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Earlier today, I took note of Joaquin Sapien's interview with the physician who used to run the National Center for Injury Prevention Control at the Centers for Disease Control. That was until the National Rifle Association got Congress to chop 96 percent of his budget and alter the NCIPC's mission to keep its data collectors-and-crunchers away from anything that might promote firearms control. As if scientifically gathering information on the impact of guns in our society should actively, aggressively be avoided.

As is true of so many things, ignorance isn't bliss. Unless you're its purveyor.

Nicole Flatow at Think Progress points to another area in which scientific data (and method) are avoided, thus allowing propaganda to win the day:

In the face of obstacles to marijuana research from both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and one-time MacArthur Fellow is calling out the federal government on its obstruction of science.

During an address before a  medical marijuana conference Friday [Feb. 22], John H. Schwartz explained how the DEA and NIDA act as a “tag team” to censor science, with NIDA holding a monopoly over legal access to cannabis for research, and the DEA refusing to reconsider the drug’s designation in the Controlled Substances Act as a dangerous substance with no medical value on the basis that sufficient research does not exist. He alleges that the government has blocked research even though it has long been aware of marijuana’s potential to serve many medical benefits including shrink aggressive cancer cells is because it might “send the wrong message to children”:

The most blatant example of this behavior came last year, when NIDA blocked an FDA-approved clinical trial testing marijuana as a remedy for post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. It’s especially sad to note that the study participants were veterans, with PTSD deemed untreatable by other means. After 12 years of war, this is how we treat them. […]

As a physicist, I can assure you that this not how physics works. … We are all expected to act like grownups and accept it gracefully as experiments prove our favorite theories are false.  In physics, unlike marijuana policy, we consider the right message to send to be the message that’s true. […]

Consider what American science might look like if all research were run like marijuana research is being run now. Suppose the Institute for Creation Science were put in charge of approving paleontology digs and the science of human evolution.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005MT's Schweitzer Leads Charge Against Bush on Prescription Drugs:

Around these parts, Montana's new Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer has come in for a lot of (well-deserved) adulation. So it was with special interest that I read this story today about Schweitzer taking the lead in the fight to bring low-cost prescription drugs to his constituents, who of course live along the Canadian border:

The Bush administration cites public safety in trying to block admission of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, but has agreed to expand imports of Canadian beef and cattle despite cases of mad cow disease, Montana's Democratic governor complained Saturday.
"President Bush was recently here in Montana and we had just one question for him," Gov. Brian Schweitzer said in his party's weekly radio address. "Why allow bad beef to enter the U.S. from Canada and not allow safe medicine?"


Tweet of the Day:

WHY WON'T THE PRESIDENT WHO NOMINATED A REPUBLICAN SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WHO WAS ALMOST FILIBUSTERED COMPROMISE?
@LOLGOP via TweetDeck



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin set up the day's discussion of the looming sequester. Apparently, though people were aware of the Fiscal Thingy, hardly anyone is aware of the sequester, and they don't think it will affect them. Why? Maybe it's inherent to the differences between liberals and conservatives. We dig into why that might be & what it means.


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:00 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You can't "debate" these filibustering (24+ / 0-)

    bastards.

    You can only outnumber them.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:01:52 PM PST

  •  SCOTUS rewrites Kafka, again... (24+ / 0-)

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:03:51 PM PST

  •  Here's why Dems suck at politics (13+ / 0-)

    and keep losing at it. Rachel Maddow had a segment on the sequester last night, and one of the guests was house Dem Marcy Kaptur (OH). The topic of gerrymandering came up and how it's enabled Repubs to hold onto the house and thus be able to block progressive legislation, and Rachel asked Kaptur what Dems intended to do about that:

    Maddow: Do the Democrats have a plan to counter it?

    Kaptur: Well, I'll tell ya, ah, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has talked about this, she's talked about what we need to do to prepare for the future, and I know that those who are paying close attention are very aware of how unfairly represented the house currently is.

    In other words, they're clueless and have no plan. None. Zilch. Unless this is masterful 3D chess misdirection as they prepare to unfurl a brilliant plan to take back the house, Dems have no idea how to counter gerrymandering, and are content to keep whining from the sidelines and mewl like hungry kittens.

    We see this all the time, Dems complaining about how terrible and unfair this or that thing that the really mean GOP is doing, without offering a single PRACTICAL idea as to how to fix that. It's like all they do is whine.

    When did Dems stop wanting to win, or knowing how?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:08:09 PM PST

  •  The Science Will Be Obstructed Until the Faith (11+ / 0-)

    improves.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:08:25 PM PST

  •  A light against the darkness -- Part 1 of 12 (8+ / 0-)

    You may have seen these before, but...

