Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's about time to legalize it folks

I just read in todays paper that there was easily enough signatures gathered to put on the California ballet this November to finally legalize Marijuana. Holy crap folks! It's about time...My generation coming from the fabulous sixties thought this would easily and logically happen way back then and are flat out shocked beyond belief that it still has not happened after all these years.

Marijuana is the most recreational used illegal drug in the United States. It has been estimated that literally millions and millions of otherwise law abiding Americans use the drug to get "high". Same as that glass of wine most regular people relax with nightly. Still there are millions of others that use the drug to ease their suffering from ailments like: Insomnia, Cancer, Aids, or chronic aches and pains. While it is true some states, including California have legalized Marijuana for medicinal purposes, on the federal level Marijuana remains illegal to: possess, cultivate, import, sell or consume. So, lets get this straight. The majority of Californians view Marijuana as a harmless, even beneficial medicine and our "government" considers us to be stupid and wrong headed?

So that means doctors who could prescribe it to their patients as a positive and proven treatment are scared to do so even though they reside in a state that has medicinally legalized it. It is truly nuts that Marijuana should be illegal in a nation where Tobacco kills thousands of people each year from lung cancer and Alcohol causes a majority of fatal car accidents, divorces, murders and and every other kind of crazy crap known to man throughout the ages. When have you EVER heard of a "crazed person on Marijuana, killing people on the streets"?

A study deliberately covered up by the U.S. gov't until recently, The National Toxicology Program found no evidence that Marijuana causes cancer. In fact the study proved the exact opposite. Animals that were exposed to THC (the active chemical in Marijuana) showed less of a risk of getting cancer then those that weren't. Study after study has shown that Marijuana actually decreases a persons risk of getting cancer and that smoking Marijuana does not increase a persons risk of getting any of the cancers associated with smoking. Would you believe that a long term study in Europe has established that those who used it in the sixties were way, way less likely if at all to have anything to do with Alzheimer's disease? Wait, what was I saying? Crap, what's my name? Who are you? Oh that's right. I'm writing this here blog thingy right now...

With marijuana users no longer being jailed for possession lots of room would be opened up in our already overcrowded prison system for more hardened offenders such as: murderers, rapists, child molesters and other violent criminals. The Judicial system would no longer be burdened by having to trial cases involving marijuana. The police will be able to allocate more resources to solving more violent crimes. Since marijuana could be purchased at any drug store after being legalized, violent crimes such as: robbery, drug warfare, contamination of drugs by other substances such as: LSD, PCP and Cocaine could quickly become a thing of the past.

Have you heard the potential tax benefits involved? If it were legalized in the US, $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue, would be raised off the taxes alone. Can you believe how much that would help our economy? Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse.

Now clearly the only folks apposed to the legalization of Marijuana are the booze, tobacco and legal drug industries. They know without a doubt that when people wake up to the enjoyment, safety and benefits of weed, they stand to lose their monopoly on our money into their multi-million (multi-jillion?) dollar coffers. The other insane quote I hear is that without a doubt it is a "gateway" drug. In other words if you start using Marijuana, you will inevitably move on to harder and harder drugs. Oh bullshit! Can you imagine how many sixties folks would now be running around hooked on Heroin if that were even remotely possible?

So come on folks. Grow a pair and vote to legalize Marijuana this November and all the other times it will come up here and across America as time goes on. It WILL be legal eventually across the land because we humans eventually do grow up and face reality. It just takes us a hell of a long time sometimes to see the light. Tell those fat, lazy, good for nothing rich politicians to put down their martini's, straight shots of whiskey and legal drugs and quit taking bribes from the tobacco, legal drug and booze industry and do the right thing.

Lets get something perfectly clear here now though. This is NOT FOR YOUNG MINDS. It has no place in the learning process whatsoever. It's not an age thing, it's a mind thing. Another important issue with the youth is they quickly see how relatively innocent weed is and wonder if adults are lying about the dangers of all the other drugs.

