Category: #occupyatlanta

Georgia Should Aim Higher

Everyone is doing it, California, Oregon, Colorado. Basically everybody.

Why aren’t we? Is it because we already have?

Back in 1980, when sideburns were in, Georgia was among the first to study medicinal marijuana. And by study, I mean pass a bill authorizing its study.

From Creative Loafing:

Under the law, the state created a program to study the effects of medical marijuana on cancer and glaucoma patients. The program was to be overseen by the Patient Qualification and Review Board, or PQRB. The board’s governor-appointed members would review doctors and patients allowed to access cannabis for medical treatment. The marijuana would come from the University of Mississippi Marijuana Project, the nation’s only federally approved pot farm.

But Georgia’s medical marijuana program soon faced a major problem when the legal pot supply dried up. In 1982, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped delivery of the country’s sole source of legal cannabis.

Georgia’s program had effectively ended without ever supplying a single patient with the medical marijuana promised. Subsequent Georgia governors had the authority to reappoint the board, but never acted. As a result, the law has lingered on the books for the last 30 years.

weednewspaper

Paul Broun was thrilled. He reportedly was hugging people on the floor of the General Assembly when it passed. Unfortunately, that was a different time, and a different Paul Broun.

What’s going on now in the country?

  • 13 states have proposed or enacted legalization, including Colorado and Washington
  • Three states have commissioned studies to analyze the impact of legalization: New Mexico, Rhode Island and West Virginia
  • 21 is the recommended age for legal use of marijuana across the board
  • The majority of proposed legislation recommends each state’s Department of Revenue, Department of Taxation or the Liquor Control Board serve as the regulating body
  • Two states propose creating a new regulatory body: Maine – Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement; Massachusetts – Cannabis Control Board
  • Taxation varies amongst proposed legislation ranging from 15 percent in New Hampshire, 25 percent in Nevada and $50 per ounce in Maine
  • The State of Washington limits advertising signage of retail outlets selling marijuana to 1,600 square inches

So, I have to ask, are you a 420 person?

420people

 

The whole law after the jump for your perusal:

Read more

Obama Administration, Law Enforcement Quietly Contained Potential Riot Instigators Ahead Of Zimmerman Verdict

Najee MuhammadAs the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict captured the attention of America on Saturday night, Najee Shabazz Muhammad found himself quietly stewing in a jail cell in Atlanta.

Muhammad is commander of the New Black Liberation Militia, a black separatist organization based in Augusta. Last year, as protests over the Trayvon Martin shooting and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law were escalating, Muhammad called for a “citizen’s arrest” of Zimmerman.

Thursday afternoon, just as assistant Florida state attorney Bernie de la Rionda began presenting the state’s closing arguments against Zimmerman, FBI agents detained Muhammad in an abandoned Augusta home, his friends say.

But rather than take him into custody themselves, Deputy Bradley Eagler of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Eve Street address in Augusta to make the actual arrest. He arrested Muhammad on an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor probation violation from Fulton County, 150 miles west in Atlanta, according to sheriff’s office records in Augusta and Fulton County.

“The FBI called us and we did the transport from here to there,” said Sgt. M. McDaniel, public information officer of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in Augusta. “Beyond that, we weren’t involved.”  Read more

The Death First Code

“All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations.” – Osama Bin Laden, October 2004 tape.

“I never thought I would see that a president would act in direct defiance of federal law by authorizing warrantless NSA surveillance of American citizens. This disrespect for the law is not only wrong, it is destructive in our struggle against terrorism.” – Eric Holder, June 2008 speech before the American Constitution Society.

“… (W)e have to make sure that we understand, as I’ve said in many speeches, that there’s not a tension between respecting our great tradition of civil liberties and having very effective law enforcement and anti-terror tools. There’s a false choice, I think, that is often presented.” – Eric Holder, January 2009 Senate confirmation hearings.

“You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” Obama said. “We’re going to have to make some choices as a society. … There are trade-offs involved.” – President Barack Obama, Friday.

“If it comes to a choice between risking my life and losing my essential liberties, I’ll risk my life.” – the Death First Code.

Read more

An introduction: George Chidi is on the bench

Another joins the fray.

Normally, I wouldn’t roll out of bed for less than a buck a word, but I care deeply about the state of political dialogue and I’ve found Peach Pundit to be a place for reasoned discourse, even among people with whom I often disagree. That’s a rare commodity these days. So, I hope to contribute political intelligence which would otherwise go undiscovered and unpublished, as well as a fresh perspective offering a reasonable counterpoint to prevailing views – as opposed to the cartoon-character straw men many on the right imagine those on the left to be.

