February 4, 2011
For example, Paul would slash funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 28 percent and for the National Institutes of Health by 37 percent. (An ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of cure but I guess we’re not paying for either one.)
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES…………..$26,510,000,000. (26%)
Notes: FDA is cut by $230,000,000; Indian Health Service is cut by $650 million; CDC is cut by $1.17 billion; NIH by $5.8 billion.
And Sen Paul’s overview [PDF].
November 23, 2010
Oh, not ALL y’all. Oh no. Just the black ones.
BikeMonkey Guest PostJezebel reports:
At approximately 10:30PM club management called the owner to say that they saw individuals on line whom they recognized as “local gang bangers” (their words not mine). In response to this, the club owner directed the bouncers to only let individuals with a Harvard or Yale ID in to the club. At this point Kwame and I argued that no alumnus would have his or her expired college ID with them and reiterated that the reason we did the party on a pre-sold basis with strict admittance based solely on the guest list was to guarantee that the only attendees were Harvard and Yale alumni, grad students and their close friends and to ensure that no “bad seeds” could contaminate our party. However, given that this was the club’s opening weekend, the owner was particularly sensitive to anything going wrong.
Oh, something went wrong all right, you done outed yourself as a stupid bigot.
The Hah-vah Crimson verifies the account:
Natalia N. Pearson-Farrer, a second-year Harvard Law School student, said she arrived at the club at 10:30 p.m. to see a crowd of predominantly black Harvard and Yale students and alumni dressed in cocktail attire. By the time she got in, she said she was surprised to see the bouncers had let very few people in, and soon after, the club told patrons it was shutting down because of technical difficulties. After the truth was circulated, though, she said she felt frustrated and embarrassed.
You know, while you all are entertaining yourself complaining about the TSA body scans and crotch grabbing and laughing along with @TSAgov and all. Might want to think about that a little bit…
Ed relates the sad tale of a kid who brings his parents’ pot to school and rats them out to the po-po.
It’s pretty obvious, right? Getting kids to turn their parents in to the authorities is pretty, well, 1984 . Fascist.
Yes, yes it is.
but how is discourse served by this stupid gotcha journalism of the absurd?
It is not. and this is why Ed irritates me when he spews out this nonsense without a single bit of perspective beyond the kneejerk civil liberties position.
A questioner brings the right point to the table.
So where’s the cutoff? Is armed robbery reportable but burglary not? If the parents were running a meth lab, would that be enough of a risk that you’d support the child informing? How about a marijuana operation where Mexican drug cartel personnel were in and out of the house constantly?
Exactly. What is the principle at stake here? Should children not be informing on their parents for any type of legal infraction? That actually makes sense to me as a workable principle, akin to spouses not having to testify against each other.
How would this work though? Would a bust that originates with a child of the suspect be ruled out of the courtroom evidence? That would seem to be a remedy.
Or are you asking children to pick and freaking choose what represents a beyond-the-pale crime versus a wink-wink, we-disagree-civilly-disobediently?
That is a bullshit principle, to put that sort of burden on children.
Ed, you can do better. There are complexities here in terms of the application of principle to public policy. You often do better with similarly complex issues. Just not when it comes to the drug laws that you don’t like.
October 18, 2010
…and this is a story about political attitudes and behavior.
First, the bottom line from PalMD:
While many may cringe at the paternalistic nature of public health laws, few complain about the availability of clean water and the notable absence of open sewers.
I lived through the smoking ban enacted in bars and restaurants and I couldn’t be more delighted. Although I was never particularly bothered by the smoke, no more than most that is, I certainly noticed the lack after the bans went through. No more smelly hair and clothes. No more changing the pillowcases after a night out because the smoke smell went from hair to the pillow like clockwork.
Since I’m not a smoker there was no problem.
But oh, you should have heard the caterwauling. Personal liberty was being infringed! (Never mind the liberty of others to be free from annoyance of smoke, eh? Why do the libertarians always forget that?) Business will be AffEcTed! Bars will close. Nobody will buy alcohol anymore! Nobody will go out to dine.
Naturally this never came to pass in my region of the world. Nor did it in a myriad of other jurisdictions that passed smoking bans.
And here is a tale from a bartender who was practically on the ramparts to oppose the smoking ban. Changing. His. Mind. Based on the results of the policy as he personally experienced it.