    •  Well, I've put on a bit of weight and... (5+ / 0-)

      ...I'm really pretty jiggly these days, but I really don't feel very hot.  

      ;)

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:29:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Firearms have magnetic properties (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir

      and the magnetic field lines of a firearm can extend far beyond the actual firearm itself, unless there is effective shielding.

      In some hands there is a strong attraction force, and in others a strong repulsive force.

      It's very complicated, and we should study the physics of firearm attractive and repulsive forces.

      Clearly humans have evolved magneto-firearm receptors in their hands. We should study the genetics of the strongest receptors, since that might have useful military applications.

      /snark

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:29:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've often pondered the unfairness (12+ / 0-)

    of how our lives are controlled by authorities. For instance it seems gun policy and marijuana policy are completely reversed. Pot policy; proven harmless over and over again by studies too numerous to mention yet still illegal in most of the US. Gun policy; proven to be quite deadly yet encouraged. What's the deal, Howie?

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:19:25 PM PST

  •  I hope Schweitzer runs... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, Marjmar, Aunt Pat, Jeff Y

    He's head and shoulders above most other names I've heard mentioned.
    Please no Cuomo...

  •  Ha! "because it might send the wrong message to (7+ / 0-)

    children"???  What, that a plant could help save their mother from breast cancer?  

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:20:30 PM PST

  •  If the govt is precluded from... (9+ / 0-)

    ... studying pot, then I'll have to conduct some private research; for the science, of course.

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:24:38 PM PST

  •  Three Flickr uploads today (14+ / 0-)

    Obviously my theme for the day was Central Park in autumn. The center of my triptych (middle here) was my feature where I painted a blue willow into my fantasy world. I thought I had a little garden of Giverny thing going on in the water.

    Bow Bridge Autumn

    The Blue Willow of Central Park

    Central Park Drive

    There is this thing called “Flickr Explore” and I’ve never made it there until today. It was not my fantasy reflecting pool, color and sun on one side vs. the darkness that was anchored by a mallard and ripples. The filler photo, a hansom carriage was what went to explore. But the ice is broken.  

  •  Didn't Catch Kagro's Show (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, Gooserock, Jeff Y, Dogs are fuzzy

    But if they dealt with this question,

    " Why? Maybe it's inherent to the differences between liberals and conservatives."
    I can tell you one big difference and the one that really matters. Cons, or more appropriately "extremist right wingers" believe what they believe because that's what makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and/or agrees with their preconceived notions about politics, government, people and the world in general. They are like children in many ways and indeed, their journey to maturity was derailed especially in the way they perceive the things I mentioned above.

    In short, Cons believe and believe fervently both what assuages their often fearful personalities AND what "Big Daddy" tells them to believe. This is another way they're like children- they yearn for that steady hand of a Father figure to tell them what to do so they'll be safe. It's why their organizations and their party's leadership are almost completely masculine and hierarchical.

    Now how can people like this be compared in any way to reality based adults? They can't. We are as different as night is from day and it's why it's useless to try and compromise or reason with them. They aren't interested in that because it doesn't validate their "principles" and in fact makes them question those principles because Big Daddy says if you can't uphold what you're told are your principles then they aren't really principles are they? They see everything as a battle between them and us and guess who the enemy is?

    You just can't reason with people like this, they must be marginalized but first those in our leadership have got to come to the realization of what their "Republican Friends" are really all about. While the Republican party has been at best reactionary for most of the past century, there were mostly reasonable people leading it. Not now. They played with fire for so long courting their votes they ended up empowering the real nutcases replete with authoritarian personalities who now dominate that party. It's beyond useless to treat them as anything but what they are, sociopaths and people with a child-like psychology often warped by fear of just about everything that isn't exactly like themselves.

    I really hope the majority, people like ourselves, figure out what it is besetting this country and how to salvage it and it starts with knowing the enemy and dismissing any delusions that we are dealing with regular people. We're not. They're for the most part incredibly damaged people.

    •  The Framers' System We're Drowining In, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y

      massively empowers the forces besetting our country --forces that were well known and understood a century or maybe 2 before the framers sat down to bequeath us a system perfectly ignorant of those threats.

      We've got almost nothing to work with. Informing all the people would be nice. Under the power systems and structures of our system, would it be any better than nice? Not that I can see.

      I can only hope that those billions of reasonable people who know better than I how to inform our people and make our system serve them have figured this out.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:41:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but the Teabaggers call themselves (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      grass roots.....cough, cough.

