Saturday, August 20, 2016

Why The War On Marijuana Continues Despite Research Showing It's Benefits

Good Day World!

The Obama Administration, and the DEA, refused to reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 - right alongside heroin, LSD, and Meth, to a lesser classification last week.


The War On Weed has continued during President Obama's two terms. Facts bear that out.

This most recent refusal is just the same refrain coming from Congress and President Obama..."more research needs to be done" was the hypocritical reason given for not rescheduling it and ending the farce.

Oh, really? I'd like to point out the following links as just a sampling of the research that's been going on for over two decades:

60 Peer-Reviewed Studies On Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Research: What The Research Shows

Marijuana and Your Health: What 20 years of Research Reveals

So what's spurring this apparent hypocrisy among the ruling powers?

Remember when Wikileaks released information that was hacked from the DNC? The leak revealed a damning connection with Big Booze.

Inside the leak was an email from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America which spread the idea that marijuana was causing more traffic accidents and fatalities than ever before.

The message was that weed was bad and needed to be regulated more, not less. 

The alcohol industry has a massive issue with drunk driving, so it makes sense that they would want to turn the heat of that pressure somewhere else.

There's more to this issue than just the alcohol industry's attacks. 

Big Pharma is afraid of cannabis. 

The pharmaceutical and alcohol industries both have powerful lobbying influences in Washington, They have long lobbied against cannabis legalization in order to protect their profits. 

This study has both industries shaking because it shows that 87% of those surveyed have replaced prescription drugs, alcohol, and other substances with marijuana.  

The War On Marijuana will continue, not for the people's benefit (as this most recent ruling proves), but for the benefit of a corrupt administration and Congress.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Don't be alarmed -- just get up fast and find the flying saucer!

Good Day World

I hate getting up early in the morning. 
I recall when my three sons were little, waking them with music. 
Now, you might be think, “How sweet. He gently woke his children with the soothing sounds of music.
You'd be wrong. I had a vinyl record of Snoopy and the Red Baron that featured the sounds of World War I planes in combat! 
At full volume, it never failed to bring them out of their beds in record (pardon the pun) time. I quit using this method when they hit their teens and loud music had no effect upon them.
We didn't have alarm clocks in Army basic training. We woke up at the crack of dawn out of pure survival instinct. 
Having to wake up at a certain time has always been a challenge. The Greek philosopher Plato had a large water clock alarm that was said to sound like an organ.
The goal of getting up at a prescribed time encompasses cultures throughout recorded history.
The Roman senator Cassiodorus (c. 485-585) had a water clock. In China, a striking clock was made by the Buddhist monk and inventor Yi Xing (683-727). An Arab engineer named al-Kaysarani made a striking clock in Damascus, Syria in 1154.
All of these devices utilize loud noise to do the job. It wasn't until James F. Reynolds and Paul L. Schroth Sr. came along in the 1940s that the first radio alarm clock was invented. 
It still made a loud noise, but you could wake up to music set at the volume you wanted.
Now we have digital alarm clocks featuring all kinds of bells and whistles. They come with “snooze” buttons, and “sleep” buttons, and battery backup to maintain the time in the event of a power outage.
The next-generation alarm clocks promise some pretty interesting stuff. You know how it is when you suddenly wake up and feel kinda groggy? The clock gurus are promoting “Progressive alarm clocks these days to address the problem. 
They involve stuff like a simulated sunrise (lights that slowly come on in phases), dawn simulators, and progressive auditory clocks.
There are tons of strange alarm clocks out there. Here are some of my favorites:
The Flying Alarm Clock is designed to get your rear end out of bed. It goes off at the time you set. The catch is, it literally goes off. The top portion flies off the base and lands somewhere in your room. It will continue to make a racket until you get up, find that flying saucer, and place it back on the base.
The Drag Racing Alarm Clock is constructed to look like that Christmas tree at the local drag strip. All the lights, sounds and actions of the dragster make for a fun way to start your day. Imagine the engine revving up and the tires warming up, the staging lights showing your position and the starting lights going off in sequence. Then an 8,000 horsepower engine screams into action, sending you hurtling down the strip! For added effect, you can also have working temperature and humidity gauges.
The Bomb Alarm Clock was invented by a Japanese company. Three minutes before it goes off, a voice starts a countdown. You have three minutes to disconnect a wire from the blinking light. If you make it in time you're fine. If not, be ready for a bang that will rock the house!
Finally, there's the Sfera Alarm Clock that makes you get up whether you like it or not. It is mounted on the ceiling above your bed and when it goes off you simply reach up and touch it to turn it off. 
But wait! There's more. This alarm clock retracts toward the ceiling and goes off again, getting a little higher each time. At some point you'll find yourself standing on the bed trying to turn it off!
As It Stands, my wife and I recently got an alarm clock that simulates a sunrise (slowly getting lighter), emits a scent called “energy,” and ends up with chirping birds. For the record, we slept in the first time we tried it!
(This column originally ran in The Times-Standard in Eureka, California on 1/12/10)
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stuck In Infotainment Hell: America Need a 'News' Revolution'

