17 September 2003

Canadian government scores a hat trick

The government dope [medical marijauna] also came under fire Monday from Canadians for Safe Access, a patients' rights group that is pressing for supplies of safe, effective marijuana. Laboratory tests indicate the Health Canada product has only about three per cent THC - not the 10.2 per cent advertised - and contains contaminants such as lead and arsenic, said spokesman Philippe Lucas of Victoria. "This particular product wouldn't hold a candle to street level cannabis," he said in an interview.
It's a hat trick of government incompetence! Not only has the government failed to do what any subscriber to "??High Times??":http://www.hightimes.com/htsite/home/index.php could do is his spare time, but it manages to commit consumer fraud (3% THC vs. claimed 10.2%) _and_ to provide a _contaminated_ product. Oh, Canada!
Posted by orbital at 4:44 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

ABA: Millions to defend Al-Qaeda, not one penny for US troops

[source, source] Notes from the latest meeting of the American Bar Association. Of course, things like this never get mentioned when lawyers wonder "why we hate them":http://www.lawrencesavell.com/pdf/aba-why.pdf.
The resolution suggested that, whatever the charms of universal jurisdiction, the doctrine also has real potential for mischief and at the least shouldn't apply when the country more directly concerned is competent to address the crime and the crime itself is open to debate in international circles. Remarkably, the international section of the ABA didn't see any reason to rush to condemn the idea of European courts trying American servicemen and women based on legal theories that would make every errant tank round a war crime. They asked that the resolution be delayed for more consideration. You might have thought the individual rights and criminal defense sections would have worried about political justice in hostile jurisdictions (if you thought the Washington snipers faced bad pretrial publicity, well, you should have seen what European papers said about our armed forces). You'd have thought they'd be concerned about the idea that our soldiers would be tried as criminals for act that aren't even crimes under US law -- use of depleted uranium shells, say, or dropping cluster bombs on troops. You might have thought they'd be concerned about things like a lack of crossexamination or the "inquisitorial" system of justice our GIs would face. And, predictably, you'd be wrong. Those sections fell into line, urging that the resolution be delayed. They had some important resolutions of their own, mainly designed to make sure that al-Qaeda members get a full measure of due process. Due process for American soldiers just wasn't on the agenda. Maybe later, they said, but first things first. Their argument for deferral was that the cases -- and the most extreme version of Belgium's law -- are going to go away without the ABA, so there was no need for the ABA to take a stand any time soon. But that argument doesn't prevent the ABA from attacking even abandoned Bush Administration proposals. And it fails to consider that the press is playing Belgium's abandonment of the case as knuckling under to illegitimate US bullying. If the ABA said that in fact the US is right and it's Belgium that was the unilateralist, the resolution would have undercut the "US overrides international law" story line. And of course, that was the problem for a lot of these lawyers. They just couldn't bring themselves to say that the US was right and Belgium wrong, to make a choice between Gen. Tommy Franks and a lefty America-hating Belgian lawyer.
Posted by orbital at 3:53 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

It's not zero gee yet!

[source] While attempting to move a satellite from vertical to horizontal in order to work on it, it fell over and went boom. Turns out that some team using similar equipment removed the retaining bolts from the work platform and didn't mention it to anyone on the team that work platform. The work group then didn't double check for the bolts because they'd been there the last time they'd used it. There's a good chance that the satellite is totaled from shock damage. The only good thing is that no one was underneath when it fell over. My question is, why does it take nearly a decade to build the satellite? They've been working on it for a couple of years and it wasn't scheduled to fly until 2008. [Also discussed at Transterrestial Musings] UPDATE: Leave it to Mr. Simberg to foil my invective. He points out that this was all being done by Lockheed Martin, not NASA, therefore NASA in this instance is not responsible. I wonder who's going to pay to fix it - hopefully not NASA.
Posted by orbital at 3:22 PM | View 1 Comments | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Tax grabbing spend monkeys lose in the heart of Pacifica

[source, source]
SEATTLE -- Voters in this caffeine capital have rejected a proposed 10-cent tax on espresso drinks after the initiative jolted an otherwise sleepy, off-year primary with a double shot of controversy. With 58% of precincts and all the mail-in ballots counted late Tuesday, the tax was opposed by 68% of voters.
Ooooh, that's gotta hurt!
Posted by orbital at 8:57 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL