Sunday, July 31, 2005

The war against allergy sufferers

I'm so sick of states restricting access to things like Sudafed thinking it'll help cure methamphetamine use.

We did it here in Oklahoma. Now, in order to get Sudafed, you have to go to a pharmacy, give them all kinds of personal information, and there are restrictions on how much you can get at one time.

Or, you could drive two hours north to Kansas and pick some up.

Yeah, that's reeeeally going to stop the meth trade.

Just the other week, there was a meth lab bust next door to my apartment. This was MONTHS after that law went into effect.

All that this law does is make it more difficult for allergy sufferers to get relief!

Now Oregon is about to pass a law forcing people to get a PRESCRIPTION for Sudafed. Yeah. To get Sudafed, you'll now have to spend money at the doctor.

Or drive to Washington and pick some up.

Look, until we can have a national standard for Sudafed distribution, this just isn't going to work. And it's not going to work anyway because the war on drugs in general is a giant failure. Meth users are always going to find a way to get what they need. It's a fact. So stop inconveniencing those of us who are just trying to stop the sniffles and let's focus on fixing the real causes of drug addiction: poverty, disenfranchisement, lack of education, lack of job opportunities.

Quotes about the war in Kosovo

I found this surfing around various blogs. It's very illuminating. Keep in mind -- these are quotes about President Clinton getting involved in Kosovo.

Quotes in reference to Kosovo:

"Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"You can support the troops but not the president"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem."
-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning...I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."
-Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years"
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee, so you can trust me and believe me when I say we're running out of cruise missles. I can't tell you exactly how many we have left, for security reasons, but we're almost out of cruise missles."
-Senator Inhofe (R-OK)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"I don't know that Milosevic will ever raise a white flag"
-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"The two powers that have ICBMs that can reach the United States are Russia and China. Here we go in. We're taking on not just Milosevic. We can't just say, 'that little guy, we can whip him.' We have these two other powers that have missiles that can reach us, and we have zero defense thanks to this president."
-Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do."
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"
-Pat Buchanan (R)

"This has been an unmitigated disaster ... Ask the Chinese embassy. Ask all the people in Belgrade that we've killed. Ask the refugees that we've killed. Ask the people in nursing homes. Ask the people in hospitals."
-Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

What's going on with the space program?

Seriously. Two years ago we had a shuttle literally disintegrate in mid descent, killing all on board. Now we've got almost the same problem on Discovery. Are these astronauts going to make it home? Who's behind the wheel at NASA?

Sometimes I feel like NASA has just become this big bureaucratic nightmare that will never propel us into serious space exploration. Everything they do is so huge and complicated and expensive and overbudget and delayed and has problems and explodes...maybe now that they don't have those eeviyl Commies to fight, since there is no more "race" anymore, the quest for space is no longer a priority. The Cold War might have been a stupid battle between ideologies, but it certainly led to some serious technological advancement that we wouldn't have had otherwise...

Anyway, here's to the astronauts of Discovery. May they make it home safely and may NASA get to work on more projects like the Mars rover, you know, projects that work.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The energy bill

Congress finally passed an energy bill. Great. Now all of the already rich oil and gas executives will be able to afford yet another Hummer, while the rest of us struggle to fill up our own cars with gas. Sure, there are some token tax breaks for alternative fuel vehicles and maybe a dollar or two here or there to build a wind generator, but most of the bill goes straight into the pockets of oil and gas companies.

If you think about it, that's not such a big problem. We're clearly reaching peak production of oil, which means that we're going to run out sooner rather than later, meaning that these executives are going to be out of a job sooner rather than later, and we're all going to be up shit creek without Mel Gibson in a badly dubbed American accent to stop the Humongus from taking over the world.

(That's a "Mad Max" reference. Go watch that movie.)

I'm glad that the bill increases spending for nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is the only safe alternative to fossil fuels that is practical for national use. Solar and wind power are fine and good, but it would be impossible to convert the entire national power grid to either of them. You'd have to blanket every piece of desert in the Southwest with solar panels or cover half the Rocky Mountains with wind farms.

Russ Feingold, a guy I greatly admire, seriously, and I hope he runs for President in 2008, tried to block the bill because it violated the Senate's own budget rules. He was shot down. Still, the fact that the bill violated the Senate's budget rules really says something about it--it's an overblown tax giveaway to the corporations who are ruining the environment with toxic pollutants and encouraging people to buy military grade vehicles for their suburban homes.


Nightline ran an interview with a Russian terrorist last night, and the Russian government had a fit.

Here's the thing. The interview was actually pretty intelligent and well done. It was creepy to see the interviewer sitting next to a cold-blooded murderer asking him why he orchestrated the killings of hundreds of schoolchildren and theatre goers.

And I think it's important for people to see this kind of thing -- it's about getting a fuller perspective on what's going on. Yes, the guy is a murderer and a maniac. But he's also a great example of who The Enemy really is -- and the more we can learn about why he does what he does and how his mind works, the better able we will be to beat him and people like him.

So I say kudos to Nightline for having the chutzpah to air that interview. We need more bold journalism like that in this country -- far too many cable news programs are mere fluff meant to hold your attention between chunks of advertising space, unless they're on Fox News, in which case all of the programs are in some way Republican propaganda orchestrated by Darth Sidious...sorry, Karl Rove.

Let's also not forget that while the Russian government complains about Nightline airing this interview, they're also busy wiping out the limited amount of freedom that their press gained after the fall of the Soviet Union. I don't think we should really be taking lessons from them about proper things for the media to report.


Hello. This would be my first post and my first serious venture into the world of "blogging."

I have a LiveJournal, and I've used that for quite a while now, but that's mostly for more personal and trivial things.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for me to attempt a serious political writing career.

My intent is to post every day.

Some days I might have something interesting to say, but other days I may not.

For instance, today I'm writing about writing. You may find that interesting or you may not. You may not even exist, as I know that nobody is going to see this blog until I start promoting it, and before I do that I have to have something worthy of promotion.

In any event, here's what you'll likely find at the Left Handed Blog:

1) Political commentary from a perspective somewhere to the left of Howard Dean and somewhere to the right of Vladimir Lenin.

2) Well, that's really all I'm planning for this blog to have.

3) No, seriously, there's no need for this list to continue.

4) Stop it!

5) I mean it. I don't have any more items to list right now.

6) Argh.

Right, well, that gets old quickly.

In any event, sit back, relax, throw some cliches on the fire and get ready for some first class...something. And remember, no matter how big you think the world is, it's always bigger if you look at it from somewhere else.

How long did you take trying to decipher that quote? Yeah, that was way too long. And you're right; it doesn't make any sense or mean anything. Ah, but such is the mystery of the univ....ok I'll stop now.