Saturday, September 30, 2006

The war on pain management

I almost missed this one, DEA Revises Rule on Prescribing Painkillers.
DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said the agency had been wrong in limiting the multiple prescriptions and had made the tough decision to reverse course. She said the DEA received more than 600 comments from doctors, patients and others about its policies on narcotic painkillers, many of them strongly opposed to the agency's position on limiting refills.

"Think about how hard it is for anybody to go out publicly and say, 'We think this is probably prohibited by law,' " she said, referring to the earlier decision to prohibit multiple refills. "And then you listen to people and then you say, 'You know what? You're right,' and we're going to propose a rule that interprets this correctly. And that's what we've done."
While admission that they were wrong is a major switch for the DEA, not everyone agrees this is a big change. Siobhan Reynolds, who created the Pain Relief Network several years ago to help defend pain doctors has this to say.
"Ms. Tandy states here, as she has on many occasions, that doctors need not fear criminal prosecution as long as they practice medicine in conformity with what these drug cops think is 'appropriate,' " Reynolds said. "If that isn't a threat, it will certainly pass for one within the thoroughly intimidated medical community."
She's right. As the DEA thinks it has the right to dictate best medical practices, nothing has really changed at all and this is all smoke and mirrors to make the DEA look human.

The definitive quote comes from Howard Heit, who's a doctor himself and also a pain patient after suffering severe injuries in an auto accident. (I can't give you the link because it comes from a paper that requires a subscription)
'Our government is letting the misbehavior of a relatively small number of people too often trump the needs of many, many good people with complex medical problems and lots of pain,' he said recently, seating behind his office desk where a chart of pain levels is prominently displayed. (1-2 is mild pain, 5-6 is distressing pain, 9-10 is excruciating pain.) 'Many doctors won't prescribe for pain now. And believe me, that's not where we as a society want to be.'
So true. No civilized society should be willing to allow its citizens to live with unbearable pain when treatments to alleviate it exist.

Quote of the day

Willie Nelson's public statement regarding being caught with a bag of Marijuana:
"It's a good thing I had a bag of Marijuana instead of a bag of spinach. I'd be dead by now."

[hat tip Vig]

Sex and thugs and the taxpayer's money

Well at least they're not chasing down harmless pot smokers.
TAMPA - (AP) -- Hillsborough County vice officers spent $6,400 for 92 lap dances, drinks and tips in an investigation into nudity and liquor law violations at an adult bikini bar that spanned more than two years, county records show.

''Sometimes that's what it takes to get rid of the problems -- a lot of attention,'' Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee said of the investigation into Lil Tootsie's nightclub.
Yeah, you gotta give those guys some credit for taking their job so seriously. Gotta keep the world safe from dangerous nudity right? And apparently only the ones that weren't very good lap dancing got arrested. Guess they wanted to help with quality control.
Hillsborough bikini bars can serve alcohol as long as they don't allow nudity. Sheriff's detectives sought 41 misdemeanor nudity charges against 15 dancers at the club, but were unable to identify another 34 dancers, records show. Detectives bought seven lap dances from ''Cherry'' but never identified her, records show.
Two years of investigating and they could only identify 15 out of 50 dancers? And what do you bet every single detective worked on that case? With Tampa's violent crime rate, you might think they would have more important cases to solve.

[hat tip Paul Wright]

Unexpected company

Sorry folks. I enjoyed an unexpected visit from a dear friend I haven't seen in three years, who happened to be passing through town. I'll be back tomorrow morning but not too early.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I'm trying to update the blogroll as I find the links, so say hello to whig of cannablog. He's been leaving some great comments here and I finally checked out his blog. He's doing some fine work for reform. Check out the latest development on cannabis as a treatment for depression.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

DA resigns but not charged in pot bust

Justice is so relative.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ella Boone Conley has resigned a month after undercover detectives seized a large number of marijuana plants from a home she shared with her husband, Prosecutor Jack Banas said Wednesday.

Banas said that before Conley's resignation Tuesday, she had been on administrative leave since Aug. 25, pending the results of the investigation. No one has been arrested, and no charges have been filed in the case, Banas said. He would not say whether Conley is a target of the probe.[...]

Conley's attorney, Joe Green, said Wednesday that his client had no knowledge of the plants found in what he described as a "secretive part" of the residence. He said Conley and her husband, Max Conley, had a rocky relationship and that she had only been living at the couple's home in Portage des Sioux part time.

Right. How big a house do they live in? She wouldn't have noticed certain parts of the house were warmer or you know smelled anything funny? Marijauana grows usually reek. But she'll get off with just losing her job. If she just some ordinary wife or girlfriend, you can be sure she would be looking at jail time for conspiracy at least.

It's so unjust and so irritating but it does underline a point I often make. Chances are someone you know and would never expect, smokes pot.

Blog rolling...

I've been sick for the last two days. I don't know if its an impending cold or just allergies but I'm really cranky. So while I go look for something to bitch about, say hello to The Windy Pundit. He blogs out of Chicago and he does a lot of politics but he has a really interesting series of posts up right now about his recent jury duty stint.

I'm almost jealous. I always wanted to sit on a jury. Eighteen years in the law firm and I was called to the jury pool only three times. Twice I was dismissed because the trials all settled. But once I made all the into the jury box. I was just sitting there feeling pretty good about it, when the DA walked in. He recognized me and preempted me the first chance he got. Meaning he can reject a juror without having a reason three times in the process and he was cashing in one of those on me.

I guess I could see his point. I was a member of the best defense team in town and the defense lawyer was a friend of the firm, although I didn't know him. But I still think he should have left me on. I had been in the biz for so long at that point that I was completely jaded. I would have been the most impartial juror he ever had.

Anyway Mark gives a detailed of the proceedings in case you ever wondered what it's like to be seated and I'm adding him to the blogroll under policy reform even though he has a wider focus on his blog because when he does reform issues, he does it well.

Meanwhile I've rearranged the blogroll a little tonight. I moved a bunch of blogs around that were in the wrong place for one reason or another and just about dismantled often checked to make the blogroll easier to use.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Art appreciation

Just found this site in the referrals. It bills itself as a playground for designers of all artistic stripes. Certainly something for everyone there. For instance, if kinky art is your forte, they have just what you're looking for. Unfortunately they don't give you directions to the park.

And life is a canvas. For anyone who has walked by a dusty car and couldn't resist writing "wash me" on it, here's some inspiration.

And on another note, while we're speaking of appreciation -- $200,000? I knew I should have hung on to those Barbie dolls.

Another Subway Series?

