Man Melting Snow With Blowtorch Burns Home, Inflicts 30k Worth Of Damage

Courtesy – kptv
Fire officials in New Bedford, Mass., said a man using a blowtorch to melt ice on his back porch ended up setting his house on fire, causing up to $30,000 in damage.

Fire Capt. Scott Kruger told The Standard-Times of New Bedford that no on was injured during Monday’s incident at the three-story home.

Kruger said the man was using a torch hooked up to a 20-pound propane cylinder. He got too close to the building’s wood frame and ignited the vinyl siding. The fire quickly spread into the building’s second- and third-floor apartments.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I guess he got distracted and maybe turned toward the house,” New Bedford Fire Department Lt. William Arnold told TV station WCVB.

It took 25 firefighters to subdue the blaze that damaged bedrooms in the upstairs units, and caused damage to the structure and wiring.The homeowner will not be charged.

English Language Inconsistencies And Coincidences

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object.

11. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

12. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

13. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

14. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

15. They were too close to the door to close it.

16. The buck does funny things when the does are present.

17. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

18. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

19. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

20. After a number of injections my jaw got number.

21. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

Very Strange Japanese Mutton Beef Ad

I was really taken back when I saw the marketing strategies applied to this instruction manual for cooking Genghiskhan Mutton Beef. Japanese people must believe we were taught Ebonics in school. A real eye opener. Fizzle to da sizzle!

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It gets crazy hot!

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Obviously the Japanese like to inhale beef rather than eat it.

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Watch out for the ladies while cooking! (or the next “party”)

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It’s a beef hurricane!

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Strangely enough? Hmmm….MSG. I think your hooked on the junk, and to boot you have a pan on top of your head.

How Do You Smoke Pot And Stay Out Of Jail?

How Do You Smoke Pot And Stay Out Of Jail? Seattle lawyer Jeff Steinborn tells us how through the miracle of illustration! Please visit his website http://www.potbust.com/

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The Enigma Of Bancroft Tower

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In the middle of Worcester, Massachusetts lies a remarkable oddity. A “lite” castle or tower as it is refered to sits in the middle of a park. The only way to describe the structure is that you imagine a castle and then imagine it 2d. It has very little depth and mimics a Hollywood prop castle. The unique history with which is attached to it is really quite interesting as well.

The tower was built in 1900 to honor George Bancroft (1800-1891), he was Secretary of the Navy,Founder of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Minister to Great Britain and Germany. Quite an accomplished man. This was to be his legacy. A tower that when the true “tower” was open afforded a 360 deg. view of Worcester. This memorial was built by his friend and admirer Stephen Salisbury III. Thanks to the City Of  Worcester Parks And Public Works Website they offer a quite inclusive history.

“The Bancroft Tower was built by public benefactor Stephen Salisbury III, who bequeathed it to the Worcester Art Museum, which deeded it to the Parks Department in 1912.  Salisbury intended the feudal-like castle to be a recreational oasis. Its spiral staircases, fireplace chambers, stone benches, and parapets were frequently the scene of picnics and social outings. The summit has a 360-degree view of the city,  greatly enhanced by a climb to the lookout tower. A locator map in the stone walkway helps to identify the distant hills. George Bancroft was a politician, statesman, and writer. His list of achievements is exceedingly long, ranging from cultivator of the American Beauty Rose and eulogist at Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, to Secretary of the Navy (founder of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis) and author of a scholarly ten-volume history of America. But, Stephen Salisbury III built the memorial to Bancroft because Bancroft and Salisbury’s father had been childhood friends. A plaque marks Bancroft’s birthplace just below the park on Salisbury Street.

Honorable Stephen Salisbury III became a member of the Parks Commission in 1887.  Mr. Salisbury owned a great deal of land in the northern part of the city and was always eager to improve that section. He was involved in the donation and development of a plot of land on the south side of Salisbury pond soon to be named Institute Park. Initially Stephen Salisbury set aside 20 acres of land along Massachusetts Avenue which included Bancroft Hill.

