Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:55 am


2:01 am, February 22, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson wrote:

“Some may say that slow is good–and they may be right on some days — but I am here to tell you that fast is better… It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube…”


Hunter S. Thompson was a true original, a rebel who would have felt up to drinking with Kissinger, Churchill, Marilyn, Castro, any one of those larger-than-life people. Looking through his eyes, the world looked different. You could feel a crazy grin spreading across your face as he described the process of powerful drugs racing through one's body, or warring g-forces tearing at one's frame while in the throes of some vehicular acrobatic maneuver entirely necessary for a person of the male species.

Whether reporting from Saigon or Las Vegas or the beaches of California or the swirling maelstrom of downtown Chicago, Thompson brought his humanity, his self-lampooning bravado, his reflection of all human sins on himself. If humans did it, he would do it, and tell us about what it was like.

Guns, sex, drugs, booze? Why not, he seemed to say — you only live once and then who gives a shit. Did he mean it? I always wondered. I think I concluded he used his self as a sketchpad to caricature everything he saw in human beings. Before he accused others of sin, he recognized it in himself.

Many speak sentimentally at times like these, but what good will it do? He is gone, and in this way he becomes exactly like everyone else. We shall just have to read his books a little more closely now, and pour a little draught of our libation out in an offering to the souls of all the writers and artists since the beginning of time who have made it interesting to be human.

Farewell, Hunter

Hunter's Last Column — Shotgun Golf With Bill Murray — A HST Tribute Site

Dvorak's Blog Eulogy and Many other Thoughtful Remembrances
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:00 am


12:30 am, March 7, 2005

I'm about 80% through The (Mis)Behavior of Markets right now, and have found it extraordinarily interesting, illuminating, and readable.

Prof. Mandelbrot's primary thesis is that current models of financial theory are defective because they are based on a false supposition — that investment outcomes conform to the simple distribution of the bell curve. Now what the hell does that mean? Well, the bell-curve, it turns out, illustrates the distribution of outcomes of all types of events. People's heights, weights, and intelligence are distributed according to a bell curve. For example, if IQs are measured, left to right, high to low, with the numbers of persons having the corresponding IQ graphed vertically, the result is a bell curve. The curve is high in the middle because there are lots of people of average intelligence, and low on the left side, because relatively few people have very low IQs, and low on the corresponding right side, because relatively few people have very high IQs. So that is a bell curve distribution.

Bell curve distributions result from graphing the outcomes of processes like how much money you will make if you bet your friend $1 on every coin flip and flip 100 times. You don't each end up with the same amount you started with. Sometimes you're up, sometimes she is. If you play the game a hundred times, and graph the outcomes, though, you'll get a bell curve distribution. One key factor here is that, regardless of the last flip result, you have an equal likelihood of winning or losing this time. “The price changes, in the language of statistics, form a sequence of independent and identically distributed random variables.”

These types of outcome-sequences are governed by “a random walk” process. To describe a “random walk” process, probability theorists use this metaphor: “Suppose you see a blind drunk staggering across an open field. If you pass by a gain later on, how far will he have gotten? Well, he could go two steps left, three right, four backwards, and so on in an aimless, jagged path. On average — like in the coin toss game — he gets nowhere.” So if you were asked to bet on where the drunk would be in five minutes, you'd probably be most safe saying “right where he is, or within ten feet of there.” And if we asked you, “How much will the dollar be worth tomorrow in euros?” your best answer would be, “Whatever it is worth today.”

Alas, that is not good enough for the investor, who desperately wants a crystal ball in which all tomorrow's prices are revealed. So the quest for financial modeling and projection goes on. The father of the fundamental modeling structure on which most of the world's financial theory is based, according to Mandelbrot, was a Frenchman who really didn't get much encouragement for his work from other number-jugglers in the French academy, which included the formidable Poincare.

In 1900 Louis Bachelier, whom Prof. Mandelbort describes as “a brilliant but undervalued mathematician,” published a thesis on French government bonds that paid interest “in perpetuity,” and derivatives of that debt that had exotic names like “call o' mores” and “contangoes.” Says Mandelbrot, “Bachelier was intimately familiar with the arcana of these markets, and [tried] to develop formula to price these complicated derivatives.” The search lead him to a creative discovery.

"Mandelbrot and Hudson“

Nearly a century before, the great French mathematician Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier had devised equations to describe the way heat spreads. Bachelier knew the fomulae well from his physics lectures. He adapted them to calculate the probability of bond prices moving up or down, and called the technique ”radiation of probability.“ Strangely, it worked.

So prices move like heat radiates. Hmmmm. That notion is familiar to us now, if we have been reading a little chaos theory. By borrowing a pattern that reflected the dynamics of thermal diffusion, Bachelier threw light on the nature of bond pricing processes. This and related insights have been guiding investment advisors, fund managers, bankers, and traders in making financial decisions. Further evolutions of Bachelier's work have resulted in great refinements of financial models which are, however, often confounded in times of financial turmoil that regularly recur.

This is because, just as Newtonian physics cannot describe quantum phenomena, in the same way, models based on bell-curve outcome distributions cannot be used to describe the full range of financial market movements. Why? Because financial outcomes, in the first place, do not follow a bell-curve of distributions.

By that we mean that there are too many big price moves. If you watch the price changes in various stocks, for example, and you measure each day the percentage of price movement from the previous day, and you graph all those outcomes, you do not get a bell-curve. You get a bell curve with ”fat tails,“ that is — way too many price-changes that are way too large. The financial waters, in other words, are choppier than hell.

Second, price changes from one moment to the next are not following a true random walk — they are trending — unpredictably, but they are trending. In other words, the drunk is likely to continue staggering in the same direction for a while, until he starts a new trend.

Because of this basic defect in Bachelier-derived economic analysis, Mandelbrot describes our modern captains of finance as competent sailors, as long as they don't hit a storm. In that case, all bets are off, and the best of them will end up swimming.

So far in the book, Mandelbrot hasn't addressed the issue of how lying and deception affect the financial markets. It would be hard, for example, to properly graph a series of coin toss outcomes if someone kept cheating, or you kept losing count of the number of tosses. In today's financial markets, such problems are common, due to incompetence and fraud. How many ”market corrections" occur when the truth comes out about declining profits, a truth that has been known for many months, concealed with financial manipulations, layoffs, debt-rescheduling, and mumbo jumbo? Although natural processes illuminate the structure of monetary systems, and provide fertile inspiration for mathematical models, human deceptiveness may throw a monkey wrench into the process of understanding this central pillar of human society.

