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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1301. BDC Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4319107)
Jews vote Democrat because they're hopelessly devoted to the principles of the Democratic Party. Why?

I'm reminded of a conversation I heard in a diner in Great Neck, LI in 2004. One guy says to the other, playing devil's advocate: "But Bush is good on Israel." The other guy groans and says "Listen, ALL Presidents are good on Israel. Think of what else you know about Bush."
   1302. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4319112)
Sorry, I forgot that Puerto Ricans, unlike Cubans and members of the Tea Party, aren't real Latinos. And do make sure you drive moochers like Aguilar out of your party, because we all know you've got millions of votes to spare.

On what basis, other than the racial- and ethnic-solidarity stuff that liberals allegedly hate so much, would or should Puerto Ricans — who are U.S. citizens at birth — have immigration concerns, let alone immigration complaints?


They know that most of the people interested in immigration crackdowns don't know (or care about) the difference between a brown person from Mexico and a brown person from Puerto Rico, and they don't want to be constantly getting stopped and frisked and asked for papers and the like.


This is silly. Like a lot of the self-appointed immigration experts in the media, the Puerto Rican guy Andy has been talking about is whiter than I am.

Of course not all of Aguilar's relatives, friends and radio listeners are necessarily Puerto Ricans who look "whiter than" Joe Kehoskie. A few of them might feel a certain amount of personal stake in immigration reform.

But then your whole line of reasoning assumes that as long as you personally don't have any problems with the INS, you shouldn't concern yourself with the problems of anyone else who might not be quite as fortunate. Right now apparently Aguilar is some sort of traitor to his pigment in your eyes, and at some point I'm sure you'll be accusing half the Republican Party of being RINOs. That wagon circle of yours just keeps getting smaller and smaller, but at least you know that inside that circle it's as pure as Ivory soap. And as a Democrat, I wholeheartedly approve your message.
   1303. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4319119)
I'm another person very much in favor of drug liberalization whose own personal experiences with illegal drugs could be counted on two hands (maybe two Alfonseca hands). That said, I went to the Shedd Aquarium last weekend to look at the jellyfish show and I wish to hell I'd been on some sort of substance while doing it. The jellyfish themselves are awesome and trippy, and they play this ambient music in the background that just cries out for some sort of substance use. I imagine that being high and planting yourself in front of the upside-down jellyfish tank while Tangerine Dream or whatever the #### it was played over the sound system would be as close to out-of-body nirvana as it's possible to get.
   1304. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4319120)
Nate Silver has confirmed what Fox News has been telling us all along: Obama's win is basically an Obama loss.

Joe "202 > 336" Kehoskie, Polls Unskewed While-U-Wait. Puerto Ricans and other white folks welcome.
   1305. hokieneer Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4319121)
Sooo... $4-$5 a joint?


For all of my pot smoking years, $5 was the average you would pay for a single joint of average quality.

I'm not sure how well the gas station pack of joints will work out at first. I remember paying anywhere from $25 to $75 for 3 grams of pot, depends largely on quality and some on scarcity. So are convenient stores going to be carrying 20+ different quality grades of pot? Maybe after the market gets established and settles down, but not at first. At first, the "coffee shops" will likely retail more pot than 7-11.

I'm not sure how much or if I would ever buy mj again. I smoked enough in HS/college and it really doesn't appeal to me anymore (nor my wife). I suppose if it had been an especially aggravating day or something I could see picking up a little instead of a 6-pack.
   1306. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4319128)
DJS - It is not really a surprise his poll numbers are rising, and in the current polarized environment it is also not surprising they are not rising as much as after other elections.

Absolutely. It's just not really evidence for (or against) the notion that he has a surging groundswell of support at this junction, as something other suggested.
   1307. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4319138)
Dan, I'm not really sure those quotes in #1296 seem that far apart factually. The 53 percent quoted by Quinnipiac can't be that far from Nate's low-50s. Was it mostly the interpretation you're disagreeing with?
   1308. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4319150)
Dan, I'm not really sure those quotes in #1296 seem that far apart factually. The 53 percent quoted by Quinnipiac can't be that far from Nate's low-50s. Was it mostly the interpretation you're disagreeing with?

I overquoted a little - quoted something other *and* what he was quoting. He was arguing that the rise in the polls to the low 50s indicates significant support for Obama's position in the current debt arguing. I'm arguing that using the rise in the polls to the lows 50s can hardly tell us any such thing - it's hard to claim that a below-average post-election approval is evidence *for* that. Sure, maybe he'd be at 49 instead of 53 if not for the debt debate or something, but what something other used is certainly not evidence to that effect.

And that's ignoring that I doubt even 10% of the public could actually describe what the fiscal cliff means or specifically the tax issues at stake.
   1309. RollingWave Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4319171)
Certainly guns aren't the only factor in terms of homicide rate. as I noted earlier, a pacific island country isn't going to have much of a homicide rate even if everyone is given a AK-47.

Population density is another issue. and also at the core of the entire gun control problem in the US, because the US is a very diverse country and what works in Montana (a very homengeous and rural place) would be devastating in say.. Los Angelos (extremely urban, diverse and complex place).

   1310. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4319172)
POLL QUESTION!!

Well, first of all - I can't imagine the salable quantity would be joint level -- that's the equivalent of convenience stores selling singles (cigarettes, which is illegal... or at least -- it means they cracked open a pack and selling the contents illegally).
We could go the cigar route, though, no? Get your Acapulco Slim in it's screw-open metal tube, or sell it as a twofer--two tubes joined lengthwise. I don't know that we're stuck following the model of cigarette sales, especially for an item that sells at around 10x the price.

Neither the CO or WA initiatives specify quantity -- the CO amendment specifies "personal use" (as well as cultivation limits - 6 plants, I think)... but generally -- 'personal use' has tended to be quantities under an ounce (at least - that's usual the line most places use for "intent to distribute" and misdemeanor/felony lines).
I'm not optimistic (there are prison cells to fill, after all), but I hope as they write the legislation they don't look for every opportunity to criminalize everything they can.

Sooo... $4-$5 a joint?

I can see that. $5 to mellow as we head towards the bars. If I wanted to get a nice buzz on for the bulk of an evening, I'm spending ten bucks. If for some reason I wanted to get wildly wasted, that's a twenty. Certainly not on the dear side, particularly as compared to alcohol, unless we're drinking Miller Lite. Seems perfectly reasonable. I'm guessing the production cost can't be more than $1 a joint once the big farms are up and running.

An ounce is probably enough to roll upwards of 50 joints (not a big rolling guy, so someone else can correct me), probably more. While it's been a while, and this, too -- I'm sure -- differs from place to place.... Let's say an ounce runs you $200. The production cost is nowhere near that of course, but I think that sounds like a fair number to work from.

