A Victory Over The Reefermad Scourge: Uruguay Legalizes Marijuana Trade

11 Dec

Wow. Good news from Montevideo.

A government-sponsored bill approved by 16-13 votes in the Senate provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals in the small South American nation.

The law dictates tight regulations on trade.

Cannabis consumers will be able to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from licensed pharmacies as long as they are Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases

.  But less so with growing it privately.

Uruguayans will be able to grow six marijuana plants in their homes a year, or as much as 480 grams (about 17 ounces), and form smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members that can grow up to 99 plants per year.

They are the first. Other countries have legalized medical use of marijuana, and some have decriminalized possession. Two of the United States, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational use. But no entire nation has until now legalized every step, from cultivation to market to consumer.

Uruguary is the first in what will hopefully soon be a fast-growing list.

It is certain that the implementation of this law, starting 120 days from today, will be analyzed and monitored closely by most everyone interested in such things. Neighbors will be looking at cost-benefit, proponents will be rightfully cheering it on, and opponents will be highlighting all the obvious reasons why it is a horribleterriblybad idea. Conservatives in Uruguay aren’t convinced, and while the law did pass the Senate, and will be implemented, the opposition is sure to be strong, vocal, and as usual full of crap. What exactly Washington will do remains to be seen.

It’s been coming for a long time, and many people, countries and corporate entities want very badly for it to not happen. For close to a century the reefer madness has continued. Today’s victory against it could prove to be the first in a world-wide awakening to its stupidity, wastefulness and ineffectiveness.

Bravo, Uruguay.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

Who Are You To Claim A Divine Pedigree? You ARE Miraculous, But You’re Also An Ape

15 Nov

Some people prefer to feel superior to the beings/people around them. Maintaining this illusion is, I guess, a way to maintain a sense of control. By telling themselves they are unique and miraculous they become the masters.

Miracle

1: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs

2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment

I don’t know about the first one. The “divine” question is a can of worms I’m not opening right now. But the second one…. yeah I see myself and all other human beings as fitting that definition, as miracles. But the thing is under that definition I also see an orangutan as a miracle, or an elephant, or an anaconda. I see my little puppy dog as a miracle. Hell; I see bacteria as a miracle, both the ones making my armpits stink and the ones currently digesting my dinner for me. Not miracles in the sense that God wrinkled her nose and they appeared, but miracles in the sense that when taken against the cold silence of our observable universe, against the backdrop of all that empty space, they are every one of them extremely outstanding and unusual.

Life itself is a miracle. As is its only known cradle and mother, earth.

But those are big concepts, aren’t they? It’s a lot simpler to believe that you have a leg-up in the miracle department; that you are especially miraculous and need not concern yourself with the not-miracles around you. Makes you feel powerful, in control, and safe.

Rank. Explicit. Blasphemy. And much worse: by any reality-based standard it is total nonsense. Nonsense which, instead of ceding you control, actually makes it easier for you to be controlled.

Sandcastles to the Sea

13 Nov

We build sandcastles. They dot the coastlines of our lives. They are founded in our trust and patience, they are adorned with our attention and affection, and they are constructed of our blood, sweat and tears.

To an impartial or inhuman eye they may seem insignificant, even a bit silly. To us they are things of the most glorious beauty. And our delight in their building is the greatest of all things. We are children at the beach; carefree and happy remaking the landscape of our lives.

Every one of these edifices, without exception, is fragile. They are all mortal. And the sea is utterly, implacably ruthless. At its fancy it heeds neither our levees nor our cries.

We rail against it, we do are damnedest to hold it back, and rightfully so. But labor as we might nothing stops the waves from eventually washing out these things we’ve built. It can be a single crashing rogue, or a violent storm; but most times it is simply the long march of the decades. In the end our toil always goes back to the sea. And we are left confused and empty.

