T.J. Sheen, who lost his leg in an accident and now wears a prosthetic, smokes marijuana during the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo on Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The event featured speakers, panel discussions, growing aids, smoking paraphernalia and an area for people with medical marijuana cards to light up. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
AS IT STANDS My name is Dave Stancliff. This is my personal blog. I'm a retired newspaper editor/publisher; husband/father & Vietnam vet, Laker fan for 60 years. All opinions are mine unless otherwise noted.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Is the GOP okay with extremists calling the shots?
I sometimes write articles for ALL VOICES, an online publication. This is my latest article with them.
“The whole Republican Party is being painted as extremist because hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck are speaking for it. It doesn’t help that these purveyors of fear have the ear of so many Conservatives and outright nut cases. Lines do become blurred after a while.”
Library Late Fees: let’s go after the founding fathers!
“If George Washington were alive today, he might face a hefty overdue library fine. New York’s oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the president has racked up 220 years' worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned.”
To read the rest and see some other founding fathers who borrowed books but never returned them click here.
Obama pushes bank reform, lashes out at GOP
He accuses Republicans of waging ‘deceptive’ attack against measure
“President Barack Obama accused Republicans on Saturday of spreading misinformation about a Democratic bill that aims to tighten oversight of Wall Street banks and their practices.”
One thing is for sure, the Republicans are going to still oppose ANYTHING Obama proposes. Anything. This following quote really spells out their tactics from the moment Obama became President.
“All 41 Republicans in the 100-seat Senate expressed their opposition to the bill in a letter on Friday but said they were willing to work with Democrats on the issue.”
Notice the lock-step attitude even when they claim they’re “willing to work with Democrats.” Does that sound like they’re really going to look at the issues, or continue to do what they have been doing? That is, being the Party of “NO,” because they got kicked out of power by a majority of Americans and resent it. They long for the “good old days” when Bush plunged the country into economic chaos and took Americans rights away with things like the so-called “Patriot Act.”
"What is clear is that this crisis could have been avoided if Wall Street firms were more accountable, if financial dealings were more transparent, and if consumers and shareholders were given more information and authority to make decisions," Obama said in his weekly address.”
Obama’s above quote is based upon facts, things discovered after the Wall Street traders schemes were exposed. This what what he’s trying to prevent from happening again, but the Republicans, in full partisan fever, don’t care. They just want to see Obama fail at anything. A pathetic goal to be sure, but it’s what they’ve embraced.
Friday, April 16, 2010
It’s looking like Wall street thieves are going to get their just dues soon
Is it possible? Are Americans going to see Wall Street bad boys get more than a tap on their greedy little fingers?
Wouldn’t that feel good to see them tar-and-feathered, then paraded down Wall Street in portable jails? Ahhhhh…one can dream. I suppose I’ll be happy if the SEC just nails some of the bigger thieves and institutes some meaningful reform.
Is the SEC Opening the Floodgates?
“Securities-fraud charges related to the subprime debacle have been few and far between until now (plenty of mortgage originators have been indicted, but Wall Street has remained mostly unscathed). By naming the most prestigious firm on Wall Street and a world-famous hedge fund—Paulson & Co.—known for making some of the biggest profits by shorting subprimes, the SEC has signaled that there may be a lot more indictments to come.
And there ought to be. All indications are that, in the late stages of the subprime-mortgage bubble, the kind of alleged fraud identified in the complaint was far more common than is typically acknowledged.”
IN A RELATED STORY:
Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder
“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.
I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.
As It Stands (Recent Visitor Map)16th April 2010 09:33:46
WHERE DO AS IT STANDS READERS COME FROM? AS YOU CAN SEE THEY’RE WORLDWIDE.
248 Visitors have stopped by just this morning to visit by 9:33 a.m. PST. I’ve been averaging 978 visitors a day since January. I’m learning that a large percentage of both US and foreign viewers come from schools and colleges. That is probably why readership drops on weekends by as much as half of the weekday visitors.
It’s been awhile since I thanked you all for stopping by. THANKS! I really enjoy doing this blog and your readership is the icing on the cake. Have a great weekend!
Chocolate may be good medicine for liver patients
Rejoice Cocoa drinkers everywhere! There’s another good reason for you to have your favorite drink. Here’s the good news.
“Cocoa-rich dark chocolate could be prescribed for people with liver cirrhosis in future, following the latest research to show potential health benefits of chocolate.
