• Virtue from Vice

    Nothing more aptly applies to the phrase “beating a dead horse” than the legalizing marijuana debate. The common sense arguments for its legalization have been repeated ad nauseam for at least the last 40 years. But I read a Chicago Tribune article last Tuesday (I apologize for not having a link, but really the article is irrelevant)quoting a Richard Nixon appointed commission, “marijuana is relatively harmless and possession of less than an ounce should be legal.” Let’s resolve this inconsistency.

  • BLOGosophy

    In part due to the reaction toward my Indecent Proposal post and in part do to the nature of my next post, I'd like to make a quick point regarding my interpretation of the nature of blogs.

    Blogs have three major beneficial effects: dissemination of information, a check on the media (as well as a supplemental source of that media), and blogs create a forum where ideas are placed on a table and then people can either admire, ponder, critique, applaud, add to, subtract from, etc. to those ideas. Blogs create dialogues.

  • Got Dean

    Since it is now official, I'd like to say congratulations to Howard Dean. I supported you for president and I'm glad to see you elected as Chairman. The guy can raise money, energize the base, and connect with television viewers (my grandma absolutely loved him, that is coming from a woman who faithfully votes Republican). A man who was able to expand health care while remaining fiscally responsible (perhaps suggesting efficiency), and a man who courted the gun-rights vote while legalizing civil unions: balance.

  • State. Church. Abortion. Reason.

    Amy Sullivan, of the Washington Monthly, calls attention to this Pro-Choice America letter citing Senator Harry Reid's Prevention First Act - an act that would make it easier to get birth control and therefore cut down on unwanted pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies being something all people can agree are not good. Of course, the strictest pro-lifers will oppose this because they detest the idea of having sex and not making a baby. Fine.

    But the following quote is found in the comments section:

  • Justice Malpractice

    I have no earth-shattering comments on this ABA report stating that the legal representation of indigents is in a state of crisis, but I did want to take a moment to publically vent my frustration. The insurance companies cry, Republicans listen, and all of a sudden medical malpractice is placed on the high priority list and becomes a household issue. But people going to jail due to crappy lawyers is, it appears, considered to simply be unfortunate.


    -- Steve Cieslewicz

  • Indecent Proposal

    The Supreme Court, 1942: There are certain well defined and narrowly limitd classes of speech, [such as the obscene and the libelous, that] are no essential part of any exposition of ideas and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality (as written in Geoffrey R. Stone's Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime).

  • My Pet Monster (truck)

    It is 9 feet high, 21 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 7 tons, can carry nearly 6 tons in load, and gets 8 miles per gallon…“It” is the new International CXT. In fact, the CXT has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,999 (compared to the Hummer’s 10,300 lbs.) which is exactly, and purposely, one pound under the 26,000 GVWR minimum requiring a commercial driver’s license.

  • Site Stuff and Introducing Steve

  • iLife

    Mark Schmitt's got an excellent, thought-provoking post on the changing face of membership. Contra the Dean campaign and NARAL, he believes the era of dues-paying, weekly-meeting organization has passed, and we should start asking what's next.

    He's right. I was as enthused as everyone else about the Dean for America MeetUps, but they survived only till the campaign's close, and only thrived while their buzz was enormous. The Democracy for America meetings that succeeded them were a pale shadow of their former selves. And I don't know anyone my age -- including me -- who's a due-paying member of any group, even those we distinctly agree with.

  • Great Minds, Etc...

    Brad Plumer jumps on a hobbyhorse of mine, namely, the need to build more medical schools. There are a mere 125 in the nation, and the competition is so intense that a B here and there disqualifies you. Fast forward a few years and doctors are so overloaded that they make patients wait hours but can only offer them minutes. Residents are in such high demand that they work inhuman shifts and their exhaustion leads to mistakes. Sounds like we need a supply increase.