In 1900, he erected a tower on the summit of this hill to honor George Bancroft, the famous historian whose birthplace was just below on Salisbury Street.  The tower is 56 feet high and is constructed of boulders, cobblestones, and is trimmed with a rock-faced granite.  It looks like a miniature feudal castle.  The construction cost was about $15,000.  Stephen Salisbury opened it to the public during this time. Some of the finest views in the City could be seen from this tower.  It is named on the National Register of Historic Places.   When Mr. Salisbury died, this property was bequeathed to the Worcester Art Museum who in turn presented it to the City in 1912.”

The true enigma may be actually the stories of hauntings and the marks carved in stone placed in the ground the “supposedly” pointing to the seven hills of Worcester. The lines actually dont point to the hills and are quite confusing. Many believe they are actually ley lines across the earth that intersect at the point of the tower. One can only believe that if someone took the time to carve them in stones they must represent something. But what?


Confessions Of An Ebay Opium Addict

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Columbus Day almost killed me.

I woke up avalanched under a junkyard of pain, my body a trap of torn nerves and trashed organs. An oily rash of sweat had soaked through my pillow and into the mattress. I was coughing, confused and crazy with anger. A throbbing, deep-pink chemical sunburn covered my face; my bowels were spitting hot mercury. I slid out of bed and dropped to the floor, the weight of a snarling mountain gorilla bearing down on me. I saw myself in the mirror as I fell. I looked puffy.

Outside, the sun was terrifying, while the hiss from a neighbor’s dancing sprinkler got in my head and pissed me off so much, it felt as though my blood had become flammable and would ignite at the next insult.

I made it to the car and somehow drove one block down to the mailbox, expecting the Priority Mail package from my eBay dealer to save me.

Nothing.

I hobbled into the car and drove back to the house, used the bathroom and looked on the computer. The U.S. Postal Service Web site tracker verified that my box of poppies had been delivered to Reno at exactly 10:32 a.m. Well, where the hell was it? I typed a threatening e-mail to my supplier but didn’t send it.

Then I got back into the car, reeling and jumpy, went back and opened the mailbox.

Nothing.

I closed it. Locked it. Waited a second and then stuck the key in and opened it back up.

Still not there.

I got back in the car and decided to wait it out. My head whirled with psychic errata–miscalculations in the synapses. As though faced with gravity for the very first time, I struggled to hold the horizon line, like an infant with an iron skull. I wanted to ram my head straight into the dashboard but feared the airbag might blow and deliver the knockout punch. Or, worse, I’d miss and hit the damn horn.

Everything hurt, but the pain came in slow motion and actually seemed to stop to register with each and every nerve. My pulse rattled, and my heart seemed to sizzle.

Maybe my package had been intercepted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Good, I thought. Maybe they’ll be able to get me off this stupid homemade junk.

I sat there for less than a minute. Maybe I sat there for an hour; I don’t know. But something had to be done. I stuck some Klonopin under my tongue and drove to the post office, expecting to turn myself in. Give up. Take the 15 years, if they would just give me the fix. But the door was stuck. I pushed, pulled. It wouldn’t budge. No, it was locked. Closed for Columbus Day.

Columbus Day. No wonder everyone hated him. That tabard-wearing bastard had been dead for 500 years and was still causing trouble.

I took a dozen allergy pills to make me drowsy but couldn’t sleep. I lay awake in bed for the next two days before the shipment finally arrived. The postman had decided to make a long weekend out of the cheap-ass holiday.

I should’ve stayed in bed and ridden it out. I had put a price on my head in the form of a box-a-day addiction but already had endured the worst part of the withdrawal: the first 48 hours. But then the box arrived, and I was a helpless slave. I ripped it open by its pull string and dumped a dozen poppy pods onto the bed, trying to eat one whole. I then made a quick, crude tea, drank it and started to feel a rabid glow of health return in seconds.

What had all the fuss been about?

In better days, I used to crack the dried poppy pods over the blender like eggs, little rivulets of blue-black seeds rushing out as I shattered the crowned pods. Sometimes, I’d commandeer the kitchen and make a big production out of the whole thing, as though I was hosting some kind of lowbrow cooking show, doing stupid cockney accents while explaining the preparation process to the viewers.

Start with a clean, chemical-free stock of dried poppy pods. Pulverize in a blender and scald with water. Don’t boil. Don’t burn. Don’t vaporize. Just scald. Blend on low for about a minute, and then add a dash of lemon juice to taste. Add a cup of fine, aged brandy and then strain through an old T-shirt to remove lingering lumps.

