ctrp315 The Unfinished Drug Policy of the Netherlands

Freek at the UNPeople around the world admire, hate, or giggle at what they think they know about drug policies in the Netherlands. But how much do they really know? To get beyond the tall tales and the half-baked explanation you’ll get from enthusiasts on both sides of the drug issue, it is important to not only look at the facts, but to hear real experience and analysis. Not to mention to learn the details of just what the political and social climate aims to do with the future of Dutch drug policy.

As part of a running series of podcasts on the Reality of Drug Policy in the Netherlands, I begin with this program featuring a conversation with Freek Polak of the Netherlands Drug Policy Foundation.

During the program Freek mentions this video of his face-off with the Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.

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ctrp 314 What is Behind the Texas Secession Movement?

None of them were alive the last time Texas was located outside the borders of the US, but they’re demanding to go back to that status. They’re angry at the Obama administration, frustrated with the United States, and lately – they’ve managed to get a bit of national attention.  They are the Texans calling for secession from the United States, and Forrest Wilder of the Texas Observer has been looking into who they are, the issues they’re concerned with, and just how far they might get.

His blog Forrest for the Trees on the Texas Observer site

We mention the Texas National Movement

Forrest’s video of a recent demonstration

*Note: file codes for my program will from now on start with ctrp.

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Dangerous Bananas

Banana Memo
Banana Memo

My buddy Lucas was telling me that he digs the site, but that I move from topic to topic too quickly for him. Usually I listen to comments like that, say thanks, and then go back to doing my own thing, my way. But Lucas is a good man, who may be on to something. Perhaps another step in my evolution as a citizen reporter will be to keep the focus on one topic, or at least a small amount of topics for an extended period. Examples for this year, GMO agriculture, environmental crimes in Europe and North America, and perhaps the one I will start rolling out this week: Bananas. (although I still maintain that its my site and a big world and I do what I want!)

You heard right on that last part: Bananas. Naners. Beloved fruit of millions if not billions of people, but lesser known for being one of the leading causes of suffering and political chaos in the 20th century. And of course they’re not finished yet.

Lets set the stage for this issue, because its far bigger than our friend the banana. Its about Read more

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Before Rove, Atwater

There was a statement that caught my attention as I rode through museumplein in the middle of the night recently, listening to the latest edition of On the Media. They were talking about the late republican strategist Lee Atwater, who Ive always remembered as the guy who trained George HW Bush in 88 to stand up straight to look tough in debates, and use divisive attack ads to destroy his opponent. The item was about his legacy, and it was interesting to hear a specialist on his life and work talk about how he had been friends with Karl Rove and championed the playing upon people’s fears in a political campaign.

At one point they mention that many people saw what came after Atwater as a marketing of a candidate using sophisticated polling and focus groups. Something that would later be championed by the Clinton campaigns and set the pace for the next decade. But they added that this most recent election, might have signified a return to a more grassroots direct-to-the people style politics.

All this reminded me of Century of the Self, Adam Curtis’s excellent documentary, which now more than ever deserves to be watched. One can only hope an update will come soon.

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