VIDEO: More Arrested For THIS Than For All Violent Crimes Combined

It has been 45 years since Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971. Yet on any given day in 2016, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on drug-possession charges. It is an issue that neither one of the top two presidential candidates are asked about, and that’s because they likely won’t do anything different than what Obama has already done

In fact, in the time you have spent watching this video, at least one person has been arrested in the U.S. for drug possession. According to a recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, 1.25 million people are arrested each year on drug possession charges.

Two-thirds of those people are currently in local jails, and the majority of them sit in cells for anywhere from weeks to months to years, awaiting their day in court, because they can’t afford to post bail. The majority of those people will end up pleading guilty and taking plea deals offered by prosecutors because they are threatened with exaggerated prison sentences, and because their debt is piling up at home.

[WATCH: Why It’s Illegal For Medical Marijuana Users To Own Guns]

Did you know that in the United States, police arrest more people for possession of marijuana than they do for all violent crimes…combined?

Chelsea Clinton recently made headlines for saying that marijuana can kill you, and while her claims have been mocked and ridiculed, she wasn’t completely wrong. Under the current law in the U.S. marijuana is classified of the list of the most deadly drugs. Can it kill you? No.. BUT it can be deadly in the sense that getting caught by police could change life as you know it.

So, what if you’ve never done drugs in your life, you’re not a minority, and you don’t live in a low income neighborhood where you could get arrested by mistake. Why should you care?

Well, in order to make a drug-related arrest, we have to have police officers to conduct a search and seizure. Then once the suspects are arrested, we have to have somewhere for them to go, and someone to maintain the jails and prisons. Essentially, someone has to pay for all of it. 

We live in a country where over 1 million are arrested on drug possession charges each year, and yet, in an election year, our top two presidential candidates typically aren’t asked about how they would deal with this massive problem. It all comes together to serve as a reminder that just as with the “War on Terror,” the “War on Drugs,” has been an absolutely failure.

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

U.S.-Backed Saudi Coalition Bombs School, Hospital In Yemen

After bombing a school and killing ten children on Saturday, the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition launched airstrikes in Yemen, resulting in yet another bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital on Monday. This report is following several previous attacks on these hospitals by the US and Israel over the past 5 years.

Initial reports claimed that seven people were killed and 13 wounded. However, a report from Reuters cited a witness who said that the total number of causalities was still unknown, because “medics could not immediately evacuate the wounded,” due to the fact that war planes “continued to fly over the area and first responders feared more bombings.”

Monday’s bombing came just two days after an airstrike hit a school in a neighboring province of northern Yemen, killing ten children on Saturday. t

While UNICEF claimed that the children were studying in their classrooms at the time of the airstrike, the Saudi-led coalition justified the bombing by claiming that it had targeted a camp where Yemen’s Houthi rebels were training child soldiers.

After peace talks broke down last week, the coalition launched 30 airstrikes in one day, in the name of defeating Houthi rebels in Yemen. At least 18 civilians were killed at a market outside of Yemen’s capital.

Not only is the United States a part of the coalition responsible for the bombings, it touts Saudi Arabia as a close ally, despite the country’s long history of human rights violations.

While the U.S. is the largest exporter of weapons in the world, Saudi Arabia is the country responsible for purchasing the most weapons from the U.S., and just last week the Pentagon announced that it plans to sell over $1 billion more in weapons and military advisory to Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi Arabia leads the charge into a bloody battle that has already left at least 35 civilians dead in just one week, it raises several questions: Why isn’t the Pentagon stepping in? Why does the U.S. still consider Saudi Arabia to be such a close ally?  f it were a country like China or Russia launching airstrikes that led to such high civilian casualties, would the U.S. still be willing to fund the cause?

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

Carrying The Obama Legacy: Hillary’s War On The Media

It has been over 250 days since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. While most presidential candidates were looking for ways to make headlines, Clinton was avoiding the press like the plague, and her actions are a great indicator of exactly how she would treat the Fourth Estate, if elected.

