Former Mexican President Favors Legalizing Drugs
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has come out in favor of legalizing drugs in an attempt to disrupt the illegal markets that have turned parts of Mexico into battlegrounds.
In a proposal published over the weekend on his website, Fox argued that drug addiction and drug-related violence should be treated as distinct and separate challenges.
"So, drug consumption is the responsibility of the person who consumes; of the family who is responsible for educating; and of the education system and the socioeconomic context," wrote Fox, who was president from 2000 to 2006. "What we have to do is legalize the production, the sale and the distribution."
Take the hint, Estados Unidos.
Portugal Makes the Leap to Renewable Energy
Today, Lisbon’s trendy bars, Porto’s factories and the Algarve’s glamorous resorts are powered substantially by clean energy. Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal’s grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago.
Land-based wind power — this year deemed “potentially competitive” with fossil fuels by the International Energy Agency in Paris — has expanded sevenfold in that time. And Portugal expects in 2011 to become the first country to inaugurate a national network of charging stations for electric cars.
“The experience of Portugal shows that it is possible to make these changes in a very short time,” said Prime Minister José Sócrates.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has renewed questions about the risks and unpredictable costs of America’s unremitting dependence on fossil fuels. President Obama has seized on the opportunity to promote his goal of having 20 to 25 percent of America’s electricity produced from renewable sources by 2025.
While Portugal’s experience shows that rapid progress is achievable, it also highlights the price of such a transition. Portuguese households have long paid about twice what Americans pay for electricity, and prices have risen 15 percent in the last five years, probably partly because of the renewable energy program, the International Energy Agency says.
Although a 2009 report by the agency called Portugal’s renewable energy transition a “remarkable success,” it added, “It is not fully clear that their costs, both financial and economic, as well as their impact on final consumer energy prices, are well understood and appreciated.”
I hope this really works! And kudos to Portugal.
Obama Throws Support Behind Controversial Islamic Center
President Obama threw his support behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, saying Friday that "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country."
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," Obama said at a White House Iftar dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
And Fox News is STILL talking shit about it. Get the hell over it, people. Islam has just as much of a right to be here as Christians, Catholics, and Mormons. And Atheists, and people who just don't give a flying fuck what YOU believe.
Gay Protest Signs
Push It! by Josh Mitchell
|... and I'm spent!|
via Rolling Stone
by Rob Sheffield
Joe Strummer would be proud. Maya Arulpragasam, the British-Sri Lankan hip-hop art-punk guerrilla, has his genius for stirring up trouble, his wide-eyed humor, his zest for turning fury into wonderfully fucked-up music. But not even Strummer could piss people off with what he had for lunch. Three years after sampling the Clash in her hit "Paper Planes," M.I.A. is still outraged, proclaiming, "I didn't choose a struggle but a struggle chose me/So I'm dancing on the rubble permanently." And her third album is her most aggressive, confrontational and passionate yet.
These songs go heavy on electro-punk buzz, with help from producers like Rusko, Switch, Blaqstarr, Diplo and her brother Sugu. M.I.A. packs every track with left-field surprises: the ghostly Suicide organ on "Born Free," the gospel chant of "Tell Me Why," the Bowie-style robot sheen of "Space." There's also a strange cover of a 1982 Dutch synth-pop oddity, "It Takes a Muscle to Fall in Love." M.I.A. loves noise more than anybody since Public Enemy and N.W.A – she has a voracious ear for alarms, sirens, explosions, turning every jolt into a breakbeat.
Some people resent the way M.I.A. refuses to forget where she's been, which means war zones, refugee camps and housing projects, but also art school and dance clubs. Yet that's what makes the music so expansive as she rants about sex ("XXXO"), drugs ("Teqkilla") and bombs ("Lovealot") between goofy jokes ("I drink alcohol/Know the words to 'Wonderwall' "). She covers so much ground because it's all part of who she is. And from the sound of Maya, she's capable of anything – except being dull.
TMS proudly presents: