Afternoon Waiting-to-Fly-Back-to-Nashville Links

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

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18 Responses to “Afternoon Waiting-to-Fly-Back-to-Nashville Links”

  1. #1 |  albatross | 

    The real question with the NCI marijuana comment is whether there really is evidence of anti-tumor activity by marijuana, and if so, how much. That’s the sort of thing that we actually do know how to evaluate passably well, though it may be that it’s too big a pain in the backside to get approval for the studies you’d need. (But if you could get honest survey answers from cancer patients, you could do some observational studies–controlling for race/gender/age, cancer type and stage, and weight-loss, do we see longer survival times for people who use marijuana than for people who don’t? If there’s a big effect, you’d see it there, though you’d still need to do a randomized trial to make sure the effect wasn’t caused by some confounding variable.)

    Anyone up on the field want to comment about this?

  2. #2 |  Mattocracy | 

    The local Atlanta LP affiliate are lead plantifs in the asset forfeiture case.

  3. #3 |  Chuchundra | 

    For your consideration:

    Fox News can’t decide, what do they love more, bombing the Middle East or bashing the president? It’s like I was over there and there was an anchor going, they were pleading, can’t we do both? Can’t we bomb the Middle East and bash the president at the same time? How are we going to make this work?

    — Rand Paul

  4. #4 |  Dan | 

    here’s another link the city of Chicago pays truck drivers to do nothing all day thanks to a union contract:

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Here’s a pretty damning look at DHS’s wholesale disregard for FOIA requests.

    I don’t really know the process for investigative reports like this, but the House is controlled by the Republicans and the guy who heads this committee is a Republican. How much credibility does a report like this actually have. Even if it is entirely true, won’t it still come across as a partisan attack and dismissed as such?

    Do all the members of the committee, Democrat and Republican, sign their names to this report and stand by it? If so, it would have value, but I would be pretty surprised if Democrats signed on to a report that critical of Obama.

  6. #6 |  Jesse | 

    “Rotondo said that while some purchases might look questionable they could be legitimate. For instance, the money can go for use in undercover work, Rotondo noted, and a Viper might be used by an agent posing as successful drug dealer.”

    “It is very possible that they allowed the purpose of that piece of equipment,” he said. “You can’t drive down the road in a [police] Crown Victoria and buy drugs.”

    Someone needs to inform these tax-feeders that Miami Vice was a fictional TV show, not a model of proper law enforcement.

  7. #7 |  maybelogics | 

    @albatross: In 2007, Dr. Anju Peet (Harvard) released results of a study demonstrating THC’s inhibitory effects on lung tumor cell growth. When he dosed cancerous mice w/THC, the tumors were reduced by 50%.

    There are probably a few more out there, but this is the only one I remember at the moment. So, yeah, I would say the NCI thing shows there’s all sorts of bullshitting going on. I’d just like to know if people are dying because of it.

  8. #8 |  freedomfan | 

    Dave Krueger, looking at the PDF of the FIOA report, it is not signed by any of the committee members. I know the press won’t treat it this way, but refusal of a member not to endorse the report, except due to specific factual errors, should be read as if that member is involved in the cover-up they are supposed to be investigating. Not that that would be a surprise.

  9. #9 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Roundup of critical reactions to this week’s SCOTUS decision in Connick v. Thompson

    The silence over at the Volokh Conspiracy blog (generally, but not always pro-prosecutor) is deafening. See no evil.

  10. #10 |  Z | 

    Oh fuck it lets just shred the constitution and get on with the military junta already. Being the Panama (circa 1986) of North America would be so much more honest than the hand wringing over how we do shitty things to people because gosh yanno we have no choice.

  11. #11 |  Sinchy | 

    The first of the aerial photos looks like giant cauliflower or a very tiny man

  12. #12 |  EH | 

    maybelogics: Thanks for the link and the backup, but albatross seems to want to draw a line where THC would slow cancer down, just not ENOUGH. You know, why approve it if it only makes peoples’ lives only a little better. Perfectionism or death!

  13. #13 |  EH | 

    albatross: But if you could get honest survey answers from cancer patients

    Right, versus the made-up answers by people who got cancer just so they could get smoke weed more often.

  14. #14 |  CRNewsom | 

    @#13 EH: I think he was meaning more along the lines of “If I answer this question honestly and tell the doctors I am using marijuana in conjunction with cancer treatment, will the cops lock me up?”

    People don’t feel they can be honest due to the fear of persecution, prosecution, or both due to the nature of the prison industrial complex. This is an entirely rational fear.

  15. #15 |  albatross | 


    Most successful cancer treatments end up looking like this, unfortunately. Not “treatment group all got better, control group all died, hallelujiah we’ve found a cure for cancer and I’ll die rich and famous” but rather “Our 27 person treatment group survived an average of 19.4 months, our 54 person control group survived an average of 10.3 months, but at least we can probably get this result published.” This really sucks, but it’s not my evil demands for perfection or nothing causing it.

    If pot smoking cured cancer, or even cured any common kind of cancer, I think we’d have noticed, since lots of people smoke pot. But with survey data from patients, assuming they will answer the surveys honestly, we could look for that kind of evidence, and if it’s there, we would have a good chance to find it. (And yes, I’m concerned with the willingness of cancer patients to risk having the SWAT team bust down their door and put them in jail for admitting to smoking pot.)

    …and many others:

    Responsible people make medical recommendations on the basis of strong evidence, not hopes, not even one study with hopeful results. I don’t know whether NCI changed their recommendations because of drug-war-related pressure, or because of insufficient-evidence-related pressure. But it wouldn’t be a big surprise if they changed them for reasons of lack of evidence.

    Newspapers and TV news report about one “miraculous” food or supplement or herb that prevents or cures cancer a week, and almost always they wind up not panning out, the victim of bias toward publishing positive results (it’s much harder to get it published when you discover that garlic has no effect on cancer than when you discover that it shrinks a certain kind of tumors in mice), data snooping and other ways scientists fool themselves unintentionally, and the effects of lots of scientists working in the same area, each accepting some reasonable probability of “false positives” in their results (traditionally, this is set at 5%). Again, this sucks. Sorry.

    We ought to expect better from medical and scientific organizations. It’s entirely reasonable for NCI not to jump on any of these bandwagons till it has strong evidence behind it.

  16. #16 |  celticdragon | 

    I just read the “Very Tough Love” segment from “This American Life”.

    Jesus Christ.

  17. #17 |  random_guy | 

    I dislike the whole medical marijuana debate, because to me it shouldn’t be legalized on the basis of “only if it helps fight cancer”. There is no rational basis for the illegality in the first place, we shouldn’t have to plead excuses for legalization. It also sets an odd precedent, ending the war on drugs will be much harder if the only exception for decriminalization is “if it helps to fight cancer”. The libertarian position, that I’ve always agreed with, is that drug legalization is an issue of personal freedom and obtrusive government power, not a public health issue.

    I can understand the sort of wedge strategy being employed: get it legalized for cancer and then when society doesn’t collapse use it as evidence to further wind down the drug war. I guess it just shows where this country is today, people have such perverted notions of freedom that you can’t argue in favor of it honestly anymore. It really shouldn’t be anymore complicated than “Its no one else’s business what drugs an individual chooses to consume, at the very least its certainly not something that government should turn into a criminal act”. But I guess liberty, and personal responsibility, is a hard sell these days.

  18. #18 |  TGGP | 

    “Police union Popcru says the decision to introduce “military” ranks to the SA Police Service could make police regress to the sort of “corrupt, ill-disciplined and unaccountable” structure seen during apartheid.”
    Charts here: