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Showing posts from March, 2007

Marijuana and The Wall Street Journal

The mighty Wall Street Journal (my favorite newspaper) has been hopping with pot talk lately. What's the Voice of Capitalism coming to?

It started with an editorial page commentary on March 16 by constitutional expert Randy E. Barnett called "Reefer Madness". It was a learned assessment by Professor Barnett on how the federal courts go through constitutional contortions in maintaining the prohibition on medical uses of marijuana. The commentary was keyed by the Angel Raich story.

On March 23 there were four letters in response. If you are a Journal reader, you know that's a lot for any one commentary, meaning there were probably hundreds that didn't get printed. There were letters from organizations "Common Sense for Drug Policy" and "Marijuana Policy Project" decrying criminalization of a useful drug. President Carter's drug czar Lee Dogoloff weighed in - saying "every major" scientist says there is no medical benefit. Old …

Bush Campaigns Owes the U.S. $40 Mil?

I want a follow-up story!

As the Washington Post reported today (March 23 - 07) the Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission say the Bushies cheated us taxpayers on how they accounted for their expenditure of public money. The Republican members of the commission say "did not." An excerpt:

"We had a disagreement on this audit, and it was a doozy," said one of the Democrats, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub.The dispute centered on the use of what the commissioners called "hybrid" ads, which were intended to promote both the president and Republican members of Congress. The Bush campaign argued that it should not bear the full cost of these ads, so it split the tab with the Republican Party.
As a result, only half of the cost would count toward spending limits imposed on the campaign when it agreed to take public funds. Weintraub said the spending limit is an essential part of the agreement candidates make to accept public financing. "Bush-Ch…

Now For Something Completely Different

I notice I've been grousing a lot on the old blog lately. Time - sez I to myself - to write something uplifting, or at least useful. Vacation time is just around the corner. So here:

Don’t Deny the DevilThere are certain things in the making of recreational choices that color one’s judgment, like a well-tinted pair of sunglasses can make a day look more glamorous than it really is, or a quickly drained dram of tequila can have the same effect on a candidate for social intercourse.The hint of danger is one of those “certain things.”Hints of danger have various thresholds for individuals.Popping one’s ‘chute a thousand feet closer to the ground than usual might hint of danger to a jaded skydiver making the experience beguiling recreation. To the rest of us there are usually less well-defined danger hints.Just considering that hit of tequila, for instance, puts some people off as being ‘way over the limit, fully into danger.’Depends on your age sometimes, or on your personal histo…

Did You Say We Are a “CHRISTIAN NATION?”

In today’s Washington Post, Susan JacobyreviewsStephen Prothero’s book Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- And Doesn't(HarperSanFrancisco, 2007).Here are a couple of mind boggling excerpts:Americans are … the most religiously ignorant people in the Western world. Fewer than half of us can identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible, and only one third know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.Approximately 75 percent of adults, according to polls cited by Prothero, mistakenly believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." More than 10 percent think that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. Only half can name even one of the four Gospels, and -- a finding that will surprise many -- evangelical Christians are only slightly more knowledgeable than their non-evangelical counterparts.Check it out:http://www.bu.edu/religion/faculty/bios/prothero.htmlAnd… http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/And… I don’t feel quite so cynical ha…

The Zogby Poll of Arabs... Uh Oh.

I had a powerful deja vu experience this evening. On PBS Fareed Zacharia was interviewing Professor Shibley Telhami , holder of the the Anwar Sadat Chair at the University of Maryland about the new Zogby Poll on Arab attitudes and opinions. (Telhami designed the questionnaire and analyzed the results.)


As you might expect, the good old U.S. of A. doesn't fare too well. G.W. Bush is by far the "most disliked" world leader among Arabs of all stripes. He far surpasses the traditional winner, whoever was the current leader of Israel. In fact, Bush beats the combination of Olmert and Sharon.


Professor Telhami noted that the polarization against America has become the driving force uniting Arabs, Shiite, Sunni, et al. The main reason the Arabs admire anyone (including their # 3 favorite world leader Hugo Chavez) is that they stand up to America.


In these powerful findings from a well designed scientific poll there is strong guidance about what's wrong with our curre…