Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama Disappoints on Pot Legalization.

President Obama held the first-ever “virtual” town hall meeting. During the meeting Obama came out against marijuana legalization (while jonesing for a cigarette that could actually kill him). In his defense, it’s important not to reward bad behavior. Which explains why he gave another trillion dollars to some stockbrokers? I guess? Apparently in an Obama administration, if you’re gonna burn something green for pleasure, it had better be money.

-Bill Maher

TPJ: Despite it being one of the most popular questions in his "virtual town hall meeting", President Obama firmly and convincingly said "no" to marijuana legalization. All this even though it would help our sagging economy, reduce crime overnight (especially on the border where the majority of the drug trade is due to pot) and increase resources available to fight the real drug problems of meth, cocaine/crack and heroin. Plus it would relieve prison over-crowding so that the real criminals such a rapists and child molesters don't get reduced sentences because of their being no room in our correctional systems.

I think Obama is bowing to pressure that isn't really there. A vastly growing number of Americans are for medicial marijuana and decriminilization of small amounts of pot. He seems to be worried more about what that would mean to his own political future than what it would mean for America and its economy. The only real people against pot legalization are those would probably didn't and won't EVER vote for him. At the very least we should let state's rights trump federal law when citizens of a state decide via an election to decriminilize/legalize and/or allow medicinal marijuana.

TPJ: Here is a great reply by Andrew Sullivan to Obama's "answer" and his laughing off the question:
The chuckle suggests a man of his generation. The dismissiveness toward the question of ending Prohibition as both a good in itself and a form of tax revenue is, however, depressing. His answer was a non-answer. I'm tired of having the Prohibition issue treated as if it's trivial or a joke. It is neither. It is about freedom and it's deadly serious. As for your online audience, Mr president, have you forgotten who got you elected?
TPJ: I love you Barack but you're wrong here. There are many, many people who responsibily smoke marijuana--doctors, lawyers, accountants and business people. It's vastly uninformed and old talking points to say that the marijuana legalization movement is just a bunch of stoners. It's ironic that Obama wanted to tout and brag about his legions of cyber warriors and his successful exploitation of the internet in his victory when those legions want him to legalize pot and he laughs us off. Thanks B.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pope: Condoms Make Aids Epidemic in Africa Worse.

I'm a little late to this but not the less...

On his first pontifical visit to Africa this week, Pope Benedict XVI set off another storm of controversy when he said that condoms were not only not the solution to the continent's Aids crisis but that they actually "make matters worse".

TPJ: That anyone believes the infallibility of the pope or even sees him as someone worth listening to on sexual matters is beyond me. What does the pope know of sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases being a celibate monk? Apparently he's even against married couples using condoms where one of the two might have HIV/AIDS, which is a cold, cruel, callous and unfair demand/judgment. It is a cruel lie that a person with HIV/AIDS can not still have and enjoy sex as long as one takes the precautions to use condoms. Decades of research have shown that the use of a condom is an effective way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The pope is placing millions of lives in danger through these statements as his pronouncement encourages Africans to have unprotected sex. A commentor on this story put it best I think when they said, "Telling somebody not to wear a condom is like telling them to take off their seatbelts doing 100 on a wet motorway." Humanitarian workers and activists have worked hard for decades to convince African men that wearing a condom doesn't reduce their masculinity and is a safeguard against HIV/AIDS. In years past African men have eschued condoms for traditional "medical" protections such as potions. I even heard of one story of African men thinking that they could get rid of HIV/AIDS by having sex with a virgin!! And that the younger the virgin the more potent the cure--yikes!!

Now all that progress made in getting men to wear condoms in Africa is in jeopardy with a statement from a person whom many Africans still believe is god's literal representative on Earth. African Catholics I've found seem more willing to believe what the pope says word for word than in say America, Europe and Australia and tend to be less educated overall. So I hope the pope will offer health care and shelter to Africans who believe his suicidal statement that condoms make the HIV/AIDS situation worse when they stop using them and surprise, surprise contract HIV/AIDS!!!

You'd think that the pope would support condom useage being someone who supposedly is for protecting human life. However, once again he has shown us how dangerous and damanging religion can be. And don't you think that Pope Benedict looks like Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars movies? And increasingly he's acting like Emperor Palpatine. Thus, the picture I selected for this post above.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stem the Mexico Border Drug Violence, make Marijuana Legal.

