Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Depends On You

H/T commenter Chris B at Watts Up With That

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solid State Radio

My latest article on the revival of crystal radios can be read at Solid State Radio. It is a treasure trove of links and nostalgia for those interested in crystal radios.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 28, 2011


I was looking around for some electronics information and got this amusing 404 notice.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Not Blogging Much

Here is why. Among other things.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tool Man

I have a post up at ECN Magazine discussing the tools I use to do electronic design. Free tools of course.

If you have a budding technician/engineer in your family may I suggest that they get the tools mentioned in the article. There is nothing like getting your ideas into makeable form for helping you clarify any design issues you may have. Plus it is way more fun than video games because it can have an effect on the real world.

Monday, November 21, 2011

He Eventually Stopped Twitching

Evidently the merest twitch around police is grounds for immediate execution. And just for you geographically challenged (like me) East Point is in Georgia. Here is the story.

Dwight Person, 54, was shot Thursday afternoon when, according to police, he made a threatening gesture at a female officer “that put her in fear of her safety.” The officer, who has not been identified, fired one shot and hit Person.

He was treated and the scene and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
OK the folks there were running some kind of dope house. Right? Right? Wrong.
"They didn't even know he was shot," Ballard said. "There were policemen saying, ‘Who fired that shot?'"

The search for drugs or a weapon was cut short after the shooting, police said.

“Once the shooting happened, our officers stopped their search and turned their focus to trying to save the man’s life,” Chandler said.

Police arrested seven people, charging them with operating a dive, a violation of a municipal code.
No drugs? No drugs? The article says nothing about drugs. Except that the police were looking for them. Normally if the police kill some one in a drug search everyone present (except the police) is charged with heavy felony drug crimes. Except no drugs were found. The heaviest crime they could find was a misdemeanor.
Seven people arrested during an East Point police drug search in which an officer fatally shot a man have been charged with violating a municipal code.
He was shot for that? And twitching. Fortunately for the police (I guess) he eventually stopped twitching.

It used to be such a nice country. Until some one decided it would be a good idea to start a war in it.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Here is a fun 3D pdf of a connector I'm planning to use in a design. In a year this will be nothing. Right now it is a lot of free fun.

And here is the page it came from, in case you want a more conventional view.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log has more.
An unnamed source on the OPERA team told ScienceInsider that the controversy over the faster-than-light findings was exhausting. "Everyone should be convinced that the result is real, and they are not," the source was quoted as saying.

Other researchers, including physicists with the MINOS experiment at Fermilab, are working up independent analyses of neutrino runs to assess the OPERA team's findings. The initial outside assessments are expected to become available within six months or so, but end-to-end replications of the experiment could take significantly longer.
Yep. This finding (if it holds) will overturn a century of physics. Physics the modern world is built on. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is probably the most widely used bit of equipment that tests the speed of light and Relativity millions of times a day (At the link is a fascinating explanation of GPS and Relativity). It works. So for these results to be different than expected (faster than the speed of light) would indeed bring a revolution in our understanding of the universe. Right now? Too early to tell.

H/T The Boys and Girls at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Government Road Block

The Department Of Health and Human Services (it has very little to do with health and is into denying services) has denied permission for an FDA approved study of cannabis for treating PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has blocked a pilot study to examine the benefits of marijuana for veterans with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study was sponsored by the nonprofit research organization the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and would have been conducted by Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona at Phoenix.

“Hundreds of veterans in medical marijuana states already report using marijuana to control their PTSD symptoms,” MAPS said in a statement. “The growing number of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related trauma combined with large numbers of treatment-resistant veterans highlights the pressing need for research into additional treatments for PTSD.”
It seems the Federales have an impenetrable wall to keep this reseach on cannabis from getting done.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has denied researchers requests to obtain licenses to grow marijuana, claiming that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — overseen by the HHS — can be the only one to supply marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research.
Clever boys.

It seems like actual veterans are taking matters into their own hands. Green leafy matters.
“My life went downhill from the moment I came back from Iraq,” Begin, now a 31-year-old veteran, tells Danger Room. “Doctors at Bethesda had me on so much, and on such high doses of everything, that I didn’t even know what was a symptom and what was a side effect.”

