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March 25, 2014

Great coverage of crack crimes and punishments via Al Jazeera America

I am pleased (and a bit overwhelmed) by this huge new series of stories, infographics, pictures, personal stories concerning crack crimes and punishment put together by Al Jazeera America.  Here are links to just some parts of the series:

Waiting on a fix: Legal legacy of the crack epidemic: In the 1980s, the US went to war on crack. Thirty years on, judiciary is still hooked on unfair and unequal sentencing

Documenting the ravages of the 1980s crack epidemic: Renowned documentary photographer Eugene Richards recorded the brutal realities facing communities affected by crack

'Life without parole is a walking death': Andre Badley, imprisoned in 1997 for dealing crack, could spend his life behind bars while bigger dealers go free.

A rush to judgment: In 1986, lawmakers wrote new mandatory crack cocaine penalties in a few short days, using the advice of a perjurer.

March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Permalink


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| Al Gore’s weird explanation for taking $100-million from climate change villains | Kelly McParland | National Post, 1/29/13

“It’s climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the networks here,” he said.
Al Jazeera was launched with financing by the emir of Qatar, an oil-rich state on the Persian Gulf run by an all-powerful hereditary royal family
that gets its fortune from oil and gas. …
according to no less a source than Al Gore, former U.S. vice-president, the oil industry is responsible for much of the greenhouse gas emissions
that he says are at the heart of climate change.
----- ----- ------
“a network many Americans feel is biased towards some of the country’s fiercest enemies.”

“The very basis of Gore’s message is the danger of a world that continues to consume fossil fuels with unbridled abandon
while ignoring the damage being done; now he’s selling to a country run by an absolute monarchy bloated by profits from its vast oil and natural gas holdings.
According to Britain’s The Independent, Qatar has the largest per capita carbon footprint in the world.” -- K. McParland,
National Post, 1/8/13

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 25, 2014 11:32:24 AM

I think you're trying to poison the well, and not even doing that very well.

Yes, al Jazeera is controlled by the Qatari ruling class.

Every news outlet is biased. But pointing that out doesn't make you a savant, merely a boor. And also a bore.

Posted by: Boffin | Mar 25, 2014 2:49:51 PM

Don't fear facts, "Boffin". If you find this exposition of the source partly irrelevant, you may be right.

You should have no interest in Gore's glaring hypocrisy,
so long as you are a Machiavellian at heart.

You should likewise harbour no concern of possible anti-Semitic,
anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-Israeli, or anti-American slanting by Al Jazeera.

As long as they're progressive, than they're no more peculiar or biased than any
other news outlet.

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 25, 2014 9:55:37 PM

Adamakis --

With all respect, your error is in assuming that Boffin would view "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic" as derogatory.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 2:42:20 AM

There ya go, throw in an ad hominem to go with it. You big-government liberals are all the same, jumping on the attack as soon as your pride is wounded.

I don't particularly have any love for Al Gore, or Al Thani for that matter. But that doesn't change the value of the linked articles, which have to stand on their own merits.

Posted by: Boffin | Mar 26, 2014 11:15:08 AM

| AIPAC: American watchdog or Israel's attack-dog? |
The Lobby still has the capacity to get its way with the Obama administration
03 Mar 2014 |
Marwan Bishara | Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera.

• Palestinian journalists decry intimidation
• Israel army recruits Palestinian Christians
{ www.aljazeera.com/.../aipac-american-watchdog-israeli--2014 }

Ah, those Jews who control the government.
[Don’t forget those Muslims who convert to Christianity and deserve a torturous death.]

Thank you, Al Jazeera “America”, for discovering them.
Your ideological ancestors first uncovered the “Protocols of Zion”, and
now you have done your part. Bishm'allah!

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 26, 2014 11:53:11 AM

As to the articles.... The whole thing is a little too artsy-fartsy modern journalism for my taste, without much in the way of facts or useful narrative to explain that era of history. My own view of the era came from living in Venice Beach, during the war between the VSLC and V13 for crack territory. The local joke was that the best use of funds would be to pay for target practice for the gangsters -- all the shootings of civilians were accidental. And it was common knowledge that the LAPD were corrupt and in cahoots with the gangs, stuff that came out later in the Rampart scandal.

In my opinion the "crack epidemic" was when lots of people learned there was a lot of money to be gotten from drugs. Not just the gangs --local and international--but everyone else too. Police, prosecutors, jailers, politicians, social workers, rehab centers, writers, lurid documentary film-makers, public policy consultants, pundits, security companies, and on and on. All making their living from illegal cocaine.

It's interesting to note that there was little to show in actual statistics. Using the maxim that dead bodies are the only trustworthy statistic, we can see that there was little increase in overdose deaths during the "peak" of the "epidemic" in the late 90s. (The increase came later with hillbilly heroin.) And the "crack baby" scare turned out to be nonsense too. The whole business was a racket, with lots of middle and upper class folks addicted -- to the money it generated.

Posted by: Boffin | Mar 26, 2014 12:00:36 PM

| Ryan Dearnaley, 27, of Fabius, was killed on I-690 east by a driver police later said was high on heroin. |
Dearnaley had recently started taking Thomas, his 5-year-old son, to ice hockey practice.
That driver, Daniel Wall, , high on heroin, swerved into oncoming traffic and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. (Jeff Stein | [email protected], 12/2/13)

|Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Heroin and prescription painkiller abuse has reached epidemic levels according to local police, leading to a surge in overdoses. |
There were more than 20 heroin overdose deaths in Onondaga County in 2013, up from just two deaths in 2010. (www.localsyr.com, 3/20/14)

|One-car crash off Interstate 481 in Clay caused by Fulton man on heroin, police say| The witness then observed the car swerving back across both lanes
and into the woods off of the highway. (Julie McMahon | www.syracuse.com, 3/26/14)‎

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 26, 2014 4:35:36 PM

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