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Writer's Block: Kiss me, I’m Irish!
Now it is over, it is time for hangover
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How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Writer's Block: Kiss me, I’m Irish!

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are you?
How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Writer's Block: Play Catch
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If your pet had thumbs, what would it do?

Writer's Block: Spring Cleaning
My job
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What do you really need to get rid of?

Light Up!!
US politicians have introduced a bill that would legalise marijuana nationwide but allow each state to regulate, tax and control the drug itself.
They acknowledged, however, that the bill has virtually no chance of becoming law.
"We believe the federal government shouldn't be involved with prosecuting adults smoking marijuana," said Democratic congressman Barney Frank today. "We don't have enough prosecutors or police officers to do so."
The bill is the first ever effort to legalise the production and consumption of marijuana nationwide.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalised the production and consumption of marijuana for medical purposes, while 14 states have decriminalised small amounts for consumption.
"I don't expect to pass it in this Congress," added Mr Frank. "But I think we're making progress. This is an educational process." About 850,000 Americans were arrested in 2009 for marijuana-related offences, and about 90 per cent of those cases were for possession, according to figures from the FBI.
"The drug war has not worked, clearly," said Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado.
The Obama administration's Office of National Drug Control Policy, which opposes legalisation, contends that marijuana potency has tripled in the past 20 years and that the age of teen drug users is getting younger.
It also says that 30 per cent of people who have used marijuana in the past year say they are dependent on the drug.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, whose country is the main supplier of marijuana and amphetamines to the United States, warned recently that legalising cannabis would make it tougher for countries like Mexico to prosecute farmers for growing a product that was legal in the United States.
"I would say to President Calderon that he does what he thinks is right in Mexico and I'll do what I think is right in the United States," said Mr Frank, who said the bill would not allow the importation of the drug.
But, he said, the legalisation of cannabis in the United States, the biggest drug consuming country in the world, would "produce a shift in the market".
Three weeks ago a group of ex-presidents of Latin America as well as former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan denounced the failure of the global war on drugs and called for urgent changes, including the legalisation of cannabis.

DUTCH far-right MP Geert Wilders walked away from hate speech and discrimination charges today for statements made attacking Islam, calling his acquittal a victory for freedom of speech.
"You are being acquitted on all the charges that were put against you," Judge Marcel van Oosten told Wilders who has been on trial in the Amsterdam regional court since October last year.
The flamboyant MP faced five counts of hate speech and discrimination for his anti-Islamic remarks on websites, internet forums and in Dutch newspapers between October 2006 and March 2008, and in his controversial 17-minute movie "Fitna" ("Discord" in Arabic).
He also compared the Koran with Hitler's "Mein Kampf" while in "Fitna" he shows shocking images of the September 11 attacks in the United States and other onslaughts against Western targets interspersed with verses from the Muslim holy book.

Clown prince
“There is no country in the world which has become prosperous by regularly cheating its own people and squandering funds for mediocrity, instead of greatness,” proclaimed former Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) chairwoman Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende as she announced that she has joined the political party All for Latvia!, reports news agency LETA.
In a public letter explaining her motivation to enter politics, Jaunzeme-Grende points out that she has been politically neutral until now. “I wish to remain and live in Latvia, but not in a country controlled by oligarchs,” she emphasized.

The former LCCI chief said that the only acceptable way to get rid of oligarchs and their 20-year reign over Latvian politics is for parties that defend the interests of the country’s people to win the upcoming elections. Up until now, the success of many Latvian political parties in elections was dependent on the financial goodwill of some privatization era “heroes,” which the parties had to “pay back” when they gained power, Jaunzeme-Grende believes.
“I have chosen to act and join a party that carries out its promises and acts with a conscience. This party is All for Latvia!” Jaunzeme-Grende stated.

She urges each Latvian citizen to evaluate the current situation and choose their party now, not waiting for “another pre-election show sponsored by oligarchs.”
Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, continuing on his bandwagon against alleged state-wide corruption surrounding the so-called oligarchs, was in Vienna last week to take part in a World Economic Forum session devoted to European and Central Asian issues.

On the first evening of the forum, on June 7, the president took part in a discussion with other heads of state about anti-corruption issues, saying that “over the course of 20 years, Latvia has gone through difficult reforms which laid the foundations for democracy and ensured the country’s economic growth. The development of democracy is an ongoing process, as has been seen in the most recent events in Latvia.”

Zatlers added that “as we improve our political culture, we also increase the level of the rule of law in the country,” but he also noted that these changes require long term work and public understanding.
“Economic growth can be ensured if the business environment is transparent and honest,” Zatlers told the audience. “Only then can we ensure that the potential of business is put to full use. We need orderly legal regulations and the belief that they will be implemented effectively if domestic and foreign investors are to feel certain that the business environment is an honest one. That is why Latvia is struggling to ensure that its political environment is more friendly and, thus, more competitive in terms of business and investors.”

A demonstration, the so-called people’s rally referred to as the ‘Oligarchs’ Funeral - Bid Your Oligarch a warm farewell!’ was held on June 8 in Riga with a group of artists and construction workers conducting prep-work - putting together a three-headed ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ monster, which was to eventually be set ablaze. This is symbolic of the people’s refusal to keep their eyes and minds shut to the wrongdoing in Latvia.

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