It hurts so bad to lose one that we’ve loved. It hurts SO bad. In English the feeling is called grief, but what really happens is all but unspeakable. No language really contains it. We are left with a massive hole inside us; one that will heal, with care, but which will never be filled again. For all our accomplishments as a species, for all our pride, we are still brought to our knees when this terrible thing happens to each of us. It never really ends. It can get “easier”, but at no point is it ever easy. Our loved one’s face is forever gone. They remain in our scrapbooks, in our home movies. In etchings in stone. They remain in a special place buried deep in our neurons. Therein at least, with the half-light of memory, a shadow of our former love is cast.

But a shadow cannot be hugged. And woe are we.

Despite our pain most of us go back to our lives. We go back to our building, back to glory and beauty. We know deep down that our sandcastles are the best things we will ever behold, in fact they are the best things in all of our known universe, and we know that the privelege of being part of them at all is an infinite blessing.

Someday the sea will once again show its power and its cruelty. Though we will continue to fight the longest of battles; terrible loss will once again find us.

Until then, could you hand me a shovel? That levee needs fixing.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

Enjoy Your Cage, Pothead

12 Nov

Idiocy. Clean-up aisle 4.

Human beings enjoy changing consciousness. That’s just the way it is. It’s something we’ve done for the full extent of our history. No society has been immune. We like it, and more importantly we like it in variety. Ever since the first person left a basket of fruit too long in a cool and dry place, or the first person used a cannabis or a tobacco plant for firewood. Earlier than that even; the first proto-humans to munch on some magic mushrooms.

But today we’re not allowed. Official decree from the United States federal government is that if any person is significantly changing consciousness for “recreational” purposes, if the substance they’re using is anything other than alcohol, that person is not fit to live in society and needs to be put in a little cage.

So what do we have? A “substance abuse” problem. As in we’ve trained ourselves to go apeshit over substance use and/or abuse; a passtime which we’ve found particularly enjoyable since forever.

Now, I know this is not a cut-and-dried issue. There is a balance. Substance abuse is potentially a very bad thing regardless of the substance being abused. And some are really quite horrible.

In my opinion, at this time there are a few names on the Schedule 1 list which belong there.

But there is one that doesn’t. Balance.

Repeal the treaties. Change the laws. Legalize marijuana.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

We Built It

12 Nov

Just a couple small things accomplished with the help or at the behest of government.

I’ve included a small amount of information on each of these endeavors, but click the remarkably convenient “We Built It” banners to find out more. In whole or in part each one of these things owe their existence to the American taxpayer.


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Panama Canal, Panama
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Panama Canal from orbit

The Panama Canal was completed in 1914, after 33 years of construction. A canal through the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, had been longed for by navigators in the New World since the 1500s. It cuts some 8000 nautical miles off of a sea-going trip from New York to San Fransisco, and avoids Cape Horn. After the French attempt in 1881 proved a failure, and with work at a virtual standstill from 1893 until the US acquisiton in 1904, it was the United States that finally finished the canal. Maintaining sovereignty there during World War II and on through the 20th century, the United States officially handed over control to Panama on December 31, 1999. The canal remains one of the most important waterways in the world.

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The United States Interstate System
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President Dwight Eisenhower (R)
official portrait May 29, 1959

In 1956 Republican President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the Federal Highway Act, which began the construction of a network of high-speed roads to interconnect the country. Dubbed the greatest public works project since the Pyramids in Egypt, the Interstate Highway System was certainly the greatest achievement of Eisenhower’s tenure as President. The originally planned System was completed in 1992, but it has since been extended numerous times. As of 2010 the system spans some 47,000 miles and is estimated to have cost $425 billion. Spanning the entire country and all sectors, the amount of jobs created directly and indirectly by this project is incalculable

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Hoover Dam, Black Canyon

The Hoover Dam was the biggest concrete construction project in human history when it was built. Approved by Congress in 1928 and constructed between 1931 and 1936, the project employed over 15,000 people and today provides electricity for 1.3 million homes.

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Mackinac Bridge
Straits of Mackinac

The Mackinac Bridge, completed in 1957, connects the Upper and Lower peninsulas of the state of Michigan. Between anchorages “Mighty Mac” is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, and the third longest in the world in total suspension. On average 11,600 people cross its 26,372 feet every day.

