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June 2013
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Open Thread

I’m on the road again. Hosting our annual community New York Theatre trip. This time, I have a record-breaking 95 people on this trip, seeing 6 shows as a group, and I’ll be conducting walking tours of the city as usual.

Needless to say, this is likely to keep me pretty busy, and I may not have time for much blogging, but be sure to check out the excellent discussions and links in the comments, and I’ll add a new Open Thread every now and then.

We’ll be seeing “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” with David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver, “Matilda” – the musical based on the Roald Dahl book, the revival of the musical “Pippin,” a new play directed by David Cromer at Lincoln Center: “Nikolai and the Others,” “Kinky Boots” – the musical with music by Cindy Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, and “The Assembled Parties” with Judith Light and Jessica Hecht. I’m’ also going to see “Annie” so I can say Hi to one of our former students, Jane Lynch.

Should be a great week, and I do plan on taking advantage of the restaurants as usual.

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29 comments to Open Thread

  • DdC

    The Walmartian’s Smell the Money…

    Barron’s Cover SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013
    Copyright ©2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    Should Pot Be Legal?
    By Thomas G. Donlan

    Legalizing marijuana will hurt drug lords, help cash-strapped states, and ease burdens on police and prisons. Yet D.C. dithers.

  • stlgonzo

    Sounds like a good time. Have fun and safe travels.

  • DonDig

    Sounds like a blast. Have a great time!
    We’ll keep the couch warm, and the munchies stocked.

  • allan

    hey Pete… if you could bring either Sigourney or Cindi back I’d be forever in your debt. And both would be super! But if just one, either would make my day… and tell Jane she otter stop by and sign your blog.

  • darkcycle

    Awesome, Theater packed trip. Don’t get into any trouble. Have fun. Your couch will be pretty much like it always is when you get back…a mess. If you run into C.J., Give him a few bucks, and a hug, and I’ll reimburse for both.

    • Jean Valjean

      the sore-loser prohibs are “mining the harbor” …a perfect metaphor for the mean vindictiveness of these people… …have they no sense of decency…?

  • Cindi Lauper Fan

    Oh!
    Oh!
    Nnnyutt!
    OMG
    :Claps:
    Oh!
    :jumps:
    Oh!
    :Both:
    Ahem. sry

  • Matthew Meyer

    Thankfully your theater group is unlikely to be subjected to stop-and-frisk…

    Enjoy the trip, and watch out for the lions at the library!

  • Servetus

    A new black market in tobacco products is emerging within the American Gulag system, and is displacing other drugs as the contraband du jour, thanks to the economics of prohibition:

    With tobacco products now banned by the federal Bureau of Prisons and the majority of state prison systems, the price of a single Marlboro inside now reaches twenty dollars. A policy intended to produce health benefits and reduce fire risk has created a cash cow for prison gangs like the Mexican Mafia and Aryan Brotherhood, and the guards willing to work with them.

    If you can’t even keep big tobacco out of the prisons, how are you going to keep it out of the hands of the children? Maybe with legalization and regulation?

  • allan

    GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover:

    “GW has made significant progress in the year to date. Most notably, we recently successfully completed a Nasdaq listing and initial public offering to US investors.

    “We believe that this represents a significant corporate milestone for GW. With Sativex® advancing through Phase 3 trials in the US for cancer pain, commercialisation continuing in Europe and other parts of the world, four new clinical trials commencing in a highly promising cannabinoid product pipeline, and a strong balance sheet, we are very excited about the next phase in our company’s evolution.”

    • Nunavut Tripper

      Well Allan that is depressing. GW gloating about their profits like spoiled narcissists while we put up with the threat of swat pig raids and asset grabs.

      • allan

        I thought it pretty much a stand alone statement… I’d bet the IRS lets GW pay their taxes… all bow to the great, good and benevolent dog Pharma

    • Here is a thought. with GW sativex up for approval, well it would be impossible without a change in schedule. I’d say that the powers that be are getting squeezed from all sides. Then Bloomberg pops out from one of the cracks and makes an obvious ass out of himself.

