Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Me Worry? There’s phobia’s for everything under the sun

Seems like everyone has phobia’s nowadays so I looked around for a definitive list of the things that scare and irritate people. Here’s the best roundup of phobia’s I’ve found to date. It provides an alphabetic index for easy reference.

Here’s one example:

                               Papaphobia: fear of the Pope -


Regarded as one of the most benevolent and wonderful individuals in the world, millions flock to him, hoping for his blessing... except for those who suffer "Papaphobia": an abnormal or persistent pathological fear of the pope or the papacy.

 Symptoms can include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread. And it might not be only about the pope himself; a person with papaphobia may also be fearful of the Roman Catholic Church, so keep that popemobil away from them!

More examples:

10 Weirdest Phobias

10 Most Rare and Strange Phobias

Python eats deer, Cardinals win World Series, and Canada looks to Polar Bear for it’s new national symbol

Image: Burmese python

     Good Morning Humboldt County!

Glad you could make it this morning. Grab a seat and a cup of hot coffee and let’s take a look at three stories to start your day.

16-foot python found in Florida had eaten a deer

Officials in the Florida Everglades have captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python that had just eaten an adult deer.

Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, said workers found the snake on Thursday. The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida.

Hardin said the python had recently consumed a 76-pound female deer that had died. He said it was an important capture to help stop the spread of pythons further north.

Image: La Russa

     Cardinals win World Series

About the time the St. Louis Cardinals fell 10 1/2 games out of first place in late-August, manager Tony La Russa paid a visit to commissioner Bud Selig during a series in Milwaukee.

Recalling that meeting before World Series Game 7, Selig said: "I congratulated him on his year, and he said, 'we're not done'. And he wasn't kidding. When you think back, a lot of things had to happen. It's been amazing.''

Then the Cardinals went out and finished one of the unlikeliest, unexpected World Series championships — a fitting end to a captivating postseason.

A World Wildlife Fund photograph taken along the western shore of Hudson Bay shows a female polar bear with two cubs near Churchill Canada

Polar bear threatens beaver as Canada national symbol

A Canadian senator has launched a campaign to replace the industrious beaver with the indomitable polar bear as Canada's national emblem, saying the incumbent is "a dentally defective rat."

Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton delivered her damning criticism in the Senate on Thursday, noting that the beavers wreak havoc on the dock at her waterfront cottage every summer."A country's symbols are not constant and can change over time," she said. "The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity is perfect for the part."

The beaver became Canada's only official national animal in 1975. Trade in the beaver pelts, used to make fashionable fur hats, drove European expansion in North America in the 1600s and early 1700s. Eaton said the ever-busy dambuilders are now nuisance, but avoided mentioning another gnawing problem with the emblem: In modern times, its name is slang for female genitals.

Time to walk on down the road….

Friday, October 28, 2011

As It Stands: Reflections on Haunted Houses…

It seems like every Halloween someone gets seriously injured in a “haunted house” sponsored by various organizations. Here’s the first case I ran across this year which took place at the Creepyworld house in Fenton, Mo., a St. Louis suburb, last night.

Speaking of haunted houses, the Coast Guard won’t be sponsoring one here in Humboldt County this year. Not because of past problems, quite the contrary it was a successful fund-raising event, but because of cutbacks in the Coast Guard’s budget. It’s hard times everywhere.

Personally, I’ve never been interested in going to them. I went once, back in 1974, with my wife who was pregnant with our first child.

The haunted house was at Knotts Berry Farm and only a ten minute drive from where we lived. In retrospect, it seemed like a stupid thing to do, but she insisted on going, and I quit arguing with her about anything (I lost every time) during her pregnancy.

To make a long story short…I stayed up with her all night. The good news was that she wasn’t so shocked or horrified that it caused a problem (she still had five months to go). The bad news is I had to go to work the next morning.

