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    Well, here's a development that should (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 09:58:35 AM EST
    surprise no one...health insurance companies have been giving more money to Republican campaigns than to Democratic ones, hoping for the best of all possible outcomes: keeping the individual mandate but losing much of the regulations - such as they are - in the "Affordable" Care Act.

    From the LA Times (via D-day at the FDL News Desk) - bold is mine:

    The insurance industry is pouring money into Republican campaign coffers in hopes of scaling back wide-ranging regulations in the new healthcare law but preserving the mandate that Americans buy coverage.

    Since January, the nation's five largest insurers and the industry's Washington-based lobbying arm have given three times more money to Republican lawmakers and political action committees than to Democratic politicians and organizations.

    That is a marked change from 2009, when the industry largely split its political donations between the parties, according to federal election filings.

    The largest insurers are also paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobbyists with close ties to Republican lawmakers who could shape health policy in January, records show.

    Is there anyone who didn't see this coming?  And is there anyone who thinks there will be a goal-line stand on the part of Democrats to keep the insurance industry from scoring on the American people once again?

    D-Day again (bold is mine):

    One other thing - a lot of liberal-leaning pundits said that the insurers hated the health care law, and maybe would see this as some sort of proof. However, it's undeniable now that they welcomed a captive market. They just didn't like having to give that captive market insurance they could actually use, or constraints on how much money they could take as profit, or (yuck) serving customers with mental illnesses. But the overall structure was something that AHIP could have written. Instead of opposing the entire process, they set their sights on individual portions of the law, without making the kind of push that would destroy the structure that creates a forced market for their products. Now, they support candidates who will dismantle those individual portions, making the insurance product everyone must buy progressively worse for the consumer, and more profitable for them.

    But...it's so uniquely American!  Let's all cling to that, shall we?

    Even at it's best, though, it's bad (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:51:27 AM EST
    Even at it's best it's horrendous.  What insurance companies are doing is yes, they're changing their policies to cover things required by the (Un)Affordability Act, but in doing this, they're cutting coverage in other areas.  This is at least true with individual coverage.

    For instance, in my state Regence individual coverage is now covering preventive care at 100% with no deductible, but they're slashing coverage in other areas to make up for this. For instance the best individual plan available now has a $500 deductible on non-generic medication, and only covers major imaging (MRI, CT, etc) at 50%.  Oh, and they've done all this with a huge increase in premium rates AND deductibles and co-pays.

    And no, if you like your plan you can't keep it.  They're shutting down existing plans as of January and moving people to these new plans.  You don't have a choice but to move (or drop your coverage).  And in this state, Regence has the least expensive plans.

    The law is stupid, full of huge holes that insurance companies can game.  However, now, even if the Republicans repeal the whole thing, the insurance companies likely won't return to how things were before, which was, BTW, MUCH MUCH better than things are now.

    So what if a plan covers preventive care, when you look at the list of coverage lost because of it? Preventive care is relatively cheap compared with getting sick, and insurance companies now have cut the coverage when you get sick.  And preventive care is yet another area the insurance can game.  For instance, if you have a high cholesterol test as part of a preventive care regimen, the next cholesterol test you have is considered monitoring a disease, which is not considered preventive care.


    It's just beyond belief that this (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:39:30 PM EST
    is what the Obama administration, with the able assistance of Congress, has foisted on the American people; this would have been unconscionable even in the best of economic times, but for this to result in inflioting an even larger economic burden on people is beyond unconscionable - I'm not even sure what that word would be.

    This has to have been one of the all-time most dishonest efforts, resulting in not just legislation that is dishonest, but in many cases, punitive, and as you say, repealing it isn't going to set us back to where things were - we have new benchmarks for premiums and coverage now, and they are approaching criminal levels, if not already there.

    And Democrats wonder why there is an "enthusiasm" gap...heh, maybe they are just that stupid.


    And (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:02:39 PM EST
    Obama & Co. couldn't see this coming?

    Of course they could... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:28:45 PM EST
    becasue it's just impossible that "no one could have anticipated" this, not going on what we already knew of these companies' behavior - behavior that purported to be one of the reasons we had a "crisis" that we had to address RIGHT NOW (or maybe in 4 years, or something).

    If they had been serious about reining in the insurance companies, do you think they would have built in such a long delay in implementation of much of the plan?  Medicare was up and running in less than a year, so there was no reason - other than the usual craven ones - why it had to take so long to "fix" a system that was in critical condition.

