Sunday, January 25, 2009

Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Act:

SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act

"In the face of doubt, openness prevails."

Sounds good to me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 Criminal Justice

End Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to you, via the facilities of, in support of the notion you espoused during the campaign, of ending federal raids on medical marijuana facilities. Please see to it that these raids end.

These raids are part of a federal program that does not work, and I will hold you, too, to your pledge to end programs that do not work. The program I refer to is the so-called War on Drugs, which is better described as a War on Some Drugs.

I am continually amazed at the stupidity represented by our national drugs policy. Our policies do not serve national interests - they serve special interests. Our drug policies are anti-democratic, authoritarian and wasteful. Our drug policies create scofflaws. Our drug policies create and exacerbate problems in and for other countries.

National drugs policy is just about the stupidest goddamned thing I've ever seen. Please stop the waste and the intrusions into people's lives. Please end medical marijuana raids.


Steve Sturgill in Phoenix

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nice Pictures

My best wishes and congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Obama. I hope that those who say Mr. Obama has the makings of a great president are right, and I think they might well be.

I have a feeling that Mrs. Obama will make a fine First Lady.

Nice pictures.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LEAP - Press Releases › Congress Threatens El Paso Over Drug Legalization Debate

LEAP - Press Releases › Congress Threatens El Paso Over Drug Legalization Debate

An El Paso City Council resolution was amended to include the words, "supporting an honest, open, national debate on ending the prohibition on narcotics."

The resolution was vetoed by the Mayor, whose excuse was concern over the loss of Federal funds.

The Mayor and Council received a letter from Congressman Silvestre Reyes, and another letter from a group of Texas state representatives, as stated in the LEAP post linked above. I don't know if I would have read a threat into these letters, but in the language of the politician maybe a threat was exactly the intent.

What stands out to me is the text of the letter to the Mayor and Council of El Paso by Texas State Representatives Pickett, Quintanilla, Moody, Chavez and Marquez. Whether or not the letter conveys a threat, it certainly conveys stupidity. How in the world these Texas State Representatives got from

supporting an honest, open, national debate on ending the prohibition on narcotics

ask[ing] the federal government to legalize narcotics ... says "we give up and we don't care"
is beyond me.

Our national drug policy is the stupidest goddamn thing I've ever seen.

Clarence Page: Our Drug War Next Door

Clarence Page: Our Drug War Next Door:

When you step back and take a broad look at Mexico's growing carnage, it's easy to see why El Paso's city leaders think legalization doesn't look so bad. Mexico's drug problem is not the drugs. It is the illegality of the drugs.

Legalization is not the perfect solution. But treating currently illegal drugs in the way we treat liquor and other legal addictive substances would provide regulation, tax revenue and funds for rehabilitation programs. Most satisfying, it would wipe a lot of smiles off the current drug lords' faces.

Yes. What he said.

Our national drug policy is the stupidest goddamn thing I've ever seen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TinEye Reverse Image Search

TinEye Reverse Image Search

Well, I'm impressed.

Yesterday I read about TinEye on Cool Tools. This afternoon I found that my wife had forwarded to me an email she received, which contained this picture.

I thought the picture was funny, remembered the piece in Cool Tools, went back to the reader and clicked the TinEye link. After signing up for the service, I took a screen shot of the picture and uploaded it. In about a second they came back with 30 or 40 matches, which can be sorted various ways.

You can either upload an image or provide a URL to a picture already on the Internet.

They have a feature that allows you to toggle between the version of the picture you uploaded (or linked) and the versions they found on the Internet, so that you can do a flip flip comparison of picture quality. I'm not sure how valid that is given that all the images are presented in one size, whereas the pixel counts and aspect ratios vary. The result I got was that the screenshot version I uploaded was better than any of the larger-pixel-count versions they found. Maybe that's because I told SnagIt to make a high-quality jpeg file rather than standard.

If they don't make a match, the answer why is presented right there, which says that it's probably because they have only indexed 1.1 billion photos so far. Seems like a billion is such a small number nowadays...

In the privacy statement they say they don't add any pictures you upload for comparison to any index, and I guess they don't keep it. I didn't really care, but that's good. Of course, merchants are not supposed to keep your credit card's security number either.

Interesting site. I hope they succeed. I wonder what their business model will be. Photographer's copyright protection maybe?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Inaugural Invitation

It's a commemorative invitation, not an event ticket, but it's still pretty cool.

Heavy card stock, embossed emblem, but mostly it's the name Obama that makes it memorable.

I think I'll keep it.