From the UK Telegraph

The geometry of Mandelbrot
(Filed: 17/10/2004)

The founding father of fractal theory warns that another Great Crash is a real threat. Martin Baker meets him

Preposterous though it seems, there is something of the lone gunslinger about Benoit Mandelbrot. He is Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University. And, yes, he is turning 80 next month. But if ever a man fixed the establishment in the eye and shot from the hip, it is Mandelbrot.

Next week is the 75th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 - now consider this extract from the book Mandelbrot is publishing next month: "The financiers and investors of the world are, at the moment, like mariners who heed no weather warnings."

No, no, no. Surely it couldn't happen again? Conventional wisdom tells us that we understand risk so much better now. Those clever hedge fund chappies have got it all sewn up, surely. There has been the occasional disaster, such as the collapse of the huge US hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in the late 1990s. But we all survived. The investment industry has a sophisticated understanding of the riskiness of the market, and by using analytical tools such as chaos theory, the risks are managed and controlled.

Unfortunately not, according to Mandelbrot. And he should know. As the founder of fractal geometry and the discoverer of the Mandelbrot set (pictorially represented as beautiful, complex swirls of coral) Mandelbrot is acknowledged as the father of chaos theory. Here are his views of the current state of play: "A few fund managers have experimented with these concepts [of price dependence, whatever that is, and volatility]. They often call it chaos theory - though strictly speaking that is marketing language riding on the coat-tails of a popular scientific trend. In reality, the mathematics is still young, the research barely begun, and reliable applications still distant."

Mandelbrot has tweaked a few tails in the academic world, too. James Gleik, author of one of the many books on chaos theory, acknowledges Mandelbrot's contribution to the doctrine, while calling him "exasperating and indispensable".

So what is the principal theory of this near-octogenarian, so often described as a maverick? It was clearly a good idea to find out before having lunch with him.

Fractal geometry is a way of describing complex, irregular shapes that repeat themselves in nature. Take a leaf on a fir tree, for example. The leaf itself is a mini-me version of the whole tree. And if you look at the individual bits of the leaf, they look like the leaf that looks like the tree. So you have a complex mathematical formula that describes a pattern that keeps repeating itself. Thus a single formula describes lots and lots of data. This is the kind of thing that makes mathematicians happy.

The practical applications of the theory are that it can be used to model and describe, though not predict, a huge number of complex phenomena such as coastlines, water and air turbulence, galaxy clusters, and the fluctuations of stock markets and commodity prices (there is an hilarious passage in the book describing early research on cotton price fluctuations that reads like a comedy thriller). By describing such phenomena, fractal geometry moves on from Euclidian geometry, which is confined to smooth shapes and planes.

Armed with this very basic understanding of his work, I meet the man himself in a fantastically noisy French restaurant. Mandelbrot is tall, fairly robust, and has the thick-lensed spectacles of academic cliche. He has a Clouseau-esque accent, despite having worked at IBM in the US since 1958. But there is little of Peter Sellers about this man. His mind is like a steel trap.

It turns out the publication of The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets - A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward is not entirely designed to upset the financial community. Mandelbrot, after all, is a teacher with a didactic urge: "Part of my business may be to return mathematics and geometry to its role as an instrument to organise and understand the patterns of nature."

At this point readers may be crying out that markets are supposed to be rational phenomena, not natural ones. According to the efficient market hypothesis (a phrase coined by one of Mandelbrot's students, apparently) only rationally relevant information is priced into an asset or market. So what use is a formula that describes the natural world?

Mandelbrot's point is that, whatever the causal factors that go into price movements, markets and prices behave as if they are natural phenomena. He says: "My purpose is always to observe the symptoms and have a model of what is being seen. In the case of markets, it is frightening because there are so many people of great brilliance and extraordinary greed who work there. They don't understand the market, but they understand the numbers."

It is easy to see why Mandelbrot has a reputation for arrogance. He is, simply, very clever indeed, and is impatient with those who aren't. His fractal theory identifies three states of randomness - mild, slow and wild - and he believes that this model describes market behaviour far better than any other theories of randomness.

If he is hard on the financial community, it is because he believes investment managers and advisers are failing investors: "A stockbroker wrote me a very plaintive letter asking why I was giving stockbrokers such a hard time. His argument was that what he did was right 98 percent of the time. Why bother about the events that occur in the rest of the time? The answer is that those events are the ones that really count."

It is said that no one hurries like an old man, and Mandelbrot knows that at 79, time is precious. This only exacerbates his impatience with the financial community: "It is quite clear that some portfolios that were declared to be free of risk turned out not to be. They are very good for 90 percent or more of the time, but at the critical moment, they fail. They are just dreadful. Given the inter-connectedness of things, they may lead to very, very embarrassing complications for the whole world."

His best attempt to save the world, or at least make society aware of its incomprehension of the riskiness of the markets it depends on so much, is probably contained in a book that is surprisingly entertaining (much credit must go to Richard Hudson, the former European bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, and co-author).

Now Mandelbrot is writing his memoirs - "purely what I remember. I won't research and check dates unless I absolutely have to". They should make compelling reading. Born in Warsaw in 1924, his family moved to Paris in 1936. As a Jew he was lucky to survive the Nazis, and had to move constantly. One possible benefit was the lack of a conventional education (he was tutored by an artist uncle who was also a professor of mathematics).


Mandelbrot says he inherited his independent tendencies from a father who saved his own life by refusing to stay on the road with fellow Jews who had been liberated from an internment camp during the war. Mandelbrot senior set out on his own and took refuge in a wood; those who stayed on the road were strafed by Stuka fighter planes. Following his father's untimely death, the youthful Mandelbrot also learned about the market, selling the crude clothing his father had made to eke out a living at distressed seller prices. "It put food in our mouths," he says.

Mandelbrot was a brilliant student and held a variety of academic positions, before resigning a post in France in 1958 in order to work in IBM's famous ideas factory (a group of oddball intellectuals paid to come up with great innovations). He was already seen as a cross-disciplinarian and a maverick and had created for himself "a very hostile intellectual environment. France does not like people not to belong".

