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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



Freeing a Mourning Dove from a glass vase
|| 5/18/2011 || 9:10 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


source

This morning when I went to my backyard I noticed the glass vase moving around on the ground. Upon seeing that it was actually a Mourning Dove stuck in a glass vase, I quickly ran upstairs and got my camera so I could film my attempt at freeing the stuck bird….



Emancipation Day by Mrs. Mary E. Kail
|| 4/16/2010 || 9:28 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Below is a poem I found on Chronicling America last week and I’ll be reciting this poem later today at the 148th annual celebration of Emancipation Day.


Emancipation Day by Mrs. Mary E. Kail

EMANCIPATION DAY BY MRS. MARY E. KAIL

Originally read by Milton Holland at the Emancipation Banquet, Washington, DC April 13th, 1883

Sound aloud the trump of freedom,
Let the answering echo ring,
While with liberty commanding,
We our heartfelt tribute bring;
As we gather round Columbia,
Let us scatter on the way
Flowers of love and flowers of trusting,
For Emancipation Day.
Let us pray for benedictions
While we bow in reverence low
At the shrine of noble heroes
Bravely charging on the foe.
Gladly we hear our welcome,
To this feast of Liberty.

Lo, the car of progress moving,
Over all Columbia’s land;
Gifted men are proudly coming
And we take them by the hand–
Men of different race and color,
Yet our peers in soul and brain,
And their names shall soon be sculptured
On the towering dome of fame.

Float aloft the stars of glory,
For we love to tell the story
That is written on the pages
Of Columbia’s record true:
How amid the cannon’s rattle,
And the shot and shell of battle,
Chains of living death were broken
By our gallant boys in blue!

Ah! our soldiers never faltered;
Never heeded they the gloom;
Quailed not when the shock of battle
Seemed the eternal knell of doom;
But with comrades pale and bleeding
Only heard Columbia pleading–
“Wipe away from my escutcheon
Every trace of human woe.
Let my rightful sons and daughters
Of whatever race they be,
Hear the clarion voice of heroes,
Making way for liberty.

Let no cloud of dark oppression,
Linger in Columbia’s sky,
Let the joyful shout of freedom
Rise aloft to God on high!”

Days were dark and fierce the struggle–
Can it be the day is lost?
Came from many an anguished mother,
As she reckoned up the cost,
Of the blood and of the treasure,
Given freely without measure,
As the price of liberty.

But amid the desolation,
Spreading o’er our glorious land
Came the news– Emancipation,
Has been reached– the proclamation,
Far above the cannon’s roar
Sounded loud, o’er hill and valley.
Bells were ringing, hearts were singing
As they never sung before.

For the shackles had been broken,
And four millions souls were free,
That ’till then had never tasted
Of the joys of liberty!
And to-day we gladly greet them,
As we gather ’round to meet them,
And to take them by the hand–
Men whose throbbing souls ignited
At the watch-fires freedom lighted.
Freedom’s altar fires, still burning
Flash and sparkle at each turning,
As the car of progress moving,
Rolls them on to nobler fame.



Comments by Thomas Tredwell at the New York Ratifying Convention on July 2nd, 1788
|| 3/22/2010 || 5:33 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Even before the Constitution was ratified astute American citizens knew there were problems with giving Congress tyrannical power over District residents….


“The plan of the federal city, sir, departs from every principle of freedom, as far as the distance of the two polar stars from each other; for, subjecting the inhabitants of that district to the exclusive legislation of Congress, in whose appointment they have no share or vote, is laying a foundation on which may be erected as complete a tyranny as can be found in the Eastern world. Nor do I see how this evil can possibly be prevented, without razing the foundation of this happy place, where men are to live, without labor, upon the fruit of the labors of others; this political hive, where all the drones in the society are to be collected to feed on the honey of the land. How dangerous this city may be, and what its operation on the general liberties of this country, time alone must discover; but I pray God, it may not prove to this western world what the city of Rome, enjoying a similar constitution, did to the eastern.”

[ source ]



Surveillance under Freedom
|| 3/31/2009 || 2:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Last month I did sound for the American Student Medical Association on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. While the group was marching up the hill before the start of the rally, I looked up to the dome of the Capitol and noticed the little surveillance camera below the Statue of Freedom for the first time.


Related Photography Entries:

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Bicycle Freedom! [Vélib’ in DC]
|| 6/3/2008 || 6:33 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

With Washington, DC about to begin the first bicycle sharing program in the United States, I’m posting some videos featuring the Parisian bike sharing service called Vélib’. The names in French is a combination of vélo liberté or vélo libre and in English it means free bicycle or bicycle freedom.

I think these YouTube videos are a fitting follow-up to my new bicycle freedom in Washington, DC :-)


Bikes Belong presents: Velib
Bikes sharing is transforming how cities look at public transit. We went to Paris in November 2007 to see for ourselves what Velib is all about.
[I really like the use of the infographics]




V̩lo Libert̩ РParisian Bike Culture
The author of Copenhagen Cycle Chic rides around Paris with his wife:
“In ten short months the urban landscape of Paris has been transformed by the Vélib’ bike share programme.” See Blog Entry




Bicycle Freedom
TV News Footage from Canadian Global Television Network:
The city of Paris rolled out a citywide bicycle program involving 10,600 bikes in a bid to cut gridlock and give citizens a greener way to get around town. The program, named Vélib’ a blend of vélo (bike) and liberté allows users to swipe their credit card and take and return a bike from one of 750 stations in the city.

“In the morning, you can go to work in the tram and come home by bike; it depends on the weather, it depends on your mood and on your friends,” said Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe Sunday.

Delanoe aims to cut car traffic in the city by 40 per cent by 2020.




Velib’
[en Français]Voici un reportage sur Vélib’, le nouveau service public offert par la mairie de Paris que j’ai réalisé pour le magazine Webcarnews. Retrouvez le sujet complet sur www.webcarnews.com
Here is a report on Vélib, the new public service offered by the mayor of Paris that I produced for the magazine Webcarnews.
Find the subject comprehensive www.webcarnews.com



I post more when I find them….

Related Bicycling Entries:



Welcome Robots and Strangers
|| 3/14/2008 || 1:48 pm || Comments Off on Welcome Robots and Strangers || ||

Below is the text of an e-mail I sent out today:

One year ago today my ugly mug was on the front page of the Washington Post’s style section in David Montgomery’s article “Here Be Dragons.” To celebrate the one year anniversary of this 15 minutes of fame I did something I’ve been waiting a VERY long time to do– I removed the Robots Exclusion Protocols from my website. This means that in a few weeks you will be able to find the contents of my website with a simple search string from your favorite search engine.

Before 12:01am today, you could only search the contents of my website on my website. By preventing my website from being crawled by spiders (or robots as they are technically called) I also prevented anyone [strangers] from freely accessing the hundreds of maps that I’ve made over the last 4 years. Thus the paradox of making maps without being able to be found is now over, and in that respect I am liberating myself from the self-censorship experiment that I’ve been conducting these last few years.

Frankly, dear reader, its a very nice feeling. I am unaware of any website that has opened itself up to the robots with over a 1,000 different pages to index at once. I sincerely wonder what search words will bring people to my website from this day forward. Currently postmodern art is my number one search string (I am currently listed at #5)– and that was only possible because of the article that was published one year ago today. So with that said, today marks the beginning of a new phase in my life, and maybe yours– if you search for the right words.





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  • thank you,
    come again!