I've been a bad baseball fan this year. I didn't watch a single game and I probably looked at the standings all of three times -- counting today. Looks a good news, bad news year. The Red Sox may have broken the curse, but they don't look like they're going to repeat the miracle this year. Even their wild card bid looks a little dicey but then again, the Sox fans are often happier when they can complain about the team. Winning was stressing a lot of long time supporters out, what with worrying about the end of the world and all.

On a brighter note, my lifelong team -- the Mets -- has cinched their division and are looking pretty good against the competition. I wouldn't mind another subway series and this time for sure, we're going to wipe up the bases with those arrogant, overpaid Yankees.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

All on a sunny afternoon

John has been a big help with my fitness program. I'm forced to go out and walk because I ask him to go with me. Then I can't wimp out. It was a lovely one today.

We walked down the road and it's a charming street with virtually no traffic and a couple of farms on it. One of them had a few rickety sheds with a bunch of old farm equipment scattered artfully around the grounds. I love this stuff myself.

I know the thing in the background is a disc harvester but does anybody have a clue what this red thing is? John inspected it thoroughly and reports it doesn't appear to be a pump since there's no place to attach hoses.

This I feel certain is a hay rake but I'm betting it's been a long time since it raked any hay.

Anyway, it was another hour's walk at an easy pace. Second time this week and I'm already feeling stronger. I could do the inclines without huffing today which is a distinct improvement on last week. Next I need to work on the speed.

Drug busts up at the border

Border agents in Texas have been seizing record breaking amounts of hard drugs this year. And under the heading, how to turn a meth hill into a mountain, the biggest rise has been in Mexican meth. As we predicted, outlawing cold pills and busting up small time home labs not only didn't solve the problem but made it worse.

The states all jumped on the DEA's meth panic bandwagon and the practical effect is you now practically need a lawyer to buy a package of cold medicine and you're in more danger from foreign organized crime cartels who are bringing in a product that is much more pure and addictive than the stuff the home labs were turning out. Not to mention this syndicates seek to make new customers in order to increase their profits, while the small labs were making it only for themselves and their few junkie friends. And the new dealers don't give credit, so the newly addicted need money for their fix and your local property crimes will increase. And of course the money won't be circulating here anymore, the profits will go south with the dealers.

This is why we need to legalize all drugs. If we legalize it, we can regulate it and control the market instead of letting it control us.

This is your ass on drugs

I'm late in posting this but the ONDCP has a new bunch of ads and I hear they uploaded them to YouTube where they remain some of the lowest ranks videos on the sites. The parodies however are doing quite well. Thanks to JackL for this one, which features a little plug at the end for our pal Pete at Drug WarRant.

Seth Stevenson writing for Slate, gives the ads a pretty good review as being more realistic about marijuana use than they have been in the past and also gives Pete and the Dare Generation a nice link.
Quick question, though, in light of this new marijuana glasnost: Will the ONDCP now retract its previous claims that pot is a dangerous gateway drug? And, logical next question (as others have noted): If smoking pot is the safest thing in the world, does not lead to the use of harder drugs, and, worst case, causes you to veg out on a couch for several hours, why is it a criminal offense? I eagerly await the ads addressing this conundrum.
I doubt Walters will ever order a video to address that but it seems a ripe topic for the YouTubers to take on. I wish I was more technosmart. I'd make one myself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Virtual history

I don't know how I missed this. Thanks to Vig for pointing me to the virtual museum of reefer madness. They've collected a lot of historical examples of prohibitionist propaganda. The True Crime covers alone in the magazine section are worth a click. Check it out.


John and I took a lovely walk last evening into this little enclave. It was an interesting little rabbit's warren of dead end roads with lovely homes. It appears to be a Friend's community of some kind although the passersby didn't look all that Quakerish to me. But maybe in the south, even Quakers drive muscle cars and motorcyles.

There wasn't much to photograph outside of the old sign, although I was quite excited to see flora that looked familiar. It almost felt like strolling through the New England woods, except for the half dozen dogs that felt compelled to follow us down the road growling threateningly, lest we stray onto their territory.

And for today's creepy creature pix, I have a new spiderweb. This came from the yard and not from the walk but I've never seen like it before. I thought at first that somehow a stray fishing line had got caught up in the shrubbery the anchor was so thick but it was definitely a web.

I cut the spider out of the shot, out of deference to Lisa who, with her busy schedule, needs her sleep. I don't want her to have nightmares again tonight.

Nevada on track for legalization

This is good news. The Marijuana Policy Project reports Nevada is poised to become the first state "to permit the legal cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana to adults aged 21 and older, it would be the biggest victory in the history of the marijuana policy reform movement."
In the new poll, respondents were read the actual text that will appear on their November ballots. Of the 600 likely Nevada voters interviewed statewide by a respected national polling firm, 49 percent said they would vote yes on the question and 43 percent said no.
This is most accurate polling done to date as other polling was conducted using charged and inaccurate wording. This bodes particularly well for reformers because it would allow recreational use and not be limited to medical users only.

We're making progress folks.

Head to the Roundup

I don't know how he finds the time, but thehim of ReLoad, a superhuman drug war news aggregator, has assembled his almost weekly Drug War Roundup and he never misses a story worth reading.

We don't thank him often enough for bringing policy reform to the attention of the Kos community. Before he started this series, drug war threads would be ignored over there, if not mocked, but thehim put the effort into gaining credibility with that crowd -- no easy matter -- and brings our message to thousands of readers every week. So thank thehim and while you're over there don't forget to play a round of Zonk, the second most fun dice game in the world.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stormy Sunday

I slept in today and it's going to storm so I'm going out for while to get some fresh air before it hits but check out this celestial phenomenon. I've never seen anything like it before and I have to say I'm glad my sky doesn't look like this. It's just too freaky.

[hat tip Mycos]

Name this spider

John is a better photographer than me and grabbed this shot of a spider on his deck that looks remarkably similar to the one that was hanging on my car the other day. I just spent an hour trying to identify it online without success and I'm getting creeped out by looking at the photos, so any naturalists out there that can identify this puppy? I'm thinking now it's some of orb spider which apparently is not venomous.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekly Tarot

I did another electronic reading last night. I don't often think about money, it's never been that important to me. I'm not an acquistive person. And after I was robbed of everything of value I owned, I decided not to own anything valuable anymore. But I had money on my mind. I guess because I've been talking to Dana about her money problems.

As I told her, I've lived a very uneven life. I've been so broke I couldn't afford food and I've had so much cash that I had to safety pin my pockets to keep the money from falling out. I've stayed in palaces and slept on the street. Loved them both. But I got used to having enough money to pay off my bills every month and still have enough left to travel and put money in the bank. When I gave up my job to do that which I can't speak about, I gave up that comfort level too.

