Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Boomer’s reflections on legal and corporate pot

Good Day World!

For better, or worse, I’m a product of the 60’s revolution.

During those Cheech & Chong days of long-haired young men, free love, flower power, hippies, black light posters, lava lamps, and the discovery of marijuana, I dreamed of a time when weed would become legal.

A universal smoke out.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times my friends and I longed for legality during those hazy, lazy days – even though it was kind of fun getting stoned, knowing we were doing something illegal!

The 60’s was about change above all.

Now, another time of change is leading us out of the dark ages of the “demonic killer weed era” and into the age of medicinal and legal marijuana.  

With more states getting on the legal weed train you’d think Boomers – like myself – would be throwing our canes aside and dancing in the streets with uninhibited glee.

Not necessarily.

There’s still a 60’s stigma – a cultural thing - when it comes to talking about corporations. The idea of the Marlboro-ization of marijuana worries pot advocates for good reason.

“They hoped the market would remain a cottage industry of small-scale growers, collectives and dispensaries. Just a few years ago the threat of corporate pot was a distant concern. At the first marijuana business conferences, for example, organizers saw poor turn-out at panels that conflicted with 4:20 pm, the daily happy hour of weed.

By contrast Las Vegas hosted two massive pot gathering this month, the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo and a “pitch forum” run by The ArcView Group, one of the field’s new investment firms. At both events men and women wore suits and sipped San Pellegrino.” (source)

What a difference a few years can make.

The hope that there wouldn’t be corporate cannabis has been forever dashed, trashed, and thrashed. The rush is on to capitalize and corner the market on marijuana sales.

The poster-child for corporate pot is – ironically – Bob Marley. His family recently signed a world-wide deal to distribute pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes.

The family has partnered up with a private equity firm that focuses on the cannabis industry called Privateer Holdings. The two have struck a 30-year licensing deal, reports Fast Company, to create Marley Natural (what, not Marleyjuana?!), a pot brand that will have a slew of products on the market at dispensaries around late 2015.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, November 23, 2014

FBI arrests 2 would-be bombers while anxious protestors & agititators wait for decision

                              Good Day World!

Some people live for chaos.

Motivated by stirring up trouble and taking advantage of legitimate protests, these dregs of society revel in violence. They give others a bad name by mingling among them, like time bombs ready to go off.

By now the country – and the rest of the world – know about a little city called Ferguson, in Missouri. A white cop shot a black teenager dead, setting off a firestorm that looks like a holocaust in waiting for a grand jury decision.

It’s common knowledge that there’s going to be riots if the grand jury doesn’t indict the cop. It’s also understood – among the waiting protestors and devious trouble-makers – that regardless of the decision there’s still going to be nationwide protests.

A “Justice for Mike Brown Map” identifies dozens of buildings, which could become targets for demonstrators, both those planning peaceful protests and those authorities fear could become violent. Downtown Clayton ranks high because it’s home to St. Louis County’s justice system.

Two troublemakers – members of the New Black Panther Party – have been arrested and charged with federal firearms offenses, according to a law enforcement official’s report to Reuters.

The men planned on setting off pipe bombs during the protests in Ferguson that they knew would follow the grand jury’s decision – regardless of the outcome.

Against this backdrop of heightened tensions, an FBI sting operation exposed Brandon Orlando Baldwin, and Olajuwon Davis’s, plan to set off the pipe bombs. The same pair was named in a newly unsealed federal indictment returned on Nov. 19, for purchasing two pistols from a firearms dealer under false pretenses.

They are more than just agitators. They are would-be murderers. They represent an extremism that has filtered into legitimate protests in this country today. There’s plenty of plain troublemakers – bored individuals who have nothing better to do than to stage endless protests.

At least they’re not would-be murderers like Baldwin and Davis who give a black eye to anyone protesting anything. Unfortunately, the few get a lot of attention. The nation is holding it’s breath.

Fact. Americans are polarized in politics and race relations. It’s a sad comment on our 21st century society. We’ve turned the clock back on these two issues, and are paying the price now.

There will be no winners after a decision is made. The only thing we know for sure is that chaos will reign for an undetermined amount of time.

Related: 

St. Louis County fortifies police headquarters before Ferguson grand jury ruling

Shopkeeper: ‘If they break my window, they’ll put me out of business’

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Get your dog a canine camera for the holidays

In this undated photo provided by GoPro, a dog wearing two GoPro cameras, one on his back and one on his chest, held on by what is known as a Fetch...

