Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some Saturday stuff...

So the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia, and now an American being held hostage by them, continues today.
So what will Obama do? He's offered few clues so far, and that's probably wise, actually. Keep our enemies guessing. But one thing is for sure. He can't afford to look weak and he can't in any way give in to their demands. That will encourage not just pirates and other international lawbreakers, but especially terrorists, everywhere.
By the way, did you know what the hijacked American vessel was doing in those waters last Wednesday?:
"When Somali Muslim pirates raided the Alabama on Wednesday, the U.S.-flagged cargo ship was cruising the Indian Ocean en route to Mombassa. The 21 Americans in the crew were trying to deliver tons of food and other agricultural materials for the World Food Program, to be distributed among destitute Muslims in that Kenyan port city, and beyond."

The UN appears to have reached a consensus on a statement condemning North Korea:
"Key Security Council nations reached agreement Saturday on a statement that would condemn North Korea's rocket launch and toughen sanctions against the reclusive communist nation, council diplomats said. The five permanent veto-wielding members -- the U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France -- and Japan met after Tokyo backed down from a demand that the Security Council adopt a new resolution, the strongest response from the U.N.'s most powerful body.A presidential statement is considered a weaker reaction by the council."
Precisely. One doubts it will have North Korea shaking in its boots.

BASEBALL DIARY: this weekend, two of my favorite teams play each other. Yesterday, the Tigers blasted the Rangers, 15-2. Great keys for the Tigers--solid pitching by Armando Galarraga, and they're getting a hot start from Miguel Cabrera, which they'll need. Obviously not such good news for the Rangers--again their bullpen was roughed up, and they looked shaky in the field.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs should be a little angry with themselves. They've lost two games so far on this opening road trip, both of them very winnable--including yesterday's 4-3 loss to Milwaukee. Keys: the bullpen, which coughed up a 3-2 late, including issuing 5 walks from the 7th inning on. That's just asking for trouble, and the Cubs got just that. A good sign: the Cubs got a solid start from Rich Harden, who struck out 10.

OTHER FAVORITE TEAM NEWS: the Detroit Pistons clinched a playoff spot, beating the listless New Jersey Nets, 100-93. That clinched a playoff spot for the Pistons. They do seem to be playing better, but...can this team do any damage in the playoffs? Maybe they could if they wind up playing Orlando, against whom they've fared very well the last couple of years. If they play the Celtics, however, I suspect they'd have little shot.
And the Dallas Mavericks played well at home again, beating New Orleans 97-89. The Mavericks now have a chance to finish in the 6th spot in the West; that gives them a better chance. Also encouraging is how they won the rebounding battle in this game. There's little time to celebrate--the Mavs go to New Orleans tomorrow and face the Hornets again in a crucial game...

FAILED DRUG WAR UPDATE: getting hold of marijuana for medical usage is now easier and easier to do in California, reports the Washington Post:
"With little notice and even less controversy, marijuana is now available as a medical treatment in California to almost anyone who tells a willing physician he would feel better if he smoked. Pot is now retailed over the counter in hundreds of storefronts across Los Angeles and is credited with reviving a section of downtown Oakland, where an entrepreneur sells out classes offering "quality training for the cannabis industry." The tabloid LA Journal of Education for Medical Marijuana is fat with ads for Magic Purple, Strawberry Cough and other offerings in more than 400 "dispensaries" operating in the city. Los Angeles officials say applications for retail outlets surged after Feb. 26, when U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that the Drug Enforcement Administration will no longer raid such stores. Those pressing for change in drug laws regard the announcement as a watershed in a 40-year battle against marijuana's official listing as a dangerous drug -- a legal fight that, in California, is being waged on ground that has shifted dramatically toward acceptance."
Acceptance, to a decent extent anyway, from conservatives too, one notes...and that's fine with me. We need no longer support the drug war. It's failed. And certainly supporting the medical use of pot falls right within our desire to support individual liberty, as long as this liberty doesn't harm others...and I don't see how the medical use of pot harms anyone else.