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Saturday, April 26, 2008

We love you very much, and miss you.

Crunchymama, supermom and liberty activist quotes:

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. -Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson grew hemp at Monticello. He invented a machine that extracted fibers from the stalks. He also smoked hemp to relieve his migraine headaches. [source]
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." -Thomas Jefferson
I choose to live free, because it is right to do so. I have the moral high ground. I'm non-violent. I'm honest. I give back, voluntarily to charity, by force through taxes to government, to my community. I love God.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm a big fan of Hip-Hop, specifically, southern rap. I'll try to post a couple of songs, one obscure, one not so obscure from the genre every Friday.

Topping the Hot 107.1 playlist this week is Three 6 Mafia's latest, featuring T. Pain and Project Pat, "Lollipop."

The next artist is hardly obscure to fans of the Memphis Rap scene, however his Wikipedia entry accuses him of not being "notable." I disagree. Playa Fly's Nobody Needs Nobody, featuring Gansta Blac and Bill Chill (RIP), has to be one of the defining anthems of Dirty South rap. Don't let his stony eyes fool you, he's a lyrical maestro.

Warning: Lyrics NSFW

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Shawn Mullins has released "The Ballad of Kathryn Johnston" on MP3 via Kathryn Johnston is the 92 year old great grandmother who was gunned down by police in a botched drug raid. At fault were the police who knowingly used the fraudulent report of an anonymous informant to secure a search warrant against Ms. Johnston's Atlanta home. Read more here. I had a minute to transcribe the lyrics.

"The Ballad of Kathryn Johnston, Shawn Mullins"

Ole Miss Johnston,
Lived all alone,
On the sorry side of town.

Broke down cars and burglar bars,
On the windows and doors,
In case danger comes around.

Sitting in her yellow kitchen,
Listening to bad news
On the AM radio.

Used to be Louis Armstrong
And Martin Luther King.
Where did every body go?

Out the window
Where her garden was,
It's not safe to go outside.

Ole Miss Johnston
In the eye of the storm,
It was the safest place to hide.

[Unintelligible] Life's a gamble,
for the broken and the weak,
Dealing with the bangers and the drugs.

The winos weave and amble,
And wander on down the street,
Steering clear of all the thugs.

Now my city hangs her head in shame.
Can't tell the truth from all the lies.

Everything changed forever
And everything stayed the same
On the night Miss Johnston died.
When will things change for people like Miss Johnston, Cory Maye, Tarika Wilson, and Ryan Fredrick?

You can buy the MP3 for $1 on Amazon. (Hey tightwad! It's only a buck! Buy it already!)

Hat tip: The Agitator

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Memphis Police are hard at work cracking down on non-violent crime. This time it's the johns they're after:

...[A]uthorities will attempt to seize 42 cars: 39 from those charged with soliciting prostitutes, as well as one from a suspect facing drug charges and two because the owners had revoked driver's licenses.

"They were used in the commission of a crime. Under state law, they are subject to seizure," Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons said, when asked if the seizures seemed excessive. "I think it's a good law. But if you think it's too stringent, talk to your legislators."
Added Memphis Police director Larry Godwin: "I'd say seize every dadgum vehicle and send a message."
These "crimes" are consensual and non-violent. Surely we have higher priorities in the most violent city in America. And they're seizing the cars because its impossible to pick up a prostitute in Memphis without one?

This operation comes on the heels of "Operation Sudden Impact" where dozens of terrorists were captured before unleashing their wrath on the city. Well not really.

Update: The Agitator picked this story up today 4/24/2008.

It's 420 Somewhere

In honor of 4/20 week I offer you this simple reminder.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We can watch history repeating itself on the mean streets of Chicago. Is Memphis all that different?

The gang violence of the 1920’s is the same 80 years later: it is driven by a prohibition that increases crime, violence, disease and death. The land of Al Capone should read the history books: just as alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s caused Chicago to erupt in gang violence in Capone’s era, drug prohibition is the root of gang warfare in Chicago in 2008. The black market drug trade fuels the violence, and as long as prohibition continues, the resulting violence will only increase.
This opinion isn't drafted by some junkie, rather current and former law enforcement professionals. We certainly aren't immune to the perils of prohibition. What's worse, individuals getting high in the privacy and safety of their own home or people dying of gangland violence fueled by the high profits of drugs on a black market? End the drug war, end the violence.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

My propaganda alarm went off this morning when I saw this provocative headline:

Oral sex, marijuana use linked to throat cancer

Wow, that's quite a claim. I had to read more, especially since this story comes out of Nashville. Turns out, the cannabis use was only a "behavior associated with..." not a causality of the cancer. In fact the specific type of cancer that this report covered was HPV positive upper throat cancer. HPV, or the Human Papilloma Virus, is a sexually transmitted disease. So whoring around is still risky, imagine that.

