Monthly Archives: May 2015

Amnesty In The Drug War

Today, the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a third offense that amounted to a half a dozen bricks of cannabis. From what I understand, a brick is a pound — sometimes a kilo. Eithe way, the state of Missouri had seen fit to take this man’s life and put it in a box, with absolutely zero recourse to regain his freedom. 

Today, a glimmer of compassion was shown in an increasingly divided state. Many have spoken out against this heavy handed response to a non-violent offense. Although it was a glimmer, it was brought about through the hard work and relentless efforts of many people. Ray Downs first wrote about Mizanskey’s plight and later Aaron Malin. Upon finding out, Malin simply said. “I’m speechless”. Danny Wicentowski reported Malin’s first reaction was “We’re not sure if Jeff knows yet.”  He’s worked with many activist and even politicians like Paul Curtman. Who is on the record speaking about re-examining the drug war through more compassionate eyes—and specifically the story of Jeff Mizanskey. The director of Show-Me Cannabis, John Payne could only say “I am kind of overwhelmed right now.” Along with Malin and others, Payne has been at the forefront of correcting what many call an unconstitutional use of state power. Unconstitutional because a life sentence for a non-violent crime is, by most rational peoples standards, cruel and unusual. Which violates the 8th amendment. I even made my own plees to the governor.

@GrantGambling: Great long read by @RayDowns. (I knew most if this, but this would be an easy win for @GovJayNixon) goo.gl/9ylB1K

But all the credit goes to the writers, lawyers, and activist working behind the scenes. Our state has had a very rough spell, this was much needed good news. 

   

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Some Tweets

I recently was given words of encouragement hash tag: humble brag .  So, let’s get to it. 

My Senator, Claire McCaskill made a deceleration of the most moral stature. 

@clairemc: Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.

It’s an odd thing to say, the show is saturated with barbarism, by all accounts. War lording incestuous royals don’t do it for me, I guess I’m odd. However, her subtle commentary did not go unnoticed. She had obviously watched the show. As she follows up here. 

@clairemc: Ok,winter is definitely coming.I just expressed an opinion.Cumulative effect violence & brutality took its toll. Sansa rape last straw. 

It’s absolutely a veiled commentary on the larger sexual assault debate brewing on campuses across the country. Quietly, it’s in her state. Title IX… We will get back to that momentarily. She squeezes this little number in between those two tweets. Natsec, short for national security, is what she wants us to discuss, not her opinion on a show she paid to watch. Not the ridiculousness of her acting as if this was shown on federally regulated networks. No, her concerns with national security. 

@clairemc: We should take up House passed(338-88) USA Freedom Act this week. Important reform of program for national security.

She seems to be juggling.. And this gem

@clairemc: Kinda depressing that so many more people have opinions about  than reform of US intelligence gathering that I also tweeted about ystrdy

Yes, I suppose it is depressing. This comes hour befor Rand Paul’s “stand”. Not a filibuster, but more a rant. So saith the twitter. The reader can search it. It also came around the same time as this story out of The Joplin Globe. A far flung publication in flyover country, with a New York Times contributor writing for it. In it, it talks about another sexual scandal in Jefferson City, et la John Diehl

@Eyokley: Will update w/ Levota statement just got: “I understand the need for universities to look into rumors, even unsubstantiated rumors.” 

Paul Levota, made that statement. I can’t think of a dumber thing to say.. If it is unsubstantiated, than it’s un-fucking-substaintiated. It can’t be supported. It smacks of the vapid hands up, don’t shoot narrative, a democratic dolt falling on the sword in the name of progress. It gives McCaskill an example from her own party to hang on the cross of public crucifixion. Except, he will probably come out unscathed. 

The kicker is the injection of Title IX into an investigation of an elected official. The progressive rot has spread, to steal a phrase from Buchman Sexton, from the campus on to the state capital. 

The most disgusting part is she tried to backdoor a national agenda, that makes her state’s students — and now politicians– lab rats. The tweet, was just a tweet, it’s what she’s fostering on Missouri’s college campuses that should raise eyebrows. This is what George Will speaks out about, over a year ago, it’s what made Noah Rothman clearly declare this was the line to be drawn. It’s a complicated web of federal authority, but isn’t it always? Perhaps these 2 sharp minds saw something coming, that most of the media didn’t, despite, telling the world her intentions. It took a tweet to make more people notice. 

This fight will grow.. Hide and watch. 

Lackey’s Polite Silence

Tragedy befell St. Louis, two-fold tonight. The first, the Cardinals lost a long extra inning game to the villainous New York Metroplitans 2-1, on a close play at the plate on a ground ball in the infield, in the bottom of the 14th inning. The starting pitcher, the 14 year veteran John Lackey, pitched a fine baseball game against the dominant Matt Harvey, with 5 wins in 1 loss, this was his first no decision. So, tip your cap to the wiley veteran for hanging in with the young and up and coming. It should be noted that Lackey has more innings under his belt this season than Harvey. It was a tough loss and all that trite, nauseating bullshit. 

The second couch-fainting moment came after the game when Derrick Goold, the best write in baseball, tweeted this out:

@dgoold: “Not tonight,” Lackey says when approached by the media postgame. He was polite in his decline. “Sorry, guys. Not tonight.”  