                                         Good Day World!

It's bad.

We can't turn to MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or any other so-called news channel because they aren't providing any real news anymore!

Donald Trump's latest stupid remarks dominate the airways in spite of what else is going on in the country, or the world.
"Trump took a dump in a golden toilet today..."

"Donald Trump said president Obama is the founder of ISIS..."

You get the idea.

We have to face it, infotainment TV has taken over because it gets higher ratings than just boring real news stories. That's our reality today when we turn on the boob tube (there's never been a better nickname for TV).

Corporations own the airways. They really don't want you to be informed because you may find out something bad about their business practises.

Ready to give up and swear off so-called news stations yet? I'm not. 

I'd like to see a grassroots effort by the American people to establish a real news channel funded by only donations from the public. 

Not a combination of donations and government grants like PBS gets. No other source of income would be acceptable.

The staff and editors will be held under scrutiny daily - all stories to be fact checked and vetted before they are released.

With social media today it's not too far-fetched to think a group of serious professional journalists could put something like this together. They could even Crowd Fund to get started.

I have a hunch it would become the most watched channel of all without any corporate influence or advertisers stuffing stories.

What do you think?

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The World Is A Stage; What Parts Have You Played In Your Life?

Good Day World!

As William Shakespeare once said;

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts." - from As You Like Itopening Monologue.

Sometimes, I reflect on the many parts I've played thus far in my life. Son. Brother. Vietnam veteran. Father. Journalist. Uncle. Grandfather...and I wonder what's left?

I look around and see my sons, and their children, and I wonder what roles lie ahead for all of them? 

The challenges they are going to face will revolve around their personal milestones as they take on their parts of parent or soldier. 

Being a father, or mother for example, is the greatest challenge you'll ever face. Trust me. 

Are there roles you hope to play yet in your life? Are you aspiring for greatness or happiness? Or, both. Is there a fire within you that sets you apart from others?

Have you played the role of the villain and enjoyed it? Have you been a good samaritan by choice, or chance? What has life thrust upon you, and what do you want to do?

Is there yet a part unplayed that you dream about? Remember, life is short and your part but a flicker of the eternal flame.

As my grandfather George Baxter once told me, " ..and The Merry Game goes on..." 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

7 Teaching Moments from the 2016 Presidential Election

                                       Good Day World!

Have you noticed how the term teaching moments often comes up after something bad happens, like murders or riots?

Today we're going to look at seven teaching moments from the 2016 presidential election.

* After the elections are over the GOP has got to pull the tattered remnants of their party together and figure out how a reality star and real estate developer defeated every conservative opponent (17 of them) in the primaries.

* Both political parties have some soul searching to do. It's apparent both parties underestimated the angry ground swell among disenfranchised Americans in rural areas.

* By studying how the NAZI party came to power in 1930's Germany, we can see the parallels between Trump and Hitler's rhetoric of fear and hate.

* Hopefully both parties will learn how to vet presidential candidates better. There's never been two worse candidates vying for the presidency in our history.