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New York City, New York
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President Gerald R. Ford (R)

The city of New York had been facing near-catastophic shortfalls for years when, in December 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the New York City Seasonal Financing Act. The President had previously rejected a plea for help from city leaders, but the mounting severity of the crisis, even after the city took serious attempts at fixing it, changed Ford’s mind. A $2.3 billion line of credit was extended to the city, and the US Treasury earned about $40 million in interest.

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GM Proving Grounds
Milford, Michigan

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2013 Chevy Volt

Founded by William “Billy” Durant in September 1908, General Motors employs more Americans than any other automaker, and is one of the largest corporations in the world. After posting losses in the tens of billions during the mid-2000′s, the General Motors Corporation formally filed for Chapter 11 protection on the morning of June 1, 2009. The proceedings were among the largest bankruptcy cases in US history, and the company was bailed out to the tune of $50 billion. As of now GM has repaid close to half of this debt, with the company reporting a record profit of $7.6 billion dollars for 2011.
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PhotobucketAmundsen-Scott South Pole station
South Pole

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aurora australis over South Pole station
June 24, 2009

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole station sits atop the southernmost point on earth. Originally built in 1956 by the United States government, the station has been continuously occupied since that time. On-site research includes glaciology, geophysics, meteorology, upper atmosphere physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and biomedical studies. There is a runway at the station for ski-equipped aircraft, and an iceroad which runs to McMurdo station on the Antarctic coast. The South Pole station’s population goes from as many as 200 people in the summer, to about 50 in the winter.
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USNS Mercy

At 894 feet in length, with two oxygen generators aboard, a heliport and 1000 beds, the USNS Mercy is truly a hospital on the ocean. She was originally built and launched in 1975 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company as an oil tanker, but was commissioned by the US Navy in 1986 as one of two Mercy class hospital ships. Only defensive weaponry are allowed on board in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and firing on her would be considered a war crime.

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53rd USAF Reserve WRS
WC-130J Weatherbird

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squandron, known as the Hurricane Hunters of the Air Force Reserve, fly into tropical storms and hurricanes in order to conduct scientific research and observation. The Hurricane Hunters and their ten WC-130Js, a relative of the venerable C-130 Hercules, can support 24-hour continuous operation and can fly up to three storms a day.

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SR-71 Blackbird
United States Air Force

The SR-71 Blackbird could hit speeds exceeding 2000 mph, had a range of 3000 nautical miles and could reach close to 90,000 feet. Carrying no weapons save for cameras, the aircraft was used strictly for strategic reconaissance purposes. It served the US Air Force from 1964-1998. It was a frightful resource-guzzler, and those costs are what led to its retirement, but to me that is one beautiful beast.

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Voyager 1 Spacecraft
Cape Canaveral, Florida 1977

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projected flight path of Voyagers 1 & 2

Voyagers 1 and 2 were built by NASA at Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasedena, California, and launched in November of 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Their official mission was to study the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn, but they were able to continue their mission through the rest of our solar system and are expected to continue it in interstellar space. They will be the first man-made objects to do so, and Voyager 1 is already the farthest away and fastest moving thing we have ever built. In August 2009 Voyager 1 entered the heliosheath, the region where the solar wind encounters the interstellar medium and begins to slow down; but it is not known with certainty when the spacecraft will reach the heliopause, which is thought to mark the boundary of interstellar space. Both spacecraft are estimated to have enough power to continue to record and transmit through 2020, and possibly 2025.

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Curiosity Rover
JPL, Pasedena, California

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Curiosity Rover self-portrait
Gale Crater, Mars

The Curiosity Rover was launched in November, 2011 as part of the Mars Science Laboratory, by far the most advanced and ambitious space probe mission ever attempted by NASA. The objectives of this mission are many, and include studying Mars’ potential for life and the origin of life, as well as examining Mars’ potential to host human habitation. On August 6, 2012 the Curiosity rover, using a complicated and previously untried “sky crane landing”, successfully landed in Gale Crater on Mars. The rover is equipped with 17 cameras, a microscope, an X-ray spectrometer and two on-board CPU’s which handle all commands sent to it from the flight team at JPL. Weighing in at just under a ton the rover is the heaviest object humans have ever sent to another planet’s surface.