It immediately threw the fan base into a tizzy. People demanding he say something. “He can’t give 5 minutes?”, one man wrote. He gave a comment. The comment was, he didn’t want to talk tonight. The team arrived at their hotel at 4 am and then played a long, hard game. “His teammates are answering hard questions.”, one estute observer pointed out. Well — they should, they didn’t hit and struck out a lot.
Sports does this in media, especially the fans, perhaps that’s what drives the media. To his credit, Goold seemed pacified by Lackey’s polite refusal to engage the media. As was I, but others felt entitled. To an intrusive extent. I’m always pondering larger issues and it made me think of the media as a whole, which I actually exclude Goold from, because he sticks to his beat, so to speak. It just made me think of misplaced priorities. What we rabble-rabble about and what we don’t. 
We allow the most powerful people in our country, to not answer our simple questions. Yet, protest too much on non sequitur events, like baseball. One very brilliant woman pointed out she could mange both, which I found impressive, and also rare in the our modern social media paradigm. You see, it is vertically intergrated into our media. Literally, that’s the term for this new way of sharing information. It’s people and publications who drive the narrative, that’s what I realized and was able to articulate tonight. 
At the end of the day, it’s just a game — to the fans. However, it’s a major industry to many others, most of whom we don’t see. That’s true of all types of media. So, I’ll cut them both, players and media some slack and say, all jobs have their pressure. I only wish we put this kind of pressure on differnt jobs. 

Missouri’s Meltdown: A Political Lanscape In Flux

In this humble publication’s previous post, it discussed the unfortunate situation Jon Diehl had found himself in. 24 hours later, he has resigned and will return to his law practice. Which wasn’t surprising, other than most people suspected a quiet weekend resignation. However, that was made impossible by the eagerness —that’s being kind— of the Missouri political journalism class. Intrepid young reporters roaming the capital looking for dirt and wonking out on policy. They tend to lean towards a more progressive agenda, but I digress. 

What made this story really odd was what Jessica Lussenhop reported after the resignation. You can read her work here. In it she notes, that Diehl went out and had drinks with his colleagues, even some on the other side of the partisan fence. Which, isn’t all that surprising if you follow DC politics. This incestuous paradigm is, I’m sure, all too common in all 50 of our states capitols. What did raise a train eyes eye brow, was a savvy political move by republican candidate Cathrine Hanaway, who had been all but written off after the suicide of her opponent, state auditor Tom Scweich. Hanaway took the young, put upon 19 year-old under her wing, so to speak. To what end, remains to be seen. Theories exist, but nothing clear at this point. 

It’s been a grueling year for the state of Missouri — Akin reemerging with a book and then the tragedy of Tom Schweich. In between those two difficult moments for the state GOP, are the many scars of Ferguson that occurred and were inflicted upon the whole state, our piece of flyover country was not accustomed to such national scrutiny. Now, Jason Kander’s entry into the senate race to oppose the incumbent Roy Blunt has assured our political landscape will remain in the national spotlight for sometime to come. It is a politcal landscape in flux. 

Strange bedfellows and major money pouring in, it’s got everything political junkies love. With these recent events, I don’t see Missourians catching a break anytime soon. I don’t know that we can ever return to “normal”. To be frank, it was always weird, it just can’t be hidden any longer, and neither can the fact that the epicenter of the weirdness is clearly Jefferson City. Flanked by two metropolises, Kansas City and St. Louis, both on the far ends of the state, that provide the bodies, for the lack of a better term, to keep the strange charade going. Perhaps, that is why many have high hopes for Jon Diehl’s replacement, Todd Richardson. From neither flanking metropolis, he is from a small town called Poplar Bluff in the southern part of the state. He, and many others, have a hefty task of restoring some semblance functionality and credibility to the state. He seems to be off to a good start by addressing the intern program in Jeff City. I wish him well, because as Ms. Lussenhop so eloquently put, “Jeff City is weird”, he’s gonna need more than well wishes. We shall see… 

The Boring Exploits Of John Diehl 

John Diehl is the Speaker of the House in the representative branch of Missouri’s legislative body, an underwhelming accomplishment in true political terms. That’s not to say it’s not important, but it’s not a position that truly drives popular culture and societal norms. Yet, many of the people who are elected as republicans into the esteemed halls of law making in Jefferson City, including Diehl, ran partly, if not wholly, on a cultural platform. That’s what makes his boring sex life an issue in our media. It should be left as a personal event between him and his family, but he’s a public figure and our media has changed. “Thems the rules”, “tough shit”, and all that jazz.

What the Kansas City Star reported, was boring — it shocked no one in the political consultant/commentary class. Wouldn’t make it past a junior executive at any movie studio as a script. It’s cutesy and obnoxious for the most part. She was 19, which makes it look worse, but she was 19 and I’m sure a number of women have engaged in relations with older employers. So, put your rocks down about that — we empower young people to make their own decisions, she made a bad one. 

But much more importantly, so did John Diehl. It was quite idiotic in this day and age, to be blunt. He’s crippled his own career, which everyone accepts, but he’s jeopardized an entire states political platform. That needs a certain level of damage control. Diehl gave ammo to a thirsty progressive left leaning media. They will frame the whole GOP in the hum-drum political shade cast by a mole hill of a scandal, that will be made a mountainous crisis of Republican identity. It’s a simple trick, really. My 4 year-old showed me just the other night. “Just hold the light real close and it makes the shadow look bigger!”, she exclaimed on her new discovery. 

So, prepare for a few salvos on the family values/culture war front. They are a comin’.