There was absolutely no attempt to isolate cannabis use variable as a causality of the throat cancer because it isn't the cause. HPV caused the cancer. Cannabis use is often considered to be a risky behavior in clinical studies because it is illegal, not cause any significant health malady. I will concede that cannabis smokers have an elevated risk of bronchitis, but that's what I recommend a vaporizer for.

This paragraph set off another alarm for me:
"It's possible that other behaviors linked with marijuana use could be the real culprit, and our results will need to be confirmed," she [ Dr. Maura L. Gillison] said. Chemicals in marijuana called cannabinoids could affect the immune system's ability to fight a virus.
Was Dr. Gillison's quote spurred by direct questioning by the reporter, i.e. "Is 'marijuana' the contributing factor here?" If so, the doctor's response could actually be a dismissal of the proposition.

Then the reporter follows the speculation with a dubious claim of immunosuppression. The truth is, there's no evidence that cannabinoids suppress the human immune system. In fact, quite the opposite has been shown. Cannabanoids have been shown in the use of autoimmune disease patients to regulate the body's immune responses. I'm not challenging Dr. Gillison's expertise, she's not the one making the grandious claims. BTW, I actually have the courage to research and link to my health claims of cannabis.

This story is the product of a reporter with an vendetta against cannabis. In fact the original news release from John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center doesn't even mention cannabis use. ( The updated one does. ) In fact, when I first heard about this study I couldn't find any mention of "marijuana" or cannabis on their entire website. I'm so sick of propaganda pieces like this. Believe me, my wife and I aren't going to loose any sleep over this "link", and we would have a good reason to worry. ;-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

McCain drops 2 G's at Barney's New York in Beverly Hills. This has nothing to do with anything other than it reminded me when I met Don Sunquist while he was a member of the Imperial Senate. That was before he tried to shove an income tax down the throats of the People of Tennessee.

The senator had on black alligator shoes with gold buckles and a matching belt. His ensemble was more than my dad made in a month. I remember thinking, "This is not how a conservative dresses." It was my first taste of what the Republican Party leadership was really all about. Now there is no doubt for me that Sunquist and McCain are cut from the same cloth.

thanks Crooks and Liars

The Agitator, Radley Balko sounds off again on the Memphis Inquisition on April 13. Via Reason Magazine:

What's really unfortunate is the complete lack of inquisitiveness in the local media. How many of these raids were backed by search warrants? What justification did police give for the traffic roadblocks and traffic stops? Random stops and roadblocks are only legal under limited circumstances. Fishing expeditions aren't one of them, though fishing expeditions disguised as DWI checkpoints usually are.
Guess what, Radley? This is par for the course in Memphis, TN, where the only investigative journalism is the weekly restaurant health department scores. Remember that drunk off-duty cop who shot up the bar a few weeks ago? Yeah, neither does anyone else. Here we're too busy dodging bullets to be concerned with getting pulled over on traffic violation.

Most of the locals here keep hollering for more police protection, more checkpoints, more arrests, more incarcerations, and longer sentences. Meanwhile we're looking at a 17% property tax increase, for what?

BTW, it was Free Talk Live coverage, not local media that got my attention.

Last time I went to Spring River I stopped by for a 30 pack of "Last Chance Beer" before I hit the dry counties of North Central Arkansas. I never thought about picking up a sack on my way. Stepping up to fill consumer demand, this enterprising Arkansan Pizza Hut Manager's diversification strategies landed him in hot water with the state's good ole boys. Yep, prohibition is alive and well in Arkansas.

Police: Manager sold marijuana from drive-through window
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Police have arrested a pizza parlor manager on charges alleging he sold marijuana out of his drive-through window in Fort Smith, Ark.

Authorities said Monday that state and local investigators acting on a tip went to the Pizza Hut restaurant and found six ounces of marijuana and a set of digital scales in the manager's office.

Police said they arrested 28-year-old manager Aaron Massey on Friday on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Massey has been released on $3,500 bail.

Note: no weapons, no violence, just a plant.
Original Article

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Well we're blowing up on the bloggosphere here in Memphis. I'm rather underwhelmed with our Anti-Terrorism response, "Operation Sudden Impact" was more like Operation Dull Thud. I mean I never noticed any extra police activity on April 13. I try to miss all the local newscasts, and I can't abide listening to AM 600 for news anymore. Mike Fleming is a racist windbag of David Duke proportions. No one can mix a metaphor like Mike can. I digress.

