Today, Marc Emery, Canadian citizen, loving husband, pot advocate and general mensch, will plead guilty to selling cannabis seeds over the internet in a federal court, and as part of deal with prosecutors, will avoid a possible life sentence, instead receiving 5 years in prison. The media has dubbed him "The Prince of Pot", and indeed, he is singlehandedly responsible for a large portion of the seeds that were cultivated to grow cannabis throughout the world over the last two decades.
in the 90's Marc emerged as one of the world's most tireless advocates for cannabis law reform, and for the rights of medical and recreational cannabis users. It is my hope that we can honor Marc and send a clear message this November 2nd. By organizing for, donating to, and passing Proposition 19, we can finally start a national dialogue about the failure of the drug war, the injustices against our families and society that prohibition has wrought, and the fissures between law enforcement and the communities they serve that have formed as a result.
I have many intelligent, talented friends in my social circle, most with college educations and a wide range of skills, who are currently unemployed. Many lost jobs from being laid off during the downturn, many more have not had the opportunity to hold a career-track job since graduating from college.
I consider myself lucky. I essentially gave up on degree-track college, and occasionally take a class if I really want to learn something, and avoided tens of thousands of dollars of debt. I manage a wine bar, and do okay. I've had this job for almost 4 years, and it's served me well through my late 20's. During my early 20's, I would skip from job to job, with ease, essentially taking whatever job best suited my purpose at the specific time. I worked in child care, restaurants, photography, digital media, real estate, sales, retail, you name it. I'm a master of the cover letter, and my resume is amazing, because I know how to sell myself to potential employers.
The point of this is that I have never had trouble getting jobs, and I have always firmly believed that if you want the jobs bad enough, you aren't miserably unqualified, and you sell yourself properly, there should be no issues. The job will be yours, IF you play the game properly.
Taxes, debt, deficits, Tea Parties, "populist anger", financial crises, there sure is a lot of hootin' and hollerin' about money these days.
Sadly, the debate over these issues has pretty much been "NO MORE TAXES!" and then we reply "SHUT UP, YOU'RE AN IDIOT!", and it goes back and forth, back and forth.
There's actually some interesting things happening, long-term in our tax policies that really worth having a substantive conversation over. The current trends do quite a bit to explain the popular anger at taxes, though the specifics of the anger tends to be quite displaced, just as the media and our capitalist overlords planned it. The reality is there is a ton of room to craft tax policy, making it more just and fair for the people waving misspelled signs in the street, if we can actually manage to have a discussion about it.
Lots of pretty graphs and statistics below the fold. Prepare to get your wonk on.
In a game of chess, a poor player can adopt a last-ditch strategy to prevent a loss. By allowing all of their pieces except the king to be captured, they can maneuver their final piece into a corner with no escape, preventing further moves and effectively ending the game in a draw. Stalemate.
A stalemate won't earn you any regard from your peers, but it does create a situation in which the poorer player's lack of skill technically goes unpunished. It's a push. And in the eyes of a gambler, a push is a win.
At this point in American history, the Democratic party has finally achieved the majorities that are absolutely necessary to push major progressive legislation forwards against institutional and corporate interests. We hold nearly 2-1 majorities in both the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, our Republican opponents, who's pieces we've systematically hunted and captured over the last two decades, have resorted to a last ditch effort. Unfortunately for us, a stalemate for a conservative is more than a push. It's an accomplishment. More after the jump....
AP NEWS (Washington, DC)
------------------------------------------------------------------------- In a televised press conference today, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain declared his sweeping plan to roll back the laws that govern physical existence, both on this planet and throughout the universe.
"Today, my friends, I am proud to announce my intention to remove the legislative barriers that inhibit our universe, and discourage growth. For too long our reality has been constrained by the laws of gravitation, thermodynamics and quantum physics. When I am president, I will remove these barriers and allow the universe to grow in new, dynamic and innovative ways."
While his statements were unspecific, a detailed plan appeared on his campaign website within the hour, explaining precisely his intentions and methods of removing outdated and no longer relevant laws that govern the movements and behavior of everything in the known universe, down to the smallest sub-atomic particles.
My friends, I know that we can all get sucked into our own little world of internet laziness.
Commenting, writing diaries, preaching to the converted here at the Kos... god, it feels good doesn't it? Unfortunately, while the blogosphere is becoming more powerful, ranting and sharing information (while helpful for us) does very little to shift the winds of Washington.
And right now, winds are shifting in a way that could be described as "The Shaft". That's what this bailout plan is going to be if we don't get our acts together!
That's why we have to do something we haven't done in ages. We're going to click the links below, find our senators' and house member's phone numbers, and we're going to call them, one at a time, until they've all actually heard our real voices (or at least their aides have).
Conservative. Small Government. Individual Responsibility. Hand Up, Not a Hand Out. Reform. Tax Relief.
This stuff sounds great, doesn't it? These are a few of the characteristics that Republicans have managed to attach to their image in the collective unconscious. But those of us who actually pay attention, know that these "ideals" of conservatism are rarely met in governance, and when they are the solutions they produce rarely manage to address the issue in any significant way. I think this video really speaks to reality.
Pelosi and her bretheren have really screwed the pooch over the last few weeks on this offshore drilling issue. When Palin came on board and threw ANWR into the mix, it really seemed to flummox all the dems, Obama included. Between the "rising star" personality she brought to the table and the pinch in American's pocketbooks, the Republicans have managed to take a nonsense proposal and make it seem like brave, maverick-y action.
It's time for drastic action on the Dem side as well. Everyone has pretty much agreed that this "Drill Here Drill Now" mantra is a symbolic guesture. Let's get symbolic, too, and then back it up with some kickass ideas, people!
Like many of us, I grew up indoctrinated with my parents' political beliefs, to the extent that is really possible. I rode in the car as Rush Limbaugh spoke, washed the dishes as my well-to-do parents complained about over taxation, and bought the personal responsibility selling point hook, line and sinker. I was a true believer.
I even read both of Limbaugh's books, before I was even fifteen years old. And I loved them. His nasty attitude towards those he disagreed with, his snarkiness, his willingness to mock and use humor against his ideological foes.... lovely. It was easy to believe that environmentalism was an overblown scam, that all feminists were lesbians and abortion-lovers hell bent on forcing "political correctness" on us, that allowing wealth to grow at the top helps those on the bottom....
All of these things seemed to make sense to my adolescent mind. But most of all, I loved the succinctness of talking points. One-liners to disarm and flummox your opponent, painting them into a corner. How great is that? Just memorize your line, and bang! Argument won.
Everything about McCain's behavior over the last several weeks have suggested that he fully intends to make abortion the central issue of this fall's campaign.
His blunt statement about abortion at Saddleback should have been a telling sign. He stated that life begins
At the moment of conception. I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate, and as President of the United States, I will be a pro-life President with pro-life policies. That's my commitment. That's my commitment to you.
There's even the possibility that McCain saw/heard Obama fumble the abortion query, while outside of his "cone of silence", spotted a weakness, and decided to dig in.
My open letter to everyone who is bustling around the internet telling everyone who will listen that Obama is a socialist! A socialist! And then standing back, waiting with gaping mouth, for people ...