More

A TV creator criticizes a 44-year-old U.S. policy to the president's face, and Obama mostly agrees.

"The way we treat non-violent drug crimes is problematic, and from a fiscal perspective, it's breaking the bank."

A TV creator criticizes a 44-year-old U.S. policy to the president's face, and Obama mostly agrees.

"It's draconian, and it doesn't work," Simon told the president.

That was "The Wire" creator David Simon in a video posted to the White House YouTube channel about the war on drugs. Simon and President Barack Obama engaged in a candid, personal conversation.

Simon spent years as a Baltimore police reporter before he began writing for TV. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to have this kind of discussion.


There was something special about this meeting. After all, it's not everyday that a sitting president invites someone to the White House to criticize a 44-year-old national policy.

Though "The Wire" wrapped up its final season before Obama took office, its commentary on the effect of the war on drugs is as relevant as ever.

The series gave viewers a look inside the world of crime and presented it in a way much less black and white than other shows; the line between good and evil was especially blurry. In Simon's world, corruption was everywhere, including the police.

With so many highly publicized cases of police brutality and killing of unarmed black men going on, it's really easy to begin to see reality leak through the show's fiction.

When he was a state legislator, Obama noticed the negative side effects brought on by the war on drugs.

Instead of rehabilitating criminals, the current system is set up to make people even more likely to commit a crime once they're released. It's broken.

Simon spoke frankly, telling the president that the current system places offenders as "permanently part of the other America and can't be pulled back."

After being released from prison, many people convicted of crimes find that their pre-prison lives have been pretty much washed away. This isn't exactly an ideal way to rehabilitate and reintegrate people back into society. But that's kind of the point: The war on drugs is about locking people up for as long as possible and isn't usually all that concerned about in what condition people are released back.

There are arguments from both the political left and right for putting an end to the drug war.

The current system is ethically dubious, unfairly targets people of color, ineffective, and unbelievably costly. Though Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized the policy, it remains in place.

"What we're doing is counterproductive," Obama said, noting that we spend so much time and money keeping non-violent drug offenders in jail rather than focusing on education.

If so many agree this isn't working, why don't we change it?

From an administrative point of view, President Obama says that Attorney General Eric Holder has been working with prosecutors and their offices in an effort to change how they prosecute these crimes. However, he concedes that unless Congress takes action on their end, things aren't likely to change.

"Ultimately, we're going to need legislation, and that's where awareness comes in handy," he said.

Watch this really interesting, personal conversation between President Obama and David Simon below:


via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less