Saturday, October 30, 2010

Former Mexican President on Marijuana Legalization in California: "May God Make it Happen."

In California's battle to legalize marijuana, former Mexican President Vicente Fox has picked a side, announcing in a recent radio interview that he favors Prop. 19. "How great it would be for California to set this example," he said, speaking to the W radio network on Wednesday. "May God let it pass.

The other U.S. states will have to follow step
." The former president also criticized his successor's violent campaign against the drug cartels, suggesting that the country's path has been ultimately destructive. "Violence never resolves violence," he said.

TPJ: This ridiculous marijuana prohibition is tearing his country apart. So, for Americans to ignore their plight by ignoring the problems with marijuana prohibition represents a stubborn lack of compassion for our neighbors. Obviously after 70 years of failed marijuana prohibition it's clear that pot isn't going away. So, it's dangerous ignorance to think another 70 years will somehow make the difference.

It's also naive to think that this violence stemming from marijuana prohibition in Mexico, (and on the border) won't spread into the U.S. if we stay on the path of stubborn prohibition. So, seeing that marijuana isn't going away, nor is the violence related to its prohibition, it makes perfect sense to legalize it, so we have the control over it--not drug cartels.

Let's make it work for us rather than being captive to the crime associated with prohibition. Marijuana is a relatively harmless drug, so for it to remain illegal while alcohol maintains it's legal status is hypocritical and stupid as we're throwing away much need funds to pay for teachers, cops and fire fighters. It's win-win and so logical that it's hard to understand why people would oppose it except out of a misplaced crusade of claiming to know what's best for everyone.

Conservatives, what ever happened to states rights, personal liberties and the pursuit of happiness? I guess that only applies to what you decide, eh? How convenient. Wake up to the reality that pot isn't going away, nor is it the scourge that your were raised to believe.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Groups Offers $10k to Dispprove Claim that Marijuana is Safer than Alcohol.

The Safer Texas Campaign is offering $10,000 to anyone in Texas who can prove that three statements claiming marijuana is safer than alcohol are incorrect. The three statements are:
1. Alcohol is significantly more toxic than marijuana, making death by overdose far more likely with alcohol.

2. The health effects from long-term alcohol consumption cause tens of thousands of more deaths in the U.S. annually than the health effects from the long-term consumption of marijuana.

3. Violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by alcohol is far more prevalent in the U.S. than violent crime committed by individuals intoxicated by marijuana only.

"We are confident that this $10,000 will not be claimed," said Safer Texas Campaign manager Craig Johnson, when he posed the challenge.

TPJ: It's basically impossible to overdose on marijuana. You'd have to ingest it by the ton in order for an overdose to occur--and it simply isn't realistic to believe someone would do such a thing. As for number two, there aren't the numbers of people dying from marijuana related effects like alcohol. I know many old hippies who've been using marijuana since the 60s and are in perfect health. Lastly, marijuana isn't a drug that makes one aggressive. It makes people relax, laugh and calm. I can't tell you how many times I've seen fights break out from people drinking alcohol but in all the people I've seen ingest marijuana--nothing. Committing a crime is the last thing on someone's mind after using pot.

They are too relaxed to get off the couch let alone to commit a crime. People on marijuana are peaceful and often get into deep discussions on how to make the world a better place. I've never heard of a domestic violence crime break out from marijuana consumption, whereas with alcohol it's all too common. Alcohol is a drug that often makes people aggressive, unruly and rude. People who use marijuana are super polite because it makes you feel chill and mellow.

So, if we're going to allow alcohol then marijuana should be allowed as well. It's so frustrating, yet somewhat hilarious that the same politicians who cowardly stand in the way of legalization of marijuana due to fear of not being re-elected are also the same people who guzzle gallons of liquor in their off time. No one thinks anything of it and the same should be true of marijuana.

It simply isn't the drug that it's been demonized to be during the past 70 years. All that "Just say no" crap and "Reefer Madness" videos from the 50s are pure propaganda. Pot doesn't make you go insane like those ridiculous old black and white films they showed in health classes in school. I doesn't belong in the class of hard drugs with cocaine, crack, meth and heroin. It belongs in the same class as alcohol despite it being less of a problem for society than booze.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kentucky Head Stomper Blames Victim.

Tim Profitt -- the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist -- told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing. "I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt said. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you." Profitt also blamed the incident on his back pain. Footage shows that Profitt stomped down on Lauren Valle's head, neck and shoulder while she was being restrained by another man with her shoulder on the street and her head on the curb.

TPJ: The only thing that's almost as bad as the head stomping is that he is blaming the victim but that's classic behavior by many conservatives. They blame the poor for being in that situation, they blame the sick for being without health care and they blame everything internationally on everyone else. Of course he'd think stomping on someone and assaulting them is "no big deal." He also wants an apology from her!!!!

The Tea Party Republicans have been going around all summer intimidating and pushing people around. Then he claims that it was his back pain that made him do it. Whatever happened to the Republican refrain of "taking personal responsibility??" I find it amazing that he gave this lady a concussion and back pain but then says we should go easy on him because of his back pain!! What a selfish, arrogant asshole. His back must not be hurting too much though if he has enough flexibility, strength and dexterity to stomp on someone's head, neck and back!!

Then there's the fact that he's a grown adult male stomping on a woman!! Whatever happened to the supposedly conservative value of honoring women and treating them with respect??? The conservatives cry that when the issue of pornography comes up but apparently some of them are fine with stomping on a woman's head??? The other aspect to this story that makes me angry is that the media barely covered it. I guess violence on women isn't important anymore??? Has everyone lost their goddamn mind?!!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GOP Ken Buck Disagrees with Separation of Church and State.

