Open thread

I came to New York for the weekend, to see a few shows, and attend BroadwayCon, which, fortunately, is in the hotel where I’m staying, because I’m not going outside right now. Shows are closed, vehicles have been banned, transportation shut down.

We’ll see how fast this clears up and when I get home.

In the meantime, I understand pizza has been ordered and should be arriving soon for the couchmates. Enjoy.

If the blizzard here doesn’t subside by tomorrow, send coffee.

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53 Responses to Open thread

  1. Daren says:

    Read this gem.
    Ok, I’ll stop spamming now 🙁

    • DdC says:

      👎 Melvin Sembler’s Straight Inc Torturing Children
      Torture is the calculated physical and psychological assault on the individual, a practice used to instill fear, punish or degrade, to dehumanize, or to obliterate the self. It is often said that anyone who has been tortured remains tortured, long after the physical wounds have healed. Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain by one human being against another, thus it leaves particular kinds of mental and psychological scars. This trauma is different from other traumas because torture is a violation committed in secret and in spite of official denial.

      State and federal funding, as well as judicial praise, teenagers suffered horrific abuses that a Senate report later compared to North Korean brainwashing. Barker eventually fell out of favor, and the Seed closed — only to be reborn as Straight Inc. With many of the same staffers and even harsher sessions, it expanded to multiple states. It even had the backing of first lady Nancy Reagan.

      Collaterally Damaged Kids
      ☛ New York Nine Year Old Girl With Dravet Syndrome Dies
      Without Medical Marijuana
      ☛ Marijuana Stops Child’s Severe Seizures

      Killed by Prohibitionists Maggots and DAREn,
      or is that redundant?

      • Dave in Florida says:

        I grew up on the Suncoast of Florida. I knew a kid that got popped and went to Straight,inc in St.Pete.. He came back I would say 6 months later and he was sure wacked out. A complettly different person, and not in a good way. It was an evil place.

      • Mouth says:

        DdC: don’t waste your anger on an evolutional flaw like Darin. Who wants to bet he’s regressing and has gills and soon will be a single cell lump of ooze. Besides, with the Drug War’s cause and effects, he’s a racist with total loyalty to Radical Islam. That’s like Tomato free Tomato Juice made with 100% tomatoles tomatoes.

        • DdC says:

          No anger Mouth, that’s what I do. Create ammo dumps of info to show they are liars and goofy looking. DAREn is a troll, they have no debate so they divert. The NPR trolls are fun too. Lots of GOPerverts to harass around the web. No worries. It complements the Big Sur Holy Bud.

          Exposing frauds and liars is an American pastime. Other then when the GS Warriors are kicking SA Spurs ass. Watching Curry hit 3 triple pointers from half court. My latest part time job as self appointed unofficial Cannabist of the SF Giants and the GS Warriors. Sending back pain info to the coach as I’ve been doing for Giants players and announcers. Usually just an acknowledgement they received the info. Not any replies. But like all info, take it or leave it. Much better for the bodies system to get pissed off, than pissed on. DAREn is a fool who has no reasoning ability so he is made an example for newbies to see. Nothing much too see but it shows how desperate they are. Be well

    • Mr_Alex says:

      Daren your article is already a reason why I thumbed you down, did it occur to you the War on Drugs which includes the War on Cannabis gave the rise of the Coercive Rehab Industry aka the Troubled Teen Industry, the War on Drugs gave birth to abusive programs like the Seed run by Art Baker in Florida now defunct, Straight Inc founded by Betty and Melvin Sembler and Joseph Zappala now Drug Free America Foundation which includes Global Drug Policy and rumors are that Melvin Sembler has been trying to restart Straight Inc under another name. Even there has been exposure that Robert DuPont when he was at the NIDA that he gave grants to the Seed and Straight Inc, what happened was both Straight Inc and the Seed were exposed as descendants of Synanon, Straight Inc’s survivors are obviously still traumatized and even suicides have happened, Kevin Sabet should be asked did he have anything to do with Straight Inc as well since Maia Szalavitz has caught Kevin Sabet lying

      Straight Inc the legacy of abuse lives on, it never ended, at worst it became a international thing that got exported–legacy-of-abuse-continues-1

    • Crayton says:

      That is the biggest load of crock I have ever read. I am saying this as a person who is also skeptical of the racial angle of the drug war (while the racial angle may be true in the US, not so much in most other countries – more to do with authoritarian puritans regardless of race with their heads shoved firmly up their assholes).

    • Dave says:

      That article would make a good resume for a RAND applicant.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      That’s not spam, that’s manure.

      Intent is not prerequisite for racism. It is also very possible for people to be racist toward their own race. The fact that there are black police officers who participate in perpetuating and promoting racism against black people does not prove that their actions are not rooted in racism or even overtly racist.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      Theories of “learned helplessness” and the “culture of poverty” have been used for awhile in examining marginalized groups in American society, and have been criticized because they can be used, as here, to make political and social arrangements appear to be the result of natural forces.

      Dressing culture as nature is itself a classic gambit that appears in many forms, social Darwinism among them. This author seems genuinely confused, though, about where the interface lies. At first he seems focused on what he ominously calls “Blacks” in ways that suggest that innate difference–that is, natural and not cultural, historical, or political factors–leads “Blacks” to commit violent crime; because of political correctness, however, the state must use drug laws to be able to control “these people.”

      But then it was my turn to be confused, because the same kinds of criminality are then attributed to the “White” “underclass” in Britain. The author activates the notion of “worldview” here, and says that such people do not share the values and assumptions of the good white folks in society.

      You can’t have it both ways, though. If you think it’s a “culture” that leads to this “worldview” then you are, by definition, opposing it to the biological, the genetic, and the natural. The author ends up insinuating a very old prejudice–the idea that there are natively inferior strata of society that deserve their status and must be controlled–but he seems unsure whether he wants to be classist, racist, or both.

      The narrative form of this text (“How I learned to stop worrying and love the War on Drugs”) helps disguise its logical leaps and intellectual ruts, inviting readers to unleash their latent suspicions of society’s dregs in defense of drug prohibition. It would not surprise to learn that pro-hibition groups are market-testing dog whistles with this stuff.

      The dilemma of personal versus collective responsibility for the shape of society is an important issue, but this kind of text won’t much help us weigh things conscientiously when it suggests that we have to pick one or the other, that history and politics aren’t relevant, and that streetcorner violence, not structural violence, should get our focus.

    • jean valjean says:

      Daren….I just read some of the comments on the article you posted…..looks like you’re in good company there with all the racists, tin-foil hat people and Trump supporters….

    • Francis says:

      Wow. Just wow. To summarize the linked article: “I used to oppose the drug war because I thought it was racist. The drug war is racist, but now I’m a racist too so I’m cool with it.” Here’s the heart of it:

      The character of violent criminals, let alone Black or underclass criminals in particular, is off the table as a topic in public discussion of the drug policies. This is despite it being the most compelling justification for a policy which manages to put away many of these people, restricting their ability to commit further crimes. Explaining that we are dealing with people from a different culture who have no interest in being a productive part of our society would be out of the question. It would violate the orthodox view that all men are created equal, and that society is at fault when they do not turn out that way. The taboo against “hate” is also relevant, as an honest description of these people’s attitudes and behavior would inspire at least contempt or disgust in many normal people.

      Not being able to honestly describe the nature of the people they are targeting leaves the prohibitionist side defenseless in debate. They are required to fall back on exaggerations of the dangers of drugs themselves when the issue is essentially the dangers of criminals, which to a large extent means Blacks. An honest desire to remove violent offenders from the neighborhoods they prey on ends up looking like some capricious crusade to eradicate offensive plant products.

      Many violent criminals use and/or sell drugs. They often belong to a culture which does not accept values which many Whites assume are universal. For whatever reason, this is an environment in which cooperation with the police is not the norm. Unlike some offenses, drug possession does not require a victim or other witnesses to assist the police, so cases can be prosecuted regardless. The War on Drugs is not some malicious attempt to punish Blacks out of jealousy for their resemblance to chocolate. Drug prohibition, despite its flaws, is an understandable attempt to put away dangerous people.

      So there you have it — the drug war is in fact just a convenient pretext for locking up poor minorities. But, this author tells us, that’s actually a good thing because poor minorities are dangerous and violent. It’s just that prosecuting them for actual crimes would be too hard because of that pesky evidence requirement.

      I have to say, seeing a prohibitionist be this honest about his true motivations is, well I guess “refreshing” isn’t exactly the right word. Let’s just say it was unexpected.

      • tensity1 says:

        You’re posts have always been top-notch, Francis, but you haven’t been posting as much. Just a selfish complaint, because it’s always good to see a post from you–incisive and illuminating. Thank you.

        • Francis says:

          Thanks very much for the kind words! Sorry I haven’t had as much time to post here lately. Just work and kids keeping me busy.

    • allan says:

      you thought it so good you’d post it twice? Poop twice flung remains poop.