Also, Charlie said he’d go clubbing with me.

I’ve been writing for pay since I was 18, after dropping out of the microbiology program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I enlisted in the Army as a military journalist 20 years ago, for which the only qualifications were two years of high school English, 20 words per minute on a typewriter and not being colorblind. I served five years on active duty, mostly with the 25th Infantry Division, without once being intentionally shot at. I have no business regretting that.

After returning to UMass to finish a journalism degree, I worked as a wire service reporter for the IDG publications covering the dot-com bust and as a politics reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram in rural North Carolina before landing as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I covered growth and development, business, crime and municipal government in Gwinnett County for about three years before sobering up.

After covering one too many ax murders and gang shootings, I left the paper when Georgia Tech offered a full ride through its MBA program. I said to myself that a career in finance or real estate might be just as interesting and certainly more stable than news reporting.

I started school in the fall of 2008. Who knew.

I’ve also been a security guard, a long-term substitute teacher, a technology flack, various flavors of corporate peon, an associate investment banking equity analyst, an Occupy Atlanta activist, an ex-Occupy Atlanta activist and an elected official for the city of Pine Lake, which is manifestly not a speed trap. Any more. For real.

By day, I am the managing director of Neon Flag, a competitive intelligence consultancy, which is more or less exactly what you think it is. By night, I’m trying to figure out how to keep apparent corruption among Democrats from snatching defeat away from the hands of demographic victory in Georgia. I contribute from time to time to Creative Loafing and write irregularly about personal finance for Dimespring.com. I’ll be writing here about governance in Democratic communities and the leadership challenges of progressive politics in Georgia, along with a note now and then about economic competition, innovation and the state of the local club scene.

Next time, with Charlie.

The Big Day Has Arrived

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport opens the brand new international terminal today. It will be known as Terminal F.

The importance of the new terminal can’t really be overstated. Perhaps an indication of that, the opening has garnered nationwide attention c.f.:  USA Today, “Marketplace” from APM etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if by Sunday The New York Times covers the opening.

Closer to home, The AJC reports on the projected impact of the new terminal and the path the terminal took to completion.
Personally I’m looking forward to the new terminal’s opening and will hopefully(?) use it soon. The current international arrival system is godawful and one of the least-efficient setups in the U.S. and possibly the world.

If you are on that first flight from ATL to Narita, or any other flights today/this week, let us know how it goes in the comments.

PS: So the title was a little misleading. “The Big Day” arrived about a month ago. Read all about it here in the greatest Peach Pundit thread ever, of all time.

Atlanta No. 2 for Job Growth

Hizzoner Kasim Reed sent out an email today touting a recent Arizona State University study that found Atlanta had the second-fastest job growth of “major metropolitan areas” in 2011.

From The AJC report:

Only Houston beats Atlanta, according to researcher Lee McPheters, whose findings are based on the latest jobs figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Atlanta had 3.1 percent job growth between January 2011 and January 2012, compared with Houston’s 3.7 percent growth. The figures reflect non-agricultural job growth among populations of at least a million workers.

Iowa Prediction Thread

It’s time to stop the talk and start casting votes. Today is Iowa caucus day as it’s expected that around 120,000 rural white evangelicals (read: flyover country illiterates) will begin the winnowing down process. In fairness to northeastern white city-slicker Andrea Mitchell, she did point out that these bunch of Iowa hicks help launch Barack Obama’s path to the Presidency.

So, what will happen today? Who will finish where? Who will drop out tomorrow? How many occupiers will get arrested? Will Anonymous hack in and hijack the vote?

Here are my prediction for the vote percentages:

Santorum 25%
Romney 24%
Paul 20%
Perry 18%
Gingrich 9%
Bachmann 2.5%
Roemer 1%
Hunstman .5%

With New Hamshire only a week away I don’t think anyone drops out. 34 occupiers get arrested outside the DNC HQ protesting Obama signing the NDAA but none at any Caucus meetings.

What are your predictions?

#occupygwinnett?

The folks at Occupy Atlanta are branching out….to Gwinnett County. Fresh off a protest featuring an estimated dozen people last week, Tim Franzen sent occupy troops to Snellville to occupy a home set to be foreclosed.

Occupiers say they plan to stay as long as it takes, and that they are prepared to be arrested if and when eviction time comes for the family. Some 20 people were camped out at the home — including two tents in the fornt yard — to show support.