For the last five years he has been at Yale, feted for the long-delayed publication of his paper on fractal geometry. And now, in his memoirs, he's turning those fearsome analytical powers on himself: "There are many things I begin to understand better now."

• The (Mis)behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward by Benoit B Mandelbrot and Richard L Hudson is published by Profile Books, £18.99
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:02 am


9:52 pm, March 24, 2005

When Arthur Miller died, I noticed that his biography, Timebends, was cited a lot in the New York Times feature on his life. I ordered it from Amazon, and have just started reading it. This little excerpt about his grandfather's last act of diligent self-protection is really funny:

Arthur Miller

His death, while not quite exemplary, has always thrown a certain poetic light on his nature. In his late eighties, believing he was close to his end, he one morning summoned his little wife to his bedside and told her to bring the young rabbi. And indeed he looked to her as he had never looked in their seventy years together. As soon as she could, she brought the rabbi, apparently a new one to the 114th Street synagogue, who sat with the old man and accompanied him in prayers until he fell asleep, whereupon the rabbi left. Hours passed while my distraught greatgrandmother summoned her children to the Harlem apartment two stories up in a brownstone. The old man slept and slept. The doctor who was brought in examined him without waking him and could only confirm what everybody knew, that like everybody else, but sooner than most, he was on his way to Abraham's bosom. The doctor left, and so did the children, who all had their lives to attend to. As the sun was setting, the old man awoke. His wife asked him how he felt, and he lay there trying to understand, apparently, why his head seemed lower than it had before. He slowly turned on his side, massive fellow that he still was, felt under his pillow and felt again, sat up and lifted the pillow and the bedclothes, and finally faced his uncomprehending wife, asking, ”Who took them?“

Following custom in those roughriding years, Great-grandfather kept much of his assets in the form of diamonds, which took less space than cash and were easier to hide. He was apparently in that large minority who did not consider any financial institution a hundred percent honest or safe, along with W. C. Fields, another turn-of-the-century man who made no bones about his cold-eyed view in many a quip and script motif, as well as in his near paranoid distribution of his own money in an enormous number of banks across the country, against the inevitable day when some of them would abscond or plead a fake bankruptcy. In point of fact, just at the time Great-grandpa was reaching under his pillow for his life's savings, colorful or absurd as it may seem, Richard Whitney, head of the New York Stock Exchange and widely esteemed leader of the financial community, was quietly stealing enough to earn him a sentence in Sing Sing-he would not lack for colleagues thereonce the Great Crash had confirmed the suspicions of my greatgrandfather and Fields and exploded the illusions of the trusting majority.

Ill as he was, Great-grandpa definitely remembered stashing his whole little fortune under his pillow and now demanded to know who had been to visit him. His trembling wife reeled off the list, plus, of course, the new rabbi. Commanding her, despite her protests, to help him dress, he took his oak walking stick and, refusing her touch on his elbow, plodded up Madison Avenue from 112th to 114th and into the synagogue, where he found the rabbi seated at a table writing. He said to the rabbi that he would like to have his jewelry back. The rabbi looked up and with a blank expression repeated, ”Your jewelry?" With which the old man raised his stick and brought it down on the rabbi's neck before the poor man could dodge out of the way. Bedlam. But new life had sprung into the old man's sinews as he pursued the rabbi around the room with people trying to grab his flailing rod of righteousness. At last the rabbi faced him, both of them gasping for breath, and with hands raised he backed to the coat draped over his chair, reached into a pocket, and produced a knotted linen cloth. The old man unknotted it with his bent fingers and after a glancing count stuffed it into his own coat and walked out. He got home but barely made it back upstairs through the narrow brown-painted hallway and into his bed. The news had flown, and my mother and her father and a whole troop of heirs quickly assembled and watched as from his pillow he distributed his life among them, then sighed and closed his eyes, never to wake again.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:03 am


5:01 pm, March 26, 2005

People like to bandy about that the Eskimos have a hundred words for snow. Presumably Colombians have as many to describe cocaine. Certainly the money-users of the world have come up with as many names for money as there are for the most popular illicit substances. People call money a lot of things — bread, cash, moolah, scratch, dead presidents. But the names that people have been using to describe the dollar recently are more like expletives of the financial sort.

Americans are being asked to take more of an interest in our currency. European bankers urge our bankers to get us to be better world citizens, and earn a somewhat larger fraction of what we spend. Are we being urged to be more productive, and sell more goods and services to the rest of the world? If so, perhaps some rethinking is in order, because it's hard to imagine how America could do more to drive the world economy, and if it’s going to continue in the same vein, the world probably can’t afford any more of this economic stimulus.

The Bush doctrine has thrown industrial production worldwide into overdrive by literally blowing up high-tech equipment in the desert, when we’re not driving Humvees and trucks around the dunes using up gas and diesel, driving up the worldwide price of oil. Sales of armaments are increasing worldwide, and now that the proliferation barn door has been left open, the costly search to track and recover wayward fissionable material that might be utilized to set off unauthorized nuclear strikes is on. What with peace breaking out in Palestine, perhaps the Israelis can get busy selling, rather than deploying, missiles, bombs, and other munitions. This worldwide, high-tech, heavy-metal, rocking out comes at some cost. Sun Tzu said “It takes five pounds of food to deliver one pound of food to soldiers in the field.” The ratio in Iraq is without doubt more like a thousand-to-one, if you think about how cheap it would have been to leave all those young people back in America and feed ‘em Big Macs right in their home town. Commodity prices are rising worldwide, as always rise in wartime, and Uncle Sam's current wars incredibly wasteful. Killing is expensive, especially when the victims are being killed individually, one carload at a time, as in Iraq.

High tech has heard the word that terrorism is the new cold war, giving a mammoth boost to biometric technology that will give us — more expensive driver's licenses! SAIC, the San Diego foundation for the preservation of defense industry power and influence in technology, has wasted $180 Million trying to make a computer system for the FBI. I could have told them they’d never pull it off because a computer system can’t run on booze and bullshit. Information sellers like ChoicePoint and Lexis-Nexis are also bringing the economics of the information economy more clearly into focus. We've even given a boost to the drug industry by insulating the world's largest pharmaceutical market from competition under the guise of a “senior prescription drug plan.”

