Just Imagine What Michael Phelps Might Have Done If He Hadn't Smoked Pot?

As the sports world says a fond farewell to Michael Phelps, the most bemedaled Olympian that ever was, it's worth remembering the idiotic moral outrage that exploded when this picture of the eventual 18-gold-medal-winning swimmer surfaced in early 2009.

To me, the most appalling aspect was the public apology that Phelps ended up giving, presumably as a way of salvaging endorsement deals and an up-to-then squeaky-clean image. I don't begrudge him doing that, but it's a damn shame that we live in a country and world where even great athletes - not to mention presidents and actors and corporate titans and all sorts of public personalities and private citizens - are coerced one way or another into the sort of self-recriminations that sound like something left over from Mao's Cultural Revolution or the days of the Star Chamber.

From an account of his apology:

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in a statement released by Octagon, his management firm, and posted on his Facebook site. "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. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public—it will not happen again."

At moments like that, you don't have to be Jeremiah Wright to muse, god bless American? No, god damn America!

To Michael Phelps: Thanks for the incredible memories and spectacles and performances. What can you say about an athlete so phenomenal that he makes Ray Ewry, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis seem like minor champions?

To the millions of Americans arrested for pot offenses since the last Olympics: One day, the leaders of this country will apologize to you and your children and spouses and sisters and brothers and parents. That day, which can't come soon enough, has already taken far too long to get here.

To the politicians and legislators who have smoked pot and even campaigned to end the drug war or have taken credit for ending the drug war: What will it take for you to stop at the very least the war on pot that serves no function but the rank wasting of lives, time, money, and other resources?

Related: Bill Maher reviews Doug Fine's Too High to Fail in the NYT.

Do us a favor and like/share this at Reason Facebook page. Thanks!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    One day, the leaders of this country will apologize to you and your children and spouses and sisters and brothers and parents.

    You are a funny man Nick...delusional...but funny none the less.

  • The vermin in the media||

    Seriously, that made me laugh too. I don't think he realizes how influential and powerful Big Prison is in this country.

  • ||

    Well I share his optimism that pot will be legal sooner rather then later.

    But he is crazy to think anyone is going to apologize.

    Hell just look at Senator Byrd who ran around accusing the civil rights movement of being communists.

    http://reason.com/24-7/2012/08.....ghts-movem

    He never apologized for that. Why would drug warriors be any different.

  • Copernicus||

    Nick, you belittle Phelp's apology.

    Isn't it possible his apology was his true feelings? Isn't it possible his public exposure made him stop and consider how fucking stupid pot smoking and pot smokers are? And further, that by his actions he was endorsing pot smoking in the eyes of those who looked to him for whatever reason?

    I don't smoke pot. Never will. However, I believe all substances should be legal, it's an individual rights issue. Liberty. Freedom. All that jazz.

    Doesn't change the fact that pot smokers are DIMINISHED human beings in every way.

  • amelia||

    Wow, really? For being Copernicus you're kind of a stupid motherfucker. Emphasis on the "motherfucker."

  • sticks||

    He's just mad we are not properly awed by the training jocks go through.

  • Copernicus||

    Amelia, if you ever met me, I'd be the smartest person you ever met.

  • Copernicus||

    And I didn't understand your post until you emphasized "motherfucker", thanks for that.

  • MSimon||

    There is always some one smarter. And brains are not everything. Better is a loving heart.

  • Cavpitalist||

    Doesn't change the fact that pot smokers are DIMINISHED human beings in every way.

    Citation needed.

  • Copernicus||

    No citation but it reminds me of the chicken/egg problem:

    Do stupid/lethargic/lazy people have a natural tendency towards pot use, or

    Does pot use make people stupid/lethargic/lazy?

  • RobM||

    Neither. Most pot smokers are productive members of society, just like most non-pot smokers are. The ones that aren't are the outliers, which is why they tend to be visible.

  • Thomas O.||

    Diminished or not, their right to ingest weed should STILL not be infringed upon.

  • ||

    I believe that's the point he just made. Believing that someone should have the right to ingest weed doesn't mean that you have to endorse pot smoking.

  • ||

    A point totally lost here at Reason, where failure to toke up, or at least to totally endorse toking up as a healthy and beneficial lifestyle choice, is looked up on as an indication of moral failing.

  • MSimon||

    It is a moral failing.

  • Copernicus||

    Yes, of course that's the point. Let's all campaign for freedom for it's own sake, not based on the merits or lack of merits of the activity in question.

