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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

It’s long been out there amongst my friends that I’m an ally and supporter of the LGBT crowd. However, I want to a chance to come out as a different kind of ally. I want to say that I support drug legalization and an end to the war on  citizens. I have three major points I feel strongly about making.

1. Medical cannabis is a matter of compassion for me. There are things good people can disagree on, this is not one of them. I believe those who are facing the most dire of diseases and situations ought to have access to whatever makes their quality of life better. This is not negotiable to me. I find it utterly and unforgivably shameful that our leadership gives these patients a hard time.

2. My moral code has nothing against feeling good. America’s protestant heritage seems to want to make anything that makes people happy seem sinful and bad. If you resist the things you like whether they be drugs or coffee or sex that is your decision and I can’t and won’t make you do any different but I do not share that ethos. I am a proud, self- indulgent individual and there is nothing wrong with someone who works a long hard day coming in and smoking or drinking or otherwise fulfilling whatever impulse makes their day brighter. As long as you are an adult and you like it and you aren’t putting another earthling in danger do as you will. Enjoy that toke, enjoy that cocktail, enjoy that experience that makes you human. I refuse to see the recreational use of any drug as bad so long as it is not interfering with a person’s ability to live what we would consider a normal, productive life. At no point in time do I confuse the legalities of my present day country with my morals. Just because something is legal does not make it right and just because it is illegal does not mean it is wrong. I refuse to see otherwise decent people as criminals just because the state wants me to.

3. Drugs are illegal because of racism and greed. That’s it. It’s not about keeping people safe. It’s about racism and greed. Please by all means read up on it. Read about Hearst and DuPont and the fear mongering they did in their day. Read about the attitudes toward the Chinese and Mexicans. Read about what the government is doing to present day South Americans.

And then when you’re done reading that go to the November Coalition and see what you too can do to help those caught up in this disastrous failure we call a drug war. It’s a war whose only winners are the cartels and the government, the rest of us lose. We lose safety, we lose freedom, we lose whole generations to the school-prison pipeline. I think it’s time it stopped. You do not have to be a user of drugs to know this has gone too far. I think it’s even more important in a way for us non-users to be known as allies. As long as the group in question is “the other” it’s easy to demonize them.

So there you go. The chips will fall where they may.

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America Wins Big

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Why I’m Voting For Barry

That’s right, I am voting for Barak Hussein Obama. His middle name doesn’t scare me! A rose by any other name….(people! It’s only a name, and one his parents picked.) Barry is going to make a great President!

I’m for Obama out of pragmatism. At our family’s income level (under 60K) he simply represents the best choice. He won’t be raising my taxes. I checked. I’m also voting for him for other reasons, though. I don’t like Palin. I don’t have any respect for someone who does the things she does. I don’t want to just vote against someone though. I want to be able to vote for someone. I want to be for choice, for hope, for progress, for the future. Barry represents those things.

I want to have America’s standing in the world back again. I know some people don’t care what others think. Well, good for them, but my skin isn’t that thick. I want to be able to be proud of my country, again. I love America, but I am embarrassed at things like Guantanamo Bay the same way a parent would be embarrassed at a 3 year-old’s public temper tantrum. I want to feel that my country is acting honorably and leading the world to higher standards.

I know exactly who the real Obama is. He’s Barry: a dad, a husband, an American. He’s a teacher. He’s a volunteer. He’s a man. He’s as ordinary as any of us. He drops his stuff in the doorway, he forgets anniversaries, (come on, who hasn’t forgot an important date!) promises his kids a puppy. He’s just a guy. If we let him though, he will be the guy who guides us into a new Golden Age. We can pick up the pieces from our moral and economic collapse and re-embrace the freedom and prosperity our forefathers intended us to have. Slough off the old nationalism, racism, and selfishness of the past that has gripped this country and become the true “shining city on a hill” that we all know we can be. Obama has awakened the activist spirit of the young for a reason.