When I was in elementary school my family lived in a house in El Monte, California, that was haunted. I’m not kidding you. Even my parents felt it was haunted. We only lived there for four months and we moved! The rumor in the neighborhood was that the prior resident had killed himself and his wife there. Too many strange things happened to all of us – my two sisters, brother, and father and mother in the short time we were there. I still get the creeps when I think of that place.

My wife and I never bothered taking our three sons to a haunted house, but they all went on their own when they hit their teen years. Showing my generation gap, I once asked one of them if he went to get scared with his buddies?  He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Dad…I take a girl with me because I know she’ll get scared and want me to hug her!”

As It Stands, I think our economy is more scary than any old haunted house!

Bela Lugisi’s Dracula cape for sale, licorice–a scary treat, and book a hotel room with a boo!

©AP/ Bela Lugosi in "Dracula."

                 Good Morning Humboldt County!

It’s getting colder in the mornings and that first cup of steaming coffee is golden. Grab a cup, pull up a seat, and join me. I’ve got a Halloween themed trio of stories for your entertainment this morning: 

              Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula' cape up for auction

The cape Bela Lugosi wore as Count Dracula in 1931 movie "Dracula" is set to be auctioned off. The cape will be one of 17 Lugosi lots consigned by the horror icon's son, Bela Lugosi, Jr., available at the Profiles in History sale in December.

Lugosi gave the cape to his wife Lillian before his death in 1956 and told her to keep it for their son. Upon Lugosi's death, the family decided that he should be buried in his Dracula costume, but given the actor's wish that his son should have the cape, the family dressed the body in a lightweight version of the cape he used when making personal appearances. Lillian Lugosi left the cape to her son upon her death in 1981.The item is expected to fetch up to $2 million when it goes under the hammer during the sale, Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.

Scary treat? Black licorice can harm heart, warns the FDA

While indulging our sweet-tooth may be a time-honored Halloween tradition, there’s one tasty morsel that could turn out to be more of a trick than a treat for some of us, the Food and Drug Administration warns.

Black licorice can lead to heart arrhythmias and other health problems when consumed by adults in large quantities, the FDA noted in its pre-holiday alert.

Experts say that consuming 2 ounces of black licorice per day for two weeks can set the heart stuttering in susceptible individuals. The culprit is a compound called glycyrrhizin, which is what gives licorice its sweet flavor.

Book a hotel room with a boo!

If you’re thinking of avoiding the trick or treaters at your door by spending Halloween in a hotel, be ready to sleep with one eye open. Hotels, lodges and B&Bs around the country are offering spooky packages that may include ghostly gifts, complimentary costumes and scary surprises.

                           13th floor special
The Renaissance New York Times Square and Madame Tussauds are offering a “Dare to Check-In” Halloween package that includes an after dark VIP tour of Madame Tussauds New York and a stay in a 13th floor suite decked out with scary wax figures, a séance setup, over-the-top spooky décor and special effects that follow guests into the shower. The price may be the scariest detail of all: $5,000 per night during Halloween weekend. Many Renaissance hotels outside New York City are offering less-expensive Dare to Check-In packages that include a stay in a 13th floor room, ghoulish cocktails and goodie bags filled with treats.

                                                      Bed down with the Bordens   
The restored Fall River, Mass., home where an infamous, ax-wielding Lizzie Borden may – or may not – have brutally killed her father and stepmother on Aug. 4, 1892, is now a six-room bed & breakfast offering tours in the daytime and spooky stays at night. Guests may choose from bedrooms that include those once occupied by Lizzie or her parents. Those who make it through the night are served a breakfast much like the one Andrew and Abby Borden ate on their last morning.                  Go here for more examples

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mind-Boggling Spiral Illustrations Are Made of a Single Line


In an inspired advertising campaign for Faber-Castell, designer Chan Hwee Chong demonstrates his unbelievable talent by creating spiral illustrations inspired by some of the most popular masterpieces in history.

Using a pen, he starts with a blank canvas, and by drawing a continuous line in a spiral he somehow manages to make detailed reproductions of the famous works of art.


The level of precision and control in Chong’s creations is simply amazing.

