Obama is saying the wrong things about Afghanistan

Juan Cole in Salon:

“Barack Obama’s Afghanistan and Iraq policies are mirror images of each other. Obama wants to send 10,000 extra U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but wants to withdraw all American soldiers and Marines from Iraq on a short timetable. In contrast to the kid gloves with which he treated the Iraqi government, Obama repeated his threat to hit at al-Qaida in neighboring Pakistan unilaterally, drawing howls of outrage from Islamabad.”

Why you should not drive in Rhode Island

R.I. police say man had 0.491 blood alcohol level… reportedly the highest ever recorded in someone who was not dead highest ever recorded in Rhode Island in someone who was not dead. (SFGate via boing boing)

Effects of alcohol in terms of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) (drugrecognition.com)

* 0.03 BAC – Slowed reaction time.
* 0.04 BAC – Federal prohibited limit for commercial drivers license.
* 0.05 BAC – Increased risk taking and American Medical Association recommended prohibited limit.
* 0.08 BAC – Recommended prohibited limit for criminal charges and impaired vision.
* 0.10 BAC – Poor large muscle control, loss of balance, and prohibited limit in most states.
* 0.17 BAC – National average blood alcohol level of drivers in a fatal crash.
* 0.19 BAC – National average for first time DUI offender and of persons who have killed police officers.
* 0.20 BAC – Loss of emotional control.
* 0.22 BAC – National average for repeat DUI offenders at time of arrest.
* 0.30 BAC – Loss of orientation as to time and place.
* 0.35 BAC – Blackouts and stupor.
* 0.50 BAC – Published overdose level leading to death.
* 0.74 BAC – Highest recorded blood alcohol level by a US hospital.

Jenny Diski Tries to Stay Awake

“If you set aside the incomparable cruelty and stupidity of human beings, surely our most persistent and irrational activity is to sleep. Why would we ever allow ourselves to drop off if sleeping was entirely optional? Sleep is such a dangerous place to go to from consciousness: who in their right mind would give up awareness, deprive themselves of control of their senses, volunteer for paralysis, and risk all the terrible things (and worse) that could happen to a person when they’re not looking? … Apart from the dangers of letting your guard down, there’s the matter of time. Instead of trying to extend the life of human bodies beyond their cellular feasibility, the men and women in lab coats could be studying ways to retrieve all the time we spend asleep.” (London Review of Books)