Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remembering California’s War Dead: profiles of all of them

Select from California's 584 deaths for a full profile of  each person who died. Better yet, check them all out. It’s  time to remember them, and their ultimate sacrifice.

image source: Randy Bish /

RIP: Movie star Dennis Hopper dead at 74

Image: Dennis Hopper

Actor had praised Hollywood as his 'home and my schooling'

Dennis Hopper is one of my all-time favorite actors. I enjoyed all of his movies, even the poorly made productions he played in later in his career.

Gary Coleman died a couple of days ago. Some people I know say that when one movie star dies there’s always a couple of more who do around the same time. They go in three’s according to some.

I wonder how true this is. Let’s see.

What memorial day parades have become…

David Granlund /

Signs of the Apocalypse: Part One


Friday, May 28, 2010

Chill the VodKa and get out your Martini Glass: James Bond is back in a new novel

“My name is Bond. James Bond.”

He’s back! For all of you 007 Fans this is big news.

James Bond Posters


With code name ‘Project X,’ the book set to be released in 2011.

Video of Daniel Craig, the most recent Bond actor.

Video of Roger Moore reflects on playing Bond.

Image source


Ron Artest rescues the Lakers with last-second shot


Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a Laker fan (have been since they moved to LA and played at the old Sports Arena).

The Laker’s trip to the finals has been fascinating, frustrating, and it’s still not over. They have to beat the Sun’s in Phoenix. If they don’t, the seventh game will be at Staples Arena where the Lakers are unbeaten in the series.

Ron Artest pulled the Laker’s out of the fire at the last possible moment.

The forward's follow of Kobe Bryant's miss gives the Lakers a 103-101 victory over the Suns and puts them one victory from the NBA Finals.

Internet addicts guilty of starving baby to death

A South Korean couple were convicted Friday of abandoning their newborn daughter, who starved to death while they addictively played an online game raising a virtual child.


Related story:

Chinese Teen Beaten To Death At Internet Addiction Camp

InternetAddict1[1]Internet addiction is a controversial topic, its very existence is debated, but that hasn't stopped China from classifying ten million teens (about 10 percent of all teenagers) as Internet addicts. Treatment camps for the affliction have sprung up in China, but the reported tactics and methods of the doctors are often questionable
Top image source                     Bottom image source

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arizona Sing-A-Long: Read Immigration Law!

Here’s another take on the controversial immigration law

SEE SUNDAY’S (5/30) “As It Stands” in The Times-Standard for my views on Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

LIVE COVERAGE of the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf Coast

Image: Oil slick near the Chandeleur Islands, La.

Obama and experts are now saying this is the worst oil spill ever. Anywhere.

It’s a catastrophic event caused by numerous reasons, but the underlying reason was there was NO REGULATIONS in place to prevent it.

It’s blame game time. I’m disgusted with everyone involved. There should be criminal charges brought to everyone responsible for this massive spill. Today we have live coverage of an attempt to stop it. Go here for LIVE COVERAGE of the Deepwater Horizon spill

Post Card Memoriablia: from mundane to the outrageous



I discovered this link this morning while surfing in Cyberspace. It has a list of categories that range from funny to shocking.

Each photo provides an interesting connection to a certain time period and culture.

Go to Bizarre Photographs to see a large assortment of thought-provoking postcards.


Guest Opinion: How will YOU vote in November 2010?


(Please note you the taxpayer are paying members of Congress to play computer games and on Facebook)

By Jim Davis/Veterans For Change

Come this November 2010 there will be 30 members of the Senate and 435 members of the House up for re-election! Of the 435 in the House, 32 will be retiring (see below)!

Many Americans will sit back, complain, gripe and moan about the economy, world trade, gas prices, contamination by various chemical agents and molds, care and treatment of veterans, jobs, illegal aliens, amnesty, imported foreign workers, the ever growing national deficit, you name it.