Go here to see more examples of his work and a video on how de does it.

What are you going to do if a Kinkajou gets you?

When Jada Thurmond showed up at the emergency room complaining of stabbing stomach pain Sept. 18, the doctors treated her for a virus and sent her home.

By the next morning, the 16-year-old was battling a fever of 102, suffering severe headaches and urinating blood. Her mother rushed her to Children's Hospital at Erlanger. That's when Thurmond told her mother and doctors about the kinkajou bite. To which everyone replied, "Kinka-what?" "I had never heard of the animal, and neither had the doctors," said Thurmond's mother, Miika Montgomery. "I was Googling it, they were Googling it. ... If it had been a dog or a cat or a raccoon they would have known exactly what to do, but they had never seen anything like this."

The kinkajou -- native to Central and South America -- is a rainforest-dwelling mammal related to the raccoon. With a mouselike face, catlike body and monkeylike tail, it's a perfect conglomeration of cuteness. But it's a deceptive cuteness, animal experts say, that can quickly give way to sharp claws, canine teeth and nasty bites. Story source

Gap between rich & poor by city, man reports date as burglar, and Brits breed a new ‘Super Broccoli’

The weather is changing fast and it’s getting much cooler in the morning now. Step right in, and have a cup of Joe with me. I’ve got a full pot on, and a few stories to start your day. Make it a good one.

Gap between U.S. rich, poor is widest in Atlanta

Atlanta has widest income gap between rich and poor of all the major U.S. cities, the U.S. Census reported on Wednesday. New Orleans ranked second, followed by the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. Rounding out the list of 10 big cities with the largest gaps between high and low income are Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville, all in Florida; Athens, Ga.; New York; Dallas; and Baton Rouge, La.

Man reports date as burglar when girlfriend shows

Colorado Springs police say a man's girlfriend unexpectedly came home just before another woman was due to visit, so he called police to report his new acquaintance as a burglar.

The Gazette reports ( ) that 24-year-old Kevin Gaylor was cited with a misdemeanor of false reporting to authorities.Police say Gaylor had invited a woman he met online to come to his home after 3 a.m.

Wednesday so they could get better acquainted, but his girlfriend came home first. Police say that when the other woman arrived, Gaylor called police and falsely reported an intrusion.

British scientists breed new 'super broccoli'

Popeye might want to consider switching to broccoli. British scientists unveiled a new breed of the vegetable that experts say packs a big nutritional punch.

The new broccoli was specially grown to contain two to three times the normal amount of glucoraphanin, a nutrient believed to help ward off heart disease.

"Vegetables are a medicine cabinet already," said Richard Mithen, who led the team of scientists at the Institute for Food Research in Norwich, England, that developed the new broccoli. "When you eat this broccoli ... you get a reduction in cholesterol in your blood stream," he told Associated Press Television.

Time to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The mathematician who first theorized about infinity died in a mental institution


George Cantor first worked out the basic ideas about infinity in 1890. His theories were criticized at first, but now are accepted as one of the foundations of modern mathematics. Among other things, Cantor first showed that there are different types of infinity and that a given set has exactly as many positive numbers as there are positive even numbers (while conventional wisdom would suggest that there are twice as many positive numbers than positive even numbers).

This brilliant mathematician battled depression throughout much of his life, and died in 1918 in an institution. His work was initially received with harsh criticism, before finding acceptance in the mathematical community. Though some of his findings about infinity were certainly mind-boggling, his mental state likely had more to do with the criticism he received for his work than the concept of infinity itself!

Glad to see you go big boy B53…

Image: Workers unloading a B53 bomb

The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs has been taken apart in Texas.

Technicians at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo removed the uranium Tuesday from the last of the nation's largest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic known as the B53.

The bomb put into service in 1962 was 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, that killed as many as 140,000 people at the end of World War II.

Here’s your chance to get a free bridge, white Coca Cola cans, and what if the Internet was invented 100 years ago?