Obviously there are certain occupations, like Surgeons ("Cool, would ya look at that"), Pilots ("Wow, lets try that upside down")(insert a little knowing grin here), Barbers (Oh hell, it'll grow back and stop bleeding before you know it), Blasters (Here light my joint, NO NOT THE WICK IDIOT!) and others that just can't partake with safety but the majority can, using common sense and logic.

One last thing here. I really think we should slip some in all the politicians big fat cigars out there who are yelling, screaming, spitting with their neck muscles sticking out right now in our political arena. They certainly could use some mellowing out right about now huh?
OPPS! Did I just say that outloud? Oh well, that's another blog for sure.....


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New digital world is a double edged sword

This subject comes up often in the shop in the digital world we find ourselves in nowadays. All us old timers (well, not me of course) were told by our elders something like: "Don't get any of that fancy smancy stuff. It's just more things to go wrong". For instance when we were young, cars and trucks were pretty basic things. As far as turn signals, you just stuck your arm out the window straight if you were turning left, up for right and down for stopping. The windows were rolled up and down with a handle you turned. Originally, I was told even windshield wipers were a little handle you moved back and forth.

I swallowed all that for as long as I could but alas, one day............KABOOM! I now LOVE all the bells and whistles on newer cars. I love pushing the little doohickey the keys are attached to as I'm approaching my car and hearing the doors unlock. I LOVE the little cool buttons that make the windows go up and down. I LOVE the ones that will adjust the rear view mirrors side to side and up and down. I LOVE just telling the car what temperature I want in there and have it do whatever is necessary with the heater or air conditioner to make that happen. How cool is that stuff?

The recent news of all the problems Toyota is having points to the shortcomings of the digital revolution for sure. As cool as all that stuff is, there are clear potential problems and hazards if we completely trust all this digital technology.

The biggest digital change in everyones lives in the last years have of course been the whole computer world. Holy shit. Has that changed life or what? Typewriters became absolute overnight. Now we use Keyboards. With all the software Mr. Gates so gleefully provided us, writing letters, documents, graphs and books have become something almost anyone can do with a little education.

Then came the INTERNET......Holy shit times 10 over on this one......
Slowly but surely as it became more powerful and faster, basically the entire world became our playground and workroom. It brought with it instant communication around the world, instant file sharing and storage capabilities we can't even imagine yet. Entire libraries can be accessed instantly. What the Internet opened for humankind would take up not only this blog but enough books to fill a stadium so lets just agree it's a hell of a thing.

Now here's where this starts becoming a double edged sword though. As cool as the Internet is, it does come with some problems. I am a reader. A reader of books, newspapers and sometimes anything I can get my hands on. As we all know, the Internet has slowly eaten away newspapers place in society and that just might only get worse as time goes on. I've also heard of a "reader" system that's already here that will store hundreds, if not thousands of books. You can just call up whatever book you want to read and viola!, there it is to peruse.

Now I don't know about you but there's something calming, comforting and relaxing about having a real book or newspaper in my hands. In fact it's a huge, important part of my life. I'm really not sure if I ever want to make the jump to digital readers with these things.

The other issues I've recently heard about is what this "instant access" issue has been and is doing to our world financial systems. One of the main problems with our economy right now was caused by the attitudes of big business. The clear philosophy that exist today is greed. Immediate profits are all that matters. The long term viability of the companies slowly turned into a non-issue for the huge companies of America and even the world. Whatever it takes to make a buck RIGHT NOW became the normal business model.

Now the speed and dexterity of the Internet makes all that completely plausible. Those greedy bastards can do their backroom betting in the middle of the night when no one is watching the hen house. They could care less if it involves taking down a company or how many honest, hardworking folks they steal from. Being generally against government control or interferance in the business world, I have no idea how to regulate this kind of reckless behavior but it sure seems like a good path to examine.

So like most new things in life, this whole digital world comes with a bunch of positive things and a shit load of negative stuff too. Who knows where all this will play out in the future but I'm fairly sure it's here to stay....

