Media, Politics

Turn over a new leaf

10.22.10 | Permalink | 2 Comments

This is a great advertisement for Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in California. Generally speaking I’m a no vote on propositions because I view it to be the legislature’s job to propose laws. However, from time to time, there is a proposition that is worth supporting, and Prop 19 is one of those.

For the record, I do not use marijuana, I’m more a beer kind of guy. However, if any consenting adult wishes to indulge in the wacky weed, I believe that should be their right and that choice should not be criminalized.

This video is not only cute, but it’s effective. The only benefit they miss is the reduced expenditure on police and prisons (they do hit crime reduction) used to enforce laws which clearly ineffective (much like alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s.) The combination of legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana will contribute to a wealthier, healthier, and happier California with reduced expenditures on useless laws and increased stimulation to the economy as the industry develops in the daylight.

When you go to the polls (or vote by mail as I and many others do) read about Prop 19 and make an informed choice.


WTF Democrats?

10.15.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on WTF Democrats?
WTF America?

The last couple of months have been pretty puzzling in terms of what the Democrats are trying to achieve going into the election cycle. They seem to be doing things randomly and without a clue (much like the Republicans leading up to 2006 and 2008…)

First, the moratorium on offshore drilling was lifted, without any palpable reaction from folks who were up in arms a few short months ago as the Deepwater Horizon spewed oil uncontrolled into the Gulf. What’s the deal here?

Second, a judge struck down “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” effectively ending the policy – a stated objective of the Obama Administration (and something that is so clearly needed that Republicans are challenging the Administration’s request of the judge to remove the injunction.)

Finally, the suspension or extension of the Bush Tax Fiasco as a no vote before the election is a clear miss. They should have forced the opposition to take a stance.

The thing that is puzzling, nay maddening, is that these items provide an opportunity to take a stand on things that the party allegedly stands for. To wit, “No, we will not lift the moratorium. We need to balance our needs for energy with protection of the environment. Therefore, we are going to keep the moratorium in place until we are satisfied that drilling operations will be handled safely and responsibly, not just in the Gulf of Mexico, but everywhere we have responsibility to protect.” That would be a stand, it would be clear and consistent.

On DADT, “We believe in equality for ALL citizens, regardless of race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. This is a core principle of democracy and it extends to all of the men and women who wish to serve in the military. DADT is a clear violation of this principle and it’s appalling that a judge has had to take this action to effectively end the policy, it should have been handled legislatively a decade ago. This is evidence that our balance of power between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches is alive and well.”

Finally, on the tax cuts, take it one of two ways. First option, “We are concerned with the economy and one of the core problems is the deficit. We cannot in good conscience carry on a policy that we clearly cannot afford and as a consequence, we are electing to end the ill advised tax cuts uniformly and at the same time commit to reduce Federal expenditures by X% per year taking into account the following actions (to be enumerated.) The combination of these actions will have a net positive effect on the economy by addressing the structural problems in the Federal budget.”

Option 2, “We are concerned with the economy and one of the core problems is the deficit. Despite the fact that Bush Tax Fiasco coupled with profligate waste in two wars spanning nearly a decade and desperate actions to help stave off global depression have created this problem, we do not believe changing the tax structure at this time will have a strong enough positive impact on the budget to take the risk to change it at this time. Consequently, we will extend the Bush Tax Fiasco until 2013 and will pursue reduced expenditures by ending the two wars and reducing our spending as an outcome, step up our collection of TARP funds from financial firms that are now flourishing as a result of the public’s action, and examining closely the core expenditures in the Federal government to reduce spending by x%.”

If the Democrats had a brain between them, they would stand up and let their freak flag fly. 40% of the country wasn’t going to vote for them anyway, doesn’t matter what they say, it’s the 20% in the middle who don’t really align with either party they are fighting for. Being Not Bush was enough in 2008 (heck, even Republicans were sick of that act at that time) by it’s not enough now. Stand up, be proud, be consistent, be just, be smart. Have some courage, show some conviction, show some passion. For pete’s sake, you’re pitiful.

Right now, it’s pretty clear to me that neither party is competent. Either could fuck up a two car parade. And the so called Tea Party isn’t the answer either. Is it too much to ask for a modicum of consistency, common sense, and/or decency from our political leadership? The whole situation would be funny if it weren’t so serious.


A Compelling Vision for Religion’s Future Role in Society

10.08.10 | Permalink | 2 Comments
Bowling as an analog for future religion

Recently I ran across a great PZ Myers quote talking about what the role of religion should be in society as we further evolve and distance ourselves from faith-based myths….

What I want to happen to religion in the future is this: I want it to be like bowling. It’s a hobby, something some people will enjoy, that has some virtues to it, that will have its own institutions and its traditions and its own television programming, and that families will enjoy together. It’s not something I want to ban or that should affect hiring and firing decisions, or that interferes with public policy. It will be perfectly harmless as long as we don’t elect our politicians on the basis of their bowling score, or go to war with people who play nine-pin instead of ten-pin, or use folklore about backspin to make decrees about how biology works.

My add to this would be, that bowlers stop attempting to recruit me into their bowling league. Let’s keep these intrepid bowlers in their bowling alleys enjoying their hobby without feeling the need to disturb others. We can dream…

Innovation, Media

Great Video from Retroland

10.02.10 | Permalink | Comments Off on Great Video from Retroland

This thing was shot for under $2k and features one of my favorite old songs. Since we’ve been watching a bunch of Mad Men around here, perhaps it struck that chord too…..Whatever Lola Wants by The Satin Dollz video created by Dan Blank.