Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are Your Children Using Synthetic Marijuana-Like Products? Are You?

Good Day World!

Today’s subject is a warning about “synthetic marijuana.”

You may, or may not have heard of it. If you want to know more about it, I’ve cobbled together a collection of news items to illustrate the dangers involved.

If you’re a parent of a teenager, you may want to read the following and gain a better understanding of what your children are being exposed to.

Synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as “synthetic marijuana,” “K2,” or “Spice”, are often sold in legal retail outlets as “herbal incense” or “potpourri”, and synthetic cathinones are often sold as “bath salts” or “jewelry cleaner”.

They are labeled “not for human consumption” to mask their intended purpose and avoid Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory oversight of the manufacturing process.

New Hampshire Declares Emergency Over Synthetic Drug 'Smacked'

Gov. Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency on Thursday in response to 44 reported overdoses linked to people smoking or ingesting "Smacked," a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores as potpourri.

'This is not a game': After son's death, parents warn about synthetic pot

Connor Reid Eckhardt was just 19 when he died after using what scientists and doctors call a “synthetic cannabinoid,” but most everybody else calls “spice,” “Scooby Snax," "K2” or any of half a dozen other names.

After taking one hit of synthetic pot while with friends, Connor fell into a coma. He was kept on life support for four days, but there was nothing doctors could do. He was declared brain dead. 

Feds Launch Massive Crackdown on Synthetic Drug Dealers

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday broadened its national crackdown on synthetic drug manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers as federal agents served hundreds of search and arrest warrants in at least 25 states.

Agents served warrants at homes, warehouses and smoke shops beginning early morning, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said. The largest single operation was a statewide effort in Alabama. Agents also were active in Florida and New Mexico, among other states.

Drug Agents Investigate Rash of Overdoses in Dallas

Dallas police are investigating a rash of overdoses attributed to a bad batch of synthetic marijuana that a hospital source says is causing people to become violent, hallucinate and suffer seizures. NBC 5 has learned there have been at least 40 overdoses in the last 48 hours, a number that is much higher than anything seen on an average day.

Synthetic Drug Seller Gets 17½ Years in Prison

The owner of a now-closed Minnesota head shop was sentenced to 17½ years in prison Thursday for selling synthetic drugs in a case that prosecutors said should remove any doubts that substances sold under such names as "incense," ''spice" and "bath salts" are illegal.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gov. Perry Can Kiss Presidency Hopes Goodbye: He’s Indicted for Abuse of Power

A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry today for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption.

A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit, which is run by Travis County Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's office.

It's the same office that indicted U.S. Rep. Tom Delay as part of a finance probe.

Grand jurors indicted Perry on abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony with potential punishments of five to 99 years in prison, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 10 years. (Full story here at Yahoo News)


When to Tweet and When Not to Tweet Poses Free Speech Challenge

Good Day World!

When to tweet, and when not to tweet is today’s subject.

The question is “What if local law enforcement asked you to NOT TWEET an ongoing crime for the officer’s safety, and to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing?”

This issue may be one you’ll have to deal with someday if the “TweetSmart” campaign catches on in Washington State. Police are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts.

The "TweetSmart" campaign began in late July by a coalition of nine agencies, including the Washington state patrol and the Seattle police, and aims to raise awareness about social media's potential impact on law enforcement.

The next thing to consider is what direction will this “request” go? Will it lead to legislation that eventually makes it illegal (with accompanying fines) to tweet at certain times? They may just start with NO TWEETS during manhunts and shootings, but the door would be open to further restriction on what you can tweet and when.

To my knowledge, there has been no cases of a civilian tweeting, during a manhunt or shootout, that caused bodily harm to police officers.

There were reports that all the tweets coming from social media challenged Boston police during their search for the marathon bombers.

That’s all, however. Reports. No examples were brought forward.

Having said that, I think fleeing criminals probably have more pressing concerns than checking Twitter or Facebook. Censoring free speech is a slippery slope that we must avoid.

Hopefully the TweetSmart campaign will not take root in Washington state, or any of the other ones. I just don’t think it’s a smart idea.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reflections on Moderation in Our Lives

Good Day World!

In my life experience, young people seldom seem to practice moderation. Politicians pull the concept apart like hyenas over a fresh kill.

I look at the stunts I pulled as a teenager – especially when it came to alcohol – and I have to shake my head in wonderment.

As the years slipped by like a thief in the night, I became more aware of the wisdom in moderation for all things.

Quick disclaimer; any age can go overboard on something, but experience usually teaches us our limits. I’m not talking about addictions right now. Obviously that’s a side-bar to consider. I’m talking about ordinary people who get carried away with issues or personal challenges. 

