weed’s still illegal??

There’s been some debate as to whether marijuana is, at $35+ billion annual revenue –the top cash crop in the United States.  Here’s what we know it is: a cash crop!  And we need some cash! We know that it is not a lethal substance; that is the only “drug” that is plucked from the earth and utilized in its natural, unadulterated, chemical state! We know that it is the most widely used “drug”, including internationally.  We know that using marijuana doesn’t yield the same rate of negative consequences as alcohol; in fact, nothing does: date rape, rape, murder, domestic violence, buffoonery, blackouts, vehicle accidents/fatalities, overdose, jumping off of balconies and other folly-such deaths, strained relationships, job loss, liver disease, heart disease, dementia, encephalopathy, et al.  We know that it was once legal.  We know that slanderous propaganda, off the heels of a failed alcohol prohibition, targeted marijuana to be criminalized within, not only the justice system, but our minds. Some parents get more upset about their children using marijuana–nevermind that some of their children are already drinking– buying into the misrepresentation of marijuana as a gateway drug, when in fact, you are more likely to make a horrible decision, like trying a harder substance, while under the influence of alcohol.  With alcohol,  you may say or do something at any moment to destroy your life–you may become volatile.  You may feel free, without limitations.  You may get beer goggles and then an STD.  You may get beer muscles and get your teeth knocked out.  Now, there are exceptions to every rule and there are some people that can enjoy alcohol without abusing it.  Still, it is the easiest and most frequently abused.  Use and abuse are distinctly different.  No matter how you use it, if you have more than 2 glasses you might feel bubble guts or a headache the next morning.

In the 1980’s, crack hit the US with a vengeance.  Nancy Reagan declared a war on drugs,  marijuana became a schedule one drug and there are people spending their lives in prison on marijuana-related charges.   There are people that are getting arrested in their teens and getting 3 strikes before they hit 21 for marijuana related charges, or the ones that don’t stay in prison but have the felony on their record– the rest of their lives ruined because of this illegal, yet apparently prevalent, cash crop.  I’ll discuss the racial disparity later.  The point is that the United States has the largest prison population in the world, and many people are having to be subjected to prison life and cavity searches despite it being the safest, most natural substance that people are ingesting, including prescription drugs (whether being used as prescribed or abused).

Why can’t marijuana be sold just as are cigarettes?  At this point, what is the point? The government can use the money from marijuana sales to fund drug awareness education.  Why isn’t common sense prevailing?  Everything should not boil down to insurmountable moral debates.   It should be a matter of facts, irrefutable facts- non-debatable facts and when people learn the facts, they should accept them.

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gun control

On my facebook page, some of my ‘friends’ posted things like: when a person is fat we don’t blame the spoon so why blame guns and when there’s a bombing we blame the bomber, not the bomb.  There are some major leaps in logic being made with these arguments against gun control. For instance, you can’t go down to the local bomb shop to size up various bombs that you would like to purchase.  As for the spoon and the fat person, the flaw in the argument is that everyone uses spoons; the fact that someone is abusing the spoon does not cost another innocent person their life, typically.  Why we blame the guns is that:

1. their sole purpose is to kill-guns do not have multiple functions.  You can’t claim that you want to live in a peaceful society but be unwilling to implement some common sense gun laws.

2. it is easier to kill with guns; if gangbangers had to go around stabbing people, there would be less killing.  It’s easy to do a drive by shooting or a mass shooting when you have a gun that makes killing more efficient and impersonal.  Even soldiers that are trained to kill walk away with a heavy conscience when they take another life.   For citizens that don’t have much of a conscience or don’t have proper training to have guns is a recipe for an incident and there have been many. Whether it’s the 2 year old that gets shot or the 8 year old that kills a neighbor, somehow guns always seem to fall into the wrong hands (which hands are the right ones?)

Another friend on FB posted something to the effect that there is more violence (not specific to guns)per square mile in England, where guns are banned, than in the United States.  Again, a heavily flawed argument in that the United States is 5 times the size of England and therefore, on average, their population has less square mileage between them.  The flawed argument is like saying that NYC has more homeless people per square than the state of New York.  While it may be true, it is only because the comparison is being made between 2 unequivocal dimensions of land.  And still, the fact remains that they have far fewer gun-related deaths.

One-upmanship is a losing battle.  A politician said: the only way to fight a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a  bigger gun.  Have we not learned from past arms races?  It seems that people cannot empathize unless they are personally affected, like the various senators’ opinions on gay marriage–all but one changing their mind simply because the matter hit home with their own child being homosexual.  People have no empathy and that’s a real big problem in the face of gun control.