    It's like telling a kid, "Wow, you are really behaving badly, and I'm really, really mad about it, so this is what I'm going to do.  First, I am going to yell really loud.  Then, I am going to tell everyone I know that I am really, really going to do something about this.  Finally, I am going to punish you - next year.  Between now and then, I would really, really like you to change your behavior, because in a year, buster, you're really going to have to knuckle under.  God, I am such a great parent - I must be the Best Parent Ever in the history of parenting!"

    I am just so sick of the obvious way this whole issue has been gamed, and none of it has been to the benefit of those who really need it.

    I'd say it's unconscionable, but those involved would need an actual conscience in order for that to make any sense.


    Tea Party and Joe the Plumber (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 10:31:39 AM EST
    join the "Alliance for Truth" to defeat a Human Society proposition to set standards for commercial dog breeding facilities in the state.

    The measure, which can be read in full here, is called Proposition B or the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act." It aims to help eliminate the "3000 puppy mills" in Missouri that constitute "30% of all puppy mills in the U.S.," according to Michael Markarian, the Chief Operating Officer of the Humane Society.

    "This measure would provide common sense standards for the care of dogs," he told TPM, including sufficient food and clean water, vet care, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles, among other things. Markarian said the measure only applies to "commercial dog breeding facilities" that have more than 10 breeding females who they use for "producing puppies for the pet trade."

    Anyone who has seen news reports of the conditions of the animals on these puppy mills should be appalled and support these standards.

    Do they even listen to themselves? (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:01:21 AM EST
    The Alliance For Truth claims that the Humane Society of the United States has a "radical agenda" and is "misleading the public with its intentions on Prop B. The society seeks only to raise the cost of breeding dogs, making it ever-more difficult for middle-class American families to be dog-owners."

    Seems like being humane (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:32:33 AM EST
    is getting to be a rather radical concept, more evident than ever just in the way it seems to be open season on actual human beings who have the least or who represent a "drain" on the precious coffers of the US government people are being treated.  Treat dogs humanely?  Forget it.

    With Republicans, just remember that if it has anything to do with making money, it shouldn't be regulated; if it has anything to do with one's personal, private business, it should be legislated, amended and demagogued to within an inch of its life and accompanied by large doses of Scripture and invocations of God and Jesus.

    Some days I feel like we are living One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest...


    The Republican agenda (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:27:53 PM EST
    Unfortunately there is no real organized push back on the agenda that you described. The so called opposition party has adopted many of the same agenda items.

    with personal and private business. I'd say that goes beyond R's and D's, it's a government problem regardless of who is in charge.

    The R's are just worse at it.


    Oops, I hit post instead of quote (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:04:45 AM EST
    I keep doing that lately.

    Anyway, how much easier could it be for people to become dog owners? There are thousands of dogs needing good homes.

    They are just using dog welfare as a pawn in their battles against Obama.


    they obviously haven't checked out the prices (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:11:42 AM EST
    on some of these little pet store puppies. or the medical costs the family has to handle with the genetic wrecks they're producing.

    I just realized that I know people (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:18:05 AM EST
    who are breeding Cavaliers that have Syringomyelia.  I don't know that much about Cavaliers.  It is enough to study one breed.  It is their breed though and of course they know about it, but Cavaliers are currently a very expensive dog. I happened to discover what the symptoms of Syringomyelia are when it isn't extremely severe and I realized that a couple of their dogs have it.  It broke my heart and broke my spirit where having a friendship with them is concerned.

    I should have never (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:23:19 AM EST
    googled that one. oy.

    and if the average middle class family (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:14:05 AM EST
    ever saw where the dogs came from they would be horrified. way to scar the kids for life ;)

    I think it is the prestige associated with (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:21:57 PM EST
    having a "purebred" dog.  If it is from a puppy mill though you have no idea who the sire and dam are....they could be brother and sister.  Inbreeding weakens animals and doubles up killing genes, but of course some inbreeding was involved in developing the different breeds the millers will argue back.  But once a breed has been created, such inbreeding takes a meat cleaver to the gene pool.

    More education needs to be placed on the overall affects of a good puppyhood and how this creates good family and society dogs, and then people will demand good puppyhoods for dogs.  A good puppyhood and being born to a confident and unstressed mother is the best thing that could happen for any dog and is the reason why so many much loved mutts fill all of our happiest memories.  Puppies are like babies and the more they are touched and held the more their brains wire to their bodies and their senses and their world.  It makes smarter dogs too.  With that in mind someone would be better off with a mixed breed puppy born into a loving home than a purebred dog from a puppy mill.  Now that the AKC is allowing mixed breed dogs to compete in obedience, perhaps this will all soon become more and more obvious to the general public.  How many happy doggy homes are created that can include a purebred dog or maybe even two that are antisocial and not very bright?  What is there to connect to and share life and love with?


