But if alcohol is a drug, then “drug use” is normal, and not all drug use is abuse. That undercuts the entire project of stigmatization underlying much of what passes for “drug abuse prevention.” If smoking cannabis, snorting cocaine, swallowing MDMA (“ecstasy”), or even injecting heroin, are not different in principle from having a glass of wine, then the moral basis for treating cannabis-smokers, cocaine-snorters, rave-goers, and heroin-injectors as carriers of a deadly plague is called into question, and even suppliers of those drugs might be seen as regulatory violators rather than hostes humani generis (enemies of humankind) the modern incarnation of a legal category that used to cover pirates and slave-traders.
Conversely, labeling alcohol a “drug,” given the nasty connotations that word has been so carefully given, calls into question the presumptive innocence and innocuousness of drinking by responsible, non-alcoholic adults, and of the industry that supplies them, as it also supplies children, alcoholics, and those who become violent and imprudent under the influence of drink. To the analytically-minded it seems perverse that the one-eighth or so of diagnosable substance abuse disorder (other than nicotine dependency) that relates to the controlled drugs should receive much more attention (whether measured by rhetoric or control resources) than the seven-eighths in which the problem substance is alcohol.
Back when the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (the “drug czar’s” office) was new, I had a conversation with someone who was then a staffer and is now a senior official. When I suggested that the office ought to include alcohol among its targets, he fairly snarled, “Don’t change the subject!” Someone of a psychodynamic or cultural-critical turn of mind might be inclined to turn that response around, and consider the current social and political formulation of the “drug problem” as a massive displacement mechanism, an effort to “change the subject” from the one drug that claims the majority of the addicts and accounts for the vast bulk of drug-related deaths and drug-related violence
“I thank God for helping me keep the faith, even when I didn’t believe,”
- Jennifer Hudson, accepting her Oscar
Sudan’s president told attendees of the Nation of Islam’s national convention Friday that the United States is exaggerating troubles in his country’s volatile Darfur region so it can control the country as it has in Iraq.
In other news, people think the US has control of Iraq.
Remember this story?
It just got worse:
Health officials are going to review the inspection of a Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell, which was completed one day before CBS 2 cameras caught dozens of rats scurrying across the store, jumping on tables, and climbing into food trays.
“It doesn’t look like the inspection that was done Thursday met our standards,” said Geoffrey Cowley, a health department spokesman. “I don’t want to prejudge that. We’re concerned and we’re going to carefully revaluate that inspection.”
After a late-winter snow and ice storm, the clouds over the Northeast United States cleared on February 19, 2007, affording the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite this stunning view of the brown and white landscape. Snow stretches from Maine to Virginia, highlighting the curving folds of the Appalachian Mountains, branch-like rivers and streams, and the solid white smoothness of frozen lakes. Beautiful though the snow is, it trapped hundreds of motorists in eastern Pennsylvania, shut down some air and train travel, closed businesses and schools, triggered power outages, and caused 15 deaths, reported CNN on February 15.
People wanting to walk down Cricklade Road have been left with nowhere to go as cycle-lane markings have been painted on both sections of the pavement.
Nearby resident Daniel Woodwards said: “They re-marked the cycle track as two lanes, one for bikes and one for pedestrians.
“But they accidentally marked both lanes for bikes and then repeated the mistake further along the track.
“Then they must have realised their mistake and blacked out one bike in each lane, but on opposite sides, so both lanes are still for bikes.
Last week, Swindon Council told the Adver that contractors had made a simple mistake on the footpath outside Kingsdown School and said it would be put right as soon as possible. A spokesman for the council said: “To prevent any confusion the cycle lane should always be the one closest to the hedge.”
Note the beautiful hedge in the picture…
Half of children between the ages of seven and 11 are anxious about the effects of global warming and often lose sleep over it, according to a new report.
A survey of 1,150 youngsters found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change, while one in seven said their own parents were not doing enough to improve the environment.
The most feared consequences of global warming included poor health, the possible submergence of entire countries and the welfare of animals.
Most of those polled in the survey by supermarket chain Somerfield understood the benefits of recycling – although one in ten thought it was linked to riding a bike.
A new AP/Ipsos poll asked Americans for their perceptions of how many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians have died in the Iraq war.
The median number of American military deaths was estimated at 2,974. According to the CNN, the correct number is 3,154.
The median number of Iraqi deaths was estimated at 9,890. However, reported civilian deaths are estimated at between 56,000 and 62,000. One study late last year estimated the number of deaths at more than 655,000.
This is a good place to point out… I mentioned this a little bit earlier today at one of the house parties. I know that one of the running threads, one of the narratives that’s established itself among the mainstream media is this notion “Well…ya know Obama has pretty good style. He can deliver a pretty good speech, but he seems to prioritize rhetoric over substance.”
Now factually, that’s incorrect. Because the fact of the matter is that I have THE most specific plan in terms of how to get out of Iraq of any candidate. I have delivered major speeches over the course of two years before I started running for president on every major issue out here whether its education, healthcare or energy. I have written two books that have sold close to a million copies each that would probably give people more insight into how I think and how I feel about the issues facing America than any candidate in the field and probably any candidate who has run for office in recent memory. The problem is not that the information is not out there. The problem is that that’s not what you guys have been reporting on. You’ve been reporting on how I look in a swimsuit.
Well, he should have shaved his head, that would have helped…
Apple aired their teaser ad for the Apple iPhone during the Oscars tonight. The ad has run multiple times during the Oscars.
The advertisement started with a collection of scenes from television and film with actors saying “Hello” on a telephone.
Here is a complete list of actors.
Here is a low-res YouTube version:
What you cannot see in this version is that in the top left of the iPhone screen there’s mention of “AT&T” instead of Cingular…
Two Raptors, the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced fighters and said to be the most expensive fighter planes ever built, arrived at U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, a Reuters photographer and a TV cameraman said.
The U.S. Air Force said 10 other F22 Raptors were expected to land in Japan on Sunday, a week later than originally scheduled.
A U.S. military spokesman earlier denied a report that the delay was due to a demand from North Korea during six-country talks on its nuclear arms programme in Beijing, which ended last Tuesday with an energy-for-arms deal.
The U.S. Air Force first cited “operational reasons” as the cause of the delay of the three-month deployment, then said it was because of software problems.
Rumor has it that it’s a very silly software glitch:
CNN television, however, this morning reported that every fighter completely lost all navigation and communications when they crossed the international date line.
Well, at least they avoided a BSOD (Blue Sea of Death)