In this undated photo provided by GoPro, a dog wearing two GoPro cameras, one on his back and one on his chest, held on by what is known as a Fetch dog harness, dig into sand at an unknown location -AP Photo/GoPro)

                                       Good Day World!

Cameras. Action:

Fido finds stuff on the beach as camera rolls and a friend looks on.

The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to pamper your pet in oh so many ways. One unique – and sure to be popular – item for #CanineCompanions is the new GoPro cameras for dogs to wear.

The Fetch dog harness fits over Fido's chest or back and holds the small, waterproof camera known for attaching to helmets, surfboards, cars and wrists to film rugged adventures. Sony, Garmin and Kurgo also make camera mounts for dogs.

The most pet-friendly camera in the GoPro Inc. line is the Hero4, which allows people to decide what the dog records and control all the functions with a touch screen, company spokeswoman Kelly Baker said. The camera sells for $399, and the mount costs $59.

Those looking for pet gifts besides the traditional treats, new bowls and beds can give something unexpected such as:

UGLY SWEATERS - They are the rage this year, so PetSmart Inc. will hawk ugly sweaters for cats and dogs from Bret Michaels' Pets Rock line ($15.99)

"STAR WARS" GEAR - Dogs will "use the force" with Petco's line of "Star Wars" toys and clothing. Dress up dogs like Princess Leia with a headband sporting her signature bun hairstyle. The Death Star won't menace when it comes as a treat dispenser ($7.49) or tug-of-war toy ($5.99).

DEVICES FOR OLDER DOGS - Make it easier for your senior dog to get around safely with equipment from Solvit Pet Products (www.solvitproducts.com ).

GOURMET FARE - After romping in the snow, pets can warm up with San Diego-based Honest Kitchen's Winter Warmers Broths. Just add hot water to the dehydrated mixes in chicken consomme, beef and bone, and turkey stock flavors. The company, which focuses on natural food good enough for people's palates, offers the $19.99 three-box sets for a limited time.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hiding in plain sight: Court rejects WikiLeak founder Assange’s appeal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central LondonGood Day World! 

After two years wikiLeak founder, Julian Assange, still lives in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London.

The 43-year-old Australian has been stuck there since June 2012 to avoid a British extradition to Sweden, which wants to question him on allegations of sexual assault and rape.

(Photo -Julian Assange (R) speaks as Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patino listens, during a news conference on August 18, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool)

A Swedish court rejected on Thursday an appeal by Assange to revoke a detention order issued over allegations of sexual assault.

"There is no reason to set aside the detention solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy and the detention order cannot be enforced at present for that reason," the Svea Court of Appeal said in a statement.

Assange denies the allegations and says he fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States, where he could be put on trial for one of the largest classified information leaks in U.S. history.

How this standoff will turn out is anyone’s guess.

The only question I have is, “After two years, does Assange speak Ecuadorian?”

Seems like a good language to learn if he’s going to live in that embassy the rest of his life to avoid being tried for rape.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will the ‘Mirai’ usher in a hydrogen-based society in the US?

Mirai, fuel cell vehicle, Toyota, Toyota Mirai, Toyota fuel cell vehicle, hydrogen vehicle, hydrogen car, hydrogen fuel cell, toyota hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, sustainable transportation, green transportation, green car, eco vehicle, 2015 Toyota Mirai

Good Day World!

Electric cars have become commonplace.

Now, there’s a new technology on the block that’s arrived like a fresh breath of air. 

Toyota’s new fuel cell vehicle – Mirai - was unveiled on Nov.17th. The new technology includes the vehicle’s fuel cell stack, its converter, and its hydrogen storage tanks.

The Toyota Mirai can travel 300 miles on a single tank of compressed hydrogen, it has 153 horsepower with 247 lb-ft of torque, and it can go from 0-60 mph in 9 seconds. The hydrogen car will be available in California in the fall of 2015 for under $45,000 after incentives. It’s coming to the East Cost shortly thereafter.

But the automaker is promising much more than a sleekly styled zero emission vehicle; Mirai translates to “the future” in Japanese, and Toyota’s goal is to pave the way to a hydrogen-based society.