At one point, Begin, diagnosed with PTSD shortly after coming home, was taking more than 100 pills a day. So many that he would stuff dozens of bottles into a backpack to lug everywhere he went. Now, he’s cut his dependency on prescriptions to zero. Their replacement? Five joints a day.

“Using marijuana balances me out,” he says. “It takes those peaks and valleys of PTSD and it softens them. It makes my life manageable.”

Begin’s now launched an online petition asking the feds to change their course on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. In September, the first-ever study proposed to evaluate marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD was blocked by officials at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). With an estimated 37 percent of this generation’s vets afflicted with PTSD, and a dearth of effective treatment options available, Begin thinks pot deserves, at the very least, a single study.
He is not the only veteran who thinks that cannabis ought to be an official medicine. I wrote about Jamey Raines recently.

And what do you know? Our friends the Israelis are on the case.
D., a 26-year-old woman from the north of Israel, says she began to suffer from nightmares about seven years ago, after her partner raped her. After undergoing various forms of therapy, she thought she had largely put the trauma behind her. Then, two years ago, she chanced to see the rapist not far from her home. The nightmares came swarming back.

"I fell into a depression that went on until not long ago, during which I hardly slept or ate," she says in a quiet voice. "My whole life turned upside down. I left my job. Everything came to a stop. I went back to taking antidepressants and tranquilizers - Cipralex, Lustral and Prozac; sleeping pills that made me addicted. It was a nightmare. There was no way I could get through the day without those pills. Then I discovered cannabis."
So war trauma is not the only way to get PTSD? Maybe that explains why 70% of female Heroin users report being sexually attacked. When they were children. Too bad no famous sports figures (in so far as we know) are involved. Too bad we can't figure a way to give such kids a pass. Until we figure out better ways to help them heal. Currently a long slow process that is not a sure thing.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


If grandmother is a virgin the father is Jesus.

H/T Joseph Chikva at Talk Polywell

Christian Science - Oppress Them

The Christian Science Monitor is discussing the medical marijuana situation in California. It seems they have come to a political conclusion on the subject.

Pot smokers are a small minority. They are containable...
Isn't there something wrong with oppressing people because they 'don't matter'? Even one person officially subject to persecution is too many. And since when was it Christian to be oppressing people? Even those that don't matter.

Well, Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews get it. Even if the Christians don't.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Botany Of Desire

You can watch the full video here.

About 5 minutes in to the video there is a discussion about society and mind altering substances. Every society has them except for Eskimos. Only one or two though with the rest frowned upon or actively discouraged. There is no universal agreement on which two mind altering substances should prevail. Americans like alcohol (it is traditional), Saudis do not. And so it goes. All around the world.

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

Some people in Missouri are making an effort to get marijuana legalized. About 3 minutes into the video the pro-legalization guy explains that young people support it and old people are against it. Do the math. He thinks the math is good for 2012.

Drug Plants. No not that kind. It is police officers planting drugs to meet arrest quotas.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 14, 2011

Smart Grid Insecurity

I have an article up at ECN wondering how can the Smart Grid be secure?

And in case you missed it they had a very nice bit up for Veterans Day.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do Not Inhale

CBS News has more.

The FDA's ban of the Primatene Mist asthma inhaler -- because it uses ozone-destroying CFCs -- already shows signs of becoming an "incandescent light-bulb issue" for conservatives. They hate the ban because it puts the needs of the environment before the needs of the people: Primatene is the only non-prescription asthma inhaler, and prescription alternatives are all more expensive. As the Lonely Conservative put it:

Well, thanks to the nature nazis and their cohorts in our government, the only over the counter inhaler will be taken off the market.

The ban also arrives with bad timing for President Obama. At the same time as 3 million asthma sufferers are having their inhalers snatched at gunpoint by the FDA's jack-booted stormtroopers phased out from store-shelves by Dec. 31, Obama said he will not raise federal anti-ozone air pollution standards, after he was lobbied by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's one law for big business, and another for the little guy, apparently.
The guys at CBS do have hope for asthma sufferers. You can line up a doctors visit and get a prescription for devices that only costs 3X as much.

