Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is it time to take a rational look at medical marijuana?

Gotta say, this knocked me over. Isn't it about time we started a decent, emotion-free discussion of the medical uses of cannabis.

Yes, it's Marijuana. Yes, if you smoke it, eat it, or otherwise ingest it, you will get high. You will become giddy. The most inane things will make you giggle. You will eat tuna fish and Oreo sandwiches. More than likely, you'll walk to the mini-mart and get a bag of Doritos, a six pack of strawberry Crush, beef jerky, and a cool belt buckle/flashlight in the shape of a skull.

But why should this behavior preclude any research into cannabis and its pharmacological benefits? The fact that stoners use it should be the joke, not the bane of cannabis research. Think about it. If there was a concerted effort to do real and exhaustive research into the effects and benefits of cannabis, there would be no shortage of subjects to study. It would be like turning over a stone and finding the Library of Alexandria.

But seriously, we have to get beyond the stoners, the failed Drug War, the noise and the confusion. To be fair and upfront, full disclosure as follows: I've been a member of NORML for more than 30 years (on and off if you count dues paying member...hey, I was broke for a lot of those years, give me a break!) In 1977, while at Washington State University, I joined in a fit of activism and because I was out of pot. I didn't get any pot but I did get schooled. Even after a internal upheaval at the state level, I still held the org close to my heart. Still do. I try to volunteer at Hempfest, talk to Meetups, and stoke the fires at the coffee shop. I think I could do something here too.

President Obama is going to have his hands full with every bitch and complaint wafting up from the masses. Every swinging cause is trying to get a sympathetic ear within his inner circle. Cannabis research, decriminalization and possible legalization are bandied about but we have a long row to hoe. The CW about cannabis is "Thou shalt not discuss nor mention cannabis without declaring an unwavering hatred for ALL drugs" If I hear another pundit equate marijuana with heroin, cocaine or meth, I'm going to hurl.

What do they take us for? We may be stoned but we ain't stupid. Wingnut Extraordinaire Bill O'Reilly tries to make the case against medical marijuana research. Anyone who considers this putz an authority on anything needs to get high. Wingnuts think BillO is so contemporary and factual while stoners think he's an idiot. So much for the theory about destroying brain cells.

Go to, go to the poll and vote for your favorite causes, one of them Marijuana Reform.

One of the most disgusting and inhumane aspects of the War of Drugs is the incarceration of millions of people for nothing more than possession of marijuana. This article by Paul Armentano speaks volumes in a few short paragraphs of text about the criminal tragedy that is our Marijuana Drug Policy

Since the early ’90s, the total number of Americans busted annually for pot has nearly tripled. In 1991, police arrested a modern low of 288,000 people for minor marijuana violations in the United States, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. By 2006 (the last year for which data is available), a record 830,000 people were arrested. (Of those arrested, an estimated 90 percent are charged with minor possession — not trafficking, cultivation or sale.)

That’s one American arrested for pot every 38 seconds.

Tell me that's not an outrage. Tell me that is what our judicial system was designed to accomplish. Tell me this is fucking justice! What normal, well educated, decent human being thinks this is OK?

Pot is not the same as crack. It is not heroin, nor is it meth. It is a common plant that when ingested gives the user a feeling of euphoria and giddiness. The claims of its benefits bring out the worst in the Putrid Punditry.

"Marijuana is BAD." "There is no evidence of any medical benefits." "It is the most dangerous of all drugs." "Do not look behind the curtain. Stay away from the man with the dials and knobs. And your little dog too."

So here we are. Fat and happy that our guy got the nod and is President. We will soon see the back end of Bush and Cheney. Huzzah! But where will that leave us. There is a lot of bullshit to weed through. Bush once accused Clinton of trashing the place as he left. It was later proven to be utter bullshit, even though the Magic Media still speak of it to this day as if it did happen. But this time, there will be a trashing of America's House. It won't involve missing keys on the keyboards but missing people in Guantanamo. Bush tied the workings of the government into a unbreakable Gordian Knot.

Can Obama get through all the bullshit? The War on Drugs is not just another topic for discussion at the Obama dinner table. Something real has to be done to pull this bullshit out of the Spin Cycle. His choice for Drug Czar will tell us a lot about what to expect from the new administration. Also, his pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder, at one time favored lengthy mandatories for first time possession. (ie: 5 years for possession with intent to distribute for pot) Does he still? Will Obama allow him to follow through on these bullshit measures?

