Watertiger in OzHello, Firedoglakers. This is Thers of Whiskey Fire, pinch hitting once again for Watertiger, who is on vacation in Australia — more specifically, here. Sure, it looks nice and all, but one wonders if she really knows what she’s getting herself into. Australians are a polite but mysterious people, constantly saying “good day” but leaving out the “ood” part. And then also they enjoy putting shrimp on Barbies. I don’t even want to know what they put on Ken dolls. So I’d say that there is a reasonable danger that Watertiger may need to defend herself against unwanted seafood-stacking upon her person from inebriated Aussies who mistake her for a Mattel product, and it it to be hoped that she remains vigilant against any such Antipodean atrocities.

Vigilance is required in other parts of the world, also. One such place is the state of Minnesota, which has as one of its Senators the ludicrous and shameful spectacle that is Norm Coleman. Coleman’s career on the national stage has consisted of a comical encounter with George Galloway and his courageous grandstanding in the Terry Schiavo mess.

Norm!At any rate I have long been aware that Coleman is an absolute tool, but I confess I had not fully appreciated the full extent of his toolishness until I came across this post at Talk Left. There we discover a link to an open letter sent to Senator Coleman by Norm Kent, a board member of NORML, an attorney, and a former classmate of Coleman’s at Hofsta… where they were drug buddies. (Yep, that’s a real picture of Coleman from back in the day. Hairy fella, weren’t he?)

This is relevant because among his many deeply-held principles, Coleman is Firmly Against the Demon Weed:

I oppose the legalization of marijuana because, as noted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana can have serious adverse health affects on individuals. The health problems that may occur from this highly addictive drug include short-term memory loss, anxiety, respiratory illness and a risk of lung cancer that far exceeds that of tobacco products. It would also make our transportation, schools and workplaces, just as examples, more dangerous.

Kent is skeptical, not least because he remembers Coleman singing a different tune back in his college days:

… these conservative kids don’t fuck or get high like we do… Everyone watch out, the 1950s’ bobby-sox generation is about to take over.

Freaky. Kent explains:

Years ago, in a lifetime far away, you did not oppose the legalization of marijuana. Years ago, in our dorm rooms at Hofstra University, you, me, Billy, your future brother-in-law, Ivan, Jonathan, Peter, Janet, Nancy and a wealth of other students smoked dope.

Sure, we had to tape the doors shut, burn incense and open the windows, but we got high, and yet we grew up okay, without the help of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s advice…. We have seen more people die last year from spinach then pot. We have endured generations of drug addicts overdosing on a multitude of drugs, from heroin to crystal methamphetamine. In your public life, as an attorney general, mayor and United States senator, you have been in the forefront of speaking out against abuses which are harmful. You have been a noble and honorable public servant. How about not being such a dope on dope?

How about admitting that if the Rockefeller drug laws were applied to Norman Bruce Coleman on Long Island in 1968, or to me, or to our friends, and fellow students, you, I and others we knew and loved might just be getting out of jail now? How about recognizing that for too long too many have been wrongly arrested, unjustly prosecuted and illegally incarcerated for unconscionable periods of time?

As the kids say nowadays (when they’re baked!), read the whole thing. And then, who knows, maybe you can check out Coleman’s opponent in the next election — this guy, who seems OK but unfortunately can never hope do be as amusing as the silly hippie he’s running against.