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August 2009
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Open Thread

Well, the conversion to the new site has been working quite well, and it seems people are finding it, for the most part. I’m still working on getting 301 re-directs for the pages on the old site and hope that those will be in place soon.

One great thing about the new site is that I have full control over the commenting system (I had no control on the old site). It seems to work fine for me to approve someone’s first post and then they can automatically post freely (I’m hoping that first approval requirement isn’t putting anyone off). It’s part of the game of fending off the inevitable hordes of spammers (and they have found the new site).

You can follow along with the spam scorecard at the bottom of the right column. Akismet is a very powerful system that quarantines anything it thinks is spam and it does a pretty good job. Occasionally a real post (usually with lots of links) will get caught up, but I can always rescue it out of the spam folder before it gets deleted and manually approve it. The spam techniques are quite fascinating. Some are just massive long lists of links — others are more subtle in an attempt to get past spam filters. The ones I love are those that claim to be wanting to start a conversation, usually in the most broken English imaginable (perhaps using random word generators? or really bad translators?), such as…

How ar You?

Nice sickly out of the closet there. At least here where I am at.

Other than that my facvorite movie is playing tonight, I don’t recollect what to forgive as I am pretty chic to this.
Entertain allow in me distinguish how to proceed.

So yearn .. til late then.

How can I delete such moving poetry?

bullet image Eric Sterling has mocked up a Personal Marijuana License Application (pdf). Interesting exercise.

bullet image Man gets three months in jail for possession of breath mints. Yeah, I’d sue, too.

bullet image World’s First Cocaine Bar in Bolivia.

“Tonight we have two types of cocaine; normal for 100 Bolivianos a gram, and strong cocaine for 150 [Bolivianos] a gram.” The waiter has just finished taking our drink order of two rum-and-Cokes here in La Paz, Bolivia, and as everybody in this bar knows, he is now offering the main course.

bullet image Illinois: New law aims to fund drug investigations

Convicted drug dealers will help pay for the cost of anti-drug investigation under legislation approved by Gov. Pat Quinn. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, will levy a $25 fine on those convicted of drug offenses.

The money will go toward local drug task forces, some of which saw reduced federal funding last year.

Just what we need. More incentive for drug task forces to go after the little guy.

bullet image Colorado juror: Medical Marijuana Case a Waste of Resources

bullet image Drug-Testing Firm Latest Specimen of Tough Times

Globallab Solutions of Charlotte Is Handing Out Far Fewer Test Cups These Days, Thanks to the Hiring Drought. […]

“When you opened the doors at 8:30, you’d have five or 10 people waiting,” said Sullivan, who runs the nine-employee company with his wife. “And then, a steady flow all day long.”

These days, it’s more like a trickle. […]

He says business has been in the toilet since October, and he’s seen no recent signs of an uptick.

I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin for them.

bullet image DrugSense Weekly – a weekly review of the most interesting or relevant articles in the press and on the web related to drug policy reform.

bullet imageDrug War Chronicle – weekly update of drug war news and analysis from Stop the Drug War.org.

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24 comments to Open Thread

  • Sukoi

    Hmm, interesting… My first comment here was posted immediately.

  • DdC

    I guess there’s a time delay, sorry, please remove first post. I tinyurled the 2nd. Or whatever. Politicians lying? I just don’t know how I’m gonna sleep knowing that. Central Coast fires down, but smoldering. Lots of early morning smoke and fog. Looks like the only ones protected are the Ganja tokers.

    The Stoners Will Survive

  • Sukoi, I seem to recall approving your first, but I think I was online at the time, so it may have seemed immediate.

    DdC, about half of your posts get quarantined by the spam filter. I rescued your first post, and by then you had re-posted (2nd one went through fine), so both showed up, so I deleted the second. I’m not sure why some of yours are stopped and others aren’t. Given this above, I’m wondering if it may be the yahooka site. It might help you to tinyUrl it.

  • I like the license idea, but then I’d prefer licenses for every intoxicant. I know, drinkers would hate me 🙂

    Re: spam, Akismet is likely to find suspicious any post with several links. Using redirect links might actually raise the “spamminess” factor. You can probably give DdC a commenting-only account.

  • DdC

    I thought, damn he’s fast. Already removed the duplicate. I’ve had problems with long urls and being over the #of post limits. Not sure about yahooka. Not usually a problem at the forum.

    Our book bomb is dropping though I have heard conservatude groups will buy cases of right wingnut books and give them away at rallies and klan meetings. Its not that o’really or glum bluck is popular, they hit #1 because of quantity, not quality.

    US HI: HPD Officers Arrested In Las Vegas
    More total BS. I find it hard to believe cops have to give up their American status just to pin on a damn piece of tin. I’ve heard from other cops about the “moral” clause after work. 24/7 under the arm of their bosses. That’s slavery. No wonder they have the highest suicide rates, and post traumatic stress disorder. No one needs a spliff more than off duty cops. Just another crock of reefer mad idealists.

  • DdC

    Not if he wants me to keep posting here…
    Anyone paranoid of references are the same as loud mouth teabaggers censoring debate by screeching. If the link doesn’t take so be it. Censoring links is cowardice. If they don’t post, thats my problem. Censoring will always suck.