It reminds me of something I wrote about marijuana prohibition.
It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.
Of course they have your best interests at heart. Don't they always?

Behind The Iron Curtain

DARPA tests a US version.

H/T Talk Polywell

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I'm trying to reconcile these two statements from the MERS Mortgage Registry.

“The MERS System is not a legal system of record or a replacement for public land records. No interests are transferred on the system—they are only tracked,” Smith, Merscorp vice president of corporate communications, wrote in a response to emailed questions. “MERS does not have or maintain any document recording system, public or private, and does not do anything to compete with or supplant the public records for land located in the County records.”
OK. That could be true.
MERS is the true owner of the mortgage, and is not, in the complaint’s words, a “straw man” placeholder listed in public records.“The ‘owner of the loan’ is the party who has possession of the promissory note, but the promissory note is not, and has never been, and is not required to be disclosed or filed in the public records”
I'm now totally confused. I'm a mere engineer with a small understanding of electron flows. This legal stuff has me confused.

Congress to the Rescue.
A new Senate bill proposing to wind down the GSEs by at least 10% a year also includes a provision that would replace the private MERS System with an identical platform run by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) — along with new national standards for mortgage title transfers.

The bill outlines the director of the FHFA to establish “MERS 2” and incorporate a single national database for all mortgage title transfers, to be maintained and operated by FHFA.
Well they accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
In his first-ever, and so far only, media interview since becoming president and CEO of Merscorp in April, Bill Beckmann told MT that Merscorp can and must succeed as a revamped company with a higher level of scrutiny on its operation.

“If this model doesn't work, there are only two outcomes I could see,” Beckmann said in the interview, which appeared in the September issue of MT. “One would be a nationalized approach. Personally, I think that's nuts. Why would you go that route when you're already 60% of the way there with something the regulators and the constituents say is OK?”
And who is behind this little proposed bail out of the mortgage slicers and dicers? Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

So real estate will no longer be a state issue but a Federal one based on Federal preemption. I predict that if they actually try to pull this off the transition will be a bitch.

As my grand pappy used to say, "They are all crooks."

H/T Zero Hedge

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Never Just One Cockroach

H/T Zero Hedge

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nobody Owes You A Living

There is a lot of talk about restricting imports in order to create jobs for Americans. I don't buy it.

Nobody owes you a living. And you know what happens when politicians control what is bought and sold? The first thing bought and sold is politicians. So objectively being for government controlled trade is to be in favor of crony capitalists. What? You thought I wouldn’t notice?

There is no eternal law that says workers who price themselves out of the market will keep their jobs. If the price of labor is high enough it makes sense to either outsource or get machines to do the job (which is what has happened to manufacturing labor – just as it happened to agricultural labor). Or go broke.
Municipal Bankruptcy.

Maybe we can get government to repeal the laws of supply and demand. Then wage rates can rise to any level you like and you will no doubt find customers very willing to pay what ever you ask. Unless they resort to smuggling. Or off the books deals. Both were common in the late stages of the USSR.

You want higher pay? Find a skill that is in short supply. My kids have figured this out. #3 son is 4th year EE and it looks like he has a job already lined up. My #1 daughter is 3rd year Chem E, an A student. I have no doubt she will have no trouble finding work when she graduates. #2 son graduated with honors from UChicago (my old school) in Russian language. He is currently working for AC Nielsen in Russia. The previous year he was teaching English language and American studies at a Russian University. #1 son is an artist (no family is perfect). But I do have something you may do that not very many know how to do. Learn how to program these chips:

Green Arrays

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Is Your War On Drugs

Do not watch this video if you can't stand dogs getting shot and a SWAT team terrorizing a Columbia, Missouri family over a few pot pipes. I first blogged this on 10 May 2010. There has been some reaction to that video which I will get to shortly.

