The administration appears to be seeking a Gulf of Persia Incident. We’ve been down this road before.
For a time, at least, the United States will have three carrier battle groups in the region. The USS John C. Stennis is the third. Each carrier is accompanied by a small flotilla of cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and support vessels, many equipped with Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles (TLAMs). Minimally, this gives modern meaning to the classic imperial term “gunboat diplomacy,” which makes it all the stranger that the deployment of the Nimitz is covered in our media, if at all, as the most minor of news stories. And when the Nimitz sailed off into the Pacific last month on its way to the Gulf, it simply disappeared off media radar screens like some classic “lost patrol.”
Rest assured, unlike us, the Iranians have noticed. After all, with the arrival of the Nimitz battle group, the Bush administration will be—for an unknown period of time—in an optimal position to strike Iran with a punishing array of bombs and missiles should the President decide to carry out his oft-repeated threat to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program through military action. “All options,” as the administration loves to say, remain ominously “on the table.”
Today CBSNews.com informed its staff via email that they should no longer enable comments on stories about presidential candidate Barack Obama. The reason for the new policy, according to the email, is that stories about Obama have been attracting too many racist comments.
“It’s very simple,” Mike Sims, director of News and Operations for CBSNews.com, told me. “We have our Rules of Engagement. They prohibit personal attacks, especially racist attacks. Stories about Obama have been problematic, and we won’t tolerate it.”
CBSNews.com does sometimes delete comments on an individual basis, but Sims said that was not sufficient in the case of Obama stories due to “the volume and the persistence” of the objectionable comments.
Of course cutting off abusers makes sense, but blocking all comments about Barack Obama is just as much as giving the racists what they want.
PROVIDENCE – Following in the footsteps of Wednesday’s House vote, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to make the state’s medical marijuana law permanent. The vote was 28-5, far exceeding the three-fifths vote required to survive the veto Gov. Donald Carcieri says is likely to come.
How about don’t veto it? Have some compassion. What kind of signal are you trying to send when you would want to deny safe and effective medicine to treat suffering people?
As a long-time critic of the New York Times, I have to say my first impression of their new public editor is positive.
Clark Hoyt, the third PE after Daniel Okrent and Byron Calame, was Knight-Ridder’s Washington from 1999; when McClatchy bought K-R last year, he became a consultant.
Five or six bullets hit the terrified woman. Authorities never figured out who fired the fatal bullet, the one that hit Johnston in the chest. Some pieces of the other bullets — friendly fire — hit Junnier and two other cops.
The officers handcuffed the mortally wounded woman and searched the house.
There was no Sam.
There were no drugs.
There were no cameras that the officers had claimed was the reason for the no-knock warrant.
Just Johnston, handcuffed and bleeding on her living room floor.
That is when the officers took it to another level. Three baggies of marijuana were retrieved from the trunk of the car and planted in Johnston’s basement. The rest of the pot from the trunk was dropped down a sewage drain and disappeared.
The three began getting their stories straight.
Hat-tip Pete Guither.
From the Drug Policy Alliance, today:
Your work is paying off–Connecticut’s Compassionate Use medical marijuana legislation, House Bill 6715 (HB 6715), passed the Joint Judiciary Committee in March and will be considered by the General Law Committee tomorrow
HB 6715 would allow seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. A 2004 University of Connecticut poll found that 83% of Connecticut residents support allowing patients to access medical marijuana for relief of symptoms associated with debilitating conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Of particular note, three legislators who voted “no” in 2005 actually voted “yes” this year. This is a strong indication that your faxes, letters, and testimonies are having a positive effect. Great work!
Support for Compassionate Use legislation continues to be strong, largely due to the continued pressure we have been applying to the CT legislature. We hosted a a successful press conference with Montel Williams in March 2007 and Connecticut Governor, M. Jodi Rell, has indicated possible support for Compassionate Use legislation. In addition, the Hartford Advocate recently featured Compassionate Use activist Mark Braunstein, in an article decrying opposition to HB 6715.
Help move HB 6715 forward! Please send a message to the Connecticut General Law Committee members, urging them to support this important legislation.