I'd probably make a weekend habit of it at that price... I'd go higher, but not at some annoying small amount like that. If it were possible to walk into a state-run store and pay -- say -- $300 for an ounce, I'd imagine that would last me a good 3 to 6 months, depending on how often I broke it out.... and that's about how often such a quantity would last back in the day.
If an ounce gets you 50 joints, you're smoking 2 to 4 joints a week. Sounds solidly recreational. It wouldn't surprise me if 1 in 5 people in their 20s would be smoking at this rate. 1 in 3 in college.

@1296: So, you're saying Something Other is Ariel Edwards-Levy is Nate Silver?

Mom know you're posting?
   1311. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4319180)
That doesn't really answer the question though. Jews vote Democrat because they're hopeless devoted to the principles of the Democratic Party. Why?


It did answer the question: Because they're liberals. Just looking at two key issues, Jewish people tend to be pro-choice and — hard as it is to believe — anti-gun. That they tend to vote for Dems should surprise no one.

What this thread really needs is some sort of a Kehoskie Guide to why everyone votes the way they do, broken down by age, income, education level, skin color, "race", ethnicity, the demography of his precinct, gender, sexual preference, religion, gun ownership, and maybe even preferences for different types of sports.

It'd also be nice to know in advance which people (like fair skinned Puerto Ricans) can be safely ignored, and which groups (like uneducated religious white men over 65) are crucial to assembling a future winning coalition. I hate having to read the actual literature in such matters, when it'd be so much nicer to be able to rely on the wisdom of One True Opinion like Joe's.

   1312. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4319181)
Ann Coulter - America Near el Tipping Pointo


According to Pew Research, 54 percent of white voters under 30 voted for Romney and only 41 percent for Obama. That's the same percentage Reagan got from the entire white population in 1980. Even the Lena Dunham demographic -- white women under 30 -- slightly favored Romney.

Reagan got just 43 percent of young voters in 1980 -- and that was when whites were 88 percent of the electorate. Only 58 percent of today's under-30 vote is white and it's shrinking daily.

What the youth vote shows is not that young people are nitwits who deserve lives of misery and joblessness, as I had previously believed, but that America is hitting the tipping point on our immigration policy.

The youth vote is a snapshot of elections to come if nothing is done to reverse the deluge of unskilled immigrants pouring into the country as a result of Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration act. Eighty-five percent of legal immigrants since 1968 have come from the Third World. A majority of them are in need of government assistance.

Whites are 76 percent of the electorate over the age of 30 and only 58 percent of the electorate under 30. Obama won the "youth vote" because it is the knife's edge of a demographic shift, not because he offered the kids free tuition and contraception (which they don't need because it's hard to have sex when you're living with your parents at 27).

In 1980, Hispanics were only 2 percent of the population, and they tended to be educated, skilled workers who got married, raised their children in two-parent families and sent their kids to college before they, too, got married and had kids. (In that order.)

That profile has nothing to do with recent Hispanic immigrants, who -- because of phony "family reunification" rules -- are the poorest of the world's poor.

More than half of all babies born to Hispanic women today are illegitimate. As Heather MacDonald has shown, the birthrate of Hispanic women is twice that of the rest of the population, and their unwed birthrate is one and a half times that of blacks.

That's a lot of government dependents coming down the pike. No amount of "reaching out" to the Hispanic community, effective "messaging" or Reagan's "optimism" is going to turn Mexico's underclass into Republicans.
   1313. GregD Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4319185)
In 1980, Hispanics were only 2 percent of the population, and they tended to be educated, skilled workers who got married, raised their children in two-parent families and sent their kids to college before they, too, got married and had kids. (In that order.)
This is not only wrong but ridiculous. Latinos were 6.4%, not 2%, of the population in 1980. It is inconceivable that anyone--even Coulter--would type that number without saying wait a minute, can that be right? Latino hasn't existed as a census category all that long but I would be surprised if the country was ever below 2% at any time in its history after the Texas Annexation and Mexican War.
   1314. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4319189)
That Coulter diatribe is even better when you look at the comments that followed it. The first one sets the tone, and along with Coulter's rant, it perfectly illustrates the problem the Republicans are going to face in trying to bring their base into the 21st century:

Mac in Arizona
Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 8:24 AM

I still remember one wetback carrying a Mexican flag protesting our recent immigration law right here on the streets of Phoenix - when interviewed: " Oh, jess, I luff America, land de la free, every ting es free...!"

.....Oh, I say he gets it exactly right...

Meanwhile, most of the college graduates who would love to stay, work, PAY A LOT OF TAXES - aren't given the same consideration than Paco and his pregnant esposa .... but, hey, 3 potential democrat voters?

NO PROBLEMO, SENOR!!!
   1315. Tilden Katz Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4319191)
Those damn immigrants! Taking away the landscaping and dishwashing jobs that college graduates are dying to take!
   1316. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4319193)
I missed the statement at the bottom of all those Comments on the Coulter rant, as typified by the one I quoted in # 1314 above. You can't make up stuff like this:

Please keep comments civil and brief. Obscene, profane, abusive and off-topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked.


   1317. GregD Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4319196)
I would guess without looking that Puerto Ricans alone were more than 2% of the country's population in 1980.
   1318. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4319198)
I'd find it hard to believe Coulter was ever anything but a racist piece of #### who went permanently off her meds at age 19 or so.

Has a political party ever been as thoroughly intellectually irrelevant as the GOP in this millenia?
   1319. Tilden Katz Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4319202)
In Coulter's defense, she might be referring to the voting population. Not that that would make her argument any better.
   1320. GregD Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4319203)
I am starting to look forward to Speakerpocalypse in January. 17 people vote for Mickey Mouse, and the whole House shuts down! It'll feel like the 19th century again.
   1321. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4319204)
America Near el Tipping Pointo

A few unfunny pop-culture "jokes" I'm hoping to outlive:
* Terrible Spanish. It's funny because it's terrible Spanish!
* Sex involving fat or old people treated as automatically funny.
* Prison rape. Ha ha ha.
   1322. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4319208)
a pacific island country isn't going to have much of a homicide rate even if everyone is given a AK-47.
Because there, every day is a good day.
   1323. GregD Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4319210)
On the density issue and homicides, you're still stuck with the problem of the American South which has had a far more anomalous homicide rate than our cities. Most places density is the prime indicator; murders are city affairs. But the US South has been the most violent rural region of any major country for a century and a half.
   1324. GregD Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4319212)
Sorry double post
   1325. RollingWave Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4319213)
On the density issue and homicides, you're still stuck with the problem of the American South which has had a far more anomalous homicide rate than our cities. Most places density is the prime indicator; murders are city affairs. But the US South has been the most violent rural region of any major country for a century and a half.


You'd figure that the Mexican border would have something to do with that though.


Unless your referring to Tennessee or Kentucky like States.