Have you tracked how your elected members of Congress have voted and on which bills that you feel are important? Did they vote for any or all veteran bills? Do you know their attendance records in Congress?

These are all very important issues, and it’s the responsibility of every single American Citizen to pay attention, learn, and decide is the person in office doing the job they promised to fulfill? Are they meeting your expectations? Are they voting for, against, or abstaining from important issues?

I took the time for you, and I personally checked the voting records of all 535 members of Congress, and not one member voted for any veteran bill in 2009 that was passed and signed into law! NOT A SINGLE ONE in 2009!

Veteran’s one and all, I am asking you to please, think carefully before casting your vote this coming November, we need to rid ourselves of all career politicians, bring in fresh blood, fresh perspectives, and at the end of their term if they too cannot perform, vote them out too.

We voted them into office, we can vote them out of office! It’s that simple!

Veterans make up 8-9% of the voting population in any state or county, and that number, small as it is can mean the difference between winning or losing a re-election campaign, and it’s time we show those in office now that WE DO COUNT! WE the people are in control!

Please be wise, don’t just vote for name sake, or re-elect someone just because they’ve been there forever, be strong, be courageous, be bold!

When you cast your vote in November 2010 make it mean something, show those in Congress now WE ARE BACK IN CHARGE and put a new body in the seat who just might be the better person!

Below are two lists, one is of all members of the US Senate who are up for re-election this year, please note the number of years in office and that not a single one of these members voted for any veteran bills! (Updated 02/18/10 2:09pm PST)

This is a Country of the People, by the People and for the People! And in case you’d forgotten WE ARE THE PEOPLE! So I urge you to please vote smart, lets not have two more years of the same House members or six more years of the Senate members who have only disappointed us beyond belief!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

As It Stands goes to school: class critiques my column

I got a pleasant surprise yesterday, when a friend told me that her son read my column “Why Humboldt County Will Survive Marijuana Legalization” in his class. I thought she just mentioned it, but as it turns out, she assigned it as a project.The teacher, Ms Wozny, gave the class an assignment to critique my column.

She’s going to share those critiques with me. I’m really looking forward to seeing what these students have to say. I’ll post their comments for you. Ms Wozny looks for a controversial topic every week and selected my column to share. I’m humbled by this, and appreciative of the opportunity to get input from the next generation of Humboldtians:

May 25, 2010 - email

Hi Dave,
I didn't just mention it, it was an assignment!  They had to read it and respond to it with their own essay.  If you'd like, I'll ask if they wouldn't mind and I could send you what they write.

They are in an English class equivalent to CR's 150, even though they are in high school, and they respond to editorial pieces/controversial pieces etc., once a week.  They are usually pretty good, if I do say so myself, and this is definitely a topic they had a lot of opinions on! Thanks for taking the time to email!
From Gini Wozny - Fortuna Union High School District-Academy of the Redwoods Campus  (707) 601-0966 Cell  (707) 476-4203 Office (707) 476-4439 Fax

image source

After Graduation Blues: College Students Face Reality

Bob Englehart / The Hartford (CT) Courant,

Divers Explore Sunken Ruins Of Cleopatra's Palace



A recently excavated bronze cult statue found in the Temple of Isis sits in a bath of fresh water to desalinate it, onboard the Princess Duda research boat, anchored in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt, Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

An international team of archaeological divers led by French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio is using advanced technology to explore the submerged ruins of a palace and temple complex from where Queen Cleopatra ruled, painstakingly excavating one of the richest underwater archaeological sites in the world and retrieving stunning artifacts from the last dynasty to rule over ancient Egypt before the Roman Empire annexed it in 30 B.C.



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Surprise to me: Report says Drilling Regulators took Industry Gifts


Inspector general: Agency staff used government computers to view porn

Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.

 Photo source


Spinning the News: email forward full of lies

I got an email (I won’t say from whom) that just shows you how far the extreme right will go to “spin” the news to stir up their paranoid patriots.

