A few interesting links collected March 23rd through March 24th:
Rick Steves | Salon Life – lot of my outlook and writing have been sharpened by enjoying a little recreational marijuana. If you arrested everybody who smoked marijuana in the United States tomorrow, this country would be a much less interesting place to call home.
The fact is, the marijuana law in the U.S. is a big lie. It’s racist and classist. White rich people can smoke marijuana with impunity and poor black people get a record, can’t get education, can’t get a loan, and all of sudden go into a life of desperation and become hardened criminals. Why? Because we’ve got a racist law based on lies about marijuana.
There’s 80,000 people in jail today for marijuana. We arrested 800,000 people in the last 12 months on marijuana charges
Rick Steves | Salon Life – I don’t say we’re an empire. I say the world sees us as one. I say there’s never been an empire that didn’t have disgruntled people on its fringes looking for reasons to fight. We think, “Don’t they have any decency? Why don’t they just line up in formation so we can carpet bomb them?” But they’re smart enough to know that’s a quick prescription to being silenced in a hurry.
We shot from the bushes at the redcoats when we were fighting our war against an empire. Now they shoot from the bushes at us. It shouldn’t surprise us. I’m not saying it’s nice. But I try to remind Americans that Nathan Hales and Patrick Henrys and Ethan Allens are a dime a dozen on this planet. Ours were great. But there’s lots of people who wish they had more than one life to give for their country. We diminish them by saying, “Oh, they’re terrorists and life is cheap for them.” They’re passionate for their way of life. And they will give their life for what is important to their families.
Chicago Reader Blogs: News Bites – Cassanos and I talked by phone, and I sent her a link from Gawker.com mourning that a recent 82-page issue of the New Yorker had just under ten pages of ads. But she noticed it was a January issue — the slowest part of the year — and she said that among Conde Nast magazines the New Yorker is in the middle in terms of ad losses. And on the other hand, circulation is up 20 percent since 2001 and the renewal rate is 85 percent and the magazine just led all others with ten nominations for National Magazine Awards.
Cassanos made me feel good when she said I was the first reporter who’d contacted her to find out if Charles’s rumor was true