Open Thread

Retirement continues to be a very busy time for me. Spent the past week in Chicago getting my newest Living Canvas show ready to open tomorrow.


[Trans]formation uses the unique Living Canvas technique (projections on bodies) to tell the stories, poetry and songs of transgender and other non-binary individuals. It’s a pretty stunning world premiere and there really is nothing like it. Running November 17 to December 17 at The Vault at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. More info.

Early indications in the hugely chaotic transition period for the upcoming President Trump seem to indicate that there are likely to be a lot of hawks in the new administration. In general, that bodes poorly for any kind of reduction or reform of the international drug war, and increases the need to continue to establish the ascendency of the states in drug policy, along with convincing small-government Republicans in Congress to act as a brake against potential overreach by a Trump Justice Department.

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14 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Servetus says:

    Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani is being considered as the next US Secretary of State under Trump (lol). Giuliani, a former prosecutor who began his career by prosecuting drug cases, is known for inventing the “broken windows policy” as mayor of NYC, which led to New York’s practice of stop-and-frisks of black teenagers, which in part led to Black Lives Matter, which scares the crap out of Republicans like Giuliani and Trump. Capping the irony of opposing human rights, Giuliani supported Big Pharma’s painkiller criminals:

    Dec. 28, 2007 — For years, Mr. Brownlee and his small team had been building a case that the maker of the painkiller OxyContin had misled the public when it claimed the drug was less prone to abuse than competing narcotics. The drug was believed to be a factor in hundreds of deaths involving its abuse.

    Mr. Giuliani, celebrated for his stewardship of New York City after 9/11, soon told the prosecutors they were wrong.

    In 2002, the drug maker, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn., hired Mr. Giuliani and his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, to help stem the controversy about OxyContin. Among Mr. Giuliani’s missions was the job of convincing public officials that they could trust Purdue because they could trust him.[…]

    A former top federal [drug] prosecutor, Mr. Giuliani participated in two meetings between Purdue officials and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency investigating the company. Giuliani Partners took on the job of monitoring security improvements at company facilities making OxyContin, an issue of concern to the D.E.A.

    As a celebrity, Mr. Giuliani helped the company win several public relations battles, playing a role in an effort by Purdue to persuade an influential Pennsylvania congressman, Curt Weldon, not to blame it for OxyContin abuse.

    Despite these efforts, Purdue suffered a crushing defeat in May at the hands of Mr. Brownlee when the company and three top executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges.[…]

    To drive OxyContin’s sales, Purdue, beginning in 1996, set in motion what D.E.A. officials described as perhaps the most aggressive promotional campaign for a high-powered narcotic ever undertaken. It promoted the drug not only to pain specialists, but to family doctors with little experience in treating serious pain or recognizing drug abuse.

    As a result of the expanded access, critics charged, OxyContin wound up in the high schools and street corners of rural America where curious teenagers crushed the pill, defeating the time-release formula, and ended up addicts, or in some cases, dead.[…]

    Rudy Giuliani will likely remain an opponent of legal marijuana, as cannabis appears destined to compete with Big Pharma’s pain medicines. As Secretary of State, he can also be expected to continue Hillary Clinton’s drug war in Mexico.

  2. From The Alaska Journal of Commerce:

    The Great Cannabis Divide
    Congress and public are split on marijuana legalization
    By: DJ Summers – Alaska Journal of Commerce

    … “In a healthy democracy, when a significant portion of the public takes certain policy decisions, their elected officials go to the halls of Congress, carry bills and lobby for bills that are reflective of the views of their constituency,” he said. “The reason we had nine states in this election with voter initiatives…was because in every one of those states, lawmakers were unwilling to address the issue. That’s problematic.”

    The public is holding an open rebellion against federal law.” …

    – Its a good time for state legislator’s to stop and take a good look around them.

  3. Here are the people whose names have been floated for Trump’s Cabinet- WP

    Quite a sorry bunch from my first perusal.