      I say we keep removing bricks from that wall. It doesn’t look too solid anymore.

    • Duncan20903

      …and the market yawns.
      .
      Ummm, didn’t you guys know that publicly traded corporations are required by the SEC and all of the major exchanges to “gloat about their profits like spoiled narcissists” on a quarterly basis?

      It isn’t likely that GWPH owes any income tax to the United States since they don’t yet have any FDA approved products to sell in the US.

      I don’t think I’ll ever understand why the posters here have such a hard on for GWPH. It’s approaching 3 years since I first heard that the FDA and the DEA had allegedly fast tracked for re-scheduling of organic dronabinol for the benefit of GWPH and Sativex . I think I must have a different definition of the phrase “fast tracked” than the rest of the regulars here.

  • allan

    ahhh… here’s one from the because-we’re-pricks file:

    Prosecutors fight sentences of pot providers

    Which goes hand-in-hand with this rare bit of insight on the part of the Medford (OR) Mail Tribune:

    Above and beyond the call

    No matter what you think of medical marijuana, and
    without making any assumptions about guilt or innocence, it’s fair to say local police agencies displayed an excess of zeal in raiding local pot dispensaries late last month.

    Defendants Leland and Lori Duckworth, David James Bond, 44, and
    Michael Robert Schanno, 40, were jailed May 24 after officers from
    several local police agencies raided dispensaries in Medford and Gold Hill. Each was charged with multiple felony counts […]

    eh, we all that followed the case as it unfolded knew that something was amiss and we suspected it was all timed to send us a message. Somehow the editors at the Mail Trib figgered it out too:

    All of that may be true. The defendants in this case may be guilty of crossing the line between legal and illegal transfer of marijuana.

    The way the arrests were conducted, however, suggests police went out of their way to make the process as unpleasant as possible for those they arrested.

    Court records show a Jackson County grand jury issued arrest warrants in the case on Wednesday, May 22, but the raids and arrests took place two days later.

    After a two-year investigation, police could have raided the
    storefronts on any day they chose. The operations clearly weren’t
    going anywhere.

    But police chose to make the arrests the day before a state furlough day, when the courts were closed, which in turn preceded a three-day weekend. With bail for the defendants set as high as $550,000, that meant they likely would spend at least four days in jail before a bail hearing could be held.

    On Tuesday, a Jackson County Circuit judge refused to reduce the bail amounts. It wasn’t until Thursday that a second judge agreed to drastically reduced bail amounts ??” a full week after the arrests.

    This in a jail where people accused of more serious crimes are set
    free on a daily basis.Again, the defendants in this case may be guilty of selling marijuana for profit ??” still a felony under Oregon law. The courts will determine that.

    What seems clear is that police were determined to send a message.

    It’s a rare thing for me to say but props to the MT for getting this one right.

    What all of this continues to illustrate so vividly to me, is that in ALL of the cases I know of people being busted for pot, especially growing, is that had a couple of police officers knocked on these people’s doors and shown the warrant they would have been let in. But flash-bang grenades, gangs of SWAT, spit hoods and armored personnel carriers is so out of line it boggles my mind. Big bad armored men in black shooting little boys’ little dogs…

    It’s not just wrong, it is a disease, this Prohibition thing. It scars our social landscape, mocks the real world change we have undergone in the last 1/2 century in peoples’ hearts and minds over race.

    Prohibition makes up, down, and wrong, right. Power is Prohibition’s essential fruit, not justice, not science or even common f’ing sense… but the accruement of power is justification enough, for them of any ‘collateral’ damage. Statistical manipulations substitute for answering direct challenges about institutional policy failures and organizational head bureaucrats operate on a concerted schedule guaranteed to prevent confrontation or direct questioning.