What was the disposition of the case?
In the end the victim pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in exchange for dropping the charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession and second-degree child endangerment. Yes, you read that right: the police burst into this man's home, shooting weapons in his home and killing his dog with his seven-year-old sleeping in the next room and he's the one who was endangering his child by smoking pot in his own home.
It seems that that was not the only disposition. Here is what Norm Stamper, Seattle’s retired Chief of Police, had to say today about the raid.
As they are forced onto the floor, a young male is brought into the room. He is handcuffed and pushed against a wall.

“What did I do? What did I DO?” he shouts, as the woman and the child cower on the floor nearby.

We then learn the source of the dog’s pained cries.

“You shot my dog, you shot my DOG!” the man suddenly shouts. “Why did you do that? He was a good dog! He was probably trying to play with you!”

He, the woman and the child all break into pitiful sobs.

As of late October, just five months after it was posted, the Columbia police raid video has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube. The clip quickly ricocheted across cyberspace, generating emotionally charged, outraged calls for the officers to be fired and prosecuted. Or subjected to the same kind of treatment that terrorized their fellow citizens.

Public indignation over the incident intensified when it was learned that the Columbia SWAT team was executing an eight-day-old search warrant, and that the only things seized were a pipe containing a small amount of marijuana residue. Since possession of small amounts of pot had long ago been essentially decriminalized in Columbia, the man was charged with simple possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

The reaction of Fox Business Network’s Andrew Napolitano was telling. In a segment about the raid that also found its way onto YouTube, the retired New Jersey Superior Court judge says, “This was America – not East Germany, not Nazi Germany, but middle America!”

Yet as former Cato staffer Radley Balko, who wrote about the Columbia video, has noted, what’s most remarkable about the raid is that it wasn’t remarkable at all. The only thing that made it unusual was that it was videotaped and made public, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Columbia Daily Tribune newspaper.
There are still a few "Americans" around who say the punishments are not near draconian enough. But they are getting fewer each day. And they are getting pariah status as any police state advocates should.

"Distrust anyone in whom the desire to punish is powerful" - Friedrich Nietzsche

Fortunately that distrust is growing every day. And one day it will be over and the folks behind these atrocities will do their best to avoid being connected in any way with their past. Just as after the war it was hard to find many Nazis in Germany. It really is a wonder that America has let things get this far.

But in a way it is not too surprising. It seems every country needs its scape goats. Germany had its Jews. America has its dopers. I just wonder who will be the targets of all that leftover police hardware when dopers are no longer suitable targets? They are going to need a whole new class of scapegoats.

Maybe we can learn from South Pacific.

On the other hand that was 1949. Evidently we have forgotten what was once as plain as the nose on your face. Mass hate leads to mass atrocities. And not even the Shining City on the Hill is immune. Especially when you consider that Jew hatred in America peaked in 1944. Just before the unmasking of the German atrocities. We are now in the process of unmasking a new round of hatred. It can't happen soon enough.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Taxing Christmas

The government is now taxing Christmas in order to pay for its wrecking of the economy.

In the pre-dawn darkness of a chilly LA morning, my day started off with a chuckle. A friend in the reforestation business sent me an email detailing the US Department of Agriculture’s new ‘Christmas Tree’ tax that was approved yesterday. I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.

One can only laugh at the absurdity of the government getting involved in such a matter. But it’s happening more and more.

You see, the United States is on a one-way collision course with its financial judgment day; the country long ago passed the historical point of no return– the point at which it has to start borrowing money simply to pay interest on the money it has already borrowed.

Throughout history, countries that passed this point of no return soon defaulted on their debts, entered into extended periods of severe inflation, or both. This is nothing new– the idea of a government going bankrupt is practically as old as the concept of government itself.
The free lunch is over.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Her Silence Is Deafening

I was reading a transcript of the above speech at Israpundit and decided to follow the link given to the source of the transcript. You can try that here: As you can see it comes up "Not Found". OK maybe Comcast is acting up again. So I look up Sarah Pac and what do you know? The donate page can be found fine. But when you click on the Home Page link there you get the same "Not Found" message. Something is up.

And something else is up. Sarah has been relatively quiet since that speech. I wonder what she is planning?

