Monday, March 31, 2003


Today I’m thinking of Vienna, wishing I could be there next week when the UN and the marijuana activists start to arrive. I thought I might get there. I could imagine running into friends I made in Merida at the Out of the Shadows conference. I wish I could have let a balloon full of marijuana seeds go into the sky while standing on a bridge in Austria with hundreds of people of like mind. It was not to be.

I am thinking however of sending one off here in lovely downtown Noho at the same time, in solidarity. I should clean out that drawer full of seeds anyway. It’s not like I’ll probably get around to growing any, keeping them is just an old habit and in today’s WOD climate they would try to get me for production if I ever got busted. Now if I can just find an open-minded balloon vendor….

One little way to fight the WOD. I like the idea of all these balloons going out into the countryside and propagating. Marijuana is a weed after all – I remember when they called it that- SOME of those seeds have got to take. Wouldn’t it be fun to be hiking in the woods some day and finding a clearing with a plant that arrived by balloon? Maybe I’ll try to organize a little balloon launch here in WMA. If I could just find those SSDP kids at UMASS it could turn into at least a small statement.

It’s funny. I’m not much of a fighter. It’s hard to piss me off but I’m pissed now. I am sick of wars. I would like to stop all of them but I realized a long time ago, you can’t help everyone; you really can’t fight legions alone, so you pick your battles and I choose the War on Drugs. Despite the corporate media obsession with Iraq, the WOD is doing more harm and has been inflicting this damage for a lot longer. Having chosen my battlefield, I’m picking up the sword and becoming a warrior against the WOD.

I leave you with this link to the truth:

The Narco News Bulletin

peace unites,

LA Stone


I went and read your post. I knew before I got to the last half that you were out in the demonstration. I knew you wouldn't be able to resist a little marching and shouting. Your photog friend is right, though. Demonstrations have become "trendy". God help us; they go and carry their sign (stop war, stop abortion, stop drug dealers- the message doesn't matter), then they go home to their big houses and have Consuelo serve dinner and think they have done a great service. They have no commitment; no heart. They want to stop a war, are they ready to go to Baghdad and help them rebuild? They want to stop abortion, but do they spend any free time in the hospitals rocking the unwanted Aids and crack babies?

I know why we have wars and Harry hates it when I say this, but, the truth is there is just too much testosterone in the world. Every war is a pissing contest. "Mine is bigger than yours and I can piss farther than you." Don't get me wrong, with young men dying every day and knowing one of them could be my son, I take war very seriously. This particular war would never have happened had we gone to Baghdad during the Gulf War and unseated this monster then. It would have been more justifyable then since they had commited an act of aggression against Kuwait. I think we were begged to come back and do this by people in his regime. In the end, I think it will be a better country for the Iraqi people, if we can keep France's fingers out of there. But, if we are going to police the world, why are we not marching into China where people are also being tortured and repressed? Instead of sanctions, we give them trade agreements and take manufacturing completely out of this country. Now our money funds the horrors being committed on these people. Then, we have North Korea to think about. The list could go on and on.

Bottom line, hate is the driving force for so many. There will never be peace in the world because hate is so prevelant. Think about it; Americans can't even get along with each other. There are those of one color who hate those of another, different religions at odds,etc., etc. Hussien and the Kurds, Israel and Palestine, Bosnians and Serbs........

We each have to reach out within our realm and make a difference where we can. Those opposed to abortion should start programs or volunteer for existing ones to educate and support high risk girls, at the elementary level, when they still have a chance. Standing in front of a clinic to confront someone who has no other options left is a pretty poor way to make a difference. And you are right, how many of these so called "activists" get out and vote each time the opportunity presents itself? Not just national elections, but local also. REALITY TV--they want to see their face on the evening news but don't really want to be engaged. We could teach them a thing or two about how this is really done, couldn't we?

I am laughing right now, thinking about that high school sit in when we tried to erase your pix on the front page so Daddy wouldn't see it. Remember?

This is getting to be a lonnnnnnggggggg letter, but the last thing ( now that you've got me started) is the drug war. What a joke! The profits are too lucrative, the temptation to accept bribes too great and the ports of entry, too many. In the 50's it was pot, in the 60's and 70's it was heroin, the 80's cocaine and now; pot, cocaine, heroin and all those designer drugs that have hit the street.

The only effective thing to be done here is to move all DEA agents into the roles of educators. They need to go to schools and present evidence of the negative aspects of some of these drugs. With all the money saved, there could be scholarships set up for inner city kids who don't use drugs. Forget about drug dealers (unless they are dealing to children, who should not be using any substance until they are old enough to make an informed decision) and the drug users ( unless they are committing other crimes to support their drug use). Actually, if you make it easy for the drugs to get here and there's no risk for arrest, the price of drugs will drop dramatically and then so will the crime rate. Those recreational users will get bored, some kids won't even bother trying it after it is legal and so drug use will drop also. Keep feeding the DEA money into scholarships and social programs and the country will be much better off.