Spanish researchers said Thursday that eating dark chocolate capped the usual after-meal rise in abdominal blood pressure, which can reach dangerous levels in cirrhotic patients and, in severe cases, lead to blood vessel rupture.
Antioxidants called flavanols found in cocoa are believed to be the reason why chocolate is good for blood pressure because the chemicals help the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen.”
Steven Hatfill was investigated for years before being cleared; no apologies
As Hatfill said, “The government can do whatever it wants to anyone, at any time, just based upon suspicions.” Scary but true.
This man’s story is NOT unusual, or the exception to what happens to people when the government even suspects them of any crime.
Back in the early 70s I had two friends that were peace activists that were harassed by local police and the FBI. They followed them around for months (openly) hoping to catch them doing anything illegal. They both smoked pot (which could land your ass in jail back then) and they basically had to quit during that time. Here’s Steven Hatfill’s story:
Exonerated anthrax suspect: FBI harassed me
“The man falsely accused by the FBI of sending letters laced with deadly anthrax spores has received a big settlement from the government, but never an apology for destroying his life.
What’s more, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill told TODAY’s Matt Lauer during his first interview since the September 2001 attacks, neither the Justice Department nor the FBI has been held accountable for breaking the law and lying in their pursuit of him.”
Thursday, April 15, 2010
When the Army Uses "Enhanced Interrogation" on an American Soldier
By Joshua Kors/ Investigative Reporter for The Nation
“I had been covering veterans' issues for several years and thought I'd developed a thick skin.But the pain on the other end of the telephone line was difficult to stomach.
Sergeant Chuck Luther, now back from Iraq, was describing his journey to hell and back. The worst part, he said, wasn't battling insurgents or even the mortar blast that tossed him to the ground and slammed his head against the concrete — it was the way he was treated by the U.S. Army when he went to the aid station and sought medical help.
In gruesome detail, Luther described what happened to him at Camp Taji's aid station. He thought he would receive medical care. Instead he was confined to an isolation chamber and held there for over a month, under enforced sleep deprivation, until he agreed to sign papers saying that he was ill before coming to Iraq and thus not eligible for disability and medical benefits. "They wanted me to say I had a 'personality disorder,'" Luther told me.”
Go here to read the rest of this article.
Tea Parties on Tax Day features people who aren’t aware their federal taxes went down last year, while state taxes went up
What a grand gathering of uninformed people as the
Tea party tour ends in the capital it loves to hate
Activists in several states also organizing anti-tax rallies Today
“Lost in the rhetoric was that taxes have gone down under Obama. Congress has cut individuals' federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion, leaving Americans with a lighter load despite nearly $29 billion in increases by states. Obama plans to increase taxes on the wealthy to help pay for his health care overhaul and other programs.”
A protester wears an American Revolution era flag and an Obama picture during the Tea Party Express rally in 2009 in Washington, DC.
Related: A tea party group is demonstrating in the front of the Eureka Court House in Humboldt County today. No photos available at this time.
Taxation dates back to Mesopotamia
It's small comfort, but may help you put April 15 in perspective
“During tax season, millions of us pore over paperwork, fill out forms and gripe about how much money we're putting in Uncle Sam's bank account.If it's any consolation, the history of taxes goes back at as long as there are written records, according to Tonia Sharlach, an assistant professor of history at Oklahoma State University who studies ancient Mesopotamian taxes. "I'm sure there were earlier taxes that we just don't know about because they didn't have writing," she says.”
To learn about seven taxes through the ages go here.
“One of the taxes that he thinks people complain about the most are the funeral parlor taxes — I guess some things don't ever really change," Sharlach says. "People would gouge people trying to bury people and he's trying to change those practices as well as some others.”
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Huckabee likens gay marriage to incest, drugs
If this is an example of the kind of candidate the “Party of No” is going to field for the next presidential election, Obama will be easily re-elected.
I don’t believe the majority of Americans revile gays and lesbians. In this day and age, most people realize sexual orientation is not a crime against anyone.
Possible 2012 GOP candidate says some lifestyles too far outside 'the ideal'
“Mike Huckabee, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, says the effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry is comparable to legalizing incest, polygamy and drug use.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Hoyer slams 'deniers' of racial incidents at Capitol
Well…well. Will the voice of reason reign over the violent rhetoric from all lawmakers?