The white man conquered the world by way of guns.  White people, being a worldwide minority, managed to invade, divide and conquer every continent by use of guns.  With guns they were able to colonize and reconstitute societies, changing their language, culture and religious beliefs.  That is how much power guns have and power is the real reason people want to have the right to own them.  It’s not about the government taking over because, truth be told, that’s not likely in this country due to the freedoms that we do exercise.   Additionally, there are other ways to ‘overthrow the leader’, some of which are, ideally, nonviolent.  It’s about feeling superior or feeling like you have the upper hand.

A friend that is for gun control says, “do you want someone mentally ill to have a gun?!” Thing about that is that the ‘mentally ill’ are not all crazed lunatics.  How about background checks for domestic violence?  Domestic violence usually escalates until the shit hits the fan and either the victim becomes the victor or the victim becomes the deceased.  It’s not all about the most obvious groups to deny access to guns because, as we see time and again, guns are getting into the hands of children and ending up on the streets illegally.  And let me say that just because there are ways to get around laws does not mean that they should not be made.   The fact of the matter is that you will never be able to get rid of all guns so the fear that the gun-toters have is lent some credence; that, should they give up their guns, they leave themselves vulnerable to attack.  At the same time, most of the people that want their guns so badly live in low-crime areas.

There needs to be a scale of measure- a standard, a guide, a deterrent.  Common sense gun control includes not having semiautomatic guns.  As for rifles…well, I’m not a hunter and am not certain how hunting qualifies as a sport, but unless you have a hunting license, you damn sure don’t need a rifle.  When it’s all said and done, it always boils down to COMMON SENSE, leaving no reason not to enforce gun control

kids are gross and so are their parents

I attend a class in which there are toddlers, parents and one friendly, affectionate teacher.  There is a kid that digs deep inside his nose and gets boogers and eats them.  I’m talking, tooth under nail to get the last speck, booger-eating.  The mother just looks at him shaking her head.  Meanwhile, the teacher reaches out her hand for a ‘high five’.  This happens repeatedly.

logical conclusions

More on God:

People will say “I just don’t think something came from nothing”.  Ahem… then where did God come from? What did he make himself from? If God can come from nothing and create heaven and Earth and the planets, then it’s just as likely, if not more so, that there was ‘a big bang’.  And this God that created we humans and gave us a manual by which to live even though he sent  His son to give his life for our sins- as we are his children. And the other universes that, apparently, don’t have life since the concept of life revolves around the Supreme Being as the one source all focused on the planet Earth.

And what is God’s goal?  Are we an experiment or are we pets.  Are we the characters in a simulated game through which another life form lives vicariously (think Sims)?  Why is it that man was granted free will, yet, everything that happens is part of his plan and how can there be fate, destiny, God’s plan and free will all at once.  God never gives us more than we can handle, yet people die from stress-related illnesses including suicide.  And if, as in Christianity, Jesus gave his life that we would be saved  so why do we have to get christened and baptized? Everything is applied as convenient to the situation.  If a person dies it could be their time to go even if they die at the hands of another .  So, what’s the point in thinking if you’re not really in control.  But then again, we are in control of our actions and must obey the law of the land.  We must also worship and even though God is omniscient, in some cases we have to confess–not to God, but to a man that is supposed to be the go-between although he’s simply another imperfect mortal.  But then there are the times that we have to go through the hard times in order to get to God’s gift…as though we get tests…more like pop quizzes. Apparently, blessings await everyone that has faith and follow the word.  I could never understand why there would be generations upon generations of starving and warring Africans, albeit war and starvation exist in other areas, it’s clearly more prevalent, enduring and concentrated in African and Middle Eastern  regions.  Sadly, most of the warring is over resources–distribution of them and proprietary rights to them.  We are taught that the people that suffer in life do not suffer in the after life, but for real, what consolation is that?  What it is, is the dogma that was spread among the impoverished populations so that there not be an apprising–tell the people that God promises them paradise in the after life but that in order to attain that paradise, one must obey the rules in a book that, up until recent decades,  the average person couldn’t read. The truth is that I could ever  imagine why one would live  in a fantastical Disney-esque place like heaven and then create roaches and slugs and maggots and death and rotting et al. I had come to terms with the reason that feces stinks- so that we don’t eat it.  One of the laws of nature that exists as part of our survival.  I wondered about a lot of things that should not exist if there is a holy Father that wants nothing but the best for his children.  But we are told God practices tough love.  Additionally, this Father is content on staying out of sight for thousands of years before having a final show down with His arch-nemesis- Satan.  Mind you- God created Satan, too, but like a rogue assassin, Satan has amassed a growing army and wants to challenge the authority of his creator.