WASHINGTON -- Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck last year said he "strongly" disagrees with one of the bedrock principles of American society: the separation of church and state.

"I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state," said Buck at a forum for GOP Senate candidates last year. "It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that's sanctioned by the government, it doesn't mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal."

TPJ: There really is no daylight between the government sanctioning a religion, and allowing (as Buck suggests) no separation between religion and government. So, then if the head of NASA was Muslim then I suppose Buck would have no problem with that person putting the star and crescent moon on the shuttle? See, the reason why liberals and others support the separation isn't because we hate religion per se or want to "punish" religions as Buck claims. Rather, it's because there are so many different religions, that often conflict with each other (sometimes very strongly and violently) that if we allow them to get involved in government there will be turmoil between them.

The last thing we want is Muslims accusing Christians of getting special favors from the government and vice versa. Or Jews claiming some other religion is manipulating government to oppress Judaic beliefs in America. If you think government doesn't work now--wait till you have religions all jockeying to get into the Oval Office to influence the president. You see how messy it can get when you let religions influence the decisions that are made for ALL
Americans--regardless of religion?

For some in the dominate Christian culture here in America it might sound great to have government being directly influenced by their faith because they're in the majority. However, some day they may not be in the majority and perhaps instead it's the Muslims (who many conservative Christians distrust). Do they want to let another religion have greater influence over them? See, the whole separation issue is to protect ALL parties involved, so that government never favors one religion over another. Religion represents just their followers but government represents everyone, so why would we want our neutral government to be mired in a religious turf war between factions? The separation of church and state isn't in the Constitution word for word but from what IS in the Constitution; it's implied. The writings from the founders are very clear on this matter and so is centuries of settled law.

People like Buck and Christine O'Donnell would turn us into Northern Ireland where Protestants and Catholics fought for years to have the most influence in government. The pilgrims came to American to escape leaders who let government be influenced by one religion over another. They wanted freedom FROM religion and freedom OF religion. Not just freedom from government but freedom from another religion gaining an advantage in government. Even just a cursory knowledge of the founding of America shows you that keeping religion and government from affecting one another was very important. So much so that it was in the very first amendment.

Many (but not all) of the modern day Republicans scare me; and they are moving further conservative, which I didn't know was possible without moving into a whole other part of the political spectrum--theocracy. You better hope you are apart of the right religion when Buck is in charge. And, if you're of no religion at all--you're screwed. So, much for loving the sinner. They love you until it hurts--literally. Oh, but don't forget that Jesus loves you!! (sarcasm).

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Rand Paul Supporter Stomps on Lady's Head.

Josh Green flagged an incident that occurred outside of the Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate in Lexington, Kentucky Monday night that's already dominating the news in Kentucky and could easily make headlines nationally. As the candidates arrived, a group of Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her there as another Paul supporter stomped on the back of her head and neck.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, "Lauren Valle of approached Paul and tried to give him an "employee of the month award" from Republicorp...a fake business MoveOn created to symbolize what it says is the merger of the GOP and business interests controlling political speech." Video below:

TPJ: This is the kind of crap we've come to expect from the Jackboot army that Tea Party Republicanism has engendered. These are people who can't handle disagreements without violence, intimidation or threats. It was Tea Party supporters who spat upon Congress member (and civil rights icon) John Lewis and it is Tea Party politicians like Sharron Angle in Nevada who threaten use of guns if the election this November doesn't go their way. Is this the face of democracy that we want to show the world? Is this really what the founding fathers had in mind? Would the founding fathers engage in such activities? After all, the Tea Party Republicans claim to be enamored with the founding fathers.

In a separate incident, a Jack Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a Rand Paul supporter who had just had foot surgery. That is unacceptable as well, but a pattern of violence, intimidation and threats has come much more from the Tea Party Republicans than anyone on the left in this recent election cycle. I have long had my issues with Republicans but at least old-time Republicans were moderate enough to at least listen to you and work with you. These Tea Party Republicans are so radical that compromise is seen to them as weakness!! How are we supposed to work together as a society--no, as a country of united states with these people who just want to dominate everyone?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

New Poll: Stealth Voters Support Marijauna Legalization.

Are there voters who intend to pass Prop 19, but not tell anyone about it? The results of a new poll by Prop 19's backers say thousands of such voters might be saying “no” when asked, but voting "yes" in private. Prop 19 is winning 56 to 41 in an automated poll of 1,043 respondents, according to a new poll by SurveyUSA. Commissioned by the Yes on 19 campaign, the poll differs from the recent LA Times/USC Poll that found the tax and regulate measure trailing by a wide margin. The difference is the live pollster. Yes on 19 says seventy years of cannabis prohibition is making people careful around live polling officials.

"As the polling shows, there still seems to be somewhat of a social stigma attached to marijuana and the politics surrounding it," said Dan Newman, a political strategist working with the Yes On 19 campaign. "We're confident that when Californians find themselves
in the privacy of voting booths on Nov. 2, they will vote to end decades of failed and harmful marijuana policies. Very few people think the current policy is working."

TPJ: It's only natural that a substance that is currently illegal would engender discretion on the part of voters when asked by officials whether they support legalizing it. I think that there will be a lot of pollsters and pundits that will be surprised the day after the election if Prop 19 passes. The drug enforcement officials have acted like thugs for too long for people to trust that some pollster won't write them name down on some list should they answer "yes" to whether pot should be legalized. And of course, when polled anonymously they show over-whelming support for legalization. After all, they have been lied too for decades, so of course they aren't going to believe the crap that the against campaign is pushing.

