The latest outrage: It is now legal for the police to set up roadblocks on any road and search your car, without probable cause, for drugs. Through a most specious line of reasoning, the courts have determined that you have no right to privacy, nor a right against unreasonable search and seizure, when you are in your car. How long before the same bizarre line of reasoning is used to justify warrantless searches of your office, your yard, and finally, your home? Hey! This is supposed to happen in facist dictatorships, not in the United States.
You can already lose your home, car and other property without ever having even been charged with a crime under the property forfeiture laws. The abuses of this law by the DEA are nothing short of phenomenal. We now have the very dangerous precedent that you must prove you are not guilty to get your property back. You must sue the government. Thus, the presumption that you are innocent until proven guilty has been thrown out the window by anti-drug zealots.
The DEA has become the American version of the Gestapo. They operate with no public accountablity, they get to keep all the money and property they can confiscate (see above), they break into houses in the middle of the night, guns ablaze, (often the wrong one), and in short, are little more than a gang of thugs completely out of control.
But wait... there is still more. Do you know that more than 70 percent of all federal prisoners are in jail because of NON-VIOLENT drug crimes? The vast majority are users, not sellers. What sort of message are we sending the younger generation when children are punished for having aspirin with them at school? Why are we wasting all this money to bust petty offenders?
Get involved. Get in contact with the Drug Policy Foundation, a voice of sanity in the insane drug war. Contact:
The Drug Policy Foundation
4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite B-500
Washington, DC 2008-2302
Phone: (202) 537-3007
City Council's dismal record and past failures in ill advised public funding of schemes that ought to be privately financed seems in no way to have stopped a whole slew of new projects that will be "good" for the City. Let's see: we need a baseball statdium. Cost: $280 million. A new football stadium and improvements for the rodeo. Cost: $370 million. A new basketball and hockey arena. Cost: $165 million. Then, an airhead council member calls for a $20 million "investment" to attract the Olympics, with the promise of at least $200 million more if we actually succeeded. And, let's not forget heavy rail. No matter how many wooden stakes are driven into the heart of this monstrosity, it continues to raise its billion dollar head again and again.
Now, our fine mayor has said that the tax limitation proposal might cost the city as much as $100 million in additional interest costs were the proposal to pass. Even though such a statement is not supported by the experience of other states that have passed such laws, let's take it at face value and see what happens. The taxpayer STILL comes out ahead!!! If it costs a measly $100 million to prevent the wasteful expenditures of perhaps billions, then it sounds like a good deal to me.
The heart heart of the entire argument, according to politicians and business leaders, is that Houston cannot be a "world class" city without major league baseball, football, and basketball. How did they arrive at this amazing conclusion? Is New York world class because of its history, Wall Street, theatre, and ethnic diversity, or because it has a couple of sports teams? Will Nashville have any more "status" now that they've paid a pirates ransom for the Houston Oilers? Does business really care about sports teams in making relocation decisions?
Of course, the other argument being bandied about is that pro sports create a major economic impact for the area. But, the only impact I can see is that they will take money out of the area, and in large chunks, through players salaries and payments to owners, while creating only a handful of part time, poorly paid concession jobs. 250 million dollars could provide $100,000 in working capital to 2,500 new businesses in Houston, with a return that would far exceed that from pro sports.
We're also told that only "painless" taxes will be used to finance the new facilities. This is perhaps the biggest sham of all. 180 in tax dollars is 180 million in tax dollars, no matter how one chooeses to cover it up. Higher hotel and rent car taxes will reduce convention business. Why should baseball get a sweetheart deal of having all its sales tax revenues refunded when all other businesses must pay their share?
This is a BAD idea. Vote NO on the stadium referenedum.
After repeated disconnects, I called SWB out on five separate occassions to check the status of my phone line. After duly connecting an instrument that looked like it had been through World War II, and which can apparently measure current and voltage to the nearest 10 units, the technician pronounces the phone line "OK". What about the noise, I ask? Nothing wrong with the phone line he says.
This is baloney. The phone lines in my neighborhood have been in place for more than 50 years. The static is audible, and my overall modem throughput is poor on all but the best of days... that is when I am not being arbitrarily disconnected.
So, please com on new service providers. Offer me a reliable, clean, and fast way to communicate with my modem. I'll gladly pay.
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