For the pious, there would actually be no meaning to life without the daily worship of God.  Instead of living life on Earth people live gingerly so that they might experience the God’s Kingdom postmortem.  People don’t use foul language because of the Holy Book.  I find that peculiar and it suggests that God speaks the same language even though the first spoken languages are not the languages spoken today, including the language of the original Biblical texts.  Not only does he speak the same language but his slang evolves so that words that were once offensive are not and words that were once non offensive are now offensive to even God.  Even though it is not physically harmful, it is one more thing that might jeopardize your ticket to heaven.  I’m not even going to touch the notion of suicide bombing.

The rules of dress are always more strict for females.  If God created women why does he care what you like like with clothes on–he created the nude female body.  God isn’t the one in the pulpit getting hard.  These rules are made to put the blame on women for being sexually appealing to men, who (and apparently God agrees) cannot control themselves if they see a woman’s shoulders or thighs.  What does that say about men?  Especially the religious men.  Men made the rules to keep men in check, but many of those that subscribe to the various restrictions of attire do not understand that concept and, instead of thinking of other men as a threat, they think of women as a problem.  Women are the ones that should be humble and avoid eye-contact.  Women are punished for getting attention.  In some cultures women are expected to commit suicide rather than disgrace the family with a pregnancy out of wedlock.  It’s as though a phantom is knocking chicks up and the phantom is their own wild lust having gotten the best of them (never mind whether she is raped)

Virginia had laws against oral and anal sex, as well as living as a couple, out of wedlock.  So, when having sex, we are supposed to stick to God’s approved positions.  It’s hard to enjoy sex when your eternal life depends on how raunchy you want to be in the boudoir.  It’s like having sex with your parents in the room.  Sex is personal enough that it shouldn’t matter whether you are homosexual because what you do in the bedroom, much like what we do in the bathroom, is private.  Less you choose to make it public, no one should have say in what you are doing as long as you are being safe, not spreading diseases, not having sex with children and not making babies you can’t or don’t intend to feed.  And for those that declare that people choose to be gay, that would suggest that one chooses to be straight–not that it is a natural choice, and it further implies that heterosexuals have contended with homosexual urges.

Priests shouldn’t be required to be celibate.  Clearly it’s not working.  Apparently, when you take vaginas away from men, they make use of other  holes.  It’s been proven the case time and again, in the church and in prisons.   After awhile, one should get the idea that maybe priests have natural urges and desires and maybe it’s not practical to think that they will be able to refrain or that they should have to refrain from engaging in sexual activities.  If sex is such a beautiful thing and should take place between a man and a woman (in missionary position only) then surely, these men that give their lives to God and the church should afforded the same right to have sexual fulfillment.  What is the church’s excuse for all the homoerotic activity and molestation that takes place amongst these men that are supposed to be servants of God.  At the same time, as a unit, the Church is against gay marriage.  There is a major contradiction here; the actions aren’t matching the words.  Of course the Church doesn’t condone molestation, but what is there to be said about the correlation between the expectation of celibacy and the prevalence of sex abuse cases.  Somethings got to give and it needs to be mindset of adhering to tradition over using common sense.

abortion

Abortion is such a sensitive topic; a debate about which, perhaps, only women should be included. The problem with men being involved are the motives.  Men are not speaking from a place of experience, but only opinion.  Judging from the opinions that have made their rounds throughout the media, those opinions should be kept to themselves.  While a male may know what it’s like to have your offspring aborted, the experience of having a developing fetus or zygote extracted from your body, a man will never know (until a woman has a sex-change and then abortion…this is America: you know how we do!).  That said…

Life begins at conception.  Are you kidding me? Babies don’t even know what they are when they born.  They have no concept of life, death, heaven, hell, joy, pain, eating, voiding…they can’t even control many of their reflexes.  Is the concern that the baby might feel the abortion?  If so, the nervous system of an infant is not completely developed, much less that of a fetus or zygote.  Consider this: the way that the human brain works is that in order to have memories, you need to have some degree of comprehension.  To make memories, there needs to be something to equate the memory to– the same with language.  With language, in order to learn there needs to be a point of reference.  For an infant, the points of reference are context clues.  You learn what a bottle is when everytime you drink from a specific receptacle the others around refer to it consistently as a bottle. You learn to associate the woman that cares for you most of the time with the word ‘mama’ etc.  This is why most people cannot remember childhood or infancy.