Not only did the brandy serve to recreate that loose-laudanum effect; a swig satisfied the senses while I waited the few minutes for the infernal teapot to boil.

I had a whole list of fuel additives I’d researched on the Internet to intensify the tea experience: tyrosine, ascorbic acid, allergy medicine.

After downing a few bowls of tea, I’d lie down on the bed and watch the ceiling fan spin until my body felt etherized and free again. Ready for the imminent rapture.

But that was the first phase. And it didn’t last very long.

On a field trip to Washington, D.C., Nancy Reagan promised us third-graders that there were people in the world who actually wanted nothing more than to give us drugs–for free! Free crack. Free cigarettes and beer. Free grass. Free coke. Free PCP and LSD. At the time, I remember thinking this notion carried the vague backing of Mr. T.

Back at school, they showed us a video of the circumstances and places these drugs might be obtained: playgrounds, especially while playing kickball; from ice-cream trucks; in restrooms at parties.

I played lots of kickball, but no goon in a trench coat ever trapped the ball under his foot and asked me if I wanted to fly. My friends couldn’t score a Jolt cola, let alone a bump of nose candy. It was probably for the best. Had someone handed me a rock of crack, I think I would’ve put it in my mouth and eaten it. I couldn’t even get a beer. And New Year’s was coming up.

One place to get free stuff was the library. My mother dropped me off like it was day care, me and the damn bums. I looked for books with naked people. I read through investment magazines. Finally, I found the fiction section and a book called Beowulf. I liked it. The Vikings drank this stuff called “mead.” It was an alcoholic drink made from honey. I looked in the card catalog and found a book on mead. It even showed how to make it. I was 12. The librarian had her hair full keeping the bums from falling asleep on the newspapers. She stamped my books and sent me away.

The recipe seemed simple enough. I rode my bike to the supermarket and bought a bear-shaped jar of honey and some Fleischmann’s yeast.

I kept my mead in a pair of empty plastic Coke bottles. Every day, I’d have to twist the cap off and release the carbon dioxide, or the stuff would explode. On New Year’s Eve, I poured my first glass. It was warm, almost hot. It wasn’t sweet at all–it tasted like some kind of milky lard. I couldn’t drink it at first, but I made myself chug the stuff. I’m not sure what happened, but all of a sudden it was dark outside, I thought I heard Dick Clark talking about his balls, and I couldn’t stand up.

Because my neighborhood had failed me with its lack of blight, I began to see the supermarket and drugstore as potential drug dealers. I drank bottles of cough syrup before I knew what dextromethorphan was. I ate catnip and didn’t feel anything. I ate nutmeg and felt everything. There was no Internet to guide me and nothing in the library about morning-glory seeds. My mother just happened to have some Heavenly Blues in the junk drawer. I had never seen the carpet move like that before. I tried everything in the medicine aisle and everything in the bulk food hoppers.

I got my first pain pills from my friend’s dead grandmother. I liked them. I liked them so much, I started hanging out with my own grandmother, just checking in on her every now and then.

By the time I was driving, I still hadn’t found out where to get anything stronger than pot on the street. But they had just opened a whole-foods store about 20 miles away. Also, there was this damn new thing called the World Wide Web. There were whole pages on “legal highs.” I was an opiate man.

At the health-food store, I looked at the huge bins of sesame seeds and fennel seeds and poppy seeds. The page on legal highs had said that trying to extract opium from poppy seeds was ridiculous. You needed pounds of the stuff.

I bought pounds of the stuff. I had them back-ordered and front-ordered at 97 cents a pound.

Per instructions, I boiled some water and slurred the mix around until it poured out in a pale yellow oil. I added some lemon and forced it down. Thirty minutes later, I was a poppy plant floating in the vase of my own body. It felt like I had a headache that didn’t hurt, just these pleasant vexations. Later, I remembered this feeling, this innocent password to paradise.

In college, after a few semesters of spiking needles in my arms and toes before class, my friend Lukas never came back from spring break with the heroin he had promised. The way they described it, his heart had exploded. They called it an allergic reaction. I didn’t know what to think except that the greedy bastard had copped my share. I remember needing a fix but was too scared to shoot up. The shrink had me on Klonopin for anxiety attacks. I drank until drinking didn’t work. I tried every drug I could find. I stole Vicodin from medicine cabinets and kept an open ear for those with upcoming dental work, but the stuff was getting harder and harder to score.

