"…how could anyone claim that President Bush “kept us safe,” when the worst terrorist attack in America’s history took place nearly nine months after Bush became president? Moreover, how could anyone claim that Bush “kept us safe,” when Bush’s own intelligence services produced a National Intelligence Estimate in 2006, which concluded that America’s invasion of Iraq had actually made the world a more dangerous place, due to the proliferation of terrorists and terrorism that it precipitated?"
"If gun culture is going to be the foundation for the kind of gun politics we have (which will brook no regulation at all, even when that regulation is designed to safeguard the lives and limbs of gun owners themselves); if the politics are the result of the culture (and it’s the kind of culture that says it’s okay to give a five-year-old a gun)…well then, I’m sorry—we need to talk about this culture."
Among the more serious arguments against liberalizing immigration is that it can be costly to taxpayers. Low-skilled immigrants in particular consume more government services than they pay in taxes, increasing the burden of government for native-born Americans. Organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform have produced reports claiming that immigration costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year, with the heaviest costs borne by state and local taxpayers. No less a classical liberal than Milton Freidman mused that open immigration is incompatible with a welfare state. Responding to a question at a libertarian conference in 1999, Friedman rejected the idea of opening the U.S. border to all immigrants, declaring that “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state” (Free Students 2008).
Contrary to those concerns, immigration to the United States does not pose a long-term burden on U.S. taxpayers. The typical immigrant and his or her descendants pay more in taxes than they consume in government services in terms of net present value. Lowskilled immigrants do impose a net cost on government, in particular on the state and local level, but those costs are often exaggerated by critics of immigration and are offset by broader benefits to the overall economy. And with all due respect to Milton Freidman, practical steps can be taken to allow nations such as the United States to reap the benefits of a more open immigration system while maintaining certain welfare programs for citizens.
Daniel T. Griswold, Cato Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Winter 2012
"The most significant differences between those who smoked marijuana and those who never or no longer did was that current smokers’ insulin levels were reduced by 16 percent and their insulin resistance (a condition in which the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17 percent."
The Atlantic’s Lindsay Abrams, reporting on the results of a recent study on the health effects of marijuana. In addition, regular pot smokers were skinnier than those who abstained, “even after adjusting for factors like age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical activity levels,” and had higher levels of HDL (“good cholesterol”). source (via shortformblog)
So, obviously I’m a huge fan of this, and not just because pot is great. In the United States, it is borderline impossible to do scientific research or testing on marijuana because it is a Schedule 1 drug. That means it’s considered one of the most dangerous substances and it has no possible medical benefits. (For reference, cocaine, opium and amphetamines are Schedule 2, and ketamine is Schedule 3 - in other words, they’re considered “less bad” than pot, and there are fewer federal requirements about studying them.)
Most people who study marijuana do it like this researcher: they test people who will admit to using pot presently or in the past. Findings like this are preliminary, but it opens up a lot of questions about how cannabis affects the human body. We need to study it more. We need to be getting lab subjects high with different amounts of THC and seeing how it affects them in real time. There is so much potential for good here.
More evidence that pot can be beneficial means more people trying to study it, which means more pressure to remove cannabis from Schedule 1, which means we can do more research and maybe find cures/preventions AND fewer people will be getting mandatory life sentences for it.
PREDICTION: Monsanto will patent a THC strain in the next decade.
An affair to remember: A dating site that specializes in orchestrating extramarital affairs has chosen the notoriously infidelitous Mark Sanford as its poster boy, spending $6,000 to erect this billboard in South Carolina, where the former governor is trying to convince people to forget his 2009 affair (and subsequent dereliction of duty) and elect him to the state’s open congressional seat. In an interview with Politico, the founder of the website suggested, without a shred of believability, that he actually wants Sanford to win the election. (Photo credit: AshleyMadison.com) source
In a new campaign, Reporters Without Borders shows world leaders flipping you off.
All the leaders depicted are of the nondemocratic sort that some might label dictators—the kind who might restrict the freedom that journalists enjoy in other parts of the world with the kind of gleeful “f*ck you” depicted here.
…Thankfully, there seems to be some help on the way. Back in February, President Obama unveiled a plan to raise all minimum wages, both tipped and non-tipped, to $9 an hour. A bit more drastic, and therefore a bit more of a Hail Mary pass in the Republican-controlled House, is a bill put forth by Rep. George Miller from California and Sen. Tom Harkin from Iowa that attempts to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to the actual minimum wage, “first moving it to $3 and then to 70 percent of the full wage through annual 95-cent increases.” Ultimately, the federal minimum wage would be raised to $10.10 by 2015.
Read more here.