According to 1 Timothy 5:23, it's ok to drink a little wine. One of the reasons wine was so popular in his time was good drinking water was hard to find.(Source: New International VersionStop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”)

“Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl-chain of all virtues” Thomas Fuller wrote in “The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), Book III. Of Moderation.”

My favorite reflection on moderation comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson  who said, “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” You can’t have too much fun!

Here’s a deadly case of no moderation: A teenager in Georgia consumed two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade after football practice, and was so over-hydrated that his body's electrolytes were thrown off-balance, causing massive swelling in his brain. Five days later, on Sunday night, he was taken off the ventilator.

True happiness springs from moderation Johann Wolfgang von Goethe claimed.

I’m not sure I would go that far, but moderation does makes sense to me. After comparing my drinking habits in my  youth (where I’d pound the booze down until I either got sick or passed out) to now, I feel like I learned something about moderation. 

When it comes to social issues, moderation is a political football kicked around the public arena. Age plays no part in how extreme people can be. In this context, moderation is not always looked upon as a good thing.

We live in an age of extremism. There seems to be no limit to what people will do to get attention. Examples abound throughout our society. One quick example:

Take TV shows on cooking. Julia Child has given away to “Kitchen Wars” and other reality shows that manage to take a serene activity like cooking and turn it into a violent experience where chef’s scream at their helpers.

I believe moderation has it’s place in our lives, depending upon the circumstances.

Throw some common sense into the mix, add a dash of experience, a tablespoon of good advise, and I think you have the map to a happy and safe life.

Time for me to walk on down the road….  



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

‘What Were They thinking?’ A Short Montage of Head-Shakers

Good Day World!

We’ve all seen stories where people pull stupid pranks or just do stupid things. Things that make you want to scratch your head and ask, why?

For example, did you hear the story about the Mom accused of helping record her teenage son set himself on fire after he doused his body with fingernail polish as part of a social media stunt?

When I read the story my first thought was, “What was that woman thinking?”

From stupid to sad, here’s another story that will make you ask “what were they thinking?” A couple 'taking a selfie' at a cliff edge at Cabo da Roca, a popular spot for tourists in Portugal, fell hundreds of feet to their death.


Photo right: What was this family thinking???


I had two questions about the following story; what was the guy thinking, and two, how did he get into that cop car?

A Connecticut man charged with stealing a taxi cab stepped out of a Boston Police Department station house and into an empty patrol car for a nap, police said.

Shortly after being arrested on charges of stealing a car and released on bail, 33-year-old Nicholas Cunliffe of Stratford, Connecticut, was found asleep in the front seat of an empty police car outside the police station where he had been booked.

This next story asks the question,Why would a criminal get into a public contest/event with police officers when he’d been avoiding them for 9 months? What was he thinking?”

The sweet victory for a North Carolina man who beat police officers in a doughnut-eating contest this week soured after a newspaper story about the win led to his arrest on breaking and entering charges.

Finally, I’ve got a real head-shaker for you. There’s no mention of the intruder in the following story being drunk. So what was he thinking?

A New Mexico man faces charges after authorities say a couple found him naked and sleeping in their bed. He told officers he thought he was at his girlfriend's house.

Time for me to walk on down the road….



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wow! A Million Views and the Years Not Over!

                                                     News Flash!

This blog has officially gone over a million views since January 1st, 2014, at 9:36 PST Today.

I can’t thank you all enough for visiting. I’m thrilled to say there’s been over 4 million views since this blog’s inception in July 2008. That’s great! I never guessed how popular this blog would become.

There’s ton’s of other blogs that get millions of views – some daily. I realize my blog is just a small fish in a sea of social media, but I have such a good time doing it that it doesn’t bother me. You don’t see ads here, nor will you ever.

I’m blogging out of a desire to share with other people, like I did in my newspaper days before retirement.

This blog is also my therapy. I have PTSD and it helps me stay connected to people – if only virtually.

So, thank you all for stopping by, and I sure hope you continue to do so. As always, I’ll do my best to entertain, and to provoke thought on issues in our society.

Dave Stancliff

How looting hurts legitimate social protests for justice


Good Day World!

It seems like every time there’s a beef with police in inner city neighborhoods people resort to looting in response.

How does a complaint turn into an illegal shopping trip by protesters victimizing innocent businesses? 

This last weekend an unarmed black teen was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Mo. Riots and looting erupting almost immediately. The FBI stepped in and is also investigating the shooting death of Mike Brown (who was unarmed at the time).

About 32 people were arrested in connection with looting at 12 stores - including one which was nearly burned to the ground.

Why did people turn on the local businesses who had no part in the teens shooting? The incident triggered protests featuring chants of “kill the police.”  I understand the anger. Young African-Americans are all too often victims of trigger happy authorities.


