2005 at 14:06:47 PT

This article is such crap!......Oh, our hands were tied, we couldn't step up and help the country unless we were invited etc.........Give me a break.This is the federal f**king government we are talking about.How could any city or state government handle something of this magnitude on their own? It is ridiculous for anyone in the federal government to sit there and say they expected them to.When you see a catastrophic storm headed for a heavily poulated, below sea level, US city, don't you think our federal government would be in constant contact with state and local officials!? Bush and his cronies are a bunch of slackers.....and that is coming from a cannabisnews post!I don't buy this BS about not being able to go in with Nat'l Guard troops (other than the fact that basically all of them are in ....Iraq).
They are able to go in as relief and that is what they should have done. This administration has NEVER stepped up to take responsibility for a damned thing when they've screwed up, and there have been a long string of f**k about the blame game. Any true American should be disgusted with this bunch of idiots representing the United States of America.whew!
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 12:14:24 PT

Thanks Ekim
I added the link to my page on the enviornment.
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Comment #27 posted by ekim on September 09, 2005 at 12:00:53 PT

new web site on Katrina to the first web site in America dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the connection between hurricane Katrina and global warming. 
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 11:08:01 PT

LA Times: Waking from a Sound Sleep
September 9, 2005 
 Raw images of Katrina's devastation blew away TV's business-as-usual gloss and showed us what is really happening in the U.S.,0,1239815.story
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 10:49:06 PT

Just a Comment About New Orleans
I'm sure most of us have watched the news and see what I see. I want to say that I really don't believe New Orleans can be fixed. It looks like a big sewer and even though it had some very pretty homes there I think the water has won. This is the first city that I've ever seen that I believe can't be re-built. 
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Comment #24 posted by afterburner on September 09, 2005 at 07:23:06 PT

Thanks for the Neil Song: I'll Carry It to Work
A Christian friend at work mentioned the same sentiments about the welfare system in the UK. However, as one of the stories states, "the worm has turned." More later.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 07:03:58 PT

I read the articles but I don't understand them very well. Is your welfare like our welfare down here? I believe we have a responsibility to care for those who get stuck in life and mental illness. I can't imagine a world where people wouldn't care for the sick, the old and the seriously disadvantaged. I always figured who the heck am I to feel superior to another person because I don't need the governments help to get by in life.
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on September 09, 2005 at 06:52:09 PT

OT: Welfare/Workfare Reform Proposed by Thinktank
Now, even a bank slams workfare
Sep. 9, 2005. 06:37 AM"The worm turns. Old ideas gain currency again. Now, even hard-headed business people are beginning to realize that taking a sledgehammer to the welfare state was a bad, bad idea. Thomas Walkom comments."  [Full Story]
[Toronto Star] [free registration]
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on September 09, 2005 at 06:43:15 PT

I just found a few links to Prairie Wind but this video-song is about growing up in Canada. I thought you might appreciate it. 
It's Only a Dream
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on September 09, 2005 at 06:38:32 PT

OT: Community-Based Treatment in Toronto
Maybe some lessons of neo-con excesses of the recent past in North America are being learned due to the social and physical destruction of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.$100M for mental health centre  
 Sep. 9, 2005. 06:26 AM
[Toronto Star]Excerpt: {Experts say the mentally ill and the addicted respond best to treatment in settings that resemble the community. {"It won't feel like an institution to people," said Judy Hills, executive director of the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, calling the expansion long overdue given the lack of resources for mental health treatment over the past decade or so.{"When beds were closed and people dumped on the streets, the mental health sector was ignored for so long."{The problem with that effort to move people out of mental health hospitals is there weren't enough community supports in place, resulting in large numbers of homeless, Hills added.{Increasingly, for several years, businesses and decision-makers have realized many physical health problems, such as headaches, immune deficiencies and stomach problems, have their roots in mental health concerns as simple as the stress of daily life or as complex as chemical changes in the brain.}
 $100M for mental health centre  
 Sep. 9, 2005. 06:26 AM  
 "The Ontario government will modernize treatment of mental health, drug and alcohol problems with a $100 million redevelopment of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Toronto Star has learned. Rob Ferguson reports." [Full Story] [free registration]
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Comment #19 posted by gloovins on September 08, 2005 at 22:16:19 PT