      "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend." - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:49:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is hilarious (10+ / 0-)

    Westboro Baptist Church Members Have Their Day Thoroughly Ruined by ‘Fanatic Harassment Specialist’ Brick Stone

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:31:09 PM PST

  •  Some potentially great news on VAWA (6+ / 0-)

    Looks like House leaders will cave and allow a vote on the Senate bill.

    link.

  •  This is very cool, I reserved one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    here4tehbeer

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:46:21 PM PST

  •  Apparently, if we don't keep the children (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    locked up in dungeons with dragons, we're never going to get to discuss anything.
    I recommend Puff the Magic Dragon. He's really good with kids.

    The Great Awakening Is Afire! Nothing can be done. Rubio drank all their water.

    by franklyn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:59:48 PM PST

  •  first of all, it's not blocking imports from Canad (0+ / 0-)

    a, but re-importation of drugs because they cost a lot less due to other-government pricing, meaning the drugs were made here and exported there for a less expensive price, giving the markup to Canadians profitable for them but less profitable to the Americans that sell drugs at U.S. middle class incomes, which would be fine if more people, no-Americans, could be a part of it.

    Anyways, what I really wanted to talk about was that how much policy is made due to the concern of governmental agents in power's children. "Won't somebody please think of the children?!" is the popular Simpson's tagline.

    " and the DEA refusing to reconsider the drug’s designation in the Controlled Substances Act as a dangerous substance with no medical value on the basis that sufficient research does not exist. He alleges that the government has blocked research even though it has long been aware of marijuana’s potential to serve many medical benefits including shrink aggressive cancer cells is because it might “send the wrong message to children”:"

    I've read Alternet's excellent reporting on the 5 major reasons why marijuana is still illegal in the U.S., and that's California prison employee unions, big pharma, big beer, big DEA, and i forget the other ones. But if i could add another reason, it's the culture that parents fear having their children growing up in, which is a Kingston, Jamaica or Kensington Market, Toronto. Oh dear, the bongos and the rainbo flags are moving in, oh dear, it doesn't run well with the clean cut, cutting edge business attire of the financial districts of every major metropolitan U.S. city, including SF and NYC, but we all know that SF is really a model example of why affluence is compatible with lip service to progressive policy. Hanging out in a neighborhood where enforcement is well-informed of the latest drug reform laws are going to make for a better recidivism culture. Just look at Norway: http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
    In any other district unenlightened to liberal drug policy, drug policy violaters will be treated like cattle, rounded up and placed in corporate prisons because of the bloody revenue that the trade brings up. It's interesting that Columbia's FARC wants to promote drug legalisation, because it's slightly different from like the cartels of Capone and other current organized crime that wish to keep illegal drugs illegal only because they'll retain a monopoly over the market as it is.
    http://www.insightcrime.org/...
    Maybe their non-western cultural cache has given them a talking point that is worth using, considering the conservative DEA's approach hasn't worked for the past 40+ years.

  •  My thought of the day: you have the right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Remediator

    to free speech and the right to bear arms. Don't be a dick and threaten people with the latter, because that's assault with a deadly weapon.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:14:08 PM PST

    •  And even the right to free speech (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, JeffW

      comes with significant restrictions.

      We tolerate someone yelling on the street.

      We don't tolerate someone yelling on the street after noise ordinances are in effect, or at 5AM in the morning before noise ordinances cease to be in effect, just because free speech is an individual right.

      The right to free speech does not include the right to go into any church and start yelling.

      The right to free speech does not include the right to drunken public speech.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:57:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  watching Lisa Ling's doc on Tribulationists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    and a self styled "Fellowship of Martyrs" led by a self styled prophet who thinks Armageddon is 3-5 years off as they go and picket a local church that is having a Halloween Carnival.  This guy thinks demons ride on people's shoulders as familiars and that he can see them so he knows who he possessed.  He is also training more exorcists as he says the work is too great for him alone

    I was amused that the leader Doug Perry did not take part in the Halloween protest because of a concern there would be arrests.  As the shepherd of his flock, he stayed behind in order to go followers' bail (as a former sheepherd, I cannot tell you the number of times I had to bail out the ovines)

    For those who missed the doc, here is some information on the group
     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  I don't know how many Bay Area (5+ / 0-)

    Kossacks there are on right now but we had 2 police officers killed this afternoon in Santa Cruz. These are the first police officers to ever been killed in the line of duty in Santa Cruz.

    The shooter was also killed, but they don't know if he was the only shooter. The shooter ( I don't know his name yet) is on parole from Oregon where he had been in prison for rape. He was being investigated in Santa Cruz for sexual assault when he opened fire and killed 2 officers. He had 3 firearms on him that he used to kill the cops.

