Another week, and three stories of interest to me this Monday.

Stern LangeFirst, I’m happy to report that Stern sidekick Artie Lange is back on the show today following a week of intense speculation about his future on the show. This comes after Artie’s on-air meltdown and resignation on April 10th about which I blogged here. This I’m very glad to hear, since I enjoy Artie’s contributions a lot and would have been missing something in the mornings had he not returned. As the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

“Lange said that a two-hour phone conversation with Stern helped sway him back to the show. He expressed gratitude to the shock jock. ‘Howard called me in the middle of what was probably a stressful week for him. … There wasn’t an ounce of anger or anything but concern for me. Howard’s phone call meant a lot to me. I apologized to him as many times as I could and I want to apologize to the fans,’ he said. At the time of Lange’s meltdown, Stern was so stunned he halted all scheduled replays of the April 11 broadcast. Now, with Lange’s blessing, Stern acknowledged that fans will be able to witness the infamous outburst on his Howard-TV On-Demand service.”

420I once bought a T-shirt that said “420” across the front. Being the naive Belfast guy I am, I had no idea about the numbers’ special meaning for marijuana smokers, or how every year April 20th (4/20) at 4:20pm was the date and time used for an internationally-recognised celebration of weed. Well, I’m still not a pot-smoker. But being a libertarian makes it very easy for me to support the cause, as I think use of the drug should be supported in law and it makes me angry that it isn’t. Yesterday, on 4/20, a crowd of 10,000 people gathered at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus to celebrate their right to use marijuana and to protest the government’s censure upon them for doing so. This is a true fight for freedom in action:

“About 15 CU officers and a half-dozen deputies with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office had a presence Sunday among the mass of pot smokers, who bounced giant balls and tossed Frisbees through the haze. … CU police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley [said], ‘There’s no way our 12 to 15 officers are going to be able to deal with a crowd of 10,000. We just can’t do strong enforcement when we’re outnumbered 700 or 800 to one.’ … CU freshman Emily Benson, 19, of Kansas City, said she thinks the decriminalization of marijuana will become a hot topic in the upcoming political season and said she felt part of something bigger than just a smoke-out on Sunday.”

Jefferson MemorialFinally, the story of Brooke Oberwetter, a libertarian in her twenties who wished to celebrate the message of Thomas Jefferson and did so by dancing to music on her iPod at the site of the Jefferson Memorial. Sure, it’s a little nutty, but it wasn’t breaking any law, right?

“Regardless, the police showed up and told them to leave. When Brooke rightfully asked the simple question of why they were being told to leave the public memorial, she was promptly arrested and charged with ‘interfering with an agency function’. Witnesses say that Brooke was not being hostile or provocative in any way when she was arrested. Now she’s having to defend herself from the bogus charges. Fortunately, the event was caught on tape and uploaded to YouTube. In addition, her friends have created a website to help raise the money required for her legal defense.”