Dave Stancliff 2012-10-28 blogarama.com

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Don’t Forget…’Fall back’: The science of daylight saving time

If colorful leaves and the occasional snowstorm weren't a sign that summer has slipped away, daylight saving time officially ends this Sunday.

At 2:00 a.m. that day, the clocks will "fall back" an hour, meaning brighter mornings but darker evenings for most Americans. (Hawaii and Arizona don't participate in this annual ritual.)

Daylight saving time was first suggested by Ben Franklin, who seemed to mean it as a joke. He wrote in 1784 that Parisians' night-owl ways could perhaps be cured by forcing them to live by the sun's light. (Franklin suggested that cannons at sunrise might do the trick.)

But no one put daylight saving into place until World War I, when Germany instituted the biannual time change to save fuel for the war effort. Britain soon did the same. In 1918, when the United States joined the war, daylight saving time soon followed. After the war ended, however, Congress got rid of the time change. Farmers hated it, because they had to do their jobs by the sun no matter the time on the clock. When Woodrow Wilson tried to defend daylight saving time, Congress actually went over his head, overriding his veto of their repeal.

Getting everyone on the same page
So how is it that we're dutifully turning our clocks forward and back these days? World War II. Again, American officials instituted daylight saving time to save energy for the war. But post-World War II, the United States was less rural than post-World War I. This time around, people supported keeping daylight savings so they could enjoy the summer sun after working hours.

For a few years, the country fell into chaos. Some towns kept daylight savings, while others ditched it. According to David Prerau, author of " Seize the Daylight : The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time" (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005), One 35-mile (56-kilometer) bus ride from Moundsville, W.Va., to Steubenville, Ohio, took riders through no less than seven different time changes.

So in 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, stipulating that while states were not required to implement daylight saving time, they had to chose — no more patchwork time zones. The federal government also took on the responsibility of choosing the "spring forward" and "fall back" days for changing clocks.

     Today's daylight savings
At first, daylight saving took up much less of the year than it does today. But Congress expanded the length of the daylight saving period in the 1970s and 1980s, and finally lengthened it all the way from March to November in 2007.

Daylight saving time has its advantages, such as more post-work daylight in the summer. But the switch can be tough on the body clock. The hour shift can interfere with sleep, especially for night owls, according to a 2007 study in the journal BMC Biology. A 2008 study published in the journal BMC Physiology suggest that people who like to burn the midnight oil have the most trouble shifting forward in the spring, while early risers struggle to "fall back" in autumn. (source) by Stephanie Pappas - follow her on Twitter @sipappas or LiveScience @livescience.

NFL may regret going forward with Steelers-Giants on Sunday

metlife-stadium-exterior-jets

      Good Day World!

Immediately after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York/New Jersey area, members of PFT Planet who live in that particular area of the globe raised concerns about proceeding with Sundays’ Steelers-Giants game at MetLife Stadium.

The NFL has been steadfast in its position that the game will go forward on Sunday, as scheduled.

But should it?  With the Steelers having to travel to New York on game day because their hotel doesn’t have power and no other accommodations could be secured, the Steelers are at a competitive disadvantage, albeit as former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy told PFT last night not a major one.

What about the folks who paid for tickets who don’t have power or who otherwise have more significant concerns right now than spending all day at MetLife Stadium?  Or the folks who can’t get to the game because they have no gas and no way to get any?

Dan Patrick has suggested moving the game to Monday night, which could help locally.  But league logistics make it very hard to move the game to a new time slot.  For starters, CBS won’t want to lose its doubleheader game, especially since there’s no other game scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET.

The best solution could have been moving the game to Pittsburgh.  Heinz Field would sell out instantly for the Giants “home” game, and folks in New York wouldn’t have to make the difficult choice between not getting value for the money spent on tickets and further inconveniencing themselves by trying to get to the game.