  • DdC, you’re the one being paranoid. Steve was just suggesting that I give you an author account on the blog, but limit it to commenting, so that you could comment (with links) at will without the spam filter engaging. He didn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to use links. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop throwing around that censorship word. It really isn’t relevant. Try managing your own site some time. It ain’t easy.

    Steve, I don’t think that would work. I’ve heard that Akismet will quarantine even author accounts if it gets a mind to. What we need is a local whitelist, but I’ve only found one plug-in for that and it’s pretty old – I don’t know if it’s up to the current levels.

    For now, DdC, let’s keep trying things and see why Akismet is stopping some of your comments and not others. Regardless, I can always fish the comment out of the spam bin and approve it — just takes a little longer that way.

  • truthtechnician

    It might be stopping his comments due to the number of links he puts in them. More than 2 or 3 links is usually a sign of spamming.

  • truthtechnician

    I think the license is a good idea, but what would it accomplish? Agreements on paper mean little as evidenced by the millions of Californians lying to get a doctor’s recommendation.

    Pretty much everything you agree to in that mock license could be made law. Also, I would take issue with not being able to sell. What is the justification again? Oh yeah, Marijuana is really dangerous. I forgot.

  • It’s not just the number of links. It stopped the first one he posted in this thread, which only had one link. And then it let through the exact same post, without stopping it, when he used the tinyUrl link instead. (Later I deleted one of them.)

    That’s why I thought it might have something to do with the yahooka site.

    I’ll just have to start taking a closer look at which ones get quarantined and which ones don’t and try to figure out the pattern.

    At least this is a whole lot better than the old system where lots of people couldn’t comment at all, and all they’d get is that horrible 403 Forbidden screen (and I couldn’t do anything about it).

  • Regarding the license. Yeah, it doesn’t particularly appeal to me, except as a “better than things are now” option. I’m not opposed to incrementalism, but I’d certainly prefer a more open approach if possible.

  • DdC

    Akismet, maybe but trolls have been following activists for years Pete. Casting one liners and doubt without backing it up. Swiftboaters online. Same as wimpy DNC or GOP forums censoring content. Corporate net trolls do the same. Osborn & Barr

    Nuthin Gnue. I have never objected to you limiting kb’s or linx and have stated so. Not your censorship and I don’t toss it around lightly. Big bucks at stake and they’re schedule#1 weasels.

    Copshops and cages earned bucks from each of the 872,721 marijuana arrests in 2007 Inhaling or Not. Healthy alertness more than paranoia.

    Might be certain wording, usually unchristian words are censored, the Carlin words. I’ve seen a list of echelon words that are supposed to trigger something, I used to use them as my signature. Lost a yahoo account do to too many worm virus’ sent by godly ones saved the kiddies from hemp. Too many years of too many trolls losing a grip on their reefer madness instruction to be paranoid Pete.

    If anyone has a problem with information then that is a clear red flag they want to censor alternatives. Not always. But I can’t understand those at all. Especially threads, pass em by but censorship is the only way the cowards can continue the war. Political correctness leaves untruths. Besides I just got my AARP membership offer. Hard to teach a mid-aged dog new tricks. Especially if they’re enjoying the old ones.

    This relieves the stress of long hours doing hospice care, for most have no insurance for such a thing. Warehouses are where most end up, blue collars kicked out of the homes they built. I’ve done a sliding scale since 1990, and keep them home, safe, and don’t find a lot of others bucking the system this way if truth be told. Or is it an easy job hiring. Unk has always garnished my wages from private or government care agencies. This fucking government taxes their citizens disease. 1/3rd of their home health cost is for taxes that could be exempted and allow more to live their lives at home. Terrorize with daily Ganja busts and Terror alerts and now even if the golden years won’t end up piss yellow.

    No conscience left in politics. Greed and Hate to divide and maintain. Prep the train cars boys, the boomers are getting old. Warehouses are a booming biz, invest early. That ain’t paranoia either, reality’s a real kicker. Seldom seen or heard on the idiot box. and thats the way it is 8.21.9 Big Sur buds budding, tomaters ripening, breeze keeping the smoke out and tunes making the Ganja taste even better. Life is good, sheople are the problem.
    Be well

    PRIORITY TEST: HEALTH CARE OR PRISONS?

    At a time when we Americans may abandon health care reform because it supposedly is “too expensive,” how is it that we can afford to imprison people like Curtis Wilkerson?

    Mr. Wilkerson is serving a life sentence in California — for stealing a $2.50 pair of socks. As The Economist noted recently, he already had two offenses on his record ( both for abetting robbery at age 19 ), and so the “three strikes” law resulted in a life sentence.

    This is unjust, of course. But considering that California spends almost $49,000 annually per prison inmate, it’s also an extraordinary waste of money.

    What a cowardly farce this country has become. USAl Qaeda.
    Letting the weasels enact anti American laws, knowing full well they have absolutely no part in the Constitution. No oversight. Rubber stamped balderdash. 3 stripes or mandatory minimum or 404 gag rules or Commerce Illusions. Liars, thugs murderers and thieves. Selling out their own families. Disgusting place this USA, truly pitiful!

