This is truly sick. How much time and money are we wasting on crap like this? This undercover cop actually led some poor kid to fall in love with her, eventually asking him to buy her some weed. Now he’s got a record for a pointless, victimless crime that he was essentially seduced into committing. This is what America’s “war on drugs” has led to, folks: wasted money and jails crowded with nonviolent offenders while freely-sold alcohol continues to kill millions.
More fun from the self-loathing society: This American Life had a show about how young female undercover cops infiltrated a high school and flirted with boys to entrap them into selling pot, so they could charge them with felonies and destroy their lives at an early age.
I’ve heard the term “homeopathic” for many years but I’ve never bothered to check into exactly what it was. Then a few years ago I read a book that touched on the subject and described its basic principles, and it sounded like utter nonsense to me. Diluting a substance to the point where only a single molecule (if even that) still exists, then calling it “medicine”? They’ve got to be kidding. But no, this has been practiced for over a century as legitimate treatment for all kinds of ailments, and people actually believe it works — even on animals. Some of these treatments go beyond mega-dilutions into other woo-woo areas such as crystal therapy, “water memory”, flower remedies, and other such twaddlecock. The Wikipedia entry about it is a great read.
Comedy genius team Mitchell & Webb summed up these ideas perfectly in this sketch, which shows what would happen if homeopathy were the sole treatment offered in the ER. It’s so wonderfully bitchy.
The clincher for me, however, was watching James Randi swallow an entire bottle of a homeopathic sleeping aid onstage during a TED Talk. His point? If these things actually work, he should pass out and overdose within a short time. Needless to say, nothing happened during his entire talk. Not even a yawn. What more proof do you need? In fact, last year a large number of skeptics around the world pulled the same stunt, swallowing entire bottles of homeopathic “medications” to no effect whatsoever. The event was organized by 1023.org.uk, and if they do it again this year I’d like to participate.
This brings me to my own experience with this stuff. In November I was diagnosed with a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the joints — a form of arthritis, but one that falls outside the usual categories and can afflict people of all ages. (I’m only 40 for Mithras’ sake!) This has caused my right knee to become all but useless, and my doctor has put me on a couple of steroidal medications to fight the inflammation and help it heal. One of the side effects of the medication happens to be a loss of potassium and magnesium in the body, which results in leg and foot cramps. Ugh, they’re horrible.
So one day I was in Rite-Aid and spotted these pills that claimed to help leg cramps. ”Hmmm, this might be worth a try,” I thought. I’d already started taking potassium supplements, but these supposedly were good to take just before bed and even during cramping. So I paid $7.99 for a bottle and gave it a try that night. No cramps! The next night I did have cramps, though, so I took a couple of the pills and about 10 minutes later they went away. Hmmm. The next day I looked at the box more closely to see what the ingredients were. There was a long list, each with a “12X” or “6X” next to it. Whaaa…? That’s when I took another look at the front of the box, and waayyyy up in the upper right-hand corner I saw the word Homeopathic in itty-bitty letters.
The “12X” stuff means the original substance has been diluted that many times. And 12X (6C) dilution means there’s practically no substance left. Here, let Wikipedia explain:
A 2C dilution requires a substance to be diluted to one part in one hundred, and then some of that diluted solution diluted by a further factor of one hundred. This works out to one part of the original substance in 10,000 parts of the solution. A 6C dilution repeats this process six times, ending up with the original material diluted by a factor of 100-6=10-12 (one part in one trillion or 1/1,000,000,000,000). Higher dilutions follow the same pattern. In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher potency, and more dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting remedies. The end product is often so diluted that it is indistinguishable from the dilutant (pure water, sugar or alcohol).
That’s like putting a drop of medicine into Lake Erie and then drinking the whole thing. Think that’s gonna be potent stuff? Dream on, tampon!
I immediately stopped taking them. Why? They seemed to work, right? No, not with this new information. The cramping wasn’t a nightly event, after all, so that first night I simply didn’t have any. The pills had nothing to do with it. And when I cramped up on the second night, they went away in about 10 minutes…just like they always have, all my life. So instead of paying $8 for some sort of muscle relaxant like I thought, I wasted that money on sugar pills that contained a bunch of diluted-to-nothingness ingredients. In fact, the only legitimate substance in this “medication” is quinine, which has its own interesting history (it was once used to fight malaria). I feel like an idiot for falling for it, but that Homeopathic label is very small on the box and the sheer amount of text crammed onto that package is a little ridiculous. Usually I’m more observant than that when buying medicine — but I was in a rush and in severe discomfort, and I just wanted to get out of there with my stuff.
Never again, my friends. The placebo effect is a powerful thing, it can make you think anything is possible. Even unscientific nonsense like this.
Well what do you know? Beer distributors in CA are fighting the legalization of marijuana. Now, why in the world would they do that? Uh-huh. Could be because marijuana has not been proven to be addictive? Because it doesn’t hook you or create a chemical dependence the way alcohol does? Yeah, I wonder. Alcohol makes people depressed, violent, and belligerent. It destroys people and families. Pot just makes you lazy, hungry, and stupid. When was the last time you saw some guy stoned at a baseball game screaming and yelling at the umpire, and picking fights with people around him? Or stoned and beating the shit out of his wife and kid because he ran out of Doritos?
This isn’t to say that alcohol should be outlawed, because we all know that’s not the answer, but let’s not pretend pot is just as bad or worse, shall we? Thanks!
The folks who deliver beer and other beverages to liquor stores have joined the fight against legalizing marijuana in California.
On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors gave $10,000 to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.
Rhonda Stevenson, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors political action committee’s coordinator, was out of the office on Wednesday. Nobody else from the group was available to comment.
“Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear,” Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in statement. “Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition. Their mission is to drive people to drink.”
I’m always looking for another excuse to say “Fuck Texas!”, so here we go. This kid was booted from school for having bloodshot eyes, because anyone with bloodshot eyes is OBVIOUSLY doing drugs. OBVIOUSLY. I mean, nothing else causes red eyes! It’s a proven fact!
So when the truth came out — that he had actually been mourning the recent murder of his father — the school compassionately forced him to take a drug test before coming back to school. Guess what? He was clean.
Administrators at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club suspended a 16-year-old boy on Tuesday because his eyes were bloodshot and they thought he might have been smoking marijuana.
The teen said he was not high. Instead his eyes were red because he had been grieving the loss of his murdered father.
Kyler Robertson’s father was stabbed to death on Sunday. His mother honored his wishes and let him go to school on Tuesday to be with his friends.
Fritz said she was told by the assistant principal that she could have Kyler tested for drugs within two hours and if it was negative he could return to school. She did just that.
Kyler was allowed to return to class after he showed school administrators a copy of his negative test results.
The teen’s mom still wants an apology from administrators and she wants the district to remove the suspension from his permanent record. She is in the process of appealing it.
The sports world was shaken to its very core as Michael Phelps, darling swimmer of the 2008 Olympics, admitted that he did smoke pot from a bong as depicted in a tabloid photo.
“I’m 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me,” Phelps said. “For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public — it will not happen again.”
Once again the moronic idea that pot is somehow more dangerous than alcohol rears its stupid head. This is pot we’re talking about, people…it’s nothing to get worked up about. Shit, you’d think these people had caught him doing crystal meth or heroin! This apology was complete nonsense, meant only to keep his sponsors
from pulling out and to get the high-and-mighty (drug-abusing,
alcohol-swilling, wife-beating) sports world off his back.
You know what, Mike? Fuck these people…stop apologizing and smoke all you want. You own your body, not the state or your manager or the alleged millions who look up to you as their ultimate sports hero of all time. You control what happens to it and what goes into it, and you obviously know how to take care of it because you swim like a goddamn dolphin. If it doesn’t affect your performance, go ahead and puff up once in a while. You’ve earned it. Just watch out for people carrying cameras next time, mmmkay? Mmmkay.