By avoiding press conferences, Clinton has avoided having to address the many scandals surrounding her, such as the FBI ignoring the fact that she knowingly jeopardized classified information, and the questionable ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

Clinton’s recent appearance at the joint convention held by the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists does not count as a press conference.

Clinton told the audience, “I hope you’ll keep calling it like you see it, keep holding all of us accountable.” However, when it came time for questions, one attendee asked Clinton, “What is the most meaningful conversation  you’ve had with an African American?”

Really? You get to ask the Democratic presidential nominee ONE question and that’s the one you choose? This wasn’t a press conference, this was a campaign rally with a bunch of so-called journalists in the audience who applauded like crazy and asked Hillary a series of softball questions.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we were given an inside look at the close relationship between the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media. From officials at the Democratic National Committee approving stories about Clinton before they were sent to editors, to the Clinton campaign approving questions before interviews, the mainstream media has sold its soul in order to cover Hillary Clinton.

If you think Clinton’s relationship with the press is bad now, just wait to see what happens if she is elected. Clinton has said that she wants to “build on Obama’s progress,” and while Obama initially promised to have the most transparent administration in history, he has done the exact opposite.

President Obama will leave office having set records for censorship.

For example, the Obama administration holds the record for prosecuting 10 TIMES as many whistleblowers under the Espionage Act as all prior presidents combined. Obama’s White House also holds the record for withholding Freedom of Information Act requests, where in 77 percent of cases, requests are met with empty or heavily redacted files.

It has been over eight months since Hillary Clinton held an actual press conference, and the same mainstream media that picks apart and analyzes every single word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth, seems to find nothing wrong with Clinton’s actions.

The more the media throws softball questions Clinton’s way, the more their talking heads are colluding with her campaign, and the more Clinton plays the system and ignores the press, the more she gives America a glimpse of what is to come under a Clinton administration.

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

VIDEO: What You Need To Know About The TPP

What is the TPP, who supports it and why does it matter?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal between 12 Pacific Rim nations that make up 40 percent of the world’s economy. It includes the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru, while excluding countries such as China and Russia.

Some consumer groups have referred it to the TPP as “NAFTA on Steroids.”

The deal will set a new international standard for everything from employment, to food safety, to intellectual property regulations.While it has been in negotiations for several years, the full text of the TPP was kept secret up until last November.

President Obama has been a large proponent of the TPP during his time in office, claiming that it will create new jobs, strengthen U.S. leadership and keep China from controlling the global economy.

So, what do the 2016 presidential candidates think about this deal?

Donald Trump has been critical of the TPP, calling it a “job killer” and saying that it is supported by special interest groups who want to “rape our country.”

Bernie Sanders has rallied against the deal, questioning why the TPP is the answer, when past trade deals haven’t worked.

Green Party nominee Jill Stein is also against the TPP, and she pointed out one very important provision that would give global corporations the power to circumvent U.S. courts.

It’s called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or the ISDS, and it has also been criticized by organizations such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation and WikiLeaks. It creates a special court where corporations can sue states and receive taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits.”

So, who supports the TPP other than Obama?

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson told Politico in June that he believes the TPP is “laden with crony capitalism.” He then added to his answer in July, telling CNN that from what he has heard, he would sign it.

Then there’s Hillary Clinton… She initially praised the TPP in 2012, calling it the “gold standard of trade agreements.” Then she changed her tune in 2015 and said that she could support the TPP in its current form.

Her current stance won’t be her final stance, according to Clinton’s longtime friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He said at the DNC that while Clinton would like to change parts of the deal, she would end up supporting it. McAuliffe later said that he was wrong, and Clinton will always oppose the deal.