Shrubya couldved involked the Insurrection act, ck
this it out...September 9, 2005
Political Issues Snarled Plans for Troop Aid
and THOM SHANKERWASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor.For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control.The debate began after officials realized that Hurricane Katrina had exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration's senior domestic security officials, the plan failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated.As criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina has mounted, one of the most pointed questions has been why more troops were not available more quickly to restore order and offer aid. Interviews with officials in Washington and Louisiana show that as the situation grew worse, they were wrangling with questions of federal/state authority, weighing the realities of military logistics and perhaps talking past each other in the crisis.To seize control of the mission, Mr. Bush would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the president in times of unrest to command active-duty forces into the states to perform law enforcement duties. But decision makers in Washington felt certain that Ms. Blanco would have resisted surrendering control, as Bush administration officials believe would have been required to deploy active-duty combat forces before law and order had been re-established.While combat troops can conduct relief missions without the legal authority of the Insurrection Act, Pentagon and military officials say that no active-duty forces could have been sent into the chaos of New Orleans on Wednesday or Thursday without confronting law-and-order challenges.But just as important to the administration were worries about the message that would have been sent by a president ousting a Southern governor of another party from command of her National Guard, according to administration, Pentagon and Justice Department officials."Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?" asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential.Officials in Louisiana agree that the governor would not have given up control over National Guard troops in her state as would have been required to send large numbers of active-duty soldiers into the area. But they also say they were desperate and would have welcomed assistance by active-duty soldiers."I need everything you have got," Ms. Blanco said she told Mr. Bush last Monday, after the storm hit.In an interview, she acknowledged that she did not specify what sorts of soldiers. "Nobody told me that I had to request that," Ms. Blanco said. "I thought that I had requested everything they had. We were living in a war zone by then."By Wednesday, she had asked for 40,000 soldiers.In the discussions in Washington, also at issue was whether active-duty troops could respond faster and in larger numbers than the Guard.By last Wednesday, Pentagon officials said even the 82nd Airborne, which has a brigade on standby to move out within 18 hours, could not arrive any faster than 7,000 National Guard troops, which are specially trained and equipped for civilian law enforcement duties.In the end, the flow of thousands of National Guard soldiers, especially military police, was accelerated from other states."I was there. I saw what needed to be done," Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in an interview. "They were the fastest, best-capable, most appropriate force to get there in the time allowed. And that's what it's all about."But one senior Army officer expressed puzzlement that active-duty troops were not summoned sooner, saying 82nd Airborne troops were ready to move out from Fort Bragg, N.C., on Sunday, the day before the hurricane hit.The call never came, administration officials said, in part because military officials believed Guard troops would get to the stricken region faster and because administration civilians worried that there could be political fallout if federal troops were forced to shoot looters.Louisiana officials were furious that there was not more of a show of force, in terms of relief supplies and troops, from the federal government in the middle of last week. As the water was rising in New Orleans, the governor repeatedly questioned whether Washington had started its promised surge of federal resources."We needed equipment," Ms. Blanco said in an interview. "Helicopters. We got isolated."Aides to Ms. Blanco said she was prepared to accept the deployment of active-duty military officials in her state. But she and other state officials balked at giving up control of the Guard as Justice Department officials said would have been required by the Insurrection Act if those combat troops were to be sent in before order was restored.In a separate discussion last weekend, the governor also rejected a more modest proposal for a hybrid command structure in which both the Guard and active-duty troops would be under the command of an active-duty, three-star general - but only after he had been sworn into the Louisiana National Guard.Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, director of operations for the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Pentagon in August streamlined a rigid, decades-old system of deployment orders to allow the military's Northern Command to dispatch liaisons to work with local officials before an approaching hurricane.The Pentagon is reviewing events from the time Hurricane Katrina reached full strength and bore down on New Orleans and five days later when Mr. Bush ordered 7,200 active-duty soldiers and marines to the scene.After the hurricane passed New Orleans and the levees broke, flooding the city, it became increasingly evident that disaster-response efforts were badly bogged down.Justice Department lawyers, who were receiving harrowing reports from the area, considered whether active-duty military units could be brought into relief operations even if state authorities gave their consent - or even if they refused.The issue of federalizing the response was one of several legal issues considered in a flurry of meetings at the Justice Department, the White House and other agencies, administration officials said.Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales urged Justice Department lawyers to interpret the federal law creatively to help local authorities, those officials said. For example, federal prosecutors prepared to expand their enforcement of some criminal statutes like anti-carjacking laws that can be prosecuted by either state or federal authorities.On the issue of whether the military could be deployed without the invitation of state officials, the Office of Legal Counsel, the unit within the Justice Department that provides legal advice to federal agencies, concluded that the federal government had authority to move in even over the objection of local officials.This act was last invoked in 1992 for the Los Angeles riots, but at the request of Gov. Pete Wilson of California, and has not been invoked over a governor's objections since the civil rights era - and before that, to the time of the Civil War, administration officials said. Bush administration, Pentagon and senior military officials warned that such an extreme measure would have serious legal and political implications.Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said deployment of National Guard soldiers to Iraq, including a brigade from Louisiana, did not affect the relief mission, but Ms. Blanco disagreed."Over the last year, we have had about 5,000 out, at one time," she said. "They are on active duty, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That certainly is a factor."By Friday, National Guard reinforcements had arrived, and a truck convoy of 1,000 Guard soldiers brought relief supplies - and order - to the convention center area.Officials from the Department of Homeland Security say the experience with Hurricane Katrina has demonstrated flaws in the nation's plans to handle disaster."This event has exposed, perhaps ultimately to our benefit, a deficiency in terms of replacing first responders who tragically may be the first casualties," Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for domestic security, said.Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, has suggested that active-duty troops be trained and equipped to intervene if front-line emergency personnel are stricken. But the Pentagon's leadership remains unconvinced that this plan is sound, suggesting instead that the national emergency response plans be revised to draw reinforcements initially from civilian police, firefighters, medical personnel and hazardous-waste experts in other states not affected by a disaster.The federal government rewrote its national emergency response plan after the Sept. 11 attacks, but it relied on local officials to manage any crisis in its opening days. But Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed local "first responders," including civilian police and the National Guard.At a news conference on Saturday, Mr. Chertoff said, "The unusual set of challenges of conducting a massive evacuation in the context of a still dangerous flood requires us to basically break the traditional model and create a new model, one for what you might call kind of an ultra-catastrophe.""
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Comment #18 posted by John Tyler on September 08, 2005 at 18:22:17 PT