    • Windy says:

      Maybe that’s why famous the new brand Tangerine created by Snoop Dogg is going out of business. The famous rapper suddenly decided to stop all cannabis operation in California. According to rumors, he received an offer he could not refuse: to become a symbol of busted drug dealers in the upcoming marijuana war or get out from weed market.

  2. Mr_Alex says:

    Posted this on many prohib sites and they hated it Straight Inc legacy of abuse continues–legacy-of-abuse-continues-1

  3. jean valjean says:

    Happy snow day Pete.

    Portugal 14 years on (no sign of sky falling yet,,,)
    “In 2001, critics worried that drug addiction rates would skyrocket, but not only have they come down, heroin addiction rates have been cut in half.”

  4. Servetus says:

    “From the you’ve-got-to-hear-it-to-believe-it department: Two young men transporting a load of weed from Las Vegas to Montana were arrested for marijuana trafficking after they called 911 on themselves.”

    • tensity1 says:

      My first reaction was, “what dumbs**ts,” but I’ve been quite high and paranoid before where it bordered their reaction. That said, I would never be that much of a dumbs**t, because I know my paranoid tendencies and would be guarding against them–but I still feel sorry for their paranoid asses.

  5. darkcycle says:

    Fear not! We are mounting a rescue effort. As soon as the details are worked out, the team will be dispatched. Don’t worry Pete, we’re coming to save you. Just as soon as we finish the pizza, we’ll work on a plan. Then, as soon as we iron out a few details, and figure out how to fit the couch into DdC’s microbus, your rescuers will be on the way. Just as soon as we can agree on which rations to stock (Cheeto’s or Funyuns?..we can’t get to consensus). 😉

    • DdC says:

      I used to hitch hike to FL to get out of that white shit. We’ll take the Hotbox Huey Helicopter. Runs on Big Sur Holy Bud. Exhaust piped into the cabin. Room for the couch, Odwalla Juice Machine and a Kale and Rhubarb Chips dispenser. Hot tub warmed by recaptured fart methane and a filter trap on the compost toilet. Hemp battery with the body made of solar panels. If we can’t land there’s a drone shuttle for hard to reach places.

  6. DdC says:

    DC Dispensaries Get Sales Boost in Advance of Blizzard

    Videos: The History of Cannabis

    Cannabis Historian Dr. Mike Aldrich
    Chris Bennett talks to Dr. Mike Aldrich, who has been studying the history of Cannabis and Folklore for close to 50 years. Like a whimsical wizard of weedlore, Aldrich takes us on a fascinating and entertaining tour of cannabis culture and history in India, the Mid East, ancient Greece, Africa, China, ancient Scythia and more.

  7. Irie says:

    Hi Pete, don’t know if you are still holed up in a hotel room, but here is something to watch to pass a little time, just a look into the lives of a rasta family in the hills, I like what the mom has to say regarding herb, and how her daughters answer the question, “when was the first time you experienced ganga?”. You can see this family is well together, not hurt by anything in their lifestyle, maybe even a little more together as a family unit for it.
    Those on the couch can enjoy as well……

    • Windy says:

      My daughter came home for a visit yesterday, because she is not certain when she will next have time off from her job, so we made the most of it, enjoying each other’s company. Last night we watched a rockumentary on Palladia about the Eagles (both parts). It was excellent — music, old clips, recent interviews, lots of interviews with other artists (Bob Seger, Jackson Browne among others) when they were young, and more recent. If you like the Eagles, even a little, you’ll probably enjoy it. I bet it’s available on Demand and other sources (Netflix, YouTube, etc.), since it is two years old (from 2013).

  8. DdC says:

    “It’s easier to fool people
    than to convince them they have been fooled”
    ~ Mark Twain

  9. Mr_Alex says:

    its time to come to reality that the War on Drugs and War on Cannabis gave birth to the Coercive Rehab Industry like the Seed and Straight Inc and many spin off programs, tough love or emotional hurting just because of using Cannabis and etc is straight abuse and if anyone listened to Straight Inc the legacy of abuse continues, it is obvious the trauma is very real and some of the people who went through Straight Inc committed suicide

  10. Mr_Alex says:

    Parents Opposed to Pot run by Julie Anne Schauer expose themselves as racists

    If its not them why the need to cover their tracks

  11. DdC says:

    Drivers who test positive to drugs may not be impaired: Protesters
    UP TO 50 people joined a protest against drug driving testing held outside the Lismore office of local MP Thomas George today.

    The drug-driving laws needed to be changed because penalties were disproportionate to the crime, according to Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.

    “People who get caught for possessing 15 grams or less of cannabis can get off with a caution,” he said.

    But Mr Balderstone said people were losing their licence, and possibly their job, even if they had a trace of marijuana in their system and were not actually impaired in any way.