Tim Franzen, an organizer with Occupy Atlanta, said foreclosures, like the one facing the Rorey family, is “a symptom of wealth and equity.” If the country changed its economic priorities, it could work for everyone, he added.

Today comes word the Occupiers will oppose the I-85 HOT lanes in cooperation with the Gwinnett branch of MoveOn.org.

“What a perfect issue for the occupation movement,” organizer Tim Franzen said.

Though some Occupy Atlanta members said they had never used a Peachpass Express lane, their Gwinnett counterparts said it was one of the main problems in their area.

“It is a blatant attack on the middle class,” said one demonstrator.

Franzen added, “Peachpass is like the one percent pass right? It’s like you pay to get a lane. We are going to have an action against this one per center lane.”

Will #occupyatlanta gain traction in Gwinnett? I think not.

Occupy Atlanta sues Kasim Reed, taunts media

Occupy Atlanta is suing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed whining arguing that Hizzoner acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when he told them GTFO rescinded his executive order allowing them to break the law.

In the suit, Occupy Atlanta stated that its goal is to voice political concerns and encourage political participation and awareness. The group, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in September, intends to return to Woodruff Park on Saturday.

Joining as plaintiffs in the suit are state Sen. Vincent Fort and civil rights leader Joe Beasley, along with four individual members of Occupy Atlanta.

The young protesters met for hours Thursday with Jackson; the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a close confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; and Isaac Newton Farris Jr., president of the SCLC and King’s nephew.

According to WSB,

The lawsuit states the city ordinance governing park gatherings is overbroad because large groups, defined as more than 75, are allowed to get permits to stay in the park after hours, but no such permit is required for smaller groups.

Occupy Atlanta said the protesters who stay overnight have not numbered more than 75 and cannot qualify for any type of assembly permit.

The group is also seeking a temporary restraining order allowing it to stay in the park until the case is decided.

The Occupiers are also considering implementing “Media Monkey” as a way of dealing with unfair press coverage:

Media Monkey. The general idea is to make it difficult for hostile media organizations to misrepresent Occupy. If you see a representative of an organization that doesn’t “get” Occupy, get the attention of other members, surround the representative, and make it as difficult as possible for him or her to report. For example: if there’s a camera or mic, yell or shout as loudly as possible. It may be possible to sing copyrighted songs, as simple as the ”Happy Birthday” song, so that they legally can not air the footage.

Here’s my question: how do they determine which media organizations are consciously trying to make them look like idiots because they don’t “get” Occupy, and which are simply reporting the facts, which also happen to make them look like idiots.

Reed’s Opponent Rips Him For #occupyatlanta Arrests

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed may not be up for election until 2013 but he already has an announced opponent. Al Bartell says he’s running for Mayor and issued a press release critical of the shutdown of #occupyatlanta.

“The City of Atlanta’s policy on the right for public assembly has withstood the test of time, even to the end of the twentieth century. At midnight last night, Atlanta’s Mayor destroyed the cornerstone of the American Constitution and threw this city back in time to an era of violence against community.

I am calling for the immediate release of the Occupy Atlanta protesters and to re-establish the integrity of Atlanta’s public policy on the right for public assembly. “

#occupyatlanta To Levitate Georgia-Pacific Building

Consider yourself warned.

We demand that the Koch brothers withdraw all of their money from politics by 5:30pm on Tuesday October 25th. If they do not capitulate we will levitate the Georgia Pacific building where they do their business. Capitulation or levitation? The choice is theirs.

Not sure how many occupiers are left this morning. Will there be enough to pull this off this magic trick? Is David Coperfield available?

Mayor Reed Acts; Protesters Ordered to Leave Park

– Estimated 50 OWS-Atlanta Protesters Remain for Possible Arrest –

The large majority occupying Atlanta’s Woodruff Park left hurriedly, but a small group remained behind to be arrested late Tuesday evening. At this time, there is no notice that any arrests have been made.

Check out the excellent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Christian Boone and Rhonda Cook for more details. Here is an excerpt of the piece:

Deputy Police Chief Calvin Moss announced at 11:52 p.m. that the executive order allowing protesters to stay in the park has been revoked. Protesters were told to leave the park and any belongings left behind would be treated as abandoned property.

At 10:45 p.m., Tim Franzen, an Occupy Atlanta leader, told participants who wanted to be arrested to gather in a circle in the middle of the park where there was the best lighting for the media to see. He advised people who had been drinking, using drugs or were on probation not to take part. Those who did not want to be arrested but wanted to continue the occupation were told to circle the park until 6 a.m. and then return.

