Friday, January 05, 2018

Here we go again

The Attorney General has decided to ignore the Obama-era policy not to prosecute marijuana possession in the states where it has been legalized. This means federal agents will once again treat marijuana as illegal despite it's having been decriminalized in Alaska, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Washington state.

Like gun control, this is a federal vs. states' rights matter, but ironically, in this instance, it's the conservatives who want to assert federal law.  What a reversal!  The conservatives are the ones who clamor for the priority of state law when it comes to gun ownership (for) and abortion rights (against). Their position on state law goes back to the days of slavery. When the federal government threatened to ban slavery, the southern states insisted it was within their rights to own slaves and that the federal government had no right to deprive them of their property. They fought a war over this. 

The moneyed interests want to protect their property this time, too. Venture capitalists have invested heavily in marijuana farming and distribution, and the states have much to gain from the new industry. Nevada, for example, expects to make over $100 million in the first two years of its legalized pot.

Really though, it just looks like the Trump administration taking one more shot at Obama's regulations.

Thursday, January 04, 2018


from The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Does everyone get excited at the prospect of a snow day, or is it just schoolkids and teachers? Even though I only teach one day a week now - and I am still on winter break - I'm thrilled that the city has come to a standstill.

For our first snow of 2018, the National Weather Service is predicting travel will be very dangerous to impossible ... Total snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches, with localized amounts up to 16 inches, are expected ... travel extremely dangerous ...

A day to bake, burrow into the couch with a hot toddy, and gloat that I do not have a driveway or front walk to shovel.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

New Year, New Toaster

Another cheap, made-in-China, digital toaster bit the dust this week. The current $25 model has decided that all slices are bagels and will toast only one side. It is impossible to disavow it of this misunderstanding because the push controls on its plastic panel no longer respond to touch. All I want is to toast both sides of the bread simultaneously and have it returned to me when done. This does not seem too much to ask though it has been been eluding me for decades.

Until now. I have just purchased, and am awaiting delivery of, a 1956 Sunbeam, lovingly cleaned and restored by a little old man in New York City.

The bread drops down when you insert it and glides up when the surface of the bread reaches the desired temperature. That's it. No levers. No fancy settings. I expect it to be my last toaster.