Meanwhile, the magical production of money from the housing market by a succession of refinances driven by the lowest interest rates in U.S. history, and the sale of a new truck to every fool smart enough to know that zero percent interest means what it says, has just about run out of room to expand. The constraints on that expansion are felt whenever the amount of money America borrows drops perilously close to equal to or less than the total amount of money America owes to other countries. Whenever that happens, the dollar drops in value, unless there are compensating factors moving it in the other direction.

Of course, I say the dollar drops in value, but with respect to Chinese money, this is not true. China has declared that its currency, the Rnimbi, shall trade against the USD at a fixed rate. How friendly this is. Our friend China is willing to insist that, even though the European Central Bank, the Swiss, the Japanese, the Canadians, etcetera, all have dropped their valuations of the dollar, our money is worth as much to them as ever. Incredible resilience the Chinese show! American politicians call them godless communists and all manner of horrendous ethnic slurs, and only grudgingly admit them to the World Trade Organization, and interfere with all of their efforts to buy high tech weapons from Israel and South Africa and Eurpoean nations. In return, they lend us all the money we are willing to spend on flat screens, hard drives, cell phones, athletic shoes, and all manner of other treasures. Why? Because nobody else, besides the Japanese, of whom there are appallingly few, and even fewer reproducing, can figure out how to use these gadgets!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:04 am

WHAT I LEARNED IN MEXICO, by Charles Carreon

6:04 pm, March 26, 2005

Economists define money as M1 plus M2 and M3. I imagine them as various “layers of money” that move around the globe at different speeds, like so many jet-streams of value.

M1: Technically defined this is the sum of: the tender that is held outside banks, travelers checks, checking accounts (but not demand deposits), minus the amount of money in the Federal Reserve float.

M2: The sum of: M1, savings deposits (this would include money market accounts from which no checks can be written), small denomination time deposits (where small is less than $100,000), retirement accounts.

M3: M2 plus the large time deposits (for any of you with more than $100,000 deposits you add to this...). Eurodollar deposits, dollars held at foreign offices of U.S. banks, and institutional money market funds.

They move at different speeds because M3, the money stream containing the big chunks of cash — which includes all accounts over $100,000 — moves a bit slower than M1, which includes speedy money like a lowly twenty dollar bill circulating in a crack house or gambling den, which may flip over twenty times in a day. Much of the money in M1 is in fact the proceeds of crime many times over, and that money moves at a much higher speed than the big money. There are probably dollars that haven't served as the media of lawful commerce in decades. Of course, much of the exclusive M3 money is also criminally derived, for example by looting governments and corporations, laundering money, avoiding taxes, and giving and accepting bribes.

Poor countries don't have a lot of M3 money, by comparison with rich countries like England and Switzerland and the US. M3 money gets traded around in big blocks, slow and sure, and most of the time it sits. M1 money, of which there is a great deal more in poor countries, proportionately, moves very fast by comparison. There is a great deal of M1 money, and a great deal of it serves to fulfill forbidden desires, such as the purchase of contraband, the procuring of disloyalty, and the inducement to commit theft.

Much money is spent to do forbidden things, and that is perhaps a potential barometer of total human iniquity and/or goodness. I have often pondered the notion of the meaning of money in human life. This meaning was seriously cast into doubt during my early life. One group of people, my nanny's family, both poorer and more physically robust than my people, being American Indians, often told me that “money is the root of all evil.” I reported such communications to my father, who characteristically seemed antagonized by the notion. He clarified for me quickly: “Money is not evil. It depends on what you do with it. You can only help people if you have money.” Those were the exact words of my dad, Conrad James Carreon, may peace be upon him. And although technically I believe you can help people without money, in my case, it really helps.

But you can imagine the battle this set up in my mind. Some people that I loved and trusted said money was bad, and my father said it was good. I liked having money, and learned that when we went to Mexico, lots of fun snacks, toys and entertainments were well within my price range. I also felt bad seeing young boys no less worthy than I, shining a pair of shoes for a Mexican peso, the equivalent of twelve and a half US pennies. Of course, you could get a six ounce Coke and two cookies for one peso, or a mighty tasty taco or quesadilla. So it all made sense, kind of. Except why I had so much money when I was still just a kid. My dad conveyed to me the benefit of the greater abundance, and it was a fun, but still perplexing, discovery.

I remember when I learned that taxation was raising the prices of US products in Mexico to double their cost in the US. So rich Mexicans paid through the nose to look like their US models. That shocked me. There didn't seem to be anything fair in even a rich Mexican having to pay twice the price to have a cream-colored Chevrolet Impala with a red interior or other delectable automotive delight. Now I understand subsidies, as in the subsidy that the Mexican government was providing to encourage domestic auto production. At that time, I believe the domestic auto industry was a silly vehicle called “The Borgward,” which was a silly creation turned out by a factory that Mercedes Benz had sold the government. Borgwards were universally despised as owned only by the richest, stupidest plutocrats, for whom political correctness was uppermost. Still, no family, however rich, was so stupid as to own more than one.

The average Mexican had poorer physical conditions than the average American, by far. It seemed to me almost that the majority of Mexican people lived in spartan conditions, and many lived under extremely primitive conditions such as might be seen in the US only on Native-American reservations and a few other pockets of rural poverty. I wondered what could be done to equalize the situation.

Thinking upon the matter, it seemed to my simple young mind that we simply needed to readjust “the wages” that were paid to people in the US and Mexico, to bring them into harmony. I did not even consider how the money to pay the wages was in fact obtained, and that there was no mechanism for setting wages in either country. I could not even conceive that my parents were operating in a world so utterly chaotic. Surely such matters were under someone's control!