Suddenly I find myself myself in need of another source of income and I'm thinking I spew out 3,000 words a day, virtually for free, on the internets. Maybe I should be spending some of that time trying to freelance some work for money instead. So I asked the oracle to tell me what I needed to know about that and this is what I threw.

I have to tell you I was really glad to see The Tower in the receding influence space. Funny how often I throw that card. Like I said, I have a very uneven life... [damn, there's that ellipse again]

Worth a thousand words

Life in Afghanistan. If I was living in that misery, I'd be doing the same.

Forget the man in the moon, did you know Mars has a face? Conjures up all sorts of possibilities.

It's a sickness I tell you...

I've noticed something very disturbing today. It's like a computer virus, once you get it, it just keeps replicating. Personally I blame Eric for infecting me. I knew I should have listened when they told I needed protection to be with him.

Yes friends, it's true. I've come down with the dreaded ellipse-aptcy. It started with just one, once in a while but before you know it, it's a full fledged addiction. I can't stop ending my blog comments with them. I've always loved the pregnant pause and those three dots... well they just say so much...

Weekend time wasters and other fun stuff

Thanks to Cindi for this week's amusement. Find your inner Picasso head here. And after you've warmed up with that, try some freehand fun. If you need some inspiration for this one, check out Cindi's handiwork. [note - move the lever to high speed]. Who knew she was such an artist?

Don't like art? Maybe Tits is more your style. She has the
ultimate party game which I understand is soon to become the official blogmeet contest of the Jawja bloggers, replacing the ever popular half rubber. Poor pussy indeed.

Meanwhile, for everyone who was wondering why I have such a raging crush on Bostick. Wonder no more. Who wouldn't want a piece of that?

Friday, September 22, 2006

So strange...

I'm so spaced out today. I got plenty of sleep in terms of hours but the alarm went off while I was dreaming so I didn't resolve my subconscious plot. It always throws me off all day when that happens.

I can't remember much of it. I was dreaming about my friend Victoria. We were on a train that we had boarded because it had a free buffet in the dining car. We were drinking cocktails and talking and I wondered why Roy wasn't there. Then the train was crashing. Someone was coming through the door. I couldn't see who it was. I had an hors dourve in my hand and I was crumbling to the floor when the alarm went off.

Meanwhile, adding to the surreal aspect of the day, when I got home there was something weird about the place. It took me a half an hour of pacing around and looking out the window to figure out what was agitating me. Somebody came today and took away both my piles of debris to be burned and all the big branches from my yard.

This is the craziest place I've ever rented. It was kind of like when they took the dead tree down. I never know who does these things. They don't leave a note and my landlord never calls me. For all I know that scratching I heard the other night was a zombie who lives under the house and he did it.

I suppose I could call my landlord and ask, but I haven't spoken to him in so long, I lost his number and I can't quite remember his name since I pay the rent to a holding company. I'd have to dig my lease out to find it. On the bright side, the yard looks great, so I guess I'll just enjoy it.

A pot smoker is arrested every 40 seconds in America

Thanks to Rantin Ron for pointing me to this story that I'm just getting around to posting. It's the same old news but the statistics get worse every year

Police in the United States made a record number of arrests in 2005 according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report. The 786,545 people arrested for marijuana violations made up 42.6 percent of all drug arrests, and more arrests the total number for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, and rape, robbery and assault.

NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre said in response to the latest figures, "These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every 40 seconds in America. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism. ...Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 18 million Americans."

Think about that. A simple cannabis consumer, who is hurting no one and is no threat to your health and safety, is arrested every 40 seconds while "heroin and cocaine arrests have declined sharply." Is it because people are using less heroin and coke? NO! It's because it's easiest to bust a pot smoker and all law enforcement cares about it the stats so they can justify their government grants, not to mention the forfeiture angle. Most pot smokers tend to more successful and productive than heroin addicts and have more and better property to seize. Property I remind you, the cops get to keep and use to finance the purchase of even more militaristic equipment in order to trap a growing number of non-violent cannabis consumers.

I'm sure you see the Catch-22 in this scheme. I continue to believe that if we abolished the forfeiture laws you would see a big drop in unreasonable drug busts simply because without the financial incentive, it wouldn't be worth the cop's time to pursue it.

May I have a blogroll please

There's another new blog joining the battle for drug policy reform. Actually, it's not that new, it's been around since April but I just discovered it. Jon Katz of Marks & Katz, a Virginia/DC based law firm appears to be the main blogger. As you would expect he's blogging from a criminal defense point of view and looking around at his website it appears he's rather a hot property on the talking head circuit in the media. If you watch TV more than I do, you've probably seen him on one of the major stations.

In any event, the blog is great, so click over and check out the Underdog Blog. You're likely to learn something you didn't know. I even love the name and I added it to the blogroll under Drug Policy Reform.

And speaking of additions, I just got around to listing DRCNet's new blog - Speakeasy in the same category. If you haven't checked it out yet, click over and join in the conversation. For myself, I'm hoping that having the link handy will remind me to leave a post or two of my own, since they so kindly provided me with a reader's blog over there.

You know, if only George Soros would give me a personal grant to promote reform, I would be able to post more. This working for a living really takes up a lot of time..... Oh well, in the interim I'm looking at a week off starting tomorrow so I'm hoping to do some serious posting all over the Blogdom.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Morales holds firm on coca cultivation

Hugo Chavez got all the press for his UN speech but buried at the end of the article was a great quote by Boliva's Morales.

Some of the world's poorest countries, such as Bolivia, sought to prove they could stand up to the United States. Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close ally of Chavez, chastised the Bush administration for adding his nation to a list of major drug-producing countries because it permits the cultivation of coca, which is consumed by many Bolivians as tea but is also used to make cocaine.

Holding a coca leaf in his hand, Morales told the General Assembly he would never yield to U.S. pressure to criminalize coca production. "With all respect to the government of the United States, we are not going to change anything. We do not need blackmail or threats," Morales said.
Regular readers know, I've been counting on Morales to lead the world into sensible policy on the coca plant and end the insane eradication programs that destroy the earth along with the plant. I'm glad he's holding his ground on this. It's good to see at least one world leader keep his campaign promises to the people.

Baby it's cold outside

Sorry I didn't make it here last night. I was whipped from a troubled sleep the day before. I was woken up in the middle of the night by something furiously scratching underneath my floor. It was loud and scary. It sounded like a freaking bear trying to claw its way into the house. I spent a couple of hours tossing and turning and pounding on the floor with a broom to try to convince it to move out. I may have succeeded. I didn't hear a thing last night, but then again I was so tired I would have slept through an earthquake.