For ethical purposes I do not think abortions should happen after the 3rd month and I don’t think minors should be able to have them without parental consent. Parents need to be involved at some point in the process since someone is going to have to feed the child of the child if the abortion does not come to pass.  Also, parents need to be involved because teen pregnancy is a red flag.

We’re all gonna die!! Why bring a soul into this cruel world if they’re not wanted to begin with? There a lot of children in foster homes leading destructive, self-loathing lives.  There are children not in foster homes but in abusive homes.  There are  children with no homes, food to eat or future to plan for, since they don’t even know if they, or their caregiver will make it through the night.  Still, there’s a third party, that is not offering to care for these  people or the ones that they are calling names as they stand in protest outside abortion clinics.   There are people killing themselves every minute and abortions happening less frequently than that.  That’s a lot of people killing themselves not wanting to be alive.   Clearly life is not all it’s cracked-up to be.  It brings to mind the saying- the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  What if Hitler’s mother wanted an abortion and was turned away because abortion was considered immoral?  One vs. six million, hmmm. Before someone mentions MLK Jr. let me say that there were other activists and would have likely been another person to fight the good fight.  Not too many people were crazy and powerful enough to  head the Nazi’s.

There a too many reasons that an abortion might be in order to outlaw abortion.

the truth about altruism

I’m a fan of President Clinton.  While speaking with Stephen Colbert on one March 2013 episode of the Colbert Report, promoting the Clinton Foundation, he explained his motives as being selfish.  He said that if you understand the way the world works, selfless is selfish.  I get it and I agree.  If you understand the way the world works…

You need not be particularly compassionate to understand the importance of giving of yourself.  In the grand scheme, helping others, wanting to make the world a better place is more about your own fulfillment.  It may seem too far-fetched and indirect to make the correlation, but the notion is rudimentary.  We tend to act out of selfishness in more ways than we imagine.  I am speaking of selfishness by definition of the word, as opposed to the exclusively negative connotation that may be throwing you off.  To the extent of risking your life for your offspring, you are acting selfishly.  You instinctively, not consciously, know that your offspring is the continuation of your bloodline, thus, self-preservation manifests by way of saving your offspring.  Of course, we understand that our emotional and intimate attachment plays a role but, again, I’m speaking of basic instincts- the physiological reaction that takes place.  Therefore, back to what President Clinton was explaining: ultimately, it is in your own best interest to make the world around you a better place.

In a more peaceful, progressive, self-sustaining society, there is more potential for leading a successful, productive, fulfilling life.  What we give of ourselves in order to help others is our investment.  The problem seems that no one has patience and that we invest in the intangible world of the stock market rather than, say, the education in failing school districts throughout the country.  We do this because we are thinking of ourselves.  Therein lies the traditional use of the term ‘selfishness’.   Still, it is in our own best interest to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.  For one thing, it would reduce the crime rate.  It is in our best interest to make sure that everyone has access to medical care and is educated about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.

Hearing politicians complain about the number of people receiving government assistance but then oppose universal health care or cut school budgets, is an example of how disconnected people allow themselves to be.  It’s like how one neighbor’s house can affect the property value of the neighborhood.  Also similar to how one bad apple ruins the bunch, or how a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  Although his efforts seem idealistic, they are with the understanding that a whole is made from various components and if the whole is to be healthy, so must be the components. To deny masses access to good education and healthcare puts your own safety at risk.  Uneducated and impoverished people are more likely to engage in crime.  Too many unhealthy people drains resources of the able-bodied.  This results in more people in prison, more people dying of preventable illness and more of the nation’s money spent, ultimately, widening the gap between the haves and have-nots. At this point, matters of universal healthcare and better education should not be up for debate.  It is a matter of fact that not having these systems in place is more costly.

Apparently, too many people are too short-sighted, power-hungry and dense to know what’s for their own good.  Man has always been his own worst enemy.  Arms races go on today and, in proposing the greatest threats to the survival of Mankind, scientist do consider Man as one such.  In keeping with the theme of President Clinton, it so happens that it behooves us to be altruistic, even if we have to do so out of selfish reasons.