  Good Morning Humboldt County!

Your just in time for a cup of coffee. Pull up a chair and prepare to be entertained. I’ve got an eclectic selection of stories for you. Enjoy: 


Want to buy a bridge? Kentucky's giving one away

Officials in Kentucky are so keen to get rid of an obsolete but historic bridge on a rural stretch of highway that they are trying to give it away -- and even offering to dismantle and deliver it to its new home for free.

The 82-year-old span on state Route 80 in southeastern Kentucky needs to come down so a new bridge capable of handling heavier traffic can go up, the state Department of Highways said. But state officials would prefer not to demolish the existing structure, a 450-foot metal truss span built in 1929 that is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. So they are seeking to give it away. To sweeten the pot, the state is willing to have the bridge disassembled, transported and off-loaded at no charge. All the new owner has to do is reassemble and maintain it, said H.B. Elkins, spokesman for the Department of Highways, District 10, where the bridge is located.

Coca-Cola turns can white to help polar bears

Coca-Cola Co. is turning its red cans white to help draw attention to a campaign to protect polar bears and their habitats. Coca-Cola is giving $2 million to the World Wildlife Fund to support its work on polar bear protection. The two organizations are encouraging consumers to donate $1 and the beverage maker has agreed to give another $1 million to match these contributions.

The company said 1.4 billion of the white cans, along with white bottle caps on several products, will hit store shelves Nov. 1. The white cans will feature an image of a mother polar bear and her two cubs.

The "Arctic Home" campaign is designed to encourage people to learn about and help protect the polar bear's Arctic home.

Funds raised will support the World Wildlife Fund's polar bear conservation work, which includes working with local communities, supporting cutting-edge research and carrying out other conservation work.

           What if the Internet Was Invented 100 Years Ago?

We young'uns are all under the impression that, aside from the occasional fashion choice and their hilarious racism, people from the distant past were pretty straight-laced. This is only because of lies our grandparents and Tom Brokaw told us! Turns out that people from the last turn of the century were just as weird as people from this one. The Olds aren't going to get away with lying to us anymore, thanks to Black and WTF, the site that collects bizarre pictures from old times and puts them on your futuristic internet. Some of the pictures are forgeries, sure, but picking them out is half the fun! Go to Black and WTF to see more photos.

Time to walk on down the road….

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Corporatism Is Not Capitalism: 7 Things About The Monolithic Predator Corporations That Dominate Our Economy That Every American Should Know

6176653658 9b7511aa9e Corporatism Is Not Capitalism: 7 Things About The Monolithic Predator Corporations That Dominate Our Economy That Every American Should Know

Right now, there is a lot of talk about the evils of “capitalism”. 

But it is not really accurate to say that we live in a capitalist system.  Rather, what we have in the United States today, and what most of the world is living under, is much more accurately described as “corporatism”. 

Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further.  In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations.

Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society.  As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today.  Corporatism is killing this country, and it is not what our founding fathers intended.

The following is the definition of “corporatism” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary….

the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction

Corporatism is actually not too different from socialism or communism.  They are all “collectivist” economic systems.  Under corporatism, wealth and power are even more highly concentrated than they are under socialism or communism, and the truth is that none of them are “egalitarian” economic systems.  Under all collectivist systems, a small elite almost always enjoys most of the benefits while most of the rest of the population suffers.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters realize that our economic system is fundamentally unjust in many ways, but the problem is that most of them want to trade one form of collectivism for another.

But our founding fathers never intended for us to have a collectivist system.

Instead, they intended for us to enjoy a capitalist system where true competition and the free enterprise system would allow individuals and small businesses to thrive.

In an article that was posted earlier this year on Addicting Info, Stephen D. Foster Jr. detailed how our founding fathers actually felt about corporations….


The East India Company was the largest corporation of its day and its dominance of trade angered the colonists so much, that they dumped the tea products it had on a ship into Boston Harbor which today is universally known as the Boston Tea Party. At the time, in Britain, large corporations funded elections generously and its stock was owned by nearly everyone in parliament. The founding fathers did not think much of these corporations that had great wealth and great influence in government. And that is precisely why they put restrictions upon them after the government was organized under the Constitution.

