Wednesday, August 13, 2003


I was looking for certain information about Purell, that anti-bacterial gel. I got a lot of hits from blogs about camping. It inspired me to do a Google search for - Dobbs dopey. To my everlasting delight, I discovered that Google is crawling me. I guess I'm easily thrilled, but I was pretty excited to see LAST ONE SPEAKS was hit number 15. By tonight it's already down to 20, but it was cool to find us on page two.



I wasn't going to post this but I obsessively turned on CSPAN and there was GW in his golf shirt trying to look presidential. I thought he came off pretty whiny. He's starting to look a little desperate. I found this nauseating promo in this morning's Berkshire Eagle. He licensed the Elite Series limited edition Bush doll to KB Toys. I think Karl Rove might be losing it, when he let them dress the doll in a flight suit. I'm not so sure the military families who are testifying against the conditions in Iraq on CSPAN right now, should be reminded of Bush's well-documented service record. I believe they call it AWOL.



Benjamin S. Gaines, Legislative Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy sends this reminder from RAISE YOUR VOICE about a bill that Ted Kennedy, (bless his Irish heart), is about to introduce in the Senate to repeal the Higher Education Act drug provision, a dunder-headed law that has denied over 100,000 young people college financial aid, mostly for minor drug convictions. Please take a moment to at least sign the petition.

I could go on at length on why it's important, however I think Bill Gallagher, publisher of Run Drugs Out of Town Run, had the definitive word on this subject today. Bill and I don't always agree, but he's dead on with this:

Of all the drug war laws this one is at the top of my list. Not only do we punish with a conviction that often comes with jail time but this extends the punishment to pracitcally prohibit an education for a lot of people. The sad part is not only are they robbed of an opportunity for a better education but we are all robbed of their potential.



The good news is that the New York Times came out with a great editorial yesterday on USC Justice Kennedy's remarks on mandatory minimum sentencing. Jules Siegel once pointed out to me that the Vietnam War ended when the NYT came out against it. Hope that still holds true for this war. I couldn't find the link, so I post it here in full:


Pubdate: Tue, 12 Aug 2003
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2003 The New York Times Company


We hope that both the members of Congress and the Bush administration were paying attention last weekend when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a tough-on-crime Reagan appointee, decried harsh and inflexible sentencing
policies. Justice Kennedy was speaking for legal experts from across the political spectrum when he said the current rules misspent America's criminal justice resources by locking up people for irrationally long amounts of time.

The nation's inmate population reached 2.1 million, a record, last year. One major factor behind the increase has been the imposition of the mandatory minimum sentences contained in many federal laws, especially drug laws. A second reason for the rise is the effect of federal sentencing guidelines, which were adopted in the mid-1980's to make criminal
sentences in federal cases more uniform. These two measures have both pressured judges to give longer sentences than they otherwise would.

Justice Kennedy, speaking to the American Bar Association's annual convention, said he supported sentencing guidelines in principle, but that they must be "revised downward" to less draconian levels. As for the mandatory minimums, the inflexible minimum sentences written into some laws, Justice Kennedy said he could accept neither their "necessity" nor their "wisdom." He is hardly alone, even among conservatives, in raising these objections. Chief Justice William Rehnquist has complained that inflexible sentencing rules may threaten judicial independence. And
Judge John Martin Jr., appointed by the first President George Bush, has announced that he is leaving the federal bench rather than remain part of "a sentencing system that is unnecessarily cruel and rigid."

Even as these objections are being raised, the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans are making the situation worse. They have enacted a new law, called the Feeney Amendment, that reduces judges' discretion to
impose sentences less severe than those called for by the guidelines. And Attorney General John Ashcroft has announced plans to track individual judges' sentencing records, an intimidating move that critics are calling a judicial blacklist.

Justice Kennedy cast the deciding vote this year in upholding lengthy sentences for minor crimes under California's "three strikes" law. But as he told the association, a court can call something permissible that is
not necessarily "wise or just." Mandatory minimums and overly harsh federal sentencing guidelines are not wise or just. If the Bush administration does not believe the liberal critics, it should take the word of the growing
number of conservatives who are calling for reform.


Last word of the day goes to Gary Storck who is organizing this project. If you are anywhere near DC on Bilbo Baggins birthday, please help in this tribute to Cheryl, one of the bravest warriors that ever fought for a natural remedy.

Cheryl Miller

On Monday and Tuesday, September 22 and 23, 2003, Cheryl Miller's family and friends will join with medical marijuana supporters to memorialize her life and contributions to the medical marijuana movement. Though she was paralyzed by decades of multiple sclerosis, Cheryl and her husband and caregiver Jim waged a long and courageous battle so patients like Cheryl would not have to suffer when a safe medicine, marijuana, could be easily available were it not for politics keeping it illegal and out of the hands of those who could benefit. Cheryl's long struggle came to an end on
June 7, 2003.

Rest in Peace



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