When the Berkeley Barb was busy railing against the Vietnam War, the editors would have to throw in some change-of-pace items to provide readers with a bit of serendipity outrage and so occasionally lefties would be asked to save a ration of their activist energies to become upset with the fact that some kindred spirits were being given life sentences for possession of a single marijuana cigarette.
The conservatives were adamant that the hippies in flyover country were getting what they deserved. Now they wonder if they'd catch the liberals off guard by suggesting that any of those lifers who are still in prison should be given a pardon and their freedom.
Any kid who was given a life sentence in 1968, will if he or she were 20 years old at the time, be turning 65 this year. What conservative wouldn't be a walking example of schadenfreude in action if the folks who have been in prison all this time are given a full pardon (and thus save their state the cost of their incarceration) and face a life of retirement coping with a monthly Social Security check of Zero?
Isn't it odd that in the states that had a liberal attitude towards pot smokers back when LBJ was the president, they are now experiencing a wave of change that indicates that rather than bring a liberal attitude to the states where some pot heads may still be serving out their life sentences, the states that were liberal are now being urged to fill their privatized prisons with culprits who wanted to toke up. Would that be a retroactive "win" for the states that handed out life sentences for pot, all those years ago?
The CBS Evening News recently reported that many youths who are detained on possible violations of gun laws in Chicago must be released because of crowded prisons which make incarcerating the gun packing kids impossible.
No liberal or conservative will ever suggest sending the pistol packin' punks from Chi to a privatized prison in Cali because the folks who run the privatize prisons aren't going to want to deal with thugs. Doesn't it make sense that running a prison for space cadets who just want to chill is a much more appealing prospect than supervising a building full of toughs who know all about zip guns, shivs, and gang war brawling?
So it is that after all these years, the life sentences for pot are being retroactively ratified rather than revoked.
The kids who got a life sentence in the Sixties for a single reefer are now reaching that stage of life where constant medical attention will be subsidized by the states where they reside. What conservative would not endorse the cost reduction option of cutting them loose at this late date and teaching them the value of self reliance via the old sink or swim tough love pardons?
If filling California privatized prisons with pot smokers while cutting shooters loose in Chicago doesn't make sense to the readers of this column, perhaps they can start to change their thinking by rereading George Orwell's novel "1984" and paying particular attention to the passages explaining the concept of "double think."
At first the challenge of simultaneously holding two contradictory thoughts may seem like an impossible assignment, but if a white belt in a "double think" class watches the Republicans holding political offices it soon becomes evident that proficiency in "double think" can be achieved.
Students of double think, naturally, start their journey to enlightenment with the most difficult assignments.
For instance, a student will learn that George W. Bush didn't have to have provide a coherent explanation for how the World Trade Center buildings fall down and go boom, other than "fool me twice . . . won't get fooled again!," but President Obama must explain where he was and what he was doing (and with whom) when the attack on Bengazi was first being reported and then he must provide a full minute by minute account of how it was permitted to occur. A double standard for explanations? Are you really baffled by the question of "Why would one standard be applied to "Tex,' and another to a Democratic President from . . . Hawaii?"
Students start shouting "Tell us!" and repeat the chant over and over again until they work themselves into a frenzy. Try this at home and see if, after a couple a strong drinks and a few hours of chanting, you aren't ready for a good old fashioned "necktie party."
If a country is full of frustrated long term unemployed people, why not open up the employment market more by giving citizenships to resident illegal aliens?
Why would Americans believe that sending troops into harm's way in a country where it is are just as likely for the locals to blow them up as it is for the enemy to set off an IUD, is a matter of necessity? Isn't it obvious that a country that has been reliant on the patriarch tradition that is centuries old, they'll be ripe for change and anxious to try this Democracy fad?
If invading Iraq in a search for nonexistent WMD's worked out so well, what's the delay for doing a replay in Iran?