After the nation’s founding, corporations were granted charters by the state as they are today. Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense.

Our founding fathers would have never approved of any form of collectivism.  They understood that all great concentrations of wealth and power represent a significant threat to the freedoms and liberties of average citizens.

Are you not convinced that we live in a corporatist system? Well, keep reading.

Via Break The Martix

China cuts back on entertaining TV, the great bee escape, and Rand admits to screwing up pot poll

                 Good Morning Humboldt County!

Your just in time for a cup of hot coffee and a look at some of today’s headlines. This mornings trio of tales runs the gamut from bees to mistaken pollsters. Pull up a seat and get comfortable:


China orders cutback on TV entertainment

China will limit the number of entertainment programmes allowed to air on television, from match-making game shows to dance broadcasts, and push to replace them with morality-building programming, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television starting next year will restrict shows that "record the dark and gloomy side of society", the Southern Metropolis Daily said. "For every satellite TV station, no more than two entertainment programmes can be aired during prime time from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night," the paper said, citing a directive from the national broadcasting watchdog.

Millions of escaped bees shut down highway

A flatbed truck carrying hundreds of beehives overturned near a construction zone on a Utah highway, freeing millions of bees and forcing authorities to temporarily close Interstate 15, officials said on Monday.

"The driver lost control, hit the concrete barrier and rolled over. Of course, we then had bees everywhere," said Corporal Todd Johnson with the Utah Highway Patrol. The highway in southern Utah was shut down for several hours on Sunday evening and Monday morning, officials said. Local beekeepers worked through the night to gather the escaped bees. Officials said there was a net over the beehives but bees still managed to escape after the truck overturned.

In a report released this week, Rand Corp. announced that crime increased in the vicinity of dispensaries forced to shut down. But there are so many problems with Rand's study that it's impossible to come to solid conclusions. (Los Angeles Times)

Rand retracts report on pot clinics and crime

In a rare move for one of the nation's most highly regarded research institutions, Rand Corp. on Monday retracted a controversial report on crime around Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries after realizing that it failed to include any crimes reported by the city's Police Department.
Researchers with the Santa Monica-based think tank used crime data compiled by a firm that collects information from about 1,200 law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, but not the LAPD.

Rand removes report on crime and pot dispensaries"They made mistakes," said Debra Knopman, a Rand vice president and director of the infrastructure, safety and environment division. "What we're wrestling with is how the mistakes went undetected."
The extraordinary lapse has the esteemed institution closely examining how it reviews its research. The discredited report went through an internal and an external peer review.
"This is not something we take lightly," Knopman said. "This is a rare event, but it's happened, and it's absolutely leading us to take a renewed look at the procedures we follow.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, October 24, 2011

Catch a falling star ... and fall colors

Photographer Jeff Berkes' picture of an Orionid meteor streak over Elverson, Pa., also features autumn leaves.

"The sky was crystal clear and a moody fog was rising off the lake when I set up my camera at 1 o'clock Saturday morning," Berkes told "The Orionids were streaking bright, and I counted a couple dozen during the night."

If you miss seeing the falling stars of the fall season, you can experience them vicariously by checking And there's always another show on the horizon, such as the Geminids (peaking Dec. 13-14).

More duck lore and facts about our feathered friends…

Donald 20 Mind Blowing Facts You Probably Didnt KnowDuck Watching You 20 Mind Blowing Facts You Probably Didnt Know

                           image on left                                                          image on right

Tea Party Group Urges Small Businesses ‘Not To Hire A Single Person’ To Hurt Obama

Tea Party Group Urges Small Businesses ‘Not To Hire A Single Person’ To Hurt Obama

This article illustrates why people think Tea Party members are only interested in their ideology and extreme partisan politics. The people (the 99% ers) come in last with the Tea Party set.

Even for Tea Party standards, encouraging employers not to hire people in this terrible economy to make some vague and stupid point, is anti-American and shows their true colors.

As long as Congressional Republicans put off any chance for relief for unemployed citizens, the deeper the depression becomes. I prefer to to go by what Republicans do, rather than what they say, as the two are usually different. Here is a perfect example of what extremes these wackaloons will go: 

“Congressional Republicans have acted shocked and offended at Democrats’ suggestions that they are intentionally sabotaging the economy to try to win back the White House in 2012. Republicans have refused to pass President Obama’s jobs plan — which experts estimate will create at least 1.9 million jobs — and proposed an alternative plan that Moody’s says “will likely push the economy back into recession.”

Now influential Tea Party leaders are throwing caution to the wind and openly lobbying business owners to stop hiring in order to hurt Obama politically. This week, Right Wing Watch picked up on a message Tea Party Nation sent to their members from conservative activist Melissa Brookstone.

In a rambling letter titled “Call For A Strike of American Small Businesses Against The Movement for Global Socialism,” Brookstone urges businesses “not hire a single person” to protest “this new dictator”:

Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media (Indeed, most of the news media.) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist (anti-individual rights and property ownership) agenda. [...]

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

Brookstone cites Democrats’ support of the Occupy Wall Street movement as proof that Obama, media elites, and the like are “against business, private property ownership and capitalism.” Although she fails to explain how a freeze on hiring would send a bold pro-business message, given that such a boycott would further damage the economy and exacerbate high national unemployment.

But these Tea Partiers are only too happy to put politics ahead of the well-being of 14 million unemployed Americans, not to mention the businesses who are looking for qualified workers”"

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.Written by Marie Diamond

Have a 338-pound burger, a preambulating potty, and kids would rather go to Chattanooga than Disneyland

Image: giant hamburger

             Good Morning Humboldt County!

Here we are going into a new week. I’ve got the coffee on and your invited to have a cup with me. I’ve got a trio of stories that I think will amuse you as you drink some brew. 

'Absolutely Ridiculous': Restaurant creates 338-pound burger

A U.S. restaurant famous for cooking up giant hamburgers has outdone itself.

The Detroit News reports that Mallie's Sports Grill & Bar made a 338-pound (153-kilogram) "Absolutely Ridiculous Burger" on Thursday. A crowd gathered to salivate over the unveiling of the $2,000 menu item. The sandwich packs 540,000 calories and takes 22 hours to cook. Manager Jason Jones says the burger, which has 15 pounds of lettuce, 30 pounds of bacon, 30 pounds of tomatoes and 36 pounds of cheese, comes with fries and a drink.

Perambulating potty? Wild ride for Teamster in a toilet

RICHLAND, Washington — What? No seat belt? A Teamster needed one when he took an unplanned ride in a portable toilet at a nuclear reactor site in Washington state.

The Tri-City Herald reported that on Oct. 5 a forklift operator picked up the chemical toilet to move it, not realizing it was occupied. The newspaper said that according to a Department of Energy report, the driver lifted the outhouse about a foot off the ground and moved about 15 feet across a gravel road.

The forklift blocked the door, trapping the Teamster. The driver set the toilet down, he heard the Teamster inside. The newspaper said the report didn't indicate exactly what the Teamster was saying about the whole affair.

Disney World? We want to go to Chattanooga!

Like many parents, Rina and Mike Zeller turned on a video camera to document the squeals of delight when they surprised their kids with news of a family trip to Disney World.But the kids didn’t jump for joy. Instead, much to the Zellers surprise, Sophia, 6, and Ian, 4, started crying and insisting that they’d rather spend their vacation in … Chattanooga.

