Category: Jurisprudence

Perverse Priorities

Sometimes our chaotic, unknowable, seemingly random Universe arranges itself with perfect symmetry. In these moments of bracing clarity, authored by a Creator (in whatever guise or nomenclature you prefer) whose sense of irony is matched only by her/his/its sense of wicked humor, our innate foolishness and learned stubbornness are robbed of their pretensions. We see...

The Dictator Hunter

Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish jurist renowned for attempting to bring the rich and powerful to justice, has been convicted of exceeding his authority. As part of a comprehensive corruption investigation of Spain’s conservative Popular Party, in 2009 he ordered wiretaps of jailhouse conversations between inmates and their lawyers. The Popular Party is now the Powerful...

Heroic Murderers

At the Super Bowl this Sunday, when most of America will gather to watch our national character accurately represented by a brutal, war-like game (football), controlled by a ruthless, cartel-like corporation (the NFL), selling us mostly disposable, harmful products (automobiles, alcohol, online gambling), you’re almost certain to see an expensive (and weirdly effective) propaganda campaign...

Matters of Public Insertion

Aside from their protective utility, latex condoms aren’t anyone’s first choice for a sexual accoutrement. Claims to the efficacy of certain “ribbed for her pleasure” varieties notwithstanding, folks use them to prevent pregnancies and transmittable diseases, not because rubbers enhance sex. Sure, the old putting-it-on-with-your-mouth trick, redolent of European brothels and Asian massage parlors, has...

A Lost War

On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” And thus was the war on drugs commenced. This week marks the 40th anniversary of another failed American war effort. The numbers, courtesy of the folks behind the next California “legalize...

Our Environment: Another Drug War Casualty

Our failed War on Drugs has cost us vast treasure, ruined the lives of harmless citizens, and fueled a growing empire of violent crime. To continue with this national folly would be stupid at best and catastophic at worst. It’s time to legalize marijuana, treating it as we do tobacco, alcohol, caffiene, and other widely...

The U.S. Constitution Fetish

Tea Party “originalists,” John Boehner, Sarah Palin, and a large percentage of Americans who want less government and more “freedom,” profess an undying fealty to the Constitution of the United States of America. From its 4,400 words (written and agreed upon by the richest elites of the new Republic) stems the philosophical underpinnings of their...

On Wisconsin: On, Wisconsin!

Having grown up in the Badger state, I feel well qualified to write sniggeringly about the place. I was there. I know what I’m talkin’ about, all right? It’s a great state beside a Great Lake, populated by generally nice folks. It also has more taverns per square mile than just about anywhere, including Bavaria....

Unlikely Bedfellows

No one is surprised that among the groups opposing California’s Porposition 19, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Marijuana initiative on the November 2 ballot, are financially entrenched business organizations. The prison and law enforcement industry, which profits every time a marijuana user is branded a criminal; the beer industry, which worries that Californians will collectively...

On Pot: A Superior Court Judge Speaks

James Gray served as a Superior Court judge in Orange County for 25 years. He was on the front lines of California’s War on Drugs.  Here’s what he learned: California simply can’t afford to continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars and countless hours of law enforcement time targeting non-violent cannabis consumers who have...