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The Wire producer: War on drugs is ‘a war on the underclass’

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David Simon, the creator and executive producer of HBO’s The Wire, said the war on drugs had devolved into a war on the underclass after actress Felicia Pearson was arrested in Baltimore on drug charges.

Thirty-year-old Pearson had served a prison sentence for murder before join the cast of The Wire, an television drama series about inner-city life in Baltimore that premiered in 2002 and ended five seasons later in 2008.

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Pearson and over sixty others were arrested on Thursday as part of a five-month investigation by the DEA and Baltimore police, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“In places like West and East Baltimore, where the drug economy is now the only factory still hiring and where the educational system is so crippled that the vast majority of children are trained only for the corners, a legal campaign to imprison our most vulnerable and damaged citizens is little more than amoral,” Simon told Slate.

“Both our Constitution and our common law guarantee that we will be judged by our peers,” he continued. “But in truth, there are now two Americas, politically and economically distinct. I, for one, do not qualify as a peer to Felicia Pearson. The opportunities and experiences of her life do not correspond in any way with my own, and her America is different from my own. I am therefore ill-equipped to be her judge in this matter.”

In an essay published by TIME magazine in 2008, Simon and other writers for The Wire said the war on drugs caused more harm to society than the drugs it sought to eliminate.

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“What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has,” they wrote. “And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our underclass… All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.”

The writers called on juries deliberating on non-violent violations of drug laws to acquit despite the evidence, a legal tactic known as jury nullification.

Although jury nullification may seem like a far-fetched tactic to stop the drug war, in December 2010 potential jurors refused to convict a Montana man for having a 1/16 of an ounce of marijuana regardless of the evidence.

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“I think it’s going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount,” District Judge Dusty Deschamps said at the time. He later decided he could not seat a jury and the prosecutor and defense attorney worked out a plea bargain.


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In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out

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5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.

1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?

This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.

1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?

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Body language expert dissects the power dynamic at play in the iconic Nancy Pelosi photo

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Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.

Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.

"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."

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Internet cracks up at possible fake Mitt Romney Twitter account — and wants him to ‘run against Trump as Pierre Delecto’

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UPDATE: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has confessed to the account being his. When an Atlantic reporter called to ask for comment and ask if he was the account, Romney replied, "C'est moi."

Slate reporter Ashley Feinberg wrote that she may have discovered a secret Mitt Romney Twitter account under the name Pierre Delecto.

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