Monday, June 13, 2005


I think nothing exemplifies how desperately cheesy this WSJ editorial is than this paragraph:

More disturbing, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is handing over millions of federal dollars and the keys to that building to some of the very same people who consider the post-9/11 provisions of the Patriot Act more dangerous than the terrorists that they were enacted to apprehend--people whose inflammatory claims of a deliberate torture policy at Guantanamo Bay are undermining this country's efforts to foster freedom elsewhere in the world.
Notice how neither the validity of the claims nor the quality of the "efforts" is discussed... in fact, it's treated as nothing less than irrelevant. It's not that it's wrong, it's that it "hurts the efforts" and dares to claim that the Patriot act could be dangerous, despite the fact that provoking a state overreaction is one of the key tools of terrorists, and almost certainly a key goal of Al-Qaeda.

It should be flabbergasting that one of the leading conservative voices in the United States is espousing a point of view that the country's founders would consider odious. It's not. I had almost stopped believing that neo-conservatism is really about denying the importance of the truth in the face of fictions useful for social control... but how else, honestly, can you describe it? It's all that Instapundit says these days, and Jeff Jarvis certainly doesn't care about the dangers of this position, or he wouldn't have linked to the story without at least a passing mention of the issues involved.

Now that the War on Terrorism isn't really that anymore, but some nebulous "war for freedom" (or whatever rubbish the Bush White House is tossing around these days), there is no reason to believe that the current conflict will end, or that it was even intended to end in the first place. Endless conflict, endless control, and the death of the freedom to disagree and to even proclaim the truth in America.

If you listen closely, you can hear the death rattle of the American dream.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Same old, Same old.

It's no surprise whatsoever that Glenn Reynolds is blaming the CBC for teenager 'hating America'. Calling for censorship and attacking a free press (no matter where it is) because it actually reports when the American government does bad things is normal for him. It's what he does.

It's also no surprise that he's drawing on a study by the Frasier institute with what appears to be incredibly weak methodology too; that they choose not to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate reporting and just rail against "negativity" is par for the course, as they singlehandedly justify every negative stereotype about rightist tendentiousness. It's what they do.

In fact, the only thing that surprises me is how much wingers seem to get away, considering they expend so little effort.

Monday, June 06, 2005

SC on medical marijuana

This is a pity:

Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.

The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.

...Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."

Needless to say, this is politically naive (or deliberately obscurant); the judges know full well that nobody in congress is going to back this cause, as they would be terrified of the political opposition. That's precisely the reason why the states were dealing with the issue in the first place- cultures differ enough between the states that what is appropriate for one on this issue may not be appropriate for another. Yes, there are massive generational differences on this issue, but it's not enough to change the rules anytime soon.

While I'm not exactly a 10th amendment fanatic, Sandra Day O'Connor had a point when she said "The states' core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens".

This does raise a good question, though: considering that Canada is developing a reputation for being fairly relaxed on this issue, I wonder if this is going to prompt a migration northward. British Columbia's climate may not be as nice as California's, but it sure beats jail.