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International Space Station 1998
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International Space Station 2012

The first component of the International Space Station was launched in November 1998, via an autonomous Russian Proton rocket. Remaining without resident crew for two years, the first people to call ISS home were Sergei K. Krikalev, Yuri Gidzenko and commander Bill Shephard. Since that time, some 11 years and 324 days, the station has remained occupied. A joint project between the Americans, Russians, Japanese, Canadians and the European Union, the station was launched to be a combination laboratory, observatory and factory in space. It also is intended to act as an orbital staging area for possible future missions throughout the solar system. The station itself can be seen from 95% of the inhabited land on earth, just after sunset or before sunrise. Because it has so much reflective surface area it is the brightest man-made object in our sky, about the same as Venus; and can have a brightness of 8 or 16 times that of Venus when a lucky tumble shows a particularly bright surface to an observer on the ground. It is absolutely gorgeous.

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This one’s for you, Neil

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Neil Armstrong
July 16, 1969
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Go baby go
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Neil’s small step
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Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint
Sea of Tranquility
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Neil, Buzz and Old Glory
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Earthrise
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welcome home boys

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

The Reefer Madness Is Everywhere. If You Aren’t Scared, You Should Be

12 Nov

You never know when you might meet a reefer. Spotting one while active has become near impossible, what with breath mints and eye-drops and the like. And I assure you, whether you realize it or not, the people on both sides of you could very well be stoned right now.

They are everywhere.

And there is NOTHING funny about a reefer.

Things have changed a lot since the good old days, when a reefer was a traitor to freedom, and a mean drunk was really an ok guy. Today things are downright horrible. It’s come to the point where our current President and the previous two are all reefers. Where they’re calling this deadly narcotic a “medicine.” And it has come to the point where some states have actually allowed people to use it recreationally.

Obviously the reefer situation has gotten quite out of hand.

Of course people are throwing around things like “the will of the people” and “a just and sensible society” and “democratically petitioned, approved and signed-into-law legislation” to pretend to permit this wilful endangerment of our fair nation. But obviously those people and anybody else parroting that sort of hippie talk are all reefers themselves. So there you go… Anyway what do “the people” know? They should all simply disregard a lifetime of anecdotal information and realize that marijuana is as dangerous to society as the government says it is, and that whatever consequences arise from strict enforcement of such an incredibly difficult-to-enforce plant are entirely worth it.

I was an active reefer myself for many years, I’m active right now in fact, and I can tell you that we have damned ourselves by loosening our grip on this devil plant. The terrible scourge of teh reefer madness is all too real. Just ask anybody with a badge.

Because addiction.

Plus the children.

Gateway drug.

Heroin.

Also the children, and criminals.

And if all those well-vetted admonitions don’t sway you, consider this: Studies have shown that marijuana users are 100% more likely to engage in criminal activity than both a baked potato and a fruit fly.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

Science Fiction

12 Nov

Zero hour is imminent; The Scientist is ready.

Only Time will tell what results the experiment will bring.

The scene is shrouded in tension and darkness, but The Scientist slows or wavers not in the slightest. Beautiful and terrible, unstoppable and unknowable things will happen after zero hour. Or at least so The Scientist hopes.

In front of The Scientist is a small wad of gray-ish goo. At present it is inert; utterly static. At a glance it looks decidedly boring, and altogether purposeless. In good Time The Scientist feels certain that that will change, with brilliant violence; and that the seeming unimportant wad will fulfill its elusive purpose.

One thing remains.

Nearby sits a syringe. The syringe is the final step in the preparation of the experiment. Within it is the final ingredient necessary to carry the experiment forward, the catalyst.

Within the syringe is Time.

The Scientist grabs the syringe, raises it, and makes contact; between the barest tip of the needle and the unborn Universe.

All is now ready.

Then, 13.7 billion years ago and still counting, The Scientist pushed the plunger.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

Silly Humans, Greed Is A Parasite

11 Nov

Worse, someone’s been feeding this ghastly thing, by keeping humanity well-saturated with alluring, intoxicating lies.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get to the top too someday. Sure you will.”