The Mexico border has seemed to reverted back to the "wild, wild west" days as drug dealers fight with Mexican officials and each other for control of the drug trade into the U.S. The vast majority of the drugs being shuttled into the states is marijuana:

"Marijuana is the (Mexican cartels') cash crop, the cash cow," says Brittany Brown of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Washington office, which does not advocate legalizing pot. Marijuana is cheap to grow and requires no processing.

Some argue that if you legalize marijuana there would still be a black market. They say that because the product is so cheap to produce, the black market could under price legal pot and sell to kids. But consider what we know about alcohol.

• First, Prohibition didn't work.

• Second, even though alcohol sales are regulated, back-alley or school-yard sales of moonshine is not a billion-dollar problem.

• Third, alcohol, like its addictive killer-cousin tobacco, is taxed, which helps cover its costs to society. Not so with marijuana.

After decades of anti-pot campaigns, from Reefer Madness to zero tolerance, so many Americans choose to smoke marijuana that the Mexican cartels have become an international threat to law and order. Instead of paying taxes on their vice, pot smokers are enriching thugs and murderers. The DEA says cartels are "poly-drug organizations" that routinely smuggle cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and precursor chemicals through our state. "(But) marijuana generates the most profit," Sanchez says.

TPJ: Legalizing or at least decriminalizing and regulating Marijuana would put a major dent in the power, control and reach of the illegal drug trade:

Legalizing marijuana would not stop pushers from selling other, more lethal poisons. But taking away their most profitable product would hurt criminal organizations that have grown richer, more powerful and better armed during the so-called war on drugs that was first declared by President Richard Nixon.

At a House panel hearing last week, Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., figured $15 billion to $25 billion in annual profits from U.S. drug sales bankroll Mexican cartels purchases of guns from America. "The profits and guns - and drug precursors in some cases - then find their way back across the border to Mexico and fuel the increasing violence." About 500,000 people are in prison in the United States for drug offenses on any given day. Piper says 800,000 people a year are arrested on marijuana charges, the vast majority for simple possession.

This clogs up our jails, prisons and courts with non-violent pot offenders who are taking up places that should be reserved and available to real criminals such as child molesters and rapists who end up doing less time because of the crowding. So we have a border war, missing out on tax dollars and clogging up our prison system all because we won't legalize a plant. I would submit that many of the opponents of legalization of marijuana haven't even smoked it.

Yet they demonize it as it if is is meth--which is the REAL drug problem. Having a joint after a long day is not different than having a couple glasses of wine except it's better on your stomach than alcohol, with no hang-over and it's less addictive than alcohol. In fact marijuana is not physically addictive at all. You can smoke pot for a month and quit the next day for good if you want to:

In 2005, economist Jeffrey A. Miron put together a report suggesting that if marijuana were taxed at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco, legal sales would raise $6.2 billion a year. California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat from San Francisco, is trying to get his state to legalize marijuana for adult use, set up a state licensing system and levy a tax that some say could raise $1 billion a year.

TPJ: Think of what that could to for the slumping California economy, which is an economy bigger than that of some countries. So instead of wasting $40 billion a year that we sink into fighting the marijuana trade to no end but an escalating border war. We could instead make money from it--up to $6.2 billion that could be used to help fund a new health care system. And in the process drastically reduce drug related crime. It seems like a no brainer to decriminalize marijuana. The fight to keep it illegal is simply costing too much in blood and treasure.

This is also why a war on drugs is unwinnable. You'd think a country built on capitalism would understand basic laws of supply and demand. Instead, a failed and irrational national policy blunders forward, costing billions, incarcerating large numbers of people and enriching ruthless crime syndicates.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Ending the Week on a Positive Note.

A stunning about-face in bank shares handed the stock market its best week since November. The market has shot up as much over the past several days as it might in some years, with major indicators chalking up gains of around 10 percent. Fears have eased that the nation's major financial institutions would collapse or at least require additional government lifelines to stay alive.

The turnaround began Tuesday as the head of Citigroup Inc. said the bank had managed to turn a profit in the first two months of the year. That helped lift the cloud of worry that has cloaked financial stocks since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September.

