Monday, October 17
Yes, I was a cop for 34 years, the last six of which I spent as chief of Seattle's police department.
But no, I don't favor decriminalization. I favor legalization, and not just of pot but of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, psychotropics, mushrooms and LSD." From LATimes.
Thursday, October 13
Tuesday, September 20
Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director."
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
Monday, September 19
Go ahead and share your "favorite" petty laws in the comments section, so we know you're out there.
Thursday, September 15
Sunday, September 11
Saturday, September 10
Friday, September 9
Tuesday, September 6
[State and local officials like me were told] every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.
Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.
(thanks to Hit&Run)
Saturday, September 3
Tuesday, August 30
Friday, August 26
Thursday, August 25
A tough attack on the Republicans from... foxnews.com - find good critiques where you can.
Wednesday, August 24
The simplest argument against a government war on obesity? The results of the war on drugs and the war on poverty, to name the two biggest "war on ... " failures I can think of.
Tuesday, August 23
Friday, August 12
Thursday, August 11
These are not such times. The President's ignorance of science might have remained a private matter, but he chose to speak on the subject of evolution and "intelligent design." This is a great pity.
Science -- from the loftiest of theorizing (like that of Einstein or, oh, Darwin) through the conducting of painstakingly difficult experiments to the application of new knowledge to the improvement of human life -- science, I say, is the chief engine of our society."
Tuesday, August 9
Thursday, August 4
More on why the hype is bad - undercover cops bust immigrant clerks who don't understand that the cops are pretending to be meth makers. Law enforcement going the extra mile to bust the innocent.... (nytimes login: opensewer, password:iswatching)
Wednesday, August 3
The apparel industry, which is often accused of unsafe working conditions and poor wages, actually pays its foreign workers well enough for them to rise above the poverty in their countries. While more than half of the population in most of the countries we studied lived on less than $2 per day, in 90 percent of the countries, working a 10-hour day in the apparel industry would lift a worker above - often far above - that standard. For example, in Honduras, the site of the infamous Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal, the average apparel worker earns $13.10 per day, yet 44 percent of the country's population lives on less than $2 per day.
Shocking, no? Read more here.
Friday, July 29
Thursday, July 28
Tuesday, July 26
Makes me wonder a bit... makes me wonder what the percentages of sympathetic Muslims might be here in the U.S.... makes me wonder how many non-Muslims might also sympathize, which we don't get numbers for.
Thanks to aldaily.com
Tuesday, July 19
Check your own BMI (body mass index) here, and be sure to remember that the BMI does NOT distinguish weight of fat from weight of muscle.
Friday, July 15
Here is Sullum's earlier piece on the Center for Science in the Public Interest, scaremongers of the obesity plague.
Wednesday, July 13
Monday, July 11
If we believe we have a right to freedom of religion, we do not seek a rational belief policy or religion policy; on the contrary, we would call such a policy "religious persecution" and a denial of the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
So long as we do not believe in freedom of, and responsibility for, drug use, we cannot mount an effective opposition against medical-statist drug controls. In a free society, the duty of the government is to protect individuals from others who might harm them; it is not the government's business to protect individuals from harming themselves. " - Thomaz Szasz.
I've seen the name Thomas Szasz show up here and there before, but this time I will thank Tom Cruise (yep!) for his recent tirade against the psychiatry industry, which brough Szasz's name back to my attention. You can find a lot about Szasz here. I am finding it a decent collection of his thoughts and writings, which I am currently enjoying. (Link to the article from which the quote was taken is here.)
Friday, July 8
Tell that to the UK folks voting in the online poll of world's greatest philosopher . Here's a quote from the leader in the poll at publish date:
It’s possible that I shall make an ass of myself. But in that case one can always get out of it with a little dialectic. I have, of course, so worded my proposition as to be right either way. —Marx to Engels, 1857 That quote from this article on Leszek Kolakowski.
The strongest argument in favor of government intervention I have heard is that the rising costs of obesity create costs that our entire nation has to deal with through the health care system. However, the idea that this systemic connection might be re-evaluated is usually not considered; what is considered more readily is intervention and control over the production and eating liberties we enjoy currently.