Sure, it would be unfair to the Giants to lose a home game.  But the Giants picked up an extra home game in 2005, when the Saints couldn’t host New York after Hurricane Katrina.

There’s no clear right answer to this one, but it’s hard not to think that playing the game in New Jersey as scheduled is the wrong answer.  What do you think? (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Lakers aren’t dead yet…they’re just having a slow start!

As a Laker fan for 50 years, I’m concerned that the Lakers don’t look like a team yet. It’s the first time in 34 years the Lakers have started out 0-3. Their cross-town rivals – the Clippers - roughed them up tonight. What really bothers me is that Steve Nash was hurt in their second game and was out for tonight’s encounter.

Already, questions arise as to Nash’s overall health. I was counting on “Mr. Assist” to smooth over the new look Lakers. As great as they are, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol can’t carry the team – they need help. Their bench looks like another “do-nothing group” that will never outscore an opponent’s bench.

All of which begs the question; how do you get better than the Lakers are on paper? Just look at the talent they have. I’m going to come out and say – without hesitation – “The Princeton Offense” that Mike Brown is trying to sell…STINKS! Pee…you! Yuck!

And where is the defense? The Lakers have been out hustled for three straight games. Flat out. Ouch! How are they going to win games, let alone their division or (fading image) a championship? I’m trying not to panic, after all, it’s still early in the season.

Just looks like it’s going to be a long season for loyal fans like me.

Abandoned Texas pooch found with coffee can around her neck slowly recovering

Veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Sarpong of Metro Paws Animal Hospital thinks the dog wore the can for at least a month. Look how emaciated this dog is.

Two dogs found abandoned off of Interstate 20 and St. Augustine Road in the southeast section of Dallas on Sunday have authorities concerned that the one German shepherd mix found with a coffee container around her neck may have been an innocent victim of animal cruelty. Discovered on Sunday, the emaciated dog with infected cuts around her ears and neck likely wore the metal can as a cruel collar for at least a month.

On their Facebook page, the Animal Allies of Texas described the dog's injuries as life threatening. The can cut into the dog's ear, jawbone, neck, and chest. Every time she moved, the sharp metal edges cut into her body making her life one of intense agony.

View slideshow: Abandoned Texas pooch found with coffee can around her neck slowly recovering

According to wfaa.com, the Dallas Animal Services, who named the dog Java cut off the can, and veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Sarpong of the Metro Paws Animal Hospital stated the four-inch deep, maggot infested wounds were so severe Java needed surgery to cleanse and close her injuries.

A mixed breed German shepherd dog was found in southeast Dallas with a coffee can around her neck. Her injuries were severe, but her rescuers are optimistic the dog will recover.

ava was transferred to Animal Allies of Texas, in Garland who are caring for her and another German shepherd mix found in the same area guarding Java. He appears healthy and has been named Joshua.

Earlier today, Java who has been renamed Olivia by the Animal Allies of Texas were pleased that the sweet dog survived surgery and was doing better. The dog coordinator at the rescue stated the only parts of Olivia's body that weren't injured were her nose and the front of her head; everywhere else she was riddled with abrasions and cuts.

Olivia is also heart worm positive. If you would like to help with Olivia's medical expenses, please click here to donate.

Get well soon Olivia. If you have any information as to Olivia's owner or other information that will help authorities find the person(s) responsible for such a horrible crime, please call Dallas Animal Services at (214)-670-8312.

Nov. 2-4 : Lords of the Gourd Compete for Punkin Chunkin World Title

Punkin

     Good Day World!

 Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a ... well, if you’re in Bridgeville, Del., this weekend, it’s probably an 8- to 10-pound pumpkin that’s been launched into the wild blue yonder by a catapult, air cannon or other mechanical contraption.

It’s all part of the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event, Nov. 2–4. With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, it’s also our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

"It’s the combination of creativity and the oddity of it," said John Huber, president of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA), of the event’s appeal. "It’s problem-solving, it’s creative thinking, it’s artistic. You look at these machines and you just go, 'wow'."