    Traces of marijuana can be found in a person’s saliva days after it was consumed.

  12. Gurney Halleck says:
    • Duncan20903 says:


      I thought that was Bill Buckley turning over in his grave last night.

      Why the heck are prohibitionists so darn binary?

    • Servetus says:

      ‘Heroin crisis’ as opposed to ‘painkiller prescription crisis’ sounds much better for pharmaceutical industry public relations and their bottom line.

      • allan says:

        a crisis piled on crises… as the seated ones know the fundamental crisis is one of education. We (used loosely and generally, realizing there are exceptions) have truly become addicts – addicts to our ignorance and addicts to and of laziness.

        We have surrendered (and it seems a largely western/Eurocentric tradition) our health to industry. Our food to industry. Our entertainment to industry… the knowledge is all here. We can have better health. We can have better education. We can have a much better natural environment… and we can have a much better system of trade and governance.

        Of all our collective addictions I’ve recently come to feel that all the “it’s their fault” rhetoric flying today is the worst addiction we suffer. The strongest communities are those most civil. We have long passed the age where conquerors are relevant.

        And to keep on theme, I think that the reason we have moved the great ship of state away from Prohibition II is that WE succeeded in having a civil dialogue. just as their is no stereotypical cannabist, there is no stereotypical anti-prohibitionist. THAT takes only a brain – and others to kick start the common sense lobe. Once running, a brain keen on learning can be an unstoppable driving wedge. Throw a bunch of those together and look out.

        It’s funny because I’ve become pretty much a pessimist that humanity and this version of civilization can and will continue. But I still carry a spark of hope.

        Cooperation is a wonderful thing and I do see a push towards more of that. While those who thrive on dividing communities are becoming more obvious in their jerk-ass-shittiness and face growing disregard for same.

        I know I speak for many blue collar types that have labored physically for decades. Standing on concrete for thousands of hours is a basic cause of leg and back pain. We smash and bend and twist and thump our bodies for years… we gonna hurt. And managing those hurts is not felonious, it’s what we have to do. Pile a bunch of stress onto that existing aching framework and the pains are multiplied.

        One of the great lessons for me from studying prohibition these many long years is the “heroin crisis.” Isn’t it odd that heroin assisted treatment works so well? Switzerland was such a bright light with their initiation of HAT. Suddenly a majority of druggies were regaining health, rejoining communities, reducing their crimes and *gasp* finding employment.

        “Addiction” does not preclude normal living. That is the fault of Prohibition.

        • NorCalNative says:

          Nicely written, thumbs up.

        • Servetus says:

          Yes, education is the key.

          Anti-heroin education and other types of so-called drug education in America usually involves condescending scare stories aimed at people deemed stupid. Science facts that educate are required if they’re to work, while making no a priori assumptions about an audience’s intellect.

          Anti-science or anti-intellectual culture in the US often obstructs rationalist approaches. Also prevalent is a prevailing sadomoralist ethic that says enabling heroin addiction in any way, even if it saves the miserable lives of addicts, is verboten.

  13. Gurney Halleck says:

    This is another piece from a “conservative” or libertarian that has been making the rounds and was widely shared. It’s from some dude “rethinking” his position for legalizing drugs in light of the heroin deaths.

  14. InKushWeTrust says:

    These requests allegedly began on May 20, 2015 after Green confiscated marijuana during a search warrant execution. He said Walker put the seized drugs in a drawer and asked Green to get him more.

    “Sheriff Walker advised that it was not for himself but for his aunt that was dying of cancer and needed the marijuana to help her with her appetite,” the lawsuit alleges.

    Green and Moody say Walker asked them multiple times for more marijuana after that. During this time, they alleged the sheriff tried getting marijuana during other law enforcement eradication but was having difficulty getting it.

    The pair said they later contacted authorities, including the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, state attorney general’s office, and FBI. Their attorney, Jay Stover of Gadsden, said one of the cooperating agencies advised them to record some of their conversations.

    Some of those recordings are below.

  15. Will says:

    ‘New Hampshire’ Episode 3: How The Heroin Crisis Is Bleeding Into The Primary

    In the embedded video, there is ‘talk’ about the problem. There are even suggestions of removing the stigma of addiction.

    Jeb Bush mentions drug courts (that’s just great! /snark).

    But Ted Cruz? “We are finally going to build a wall”.

    Just how much more clueless can you get?

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Don’t underestimate the sycophants of prohibition. Their expansion of the limits of stupidity are already mind boggling beyond belief. If it’s humanly possible to be more clueless they’ll show us how it’s done.