The General Law Committee will vote on HB 6715 tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24, at 10:30 AM, in Room 1D of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT. Please take action now, and forward this email to five people you know today-the more of us who take action, the more likely we’ll win Compassionate Use in Connecticut this year.
Thanks for all you do.
Drug Policy Alliance
If we had known, if we had only known — how to speak to one another.
Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer’s ability to spread.
Vaporized medicinal cannabis contains plenty of THC and contains none of the oxidized smoke and tar which can cause irritation. Smoked cannabis has not been shown to cause a higher incidence of lung cancer, but vaporized cannabis is likely to shrink tumors and restore lung function.
April 16, 2007 – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.
That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.
Gonzales was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, but his testimony was postponed until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University.
Hat-tip Melissa McEwan.
By the way, idiotic comparisons to Borat make no sense, claiming that he — a Jewish comedian’s satire — is being antisemitic, would be like criticizing Chris Rock for using words in his comedy act which are derogatory toward black people. Which people do criticize, but anyhow, it obviously isn’t racism.
Nor has Don Imus been punished beyond the loss of his job, for which he has already been paid many, many millions of dollars, none of which he has forfeited. Stop with the crocodile tears, people.
Related or recommended viewing:
How else to interpret the fact that he’s seeking a new Commander-in-Chief?
Passing someone’s words off as your own without attribution is plagiarism. Reading someone else’s words in first person, saying things like, “I still remember when I got my first library card, browsing through the stacks for my favorite books,” is dishonest if it was not your own recollection. But having ghost writers in news reporting is one thing, and having ghost writers who themselves plagiarize other writers is another. If you read a work-for-hire, you claim credit, so you must also accept responsibility.
Katie owes the American public an apology, a correction for the record, and very possibly her resignation unless she can demonstrate some reason we should trust her now.
And I owe more thanks to Melissa McEwan for this:
Update: It’s interesting to Google for “Katie Couric plagiarist” — you find gems like this.
Update 2: I should have included the direct link to Oliver Willis above. It’s a gem:
She clearly wasn’t involved at all. She had no idea what she was saying. They stuck something on a teleprompter and like she’s done for years now, Couric just read the darn thing.
Sad, but if true, it’s hardly an excuse.
Don Imus is more despicable than anyone I can think of. Not only does he have the need to be insulting and rude to his audience and guests, he thinks that in the life of a young woman who has achieved some accomplishment deserving praise, she ought to be cussed at with racist and sexually offensive terms. Don is a wealthy, wealthy man. He’s got everything money can buy, doesn’t he? And all he’s got for it is hatred and disgust for himself and everyone on the planet.
Yeah, I’m big pimpin’ alright. I’m telling you. These are women who deserve respect.
But you gotta go read the General, so you know what this is about. Inform yourself about the people you see on television and listen to on the radio, see the victims of their hatred, and be disgusted. I won’t demand anyone be fired, no. If his employers intend to convey the message he conveys, they should keep him on, and they should wear him as a badge of pride, such as cometh before the fall.
Update: MSNBC has reportedly fired Don Imus. No word on CBS yet.
Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
By Montel Williams
You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana’s medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren’t treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.
If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don’t see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.
My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn’t sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.
All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn’t take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to become a junkie.
When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.
I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.
You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It’s common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It’s typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don’t help much, whatever the specific illness.
The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can’t walk.
This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the “gold standard” of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.
What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.
In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.
Here’s what’s shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there’s no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They’re lying, and they know it.
Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It’s long past time for that to change.
Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it’s recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.
The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of “Climbing Higher” and other books.
Special to the Post-Dispatch
From United States Senator Russ Feingold.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER COSPONSORS FEINGOLD BILL TO REDEPLOY TROOPS FROM IRAQ
April 2, 2007
Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”
“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”
The language of the legislation reads:
(a) Transition of Mission – The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).
(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq – The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds – No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.
(d) Exception for Limited Purposes – The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:
(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.
(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.
(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.
# # #
Rez Dog at Mockingbird’s Medley provides a good wrap-up of some very suspicious military deaths that require investigation. I’m copying the whole thing because I don’t want you to have to go farther than necessary to find out more information about each of these cases.