Meanwhile it's freezing here this morning. I sleep with the window open and it was 60 degrees in the house when I got up. Very abrupt change for this part of the world. Usually you ease into the cold weather here but still 51 degrees outside feels warmer down here without the bitter Arctic winds you get up north.

Anyway, I have a couple of hours this morning to do a little catch up so let me start with this pix from our hike a couple of days ago. John was kind enough to escort me on yet another trail I've been afraid to try alone. This one was a little longer and actually a nicer hike although there was less to photograph. A lot of incredible fungi but the light wasn't right for closeups as we went out late in the day. This picture was definitely the highlight of the hike.

Needless to say we didn't avail ourselves of the facilities. The good news is, there's still another mile or so of trails we didn't get to so we'll probably go back again at some point. Maybe there will be some better vistas on the outside ones.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Happy Birthday baby

Hard to believe how many years it's been since I first held this tiny pink baby in my arms and marveled at her beauty. I used to let her sleep in my lap for hours - just looking at her -- mesmerized by the miracle of it all.

Today she's the person I most admire in the world. I'm so proud of all she's accomplished that I could bust into a million pieces and fling myself, atom by atom, into the universe. She's grown into a remarkable woman.

But it's true what they say. No matter how grown up she gets, I still think of her as my perfect little girl. Happy birthday darling. I love you.

COTV - The End Rides On

As my favorite pundit Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over." Forget the sad announcement in this post. Checking into comments there Kehaar tells us he will take charge of the festivities and The Carnival of the Vanities will continue on at Silflay Hraka, where it first started.

Thanks Kehaar for keeping it going. I hated to see it end.

Willie Nelson busted on his bus

Well this is all over the news but thanks to Bostick and Lisa for being the first to bring this to my attention. This account has some video but the most details are from a local Louisiana paper The Daily Advertiser. I can't get a good link to the article I'm quoting at the moment, but here's the money grafs.
Williams said officers found 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and two-tenths of a pound of hallucinogenic mushrooms on the tour bus during a traffic stop for a commercial vehicle inspection on Interstate 10 westbound near Breaux Bridge.

"When the door was opened and the trooper began to speak to the driver, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana in the bus," State Police said in a news release.

The amount of drugs allegedly found could have resulted in felony drug counts, but Williams said the marijuana was considered for personal use "because all of the people on the bus claimed possession of it."
I love that last part. It was probably true but it was a good strategy although I suspect the cops believed them because --well-- this is Willie Nelson we're talking about. And thanks to Media Awareness Project here's a photo of the haul. I think it would have been fun to be on that ride.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Shady dealings in DC

This is urgent folks. Congress is about to pull a fast one and bring a new atrocious piece of legislation directly onto to the floor in order to help out an incumbent in Kentucky who needs to show the folks at home he's done something to earn his salary. It's a bad news bill.

The "Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006" would allow school officials to search dozens or even hundreds of students based on the mere suspicion that one student brought drugs to school. This is the sort of reasoning that led to the terrorizing of dozens of teenagers in Goose Creek. Dare Generation has the details and a video from Goose Creek so you can see for yourself what we're trying to prevent from happening here.

Everyone has a stake in this. You can't prevent teenage drug abuse with these searches and as I've said many times, teenagers that are treated with such disrespect for their civil rights do not grow up to respect the rule of law. If you want to foster a civil society for your own families and truly protect our youth, take action here. It only takes a minute. Do it for the children.

May I have a blogroll please

I don't know how I missed blogrolling him for so long, but say hello to Redneck Ramblings. He's an orginal Rumbler for sure but I never saw his picture until Elisson posted it. Maybe it's just that El is such a good photographer but doesn't Redneck look a lot like that guy who played one of the brothers on Simon and Simon?

And say hello to Galactically Stupid. I considered putting him into Leans to the Right but I put him straight into the Rumblers category instead. I don't remember him from Rob's place but I see him all over the comment sections in that circle. Our politics don't quite mesh but I like his wry point of view. Reminds me of my own dry wit. Check him out.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

End of an era

I feel really guilty. I received this announcement a couple of days ago and spaced out on blogging about it. Carnival of the Vanities just turned four years old with edition #208 the other day. Longest running carnival on the internets. A remarkable feat in Blogtopia. In blog years that's sort of like a centennial and an occassion worth noting.

Unfortunately, it looks like I wasn't the only space case. I see here, that due to the lack of response, they've decided to shut the Carnival down. All good things must end I suppose and maybe Blogtopia got too big, or that the carnival got too many entries and hosting became a nightmare rather than a fun way to get some extra hits on eyes on your blog.

On the bright side, my own COTV post at #106 is probably now a classic. It's certainly interesting to see which of the entries went on to become top ranked bloggers.

The Poet's Walk

I don't know why exactly they call this the Poet's Walk but they're serious about it. They have a little station at the beginning of the trail with pencils and paper so you can write a poem while you're walking. I have to admit I passed on it. I need to keep my wits about me for spider and snake detection lest I end up in this little cemetary at the trailhead.

Still it was a lovely day for a walk and a beautiful trail. One mile they say, within the range of a hopelessly out of shape old girl like me, so I called John and talked him into escorting me. This was the only formal planting on the whole 275 acres of grounds. Most of it is just sweeping vistas of rolling grassy hills. It feels rather like walking around a golf course. If they didn't close the gates at night, it would be the perfect place to watch a meteor shower.

I was mainly interested in the walk because they said it ran along the local river which I hadn't really seen up close. There's little public access to it.

Although you can't really tell from the photo, it was surprising clear. Most of the water around here is not transparent. It was here, but the river bottoms make it look rusty under the best of circumstances.

Still it was a nice walk except for the healthier than thou joggers who kept passing us as I huffed and puffed my way up the hills. It's kind of embarrassing when you're passed by people who look ten years older than you who are so annoying fit.

Creepy crawlies

All the cool guys are blogging about spiders and I want to be cool so here's a really bad shot of a big bad ole boy who hitched a ride with me the other day. I have it on good authority that this was indeed the dreaded brown recluse. This was unequivocally confirmed by my intrepid savior who went out in the rain and squished it for me.

This is not the first time I've had a spider take the big ride out of town on my car. I'm always amazed how they can hang on, literally by a thread, at 50mph. This is first guy who got so scared he crapped on the window though. That's the big glob of white stuff towards the bottom of the shot.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Yes Virigina, marijuana really is a medicine...