“We live close enough to Chattanooga that we usually go there once a year for a long weekend trip,” said Rina Zeller. “The kids love the aquarium and children’s museum and stream running through the downtown area. And we’d been telling that we're going to take them to Chattanooga this year for fall break.” The Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tennessee loved the tape and, of course, began sending it around. Since then the tape has shown up on TV stations nationwide and been viewed on YouTube more than 70,000 times. “It’s nice to know there are some kids that would rather visit Chattanooga instead of Disney World,” said Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing for the Chattanooga CVB. “Especially because most families can’t afford to go to Disney World every year. But they can afford to come back to Chattanooga.”

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, October 23, 2011

As It Stands: Up in smoke: Obama’s promise to medical marijuana users


                By Dave Stancliff/For The Times Standard
Remember how President Obama assured us he would work with the states who enacted medical marijuana laws when he campaigned for the presidency?
 He sure was blowing smoke on that one, wasn‘t he?
"The Obama administration really is more aggressive than the administration of his predecessor," said Americans for Safe Access (ASA) spokesman Kris Hermes in a  recent interview.
 The vast difference between Obama’s promises and what his administration is doing against medical marijuana has shocked many who voted for him. The “bringer of change” dangled some hope to states that approved medical marijuana, thereby snagging many votes. Obama clearly forgot what he had promised the states and the people living there after he got elected.  
  Obama’s war on medical marijuana is escalating and he’s blatantly trashing his promises. Incredible as it may seem, his administration has stated, “There are no medicinal properties in marijuana.” Not only is that a ridiculous thing to say, it’s a lie. 

  In the last twenty years, numerous independent studies and research done at universities across the country have revealed an ever-increasing number of medical applications for marijuana. Yet the Obama administration refuses to conduct any research on its own that might prove marijuana has medicinal properties.  
  Instead, they’ve chosen to conduct a search-and-destroy mission in California to eliminate state-approved pot dispensaries. A reign of terror intended to send a message.  It doesn’t matter that they take away people’s medicine and their way to get it safely.
 We're not at war with people in this country," Obama's drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told The Wall Street Journal in May. I beg to differ. The raids on medical marijuana dispensaries have actually increased under Obama’s watch.
  The DEA propaganda machine tells the public marijuana has no medical qualities and is as dangerous as heroin. These outright lies are easily disproved by current and past research.
  Over the past eight months Obama has become arguably the worst president in U.S. history regarding medical marijuana. The most recent example is what happened to Northstone Organics, a Mendocino collective. They are the perfect example of cooperating with state law enforcement. The non-profit has been featured on Frontline (The Pot Republic), and was a pioneer for Mendocino County’s “ziptie” program.
   The Feds raided them anyway. California NORML Coordinator, Dale Gieringer, denounced the raid as a “shameful and despicable” attack on California’s most successful legally regulated marijuana cultivation program.”

  Escalating the war, US Attorney Laura Duffy says she’ll go after any marijuana advertising in the media. On September 21, Obama's ATF issued an open letter saying gun shops cannot sell guns to medical marijuana patients -- or people who are known to be addicted to drugs other than alcohol or tobacco, ironically enough.
Despite a previous Department Of Justice memo that targeting medical marijuana is an inefficient use of time and resources, four California-based U.S. Attorneys and their staffs have vowed an aggressive new crackdown on medical marijuana operations throughout the state.
   After Obama's inauguration, Attorney General Eric Holder said federal prosecutors would not enforce action against patients or providers who adhered to state law. Six months later, the new policy was officially articulated in the landmark Ogden memo: "Prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources."
  What happened? Why the rabid all-out assault now? Either Obama has a short memory, or he’s been lying all along and waiting for an opportunity to step up the senseless war on marijuana. Also, look at the ties between Big Pharma (opposed to marijuana legislation for competition reasons) and the Obama administration.

 As Obama campaigns for his second term, one thing stands out to me: he’s an expert flip-flopper when it comes to political expediency.
 What you can do about this senseless war is to urge your Representative to co-sponsor HR1983, a bill forcing the Feds to stop their raids on state-approved medical marijuana programs.
  As It Stands, I suspect Obama (a former pot smoker) is going to have to answer to a large block of medical marijuana users who vote in 2012.


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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...