Asked in 1995 to comment on the War on Drugs, William F. Buckley told the New York Bar Association that perhaps it should be ended. Waging it seemed to him counterproductive and unjust. “It is outrageous to live in a society whose laws tolerate sending young people to life in prison because they grew, or distributed, a dozen ounces of marijuana,” he stated. And the magazine he founded soon followed suit. In 1996, National Review published a brave editorial declaring that “the war on drugs has failed,” adding that “we all agree on movement toward legalization, even though we may differ on just how far.” It was brave because just one in four Americans favored legalizing marijuana back then, and most of them weren’t movement conservatives.

Today 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll released by Gallup. That’s a milestone. Among liberals, 69 percent want to end prohibition. Just 34 percent of conservatives agree. The prohibitionist cause is nevertheless doomed by demographics. “Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age,” Gallup reports, “ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31 percent among those 65 and older.” The only question is how many more lives prohibition will destroy over how many years before voters end it.

If current trends persist, full legalization of marijuana will be a presidential issue as soon as Election 2016. And if the Republican nominee in 2012 is savvy, he’ll take advantage of this information: “A Gallup survey last year found that 70 percent favored making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana in order to reduce pain and suffering. Americans have consistently been more likely to favor the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes than to favor its legalization generally.”

(Source: The Atlantic)


One of a series of posters of this man wearing sunglasses seen side-by-side on a street wall.

Although home to fewer than 3 million of Spain’s 46 million people, the Basque region has a disproportionate economic importance as a center of industry, mining and culture. Bilbao, one of Spain’s largest cities, with close to a million people, has a Basque majority, and is home to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, one of Europe’s most celebrated centers for modern art. San Sebastián is world renowned for its cutting-edge cuisine.

But Spanish economists have estimated the investment lost in recent years because of the violence at more than a billion dollars. Spain and France have deployed thousands of anti-terrorist police officers, as well as undercover intelligence agents. Until ETA’s power was undercut by the security crackdown, it was common for businesses to have to pay a hefty “revolutionary tax” to the militants.

ETA has made a succession of previous cease-fire declarations that have been quickly abandoned, most egregiously in 2006, when a truce with the Zapatero government collapsed amid failed negotiations and ETA militants mounted a car bomb attack at Madrid’s main international airport, killing two people.

(Source: The New York Times)

Having used every subterfuge 
To shake you, lies, fatigues, or even that of passion,
Now I see no way but a clean break.
I add that I am willing to bear the guilt.

You nod assent. Autumn turns windy, huge,
A clear vase of dry leaves vibrating on and on.
We sit watching. When I next speak
Love buries itself in me, up to the hilt.


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