Open Thread

bullet image When the UN Won’t Condemn Torture You Know Something’s Very Wrong by Damon Barrett. INCB continues to run amok.

bullet image Arizona governor signs law to bar medical marijuana at colleges. Seems a shame that those who need it for medical purposes will be the only ones not smoking pot in college.

bullet image Media coverage list of the Australia21 report.

bullet image All right. Bend over – you might be trying to smuggle in the Constitution

Glenn Greenwald tweet: Justice Kennedy’s opinion on strip-searches is breathtakingly dumb, among other things.

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37 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Francis says:

    There’s been some talk about how Obama “knows” that liberals and progressives won’t abandon him for his assorted betrayals. I’m sure there are some folks on the couch who fit that description and will pull the lever for Obama in November because they perceive him to be the “lesser of two evils” and because “that other guy” (whoever he ends up being) is “really scary.” Two thoughts:

    1)”Blue Steel, Ferrari, Le Tigre? They’re the same face! Doesn’t anyone notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” I feel that way about every candidate but Paul. There’s a reason people talk about the Coke and Pepsi parties. Do you really care if your corporatist, anti-liberty war-mongering comes in a red can or a blue can? I don’t.

    2) “The value of the sword [of Damocles] is not that it falls, but that it hangs.” If people were actually willing to hold Obama accountable and vote third party, thus possibly allowing “the other asshole” to win (who again, is really the same asshole), they wouldn’t have to. If you truly believe that Obama’s actions are “unacceptable,” then f***ing act like it! The only reason they’re occurring is because people have accepted them.

    So… who wants to take the pledge with me?

    • allan says:

      oh you know I’m down w/ that…

      I’m sorry for those who buy the myth. Now more than ever we need a voter rebellion against the Demopublican/Republocrat grip on the system. Whether we vote for Obama or Santomneygrinch matters not. A vote against the Coke/Pepsi twins could matter if enough do it… when that funny little Texas feller w/ the big ears had his day in the electoral sun he garnered around 15% of the vote, a number that most certainly caused some puckering in certain circles.

      If folks are not disgusted they are not paying attention.

    • darkcycle says:

      “It’s not a sanity test, it’s a basic human decency test.”
      I was so frothing mad at Obushma by the two year mark that nothing short of the pain of death would get me to vote for him again. That still goes. If I vote for Obomber now, I am voting for every single George Bush policy that I loathed. We, you can dip me in dogshit and fry me to a crackly crunch, but I will NOT vote for anything with a “D” or an “R” behind it’s name this time out. I used to think you worked within the system to change it, I now clearly see that’s bullshit. I feel stupid, having swallowed it all this time.

      • damaged justice says:

        Or you could vote for the real Republican instead of the fakes.

        • claygooding says:

          I hope I never hit myself in the head hard enough to vote Republican,even to keep the other guy out,,,hands down the Repubdics brought on this war mongering big government bullshit we have now and are owned by the corporations just a little more than the Democunts.

      • Windy says:

        darkcycle, Don’t forget Ron Paul has an R behind his name, and you already know he is not your typical GOP candidate, he is the “real Republican” of whom damaged justice writes. I hope people will not use that R behind Dr. Paul’s name to find an excuse to not vote for him, since he is the only candidate who actually offers us something different — the Founder’s vision.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Raising awareness of how the electoral college works would be of great benefit to our cause. We might actually be able to get several million to cast protest ballots were they aware that their individual vote is not bloody likely to change the election results. To date the only election where that has come into play was Florida in 2000 and that was truly a black swan event. We’re not likely to see that repeated in our lifetime.

      Even if you accept the faulty premise that a vote for Ralph Nader was actually a vote for George Bush the lesser in the 2000 election that was only true in Florida. Each State has its own separate election and the winner in each State gets all of the Electoral College delegates. I’ve mentioned that I voted for Bob Barr in 2008. At that time I did very much support Mr. Obama’s election but I knew that there was no question that he was going to win my State by a wide margin. My vote for an alternative candidate was not wasted but quite the opposite. It sent a message that I was (am)disgusted with the policies of big politics. Had I cast for Mr. Obama it would have only added another click to the vote totals. If you think my protest vote was meaningless I suppose you’re right, but it’s only because other people who share my point of view refuse to take part on the irrational fear that they’re actually voting for the candidate that they don’t like.