Krugman also references and advances an argument that "at least some food consumption is almost certainly not rational." So what, Paul? The same might be said of drinking whiskey, sports, social pursuits, and even religion. Don't we reserve to adults the right to make choices that appear irrational to others?
Wednesday, July 6
It appears Spurlock doesn't let facts get in the way of his demonizing mission. Aren't attention to detail and reliance on factual evidence the cornerstones of investigative journalism? Sadly, not in this case. In fact, his book is so loose with facts that writer Radley Balko has decided to dedicate a blog just to exposing his errors. Ugh.
This is a fine example of lazy, deceptive journalism that will receive a lot of press and likely become popular. Such work defrauds the public and does not contribute to public debate.
Friday, June 24
Props to Thomas and the other dissenters in Kelo who respect your right to own your own home without it being under constant threat of being taken by the state so someone can put their private business there.
You want links? Too bad. Blogger's control board doesn't come up on Mac's Safari browser, and my art school is a Mac place. And I ain't getting paid to write html. Try Slate.com or Reason for some court case analysis.
Wednesday, June 22
Friday, June 10
Thursday, June 2
Thursday, May 26
Here's a part from his piece that explains why I have similar sympathies: "A certain misplaced loyalty kept me from grasping that a view of individuals as morally capable of and responsible for making the principle decisions that shape their lives is decisively at odds with the contemporary left's entrance-level view of people as passive and helpless victims of powerful external forces, hence political wards who require the continuous shepherding of caretaker elites. "
Thursday, May 19
Sensenbrenner, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named "Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act," would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration.
Here's how the "spy" section of the legislation works:
If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution" of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:
You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife;
You discover that your son gave his college roommate a marijuana joint;
You learn that your daughter asked her boyfriend to find her some drugs, even though they're both in treatment.
In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could land you in jail.
End excerpt. Yes, it's true. Don't like it? Wanna fight it? Fight here (just one place)!
Tuesday, May 10
Sunday, May 8
Saturday, May 7
Wednesday, May 4
Friday, April 8
Monday, April 4
The two articles linked below note the liberal origins of of the anti-science climate that has allowed the recent rise of religious based "science."
This article in the New Humanist describes the "Vedic-science" claims in India that sound a lot like American "faith-based science" to me.
Over at Spiked-online, liberal relativism is implicated in facilitating the rise of American creationism more directly.
Being in grad school myself these days, I often see the "cultural-relativist" approach taken to science. I hear teachers talk about science as an "ideology," and generally display their misunderstanding of basic accepted truths of modern science (like evolution) in the classroom without any protest or debate (because facts just get in the way of cultural theory).
A review of George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant."
Saturday, April 2
So I’m drinking the water, fine, no problem, I’m thirsty, it’s doing the job…and then I notice a little blurb on the side of the bottle:
DASANI is filtered for purity, using state of the art treatment by reverse osmosis, and enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste. DASANI is water – pure and essential.
Now I guess I’m just slow, but this is the first time I’d realized that some of this expensive* bottled water doesn’t actually come from springs. It’s treated tap water! On top of this, they add minerals to flavor it – to artificially make it taste more like real mineral water. Then, to make matters worse, they add SALT! Leave it to Coke to turn something as pure as water into what is essentially a “soft drink”. It’s no wonder that they feel the need to reassure you of the “water-ness” of their product: “DASANI is water – pure and essential.”
Combine all of these concerns with the added externality that one creates as a consumer of this product – waste plastic. Hopefully most of these bottles get recycled. My guess is that a significant number of them end up in landfills.
Ah, the commoditization of the gifts of the earth – thank you Coke, and the rest of the bottled water industry for taking something natural and adding a layer of marketing (and plastic) to it.
(* NOTE: I say expensive because most people already pay for tap water from their municipality…so all bottled water is expensive because you’re paying again for something you already have.)
Tuesday, March 15
Monday, March 14
Wednesday, March 2
Tuesday, February 22
Monday, February 14
Wednesday, February 2
Monday, January 17
Friday, January 7
This can't be good for society or the art world. (NYTimes article; Login: Opensewer; Password: Iswatching)