Tuesday, December 05, 2006

News of the Day 12-05-06

Wouldn't really want to participate in this study, but an article in Analytical Chemistry reviews a new technique to determine the incidence of drug use in a community by sampling its waste water. In the past, these tests have demonstrated greater use of cocaine, for example, than had previously been estimated. Interesting, but I'll watch from a distance. . . . Research from the University of MA Med School finds that watching smoking on tv or in movies doubles the chances of a kid taking up the habit. I realize this isn't illegal, but the logic may apply to seeing drugs or alcohol used. . . . The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine is publishing a report on the increasing abuse of nonprescription cough medicine by young people seeking the possible hallucinogenic effect. Helpful web sites are describing how to abuse these legal medications. We may be back to the "behind the counter" solution here. . . . Good article on TX trying to figure its way out of the mess it's built by using more parole and clearing out guys still in cells who should have already been released. . . . Sad story here on a family that got lucky enough to rent a former meth home just before it got condemned. Now they're looking for a place to stay before Christmas. Another unexpected cost of meth labs. (Sorry, Grits . . . but thanks for the great comments lately.). . . Finally, you may have seen this already, but here's one really good example of how people rationalize away horrible behavior. These things are not always criminal. They're sometimes done by authorities, too, not to mention sweeties. As Jeff Goldblum said in "The Big Chill," we can go days without sex but not one day without a rationalization. I've often thought it’s the rationalizations we should be recording and studying, not the crimes, if we're serious about crime prevention. If we learn how to cut the ground out from under the rationalizations, how many crimes would nevertheless occur? But then, I just described the power of rationalization.

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