Monday, September 29, 2014

Two polls show support for legal marijuana waning in Colorado, nationally

Dear All,

The Citizens in Colorado and nationwide are saying to the world that they have seen enough, have had enough, and are saying “NO” to the lies promoted by the pro-pot advocates as the polls are now showing.
The folks realize that “marijuana legalization is a sour lemon for their communities” and are saying “NO” to marijuana and the:

1.     extreme anti-social and anarchic behaviors and dangerous hallucinating incidents like arguing with imaginary demon's while loitering in front of businesses on downtown sidewalks and threatening unprovoked shoppers with harm,

2.     drawing thousands of dope addicts and homeless from other states to theirs for the sole purpose of abusing drugs while relying on expensive government health and social programs at the huge expense to the taxpayers of their state much less the aggressive pan-handling and begging on the street corners so they can afford to buy their dope,

3.     insidious criminal activities seeping in from Mexican and Latin American Drug Cartels selling their black market marijuana, cocaine, heroin, illegal guns and much more into their communities and targeting their children,

4.      increased drug addiction to marijuana causing increasing drug rehabilitation costs as thousands of more beds are needed at their rehab and mental health facilities to meet the needs of their growing number of drug addicts; including a growing number of children as young as 8 years of age

5.     Increasingly dangerous drugged driving accidents on the streets of their communities and highways,

6.     huge increases of their teens and younger children abusing marijuana at the detriment of their education, their futures, and permanent damage to their developing brains.
Yes, these two recent polls are showing us that the folks of America are now becoming wise to the truth that “marijuana is a very dangerous drug”.

 Ron Kirkish, CDFC/IFBC/CALM

Two polls show support for legal marijuana waning in Colorado, nationally

By Carol McGraw Updated: September 29, 2014 at 5:37 am

It might be characterized as a couple of "I told you so" victories for those who oppose the legalization of marijuana.
Two recent polls show that support of legalized marijuana have waned, and that there is unhappiness in the way regulations are handled by the state.

A Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that about half of Coloradans are not happy with the new marijuana law and how it is administered.
"Although it's a close split overall, opposition comes mainly from women statewide who oppose it 56 percent to 41 percent and additional push back from voters over 55 years of age," Dave Paleologos, director of the Boston-based Suffolk University Political Research Center, noted on the center's website.

"This is offset by younger voters between 18 and 45 who still support it by a 20-point margin."
Numbers show that 49 percent of those polled, do not approve of how the state is managing pot, compared with 42 percent who approve.

Another poll last week, by the Public Religion Research Institute, says national support for legalized marijuana has fallen from 51 percent in 2013 to 44 percent this year.
The drop was concentrated among those who had favored marijuana, but not those who strongly favored legalization.

Opposition increased among those who strongly opposed legal marijuana, according to the Sept. 23 American Values Survey 2014 conducted by PRRI.
Diane Carlson,a founder of Smart Colorado, which campaigned against Amendment 64, says there needs to be more enforcement and also preventive education for kids.

"This has been an incredibly complicated and daunting task for the state," she said.
"And unfortunately certain municipalities moved forward before protections could be put in place."

Colorado started selling recreational marijuana Jan. 1, becoming the first state to do so, although it is illegal at the federal level.
Voters approved the initiative in 2012 by a vote of 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent against.

State voters approved medical marijuana in 2000.
Since then polls have come fast and furious, and they are fickle.

For example, an NBC/Maris poll this summer said 55 percent of adults favor the legal status.
Rachel Gillette, executive director of Colorado NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws), said the plethora of polls should be taken with a grain of salt.

"None of them can be counted on for complete accuracy," she said.
But bottom line, all this polling doesn't change anything.

Andrew Freedman,the governor's director of marijuana coordination, said in an email, "Polls may differ on support for marijuana throughout Colorado.
In the end, there's really only one poll that matters: Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing use and sale of recreational marijuana."