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Everything is "The Media's" fault?

As a comment on one of my recent blogs (The Doom and Gloomer's and their hate, anger and bullshit), a person signing themselves Anonymous gave some great points on life being pretty damn good for most folks if they would just take the time to see it without the fog of "The Media".

I want and need to thank that person for taking the time and energy of leaving a comment on that piece. The more comments that are left for people to read, the more varied and interesting the viewpoints presented become. That way also, It's not just exclusively my bullshit. So get with it readers. Play your part in this nonsense!

I've noticed that everyone on both sides of our bullshit political landscape always want to put all the blame on "the media". I'm as guilty of that sideways thinking as the next person. It's always easier and more pleasant to blame anyone but ourselves for our shortcomings, stupidities and sins.

What we each choose to take in from others on TV or the Radio are just potential tools for our use. It's what we do with that stuff that matters. I know as a fact that there are a minority of people especially in the last few years that do nothing but watch certain news programs and listen to certain talking heads on the radio. Then they just parrot only what they hear their semi-godlike talkers say as if it's the truth and only truth. Luckily, they are an extremist minority, even though they think everyone agrees with their crap.

So clearly and ultimately, we have to take complete responsibility for our thoughts and actions. We can't in the long run blame "the media". The main stream media and the extremist right wing media are both in reality nothing more than income producers for the owners of those media's. All the talking heads laugh all the way to the bank at our gullibility. I am guessing all the owners, CEO's and managers of those outlets think they are some kind of royal truth seekers but alas, it's the money folks, it's the money...

To put all the blame on them implies we have no self control or self determination. We would just be robots to the media if they had complete control of our minds. I might be just a tad idealist but I'm convinced most intelligent folks are not robots. Easily misled maybe (all knowing grin inserted here), but how we ultimately think and act is still up to us.

By the way as a last thought on this weighty subject, if watching "the media" upsets you too much and all the time, the answer is pretty damn easy and plain for all to see. You see.....they make this little button on the remote control special for us robots. All you have to do is firmly push the little sucker down, turn "the media" off and go do something else with your valuable time. Like read a good book maybe? Plant a garden? Take a walk?

Smoke a joint? Oh wait......Did I just say that outloud?.......that's another blog.........

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A note of reality to the "No" party.......

Today, I'd like to speak to the "NO" party who as usual are against the government financially helping the poor and especially right now all the millions of people who have or are about to lose their homes to foreclosure.

So when the government gives billions and billions to a few bankers who knew...or ought to know, they were "the best talent" in the world, remember?...that they were sailing too close to the wind, that's capitalism and you think it's great, or at least you don't object, right? Right.

But when the government spends billions shoring up the consumers in any way (in this case, mortgage holders), that is socialism, communism, marxism and all the other stupid ism's you can spin up and you object vigorously, right? Right.

I know you live in your own self made (Rush butt induced) dream world. But in the public interest, let me give you a few facts about capitalism:

1) The capitalist system is based on production and consumption.

2) When consumption drops off, production must drop off.

3) When production drops off, factories and service providers close and jobs are lost.

4) When jobs are lost, consumption goes further down, exacerbating the cycle.

5) People who work for a living making things and providing services are the most important link in the chain of capitalism because they spend almost all they make, driving consumption and therefore production.

6) When the situation is set up so that the needs of workers are put first in a capitalist society, the consumers, the producers, and the investors (i.e., the capitalists) all prosper.

7) But when things are optimized to reward investors by minimizing employment and therefore inflation, making investments more profitable in constant and immediate dollars, and optimized to reward consumers through low prices brought on by unrestrained foreign production and imports, the workers suffer, and eventually, so does the capitalist class (see 3, 4, and 5 above).

You don't seem to understand that by putting the bailout money in the hands of the mortgage holders, people would be able to stay in their houses and make the payments and pay their ongoing bills; therefore not only would social costs (relief expenditures and crime) be reduced, but the money would make its way back up the chain to the mortgage holders, i.e., the banks, anyway.

