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Photograph of the Vigil for the 40 Year Anniversary of America’s War on Drugs
|| 6/17/2011 || 10:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I setup the sound system for a somber vigil outside of the White House. Forty years ago today President Nixon declared a War on Drugs at a press conference and since then the United States has wasted trillions of dollars on an unwinnable war against the personal freedoms of American citizens. As you can read below, Nixon did not explicitly use the term “War on Drugs” at that press conference but instead used terminology that references combat. I can’t help but wonder, how much longer until this war is over?

Richard Nixon speaking….

Ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to summarize for you the meeting that I have just had with the bipartisan leaders which began at 8 o’clock and was completed 2 hours later.

I began the meeting by making this statement, which I think needs to be made to the Nation:

America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.

I have asked the Congress to provide the legislative authority and the funds to fuel this kind of an offensive. This will be a worldwide offensive dealing with the problems of sources of supply, as well as Americans who may be stationed abroad, wherever they are in the world. It will be government wide, pulling together the nine different fragmented areas within the government in which this problem is now being handled, and it will be nationwide in terms of a new educational program that we trust will result from the discussions that we have had.

With regard to this offensive, it is necessary first to have a new organization, and the new organization will be within the White House. Dr. Jaffe, who will be one of the briefers here today, will be the man directly responsible. He will report directly to me, and he will have the responsibility to take all of the Government agencies, nine, that deal with the problems of rehabilitation, in which his primary responsibilities will be research and education, and see that they work not at cross-purposes, but work together in dealing with the problem.

If we are going to have a successful offensive, we need more money. Consequently, I am asking the Congress for $155 million in new funds, which will bring the total amount this year in the budget for drug abuse, both in enforcement and treatment, to over $350 million.

As far as the new money is concerned, incidentally, I have made it clear to the leaders that if this is not enough, if more can be used, if Dr. Jaffe, after studying this problem, finds that we can use more, more will be provided. In order to defeat this enemy which is causing such great concern, and correctly so, to so many American families, money will be provided to the extent that it is necessary and to the extent that it will be useful.

Finally, in order for this program to be effective, it is necessary that it be conducted on a basis in which the American people all join in it. That is why the meeting was bipartisan; bipartisan because we needed the support of the Congress, but bipartisan because we needed the leadership of the Members of the Congress in this field.

Fundamentally, it is essential for the American people to be alerted to this danger, to recognize that it is a danger that will not pass with the passing of the war in Vietnam which has brought to our attention the fact that a number of young Americans have become addicts as they serve abroad, whether in Vietnam, or Europe, or other places. Because the problem existed before we became involved in Vietnam; it will continue to exist afterwards. That is why this offensive deals with the problem there, in Europe, but will then go on to deal with the problem throughout America.

One final word with regard to Presidential responsibility in this respect. I very much hesitate always to bring some new responsibility into the White House, because there are so many here, and I believe in delegating those responsibilities to the departments. But I consider this problem so urgent–I also found that it was scattered so much throughout the Government, with so much conflict, without coordination–that it had to be brought into the White House.

Consequently, I have brought Dr. Jaffe into the White House, directly reporting to me, so that we have not only the responsibility but the authority to see that we wage this offensive effectively and in a coordinated way.

The briefing team will now be ready to answer any questions on the technical details of the program.

Citation: Richard Nixon: “Remarks About an Intensified Program for Drug Abuse Prevention and Control.,” June 17, 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=3047

Photographs from the top of Pike’s Peak
|| 6/9/2011 || 11:14 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today my step-father & I decided to play tourists and take the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway up to the top of Pike’s Peak. I’m slightly ashamed to say that this was my first time to the summit of a 14er in Colorado. I’ve been up a few high-13ers, but never a 14er, until today (and by way of a train instead of a trail!).

From the top I could see distant forest fires that were burning to the west as well as the entire expanse of Colorado Springs to the east. I can see why the earlier explorers found this mountain to be of such military importance- you can see for miles in all directions. After walking around the summit, we went inside the welcome center and I bought some of their fresh donuts for the slow ride back down the mountain.