* When it comes to debates - both in the primary and the general election - a neutral entity should set all the rules (including times), and no candidate should be allowed to change them.

* We've seen how hackers are disrupting our election and how they have the ability to attack our electoral process in polling places. 
The teaching moment is that we need to update all voting machines and have a 100% paper trail in every polling place. As President Obama suggested, we should have a cyber-infrastructure to protect our entire electoral system.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dining With Celebrities Was Never On My Bucket List

Good Day World!

I've seen many contests that reward winners with an evening out to dinner with a celebrity.

I never could understand that. What's the big deal about consuming food with celebrities?

Have you ever won a contest and an intimate meal with a celebrity? 

My two experiences noshing down with famous people (no, I didn't win a contest) were hardly the highlights of my life. It was part of my job.  

As a managing editor of a group of newspapers in the Palm Springs area back in the early 90s, I often attended local events on behalf of the Palm Desert Post and the Post Newspapers.

I only dined with celebrities twice. The first time was with President Ford, and actor Robert Stack.

The second time was with Sonny Bono who was the Mayor of Palm Springs at the time.

Neither meal was something to brag about. I never dreamed about eating with celebrities. It was never on my bucket list.

My first experience was being seated at a table next to President Ford and actor Robert Stack at a Bob Hope Celebrity Golf Tournament .

Ford wasn't much of a talker, and I couldn't really think of subjects to just casually chat about with an ex-president. 

He was very polite and smiled a lot. I tried to entertain him briefly by talking golf - which I knew he loved - and which I knew absolutely nothing about.

"Hey, how about that Arnold Palmer? Have you seen the latest golf course he designed?"

I think Robert Stack was suffering from a hangover and was drinking some "hair of the dog" while listlessly staring at his food.

He wasn't having a good day so I didn't bother questioning him about when he use to play Elliot Ness on The Untouchables; a popular TV series that ran from 1959 to 1963.

Looking back at that experience one overwhelming thing comes to was really boring! 

Back then...

Sonny Bono and I, were on the "outs' because I wrote a scathing editorial about his proposed ban on thong bikinis for Spring Break that year. 

As a red-blooded male I had to stand up and call bullshit on that proposal.

Shortly after that editorial, some wit/event organizer seated us next to each other in the one-and-only heavyweight fight to ever be fought in that city (Welterweight Champion Meldrick Taylor vs unbeaten Luis Garcia of Venezuela.)

The match was held in a specially built 6,300-seat arena at the Radisson Palm Springs Resort and was televised by HBO.

We were seated at some guest tables near the ring with a few rich local snobs from La Quinta. I drank beer and Bono had cocktails. We both made a huge effort to ignore one another while being pleasant in front of our company.

The match was over quickly, but not before we both got in a few verbal jabs.

Watching a famous person gulp down food while making small talk seems gross to me. What if you have gas? Or, worse yet, what if they have gas?

Laughing now.

So many bad things can happen however. That person could turn out to be a real jerk and you're stuck consuming food with him/her. Just saying.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Election 2016: The Good, But Mostly Bad and Ugly Historical Firsts

Good Day World!

Records are being shattered in this presidential election, so I think it's only right to have a list of "Firsts."

For starters, Americans will look back at the Trump and Clinton Show and wonder how both political parties managed to nominate the two worst presidential candidates possible.

(The Good, but mostly Bad and Ugly)

1. Both candidates have smashed records for distain.
2. Both candidates are world class liars.
3. Both candidates (Emails and Trump U) are being investigated for possible crimes.
4. Both candidates are doing synchronized flip-flops instead of just one candidate (as is usually the case).
5. The majority of Americans don't trust either candidate.
6. For the first time in history Americans will have a chance to elect a woman president. 
7. The 2016 election is the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the Voter Rights Act and the country is witnessing the greatest rollback of voting rights since the act was passed five decades ago.
8. Julian Assange triggered the first WikiLeaks election.
9. The first evidence surfaced of foreign money pouring into U.S. Elections after Citizens United.
10. How new citizens and first time voters feel about the 2016 Election.

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...