When voting closed on January 28th, marijuana related questions accounted for 105 out of the top 160 questions and received more than 72,000 votes in total. Individual reposts of NORML’s question netted well over 20,000 combined.
We waited with anticipation until last night when President Obama took to his webcam and began addressing the questions. After about an hour came and went with some unsubstantial discussion about jobs, a question from an internet comedian, talk of the Obama’s upcoming wedding anniversary, and the President offering to check out the resume of an attendee’s spouse, the “interview” ended, with not a single word spoken about marijuana prohibition. It seems they found silence to be more effective than censorship.
President Obama once stated that marijuana legalization is an entirely “legitimate topic for debate.” The American people are clearly ready for that debate, Mr. President. When will you be?
In “really hot IPOs,” 90 percent of the shares go to institutional investors and 10 percent to everyday investors, Sweet says. It’s a perk for the banks’ biggest clients, like Fidelity Investments or T. Rowe Price or hedge funds.
The funds pay big commissions to the banks for regularly trading large blocks of stocks or bonds. Those relationships are deep and long-lasting – and lucrative for the banks. The funds expect to be rewarded.
But Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the banks expected to guide the Facebook IPO, are in an awkward place: They don’t want to tick off 800 million Facebook users – but they don’t want to tick off Fidelity, either.
Most IPOs are underpriced, and the stock usually shoots up the first day. Lucky large investors get the basement price and usually a big payday if they sell on the first day. Smaller investors buy on the open market, after the price has spiked, and pay more.
And most early investors do sell. One university research paper found that about 70 percent of the new stock changes hands in the first two days. Groupon introduced 35 million shares, but on the first day its shares were traded almost 50 million times.
Ann Sherman, associate professor and IPO expert at DePaul University, raised the possibility that Facebook could set aside a portion of its shares for the small investor and use a lottery system if there is a lot of demand.
She says the U.S. is the only country without IPO rules that put traditional investors on an equal footing.
Speaking to Raw Story recently, an active duty police officer who asked not to be named threw down the gauntlet over the part of his job he hates most: the drug war.
“I did not get in law enforcement to destroy a person’s future because that person had marijuana or a pill in their pocket,” the officer explained. “Why would you want to destroy that person’s future and cause them great harm because of that? It’s not worth it.”
Like many Americans, the reality of the drug war was was nothing like what he’d been taught to believe in his youth. But statistics like a citizen being arrested for drugs every 19 seconds in 2010, and 1.6 million people incarcerated over drugs in 2009, were nothing compared to what he actually experienced in the front lines of the drug war on America’s users.
But for those officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public from dangerous, violent criminals, the drug war isn’t always just another part of the job. For this officer in particular, it’s much more than that: “The war on drugs is a war on people,” he claimed.
“I just didn’t see problems from illegal drug users that I’d been led to believe,” the officer explained. “Most of the calls that we get on drug use, as police, are alcohol related. Alcohol is a serious drug that can be abused, but I just didn’t see the calls on other drugs like I had been led to believe. I didn’t see these drug-crazed people out there doing crazy things… Even growing up before entering law enforcement, I was always led to believe that the drug war was meant to stop all these people from doing crazy things. But on the street, that’s not what you see. That’s a lie.”
In his view, the officer said that the American public would be much better off if the government would “regulate drugs and keep the control out of the hands of the black market criminals.”
“The cartels have been running a serious drug operation in America for decades, and I don’t think most Americans are really aware of it,” he said. “The money comes from the prohibition of drugs. These criminals are making their money because of the prohibition. If you legalize and regulate it, their profits go to zero.”
For more than two decades in law enforcement, he said that he’s carried an immense guilt: his first drug arrest.
This isn’t a huge surprise, but following the popularity of the petition asking the White House toinvestigate Chris Dodd (after Dodd’s own statements suggesting that he expects politicians who get Hollywood money to pass Hollywood’s preferred bills no questions asked), the White House has officially stated that it can’t comment on the matter. As per the terms of the White House’s “We the People” petition site, it can refuse to address issues that deal with law enforcement:
consistent with the We the People Terms of Participation and our responses to similar petitions in the past, the White House declines to comment on this petition because it requests a specific law enforcement action.
I’m sure the White House has no interest in getting involved in this in any way, and that if it was actually investigating any of this activity, it wouldn’t want to talk about it publicly until later. Still, I think the petition — and the publicity it got — did serve a key purpose: to highlight the public’s disgust with the MPAA’s form of crony capitalism, and the hubris of folks like Chris Dodd who think that as long as they donate enough money, politicians should be working for the MPAA, rather than the public.