But when the money goes directly to the banks, they will appropriate it as they see fit, usually in the form of obnoxious profits, bonuses to executives and paying off bondholders. It's a fact that lending did not and has not resumed following the banks receiving their TARP funds directly. What happened to all that money? Weren't they supposed to start loaning again by now? Wasn't that the whole idea of bailing them out?

You may not know these things but I suspect that at at least on some level you do.

I think if you were completely honest, your real objection is to the concept of helping poor and working people. No doubt you think such people are just lazy, no good for nothing pieces of shit. Even evil, because after all, if they were any good, they'd be rich, right? Right.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Doom and Gloomer's and their hate, anger and bullshit

In my reality with everyone I know in my personal life and at my business, most people by far are doing pretty damn well right now. Because of the present TEMPORARY economic situation we find ourselves in right now, they are like most people in the world being very cautious with their spending, that's for sure.

Again in my business, most people are basically happy with life, have great friends, neighbors and relatives. They come in smiling, content in general and we usually have plenty to laugh about. Also, there are plenty of positive, intelligent things to talk about and most people choose to look on the good side of things. They are not the proverbial "ignore the negative" types. They are hard working, smart, caring folks who understand what the world is going through right now. They just choose to look at things as a glass half full instead of a glass half empty.

Now I have to unfortunately admit that a very, very small percentage of folks who come in to my shop have a very small minded view of life for sure.
Their total focus is politics. Nothing but politics. They live, breath and only have that one subject in their lives. Politics! By far, these are types who do nothing but listen to the talking heads on the radio and television with their same "The world is ending" philosophies. They hate anything to do with the government. They see the government as the enemy. They live everyday with hate, anger and outrage toward the government.

The truth as most normal, intelligent folks know is the government is just an organization created by the people we set up to take care of the larger issues of life. Things that average people don't have the time or inclination to do. We set this system up in such a way that we get to vote for who we want to represent us. If our elected Representatives don't follow our wishes, we get to vote them out and vote someone else in. So ultimately, we are in control and have to take responsibility in the long run for the way things are. These politicians are not the
enemy. They are just people we voted in to do this job for us. If we don't think their doing the work the way we want, vote them out. Pretty simple concept that has worked for over 200 years now.

Back to the reality of the present TEMPORARY economic situation we find our selves in at the moment. I'm sure during the great depression, folks thought the world was coming to an end for sure. Those times were a hundred times worse than we are in right now. People were starving to death, for god's sake back then. Recently, some old black and white pictures of those times flew through the internet. Holy crap folks, those were some intense, crappy times for those poor folks then. Hell, we're living in heaven right now compared to those days.

It took years and years to get over that and get most folks back to work but that did happen. Everything went back to normal despite the Doom and Gloomer's saying the world was ending. It not only got back to normal but by the 1950's everyone's lives was doing pretty damn good. Some of the best times in America's history were AFTER the great depression.

The truth and reality is economics is and has always been a rollercoaster kind of thing. It goes up, probably too far, then it crashes back down, probably too far for comfort. Now being a good example of that.

So to all the Doom and Gloomers out there, which are "thank the heavens above", a very small minority of Americans, I say "Try and relax, it WILL eventually get better. Try to remember that regular, normal life could care less about your bullshit negative philosophies. The flowers are still there to enjoy, creative people are still creating, the sunny days are still wonderful and your friends and family still love you or at least care about you.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Religion's new/old role in todays society?

With the present economic situation we find ourselves in, an idea crossed my feeble mind. It's becoming more and more obvious that we the people, our government and business in general slowly but surely started spending more money than we had coming in. This spend, spend problem is not just centered in America but throughout the whole world. This infection came out of nowhere and slowly poisoned everything and everyone.

