Blessed are you who are God sovereign of the universe who makes cannabis the tree of life
Who is the master who makes the grass green
IA HU VE HA SHI VA
I am who is the God within
IA HU VE HA SHI VA
I am the eternal One
Before Abraham was, I AM
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
NTodd is wicked smart.
BadTux the Snarky Penguin @ Mockingbird’s Medley compares Adolf Hitler to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Okay, so unlike Hitler, Ahmadinejad hasn’t invaded anybody. Indeed, he *can’t* invade anybody — the Supreme Ruler (Ayatollah Khamanei) is head of the Iranian armed forces and has sole power to declare war, the President of Iran only has power over limited internal affairs. So unlike Hitler he doesn’t have any armies under his control. Ahmadinejad hasn’t exterminated any Jews either, indeed there are Jewish members of the Iranian parliament. And because he has no power to declare war under Iran’s constitution, obviously he hasn’t declared war against anybody. But… but…Ahmadinejad has SAID MEAN THINGS ABOUT ISRAEL! And saying bad things about Israel MAKES BABY JESUS CRY! WAHHH!!!! So *obviously* he’s Hitler. Despite having no armies. Despite invading nobody. Despite exterminating nobody. Saying bad things about Israel is WORSE than all that, because saying bad things about Israel, like, HURTS THEIR FEELINGS! SOB!
As an ethnically Jewish American, I want Israel to seek peace. I want America to seek peace. I want all nations to seek peace, and to speak together peacefully.
What Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinks about Israeli politics is his opinion. His opinion of America as a bully would not be disabused by invading his country.
There is no casus belli in Iran. It would be a war crime to invade. Now is the time that members of our armed forces must recognize that an invasion of Iran cannot be considered a defensive act, and refuse illegal orders.
Update: Charles @ Mercury Rising has more thoughts worth reading.
Reuters has video.
Seems like it is an actual thing:
And just on the off-chance your Dutch isn’t quite fluent just yet, here’s a bit of what it says…
“My name is Ego Leonard and I greet you from the virtual world. A world which for me stands for luck, solidarity, everything green and blooming, and without rules and restrictions. Recently, my world has been flooded with luck-seekers and those who want power. Many new meetings in my virtual world have left me very curious as to your surroundings. I am here because I thought of your world and wanted to discover and understand it. Show me all of those beautiful things which your world has to offer. Be my friend, and tell me tales, take me on your travels to beautiful landscapes, show me your words and gestures.”
Hat-tip Doug Stych, who is now proud to be called a liberal though I don’t think he’s a parasite.
Hillary Clinton’s insistence on maintaining official silence might be to impress upon some adversary the fear that we might use them. The truth is, no one knows because the button goes to whomever it goes.
Even if we survive this administration and elect a Democratic candidate, there is no guarantee against a George Bush III in the future. Just as we have been cautioning Republicans that they should not give Bush II powers they wouldn’t want Clinton II to have, we should allow for the possibility, and cease this nonsense.
If America uses a nuclear weapon against anyone ever again, there will cease to be America. We will be torn apart inside and out; there would be no shelter from the storm. We cannot use these things. Let’s turn them to some peaceful purpose.
Update: Sifu Tweety Fish @ The Poor Man Institute has more.
“You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.”
The one question I had difficulty answering was #7. I tried not answering that one and it asked if I own a Prius. (I don’t.) But the truth is I wouldn’t force anyone, so I figured E. was the most likely group to consent willingly.
Jon Swift has an idea:
It is the Second Amendment that makes our country free. A Global Second Amendment would make the world free. Nuclear proliferation could be the key to making the world safe for democratic proliferation.
We’d have to accept a Nuclear Regulatory Body, being necessary to the security of a free World.
The American constitution proclaimed democracy with the words, “We, the people.” Despite it having been drafted by some small number of men, and consecrated many injustices in the name of compromise, these opening words gave acknowledgment to the authority of the people to exercise sovereignty.