The difference is...
If you have the means and like certain pharmaceuticals you can go to your doctor and get what you need. Your insurance will even pay for it. You are under a doctors’ care. If you are poor, you are a junkie.
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Comment #17 posted by global_warming on September 08, 2005 at 17:07:58 PT

re:comment 15
You have my vote, this sunken city, on this coast line, has been taken by the sea, and global warming, that modern day myth, may, dance with our president, and his whores, ah, yes, they have filled their house, they are prepared, for the most terrible storm, that comes not from the ocean, not earthquake, nor the Suns fury, frightens these fools, for they hasten to the Light, like innocent moths, lighting that infinite Night Sky, with their last will and testaments.Their is GLORY, their is a higher reality, My soul, will testify, in this infinite universe, hope there are some survivors, who can gather, to make peace, who will heal, and who my soul can embrace, when we walk the common path to this garden of a paradise universe.peace
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Comment #16 posted by global_warming on September 08, 2005 at 16:32:21 PT

OT;Blah..blah..blah..and the Market
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee. I appreciate hearing from you on this important subject. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the difficult task of balancing the need to make sure that drugs are safe and effective before they are available to the public with the need to get potentially life-saving new medications on the market as quickly as possible. The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 mandates the use of committees that are balanced both demographically and scientifically to offer the FDA the best advice possible. The FDA, however, is not bound to follow the committee’s advice. Recently, conflicts of interest have been highlighted since some committee members are employed by pharmaceutical companies.       During the U.S. House of Representatives debate on the agriculture appropriations, Representative Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) introduced an amendment to prohibit use of funds to grant a waiver of a financial conflict of interest requirement under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for any voting member of an advisory committee or panel of the FDA. This amendment passed. Should a similar amendment be offered to the Senate bill, I will take your views into consideration. Please rest assured I will continue to monitor this issue closely. Again, I appreciate hearing from you....Who? Me.."..Thanks "Frank" Lautenberg..Peacegw
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Comment #15 posted by b4daylight on September 08, 2005 at 16:32:09 PT