Keep your eyes and ears on red alert until then.

We need good, thorough research of Cannabis and its medical properties. No bullshit about stoners and drug wars. Just fund the goddamn research.

So you don't like Mexican drug lords coming into this country to grow pot, make millions from its sale and distribution and shooting law enforcement personnel. You know, I don't like it either. If I could go to the liquor store or smoke shop and buy a 10 gram bag of Mendocino Purple Punch for 25 dollars, 15 of which would be taxes, how would that benefit the Mexican drug lords? Who would pay 50 bucks for 3.5 gms of shake from their seedy meth head dealers?

The Mexican drug cartels have nothing to gain and everything to lose from legalization or decriminalization. If they could (and who's to say they don't) they would contribute thousands of dollars to kill any legalization legislation. Crooked law enforcement know this. They benefit from seizures, abatements, and federal drug grants. Their anti-cannabis position has nothing to do with the effects of marijuana on society and has everything to do with what the War on Drugs contributes to their bottom line.

Take the illicit money away from marijuana and you make it safe for consumption by responsible adults. Keep it illegal and you allow the worst drug criminals to make bundles of money, remain as dangerous as Al Qaeda, and sit ever so pretty just a few short miles from our borders. That is not a good thing.

If stoners can figure this out, why can't everyone else?

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Good Goddess, PETA! Put down the hash pipe!

As a responsible human creature, child of Gaia, and devout Earther; I have to say to PETA:

Get off your fucking high horse, will ya!

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have suggested to the fine folks of Spearfish, SD to change the name of their high school to "Sea Kitten High School". WTF?

Now, I've never been a big fan of sports, especially high school sports. Yes, I was the nerdy kid that always got hassled by the big jocks, that is until they needed to pass general science or mathematics. Then I was their bestest friend. Anyway, I'm not a big booster when it comes to high school sports. Too many parents put way, way too much emphasis on competition, to the point where we have parents rioting in the stands when their kids get called by the officials or make a mistake. But this isn't a rant about sports, its a rant about PETA.

'Sea Kitten"? Oh yeah, that name will strike fear in the heart of every cross-state rival this high school will ever face. "Onward, Sea Kittens! Bury the Tigers! Beat the Eagles! Crush the Vikings! Go Kittens!"

Yeah, that'll work. Why don't you folks sit down and have a nice grass-fed beef steak with mushrooms and a baked potato. Animal fat helps promote brain growth.

Guess what? People need to eat to survive. We eat veggies, animals, and in some cases, insects (urp!). In order to make it day to day, one form of life must consume another form of life. Life into life. Fact of nature. Can't change that no matter how many naked painted women you put in cages.

I respect animal rights groups that use their influence to keep our animal kin from being exploited or killed for bullshit reasons. Tiger penises? Bullshit reason. Swordfish steaks? Too few left to fish, gotta stop and let them repopulate. Shooting quail fresh out of a box with the Vice-President? Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. If you hunt an animal, you eat the animal. Take the game in a way that's sporting and gives the beast a chance to get away if you fuck up.

Common fucking sense people, really. Don't like subsistence hunting, don't do it. Turn your energy and resources toward Dick Cheney and his creepy canned hunt bastards. Protect endangered animals that need it, not animals that provide food for the masses. Put your resources toward intelligent management of game availability rather than try to convert everyone to vegetarianism.

Here's the kicker to PETA and their incessant crusade to make everyone a vegan. What is the difference between a cow and a carrot? Sure, one has a face and the other doesn't but they are both alive. They both exist to reproduce and contribute to the grand scheme of the Mother Earth. How do we know a carrot doesn't feel the water as it's being steamed with butter and honey?

Face it. One form of life depends on taking the life from another to survive. Sorry, that's called the Law of Nature and Pamela Anderson can't do anything to change it. Besides, she's having enough trouble with the Law of Gravity. I eat plants and animals to stay alive. I try and make sure that my food didn't get to my plate by less than honorable means and that other forms of life are off the menu due to obvious circumstances. We have brains, we should use them.

And when I shuffle off this mortal coil, my essence will join with that of the Earth Mother. Her children will take sustainence from my remains as I took sustainence from them.

Turnabout is fair play.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

This is getting on my last nerve

Just seat the bitch already.

Roland Burris should be seated by the Senate as soon as fucking possible. Why? Because Reid and Durbin and the rest of the clown college fucked this episode up like the last Seinfeld.