We Memphians have one of the most violent cities in the US and we're using Federal anti-terrorism money to arrest people for petty, non-violent offenses. Does anyone else see a problem with this behavior? We're just stuck on stupid I guess. I'm a little embarrassed for our city, again.

Radley Balko mentioned us here.
Free Talk Live covered the story was covered in the last 20 minutes of Friday's show, MP3 here.
Alex Jones' Prison Planet has the scoop for the tin-foil hat crowd.

I arrived home yesterday and checked my mail box. Finally my "Never Get Raided" video was here. Shipping seemed to take forever, 3 weeks, but I ordered early so I was able to get an autographed copy. Barry and Candy Cooper are doing yeoman's work in the cannabis culture. I'm so glad they produced this video and hope that every cannabis user and person interested in cannabis law reform watches it.

As a former drug cop and baddass, Barry's message is unique. Now he works on the citizen's side of the law, instructing people how to protect themselves from having their lives ruined by tyrannical and draconian drug policy. His compassion is evident as he describes the lives destroyed by aggressive and violent police tactics. He specifically shows concern for families ruined by the war on drugs.

After seeing Never Get Busted Volume 1: Traffic Stops, I was amazed at the amount of gossip and misinformation the average stoner gets from his friends in avoiding police protection. There is a misconception that coffee grounds and other masking agents fool drug dogs. Dogs can separate smell with their nose, like we can color with our eyes. A dog will smell both coffee and cannabis in the same container, even if we can't. Volume 2: Never Get Raided is full of cannabis proverbs as well.

The first chapter [Youtube Video] covers growing cannabis outdoors or guerrilla growing. Barry takes you to a cannabis field to show you how law enforcement searches from helicopters to detect grow operations. Provided among the tips is a running commentary about the irrationality, stupidity, and futility of the drug war. The police will brag about busting 7 fields while failing to irradicate thousands more. Cannabis remains the number one cash crop in the nation, says Barry, it ranks just above corn. Corn! With all of the government subsidies corn corn farmers get, the millions of acres planted with it, with the 1000's of uses corn has from biofuel to sweetener, cannabis is still numero uno.

Barry then unearths a myriad of myths and speculation about how FLIR cameras work to detect indoor cannabis gardens. Spoiler: It's not your lights they look for, its the heat of your exhaust. You must see the actual FLIR video he took, where he uncovers an indoor garden. He also covers how to obtain indoor grow room equipment undetected, both online and brick and mortar.

The "Selling Drugs Undetected" chapter involves a complicated scheme of evasion and drop off locations. Frankly, the technique he describes just wouldn't be practical for small casual sales. There are other useful tips in this chapter you shouldn't miss especially about "talking business" and prepaid cell phones.

Detecting undercovers and informants is probably the most critical chapter for the average smoker to watch. Desperate friends will rat on you if they're in trouble. He covers how these snitches behave in order to deceive you. A Barry gem: A (clean) cop will never take a bong hit.

The most unique lesson he teaches comes in the Avoiding Knock and Talks chapter. When the police knock on the door to ask you questions, there is no reason you ever need to open the door for them. You are in no way obligated to talk to them or comply with their instructions. I'll say it again, whether or not you have anything to hide, "NEVER OPEN YOUR DOOR FOR THE POLICE!" If the police have the authority to enter your home, make them kick the door down. If they aren't willing to do that then they have no choice but to go away. He teaches, through the anecdote of a busted grower, the techniques that cops will use to manipulate and coerce you into complying with their investigation. I'll save the rest of the details for the video.

One of the strange paradoxes you'll learn is that, unlike your vehicle, in your home you want EVERYTHING to smell like cannabis. Barry teaches you how to ensure that that happens. If everything smells like bud, there's no way a drug detector dog can distinguish between the ubiquitous smell of cannabis and your well hidden stash.

That's about it. I recommend you buy this video for yourself and those that care about. Barry does give permission for you to make copies of the video that you buy for your friends, but requests that you at least buy one copy for the permission to do this.

Barry and Candy now write for Cannabis Culture Magazine, available next to High Times at Bookstar at Poplar Plaza. They are working on NGB Volume 3: 50/50, were they will document the use of alcohol and then cannabis on the same 50 people.

Barry Cooper, Mark Emery, and I all have very lovely wives, even though we might not be much to look at. That says something for responsible, cannabis using men. We take care of the ladies.

Celebrate 420 With G4

No, no, you're thinking G-13. I'm talking about the TV station G4. All their shows today are related to the cannabis culture.

Read more 420 news at G4 TV.

Thank you to all who work so hard and risk so much so that smokers might be able to enjoy a little bit of God's creation. Have fun and be safe today. See you all at Shelby Farms for Earth Day.

May your buds be dank and your smoke be cool. Happy 4/20!