    Also, in the article Nick writes:
    "it's a damn shame that we live in a country and world where even great athletes - not to mention presidents and actors and corporate titans and all sorts of public personalities and private citizens - are coerced one way or another into the sort of self-recriminations that sound like something left over from Mao's Cultural Revolution or the days of the Star Chamber."

    Amazing to hear a libertarian say Phelps was "coerced". Was that after he was coerced to get rich on endorsements? The dollar giveth and the dollar taketh away.

  • MSimon||

    CopNick up believes that wanting to sing in the rain may be a banned if there is no proof of the benefit.

  • NeonCat||

    It's a good thing blanket judgment of people you've never met doesn't diminish them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just for the hell of it, I will take this opportunity to say, "Fuck you, NASCAR" for what they are doing to A J Allmendinger.

  • Randian||

    I really don't understand this sentiment. He broke the rules and is reaping the consequences as a result.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Sounds like Mr Brooks is criticizing the rules themselves. And I agree with him... whatever you think of the PED fiasco, there's no legitimate reason to insist on drug-free race car drivers (assuming no danger of intoxication).

  • Randian||

    Then what is the legitimate reason for any drug free sports?

  • ||

    reckless endangerment.

    Tulpa did write "assuming no danger of intoxication"

  • Randian||

    Whether one agrees with the motivation, the rationale is so you do not wind up with an arms race of drug use, where each athlete pushes the boundaries and takes increasingly dangerous substances to give himself or herself an edge over the competition.

  • Fluffy||

    Two things about that rationale:

    1. First of all: So what if the athletes push the boundaries?

    2. Second of all: Let's say that amphetamines give an advantage in car racing, because of increased alertness and so forth. This would pretty obviously be subject to astonishingly rapid diminishing returns: a little bit of alertness would help you, but tweaking out would send you into a wall PDQ. So I actually don't see how there could be an arms race. It's like saying that because eating protein gives athletes help building muscle, there's a danger of an arms race where people will use power equipment to jam thousands of pounds of protein down their throats. It's not going to happen, because that would be stupid.

  • wareagle||

    there has long been a drug arms race. People have been looking for a chemical edge for decades.

  • Fluffy||

    I guess it didn't proceed very far, then. If decades have passed and we're still stuck on "hey, maybe I'll take an upper before a race".

  • wareagle||

    race driving is simply new ground. Performance enhancing generally meant things that made one faster, stronger, bigger, etc. When you think PEDs, does driving even cross your mind?

  • Sevo||

    wareagle| 8.5.12 @ 5:16PM |#
    "there has long been a drug arms race. People have been looking for a chemical edge for decades."

    Monty passed out meth to the 8th Army like candy bars. 1942.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I can see banning drugs that give competitors an unfair advantage within the context of the sport. Steroids and artificial testosterone, etc, for sports where strength is important.

  • Randian||

    And say, amphetemines for increased alertness amongst NASCAR drivers?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm not convinced that really helps.

  • Randian||

    It doesn't matter whether you are convinced, Tulpa. your original statement was "there's no legitimate reason to insist on drug-free race car drivers". The edge I posited is a potentially legitimate justification, regardless of your disagreement.

    Anyway, there is nothing fundamentally unfair or unjust about Allmendinger's treatment, so I don't understand the outrage.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't understand the outrage.

    Well, I don't believe for a moment that the NASCAR drug testing program is truly voluntary, any more than the MLB drug testing program is truly voluntary.

    And I don't mean voluntary for the employees. I mean voluntary for the owners. My definition of "voluntary" here is "Would the drug testing regime have arisen independently in the advance of state-sponsored public hysteria about the use of drugs in sports?" I pretty much have to answer that in the negative.

    It's like the MPAA movie rating system. In theory it's voluntary, but everybody knows it arose under duress and is maintained under duress, because the movie studios and theatres are afraid of what would be done to them by politicians if it didn't exist. I think that sports drug testing programs pretty much all come under that heading, and so I find them to be not truly voluntary, and when people are fucked over by them I'm outraged. Sorry.

  • Thomas O.||

    Well, the MPAA system IS voluntary, in the fact that a studio can release a film that is "not rated".

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    You can, but good luck getting it distributed anywhere.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If amphetimines increase alertness and prevent crashes, shouldn't they be required?

  • MSimon||

    Ban caffeine.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • Randian||

    Also, criticism of the rules needs to be within the context of the sport, not because one is generally sympathetic to drug use.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Would you refrain from criticism of NASCAR if they had a rule forbidding drivers from masturbating in their personal lives too?