Free market capitalism will not save us. As much as I love it, and the profits and neat stuff we can buy, there is some point at which capitalism must give way to patriotism. Patriotism- love of our country must come first. Capitalism won’t fix bridges and schools. Capitalism won’t make sure math and science are taught successfully in schools. There are some things in which the “free market” (which I think is a misnomer, anyway) has no interest. Patriotism must pull us together to rebuild our country, under Obama’s lead. We need a new version of the WPA. We need infrastructure built and jobs produced. We desperately need to get our energy under our control. We are on our knees as a nation and we need a President who will lift us up, not kick us when we are down.

Kicking us when we are down is exactly what McCain seems to think is in order. Last night’s debate, where he said that there will be no Social Security (well in fairness, he said there wouldn’t be the same kind of benefits in the future- but- also in fairness, considering how much people struggle now when they have only Social Security I can’t imagine reduced benefits being worth anything) for the next generation was a deal breaker for me. We pay a significant amount to Social Security. Everyone does, but the percentage does not change as the income lessens the way taxes do. The percentage taken hurts more the lower the person’s income is, of course. So while they take the money many of us should be investing, they make no promises to help out later. On that note, what are we to invest in? Stocks could lose their value, yet a savings account won’t beat the inflation rate. How exactly are we supposed to fund any retirement we workers may want later? Add to this the taxation of any health benefits one may receive from a company and you have an attack on the middle class. Understand, ladies and gentlemen, McCain wants to tax you on the insurance you get at work- so while your income will not go up, you’re actual take home pay will go down. (Less cash in your pocket.) Ok so he gives a $5000 tax break for the insurance you pay. So?! A year’s worth of insurance is way, way more than that. ($10,000+ for a family) That is not acceptable to me. McCain lost my vote on Social Security and taxes. That should be noted by the Republicans, for I am not a lifelong Democrat.

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Why I Can’t Vote For Sarah Palin

I am a mom. I am happy to see how far women came in this election. I just can’t see casting my vote for someone who cares so little about animals and books. How do I teach my children to respect wildlife yet vote for a woman who gleefully destroys it at every opportunity? Alaskan citizens voted twice, once in 1996, and once in 2000, to ban the inhumane practice of aerial wolf and bear hunting. In both cases the legislature overruled their decision. Why? Apparently chasing animals down to the point of exhaustion is profitable. They enjoy the trickle of money from the mining companies, timber companies, and hunting guides. They want fewer predators and more moose and caribou for the “sport hunters.” Though, even the hunters agree the act of aerial hunting violates all standards of fair chase hunting. No matter to Palin, she went on and spent a whopping $400,000 to try and get Measure 2 that would prevent this, tabled. A clear effort to thwart the public will. Now, she has put a $150 bounty on the head, or leg in this case, of every wolf in Alaska. Even though there are fewer wolves to kill this year than in past years.

Measure 4 was a proposal aimed at stopping the Pebble Mine from dumping huge amounts of cyanide and mining waste into the streams that run into Bristol Bay. The Bay of course is home to the world’s largest Sockeye salmon fishery. Under Alaska law the governor is not allowed to take a position on ballot initiatives. Palin broke that rule by stating, “Let me take my governor’s hat off for just a minute and tell you personally: Prop 4—I vote no on that.” She even used the mining industries slide show in her presentations around the state.

She’s also quite a litigious person, another value to which I don’t subscribe. She is filing a suit in U.S. District Court challenging Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne’s decision to list polar bears as a threatened species. Even though Kempthorne added a rule meant to stop any new restrictions on gas and oil industries as a result of the listing. That is not enough for Palin and her cronies. They view following the laws of our great nation as “a big time-and-money-waster.”

Literacy is another subject close to my heart. I tend to view librarians as often our last bastion against censorship. I take book censorship seriously because I believe strongly in education. Sarah Palin does not. According to both time magazine and the New York Times, Palin asked Mary Ellen Emmons, (now Mary Ellen Baker) the town librarian at the time, “What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection.” Ms. Emmons was shocked and replied, “The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.” At the time she claimed her inquiries were rhetorical. However, they turned out not to be so. Emmons received a letter from Palin asking for her resignation. The letter just said Palin didn’t feel Emmons supported her. Public support helped her keep her job, as Emmons had been town librarian for seven years and was quite well liked.

Let’s just hope public support can stop Palin again.

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