With most normal people, the problems started with the invention of credit. When I was young, you only purchased what you could pay cash for. If you couldn't afford something, you saved until you could go buy it. Before credit reared it's ugly head, there was something called "Lay-A-Way". This way, you could set an item aside at the store, make payments on it until it was paid for and then take it home. Then the devil in disguise called "credit" became the standard and that's when people started spending more money than they had coming in.

Of course the business world soon followed suit, which of course made those things called "banks" very happy indeed. It didn't take the banks long to realize they could charge outrageous ripoff "interest" for loans to businesses and become the rich, happy, suit wearing greed mongers shitheads they presently are. Now in order to pay back these business loans, the businesses had to charge rip off prices for their goods. All this nonsense sent the whole concept of "Reasonable profits" straight to the garbage bins where they reside to this day.

Getting to the problem of Government now. In the beginning, when people first settled the lands of America in small enclaves then small towns, things were pretty basic and simple, to say the least. People helped people, neighbors helped neighbors. If one of your neighbors fell on hard times with health or just bad luck which was pretty common in those hard days, everyone would jump in and help in any way they could.

There basically was no "Government" in those first days. If there was, it was something to do with setting up the constitution, bill of rights and those kinds of lofty but important things that the common man didn't have the time or inclination to deal with. The common men and women of those times had their hands full just staying healthy and alive. Just dealing with the rigors of everyday life.

When the small towns firmed up, usually a preacher would establish a "church" to fulfill the spiritual needs of the people. Often times, these preachers were just kind, caring semi-educated men who wanted to help their fellow man in any way they could. It was probably most times they who organized parties of caring, like minded folks in the town to help their fellow citizens in times of need. They would form up parties of people to rebuild barns that burned down, replant crops that failed due to drought or other unforeseen and unfortunate causes.

Somehow it went from those logical, caring, creative days of people helping people to where we are at today with government. One day some "elected official" saw some perceived need and thought he could just jump in with government money (our money, shall we not forget") and fix the problem for the people. It all started out as a nice gesture, to be fair and honest but then that or some other government official decided the government could jump in and solve every conceivable problem mankind could ever Have.

Well as we all know, this led to the inevitable place we find ourselves in today. The government started spending more than it was taking in with taxes. Now each of those expenditures were for thoughtful, caring problems seen in society. Things taken individually, were good sounding ideas. The real problem was not asking if the Government (we) could even afford to do these wonderful things. They started borrowing from the future until it inevitably imploded as has now happened.

Okay, to the point with my long winded nonsense. I'm thinking that since religion somehow started out making money through donations or guilt money, whichever you want to call it while paying no taxes, don't they have a tremendous responsibility in all this? What about Government dropping most entitlement programs like welfare, food stamps, free housing, free anything for illegal immigrants and anything else people think government owes them.

How about going back to how it all started where the religious leaders organize the people, volunteers, neighbors, friends and congregations to take on these responsibilities and leave our tax money for the uses it was original designed for. Roads, public safety and the military? Doesn't this make sense? Let organized religion do what they say they're there for. To help the needs of humankind. They can do this if they want to. Quit putting millions and millions into their solid gold trimmed and oak paneled offices and churches and use the money for the good of the people.

I've often thought that if Christ stepped into one of those giant, super fancy, expensive as hell religious palaces, he would be shocked and dismayed at the complete waste of money and effort just for the sake of showing off. I'm sure he would think the religious leaders have completely misunderstood and misconstrued his clear and concise teaching to go forth and help the lowest of the low in society.
Now obviously, not all churches are these monoliths with millions of dollars in the bank. Most small town churches are just that but even they could and should take over as much as they can of they're original purpose of helping humankind, especially at the lowest levels. Therefore leaving our precious tax dollars to be used for their original purposes.

I guess the real question we all are forced to ask ourselves now is can Government (WE) keep on paying for all these things indefinitely with forever rising prices? Should they even try? Are these things the Government's job and function or are they our personal jobs as caring intelligent people with the express help of the tax free religions of the world taking a leading role?

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