You know
They should Make New Orleans a place where people visit, prision, hospital, but not a place to live. It really pisses me off f we are going to sepnd 60 plus billion dollars to rebuild another time bomb. I am sorry but I dont feel for people when they have been told this will happen. Nor do I feel pity on people that did not evacuate. Execption is the people who could not which should have been dealt with by the government. There are hundreds of places to live that have very little risk of a major natural disastor.Just my opinon of course. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 16:14:22 PT

It's not knocking them. I just haven't seen any comments about how they would deal with this crisis. As far as Democrats they are more open to helping when needs arise. Many Democrats voted for the Hinchey Amendment and I think of that as compassionate. I'm not a democrat I just wonder why no one says how they would look at this issue.
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on September 08, 2005 at 16:04:51 PT

Are you implying that the democrats have the answer? How long did they hold the reins and what did they do about it? I don't know if there is a solution but the best thing we could do is end poverty. If we ended poverty that would end much of the despair and hopelessness that sometimes leads to drug addiction. The Libertarian Party(or any third-party) has never had much of a chance to show what it's policies would accomplish so I don't know how you could knock them. Our country is on the verge of economic collapse because we didn't want to "waste our votes". Now we are witnessing the culmination of years and years of voting for the lesser of two evils. The disparity between rich and poor in this country is greater than almost anywhere else in the world. It became that way under the leadership of the RepubliCrats.Highlights of the Libertarian Party's "Ending the Welfare State" Proposal: and Summary of The Libertarian Party's Solution to America's Crime Problem:
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Comment #12 posted by global_warming on September 08, 2005 at 15:22:52 PT

"Addiction is admittedly a difficult disease to treat.",..particularly the addiction to power and human greed. Many of us are lock stepped and cannot see beyond our blinders where those loathsome shadows, those victims in this war on poverty, those fallen in this war of poverty.This article only reassures me, that our high priced scientific prostitutes, are ready and waiting to be fed. Yup they have all the answers you will need, to get over your addictions and the deep seated problems that haunt your inner troubled child, of course, your poverty has nothing to do with your skin color, in fact that mirror that reflects your face every morning, is not an accurate picture, and you can make a difference.Old Man River, just keeps rolling along, and for those that are tired of living but scared of dieing, the release that illegal drugs offers, has better numbing qualities than alceehol, maybe death is too frightening, and just hanging out on the front steps of deaths door, is knocking on heavens door, maybe for some, this wonderful life is only for some, but not for thee, and each new dawn is not for thee.Surely our best science has figured out the link between addiction and poverty? In other words, if we all must play the game, we all want a fair chance in this game. peacegw 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 11:47:21 PT

Shelter From The Storm Concert Information
Dixie Chicks, Neil Young Confirmed for "Shelter" TelethonSeptember 8, 2005 
All six broadcast networks, a number of cable channels and some 95 countries around the world will simulcast Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast, a live one-hour special at 8 p.m. ET Friday to benefit those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Alicia Keys and Chris Rock are among the confirmed guests scheduled to appear during the commercial-free event. Other celebrities scheduled to appear include the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Nicholson, Ray Romano and Sela Ward. In addition to the six broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, UPN and the WB, the cable channels ABC Family, Black Family Channel, Bravo, E!, Fox Reality, FSN Ohio, FSN South, FSN West, FX, G4 Media, Ovation, Oxygen, PAX, PBS, SOAPnet, TBS, Tennis Channel, Trio, TV Guide Channel, TV One, USA Network and WGN will also carry the broadcast. Internationally, the special will also be broadcast in at least 95 countries on programming services in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and virtually all of Asia and the Middle East. Copyright 2005 EUR Web
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Comment #10 posted by potpal on September 08, 2005 at 08:45:31 PT

time out
It's hard to laugh with this tradegy on our doorstep...but good to... a hardy har har!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 08:14:38 PT

I agree with you. I also believe that the legalize drugs as a solution isn't a solution because what happens when people who are addicted and need more and more drugs just to keep withdrawal pain away can't find any drugs because of a disaster like in New Orleans. Every big city is vulnerable and nice people who are strung out will steal and worse when there aren't any drugs available. That effects the rich white folks that live in the cities too.
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on September 08, 2005 at 07:59:36 PT

