Saturday, April 28, 2012

Change the Same

It shouldn't come as any surprise that the White House would come out with loads of steaming dung in response to some of the most popular petitions on their We The People site, those having to do with cannabis. Check it out.
So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.
Oh, please!

On the other hand, how could they respond otherwise in an election year, or even during a first term dominated by serious issues and partisan, win-at-any-cost opposition? Maybe, just maybe, something can be done during the second term of an Obama administration, but I'm not holding my breath.

It's completely clear that Federal drugs policy is a failure when viewed from stated aims. It is equally clear that Federal drugs policies serve special interests very well, and the public interest not at all. Civil liberties and respect for law give way to profiteering and corruption.

Possibly the most damaging aspect of Federal drugs policy is the undermining of respect for the law. The term "scofflaw"came about during the first Prohibition that so greatly increased their numbers in society. Now, Prohibition 2 accelerates the effect because when the law in an ass, people treat it accordingly.

When I try to look ahead, I'm afraid I see present trends continuing, with the result that a few years from now we'll see Prohibition continuing to facilitate all kinds of corruption, diminution of civil liberties, violence and cynicism, while becoming even more important economically. How can it be otherwise?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not Wil Cardon for Senate

I received an email from Wil Cardon (at) politicalmediainc dot com.

Dear Fellow Conservatives, it began. It went on say why I should support him for Senate and not Congressman Jeff Flake, to whom he refers as Mr. Amnesty. (Strike 1)

The email was, essentially, an appeal for money ("$1000, $500, $250, $100 or even $25") wrapped up in an anti-Jeff Flake message. Jeff Flake, Republican Congressman from Arizona, is a conservative who gets some points from me for being strong on earmarks, but when Cardon writes that the election doesn't belong to "liberals like Barack Obama or Jeff Flake", Mr. Flake either laughs out loud or considers it blood libel. Probably the former. Jeff Flake, liberal? That's over the top.

The email doesn't say much, so on to Mr. Cardon's web site, will cardon dot com.

Standard stuff. Red, white and blue theme, with some orange thrown in for Arizona. Scrolling banner at the top. First scrolling banner says "Tell Jeff Flake to sign the Arizona First Pledge." Strike 2.

Enough on the banners. Standard right-wing political stuff. On to the "Issues" link.

Jobs & Economy. Secure the Border. Size and Role of Government. Healthcare/Repeal Obamacare. Unsurprising right-wing stuff.

Arizona Values. Family values. Uh-oh...

...father of five young children... I'm sure his five young children are in good hands, but Strike 2.5. Dude's part of the problem. That it's five and not one or two children plainly illustrates that Cardon is oblivious to the root cause of the globe's ever-sorrier state.

Social conservative. Pro-life. Supports pro-family policies. From conception to death. Strike 2.75. I take that to mean he's a "my way or else" religious nut.

Gun Rights. OK, me too.

Energy Independence. Drill baby drill. Remove EPA regulations. Strike 2.8.

Defense & Foreign Policy. Should not balance the budget on the backs of our armed forces. War on Terror. Blah blah blah. Nothing to indicate substance.

Keeping our Commitment to Veterans. Yes, good, me too.

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Cardon is really a brilliant guy with a deep understanding of the big (really big) picture. Maybe this political claptrap is just one of the things you have to do to reach office in this country, and he's holding his nose while doing it. Doesn't seem likely, though. Strike 3.

Sorry Mr. Cardon, but no thanks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Instruments of Interstate Commerce

The story is about the first application of federal hate-crime law.

It's an unpleasant story about a bunch of, um, people, some of whom lured another such (who happened to be gay) on a mission to obtain drugs, but which wound up with the gay victim being beaten, apparently with the intent of killing him.

Somehow, during a lull in the beating, the gay victim got away. The attackers were arrested, and two women among them decided to plead guilty in an arrangement to aid in the prosecution of two men who did the actual beating. Something like that.

I agree that you have to try to deal with scumbags somehow, and that hate-crimes warrant special consideration, but there's something deeply wrong with this part:

Prosecutors said the attack on Pennington qualified for federal jurisdiction because Jason and Anthony Jenkins used instruments of interstate commerce in committing the alleged crime.

Those instruments were a Chevrolet Silverado truck and U.S. 119, a federal road.
Commerce Clause? That thing needs to be rolled way back. By this interpretation, absolutely anything falls under federal jurisdiction.

Then again, I'm not a lawyuh. What do I know?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Search Engine Optimizer Spam

I found this in my inbox today:
Jen Rhee via
7:47 PM (12 hours ago)
Hi Steve,

I came across your site while searching for blogs and posts about Mexican drug cartels. That said, I wanted to reach out to see if you'd like to view a graphic that my team and I created which illustrates the benefits of marijuana legalization. Would you be interested in taking a look?

I'd love to get your readers' feedback as well as yours!

Jen R.
"... via"? Hmmm...

This approach is a little classier than posting a vacuous comment containing a string of periods, each of which is a variant of a link to one or more websites, but no thanks.

Sneakiness is off-putting, Jen. Next time, try an honest appeal. Maybe something like, "Hi, I'm trying to boost the search engine rankings of a web site. In order that you receive some value from my intrusion, I've put a nice infographic there which, given the posts on your blog about marijuana legalization, I think you'll enjoy. Please check it out and, if you like it, feel free to link to the infographic."

You might also include a link directly to the infographic rather than, by omission, asking me to reply to you. Why would I want to do that?

Bye Jen.