Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The higher good

Santa Cruz handed out medical marijuana yesterday, so I guess it hasn’t changed that much since I left. More proof: one of the sponsors was the “Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana.” Favorite line in the NY Times article: “While people smoked marijuana on the lawn in front of City Hall, cigarette smokers were asked to move to the sidewalk.” The DEA sent a helicopter to try to drown out the demonstration. A candidate for city council said that “it would be noble of them if they felt the pain a little bit and did something for the higher good.” He should immediately be kicked in the balls, for the higher good. Wait, did he really say *higher* good? He also thinks marijuana is responsible for the rampant heroin use in Beach Flats, my, um, old neighborhood.

Once again, Florida’s elections were so badly screwed up that it’s impossible to tell who really won. Reno had to pull out, not because she lost, but because to do otherwise would have cost so much money and time that whoever was finally declared the victor in the primary would have lost to the Jebster. Well good look to Mc-whatshisname, but that wasn’t a real election. When people aren’t allowed to vote, when polling stations open late or close early, etc etc, you shouldn’t even bother to count whatever votes the computers didn’t eat, because the conditions for a fair election were not there.

Saw my first commercial for a proposition today. Evidently Ahnuld Schwarzeneger is sponsoring one for after-school programs. The ad directs you to the website, where you can read about Prop 49 and, oddly, see a picture of him in bathing trucks showing off his muscles at least 20 years ago.

Saw Rummy Rumsfeld on McNeil-Lehrer today. Haven’t seen someone so smug since Elliot Abrams.

I read a funny story about chemical warfare today. In 1939 the British, unsure of whether the Germans would use mustard gas as in the first war (they didn’t), were testing the possibility of chemically treating knickers to protect members of Highland regiments. See, true Scotsmen are a) insane, b) wear nothing under their kilts (see a), and during WWI had experienced some rather nasty burns in their nether regions. Kilts were banned in 1940, but that didn’t stop officers continuing to wear them, although it made them a target for snipers, at least when they stopped laughing.

Also read about the new right-wing nut president of Colombia. OK I knew that when he was a governor he started vigilante groups and the homicide rate doubled in his state (and plummeted when he left again), but the Sunday Times strongly suggested that his career has benefitted from the drug cartels. He was mayor of Medellin in the early ‘80s when Pablo Escobar was pumping all that money into civic projects there. And he was head of civil aviation at a time when many pilot licenses were being handed out to smugglers. The article was a bit light on proof, but I guess it wouldn’t surprise me.

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