Blago played them like an old tin whistle. Admit it, take your lumps - again - and move the fuck on.

Jesus H. Christ esq. we have a hellova lot of goddamn work to do. This shit is taking up valuable time.

Fuck me to tears, these assholes have no goddamn sense of reality.

(already posted as a comment at

Update: I just can't leave this shit alone...

Here's another comment I posted over at (great place, lots of tasty goods. go there often, then twice more!)

the Shamanaqua response to the Blago/Burris Fiasco...

You know, I have so much hope for this administration. Sure, it's misplaced in a lot of ways and I am setting myself up for disappointment but I think I have to be optimistic. I know that I will disagree with a good portion of what Pres. Obama may end up doing to get us out of Bush's septic tank. He's in charge 'cause I voted to put him there. The economic recovery doesn't have to have the David Aquarius Seal of Approval to take place. Yet, some of my expectations are shared by a great majority of Americans. One of them is that my leaders show some courage and intelligence.

So, having put that out there I have but one question.

What the fuck is going on?

Jesus Christ on a Bicycle, can we refrain from looking like a bad clown circus for one fucking week? Great Goddess, does Harry Reid have ADD?

Here's a suggestion: Think BEFORE you make a decision.

OK, Harry... Nancy...Come over here a second. Here's a few facts that you may have forgotten in your quest for meekness.

One: the Republicans will distort anything you do to bring this country back to their control. It's in their DNA. They are NOT nice people. They do NOT put America first. They do NOT negotiate in good faith. They will stab you in the FRONT as they shake your hand. The Republicans are wounded and beaten. Remember the last eight years? Don't give them a hand up, step on their neck. They've bitten your helping hand every fucking time you held it out. Need another reason? How did the movie 'Old Yeller' end?

Two: We the People are watching. We aren't as clueless as we used to be. We have this rather unrealistic expectation to be foremost on your mind. We would like you to realize just WHO THE FUCK you work for.

Three: Fuck the Media. Fuck going on Fox News. Fuck putting your face in the cardboard hole so pundits can throw pies at you. When you do go on the air, is it too much to ask that you already have your statements PREPARED? What is the benefit of appearing on the Sunday talk shows and getting schooled by every mouthpiece out there including George Snuffleupyourass?

Four: Refer back to the headlines of Nov. 5th. You won the fucking election. Act like it.

So Mote It Be

David A.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Shit Storm

Unemployment figures are out. Lots of good, hard working people are sitting at home right now wondering how $247.00 a week will pay the mortgage/rent, utilities, food, gas and the inevitable unexpected expense.

Been there, hated it! I recently lost 25 - 30% of my wages by the elimination of overtime. The company I work for is like all other corporate icons, cut back on the foundation of your business while keeping worthless middle management fuck-ups fat, dumb, and happy in their gated communities, Lexus' and 6-figure salaries.

No, I'm not bitter. Not at all.

You know, if you make a good wage, earned it with hard work and diligence and managed not to step on the necks of the people around you - Good for you! Be a millionaire, a billionaire even. I don't begrudge anyone being rich, it's what they did to get there and what they do to stay there.

The details of the Obama Economic Stimulus Package are out and they look a bit inadequate. Look, we NEED this package to defibrillate the septic tank that Bush has buried us in. But puny measures will only make matters worse. You don't bring a garden hose to put out a forest fire. At Daily Kos, mcjoan makes a damn good case for using the Stimulus money to rebuild and repair our crumbling roads and facilities at America's national parks. Oh, to hear the Repugs wail over that one!
The point is that we have to be serious about rebuilding this country, everywhere, not just in the places with the big names and high profile footprints. We have to repair a bridge in Omak, WA and I-5 in CA. Let the Repugs wail. Let them go on record trying to hamstring this plan. Let them put their names to the effort to keep America on the canvas. And when the Stimulus Plan begins to bring us around and folks starts to enjoy the fruits of their hard work, we can remind the American People who was with them and WHO was against them.

Republicans want to turn this into another political board game. They want the Dems to cave on the size of the Stimulus Package so it fails badly. Then they will reap the benefits of the failure and take charge again. This time, however, the country will be in such bad shape the GOP will start pushing real draconian measures in a bid to create a new 21st Century feudalism.

This can not happen.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

American Pandemic

Just got this from Daily Kos's Deviltower.

A case of the Walmarts.

This scares the living shit out of me. I don't think influenza could do worse.