  16. Mr_Alex says:

    Update on Cannabis for Medical or Recreational use in New Zealand.

    The traitors in Parliament have now been shown, the following parties in New Zealand have been caught advocating the Sativex only scheme, it all started with Marama Davidson and Peter Dunne

    National Party
    New Zealand First
    United Future
    Maori Party

    These parties and some of the people representing them have been caught advocating or promoting the Sativex only scheme in New Zealand

    this was also listed in Parliament NZ’s website:

    Peter Dunne21 JANUARY, 2016
    Backgrounder: Medical Cannabis in New Zealand

    In light of recent and increasing commentary on the use, access to and funding of cannabis based medical products, attached is a fact sheet on the definition, current availability, status and authorisation process around the use of these products for therapeutic purposes. Further information can be found on the Ministry of health’s website at:

    Status of Medical Cannabis in New Zealand

    Medical cannabis is a blanket term that has different meanings for different people, ranging from the raw plant through to pharmaceutical grade products.
    A variety of claims have been made about the efficacy of cannabis in various forms for a range of medical conditions but there is limited robust evidence to support these claims.
    The wide variety in interpretations of what constitutes medical cannabis can result in confusing and/or inaccurate messaging in the various fora it is reported in, including mainstream media and social media.
    The Government acknowledges that there is a range of views held on what the legal status of cannabis, and cannabis products used for therapeutic purposes, should be.
    The Government’s position is that for cannabis to be used for medical purposes, the same criteria and testing processes as for any other medicine must be met.
    It is up to treating physicians and specialists as to whether they feel the prescribing of any form of cannabis-based products is appropriate, and if so, to follow the processes set out by the Ministry of Health (and summarised below).
    Pharmaceutical grade products

    Pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products can be prescribed in New Zealand subject to ministerial approval under regulation 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977.
    Information on application processes can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website at
    Currently the only pharmaceutical grade cannabis product available in New Zealand is Sativex® which is approved for use in multiple sclerosis but is also prescribed for “off-label” uses such as chronic pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain and intractable childhood epilepsy.
    For pharmaceutical grade products approved for use, ministerial approval has for some years been delegated to Ministry of Health officials.
    Applications must be from a specialist clinician in an appropriate speciality, or from a GP on the recommendation of an appropriate specialist, and are assessed against defined criteria.
    Non-pharmaceutical grade products

    For non-pharmaceutical grade products, for example the product Elixinol that was granted ministerial approval for prescribing to an individual in June 2015, ministerial approval is not delegated.
    Applications must be made to the Ministry of Health and be from a specialist appropriate to the medical condition or the Chief Medical Officer of a DHB. Ministry clinicians and officials review applications and provide a recommendation to the Minister.
    Only one application has been received as at 20 January 2016 and a review of its administration by specialists found it achieved no therapeutic effect.
    Criteria have been developed to guide the Minister in case by case consideration of applications and include a severe or life threatening condition, evidence that all reasonable conventional treatments have been trialled and symptoms are still poorly controlled, evidence of risk/benefit analysis by a qualified clinical specialist, the patient is hospitalised when treatment is initiated and a Certificate of Analysis of the product is available. These criteria are for guidance only and are not binding on the Minister.
    These criteria are in place because the use of non-pharmaceutical grade cannabis products is outside current Government policy. There is no evidence for the safety and efficacy of these products and the ad-hoc use of these products does not progress medical knowledge.

    In short from the above paragraph in regards to New Zealand

    Pure Cannabis is out of the question
    Big Pharma will be allowed to manufacture Cannabis medicine in New Zealand
    Any other people can get screwed for trying to manufacture Cannabis medicine

    Thats the line from the New Zealand Parliament

  17. jean valjean says:

    Matt Frei produced an interesting program on Donald Trump on UK Channel 4.
    Touched on Trump’s dealings with the mob in connection with his property speculation in the 80s. All he needs is Chris Christy as VP to ensure that the mob is well and truly running the country.

  18. Windy says:

    Because it was OT for more recent posts I’m dropping it here.

    Today the Council of the District of Columbia voted to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a taskforce to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District.

    “The will of District voters was upheld today by the Council, which voted unanimously to move forward on establishing regulated places where adults can consume marijuana,” said Kaitlyn Boecker with the Drug Policy Alliance. “One year ago this Council voted unanimously to ban such spaces, stripping residents of their rights under Initiative 71, but today Councilmembers righted that wrong and voted for reform,” said Boecker.

  19. DdC says:

    ‘His Guitar Was the Glue’
    That Held Jefferson Airplane Together
    ~ Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on Paul Kantner

    Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner dies at 74

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