But indeed they were not then, and they are not today. The business of managing the world's money is in the hands of some people we call bankers, but less and less do I know what that word means. How it is that one man earns pennies for a day's sweat, and another harvests millions in a single transaction? How can money be so unjust? How can bankers justify these continuing inequities? Should not money begin to operate in a way that facilitates the ending of poverty, misery, of brutal resource competition that wastes lives in war?
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:05 am


11:53pm, April 5, 2005

The lawyers didn't have much to say about the accession of Alberto Gonzales to the status of Chief Inquisitor, I mean Attorney General, so perhaps we will have to listen to what the doctors have to say. While the law is made, apparently, to be twisted out of all recognizable shape, the Hippocratic oath is supposed to be followed religiously. Apparently, the military medicoes have fallen down on the job. The Executive Director of PSR had this to say:

Robert K. Musil, Executive Director of PSR wrote:

Torture—much in the news these days—is fundamentally a medical procedure that hangs the Hippocratic Oath, medical ethics, and military law by their heels. The Hippocratic Oath embodies the deepest, ancient moral values of the medical profession in its statement: “to the sick I will do no harm or injustice.” Torture inverts medical disciplines—internal medicine, orthopedics, trauma, psychology and psychiatry, cardiology, neurology—to inflict premeditated harm on a vulnerable human being. The usual practice is to cause sufficient suffering and bodily injury, short of death, to induce a patient to relinquish private information or confess. Torture is not only illegal; it is, in a word, abhorrent.

I have been proud to represent and speak for PSR at national events denouncing torture and actively opposing the nomination of Judge Alberto Gonzales—the author of the Administration’s pseudo-legal justifications for its torture of prisoners—for Attorney General of the United States. PSR has been joined in these efforts by other activist public health organizations, such as Physicians for Human Rights, as well as by the American Public Health Association, and even the venerable American Medical Association. All these groups have spoken out sharply against torture, in response to credible reports of its use by American military and intelligence personnel at Guantanamo Bay, in Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. Indeed, the use of torture by the United States has for more than two years occupied the articles and commentary of leading medical journals such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, where it is roundly condemned on legal, medical, and ethical grounds.

What the American public and policy makers must understand is that physicians, nurses, medics, and other medical personnel who serve in the Armed Forces have an obligation to refuse to participate in torture, and to report such unethical and illegal behavior when they observe it or treat its victims. To date, to our knowledge, this has not happened. Instead, we have reports of doctors called to treat dislocated limbs and bruised genitals; of a nurse, asked to treat a detainee undergoing a panic attack, who observed piles of hooded, naked detainees, yet failed to report the abuse until after investigations began; and of physicians who have used medical records of detainees to help design effective interrogation techniques. Shockingly, the Department of Defense still maintains that doctors who cooperate in interrogations are not practicing medicine and are therefore exempt from the rules of warfare pertaining to physicians and the Hippocratic Oath. There is absolutely no precedent for such a view. Again, recent commentary in medical journals condemns it.

Given the nature of the psychological stresses and humiliations, beatings, other bodily injuries, and some resulting deaths that we now know about, the torture of detainees in American custody could not have occurred without being observed, condoned, or participated in by medical personnel. In his landmark study The Nazi Doctors, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton describes the process by which physicians in Germany were socialized to more extreme forms of torture. The habit of responding to command and authority—first in the medical profession, then in the military, and, ultimately, as leaders in the death camps—turned compassionate, even idealistic doctors into practitioners in a system of atrocities. That is why the Geneva Conventions are so explicit about the need for doctors to treat all parties humanely, to uphold the human dignity and worth of detainees, and to recognize as illegal any orders to do otherwise.

Physicians for Social Responsibility will continue to actively oppose torture and the war policies that give rise to it. We have joined with Veterans for Common Sense in a national letter campaign, and with MoveOn, Amnesty International, Win Without and War, and others in national media campaigns. We will not rest until this fundamental assault on human dignity, and the on core concepts of medical treatment and trust, is halted.

Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:11 am


3:07 pm, April 10, 2005


During early 2004, a young Portland Oregon lawyer named Brandon Mayfield had his life turned upside down when the FBI arrested him and put him in secret confinement for a couple of weeks, until it finally allowed his wife to know where he was. The charges were “terrorism,” and the grounds were that the FBI, in responding to a Spanish request for assistance to seek a digital match of a fingerprint found on a piece of plastic connected to the Madrid train bombings, had discovered a match with Mr. Mayfield. Supposedly they then discovered that Mr. Mayfield was married to a Muslim woman, had converted to Islam, and had represented Jeffrey Battle, one of the poor dunderheads who got thrown in jail as terrorists because their blood got hot and they went off to Pakistan to pretend to do jihad. Battle went to jail, but Mr. Mayfield had nothing to do with that aspect of Battle's life — he had represented Battle only in a child custody dispute. The FBI plowed ahead with its case, even though Mr. Mayfield was a former Air Force JAG Corps lawyer, had never been to Spain, and the Spanish police were not supporting their forensic analysis. Shortly after the election of Zapatero as the new Spanish President, the government released Mr. Mayfield when the Spanish announced they had arrested the man whose fingerprint the FBI claimed was Mr. Mayfield's.

Eventually the charges were dropped and Mr. Mayfield actually got an apology from the FBI. During his confirmation hearings, Alberto Gonzales admitted that the Patriot Act provisions had been used in Mr. Mayfield's case.

As an Oregon lawyer, the case scared the bejeezus out of me, especially when I learned that one of the facts in the affidavit true of Mr. Mayfield was also true of me! For Mayfield's wife had once made a phone call to an Ashland man named Pete Seda, a long-time Ashland resident who was my friend dating back to 1982, when I tutored him in the English lab at SOU. He was a dyslexic Arab, which is really difficult, since they read their books from back to front. So reading English was hell for him, and I'd sit and compose his essays on the typewriter while he talked out his thoughts. It was fun, and he was very intelligent and unconventional. Well, Pete is now being charged, much to the disgust of all of us in Ashland, with some kind of terrorist claim involving his receipt of funds from a now-denounced Islamic charity. So I knew Pete well, and talked with him about his fear of persecution after 911. Indeed, I went to a redneck gas station with him one afternoon in 2002, and we collected some nasty glares. Bottom line, though, Pete Seda had been a forest protection activist back in the eighties and nineties. Then he became an Islamic peace activist, and never advocated or contemplated violence for an instant. He worked day and night at his business, The Arborist, and loved his work of caring for trees. The fact that he has had to leave the country with his family is really just a pogrom in our little town.

But back to Mr. Mayfield. Obviously, if they bothered add the fact that his wife once called Pete Seda to the affidavit they submitted to Federal Judge Bob Jones to justify secretly jailing Mr. Mayfield, then two things must be true: (1) The US Attorney engaged in a huge slander of Pete Seda in order to imply that Mr. Mayfield's wife's call to him was in any way inappropriate, and (2) The US Attorney must have been might short on real evidence to justify the secret arrest, because calling Pete Seda is something that thousands and thousands of people have done without criminal intent. Nevertheless, Judge Jones signed the order, and directed that a man be delivered to the tender mercies of the government “intelligence” apparatus.