Those machines include catapults powered by ropes and garage-door springs, high-speed centrifugal launchers and cannons that feature massive tanks of compressed air and barrels stretching 100 feet or more.

Each one is the result of countless hours of research, construction and

pre-competition testing. “Everyone who competes has built something from scratch,” said Daniel Collins, part of Team Chucky — which currently holds the world record in the Adult Torsion (rope-powered) Catapult category, with a launch of 3,636.39 feet.

“People spend an inordinate amount of time doing this,” he told NBC NePunkinws. “It becomes an obsession.”

That obsession is apparently rather widespread. “We have farmers to dentists to chemical engineers,” said Huber, who happens to be a nuclear engineer. Not surprisingly, perhaps, he’s also a competitor, whose team — Team Hypertension — has built a spring-loaded catapult that sits on a 14,000-pound trailer and generates 30,000 pounds of force.

“We've invested $75,000 in this thing and it’s just to throw a pumpkin,” he said.

It all comes together on a field at Royal Farms in Bridgeville, where the competitors — 115 this year, says Huber — set up along a mile-long firing line. Some of the launchers are so big they arrive on flatbed tractor-trailers and have to be assembled on site.

At that point, it’s all about winching ropes, stretching springs, aiming cannon barrels and loading slings, buckets and barrels with the appropriately-plump projectile. Firing one at a time across an open field, the results are tallied by ATV-riding spotters, who presumably manage to avoid the incoming ordnance.

“They measure the point of impact,” said Huber. “Trust me, with these distances, the pumpkins leave a hell of a crater.”Punkin Meanwhile, back behind the firing line — and protected by a high backstop — spectators can cheer on their favorites, enjoy live music and browse booths selling food, crafts and clothing. There’s also a chili cook-off and pageant competitions for ages 4 to 18-plus.

It’s all in good fun, but also for a good cause. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the WCPCA donates a large share of the proceeds from the event to several charities and scholarship programs. With 75,000 to 100,000 spectators over the course of the three-day event, Huber says those donations run to the “hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.”

As for this year’s event, it’s expected to go on despite any after-effects of Hurricane Sandy and with the usual degree of friendly competition. Collins, for example, has set his sights, not on his fellow catapulters, but on the biggest guns in the game: the air cannons, one of which holds the overall world record of 4,483.51 feet.

“They used to laugh at us but last year we beat 44 percent of them,” he said. “Now they’re looking over their shoulders. It’s only a matter of time.” - Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. (Source) Top two photos Courtesy World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association. Bottom photo by Joanne Coward.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Consumer Alert: Beware of charity scams in wake of Superstorm Sandy

    Good Day World!

Watch out: The scammers trying to cash in on Superstorm Sandy are on their way. The destruction caused by this storm gives the bad guys a major opportunity to steal your money or personal information.

Symantec, the firm, reports the first wave of Sandy-related spam has been sent. The messages have subject lines such as: “Help Sandy Victims and get $1000 for Best Buy!,” and “Deposit Processing Open Today (Frankenstorm doesn’t stop us).”

These phishing expeditions are designed to snag your credit card, debit card or numbers.

Based on previous disasters, Symantec predicts a rash of cyber-attacks that start with links to fake news stories, photos and videos. These will be distributed via Facebook posts and tweets, Internet searchers, text messages and email.

Resist the urge to click on these unknown links or you could download some nasty malware onto your computer or smart phone.

Charity scams 
This is an emotional time for people all across the country. You want to help, and con artists hope to take advantage of that. They make phone calls and pretend to be a bona fide charitable organization. They set up websites that look like reputable charities. It’s very easy to do.

The online security firm Avast! reminds us that back in 2005, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast, there were at least 15 bogus websites designed to look like the American Red Cross site. Donors who took the bait gave their personal information, such as numbers and PayPal passwords, to the online crooks.

