Archive for November, 2013

Obama to Colorado: “Drop Dead”

Posted in Drugs, Ethics/Morals, Law & Order, Marijuana, Politics, Society with tags , , on November 21, 2013 by Lupa

Long, Ummm, Arm of The Law

As I type, the feds are raiding multiple medical marijuana businesses in Colorado.

The following is an op/ed I wrote for a marijuana related publication in Sept when the federal government released a memo saying they would essentially respect state laws.  They declined to publish it.  In my opinion, it is now rather prescient.

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“Memo Legislation”

The Department of Justice recently released a memo outlining how they plan to reconcile the conflict over federal (and supreme) law with the decisions by voters to legalize recreational marijuana here in CO and in WA.  I call it memo legislation, and like a 13 year old girl on Facebook I so wish there was a dislike button for it.

For one I didn’t know it was still 1998.  I bet someone printed a copy of that memo 100 times on a dot printer, tossed the sides like bread crusts and gave it to each individual by hand.  I would be surprised if Eric Holder doesn’t have a rolodex.  I bet they have it saved on a floppy disk too.  What wasn’t made public was President Obama’s memo directing the federal government to use the office technology of the Clinton administration; he saw the way Bubba is liked these days and can’t see why it’s for any other reason.  Or at least someone wrote that down and he read it, but I digress.

Let me be unambiguously clear and honest: this administration does not want to legalize marijuana, or for that matter take any actual concrete and accountable measures to reduce the assault on rights marijuana users face by the government.  I think we can say that the buck stops with him.  His reasoning is irrelevant, but perhaps you might want to hear it when you need to kill time in a federal clink.  Let me continue this line of forthrightness and say that its basis for protecting you against federal prosecution is nonexistent.  It would be like using a garbage bag for a bullet proof vest.  They might have bad aim, but it wasn’t the trash bag that stopped those bullets from hitting you.  As an English major would say: it’s a red herring.

At this point in time in the Obama administration if they had an intent to actually do something concrete, I don’t know like attempting to repeal the law, even suggesting it is bad or introducing their own constitutional amendment, they would have done it.  To me what is most striking is Obama’s callousness.  He can, as the President of the United States take some perfectly reasonable steps unilaterally if he wanted to. Rescheduling marijuana from a DEA schedule 1 substance (“no medicinal value”) would at least nationally ease any concerns of the medical marijuana community.  Point blank this causes people who already in ill health to suffer more.  I find it difficult to believe a future president would schedule marijuana back, but it is entirely possible a different administration sends an email, not a memo, that says they will enforce every law the U.S. has.  Which is exactly what I want them to do.

It’s a cold and calculated indifference.  He can make a difference.  He chooses not to.

Good Guys V. Nice Guys

Posted in Ethics/Morals, General, Print, Society with tags , , on November 20, 2013 by Lupa

Good Guys

I stopped trying to be a nice guy long, long ago.  In fact, I became entirely more content when I relieved myself of the burden of attempting to be thought of as one.

What I will be until the day I die is a good guy.  Not like a Chucky doll and not like the WMCA Good Guys.

A nice guy is thought of because of actions, most of those actions being ones of acquiescence.

A good guy is not defined by his actions, but of his constitution.  It speaks to morals and integrity.  The good guy’s actions will be similar to a nice guy’s in many situations, but in the ones most critical drastically different.

A nice guy is willing to sacrifice his integrity for the sake of civility.

A good guy is guided by what he believes is right.

A nice guy is compelled by what he believes will be thought of as right by others.

A good guy, compelled by a sense of justice, will seek to dismiss BS at all times.  The good guy knows the abstract principle is more important than the hurt feelings of the bullshitter.

A nice guy will have a higher tolerance for BS, because providing the proper reaction to BS, he believes, is being socially unacceptable.

A good guy will not continue an association or relationship with an individual they know to be actively deceptive.  A good guy would rather be liked for the right reasons.

A nice guy will let unscrupulous people use him.  People who will do so concertedly and with no afterthought.  He does this in order to be liked.

A good guy will contemplate an avenue to help a struggling friend, while keeping in mind that person’s feelings, because after all he is a good guy.

A nice guy will see his friends debase themselves and say nothing, as to not rock the boat.

A good guy’s only reference point is strong belief and the conspicuous holdings of them.  No one who stands up for their beliefs earnestly is thought of universally as a nice guy.  This difference can cause a good guy, who should be thought of a “nice guy”, to be thought of as an asshole in some situations.

A nice guy doesn’t believe in anything.  If he does, he doesn’t stand up for it.  He is universally thought of as a nice guy.  A nice guy cares what strangers think to the point of obsequiousness.