Looking back at fact number two — the lack of evidence to levy against Mr. Mayfield that is implied by the use of flimsy slanders against an Ashland Islamic peace activist to suggest wrongful conduct on the part of Mr. Mayfield – we might consider what they had access to. Well, most cops don’t get to search someone’s house at all, but under the Patriot Act, they can do it secretly. This creates potential for a conversation like this:

Mr. Mayfield: (Dialing 911) Hello, 911, I have a crime to report.

911 Operator: Allright sir, where is it taking place?

Mr. Mayfield: Someone has ransacked my home and office at such-and-such location. Things are missing, and out of place. There’s no sign of forced entry, and I’m concerned for my family’s safety.

911 Operator: Oh, sir we can’t take a report from you about that.

Mr. Mayfield: Why is that?

911 Operator: Well, you see, it was definitely not criminals who went into your house.

Mr. Mayfield: How is that?

911 Operator: Well, sir, I can’t tell you, but we cannot take your report.

Of course, this is absolutely not a joke, although it provokes some people to laughter. This is really horrific, and the sort of privacy invasion that is currently apparently considered constitutional by Judge Jones. As a matter of fact, since every Federal Judge has sworn to uphold the Constitution, I think they should resign before they sign even one secret search or secret arrest order.

So after getting the secret search order, what did they get from the search? Zip. Nada. Nothin’. Zero. Just his family DNA, copies of all his computer hard drives, a few cigarette butts that had already been smoked, etcetera. Then, the FBI apparently just put this data out for its people to share, distribute, examine, and spread about freely with no accounting whatsoever for that dissemination, or thinking that somehow how this vast, unwarranted privacy invasion of a single man’s life would ever be unraveled.

The provisions of the Patriot Act permitting these judicially-assisted invasions of privacy, which will ultimately be determined to be totally unconstitutional when the Gonzales-Ashcroft school of civil liberties is felled like the misbegotten Philistine Goliath that it is. Who will be the David who finds who brings down this cruel, brutal, senseless enemy of freedom? Well, since we are past the days of fighting through champions, those Davids must be ourselves. If all that is required for evil to prevail is the silence of good people, then we should speak up now, before some FBI agent learns that we’ve been talking to peace activists.

The article from the Oregonian provides a smoking gun (in blue below) from the FBI’s own vault. Please note that the FBI confession is, by its own terms, incomplete, as it admits that it also conducted wiretaps and other physical searches of his life.

Bottom line – how can you protect yourself against sneek-and-peek searches? Same way you can protect yourself from thieves – covert video surveillance of your own home. In other words, we now have to protect ourselves from the government as if it were a criminal. I tell you – if Mr. Mayfield had known that Men In Black had pawed through his office, copied all his documents, disk drives, and bagged up the contents of his ashtrays, what do you think he would have done? You know, Portland is not that far from Canada, and I think sometimes the cold air up there is a good thing. Clears the head.

"David Sarasohn, for The Oregonian“

A new word on Mayfield, the Patriot Act Friday, April 08, 2005 David Sarasohn A year after he was released from prison with an FBI apology, Brandon Mayfield recently learned some more things about his arrest as a terrorist.

At the same time, Congress — holding hearings on the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act — learned a little more about the act, and about what happens when Congress gives government vast new powers without stopping to think about it.

Ever since the arrest and awkward release of Mayfield, on the mistaken grounds that his fingerprint was found on an item connected with the terrorist train bombing in Spain last March, the Justice Department has insisted that the Patriot Act had nothing to do with his arrest. That insistence continued through the opening of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee — and then ended a few hours into the testimony, when Gonzales said that, well, yes, a couple of the Patriot Act powers had been involved.

Gonzales told the senators that the FBI had indeed used new powers of electronic surveillance, as well as another section of the act, in its investigation of the Beaverton lawyer -- based on a mishandled fingerprint and, implicitly, his identity as a Muslim convert. Agents collected quite a bit.

At the end of March, as part of his lawsuit against the federal government, Mayfield's attorney received a statement:

”Mr. Mayfield is hereby notified that the following property was seized, altered or reproduced during (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) searches of his residence: three hard drives of three desk top computers and one loose hard drive were copied; several documents in the residence were digitally photographed; ten DNA samples were taken and preserved on cotton swabs and six cigarette butts were seized for DNA analysis; and approximately 335 digital photographs were taken of the residence and the property therein . . . Mr. Mayfield is also hereby notified that he was the target of electronic surveillance and other physical searches authorized pursuant to FISA.“

Nobody at this point thinks any of the material seized has any national security significance. Nobody now thinks the secret evidence behind the search meant anything.

People do know that anything collected can now be widely shared.

”There is no idea,“ says Steven T. Wax, federal public defender who first worked with Mayfield, ”how many hundreds and hundreds of people, in intelligence offices around the world, now have access to private materials on Mr. Mayfield, his children and perhaps some of his clients.“

Plus his family's DNA.

In fact, Mayfield can't know exactly what's out there.

”Worse still,“ says Rep. John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, ”the department still refuses to give Mayfield a full accounting of what searches were conducted, when they were conducted and what exactly was seized. When an innocent man can't even find out the extent to which his rights have been violated, something is very, very wrong with our system of checks and balances.“

That fear, that something has gone off the rails, is why Gonzales was called to testify this week before the Senate and House judiciary committees, considering whether to reauthorize or amend the Patriot Act. It's why a bipartisan group of senators, led by Larry Craig, R-Idaho, has reintroduced the Security and Freedom Ensured Act, which would limit the government's powers to make secret searches without showing probable cause.

”I think we've got a chance to get some of it done,“ says Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001 and now a SAFE Act co-sponsor. Feingold notes that now even Gonzales is open to some limits — although the administration also wants other changes to expand its powers even more.