   1326. bigglou115 Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4319216)
On the density issue and homicides, you're still stuck with the problem of the American South which has had a far more anomalous homicide rate than our cities. Most places density is the prime indicator; murders are city affairs. But the US South has been the most violent rural region of any major country for a century and a half.


I don't know that I agree with that, at least as it pertains to guns. Low density states in the South don't seem terribly overrepresented in per capita gun related homicides. The spikes come from knifes and other weapons. Its actually kind of interesting considering these are the states where ownership of guns is presumably at its highest. It probably speaks more to poverty than anything. The Southern states don't have as many "poor" areas as the high density states, but because Southern states tend to be poorer in general those areas suffer even more. I'd be surprised if, for instance, the homicide rate of the Arkansas delta isn't higher than the rate in the slums of major urban areas.
   1327. GregD Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4319221)
Unless your referring to Tennessee or Kentucky like States.
Kentucky is low--who'd guess it!--but Tennessee's homicide rate is more 25% over the national average. the South's murder rate is way higher than any other region. Midwest, Northeast, and West are bunched between 3.9 and 4.7 homicides per 100,000 people; the South is at 5.5. Louisiana is the most murderous state and Mississippi is next; I don't think the Mexican border is the reason. Texas' is almost 1/3 of Louisiana's and well below Tennessee or either Carolina.

I don't know that I agree with that, at least as it pertains to guns. Low density states in the South don't seem terribly overrepresented in per capita gun related homicides. The spikes come from knifes and other weapons. Its actually kind of interesting considering these are the states where ownership of guns is presumably at its highest. It probably speaks more to poverty than anything. The Southern states don't have as many "poor" areas as the high density states, but because Southern states tend to be poorer in general those areas suffer even more. I'd be surprised if, for instance, the homicide rate of the Arkansas delta isn't higher than the rate in the slums of major urban areas.
Interesting. You have more knowledge of this than I do. I knew the overall homicide rate--death and divorce is what we are good at down South--but not the breakdown by type of weapon. That is very intriguing.

But the South was always violent even when it was the richest region of the country. The poorest non-Southern state is New Mexico which does have a very high homicide rate but after that is Idaho and Montana, which have very low ones.

People often talk about the impact of slavery which normalized intimate violence, and that's got to be part of it, but the mountainous parts of Tennessee and Kentucky and North Carolina, where there were very few slaves, are often the most violent. East Tennessee is a particular anomaly to criminologists I know. There aren't that many parts of the developed world where people consistently kill other people they know but aren't married to or in the drug trade with or against.

The other interesting thing about American murder rates is that the two big spots are the South and the sites of the Southern migration. And this goes beyond black Southerners moving to northern cities. White Southerners are much harder to keep track of when they move north, but plenty of people believed the parts of Chicago and Detroit settled by white Southerners were shockingly violent. I suppose it is at some level proof of the power of timocracy, the honor culture, that normalizes the notion that the people you know and who see you are the ones who are the treats to your reputation.
   1328. yb125 Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4319222)
Any know what size wallet would Japanese currency fit in? I looking for a xmas gift and the recipient hopes to be going to Japan next year.
   1329. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4319226)
A few unfunny pop-culture "jokes" I'm hoping to outlive:
* Terrible Spanish. It's funny because it's terrible Spanish!
* Sex involving fat or old people treated as automatically funny.
* Prison rape. Ha ha ha.


What about this one? Anything?

Obama won the "youth vote" because it is the knife's edge of a demographic shift, not because he offered the kids free tuition and contraception (which they don't need because it's hard to have sex when you're living with your parents at 27).

   1330. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4319229)
it's hard to have sex when you're living with your parents at 27

It's not that hard. I get by.
   1331. Tripon Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4319234)
Yeah, but you lost your dream girl to a geek in 1955.
   1332. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4319247)
Unfortunately, my handle isn't a reference to that Biff. rLr (does he still post?) bestowed it upon me when I was a lot more downtrodden, referencing George on Seinfeld (who was in turn referencing Death of a Salesman).
   1333. RollingWave Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4319251)
@1327

Very good take, I think we can reach the conclusion that guns aren't the single key factor on violence and each region have a great deal of mixture that make up for it's outcome. there are some region in the US with very limited gun control that does well (Montana for example) and vice versa, and almost every mix in between.

Tennesse would seem to be a significant anomoly in terms of usual factor you'd think would correlate strongely with violence though.

   1334. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4319257)
That profile has nothing to do with recent Hispanic immigrants, who -- because of phony "family reunification" rules -- are the poorest of the world's poor.


No shelter, running water, heat, or food?

She's completely out of her mind if she thinks any recent immigrant in America comes anywhere close to real, third-world poverty.
   1335. tshipman Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4319259)
You know, I'd wager that you guys are missing the boat on the gun violence question. I don't have data on it, but I bet if you looked at lead toxicity levels you'd find a very strong correlation between gun violence and region.

From the LA Times:

The first study to follow lead-exposed children from before birth into adulthood has shown that even relatively low levels of lead permanently damage the brain and are linked to higher numbers of arrests, particularly for violent crime.
...
But by measuring blood levels of lead before birth and during the first seven years of life, then correlating the levels with arrest records and brain size, Cincinnati researchers have produced the strongest evidence yet that lead plays a major role in crime.


This isn't (shouldn't be?) an ideological issue, though. Hopefully we can just agree that removing lead from communities is both necessary and something that government can help do.
   1336. BrianBrianson Posted: December 07, 2012 at 04:26 AM (#4319274)
Reading, it's really interesting how strongly Joe's explanations rely on tribalism - Jews don't generally vote Democrat because the Democrats do something they want, but because they're Liberals. Ditto Hispanics, or whatever. And similarly, he doesn't really want to avoid deficit spending, which is why it's okay when his party does it; it's about loyalty to the tribe, not any kind of decision making.

I suppose I should know people are like this, but it's such a foreign idea to me, I can't see it unless I'm beaten about the face with it. I rarely have any idea how I'm going to vote until I see a debate, and typically haven't totally decided until I'm staring at a ballot. I'm sure Joe knows who he's going to vote for in 2044. It's just ... I don't get it.
   1337. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4319293)
POLL QUESTION!!

What is the reasonable maximum that people here would be willing to pay for one joint of the size and quality necessary to leave you with a very nice, smooth high for, say, a couple of hours?

How many times a year would you smoke dope of that quality?


I'd pay $5 for a joint, for occasional enjoyment. I get excellent quality stuff for $125/oz though, pretty much year round, although it can get up to $200 in the late spring/early summer some years (its all outdoor grown). I've known my dealer for almost 20 years. I never started smoking until I was 27, and had never bought any until I met my wife at 30. She's got a lot of chronic stomach problems, and its the only thing that helps. Between the two of use we'd go through 3 or 4 ounces a year, maybe 6 joints a week. I don't smoke every day, probably 5 evenings a week on average. I wouldn't do it before supper more than 2-3 times a year.