A good guy understands the opinion of family, friends and those he respects are paramount to public opinion.

A nice guy would write things on his blogs to try and get people to come back

I don’t give a shit and stick to my principles.

Be Careful What You Wish For (The Failing of Batkid)

Posted in Ethics/Morals, Print, Society with tags on November 19, 2013 by Lupa

Batkid

The world was captivated by a 5 year old California boy this week.

Here’s what we know about him.

His name is Miles Scott, he’s 5 years old and cute as button.  He’s had acute lymphoblastic leukemia since he was 20 months old, which thankfully is now in remission.

Every year tens of thousands of kids (which we’ll define as minors) are diagnosed with a form of cancer.  Cancer we can all agree is vicious but when tragedy befalls the young it is particularly stinging.  It’s hard to imagine a bigger injustice than to have to deal with such an ordeal so young in life.  Nonetheless, it persists, in spite of our “best efforts.”  Generally speaking disease is far from being eradicated in the lifetime of anyone living.

The Make-A-Wish foundation is a non-profit organization with a 30 plus year history of selfless dedication to young people who have had the bad fortune to be dealing with major illness.  Typically children are thought to be terminally ill, however Make-A-Wish has a method, which I do not doubt the integrity of, that dictates the selection of which wishes they will grant; a child may not be terminal, simply have a debilitating chronic disease, but for all intents and purposes are in critical struggle. The distinction is subtle, but existent.

When I was young, the people I can remember in similar positions were AIDS patients like Ryan White and Joey Dipaolo.   There was a concerted effort in the 80’s and 90’s to bring awareness and education of disease to the youth, a direct result of the unexperienced nature of deadly sexually transmitted disease.  Prior to that, STD’s were not destructive.  I think this influenced many people of my generation to think of disease in a distinctly different way than previous generations.

For example when AIDS came out, there was rampant misinformation regarding transmission.  What was drilled into us was you could NOT get AIDS (HIV) from touching, and there was no reason to not hug someone dealing with the disease.  Further, it was not limited to gays.  A generation before me such a scourge that was primarily focused within the gay community would have been handled differently, even though what the gay population experienced in the early days of AIDS in the 80’s was not ideal.

Fast forward to Friday and Miles saw his wish come true.  His wish was to be Batman for a day.  Can’t knock that.  Cancer has not eroded his taste.  Batkid he became.

This is where things get fucked up however.

In the supposedly exceptional America, the Make A Wish Foundation and the masses exploited Miles.

The typical Make-A-Wish wish is an intimate event for the patient.  This event was not such.  Adults decided to interpret his perfectly reasonable request, and manipulated it until it distorted.  They decided that his appreciation and the positive value/impact would be correlated to the amount of people, time, resources and social media dedicated to his wish.  How self-serving and obstinate they were.

The scope of this “wish” was perverted so much, it required a major assist from government, which the Make A Wish foundation will not be fitting the bill for.  Tax payers will.  Look at all the uniformed personnel (understand the public pays them) that there were and there were more you didn’t see.  This was an all-day thing requiring major reinforcements.  A 22 year veteran city worker for San Francisco told me he estimated it would be around a 400K bill to the taxpayer.

(UPDATE 11/20/13: The actual tab to taxpayers will be $105,000)

It’s my opinion, if an organization imposes its will on the populace in such a way that extracts such expense to the state, then it is incumbent upon them to see this expense benefits as much of the populace as possible.  In this case that would be other ill children.  Not just one.  There are thousands of severely ill children in the Bay Area.  Untold amounts more who would never qualify for a wish, but nonetheless need one more than Miles.

What does not benefit a society is perpetuating a lottery mentality, one in which dreams come true, but these dreams are dictated by the powers that be.  It just does not benefit us in the long run.  They should be fortified with the knowledge that self-determination and equality are the keys.

One kid lived a dream.  We all can connect viscerally with that notion.  For a brief moment in time, his life was perfect.

Should an advanced society promote such ideas though?

Is this not dangerous individualism at the expense of clearly pragmatic collectivism?

One thing is clear: the media loved it.  Clicks galore.  People made money.

How is it the general populace does not view this in an uneasy manner?  We elevated one child, in full view of the nation’s children, to demigod status.  If we really think about it, the effort that went into this was massive.  Millions of dollars, months of time, thousands of people.  At what point do we step back and say, “we’re just all living through this kid.”  Without realizing it, many people are using this kid to make themselves feel good by telling all their friends how “heartwarming” and restorative of humanity this makes them.

Sanctimony in the highest order.

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