Wasn't I just complaining the curative effects of cannabis use haven't been given enough attention? Once again, I'm behind the curve. NORML announces nearly 700 articles on the theraperutic uses of the plant have been published during the first half of 2006 alone and they've just released the results of a new study themselves.
The NORML Foundation report summarizes over 120 recently published trials assessing the therapeutic utility of cannabinoids for the treatment of fifteen specific disease indications: Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas, hepatitis C, hypertension, incontinence, osteoporosis, pruritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and Tourette's syndrome.
More information and pdfs of the reports are available here.

Weekend time waster

This game will drive you nuts. It's supposed to be some kind of test for airline pilots and 22 seconds is a good score. I made it to 13 seconds after about ten tries. Guess that's why you won't find me in the cockpit.

[hat tip Catfish]

Friday, September 15, 2006

Don't eat your spinach

Want a little irony with your iron intake? If you haven't heard by now, there's an E. coli outbreak related to bagged fresh spinach. The brand initially identified as the culprit is called Natural Selection Foods. Who says the universe doesn't have a sense of humor.

It's no laughing matter though. There's been one death in Michigan already and hundreds have been sickened across the country. And there's no guarantee the problem is isolated to this one company. If you bought any brand of fresh spinach recently, toss it. It's not worth the couple of bucks to take a chance on becoming ill.

Big Brother really is watching

This is just outrageous. A California company provided $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment used by police throughout the Wakarusa festival grounds as a free demonstration for marketing purposes.
The company estimated that they were able to cover 85 percent of the festival grounds with about a half dozen hidden cameras. ...Four of its cameras were “consistently deployed” throughout the festival, and at least two others were there to be used as needed, according to the company. The cameras were controlled by a computerized command center in a 21-foot trailer that was parked atop a hill in the middle of a Frisbee golf course inside the park.

“Nobody knew,” said Kevin Danciak, the company’s Midwestern sales representative. “It just looked like parabolic dishes on top of a trailer.”
Well nobody except the police and allegedly the promoter.
At least a month before the festival began, Schecher said, promoter Brett Mosiman was notified of the plan for security cameras. Mosiman did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.
Unfortunately, he didn't think to warn the festival goers. They should have had signs at the gate. But this is the most telling fact of the whole scheme.
Police seized more than $11,000 in suspected drug money, but some of that came outside the festival grounds in a Kansas Highway Patrol checkpoint.
That's those forfeiture laws again. Anybody who got busted by those cameras lost all the cash in their pocket and the cops get to keep that money. But they can't use it to pay for man hours, they can only buy equipment with it. Like secret surveillance systems that could be deployed anywhere.

Think about it.

[hat tip JackL]

Get Kinky in Texas Governor's mansion

I can't say I agree with every single thing he says, but I have to admit I love Kinky Friedman and if I lived in Texas, I'd vote for him for governor. He just endeared himself to me all the more with this plan.
Kinky Friedman says he favors legalizing marijuana to keep nonviolent users out of prison. If Texas elects him governor, he says, he'll try to get locked-up pot users released to make room for more violent criminals.

"I think that's long overdue," Friedman told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. "I think everybody knows what (U.S. Sen.) John McCain said is right: We've pretty well lost the war on drugs doing it the way we're doing it. Drugs are more available and cheaper than ever before. What we're doing is not working."
We need more of that kind of talk from our candidates, which reminds me, we do have another stellar candidate for governor in the South and she's the one I most want to see win. Loretta Nall is still in the running as a write-in candidate in Alabama. She's had a big impact on this race and could have a tremendous impact on drug policy reform when she gets into office. Not to mention all she already does and has done for reform.

If you live in Alabama, remember her name -- Loretta Nall -- on election day and everyone else please pass it on.

Addiction Unfiltered

I've known Preston Peet, editor of and contributing editor to and High TImes, in the cybersense for many years now and I don't think I've ever met a person more honest about his drug consumption and the effects it's had on his life, both good and bad. Not to mention he's probably taken every drug known to man and a few no one else has ever heard of.

His autobiographical novel, Something In The Way, is finally available in print and at under $15.00 is a bargain too good to be passed up. It's even less expensive if you opt for the downloadable electronic version.
Legal and non-legal hard and soft drugs, blood, violence, occasional peace, prostitution, pain, incessently dodging the Law, an addict toils harder than most Nine to Fivers. Twenty-four hours a day, the need to stay well takes precedence. In this book you take the trip to its deepest, darkest, most graphic depths. Every word is true, every line lived completely. No punches are pulled in this tale, told exactly how it was for for one person strung out on the streets for a number of years. So prepare for a wild, harrowing, biting and sometimes humourous no-holds-barred ride into and out of the depths of hell. This is the story of one young man who found himself living a life of misadventure, from Atlanta to London, Amsterdam to New York City, on the streets, in squats, in stately manor homes, seedy and not-so-seedy hotels, sofa surfing, all the while playing his guitar, selling real and fake drugs, and whatever else he could do to collect the money for every fix, every single day.
I've seen some advance chapters and it's a riveting story of a man who relishes every moment and makes no apology for living life on his own terms. I can't wait for my own copy to arrive.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Remembering Rob

Since I'm thinking about Acidman, I don't know why I didn't link to this sooner. Those of you who followed my anguish over his death will understand why I'm happy to learn, he didn't leave us on purpose. Even if the tox screen comes back showing drugs, it doesn't mean he deliberately overdosed. He was taking drugs because he was in great pain, but he died of natural causes.

Funny how much I still miss his absence, after all these weeks and months. But his daughter Sam is doing a tremendous job in keeping the blog going. And she has her own website too. She's quite an artist, and how ironic that she does these adorable cats...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thirteen pound pot plant?

I wouldn't normally link to this one plant bust but the claim that it weighed 13 lbs. caught my eye. As Acidman would have said, I call bullshit on this. Look at that plant. They obviously weighed it wet, with the rootball attached.

For the non-consumers out there, let me explain how you weigh a plant for actual value. The height of the plant is meaningless. The stalk, the stems, the roots and the big leaves are useless. That accounts for at least half of the weight, probably more, right off the top.

Then there's the drying process. You can't sell or smoke wet pot. It has to be dried out to the point where you lose most of the weight of the plant. Looking at the rather bad photo, it appears to have a couple of pretty hefty center buds and some decent side ones, but the fact remains, once those buds -- which are the only commercially viable part of the plant -- are dried and trimmed, I doubt they would get more than a pound out of it. And that I think is a generous estimate.

The plant wasn't trimmed as it was grown, meaning it put a lot of energy in creating leaves instead of flowers and the buds don't look that dense. But the Apache Junction police will be hoping the citizens are dense enough to believe they just pulled off a major drug bust. The irony is, if law enforcement was really serious about eliminating the drug trade, instead of penalizing plant consumption, they would have realized that all they really did was create a new customer for some street dealer.

