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January 2009



A Modest Proposal… freebasing coffee

Would the government try to make coffee illegal if you made it sound scary?
Check out this video of how to create freebase caffeine.
This Swiftian modest proposal is a fascinating intellectual exercise.

Essentially, his challenge to policymakers is this: criminalize coffee. Naturally, after coffee is criminalized will inevitably come the next food that can be purified, and so oná This is the argument of absurdity (reductio ad absurdum); how ridiculous could we theoretically make policy before policy has become too absurd to take seriously?

In a sane world, the reductio ad absurdum would work. Here, I don’t know. After all, we’ve already seen legislators try to outlaw plastic bags, baking soda, and baggy pants. Policy has already become too absurd to take seriously.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for an alternative to freebasing crack, try Starbucks Italian Roast (although it’s a lot easier just to drink it).

As Scott says, there are certain things that it’s just nice to actually see in print at a site with a domain, such as:

President Obama and Vice President Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated. […] The President also supports lifting the federal […]

Daily Show at the Youth Inaugural Ball

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The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c Changefest ’09 – Youth Inaugural Ball

Barack Obama InterviewJohn McCain Interview Sarah Palin VideoFunny Election Video

Wyatt Cenac: “The nerds go into politics and they stick it to the cool guys by outlawing […]

The worldwide destructive power of prohibition

In the February 2009 issue of Playboy (not available online, sorry), I found an interest/depressing feature article: “The Drug Coast” by Christian Parenti. It’s about Guinea-Bissau, a country in Western Africa that I must admit I barely knew existed. It’s almost completely a failed state, with a corrupt government and military that is funded by […]