TPJ: The market rose above the 6,000 mark back into the 7,000, which is an important psychological marker. I hope that we have reached the floor and will continue the rally--modest though it may be. Even though my wife and I don't have much discretionary spending we are still trying to keep buying when we can, to do our small part to help consumer confidence, which is up!! In other news, the trade deficit is lower too and the recovery act hasn't even fully kicked in!! Help is on the way--I'm feeling more hopeful. :)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hooverism Alive and Well in the Modern Republican Party.

TPJ: President Herbert Hoover was, is and will forever be known as the president who helped drive the country off the cliff down into the abyss of the Great Depression. His big idea? A spending freeze and that is exactly what the Neo-Hooverites (The Republicans) are saying is their enlightened answer now.

Including the "rising star" of the Republicanistical party Eric Cantor, otherwise known as "Dr. No" because he says "no" to pretty much anything the Democrats present. Not only that but he and the other Neo-Hooverites have no serious ideas to counterpropose:

Per Republican House Minority Leader, John Boehner, (R-OH): "US President Barack Obama should veto a 410-billion-dollar spending bill and work to freeze government outlays for the rest of the year."

It´s interesting that this was also President Herbert Hoover's failed solution to the Great Depression in 1930. He actually did it and it failed because it took a major source of spending out of the economy which tanked it even further. The Republicans keep saying that the private small businesses should be doing the spending, but they fail to state where these organizations should get the financing needed to support that spending and to get the economy "jump-started".

They are proclaiming that government at every level can't afford to do anything right now beyond such cuts and freezes. (And where were they on excessive government spending under President Bush?) As the award winning economist, Paul Krugman said this week; "That's a good idea for individuals. But when everybody [including the government] does it at the same time, everything just comes to a stop." Unfortunately, all of these Republican responses would get you an "F" in any Econ 101 class, unless, the test question were something like, "What would be the quickest and most efficient way to turn a recession into a massive, crippling depression?"

The idea of a "spending freeze", could only come from politicians that apparently can't look beyond their own political future, having run out of any constructive ideas. It was spending that helped the US GDP get back on track after the Great Depression. In fact, it took only three years for the GDP to rise as much as it had in six years in the 1920s. Sure, there was an increase in the recession in 1938, but that was the result of FDR trying to balance the budget while the economy was still recovering. It delayed the recovery with a minor dip and another increase in unemployment.

People don´t seem to understand that it wasn´t
"going to war" itself, that caused the end of the Great Depression. It was the good paying "jobs" and the government spending that turned the US economy around. (In fact, if there had been no war, and all the manufactured war materials were just taken out on a barge and dumped into the ocean, it would still have turned the economy around.)

And please note that it was also spending that was the biggest help against the 1960 recession. In the Republican world, it is always about tax cuts. It may appear logical to see tax cuts as spending, but reducing income via tax cuts creates deficits, just like spending, but with much slower results. I am still trying to find someone that can explain to me how a spending freeze and tax cuts will create jobs, restart the bank lending and help the economy get back on track in a timely fashion?

Copyright G.Ater 2009

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Save Money--Abolish the Death Penalty. Plus, Jim DeMint is an Ignorant Ass.

It's interesting how people don't consider certain things until they see it personally affect them. Case in point, the death penalty. I have been a longtime opponent of the death penalty and know well all the sensible reasons why it should be abolished. One reason being the expense involved in keeping the death penalty in place. It has been a long time issue raised by opponents of capital punishment that we spend way more money on enforcing capital punishment than with a conviction of life in prison without parole.

Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to a series of recent surveys. Tens of millions of dollars cheaper, politicians are learning, during a tumbling recession when nearly every state faces job cuts and massive deficits. So an increasing number of them are considering abolishing capital punishment in favor of life imprisonment, not on principle but out of financial necessity.

"It's 10 times more expensive to kill them than to keep them alive," though most Americans believe the opposite, said Donald McCartin, a former California jurist known as "The Hanging Judge of Orange County" for sending nine men to death row. Deep into retirement, he lost his faith in an eye for an eye and now speaks against it. In California, home to the nation's biggest death row population at 667, it costs an extra $90,000 per inmate to imprison someone sentenced to death - an additional expense that totals more than $60 million annually, according to a 2008 study by the state's Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.