“Charity scams are among the most despicable scams out there,” said John Breyault, director of fraud.org, the National Consumers League’s Fraud Center. “Not only are consumers victimized when they give money to the scammers, but the people who need help to rebuild their lives don’t get that money.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has warned residents of his state to be cautious if they receive calls to make a donation to the storm relief effort.

“Unfortunately, there are some who might use our generous nature to take the donations for themselves, not for those in need,” he said.

A charitable request might be a scam, DeWine advises, when the caller:

  • uses high pressure tactics to solicit an immediate donation.
  • is hesitant or unable to answer questions.
  • asks for the check to be made payable to a person instead of a charity.
  • offers to pick up your check immediately, rather than waiting for you to mail it off.
  • promises a in exchange for a donation.

Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, urges donors to take their time and do their homework before responding to any solicitation.

“You want to know what they do, what relief activities your contribution is going to fund,” he said. “You can’t assume based on the name alone what activities your generosity is going to support.”

To help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, Weiner suggests choosing an organization with some skill and experience in disaster relief activities, such as the American Red Cross.

“A start-up organization, or even an established charity that decides to get involved in relief work for the first time, may have great intentions, but may not necessarily carry it out very effectively,” he cautioned.

Protect yourself: Never make a donation by on a link in an email or text. Go to the site on your own. Be careful with web searches – names can be misleading – you could wind up on the wrong site.

Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into making a donation.

Don’t give your credit card information to an unknown caller. If you’re interested in the cause, ask to be sent information.

Stop, think and check them out. You can do that at sites such as: BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator.

Home repair scams
“After a spectacular storm like this, fraudsters will come out of the woodwork offering to repair damaged homes,” warned Susan Grant, director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America. “They may take your money and just disappear. Or they may start the work and not finish it. Or they work may just be really shoddy quality.”

If you need repair work done and don’t have a trusted contractor, you want to find someone qualified to do the job. And in a situation like this, it won’t be easy. Try to stay calm, so you can deal with the situation rationally.

For major repairs, the Better Business Bureau recommends getting at least 3 to 4 estimates. They should be based on the same specs and materials. Get everything in writing. The contract needs to spell out when the job starts and will be completed, a payment schedule, what materials will be used and what sort of clean-up will be done.

Remember: never make a final payment until all the work is completed to your satisfaction.

Consumer Reports suggests:

  • Try to deal with people who live and work in your community.
  • Ask for copies of the contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance.

(article source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Selling a Right-Wing Bill of Goods: Menards Urges Workers To Take 'Civics Course' With Anti-Obama Content

    Good Day World!

If you live in the Midwest and you're working on a home-improvement project, you're as likely to do your shopping at a Menards store as at a Lowe's or Home Depot. With 270 stores and 40,000 employees , Menards is the third-largest home-improvement chain in the U.S., and one of the largest privately held corporations in the country. But Menards stores sell more than just lumber and building supplies; their employees are sold a bill of goods in the form of right-wing ideology.

This January, as the Iowa Caucuses were underway, Menards began encouraging employees to take an at-home online "civics" course that characterizes the economic policies of President Barack Obama as a threat to the success of businesses such as Menards, and by extension, to the employees' own well-being.

The course, titled "Civics 101: The National Self Governing Will In-Home Training," incorporates much of the material comprising the Prosperity 101 program that AlterNet, working in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute,  exposed last year -- a program concocted by Koch-linked political operatives Mark Block and Linda Hansen, late of the now-defunct Herman Cain presidential campaign. In March, Daniel Bice of the  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the FBI is investigating possible financial improprieties involving two non-profit organizations founded by Block that are linked to Prosperity 101, which is a for-profit venture.