And no longer will we live in fear of police propaganda when we have plenty of police officers, parole officers, judges, police chiefs, D.E.A agents and other government officials on our side too. They've seen the over-whelming failure from the war on marijuana first hand. They know that the average user of marijuana isn't a threat to society, or a criminal. Yet to give some credit to the cops; they have to follow the laws as they are written. So, while they might not like the law they have to enforces it. Still, there are plenty of police who support the sane policy of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. It would free them up to go after real criminals like child molesters, rapists, murderers, and suspected terrorists.

So, whether we legalize marijuana in California this year or next--it will happen. Each generation is growing more and more in support of legalization and sooner or later America will be friendly to pot again. State by state we will win our personal freedom back to enjoy an herb that is less harmful and addictive than alcohol.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Florida: "Yes," to Immigrants from Europe and Canada but "No" to Latinos.

A proposed Florida immigration law that mimics the controversial one in Arizona has a provision in it that exempts Canadians and citizens of many European countries from tougher police scrutiny, prompting critics to say the law is blatantly targeted at Latinos. "What we're doing there is trying to be sensitive to Canadians," Rep. Snyder told a radio show recently, as quoted at New Times. "We have an enormous amount of ... Canadians wintering here in Florida. ... That language is comfort language."

TPJ: Yeah, comfort language as in code to fellow white elitists in Canada to, "Come on, down!! Visit Florida and we promise that we're chase off any pesky Latinos." That statement from Rep. Synder is dripping with racism. This Florida proposal has exposed what many American have long thought of these immigration laws popping up (Arizona being the most well known); they're not about stopping illegal immigration. They're about racism, discrimination and hatred aimed at one particular ethnic group. I have long pointed out the inconsistency that no one ever seems to be concerned about white immigrants. If illegal immigration is the crisis problem that many Republicans, Conservatives and the Tea Party types believe it to be, then why single out one group of immigrants? Clearly that's not the real reason behind their tactics.

The fact that they won't say these proposals are for white immigrants as well makes me deeply question their motives. And it should cause all of us to question a party that cloaks their racism behind an orchestrated campaign to make it all sound very America to discriminate. They wave the flags, play the patriotic music and quote the founding fathers but most of that is smoke and mirrors to try and package their hatred and bigotry as being American as apple pie. As a white person, It embarrasses me to share the same country with such people as these radicals on the right-wing of the political spectrum.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Bush: Biggest Failure Was Not Privatizing Social Security.

Former President George W. Bush signaled on Thursday that he sees not reforming Social Security as his greatest failure from the eight years he served in the White House, the Chicago Tribune reports. In 2005, the president unsuccessfully tried to partially privatize Social Security.

TPJ: Thanks for the reminder George on why Republicans can't be trusted. If we had privatized social security while he was in charge, and allowed people to invest it in the market everyone would have lost what little social security they were getting in the midst of the stock market crash. America needs to remember how reckless they were with power and how obviously not much has changed. It's tempting to think that they've learned their lesson--but they haven't.

Tea Party Republicanism on the campaign trail are embracing the gutting and/or privatization of social security and Medicare. Here a list those Tea Party Republicans who are trying to win your vote. Ask yourself, "Is your anger about things worth risking the loss of social security to bolster your retirement?" I'm frustrated too but the Republicans haven't shown us that they've changed but rather just gotten more rabid.

Joe Miller (R) - Alaska

Rand Paul (R) - Kentucky

John Raese (R) - West Virginia (he also wants to abolish the minimum wage)

Sharron Angle (R) - Nevada

Ken Buck (R) - Colorado (link)

Pat Toomey (R) - Pennsylvania

The economy takes more time to recover from the massive economic explosion perpetrated by the Bush Republicans that we would all like but jumping back into their boat isn't the answer. Seniors and the disabled count on that money, and while it isn't a lot it is a vital supplement at a time in life when stability and dependability are very important. Seniors, please think about this very hard before voting for any of the above candidates. They are out to use your anger to gain power and will then gut all the safety nets that you come to rely upon.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christine O'Donnell on the Separation of Church and State: It's Not in the Constitution.

Christine O'Donnell asked where in the Constitution does it call for a separation of church and state. Obviously she's never heard of the "Free Exercise Clause" to the first amendment. She claims to love the Constitution yet seems to know next to nothing about it. These are seriously shaky times; do we really want a leader who doesn't know these basic facts about the founding document of our country??? Whether Republican or Democrat--I know I don't.

Yet this lack of knowledge and even mockery of intelligence is rampant in the Tea Party Republicans. Amongst the Tea Party Republican candidates we have: Sharron Angle who dodges questions from reporters, Rand Paul who won't do debates and Christine O'Donnell doesn't seem to know basic knowledge about the Constitution that is the rule book for our government leaders. This is avoiding the press who are the mouth-pieces of the people to ask candidates the questions needed to help the people decide who they want to support.

If these candidates can't even answer questions from legitimate press agencies then how do you think they'll respond to your questions and needs as a citizen? Don't simply let your anger about the current state of America drowned out your ability to elect people who know the job, can get it down and can be trusted to be respond to their constituents. Voting out of anger often blinds us to electing the better candidate to respond to the problems that need fixing.

Often times voting out of anger gets people elected who are just as angry but may be not qualified or capable as once thought while one was amidst that blinding anger. Let's not elect candidates who can't answer basic questions about the Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court; the main, two institutions that greatly affect the jobs they must perform.

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Rand Paul and The Conservative Double-Standard on Religion.

The Kentucky Senate fight reached a new low Sunday night, with Republican Rand Paul calling Democrat Jack Conway a “disgrace” and refusing to shake his hand at a debate in Louisville. Much of the debate centered around a new Conway ad attacking Paul over a GQ story alleging Paul, while in college, belonged to a group that tied up a woman and forced her to bow down to “Aqua Buddha.”

