Tag Archives: United States

Song Of The Day – “Running On Empty” by Jackson Browne

19 Jul

I love road trips. Mostly likely because I’m an American, I suppose, and the road trip has been romanticized in countless movies. Mostly I enjoy being able to enjoy a steady stream of music while the scenery changes. “Running On Empty”  by Jackson Browne is the ultimate road trip song. With its chugging verse and absolutely soaring chorus it’s just begging to be blasted from the stereo as the car hurdles down the highway. Also note the stunning slide guitar work, that elevates this track to FM staple status.

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Ron Paul Wants to End Cannabis Prohibition!

23 Jun

I want you......to end Cannabis prohibition.

Ron Paul and Barney Smith have teamed up and introduced a bill into congress that would end cannabis prohibition by leaving it up to the states do decided whether they want to tax and regulate it, or continue the futile and failed prohibition of cannabis. Though encouraged by this news, I have doubts about whether any other members of congress are this sane. Call your congressperson today!

Benjamin Netanyahu Has Jumped The Shark

11 Nov

Just when I thought Israeli prime minster Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t be anymore pig-headed  and hell-bent on sabotaging any remaining chance for peace with the Palestinians, Israel announced plants to build 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem. Congratulations “BiBi’ you have officially jumped the shark.

The overtly beligerent announcement came just days before Netanyahu was to visit the United States. I hardly know where to begin with this news. First of all, I’m utterly disheartened and incredibly angry with the current Israeli government. Building settlements is the fastest way to end peace talks and escalate tensions in a region that is just waiting for the next war to erupt. It’s bad enough Netanyahu caved to pressure from his right-wing coalition and let a 6 month moratorium on settlement building expire. But this is an even more blatant demonstration of the hard headed, bullying policies that have characterized the current Israeli government from the start.

Of course, President Obama voiced his disapproval of announcement in his typical “let’s not point fingers” fashion.“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations”.  Never helpful? Was that really the harshest condemnation Obama could offer?  And Netanyahu’s response? “Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.”  Netanyahu is 100% correct with that statement, however he’s forgetting one little detail. The Palestinians will never agree to any peace deal which does not include East Jerusalem as their captial.

Building settlements in East Jerusalem and any where inside the West Bank, is the biggest obstacle to peace. Period. Political leaders in Muslim countries all around the middle east have used the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for decades now to rally support against Israel and the United States. When Iranian president Ahmadinejad woke up on Monday and read the news about the planned construction he must have been beside himself with glee. Why? Because it validates the evil Zionist regime image he uses to successfully garner support for his extremist beliefs. Don’t think it’s working? Look at the turn out he received when he showed up in Lebanon a few weeks ago.

One of the best interviews I have seen took place this year on the Daily Show. Jon Stewart spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan about the Middle East, and of course the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. During their discussion King Abdullah stressed how ending the occupation and establishing peace with Palestinians  is the best thing Israel can do for its security. If you are the least bit interested in the Middle East you must watch this interview.

The basic gist of his argument is Israel needs to make peace with the Palestinians because it will take power away from extremist voices, like Iran and Hizbollah in the Middle East. Obviously Israel wants peace in the region. Aside from being at war for almost 60 years, the country has immense internal social problems, that cannot be seriously addressed until there is lasting calm in the region. But the question is how bad do they want peace? Judging from Netanyahu’s actions, they don’t seem to want peace anytime soon. That’s why it’s time for the United States to take charge of situation once and for all.

Illegal settlements don't help the peace process.

It’s time for Obama to grow some beztyim (cajones for Spanish speakers) and finally stand up to the sandbox bully Israel. The United States gives Israel a $2.7 billion a year allowance, mostly for military purposes, and this is how they repay us? By ignoring everything we ask them to do? It is time for Obama to play hardball (I love political jargon) with Netanyahu and say something along these lines. For every new home erected in East Jerusalem, or the West Bank, the United States will take away $1 million of your annual funding. Starting immediately. Israel would loose $1 billion right out of the gate with the new construction proposals. Extreme? Absolutely. Effective? You better fucking believe it.  Netanyahu and his goon of an foriegn minister Avigdor Lieberman (who should be in jail) will scream it  proves once and for all that Obama is a Jew-hating Muslim in disguise who is plotting to destroy the Jewish people. But it will send the message that the United States will no longer tolerate Israel’s irresponsible and illegal behavior.

There will finally be a palpable punishment for Israel, rather than a mild chiding.  As an American Jew, who is pro-peace, I am so sick of the United States pretending it’s trying its hardest to get both sides to talk. The current Israeli government will not do anything unless they are dragged kicking and screaming.   It’s come for Obama time to step on some Israeli toes, and hard.

Election Day

2 Nov

Here we are on election day and it seems like Mr. Obama will suffer some losses in the senate and congress. I have just accepted this unfortunately as it maybe. However there is only one election related event that I am seriously excited for today. Proposition 19 in California which would legalize possession, cultivation and sale of cannabis for adults in the state. In the midst of a presidential term that was supposed to be all about change, what could be more fitting than the first state to end 73 years of Cannabis Prohibition in the United States. Opponents of this measure say it is not the time for a federal/state government clash and imagine a world where bongs will replace coffee mugs on teacher’s desks. Get fucking real.

What has 73 years of prohibition done for our country? Nothing good. In fact marijuana is the easiest illegal drug for teenagers to obtain in the United States. But don’t believe me read the report yourself. When we as a society choose not to regulate  marijuana, we let criminals decide how to control it for us. Drug dealers are not going to be checking a teenager’s ID before selling them a dime bag.

As for the growers who have come out against Prop 19 because they’re worried about losing profits. Get your collective heads out of your asses. This nation incarcerates almost 800,000 people a year for possession of marijuana. The only reason you growers have been making a nice living off growing a weed, is because of prohibition. Dealers can jack prices of marijuana,  up to $60 for 3.5 grams because they have to take a risk to sell this product to you. Think of it as a convenience fee like Ticketmaster charges. Prices of marijuana go up when police “crack down” on dealers because now there is even more risk placed upon them to sell. Watch Sanho Tree break down Prohibition economics.

Cannabis Prohibition has benefited two groups of people almost exclusively: those involved with the marijuana business i.e. dealers, growers, drug cartels, and the law enforcement business. The United States has more of its own citizens locked up than any other country in the world. Evil Iran is only in at #53 and the champion of human rights violations China is #116 but we’re #1!!! . Whooo. Wait, what?  I’m not making this up see the entire list for yourself. If you want to start making some bucks in this country the prison sector is hot.

New York City alone has arrested around 40,000 people a year since 1999 for possession of marjiuana which has been decriminalized in New York state since 1977. (much, much more to come on this later). What’s more of all the millions of pounds of evil marijuana destroyed by the DEA 98% is classified by the DEA as “ditchweed” aka feral hemp that will not get you stoned no matter how many joints you smoke. Our tax dollars are being squandered to the tune of roughly $2.6 billion a year trying to win the war on drugs. This is no longer acceptable.

It is my utmost hope that Prop 19 passes today and finally forces our elected officials in the state and the federal government to see that we the people no longer support a public policy that has been nothing short of a failure for the last 73 years.