TPJ: People didn't feel the financial pinch before but now that they are we're looking to end the death penalty. Don't get me wrong, I'm always excited when there is serious talk of ending the death penalty but I wonder if any bans would last the length of this recession. Hopefully if bans are put into place people will really think about the other arguments against the death penalty and come to understand that evolved civilizations don't need to or should resort to capital punishment.

And think of all the money we will keep saving if we maintain any bans after we (hopefully) recover fiscally. I would think that this would appeal directly to many conservatives who are often very finacially frugal and looking for ways to pay less taxes. And appealing to their common belief system, Christianity--did Jesus ever electrocute someone or have someone hanged? You often hear the arugment from Christians of "Eye for an eye." Well, the "eye for an eye" stuff is the Old Testament--the Law of Moses.

Jesus (supposedly, if you're Christian) came to Earth to fulfill that law of Moses once and for all. His crucifixion was the final sacrifice, he (supposedly again if you're Christian) died for ALL men's sins--even killers on death row. It is then up to their God to decided what to do with them--not us. We do not have the right to punish them with death. Thus if you believe Jesus DID fulfill the old covenent then the "eye for an eye" argument becomes null and void.

South Carolina Rep. Jim DeMitt Says D.C. Students "End up in Gangs."

South Carolina, I feel sorry for you having to deal with this douch, Jim DeMint:

In comments made at a Republican news conference on the need to save the district's federal school voucher program, DeMint said, "If you send a kid to [public] school in D.C., chances are that they will end up in a gang rather than graduating." The Times noted that the graduation rate for D.C. Public Schools was close to 70 percent last year, which puts it in line with the national average. DeMint's own state of South Carolina however has a much lower graduation rate - 56 percent, which is the fourth lowest rate of any state in the country, according to a 2008 article by South Carolina newspaper, The Post and Courier.
TPJ: His comments about ending up in gangs is a veiled (or maybe not so veiled) racist remark. He's been in D.C. for awhile now and surely he knows that something like 90% of D.C. is African-American. And gangs have unfortunately become a racist stereotype for minorities.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Republican Criticism of Earmarks Rings Hollow.

In a February 26 Associated Press
article on the omnibus legislation passed by the "Democratic-controlled House" on Tuesday, David Espo reported that "Republicans assailed the legislation as too costly" and quoted Republicans criticizing the bill as, in the reporter's words, "bristl[ing] with earmarks." While Espo included examples of Democratic earmarks, at no point did he give any indication that many of the earmarks were included in the bill at the request of Republicans.

Moreover, Espo cited the Taxpayers for Common Sense as a critic of the earmarks in the bill,
without noting that the group cited earmarks by both Democrats and Republicans.

While quoting Republicans attacking the bill for earmarks, Espo did not note a
handout distributed on February 24 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) titled "You can't spell 'earmark' without an 'R,' " asserting that "40% of the earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill are Republican earmarks." The handout also stated that "[t]he earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill total less than 1% of the budget," and that they "were reduced by 43% last year, and the omnibus appropriations bill reduces earmarks by another 5%."

"Republicans are continuing to try to sweep their history under the rug
and convince the American people that they are committed to fiscal responsibility," stated the handout. "But their record on earmarks and the amount of earmarks contained in the omnibus appropriations bill make it clear that Republicans are just using this as another political ploy."

TPJ: The dirty little secret about earmarks is that most of them are justified. Anti-government types always single out one or two examples of outrageous earmark spending as if it represents ALL earmark spending. These Congress people are there to represent their districts and states to the federal government. This often means fighting for some of the federal dollars paid by their constituents to come back to them in the form of projects that hire people, keep them in a job or build something that will benefit the community through things like tourism.

People like to complain about a museum built in some state but you know what? Someone has to build that museum and that keeps people working, new workers are needed for that museum and those people spend money on products in their community and state, which helps keep the economy moving. You might say that the jobs are few and the spending little but if you live in small to medium city it makes a BIG difference. And it makes a BIG difference if you're one of the people hired because of it.

