Friday, March 06, 2009

Sometimes you have to step away

Got a bit of bad news the other day. Wasn't sure how to put this in words without sounding all maudlin and weird. But here it is... one of the good guys is hanging up the keyboard.

Now, I could have gone on his site and left a nice message to him saying how we'll all miss his counsel and all that. That's a given. His words were much larger than mine on subjects I only met in passing. He brought me to bear on things as diverse as peak oil, sustainable gardening and hunting for subsistence. But no, I have to put this here 'cause it's more than a mere comment. It's a statement of honor.

My long time buddy, Monkeyfister is calling it done. He will still be hammering out at Blah3, thankfully but his site has gone on permanent hiatus.

He's got his reasons and has let us in on a few of them. He's mentioned frustration and exasperation with the liberal blogosphere, how sometimes he feels like he's screaming at the wind.

Well, my answer is simply no. The wind may still be blowing but there are quite a few of us who brave it to hear what he has to say. Many times, we get insulated in our quest for substantial effect on this world. We feel that what we do or say doesn't make the waves it should. We get so wrapped up in our work and our words that we fail to see the subtle, quiet waves that we make that erode the shore and change the course of the river. His voice especially. His is a wisdom that comes around only a few times and, unfortunately, can get buried in the din of the nonsense and bullshit of every day life. That's too bad because we need people like Monkeyfister more now than ever.

For years, I floated this blog along like an old penny. Never getting rid of it but not using it to its full potential. I would write a post, knowing that no one would be reading it merely to satisfy my ego. Shortly after the election, I decided to write a bit more. MF happened to click on my link from a comment I had left at his place and he arrived at this humble place in the woods. His words of encouragement were a tonic for me, gave me the confidence to continue to add to and expand on the posts here. For that I will always be grateful.

Monkeyfister has his reasons for doing what he's doing and I'm allowing him the space to accomplish what he needs to do. If he needs my help and I can give it, it's all his. No judgments from me, just thanks for being there when it was needed.

We all have demons that follow us around, hellbent on disrupting everything we work our hardest for. MF is no different in that than I or any of a million other bloggers. He is the best person to deal with those demons, not anyone else. My job, if he needs it, is to be supportive and honest.

Here's to you, shipmate.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Pain sucks

Had to stay home yesterday. I don't take many days off from work. There was a day when I could go years without missing a day. Not anymore. Seems the years are catching up to us. (and grabbing us from behind, kicking the shit out of us and taking our money)

I have some grief with circulation in my legs. Not to get too graphic but I have to go to the vascular clinic every week to have my legs wrapped up. Not a pleasant experience.

The pain was off the chart yesterday so I stayed home to writhe on the floor, crying like a toddler with a toothache as opposed to doing it at work. I couldn't sit still long enough to post anything or concentrate on the next part of my series on cannabis.

Which brings me to my next point. After talking to my primary care provider (those are doctors, right?) I can get a prescription for medical marijuana. WTF?

You mean, after years of stalking about back alleys, going to some stranger's apartment that reeks of strawberry incense and beer, whose walls are plastered with Judas Priest posters and Mexican blankets; dudes that look like Cheech and Chong's alien love child and pay exorbitant prices for shit that's still, I can go to a place and buy some Bhab legally without fear of Johnny Law coming down my driveway with a warrant to turn my life inside out?

Good god, Martha, am I in Heaven?

Not quite. Now, the reality...

I can get medical marijuana but only if it comes from a recognized source. The law is kinda iffy about getting it from 'other than official' sources. That said, there are no official sources. There are cannabis clubs but they are miles away and I can't drive too much any more.

I haven't been a customer of the ghanj in a long time. This is new territory for me. The other impediment is my employer. You see, in the liberal world I live in, if the state says its OK for me to smoke pot for my pain, then my employer will just go along with it.

Yeah... right.

I work for a large international corporation that has every new employee pee in a cup upon hiring. They frown on people coming to work with the munchies and smelling like bong water. Regardless of what the State of Washington said about my ability to use cannabis for medical purposes, federally I would still be breaking the law. And that law would be the one my employer would follow.

Simply put, if I use my prescription and start smoking pot; I look for another job.

This is the conundrum of medical marijuana. As long as the federal government has cannabis listed as Schedule 1, meaning there is NO medical benefit from the drug, there will always be a solid legal foundation for anyone fired or dismissed for using it.

So, I have my prescription but can't use it. I am in pain and can't find relief short of nasty opiates and pain killers that would make me dependant or worse. (Visions of Rush Limpballs come to mind - 'shudder')

Today, I'm not so bad. We'll take it day to day and hope for the best. In the meantime, I'll keep pounding the hammer on changing the laws to allow folks like me to, not only get the medicine they need, but get the legal right to do so without fear of reprisal.