    The bright side:
    “The fastest-growing industry in America is marijuana, period,”

  4. Servetus says:

    Trump’s US Attorney General pick is a cannabinophobe:

    11.18.16 6:31 AM ET — Jeff Sessions, attorney general of the United States. The man who was too racist to be a federal judge. Thirty years ago. That is, he was too out there for the racial sensitivities of 30 years ago. And now he’s going to the boss of every federal judge in the United States.

    I remember the Sessions judicial nomination as it unfolded in real time, remember that he said he thought the KKK was all right until he found out some of them smoked dope, that he said the ACLU and NAACP were commie front groups. His nomination was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee, making him the first Reagan federal bench appointee to be so rejected.

    Down in Alabama, that counted as a credit, not a blemish. In 1994, he was easily elected the state attorney general and two years later, won his Senate seat. If he’s changed his views on such matters over the years, he’s given little public indication of having done so.

    The Senate confirmation hearings will be a laugh riot.

    • Will says:

      So this is “draining the swamp”? This is “taking a unique and innovative business-like approach to governing”? This shit?

      I get it that many, many people are triumphantly happy that Clinton is dispatched to the sidelines for good. I sure as hell was no fan of hers. But in fairness, I’ve been disappointed with presidential election results for as far back as I can remember. So, for the sake of discussion, lets dispatch with “Well, at least Trump isn’t Clinton” bullshit. That’s too easy now folks. Someone — anyone — who identifies themselves as “conservative”, please lay out a rational, well thought out defense of where Trump is headed with his appointments. And spare us with the, “I was with Gary Johnson” blather (I mention this because I’ve seen far too many NeverTrump libertarian/conservatives suddenly lining up with Trump now). Does anyone actually believe that Trump is laying the ground work for the continued winding down of the drug war with appointments like Sessions? Or any of his other possible/predicted appointments?

      [Note: I’ve been out of the loop for quite a while, dealing with deaths (yes, plural) in the family and assisting certain aging relatives transition to new lives without their loved ones of many years. That said, I hope all you rogue couch dwellers are hanging in there].

  5. Servetus says:

    As states move toward legal cannabis through election referendums, driving and traffic concerns are raised. UC San Diego is leading the way on research in traffic safety. The lab results aren’t looking too good for prohibitionists. Science never seems to side with hysterical bigots:

    November 17, 2016 7:56 AM — […]At UC San Diego’s Center for Cannabis Research, they are aiming for better scientific methods to discern whether someone is driving while high.

    Participants in the study either smoke a weak joint, a strong joint, or a placebo. Then, they get behind the wheel in a driving simulator.

    “You cannot simply take blood, or take saliva right now, and say whether or not a person is impaired to be on the road, said Tom Marcotte, co-director of the Center for Cannabis Research. “We’re hoping to improve upon that.”

    Meanwhile, another question remains: will the streets be more dangerous when pot becomes legal? Beau Kilmer, the Drug Policy Research Center co-director at the Rand Corporation, said more research needs to be done, but it’s possible it could get safer.

    “The research is very clear,” Kilmer said. “Driving drunk is worse than driving stoned. However, the bulk of the research suggests that driving stoned is still worse than driving sober.”

    So Kilmer said a lot depends on whether people decide to forgo alcohol and smoke pot instead. Or mix the two.

    “If we see an increase in the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, we should be worried about traffic safety,” said Kilmer.

  6. WalStMonky says:


    At least since I was old enough to read every time a POTUS moved into the White House the new POTUS spent his first 100 days (give or take a week or two) implementing his agenda. Mr. Trump is going to spend his first 100 days learning the basic fundamentals of being POTUS and wishing he hadn’t paid off his 11th grade civics teacher to let him ditch that class. He’s already getting some on the job training from his soon to be next door neighbor (among others):
    DC Mayor: Nation’s Capital Will Remain a ‘Sanctuary City’

    I’m really getting to like Mayor Bowser. That woman has a spine. Don’t fuck with Fido, no doubt.