    Journey4JusticePedal4Pothttp://tinyurl.com/

    Study Backs Heroin to Treat Addiction
    For years, European countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands have allowed doctors to provide some addicts with prescription heroin as an alternative to buying drugs on the street. The treatment is safe and keeps addicts out of trouble, studies have found.

    There Might Be New Hope in the Treatment of Heroin Addicts
    In the 19th and early 20th centuries, North American physicians often treated their heroin-addicted patients — and themselves — with heroin, recognizing as they did that addicts could live productive, healthy lives while being prescribed heroin. That all changed in the 20th century, when Canada, followed by the United States, criminalized heroin for reasons that had little to do with the properties of the drug. Britain, in contrast, continued heroin maintenance, with conspicuous success, until the late 1960s, when political interests led to its elimination.

    Kathmandu and the Black Prince

    This is YOUR drug war mr/s Politician!

    MARIJUANA DEBATE BREWS AT CITY HALL
    She claims that the Canadian Medical Association is advising doctors to avoid giving licenses. Maddaford states that the CMA does not believe the benefits of medical marijuana are sufficiently scientifically proven, and as a result has made her search for a license more difficult.

    The Drug Cartels ruthlessly defend their property and the mudia amplifies and exaggerates and arranges the priority to make them Headlines. When the very government does unmentionables so hideous no sane person could justify it, done as government policy. While the mudia perpetuates the culture war on certain plants sick and dying users.

  • Yeah, that one got caught by the filter.

  • DdC

    I had to reload before it showed up.
    I didn’t think it would post do to length.
    I’ll try to limit the links.
    I think this couch is comfortable.
    The preview works for a paragraph or so.
    addy is easier to verbalize. I’m stoked.

  • When it gets caught in the spam filter, it take me to manually press a button to approve it. Sometimes that’ll happen right away if I’m online. Other times, it may take a little longer.

  • “Better than things are now” really depends on perspective. I can see you receiving a “get out of jail free” card (a stay out of jail card, actually), but my front door, my dog, and my wife are still in danger.

    Can you see why, from my perspective, any scheme must include an explicit dismantling of the prohibition apparatus? Can you see that everyone is a potential victim of the prohibition apparatus? Can you see that every user eliminated from the pool of potential victims concentrates the potential violence on non-users?

  • Brock, there’s nothing that will keep your front door, dog and wife completely out of danger, except a complete re-working of the justice system. But a fully legalized and regulated marijuana system (even the marijuana license system shown) will dramatically reduce the budgets and the support for military-style drug raids, making your door, dog and wife much, much safer.

  • Pete, I’ve read and read and read and written and pleaded, and I’ve never once seen any proposal that cuts budgets or repeals asset forfeiture.

    I won’t pretend to declare absolutely that the State’s coffers wouldn’t decrease under any of the current proposals, but I’d hope you wouldn’t seriously claim that, with the addition of taxes, there’s no possibility of them increasing. In fact, isn’t the latest push by NORML and MPP a net gain in tax revenues? Something on the order of a billion plus just in California?

  • divadab

    Hello night owls from an early bird – I have a quick comment on your coca bar story – $14.25 a gram for ok cocaine, and $21.37 a gram for strong cocaine, and that at a probably high-priced bar due to the risk factor!?! I’m curious, because I’m not a user and don’t follow the market in this country, what the retail gram price for cocaine is in US urban markets – anyone? I thought it was over $100 per gram, which is about what it was in the disco era of my youth, I think.

    • It’s certainly more expensive in the U.S., but not necessarily more expensive than the disco era. Here are some supposed street prices supplied by law enforcement personnel by state.

      Also, according to government figures, overall average retail cocaine prices in the United States have dropped significantly since the early 80s, even without taking inflation into account (a good indication that supply interdiction is a joke).

  • Cliff

    “He says business has been in the toilet since October, and he’s seen no recent signs of an uptick.”

    All, I can say is, welcome to my world. How does it feel? Now’s your chance to actually provide a useful service or a product that actually contributes to society, rather than being a war on certain drugs parasite.

  • kaptinemo

    About the testing article: the main thing to take away after reading it is the guy’s rock-solid certainty that ‘things will get better’…for him, of course.

    That certainty deserves to be shaken, badly.

    Part of the reason why the pols and their corp-rat masters are terrified of the possibility of a ‘public option’ health care plan being passed is that idea that the plebs (that’s you and me, folks) will start to take more interest in politics, a.k.a. the European social democratic style. And demand more real ‘service’ from their government than the type of authoritarian, overbearing, right’s-destroying ‘service’ they’ve been receiving lately.

    The emphasis on corp-rat agendas that has held the social pendulum from swinging back to a median closer to worker’s social concerns would end. And that kind of sea change will lead to a confrontation with employers over the DrugWar. Which would mean even less work for p*ss-tasters.

  • DdC

    Why do we FEAR asset forfeiture?
    http://www.fear.org/