Saturday, June 9, 2018

Trump's Canada Reality Show.

     This weekend while in Canada for the G-7 summit Trump had a thought and opened his mouth and suggested that he might support a law that federally ‘legalized’ marihuana (as the feds incorrectly spell it).1 At first that struck me as odd. But then I remembered I personally know quite a few people who smoke mota but tend toward the authoritarian view of politics and political science.           Marijuana’s fame as the peace and love drug of the very white hippy subculture of the 60s has dropped from the tree of history and is rotting on the ground like so much fruit at the end of summer. It is now a symbol of personal liberty and rebellion in a world increasingly devoid of personal liberty. Donnie’s “odd” position was consistent with and perhaps required by his act of clemency toward Alice Johnson a woman of color languishing in federal prison under burden of a life sentence for a relatively minor offense in the now ancient (and lost) War on Drugs.
     Because he frequently adopts a Randian view of modern economics, I would expect Trump’s main concern in this teased position on legal pot at the G-7 was with the economic potential of such a surrender in America’s longest war. Remember California just legalized recreational use of marijuana via an initiative on the 2016 General Election ballot. There was something in that measure for everyone and every special interest even remotely connected to the under the radar industry. This includes California’s taxing authorities. My most recent experience in the new industry was that the government at the retail level is now collecting taxes equal to 34% of the value of the transaction. The Feds if they have their way will simply put you in prison and seize all your assets after California 34% to have that little baggy.
     It also allowed him to engage in real fun, dropping a teaser in order to secure an audience for the next installment of his current reality show. That’s for the care and feeding of his narcissism.

1Caused by an ignorant attempt by the engrossing clerk to fix a spelling error.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

It's Sunday Again

     It’s Sunday again. I know that because I filled my then-empty weekly pill box and because there’s a newspaper in my yard. I don’t read that newspaper. I will eventually go out and pick it up and toss it in the trash. I will do that today because I don’t want to wake up tomorrow see it again and think in my pre-coffeed fog it’s Sunday again. I subscribe to it only on Sundays because the publisher allows me free access to its website in return for my $8.96 every two months. I hate paywalls on websites. I also took my weekly eight pill regimen of 2.5 mg tablets of methotrexate that sustains me until next Sunday when I take eight more of the little yellow buggers. It tempers my overactive immune system over the course of the coming week which allows me temporary control of my ocular myasthenia. So I guess that’s a good thing. It keeps me functional.
     I’ve consumed the entirety of the pot of coffee I made today along with the last two Cleo & Leo cookies. If you’re wondering what they are I must confess that I am really not sure, they appear to be sugar cookies with chunks of chocolate in them. So they can’t really be bad for me. Can they?
     It’s a cold and dreary day with a twenty percent chance of some sort of precipitation and my friend and roommate Rupert has been sleeping all morning. He got up once this morning to eat a bit and have a drink of water and use his box. He then promptly returned to bed in what I used to think was my bed. It apparently is now ours, mostly his now he thinks. He’s a good fellow and talks to me and cuddles me when it seems like no one else will.
And with that I am off to see what this Sunday has in store for me.

Friday, May 11, 2018

We've Been Had Again!

This morning the Los Angeles Times ran an article on its website about the lackluster collections of the 34% combined taxes imposed on the  purchases of marijuana and marijuana products since January 1st of this year. The state is bemoaning the fact that recreational pot has not been the  golden goose politicians expected it to be. California according to the article has only collected $33.6 million since January 1st of this year, way below the expected haul of $185 million projected for the six-month period ending June 30th of this year.
Governor Brown's solution and apparently AG Becerra's solution is Interdiction. The creation of new law enforcement agencies in the California's Justice Department to shut down illegal growers and sellers and apparently the associated retail distributors. Beware, your local neighborhood street dealer who sells you your stash for a cash price tax free just might be your grandmother supplementing her Social Security.
So be forewarned that the little piglets about to be released by Jerry Brown and Xavier Becerra will grow  into full sized sows and boars   and we will be filling our prison systems with marijuana offenders again, including your own personal unlicensed grower/seller.  Saint Lucy with Football, pray for us.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Electoral College Nonsense