Clarification Needed

It has been brought to my attention that my last post ventured into a bit of hypocrisy. Hm... I may need to clarify things a bit.

First, what a person believes is their business. If I ask about it, I expect to hear their opinion with its inherent bias. (Yes, I know... Bias is based on facts, prejudice is based on opinion but I'm being kind) In fact, I ask this question quite a bit. I enjoy listening to people talk about their faith. I learn a great deal about the human capacity to accept certain premises as true while ignoring any evidence they may not be. Such is the lot of humanity.

Second, I may comment on such things, give my opinion of how they err in their thinking, but that shouldn't matter to them. Why would my opinion matter at all? Their faith must be strong enough to survive any reasonable assault on its premises. But, despite any questions or comments I make, I will never tell someone their faith is wrong ... for them. I only make the statement that their premise is wrong ... for me. Christianity is wrong for me. I cannot say it is wrong for anyone else. When Christians try to make their beliefs part of my world, I get heartburn. The public arena is open to all but when religions start using their beliefs to make changes in rules that affect me, I get angry.

Finally, I consider all faiths important in the grand salad bowl of human potential. There is a path that each of us take as we head into the Future. This path is ours and ours alone. It's paved by the things we've experienced, learned, considered and dismissed from our birth to the present and stretches out before us to the moment we cast off this mortal coil. We may walk this path to the Future by ourselves but we are never alone. All paths intersect, run parallel and diverge many times along the way. As we walk our path, we meet up with others on their path. We exchange ideas, state opinions, argue our facts, then we part company (even if only for a short time). Each time we intersect with another's path, we expand our own. One of the problems I see with humanity is that we try to shield ourselves from the paths of others. We must be strong enough in our own faith to challenge it. If it cannot hold up to debate, then there must be change. Holding onto a belief that you have no faith in is, well, hypocritical and shows a lack of personal courage.

Unfortunately, modern religions count on this hypocrisy of spirit. They instill fear and confusion into their dogma, using peer pressure and, in many cases, threats of violence to hold on to followers. (yes, condemnation of one's soul IS a form of violence) If they were to allow free thinking in their ranks, their 'Church of Cards' would surely fall.

Yes, my rants may single out Christianity. I am not as experienced with Islam to do the same, although many of the same concerns I have about the Jesus cult applies to the Muhammed cult. They are two sides of the same worthless coin. Judeism is part of the trifecta in this circus of fools too, but since they've been the target of the other two for so long you kind of cheer them on. In reality, they aren't so innocent in all this. You need only look at the Middle East to confirm it.

I don't have the answers for you. I only have answers for me. If one of my answers applies in some way to a question you have, so be it. That answer becomes yours. I look everywhere for the answers to my questions. When I find something that impresses me, I take it along for the ride to see if it can withstand my journey. If it does, I accept it as part of my path and it becomes one of my answers.

I rant about Christians because they can not, or will not, do this. They are held to a strict set of rules and standards that can only be changed by people who have gamed the system well enough to make these decisions for everyone else. Normally, I would have little problem with this, other than the off chance to challenge a few staunch believers. But these gamers try to make decisions that affect me and that's when I cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Hope that clarifies things a bit.

So Mote It Be,
David A.


a bit of fun with the Faithful courtesy of Goldy at HorsesAss.Org

See you in the Hot Place.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Holy of Holies - My Christian Rant

From time to time, I find myself knee deep in religious falderal, vainly trying to debunk the sordid mythologies that creep into our cultural machinery, clogging the drains and backing up the john. For nigh on 30 years, I've been holding my 'faith' close to my chest while others wave theirs around like a virgin's wedding night bedlinen. People of strong faith, particularly Christian, love to use their faith as a golden bludgeon. They put it on public display so you can be awed by its shiny goldenness but never hesitate to use it should you ask why. I have had a few bruises to show for the questions I've asked.

So, here it is in all its glory... my take on religion and faith...just in time for the holidays.

Christianity began 2000 years ago, give or take a few years depending on which bible scholar's math you believe and whether or not they remembered to carry the one. The story is well known but here is the short version.

The Gospel According to Shamanaqua:

A young couple, freshly married and pregnant, go into a small town to be registered as citizens for a census. They found refuge in a barn and shortly thereafter delivered a healthy baby boy. The livestock found it to be rather entertaining.

Anyway, this baby was foretold to be the 'Son of God' and would lead his people, the Hebrews, out from under the repressive thumb of Rome. He is raised by his father to be a carpenter until the age of 12.