Bush's drug abuse
The article states..... When the president talks about "zero tolerance" for looters, he seems unable to recognize the conditions that produced their behavior. It's hard to imagine his drawing a connection between the violence of looting by desperate poor people living in addiction and his own economic policies.Bush should recognize the economic problem of addiction to hard drugs, given his past cocaine problem but, his personal drug problem wasn't coupled with a lack of money. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 07:52:18 PT

What is The Answer
I never see people who are in the LP or RP talk about how to fix this terrible problem. That is something that is always absent when discussing drug issues. I have quietly observed this over the years. They never say anything about it and I never have understood why. It's time for us to take the blinders off our eyes and look at this problem in my opinion.Legalizing drugs won't solve this problem.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on September 08, 2005 at 07:45:06 PT:

I'm either repeating myself here or being very redundant
I may be even repeating myself but, oooooh, that Bush.
When will we see the last of that chump,[chimp].
It only stands to reason that a guy who has failed at 
everything he has ever done in his life would make a mess 
our country. Old Jewish proverb: What a man has done a man will do. And you think I'm redundant?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 07:03:06 PT

Thank you.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 08, 2005 at 06:42:31 PT

Without a doubt...
This incident exposes the great divide between the rich and the poor in Amerika. Estimates are 37 million are living in poverty in America, of which 13 million are children. This number has risen every year Bush has been in office. Other countries are saying, "How can you treat your people in this way?"Possible answers can be found, like the article says, the apple does not fall far from the tree.September 7, 2005 by The Nation, Barbara Bush: It's Good Enough for the Poor, by John Nichols  
Finally, we have discovered the roots of George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism." 
On the heels of the president's "What, me worry?" response to the death, destruction and dislocation that followed upon Hurricane Katrina comes the news of his mother's Labor Day visit with hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston. Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees -- cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases -- former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out. "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home. On the tape of the interview, Mrs. Bush chuckles audibly as she observes just how great things are going for families that are separated from loved ones, people who have been forced to abandon their homes and the only community where they have ever lived, and parents who are explaining to children that their pets, their toys and in some cases their friends may be lost forever. Perhaps the former first lady was amusing herself with the notion that evacuees without bread could eat cake. At the very least, she was expressing a measure of empathy commensurate with that evidenced by her son during his fly-ins for disaster-zone photo opportunities. On Friday, when even Republican lawmakers were giving the federal government an "F" for its response to the crisis, President Bush heaped praise on embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown. As thousands of victims of the hurricane continued to plead for food, water, shelter, medical care and a way out of the nightmare to which federal neglect had consigned them, Brown cheerily announced that "people are getting the help they need." Barbara Bush's son put his arm around the addled FEMA functionary and declared, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." Like mother, like son. Even when a hurricane hits, the apple does not fall far from the tree. 

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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on September 08, 2005 at 06:41:06 PT

N.O. pain
FoM, I recall you made similiar comments to this article last week.Very perceptive ...
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on September 08, 2005 at 06:37:51 PT

Exteme Disconnect - Executive Depts. vs. Congress
{The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified lack of education and unemployment as characteristics of those most likely to develop addiction problems. As an HHS report states, "Those who live in poverty are also exposed to other adverse conditions, including availability of drugs, lack of legitimate opportunity, alienation and hopelessness."}HHS and its subordinate FDA are complicit in blocking cannabis research, thereby allowing the insane, superstitious, racist and unscientific pogrom against cannabis to continue to waste law enforcement resources in a futile attempt to stop citizens from using a Safer method of medicine and relaxation. Their own report indicates the true causes of addiction, "lack of education and unemployment," and yet the ONDCP continues to bleat the fictions that cannabis is not medicine, that it is addictive, and that it is the nation's leading "drug problem." And how does the US Congress implement solutions? They pass legislation to deny education to those students caught with cannabis, and they pass legislation to fire workers caught by urine tests. Are they listening to their own cabinet departments? I think not!
HHS Organizational Directory
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 08, 2005 at 06:08:28 PT

Just a Comment
This isn't really an article about marijuana but it is about life in New Orleans these days. Such a sad times for so many people.
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