Saturday, May 8, 2010

Legalize pot? Get mom onboard

Image: Crystal Guess


Crystal Guess talks during a news conference to launch the Women's Marijuana Movement in the State Capitol in Denver on Thursday.

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Activists target women in push to legalize marijuana


She founded, and fought, Mother's Day

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis' life was consumed by the holiday she started

She started Mother’s Day then spent the rest of her life fighting the holiday’s commercial and political exploitation of it.

Mother’s Day or Mothers’ Day?

Photograph of Anna M. Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day, taken in Westchester, Pennsylvania, in 1907.

When her mother died on May 23, 1905, Miss Jarvis worked untiringly to have the second Sunday in May set aside each year as a day of honor to the mothers of the nation.
© Bettmann/CORBIS

This airy illusion leaves you looking for the birds

FIND THE EAGLES – There’s SEVEN of them in this image…

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Should women live in fear of male athletes?

Image: Ben Roethlisberger

Recent incidents show the ‘culture’ of sports has taken a terrible turn


Is there something in our sports culture that condones the demeaning treatment of women by athletes, like the alleged acts of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (photo on left)?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Cosmologist outlines three concepts for time travel

Image: Discovery

The laws of physics actually accommodate the notion of time travel, through portals known as wormholes.

In an article in the Daily Mail this week, British cosmologist Stephen Hawking outlined not one, but three, theoretically realistic ideas for traveling through time one of which he says is even practical.

FDA investigates E. coli at Ariz. lettuce farm

Yuma grower may be source of outbreak; 19 sickened in 23 states


“Food and Drug Administration investigators are looking at a farm in Yuma, Arizona, as a possible source of a widespread E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce.”

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Graham: 'Impossible' to pass climate bill now


Key GOP senator says oil spill, immigration debate have derailed legislation


“A key Republican senator negotiating with Democrats on a climate change bill said Friday it's "become impossible" to pass the legislation now because of disagreements over offshore and immigration reform.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

No clear explanation for Wall Street’s wild plunge

After stocks plunge, search begins for cause

Computer programs exacerbate losses; Was there a ‘fat finger’ trade?

Another busy day at ‘As It Stands’

It’s 2:32 p.m. PST, and 845 viewers have stopped by to visit thus far. It’s fun seeing where visitors come from and wondering what they think when they stop by and take a peek. My thanks to you all, and don’t hesitate to stop by again.


Guest Opinion: As oil leaked, Interior Dept. official rafted with wife

Rafting In Pennsylvania

“Though the Obama administration has stressed its involvement with the April 20 BP oil spill since "day one," at least one Interior Department official decided instead to phone it in and go white water rafting in the Grand Canyon with his wife and other officials.

Tom Strickland -- who serves as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's chief of staff and the department's assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks -- traveled to the Grand Canyon on official business on April 27, three days after the oil leak was initially discovered.

The incident bears similarity to the decision by National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter to stay on a ski trip with his son in the days following the thwarted Christmas Day bombing.

Other administration officials have canceled trips and events to focus on the spill. The Minerals Management Service wisely canceled an awards luncheon in Houston with the oil industry (where BP was a finalist)!

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stayed away from the TIME 100 banquet where she was honored and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declined her Washington Post invite to the White House Correspondents Dinner in order to track the spill.”

Go here to read the rest.                                   Photo source

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees

I re-read this article three times and each time I came away with mixed feelings. Students were told they couldn’t wear an American flag on their T-shirts (a normally accepted practice at the school) on Cinco de Mayo because the majority of the school is Mexican-American, and would be offended because it’s “their holiday.”

One excuse was that the principal wanted to avoid fights between the five students wearing the flag and the angry Latino population. I thought this was AMERICA. What happened to those student’s rights? They can’t wear something that is normally acceptable because the Latino population wants to celebrate “their holiday?”

Those boys were being intimidated for doing nothing wrong and school authorities threatened suspension – and finally sent them home – for what reason?

