Omaha

If you are feeling severely depressed, consider a dose of Aurum metallicum, 30C.

A new project for America

I suggest we build a solar power satellite.

Collecting solar energy from space and lasing it to earth gives us more potential energy than all the fossil fuel in the world.

Balance

No timeline? No funding. No excuses.

So advocates John Edwards (h/t):

We all are saying

Happy birthday to the blogger formerly known as Mimus Pauly

Jim Yeager of Mockingbird’s Medley is 37. Go read his blog. Then watch this.

Nuclear weapons should never be used.

Hillary Clinton’s insistence on maintaining official silence might be to impress upon some adversary the fear that we might use them. The truth is, no one knows because the button goes to whomever it goes.

Even if we survive this administration and elect a Democratic candidate, there is no guarantee against a George Bush III in the future. Just as we have been cautioning Republicans that they should not give Bush II powers they wouldn’t want Clinton II to have, we should allow for the possibility, and cease this nonsense.

If America uses a nuclear weapon against anyone ever again, there will cease to be America. We will be torn apart inside and out; there would be no shelter from the storm. We cannot use these things. Let’s turn them to some peaceful purpose.

Update: Sifu Tweety Fish @ The Poor Man Institute has more.

    Morse v. Frederick re: “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS”

    I have not yet read the opinions in this case, but I have been informed of the decision of the court.

    I think the court made the correct decision under the facts as presented.

    Because I advocate for the end of cannabis prohibition, it would have been my preference for the decision to go the other way, but of course that would be lending precisely an inference to the banner which Mr. Frederick denies. He says that the banner is meaningless, and if that is so, then how is it also protected speech?

    If the banner had said SMOKE CRACK 4 SATAN would that have been acceptable?

    Now there are real first amendment concerns if this speech were prohibited outright, but it has to be taken as meaningful speech in order to even be addressed as such. Speech can be regulated in some places, none of my readers would (I hope) advocate that people have a right to put up SMOKE CRACK 4 SATAN signs in public schools.

    So we can’t even get to the meat of it as far as content restrictions may go, because the sign purportedly has no content.

    But Mr. Frederick was an adult, and he had the right to display even a nonsense sign if he chose, and the school principal had no authority over him whatsoever unless he voluntarily remained enrolled in the public school.

    I concur in the decision of the court, on my own reasoning above.

    I would point out that students have been protected in their political and religious speech. Therefore, the following two banners would presumably pass constitutional muster as protected first amendment speech:

    END CANNABIS PROHIBITION

    JESUS SMOKED POT

    Related posts:

    Update: “Bong Hits for Jesus” seems like a good subject for a song.

    Update 2: Would you believe it started as a song?

    Update 3: Chris Weigant in the Huffington Post (hat-tip Lindsay Beyerstein):

    In reading today’s Supreme Court’s decision on Morse v. Frederick, the case of the student in Juneau, Alaska, who unfurled a banner reading “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS” and was subsequently suspended (you can read the story here or at the Washington Post to get the details of the case), one conclusion is crystal-clear: Kids, if you’re going to unfurl such a banner in an effort to get on national television, make sure that you state your case as: ‘LEGALIZE BONG HiTS 4 JESUS’.” Because then the First Amendment will protect you.

    I think the real lesson here is to defend your speech. Don’t pretend you didn’t mean something by it, or you’ll never get anywhere. BONG HiTS 4 JESUS was perfectly capable of defense on first amendment religious grounds, but I doubt that Mr. Frederick understood that; at any rate he was unwilling to stand behind the words themselves at all after the sign was taken from him.

    Update 4: If I seem harsh towards Joe Frederick, I actually think he did good. Sometimes not winning is as good as winning. We’re discussing BONG HiTS 4 JESUS, aren’t we?

    Pete Guither has some more thoughts along these lines, though I gather he thinks the court got it wrong altogether.

    With musical accompaniment

    Daniel Larison of Eunomia:

    Newsweek’s latest poll has some interesting numbers. Keeping in mind how little polls mean and how relatively unreliable polls of merely registered voters are, the poll shows that the four named Republican candidates continue to lose against the three named Democratic candidates, no matter the matchup.

    It’s a pretty comprehensive poll and I recommend you check it out. Bottom line numbers indicate that unless something expected happens, the Republican party does not have a viable candidate for president in 2008.

    Inoculate, impeach, and remove. Don’t wait until 2008.

    Under penalty of impeachment and removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States

    Joseph Cannon writes at BradBlog:

    Dick Cheney has claimed “executive privilege” a number of times, most notably when asked to disclose his energy policy meetings. Legislators have no such privilege. May we see the documents now?