      It really does seem to me that a lot of people think that the election is a single nationwide affair when in reality it’s more than 50 mini elections. A vote for Mr. Obama in Maryland will not counter a vote for Mr. Romney in Idaho or any other State. If there’s little chance of your preferred evil losing your vote for that person is meaningless.

      But I’m to the point where I see very little difference between the two cohorts of big politics. I think it’s very arguable that we wouldn’t have been pummeled so badly had Mr. McCain been elected. He certainly wouldn’t have led anyone to believe that the administration had adopted a hands off policy, letting the potheads come out of the woodwork in order to be stomped by the Federal jackboots. Make no mistake, I am asserting that Mr. Obama was playing a strategy and that this crackdown was part of the plan all along. Too late the squirrels realize that tasty peanut butter was designed to cause them to be banished from their homeland.

      It is beyond absurd to suppose that Mr. Obama is impotent to control the executive branch. While I’ll admit that it is vaguely possible that the AUSAs started this thing of their own volition they could not have continued to pursue this course without the tacit approval of Mr. Obama. Prosecutorial discretion is a very real thing. They could have decided that prosecuting the shenanigans of the banksters was a higher priority but they did not. These people are not automatons where you punch a switch and they do their thing without any thought or sense of priority. While they may be sworn to uphold the law it’s most certainly not part of their oath to do it with such zealous gusto. The suggestion that Mr. Obama is impotent to stop this nonsense is laughable on its face.

      • darkcycle says:

        Wow…that one wins the Rant Prize of the day! Hoo-ya, Duncan, I’ll vote for you if you’ll vote for me. Is it okay if I spell your name “Gary Johnson”?

        • Duncan20903 says:

          ??? That is the correct spelling of my name on all elections ballots, at least in 2012.

  2. Kenny says:

    US Congresswoman Diane Black’s millionaire husband who owns a drug testing company lobbies against Tennessee’s “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act.”

    • allan says:

      thanks for that link… Mr Black’s company Aegis Sciences Corp, has as their motto “Science in Defense of Justice.”

      • darkcycle says:

        I just puked. Thanks, Allan.

        • allan says:

          if it’ll make you feel better I found no connection (other than that particularly bad odor accompanying Prohibition scatologisms) between Mr. Black and Calvina Fay or Straight Inc… which… now that I think about it, isn’t really true. Like many others of their ilk they share the disgusting profession of drug war profiteer.

  3. N.T. Greene says:

    Folks aren’t paying attention… but this country heavily incentivizes ignorance.

    Why pay attention when you don’t have to and you get treated better for helping to maintain the status quo?

    Ministry of Love?

  4. Duncan20903 says:


    I have read some stuff from Arizonian medicinal cannabis law reform advocates who appear to make a good argument that the Arizona campus law is illegal under the law created by the 1998 ballot initiative that limited the power of their Legislature to muck with laws implemented via citizen generated ballot initiatives. The people of Arizona really did take the Legislature out to the woodshed and spanked them real good in 1998. Apparently they didn’t spank them hard enough. We may actually never know because someone is going to have to be prosecuted and convicted for violating the statute and then be willing to appeal.

    That same ballot they had an initiative that would have made it illegal to decriminalize any use of a drug on Federal schedule I, which failed. 1998 was a very good year for our side of the table.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Speak of the Devil and in he walks:

      Brewer signs bill banning medical marijuana on college campuses

      Tuesday, April 3, 2012 6:12 pm
      By Howard Fischer

      That argument did not wash with state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, one of only two senators who voted against the legislation. She said other states have adopted medical marijuana laws and none of their schools have lost federal funding.

      The Arizona Constitution does allow lawmakers to alter voter-approved measures with a three-fourths margin. Benson said this legislation did get that.

