Saturday, August 27, 2022

Cannabis Capitalism and the Black Market are Draining Oregon's Water Supplies During Drought

Photo - Oregon resident Jim Belushi talks about the new season of his Cannabis "Reality" show.

As a resident of Oregon,
I've watched with dismay as big cannabis companies and groups grow record amounts of marijuana that are contributing to the decline of water in Southern Oregon... which for the record is designated as a drought zone.  

The last couple of years major cannabis corporations have descended upon Oregon like locusts. 

Many "Oregonians" who were legally producing pot couldn't keep up with the massive, organized competition from the Big Marijuana companies who were undercutting them on prices.

Not only has this legal organized marijuana mafia driven jobs away from local Oregonians but they've also re-energized an organized Black Market causing major problems for our environment.

To be clear.

We have this massive water usage by corporate pot farms and recently inspired illegal farmers (most with Mexican cartel connections). 

Illegal grows have returned with a vengeance after a brief two-year hiatus and they're using water (and contaminating it with chemicals) from rivers and streams in state and national forests. It's water desperately needed in this parched land with more wildfires annually.

It's become a no-win situation. I suppose someone could argue the price for cannabis has gone down lately, with pounds going for hundreds of dollars instead of thousands of dollars.

Someone could also argue that with our new climate reality and increasing need for water with rivers, lakes and dams drying up at historic rates the state is in for some real shit in the near future if something doesn't change.

The problem is I think it's too late to turn back the green market's ambitions for Oregon. The companies are too well funded, and we have a dwindling supply of water.

Another thing that makes me mad is watching my favorite plant play a major part in the unfolding drama of fires, a drought, and capitalism gone crazy.

As it stands, this tired old hippie remembers the glory days of Humboldt communes that grew their own cannabis and the emergence of a legendary strain called - Granddaddy Perp.

Friday, August 26, 2022

'The Handmaid's Tale' Was Based on this Active Secret Christain Sect That Amy Coney Barrett Belongs To

Hula had a hit on their hands when they first released "The Handmaid's Tale" on April 26, 2017. 

The fifth season is set to premier on September 14th.

There's a back story to the Emmy Award winning series by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that's not commonly connected to the hit. It should be.

The plot features a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War where a theonomic, totalitarian society subjects fertile women, called "Handmaids," to child-bearing slavery. 

Does this plot sound far-fetched to you? It isn't and I'll tell you why.

Trump supporters and lawmakers are currently involved in taking away a women's right to her own body. When the right-wing leaning Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade women across America were disenfranchised. 

When Amy Coney Barrett was elevated to the Supreme Court, she brought along her membership in a secretive faith group that believes women's obedience and subservience to men is a key teaching.

The People of Praise was founded 50 years ago by Kevin Ranaghan and its central theme "headship" and the "roles of men and women" continues today. Former members of People of Praise, many of whom are critical of the group's dominance over member's lives, have described the group as calling for complete obedience of women to their husbands. 

Back to Barrett.

During her confirmation Barrett outright lied about challenging Roe v Wade as a precedent, suggesting she'd leave it alone. No surprise. She didn't.

That's because she's part of an overall attempt to reshape our country into a totalitarian state solely ruled by men. Yes, she is a traitor to women and a liar. She's never addressed how the reversal of Roe might affect a woman's life.

Barrett is a sounding-board echoing the People of Praise culture in which she was raised and chosen to remain part of, which emphasizes the importance of childbirth, pregnancy and the abandonment of autonomy and privacy it supposedly entails, as a core part of what it means to be a woman.

An interesting footnote to all of this is the group is not rooted in Catholic tradition (as some have speculated), but rather Kevin Ranaghan's involvement in the 1970s National Men's Shepards Conference, which was co-sponsored by Protestant leaders who believed that men were ordained by God to lead.

