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Ryan’s post below illustrates, more perfectly than all the prose and rhetoric this world has to offer, just how successful Naomi Klein has been at selling some of the poorest political and economic research academia has to offer.

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I am convinced that every big city in America is rotten to the core. And of course, Detroit’s the worst of them all:

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will spend the night in jail after a judge ruled he violated the terms of his bond in his perjury case by making a business trip to Canada and not informing the court.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick apologized, but a federal judge ordered him jailed for violating terms of his bond.

Judge Ronald Giles ordered Kilpatrick to jail Thursday, a decision the judge said he would have made for any “John Six-Pack” defendant before him.

The mayor made an unauthorized trip to Canada last month, leading the county prosecutor’s office to request Kilpatrick be punished and triggering the judge’s ruling.

Only minutes earlier, the mayor offered an apology to the court, telling Giles that for seven months, “I’ve been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny.”

But Giles sent the mayor to jail anyway, telling him he would have given any defendant the same treatment.

“What matters to me though is how the court overall is perceived and how if it was not Kwame Kilpatrick sitting in that seat, if it was John Six-Pack sitting in that seat, what would I do? And that answer is simple,” he said.

The Detroit News has a great Kwame archive here.

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New Tim and Eric is out. Oh my sweet god is it strange.

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There is a blog out there for people who are (or at least want to be) okay with being fat:

Weight itself is not a health problem, except in the most extreme cases (i.e., being underweight or so fat you’re immobilized). In fact, fat people live longer than thin people and are more likely to survive cardiac events, and some studies have shown that fat can protect against “infections, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, anemia, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes.” Yeah, you read that right: even the goddamned diabetes. Now, I’m not saying we should all go out and get fat for our health (which we wouldn’t be able to do anyway, because no one knows how to make a naturally thin person fat any more than they know how to make a naturally fat person thin; see point 4), but I’m definitely saying obesity research is turning up surprising information all the time — much of which goes ignored by the media — and people who give a damn about critical thinking would be foolish to accept the party line on fat. Just because you’ve heard over and over and over that fat! kills! doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means that people in this culture really love saying it.

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Happy birthday...from the grave

Happy birthday...from the grave

VH1’s blog Scandalist posted a tacky/darkly funny photoshopped pic of Jon Benet Ramsey wearing a birthday hat, to commemorate what would today be her 18th b-day. (She would also be, as one of my meatspace colleagues pointed out to me, a hottie.)

Gawker, among other places, threw a goddamn hissy fit. Which is ironic, considering Gawker is a nexus for shit-talk, rumors, and week-ruining pseudo-journalism. From Wikipedia:

On March 14, 2006, Gawker.com launched Gawker Stalker Maps, a mashup of the site’s Gawker Stalker feature and Google Maps.[5] Gawker Stalker, originally a weekly roundup of celebrity sightings in New York City submitted by Gawker readers, first posted on April 21, 2003, is now frequently updated, and the sightings are displayed on a map.

The feature has drawn criticism from celebrities and publicists for encouraging stalking, and George Clooney rep Stan Rosenfeld called Gawker Stalker “a dangerous thing.” Jessica Coen has said that the map is harmless, that Gawker readers are “for the most part, a very educated, well-meaning bunch,” and that “if there is someone really intending to do a celebrity harm, there are much better ways to go about doing that than looking at the Gawker Stalker.”[3][6]

Read Emily Gould’s “Exposed” for more insight on just how shitty a place Gawker is. And thank you, Scandalist, for giving me something to laugh at and feel bad about at the same time.

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Google’s Lat Long Blog announced today that it has expanded the number of places you can see using Street View to include New Orleans. This is very good news, as I have noticed a recent decline in depressing NOLA images.

No New Orleans post would be complete without a Kanye refer:

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After a chance encounter with an affluent man from Spanish Harlem, my personal perspective on the drug community is forever changed.  Growing up in suburbia I am exposed to pharmacies and drug stores like Walgreens or CVS that sell cold remedies and doctor prescribed medications.  This is my norm. 

 

However for this man, in his neighborhood, illicit narcotics are much more prevalent that their Medicare-covered counter parts and pharmacies exist in the hands of the individual entrepreneurs who seek to start a business.  In this instance, customers seek solace in Marijuana, Heroine, and Crack rather than Prozac, Valium, and Ritalin.  In either case, there are users who legitimately seek out the medication for personal pain relief as well as those who abuse the drugs for personal recreation.  Addicts get their fix from either pharmacy. 

 

I know what I’m saying here is nothing new, that there are white-collar and blue-collar addicts everywhere.   But this weekend was the first opportunity I’ve ever had to see first hand the legitimate positive effects of the legalization of narcotics.  My friend runs is very wealthy circles, has an extensive list of clientele, and manages multiple employees.  He is essentially the same kind of drug mogul as a Pfizer CEO just without the benefits legitimacy has to offer.

 

While the debate over the legalization of marijuana continues and the line in the sand is getting clearer by the day, I’d like to imagine a world where men like these are free to organize and expand.  Imagine a world where the major drug companies suddenly have to compete with businessmen from some of the poorest neighborhoods in the world.  Where CVS begins stocking its cocaine and heroine next to the cough syrup and diapers.         

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