Open Thread

I’m working on preparations for taking my show on the road to Rochester, New York. If you’re in that area, please come see me (and the show). Performances are Friday and Saturday.


bullet image Why Russell Brand is Wrong about Methadone by Maia Szalavitz.

Interesting article on a subject that’s outside of my expertise.


bullet image Rio de Janeiro drug dealers saying no to crack, planning a ban on the destructive drug

Nonetheless, the other gangs are signing up, said attorney Flavia Froes. Her clients include the most notorious figures of Rio’s underbelly, and she has been shuttling between them, visiting favelas and far-flung high-security prisons to talk up the idea.

“They’re joining en masse. They realized that this experience with crack was not good, even though it was lucrative. The social costs were tremendous. This wasn’t a drug for the rich; it was hitting their own communities.”


bullet image US, Mexican officials Brokering Deals with Drug ‘Cartels,’ Wikileaks Documents Show by Narco News


bullet image When Cartels Are Cartels, Public Safety Wins

Homicides are way down in Ciudad Juarez, which the Mexican government naturally attributes to its own successful policies. But not everyone is convinced and William Booth thinks local people have “another, more credible reason for the decrease in extreme violence: The most-wanted drug lord in the world, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, and his Sinaloa cartel have won control of the local drug trade and smuggling routes north.” [...] The drug trafficking organizations are commonly known as cartels, but the horrific violence stems precisely from the fact that they aren’t cartels.


bullet image Russell Simmons needs to read a bit more about Joe Biden. (Via Radley Balko)


bullet image Also via Radley: Embattled N. Georgia magistrate resigns

Cochran agreed never to seek or hold judicial office again, according to a consent order the JQC posted on its website Thursday.

The JQC’s public report said its investigation focused on “whether the judge pre-signed blank arrest warrants for completion by law enforcement officers while he was absent from office.” The report also said the inquiry included “whether the judge allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests.”

Blank warrants. Hey – just go ahead and arrest anyone you want! Who needs evidence or probably cause?

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