It was about a news story that ran in Reuters.U.S. reverses stance on treaty to regulate arms trade


While you were watching the oil spill, the New York failed terrorist bombing and other critical crises,

Hillary Clinton signed the small arms treaty with the UN.





Really? Is that what the article is about? Is there a threat to the average American’s 2nd Amendment rights? Has Obama finally found a way to take the NRA’s guns away?

Hell no. Clinton didn’t sign anything yet. Read the link if you don’t believe me.

I think the people forwarding this story as proof of all of the above lies are hoping no one looks closely at the story.

Because if they did,they’d see it was a political spin job designed to further another agenda. Let’s take a look:


“The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.”

The U.S. agrees to go with a consensus decision reversing President Bush’s stance. Read on to see why Bush was opposed to the deal.


The proposed legally binding treaty would tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons.

Does the above say anything about the citizens of the U.S. giving up their 2nd Amendment rights? Obviously not.

They’re talking about the international arms market. How does this morph into treason by Secretary of State Clinton? I’ll tell you how. They spin it around.

The agenda: the American gun industry doesn’t want to lose all the money it’s been making selling weapons to other countries. They want to maintain a strong financial position in the national arms market.


“Supporters say it would give worldwide coverage to close gaps in existing regional and national arms export control systems that allow weapons to pass onto the illicit market.”

The above reason is why the American gun lobby, the NRA, and other weapons-related industries don’t want to see this passed. It’s really quit simple. So they send out misleading forwards in cyberspace and hope to reap the profit of loyal followers who don’t ask too many questions. This is a sound byte society and we all know that.


“Nations would remain in charge of their arms export control arrangements but would be legally obliged to assess each export against criteria agreed under the treaty. Governments would have to authorize transfers in writing and in advance.

The main opponent of the treaty in the past was the U.S. Bush administration, which said national controls were better. Last year, the United States accounted for more than two-thirds of some $55.2 billion in global arms transfer deals.”

It says it all above; $55.2 billion in global arms sales. Not national sales in the USA. That’s apples and oranges and just what the people sending you these emails are counting on. They love throwing out false warnings that Americans 2nd Amendment Rights are under assault.

You have to stop, take a deep breath, and carefully read everything before clicking the forward button. That is, if you care about the truth. 


“The proposed treaty is opposed by conservative U.S. think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, which said last month that it would not restrict the access of "dictators and terrorists" to arms but would be used to reduce the ability of democracies such as Israel to defend their people.The U.S. lobbying group the National Rifle Association has also opposed the treaty.”

Above; this is the core of what’s going on. Bush opposed the treaty because he was in bed with the global gun industry. Big Buck’s  is what Bush (also think Big Oil) specialized in. When they say “it would reduce the ability of democracies such as Israel to defend their people” that’s a red herring.

It means that the US gun industry is blowing smoke up people’s asses, telling them that citizens will lose their rights when this treaty is passed. That’s a lie. It has nothing to do with the rights of American citizens to bear arms.  

I think it’s particularly sad that many people will be fooled by the intent of these misleading forwards.


You pick. The truth will set you free.


This kid knows his football – and I think he’s biased

Funny Two-Year Old Football Prodigy - Watch more Funny Videos

Remember this little football genius when he signs an NFL contract as a scout for the New Orleans Saints (see video for explanation) Now, if we could just get his age straight. I suspect he’s about three-years old. What do you think?