A petition worth your attention is one on behalf of PFC LaVena Johnson whose death in Iraq was ruled a suicide despite obvious signs of a beating. Read the whole story at Welcome to Pottersville. I found the story at Shakespeare’s Sister where Waveflux has been blogging the story for a while.
Here’s yet another suspicious set of circumstances that masks the reality that the chain of command would rather ignore. Here in Arizona, we have a similar military death, SPC Alyssa Petersen of Flagstaff, whose suicide came after she was displayed too much empathy with detainees and was unable to interrogate them as directed.
Arizona, of course, has the well-known case of fabricated events in the death of SPC Pat Tillman but everybody knows that. The less well-known are easily overlooked by the electronic circus that passes for news in this country. All the more reason for citizens to speak out and ask questions.
John McCain is delusional. Not that he actually believes his own bullshit. But that he expects us to buy it…
Update: CNN’s John Roberts responds to John McCain,
Roberts: I checked with General Petraeus’ people overnight and they said he never goes out in anything less than an up armored Humvee.
Watch the interview, at C&L.
Williams: To put this question another way — if you didn’t review their performance during this process, then how can you be certain that they were fired for performance reasons?
Gonzales: I — I’ve given — I’ve given the answer to the question, Pete. I know — I know the reasons why I made the decision. Again, there’s nothing in the documents to support the allegation that there was anything improper here. And there is an internal — department review to answer that question, to reassure the — the American people that there was nothing improper that happened here.
Researchers investigating the role of cannabis in cancer therapy reveal it has the potential to destroy leukaemia cells, in a paper published in the March 2006 edition of Letters in Drug Design & Discovery. Led by Dr Wai Man Liu, at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, the team has followed up on their findings of 2005 which showed that the main active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has the potential to be used effectively against some forms of cancer. Dr Liu has since moved to the Institute of Cancer in Sutton where he continues his work into investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of new anti-cancer agents.
It has previously been acknowledged that cannabis-based medicines have merit in the treatment of cancer patients as a painkiller; appetite stimulant and in reducing nausea, but recently evidence has been growing of its potential as an anti-tumour agent. The widely reported psychoactive side effects and consequent legal status of cannabis have, however, complicated its use in this capacity. Although THC and its related compounds have been shown to attack cancer cells by interfering with important growth-processing pathways, it has not hitherto been established exactly how this is achieved.
Now Dr Liu and his colleagues, using highly sophisticated microarray technology – allowing them to simultaneously detect changes in more than 25,000 genes in cells treated with THC – have begun to uncover further the existence of crucial processes through which THC can kill cancer cells and potentially promote survival. Further, Dr Liu found that the mechanism of cannabis may be independent of the presence of receptors – proteins found on the surface of cells to which other signalling molecules bind. Binding of molecules to receptors elicits a response in the cell, be it growth or death. The finding that cannabis action may not require the presence of these receptors introduces the possibility that the drug may be used more widely as the cancer cell’s dependence on the cannabis receptor is removed.
Whilst leukaemia treatment is on the whole successful, some people cannot be treated with conventional therapy – 25 per cent of children with leukaemia fail to respond to traditional treatment leaving their prognosis outcome poor. Dr Liu’s research findings provide a crucial first step towards the development of new therapies that can eradicate a deadly disease which affects millions of children and adults worldwide.
Dr Liu said: “It is important to stress that these cannabis-like substances are far removed from the cannabis that is smoked. These novel compounds have been specifically designed to be free of the psychoactive features, whilst maintaining anti-cancer action. Ultimately, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of these compounds will provide us with insights into developing new drugs that can be used to effectively treat cancers.”
For further information, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
Queen Mary, University of London
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 7910
Click e-mail for more.
WASHINGTON – Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.
As the meeting was breaking up, Gonzales suddenly switched tacks and seemed to want to be cooperative. “How can we make this better?” he asked. “What can we do?” According to this source, the attorney general seemed to some in the room to be genuinely befuddled.
Depression is next, and with it, resignation. This will not go away.
Click chart for more from BradBlog.
What did the president know and when did he know it? Who would have known before Rove and Cheney?
Click her picture. Hat-tip Think Progress.
Bong Hits for Jesus is being heard on Monday by the Supreme Court.