Tag: law


Did you know that Portugal basically decriminalized all drugs in 2001? Take a guess what the results have been over the intervening decade. If you guessed that the results would be a drop in drug use, a drop in HIV cases arising from drug use, and a big jump in people in treatment programs, you’d be right. (I wish there was more in the article about the presence or absence of effects on criminal cash flow arising from the presumable price drop in a decriminalized environment.)

Remember That Financial Crisis?

Yes, we’re all supposed to be much more interested in the oil spill at the moment, but we still remember that whole huge financial crisis right? If so, then you will want to read Jeff Madrick’s review of Michael Lewis‘ new book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine. It’s the best kind of review–it not only gives you a… Read more →

No Fear Of The Dreaded Two-Day-er

It’s weird–or maybe not so weird, really–but reading certain news items my reactions are almost entirely filtered through my years of training as a science fiction reader. Sometimes I read the story and suddenly see all kinds of comparisons between some real world event and things I’ve read–either direct connections, or analogies. Sometimes I read something and can’t help but… Read more →


I’m not going to get my hopes up too high yet, but if it turns out that putting Sotomayor on the court was the start of the end of corporate personhood… well, let’s just say I don’t see myself having a problem with that.

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done”

I was pretty pleased last week to see the British PM get around to issuing an apology for their government’s treatment of Alan Turing. Being a computer geek, and a bit of a crypto amateur, the things done at Bletchley Park generally, and by Turing specifically (and not just during the war), are things of interest to me. Being a,… Read more →

Serious Ireland WTF?

Like many North Americans of Irish descent I quite often like to play up that aspect of my heritage–although in my case it runs more to quoting Yeats, listening to songs about killing the English1, and drinking Guinness than to wearing KISS ME I’M IRISH shirts or drinking blechh green beers. From time to time though, there are certainly things… Read more →

Feingold, once again, says what needs saying

For several weeks now I’ve been almost consciously avoiding reading any of the stories about how Obama is handling both the existing set of “detainees” and how his administration is handling demands for transparency and possible criminal prosecution for people who authorized the use of torture. I’ve been avoiding it because all signs point to an endless cascade of disappointment… Read more →

Thursday evening notes

Watching Maine becoming #5 this week, it occurs to me that while the process may be terribly slow from the perspective of people who just want to be treated equally (and I know I can only say that off-handedly since I already have all the privileges–white, male, straight, etc.) the whole thing is pretty much inevitable at this point. Even… Read more →

A message for some Californians

We’ve had it in place for several years now, and you know somehow the fabric of civilization has not disintegrated. And, you know, I still haven’t heard any argument against gay marriage that isn’t premised on either “God said so” or “Gays are icky” or both. Also, the best quote I read on this subject today: “I’m waiting for an… Read more →


The details of the story might not be all I am hoping for, but seeing a headline that says “Cheney and Gonzales Indicted for Prisoner Abuse” is certainly a step in the right direction. Let’s hope it’s one of the first pebbles in an avalanche.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.