    The context is that, other than intoxication, there is no reasonable concern for racecar drivers doing drugs. And this wasn't a test for intoxication.

  • Randian||

    The rule is rationally related (not the legal term) to the sport, so you have to criticize it within the context of the sport.

  • wareagle||

    tulpa,
    NASCAR gets to write its own rules. There is no right to be a stock car driver. Personally, I think rules against performance enhancers are silly as a sizable percentage of athletes will take a perceived edge where it's available. But, I don't get to write the rules.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    They have every right to write the rules, and I have every right to criticize them.

  • Fluffy||

    I thought that the New Yorker piece admonishing Phelps for not "working hard" enough was illuminating in that it revealed exactly the sort of media scum we're dealing with here.

    The media was enraged that Phelps smoked pot because it showed that he could be the best while not being fucking Rudy from fucking Notre Dame, and the media HATES that.

    Success that isn't "a struggle to overcome odds" and "agonizing effort at each and every moment" enrages the press, because it contradicts the mythology they want to impose on sports. (It's kinda the same problem they have with PED's.) Because by the terms of the mythology, Phelps didn't "earn" the medals by being the fastest in the races; you can only "earn" the medals if you suffered and overcame odds. If you can smoke some pot and roll out of bed the next morning and win a race (not that that's what Phelps actually did, but that's how the press now portrays it), that's unfair and "doesn't count".

  • Tulpa Doom||

    To be fair, Phelps has admitted to not working as hard for this Olympics, so it's not just the pot angle. I don't blame him for easing up a bit after being a smashing success after an incredibly ruthless training regime for over a decade. After '08 he probably wanted to enjoy his life a little.

    Though, there were a lot of people I know IRL who were running their mouths after Phelps didn't medal in the first race, "See what happens when you smoke pot?" Haven't heard that over the past few days for some reason.

  • John||

    Like finishing 4th best in the world in the swimming equivalent of the decathlon after only training for the event for nine months is such a failure.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Yep. I doubt any writer for the New Yorker has ever worked as hard in a day as Phelps did every day from 2000-2008, yet they feel free to disparage him for slacking off from his previous work levels.

  • John||

    They acted like he threw up after 50 meters or something. I would imagine those guys have no clue what it actually takes to be a college swimmer much less an Olympic one. They wouldn't last five minutes in one of Phelps' workouts. But he is a lazy doper.

  • AuH2O||

    Actually, to tack on to my point below, it is interesting that we don't judge writers the same way as athletes. Nor do we do that to any creative types.

    We don't say, "Man, Salinger was great, but he underachieved." We say, "Man, Salinger was great, too bad he went nuts." "Too bad Hemmingway/Joyce/et. al. were drunks." Etc.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I condemn Epi and SugarFree for underachieving all the time.

  • SugarFree||

    You're not my real dad.

  • John||

    Yeah. Phelps is just flat out the most talented swimmer ever. His 95% I am burned out and can't quite commit like I used to is better than everyone else's 100%. The media hates that.

  • AuH2O||

    Well, I don't remember which sports journalists I saw making this point, but it was a good one:

    The reason the public hates athletes we see as "not hard working", the guys who do well despite not being gym rats, and especially the guys who are percieved as having "underachieved", is precisely because we don't have that ability. We tell ourselves that if WE had that kind of ability, we would work our asses off to be the absolute best we could be, 100% of our potential instead of 95% or 92%.

    This, is, of course, bullshit- we would probably coast a bit too if we had that ability.

    And that's why we like the scrappy overachiever- we think to ourselves, "I coulda done that!" Whereas we mentally all know there is no way we could have been Shaq (who always got crap because "Man, think of how many more he woulda won if he just played a little harder!" or "He gets in shape during the season!"). Actually, thinking about it, this has happened to all NBA big men, from Kareem ("I think your the greatest, but my dad thinks you stink. He says you only play defense in the playoffs") to Wilt. And thats because of sheer fucking envy.

  • wareagle||

    the scrappy overachiever is interesting because that athlete is, by far, the exception. Most top-level competitors are extremely gifted AND hard-working.

    Even the scrapper has a fair amount of talent. He just overcame the lack of certain things like blinding speed or huge size, but he did not suffer a lack of basic talent. He simply made up for some physical limitations.

  • mr simple||

    That's why I hated Anakin in the SW prequels. I like to think that if I had Jedi powers and got to use a lightsaber in my job, I would practice that stuff all the time and be the best.

  • Cytotoxic||

    THIS

  • Copernicus||

    First, you guys have no idea how much of Phelp's dominance of other swimmers is due to physiological genetics, intelligence, mental toughness, work ethic, coaching, emotional control, etc.