The Mayfield case, Feingold says, ”had a big effect on the whole attitude that anybody who criticized the law really wasn't concerned about terrorism.“ When Gonzales changed course and admitted a Patriot Act role in the case, ”That was noticed at the hearing.“

The case resounds in other places. In Salem this week, a Patriot Act-driven House bill to require state employees to stay within the Oregon Constitution was referred to committee. Last session, the state Senate passed a resolution calling for changes in the act, 23-2, the most bipartisan thing that happened there all year. Last month, the Montana House passed a similar bill, 88-12.

”The Mayfield case certainly does touch a red button for people here,“ says Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, co-sponsor of the House bill. ”It's one way we make the case that the Patriot Act has led to actions unacceptable to the state."

Last week, we learned more about the Mayfield case.

And just how far the Patriot Act can go.

David Sarasohn, associate editor of The Oregonian, can be reached at 503-221-8523 or
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:12 am


9:27 pm, April 14, 2005

Did you know that to register a work with the US Copyright Office you have to deposit a copy of the work with the Register of Copyrights? That means that the Copyright Office is the biggest library in the world, filling up with all kinds of works that get copyrighted but never get published.

Out of print works, if copyrighted, can still be found by requesting a copy of the “deposit” from the Office. Here's a quote from their website about how to do it:

1903.02 Requests for copies other than additional certificates. Requests for copies of records, indexes, material from the authorization file, correspondence, and deposits should be made to the Certifications and Documents Section. Fees are charged for making copies, for any searches required to find the material, and for certification. Failure to provide a registration number and year date, or volume and document number for a recorded document, may result in a search charge to find the material. To minimize search fees and expedite copying, the request for copies should include the following information when available:

1) A clear identification of the type of records or deposits to be copied (for example copies of deposits, correspondence, catalog entries, etc.).

2) A specification of whether the copies are to be certified or uncertified.

3) A clear identification of the specific records to be copied including, where possible, the type of work involved (for example a novel, song lyrics, technical drawing), the registration number, if any, the year date or approximate year date of registration or submission to the Office, the complete title of the work, the author(s) including any pseudonym, the claimant(s), and if the requested copy is of an assignment, license, contract, or other recorded document, the volume and page number of the recorded document.

4) The telephone number and address of the requester.

See 37 C.F.R. 201.2(d).
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:17 am


9:36 pm, April 20, 2005

Liquid medical marijuana product approved in Canada

April 21, 2005

The Canadian government this week approved the prescription sale of a liquid marijuana extract to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project reports. Sativex, produced by U.K. firm GW Pharmaceuticals, is a whole-plant extract that contains all of the naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids that are found in marijuana plants. MPP did not report when the product would be available in Canada, or whether health authorities would seek wider approval of Sativex to treat symptoms of other diseases, including HIV and cancer.

The U.S. government does not permit medical marijuana use, but 10 states--Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington--have passed measures that allow seriously ill people to legally use the drug for medicinal purposes. Maryland has a law that does not legalize medical marijuana use or stop police from arresting users, but prevents those who are arrested from being jailed. The only federally approved marijuana-related product available in the United States is Marinol, a pill containing a synthetic version of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana. The Bush administration claims there is no scientific data to show that medical marijuana offers any health benefits to patients who smoke or ingest it, and vigorously opposes state-level laws permitting its use.

But MPP says that the Canadian government's scientific review and approval of Sativex shows that Bush-administration arguments that marijuana has no medicinal value are false. ”If Sativex is safe and effective, marijuana is safe and effective,“ the organization says in a press release. MPP executive director Rob Kampia adds, ”With Canada taking such a significant step toward recognizing marijuana's safety and effectiveness as a medicine, it's becoming harder and harder for U.S. officials to defend arresting and imprisoning medical marijuana patients in our own country."

12:18 am, August 15, 2005

Liquid medical marijuana product approved in Canada

Marijuana medicine tests pot's potential Canada's approval of a cannabis-based medicine has people wondering what would be possible if a stigma could be removed.

Times Senior Correspondent Published
August 1, 2005

BURLINGTON, Ontario - Since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago, Alison Myrden has suffered from pain so intense it feels like ”lightning going off in my face.“

To reduce her agony, Myrden, 41, has long taken dozens of prescription pills a day, including the powerful Dilaudin. Now, though, she has a new weapon in her arsenal: Sativex, billed as the world's first cannabis-based drug.

”I think it has good potential,“ says Myrden, squirting Sativex into her mouth from a small sprayer. ”It's really fabulous that the government has taken marijuana seriously and is making a medicine of it.“

This spring, Canada became the first country to approve Sativex, a prescription drug for MS that contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other active ingredients of the Cannabis sativa plant. The drug went on sale throughout Canada in mid June, just a week after the medical marijuana movement in the United States was dealt a major setback by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sativex is so new and expensive that few Canadians are using it so far. But given the timing of its debut, it has highlighted the divergent views on marijuana's therapeutic benefits.

Sativex ”is an important step, but why should this whole field be centered in Canada and England instead of the United States? It's because of the repression of science in the United States,“ says Rick Doblin, whose Sarasota-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies funds research of marijuana's medical effects.

But the U.S. government's Office of National Drug Control Policy, which deems marijuana a dangerous drug, says many of those touting its therapeutic use want to legalize its recreational use as well.

”Of course we would look at any medicine proven safe or efficacious,“ says spokesman Tom Riley. ”But the medical marijuana issue has been kind of larded with hype for a number of years by a lot of people with agendas in this area.“

Sativex was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, a small British company that is trying to distance itself from the medical marijuana debate as it seeks U.S. and European approval of a potentially lucrative product.

”There is a clear distinction to be drawn between what you would call medical marijuana and Sativex, which is the name of a medicine,“ says Mark Rogerson, a GW spokesman. ”Medical marijuana is smoking a joint or baking a cake. This is a prescription medicine for MS.“

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) that affects people in unpredictable ways. Some patients suffer from spasticity, causing the muscles to lock up; others, like Myrden, shake or have excruciating pain.

In Britain, GW has focused on Sativex as a treatment for spasticity. So far the British government has refused to approve it without more evidence it works for that purpose.

In Canada, however, Sativex has been approved for use in treating neuropathic pain, another common symptom.

Myrden, a disabled former corrections officer and one of 50,000 Canadians with MS, says Sativex helps relieve pain but is not as cheap or effective as the plant.

Unlike the other drugs she takes, Sativex is not covered by Ontario's health care program. A small bottle, with enough sprays to last Myrden just 31/2 days, costs $125.

