Not sure how I missed the return of Tenacious D till now, but they’re back:
Though the new stuff seems to lack the jean-creaming, eargasm-inducing Rocket Sauce of classics like “Tribute”, I’m starting to warm up to what I’ve seen and heard. Guess I’ll have to find a copy of their new full-length album Rize of the Fenix.
This one is pretty hilarious (and rocks sufficiently):
In an editorial called “Canadians didn’t elect the Tories to spy on them” Province editors criticize Conservative plans to give police the power to spy on everything you do on the Internet (in real-time, even).
From the editorial:
Three days before the May 2 federal election when Stephen Harper and his Tories won a majority, this newspaper endorsed him and his party to govern Canada.
We did that for two reasons: a belief, after too many year of ineffective minority governments, that Harper was the only leader capable of forming a majority, and a view that the Harper team was best suited to manage Canada’s economy and federal spending. Many Canadian voters agreed.
But we now join what should become an even larger (and hopefully louder) majority of Canadians in denouncing and opposing the Tories’ so-called “lawful access” legislation that will give police unprecedented access to the personal information of Internet users — names, addresses, phone numbers and online ID numbers — without court oversight.
This is how I responded in the article’s comments section:
No no no. The Province is just as guilty as the Conservatives for this.
The Province endorsed the Tories knowing damn well what they would do. It wasn’t like the Cons were trying to keep it a secret or something. They had promised to pass these and other horrible bills like C-10 right after taking office, and your paper endorsed them.
The Province editors, and editors of other mainstream Canadian papers, deserve just as much scorn and shame as the Conservatives do. Maybe more, because the Province editors pretend to defend and protect Canadians when they are really the propaganda masters helping to make sure the ‘business-friendly’ politicians get elected.
An Internet spying bill was introduced by Conservatives before the election. Do the editors expect us to believe they just forgot about that when they endorsed Harper for PM and wrote “A Tory majority would be best for Canada”?
Our memories aren’t that bad.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to riffle through your underwear drawer and sniff your panties.
Or, at least, the digital equivalent:
The Conservative government plans to introduce a law on Monday that will allow police to better monitor the web-surfing habits of Canadians.
Entitled Bill C-51, “an Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and others Acts,” the law would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to install equipment that would allow them to monitor and preserve the Internet surfing activities of their customers. The providers could then be asked by police to collect and preserve surfing data of anyone suspected in engaging in criminal activity.
The law also makes it easier for law enforcement authorities to activate tracking mechanisms within cellphones so they can know the whereabouts of suspected criminals. If they’re suspected of being international terrorists, the law would allow such tracking to go on for a year, rather than the current 60-day limit.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada says the bill “would substantially diminish the privacy rights of Canadians” and “make it easier for the state to subject more individuals to surveillance and scrutiny.”
In a letter sent to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, the country’s top privacy watchdog questioned the Harper government’s motivations for implementing the new laws:
It is also noteworthy that at no time have Canadian authorities provided the public with any evidence or reasoning to suggest that CSIS or any other Canadian law enforcement agencies have been frustrated in the performance of their duties as a result of shortcomings attributable to current law, TSPs or the manner in which they operate. New powers should be demonstrably necessary as well as proportionate. Ultimately, even if Canadian authorities can show investigations are being frustrated in a digital environment, all the various powers that would be granted to address these issues must be subject to rigorous, independent oversight.
So why does Harper want to install an Orwellian Telescreen system in every home?
University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist may have the answer:
As an example of the new powers, Geist said authorities would be able to use equipment to isolate cellphone numbers of people attending a protest, and then be able to ask a cellphone company to disclose personal information of the people attached to those cellphone numbers.
Geist also said “the information obtained by police here could be shared with their counterparts around the world,” like our ‘buddies’ in the United States.
At this point, our only hope is to make enough noise that Harper’s goons will fear a backlash in the next election. Please sign the Stop Online Spying petition at OpenMedia.ca and let your MP know how you feel – and tell everyone you know to do the same.
Fred the cockatiel is usually feeling a bit peckish…
Eating junkfood on his 20th birthday:
Eating a pomegranate for breakfast the other day:
Carina and I drove up to Burnaby Mountain Park on Sunday night to smoke a joint and soak up some moon rays. The mountainside park provides a great view of Greater Vancouver and is quiet and very peaceful.