That said, I do agree that not all earmarks are justified but that doesn't mean that the whole process is bad. If Senators and Representatives didn't fight for investment dollars for their constituents then they're basically seat warmers with no purpose than to cast a vote now and then for or against a war or to honor some championship football team. I find it funny that many Republicans are supposedly for states rights and fighting for their security and prosperity to balance out the power of the federal gov't. However, at the same time they are against earmark spending that benefits those very states to be able to balance out the federal government. So they say, but as we see from these figures they fight for just as many earmarks as the Democrats do. I guess earmarks are o.k. for Republicans but not Demcorats.

And I want to emphasize this because the Republicans aren't mentioning any of this. The percentage of earmarks have been reduced. Plus, it only represents 1% of the overall spending bill but the Republicans are crying wolf as if it were the majority if not a super majority of the spending. When will the Republicans stop playing games and shoot straight with the American people to get our economy going again and not try and score cheap political points in Washington? At this point people don't care whether they get a job through an earmark or through the want ads--they just want and need a job.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

RNC Chairman Michael Steele Cowers and Grovels at the Feet of Rush Limbaugh.

I and other Liberals, Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans have for some time now known that Rush Limbaugh is the voice of the Republicanistical Party. He has been able to take over the party because the sensible Republicans have bailed on the party, which took the off ramp to radical conservatism and borderline irrelevancy over the last 8 years. They have basically become a base party and that can't win elections.

Have doubts that Rush is head of the party these days? Well, Michael Steele is the head of the RNC, which means that technically he is the party leader. And Steele admirably stood up to Rush Windbag the other day saying indeed he (Steele) was the party head and that Rush's show is "ugly" and "incidinary." I was happy to see that there was still a semi-sensible person left in the Republicanistical Party who was willing to stand up to Rush because so many of the Congressional Repubs refuse to criticize Windbag in any way.

Well, apparently I spoke and thought too soon. It turns out that like so many other spineless Republicans before him--Michael Steele has come cowering back to Windbag and apologized for daring to question the radical Oracle. Is this kind of hardright philosophy, which wants the president to fail just so that the Republicans can have a better shot in 2012 at power at the expense of the future and financial stability of America what people want to believe in right now? Most everyone in this country (if not world) is rooting for our president because if he fails then the country fails and that means depression and possible civil unrest.

Do we really want to entrust our future in a Republican Party, which has turned inward on itself and only gotten more frindge and extreme? Or do we want to do something big for the country that could not only eventually pull us out of this economic downturn but pave the way for a sound economy with new industries that would pay off double for decades to come? I'm putting my support behind the stable, unflappable, deliberative, visionary steadiness of our current president.

Times are changing--the new jobs will be in green energy and the shrunken Republicanistical Party still clings to oil as the solution. They need to update their ideas if they want to be relevant as a party in the decades to come. As it is they are stuck in an echo chamber where they circled the wagons (those who are still left in the party) and only become more obstinate and radical. They just repeat the same sycophantic, intolerant phrases over and over to each other until they think they everyone thinks as they do. They are going to continue to loose the younger generations with their outdated social views such as opposing gay marriage. They have no ideas, no solutions and only say "no" to everything that Obama is trying to do.

President Obama is trying to bring them to the table but they are still burned by the election and refuse to compromise. They have become the party of "no" and so how can you work with such obstructionism? And at a time when we need our Congress to be working together the most!! Let it be known that it is the Republicans who are standing in the way of trying to fix this economy and make it stronger once we stablize things. What few ideas they have are simply the failed ones of the Bush era. We tried tax cuts to the rich for eight years and it gave us this deep and painful recession. We might be witnesses the end of the Republican party--the next Whig or Known-Nothing party.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Help the Economy--Legalize and Tax Marijuana.

This is a long post but an interesting and important one I think. There has been a lot of violence lately on the Mexican-American border revolving around the drug trade:

"The entire trade, of course, is fueled by the selling and buying of drugs," said Chetry. "There are some who make the case, including a former deputy foreign minister of Mexico who now works for the Brookings Institution -- somebody by the name of Andres Rosenthal -- who says maybe we need to rethink our drug laws."Rosenthal is one of a growing chorus of former Latin American leaders who have voiced support for the legalization of marijuana.