There were online pharmacies on the Internet. I ordered Tramadol from Mexico and Nurofen Plus with the legal max 12.8 milligrams of codeine per tablet from New Zealand. Then that got tougher.

Finally, I found eBay. I had been looking for old motel stationery and fake Jackson Pollock drip paintings. They sold everything–why not drugs?

I typed “poppy pods” into the search bar.

Like anyone trolling the Internet at 4 a.m., I had been looking for some kind of temporary fix. I found it on eBay under Crafts>Floral Supplies>Flowers, Foliage>Dried.

Crafting. Sure. I liked art.

A query turned up all sizes and quantities of poppies. Some, called gigantheums, were as big as tennis balls. A special of “600 XXL-sized gigantheums” was selling for $399. Fortunately, for crafting projects requiring so many poppy plants, financing was available for $17 per month. For all of us hard-core flower arrangers, of course.

The recipe was simple enough. I ordered a few dozen dried flowers from a seller with more than 3,000 positive-feedback points and a clever handle that was a clear double-entendre on horticulture and getting high.

At first, the plants came double-boxed, rubber-banded by the dozen with the stems intact. But after a few more orders, the seller seemed to cut out the pretense that I might actually be using the poppies for floral arrangements and just sent the pods themselves.

The first taste gave off a steamy insult. Even after being filtered twice, the manna was as putrid as a bowl of warm pus. It seemed completely undrinkable. Its fermented, earthy taste–a little like a liquid squeezed from gym socks–had to be chased with something sweet. The dark grinds of crushed seed and sediment formed a repulsive grit in a half-ring around the bottom of the bowl.

As I poured the slosh into what would become my ceremonial chalice–a plastic child’s cereal bowl with a built-in silly straw on the side–I learned how to drink it. Rather, it seemed to teach me how. Its nauseating properties demanded that it be downed fast at first, and then titrated for the rest of the session.

Fifteen minutes after downing my first bowl of poppy-pod tea, I entered “Flanders Fields,” from the John McCrae poem: Where the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row.

Immediately, I felt redeemed. The raw reel of life became distant, pleasant. My head was an overstuffed pillow that could softly implode any minute, and it didn’t matter. Nothing could. A pleasant pressure settled on the back of my neck. I was snacky. I wanted sweets. I felt the promise of a divine massage as the pressure spread through my shoulders and opened my ribs like wings. My thoughts slowed down until just about everything seemed to fold neatly inside everything else.

I became happily over-focused in the comfortable mud of abstraction and triumph; immortality bobbed around me like fat peaches in a hot tub.

It was far from the predictable recklessness of alcohol or the silly buzz of marijuana. I didn’t have the lubricated jaws of a chatty coke fiend or the mystical misconceptions of a psychedelic spaceman.

It was quiet up there.

For a while.

Poppy tea seemed to inspire creativity, from conception to actual completion, without any of those time-consuming frat-boy impulses. It effectively killed the sex drive for the night. As such, much writing could be done. A good dose could keep me up all night without that toothless amphetamine tic.

By morning, things tended to irritate me, and the return of the sun seemed an impossibly horrifying affront. I covered the windows with blankets.

As the original confessional opium-eater, Thomas DeQuincey, put it way back in the September 1821 edition of London Magazine, “Booze is an acute pleasure while opium is a chronic one. It introduces among the faculties the most exquisite order, legislation, and harmony. Wine robs a man of his self-possession, opium greatly invigorates it.”

Another thing opium tea slows down is the bowels. As an experienced pod-head, I learned to carry a Fleet two-pack before any major binge. (Those are the enemas in the green box.) Opium bunged things up the way eating a beach towel might. When things did finally make their exit, they felt like pine cones being forced through a tiny hole in a dry brick.

There was also the cottonmouth. It was once so bad that it was physically impossible for me to eat a sandwich.

Poppy tea was an extreme beverage for sure, but no more foul than that goofy, green yuppie-goo: wheat grass.

I swallowed the tea a few times. Then a few more. By a month, I was drinking the juice of upward of 60 crushed pods per day–swallowing gallons of liquid and pissing out about $300 a week worth of tea matter. Bowl after bowl of blissful narcotic bloat that I sucked down with a silly straw.