Photograph from the top of Pike's Peak

Photograph from the top of Pike's Peak

Photograph from the top of Pike's Peak

Photographs of Backpacking in the San Isabel National Forest
|| 6/7/2011 || 11:04 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

One of my goals for the trip to Colorado was to return to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. After some cursory planning, my step-father & I decided to spend three days in the backcountry near Buena Vista, Colorado. The ultimate destination was Kroenke Lake, which is situated at the base of the continental divide in the San Isabel National Forest. The plan was to hike as far as possible the first day, setup camp for the night, the following day hike to Kroenke Lake, and the final day hike back to the trailhead. While we were expecting there to be some snow still on the ground (it’s June after all), we were not expecting to hit dense snowpack within the first mile of hiking toward our destination. We ultimately pitched our tent on a snow bank that was nearest to dry land about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Earlier this year I purchased snowshoes and by the end of the trip I sincerely wished that I had brought them! All in all, I love backpacking in this part of Colorado! My next goal for this area to is to climb one of the Collegiate Peaks.

Photograph of Mount Princeton as seen from Buena Vista, Colorado
View of Mount Princeton from Buena Vista, Colorado.

Photographs of Backpacking in the San Isabel National Forest

Photographs of Backpacking in the San Isabel National Forest

Photographs of Backpacking in the San Isabel National Forest


Photographs of Rock Climbing in Pike National Forest
|| 6/4/2011 || 11:39 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I’m not a big into rock climbing, but my mom really wanted to take me to one of her favorite climbs “Madacat” in Pike National Forest. I used borrowed climbing shoes, which were slightly too small, and while I didn’t fall once while climbing, my feet were in severe pain by the end of the day.

Photographs of Rock Climbing in Pike National Forest

Photographs of Rock Climbing in Pike National Forest


Photograph of the Aftermath of the Haymen Fire in Pike National Forest
|| || 6:38 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today we are going rock climbing at a place my mom & step father regularly climb at. On the way to the site I snapped this photograph of the burnt remains of Colorado’s largest fire, the 2002 Haymen Fire.

Photograph of the Aftermath of the Haymen Fire in Pike National Forest

The Vacuum Cleaner Yard
|| 6/2/2011 || 1:03 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Spotted on Monaco Parkway in Denver, Colorado. Sucks there was no sidewalk.

Off to Colorado –> It’s All Good
|| 6/1/2011 || 12:45 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I’m heading to Colorado for the next 10 days. I took this grainy photo on the pilot’s luggage while I was waiting on the tarmac to enter the plane: “It’s All Good”

Grainy photograph of a bumper sticker on a briefcase that says It's All Good in a design like the Colorado license plate

The Broadleaf Batavian Escarole Blooms
|| 5/30/2011 || 4:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

While this broadleaf escarole was mostly devoured by aphids earlier this Spring, it survived long enough to bloom. The flowers look nearly identical to chicory.

Poor Cucumber Flower
|| 5/28/2011 || 3:52 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I want to take this cucumber plant outside and put it into the ground, but all of the other cucumber seedlings I germinated this year have been killed by birds, mammals, and insects…. Poor cucumber flower, you will get pollinated soon enough.


[FOUND MAP] 50+ Yard Sales in Adams Morgan
|| 5/25/2011 || 4:10 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I found this map posted inside a bus stop in Adams Morgan last week.

The Aphid Invasion of the Escarole
|| 5/22/2011 || 9:14 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

For the last month my broadleaf escarole plant (an Endive, or type of Chicory) on my balcony has been invaded by tiny insects. Mostly aphids, I believe. I opted to not use any pesticides or neem oil to remove the infestation simply to see what damage such pests can do to the quasi-everlasting plant.

The Aphid Invasion of the Escarole

The Aphid Invasion of the Escarole

The Aphid Invasion of the Escarole

The Aphid Invasion of the Escarole

Photographs of Pink Green Bean Flowers, Basil, and Smokey Bronze Fennel
|| 5/14/2011 || 10:23 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Tonight I took some more photographs of the “VIP” (very important plants) that I’m growing in my bedroom. I look forward to planting these outdoors later this month.

Close-up Photograph of the pink Green Bean Flower
Close-up Photograph of the pink Green Bean Flower


Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”
|| 5/12/2011 || 10:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I went to Capitol Hill to attend “the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability” hearing dressed in colonial attire. You can see me in the screen shot from the start of the 2nd Panel:

Screen Grab from YouTube showing DC Colonist

Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown to testify to Oversight Hearing on D.C. Budget

WASHINGTON- The House Committee on Oversight and Government D.C. subcommittee will host the top two at-large elected officials in the District on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown will testify at a hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., has called the hearing to examine the fiscal sustainability of D.C. spending. In 1995 the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act established a five member “Control Board” to oversee financial matters. The Control Board was disbanded in 2001 when District had achieved four consecutive balanced budgets and met other criteria. There are seven separate “triggers” which would automatically revive the Control Board.