As for drug laws, Canada is going backwards. Despite protestations from a law enforcement group in Texas of all places, and the guy who actually wrote up the US federal minimum sentence laws for drug offences, Heil Harper passed legislation last year that calls for an automatic prison sentence for anyone convicted of having 6 or more plants for the purposes of trafficking. Which of course, as we know, means 6 or more plants, period.
   1338. zonk Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4319307)
I don't know if it's a function of the stuff I used to be exposed to or what - but purchasing 'by the joint' would drive me nuts... Unlike booze, where you can drown yourself in it to the point of being increasingly incoherent the more you ingest, there's just a plateau where another puff doesn't do a damn thing. Add that to the waste of a smoldering joint, and it's always been my least favorite delivery mechanism. In a large enough group, I suppose -- by if the packaging of legalized pot was by the joint, I would probably unroll them and use either a pipe, bong, or one-hitter (mostly the latter).

Some other interesting questions about a legalized schema --

1) 1305's question about variety-- both CO and WA laws seem tilted towards private licensing to sell and buy, which I'm sure means the standard, ever-growing menu of strains... that stuff drives me nuts - the few times I've been offered choices, I just find it annoying... HTF should I know? If a nationally legalized system with government-run stores were to come to pass, I'd have to imagine it would be limited to either one strain or no more than a handful... i think I'd almost prefer that.

2) What about the seed/stem ratio? I would assume most folks are used to purchasing now in a manner that means your oz or whatever is somewhat 'light' because you're inevitably getting a measurable portion of that weight from material that's not smokeable (at least, not in terms of delivering the intended effect)... I would think another advantage of government-run dispensaries is that the stringent manner in which weight and portions are calculated would mean you'd actually get a real ounce -- not 1/6 seed/stem waste. I think that would be another factor in making purchases less frequent than the current elicit market.

...FWIW, just on a whim - was trading some e-mails last night with a college friend who's one those 'hemp solves everything, maaaannnnn' type stoners (he's actually an attorney and was very involved in the WA legalization campaign as well) and he was telling me that the only real change that needs to happen at the federal level for the CO and WA initiatives to be non-federal issues is for the Feds to remove marijuana from the Schedule I list. He claims the legal push - should/when these laws eventually end up in court - will be to either have marijuana pushed down to IV or V, or, removed completely. What's more - supposedly, this doesn't even require federal legislation -- the Controlled Substances Act actually doesn't mention any drugs by name, it simply sets up the system of classification and the DOJ/DEA/FDA is charged with slotting substances across those schedules.

Hence, unwinding the issue is a regulatory, not statutory matter... don't know how true all that is -- this guy has always been a little... off... let's say, but it was an interesting discussion.

EDIT: Heh... like I said, he's always been a little 'off' -- just looked up the statute and he's wrong.. cannabis is specifically mentioned ;-)
   1339. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4319311)
I didn't think there was a police department on earth that had a sense of humour, but check out the 10-kinds-of-awesome Big Lebowski reference on the Seattle PD website (scroll down).

The drug war has never had anything to do with facts or common sense, so I don't think relying on either of those things to force the DEAs hand is going to work.
   1340. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4319312)
zonk

your friend has a point.

the feds from an enforcement perspective are in a bit of a spot. they want to honor the states laws but when there is a direct conflict like this the constitutional folks will advise the president and others that not taking acting is a bad precedent because it undermines the feds position as the final say. so right now the feds are sending various entities 'reminders' on how marijuana is on the feds 'bad' list and anyone supporting businesses engaging in this 'bad' activity are subject to federal prosecution. so you have banks, credit unions and the credit card companies all skittish because while federal investigators have their flaws tracking the money is not one of them.

so the feds are enforcing by proxy versus knocking down doors which takes resources which they believe (quite reasonably) are better used elsewhere

becuase if you force everyone to be a cash business that's a real hassle
   1341. Randy Jones Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4319317)
2) What about the seed/stem ratio? I would assume most folks are used to purchasing now in a manner that means your oz or whatever is somewhat 'light' because you're inevitably getting a measurable portion of that weight from material that's not smokeable (at least, not in terms of delivering the intended effect)... I would think another advantage of government-run dispensaries is that the stringent manner in which weight and portions are calculated would mean you'd actually get a real ounce -- not 1/6 seed/stem waste. I think that would be another factor in making purchases less frequent than the current elicit market.


There are always going to be stems, however, seeds? If you are buying stuff with seeds, you are buying #### weed. I literally haven't seen a seed in years and years, and up until a few months ago(when I started looking for a new job) I smoked pretty much every day.
   1342. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4319319)
because if you force everyone to be a cash business that's a real hassle

Yes, but it's also one way to prevent open marketing on a wide scale basis. To me the only "correct" way to deal with marijuana is to totally decriminalize it while placing a 100% ban on any form of branding and / or advertising. Keep it local and homegrown, but keep the profit out of it, and you'll be less likely to wind up with the sort of problem that nobody outside the quote entrepreneurs unquote really wants to see.
   1343. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4319321)
From the Seattle police department link listed above

But the police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.


   1344. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4319322)
Mountain views, an economy built on weaponry, and a formal restriction on liberals - Who will be the first of us to join the Dittohead Utopia?


If you are a patriotic American who believes in Jefferson's Rightful Liberty, who believes in the Constitution as written, who believes in the Declaration of Independence, and who wishes to live in a beautiful, secure mountain town that bans Liberals from living among us, consider exploring the Citadel as we evolve and build.


I hear their kazoo corps does a tear-prompting rendition of "America the Beautiful".
   1345. spike Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4319323)
Well from practical experience, in a retail environment, a joint costs about 8 - 12 bucks in an Amsterdam shop, depending on quality. Now, it's an awful big joint, generous enough for two to three people to consume at one sitting and get where they need to be. A small baggie - like a gram I think - was like 15 or 20. So, pretty comparable to US black market prices. I wish I knew how it was taxed there to understand the actual customer facing price less tax.
   1346. spike Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4319326)
To me the only "correct" way to deal with marijuana is to totally decriminalize it while placing a 100% ban on any form of branding and / or advertising. Keep it local and homegrown

Which is how the Dutch handle it, to a large extent. I am not sure about the local part (but it's not that big a country, so it's "local" by our standards), but there is no branding. Common street names are used at shops to describe different strains, but there is no Acme Brand Giggle Smoke, and no formal packaging - definitely no advertising. Just a small tube or a plastic bag.
   1347. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4319327)
Acme Brand Giggle Smoke

Now THAT's a username.
   1348. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4319329)
beautiful, secure mountain town that bans Liberals from living among us, consider exploring the Citadel as we evolve and build.


Say, hypothetically, that I'm a liberal, and it is my life's dream to live in a walled, mountain town. Is there any legal way the Conservative founders of this place could keep me from moving to the Citadel?