    It may well be that there are other swimmers who have a natural advantage over him yet don't get as close to their potential as him.

    Doesn't matter. I was a competitive swimmer from ankle biter to college and beyond.

    I can assure you that the intensity of Phelp's training regime would fucking blow your mind. End of story.

  • Adam330||

    It was the roads and bridges that made him better. He didn't do that.

  • ||

    Somebody built the swimming pool. Somebody drafted the regulations for filtering the pool. Somebody else made that happen.

  • Anacreon||

    Wow, I just found out that Matt Grevers, the gold-medal backstroker who led off Phelps' last race last night, was on the same high school swim team that I was (though about 25 years, and a pool upgrade, apart). I guess that gives me something to brag about, though not a whole lot.

  • ||

    You know the first thing Phelps did when he got his last medal and came back to the village was a celebratory bong hit.

  • ||

    Hopefully that and a line of blow off of a womens' volleyball player's ass. I know that's what I would do.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Have you ever smelled a beach volleyball player's ass after a match, Epi? Stick to talking about things you know about, like zip codes.

  • ||

    I was once married to a nationally ranked female volleyball player. I would have been happy to do a line off her magnificent ass after a match. Pure sweat, no shit.

    If only she hadn't been totally batshit insane...

  • ||

    Once again, Tulpa makes an ass out of himself displaying complete and total lack of knowledge of a subject. And this time he was even trying to make a joke! You can't win, Tulpa. Maybe you should think about not trying.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I've never eaten out an Olympic volleyball player after a match and not had it turn out to be an unpleasant experience.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    the sweat is the problem, you sicko. I wasn't claiming that volleyball players shit their pants during a match.

  • Copernicus||

    Sounds great, but volleyball players are not nationally ranked, volleyball teams are.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Yeah, my soon to be ex wife is also batshit insane. Just like her mother. Built like her too, but they're both the opposite of the female beach volleyball physique. Nothing turns me off like going down on her and having a roll of fat resting on my forehead. That was ten years ago and I still haven't recovered...

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Or Jessica Ennis' abs.

  • ||

    FOR REAL

    They are effing a-mazing.

  • SIV||

  • Randian||

    It's a scenario. Military wonks create them all the time.

  • ||

    Why even have such a Keynesian spin on it?

    Couldn't they just say an extremist group took over a town in South Carolina without the anti-tea party back story?

  • John||

    It is just political correctness. If they didn't use the Tea Party, they would have to admit some favored minority group might be violent.

  • Randian||

    If you are looking at a realistically successful insurrection, you are, unfortunately, looking at militia groups. I have no idea what minority group you have in mind, but none of them possess the requisite training, numbers, AND zeal to accomplish what motivated militia groups can accomplish.

  • Anacreon||

    But, I don't think that typical militia groups are "motivated by the tea party." That seems to be the brainchild of the author, who got a PhD in History from Princeton nine years ago. Need I say more about her mindset?

  • John||

    I would say a Mexican drug gangs would have a better shot at taking over a small border town than the militias. The militias are a joke. And they as Anacreon notes, motivated by anything but the tea party. That is just insulting. It is like saying the Lyons Club is going to cause a revolution.

  • Fluffy||

    They wanted a scenario where the local government refused to take action because local LEO's and politicians had sympathy for the rebels.

    Mexican drug gangs wouldn't fit the bill. Except maybe in San Diego and LA.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Which is funny because Lost Zetas fit the definition of a paramilitary organization whose founding members may or may not have received training in counternarcotics operations from the good ol' U.S. of A.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    As someone in the comments section there said, they should have just made up a fictitious group, since the identity of the group is irrelevant to the scenario.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Yeah, don't we still have scenarios for global war with the UK floating around the military?

  • ||

    I haven't read the military strategy. Only the convoluted scenario.

    I wonder if they take into effect the support the tea party has among the rank and file of the military....plus you you the whole thing about using military force on US civilians might murk up US soldier allegiance.

    Do they address possible defection of troops?

  • Randian||

    It is addressed as a possibility, yes. Though not taken nearly as the grave threat to the operation I think it would be.

  • ||

    Lets see a town mobbed by media attention less then a few hours drive from DC and troops being told all sorts of bullshit from their superiors that has no or little relation to what FOX news and conservative blogs are showing them and ordering them to attack on US soil against US civilians.

