Friday, July 31, 2009
I remember in high school there was a rumor that someone had invented a roadside test for detecting marijuana in someone’s system. This caused alarm for many people who had enjoyed relative security in their stoned driving (as opposed to the more risky drunk driving).
However, the public is much more likely to support legalization if we find an effective method of testing drivers. Presumably the police would be much more supportive, also. So perhaps investing some of the money we spend shooting at smugglers on the border would be better spent finding an effective roadside test for the police to regulate stoned driving.
Some worry that legalization would lead to an industry that is dependent upon people using marijuana consistently and spending their money on it, much like tobacco or alcohol. But we regulate alcohol and tobacco marketing specifically for this reason, and I see no reason that the same can’t be done for marijuana. The “grow your own” policy of allowing growing, possession, and consumption but maintaining the illegality of selling marijuana maintains the black market for people who don’t have a garden to grow it in, and so we would just continue wasting our police and throwing people in jail for a drug that is relatively harmless.
The Irish taxed each bag at 15 cents and they were using 90% less bags in three months. Now that is some effective taxation, my friends. Seattle is considering doing this in November. I hope they pass it.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Apparently the Obama people don’t want anyone to prove that we tortured people. Isn’t it a pretty well established fact to everyone that has been paying attention?
Truthfully, I don’t care all that much as long as don’t torture more people. I just wanted an excuse to post this video. See if you can spot the Guantanamo detainee:
Saturday, July 25, 2009
One theme in his act that he emphasized several times struck me. The reason he was ranting against bikers, gay rights supporters, people who recycle, or whoever else was that “he didn’t like being talked down to, dammit”.
Fair enough. But he only verbalized this feeling later in the act, as he was ranting against Bob Dole’s Viagra commercials for making him feel inferior. I think perhaps what is necessary in such a situation is to separate the commercial message that is intended to make you feel inferior so you buy a product, and someone who makes you feel slightly inferior for doing something that is detrimental to some of your fellow human beings (gay rights) or perhaps all of the creatures on the earth (recycling). It seems as though this inferiority complex will show up in very inconvenient places, such as when one is in charge of the U.S. military and one wishes to use it against U.S. citizens just so those Terrorist Motherfuckers learn that one doesn’t fuck around.
But really, when someone tells you to support gay rights or to recycle, it’s not about you or your lack of a Big Bob Dole Cock. It’s about everyone. I’m reminded of some writing that I saw on a bathroom wall once: “It’s not everyone else, it’s everyone”.
Dick Cheney thinks he should get to play general with the Army in your neighborhood.
Glenn Greenwald has an in depth discussion of the memos and the legal justification. But of course, there really isn’t any justification.
Presumably he would do this so it would make it easier for the government to keep the suspects in military custody without trial, which has been done anyway.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
So apparently Oregon Attorney General John Kroger released a report this week that concludes “there is insufficient evidence to charge, let alone convict, [Mayor Sam] Adams of illegal sexual contact with a minor” (page 13).
Sounds pretty conclusive, right?
But wait! Some failed Portland City Council candidate with no legal training says in Thursday’s Oregonian that “insufficient evidence is a long way from being cleared of any legal wrongdoing”. Apparently, since the report does not explicitly state that “Sam Adams did not fuck that minor, has never fucked a minor, and will never, ever fuck a minor in the future,” then we should continue to write opinion pieces muddling the issue.
Sam Adams lied. That is clear, and he admitted it. But there is nothing illegal about lying; it just makes you an asshole. And after meeting Adams a few times, I think he might just be an asshole. But the more important issue here is that an even bigger asshole, one Mr. Dave Lister, gets a quarter page of space in Oregon’s largest newspaper to act like he knows something that our elected Attorney General doesn’t, even though he receives all his information from the Attorney General’s own report.
This is why newspapers are increasingly irrelevant. Reporters and editors at large papers cling to a standard of “objectivity” that demands giving both sides an equal voice as long as both sides are yelling loudly. The Oregonian editors do not see think it is important to point out that the Attorney General's report addresses all of the issues brought up by Mr. Lister, or that he provides no evidence to back up his insinuation of legal wrongdoing on Adams’ part.
No, what’s important to the Oregonian is that Lister is a conservative-ish guy, so he should get to scrawl his idiocy in thousands of newspapers because there is an opinion piece above him on the page arguing for universal health care. That is a liberal-ish piece, so it’s only fair and balanced to publish whatever Lister may have been yelling about on Thursday below that. If the top half of that particular page of the newspaper is liberal, then the bottom better be conservative or your newspaper is going to be so very biased.
I think it’s fair to assume that people that have subscriptions to newspapers are a bit more educated and informed than non-subscribers on average, and I think those consumers of news are no longer satisfied by the product that is produced by the conventional notion of journalistic “objectivity”. A piece like Lister's is manipulative and condescending, and I think that many people see and feel that as they read it. So they’ve started getting their news on the internet from people that will say “Hey, that Dave Lister guy sounds like a pretty big asshole”. And so it goes.