Also,
who believes in the Constitution as written
... Do they mean "as written" as before any amendments were added? After the Bill of Rights? Will it be legal for women to vote?
   1349. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4319331)
I was under the impression that the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs greatly constrains the federal government in terms of liberalizing its treatment of marijuana. Ironic if international treaty (something the right wing loves to drone on about) were a factor in preventing a reform that the left generally supports.

I could be wrong, though; what do I know about international law. There could be numerous technicalities to get around the Convention; the Dutch must do it somehow.
   1350. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4319332)
Hey, debt crisis solved!

Under current law, the Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.

“I like it,” said Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s obviously economically problematic about it.”


I'm not an economist, but when someone says "there's nothing that's obviously problematic about it" I feel that someone can in fact easily find something problematic about it.
   1351. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4319333)
they want to honor the states laws but when there is a direct conflict like this the constitutional folks will advise the president and others that not taking acting is a bad precedent


Anyone who is a real "Constitutional folk" will abide by the 10th Amendment and stay the #### out of it.
   1352. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4319334)
... Do they mean "as written" as before any amendments were added? After the Bill of Rights? Will it be legal for women to vote?


Well it wouldn't be utopia if there were a bunch of emasculating harpies pushing everyone around would it?
   1353. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4319335)
To me the only "correct" way to deal with marijuana is to totally decriminalize it while placing a 100% ban on any form of branding and / or advertising. Keep it local and homegrown

Which is how the Dutch handle it, to a large extent. I am not sure about the local part (but it's not that big a country, so it's "local" by our standards), but there is no branding. Common street names are used at shops to describe different strains, but there is no Acme Brand Giggle Smoke, and no formal packaging - definitely no advertising. Just a small tube or a plastic bag.


That sounds about right to me. Give our corporate creeps the slightest bit of opportunity and they'll do for weed what they did with cigarettes. Better to stop that #### in its tracks before it's even a thought.
   1354. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4319336)
Under current law, the Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.

“I like it,” said Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s obviously economically problematic about it.”


If you read the rest of that Washington Post article, you'll see that there are plenty of problems described, and that nobody with any power or influence is really taking the idea seriously.
   1355. bunyon Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4319337)
Ironic if international treaty (something the right wing loves to drone on about) were a factor in preventing a reform that the left generally supports.

Anyone who is a real "Constitutional folk" will abide by the 10th Amendment and stay the #### out of it.


I suppose I should know better by now, but the marijuana thing just shows me there are NO principles at work in either party. Generally, the Ds want the feds to rule supreme and, even better, let global agents guide a lot of our actions. The Rs, on the other hand, want states to be free to do what they like with little fed - and certainly NO international - interference.

However, if the a particular issue lines up right, both sides jettison their views and take up their opponent's arguments.

It's politics as usual, but it's also vulgar.
   1356. zonk Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4319342)
Hey, debt crisis solved!

Under current law, the Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.

“I like it,” said Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s obviously economically problematic about it.”



I'm not an economist, but when someone says "there's nothing that's obviously problematic about it" I feel that someone can in fact easily find something problematic about it.


That seems wrong to me --

Sounds similar to the 14th Amendment gambit - the idea that the 'debt limit' statute is constitutionally bad to begin with... which it might be, but hear me out....

Josh Marshall at TPM was discussing this the other day - and the big reason why this sort of thing won't work is that you then inevitably end up with two distinctly different classes of debt/bonds:

The 'good'/blessed kind -- let's face it, whatever one's thoughts on the future of the US Treasury, your views on the Fed, your views on China, international monetary policy, whatever: In times of market turmoil, people flee to the safety of US Treasuries... In fact, it was just a while back when some short-term US bonds were actually going for less than full value -- people were paying $1 in exchange for a guaranteed $0.99 return. Maybe that changes some day, maybe not -- but as of now, US Treasuries are a safe haven.

However -- once there becomes a legal question over debt issued -- you end up with 'asterisked' debt... If the President were to just go the platinum coin/14th amendment route -- suddenly, Treasury is now putting bonds on the market which might end up being worthless should the courts rule against the Executive Branch. SCOTUS could well say that such bonds were invalid - and people who bought them are screwed.

That's going to factor heavily into the market for them - once such debt hit the market... you'd probably see the costs skyrocket not because US debt was suddenly toxic, but because that specific debt sold under such conditions could be deathly toxic.

As much as I think the debt ceiling needs to go away -- again, Congress is simply agreeing to allow spending IT ITSELF ALREADY ALLOCATED to be paid for after the fact -- I just don't see the extraordinary/executive branch options that all center around ignoring the 1917 (?) statute working.

Frankly, I think it would be wise for the Executive branch to get a ruling on this outside of a ceiling debate -- no time before the next instance, but it would be wise to just let the courts rule on it once and for all at a time when it won't be an issue in the 'real' market.... It's just not something we can realistically 'test' fer reals...
   1357. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4319343)
there's nothing that's obviously problematic about it

Well, not till Goldfinger decides to steal the two trillion-dollar coins.
   1358. spike Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4319344)
That sounds about right to me.

The one thing about their methodology is the bizarre relationship between booze, marijuana and cigarettes, which are all controlled quite differently. As you can imagine, there is significant consumer demand to have all three of these things together. However, cigarettes are treated to some extent like marijuana in this country - absolutely forbidden in most places and strict fines and public disapproval for usage. The current law also segregates marijuana and alcohol - places are (with some exceptions) permitted to sell one one or the other. It's pretty hard to find a place that will let you enjoy all three simultaneously, as God intended.
   1359. bunyon Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4319348)
Wouldn't that be Platinumfinger?
   1360. GregD Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4319351)
I suppose I should know better by now, but the marijuana thing just shows me there are NO principles at work in either party. Generally, the Ds want the feds to rule supreme and, even better, let global agents guide a lot of our actions. The Rs, on the other hand, want states to be free to do what they like with little fed - and certainly NO international - interference.

However, if the a particular issue lines up right, both sides jettison their views and take up their opponent's arguments.

It's politics as usual, but it's also vulgar.
I actually have a more optimistic take on this, though in general I share your cynicism.

Most people see questions about allocation of government power as instrumental questions and prioritize other issues. That's good. Governments are set up to do things or not do things, not to fit some philosophical prototype. So it doesn't excite me that pro-slavery people in the 1830s were anti-federal nullifiers and by 1850 constructed the most significant expansion of federal power to that point in History in the Fugitive Slave Law; they were prioritizing the defense of slavery over any abstract view of the federal-state relationship. Likewise the Whiggish anti-slavery nationalism was always powerful, but anti-slavery people toyed with secession, with anti-Constitutionalism, and in Wisconsin put nullification in practice. Anti-slavery nationalism triumphed not because of consistency concerns but popularity; Chase and other Republicans did not think you could build a national party on states' rights anti-slavery so worked for a national anti-slavery constitutional program.