    I don't have any idea what kind of firearms he had (wittiness said there where about 50 shots fired)  but why a guy out on parole could have 3 firearms is beyon me.

    •  finding a weapon was probably easier (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, DeadHead, here4tehbeer

      for him than it would have been for a legitimate buyer

    •  not related to this, but I also read Santa Cruz (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, DeadHead

      is seeing a surge in gun crime related to gang activity (but that also means guns are more available to anyone)

      •  Yes, (0+ / 0-)

        I understand there has been 2 gun murders in Santa Cruz since the first of the year. The last one was only 2 weeks ago via a drive by shooting in front of a popular bar down town. Santa Cruz downtown doesn't usually get any violence . If  You are right across from the Boardwalk you  can run into problems late at night but only if you are there well after the Boardwalk has closed. Watsonville can be rough with gangs that sometime use guns  but usually the problems are just fights with no guns.

        We have idiots in our valley ( the San Lorenzo Valley } but they are idiots not violent. My kids refer to them as the Boulder trolls and have done so since high school.

    •  Holy shit (0+ / 0-)

      I used to be in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley all the time.

      I lived in Ben Lomond for a few years. I grew up in San Jose, so I've been around that town off and on since forever.

      That sucks. :(




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:23:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Got my pink shirt on a hanger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, LilithGardener

    and I'm gonna wear it tomorrow for Anti-Bullying Day.  

  •  Guns and Marijuana -- Now there's one answer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, LinSea, DefendOurConstitution

    to all of our problems.

    "Dude! Dude! Hold still. I can't aim that fast."

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:56:42 PM PST

  •  Tonight's best #SequesterTweet, by far > (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, DeadHead, LilithGardener, LinSea


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:39:15 PM PST

  •  how many of those unis sponsor RW talk radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, LilithGardener

    stations!?

    this is getting ridiculous. what happened to climate scientists re east anglia and the copenhagen conference should be a warning.

    on the local level the unis put their team logos on limbaugh's forehead and he and his wannabes destroy everything sane. and then we get this shit. whatever you want, america, just don't pay any attention to the radio.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:50:17 PM PST

  •  Guns before butter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:45:51 PM PST

  •  Suppressed Science... Spirit of Lysenkoism alive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    in the USA... on Guns and Pot... official policy dictates what science is allowed to look at, what it is allowed to report as findings and its official position is immune from question...

    In the end is it quite similar to the way Trofim Lysenko's Larmarkian ideas on Genetics crippled actual genetics in the old Soviet Union back in the Stalinist days.... To be sure people don't get disappeared over the issues in our Free country unlike Stalinist Russia where disagreeing with Lysenko was not just a career ender but sometimes a bit more lethal too.... and yet the policy stalemate is much the same.

    The DEA & NIDA plus the NRA (unofficial policy department of Govt...) are Stalinist in the way they enforce and dictate what Science will say is the truth as far as the government is concerned...

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 01:43:45 AM PST

  •  Oh noes. Acting like grown ups. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, rodentrancher, LinSea
    As a physicist, I can assure you that this not how physics works. … We are all expected to act like grownups and accept it gracefully as experiments prove our favorite theories are false.  In physics, unlike marijuana policy, we consider the right message to send to be the message that’s true. […]
    That would shut down the Republicans, and plenty if Democrats too.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:10:30 AM PST

  •  Marijuana, mearly harmless, kills nobody,A (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    potential new revenue, jobs, agriculture - Nooooooooo say republicans who have worked to thwart the development of FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE further demonstrating the vast usefulness of the plant in general and the absence of horriblness tha reefer mad propaganda demands you believe. So they - REAGAN - killed any experimentation that would show anything but horror stoories to feed the prorpaganda machine.

    And it works for DECADES until the INTERNET arrived and we have been able to reconstruct a vast database demonstrating far beyon ANY doubt that marijuana isn't that dangerous and it STILL hasn't killed anybody.

    Guns, on the other hand (as well as tobacco and alcohol) kill LOTS of people. Every day. Republicans helped thwart a database to provide accurate information on just how many people are getting killed by guns.

    Republicans want you dead, sick, or in prison. They want you to be killed by guns. They don't want you smoking something that WON'T kill you.

    Republicans are killing you, America.

    I think you should do something about it.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:06:21 AM PST

  •  Red herring (0+ / 0-)

    Much like the book the Emperor Wears No Clothes states, the drug  war on marijuana is all about hemp. Hemp will still hurt powerful people just like it was going to do in the 30's.  Framing the conversation around medical marijuana and ignoring the 3 ton elephant that is hemp keeps the conversation where those powerful people want it to be.

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