    Operating under media scrutiny is not a new phenomenon for the U.S. military. What is new and newsworthy about this operation is that it is taking place in the continental United States......The Joint Task Force commander, staff and subordinate units must operate as transparently as possible, while still giving due consideration to operational security. Commanders must manage these issues even as they increase pressure on the insurrectionists.

    Anything other then absolute media black out would be the only way this would not blow up into a full scale civil war complete with massive defections.

    I guess I should be happy that our military wonks have no fucking clue how to deal with such a scenario.

    Given the scenario I would recommend no military action outside of containment and the only solution being a long protected political negotiation.

  • SIV||

    My favorite part:


    Related Content:
    A Knife into the Heart of the Confederacy: How General Sherman’s Georgia and Carolinas Campaign Helped Empty Southern Hearts and Minds of the Will to Wage Insurrection

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sherman was a great American hero. We need to apply his lessons to Afghanistan.

  • wareagle||

    and if Afghanistan was burned to the ground, other than Kabul, how would you notice?

  • Cytotoxic||

    We would have victory for the good guys and peace.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I didn't know there was much in Afghanistan worth burning, aside from the opium.

  • Bill||

    We should burn every mountain to the ground.

  • ||

    the Turner Diaries

    As sci-fi is it any good?

  • SIV||

    WARNING: Ownership of this book might be illegal in the European Union and Canada.

    Here's a free copy

    I only read a few chapters.
    all I could think of was Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream.

    The novel is kind of a pastiche of Jack London's The Iron Heel (which I've never read).

  • AuH2O||

    Did this fucker ever study Japan in the 1990s? Cuz they tried Keynesian stimulus. It just didn't work.

    Seriously, I get that the author hates the idea of the government ever spending even a dollar less... but seriously, this is bullshit.

  • Aresen||

    I noticed that as well.

    Japan kept trying the Magic Stimulus from 1990 right up to the present.

    If stimulus worked the way proponents claim, the Japanese economy would be bigger than the US economy by now.

  • DJV1959||

    Whatever let us all hope and pray we have seen the last of Mrs. Phleps.

  • Randian||

    Only if you never watch commercials.

  • ||

    Pro-legalization campaigns should use him for commercials.

  • SIV||

    What will it take for you to stop at the very least the war on pot that serves no function but the rank wasting of lives, time, money, and other resources?

    I 'll venture a guess that it would be the total capitulation and unconditional surrender of "pot". REMEMBER THE WHITE WOMEN CHILDRENZ!!!

  • A Serious Man||

    See, this is why we need a weekend links thread: UK MP calls on government to bar a faith healer who kicks people in the face to heal them from entering the country.

  • robc||

    I miss the days of the weekend open thread.

  • ||

    He should kick the MPs in the face.

  • A Serious Man||

    ‘And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, “Kick her in the face with your biker boot.” I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.’

    This sounds like an SNL skit, only funny.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You know, I think it just may be entirely plausible that Michael Phelps might have done better this go around if he hadn't smoked pot. But, you know what? So frigging what? I don't own Michael Phelps' success or failure. The media doesn't own Michael Phelps' success or failure. The USA doesn't own Michael Phelps' success or failure. The only person who owns Michael Phelps' success or failure is Michael Phelps. When the hell are people going to grow the hell up and stop acting like celebrities are their children or BFFs?

  • ||

    You know, I think it just may be entirely plausible that Michael Phelps might have done better this go around if he hadn't smoked pot.

    It is also plausible that it helped.

    The ability to relax and disengage for an athlete is vitally important.

  • John||

    He was burnt out after 08. He needed to recharge. Had he not partied and had some fun, he might not have competed at all

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I heard the only reason he competed was because he wants to get in Missy Franklin's pants.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa Doom| 8.5.12 @ 7:27PM |#
    I heard the only reason he competed was because he wants to get in Missy Franklin's pants."
    Hope he offered her a toke.

  • Cavpitalist||

    She's busy wailing on Bieber with a strap-on right about now.

  • wareagle||

    every peak is followed by a down period. Athletes train to hit peak performance at a specific time; you can't keep the pedal on the floor all year, every year. Team sports have an off-season; Olympic sports have downtime, too. The pearls are starting to complain about teh hyper-clutching.

  • AuH2O||

    Also, even if he would have done better... he still has 22 medals, a record which it is hard to imagine beating in our lifetimes (the one sport I would possibly bet on: shooting. I could see you making 4 straight Olympics in that sport, and if you did multiple events, it would be possible, right? Then again, I've never done shooting sports, so I don't know how bad time ravages you). He has 18 fucking gold medals, also an all time and very hard to break record (especially when you consider things like the breaststroke he won by 1/100th of a second, which, to a good extent, is luck).