Slavery was obviously a more crucial question for both sides than the federal-state balance. I think that's right. Obviously I don't agree with the pro-slavery side but it doesn't bother me that they could be both extreme states rights and extreme anti-states rights; they knew which was the cart and which was the horse.

What we have now is the same thing, on lesser levels. Liberals generally don't care about pot; it's easy for them to shrug off a little looseness on the state level since they're prioritizing their view on drugs. They do care about abortion rights. The conservatives, are doing the opposite, which all seems appropriate. Drug policy and abortion rights should be more important than the federal-state balance.

The problem is that we have a veneer of constitutionalism in our political language so our political policy debates sound like debates on Constitutionalism, which is foolish and silly but what people respond to.
   1361. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4319355)
POLL QUESTION!!

What is the reasonable maximum that people here would be willing to pay for one joint of the size and quality necessary to leave you with a very nice, smooth high for, say, a couple of hours?

How many times a year would you smoke dope of that quality?


If an ounce gets you 50 joints, you're smoking 2 to 4 joints a week. Sounds solidly recreational. It wouldn't surprise me if 1 in 5 people in their 20s would be smoking at this rate. 1 in 3 in college.


That's about what I smoked through most of my 20s - maybe an ounce every three months. I've cut way back in the past year (I'm 31) to maybe 1-2 times per month at most.
I'd also argue you don't need a whole joint of good quality stuff to get a few hours of enjoyment. Half or even a third (depending on the size and of course personal tolerance) can be plenty.
I think a range from $4-10, depending on quality, seems about right on a per joint retail basis. And don't roll that #### with tobacco, it's unseemly.
   1362. GregD Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4319356)
You know, I'd wager that you guys are missing the boat on the gun violence question. I don't have data on it, but I bet if you looked at lead toxicity levels you'd find a very strong correlation between gun violence and region.
You're right that lead seems to have a big impact on the relative rise and fall of homicide levels in the mid to late 20th century. But does lead vary that much by region? My sense was that the lead issue could explain a broad shift across the board, but not the underlying fundamentals that made the South the most violent region in 1850, 1900, 1950, and 200.

Very good take, I think we can reach the conclusion that guns aren't the single key factor on violence and each region have a great deal of mixture that make up for it's outcome. there are some region in the US with very limited gun control that does well (Montana for example) and vice versa, and almost every mix in between.

Yes, I'm for gun control not because I think it's the key factor but because it can amplify other aspects that tend toward violence. We have a relatively violent society and always have and probably always will have, and so we have to deal with that. If I lived in a peaceful culture, I'd probably feel differently. Facing that violent culture, one can argue we need more guns to keep violence at bay, or one can argue that we need to restrain guns more than Canada or other peaceful countries since we're more likely to use them to bad ends. I favor the latter. But I don't think eliminating guns would make the US a peaceful Utopia. The US hasn't ever been a peaceful place. I don't really know why other Anglo frontier settlements like Australia and New Zealand were pacified, but we along with our closest comparison--Argentina--fell into the anomaly of violent prosperity.
   1363. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4319357)

Say, hypothetically, that I'm a liberal, and it is my life's dream to live in a walled, mountain town. Is there any legal way the Conservative founders of this place could keep me from moving to the Citadel?


Say you are a black man living in 1940s Mississippi. Is there any legal way the local authorities could prevent you from voting?
   1364. spike Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4319360)
I'd also argue you don't need a whole joint of good quality stuff to get a few hours of enjoyment.

Oh lord no. Two or three pulls off a pipe or other delivery system will get the attitude adjustment accomplished for the vast majority of folks.
   1365. zonk Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4319365)
I'd also argue you don't need a whole joint of good quality stuff to get a few hours of enjoyment.

Oh lord no. Two or three pulls off a pipe or other delivery system will get the attitude adjustment accomplished for the vast majority of folks.


Precisely...
   1366. Ron J2 Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4319368)
We've talked about the Imperial presidency and war powers etc. There's a very interesting discussion of Madison during the War of 1812 here (from a review of "What So Proudly We Hailed")

Quoting now: "[...]Madison didn’t seek the unilateral and more expedient remedies that his successors in office would: repress dissent, suspend habeas corpus, and claim the authority to hold American citizens in military custody. In fact, Madison explicitly disclaimed that authority."

(but what would Madison know about the intended limits of presidential power?)
   1367. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4319373)
Nerflx CEO defends blog


Not sure how I feel about this as I think it is kind of silly for the SEC to go after Hastings in this case but at the same time I dont like Hastings as I think he is an arrogant ass.
   1368. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4319377)
Not to beat a dead horse, but if you want to see how utterly corrupt, ineffective and incompetent the SEC truly is, watch Chasing Madoff.
   1369. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4319380)
.
   1370. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4319383)
The US hasn't ever been a peaceful place. I don't really know why other Anglo frontier settlements like Australia and New Zealand were pacified, but we along with our closest comparison--Argentina--fell into the anomaly of violent prosperity.


Probably a bunch of reasons.

1. The US suffered from multiple wars on its soil for a good 100 years after its founding, including constant low level conflict with the native Americans. Australia not so much. NZ settlers had some serious conflicts with the Maori, who fought fiercely, but that was pretty much it, and it ended relatively quickly compared to the US. Neither of them slugged it out with major European powers, or had themselves a nice civil war.

2. Lots of stuff worth shooting in the US during the settlement era; deer, buffalo, moose, etc. Less so in Australia and there's not a thing worth shooting in NZ that wasn't imported.

3. The US had dangerous native wildlife that guns were useful against. Australia is full of stuff that will kill you, but guns aren't that helpful against spiders, snakes and jellyfish. NZ native wildlife is almost absurdly harmless.
   1371. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4319384)
Nerflx CEO defends blog


That's dumb.
   1372. tshipman Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4319390)
So I realize we don't care about this anymore, but a surprising Jobs report:

Employment up by 146,000 in November, with downward revisions for September and October (Cue JK with conspiracy stuff). I say surprising because although it fits the overall trend, Sandy was expected to have a significant impact, with number anticipated in around 88-90K rather than 146. The headline rate fell to 7.7%, but it's basically the same as it was in October.

A weird report. It seems superficially strong to post such a good number with the Sandy tailwind, but the downward revisions for previous months make it seem less impressive.
   1373. Ron J2 Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4319392)
#1370 and yet in Canada you've got the native Americans, the game animals and the dangerous animals (against which guns are useful).
   1374. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4319394)
Nerflx CEO defends blog

Is Nerflx a company that specializes in distributing movies about spongy toys?
   1375. GregD Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4319395)
Probably a bunch of reasons.

1. The US suffered from multiple wars on its soil for a good 100 years after its founding, including constant low level conflict with the native Americans. Australia not so much. NZ settlers had some serious conflicts with the Maori, who fought fiercely, but that was pretty much it, and it ended relatively quickly compared to the US. Neither of them slugged it out with major European powers, or had themselves a nice civil war.