Fear perhaps? Did school authorities think they’d lose control of the students if their flag-wearing peers didn’t concede and turn their T-shirts inside out? If so, then that’s pretty scary and tells you what’s happening on that campus – racial discrimination.

What do you think about the school’s action? Right or wrong?


"They said we could wear it on any other day," student Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."

Read the full story here.

Poisonous chemicals used to fight Gulf oil slick

A deadly side-show to the massive oil spill drama is playing itself out with marine wildlife as BP uses record amounts of a toxic stew (environmentalists don’t even know all the ingredients in it, making it difficult to access the damage being done) that is supposed to help disperse the gushing oil. Image: A sea turtle

Dispersants’ ingredients — ‘proprietary recipes like Coca-Cola’ — are secret

PHOTO: A sea turtle in the gulf surfaced Wednesday to feed, swimming through patches of oxidizing oil mingling with chemical dispersants used by BP to break up oil.

Why Was an Ad Criticizing Mayor Bloomberg for NYC's Marijuana Arrest Policy Censored?

New York City has the dubious distinction as the marijuana arrest capital of the world. The mayor's office doesn't seem to want to allow attention drawn to it.


“Most New Yorkers don’t know that last year, the New York Police Department arrested close to 50,000 people for marijuana possession at a staggering cost of nearly $100 million.”

California To Collect $100 million in Cannabis Taxes This Year

Legalization Nation

While the State of California begins to debate the consequences of taxing and regulating cannabis for personal use, it's important to note the state is already taxing and regulating the agricultural product used by 2.9 million Californians monthly.

California Board of Equalization official Anita Gore told the Express this week that the board estimates it collects anywhere from $50 million to more than $100 million in sales taxes per year from medical cannabis dispensaries.

Go here to read the rest.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sex toy spurs evacuation of South Tahoe CHP station


An anal vibrator believed to be a bomb caused the California Highway Patrol to briefly evacuate its South Lake Tahoe area office on April 7.
The incident began around 4:30 a.m. when a California Highway Patrol officer contacted a 60-year-old man in a “No Parking” zone on Highway 89 near Luther Pass, according to a CHP report.
The officer arrested the man after allegedly finding what was believed to be methamphetamine.
During a subsequent search, officers found “a suspicious wire, with an on/off switch” in the man's front left pocket leading to his anal cavity, according to the report.
Officers planned to have the device removed by medical personnel at Barton Memorial Hospital, but during an interview with the man at the CHP office, “the subject began to explain his knowledge of explosives and bomb-making,” according to the report.”


The Great Anti-War Cartoons

By Daryl Cagle

“My fellow Muppet alumni, Craig Yoe, sent me a copy of his newest book for a review. I collect editorial cartoon books and this is an unusual one.

 “The Great Anti-War Cartoons” from Fantagraphics reflects Craig’s non-mainstream tastes applied to historical cartoons; he’s chosen cartoons that tend to use few or no words (American cartoonists in the 1800’s and early 1900’s were typically quite wordy) and Craig has chosen cartoons that focus on no war in particular, featuring common symbols that we’re used to seeing as favorites in international cartoon competitions, such as: bombs, skulls, generals with medals and images of the victims of war.”

 Go here to read more.

Message to seniors from congressional candidate: fear communism and bring back the ‘good old days’

Challenger to Democratic congressman hopes to ride wave of anti-government fervor to victory

Jackie Walorski has jumped from the Tea Party to the Republican Party in hopes of winning a Congressional seat. She brought all of her rhetoric with her:


For Republican congressional candidate Jackie Walorski, this city is 2010’s version of the Normandy beaches on D-Day 1944.

Today’s senior citizens “fought for us” in World War II and “left bodies and blood on the beaches of Normandy,” Walorski said at a recent campaign stop in Kokomo, Ind. “Our fight of this generation is this ideological war that is brewing in this nation that is going to determine in November who we are as Americans.”

Here we go again. Walorski wants her country back. Note; she’s addressing senior citizens and invoking the 1950s as the good old days. For who? Oh that’s right…white middle classed Americans. Not for people of color at that time.