He added, "While the governor and others initially opposed Amendment 64, this is no longer a political issue - Democracy demands carrying out the will of the voters and implementing marijuana legalization as fairly, efficiently, effectively and safely as possible."
Skyler McKinley, deputy director of marijuana coordination, added that it's too early for a definitive evaluation.

"It's not all been successful, but in specific areas we are doing very well."
McKinley said from day one there was a strong regulatory oversight system in place that focused on youth prevention, public safety and public health.

And the state created a comprehensive tax structure that pays for the regulation and education.
One thing is for sure: Sales are puffing along.

Figures released by the state Department of Revenue this month show that recreational pot outsold medical marijuana for the first time in July.
Dispensaries generated $29.7 million in sales versus $28.9 million for medical marijuana, according to Marijuana Business Daily, which projects that Colorado could have a quarter billion dollars in total marijuana sales this year.

"It's a great social experiment," Gillette said. "Reform takes time.
You don't go out of the box perfectly.

We will have lessons to be learned along the way."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

U.S. counterinsurgency operatives deployed to Ukraine

By Maggie Ybarra - The Washington Times - Saturday, September 27, 2014

Soldiers of Ukrainian army ride on a tank in the port city of Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. The Ukrainian president declared a cease-fire Friday to end nearly five months of fighting in the nation's east after his representatives reached a deal with the Russian-backed rebels at peace talks in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

The Pentagon has dispatched eight military personnel to Kiev this week to provide tips to Ukrainian security forces on counterinsurgency and military planning tactics.

Military staff will share with the Ukrainians some of the Pentagon’s planning tactics, techniques and procedures while collecting data on the needs of its security forces, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. Staff arrived in Kiev, the country’s capital, on Thursday and Friday and are beginning to assess the operations of the Ukraine Ministry of Defense, Ms. Lainez told The Washington Times.

The eight military personnel have been split up into two teams, according to Ms. Lainez. One team has been told to assess the security needs of the Ukrainian government and look for ways that the U.S. can supply military equipment to the country, Ms. Lainez said.

“With support from Ukraine and the State Department, the security assessment team will also explore the potential of expanding our current Office of Defense Cooperation in Keiv, to enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities and interoperability,” she said.

President Obama said on Sept. 18 that he planned to have the U.S. military experts would work with Ukraine “to improve its capacity to provide for its own defense and set the stage for longer-term defense cooperation.” That was the same day that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told lawmakers during a joint meeting of Congress that his country was in desperate need of a high-level, non-NATO member security status and lethal weaponry.

“Please understand me, blankets and night vision goggles are also important, but one cannot win the war with blankets,” he told lawmakers.

As for the second team, it has been instructed to examine the country’s medical needs, Ms. Lainez said.

The medical team will look at how the United States can help Ukraine provide near-term medical support to its security forces, she said. In addition, the team will look at long-term capacity building for a wounded-warrior care program, Ms. Lainez said.

Ukraine had previously requested medical assistance from the United States, she said.

Together, the teams “will make recommendations to the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense for follow-on security assistance, which may be required or requested by Ukraine,” she said.

The two military groups are functioning in a different capacity than the long-term defense institution building team that has been visiting Ukraine over the past several months, she said.

The Times reported in July that Pentagon officials were heading to Ukraine to help the country rebuild its military and make recommendations for greater military assistance.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Horrific moment feral gang of baby-faced thugs cornered terrified teenager in laundrette before brutally stabbing him to death


[This tragic story is an admonition revealing what ought to be anticipated as our kids get more involved in marijuana abuse.  It has all the components of what the recent science has been warning us too; low IQ, Anti-Social Behavior….and tragically leading to a tortured murder at the hands of very young boys, who (as NIDA’S Dr. Nora Volkow has warned) have brains whose brakes are incapable of working because of their drug abuse]

Sean 'Shorty' McHugh was hacked to death in a Liverpool launderette

  • Gang of five teenagers as young as 13 attacked him in a 'revenge' fight
  • Ringleader Reece O'Shaugnessy, 19, with IQ of an 11-year-old, jailed for life
  • Four others sent to jail for between six and 12 years
  • Sean's mother says their family has been ripped apart by his death
  • She said: 'The night they killed my son, they might as well killed me too'

 By Martin Robinson - Updated: 16:58 EST, 2 July 2014

This is the moment a gang of baby-faced teenagers stabbed a rival to death in a laundrette in Liverpool.