The Top, where everyone lives in a castle, and where diamonds and precious stones are as pebbles on a beach.

Right.

That fabled place does exist, if you’ve freighter-loads of money, the right surname, or both. The lie in which we’ve been bathed is that if you don’t have these things and you want to get near the top in this lifetime the way to do it is to accumulate the former via everyone else, every person you see. “All for me and none for thee” is the refrain of the go-getter. Eat it all before it eats you. Just focus on teh profitz and forget everything else and you’ll get there too. Someday. Sure you will. Suck ‘em all dry, the whole damn world, and devil take the hindmost.

Never mind the future, never mind the past. Never relent. Eyes on the prize.

I think that for us, an organism/society made up of billions of freely thinking beings, our greed is nothing but a ravaging parasite. One which far too many people openly espouse as a symbiote. A boon. But they are wrong. So tragically wrong. It facilitates growth, sure. Growth which is unsustainable and deadly. It could indeed kill us, lead our species into extinction, but I don’t think it’s incurable. I think we can yet be on our way to health. Taking on dramatically new things has always been our gig, and we relish a challenge. Which this task will most certainly be.

Our mightiest challenge yet.

Some of our deepest and most basic self finds greed all too familiar, and we’ve done terrible things in its thrall. Our species’ rise has been very nasty. The free-for-all bloodsport of the natural world has seen active and doubly ruthless players in homo sapiens.

It’s a thought that can be hard to confront.

We have shown little restraint or remorse towards other inhabitants of our pale blue home. Our voracity leaves nothing exempt. Not our living neighbors, not the very hills and waters around us. Not other human beings. Especially if they’re sitting on something valuable, or if they themselves were deemed “valuable”.

It was only a few generations ago that we, humans, owned, bought and sold other humans as an institutional practice. A major part of our economy. Abominable. Greed gone blood-borne, if you will. A veritable ocean of blood flowed forth, on American soil, in reaction to the overfuckinglate epiphany that such disgusting and grotesquely greedy practices were to be forever abandoned.

Today, we are a long way from forgetting our past. Greed still pervades almost every aspect of our society. This thing is a lasting scourge upon us, a lethal parasite. Our species’ long-term survival depends on either being rid of it or severely checking its growth.

I think we can do this. I think we already possess the necessary tools, and haven’t yet fully figured out how to use them, also for all our faults we are as resilient as they come.

Hate follows greed closely, being a frequent outgrowth from jealousy, greed’s insidious twin. Here and now, today, I feel we are doing a fair job of being rid of hate. Even while the greed-pushers currently maintain the ruse of attain safety and plenty through avarice and amorality, it seems to me the ones similarly pushing hate and mistrust anyone and everyone who happens to be different are rapidly losing their power. They cling to it still, with desperately white knuckles, as tightly as they can. But they are weakening. Even ten years ago they were far far stronger.

Love is winning.

I think one day it will conquer greed. You see, love kills greed. A lot of people don’t know that, it’s not out yet.* That secret is hidden in plain sight. Real love can excise that parasite from the greediest of people. Like a man much wiser than me said: “All you need is love.”

He was right.

Our very first great pleasure in life, even before our first taste of food, is the feel of physical contact with another human being. The melding of warmth and breath and mind.

Love. In its purest form.

That is our destiny. But how we get there from here I don’t know.

I think future historians, if they are around at all, will speculate and argue about the exact details of the day when the scourge of greed finally lifted. I feel quite certain that in the long run it will be either one or the other: they (we) will do something about greed, or they (we) will not be around.

Call it a simple hunch from a life-long Star Trek and John Lennon fan, but I think we can do it.

*h/t George Carlin RIP

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

Silly Humans, The Earth Is A Raft

11 Nov

She’s not a cruise ship. She’s not a container ship. She is certainly not a warship. She isn’t a schooner, or a trawler, or a cabin cruiser. She’s an emergency flotation device; a tiny cork of a life raft bobbing with the current amidst merciless seas.