Mirai, fuel cell vehicle, Toyota, Toyota Mirai, Toyota fuel cell vehicle, hydrogen vehicle, hydrogen car, hydrogen fuel cell, toyota hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, sustainable transportation, green transportation, green car, eco vehicle, 2015 Toyota Mirai

Why Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and there are many ways to produce it – including natural gas, wind, solar, geothermal, and bio-waste.

While there’s obvious reservations about the use of natural gas, the technology does provide an effective means of storing excess solar and wind energy through electrolysis, which uses an electric current to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.

For transportation purposes, hydrogen tanks can store more energy in less space than batteries, and it only takes 5 minutes to fill a hydrogen tank at fueling station – compared to the hours it takes to charge many electric vehicles.

As long as the source of the hydrogen is clean, hydrogen vehicles are 100% zero emission – their only byproducts are water and heat.

Toyota decided to make its first commercially available hydrogen vehicle a sedan for two reasons. First, they saw the challenge of packing a fuel cell system into a relatively compact vehicle as an opportunity – this forced them to work within constraints and develop a system that works on a small scale (but that can be scaled up to power utility vehicles, buses, and even airplanes).

Second, they know that in order for the vehicle to start a revolution it had to be accessible and appealing to the mass market, and sedans are the largest segment of vehicles on the streets today. (Source)

The Mirai has been 20 years in the making.

Will it’s new technology become as common as electric cars some day? Time will tell. Meanwhile good luck finding a filling station.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Juggalo followers threatening Portland businesses

635519238261013990-juggalo-note

What the heck is a Juggalo, you ask?

In a July FBI report Juggalos were classified as a "loosely organized hybrid gang."

The report said those who identify as Juggalos have committed assaults and vandalism, and a "small number" of them have engaged in more serious crimes.

In the past two weeks, about a dozen businesses in North Portland have received the same threatening note — featuring the black-and-white mask of the Juggalo fans — telling them to leave the neighborhood.

Employees arriving to work at restaurants and shops on November 6 found the black-and-white postAP_Insane_Clown_Posse_Gangers taped to their front windows, reading, "You have been targeted by the Juggalo Family to get...out."

(Insane Clown Posse members Joseph Bruce, aka Violent J, left, and Joseph Utsler, aka Shaggy 2 Dope, are seen after a news conference in Detroit on Jan. 8, 2014.(Photo: Carlos Osorio, AP)

Juggalos are followers of hardcore hip-hop groups such as the Insane Clown Posse, a duo popular in the 1990s that raps about horror scenarios and other violence.

Juggalos insist worshiping the band is simply a lifestyle, but the federal government has labeled them a criminal gang.

Last year, two Corvallis men affiliated with the group made national headlines when they were arrested for beating up strangers.

‘Mr. Perry’ Won’t be Going to Washington

Good Day World!

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s plans for a 2016 presidential bid aren’t looking good.

He’s going to court on charges of abuse of official power and coercion of a public servant. A Texas judge refused to quash two criminal felony indictments for abuse of power, ruling that the potentially embarrassing case should proceed.

An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August on charges of abuse of official power and coercion of a public servant. He's accused of publicly threatening, then carrying out, a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors after the unit's Democratic district attorney refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction.

Call me silly, but I can’t see how this is going to help “Mr. Perry” as special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, calls him.

I don’t see Republicans rallying around Perry. That’s surely not a good sign. What scant support he did have slipped out of the room when it was apparent a trial was going forward.

Perry might as well have a Scarlett A sewn on to his cowboy hat and jacket – for ABUSE of POWER, because his fellow Republicans surely don’t want to be tainted with that accusation.

Regardless of the outcome of this trial, I don’t see Mr. Perry going to Washington!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Clear Look at the Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Good Day World!

It helps to have a good overview of things.

In an age of sound bytes it’s not always easy to understand the entirety of an issue. Regardless of the subject – from immigration to constitutional rights – we often only hear one side of a story.

Sometimes we hear both sides of a story, but the bias on each side still obscures the truth.

Let’s take the Keystone XL Pipeline project as an example:

First and foremost; this controversial project is providing Canada with the ability to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.

Now a look – from every angle – at the proposed project that was approved in the GOP controlled House. The lame duck Senate rejected the pipeline bid today, however.

I suspect it’ll be back though.

There’s misinformation about the project coming from at least three different interest groups.

The first interest group is a profit-driven energy industry that sometimes seems incapable of telling the truth and regularly subverts representative democracy via legalized political bribery.