Footage shows Sean 'Shorty' McHugh running into the shop in Anfield and desperately looking for somewhere to hide.

The gang members run in after him including ringleader Reece O’Shaughnessy who was holding a sword.

The gang proceeded to kick the back door of the shop open where Sean was hiding before he was stabbed to death.

Terrified: Footage shows Sean 'Shorty' McHugh desperately looking for somewhere to hide



CCTV issued by Merseyside Police of Sean McHugh, 19, as he ran into the laundrette to hide



The gang members follow Sean into the laundrette where he tried to hide from the group of teenagers


After the killing, one of the gang members posted on Facebook: ‘RIP Shorty - we always knew ye was a p****’'.

Today five teenagers were jailed for a total of 54 years between them.

Sean McHugh, 19, was chased and murdered by the five knife-wielding youths for straying on to their ‘turf’ to do his girlfriend’s washing at a launderette.

CCTV shows lead up and aftermath of Sean McHugh's death

Chased: Members of the gang follow Sean into the back room where he tried to hide





CCTV shows two of the gang members waiting outside the room where Sean was hiding

The gang, including two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old, then took to social media to boast about their crime.

As Mr McHugh, a bricklayer, lay dying, one commented: ‘Watch if something we done is in the paper tomorrow.

If we get nicked we’re goin to jail anyway hahaha.’

The next morning Keyfer Dykstra, 14, who was on police bail and had flouted a curfew to take part in the attack, posted on his Facebook page: ‘RIP Shorty – we always knew ye was a pussy.’
The gang gather outside the back room where Sean McHugh was stabbed to death in Liverpool




Camera footage showed ringleader O¿Shaughnessy carrying a sword stick (circled) into the laundrette




CCTV footage shows ringleader Reece O¿Shaughnessy leaving the laundrette holding the sword stick

One of the boys asked: ‘That kid dead haha?’ Mr McHugh, nicknamed Shorty for his 5ft 6in frame, died four days later.

In May, Dykstra, with drug dealer Reese O’Shaughnessy, 19, Joseph McGill, now 14, and cousins Corey and Andrew Hewitt, now 14 and 15, were found guilty of his murder.

Yesterday O’Shaughnessy, who inflicted the fatal wound, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 18 years.

McGill received a minimum of nine years, Dykstra, 12, Corey, nine and Andrew, six.


  Murder: Sean 'Shorty' McHugh was stabbed to death by a gang of teenagers led by Reece O'Shaughnessy, 19, who has the IQ of a 11-year-old


Violent: Mr McHugh was stabbed with such force that the knife broke as part of an attack by a rival gang in Liverpool



Jailed: 14-year-old Joseph McGill sobbed as he was jailed for nine years and 14-year-old Keyfer Dykstra was sent to prison for a minimum of 12 years

Sentencing: 15-year-old Andrew Hewitt will serve a minimum of nine years and 14-year-old Corey Hewitt for six years


Weapon: This sword cane was also used  in the attack but it is not clear who struck the fatal blow

Judge Clement Goldstone told the gang, who had to be reprimanded for laughing and joking in the dock, that they had committed a ‘truly wicked’ act.

He added: ‘Whatever sentence I pass  on you . . . the real life sentence is that which you have imposed upon Sean McHugh’s family.’

He also lifted the younger boys’ right to anonymity to expose the shocking crime.

The backgrounds of the five boys paint depressing, but all too familiar pictures of disaffected youths in inner-city Britain.