One thing is very clear, there's a war against women in America and they need to fight back by voting in the midterms.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

He was Reviled for Resisting the Draft: They Stripped Him of His Title, But Not His Legacy

This is a story of one man standing up for his beliefs during a time of terrible strife when the nation was being torn asunder because of the Vietnam conflict.

He was born Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. Later, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali in accordance with his newly adopted religion - Islam.

He was also arguably the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. When he chose to be a conscientious objector against the Vietnam draft, public sentiment - already high - turned against him and he was arguably the most hated man in America and received many death threats.

At the trial on June 20, 1967, the jury found Ali guilty after only 21 minutes of deliberation of the criminal offense of violating the Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. 

After a Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, the case was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. On June 28, 1972, the Supreme Court in Clay v United States overturned Ali's conviction by a unanimous 8-0 decision.

The rest is history. Ali is recognized as "The Greatest" professional boxer of all time. He's also known for his work as an activist for equal rights for African Americans.

A lot of people aren't aware that Ali suffered from dyslexia all of his life and had trouble learning. He once quipped, "I'm the Greatest! Not the Smartest!"

A lot of people asked me what I thought about Ali dodging the draft after I returned from Vietnam and Cambodia (1970). I'm sure they expected me to respond like a war hawk, but I chose the way of the dove saying I agreed with Ali's stance. It was his right as an American.

It's never easy to stand up for one's beliefs, especially when you suffer negative consequences for your decision. But it's worth it.

Ali was so revered that his hometown Louisville renamed their airport The Louisville Mohammad Ali International Airport.

Not bad for a man who was once called the "most hated man" in America.

As it stands, when Ali died on June 2, 2016, the world mourned his loss.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Is There a Limit to Extremism in America?

I really want to know. At what point do we quit going after one another in our society like feral beasts?

Being polarized on ideologies is one thing - the hateful rhetoric and violence that now accompanies running for and holding public offices is another. It's scary.

Today, Oklahoma Republican Scott Esk is in a primary runoff for a state house seat. He's the same guy who's notorious for suggesting gay people should be executed by stoning.

Esk's vile rhetoric is now officially part and parcel of the Republican agenda for America. Hate anyone that disagrees with them or is different.

The source of this new level of extremism is the former president and biggest con man in American history... Trump.

But we know all of this right?

So, does that mean we're doomed as a united nation? Cursed? Without hope?


We're one step away from gladiatorial combat in specially built arenas to slack our growing bloodlust. Starting with sacrificing prisoners for the new blood games and then moving on to the losers of public elections, the days of rage are here.

National elections are no longer as safe as they once were. Which is to say voter suppression leveled by Trump supporters has suddenly become the thing to do.

Will we reach a limit some day and say, "enough is enough?

Perhaps, if Trump is held accountable for his treason and does jail time along with his cronies. 

If voters start holding the election deniers and liars accountable there's a chance, we can turn the negative energy around and infuse positive energy back into our society.

As it stands, the choice is clear; we won't lose our liberties as long as we resist extremism and realize it has to be dealt with today and not tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Protest Art is Liberty's Ally

It's almost impossible to establish a history for protest art because many variations can be found throughout the world since the dawn of time.

Many cases of protest art can be found in the early 1900s, like Picasso's Guernica in 1937. The photo above show's a recently discovered Picasso piece titled, "The Eye of the Serpent" which mocked Hitler.

The thing about protest art is that it's an important tool to form consciousness, create social networks, and its cost-effective.

It's the common man's way of communicating powerful messages.

Protest art is not limited to signs, banners, posters, paintings, and other printed materials. It can also include performance art, site-specific installations, graffiti, and the media. 

In addition, protest art can be ongoing or community oriented. For example, the Read Opera the Charter of the Forest. The site is updated every two weeks and has a following of activists. It rejects the manipulative practices of art-for-profit and takes as a given that culture is a right, not a privilege.

I remember the street protests in the 60s and 70s over the nation's involvement with Vietnam.