Let’s stay tuned and see what happens shall we?
“House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a plea for civility Tuesday, calling on his colleagues not to "incite the public" and criticizing Republicans who doubt whether much-discussed racially charged incidents during last month's health-care debate ever took place.
Returning from an Easter recess marked by heated partisan rhetoric over health care and a rash of high-profile threats against members of Congress, Hoyer suggested at his weekly press briefing that there was a link between what lawmakers say about each other and how their constituents behave in response.
Hoyer emphasized "the need for all public officials -- all members of Congress of either party -- to urge the American people and conduct ourselves in a way that provides an environment for civility.... That debate ought to be civil, ought to be constructive, and ought to be designed to educate the public, not incite the public." Read the rest here.
Parents may not recognize bullies
Many fail to see aggressive behavior in their own children
“Some common misconceptions may lull the parents of bullies into failing to recognize warning signs.
Bullies are often star athletes or popular girls considered charismatic leaders by peers and adults, experts say. What's often missed or passed over as minor is a consistent pattern of control and aggression against other kids — behavior that socially savvy bullies can sometimes slide under the radar of grown-ups.” Photo source
Monday, April 12, 2010
Vintage B-Movies that may bring back memories
Bizarre titles, even stranger storylines, cheesy effects and dead-serious acting.
All this adds to the esoteric charm, and even to the addiction that some people feel toward vintage movies and posters -
Multiple tours of duty linked to PTSD
I’ve been writing about PTSD in the military for years. Because of my own experiences, and the help I got in counseling, I understand the condition. There’s been numerous books on the subject. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles have talked about PTSD being prevalent in returning combat veterans for years now.
The thing that troubles me the most is everyone already knows what a problem it is to send a man or woman into combat for numerous tours. This headline almost makes you think it was a new discovery. More importantly, why hasn’t something been done about it? Back in my time, we only HAD to do one tour in Vietnam. This new generation is facing multiple tours. How can any human be expected not to come out of them unscathed? It’s unrealistic, and to my way of thinking unfair.
It’s time that we, those who believe this practice is wrong, stand up and tell President Obama and the Pentagon warmongers to stop sacrificing these men and woman on the altar of their ambitions. Iraq and Afghanistan is this century’s Vietnam. When will we realize that and tell out politicians (of all parties) to stop the madness?
Veteran: ‘I wanted everything to stop. I had no peace at all.’
“It wasn't his first tour in Iraq, but his second and third when Joe Callan began wondering how long his luck would last — how many more months he could swerve around bombs buried in the dirt and duck mortars raining from the skies.It was only natural, considering the horrors he'd seen: One buddy killed when a mortar engulfed his tent in flames.”
NYT: Doctors ‘tune in’ to hallucinogens again
Scientists study use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, addiction
"It was a whole personality shift for me," says Clark Martin, a retired psychologist, on his participation in an experiment with a hallucinogen.”
Photo by Alan S. Weiner for The New York Times
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As It Stands: Tea Party Utopia: no taxes, no government
Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 04/11/2010 01:27:11 AM PDT
Give me liberty! Or, at least a tea party.
No. Not that kind. Not a party where women gather to sip tea, munch sweet confections, and exchange lively conversation. I mean the kind our forefathers had when they dumped the British tea into Boston Harbor. They were fed up with paying taxes on the popular beverage.
Have you had the opportunity to go to a modern, political tea party? Perhaps you've seen one on TV. They're messy affairs attended by people holding up misspelled signs and posters that show President Obama painted like the Joker in the Batman movies and comics.
Tea Party members fear (in no particular order) that Obama is the Anti-Christ, he's not really an American citizen, and he's a Communist. I've yet to see persons of a minority race at a political tea party. I'm not sure why that is. It would be nice to see the mainstream media showing tea party rallies that include people of different races calling to “get their country back.” I don't think that's happened yet. I could be wrong.Go here to read the rest. Image source
My Great Uncle Was Rescued in The Famous Los Banos Raid
A change of pace today. Here's a snippet from the history books. The Los Banos Prison Raid by Philippine guerrillas a...
It's hard to believe that so many people viewed this column ( There's a monopoly on marijuana growing & research in America. &q...
By Graeme McMillan Part- Star Wars homage, part-alternate history , If Star Wars Was Real retells the history of the 20th century with so...