Through my green-coloured glasses I noticed tonight that the city has a decidedly amber-coloured glow. Every Mainlander should trek up the hill and see for herself, but here’s the next best thing:
“Frustrated law enforcement officials” from Massachusetts are making some pretty outrageous claims in a highly dubious article (I’ve been waiting to use that pun) from the Boston Herald, demanding that “smoking weed is not a victimless crime” and linking pot decriminalization to murder.
Back in 2008, Massachusetts voters decriminalized marijuana, replacing any jail time with a $100 fine. Cops complained at the time that the new law provided no enforcement mechanism for collecting the cash.
Now they are boldly claiming the new rules are leading to an increase in pot-related murders:
“We knew it was going to be a nightmare for public safety and law enforcement. An ounce of marijuana can make a thousand joints,” Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said. “Question 2 perpetuated a feeling that marijuana is somehow safer than other drugs. It’s another mind-altering substance. What are we doing in this country? Can’t anyone get through the day without a drink or a drug?”
Holy crap! Talk about an appeal to emotion.
And a thousand joints from an ounce? Is this guy for real? Has he ever even seen an ounce of pot? An ounce is 28 grams. One gram will get you two joints; three if you roll pinners. That’s no more than 84 joints.
Then the article continues with a list of marijuana murders:
• The Sept. 30 fatal shooting of Adam Coveney, 29, of Waltham. Four men, including a Newton North High School senior, have been charged in connection with the alleged dealer robbery and murder.
• The Sept. 28 massacre of four people in Mattapan — among them, a 21-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son — allegedly in a pot-dealing turf dispute.
• The May 2009 fatal shooting of Justin Cosby, 21, inside a Harvard University dorm, allegedly in a bid to rob him of pot and cash.
• The June 2009 murder of Tyriffe Lewis, 17, in Callahan State Park in Framingham, where prosecutors say he was lured by two men seeking revenge in a fight over marijuana.
In Boston, where one of the most shocking mass killings in recent city history was pot-related, police Commissioner Edward Davis blames drugs in general for surging violence — 65 murders compared to 44 last year at this time. Of Question 2, he said, “I can tell you I’m concerned. I wish we had gone another way in Massachusetts.”
They never actually link the facts of any those cases to the specifics of the new decrim rules, or give any evidence to back up their claims, except to say that decreasing penalties has decreased the deterrent to deal pot:
Leone said he fears decriminalization has created a booming “cottage industry” for dope dealers to target youths no longer fearing the stigma of arrest or how getting high could affect their already dicey driving. Leone’s combined distribution and trafficking caseload rose from 445 in 2008 to 464 in 2009. This year’s caseload stood at 422 as of last week, on track to match or exceed last year.
These numbers don’t prove a damn thing, and the article fails to include the evidence showing drug decriminalization leading to positive results in other countries.
If there is some truth to these claims, the point is completely missed by the Herald: the real solution is to legalize cannabis completely – removing the illegal market, removing the stigma attached to marijuana, removing the source of funding for gangs and allowing any disputes to be settled in a court of law.
In my opinion, it is somewhat contradictory to decriminalize use but continue to jail those who produce and distribute, because it causes confusion, leads to a paradoxical situation, and could even lead to increased enforcement. Re-criminalizing cannabis, however, is not the solution.
The article does include a comment from MPP’s Mike Meno arguing this point, but it is the 12th paragraph down the page. His quote is the only tidbit of reason in this propaganda piece disguised as a news article.
Read the comments section of the article for some laughs and good points, and then let authors Laurel J. Sweet and O’Ryan Johnson know what you think!
CANNABIS CULTURE – Spark your joints in celebration: after two weeks in a dead heat between “Yes” and “No”, Arizona’s Proposition 203 has narrowly passed, making the state the 15th in the US to approve medical marijuana laws.
As tallies of uncounted final ballots flooded in at the end of last week, the “Yes” side pulled ahead, winning by only 4,341 votes, 50.13% of the 1.67 million ballots counted. The final tally: 841,346 in favour; 837,005 opposed. Here are the final vote totals by county from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.
The law will allow patients suffering from chronic or debilitating diseases including AIDS, cancer, and hepatitis C, who have a recommendation from their doctor and register with the state Health department, to grow up to 12 plants at home or buy 2 1/2 ounces every two weeks.
“We really believe that we have an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the country on what a good medical marijuana program looks like,” campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project Andrew Myers told the New York Times.