Menards employees who sign up for the course are graded on their knowledge via a multiple choice pass-fail test, and those who pass the test are acknowledged in company publications and bulletins. While workers are not required to take the course, those who hope for promotions may feel pressure to do so, since it is clear that management is paying attention to who is or isn't taking the at-home classes, which are conducted on the employees' own time. The civics course is offered as part of a battery of courses, most of which pertain to products sold by the company, or other aspects of working at Menards.

AlterNet has obtained the online textbook for the Menards civics course. The third part of the textbook, subtitled " American Job Security ," imparts a message similar to the letter sent by Koch Industries CEO Dave Robertson to retirees and employees of the company's Georgia Pacific subsidiary, as well as the e-mail sent to employees of Rite-Hite, a Milwaukee equipment manufacturer, by company owner Mark White, urging them to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. While the Menards course doesn't offer an explicit candidate endorsement, it describes Obama policies in threatening terms, while policies that echo Romney's proposals are portrayed in a positive and uplifting light. (Read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Playing Politics in a Crisis: Gov. Chris Christie makes an ass out of himself

          Good Day World!

The day after hurricane Sandy has been all about damage control. At last count 28 people have died. Authorities fear the toll will increase. President Obama has declared New York a disaster area and millions of people are without power.

Enter the mouth; Gov. Chris Christie.For some reason he’s decided to pick a fight with Atlantic City mayor Lorenzo Langford during the height of the ongoing weather crisis. As far as I’m concerned Christie is the worst kind of political animal out there. What’s really ironic is that he’s a political darling for the Right and there’s even been talk of him running for president in 2016. Hopefully, after this latest demonstration of lack of diplomacy and downright stupidity, there will be less talk of him being our next president.

“Atlantic City mayor Lorenzo Langford escalated tensions with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after the mayor said Tuesday he would welcome the chance “to confront the governor mano y mano” over how he handled the city’s evacuation during Hurricane Sandy.

A day earlier, Christie had criticized Langford as a “rogue mayor” for supposedly encouraging residents to ride out the storm in designated shelters rather than leave the area entirely.

He told TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Tuesday that Atlantic City residents received mixed messages from his executive order requiring everyone to evacuate and Langford’s encouragement to take cover instead.

“I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City, and I guess my anger has turned to sympathy for those folks, and we’re in the midst now of trying to go in and save them,” Christie said.

Langford strongly denied the characterization of what happened, saying the governor was “either misinformed and ill-advised, or simply just deciding to prevaricate.” (Read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Americans Feel Better Off Than Worse Off, Financially

For the first time in more than five years, slightly more Americans are feeling financially better off than they were a year ago, rather than worse off, by 38% to 34%. This represents a significant improvement since May of President Barack Obama's first year as president, when the majority -- 54% -- said they were worse off.

Americans' negative sentiment about their personal finances in 2009 was a holdover from 2008, when the majority said they were worse off financially. Gallup first recorded this in May/June of that year, even before thecollapse in September that sent Americans' confidence in the economy and their standard of living perceptionstumbling.

The data are based on polling conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking Oct. 22-23. The 38% of Americans now saying they are financially better off than a year ago is similar to the 37% recorded in May, but is the highest Gallup has recorded in five years, since October 2007.

Evaluations of Current Finances on Par With 2004, 1984

Americans are not as positive today about their personal finances as they were in 1996 before Bill Clinton won a second term. The 49% who felt financially better off in March of that year is the highest Gallup has seen in a year in which an incumbent president runs for re-election.

Still, while fairly low on an absolute basis, the 38% of Americans feeling better off today is on par with what Gallup found before the 2004 and 1984 elections, when Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan won their re-election bids. Those figures were 41% in November 2003 and 39% in September 1984, respectively.

By contrast, in the three election years when Americans were less upbeat than they are today about their finances -- 1976 (33% felt better off), 1980 (30%), and 1992 (34%) -- the incumbent presidents were defeated.

