Remains of a City (reliques_10)
On their website, the photographers write, "Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes...the volatile result of the change of eras and the fall of empires. This fragility leads us to watch them one very last time: to be dismayed, or to admire, it makes us wonder about the permanence of things."
The photos pain me greatly, speaking as a guy who lived in
Also via Doctorow, a rant I agree with:
Here's Penn Jillette -- a teetotaller for all substances -- calling for the legalization of marijuana on the incredibly sensible grounds that a) Many presidents, including recent ones, have smoked pot; b) Lots of other happy, well-adjusted people smoke pot; c) Imprisoning pot smokers by the millions costs a lot of money and ruins the lives of millions of otherwise fine Americans.
But hell, if you want to change your state of mind with a chemical, it's your goddamned state of mind to change. What liberty could be more fundamental than the liberty to choose how you think? Taking mood-altering substances is, in and of itself, victimless (though the drug trade that's sustained by drug prohibition has plenty of victims, and people can certainly destroy their lives with drugs, a tragedy that is vastly exacerbated by prohibition). I've lost several dear friends to drug overdoses and none of them were suicidal: they died because street dope varies wildly in potency and the heroin they took was purer than they'd anticipated.
As far as I'm concerned, everything that we call "drugs" -- including crystal meth, heroin, crack, and other drugs that destroy lives in vast swaths -- should be legalized and brought into the light of day so that the people who have problems with them can get help without the stigma of criminality and so that the people who don't have problems with them can get on with doing their thing.
Pre-freakin’-CISE-ly. The US Gubmint’s anti-drug industry… from the Feds, to the “consultants,” to the “educators,” to state and local law enforcement, the courts system, and the prison industry… is a fantastic and non-productive drain on resources that could be better applied to something else… like buying F-22s or operating another Navy carrier group. Literally, because we’re talking billions and billions of dollars here. And just what the HELL do we have to show for all this wasted time, effort, and money? The largest percentage of incarcerated citizens in the industrialized world. That’s it. Oh, and a lot of gainfully-employed bureaucrats.
Dang, I’m impressed!