      But there is a second requirement: The new law must “further the purpose” of the original initiative. And Yuhas said closing off the use of medical marijuana to faculty and students — especially those who live on campus — does not do that.

  5. A Critic says:

    Re: searching. They have a valid point. You can not secure an area without a VERY intrusive search. If we are to secure the airports we should use proper searches instead of improper groping.

    The way I was taught in the Marines doesn’t require a strip search. You need two searchers, one to search, the other to point a gun at the searchees head in case they go for a grenade or suicide bomb. Then the searcher needs to aggressively grab and pull on all parts of the person’s body and clothing. Not a strip search but very effective. Also time consuming and not politically viable. Securing the public is not feasible.

  6. Dano says:


    When you do find a country that is smart enough to deal with these issues in a sensible manner let us know. We might want to consider relocation someday.

    Insanity or indifference of our leaders to these problems is driving me crazy. So far, Democrats don’t seem to care, and Republicans are just as deaf to these issues.

    Here in California the push to legalize marijuana appears to have fizzled, although I made my donations in hope. Oaksterdam is raided with loads of agents while a nearby campus is under siege with real crime taking place. Escallation of the drug war outside our borders appears to be the “solution” yet again…

    So depressing – almost enough to drive a person to drugs.

    • Both the main Oregon initiatives seem to have a good shot at making the ballot, particularly as they’ve still got three months to gather signatures. That’s where I’m sending my donations.

      Montana First looks like they might have a shot as well. They’ve got until mid-June to turn in signatures.

      • claygooding says:

        Vote for both of them and hope they both pass,,that ought to confuse them.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Montana is one of the easier States to get a ballot initiative approved. IIRC is somewhere around 30k valid signatures. I must admit that I was amused that the Montana prohibitionists were unable to get the needed signatures to repeal that State’s medicinal cannabis patient protection law in 2010. They did get that law de facto repealed by the Legislature. Montana voter will have the opportunity to strike down that law in November.

        Election day could be very interesting this year.

  7. Jack Handy says:

    It’s too bad cowboys didn’t eat much pizza back in the Old West, because I think a good painting would be a cowboy giving his last slice to his horse.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Well the Amish feed their chickens pizza pie. Here, you can see it happen 26 seconds into this video. Sorry it seems I can’t skip the commercial.

  8. Servetus says:

    New Arizona censorship bill criminalizes Internet trolling with punishment ranging up to 25-years imprisonment:

    Proposed language: “It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.

  9. DonaldSpoonmasterRumscrape says:

    So, what will the International Narcotics Control Board, a quasi-judicial UN entity, tolerate when it comes to human rights abuses committed in the name of drug enforcement?

    The official answer appears to be anything. Executions, torture – no comment.

  10. darkcycle says:

    Okay. An open thread. I’m gonna take advantage of it.
    I had this message come through on my facebook today from the daughter of an old friend. It was a general “share” so I feel okay bringing it here. It was short and misspelled, and the grief was palpable. It read: “the love of my life is dead josh williaim is dead of an over dose then they rapped in a sheet and threw him in a creek how fucked up is tha5t” (sic).
    I’ve known the girl who wrote this and her sister since they were born. I’ve known their father for thirty-two years. I was at their christenings. They went down the road that many have before (perhaps many of us in younger, less temperate days), and have got themselves involved in Skag and more recently, meth. I don’t think I need to convey that those circumstances bother me greatly, and that I had wished anything else but that.
    As difficult as addiction is, the blame for this death falls directly at the door of prohibition. If there had been legal avenues for this young man to get drugs of known quality, in known doses, this man would be alive. If he had supervised administration at a safe injection site, he would be alive. If his “friends” had been free to call an ambulance and get him treatment without fear of prosecution, this man would be alive. I’m honest with you, this guy was no angel, not even close. But his death didn’t have to happen and a young woman who I used to hold on my lap and read stories to as a child is feeling very real grief right now. I’m grieving for her loss. darkcycle 4/4/12. 7:25 PST. Fuck.