  7. Mike says:

    and let’s not forget that cannabis is legal in DC as well. I wonder how that’s going to work out with “Sniffy the Clown” in town? How’s that working out for DC so far?

  8. DdC says:

    Trump said he wasn’t sorry for anything he said, why? Because he won. This is gonna make the Contract on Americans seem like a Frisbee Golf Game. But I toked through Nexxon Furd Boosh/Rayguns twice Boosh Quayle and his favorite son Bubba Klintoon & Occidental Al twice then Cheney/JRBoosh twice. Carter seemed plausible before Billy Beer and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Obama doing nothing is the best its ever been, actually civilized in many places. To continue is foolish and very profitable for the prohibitionists.

    Climate skeptics, oil tycoons, campaign loyalists, war hawks, and law enforcement enthusiasts top the list of potential appointees.

    As Trump Transitions to Power,
    ‘Cabinet of Horrors’ Takes Shape

    Secretary of the Interior:
    Sarah Palin-Oil Executive Forrest Lucas-Jan Brewer

    We can never solve our significant problems
    from the same level of thinking we were at
    when we created the problems.
    — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    Rudy ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Giuliani on Shortlist for Cabinet Post

    -Attorney General:
    Chris Christie-FL Puppet Pam Bondi-Rudy Gouliani-Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

    The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are constitutional rights secure.
    — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    Elizabeth Warren Calls On Senate To ‘Exercise Fundamental Moral Leadership’ And Reject Jeff Sessions

    Secretary of State:
    John Bolton-Newt Gingrich

    Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters
    cannot be trusted with important matters.
    — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


    Insanity [is] …
    Continuing to do the same things and expecting different results
    — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    ☛ You’ve Been Trumped Too:
    it’s the film Donald Trump doesn’t want you to see

    [There is] a duty in refusing to cooperate in any undertaking that violates the Constitutional rights of the individual. This holds in particular for all inquisitions that are concerned with the private life and the political affiliations of the citizens.
    — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    Drunk Donald Trump by Jimmy Kimmel

  9. BorderSecurity says:

    This special edition of “The State of Texas” is definitely worth your time:

    AUSTIN (KXAN) – A KXAN investigation found the state’s war on drugs at the border is doing little to slow the flow of drugs into central Texas. State lawmakers have spent more than $1.6 billion to add DPS Troopers along the border with the goal of stopping human smuggling and drug smuggling. On this week’s State of Texas: In-Depth, we look closer at why your tax dollars may not be helping the state reach that goal.

  10. DdC says:

    A brief history of war and drugs: From Vikings to Nazis
    From World War II to Vietnam and Syria, drugs are often as much a part of conflict as bombs and bullets.

    Vikings and Mushrooms

    The Nazi Comparison by Dr. John Beresford

  11. DdC says:

    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance
    when the need for illusion is deep. — Saul Bellow

    5 Lies You’ve Been Told About the US Legalizing Marijuana

    1. Crime will increase
    So far, in areas that have legalized marijuana, crime rates have softened up; and we don’t mean those connected to cannabis. The research is still ongoing, but preliminary reports indicate that legalization has freed up law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes.

    2. Teen use rates will skyrocket
    Interestingly enough, there has been an opposite trend — teens in legal states have actually been using pot at lower rates

    3. Public health will suffer
    If anything, more marijuana has led to better outcomes, as cannabis tends to be a much safer alternative to alcohol, tobacco, and hard drugs.

    4. The roads will be more dangerous
    If we look at the numbers, it doesn’t appear that the roads are any more dangerous than they were before prohibition was lifted in legal states.

    5. Enforcement costs will spike
    The truth is, law enforcement costs fall when a black market is no longer around to enforce, and this ends up saving the public gobs of money.

    Legalize pot, and save the world.By Sean Curry

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