TPJ: Mr. Paul was angry that Conway would question his Christian faith. Other conservatives are hoping mad about it as well. People are saying that a person's faith is intensely personal and that it's therefore inappropriate to try and deem them over it. O.k., fair enough given the Constitution doesn't require a religious test to hold office.

However, there's a huge, bright, flashing, red double standard going on here because a lot (but not all) conservatives have (and still do) relentlessly attack President Obama as being a Muslim when in fact he's a Christian. That is not to say though that there is anything wrong with being Muslim because Islam has much good in it; and it saddens me that I have to state such an obvious fact but a lot of crazy conservatives have made being Muslim an automatic label of "terrorist."

I suspect most of these people who say that about the president know full well that he's Christian but want to smear him in any way possible. Where is the outrage over questioning his personal faith? Where is the outrage of questioning Obama's Christianity in light of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright incident? Too many conservative, Christians have such thin skins when it comes to their religion. Yet they have no problem going around and trashing others for their beliefs because in their mind any belief that's not exactly like there is evil, and shouldn't be tolerated or shown respect. Still, you better show them respect for their faith in return. However, not many have the courage to face the inquisition and call them on it because to do so is to bring down upon you a great accosting by Christian zealots.

And, yet so many of them have the nerve to say they (overall) are the most aggrieved religious group!!! It is they (many Christians whine) that are the minority despite an overwhelming majority of America being of that faith. Despite all their bullying it is still somehow they who are the martyrs. And boy, oh, boy do many Christians know how to play the martyred victim role. As someone of a true, minority religion in America--I'm fed up with the double standard.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Former Surgeon General: Legalize Marijuana.

Former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders told CNN's Don Lemon Sunday that she supports the legalization of marijuana. "Marijuana is not addictive -- not physically addictive anyway," Elders added. "Nobody says that marijuana causes violence. As we know alcohol can cause much more aggressiveness.

You aren't as likely to hurt someone from using marijuana as you are from using alcohol.
" "I think we consume far more dangerous drugs that are legal: cigarette smoking, nicotine and alcohol," Elders told the New York Times on Friday. "I feel they cause much more devastating effects physically. We need to lift the prohibition on marijuana."

TPJ: If Surgeon Generals (along with numerous doctors who prescribe it medicinally) bolster the claims that marijuana is a relatively benign drug then why are we letting politicians and police officers decided the fate of marijuana? I much more value the opinions of doctors when it comes to things that one ingests into the body. I don't trust a politician to give me a straight answer any more than a criminal. Anyone who has tried marijuana knows that it's not a substance that's going to drive you insane, cause you to die from an overdose or make you want to go on a drug using spree to try every other drug out there. That's the "gateway drug" propaganda--that once you use marijuana you wanna try heroin and the other hard drugs.

There are a couple of ways to answer this distortion: 1). Have you seen how kids react to sugar? If we're going to label something a gateway drug then it would have to be sugar. It's a chemical that gives you a "buzz" and yet we don't outlaw it. The same goes for caffeine, which can cause headaches, irritability and drowsiness due to caffeine withdrawal. If you drink enough of it you might as well be doing cocaine!! It has that same "speedy buzz" effect. And why don't we say tobacco is the gateway drug? It's ridiculously addictive and bad for your health. Then there's everyone's favorite drug--alcohol.

Funny how no one says drinking a few beers after work leads to wanting to try harder stuff like heroin or crack. Why? Because the "gateway effect" is something that applies to people who already have an "addictive personality." This means that they are already predisposed to addiction whether it's an classical "drug" or shopping, sex, porn, eating, exercise, work, etc.

Another aspect to the marijuana legalization debate that gets me frustrated is when people who have never used it claim to know all about it. And looking it up on WebMD isn't the same because a lot of doctors simply don't have experience with it. Also, WebMD is a company (like a lot of companies) that seems too cautious to list anything positive about the drug--Just like politicians. A lot of corporations take the non-controversial route of towing the prohibition line because they cowardly don't want to get criticism for "rocking the boat" of the status quo. Other doctors fear that their support of marijuana would jeopardize their practice as a trusted doctor.

It's time to stop listening to politicians about medical and bodily issues--not the least reason being that they have special interests to promote such as the alcohol and tobacco lobbies that don't want to compete with marijuana. It's interesting how everyone is for personal freedom and the free market until it comes to something they personally disagree with. I'm tired of listening to hypocrites, the self-righteous, and personally appointed "morality police" about what we should and shouldn't do with our lives. What ever happened to America: land of the free???

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ken Buck: Homosexuality is like Alcoholism.

On Sunday, [Ken] Buck made clear that he believes being gay is a choice, although he said that birth may have some "influence" over it -- such as with alcoholism. According to all major mainstream medical and mental health professional organizations, sexual orientation is not a choice. As the American Psychological Association has concluded, "[M]ost people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."

TPJ: Well, seeing how alcoholism is a disease it's clear that that's how Buck sees homosexuality as well. In other words, he's saying that being born gay is because of a birth defect or mutant genes, should be treated like a medical case study but not the human and civil rights issue that it is. This is also an insulting insinuation that homosexuality can (or should) be "cured" like alcohol addiction.

I will be looking at my fellow Coloradans with some disappointment if they end up voting in this Tea Party Republican. We aren't usually a radical, conservative state while center-right we're usually quite independent and moderate. America needs politicians that will stand up and represent all Americans and not just some elite group that excludes others. If being gay is a choice as he and other conservatives think then when did he decide that he wasn't gay? When did he choose to be straight? Do you know what is a choice Ken? Being homophobic. Ken Buck is an old time bigot.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

New Rule: Stop the Sexual Insults.