The fifties was full of paranoia that escalated into the sixties when people were building bomb shelters in case the Russian attacked. people like Joe McCarthy violated people’s rights and got away with it for a long time. I was there. It’s all about perceptions, and the angry white people calling to “take back the country” now are those same people – but older. 


“This is our country. It is time we stand together and take it back,” said Walorski, the favored candidate of the Tea Party movement. “This Constitution that I have raised my right hand to defend is under direct assault and I will not stand for it.”

Right on cue, these angry white Americans calling for their country back are accusing our president of being a Communist. Shades of McCarthyism still resonates with that generation. They will die someday, firmly convinced Communism is just around the corner.


“I think he’s trying to turn the country into a communist nation,” Michigan City, Ind., insurance agent John Palman said about Obama. “And this is America. We’re not socialists; we’re not communists; this is America, we’re free, so far.”

Hey Sarah! Watcha think about them oil rigs now?

Image source - Nate Beeler, The Washington Examiner /

Tea party groups battle racism claims

Image: Tea Party Express rally

Movement fears loss of moderates if ‘worst elements’ take over


"I think there is an element of fear that 'our white country' is now being run by a black man. There is a sense that 1950s America is gone," said Herb Neumann, a white Democrat from Tulsa. "There's a sense of loss. I grew up in the 1950s, and I don't think that moving on is a bad thing."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Here’s another fine mess in the pursuit of greed

Daryl Cagle,
Daryl is MSNBC's own cartoonist.

L.A. city attorney's office warning 439 marijuana shops that they must close by June 7

Just in case anyone wants to know, the Feds are still playing the demonization game with marijuana. This is just further proof that the Feds are not going to go quietly in the night and respect state laws until the voters back them up against a wall with solid legislation legalizing the healing herb, and tells them to stop.


“Los Angeles city prosecutors are sending letters to 439 medical marijuana dispensaries warning them that they must shut down by June 7, when an ordinance to control pot shops will finally take effect after years of debate and delay.”

Image source

We have a glut of major news stories this morning

Image:  FBI search a house where Faisal Shahzad lived in Bridgeport, Conn.

There sure is a lot of big stories going on right now. From the Times Square bomb suspect nabbed at airport (photo on right)to the massive oil spill off the Mexican Gulf Coast - Gulf Coast watches path of oil spill, it seems disasters are the order of the day.

Ash is disrupting flights in Ireland, Britain, and Homeless people are feared killed in Nashville flooding (photo below).

Image: The Grand Ole Opry House


Everywhere I look, the news seems pretty grim today. More examples: Mass. lifts boil water order for 2 million; Va. lacrosse player’s killing shocks classmates; How United-Continental merger impacts fliers; and an Out-of-control satellite threatens spacecraft!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wal-Mart to pay millions in waste case

This is only the tip of the iceberg for those bad boys at WalMart. They’re facing a huge gender bias case that’s going to make this settlement look like small potatoes.

Look out consumers! You’re going to ultimately pay the price. 

Payment will settle handling, dumping claims at Calif. stores

“Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle allegations that it improperly handled and dumped hazardous waste at stores across California in a case that led to changes in the retailer's practices nationwide, prosecutors said Monday.

The settlement ends a five-year investigation involving more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental agencies that found violations at 236 of Wal-Mart's stores and distribution centers across California, including Sam's Club warehouse stores, said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.”

Officials increasingly see international link in Times Square bomb attempt

The failed car bombing in Times Square increasingly appears to have been coordinated by more than one person in a plot with international links, Obama administration officials said Today.

The disclosure, while tentative, came as the White House intensified its focus on the incident Saturday in New York City, in which explosives inside a Nissan Pathfinder were set ablaze but failed to detonate at the tourist-crowded corner of Broadway and 45th Street.

The New York City Police Department has released surveillance video of a man leaving the scene near where a car bomb was found in Times Square. The man is seen taking off his shirt as he walks down the street.

