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Member since: Wed Sep 24, 2008, 09:46 AM
Number of posts: 361

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Why the hell didn't anyone heed Eisenhower's warning about the Military Industrial Complex?

Just over 50 years ago, in his Presidential farewell speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the potential for the Military Industrial Complex to harm our democracy.

With the military budget now flirting with the trillion dollar mark, it just seems somewhere down the line since 1961, someone could have used this to curb the insanity.

You would think they would have listened to the General who won WWII, right?
It's not like he was a left-leaning peacenik like me

What do Romney, Goldman-Sachs CEO's, and minimum-wage earners have in common?

Goldman-Sachs announces 2011 pay for executive Lloyd Blankfein's. This sounds pretty fair, huh, $15 or $16 million for a guy who works real hard on Wall Street? For you numbers folks, that's somewhere between $5,000 and $8,000 an hour! Now based on the Romney tax rates, he'll pay approximately 14-15% in taxes.

Strangely enough, 15% is exactly the same rate a worker earning a whopping $8 an hour pays,
which would be 33 cents more than Florida's minimum wage, or just over $16,000 a year, and far less than the 25% paid by someone earning $35,000 a year.

To add insult to injury, instead of the taxes paid by the minimum-wage earner becoming part of the few dollars now going to public education, which might help his or her kids in this land of opportunity, some of it goes to pay for the debt we incurred for bailing out Goldman-Sachs to the tune of $4.3 Billion.

I believe they call this Trickle On economics

Our Draconian Drug Laws Have Created a Great Investment Opportunity in Prisons

Now how more American can you get than that?

You too can get in the money, and here's how:

And you be pleased to know:

With the growing number of incarcerated individuals each year, investing in prison stocks has become a lucrative move. As the prison population continues to rise, private corrections corporations build more facilities and continue to grow.

and from another source:


It is worth noting that the United States has the highest prison population rate in the world. In the US, 756 out of every 100,000 people are incarcerated.

Approximate number of people incarcerated for drug related crimes:

108,000 people in federal prisons as of April 2010
280,000 people in state prisons across the country as of June 2007
31,500 people in California state prisons as of December 2008
Let's expand a bit by putting it into perspective, and that means understanding how many total people are incarcerated for all crimes:

211,455 inmates at federal prisons as of April 2010
1,395,916 inmates in state prisons as of June 2007
171,161 inmates in California as of December 2008
So that means around half of all inmates in federal prisons are there for drugs, around 20% of inmates nationwide in state prisons are there for drugs and around 18% of inmates in California state prisons are there for drugs.

So what are you waiting for?

even those pillars of American society, our banks, are getting in on the action, so it must be good, right?


Wells Fargo is one of the largest investors in Geo Group, Inc. the second largest private prison company in the world contracted by state and federal government agencies. The group spends millions lobbying for stricter immigration enforcement.

BULLSHIT, illegal bullshit, and more bullshit, but for those who see this issue as unimportant, well I guess . . . you might agree with the officer . . .

The President Has a Growing Marijuana Problem

Not to be confused with a marijuana growing problem, but the President's problem is not going away. In fact, it's growing like a weed. sorry

The problem is not that he stands in an unfavorable position with the minority of Americans on legalization and medical marijuana, it's his inability to be clear about the matter and to adequately address the questions and positions of not only the growing mass of 20-somethings as indicated by online activity, but also the increasing number of state legislators who are pressing him and the administration to reconsider. Just a few days ago, a bi-partisan group of 42 Washington legislators requested a reclassificaton of the drug by the DEA to allow medical marijuana.

When the President decided to team up with YouTube and Google to stage a 45-minute "hangout" session where he answers the most asked questions from voters, he probably could have guessed that the millenials and generation xers, who dominate online forums, were not going to be concerned about social security. In fact, it could easily have been assumed the dominant questions would be about marijuana, legalization, medical, etc., especially as it had last year.

The top vote getting question was this one one from a retired LA police deputy chief who asked
about legalization. His question received 1.6 million votes, and this gives you an idea of the level of interest among young voters on the matter:

Sorting the questions by popularity reveals that 18 of the 20 most popular questions, according to YouTube, have something to do with marijuana policy, including the legalization of marijuana use, the cost of the war on drugs and other related issues.

This thought-provoking question came in fifth:

"With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, on marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up marijuana users, isn't it time to regulate and tax marijuana?

Again, Mr. President? . . . . . .crickets . . . .

Being all about voter participation and all, you figure the President would have answered some or at least one of the questoins about pot, which was obviously on the voters' minds, but no. Not one. Now they are claiming YouTube or Google screened the questions, therefore the President didn't get any of those questions.