State of Colorado lies about marijuana measure

Well, on some level you can take this as a good sign. The prohibitionists are so scared of Colorado's marijuana initiative that they have resorted to outright lying about the measure in a government sanctioned "voter's guide."
This year's blue book was approved last week by the Legislative Council. The final draft said that Amendment 44 would legalize the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and "possession" includes consumption or use of marijuana as long as it's not in public, and transferring up to an ounce of marijuana to someone 15 years or older.
This is completely untrue. The measure would not allow children to legally receive marijuana. It would simply make possession of an ounce or less, by an adult, legal. However, taking a look at their poll, available on the right hand side bar, you can see why the prohibs are worried. When I voted, it was running 76% in favor of the measure.

It won't change federal law of course, as in all states that have enacted sensible marijuana laws, the feds can still come get you if they want you if but enough states allow their citizens to make their preferences heard on the local level, perhaps we can gain some ground by 08 and make this an issue on the national level. I think the people are ready to stop arresting their fellow Americans for smoking a plant. Now if we could just get through to the politicians....

Marijuana saves lives

Here's yet another study showing the medical benefits of marijuana consumption. It helps hepatitis C patients stay on their pharmaceutical drug regimes.
Treatment for hepatitis C involves months of therapy with two powerful drugs, interferon and ribavirin, that have severe side effects, including extreme fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite and depression. Because of those side effects, many patients do not finish treatment and the virus ends up destroying their livers.
In studying a group of patients that included cannabis smokers and non-smokers, the results undeniably suggest cannabis contributed to the cure.
At the end of the six-month treatment, 19 (86 percent) of those who used marijuana had successfully completed the therapy -- meaning they took at least 80 percent of their doses over at least 80 percent of the period. Only 29 (59 percent) of the nonsmokers achieved that goal.

Similarly, 54 percent of the marijuana users achieved a "sustained virological response," the gold standard goal of therapy, meaning they had no sign of the virus in their bodies six months after the treatment was over. That compared with only 18 percent of those who did not smoke pot.
Even the scientists often ignore that second statistic. The studies showing marijuana may have a curative effect and not just a pallative one are all too often overlooked. But remembering the studies done in the past that showed marijuana was responsible for shrinking cancerous tumors and may have a preventative effect on lung cancer, one suspects it may have had a curative effect on the Hep C as well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Search term of the day

Since we're on a sex theme this afternoon, the google search of the day is "drugs found down pants or panties."

Amazingly, I'm only number four on this search. I think I deserve to be number one but then again, no one has actually found any drugs in my panties.

Oh cum on now....

Quick, somebody call Al Gonzales. Obviously the US Patent office has been infiltrated by nefarious secret agents with pornographic intent - certainly a serious challenge to Al's war on porn.

In rejecting an application, the Patent office sent some very interesting documents in support of their denial. Fark grabbed it from the Smoking Gun who has the attachments, but they're blurred out. The unedited attachments are here. Warning - definitely not safe for work.

[hat tip Jules Siegel]

In a slightly related story, one blogger takes content whoring to a new level. He tests the TSA to see if they'll let him a board a plane with a buzzing vibrator down his pants. Apparently, if you're a white middle aged guy with a bald spot, they will.

[hat tip Kvatch]

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 - Try to remember that day in September....

I already posted on the greater meaning of 9/11 on my poliblogs today but as I'm winding down I'm remembering where I was when it happened. I didn't find out until 9:29 that morning even though I had been up since 7:30 blogging and had the TV on. I was tuned to the weather station.

I found out at Jake's when I picked up my morning swiss cheese sandwich. I didn't really believe them when they told me a plane had crashed into the WTC but when I arrived at the office minutes later, everyone was in the conference room watching it on the set we kept for videos.

We stood there for a long time, watching in disbelief as the footage repeated in an endless loop. The plane, the big orange blast of fire, and the black smoke pouring from the gaping hole in the side of the building. We spent most of the day there, wandering back from the random phone call. By the time the building collapsed, I was about a basket case.

I felt stunned. Numb with denial. I didn't want to believe what I was seeing. I almost couldn't bring myself to accept it. It was all too shocking. By the time I arrived at City Cafe at the end of the day, I felt scared, like I had never felt scared before. I'll always be grateful Harry was there.

It would take a long time to explain my relationship with Harry, a staunch Republican conservative, local tycoon and former mayor of lovely downtown Noho, so suffice it to say we were dear friends but never lovers. We sat at the bar and drank as only Irishmen can, and watched the horrifying developments for a really long time. That night, as we stumbled out of the bar, I did something I had never done before. I asked Harry to spend the night with me. For the first in my life I was afraid to spend the night alone.

In the intervening years we drifted apart but for me, the hero of this tragic day will always be Harry H. McColgan, who crawled into my bed and just held me close through that long confused night and made me feel safe again.

I can't believe I forgot to take a picture....

Sit down for this one folks. I cooked a real food item yesterday and I'm not talking ramen noodles here. John has taken me out for food several times and never lets me take a turn at picking up the tab, so I made black bean chili from scratch for dinner last night and it came out better than merely edible. Not only that I unpacked two more forks and two bowls so we could eat on real china instead of paper plates. I was halfway through mine when I realized I had forgotten to document this auspicious occassion with a photo. And I had presented the food so well with the green and red hot sauce artfully drizzled across the top...

Not only that but I managed to free myself up in time to go for a long walk before dinner. I have to be more careful. John is beginning to think I'm actually kind of a normal person. If he starts telling other people, my reputation as an eccentric will be ruined.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Boomers going back to the bong

This was the most interesting drug war news of the week.

Overall, illicit drug use among Americans rose slightly from 2004 to 2005, driven in part by small increases in cocaine and prescription-drug abuse by young adults 18-25 and by rising drug use — mostly marijuana — among adults 50-59, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health said. The survey said 8.1% of Americans 12 and older were illicit drug users in 2005, up from 7.9% in 2004 but down from 8.3% in 2002.

The use of illicit drugs among baby boomers 50-59 rose 63% from 2002 to 2005, according to the survey, which was sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The survey questioned 68,308 people 12 and older about their substance abuse, smoking and drinking habits. [...]

Steve Hager, 55, editor of the marijuana advocacy magazine High Times, says some ailing people his age choose marijuana over sleeping pills or anti-depressants. “People in their 60s are rediscovering it,” Hager says of marijuana, which has been used as a pain reliever for glaucoma and other maladies. “If you're using it sparingly, it's the most wondrous medicine.”
Hager makes the key point. The aging boomers, having suffered through the adverse side effects of a plethora of pharmaceutical remedies for their middle age maladies have discovered that marijuana was the best medicine after all. But we're not smoking all day long like we did as kids, (which I may note didn't seem to adversely impact our productivity or contributions to society in the long run), we've learned to be responsible consumers of a natural herb with a multitude of benefits, that has no overdose level and furthermore is virtually free of the adverse side effects of the more costly legal chemical drugs that profit only big pharma corporations.