Rovio Mobile learned from the music industry’s mistakes when deciding how to deal with piracy of its Angry Birds games and merchandise, chief executive Mikael Hed told the Midem conference in Cannes this morning.
“We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products,” said Hed.
“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”
After the court case against the founders of The Pirate Bay was concluded today, the operators of the site quickly moved to change their domain name from .ORG to the Swedish .SE. A Pirate Bay insider informed TorrentFreak that this move was made to prevent the US authorities from seizing the domain, which is a serious risk now the court case has completed.
After drilling for two decades through more than two miles of antarctic ice, Russian scientists are on the verge of entering a vast, dark lake that hasn’t been touched by light for more than 20 million years.
How much has Obama added to the debt, anyway?
There are two answers: more than $4 trillion, or about $983 billion. The first answer is simple and wrong. The second answer is more complicated but a lot closer to being right.
When Obama took office, the national debt was about $10.5 trillion. Today, it’s about $15.2 trillion. Simple subtraction gets you the answer preferred by most of Obama’s opponents: $4.7 trillion.
But ask yourself: Which of Obama’s policies added $4.7 trillion to the debt? The stimulus? That was just a bit more than $800 billion. TARP? That passed under George W. Bush, and most of it has been repaid.
There is a way to tally the effects Obama has had on the deficit. Look at every piece of legislation he has signed into law. Every time Congress passes a bill, either the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the effect it will have on the budget over the next 10 years. And then they continue to estimate changes to those bills. If you know how to read their numbers, you can come up with an estimate that zeros in on the laws Obama has had a hand in.
A Massachusetts mother says the FBI used a chain saw blade to cut through her door and held her at gunpoint for at least 30 minutes before agents realized they were conducting a raid at the wrong home.
Judy Sanchez, of Fitchburg, says she awoke to heavy footsteps in the stairwell on Jan. 26 and walked into her kitchen in time to see a blade chop through her door.
She says she was held facedown on the floor at gunpoint while her 3-year-old daughter cried in another room.
It turns out agents were after the other tenant on the floor of the multiunit building who is suspected of dealing drugs.
Sanchez says she and her daughter now have trouble sleeping.
The FBI has apologized and is paying for the damage.
We are at war with drugs. We have always been at war with drugs.
An official from the Roman Catholic Church says that it is “impossible” to undergo “de-baptism” as a growing number of people in Western Europe and the United States request such a process.
Jeannine Marino, program specialist for evangelization & catechesis at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told CP that atheists who seek to be “de-baptized” or “un-baptized” cannot technically do so.
“From the Church’s perspective, it is impossible to ‘un-baptize’ or ‘de-baptize’ someone because we believe that baptism permanently seals the person to Christ and the Church,” said Marino.
“People can stop participating in the Church, but we believe the grace of the sacrament has marked them forever.”
Marino explains that with baptism, “no matter how long they have been away from the Church” an individual “can return to the faith.”
Why is it that these fucking morons know their own doctrine so badly?
What a show.. Have each candidate spend a billion dollars to convince the voters they know best how to spend the country’s money.
Virginia state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) doesn’t think much of a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion.
When the proposed legislation came up for a preliminary vote in the Senate Monday, Howell offered a floor amendment that just about floored her colleagues.
“Prior to prescribing medication for erectile dysfunction, a physician shall perform a digital rectal examination and a cardiac stress test,” Howell said, reading the amendment aloud. “Informed consent for these procedures shall be given at least 24 hours before the procedures are performed.
“I just think we should have a little gender equity here,” Howell added.
A digital rectal exam is actually a medically beneficial procedure, and should probably be indicated in cases of erectile dysfunction; it fails. A sonogram before an abortion is just legislated emotional bullying; it passes.
- TSA screener finds two pipes in passenger’s bags.
- Screener determines that they’re not a threat.
- Screener confiscates them anyway, because of their “material and appearance.”
- Because they’re not actually a threat, screener leaves them at the checkpoint.
- Everyone forgets about them.
- Six hours later, the next shift of TSA screeners notices the pipes and — not being able to explain how they got there and, presumably, because of their “material and appearance” — calls the police bomb squad to remove the pipes.
- TSA does not evacuate the airport, or even close the checkpoint, because — well, we don’t know why.
I don’t even know where to begin.
Feel safer yet?