I was in the Army and went to Vietnam and Cambodia. I was not gung ho. I hated it there and when I got out of the Army in 1971, I joined other ex-Vietnam vets in protesting that senseless war.

If you're interested here's a link to the largest collection (over 85 thousand posters) of post-World War social posters in the United States and the second largest in the world.

As it stands, protest art is liberty's ally.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Hooray for the Underdog!

I've always been fascinated by underdogs.  And I'm not alone.

Everyone loves underdogs.

Some of my favorite underdog stories are in sports. There's a certain magic watching a plucky underdog who somehow, someway, reaches the pinnacle of their sport. Upstart teams that knock off champions really get my adrenaline going.

Here's 3 Sport examples

** When the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series oddsmakers moaned. The mighty Yankees had won 10 of the last 12 pennants and were huge favorites. Just to add a little more salt to the defeat the Pirates Bill Mazeroski hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history with his bottom of the ninth, game-winning homer to take the championship.

** Remember Iron Mike Tyson? I bet you don't remember the name of the 42-1 underdog that beat him in 1990. Buster Douglas pulled off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history by knocking out Terrible Mike.

** Who can forget the first football championship to be billed as a "Super Bowl" where a decided underdog won? The powerful NFL Baltimore Colts were 18-point favorites over the lowly AFL New York Jets who famously "guaranteed" they'd win. They did and the rest is history.

Miscellaneous Underdogs

** How about David and Goliath? A great example of a victorious little guy.

** One of my favorite underdogs is Susan Boyle who suffered from Asperger Syndrome. She looked frumpy and eccentric when she first appeared on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent" in April 2009. 

And then she began to sing.

Wow! She got a standing ovation and never looked back while she went on to a successful singing career, selling nearly 20 million records worldwide.

** A divorced mom with three kids, Erin Brockovich, became a household name when she took on the Pacific Gas & Electric and held them accountable for deliberately contaminating the drinking water in Hinkley, California. 

PG&E settled the case for a record $333 million in 1996. Four years later Julie Roberts played Brockovich in the Oscar-winning movie that bears her name.

What is it About Underdogs That Attracts Us?

For starters, the more we identify and internalize the gravity of a story, the more we root for it.

Marketers learned a long time ago that by tying their brand to an underdog story will increase the consumers desire to purchase a product and influence brand loyalty.

The thing about underdog stories is they have a universal appeal, reliably driving feelings of empathy. They tap into the qualities we like best about ourselves and find admirable in others.

The underdog story is deeply rooted in the American dream. Economically or socially "moving up" in the world is paramount in the context of American culture. It's not just where you wind up, but how far you've climbed to get there.

As it stands, hooray for the underdog!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Testing...Testing: What's Your Score in Life?

I hated tests in high school and college. 

I still break out with hives at the thought that I might not pass a test.

Let's test the waters and look at some challenges circulating in our society that are actually fun...

The Personality Test


*The Prude Test

*The Honesty Test

* The Social Chameleon Test

*The Clueless Test

*The Trust Test

After taking all of these tests you'll find out if you're a humble optimist or a competitive egomaniac. Go here to take each test.

I found a great website that's full of free fun tests you can take. Here's just a few examples:

** Find out what your Psychological Age is

** True Love Test

** Left/Right Brain Test

Moving on...nothing new under the sun

We can blame the first standardized tests on China. They go back nearly 2,000 years ago during the Han dynasty in 1st-century China.

In the early 19th century, the standardized test was imported to Europe from Chinese colonies held by the British Empire. They eventually made their way to the United States where they've since become a fixture in our education system.

Maximum Strength & Strength Endurance Tests:

Tests aren't just for measuring our intellect. We should also test our bodies to see what terrible shape we're in... and then do something about it.

Go here to get physical.

Am I testing your patience on the subject?

Are you wondering why you stopped by?

Do tests harsh your high?

As it stands, I would like to thank you for stopping by. Arrivederci!

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...