Addendum: Heartfelt thanks to Grandpa Eddie and Liberality for their words of support. I'm not one to put my aches and pains on the Toobs for all to see, but I felt that a point needed to be made about the shortcomings of the medical marijuana laws.

I'm not as bad as some folks who really need this law changed and its for them that I do this work. I was a recreational user for years and would be again if circumstances were different. I feel that makes my marijuana needs secondary to those of folks who really need the herb for relief.

Addendum 2: Thanks One Fly, you bring up a point I neglected to make very clear. I am old school in that you show up to work at the best you can be. If you're too sick to work, stay home. I hope I didn't give the impression I would be quaffing the ghanj while working... no, no, and fuck no. But One Fly made a point in that even if I'm completely sober while at work, I still would test positive on the Whiz Quiz. For whatever reason my employer wanted to request a test, I would fail due to prescribed use even if only at home. On a federal level, being only a state prescribed drug doesn't offer any protection against dismissal. If I were hurt at work through no fault of my own and I were tested for pot, I could be denied benefits due through employer-based workman's comp.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Mythology of the GOP

For decades, the popular view of the Republican Party has been the 'Daddy Party', the party of responsibility, frugality, and measured, conservative advance. For decades, the popular view of UFO's has been little green men from some distant world bent on the destruction of our world.

I put more credence in the little green men.

There is no 'Daddy Party' unless you count a bunch of immature children playing dress-up. Take any Republican aside and look very close at their pet issues and beliefs and you will find a hodge-podge of contradictions based on fear and greed. The average Republican is terrified that he will not get all he wants especially if it belongs to someone else. It's the anger of the selfish spoiled child who wants it now! Add to that the distinctive stench of racism in the form of entitlements and giveaways. Our Republican friends firmly believe in equality of the races but only in measured amounts. They consider all minorities equal, just not equal to them. When society tries to right the great wrongs of the past, they get all bent out of shape because lifting minorities up would lower them.

Liberals and progressives have always looked to the other side with a fair bit of exasperation. We can't seem to gather our troops together as they do, have lots of problems keeping on message like them and constantly have to rein in outliers who stray too far from the flock. For all our supposed scholarship and intelligence, we still find ourselves trapped by the ignorance and abject stupidity of the GOP. We look to the GOP lemmings as they run off the cliff and say "Gee, I wish I could rally the troops like that!"

Our diversity is our strength. That's the reason it gives us so much grief. Nothing of value will ever come easy. If it does, we usually find out the true value later and at much cost.

Republicans know this, they have to. It's foolish to believe that all Republicans are clueless idiots like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. They have to realize that the things that matter most to Liberals and progressives are based on reality, facts that can be verified. They have to know these things because they go to such lengths to rebut them; to scatter ridiculous claims and fabricate tragic scenarios should our policies come to pass. They use fear mongering as chaff around the Media to obscure their real purposes.

What used to be relegated to tin-hat conspiracy theorists is slowly gaining attention in the progressive blogosphere. It begs to be published, to be spoken about outside the shadows and back rooms; even to mention it in popular circles of scholarship is taking a bold step.

The Republican Party wants America to fail.

Oh, they want to keep the name and all the old stuff in the museums, like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Jeffersonian Bible, etc. The Republican Party wants to gut the American system of government. They want to bring us back to the old ways of feudal Europe with all the modern toys and goodies.

The Modern Republican Party wants to increase the chasm that exists between those who have lots and those who have little. Those who have none are expendable.

A 21st century feudal society would have most Americans working long hours for just enough pay to subsist. The elite would be separate from the unwashed hoard by economics and politics. Two societies would exist; one of privilege, one of work. The worker class would be divided among the industries that need them the most. Corporate icons would control the lives of its workers much the same as it cares for the machinery it operates. The workers class would have few rights and privileges save for a few earned as incentives. Children would only be allowed if a person showed the necessary homage to the Party, including its principal of "do onto others before they do onto you." Citizens who displayed cruelty and inhumanity would be allowed to advance, move up the ladder of success. Those who displayed humanity and kindness would languish in abject poverty and toil for showing weakness.

Sound outlandish? Like a bad science fiction movie? The reality is right in front of us. We see the building blocks of this scenario falling into place as we speak. A couple of years ago, I would have been called a nutcase for suggesting this.

Am I still crazy?