"He says, 'As with the repeal of prohibition, the US must follow a common-sense approach by thinking the unthinkable: The gradual legalization of some drugs. The US must realize that all drugs are not created equal,'" said Chetry. "They go on to say that marijuana, maybe some methamphetamines, do not have the same harmful effects and legalization might make a difference.

Right now, the item that's fueling the violent cartels, the murders in Mexico, the cartel wars that are going on right now that have resulted in over 1,000 deaths this year, I think we need to take a very aggressive stand on that and marijuana is the number one producer for the cartels. Sixty to 70 percent of their gross profits comes from marijuana. So, I think we need to look very hard at something we haven't looked at for years."

TPJ: We could end violence related to the marijuana trade over-night by legalizing it. America never seems to learn until we smash our head against a wall for awhile. Criminal activity skyrocketed in the 1930s because of making alcohol illegal--It was the days of mafia fighting it out in the streets of Chicago and other cities for control of the alcohol smuggling trade. We have the same situation with mafia drug cartels fighting over the marijuana trade. Prohibition is costly and repeating the same mistakes of the alcohol prohibition era. If Al Capone was alive today he'd be a pot dealer. The other benefit from legalizing pot would be the tax revenue, which would fill the coffers of cash strapped states and the federal government:

Nowhere is that more true than California, where Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a freshman from San Francisco, made a proposal intended to increase revenue, and, no doubt, appetite: legalizing and taxing marijuana, a major — if technically illegal — crop in the state. “We’re all jonesing now for money,” Mr. Ammiano said. “And there’s this enormous industry out there.”

Whether such proposals can pass is another issue, though each idea has its supporters. Betty Yee, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, the state’s tax collector, said that legal marijuana could raise nearly $1 billion per year via a $50-per-ounce fee charged to retailers. An additional $400 million could be raised through sales tax on marijuana sold to buyers.

The law would also establish a smoking age — 21 — effectively putting marijuana in a similar regulatory class as alcohol or tobacco. Marijuana advocates argue that legalization could also decrease pressure on the state’s overburdened prison system and law enforcement officers.

From another source:

Translation: Money's tight, baby. City's in trouble. State's deep in the hole. Nation's broke. Solution? Upend the system. Think differently. Get creative. Demolish Ye Olde Ways. And maybe get a really nice buzz on while you're at it. Where to begin? How can the city/state refill their empty coffers and further gouge the populace to make ends meet? Increased bridge tolls? A new per-mile driving tax? Heavier parking fines? State parks abandoned and left to seed? Child's play, darling. You want to raise funds in an instant? You want a sure-fire, double-barreled source of nearly limitless funds from a wary, burned-out citizenry? That's easy. Go after its biggest vices, its most beloved balms.

Really now, could there be a better time to decriminalize/fully legalize pot? Or, more fully, to decriminalize pot, and then spread respectable pot shops and vending machines and dispensaries far and wide, instill quality control and decent oversight and then tax the living hell out of the glorious, stress-reducing goodness, as we stop wasting billions fighting its grand ubiquity and instead sink into profitable pools of warm, hazy progress? Don't you already know the answer?

It rakes in upwards of $14 billion a year -- maybe a lot more than that -- and that's just from five clever hippies and a couple intrepid grandmas in Ukiah [California]. Imagine what we could do if we went all-in. Look. Is there really anyone left who doesn't already know the "War on Drugs" is a pathetic joke, an abject failure and a taxpayer nightmare, and the only reason it survives at all is to fund the CIA and fellate the prison guard unions and support a shameful prison system, and to let politicians say they're "tough on crime" so they can to deflect all those uninformed parents who relentlessly whine about pot in public schools?

Anyone left, furthermore, who doesn't know that pot is far safer than booze, less addictive, nonviolent, more transportable, easier to light, and generally won't interfere with your ability to crawl across the carpet and lick cookie crumbs from your lover's thighs? And sure, while heavy, daily usage can make you slow and stupid and rather useless to the world, well, so can a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper and six hours of TV every day. Gateway drug? That's on Channel 2, right after "Oprah."