The political implications of this question are not lost on respondents, who answer in a highly partisan fashion. Six in 10 Democrats (62%) say they are better off than they were a year ago, compared with 34% of independents and 16% of Republicans. By the same token, few Democrats, 9%, say they are worse off, but 40% independents hold this view, as do the majority of Republicans (55%).

Most Are Optimistic About Their Future Finances

Although Americans' evaluations of their current finances, overall, are fairly tepid, 66% are optimistic when asked whether they expect their financial situations to be better or worse a year from now. This includes 80% of Democrats, but also 62% of independents, and 57% of Republicans.

In recent years, this optimism has dipped as low as 52% (in May/June 2008), but it rebounded to 58% in September of that year, even as the Wall Street financial crisis was still unfolding.

From a longer-term perspective, the 66% believing they will be financially better off a year from now is on the high side of what Gallup has recorded not only in presidential years, but at any time.

Presidents who won re-election did so when Americans' financial optimism was as low as 53% (under Reagan in 1984) and as high as 66% (under Clinton in 1996). Financial optimism under presidents who lost included 36% under Jimmy Carter in 1980 and 51% under George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Bottom Line

Americans' evaluations of their current financial situations are hardly positive, with barely a third saying they are better off than a year ago and nearly as many saying they are worse off. Although an additional 26% say their finances are the same, it is not clear in this slow economy whether that's a good or a bad thing. In any case, positive perceptions on this measure have increased since 2009, which could benefit Obama.

Additionally, two-thirds of Americans, near the record high for this three-decade-long Gallup trend, believe they will be financially better off next year. While that likely reflects Democrats' confidence in Obama, it may also reflect the hopes of some Republicans that their candidate, Mitt Romney, will be the president in a year's time. View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

Election News: New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of "War on Drugs"

Just over one week before voters in three states will decide on ballot measures to legalize and regulate marijuana, the FBI has released a new report today showing that police in the U.S. arrest someone for marijuana every 42 seconds and that 87% of those arrests are for possession alone.

A group of police, judges and other law enforcement officials advocating for the legalization and regulation of marijuana and other drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 750,000 marijuana arrests in 2011 -- more than 40 years after the start of the "war on drugs" - as evidence that this is a war that can never be won. With more than 1.5 million total drug arrests drug arrests being reported in the U.S. in 2011, that’s one drug arrest every 21 seconds.

"Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning these people, taxpayers are spending between one and a half to three billion dollars a year just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests," said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "That’s a lot of money to spend for a practice that four decades of unsuccessful policies have proved does nothing to reduce the consumption of drugs. Three states have measures on the ballot that would take the first step in ending this failed war by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. I hope they take this opportunity to guide the nation to a more sensible approach to drug use.”

Today's FBI report, which can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/persons-arrested/persons-arrested, shows that 81.8% of drug arrests were for possession only, and just under half (49.5%) of all drug arrests were for marijuana.

One hopeful sign is that these numbers have decreased slightly from those of the prior year. This is perhaps reflective of the growing number of communities across the country that have recognized the need for drug law reform and implemented new policies designed to alleviate the harms of the drug war, such as the reprioritization of marijuana enforcement. For more information contact: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or media@leap.cc

‘Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America’

               Good Day World!

As the Fall leaves scatter to the ground in a riot of color, the chilly outdoors drives many people indoors. Drinking a hot beverage and reading a book is a nice way to spend a cold day. With Halloween just two days away, I thought it might be nice to recommend a book for the season. Here it is:

Linda Godfrey is so sure about the existence of weird walking wolves that she's written a book titled "Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America." In more than 300 pages, she lays out dozens of stories about sightings of nasty-looking beasts running around on their hairy hind legs. Scientists are unconvinced — but they do admit that humans are virtually hard-wired to watch out for wolves on the darkness.

"The werewolf idea is strictly a product of our imagination, but it comes along with a culture of thousands of years of fear of wolves," said Michigan Tech's Rolf Peterson, who has studied wolves for decades at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. "It's just an outgrowth of that. But there's nothing out there that's anything like a werewolf. It's all in our heads."