And this hero-worship notion that his bong hits are going to somehow destroy the hopes and dreams of millions of kids is asinine. This is what guys in their early 20′s do, for fuck’s sake! Cut him some slack. Hell, I’d be smoking too if I was under that kind of public microscope.
An article written by an Israeli professor of cognitive philosophy suggests that Moses was likely high on psychedelic drugs when he saw the burning bush and heard trumpets blaring from the sky.
According to Shanon, a professor at Hebrew University, two naturally existing plants in the Sinai Peninsula have the same psychoactive components as ones found in the Amazon jungle and are well-known for their mind-altering capabilities. The drugs are usually combined in a drink called ayahuasca.
Well, isn’t that interesting! Remember Terence McKenna and the gnomelike “elf-clowns of hyperspace” he used to converse with? Ayahuasca caused him to experience all that. So maybe Moses was just clowning around. Ho-ho!
Personally I love this notion of drug-induced religious visions. I can’t claim to have seen “God” or anything like that, but while muching magic truffles in Amsterdam I did see something on the crinkly surface of a brown paper bag. The moment I thought it looked a little like a dancing Shiva, suddenly it was Shiva dancing for me. Guess I’d better shave my hair and head for the Ganges, hmmm? (Actually this happened again later with the wallpaper and curtains, so I didn’t read too much into it…)
This is seriously crappy news: the Netherlands is planning to ban the sale of magic mushrooms. Thanks to a few stupid, irresponsible tourists, those who enjoy mushrooms responsibly will be out of luck, despite the Netherlands’ mature and logical approach to drug laws. Shroom use won’t go away, though…it will go underground where the government will be unable to monitor its usage, which makes this move an unwise one. Prohibition simply doesn’t work — people will find a way to get what they want, including mail-order and learning to grow at home. And let’s not forget the incredible idiocy of criminalizing a naturally-growing substance when alcohol is heavily marketed and 100% legal. They tell us “Please drink responsibly”, so why not telling us to eat responsibly as well? The whole thing is fucking insane, and it’s no different than the way the government treats marijuana here in the U.S.
When we visited Amsterdam in 2006, we bought some magic truffles and had the experience of a lifetime. I can’t recall the last time I was filled with such awe and childlike curiosity, before or after that night. I saw astonishing, dazzling, unfathomable things with my eyes and my mind that I simply can’t describe, though I’ve tried…it was a kind of revelation and I will never forget it as long as I live. Most people who take shrooms have this type of experience, though if you’re depressed or are overly stressed about something you may not enjoy it much. The key is to take them in a safe, comfortable environment and only have a small dose if you’ve never done it before. People need to educate themselves before dabbling in any sort of psychoactive drug. The coffee bar where we got our “special” brownies slipped a small note under each one, letting us know how much was in it and other information. Why can’t they do the same for mushrooms? Include a little pamphlet explaining safe and responsible use, and if the tourists are stupid enough to ignore it, then they pay whatever price comes their way.
So I’m really bummed about this. There’s a small chance that it won’t actually happen (or so I’ve read), but right now it looks like our friend psilocybe tampanensis is off the table for our next visit to Amsterdam.
Disney to end childrens’ suffering
Fascinating news: Disney will officially stop making worthless, crapulent DVD sequels to its hit movies. They’re working on “The Little Mermaid III” at the moment, and that’s the last of them. Apparently Steve Jobs (Disney’s biggest shareholder) slammed them for being “embarrassing” and of very little quality, something that’s painfully obvious without watching a single one. I’ve always sort of marveled at the growing number of idiotic sequels and the relentless marketing behind them. (I even tried to put together a complete list once, but couldn’t stomach it.) They simply have no shame, greedily raping their classic movies with sucky sequels. But that’s Disney for ya…it betrays a stunning lack of creativity and talent, and it’s no wonder Pixar’s stuff is light years ahead.