    So, I kind of hate the fucks who go, "He could have done better!" Which is like saying "If MJ hadn't retired for those two years, he woulda had 8 rings!"

    Well, he had 6 rings and is the GOAT. So, I ain't going to judge the guy.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I thought it was kind of funny that Phelps swore up and down that he was retiring from Olympic swimming and then said his role model was Michael Jordan.

    So he'll come back twice after retiring?

  • Adam330||

    Only after trying speed skating.

  • Sandi||

    I took a shit in an Olympic pool once.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +shit

  • Cytotoxic||

    Totally OT: James Hansen has come out with a 'study' that he claims supports the notion that AGW is causing these heat waves and stuff. http://news.nationalpost.com/2.....scientist/

    Thoughts?

  • John||

    If he wouldn't attribute a mild summer to weather as opposed to climate, I might pay attention to what he has to say.

  • wareagle||

    it's easier to be skeptical than an evangelist. Yes, we've had a hot summer but it came after a couple of brutally cold winters, and the predicted massive hurricane seasons have not happened.

    Where the believes go wrong is that no matter what reality you put in front of them, the cause is always AGW. Hot summer? Definite proof. Freezing winter? More proof. And so forth; it symbolizes the saying of if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

  • mgd||

    wareagle| 8.5.12 @ 5:43PM |#
    "it symbolizes the saying of if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail."

    I thought it was "If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like people that need to be hit by hammers."

  • ||

    I think Muller and his BEST study pretty much took a giant shit on what ever Hansen says about the current weather conditions of the US are.

    Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect evidence like tree rings. And the recent warm spell in the United States happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07.....eptic.html

  • ||

    Jim Hansen carries no cred with me. He's been in his own corner and fighting this battle with and without evidence since the 90s. (Remember this is the guy who took to the media claiming that the Bush administration was silencing him and still has a job at NOAA.)

  • Fluffy||

    My prediction on the Sikh shooting:

    This was carried out by someone who wanted to kill Muslims and was too fucking stupid to know that Sikhs aren't Muslims.

    In fact, the Sikh sect came into existence during the Muslim invasion of India, and the sect's entire reason for being was to be a fanatical military order to oppose Islam. So shooting up their temple when you want to kill Muslims makes you about as stupid as Timothy McVeigh had been if he had accidentally blown up NRA headquarters.

  • A Serious Man||

    Do we even know what weapon he used?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The one cop suffered several gunshot wounds, so we probably do.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Clearly it was an "Assualt Rifle with Extended Magazine™".

    I blame Bush

  • SIV||

    I thought I heard it was a single handgun but early reports on these things are notoriously unreliable. Later reports often lead to a mess of unresolved contradictions for that matter.

    In the spirit of reckless speculation I'll predict a disgraced ex-cop who just ran out of paid administrative leave.

    If the single handgun report is true it will be interesting if he used single stack mags. The grabbers can then call for restricting the number of "low capacity clips" someone can own. After all, it is just common sense. Who needs more than 2 " bullet clips"?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Surprise! Brady Joins Americans in Renewing Demand For Presidential Candidates and All Elected Officials to Present a Plan to Prevent Gun Deaths and Injuries

    The Brady Campaign is the nation's largest citizens' lobby to prevent gun violence. We represent the voice of the overwhelming majority of Americans who are tired of living with the constant tragedy of gun violence and are in favor of strong laws and policies that will save lives. We are the light that exposes politicians who are putting the American people at risk, empowering the American people to hold them accountable for decisions and actions that undermine public safety.

    Funny how most politicians treat gun control like the plauge, given that overwhelming majority.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Seeing as how automobiles are involved in more deaths than firearms, perhaps we need some "car control" before we get to gun control.

  • John||

    Some retard killed a Sikh thinking he was a Muslim after 9-11. So that is possible. More likely, the guy had some kind of personal issue with that place, maybe an ex wife or something.

  • Aresen||

    Doubt it would be an ex-wife.

    Sikhism tends to be about as endogamous as Orthodox Judaism.

  • Jerry on the road||

    I was bit surprised that this isn't related to some blood feud. Those Indians can get quite confrontational.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    That's not a very risky prediction.

  • AuH2O||

    So, is anyone tired of these blatantly pandering to the boomers Toyota Venza commercials?

    "See, our kids with their stupid facebook, but we have friends in THE REAL WORLD who we ride bikes and horses with!"