This is the part of the story where it is more fill-in-the-blanks. Not much is written about him for 18 years. This gap gives many of the fringe religions plenty of leeway in creating a whole new set of stories involving this man and his adventures all over the world. But, in the main text of Christianity, not much happens except he becomes an adult. He visits his rather eccentric cousin who lives near the river and gets baptized. Apparently this gives him the incentive to leave his father's business and become a religious prophet. He buys into the 'Son of god' mythos.

For three years he gathers followers, 12 apostles, a groupie named Mary and a host of rich friends. He marches into Jerusalem as people throw palm fronds at his feet. (or donkey's feet if you go by the story) He preaches to the masses, gets busted by the local cops. When questioned about Jesus' activities, his followers throw him under the bus (or donkey, I guess) The Feds (Romans) want nothing to do with him for political reasons, send it back to local jurisdiction and Jesus gets crucified.

The rest is more mythology (faith, if you're Christian) meant to solidify the mystery for the faithful.

Good story. Bit of a downer at the end but it holds up against myths from other faiths.

Now, before you get your bloomers in a bunch, there's no reason to think that this is meant to demean your faith. If you believe that this is the True and Actual History of Jesus Christ, the Messiah then OK, so be it. Why would my opinion matter to you?

I look at all faiths and their mysteries through the same lens, even my own. I have no, repeat no, idea how to answer those lofty questions about the origin of the universe, the reality of '?' (God, Allah, Buddha, Ramtha, Flying Spaghetti Monster, -insert your deity of choice here-) So I do what people of faith have been doing for centuries - I make it up as I go.

I mean, how can we answer those questions when we are so small and insignificant in the grand scope of the Universe? Can a flea relate to the applications of quantum mechanics? Should he? The flea does the best he can within the confines of being a flea. Perhaps some day a flea may come along that can be a little more aware of such things as quantum mechanics but he still ain't no Einstein. He's still a flea, for God's sake.

So we, as puny humans, cast our lot with a myriad of myths and legends. Unfortunately, it is also quite human to maintain that ours is the one true faith and that all others are the myths. Not just myths, mind you, but dangerous and viral myths that threaten to poison the minds of the faithful and condemn us all in '?'s (insert deity here) eyes. Kind of like cheering on your favorite football team but with swords, guns and bombs. Not unlike English soccer.

Christianity lost its way long ago when it decided to become the de facto religion in the world. Never mind that the other religions had a real problem with that position. Thus began the Dark Ages.

When discussing religion, I make one observation that tends to rankle the faithful.

Jesus Christ was the last true Christian, and he was Jewish.

I say this because of the history his followers made after he died. Sure, they were persecuted in the beginning, Christianity certainly doesn't have a monopoly on intolerance. They were a threat to the political theatre that was being played out at the time. But once they got a Roman Emperor on their side, they got a chance at some pay back. Enter the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and you have the start of an oligarchy. Over the next 1700 years, the characters of this theatre changed but the script has remained intact. That's 1700 years of bloodshed over who's God is bigger, badder and more 'loving and compassionate'. Millions of innocent people died because they were raised in a culture that wasn't Christian and refused to change their mind.

There is NO correct faith. There is NO absolute definitive way for us to recognize the Creator. We are small and have not the capacity to comprehend the scope of what it would take to look upon the 'face' of the Creator. All we have are our myths. Sure, they seem silly to those who don't hold them dear but that's the way of humanity. We are individuals and each have a unique way of bundling our facts, our beliefs, our histories, and our experiences into a form that seems reasonable to answer the unanswerable.

I may not agree with your myth. I may even say that it runs counter to everything I believe but I cannot say you should not believe it. Your beliefs are yours, mine are mine. I have as much right to tell you to change your beliefs as I have in telling you to change your fingerprints. The reverse is especially true.

Proselytization and forced conversion are not religious. They are political, abhorant and counter to the development of humanity. The history of these policies has been violent, bloody and responsible for the death of millions of innocent people. All in the name of God. To be more precise, all in the name of Christ or Mohammad. Better still, all in the name of Power.

When the world's religions abandon the premise of conversion of the non-believer only then will they begin to approach what Jesus Christ's real mission was - to lift up the downtrodden and give them a chance to succeed according to their own faith. Until then, it's just another get-rich-quick scheme on a global scale.

Those are my beliefs, your mileage may differ.

So Mote It Be,
David A.