    Ten litters per year? (none / 0) (#30)
    by the capstan on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 01:13:30 PM EST
    I thought the post said a breeder could not have more than 10 breeding females?  (One litter per year per bitch is too many, but the 'mill' bitches can produce two litters each year.)

    I have a purebred dog that is just exactly what I needed after caring for a GSD with paralysis.  Since it is possible to predict the abilities of a purebred, I think that a dog's bloodlines are important to choosing the right dog.  (I only had one 'mutt' in my life and that wqs a truly excellent dog; but where could I have found another with its qualities.)

    But the thing that galls me are the legislative alerts seemingly aimed at defeating any dog legislation.  If the proposal says a kennel with more than 50 dogs will be regulated and inspected--well, that's bad, say breeders. But most pups in my new breed come from homes with fewer than 10 dogs.  I think that these folks ought to welcome the legislation, not be intent on opposing it.

    I also happen to think that all dogs deserve to live in a house with a family and that each dog should be a real 'pet.' My current pup was born and raised in the breeder's kitchen.  I will not oppose laws that try to regulate kennels occupied by more than 25 (!) dogs.


    I didn't mean to come off (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 06:59:39 PM EST
    as if I were against purebred dogs.  I am not and only own German Shepherds.  Many breeders that I know breed each bitch once a year because they have medical evidence that a heat cycle that does not end in pregnancy leads to infertility.  I know some who attempt pregnancy each heat cycle because there is evidence that it can lead to health problems not acheiving pregnancy and some people are extremely protective of their lines.  Now that is not me, and our last litter is ten months old right now and I don't think there will be another for a really long time.  I have three girls, and all three are pretty young and I'm not going to worry about infertility issues when so many dogs are going to be euthanized in our current economic reality.  Purebred is an excellent indicator of specific traits that someone may seek or just flat out need.  But mixed breed dogs aren't necessarily less than, and out at the ranch most of the herding dogs were not purebreds, but any sort of blue heeler, border collie, australian shepherd mix you can imagine.  We never worried if two really good herding dogs had a brood, and there were always ranches that needed them.  They were generally given away to the neighbors or a small fee charged for the shots that were given to them.

    Everytime I turn around (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:12:55 AM EST
    it seems like we can't get decent legislation passed that would shut down the puppymills.  I don't know why someone would need more than 10 litters a year but I'm sure some big name breeder out there will be happy to tell me why.  The no kill shelter here I am told has more dogs waiting for homes right now than ever in its history.  They will only consider taking a dog now that has had all of its shots, is already spayed or neutered, and is clear of ALL health problems so all dogs to be considered would have had to be up to date on heartworm preventative.  Even with such strict criteria for acceptance they still have dogs running out of their ears.

    I can't see any respectable (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:16:13 AM EST
    big time breeder justifying 10 litters a year.

    When I went to the Harvard of the Midwest (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:24:46 AM EST
    the TV stations in St Louis were running news segments about puppy mills in rural parts of MO, and this was 33 years ago, folks.

    But they try (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:29:33 AM EST
    and they are successful thusfar.  And I am against bad dog legislation.  Not all legislation that has been considered recently is fair or just, but this is not one of them.

    Some excellent news for Senator Bennet (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:17:53 AM EST
    PPP has him ahead by one and tied with white voters. If he breaks even with whites on election day, he will win.

    This poll is a bit of an outlier, though. . .

    The Glo and Nicky show continues: (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:22:21 AM EST
    Associated Press - October 5, 2010 11:54 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A housekeeper and her attorney have scheduled another news conference in their back and forth with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who fired the maid after learning she was an illegal immigrant.

    Nicky Diaz Santillan and her attorney, Gloria Allred, called the news conference for Tuesday at 11 a.m.

    I went and looked at (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    the county clerk's website and they do not have the name of the mortgage company down. They have the name of the mortgage broker who processed the loan in 2003. I think I might have found a can of worms. I guess I should ask BoA for the original paperwork.

    Suggestion: (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:49:20 AM EST
    get yourself a consultation from a lawyer.

    I think that is where a lot of us (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 07:09:00 PM EST
    are if we are concerned about this.  We are, it is very disturbing to think that you are possibly paying a mortgage on something that there is no longer clear title to.

