January 31, 2008

Let me go into the depths of your infinity

Shomei Tomatsu, Chewing Gum and Chocolates, 1959

* Did Rove influence the 9/11 Report?

"Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, communicated secretly with White House political strategist Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials, reports independent scholar Max Holland, citing an audio version of a forthcoming book by a New York Times reporter.

"On his Web site, Washington Decoded, Holland reports that Philip Shenon, who led the Times coverage of the Commission, has written a 'blistering account' of Zelikow’s role overseeing the 20-month investigation.

He depicts Zelikow as exploiting his central position to negate or neutralize criticism of the Bush administration so that the White House would not bear, in November 2004, the political burden of failing to prevent the attacks.

"Holland, known for his spirited defense of the Warren Commission whose conclusions about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy are widely disputed, says the 9/11 Commission’s veracity is now open to question.

Shenon’s radically different account of the commission’s inner workings promises to achieve what none of the crackpot conspiracy theorists have managed to do so far: put the 9/11 Commission in disrepute.

"Shenon’s book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, will be published on Feb. 5 by Twelve Books."

* Los Angeles has marijuana vending machines. excerpt:

"The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines.

"Patients suffering from chronic pain, loss of appetite and other ailments that marijuana is said to alleviate can get their pot with a dose of convenience at the Herbal Nutrition Center, where a large machine will dole out the drug around the clock.

"'Convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity,' inventor and owner Vincent Mehdizadeh said, extolling the benefits of the machine.

"But federal drug agents say the invention may need unplugging.

"A sliding fence protects the tinted windows of his dispensary, barely distinguishing it from a busy thoroughfare of strip malls, automobile dealers and furniture shops. A box resembling a large refrigerator stands inside the nearly empty shop, near a few shelves stocked with vitamins and herbs.

"A guard in a black T-shirt emblazoned with the word 'Security' on the front stands at the door. A poster of Bob Marley decorates a back room.

"The computerized machine requires fingerprint identification and a prepaid card with a magnetic stripe. Once the card and fingerprint are verified, a bright green envelope with the pot drops down a slot.

"Mehdizadeh says any user approved for medical marijuana and registered in a computer database at his dispensaries can pre-purchase the drug and then use the machine to pick up.
"At the Timothy Leary Medical Dispensary in the San Fernando Valley, the vending machine is accessible only during business hours. An employee there said the machine was introduced about five months ago, and provides speedy service.
"Mehdizadeh said he sought the advice of doctors, and decided to limit the amount of marijuana per user to an ounce per week. Each purchase from the machine yields 1/8th or 2/8th of an ounce. By eliminating a vendor behind the counter, he said, the machine offers users lower drug prices. The 1/8th ounce packet would cost about $40 — $20 lower than the average price at other dispensaries.

* Excellent video -- can't believe I hadn't seen before -- for Yo La Tengo's Tom Courteney.

* "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple." -- Charles Mingus


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lower prices, safety, anonymity."

on the value of his newly available marijuana vending machine in L.A.


4:41 PM  

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