General Politics


Finally! Stoners are about to have nothing left to talk about.

A transpartisan initiative, ‘Just Say Now’ is a campaign supported by several politicians, litigators, law enforcement officials, and physicians.  The cast of ‘Half Baked’ was not included on the advisory board, however, Nancy Reagan has prematurely rolled over in her grave.

Apparently the cast from ‘Half Baked’ was too busy with their careers to participate.

The goals of Just Say Now include:

  • Organize transpartisan support for ending marijuana prohibition across the country by combining the online organizing efforts of Firedoglake, which has 100,000 readers a day, with the grassroots organizing abilities of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, with chapters at 150 campuses across the country.
  • Turn out voters to support marijuana initiatives on the 2010 ballot in Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado and South Dakota.
  • Work to get marijuana initiatives on the ballot in multiple states in 2012, with an emphasis on presidential battleground states, to encourage a national conversation about marijuana policy during the next election.
  • Inform the conversation around ending prohibition and educate the public about the true state of our antiquated drug policy
  • Encourage government at all levels to adopt more sane, pragmatic and reasonable policy regarding marijuana.

This legislation should also help to stimulate the snack food industry, which would be great for Pennsylvania business, Troyer Farms. If you’re sitting in your dorm room now, thinking about how great it’d be to splash some water in that bong, turn on your black light, smoke some endo, and then pop in Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, go join the movement at justsaynow.com (Apparently the website is being hosted at firedoglake.com).

Will the United States cave into the decade long desires of people like Bob Dylan and Tom Petty? We’ll find out in the upcoming years.

Sources: 1, 2

In a sad attempt at being relevant to the times, Republicans have created the totally hip website American Speaking Out, with hopes of changing the image of the Republican party from gun-totin’, minority-hatin’, money-grubbin’, irrelevant bigots to a more hip party that anyone can be proud of joining and blogging about on their iPhones. I can see them now, smug smiles on their faces: “Look, we’re now downloaded on the internets!”

And as they want to convince people, they will let the voices on their website shape the political policies that they focus on from here on out (well, you know, if it agrees with what they already believe). From their website:

America deserves a Congress that respects the priorities of the people. Unfortunately, Washington hasn’t been listening. Let’s change that. America Speaking Out is your opportunity to change the way Congress works by proposing ideas for a new policy agenda. Republicans have offered solutions, and we have our principles, but this is a new venue for us to listen to you. So Speak Out.

Oh, and spoke out they have. The site contains five clickable categories where anyone can “debate ideas that are posted, offer one of your own, or just look around.” Then people can post responses and vote them either up or down the priority list. Look under all of the lists and most of the top suggestions are more progressive, liberal ideas – and of course, liberals have invaded the site with some hilariously over-the-top conservative ideas, but the frightening part is that sometimes I couldn’t tell whether or not the suggestions were liberal tongue-in-cheek suggestions or teabaggers serious thoughts. Here are just a few popular suggestions:

all leaders should proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. anyone who does not, like muslims and atheists should be removed from office.

I should have the right to name my children using numbers. If I want to name my child l33t, I should be able to name him that.

we need to employ some of those invincible black knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Robots aren’t yet people, but someday they will be. We must plan ahead and grant robots full voting rights, as well as the ability to seek the presidency. We must also make sure they get whatever demand, because a new form of life should be welcomed into the world. Further, they must be allowed to serve in the military. In fact, they should be in charge of the military. WE MUST DRAFT A ROBOT RIGHTS ACT before we need one!

Of course, there are plenty more that are serious. Here are some of the issues that have been voted to the top of each respective category. Take note, GOP.

Each year taxpayers foot the bill for a “war on drugs” that costs tens of billions of dollars, results in hundreds of thousands of arrests, and does absolutely nothing to solve the drug problem in this country. It’s time that we end the ineffective prohibition approach (just like we did with alcohol), and enact a new system of legalized regulation and taxation for drugs like marijuana. In addition to generating fiscal savings and new tax revenue for our economy, legalization will also improve public safety and national security by bankrupting the violent gangs and cartels who control the currently illegal market for drugs.

Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Simple. Let the LGBT community serve in the military.

Government funds should not go towards religious organizations. I don’t want big government getting involved in my religion, and I don’t want money being wasted on something I don’t believe in. End the “christian nation” bull, taxpayer money shouldn’t be wasted on religion (it falls into the category of “wasteful government spending”). So repeal the law about faith based initiatives.

Good for you, Republican party. Good for you. Welcome to 1998.

Holy hell – this is why I love Florida Congressman Alan Grayson (well, one of many reasons – how about this speech?). If there were politician trading cards, I would be collecting Grayson.

Grayson is introducing a bill called ‘The War Is Making You Poor Act’ – you can see his official website for it right here, where you can also sign a petition saying that you support the bill (or really, what it is that the bill stands for – we are wasting too much money on these wars). His introduction on his site says that the US government’s budget next year “allocates $159,000,000,000 to ‘contingency operations,’ to perpetuate the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s enough money to eliminate federal income taxes for the first $35,000 of every American’s income each year, and beyond that, leave over $15 billion that would cut the deficit.”

Watch the video and please pass it on.

We could very well see this man as our President someday.

My NBA team is out of the playoffs and I’ve been struggling with deciding on who to root for… but a struggle it is no longer. I will be rooting for the Phoenix Suns.

In an extremely bold move, the Phoenix Suns as an organization made a strong political statement in opposition to the recent Arizona immigration bill.

Discussions on taking action began last week after the bill passed, with an idea that came from Robert Sarver, Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns.

According to Steve Kerr, the team discussed it internally before going to the league for approval to both wear the ‘Los Suns’ jerseys, but also to come out publicly in this way.

Kerr said both the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs were fully supportive of the Suns move.

Ultimately, the decision was left up to the players, but in a locker room led by Steve Nash, it is no surprise how that turned out.

“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in,” Nash said of the bill. “I think the law obviously can target opportunities for racial profiling. Things we don’t want to see and don’t need to see in 2010.”

Amare Stoudemire and Alvin Gentry also expressed their support for the decision with more of a focus on supporting their neighbors. “It’s going to be great to wear Los Suns to let the Latin community know we’re behind them 100%,” Stoudemire said.

There’s no question that this public move will receive considerable backlash in this state and likely among many Suns fans and perhaps even sponsors.

Steve Kerr tried to walk the line between the political implications by talking about the move as a way for an organization that is in the public eye to push the discussion.

“We want to celebrate the diversity that exists in our state and exists in the NBA. We know what’s going on and we don’t agree with the law itself,” Kerr said.

You guys rock. It takes a lot of balls for a business organization that is located in the center of a metropolis that is dealing with the controversy to make such a move. It will definitely alienate many [bigoted] fans, which could result in a loss of sales, although we can only hope that the backlash will not be too severe for them.

So… go Suns!

Source: 1

A big thank you to our reader Anam for bringing this to our attention. This thought-provoking piece was written by anti-racist writer and activist Tim Wise, who has spoke in 48 states and 400 college campuses on the topic of racism and white privilege and recently released a book titled Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama. His other books include White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Speaking Treason. I’ll say no more. Just read it.

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

As you can see above (click the photo for a better look), I received a Facebook invite to become a fan of something very interesting today.

Before you go getting all huffy puffy and condemning them for wishing the death of the sitting president though, understand that this fan page is alright, folks, because it’s humor. You know, like satire and shit. The creator of the group even clarified this in a comment, saying: “I just wanted to let some people who were wondering know that we are not really praying for the death of obama it is just some humor to show our disapproval of our current president.”

Because, you know, praying to the Judeo-Christian God for the death of a Constitutionally-elected American President just because you disagree with their political policies (even if you probably can’t define socialism, explain a single one of his policies, or even articulate any sort of counter-argument other than shouting something about big government being bad) is funny and not contradictory to Jesus’s teachings at all. Because it’s humor, people. HUMOR. God has a sense of humor, why don’t we? They’re not really praying for it. Don’t you get it?

Seriously though, on a more important note, how dare the creator of the fan page spell Patrick Swayze’s name wrong. Jackass.

UPDATE (MAY 2, 201): This page now has 1,186,112 fans. Disgusting.

Here is the official GOP website.

Here is the official Democratic party website.

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