Peaceful protests, like the march being put together by the Rev Al Sharpton, is the best way to redress a wrong. People will pay attention to that and will get the message.

When people mindlessly loot in retaliation for every grievance it takes away from the incident they’re protesting.

All people see on TV is the destruction and thievery. It becomes the main focus for the public which is usually appalled by the violence and senseless crimes.

The injustice/protest message gets lost in the chaos. Television viewers see people of color walking out of stores with whatever they can lay their hands on, and they get a bad impression. How could they not?

The looters are exploiting an opportunity to act unlawfully in a group in an attempt to avoid responsibility for their actions. They wait for an opportunity to loot stores and will exploit any social protest. Others just get caught up in the insanity of the moment and the opportunity to get something free.

If you think I’m beinBuuWamLIcAAyyPag biased against people of color, consider history. From the Watts riots in the 60s, to the recent St. Louis riots, looting has been a component in the protests.

Not that blacks don’t have reasons to protest. They do. Unequal criminal justice for starters.

But that’s not a reason to victimize someone else. Stealing from others is a moral and physical crime. I don’t care how poor a person is, theft is wrong.

When the rest of the country looks on and sees wanton destruction by a mob of African-Americans, they quickly develop a bad stereotype.

Racism rears it’s ugly head at moments like this – feeding upon the negativity. I wish those looters could understand that.

How they’re hurting the majority of their race in the school of popular opinion, with such senseless destruction and thievery.

Was that free TV really worth it?

Time for me to walk on down the road…



Monday, August 11, 2014

Become a Professional Line-Sitter – It Beats Baby-Sitting!


Good Day World!

Military veterans hate standing in line.

That’s because they’ve experienced the “hurry up and wait” lines all the services are known for.

Civilians don’t like lines because they’re always on the go. Society is too fast-paced to slow down and get in a line.

But what if you could make a living – or, at the very least extra money - by just standing around in lines? Would you do it?

No kidding.

Robert Samuel does.

The New York-based founder of Same Ole Line Dudes (SOLD Inc.), will wait for you because he’s a "professional line sitter."

He waits for anything, from sample sales to Saturday Night Live tickets. Samuel charges $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour.

In one week, he can make up to $1,000. That’s no joke.

Let’s face it, the Great Recession is only over for some folks – but the rest are still scrabbling about looking for jobs and making ends meet.

This could be better than standing in unemployment lines. At least you’ll get paid for your time in line.

If you’d like to know more about this unusual way to make money go to AOL Jobs

This method of generating money comes with the caveat that you have to promote the heck out of yourself if you go it alone. You can also see if there’s any openings at SOLD .Good luck!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Doc pulls tooth from odd spot, Study says ants could save world, & a Pokémon-playing fish

A tooth seen inside a man's nose.

Good Day World!

In my ongoing search for interesting stories I’ve selected a trio today that might make your day.

You may even want to tweet these articles to start a conversation about odd news.

We live in an interesting world where mysteries abound and things strange things happen on a daily basis.


After suffering from nosebleeds once or twice a month for three years, the 22-year-old man in Saudi Arabia consulted a doctor, who found an ivory-white, bony mass, about half an inch (1 centimeter) long in the man's nose.

 The doctors then consulted with dentist colleagues, who concluded that the mass was actually an extra tooth that had somehow ended up growing in his nose, according to the report.

The doctors pulled out the extra tooth after putting the man under general anesthesia, and the patient completely healed, and had no more nosebleeds three months later, according to the report, published in July in the American Journal of Case Reports.

Can Ants Save the World from Climate Change?

Ants may be some of Earth's most powerful biological climate brokers, a provocative new study claims.

The average ant lives and dies in less than a year, but a long-term experiment tracking the insects' effects on soil suggests they cooled Earth's climate as their numbers grew.

(Photo: Some plants supply nectar to ants in return for protection from herbivores. Here a Dolichoderus ant feeds from nectar)

Related: Image Gallery: Ants of the World

Live-stream Shows Nothing But a Fish Playing Pokémon, and It's a Huge Hit

Behold, "Fish Plays Pokémon."

It pretty much works as the title advertises: A Siamese fighting fish named Grayson swims around in a tank, and its up, down, right, and left movements trigger commands for the main character in the first iteration of the Nintendo game, Pokémon Blue.

Two students, Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris, at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, respectively, put together the setup as part of the hackNY 2014 fellowship program.

The live-stream has a massive audience on Twitch, and it routinely has an audience of 20,000 or more viewers online. It's not the first time Twitch has been used in an innovative way. 'Twitch Plays Pokemon' is a collaborative stream that allows participants to enter commands into a chat box. (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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...