Cleansing our sinful bits (and bytes)
Just when you thought that virtual worlds like Second Life were safe from the crazies, along come the Catholics. They’re planning to send missionaries into Second Life to preach and try to convert people. Seriously. Saving virtual souls in a virtual world? It’s virtually insane! On the other hand, if we could get them to keep all their soul-saving confined to virtual worlds, we wouldn’t have to be bothered with it out here where normal people live. Now there’s an idea…
You’re all dangerous terrorists
The moronic and phony “war on drugs” continues, with a federal official coming right out and calling pot farmers “dangerous terrorists.” It’s simply laughable, but too many people take this shit seriously. Personally I consider it terrorism to throw people in jail for smoking an herb while millions of alcoholics who get their drugs legally are actually destroying lives, but that’s just me…
How much does it cost to jail the countless people who enjoy inhaling the smoke from a certain burning herb? According to DrugReporter, it’s costing America one fucking billion dollars per year to lock up people who commit this nonviolent, victimless “crime.” Everyone knows the so-called War on Drugs is a complete sham, but it’s definitely performing its real job: making people feel safe, giving them an enemy to fight on “home turf”, and keeping those jails full so it seems like we’re doing some good. It also attempts to steer people towards the legal (profitable) drugs which actually kill you, like alcohol and nicotine. Oh, and prescription drugs…those are real popular with the kids nowadays, have you heard?
Imagine if they’d spend that $1 billion on helping victims of things that actually destroy people and families. Crystal meth and alcohol come to mind. But no…America is sleeping. They’re too engrossed in shopping malls and reality T.V. to give a shit about anything that really matters. They are quiet, docile creatures who will swallow anything as long as critical thinking is isn’t on the menu. Shhhh, don’t wake them…let them sleep and enjoy sweet, ignorant dreams.
The Mayor of Moscow recently called Gay Pride parades “Satanic.” Hmmm, I’ve been to plenty of these things and never once noticed anything to do with Satan. Well, some of the guys were dressed like drag-devils with horns, but that’s about it.
A story on Digg claims that frequent YouTube users atch less T.V. and skip more advertisements. Considering the massive number of people who use YouTube religiously, I think that this may be the definitive sign that the public simply hates being bothered with ads. You don’t have to be a “wired” person to hate ads, of course, but the YouTube/MySpace crowd is a huge market and I’m wondering what the marketing scumbags will do to reach them…
Holy fucking shit: 94% of all email in December was spam. Is that even possible? If so, isn’t it time to put out a bounty on these guys who control the botnets? Seriously, I think someone should offer a cash reward for anyone who can nab one of these assholes and bring them to the authorities beaten to a bloody pulp.
ABC News asks the deeply probing question, “Are drug ads misleading?” Gee, what do you think? I think they’re spending more money on flashy, misleading commercials than proving they’re actually safe to take. And get a load of those ads for HIV medications: muscular, ripped men in tight shirts (or no shirt at all) snowboarding thru the Himalayas. Yeah, that’s realistic.
An old article about how the RIAA are the real music pirates has surfaced in Digg, and it’s a fascinating read. Guess who wrote it? Courtney Love. It’s amazingly lucid and informative. Pretty good for a crack whore. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Last week’s big “terrorism” scare in Boston has resulted in a couple of arrests and a $2 million fine for the marketing assholes involved. I don’t know who I’m disgusted with more: the ad agency or the doe-eyed Americans who are jumping at shadows and cowering with fear. This kind of advertising is idiotic, but apparently it works. These showed up in several other cities as well, and Boston seems to be the only city that thought it was under attack… Have you seen the “terror hoax” (actual term used in the media) they’re talking about? What kind of terrorist puts up homemade LED cartoons? Jesus Christ monkeyballs, pull yourselves together!