Often, late into a session, I’d get that uncontrollable opiate itch.

Raking my skin with a giant plastic comb seemed to help. Occasionally, I’d bleed or accidentally scrape a piece of a mole right off.

The thing is, heroin gets you addicted to heroin. But opium is 40 to 50 different alkaloids, meaning 40 to 50 different drugs I was becoming addicted to.

Some nights on the tea, I’d just lie in bed, content, even cheerful and impossibly satisfied enough to watch my wife read a copy of Lucky magazine, helping her put those little stickers on items she wanted.

Admittedly, slugging down bowl after bowl of plant slop through a silly straw lacked the romance of an opium den or the skinny-tie-and-suit jet-setting of the French Connection; it didn’t have the instant appeal of the smoky red-light pleasures–the real ensemble pieces of the imagination–the ones where curly white smoke swirls in slow motion until it takes on the figure of an overly gracious geisha girl in fine red silk.

Poppy tea didn’t leave me fashionably thin, either. In fact, after four months of constant use, I had never been so freaking fat in my life. I swelled from a size 30 to a 38 in jeans. I gained 65 pounds, almost exclusively in the middle, from the constipating bloat and junk-food chasers. While hard drugs collapsed on the user like a broken elevator when they wore off, poppy tea seemed to fade into the next day like a down escalator.

At first.

The chronicles of the opium trade zigzag through early civilizations from Mesopotamia to China and eventually wander to Neolithic southwestern Europe, where groups of early open-minded dump dwellers found the opium poppy plant, papaver somniferum, growing like a weed among piles of refuse. They soon discovered that not only would the plant seemingly thrive almost anywhere, but, also, when eaten or brewed into a primitive tea, it even took the edge off of living in a dump.

During the 1800s, when the strong painkilling alkaloid morphine was first isolated from the poppy and used in everything from battlefield amputations to snake oils and suspect tonics with names like “Mister Jim’s Special Relief for Facial Neuralgia” or “Calmer’s Baby Tonic for Calmer Babies,” the poppy’s use as a tea fell out of practice. Purified morphine was cheaper than liquor, and a mix of the two, called laudanum, was sold as a kind of cure-all by greedy, apple-cheeked pharmacists everywhere. Once morphine was processed into brand-name heroin, the use of poppy tea just about came to an end, at least until eBay came onto the scene.

As a modern world-bazaar or world-sized museum of bizarre junk, eBay reconnected well-worn trade routes electronically that had disappeared and grassed over centuries ago. While becoming a worldwide garage sale, global swap meet and anthropologist’s curio shop, eBay also quite naturally had become the official opium gray market to at least some of the masses.

But it didn’t also sell the cure.

It was sometime before sunrise, and I was sitting in a motel in Carson City, Nev. My wife didn’t kick me out. She didn’t even tell me to stop drinking the tea. There was no ultimatum. I just packed three huge boxes of poppies in the car with the blender and left. I didn’t tell her where I was going. I didn’t really know. But that seemed to be where you were likely to end up–at a cheap motel. There was some equation there.

I walked a few miles to a grocery store for some lemon juice, Coke and junk food for the binge.

I tried to get the motel tap water running to a boil, but the closest I could get was to put the hand-crushed poppies in the ice bucket and run the shower until steamy water filled it to the brim. I drank it down in hideous gulps.

The reverie, the calm of my ocean, a measured but strong divine state for silent natural trances. I was back in the folds of the plant. I realized I had left because I didn’t want to share this experience with anyone. I reached into the grocery bag and ripped open a three-pack of yellow Easter Peeps.

This was living.

DeQuincey noted that some nights he seemed to live for 70 to 100 years. This was going to be one of those nights. As long as I didn’t die, at least.

I took a poppy pod out of the box and looked it over. It was regal, like a birch-colored rose wearing a halo; a poet could sit and be effusive for days meditating over its near-beauty.

Insulated by the opium and the sumptuousness of a secured motel room, I lay down with hopes of the state between consciousness and sleep.

Suddenly, everything got blurry. The lights stayed put while my eyes moved. It was as though they were riding on oily ball joints. Or were the lights on ball joints? My lips shrank, and I couldn’t talk. My heart drummed fiercely. I needed to calm down.