Andrew Hewitt (right) and Corey Hewitt (left) who murdered an apprentice bricklayer in a launderette

Police forensics at the scene in Priory Road, Walton, Liverpool, outside the Liver Laundrette where Sean 'Shorty' McHugh was stabbed



Inside Liver Laundrette where Sean McHugh was stabbed by a gang of teenagers

All grew up on run-down terraced streets and smoked cannabis, drank, played violent computer games and terrorised shopkeepers.

Carrying knives, the judge said, was ‘part of their way of life’.

The Facebook page of Andrew Hewitt has pictures of him drinking beer aged 12 with boasts about drug use, racist comments and remarks about hating the police.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the killing in Anfield, Liverpool, on September 30 was intended to be a revenge attack for an earlier incident, although police saw no evidence Mr McHugh was in a gang.




Bereft: Lorraine McHugh, Sean's mother said after the trial: 'The night they killed my son, they might as well have killed me too'



Floral tributes left by friends of Sean McHugh in Walton after his death, including his scrambler motorbike

CCTV captured O’Shaughnessy unsheathing a 2ft sword before stabbing Mr McHugh in the right thigh. His mother Lorraine McHugh, 55, said: ‘I’m dead inside. They have torn our family apart.’

Detective Chief Inspector Andy O’Connor, of Merseyside police, welcomed new rules that mean anyone caught with a knife twice will be jailed.

He said: ‘These were feral youths who didn’t intend to kill, but set out to cause harm and now they must pay the penalty.


The court heard from Sean McHugh's mother Lorraine, who said in a victim impact statement: 'The night they killed my son, they might as well have killed me too.

'My other two sons have been taking medication for the loss of their younger brother.

'I rarely go out without ending up in floods of tears. Me and his dad never thought we would be burying one of our sons.

'We knew he was well liked but didn’t know how much until the funeral.



Sean's mother Lorraine McHugh and his girlfriend Stephanie Crawford, 17, outside Liverpool Crown Court

'All we have is memories, I can’t sleep, I can’t face going back to work, I can’t go to the shops without breaking down.

'I hope the defendants realise what they’ve done and get what they deserve.'

Sean's girlfriend Stephanie Crawford said: 'Sean being taken away from us has ruined so many lives. His big smile kept me going and he never had a bad bone in his body.

'This has ruined my life. I was with him 24/7. His mum would always say we were like a married couple.

'He had a very close relationship with his mum and used to ring her every night to say, ‘I love you’.

'Lorraine will never be the same again.'




The knife used by the gang to kill Sean McHugh

The court heard the attack was to avenge the stabbing of Dykstra two months earlier by the rival gang.

Dykstra was already on bail for other offences when he committed the murder and three months earlier had received a conditional caution for threatening behaviour; Andrew Hewitt was subject to a sixth month referral order imposed in June 2013 for possession of a pocket knife and McGill had received two reprimands some years earlier for common assault and battery.

O'Shaugnessy was on bail after being arrested 10 weeks earlier with cannabis worth £3,960 and £1,500 in cash. He also admitted possession with intent to supply.

The defendant, who had an IQ in the bottom five per cent for his age group, told officers he began dealing drugs after being 'kicked off the dole'.

McGill, who gave a knife to Dykstra before the attack, came from a 'good' family but had an IQ in the bottom four or five per cent for his age group with 'very limited intellectual functioning' the court heard and looked up to O'Shaugnessy.

Dykstra had 'deep-seated' problems with ADHD and was used for fights by the gang because of his size though his mother, out of despair had 'pathetically begged' the authorities for help with him.

Andrew Hewitt was assessed as having 'very low intelligence' comparable to a child aged seven, had a fascination for knives, did not attend his special school and led an 'aimless' life.

Corey Hewitt was the only defendant never to have been in trouble before, though he had an 'extremely low' range of intellectual function and was easily led, the court heard.

Since being in care he has been described as polite, likeable, well-behaved and an 'exemplary pupil.'