Arizona passed a similar initiative in 1996 by a 65% margin, but it was overturned by the state legislature. This time around the vote will be protected from the same fate thanks to a 1998 ballot initiative which prevents the legislature from overturning voter-approve ballot initiatives.
The new law also allows for the opening of up to 124 marijuana dispensaries, to be regulated by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Alan Sobol, marketing manager for the non-profit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries of Arizona, told FOX News, “Our dispensaries will look nothing like what you may expect to find in California or Colorado to name a few. This dispensary is intended blend into the community, be non-offensive, and nonthreatening. Its initial purpose is to educate the general public, dispensary candidates and government officials. The dispensary is designed to eventually provide qualified patients a safe and professional, clinical based facility to purchase their medical marijuana.”
Cannabis activists across the country are heralding the win as another step towards the full legalization of marijuana, which they say is only a matter of time.
“Voters in Arizona have sided with science and compassion while dealing yet another blow to our nation’s cruel and irrational prohibition on marijuana,” Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Arizona’s law now reflects the mainstream public opinion that seriously ill people should not be treated like criminals if marijuana can provide them relief, and that doctors should be able to recommend marijuana to patients if they believe it can help alleviate their suffering.”
The latest polls from Gallup show a new high of 46% of Americans support legal marijuana.
On the first episode of my cannabis news show “Weed This Week LIVE” I talked about the ups and downs of latest efforts to reform marijuana laws across the United States, was joined by Princess of Pot Jodie Emery to discuss the latest on her husband Marc’s 5-year prison term in the USA, and got really high.
Tune in to Cannabis Culture on Friday’s at 4pm PST for new LIVE episodes.
I’m in the process of setting up the “Weed This Week” iTunes Feed, so ya’ll can download the show straight to your iPod or iPhone; I’ll post the link here soon.
As I said during the webcast, I’m not a Communications major and I’m probably not qualified to be hosting a weekly show, but what the Hell! The first episode was fun and we got through the latest headlines, our 4:20 smoke session, discussion with Jodie, and news about current legalization efforts without too many technical difficulties.
Seems like an hour is about the perfect length for this kind of a show, and in the future I’ll feature interviews with cannabis newsmakers, chat with (and possibly even take calls from) viewers, and take even bigger rips from the bong…
SHOW NOTES (articles I talked about on the show):
“Remembering the Victims of All Wars”
“Pot lovers smoke grass on the grass at New Zealand Parliament”
“Protesters bomb police station with cart full of burning cannabis: report”
“Medical Marijuana Patient Fired by Wal-Mart Gets First Day in Court”
“Massachusetts Ready To Legalize Marijuana In 2012″
“Arizona Medical Marijuana Now Winning”
“Marijuana Project-Proposition 19 in Perspective”
“New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana”
“10 Lessons Learned from Marijuana Election Defeats”
Send me your feedback about the show: email@example.com
CANNABIS CULTURE – Hollywood herb head Seth Rogen was the very first guest to appear on Conan O’Brien’s new late night show Conan, and the stoney star used the opportunity to discuss Proposition 19 and medical marijuana in California.
Partial transcript from Conan Episode 1: “Baa Baa Blackmail”
CONAN: Now, I don’t want to make any assumptions about you; I know you, I don’t say I know you better than a lot of people in the business, but I’m guessing that you were disappointed that Proposition 19 failed. Is that an assumption?
SETH: I was, I was very – the marijuana proposition, yeah. But the good news is, literally anyone on Earth can get a medical marijuana card.
CONAN: Well in this state – that’s the thing that I couldn’t understand – in this state people were so, it was such a big question: will they legalize marijuana or not? And it looks like it’s fairly easy thing to do, to get a medical marijuana card.
SETH: Yes, I have a medical marijuana prescription, personally. I went in, they said, “what do you need it for?” and I said, “I have a very specific ailment – it’s called, I ain’t got no weed on me right now.”
CONAN (LAUGHING): “I ain’t go no weed on me.”
SETH: That’s how I worded it. And the lady said, “We actually have just the thing for that.”
Proposition 19 to fully legalize marijuana for recreational purposes failed by less than 4% in the November 2 vote. Critics of the bill say, like Seth, that it is easy enough to get pot without Proposition 19 passing, but statistics show that marijuana arrest remain at record highs in California.