I panicked. The fear was intense. My toes wiggled around and got stuck in a cigarette hole in the bottom sheet of the motel bed. Did I drink too much? This was the high-water mark. I scratched my itches. Chasing. Always chasing. But this time, I wasn’t catching anything. I was caught.

I made more tea. Used more pods than ever before. I was trying to blast off somewhere.

A few hours later, I had drunk the salt of 200 pods but only felt a kind of necessary doom. I got out of bed and looked in the mirror to make sure I was still there. I looked like that mug shot of Nick Nolte, my hair up in the air, pasted in place by sweat and spilled drink. Tiny poppy seeds were stuck to my shirt. They were everywhere. In the bed. Under my feet. On the floor.

I turned on the TV. The news. Some jackass was trying to sell a body part on eBay, and it had made the headlines.

I felt like I was trapped in an aviary of evil eye-pecking birds. The threats were soaring overhead, then dive-bombing beak-first into the pores in my aching skull. I screamed. The writhing, palpitating torment; the shattering headache; and the enormous irritability and agitation of the world all fit into the grit in my teeth.

I needed something, some kind of painkiller, or I was going to die. I didn’t know any old people who might have medicine cabinets stocked with Norco. I needed help. I thought about the stairwell. I thought maybe I could push myself down the stairwell and break something and go to the emergency room and get some pain meds.

I hurried down the hall and stood over the top, but I couldn’t throw myself off. It was carpeted. I might just bruise, not break. I couldn’t jump. My eyes fogged over with tears that didn’t stream. I never knew how serious it had gotten until it had gotten serious. I had left my wife. I had blown through our savings. But I couldn’t make myself take the final fall and literally hit bottom.

I went back into my room and found the Bible. I promised to God I’d quit. I tried to read some passages, but my eyes kept closing. I knew if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up. I found a section called “Leviticus.” It was awful. Something about an “unclean creeping carcase.” I had to get out of there. By “there,” I meant my body.

But I was stuck.

I’ve been off opium tea for almost two weeks: twelve days of nonstop low-grade flu and restless thoughts of maybe sawing off my head with a bowie knife. I’ve also considered a homemade lobotomy with a knitting needle. I can’t live on this plane of plain sobriety.

When I can sleep, I wake up after a couple of hours, shivering, as though I’ve been sleeping in the steerage of some Alaskan fishing boat. Everything hurts.

I’ve tried jogging to build up that natural high, but my brain’s capacity to make natural painkillers has been so dimmed by the opium that it feels like my knee joints are ripping with every stride.

The thing about it is I realize that I’m going to order more poppies. It’s not a question of “if.” I know where I can get them. It’s only a matter of time before I do this all over again. As long as someone sells the pods, and nobody cares to stop them, my recidivism is all but assured.

Poppies have shown me a better place. An occasional oasis of emotional stability. It’s medicine for life. I doubt it will ever kill me. Perhaps make me into a 400-pound shut-in. Whatever–as long as I can get to the mailbox.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Reno News & Review

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Useful Information About Your Rights As An American Citizen

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What follows is a write up that was done by a user by the name of Alfa on http://www.drugs-forum.co.uk. The original thread can be found here, http://www.drugs-forum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=415. I found it to be extremely informative and containing information that a scary amount of people dont know. I only hope to spread knowledge and crack down on the amount of police abusing the law and our civil liberties. Know what to do if the “worst case” happens. Remember question abuse! Read!

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer; I’m one of you. What I write here is the best information that I’ve gleaned so far, and I’m prepared to use it myself. These are my best suggestions, and do not constitute legal advice. Check it out with your lawyer or a good second-year law student or better, and then mass copy it for all of your friends! Let us know what you find out, what your experiences are, and your ideas, so we can keep this up-to-date and make it even better.

What it is: Cops love to play word games, and they’re good at it. They’re also good at taking control and being the boss, or coming on like they’re your parents or something. They know that you have rights, but they’re betting that you don’t know what they are. Watch your ass! Many people get busted by falling into their traps, or by not realizing that the cop is trying to get you to give up your rights … so don’t let them get away with it! One lawyer said that 99% of the people in jail talked themselves into it.