The interesting thing about Clinton’s change of heart is that her vice presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, also flip-flopped on the same issue. As a senator in Virginia, Kaine was one of 13 Senate Democrats to vote in favor of giving President “fast-track” authority on the TPP last year. However, after discussing the issue with Clinton, he now says he is against the deal in its current form.

Ultimately, the largest trade deal in history, which consists of over 5,500 pages, raises questions not just about who supports it, but about which countries it excluded and which freedoms it is giving away.


Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

Obama Announces Flint Visit, Michael Moore Responds Promising Riots

In what some — including filmmaker, activist and Flint resident Michael Moore — are calling too little, too late, President Barack Obama is finally planning a visit to Flint, Michigan, next week.

The White House announced the President’s trip plans on Wednesday, explaining that he is finally going to visit after receiving a letter from an 8-year-old girl who wrote to him about the water crisis.

The letter from the concerned child read as follows:

“Mr. President,

Hello my name is Mari Copeny and I’m 8 years old, I live in Flint, Michigan and I’m more commonly known around town as “Little Miss Flint”. I am one of the children that is effected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint. This Thursday I will be riding a bus to Washington, D.C. to watch the congressional hearings of our Governor Rick Snyder. I know this is probably an odd request but I would love for a chance to meet you or your wife. My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits. Thank you for all that do for our country. I look forward to being able to come to Washington and to be able to see Gov. Snyder in person and to be able to be in the city where you live.

Thank You

Mari Copeny”

In President Obama’s response to Copeny, he wrote:

“You’re right that Presidents are often busy, but the truth is, in America, there is no more important title than citizen. And I am so proud of you for using your voice to speak out on behalf of the children of Flint.”

In the White House statement, they explained that the President will meet with residents and give a briefing regarding what the federal government plans to do about the crisis.

“The President will travel to Flint, Michigan where he will hear first-hand from Flint residents like Mari about the public health crisis, receive an in-person briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint, and speak directly with members of the Flint community,” the White House said in a statement.

Activist, filmmaker, and Flint resident Michael Moore was not impressed by the announcement, however, and wrote a lengthy, and angry, response blasting the President. He asserted that “every child here now has some form of permanent brain damage. There is NOTHING you can do to reverse that for them. There is no cure,” before demanding that the city does not need any more visits from politicians.

“We don’t need any more visits from politicians, even one as beloved as you. We don’t need any more promises of testing. We don’t need any more token digging up of pipes made rancid by the Flint River water that flowed through them (of the 75,000 pipes that need replacing, a total of 39 – 39!! – have been dug up and removed since you met with the mayor in the White House back in January). Meanwhile the poisoning continues on daily basis, even with the Lake Huron water that has been restored because it’s flowing through lead-damaged pipes with a new chemical that now burns people’s skin,” Moore wrote in a lengthy open letter to the President that he posted on Facebook.

Moore then promised that riots will surely begin soon.

“So unless you’re bringing the U.S. Army with you to save 100,000 of your fellow Americans, and unless you’re going to arrest the governor of Michigan who has now killed more Americans than ISIS, you might as well stay home. The riots here, I’m certain, will begin sometime soon. That’s what you or I would do if someone was poisoning OUR kids and the government refused to stop it, right?” Moore asked.

So far, three officials have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies for their involvement in the water crisis which poisoned the city. Calls for Governor Rick Snyder to be removed from office and arrested have so far gone ignored.

The contamination of Flint’s water began in April 2014, when the city stopped receiving its supply from Detroit, and began using water taken directly from the Flint River — a source known to have a high corrosive salt content. Corrosive salts in the water damaged the pipes, which contain lead, causing that harmful material to be released into the water.

In October, the state changed the city’s drinking water source back from the polluted Flint River to the Detroit water system, but many have expressed outrage that residents were not warned, and that it took so long to change back.

For a period of at least six months, the EPA and Michigan officials were aware of the poisoning of the water, but did not publicize their concerns or make an effort to correct the problem.

Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been published in a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, TeleSUR, and Bipartisan Report.

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