The judge added: 'It speaks volumes, doesn't it, for a structured upbringing?'

Monday, September 22, 2014

Soldiers’ Graves Bear Witness to Russia’s Role in Ukraine

Dear All,

Vladimir Putin's crimes against the Ukraine, Crimea, Humanity, and as we are now seeing, his own people. continue to mount.  This last weekend, well over 26,000 Russians protested against Putin's actions in Moscow and thousands more protested in other Russian cities.  As Putin's crimes continue it is the purpose of this blog to expose them to the Citizens of Russia and the world. 

As we see from this and other articles blogged below, Putin and his followers in the Kremlin have worked hard to keep the deaths of the "Sons of Russian Mothers and Fathers" from becoming public.  He has used scare tactics to intimidate the mothers and fathers of the dead into silence; to not ask questions for why their sons died. 

Last weekends protests in Moscow and several other cities shows the world that the Citizens of Russia refuse to be intimidated any longer.  During these protests the protestors were heard to yell, "Putin, Stop Lying" or "leave Ukraine Alone" and even "Putin Step down!".

These protests are the beginning to the end of Putin as the leader of Russia and according to the Citizens of Russia, the sooner the better.

Ron Kirkish

Soldiers’ Graves Bear Witness to Russia’s Role in Ukraine

SELIZOVO, Russia — In a far corner of a small cemetery outside this tiny village by the Oka River, a black flag proclaiming the military might of Russia’s tank forces ripples in the wind above the recently dug grave of Sgt. Vladislav A. Barakov.

A photograph of the baby-faced soldier in full dress uniform sits propped against a wooden cross with a small plaque that says he died on Aug. 24. He was 21.
The grave of Sgt. Vladislav A. Barakov, a soldier sent to fight in Ukraine, states the day he died, Aug. 24,
but not where or how. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times
What the plaque does not say — and what no one wants to talk about — is how and where the young sergeant died: blown up in a tank while sent to fight in eastern Ukraine, where Russia’s leaders have denied any role other than as facilitators of peace.
Sergeant Barakov, who served in Russia’s Sixth Tank Brigade, was one of dozens — some say hundreds — of Russian soldiers killed in action this summer.
Their bodies have been returned in recent weeks to loved ones who in many cases had no idea where they were sent to fight, have received little information about how they died and, in any event, are being pressured not to talk about it.
Some families have even been threatened with losing any compensation if they do.
“We are just ordinary people,” Sergeant Barakov’s uncle, who declined to give his name, said in a clipped reply when asked for details of his nephew’s death.
“You have more ways of finding out than we do.”
Sgt. Barakov’s family was told he had been killed during training, said his brother, Aleksandr, right, at home with their uncle. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times
Much of the information about regular Russian troops in Ukraine has come from soldiers themselves — posting about their deployments on social media, as well as about the deaths of comrades fighting there.
Yet even as the Kremlin’s official line has crumbled, with at least three online databases charting Russian soldiers killed or wounded in Ukraine, efforts to sustain the cover-up have persisted.
On Thursday, a BBC television crew was attacked in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan after interviewing the family of a soldier who died in Ukraine.
“Apparently there is an unspoken order to deny losses and hide graves,” said Lev Shlosberg, a regional lawmaker who was beaten and hospitalized last month after he began documenting the deaths of soldiers who were based in Pskov.
The city, in northwest Russia, is home to a celebrated unit, the 76th Guards Air Assault Division.
“Many of those funerals have been held either at dawn or early in the morning so that only few would see them,” adding shame to the grief and heartbreak of military families, Mr. Shlosberg said.
“They are ready to go to war,” he said of the service members. “But secret funerals humiliate them.”
Mr. Shlosberg has published a list of 12 soldiers from the local base who were killed in Ukraine but said he believed there were hundreds more.
He said revealing the truth would help end the conflict.
“The only goal is to stop this war,” Mr. Shlosberg said.
Already, the deaths have forced the Kremlin to adjust its message, and officials now acknowledge that some Russian “volunteers” went to Ukraine.
The soldiers’ bodies are also providing a much fuller picture of Russia’s military intervention on behalf of pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian government.
The dead served not just in elite special forces, like those who led the incursion in Crimea, but also in paratrooper and air defense units, motorized rifle brigades, armored brigades and infantry units — representing the breadth and depth of the Russian military.  
Last month, their stories began to appear online, posted by fellow soldiers, relatives and friends.