2. Lots of stuff worth shooting in the US during the settlement era; deer, buffalo, moose, etc. Less so in Australia and there's not a thing worth shooting in NZ that wasn't imported.

3. The US had dangerous native wildlife that guns were useful against. Australia is full of stuff that will kill you, but guns aren't that helpful against spiders, snakes and jellyfish. NZ native wildlife is almost absurdly harmless.
That's all partly persuasive. Yet there are these strange anomalies. Some of the areas of most-violent Indian conflict and toughest wildlife--Minnesota, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana--have homicide rates akin to Canada or Australia, as does, less surprisingly, New England and the upper reaches of the NW. It is hard to shake the centrality of slavery; none of the states below us on the homicide list had significant 19th century slavery (with the arguable exception of Egypt's re-enslavement in the 1860s and 1870s of cotton workers.) Just above us sit the other big 19th century slave societies--Cuba--and way up above us is Brazil. Though obviously the areas of narco war are much more violent now than almost anywhere else even though many of them had little to no slavery by 1800.
   1376. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4319400)
#1370 and yet in Canada you've got the native Americans, the game animals and the dangerous animals (against which guns are useful).


Yes, but it's also full of Canadians.

But really, doesn't Canada have very high gun ownership compared to the rest of the world?
   1377. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4319401)
That's all partly persuasive. Yet there are these strange anomalies. Some of the areas of most-violent Indian conflict and toughest wildlife--Minnesota, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana--have homicide rates akin to Canada or Australia, as does, less surprisingly, New England and the upper reaches of the NW. It is hard to shake the centrality of slavery; none of the states below us on the homicide list had significant 19th century slavery (with the arguable exception of Egypt's re-enslavement in the 1860s and 1870s of cotton workers.) Just above us sit the other big 19th century slave societies--Cuba--and way up above us is Brazil. Though obviously the areas of narco war are much more violent now than almost anywhere else even though many of them had little to no slavery by 1800.


Try controlling the murder rate by race?
   1378. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4319402)
Yeah, this is going to end well ...


With Egypt's crisis now in its third week, anger was mounting in the streets, after the two camps clashed Wednesday in heavy battles outside the presidential palace that left six dead and more than 700 injured.

Each side is depicting the conflict as an all-out fight for Egypt's future. The opposition accuses Morsi and his Islamist allies of turning increasingly dictatorial to force their agenda on the country and monopolize power. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, and other Islamists say the opposition is trying to use the streets to overturn their victories in elections over the past year.

The tone was one of a battle cry as thousands of Islamists held funeral prayers Friday at Al-Azhar Mosque — the country's premier Islamic institution — for two Morsi supporters killed in Wednesday's clashes. Seeking to rally their side, a series of speakers to the crowd portrayed the opposition as tools of the regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak — or as decadent and un-Islamic — and vowed to defend a constitution they say brings Islamic law to Egypt.

"Egypt is Islamic, it will not be secular, it will not be liberal," the crowd chanted in a funeral procession filling streets around the mosque. During the funeral, thousands chanted, "With blood and soul, we redeem Islam," pumping their fists in the air. Mourners yelled that opposition leaders were "murderers."

One hardline cleric speaking to the crowd denounced anti-Morsi protesters as "traitors." Another declared that they will not allow Egypt to become "a den of hash smokers."

"We march on this path in sacrifice for the nation and our martyrs," a leading Brotherhood figure, Mohammed el-Beltagi, told the crowd. "We will keep going even if we all become martyrs. We will avenge them or die like them.

"Bread! Freedom! Islamic Law!" the crowd chanted, twisting the revolutionary slogan of "Bread! Freedom! Social Justice!" used by leftists and secular activists in the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.
   1379. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4319408)
Is Nerflx a company that specializes in distributing movies about spongy toys?



Who doesn't like spongy toys?
   1380. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4319412)
it will not be secular, it will not be liberal," the crowd chanted


Come move to III Citadel, perfect fit!
   1381. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4319415)
I would not pay anything for weed, because I'd never buy or use it.

On gun violence in the US: it's certainly overdetermined. At the most basic level, guns and violence are popular in certain regions here, so people who like guns and violence aggregate among others of their philosophy, especially to the South and West; and then they transmit cultural values that make guns and violence more popular, which makes more violent people want to move to such places. DFW seems to me no more violent or crime-ridden than any other place I've lived (which, to be fair, is mostly the Chicago, Philly, and NYC metro areas, not exactly the peaceable kingdom for much of my lifetime). Yet I am continually astonished at how many people I meet and get to know here in Texas who think it (a) natural to keep a gun in the house and (b) natural because "they" are coming in to attack you and get your stuff. People are attacked in the Northern cities, and their stuff taken, for sure, but it's much more rare for people to want to have a gun around to deal with it.

It's an essential mentality in Texas, and very hard to fathom. The basic assumption is that the world is full of danger. Meanwhile it doesn't appear to be, and by many measures, isn't more dangerous than a lot of other places; but the assumption fuels the armament. And not just armament, but homeschooling, the car culture, gated communities (I realize those aren't endemic to Texas either, but they're very prevalent here, and share similar roots).
   1382. GregD Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4319417)
Try controlling the murder rate by race?
That's where the question of white Southerners come in. Campbell County, Tennessee, has the 4th highest crime rate in the state--immediately after the metro areas--and is 0.3% black. The phenomenon of what some Chicago cops used to call "Kentucky crime" is something that disappears in statistics but they thought white people killing white people were disproportionately likely to be Southern migrants, though they had no especial belief in the geniality of Poles/Irish/Slavs/Italians, etc.
   1383. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4319435)
The US hasn't ever been a peaceful place. I don't really know why other Anglo frontier settlements like Australia and New Zealand were pacified, but we along with our closest comparison--Argentina--fell into the anomaly of violent prosperity.


Probably a bunch of reasons.


You're missing post-bellum Jim Crow. Jim Crow required constant low-level violence to keep black people in line, and black people in the South were themselves often armed to the teeth to defend themselves from this. This atmosphere of intercommunity violence can easily spill over into intracommunity violence, and there you go.

EDIT: And half of the inevitable soda to #1375.
   1384. hokieneer Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4319438)
There are always going to be stems, however, seeds? If you are buying stuff with seeds, you are buying #### weed. I literally haven't seen a seed in years and years, and up until a few months ago(when I started looking for a new job) I smoked pretty much every day.


yeah.

The last 2 years I smoked pot, I stopped smoking joints all together, unless it was at a social event. I would buy the highest quality stuff I could find, and just pack a one-hitter or a pipe. Much better delivery system, much better high, better tasting MJ.

