Tuesday, March 15

Go check out (or buy) the new issue of The Believer (always a good magazine), which features Opensewer associate Jana Prikryl's essay "ABU GHRAIB: A Gobal Family Portait."
"Good writing comes from good reading. All literary criticism should be accessible to the general reader. Criticism at its best is re-creative, not spirit-killing. Technical analysis of a poem is like breaking down a car engine, which has to be reassembled to run again. Theorists childishly smash up their subjects and leave the disjecta membra like litter." Camille Paglia is talking about poetry (but I feel her right now because I am dealing with this crap in art school these days).
Because our government(s) can't be trusted to examine the efficacy of their own policies and programs, others do it for us(them)... Marijuana prohibition fails to produce intended results. Total US marijuana arrests increased 165% during the 1990s, from 287,850 in 1991 to 755,000 in 2003. However, these increased arrest rates have not been associated with a reduction in marijuana use, reduced marijuana availability, a reduction in the number of new marijuana users, reduced treatment admissions, reduced emergency room mentions of marijuana, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the price of marijuana. From NORML's new report on US Marijuana Prohibtion. (I'm blogging more b/c I'm on spring break!)

Monday, March 14

"Let’s put aside all of the procedural problems with enacting it. Forget about the fact that there was no debate. Forget about the fact that most members of Congress didn’t even have an opportunity to read it. It is a direct assault on at least three amendments to the Constitution: the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment. The PATRIOT Act legitimates the notion that if we give up certain freedoms, the government will keep us safer. I reject that notion from a moral and legal point of view. I also reject it from a practical point of view. It doesn’t work. The government doesn’t need our freedoms to keep us safer. No one—no lawyer, judge, or historian—can point to a single incident in American history where national security was impaired because someone insisted on their right to free speech or their right to privacy or their right to due process." Nick Gillespie interviews Judge Andrew Napolitano. Would you have guessed from that quote that Napolitano has a job on Fox News?

Wednesday, March 2

One argument for the "fat" tax on food is that it is cheaper for people to eat unhealthy junk than it is for them to eat well. So how much would it cost to reach the 2,000 calorie goal and follow the official USA's dietary guidlines? About five bucks a day. (more from me in the comments section)