    I looked at mine again too (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:42:07 PM EST
    and that is true of the local website here as well. No info at all about who has the lien. I know theoretically it is Chase in my case, but who knows if it is 'official'.

    That (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 01:57:13 PM EST
    is what worries me and also my sister has BoA in another county in GA and hers says BoA on the county website even though she went through a mortgage broker.

    This is pretty pathetic, (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:23:31 PM EST
    irrespective of content:

    In a Bloggingheads discussion yesterday with National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru, who asked him about the prospect of a 2012 primary challenge, Schmitt [Executive Editor of American Prospect] said this:

    I think there's a lot of attention -- y'know, there's too much attention on the dissatisfied Democratic base, um, y'know, represented, by y'know, really by a couple of blogs [chuckling], frankly.

     [Glenn Greenwald.]

    Ed Rendell (none / 0) (#24)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:36:22 PM EST
    is making sense.

    "This isn't about President [Barack] Obama," Rendell said on MSNBC's "Last Word" Monday night. "It's about whether the Democratic Party, not perfect, but certainly bent on trying to preserve theories in government and progressive practices, is going to be in charge of the Congress or the Republican Party. And it's not the Republican Party of old. This is a scary Republican Party."

    Of conflicts the left has had with Obama, Rendell said, "We ought to get over it."

    "If we've got some issues with President Obama, save them for another day," he said.

    He is sure making it hard to agree with him though (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:47:00 PM EST
    Why do they all insist on using terms like 'get over it', 'whining', etc?

    I've said this before - contrast that with how Repubs treat their rightest of the right. They tell them they are with them in spirit but have not gotten there yet, and can't get there until Dems are decimated. They save the harsh, derisive language for the other side. Do they ever intend to get to where the rightest folks want them to be? Probably not - but they don't ridicule them for trying.


    Ruffian (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 05:59:44 PM EST
    you have a point and I agree that the language is a little rough.

    I'd note that you've made the point I've been making on the treatment of Obama.  Whenever someone calls him a traitor or a republican or whatever, I tune out.

    There are a lot of folks like me out there. Probably more of us than there are of the folks on the far left.

    I think the folks to the left would be equally well served by thinking about how their rhetoric comes off as well.

    I mean I am thrilled about healthcare reform. Am i a republican who only loves wall street and big business now?

    People aren't just insulting Obama. They are insulting every dem who was proud and happy about the accomplishment. That's what goes unnoticed.


    It's not the Democratic Party of old (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 01:03:32 PM EST
    This is a new scary Democratic Party who believes that implementing or continuing Republican policies is what is best for the country.  Slogan for new Democratic Party:

    We can pass the Republican legislation that the Republicans could not accomplish.



    OT- Knitting question (none / 0) (#37)
    by hookfan on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 05:34:16 PM EST
     You mentioned awhile back when querying the origin of my online handle that you'd spent many hours "ripping back" your knitting due to the dropped stitch syndrome. Did you mean you ripped back all the horizontal rows?
      Tell me you didn't do that. That indeed would cost you hours and hours of time, and perhaps thousands of stitches to catch the little escapees. And it's largely unecessary,unless one is doing a very complicated lace pattern.
      But in "normal" stockinette or garter stitch there is a much easier way by pinning off the runaway dropped stitch, then identifying the vertical row above it all the way to the top and marking it off.Then all you have to do is knit to the marked stitch, drop that stitch off the needle and purposely undo all the stitches in the vertical column down to the row where your first dropped stitch is. The vertical row should look like a "ladder" now. The final step is to use a crochet hook to pull each individual ladder step through another on up that ladder to the top, pop the stitch on the needle, and away you go.
      I wish my wife would have told me that when I first learned to knit. Would have saved me many, many hours of lost hard work. It's much easier to rework  say 30 rows x one stitch than 30 rows of 300 stitches.
      If you knew this already, please disregard. . .

    Actually a little bit of both (none / 0) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 05:59:27 PM EST
    I'm afraid I have to admit to ripping back my knitting for several reasons and not just dropping a stitch. Being an overachiever type or maybe just someone who gets bored easily, I had a tendency to chose complicated patterns (+complicated yarn) which were challenging to say the least. Keep in mind that I was a beginner as I tell you my sad tale. ;-) These patterns required you to count and switch stitches on a regular basis. So not only did I drop stitches but I lost track of exactly where I was in the pattern. The chemo effected my eye sight somewhat and I had difficulty identifying the various stitches and counting rows. Sometimes I ripped out because I dropped a stitch (before I found out your trick) but often I ripped out until I could correct or identify where I was in the pattern. Of course, I had a lot of time to fill at the time. Believe it or not, I actually wound up with some nice scarfs, hats and socks even if they took me much too long to do.

