Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Friday, October 15, 2010 :::

As a father of three children -- Cooper 9, Greer 6, and Chase 3 -- I'm faced with the dilemma of discussing with them how marijuana is as safe as aspirin when they turn 18 years old. If Proposition 19 passes, the state of California is telling me that it's okay for my children to get loaded on drugs as often as once a week or every day and all day.
So says some psychotherapist. Of course, the proposition wouldn't endorse marijuana use, let alone daily use; it would just prevent the state of California from prosecuting those who use or distribute to people who are at least 21 years old. I assume self-castration is legal; if this fellow assumes that anything legal is commendable and/or is allowing his kids to think that way, I hope someone will inform him of that and hand him a pair of scissors.

While this (not long) Althouse post is most interesting for its illustration of what life was like in that Chilean mine — not as bad as Althouse or I assumed, which isn't to say good — she catches Chris Matthews making a similar error to that of the psychotherapist:
If the trapped Chilean miners had subscribed to the tea party's "every-man-for-himself" philosophy, "they would have been killing each other after about two days," MSNBC host Chris Matthews said on his "Hardball" show Wednesday night....
As Althouse points out, tea partiers have not opposed cooperation, they have just called for it to be voluntary. Frankly, the big Glenn Beck rally in DC — which might not have really been a "tea party" rally, but was related — focused on building community-supportive character, and left the National Mall a lot cleaner than the labor movement did a couple of weeks ago.

Meanwhile, I'm not really a first lady watcher, so maybe she's been more strident than I know, but I see no inconsistency between encouraging people to eat better and enjoying the occasional greaseburger. I don't support giving her a pass on electioneering in a polling place; Drudge reports (that link won't last):
A top Ilinois State Board of Elections official tells the DRUDGE REPORT that Mrs. Obama -- a Harvard-educated lawyer -- may have simply been ignorant of the law and thus violated it unintentionally.

"You kind of have to drop the standard for the first lady, right?" the official explained late Thursday. "I mean, she's pretty well liked and probably doesn't know what she's doing."
If they brush off all unintentional violations, maybe that's okay - I assume this isn't a felony, and maybe the nominal fine only ever applies to those who persist in their noncompliance. But, having been politically active in a state with such a law (I assume most states have such laws), I can't imagine someone politically active being unaware that this is not just inappropriate, but illegal. If ignorance is going to be an adequate defense for the first lady for violating a law she should have known about, I hope the rest of us get the same deal, especially in situations in which ignorance is actually plausible.

Actually, I just skimmed through the Illinois elections law, and there doesn't seem to be any mention of a penalty for campaigning at the polling place. If the psychotherapist whom I started by quoting wanted to amend the law decriminalizing marijuana to keep possession and distribution illegal but eliminate the penalties, I'd back him up; I have nothing against the state merely taking an official position. But I still hope his kids don't grow up doing stupid things like spending all of their time on drugs or watching Chris Matthews or living on nothing but cheeseburgers and fries just because those things are legal.

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::: posted by Steven at 12:09 AM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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