When Everyone Can Be On TV

When Everyone Can Be On TV
Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2003 at 06:49:14 PT
By Aaron Einhorn - Web Exclusive Column
Source: Daily Iowan
Cameras were recently installed in the Burge Residence Hall elevators in an effort to combat vandalism. Regardless of whether the measure is successful, their presence is another local example of a growing national trend: electronic surveillance.The technology is not only increasing in numbers (the Chicago Sun Times reports a 14 percent increase of surveillance-camera-system sales in the 14 months following 9/11) but also in capability (such as computerized facial-recognition systems used in airports).
The safety benefits of surveillance are obvious. When a 22 year-old woman was found naked on the bathroom floor of MTV's San Diego "Real World" house and subsequently alleged that a friend of the cast raped her on the set, police seized hours of footage. With approximately 30 cameras in the house and everyone who enters submitting photo identification to be photo copied by the crew, police have a significant foundation for their investigation.But cities such as Hagerstown, Md., and Worchester, Mass., have plans to install cameras to specifically target prostitution and drug dealing. When the government uses such technology to combat such nonviolent crimes of transaction, the situation becomes Orwellian.There are two solutions to avoiding a police state in the face of new technology: Law officers and/or courts feign ignorance to the transactions (either the officers directly ignore them or the courts ignore the officers by citing the Fourth Amendment), or legislative action is taken to decriminalize the activities.The marijuana-surveillance issue has surfaced in both the courts and the legislatures. When police pointed a thermal-imaging device at a house and saw the heat generated by marijuana grow lights through the roof, the Supreme Court ruled it an illegal search. It was a fair interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, but only a delay of the inevitable congressional face-offs involving the drug. Had officials begun to use pervasive technology to track down and prosecute the 76 million Americans who have tried marijuana, the topic would have been launched to the federal platform that it deserves. As of now, the main federal attention marijuana receives is the Bush administration's attempt to revoke the federal medical licenses (needed to write prescriptions) of doctors who so much as discuss the drug's benefits with their patients, even in states where marijuana prescriptions are legal. In effect, doctors would have been federally stripped of their ability to write the prescriptions before they even wrote them. Though the Supreme Court saved doctors from this federal debacle by refusing to hear the case, it had previously ruled there is no medical exception to the federal law against marijuana. That permits federal prosecutors to arrest people for possessing or distributing it, even when they have a legal prescription and are abiding by the marijuana laws of the state they are in at the time of their arrest.Prostitution is a less-controversial issue because of its limited legalization in certain areas of Nevada. As another victimless transaction, it shouldn't be illegal anywhere in the United States; the humiliation tactics used to curb it are shameful only to our government.It's argued that these transactions do have victims: drug abusers (sucked in by the "gateway drug"), casualties of violent drug wars, and prostitutes themselves.Dr. Mitch Earleywine, an associate professor of clinical science at the University of Southern California and author of Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence, points out that marijuana is linked to harder drugs simply because it's illegal; legalization would facilitate its purchased without exposure to harder drugs from underground dealers.Drug-war casualties and abused prostitutes are also victims of the law rather than the trades. If legal, marijuana trafficking could be regulated. Prostitutes could unionize, an option afforded them in Germany and Greece.If we as a society are expected to tolerate increasing surveillance by the government in the name of security, it is the responsibility of the government to make us feel secure, not only from terrorists and violent criminals, but from itself. It is the responsibility of the government to instill faith in us that we will not be prosecuted for personal lifestyle choices that do not harm our fellow citizens, a common practice in America today.Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)Author: Aaron Einhorn - Web Exclusive ColumnPublished: December 01, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Daily IowanContact: daily-iowan uiowa.eduWebsite: Articles:Text of Dr. Mitch Earleywine Interview on NPR Limits Police's High-Tech Search of Homes Court Rules Thermal Imaging Is a Search 
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Comment #4 posted by jose melendez on December 01, 2003 at 18:38:05 PT
"other scientists, and two human research subjects of Ricaurte's who came forward after the retraction, say they see a pattern of shaky research supporting alarmist press releases."That's a bit disconcerting. Didn't the lab mix up MDMA with amphetamines that wound up killing baboons or something? Josef Mengele would have been proud!