    • Peter says:

      My buddy from many years ago got wheeled in a shopping cart into the elevator of a project by his “friends.” After spending the night going up and down he was eventually declared dead in the morning. Even some form of confidential helpline could have saved him, but no, that might “send the wrong message.”

  11. claygooding says:

    Medical marijuana providers suing government arrested

    “”HELENA — Four of the six medical marijuana providers who are suing the U.S. government over last year’s raids of pot businesses across Montana have been arrested on federal drug charges, their lawyer in the civil lawsuit said Tuesday.””

    I keep thinking of all those properties run by FEMA and how many loud mouthed advocates would fit in them.

  12. Francis says:

    Really obnoxious George Will column:“The drug war is futile: But what’s the alternative?

    Have at him. Here’s one of the comments I left:

    Still, because the costs of prohibition — interdiction, mass incarceration, etc. — are staggeringly high, some people say, “Let’s just try legalization for a while.” Society is not, however, like a controlled laboratory; experiments that produce disappointing or unexpected results can’t be tidily reversed.

    You’re damn right society is not a laboratory. But it’s PROHIBITION that is the not-so-noble experiment. And the results are in: more addiction, more dangerous drugs, easier access for children, more overdose deaths, trillions of dollars in borrowed money frittered away, millions of non-violent people incarcerated, more crime, more violence, more corruption, and less liberty. In other words, it’s been a huge and unmitigated disaster. So why don’t you take off your lab coat and try minding your own business for a change?

    As the late James Q. Wilson said, nicotine shortens life; cocaine debases it.

    Actually caging your fellow man like an animal for what he chooses to put in his own body is what REALLY “debases” life (for BOTH parties).

    • kaptinemo says:

      “So why don’t you take off your lab coat and try minding your own business for a change?”

      They won’t, because the bastards still see their fellow human beings as if they were lab rats, that’s why.

      This goes back as far as human history, and it seems like every generation must learn these lessons regarding freedom and its’ defense from encroachment by these self-imposed ‘social scientists’, or suffer the inevitable results.

      HL Mencken said it best: “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” When you read the late Professor Whitebread’s treatise on the history of drugs in this country, you find that half of the ostensible motivation for the drug laws came from a desire on the part of (self-proclaimed) ‘progressives’ who felt their fellow human being’s appetittes for things the ‘progressives’ disapproved of should be curbed…’for their own good’, of course.

      This attitude no doubt came from an (erroneous!) belief in their own superior knowledge, education, experience, etc. which made them feel that they were highly qualified to interfere in the lives of their fellow citizens. Authoritarianism is not a symptom of derangement that exists solely on the Right. And so, as usual, for the ‘best of reasons’, the worst things happen, and that Road to Hell is paved with (supposedly) good intentions mixed with the blood and powdered bone of its’ ‘beneficiaries’.

      • Windy says:

        “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial … the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” — Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928


      Someone needs to cut off George Will and Mark Kleiman (who I have met and I know knows better- though is continually quoted as if the distinctions were irrelevant’s) supply of Coffee and any form of caffeine containing beverage, and just give them something akin to Blast, or nicotine sulfate, while others drink Coca based beverages including a reincarnated Vin Mariani and original formula Coca-Cola.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      One of my very favorite activities in life is minding my own business. I’ve often wished that I could talk the prohibitionists into giving it a try because I think they just don’t know what they’re missing. Just a 30 day trial. If they don’t like it they can return to being total assholes, no harm done.

  13. Duncan20903 says:

    Gee mom, it really isn’t hard to see that you care about your boy.

    Mom reports son for marijuana possession: Moreland Hills Police Blotter
    Published: Thursday, April 05, 2012, 11:43 AM


    REQUEST FOR OFFICER, SOM CENTER ROAD: A resident called the police station April 1 and said she had found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her juvenile son’s possession. She asked police to respond to the home.

  14. Duncan20903 says:


    Today is a very sad day for me as I learned that Davy Jones, the lead singer for one of the most successful and influential fictional rock bands of all times had passed away in February from heart failure. I was relieved to learn that he didn’t suffer. The Medical Examiner found cannabinoid metabolites during the post mortem.


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