Of course, this will never happen since too many people both in and out of government are getting rich off the drug trade. And I think there are those who believe they can control minorities with drugs and they don't want this little war to end either.

Kind of depressing, isn't it? Well, I do what I can to stay positive. I can't change the world, and there would be too many people who didn't agree with my vision to maitain lasting peace. You can't force your ideals down other people's throats. What you can do is help an old lady get something from the top self in the store, smile at the young mother in front of you with the screamming kids. Help a kid get the chain back on his bike. Give someone a hug that looks like they really need it. It's the little things we do as we go through life that sometimes has the most impact.

Love and Peace,


Sunday, March 30, 2003


I know everyone's enamoured with Raed these days but I'm finding Fisk's accounts much more compelling.

peace unites,

LA Stone


The piece of metal is only a foot high, but the numbers on it hold the clue to the latest atrocity in Baghdad. At least 62 civilians had died by yesterday afternoon, and the coding on that hunk of metal contains the identity of the culprit. The Americans and British were doing their best yesterday to suggest that an Iraqi anti-aircraft missile destroyed those dozens of lives, adding that they were "still investigating" the carnage. But the coding is in Western style, not in Arabic. And many of the survivors heard the plane.

In the Al-Noor hospital yesterday morning, there were appalling scenes of pain and suffering.


No problem letting them into the country if they're willing to become pawns in the General's war games.

peace unites,

LA Stone

Pravda.RU Latin Blood in Iraq

Apparently, the propaganda campaign is giving good results. Today, 9% of the US Armed Forces are of Latin origin. According to the Defense Department, the number of Latin Americans in the Army rose 39% between Gulf War I and Gulf War II.

Thanks to the war, thousands of foreigners obtain their US citizenship without going through embarrassing formalities. The US President George W. Bush ordered last year to provide with fast "green cards" (free from the usual five years waiting period) to those foreigners already recruited by the Armed Forces. Since then, 5,441 troopers benefited from this ruling, Jose Gutierrez among them.


The whole world is watching and Bush's *Politics of Power * don't seem to be playing well.

peace unites,

LA Stone

Pravda.RU "Washington Can Win the War But Has Already Lost Its Authority"

"This is the last chance for South America. We have to promote an active alliance with France and Germany against US policies. There is no space for neutrality: It is a matter of principles", says Carrio. But the Argentine politician is not the only voice against the war in Latin America. As anti-war demonstrations fill the streets, almost all the specialists and the largest portion of politicians agree with this view.

Many political leaders and citizens of Latin American countries have expressed their opposition to the US-led war in Iraq, and some warned the war and government support for the war would have serious consequences.


Three million innocent civilians are still refugees. This is what US intervention looks like.

peace unites,

LA Stone

Islamic Republic News Agency ( I R N A )HeadLines News

Kabul, March 30, IRNA -- The spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) Maki Shinohara said here on Sunday that around 12,500 Afghans have been repatriated from Iran and Pakistan since the beginning of 2003.

She added that out of the repatriated Afghans, 2,000 left Iran and
Pakistan in March 2003.

Over three million Afghan refugees are still living in the two
said countries, she noted.


They called that war, Operation Enduring Freedom. It seems to me that the only Afghanis that enjoy that are Osama and his troops. They're still free to wreak terror on the western world.

peace unites,

LA Stone

Did Osama Bin Laden Win ?


Britain and America have now allowed bin Laden to goad them to a conflict that has divided the West more fiercely than the Soviet Union ever did during the Cold War. Bin Laden has split Europe. He has reawakened “ugly American” diplomacy and reopened wounds between the New World and the Old. He has split Europe from America. He has split Russia from America. He has divided America within itself. He has made Iraq’s old friend, Jacques Chirac, a domestic hero unparalleled since de Gaulle.

Bin Laden has left Nato inert as an alliance supposedly under threat. He has destroyed, possibly for ever, the ambition of a common European Union foreign and defence policy. He has also destroyed Tony Blair’s dream of one day leading it. He induced the British to treat the UN first as a validator of war, then as a disposable comfort blanket.


Why do you have to go to the Pakistani news to get this story? We still have troops here and two US soldiers died and not a word in the American press. They're too busy putting the Bush spin on Iraq.

peace unites,
LA Stone

9 Afghan Militiamen Feared Killed In Fresh Attacks


Reports reaching here from across the border disclosed on Saturday that nine including two US troops are feared dead in sudden attacks on them by unidentified assailants According to reports from Paktika and Paktia , attacks on patrolling parties of the US-led allied troops in different parts of the Afghan areas linking to Pakistani borders at North Waziriztan, have resulted into the killing of nine soldiers.