Some of their cute little tricks: “May we search you? No. Why, got something to hide?”, or “Look, can I go? Not yet. Why, am I under arrest? Would you like to be?” Rather than keeping this sort of bullshit going, or trying to outwit them, it’s just better not to play that kind of game. Keep in mind that if you lie to a cop and they can prove it later, that’s one more thing you can be charged with … so don’t tell them anything one way or another! (One lawyer did say “Admit nothing, deny everything, and demand a lawyer”, so maybe you can lie to a cop since you’re not under oath, but it seems more prudent just to keep quiet.) Sometimes they’ll threaten “Look, we can go get a warrant anytime, so you’d better let us in”, but what that really means is “We tried everything, but couldn’t get one. Please let us in so we can bust you.” Well … just say “No.” Tell them to go get that warrant. Sometimes they’ll say “A friend of yours ratted you out and told us everything. You know the guy, (insert name here).” This is a fishhook … don’t bite! And don’t believe them! They’re probably trying to get you to “retaliate” and to spill the beans about your friend … who will be next on their pickup list because of what you just said.

Best case scenario: They detain you for a non-drug reason, such as a broken car light, a traffic violation, stereo too loud, etc. It’s best to play along as “the good citizen” and to be courteous. If you totally get into their game and promise to take care of it, at most they’ll write you a ticket, admonish you, and then let you go. Take the lumps! Express remorse! It works. If they go too far (like trying to search you or your property), then dig in your heels and exercise your rights. Read on.

Your rights: You have the right to refuse to let them into your home if they don’t have a warrant (4th Amendment). You can refuse to consent to a search (4th Amendment), but you can’t physically stop them. You can remain silent (5th Amendment), although it is often advisable to give them your name, address, and age. You have the right to have your attorney with you while they question you (5th Amendment, I think). You have the right not to sign anything they give you, except for a ticket. Do not make a statement!

Their “rights”: They can briefly do a pat-down search on the outside of your clothing and check-out suspicious lumps that feel hard and bulky … they want to make sure that you don’t have a concealed weapon (but you should say “I don’t consent to being searched” anyway to cover yourself, and you shouldn’t carry anything incriminating in that same pocket!). They can and will ask you everything under the sun (freedom of speech you know). If you blow it by: answering their questions, letting them into your house, or consenting to a search, then they gotcha cold … so don’t do it! They don’t have to read you your rights if you’re not under arrest, so you’d better know what they are. They can briefly detain you for various purposes, but they can’t hold you unless you’re under arrest (If you ask “Am I free to go?”, and they say no, ask “Why not?” or “What is the law that allows you to hold me?” or “I’m not under arrest, yet you’ve said I can’t leave … please clarify my legal status at this time.”). If you try to physically resist them or to run away from them, then they have the right to use force against you … even if you’re clean and have done nothing wrong! So … keep calm and be cool, they’ve got the deck stacked in their favor and they know it.

Reasonable Suspicion: Allows them to look briefly, but not to search.

Probable Cause: Having some kind of evidence against you, such as: a certain smell, an anonymous phone call about you, or seeing a joint lying on your living room table. Refusal to allow a search is not probable cause … if it were, then they could search you no matter what answer you give, which is totally against the US Constitution (4th Amendment).

At home: If they knock on your door to “ask you a few questions,” then either talk through the closed door or quickly step outside and lock your door behind you. This serves two purposes: One, do not give them an opportunity to look inside … if they see something, that’s probable cause. Two, if they want to conduct an illegal search, then they’ll have to break down your door to do so. Then you can use the broken pieces as evidence against them, whereas if there are no broken pieces, then they will claim that you let them in voluntarily. If they drag on their “question” thing too long, keep asking “Am I free to go?” until they give you a definite answer. If they have a warrant, then tell them they can’t start their search until your lawyer arrives to witness it, and then get that lawyer over real quick! During the search, have everyone sit together and instruct them to say absolutely nothing. If the cops ask you to do something, then you may politely tell them “Unless you are ordering me to do that at this time, I refuse. Are you ordering me to do that?” If they say yes, then you can ask “What law says that you can order me to do that?” If they can’t answer, then don’t do it. If they try to force you at that point, do not resist, and state “I’m not doing this voluntarily, but under protest and duress.” Remember your witnesses.

On the road: If you get pulled over, it may be best to grab your license and registration, get out of the car, lock the door behind you, and walk to the area between the two cars, and get ready to play the Good Citizen Game.

