October 30, 2007

Do The Math

Chicago police made a large drug seizure recently which, conveniently for the headline writers, just happened to have a street value of one million dollars. It is worth looking at how they reached that number. Two summers ago I got one gram of high grade cocaine from Chicago for $50. Seven thousand such would total $350,000, leaving $650,000 to cover 43 pounds of marijuana. This works out to $945 an ounce; unlikely even selling eighths to suburban kids. More likely, the assigned value includes the assumption that the cocaine would be stepped on. This is not unusual. The street value for the cocaine DeLorean was set up with was based on retail sale at 30% purity (probably not unrealistic at that time).

The problem with these sorts of "street value" estimates is that unless the individual arrested is the active manager of a multi-level network marketing pyramid, he had nothing to do with the thousands of individual transactions on which they are based, and would only have seen a fraction of that money. Such estimates, similar to valuing a bolt of fabric as fashionable clothing, enhance the image of the police, assuring continued approval of their funding and their actions. They also enhance the image of drug dealers, assuring the police that there will be more for them to arrest.


I just got a market report form Kansas City. Commercial grade marijuana can be had there for $650 a pound, 25 pounds for $10,000. I have no idea what the markup is for transport to Chicago, let alone what the high end stuff from the West Coast goes for, but these numbers give an order of magnitude feel for the level of inflation in the police "street value" report.

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Von Lengerke And Antoine

I went West by Greg to a posting about the relative manliness of various firearms. The list managed to support the hoplophobe notion of guns as compensation despite being written to amuse. The page is headed with Oleg's picture of Morrigan Williamson posing with a cute pink evil black rifle. A couple of clicks on from that and I found that her father had, uncharacteristically, done one of those "let's all answer the same question" things.

I'm not going to answer the entire list. Some I don't even recall. One, however, warrants a response. Yes, I shopped at Abercrombie and Fitch. I got married wearing a sport coat and necktie purchased there. One slight difference. This was the business Mr. Abercrombie founded and Mr. Fitch directed. It was, at the time, the place to go to get a shotgun stock custom fitted. I've found that they no longer offer this service.

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October 29, 2007

Language Shifts

Even aside from the debate over the effect of a subordinate clause on the overall meaning of a sentence, it is hard to reach an agreement on the meaning of the Second Amendment without understanding what well-regulated meant in the past.

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October 27, 2007

Better Than Lolcats

Velo Dogs.

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Proof Of Something

In Dean's regular Friday night unraveled thread, one of the commenters linked a report that recent fires were started by UFO aliens. I responded with a post regarding the other fires the same day as the ones which destroyed Peshtigo and Chicago. I haven't found an online image of the map which shows the alignment of these fires, but while searching I discovered that the mayor of Chicago at the time was named Roswell Mason, which suggests a truly deep conspiracy and coverup.

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October 20, 2007

Product Placement

This month, many major corporations are participating in a promotional event wherein they use the color pink to tie awareness of their product to awareness of breast cancer. Notably, Campbell's Soup has redone an entire can label in pink. For some reason they chose to do this with chicken noodle soup, a product with no connection to the disease in question. I would have gone with one of their cream soups, most likely cream of mushroom.

What will be really interesting will be what commercial products are promoted in the context of prostate cancer awareness.

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October 10, 2007

Geek Humor

Not ready for prime time.

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October 09, 2007

When Seconds Count

The conventional wisdom of the gun bloggers is that the police are minutes away. It is because you cannot expect them to show up in time to do anything more for you than draw a chalk outline that you need to be prepared to defend yourself, and need the right to keep and bear the means to do so.

Sadly, in the most important recent police call in Wisconsin (Tam has an excellent discussion of the incident) they were hours away. The shooter, briefly the state's Most Wanted, showed up at the home of some of his friends at 7:30AM, and told them what he did. These people started calling 911, and continued to do so for hours, including reports that he had surrendered his rifle and gone out to his truck to take a nap, before the authorities finally showed up at 11:30 and killed him on a reported exchange of gunfire.

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October 06, 2007

Something Is Missing

This image has me stumped.

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October 03, 2007

In The Land Of The Blind

The one-eyed is king.

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October 02, 2007

I'm Too Urban

In an incident which has become all too common ever since rock salt in a shotgun has fallen from favor, high school students in Mukwonago Wisconsin defaced residential property by tossing rolls of toilet paper into trees and discarding furniture on lawns. This wouldn't even have been considered newsworthy except that a homeowner who had the audacity to object was injured, and an adult was found to be involved.

Talk radio host Jeff Wagner was discussing the incident, focusing on the role of the 34 year old man out committing criminal mischief with underage girls after their curfew. I was truly appalled that the mother of one of these girls called in, not the least bit chalant about her daughter's involvement and upset that the property owner would actually object to being vandalized.

It is my opinion that this mother and any other parents found to have foreknowledge of these acts should be required to carry out the clean up, in lieu of charges of child neglect. The high school students should each be required to prepare a research paper on the environmental impact of paper manufacture and a review of Eric Flint's 1634 alternate history series which shows that they read it attentively enough to understand the relevance. As for the adult driver, he needs to be investigated very carefully to determine the basis of his involvement with these young women.

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October 01, 2007

Not Better Than Drugs?

Some time back, the prohibitionists came up with the clever sound bite "Hugs are better than drugs". While dubious as far as aiding an adult unwind from the stress of the workday, it does have validity with regard to helping young people feel good about themselves. Now, however, that option too is being taken away.

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