treason: Prohibitionists aid and comfort enemy, profiteer by manufacturing crime
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 01, 2003 at 15:29:45 PT
Related Articles To Snipped Story
Results Retracted On Ecstasy Study: of Ecstasy Drug's Great Risks: 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 01, 2003 at 15:25:48 PT
News Article from Snipped Source
Research on Ecstasy Clouded by Errors 
Donald G. McNeil Jr., New York Times News ServiceDecember 1, 2003 In September, the journal Science issued a startling retraction.A primate study it published in 2002, with heavy publicity, warned that the amount of the drug Ecstasy that a typical user consumes in a single night might cause permanent brain damage.It turned out that the $1.3 million study, led by Dr. George A. Ricaurte of Johns Hopkins University, had not used Ecstasy at all. His 10 squirrel monkeys and baboons had instead been injected with overdoses of methamphetamine, and two of them had died. The labels on two vials he bought in 2000, he said, were somehow switched.The problem corrupted four other studies in his lab, forcing him to withdraw four other papers.It was not the first time Ricaurte's lab was accused of using flawed studies to suggest that recreational drugs are highly dangerous. In previous years he was accused of publicizing doubtful results without checking them, and was criticized for research that contributed to a government campaign suggesting that Ecstasy made "holes in the brain."Ricaurte, a 50-year-old neurologist at Hopkins since 1988, is probably the best-known Ecstasy expert in the war on drugs. He has received $10 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than any other investigator of the amphetamine analogs known as designer drugs, club drugs or diet drugs, including MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, and its close relative MDA.He vigorously defends his work, saying much of it has been confirmed by other researchers, and arguing that he is often unfairly attacked by scientists who minimize the dangers of designer drugs because they want to use them in research.Johns Hopkins stands behind him. "The institution has every confidence in his ability," said Gary Stevenson, a spokesman. Of the primate study, he said Ricaurte "made an honest mistake, then discovered it and revealed it."But other scientists, and two human research subjects of Ricaurte's who came forward after the retraction, say they see a pattern of shaky research supporting alarmist press releases.It is hard to find impartial observers in the highly politicized debate over illegal drugs. But even three scientists whom Ricaurte cited in his own defense said that while his high media profile had made him a "whipping boy" for those favoring Ecstasy research, some of his best-known work has nonetheless been "sloppy" or "not as methodologically rigorous as you might want."Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by jose melendez on December 01, 2003 at 07:52:02 PT
Admit it. YOU get high every day. Why jail US?
Exercise is as addictive as booze and fags, say scientists   
                      Tim Radford
Monday  December 1, 2003
The Guardian         
               It's now official. Some joggers may become addicted to running just as other people become hooked on cocaine, tobacco or booze, according to new research today. The proposition that exercise can trigger a "high" based on brain chemistry has been around for decades. But there has been less research into what happens when the trainers are locked away and the tracksuit sent to the cleaners. Now a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has confirmed that not pumping iron or pounding the pavement could trigger telltale changes in neuronal activity. They watched mice manically sprinting on exercise wheels and then measured withdrawal symptoms when they are kept off the treadmill. "In the high running mice, certain brain regions displayed extremely high levels of activity, more than normal," said one of the researchers, Justin Rhodes. "These were the same brain regions that become activated when you prevent rats getting their daily fix of cocaine, morphine, alcohol or nicotine." He and colleagues at Wisconsin report in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience that they worked with two populations of laboratory mice. Some were normal or "couch potato" mice and others were marathon mice, a special breed selected over 29 generations for their enthusiasm for exercise. Scientists were surprised to find that mice prevented from running showed surges of neuronal response. The more compulsive the urge to run, the higher the surges when the treadmill was locked away. These surges were the equivalent of cocaine cravings in human(s)- snipped,3604,1096705,00.html
Admit it. Drug war IS crime.
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