Friday, December 16, 2005

Cute Overload 


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Those Evolution Stickers 

So the 11th Circuit is going to rule on whether those textbook stickers are unconstitutional under, I presume, the Establishment Clause.

The stickers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

A trial judge already ruled them unconstitutional:
"Adopted by the school board, funded by the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others they are political insiders," U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said in his 44-page ruling.
This is wierd territory. I obviously favor drawing the line way out on church/state separation. But the people who put these stickers out there did a good job of wording them - it's the same wolf-in-sheep's-clothing messaging that has helped ID trojan horse its way into the mainstream. It makes the lower court's ruling read pretty milquetoast. I mean, "political outsiders" v. "political insiders"? Gimme a fuckin' break. I hope there's some better rationale in that opinion somewhere, but I'm not about to read it while I'm supposedly doing a practice test for Fed Courts.

Anywho...something to watch. Also, an excuse to link to this again.

I should make this clear. Those stickers are an endorsement of creationism no matter how they're worded and it should be unconstitutional to use taxpayer money to put that message into textbooks in public schools. Period. But you gotta hand it to those IDers...they're good with the bullshit.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Marijuana Research 

A researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is trying to grow marijuana for research purposes. In a shocking turn of events, the DEA and NIDA are opposed to learning more about the plant. Their reasoning?
The [DEA], as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which formally runs the marijuana research program, argues that it is not in the public interest to have more than one source of marijuana, in part because it could lead to greater illicit use. What's more, they said in legal briefs, the Mississippi program supplies all the marijuana that researchers need. Agency officials declined to comment further.
So the government controls the strain, strength and quality of all marijuana available for research in the country. They claim that allowing a professor at a well-known university to grow plants for research would "lead to greater illicit use" and "decline to comment further."

Hmmm...I wonder if it's really about illicit use? Perhaps it has more to do with controlling the marijuana that's available for research:
The problems . . . are not limited to winning approval to buy the Mississippi marijuana. Doblin and other researchers contend that the government marijuana is low in quality and potency and could never be a stable source of basic ingredients if the Food and Drug Administration ever did approve a marijuana-based medication.
To do research into plant-derived medication, you have to have a decent specimen of the plant. The U.S. government is doing a lot to make sure that doesn't happen. I wonder why?

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