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Well, maybe to us she doesn’t look so tiny, after all she’s some 5 trillion times the size of the biggest life rafts around. And while no doubt she is tough by her standards, she remains an uncertain and leak-prone cobble job by ours. She won’t sink, maybe, but this is the Bering Sea and all our communications are down, and there is no Coast Guard to call anyway. It’s just us and our raft.

If she swamps or capsizes, or our water or food supply is poisoned, or she catches fire, or any other of innumerable catastrophic things happen, that’s it for us.

Concerning us; despite the fact that our Earth is amazingly bountiful for a life raft of her type, our situation is dire, as usual. Life is rarely easy aboard a flotation device, and ours is no exception. However this time around it is us who have put our raft in peril, through our own wanton, greedy tantrums and subsequent obstinant ear-muffing.

Unfortunately our raft’s leadership is at best a shambles. We’ve never had an established, accepted Chain-of-Command. We’ve never really needed one. The raft is so big that knowledge of other groups of raft-goers, indeed knowledge of the extent of the raft itself, has not been either widely known or even necessary until very recently. The interests of most of the people and the different groups of people on the raft have hitherto consisted of either A) acquiring a bigger piece of the raft or B) enjoying more comfort therein.

There are those among us, some by circumstance and others seemingly by design, who are still unaware of their (our) true situation.

Once again, for millenia there has been no societal need for this knowledge.

Until now.

Now the situation has changed, or rather we are starting to truly understand it. Among other things we are realizing that a raft-going society cannot be run this way. We are adrift and without succour, alone and lost in the howling dark; and as we have made contact with each other and begun to understand this precarious vessel on which we bob we’ve found that the friendly way is the best way as far as possible. All around the world, with several small exceptions and one big Red one, we are tuning in to this friendly way (read: democracy)

What that really means on a life raft, when you get down to brass tacks, is get along or die. Especially on the things that matter the most to us, such as the integrity of our raft. One would think that would take precedence over all else merely if it were called into question, let alone if there were consensus that it was poor and/or near failure.

And that is exactly what is happening. Our raft is in trouble, and it’s trouble we have created. We’re still getting a handle on the extent of the trouble, but there are people among us who have dedicated their lives to that very thing. Scientists are doing tireless work not only finding out what is going wrong, but also what efforts we can take to preserve our raft’s integrity before it’s too late. Their toil has been yeilding measurable results for decades.

By their standards; that is, the scientific consensus of the human race, our raft is in big trouble, trouble we ourselves have caused and still have a chance to reverse. But the clock IS ticking.

However, there is the incessantly pesky matter of ourselves. Two matters.

Firstly, concerning the Chain-of-Command:

Many hold different beliefs than mine on the matter, specifically that an established heirarchy has existed in the past and still exists in absentia now. The trouble is that a plethora of viewpoints exist on who or what was/is at the top of the CoC structure, and there is much dispute over that and even more over what any standing orders might be. This, by itself, wouldn’t be too troublesome as far as our raft is concerned if it were not for one thing.

Some believe that this missing Skipper of the Life Raft Earth left an extremely suspect standing order; that we shouldn’t be troubled by the state of our little lifeboat, that she is ours to do with what we will, that even if we think she is in trouble everything will be alright so long as you believe, that the Skipper will take care of everything, and of course that anyone who says differently and says the Earth is taking on water or otherwise in danger is gainsaying the Skipper and guilty of mutiny.

To say the least this steaming pile of dangerous bullcrap viewpoint is deeply troubling; frustrating as hell, too. When they get that look in their eye, that one that says “you, sir, have with your logic offended my faith“, it sets my freaking teeth on edge.

I calm down, though. Take a deep breath. Maintain. These nuts are hard to crack, but I have patience with them personally. They really do believe they are doing what is right; their conviction is like freaking Mt Everest. While it is a sisyphean task to argue with that, to be honest it’s also hard to hate it. It’s hard to hate someone just because they are a sheep.

And, once in a while, a metaphor gets through to them. Occasionally that incredulous look gets replaced with a cautious grin and a nod. Not often by any stretch, but sometimes.