  • A Serious Man||

    I would get really pissed when a retirement planning commercial came on that showed these baby boomers doing all sorts of fun shit like sky diving and sailing since I'm expected to pay for their Social Security and Medicare until they die.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The more times they sky dive, bungee jump, and kayak down a rapids, the more chances we have to stop paying their SS and Medicare.

    We need to encourage oldsters to engage in risk-taking behaviors.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    +attrition

  • Aresen||

    Well, it isn't Toyota's money, so what do they care?

    Not to mention that you don't sell cars with images of people puffing from their oxygen tank as they hobble to the van on their walkers.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    It worked for Lincoln for decades, but - yeah - no longer

  • AuH2O||

    It's the generational put down that they feel the need to do. It would be one thing if they showed active old people riding bikes and kicking ass with their Venza's, but they then feel the need to go, "Hurr Durr, stupid kids who move home to try to help their parents out/sign their parents up for facebook. Get a life likes us!"

    That's what pisses me off- the look down their nose, generation gap attitude that the boomers themselves would have found insufferable in the 60s. Imagine a Ford commercial in the 60s about a dad being a good employee and using his Ford to go off to work, while his lazy ass kid is too busy protesting or something, to associate Ford with solemnity, trust, and the mainstream. That would be pretty fucking annoying, right?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I think it's a response to the kids looking down their noses at the parents. Which does happen in real life.

  • Aresen||

    Ever read Aristophanes' The Clouds?

    It's a hoot even in translation. It was probably an old theme 2500 years ago.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    ^^ + 1 trillion ^^

    Fuck Toyota.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Wow, a trillion? I'm rich.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That was for Mr. Water, actually.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I better cancel my appointment with that 500 billion dollar and hour hooker.

  • Aresen||

    You're dating Congress?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I really don't understand this sentiment. He broke the rules and is reaping the consequences as a result.

    No kidding- "Da lawz is da lawz."

    That's nice, except NASCAR's drug policy has virtually nothing to do with on-track behavior or performance. The reports I have seen only say the test showed evidence of some unidentified "stimulant". Maybe it was a laxative.

    The drivers brave enough to even answer interview questions about this say everybody is pretty much terrified of getting "busted" for something they had no idea was verboten (or mimics something which is verboten). Kind of like my friend the counterfeiter, who was always worried about accidentally eating something which would trigger the drug test while he was on probation. He refused to even go into Wendy's because of the poppyseed buns.

    And of course, that little shitgobbler Randy Bernard would probably block any attempt to stick Allmendinger in an Indycar. "For the good of the sport."

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Amphetamines should be required, not banned, if they help alertness. The last thing you want on a NASCAR course is a fatigued driver.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Did they guy who attacked the Sikhs get sliced into bite-sized pieces by the assembled congregation?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Are you implying Sikhs are cannibals?

    From the reports, it sounds like the temple was just preparing for a ceremony, not in the midst of one so there was mostly women and children inside making food.

  • A Serious Man||

    I think he's referring to fact that Sikhs, who are actually big believers in the right to self-defense, are religiously required to carry a daggar on them called a kirpan.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar (a holy religious ceremony that formally baptizes a Sikh) in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs (Khalsa) must wear a kirpan at all times

    It's a religious commandment, of mine, to wear a colt 45 at all times.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Are you implying Sikhs are cannibals?

    *facepalm*

  • Tulpa Doom||

    "bite-sized pieces"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Are you implying Sikhs are cannibals?

    Not at all; it is my understanding that the Sikh is NEVER without his "ceremonial" blade.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Indeed, but in the West those are typically 3-4 inches long, not much use against a gunman.

    They typically have to remove it when flying or going into a courthouse.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    SLICED TO BITS

    Happy now?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    not much use against a gunman.

    That depends on whether you are on your feet or on your knees at the time.

  • A Serious Man||

    They don't have any qualmns about guns though given the violent conflict between them and the Indian government.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The dreams of Top Men embiggen us all.


    Hudson Yards “is not just another development — it’s part of a larger effort to create a physical infrastructure for a multi-decade expansion of New York City,” says Lynne Sagalyn, professor of real estate at Columbia Business School.

    Turning the isolated waterfront into Manhattan’s next big business district has been a dream of city leaders for years. The city rezoned a 60-block stretch of the West Side to accommodate 25 million square feet of office space expected to rise as midtown Manhattan runs out of room. Mayor Michael Bloomberg envisions a development that could eventually change the skyline — “a historic project that will create jobs for generations to come,” he says.

    No mention of Eminent Domain. But the omelette will be a thing of beauty.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You know who else started a project that created jobs for generations to come....