The ridiculous job creation and national security claims emanating from energy trade groups, like the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, are meant to mTar sandsislead the public about Keystone. Not to educate.

The struggles this worthwhile project is experiencing are a perfect illustration of the downside of the energy industry's heavy-handed political ways, its penchant for half-truths and sins of omission, its alliance with the Republican Party, and its cavalier attitude toward the suffering its quest for profit growth creates among the 99%.

The second interest group is comprised of environmental organizations advancing the fiction that energy without risk is possible in the near term. They routinely hold energy projects hostage to sometimes impossible environmental standards and their opposition to Keystone is really about their opposition to global warming and the Canadian tar sands.

Environmental groups have a vested interest in waging this battle because of past environmental damage, because the American public doesn't trust its own energy industry, and because the attendant media attention boosts donations from a population that doesn't fully appreciate what fuels its laptops, cars, lights and hot water heaters.

The third interest group is an ethanol farm lobby that is getting rich by diverting corn from food production to fuel production. Less Canadian oil increases ethanol demand. The problem with ethanol farmers is that they're also cavalier about the suffering created among the 99% by the higher fuel and corn prices they favor.

Meanwhile, political hookers and pimps are profiting from both sides as they work our pay-to-play government for legalized bribes. They've squeezed more than $1.65 billion from the energy sector and more than $80 million from environmental groups since 2008, according to the Open Secrets website.

The vast majority of those political donations has been slipped into Republican G-strings. The lobbyists and their politicians are also cavalier about the disproportionate burdens they place on the 99%”

(Condensed version of “The Keystone Pipeline is a Good Idea… Misleading the public to secure its approval is not” By Victor Epstein-2012)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Recap: Top 3 National/World News Stories

Good Day World!

It’s been an interesting weekend.

Putin gets chilly reception from world leaders.

Russian for the Exit: Putin Denies He Fled Summit Pressure

New research shows that thousands of kids have faced serious — and potentially deadly — side effects after consuming energy drinks.

Energy Drinks Can Be Deadly for Young Children: Study

More than 170 passengers and crew on a nearly month-long cruise that docked in California on Sunday fell ill with norovirus while on the ship, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Cruise Ship Hit With Norovirus Outbreak Docks in Los Angeles

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How I survived flying with 2 cats, a missed connection, and the worlds worst upset stomach!

Good Day World!

Vacations. Don’t you love the memories they leave behind like snapshots in a photo album?

I’ve created some new vacation memories recently, but I’m going to leave a few photos out of my new album. Like ones of me puking on the plane trip home. But, I’m getting ahead of myself on this story.

Let’s start at the beginning.

My wife of 40 years (the length of our marriage is important in understanding how I survived my ordeal/trip home) and I adopted two of my father’s cats. His collection of six cats had to be thinned out because at 87 years-old that many cats are too much of a challenge.

When my mother died, my father started rescuing cats. He’s had quit a few since, some of which he did find homes for.

After a great visit with him, my wife and I brought two of his feline friends home. It meant having them fly on the plane with us. Not in cargo space. With us on the plane, on the floor between our feet.

Have you ever flown with animals? Cats in particular? I can tell you from experience they don’t enjoy flying. We flew in two airplanes to reach our destination – home. We didn’t sedate the cats on the first flight.

Mistake. It was like riding with lost souls screaming then growling in guttural tones that made your blood crawl! Our fellow passengers probably entertained thoughts of throwing us, and our cats, overboard!

We sedated them for the second plane ride. But there was another problem.

We missed our connection and had to spend nine hours in a very cold Seattle Airport until the next available flight to Medford, Oregon at 6:45 a.m. the next day.

Have you ever slept on connecting chairs? It’s impossible. I even tried the floor, but my sixty-four year-old body rebelled. Then I got sick after having a ten-dollar beer and a ten-dollar Whopper.

I have a bad stomach when it comes to flying anyway, and PTSD. Now you’re beginning to get the picture. It was ugly. My soul mate was up to the task however. Somehow she got me and the cats on the last plane.

We were in the rear seats. The poor guy in front of me, and the woman to the left, had to endure 45 minutes of my retching into a plastic bag. (Note: those bags smell so bad they alone can make you heave.)

We finally made it home. For now, we’re not introducing the cats to our pug, Molly. They’ve been traumatized enough. That meeting will come in good time when everyone (me included) is feeling better.

Time for me to walk on down the road…