    More than that. Do you know the technical grounds for the impeachment charges brought against Richard Nixon? Subpoenas. Nixon ignored them, and so he had to go. Any congressional committee may now subpoena anything it wants from Cheney’s office. Not a single document in the joint is protected by executive privilege. Not a single person working under Cheney may claim executive privilege. Dick Cheney has made very clear that he is not part of the executive branch of government.

    Related post:

    Some material may not be suitable for children

    June 9, City Hall, San Jose, California, USA

    Click image to enlarge.

    Hat-tip George at skippy the bush kangaroo.

    Related post:

    Permaculture: The Garden of Eden

    [Zoom]

    Will it work?

    Do plants grow?

    Hat-tip Monkeyfister.

    Aspartame: Brought to you by Donald Rumsfeld

    Stay away from artificial sweeteners.

    An addictive synthetic neurotoxic stimulant ought to be regulated as a drug, not a food additive.

    Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World.

    Even “reasonable conservatives” forget the first half of the second amendment

    Jon Swift has an idea:

    It is the Second Amendment that makes our country free. A Global Second Amendment would make the world free. Nuclear proliferation could be the key to making the world safe for democratic proliferation.

    We’d have to accept a Nuclear Regulatory Body, being necessary to the security of a free World.

    Related posts:

    Impeach Alberto Gonzales

    What Big Tent Democrat said. (Hat-tip the Xsociate.)

    Related post:

    Update: New video from Brave New Films:

    Update 2: More from Donna Woodka.

    What do you think?

    R-a-c-i-s-t, find out what it means to be

    This is an open letter sent today by Arlen Parsa:

    Dear Rush Limbaugh,

    O, master of moderation,

    O, beacon of reason,

    O, exemplar of well-thought-out-discourse,

    Please stop calling Barack Obama a “magic negro.”

    I know you only have only the best intentions in mind. I know you would never, everrrrrrr intentionally say annnnnything racist, but when you call the only African American person in the entire Senate a “negro,” over and over again, on the your nationally syndicated talk radio show, it comes across as just a tad bit racially insensitive.

    I know, I know, you meant it as a joke. And I that you probably thought it was hilarious, and in the best possible taste, when you sing it to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon, lives by the seaaaaa” (”Barack the magic Negro, lives in DC”). But here’s the thing. It. Is. Not. Funny. In fact, O wise radio mogul, it is the opposite of funny.

    As I am sure I don’t need to remind you, another radio host was not long ago fired for doing something similar (no doubt the words “Don Imus nappy headed hos incident” ring bells in your mind). And keep in mind, Imus said he was just “joking around” too. In your case, you actually planned your joke ahead of time, and your producers found some music to play in the background so you could sing your rendition of “Barack the magic negro.”

    Which brings me to my next point. Although I’m sure you probably thought it would help race relations in America by mimicking what you think is a “black voice,” while singing your little ditty, I regret to inform you that to the average person, who doesn’t know that you’re actually regarded as a second coming of Rev Dr Martin Luther King in the African American community, it only makes it worse.

    Now, I know what you are about to say. “But I didn’t call him that; the LA Times called him that! Those liberals are so racist!” Let me stop you. When an African American person criticizes the perception of another African American person by comparing them with the archetypal sociological concept of a “magical negro,” it is not, in fact, racist.

    If anything, the LA Times column to which you slam for its supposed racism, is in fact an attack on what the author feels is racism in white American politics, and as an extension, an attack on what the author sees as Senator Obama’s willingness to act as a figure whom “white America [can] project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on.”

    I will be waiting for you to apologize to Senator Obama and have your “Imus moment” on Al Sharpton’s radio show. I am confident that it won’t take very long for you to realize that your “joke” wasn’t in fact the funniest thing on the planet, and that you will apologize soon enough. That’s just the type of thoughtful, productive, selfless type of thing we’ve come to expect from you.

    Sincerely yours,

    -Arlen

    What if al Qaeda blew up the levees — would New Orleans have been safer that way?

    Press release

    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

    Let’s make sure the committee passes the legislation tomorrow morning – please take action now!

    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.

    Gabriel Sayegh
    Drug Policy Alliance

    Regulating the militia

    Should there not be a requirement that all militia complete a course of basic training?

    Why should we let people own guns without placing responsibility upon them?

    I do not take away from one who is unable to complete a certain regimen due to physical limitations, but a substitute course and demonstration of weapon proficiency and understanding of the regulations would still seem a reasonable requirement consistent with the second amendment.