[hat tip Richard, graphic gratitude]

Car of the future

Via Catfish, this is very cool. According to these guys, we're only 20 years away from driving this puppy. Reminds me of the Jetsons...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Called on the carpet

I nearly missed this. The Dare Generation discovers the Senate is not too happy with our drug czar and wants to cut his salary in half. The Senators are apparently a little disgruntled about the "ONDCP's 'lethargy' and lack of communication" and is threatening to cut their appropriations. I have some serious doubts whether this will actually happen but you have to love seeing John Walters called out on his indolence.

On another note, I have to say I'm surprised and puzzled by this news about the SSDP discussion list. It seems they were having some technical issues which required revamping the system. As part of the "upgrade" they're kicking all the non-students out of the listserv. Translate that to mean all the old geezers who participated on the list.

Now I don't have a dog in this fight. I was never on the list, but I've been troubled by the anti-hippie attitude I've encountered from a certain faction in this group for some time now. It appears some of those young folks who view us old pot smokers as part of the problem are gaining strength. They seem to forget, we started the reform movement. Without the foundation laid by us old folks, they wouldn't have had anything to build on.

I think it's a short sighted view and a real mistake. Sidelining willing participants diminishes the strength of their own organization and of the greater reform movement of which they themselves are just a small part. We should be building bridges between us, not throwing up barriers.

Update: I just want to be clear that my beef is with this decision and not with SSDP in general. I'm a huge supporter of these kids and I'm proud of what they've accomplished for reform. They've been enormously effective, particularly on student issues like HEA grants and random drug testing in schools. I would still encourage anyone who's eligible to join the group.

Lovers come and go, Friends are forever

Damn, that last post was so morose it's depressing even me, so let me change focus and think about my good points. I do have some.
Ten reasons I make a great friend

I'm loyal to a fault.

I won't lie to you.

Once you get used to my dry wit, I'll make you laugh.

I can hold my own in any conversation that doesn't require a knowledge of mathematics.

I'll always lend a hand when you need one.

I'm generous. I'll share everything I have.

I'll say really nice things about you behind your back.

I'll take true delight in your successes.

I won't tell your secrets. Frankly, I'll forget them before I leave the room.

I won't presume to tell you how to run your life.
And as an added bonus, my eccentric existence will make you feel like a paragon of respectability in comparison. Can't ask for a better friend than that can you?

UPDATE: My dear friend Karen from Noho emailed me:

Please add one more item to your list: when your friends need you, you're right there. That's the most important quality of all.

Thanks sweetie. Love you and miss you too...

Hey, the world needs Old Maids too...

Well I'm in a funk today. I really would have loved to be in Helen right now attending the gathering of miscreants SE Writer's Conference, but I'm moping around the house feeling sorry for myself instead. Truth is, I ended up having today and tomorrow off and could have conceivably spent a whole day's worth of driving to have one night of thrilling drunken debauchery, but my party chops aren't what they used to be and I have to be fully functional on Monday. So here I am cataloging my myriad faults instead.

Ten reasons I make a terrible girlfriend

I never call when I say I will.

I'll refuse to go out because I don't feel like wearing a bra.

I cancel 80% of my dates because sometimes I just want to be alone.

I'm late for dates I do show up for, because I get caught up in blogging.

I'm basically unavailable for half of any given month.

After failing at three major relationships, I have commitment issues.

After all these years of living alone I'm set in my ways.

I can be really stubborn.

I don't love cooking.

When my sinuses go, I snore like a chain saw.
Somehow I think if my ex's read this blog, they could add to that list.... Oh well, if it was easy to become an Old Maid, everybody would be doing it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Interesting reading

I'm too lazy to throw my own cards, so I threw an electronic reading. Any tarot readers care to interpret?

It looks astonishingly positive to me. I can't think of the last time I threw so many happy cards.

Tits for Hits

Bringing new meaning to the term, "hit whoring," it's Tits for Hits sweeps week again in Right Blogptopia. Via the shamelessly self absorbed, yet oddly amusing Hog on Ice, comes this week's two best entries. I can't really pick the winner so I'm posting both and let you decide for yourselves.

Exploiting the wife's ample assets or Atlas Unplugged.

Pay attention here guys. These are important current events and there will be a pop quiz at the end of the videos.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Feast One Hundred & Nine

Sorry folks, it's been a long day and I got distracted. All I got is this meme I found at Lisa's place. It's apparently a weekly event. This may be last week's questions...

What are some lyrics you have misheard (such as, instead of "Gettin' Jiggy With It" you heard "Kick a chicken with it")? The words in the theme song to All in the Family. What is that line really that I hear as "Gee a rola sal ingrate?"

What is the worst movie you have ever seen?That's so subjective but a popular one I just hated was "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."

Using the letters from your favorite number, write a sentence. Example: Tomorrow has really easy experiences. Every long evening, very early, nobody ever looked, even vainly, every night.

Main Course
What was the most interesting news story you have heard this week? It's Tits for Hits sweeps week in Right Blogtopia.

Which word(s) would you choose to describe your wardrobe? Ecelctic.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Where the action is....

I had to work wicked late and I'm just getting home. I'm heading over to Bostick's pad. I hear there's a bunch of debauched pervs having a live chat on the Stickam, right now....

Update: I can't get into the chat room. It says I don't have a profile. Guess they've never seen my nose.

Sorry Bostick. I was so looking forward to blushing....

The TreeHouse

John and I were trading photos last night and since he was foolhardy enough to send me these pix, I'm publishing them. I pretty sure I told him that I'm a content whore and everything is fair game for blog fodder.

I think I saved these as thumbnails by mistake but I don't have time to change it right now. I have to get back to work in a few minutes so for what it's worth, here's the treehouse and the wall of windows.

And here's the man himself. I'll try to get better shots up later, but didn't I tell you he has great farookin hair? Smart guy too and he really is a sweetie. I still can't figure out why he wants to hang with me...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Over the river and to the woods...

I went to visit John at his place yesterday. Boy did he find some cool digs. He's only ten minutes away from me but he's really in the woods and his apartment is built on top of a huge studio that the owner rarely uses so it feels like being in a tree house, especially when you sit on the deck or in the living room which has almost a whole wall of windows. Not a place for those with a fear of heights for sure, but I loved it.