In some cases, soldiers stopped calling home, prompting families to reach out to advocacy groups such as Soldiers’ Mothers, founded during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

With little official information, Yelena Vasilyeva, a political and environmental activist, created a Facebook group as a clearinghouse.

“It’s not possible to get official information,” Ms. Vasilyeva said.

“This war is officially undeclared.”

A Ukrainian computer programmer, who would give his name only as Vladimir, said he had created, a searchable database, after seeing that information about Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine was quickly disappearing from social networking sites.
“The purpose of this site is to show the world evidence of how Putin’s regime began open war with Ukraine,” Vladimir said, referring to the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

“I receive most of the information from a mothers’ committee, plus relatives,” he said.

“People in Russia don’t want to talk about it openly.”

Dead bodies began undermining the Kremlin’s official line in early June when a first load of corpses of Russian citizens who had volunteered to fight in Ukraine was carried back in a large white truck, marked with red crosses and a huge “200” scrawled on the sides.

The reference was to “Cargo 200,” a phrase that originally referred to the weight of zinc coffins used to bring dead soldiers home from Afghanistan but now applies generally to military casualties.

The trip was chronicled in detail by Maria Turchenkova, a Russian photographer, who was part of a small group of journalists that followed the truck.

The Russian government’s denials became even harder to sustain in August, as fighting intensified and regular Russian troops were deployed to save the rebels from defeat.

One of those units was Sergeant Barakov’s Sixth Tank Brigade, which is normally based in Mulino, 225 miles east of Moscow.

On Aug. 15, when the brigade was ordered to the Ukrainian border, one soldier, Sergey Rusakov, posted the news on his page on Vkontakte, Russia’s Facebook, with an expletive and a reference to quitting.
The next week, the unit was part of a convoy sent into Ukraine, and on Aug. 24 — the same day Sergeant Barakov was killed — a Ukrainian military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said at least two Russian tanks had been destroyed near the border.

Since then, other soldiers from the Sixth Tank Brigade, Mr. Rusakov and Dmitry Yermakov, were also reported killed.

Here in Selizovo, a tiny village 180 miles southeast of Moscow, residents all seemed to know about Sergeant Barakov’s death, but details were hazy.

His older brother, Aleksandr, said the family had been told that Sergeant Barakov was killed in a training exercise.

Standing outside the family’s home on Oktyabrskaya Street, Aleksandr said his brother had been “a positive guy” who had wanted to serve in the army since childhood and enlisted voluntarily, but who also loved to cook and had trained to become a chef.

Aleksandr Barakov said the family had been given no details, but he insisted that his brother had never been in Ukraine.

Anna Filkina, who was in the same class in school with Sergeant Barakov through childhood, said she had heard that he was killed by Ukrainian mortar fire on the Russian side of the border.

The Russian government, which has complained of errant artillery, never reported such casualties.

Ms. Filkina said most of the boys she had grown up with had gone on to military service, leaving a village that at its center has a single grocery store and a memorial to soldiers killed in World War II.

“No one is forgotten,” it says. “Nothing is forgotten.”

At the cemetery, a short drive away, a cup of tea, a spoon and a cigarette were left on the ground near Sergeant Barakov’s grave.

It was surrounded by flower arrangements, each with a ribbon: from brothers; from girlfriends; from family; to grandson.

Mr. Shlosberg, the lawmaker from Pskov, said many families of dead soldiers did not see a point to further investigation.

“They don’t care,” he said. “For them, the war is over.”