    There's to long and (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by hookfan on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 06:51:32 PM EST
    and then there's too long. . .
       My wife's knitting mentor( she's knitted about 55 years) told me: it's not a race, it's about experiencing the joy of life through the feel of the yarn in your fingers, and the making of beauty in the patterns so the time is not wasted. Still frustrating though. I guess there is a reason knitters use life lines. . .
       Cables can be complicated too. Although the play of light they catch , and the varying texture is hard to beat.
      As a crochet fanatic (not exclusively, I do knit) I experience far less difficulties with the above, as it's stitch by stitch so I don't suffer from little escapees. But I have far more difficulty achieving what knitting gets naturally-- a garment (or segment of one) that lays flat. Can be done, but not easily in crochet. For peeps with sensitive feet that means knitted socks are usually far better for their feel (stitches lay flat on the bottom) and stretchiness than most crochet.
      Anyway, I wish for you good health and many quality years ahead.

    LA Times opinion piece re medical (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 12:58:20 PM EST
    effects of marijuana:


    Did you know (none / 0) (#31)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 01:49:03 PM EST
    that Mr. "Billlllllllions and Billlllllllllllions" Dr. Carl Sagan used MJ on a recreational basis?

    From druglibrary(dot)org:

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The late astronomer and author, Carl Sagan was a secret but avid marijuana smoker, crediting it with inspiring essays and scientific insight, according to Sagan's biographer.

    Using the pseudonym "Mr.  X'', Sagan wrote about his pot smoking in an essay published in the 1971 book "Reconsidering Marijuana.'' The book's editor, Lester Grinspoon, recently disclosed the secret to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson.

    Davidson, a writer for the San Francisco Examiner, revealed the marijuana use in an article published in the newspaper's magazine Sunday.  "Carl Sagan: A Life'' is due out in October.

    "I find that today a single joint is enough to get me high ...  in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater,'' wrote Sagan, who authored popular science books such as "Cosmos,'' "Contact,'' and "The Dragons of Eden.''

    In the essay, Sagan said marijuana inspired some of his intellectual work.

    "I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves,'' wrote the former Cornell University professor.  "I wrote the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down.

    Sagan also wrote that pot enhanced his experience of food, particularly potatoes, music and sex.

    Click Me

    Don't smoke pot, kids, you might end up intellectually comprimised like Dr. Sagan.


    Interesting. Maybe he didn't start (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 01:59:27 PM EST
    smoking MJ until he was over 18?  Maybe his addiction slowed down his thinking?  Doesn't sound like it though!

    Long-term marijuana use has not been shown to reduce general measurements of intelligence; however, there is evidence that the processing of highly complex information is slowed. Even after 28 days of abstinence, brain scans of long-term marijuana users show less activity in regions serving memory and learning.  [LAT, italics added.]

    Interesting about Sagan, (none / 0) (#35)
    by brodie on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 03:11:50 PM EST
    though I wish he'd found the courage to actually put his name on legalization when he was alive, especially during his heyday of the 70s/80s when he had such a prominent public platform and was probably the biggest scientist-celeb in this country.

    Compare with another noted scientist and contemporary, a little older, who did come forward publicly, and who also (posthumously it was reported) found certain illicit substances spurred his creative impulses

    Crick, who died ten days ago, aged 88, later told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD then an experimental drug used in psychotherapy to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD, not the Eagle's warm beer, that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.

    Despite his Establishment image, Crick was a devotee of novelist Aldous Huxley, whose accounts of his experiments with LSD and another hallucinogen, mescaline, in the short stories The Doors Of Perception and Heaven And Hell became cult texts for the hippies of the Sixties and Seventies. In the late Sixties, Crick was a founder member of Soma, a legalise-cannabis group named after the drug in Huxley's novel Brave New World. He even put his name to a famous letter to The Times in 1967 calling for a reform in the drugs laws.

    If I knew that when he came (none / 0) (#43)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 07:54:35 PM EST
    to my University to make a few speeches, I might've taken him back to my dorm, where my dormmates and I would've found out what else we had in common.  :-)

    From The Times of India re (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 03:21:41 PM EST
    President Obama's upcoming visit to India and other countries, but not Pakistan:

    The trip, for now, also excludes Pakistan, Washington's notional ally, which typically agitates for a visit whenever US presidents travel to India, and is peeved if that does not happen.
     {Italics added.)