As I have said before our nascent democracy is in serious danger.
Separation of powers (and other constitutional concepts) is under attack. Most recently by the GOP Senate refusing to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to sit on SCOTUS after Antonin Scalia died in February of last year. That nomination died when the 114th Congress adjourned sine die. Now of course the Democrats in the Senate are proposing to pay the GOP majority back by refusing to confirm any Trump attempt to fill the Scalia vacancy. Now Republic suffers from the childish antics of both parties. Their excuse for this constitutional outrage and massive dereliction of their own duty was that Obama had less than a year remaining in office and therefore he should forfeit his presidential power and I might add, his duty to nominate and appoint officers of his government for his remaining time in office because of the timing of Scalia’s death. That was one lousy syllogism. But that didn’t keep them from standing up and loudly proclaiming that they wouldn’t consider any judicial nominations the President might put forward.
This was effectively a partial coup and it was without question a violation of both the Senate’s obligation to “advise and consent” and its concomitant obligation to advise and not consent to Judge Garland’s nomination. This was an absolute abdication of its duties under the Constitution and effectively cut the President’s term almost a year prior to its natural termination on January 20th of this year. By acting in this way the GOP has increased the chances the Nation will have a judicial system that ultimately will speak out of both sides of its mouth depending on which side was the prevailing party in the Circuit.
This past year’s presidential election’s outcome was determined by an archaic system of election that the founders created in order to allegedly prevent mobs from taking over the office and certainly to further insulate the institution of slavery from being upended by their greatest fear: slave rebellions. Their fear of common un-propertied white men voting or at the helm of the ship of state was exceeded only their fear of slaves rebelling against their masters and bringing down the entire agricultural economy then in place. Now as Donald Trump serial liar prepares to take office and wreak havoc on the Republic we are seeing how that system isolates the office of President from its constituency the people of the this nation. It is absolutely past time to consign the electoral college to the trash heap of history, along with Donald Trump.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Okay. It's Over Now What?

I have not yet recovered from the fiasco of the 2016 election. I am unsure of how I feel, other than the anger I feel towards all the folks who decided to fix what they perceived is wrong with America by electing Donald to be President of the United States. I am amazed that more people rightly or wrongly voted for Mrs. Clinton than voted for Donald. Not only that but the total number of votes cast against him totaled something like 75 million. Yet he won the election by gathering 36 more votes than Hillary did in the place where it actually counts: the 50 state capitals and the District of Columbia. This is more proof that our Constitution is not a democratic document. Political movement toward making it a more democratic document has been an ongoing struggle since its adoption but it is not yet there. As proof of that I offer the fact that seventy-five million people voted for someone other than the fellow who will be inaugurated on January 20th. That really needs to be fixed.

I find it really hard to get my head around that. Donald Trump, barring the intervention of any deity actually interested in the future of the USofA, is going to become president at noon two weeks from tomorrow. All the opportunities to set aside this ‘election’ have passed. The electoral college cast its votes on December 19th and then disbanded never to be heard from again. On Tuesday last the incoming 115th House of Representatives counted the electoral votes and certified the presidential election as a done deal. The Senate took similar action with respect to Mike Pence’s election as vice president.

Since I don’t have any belief that petitioning various gods and goddesses for intervention will help us in this hour of peril we had best get our collective and individual asses in gear and start making noise and becoming part of #TheResistance or our Nation will be doomed. We are on a headlong rush off the coming cliff into the great unknown. We had better figure out a way to stop this. I mean now!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Trash Day in the Canyons

     Today is Trash Day in the Canyons. One of my neighbors had already taken their trash out by the time I started to move mine to the ‘curbside’ for pick up. Earlier this morning my cat Rupert was sitting in his window surveying his lands and the castle grounds but was clearly upset at something that had invaded his space. It was the sound of wings, big wings, flapping in the air at high speed. There was a huge crow worrying at one of my neighbors’ trash barrels.
     Later I was taking my barrels out to the road and I noticed that the crow was now joined by a comrade and they had succeeded in liberating some of the treasures in the neighbors’ barrel. What was liberated was a bag of store-bought sugar cookies. These guys had no fear of me and I was twenty feet away from them. I was scolding them. They scolded me back. So I just started watching them. They had a system. One of the crows would stand nearby to the now ripped open bag of cookies in the middle of our road while the other crow would swoop down and grab one in its maw and fly off to enjoy his treasure. When he was done he returned to the area of the cookies, relieved his comrade and stood guard while his comrade grabbed a cookie and took off. This was repeated several times until eventually they seemed to lose active interest in the cookies but still stood by guarding their treasure.
      I would suspect by the time the cookies are gone that the birds will both be dead of diabetic shock. There has to be at least one lesson there for us to heed.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

North Pole of Jupiter

NASA was created in late 1958 during the waning years of the Eisenhower Administration. The Act creating NASA was the creature of the 85th Congress which was run by Democrats. The Act was signed into law by President Eisenhower. It was a bipartisan creation, something that could never be accomplished today with the current crop of GOP-crazies in Congress. The GOP now actively supports the elimination or diminishment of our space agency and certainly seeks annually to defund it.
      Its creation was perhaps a naive expression of the USofA’s can-do attitude in its new position as the sine qua non of the victory over the Nazis and the Empire of Japan barely a decade before its creation. It turned out to be a full employment for act for geeks of every sort. Even better than that it turned out to be an incredible font of knowledge and awe at what ‘nature hath wrought.’
      This past week NASA released pictures taken by the Juno spacecraft of something we have never before seen: the north pole of Jupiter. The NASA geeks were flabbergasted.. They had no expectation that they would see the wonders photographed by Juno. This picture is dominated by blues. Those blues sharply off set the familiar reddish bands around Jupiter. It is simply stunning. I could sit in a darkened room staring at this picture and travel to the end of ends of space-time in my mind.