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MAPTalk-Digest Sunday, December 18 2005 Volume 05 : Number 151

001 Yes; violate my rights- Poll
    From: "D.H. Michon" <>
002 Hugh Downs interview
    From: Allan Erickson <>


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Subj: 001 Yes; violate my rights- Poll
From: "D.H. Michon" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 13:29:34 -0600

A CNN Poll running now, which asks the question:
"Should the government have been given the authority to spy on Americans 
without warrants after the 9/11attacks?" -
 has currently drawn 10134 votes, or 31% of the total votes cast, for "Yes."
No wonder we've lived under the Drug War and incarceration of America for so 
long - we've got the government they deserve.
Dave 

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Subj: 002 Hugh Downs interview
From: Allan Erickson <>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 13:43:38 -0800

 From "Advocates for Self-Government":
http://www.theadvocates.org/downs-interview.html

- -snip-

BW: What would you say is the greatest threat to liberty in America 
today?

HD: Voter apathy. Complacency. The fact that an almost rogue 
administration can make the inroads in our liberty like this one has 
done, with things like the Patriot Act. That's extremely alarming to 
me. And I'm alarmed that my industry -- mass media -- isn't doing its 
job, and alerting people to what really is going on. And that's, to my 
mind, the biggest threat to liberties in our country.

BW: One of my questions was going to be: Do you think the media is 
doing a good job alerting us to the dangers? And you've already 
answered that. Why aren't they? Why isn't the media doing a better job 
of alerting us about the dangers of the Patriot Act, and the lies 
involving the war in Iraq, and the rise of religious fundamentalism?

HD: There is no simple answer to that; there are several things. One is 
journalistic fashion. One is ratings and commercial aspects of [media]. 
Another is the ownership of media -- enormous conglomerates who are 
pretty set in what they want said and what they want the public to 
hear. All these factors, I think, conspire to a certain extent in 
making journalism less than it has been. And less than it ought to be.

BW: In one of your radio commentaries, you spoke out against the War on 
Drugs and explicitly called for the decriminalization of marijuana. Why 
did you come to that conclusion? And what kind of response did you get 
to that commentary?

HD: First of all, I am against smoking marijuana, because I don't think 
anybody ought to draw leaf smoke into their lungs. That's bad. And 
marijuana smoking might be almost as bad as regular cigarette smoking. 
So I'm against it.

  But I'm always amused at the drug warriors who, for some reason, have 
gotten mired in something very ancillary that got started in 1935, when 
[Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry Anslinger] gave enough 
cannabis to a dog to kill it, and tried to prove a point that way.

  And [some] people say, "Well, it's a gateway. Eighty percent of hard 
drug users started on marijuana." That's a nonsense statement! A 
hundred percent of hard drug users started on milk. What is the 
connection? It's just not there.

  So I did feel that if we could get [drugs] under the law, it would be 
much better. Imagine a teenage ghetto kid who said, "I don't want to do 
drugs at all, I want to do alcohol." You know, the easiest thing for 
him to find is crack cocaine on any street corner. But where would he 
find a bootlegger? He couldn't. He'd have to go into a liquor store or 
a bar, and they wouldn't serve him. Because those things are under the 
law. As soon as you outlaw it, you lose control of it.

BW: What kind of reaction did you get to that commentary? I seem to 
recall hearing later that you said, "The hammer came down."

HD: Well, yeah. And not from the public so much. A preponderance of the 
public agreed with me, but the network--. That was ABC Radio, and they 
were very concerned about that.

BW: One of the arguments against even talking about decriminalizing 
drugs is that you're condoning their use. If you say, for example, the 
war on marijuana causes more problems than it solves, it's not uncommon 
for the Drug Czar to say, "Ah-hah! You're encouraging kids to smoke 
marijuana!" Did you get any of that reaction?

HD: Yes, I did. I got some. And some from viewers. Although, I repeat, 
it wasn't like the whole public rose up against what I had [to say]. 
There was a lot more sympathy out there than I expected. That didn't 
mean that the powers-that-be weren't upset by it.

- -snip-

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End of MAPTalk-Digest V05 #151
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Mark Greer ()         ___ ___     _ _  _ _
Media Awareness Project              /' _ ` _ `\ /'_`)('_`\
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