In addition to the two elected officials, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi will testify on a separate panel. Full witness list and hearing information can be found below. Testimony will be posted as it becomes available at http://oversight.house.gov/

WHAT: The District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability

WHO: Subcommittee on Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives, Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

WHEN/WHERE: 8:45 a.m. on Thursday May 12th in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building


Panel I

• The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia

• The Honorable Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council

Panel II

• Dr. Natwar Gandhi,Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia

• Mr. Jim Dinegar, CEO, DC Board of Trade

• Mr. Matt Fabian, Managing Director, Municipal Market Advisors

• Dr. Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution; former Chair of the Control Board

Twitpic from inside the hearing

Below are three YouTube videos of the hearing followed by photographs I took at the end of first panel.


Blooming Pink Chives & the Air Conditioner
|| 5/9/2011 || 10:34 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Blooming Pink Chives and the Air Conditioner - close up and far away

I’ve become a big fan of the perennial pink chives (Allium schoenoprasum) that I started growing a few years ago. I’m going to save these flowers to harvest their seed for next year’s garden.

Related Gardening Entries:


Safe Access DC’s Protest at the Department of Justice
|| 5/2/2011 || 10:12 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I attended the Americans for Safe Access demonstration at the Department of Justice Building in downtown Washington, DC.

Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice

Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice

Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice

This was written by Steph Sherer:

Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011. Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.

After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack.

Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs. Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs. Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference!

Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country. Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country. Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland. To find out what is going on in your area, email action@safeaccessnow.org, or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?

Special Patients’ Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).

It’s thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.

I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients’ rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.

The Empty Trashcan Rat Trap
|| 5/1/2011 || 2:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of a gnawed hole in my trashcan

One night I was in my backyard and I heard the sound of a rat stuck inside one of the empty trashcans. Every few moments the poor rat would try to jump out of the trashcan, but it couldn’t grasp the small hole at the top of the trashcan, and would land back at the bottom of the trashcan. By morning it would die of exhaustion and/or starvation.

For a moment I thought this was the ultimate rat trap, but a week later I was saddened to see a different rat jump out of the can after some trash had been placed inside of it. The trap only worked if the trashcan was empty. To my dismay, a few nights later I a saw an even larger rat jump out of the empty trashcan and I realized that some type of cage would be needed to hold the rat within the trap.

Photograph of a gnawed hole in my trashcan with the chicken wire cage

Using some extra chicken wire and a little bit of string, I’ve caught 3 rats using this trap. The trick is to keep the trash can empty of waste (decoy!) and leave the caging on top of the trashcan near the hole. If I hear a rat inside the bin, I quickly put the cage on and tie it down. Oh, rats!

Water droplets on green bean leaves
|| 4/29/2011 || 1:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of water droplets on my green bean plant

Photograph of water droplets on my green bean plant

Some of the plants for this year’s garden I’ve been growing in my bedroom. I’ve dubbed these plants the VIPs, which stands for “Very Important Plants.” The close-up photographs above show how water droplets on the leaves beautifully reflect light. If you look closely, you can see the coil of the compact fluorescent light bulb reflected in the droplet.

Photographs of a Ladybug in the garden
|| 4/25/2011 || 12:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of a Lady Bug in the garden

Photograph of a Lady Bug in the garden

Photograph of a Lady Bug in the garden

I spotted this little ladybug crawling through the Rose of Sharon bush the other day. I wish there were more ladybugs so they’d eat all the aphids I know will be coming to the garden later this year.

Photographs of pink chive buds
|| 4/22/2011 || 11:54 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of pink chive buds in my backyard

Photograph of pink chive buds in my backyard

About three years ago I planted these chives and every year since I’ve been either harvesting these pink chive buds & adding them to salads (they taste like an onion) or I’ve let them get pollinated, then wait a couple weeks, and harvested their tiny black seeds in order to grow more chives. I’ve read that they’ve been used throughout history as a means to naturally prevent bugs from eating different plants in the garden. In practice, however, I haven’t seem chives be very effective combating the aphids.

You know it’s spring when daffodils begin to bloom
|| 4/12/2011 || 11:47 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of daffodils in my backyard

Photograph of daffodils in my backyard

These daffodils were planted a long time ago and I’m thankful they bloom every spring :-)

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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