Well he did go on record a year ago, and thanks to the internet tubes we can go back a year and see what his stance was then, and I have to say aside from his Mr. Mackey impersonation, "drugs are bad", the rest of his answer was probably the worst answer to any question I've ever seen him answer anywhere on anything.

So in summary, legalization is just wrong, cause I say so, and it's a public health matter, incareation is bad and education is good, and we must reduce demand?

That's what you got? . . . from possilby the brightest President ever?

. . . and here in August 2011 in MN, it's really seems like he wants to give it more than a few seconds of consideration, but then he punts.

In the video the woman asks "If you cant legalize marijuana, why cant you just legalize medical marijuana? His Palinesque response was:

A lot of states are making decisions about medical marijuana, Obama explained. As a controlled substance, the issue is then that is it being prescribed by a doctor as opposed to you know, well, Ill leave it at that.

Back in 2008, candidate Obama said that federal prosecutors were not going to be prosecutiing medical dispensaries, because "it wasn't a good use of resources". Then the federal government change it's tune on interfering with states' right and their decisions to allow medical marijuana, but not longer after they made that statement, they started raiding dispensaries.

So in conclusion, on one side you have the majority of Americans


who either favor legalization, or are not opposed to it, and on the other side President Obama and the federal government. For me, it's tough to watch the President either sidestep the issue or attempt to justify his position, but in his defense, I would argue that the reason he avoids the question or stumbles on his answers is that he's conflicted. While a part of him has to say "you know, this whole thing does wreak of paternalistic government and it takes a huge bite out of personal freedoms and rights, and states' rights, and there is that whole hypocrisy concerning alcohol and prescription drug use, which may be a greater problem in our country', 'I'm a father and I don't think this would be good for our daughters, and I would really be in trouble trying to tell them not to do it, if it ever became legal". The Gallup poll did indicate:
. . . there is some evidence that support for legalization can erode as people age and have children.

. . . at least that's the only thing I can figure which is clouding his decisionmaking ability amd lands him on the wrong side of this issue, and while anti-weed folks like to dismiss this as an unimportant issue, because I guess they can tell us what is important, that's how the President is handling it too. . . and well . . it comes off . . . .. really condescending.

Now, if you'll excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I have a 4:20 appointment

Region Bashing is Rude, Insensitive, and Inappropriate, and Should Not be Acceptable on DU

and Rave

Bashing and broad brushing an entire region of the country, ergo all it's inhabitants, both former and current, with claims of ignorance and racism, is well, bad form and rude. Is it any less appropriate then bashing foreigners or people of other races? Is calling everyone who lives below the Mason-DIxon line ignorant going to benefit anyone? Oh yea, there is that whole superiority complex thing.

Perhaps not everyone is aware that some of us folks down here in the South "been educated" and gave up our KKK memberships too. You may even be surprised to find a Southerner or two who find the KKK despicable, just like the rednecks of the North, South, or West of this country who are bigots, racists, or what have you. As some posters have duly noted, ignorance knows no geographical boundaries. Think now of the Arizona rednecks recently showing off their Obama T-shirt target. So now, we're gonna have to include the West in those regions that should just quietly go away from the good parts of America?

Interesingly enough, I am often on the other side of this North/South argument, especially when it comes to the Confederate flag, which is a big thing amongst folks down here who haven't figured out that particular war is over. My ancestors fought for the Confederacy, and while I don't necessarily derive great pride from this, I don't accept any guilt either. It was after all a hundred and fifty years ago. That said, I despise the Confederate flag today as usually presented and do not hesitate to let people know. While there is a minute group of people who simply see it as Southern heritage, it is more often displayed on the back bumper of a truck owned by a bigoted knuckle-dragging dipshit who couldn't tell you when the damn war happened. And even if you're a Southern history wonk, you should realize the bitterness and ill feelings that this flag represents to many. So I don't buy the whole "it's a history thing" argument from region bashers anymore than I do from the bigots down here who wanna justify flying the stars and bars, because it's Southern history. Words matter and symbols do too.

America is not in it's best shape. We've certainly had better times. The country is as polarized as it has ever been and progressives/liberals are in a fight for our country against the wingnut Right and the corporations. Why would anyone now attempt to devide "us", as in "us against them", into North us vs. South us? While the minutae of history included in the region bashing threads of late may have minimal merit and are worthy of a civil discussion, this is no time to create a chasm between us because of where we reside. Without a better way to say it, that's just fucking stupid.

Oh yeah, and I know a Southerner named Clinton who did some pretty good stuff for the whole United States and he did okay for the Democratic Party too!
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