Consider the current talk coming from the Right. The leaders of the Republican Party want to return to the ways of the Bush Administration. They know that this will lead us further into debt, cause the economy to sink deeper into depression. Only from the ashes of the American way of life can they rebuild their Corporatist dream. People like Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove know that the only way to get people to support them again is to scare the living shit out of them. The current economic downturn has the potential to be that object of fear. It's a 'godsend' to them. (to corrupt a saying) By scaring people into electing their chosen toadies and supporting draconian measures to 'protect the American way of life'; they hope to put the final nails in Free Democratic America's coffin.

What they didn't count on was the appeal of Barack Obama. The election of 2008 was a disaster for them from the start. They couldn't get their candidates to stay on message and keep from self-immolating themselves. They had hoped for another Democratic candidate, like Hillary Clinton. I'm sure, at first, they thought 'Gee, let them select the black guy. America will never elect a n......!' To which, I'm forever proud to say, America said "Fuck you and your racist bullshit!"

Now, they are on red alert. Events haven't been that kind to their plans. Most of them are in desperation mode, eating their own and looking out for 'No. 1!' (In their case, it should be 'No. 2') But be put on notice that we aren't out of the woods yet. Lots of things can happen at a moment's notice which could put the GOP on the fast track once again. Vigilance is the key. Keeping our troops rallied together wouldn't hurt either. (not so subtle dig at the Blue Dogs)

We have to be very careful not to overreach. We can't afford to get over-confident nor too conservative. We have to listen to our best and brightest but give the ordinary a platform too. We are only as good as the least among us.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Flush the Rush

This shit is embarrassing.

For eight years, they were the king makers, the power elite. These people tortured, stole, trampled the Constitution and made war against any who opposed them. They went out of their way to prove just how rugged and tough they were by clearing brush, watching NASCAR, going to county fairs, and wearing padded flight suits.

Well, surprise, surprise... it's was all an act.

Our Republican lawmakers talk a good game but have spines made of Jell-O. They're pissing all over themselves to keep from crossing that fat bastard, Rush Limpballs. They squeal and scream like a bunch of tweenie girls at a horror movie when he speaks. They can't disagree, they won't disagree. No way, no how.

Look what happened to Michael Steele.

He criticized Limpballs, called his show ugly and got hammered. He was so quick in retracting his statement, his little pee-pee must've got whiplash. He handed over his jimmies so fast, FedEx couldn't have done better. Who could've guessed that Rush Limpballs was such a big collector of testicles?

At the presser yesterday, Robert Gibbs tosses it back to the meager press to find out who owns the Republican lawmakers balls.

I thought the Democrats were spineless. At least some of us have no problem straying from the herd. Damn inconvenient it may be, but at least we have some independent thinkers. Like Gibbs, I want to hear from the lips of Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, and the rest of the GOP congressional leadership if they agree with Limpballs that they want the president to fail.

Just one question, that's all. George Snuffleupyourass, Chris Wallace (yeah, right), David Gregory, any of those clowns on the Sunday talk shows should ask this one question and gauge the response. Get a picture of their nuts beforehand, 'cause they'll soon be snuffed out of existence.

Here's to the party of Lincoln Limbaugh. This would be entertaining if it wasn't so fucking pathetic.

Update: Add another set to your collection, Rush. Apparently, Rep. Cantor is giving his up.

So Mote it Be,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Attack of the CPAC

Ewww.... just ewwww.....

That whole CPAC thing was like walking through a rendering plant. I haven't seen a more fetid gathering of vermin, mold spores and dung beetles since my septic tank was replaced. I hear Mike Rowe was there filming an episode of his show working as a busboy.

David Neiwert, from Crooks and Liars, has a graph up that shows what the rabble hoard that attended this crapfest thought of Pres. Obama's job. Needless to say, they weren't too impressed. Not enough torture, no trampling of the Constitution, hasn't filled his government with toadies from Liberty University, and for some unknown God Forsaken reason, he insists on doing what's correct for the American people - even those who didn't vote for him!

OMFG! He's fixing the country!

The lesson needs to be learned that these people are not looking out for their country. No, these greedy bastards are just out for themselves and their portfolios. Pres. Obama is tapping into their source of gold, the American dime, and this has them in a whirlwind of anger. Bush left them with a bonus of 350 million dollars of TARP funds (with no strings) but not Pres. Obama. He wants to put strings on the next round of funds so we, the American people, can track who gets what.

Personally, if the CEO of a large corporation wants a golden parachute, I say give it to him. Strap 50 pounds of gold to his back and toss him out of an airplane. Maybe he can use the gold to buy himself a prayer.

The road ahead isn't going to be a cakewalk. Progressives and liberal moderates are going to have to fight for every inch of ground we take. We can't let the demon hoard take the initiative here. We have to face them on every issue and show Mom and Pop America who's really looking out for them.

Complacency is not an option. Keep the message out front and fight, fight, fight!

So Mote It Be,
David A.