» LAUNCH VIDEO PLAYER                                                            Photo source

RIP Pamela Murphy: wife of war hero Audie, and Supulveda VA’s angel for 35 years


When I was growing up in the 1950s, Audie Murphy was every little boy’s hero. We were taught to glorify war back then and spent countless hours engaged in mock combat with metal and plastic guns.

Everyone wanted to “be” Audie Murphy. When I got out of the Army in 1971 (when Audie died) I can recall my mixed feelings.

I learned that war wasn’t something glorious. Instead it was a dirty, ugly result of sanity breaking down among countries. War is a last resort. I knew that after coming back from Vietnam. I never met anyone in Vietnam who worshiped Audie Murphy (or at least admitted it out loud). The survivors there always cautioned the newbies not to play John Wayne, or act like Audie Murphy.

We knew war was wrong. I also finally knew what it was like to be in combat. Words defy the experience. Fear. Terror. Savage glee. Vomit. Body parts. Bloody rag dolls that were once men. Flies, maggots, and leeches. Children with bombs beneath their loose fitting tops selling coke to G.I.s. The empty eyes of villagers watching their homes burn and their livestock slaughtered. Madness. Intensity. Coal black nights with red and green tracers sending death into the jungle like deadly fireflies.

When a friend sent me this information this morning I couldn’t help look at the irony of how Audie ended up. Broke. The idol of millions that cheated on his wife and had a gambling problem. In his defense, I’d like to think he had PTSD, and because it was never treated he went the route he did.

As It Stands, I didn’t mourn Audie’s death when I heard the news, but I did mourn the loss of my innocence. 


Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010. She is survived by sons, Terry and James. Pam established her own distinctive 30 year career working as a patient liaison at the Sepulveda VA Hospital, where she was much beloved.

Sepulveda VA's angel for the last 35 years died peacefully in her sleep at age 90.

"She was in bed watching the Laker game, took one last breath, and that was it," said Diane Ruiz, who also worked at the VA and cared for Pam in the last years of her life in her Canoga Park apartment.


 It was the same apartment Pam moved into soon after Audie died in a plane crash on Memorial Day weekend in 1971.

Audie Murphy died broke, squandering million of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women.

"Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero," Pam told the press.

Guest Opinion: No on Proposition 17

The ballot measure wouldn't promote competition in auto insurance and should be defeated


“Mercury Insurance is leading efforts to remove that prohibition on the grounds that it reduces competition. The ballot initiative it funded, Proposition 17, would let insurers offer discounts to new customers who'd maintained uninterrupted insurance coverage for at least five years with other companies. Customers who had no previous coverage or who'd let their policies lapse for more than 90 days would face higher premiums. This would be a step back toward a rating system that charges people based on the category they fit into, not how well they drive, and its supporters haven't offered a persuasive reason for such a departure from the spirit of Proposition 103.”

Photo source

Sunday, May 2, 2010

'The Family': Politicians who violate separation of church and state

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 05/02/2010 01:27:13 AM PDT

America's forefathers recognized the inherent danger of letting a particular religion dictate a Republic's politics. Everyone should be treated equally. That's why they built the safeguard of separation between church and state into our Constitution.

Under the Constitution, we are free to follow the religion of our choice, or not to worship any divinity. The Supreme Court has affirmed this numerous times. It's called freedom. Unfortunately, it seems not everyone agrees with that premise.

Religion does play a major part in American politics, whether we like it or not. Major issues like the economy and the wars we're mired in are influenced by the religious values of one group called “The Family,” in both branches of Congress.

”The Family” impudently violates the separation of church and state and is entrenched in our entire political process from top to bottom, in both political parties.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to be religious. Don't get the two topics confused. I'm concerned about matters documented by journalist Jeff Sharlet, after he went undercover in the underground evangelical organization known as “The Family.” He discovered that congressmen, members of the executive branch and other D.C. powerbrokers are members of this secretive organization that has been called by many names since its inception during the Cold War.

READ THE REST HERE.                                   Image source


Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...