As I wrote in a comment at Israpundit:
The First Mate – who was never a Palin fan and in fact disdained her – after looking at the R field, was lamenting that Palin was not in the race. I have been a Palinista since 29 Aug. 2008.
Let me add that The Mate voted for Obama but has thoroughly learned her lesson by now.

There are those who would vote for a syphilitic camel in the next election rather than see Obama win. Why do that when you could vote for Sarah? If she runs. As a third party candidate. If she was in the race I'd vote for her. Any party. Any time. And given the Mate's reaction to the current field I think there may be a hidden reservoir of unnoticed support (how is that for redundancy?).

I think it is time the Republicans went the way of the Whigs. And they might very well do that if Sarah takes up the banner.

Update: 9 Nov 2011 1510z

McCain is fed up. He predicts the rise of a third party.

H/T filbert in the comments.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

In The Heart

I was reading the reviews of Spengler's new book How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) and came across this interesting bit:

David Goldman's book is hard to summarize, perhaps because it is so thought-provoking. It is also full of data which you have probably never seen before.

The most startling data describe what might be the impending collapse of the Iranian theocracy. It has been a complete failure in every direction, and even the mad, evil Ahmadinejad can see the handwriting on the wall. After thirty years of religious tyranny, it turns out that a mere two percent of Iranians attend mosque on Fridays. The birthrate has plummeted --- the steepest drop in fertility known to recorded history. Prostitution is pandemic, with a huge number of prostitutes being women who passed the university entrance exam, or who are actually studying at the university. They sell themselves not out of desperation but out of greed. Drug addiction now has hit 5 million men, among the work-force which is 35 million strong. Rumor has it that the Big Turbans on top of this seething volcano are now grabbing everything they can before their number is up, with billions of dollars disappearing from Iranian banks.

Gee, maybe Grandpa was right: "Religion is in the heart. It cannot be forced upon the people. You find the love within God, and with that love, you cherish life."

What is even more startling is that this is only the worst case in the Muslim world --- all of the oil-importing Muslim countries are facing disaster, with Egypt as a prime example: 80 million very backward people who need to buy half their bread from abroad. Well, tourism in Egypt is dead, for some STRANGE reason, and that foreign exchange has disappeared, and the price of wheat is going up up up as the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese buy more and more. We may well be looking at a desperate famine situation within twelve months.
I think that is exactly right. People have to find their faith. It can't be forced on them.

I didn't find my faith until I was in my late 20s. A big part of the reason is that I had a very difficult childhood due to the alcoholism of my father. But it was quite understandable in retrospect. His mother beat him. Badly. He often recounted an incident where she threw a meat axe at him. Very lucky for me - he ducked.

I'm not much of a believer in religion (in case you hadn't noticed). I think its effects are generally pernicious because religion is about power and power structures. Besides, I don't need faith. Why should I? I have experience. The Maker talks to me. And what has he been telling me?

He told me to start having children (I was 38 at the time and my mate was 34) not quite in Abraham/Sarah territory but still. We have 4 children.

1. An artist
2. UChicago graduate (with honors) in the Russian language
3. An Electrical Engineer
4. A Chemical Engineer

Not a lot of children to be sure. But way more than the average high tech geek. I couldn’t be happier about the advice. Especially since I was sure at age 30 that I would never have a family.

Every man (and woman) has to find his own way. It would be more than helpful in that respect if government would get out of the way. We will never have a moral nation with government forcing morality down people's throats. The example of Iran is very instructive in that regard. Forcing is counter to the best of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It must come from the heart. And heart is something government is not well known for. I'd like to see more Christian compassion and a lot less (Pharisee like) "the law is the law." Maybe for murder and theft. But extending that to what people eat, drink, and smoke - very unwise.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 07, 2011

China Opens The Gold Window

Well Gold ATMs actually.

China is one of the world's largest producers and purchasers of precious metals, especially gold and silver. Beijing has now unveiled its first gold ATM machine in a shopping district. More than 2,000 will be installed in the next two years.
I wonder if this is meant to sop up the money that no longer has confidence in Chinese real estate?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Iranians Are Starting A Polywell Fusion Project

There are more comments from the Iranians earlier in the thread. Here is one I found interesting.