Let's phrase this grand scenario in another way:
Why the hell not try it? What have we got to lose? What, we could go more broke? We could get more desperate and anxious? Fact is, economic nightmares need not breed only miserable stories of lost homes and lost jobs and shuttered businesses. They can also spawn creative solutions, innovative thinking, widespread munchies. Now is the time.

Conservative States Consume More Porn Than in Liberal States.

A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states. However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds. "Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," Edelman says.

Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama. Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't explicitly restrict gay marriage. The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users.

TPJ: Strangely I'm not to surprised by Utah being number 1. It is home as most of us know of the very conservative Mormon church, which is very strict when it comes to sexuality. It makes sense that sexually repressed people would be more likely to look at pornography. They are sex starved and so look to find a release and seem to discover it in porn. Often times when you make something forbidden and taboo you simply make it more appealing and intreguing. Sexuality is a normal and natural expression of life as human beings and when you try and shut that down it will find ways to emerge one way or another and that could lead to this high porn rates.

I feel sorry for folks who have to clamp down their natural desires and urges as I use to be one of those people--I grew up Mormon and I was one of those looking at porn. I can tell you that I looked at it because I had no other outlet for my sexual urges and so it poured out in consuming porn. And the sad thing is that I'd hate myself afterward for looking at the "forbidden!!" I learned to hate myself and my body because I was taught that it was normal and healthy to repress my sexuality. It messed up my views on sexuality and caused me so much unnecessary guilt and shame. I am still trying to recover from those scars and programming in my sexual life. That sexual repressive programming is one of the things that I still have a lot of anger toward that church over.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Republicans Hold Charities for Hostage.

Predictably the Republicanistical Party is opposed to the Bush tax cuts lapsing, which brings the tax rates back to the Clinton era--and era that saw strong economic growth for rich and poor. The restoration of the Clinton tax policy will come at the level of those who make $250,000 a year or more and now their (apparent) representative--nut job Representative Eric Cantor is saying that because of losing those Bush tax cuts those folks won't contribute to charities anymore. Come on, you can't shell out some extra cash for worthy charities because your tax rate returns to the level it was in the 90s? People making $250k a year gross over $20,000 A MONTH and you mean to tell me that they can't find a few extra dollars for their favorite charity?

My wife and I don't make anything near that kind of money and still find room to donate $10.00 a month to a charity. It's not a lot of money but if we can cough up $10 a month while making significantly less than $250k a year then It's hard for me to believe that those rich folks won't be able to give to charities. These rich fat cats are basically holding charities for hostage saying, "We won't donate to these groups unless you keep the Bush tax cuts." Sick and wrong.

Oh and there's a new poll showing once again that the American people are behind Obama much more than the Republicanistical Party: ABC/The Washington Post Poll found 61% of American trust Obama to handle the economy whereas only 26% feel that way toward Republicans. Yet they keep repeating this false mantra that the failed economic policies of George W. Bush are still needed. The problem (in their minds) wasn't that the Bush economic, trickle down, Reaganomics was a failure but that it just needed more time to show.

They had 8 years for their policies to kick in and not only did they fail to even reach the Clinton levels--things only got worse and worse until Obama was elected and Bush dumped the whole pile of elephant shit (the mascot for the Republicanistical Party is an elephant) in his lap. And the Republicans are already saying Obama is a failed president because he hasn't fixed the economy. Yet its only been 30 days that he's been in office. It's going to take a lot longer than 30 days to repair the generational destruction of the Bush economic theory.

And on who is more bipartisan and compromising?: Obama 73% and Republicans 34% but listening to Rush Windbag and his sycophants they profess to have the American people behind them. They are so tone deaf and out of touch with the new reality, which has Americans embracing a new era of politics to change our country to be more competative, tolerant and successful in the long run. They continue to paint themselves into a corner and they have no one to blame but their own selfish economic policies and intolerant social views. American society is progressing past that kind of behavior and they are freaking out. America is changing to fit where the rest of the world (certainly the western world) has been for two decades or more.

Oh and while I'm at it...fellow liberals, please stop criticizing Obama for not pullying all troops out of Iraq at once. He is getting out in stages, which is more responsible--this is more than Bush ever did to end the war and bring troops out. Give him some slack guys and gals. He's moving in the right direction but said in the campaign that he would do the withdrawal as responsibly as possible. That is why he's not pulling them all out at once.

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