aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, October 16, 2005
It’s not the blog
A colleague read my blog today. Uh oh:
[L]ast week’s vote by his departmental peers to recommend against tenure for [37-year-old University of Chicago assistant professor Daniel] Drezner has reverberated in the small circle of academics who blog and in the larger one of bloggers generally.
Web lore abounds with tales of people being fired for blogging about their jobs, but it seems to be an especially touchy issue in the academy, bound by both tradition and a tendency to discredit work done in the public sphere.
The concern, as elucidated by Drezner on his blog and in an August Tribune article on the dangers of blogging, is that maintaining a Web log will be seen as a diversion from the real scholarship an academic ought to be doing.
Phew! I’m staff, not faculty. And this is leisurely civic engagement, not scholarship (lest you were confused).
How it would work:
1) Permit private companies to compete for licenses to cultivate, harvest, manufacture, package and peddle drugs.
2) Create a new federal regulatory agency (with no apologies to libertarians or paleo-conservatives).
3) Set and enforce standards of sanitation, potency and purity.
4) Ban advertising.
5) Impose (with congressional approval) taxes, fees and fines to be used for drug-abuse prevention and treatment and to cover the costs of administering the new regulatory agency.
6) Police the industry much as alcoholic beverage control agencies keep a watch on bars and liquor stores at the state level. Such reforms would in no way excuse drug users who commit crimes: driving while impaired, providing drugs to minors, stealing an iPod or a Lexus, assaulting one’s spouse, abusing one’s child. The message is simple. Get loaded, commit a crime, do the time.
From Chief Stamper’s plea for legalized drugs:
...Not until we choose to frame responsible drug use - not an oxymoron in my dictionary - as a civil liberty will we be able to recognize the abuse of drugs, including alcohol, for what it is: a medical, not a criminal, matter…
...The huge increases in federal and state prison populations during the 1980s and ‘90s (from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 482 per 100,000 in 2003) were mainly for drug convictions…
...In 1980, 580,900 Americans were arrested on drug charges. By 2003, that figure had ballooned to 1,678,200. We’re making more arrests for drug offenses than for murder, manslaughter, forcible rape and aggravated assault combined. Feel safer?…
...[expose] the embarrassingly meager return on our massive enforcement investment (about $69 billion a year, according to Jack Cole, founder and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)…
Let those dopers be
A former police chief tells it like it is:
SOMETIMES PEOPLE in law enforcement will hear it whispered that I’m a former cop who favors decriminalization of marijuana laws, and they’ll approach me the way they might a traitor or snitch. So let me set the record straight.
Yes, I was a cop for 34 years, the last six of which I spent as chief of Seattle’s police department.
But no, I don’t favor decriminalization. I favor legalization, and not just of pot but of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, psychotropics, mushrooms and LSD. Read on.
Via Dan Gillmore.