Friday, June 02, 2006


*Sigh* It seems that the Washington State Legislature will have to step in to prevent pharmacists from practicing medicine by over ruling a legal prescription written by a doctor for her patient. For a group that is supposedly against abortion, this tactic makes no sense. Of course, that's not what the group is really against. If they were (and if they understood the medicine that they allegedly want to practice), then they wouldn't be against Plan B and would strongly promote birth control pills and condoms. What they are really against is contraception in total and this sort of thing provides them with a loophole to avoid prescribing not only contraception, but any number of treatments where they disapprove of the derivation of said treatment. So, for instance, if a cure for prostate cancer were to appear tomorrow thanks to stem cell research, some pharmamentalist could refuse to fulfill the prescription. Wake up, people!

In other health news, Switzerland, which adopted a liberalized drug policy ten year's ago reports an 82 percent drop in heroin usage. Bill Burroughs argued this exact case for years - that prohibition actually increased drug usage and a trend towards harder drugs. Anti-drug use folks like to point out the spike that usually follows the initial liberalization, but the long term benefits have now been measured and point towards a drop in harder drugs. Note: I tend towards a libertarian position when it comes to drug laws.

Rolling Stone's article on how the 2004 election may have been stolen by Republicans is pretty damning and deserves a read. Clip:

The issue of what happened in 2004 is not an academic one. For the second election in a row, the president of the United States was selected not by the uncontested will of the people but under a cloud of dirty tricks. Given the scope of the GOP machinations, we simply cannot be certain that the right man now occupies the Oval Office -- which means, in effect, that we have been deprived of our faith in democracy itself.

American history is littered with vote fraud -- but rather than learning from our shameful past and cleaning up the system, we have allowed the problem to grow even worse. If the last two elections have taught us anything, it is this: The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system. If people lose faith that their votes are accurately and faithfully recorded, they will abandon the ballot box. Nothing less is at stake here than the entire idea of a government by the people.

Voting, as Thomas Paine said, ''is the right upon which all other rights depend.'' Unless we ensure that right, everything else we hold dear is in jeopardy.

Somalia becomes a new front in the so-called War on Terror. The resulting U.S. policy sounds a lot like past U.S. policies used in Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Hey, it worked so well the first time, let's try it again! Clip:
Now the US is backing the same warlords who humiliated them the last time. Among the beneficiaries of Washington's new policy is Hussein Mohammed Aidid, the son of Mohammed Farah Aidid, on whom the Americans had once placed a bounty of $1m (£535,000). Aidid died 10 years ago.
Scary: fish stocks in England are hit by a deadly, rare virus. Counts show that 50,000 rainbow trout are dead.

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