EDIT: This tip can lead to dangerous situations and is not advised for the USA. Getting out of the car may lead to shooting incidents.

Be friendly, but not “too” friendly, be at ease, and talk to the person behind the badge. That way you’re totally covered, they won’t have an easy excuse to look through your windows, and they’ll think that you’re an average citizen ready to be admonished for some minor traffic violation. If they do decide to search your car, then they will do so, since apparently they don’t need a search warrant if they have probable cause … so fer Chrisake don’t keep a joint sitting in your ashtray! Of course, you should tell them “I do not consent to a search”, just so you’re covered. When they ask why you’re refusing their search, and if you feel you gotta say something, then say “I’ve been advised by an attorney never to consent to a search.” It’s magic.

In public: If they want to search you, then say “I do not consent to being searched.” Always be clear about this, try to involve witnesses, and never physically resist. If you ever try to resist, then they will use force… they always do. So, be relaxed, move slowly, and keep your hands out where they can see them.

Tight situation: They conduct a search without your consent, and find something. Almost anything you say at that point will hurt you. The best thing you can do, and it is your Constitutional right, is to say “I want a lawyer” and then keep your trap shut ’til you get one! Don’t answer any of their questions (except name, address, and age) if your lawyer isn’t with you.

Worst case scenario: It’s 3:30 am, ten cops break down your door and they’re yelling and pointing their guns at you … freeze! Do not move a muscle, and keep absolutely quiet for at least a count of 3! They’ll frisk you and start to tear your place apart. When they know you’re unarmed, then ask “Do you have a warrant? I do not consent to a search.” If they do have one, then read it and make damn sure that they can legally do what they’re doing. If the warrant doesn’t specify what they’re doing right now, then say so and insist that they stop (but don’t try to physically stop them!). If they do not have a warrant, then tell them that they must leave. If they don’t, then call the State Police and FBI , and report an incident of trespass by the local police and ask them to come and remove them. Get your lawyer there as quickly as possible, if you can, and remember that the more witnesses you have, the better … there’s always your neighbors! If the cops arrest you, then they must give you a receipt for everything they confiscate (wallet, clothing, packages, etc.), so I would think that they must also give you one for whatever they take during the search.

If they arrest you: Ask “Why am I under arrest?”. They have to tell you. After they book you, demand your two phone calls, at your expense: first to an attorney, relative or employer, and second to a bailbondsman. If you can’t afford a lawyer, then demand that they provide you with one at no expense. Do not let your lawyer enter a plea of “not guilty” before the arraignment (the first trip to court where you will be formally charged, which by law has to occur within 48 hours of your arrest, barring holidays and Sundays), because that would automatically lock you into criminal proceedings, which is where your dear lawyer will try to make his/her money. You should try like hell to get your case dismissed before that arraignment! Your lawyer knows what to do, and if s/he won’t do it, then get one who will. If you can’t get it dismissed, then enter your “not guilty” plea at the arraignment and insist on a jury trial, which will be expensive and difficult for the DA. Do not let your lawyer waive the speedy trial time limits! (Which s/he might try to do so they can charge you more money for “preparation,” etc.) You don’t want the prosecution to have all the time in the world to build their case against you! If you are adamant about all that, and if their case isn’t strong, then they might actually drop it! What the hell, it’s worth a shot! If your case does go to trial, then try like hell to get that jury informed about their inherent right to judge the law itself, and to nullify it by letting you go, if they think it’s not fair or is totally ridiculous (like forcing you to go to prison for a year for having 1.5 ounces of pot, or some equally obnoxious law).

Drills: Knowing what to say and do is great, but it’s even better if you get together with your friends and practice on each other, preferably in at least two frames of mind. That way, if you’re one on one with a cop, you’ll be ready to handle the situation.

How you can help fight: Register to vote (preferably in a sympathetic group such as the Libertarian Party, which supports the legalization of drugs), for then you become eligible to serve on a jury and to use your right of nullification to free a brother or sister. Join NORML and get wise! Copy this pamphlet, give it to your friends, and help spread this, our only means of defense. And, most of all, be a good and conscientious person … nothing is more devastating to the “War on Druggie” types than to show the world that these assholes are persecuting some of the best people. Make ’em think.

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