From female candidates telling their opponents to, "man-up" or calling them "impotent" and "limp." As well as "unmanly." Christine O'Donnell told her opponent that, "This is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on." Or Sarah Palin saying Obama doesn't have any cojones, (testicles) which is a crude way of saying he's a wimp. Yet when Ken Buck says people should vote for him and not his female opponent because "he's not wearing high heels" he gets chastised--and he should. Then Jerry Brown's aid called Meg Whitman a "whore" which is unacceptable but then why is it acceptable to emasculation men?

Imagine if a male candidate told a female candidate to "act like a lady" or "put on your big girl panties and suck it up?" Of made reference to her being infertile. Can we all grow up and stop behaving like over-dramatic and under-matured boys and girls in high school?? Apparently that asking too much of the American people who seem to be regressing into childish behaviors. Stop trying to relive the "glory days" of high school and GROW THE F*CK UP!!! Sheesh. O.k., rant over. Everyone move along--nothing to see here...

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The United States of the Twilight Zone.

A recent poll shows that despite all the Tea Party wackiness, extremist beliefs and words; most Americans think the Democratic Party is the party dominated by extremists!! So, am I to believe then that abolishing the minimum wage, the 14th amendment and public education are mainstream ideas these days?!! Am I understanding it correctly that the idea the civil rights act goes too far is believed by a majority of Americas as acceptable? Or, that it's o.k. to say if we can't beat the Democrats through an election that "second amendment remedies" should be considered a valid option?

These are all things that the recent crop of Republican candidates believe in. I always knew that this country was center-right, but I didn't think it had shifted so far that Tea Party Republicanism was considered acceptable by a plurality of average Americans!! That makes my stomach churn and want to vomit while at the same time fleeing America's shores as fast as my legs can carry me. This is getting scary.

This country seems so backwards and upside down these days and it only seems to be picking up steam--exponentially. I feel like I'm living in some Twilight Zone episode a lot of times where everyone is brainwashed and living a country that is nothing less than one, giant, cult. If the Tea Party is seen as "mainstream" by most Americans then I guess It's time for me to leave. I don't feel welcome here anymore. I feel like a stranger in my own country, and sometimes I worry for my safety--honestly.

As a historian I am trained to study historical trends and it seems like we're headed toward some major cataclysm--I worry it is a second, civil war. I don't want that in the least but it looks like things are about to snap. It's scary and I can only hope it doesn't get that bad. The real frightening thing about such an event (besides the obvious) is that the conservatives have all the guns!! And, they seem to dominate the military. So, liberals and Democrats would probably be massacred.

Yet, despite the cries from the lobotomized masses of zombies, ill on poisoned tea; it wasn't always like this. There was a time when social security was a program that both sides of the political spectrum supported and sought to improve and maintain. There was a time when the tax rate for the uber-wealthy was between 70-90%--and it wasn't a time of depression. It was during the, "Golden Age of the Middle-Class" during the 1950s (which was lead by a Republican president) through to the 1980s when Reagan collapsed it down to the 30s. It was then that all the deficit spending began in order to make up for that lost revenue. It was then that companies began to no longer care about "economic patriotism" and began shipping jobs overseas. It was then that recessions became more frequent and economic bubbles inflated.

It was then that the Republican party and the conservatives stopped being "your father's Republican Party." Even President General Dwight D. Eisenhower's son stopped voting Republican after 50 YEARS in the 2008 election when he cast his ballot for Barack Obama. His reason for voting Democrat was that he felt the Republicans today didn't reflect his father's generation of Republicans.

And now the days of the moderate Republican are numbered like an endangered species teetering on the brink of extinction. There was a time when moderate Republicans dotted all over the Northeast, and across the country. Today they are run out of the party on a rail for not being "conservative enough." One has to wonder if even Saint Ronald Reagan would be conservative enough for today's right-wing.

My personality is so opposite of what is apparently "normal" and "accepted" in this country today that I often feel like a leper. I've been trying for years to just feel somewhat heard but I feel like I'm drowning in insanity all around me. I guess the America I knew in history books is over, and I have to accept that reality. It makes me sad because I wish I didn't feel like I needed to leave this country to feel accepted, heard and respected because I adore this country. It's why I studied history in the first place. My favorite era has always been Revolutionary America. So, I get testy now that everyone seems to be an "expert" on the founding fathers. I don't want to give up on America but I don't even recognize it as America anymore.

So, perhaps it's time to leave this place. I think all hope is lost in a lot of ways for ever living in an America that any of us would recognize from the history books except perhaps the Robber Baron days of the 1800s.
We're pilgrims in a strange land my friends; and I fear it's about to get even stranger. Good luck.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

John Raese Wants to Abolish Minimum Wage for West Virginia.

West Virginia is a beautiful state that I want to one day visit. Being from Colorado I adore mountains and feel a kinship with fellow mountain folk. The geography of West Virginia looks absolutely stunning. I have long seen West Virginia as a state with one of the hardest working populations in the country. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of the jobs that are available these days are low paying ones. So, why would Republican John Raese then want to abolish the minimum wage? And why would the good people of West Virginia want someone like that representing them? If he's not for the minimum wage then do you really think he will be there for you when you need his help?

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese said the federal minimum wage is an outdated and unnecessary concept that should be abolished, while his opponent says the stance shows how out of touch Raese is with working West Virginians.