Cannabis is neither physically addictive nor toxic in any demonstrated way, it is beneficial to health for people who have conditions that it treats, and no possibility of overdose fatality exists. It is, in short, perhaps the safest medicine known to humankind.
Those who, like myself, suffer from chronic pain, and use cannabis under a doctor’s recommendation, will use it every single day, because we benefit from having pain relief, and it does not impair our function. To the contrary, we are less functional without it because we then have untreated pain.
You cannot honestly say that it would be better to take some prescribed opiate or over-the-counter drug that causes liver damage. Cannabis does not cause organ damage.
Those who have no pain to begin with will have no need of cannabis, but those who are addicted to other drugs would be well advised to switch, were it only legal to do so. Cannabis can treat cocaine, heroin and other dependency, by helping make withdrawal less difficult. Those other drugs can kill, and have very serious withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous, making their addictiveness truly horrific.
Cannabis is benign, it is beneficial, it is good. It is not for everyone, some will dislike it (and I dislike broccoli, so there). I would not give it to children unless a doctor thought it was appropriate to recommend. There is no real harm in adults using cannabis, except for the harms consequent to prohibition. These are points you may wish to contest, and the social consequences of cannabis are important considerations as well. I’m looking forward to having that conversation with more of you.
My generation remembers, and we do not forget the terrible price inflicted. We need a time to heal.
The times in which this was made and broadcast, we were children, they could say no more than this much. We can say more now. We need to learn to live in peace with one another and to respect our different traditions, while allowing our children to go outside our old traditions. We need to acknowledge that the sins of our forefathers are visited upon their victims, and make our own apologies for having the fruits of injustice. Yet the good that our fathers did may outweigh any incidental harm if we can all find a way to share the fruits of joy and love with one another.
I ask forgiveness of all who may think I have done them a harm by existing, or by accepting any gift which helps to sustain my life, if it ever occurred at your expense and without permission. I do not wish to be led astray from the truth by hopes of wealth, but I wish to preserve and protect that which is valuable to all of humankind.
If you feel I have done a greater harm, or if I have done one that could not be avoided that requires more explanation, I will ask that I be told. This is not the place for putting personal grievances which require knowledge of who I am, but to what you see before you. If you feel I am unjust or wrong, tell me so.
We wanted to do something to help the developing world. We figured out what we could afford to spare and divided funds equally between two choices: Kiva lets you make no interest loans to individual people in developing countries, and the Grameen Foundation has a completely novel approach to microcredit that earned a Nobel Peace prize for itself and founder, Muhammad Yunis of Bangladesh. If you invest in someone through Kiva you get your money back eventually; if you give to Grameen you are donating to the developing world.
I thought it worth blogging in case others are interested in doing something like this.
It is because we were hunters, because
we killed for a living, because we matched
wits against the whole of the animal world,
that we have the wit to survive even in a
world of our own creation.
Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
By Montel Williams
You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana’s medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren’t treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.
If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don’t see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.
My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn’t sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.
All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn’t take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to become a junkie.
When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.
I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.
You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It’s common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It’s typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don’t help much, whatever the specific illness.
The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can’t walk.
This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the “gold standard” of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.
What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.
In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.
Here’s what’s shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there’s no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They’re lying, and they know it.
Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It’s long past time for that to change.
Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it’s recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.
The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of “Climbing Higher” and other books.
Special to the Post-Dispatch
From United States Senator Russ Feingold.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER COSPONSORS FEINGOLD BILL TO REDEPLOY TROOPS FROM IRAQ
April 2, 2007
Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”
“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”
The language of the legislation reads:
(a) Transition of Mission – The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).
(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq – The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds – No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.
(d) Exception for Limited Purposes – The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:
(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.
(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.
(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.
# # #
The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.
What is the Ultimate Question?
You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.
Can you compute?
Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.