    Related post:

    A treatment for lung cancer

    HealthDay:

    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.

    Hat-tip.

    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.

    Related post:

    For my parents’ generation

    Respect

    Gwen Ifill, who Don Imus once reportedly referred to derogatorily as a “cleaning lady,” stands up to a bunch of his apologists on Meet The Press:

    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:

    RKBA

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So goes the second amendment to the constitution for the united states of America.

    Let’s analyze this. A well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State — therefore the Militia must be well regulated. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, is their right to become part of the Militia. Which is to be well regulated, and so provide for the defense of the community.

    Is this so hard? Regulate the Militia well, and we don’t even need a standing Army.

    Update: It occurs to me that we’ve so forgotten how to speak English, as the writers of the constitution and bill of rights meant their words, that I have to explain what the Militia is — namely, all the citizens of the State who are in arms. You arm yourself, you are Militia, and subject to regulation as such.

    Health assurance, not insurance

    Government should not be run as a business. Let’s realize that now and move on, because the Republicans tried it, and it always happens that way when people in pursuit of private gain seek to control the public purse.

    I’m hearing lots of ideas about health care reform, single payer Medicare-for-all is one proposal. I want to consider it from a number of perspectives, to see whether it makes sense to me and under what conditions. I will say first off that it would currently be highly unpopular to the professional classes of people who have the highest cost private health care, and some of the sickest people who are very dependent upon knowing that their private insurer is going to continue to pay the costs of their ongoing treatment.

    You cannot tell me to cancel my current insurance without a whole lot of assurance that I’ll retain my same quality of care. It was very, very hard to get myself covered in the first place. I don’t want to lose that.

    There is a place for private insurance and many, perhaps most people may prefer it right now. If public health assurance becomes better, and people trust the system, more people will switch. Offer Medicare for all, but do not require people to subscribe, then improve Medicare so that people will want to subscribe. Could anything be simpler?

    I’m going to say something about Kaiser Permanente now. I’m very happy with them. While this may seem inapposite, where I came from, the HMO policies that were available were not very good. I had the highest cost Blue Cross plan, it was the only plan that provided me adequate coverage. I didn’t know what it would be like in this system, but I like my doctors and can communicate with them all by KP e-mail, which is fantastic. It might not be the best system for everyone, and Medicare could be every single bit as good. We could even find a way to make them share codes and doctors, like the airlines do. Is Kaiser Permanente not-for-profit? Indeed…

    Right fucking now.

    Yeah, it’s still early days… Soon everyone will say it.

    Hat-tip Cookie Jill.

    Recommended viewing:

    Too busy for poetry?

    George Bush wants to resign now.

    How else to interpret the fact that he’s seeking a new Commander-in-Chief?

    Pictures of beautiful women

    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.

    Update 2: CBS has also canceled his contract. Hat-tip Waveflux.

    Save this city.

    Hat-tip D.R. Scott.

    Ron Paul for president

    I will not support this nomination for reasons that I can set forth at length, but I suggest to the remnant Republicans who want to save your party in some form: support his candidacy. He has earned trust and respect for his own integrity.

    Montel, today

    Montel Williams From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today. Hat-tip Cannabis News.

    Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
    By Montel Williams
    04/03/2007

    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

    Let’s impeach the president

    Please help

    I need some advice on how to continue to blog as I have been and still make a little bit more than nothing with two clients across the country one of whom may soon cease to be able to afford me due to the financial condition of his main client. I am in no risk of starving, between my wife’s graduate stipend and a bit we got for our condo when we moved we are okay, but we’re thinking we might want to have kids sometime and it can’t happen if we’re already running a small deficit every month.

    This is my message to you.

    Recommended listening:

    Do you prefer plagues of locusts?

    Iran wants war

    Don’t give it to them.

    Recommended viewing:

    Update: More context from Ellroon.

    What is six times nine in base thirteen?

    The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.

    What is the Ultimate Question?

    You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.

    Can you compute?

    Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Make love, not war.

    Ever seen a sandstorm?

    Ellroon says, “Try fighting in this.”

    Ten years and five days ago

    Try to keep count

    When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

    Things we do not know we don’t know — but intend to find out

    Related post:

    You have your own voice. Use it.

    The art of peace — knowing without knowing

    Do what I do, and question everything, including yourself — and seek answers. Question this too, unless that creates a redundant construct you cannot escape from.

    Space, the final frontier

    Watch this from NASA via Carnacki.

    A song of seeds, the food of love

    “She’s trying to stop me from helping you!” Click the video to watch it elsewhere, it won’t embed.

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