TPJ: Millionaire Raese claims that minimum wage isn't working. Well, I'm sure that those who rely upon the wage would disagree because while it isn't enough money--at least it is something. What would Mr. Money Bags Raese have people who rely upon the minimum wage do otherwise? Add to the already bulging unemployment lines??? Well, if your fellow Tea Party colleague Joe Miller up in Alaska gets his way there won't be any unemployment benefits either!!

Raese doesn't seem to be in-touch with the life or needs of the hard-working, blue-collar workers in West Virginia. They are hard workers but they shouldn't have to work even harder should minimum wage be abolished. Raese went on to say about the wage, "It didn't solve any problems then and it hasn't solved any problems in 50 years," he said.

: Well, it solves a lot of problems for those who rely upon it!! Without the minimum wage a lot of us would be paid the abysmal wages of migrant workers. Governor Joe Manchin seems like a good guy with a good understanding of West Virginia and its people, so I don't understand why he's behind in the polls. West Virginia, is there really a choice between Manchin who has proven he'll stick with the blue collar workers of West Virginia or John Raese the guy who wants to run the company store?

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ken Buck Refused to Prosecute Rape Case. Blames the Victim.

Here in Colorado there has been a narrative that Ken Buck isn't responsive to the needs and rights of women. Nor to the challenges they face. When running in the Republican primary against Jane Norton he said that he was the better candidate, "because I do not wear high heels." Now in the midst of the general campaign it has been revealed that in 2005 he refused to prosecute a rape case in part because he basically said she asked for it.

He did so, "in part because the alleged victim had a prior sexual relationship with the accused attacker."In other words, he's blaming the victim, which is such a vile, callous, antiquated, misogynistic, and patriarchal way to view rape cases.

He [Buck] explained to the accuser that the case wouldn't fly because of her prior sexual relationship with the alleged attacker and the fact that she had invited him over that evening (again, it's her fault--and for simply inviting a guy over to her house???) It's worth reading the entire transcript, but this particular exchange stands out:

Buck: Because when you look at what happened earlier in the night, all the circumstances, based on his statements and some of your statements, indicate that you invited him to come to your apartment ... that you told him how to get in ... . It would appear to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to have sex with him. Whether that you, at that time, were conscious enough to say yes or no ... ?

Alleged Victim: So you're telling me that previous sexual relations is enough to provide consent, and you're telling me that because of me calling him and because of previous sexual relations and because I invited him up and told him how to get in, that invited him up for sex ...

Buck: I'm telling you that's what the circumstances suggest, to people, including myself, who have looked at it. Although, you never said the word yes, but the appearance is of consent.

Alleged Victim: Even though, he also stated that I told him no.

It's also worth noting that Buck, who believes abortion should be banned even in cases of incest and rape, implies that she had an ulterior motive in pursuing the case: "There are a lot of things that I have a knowledge of, that I would assume (name of possible suspect redacted) knows about and that they have to do with, perhaps, your motives for (unintelligible) and that is part of what our calculation has been in this. ... You have, you have had HIS baby, and you had an abortion." (Never mind that she says they only considered an abortion but ended up miscarrying.)

Some might ask why this is relevant to Buck's current Senate bid. Kjersten Forseth of ProgressNow Colorado put it perfectly in an interview with the Independent: "This shows us how he views women and what he thinks their role is. It shows us that even when a woman is the victim of a rape he will not advocate for her," she continues. "Do we want him making policy for the entire United States?"

TPJ: Buck also said that, "A jury would view the rape charges as merely her "buyer's remorse."" In other words, Buck was insinuating that a jury would assume that she is making it all up because she merely was regretting that she had sex with him!! Wow.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

The New Republican (Tea) Party. Do You Want These People Leading America?

Think twice before voting for any of these candidates. Yes, times are tough with the economy and while I understand the frustration (I feel it too); let's not vote everyone out if the person to replace them is this extreme. I want things to change too but I don't thinking electing people like the ones below will help us do anything but stay embroiled in controversy and government shutdown. A government shutdown means nothing is being addressed and that isn't good for either party; and certainly not for we the average citizens. Anyway, here's the list of people that the Republican party want to have lead this country:

Rep. Rich Iot - Nazi S.S. Viking division re-enactor. The Viking division was a German military unit that helped slaughter Jews in Hungry) re-enactor. They were S.S., which were the worst of the worst Nazis. Even the number 2 Republican leader in the House of Representatives won't support this clown.

Christine O'Donnell - A Born Again Witch who can't manage per own personal finances but wants to be in charge of your social security and medicare benefits.

Rand Paul - Questioned the Civil Rights Act that protected African-Americans in voting, ending segregation and outlawed discrimination.

Sharron Angle - Believes that we can and should be able to take our leaders "out" of Congress with "Second Amendment remedies." Read: It's o.k. to assassinate an elected official.

Ken Buck - Thinks he's the candidate to vote for because "he doesn't wear high heels." How do you like that idea women?

Joe Miller - Thinks the minimum wage is "unconstitutional" and opposes unemployment benefits. Despite his wife having needed them.

Carl Paladino - Fond of forwarding bestiality emails (as well as racist ones) and believes homosexuals are perverts who could never be successful people (Um, paging Ellen Degeneres). He also said marching in a gay pride parade wasn't in keeping with "Family Values." Oh, and bestiality or racism is a family value???

Rep. Trent Franks - Thinks President Obama, "...has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity."

Ron Johnson - Called Social Security (which many seniors and the disabled rely upon) a "Ponzi scheme." He's also against government subsidies except he's taken them himself.

Marco Rubio - Wants to privatize Social Security. Yeah, imagine all the money people would lose if they have invested their social security in the stock market before the market crashed and helped create, "The Great Recession."

Rick Scott - Railed against health care bill and reform yet his former company was beneficiary of Medicare and Medicaid monies.