Talk of war in Korea escalates – South prepares for conflict

Image: South Korean artillery soldiers

North Korea severing all ties with South Korea

Pyongyang reportedly says its troops are bracing for war

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reader input: California cops who support marijuana legalization


Thanks so much for your interesting piece about possible implications of the California marijuana legalization initiative (As It Stands: Why Humboldt County will survive legalization) on November's ballot.
I hope you'll keep watching and covering this issue as the campaign heats up, and I thought you might be interested in hearing about a group of police, prosecutors and judges who are pushing in favor of legalization.
These members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) fought on the front lines of the war on drugs, witnessing how prohibition only serves to make substance abuse and market violence problems worse.  Now, they are actively working to change the debate on drug policy issues so that more voters understand that continuing to keep marijuana illegal harms public safety, not protects it.
Just to give you an idea of some of the perspectives our speakers bring to the debate in California:

* There's Judge James Gray, who retired last year from the Superior Court in Orange County and has been calling for legalization for more than a decade now. One of the main reasons he wants to end prohibition is so we can better keep marijuana away from young people by enacting age limits, which illegal drug dealers definitely don't do.  Judge Gray was profiled in the LA Times at,0,88438.column and he can be seen debating legalization on Fox Business News at
* We've got Norm Stamper, who was a police officer in San Diego for 28 years before being hired as chief of police in Seattle, WA. With a 34-year policing career, he's seen how prohibition can corrupt and endanger law enforcement from top to bottom. Chief Stamper was featured in this Nicholas D. Kristof column in NYT:
* Just one more example would be Joe McNamara, who served as San Jose's chief of police for 15 of his 35 years in law enforcement. Currently a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute, Joe knows that legalizing marijuana in California will deal a strong blow to the cartels and gangs that currently control its distribution through violent illegal networks.
We've also got prosecutors, narcotics detectives and corrections officials, and we're actively recruiting more criminal justice professionals across the state who agree that it's time to legalize marijuana. Beyond California, we have a robust network of pro-legalization law enforcers active across the globe.
Please let me know if you see a role for any of these provocative voices in any future pieces you are putting together about this issue.
Many thanks,

Tom Angell, Media Relations Director
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Washington, D.C.
phone: (202) 557-4979 // e-mail:
AIM: ThisIsTomAngell // GChat: tomangell

Videos of LEAP cops:
LEAP on Twitter:
LEAP on Facebook:

Photo source

Despite moratorium, drilling projects continue

This news is simply unbelievable. While Obama publicly talked tough to BP - his people were granting permits and waivers for gulf drilling projects! 

Records show at least 7 new permits for drilling, and 5 environmental waivers.

I’m appalled at he gall it takes to continue on, as if nothing happened. This just tells you what a stranglehold Big Oil has on our government.

The records also indicate that since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

As It Stands: Why Humboldt County will survive marijuana legalization


By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 05/23/2010 01:30:10 AM PDT

I doubt the first pot pioneers in Humboldt County, referred to as “back-to-the-landers” during the late 1960s, realized they might someday sow the seeds for an industry which could financially bail out the state of California.

In a delightful, ironic twist, those intrepid pioneers who fled the establishment to seek a simpler way of life must now re-establish contact with the “man” if they want to survive legalization and maintain their way of life.

Most fear legalization. They worry their profit margin will shrink so badly -- from taxes and competition -- they won't be able to make a living. Some ask if growing for medical marijuana dispensaries will be enough to keep them in business.

The good news is that growers, law enforcement officials, nonprofits and city governments are already holding public meetings to work out what happens here after legalization. One of the first meetings, held in Garberville (Southern Humboldt) in March, was covered nationwide.

What's After Pot (WAP) founder Anna Hamilton spoke during the Garberville meeting about the need to save the pot economy and prepare for legalization. She's attempting to bring local growers together so they can adapt to paying taxes and becoming part of the system they ran away from 40 years ago.


UPDATES: 25 Web sites carrying this column:

All Voices

The Survival Times

Drug Policy Central

Hempire/T.H.C. Magazine

Drug Sense

Cannabis Co-pilot News

The Media Awareness Project

 420 Magazine

Cannabis taxation and Regulation






Drug policy Central



The Marijuana Blog

Weed News

Saskatchewan Marijuana Party

Oregon NORML


Cannabis Liberty



News Now

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...