Thursday, July 5, 2007

Well, he WAS driving a hybrid

In the blogging world, this is considered ancient history:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff's official said.

Al Gore III -- whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming -- was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m.

The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The search turned up a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma. There were no prescriptions found, he said.
First thing that amazed me was that Al Gore III was able to go 100 miles per hour in LA/OC freeway traffic. I used to live there and still make regular visits back that way so I have a bit of expertise on the matter. If I can reach the 60 mph mark - even at 2 am - I consider that a bloody miracle (not entirely impossible to do 100 mph, but those opportunities are not exactly common). More often than not one is likely to alternate between 25 and 40 mph along with periodic stints with the car in park. Now granted, the roads are a bit more open in the wee hours before dawn, but man, I have driven back from Hollywood after the clubs closed and still found freeways like the I-5 bumper-to-bumper (but at least going 60 mph). I-5 and US 101 are nothing short of a nightmare to navigate under the best of circumstances, and if one has ever heard of a part of the OC freeway system dubbed "The Orange Crush" I'll merely say that it lives up to its reputation. I'll save that conversation for another time, though, as I digress ever so slightly.

I would also suppose it goes without saying that driving that fast isn't exactly the most environment-friendly action either - maybe dad set a bad example? So it goes.

It's the whole pot bust angle to this story that gets the civil libertarian in me riled up. The Gun Toting Liberal expresses the point I'd want to make quite well, so I'll drop this joint from his blog:
Whose fault is this again, yall? Repeat after me — “Daddy’s” and “Daddy’s” boss.
Sonny boy gets busted with a “small amount” of pot and now he gets to face the music because of the unwinnable, hugely expensive and unconstitutional “War On Drugs” good ole’ “Daddy” and his boss, along with President II have been waging upon the U.S. taxpayers’ checkbook “bad guys” for decades with ZERO return on the so-called “investment”.
Global warming is a serious reality, and great “kudos” go out to “Daddy” for his heartfelt and dedicated, award winning work in this arena, but then again, “Dear Ole’ Dad” isn’t quite perfect either, is he? “Draft Gore In ‘08″ supporters shouldn’t forget this simple fact so easily either, by the way. After all, the terse results of Mr. Gore II’s dedication to turning potheads into criminals has found their way to “Dear Ole’ Dad’s” doorstep. And results such as these are GUARANTEED… ALWAYS.
Again; it’s called “karma“, and it’s very REAL
As one might guess, I'm pretty sour on the whole "War on Drugs" b.s. to begin with, viewing it as a colossal waste of time and money - a "solution" in desperate search for a "problem" that has led to way too many lives wasted in prisons for merely taking a few bong hits. The Clintonistas (of which Gore was and still is a loyal member) were especially zealous during the 1990s, much to the delight of law enforcement agencies looking to justify their existence and of course the booming (and corrupt) prison industry. When I was just starting college back in the 1980s, the US was behind only the USSR and Apartheid-era South Africa in terms of the proportion of its citizens locked up in prisons, and that was considered alarming to many of us with any civil libertarian tendencies. Well into this sorry decade, the US has a firm lock on the #1 rank in that department, making those dark days of the 1980s seem more like "the good ol' days". Something to keep in mind any time some buffoon serves up the usual drivel about how "free" the US allegedly is.

The "drug war" also seemed to give Democrats at both state and national levels an opportunity to out-Republican the Republicans, an opportunity that they're addicted to in much the same way as an ice-head is to meth. These folks seriously can't help themselves; never mind that those who seem to think that they can "change" the Dems show signs of codependency.

The younger Gore should have received a speeding ticket and some stern lessons about the environmental consequences of using highways as NASCAR speedways. The pot? Like the late Peter Tosh would say, "legalize it."

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