Mark Kirk - Lied about serving in the Gulf War. Also liked by saying he was apart of the invasion of Iraq. How conservatives (who take military service very seriously) swallow these lies?

TPJ: This is the face the the new Republican Party that wants to be in charge of making decisions for you. Are these above candidates really people that you want in those roles? Electing these people is like letting the lunatics run the asylum. I'm a die hard liberal but even I'd consider voting for a mainstream Republican over these radicals. They can't fix anything -- all people like this no how to do is tear down, cause controversy and stir trouble. Think really hard before pulling the lever for these people. Please.

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Carl Paladino Inflames Recent Wave of Homophobia.

Recently a wave of homophobia has gripped the nation with the news of several gay teens and college students committing suicide over bullying they received for being honest about who they are. Then, a few days ago in New York a gang savagely beat, terrorized and tortured 3 men that they perceived to be homosexual. In the midst of the shock waves of that attack (and the previous ones listed above) Republican candidate for governor (and thug) Carl Paladino came out with some vicious, homophobic comments of his own:
We must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts, who seek to target our children and destroy their lives [...] And don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way; that would be a dastardly lie. My approach is live and let live. I just think my children, and your children, will be much better off, and much more successful getting married and raising a family. And I don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't. (APPLAUSE)
TPJ: This Paladino bigot accuses homosexuals as being perverts and targeting children but then turns around as says he's not hurting homosexuals by saying such things; and that he believes in the principle of "Live and Let Live?!!" This guy isn't just dangerously homophobic--he's also an unconscionable liar who contradicts his own words. His kind of talk is dangerous because is gives the impression that it's o.k. to hate homosexuals and thus treat them as less than human. It tacitly gives fuel to those who would seek to bully gays; or worse, physically hurt or kill them.

It also tells vulnerable, homosexual, young people that it's not o.k. to be who you are, which reinforces the pattern of bullying and susceptibility to suicidal thinking in these kids. If they honestly believe that they are perverts because of people like him then it doesn't take much for these kids to feel like they aren't worthy of life. Especially since they already probably feel confused with low self-esteem from the message they are getting from their peers.

Then he goes on to talk about protecting our kids from others destroying their lives?!! What does he think he's doing? Doing them a favor? He's accusing them of being brainwashed perverts!! It is shameful for an adult (let alone a would-be "leader" running to rule one of the biggest and most powerful states in America--New York) to reinforce such hateful talk when he knows very well that impressionable kids are listening; and will see his accusations to mean it's o.k. to bully, hate and terrorize gay teens and adults. It all starts in the home and it's the adults the young people look to for what is appropriate behavior and what isn't. Paladino is a sick and twisted man who shouldn't be elected to any position of trust and power--let alone governor of New York state.

The governor is responsible for ALL citizens and one of the most important duties in that office is to protect the well-being and lives of ALL citizens. That includes being the governor of gay and bisexual people too. It should never, ever be o.k. to treat homosexuals in such a manner regardless of how you personally feel about homosexuality. They are fellow, human beings who deserve to be protected as much any anyone else. Whether you disapprove of homosexuality or not; It is NOT o.k. to bully, intimidate or violate a gay persons' rights in any way. We also need to remind our kids that it's not o.k. to treat gay people in such a way. You can disagree with their lifestyle but it's not o.k. to treat them in an inhumane way. We can't stay s...ilent on this issue. Bullying of ALL kids must stop NOW. Period.

On a personal note: To all the young people out there who are gay or who think they might be gay, bisexual, lesbian or trans-sexual--you are not alone. You are not perverts. You are not a bad person and you certainly are not evil. There are many adults and fellow teens who are ready to welcome you into society and into our lives. You are NOT less than human and you do NOT deserve to be treated like you are less than human. It does get easier but high school is always hard but please know that you are not alone and that if you are thinking about taking your life--please talk to someone. Send me an email because I know a think or two about suicidal thinking and being misunderstood as I have a mental illness. Don't hurt yourself--you are beautiful just the way you are. People love you deeply and care about your happiness so much. We want the best for you and to grow up happy, healthy and strong. We are working hard to make the world safer for you--don't give up!!

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Democrats Eying Marijuana Legalization Amendments.

As California Democrats begin to pull ahead in competitive statwide races, some are asking whether the Proposition 19, a ballot initiative to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, is helping the party's cause in the state. Indeed, a September survey from Public Policy Polling found "a much higher level of interest in this this election from voters under 45 in California than in most places and those folks are highly favorable toward Proposition 19, planning to vote for it by a 54/34 margin.

"Recent polls show a slow but consistent trend in favor of marijuana decriminalization in California. Two recent polls would put the ballot initiative over the top: A Field Poll last week showed the "yes" side winning with 49 percent support to 41 percent support for opponents of decriminalization. A PPIC poll put support for legalization above the 50-percent mark, at 52 percent to 41 percent against.

TPJ: As usual the public is way ahead of the politicians when it comes to real-life issues like personal freedoms. We are the ones who live with their decisions, so we know whether they are working or not first. It is clear that the trend in America is toward marijuana decriminalization/legalization with around a dozen or more states having already legalized it for medicinal use. The Baby Boomers started the lifting of awareness to the real value and nature of the drug, which was a far cry from the hilariously, inaccurate, anti-marijuana films like "Reefer Madness." However, the more the government made it forbidden the more young people wanted to try it out for themselves. And once they realized the information they were being given by the government was propaganda and lies, the less they listened any further.