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa Doom| 8.5.12 @ 9:34PM |#
    "You know who else started a project that created jobs for generations to come...."

    Albert Speer!
    Do I win?

  • KDN||

    No mention of Eminent Domain.

    No need, the area in question is just a pit that's going to be filled (or covered; the rail yard will still be in place). Seriously, go to satellite view in Google Maps and look at it.

    It’s the first step in a $15 billion small city within a city planned for 26 acres of land by the river, bounded by 10th and 12th avenues and West 30th and 33rd streets.

    All of the other improvements they're talking about are the expected ripple effects from the towers' completion. The remark about infrastructure deals with a subway extension, something that doesn't actually involve any ED issues unless you're referring to the small bit of the sidewalk where the station will be placed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Herbert Hoover?

  • ||

    i had a bunch of swimmer water polo players as roommates/housemates one year at college (i went to undergrad in socal).

    those guys fucking INVENTED "wake and bake". and you can totally understand it. consider the mind numbing boredom of lap after lap after lap after lap. probably now they have waterproof mp3 players for a little relief, but those guys nearly universally were stoners.

    setting aside why it should be a "moral outrage" for an accomplished athlete or anybody else to smoke bud, is absolutely ridiculous.

    that picture of phelps shouldn't have caused any more outrage than a picture of him drinking a beer.

    now, if there was a picture of him eating deep dish pizza, THEN we could talk...

  • temmseee||

    Dude is like totally rocking it man thats for sure.

    www.Ano-Web.tk

  • Pippers||

    Is Fox News writing articles here now or what? Jeremiah Wright? Seriously?

  • Thomas O.||

    Michael Phelps has nothing to be ashamed of, and now that he may be retiring from swimming competition, he should be able to go back to privately toking away.

    Congrats, Michael, on not only gaining more medals than any other Olympic competitor, but also singlehandedly redeeming the Phelps family name. :)

  • nike free run||

    Michael Phelps is my idol

  • CE||

    Seems like he won more gold medals before he quit.

  • ||

    i mentioned this in another post, but if my water polo/swim team roommates were any indication, swimmers live by the "wake and bake" credo

    granted, if you had hours of boring laps to look forward to (no waterproof mp3's back then), what would you do?

    the idea that recreational drugs and elite athletic performance are incompatible is complete bullshit

    i wish michael phelps had the stones to say "yea, i smoke pot sometimes. so what? i'm also the best swimmer in the world, and occasional pot smoking has never harmed my performance. in fact, it helps me relax sometimes, and that's what i have to say about that"

    of course his sponsors would have dropped him like THAT, and probably somebody from WADA would have spiked his subway sandwich with equipose so he would fail his drug test

    or a crazed soccer mom would have assassinated him for corrupting her children

  • Sudden Distuption||

    I wrote about this when it first happened and suggested a secret boycott. It's an even more valid idea now:

    http://suddendisruption.blogsp...../Marijuana

    Sudden Disruption

  • Ardelle||

    To Michael Phelps: Thanks for the incredible memories and spectacles and performances. What can you say about an athlete so phenomenal that he makes Ray Ewry, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis seem like minor champions?

  • Madashell||

    I think it's sadly ironic that "drug" using addicted "offenders" are being rounded up and arrested by junkies of another kind. The agencies and officers perpetuating this "drug war" are as addicted to the funding as the "offenders" they persecute.

    The drug war will never end (without a major fight) because there is too much money at stake. And as long as there are so many people who support dicks like Joe Arpaio and his "tent city", we will not see real change. We are divided and conquered.

  • Ralph Wylie||

    Coincidental to this article about Michael Phelps and his "alleged" use of Marijuana, today I received a letter from my Congressman Duncan Hunter that was in response to a letter I sent to him encouraging him to support Hemp farming in the USA. He stated, "The reason the Hemp farming is not allowed in the USA is because the FDA classifies Hemp the same a Marijuana." (roughly paraphrased)
    As long as we have politicians that are so ill-informed and ignorant of the facts and blindly accept the almighty FDA's stance, the killer weed (facetious) will never be accepted in this country. Hunter's stance on medicinal Marijuana is much the same stating MMJ is the same as Heroin and Meth as per the FDA Scheduling. He also stated that Marinol is readily available and therefore Medical Marijuana legalization is unnecessary. Where's the reasoning in this? I guess lots of people have died from Marijuana use that is not being reported and I am not aware of or they are all full of shiite. Ironically,the politicians, cops and lawmakers are the ones that would most benefit from a little use of the Sticky Icky.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement