Pubdate: Wed, 12 Nov 2008
Source: Herald News, The (Fall River, MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Herald News
Author: Bill  Steigerwald
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Mr. Obama, bring on the change.

Bring on that new dawn of American leadership you say is at hand.
Bring on your soaring rhetoric, your mandate from the media, your
party's near veto-proof legislative majority.

Get down to Washington in January and use your political superpowers
to begin solving what you say are " the greatest  challenges of our
lifetime " two wars, a planet in peril and the greatest  financial
crisis in a century." Yes you can try.

We, your people, understand, as you have said, that the road ahead
will be long, our climb will be steep and we may not get to whatever
very liberal place you're taking us to as a nation in one year or, rather
conveniently for you ,  even in one term.

But we know you and your cronies from the hard-left side of Chicago
are already working on where you'll find the money to pay for that
generous to-do list of neo-New Deal stuff you've been promising your
adoring fans for the last two years. There's a recession on, but yes
you can try.

Meanwhile, if you truly want to make America a better place and change
the cruddy way things have been done in Washington for the last 60
years by both major political parties, here are a couple of daring
ideas to get you warmed up and let you prove that you're more than
just talk: First, you should fulfill your old promise to get us out of
Iraq ASAP. And you should do the same with the war in Afghanistan, an
even more hopeless quagmire. Despite the hawkish hallucinations you
had during the election campaign of winning the war in Afghanistan
and capturing bin Laden, Afghanistan  also does not deserve to have
another American drop of blood or dollar spent on it. While you're
at it, and if you're serious about bringing real change, try
ratcheting down the bloated warfare state that Republicans and
Democrats have built and abused for their political ends.

First, tell the thugs of the world we'll leave them alone if they
don't threaten our national security or harbor al-Qaida summer
camps, but if they mess with us we'll quickly kick their butts.

Then slash the defense budget at least 40 percent. For starters, and
to save scores of annual billions, close 75 percent of our overseas
military bases , we  have more than 820 installations in at least 39
countries. That includes 56,000  people in Germany, 33,122 in Japan
and 10,000 in Italy , three rich nations that  can and should be
providing for their own defenses. Good luck. But yes you can try.

On the homefront, there's another hugely important change you could quickly
bring America: Call off the federal government's bipartisan war on drugs.
You could get on TV some Tuesday night and tell your fellow Americans the
truth most of them have known for decades: The dirty drug war waged by
government on its own people has failed by every measure.
Then reassert your forgotten call for America to start treating all drug use
as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. Then give your
presidential blessing to the decision by Massachusetts voters last week to
the marijuana decriminalization initiative.

Then make marijuana as legal as beer. Then pardon all nonviolent drug
offenders. Then decommission the DEA. Then, using your best oratorical
skills, declare a great victory in America's never-ending war
against too much  government and too little personal freedom.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin