Our Slave State

Medical marijuana bill fails,” by Brad Perriello, Associated Press, http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/10759565.htm, 28 January 2005.

Treat adults like adults? Have mercy on the sick? Not in South Dakota!

Marijuana should not be legalized for medical purposes in South Dakota, legislators decided Friday.

The House Health Committee voted 11-1 against a bill that would have allowed people with certain debilitating illnesses to use pot.

HB1109 would have given doctors permission to prescribe up to 5 ounces of marijuana for those who suffer from such diseases as cancer, glaucoma and AIDs, and for people with chronic pain, nausea or seizures.

Rep. Gerald Lange, D-Madison, said the bill provides a necessary alternative for patients who do not get relief from traditional medications.

“There are certain debilitating medical conditions that are rather untreatable by contemporary medical practices,” said Lange, prime sponsor of the bill.

The measure would have required doctors to certify in writing that patients suffer from qualifying diseases and explain the risks and benefits of marijuana use to them. In addition, both doctors and patients would have had to register with the Health Department.

The excuse? It’s because South Dakota, a state that blockaded Canada, the last state that fought to the Surpeme Court to allow 20 year olds to drink, a state courageously fights against Federal governments and its insane bantuland treaties, suddenly believes in federal supremacy

Charlie McGuigan, an assistant state attorney general, urged legislators to reject the bill. He said marijuana use would still be a federal crime if the bill became state law.

And let’s not forget that South Dakota, a state which bitterly fought against seat-belt laws and federal speed limits, suddely cares about your health

Marijuana causes many adverse health effects, McGuigan said…

And let’s not forget that South Dakota, where even our Republican Senator supports importing prescriptions from Canada, now cares about drug company profits

…adding that the active ingredient in marijuana is currently available in prescription form.

Remember…

It’s not your tax dollars, it’s the government‘s tax dollars
It’s not your child, it’s the government‘s child
It’s not your body, it’s the government‘s body

Oil Shock

Conservation Can Work,” by Andrew Sullivan, AndrewSullivan.com, http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_01_23_dish_archive.html#110686746926682550, 27 January 2005.

One of my first posts was on the need for cutting oil consumption. Even a margial cut in oil hurts the tyrants who enslave their people, and forces democratic reforms. Money is power, and taking money away from powerful forces can change history.

This is not saying that we need to boycott Middle East oil. Or that China and India should be prevented from making their investments. But marginal demand is power, and if we can reduce the marginal demand for oil we can spead reforms throughout the Greater Middle East.

A writer to Andrew Sullivan agrees

What Klingle doesn’t understand is that it is not about just states “sponsoring terrorism”, but forcing these sclerotic Middle East economies to face the same forces of dynamism that the rest of the world deals with it, resulting in more liberal societies. Not all countries in the Middle East have lots of oil. In fact countries like Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE have very little of it, and not coincidentally they represent the most liberal societies in the region. There is a strong argument that the societal unrest building in Iran is due in large part to their exploding population outgrowing the Mullah’s oil revenue, crippling their ability to buy off interests within society. We could help push them over the edge with a concerted effort to cut our oil demand.

Well said.

Juan Cole Crack-Up?

Feith Resigns Under Pressure of Investigations,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/feith-resigns-under-pressure-of.html, 28 January 2005.

I have cited Juan Cole before. He is very informed and up to date, if a bit pessimistic. But what’s the deal with this?

Douglas Feith, the number three man at the Pentagon who went there from the pro-Likud Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Project for a New American Century, will leave the Pentagon as of this summer. Feith’s office is the subject of an FBI investigation as well as two Congressional investigations, one by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Feith helped set up an Office of Special Plans in the Near East and South Asia desk of the Pentagon to cherry-pick Iraq intelligence and create a case for Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and having operational links with al-Qaeda. At one point, contrary to Federal law, Feith’s people actually briefed officials in the Executive on intelligence. Feith sent David Wurmser from the Office of Special Plans, once its work was well under way, over to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, so that he could stove pipe OSP analyses into the VP’s office and thence directly to the president, doing an end run around the CIA and the State Department Intelligence and Research division.

Having a Likudnik as the number three man in the Pentagon is a nightmare for American national security, since Feith could never be trusted to put US interests over those of Ariel Sharon. In the build-up to the Iraq War, Feith had a phalanx of Israeli generals visiting him in the Pentagon and ignored post-9/11 requirements that they sign in. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was a vocal advocate of a US war against Iraq, who “put pressure” on Washington about it. (If Sharon wanted a war against Iraq, why didn’t he fight it himself instead of pushing it off on American boys?)

Feith has been questioned by the FBI in relation to the passing by one of his employees of confidential Pentagon documents to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which in turn passed them to the Israeli embassy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating Feith. There seems little doubt that he operated in the Pentagon in such a way as to produce false and misleading “intelligence,” that he created an entirely false impression of Iraqi weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaeda, and that he is among the chief facilitators of the US war in Iraq.

Feith is clearly resigning ahead of the possible breaking of major scandals concerning his tenure at the Department of Defense, which is among the more disgraceful cases of the misleading of the American people in American history.

There are several downsides to Feith’s departure, as welcome as it is for anyone who cares about US security in particular. The first is that now we probably have to see him forever on cable news channels as one of those dreary neocon talking heads flogged by the American Enterprise Institute, a far rightwing “think tank” funded by cranky rich people to obscure the truth. Another is that his departure now may help keep Bush from being blamed for his shady dealings in intelligence “analysis.”

It is important to note that what is objectionable about Feith is a) his playing fast and loose with the truth, producing poor intelligence analysis that has been shown to be completely false and b) his doing so on behalf of not only American nationalist aspirations but also on behalf of a non-American political party, the Likud coalition of Israel, which desired to destroy the Oslo peace process initiated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (and which was therefore on the same side of this issue as the fanatic who assassinated Rabin). There is no objection to Americans having multiple identities or love for more than one country. Someone of Serbian heritage would make a perfectly good Pentagon administrator. But you wouldn’t want a vehement supporter of Slobodon Milosevic as the number three man in the Pentagon. It is ideological dual loyalty that is dangerous. Mere sentiment based on multiple ethnic identities is not dual loyalty, and hyphenated Americans mostly have other countries they wish well (and rightly so).

Juan Cole may be passing off Jewish conspiracy theories, but at least he isn’t bigoted.

It is also important to underline that only a small minority of American Jews support the Likud Party or its policies, and that a majority of Jewish Americans opposed the Iraq war. In short, the problematic nature of Feith’s tenure at the Department of Defense must not be made an excuse for any kind of bigotry.

*sigh*

So Dr. Cole is passing off conspiracy theories and half-truths in an attempt to discredit a Pentagon official who, horror of horrors, may have briefed higher-ups.

America’s Secret War is making me rethinking some of my analysis. Dr. Cole is making me rethink some of his.

At least it is not this bad.