And by the time we in Generation X were bashed over the head with "Just Say No" and the "D.A.R.E" campaign; the "war" on marijuana was failing miserably. People began to realize that it wasn't addicting like cocaine, heroin or even alcohol. They saw that it had medicinal benefit and realized that it wasn't destroying peoples lives like the real drugs. Marijuana aficionados smoked it all through college and yet graduated with a high grade point average and became doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers or any number of successful careers. Then the issue became really important because as people realized the benign nature of marijuana they became outraged and frustrated that our government was wasting so much money and resources fighting a drug that is less of a problem and danger to society than alcohol.

They scratched their heads as non-violent, small possession users were arrested and thrown in jail while sex offenders were being let go because of prison over-crowding. Or in some cases, sex offenders were getting less time in jail than these small possession users!! So, rather than seeing the government's "war against pot" as them doing a service for the community; it began to be seen as the government harassing otherwise law abiding, up-standing citizens. By the time marijuana was legalized for medicinal use and non-marijuana supporters saw that such measures weren't ruining their cities but rather helping to bring in sorely needed revenue and jobs; the die was cast and the war on marijuana was over--at least in the minds of a growing majority of Americans. And that brings us to the present day.

Putting legalization of marijuana legislation on the ballot in 2012 is a smart way to ensure that an increasing number of younger people (about 40 and younger) will turn out to the polls and vote. That's because (in part) a lot of young people don't participate in elections because they don't feel politicians ever address issues that they find to be important and worthwhile. If politicians wise up they'll see marijuana legalization has become a popular issue--especially with state and federal budgets going bankrupt. It would bring in much needed tax dollars and stop wasting tax dollars on marijuana law enforcement. Not to mention money that could be used to give companies tax breaks to entice them into bringing new jobs into the state. And think of all the small businesses that would spring up and employ people. Also, politicians and others need to be aware that this isn't a partisan issue. There are many "live and let live" Republicans and Libertarians who support marijuana legalization 100 percent.

And if we're serious about stopping the violence on the U.S.-Mexico border then the matter demands we address the legal status of marijuana because 70% of the drug trade from Mexico is in marijuana. If we legalize it then we'd dry up the vast majority of drug violence coming into our country. It looks like California is going to indeed be the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and just like with medicinal marijuana I predict it won't change life in that state any more than medicinal marijuana did.

My state of Colorado would probably be the next state as marijuana use here is higher than almost every state in the union. In one poll, legalization was seen as more popular than all of the politicians on the ballot this year!! Prohibition of alcohol created a huge crime wave and rise of powerful mafia armies--not unlike the drug cartels of today. The choice to legalize alcohol in the 30s was the right one and so is doing the same with marijuana. We all know it; so now it's time to show the politicians the same thing and hand them a backbone.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Meg Whitman: The Illegal House Keeper Scandal is Everyone's Fault but Hers.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman accused Democratic rival Jerry Brown on Saturday of orchestrating a scandal over her former illegal immigrant housekeeper, a charge that prompted Brown to fire back and say Whitman won't take responsibility and is not fit to be governor.

TPJ: What Whitman is really doing with this accusation against Brown is insinuating that this house keeper doesn't have enough smarts to choose for herself to come forward with her story. So far, she has: Blamed the house keeper, (twice) her opponent Jerry Brown despite a total lack of evidence, and the house keepers attorney. But on the other side there is plenty of credible evidence showing Whitman to be the one with the ethical problem. Whitman wants the top job in California, which requires taking responsibility for one's actions to maintain the trust of the people. Or as American, President Harry S. Truman said, "The buck stops here" which stems from the phrase, "passing the buck."

That is defined as trying to pass responsibility for your actions onto someone else. So, saying, "The buck stops here" is saying that I take full responsibility for my actions and their consequences; it's the sign of a leader with honesty and integrity. Whitman is the kind of person who takes advantage of others and them chews them up before spitting them out when she's done using them. That's the kind of politician the Tea Party brewers claim to be trying to unseat!! So, for them to support Whitman after this scandal seems contradictory but then again, so is much of what the Tea Party stands for.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Letter Surfaces Connecting Meg Whitman to Employing an Illegal Alien.

Meg Whitman, the former eBay chief running to become governor of California, lashed back Wednesday at a charge she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. But a lawyer for the housekeeper countered by publicly releasing a letter to Republican candidate Meg Whitman from US social security authorities informing her that her employee appeared to have a false Social Security number. Whitman's husband says 'it is possible' handwriting on letter is his.

Yet, Meg Whitman continues to deny it all despite evidence coming out. Meanwhile, conservative groups are livid about Whitman's alleged hiring of an illegal worker:

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman lost the support — and then some — of conservative group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC after allegations surfaced that she employed an undocumented housekeeper for nine years. But the pro-enforcement group isn’t just calling for her to lose the election: They want her arrested.

TPJ: Well, there goes Nitwhitman's credibility with her base; and the rest of us she looks exploitative and cheap. Another corporate Robber Baron using people who have the least amount of say in American society for her personal gain. This is the Wall Street fraud of America on a smaller level but none-the-less telling of her character and lack of integrity. The worst part is that she claims to be against immigration of migrant workers. Just another rich, power hungry, dishonest politician. Jerry Brown might be a little rough around the edges but at least he's authentic and isn't trying to be all things to everyone like Whitman. She's trying to please everyone with this act of speaking out of both sides of her mouth, which is dupicitous while Brown is saying, "What you see, is what you get."

In this time of faux politicians; that's the kind of person we need. I hope all my Latino brothers and sisters (as well as other immigrants in California) vote for Jerry Brown. He's the experienced hand who isn't afraid to be himself and show that he's a regular person like anyone else. He's not trying to sell himself as a brand unlike the corporatist Whitman who tries too hard to package herself as a product but that's all some of these business types know how to do. However, that doesn't' translate well to voters.

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