And it was at that moment, silently of course, that I grudgingly had to thank old Mayor Bloomberg. For regardless of what his motivation was and regardless of the fact that he did it with an iron fist, the son-of-a-gun when it’s all said and done was right. The good, as it all turns out, outweighs the bad. And not just because of the major things, of which we are all aware, but the minor things of which you’re about to read…
Test out a policy change, evaluate the outcome. If you are originally opposed to the policy….what do you do? Do you leave your ego at the door and really look at the data? Or do you stick to your guns no matter what the evidence?
Scribbler is a standup guy for admitting he was wrong. May we all be able to do the same when public policies have results that are demonstrably better than our initial preferences.
April 8, 2010
The UK House of Lords has followed the riff-raff MPs in voting for a ban of the previously uncontrolled recreational drug 4-methymethcathinone (4-MMC, mephedrone, meow-meow, plant-food, etc). Prior observations from me are here and here.
This is a good opportunity to point to the report on the cathinones [ pdf ] that was created by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. This more or less echos my points in my prior posts that while we may know a bit about cathinones the available scientific knowledge is pretty pathetic compared to the amphetamine-class drugs. And essentially nothing has been published on 4-MMC/mephedrone.
April 5, 2010
in case you were wondering where I’ve been lately, I’m talking about those ballot-happy Californicans and their upcoming attempt to legalize recreational dope smoking over at A Vote for Science.
June 3, 2008
The AP is reporting that Barack Obama has clinched enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday after a grueling marathon, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates, becoming the first black candidate ever to lead his party into a fall campaign for the White House.
It is a great day for our country and our world.
May 22, 2008
Suppose that you had a choice between having your favorite candidate win the presidential election, or having a first-author paper in Science. Which would you pick?
Chad next observes:
For this particular election, I’m not even sure that would do it…
Take the full challenge, after the jump.
Members of San Diego State University are expressing an interesting attitude in the aftermath of the drug sweep which arrested 75 students of SDSU. According to the initial reporting it is clear that members of an organized drug marketing organization were targets.
One alleged dealer, Theta Chi member Kenneth Ciaccio, sent text messages to his “faithful customers” announcing that cocaine sales would be suspended over an upcoming weekend because he and his “associates” planned to be in Las Vegas, authorities said.
The same message posted “sale” prices on cocaine if transactions were completed before the dealers left San Diego.
It is equally clear that some individuals arrested were merely customers. Drug users, not dealers. Presumably this is why elements of SDSU are now questioning the appropriateness of calling in undercover federal agents on this case.
April 29, 2008
The Drug Law Blog notes that The Association of the Bar of the City of New York will be discussing Marijuana Arrest Policy tomorrow.
In 1977, New York State decriminalized possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. Nonetheless, researchers report that New York City is now the national leader in detaining individuals for possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. Beginning with the advent of quality of life policing, the New York City Police Department dramatically increased the number of arrests for marijuana possession: from 1997 to 2006 the Department arrested 362,000 people for possessing marijuana, in 2006 alone it arrested 33,000 people for marijuana possession. The Department also commonly holds marijuana possession arrestees in detention for up to 24 hours pending arraignment. Published research indicates that the marijuana possession arrests are not in central business districts, and that the police primarily make the arrests in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Drug Law Blog also has a post reviewing 2006 marijuana arrest stats for the entire US and ends with the following observation.
That’s more than 1.5 million people who were arrested in 2006 simply for possession.
The link to my other post today should be obvious.
March 31, 2008
As usual, Female Science Professor has an outstanding post up this morning. Unfortunately, however, this one is not about the the trials-and-tribulations or joys-and-pleasures of academic science. Rather it describes a terrible situation that increasingly faces her students, and that is only going to get worse, and worse, and worse:
Several of my graduate and undergraduate students have recently had their lives disrupted because their apartments were in houses or apartment buildings that went into foreclosure. Some have already had to find a new place and move, and some have to move within the next 1-2 months.
* * *
Even without the current mortgage crisis in the U.S., students are too often the victims of irresponsible or even unethical landlords, as I well know from my own experience with an avaricious, grasping, duplicitous, thieving scoundrel of a landlord when I was in graduate school. And now this. In addition to the problems that make the news, the mortgage crisis has generated a cascade of lost time and productivity that affects graduate and undergraduate students, and all those who work with them.
Of course, this kind of thing is just the beginning, and it ain’t just grad students who it is happening to. If you are not comfortable with honest, angry language, don’t read below the fold.