For Sativex to gain wider use, ”it has to be cost effective,“ says Myrden, who lives on government disability and help from her mother and boyfriend. ”It's about $1,000 a month - where am I going to get money for my next prescription?“

By comparison, it costs Myrden about $400 a month to buy marijuana from compassion clubs, the quasilegal establishments that sell it for medicinal purposes. She is also among a few hundred Canadians licensed by the government to grow marijuana and smoke it wherever tobacco cigarettes are allowed.

Despite its high price, Sativex is less effective than regular marijuana, Myrden has found. She never used marijuana before developing MS, she says, but now smokes it several times a day and eats it in oatmeal cookies.

With the right strain of marijuana, ”I can get rid of the pain in minutes for two hours. I would rely on marijuana hands down - it's the only thing that gives me quality of life.“

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada considers Sativex ”just another“ treatment for MS-related symptoms.

That it comes in spray form and is obtainable only by prescription ”is a little more reassuring because it's less apt to be abused,“ says Dr. William McIlroy, the society's medical adviser. ”The majority of doctors in Canada don't want to be known as the primary source of smoked marijuana.“

In the United States, where MS afflicts 400,000, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says anecdotal evidence suggests marijuana can help reduce MS-related pain. But it remains difficult to measure relief objectively: Participants in one study realized they were getting a cannabinoid-based treatment instead of a placebo when they developed the dry mouth and lightheadedness familiar to marijuana users.

”So far the studies that have purported to show the benefits of marijuana have not been well-blinded, and so people knew what they were receiving,“ says John Richert, the society's vice president for research. ”That makes it impossible to distinguish whether one is seeing a true effect of the treatment or whether it is a placebo effect.“

As for Sativex, ”there is still no good scientific study that proves its efficacy,“ Richert says.

GW Pharmaceuticals has yet to formally seek approval for Sativex in the United States, though it has ”started the process“ of talking to the Food and Drug Administration, says Rogerson, the GW spokesman. ”No disrespect to the FDA, but we would expect it be a longer process in the States.“

Advocates of medical marijuana claim the U.S. government has made it difficult to do scientific research into the plant's therapeutic effects. Researchers must get federal approval for their studies and must use marijuana from a government farm in Mississippi.

”This is the only drug in America for which the only source for research purposes is the U.S. government, and they have a reputation for producing not very good quality stuff,“ says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates more liberal drug policies.

Availability of the Mississippi marijuana used to be limited to those studying the plant's effects on behavior and reasoning. But the government began giving it to other researchers after a federal advisory panel found enough evidence of marijuana's medical benefits to warrant additional study.

”Except for the harm associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana are within the range of effects tolerated for other medicines,“ said a report by the Institute of Medicine.

Thousands of people with MS, cancer, AIDS and other diseases routinely use marijuana in California and the 10 other states with medical marijuana laws. (Florida is not among them.) In June, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government still can ban marijuana possession in states that have eliminated penalties for its therapeutic use.

That's unfortunate, says Myrden, who applauds the Canadian government for approving Sativex and allowing sick people to use marijuana in other forms as well.

”I'm really excited this is available,“ she says of Sativex, ”but you have to realize the natural form is just as good if not better."

--Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at

© Copyright 2003 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved


2:25 pm, August 31, 2005

Lee Berger, a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association has produced an analysis of the effect of the legislature's recent amendment's to the citizen-adopted Medical Marijuana act. According to the report, patient advocates and law enforcement representatives met to deal with some concerns they both had, but after four meetings, the cops boycotted the last one, and the amendments were as analyzed below.

Some of the salient points regarding were: 1. Transfers of Medical MJ gratis between cardholders is not “delivery” of MJ under federal criminal laws. 2. Cardholders must have their card on them when they're moving Medical MJ outside their residence. 3. For purposes of counting plants subject to the six-plant limit, a plant must either be flowering or over 12 inches high or 12 inches wide, and must be a mature plant. 4. Caregivers are covered who administer Medical MJ to inpatients in medical care.

There are many more details to the amendments, so please read Lee's very helpful article if you need to learn more.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:18 am


10:10 am, April 21, 2005

Raised Roman Catholic, and educated in Franciscan, Benedictine, and Jesuit schools, I have an opinion about this Pope. The Jesuits taught us that to be spiritual is to be beyond the influence of the times and peer pressure — to “be your own man.” But Pope Benedict sounds like a go-along to get-along kind of guy. While he may not deserve to be crucified for joining Hitler Youth in the first place, this thing he confessed to, of pretending to be Hitler Youth to get a tuition break after completing his seminary education, discloses a character flaw. Clearly he was already through his priestly education at this point, having completed seminary, and yet he's pretending to be a fascist to get a tuition break? Give me a break!

"The Pope“

'When the Hitler Youth was established, my brother was forced to become a member,' Ratzinger said in an interview in 1997. ”I was still too young, but later, when I entered the seminary, I also joined. But as soon as I had left the seminary, I never went to see them again. And this was difficult, because in order to be entitled to get a discount on the tuition fee, which I urgently needed, one had to prove that one was a member of the Hitler Youth.'

In other words, he joined Hitler Youth at the same time as he joined God's Army of celibate clerics, then didn't go back to the clubhouse after graduation, but just pretended as much as necessary to “prove” himself a member. I bet on occasion that required a little fancy guss-stepping!

A Pope should be a man of character, someone worthy to fill the shoes of the first Pope, Peter, whose name means “Rock.” Peter was one tough guy, who himself attained martyrdom at the hands of the Romans, just like his zealot leader, but insisted on a distinction from his executioners — he wanted to be crucified upside down. Legend says he claimed to be unworthy to of the honor of being crucified in the same manner as his master.

Peter had shown a crazy streak early on, though, like in the Garden of Gesthemane, when he cut off the Roman soldier's ear with his fisherman's blade, and Jesus had to re-attach it to calm things down. Somehow, I don't think our new Pope could fill the shoes of such a fisherman. He'd more likely be out there with Judas, seeing what they could buy for 30 pieces of silver. It's just what anyone else would do, and that is the standard on which the public seems eager to judge this Pope. Why didn't they look for a priest who was a fisherman? Then they might have even found a Pope from Africa or South America, or some other former European colony.

Benedictu Sancti, Chas ;)
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