A lot of the MJ that stoners smoke is not conducive to being smoked in joint form. I have no doubt that Producer X will create a few varieties of packs of joints, similar to cigs, and those will be sold in convenient stores. I just don't think that will be the end-all mechanism for retail pot. Even if you only smoke once in a while, or even if you have only tried MJ a few times; once you have tried the "good" stuff, it's really hard to smoke the stick and stem ditch weed (baring financial concerns). Hell maybe retail joints will all be of decent quality, but some people are going to want the "coffee shop" variety and quality.

Plus there is the entire edible MJ market which I really don't know a lot about. It seems like buying a few pot brownies might be better for the average Joe, than buying loose pot or retail joints.
   1385. villageidiom Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4319458)
Yet I am continually astonished at how many people I meet and get to know here in Texas who think it (a) natural to keep a gun in the house and (b) natural because "they" are coming in to attack you and get your stuff.
It's natural to them that people cling to guns or antipathy toward people who aren't like them?
   1386. BDC Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4319459)
It's natural to them that people cling to guns or antipathy toward people who aren't like them?

As near as I can tell, it isn't even that "they" are particularly a distinct out-group. It's that the world is intrinsically a place where everyone who doesn't live in your house is inclined to break in and do you harm. Another concomitant of this attitude is the single-family detached home on as many acres of land as possible. In a lot of the US, that isn't a realizable dream, but it leads to Texans simply building out over the illimitable prairie in all directions, and then driving an hour to work, stepping as quickly as possible when they get there from parking garage into office-building elevator, so that they won't be waylaid at any point by "them" :)
   1387. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4319467)
You're missing post-bellum Jim Crow. Jim Crow required constant low-level violence to keep black people in line, and black people in the South were themselves often armed to the teeth to defend themselves from this. This atmosphere of intercommunity violence can easily spill over into intracommunity violence, and there you go.

BITD when I was living in a black ward in Cambridge, MD, which is on the Eastern Shore and most definitely "southern" in culture, there was a night in July when a group of whites attacked a peaceful march downtown with a barrage of rocks. On the way back to the church, the attacks continued, until finally a black man pulled out a hawk bill from under the sling of his cast, and all hell nearly broke loose. You just knew that something much worse was bound to happen. Later that night, carloads of armed whites drove down the main street in the black section (Pine Street) and started firing into houses. The fire was instantly returned, and the National Guard arrived for what turned out to be nearly a full year's stay. I didn't know a single black family in that town that didn't have a hunter, or that didn't have some sort of firearm. Statistically, something like 98% of the homes in Dorchester County back then (1963) were supposed to have had at least one firearm, and I saw nothing there that would lead me to think they were exaggerating.

And yet with all that violence, the scariest thing of all was seeing every male houseowner in the ward stand out on his porch on New Year's Eve, greeting the stroke of midnight by firing guns into the air, while screaming "YAHOOOOOO!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!" This went on for a good 5 or 10 minutes. Once I put 2 & 2 together it was actually kind of neat, but since nobody had told me about it in advance those first few shots were kind of jarring.
   1388. Steve Treder Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4319469)
the world is intrinsically a place where everyone who doesn't live in your house is inclined to break in and do you harm. Another concomitant of this attitude is the single-family detached home on as many acres of land as possible. In a lot of the US, that isn't a realizable dream, but it leads to Texans simply building out over the illimitable prairie in all directions, and then driving an hour to work, stepping as quickly as possible when they get there from parking garage into office-building elevator, so that they won't be waylaid at any point by "them"

It's a great life, as dystopian nightmares go.
   1389. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4319476)
"them" :)

Well, you have to admit that them thar's some pretty creepy critters, and Texas is supposed to be full of them that come over from New Mexico. Stupid atomic testing!
   1390. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4319483)
The US hasn't ever been a peaceful place... but we along with our closest comparison--Argentina--fell into the anomaly of violent prosperity.

I would think that internationally this sentiment would be mocked pretty heavily.
   1391. bunyon Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4319488)
Perhaps it's because I grew up in Texas Lite, but I get the necessity of knowing how and being willing to defend one's hearth and home. Which is why I come down, reluctantly, on a loose reading of the 2nd A.

However, I'll confirm Bob's statement that lots of those folks don't just view it as a good skill that will likely never be used (I equate guns and fire extinguishers - both useful tools that most likely, and hopefully, will never be required). This view I've never understood. I have literally never been in a situation where I thought I might need to use a weapon. I've been in some fights and I've been in some tough neighborhoods but I've never seen a situation where a gun would have been useful.

That doesn't mean such situations don't exist and I'm glad I'm not a terrible shot. But I've never understood why people think it likely that "someone" will be coming after them. It's just a weird response to what seems a fairly peaceful world.
   1392. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4319490)
Texas Lite

Worst. Beer. Ever.
   1393. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4319493)
greeting the stroke of midnight by firing guns into the air, while screaming "YAHOOOOOO!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!"


Those stupid Arabs....
   1394. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4319499)
Coincidentally, I have just been listening to Colin Cowherd and he went on about how Texas was super-safe because everybody is armed and so the number of home invasions is drastically reduced.
   1395. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4319503)
greeting the stroke of midnight by firing guns into the air, while screaming "YAHOOOOOO!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!"

Those stupid Arabs....


Well, there was a local mosque of sorts, where everyone seemed to have the same last name: X.
   1396. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4319507)
(I equate guns and fire extinguishers - both useful tools that most likely, and hopefully, will never be required).


This is a really good comparison. I intend to steal it early and often.
   1397. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4319511)
Texas Lite

Worst. Beer. Ever.


No that would be Utah Lite.
   1398. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4319517)
This is a really good comparison. I intend to steal it early and often.


Seconded
   1399. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4319526)
natural because "they" are coming in to attack you and get your stuff.


REMEMBER THE ALAMO!!! Isn't that the whole point of that slogan?

I just looked up some Canadian gun stats, I'll let someone else look them up for the US.

As of the 2006 cencus, we have about 1.93 million licensed gun owners in the country (which basically includes everyone except criminals - not sure how law enforcement officers are classified, but I would assume they are included in this number). We have about 34.5 million people, so about one person in 18 owns at least one gun. According to Wikipedia, the household ownership rate is 29%, which seems reasonable enough to me, although a bit higher than I would have guessed.

In my New Brunswick, the rate is about 1 in 10, and we might have 5 (at most) murders per decade, af all types, that aren't domestic violence. Including domestic violence, we average about 8 per year. Our population has hovered around 750,000 for decades.

Of course, carrying a gun is basically illegal in Canada unless you're a LEO, and so is having a loaded weapon in your house unless its under lock and key.
   1400. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4319527)
Jews avoid the GOP in droves because for large numbers of them, liberalism is more of a religion than Judaism.


This is a few hundred posts old, but I'm going to do this now, once, because I think it needs to be said:

Go #### yourself, you antisemitic ####.

I don't presume to speak for the other Jews in the room.
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