It seems that Construction of WB7 or WB8 model isn't difficult. It will be possible for us.
Here is a real gem.
What I can't figure out is why the Israelis aren't on it.

The thread started because the Iranians had a paper published on Polywell in The Journal Of Fusion Energy.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Who Would Make Better Neighbors

From Man Mountain Molehill via e-mail.

Who would you rather have for neighbors?
pot heads
pill heads
puritan witch-hunting nutjobs

Which echos Robert Heinlein:

“Political tags–such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth–are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

Friday, November 04, 2011

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Charlie Rose discusses with brain scientists the nature of addiction. There are a few commercials at the beginning.

Update: The NIDA woman just repeats the DEA line - drugs hijack the brain. She never explains why only 10% of those who try heroin ever become addicted. She also makes no mention of the fact that about 70% of female heroin users were sexually molested as children. Something she must know.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Polywell Report - 3 Nov 2011

The researchers at Polywell Fusion have issued a report on their progress.

Project Status More than 50% Completed

Final Project Report Submitted No

Project Activities Description Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services

Quarterly Activities/Project Description As of 3Q/2011, the WB-8 device has generated over 500 high power plasma shots. EMC2 is conducting tests on Wiffle-Ball plasma scaling law on plasma heating and confinement.

Jobs Created 12.00

Description of Jobs Created two full time plasma physicists and one full time microwave engineer. In addition, one full time equivalent electrical engineer.
It is not much of a report but it is all we have.

H/T The Boys and Girls at Talk Polywell where you can find a discussion of the nuances.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Turning A Whole Generation Of Young People Against The System

House member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) says the Drug War is turning a whole generation against the system. Given that pot use peaks in the 16 to 25 year age bracket and that roughly 50% of that cohort are at least occasional users it seems like a really stupid move.

“Marijuana is not the problem,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), said at a House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security oversight hearing. “It’s turning a whole generation of young people against the system and that’s something we can’t afford.”

Robinson said her office would look into how many Byrne law enforcement grants are used to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for enforcement of cannabis possession laws.

Cohen pressed Robinson to justify the federal government’s role in encouraging the enforcement of laws that the congressman said disproportionately affects people of color and tarnishes the records of young people for their entire lives.
And Rep. Cohen is a little off. He should have said "another generation".

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Dialog With The 99%

The New American has some thoughts on the OWS (is that like multiple owies?).
Wall Street drank the alcohol that the Federal Reserve poured. If there was no Fed pouring the alcohol, if Fannie and Freddie weren’t guaranteeing all these mortgages, Wall Street wouldn’t have originated them. So it was Wall Street working with government, but the source of the problem was the government. Government started it. That’s how come when I was warning about the crisis back in 2004-2005, begging the Fed to raise interest rates, trying to get Fannie and Freddie out of the mortgage guarantee business, nobody wanted to listen to me.
Read the whole thing. And watch the video.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Walking Robot

H/T ECN Magazine


I got one of those annoying IM pop ups on my e-mail and for S&Gs I decided to engage (warp drive plus impulse engines). So I start chatting. Since I am not biting right away the female in question gave me a link to "her" site. Well she was looking good with not too many clothes on. Plus she promised to let me watch her squirt. I tired of it and signed off.

Today, same "girl" (according to her handle) but a different picture. However the conversation went exactly the same way as yesterday (when I started this little amusement). I suspect there is no girl. Just an AI program like Lisa designed to get men to sign up for the site. And in fact according to the Lisa site that may be exactly what is happening.

LISA, the future of advanced AI. A pretty bold statement I believe and one which – OK, “she” may not be the future of anything, but LISA is already promising to provide a leap forward in chatbot technology. And that’s what this site is all about, the chronicling of LISA from a few lines of code to realistic and “intelligent” speech.
So much for romance.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Drug Cartel PR?

Thanks to Howard Wooldridge of Citizens Opposing Prohibition I have a link to what purports to be a Mexican Drug Cartel PR site. We Are The Cartels. They boast on their current front page: Mexican Drug Cartel Association – Now offering To-Your-Door Service in many cities.

There is another page that I found interesting.

Breaking News

October 13, 2011 – California:

We applaud the efforts of the DEA today, as they destroy the Northstone Organics in Mendocino County. In fact we applaud all efforts of the DEA to destroy these so-called ‘legal, medical marijuana’ gardens.

Drug trafficking helping economy along border: October 17, 2011

This from a newspaper account whereby Marin “Gordo” Herrera, a former associate of the MDCA, was able to take the money he earned and develop a successful housing area in a suburb near McAllen, Texas.

Although now serving 20 years in a federal prison, the houses remain as testimony of the positive impact of his employment with us.
I wonder if this is for real or if it is a way of making fun of Drug Prohibition? Either way.....

BTW Howard, a retired police detective, educates Congress on the evils of Drug Prohibition. If you can - send him a few bucks.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Melt Down In The Works

According to Zero Hedge our financial system is on the brink of a collapse bigger than the one that happened in 2008. This all comes about because the risks the banks are taking internationally are accounted as if the financial system is going to work properly and cover them. But what if the system can't cover?

A little over a month ago, Zero Hedge started an avalanche in the financial sector, and an unprecedented defense thereof by the "independent" financial media and conflicted sell side, by being simply the messenger in pointing out that the gross exposure of one Morgan Stanley to the French banking sector is $39 billion. The firestorm of protests, which naturally focused on the messenger, and not the message, attempted to refute the claims that Morgan Stanley (and many others) are overexposed to Europe (both banks and countries) by stating that gross is not net, and that when one nets out "hedges" the real exposure is far, far lower. The logic is that bilateral netting, as the principle behind this argument is called, should always work - no matter the market, and that counterparty risk, especially when it comes to hedges, should always be ignored because banks will always honor their own derivative exposure. Obviously that this failed massively when AIG had to be bailed out, to preserve precisely the tortured and failed logic of bilateral netting was completely ignored, after all things will never get that bad again, right? Well, wrong. Because the argument here is precisely what the exposure is when the chain of netting breaks, when one or more counterparties go under (such as MF Global for example, which filed bankruptcy precisely due to its hedged (?) European exposure - luckily MF was not in the business of writing CDS on European banks or else all hell would be breaking loose right now). So little by little the story was forgotten: after all when everyone says gross is not net, contrary to what history shows us all too often, everyone must be right. Today it is time to refresh this story, as none other than Bloomberg pulls the scab right off and while confirming our observations, also goes further: yes, banks are not only massively exposed to Europe, but they are in essence misrepresenting this exposure to the public by a factor of well over ten!
For all intents and purposes Greece is gone. Terrible to be sure but barely manageable. But what happens when Italy goes? Or Ireland, or Spain, or Portugal, or all of them plus others? Like China.


Cross Posted at Classical Values

Change Is In The Wind

Except the Senate has not changed at all and the House not much.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Hi Tech Powered By Pot

It appears that industries powered by brains, commonly referred to as high tech, are also powered by marijuana.

Almost 92% of the people that work in the technology and telecommunications industries answered "yes" to the survey's question asking if they had ever smoked cannabis.

"Obviously, cannabis users work in a variety of professions," said James Malach, creative director at technology firm TongueWag, which commissioned the survey, "but the high proportion of users in the IT sector is considerably higher than we suspected."
The study says nothing much about current use in high tech. But even so. Think about what would happen to our high tech industries (the engines of our current prosperity such as it is) if a significant fraction of those folks had wound up with a pot conviction after trying the herb in their youth.

In my own experience in high tech, I would estimate that between 1/4 and 1/2 of the engineers I worked with were regular users. Of course there is no way for me to tell for certain (thus the wide variance in numbers) because no one with a job is going to admit to pot use and thus lose their job.

Update: I found a site which discusses the anecdotal evidence of pot use in high tech. Here is a bit from the site:
Several heavy pot smokers I’ve known have also been some of the smartest and most productive I’ve worked with. People seem to use these drugs to unwind, to blow off steam, and I’ve never seen anyone have trouble keeping it out of the workplace. If people have substance problems it’s more likely alcoholism.

Cross Posted at Classical Values