Saturday, March 29, 2003

Here's another issue that's likely to get lost in the war on everything else. While they're bombing the bejesus out of the planet, they are also sneaking in a lot of environmentally unfriendly legislation and nullifying previously enacted protections. When you're emailing your legislators, you might want to mention this.

LA Stone

Editorial in Fall River Herald.

OUR VIEW -- Don’t destroy arctic refuge

Herald News Staff March 14, 2003

The Republican-controlled Senate is getting ever closer to gaining the needed votes to push through a presidential proposal to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Recent reports show that Republicans have obtained 48 votes in favor of drilling one of the most pristine and untouched areas of the country. GOP Senate leaders only need to find two more votes to get the
controversial measure passed and forwarded to the House of Representatives.

While it is true that the massive refuge has many untapped areas of natural gas reserves, it would be a huge mistake to drill into the last frontier.



There was an anti-war demonstration in my town yesterday. I had a perfect view from my second floor office window. There were at least 400 people and fully half of them took over the major intersection downtown. Some of them lay down on the pavement in a *die-in* and the rest formed a circle to protect them from the oncoming law enforcement. In the end 42 police officers arrived to arrest about 30 people, including two elderly women in wheelchairs. The remaining protesters chanted from the four street corners.

"Tell me what democracy looks like" rises from one corner to the beat of the Revolutionary Drum Corps.

"This is what democracy looks like" thunders back from the other three.

The crowd was deliciously mixed. The American Friends crowd has been demonstrating on that corner every Saturday since the US imposed sanctions on Iraq so many years ago. The college kids were also to be expected but the number of high school and even middle school kids was more suprising. The crowd swelled however with those who would not usually be there. Families with young children and old activists from the 60s who have, over the years, become respected business owners downtown. The latter poured out of the adjoining establishments, along with their employees, to reinforce the numbers. I met my own boss on the corner. He gave me a NO WAR pin someone had just handed to him.

We all stood there shivering in an increasingly chill wind for another 20 minutes in this moment of spontaneous consensus. Those who had not planned to be there stood mostly silent, looking as bemused as I felt, pondering our own role if this is indeed what democracy looks like, now.

For myself, I found it heartening to see the positive energy of the crowd and the planning of the organizers. It was a non-violent action in the name of peace. There was no vandalism and the only blood was of the fake sort that the *dead* had painted on their tshirts. I was not the only one in the 60s contingent who remarked on how the scene evoked memories of our own demonstrations.

However, as my photographer friend remarked, "It's the cool thing to do right now". He's been covering a lot of the protests and notes they are growing. The question in my mind is whether that energy will translate to the ballot box. It's clear they are willing to march, but are they willing to vote? Will they take the time to get politically involved outside of what one has to admit is at least partly a fun social event? I hope so because there are a lot more wars going on right now than just Iraq.

Which brings me to homeland insecurity. I don't feel that safe these days myself. There are too many wars being waged in the name of the US right now. The active conflict aside, we have the war on terrorism that doesn't appear to be over yet and although you see virtually no press on the subject, we aren't quite done in Afghanistan either. Last I heard the women are back under the burka, the countryside is in cinders with local warlords ramgaging through the ashes and opium production is at an all time high.
Meanwhile TIA and the Patriot Act are dismantling our civil liberites in the name of homeland security.

Then there's the War on Drugs being waged against our own citizens and indigenous people in drug producing countries. Our country imprisons more people for non-violent drug offenses than all the countries of Europe do altogether. We conduct our eradication programs, not on processing labs and high level dealers but against poor farmers trying to scratch a living out of earth that has been rendered practically useless by herbicide bombings. The US provides military aid that is used to violently suppress any dissent by these people who have belonged to this land for long generations.

I have much more to say on this subject but today I leave you with this. The War on Drugs is still ongoing and there are brave warriors in this fight as well. Marco Cappato, the European Minister of Parliment for Italy's Radical Party and member of the Anti-Prohibitionist League will be presenting this appeal to the UN when they convene in Vienna in April. They will be taking up the issue of international anti-drug conventions reform. It takes about a minute to read the appeal and add your name to the list.

There is an embarrassing lack of names from the USA. If you are a marijuana consumer or social activist, this will be an important and underreported moment. Please visit the site at the link and pass it on. This is something to do today, right now, to help stop the harm inflicted by this war.

This is an opportunity to raise our voices in unison against the War on Drugs.

peace unites,

LA Stone