I didn't get any photos because the weather was yucky. It started to rain and my cheap little camera doesn't really take good pix in low light. But I'll get some eventually even though it's a little depressing that his place already looks more homey than mine and he's only been there a couple of weeks. I still look like I'm just moving in.

And of course, I didn't get back to the blog last night because I stayed way longer than I expected to. I guess it's because it's been so long since I've had any human contact outside of this little gig with the family, but I can't stop talking when I'm with this guy. Good thing he's from Joisey. They're used to mouthy women up there...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Parrot flowers

I'm back to work tomorrow and have to run out and do some errands right now so here's some more incredible flowers from the inbox to hold you until I get back. These puppies grow in Thailand and are apparently quite rare. But wouldn't you love to have a garden full of them? I've never seen anything quite like it myself.

Stormy Monday

Katrina was surely an awful storm but leaving aside the horrible devastation it caused, it was beautiful in its power. These photos were taken by some guy in Mississippi who saw the eye go over. Just awesome.

[hat tip to Catfish]

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Afghani poppy production up - sensible solutions down

The UN is alarmed by the rise in poppy production in Afghanistan. Antonio Maria Costa, director of the Office on Drugs and Crime "called on President Karzai to make 'significant arrests and convictions' using the judiciary that the coalition had helped train and establish." Easy for him to say. He's not trying to run a country whose economy depends on the drug trade.
Doug Wankel, director of the US drugs control office, said Afghanistan could be "taken down" by drugs.

"If this thing gets out of hand, you could move from a narco-economy to a narco-state," he said.
Who does he think he's fooling? It already is a narco-state. The official numbers say drugs comprise about a third of the GDP there. I think that's way undervalued. And the coalition programs are a joke. They're supposed to be offering the peasants alternative markets for legal crops but they aren't doing it. Meanwhile, as they eradicate the fields, the poor farmers are forced to sell their daughters to pay off their debts to the drug lords who front them the supplies and seeds.

As usual, the chief prohibitionists offer nothing but the same failed remedies.
“I am pleading with the government to be much tougher,” Costa said. A new high-security prison block would be inaugurated in a few weeks, he said. “We have room for 100 people and I am asking the government to fill it within six months,” he said.
They can't stop the drug trade in the US with a million drug offenders in prison. Do they really think slapping 100 people into a new fancy jail is going to do it there?

In light of these figures, never has the Senlis Council's proposition looked more sensible. For all the money they spend on trying to eliminate the trade, what would really solve the problem is to use those funds to simply buy the crops outright from the peasants and use the opium for the legal pharmaceutical market.

Wants it her way - or else...

This is America today. Un-effing-believeable. It's stuff like this that made me want to move out of this country long before Bush became* president.

[hat tip Jules Siegel]

[*post edited in deference to my conservative friends]

Home improvements

Argggh. Oh my aching back. Yesterday was a big day. I finally agreed to let John come over to my house so I had to clean it and you know how it is. When someone comes over for the first time, you want it to look extra good. So I'm moving my futon couch to vacuum underneath and realize that the thing is about to fall apart and crash on the floor.

When I got here, the mover had left with one crucial nut in his pocket so the last screw was never secured. I discovered the only thing holding the one corner was the very end of that screw. The little dowel thingies were just hanging there. It took me an hour to figure out how to fix it. Of course half that time I was trying to bang it together and wondering why the screw wouldn't tighten. I had forgotten about the nut, which has been sitting in an envelope for all these months. Anyway, to make a long story short, I felt pretty buff yesterday for figuring it out but after wrangling the futon on and off the frame and many contortions to get the thing screwed in, I could barely get out of bed because my back feels so bad today.

Meanwhile, in another testament to the value of blogging, my house is not that easy to find because it's set so far back from the road and the driveway is gravel that's rather overgrown with grass but John found it on the first try because he recognized the branch which I haven't had the ambition to wrestle down to the brush pile yet. How funny is that?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fighting meth a loser's game

According to the DEA, they just made the sixth largest meth bust ever made in the country in Atlanta. Hotlanta has apparently become the distribution point for the drug, which the prohibs finally admit is now largely being made in Mexico and being smuggled in. But here's the money quote and the crux of the problem with trying to "stop" drugs.
He said the Mexican drug organizations, by the sheer volume of their product and their increasingly efficient distribution rings, have pushed the "mom and pop" operations out of business. "They realize meth is a booming business," he said. "They are taking over this business.
This is the fruits of the panic they started over the alleged "meth epidemic." They reduced the small home labs -- at great expense -- only to have the market taken over by organized criminals who present a greater danger than the local methhead who was cooking for himself and few friends.

The local guy was mostly a danger to himself, and his immediate neighbors if his lab blew up, but the new dealers are a danger to everyone. Organized criminals shoot people to protect their terroritory and actively recruit new business. And it's cash on the barrel with an organized dealer so property crime will go up when junkies don't have a friend who will see them through till payday. Thus does a small problem get bigger and infinitely more expensive to fight.

This is why I've come to believe even the "evil" drugs should be legal in order to eliminate the black market. The Mexicans wouldn't be in Atlanta except for the profit margins and legal or illegal, junkies will always find a way to get their fix.

Intercity commerce

Well, it's official. I actually sold a car for the first time in my life. I feel so grown up.

Of course, since it's me we're talking about here, it's not without its unconventional elements. I have the money, but I'm also still holding the title since we didn't have a notary handy. I also let him drive the car out of here without a plate on it at all. I assumed he would have brought one, but no. He just had his exwife follow him, one assumes so no one will notice he's driving it illegally. He's only taking a mile down the road though so one hopes he'll make it without getting arrested. Seems like a good bet. People drive unregistered cars all the time around here.

Meanwhile, I have to admit I felt a little twinge of sadness to see the old car go. That was the nicest car I ever owned and the first one I ever bought from a dealer. It was the first car I bought on a car loan even. Suddenly the yard looks empty again.

Glad I never named it. I think it would have been more wrenching to let it go.

Grey skies are gonna clear up....

Thanks to Ernesto, it's a bleech kind of day here. Grey and drizzly. I slept in because the sun didn't wake me up and my muse seems to have headed south for sunnier climes. I'm not motivated at all, so while I work up some steam for blogging here's a couple of links thanks to the irresistable Tits.

This is one for the all the aspiring crap bloggers out there, this is the ultimate award. I expect Elisson to be taking notes on this one.

Meanwhile, for you boob lovers, you really can't have too many tits.

And keeping with the drug related theme of this blog, I just love when this happens. Someday, I'm going to resurrect my Urban Guerrila Gardners idea and hope to see this in every city in America.