    That the obvious inherent meanness of certain LE agencies about pot and pot heads in their jurisdictions getting highlighted is a good thing.

    dog, I hate the drug war…

    • Jose

      Allan, the first thing I thought of when I read your post was that beast arrested in Cleveland for the caged women. I watched the arrest video and it looks like the police knocked, did not have battle gear on, no grenades etc. I guess there are no federal grants for arresting lunatics.

  • NY Assemblyman Steve Katz reverses medicinal marijuana position

    http://tinyurl.com/mwkacck

    How heartwarming!

    • New Study Shows Cannabinoids Improve Efficiency Of Mitochondria And Remove Damaged Brain Cells ~

      http://tinyurl.com/kxnrk9t

      Eat your heart out Bloomberg!

      • DdC

        He knows, or should know.
        Bloomberg Is One Of the Greatest Hoaxes Of All Time

        Using Pot To Save Brains!

        Marijuana May Live Up To Be The Elixir of Life
        Source: Earthtimes.org October 15, 2005
        A study by University of Saskatchewan researchers suggests beneficial aspects of smoking marijuana at least among rats, who appear to have sprouted new brain cells and besides benefiting from reduced depression and anxiety. The study’s results appearing in the ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation’ have actually given a fillip to the traditional and mythological view that associates the addictive weed in some ways with immortality.

        Study Turns Pot Wisdom on Head
        Source: Globe and Mail October 14, 2005
        Most “drugs of abuse” such as alcohol, heroin, cocaine and nicotine suppress growth of new brain cells. However, researchers found that cannabinoids promoted generation of new neurons in rats’ hippocampuses.

        Scientists Re-Re-Re-Discover
        Cannabis Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers!
        Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74

        The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research…

        Gen.3 [22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.

        • Nunavut Tripper

          It would be nice if they used real cannabis instead of
          HU210 as that might be more convincing to skeptics. Of course any significant event or even minor events create new neurological pathways in our mind as that’s what brains do. I cut a dead branch from one of my apple trees today and even menial task like this creates a memory of how it was done.
          So vaping a bowl of powerful kush and hiking a beautiful and unfamiliar stretch of shoreline on a remote lake would create powerful memories and a few million new brain cells would be necessary for that.

        • darkcycle

          Tripper, a few million new Dendrites and synaptic connections are needed for that (also helped along by cannabis, I’d add), not new neurons. Neurogenesis is far far slower than that. It’s so slow, that until only about ten or twenty years ago, the brain was thought to make no new neurons at all. even at it’s fastest, neurogenesis in the brain is slower than growth in any other tissue. But under the proper circumstances, your brain can bang out thousands of interconnections an hour. The manufacture of dendrites and synaptic interconnections can physically exhaust you. Think of how tired you get after reading a long research study, or after studying.

  • DdC

    War on drugs ‘driving hepatitis C pandemic’
    Erowid Center ‏@erowid 3h
    The global war on drugs is fuelling a hepatitis C pandemic causing millions of needless infections

    Making Sure Drugs Kill

    “You Can’t Stop AIDS Ending the Drug War”

    “At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have.”
    – Donnie Marshall, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

  • darkcycle

    It could have only happened in Texas, that is, IF it really happened…I couldn’t find the source story. But it is one of the most tragic and cruel of all the drug war victim’s stories:
    http://tribuneherald.net/2013/05/15/mans-life-saved-by-glass-pipe-dies-in-custody-after-arrest-for-paraphernalia/

    • stlgonzo

      It is a hoax. The “Tribune Herald” is a poor mans Onion.

      • darkcycle

        Thanks, Gonzo….I’m back and forth between a ten month old and my compu-thingie, and I don’t have time to chase a lot of links…

  • DdC

    The fastest man alive stays a step ahead of pot controversy
    The fastest men to ever don sneakers or a Speedo, both enjoying marijuana in the prime of their record-breaking athletic careers – how are parents supposed to scare the shit out of their kids now?

    Ultimate Fighting Championship
    raises allowable marijuana testing threshold for fighters

    Michael Phelps, Hypocrisy, & American Drug Policy
    NFL’s Buzzkill
    American High Society