Some of the people waiting to be arrested waved small American flags. About 50 remained in the park at midnight. Several hundred people were outside the park.

Franzen said arrangement already had been made to cover the bail of group members who were arrested. They are expected to be charged with violating a city ordinance, a misdemeanor.

Based upon previous reports, protesters had worked out a plan to have members return to the public park at 6:00 AM the day following arrests. Members of the group left open the possibility that another venue within the city might also be chosen for future protests.

(Cue the creepy organ music in a minor key and the deep-voiced, overly dramatic, off-screen narrator) So, will the APD make arrests? Will the OWS squatters return at 6 AM? If they do, does the City of Atlanta have a plan to counter? If not, will this soap opera continue forever? (Cut organ and narrator)

In the meantime, congratulations to Mayor Reed for taking some action. He showed patience and now he is showing leadership. That pesky Rule of Law thing really does need to be respected.

Reed to Revoke Exec Order Allowing OWS-Atlanta in Park

At a press conference on Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that he would revoke the executive order allowing OWS-Atlanta protesters to remain legally in Woodruff Park through November 7th.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story:

Reed said the turning point occurred over the weekend, when, he said, protestors tried to organize a two-day hip-hip concert without proper security plan or personnel. Reed said the concert, which attracted about 600 people, had been wrongly advertised as featuring rapper Ludacris, who didn’t show up.

Protestors also used an unauthorized generator and put people on top of it to prevent police from removing it, Reed said. The city would have been liable if the machine had combusted, he said.

“I believe they placed lives at risk this weekend,” he said. “The nature of the relationship has changed.”

Reed acknowledged that there were no incidents of violence from the concert. But he said that was because of an expanded police presence that cost the city roughly $100,000 on Saturday alone. Police have worked 12-hour shifts near the park since the weekend, which is presumably costing the city overtime pay.

Alleged OWS-Atlanta spokesmen say that the real danger is from the presence of police and that they remain undeterred.

I’m glad to see Mayor Reed reign this in before November 5th, just to be safe. After all, that date is a famous anniversary in the life of anarchist folk hero Guy Fawkes. Come to think of it, it may be a good thing for the OWS-Atlanta protesters, as well. Just where, do you suppose, the anarchists will be on November 5, 2011?

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
‘Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God’s providence he was catch’d,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !
– Guy Fawkes Day Poem – English Traditional

Guest Post: Occupy Wall Street is No Tea Party

The following article was sent to us by Debbie Dooley, National Coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots and Co-Organizer and Co-Founder of the Atlanta Tea Party.

Since the Occupy protests began on September 17th, many on the left and mainstream media jumped too quickly to claim that the Occupy movement was the left’s version of the tea party. This could not be further from the truth.

One only has to look no further than the beginning of both movements to see stark differences. The tea party movement was started on a conference call of 22 activists around the country inspired by Rick Santelli’s on-air speech on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. We were just everyday citizens concerned about the future and the threat to our liberties and economic prosperity. Despite claims, we were not supported by corporations-nor did we have money.

The tea party has specific goals and agenda. We want our elected officials to be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars and to stop the un-controlled spending. We also want to stop the ever- expanding Federal Government. We are very respectful of law enforcement and it is evident that we cherish the American flag as a symbol of our freedoms. The tea party movement is a law abiding, peaceful movement and is family oriented. You frequently see children attending our rallies. We would not tolerate someone defecating on the American flag or a police car. We show complete disdain for Communism and Socialism.

The Occupy movement is a different story. Adbusters, a Vancouver based anti-consumerist magazine, came up with the idea for Occupy Wall Street in a brainstorming session. They were inspired by the “Arab Spring” movement which toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Kallie Lasn, co-founder of Adbusters was recently quoted by Reuters as saying of the movement, “We were inspired by what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and we had this feeling that America was ripe for a Tahrir moment.” The protests that began on September 17th were triggered by an Adbusters poster and marketing campaign.

You see an abundance of Occupy activists wearing shirts promoting Communism and Socialism and a few activists have defecated on the American flag and a police car. Some activists openly engage in sex and show a defiance of law enforcement.

Occupy Wall Street activists are attempting to blame Wall Street and capitalism for this nation’s economic woes. Many tea party activists openly question if the Occupy movement is actually a re-election ploy of the Obama re-election campaign to deflect the blame for our troubled economy from the failed policies of the Obama Administration to Wall Street.

Debbie Dooley