The other side of the coin is worse:

We have long had a really bad habit; acquisition and accumulation of land and comfort (read: power and money) at the expense of everything and everybody else. Far too many of those of us at the top levels of our leadership, even now in these “enlightened” days, espouse this habit as though it were a virtue; as though wanton use and abuse of our only lifeboat is somehow to be admired, even exalted.

And you dare to call yourselves “conservatives”. Bleh! Teddy Roosevelt would whip your “conservative” ass with his big stick if he were around today. Just what in hell’s name do you think you’re conserving?

Nothing, that’s what. Nothing at all but your own continued and unimpeded land and comfort free-for-all, to be continued until you own the raft and everything in it, seemingly. The worst part with you greedy sharks is that there are no illusions for you anymore. Those doing the science have written on the wall, but the believers refuse to even teach their kids to read. You can read. You are well aware of what you are doing, you must be. Your greed is your only excuse. Go along to get along for yourself alone and the whole world besides be damned. It’s despicable and it makes me ill when I encounter it. I’ll generally leave the room, if I can.

I lose patience with the sharks much more quickly than with the sheep.

It’s not that they’re stupid, they just don’t seem to give a damn.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

A Weed Is Growing Wild

10 Nov

She’s little more than a foot tall. Still very young.

Today her life seems pretty quiet, a bit boring, but no doubt things were more exciting while she was still in the seed.

Maybe she was eaten by a deer, and then she passed through the animal’s gut and fell in this spot. Or maybe she was similarly processed by a bird and so travelled much further. Who knows, maybe she was put there by a human. We don’t know. She doesn’t know. Such is not her business, getting to the sun is her business.

But the calm in her life is deceptive. She is a hunted organism.

She is of the genus Cannabis, and for that unlucky virtue she is already guilty, just for being alive.

Still, in 2013, if law enforcement officials were to run across her and recognize her it would be their sworn duty to kill her. To destroy her. I think if they have “Washington” or “Colorado” engraved on their badges, along with a handful of other jurisdictions around the world, then they would no longer have the standing kill order, and that at least is a good thing. Regardless it would be their prerogative whether to actually follow through or not. I’d hope most otherwise sane people would just walk on by.

But if she were indeed seen and recognized, by any of the millions of other soldiers in the War, the majority of the time I fear that wouldn’t happen.

US federal law, and UN treaty, are both quite clear: zero tolerance, straight to the bonfire. The War on DrugsTM. Insanity.

If she was not a plant, and was capable of thought, she would obviously think this fact very unsettling. And strange. I’m sure it would puzzle her as much as it does me.

She would think about how she doesn’t kill or permanently damage humans like some of her cousins and distant cousins do. If part of her enters a human bloodstream she will affect that human’s brain, but not with malice. Indeed when her tiny, active innards enter that brain they find receptors at the ready; they snuggle in there, stay a little while and then pass through and out. Slipping away with relative ease.

She would think about her cousins, from the genus Coffea, that also substantially affect the human brain without causing vital damage in the short-term. She would wonder to herself: why do humans enjoy and embrace those cousins, and place almost no restrictions on them, but they hate and fear me?

She would think about the genus Nicotiana, and about a distant relation from the extended family of living beings, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or fermentation yeast. Those of my kin are demonstrably destructive to humans, she would think, why do the humans tolerate them, even revel in them, and they still look down upon me?

She would think about some other cousins from the plant world, like the coca or poppy plant, and about non-relations from the collection of chemical compounds, like meth-amphetamine, and ruefully wonder: how did I get lumped together with that terrible bunch?

How indeed.

She doesn’t want to hurt anybody, her goal is to get to the sun; and in her time, with luck, to help to drop her own seeds.

Not to make humans lazy or stupid.

Not to cause humans to rape or kill or steal from each other.

Not to cause humans to be caged like animals.

Not to poison the mind of human society.

Although she is exceedingly tough, she is also very gentle, so I think she would hate being falsely accused of these crimes. She would wonder what in the greenish-blue world had led to this tarnishing of her name. If she knew anything she would know the answers; hate, fear and money.

Power and control most of all.

What a sad waste, she would think.

crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Hammerhand/

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