Try telling that to Godfrey and the people whose dog-man reports are featured in her book."I've received hundreds of reports over the years ... and that's probably a small percentage of the actual sightings of these creatures," she told me. "So many people are in denial when they have these experiences, because it sort of rocks their world." (Read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AS IT STANDS: Election 2012: Pot Goes To The Polls

  images (18)       

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard 
   The 2012 election is, without a doubt, shaping up to be the most important yet for Americans who want to legalize and decriminalize marijuana.
   Three states - Colorado (Amendment 64), Oregon (Measure 80) and Washington (Initiative 502) - will vote to legalize marijuana on Nov 6.
    Massachusetts has a medical marijuana initiative, as does Arkansas. Local initiatives on the ballot in Michigan are; Detroit (Proposal M), Grand Rapids (Proposal 2), and Ypsilanti (LLEP).
   "At a time when polls show that a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and mega-majorities support allowing medical marijuana or at least decriminalizing possession, it makes no sense whatsoever that so many national politicians look at this issue as some kind of dangerous third rail of politics," said Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority. 
Coupled with the presidential election, these efforts to bring marijuana into the mainstream take on a more critical role for the future of Americans who desire change and a choice.  

  There’s a new project that focuses on helping more people understand that supporting marijuana reform is a mainstream, majority-supported position. The organizers - Marijuana Majority ( http://www.MarijuanaMajority.com) believe the project will play a key role in convincing more elected officials and prominent people to publicly state they think the marijuana laws should be changed. 
  Visitors to the site can see just how mainstream this debate is by viewing and sharing lists of elected officials, actors, medical organizations and business leaders who support solutions like decriminalizing marijuana possession or legalizing and regulating marijuana sales.
  A majority of U.S. voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. Polling also indicates that voters in Colorado and Washington are poised to make history by voting to legalize marijuana on Election Day. 
  If you’re pro-pot and still undecided about who to vote for president, it may help you to know which candidates are for, or against, marijuana legalization and decriminalization.

   Here’s the presidential candidates public positions on the issue:
   President Obama: “We're not going to be legalizing weed anytime soon. What we are trying to do is that when it comes to drugs is that we are not just thinking about it with law enforcement, but we're also thinking about treating it as a public health problem.”
- Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (April 2012)
   Gov. Mitt Romney: "People talk about medicinal marijuana, and, you know, you hear that story: People who are sick need medicinal marijuana. But marijuana is the entry drug for people trying to get kids hooked on drugs. I don't want medicinal marijuana. There are synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need it for prescription. Don't open the doorway to medicinal marijuana."
("Ask Mitt Anything" Event in Bedford, NH 2007 - source)
   Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: “Right now, 75 percent of the cartels’ activities revolve around marijuana. I think as a nation, when we legalize marijuana, we’re going to take giant steps toward drug reform, which will start off with looking at drugs as a public health issue, rather then a criminal justice issue. I just think legalizing marijuana [will cause] at least a 75 percent reduction in border violence due to the drugs [trade].” - Raw Story (April 2012).

  Green Party candidate Jill Stein: “President Obama promised to use a science-based approach to public policy. But when it comes to marijuana, he has continued the unscientific policies of George Bush, and has even gone far beyond Bush in his attacks upon medical marijuana clinics. He supports the irrational classification of marijuana in the most dangerous drug category, and he supports the ban on commercial hemp growing. This is mania-based policy, not science-based policy."
- Speech to Denver 4/20 Rally (April 2012)
   It’s time we recognize that marijuana has been a victim of politics. Scientific studies continue to reveal its numerous medicinal properties. In addition to this election, advocates for medical marijuana may score a major victory if the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rules on taking marijuana off of the Schedule I category of illegal drugs (currently in oral argument phase).
   As It Stands, with nine days left until Election Day there’s still time to make informed decisions about the future of marijuana in America.