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America’s Pot Farmers Are Putting Mexican Cartels Out of Business

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 22:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


For the first time in generations, farmers in central Mexico have stopped planting marijuana.

Due to ample supplies up north, courtesy of medical and recreational cannabis legalization, cartel farmers can’t make any money off pot anymore, they told the Washington Post this week. The price for a pound of Mexican marijuana has plummeted 75 percent from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.

“‘It’s not worth it anymore,'” said 50 year-old Rodrigo Silla, a lifelong cannabis farmer. He also told the Post he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others stopped growing mota. “’I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.’”

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  1. Great news. But when you click through to the WaPo article they got this from, it opens with this:

    With the wholesale price of marijuana falling — driven in part by decriminalization in sections of the United States — Mexican drug farmers are turning away from cannabis and filling their fields with opium poppies.
    Mexican heroin is flooding north as U.S. authorities trying to contain an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse have tightened controls on synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone and OxyContin. As the pills become more costly and difficult to obtain, Mexican trafficking organizations have found new markets for heroin in places such as Winchester, Va., and Brattleboro, Vt., where, until recently, needle use for narcotics was rare or unknown.

  2. @Desiato – so what is your point? It is better to outlaw pot? Actually in your quote “As the pills become more costly and difficult to obtain, Mexican trafficking organizations have found new markets for heroin…” which means that the issue is economic. Tighten controls on meth feed stock causes a rise in street price thereby allowing a market in less expensive substitute products. It has nothing to do with pot as you would imply. And on another note, it just proves again that the war on drugs is futile. Better to legalize it all and offer excellent treatment facilities.

  3. The title is “America’s Pot Farmers Are Putting Mexican Cartels Out of Business”. I think you’ll agree that they’re not putting the cartel out of business, they’re getting it to shift its business to meth and heroin. The Quote link is to an article that quotes VERY selectively from its source to ignore that issue. I was trying to highlight that distortion. I was not trying to make claims about implications for policy of pot. (I’m completely in favor of legalizing pot.)

  4. OK – clear on that. BTW, I am in favor of decriminalizing all “illegal” drugs, not just weed.

Egypt: Simpsons Episode Proves War is a Conspiracy

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 16:53 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane


An Egyptian television channel recently claimed that it found proof that the United States had conspired to cause the so-called Arab Spring revolutions.

The proof it claimed to find was in none other an episode of “The Simpsons”.

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  1. Hey it was Facebook, so it must be true, right?? (…barf)

Afghanistan landslide: Rescuers give up hope of survivors

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


2,100 people are thought to be buried by the landslides that hit a remote area in northern Afghanistan. Officials say the site has become a mass grave for the village of Abi Barak. After the landslide struck on Friday, residents from a nearby village rushed to the scene to help dig people out and the second landslide struck, killing many of the rescuers. Rescue efforts on now focused on the displaced survivors. –Thea Breite (18 photos total)


An aerial view shows the site of Friday’s landslide that buried Abi Barak village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, Monday, May 5, 2014. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

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Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 9:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


Do you know the correct term for gluten-free, sugar free vegan brownies?


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  1. The only good thing about the gluten-free food fad, is my friend with celiac disease has a greater variety of processed food to eat.

  2. Please let him be careful – a lot the gluten-free band-jumping products are made in highly contaminated areas

  3. I think you’re being generous 🙂 Apparently sometimes it’s just a lie.

Danish government creates entire country in Minecraft, users promptly blow it up and plant American flag

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 8:58 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


The Danish Geodata Agency recently recreated the entire country of Denmark in Minecraft at a 1:1 scale. It’s one of the biggest Minecraft creations ever, made up of about 4000 billion brick and 1 terabyte of data. It was ingeniously built using the agency’s 3D elevation model and was meant to be used as a teaching tool.

Of course, players almost immediately began blowing it up.

They weren’t supposed to be able to. The Danish Geodata Agency, disabled the ability to use dynamite, but neglected to disable the minecart with dynamite item. According to The Register, players discovered this, set off explosives in several Danish towns, and built American tanks and flags on top of the ruins.

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It’s Different for Girls

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 8:49 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane


Early in T/Maker’s life, I was working on a company-defining deal with a major PC manufacturer. We were on track to do about a million in revenue that year: This deal had the potential to bring in another quarter million, plus deliver millions of dollars in the years to come if it went well. It was huge.

The PC manufacturer’s senior vice president who had been instrumental in crafting the deal suggested he and I sign over dinner in San Francisco to celebrate. When I arrived at the restaurant, I found it a bit awkward to be seated at a table for four yet to be in two seats right next to each other, but it was a French restaurant and that seemed to be the style, so down I sat.

Wine was brought and toasts were made to our great future together. About halfway through the dinner he told me he had also brought me a present, but it was under the table, and would I please give him my hand so he could give it to me. I gave him my hand, and he placed it in his unzipped pants.

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  1. “I operated under the principle that if I was not treated properly, it was not worth doing business with the other party.”

    This is very important advice. And watch how people treat their staff.

The Great Smartphone War: Apple vs. Samsung

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 8:34 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


According to various court records and people who have worked with Samsung, ignoring competitors’ patents is not uncommon for the Korean company. And once it’s caught it launches into the same sort of tactics used in the Apple case: countersue, delay, lose, delay, appeal, and then, when defeat is approaching, settle. “They never met a patent they didn’t think they might like to use, no matter who it belongs to,” says Sam Baxter, a patent lawyer who once handled a case for Samsung. “I represented [the Swedish telecommunications company] Ericsson, and they couldn’t lie if their lives depended on it, and I represented Samsung and they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.”


It was the same old pattern: when caught red-handed, countersue, claiming Samsung actually owned the patent or another one that the plaintiff company had used. Then, as the litigation dragged on, snap up a greater share of the market and settle when Samsung imports were about to be barred. Sharp had filed its lawsuit in 2007; as the lawsuit played out, Samsung built up its flat-screen business until, by the end of 2009, it held 23.6 percent of the global market in TV sets, while Sharp had only 5.4 percent. All in all, not a bad outcome for Samsung.

The same thing happened with Pioneer, a Japanese multi-national that specializes in digital entertainment products, which holds patents related to plasma televisions. Samsung once again decided to use the technology without bothering to pay for it. In 2006, Pioneer sued in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, so Samsung countersued. The Samsung claim was thrown out before trial, but one document revealed in the course of the litigation was particularly damaging—a memo from a Samsung engineer stating explicitly that the company was violating the Pioneer patent. A jury awarded Pioneer $59 million in 2008. But with appeals and continued battles looming, the financially troubled Pioneer agreed to settle with Samsung for an undisclosed amount in 2009. By then, it was too late. In 2010, Pioneer shut down its television operations, tossing 10,000 people out of work.

Even when other companies have honored competitors’ patents, Samsung has used the same technology for years without paying royalties. For example, a small Pennsylvania company named InterDigital developed and patented technology and was paid for its use under licensing agreements with such giant corporations as Apple and LG Electronics. But for years Samsung refused to cough up any cash, forcing InterDigital to go to court to enforce its patents. In 2008, shortly before the International Trade Commission was set to make a decision that could have banned the importation of some of Samsung’s most popular phones into the United States, Samsung settled, agreeing to pay $400 million to the tiny American company.

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