The law is an ass…

So said Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist.

As a convenient case in point, we read:

A University of Minnesota student from Wisconsin thought he was doing the right thing when he called 911 to report a possible case of alcohol poisoning. But he wound up with a $140 ticket for being an underage drinker.

……., 20, was at a party in a Minnetonka hotel in December when he was told that an 18-year-old woman had passed out. After police responded to Stremer’s 911 call, he admitted he had been drinking beer.

Of all the idiotic…

What kind of country believes 18 year olds can be sent off to die in military action, tries to prosecute children as adults, yet would deny a 20 year old man (or the 18 year old soldier for that matter) a beer?

Talk about some twisted priories and perspectives…

 

UPDATE:

By request I’ve removed the name since it was showing high on google search results.  FWIW, the newspaper articles, caches, etc. are still out there but every little bit helps.

Alito’s in

The filibuster attempt, such as it was, was slapped down quite soundly 75-25 in the Senate.

As I said before

Remarkable what comes to mind when one hears that now, after it’s a done deal, the hearings are over, and it’s doomed to failure, John F. Kerry, the haughtly French-looking senator from Massachussets who, by the way, served in Vietnam, is getting his knickers in a twist over Judge Alito.

This is sure to please the angry left, and there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about a Justice Alito, but the time for this, if he were serious about it, was a couple weeks ago…

Such a profile in courage.

Not.

 

I Figured as much

by SEAN, crossposted from Hiding in the Backwaters

Being one who has dealt with allergies my whole life, I have been really, really annoyed that I can buy no more than a 10 day supply of decongestant now that government officials have decided that restricting the sale of pseudo-ephedrine, the ingredient used for basement meth labs, is the answer to the drug problem. There is a new drug coming on the market called phenylephrine, but I’d have to buy two pills since none of the anti-histamines I use have moved to using phenylephrine. Who knows if they ever will.

So has restricting the sale of the drug worked? Sort of. There are, in fact, fewer basement meth labs, which do pose public health hazards beyond drug addiction: the by products of meth production are highly toxic and (obviously) never disposed of properly and meth labs have a tendency to blow up. Has drug consumption decreased? Nope. Now we’re just importing more crystal meth, a more potent variety, from Mexico, and because the Mexican variety is more expensive, drug related crime is up.1

I just don’t get it. Several months ago I read about the latest efforts at combating cocaine production in Columbia. Law enforcement officials, egged on by U.S. policies, had taken to spraying coca farms with defoliant. So what did the drug traffickers do? They moved their farms into national parks and wilderness areas where laws forbid the spraying of defoliants. Now, not only can the government not spray, but the drug traffickers are also burning acres of rain forest and poisoning the water with chemicals.2 How long before people pull their heads out of their asses and finally grasp the concept you cannot win the “War on Drugs? by trying to eliminate supply. These people are criminals. They don’t give a frogs fat ass about anything but money: not the law, not the land, not the lives destroyed by drugs.

More and more I am losing patience with our drug policies dictated by religious mores. Drugs are a sin, so we cannot countenance drug use of any kind and to have the U.S. government involved in the drug trade is absolutely unconscionable and not open for discussion. And yet, if the U.S. government strictly controlled distribution of drugs at a price cheaper than the streets, not only would we not be destroying acres of rainforest, drug related crime would likely go down, and we would have direct access to the people who are the root of the problem and be able to offer counseling and assistance in kicking the habit altogether.

I am admittedly uncomfortable with the idea. Still, it seems a much smarter solution than anything else that has been tried. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. The “War on Drug? crossed that line a long time ago. Drugs still flow into this country pretty much unchecked. Drug consumption has not diminished in any significant way. All they have succeeded in doing is making it a pain for honest people to get the medication they need.

1Zernike, Kate, “Potent Mexican Meth Floods In as States Curb Domestic Variety,? The New York Times, January 23, 2006, nytimes.com (subscription required).
2Associated Press, “Cocaine destroying rainforest parks in Colombia,? September 28, 2005, mongabay.com.

Just do your job, dammit

Apparently the religious right has extra time on its hands despite their continued intrusion into the private lives of America’s women and gays.  Now they’re trying to interfere with your medical care too.

More than a dozen states are considering new laws to protect health workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs, a surge of legislation that reflects the intensifying tension between asserting individual religious values and defending patients’ rights.

About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and “morning-after” pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians. 

For heaven’s sake – if your personal beliefs prevent you from doing your job, maybe you should consider a career change!

As a comment on Balloon Juice observed:

It’s like a vegan being hired as a butcher and then claiming that his “personal beliefs? won’t allow him to touch meat, so his employer will have to accomodate them. 

Why on earth are these dweebs – likely Republicans for the most part – seeking protections for people who refuse to do their job?

Also see:

Culture Wars Guerilla

Donna Hill

David Marco

Capitol Hill Blue

 

Playing Peoria

from the Wall Street Journal

Despite the cracks about gay cowboys on late-night TV and chin-stroking about whether it would play in Peoria, “Brokeback Mountain” is poised to be not just one of the most praised films of the 2005 Oscar class — it will become one of the most profitable movies of the year, and a mainstream one at that.

Write your own headline

Oh boy…

The college president, Walter Kimbrough, had told the audience, that inviting [Ann] Coulter to speak at the black school made sense because like hip hoppers she is “raw, outspoken, uncensored.” He also called her the “conservative answer to rapper Lil’ Kim — [both] attractive and sexy, long-haired blondes. …”

Coulter said it was “the best introduction” she’d ever had.

Lil’ Kim is currently in the middle of a 366-day jail sentence for perjury and conspiracy.