Reason Morning Links: Pot, Pirates, and Pipe Bomb Dreams


• The Senate says no to the Fairness Doctrine.

• The BBC's covert war on pirate radio.

• Egyptian diplomacy pays off in Palestine.

• Maverick economist Chris Dillow defends our irrational animal spirits.

• Notes from the grading wars.

• Airport police make amazing discovery: That bike is not, in fact, a pipe bomb.

NEXT: Brickbats

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  1. They think that when the terrorists come, they will be wearing white t-shirts with “TERRORIST” stencilled on the front.

    Don’t forget; they’ll be wearing turbans, too.

  2. Speaking of grading wars, I dunno if this was linked here but there was an interesting article in the NYTimes last week about how student expectations and professor expectations for satisfactory performance have often become quite different. In particular, it’s apparently common for students to think they should get a top grade if they work hard, regardless of whether they actually understand the material.

  3. ? The Senate says no to the Fairness Doctrine.

    I guess the Michael Savage/Thomas More Law Center partnership helped tip the balance. 😉

  4. Aides to President Barack Obama have said he has no intention of trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, but that has not stopped some Republicans from raising the issue.

    Or Democrats.

    I give Obama props for this one.

  5. Newly installed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared he would stop the practice established by the Bush administration of raiding legally licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. (from the linked article)

    Actually, the Clinton administration was the first to raid medical marijuana dispensaries. Anyway, the Attorney General’s announcement about ending the drug raids is great news. Still, I’m waiting for them to go a month without busting any dispensaries before I open the champaign.

  6. ? “Raids on Medical Marijuana Will End”

    Will prosections already in the pipeline be dropped?
    All it would take is a memo from the AG.

  7. J sub D, I’ve heard on the radio that Democrats plan on using some sort of community service requirement to control media content. In this plan, the feds require that broadcasters reflect the views of the community, and local groups like ACORN define what the community thinks. At this point, I’m glad the Senate opposed the Fairness Doctrine, but I’m keeping an eye out for possible circuitous versions of it.

  8. Good point, J sub D. The AG should drop those cases.

  9. I guess I’m just skeptical today. Regarding the Egyptian brokered agreement, I’ll wait and see if they actually implement it. Hamas and Fatah singed a reconciliation agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia a couple of years ago, but it never took hold.

  10. J sub D, I’ve heard on the radio that Democrats plan on using some sort of community service requirement to control media content.

    No matter what the administration says or does at this point, talk-radio hosts are using the specter of some sort of Fairness Doctrine as a perpetual boogeyman.

    The localism requirements that you refer to are indeed a current proposal, and I do disagree with them. However, if implemented, they would almost certainly be a much-bigger threat to a lot of the nation’s religious broadcasters (e.g., folks like K-Love/Air 1 owner Educational Media Foundation, who tend to run lots of local stations out of one central location) than to talk hosts.

  11. Aides to President Barack Obama have said he has no intention of trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

    C’mon, people. This is the Parsin’ President. Its what he doesn’t say that matters. What he didn’t say was that he would oppose it or veto it or has any principled objection to it.

    Pending a more definitive statement, I take his position to be that, if Congress is willing to take the hits to put something on his desk, he’ll sign it, or if the FCC and Congress come up with a way to do this without legislation, he won’t stop it. That’s perfectly consistent with “no intention of trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine”, after all.

  12. Props, jtuf, for pointing out Holder’s lie about who started the raids.

    I’m also curious, not only about pending prosecutions, but about just when Holder and Obama will stir themselves to actually put a stop to the raids. It could be done in a day. What are they waiting for?

  13. jtuf,
    Do you have a link that shows that the raids began under Clinton?

  14. The BBC believed that the pirates were part of attempts to break up its monopoly via the backdoor. Its dirty tricks campaign was prompted by the reluctance of politicians to take action against the stations, for fear of alienating young voters. The BBC conducted extensive research into Radio Caroline, which had ships off Felixstowe, Suffolk, and the Isle of Man, including finding out how many of its listeners were under 21 – the voting age, at the time – so it could prove to MPs that a ban on the pirates would not damage their election prospects.

    It’s like a case study in rent seeking, and using a favored status eliminate competition by getting the government to erect and maintain barriers to entry.

    It’s a good thing the cabal of laissez faire free market ideologues who secretly run this country won’t allow such nonsense.

  15. Let the parsin’ begin. From Tizzy’s article:

    During one campaign appearance, Obama recalled that his mother had died of cancer and said he saw no difference between doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers. He told an interviewer in March that it was “entirely appropriate” for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana “with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors.”

    In other words, as soon as pot has FDA approval.

    Now for Holder’s comment:

    “What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing here in law enforcement,” he said. “What he said during the campaign is now American policy.”

    …and what the President said is above. FDA approval will be required (which will happen around the 12th of Never)–until then, the raids will continue.


    Link for some good info on Clinton’s escalation of the drug war.

  17. The Senate says no to the Fairness Doctrine.

    According to the NRA, “Fairfax, Va. – The United States Senate has voted, with overwhelming bipartisan support, to adopt an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) that seeks to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in the District of Columbia. The amendment, attached to S.160, the D.C. Voting Rights Act, will repeal restrictive gun control laws passed by the District of Columbia’s (D.C.) city council after the landmark D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court decision. The vote margin was 62-36.”

    Where did this Senate come from?

  18. Good point, J sub D. The AG should drop those cases.

    Not good enough. BHO should do the right thing and pardon anyone who got fucked over by the DEA for using or helping anyone to use marijuana for medical purposes.


  19. Kwais, via Americans for Safe Access

    In 1997, the federal government began a campaign to arrest and prosecute medical cannabis patients and their providers. These raids resulted in two Supreme Court Cases, OCBC and Gonzales v. Raich. In each of these cases the Justices found that the federal law and state law can exist in conflict and that the federal government could continue their campaign against medical cannabis patients if they so choose. However, the Justices questioned “the wisdom’ of going after patients and their providers and called on Congress to change the current laws to allow for medical use.

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